General Guide by munchfigner
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.
Hello fellow junglers, my name is Munchfinger. In this guide I will tell you something about counter jungling in general and the control of the jungle. Although this seems more of a "jungling" guide, it's actually pretty specific. It seems like there isn't much to talk about but I will go into extreme detail. I'm not that high of a rank but I do have alot of knowledge about the game itself.
I'm not going to tell too much about myself because you guys are not here for me. I will try to cover every single thing, but if you think that I miss something, feel free to post a comment.
Control of the jungle is an extremely important thing in League of Legends. Why? Because if you lose control of your own jungle, usually your lanes will start to lose too and eventually you will lose the game. If your jungle gets dominated really hard, it's pretty hard to come back, although it's always possible because it's soloQ! Never give up.
There are several ways to control your own jungle, and even control your enemies jungle. Although there is no exact way to win "your" jungle. This is because it's not that simple, you are not playing against 1 person. You are playing against 5 people who are trying to win this game, and especially the enemy jungler wants to try to do the same thing as you do, that's why you have to outplay them.
NOTE: If you were searching for a guide about jungling and how to win, then you are not at the right address. This is a guide about jungle control, which will help you win games. I'm going in depth on everything that is related to counter jungling, and everything that affects it.
I read this on a other guide but it's pretty funny and true: "counter jungling is like a one night stand, you get in as fast as possible, take all the good stuff, and leave". This is just like a one night stand it's actually true.
So what is counter jungling? Counter jungling is the act of taking neutral jungle camps from the enemy jungle. Usually you counter jungle by NOT finishing the camp, you leave one last creep alive in the camp which is worth 5 gold. This will waste the enemy jungle timers, because he has to fully clear the camp before it resets. You will not only waste the timers but you will also get a slight exp and gold advantage by doing so. It's actually a win-lose situation when you pull this off correctly, it will make the enmy jungler suffer. So why doesn't everyone just do this? It's because it's harder than it looks and sounds, and you need to time it correctly. Especially in lower elo you will usually see standard jungle routes and almost no one will counter jungle.
The pros / cons of counter jungling
Advantages of counter jungling
The advantage of counter jungling is pretty nice. It will allow you to get more gold out of the jungle then your enemy does, because he misses a camp. It will make the enemy jungler under leveled and this will result in better ganks for you, because you will have your ult sooner. Counter jungling is not only about yourself! It can also help your team secure enemy blue buffs, and in return win middle lane for you team! If you counter jungle extremely hard, and if you pull it off correct it will give you such an advantage. Not only for you but also for your laners. This is because the enemy jungler will have stay in the jungle for a longer time because he missed so much experience and gold. This will usually give you free time for ganking and controlling objectives.
Negatives about counter jungling
Positive things will usually also bring negative things to the table and this is also the case with counter jungling. Just BEING in the enemy jungle is pretty risky, you can get caught and give away the first blood, this could result in a throw and will give a free kill to for example the mid laner. This is why you need to pull off these counter jungles correctly. Also in early stages of the game counter jungling won't give your team an advantage. It will only give YOU a small advantage. For example if you decided to steal wolves and the wight instead of ganking top lane, you may have missed a free first blood on top. If you would have ganked top it could have resulted in a easier lane for you teammates. What could be even worse, is that the enemy jungler went to gank top lane and got the first blood, while you were just chillin' in the enemy jungle. Counter jungling is predictable if you do it wrong and it is very easy to turn it around for the enemy team. If the enemy jungler knows that you are in his jungle he can just call help from his midlaner and this will result in a free kill for the enemy team. I have jungled against alot of player that decided to counter jungle me, although they did it wrong and it was a free kill for me or one of my laners.
Also, if you mess up the counter jungle and die, even if it's because your laner didn't come to help you while the enemy laner did. It will result in a small lead for the enemy team! always make sure that the enemy jungler doesn't know that you are in his jungle!
When to Counter Jungle
Alot of people don't know when they should counter jungle, even when the situation shows itself clearly. It's a missed opportunity to set your enemy jungler behind, instead of clearing your own camps like a dumbass.
So when should you counter jungle?
- When the enemy jungler is visible on the map, this is a really easy counter jungle! For example you can see that the enemy jungler is at the bottom side of the map. You can easily go to the top side of HIS jungle and get 1 or 2 camps.
- When your 2 lanes that are covering the side that you are invading are pushed and ready to help. WARNING: This one is a bit more dangerous, make sure you let your teammates know that you are going to counter jungle and that you will ping if you need help! So this will require competent teammates which you don't always have unfortunately.
- Against a slow jungler, this is usually in the beginning stages of the game. Because most of the junglers will start clearing the camps pretty fast in the mid game whether or not they are fast clearers. For example you are playing Lee sin and you are playing against a Rammus. It is easy to counter jungle this guy! He can't really do anything because he is not tanky enough. Lee sin is extremely strong in the early phases. So always abuse the fact that the enemy is playing a slow jungler.
