League of Legends: Tips Any Serious Jungler Should Know
King of the Jungle
Mastering the jungle means offering maximum support to all lanes. Though it's often a low credit role with high propensity to blame, the potential impact is high. Even 1 gank can snowball a lane. Below you'll find some tips that have helped me dominate and push to Diamond even playing tank Junglers like Nunu, Amumu, Rammus, Maokai, etc.
- Count Minions. You need to know 1-2 minutes in advance if a lane will be pushing so you can gank! It's best to communicate this to your lanes too. Proper wave management, along with camp pathing, will let you minimize time wasted running around, and maximize the effectiveness of your ganks. Try to path your way through the jungle to lanes that will be pushed up by the time you get there. Counting minions helps, but communicate with your team so they can know when to push or pull lanes.
- Establish Vision Control. Allies using control wards is the best, but in lieu of that you can use sweeper, Scryer's bloom jungle plants, or potentially gank from unique places through their jungle (assuming you have vision to safely do so). This can be tricky, but controlling vision let's you make ganks, if they spot you, it's just wasted time.
- Consciously evaluate where the team needs gold, including whether or not it should go to you. The jungler is the most dynamic role and all good junglers must be adapative to the game. All roles are very clearly defined except jungle which must fill weaknesses in the team. You must be very conscious of where these weaknesses are. Hard carries absorb as much gold as possible, supports absorb as little as possible, junglers must decide how much they need to be effective and how much they can give to allow carries to maximize their effectiveness. Who gets the kill should be decided, not random based on who finishes it.
- Careful when showing yourself top. Showing a jungle top can often mean a free dragon for your enemy team. Sorry top, it's just hard to show some love when most key game objectives occur in mid to bottom during the laning phase. If you must gank top, do it before an enemy can reasonably do dragon, when dragon is down, when top has teleport up, or when your team has enough control to stop it.
- Don't show yourself too early. Sometimes you need to bait your teammate fairly hard to get the kill or the enemy will just run. If you enter immediately as the fight stars they have their full health bar to escape. If you wait until mid-way through the fight you have a much higher chance of a kill. However, be careful not to let your teammate die and take note of your ability to protect them with heals and CC.
- Keep gap closers for AFTER enemy flash. If you have a dash or some other form of a gap close, keep it for after the enemy uses their flash.
- Track key enemy champion cooldowns. Flash cooldown is 300 seconds. You can easily get several ganks in on an opponent with no flash. Free kills! It also helps snowball that lane. If you bounce back and forth between lanes, burning flashes, that's good to help the lane out, but if you gank at a frequency that's higher than flash cooldown, you're much less likely to get kills. Sometimes you just need to babysit! Similarly, pay attention to whether enemy champions have used their regular cooldowns like a mobility spell or their ultimate as this can be key in a successful or countered gank.
- And of course of course of course! COMMUNICATE. Ping your intentions, type if needed, check in with the lanes, a jungle requires strong communication with the team.
Junglers are the most important role in securing objectives, and it's your job to do so as much as possible, far moreso than just getting kills.
- Push for dragon or a tower after successful ganks, especially if you have a red buff to do extra true damage to the tower. These objectives are key to winning the game, a successful gank isn't a kill, it's an objective. Even if you can't get the objective, pushing in a lane makes them lose farm, and gives your ally a chance to go back without losing farm themselves.
- Careful when showing yourself top. Showing a jungle top can often mean a free dragon for your enemy team. Sorry top, it's just hard to show some love when most key game objectives occur in mid to bottom during the laning phase. If you must gank top, do it before an enemy can reasonably do dragon, when dragon is down, when top has teleport up, or when your tea has enough control to stop it.
- Deep Vision. Successful ganks, pushed back enemies, or even when your lanes have priority, are good opportunities to get deep vision in the enemy jungle. Even if you don't plan to try to kill the enemy champion, it's good to know where they are so you can take appropriate action such as setting up counter ganks, plays on the other side of the map, or just warning allies.
- Kill Scuttle. Obviously, free vision, lots of gold, just get it when you can. Ping it too so your allies can rotate to help if necessary.
- Steal Camps. When your team is doing well, it's really easy for you to get away with stealing camps. If an enemy champion is dead and your allies are full health, take camps and ask for backup if someone try to stop you. Similar if your lanes have priority and can rotate faster. It's always a little risky, and depends on your champion and the situation. But think about it.
- Execute dragon/baron. This is an obvious one, but save a spell for when dragon is low so you can use an execution spell + smite to minimize the chance at an enemy champion stealing the objective. This is exactly how Lee Sin is able to steal so many dragons because his Q does a bunch of extra damage over the regular smite.