General Guide by Jovy
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I wrote a lengthy warding chapter for my support guides some time ago. I had it laid out quite plainly so that the warding chapter looked neutral and could "fit" into any of the guides no matter their theme. Although the chapter indeed doesn't stick out unpleasantly, it doesn't match any of the guides either and it's started to bother me.
To remedy this, I'm moving my warding chapter to this guide; and I'll link it in my support guides! I will also use this opportunity to go through it once more and polish up any misleading or outdated info; as well as add more info here and there.
Hello all! Welcome to my first and only general guide here on MOBAFire. The topic will be all about warding; wards, control wards, vision, maps, the act of looking at stuff. All that.
Why should you listen to me? There aren't all that many guides on warding! I started maining support in season 2; I've got thousands of games; I've got the highest vision score in almost every match I play. I live and breathe warding. I love it.
However, my ardent love of warding aside, it is a very complicated aspect of playing support that would be really hard to explain in a few sentences. There are some things I can relay here that might help you become better at vision control, and I'll try to do that, but I can't tell you exactly where to put what ward and when, since that'll depend on a million different in-game factors. I will, however, try to name and point out as many of those factors as possible!
Warding is essentially placing wards. Wards grant vision and vision grants your team different advantages. Wards can help your team by telling them where a particular enemy is - OR where they are not. Both are equally useful. If you are bot lane and a ward spots the enemy jungler in their jungle top lane, you'll know it is safe to engage, for example. If you have a ward top side but you do not see Lee Sin anywhere on the map, you should play cautiously as it might mean that he is bot side instead.
I don't know who said that - but you're wrong. Warding is not only the support's job; although it is one of the most important functions of a support.
The top lane is a dreadfully dangerous place and the most snowballiest of lanes. If you lose vision control top lane, it's incredibly difficult to get it back. Living in fear of the enemy jungler, due to a lack of vision, will cause you to be zoned all the way to your turret and lose out on valuable CS.
As a mid laner, you are in a shorter lane which means that it's a bit harder for someone to gank you. However, you are not immune to ganks and having wards around the river, on both sides, is exceedingly important to be able to stay alive.
The jungler needs to keep vision control up so they can keep track of the enemy jungler's movements. They should offer a helping hand to their laners by denying enemy vision with Scryer Blooms and Control Wards.
Even if the other roles aren't contributing to warding directly - they don't have sightstone and can't place nearly as many wards as a support - they can contribute in the form of man-power. Mid-game, it can be very dangerous for a lone Yuumi or Janna to walk into enemy territory to place a deep ward. But with a burly Warwick at their side, it's a lot safer.
I will differentiate between General Wards and Situational Wards in this guide.
General wards are not placed at any specific time. You don't expect anything is going to happen around the river soon, per se, but a general ward ensures that you will notice if something DOES happen. General wards cover larger spaces, like the River, and give you vision of typical ganking paths and objectives.
A situational ward isn't like that. You place these hot and fast when you need wards in a specific area at a specific time. For example, a fight is brewing the top lane jungle. You need wards in the brush there or the pathways around there - and general wards no longer matter. Who cares if the Dragon pit is warded - the fight will be HERE, so they won't be doing Dragon for sure. It is far more important to have wards ready for the situation that you need them for than for them to guard faraway bits of the map that are currently irrelevant for you.
A common mistake supports, and other roles, make is never refreshing their wards. This is particularly true for Control Wards - often placed in one, isolated, location and left there forever since they are never killed by the enemy. But it also happens with regular Sightstone wards.
Wards last 3 minutes, but that doesn't mean that a particular ward needs to stay where it is for 3 minutes or up until an enemy kills it. You might have wards bot lane, sitting there and still alive, with 1 and a half minute until they expire. But that doesn't mean they should stay there. When you only have 3 wards at your disposal, you'll need to make decisions as to whether or not you need wards there or whether them sitting there for another minute will be a waste.
If you've taken the bottom lane turret, and have rotated mid or top lane for example, you don't need to keep your wards down bot lane anymore. They are useless. So; refresh them. Place new wards mid lane and wherever you think trouble might occur.
It's very important to upgrade your Eye item so that your ward-carrying capacity increases. That way, refreshing wards is just a smidgen easier. You will also need to recall whenever you're entirely empty of wards; just in case a need for them arises.
Control wards are very valuable because they last forever and they don’t count towards your three-wards-at-a-time limit. They only cost 75 gold and, believe it or not, pro supports recommend that support players buy two on every recall. It sounds like a lot of money, but you will need these wards to combat enemy vision, take objectives safely, avoid ganks and save lives. Think of it this way – if you could avoid your death and the death of your ADC for a measly 75 gold, would you spend it?
