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I finally got my DotA 2 Beta invite. Now to learn the game I read it's a good start to play support heros (like I already loved to do in League of Legends). Even though I'm still pretty new to the game I suspect it's mostly the supports job to buy and set up wards.

I am therefore interested in learning how to ward effectively.

  • What are good/important spots for wards?
  • How do I time wards? When should I leave the lane?
  • And if there there different types of wards like in LoL: when to use which one?
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related: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/47787/… –  z ' Jul 21 '12 at 13:58

3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

On the following image I additionally marked wards i use on regular basis in above average MMR (~3700).Works on AP mode on public matchmaking where counterwarding is less common.

enter image description here

Read full guide here for more detailed explanations about the marked colors and places.

For average skill games with low warding and no counterwards,you should focus mainly on red dots especially 2 hills near the runes with the priority of upper one in early game and lower one later when killing roshan becomes more likely.

  • Having at least one ward near the rune will eliminate the chance of going the wrong side when timing runes
  • the hills will give you more vision than placing wards on the ground
  • easily prevent ganks since the river is most common way for ganking
  • seeing enemy team attacking roshan is huge advantage
  • also it reveals path near secret shop and neutral camp

Wards should be placed as early as it gets and replaced just a bit before they expire(you can see the timer),it is the best if you can go grab a rune and place new ward at the same time so you don't lose much "lane time",if it is on opposite lane you could port there and combine it with a gank or push attempt.


There are 2 types of wards Observer wards and Sentry wards the ones you need are observer ones the other is used to reveal invisible enemies and is placed directly on the line near combat(pink)


If you want more advanced video guides you should check XV Rogues channel

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The linked guide that Arremer posted here is absolutely awesome, but it's probably a bit much for a very new player. When I teach new players I gave them 8 good ward spots to use- some more basic than others. I've circled them on the image linked:

8 Ward Spots

  • First, there are the two obvious ward spots near the runes. These are your default spots, and they're thus the most likely to be counterwarded. You should use others if you start getting counterwarded.
  • Next, there are the wards which block the pull camps. Blocking these should be done almost automatically in every game with the first set of wards bought. These are the circled spots in the image with the pink lines coming from them, which indicate the blocked camp. They can be a bit tricky to place, so try it out in a practice game.
  • Finally, there are 4 offensive ward spots. These are more situational in their use, but they're also the most important to allow you to take advantage of your team being ahead. If you don't ward offensively when you have a lead, you're inviting the other team back into the game. The yellow spots are the most well known, but the other two spots are nearly as good.

There is so much to warding that it's something you'll improve at for a very long time. For a complete new player, these are where I'd suggest starting.

So an overview: with your 2 wards at the start place one that's able to see a rune location, and one to block the pull camp. Try to do this right around 0:00, but not before, so that your mid hero is able to see where the 6:00 rune spawns. (Observer Wards last 6 minutes). This is pretty important. From there, keep wards up in the middle and maybe place aggressive wards if you know you can do so safely. Mostly you're concerned with keeping an eye on gank attempts and Roshan in the midgame. After you take T2 towers with your team, worry about getting offensive wards placed after you win teamfights. This will let you secure the game. Good support players are way more influential in Dota2 than they are in LoL, but it's still the same thankless role and much harder to accomplish.

I suggest you read my reply here too to know how to understand counterwarding, which is done with blue Sentry Wards (they last 3 minutes).

Good luck, any questions feel free to reply.

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When warding, I typically refer these two guides:

Seeing is Believing is the highest-rated warding guide on playdota.com (one of the best DotA resources, in my opinion). The guide covers all major wards spots, as well as decision-making into when you should place them and what advantages they give you. Seeing is Believing is also part of a much longer sequence of guides that is massive in scope and fantastic in content, I highly recommend it as a read for players at any level of play.

Heldarion's Total Warding guide also does a great job explaining the same information as Seeing is Believing.

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