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Jungle Soraka - A Different Approach to The Twisted Treeline
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Hello, my name is jpyee and this is my first guide on Mobafire starring Jungle Soraka - An unusual and underestimated jungler on 3s. Currently I am ranked solo queue Platinum V for S3. Thank you for taking the time to look through my guide and I hope it works for you!
-Am I Trolling?-
Compared to the traditional 5v5, jungle Soraka has much more viability on the Twisted Treeline due to the increased starting gold, passive mana regen buff given to every champion, the distance from the jungle camps from base AND the health of the jungle monsters compared to the jungle monsters on Summoner's Rift. This allows her to spam her Starcall and efficiently clear camps faster than many other champions. Keep in mind, however, that this is all in good fun and something I wouldn't necessarily recommend in competitive play. But it's always fun winning a match with a non-traditional Soraka build (I'm looking at you, support role) and I made this guide to help change the mindset that Soraka is more than your good ol' support.
tl;dr: maybe a little... :)
Here is the results of Junglaka games taken from my recent match history as of 08/11/13:
Starcall is the skill that makes Junglaka viable. With a 2.5 second cooldown at all ranks, this skill is practically spammable and reduces the magic resist of her surrounding enemies by 6 (+1% AP) per stack for five seconds. This means that with every cast, the efficacy of Junglakas and her allies' magic damage increases!
Astral Blessing is your single heal as well as your bonus armor buff. At max rank, this skill heals for 270 (+35% AP) health and grants 110 (+15% AP) bonus armor for two seconds.
Because most team comps on the Treeline are AD based, this skill is used to its full potential. Although two seconds is not much, it gives your allies or you much more survivability as compared to without it.
Infuse is your single target, no cost silence/ally mana replenish. At max rank, infuse silences an enemy for 2.5 seconds and deals 160 (+5% max mana) (+40% AP) or restores 100 (+5% Soraka max mana) mana to an ally. Silence prevents all skills from being used, even summoner spells. As a result, this can stop channel ults, prevent escapes, and make a skill-dependent enemy utterly useless for the duration.
Wish is your global healing skill, healing for a maximum of 350 (+55 AP) to all enemies regardless of their position on the map. Use this to bait low health enemies into attacking your low health ally, to make enemies stop chasing allies, or in teamfights.
It's important that you initially start off with Spirit Stone and 3 health potions. Why, you ask? Spirit Stone increases the damage dealt to monsters by 20% as well as gives a bit of health regen, mana regen, and a +10 damage boost/+5 health on hit. More importantly, its the item builds into Spirit of the Spectral Wraith, your first core item.
This item is so overpowered on the Twisted Treeline as well as my now all time favorite item on this map as a jungler. Before the support revamp, I used to always run Spirit of the Ancient Golem spirit of the ancient golem because I severely underestimated Soraka's damage output and built her more as a tank. With the changes to spectral wraith, it now returns an 4% of aoe spell damage as health and mana along with 30% increased damage to monsters and the Conservation passive AND 10% cooldown reduction (omg) makes this item a must get! This item is also extremely cost efficient (only 1.3k) since you already have Spirit Stone, roughly the cost of fully purchasing a tier 2 boot without enchantment.
Purchasing Mercury's Treads is a good choice against AP heavy teams, giving a sizable 25 magic resist and tenacity.
Ninja Tabi for AD heavy teams. A must get against heavy auto attackers like Aatrox and the infamous Tryndamere.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter gives Junglaka the ability to peel for teammates and a permaslow to chase enemies down for days. Additionally, this item provides Soraka with a hefty sum of health to stay in teamfights and deal the most damage she can.
So the enemy team is fully AD based. They even have a Tryndamere. In this case, these items are your go to for all your AD dreamcrushing needs with Randuin's' Health + AoE attack/movement speed reduction active/passive and Sunfire Capes' Health + 40 magic damage/second AoE aura. Since Starcall reduces magic resistance with every cast, this increases the efficacy of Sunfire Cape's passive, dealing more and more damage per second! Frozen Heart synergizes well with Randuin's Omen with its attack speed reduction aura and Archangel's Staff because of the extra mana. Definitely another excellent item.
You might want to consider purchasing these items if the enemy team's AP damage is troubling you. I used to always buy Spirit Visage against any team comp, not just for the magic resistance and health, but mainly for the 20% increased healing effects passive. This adds a potential combined 200-300 bonus health to both her single and global heal. Lately though replacing it with Abyssal Mask
Athene's Unholy Grail is also an excellent choice for Junglaka as it not only gives magic resist but a nice sum of ability power, mana regen and a 20% cooldown reduction. Combined with Spirit of the Spectral Wraith and Spirit Visage, Junglaka receives a full 40% CDR, meaning Starcall can be cast every 1.5 seconds (if I'm doing my math right).
Singed: lol we hav so much helt
Volibear: lol we goin 2 double pancak flip them k
Singed: kk lol o luk Serahka kk kill now
Soraka: voli singed pls
Liandry's Anguish is an excellent item for Soraka to counter healthtards such as Singed and Volibear. Its 2 percent current health burn/sec is doubled to 4 percent against slowed enemies. This means that with the Rylai's Soraka can use this item to its maximum potential to dish out Tons of Damage on these tanky af monsters.
To be a good jungler with Junglaka, there are a couple pieces you need to be familiar with.
