Hey all! I've seen a few threads recently about how to jungle and what you need to jungle, so I thought I would make this little (read: huge) wall of text on how to jungle. It is a very basic guide starting at the very bottom, with the novice player/jungler in mind. Ask questions/comment please, and I can edit in anything I forgot
That being said, here we go!
Please read all the way through the post. If you have any questions that come up, I may have answered them in a different section. This is not a detailed guide, it is a description of the fundamentals of jungling. I will make a more detailed guide by request, if needed.
Also, for those of you looking for a quick answer to "What do I need to jungle" please be sure to read through this whole guide and pay special attention to the IMPORTANT NOTES section. It is /kind of/ a TL;DR for this post
JUNGLING, THE META, AND YOU
In every game, there is something called the "meta game", or "meta". This is the widely accepted, used, and "best" way to play the game. League of Legends is no different. The current meta for League involves two solo lanes and a duo lane. Mid lane is the home of an Ability Power (mage) carry, Bottom lane is split between an Attack Damage Carry and a Support, and Top Lane is normally filled with a tanky champion that is loosely termed a "bruiser".
WAIT! THAT'S ONLY 4 OF 5 PLAYERS ACCOUNTED FOR! AND ALL MY TEAMMATES TOOK ONE OF THOSE ROLES! Well then, my spastic friend, you're the team's jungler, and you happen to be in luck! I've got some experience in jungling, and I've taken the time to write this excellent (and very sexy) guide on how to do so, aimed towards the novice (or first time) jungler.
A player who is jungling kills the neutral monsters in the forest between the different lanes for experience, rather than actually laning against an opponent. Having a jungler is beneficial for a team, because it allows another lane to get a larger amount of experience instead of splitting the xp between themselves and another person. A good jungler will be able to keep up to about the same level as a champion in a solo lane, although obviously their job is a little bit different than yours will be.
The jungle consists of 'camps' of creeps, all of which award gold for the last hit (like minions) and experience. Some of the creeps also restore some of your health and mana when you kill them, as shown by the green ring around the base of the model. All of these creeps attack the first player to attack them until they run out of range
The camps are as follows, from left to right using Blue Team's jungle (not going past the river):
- Blue Buff: Killing the large golem in the center of this camp gives the killer a buff which grants mana regeneration and cooldown reduction. Killing a player with this buff grants you the buff on their death.
- Wolves: Like all other minor camps, the big creep for this camp restores health and mana when killed.
- Wraiths: Like all other minor camps, the big creep for this camp restores health and mana when killed.
- Red Buff: Killing the Lizard at this camp grants the killer a buff which adds some true damage to their attacks as well as slowing anyone who is struck by them and damaging the target over time. Killing a player with this buff grants you the buff on their death.
- Golems: Like all other minor camps, the big creep for this camp restores health and mana when killed.
It is important to note that the jungle's sides are mirrored - that is to say they are identical but flipped; Blue Team's Blue Buff is on the left side of the map and close to top lane, while Purple Team's Red Buff is the one closer to top lane.
You can't miss it. It's the big blue thing that divides the map in half. Crossing it puts you in your enemy's jungle, and it contains the two neutral monsters that are toughest to beat (typically requiring more than one teammate to kill). The enemy team also often wards it, to protect from the likes of you (but we'll get more into that later)
- Dragon: Killing the Dragon awards everyone on your team with 190 gold. Like all other creeps that we've talked to up until this point, the Dragon attacks the first champion to attack it. Being attacked by the Dragon will reduce a player's attack speed and deal damage over time (in addition to the regular attack damage). Whoever lands the killing blow is granted an additional 25 gold
- Baron: Baron is the "boss" of Summoner's Rift. He deals high amounts of damage and has a lot of health. Typically you do not attempt to kill Baron without your whole team, but it can be done without everyone if you have the right group. Killing Baron grants 300 gold and a global buff to your whole team which gives a lot of Attack Damage and Ability Power, in addition to Health and Mana regeneration. Like Dragon, the individual who lands the killing blow gains 25 extra gold, however there is one key difference between Baron and the other creeps; he is immobile and attacks the closest champion to him (we will get into why this is significant in a bit)
In this section I will go into a bit more detail about the various buffs and camps, as well as basic strategies that apply to all junglers. If you are looking for details on Summoner Spells, Masteries, Runes, builds, paths, or anything that champion-specific, that is not the purpose of this guide. You can comment to ask questions about specifics, and I will do my best to answer though.
