As the Jungle has impact on **every** lane, this guide is addressed to
not only players who want to gain a better understanding of the jungle,
but also for everyone who wants to get rid of the tradition of blaming the jungler once and for all.
This guide is not dedicated to the tl;dr-people out there.
The complexity of the jungle does not allow for a shorter guide and I am already cutting of the mathematics.
“Declined”’s guide for the bottom lane inspired me to share my experiences on my main position as well.
Please take the Discussion as a chance to ask topic related questions and I will get back on you ASAP.
And please do not just vote it down without even reading through it.
I spent a lot of time on gathering my experiences here to share them with all of you.
Please appreciate the effort.
**I.** What is the jungle?
**IV.** Jungle types
**V.** Play styles
**VI.** To gank or not to gank?
**VII.** Team communication
**VIII.** Game phases
**IX.** Jungle Buffs
**XI.** General Tips
The Jungle in general is the position that allows the team to have 3 solo lanes.
Top lane, Middle lane and the jungle itself.
However it is not a usual lane since you have no direct confrontation with another player as on the other lanes.
Usually you have either a bruiser or a champion with strong crowd control (most likely a tank) in the jungle,
as the jungle itself needs some sustain to clear it properly and set off good ganks.
+ Defend Lanes
+ Secure buffs
+ CS (try to keep your jungle cleared)
> Inhibitors » FREE towers »Baron » Dragon » towers » buffs
> Objectives win games, formulate a strategy where you dictate the fights and trades, rather than responding to your opponents plans. Rather than chasing low heath enemies too far, you can drop the chase and can go secure objectives, if they want to stop you, let them come to you while they’re low on health. No objective is achievable without knowledge of your opponent’s whereabouts, such as warding, having just chased them, or scoring an ace.
> With the season changes to Dragon/Baron they become increasingly important late game, even more so when it comes to securing early Dragons.
+ **Being Calm..**
..at all time is the key for a successful game.
As the jungler you have very important decisions to make and if you panic, you will make mistakes.
Be aware of the overall game situation at all times!
+ **Anger & Frustration..**
..will especially as the jungler both strongly influence your performance in the game.
Nowadays a lot of summoners changed their mind about blaming the jungler for everything.
Unfortunately there are still some players remaining who will be blaming you if they lose their lane.
I will explain later how to deal with those people.
If you already start into the game frustrated or angry about the last game or for any other reason,
you are likely to take the taunt which will result in a lack of concentration on the actual game.
+ **Overestimating yourself..**
..is very crucial in the jungle. It is the exact opposite of anger and frustration.
Maybe you made some big plays the last game and carried it,
but with the next game there will be new constellations and new people to fight against.
*Do never act / gank recklessly!*
+ **Better safe than sorry!!!**
Always keep that in mind. When a decision you are about to take is very risky and the reward is relatively low,
always the first thing to think about is “Better safe than sorry”.
If the enemy junglers position is unknown and you are about to gank a losing lane
"just" for **maybe** getting a kill without the chance to take any objectives, do not do it.
Even if you will get flame from that lane..
> our goal with 2015 was to support a rock-paper-scissors game of jungle styles: ganking, farming, and counter jungling.What we ended up discovering, however, was that counter jungling wasn't actually a proper response on par with ganking and farming, so jungling went back to who could gank or farm the best (or both).
Generally spoken there are 3 kinds of jungler classes.
Tank, Burst Damage and Bruiser. The first decision every jungler has to make is to choose a proper class in the champion selection.
For the jungler it is essentially to take the whole enemy team as well as the own team into consideration when picking the champion.
+ If you have a tank on the top lane,
you will go for a burst damage or bruiser as jungler to compensate the lack of damage from the top lane and vice versa.
+ If you have a team that is more likely to deal high single target damage you will go for a tank with strong AoE CC or strong AoE damage.
+ Some champions like Vi are a solid pick no matter what you have on your top lane,
since you can adapt to the situation with your item build.
+ However If the enemy team has a strong disengage potential (Ezreal E, Le Blanc W+R)
or if it has champions with spell shield (Nocturne W, Sivir E) you should rather not pick a champion like Vi.
