How To Play Jungle In League Of Legends
Last Updated: September 8, 2021
Do you like controlling the pace of the game? Do you enjoy roaming and setting up kills for your team? If that’s the case, Jungler might be the perfect role for you. In this guide, we’ll show you the basics and fundamental knowledge you’ll need to get started.
Traditionally, Junglers play more of a supportive role. But over time, the role evolved and so did the playstyle. Nowadays, it’s a pretty common sight to see Junglers dominate and hard carry their teams to victory. Since it’s a unique role with the ability to impact or influence every lane on the map, Junglers are considered the X-factor; they can make or break the game depending on the decisions they make.
Why Play Jungle?
Most players consider Jungle to be the most important role. Why? They’re the ones who apply map pressure and are in charge of securing buffs and objectives like Baron or Dragon. They gank other lanes and help their teammates get ahead. Like it’s name suggests, you’ll be spending most of your time in the Jungle, where you’ll be farming neutral monsters instead of starting in a lane. It’s precisely because of this reason why Jungler is the most impactful role in the game.
Junglers monitor buff spawn timers and keep an eye on the opposing Jungler. Like the Support, they will also need to have great vision control and excellent ward placement. So basically, all you need to do is farm, gank, and plant a ward. If you like being in control of the game and looking for a more dynamic playstyle, you just might belong in the Jungle.
Types of Jungle Champions
Back in the day, there was a time where you could play any champion you wanted in the Jungle. But Riot has since made changes that ensured only specific champions can be played in this role. Most Jungle champions have good sustain, excellent engage spells, great wave clear, and some kind of crowd control. While there are Assassins, Tanks, and even Mages viable in the Jungler role, the champions you could play in the Jungle generally fall into three categories.
These are champions with very high mobility and good crowd control. They have spells that allow them to easily dip in and out of fights while dealing a decent amount of damage. These champions commonly set up big plays to help their team out. Their versatile kits allow them to be self-sufficient when it comes to ganking and opens up the opportunity for them to be aggressive early on. Most champions under this category are Tanks and Assassins.
Lee Sin, Kha’Zix, Vi, Jarvan, and Sejuani are good examples of Ganking Junglers.
Next up are Farming Junglers. These are champions that are more focused on farming and getting items to reach a certain point where they’ll be unstoppable. They generally scale well into the late game and can dish out tons of damage. Most champions here have very good spells that clear camps in a short amount of time. You won’t feel their presence until they’re around level 6. Once they hit their power spikes, they’ll be incredibly strong and will deal a ton of damage. Their ganks aren’t as strong, however, since they’ll be reliant on their teammates to set up kills.
Master Yi, Skarner, Morgana, Karthus, and Fiddlesticks are good examples of Farming Junglers.
Lastly, we have the Control Junglers. These are champions with very good camp clears and have strong sustain. Their playstyle revolves around controlling buffs and objectives. These champions will often invade the enemy’s jungle and take some of their camps to deny them gold and XP. Though they’re not as quick as Ganking Junglers, they’re still pretty mobile that they can easily get out of a sticky situation when counterjungling.
Nunu, Ivern, Trundle, Warwick, and Amumu are good examples of Control Junglers.
So Who Do I Pick?
When you’re just starting out, it’s important that you play whoever appeals the most to you. Don’t pay any attention to the meta yet and start with a champion who’s playstyle will mesh well with yours. Just make sure that they’re a viable Jungle champion who can actually clear jungle camps. You don’t want to pick a Mage or ADC with very low survivability and no wave clear only to die to wolves.
If you ask us, a great beginner pick would be Warwick, Rammus, or Amumu. All three of them have great jungle clears and have spells that make it easier for them to gank. If you like to have more sustain and are worried about staying alive in the jungle, go for Warwick. If you would like to easily gank your opponents, Rammus is the way to go. If you want a lil bit of both plus very hard CC, pick Amumu. These champions have pretty straightforward kits and are designed to help new players adjust to the Jungle role.
Jungle Camps and Epic Monsters
Now that we’ve looked over which champions you can play in this role, let’s take a closer look at each of the camps you’ll find in the Jungle.
Blue Sentinel/Red Brambleback
These are the first jungle camps where you’ll be starting at every game. The Blue Sentinel gives you the Crest of Insight or the Blue Buff. This gives you increased mana regen and 10 ability haste. It will also give you passive energy regen when playing a champion who uses energy instead of mana like Lee Sin. The Red Brambleback, on the other hand, gives you the Crest of Cinders, commonly referred to as the Red Buff. This empowers your basic attacks with a slow and a burn that deals damage over time. You’ll also get increased health regen when out of combat.
The Raptors are a small group of monsters that consists of one Large Raptor and four little, lesser Raptors. They give you gold and XP when killed.
The wolves are another small group of monsters but this time, there are only three of them. One Greater Murk Wolf and two lesser Murk Wolf. Like the Raptors, they only give gold and XP.
Gromp is a large monster that is always located in front of the Blue Sentinel. It resembles a very large toad and has a slightly larger health pool. Killing it won’t give you any buffs but it will restore a decent portion of your health and mana.
This camp initially consists of 2 monsters, the Ancient Krug and the Medium Krug. Both of them split off into lesser Krugs when killed. The Ancient Krug splits off into two Medium Krugs and the Medium Krugs split off into two Mini Krugs.
These neutral monsters are every Jungler’s best friend. They are super easy to kill and they do not deal any damage. Once killed, they’ll leave a speed and vision shrine in the middle of the river that will last for 90 seconds.
