The Golden Rule and Season 3

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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  • #41 JioDerako

    Lots of talk on the topic of Volibear, so I'll keep my contribution brief.

    The issue I've seen with Volibear pretty much from the start is that he can't seem to decide which role he's filling. Is he a damage-dealer? Is he a tank? He's got a great tank passive, but doesn't have a lot of utility for that role (the flip is awesome, and he's got a minor slow, but most other tanks can do better). Damage-wise, he's got a great ultimate for wading in and throwing damage everywhere, but not as much of the rest of his kit really supports that; I don't think I'd want to risk building him for a ton of damage, because he just doesn't gain a whole lot out of it.
    Can he do well in both roles? Absolutely, but he can't do better at either role (beaten by too many other champions). And it feels like he can't go hybrid "right down the middle" without being too weak on both sides.

    Some damage boosts would help him be a stronger bruiser, I think (give him some good AD ratios). Or give him a bit more CC/utility, and you have a strong tank on your hands (maybe his roar could put a half-second fear on champions, or his ultimate could add some other sort of effect to targets hit by the lightning).

    On the topic of the article itself, a very nice write-up; I'm also pretty happy with the S3 changes, the options out there are actually a bit overwhelming now! I kinda miss some of the knowledge required to jungle in S2 - you could more easily predict your opponent's jungle route, making counter-jungling more effective - but being able to recover from early counter-jungling also makes the role a lot more fun in the long run (nobody likes getting shut-out of the game right off the bat because their Amumu was killed at his blue buff).

  • #33 fatovarius

    Voli is an interesting case. He doesn't seem bad in solo queue (but then really, who does? don't say karma) but I can definitely see him never, ever being used in high-level games. Why? He's basically Singed with frontloaded damage. And also he isn't as good as Singed in terms of durability and mobility. Sure, he might have more survivability early game, but who cares? Maybe you get a free kill by tower diving with dat passive at level 2/4, whatever. Voli snowballs terribly, so that doesn't help him out very much. He saw some stealth buffs with the current health-stacking meta, but it really isn't enough to plead his case with. I'd love to be proven wrong about this, because I think bear is a cool character, but he just doesn't seem good.


    As for Tryndypoo, I like the idea of lifesteal on him. Maybe instead of giving him lifesteal at full fury, what about lifesteal per point of fury? He's a shitty laner and a shitty jungler but he snowballs superbly. Problem is, that just means you shut trynd down, take him out of the game, and then he can't do anything. Problem is, he faces the same difficulty that every other melee AD carry faces. they suck. He does need a rework.


    I'd like to talk about the comparison of Voli to Singed. Guys, it isn't just his flip. Granted, the flip is identical on both champions, but check it. They both have an AoE slow, they both have a movespeed buff, and they both have a move that makes them pretty much immortal, and they both have a move that gives them respectable DPS if you build right. The comparison isn't just understandable, it's damn near unavoidable. Now, don't get me wrong. He IS different. He has a different playstyle and his durability and power curves are different than Singed, but they both fill the exact same role. Singed is just better, though, and the amount of edge cases where Voli would be better than Singed in a team comp are so few that bear may as well not exist. This is a problem and exactly why he needs a rework.


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  • #35 Calis8

    As a few people have mentioned in their replies. Volibear was picked twice by diamondprox on Gambit Gaming for their LCS matches this past weekend. They lost one of the games to Giants Gaming, but they beat Fanatic with diamond going 4/0/19 as volibear that game. So he is being used in high level games.


  • #38 fatovarius

    I was very careful to never say he wasn't picked, or couldn't be viable. I'm aware of that fact. I'm just saying that he doesn't have a place in a team often enough and tweaks would surely help in that regard.

  • #39 Calis8

    Then I apologize for misreading your post.

  • #40 fatovarius

    Sure, no harm done.

  • #31 Basinator

    Eh STonewall, I would like to see a calc about the gold increase for junglers in S3 compared to S2. There was one, but LoL got patched meanwhile and they increased the gold gained again.

  • #30 brbafkftw

    On the topic of Volibear,

    Gambit Gaming used him to decent effect in the EU LCS W1D2. He seemed to be pretty menacing in team fights and the flip shouldn't be underrated. Many compare Volibear to Singed (myself included) mostly based on the flip in the kit. I think this might be unfair in some ways as the rest of their abilities are quite different while still filling the tank role on a team so the need for an execute or DoT in autoattacks over a huge AoE slow and AoE DoT then I guess a case can be made for Volibear. This seems to be pretty rare though, as I think it would be hard to argue that Volibear's ability set is better and offers more team utility than Singed's ability set; as a whole Singed's kit seems much more synergistic with itself and the idea of super annoying tank that can't be killed.

    That all said in Singed's favor, if (and I mean on the rare chance this is desired) a flip is wanted for the team comp and you want an assassin type top lane so the flipper needs to come from the jungle, I think Volibear provides the flip in a more jungler friendly package.

