Let's consider that red-steal and all the possibilities that could come from it. My plan is:
1) take my blue without smite
2) take his red with smite before he gets there
3) gank the nearest, most overextended lane at level 3
You pull off the red steal and he doesn't realize it til he gets there. Your enemy could:
- Immediately start playing more passively because he thinks you're more skilled than him
- Immediately start playing more aggressively because he needs to catch up to you
- Start warding up so he can catch you next time you invade
- Attempt to counterjungle you right away
- Go try and gank the nearest lane right away at level 2 (I'd do this, but I'd take red first and gank at 3)
Any of these options could result in your success or failure. His aggression could be too much for you to handle. His passivity could end up in him getting super farmed and keeping you out of further invasions. His wards might lead to you baiting him into going for you. His counterjungle might catch you off-guard and kill you. His gank might countergank and kill you. Or he might be sloppy, stupid, helpless, or a tasty first-blood snack.
He catches you at his red. His mid is there. You die. Your enemy might:
- Roll with his advantage and gank a lane now that you're out of the picture
- Continue in his jungle path, go back, and buy. He might even say "wut" in allchat
- Immediately go to your red buff for the steal (that's what I would do unless a lane is really exposed)
These options look pretty bad for you, but it could go in your favor after all. You could alert your lane and they get away just fine. You can ignore him if he mocks you. You can catch him at your red buff. But if he just chooses to farm, then you're in trouble because he is doing the most guaranteed, certain way to further his lead on you.
He catches you at his red. Your mid is there. You get a kill, maybe a double kill. In addition to most of the poss 1 options, he might:
- Rage his mid, maybe even in all-chat, maybe even AFK in base (any of these options = you are 95% going to win)
- Give up entirely and play a terrible jungle from this point on
- Sing "Bet on It" from High School Musical in his head while working himself up into a teenage frenzy all about perseverence and stick-to-it-iveness - aka play defensive and wait for a late-game comeback (HELL NO I WOULD NOT SING HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL IN MY HEAD. BUT I WOULD PREPARE FOR LATE GAME. F--- HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL)
Most of these options are a guaranteed win for you, but if he goes HSM on you and farms up for late-game, you might see a come-back if you play sloppy. It's your job to make sure the free win you just gave yourself remains a free win. Make sure your mid uses the advantage to gank other lanes, and you do the same.
He went straight for your red in the same manner. Then he might...
- Double back and finish his own jungle
- Immediately gank an overextending lane
If he does the first option, he's going to find his stuff missing as well, and it was basically a trade. If you got a kill from ganking and he just doubled back, you've won the trade. If he ganks and you both get a kill, whoever ganked bot lane will probably come out ahead, though if you've got a kill-lane top it's a toss-up. If someone ganked mid, they win the trade. If he waits to kill you, lol. He's gonna take the rest of your jungle after he sees you gank, so you'd better hope you get a kill.
See how much can come from that one instance? So many possibilities, and I know I haven't even begun to list them all. Are you starting to understand why that red invasion gets my heart racing every time I do it? I'm much, MUCH more comfortable defending my own stuff because I have the home team advantage. But invasion can lead to such incredible rewards - just think how far behind he is if you wait and kill him at his red, or gank and kill his top lane before he even finishes a clear!