How to Win a Game in 25 Minutes with Jungle Macro
Thu 3rd Oct 2019 - 3:29pm
Have you ever wondered how challenger players end their games so quickly? Do you feel like you never know what the next step is in a game? Do your laners keep running it down mid because they don’t understand that your ranked game isn’t an Aram? Well, this guide will teach you how to go from a confused floating ward and turn you into the macro God who always seems to be in the right place at the right time.
When watching Junglers such as Svenskeren, Jankos, and Tarzan, there’s something that stands out – constant jungle pressure and objective control. League of Legends isn’t a game of kills and teamfights, it’s a game of objectives and waves. When you’re playing in the jungle it’s easy to go on auto pilot, but you must come into every game in the game plan. How do I formulate this game plan you ask? Well it all starts in the:
The game doesn’t start when you spawn in Summoners Rift, it starts the moment you click the “find game” button. When you’re in champ select you must analyze lane matchups, champion strengths/weaknesses, and gank potential of all lanes. Before loading into the game ask yourself a series of questions. What lanes stand out to you? What lanes do you want to get ahead and how easy is it to accomplish? Your analysis should be used to assemble a game-plan and be used to weigh pro’s and cons. This will change with every game, but when completed it could look something like this:
Bot Lane – Our bot lane's goal is to stay safe and farm up for the mid game. As opposed to the enemy lane where they’re going to constantly look for poke, engage, and catches. It might be better to focus other lanes first.
Mid Lane – Our mid lane is a hypercarry that wants to steal away the game. There’s no reliable hard CC to set up a gank in this lane, but their mid laner is very immobile so we can try to make something happen.
Top Lane – If given an early advantage, our top laner can take over the lane. At level 2, our top laner gets access to strong CC that can help with a gank. This might be a good window to bait in an engage by the enemy and grab your top laner an early lead.
Jungle – Assassins don’t scale too well into the late game so it might be a good idea to shut them down early. Let’s try to get some deep vision in her jungle to invade and counter jungle.
Now you have enough information at your disposal to set-up a game plan and have options to snowball the game before even purchasing your starting items.
This section is for those still learning the roles and may not be too sure who is a good jungler to start out with. So, if you’re a veteran player feel free to skip to the next section! When learning how to execute strong macro game in the jungle it definitely helps to use a simple, yet strong champion to learn with.
Jarvan brings nearly everything a jungler could dream for: damage, ease of execution, tankiness, versatility, engage, catch potential, you name it. Jarvan can adapt his build to any situation presented to him. Want to play like an Assassin? You can take electrocute and build full AD. Need to be a tank for your team? Conqueror with a cinderhulk is a very viable option. You can’t really go wrong with the Jar-man.
Nunu & Willump
Nunu is a champion that most junglers dread playing against. Nunu has immaculate objective control and counter-jungling potential due to his bite + Smite combo. On top of sheer tankiness, deceptive damage, and his ability to make junglers cry, Nunu also has an insane amount of CC which leads to easy and creative gank opportunities. Master Nunu and watch yourself snowball your team with ease.
Vi is another flexible jungler that brings in tons of damage and oppressive CC. Vi is the nightmare of Marksman and squishy mid laners everywhere. Her point and click knock-up ultimate ensure carries can get locked down and dismissed from a fight with ease. If played correctly, Vi can apply pressure all over the map and shut down lanes without breaking a sweat. Resist arrest, I dare you.
First Ten Minutes
Most solo queue games, if executed correctly, are heavily decided by the first ten minutes of the game. We’re going to set some goals for us to complete within this timeframe: High-pressure early jungle pathing, turret plates, deep warding, and setting up bot priority for dragon.
Using the information, we assembled in the above section, our first jungle path should look something like this:
Ideally, what this pathing accomplishes is executing a transition gank mid to set up mid priority early on by potentially burning the enemy mid laner's Flash within the first 2 minutes of the game. Then we proceed to counter-jungle the enemies red buff to set them back early. Next, we ask our top lane to bait in an engage where we can secure an early first blood for our laner, allowing them to dictate the pace for the rest of the laning phase. Be sure to help your top laner shove the wave to soak in experience. Finally, we wrap this up by securing scuttle crab with the top and mid priority that we set up. Of course, this is an example and pathing must adapt to every game! Intelligent jungle pathing and critical thinking sets the tone of the game from the very beginning.
