Jungling as a term is technically a reference to the act of killing neutral monsters. What many will refer to as jungling, however, is the act of a single champion roaming across the map, dedicating themselves exclusively to the farm available in the jungle and the neutral monsters that occupy it. A player that does this is referred to as a jungler, and the jungle itself refers to any area of the map that is not a lane or part of either team's base, including the river that divides it.
For the most part, jungling is a role limited to games done on Summoner's Rift. Jungling can also be done the Twisted Treeline, but this is considerably more limited and is not as major a part of team strategy due to the smaller size of the map permitting more roaming potential and the jungle giving much less farm overall.
Basis of Jungling Edit
The primary reason for jungling is resource allocation. The jungle offers a lot of gold and experience that can be accessed through slaying the monsters that spawn and respawn in predetermined locations on the map. With a lone player dedicating himself to accruing it, it leaves two solo lanes available to each gain high experience and gold rather than only one solo lane. In effect, all accessible resources are being utilized by a team with a jungler.
There are other important tasks that a jungler is expected to perform, due to their roaming nature preventing enemy champions from spotting the jungler through the fog of war. This allows for unexpected positioning and surprise attacks, such as during ganks and counterganks. Their ability to freely traverse the map without being tied to a lane also allows them to support lanes when in the area, such as warding key locations without forcing an ally to abandon their lane temporarily and coming to their aid when they come under duress.
The final reason for jungling is the security of the two large monsters on the map, Baron Nashor and the Dragon. Because of the potentially game-turning advantages these two monsters can give to a team that successfully kills them, it is often a responsibility of the jungler to ensure that these camps are not unintentionally stolen by a marauding enemy team.
Jungle Overview Edit
Each team has its own jungle - an equal area with the same amount of non-boss monsters. The jungle is effectively perfectly rotationally symmetrical about the centre of the map, with the exceptions of Dragon and Baron Nashor, who are unique. They each reside in sheltered alcoves along the river and are accessible from different directions, making them slightly easier to access for the team on the side they are open to; blue team has superior access to Baron Nashor and purple team has superior Dragon access.
|Camp||Initial Spawn||Respawn Timer||Initial Rewards|
Respawn timers on the camps do not begin to count down until all monsters in the camp have been killed, including the major buff camps. This can be exploited by a jungler looking to steal his opponent's experience by leaving a single minor monster behind to deny the enemy jungler his farm and experience for as long as possible.
Champions of the Jungle Edit
Players seeking a good champion for the jungler role should search for a few key capabilities of the champion:
- Damage Output
- Having higher damage output means the champion will be able to contest the naturally low damage-per-second of neutral monsters.
- Since a jungler will always be dealing and receiving damage in order to gain gold and experience, it is important to have as much sustain as possible. This can be through reduction of damage or healing.
- Gank Potential
- Abilities that concern movement speed, have a crowd control effect, or that displace the jungler or the target contribute to gank potential.
- Having higher gank potential increases your overall usefulness to your team. Kills and assists will give your team an edge against equally-farmed opponents.
Runes and Masteries Edit
There are a few common setups used to increase a jungler's potential:
- Greater Seal of Armor (+1.41 Armor)
These seals are more or less mandatory on any jungler as they sharply reduce the damage taken from neutral creeps, resulting in higher end health and opening more options for their next move.
- Greater Mark of Armor Penetration (+1.28 Armor penetration)
- Greater Mark of Attack Damage (+0.95 Attack damage)
- Greater Mark of Attack Speed (+1.67% Attack speed)
The choice of marks generally aims to increase the jungler's offensive prowess and improve their clearing speeds. Even champions whose playstyles and builds do not especially benefit from any of these will still usually take marks of attack speed to make the most use of the Maim passive of , as marks provide only marginal bonuses to non-autoattack related statistics.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist (+2.7 Magic Resistance at Level 18)
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction (+0.56% Cooldown reduction per level)
- Greater Glyph of Ability Power (+1.19 Ability power).
