Jungling is the act of killing neutral monsters located on maps between the lanes, and also to the behavior of individual champions that roam across the map, dedicating themselves 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 Classic games on the Summoner's Rift, and to a lesser extent the Twisted Treeline, which is more limited and not as major a part of team strategy due to the smaller size of the map, permitting more roaming potential and the jungle providing less overall farm.
Basis of Jungling
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 both 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, mainly through the use of ganks. 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 someone else to abandon their lane and coming to an ally's aid when they come under duress.
The final reason for jungling is the security of the two epic 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 acquired by a marauding enemy team by using Smite to secure or steal the camp at the last second.
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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 center 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.
This table lists the initial statistics each monster grants, or the value of gold and experience granted when the monsters are at level 1 (6 for the Dragon). Over time the monsters will grant additional rewards; check the individual monster pages to see these values.
The table is sorted by increasing EXP gained when killing all the monsters in the camp, and only shows Summoner's Rift monster camps.
|Camp||Initial Rewards||Initial Spawn||Respawn Time|
|Wraith|| +35 G; +90 EXP
+4 G; +15 EXP
|Wight||+65 G; +150 EXP||2:05||0:50|
| Giant Wolf
| +40 G; +110 EXP
+8 G; +25 EXP
|Big Golem|| +55 G; +140 EXP
+15 G; +40 EXP
| Ancient Golem
Young Lizard x2
| +60 G; +260 EXP; Crest of the Ancient Golem
+7 G; +20 EXP
| Lizard Elder
Young Lizard x2
| +60 G; +260 EXP; Blessing of the Lizard Elder
+7 G; +20 EXP
+125 G to all teammates
+25 G +300 G; +900 EXP to all teammates Exalted with Baron Nashor to all living teammates
All jungle monsters (with the exception of Baron Nashor) can grant additional experience if the level of the champion killing them is lower than that of the monster. This bonus caps out at 200% for the Dragon, and 50% extra for non-boss mobs, making farming the jungle for a brief period useful in temporarily recovering from a poor early game.
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
The champions who regularly are seen in the jungle role often tend to be categorized with one another to show that many champions will use the same overarching playstyle. Some champions can belong in more than one category, although such champions often tend to be worse at either role than dedicated champions of only one type. Knowledge of which group(s) a given champion belongs in can go a long way in predicting how that champion will build and behave in a match.
It should be noted that such categorizations show only how the champion is likely to act as a jungler, and are often distinct from how the champion is likely to act as a pick.
There are generally agreed to be three recognized types of jungler in League of Legends:
A ganking jungler aims to contribute to his team by providing constant pressure to enemy laners and setting up kills for their allies, allowing them to snowball their way to victory even as the ganker jungler falls behind in gold due to generally low farm. Such junglers often tend to prioritize heavy crowd control and mobility in their kit, which allows them to reach even the most heavily-entrenched laners and lock them down long enough to ensure their demise.
Ganker junglers tend to be good picks against farming junglers, as without the need to worry about an opponent intercepting a gank attempt they can freely roam and harass opposing laners with no fear of reprisal.
A farming jungler does what their title implies - they spend the vast majority of their time farming the camps that respawn in the jungle, and will also often supplement this income by entering an ally's lane and farming enemy minions as well. This type of jungler sacrifices aiding their laners in the early game with the intent of getting large amounts of gold and levels to become a significant threat in the late game, and often boast very high damage output and strong scaling, allowing them to farm the jungle at maximum speed and effectively become a second carry if they are allowed to farm for long enough.
Farmer junglers tend to resist control junglers, who more often than not will simply not be able to steal camps at a rate that is able to compete with the high clearing speed of their opponent and usually end up outscaled by their better farmed opponent.
Control junglers are aimed specifically at defeating other junglers and ensuring that they have as little influence as possible through the course of a game, and assist their allies mainly though use of objective control, such as using early takedowns of the Dragon and the two major buff camps on both sides. This type of jungler can be very varied in their design but most of them will prioritize sustainability or dueling potential as their key stats, allowing them to defeat other junglers through both attrition and raw power if needs be.
Control junglers are counterpicks to ganking junglers, as their stalking nature allows them to nullify their opponent's strengths by ensuring their ganks do not succeed, as well as crippling what little farm they already get.
Runes and Masteries
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 Life steal (+2% life steal)
- 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 improvements to ganking potential, while other rune types are usually aimed at improving the speed or sustain of the jungler instead.
- Butcher - Basic attacks and single target abilities deal 2 bonus damage to minions and monsters.
- Feast - Killing a unit restores 2 health and 1 mana.
- Tough Skin - Reduces damage taken from monsters by 1 / 2.
- Bladed Armor - Attacking enemy monsters are inflicted with a bleed for 2 seconds that deals 1% of their current health in true damage per second.
- Fleet of Foot - Grants 0.5 / 1 / 1.5% movement speed.
- Runic Affinity - Increases the duration of all neutral buffs (with the exception of Exalted with Baron Nashor) by 20%.
