General Guide by Ubergeekpie
Not Updated For Current Season
About This Guide
At some point I will make a TL;DR version because my generation is stupidly illiterate combined with the short timespan of the human brain.
Before I begin on what I feel is the most exhaustively written guide to date with no visual enhancements known on the video game ‘League of Legends’, I would like to preface my work with some semblance of structure, the content of what one would expect of a ‘general guide’ to a vast but admittedly simple concept known as Jungling. To be frank, there is a ton of content on the internet, and I mean a TON, regarding this idea of a hero mindlessly hitting environment over and over again. And I’ll bet that a fair amount of the information out there, particularly those written from Europe, are much better at making you a better jungler, and in turn, a better player at this game.
So what would differentiate my guide, whose ideas are not even targeted to a specific champion, build, or cheese, that would warrant your busy attention despite all these other guides and sources of information out there?
Well, in this guide, I feel that despite the vast amount of content on the internet, there is still some particular aspects in the concept of Jungling that just isn’t grasped by people. Whether they play the role or not, they either weakly or distantly understand it, or not at all. And it is in these aspects that I hope I can cover through this guide, of what will truly let some players overcome their weaknesses, not by playing a certain way, or building a certain set of items, or abusing a broken hero (Nunu). It is allowing these players to recognize what is fundamentally their ultimate weakness; because after all, the first step towards change is awareness.
So, what are these aspects? I, too, recognize that information should be concise and to the point. But until these ideas are fully fleshed out, your understanding will only be limited and thus this guide, for all intents and purposes, have failed. Don’t worry, I plan to put my craft of writing and wit to work, allowing you to at least enjoy what you’re going to slog through.
If you can recognize and appreciate the following statement: “Why on earth would you play in such a way that is more difficult compared to the alternatives, when an easier way exists and exhibits a similar success or result?”, then I think this guide will be great for you.
Most comments and criticism are appreciated. Happy reading. - Slinkst
“Catch a man a fish, and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime.”
So you want to be a good jungler do you? Watched all the Stonewall008 Youtube videos, paid particular attention to InSec and Meteos, bought up the advice that ‘jungle carries low elo’? Well, great! You are literally one step ahead where you were 5 minutes ago to becoming a jungler. With this guide, you’ll probably reach the end of the destination even before playing a single game. And I say this because, well, to be frank, jungle by role is not hard to do at all, regardless if you practice countless times or not. You could play the role of jungle for 500 games straight and potentially be the same level of the jungle role from the day you’ve started.
Having said that, I will reiterate what I’ve mentioned before in the preface. This guide is meant to be GENERAL, of which that regardless of what jungle hero you play or jungle style, the GENERAL application of this guide should strengthen you as a player. This also means that I’m not writing just to boost your performance as a jungler, thats what specific champion guides do. I’m writing for you to win your games.
“WovN you trash tho, I’m Diamond V, main jungle, and from what I can see your KD doesn’t even break even.”
If the extent of your attention is played solely on the credentials of people, you’ve missed out on a lot of things. I acknowledged that perhaps my pedigree is not high enough to have people fully accept my ideas and embrace them, though I guarantee you that the information I will present is at least useful to consider.
Anyway, before we proceed, I would like to bring forth a topic that not many have considered prior to starting to play jungle: Just how suited are you for jungling? And no, I don’t mean that if you find yourself unsuited never play it, it’s just some aspect of the game you can practice more before being truly competent at the role. After all, we’re busy people, we like seeing instantaneous success. I know I do, at least. To begin with this overratedly difficult role, I would like to define the term of jungling, and what implications the term jungling will be referred as by enemy players, your teammates, and cognitively yourself.
Please keep in mind that I wrote this guide that the player has some idea of how to play the game and would like to play the game semi-competitively.
The absolute beginning to jungle (it’s really not difficult to play. Real
So, what is jungling? It’s this dumb role where you fight against neutral creeps hiding in trees where your teammates yell ‘WHERE GANK’ 2 minutes in the game (before 1:55 begins). You bring smite as a summoner skill, become disgruntled because it’s ‘always your fault’, have access to least gold and people on General Discussion either loves you or hates you. Touted as the hardest role, somewhat popular in solo queue. Of course, highly simplified, and as with most simplified explanations, completely wrong or irrelevant.
Jungle, however, cannot be characterized into a role. Jungle for the most part is an extension in respect to the strength of the lane. I’m not saying that jungle must win lane for mid or else jungle is bad but it should make sense that more jungle help in a lane = that lane being stronger than if receiving less or no help.
