Almost all the top teams from around the world say that you should have a Jungler, but what does that mean? Here is a quick guide to how the role of Jungler should be played.
First of all you might be wondering what a Jungler is, well it is a person who farms the neutral creeps for experience and gold. You can find the neutral creeps in your jungle, hence the name Jungler. Both teams have a jungle, with the same creeps, you are able to farm both sides if you are careful enough or if the enemy team has no Jungler.
Now you might be asking what is the point to having a Jungler if you can gain experience and gold in lane? It is highly valuable to have a Jungler so that your top lane champion can farm without the worry of sharing experience and gold. If your top lane is able to out farm and out level the opponent it works very well for the entire team. Another reason to have a Jungler is for roaming purposes. If you are able to have a “secret weapon” roaming around between the lanes you could find that your opponents are wary of over-extending for fear of getting “ganked”.
Here are some of the basics you need to know about before choosing to become your team’s Jungler:
Easy Jungle Champions:
If it is your first time as a Jungler, don’t go for the tough champions. Take champions like Udyr, Warwick or Nunu that can give you the sustainable life that you will need. Once you have mastered these champions you can start experimenting with others to find your “perfect” jungle champion.
While the more experienced Junglers may start with strange combinations, a starting Jungler has two types of starting builds. The one type would be necessary if you do not have the Runes you need, for this build you would start off Cloth Armour and five Health Potions. The other way you can start, if you have sufficient Runes, is Hunter’s Machete and five Health Potions. Both ways give you an added advantage in the jungle, Cloth Armour will let you soak up the damage, whereas Hunter’s Machete will deal enough damage to help you clear the “camps” faster.
As most people know there are three kinds of buffs in the jungle, including the Baron Nashor buff. The other two buffs would be the blue buff known as “Crest of the Ancient Golem” and red buff, known as “Blessing of the Lizard Elder”. These buffs are there for you to farm but be aware of how much life you have as they are fairly strong. Although knowing that the red buff is a more viable option for Attack Damage (AD) champions the blue buff gives you a lot of mana as well as cooldown reduction. Red buff applies an on-hit slow to your auto attacks, as well as applies burn damage to enemy champions you hit. The Baron Nashor buff gives all living allied champions increased health and mana regeneration as well as increasing champions’ AD and Ability Power (AP).
All but the weakest Junglers should start at either blue or red buff. Weaker Junglers usually have to start by clearing the smaller camps first to get the experience and gain level two. We do however see some of the pros starting at smaller camps for that extra experience. When starting you should clearly let your team know which buff you will be going for so that they can come and help you secure it. If you are a mana-based champion it is better for you to start at blue buff while red buff is best for early gank champions. After the buff, move on to the closest camps, by the time you complete the jungle your first “small” creep camp should have already respawned and you can start all over.
When to gank: There are two reasons for a Jungler to gank a lane. First is getting an easy kill for your team and second is to switch lane dominance. Though lane dominance is highly complex it all boils down to who is in control of the lane. If you can give your team lane dominance in at least two lanes it makes it that much easier for your team to win. One last thing, never force a gank. If it does not feel right, trust your instincts, you will have other opportunities to gank that lane.
Successful ganking: Getting a kill is nice but that does not always constitute a successful gank. Instead, use ganks to shock your enemy into playing more defensively. This makes it easier for your team to farm and obtain lane dominance.
Initiating a gank: This changes with every scenario, the staple is to get the champion with a crowd control ability to initiate the gank. Usually the “tankier” champions would charge in for the initiation using whatever crowd control abilities they have giving the champion with a gap-closer enough time to get into the fight. If the gap-closer initiates you could find that your allies are not able to get to you on time and either you will die or the enemy will be able to get away.
Who should take the kill: The first rule is that the AD carry always has priority on getting the kills. If your AD carry is not in the fight it depends on the type of jungle champion you are playing. If you are playing a supportive champion the kill should go to your team mates, but if you are playing a non-support jungle champion you should be running around with a few kills; this will make the enemy team wary of where you are going to pop up next.
This is the act of invading the enemy jungle and killing their minions. Counter-jungling has several benefits, the first being stealing experience and gold from your enemy. By leaving a small creep alive in the camp you do not allow the respawn timer to start. This means the enemy Jungler must find the stolen camp and kill the creep before letting the timer start. If done frequently enough the enemy Jungler will lose considerable amounts of experience and gold as well as get frustrated with his/her team.
Now you might be asking when you should be counter-jungling. It is simple enough, when you are invading the enemy territory, be sure to let your team know what you are doing, they might be able to help in some slight way. A way to keep an eye on the enemy Jungler to see if you are able to go in is through the use of wards. Very few champions are able to effectively counter-jungle. If you are looking to counter-jungle get a champion with speed, damage and escape abilities such as Xin Zhao or Lee Sin. The key to counter-jungling is all about timing and knowledge, you need to know how long it takes before a camp respawns. You also need to know where the enemy is and how long it would take them to get to you if they realize what you are doing.
I hope this gives new players a sufficient amount of insight into what it takes to be an effective Jungler. If not here is a 13 minute video discussing the key points of jungling: