Adapted from a post I originally made on my all that is ranked thread.

This may all be a no brainer for higher level junglers, but for people that are just getting into jungle or have hit a wall at their current ELO this might be of help if you aren't already doing it.

The idea is to have a plan about how you are going to path in the early game to increase your likelihood of impacting the map early in a positive way and hence increase your chances of going into the Mid game with a lead.

If you are like me for the longest time you had no plan other than to clear your camps and maybe gank overextended lanes if they were near to where you ended your clear. And if there were no ganks available you would go back to farming.

But what if you could pretty much ensure your clear ended up at an almost certainly overextended lane? Sounds pretty good, right?

To be clear this is an early game plan and one which you may have to adapt if you get invaded or if your team calls for and conducts an invade, but for now I'm going to lay out the bones of how you go about deciding what your early pathing will be. It says nothing about the Mid game other than if early is good, Mid probably looks good too.

Step 1: In champion select make a prediction about which lanes will push.

Cheat sheet: (IIRC there are more elements than this and I'll update it when I look at my list at home)

Ranged pushes Melee
Higher threat pushes
It is rare for lanes to go even (someone will hit lvl 2 first and then they are likely to get aggressive).

This tells you which lanes will be gankable and which lanes you might need to countergank.

Step 2 Ask yourself do I win the 1v1 vs the enemy jungler?

Step 3 Do we win a 2v2 countergank scenario?

Step 4 What will be the enemy junlgers path?

Cheat sheet

9x out of ten the enemy jungle will start with their Bot lane leashing them even if that is not optimal. Your map hack is

A) seeing when the enemy laners come to lane
B) checking their mana

If their laners come to lane late they likely leashed. And if they are missing some mana they almost 100% leashed. You can fake leash, but it is rare in soloqueue for this to happen.

Then the enemy jungler is probably going to do camps that play to their strengths with the intent of hitting level 3 as fast as possible. (if they do a lot of single target damage like Udyr a common path would be Red > Wolves > Blue > Gromp or Blue > Gromp > Wolves > Red (both paths will get you level 3).

So junglers with the capability to gank will most likely complete 4 actions and on their fifth action they will look for a gank.

If you really want to get into the weeds you can time yourself doing various clears and if you know the enemy junglers clear speed you can factor that in to where they could be and what their choices should be.

For example I now know that Pantheon's clear speed is low so in the time it takes him to do Red > Raptors > Blue (3 camps and be level 2), Hecarim can do Blue > Wolves > Raptors > Red (4 camps and be level 3) and be in the enemy's jungle looking to invade or get vision). Note: this is with using a trick to heal off of Raptors while you do Red.

Ergo if you have a fast and healthy clear and are a good duelest your plan may be to kill Pantheon before he hits level 3.

Step 5: After a game, watch at least the early game and see if your assumptions are correct. If they are not then watch the lane and see why not. Maybe they purposely didn't push for lvl 2 because they were concerned about a lvl 2 gank say from a Twitch jungle. Then update your mental lexicon.

The point is to build up a league sense about what is likely to happen and why. And yeah, you'll probably be bad at it at first.

My coach put it this way. League is a big IF statement that you will add to over time and you can judge your progress as a player by how many things your IF statement takes into account.

For instance last night I learned that Jarvan IV does not win the 1v1 vs Lee Sin at level 3. So in future games I may decide to start on the opposite side of the map from Lee, especially if I have a gank on that side of the map since I don't want to interact with Lee because I don't win the 1v1 or the 2v1 (because of his shield and mobility, Lee is quite good at counterganking). Or maybe I don't even pick Jarvan IV because Lee counters what I want to do as Jarvan (like not picking J4 into Janna because that is aids if the Janna knows what she is doing).

So part of building up your League sense should be sticking to a champion for at least 20 games and then re-evaluating so you can start understanding which 1v1s you can take and which 2v2s you can take.