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League of Legends

League of Legends Beginner's Guide

Advanced Warding

When should you get wards?


Generally speaking, Sight Wards should be purchased whenever you return to the Summoner platform and you have some spare gold, but here is a checklist you can refer to:
This list does not necessarily say why to buy wards and where to place them, which will be explained later, for now the focus lies on the "when".
  • Did your lane partner already pick up or place a ward? If no, get one.
  • Did anyone else in your team - preferably the jungler - pick up wards and is he willing to place them near your lane? If no, buy a ward.
  • Is there a high possibility to be ganked by the enemy jungler or an invisible champion? If yes, get a (Vision) ward as soon as possible.
  • Do you feel the buffs in your proximity are likely to be taken by the enemy team? If yes, grab a ward.
  • Do you feel you lack map control/vision somewhere else? - If yes, buy some wards.
  • Do you ask who is buying wards in your team? You just answered the question yourself.
  • You see no wards from your team at all? - Be a hero and do your team a favor by purchasing several wards.
Most questions on the above checklist usually apply to any early and midgame situation and might also fit for the lategame. The last two questions, however, are not only very important, they are also exclusively mid and lategame questions, when you are not bound to your lane anymore.

No matter how much the list might cover on a general level, there are some specific points in the game where warding becomes especially important.

First possible Dragon kill

The Dragon is a special monster that rewards each player of the team killing it 190 gold, (It is the same benefit like killing two enemy champions!), hence you don't want the enemy team to kill it.

Usually, jungling champions are not able to solely take down the Dragon, so they will need the assistance of his teammates.

So how do you know when the enemy team is going for it?

There are a couple of possibilities; firstly, you can look at your own jungler's level and items. Secondly - if there is no jungler on your team - you can take your mid lane champion as a rule of thumb. When he/she is at level 6 or 7 the opposing jungler is likely to be level 5. Take into account that the jungler cannot solo Dragon, so this indicator tells you the jungling power and his limits.

Lastly, you can check if the jungler is ganking a lane once he has taken the Lizard and the Golem buff. If the gank results in a kill or even two, most junglers will reach level 5 or 6 and have enough gold to purchase Madred's Razor (usually the most offensive ones, instead of Amumu for example). After this, most junglers will recall, grab the item, and head straight to the Dragon area. Critical point, because either Bot lane is going to be ganked, or mid. If the jungler is successful, the team might force a Dragon fight to take it.

Use these indicators to find out when it is necessary to place a ward at the Dragon camp.

Baron Nashor spawn

Baron Nashor holds a powerful global buff and rewards each player of the team killing it a whopping 300 gold and 900 experience, so again you want to keep track of his status. This monster spawns at the 15 minute mark, so it is advisable to ward him from that point in time, but in most games it is completely sufficient to start warding him five to ten minutes later.

IPB Image
Right when Baron Nashor spawns at the 15 minute mark Udyr, Akali and Tryndamere are on the spot to place a ward.

Dragon and Baron Nashor respawns

The Dragon takes six minutes to reappear after being killed, and Baron Nashor takes seven. Be sure to have a ward at hand around the time they respawn. The in-game timer in the upper right corner will help you buy wards in time. Lizard Elder and Ancient Golem respawn five minutes after being killed. It might be useful to ward them at the appropriate time, too.