In-depth Guide to Warding in League of Legends

Knowledge is power, and in League of Legends knowledge of enemy movements is gained by well-placed wards.

how to ward in lol
how to ward in lol

Joining the micro and macro foundations to make a good League of Legends is warding. This League of Legends mechanic can win games by itself in low elo and is just as important for beginners as choosing the right champions.

How to Get Better At Warding in League of Legends?

Straight to the point, good warding in League of Legends is based on a number of factors, and getting better at it means mastering all of them simultaneously:

  • Effective stealth ward placement,
  • Effective control/pink ward placement,
  • Effective use of the red trinket.

With this guide, we will go over when and where to place these wards exactly, as well as get you into the right state of mind for doing so unconsciously, especially if you’re playing in the support role.

Best Warding places for Stealth Wards in LoL

Stealth wards in League of Legends are free wards all players receive at the start of the game and are the ones you can buy skins for with Orange Essence. While you have the option of choosing between a stealth ward and a red trinket, at the start of the game, stealth wards are far more useful.

League of Legends - Stealth Ward

There are two locations on the map where it’s best to place stealth wards, on both the Red and Blue sides of the map:

  • Between Wolves, Blue Buff Golem, and Gromp,
  • Bush closest to Red Buff,

Warding in these places is called deep-warding, and it uncovers the largest area of the map covered in Fog of War to ensure you know exactly where the enemy jungler is going.

League of Legends - Blue Buff

Doing this, however, is not always possible. So, the second-best way to avoid ganks in League of Legends is to ward bushes from where the enemy jungler is likely to approach. For sidelanes, namely bot lane and top lane, this is relatively easy, as there is only one side that ganks can come from, while in the mid-lane, the best way to avoid ganks is to ward the opposite side of the buff the enemy jungler started on, and try to keep to that side. this way, you will know if the enemy jungler is coming from that side to gank while giving yourself enough opportunity to run if they try anything from the side where you have no vision.

How to Best Use Stealth Wards As a Support?

Unlike every other role in the game, supports’ main objective is vision control. To do this, once they’ve gotten 500 gold with their support item and completed the support quest, supports are given an additional 3 stealth wards to place, and with one thousand gold, that number goes up to 4. With more wards, which get replenished with each return to base, supports can increase their warding on the map significantly.

League of Legends - Drake Pit

However, they are only allowed to place three stealth wards at one time on the map, meaning that they can’t just spam wards all over. Besides the already mentioned spots, stealth wards are best used to prepare neutral objectives, such as Drakes or Baron Nashor, before they even spawn. There is no such thing as too many wards when taking important objectives, so make sure to ward every possible approach and give your team as much information as possible.

When to Take Red Trinket in LoL?

League of Legends red trinket, also known as sweeper, or officially Oracle Lens, is used to disable and destroy enemy wards and gain vision control on the map. For support champions, taking red trinket is a must once their support item quest is completed, as it’s the most gold-efficient way of clearing enemy wards. For junglers and roaming mid-lane champions, Oracle Lens is mandatory as soon as they start ganking other lanes.

League of Legends - Oracle Lens in use

Red trinket has a 90-60 second-long cooldown, meaning that even it can’t be used without proper reason. It’s best used when preparing to take a neutral objective to clear enemy vision, or to prepare a gank, or to ambush enemies.

When to Buy LoL Control Wards and How to Best use Them?

League of Legends control wards, also known as pink wards by the older players, differ from trinkets due to the fact that they must be bought for in-game gold from the shop. Each control ward costs 75 gold, and players can only hold two in their inventory at once, only being able to place one on the map at a time. This changes with the addition of the Wardstone item, which can store 3 control wards, and allows two to be placed on the map at the same time.

League of Legends - Control Ward

Control Wards take up one slot in your inventory and are usually not worth buying religiously by anyone other than supports. Supports, on the other hand, must not leave the base without at least one control ward in their inventory, unless they’ve spent their gold on core items in their build.

League of Legends - Control Ward description

Control wards reveal all invisible wards in their vicinity, similarly to red trinkets. They do not expire however and can stay in one spot indefinitely. They are not invisible though, so we do not recommend placing them in advance. Instead, use control wards when fighting for vision control over an area to ensure that enemies can’t use stealth wards to reveal your exact locations, or steal objectives.

When To Take Blue Trinket in League of Legends?

In League of Legends blue trinkets are the least useful and least popular wards. This stems from their long cooldowns and being visible on the map even without enemies using Oracle Lens or Control Wards to reveal them. So, what are blue trinkets used for?

League of Legends - Blue Trinket

Blue trinkets are primarily used by league of legends carry champions with low survivability, those usually being the ADC champions. Blue trinkets have the longest warding range in the game, allowing squishy champions to ward suspicious areas from far away and not expose themselves to getting ambushed and burst by enemy assassins. Due to this fact, if you’re playing an ADC, your best bet is to take Blue trinket once the laning phase ends, for your own safety, thus bringing balance to the bot lane, with your support using Oracle Lens.

League of Legends Warding - Tips and Tricks

Now that we’ve covered the basics of warding, which wards are best used in which situations, and how to use them most effectively, here are some tips and tricks that may prove useful. Keep in mind that these are not to be used always, and are only useful situationally:

  • Using Control Wards against invisible enemy champions - Champions such as Vayne, Twitch, Evelynn, Rengar, Kai’Sa, and others, are overpowered due to their invisibility, and rely on it to outplay their opponents. Placing a control ward on the ground as soon as you engage them, or suspect them being nearby will allow you to turn the course of the fight.
  • Using Control Wards as bait - As Control Wards are always visible on the map, and destroying them awards 30 gold, enemies will try to destroy as many as possible. By placing a Control Ward in a visible spot, setting up an ambush is a piece of cake.
  • Not clearing enemy stealth wards affected by Control Wards - Once you’ve placed down a Control Ward, all nearby enemy stealth wards are no longer grating vision. Attacking them, however, reveals you for a short period of time, allowing the enemy to glimpse whether you’ve started taking an objective or not.

With all of these, all that remains is to make use of the information we have provided. In essence, warding is an easy concept to grasp and learn, as long as you’re not overwhelmed with too many specifics. In every League of Legends game, the fundamentals of warding stay the same, while the rest has to be adjusted based on the situation in the field. Sometimes, a single ward in an unorthodox place can win a match-turning team fight.

When it comes to learning League of Legends fundamentals, we offer a variety of in-depth guides at our site, that teach you everything from how seasons work to what crowd control is.