Introduction - Or Well, My Reasoning...
Hey to all readers of this guide, thing, text, yeh - I am not a jungler...
I play AP Mid Lane, but I decided to create a jungler guide for a friend with some information that will hopefully help him, myself and also others to jungle much more effectively. Currently, as an AP Mid laner, I have a small book myself, listing the counters and more specific information of playstyles and how to play against champions you may fight against in the mid lane. I know there are loads of sites out there detailing counters to all champions, but for me, a written version is so much better and I enjoy having my own detail right there in champion selection. It comes down to just knowing the enemy as well as yourself, so I list cooldowns, countering them with mechanics or simple things as countering Anivia, have movement speed to dodge her Q's Flash Frost which can stun you allowing her very easy damage and at level 2, with double damaging Frostbite shards once you are 'chilled'. (Always useful to know the cooldown of something so effective, e.g. Karthus' Ultimate - Requiem
Things like that, I am actually going to try and list here, this guide will, hmm, no, did take me a long time to complete - Writing it now, I'm guessing it will take me today and the rest of the weekend, which is pretty damn long, could even be longer. So, with the details of all the jungle champions, their play styles, buffs and jungle clear times - Also information about how they gank, so, this help to know how to stop the enemy from ganking you successfully - E.g. Amumu using his Q, Bandage Toss to grab you, but since your a smart guy or gall - You hide behind your minions and ward the river, brush, etc, etc.
Catch my drift? - With this in mind, that's what you can expect in this guide as you read further, loads of detail and nerdy comments, maybe with some humor - I have no idea. One thing I will like to mention is I do apologize for ANY spelling or grammar mistakes made. I will be correcting them if I manage to spot them and the spell checker highlights them for me, but some may slip through. All in all, I hope you enjoy reading my general jungle guide - Peace!
HUGE NOTE - This guide was made 18th Jan 2013, some of the content may be outdated
The Jungler's - The Tiers
So, here, from my perspective are the champions who can jungle in League of Legends S3:
Blitzcrank - No, seriously, it works - Just needs Rocket Grab practice!
Evelynn - Incoming nerf, maybe mid will be more viable
So, now we have the list of junglers - At the moment, there are - 45 (If I can count)
But, with all of these junglers, there are also Tiers - Which lists the junglers in lists saying Tier 1 is the best, going down from there. The information I gathered from a known guy called 'StoneWall' - Note :: Not all the champions are included, in my opinion and others from videos, in the correct tiers - IMO, Shyvana, Shen, Hecarim and Xin Zhao should be higher.
Here they are from the information I gathered:
Tier 1 - (These in no order inside their tiers)
Skarner, Olaf, Nocturne, Dr. Mundo
Maokai, Nunu, Cho'Gath, Lee Sin, Jarvan, Amumu, Kayle, Shaco
Nautilus, Sejuani, Shyvana, Udyr, Darius, Diana, Fiddlesticks, Shen, Riven, Malphite, Gankplank
Hecarim, Elise, Trundle, Warwick, Jax, Rengar, Xin Zhao, Singed, Tryndamere, Wukong
That's it for the tiers listed by Stonewall, really, it's all about opinion, I would say it isnt that much important, BUT, I have listed it for the importance because the Tiers exist and people do recognize the opinions of others.
Ganking Presence - Rated
So, of course, each jungler needs something to gank, I look at it quite simply, early gankers (Level 2-3 Ganks), Semi-Early gankers (Level's 4-5) Then finally Level 6 Gank Potential. This means, if junglers can gank before levels 3,4 or 6. Some junglers, such as Diana, gain their ganking potential from reaching level 6.
I am not going to cover EVERY jungler with the guide, since, there are 45 of them - What I will do, since some will be very similar is list the types of junglers, the main junglers used of these types, such as Jarvan IV - Can gank at level 2 (Without slow) or reach level 3 and level his W for the slow and health gain from Golden Aegis
Early Gankers - Junglers with potential to gank @ Lvl 2-3
Cho'Gath = Rupture knock up + Feral Scream
Darius = Decimate AoE, Apprehend for a pull, combined with Crippling Strike's slow
Dr. Mundo = Infected Cleaver's slow means he can gank very early
Hecarim = Devastating Charge speed and knock back + AoE Rampage + Spirit of Dread
Jarvan = Demacian Standard + Dragon Strike E/Q Combo = Knock Up + Golden Aegis = Slow
Lee Sin = Sonic Wave/ Resonating Strike + Tempest/ Cripple - Jump + Slow
Shaco = Deceive invisibility - Flank them, auto attack critical + Two-Shiv Poison Slow
Nocturne = Duskbringer (Hit enemy for max effect) movement speed + Unspeakable Horror Fear
Skarner = Crystalline Exoskeleton Provides movement speed, whilst Crystal Slash Slows
Shen = Shadow Dash Taunt allows early gank pressure, but best effective using lvl 6 Ultimate
Semi-Early Gankers - Many jungle champions fall into this category, but with this, it is also about options, E.g - A Lee Sin Player may be able to gank better once level 4, with a point in each skill, to be able to jump around the lanes with both his Resonating Strike and Safeguard - I will not list the champions here, since it is situational to whoever is playing. One player may use Dr. Mundo to gank early levels, another may farm, put more levels into his cleaver or his AoE skills, and then start ganking lanes.