- When you are facing a non-cc jungler who you can dual easily. What I mean by a cc (Crowd control) jungler is for example Maokai or Nautilus. These guys can cc you and wait for their teammates to come and help him. So it's not really that smart to counter jungle against these guys. However if you are playing against a for example Hecarim, he doesn't have alot of cc and won't heave a lot of damage.
- If you are playing a champion like warwick, who jungles at full health, in comparison to for example skarner or Nautilus. NOTE: THIS IS ONLY EFFECTIVE EARLY GAME, because mid and late game no one really takes much damage from the camps.
- You know where the enemy jungler is in general. You could take a guess, it isn't that hard to find out. always look at the map, if you look at the map you can usually check where the enemy jungler is starting! For example their toplaner shows up immediatly while their botlane will come 5 seconds later he most likely started at his buff which is the closest one to their botlane. You can abuse this! He will clear his buff go to wolves and then go to the other buff. You can easily invade or counter jungle him! And while you are counter jungling and you have a ward, place it in the enemy jungle, wards win games!
When to NOT Counter Jungle
When should you NOT counter jungle!?
This is a slightly more important part. A beginner jungler will not counter jungle and he will do fine, but if he decides to counter jungle without any knowledge, he may be throwing the game. This also depends on the skill of the enemy team. Here is a list when you should NOT counter jungle:
- When enemy lanes are missing. This one is pretty simple. They could be in their own jungle clearing camps.
- When your lanes have to recall or when they are losing. This is because the enemy mid laner will be way stronger than your midlaner. If you will get a 2v2 you will lose it because their midlaner is stronger than yours.
- When important objectives are up like dragon and baron and when it's not warded. You don't want the enemy team to get a free dragon or baron because you are counter jungling. Even if your team finds out that they are doing dragon or baron, by the time that you are there it is usually already gone!
- When you have been spotted on the way to their jungle, pretty Obvious but there are Always people who will do it anyways.
There you go, when should you counter jungle and when should you NOT counter jungle
What are these summoner spells?
It's pretty Obvious when you are entering the enemy jungle, that you should always be careful. With that said, it is alot more reassuring when you have both of your summoners up. Why? Smite because you can leave earlier, and Flash in case of emergency's. In case that the enemy team decided to ward their own jungle.
It is of course important that you don't die when counter jungling, because the gold will not only help the enemy team, it will also slow you down so much in your OWN jungle.
The laws of the jungle
Since i'm now done with the basic stuff, you will hopefully know the concept of counter jungling. It is not that hard, it will only take some practice to put in your head while playing. Now I'm going to tell the more detailed things of everything. Because in a close game these little things could bring your team to victory.
Never take big wolf! Unless you are taking/checking the timer on the enemy blue! It's just not worth enough to waste your time. If you are super far ahead of the enemy, your lanes are all pushed in, feel free to be a dumbass and steal his big wolf, because if you are that far ahead, you are most likely going to win anyways.
always assume that the enemy team can see you! There is a chance that they have wards. So if you see the enemy laner leave his lane when you are entering their jungle, just get the hell out of there! There is no need to take risks, maybe he didn't saw you but it's just not worth to take the risk.
Buy wards, I'm serious! Wards win games. You never want to go to a camp which is already cleared right!? A waste of time. If you clear for example their wraiths so much, then they won't bother to clear it anymore. When you have wards you won't get an awkward situation where you enter their jungle and you see the enemy jungler finishing the camp...
Just remember these 3 rules. They could make a huge difference in the game and your gameplay. I didn't really learn them, they came to me naturally by playing so much. So they should be in your head pretty fast, since I've already told you now!
Knowing the jungle camps are extremely important for you to survive. I'm going to list them off one by one, and tell you how important they are and how you should handle them.
Wolf camp: UNIMPORTANT. Whenever I play jungle and I notice my wolves have been takes, I shake my head, it is a sign of a newbie jungler. Because as I said before, unless you are checking the enemy blue, never ever counter jungle this camp!
Wraith camp: IMPORTANT. They do little damage, they give you lots of gold and are not healthy at all. They are also better than the wolf camp because if you are on the red side, so when you counter jungle the wraiths, you can also kill his golem (The wight does way too much damage). This will make the invade much more worth for all of your efforts. Only take the big wraith and two small ones. Unless you are doing full clears, which I will talk about later. After counter jungling these small suckers, you either want to go to the golems, or leave their jungle if you are not ballsy enough!
Double Golem Camp: Important. However you should only take these when your smite is up. These suckers will take quite a while to kill and do decent damage! Only take the bigger golem. ATTENTION: A mistake that a lot of junglers make is that they pass the opening of the doube golem camp without much care. Enemy minion waves pass this opening, and they could actually reveal you on the map! They will come to you and kill you. You just died because you are dumb congratulations!
