League of Legends is the most popular MOBA game in the world. In the standard meta of the game each player on the team takes the role of top, mid, bot, support, or jungle. This guide is a rundown on how to play jungle. From the most basic concepts to a few concepts to help you increase your jungle game.
If decide to main jungle get ready to grow a thick skin. You are often the scapegoat of your under performing team mates. Sometimes they have a point and sometimes they are just angry people looking to blame someone. As a jungler you are the tactician and you have more control over the game than any other role. If you are losing more than half your games as a jungler you should read this carefully and make sure you are doing everything correctly.
This will cover:
The Monsters In Your Jungle
Your Goal as a Jungler
Understanding Minion Waves
If you are playing Jungle take the summoner smell smite. It deals extra damage to jungle monsters and heals you. Taking smite allows you to get a jungle item which gives you extra experience and makes it so that you can clear camps(jungle monsters) faster. Since it does more damage than most abilities and it is instant it is used to make sure that you get the jungle camp and that no one else can take it. On the flipside, you can use it to steal camps from other players.
Here I will discuss the very basics of the game, the jungle monsters.
We have the blue side jungle and the red side jungle. The one closest to your base will be the jungle that you typically start at.
Let me tell you about each jungle camp
The Following Jungle Camps do not give any sort of buff. They give gold and experience
Krugs: This camp is time consuming to kill but gives a lot of gold and experience
Raptors: This camp does a lot of damage, each raptor does the same amount of damage to you, so kill the small ones first
Wolves: This camp is among the weakest. There is one big wolf and two small ones.
Gromp: This camp attacks from a range, but there is only one monster in the camp, so single target damage is really good against it
The scuttle crab gives enormous experience and gold. In addition to that it gives vision of the river area. Prioritize this camp it is found in the river
These two Jungle Camps are buffs. You want to get these to help your jungle clear and to help you gank.
Blue Sentinel: This buff gives you insane high mana/energy regeneration and 10% cool-down reduction on your abilities
Red Bramble Back: This buff gives you out of combat health regeneration and it gives you a slow on your auto attacks. This is very good for ganking.
Dragon/Drake: The dragon in league of legends is an objective that gives a buff based on its element. There are four types of dragons that randomly appear in the pit. They are as follows:
Infernal: Each infernal dragon you kill gives you 8% more attack damage and ability power
This dragon is arguably the best. It scales better than any other dragon and gives you damage. And who doesn't want damage?
Ocean: Each ocean dragon restores 4% of your missing health and mana every 5 seconds when not hit by an enemy champion
This dragon is very good early on. However once laning phase ends its is not nearly as useful
Cloud: Each cloud dragon gives 25 out of combat movement speed
This dragon is probably the least useful. It helps, but having it won't be a game changer.
Earth: Each earth dragon gives 10% more damage to baron, dragon and turrets
This dragon is very useful in the later parts of the game. Its primary use is that it makes taking the baron objective much easier
Elder: For every elemental dragon you have you gain 45 true damage on spells and basic attacks for the next 120 seconds
While you have this buff it will be very difficult to lose a fight. These appear after 35 minutes. You cannot let your opponent
have this for free. If your opponent has this buff avoid fighting them until it runs out.
**The buffs with the exception of elder last the entire game and they stack up to three times**
Rift Herald: This little munchkin lives in the baron pit before baron nashor spawns. If you kill it you can summon it and it will do a large amount of damage to turrets. Hit the eye on its back to do extra damage.
Baron Nashor: Baron is a highly desirable monster because it gives a buff that allows your team to buff nearby minions and gives your team an AP and AD buff for three minutes. The later parts of the game completely depend on playing around this camp. It spawns at 20 minutes
Types of Junglers:There are many junglers you can play in league of legends and each champion has a different playstyle. I will explain a few of the most common ones.
The Early Game Ganker:
Examples: Lee Sin, Elise, Nidalee, Evelynn
Junglers in this category are very strong early on in the game. Ideally these champions want to gank as often as possible and snowball the game so that it ends early or so that their team has a sizable lead. These junglers have very strong early ganks and have strong dueling power. They can typically beat the other jungle in a 1v1 fighter early on. However in exchange for this these champions are not as good later on in the game if not ahead.
"See that fed guy? I did that"
The AFK Power Farmer:
Examples: Master Yi, Shyvanna, Teemo, Kayle
Junglers in this category have weaker ganks than usual and power farm throughout the early stages of the game. Once they get their items they are a force to be reconned with and if their team hasn't fallen too far behind they can 1v9 the game. They trade early gank power for late game domination. They just hope they can get there
"See you in 30 minutes"
Wait Till Im 6
Examples: Wukong, Vi, Diana
Junglers in this category have weak to alright ganks early on. What makes them good picks is that when they get their ultimate ability they become a force to be re-conned with. They give up early power but they have more reliable ganks later in lane and they have more mid game impact. Play around their ultimate.
