Ivern Build Guide by Aezuriel
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
Ivern is an early-game focused "Support" who specializes in creating value deficits between teams and aims to close the game before the enemy team recoups their lost value. Late game, Ivern doesn't fall off as much as other early-game focused junglers. However, Drawing the game out past 5 (or 6) completed Items only increases the likelihood that your team will be out-scaled, and the game will turn against you.
Always remember: Ivern is an EARLY GAME focused jungler that revolves around TIMING. If you try to play him like a "standard" jungler, you will fail.
This guide will start out with a look at Ivern's strengths and weaknesses, and how he compares to other junglers. Then we will look at different Rune builds and Item loadouts that he works best with, as well as looking at his summoner spells and champion basics -- including some tips and tricks of using his kit. Finally we will look at covering some general jungling advice, and then dive into what that means specifically to Ivern.
So, if you will join me, I will guide you to growing into the best Greenfather you can be!
While not my best game on Ivern ever, this game highlights how keeping focused on objectives and playing to your team's strengths can lead to victory, even if you aren't snowballing yourself. Good Counter-jungling early mutes Lee Sin's early powerspikes, while Cassiopeia gets fed mid. Completing my Third Item in time for Vayne's powerspike allows us to close the game before the enemy team can fully recover and recoup, despite having a very strong Ezreal, and a mostly uncontested Swain.
Pros / Cons
When played correctly, there is no true counter to Ivern in the Jungle Role. Your Flexibility and unique jungle clear/pathing means that you can play proactively every game.
This isn't to mean that you can run around game willy-nilly... you aren't a duelist. Your tankiness and split pushing are subpar unless you itemize to do those things specifically. However, there is not a lot that an enemy jungler can do to STOP you, unless you commit to something long enough for more members of the enemy team to collapse on you. This is an intrinsic part of playing Ivern at all times. If you are outnumbered or out-gunned... JUST LEAVE and go do something else. The only time you want to fully commit to something is when you have multiple members of your team committed to an objective.
Ivern does have one real counter currently, though not played in the jungle role.
Syndra has a very wide/near area of threat -- which you will be FORCED to engage though to get to her (and her team). Normally, your reaction to a wide/near engage is to send Daisy in to disrupt while you look for opportunities to follow up on. However, the low Cooldown on Syndra's [ W ] allows her to fling Daisy back in your face minimizing Daisy's impact in skirmishes.
One way of dealing with Syndra is to leverage a strong mid lane pick versus her and set her behind early. When you are forced to engage on her, try to have a lot going on at her peripheries so she has to either back off or split her attention. Be prepared to shield your front line who will be bearing the brunt of her damage, and set daisy to protect your flanks instead of sending her at Syndra directly.
IF you are are a little lucky, an overzealous Syndra player may even move out of position to snatch up Daisy just to prove she can do it, giving you a window of opportunity to attack.
While Ivern has no true role counter, it can be useful to look at which junglers are more challenging to face off against versus others. You can break down Ivern's threat assessment into 5 major Buckets, detailed below:
Threat Level: Challenging
Iconically, this is going to be Graves, Master Yi, and Udyr. While you can set them behind early, they can each itemize to begin fast-clearing jungle very early, and have enough damage and cc/anti-cc to punish you during invades/duels. What makes them so dangerous is their ability to powerfarm into itemization that can outscale you and become a bigger nuisance than your team can tolerate. The best advice I can offer you is to minimize your counter-jungling after your 1st clear, and switch to warding and counter-ganking. These are the matchups where Scuttle-control matters the most.
Threat Level: Moderately Challenging
Zac, Skarner, and Rek'Sai, are fairly meta junglers that can also farm pretty quickly into their early powerspike and become troublesome for your laners to deal with on ganks. They are more susceptible to counterjungling, but still able to pack a punch if you don't respect them enough to protect your team against them and prepare for skirmishes adequately.
Threat Level: Neutral
Lee Sin, Elise, and Olaf are going to be your bannerhead Meta-junglers with fast starts, and early influence/playmaking. Generally speaking, you are on an even Keel with these junglers as long as you are playing to your strengths. While you are not as strong at dueling, you are equally strong at initiating lane ganks, and you have a superior jungle pattern and timing. You are evenly matched here, and to need to play with an even head in order to earn your advantages and use them to win.
Also at this level of threat are junglers like Hecarim and Sejuani. While easy to shut down early through counter-jungling, these junglers can reach a threshold where they become extremely hard to deal with in team fights by either clogging the front line, or diving the back. If you do not respect them, they will turn a game against you despite any early advantages you have earned.
Threat Level: Moderate, but Manageable
The best advice I can offer you vs 1v1 minded junglers like Rengar or Kha'Zix is simply not to fight on their terms. Do not actively seek them out, and use your CC to mire their approach and walk away if they come looking for you. You will likely out-level them (3-5) early if you are counter-jungling correctly and once you have Daisy! they just aren't as scary. Ward and sweep well, pick your fights, and just do your best to make sure they don't feed off a weak lane. Starve them of gold and you will be just fine.
Threat Level: Low (assuming you Counter-jungle/gank effectively)
Buff dependent junglers and slow-farming niche picks are particularly weak against Ivern. Because Ivern has been designed for jungle timing and map mobility, he is naturally superior unless he is lazy or gets completely shut down. Take this with a grain of salt however. Your JOB as a jungler is to punish these kinds of picks... and if you CHOOSE NOT TO... you are responsible for letting them get the farm they need to scale and be effective.
In cases like Evelynn and Amumu you want to steal critical early buffs if possible, and then counter-jungle them to death while warding for your team. In the case of Shaco, you don't even have to counterjungle him much... just be extra careful while clearing yourself, and protect your lanes from ganks. If you force a Shaco to try and survive on clearing his own jungle, he will starve.