Anyway, semantics. If you’re new to jungle, here’s one reason why you should play it. If you’re not, well you might as well read it anyway, shape up your perspective.
Pros / Cons
The one large advantage to jungling
Jungling is, first of all, and I will continually mention this throughout the entire freaking guide, NOT DIFFICULT. It’s not. In fact, one of the reasons I would actually encourage you to take up jungling if you’re not where you want your ranking to be, because strictly speaking Jungling takes the least amount of mechanical ability throughout the game in terms of roles.
Yup. There we have it. Jungling is about as close as braindead as you can be to do. That’s not to say that everyone can do it, or indeed do it well, but about 99.98% of your ability to jungle is from your runes, your heroes, and how strong of a leash you can get from your laners. Whatever ‘mechanical ability’ you do in the jungle for that 0.01% is about knowing what time you can leave a camp because red buff and the mastery that does 6 true damage to creeps kills said camp, and the other 0.01% is how well you attack animation cancel. Typically this is because most heroes that are well suited to jungling also takes close to 0 mechanical ability to play well.
“That’s not fair, jungling is super hard to do! If what you say is true why isn’t everyone as good as InSec’s Lee Sin? Fite me 1v1 irl fgt.”
See, that’s different. You’ve now transitioned from the role of jungling into ganking, a universal term of action that every hero can do. And yes, while admittedly mechanical skill will take a substantial role into getting a successful gank off, I’m also assuming that people reading this guide is not at the highest level of play in order to pull off stuff that InSec does. As for me, it’s literally impossible to, because mechanics are not only influenced by your reactions, but also by your internet connection and frame rate, things currently outside of my control. This WOULD be a big deal if everyone played in California next to the Riot Servers. Not everyone does.
So, hopefully this establishes that the overwhelming one advantage to jungle is that you do not to be good at the game to play the role. There are several disadvantages that are made glaringly obvious if you are new or bad at jungling, hence why many people are turned off to it. This is rather unfortunate, because playing a role that takes no mechanical effort to play has to be one of the greatest efficiency to win with role in the game.
So what are these disadvantages? And how do we overcome these disadvantages?
Them numerous disadvantages that make jungle look scary
Well, an inverse has to take place for this stupidly easy beginning in that jungle is dictated almost soley by the decisions you make, and EQUALLY IF NOT MORE SO THE DECISIONS YOUR TEAM MAKES. I’m not typing in all caps for you to ignore it, this is EXTREMELY VITAL YOU UNDERSTAND THIS. No, this does not mean to blame your teammate for whatever autistic decision you make in the jungle, but it does mean that your success and decisions are correlated to what and how your teammates are doing. It’s kind of similar to support, only without wards and your team will never respond. I’ll elaborate on this further.
The next disadvantage is the amount of game knowledge you need to have in order to play against competent players. There are several friends of mine who I know would make a better jungler based solely on how well they can play, but they relegate themselves to laning because I have more game knowledge. But what type of game knowledge? Why, everything related to the jungle of course! An aspiring jungler not only needs to know some mundane timers, what runes to spec, what masteries to spec, and what skill to level first, but also the clearing speed of his jungle hero, the clearing speed of the enemy jungle, dueling strength, pathing for both yourself and your enemy, and at least a reasonable idea of where most wards are placed. In a game with over 100 heroes and every single one of them capable of jungle, it is hard to see why it isn’t intimidating.
Finally, jungle is burdened by being the role with the 2nd least amount of income, especially in close games. Farming alone will not win a game for you because well, creeps in the jungle aren’t very rich. Supports generally have no issues with this, because their kits allow them to remain effective throughout the entire game regardless if they are supplemented an income or not. To counteract this, supports are supposed to have horrible jungle capabilities (looking at you, Alistar). However, jungle heroes need to have items to do well. If not, then it is up to the player to play well enough to do well regardless of having items. Allow me to condense this paragraph: League of Legends is about Gold. Money. Having more than enemy team. Having more than what you would of had if you did Y instead of X. You could in practice be the most mechanically skilled player in the world but will still lose to some idiot, so long as the idiot has items over you.
