Mid Jungle Synergy: The Guide to 2v8 Victories in Mid
Wed 23rd Oct 2019 - 3:00pm
Mid lane and Jungle are two very impactful roles in League of Legends. In Solo Queue, it is hard to develop perfect synergy with your Jungler. However, if you do your part as a Mid laner, you can enable both you and your Jungler to make effective plays that will create leads that snowball your team.
The How and Why of Priority
Priority is being in a position that makes low risk, high reward plays outside of your lane. In a game as dynamic as League, gaining priority can change from game to game as well as within a single game. It is important to understand how to get priority in Mid lane and how to use this priority to always have your Jungler’s back.
In Mid lane, priority comes from a few different variables, the most important of which is minion wave positioning. To illustrate how risk and reward will associate with the minion wave, let's go over two scenarios.
In both scenarios, your Jungler is pinging that he wants to go to scuttle and you have vision of the opposing Jungle heading towards the scuttle. In this situation, you want to be the first Mid laner to rotate to your Jungler and apply pressure that allows him to get the scuttle and potentially even catch out the opposing Jungler for a kill. In both of these scenarios, you move to help your Jungler before the opposing Mid laner and you’re rewarded with a kill on the opposing Jungler. However, the opposing Mid laner comes down and they kill you, but your Jungler kills them in return when you’re heading back to lane. Overall the play ends up being a one for two trade with you and the opposing Mid laner and Jungler dying, this is a win. However, where the scenarios split is your preparation for the play.
In scenario one, you created a freeze. If you are the first to rotate, this allows the opposing Mid to quickly break the freeze before walking to the fight, crashing the wave into the tower. As you make it back to lane after respawning you come into a wave that has bounced and slow pushed towards the opponent’s tower. The opposing Mid laner gets to come back after denying you multiple waves of farm and can safely catch a large wave near his tower. This works to nullify much of the lead that you created in the Jungle 2v2.
In scenario two you pushed the wave to crash it into the opponent's tower. If you are the first to rotate, the opposing Mid laner has two poor options. They can just leave and let the wave push towards their tower. This allows them to make it to the fight quicker but forces them to lose the wave and come back to a wave that is slow pushing towards your side of the lane. They could also attempt to push the wave. This makes it near impossible for them to show up in time to the fight and will most likely create a slow push towards your tower. Both of these decisions should result in a wave for you to catch, extending the lead you created from the Jungle 2v2.
The lesson from this decision tree shows that, as a Mid laner, if you can keep in mind objectives that are making themselves available, you can lower the risk that comes with attempting these objectives. By positioning the wave towards the opponent’s side of the map when you can see these fights coming, you can create lower risk plays and can maximize wins and minimize losses.
A few other factors to keep in mind when considering priority are health advantage, kill threat, and vision. These factors are crucial to being able to safely leave the lane first and your ability to create advantageous wave positioning. If you are drastically lower in health than your opponent or they are at a strong spike that allows them to kill you, then it is near impossible for you to safely position forward in the lane. Vision affects your ability to leave lane safely, for example, if you try to roam first just to run into a Blitzcrank that snuck up from Bot lane then you are outnumbered immediately and will most likely lose the fight.
Vision and Tracking
To effectively play around your Jungler, you have to be able to make decisions with viable information. This involves knowing where the opposing Jungler is and isn't, where your team has zones of power, and where opposing laners are. Vision control and Jungle tracking are how you effectively collect this information. These are commonly a team effort but it is important to know how to do your part individually.
You can stay on top of vision by being proactive and using every bit of downtime with the intent of collecting information. Warding should be dynamic to best enable your Jungler to make the right plays. Specifically, early vision on the opponent’s Jungle provides strong information about what your Jungler is realistically allowed to attempt. With practice these actions become habit, but it is understandable if they take time to adjust to.
A very important habit ever since the scuttle spawn timer was pushed back is to test your ability to enter the opponent’s Jungle level one and then dropping a ward to provide very early pathing information. Testing your ability to enter the Jungle is important because entering alone at level one is dangerous. This is best achieved by bypassing the solo journey and invading with your allies or using a skill shot to check bushes that could be hiding the opponent’s team waiting for their prey.
Generally, the most useful ward that is also safe to go for is right in front of the opponent’s raptor pit. This allows for vision on a key transition point between the quadrants of the opposing Jungle as well as a common entrance and exit into the river. The two points that are a bit dangerous to walk into are pixel brush and the brush behind the opponent’s red buff. Generally, move slow around these bushes and be prepared to react to danger. If your champion has a skill shot then check the bush with that early on. If they don’t, then you want to move into the Jungle as late as possible when the opposing laners would have already begun to move to lane. If you think it is likely that there are still enemies in the area you can lower the risk and place a shallower ward with less risk. This trade-off is worth avoiding a level one death. Some spots that work in the blue side Jungle are the entrance to the river from their Blue Buff and in the Jungle intersection behind wolves.
