We're pretty much able to jungle with pretty much anyone nowadays. It's a far cry from where we were in season 1 when there were only a handful of junglers that you could pick and even then they all served the same purpose anyways. Now there are plenty of junglers with diversity within themselves.
The sheer number and differences between junglers makes it really difficult to even make a proper tier list based on jungle potential so much so that it is going to be literally impossible to please everyone especially those that cannot read that tier 2 isn't a bad place to be but insist on being idiots about it (remembers to breathe). Basically put not many players will appreciate the sheer amount of options they now have when it comes to playing the game. You can even make non-competitive picks and still do well. You can go down to junglers like Poppy and your team will function still.
There are some things that traits that I personally liked about the older jungle such as how knowledge based it was and how break-neck you had to be. You couldn't have your teammates screw up or your jungle was severely affected. You had to know how to outwit your opponent or you'd be screwed. It was stressful and difficult and junglers were (and still are) a rare breed of player.
However, while that is great and nostalgic, I'm glad that is gone. Now that the jungle requires your team to help you and small screw ups won't bury you, it made room for more junglers and different playstyles. The jungle is faster as a result. Season 1 jungle did have early ganks and things like that but that was all formulaic and pattern. The assisted jungle era basically has it where you can shape the jungle in ways that you want and improvise as you go with a lot more ease.
The golden rule of the jungle is "If it makes sense it can work!"
That's not to say you should be using jungle Leblanc and such btw. Though this golden rule actually does apply to competitive League of Legends albeit with a much stricter champion pool. You use a champion IF IT IS WITHIN REASON.
Not all characters are the same but some serve the same purpose. That often can make it easier when it comes to picking one over the other. However, sometimes you can take little nuisances of the champion and build an argument for them as to why they should be picked. Sometimes some champions are so different they alter the overall team composition beyond just the jungler's contribution.
You can pick a pure damage jungler which would force your team to put some meatier characters in the lanes to make up for your lack of beef. This is likely to keep this jungler from being countered or something. With that said there are two types of damage junglers: AD and AP. From there, there are variations for both such as assassin, caster or fighter. Then from there comes all the little individual choices and differences between champions that can be disputed.
Let's showcase an example. You want to pick a damage jungler so you have a wide pool from champions but for the sake of this we'll use a small consisting of the likes of Diana, Zed, Fiddlesticks, Master Yi, Kha Zix, Tryndamere, You want a physical damage jungler so you're left with Zed, Master Yi, Kha Zix and Tryndamere. You want an assassin so you now you're left with Zed and Kha Zix. If you want someone who is more farm centric and fast then you can opt for Zed. If you want someone who has more reliable damage and gank oriented then take Kha Zix.
The same applies for picking the tank junglers. These are often the go to jungler types though so you don't have to force your lane mates to take beef in the lane. Once again there are two types at play here - AD or AP junglers. From there you have the bruiser, the pure tank and the CC bot. There is some areas where they intertwine though. From there it immediately just goes into the disputing phase. The tanks all overlap in areas and have unique strengths and weaknesses. It's quite a far cry from what it used to be before - aka Amumu or every one else who walked up and just slugged it out. I won' t give much an example here as it's pretty straightforward.
Then the other type of core jungler is the support jungler but that one immediately jumps to the disputing phase after you decide if you want an offensive or defensive support. That is all just dispute. Support champions are incredibly unique and the right ones can offer a lot to their team. That is 100% dependent on the team. In fact, bad jungle support picks can severely hinder the team as it will deprive them of fighter or something.
Why was it important to mention this? Like I said a few times - back then we didn't have any real options for junglers. There were very few junglers who did anything out there. Nunu was about the only support jungler that existed, the only tank used was Amumu while everyone else was a bruiser. You had the odd ball jungler here and there but it stayed static. Gangplank was refreshing but he was overpowered. Only until Season 2 did a great variety start popping up (which was their intention) even though it eventually devolved into something lesser.
Now in Season 3 I think, combined with the item changes, we have a much greater variety in junglers. This is why I think Season 3 jungle is a success. I can finally say I'm enjoying this jungle far more than the Season 2 jungle.
It has revitalized the jungle. Sure there are still issues such as excessive wards and ganking being kind of a pain in the ass but can you argue with the fact that it's nice to see more damage oriented junglers like Zed being picked? It's nice to see this again - if it could be temporary.
As I've said in other articles - the combination of items and increased global gold has made the new jungler gain more variation.
After it is all said and done - the Season 3 jungle just ended up being the Season 2 jungle being brought back to life after Riot dropped it on its head and then giving it a few gifts and money so it doesn't report them to the police for almost negligent man slaughter.
On an off topic note - when is Riot going to give some actual love to a few champions? At first it seemed like Gangplank was going to be doing better with the jungle changes but nothing much has been done for him. Volibear too has been left to contemplate his existence. Tryndamere is basically one of League's joke characters too.
Volibear received a few buffs but I haven't heard of him receiving a rework. No matter how you put it his kit just meh and he's outdone by pretty much half the cast when it comes to jungling. Sure you can stick him top lane but even there he doesn't match up to other top laners in terms of contribution to the team (I am aware he beats some in lane though). You'd think with the health meta he'd be better but no.
I think he needs to be given some attack damage - perhaps it increases with is W too - and perhaps make his W bite refresh faster if he devours a minion. He is just too damn slow because of his lack of damage. That's purely it and I think if they gave him just a bit more damage he'd be a lot more useful in the jungle. Of course he'll still get outshone by others but it will make his distance from the bottom better.
Gangplank needs love too. Yes he can be used as a laner but the current meta doesn't love him and his parley reliance makes it hard to balance him. He severely lacks sustain in the jungle and he's rather slow. His ganking has been nerfed and so has his team supporting abilities. He's a far cry from what he used to be.
As potentially heavy as this may sound - though I've made this suggestion before - his Q should reset upon monster kill. It could make it so Gangplank farms faster than the average jungler and obtains his items faster (he needs a lot). That change alone could make it so he can nab a ton of extra gold from the small camps during every round. It would be monster specific too. Sure Riot doesn't want to make it seem like they're pigeon holing someone into a specific role but the recent buffs to Nasus would suggest otherwise. Sure the buffs help him out as a laner too but we all know how his laning situation is. It's a sneaky way of suggesting to people to try him out in the jungle. I would ask that they give Gangplank the same treatment as well.
Give Gangplank some attack speed (or build it into his E somehow) or help his jungle farming out by making his passive deal a flat value to the monsters instead of a dot. It's pretty annoying when you deal damage to a monster with an auto attack with the hopes of using your parley for the gold increase only for it to survive with a sliver of health and die to the passive. Also I hope they fix his critical hit animation. That thing feels clunky and sometimes feels like it is disrupting his flow in general.
Tryndamere just doesn't do anything. There are plenty of characters with obscene damage now that are also much tankier. They also likely have a better time jungling as well. Yeah he's a very toxic champion to balance but if they're going to gut his ultimate they should give him other things to make up for it. Right now he's pretty much useless.
I believe Tryndamere should be given built in lifesteal. If he obtains full fury he should gain some lifesteal. He doesn't want to burn his fury because of the stat buffs he gains while having it but he is running the risk of dying by not using it. His damage also increases the closer he is to death. I feel he should be given enough lifesteal so he's able to maintain his health leveled while close to death. This change alone could make his jungling a lot more reliable.
Now his chicken shout needs to be buffed up as well. I wonder why they can't give it a Cassiopeia ultimate treatment and just make it if he shouts jokes about his opponent's masculinity and they're facing him they get a smaller slow. That's simple enough isn't it?
Either way that rant is over.
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