Items for Jungling
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 that intend to play an extremely aggressive early game, however, can be seen to start with a and instead in order to maximize their offensive capabilities. A rare 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).
The majority of champions who purchase will typically be best served by upgrading into a , which provides large regeneration stats and an increased bonus damage percentage to aid general clearing, and also has three useful upgrades which can be tailored to fit the jungling champion. For farming junglers who intend to bolster their clear times as much as possible and maximize the farm gained from monsters, can be upgraded to for its large magic damage proc and further built into to gain even more speed and provide a massive gold bonus.
As the jungler is often expected to spend a large amount of time roaming the map between camps and lanes, are a useful 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 and tenacity is desired, and are good alternatives which also provides early magic resistance or armor. are the next most common option, providing high movement speed and a resistance to slowing effects which greatly aids ganking potential.
Common Jungle Routes
A jungle route is the order in which a jungling champion will tackle each of the camps scattered around the map during their very first clear. Routes tend to vary from very offensive to very passive, depending on the playstyle of the jungler in question (though certain champions are more efficient with some routes than others). Regardless of how aggressive the route is, each route is optimized to provide the jungler with the best balance of health and time invested - crucial during the earliest stages of a game where many junglers are at their weakest and most vulnerable states.
End level: 2
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.
End level: 3
This route is one of them most commonly taken paths, done to strategically both prevent theft of the buff camps by the opposing team and gain a fast level advantage over opposing champions. This leaves multiple useful options for the jungling champion, including being able to gank a nearby lane, invade the opposing jungle or simply to continue farming.
The choice of minor camp can vary depending in the jungler in question, with the usual options being the Wraith, Wolf and Wight camp. Junglers with strong area of effect abilities will be most efficient clearing one of the former two camps, while junglers with strong single-target damage will benefit more from killing the Wight.
End level: 4
- Ancient Golem camp ( Smite)
- Wight camp
- Giant Wolf camp
- Wraith camp
- Lizard Elder camp ( Smite)
- Golem camp
- Gank a nearby lane.
- Lizard Elder camp ( Smite)
- Wraith camp
- Giant Wolf camp
- Ancient Golem camp ( Smite)
- Wight camp
- Giant Wolf camp
- Gank a nearby lane.
This route is a well-rounded route that equally balances ganking potential, farming experience and gold, and is useful for junglers who do not have strong ganking prowess at very early levels, as it provides enough experience for them to get their primary skill to level 2 instead of level 1.
Depending upon the speed of the jungler champion, Smite can be used to differing levels of effectiveness. On the very slowest junglers it is actually possible to Smite back-to-back camps (such as the Wight and Ancient Golem), although is usually advisable to ensure it is available when taking a major buff camp to avoid dealing with their high damage output for too long.
End level: 6
- Ancient Golem camp
- Wight camp
- Giant Wolf camp
- Wraith camp
- Lizard Elder camp
- Golem camp
- Giant Wolf camp again
- Wight camp again
- Wraith camp again
- Golem camp again
- Repeat the last four 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. This route is usually used by very fast farming junglers who want to earn their gold through farming, but can also be used with junglers who have high level requirements to be able to gank effectively and wish to speed themselves to that point.
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.
The riskiest gank to perform, this type of gank involves 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 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 escape.
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).
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 champions, much like with ganking, who are more suited to counterjungling than others. Champions who specialize in stealing gold and experience are often those who have abilities that let them rapidly destroy camps and lessen the chances of discovery. Champions who specialize in dueling and defeating an enemy jungler will almost always pack powerful offensive steroids that let them quickly overwhelm an opponent in a 1v1, as well as the means to prevent them from escaping.
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 usually a very risky tactic due to the potential hazard of being discovered, cornered and killed by an enemy team. As a result, being able to do well consistently with it will necessitate a strong sense of map awareness and knowledge of champion matchups. Champions who do not wish to be caught stealing a camp 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 catch the enemy jungler in turn 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.
Invasions are a very specific type of counterjungling, usually undertaken by all five members of a team in an attempt to deprive the enemy jungler of their very first buff before the minion waves have begun to spawn. This usually involves the team utilising the bushes to stealthily approach the enemy Ancient Golem or Lizard Elder camp. Most commonly, this is done for the former camp as several junglers must start with the Crest of the Ancient Golem buff in order to clear effectively early on, but for the same reason stealing the Blessing of the Lizard Elder usually has the lesser chance of an early engagement.
The presence of this strategy often dictates a team's actions during the first 90 seconds of a game and is the reason why many teammates will guard around the river area of the jungle to provide advance warning in case of an invasion.
Successful invasions can have great payoffs, granting the beneficiaries an extra neutral buff for the first five minutes, buff camp experience, and potentially the First Blood bonus and early kills. Even invasions that are thwarted by good scouting can still often be successful as the enemy team may not always be in a good position to drive off the invaders.
Some team compositions can encourage or dissuade invasions more than others. Teams that have a higher chance of a successful invade are most commonly teams made of champions with strong level 1 crowd controls (such as Zyra's Grasping Roots or Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab) who can lock down off-guard opponents and allow for their team to quickly destroy them.