General Guide by DarkenJade
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hi and welcome to a Darken Guide.
(Version 1.1b (beta) not final version until gold)
A while ago I found myself playing "League of Legends" and trying to figure out why I was so terrible at jungling. In retrospect, that isn't really surprising as now Ive come to believe that jungling can be one of the more difficult team jobs in "League of Legends". Well anyway, I was pretty terrible and it seemed really difficult to find junglers for teams in solo ques (that seems to have shifted away from that at least for now) so I decided to add jungling to my list of skills. This ended up a bit more involved than I would have imagined back in the beginning and I found myself finding really good guides but there were some gaps and I would like to make an attempt to fill some of that for the League of Legends aficionado. One of the gaps that I've exhaustively been researching what champions can jungle and how they change the team dynamic.
1a Guide started, added sections Intro, Ranked Play, Why Jungle, Jungle Tiers, Summoner Spells.
1.1a Adding Singed, Akali, Caitlyn to jungle tiers after testing, updated the speed testing criteria and posted the current criteria on the guide. Also retesting some champions that had lower speed ratings with the new criteria. *Note* Overall I feel that the new speed testing criteria will boost some of the rank 4 speed champions to rank 5 giving a few champions the higher tier that they deserve, also this new criteria removes some of the second guessing from determining a champions jungle speed allowing for the "feel" of some of the champions to be better measured.
1.2a Alistar, Cssiopeia, Nautilus, Mordekasier, and Shyvanna moved up 1 rank from new speed criteria. General updates and fixes.
1.3a Added ziggs, yorick, viktor, orianna to the guide.
1.4a Added Xin Zhao, Xerath, Wukong, Veigar, Vayne, Varus, Udyr, Twisted Fate, Twitch
1.5a Added Volibear, Trundle, Teemo, Taric, Swain, Skarner, Shaco... Urgot didnt make it. Singed and Akali dropped one rank due to new considerations.
1.6a Added Sejuani to builds. Added Rammus, Renekton, Riven, Rumble, Sejuani, Heimerdinger to tier list Sion dropped one rank due to new considerations. Removed some of the Champions from the builds will re-add when they are more complete for each champion. "Fun Junglers" are now non tier 1 jungles worth trying. "Great Jungles" are now all amazing tier 1 junglers.
1.7a Added Olaf, Pantheon, Poppy, Talon. A new criteria is being added to speed. It will give a possible additional point and will only effect a few junglers. This update is being done to provide a more reasonable analysis for some of the lower tier but faster junglers. At this moment Nunu, Modekaiser, and Master Yi moved up one tier from this criteria.
1.8a Added Maokai, Morgana, Lux, Kassadin, Fiora, Corki, Amumu, Blitzcrank.. changed some of the caster ranks due to new considerations. Janna and Leblanc didnt make it.
1.9a Added Brand, Dr Mundo, Cho'gath, Ezreal, FiddleSticks, Fizz, Galio, Gangplank, Gragas, Graves, Hecarim, Irelia, Jarvan IV, Karthus, Katarina, Kog Maw, Lee Sin, Leona, Lulu, Darius
1b Tier list complete, planning phase for new sections.
1.1b Added a new rune build that I'm starting to really like. Added Akali to the list of fun junglers. New rune build shown on Taric and Akali. Ripped out some parts of the guide did some reorganization. Added SOLO/DUO Tier section renamed original tier list as TEAM PLAY.
1.2b Master Yi removed from solo que tier list. Jax is taking a hit and being moved down in jungle tiers This is primarily due to his poor scaling in his defensive stats. Many of the harder to play mages are being moved down in tier due to the risk factor in playing them in ranked play and even in normals. Tier 4 for solo/duo play is now a hyper jungler tier that is to show high risk champions that could either fail horribly or do very exceptionally well. Changing the suggested summoner spell to flash instead of ghost.
Jungler Tiers (TEAM PLAY)
All champions up to date as of Darius.
