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[S4 Jungle] Flames of the Phoenix [WIP]
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Knowing the Game
Starting the GameAt the start of the game, you need to look at your enemy team. What champions do they have? What buff are they most likely going to go for first? Will they likely try to invade or steal the buff you're not starting at? First figure this out, then ask someone on your team politely to ward it, if they can.
Due to the fact that you are Udyr, the Animal Spirit, and are very mana-heavy, you will want to start with the Ancient Golem camp. Whether you have people who can leash you or not, it doesn't matter. Smite it when it gets below 360 health, because that's how much damage Smite does when it's level one. Now, when you hit level 2 with Udyr, you can put a point into Turtle Stance. This is the part you must learn how to do properly in order to keep your health sustained as high as possible, allowing you to gank nearly immediately after you hit level 4. To do this, switch to Turtle Stance about 2 seconds before you reach the next camp. When you reach the camp, switch to Phoenix Stance and attack. This will keep the Turtle Shield up for a period of time while you attack. Every fourth attack in Phoenix Stance will proc a burst of flames. When that burst of flames activates, switch back into Turtle Stance and repeat the process. Abusing this tool is absolutely important while playing as Jungle Udyr.
Once you've cleared the camp, head to the Wight camp and clear it. Then head to wolves and smite the large wolf when it's low. Remember to keep abusing Turtle Stance in the jungle! After wolves, head to Wraiths. The Flames of the Phoenix should be enough to mostly deal with the smaller wraiths, so focus more on the larger one. Once that's cleared, your Smite should be seconds from coming back up and you should head toward your Elder Lizard camp, for the Red Buff.
This part can be dangerous, because everyone knows Udyr starts with the Blue Buff camp. Due to that, you need to take extra caution when clearing the Red Buff camp, as the enemy jungler can be lurking around the corner, waiting either kill you and steal the buff, or just Smite it and walk away. Not only does this take away the extra damage you would've gained from Red Buff, but it also screws up your jungle path, requiring you to stay in your jungle, farming away, for a much longer period of time than you need to be. Not to mention, if they manage to kill you, that's a blue buff lost as well, disallowing you to not worry about your mana while clearing your jungle.
What you want to do is approach the Red Buff lizard, punch it in the face, then drag it into the bush. If the enemy jungler has the camp warded and is creeping nearby, they will have to walk around to you to reveal its location to try and steal it. This puts them in a dangerous position and can sometimes land you a kill, if you can smite the lizard at the right time and can out-duel the opposing jungler. This is a safer way of clearing your red buff camp than just standing on top of where it usually stands and attacking it from there.
After you clear the red buff camp, run down to Golems and clear it. At this point, you should hit level 4, so get a point into your Bear Stance. This is a crucial point in your jungling path. Look at every single lane. Is one in trouble? Is one pushed out? Is the enemy jungler near one of those lanes? You will have to make calls depending on that situation. If no lanes are pushed in the opponent's favor, no one is in trouble, and seemingly all of your team's lanes are winning, proceed to farm the jungle, or try counter jungling. Otherwise, pick a lane and try to gank.
GankingGanking can be a difficult thing. A very difficult thing. Some lane opponents just are ungankable. It's as simple as that. Others can be just flat out frustrating and it takes either really good timing or really good strategies to kill the enemy laner. For instance, champions like LeBlanc, who have incredibly high mobility are more than likely to out-maneuver you long before you can get to them, resulting in a failure to kill the enemy. Others, like Heimerdinger, will have a way to ensure that they're safe. In Heimerdinger's case, he has a fort of turrets that automatically focus fire on you if you get near enough to him. This makes it nearly impossible to pull off a gank without either losing your team mate or almost dying yourself. It's not completely impossible to gank anyone, but a lot of them can be insanely difficult.
Always remember, however, that a successful gank is not one that always ends in a kill. A successful gank is a gank that puts your allies in the lane at some advantage. For example, if you run it and make your enemy laner flash, that's a win. Whether they got away or not, that's an escape tool down that you allies can take advantage of. Successful ganks can also just mean you pushed the enemy out of lane or you simply helped took down the enemy turret.
Ganking as Udyr specifically can be a tricky thing. My plan of action is never to wait in a bush for more than maybe 10 seconds. If it doesn't look like there's a window of opportunity to gank at that point in time, there's probably not going to be one any time soon - especially if the lane is evenly pushed or matched. If it's a go, however, switch to Turtle Stance, start running in, then switch to Bear Stance as you get closer to the opponent, keeping your movement speed buff up the closer you get to your opponent. You have to anticipate which way they'll move, whether or not they'll use any type of mobility spells, or if they may Flash. A properly timed Bear stun can result in an easy kill - making it hilarious if you stun them as they land after their mobility skill. Switch to Phoenix Stance when you feel you're in a position to start attacking the enemy. Do not switch stances unless you feel you absolutely have to. Stay in Phoenix Stance, run ahead of your enemy, and attack and walk with them. At the most, reactivate Phoenix Stance after a burst of flames to cause a second burst of flames in secession, dealing more burst damage. If done right, the enemy should either die or be far too low to stick around. This can greatly help snowball lanes - especially if you give kills to your team mate(s). Once the gank is complete, feel free to tax the lane. Don't go overboard, though. You don't want to be greedy. Take two, maybe three minions and then head for another objective or lane. However, if your lane ally is recalling, push the minion wave all the way to the enemy turret. This makes the turret kill the minions, depriving the enemy laner of creeper score.
