I've been playing Udyr in the jungle a fair bit recently. After some really good games with Nunu in the jungle, I've improved my general jungling by a fair amount. So, I stepped things up a bit and started working on a stronger jungler before I move on to my main, Trundle again. However, as if by pure bad luck, I encountered a few problems 4 games in a row, ruining my jungle. These were:
- My allies were not defending blue buff properly, leaving at least one way in empty. I got invaded each time and either died first, lose blue buff or both.
- My top and bot lanes were getting down to tiny amounts of health and even dying over and over gain from level 3. Begging for ganks when I'm not even done with my jungle route yet and not ready. Then blaming me when they die. From that point, I don't gank the lane because the enemy in that lane is so far ahead it would be stupid to initiate on someone way stronger and would result in feeding. I then got more blame for that.
So, I came up with some alternative ways to START your jungle. Please note that these are only theoretical. Due to a lack of friends to play with, I haven't been able to try this. My team just flame me for wanting to try it, saying I don't know how to jungle because it isn't the norm of what a jungler does at level 1. Either that, or they don't understand the finer points of strategy.
The Level 1 Lane Gank
This is pretty much in the name. Depending on which team you are on, you head to top lane (on blue team) and bot lane (on red team) and wait in the brush. They stay in the brush CLOSEST to their allied turret. The rest of their team defend blue buff as normal. This is where the word "deception" comes from in the title. You are not at blue buff. If nobody goes there because you are not there, it can easily be stolen with no contest. That's not good. Also, by having your team act as if you are jungling normally, it negates one the weaknesses in this strategy. The enemy should be thinking "The jungler is at blue buff. I won't ward any brushes because he's not there." They may ward the river. But that doesn't matter. You won't be crossing the river. Your allied laners will purposefully allow the lane to be pushed hard. At my elo, this happens a lot and not many people know how to freeze the lane. Once pushed far enough, initiate. That should be an easy first blood for you or your laner. Considering this is at level 1/2, this should be way too much damage to survive so early. From that point, the lane should snowball. Especially if you do it again later. After the gank, you have two options. I would say it depends on who got the kill(s), but I could be wrong. Those options are:
- Have your ally(s) help you out with blue buff. Unless you're manaless, you should take it this early on. You can take it for the 20% CDR if you're manaless, it does really help your clear speed. But you don't have to. At this point, you continue with your jungle route, or cover the lane while whoever should be in that lane backs if they need to. After this, go back to your jungle. They really should if they got the kill, making for an easier snowball so that have that early advantage. If they stay and wait, they could be killed as they still only have their initial items, evening it out and ending the snowball. If you got at least 1 kill, back and you will be able to solo blue with no help.
- Camp the lane and gank again. The lane should REALLY snowball after then.
This strategy can be totally screwed by a ward in your brush. That's why your team act as if you are starting at blue. "We see them defending blue, the jungler must be there. Therefore, I should ward the river for a gank because he won't be in the brush." That phrase should be the resulting thought process. If nobody defends the buff like usual, the enemy will notice this is susupicious. They may catch on and ruin your plan.
The Greedy Jungler
Truth be told, this is the one I want to try out most. It's more of a normal jungle route. The steps are as follows:
- Have 3 allies guard blue. You and one other go to the enemy red buff. At 1:40, kill the wraiths.
- By this time, red buff will have spawned. Have both of you kill it as quickly as possible. Make sure to Smite it so you get the buff. Contrary to usual counterjungling, kill all of the creeps. It's better this early. The same applies to the wraiths in step 1.
- Make your way to your own red buff. Kill that off as quickly as possible.
- Then, ignoring all other camps, go to your blue buff. Finish that off and recall when you're done.
- You're ready to gank!
The idea behind this is to not only ruin the experience and gold gain of the enemy jungler, but to predict their thoughts as well. If they go to wraiths and red to find them gone, they will think that knowing you were there, your red is still alive. You started at blue because your team guarded it, then you went and stole their red. Hence, your red is free and they can take that to compensate for their loss. By going Wraiths ---> Red ---> Red ---> Blue, it counteracts their thinking. You get three buffs, they get one. You get three buffs worth of experience and gold, they get one. Using the defending of blue buff as a decoy, they can lead their thinking to protect your buff later on. Alternatively, you can ward blue on your way down to your own red. If the enemy jungler doesn't think as I predicted and go to blue to steal it, you can simply gank them and either steal the buff back or practically have them pull it for you.
- Remember, this is all theoretical. I haven't been able to try it out. If anyone on EUW/PBE is willing to try it out with me, just tell me in the comments and I'm happy to oblige.
- I do not own any manaless/energy champions. I don't know their jungle routes well at all. As a result, all of this is based on the assumption that you will be starting at blue if jungling normally and that your enemy thinks so too. Due to not knowing those other routes well, I haven't been able to say much about them. If I do think of a way to incorporate these champions, I'll come back and add sections for them too.
- I'm 1.1k elo. This is therefore based on the knowlege and experience of a 1.1k elo player. I do however, watch streams, spend a lot of time reading guides and reading up on advanced strategy on this wiki. I have a lot of conceptual knowlege, my elo is related only to how well I can put that knowlege to practical use. Therefore, these strategies may be effective where I am, but not at higher or possibly even lower skill levels.
- Most of this has come from playing Udyr. A quick tip, if doing the level 1 lane gank with Udyr, get Bear Stance at level 1 for that CC. It'll help.