Runes Builds / Playstyles
Due to Ivern's unique and adaptive playstyle, there are a number of highly specialized builds that can work on him. Below I will detail the three that are most synergistic with his kit, and the context in which they are used.
This build is my go-to build on Ivern as it offers the most flexibility in-game. It is focused on your unconventional mobility, and counter-jungling, while retaining your ability to tank and provided strong assistance to your teammates in ganks and objective fights.
Inspiration + Resolve give you a remarkable amount of tankiness early, especially when combined with Celestial Body. Conditioning doubles-down on your tankiness at 10 minutes, and Revitalize makes your shield that much stronger whether using on yourself or a teammate.
Unsealed Spellbook Reduces the CD of your Smite and turns you into a Swiss Army knife, allowing you to pick and chooses Different Summoner's Spells depending whats going on in the game.
Hextech Flashtraption amps up our unconventional pathing, allowing us to move, counter-jungle, and gank in unexpected ways around the map.
Future's Market gives us a little more reach in the in-game store to pick-up or rush items and hit our power-spikes earlier in the game.
Glacial Ganks Ivern
Glacial Ganks Ivern, moves away from the tanky utility role to focus on providing better ganks for his teammates.
Glacial Augment and Scorch make engaging a lane gank a terrifying experience for the enemy laner. Just walk up to them with your Triggerseed about to pop and when necessary, save that first auto-attack and your Rootcaller in anticipation of their Flash.
Celerity and Hextech Flashtraption boost our map mobility, and again Future's Market gives you the ability to rush purchases and apply more pressure earlier in the game.
Triggerseed Ivern is primarily focused on abusing your most spammable ability, Triggerseed by augmenting it with Summon Aery and Revitalize, and is typically used when rushing Ardent Censer for your Marksman. Nullifying Orb and Conditioning give you a little extra tankiness when it counts. Transcendence and Gathering storm give us some CDR and scaling to ramp up our skill rotations later in the game.
Smite allows Ivern to handpick which Camps to take NOW, versus coming back when the timer fills up. Furthermore our build focuses heavily on reducing the cooldown of our summoner spells. This translates into the potential for faster clearing, more counter-jungling and generally more health regained while we are out on the map.
This is the standard go to for play making (or bacon-saving) mobility. For Ivern, it is what allows him to take risks counter-jungling and still have an escape. It allows him to re-position when he soaks up a bit too much damage. Lastly, a last ditch flash E will sometimes mean the difference in being able to save a teammate.
With the changes to Season 8, our build utilizes Flash liberally as a pathing/navigation tool. Hextech Flashtraption Allows us to Triple Dip on Flash, and get the most out of our unpredictability. Hopping over walls and ganking from unexpected locations/directions, Flashtraption allows us to path in unconventional ways, improving our clear and our map presence.
Additional Summoner Spells -- the change-up:
When utilizing the Unsealed Spellbook based build, it is important to remember that there are a number of additional tools at our disposal to deal with issues as they arise. Using a little ingenuity and craftiness can turn seemingly impossible games in your favor, and set up some amazing and unexpected plays. Below, I will detail the context in which each can be appropriate. When possible you will change for specific loadouts, but don't be afraid to swap out whichever skill is available now if your need is time sensitive (e.g. if you need something NOW, switch whichever Summoner Spell is not on cooldown to avoid incurring additional wait).
When the enemy team has a champion so fed that nobody on your team can deal with him, swapping out for Exhaust to bring him down a peg. Most times, you will swap this out with Smite.
Similar to Exhaust you can use this to create kill pressure, or tone down the innate spellvamp/lifesteal of problem champions. This is usually PAIRED with exhaust if you REALLY need to win a teamfight to get back into the game.
Occasionally you may choose to use teleport to give you a quick rotation in order to back, heal, and buy -- and then quickly rejoin your team for a siege, baron or dragon play. Very rarely, you can use this for an opportune and unexpected cross-map gank. Typically you will swap this out for Flash.
Remember that when you have swapped off your Smite, it is important to re-equip it, especially in advance of Baron or dragon plays.
Friend of the Forest [PASSIVE]
Ivern cannot attack or damage non-epic monsters. Instead, targeting a jungle camp initiates a 2.5 seconds channel that places the monsters within a grove. The grove matures over 40 - 6 (based on level) seconds. When fully matured, Ivern can free/harvest the grove for full gold/xp. Smite on a camp within a grove will free the monsters within with no wait.
Also, Starting at level 5, freeing the Red Brambleback or the Blue Sentinel leaves behind a copy of the buff that can be picked up by an allied champion. If an ally kills either monster, they will leave behind a sapling that only Ivern can consume.
Friend of the Forest does not apply to Epic Monsters such as Dragons or Baron Nashor
Rootcaller [ Q ]
Ivern throws a vine in a target direction, Rooting the first enemy hit. Ivern and his allies can target rooted to dash to them, placing themselves at their attack range from the target. Daisy will prioritize enemies hit by Rootcaller.
Brushmaker [ W ]
Passive: While in brush, Ivern's basic attacks gain bonus range and deal bonus magic damage. These bonuses persist for 3 seconds after leaving brush.
Active: Ivern grows a patch of brush at the target location for 30 seconds, revealing the area within and around it for 3 seconds. Brushmaker spawns more brush if used near terrain or other brush, and uses an ammo system that can keep up to 3 in reserve.
Triggerseed [ E ]
Ivern gifts a Shield target ally, himself, or Daisy. After 2 seconds, Triggerseed bursts, dealing magic damage to all nearby enemies and slowing them by 70% for 3 seconds.
Daisy! [ R ]
Ivern summons his friend Daisy, who remains on the field for 60 seconds as a controllable minion. Every 3rd auto-attack from Daisy causes a lineshot knock-up.
