General Guide by morrkevi
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I am a fairly low ELO player. In fact my ELO at the time of writing this is 1171. So if you are looking only for a guide from high ELO players, then feel free to move on this is not it.
The reason why I am writing this guide is because in my low ELO position I have been testing something out and winning a large majority of my games whenever I use it as a support.
There is a great guide on where specifically to put your wards here. I found this to be an awesome guide when I was first starting off and I hope to make a few references to it as well.
I mostly play a support role, but I am going to include some things that are relevant for all the roles.
One small addition: PLEASE VOTE!!!!!!!! If you like the guide upvote, if you don't like it, downvote. Either way please give me constructive criticism in the discussion section. I will be working on this guide using the discussion. Also, feel free to downvote, but please give me comments in the discussion section. I hope you will invite me to PM you when I take your comments into consideration.
Sight Wards vs Vision Wards
In my opinion you should almost always use sight wards.
In the early game as a support champion I will pick up a couple of vision wards but I use them specifically only if I have watched the enemy place a ward somewhere.
Don't just assume that the enemy will place a ward at dragon or baron because it is not always the case.
Look at the type of wards your enemy support has and base your strategy on that. If you see he has a vision ward that means he probably plans on taking out one of your wards. Don't make that easy for him. Whenever I see they have a vision ward and I have one myself, I will feint using a ward in a bush then watch him go place his vision ward. At this point I usually place my vision ward and take it out.
Vision wards are ONLY worth it if you have an enemy with stealth or you know for sure you are taking out a ward. Otherwise you have just wasted 50 gold (which is 2/3rds of a second sight ward).
The Early Game - Top
In the top lane I recommend having two things in mind when you are warding.
1. Preventing yourself from being ganked.
You want to make sure you place your ward in such a position that the enemy jungler or others can not gank you without some warning.
2. Preventing their jungler from entering your jungle
In my opinion you are responsible for the jungle entrance to the left of Baron Nashor. This means that you should always have one sight ward up here. One ward every 3 minutes is not too much to ask. This is an important spot not only to protect you from being ganked by a turret diver, but also to protect your jungler and to protect your mid from being ganked if he is pushing his lane out a little too far.
The Early Game - Mid/Jungler
This is one of the toughest ones and it will depend on who is mid and who is the Jungler. But in my opinion these two champions should be responsible for a ward to the right of Baron Nashor.
1. Provides vision of the river
Many times over you will notice that in the early game people come from top to do a gank and they rush through the river. This should give you enough warning to back up if need be.
2. Protect from Jungler ganks
In my role as a Jungler, I cannot count the amount of times I have been able to successfully gank from this bush after grabbing blue or red.
3. Preventing their jungler from entering your jungle
Same as above. Prevent their jungler from entering into your jungle which could have terrible effects on your team. Whether he enters in there to go to gank top or enters to steal blue/red it is a bad thing for you.
The Early Game - Bot
In my humble opinion, I state that these two are responsible for two warding locations. The first is to the left of dragon and the second is to the right of dragon.
1. Protects your jungle from being entered by the enemy jungler
Same as above, stops your jungle from being attacked. Stops the enemy jungler from sneaking in and running to mid or to bot to gank.
One other thing I would like to mention here. It is not ONLY the support's role to ward here. If you have an open slot and 75 gold get a ward. The support's main focus in the early game is to get her GP10 items up so that she can sustain herself for the rest of the game.
The Mid Game (Outer Turrets)
I am going to go ahead and call this level 10.
Ideally in this position a turret or two may have fallen. You need to stop thinking in terms of the "Laning Phase" and think more in terms of getting together as a team to take down turrets.
I am going to focus mostly on the support role here.
Ideally at this point you have your two GP10 items and you also have boot of mobility. Once I get my boots of mobility I tell my ADC to focus on farming and NOT pushing the lane while I roam the map.
This is where my guide will differ from typical ward guides. I suggest not focusing on warding baron/dragon and the river but specifically warding areas that you plan to attack next.
At this point you want to figure out which turret looks the weakest and think about how to take it down.
Here is how to do it:
1. Once you figure out which turret is the weakest (ie which lane is most susceptible to pushing) get 3-5 wards and ward all around that specific area. Anywhere that you feel while you are taking down the turret that the enemy team could rush in and take you down.
- the idea behind this is that if you take down a turret with minimal losses you will come out ahead of the enemies.
2. Once you have the area warded inform your team that they should shift to that side of the map to take down this turret.
- This doesn't mean that your entire team comes up because that would result in a loss of two turrets.
- What it does mean is that your two other lanes should be ready to hold their own while you and the jungler push one lane together with the goal of taking down the turret.
3. Rinse and repeat. Once you take down a turret you should have enough gold to grab another few wards. Grab the wards, ward up around a specific turret and push hard. Remember you have three minutes in which to do this. If you see the enemy team coming (because you warded so well) back off. They will more than likely back off when they see you're not being so aggressive then push again.
The Mid Game (Inner Turrets)
Inner turrets are a little harder to take. At this point in the game if possible you should have five wards on you before trying to take one of these on.
Here is what I have found to be the best way of taking down an inner turret.
1. When it is safe, go into one quarter of their jungle and drop all five wards in there. Make sure that you cover most of the jungle entrances and bushes.
2. Inform your team that you want to take down the turret corresponding to whichever quarter you put the wards.
3. Push. More often then not people will start to enter that quarter but wait until the rest of their team is ready. This is a good time to get rid of them quickly if you can. Once you take out one or two of them you should have no problem taking down the turret.
4. Again if it looks too dangerous, back out. You have a 3 min window in which to do this. It is a fairly small investment with the potential for a lot of return if you should successfully take out a turret or any member of their team.
Mid Game General
Ideally by this point one member of your team will have an Oracles Elixir.
If this is the case there should be no reason to ever get a Vision Ward, unless they have a champion with a cloaking ability like Evelynn or Rengar.
Make sure you ward Baron and Dragon when the timing is appropriate. I disagree with the notion you should be using vision wards here, unless nobody on your team has an oracles.
I hope you find this guide informative.
This is a fairly brief guide that will hopefully give people who are new to the game some information and maybe people who have played the game longer some new ideas on how to take out turrets.
I have found that this use of wards has helped me come from behind more than a few times. Once your team realizes that they have a good solid foundation on why they should attack an area they usually follow your lead.
If people do like this guide and I get a fair amount of views then I will probably consider making pictures to add to it. But for now, I know its not pretty but it is a good deal of information that I hope will help people.
Edits and Updates
22/11/2012: Made some changes thanks to FalseoGod's suggestions. I will continue to make changes and eventually add pictures. I also added colour. Pictures coming soon!