Team Fighting Tanks
Examples: Gragas, Zac, Trundle, Sejuani
Junglers that fall into this category usually have decent early ganks. They are picked to provide frontline and utility to a composition. If you fall a little behind it won't matter. You bring more to team fights than the typical jungler. If it is an even game and you are Gragas and the enemy team has Lee Sin, you bring more to the table than he does despite an even amount of gold. If you're even you're winning!
Examples: Nunu, Ivern, Graves, Kindred
These Junglers either have amazing clear or good dueling power. They typically like to get into the enemy jungle and take away camps and provide vision of the enemy jungler. Going in the jungle and placing vision is crucial. Impede the progress of the enemy jungler as much as you can
"Your goal as Nunu is to make the enemy jungler as useless as you are"
-The Odd One
All these champions play towards their strengths. However just because you are Master Yi doesn't mean you should not be looking to gank. And just because you are Zac doesn't mean you shouldn't take opportunities to counterjungle.
League of Legends is a game of inches, look for opportunities. An intelligent aggressive player will improve faster than an intelligent passive player.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS AS A JUNGLER?
As a jungler you want to
Farm: Do not neglect your own farm. Be efficient and pay attention to pathing
What is pathing you ask?
It is exactly what it sounds like. Pathing is the way you walk through the jungle. Every second you waste in the jungle is a wasted opportunity. Every step you take should be a step towards a goal. You want to think about where you are walking and why. If you don't know why you are walking, stop for a second and think about it.
For example, If I am in base and I see that the enemy top laner's minion wave is in a position to crash into turret soon then I will do the camps in that area and then walk towards top lane to attempt a gank. Don't just mindlessly wander around the jungle. If you do that you are being a bad jungler.
Gank: Get your team ahead and put theirs behind. Know the limits of the champions involved in a situation.
For example, if I am playing master yi and I have a Mao'kai top I can still gank with a high rate of success. My top laner provides enough CC that the rate of success is increase. You don't need to be a strong ganker to gank in every situation. Having bad ganks just means you have LESS opportunities. It does not mean you have NO opportunities. Take every opportunity you can to get ahead in a game. If you want to win be proactive.
If you have multiple options on who to gank ask yourself this
What objectives can I get off this gank (towers, dragons, rift heralds)
Will getting this laner ahead help us win the game?
Will putting the enemy laner behind help us win the game?
If you put all your time into a Dr. Mundo vs Maokai toplane matchup while there is a Talon vs Zed matchup midlane you should re-examine your thought process. If you kill a Maokai and get a kill to a Dr. Mundo the game will likely not be affected that much. If you have the option to kill a Zed and give your Talon a kill that completely shifts the matchup. The talon will have a high chance of taking over the lane and roaming. When your laners roam they help you do your job.
Counter Gank: This is something that you will learn to do only as you play more. At a certain point you can recognize that there is a high chance that the enemy is going to gank your ally. If you are in the area when you realize this you can turn the gank around and potentially kill the enemy laner and the jungler. This knowledge can either be deduced from what you would do if you were the jungler or it can be seen on a ward.
Warding: This isn't something that only supports do. You need to buy control wards whenever you can. If you ally has a highly volatile lane, you need to give them wards so that they can avoid ganks. You need to spot out the enemy jungler so that your allies know where the jungler is and so that you can set up potential invades, counter jungling, or counter ganks.
Invading/Counter Jungling: In LoL knowledge of the enemy champions and your own are crucial. As a jungler it is even more crucial. You need to know if you can beat the enemy jungler in a fight and you need to know when you will lose a fight. If you can beat the enemy jungler in a 1v1 why would you give up the chance to get a kill or deprive them of their camps. When you take a camp, you not only gain gold for yourself, you deprive them of their gold source.
If you both farm your own gromps you both gain 68 gold. If you push them out of their jungle and take their gromp, they lose out on 68 gold and you gain 68 gold. This goes from being even to having a 136 gold differential. Assuming of course that you are going to farm your own gromp afterwards.
Recognize the State of Your Lanes: If you are playing jungle and you invade. You need to look at the status of your lanes. Ask yourself these questions
1. Will my laner be able to help me before the other laner?
2. How strong am I?
3. How strong is my laner?
4. In what situations do I win the fight?
How about a 1v2?
5. What globals (TP, Shen ult, Twisted fate ult) are avaliable?
If you invade and you die 70% of the time it is YOUR fault. There are times where your laner doesn't respond to pings or someone misplays or completely outplays.
