Comprehensive Top and Mid Lane Warding Guide: How To Carry Games with Wards

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  3. Comprehensive Top and Mid Lane Warding Guide: How To Carry Games with Wards

User Info: CrowsB4Hoes

10 months ago#1
Introduction and Motivation

First, let me say this is high diamond/low masters tier warding strategy and guide primarily for mid lane though the principles apply to the other lanes. This guide is intended to make you excel (by warding effectively) in those ELOs and be WAAAAY ahead of the curve in any ELO below that level. Below diamond, ganks are not as brutal, creative, or as impactful. Junglers are not as punishing below diamond but that doesn't mean you shouldn't ward like a high diamond/masters player. Whatever works in high elo generally WILL work in low elo for the most part. This applies to champions, strategies, and decision making. It just doesn't work the other way around for the most part. So even if you're bronze, you can apply what you learn in this guide to your games even if you could basically play in bronze without dropping a single ward and never get ganked. The sooner you ward like a high ELO player, the faster you climb and the easier you pick up the habit to the point where it's second nature. Warding is a very important part of laning and creating advantages in lane. You can be the greatest in the world at your champion; but if you fall for the preventable ganks, you will never be able to press your advantages and hard carry.

There is one thing you may be thinking: "Warding? Who doesn't know who to ward?" Well, warding isn't some easy thing people pretend it is, especially since the vision changes that limit you to a trinket and one pink. Warding is a product of predicting the movements and patterns of all 5 players of the enemy team (not easy), knowing the limits of champions, and superior jungler tracking (not easy). I know there are even challenger players that make warding mistakes or even don't apply the basics I show in this guide and die to ganks that are easily prevented so I KNOW there are people that don't know how to ward as best they should. This guide doesn't even cover absolutely everything you need to know but it does cover most. There are too many contextual situations that I can't really explain that you’re better off encountering and adjusting to on your own as your climb the ladder,
Finally, this guide is from the perspective of someone who plays almost exclusively immobile mages. I mmobile champions like Annie or Brand or Malzahar or Swain or Karthus don’t see much play in diamond+ for a reason.

It’s hilariously easy to gank them and abuse their lack of mobility. Easy to chain gank them and make them useless for the rest of the game. Easily make picks on them. The list goes on. To play these champions at a high level, strong warding + map awareness is required which is what this guide aims to teach. If you can play immobile champions at high elo and not die every other second, imagine how much more you can do on, say a Zed or Leblanc. I’ll try to teach you how to even out the playing field by abusing wards so you can play more aggressively and get away with it as painlessly as possible.
2017 GameFAQS LoL 1v1 tournament winner

User Info: CrowsB4Hoes

10 months ago#2
Map Terminology

For clarification, the “Blue Side” of the map is the bottom south west half of the map as I linked below. If you were standing at your tower mid lane, Blue Side would be the side where the dragon pit is the hardest to access because you would have to jump the wall. When you’re on Blue Side you generally have an easier access to the baron pit and for dragon you don’t have easy access to it but you have an easy time warding it over the wall. “Red Side” would be the side you’re on where you can just walk to dragon and access the cave easily after exiting the blue buff camp. On Red Side, you don’t have easy access to the baron pit but you can ward over the wall easily. Put another way, Blue Side would be in southwest direction and Red Side the northeast direction.

Simple Map of Red Side and Blue Side

Ward Terminology & Map

Wards are designated by importance alphabetically. [A] wards are more valuable and prioritized over [B] wards and [C] wards. In other words, [A] wards MUST be placed at all times whenever possible. [B] wards are helpful but not nearly as effective as [A] wards. They give limited vision and still open yourself up for ganks. [C] wards are “win more” wards generally. Contextually speaking, you’re destroying lane and want that extra bit of protection from ganks so you go the extra mile to secure a [C] ward in a location you normally would not have access to. [C] wards are wards you place when you can confidently venture into the enemy jungle and ward deep in there; usually only possible when noticeably ahead. [A] wards are the most potent because they give vision of almost every conceivable gank path. [B] wards only give coverage of a bush but limited vision of ganks stemming from baron or dragon river.