Glyph choices are usually aimed at augmenting the later stages of the game for the jungler. Magic resistance per level is the usual choice as it allows many junglers to purchase armor for their duties without needing to worry too much about magic damage. Cooldown reduction per level glyphs are instead for the few champions who have very long cooldowns and do not intend to incorporate lots of cooldown reduction items into their build. Ability power glyphs are for mage junglers whose primary clearing abilities scale with this stat.
- Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed (+1.5% Movement Speed)
- Greater Quintessence of Lifesteal (+2% Lifesteal)
- Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage (+2.25 Attack damage)
- Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed (+3.33% Attack speed)
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power (+4.95 Ability Power)
Quintessences function as wild cards and can provide any kind of benefit the jungler wishes. Movement speed is extremely common and offers large improvement to ganking potential, while other rune types are usually aimed at improving the speed or sustain of the jungler instead.
- Butcher - Increases the damage you deal to minions and monsters by 2 / 4.
- Summoner's Resolve - Smite grants 10 bonus gold upon use.
- Tough Skin - Reduces damage from monsters by 1 / 2.
- Bladed Armor - Returns 6 true damage against monster attacks.
- Hardiness - Grants 2 / 3.5 / 5 armor.
- Runic Affinity - Increases the duration of all neutral buffs (with the exception of Exalted with Baron Nashor) by 20%.
Items for Jungling Edit
The most common setup when starting a jungle game is a and 5 . This setup greatly improves jungle clearing speed and provides 750 bonus health to cover early health losses. Junglers who are unconcerned with issues about clearing, however, can start with a and 5 instead. This setup provides high effective health against physical damage and 750 bonus health, allowing for extended periods of jungle farming for champions who lack the sustain to do this with (eg. Dr Mundo). A few junglers may also opt to start with and 4 , which provides movement speed to improve ganks as well as 600 health to get through the first few levels. It can be used both on highly sustained junglers who do not need clearing assistance (eg. Warwick) or champions who focus more on heavily ganking enemy laners (eg. Shaco).
For extremely slow junglers who urgently require a way of improving their clear times, can be upgraded to for its large magic damage proc. On certain junglers, this can also be built into to further improve clear speeds and provide additional map awareness. Champions who do not need much additional aid for clearing can upgrade into a instead, which provides excellent sustain and also has some varied and useful upgrade paths which can be tailored to fit the jungling champion.
As the jungler is often expected to spend a large amount of time roaming the map between camps and lanes, are a common purchase to lessen the considerable travel time, particularly for junglers who can invest in a to provide their tenacity statistic. If this is not possible, are a good alternative which also provides early magic resistance. are the next most common option, providing high movement speed and a resistance to slowing effects which greatly aids ganking potential.
Common Jungle Routes Edit
Level 2 Gank Edit
- Lizard Elder camp
- Gank mid/bot (blue) or top/mid (purple).
This extremely aggressive jungle route is the riskiest out of all jungle routes and is most often used in an attempt to obtain the First Blood bonus before opponents have had a chance to acquire all of their spells yet. On some junglers, this also sacrifices some potential at farming for early increased offensive prowess.
Failure to acquire a kill can often leave the jungler dangerously behind on experience and farm and will leave them vulnerable to harassment for several minutes, but a successful gank can be greatly rewarding, granting the killer's team 680 gold (400G for the kill + 70% for the assist) and setting the slain opponent back on both experience and gold at a very early stage, which can easily become an insurmountable disadvantage.
Buff-to-Buff Run (to level 3)Edit
This route is a strategic route taken at higher levels of play to both prevent theft of the buff camps by the opposing team and gain a fast level advantage over opposing champions, potentially resulting in an early kill for the team either in a gank or a rapid counterjungling attempt.
Note well, however, that this route does require allies to heavily assist at the first buff camp so that the jungler will have Smite available for use at the second. This route may not be available to a jungler if allies are unwilling or otherwise unable to help, as a result.
Power Clear (to level 4) Edit
This route is a well-rounded route that equally balances ganking potential, farming experience and gold, and is one of the most commonly used overall as it provides enough experience for the jungler to reach level 4 before ganking with their primary skill at level 2.
A Lizard Elder start is often the faster of the two routes, but it is only available to champions who do not have steep mana requirements in order to clear successfully and doing it first will leave less time to benefit from the buff's slow during ganks after the clear has been completed.