Tips and Tricks:
Friend of the Forest [PASSIVE]
Setting a grove is a channeled ability and can be interrupted or manually aborted BEFORE it is fully placed. Bear this in mind if you are trying to steal a camp right in front of an enemy. If it cancelled, you will not incur the health and mana cost for trying to set it. This can save your life if you spot incoming trouble at the last second.
Once your grove is Set, you can smite a LARGE monster for an instant clear, NO MATTER WHERE IT IS. This is useful if you are counterjungling and you can set your grove, but Smite is not yet up. The enemy jungler may try to aggro the camp to prevent you from stealing it... but all you have to do is disrupt his ability to kill the camp, and you can Smite it as soon as the CD is up.
Since Ivern deals NO damage to jungle monsters, Neutral camps will not aggro Ivern. If you spot an enemy champion trying to counterjungle you... AND if you are confident in your ability to contest... you can sit and wait for them to aggro the camp, and then go in to disrupt them for free! Suddenly, an "easy camp" for the enemy becomes a Gank, with jungle monsters tanking and dealing damage on your side.
Rootcaller [ Q ]
Rootcaller has a longer Cooldown than your other CC, so try to withold it until you are Sure to hit... or have nothing to lose by putting it on CD. When Ganking, I prefer to get in close with Triggerseed, and then using Rootcaller when they are trying to disengage.
Rootcaller gives a brief opportunity to dash, to ALL ALLIES. Make sure your team knows that landing a Rootcaller over a wall is an opportunity for THE ENTIRE TEAM to go "TREE-SIN" and engage, not just you. Conversely... if teammates are looking for an out of a bad place and you are nearby... ping a neutral monster or minion and rootcaller it! They can dash to safety whether you take the dash or not.
Take this into account with Daisy as well. If you Rootcaller and Dash to an enemy, Daisy will automatically follow as long as she is within a reasonable range - unless she is CC-bound. This is a huge swing in fights where an enemy ties to single you out while Daisy is busy elsewhere. A singe Q can bring Daisy right back to your side. With good micro, you can even Rootcaller a target and quickly command Daisy to attack just by herself. Daisy will jump right in while you beat a hasty retreat.
Brushmaker [ W ]
Brushmaker gives 2 seconds of vision in the area a brush is placed. Use these to scout out contested areas without needing to get within ward range.
Brush doesn't just conceal whats inside them... they conceal whats behind them. While minions or wards can easily penetrate this fog... it is surprising how often you can make use of Brushes as VISION WALLS when sieging, defending, or skirmishing. You can wall off an entire lane for a brief period and the enemy has to risk not knowing what could be on the other side, or poke blindly through an area they cannot see.
Alternately, you can use a bush from Ivern to FAKE a Gank in one lane, or create an area of threat that the enemy has to respect, whether or not you follow through or just move on to something else. Sometimes, all you end up getting is a ward from the enemy trinket -- but just forcing the enemy to respect what they do not know is a powerful tool in asserting your presence on the map.
Brushes can also interrupt auto-attack based commands and aggro. Throwing a bush on a low health ally trying to make an escape can make all the difference in saving them from the last autoattack that would kill them... or a Caitlyn who is madly slamming the R button.
Triggerseed [ E ]
Triggerseed has such a low Cooldown, it is easy to get in the habit of spamming it every chance you get in fights. However, as skirmishes get tighter (and enemy champs have more damage output), it is wise to work on your reaction timing. Instead of Spamming E as soon as it comes of CD, try to save it for when an enemy attack is about to land. This will prevent significantly more damage than if you drop E as soon as the timer is up, and the enemy just waits for your shield to pop before pulling the trigger.
Remember that Triggerseed is often more valuable on an ally than it is on yourself. This is yet another reason why your build should skew on the Tankier side, so that you can tank a hit or three, and use your shield to protect the squishier members of your team.
Daisy! [ R ]
Daisy's natural range is about half your Screen. She WILL chase after someone up to about a screen away, but if she drops aggro she will run back to about half your screen before you can target her again.
If Daisy is not following any command, or running back to within sight of you, she will pick up aggro on any enemy champ that walks within her normal vision.
Occasionally, Daisy will bug out or stop accepting commands. This doesn't happen as often as when Ivern was released, but it is still a thing. Your best chance at resetting her is to land a Q on any valid target and follow through with a dash. You need to PAY ATTENTION and get a feel for when this happens because when she DOES bug out like this, YOU will follow the commands you intend for Daisy to carry out. This can put you in a very bad place if you are trying to send Daisy to tank an enemy cluster. This also happens if you are trying to micro Daisy and she is rooted or stunned, YOU will instead follow the commands. potentially putting yourself in a bad position.
Remember that Daisy has a remarkably short Cooldown (for an ULT). At 40% CDR Daisy's Cooldown is only about 10 Seconds. Use your ultimate LIBERALLY. Keep in mind however, that CD is contingent on Daisy SURVIVING through her entire duration. If you throw her away frivolously, or she gets focused down early, you have a lot longer to wait for that friendly high-five of hers.
In teamfights, you have two main options with Daisy:
The most common is to use daisy to Disrupt the backline while you peel and shield your carries from the frontline. This tends to be your go-to maneuver because you can easily call her back to you by landing a Q on a frontliner or a minion.
The second option is to set Daisy on the frontline and dive the enemy carries yourself, using Q to call daisy if you need her, or to get out. I usually only do this if I am building bursty, and/or trust in my team's ability to deal with the frontline in a timely manner and not simply leave me to die.
