By Kevin “Kez” Jeon of Complexity Gaming
1. Understand your role
Why do junglers exist in this game? Junglers’ jobs can be broken down into 3 tasks – apply pressure, relieve pressure, and cover. Understand the champion match-ups in all lanes first and plan your jungle routes. If your top laner is a champion that needs help early on, then you should consider start the buff other side of the map and rotate towards that lane.
- Applying Pressure: Every champion in League of Legends has a different power spike. Understanding these power spikes will let you as a jungler know where to apply pressure after you take both of your buffs. Applying pressure can be achieved in two ways – Ganks and killing vision.
- Relieving Pressure: If your laner is getting shoved in because of the champion match up (ex. Kassadin mid against Ziggs), then as a jungler you have to make sure that he does not get dove early on so he can soak up the huge wave under turret.
- Covering Lanes: Your lanes won’t win every game. Sometimes you have to look at your lanes and when they have to go back and the lane is getting pushed in with the creeps, you have to be there to soak the exp so the wave doesn’t get wasted by your turret.
2. Understand the lane match-ups
If your top laner is Jax who is going against Renekton, you will need to help that lane early on as a jungler. Understand the match-ups when the game is loading and if you are not so sure of certain match-ups, ASK your laner.
3. Understand the Pressure
If you know that the enemy jungler started certain buff level 1, you can guess where the enemy jungler will be around level 3. And sometimes you do not want to run into him because he is a Lee Sin and you are an Amumu. A lot of times junglers make many mistakes by trying to fight the enemy jungler even if they know where they are and get killed in the process. Sometimes it is better to apply pressure on the other side of the map when you know you cannot fight the enemy jungler.
4. Vision wins games
As a jungler, you should be the one buying the most wards through early to mid game since you are the only one running around the whole map. If you know where the enemy jungler is because you warded deep inside their jungle, then you can make better decisions accordingly. You chase him into his jungle and fight him if you are stronger, you can counter gank, or you can apply pressure on the other side of the map. However, every decision should be based on your current lane situations. Even if you know you can go in and kill the jungler by yourself, if your lanes are getting pushed in, then you should not go because they will collapse on you much faster than you teammates.
5. Always play the objectives
Kills are good, but every kill should lead to an objective. Early kills should mean push the wave in and deny the exp. You can also put deep wards down and abuse the vision you have by out-rotating your opponents or setting up camps in the bushes.
Time the objectives, but use them wisely. If you know the enemy blue buff is coming up, but you cannot contest it, then you should look to do something else on the map. Just because you know the enemy blue buff is coming up does not mean you go in there and die trying to get that buff. Always play smart.
6. Learn to give things up
I have seen too many low elo junglers dying to secure objectives that cannot be secured. When the enemy has full vision in the dragon, you should never tunnel on contesting it unless your team is stronger. If you learn to give up certain objectives faster, then you can plan your next moves and trade objectives. If they are taking your turret or your blue buff because your laner got caught and died, that does not mean you try your best to save it. If they are taking it, they are taking it. You dying to save or steal an objective as a jungler and getting killed in the process will lead your team into much worse situations.
Follow Kevin on Twitter @coL_Kez