League of Legends as a MOBA features several roles that help comprise the basic structure of standard team composition. One of these roles include the Jungler, which plays a key role in how the team is able to proceed in the game depending on how well the jungler is able to accomplish their tasks. Unlike the other four roles, the jungler doesn’t play in a standard lane so they have different ways to gain experience and gold. For first-timers, the jungle role is extremely complicated, so follow this Jungle Guide to learn all about what it means to play as a Jungler in League of Legends.
About The Jungle
The Jungle is the area of Summoner’s Rift that is separate from the three lanes but contains neutral monsters that champions from both teams can get to gain experience and gold. Junglers will need to get these monsters throughout the rest of the game, trying to ensure that they don’t steal too many resources from champions in the lanes. Since the jungle is hidden in the fog of war, they will spend most of their time hidden and will only come out of the jungle to help allies in fights or secure objectives. This Jungle Guide will break down each part of the jungle.
There are two jungle sides: Blue Side and Red Side. This refers to which buff is located on the left-side of your team’s map at the start of the game. To simplify it, Blue Side is the side that joins with the Dragon Pit while the Red Side is the side that joins with the Baron Pit. For junglers, knowing which side you play on have their corresponding advantages especially when trying to secure neutral objectives at later stages of the game.
Jungle camps are areas where neutral monsters spawn. They appear on the minimap as yellow dots and contain a set of monsters that respawn after a specific time frame after they are killed. Jungle Camps will not reset the monsters in them if there is at least 1 other jungle monster left alive. The two main jungle camps are the Red Brambleback and the Blue Sentinel which give the slayer a specific buff depending on who they kill.
There are three major neutral objectives: Dragons, Rift Heralds, and the Baron Nashor. You can find them on either side of the rivers in Summoners’ Rift. They give powerful buffs to the team that slays them, giving them a massive boost in ending the game each time you get one of them. These objectives are usually highly contested by both teams to secure them. While the jungler is the primary person to get them, it usually takes two or more people to get them successfully.
Jungle Guide: Smite
Smite is the primary summoner spell that Junglers take when going to Summoner’s Rift. We’ll be talking about the different uses of the Smite spell throughout this jungle guide. The Smite spell deals bonus true damage to Neutral Monsters, which is necessary for securing objectives and jungle camps around the map. Smite can also be upgraded depending on the Jungle Item you choose and how you upgrade them further.
Types of Smite
There are two different kinds of upgraded smites and it depends on the jungle item you built.
1. Challenging Smite
Challenging Smite is great for heavy damage champions who want to get into fights. Often called Red Smite, it reduces the damage of the smitten champion by 20% and increases the damage you deal on that champion from basic attacks. It’s perfect for champions who prefer to get into duels and aggressively invade the enemy’s jungle camps. Challenging Smite is attained when the jungler builds Skirmishers Sabre.
2. Chilling Smite
Chilling Smite is the more supportive option and is better for champions that don’t have all-in burst potentials and like dragged out fights better. Often called Blue Smite, it reduces the movement speed of the smitten enemy champion by 20% and increases your own movement speed by 20% both for 2 seconds. It’s perfect for champions who like to gank enemy lanes and support allies so that they’d get the kill for themselves. It is attained when the jungle builds Stalker’s Blade.
Jungle Guide: Terms and Jargon
There are words that the teams use for junglers that beginners might not be able to understand at first. If you plan to play the jungle role, these are words and phrases that you’ll need to familiarize yourself with so that you’ll be able to effectively be a jungler.
Leash refers to the help the Jungler receives when fighting the first jungle camp they try to take. A leash greatly speeds up your time to clear the jungle since you’ll have to take less damage over time. There are two types of leashes: hard leash which refers to a leash that helps you take the monster down to at least 40% HP or a regular leash that helps you until the monster is at 60% HP. The nearest laner to your jungle camp should always leash you.
Gank refers to a surprise attack from you to an allied lane. Ganking helps your ally have an easier laning phase since you can either kill the enemy champion which will give your ally a good amount of gold or drive the enemy away from the lane to give them a few extra seconds to freely collect minions in lane. You should only attempt to gank a lane if the enemy is at a disadvantage, you have the red buff, or you are level 6 and have access to your ultimate ability.
Buffs are aura bonuses that you get when you kill the Red Brambleback, Blue Sentinel, Baron Nashor, or Elder Drake. These different buffs have different bonus effects depending on what you get. Jungle camp buffs are often gained by the champion who slain them but Neutral Objects apply buffs to the entire team. Buffs will be explained further in detail later in this Jungle guide to help you understand what you need to get.
