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League of Legends: How to Play Jungle (The Basics)

If you're new to the game, choosing a role might be overwhelming. However, we've got your back. In this guide, we'll focus on the jungle role, breaking down the basics for beginners.

Understanding the Jungle

Firstly, why jungle? Junglers have a unique role in the game. They don't stick to a single lane but roam the map, farming monster camps and assisting teammates in lane. To get started, we'll recommend some beginner-friendly champions: Amumu, Xin Zhao, Warwick, Rammus, Trundle, and Volibear. These champions have simple kits, making it easy for you to clear monster camps.

Jungle Objectives

In the jungle, your primary objectives are farming monster camps, and executing ganks. Ganking involves helping teammates in lanes by engaging and eliminating opponents. The recommended champions excel at ganking due to their crowd control or damage capabilities.

Smite and Starting Item

Choosing Smite as one of your Summoner Spells is the key to unlocking the jungle's potential. Smite lets you instantly deal damage to any monster, or Champion when you've upgraded your jungle item.

Buying the right starting item is crucial. For junglers, there is the choice between blue, green, and red, but the the recommended choice for any of the Champions mentioned above is the green one, providing a shield and crowd control reduction. Check out the links for extensive explanations of what each jungle starter item does.

Jungle Pets

After buying your jungle starter item, the jungle pets accompany you and automatically level up as you clear camps. They help in jungle clearing, provide health regeneration, and significantly boost mana regeneration, making resource management less challenging.

Jungle Pathing for Beginners

Understanding jungle pathing is fundamental. While the recommended pathing feature can be a helpful start, learn these two basic starting routes:

Level 3 Rush

The most common three-camp level 3 rush involves first killing the Blue Sentinel, then Gromp, and finally the Red Brambleback, unlocking your three non-ultimate abilities. This is the best route if you are playing aggresively since it allows for an early gank while having both blue and red buff active. You can also do the clear in reverse. This is especially useful if you aim to gank on the other side of the map or if your Champion isn't reliant on the early Mana Regeneration and Ability Haste from the blue buff.

Full Clear

The full clear involves killing all six jungle camps on your side of the map, reaching level 4. This route is suitable for junglers aiming to reach level 6 quickly, particularly those with powerful ultimate abilities that can swing team fights.

Choose your path based on early-game goals and the lanes you want to impact. There are other advanced counter-jungling routes that aim to distrupt the enemy jungler, but that isn't recommended as a fresh jungler.

Successful Ganking

Ganks can turn the tide of the game, but they require finesse. If you notice an enemy laner pushing into your tower, plan a flank route before initiating your gank. Approach from behind to cut off escape routes, increasing your chances of securing kills. Avoid overly aggressive ganking, especially when enemy laners have a significant minion wave. Minions can dish out a lot of damage in the beginning, so exercise caution when facing large waves.

Pro Tip: Use timestamps to track enemy summoner spell cooldowns, providing valuable information for follow-up ganks.

Decision Making

After your first recall or death, prioritize paths where jungle camps are up or spawning soon. At least this way you can recover some experience and gold after a failed gank.

Building Your Champion:

Once you pick a champion, head to a site like Blitz.gg for guidance on skill order, rune pages, and common items. This simplifies the learning process without overwhelming you with detailed item descriptions each game.

Objective Control

For objectives like dragons and Rift Herald, timing is crucial. Look for opportunities when lanes around the objective are pushing in your favor, and consider whether the enemy jungler is on the other side of the map.

Sometimes, it's actually better to give up an objective to gain an advantage somewhere else on the map. An example of this is to let the enemy team take dragon while your team makes a strong push for a tower, inhibitor or a Baron call.

Scuttle Crab and Invading

Scuttle crabs provide vision and movement speed. While valuable, don't overforce early fights for them. As for invading, do it when you're stronger or have strong teammates nearby. Cross-mapping is a useful concept; when the enemy jungler makes a play on one side of the map, make a play on the other.

So what do you think? Does jungle sound like a role for you?

About the author

Marijn Laros

Spirited, 19-year-old guy hailing from the glorious tulip lands of the Netherlands. I've always been one for adventures, and my current one has taken me across borders where I've been enjoying living abroad for the past month, soaking up new experiences and cultures.

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