These are one of the most hotly contested objectives in the game. Although it doesn’t give you much apart from gold and XP early on, killing four dragons will net you a Dragon Soul which gives you a lot of buffs depending on which of the elemental dragons you’ve killed.
A precursor to Baron Nashor, the Rift Herald is also a hotly contested objective early in the game. It spawns at the 8 minute mark and killing it will give you an empowered recall, which drastically reduces the time it takes for you to recall to your base, and will give you the ability to summon the Rift Herald itself to attack enemy turrets.
Baron Nashor is the strongest of the jungle monsters in League of Legends. It gives you a lot of strong buffs that can turn the tides of the game in your favor. Killing Baron Nashor will grant you the Hand of Baron which gives bonus AD, bonus AP, an empowered recall, and empowers your nearby minions, increasing their damage and defenses. This is the objective you need to secure in the late game. Baron spawns at the 20 minute mark. Make sure you’re alive when Baron is killed by your team or else you won’t get the buff.
In every game, you’ll start with either a Hail Blade or an Ember Knife. Both of them are viable options and choose whichever fits your champion’s playstyle better. These items cost the same at 350 gold and increase your damage to neutral monsters. Their differences lie in the type of Smite you’ll get after using the summoner spell five times. If you choose Hail Blade, you’ll get Chilling Smite which deals a small amount of true damage and steals your opponent’s movement speed while increasing yours. If you choose Ember Knife, you’ll get Challenging Smite which marks enemy champions for 4 seconds. When a champion is marked, they’ll deal reduced damage to you while you’ll deal increased damage to them. Next, you’ll spend the rest of your money on either a Refillable Potion or Health Potions.
There are many advanced jungle routes out there that will help you take your jungling to the next level. But for this guide, we’ll just focus on the best jungle route for beginners.
3 Camp Clear
This is a good route for aggressive early game junglers. You’ll start with either the Blue Buff or the Red Buff, then make your way to the other buff and then Gromp. You’ll be around level three at this point and you can start ganking the lane closest to you. Champions like Lee Sin or Xin Zhao are great for this route.
Full Clear Route
As its name implies, you’ll be clearing the entire jungle before you gank a lane. As usual, you’ll start with either the Red or Blue Buff and depending on which side you’re on, you make your way to the other side while clearing all the camps you come across. You’ll be around level 4 after finishing this route and will likely have enough spells to go through with a gank. This is the typical jungling route and will fit any kind of jungle champion.
Aside from securing objectives, Ganking is probably the most important job as a Jungler. Ganking is when a Jungler heads to a lane in order to secure a kill or a lead. So how do you know when to gank?
There are a few things you should consider when deciding when to and which lane you are going to gank. First, try to look for low-health targets. When you see an opponent vulnerable, get ready to pounce and secure the kill either for you or your team mate. Next, see which lane is pushed up to your tower. Chances are, the enemy would be overextended and won’t see you coming. In this scenario, you’ll either get the kill or burn one of their mobility spells like Flash. If they’ve wasted their flash trying to get away from you, they’ll be easier to pick off once you come around again. Flash has a cooldown of 300 Seconds (225 seconds if they have Cosmic Insight), so if you gank again within this time frame, they won’t be able to escape.
Another thing to look for is if the lane you’re about to gank has crowd control. If your teammate has a stun, slow, snare, or any other hard CC, try and coordinate with them to set up your gank. Let them know as well if you have a better form of CC that’s ready to go. Chaining crowd control on an enemy will ensure they will not escape your gank.
If all these don’t work for you, a good thing to keep in mind is to just gank whoever is ahead. If one of your teammates is winning their lane, don’t hesitate to keep ganking them to ensure their lead. It’s way better to gank these teammates instead of those losing in lane. You’ll risk dying since they’re behind and won’t be able to follow up your gank.
- After you’ve cleared a camp, you’ll see a small hourglass icon on the minimap where these camps are located. When the hourglass is Gray it means that there’s only 1 minute remaining before the camps spawn. If the hourglass is Yellow it means that there’s only 15 seconds left before the camps spawn. This will only work on camps cleared by you or your teammates.
- Don’t overextend when ganking. Sometimes it’s okay to dive an opponent when they’re under their turret. But make sure that it’s worth it. If you’re unsure, better play it safe and just farm or gank a different lane.
- When ganking, try to go between the enemy and the turret. This way, they’ll run into you when they try to retreat.
- Always check your map constantly. Having great map awareness is key to succeeding as a Jungler. You need to be aware of where everyone is at all times. Be sure to communicate effectively to your team so that they won’t be caught off guard if they get ganked by the enemy.
- Try to get your team to help you by leashing in the early game. Leashing is when a teammate draws the attention of a neutral monster while you attack it.
- Be careful when invading your opponent. Make sure you know where the enemy Jungler is when you try to invade their jungle. Don’t risk it if you’re unsure or if the enemy Jungler is ahead of you. If you need to invade, try to get some of your teammates to help you out.
- You will often get flamed when playing Jungle. Most players will cry out “jungle diff” whenever their lane loses. In the event that this happens, just mute everyone on your team or whoever it is that’s flaming you. This way, you can save yourself from tilting and just continue playing the game.
- Playing as the Jungler will put a lot of pressure on you. Since you’re expected to impact other lanes, you’ll often be blamed if anything goes wrong. Just keep your cool and remember that you can only control your own situation.
So there you have it! Everything you need to know about getting started as a Jungler in League of Legends. Remember that this is just a game created for our enjoyment. Remember to have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!