Alright so the first batch of the season 3 videos has gone up and it's time to give my initial thoughts. There won't be a tier list this time around because frankly nothing much has changed. Zed sucks as a jungler (can't gank) so just assume he's like tier 3 or something. Anyways the season 3 jungle is neither good nor bad. The season 3 jungle is just different. I overreacted a bit on the Lee Sin video but it is because I had such high hopes placed on him to dominate the new jungle that once I started noticing how painful it was for him...well my optimism took a nose-dive. Then I played Diana and Darius and my faith in the new jungle was renewed. I decided from then on to be neutral on it. I need to, as well as everyone else, accept that the new jungle is going to be different and thus new junglers will excel.
Turns out though that most junglers clear fine albeit they're forced to take the machete every single time. I'm sure there will be some junglers that can probably take something else. Leashing has been removed and it's more just the jungler tanking the monsters while his allies attack it. It's not really a big deal considering everyone has 2 more potions to play with and you don't have to worry about someone messing up the leash. That said the removal of leashing was a very important thing. It made it so a jungler could no longer receive a leash so strong that they could hold onto smite and take out the other camp then go gank someone at level 3, double buffed and before their target has even passed level 2.
A few people said I was complaining too much about being forced to start machete or that you require a leash now. What I can tell you is that these people misunderstood what I said and (some of) the most vocal ones are idiots.
Machete - It is basically (at this point) forced onto every jungler of the game. If you want to jungle you pretty much have to take it. The time difference between taking it and not taking it is rather staggering. Without a machete - most junglers add upwards to 30 seconds to their clear times and definitely suffer in the sustain category as well. I have mixed feelings about being forced to start with it. On one hand it's really sad that we won't be having some of those creative starts that gave some junglers an advantage over others. In Season 1 if you could take boots (while most could only take cloth) you had a massive advantage. If you could survive with just a scepter you had a better gold advantage as well. It's minor sure but it made it so scouting your opponent was important. But on the other hand - the machete becomes the spirit stone which in turn becomes 3 incredibly unique items. We're trading the early game versatility for the later game.
Some people were stupid enough to say that you were FORCED to take boots in the season 2 jungle. There is a difference between being forced and it being the best choice. Even in tournaments you may have seen players take cloth armor (mostly on Mundo) or regrowth pendant. Those times weren't the most common but they happened. Boots just ended up being the best option but that's what it was - just an option albeit the best.
Leashing - Yes I did complain about leashing but people didn't bother to understand why. In the season 1 jungle, leashing came very late into the game. We had gotten used to junglers having to suffer the jungle by themselves and you had to be tanky OR you had to be creative. There were elaborate pathing routes for a multitude of things. You could even take paths where you didn't take all your buffs till level 3-4. This is how some junglers overcame the fact that buff starts weren't all too great for everyone or the longer spawn times. Leashing sort of broke some junglers when it came out. Then in season 2 - non buff starts were straight out stupid. You were now forced to accept the leash because it was the best thing that you could have. However it didn't it was a death sentence if you didn't get one. If you got invaded or your teammates only had time for a feather leash you'd still be fine.
If you're forced to get a leash while the small camps aren't nearly as valuable as the buffs (and non buff paths aren't viable) then it gives too much power to control junglers and early invades. Imagine being invaded and forced out of your blue. You have now lost your blue. What are you going to do now? Farm the small camps? Yeah that's going to be hell. Can you take your red buff by yourself? Maybe but even if you do you're going to get your ass kicked so hard. If you avoid your buff because you can't handle it alone then that's just asking for a control jungler to come in and harass you to kingdom come. If your teammates give you the strong leash you need then they likely are going to suffer as well or some teammates will just tell you to go screw yourself.
So in short - it's about me being fearful of giving so much importance to getting that good start and that if you get screwed over there is no way to actually recover. The small camps are nowhere near in value to the big camps yet some junglers just get stomped by the big camps.
Somehow he didn't come out feeling so good. I don't want to give up on him yet though. I feel something may have gone wrong or I have to give credit to the suggestion of using Q first seeing as the assistant mobs to the main monsters of each camp are wimps. As far as these first two tests go - Lee Sin did not perform so well. Unlike those hasty idiots who say he is trash tier because of this - he is merely just not feeling godly.
