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DuoQ Chronicles: Making Your Way Up the Ladder With a Jungle Main

ohsopresteej

ohsopresteej

Tue 29th Aug 2017 - 11:31am

It's no secret that League of Legends is a team game, and sometimes people need a little help - or just a little more coordination - when climbing the ladder that is solo/duo queue. While the people you play with are subjective to you, some find that certain roles are better to pair with for taking LP than others. Today we'll talk about duoing with the jungler. 

In order to better function as a team, you must know how your teammates will function and understand the purpose behind their movements and strategies. So, before we continue, let's get to know the jungler.

Who is the jungler, and what do they do? 

The jungler is one of the roles in League that doesn't really change much in League of Legends by virtue of the duties being easily performed by a multitude of champions, regardless of typing or playing style. This being said, you can't really confine the jungler to just a specific type of champion like you can within a role like the ADC, who is almost exclusively Marksman-class champions (with Ziggs being a severe outlier). Whether a tank, damage dealer, carry, or in a supportive role, the jungler's primary job duties in your average League of Legends game consist of these things: 

- Using Smite to secure valuable neutral monster objectives and clear the jungle (basically the jungle's equivalent of a lane).
- Utilizing map awareness and vision to create pressure and opportunity within any of the three lanes for the team as a whole, either by reinforcing weaker lanes or emphasizing the advantages in a stronger one.
- Capitalizing on said advantages (either in kills or securing of objectives).
- Suppressing or reacting decisively and favorably to the advances/pressure of the enemy jungler. 
- Utilizing the kit of the champion being played to perform the optimal role for said champion (engaging if they're playing engage, tanking if they're playing a tank, doing damage if they're playing a damage carry, providing utility if they're playing something else, like Ivern).

Disclaimer:

Note how I did not state anywhere there that the jungler's job is to win your lane for you. It's not. The jungler can hand you the tools to succeed in the lane (if it's even worth investing into), but it is not their job to hold your hand and win the lane for you unless it's an explicit and direct part of your team's win condition. You've chosen to duo with this jungler for a reason - because you trust their judgment and playing. That being said, they're also relying on you to not only trust theirs but also to use good judgment yourself when playing. Most of the time, a jungler's success at his job shares a direct correlation with how well you can do yours, whether it be stomping a lane or just losing it gracefully. There are times where you can blame your jungler for losing a lane for you, but most of the time it's on you. 

Golden Tip:

In most situations, it's almost always easier to use some sort of voice communications with your duo partners. This allows for seamless interaction without the delay of typing and more effective coordination. With things like Discord, Skype, Teamspeak, etc., there's really no reason you shouldn't be able to talk to your partner unless they're deaf (I have a deaf duo partner that I play with - not even kidding) or there's some external circumstance preventing them from communicating with you. This is not to criticize people who manage to do it through typing alone. I'm just saying that in most circumstances, this is far more effective. 

Now, let's get into the specific combinations.

Jungle/Top:

This is perhaps one of the most common bread and butter combinations in all of League of Legends, and a duo highlighted for its influence not only in ranked play, but competitive and professional play as well. Unless you're playing a lane bully and your jungler favors camping your lane, most of the tips here will generally revolve around how you use Teleport in conjunction with your jungler's pressure on the map to create advantages. If you don't take Teleport, then my only tip to you is to have your jungler camp your lane so that you get enough of an advantage to circumvent the lack of global map pressure you'll have as the game progresses. That being said, here are some of my most notable tips:

  • Take Teleport 

No, I don't mean this just in terms of you taking the summoner spell. I mean this in terms of you and your jungler using ganks to take Teleport advantages away from the enemy top laner if they have it. A common strategy is to gank the enemy top laner and force them back to base (with or without a grey screen), and apply pressure on their tower early to force them to use their Teleport. If they use it, you can also have the jungler gank again or wait in a nearby bush for the enemy laner to return and kill them again. This is a really effective way to set your opponent back a potentially disastrous amount and cement a lead and is really effective against both aggressive laners that need to get ahead early and champions that are weak early and need time to scale into late-game. 

  • Communicate Cooldowns

Riot made them pingable for a reason. Junglers are more likely to gank lanes they know will be profitable. An enemy with little or no summoner spells/ult is a vulnerable enemy. Knowing when that next objective comes up could be useful. Expect your jungler to set your sights on them. That being said, your jungler will only know to do that if you tell them what's going on. So communicate. 