On a Dragon or Baron attempt
Pop Daisy as you are approaching and use her to start tanking while you set up the area (I try to bush over the objective removing it from vision, and allow teammates to get in position. Once you have control of the area, you can send daisy out of the pit to as a ward vs any potential contest. You don't have to set her to attack... just leave her in place and she will aggro on any champ that comes into her sight range. Just be careful not to Q while DPSing as it will reset Daisy --- alternately, if you see activity behind the pit wall (and if your team hasn't bothered to pull dragon out) land a Q over the wall and micro Daisy in to disrupt.
Unless my team is prepared to dive the tower and kill, send Daisy in to soak and push players off the tower so that your team can focus on the objective. Be mindful that Daisy's AA's will incur turret aggro to you, however, and be prepared to dance in and out of turret range if you are there for a prolonged amount of time
Because of the complexity that the new season offers in terms of build and flexibility, there is no longer one best build-path for Ivern, yet. However, for your core build, I suggest rushing Ionian Boots of Lucidity and then picking ONE item from the UTILITY list followed up by ONE item from the TANKINESS list. While the above sample builds have the all-stars for each different build, these items can be mixed and matched pending the needs of your team.
||Athene's synergizes well with Ivern by healing teammates with an increasingly efficient shield. Great CDR, with fair MR and AP, bracketed by a unique sustain for both health and mana.|
||Health, Sustain, and CDR round this out giving you a some tankiness, and a REDONKULOUS active component in skirmishes (with a massive range)|
||Crucible is another shield enhancer whose active heal can cleanse a teammate for a clutch save vs CC in skirmishes.|
||Protobelt offers some mobility and combat burst to Ivern, alongside Health, CDR and AP.|
||Another shield enhancing support item, Censer offers a good chunk of AP, with CDR, Movespeed, and a cute on hit buff for shielded teammates.|
||While Locket offers burst mitigation for the whole team while giving us an extra bit of armor and a lot of personal magic resist|
||This used to be my favorite item on Ivern. Recent changes have made its cost more palatable, but its change in stats has made it much less enticing to rush. Its main use it for applying slow effects to abilities (and pets) that increase our (and Daisy's) effectiveness in skirmishes.|
||A combination Armor and MR item, the active can be used to push unattended lanes, or to draw attention to one area of the map while you push something else. It even bolsters your gold income as Voidlings well credit you while last-hitting. Also, don't underestimate its potential for holding or defending a siege.|
||One of your strongest armor options featuring high CDR and Critical-Strike Mitigation|
||ROA highlights hit some of Iverns favorite stats... low-ish cost, Health, AP, and growth over time.|
||Strong magic resist aimed at mitigating DOT's and spam, especially useful versus Teemo, Cassiopeia, Taliya and Syndra.|
Finishing your Jungle Item (or not!)
Unlike most junglers, Ivern is not required to complete a jungle item in order to be effective throughout the game. In fact, it is so far pushed back in this build, by the time you are worried about that slot, you may even opt to sell it off for another item entirely.
Just to reiterate ... YOU DO NOT NEED TO FINISH YOUR JUNGLE ITEM EVER! It simply offers us options to add a little extra something to our late game, IF we chose to use it's item tree.
Since we are looking at our jungle item much later in the game, we can afford to be a little more liberal with our Smite usage. The best candidates are going to be Tracker's Knife and Skirmisher's Sabre. "Free Wards" are an EXTREMELY attractive option if the game is skewed toward vision control, While-Damage Reduction can be a huge boon if a particular enemy is diving you a lot.
As far as Enchantments go, Enchantment: Runic Echoes or Enchantment: Cinderhulk are your primary candidates, depending on if you need to be more tanky, or more bursty.
The Ardent Censer Rush
As a "Support" Jungler, Ivern has the Capability of building Ardent Censer as one of his utility items. Typically this will be done with the first 2100g AFTER you build you Ionian Boots of Lucidity
However ... depending on your team composition - if you are in an organized group, or if certain members of your game are doing very well - You may choose to SKIP your early Boots Rush and instead build Aether Wisp. This sets you up to be able to finish Ardent Censer by approximately 08:30 -- which you can then use to go and add a little OOMPH to try and snowball a lane.
Bear in mind that by using this tactic, you will be taking some emphasis off your farming/counterjungling, trading that for the potential to put a lane significantly ahead and probably start rushing down towers. You also need to remember that by rushing this kind of tactic EARLY, you are taking on significant risk -- the deficit between you and the enemy jungler wont be as large, you wont have the additional levels/stats that finishing later would give.
Use the item appropriately for choosing to rush it, but show due care before you overstay in a lane trying gain value from rushing this item.
General Jungling Tips
For anyone who hasn't jungled before, it can be one of the most complicated and demanding roles in the game. As the most mobile member of your team, you are expected to be everywhere at some point or another, and you are often forced to make choices that affect the course of the game whether you mean them to or not. While the right choices may seem obvious at first blush, successful junglers are often forced to make trades and inconvenient choices that may not make sense to laners, but are meant to pay off later in the game in terms of timing, map control and rotations. Maybe the most frustrating part of this role is the heat they take from other players who do not understand what the jungler is thinking or planning. Always do your best to stay cool and communicate, and give your team the best chance to anticipate your next move.
It would be extraordinarily difficult to detail the minutia involved in jungling here, however, I will try to share some of the most common situations and trades junglers face in every game.
ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN!
Jungling is such a complex and integrated position to the game, that you cant often afford to think in terms of immediate gain. Every decision you make in the game has context that is weighted by what you are trying to accomplish. If you aren't thinking at least one or two steps ahead, you are basically giving strategic advantage to the enemy -- you will operate by RNG, always reacting to the enemy, rather than making strategic decisions for yourself.
Always have a tiny list thumbnailed in your brain:
- What is the next objective I am trying to achieve?