Our focus is now to acquire bot priority so we can secure dragon. As mentioned before, pulling off a gank in the bot lane we have in this example may be difficult, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. Get down some deep wards in the enemy’s jungle and don’t be afraid to toss your weight around. This is your game and you must show the enemy jungler that they’re lucky to even exist in the same lobby as an alpha jungler. Execute a gank in the bottom lane and help them shove the wave to chip away at the tower. This is all to set you up for the next portion of the game.
Now I know what you’re going to say, “But Dingle, the people in my games never follow up and end up dying!” and that’s fine. What’s important is to take a deep breath and don’t let less than ideal situations affect your mental. When these things happen, you must re-evaluate your game-plan and play to your strong lanes. You might feel guilty watching your 0/1 top lane turn 0/2 but you must play to your win conditions and use your strong laners to carry the lead to the rest of the map. Essentially, it’s better to give a full loaf of bread to one person instead of spreading crumbs amongst everyone.
Ten to Fifteen Minutes
At this point of the game all your lanes should be in a healthy state and set up for success. Our focus should be to secure dragon before 12 minutes if we haven’t already, pay Shelly a visit to grab her buff, and acquire first turret. Deep wards in the enemy jungle are paramount at this point of the game to have eyes on the enemy jungler and to keep them shut down.
Once bot priority is set up make a play for dragon. This can be done either by sneaking it if you have eyes on the enemy jungler or by using your new-found bot priority to take dragon down with ease and rotate mid. After dragon is secured, it’s time to set our eyes to Rift Herald.
Rift Herald can be used in a variety of ways, but we want to focus on two strong options.
Pre-14 minutes: If you take down Shelly before fourteen minutes then, it’s time to summon her in the mid lane. When you have a hypercarry like Yasuo, it’s a good strategy to back away when Shelly headbutts the turret so he can get all the plate gold. This can be the equivalent of 1-2 kills and he will seriously appreciate you.
Post-14 Minutes: In a perfect world, this can be used in conjunction with the above method. Using Rift Herald after a successful teamfight can almost end games on its own. Acing the enemy team and popping Shelly mid can net you an inhibitor and accelerate the pace of the game.
Fifteen to Nineteen Minutes
This is the point in the game where most people struggle. This is due to the game falling into a “lull” state where there are no “clear” objectives to go for. This is where the most throws happen because people just start aimlessly team fighting or getting caught out for no reason. What we want to do is take complete control of the enemy jungle. No camps should be left behind, and it should be riddled with wards.
Now, of course this doesn’t mean to never team fight as winning team fights is how you close games, but you should only team fight if it’s to win an objective. We want to rotate with our team and start securing all outer towers if we haven’t already. Starve them of all resources possible, be it jungle camps, vision, and minions. Ensure side waves are pushing and if not, initiate a slow push and rotate with your team to the other side of the map. The objective here is to ensure constant pressure is applied to force mistakes and snowball on them even harder.
Twenty to Twenty-Five Minutes – End Game
Here is where we put everything in a nice tidy bow and cleanly close the game. How will we do this? With everyone’s favorite big purple snake....thing? Baron.
At this point in the game the enemy team should be in shambles. Anyone who’s played enough solo queue knows that “better jungler wins” is being spammed and so much flame is being tossed around that you’d think Brand was in the game. If you were able to starve the enemy of vision, then use this advantage to bait the enemy team into face checking into bad fights.
This is a fantastic tactic if you find yourself unable to crack the base due to strong defense because now, they’re tasked with choosing between giving up Baron or risking getting aced. Either way, the chance of you getting a favorable outcome is very high.
That wraps it all up! League is a game with many variables and possibilities so it’s not so black and white. Following these guidelines will help you understand how to use macro and win a lot more of your games. Good luck on the rift!
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