Compilation of 11 helpful and important tips to help a jungler out. Written by NeoDharma on Reddit.
Hello! I am a Diamond IV Jungle and Support main. I’ve been playing off and on since closed beta, but really took things seriously for Season 3. I reached Diamond a month or so ago, went up to Diamond III, and after a losing streak from Diamond III down to Diamond IV, I took stock of what I thought I could be doing wrong, and re-evaluated my roles. This started out as just an exercise for myself, but after showing a friend, I’m taking his advice and posting it here.
I think this list could help a lot of Bronze-Gold junglers improve and move up, and I sincerely hope it does just that
To clarify on a few things.. Yes, this is pretty basic stuff / common sense. It’s not intended to be an intricate guide for high ELO jungle play. It’s just things that I think people should know or keep in mind to help them improve from lower ELOs to higher ones. As I stated above, I originally wrote this list to remind myself of what I should be doing.
#1 is based on the assumption that you can play 3-4 junglers equally well. Picking a jungler you can’t play well just to fit the team comp could be a mistake — you’ll have to make that decision yourself
This is all just my opinion, and mostly applies to solo queue. Jungling in arranged 5′s is a whole different animal. Please give me feedback and let me know what you agree with or what you think is wrong.
So, here we go. It’s a long one!
Things I’ve learned while Jungling to Diamond (In No Particular Order):
1. Pick your Jungle based on team composition, not just who you want to play.
The Jungler has to fulfill different roles depending on the team composition, especially who your mid/top laners are. Example: don’t just blindly pick Eve because you’re awesome and expect to carry with ganks. If you’ve got a Chogath mid and a Renekton top, go ahead and play Eve! Kill that AD carry, because your team doesn’t need a front line jungle.
However, if you have something like a Nidalee top and a Xerath mid, your team is going to need you as the front line and some CC, so you’ll want to play a jungler like Nasus or Volibear to fill that spot.
If you are first pick, try to choose a jungler that will work well in many team comps (my personal favorite is Lee Sin, but something like J4 or Xin will work here – you can be front line if you need to be, or you can build damage if your team needs that). Also, picking a front-line tank jungle is rarely a bad thing.
I’d recommend having 3 or 4 “main” jungles that you are comfortable with, so you can fill what your team comp needs.
2. Watch opponents’ items.
This is especially important when it comes to your first double-buff gank opportunity. If the enemy Top Laner has Red Elixir and 4 HP Pots, he probably has a ward somewhere. Going straight up the river will likely not work. If he’s got cloth+5, don’t worry about taking a sneaky route to the lane!
3. Patience pays off.
When you’re going for a gank, don’t just run into lane. Get yourself into position and wait for the enemy to make a wrong movement. Wait for him to go get that CS. THEN jump in for the gank. Waiting that extra 10-15 seconds can really make a huge difference.
4. Ganks can be successful without netting a kill.
Burning enemy summoners will let your lanes have an easier time, and is a successful gank. If your lane is having a hard time farming and you can push their laner back to base, that was a successful gank. Now your lane gets some time to catch up. In some particular situations, you can even help your lanes by just coming up and hanging out there, letting them cs freely without being harassed. You see this commonly in pro games.
5. Keep Track of Enemy Summoners
Enemy blew flash the first time you ganked? Come back! Especially jungling someone like Maokai, if you know their flash is down you can feel confident in Flash+W to get the kill on the next gank.
6. Counterjungling is dangerous!
A lot of people want to “outjungle” their opponents and take their buffs, proving that they are the “better jungler.” While counterjungling is powerful, you need to understand the risks involved, especially in Solo Queue.
Watch the position of your lanes vs. enemy lanes before you go into the jungle. Especially when invading near bot lane (invading red when you’re purple side or blue when you’re blue side). Getting caught in the enemy jungle is an easy way to get yourself killed, and an easy way to bait your teammates into deaths also.
If the enemy jungle is ganking a lane and you’re across the map unable to help, that is the best and most risk-free time to counterjungle.
7. Dying with double buffs early is one of the WORST things you can do.
On behalf of top laners everywhere, please do not make overly risky ganks with double buffs. If something goes wrong, you get counterganked, your level 3 dive SOMEHOW doesn’t work, etc., not only did you just feed a kill to the enemy team, but you probably just lost your top lane in the process.
As mentioned previously, your objective in ganking is not always to get the kill. Do not do something stupid trying to get one.
8. Keeping up in Experience is very important.
This is especially true when playing very gank-heavy early jungles like Lee Sin, or jungles that are not very good at clearing camps quickly. When your lanes go back, go hold their lanes and soak up the XP. It will be faster than farming the jungle and you can go get your camps when your laner is back.
Level-wise, you should aim to be somewhere between the Support and the Midlaner. If you notice yourself falling behind the Support, seek out sources of experience to catch up.
9. Buy Wards. LOTS of Wards.
Yeah, I know this is what everyone says, but it’s true. If you’ve got the space, pick up a few wards. If your top lane doesn’t have a ward, ward for him! Don’t just complain when he gets ganked and didn’t see it coming; even though you may not be there to counter-gank, you can at least give him a chance.
Giving your team more vision not only helps them avoid ganks, but it makes your job as jungler easier. As the jungler, you also have easier access to “deep” ward the enemy jungle/buffs/etc.
When you think you want to try dragon soon, ask your bot lane to pink dragon, or just pick up a pink yourself.
10. Your job is to get your LANES fed, not yourself. (Not Always the Case
You guys have posted some really great reasoning to disagree with this point. I’ve always tended towards a more support-oriented jungle role, which I think is why I put this on the list. However, I can agree with the criticism posted that getting kills as the jungler is not a bad thing, especially for the bruiser/carry junglers that are common. The thing I’ve taken away from the feedback on this point is that gold distribution is an interesting thing, and should be considered depending on the jungler you’re playing.
If your laner is in danger of dying, secure the kill as fast as possible.
11. Communicate and Be POSITIVE!
- This is more general than just jungling, but I find it even more important in this role. As jungle you interact with the other lanes the most. As such, it’s very helpful to develop a positive relationship with your lanes. It can lead to more successful ganks, more efficient use of your time, and better winrates!
- If you want a smiteless leash so that you can gank top with double buffs, let your team know! Let your top laner know if you want him to have a certain skill at level 2 (example: ask your Shen to get taunt second so you can have the cc for your gank).
- Ask your lanes where the wards are, or if the enemy has flash. They’ll be happy to provide the info (if they can) in order to help your gank.
- I will often ask “how’s top lane going” if there hasn’t been much action there. Your laner will usually tell you it’s fine, but they will know you aren’t forgetting about them, and if they do need help they will ask rather than rage.
- If you’re going to be leaving a lane alone to focus on another area, let them know. Example: if your bot lane is winning but top and mid are behind, tell your team “I’m gonna camp mid and top, bot lane be careful.”
- (Obligatory but true) — Don’t rage, and apologize for mistakes if you make them. If your teammate makes a mistake, don’t scold them for it. Arguing helps nothing.
I hope this helps some players! It’s been a helpful process for me to write it. Good luck in the jungle, everyone