Objectives can be anything: Preventing an invade, Snowballing a lane, Taking a tower, Reaching level 6 to get your Ultimate, Finishing your 1st power-spike item. HAVE an objective in mind.
- What is the best way for me to achieve my objective?
Should you run straight to your goal, or are there other things you need to do first? Neglecting other duties or obstacles can make achieving your goal inconsequential. Play smart and try to reach that objective in a way that is beneficial and rewarding.
For example, if your objective is to take the first dragon, you can find it beneficial to gank your for your toplaner first to free him up to roam. Having him there may DEPEND on ganking for him.
- Do I need to Focus on another objective?
Things change. Sometimes plans work out and its time to work on the next objective. Other times, things don't work out and its better to just move on to something that would be more beneficial to your team.
Using the previous example, if you have made preparations to take the first dragon but discover that the enemy team has anticipated your movements and have strong control of the area, it is often better to change your objective than to just go barreling in. Preventing or contesting the enemy team from taking it is an option, however, simply relinquishing the victory to the enemy is often the better choice, with the objective of preventing friendly team deaths. One dragon will not make or break a game (especially early), but getting aced while fighting for it can create an unrecoverable spiral. Circumstances change. Be prepared to change with them.
Do I gank? ... Do I scout/counterjungle? ... or Do I keep farming?
- Some junglers need more farm than others. Balancing your needs with the needs of your team is important to make sore you can still be impactful in the game, while not giving up map control to enemy activity.
- Scouting and counter-jungling give your team information on enemy team movement, and often force reactions from the enemy team when you are spotted. Not only is the information you glean useful, but you can also try to be spotted intentionally to draw the enemy team's attention away from other areas of the map.
- Ganking is an important part of map control. Don't be overzealous in chasing kills, as feeding an enemy laner can leave your teammate in a worse position than if you had never been there. Often the best thing you can do is show up in lane, help your get into a better postion (MAYBE burn an opponent summoner spell) and get back in motion somewhere else.
Do I gank a weak lane, a strong lane or a neutral lane?
- Ganking a strong lane can be a way to press an advantage in one area of the map to gain value from a member who is doing well, and later be able to use that elsewhere on the map.
- A strong top lane enables Rift Herald and Baron Access, or rotation to bottom for a dragon play. This also tends to bolster your Front Line in team fights and or your teams ability to split push, depending on the champion.
- A strong Bot-lane can be pressed to rotate to other lanes to press towers.
- A strong Mid tends to naturally roam and can create enormous kill pressure all over the map while creating a sort of Zone control-around the center of the map.
- Ganking a weak lane is an attempt to add a little strength to a lane that can use a little help to perform better. A lane doing poorly can hurt team morale and even cause some people to just give up. Worse, it is an opportunity for an enemy Snowball. Even if a lane does not have good prospects, showing up for a moment can provide your teammate(s) with a fresh rotation to buy items and refill mana without losing the tower.
Conversely, pouring resources into a dead lane can be a waste. Sometimes it is better to just focus on other advantages that can be gleaned elsewhere. Damage control is an important (often UNPOPULAR) and necessary part of a jungler's job.
- Ganking a neutral lane can create opportunities that would not otherwise exist. Often, good players can reach a stalemate in lane that requires outside intervention to break free from. Sometimes giving neutral lanes a bit of help can create the momentum necessary to make other things happen around the map.
Do I protect a friendly tower, or do I let it go?
Towers are the most visible things players see in regards to winning or losing the game of map control.
First, ask yourself, how important is that particular tower to me for the foreseeable future?
Then you have to decide if you can even defend the tower in the first place. Pouring a bunch of deaths and gold into the enemy team trying to save a lost turret is a recipe for an enemy snowball. IF it IS defensible, you have to judge if it is not simply worth trading for something else.
If your team is doing poorly, Sometimes you just want to let all the outer turrets go and fall back the the more defensible inner ones. While this strategy may seem inconsistent at first, look at it from the perspective of the enemy team. The area that you have to protect shrinks, and the area the enemy has to attack grows. You can still ward your inner perimeter of turrets and have limited access to jungle. More importantly your team can move and react more quickly to each other than the enemy can. This style of defense typically lasts until the first baron spawn.
If your team is doing well, you have to consider if saving that tower is worth it versus counterattacking and taking one of theirs. Assuming you trade 1 for 1, the worst case trade is even -- at best, you can use that opportunity to get a higher priority tower.
On a more advanced note, sometimes letting a single tower go can be beneficial to someone on your team. Certain champions can really thrive on being able to farm a long lane, assuming you ward appropriately and control your area well. For example, Letting your outer bot-lane turret fall early can give a Vayne a little breathing room to farm, while freeing up your support to roam and do other things. Just remember to communicate with your team!
Making the most of Objectives
As you become more comfortable thinking about the game in terms of objectives, you begin layering them in terms of strategic complexity. One objective leads to the next, and you create a battle-map of how to win a game. What is important to remember however, is that there is no one set path to victory, and you need to be mindful of your "battle-sense" in terms of short-term and long term decisions.
Once mastered, however, you can often set up strings of advantages throughout a game that other players attribute to chance.
For example. Consider the following opening:
- Gank mid lane to enable a roam, when your mid laner finishes their first item.
- Roaming with your midlaner to bottom lane, calling your top laner to teleport in for a 5-man gank to knock down the bot-lane turret.
- Botlane swaps to top. Once they have pushed the lane and warded, Gank Top lane to take Rift Herald (and maybe the turret too).
- Call for another mass-gank mid, Use the rift herald to take mid turret and open the map.
Each of these steps is an individual objective that could happen in the course of the game, however each leads to the next through specific decisions. Other decisions could be made depending on where the next step wants to go. Objectives could change if something in the game goes against expectations. But just having the ability to think in terms of layered objectives will put you at a significant advantage in the jungle, and it is probably the most important aspect of the role.
