Learn a bit more about the Summoner’s Rift so you can apply strategies for your games!
Knowing a bit about the maps is helpful for positioning and tactics for games. I will however focus on Summoner’s Rift as it is the only one used so far for League of Legends competitive play (where the pro scene is concerned). If there’s a request to review another map, I’ll take the time to make it as part of the extras of this overall guide.
For this map guide, I’ll be highlighting the lanes, ward placement and buffs in the jungle. Note that Summoner’s Rift is a mirrored map from the top right corner to the bottom left with the river as the dividing line. Each section will have an image highlighting the important stuff on Summoner’s Rift with a detailed explanation following and they’re all color-coded so let’s dive right in.
As in most MOBAs, Summoner’s Rift has 3 lanes: Top, Bottom (Bot) and Middle (Mid) lanes. The meta game as it currently stands is the Caster (AP Carry) or Assassin in mid lane, Marksman (Attack Damage Carry) and Support in bot lane, a Fighter or Bruiser in top lane and a Bruiser or Tank as the jungler. Sometimes you’ll see odd champions in lanes that work in order to counter play the enemy such as the Marksman and Support in Top lane versus the single enemy top laner. The following parts for this guide in the coming weeks cover these roles but right now let’s first look at the inanimate objects in the lanes and base that make up the map.
The main objective of the game to destroy. A team wins a match when the enemy Nexus is destroyed. Each team’s Nexus is located deep in base.
The mini-Nexuses in the base. There is one for each respectable lane in each base. When destroyed, the enemy Nexus will spawn super minions in the lane where the inhibitor is destroyed. These super minions stop spawning when the inhibitor respawns. Inhibitors are the only objective objects in the game that respawn after time.
The Turrets (Orange)
The objects that protect the lane and other important objects. Each turret gives 125 gold to each team member and an 150 gold split among involved players when an outer turret is destroyed, 100 gold split for inner turret. There are technically 4 types of turrets:
- Outer and Inner Turrets – These turrets are structures that help defend a laner while they are farming. These are the two furthest turrets from each team’s base (outer being the farthest)
- Inhibitor Turrets – Turrets that defend the inhibitors
- Nexus Turrets – The last line of turret defense, these turrets defend the Nexus and have more health than the other turrets
- Fountain Turrets – Not really recognized much but it is the turret located at the Summoner’s platform in the base (where players load into the match). These are super turrets because they are indestructible and attack any enemies that walk onto a team’s platform. These turrets literally melt an enemy’s health if within range for 1 to 5 seconds.
Base Gates (Blue)
They’re not in this picture but I placed where they’re located. These gates allow teams to enter and exit their base easily as an alternative route from the lane exits. A team cannot walk pass another team base gate.
The Buffs and Camps
Here I’ll be highlighting all the buffs and camps on Summoner’s Rift. Usually the jungler is the one farming the camps and protecting the buffs in the early game. All camps gives the killer of a monster some gold, experience and a bit of health which scales up during a match. In Season 5, most of the camps are different but have similar names and each smaller camp provides a buff when you smite the camp’s larger creature. Here is a list of all the buffs and camps on Summoner’s Rift:
The Wolf camp (leftmost image above) consists of 3 murk wolves, 2 small ones and one large one. Smiting the larger one will spawn a nature spirit that grants vision for 95 seconds at the 4 way intersection near the blue buff. This spirit chases any enemy champions it sees until the champion leaves the area.
The Crimson Raptor camp (middle left image above) consists of a Raptor and 3 razorbeaks. Smiting the Raptor grants a buff that grants you true sight (aka allows you to see invisible things) for 10 seconds when you are near an enemy ward.
The Krug camp (middle right image above) consists of 2 krugs, one small one and one large one. Smiting the larger one grants you a stun on every 5th basic auto attack.
Gromp Camp (Grey)
The Gromp Camp (rightmost image above) consist of one large Gromp. Smiting it grants you a poison shroud that poisons any one that attacks you for magic damage over 3 seconds.
Blue Sentinel (Blue Buff)
The Blue Sentinel Camp (left image above) consists of the large Sentinel and two smaller sentinels. Killing the larger one grants you the Crest of the Ancient Golem aka blue buff or blue. This buff gives the user cooldown reduction and mana regen over time. This buff lasts 2 minutes but lasts 2 minutes and 24 seconds with the Runic Affinity mastery. The Ancient Golem respawns every 5 minutes upon death of all the monsters in the camp.