Level 6 Gankers
Diana = Needs Lunar Rush to be able to gank most effectively
Shen = Teleporting with Stand United is very suprising and better when used on allies in brush
Skarner = Impale is what makes Skarner a scorpion really, defines him as a champion
Fiddlesticks = Crowstorm makes Fiddle's an amazing gank, without it, he is little too slow
Warwick = Infinite Duress is very useful, without it - It can prove difficult to gank pre-6
So, hopefully you catch my drift here and see what I'm talking about. Choosing a jungler, think about more than clear times and how much you like them - CAN they gank? - Junglers that more or less need their ultimate's can do well, but that usually works upon if the enemy is pushed and in position. With some junglers, such as Amumu, without any position, it can be near impossible to gank anyways.
Just a cool tip though - If you can get away with having a Rengar and Shen on your team - With Shen in the jungle, at level 6, with Rengar's Ultimate using invisibility, Shen can TP gank invisible also.
Jungle Route - Start Red or Blue - Or can you start both?
Here I am simply going to list if a jungler starts at the red buff or blue buff - OR, does it not matter and can they start at both?
(With these, it could turn out I am wrong, but it comes with some experience and research)
This is a simple way but think about it as a jungler wanting to invade or counter jungle early on, what buffs will be up waiting and where will their jungler be most likely - With this, also think from a laning perspective - Knowing Lee Sin starts red buff means you can guess that he will go Red, Wraiths, be level 2 and may gank mid lane or bot lane - Get me?
I hope so...
Here we are with the lists: - Most junglers do start blue buff, but with the ideas that some may be manaless or rely more on auto attacks, or the idea that some players want to get red and gank lvl 2 with the slowing de-buff.
RED Buff Starters
BLUE Buff Starters - Literally every other champion apart from the ones listed above. The importance of this small chapter is to understand where junglers start and how they move around the map.
This is because there are very common jungle routes, meaning as I move further in to explaining the counter jungling section of the guide, you can understand where your enemy will be and if it is worth going to counter one or two of their camps.
Common Jungle Routes
Wolves > Blue Buff > Wraiths > Red Buff > Golems
Wraiths > Red Buff > Golems > Wraiths again > Wolves > Blue buff
These routes get you to around Level 4 - Meaning more or less any jungler can gank - UNLESS the lanes do not provide the opportunity because you do not have an ultimate, etc - E.g Diana is level 4, she can slow, but not fast enough to get close without ultimate, the lane may need to be pushed towards the friendly tower so she can come behind them when her allies engage.
Jungle Timers - KNOW YOUR ROLE!
This one is pretty basic but something that is so useful, everyone needs to use it. The idea is this: Each jungle camp has a initial spawn and respawn time, here they are:
Initial Spawn Times
Red/Blue Buff = 1:55
Wraiths = 1:40
Wolves = 1:40
Small Golems = 1:40
Dragon = 2:30
Baron = 15:00
Red/Blue Buff = 5:00
Wraiths = 0:50
Wolves = 1:00
Small Golems = 1:00
Dragon = 6:00
Baron = 7:00
Red/Blue buff stay on your champion for 2:30 without the Runic Affinity Mastery. With this mastery, the time is 2:50.
The Baron Buff lasts for 4:00 and is not affected by the Runic Affinity Mastery.
Why Are Jungle Timers So Important?
Jungle timers are used so you can effectively time your own jungle camps respawn. In higher level games, you find that the jungler will often call out things like 830b which means the (B)lue buffs will next spawn at the time of 8 minutes and 30 seconds - Hence, 8:30. This means your jungler can time when he should get back to his own camp before it is taken, then take it or 'donate' as I say to one of his allies if they would like it, typically, your AP Mid Lane.