Jungling as Ivern
Ivern's strenghts lie in scouting/counterjungling to deny the enemy jungler vision, gold, and XP, supporting lanes when ganking, and seigeing/diving turrets with Daisy.
While Ivern can start on either side of the jungle (Blue buff is slightly preferred first) our jungle path has to also contend with the dichotomy of waiting to clear camps that we do not use smite on.
To that end, it is advisable that you SET groves at 1-2 camps before using your FIRST smite, unless you are planning to steal an enemy camp as your opening play. Ivern has the most diverse set of opening options of any jungler in the game ... which is why a collection of opening moves has been added to a completely separate section below. Choosing the right opening vs your enemy counterpart will be crucial to getting your team off to a good start.
Since Ivern does not rely on itemization or combat stats to clear camps, he is at a distinct advantage in the new jungle versus other junglers that will be bound to scripted clear path. This opens up opportunities for Ivern to capitalize even more on his early timings, steal camps to hinder the enemy jungler's XP progression, and become a presence on the map earlier.
Regardless of your opening move, your early clear should seek to scout enemy jungler movements, and/or deny him resources through counter-jungling. This can have the greatest impact by stealing buffs, denying camps (especially Raptors or Krugs) to setting the enemy behind in XP and gold.
Especially due to his unique clear pattern, Ivern has one of the most flexible openings of any jungler in the game. You can power-farm your first clear, or use your nearly instant Smite clear to invade early and set the enemy jungler behind.
Season 7 changes to jungle removed smite buffs from Jungle Camps, and returned most junglers to Buff-First starting Jungle routes in Solo Queue. Longer respawn times and XP/Gold adjustments to jungle are a boon to Ivern, as the loss of any camp stolen by Ivern's early counter-jungling is more impactful in denying gold/XP especially if you can continue to counter-jungle throughout the game.
Once you get comfortable on Ivern, I recommend a Delayed Invade on the buff opposite the one your opponent is starting, as your default opening. More conservative Ivern players can opt for a fast full-clear of their jungle at the expense of early income while working toward vision control and lane pressure much sooner than most other junglers.
- Start with your Blue Sentinel and SMITE for the buff
- Wait for Gromp to spawn and SET his Grove
- Set your Grove on Wolves
- Watch for invades as you approach the RED SIDE of your jungle (especially vs Shaco)
- SET your Raptors
- SET and WARD Red Brambleback
- SET your Krugs
- Immediately BACK to your well and take a look at your lanes. Pick up a Control ward and a potion if you like. Once you are full health return to the map to clear the camps you have set. You can begin from either side, but plan ahead and start on the opposite side of the one you expect to GANK on following your clear. (By default I tend to get Red Buff off the map ASAP and Gank top)
This clear allows you to gank any lane at Level 4 with full health. It also allows you the clearest window to vie for vision control as you prepare your 2nd Clear, and contemplate disrupting the enemy jungle during his. While this is an extremely passive opening for Ivern, it does offer one major benefit above and beyond better timings... the chance do pointedly prepare to deny the enemy blue buff to a strong Mid-laner who needs it.
The biggest drawback to Ivern's standard clear is the amount of time that your camps are set and exposed to Counter-jungling. If the enemy team scouts your plan, you are heavily vulnerable to losing a valuable portion of your early gold/XP.
Red Invade versus a Blue Start
This is the most common start I anticipate players using as it mixes your standard clear with early counter-jungling to set the enemy team behind, and more junglers in the meta prefer a BLUE start than any other camp.
Prepare for your Blue buff spawn as normal, but try to scout the position of mid lane if possible, maybe ward the enemy blue if your dare. Try not to use Rootcaller more than once before you collect Blue buff, as it can throw off the timing you need to SET a camp in enemy territory and get out safely. Be prepared to immediately Flash over nearby walls if you are caught out.
- Set your Blue Sentinel but DO NOT SMITE.
- WALK to wolves and Set them.
- Invade the enemy Red Brambleback, keeping an eye on enemy laners. SET and SMITE the camp.
- Move back to your Blue buff and COLLECT it.
- If you are in a hurry to protect your Red Jungle, proceed to wolves and collect it before moving immediately to the other side of jungle -- otherwise, set Gromp before proceeding. If desired, you can SMITE your own Red Brambleback as you pass by, to prevent it being taken via counter-invade.
Blue Invade versus a Red/Krugs Start
While most junglers in the meta prefer a Blue start, having a plan versus Red-side focused junglers is a smart way to keep one step ahead of the meta. Take this with a grain of salt however, as most of the junglers that can start red-side can also start blue, and you may need to scout or audible if you discover their blue buff is already contested. Try not to use Rootcaller more than once before you collect Blue buff, as it can throw off the timing you need to SET a camp in enemy territory and get out safely. Be prepared to immediately Flash over nearby walls if you are caught out.
- Set your Raptors as soon as they spawn and DO NOT SMITE. (Note that the raptors actually spawn sooner than buff camps... don't be late!)
- WALK to your Red Sentinel and set it
- Move toward the enemy Blue Sentinel and keep an eye out for the enemy midlaner.
- Rootcaller over the wall, and Check vision if it connects. If the area is safe, dash over, SET and SMITE.
- Move back toward your red side jungle and Clear the camps you Set.
- SET grove on Wolves, Smite Blue, and set Gromp. From here you may choose to move toward scuttle and wait for your camps to mature, or recall.
Level 1-2 Gank Gambit (top)
Start as near as you dare to get to the enemy buff, and before the buff spawns, start moving. Immediately move to gank top lane, but don't overstay. You are trying to give an advantage to your top-laner, but if you over-commit trying for a kill it could backfire.