Depending on what class of champion you decided to go for and what the 2 team compositions are,
there are different play styles to choose from.
**You should be aware of your play style at any time.**
+ **Tank / CC:**
All of the tank class junglers are packed with strong CC. For example Sejuani, Malphite, Amumu, Rammus.
These are your main priorities **aside** taking objectives:
+ As a tank in the jungle your main objective is placing good ganks and to assist your teammates with your CC.
And by assisting I **mean assisting**.
Your task is to leave as many kills as possible to the lanes,
since stacking damage AD or AP in general is more expensive than stacking health and armor/ magical resistance.
Also you want your teammates to win their lanes and that is of course achieved
by assisting them in farming better than their opponent and therefore being able to buy items earlier than the opponent.
+ Securing buffs is your second priority as a tank jungler and again of course
try to assist your lanes as much as you can by giving blue buffs to the midlane and mid/late game giving red buffs to your marksman.
+ Your third priority is farming your smaller jungle camps.
Use your jungle camps as a bridge between the lanes to gain some extra experience on your way to the next gank.
As a tank jungler in the current meta you can not concentrate only on farming,
since you are too slow at clearing the camps compared to a damage class jungler.
If your team is not aware of that, **communicate** with them not to push the lanes to much
or else you will be forced to estimate the enemy junglers position and try to counter gank or just farm.
+ As you can not afford to sit around lanes for too long you will always be a little bit late for a counter gank
if you do not have proper vision control and trying to counter gank as a tank jungler is rather hard anyways.
Because your CC will not be enough to win a 2v2 or 3v3 against a damage jungler.
+ **Burst Damage and Bruiser:**
I will explain those classes together as they are more or less the same,
since it is depending on your item build which one you go for.
These are your main priorities **aside** taking objectives:
+ Farming is the top priority if you go for full damage jungler.
As already mentioned stacking damage is way more expensive than stacking defensive values.
You will make sure, that your jungle is cleared at all times and will use every chance you get to counter jungle and clear enemy camps as well.
For example if the enemy jungler appeared bottom lane and you are on the top side of the map you will go and steal his camps.
Ganks are your second priority, but in this case it does not matter if you go for the kill or the assist.
With the new season the jungler gains so much experience from the jungle,
that he will always be head on head with the solo laners when it comes to level.
That means you can consider yourself as a carry and therefore also take kills to even expand that advantage.
As the full damage jungler you will be a glass cannon, but with the right engage from your team and your tank keeping the enemy team busy,
you will be easily able to burst down one of the enemy carries (preferably the Marksman).
Of course it depends on the other teams reaction and peel for their carries.
+ As a bruiser you will be also in the position to do engages.
Vi is a good example again. In early and mid you will play her focused on damage to gain fast jungle clearing ability and strong snowball/nuke potential for early and mid game ganks.
For the transition of mid game to late game and the late game itself you will then determine if the enemy team’s damage is mainly based on AP or AD and will counterbuild some health and armor or magical resistance, depending on the situation.
That will allow you to engage on the enemy teams carries and keep the whole team busy with focusing you and peeling the carries,
which in most cases will create an opening for the rest of your team to join the fight and turn it into your favor,
as the enemy teams focus most likely will be bad,
since your engage creates enough confusion to deny them to focus your carries and to reposition themselves.
+ **Overall Play style:**
To give you an example jungle route for lvl1:
+ **It is possible to clear the whole jungle before the first back**
-Gromp(Smite) -> Blue buff (Potion) -> Wolves(Potion) -> Razorbeaks -> Red buff(Smite) -> Golems.
When you back then you will have ~800-820 Gold.
You can then if you play a damage class jungler buy the Stalker’s Blade + shortsword + 1 Potion(if you wait like 4-5 seconds to recover health anyways).
You can also go for the stalker’s blade + boots + 2 potions for more mobility when ganking, but I prefer more dmg.
However after this b you can have another look at the lanes for possible openings and depending on that start from gromp again or gank a lane.
Remember to always defend towers and if there is a fight somewhere near you don’t you dare finishing that camp before joining in!
