Welcome to the Jungle
Jungling is a complex role and involves a great deal of movement and attention to detail. To succeed at the role one needs to be able to balance a various number of skills and communicate properly with their team. Here are seven tips to help you master jungling.
Understand Power Spikes
Not just your own but your enemy teams. Make sure to pay attention to the level and current items each person carries. An important factor to successful early game ganking is understanding when and where you can win a fight.
Learn All the Right Jungle Routes
Like all the information in this guide, learning all the routes will help you with your own clear time but what a lot of players don’t understand is that you don’t need to follow the default route. Knowing the routes and making your own throw off opposing players.
Situational awareness is key to any competitive game. You need to know where the enemy is and where they could be. In a cooperative team game like LoL you also need to be aware of the areas where you can be most helpful. If you have a moment of respite look at the map and find where you are needed and can apply the most pressure.
Adapting to the Situation
Believe it or not, you will not be MVP or be able to buy any items you would like every game. So, naturally adapting to the situation on a minimal budget will greatly increase your odds of success. This does not apply to Assassin type junglers such as Master Yi or Shaco due to their kits and how they work.
Shadow Opponents and Punish Mistakes
Everything you do in the jungle position will always be compared to the enemy jungler by your team. If they gank, you need to be able to locate him at all times if possible to warn your team preemptively, counter gank or punish them with one of the following methods.
- Counter jungle them as much possible as soon as you see the gank occur
- Take a large objective (Dragon or Rift Herald)
- Gank another lane where possible
The jungle position offers a unique perspective of the entire map. You will be a great help to your team if you are able to communicate changes occurring on the game map to your team as they unfold. With any team sport, communication is king and League of Legends is no different.
Keep Track of Timers
These days you don’t need to keep track of buffs anymore. Now the timers are built into the client but many forget that you can keep track of the enemy timers. This has a lot to do with your jungle knowledge of routes and where each jungler starts and finishes. The most standard start from the blue side is at the red buff with the help of bot lane.
If you understand that it spawns at 1:28 and it takes an estimated 5-10 sec to kill without smite, you have just figured out the enemy red buff spawn timer. You could potentially use this setup for a future play!
Another timer that players tend to be lazy about keeping track of are those for summoner spells ultimates. If you really want to master early game ganking, you need these numbers in the back of your mind for added security. Often times the team will state which summoner spells have been used from skirmishes, it’ll be up to you to type them down in chat for more efficient ganks. If enemy flash is down, you can use that five-minute window to swing by for a gank.
Not every gank has to result in a kill. Making a gank that results in an enemy flashing away can be a great thing. Disrupting the opposing team and putting them on the wrong foot will give your laners the advantage.It also creates pressure on the map that will hopefully make the enemy play more passively. Don’t fall into the mindset that every gank needs to get you a kill. That can often lead to overextension and being counter ganked. Learn your limits and weigh them accordingly.