In terms of color designation, pink squares = pink wards. Green squares = regular wards or trinket wards. Where you find [A4] and [A2] is where you should have pink wards placed PERMANENTLY. These are effective locations for pinks because the enemy jungler typically won’t just run into your jungle and if he does sometimes he might miss the pink sitting there and you can defend it by having your team collapse on it. If you’re on Blue Side and playing mid lane, [A4] should be perma pinked. If you’re on Red Side and playing mid lane, [A2] should be permanently pinked. [B2] and [B4] are decent places to pink but once you get to the platinum area people will basically clear those wards the second you drop them so not really the best idea to be placing pinks there. [C1] and [C3] are clever wards for catching any jungler that is doing wraiths and looking to gank you after wards. If you're pushed up to the enemy mids turret, it's easy to just drop one of these wards and give you vision of whether or not wraiths have been cleared. [C2] and [C4] provide vision of your mid laner leaving lane to gank bot/top or to get their blue buff.
2017 GameFAQS LoL 1v1 tournament winner

User Info: CrowsB4Hoes

10 months ago#3
Mid Lane
Here is a map on where and how to place your wards:

“When do I ward?”

Ward between 2:40 and 3:00. Why? Because that’s when junglers gank at high elo. They gank early and with conviction. They will be level 3 probably with both red and blue buff; you will either be lvl 2 or 3 depending on how hard you push. One VERY STRONG strategy you can employ is to just straight up hard shove the first two waves and go to ward at [A1] on Red Side and [A1] again on Blue Side. Most mages can wave clear well levels 1-2 so this shouldn’t be a problem. If you are a Fizz or something that can’t push then just play accordingly and don’t worry as much about warding because you’ll spend the early game under turret which is fine too.

Shoving is strong for two main reasons: first, it forces your opponent to last hit under tower. This means if you did get ganked at around 3 minutes or less the opposing laner would most likely not assist in that gank or he would risk losing an army of minion gold under his turret; something most people would not risk losing. Additionally, forcing your opponent to farm under turret before 3 minutes allows you the freedom to ward [A1] or [A3] without losing any minions because if you push the first two waves hard enough, your third wave won’t arrive to you for a few seconds. Those few seconds you can use to ward then either roam bot or top or just ward then return mid lane and harass your opponent under tower.

The second reason shoving the first two waves is vital is because it doesn’t give the jungler prep time to gank. Imagine if you did the alternative: only last hit and let the wave shove into your side of the map; your opponent shoved hard and you didn’t. This means you would never get to ward [A3] or [A1] before 3 minutes and are very susceptible to an early gank pretty much every jungler goes for. Now back to prep time. Even if you 100% knew the jungler would gank at 3 minutes, if you were shoved under tower and never got the chance to ward pre 3 minutes, for all you know the jungler is sitting in either mid lane bush. Let’s say the jungler is exactly where [B1] is waiting for you to drop a ward. You proceed to go to place a ward even at 3:05 at [A1] but unfortunately eat a Lee Sin Q or Gragas body slam, get chunked for half your HP, or just die. Either scenario could be a lane-ending outcome that could have been prevented.

All because you were under tower and didn’t get to ward pre 3 minutes and had no clue which side of mid lane the enemy jungler was. Unfortunately you warded too late and the enemy jungler was waiting to catch your lack of urgency. A simple decision to not push the wave could very well result lane over mid and the clock hasn’t even hit 5 minutes yet. Fortunately, there is a far less favorable option, but still an option that exists, when you can’t or don’t want to push the waves pre 3 minutes. That option is to not extend beyond the half way point of mid lane until you know FOR SURE the jungler is not mid lane. Once you know the jungler ganked top lane or bot lane, then you can safely place a ward on either side of mid lane: [A1] or [A3].
2017 GameFAQS LoL 1v1 tournament winner

User Info: CrowsB4Hoes

10 months ago#4
“Which side do I ward? [A1] or [A3]?”