Instead of moving for a standard clear, you can hover topside for a little longer, keeping an eye out for a countergank from the enemy jungler while waiting to pick up your Blue. BE MINDFUL OF YOUR MANA. Until you get your blue-buff, you are going to be naturally weak... so don't frivolously set camps and put yourself in a bad position.
It is also optional to start with a Delayed Invade and set up some camps before you transition to a gank-buff gambit on the way back from stealing the enemy buff. While this takes more time, it allows for the lane matchup to mature a little before you gank. While still being able to achieve surprise, it does increase the likelihood of being counter-ganked or counterjungled by the enemy who will know that you have stolen a buff and will be delayed and weakened returning to your own jungle.
Be extremely cautious when you move to your Red-Side Jungle, as you will have tipped off the enemy jungler that you are vulnerable to an early invade. If you can stay on the map long enough to get your Third Smite off, and an extra camp, you should be able to get your Lucidity boots on your first BACK. Be mindful however, that you are trading some of your early timing for your Level 1 gank. You will need to be very cautious until you catch back up to parity with your enemy counterpart as you finish our clear... and it will be very likely that you will be counter-jungled to punish your early trade-off.
Once you complete your first item (after your boots), you should be thinking about where you can gank and how you can invade enemy Jungle. Any time you have Smite, you have the ability to rob the enemy jungler of a camp at very little cost.
DO NOT burn your smite frivolously on your own camps when it can be more effective to set-up your own jungle camp - invade, ward, and steal a camp, then collect your own camp on the way back. Judicious use of Smite is one of the most challenging aspects of this champion.
Ward and Sweep regularly, between picking up your own camps. Try to keep tabs on the enemy jungler. If he ganks a lane that you can't get to in time, go steal some of his jungle. Remember, while stealing buffs is the most entertaining way to starve your enemy, the Raptors can be just as important as they are along a regular gank path (ward it), and stealing them can deny a large chunk of EXP from the enemy team. Similarly, if you can Smite/steal Krugs, you are denying the single largest source of XP in the enemy jungle.
Set up for Objectives and follow through by taking them if you score a victory on a gank. Don't be a Miser with Daisy, her cooldown is surprisingly low.
This is where the ridiculous cooldown on your E really shines. Make sure you are shielding priority targets every chance you get. Use Brushmaker [W] behind vulnerable teammates to give them a place to break from vision and clutter up enemy decision-making. Keep an eye on Daisy at all times, She WILL wander off and chase an enemy quite far away from you if you let her. Fortunately a well landed Q, while peeling, will bring her right back to you.
You should be actively pushing towers or other objectives and always be nearby teammates to help in skirmishes. You will be mostly farming enemy jungle if you are pushing well, only falling back to your own jungle as you rotate off the map to heal. If you are losing the map, you should be focused on gathering your team to defend versus sieges and warding your jungle in preparation for pushing out.
Remember that no matter if you are ahead or behind, winning a fight necessitates taking an objective, preferably a tower. Pick-offs should be quick and clean for your team -- don't get distracted chasing fleeing enemies across a map, and don't get sucked into pointless fights over jungle camps. If you can control the map, you can take whatever you want while moving between objectives.
Ward and control space. Be EARLY to Dragon and Baron Spawns, and take Scuttle Crabs in advance. The single biggest advantage a team can have in League of Legends is controlling an area that the enemy NEEDS to fight to get INTO.
Have lanes prepared in advance of a fight so that when you win a skirmish, you can move right to taking an objective and closing the map to the enemy team.
Be prepared for the final push. It can be very tempting to win a fight or objective and switch right back into "more advantage mode". However, in the late game its time to cash advantages out. Take inhibitors, and just win the game. If you wait too long to close, the enemy team WILL catch back up.
Jungle Income Anlysis
Because Ivern is such a unique champion, especially considering his role as a support Jungler, he is capable of being effective on minimal gold. This isn't to say that you should only build inexpensive Items on him. However, it can be very enlightening to analyze his potential income and itemize appropriately, planning our power-spikes rather than trying to shoot for the moon every game. More importantly, it can help us plan out builds based on minimum thresholds, while showing us where we can make deviations if we are over/under performing.
Each of these snapshots assumes that your first 900g is spent on Ionian Boots of Lucidity in order to top out our jungle clear rate and smite usage.
This is a an example of Ivern opening with a passive clear, and only taking Scuttlecrabs as convenient. Downtime from clearing jungle can be used to Gank or Ward/Sweep, but the primary purpose of this snapshot is to establish what our minimum income should be in a vacuum. This snapshot includes MINIMAL gold from areas other than OUR jungle.
Baseline Income is also important to look at because it is also (roughly) what every other jungler will start at. While it doesn't encompass gold changes for ganking/taxing lanes, it can emphasize how important other sources of income will be for junglers who have higher gold requirements/expectations.
Important takeaways from this analysis:
- Gold income seems to hover around 250 gold/minute
- Early game/farming phase should end around 11:30 (completion of first item).
- First Core Item should be around 2100g
Getting More (from counter-jungling)
This snapshot assumes you are stealing one camp from the enemy jungle and collecting one scuttle crab from each clear. It does not include extraneous income from towers, ganks, or babysitting. It does, however have an added benefit from falling more easily into rotations that allow you to optimize the clearing of small-camps on spawn -- after your 1st clear.
Remember that counter-jungling can take more time and effort than merely ganking lanes, but the payoff is magnified since you are not only gaining extra XP and gold, but also denying it to the enemy team/jungler.
A good rough estimtate of how this denial translates to the game is to look at how for ahead, counter-jungling puts our timing, and assume it takes twice as long for the enemy jungler to make up lost ground (leeching xp from lanes, or waiting for additional camps to spawn). Remember that this is only an ESTIMATE. Counter-jungling tends to force an enemy jungler to gank more, and a successful gank can catch him up sooner than expected. Make sure you are helping to ward and counter-gank when possible, in order to hedge this advantage in your favor.