[color=#00ff00 If you want a strong jungler that will do well in most games stick to the T1-T3 junglers, The lists do change periodically and will be noted in the update log if something has moved.[/color]
5V5 TEAM JUNGLE LIST:
Alistar, Kayle, Nautilus, Sejuani, Shen, Trundle, Rammus, Amumu, Jarvan IV, Nocturne, Malphite
Shyvana, Udyr, Warwick, Wukong, Xin Zhao, Yorick, Taric, Skarner, Volibear, Singed, Sion, Olaf, Poppy, Maokai, Blitzcrank, Chogath, Dr Mundo, Fizz, Irelia, Lee Sin, Darius, Jax
Tryndamere, Varus, Vayne, Ziggs, Akali, Riven, Heimerdinger+, Master Yi, Nunu, Fiora, Brand@, Fiddlesticks, Hecarim, Leona, Lulu@, Nasus
Garen, Renekton, Xerath, Pantheon, Talon, Mordekaiser, Kassadin, Gragas,
Kennen, Soraka**, Shaco, Cassiopeia^, Morganna, Lux, Galio, Gangplank,
Evelynn***, Caitlyn^, Swain, Miss Fortune, Teemo, Twitch***, Rumble, Corki, Ezreal, Graves, Karthus, Katarina, Kog'Maw, Malzhar, Orianna^, Twisted Fate^, Veigar^, Viktor^
* Tier 6 Jungles should only be used as either surprise picks or when they wont be countered as they are typically very limited in at least one category.
**This champion was used as an AP jungler
***stealth champions can be extremely viable. Most of them would have much higher ratings if stealth was more viable in ranked play. If the stealth mechanic is changed these champions will probably drastically climb the tier ladder.
^ This champion requires a high skill level to use effectively in jungle or ganks.
+You might want to see the guide portion for this champion before attempting this jungle
@This champion was used AD primarily for speed and the use of the passive.
Jungler Tiers (SOLO/DUO PLAY)
After doing the jungle tier lists originally I felt like there was something missing. Some of the really good junglers are based on a team play dynamic or "How do I help my team win this game?" Anyone that has played a lot of League of Legends might start to see a flaw in this mentality. Obviously we want to be team players and it is a team game but there comes a point that we need to be able to carry bad players that seem to make bad decisions. This becomes even more important in ranked play especially below 1400 ELO. The following list of junglers is a little different than the other list of junglers in a few ways.
Testing in this section still continues. The current list might change slightly here and there.
1st: The junglers here are all very fast. If a jungler isn't able to pull of a strong early gank they have been excluded from this list.
2nd: The junglers here can dominate early game if given the opportunity; BUT, might not be very strong late game. The idea is that we want to win the game fast.
Trundle, Nocturne, Alistar, Udyr, Olaf, Akali, Nautilus
Malphite, Shyvana, Xin Zhao, Volibear, Sion, Irelia, Lee Sin, Darius, Jarvan IV, Sion, Riven, Jax
Sejuani, Warwick, Rammus, Wukong, Dr Mundo, Fiora, Hecarim, Mordekaiser, Yorick, Skarner, Poppy, Blitzcrank, Fizz, Fiddlesticks
Tier 4(Hyper Junglers)
Hyper junglers are very risky to play but can dominate the game if the right conditions are met during a match.
I don't play much ranked play though I play a ton of normals. I play with ranked play in mind and try to be professional as much as possibly even when my own skills don't always measure up to where I want them so far. There are probably a few annoyed players out there as well because Ive insisted on playing some odd champions to make this guide. LOL
That being said, I'm very heavy into theory crafting and watching games. Having watched 100s of games and played 100s more I have no doubt that this guide will be viable to a ranked player. I would advise though that in ranked games tier 6 jungle champions are a pretty large gamble. Tier 5 is also a gamble but is much more manageable.
What I would like to do with this section is just spend some time going over the idea of jungling and what the players are trying to do. Also, this is a good point to look at some of the harder things that junglers struggle with. Those people that don't spend time jungling might want to look at this area and understand how their own play style can affect the jungler as well.
