How to Always Be the Better Jungler In Season 2020
Sun 22nd Mar 2020 - 11:00am
We are in the midst of a new season, and as we all know, a new season signals new nerfs to the role of Jungle. It may seem like the Season 2020 XP nerfs hurt Jungle players quite a bit, but if played properly, Jungle is just as powerful as ever. I’m here to show you how to reach your full potential as a Jungler. In doing so, you will not just be able to bypass said XP nerfs, but you will be the reason your team wins the game.
Depending on your playstyle as a Jungler, the Season 2020 XP nerfs may impact your win rate to varying degrees. A very fast-paced, gank-heavy playstyle is much more favored in Season 2020 compared to past seasons. Due to virtually every Jungle camp losing XP value, it’s now much more worthwhile to spend a lot more of your time ganking and disrupting the enemy jungler than it is to just farm it up. As such, this guide should be very useful to those Jungle players who tend to farm their way through the game without ganking much. Here are some tips and techniques to help all those Jungle mains who are struggling in Season 2020 or just trying to improve their Jungling in general.
Proper pathing is the most important skill a Jungler can have to impact the map while maximizing their Gold and XP gain. With sub-optimal pathing, you will always find yourself falling behind the enemy jungler, while at the same time having less presence on the map. Depending on the champion you’re playing, different Jungle routes might be better suited in certain situations than others. My recommendation is to focus more on ganking and vision control in the early game. If that sounds like a good plan to you, here are a couple of different paths you could take for your first clear:
Route Number One
This is the most straightforward and aggressive early game route you can take on almost any Jungler, it’s also one of the most effective. Clear your camps in the order of the numbers shown; gank after taking Gromp and either Raptors or Krugs, depending on if you want to gank Mid or Bot. After a successful gank, take Scuttle and clear or establish vision (I’ll cover this later) then recall, either then continue in the numbered order or primarily clear one side of the map if you’re camping one of the side lanes.
Route Number Two
This is another very simple early game route, it’s just a bit more situational. Use this route if you’re playing a very AOE-heavy jungler e.g., Kayn or Hecarim. If you do take this route on such a champion, you should be able to do your level three clear into a gank as fast as Route Number One, but you get the gold of a whole extra camp. The process of Scuttle, vision, recall, still applies (as it pretty much always does for any route).
The more effective that the champion you’re playing is at early ganking, the more success you’ll have with these first two routes. For example, champions like Elise or Rek’sai have high early game damage and reliable hard CC, making for potent early game ganks. However, depending on what elo you’re playing in, most champions can find success with early game aggressive routes (low elo tends to be pretty lenient with your champion choice in relation to your playstyle choice).
Route Number Three
This path is pretty much exclusive for Jungle champions that take Predator. Most Predator Junglers like Skarner or Gragas have pretty effective AOE clearing abilities, making the route of just clearing your red buff side before your first recall pretty quick and effective. On top of this route being almost as efficient as Route Number Two, it gives you enough gold to recall and buy Predator Boots. Recall after taking Raptors, buy Predator Boots, and go directly to the lane you want to gank. After your first gank take Scuttle Crab then recall again. Early Predator ganks are unbelievably powerful, so try and make this whole process as quick as possible.
Route Number Four
I mentioned that the most optimal routes to take this season are ones that focus less on farming and more on early game aggression. However, if you’re a Jungle player that’s averse to early aggression and mostly just wants to farm it up, this is the path for you; even if it is not the most optimal strategy to win games this season. Try not to go for a ton of ganks unless they’re easy kills, for the most part just try to focus on farming, vision control, and invading when you get the opportunity. Do a full clear up to Gromp, then either gank and reset or recall and look for a gank after you reset.
Also remember that for all of these routes excluding Route Number Three, you can flip the route and start at Blue Buff if you’re looking to play towards a different side of the map. If you’re in doubt on which side to start at, getting a leash from your Bot Lane is usually the best bet.