**Have a look** at the circumstances of the fight,
**decide quickly** based on that and on your knowledge of all the other **information you kept track on** and then go there and try help.
**Do the estimation on your way to the fight.**
Regardless of which class you chose, the best and most important feature of playing the jungler is,
to be aware of the allover game situation at all time.
!! Leave nothing to chance. **Nothing!** !!
When you walk from one camp to another you will always have some time gaps when you are not required to keep your eyes on your champion.
Use this time to check all the lanes for possible openings for a gank,
for predictable issues like your ad carry falling behind in cs slightly,
the enemy’s mana and health as well as his positioning and always make sure to ask for Summoner cooldowns before ganking and for wards.
If the people will not tell you by themselves about this facts, just kindly ask for it.
Fortunately a lot of people will always inform you about summoner CD’s and wards.
Make sure to check the timestamp and integrate it into your planning.
If there is a champion without any escape mechanics who just burned flash,
you should make sure to use this opening within the next 5 Minutes.
**Yes, this is a clear opening.**
Also try to have a pink ward on the map at any time to guard one of your jungle entrances
and try to always clear the crab for maximum vision control. Also if you go for a counter gank play style,
make sure to always take a ward with you.
The deep wards will be worth their money as you can see the enemy junglers position and eventually estimate his next gank.
Then you can easily prepare for a counter gank, maybe even with the help of another lane like the mid lane coming bot as well which would result in a 3v4 in your favor and may be the key to a tower + drake or at least some safe kills.
The deep vision is also necessary to counter jungle without the risk of being caught.
This goes for small camps as well as for red/blue buff of the enemy team.
Achieving vision and at the same time denying enemy vision **will win** you a game.
By denying vision you can make catches and trap people and by achieving vision at the same time not risk being caught yourself.
Probably one of the most difficult decisions you have to make over and over as a jungler.
There are several factors that you have to take into account every time your are considering to gank a lane.
+ **Never Gank a lost Lane!**
It may sound really harsh, but ganking a lost lane will have the high risk of ending in one more kill or even a double kill for the opponent,
which will of course result in that lane being completely lost and throwing you as the jungler back as well,
because every second you spend dead is a lost step towards victory.
+ However, there are some exceptions.
If you can estimate the opponents maximum damage and your team mates damage + your damage + CC and you conclude that there is a high potential of a successful gank, go ahead, **BUT** only if no other lane is miss, the top lanes teleport is not up and you know the position of the enemy jungler.
You **have** to be aware of that!!
If you are not and by chance the enemy jungler or another lane counter ganks your gank it will end up in a horrible situation for your whole team,
by giving away kills + in most cases one or two objectives.
Again: **“Leave nothing to chances!!!”**
The ideal situation to gank a lost lane would be 1v3 or 2v4 in your favor.
Communicate with your mid or top lane that you plan a gank on the lost lane and ask for assistance.
If the losing lanes knows about the plan, they can bait the opponents rather easy if they are too confident about winning even a gank.
But they will certainly not win a 2v4 or 1v3.
+ **Enemy Health, Mana and Summoners**
As the jungler you will always seek for an opening on the enemy.
It might be some bad positioning without wards, low health, no mana, burned escape skills, burned summoners
or even just catching someone going through a warded path through jungle.
+ Make sure to constantly **clear wards** using a sweeping lense and the oracle buff from the Razorbeaks.
Even if you will give vision on yourself by clearing the wards,
you will dramatically increase the pressure on the lane for the next minutes until it will be warded again.
If the opponent does not react to the fact that you cleared his wards (or in other words if his positioning is bad) you may easily punish that with a gank.
+ If you intend to gank for example a Zed on the mid lane, try to stay close and clear camps like the crab or the Razorbeaks
and **wait** for him **to use his escape ability**. As soon as he used it you can easily punish that with a gank that will at least burn his flash.
Also when playing against a zed, ezreal or leblanc always keep an eye on their play style.
If they use their escape skills offensive and easily you should gank if not you should wait for another opening.
+ Better safe than sorry
If you launch a gank on a lane but can not manage to kill the target, do not risk dying just for a kill.
Just do not do it! If you burn his flash it is fine.
