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League of Legends Preseason 10 Jungle Pathing Guide

Dinglehopper

Dinglehopper

Sat 4th Jan 2020 - 8:21pm

Riot has made changes to the jungle nearly every year since Season 1. Some may be experience changes or complete alteration of the map with added mechanics. The jungle is ever-evolving, and Season 10 has come with some of the biggest changes we have ever seen. Jungle pathing last season was pretty static as the main route was red buff → krugs → raptors. Preseason 10 has brought changes to jungle experience and the need to have Dragon control is more important than ever before. This is extremely important to know because now we have a large variety of jungle paths we can take. What do these new paths look like you may ask? Here is our Preseason 10 jungle pathing guide.

We’re going to be splitting this into three sections. Early game ganking pressure, power farming, and a mix of the two. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with picking one over the other, as it’s all down to personal preference as well as champion pick. With that in mind, it’s important to note that some styles of pathing are far weaker than others if you pick a champion that doesn’t excel at it. For example: If you’re playing Karthus, it probably isn’t a good idea to hypergank lanes while ignoring farm since you’re trying to make it to late game. Another example is champions like Lee Sin, whose power lies in early jungle pressure and falls off come late game. With a champion like him, it may be a disservice to reserve yourself to clearing camps and nothing else.

In this guide, we will be showing red buff start and blue buff start variations. Which side you start depends on a few things: If you’re a mana hungry champion you may want to start blue side, if you rely on red buff to gank (I.E. Graves) then a red start is more viable, and lastly you can decide based on which side of the map you want to play towards. Since dragon is so important you usually want to play to your bot side. But if the top lane matchup is something very volatile like Renekton versus Darius, you may want to play towards top at first.

If you’re a newer player and are unsure who to pick for your preferred style, then don’t worry! We’ll be outlining picks that excel in these styles, some that are easy to pick up and some for more experienced players.

Important Terminology

Transition gank: A gank in the mid lane that acts as a way to get to the other side of the map as quick as possible. This doesn’t have to always end in a kill or summoner being blown as showing your face reminds the enemy laner that there’s a jungler with eyes on them.

Snowballing: Creating a lead and turning it into something bigger.

Quadrant: League of Legends map can be split into 4 sections intersected by the river and mid lane. A quadrant is one of those sections that hold 3 camps.

Early Pressure

We’ve all been in those games where it feels like the enemy jungler is everywhere. You just finished your first clear and they have already been in all lanes, securing flashes and kills along the way. It’s five minutes into the game and your mid laner is typing “jungle difference” in all chat because they’ve already been ganked twice and killed. It’s annoying but the reason it’s annoying is because it’s effective.

Now, keep in mind that early ganking is a potent way to snowball the game but becomes less potent the lower the elo you’re in. Games in low elo tend to go on longer because players don’t know how to snowball their lead and even end up throwing it because they get too cocky. This is a fun style, but it’s important to keep this in mind if you’re in the Iron to Silver range.

With that disclaimer out of the way here are the paths:

Level 2 Gank

Red → Transition gank mid → Blue → Gromp → Wolves → Scuttle Crab

Or

Blue → Transition gank mid → Red → Krugs → Raptors → Scuttle Crab

 

This pathing is very strong because it can set the tone of mid lane from the very start. Getting a kill is not guaranteed by any means, but with good set up you can burn the enemy mid laners flash and make the upcoming fight for scuttle crab lean more in your favor. Ideally, a red buff stuff is most effective if you plan on doing this due to the slow and burn red buff applies. A few champions that can abuse this pathing are Twitch, Jarvan IV, and Xin Zhao.

After securing scuttle crab you have a few options. You can decide to either invade the enemy jungle, gank top, return gank mid now that they have no flash, or simply recall to buy and clear your jungle again. It might be attractive to keep spam ganking but keep in mind that it’s more difficult to keep up on experience with the new changes. Sure, you might get a kill and a flash but it’s not worth it if you’re level 4 while the other jungler is level 6.

