- For the plants, see Jungle plants.
Jungling is the practice of killing neutral "Monsters" located on some maps between the lanes. The Jungle refers to any area of the map that is not a lane or part of either team's base, including the river that divides it. Junglers rely on killing neutral monsters in the jungle to keep up with their laning teammates in terms of gold and experience. In a standard 5-on-5 game of League of Legends, 4 players on a team will be Laners, and 1 player will be a designated Jungler.
The Jungler is a role limited to Summoner's Rift, and to a lesser extent the Twisted Treeline, which is limited and not as major a part of team strategy due to the small size of the map and the jungle providing less consistent farm. It is possible to jungle in any map with neutral monsters without necessarily being a designated Jungler.
A Monster is a particular classification of unit. Unlike minions, monsters are neutral (they do not fight for either team), have a level based on the average champion level, and will not automatically attack a unit unless they are damaged. As their level goes up, so does their reward gold and exp along with their damage and defensive stats. Junglers rely on killing monsters to farm gold and experience, as they don't have the steady gold income provided by killing lane minions that the rest of their teammates have. The table in Jungling Overview goes into greater detail. With the exception of boss Monsters, Monsters do not increase in level (stats) until after they have re-spawned. Certain monsters offer greater rewards, like a buff or a "global" reward. Some of the buffs granted are transferable to enemy killer champions.
Monsters will not move from their designated spawning location (commonly called "camps") unless they are damaged, in which case the monster will move towards and attack the nearest champion. Above each large monster is a Patience bar indicating its willingness to fight. A monster gradually loses Patience if it is too far from its spawn point, if it is damaged while no champions are nearby, or if its target changes. If this bar empties, the monster will stop fighting, walk back to its spawn point and rapidly regenerate health while refilling its Patience. It will not re-engage unless it takes damage while the bar is full.
The Rift Scuttler is the only monster that doesn't deal damage, only running away from the source of damage when attacked. Conversely, the Baron is the only monster that doesn't move when attacked.
As monsters will always attack the nearest champion, a long ranged attack on a monster can allow you to detect the presence of enemy champions out of sight. In the case of the, due to its proximity to the lane and its ranged attack, it could hit almost as far as the middle of the lane from its camp. A champion can therefore "provoke" it (preferably with a long ranged skillshot that allows you to hit it from a safe distance and the enemy champion as well, such as ) and cause it to attack an enemy champion in lane as long as they are the closest target.
Monsters will not immediately "forget" champions that hide in bushes, and try to walk into the bush to attack. A monster that can see a champion provides vision of this champion to all of the monsters in its camp.
If a champion is killed by a Monster, allies will be notified with the announcer stating "Executed" and text indicating which champion and what Monster killed him. The other team will only be notified if they have vision of the champion. When a monster that has a timer (Red, Blue, Dragon, Baron, Rift Herald) has less than 60 seconds to spawn, its timer is revealed to both teams (regardless of their vision on the camp) and a grey icon appears in the mini-map (icon brightens and turns yellow at 20 seconds remaining).
Basis of Jungling
The primary reason for jungling is to maximize resource allocation. The jungle offers a lot of gold and experience that can be accessed through slaying the monsters that spawn and respawn in predetermined locations on the map. With a lone player dedicating themself to accruing it, it leaves two solo lanes available to both gain high experience and gold rather than only one solo lane. In effect, all accessible resources are being accessible by a team with a Jungler.
For a more thorough explanation: There is a maximum amount of gold that can be farmed from the map at any given time. At the start of a game on Summoner's Rift, the first wave of minions that spawns from the nexus can be killed and farmed for roughly 333 gold (3 melee minions at 20 gold each, and 3 caster minions at 17 gold each per lane, in 3 lanes). If a team has all five of its members farming these minion waves in the lane, this is the maximum amount of gold that can be earned, and it will have to be shared between five teammates, with all of the potential gold from neutral Monster camps being ignored. If one player ignores the lanes however and instead focuses on farming the jungle, this 333 gold from the lanes can now be split between 4 players instead of 5, and an additional 441 gold can be earned from a full jungle clear (excluding dragon, baron and the scuttler). Thus, having one player dedicated to jungling on a team of five takes full advantage of all of the gold and experience available on the map at any given time, giving a team the maximum possible amount of farm. And of course, the more farm a team accrues, the greater their chance of winning the match.
There are other important tasks that a jungler is able to perform, due to their roaming nature preventing enemy champions from spotting the jungler through the fog of war. This allows for unexpected positioning and surprise attacks, commonly referred to as "ganks". Their ability to freely traverse the map without being tied to a lane also allows them to support lanes when in the area, such as warding key locations without forcing someone else to abandon their lane and coming to an ally's aid when they come under duress.
