When assuming the role of a jungler in League of Legends, players will have to adapt to a playstyle way different from the standard laning experience. Junglers have to fight monsters and prowl from the bushes to catch enemy champions off guard and get the upper hand on them. Since you will always roam around the map, you will have the opportunity to seriously impact lanes and secure neutral, game-changing objectives.
Jungling is a good role to take on if players want to experience unique but very complex gameplay as there are specific mechanics and routes to learn. A good jungler can carry games and progress through ranks just as any other role if not better. With this League of Legends Jungle Guide, we will introduce you to the jungling world, how to perform the role correctly, and offer crucial tips that can help you adapt to the role quickly.
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The jungle is a series of locations on the Summoner's Rift map that is located between the three major lanes. The name ‘jungle’ is inspired by elements it harbors such as neutral animal-like creatures, significant 'buffs’, bushes, and trees, all of which resemble a forest or a jungle. While allies must earn experience and gold from lane minions as well as engage in skirmishes with opposing laners, junglers must slay monsters on their side of the jungle to level up.
The best junglers are bruisers or tanky champions that provide utility for their teams while still being able to take a fair amount of damage as jungle camps are not to be trifled with. From time to time, unconventional champions find their way into the mix, but fighters and tanks are often seen as the best options for junglers. For an outsider, jungling can be seen as a role, but once all monsters have been slain, it is time to look for ways to help your laners and perform ‘ganks’.
This can be achieved by carefully monitoring the mini-map for opponents with low HP or those who pushed minions further away from the safety of their turrets. Knowing when to strike and how to plan your jungle route is what separates good junglers from the rest. It is the jungler's job to keep tabs on key buffs and objectives all around the map, such as the Elder Dragon and Baron Nashor. Junglers should scout these monsters and have them warded to make sure opponents are not taking them for free.
Enemy junglers will look to do the similar job you are doing, so you should keep track of their whereabouts and try to predict where they might make plays. Generally speaking, hovering over the lane where your allies are overextending or warding enemy jungle camps is a good way to do that. This way you can aid your team which is being ganked or invade enemy junglers to catch them off guard.
The jungle is home to various neutral monsters with a river passing through it. Two Rift Scuttlers, various Dragons, and a Baron live in that river. The Dragon pit is on the bottom side of the map and the Baron Nashor is located near the top lane. In the jungle itself, non-significant jungle monsters such as Raptors, Wolves, Krugs, and Gromp exist. The more important creatures, Red Brambleback and Blue Sentinel are generally fought over for the buffs they provide upon death.
Raptors consist of a large Crimson Raptor and five small Raptors that provide experience and gold upon death. This camp is usually avoided in the early game by champions who do not have AoE abilities to slay them easily. Wolf_camp is home to a pack of wolves consisting of two lesser Murk Wolves and a large Greater Murk Wolf. Just like the Raptors, the Wolf camp provides gold and experience, however, it is a bit easier to take on early since it is halved in population.
Krugs are interesting monsters as they multiply upon death. Initially, the Ancient Krug and one medium Krug spawn, and once slain, the Ancient Krug spawns two medium Krugs, and the medium Krug spawns two lesser Krugs. Then, when killing the medium Krugs, two lesser ones spawn resulting in 10 monsters in total. These provide gold and experience like the camps above. Gromp is a frog-like creature, a bit tougher than the rest of the camps, that provides gold and experience as well as health and mana upon death. It can be tricky to slay but offers good sustain for early-game clears.
Moving to the more powerful creatures, Red Brambleback is a strong foe, and for a good reason. It offers a ‘red buff’ when slain that grants out of combat health regeneration as well as a slow and DoT effect on auto-attacks. Similarly, Blue Sentinel offers a ‘blue buff’ upon death which grants resource regeneration and ability haste. Both also drop gold and experience with the respective buffs.
The crab monster residing in the river, Rift Scuttler, strolls back and forth when spawned. This creature is a pacifist as it does not retaliate when attacked, but flees instead. It has a big shield that can be destroyed by attacking it or by applying CC to it. It grants a bit more gold and experience than the standard jungle monsters and forms a speed shrine that grants vision and movement speed for the killer’s team.
Dragons are epic monsters that have 6 variants each granting a unique buff as well as gold and experience for its slayer and their team. Upon getting 4 dragons, you and your team get a unique buff Dragon Soul depending on the types of dragons slain. Afterward, an Elder Dragon can only spawn, granting the ‘Aspect of the Dragon’ buff which can be a game-changer. Dragons are generally highly contested objectives for these reasons Rift Herald is a monster that spawns twice in the Baron Nashor pit before its first spawn at 20 minutes. During the fight, a purple eye on its back opens that can be hit for massive damage. It is followed by a charge than can knock champions back. Upon slaying the herald, gold, experience, and Eye of the Herald can be obtained. The eye can be picked up for an enhanced recall and acts as a spawn for the herald itself, which is excellent for destroying turrets.
