Why the one-minute pixel ward is the most key to a strong early game

League of Legends.
League of Legends. /
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Credit: Riot Games
Credit: Riot Games /

The preseason is a wacky time. Players are still adjusting to the addition of turret plating, the power of the new Dark Harvest, and high-powered minions in the late game. However, one change from the middle of Season 8 has only recently led to a significant trend for early game warding.

Ever since the changes to scuttle crab spawns and experience in Patch 8.10, the early game jungle meta has been warped around early ganks and river skirmishes. This meant laners focused heavily on early game lane priority, with strong, bullies gaining prominence to be able to easily assist their junglers in contesting crab.

With the new preseason updates, lane bullies are still strong and scuttle crab remains perhaps the most important neutral objective on the map for the first few levels. Getting “two scuttled” as a jungler has become comparable to getting three-buffed, representing poor pathing and/or inadequate lane support.

Long have junglers bemoaned those laners who walk to and then sit under their tower until the minion wave passes them, neglecting to guard their camps and possibly letting their opponent gain a massive edge over them with little retaliation. Now, a strategy has become almost mandatory in high elo to prevent junglers from falling behind massively.

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If you’ve seen your jungler spam pinging “assist me” or “missing” on one of the two river brushes just outside the dragon or baron pit (commonly called the “pixel brush”) and don’t know what they want, this article is for you. We will break down the reason that warding these brushes early are so essential, who should be doing it, and when.