Warding as a toplaner is important, and can be quite a difficult task because of all of the possible gank paths that exist. If you compare it to midlane, usually, having one ward and playing around the vision it gives you will keep you relatively safe. In botlane the support has a sightstone, and can go warding without missing CS. As a toplaner, vision control is crucial, and can sometimes be a hard task, here are my recommendations on warding.
- Missing a few creeps is worth staying alive. If you have a huge wave pushing into the enemy toplaner, your creeps will kill some of theirs, but the huge red dot on the enemy jungler’s minimap is telling him that soon you will be overextended. Don’t be greedy, go drop a ward, and if you don’t have any, don’t over extend for CS if you don’t have vision of their jungler and midlaner.
- Unless you have a good reason to have red trinket as a toplaner (assassins that camp a random brush to get a pick) UPGRADE YOUR TRINKET. And do so smartly. Some people argue that you should recall as soon as you hit level 9 and buy it, which is stupid. Don’t delay a power spike for a yellow trinket, if you can buy tiamat or trinket upgrade and a longsword, buy the damn tiamat. It also means that when you’re checking gold before backing to see if you won’t be just short of gold for an item, you should consider the upgrade, if you have enough gold to afford tiamat and will have 170 left, go take a camp and get that upgrade.
- Don’t die over vision control. This one is obvious, but you’re warding to prevent deaths, it’s not worth dying to clear a pink or to place a deep ward. If you can’t ward or clear a ward safely, don’t do it.
Now that we’ve got the recommendations covered, let’s see some good ward placements!
- This pink ward is when you have lane control, and your jungler is good at laneganks (think lee sin, rengar, j4, …). This ward should be placed close to YOUR tower. It’s the same concept as a pink ward in lane brushes botlane, but it’s not as good as in botlane where it allows the support to peek in and out of brush to drop minion aggro when harrassing, on top of making lane ganks safer since on bot there are only 2 brushes and they’re longer. Used rarely.
- This is an aggressive ward for when you’re pressuring your laner under tower. It can almost only be placed when your laner is dead or at base, and it’s only useful when used in conjunction with 11. or 13. when playing red side and with 4. 5. or 6. when playing blue side. It’s useful against junglers with extreme gapclosing potential that can still kill you if you see them coming through wards in river or tri brush (think Vi Q-Ult). Since it requires an other ward to be effective and is quite specific in terms of junglers it’s good against, this ward is very rare.
- Tribrush ward. Extremely common. Only pink it if you’re playing red side, or on blue side only pink it if you destroyed t1 (though there are better pinks if you destroyed t1, this ward doesn’t give very much information and gives it so late that the jungler can probably still kill you if you see them coming). It’s mostly an anti-dive ward for red side, and a good aggressive ward for blue side. Due to the most frequent pathing of red side junglers, even if they gank through river, 70% (I feel) they will still walk through tribrush.
- Deep ward for blue players, defensive ward for when t1 is destroyed for red players. Place it on the left end if it’s defensive, on the far right end if you’re agressive, it will give vision of the rebuff camp respawn. If it’s a deep defensive ward when you’re playing blue side, you can place it like this: it will give you vision from baron wall and from the fork near redbuff.
- Another aggressive deep ward, can be placed in the middle and high in the brush to give vision or the whole intersection, or to the far left to get vision of the redbuff camp (you will only see the cinderlings but you can still know when the camp respawns or is being cleared). Some people like to pink it, I think this position being pinked starts to be frequent enough that it will be quickly cleared and is not worth your pink wards. Even if the jungler doesn’t check it, if he goes from raptors to golems, the razor sharp buff will tell them it’s there.
- Another very aggressive ward, and much like the 2., almost useless alone, best used in conjunction with 4.
- The anti-dive ward for blue side. Usually a pink since it will never be cleared, can be a green if you’re only worried for a short amount of time, don’t have a pink on you, or have a pink elsewhere that you don’t want to disappear. can be placed on the right side of the wall and lower if you want a sooner heads up on ganks, though if it’s a pink and the enemy jungler walks in your jungle to invade or ward, they will see it, and since you’re worried about getting dove you probably can’t contest them clearing it.
- Standard river ward. no point in placing it in the brush if you’re blue side, can be useful to place in the brush on red side if you’re worried the jungler will hop over the wall into the brush. Place it low enough in river that you have time to react to the gank, but also high enough so that it can see the river exit of tribrush if you’re blue side.
- Good brush to pink on red side in conjunction with a 8., since it only leaves lane ganks and jumps over baron wall as possible gank paths. Can be used on blue side if pushing but will mostly serve against roams from mid rather than against jungle ganks. Difficult to defend on for both sides as it’s too far from you, can be defended by your mid if you’re red side.
- Ward for later in the game, best used on the right edge with a 4. and on the left edge with a 5.
- Weaker version of a 13. if you can’t go quite that deep since you can still escape over the wall or over the rock.
- Defensive blue buff pink ward. Place on the upper left corner for maximum vision (will show part of the intersection)
- Aggressive red side ward, prevents most ganks when pressuring t2 tower.
- Complementarity ward to 13., almost useless alone. Can be pinked playing red side in the early/mid game if you don’t need your pink, since the jungler’s farming path doesn’t make him walk through that brush and it will be very time efficient, also gives vision of the enemy mid going to get blue. Less useful in the late game since people will often walk through it from base to go get vision around baron.
These are in my opinion the best spots to ward. Obviously there is an infinite number of spots you can ward, but usually you shouldn’t ward elsewhere unless it’s to complement vision from one of those wards. An example of this would be warding the banana brush above 14. to complement 13.
I hope this helps some of you, I think this guide is pretty complete, but if you think this guide is missing information, or have suggestions, please let me know, I’d be glad to add to it if need be.