Personally, I almost ALWAYS ward at [A1] regardless of whether I’m Red Side or Blue Side. Why? Because it covers a jungler ganking from that side AND top lane roaming mid at 3-5 minutes to gank you. Top laners like to shove a couple waves then roam that early especially if they are mobile with CC like a Riven. It’s happened to me too many times for me to not be wary of it. Even a tank like Nautilus or Trundle could cause your death depending on the situation. Imagine if you were laning against a Syndra and a Trundle roamed mid from top lane early with pillar ready. Trundle lands a good pillar basically stunning you because at lvl 3 you’re going to be stuck in that slow for a few seconds, then Syndra follows up with an easy stun since you’re slowed. That right there could be your death giving up first blood. It could have been avoided just by warding [A1] pre 3 minutes. Another noteworthy thing about warding [A1] is that that’s where junglers end up at lvl 3. If the jungler is on Blue Side they will go red buff --> blue buff --> end up at baron river. If the jungler is on Red Side they will go blue buff --> red buff --> end up at baron river. By this time both junglers may be fighting over scuttle crab. Either way, 90% of the time junglers will end up at the [B2 or A2] area by 3 minutes so that’s why a ward at [A1] is so useful.

Preferences aside, you ward mid lane depending on the combination of which side of mid lane you’re on and what side the enemy jungler started. Again, MOST junglers almost always start where their bot lane is. It’s usually the best leash. This means for Blue Side, they started red buff and for Red Side, they started Blue Buff. This is as general as I can get that will cover most games and how most junglers operate. Obviously there are a dozen other factors involved that would take longer for me to detail. Things like whether or not a jungler can solo a buff (Ivern, Shaco), whether the enemy top laner faked a leash, the enemy bot lane faked a leash, the enemy jungler started your ally red buff or ally blue buff by invading, lvl 2 cheese ganks (I’ll actually cover this one later), the enemy jungler killing your jungler extremely early, the enemy jungler starting one of their buffs then stealing the second buff from your jungle, so on and so forth. ALL these factor into which side of mid lane the enemy jungler will gank. High elo players factor all this into how they lane and SHOULD know how to respond accordingly. If you’re low elo, stick to the basics I have in this guide. This guide is meant to be as exhaustive as I can be without writing a book about every little thing. You’ll learn by experience how to respond to the aforementioned scenarios because you’ll have to or you’ll never climb because you’ll fall for obvious ganks an experienced player would see coming

If you’re on Blue Side mid lane:
The enemy jungler MOST LIKELY started their blue buff (and your jungler started wraiths/red buff) because that’s where bot lane is and it would give the best possible leash. Regardless of the order in which he does his jungle camps he will have both red and blue buff by the time you hit lvl 3. That means after red he will look to gank top or you (mid). This is why you ward at [A1] by AT LEAST 2:40. Definitely before 3 minutes. This makes you pretty much impossible to get ganked that early and allows you to shove those few early waves without much fear as well as lets you play aggressively if you’d like.
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User Info: Ridelwofr

10 months ago#5
You're just trying to get multiple topics stickied.

User Info: CrowsB4Hoes

10 months ago#6
Now, if you know for sure the enemy jungler started red buff, you can switch up your ward positioning and ward [A3] instead of [A1]. This is risky of course because junglers that start red tend to do something cheesy like a level 2 gank since all you really need to gank is red buff for the CC. So if someone did decide to red --> gank mid your [A3] ward wouldn’t be very useful because the jungler would have ganked from top side [A1]. In any case, most junglers that start red will then go over to their blue buff jungle and get their blue buff. This is why ward [A3] is so useful. It would spot the jungler coming through the river as well as coming from your side of the jungle if they were clever enough to hop the dragon pit and invade from your own jungle (roughly where [A4] is).

If you’re on Red Side mid lane:
The opposite is true of what happens with the Blue Side scenario. If you’re on Red Side and playing mid, the enemy jungler is starting red buff (and your jungler starts blue buff) USUALLY because that’s where bot lane is and that’s the best leash. Regardless of if the enemy jungler starts wraiths --> red or red --> whatever, you have confidence of his location lvl 1. After red buff he will go to blue buff then end up at baron river. Again, by 2:40 you would have warded at [A1] and seen the gank coming a mile away. If the enemy jungler decided to instead start blue buff into red buff, an [A3] ward would be appropriate since his pathing would lead him to red buff after which he would gank mid or bot lane.
Remember, you almost always want to ward at [A1] because you’re assuming the jungler is starting bot lane side. If you’re able to deduce that the enemy jungler is doing an opposite route; that is blue buff into red buff on Blue Side or red buff into blue buff on Red Side, then ward appropriately at [A3].

