“The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and the enemy’s.”
Middle lane: from assassins to control and utility champions, here is the heart of chaos! The mid lane towers are the most important for map control, and this significance extends to the wards around them. Everyone will be roaming mid at various points of the game, so successful warding gives an advantage in “controlling the chaos” in this area and offers numerous opportunities to win fights and take objectives. If you missed my previous top lane and bottom lane warding guides, go check those out now… Once you’ve mastered that material, it’s time to dive into the core of the map!
As a mid laner, your chief priority should be spotting and surviving enemy ganks, but it doesn’t end there! Proper warding can lead to a jungle invade or spot the enemy roaming to other lanes; providing early warning for your teammates is essential. Since there are tons of places to ward around mid, it’s a good idea to ask your Jungler to help out with a trinket or even Control Ward. Together you cover both sides of the lane, and supports can assist as soon as they finish their Sightstone.
Blue Side – Early Game
Warding Totem is the only real choice for starting trinket on mid lane; the vision is just too valuable! As the game progresses, you can swap to Farsight Alteration if you need a safe way to check Baron. On the other hand, if you’re playing a squishy assassin and want to roam, you can consider Oracle Alteration to complement an aggressive invading playstyle or if your team doesn’t have one.
In this picture, I’ve highlighted some of the best spots to consider for a ward. #1 and #2 are good spots to put your Control Ward; it’s easy to defend it there or at least punish the enemy if they try to clear it. #9 can also be used for a Control Ward, and in combination with a Warding Totem at #2 you can be pretty safe from the left side!
With respect to spots #3 – #8, it’s all about fixing priorities and cooperating with your Jungler. Since you can’t ward everywhere, you’ll have to consider the enemy team composition to find the optimal place to ward. And don’t make your movement too obvious! It’s crucial to spot the opponent, but it does no good if you’re not warding safely and it gets cleared right away. The locations are not 100% fixed: reposition the ward according to where you need vision. For example, the #5 ward can be either at the top or the bottom of the bush to show different areas of the map; ditto for the #6 and #7.
On to the final few! Ward #10 is used either to spot the enemy jungler or prepare for a push, especially if the enemies have Zac / Fiddlesticks or something similar. Spot #11 is good to catch the Jungler or top laner in motion, but you’ll often find a Control Ward there! Clear it when safe to do so. Last but not least, the #12 spot is helpful to spot enemy rotations. This information won’t always prove useful, but sometimes knowing that your opponent recalled or headed towards side lanes can help you and your teammates. A ward here can spot a jungler / support moving to gank you beneath your tower. Especially after the first tower falls, this is a great place to keep vision over!
Purple Side – Early Game
Purple Side mirrors the Blue. Again, focus on places that enemies might use to gank you! For example, a ward at #7 is excellent against a Zac or Kha’Zix roaming from that side of the map. Numbers 1, 3, 4, and 9 are good vs. Hecarim – consider potential top lane and support roams in your ward placement as well! Lastly, Drake is usually bottom lane’s responsibility, but if your teammates are pushed to tower, consider helping out with a ward followed by a gank!
Blue Side – Mid/Late Game
As we enter the mid game, towers begin to fall and warding becomes more complex. As mentioned in my other warding guides, the best approach is to determine your next objective (Dragon, Baron, towers, etc), and ward accordingly. This is especially important when on the defensive! If the objective is to defend an area from siege, vision will often be key in determining the outcome.
If you’re playing a control or utility mid laner, you won’t be aggressively split-pushing side lanes: instead, you can stick with your team and ward safely. However, if you’re playing an assassin, you’ll likely want to find check the side lanes for solo farm and kills. It’s common to gank (or be ganked) in these situations, so reduce the risk by establishing vision of jungle approaches before you make a play. I won’t cover side lane warding in this guide; check my top and bot lane articles for more advice. Remember: adapt to the situation and the objective you set! If you’re alone in a lane with no wards, it might be worthwhile to hang out in the bushes for a bit, even sacrificing a couple of CS to get a clearer picture of enemy’s position. Once you know the coast is clear, you can farm safely or even catch a wandering enemy off-guard and punish them!
The top left red (aggressive) ward is great for mid game, mostly because it’s an often neglected spot. Even a control ward there sometimes lasts a long time! As the game goes on, try to be more proactive with your warding. Use hero-specific information like that Anivia needs her Blue buff and will be there shortly to pick it up. Ask yourself “Can I steal it safely and escape before they react? Can I set up an ambush with my teammates, have a successful fight and then take bot outer/inner tower or a drake?” These sorts of questions will help you develop a plan for where you need vision the most!
When you’re behind, it’s typical that the enemy will invade your jungle. With proper vision, this is an opportunity for a comeback: you can set up an ambush, get a numbers advantage, and in turn capitalize on this by taking an objective. By orchestrating a single play (or sometimes a few similar ones), you can turn the tides and eventually win the game. Especially when you are behind, you rely on tricky moves to change the flow of the game. Always sweep for wards before you set up a trap: if the enemy sees you and your team stacked in a bush, the outcome can be devastating!
Purple Side – Mid/Late
Mirroring the Blue side, there are certain spots that are highly advantageous to ward. Your team will generally need vision of Baron and Drake, but if they’re lost, don’t mourn about it. You can still make the best of a bad situation and claim an objective while the enemies are focused elsewhere. Beyond that, it’s all about determining the next battlefield, acquiring information on your opponents to avoid their plans, and create opportunities to be the aggressor and capitalize on mistakes.
With the right approach, you’ll find your games are a whole lot easier: be proactive, determine your next objective, and take control of the area before committing to it! Having a plan of your own will help you understand your opponent’s intentions – and counter them thoroughly! Hope you learned from my Warding Guides, and keep an eye out for the next part in a couple weeks… Remember, warding keeps you safe: you should always have protection!