What is Jungling? I think one of the largest barriers to Jungling is the mystification of the lane. Jungling is probably the most dynamic lane you can chose in League of Legends and as such the fear of not doing the right thing at the right time can lead many players to avoid it all together.
Fear not however. While you have many more options than your typical ADC or Top laner during the laning phase, there are priorities of what you should do at any given time and these strategies will unfold the more you play. Just know that your #1 priority as in any lane is to 1) level up and gain wealth and 2) Help your team do the same. Anything you do to increase that is probably perfectly fine.
Starting out let’s talk about the Jungle Camps. Currently in Season 4 you have the following camps to clear on each side of the map:
1) Baron: - The Worm Boss as some call him. A target that generally takes a group effort to take down. He offers a buff to your entire team that increases Health and Mana regen, as well as Attack Speed, Attack Damage, and Ability Power.
2) Dragon: - This target gives your team global gold upon killing. The amount now scales with the game instead of being a flat amount. This is a high priority grab for any jungle looking to help give his team a gold advantage or catch up.
3) Ancient Golem / Lizard: (Red / Blue Buff)
a. Ancient Golem: (Blue Buff) – Gives you Mana Regen and Cool-Down Reduction.
b. Lizard: (Red Buff) – Causes you’re attacks to apply a de-buff that Slows Movement Speed of the enemy champion and applies a Damage over Time.
4) Wight Camp: (New in Season 4) – New in Season 4 it is an extra camp to clear similar to Wolves and Wraiths. Basically it evens out the objective weight of the Blue side of jungle.
5) Wraiths, Wolves, Golems: - These are XP camps to be cleared as often as possible if you don’t have a higher priority target or Objective.
Now let’s talk about Jungle paths. These differ season to season but currently in Season 4 I see a couple paths. One of the biggest changes in Season 4 is that you no longer get level 3 after clearing both Blue and Red buff. You now need to clear at least one more minicamp before you gank.
Most clears follow 1 of two paths depending on the champion you are using and what buff you will benefit most from and or need to clear the rest of the jungle.
Example Path 1) Ancient Golem > Wolves > Lizard Elder > Gank/Farm. At this point you have a choice to either gank at level 3 or continue to farm if your goal is to get to level ASAP for your ultimate or none of the lanes are positioned well for a gank.
Example Path 2) Lizard Elder > Wraiths > Ancient Golem > Gank/Farm. Similar with above. This is simply reversed order.
TIP: It is a good idea to practice these paths in a bot game before live to know how survivable you will be.
TIP: Always try to be efficient with your positioning. Depending on where you want to gank first has a big impact on where you start in your path. If you want to gank top first. Start near the bottom of your map so you are there when you finish your last buff.
Once you have your path down the next step is to be that wandering bully that everyone knows and loves the jungle for. One of your biggest jobs is to keep your lanes under control and helping to snowball your teammates. With time you will learn to pick which lanes are possible and profitable for you to gank. This takes team coordination and practice.
Always keep in mind that you need to be efficient with your time. If you camp a lane without gain you are putting yourself behind in farm. Also. Be sure not to force ganks that are not there. Sometimes the positioning is just bad and you need to cut your losses. That’s OK. But if you go in on a situation where you do not have a good chance at success you are putting yourself even further behind.
Anything you do from this point on should be in relation to what is going on in the match and what objectives you wish to secure. Always try to balance Farm and Ganks. Practice will reveal certain champions who benefit more from ganking as opposed to farming.
Don’t get discouraged if you have a hard time early or get executed on Red Buff. That is OK. It is a good learning process that will help you to be more successful in future games. Above all else. Have fun. This is a game. Nothing makes learning a new lane harder than having a terrible time. Hopefully you are practicing this in a Bot or Normal game so it really isn’t critical if you lose.
I hope you found this guide helpful. Please comment below on suggestions. I am no pro as you can probably tell from this guide and I am always looking to improve. I will add more sections and specific information on Champion Selection in the future.
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