“I warded pretty much perfectly. I can’t get ganked now right?”
Nope. The enemy jungler has flash and gap closers and just because you see him ahead of time doesn’t mean he can’t still close the gap and gank/kill you. This is where positioning is VERY important. You don’t just drop a ward then position anywhere you feel like in the lane willy-nilly. Did you ward [A1]? Position yourself closer to that side of mid lane; near the brush were you see the [B1] on the map. Why is this important? Having your champion be closer to the [A1] side of mid lane when you ward [A1] gives you more room to escape a gank if a jungler came from the opposite side – bot lane side or around where [A3] is.
2017 GameFAQS LoL 1v1 tournament winner

User Info: CrowsB4Hoes

10 months ago#7
Imagine how much more time you have to walk, dash, hop, skip, jump, escape away from a gank if you were so far away from it in the first place. That’s what hugging a ward does. If you were standing directly in the middle of the lane you would be so much easier to gank than if you hugged a certain side (whichever side you warded). If you warded [A1] and a jungler actually ganked from [A1] side, obviously he would be close to you but you very clearly saw him and can just walk away. If a jungler ganked from [A3] and you were hugging [A2], you wouldn’t see him coming but you were so far from where [A3] is that you have a very good chance of easily getting away without taking any damage or blowing summoner spells.

“How do I prevent Shaco, Eve, Pantheon, Twitch, etc lvl 2 gank cheese?”

There are a small number of champions that have effective ganks at level 2. Technically, any jungler who has a CC ability at lvl 2 CAN gank you at lvl 2 but doing so is very greedy and risky so most don’t. With that said, I mentioned above a few of the junglers that can effectively gank level 2 as a viable strategy. Eve, has no counterplay. So you really can’t prevent her from waltzing into your lane and chunking you for free because you literally can’t see her. The absolute best you can do is ward her lvl 1 camp and watch her for the few seconds you can literally see her before she disappears. If Eve has smite + ignite there’s a chance she’s looking to cheese gank at level 2. Thing is, you will be lvl 1 when she hits level 2 so she can literally kill you or blow your summoner spells if your opposing laner sets up a CC. All of these lvl 2 gankers can do the same; not just Eve. The only solace you have in these level 2 gankers is that they usually need red buff. Meaning they almost always will start at their red buff, hit level 2, then gank. So at least you can predict which side they will gank you from. This isn’t all that helpful when it comes to Eve, Shaco, or Twitch of course, since they will be stealthed. A Pantheon jungle is much easier to manage.

In any case, whenever you see Shaco, Eve, Pantheon, Twitch, or even a Jarvan jungle and you suspect they will gank at lvl 2 or you just want to assume they will gank level 2, you literally need to ward the entrance to their red buff while you’re still level 1. It sounds silly warding at lvl 1 but do you want to give up first blood and lose the game or live and try to win the game? I’d say the best time to ward would be after the very first wave. So around 2 minutes if not earlier. Haven’t methodically tested this timing myself in game but it should take 30 seconds or so to kill red buff. Red buff spawns at 1:37 so at roughly 2 minutes, depending on champion, the enemy jungle would have killed red and theoretically would be headed straight to your lane. If it’s Pantheon he will have his stun ready and will flash on you. That forces you to flash or you die right there if the opposing laner isn’t a potato. You can avoid all that cheese with a simple 2 minute ward placement whenever you see these types of level 2 junglers.