Jungle Farmer (to level 6) Edit
- Golem camp.
- Wraith camp.
- Giant Wolf camp.
- Ancient Golem camp.
- Wraith camp again.
- Golem camp again.
- Lizard Elder camp.
- Giant Wolf camp again.
- Wraith camp again.
- Golem camp again.
- Repeat the last three steps over and over as necessary.
This passive route is chosen to maximize gold and experience income from the jungle at the expense of supporting the lanes. Champions with low ganking potential or high level requirements to gank effectively will usually use this route to obtain their farm as quickly as possible.
Ganking refers to the act of ambushing one or more players with the intent of scoring a kill. It is one of the most important aspects of the jungle role, as, while anyone in a match can effectively gank to some extent, the jungler is the champion who has the greatest capacity to do so as he is not bound to any particular lane, allowing him to freely roam across the map to appear wherever he is needed. As the game progresses and more and more champions begin to roam the map and band together as opposed to extending out alone, ganking becomes less limited to the jungler and less of an important factor to success overall, but nonetheless remains an important element of team strategy all the way up until a game's end.
Some champions are better at ganking than others. In particular, champions with very powerful or plentiful crowd control tend to be stronger at ganks than those without. For example, Shaco can gank a lane as early as level 2 with only a Lizard Elder buff for aid - the slow it provides and the fear from a Jack In The Box can lock down a enemy champion for several seconds, potentially allowing Shaco to kill him before he can escape. Conversely, champions who have little to no crowd control (such as Shyvana) or have crowd control that can be difficult or unreliable to use effectively (such as Dr. Mundo) will often find themselves hard pressed to obtain kills during ganks.
A few specific junglers may have very poor initial ganking, but upon obtaining their ultimate can later gank with much more success. In such cases, the jungling champion will often focus solely on farming for the early game and later transition to ganking more heavily once level 6 has been reached.
There are several different types of gank that can be observed in League of Legends:
River ganks are the most common type of gank and involves the jungler approaching a lane through the river, entering the brush there and beginning his assault on the opposing team once correct positioning is established. This type of gank is the most readily available to any jungler and, depending on the mobility of the ganking champion, can work successfully even against opponents who have not extended significantly beyond their own side brush.
As a tradeoff for this ease of use, however, river ganks are among the easiest to spot ahead of time for a competent team - a single in the river bush can quickly warn a laner of the jungler's intentions and allow them to back off and avoid danger. The other types of ganks most often occur to bypass this vision of the river.
River ganks tend to be more successful at top lane for purple team members and bot lane for blue team members, but teams on the opposite side have access to the loop gank below to compensate.
Side ganks (also known as a lane gank) involve the jungler entering the side brush in order to get very close to his targets before initiating the gank. This type of gank has many more limitations than a simple river gank, as it can only be done in bot or top lane and relies on a lack of vision on both within the bush from the enemy team and of the jungler as he enters it in order to maintain the element of surprise.
This gank is much more commonly done at top lane than at bot lane, as the latter contains a support champion who has the responsibility of keeping the side brush warded, but when pulled off in either case it can be extremely deadly due to the sheer proximity of the ganking champion allowing him to almost immediately lock down his target and prevent them from fleeing.
Loop ganks involve the champion entering the enemy jungle from near the mid lane, and (for bot or top lane loop ganks) walking around the Dragon or Baron Nashor spawning pit and entering the target lane through the tribush or (for mid lane loop ganks) making use of the entrances to the lane on the same side as an enemy turret.
Loop ganks pose some significant risks to the jungler. If their initial approach into the enemy jungle is spotted early on with a ward, it is almost always a death sentence, as the opposing team can act together to corner and slay the champion as he makes his way down to the lane. If pulled off correctly, however, it can be equally devastating to an unaware laner, as with the use of the tribush to disguise their approach the jungler will end up directly behind the target and so does not have to immediately use their abilities to close the gap.