The final reason for Jungling is to secure the two epic monsters on the map,and the . Because of the potentially game-turning advantages these two monsters can give to a team that successfully kills them, it is often a responsibility of the jungler to ensure that these camps are not acquired by a marauding enemy team by using the summoner spell to secure or steal the camp at the last second.
On Summoner's Rift there are 16 monster camps: blue and red jungles have an equal area with the same amount of non-boss monsters. The jungle is effectively symmetrical around the center of the map, with the exceptions of the boss monsters , and , which are unique and reside in sheltered alcoves along the river (Baron Nashor is on the red team's side of the river and the Dragon is on the blue team's).
On the Twisted Treeline, there are 7 camps, being symmetrical about the center of the map with the topmost camp hosting the sole boss monster .
The practice of "Leashing" monsters when they spawn for the first time at the start of the game is an important component of Jungling. Leashing involves two or more allied champions (one of them being the jungler) attacking the same monster camp at the same time. When the monster's health is low, the non-jungler champions cease their attacks and head to their respective lanes, allowing the jungler to last hit the monsters for the experience and gold reward. If done correctly, this allows the jungler to take minimal damage from the first monster camp he fights thus making his first jungle run quicker and safer, and allowing him to have the maximum amount of health when he goes to gank a lane afterwards.
Check the monster list and rewards here 
Respawn timers on the camps do not begin to count down until all monsters in the camp have been killed, including the major buff camps. This can be exploited by a jungler looking to steal his opponent's experience by leaving a single minor monster behind to deny the enemy jungler his farm and experience for as long as possible.
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Champions of the Jungle
The champions who regularly are seen in the jungle role can be categorized into certain overarching playstyles. Some champions belong in more than one category, although such champions are often worse at either role than dedicated champions of only one type. Knowledge of which group(s) a given champion belongs in can go a long way in predicting how that champion will build and behave in a match.
It should be noted that such categorizations show only how the champion is likely to act as a jungler, and are often distinct from how the champion is likely to act as a pick.
There are generally three recognized types of jungler in League of Legends:
A ganking jungler aims to contribute to his team by providing constant pressure to enemy laners and setting up kills for their allies, allowing them to snowball their way to victory even as the ganker jungler falls behind in gold due to generally low farm. Such junglers often tend to prioritize heavy crowd control and mobility in their kit, which allows them to reach even the most heavily entrenched laners and lock them down long enough to ensure their demise.
Ganker junglers tend to be good picks against farming junglers, as without the need to worry about an opponent intercepting a gank attempt they can freely roam and harass opposing laners with no fear of reprisal.
Examples of ganking junglers includeand .
A farming jungler does what their title implies - they spend the vast majority of their time farming the camps that respawn in the jungle, and will also often supplement this income by entering an ally's lane and farming enemy minions as well. This type of jungler sacrifices aiding their laners in the early game with the intent of getting large amounts of gold and levels to become a significant threat in the late game, and often boast a very high damage output and strong scaling, allowing them to farm the jungle at maximum speed and effectively become a second carry if they are allowed to farm for long enough.
Farmer junglers tend to resist control junglers, who more often than not will simply not be able to steal camps at a rate that is able to compete with the high clearing speed of their opponent and will usually end up outscaled by their better farmed opponent.
Examples of farming junglers includeand .
Control junglers are aimed specifically at defeating other junglers and ensuring that they have as little influence as possible through the course of a game, and assist their allies mainly though use of objective control, such as using early takedowns of theand the two major buff camps on both sides. This type of jungler can be very varied in their design but most of them will prioritize sustainability or dueling potential as their key stats, allowing them to defeat other junglers through both attrition and raw power if needs be.
Control junglers are counterpicks to ganking junglers, as their stalking nature allows them to nullify their opponent's strengths by ensuring their ganks do not succeed, as well as crippling what little farm they already get.
Examples of control junglers includeand .
The following runes have an effect against jungle monsters or while in the jungle:
- Against monsters:
- Increased Stats:
- (ward takedowns)
The most common setup when jungling is aor and 3 . This setup improves jungle clearing speed, provides 450 bonus health to cover early health losses and has the most flexible build path options.
As the jungler is often expected to spend a large amount of time roaming the map between camps and lanes,are a useful purchase to lessen the considerable travel time and maximize team contributions. If are not required or priority goes towards counterbuilding against the opposing team, then the other options such as or are viable alternatives.