4. Clear/Full Clear/Clear Speed
Clear refers to killing all the monsters in a specific jungle camp. A full clear means that you’ve killed all the monsters on your side of the jungle. Clear Speed refers to how quick you’re able to kill all the monsters in a camp. Champions with heavy AoE damaging abilities tend to have faster clear speed and have the advantage since they can get Buffs quicker and Gank lanes faster than your enemy jungler.
Invade refers to taking monsters from the enemy’s side of the jungle. This is usually done to take away one of the enemy’s important camps like the Red Brambleback or the Blue Sentinel. After a successful invade, the enemy goes back to his side of the jungle to ensure that the enemy can’t answer back to initiate a counter-invade. This is dangerous since the enemy can catch you out with their allies especially if they have vision in that area.
Counter-Jungling refers to an extended version of an invade. This tactic is continuously taking enemy jungle camps so that they won’t get as much gold and experience. Counter-jungling is done if your allies have advantages in all their lanes and your champion has a significant advantage over the enemy jungler such as dueling power and clear speed. Counter-jungling is an advanced tactic that requires sharp decision-making.
7. Lane Priority
Lane Priority refers to which lanes are considered to strong. Strong lanes are often those whose minions are further into the enemy’s lane and causing them to be trapped under their own tower. Having Lane Priority allows the jungler some freedom to pursue neutral objects near the lane with priority since your allied laner is able to help you fast than the enemy laner who is stuck trying to catch minion waves under their own tower.
Jungle Guide: Buffs
We’ve been mentioning in this Jungle guide the importance of buffs in the game. There are 4 different kinds of buffs that you can get from killing different minions in the lane. Buffs can be taken either by slaying the monster that drops the buff or killing an enemy champion holding the buff, resetting the duration of the buff to full.
1. Blue Buff
The blue buff is taken by from the Blue Sentinel. This buff greatly increases a champions mana regeneration and refunds a small amount of mana when using a spell. If the champion uses energy, they regenerate energy instead. The Blue Buff is the first buff that every jungler usually takes because it helps them stay in the jungle longer to do a full clear. The jungle usually gives the Blue Buff to their mid laner after the 10 minute-mark.
2. Red Buff
The red buff is taken from the Red Brambleback. This buff applies a slow and burns the target for a small amount of damage over time. This buff is great to have when planning to gank an enemy champion because of the bonuses damage and slow it applies. The Red Buff helps you clear other jungle camps faster and is taken first if the jungler doesn’t use mana or doesn’t expend a lot of mana that they run out of it really quickly.
3. Baron Buff
The Baron buff is taken from Baron Nashor. It empowers allied minions near the bearer and decreases their Recall speed by half. Empowered minions gain bonuses that help take down enemy structures faster and help end the game. The Baron Buff is applied to the entire team and can’t be transferred via death.
4. Elder Buff
The Elder Buff is taken from the Elder Dragon, which spawns when either team is able to get 4 other elemental drakes. Enemies that are dropped below 20% are immediately executed.
Jungle Guide: Pathing
Pathing in this Jungle Guide buff refers to which jungle camps you want to clear at the beginning of the game. Pathing dictates what you want to prioritize for your allied laners and what your initial plan for the lane is. This is also the most efficient way to kill jungle camps and get the most amount of gold and experience without giving your enemy jungler time to counter-jungle you and put you behind in the game.
Blue > Gromp > Red
The standard opening for most champions that use mana as a resource. This allows the laner to do a full clear without running out of mana. In this path, you can stop for some minions along the way or follow this clear path to hasten your ability to gank lanes. Following this path should place you at Level 3 immediately and give you access to all your abilities.
Red > Raptors > Blue
Champions that don’t use mana as a resource follow this guide and also help clear the jungle faster since the availability of Red Buff at the beginning allows you to take on jungle camps with multiple monsters. This method makes ganking a bit messier since a full clear after this path times out your red buff, decreasing your chances of a successful dive by a small amount.
Jungle Guide: Items
There are two starting items for junglers – Hunter’s Machete and Hunter’s Talisman. Hunter’s Talisman is for champions that have AoE abilties that damage multiple targets at once, while Hunter’s Machete is for champions that only target one monster at a time. Hunter’s Talisman is also useful for champions that use a lot of mana in clearing out jungle camps.
There are different kinds of champions available for the Jungle Role. Most jungler champions have abilities that have bonus effects when targeting neutral monsters. Jungler’s like Kindred is designed to get objectives focused on the jungle so they are bound to the role of whether they like it or not. In the end, choosing the right jungle champion depends solely on what your team needs and how familiar you are with playing them.
What is a jungler?
A jungler is a champion who spends most of their laning phase trying to kill neutral monsters and secure neutral objectives around the map. A common characteristic of a jungler is that they almost always have the summoner spell, Smite.