To Obtain Objectives:
As a jungler there are many objectives you have to pay attention to. You want to gank lanes not just for kills, but for objectives. If you see an infernal dragon, you better do your best to make your botlane win. If first tower hasn't been taken yet and you see a low turret, go make an effort to go get that first turret.
CHAMPION RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LEARNING JUNGLE?:
Whenever I watch a video with climbing tips they always say not to play champions like Lee Sin, Yasuo, Zed, or Riven. I can see why they would say this. These champs have many options and there are so many potential mistakes when you are playing these champions. However I disagree with those who say you shouldn't play these picks in low elo.
My number one rule is play a champion you enjoy. Play the champions that you could spam hundreds of games on and not get tired of. League of Legends is not a mechanically hard game, if you put the time in you can have mechanical proficiency on any champion. The problem isn't mechanics, its that champions with high mechanics have more options and more options means that the right move isn't always obvious. The number one thing you need is game sense. I have seen many gold lee sins that Insec someone every opportunity they get, and most of the time Insecing someone isn't the optimal play.
If you are overwhelmed and by highly mechanical champions like Nidalee, or Lee Sin then you don't have to play them. You can go with something simple like Warwick, Jarvan, Vi, or Gragas. If you just want to get into gold for a free skin then by all means go pick the boring champs that are free LP. Just go on a tier list and pick a simple high tier champion.
Here is a list of Junglers to browse through and some things I enjoy about them
Lee Sin: I like styling on kids
Udyr: So many potential builds, and he runs fast.
Jax: Ward hops, can hard carry, decent early game ganks My go to champion last season
Vi: She has really satisfying punches
Jarvan IV: I just think he is really good. One of my go to champions
Wukong: I like one shotting people, great team fight potential
Graves: He is really strong, and an oppressive champion FREELO
Nunu: This champion should by all means be boring, but for some reason he's fun
Ivern: underrated champion, wouldn't play in solo queue though
Shyvanna: I can never do well with her
Kayle: my first main, I don't find her fun anymore
Xin Zhao: Simple champ FREELO
Fiddlesticks: not very good in jungle but you could probably make it work
Elise: A champion I should play
Nidalee: Pretty fun champion. A champion I would recommend one tricking.
Master Yi: More complicated champion than people think.
Kindred: If you are an ADC main consider making this your jungler FREELO
Kayn: I personally don't enjoy this champion but many consider him very fun
Evelynn: A champion that should be pick ban. Insane snowball potential FREELO
Camille: Really good jungle, but I have more fun playing her top. FREELO
Nocturne: a great pocket pick. Can solo carry versus some comps
Kha'Zix: Don't really care for this champ, but it is free wins FREELO
Rengar: If you hate ADC's this is your champ
Shaco: I hate this champion
Amumu: Always good in low elo, good ganks, good team fighter, and carry potential with AP
Hecarim: Don't think he is very good right now, he is fun though
Rammus: the definition of a situational pick. Not very good in current meta.
Rek'sai: A really weak champion in the games current state. But you can still do well on her
Zac: I think Zac is horrible, but I just might be bad.
Ekko: I prefer him as a mid laner
Taliyah: I don't enjoy playing her personally as a jungler
Warwick: Very easy, strong champion FREELO(Kinda)
Volibear: Not as bad as everyone assumes, definitely not good though
When you play league you can play to climb, to improve, or to have fun. Sometimes these things overlap. But make sure you are playing to have fun first and foremost. You are not in the LCS, this is not your job, you are playing a game. League of Legends can be an incredibly frustrating game for many. Remember in the long term it is more fun to improve, in the short term it is more fun to win. But no matter the time span you will not be having fun if you take the game too seriously. Don't take toxicity to heart but listen for potential lessons. And don't let the flame upset you. When you are playing League of Legends and someone is upsetting you, just mute them, if you are getting upset at someone and flaming them ask yourself if that is really the mature thing to do. You are getting yourself worked up for no reason and lets be honest, if most of you were playing with them face to face you wouldn't say it to their face.
If they are bad, you will climb and they won't. If you have hundreds of games and your rank hasn't changed then you aren't there because of team mates. There is a reason Challenger players can get to Diamond with 90% winrates.You are there because you have faults in the way you play. And that's okay, being bad a League of Legends isn't a sin. I still consider myself horrible as well. Any average to above average person can get to Masters with self reflection and dedication. It is up to you to decide if that goal is worth your time and gives you enough satisfaction.
Well that's all watch some streams, play some games, and enjoy yourself. Jungling is one of the most cerebral roles and one of the most fulfilling. Even if you don't make it your main role, knowing how to jungle will help your game sense immensely