One thing the jungle does come with is it’s PACKED with experience. Namely, the buffs and the major creep in each camp, as well as the experience siphon from lanes. This is a blessing as well as a curse. One way to supplement the lack of gold income is increased level in abilities which will allow you to have more options, base damage, cooldown reductions, and stats, all for 0 gold. However, if you are robbed of experience, you’re essentially screwed over. No gold and no experience as a jungle is tantamount to suicide. Well, not really. But unless the situation changes fast either through global objectives, lane siphon, good teamfights, or enemy disconnects, you’ll be having a really, really difficult time.
So, man, all these disadvantages, why play this role even if it’s the easiest thing ever? Well, let me guide you through, show you these ‘disadvantages’ really aren’t disadvantages at all, so long as you recognize what to do and what to look for.
These disadvantages are only an annoyance at most
So, you’ve begun the game as some weak jungler, I dunno, Amumu. You’re playing against an enemy team with another jungler, I dunno, Shaco. Okay, you think to yourself, you are literally one of the weakest heroes pre-6 whereas Shaco is the epitome of dueling. You think you’re screwed. You ask teammates to help ward for you, they don’t. After doing blue you walk to red and then you die because Shaco was in the camp all along, he brought ignite, you flashed and he decieve crit you. Team starts yelling at you and you start yelling back, a shouting match while 1300 elo Shaco is gurgitating the phrase ‘u mad? u mad?’ 4000 times in all chat. You end the game thinking ‘my team is ****ing ******ed’, swearing never to jungle again. Well, maybe not, but you get my point.
See, jungle might be kind of distressing this way because you don’t really know how the enemy jungle will do, or in blind pick, who the jungler even is. If you’re a laner, you know regarding your own strength and your enemy strength, when to play aggressive, when to play passive, how to win or tie the lane, it’s static.
Jungle is really the same. Only, your real opponents is your laners, since now your actions are based off theirs. If we re-assess the previous scenario, you could have went to your red buff instead. If you feeling ballsy, you could check where enemy mid came from (the ultimate indicator of where a jungle started), and rush to the opposite buff instead. See, because of the actions your team has taken, you yourself must re-tailor your strategy. If you don’t get a strong leash, perhaps it’s better to just smite and jungle as much as you can while your smite is on cooldown. Perhaps if your team warded not only your jungle but the enemy jungle as well you can choose to counter invade with a high degree of success. The point of doing well as a jungle does not mean that you can carry your scrub teammates to an elo they don’t belong to. That’s a philosophy more suited towards mid or AD carry. See, your priority is to make the game as easy as possible for both you and your team to win. And if that means giving kills to a hero that is more suited than you to carry you mid or late game, let him have it. If it means to deny the enemy jungle so in turn that enemy laners have a more difficult time winning their lanes, do it. So long as the options are available and easy to do created by your team, and just so we’re absolutely clear with this there is always an option created in the beginning, take advantage of it. Because if you don’t, and your team is especially non team-like, well you’re playing with a poorer hand at the start of the game where in fact everyone is supposed to be even.
Okay, so now there’s game knowledge. For anyone that has just started the game and wants to jungle, yeah I can sympathize with you. The only jungles I needed to know when I started was like Warwick, Amumu, Fiddlesticks, and Nunu. Practically the only junglers to have existed. It was tough back in the day for me too, though. For me, when I got into jungle, the golem and wolf spawn at different positions in different games so if you were playing a weak hero you could be screwed over right as the camps started. And man, those ****ers were hard to PvE against. Anyway. While there is a large amount of information you should know, everything regarding their jungle ability and strength can be all founded in a couple of parameters. You see, there has to be a reason why Warwick is notoriously slow at jungling while heroes like Udyr just blaze through it. Heh. But why? Well, I could ramble on of the importance of base stats and skill kit, why attack speed is crucial for clearing, but I think I’ll just stick with a term everyone should have at least an idea on: DPS. Yup. Jungle speed is inherently tied in with your hero’s DPS. And DPS stems from, for the most part, Attack Damage, Abilities, AoE, and Attack Speed, or if you’re AP and jungling, your abilities and CD for your abilities.
I won’t force you to but there are a couple of mind exercises you should do before guessworking the jungle capability of a certain hero. Well, actually, if you’re new, you should do it, it’s not even hard. The only thing required is an understanding of the hero itself, which if you are level 30 you must have encountered and played many. Here are the general parameters I suggest you to look for when assessing your ability against the enemy:
Area of Effect, Attack Speed, Damage Amplification/Steroids
Sustainability, Single Target Damage, Summoner Skills, Base Stats
There you have it. If you know those perameters you can guess if your hero can outjungle the enemy and outduel them, or vice-versa. All junglers have their own reasons to be played, so play to those reasons.