Historical Items for Jungling
Jungler itemization has gone through some considerable changes over the course of League of Legends' lifespan, mainly owing to the unique difficulty in balancing a relatively unorthodox role with the more traditional laning positions.
During Season One, the jungle was a highly profitable source of gold, so much so that often a Jungling champion could even obtain more farm than the lanes with some effort, eventually letting them afford expensive and deadly items if their farming efforts were not halted. This was offset by the enormous difficulty of the jungle monsters of the time - there were extremely few junglers who could even clear effectively in such an rigorous environment and even fewer junglers who could begin the game with anything other than a and 5 .
The jungle rework of Season Two reduced the difficulty of the jungle monsters and the gold and experience that they gave out in an attempt to open the jungle to more prospective champions. Despite the decreased monster health, however, it was found that the decreased gold meant that dedicated farming was simply no longer an economically viable strategy, and many junglers were forced to find alternative solutions to the resultant gold starvation (most often amounting to early stacking of gold generating items such as and ), while other junglers whose core item builds often demanded a high gold income to be feasible simply could not function in such a low-gold environment.
The jungle in Season Three attempted to compromise between the high farm of Season One and the low difficulty of Season Two. The introduction of allowed many junglers to successfully clear without many sustain issues and offered fallback solutions in the form of the highly gold efficient items it built into in case of a poor early game, and the increase to passive gold generation saw most junglers in possession of at least passable amounts of gold. These changes saw the number of viable junglers increase greatly.
Season 2014 was built upon the framework set by Season Three, with several gameplay refinements aimed at combating issues seen at higher levels of play. Of particular note, all of the high-tier jungle items provided benefits exclusively involving killing monsters and an entirely new jungle monster, , was introduced, enabling much higher potential profits to both farming junglers who are sufficiently fast to keep up with the respawn times of the four camps and ganking junglers who do not perform well early on. These buffs to farming junglers were boosted further with the addition of , which provided massive bonuses to junglers who could farm fast enough to acquire the upgrade early on. On the flipside, the addition of kept slower utility junglers useful during a metagame period dominated by heavy early offense.
Common Jungle Routes
A jungle route is the order in which a Jungling champion will tackle each of the camps scattered around the map during their very first clear. Routes tend to vary from very offensive to very passive, depending on the playstyle of the jungler in question (though certain champions are more efficient with some routes than others). Regardless of how aggressive the route is, each route is optimized to provide the jungler with the best balance of health and time invested - crucial during the earliest stages of a game where many junglers are at their weakest and most vulnerable states.
End level: 2
- camp ( ).
- Gank a nearby lane.
- This extremely aggressive jungle route is the riskiest out of all jungle routes and is most often used in an attempt to obtain the First Blood bonus before opponents have had a chance to acquire all of their spells yet.
- Normally you start at the because the buff it gives helps to secure kills.
- Don't take too much time for solo laners can get to level 2 quickly, so you have to be fast.
- For some junglers, this also sacrifices some farming potential for increased early offensive prowess.
- Failure to acquire a kill can often leave the jungler dangerously behind on experience and farm and vulnerable to harassment for several minutes, but a successful gank can be greatly rewarding, granting the killer's team 600 gold (400G for the kill + 50% for the assist) and setting the slain opponent back on both experience and gold at a very early stage, which can easily become an insurmountable disadvantage.
- Be sure to pay attention because while you are ganking, the enemy jungler can be counter-jungling and getting your .
End level: 3
- camp ( ).
- Gank a nearby lane or .
- camp ( ).
- Gank a nearby lane or .
- This route is one of the most commonly taken paths, done to strategically prevent theft of the buff camps by the opposing team.
- This leaves multiple options for the Jungling champion, including being able to gank a nearby lane, invade the opposing jungle or to simply continue farming.
- Most of the time, you finish your jungling run at 2:45, knowing this most players will use the or right at 2:50 or less to prevent a gank.
- Some junglers cannot gank right after they take the second buff, so they to recover health and then gank.
- Another option for junglers who get low on health is to take the nearest using the health regeneration capabilities of , , or even .
End level: 6
- camp ( ).
- camp ( ).
- closest to ( if contested).
- camp ( if not used on ).
- ( if contested).
- camp ( if not used on ).
- camp ( ).
- camp ( ).
- closest to ( if contested).
- camp ( if not used on ).
- ( if contested).
- camp ( if not used on ).
- This passive route is chosen to maximize gold and experience income from the jungle at the expense of supporting the lanes.
- This route is usually used by very fast farming junglers who want to earn their gold through farming, but can also be used with junglers who have high level requirements to be able to gank effectively and wish to speed themselves to that point.