Now, we start working into the Counter jungling section of the guide, because jungle times, added with the previously discussed chapters in the guide, you can effectively time the enemy jungle camps without even knowing - The way to do is this, is as follows:
1. Where does the enemy jungler start? - You should always know the enemy jungler's route and clear times (Slow, Medium or Fast will do) - So, let's say we have Dr. Mundo, a fast clearing jungler, who you think has started at Red Buff.
Dr. Mundo clears the red buff, in your mind, at around 2 Minutes :: 10 Seconds - This means, he will move onto, Wraiths, if he did not start there, and may or may not gank. - Knowing this means, even if you have your own Blue Buff, you can cross the River and hide, waiting to Smite Steal Dr. Mundo's Blue Buff, just as he wants to take it.
2. Time your own jungle spawn times, if the enemy is clever, he may come to take your own jungle camps - What you can do, is then be there, before the enemy and either take it when it spawns or wait for the enemy to come and take it, once again smite steal it, maybe even kill the enemy and hopefully, just show the enemy jungler what your made of.
With jungle spawn times and counter jungling, which I will detail further in further chapters - We also have how camps will spawn only when you kill all of the monsters in the camp - Meaning - Make sure you kill all the monsters in your own camp so you know you the spawn time correctly. ALSO - This is a choice you have to make when counter jungling, which I will detail further in one of the next chapters.
Learning to Gank - Taking the baby steps of jungling
What I mean by taking the baby steps of jungling is this: When you gank, there are numerous different 'things' or what we will call, obstacles for you to overcome. These include - Wards, your champions Gank Potential > Level, what buffs you have, positioning (The enemy and your friendly laner) and finally - The position of the enemy jungler.
Here they are listed and explained:
Wards - If the lane is warded, then I'm sure you will find out when the enemy laner backs off and just plays defensive. Watch the map as you move, if the enemy starts backing off, don't waste your time.
Gank Potential > Level - This means and can be shortened to GP>L (This is my random term I came up with it) Meaning, according to your level, can your champion gank effectively?
Let's use Diana for example, is her GP > or < than level 4? - The answer is, at level 4, Diana's gank potential is weaker than her level. Once she reaches level 6, her GP would be greater than level, as she has her ultimate, giving her the ability to gank most effectively.
Current Buff Control - What buffs do you currently posses, lets say there is a good gank opportunity in bot lane, and you have just taken the blue buff - Even on low mana, by the time you get there, your mana will be refreshed and you are ready. It then becomes much more important if your champion possess the red buff, since it offers a slow, that some champions may not have in their kit. If you have the red buff, and your champion does not have a slow, then it may be important when you gank, to make sure you currently have the red buff.
Positioning - Where is the enemy, are they pushed in the lane? If you need to land a skillshot, such as Amumu's Bandage Toss, can you actually land it? It's picking out the gank opportunities that makes you play better, warn your team that you are coming to gank and say 'keep them in position' or say w.e is needed so you can gank effectively. Just don't get aggressive at your teammates, it isn't their fault if you waste time trying to gank, because you can always walk away - If your team mates are bugging you for ganks, just say 'hold up, I will arrive when I can'
Where is the Enemy Jungler? - If you know where the enemy jungler is, then you can use it to your advantage and either take his buffs or gank where he cant come and 'Counter' Gank you, which I will cover shortly.
But here, these are the things that effect your ganking as a jungler, the huge one is wards, and hence why I will over Wards Coverage and ward Clearing in another chapter.
Ward Clearing and Ward Coverage
As a jungler, you need to get used to buying wards and placing them EVERYWHERE. A decent way to do this is warding your own jungle camps (Blue/Red) defensively, and then, ward the enemy jungle camps - Making sure you ward the edge of bushes, giving you sight on the camps but also further sight around it.
Now, also as a jungler, once you have some spare gold - Wait, did I say spare? - Yes I did. When you can, since you know they have them, find their wards and clear them using and Oracle's Elixir, an item costing 400G found in the Consumables section of the shop.
Counter Ganking - Duh How To?
This is pretty straight forward, the way it works is simple: When the enemy ganks, counter it and change it from a 2v1, 3v2 into an even fight. This means that warding is actually super important, as you can see where the enemy jungler is and where they are headed. Counter ganking can actually be much more surprising than the enemies gank itself.
A great way to counter gank is of course have the river and the lanes 'close by' bushes warded, but also have Shen @Lvl 6 - With Stand United TP'ing out of nowhere is REALLY surprising and can turn a fight around easily.
Let's say you see a gank happening but you can't get there quick enough, what should you do? - Either gank another lane, push a lane, or take the enemies jungle. Most likely, after the gank, the jungler will either go back to base because they are injured or have more gold to spend - OR, if they go back into the jungle, they may be looking for more ganking or buff opportunities - Don't let him have the buffs, get in there quickly and Smite steal them.