Tower Dive GanksEdit
The riskiest gank to perform, this type of gank is exactly what it says on the tin, involving the jungler collaborating with allies to trap and kill enemies who are under the apparent safety of their turret. This gank can be done on any laner through use of the jungle - bot and top lane for purple and blue team respectively uses the path and small brush directly behind the turret and the opposing side makes use of the grass near the Golem camp. Mid lane tower dive ganks make use of the path near the Giant Wolf spawns.
Tower dive ganks can have massive consequences if part of the dive is performed improperly due to the presence of the turret, which contributes massive damage output on a champion who attacks an ally within its range. A miscommunication between members of a team can lead to one or more allied champions being killed in the dive, which can offset the benefits of diving in the first place. Junglers who are most suited to performing tower dive ganks are ones that have abilities that can let them easily tank several tower shots and buy more time to obtain a kill (such as Alistar), or ones who have extremely high burst potential, allowing them to rapidly decimate enemy champions before the tower can do significant damage (such as Zed).
A direct gank, as its name implies, involves the ganking champion dispensing with all form of subtlety and approaching his targets by walking directly down the lane towards them, and are usually done only as a last resort against enemy lanes that are heavily fortified with wards as they do not have an especially high chance of success.
Though this type of gank is technically available to all junglers, in practice only a very specific few are capable of successfully pulling one off. Almost invariably, a direct ganking champion will boast enormous mobility and multiple means of closing the gap with his opponents as well as strong crowd controls. A famous example of such a jungler is Hecarim, who has access to a movement speed-boosting ability ( Devastating Charge), a long-ranged gap closer ( Onslaught of Shadows) and a method of movement impairment ( Onslaught of Shadows) which combine to allow him to storm into a lane at high speed and quickly suppress a target champion before they can enact countermeasures to him.
A counter gank is the unique act of a champion entering a lane where an enemy gank is already in progress with the intent of turning the fight to their favor.
This gank type follows the same rules as before in that good warding can alert a team to the incoming threat and let them back off without suffering casualties, but also equally depends on the junglers themselves. Strong counterganking junglers are champions who have excellent map mobility and can react quickly to a gank happening regardless of their current location (such as Rammus and his Powerball). Junglers who are resistant to being counterganked themselves are champions whose methods of crowd control are divorced from their methods of escape, letting them rapidly switch from attacking to retreating when the need arises (such as Jax).
Counter jungling Edit
Counterjungling is a broad term which generally refers to the act of delaying the progress of an enemy jungler in some way. The reason to perform this is always the same - it is an attempt to reduce the influence the jungler has on the game in the next several minutes by depriving him of gold, experience and neutral buffs. It is usually a strictly solo affair (with one particular exception being invasions, which are covered below) and typically involves a jungler entering enemy territory to either steal unattended camps, ambush his opponent with the intention of killing him or driving him off, or both.
While any champion can potentially do this, there are, much like ganking, champions who are more suited to counterjungling than others. Champions who specialise in stealing gold and experience are often those who have abilities that let them rapidly destroy camps and lessen the chances of discovery. A jungler aiming to duel and defeat an enemy jungler will almost always pack powerful offensive steroids that let them quickly overwhelm an enemy in a 1 on 1, as well as the means to prevent them from escaping. Ideally, the champion will be able to kill the enemy jungler before his allies can realise the counterjungler's presence.
Cho'Gath and Trundle are two examples of champions well-suited to counterjungling. The former boasts heavy area of effect damage and a powerful true damage nuke from his Feast, letting him quickly destroy major and minor camps alike. The latter boasts enormous singletarget damage from Chomp and Frozen Domain affording him incredible dueling power against lone opponents, as well as a means to chase down and prevent their escape with Pillar of Ice.
Counterjungling is, in general, a very risky maneuver due to the potential hazard of being discovered, cornered and killed by an enemy team. As a result, those who choose to do it regularly will necessitate a strong sense of map awareness and champion matchups. Champions who do not wish to be discovered must often ensure that their opponent is elsewhere at the time, such as when the enemy jungler is covering a lane for someone or has recently ganked and been forced to retreat at low health. Likewise, champions who wish to find and fight the enemy jungler will often need to utilise their knowledge to determine their whereabouts at a specific time and whether it is safe to attempt to kill them.