You have now a timeframe of 5 minutes to gank again and punish him for burning his summoners spell.
If you manage to get him really low it is fine. He will be forced to go back which will result in free farm and experience for your team mates.
And if he does not go back, maybe even in kill for your team mates.
But be aware that if you manage to get the target really low and he decides to stay in most cases he stays because your gank resulted in overestimation of your team mate. Make sure to keep an eye on him for an eventual counter gank or communicate with him to ward properly before applying more pressure on his lane.
+ As the jungler you are by far the person that is most aware of the overall game situation.
It is up to you to make calls for objectives such as towers, drakes and barons.
Always communicate with your team and if they do not trust you on your call for drake e.g. just reason it shortly (“enemy jungler top, let’s do it”).
If your team however calls for drake and you do not have your smite up,
it is still up to **you** to make that decision. Tell them (“smite cd”) that it is risky
and that you would rather not do it right now.
It might taunt a little flame, but that does not matter compared to the risk of losing the drake/baron to the enemy team, because you do not have smite up.
+ Make sure to **always communicate with your team** about wards being placed,
burned summoner spells and Ults and the enemy jungler seen somewhere
(A short “be careful ping” is enough to get all lanes aware of the enemy junglers position).
+ This is important for you to plan your ganks and make decisions and it is important
for **every** lane to make decisions based on the position of the enemy jungler.
For example playing a little more aggressive on bottom lane if the enemy jungler has been seen top recently.
+ As a jungler you are always being flamed. It is a fact. *Unfortunately. *
Do not mute the people! Be strong enough to not get taunted by the flamers.
Let them be! If you mute them and they tell you about a ward or burned summoners it will be a wasted opening that you could have used.
+ On the other hand do not flame other people. The jungle is not yours.
If your teammate farms a camp, be happy that he used it and let him be. He can use that gold just as much as you can.
+ If people are in base and tell you to *“LEAVE MY FARM WTF?!?!?!11!1!!”*. Just ignore it and push the lane.
Pushing the lane when both your mates and the enemies are in base will result in your team getting extra gold whereas the enemy will lose farm to the turret.
But always make sure it happens like that. If you just push without the enemy losing farm it is **failure**.
+ If you are not sure about the whereabouts of the opponent and there is free farm on your mates lane just last hit.
He might flame, but it would be lost farm if you would not take it.
+ And if there is a lost lane and that person is flaming and blaming you, **don’t get baited to gank** it and even *worsen his situation*.
Ask the midlane for assistance on a gank on this certain lane or if the midlane is in trouble ask another lane.
It would be bad to not react at all to him, but even worse if you get baited to gank his lane and then die there.
Always *trust your own feelings and decisions* unless they have a good argument like burned summoners, no wards or any other opening.
+ **Early Game:**
Depending on the enemy team and on the class you play you should consider farming until lvl 6 before doing any gank.
Early ganks can be a blessing but also a curse if you get counterganked.
When you hit lvl6 you will just have a higher impact with your ganks and by that time you will have at least some decent items that will support your gank.
+ But again it is really **depending on your play style** based on your class and champion.
Pantheon for example is one of the most early gank capable junglers I know. He has a high movement speed, high damage early and a strong CC.
Also Shaco is really bad at farming as he is very squishy.
So you should really take into account taking an ignite with you on shaco and going for an early lvl3 gank mid.
+ It strongly depends again on the **situation on the lanes**.
If you have a good opening early, **use it!**
On the other hand have in mind “better safe than sorry”.
Unsuccessful ganks will result in lost of gold and experience for you or in the worst case even a kill for the enemy team.
So as long as there is no really good opening you better **stay safe** farming.
+ **Mid Game:**
As a tank jungler this is where you definitely take action.
Start to gank as much as you can. Take even the slightest openings. As if you were on every lane at the same time.
This will drastically increase overall pressure and successful ganks will of course give you an advantage in gold and eventually objectives.
+ As a **damage class jungler** you will still be **farming as much as you can** and still only try to go for really good openings and more or less safe kills or objectives.
However, try to keep your ult as nocturne for example or Yi always on cooldown by doing a gank whenever it is ready.
