A guide to Vision and Map Awareness in League of Legends Season 6
When playing League of Legends, be it ranked or normal you seek to improve in every way possible. Any game that you play is a perfect opportunity to become better, to hone your skills and to gain new perspectives on the game we love.
One of the key components of gameplay in League of Legends is vision. It is vital, without it you will never be able to perform at a high level. If one of the members on your team is found lacking when it comes to map awareness and vision he will never be completely useful to the team he will never be able to pull his weight. People who have no map awareness get ganked easily, they end up in situations where they find themselves outnumbered, they fail to notify their team about incoming ganks, about objectives about to be taken.
A team that is not highly skilled but has good communication and map awareness will almost always destroy a team of skilled players with no vision.
Vision & General Gameplay
First, before going into where you place your wards as a support or any role you’re playing as, we should get some insight concerning certain aspects of League of Legends that a lot players forget or are not focused on.
First of all, what is vision?
Vision is all the information displayed on the map that the enemy team may not know about, basically you’re talking about gaining the upper hand by any means necessary.
Two examples are:
– You have a ward granting vision on the river. What relevance does this have? This means you can discover an enemy champion, in most cases the enemy jungler but also the rest of the opposing team, since all roles are inclined to roam and assist other lanes after a certain time during the game.
– You have a ward placed between the blue buff and Gromp of the enemy jungle. What benefits can you reap from this? Not only can you spot the enemy jungler/rest of their team, but you have vision of the enemy jungle camps as well. This means you may estimate the route the enemy jungler may choose to take.
Once you have your vision you need MAP AWARENESS. What is map awareness and what is the important factor that goes with it?
Why do we want map awareness?
– Because if you have a good view of the entire map, you can stay safe and cause trouble
– Where your champion is located
– If you have vision you are not stressed , and you perform better
– No risks
You want to know in what situation you are in because you don’t want to die from a gank or a roam. Therefore the other important factor is being aware of what the enemies team composition is (aswell as your own team). This means you should know what the enemies are capable of doing.
For example the enemy jungler is Kindred or Nidalee. You should know these champions have a wall hop. This means your wards that give you protection from being ganked may get bypassed and giving you false sense of security. You should not only be aware of the enemy jungler because he might be roaming, you should also be aware of summoner spells and champion skills (such as Shen’s or Twisted Fate’s) that have teleports and can quickly change location.
So how do we get good at knowing the situation we’re presently in?
– You get map awareness by always keeping an eye on the minimap
– Frequently translates into at least once every 10 or so seconds
I never look at the minimap, what does that mean for me and my team?
Well, it certainly doesn’t mean anything good. I cannot stress this enough! No vision is like trying to run an obstacle course with a blindfold on. You can train yourself by looking more frequently at the minimap. You don’t have to look every 10 seconds at it if you find it too distracting. Try looking at it atleast once every 30 seconds, then start lowering it for yourself.
When you’ve checked your minimap you must immediately think about certain things and inform your teammates in an efficient way.
When is it a good time to inform my team?
– You inform your teammates when enemies are missing for about 10secs
How do I inform my teammates quickly and safely?
– Use your ping functions on the minimap
– In options when you press Esc, hotkeys, communication you have Alert Ping and Retreat Ping
– When you press your hotkey for either Alert or Retreat, aim it at the location on the minimap, hold your mousebutton on the minimap, you may drag it around and release it for more ping options such as On My Way, Missing Enemy, Danger, Assist Me.
For example, your Top Laner has placed a ward in the top river. The enemy jungler goes through the top river and you notice this. What should you do as a support in the bottom lane? You can ping Danger at the location where you spot the enemy Jungler so that the rest of your team notices this too, it is a really effective way to prevent a gank. Once you know this information of the enemy jungler being in the top river, you also know that you’re most likely not going to be ganked. Unless there’s some kind of teleport factor that you should be aware of.
If there are 3 enemies in the top lane that means there can only be 2 enemies in the rest of the map. Therefore you may make plays in other lanes, play more aggressive, try to push out waves, get a tower and take jungle camps on the way back if you’re in the position to do so. Otherwise your team should rotate to other lanes to save towers in the top lane.
Now that we have a better understanding of how it all works. Let’s talk more about vision, wards and how to use your wards efficiently.
Your options are:
– Stealth Ward -> from Sightstone or the upgrades from it
– Vision Ward -> 75 gold in the shop
– Farsight Alteration -> at Lv9 from Warding Totem
– Rift Scuttler
All of these options are used in a different way.
– Stealth wards have a limited use. Per champion you can only have a maximum of 3 on the map at the same time. Therefore you should use them wisely and efficiently. Don’t place 2 wards on the same location or near each other, try to spread them around and place them in bushes so that if an enemy goes in a bush you or your team can still attack them. Place the wards for protection if you’re being pushed in, or try to place them in the enemy jungle for deeper vision, without risking to die, around the OBJECTIVES that you’re going for (towers/dragon/baron).
– Vision wards are wards that give vision, but are visible to enemies if they spot them. They last forever until poked down by the enemies, they give vision of enemy stealth wards and stealthed enemy champions. You can only have one of these on the map per champion. They aren’t free so try to protect them by attacking the enemy. They are used to deny vision of a certain spot, so if the enemy team wards nearby you can clear out that ward. The best use for it is to place them in bushes where they will last long but give good information.
– Farsight Alteration are wards that give vision but are visible to enemies if they spot them. Don’t waste them by putting them in a bush where there is already a ward. Keep track of the cooldown and spam these in any bush for deep vision. It is also effective to place them in bushes of your own jungle, they are more likely to last longer but can still give vision of enemies invading your jungle.
– Rift Scuttler, take these with your team whenever dragon or baron is a possible objective for either team. This vision cannot be removed using Vision Wards or anything, so enemies that are about to do dragon or baron will be spotted either way. Also it gives a nice movement speed buff that may help you win teamfights that break out.
When you ward be careful, it is not worth dying to place a ward. It is also not worth going halfway across the map to place a Vision Ward, you lose too much time running around and you’ll fall behind on xp/levels/gold. However it is worth if your team is about to make plays on that side of the map.