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Neeko Build Guide by Vapora Dark

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Vapora's Guide To Jungle Neeko

By Vapora Dark | Updated on January 24, 2019
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Champion Build Guide

Vapora's Guide To Jungle Neeko

By Vapora Dark
-Table of Contents-

Hey guys, I'm MSF Vapora Dark, a guide-writer and sponsored streamer for Misfits Gaming. I've been an EUW D1-Master level player since season 4, and have been writing guides since 2011. I'd like to think that I'm pretty good at it. My guides total over 50 million views!

Vapora Dark

Neeko is a unique trickster champion that can completely take over games with her high damage, large amount of crowd control and the ability to hide herself in multiple ways. In this guide I will be covering her jungle playstyle.
She can also be played in both mid and support, in which I have also made a guide for here:
I hope you enjoy reading the guide as much as I enjoyed writing it, and most importantly, that you take everything you can from it!

If you like Neeko and would enjoy talking about her, come participate in /r/NeekoMains on Reddit.

Domination & Sorcery




Electrocute
Electrocute: As a burst mage, Neeko will want to consistently deal more damage at every stage of the game. Whilst runes such as Dark Harvest can potentially snowball into more powerful runes, the consistency and general power of Electrocute makes it the best rune overall.

Sudden Impact
Sudden Impact: This tier unfortunately doesn't have many good options for Neeko jungle as she can't make great use of either the high DPS of Cheap Shot or the healing from Taste of Blood. As Neeko can go invisible with her W Shapesplitter you can squeeze some extra damage out of her combo if you at somepoint cast it. Especially before her ultimate Pop Blossom.

Eyeball Collection
Eyeball Collection: Consistency is very important when it comes to runes. Whilst Zombie Ward or Ghost Poro might be situationally stronger, constantly getting more ability power is more valuable in most situations.

Relentless Hunter
Relentless Hunter: As with every champion that takes a hunter rune, they're all powerful in their own way. The best all round option though is Relentless Hunter. This is due to the fact Neeko isn't amazing at ganking so being able to more easily run between camps and into lanes is very important.


Sorcery


Celerity


Waterwalking
Celerity: Whilst this rune doesn't offer any damage, the 8% increased movement speed will work on the other rune choices you make and her Shapesplitter which can be the difference between getting something done and doing nothing.

Waterwalking: As a jungler it's important to have neautral objective control. Scuttle crab, dragons, herald and baron are all things you need to pay attention to and gaining some extra ability power whilst you take them is important. More importantly however is the bonus movement speed you get whilst in the river. Together with Celerity and Relentless Hunter you can very quickly run up through the river and into a lane to gank which is very important as Neeko lacks the ability to dash over walls or create unique paths like Kayn with Shadow Step.
Offence: Attack Speed +10%
Flex: Adaptive Power +10
Defense: Armour +5

Flash
This summoner spell is one you should always take and the one you'll always see. Flash has a billion and one uses, from flashing in to get a kill, from flashing away from danger, flashing over walls and flashing over abilities. This is something you should be very familiar with by now and it's something you should ALWAYS have. There is never a situation where you don't take flash.
Smite
Smite is always taken because you're a jungler. You need it to buy the jungle items like Hunter's Talisman and Stalker's Blade - Runic Echoes. Aside from the items you need to buy, it also gives you better clears (with healing) and killing big camps faster. It's also required to reliably get objective monsters like Baron/Dragon. If you don't take Smite and the enemy team has one, you will be at a disadvantage. You should ALWAYS take Smite if you're jungling.
-Skill Order-

> >
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Q E W Q Q R Q E Q E R E E W W R W W

Passive: Inherent Glamour
Inherent Glamour
A very powerful deception tool, Inherent Glamour allows Neeko to turn into any allied champion on the map indefinetly to be seen as a perfect copy of that champion to the enemy team. Whenever Neeko casts Blooming Burst or Tangle-Barbs the effect instantly wears off. It will always instantly wear off if she basic attacks a champion, takes damage from a champion or uses a summoner spell. However she can cast Shapesplitter to create another copy of the champion Neeko copied. This makes for some great mind game potential in areas where the enemy has little vision. Potentially creating 3 of the same champion it can be very hard to figure out which is Neeko, the Clone and the Ally. Pop Blossom will also not break Inherent Glamour during the 1.25s channel allowing her to hide the long wind up (unless she takes damage breaking the disguise).

