In the jungle the mighty jungle #2: Take my wraiths and I’ll gank your bot!Thu 21st Jun 2012 - 10:23pm Category: League of Legends
In the jungle the mighty jungle #2: Take my wraiths and I’ll gank your bot!
Sooo, you’ve decided that jungling sounds cool and that it’s something for you eh? Excellent! Now, before we do anything we need to get a couple of things straight: Jungling is not something you would want to do with some random champion because you happen to like them. No, jungling is just like laning – except for the fact that you don’t have creep waves and towers - you have the neutrals in your jungle, the neutrals in their jungle, and the river between you.
You want to pick a champion that has high sustain and can compete with the enemy team’s jungler. You need to be able to clear your jungle, or one side of the jungle and while you wait for respawn gank in order to utilize your role – and preferably faster than the enemy team’s jungler. When you feel safe enough with your own game, you move to the next level - ruining your enemy's!
One of the most renowned jungle rankers, Stonewall, ranks the tier 1 junglers as follow;
Lee Sin, Udyr, Dr. Mundo, Nocturne, Jarvan IV, Maokai, Nautilus, Skarner, Trundle, Alistar,Riven, Shyvana, Olaf, Amumu, Malphite, Cho'Gath, Shaco
Now, some junglers are stronger at ganking and some are stronger at counter-jungling, both are ways to successfully shut down one, or more, players in the enemy team. Let me take two examples: Nautilus and Nocturne (bolded above).
Nautilus is a very strong ganker with his Q hooking himself to the enemy, E to do an area of effect damage and W to shield himself and deal so called “splash damage”. When he hits level 6 he furthermore gets an immobilization attack, namely the Depth Charge which basically is a shockwave he fires at an enemy champion, dealing damage to whatever it passes through and knocks them in to the air. When it then hits its target (100% hit chance) it deals damage and shoots them in to the air, stunning them.
To sum up, Nautilus is a jungler that has a hook, a shield, an AoE attack and a stun (for fleeing enemies). Combining that with the damage output by your top/mid laner or the cc potential of your support you can nine times out of ten secure a kill.
On the other hand, Nautilus has low movement speed and does not deal a whole lot of damage, which makes him a poor counter-jungler. For counter-jungling you want to have a champion that can deal a lot of damage fast in order to steal a red/blue buff while the enemy jungler is on his way there.
An example of this would be Nocturne who is a strong, and popular counter-jungler. Why? Because he starts off with 320 mov. speed (in comparison to Nautilus 300 mov. speed), his passive deals 120% physical damage as AoE when he attacks every 10th second, his Q does a 1200 range attack in a line which gives him movement speed and attack damage bonus (can be used both offensively and defensively), he has an E that can be described as a 2 sec dot with fear and a W that nullifies the next spell cast on him.
This means that Nocturne is a jungler who has a dot-fear, trail that gives him ms and as, spell-nullifier and an ultimate that is excellent for ganking – namely paranioa (reduces the sight radios of all enemy champions and removes their ally vision for 4sec – while active, Nocturne can launch himself at a visible champion dealing damage (2000/2750/3500 range))
Basically Noct is an excellent counter-jungler but does not make an excellent ganker until he hits level 6 and gets his ultimate.
So as you can see there are two different types of junglers and to be able to play one type one need to understand the other just as well. If you are Nautilus facing a Nocturne you need to tell your mid to guard wraiths in case Nocturne decides to start with counter-jungling them away from them as you do blue buff, and as Noct you need to make sure your team are aware of their positioning to 120% as to avoid getting hooked by Naut, and to lure enemies to be vulnerable for a gank even pre level 6 Nocturne.
Now I can go in to detail describing all of the champions above’s skills but instead let me focus on ward placements in order to prevent counter-jungling and rotations. I will use general rotations and general ward placements, not go into how to prevent a specific jungler from countering you or show experiemental rotations that are limited to one jungler. Warding is almost, if not as important for you as a jungler as it is for the support in order to, maybe not prevent ganks, but to prevent counter-jungling.