- Note that with standard runes it is impossible to reach level six without either taking at least one of the or taking experience from outside your own jungle (i.e. kills, assists, lane experience, counter-jungling)
- Junglers who get extremely low while clearing might consider taking a before their first recall. While this sacrifices a small amount of time efficiency, it can mean the difference between a successful clear and an execution.
- camp ( ).
- camp ( ).
- Gank a nearby lane or .
- This route is a variation on the buff to buff route granting more gold and experience than the common route.
- Killing all the before the grants you level 2 and is the most efficient clear for the camp at level 1.
- Champions with aoe damage are recommened for this clear as you are fighting 6 monsters.
- It is much easier to have the mid lane leash than the bot lane, due to the distance from the lane, especially if they're a champion with an aoe damage.
Ganking refers to the act of ambushing one or more players with the intent of scoring a kill. It is one of the most important aspects of the jungle role, as, while anyone in a match can effectively gank to some extent, the jungler is the champion who has the greatest capacity to do so as he is not bound to any particular lane, allowing him to freely roam across the map to appear wherever he is needed. As the game progresses and more and more champions begin to roam the map and band together as opposed to extending out alone, ganking becomes less limited to the jungler and less of an important factor to success overall, but it nonetheless remains a valuable element of team strategy all the way up until a game's end.
Some champions are better at ganking than others. In particular, champions with very powerful or plentiful crowd control tend to be stronger at ganks than those without. For example, can gank a lane as early as level 2 possessing only a buff - the slow it provides and the fear from a can lock down an enemy champion for several seconds, potentially allowing Shaco or a teammate to kill him. Conversely, champions who have little to no crowd control (such as ) or have crowd control that can be difficult or unreliable to use effectively (such as ) will often find themselves hard pressed to obtain kills during ganks.
A few specific junglers may have very poor initial ganking, but upon obtaining their ultimate can later gank with much more success. In such cases, the jungling champion will often focus solely on farming for the early game and later transition to ganking more heavily once level 6 has been reached. One of the quintessential examples of this is, who exerts poor control over an opponent from levels 1 to 5 but becomes one of the game's most lethal gankers after she reaches level 6 and acquires the use of which serves a powerful gap closer and greatly increases her burst damage.
There are several different types of gank that can be observed in League of Legends:
River ganks are the most common type of gank and involves the jungler approaching a lane through the river, entering the brush there and beginning his assault on the opposing team once correct positioning is established. This type of gank is the most readily available to any jungler and, depending on the mobility of the ganking champion, can work successfully even against opponents who have not extended significantly beyond their own side brush.
As a tradeoff for this ease of use, however, river ganks are among the easiest to spot ahead of time for a competent team - a singlein the river bush can quickly warn a laner of the jungler's intentions and allow them to back off and avoid danger. The other types of ganks most often occur to bypass this vision of the river.
River ganks tend to be more successful at top lane for red team members and bot lane for blue team members, but teams on the opposite side have access to the loop gank below to compensate.
Side ganks (also known as a lane gank) involve the jungler entering the side brush in order to get very close to his targets before initiating the gank. This type of gank has many more limitations than a simple river gank, as it can only be done in bot or top lane and relies on a lack of vision on both within the bush from the enemy team and of the jungler as he enters it in order to maintain the element of surprise.
This gank is much more commonly done at top lane than at bot lane, as the latter contains a support champion who has the responsibility of keeping the side brush warded, but when pulled off in either case it can be extremely deadly due to the sheer proximity of the ganking champion allowing him to almost immediately lock down his target and prevent them from fleeing.
Loop ganks involve the champion entering the enemy jungle from near the mid lane, and (for bot or top lane loop ganks) walking around theor spawning pit and entering the target lane through the tribush or (for mid lane loop ganks) making use of the entrances to the lane on the same side as an enemy turret.
Loop ganks pose some significant risks to the jungler. If their initial approach into the enemy jungle is spotted early on with a ward, it is almost always a death sentence, as the opposing team can act together to corner and slay the champion as he makes his way down to the lane. If pulled off correctly, however, it can be equally devastating to an unaware laner, as with the use of the tribush to disguise their approach the jungler will end up directly behind the target and so does not have to immediately use their abilities to close the gap.
The riskiest gank to perform, this type of gank involves the jungler collaborating with allies to trap and kill enemies who are under the apparent safety of their turret. This gank can be done on any laner through use of the jungle - bot and top lane for red and blue team respectively uses the path and small brush directly behind the turret and the opposing side makes use of the grass near the camp. Mid lane tower dive ganks make use of the path near the spawns.