Jungle is burdened with the lack of gold. You should not consider it as a balance issue, merely an adaptation to the game. This also means that you have to build the most efficient way possible that fits your team the strongest. Let’s be honest here, if you’re not playing with the top teams, undoubtedly the most winning factor is who wins teamfights more. Why else is Shaco, who is such a huge threat in the jungle if played correctly, is a relatively un-used hero whereas Jarvan and Zac banned out in almost every game? Nunu is an exception because if the enemy is Nunu, you might as well consider your own jungle as his.
So, as the jungle the items you build are not only burdened by the lack of gold income, but what your team needs to fulfill the ‘win teamfight’ criteria. This also means that whatever item you build must yield a return in a short enough time to warrant the purchase.
Let me use my main for the jungle, Jarvan, as an example for build priority. Most players typically build either Razor, Lizard, or Golem as the first item and then proceed to build more tanky afterwards. That’s fine, it makes sense. I, however, so long as I’m building a lizard I might as well purchase a Brutalizer right after. This is important to note because what I have done is invest more than 1000 gold, as a role with the 2nd least amount of income, for no other benefit than more damage, when Jarvan has plenty of base to supplement damage for.
So now people are asking, ‘why’? Well, outside of build preference, I actually think it makes a lot of sense. If I’m purchasing a Lizard elder, then that would indicate to me I need to fulfill a damage component my team cannot provide, and if so it would seem that I should actually build towards this damage component, and the quicker I build it, the easier the game gets. However, if I’m not building the lizard, then why on earth would I invest in something that does damage when clearly the items I am going for requires me to be tanky for the team?
So long as you maintain this mindset ‘build for the team’, then the lack of gold income merely points to ‘build the most effective items for the team’. In this way it might even be better than playing a lane, because if you were, say, top lane, you are now pitted against 2 ideas for building for your lane and building for your team, and choosing the wrong idea may result in a lost game.
So. There you have it. The disadvantages jungle comes with are merely annoyances, sort of like how support role will get close to no money, or top is based solely on experience and counterpicking, or ADC reliant on motor skills.
And if I am done convincing you of why you should play and what you should expect, then yay! Party’s not over yet though. Writing on google docs for 7 pages with Georgia 11 font, and I haven’t even touched playing the game yet.
Choosing your hero
Pick a hero you like to play as. No seriously, every hero comes with their respective advantages and disadvantages. Nobody, with an exception of Nunu, is overpowered enough to warrant a must play or else you lose. Similarly, even if you’re playing at an disadvantage as a jungle hero, there is no ABSOLUTE WIN/LOSS situations in the jungle, merely how you adapt your playstyle. The earlier situation of Amumu vs. Shaco isn’t really a big deal. Unlike a match-up like Fizz verses Twisted Fate in mid lane, there are things you can actually do to safeguard yourself as Amumu against Shaco. And if you’re Shaco, there are things you can actually do to secure a near guarantee for killing and exploiting an Amumu jungle. The key is to be active early on for preperations.
The options of jungle pathing SHOULD NOT DETER YOU FROM PICKING A HERO. If you are receiving teammate help, you should be able to do whatever the hell you want in the jungle.
But please be advised. No matter what your hero does, you must be proactive and you MUST play to their strengths, otherwise there is no real point in playing them, at least in the jungle. If I played Nunu and I played the entire game without counter jungling, why the hell did I play Nunu? To enjoy blood boiling my AD carry or occasionally a caster minion? If I played Warwick without even attempting to gank any lane level 6, what other reason am I playing him other than “I enjoy spending money on wards and getting counter jungled because I’m ****ing slow”? Those are not good reasons to play a hero, period.
And please be aware that not every hero is going to fit in every team comp. Well, I say this but every jungler brings some sort of utility to the team, but so long as we are talking about team comp wouldn’t it make more sense to play heroes that would fit in better, thereby increasing your chances to win?