But you can not afford to stay around in a bush waiting for an opening, you have to farm!
+ As a **bruiser** you will now head for a **good mixture of ganks** and farming.
It is not that big deal if your Gromp has to wait a minute for you if you can launch a successful gank instead.
Still you should farm a lot and by now start building some defensive items as well.
Also make sure to always keep your ultimate on cooldown!
+ Of course if you have a bad feeling about the enemy ganking a certain lane soon you can stay around and keep your ult ready to counter engage,
but in general keep it on cooldown as a minimum amount of ganks.
+ **Late Game:**
The later into the game the less important the smaller jungle camps will be.
You can leave some up for your teammates to gain some extra gold and experience.
Try now to make good calls for objectives, organize the team, split push and participate in team fights,
as well as securing jungle objectives like baron or drake.
The smite on the golems will provide you with the buff “heavy hands”,
which can be quite useful for attack speed based farming champions, but as it has no effect on enemy champions you should try not to smite it.
Only if you start on the blue side and this is your first camp.
For the first round through the jungle it is of course more useful than the Red buff or the Razorbeaks.
+ **Red Buff:**
Depending on the situation you can take smiting the red buff into account,
but usually you try to avoid it, as it only regenerates some health and has nothing special to it.
As mentioned earlier you should really smite those regularly and clear wards on the lanes after you smited them.
This will at least increase pressure on that lanes if not even create an opening for a gank.
In most cases you should avoid smiting your own wolves.
Whereas if you get the chance to early smite and steal the enemy wolves it is a great way to gain undestroyable vision deep in their jungle. **Do it!**
+ **Blue Buff:**
Also avoid smiting it. There are some situations where you can smite it before taking it or giving it to the mid/top lane.
If for example your health is fine, but you are low on mana and the mana regeneration from smiting the blue buff will allow you to launch a gank top or mid, then do it.
For Tank class junglers you should definitely smite Gromp every time you get the chance.
The bonus DoT is really nice and will help you to clear jungle camps much fast and that is definitely what a tank class jungler is looking for.
Also for damage and bruiser class it is quite good to smite gromp as it actually does some extra damage even on enemy champions,
which might be just that 20HP that were left to kill the target.
+ In General you should try to keep your smite at cooldown at any time to make sure you use your maximum potential of clearing the jungle camps as fast as possible.
However try to have one stack of the smite always ready for a gank or drake/baron. Fortunately smite now stacks up to 2, what I really appreciate.
There is no such thing as the perfect item guide for a position or even for a certain champion.
Always adapt to the game and to the situation you are in.
If you see the enemy AP-carry farming well and your team on disadvantage go for some magical resistance.
If it is the AD-carry go for armor, especially as a tank class jungler. As burst damage class just go for damage of course and as bruiser always go for damage and then adapt to the situation if you feel like being too squishy.
On Vi for example I will always go for the Stalker’s Blade and the Warriors upgrade ( the damage and CDR item).
Then i will build another brutalizer and depending on the situation i will then decide to go for trinity and then randuin's
or directly randuin's or banshees if their main carry is AP.
In general always be aware of the enemy build and strength and adapt to it in a certain way.
+ Always defend a turret that is being attacked
+ Always have in mind “Better safe than sorry”
+ Leave nothing to chances
+ Vision and denying vision can win a game
+ Always think about a way out of a risky situation, no harakiri!
+ Always be aware of the overall game situation
+ If you have any questions ask me please. I will get back at you ASAP
+ If you enjoyed the Post please vote it up and help spread the word
+ If you scrolled down to here and are looking for the tl;dr i must disappoint you. I could not make it shorter as jungle is a very complex position and covers a wide variety of Mechanics and features
+ Thank you for your attention.
All further questions will be discussed below and please feel free to ask me anything you want to know. Also champion and class specific questions.
If you have a request for a certain more in-depth champion guide or analysis please let me know.
+ As Riot is planing some [major changes on the jungle](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/gameplay-balance/zxMqjuBX-lets-talk-about-the-jungle) I guess I will soon have an updated jungle guide, but for now this will do.
+ And sorry for any bad grammar or mistakes.