Important takeaways from this analysis:
- Counter-jungling dramatically increases your income efficiency
- Mid-Game can be accelerated to 11:00 if we prioritize itemization at 2100g. Future's Market allows us to rush items like Ardent Censer as soon as 11:00 (sooner if we fore-go boots) making this a potent tactic to try and snowball a lane while ganking.
- Assuming the enemy jungler is unable to recover lost xp, We gain 25 seconds of map time, while he loses 50 seconds of game time. This is a nice window in order to try and capitalize on our advantage. This is good Timing -- Use it to your advantage!
Time as a Resource
One of the most important things to remember while Jungling as Ivern is how you manage your TIME.
When you gank, make an impact and get out. Don't overstay trying to force a kill. Just the added pressure in lane has an influence on the game... whether or not you get a kill, or even a summoner spell. If you FEED a kill during a gank that pressure is undone. But, if you pressure a lane and back off, you can push something else on the map while the enemy team tries to undo what you've already done.
When you Counter-jungle, get in and get out. There is no need to linger unless you are setting up a bait (with teammates). If you are spotted invading and the enemy team can contest, make a show of being there, but walk away. While the enemy team is leaving their lanes to try and punish you, you can be moving somewhere else and using your TIME more productively than they are, in the meantime -- just forcing enemy team members to leave lanes is a WIN for you teammates, giving them FREE TIME in lane.
This is one of the more complicated aspects of jungling that Ivern REALLY revels in. Everywhere you go, everything you do, creates ripples in the course of the game. For every action you take, there is a reaction by the enemy. Your task is to choose actions that allow you generate the kinds of advantages you want, and while the enemy team is reacting... go somewhere else and generate a bigger advantage.
Here is an example from a recent game I played.
- I open with a Delayed-Red-Steal on an enemy Nautilus. This costs Nautilus some gold and XP. His reaction was to gank a lane earlier than usual to try and recoup XP.
- While Nautilus is prematurely ganking, I finish my 1st clear and steal ANOTHER camp while also taking a Scuttle crab. This puts me 3 camps ahead of Naut in gold and XP. While Naut sucessfully collects a summoner spell, he does not collect a kill from ganking in a weakened state, and he leeches gold and XP from his mid-laner, while MY mid laner does not even need to recall.
- Because Nautilus is behind in gold (and off on his timings) I am free to go steal his Red buff again, widening the deficit. This time I gank Top lane immediately after. I do not secure a kill, but the enemy top laner has to recall, setting him behind in CS and XP. Since I am Ivern (and I am ahead), I feel no need to take farm from my laner
- As I am working my way through the rest of my 2nd Clear, Nautilus ganks top lane to try and get his laner back in the game. In response, I immediately gank Bot lane.
- Ganking bot results in 2 kills and 1 death (the support), burning all 4 bot-lane summoner spells, AND the enemy midlaner leaves lane to roam bot. MY midlaner follows, and we easily push the enemy out of river to secure dragon while Nautilus is still trying to cross the map.
Some players may argue that any successful strong gank bot can result in a "free dragon". What separates good junglers from great junglers are the small things you do over the course of a game that increase the likelyhood of generating larger advantages, and directing your effort toward advantages that will have a longer lasting impact than simply increasing your team's KDA.
To be continued...
This guide has been carefully crafted and updated to reflect changes up to the kickoff of Season 8. While it has useful information for players of all skill levels, it has been designed to offer the most benefit to players learning not just Ivern, but how to jungle in general.
Feel free to comment or make suggestions if you would like to see additions.
Below are sections and content I wanted to keep available, but felt out of place in various edits to the general guide.
Special Recognition and Thanks
Season 8 Winner for Updated Guide -- No Escape (Jungle)
I am one of those people who fell in love with Ivern immediately upon his release. Maybe it was just my nature as a support main - jungle secondary. Maybe it was just his eccentricities, commentary, and goofy walk. I can't say for sure but for whatever reason, Ivern and I just click. It was for that love that I decided to make this guide and share him the way I saw him.
I tried to put together a comprehensive guide that would be beneficial across all skill levels even if aimed towards those that might be jungling for the first time.
Well, to put it as Ivern would... "The sunshine tastes so good today!"
Thank you to Psiguard, I Am Goliath, Yamikazexz, MissMaw, Aqua Dragon, Vapora Dark, and jhoijhoi, for taking the time to Judge the contest and for singling out my entry.
Thank you to the other contest winners ... All of the guides are wonderfully done, and I cannot help but be impressed by the company I am being held up to.
Most importantly thanks to YOU, the reader. Without you, this guide would never have existed.
Plants offer Ivern some additional utility in Jungle, especially considering how how much time he spends roaming the map thanks to his unique clear. however engagements/invades based on plant timings can make great use of these tools to keep Ivern as healthy and elusive as possible while moving around the map... while denying their access to the enemy team.
***Special note: as of this writing Ivern CANNOT Rootcaller to plants for evading and moving around the jungle
Blast Cone is useful for evading enemy attempts to punish you for counter-jungling, and even fending off invades in your own jungle.
Scryer's Bloom gives you additional vision on the map, allowing you to gauge risks while moving into an area. This is useful tool to gain vision AND deny it to the enemy team, without the use of a ward.
Honeyfruit is a useful means by which to top off your health and mana while moving between jungles. For Ivern, this is especially useful due to the health and mana requirement of his passive for clearing jungle camps (especially scuttle crab). Snagging some honeyfruit between invades creates opportunities to gank lanes more often by keeping you topped off while roaming.
Blue = Scryer's Bloom
Green = Honeyfruit