New partners, new roles, new timers...Junglers in Season 4 of SMITE have a lot of information to hack through if they want to stay at the top of the food chain. While there's a few old faces that still show up in the ranks -- and a little more leeway now that the role is more of a team effort -- it will still take plenty of skill to be King or Queen of the Jungle this season.
But if you've been following along with us as we covered the best mid laners, solo laners, and ADCs of Season 4, you know we have the survival guide you'll need for the Battleground. With these Gods and Goddesses leading the way, all you have to worry about is keeping sharp on the bare necessities.
Just be careful -- as powerful as these five are, it's still a Jungle out there.
Junglers are going to be seeing a lot of the new Standard set in Season 4. Now that they can start with both Bumba's Mask and another Starter Item, Ratatoskr and Serqet both have incredible clear rates, powerful gank potential, awesome mobility, hard crowd control, and fantastic damage in both sustained and burst varieties.
Everything you want out of an Assassin (and most Junglers), these two have in spades. Successful Conquest grinders in Season 4 are going to need to know how to play both with and against this deadly duo -- and Junglers would be wise to learn how to pilot them.
Ratatoskr is a Jungle Assassin's fuzzy dream -- he has no real weak phases, can escape from very nearly anyone, has a semiglobal Ultimate in Through the Cosmos, and even has sustain attached to his Boots.
Ratatoskr excels in very nearly every aspect of Jungling a majority of the time. And while some gods or goddesses may have his number in certain phases of the game, very few can match this dirty Rat across all of them.
But he really shines in the hands of a pilot that understands exactly when to use which awesome aspect of Sly Messenger. When to use his Ultimate as an escape, as an engage, or even merely as an information gathering tool can make or break Ratatoskr players, as can picking and choosing whether to abuse his mobility and crowd control to take out high-value targets, or to escape fights that seem nuts to battle out.
The Goddess of Venom and one of the standout Junglers of Season 2 is back. While her clear left a little to be desired for much of Season 3, having both Bumba's and Bluestone Pendant at game start -- plus a helpful roaming support to take aggro -- puts Serqet back on top.
This combo makes Serqet's early game pretty incredible, as Bluestone Pendant and Deathbane together will almost immediately destroy any Jungle camp. That means this fearsome Serq du Soleil is free to frolic all over the enemy's backline and high-priority targets.
Deadly, mobile, and with very few exploitable weaknesses, Ratatoskr and Serqet are the two Junglers poised to burn the brightest in the dark of early Season 4. Together, they are the new standard, but I wouldn't worry about taking a good long look. You'll be seeing plenty of them soon.
Only half of this perilous pair actually has an Execute in their kit -- but their overall ability to melt any single target makes it feel like they both do. While not as overall powerful as the Standards, the Executioner set is ready and willing to paint the town red for any team willing to brawl early and often.
Where these two really excel is in the pressure the apply to an enemy squad. Thanatos and The Morrigan both have absurd burst damage early in the game, leaving the enemy on the defensive right from the start. With a little tight gameplay here and a few snowballing lanes there, The Executioners are more than capable of taking over the game, one killing blow at a time.
If you've read our guide on The Morrigan, you're fairly familiar with her selling points as an assassin -- incredible burst damage, ranged harass, a game-defining Ultimate, and a powerful stealth. The Morrigan also has the key benefit of being a magical assassin/Jungler, allowing teams more flexibility in composition as they experiment with wider role possibilities.
She needs a little more planning to successfully survive a teamfight, and is a little slower in clear through the early stages of the game...but it's hard to argue with what she brings to the table with her Ultimate's flexibility/power, or with her ability to sneak up on an enemy Mage/Hunter/Assassin and instantly delete them.
Thanatos has climbed from a joke pick to one of the best assassins in the game. And as the new Shield of Regrowth continues to allow self-healing characters a mini-Sprint whenever it's up, his prospects this season are looking fairly strong as well.
With a durable (if not exactly fast) early game clear and immense pressure on enemy gods as early as level 1, Thanatos has always been an early game dominator -- taking kills and enemy buffs alike for the first 12-16 levels of the game before falling off.
With recent emphasis on not only team clear, but contesting your enemy's Jungle camps, Thanatos' ability to take command of the early game is far more desirable than it has been. Levels mean much more than they used to, and putting your enemy in an early game hole can often be enough to seal the game long before Thanatos' wings are clipped.
The fact that he's a tactical counter to Khepri, one of the most powerful supports in the game, is just a bonus.
Though less all-around powerful than other picks, The Morrigan and Thanatos trade in a rounded skillset for being very, very good at one thing. The Executioner set promises swift, merciless death from the Jungle -- and trust us, they ain't lion.
Thor has one of the most dominant and long-lasting careers in SMITE history. He has defined multiple World Championships, and carried both casuals and pros alike to many victories. Yet Thor never seems to get the credit he deserves.
Why? It's simple: he's not the best at anything. Not the best damage or crowd control, not the most mobile or durable, not the best at confirming or stealing objectives. But moreso than even the standard junglers, Thor is average to above average at all of these things.
While he might never take a game all on his own, all it takes is a little adapting and he's a relevant force. What he lacks in raw one-dimensional power, he makes up for in his ability to adjust. Thor is the MOBA's "55/45" option -- he has very few bad matchups, fits into most strategies with ease, and is never totally out of the game.
As far as SMITE Season 4 Junglers go, Thor sits just below nearly any Jungler type's absolute best. There's a reason his hammer is the trophy at the World Championships, and when he leaves your enemies battered all over, you'll know it.
It's a whole new game in SMITE Season 4, and the Jungle may just be the most dangerous yet. While the top slots are mostly the familiar role, these Assassins (and one very angry mage) are far from the only game in town.
Hypercarries, notably Kali and Mercury, are ready and waiting to exploit a new and improved Hastened Fatalis. But that requires the game to go late enough that they can reliably come online and not have their Jungle constantly contested.
Warriors and Warrior-type Guardians are also more than ready to brave the dark heart of the Battleground should their team composition desire it. The Bluestone + Bumba's start offers a powerful boost to their typically mediocre clear speed.
It might be a hard fight waiting for you out there. Death lurks around every corner, and every play can make or break the game wide open. But with these five picks for SMITE Season 4, it will all feel like fun and games.
Welcome to the Jungle.