First off...the essentials:
Map awareness - Keep in mind that many bushes aren't safe if three enemies are missing, or MIA. Never invade the enemy jungle if your teammates aren't in close proximity to help you or you risk an unnecessary death.
Pinging - Although they can sometimes be annoying, pings are very effective in signaling MIAs and pointing out dangerous areas. Its a good idea to use these and get into the habit of pinging as communication is key to winning games.
and now... Jungle Pathing:
As Junglaka, you want to first start at the Wraith camp, located on the map above. Have one of your teammates stand at the appropriate red star and the other teammate stand at the purple star for vision and protection. I usually never recommend a level 1 teamfight as it is very risky giving first blood to the enemy team. All camps spawn at 1:40, so at that point begin using your Starcall to clear out the Wraiths. From there make your way to the Wolf camp. CAUTION: Stay away from the bush located at the red star. There could potentially be an enemy waiting for you to lose more health to the wolves and jump you to secure first blood. Wolves follow you quite a distance after proc'ing their aggro, which means you can lure the wolves to a corner of your team's altar and farm them safely. After a Starcall cast and an auto attack on the biggest wolf, Smite it to clear it out. If it seems safe, I usually rush to the health relic located in the center of the map to replenish health and mana. Otherwise, head to the golem camp and clear those out.
tl;dr: Wraiths, Wolves (care for bush), Health Relic and Golems.
Soo....what do I do next?
Camps respawn every 50 seconds so by the time you've cleared out the golems, you have a significant chunk of time. What you do with it at this point is totally up to you. You can gank a lane (See ganking) while waiting for camps to respawn or go back and replenish health/mana and buy a couple items.
When augmented with Summoner's Resolve , Smite grants an extra bonus 10 gold per cast. Make sure to use Smite as often as possible to take full advantage of this. Another option is to put a point into Greed if you don't think you're going to remember using Smite enough. However its a third as efficient as an augmented Smite, so I don't really recommend it.
Lets take a situation where Darius, a popular champion on the Twisted Treeline, buys Mercury's Treads (+25 mr), Maw of Malmortius (+40 mr), Spirit Visage (+55 mr) and Banshee's Veil (+55 mr) along with MR glyphs (+12 mr) and level 18 (+52.5 mr) to successfully become the tankiest mr monster on the map. Naturally, you REALLY shouldn't be focusing him... but for the sole purpose of calculation lets pretend that his entire team has been obliterated and your AP team catches him. :D
Darius total MR: 239.5 (TT_TT)
4 stacks of Starcall: 239.5 - 48 = 191.5
Sorcerer's Shoes: 191.5 - 25 = 166.5
Liandry's Anguish: 166.5 - 15 = 151.5
Abyssal Mask: 151.5 - 20 = 131.5
Assuming someone has Exhaust augmented with Summoner's Wrath ,
Exhaust: 131.5 - 10 = 121.5
Void Staff: 121.5 - 42.525 (35%) = 78.975
Now lets throw in some mr reducing skills and pretend your two teammates are Ryze and Amumu, both strong champions on the Twisted Treeline...
Spell Flux: 78.975 - 24 = 54.975
Cursed Touch (two autoattacks): 54.975 - 20 = 34.975
Darius would have around 35 mr from his original 239.5. That is about a decrease of 205 magic resist. Starcall alone makes up roughly one fourth of that reduction... it's crazy! Keep in mind that not all your enemies will stack mr like this, meaning that you can reduce magic resist to zero or even make them have negative magic resist... :D
Jungle Soraka is a mid to late game character on the Twisted Treeline. Unlike many other champions, her ganks, unfortunately, aren't stellar. This means you will want to come into lanes with a support-like mindset and gank not always hoping to give your ally laner a kill (but its always nice if you manage to) but a free lane to free farm. Pulling off a successful situation like this can put your ally two levels or more ahead of the enemy laner(s), which is a huge advantage for your team on this map.
This lane is typically much easier to gank than bot lane. Usually, one champion from each team is found up there and you taking advantage of one careless overextension can put your team in a good lead.
This lane is always harder to gank for Soraka because typically in normal 3s you see a lot of duo kill lane bot, meaning two people in bot lane (and ususally missing a lot of farm lolol)
Many of you know that Soraka is naturally squishy. As a result you will most likely die if you run into a teamfight without some of your core items. Try not to force or engage teamfights until mid to late game.
Mid and Later
So a few altars have been exchanged and a couple of towers have collapsed. By this point in the game team fights will be more prevalent and hopefully you have another core item or two. Once you get your Rylais, Soraka transforms into what I like to call l33tbbq Peelraka; not only does her Q reduce MR on each successful land, it becomes an AoE slow! Combined with your silence you become the most annoying champion on the map, resulting in enemies focusing you. Because of your tankiness, single heal and global heal, you will most likely survive the butthurt rampage long enough for your teammates to dish out the real damage.
Also special thanks to jhoijhoi's Making a Guide for the awesome templates and advice!
Best of luck with the Junglaka and I hope this guide worked for you!
08/12/13 - Changed initial spawn of jungle camps to 1:40 from 1:50.
08/11/13 - Added recent match history to "Introduction" section.
08/08/13 - Changed number of quints to 3 from 9.
- Fixed error in "When to Play Junglaka" section.