Many supports do not buy a sixth item so that they can, instead, keep a slot free to keep buying control wards late into the game. This is especially beneficial if the enemy support doesn’t do the same thing; and they often do not, outside of professional play. Usually you will place a control ward in the Baron or Dragon pit when your team is taking that objective. If the enemy has no control wards, as the support has gotten a sixth item instead, they have no way of checking the pit since your Control Ward will be disabling regular wards.
"bla bla bla warding, let me see some maps" ok fine, here you go.
Situational Wards - When doing Baron
|When you are doing Baron you want to have wards that will give away the enemy team if they try to come near Baron. As a member of blue team, the enemy will usually come from behind the Baron pit since that's where their base is. I've placed 6 wards on this map, which obviously you can't, but hopefully someone on your team will help you out or ultimately they won't be necessary. These wards are effective as there is no direction from which the enemy can come near Baron without alerting you.|
As red team it's a little harder to ward or do Baron safely because it is sort of facing the enemy team's base. But on the plus side you can easily ward over-the-wall behind Baron to make sure they aren't doing it. This ward spot is also useful when your team is behind and you can't safely ward on the outside of the pit. When doing it, you want to ward out their entire top side jungle, on their Blue buff and the brush near the entrance to the river especially.
Situational Wards - When doing Dragon
|As blue team you will have the option of over-the-wall warding Dragon, like how red can do so with Baron. Helpful for the same reasons as above; makes it easier to keep it safely warded without having to go into the river. When doing Dragon, you want a lot of deep wards into the bot side jungle as that's usually where they'll be coming from. Also be sure to ward over the wall near the enemy tri-brush, as there will be a blast plant there which they can abuse. If you placing a control ward, it's better to place it a bit further from the pit so that it can catch more wards, as they will rarely go far into the pit to ward it (since it's safer not to).|
On red team you will be facing the Dragon pit which makes it safer for you to ward it. When doing it, place wards directly behind the pit as there is a blast plant there with which they could jump into the pit. If you use a control ward, put it closer to the pit to make sure you can clear or disable wards that are inside; ones they might have placed over the wall. If their bot lane tower is still there, it's necessary to ward the tri brush as well.
Situational Wards - Sieging
Sieging AKA going after turrets. When you and your team try to take turrets, you will need to expect resistance. Sometimes you'll just siege under the turret against a couple enemies who are next to said turret. But usually they will attempt to flank you from the sides and try to kill you for your attempt. These wards will prevent that.
The map shows warding spots when you are attempting to get red team's inner turrets (yellow dots). The light blue dots are wards to place when you are sieging the inner mid turret, and the dark blue spots are for the respective side lanes.
When sieging top lane there are only three entrances from which the enemy could appear. The tri brush, Krugs bush and River.
Mid lane, the most important locations will be the side lane bushes. This will prevent their top/bot lanes from coming mid, as well as of course the jungler who can come from anywhere. Wards around jungle entrances to mid lane are also important since the jungler could appear from there too.
In bot lane you will want to ward the enemy blue buff to prevent the jungler from surprising you, and river for the mid laner. The mid laner could come from your tri-brush as well. You will want to ward the enemy tri-brush as well, because it's possible for them to attempt to blast-plant over the wall and flank you from behind.
When sieging the second turret the enemy is almost certainly in their base, so you shouldn't usually expect flanking unless it's from the side.
If both teams are somewhat even in strength, or the enemy team has a very strong member or strong engage, the enemy might decide to risk it and flank you. Just in case of that, you should place these wards around the turret.
Bot Lane Wards
These maps can be useful as some sort of loose guideline for where to place wards. But they can also loosely tell you where the enemy wards might be hiding.
When you're thinking about de-warding, you have to think like the enemy. "Were I the enemy, where would I ward?". Keep an eye out for where the enemy has been. If they were recently in your jungle, it is likely now riddled with wards and needs to be cleared. If you were recently on their territory, they have probably warded around that area too.
To clear enemy vision, make frequent use of Oracle Lens, Scryer Blooms and Control Wards.
When you activate a Lens, move quickly so that you can discover as many wards as possible. Allow your allies to, or tell them to, assist you in killing wards so that you move more efficiently. Although you may possibly lose out on like 15 gold, you need to remove wards very quickly so that you can keep moving to find more while your Lens is still activated.
And that concludes my guide! Thank you for your attention & good luck pumping up those vision scores.
If you've found this guide through one of my support guides, check out the other ones :)