Surviving the Jungle: Tips and Tricks for Beginning Junglers

The Jungle can be a scary place for any newcomer, take these tips and prosper!
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Eventually you’re going to have to jungle, the time comes for every summoner sooner or later so you may as well know the basics before you plunge in head first. Jungling isn’t about farming like every other lane, and it’s not necessarily just about killing the enemy team members – jungle is the most team oriented role in the game.

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Not only do you have to get enough farm to buy the items you need, you have to pay attention to how every lane is doing as well as keeping tabs on the enemy jungler. Don’t forget Dragon or Baron! It’s the junglers responsibility to keep an eye on when the next respawns for jungle monsters are as well as maintaining constant control over them. Without doing so, the enemy team has a massive advantage over your team. So, how is a single position supposed to accomplish all of this through the entire game?

Champion Pick: Don’t Screw Yourself

The first thing every new jungler needs to know is that not every champion is fit for the jungle – and your pick can decide the outcome of the game before it even begins. If your team is full of squishy champions like Vayne and Zed, you may want to pick a tanky jungler. Someone you can take to the frontlines and survive for long enough to give the rest of your team the advantage they need, like Amumu or Hecarim.

On the other hand, if you have someone like Nasus in your top lane, a beefy mid laner like Lissandra and a tanky support like Leona then you may want to opt for a more damaging jungler. Shaco or Rengar would be perfect picks to back up your front line and great assassins for jungle control. With that information in mind; if you pick a damaging jungler and do no damage you’ll be more of a hindrance to your team than an asset. Ensure you have the proper runes and masteries fit for your respective champion in the jungle.

The last thing you need to know about champion selection is that your team composition could lose you the game. Remember, just because you can take Ahri to the jungle, doesn’t mean you should. If your team is heavy on the AP side and you pick another AP, all the enemy team has to do to shut all of you down would be to build magic resist. One magic resist item will decrease the damage your entire team will deal, try to offset this with an AD champion instead.

Jungle Items: Choose Wisely

With the introduction of the new jungle items came the ability to smite other champions, so your jungle item choice is vastly important. If you’re playing a slow jungler (a jungler that has a slow clear like Nautilus or Amumu) then you’ll want to get the Ranger’s Trailblazer over something like the Stalker’s BladeStalker’s gives you an AOE smite that will hit the jungle monster selected as well as the minor creeps around it, helping your clear time overall.

If you’re playing a more damaging jungler like Shaco or Xin Xhiaothat have their own slows and crowd control, the best choice would be the Skirmisher’s Sabre, that would increase your damage output on the enemy immensely.

For a full guide on the new jungle items and the best champions to use them with, you can click here.

Jungle Pathing

Now that you have the champion you want to play and the beginnings to your jungle item, it’s time to get some farm under your belt. There’s a few options when it comes to jungling in season 5, regardless of which side of the jungle you start on.

Starting Blue Side

When you’re starting blue side you have a few options: you can start at blue or at Gromp. Most junglers prefer to start Gromp (the fat toad) for the poisonous bonus it adds to your champion’s defenses, but you can also start blue. If you do start with Gromp, you can either go for blue buff next or the Murkwolves, but before you do anything else in the game you need to get blue buff.

After you get your blue buff you’ll have a couple options, head for a gank or finish clearing out this side of the jungle and backing for your jungle item. If you go for the gank and still have enough health to take on red buff before backing, do it! If you decide to clear out your jungle and back, head for mid or bot to gank or straight to your red. You don’t want to leave your red buff sitting alone for too long and there’s always the chance that the enemy jungler will take it, so ganking top is ill advised just yet.

After getting your level 3 you’re ready to start ganking – unless you’re a champion like Warwick.

Starting Red Side

While the concept is the same as blue side, there’s still more added to it. Instead of Gromp you’ll have the Krugs to deal with, who grant you a buff that will stun minions and monsters you strike. This will make the red buff much easier to handle, so keep that in mind!

With red buff comes a price to pay however; you’re more likely to see enemy champions on the red side than you are blue. This is because your red side is directly across from their blue, giving you both a good vantage at each other. Keep wards placed on the entrances to your jungle and clear that side as soon as possible if the enemy team shows any interest. They could more than likely be planning an invade otherwise!

Invading and Invades – How to React

If you’re being invaded the first thought most people usually have is along the lines of “… crap.” Don’t worry! Instead of getting upset that they moved to your jungle, move your crew to theirs. If the invade is happening on the same side you’re beginning at and your team loses out on first blood, don’t stress it! This cannot be said enough, if you start getting flustered the enemy jungler will easily pressure you out of the much-needed farm your jungle provides.

Simply head over to the other side, or to the enemy jungle. Place some wards around your jungle where they haven’t been as well as the side that they have. This will ensure you know if they’re going to come at you from both sides or not – quite possibly saving your life.

If you’re planning an invade the first thing you want to take into consideration is your team composition versus theirs. If you’re all better in the late game, invading is probably not the best decision this early in the game. The next thing to take into account is the level one moves of each champion – on your team and on the enemy team. If their level one moves keep you or your teammates pinned or poked down, an invade might not be the best choice. If their team is more suited for late game, definitely invade. Keep them behind as much as you can for a quick and painless victory!

River Monsters

With jungle monsters such as Baron and Dragon you want to keep a very close eye on them. The easiest way to do this would be by maintaining constant control over the river crabs. These little walkers not only provide you with a free ward directly in front of these objectives; they give any allied champion a movement speed boost as they travel over them as well. This will let you know when the enemy team is preparing to take one.

TL;DR Jungle Safely

With the new jungle comes new jungling techniques, and the jungle is always evolving – stay with the curve! Every time some new information comes out about the jungle and you’re in the process of mastering it, keep your information up to date!

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