Level 3 Gank

With the buff to gromp experience, the option to gank a sidelane without losing farm to invading has been opened. In the past, if you full cleared one jungle quadrant and ganked a sidelane, the enemy jungler would just clear your other quadrant forcing you to either vertical jungle or lose farm. Of course, the option to full clear one quadrant and gank mid without consequences is still there.

Sidelane Gank Route

Red Buff → Blue → Gromp → Gank/Invade

Or

Blue → Gromp → Red Buff → Gank/Invade

This is great for junglers who want to get out onto the map right away, need their 3 base spells to be effective and have an easier time ganking long lanes. Some examples are Elise, Rek’Sai, and Warwick. If you decide to invade instead of ganking then this gives you the opportunity to arrive at their buff around the same time they do.

Quadrant Clear

Red → Krugs → Raptors → Gank/Invade

Or

Blue → Gromp → Wolves → Gank/Invade

If you decide you want to gank mid first and/or want to get in a cheeky invade but you need 3 spells to do so, this may be for you. After clearing your 3 camps you have a few options. You can invade if you know the enemy jungler started on the opposite side from you and is weaker than you. If they started the same side then you can gank mid and if successful, you can invade the enemy jungler with your mid priority. If you don’t have priority, invading is risky and you may just want to clear your other quadrant. Lastly, if you have mid priority, but don’t feel comfortable invading, you can secure scuttle crab. This pathing is great for champions like Olaf and Lee Sin who have fantastic early game dueling and ganks.

Power Farming

Some players don’t like the pressure of making plays early to snowball their lanes and that’s okay. Or maybe the champions you like just don’t excel at that. Power farming is very straightforward and allows you to scale. There aren’t many variations when it comes to pathing, so that makes it very easy to fall back on. It’s important to note that choosing to power farm does not mean you never gank. All the farm in the world won’t help you if the enemy Nasus is 6/0 with 250 stacks by 10 minutes. It’s a balancing act of taking as much farm as possible with a gank here and there intertwined.

Full Clear

Full clearing is the most straightforward path and is hard to mess up. It’s as simple as clearing one side of your jungle, then the next, then rinse and repeating.  Your goal is to hit level 6 as quickly as possible and scale. For some champions, your goal may just be to survive the early game so ganking could be more detrimental.

Red → Krugs → Raptors → Blue → Gromp → Wolves → Gank/Buy

Or

Blue → Gromp → Wolves → Red → Krugs → Raptors → Gank/Buy

Ideally, you’ll want to back and buy after finishing the clear and doing it again if there are no gank opportunities. Champions that want to do this clear are champions like Karthus, Master Yi and Shyvana.

Scuttle Crab Variant

This clear is very similar to the first clear but the difference is it’s intended for junglers who want to hit level 4 as fast as possible to gank or may struggle with clearing krugs.

Red → Raptors → Wolves → Blue → Gromp → Scuttle Crab → Gank

Or

Blue → Gromp → wolves → Raptors → Red → Scuttle Crab → Gank

Some junglers don’t have a very healthy first clear or aren’t too strong until they have a second point in their main ability. Zac, Dr. Mundo, and Ekko really benefit from this clear.

Farming/Ganking Hybrid

This is the most ideal way of playing jungle at the highest level. The issue with this is it’s a balancing act that takes a lot of experience to optimally execute throughout the whole game. Understanding how to get a healthy amount of farm while weaving in effective ganks is an art form. Starting with this pathing is for those champions that are in the middle ground where they don’t need to hard farm, but they don’t really want to spam gank either.

Clear One Quadrant → Transition Gank Mid → Scuttle → Clear Other Quadrant → Gank Sidelane/Invade/Recall

Most junglers can pull this off but some notable champions that like this pathing are Nocturne, Nunu, Nidalee. The trend with these champions is that they’re blessed with having a fast healthy clear, strong counter jungling capability, and good ganks.

Closing Thoughts

Like with any guide, this isn’t the end all be all. League of Legends is a very volatile game and no match is identical to another. There will be times you have to adapt to what’s happening on the map and act accordingly. These lessons come with experience and critical thinking, but hopefully these paths can give you a base to lean on. May the LP be plentiful, and the grief be minimal.

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