Advanced Jungling Tips
Once you’ve read through my Beginner’s Guide to Jungling, mastered everything you can in a few bot games, you’re ready to move up and on. Being a jungler comes with additional responsibilities. You can’t just worry about minions and champions. Ganking, timers, and wards are just a few of the considerations. Don’t panic yet, this guide is going to help make things easier on you.
If you’ve come across this guide without ever having jungled before, check out my Beginner’s Guide to Jungling first.
Ganking means killing an enemy champion, usually by showing up unexpectedly. Sometimes a champion can gank at level three, others not till level six. It depends on your abilities, specifically some kind of crowd control to lock an enemy champion in place. A root, stun, or similar effect is key to securing a kill.
You have to be mindful of popular warding spots as a jungler. (See more about warding below.) It’s hard to surprise someone when they can see you coming. Also, when you do decide to gank, use your pings. Ping once when you’ve decided where to gank, and then ping again once you’re almost there. This gives a heads up to the teammate(s) in the lane so they can position better to help you secure the kill. Ganks are also not necessarily always yours. Don’t get stuck on the killing blow. An assist still nets you gold, and moves your team ahead.
A jungler has to pay attention to the clock. A jungle is run by timers. If you’re not so good with the whole time thing, a Jungle timer app is helpful. Any iOS or Android device can pull up a jungle timer app. In a nutshell, when you drop a monster camp, you tap an icon on the screen and it starts the timer. You will see and hear when the camps are about to respawn. Android offers a voice activated jungle timer, but the voice part doesn’t work completely yet. It’s still worth trying, the usual features seem to work just fine. A lot of these jungle timers keep track of wards as well. I’ve listed the ones I consider to be the best. These are affiliate links, but they are all free. Some of the paid apps look very nice though.
iOS Jungle Timers (Free)
Android Jungle Timers (Free)
If you don’t want to use a phone app, here are the timers for you to keep track of manually:
- Blue – 5 minutes
- Red – 5 minutes
- Golems – 1 minute
- Wraiths – 50 seconds
- Wolves – 1 minute
- Dragon – 6 minutes
Baron Nashor spawns at the 15 minute mark, and respawns 7 minutes after he dies. This is yet another timer to keep up with, but an important one. The buff from killing the baron gives you increased Attack Damage, Attack Power, increased health regen, and increased mana regen. Make sure you have Smite or one of your abilities available to snag the killing blow when you give your team the signal to meet at baron. Do not try to solo baron. Usually a team can kill baron around levels 14-16, depending on your composition. You can also steal the killing blow from the enemy team. This is called ‘Smite stealing’, and denies the enemy team the baron buff, gold, xp, and leaves them vulnerable after the fight. A good reason to ward baron.
The jungler is the secondary warder. If your team is losing a lane, it’s going to fall to you to drop a ward or two for them. Popular places to ward include river bushes, baron, and dragon. Using Sight Wards strategically will deny your enemies visibility. Drop a Sight Ward where you think an enemy may have placed a Vision Ward or Sight Ward. You can destroy the enemy wards, effectively making them waste gold while you expand your visibility.
Ward your jungle when your team is getting pushed towards your nexus. Ward the enemy jungle when the enemy team is pushed towards their nexus. If the game is evenly matched, you can drop wards along the river line, and in strategic places in either jungle (red buff, blue buff, etc). Wards can really turn a game around, and set up a lot of good ganks on unsuspecting enemies treading into your jungle!
You can also buy an Oracle Elixir. For 400 gold you become a walking Sight Ward for 3 minutes.
Jack of all trades
A Jungler is a jack of all trades. You have to be able to play all the laning positions. If one of your teammates goes down, it may fall to you to defend their tower, or keep their lane from being pushed back until they can return. You have to constantly study the mini map for ganking opportunities, and to know where the enemy jungler is. It’s a lot safer to counter jungle the top jungle when you see the enemy jungler bebopping along the river at the bottom (p.s. don’t forget to ping a warning for your bottom lane teammates). In many ways, the jungler is the team captain. You’re the team support, much like the support helps the AD carry. It’s your job to help out anywhere and everywhere.
If you have any other tips for jungling, leave them in the comments below.