Taking Advantage of Good Opportunities
Recognizing and seizing opportunities to gain leads is paramount to being a good Jungler. Even if an opportunity to gain an advantage is as small as stealing one camp, those small advantages tend to build up if you’re consistently executing on them. “Opportunities” may seem like a pretty broad topic, so here are a few instances of opportunities you can take advantage of to gain a lead over your opponents:
Trading Objectives, Kills, or Farm
This is one of the simplest ways to stop your team from falling into a deep gold deficit; it’s also something that a lot of Junglers in lower rankings neglect to do. If you are a player in the Gold to Iron range you have a lot to gain from applying this to your games. There are instances upon instances of opportunities to trade advantages, but I’ll talk about just a couple to help you get the gist of what I’m talking about.
The simplest way to trade is when the enemy Jungler ganks either Top or Bot, take any or all camps you can on the opposite side of the map. There will be times where they’ve already taken most or all of their camps on that side of the map. Even just getting Scuttle Crab is free Gold and XP for you to take without the worry of running into the enemy Jungler. An even bigger advantage you can acquire when the enemy Jungler ganks a side lane is taking Dragon or Rift Herald. This may not always be an option for various reasons, such as if your champion can’t solo Epic Monsters or if both your Mid Laner and corresponding Sidelaner are pushed to their towers, but if the right circumstances are present, always go for it.
Maximizing Gank Benefit
As we all know, getting a good gank off is always a positive development; however, lots of players fail to fully squeeze every last drop of advantage out of good gank outcomes. Yes, getting a kill or a flash is a great result but by just gaining that small advantage and going back to farming, you are missing out on so many more potential ways to further your lead.
For example, let’s say you just ganked Top Lane and you kill the enemy Top. Take this opportunity to take Scuttle Crab, an objective, or move into the enemy Top Side Jungle if their Top Laner doesn’t have Teleport, DO NOT do this if they have Teleport up. Either steal camps or if the enemy Jungler is there, contest their farm, this will either force them to either retreat and give up their farm or risk an unfavorable skirmish for them. When you are able to kill an enemy or force them to recall from a gank, the enemy team has one less player on the map for the next thirty to forty seconds. That means that your team should have the numbers advantage for any objective or fight you threaten or take. You have to make sure to communicate the plays that you’re going for in these situations, because if your team isn’t aware of what to do, then this numbers advantage means nothing.
Good vision control is an aspect of good jungling that often goes overlooked. And yes, while it is mostly the Support’s job to get vision, you as a Jungler have much more access to the whole map than a Support does. On top of more access, Jungle champions tend to be more durable and have ways to get out of sticky situations that Support champions generally don’t have for if they get caught establishing vision. So what are different ways that you as a Jungler can have strong vision control around the map?
Create Consistent Habits
Building habits like buying a Control Ward every time you recall, placing and clearing wards at objectives and after ganks, to switching your trinket to Sweeper after your very first recall. These habits make sure you consistently have the tools to not only affect the map but to control it.
Where and When to Establish Vision Control
This point circles back to the idea of taking full advantage of successful ganks or good opportunities. When you kill an enemy champion or spot the enemy Jungler on the opposite side of the map, you should always take that opportunity to place wards in places that you ordinarily couldn’t without the threat of getting caught. Here are places around the map you should be checking for and placing wards:
- Red: These are offensive warding spots. As I said earlier, put wards here when you get a kill or see the enemy Jungler on the other side of the map.
- Blue: These are defensive warding spots. Establish vision in these locations to protect objectives, jungle camps, or certain lanes from ganks.
- Yellow: Generally, these are just solid ward spots. If you don’t know where else to establish vision or if your other bases are covered offensively or defensively these warding spots are your best option.
Jungling stripped down to its most basic definition is about controlling and dictating the flow of the game and the map. Vision control is one of the most accessible and easy-to-execute ways to do just that.
What to take away from this guide
Something to realize is that while your champion’s power has been lowered due to the Season 2020 XP nerfs, your ability as a Jungler to control the game is just as present as ever. Always remember, every game you play and every play you make is an opportunity to learn. There are so many different aspects and skills that make a good Jungler; applying one of these aspects that I’ve shown you to your play will not only greatly increase your win rate, but your ability to learn and master new skills more easily. Now go and take what you’ve learned and be the better Jungler. And as we all know, better Jungle wins.