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Jungling for the Terrified and Below lvl 20

Unlike my usual blog posts, I'll try to keep this short. As mentioned in the title, this is a very basic jungle guide for those that are either scared of blue/red buff, can't get a pull or don't have many runes/masteries due to still being fairly new to the game and therefore, jungling. I will NOT be going over ganking. This is just an alternative build only. Let's get started shall we?

I'm no Gambler

I'm not like most people who use mastert pages like 9/0/21, 21/9/0, 21/0/9 or 0/9/21 or jungle. My only pages using those numbers are my mage, Poppy/Eve and Offtank pages. My jungle page is 1/14/15. Why? Because I prefer a safe jungle to a fast one. I'm fine with 20 seconds longer to clear but not coming really close to dying or even actually dying compared to doing those two things. In fact, using this page, with a few champions, I can clear just as fast, if not faster, but with more health remaining the entire time. Though I went over the whole thing in my jungle Caitlyn blog, I'll go over it again:


  • I take my only point in Summoner's Wrath for the increased speed from Ghost and the extra armor/magic resist shred from Exhaust. Up until recently I had one point in Butcher. If you don't plan on using either of these summoner's EVER then put the point in Butcher. 2 extra damage per auto attack can add up eventually.


  • Tier 1 - Summoner's Resolve. For Smite. Resistance x2, Hardiness x3, Tough Skin x2.
  • Tier 2 - Durability x4.
  • Tier 3 - Veteran's Scars, Bladed Armor.


  • Tier 1 - Summoner's Insight, - Good Hands x1, Expanded Mind x3.
  • Tier 2 - Meditation x3.
  • Tier 3 - Greed x4, Runic Affinty.
  • Tier 4 - Wealth x2.

My mastery setup is safer as unless you are using ?/21/? for whatever reason. A safter jungle is better if you get ganked at some point, go for lvl 2 ganks or can't get any ganks at level 3/4 and so want to keep jungling until a gank can happen.

If you are not yet 30 and therefore unable to get this full mastery setup from scratch, no worries. Work on the defense tree first. This build idea is all about survivability being the key to making jungling possible. After defense, go for utility because the buff durationa and gold really can help. Finish up with that one point in offense.

A Good Start

Jungling relies on a good start. Get invaded and/or killed early on and your effectiveness dramatically drops. That's why teams help their jungler start by defending them and pulling/damaging camps at lvl 1. I once had a game as jungle fiddle where I got invaded because my team didn't defend blue. I could not escape or survive a 5v1 at level 1. Nobody can, realistically. Upon dying, I buy a couple of health pots to add to my Doran's Ring. I arrive at my blue to find it isn't gone. Hoping I can catch up, I try to kill it as quickly as possible. Once blue was on about half health, the enemy jungler (Udyr) flashes over the wall, kills me while I tank blue due to starting it and then finishes it off himself. It was warded. I was totally screwed over that game. That prompted me to start using my mastery setup above. Since then, if I DO get invaded, I make it out alive more often than I die. Regardless of if my team defends me or not.

The common starting setups are:

  • Regrowth Pendant x1 + Health Pot x2
  • Cloth Armor x1 + Health Pot x5/6
  • Ruby Crystal x1 (+ Health Pot x1)

There are other common starting setups, but they tend to be champion specific. The ruby Crystal start is considered specific to Mundo, but I have used it other champions such as Volibear and Sejuani before. I propose a different starting item. That is:

Doran's Shield (+ Health Pot x1)

Why on earth do that, you ask? Answer is simple; "it's safer". Let's do a little math.

  • Regrowth Pendant costs 435g. Leaving enough for a health pot or two depending on masteries. It provides 15 hp/5.
  • Cloth Armor costs 300g. That leaves enough for 5 health pots or 6 with Wealth x2. The most popular jungle start. Gives you 18 armor.
  • Ruby Crystal costs 475g. With Wealth x2, you can buy one extra health pot to boot. Grants 180 health.
  • Doran's Shield costs 475g. It provides 120 health, 10 armor and 8 hp/5. Superior in every way. It allows you to take one extra health pot with Wealth x2.

Doran's Shield provides 66% of the health of Ruby Crystal for the same price. It gives 2 other stats that Ruby Crystal does not. It gives you ~55% of the armor of Cloth Armor. It costs 175 more, but also gives 120 health and 8 hp/5 you won't get with Cloth Armor. You also get ~55% of the hp/5 effect of Regrowth Pendant for only 40 gold more. Not to mention the armor and flat hp you're also getting. No matter what, this is a better item all round. The closest matchup in terms of what's best to buy is porbably the Cloth Armor and 5/6 health pots. That's fine, but I prefer this.

I know people prefer the synergy of Cloth Armor by being able to build it into Madred's and later on, Wriggle's. I still do that, it depends on the jungler. When jungling tanks; Maokai, Volibear, and Amumu to name a few, I build full tank in order to let our team take more damage in top lane. On those champions, I don't get Wriggle's. Smite is enough for those. Especially Volibear and Amumu.

Anyway, wat this item gives you is enough health to not die at blue/red. Even with no pull. If unsure, you can always take Heal. When moving between lanes and camps, you have an extra 8 hp/5. The armor also synergises with the health to make sure you absolutely don't die. As a final advantage, if a gank goes horribly wrong, (such as ganking a decent Singed or when you get counterganked) then you will be less likely to die. The problem with health pots is that they restore health over time. You can't rely on that when fighting very much. You can a little, but really not much. The flat health and armor will benefit you more. Oh, and mid/late game, you can sell your Doran's for a little extra gold towards a better item.

And to end it, I'll list a few champs that can work well with this item when jungling. There may be more, but tell me if I missed any in the comments. Here they are, anyways:

  • Warwick - I have never dropped below 90% health in the jungle when using this because if my passive. Also lets you solo Drag early-ish at level 6-8.
  • Volibear - Delays the use of your passive. It also restores more health due to it being a % of your max health.
  • Amumu - If you don't want to build gp/5 like me, this works a treat.
  • Nautilus - Tanky jungler is tanky.
  • Shaco - You're super squishy. Your boxes can only tank so much. You are almost always tanking more than one creep. The miss % on your E passive only effects one creep, therefore, this helps reduce the damage taken from those you are not autoattacking.
  • Udyr - If Tiger/Phoenix Stance jungling, makes you tankier so you have more surivability AND damage as you are taking the faster clear. If Turtle Stance jungling (like I do) keeps you alive in case of ganks.

Well, poop all over my reasoning if you so desire. Hopefully, I'll be able to poop all over yours too if this hasn't done so already. Try it out if you want, tell me the stories of your success. Sorry, I don't sign autographs.

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