Jungling in League of Legends seems to be a position that is either loved or hated. Most of the hate probably stems from the difficulty that comes with playing this role. Unlike playing in a lane, you are expected to assist all your teammates and cause opportunities for kills while still keeping your creep score high. It can be a heavy burden, especially when a team blames you for their own poor play.
Fear not! We here at Tie Attack have assembled a short list of tips and tricks that are guaranteed to make you a better jungler:
Make calls for ganks and follow through
You just took your own red buff and you see the enemy jungler gank the opposite side of the map. Scurrying across the river you find that the opponent’s blue buff has already been taken, you decide to gank lane from behind. Call that you’re ganking!
Many summoners (including your teammates most likely) are trying to focus on several things at once; because of this they have poor map awareness. Let your team know you’re coming through pings and chat.
Allow your teammate(s) to get into position before you run into the lane. All too often my jungler will dive in and fight what is essentially a 1v2 because I was out of range during initiation. Make your ganks a team effort, that’s the whole reason they’re useful, to create a 2v1 or 3v2 skirmish.
Wasting time hurts
How many times have you had your jungler sneak into lane at level 2 then proceed to sit there waiting for the perfect time to pop out for what he assumes will be the number one surprise attack NA? Then he continues to wait, and wait…and wait.
As a jungler you typically will level slower than your teammates in lane, this is because you have less minions dying around you, and at slower intervals, which gives you less experience. Spending time in a lane waiting for a gank is time and gold lost.
Only gank when there is opportunity, not because you happen to be top lane and all the jungle camps are cleared. What separates good junglers from great junglers is time management and the ability to keep up in level and CS with the rest of the team while helping to create opportunities in lane.
Map awareness is vital
Counter jungling is an effective way to get ahead of the enemy jungler, but proceed with caution. Getting caught in the enemy jungle will typically cost you.
Avoid getting caught by warding, then watching those wards on the map. Once in the enemy’s jungle, watch the lanes for signs of movement or people missing. If the opposing team is coming they will get to you before your team can because of distance and reaction time. Also, unless you know the enemy jungler isn’t near where you’re invading, or you’re positive you can kill him 1v1, counter jungling has a much bigger risk than reward. Be aware of where everyone on both teams are, and play accordingly.
Pay attention to dragon
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have been playing in solo queue and dragon is not looked at by either team until near the 20 minute mark. Killing dragon gives a big gold advantage, and that advantage is even bigger early game. That same amount of gold that seems miniscule late game, is a large chunk during laning phase.
Organize dragon kills with your team. Keep an eye out for when bottom lane recalls, where their jungler is, and if their top lane is in lane. If this happens, mid should come down and help you (and bot) take the free dragon.
Learn your timers
A big key to counter jungling, and jungling in general, is knowing and paying attention to the camp respawn timers. There are simple mark times other than dragon/baron spawns that you should be aware of at all times.
For example, red/blue buffs have a 5 min respawn timer. So whichever buff the enemy jungler starts at will be up again at about the 7 minute mark. If the enemy jungler didn’t gank at level 2, the opposite buff (red/blue) will be up again about 90 seconds later. Contest them if you are ahead.
I hope these quick tips help you out summoners. Jungling isn’t a role you should be scared of, but it is full of new skills and habits to learn. Practice makes perfect! See you out on Summoner’s Rift!
Any jungling tips for your fellow summoners? Leave them in the comments below!