Red Brambleback (Red Buff)
The Red Brambleback Camp (middle image above) consists of the large Brambleback and two smaller bramblebacks. Killing the larger one grants you the Blessing of the Lizard Elder aka red buff or red. This buff gives the user the ability to slow & does damage over time that resets with each basic attack on an enemy champion. This buff lasts 2 minutes but lasts 2 minutes and 24 seconds with the Runic Affinity mastery. The Elder Lizard Camp respawns every 5 minutes upon death of all the monsters in the camp.
Rift Scuttlers (Green)
Not on the map but there are 2 Rift Scuttlers (right image above) is a green crab that traverse the river. One crab traverses the river from top lane to mid lane. The other crab traverses the river from mid lane to bot lane. When killed, the scuttler crab acts as a ward and a speed shrine in front of the major monster objectives (bottom river crab = Dragon, top river crab = Baron).
The Dragon (left image above) is a monster in the bottom half of the river that attacks the closet champion when attacked gives the player who kills it 25 gold and a team wide buff that depend on the number of times your team has killed the Dragon:
- 1st Dragon kill: +6% attack damage and ability power
- 2nd Dragon kill: +15% damage to towers and buildings
- 3rd Dragon kill: +5% movement speed
- 4th Dragon kill: +15% damage to minions and monsters
- 5th+ Dragon kill(s): Aspect of the Dragon buff which doubles all bonuses listed previously and attacks burn for 150 true damage over 5 seconds. Lasts for 3 minutes or until death.
Dragon first spawns at 2:30 and respawns every 6 minutes upon death.
Baron Nashor (Purple)
Baron Nashor (right image above) aka Baron is a monster in the top half of the river that gives the player that killed it 25 extra gold. The player’s team gets 300 gold each and the buff Hand of Baron to each team member alive when Baron dies for 3 minutes. This buff gives the user additional attack damage, magic damage, faster recall and an aura that promotes minions into stronger ones. Baron first spawns at 20 minutes respawns every 7 minutes upon death.
Ideal Ward Placement
As I’ve said in the first post of this guide: Wards Wins Games. I know it may be weird at first to know where to ward so the image above shows some ideal areas to ward starting out. I went a little nuts with the image above on where to place wards. You don’t have to learn all these spots in one go but it shows that wards do win games. Basically wards in brushes and river are ideal.
The goal of wards is to see where the enemy is in order to make an informed decision of what to do next. You’ll figure out all these areas of warding as you play more matches. Do note that wards in a brush gives vision of the area including things in the brush (of course invisible units don’t count unless you use a Vision Ward). This also give you a general idea of where to use your sweeper trinket or pink wards in order to clear wards. Another thing to note is that Vision wards are visible to the enemy but have 5 hit points. You have time to catch or scare away an enemy champion if they try to kill your ward.
- Invasion Wards (Orange) – These wards prevent level one invasions, jungle invasions and ganks from your side of the jungle. At the very least, vision of those invasions so lanes can know where people are in order to have good information to take action.
- Laning Wards (Black) – These wards are ones you can place in brushes while you’re laning to prevent surprise attacks.
- River/Defense Wards (Red) – These wards ensures safe lane phases from ganks and invasions. If each lane and the jungler wards to the river top to bottom in order see most of it, you will have decent coverage of the river which is ideal.
- Post Turret Wards (Blue) – When your tower goes down, you lose vision of that area so you can replace it with a ward. This is mostly done in middle lane as it is the easiest lane to push and is the fastest connection to major objectives.
- Ninja Wards (Purple) – These wards are what I like to call ninja wards because these are brushes that are least walked in early game so they’re ideal for Vision Wards. If never spotted, this will help you see where an enemy jungler is for a long period of the game.
- Buff Wards (Green) – These wards ensure the safety and vision of the red and blue buffs in case of invasions.
- Dragon / Baron Wards (White) – These wards give vision of the Baron and Dragon in order to protect these monsters from going down by the enemy team. Usually a Vision Ward, which reveals invisible units are used here in order to clear out any enemy wards.
- Dive / Skill Shot Wards (Yellow) – When your team is sieging a base it’s quite useful to ward on the other side of the base in order to throw some skill shots off to wear down the enemy team or prep for a dive.
At the start of each game, each player can get one of three free trinkets to choose from:
- Warding Totem (Yellow Trinket) : Free ward for short duration, can upgrade to have a free sight ward or a vision ward
- Sweeping Lens (Red Trinket): Area true sight (to see invisible units; including wards) and disables invisible traps and wards, can upgrade to include having the ability to see invisible units for a duration
- Scrying Orb (Blue Trinket): Short distance area reveal, can upgrade to increase the orb casting range
That concludes the guide on Summoner’s Rift. Hope it was helpful!