General Guide by Embracing
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Lee Sin Build
Golem Spirit Start
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Hello people! I am Embracing, a diamond 5 player who played a lot of jungle. I primarily play on CN, but also have accounts on NA and KR.
Here is my miniguide to several junglers and the role of jungling itself. In the cheatsheet lie multiple builds for a lot of mainstream junglers in the current meta.
This guide expects you to have a certain level of knowledge of jungling, so if you're entirely new to the concept please look elsewhere for a better introduction to jungling guide.
I will try to keep this miniguide updated and possibly add in specific champion tips as well.
What do I do as the jungler?
The key focus of a jungler is to carry the early game or otherwise known as carrying the game flow / momentum.
In an ideal situation, lanes will become stale or slightly advantageous to one side. However, both sides will know their limits and know when to retaliate. A jungler's role is to rattle the enemies's confidence in their lane, due to the fact that the enemy cannot have absolute control over where the jungler is. Of course, to counteract that, the other team will choose to have a jungler as well, which limits the amount of inconsistencies you can create in the game. A jungler will try his/her best to abuse the mistakes that enemies make and create windows of opportunity to weaken the enemy laners. Since it is generally accepted that there is a snowball effect, by massively exploiting the enemy team, the game flow generally goes to your side. What this means is that enemies have limited choices as to what to do. A simple example is as follows: You gank top lane and the enemy gets very low. Your top lane pushes up. Your top laner can now go back, farm the jungle, or camp a bush, while the enemy laner is forced to stay in lane with the risk of a towerdive, or go back and lose xp / call the jungler for help. This restriction eventually grows into bigger losses, most often towers, buffs, or dragons.
That being said, how exactly does one control the tempo?
The most important characteristics of a good jungler are the following:
- Ganking multiple lanes successfully in forcing summoner spells off of enemies, bursting enemies, getting kills off of enemies, or forcing enemies to stay in lane with low health or losing a ton of xp by backing when minions are pushed to your turret
- Keeping track of enemy jungler locations and being able to successfully countergank
- Keeping track of buff timers (including enemy buffs if possible), dragon timers, and baron timers
- Keeping minion XP and gold from being lost when enemies push and your teammate(s) are forced to back
- Securing buffs (Take first blue buff and give the rest to your mid laner. Take red buffs until teamfights begin. Then give it to your ADC) Don't forget to use Smite to last hit the buffs.
Of course, this isn't just a checklist to see if you're a successful jungler. The key difference between a decent jungler and a great jungler is a minimal amount of hesitation. Hesitating as a jungler makes you VERY behind and most possibly will slow you down in counterganks and counterjungling, potentially losing your lanes. A good jungler will know when to do what without ANY hesistation.
As a jungler, later on you'll most likely be a tanky initiator for your team. Essentially you're like a tankier support. Champs like Zac and Lee Sin all have potential to start teamfights. However, do note that most of the time as a jungler you will be peeling for your ADC. Try your best to zone the enemy carry from the fight as you initiate and then transition to a peeling machine as the teamfight progresses.
Standard Jungle Route
The most standard jungling path is to secure your first two buffs and then gank and clear the small buffs in between.
1. Do a smiteless clear on the buff near bottom lane with the help of your bot lane. (Red for Blue side, Blue for Purple Side)
2. Go to the buff close to top lane and clear it with smite.
2a. If you're on blue side and you have high early damage, go to enemy top lane buff and kill enemy jungler while he does red. When doing this, I often tell my support to put a 3 minute ward over red wall or in the bush near top lane red buff as the game starts.
3. Gank / farm if no ganks are available.
You can also start with your top lane buff, but for most junglers it'll leave you with lower health (one champ helping versus two champs helping).
Now I'll go through the basic runes and masteries setups for junglers.