One very important thing to note about this passive is the fact you can still basic attack whilst disguised. This allows you to set up some crafty tricks. Such as pretending to be Twitch whilst he's in stealth and you just act like you're farming, then as he un-stealths you can root them with Tangle-Barbs. It's also great for ganking as you can pretend to be a different champion to who you actually are. People are less afraid of a Sivir ganking them than someone with hard crowd control.

Q: Blooming Burst
Blooming Burst
A basic area of effect ability that will trigger multiple times if it hits a champion or large monster. This is what lets you easily clear the jungle as it will always trigger multiple times if you hit the large monster of the camp. Together with Hunter's Talisman you can very quickly and healthy clear camps after your first clear. Once you finish your Enchantment: Runic Echoes you'll be very quick to clear camps allowing you to keep up in gold and experience.
I max this ability first as it's your main damage source.

W: Shapesplitter
Shapesplitter
Passivley, you deal bonus damage every third basic attack and gain a small burst of movement speed. This is great for helping you clear the jungle as you'll be constantly auto attacking. This is also why we take the +10% attack speed in the flex runes instead of 10 more ability power, as it will let us proc this more often.
The active however is very interesting. Upon cast she instantly becomes invisible for 0.5s and creats a clone of her current form to run in the targeted direction for 2 seconds. It also gives both her and the clone some bonus movement speed. Comlpimenting itself, you can prepare the third basic attack then cast Shapesplitter to get the bonus movement speed and make enemies confused as to the real you. Then you can freely get the empowered attack off and run away with the movement speed again. For jungling you can easily make it so you have your third basic attack ready to help secure objective with Smite or ready it for when you gank someone to get an extra burst of damage.
It also has great potential to trick your enemies. By creating a copy of your current form, that means it can also copy your Inherent Glamour form too. Allowing you to hide yourself or the allied champion in a unique cup game-like twist.
I max this ability last as it's pretty much pure utility. Only the cooldown goes down by 1 second and the damage on the third hit scales harder with ability power than the points.

E: Tangle-Barbs
Tangle-Barbs
A very powerful crowd control ability that allows you to create incredibly long crowd control durations enabling Neeko to combo some of the highest damage in the entire game. It deals some ok damage but the root is the most important factor. Whilst it only roots for a small 0.5s, it quickly increases based on how many targets you root with the ability. It also goes through all units making it not only good to use through a minion wave to catch people off-guard, but optimal in most cases. The root increases by a small amount to the last champion hit if another unit is infront of them. This makes it important to catch at least 1 extra target infront of your intended target in order for your inteded target to be rooted for loner which in turn makes it more easy to hit multiple Blooming Burst triggers. I should also mention that as it can hit every target in the line, it can greatly assist with pushing/jungle clear due to its decent base damage ( Lux's Lucent Singularity for example has 20 more base damage and 20% higher AP ratio, and is her main waveclear ability).
The most important thing to remember though is that if it hits 2 targets the root becomes drastically more powerful to the final target hit. Going from a 0.5 second root to a potential 3 second root is absurd. That is the same duration as a rank 5 Dark Binding, that has a lower cooldown, longer range and can go through minions. You'll usually be using this in lane to tag 2 minions with it and then hit your target champion with the super empowered root in order to get your Blooming Burst off in its entireity.
I max this ability seconds for the extra base damage and increased root duration when empowered.

