If you’re looking to help your team-mates all over the map, enjoy strategizing and adapting your game-plan, but don’t like being the primary carry for your team, then jungling is probably for you.
What is the Jungler?
The Jungler is the player that kills (aka farms) the monsters found throughout the Jungle area of the map. The role is most different to other roles in that the Jungler doesn’t have a lane or minions, so doesn’t need to be concerned about missing out on creep kills or trading with a lane opponent.
The Jungler is the role that the Smite summoner spell is used by, as this spell deals damage to minions or monsters whilst restoring health to its caster. The Jungler should always take the Smite spell, as it makes farming the Jungle much easier, particularly at the start of the game.
How to Start Out as a Jungler
When starting out as a Jungler, you should focus on being able to clear the jungle (i.e. kill some or all the jungle monsters – known as camps) without losing too many health points.
Most junglers follow similar routes, as they start by killing the Red Brambleback if on the red side of the map and the Blue Brambleback on the blue side of the map.
Killing these monsters grants Red Buff or Blue Buff, which make clearing the rest of the Jungle easier. Your Bot Lane should give you a “leash” – they should help you kill whichever one of these you start with.
A “clear route” is the order in which a Jungler kills jungle camps at the start of the game. This is also known as the first clear.
On the Blue Side, the easiest route to execute when starting out is to go from Red Buff, to Wolves, to Blue Buff, to Gromp, to Top/Mid Lane for a gank, depending on how they are doing, followed by taking top or bottom Scuttle Crab. Remember to use Smite to stay healthy!
On the Red Side, the easiest route is from Blue Buff, to Wolves, to Red Buff, to Krugs, to Top Lane, again depending on how they are performing, followed by Top Scuttle Crab.
If your champion is good at clearing the jungle (i.e. kills camps quickly without taking much damage) you may be able to kill several of the jungle camps in your first clear.
Use Practice Mode to experiment with different routes and improve your clearing efficiency!
What are the Jungler’s Main Responsibilities?
Whilst the Jungler has less immediate concerns than those in lanes, the Jungler is expected to “gank” lanes – that is, help their Top, Mid or Bot Laners damage and/or kill their opponents.
This means that the Jungler needs to have higher awareness than other members of the team and plan their ganks, according to how their lanes are performing.
Try to gank only when you have a reasonable amount of HP – you don’t want to give the enemy a kill!
Because they have the Smite summoner spell, the Jungler is expected to ‘last-hit’ (performing the killing blow) neutral objectives such as Dragon and Baron with Smite to secure them for their team.
This also means that the Jungler is in charge of “dragon control”, i.e. ensuring that the dragon is not taken by the other team.
What Jungle Champion Should I Start With?
Generally, it’s probably best to start with a champion that has an easy first jungle clear. Warwick and Xin Zhao are good options, as you’ll stay healthy in the Jungle whilst being able to help your lanes out well early on. Other champions worth considering are Amumu, Master Yi and Rammus.
Jungling is arguably the most complex role in League of Legends, but it can also be the most rewarding. Better get practising!