If you've ever played League of Legends, chances are somebody complained about "getting ganked" or "not getting a gank". Now, both my good friend Spellcheck and I agree that gank isn't a real word (neither are jungling or laning for that matter, but WHO CARES), so I'll explain what they mean. Ganking is an integral part of playing as a jungler, and is essentially a surprise attack - this means that pretty much any time you try to kill anyone, you're ganking them.
How are you supposed to do that, if there isn't anyone in your jungle? That's the beauty of it! You attack one of the lanes! Before you go and suicide though, here are some basic tips:
1) If you are low on health, don't gank. You'll end up being a kill for the other guy
2) If the enemy is at or close to their tower, don't gank. You'll end up dying
3) A gank is a success if you force the enemy to burn their Flash. This means you can go around and come back to gank when their flash is down.
4) Try to lead with some kind of CC. That way it will be harder for them to get away
5) Don't run straight down the lane at the target. It's really easy for them to see you coming and back off. Stay hidden as long as you can, and come from an unexpected angle/the bush
The enemies will place wards to give themselves warning of when you're coming. That's why you shouldn't just come straight from the river, if you can avoid it. it might be a less direct route to take, but in the end it will likely pay off better.
You should place wards too; help out the people on your team with their wards if needed, but otherwise you should use wards to keep an eye on the enemy jungler. If you can sneak into their jungle and place wards around paths that you (as a jungler) normally take, you can warn your teammates about when they are going to gank and even take the enemy's camps and buffs!
Stealing the enemy's stuff is called counterjungling. And that's all it is, just taking the enemy's camps in order to steal their gold and experience. The easiest way to do this is if you know the timers. This is the most important part to learning how to jungle. What I mean by timers is that it is your job to track when the camps in your jungle (and theirs if possible) are going to respawn. How? it's clockwork!
All of the camps (Baron and Dragon included) spawn and respawn at and after specific times. NOTE: the camps will not have their respawn timers activated until every creep in them has been killed.
The minor camps (Wolves, Wraiths, and Golems) spawn at 1:40 and respawn 1 minute after they are killed.
Buff camps (Red and Blue) spawn at 1:55 and respawn after 5 minutes
Dragon spawns at 2:30 and resets 6 minutes after being killed
Baron spawns at 15:00 and will respawn 7 minutes after being killed
1) Always take smite. Period. If you are jungling, take smite. No smite, no jungle. Comprende? You're very slow without the extra damage to the buff camps, and you are vulnerable to the enemy smite-stealing dragon/baron/your buffs if you don't take it, and very few champions are capable of successfully jungling without it
2) Know your timers. This is essential. Write them down if you have to to start. Alternatively there are apps in the Apple Store and Android market which are simple timers you can activate to get a visual reminder. This prevents the enemy from taking your buffs while you weren't around when they spawned, and lets you steal the enemy's
3) Buy T3 runes. Armor Penetration, Attack Damage, and Attack Speed are all good choices for AD junglers (I don't normally run AP ones so I don't know) for Marks and Quints. You will need flat armor Seals for better protection from creeps, as they deal physical damage, and for Glyphs I normally go with Magic resistance per level to make you a little bit beefier at the end of the game
Again, anything champion specific or build specific or anything like that you can comment and ask, but that was not the purpose of this guide. If you want me to go more in-depth, ask.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to as well
This is an overview of what it means to jungle and a couple of random tips. For a newbie who actually wants to start jungling, the correct method is to point him at a Warwick guide, and then at a guide for his choice of champion, and hope that after playing by the guide a few times, he gets a "feel" for it.
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