R: Pop Blossom
Pop Blossom
One of the strongest damaging abilities in the game, Pop Blossom can single handedly win games if you set it up properly. Whilst it has a long delay from pressing the ultimate button to actually triggering the area of effect damage it can be played around fairly easily with the rest of her kit and how the ultimate works. She can be completely hidden whilst she does the initail charge as it doesn't break her Inherent Glamour. This means you can more easily stay in range of people during the channel without them using Flash or just running away. When you jump up into the air you're unable to move but you gain a pretty heafty shield based on how many enemies are nearby and it will slow those champions by 40%. Then once you land from the jump, you nuke the giant area for a huge amount of damage and you stun every enemy to boot. Whilst there isn't much direct depth to this ability, it has natural synergy with Inherent Glamour and deals so much damage it's important to consistently land.

Hunter's Talisman
Your starting item will always be the Hunter's Talisman. As a mage/AoE jungler you gain a lot more out of this than you do the Hunter's Machete even though we take extra attack speed and have an ability that scales with basic attacks. Being able to clear camps like the raptor camp from as early as level 1 without needing to smite or drink a potion is something most junglers wish they could do. Although you'll rarely be starting anywhere but a buff with a leash the passive just becomes stronger and stronger the longer the game goes.
Stalker's Blade
The best of the 2 smite enhancements is the Stalker's Blade. This is because Neeko doesn't want to duel often and if gets caught out by someone is unlikely to survive from the damage reduction. You'll either die quickly, escape or kill quickly. This makes the extra ganking power and instant damage of the Stalker's Blade more useful. It also has nice synergy with the rune Celerity which we take.
Enchantment: Runic Echoes
This is the only option Neeko has when it comes to jungle. You can do some silly troll builds with Bloodrazer but overall this is the only option. It acts like a mini Luden's Echo which is the best item on her for mid lane as it offers extra burst and jungle clear.
Sorcerer's Shoes
After finishing your Runic Echoes you'll then want to gain as much extra damage as possible. The flat penetration combo of Sorcerer's Shoes + Oblivion Orb is a must buy. There aren't any other boot choices in my opinion.
Oblivion Orb
Whilst most items only become powerful when you fully complete them, the Oblivion Orb spikes when you finish it instead of the full Morellonomicon. Gaining magic penetration, ability power and some health makes for a powerful item in the early-mid game especially when combined with Sorcerer's Shoes
Zhonya's Hourglass
With the nature of Neeko's kit and Pop Blossom being very important to land, the power of being able to dive in recklessly and still survive is very powerful. You can cast Zhonya's Hourglass at any point during Pop Blossom and it will fully complete. That means you can very consistently jump into the middle of a group of enemies and press your ultimate key and follow up immediately with a zhonyas. You cannot cast this during the jump of your ultimate so there is a small window where you're vulnerable if you're not cautious.
Void Staff
Whilst the Void Staff will allow you to penetrate all kinds of magic resistance which is very powerful, it's important to know it's not very cost efficient. The target must have over 80 magic resistance for it to even be considered. As most people buy flat penetration from Oblivion Orb and Sorcerer's Shoes you must check the enemy teams items before committing to buying this.
Rabadon's Deathcap
After 2-3 other items you'll want to purchase a Rabadon's Deathcap. The huge ability power multiplier makes this a must buy on nearly every mage and with the high ability power ratios Neeko has she is one of the many who needs to buy this.
Banshee's Veil
Sometimes you need a lot of magic resistance and the ability to negate an ability. Whilst this item isn't as good on Neeko due to the fact you can simply cast Shapesplitter in the direction of an incoming spell to prevent it, you also sometimes need a lot of magic resistance and this is the only item a burst mage can buy that has that.
Lich Bane
A very niche and situational item I wouldn't recommend you buy consistently. It has incredible synergy with your third basic attack with Shapesplitter but you won't constantly be able to get that off together. You also have cooldowns not short enough to constantly proc it or have a frontloaded empowered auto attack like Phase Dive or Pick A Card.
Hextech Protobelt-01
Hextech Protobelt-01 is a good item but there are usually better options at every stage of the game. That being said, you can use the active during the wind up of your ultimate allowing you to get a little extra distance which can be the difference between hitting someone and missing. It gains more and more value the more mobility the enemy team has so it's always an item you should consider if you don't need the other items. It should be mentioned you cannot cast this during the jump animation of her ultimate as you are locked in place.
Botside Leash > Raptors/Wolves (Blue/Red sides) > Scuttle
Although your early game is pretty weak you still have good ganks and scuttle control. Then once you finish your first recall you can easily clear the jungle with no struggle. You'll always want to start with a good leash if you can as it's pretty difficult to clear a buff quickly at level 1. Then you'll move over to either the wolves or raptors and take them. After taking both of those camps you should be looking for the safe side scuttle (safe being with your bottom lane as 3v3s with a Heal is usually easier to survive than a a 2v2 with Ignite or Teleport). If the enemy jungler is someone who can fight you, just concede the crab and go on to clear the rest of your jungle. Going Buff > Raptors/Wolves > Wolves/Raptors > Buff. You can then clear the remaining Gromp/Krugs or look for a gank somewhere.

