Dancing Among the Trees with Chang’e Jungle
Wed 3rd May 2017 - 9:17am
Starting as a fun gimmick and evolving into a crushing strategy, Chang’e jungle has recently emerged as strong pick. Chang’e brings many new things to the table when in the jungle. The Faerie of the Moon has a different playstyle than most assassins which leads to a large learning curve. This article will go over the strengths and weaknesses of a Chang’e in the jungle.
Chang’e jungle was really started by Eager jungler DJPernicus and he showed it off as a fun pick at the Smite World Championship in a match-up his team was going to dominate regardless. When Season 4 itemization changes rolled around, Chang’e found an easier time jungling and many players started to pick her up. In North America especially, Chang’e became an absolute terror, winning many games in the Spring Split and drawing tons of bans. The Chang’e pick fell off a bit in the Gauntlet LAN, but she is still holds a presence in the Smite competitive scene.
The playstyle of Chang’e is different than most other junglers in the meta right now. She is strong at skirmishing and fighting at all stages of the game, but is not a strong ganker, relying on gank assist from her laners or out of position enemies to make plays. Chang’e is a great farming jungler. Not only does she just get stronger the later the game goes, but she has great sustain and can keep jungling and roaming for longer before having to back. Once a player masters the less gank and more farm and teamfight-centric playstyle of Chang’e, they can ruin many days.
Chang’e has a fairly strong level one and can help her laner of choice clear the first minion wave or fight off opponents with a weaker start. Chang’e wants to power farm as much as possible, clearing many camps and sharing waves with an ally when possible. One of the strengths of Chang’e in the jungle is her massive sustain. In addition to healing herself with Moonflower Dance, Chang’e gets health and mana sustain from her double starter item start. Buying Bumba’s Mask and Sands of Time grants Chang’e tons of health and mana sustain in order to keep farming and roaming the map. Chang’e will rarely need to back because of her passive, Jade Rabbit. The Rabbit will run to the fountain and buy items for the moon goddess. The Rabbit should always be moving, buying wards and mana pots between major items. Between the Rabbit and regen, Chang’e should always be on the map, clearing camps, assisting laners, and farming up for the late game.
Chang’e has always been a great fighter and she still is. Chang’e has good harass in level one fights, team sustain at level two and a huge teamfight ultimate at level five. Waxing Moon will lock up enemies and if they are lined up in a corridor, Chang’e team should win the fight off of her ult cast. Chang’e only gets stronger as the game goes on, scaling wonderfully with power and penetration. Her damage and healing just gets disgusting in the late stages of the game. Even a defensively built Chang’e will be able to harass opponents with low cooldowns and keep her team topped off while having a semi-frontline presence. Chang’e is great at fighting and can provide a lot of damage and utility from the jungle role.
The starter item changes at the start of Season 4 really helped boost Chang’e jungle into viability. Bumba’s Mask is the core starter item for a jungler and when its price was reduced to 500 gold, so junglers could pick up another starter item. Chang’e utilizes Sands of Time, which provides cooldown reduction and mana regen, both of which are great stats for a Chang’e. For boots, you would want to pick up Shoes of the Magi for damage and penetration and then Shield of Regrowth for health, more CDR, and a passive that increases your movement speed when you heal yourself.
The build is much more open after the initial core is complete. In general, a Chang’e jungle will want to build a mix of damage and utility. A penetration item and Rod of Tahuti are a core pickups and build variations include Void Stone for penetration and protection and Rod of Asclepius for additional healing. A defensive build will include Breastplate of Valor or Lotus Crown and a more offensive build could fit in a Soul Reaver or Ethereal Staff. The final build will vary based on the Chang’e’s and enemy team compositions as well as personal preferences.
The core of every Chang'e jungle build.
Playing Chang’e in the jungle unlocks a few compositions for your team. Because she is a Mage in a traditionally physical role, she can be run in a double Hunter composition. This type of composition scales wonderfully into the late game. Chang’e is also amazing in double Healer compositions. If she is matched with a Ra, for example, the Chang’e can pick up Rod of Asclepius and Lotus Crown, allowing the Ra to focus his build more on damage and less on healing and utility while still maintaining a large amount of team sustain. This is also true when she is paired with other healers. Chang’e can also lead lane dominant, early game gods to excel because they can keep her safe and make sure their team has a lead when the Chang’e starts to really come online. In general, Chang’e jungle pick will strengthen a team’s late game presence.
Weaknesses and Drawbacks
Chang’e jungle is not all glitz, glamor, and devastation, the pick has a couple weaknesses. The main one being her low pressure early. Chang’e is not very good at ganking, which can allow opponents to play gods such as Artemis and AMC that are weak early and are usually vulnerable to a jungle rotation. When faced against a Chang’e, these characters are less likely to just fall far behind and can actually bring an impact to their team later in the game. Chang'e can also be invaded by high pressure assassins and end up losing her jungle. In addition to caring about your own team’s composition, a Chang’e jungle has to take the opponent's into account as well.
Chang’e is also very immobile compared to most junglers. She has increased movement speed on her passive, but lacks any kind of leap or dash. A Chang’e that gets caught out can be easily killed. She is also very vulnerable to Odin. Inside his ring, Chang’e has no healing and no escape. Chang’e has to play carefully and bring help when walking anywhere danger could lie in wait.
Chang’e is an old god that has learned a new trick. She has recently been seeing play in the jungle role. She brings strong farming and team fighting at the exchange of weaker ganking and early game. Chang’e can unlock some team compositions, but also allows the opponent to have unsafe lanes. In total, Chang’e jungle is a strong and interesting selection that needs to be careful early, but if done right, can be a true monster.
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