Finally, I urge everyone to consider this, whether you are seriously wanting to play jungle or just wanted to know the theoretics, that the hero you choose to play dictates how your team must play early on. You MUST know this, because if you played a weak early hero with no ganking capabilities and no dueling capabilities, you are FORCING your team to play defensive, if they wanted to win, regardless of how strong their match up is. If you are a strong counterjungle and loves dueling, you are FORCING your team to be aggressive so the enemy laner cannot back out and help his jungle lest he loses a ton of experience, gold, and turret health. Again, jungle is not a static role. It is merely the extension of a lane, any lane. You are considered the ‘support with kill potential and gold’, so top isn’t a 1v1. It’s more of a 2v1, and it’s dependent on how strong you are as a ganker or denier of the enemy jungle, and how often you decided to visit top. Same thing with mid, same thing with bot lane. If most or every lane is good without you then this concern is meritless. However, when some games are really close, your hero may have cost your team the game regardless of your performance but simply of how your hero is made to be played out, because your lanes struggled or your teamfight struggled.
Setting up your hero
Like everything else, runes and masteries are important. It determines what jungle path and jungle speed you can clear. I highly, HIGHLY suggest you use champion specific guides out there. People that tend to make guides are very meticulous in their craft and tend to test a lot of things and mathcraft a ton to substantiate their reasons. If you are not a fan of following champion selective guides and prefer to ‘use your own brain’, regard the strength of your hero, of what skills they have, and tailor your runes and masteries to it. I’ll use Trundle as an example. He has a damage-AD steroid-attack animation cancel skill, along with a very potent healing passive. The same skill also has a 1.2 Total AD ratio, as well. So from I can infer from this is that I have a lot of options to choose from. Having such a high AD ratio along with a steroid from it makes Attack Damage more preferential for runes in contrast to Attack Speed or Armor pen., and I can stack the sustainability with Lifesteal runes so I can run in the game without as many potions, instead picking up a ward for invading or defending. If your passive is reliant on auto attacks, like Nocturne, run attack speed to proc your passive more. And so on. You should always include armor yellows, no questions asked. Best defensive runes in the game.
Starting the Game
As you load into the game, I need to stress that unlike Laners, Jungling begins right as the game starts. Whereas laners can AFK at their turret switching up their music playlist, jungle does not have a turret safeguarding their every entrance leading to them. The more time you spend being AFK waiting on a spawn means the less information you are received or figure out, and if this guide teaches you anything, information and decisions based on the information received is what jungle is truly about.
And if you haven’t already, press the key entitled ‘Tab’ to see what heroes consist of the enemy team. I really think that if you’ve read this far, I don’t need to explain to you what constitutes a dangerous level 1 team or not, but just to be certain, do they have a lot of CC that tend to be leveled at level 1? Be prepared to set out for a secondary jungle path. Having a faster jungle clear means nothing if you die. Keep holding onto that Tab button, because then assess the enemy jungle. Does he require Blue Buff? If the answer is not anything with a resounding yes, expect to duke it out in the jungle or when ganking, he’s not looking to play passively. If my subtle hints are not enough, then I might as well mention it out loud:
Never assume or make a decision based on the assumption that the enemy team is bad and will not try to play to their strengths just as much as you are.
You’re looking for trouble if you do, be it bronze elo or if you’re a Challenger smurf in Platinum.
I don’t think I need to mention warding is preferential to no vision at all, not when everyone on GD is frothing in the mouth over it. But if your teammates isn’t cooperating and you don’t have the luxury in investing one yourself, look where the enemy mid lane comes from starting from the time jungle creeps spawn, because that is where the enemy jungle started. and hopefully that is enough for you, along with your pre-game knowledge of jungle, to make good decisions.
Decision Making - Is it a waste of time?
Look, here is really the only concept you have to grasp to be better than me.
So I mentioned before previously that League of Legends is all about Gold. The more gold your team has, the more items they can buy, thus the stronger they are and the more their mistakes or mechanical ability they can compensate. This is not applicable to just you, but EVERYONE on your team. So, the decisions you make not only reflect this idea, but if your choices does not contribute to the gold gain, you are wasting time. And time is important to be utilized effectively on every hero. Some actually require the game to end as fast as possible.
Say you have just done a Blue-Red path and you are looking to gank. By doing this very action of ‘ganking’, you acknowledge that what you are doing may not yield in any experience or gold. This means that if your gank has failed, you have lost time and are thus behind relative to where you COULD have been had you decided not to gank.
Farming a jungle is not always the best option either. Since you have decided to stick to a consistent stream of gold, you have now lost the time to generate even higher rewards for both you and your lanemate if you had decided to gank instead. You are not only comparing yourself to the enemy jungle, but your decisions must also be compared with the alternatives available.