There is one popular way to counter-jungling at game start and that is to steal wraiths if you know the enemy team is starting blue. If your team is starting blue you know that the jungler will be assisted by his mid lane, and his bot/top (depending if it’s bot/top team), furthermore you also know no-one will enter that part of the jungle you’re in until the jungler has cleared both wolves and blue – which would give you enough time to steal wraiths, giving you extra xp and setting your opponent off a bit as he’ll lose about 30% of a level and has to tackle red buff before hitting level three.
Other than the classic wraith steal there are no other “general” approaches to an early/start game counter-jungling. You do, however, need to have great map awareness as a jungler and think a lot. If the enemy jungler is seen bot lane you can potentially steal wraiths, golems or even red (if you’re bot team and he’s top team) and vice versa, if you see him top you can steal wolves and/or blue. Also, while you’re in their jungle, looking for the buff neutrals you can make sure to ward them in order to see when they go up (in case you don’t steal it as if you do it is current time +5min).
If you don’t have a strong counter-jungler and don’t want to risk it you can look for ganks.
If I know enemy jungler is ganking my top and I’m not close to try and counter-gank (which means interrupting their gank, trying to repel the attack, turn, and possibly get a kill for your own team) I look to gank bot. Why? Because I know bot lane will not receive any help from their jungler as he’s busy top.
If mid comes down I’ll know early from the ward that should cover baron. Same thing goes if he ganks bot. If I can’t assist I look to gank mid or top as I know he can’t help. If someone moves up from bot I’ll see it, and if mid moves up I’ll also see / get an mia call.
Basically, to successfully counter-jungle, gank or even counter-gank you need to try and understand your opponents movements, read up on the map, ward his blue/red when you know his whereabouts (very important) and communicating with your team.
Personally I’d say it comes with practice. You can’t read a guide on how to successfully counter-jungle. You can read a guide on your jungler, your enemy’s jungler and the rotations the two of you have, where the strength and where the weaknesses are, but ultimately it’s up to you to, as soon as you know where they start, predict the rest of their rotation. One word sums it all up; Timing.
Example 1 - Nautilus: wolves>blue>wraiths>potential gank>golems>red>gank>wraiths>wolves>gank and so on. After the initial rotation is over (first lap, level four and first gank has been attempted) it’s all up to you to assume his position. Does he gank top? If so, he’ll probably go wraiths unless he spent enough time for the golems to respawn, in that case it is golems, then wraiths, giving you time to take his wolves, ward his blue or gank bot.
Example 2 – Mundo: wolves>blue>goes your red to steal – will have saved smite for it and will probably try to gank you>wolves>wraiths>own red>golems and so on. If you’re facing a Mundo you, just like when facing Nocturne need to tell your mid to guard your wraiths, or possibly ward the riverbrush at his jungle entrance opposite to your wraith camp as you will want to know if he decides to gank you. If he takes that route, go steal his red or look to gank opposite lane.
So to sum up, read champion specific guides, know which jungler does what rotation and learn them by heart. For example wo>blue>wr>gol>red / wr>red>gol>gank top et cetera.
Ward the enemy’s wraiths as it’s the easiest to kill, fastest to respawn and a centrally located ward placed there is very likely to spot the enemy jungler. Also, make sure there’s a ward at the dragon, not only because you want to know if/when they do it, but because it makes sure bot lane has time to cope with the fact that there’s coming someone wanting to kill them. There are more ward spots but for you as a jungler these are the most critical ones.
If you can - counter jungle. Read your opponent's movements and take what you can, ward his blue/red if you can, be daring. Guard your jungle, destroy his.
And gank. Their jungler top you steal bot jungle or gank bot. Their jungle bot you steal top jungle or gank top. Their jungler not seen you do whatever you feel like... Kind of.
Next time we meet we will talk about the general runes and masteries for jungling.