  • Join in on Ganks!

See an opportune gank bot or mid and your jungler is already on it? If your lane is pushed and you can safely get to it without losing anything drastic, it might be good for your team to Teleport to the scene. You could create an even bigger lead with you there or prevent a successful turnaround on their part. 

You can also have your jungler hold your lane while you roam for kills if your champ's kit is better suited for the type of gank you're trying to pull off! Don't worry, they won't mind the farm!

  • Ward and Deward

Tired of your ganks going sour because of enemy vision? Need to be better prepared for that gank you know is coming? Want to help your jungler get up in the face of the enemy jungler so he/she stays off of your heels? Introducing the ward! For anywhere from 75 to a whopping 0 gold, you can provide vision to/take vision away from junglers on the map to better increase your chances of dominating your portion of the map! They work defensively and offensively, and anyone can put them down! Yes, they even work in the enemy jungle! 

  • Lose gracefully

If you find that despite your best efforts, you aren't winning your lane or snowballing like you'd like, look to minimize your losses and have your jungler look for better avenues of victory. Time wasted trying to salvage your lane can be time they could be using to press a lead elsewhere. 

  • Objective Participation!

Too many times in solo queue will I see a top laner split pushing across the map without Teleport while the rest of their team is trying to contest/acquire an objective. There's not much else to say here. If you don't have an ability that can move you across the map (Stand United on Shen and Grand Skyfall on Pantheon are great examples) or Teleport, then you should probably be at that objective - and every other one that follows. 

  • Synergize Champs!

What good is playing as a team if your champs don't work together well as one? If you're at a loss of ideas, classic and modern-day examples of strong jungle (J)/top (T) combinations include but aren't limited to:

- Elise (J) and Renekton (T)
- Jarvan IV (J/T) and Maokai (J/T)
- Jarvan IV (J) and Camille (T)
- Zac (J) and Yasuo (T)
-Gragas (J/T) and Nautilus (J/T)
- Lee Sin (J) and Riven or Yasuo (T)
- Nocturne (J) and Shen (T)

Jungle/Mid:

This is probably the second most popular jungle duo combination. With mid being the center of the map and giving a huge advantage when won, a lot of junglers tend to duo with midlaners because of the easy access to the rest of the map, and because regardless of who gets ahead from this arrangement, everyone wins. 

  • Move with Your Jungler

Of course there's a time and place for everything, but if your lane is pushed up, or you have a lapse in time between recalls or waves, coordinate with your jungler and move around the map to either find opportune ganks in other places or to even set up wards in places otherwise inaccessible to you both individually. 

  • Communicate Cooldowns
  • Lose Gracefully
  • Ward and Deward

In any given game, you're more than likely to be one of the more sought after targets, so this is imperative to having a good laning phase. In the same sense that defensive warding allows you to better prepare for your enemy, offensive warding (such as warding the enemy jungle when your lane is pushed up

  • Synergize Champs!

Classic and modern-day examples of strong jungle (J)/mid (M) combinations include but aren't limited to:

- Jarvan IV, Amumu, or Rengar (J) and Orianna (M)
- Jarvan IV (J) and Syndra (M)
- Zac, Gragas, or Lee Sin (J) and Yasuo (M)
- Pantheon or Galio (J) and Twisted Fate (M)
- Ivern(J) and ZileanKarma, or Lulu(M)
- Kha'Zix (J) and LeBlanc (M)


Jungle/ADC:

This is actually one of the most eccentric pairs. Probably the least common one for you guys, but I tend to play it a lot. Most junglers only really duo with ADC mains when they are confident that the ADC in question, when given the reigns, can carry the game. Most of the time, in this combination, your jungler will play champs that will enable you to perform your job better than if you were both playing damage carries. I tend to favor this arrangement, so most junglers I play with tend to play tankier, CC-loaded champions that can both peel for me and/or disrupt the enemy team, giving me time to fire auto attacks into their team. Your jungler duo might not be the same though, so expect different styles. Nevertheless, these general tips should help you here. 

  • CS Like a God

The jungler is going to be putting the game in your hands more than likely, so you need every bit of gold and resources you can get. That being said, FARM. Honestly, just prioritize it in lane. Unless there are obvious mistakes made by your enemy laner that you can punish without losing anything major, your priorities in lane should be farming as efficiently as possible and causing as much pressure you can as a byproduct of that. Your jungler will help you handle the rest. 