Past level one, there are certain timings that many players put to waste because of bad habits that can provide a lot of information. Key timings directly tie into priority because you need to be able to leave lane without losing farm as a trade-off. When you develop priority and have wards available there are a few conditions that affect how you should be using them. If you are lacking direct information on the opposing Jungler’s position then you should go for shallow vision that allows you to know when they attempt to enter river or gank. However, two situations can enable you to search for deep vision and take over zones of the map. One of these situations is if your Jungler is ready to move with you then you can enter the opponent’s Jungle together and develop deep vision and look for potential picks on the opposing Jungler.
Another situation is if you know for a fact where the opposing Jungler is. In this case, you can enter the side of the Jungle they are not in and drop wards that will help you track them once they transition to that side. The positioning of your wards should reflect how defensive or aggressive you and your Jungler want to play. The further from your base they are more aggressive and meant to enable proactive plays. When they are closer to your base, especially if they are in your Jungle, they are defensive and should be used to protect your jungle and reactively punish the opponent's Jungler for overextension. Some key areas that provide a lot of good information are shown below.
These green dots represent good warding spots for laning if you are blue side. They can be mirrored for red side.
Always buy your control wards! Any time you can provide guaranteed lack of vision in an area you create zones of pressure for your Jungler. Most of these warding spots overlap with your other wards. It is important to place control wards in areas your Jungler wants to play around so that you can defend the wards and keep them up for a long period of time.
What is the point of collecting all this information? It is important to track the opposing Jungler and create awareness about which plays your opponents are attempting and which plays are safe for you and your Jungler to attempt. This is achieved through Jungle tracking, knowing where the opposing Jungler is and where he plans to go next.
Tracking the opposing Jungler involves knowing where they are and where they have been. With these two pieces of information, you can deduce where they are going next. This takes consistent collection of information. To know where they’ve been as well as where they are at you have to combine vision with knowledge of Jungle clear and farm numbers.
For example, if you use a level one raptor ward in a game where the opposing Jungler starts red, there are a few things that might happen. If you see them immediately move towards raptors and then transition to the blue side of their Jungle you can assume that they are going for a quicker buff to buff and will most likely go for the scuttle closer to their blue side or possibly a gank. If you don’t see them appear for a significant period of time then they appear at your raptor ward with 8 CS, they took red then krugs and are going for a heavier experience clear. By taking in these details you can begin to infer different actions and react accordingly to correctly punish the opposing Jungler whenever possible.
With practice, you can use this information to avoid getting ganked, assist a lane that is getting ganked, provide deep vision, and catch the opposing Jungler out of position. This is something that you should work directly with your Jungler to do by using pings and quick messages to communicate where they seem to be going.
Ganking and Getting Ganked
The use of roam timings is very important to working together with your Jungler. Roam timings result from having lane priority and vision control. If you have the wave in a forward position and can crash it into tower, use the time where the opposing Mid laner is going to be spending CSing. Once you create this opportunity you should have planned to move out of the lane. If there is a side lane overextended or fighting when you look for this roam timing then that is where you will want to look for a play. However, if there is not an obvious gank in the side lanes, the next best thing is to move with your Jungler and help them invade. By invading you can create heavy vision control and pressure their Jungler. If this is done consistently you and your Jungler should both build huge leads over the opposing Jungler making 2v2s and objectives much easier to take. Keep in mind that if your Jungler is not moving forward and you do not have vision then do not risk moving deep into the opponent’s Jungle since moving alone with low information is very risky.
It is also important to understand how to enable your Jungler to gank your lane efficiently and effectively. You need to plan for a good gank timing and set it up ahead of time. An effective way to do this is to build priority and crash the wave into the opponent’s tower, use this time that the wave is crashing to set out vision on the side of your lane that your Jungler should be at in about a minute. You can check buff timers and which camps are up to guess which side of the lane your Jungler would be at, or you can just ask. Make sure to use your control wards to make sure your Jungler can avoid detection for as long as possible. Once you get back to lane let the wave bounce back and thin it to create a potential freeze.
Once the wave forces the opposing laner to take vulnerable positioning, hover away from your vision to pressure the laner to stand on the opposite side of the minions and into the grasp of your Jungler. With these pieces in place, your Jungler can simply walk into your lane and easily force Summoner Spells or even get a kill. This is one example, but it uses all of the fundamental ideas; these include forcing vulnerable position for the opposing Mid laner, controlling vision for your Jungler, and then herding the opposing Mid laner to your Jungler with smart positioning in lane. Never put yourself in a situation that you cannot individually recover from if you can avoid it. This is Solo Queue and there is a chance your Jungler won’t recognize the setup you provided.
If you forced yourself into a losing situation to set up the gank and your Jungler doesn’t come then it might be impossible to recover, control is crucial.
Best of luck on the Rift! Go carry some Junglers!
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