Counter Jungling - Finally, this chapter...
So, I have finally got round to this chapter, counter jungling, has been mentioned many times in the previous chapters. By taking the information from the other chapters, hopefully you will understand and be able to successfully counter jungle your foes.
So. counter jungling is the concept of going into the enemy jungle, to steal the enemy camps, more specifically, the Blue/Red buff, when they are available. Doing this effectively usually requires Smite, good knowledge of the enemy jungle champion - Such as which buff he started at and his speed, then also, ward vision.
When counter jungling, it is often useful to counter the enemy jungler - Let's take the example of your Shaco and the enemy is Amumu - Speeds compared, Shaco is faster and has his movement speed advantage also the ability to go invisible with Deceive, meaning he can go into Amumu's jungle early game, since Amumu is quite weak early on, then he can steal the buffs, without Amumu being able to do anything.
With this in mind, how would you do that, well Amumu starts at Blue right? - So, when he comes down to get his red and oh look, Shaco must have taken it, it's quite a bummer. But how does Shaco do it?
Shaco's Deceive allows him to jump over walls, meaning if he takes his wolves, then his blue, he can Deceive over the wall at Dragon and go and hide at the enemy Red Buff - Or, when on Blue team, take his own Red, then jump over Dragon , head towards the enemy Blue Buffs, BUT - It will be most likely gone, since most champions start at the Blue Buff.
It's KNOWING the enemy that makes it much easier to jungle, since you can predict their moves, counter them and ruin their farm, leveling and gank opportunities.
Invading - Do you dare dwell past enemy lines?
The answer to the above is YES.
In good games, you should have teammates who guard for invades or actually ask or lead invades. If you don't know what an invade is, then take a look at this: Level 1 Invading Guide
All credits to 'Vogna12' for the video.
Invading is pretty simple, it's going to the enemy jungle and attempting to steal an enemy buff for your own jungler OR, if the team agrees, you may steal it for your ADC (If taking the enemy Red) or maybe your APC if the enemy Blue. I won't go full detail with invading, it's a simple idea, so yeah, it aint a hard one to pick up.
What Is My Jungler's Role As A Champion Late Game?
Later game, it comes to team fights, with certain junglers, you need to figure out your role - Lets take 2 champions that differ - Amumu has his ultimate and builds tanky, whilst Shaco is an Assassin.
If your champion is one that falls off if they dont get kills or assists from ganks, such as Shaco. Falling off can be HUGE and cause you to be useless later game. This is why you have to make sure you gank correctly and get yourself ahead or at least even with the enemy.
When it comes to team fights, you need to know what you can do as a jungler, since most of the game, you have concentrated on buff control and ganks, what do you do late game? - Well, as a jungler, your always roaming, so keep doing whatever you want really, but when you group up, make sure your there.
Counter Picking the Enemy Jungler
As I said before, Amumu is weak early game, so if you know your playing against him, why not pick someone who can counter jungle early and try to ruin his early games chances?
Counter picking in lanes is really useful but also works in the jungle, know the enemy jungler so you can counter pick them with someone from your own champion pool.
Here is some info I dug up on the forums:
Moakai: Strong vs: Karthus Skarner Fiora Volibear
Sejuani Strong vs: Brand Hecarim
Alistar: Strong vs: Leona Fiddle Blitz Kennen Nocturn
Skarner: Strong vs: Mordekaiser Tryndamere Shen Fizz
Nasus: Strong vs: Hecarim Galio Yorick Nautilus
Amumu: Strong vs: Blitzcrank Riven Shen Akali
Trundle: Strong vs: Lee Sin Rammus Yorick Udyr
This website can be used for counters, but be aware it does not relate too much to junglers - But here you have it: League of Counters
Jungle Clear Times
All the information for Clear Times I actually picked up from a great YT'uber named Pawnce, who's channel can be found here - Pawnce's Channel
I decided to take his playlist here - Pawnce's Season 3 Jungle Clear Times
So, MASSIVE Credits to him for making all of these videos, they are really well detailed, great quality and his channel's content is very, very useful!
So, hopefully you have picked up loads of great information from my guide here - Or, not really a 'Guide' - More of a detailed description and explanation more advanced and less obvious jungling techniques.
So, I hope this was useful for you people, if there are any feedback comments you would like to provide me with then please stick them below in the comment section and vote up if you think this guide deserves it.
Big thanks to the 2 YT'ubers I have mentioned for making very useful content, and also the general people over the LoL forums, posting some really useful content there, allowing me to research oh so effectively.
I am The MkaniK - Peace!