God damn, I like to jungle.
As a jungler in LoL, you’re job is to monitor all of the lanes, gank to add pressure or cause kills for your team, as well as counter jungling. Essentially, you OWN Summoner’s Rift. The mini-map is your friend, and the enemy is at your whim.
But, let’s be honest. No one likes you. “Gank top!” “Gank mid!” “Noob jungler report only 500716 ganks on top, scrub low elo noob i hate elo hell”.
Whatever you do, it’s wrong. You counter jungle, and kill the enemy jungler? Good job, top lane is now going to flame you because you didn’t gank his lane straight away.
You took both buffs first clear, even though you’re manaless? “Screw you nub, god you’re LEE SIN NUB I GET EVERY BLUE BUFF EVEN THOUGH I WAS DEAD WHILST YOU TOOK IT BECAUSE I OVEREXTENDED”.
I’m not bitter, oh no…
As much as I love the role of jungle, it is so god damn difficult to keep everyone happy enough. You’re only solution is to play a carry jungler, someone who snowballs nicely and can just feast on the enemy team if played right (Lee Sin, Jax, Nocturne) and get fed and win the game early. Otherwise, I can guarantee you that you’re going to be yelled at by your teammates for your apparent noobishness for not doing everything according to them.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a 2200 ELO jungler here. I make mistakes, and I have to mentally remind myself to actually plan my next move and conserve my time during the game. Of course I’m not going to have a huge amount of sage advice on this that Snoopeh will then follow and reward me with one of his smoldering stares.
I am still learning, is what I’m trying to say.
What do you do when jungling? Try and keep the fuck up. Don’t fall behind. Don’t think “Oh, I’m Lee Sin, I don’t need any kind of jungle, I’ll just take my red and try and counter jungle, and then never clear my own jungle ever again.” You do okay, and then suddenly mid game roles around and you’re 3-4 levels behind everyone else.
Clear your goddamn jungle. Take the enemy jungler’s as well, but for god’s sake make an actual effort to keep up in levels. A laner only has to concern themselves with this is they’re getting zoned from the creep wave, or they die too often, thus missing valuable xp. As a jungler, you have to be constantly aware of your xp in relation to everyone else’s: not just the enemy jungler’s, but your teammates. What’s the use of being level 10 when a teamfight breaks out wherein everyone is level 14 except you? You’re gonna die, you under-farmed Lee Sin, you.
When you’re on the way anywhere, clear your damn jungle. CS when a laner isn’t there, in attempt to freeze the lane outside of the tower. Do you know how nice it is to have a jungler freeze a lane for you if you’re in mid lane? It’s so nice.
Besides keeping up in damn xp and gold, the most important thing to remember as a jungler is that your job is to not only control the game, but to inspire fear into the enemy. Are you going to be bottom lane? Are you going to gank top? Are you waiting at the enemies red? The enemy team has no idea unless they ward – which they should – but even if they do ward, they’ll never have total awareness of you.
What that means is, if you are walking from top to bot, take the extra few seconds to walk closer to your tower, instead of straight through the lane brushes. Make sure the enemy can’t see you on the map, so they don’t know exactly where you are. You are an invisible mist, drifting across Summoner’s Rift, striking fear into the hearts and minds of the enemy. If they can’t see you, they have to assume you’re seconds away from CC’ing / Killing them, so they play safe. This means your laner can capitalize on this.
Bottom line, help your team by not being seen. Gank, but for god’s sake clear your jungle. Support junglers have seen a massive come back this season, with tankiness and having an Aegis of the Legion being a very common thing in jungle these days. Rolling in with some CC and stupid amounts of health thanks to Warmog’s, you can disrupt the entire game for the enemy if played right.
Just remember. You’re time, and you’re position as known by the enemy, is very, very important.
Leave a comment below if any questions about jungling that I, or anyone else, might be able to answer.