Ultimately a jungler can not win every lane. There has to be team work and people are still responsible for their own lanes. A junglers purpose is pretty simple. They provide the top lane which should be some sort of anti-carry a solo lane so that he can stop the opposing teams AD carry. After that, the jungler gives the team a mobile champion that can move from spot to spot and be where he is needed, hopefully that results in a kill but that is not the ultimate purpose, it is to give that lanes champion more creep score and help secure lanes. Also, the jungler provides some offense and defense to the jungle on both sides of the river by warding. Wards win fights, wards win games.
So why these summoner spells? Well here it is, I enjoy jungling quite a lot and there are champions that have different set-ups but just about every jungle can jungle very well with these summoner spells. In this guide I would just like to make the case for a very good basic set up for your junglers. Some champions will be different and as this guide expands and grows I will list those differences here.
Smite, even on champions that probably don't need it this spell should be used. The utility of this spell allows a jungler to better secure jungle buffs on both sides of the river and gives a crafty jungler the ability to steal Dragon, and even Baron. A good jungler should make it a priority to make sure his team gets the most neutral buffs.
Flash, a very useful summoner spell for champions with positional abilities also the best choice for the more advanced player. This summoner spell is vital for getting the harder ganks and getting the positioning that a champion needs when there is enemy team crowd control. Also this summoner spell is very effective for jumping terrain and a very viable option for jungling on any champion.
Champions worth considering for this mechanic even when you normally use ghost:
Amumu, Galio, Nunu
Ghost, this summoner spell was somewhat of a surprise to me though it is still probably one of the better choices for a majority of junglers. After a lot of jungling (100s of games now) I believe this is a really good choice for a newer jungling player and a good choice when trying out a different champion before a player finds the right rhythm. More advanced players should lean more on using flash. The reason why ghost is a solid choice is because it allows for the champion to make up for overall positioning and can help secure ganks.
Exhaust, a very useful summoner spell for the faster junglers that don't need much in the way of speed but lack utility. Helpful in securing early ganks on limited utility champions and adding needed utility late game in team fights.
Champions worth considering this mechanic:
Heal, a useful summoner spell on a few jungling champions. Sometimes useful when learning a new jungler or on some of the tougher junglers to increase their farming speed.
Champions worth considering this mechanic:
Tyndemere, Kennen, Miss Fortune
After debating pretty regularly over the subject my advise about runes is this: a good rule with runes is fix your early game. An easy way to see how you might want to rune a jungle champion and this is regularly how I actually test them is to see how well they do in a custom game clearing out the jungle. If they seem like something is missing like they seem to hit slow or get hit really hard or what ever really bothers you consider making that a rune set.
A short easy guide:
Hitting slow = attack speed runes, flat armor runes, flat attack damage quints.
Getting hit hard = flat armor runes, Health Quints
Mana problems = flat mana runes
Most champions can use the speed increase on their basic attacks, typically at level 1 an attack speed of .7 seems to be the number that champions are fine. Because of this I typically use attack speed glyphs on most champions.
Just about every champion should probably use Armor Seals jungling. As a general rule I just keep them on.
I really am starting to like using armor penetration marks and that would be my first choice on a champion if I wast sure who I was going to play. (even a majority of the AP champions do better building them as AD for runes in jungle situations)
The New Rune Build:
I now use this as my primary build on most jungling characters.
Marks: 9 greater mark of desolation
Seals: 9 greater seal of resilience
Glyphs: 9 greater glyph of alacrity
Quintessences: 2 greater quintessence of strength, 1 greater quintessence of fortitude
To see these runes in a build look at the new Akali build above.
Coming Soon (seriously =P)
Still testing about 6 different standard jungle mastery builds.
Probably one of the most argued over parts of League of Legends. I'm sure that I will be receiving some comments about my opinions in this section.
Still working on a good guide for this section.