And there is a myriad of variables that comes along with decisions you make. Assessing just the kill potential is not enough. You must also think, within a few seconds of clearing a jungle, what lanes would have a hard time, which lane an enemy jungle will show up and whether or not you can win the countergank, and so on. But allow me to be blunt regarding this issue: Regardless of what action you take, being indecisive is the worst case, worst outcome, and results in the most losses overall. To be indecisive means to be wasting time akin to being AFK. It’s fine if patience doesn’t pay off and a gank never happened, but if you are just waiting in a warded brush because you have ‘nothing better to do’, then you are not paying attention to what I’ve been rambling on about. Regardless if a laner *****es at you, you must make a choice based on the information available that would yield the most gold to you and in turn the team.
If the decision that makes the most gold stems from you getting level 6 , then you MUST make decisions that most strengthens your experience gain. Similarly, if the decision that makes the most gold stems from your ability kit that can kill heroes with ease you MUST make decisions that allows you to gank.
Patience is a virtue to have, but a poor choice to play around with early game. You ever wonder why ‘actions per minute’ is so widely regarded? Because the more actions you do results in more gold which lets you win games easier. It doesn’t matter if you were at one point ahead of the enemy jungle in the game. If you are not ahead at present or the gap between you and him are shortening, then the decisions you have made stacked to the decisions he had made stacked to the alternative decisions you could have made results in you having made, a poorer decision. That’s all there is to it, and there’s nothing you can do about it except making smarter decisions next time.
Also be wary of some methods of gaining gold. I know farming a creep wave is the easiest way possible to get gold and experience, but if you had made that decision to do so keep in mind you are depriving your laner of the same amount of experience and gold, which may cost him his lane and you your game. It’s the gold that the team makes that counts, not the gold that you make. And the gold that the team makes comes from how well they are doing in their lanes.
On an ending note, people always seem to believe that blowing a summoner skill is worth a gank. Well, if you or your lanemate are not capitalizing on the fact that an ability is blown then it was not worth the time invested into ganking.
The Smite Mechanic
Shortest section I’ll write, honest. Hover your cursor to your Smite icon. It tells you the damage. Look at smitable object. It has health bar. Once it gets equal or below the damage threshold, it is now smitable.
Regardless of if there’s pressure over a global objective or not, the jungler should ALWAYS be the one getting the last hit with Smite. Reasoning is, you want to instill confidence in your team and yourself that when the time comes in a highly contested baron or something, you will be relied upon to steal or manage to hold the buff. It is this reason alone that I look up to Bigfatlp jungle because his smite mechanic is crazy.
Communication is not a preference; it is a necessity
Don’t be a **** if you want to win. Period. And I don’t mean that stupid **** that Riot says about verbal harassment tying into win percentages, I mean that if you want your lanemates to be as cooperative as you’d like them to be, you must treat them with respect and as humans. I know I am a constant victim of defending myself to the point of verbally attacking others on whatever they do, but let’s be honest here: It is easier to win with teamwork in a team game. You could be spiteful and not give help to a lane. Team might get spiteful and not save you or respond in a sticky situation. Everyone is a autistic ****** some days, I get that. Try not to get in the habit of being **** every day though.
Efficiency and the Buffs
A lot of people who I know that asks me for help on jungling is: “Should I donate 2nd blue?”
And here’s the answer that everyone expects: “It depends.”
And here’s the answer I’d give: “Take it, regardless of whatever hero you are.”
Okay, before all the mid laners voice their disapproval, let’s think about what blue buff actually gives: Unsurpassed resource usage, cooldown reduction, experience and gold. What is something, the only thing, that can be itemized effectively for early in the game? Hence, efficiency. It is more useful for the Jungle to have it because the jungle is picking the fights. The mid laner is only surviving it. And when you are the one picking the fight, it would make sense that not only do you have to worry less about cooldowns, but the experience you gain from a buff camp is literally unrivaled compared to every other camp in the game. Furthermore, in most cases you get to level 6 at around the 7 minute mark as you finish a camp, and if your power spiked because of the ultimate you get, you might as well make it more available. The only times I choose to donate 2nd blue is if I know that mid laner would actually throw the game if he didn’t get it. That’s not too common.
This doesn’t necessarily tie in with self decision making because this actually requires you to put your communication skills to the test, so that it’s moreso the team rather than just yourself. Anyway, I’ve probably mentioned this a dozen times by now but gold wins you games. And gold is correlated to the actions you do, and the more actions you can do in a timespan means the more gold you gain. Every game can have the possibility of your team getting 60k gold full build. That’s not the point. The point is amassing gold in a faster time than the enemy, and amassing more than the alternative decisions you make. So, the decisions you must direct your team has to correlate with getting overall more gold, or the decision you made is the wrong one.