    Referencing games specifically, Volibear seemed to do well vs the Malphite and Olaf tanky line of Fnatic and could reduce the effectiveness of the Malphite because of the positioning required for successful Unstoppable Forces. Compared to the tank line of Dr. Mundo and facing many more roots coming from Zyra, Kennen, and Ryze, Volibear couldn't move around effectively and reach the correct targets. In a brawl Dr. Mundo's bulk quickly outscales Volibear's and his personal steroids and AoE damage are much less situational than Volibear's are. Not to say Dr. Mundo is always a better pick than Volibear is, but I think that it would be hard to argue that Dr. Mundo isn't usually the better choice.

  • #29 AngelicSven

    It makes me really sad Volibear is as bad as he is right now, though I'd say still usable in some circumstances. I use to jungle him all the time and he's actually still a favorite even if I don't play him. I mean, he is a bear.

    Imo, his ganks are still great since his Q gives him so much utility, a speed boost and a flip that goes through flashes, followed up by slow off his E is pretty darned good. Also, he still scales into lategame well with Spirit of the Golem, Warmog's, and Frostborn Gauntlet, it's what he can do in teamfights is the issue. Pop his ulty, flip the carry, aoe slow, eat the carry (assuming nothing went wrong) and then....autoattacks....till your flip is back. :/

    It's really that he's just so slow, I mean he's slower than Shen, Shen would probably be an unacceptable jungler it wasn't for his ultimate giving him global presence. Hopefully, they'll just give Volibear a lil' boost to get back up in the ranks of jungledom.

    Last edited by AngelicSven: 2/10/2013 5:00:24 PM
  • #25 Cerbereth

    I kind of like that Tryndamere isn't viable.  I mean running from the invulnerable barbarian until his ult is over then chasing him until he spins away is not exactly my idea of fun. People call Shaco toxic, but tryndamere is on a whole other level.

  • #24 pagan4life

    Hey Stonewall,

    I think you underestimate trynd a little bit. He is not an excellent choice right now, but at the same time he can do very well against some comps. I find him decent with the new no-tank no-resistances meta, especially since MF is becoming more popular; she has no way to peel trynd.

    Try running armor yellow and the rest attack speed so you can sustain off Q. rush boots2, zeal, wriggles and then IE. I run ghost and can usually get a kill with it before 6.

    Trynd is very strong vs bursty all-in teams which are so common right now.

  • #26 Cerbereth

    Why not just use Olaf no one can peal him period.

  • #34 fatovarius

    This is exactly right. Trynd sucks because there are other champs that do the exact same thing better. Same thing with Voli, really. I agree with you that he has his place in team comps, but as I said of Voli in the other comment I made, the amount of edge cases he'd be better in a team comp rather than some other hard-to-peel (olaf, hecarim, thresh, naut, sky's the limit really) are so few he may as well not exist.

  • #22 jim1608

    Volibear's main problem is that he is a "sutained damage" champion.

    He needs his ult to do real damage to something and he needs to stay on the enemy for the whole 12 seconds to be optimal.

    When you gank that just does not happen. Huge Cooldowns means that he can't use the only real damage tool he has to farm and after burning his CC on someone he won't be doing much but waiting to KS someone with his W.

    The main issue here is he is balance around having his Ult UP and the Synergy with his W, whereas the 2 other skills are basically useless and only CC oriented...

  • #20 Kantuti

    To be fair recent Trynda buffs help him a lot. 

  • #19 LolLolLolJake

    Tryndamere and Gangplank were destroyed because of scrubs QQing on the forums endlessly until Riot caved but god forbid Rengar and Diana be overnerfed for 2 weeks.

  • #18 CovertGhoul

    I mean, you have the spreadsheet showing your opinion on every character's jungle.  If people aren't going to bother reading that, I wouldn't care for there opinion.   Most of the communion appreciates your opinion, I would just be happy with that and not worry about satisfying everyone.

  • #17 Dilybear

    I'll say a few things about this article. Overall it was a good read on the takes of champions that arent in the best place. I think the GP suggestion is cool but then it would basically be a ranged irelia Q unless it ONLY reset with jungle minions, but then again it feels forced, not implied.  Not that that would be that bad, just strange. Not saying GP couldnt use the buff i ctaully was hoping he was gonna be jungle viable this season. 

    Now the most important thing i must note on is the mantage video you linked although cool wasnt the highlight of this article. that song was so awesomely intense i was forced to find exactly who made it and i now found my new favourite music artist. So I have to say thank you for the amazing music. I love discovering awesome new artists.

  • #13 Gunthore

    You know who I couldn't jungle no matter how much I tried? Garen.

  • #14 metalmetal

    I've tried it too, was the most inefficient jungle I have ever done.

    Useless passive (since neutral monsters stop it), long cooldowns, and crapy ganks. Excuse me while I run through this wave of minions and try to catch up to someone.  It's a good thing to because enough people already whine about him being OP.

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