For Eve specifically, if you know she starts blue, at around 2 minutes to 2 minutes 10 seconds, ward her red. Your ward will last long enough to see her at least start her red. Then you know she will probably gank you like 10 seconds after you see her kill said second buff. If she starts red, ward her blue around the same 2-2:10 time. Keep in mind eve clears are not the healthiest. So if you can, straight up go to her second buff and try to damage/kill her or just annoy her so she struggles with it. Another thing you can do is follow your jungler after he completes his 2 buffs then ping Eve's second buff. You both then go and invade Eve's second buff or just kill her if you find her near the area. I’ve also done this before:
2017 GameFAQS LoL 1v1 tournament winner

User Info: CrowsB4Hoes

10 months ago#8
1. Shoved the first few waves (for lvl 3)
2. Then waited in the baron river bush [B2]. I walk around the wall. Not through the [B1] bush so the jungler can’t see me if he's there before me
3. Waited for the enemy jungle (let's say Eve) to chase scuttle and use all his CDs on it like an idiot
4. Killed or chunked her straight up right there. She used abilities on scuttle so she can’t fight back as hard. Lvl 3 laners can do damage to a lvl 3 jungler especially if you're waiting in a bush for the perfect set up.

Even if you dont kill the enemy jungler like this, chunking them is all you need to be sure they can't gank you so hard or at all because you know they are injured.

“What do I do when I don’t have wards to place?”

You really should have a pink ward (Vision ward) on you at all times no matter what. This is so when the enemy team (most likely the jungler or enemy support) comes to kill your placed one, you have a replacement ward ready. Outside of pink wards, you only get your yellow trinket ward which won’t always be up. If it’s the case that you don’t have any pinks to place and you don’t have your trinket ward to place, simply do not extend beyond the halfway point of mid lane or any lane. This is where map awareness and common sense comes in that you must develop or you will die A LOT in games needlessly.

Use the vision of other lanes. Ally bot lane has plenty of vision coverage and ganking there would be difficult? Assume the enemy jungler is coming mid lane or top lane. Same logic applies to if top lane was heavily warded; the jungler would likely be headed to your mid lane or bot lane. Did the jungler just gank bot lane? He most likely won’t gank there again so assume he didn’t recall and is headed directly mid lane. Play safe for a minute or two until you feel he went elsewhere. This isn’t a flawless strategy of course because junglers can and will sit in your unwarded lane forever and wait for the micro second you over extend or go in for a trade to attack.

If your jungler ganks a lane assume the enemy jungler is ganking a different lane. If your jungler just successfully or unsuccessfully ganked top lane guess where the enemy jungler is going? Most likely mid lane or bot lane to make a play on a different side of the map. Unless your jungler + top lane combo is sitting at low HP for an easy kill, the enemy jungler is going to take advantage of the fact that he knows he can gank ANYWHERE ELSE on the map for free because no one can stop him because he just saw your jungler top lane. So if you have no vision around you, pretty much assume the enemy jungler is sitting mid somewhere and play accordingly. Don’t go for trade. Use your abilities to farm from range, and so on.

Use your jungler as a ward. Hug the side of mid lane your jungler is at if you don’t have any vision anywhere around your lane. This is a good move because in case you were to be ganked you wouldn’t see it coming but HOPEFULLY your jungler isn’t blind and can come assist you because you positioned closer to where he is. Described differently, let’s say you are playing mid lane but are completely unware of where the enemy jungler is but you see your jungler is near dragon. This is when you hug the side of mid lane closer to dragon/bot lane so if anything happens you at least have chance of your jungler stepping in. If your jungler was near dragon but you decided to hug the side of mid lane closer to baron and you got ganked from said baron side, you jungler would never be able to help you out.
2017 GameFAQS LoL 1v1 tournament winner

User Info: CrowsB4Hoes

10 months ago#9
“How do I ward against junglers that can go through walls?”

Wall abusing junglers are very effective and tend to be top tier for just this reason. Rek’sai, Lee Sin, Gragas, Jarvan, Kayn, and more can all circumvent wards completely by hopping over a wall into an unwarded bush before ganking. Against these junglers you really should not be warding [A1] or [A3]. Although these ward positions are FAR AND AWAY superior to [B3] and [B1], in this special case, against these junglers, [B3] and [B1] ward placements tend to be more effective. Of course in low elo people who play these champions will act like walls don’t exist and will gank like an Amumu would and be forced to walk around corner to get successful gank off. In high elo, this happens a lot too, but many times people who play these types of junglers will be crafty and abuse walls. For example, a Gragas or Rek’sai could VERY EASILY slide into the bushes where [B3] and [B1] are.