What can I say? They feel amazing again. Fiddlesticks got significantly faster and his sustain is utterly awesome. Even if he doesn't get his blue I'm betting he could just buy some mana pots to begin the game with seeing as he doesn't need any health potions. Hell one could even take the machete and that one bottle item for some nifty starts. Fiddlesticks is definitely looking better than before.
Warwick is feeling some sustain love. He's one of the junglers that basically makes incredible use of the machete. He's slightly faster than before. I feel we have to wait and see if the new jungle lets him just transition smoothly to level 6 when he starts becoming a bigger threat.
He's going to need a leash. Without a leash he is going to be murdered by puny ghosts or some jungler deciding he doesn't like his face. That said once he reaches level 3 he starts destroying the camps. I think the machete-spirit stone item just took his clearing speeds to a new level. Sure his first clear is still mediocre but he's going to become a lawnmower.
He's the same damn thing. I mean we'll have to see what happens to early ganking and that may affect his allure but I'm certain he'll be fine. He's one of the best in season 3 from what I've seen so far. Nothing more to say than that actually.
My she is lovely in the new jungle. She didn't get faster but the machete item and evolutions is awesome on her. She's a fast jungler and she's going to strongly benefit from the increased gold from the jungle. She revs up and starts annihilating camps and will likely be one of the junglers who can keep up with the lanes and perhaps even surpass them. She is contending with Elise for the best AP jungler spot.
I can't give any comment on him till I see him in a real game. Trundle isn't a bad jungler and likely never will be. He's basically the same thing here as he is in season 2. It just depends on what the enemy decides to do. He excels vs teams with few tanks so even if he junglers better it largely will depend on the team comp of the enemy team.
They're, once again, the fastest junglers in the game. Their sustain is just as bad as it is in season 2 with cloth armor but of course you'll be helping them out a bit with a good leash. That said I think these two might get nerfed at some point. They're fast, they farm well and the jungle gives more gold. I'm pretty sure no one wants to see a super farmed Mundo or Shyvana running out of the jungle with their super self-sufficient kits.
They're basically the same thing as Nautilus albeit better all around at clearing (early). Sejuani is one of the best junglers in the game with farm. Yes I am bold enough to make that statement. Her problem has always been that she needs too many different stats to work out. However a crap load of items have been released that give her what she wants - cooldown reduction, health, magic pen, resistances. I feel she'll see some love this season. Then Hecarim is just weird. I'm wondering if he'd be fine farming items and then entering a fight or if he needs to gain a desperate advantage and thus still has to relegate more time to ganking than farming.
Darius and Jarvan
Jarvan is exactly the same thing as he was before for his first clear HOWEVER my flag did get destroyed thus I'd assume he's slightly better. That said he's one of the junglers with the most dependency for gold and items. I'm looking forward to seeing how this increase in gold affects him. If he's able to build up an armory before team fights happen then his attractiveness as a pick is definitely going to soar. As for Darius -I was actually worried about him not being able to jungle as well as before. I mean the guy lacks sustain and Lee Sin didn't do so well. Darius deals a lot of damage and that machete just makes him MELT the camps. He's EXACTLY the same speed as season 2 but with the increased gold gain this means a lot for him. He's very fast and can now supplement his murder power with proper farm.
Kha`Zix and Fiora
Fiora is still slow. Her usefulness will be determined by the flow of the lanes. Now Kha`Zix actually got better. He definitely got faster and his W turned out to flourish with the machete. Just like Hecarim it is up in the air whether or not he'll be good. Does he need to have a significant advantage (one that just farming can't get by itself) or can he just stay in the jungle forever?
Admittedly these two were a bit of a joke. The AP junglers that could probably destroy the season 3 jungle that aren't Diana or Elise are Cassiopeia and Karthus. Still I wanted to try these two because if these two could jungle then they'd be awesome. Sadly they floundered. I'll be mingling with Malzahar, Cassiopeia and Karthus.
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