  • Read the Map! Calculate Aggression!

If your jungler is ganking the top lane, be mindful of that and play safely on your side of the map. When you have vision and/or your jungler is on your side of the map, play a bit more aggressively. Cater your aggression and defensiveness to whether or not the jungler is on your side of the map and whether or not he/she can respond if things go sour. This prevents miscommunications and, more importantly, feeding. 

  • Ward

You won't do much dewarding as ADC, but a blue trinket and control wards go a long way as far as helping your jungler help you. Your support will also appreciate it.

  • Communicate Cooldowns
  • Lose Gracefully

You won't win lane every game. Sometimes despite your (and/or your jungler's) efforts, you just won't win your lane. Could be the enemy is just better than you, their champs are stronger, your support disconnected for a bit, or their jungler is playing the same win condition better. Whatever the reason, when you know a lane is lost, don't flame your jungler for ganks and make their job harder. Just play to minimize your losses bot and look for other opportunities to come back into the game while encouraging your jungler to pursue more presently viable options. You're the ADC. Time is almost always on your side as you only get stronger with items. 

  • Synergize Champs!

Classic and modern-day examples of strong jungle (J)/ADC (AD) combinations include but aren't limited to:

- Nunu (J) and Sivir, Caitlyn or Jinx (AD)
- Sejuani (J) and Ashe (AD)
- Ivern (J) and Kog'Maw or Twitch (AD)
- Graves (J) and Tristana (AD)
- Amumu (J) and Miss Fortune (AD)
- Kayle (J) and Vayne (AD)
- Hecarim (J) and Sivir (AD)


Jungle/Support:

Probably the second least common pairing behind jungle/ADC, this pair is mostly seen with supports that like to roam and junglers that like to snowball lanes early. If they're a more lategame oriented pair, then the two will more than likely both have some combination of tankiness and CC/utility in order to effectively protect and pave the way for their damage dealers. Tips I have for these unlikely pairs are: 

  • Ward and Deward

I know this one has been said a lot, but it's all the more important here. As a support, your primary duties and warding align so much so that this should be almost second nature. Yes, that means you have to buy a Sightstone item even if you're playing mages or kill lane oriented supports. Yes, that means that although everyone should be warding, your vision will have the most impact as you get to/have to set more of it. Good vision and vision denial puts substantial pressure on both the enemy jungler and your enemy laners, and setting up vision lines in key places will almost always make sure you have the advantage and foresight in any situation. 

  • Prioritize Tower

This is easier said than done sometimes, but a roaming support is even more of a threat when the tower in your lane has already been taken, so use your jungler's pressure to help get that tower down ASAP. The phrase "Help yourself before you help others" is the best way I can summarize this in a short and sweet fashion.

  • Lane Swap!

This is a higher elo strategy that goes along with the Prioritize Tower tip, but if your team is on board, you can pull it with great success and accelerate the game and stack on your lead. The trick is to get your tower down first for "first brick"  and then immediately take your ADC and lane swap with your top laner (assuming dragon is down already). This puts a massive amount of pressure on the enemy team as the entire source of pressure has shifted to the other side of the map, and immediately allows you to apply pressure on another tower quickly without having to overextend to take a tier two. 

  • Communicate Cooldowns
  • Move with Your Jungler
  • Lose Gracefully
  • Protect Priority Players

Unless your jungler is fed, when teamfights roll around, you should be working in tandem to effectively pave the way for your damage dealers to do their jobs.  

  • Synergize Champs!

Classic and modern-day examples of strong jungle (J)/support (S) combinations include but aren't limited to:

- Vi (J) and Nautilus (S)
- Galio (J) and Alistar (S)
- Zac (J) and Thresh or Alistar (S)
- Gragas (J) and Nautilus or Alistar (S)
- Ivern(J) and JannaKarma, or Lulu(S)
- Maokai (J) and Soraka (S)

Conclusion:

In conclusion, junglers are easily one of the more directly influential roles in League of Legends, and pairing up with a good and/or trusted one can really help you carry the game. Though almost all of these tips can be used across all of the role combinations, I feel that if you specifically try to embody the ones specifically mentioned for each individual role, the rest should come naturally, the LP should come naturally, and you'll be doing all of these things as you improve at the game. 

If you liked this guide, stay tuned! I'll be covering the other roles and combinations as the DuoQ Chronicles series continues! Best of luck on the rift guys!

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