Baron Nashor is the last monster on our list and the last monster you want to fight if not prepared properly. It spawns after two heralds and has numerous attacks. It usually requires the whole team to slay it but offers the most powerful buff in the game. When slain, the slayer’s living team members receive gold, experience, bonus attack damage, and ability power, as well as an empowered recall, and an aura that increases health, damage, speed, and resistances of nearby minions.
Make sure to cover entrances to your jungle to prevent enemy invades. These can offer a great lead for your opponents in the beginning so beware. Since you start the game with a single ability, make sure to have your allies help you with the first monster. This is called a ‘leash’ and is performed correctly once an ally hits the monster first, making it run to the ally and allowing you to land a few hits without taking damage.
As a jungler, you will spend the early stages of the game finishing the jungle path you have selected. Once you have started your jungle path, keep an eye out for potential ganks by scanning the mini-map and every lane. The best strategy is to wait until you have completed a jungle clear with both buffs before attempting a gank.
Starting a game on the right foot is all about understanding where the opposing jungle begins and what kinds of clears they are most likely to do. In the early phases of the game, this will give you a decent sense of where the opposing jungler is.
To become an effective jungler the first step is to choose your jungle path, in other words, in which order you will be slaying jungle camps. The first clear refers to your initial jungle path until you recall to base or die. In the jungle, there is a couple of jungle clears to consider:
2 Buff clear
After killing your first Red/Blue buff, you will proceed to gank at level two. To avoid losing your camps to the opponent jungler if you end up dying, do not push this gank too hard to get the kill. As long as the opponent laner's HP is hurt or they had to burn a Summoner Spell, your ally will have a good enough early advantage. Immediately after your gank make sure to run to the other buff and clear that side of the jungle. You will be just in time for the Rift Scuttler afterward.
3 Camps clear
You can opt for a clear that involves both buffs and a Gromp as well. You will get level 3 faster this way and have a chance to execute better ganks. Also, some champions are not as effective without their third ability, therefore this jungle path is a must. Most of the time, the top and bot laners will be level 2, while you will hit a fast level 3 and increase your odds of ganking successfully. If you manage to get a kill, you can potentially create a snowball effect for your laner and even grab the Rift Scuttler without worrying about it being contested.
If you are just starting as a jungler, a full clear is a good place to start. You may be counter jungled and miss out on a Rift Scuttler but this is the safest approach overall as you will avoid early skirmishes in the river. If you start at the Blue side, clear Red buff and rotate to Krugs. From there, clear camps towards Blue buff and finish with Gromp. If you spawn at the Red side, begin your clear with Blue buff, proceed to Gromp, and make your way to Krugs.
4-5 Camp Clear
This clear is very good in case your champion is not equipped with AoE abilities that can clear the Raptors camp effectively. If you want to complete a 5 camp clear on the Red side, start on the bottom side buff, clear that side, and move towards the top side jungle. If on the Blue side, start from Blue buff, move to Krugs, ignore Raptors, and move towards the top-side jungle. Sometimes, players opt to also avoid clearing Krugs since they are not along the jungle path, resulting in faster ganks.
Try to plan your jungle path ahead of the game to avoid wasting time thinking on the fly. Pay attention to invades and have your buffs warded to spot enemy junglers and even look to ward theirs. Note that despite farming being very important early, make sure to apply pressure on the map; contest the Rift Scuttler and gank whenever you can, the more you can. You should go for the top and middle lanes, but you may also attempt to gank the bot lane if you see the potential.
It is wiser to recall or clear more of the jungle if you are low on health than to try to force a gank and risk dying. Remember to keep an eye out for the enemy jungler as well. They may be searching for an opportunity to gank your allies or to get into your jungle.
Should you invade, you may catch them during fighting a camp and have an easier time taking them on. If not, you at least denied the camp and gold as well as experience with it. If you spot the enemy jungler on the opposite side of the map, make sure to either get an objective on your side, invade, or even turret dive if you have the means to do so.
In the mid game, try helping out lanes or even ‘camp’ a lane that has a strong potential to close your game later. Do not neglect your weak teammates though, as their opposing laners will do work on your towers and base. Make sure to avoid staying at a single location for too long as that wasted time could be for securing objectives, farming, or increasing the lead of your laners.
Jungle camps are a good source of income and experience throughout the game and you should look to have them on cooldown whenever you can. At this stage, your Blue buff will be more beneficial in the hands of your mid laner so try to let them have it. Your Red buff can remain with you as it is good to have in skirmishes or if you look to invade or gank lanes.
Ganking enemies regularly will force them to play safer since they will fret about you showing up at any moment. This will allow you to invade and take enemy camps or secure an objective more easily. Look to gank winning lanes or those that have enough CC to secure a kill. Pay attention to counter-ganks as these can make or break your lead. You do not want to set up a gank and get interrupted by the enemy jungler in the middle of it. This could be prevented by warding points of interest and frequented areas to plan your next move with precision.
Make sure to take buffs or have your teammates take them when they get the chance. You can also try invading the enemy jungle to take theirs and ward for information. Try focusing on securing objectives rather than camps. The Dragon soul has probably been already taken so your focus should be on Elder Dragon or Baron Nashor. Make sure these points of interest are warded at all times and pay close attention to your mini-map for potential plays.
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