Lighting up the Rift

League of Legends Summoner's Rift Warding Guide

League of Legends
LoL Ashe Freljord art

Those who see the Rift can win it. (Image credit: Riot Games)

Knowledge is power on the Summoner’s Rift – knowing where your opponents are will let help you survive ganks, secure objectives and win teamfights. With that in mind, welcome to our League of Legends warding guide!

When people think of peak League of Legends, they often think of the flashy outplays, but a big part of the game is controlling the map - and to do that, you need good vision. After our earlier map guide, we will try to help you become better at keeping an eye on the rest of the Rift.

The correct vision-maintaining algorithm is necessary for continued vital functions. In short, wards save lives.

Warding Basics

Wards give your team vision over a small part of the map around where they are deployed. Like with a champion, a ward's vision is blocked by terrain and the ward can only see a bush if in it.

The most readily available source of wards is the warding token trinket. It starts with a charge and will generate a new ward every 240 seconds, holding up to two. The duration of the wards increases from 90 to 120 seconds as the champions level.

The second way is to have an upgraded support item. It can then hold three (four after the second upgrade) charges that get refreshed on the fountain and the wards last 150 seconds. Both wards become stealthed shortly after deployment. These are called stealth wards.

lol stealth ward

A classic stealth ward appearance. (Image credit: Riot Games)

You can teleport to a ward (making it visible but untargetable in the process) and a champion can only have 3 such wards on the map. At Level 9, a champion can exchange their warding token for a farsight alteration. It can place a single ward from a big distance, but these wards do not become stealthed, die in a single hit and cannot be teleported to.

farsight ward lol

A Farsight ward. (Image credit: Riot Games)

The Oracle Lens, the final trinket, does not allow you to deploy a ward but instead reveals stealthed wards and opponents near you and even disables wards it reveals. It can be very important to deny enemy vision but disabling a ward can also let you to pull off a gank without letting the enemy know. If you would do that, do not attack the ward – the enemy team will see it was attacked.

Finally, control wards are purchased in the shop and a champion can only have one deployed at a time. They are not stealthed, do not expire on their own and reveal and disable any non-control ward in their radius and even reveal stealthed champions or traps – but not champions with true invisibility like Akali or Shaco.

LoL Teamwork OP

Go for Akali and those puny wards won't ever catch you! (Image credit: Riot Games)

Ward Placement

Since wards are limited, it is important to use them on locations enemies will try to come from. Many people playing in a side lane will ward the nearest bush in a river but this does not always give you enough time to react.

Instead, it is often worth it to ward the “tribush” near the tower and a bit further off – the small “pixel bush” near the mid lane and in front of the ramp that leads from the blue buff to the dragon or Baron pit. If the enemy jungler can pass through walls – like Shaco, Kayn or Sejuani – it can be good to ward over the wall instead.

As the game progresses, the teams will often fight near neutral objectives like the Rift Herald, the dragons and the Baron. In those cases, you want to keep wards on the entrance of the pit and one behind it, where there is often a blast cone. Move your vision to where you will be fighting, warding the enemy jungle if you have an advantage and your own if you are pressed back – but always try to ensure you have a ward near a big objective shortly before it spawns.

That’s all for now – we hope we have helped you see the victory screen more often. For more news and analysis, follow our League of Legends coverage at earlygame.com and don't forget to check out our YouTube channel!

Boyan Penev

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