An Interview and AMA with DragonBorns Jungler Brokenshard
Wed 16th Jan 2013 - 5:47pm
Last week, I interviewed The Brunch Club's jungler Lautemortis about various aspects of the new jungle, including item builds, strongest champions, and general strategies. More than one person commented that they enjoyed the interview, but that because jungling is one of the most diverse roles, they would like to see some different perspectives.
Brokenshard, the jungler for DragonBorns, was less than shy about letting me know how he thought jungling should be done. With a lot of different tactics available to try out and ones that have clearly been successful in tournament play, we sat down to talk about what makes the EU strategies different than those in NA.
How do you think the Season 3 jungle changes have changed the roles of junglers, if at all?
Brokenshard: The objective riot had in mind in changing the jungle was to make the jungle slightly harder, make the camps main champion bigger, but ultimately make carry junglers a lot more common. The jungle still doesn't give as much farm as a lane, so yes some assassin junglers or pseudo bruiser/ad junglers come in strong but the jungle is still dominated by support junglers with high CC above anything.
Which items can we expect to see frequently, and which still need buffs or changes to make them viable?
Brokenshard: Aegis – Bulwark and Warmogs will probably be the spammed jungle items. Aside from that you might see some more lockets or sight stones on junglers. I think that Wriggles needs to be buffed or reworked slightly, its just not effective spending 900 gold on it when you can hold off for a Giants belt at 1k. I don't really see myself upgrading into wriggles very often, since madreds usually are enough for the purpose of jungle clear.
You commented on my interview with Lautemortis that the EU jungling build style and strategy tends to be different. In what ways do you think this is true?
Brokenshard: I tend to see a lot of NA junglers go for utility and supportive items, usually not upgrading machete into a spirit stone and rushing philo stones, bulwarks, lockets and shurelias. But, this makes sense since the NA scene is dominated mostly by the support junglers. However, even on the support junglers we run here on EU, most of the time we take big advantage of the “spirit of the ancient golem” item upgrade, or even rush through to a Warmogs armor, going for extreme tankiness and aimed towards more to selfish stats.
On NA teams, I see a lot of junglers come mid game funnel their farm into their late game carries, and sort of deny themselves farm. However, on EU, this tactic isnt commonly found and you'll generally see junglers especially in the early-mid game splitting farm or even taking a little bit more farm than usual.
How much do you think these differences affect the jungle champions that are popular in EU versus those that are popular in NA?
Brokenshard: It affects it a lot. NA likes to run champions that scale well into the game with little item reliance and high utility. On EU though, I commonly see people running Xin Zhao, Olaf and Kayle jungles, who scale well with items on them. Of course, there are always champions that overlap and this isn't always the case, there is a clear distinction of jungle styles and jungle strategies over the two regions.
Aside from the differences, what key aspects of jungling stay the same regardless of region?
Brokenshard: The jungler is above all means a supportive role. He/she revolves around making the team stronger through pressure and is almost always a front liner. The defensive/aura based items are still dominant, and you'll generally not see a jungler with 6 items before a carry.
What are some of your favorite jungle champions, and what makes them particularly strong or viable?
Brokenshard: I love to play Xin Zhao because I think his early, mid, and late game are all strong with each other and and that he can be built as a pure tank and deal tremendous amount of damage. On top of that, he can be picked and used in many different comps and his kit provides a ton of utility for a bruiser jungler.
What one or two pieces of essential jungling advice would you give to players trying to improve at the role?
Brokenshard: Focus on managing your time between farming and ganking and managing your money correctly. Too often I see jungle players purchasing non-cost efficient items. This may be strong in some niche and uncommon situations but in most situations it sets you far far behind.
Who do you expect your biggest competition to be at the upcoming EU qualifiers?
Brokenshard: Millenium, Fnatic, Curse.EU, Team Solo Mebdi and Meet Your Makers seem to be kicking their gear in motion when it comes to training, and I foresee these teams making a huge impact in their games.
What strengths do you think set the DragonBorns apart from other teams?
Brokenshard: We have huge versatility in picks, we can pick 3 champions and the enemy will have no idea what we are planning. Also, we have some champions that are must bans against us, and most european teams know what these are.
Similarly, what do you think your team could work on improving at?
Brokenshard: Our teamplay is lacking slightly, if we get too snowballed on we're usually in trouble. We could also work on balancing early game with our late game, since we either mess up really hard early or snowball early and mess up late game. I guess consistency is our biggest issue.
How do you think the structure of the Season 3 competitive scene will impact the future of League of Legends and eSports?
Brokenshard: It's going to open the eyes of not only other gaming companies, but people who have no idea what gaming or professional gaming is. This is a key next step into making E-sports an internationally world wide recognized profession. Season 3 is just the beginning and its taking the scene by complete storm.
Thank you for the interview, and good luck in the qualifiers.
Brokenshard: Thanks I appreciate it! I'd like to give a shoutout to my team Dragonborns.net and our sponsors Xnote and steel series. As well as shoutouts to the EU community and an extended congratulations to the NA teams that qualified.