|These marks are for junglers who want a fast early game clear speed. These are mostly bought on ap junglers who don't need high burst after their initial clear like Maokai but are also bought on slow junglers like Rammus. On junglers who benefit from attack speed and also need damage like Nocturne with his Umbra Blades, mixing attack speed with AD often works better (6ad 3as)|
|These marks are mainly bought on junglers whose abilities scale with AD, such as Lee Sin. These give a decent clear time and strong early game damage when ganking.|
|These marks are mainly bought on AP junglers who have high burst in abilities and want damage after the initial clear, such as Gragas and Fiddlesticks. MPen sacrifices a bit of clear speed but gives more damage in ganking.|
|These glyphs help you a lot in ganking magic damage laners and help you fight enemy APs early when necessary. These are great in early skirmishes near mid lane.|
Scaling MR Seals
|These glyphs help you a lot in mid game, when the enemy AP is at his or her most likeliest moment to roam and gank. These allow for easier counterganks and overall tankiness which helps throughout the game.|
|These are only good on the niche bursty AP junglers such as Gragas and Fiddlesticks. They can afford to sacrifice MR because they're focused on bursting and won't stay in melee range in skirmishes as often.|
|MS quints are best on both AP-utility jugglers and tank junglers. These are just an overall plus to a jungler, as movement speed helps you gank, countergank, move from camps, etc.|
|These are best on champs with AD scalings just like AD marks. They give you high burst on abilities.|
|AP quints are only good on bursty AP junglers like Fiddlesticks and Gragas.|
|Only one or two of these are taken on junglers aiming to start with Doran's Blade such as Udyr and Lee Sin. Don't take these if starting machete as extra sustained isn't necessary.|
Now that I've gotten through the basics, the next question that comes to mind is "How do I build a jungler?"
The first concern people often have is "Which jungle item do I build?"
As you can see, there is a plethora of items to choose from. The first important thing to keep in mind is that, as the jungler, you'll want cost efficient and cheap items that effectively help your team while simultaneously maintaining a safe, consistent, and strong early game.
Mercury's Treads. Overall, this item is most commonly seen on both fighter junglers and utility junglers.
Lee Sin, Xin Zhao, and Jarvan IV, when you have an advantage early game. Lizard provides you with a massive damage spike as a jungler and helps greatly for ganks. However, I don't recommend buying it when you're behind or even unless you're confident in carrying.
Elise and Zac utilize Golem Spirit better because the tankiness it gives is much more efficient. Spectral Wraith also has a stat that most junglers don't need - Spell Vamp. Most junglers don't even need extra sustain in the jungle. I would only recommend this item on heavy AP junglers like Gragas.
Lee Sin because he could just rush his Sightstone and gank a lot, but now people realize that Golem Spirit is a better choice for slightly delayed tankiness and that a Doran's Blade start helps a lot in early ganks and transitioning into Sightstone. Do note that most people don't build this into Wriggle's Lantern because during the early game period health is almost always necessary, and the gold spent into Lantern leaves you a lot squishier.
Doran's Blade start is common on fighter type champions who have some sort of in-built sustain, such as Udyr and Lee Sin. Due to the fact that you get a smiteless on your first buff and smite your second buff, you won't be too low on health after your first clear. Doran's Blade helps with sustaining with the lifesteal, giving an early game health advantage, saves the money with pots, and makes your ganks a lot stronger. However, some champs do need a changed mastery set with spell vamp from utility and lifesteal quints in runes, such as Udyr, in order to maintain a sustained clear time. This item also delays a purchase of a spirit item if choosing to go for one. Overall though, this item is a great start on many junglers due to the fact that it keeps your jungler a lot stronger which helps in skirmishes and ganks.
Utility Jungler / Tanky Jungler and doing even? Go Spirit of the Ancient Golem.
Bruiser jungler w/ autoattacks doing well and want to snowball? Go Spirit of the Elder Lizard
Heavy AP Jungler? Go Spirit of the Spectral Wraith.
Need help in clearing jungle camps AND need core items fast? Go Madred's Razors.
Fighter jungler with sustain who wants a strong early game and core items faster? Go Doran's Blade.
The next important item period for junglers is when they purchase their first big item.
This item is the key core item.
This is because this item provides your team with a solid teamfight advantage. Locket of the Iron Solari gives a strong shield active and tankiness aura, which serves as artificial tankiness.
These items are chosen mostly because of:
- Cheaper components (Jungler has low income)
- Cheaper overall price --> Faster purchase
- Quick tankiness (GREAT AGAINST AP)
As a jungler you will be forced to have a lower income, which restricts you from buying big items like Sunfire Cape and Randuin's Omen immediately. Since you're most likely playing a bruiser jungler, going for damage won't help either, because you'll most likely die in the fight. This leaves the jungler with limited choices. Since the jungler is focused around early skirmishes and he cannot afford damage (unless snowballing with an advantage of course), he should choose to buy cheaper support-ish items that help with fighting. As you go down the list of items, the best two that benefit everyone are the ones listed above.
I scrapped this up in a few hours out of pure interest. If there are any typos or information you wish to be added feel free to leave a comment or send a pm!
Thanks to TheRedPenguin for the banner!
I will try to add more information as time passes or as the meta changes!