Tower dive ganks can have massive consequences if part of the dive is performed improperly due to the presence of the turret, which contributes massive damage output on a champion who attacks an ally within its range. A miscommunication between members of a team can lead to one or more allied champions being killed in the dive, which can offset the benefits of diving in the first place. Junglers who are most suited to performing tower dive ganks are ones that have abilities that can let them easily tank several tower shots and buy more time to obtain a kill (such as), or ones who have extremely high burst potential, allowing them to rapidly decimate enemy champions before the tower can do significant damage (such as ).
A direct gank involves the ganking champion dispensing with all form of subtlety and approaching his targets by walking directly down the lane towards them, and are usually done only as a last resort against enemy lanes that are heavily fortified with wards as they do not have an especially high chance of success.
Though this type of gank is technically available to all junglers, in practice only a very specific few are capable of successfully pulling one off. Almost invariably, a direct ganking champion will boast enormous mobility and multiple means of closing the gap with his opponents as well as strong crowd controls. A famous example of such a jungler is, who has access to a movement speed-boosting ability ( ), a long-ranged gap closer ( ) and a method of movement impairment ( ) which combine to allow him to storm into a lane at high speed and quickly suppress a target champion before they can escape.
A counter gank is the unique act of a champion entering a lane where an enemy gank is already in progress with the intent of turning the fight to their favor.
This gank type follows the same rules as before in that good warding can alert a team to the incoming threat and let them back off without suffering casualties, but also equally depends on the junglers themselves. Strong counterganking junglers are champions who have excellent map mobility and can react quickly to a gank happening regardless of their current location (such asand his ). Junglers who are resistant to being counterganked themselves are champions whose methods of crowd control are divorced from their methods of escape, letting them rapidly switch from attacking to retreating when the need arises (such as ).
Counter-Jungling is a broad term which generally refers to the act of delaying the progress of an enemy jungler in some way. The reason to perform this is always the same - it is an attempt to reduce the influence the jungler has on the game in the next several minutes by depriving him of gold, experience and neutral buffs. It is usually a strictly solo affair (with one particular exception being invasions, which are covered below) and typically involves a jungler entering enemy territory to either steal unattended camps, ambush his opponent with the intention of killing him or driving him off, or both.
As with ganking, some champions are better suited to Counter-Jungling than others. Champions with abilities that let them rapidly destroy camps, and escape if discovered, can easily deny gold and experience by stealing camps. Champions who pack powerful offensive steroids that let them quickly overwhelm an opponent in a duel, as well as the means to prevent them from escaping, can ambush the enemy as they're taking a camp and kill them.
area of effect damage and a powerful true damage nuke from his , letting him quickly destroy major and minor camps alike. The latter boasts enormous single-target damage from and affording him incredible dueling power against lone opponents, as well as a means to chase down and prevent their escape with .and are two examples of champions well-suited to Counter-Jungling. The former boasts heavy
Counter-Jungling is usually a very risky tactic due to the potential hazard of being discovered, cornered and killed by the enemy team. As a result, being able to do well consistently with it will necessitate a strong sense of map awareness and knowledge of champion matchups. Champions who do not wish to be caught stealing a camp must often ensure that their opponent is elsewhere at the time, such as when the enemy jungler is covering a lane for someone or has recently ganked and been forced to retreat at low health. Likewise, champions who wish to catch the enemy jungler in turn will often need to utilize their knowledge to determine their whereabouts at a specific time and whether it is safe to attempt to kill them.
Invasions are a very specific type of counter-jungling, usually undertaken by all five members of a team in an attempt to deprive the enemy jungler of their very first buff before the minion waves have begun to spawn. This usually involves the team utilising the bushes to stealthily approach the enemyor camp. Most commonly, this is done for the former camp as several junglers must start with the buff in order to clear effectively early on, but for the same reason stealing the usually has the lesser chance of an early engagement.
The presence of this strategy often dictates a team's actions during the first 90 seconds of a game and is the reason why many teammates will guard around the river area of the jungle to provide an advance warning in case of an invasion.
Successful invasions can have great payoffs, granting the beneficiaries an extra neutral buff for the first five minutes, buff camp experience, and potentially the First Blood bonus and early kills. Even invasions that are thwarted by good scouting can still often be successful as the enemy team may not always be in a good position to drive off the invaders.
Some team compositions can encourage or dissuade invasions more than others. Teams that have a higher chance of a successful invade are most commonly teams made of champions with strong level 1 crowd controls (such asor ) who can lock down off-guard opponents and allow for their team to quickly destroy them.