What if you warded [A1] or [A3]? Welp you’re in for a surprise because if Gragas was to body slam through the wall or Rek’sai was to use his burrow through the wall, once those abilities’ cool downs come back up, they will gap close to you and gank you. All this could have prevented if you just remembered that some junglers can abuse walls to gank. Again, A LOT of the times junglers will not do this because they are lazy, ganking around a corner is easier, and they think nothing is warded. THE ONE TIME you ward incorrectly is the one time Lee Sin ward hops into a bush, waits a few seconds then throws a Q from the bush you didn’t ward or dashes again to his ally or minion before throwing Q.

The down side to being forced into warding [B1] and/or [B3] against these types of junglers is that the vision of just warding these bushes is very poor. Someone can literally walk around a corner and gank you without knowing if you warded those side bushes because the vision range of a ward placed in those bushes isn’t wide. But hey, completely negating a gank option is better than nothing.

To conclude this guide I’ll leave a final tip: you almost never want to use two trinket wards at once. Once you leave your pink ward at the designated pink ward locations [A2] or [A3], if you have 2 yellow trinket wards up only use one at a time. VERY important. If you drop both yellow wards to cover both sides of mid lane, once they run out, you are almost completely screwed because you’ll have no vision besides your pink if it’s even still alive. Always drop 1 yellow ward on one side of mid, hug that side, wait for the ward to expire, THEN drop your second trinket ward. This strategy of tries to give you vision for as long as possible. Put another way, if a yellow ward last for 1 minute and you drop both of them on both sides of mid lane, sure, you have pretty much perfect vision for only 1 minute. If you drop just 1 yellow ward, wait for it to expire, then use your second ward, you earned yourself 2 minutes of vision. Sure it’s more risky because you only have vision on one side of mid lane, but most of the time you can avoid most ganks so it’s definitely worth if you play correctly and earn your 2 minutes of good enough vision vs your 1 minute of perfect vision. Besides this tip, if you learn absolutely nothing else from this guide, know that most first ganks happen at 3 minutes.

Hopefully this guide helped someone. If I’m missing anything or you have questions, let message me or post.
2017 GameFAQS LoL 1v1 tournament winner

User Info: CrowsB4Hoes

10 months ago#10
Top Lane Ward Guide

Ah, good ole top lane. My favorite lane. Where all the masochists go to play because nothing is more fun than getting ganked every two seconds from 30 different gank paths, flaming your jungler along the way, and having your team pretend you don’t exist then get salty when you don’t 1v9 despite leaving you left for dead. The Northern Lane. The Point of No Return. No Man’s Land. The Island. The Manliest Lane. Whatever you want to call it, top lane has its own unique identity that not everyone meshes or agrees with. In fact top lane is one of the least like roles in this game. This is probably due to how easy it is to gank it and exploit insufficient ward coverage. Top lane is one of the hardest if not THE hardest lane to play and navigate from a strategic sense. You have little to no vision most of the time, it snowballs out of control real quick, and you must be extremely good at laning and self-sufficient to be successful there. Overall, top lane is 50% matchup knowledge and mastery of champion and 50% vision knowledge, map awareness, and using common sense to read the enemy jungler.

This guide was written to focus on that last 50%: using wards to your advantage to survive lane, dominate lane, and prevent and avoid ganks. I won’t teach you how to play the lane or how to trade, win matchups, use teleport properly, etc. What I will do is teach you how to not die to ganks, teach you how and when the jungler will come visit your island, and teach how to play proactively to outsmart the enemy jungler. Sometimes winning lane isn’t about smashing your lane opponent. Often it can be about outsmarting them with your map awareness and simply literally not dying ever to ganks so you can waste the enemy jungler’s time and hopefully take pressure off of the rest of your team.
2017 GameFAQS LoL 1v1 tournament winner
(edited 10 months ago)
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