~More to come~
Ninja Tabi - Ninja Tabi are basic shoes for Udyr. They give armor and reduce basic attack damage, which is great. This helps a lot against AD champions, but not so much against AP champions.
Boots of Swiftness - Another great pair of shoes for Udyr. The movement speed synergizes with him extremely well. The slow effect reduction also stacks with the Tenacity from Spirit of the Ancient Golem, so this is a very good item against a team with a lot of slows.
Mobility Boots - I would never recommend these shoes on Udyr - especially after their nerf. While the extra speed helps one get around the map way faster, the reduction in speed when in combat reduces Udyr's ability to stay ahead of the enemy, which is an absolutely vital way of playing Udyr.
Mercury's Treads - While a good item on Tigerdyr or top lane Phoenix, this item is a waste on Phoenix Udyr in the jungle. The main point of buying these shoes to begin with is the Tenacity passive, but since Spirit of the Ancient Golem already has that and unique passives don't stack, this item is an absolute waste of time and money. Never buy these if you have a Spirit of the Ancient Golem.
Ninja Tabi - Homeguard - This is an enhancement you should build if you really need to get out of your base really quickly, or if you have to defend your base. It provides amazing movement speed for the time it takes to get out of one's base, which can turn the tides of any game.
Boots of Swiftness - Alacrity - This enchantment is great on Udyr, if you want to build as much movement speed as you possibly can. While this doesn't help you get out of base quite as fast as Homeguard boots, this does go a long way in sticking to targets or escaping.
Spirit of the Ancient Golem - Spirit of the Ancient Golem is a centerfold for Jungle Udyr. It provides everything Jungledyr needs to clear the Jungle fast as well as additional stats that help him outside of the jungle. The difference this item can make can decide whether or not you can tower dive an enemy and survive. The tenacity from this item also gives Udyr a fighting chance when being bombarded with all forms of crowd control.
Trinity Force - This is an absolute must buy on Udyr. After the changes to it in Season 3, this item is just too good to pass up. It gives a ton of stats on top of the Spellblade passive, which allows Udyr to stick to his enemies like no tomorrow.
Sunfire Aegis - In my opinion, it's a must buy. Since you're up in your enemy's face all of the time, the damage from Sunfire Cape can help quite a bit. The HP and armor you gain from the item is amazing as well.
Frozen Heart - Frozen Heart is a great item, but is very situational. It gives a good deal of mana, cool down reduction, and armor, as well as slowing the attack speed of enemy champions within range. This helps a lot against team compositions with champions that build a lot of attack speed.
Randuin's Omen - This is an all around armor item. It gives a nice amount of health as well as armor. In addition, the active on the item helps with sticking to opponents, ensuring the target won't escape. As good as this is, however, there are typically better items to choose.
Spirit Visage - A main item for Udyr. The life steal, cool down reduction, health and magic resist go a long way. That's not to mention the passive, which increases the healing effects of life steal.
Banshee's Veil - This item is amazing. It blocks the first spell used on you, which goes a very long way when up against enemy team compositions that include champions like LeBlanc, who need the first hit of their combo to get their full effect off. The health and magic resist on this item are also great. I tend to find myself building this item more and more lately.
Zephyr - Zephyr is a core carry item on Udyr. The attack speed and movement speed bonuses helps him split push and backdoor like no one's business. You should only really build this item if you're very far ahead or absolutely need the attack speed to get the advantage over the enemy team. Note that the Tenacity passive on this item does not stack with the Tenacity passive on Spirit of the Ancient Golem.
Iceborn Gauntlet - This is a classic item on Udyr. If you need more tankiness, you can choose this item over Trinity Force. Iceborn Gauntlet slows your enemies as you attack them, which helps a ton for sticking to your target. This item also provides quite a bit of mana, which goes a long way on Udyr. The ability power granted from this item also helps a bit with Phoenix Stance and Turtle Stance.
Wit's End - A good item that synergizes well with Udyr's kit. The attack speed is nice, the magic resist is nice, the magic resist stripping is great, and the bonus magic damage helps a lot, but if you're going to build attack speed, you're not trying to go so much for tanking hits as you are for aiming to push down turrets as fast as possible. This is more of an item of preference and probably is more along the lines of an item you want to build for your AP carry. You'll peel for them while stripping the enemy of their magic resist, allowing your AP carry to deal more damage.
Warmog's Armor - This item doesn't really work well anymore. The HP is nice and all, but it provides no armor or magic resist. There are much better options for items to build instead of this.
Thornmail - This item's armor is nice... but no. The only time you'd really ever want to build it is if the enemy team is full of AD carries or any kind of AD that relies heavily on basic attacks. Don't build this item ever if the enemy team has any kind of decent AP carry.