For example, if you were Fiddlesticks jungle or something, managed to kill bot lane and forced enemy mid to go back, why the hell would you ping ‘everyone do Dragon ’? It would mean MORE GOLD at a FASTER TIME if you told your solo lanes PUSH THE **** OUTTA YOUR LANES AND FARM DEM CREEPS, because your team are doing MORE ACTIONS. However, being greedy with your actions and getting killed as a result is almost never worth it, because being dead means you can no longer AMASS GOLD in the timeframe you are, well, not alive.
Going for objectives is the same idea. Does it give more gold than the alternative action? Does it, in terms of pressuring the enemy team, give more gold overall later on? What other global objective would be more worthwhile to pursue?
Okay, so by now I think you understand decision making is pretty important. Now, as to execute those decisions...
Advanced Tactics for the Bronze Soul: Timing and creep wave mechanics
There always seems to be a time, a situation where you feel that no matter what you did, there was nothing that could be done better despite a horrible outcome. And you’re right; if you are just talking about yourself. Typically this is regarding ganking and a lane losing, and that’s typically because your knowledge of laning is limited. And as a jungle, knowing about a lane is just as important as knowing the jungle. Because so long as you are knowledgeable about a lane, you know how or what is the most optimal way to assist it.
That means you don’t have to waste your time on waiting to gank, rather you anticipate the most optimal time to gank it and go for that gank.
“Is that even possible?” You might ask.
Yes, yes it is.
You see, League of Legends has an algorithm for minions that spawn. And so long as you can recognize that algorithm, ganking isn’t very hard at all. Simply put, creeps target an enemy champion if the enemy champion is attacking an allied hero, and creeps will always target the turret once pushed to the enemy turret. From these two facts alone, you should be able to infer that
a) If creeps are going to attack an enemy champion they are no longer targetting the enemy minion wave hence the enemy minion wave will shove harder and
b) the wave must automatically reset when creep reaches turret because the creeps are no longer targeting their counterparts and in turn are wiped out with minimal damage to the creep line not being targeted by the turret.
Of course, there are probably more you can exploit, but those two I’ve mentioned probably has the most impact on the game.
What does this all mean? Well, if you recognize that enemy lane is being shoved back, then a lane gank is more successful than one with a side gank. If your own creeps are being pushed back that means the enemy must over extend his position allowing for easy side ganks. If you recognize that the lane is going to reset, then you can wait in anticipation for the inevitable counter shove. So while not every gank will be successful, you can at least increase the chance of success by making decisions based off how the lane is played by. It doesn’t even have to be ganking. If you see a huge wave, you might as well duo tag with your laner and take out the turret because more gold at a faster rate = good decision.
Advanced Tactics II: Even MadLife is Human
Nobody can keep attention on their minimap 24/7. Try as you might, you can constantly ward top lane or whatever, the enemy jungle or whoever will go through that sight line, and you will still get ganked because you missed that one single instance of checking your minimap.
Yes, it is tunnel visioning, it is a limitation of the human biology, and it is your best friend for ganking as a jungle. But how do you get the enemy to tunnel vision?
Well, you must force him to take action, so much so that the action requires almost all brainpower to execute. And how do you do that?
Tell your lanemate to engage. Regardless if said lanemate is strong enough / provides any useful CC. This is singlehandedly the best way to get enemy to tunnel vision. Why the hell would he pay attention anywhere else when he’s getting *****smacked around? That’s your cue to go in, by the way. You cannot say the gank is a success if your laner had to pay the ultimate price for it. Remember, you’re the one picking the fights, and so you are the one anticipating for it to happen. The laner doesn’t give a flying **** and wants to farm creeps. So long as you are anticipating the fight you will have the better reaction time and hence you will pull off the better gank.
Another thing to note is that not everyone is as good as Doublelift or Weixiao in terms of attack animation cancelling. If you are aware that the enemy laner has not set any ward, then the next best instance for you to gank is when they go up and attack a creep because at that instance the laner has to transition into being a static object in order to pull off the attack. So long as you know your own animation delay, you can time your initiative right as said laner walks up.