Some people may wonder; How can I pass this place? If you take a look at your minimap, you can look at your own minion wave. Because all minion waves are symmetrical for both teams. You will know when the enemy minion wave is passing the entrance to double golems. NOTE: When you leave this camp never ever go ack into the enemy red buff area! Head to the nearest lane (Top lane is you are blue, Bot lane if you are purple/red) and gank, or just leave.
Wight camp: UNIMPORTANT: the wight camp is important but only kill this camp when you have smite up! This sucker does a lot of damage and is pretty tanky! Don't underestimate him. He is on the side of the wolves so this guy is not that important to clear as well as the wolves.
Blue and Red Buff: As many of you guys know, these are the main goals for jungle control in our meta right now, and ofcourse are the goals of all our counter jungle attempts. Everyone wants these so badly because they are just too good, they give you alot of experience, alot of gold and even a buff! If you are going to steal one of these buffs, you will need WARD COVERAGE as well as a party of 2-3 teammates to help you if the enemy team shows up. Blue buff takes 5 seconds to finish it with 2 people, so if you miss your chance you're going to have to wait 5 minutes...
What I like to do is what I call "Having BM". This is a very effective technique. Good people in higher elo will expect it, but in lower elo most of the people won't know it. I usually do this at red buff. Ward the side bush from the red buff and wait in the other bush, the opposite one from the red buff. Wait for their jungler to clear it, when it's almost done smite steal it and kill the enemy jungler. The rarely expect this trick because almost no one will check this brush!
As I said earlier in this guide, is that I would talk about a "full clear". As you propably already know a "full clear" is taking the WHOLE enemy camp, for example the wraith camp. You can abuse this. After you finished the entire camp, go back to your own jungle clear some stuff and go and steal his wraiths again. Since the enemy jungler won't know the timer of it. I suggest buying a pink or green ward after you have done twice, because they will expect you to do it again, and they will kill you... UNLESS YOU WARD!
The Theory of Jungler vs Jungler
Some junglers are designated gankers, while some just depend on their playstyle. However, not everyone can just be a "jungler jungler". If Alistar tried doing that, he would fail. With that being said, some junglers don't really have a choice but to stay in their jungle if your lanes are bad. Don't counter jungle against Shyvana, Udyr or Dr. Mundo!
Now why does this theory exist? Because if Alistar comes to gank your lanes, and you just counter junlge his butt off, he won't have anything! He will be way under leveld and won't have any money, and this means he won't have an impact in the game. Now all your lanes have to do is play safe and Alistar will be worthless.
However, jungler junglers beat counter jungles because they will clear everything extremely fast! It will be a waste of time. You will never get them behind in farm, because if you take their wraiths they won't even notice it.
I already told a few areas, but I'd like to point out a few more place where ward coverage would definitely benefit you as a jungler and it will make your life and from your teammates a lot easier. NOTE: ALL SCREENSHOTS ARE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF BLUE TEAM, IF YOU ARE ON PURPLE SIDE JUST SWAP IT AROUND. Note that these ward placements give the maximum amount of vision possible, especially on the buff itself.
Red buff ward
Blue buff ward
Another thing you should notice is that if your team doesn't ward, you should deffinitely buy wards for them. Because if they get ganked, you getting mad at them won't make the game any better at all! Sure, they may buy a award now, but it's definitely not worth the death. Just tell them they should buy a ward next time they recall.
Final Notes and Conclusion
Finally, here is a list of champions that I would prefer to use for counter jungling. Every jungler can counter jungle, but that being said, Ashe could jungle. Doesn't mean she should. Along with this list, I would like to add some great mid lanes that can help you achieve the same thing in order to piss of the enemy jungler!
Nunu is known for his consume and to go right up in your face. He can easily walk right past you to steal your creeps and then get away with Blood Boil and Ice Blast. Nunu is really hard to jungle against. Nunu is also great because he will not fall of late game. He is one of the best if not the best supports late game out in there.
Shyvana also has a good kit of abilities to steal the jungle, and can get out very easily because of her burnout. However the opponent may be expecting it. Shyvana's early game counter jungling is not the greatest, but once she has her madred's/wriggles lantern those double q procs can clear really fast
Lee sin can navigate extremely well due to his Q, and he can get from camp to camp very fast. He hast great escape over walls and will get away even if caught out of position unless you cc lock him
Not the best counter jungler, but his abilities will allow him to. Because he has fast clear speed and a speed buff as well as a slow, you can continue to proc your Crystal Slash for the slow when the enemy is chasing you and you can easily get away. In the early stages of the game you don't want to fight him 1v1 because his passive will be extremely strong
A great way of stealing the enemy wraiths is by having connection with your middle lane. If you duo with a friend, you can tell him whenever you are going to take his wraiths. Having communication will always help, but there are also a lot of champions who can take wraiths over the wall (like Orianna and Karthus).
NOTE: Now you know how to counter jungle, don't be obsessed with it! If you counter jungle too much it can turn really bad for you and your team. You also need to help you lanes.
I hope you learned something from this guide, and enjoyed reading it! Good luck with counter jungling!