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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League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

The benefits of the pixel ward

The first reason why this strategy is so powerful is that it will enable your jungler to get ahead of the opposing jungler, particularly if the opposing team does not follow suit. If you have an aggressive jungler on your side, like a Xin Zhao or Graves, these wards will alert them as to where the enemy jungler is so they can contest with their strong early game. Although, yes, they will know where the enemy jungler spawned by who leashed him, many weaker junglers will avoid the early game fights if possible.

For instance, an Amumu jungle might start on his bot-side blue versus an enemy Graves. But upon seeing Graves mirrored his start at red, the Amumu should know he cannot go to the scuttle crab on the same side of the map, lest he risk running into Graves. In all likelihood, he will attempt to path straight to the opposite side scuttle, hoping Graves will be content to take his red-side camps and the scuttle nearest him.

However, with these wards the Graves will be alerted to the fact that Amumu is on the opposite side of the map immediately, giving the Graves plenty of options to abuse his strong early game. He can immediately path to follow Amumu, arriving a few seconds later and duel him for an early first-blood, or take all of Amumu’s blue-side camps as well as the scuttle to snowball himself even more. If Graves lacks this information, however, he might do a standard red to scuttle to blue to opposite scuttle, figuring he will catch his opponent at the opposite scuttle that Amumu needs to not fall massively behind.

The second reason, as alluded to above, is these early wards allow you to track the enemy junglers early pathing. Not only will you have an idea of where the jungler started, but when the jungler shows on those wards will provide insight as to where he goes next.

Does he show right after the crab spawns, meaning he perhaps took one camp before crab? Maybe he shows a minute later but without double buffs, meaning he’s going to be pathing to the opposite buff.

No matter what, because the jungler is sure to try and contest one of the scuttles in the first few minutes, you will be able to gain a lot of information about his early pathing based on his buffs, timing, and CS score. Knowing where the jungler is pathing in those first few levels and being able to avoid ganks is an incredibly important skill, and developing it will give you a great advantage to climb.

Next. The predator rune and the preseason jungle meta. dark

What do you think about these early game wards? How do you think junglers will adapt to this change in the warding meta?