Advanced Tactics III: You play the hero, you might as well learn them
No, this isn’t a joke. If you play Trundle and you didn’t know that your wall can displace /interact with mobility spells like Twisted Fate’s ultimate, then you haven’t learned Trundle. If you don’t know how to make an enemy stuck with Trundle’s wall, or you only did it occasionally by luck, you haven’t learned Trundle. If you use your ultimate as Trundle on a hero for no particular reason other than, ‘I’m hitting them”, you haven’t learned Trundle.
Every hero has their own mechanics to be used and exploited, and the sooner you find out how to do it and do it well, the better off you are for winning the game. Could you imagine how many times you could have survived a gank if you could have just flashed over that top lane wall? If you don’t know where to aim your cursor, you haven’t learned enough of the game yet.
I’m not saying to use the internet daily to exploit or find every mechanic possible for each hero, but if you don’t even roughly know about your own burst at level 6 or whatever, why aren’t you sitting down and crunching some numbers? Isn’t the most enjoyable activity in League of Legends viscerally eradicating your enemies, to vicariously hear their lamentations and rage? Isn’t the most unenjoyable activity to die in return and hear the enemy shrieking with LOLOLOL in all chat?
So, yeah. Learn your hero a fair degree. Of what they can do.
Advanced Tactics IV: Vision is both a blessing and a curse
Say you're a hero, like, I don't know, Lee Sin. You decided to gank bottom lane against Caitlyn through the side brushs, and lo and behold, you stepped on a trap. Now Caitlyn has vision on you and now all is lost...not really. You see, despite the vision, or rather, BECAUSE of the vision, Caitlyn now feels comfortable in lane knowing that for the duration of the vision she is 'safe'. Use this to your advantage. Bait a back, leave, only to come again a few seconds after. The reassurance Caitlyn will feel will always be demonstrated by her play style, and so it becomes much easier to gank.
Remember that they (enemy laners) will still be more cautious for several moments.
Closing The Game
This is it. This is where all your decision making pays it’s dividends. Remember that the past does not dictate the future, it only influences it. You could make a good decision at every point of the game but if you screw up the last one, you lost, and everything you did meant squat.
“This isn’t what you promised me!”
No, this is exactly what I promised you. I said decision making is the most important factor in being a good jungle. And decision making for one does not constitute a won game; an enemy nexus exploding constitutes a won game. Good decisions give you more gold allowing for more overall strength and therefore more room to err regarding mechanics and other mistakes. That’s it. Once gold is taken out of the equation, as teams reach their max limits, whatever decisions you made in the beginning means absolutely nothing outside of how much you pushed. If you want decision making to matter, win the game faster. Because that’s the point of amassing more gold, to WIN THE GAME FASTER.
But closing a game is an alien concept to everyone, outside of maybe Koreans and C9. There are reasons why one way to close it succeeds, and at other times it would fail. Otherwise, CLG would never win.
Besides, losing a game does not mean that you have failed as a jungler or you are bad. What wins games more commonly is not the team that is marginally better, but whoever makes the most mistakes. And guess what, League is a team game. Failure is shared as often as success is.
Closing statements and final thoughts
Reading over this, I really question myself on entitling this as a guide. It’s more of a...self help. Regardless, I hope anyone that chanced out to give this a read has gotten the better of it, and especially towards aspiring jungle players who want to make the most of their games and win them. I know I’m a bit redundant and there are a lot of concepts that could have been worded better or stronger examples, but it should at least be understandable.
Anyway, if you enjoy it I’d ask of you to share it amongst other interested parties and whatnot. Partially because I’m a vain teenager that wants recognition and praise for my work, but more importantly that when I queue up for a league game and I’m not jungling I can rely on the jungle to carry me when I’m playing some excruciatingly difficult hero to play like Lissandra.
Aside from that, not much else to say. Thanks again for spending your busy time to read, and it was fun for me to contrive some semblence of a how-to for my favourite role. Please don’t add me in game to ask for jungle help, I’m a terrible player with a toxic attitude and I would hate for you to have your great hopes of some Challenger jungler stuck in gold (I think I should be in Platinum III (HAHA ALREADY THERE AND GOING UP) at least though) smashed to the ground.
There are jungle guides for that. If however you are a cute teenager asian girl who can speak both English and their native language fluently who streams a lot with webcam and has an adorable face... I’m just playing.
Will update this periodically.
And before the influx of ‘HOW DO I PLAY YI AS GOOD AS U’
See enemy out of position? Ok Alpha Strike, Wuju Style, Highlander, and wait.
K pce. - Slinkst