After your first clear and recall you can then dynamically clear your jungle and contest scuttle. With your Tangle-Barbs removing the resistance from the crab and the fact you have Waterwalking means it'll be hard to chase and kill you but also hard to catch you doing the crab as you do it very quickly. Your early objective control is pretty bad however so keep in mind you can't solo things like herald or dragon, but you can gank the nearby lane and 2/3 man it as you deal a lot of damage still. You're just too squishy to solo it.

Whilst counter jungling is important as a jungler, you can only reliably walk into the enemy jungle if you're either super fed or you know where the enemy jungle is. If you accidentally walk into a Graves he'll dig your Grave. However thanks to your slippery nature and high damage if the enemy jungler isn't nearby you can quickly run in and take a camp without them being able to stop you. Just be aware you're fairly immobile and very squishy which is a bad combination to be stuck in the enemy jungle with.
If you're not ganking, you should be farming. You want to get yourself as fed as possible so take as many jungle camps as you can, as well as take lane CS whenever the opportunity arises (explained further down). It's also really important to kill scuttle crabs when they spawn as they offer a large amount of gold and experience. As a mage jungler it's not very easy for you to take an early Dragon or Herald but they're still very important to track in order to make sure the enemy team doesn't get them.
Whenever one of your ganks succeeds, look out for an opportunity to get an objective out of it. For example if you double kill the enemy bot lane you can convert that into a dragon since for the enemy mid and jungle to contest that they'd have to 2v4. However, dragon is not always a possibility, especially if your team is low or if you only kill one of the enemy bot lane, and sometimes it's just not even the best objective to take. If you have to choose between taking a dragon or getting the tower first blood, you should pretty much always go for the tower first blood, since it grants a massive gold increase which is more immediately beneficial than that of the buffs given by dragons. However with the new plating system it'sbetter to get a dragon than it is to get a plate or 2. However if you're able to fully kill the tower then that has a higher priority. And in general I would just always prioritize towers over dragons, since getting more map control by taking down towers makes it easier to take dragons later on, whereas choosing to take a dragon instead is harder to convert into taking towers later.

Additionally make sure to hold lanes whenever possible, e.g. if one of your laners has to recall or dies, the enemy will be shoving that wave into your tower to make your laner miss CS, so you can take advantage of this by taking the wave for yourself since it would die to tower anyway, and thus get yourself ahead since lane CS gives more gold and XP than a jungle camp, and does so without being at the expense of your HP.
Whenever you counter jungle, if possible you should take the big monster but leave 1 small monster alive, to delay the camp's spawning as much as possible. When the enemy jungler wants to farm the camp, they won't find it already in the process of respawning soon, but have to kill the last remaining monster for a tiny bit of gold and a tiny bit of XP, and then have to wait the entire 1m40s for it to respawn.
Hopper is Bae
Neeko is an excellent trickster champion with a very unique kit that isn't too hard to pick up and play but has limitless potential if you're crafty enough. I hope you found this helpful and helped you learn to play Neeko as a jungler!

Special thanks to Hopper for banners and coding. This guide was a collaboration with Vicious Skittle, who wrote the majority of the guide.
Check out my Mid/Support Neeko guide here:
League of Legends Build Guide Author Vapora Dark
Vapora Dark Neeko Guide