The jungle in League of Legends has been constantly changing and evolving since the game launched. With another new set of changes arriving to the jungle in Season 10, it's time for an in-depth look at what it takes to jungle in the new season.
Junglers can fit many roles because they are often the wildcard of the team. You can almost always find a champion that can successfully clear the jungle for the role the team needs. That said, the most common jungler roles are carry and tank.
Carry junglers exist to add more damage to the team composition. They farm as much as possible while trying to avoid early conflict with the enemy jungler. Carry junglers don’t gank as often as tank junglers. When they do gank, carry junglers are expecting to secure kills.
Tank junglers are for setting up the rest of the team. They generally prioritize ganking early and often to set-up success for their laners. Tank junglers buy cheap, cost-effective health and resist items and go for low economy builds to let the rest of the team carry.
Every jungler should take Smite as one of their summoner spells. It is important for jungle clear speed, staying healthy in the jungle, and securing objectives. Smite is also required to build a jungle item. In addition to being great for clearing camps, jungle items also give increased experience for jungle monsters killed.
Most junglers will use Flash, but a select few can make use of Ghost or Ignite instead. Fighting around so much terrain makes Flash important to quickly get over walls. Ghost can be used on champions that like to split-push later in the game. Ignite is taken on some assassin junglers to add extra burst to their early ganks.
Understanding your teams win conditions
Take note of what champions your team consists of. Do you have a hyper carry or do you have a squishy bot lane? Does the enemy have great gank set up and does the enemy Jungler have good pressure early on?
There are a ton of questions you should ask yourself when the game is loading.
If your bottom lane is pretty vulnerable, you may wish to prioritize getting them ahead. If there is a hyper carry or somebody who is incredibly strong once fed, you may want to focus on helping them more than someone like a tank.
A good Jungler will be utilizing their champions win condition to get their team ahead.
If your team’s win condition is to get bot lane fed, make sure you help them and do what you need to get them ahead. Do not leave the bottom lane alone to play 2 vs 3 as the enemy Jungler will be prioritizing their lane over any others.
If your allies are very weak in the early game or need time to come online, try not to force anything in their lane. It is very difficult for somebody who is weak early on to assist a Jungler if they have nothing available to offer and this can result in them falling behind.
Try not to force anything in particular if your allies cannot follow up properly. Some champions don’t even want ganks: they just want to farm and scale.
Play around your Ultimate
Even if your champion is early game dominant, you should look to play around your Ultimate to maximize kills. Most Ultimates (for Junglers at least) come in one of two forms: either tons of damage or crowd control/utility. Whenever your Ultimate is up, you should look to use it as more often than not, it will result in either a kill or a blown Summoner Spell.
If your champion doesn’t necessarily have the greatest gank pressure, you may be only ganking whenever your Ultimate is up and farming while it’s down. Some examples of this are champions like Amumu, Shyvana or Malphite.
These champions don’t necessarily have the strongest gank pressure without their Ultimate as they might struggle to help lanes without prior setup or crowd control.
Regardless of your champion, you should always try to gank whenever your Ultimate is up. It is a key ability that can provide kills and give your team a lot of gold and map pressure. For example, Sejuani’s Ultimate is fantastic and if you use it in a lane with a lot of damage, it is going to result in a kill every time.
If you do not actively use your Ultimate, you are potentially missing out on gold, experience, map pressure, and a ton of other things that can win you the game. This is why it is incredibly important that whenever your Ultimate is up, you try to use it.
To make full use of your Ultimate, you should try to use it in the best possible lane. What I mean by this is that some champions have more pressure than others, and if the likelihood of you using the Ultimate and killing the enemy is slim then you should probably use it somewhere else.
For example, using it to help a tank vs tank in the top lane isn’t the greatest use of a crowd control Ultimate. This isn’t the case for Ultimates that can be used to execute like Evelynn or Lee Sin though as a kill is a kill after all. CC Ultimates like Shyvana’s or Amumu’s are best used on squishy, immobile carries like the ones that run wild in the mid or bot lane.
Optimize your Pathing and First Clear
Another way of becoming a more effective Jungler and subsequently a better ganker is by practicing good jungle clearing and kiting when necessary. Many players just walk to a camp and start auto-attacking it without paying too much attention to their ability to kite and take less damage.
Most Junglers are able to kite every camp to some extent. If you can research and practice good jungle clearing then you are going to find that you are able to do more on the map and be more of a pain for the enemy team.
I would recommend that you check sites like Mobafire and give your desired champion a little research to understand the best way for them to kite each camp. In addition to doing research on how to kite camps, you can also look for your Junglers most efficient clearing path. Every Jungler has one or two effective paths that give them the most XP, best chance to gank and the healthiest clear.
We have some examples on our Instagram including the one that is pictured here. If you follow this route, you’re going to have a very effective clear which will allow you to gank or at least clear the jungle in a more effective way (and potentially gank).
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