Junglers vs the World (Match Ups)

This is a topic a lot of players have been asking me. I did write an article some time ago about making the right jungle picks in certain situations though it was vague on purpose in order to inspire the readers to actually think about it for a bit. That article can be found here http://www.reignofgaming.net/blogs/stonewall/24475-champion-select-choose-well . In this article I will try to be a bit more specific for a few champions. If it's well received then I can further expand it.

There is such a thing as jungler match ups in this game. There are some junglers that just naturally have an easy (or simply just easier) time against some other junglers. However junglers also have lane match ups that they need to consider. Along with that they need to consider how severe the match ups are and how they transition into team fights. Just because a jungler can deal with another jungler really easily early game doesn't mean they can do anything later in the game to them and same goes for the laners. A majority of match ups are no longer relevant when the jungle and laning phases are over - at least to a degree. Keep in mind most of this is just my opinion.

That being said the junglers listed in this article (possibly part of a series) will have a team composition match up they're strong against listed, a specific laner(s) they tend to crush along with one or two junglers they tend to smash. Not only that but I will give a sort of "score" as to how severe the match up is. Some junglers have a good match up vs a certain opponent but sometimes it's just to the point where they can annoy the champion other than outright demolish them.


Team Match-Up - Burst Comps

I would have said that he's very powerful against teams with low crowd control but practically everyone is so I'd just end up repeating myself. I would have also said that Udyr is very strong against low armor teams but I'd face the same problem of having to repeat myself. Anyways he tends to do well vs teams that lean heavily towards burst damage - even better if they're squishy mages. There are two scenarios at play here. If Udyr runs into a team fight and gets focused by the entire enemy team (hopefully with his Turtle up) he may die but they just focused Udyr and hopefully his team follows up and slaughters the now incapable enemy team. The other scenario is that Udyr survives that burst (or whatever burst is actually thrown his way) and survives thanks to his (likely) tank build and turtle stance and then proceeds to run amok on the enemy team. They already wasted their burst and couldn't even finish him. Their now weaker damage will likely not be able to finish him off thanks to his turtle. To better visualize this think of a character like Veigar getting Udyr in a perfect combo. Veigar uses all of his abilities in perfect order and still fails to kill Udyr. Veigar's damage is essentially now cut by two thirds as his ultimate is on cooldown and his dark matter has no chance landing on a mobile champion without stunning them first. Udyr is now just going to walk up to Veigar and rend his face in two.

Lane Match-Up - Cho Gath/Severe

Now I know that Cho Gath isn't a common pick at the moment but I wanted to list someone that Udyr just completely walks over during the laning phase. Cho Gath is a mix of moderate burst and moderate sustain damage. Neither of those two damage levels can do anything to Udyr. Essentially put Cho Gath can't fight back. Cho Gath also has no means of mobility. He can use his crowd control on Udyr but it doesn't make up for Cho Gath's severe lack of mobility. Udyr's superior mobility allows him to basically treat Cho Gath like a scratching post. Udyr may not kill Cho Gath immediately but as a gank target it still looks very positively on Udyr as Cho can't fight back and can barely escape him. He's a safe target for Udyr and an easy one.

Jungle Match-Up - Nocturne/Advantageous

If I were to ignore the rest of the enemy team and I saw them pick a Nocturne I'd most certainly feel very comfortable picking Udyr. Nocturne is one of the more lopsided jungle duelists in the game. He's one of those characters that in some situations he outright destroys his jungle opponent but in the wrong ones he just gets destroyed himself. He tends to be fragile and his fear can be a hit or miss in some situations. On the other hand Udyr is one of the most powerful jungle duelists in the game. He is likely among the top three duelists and has been since his inception. Nocturne shouldn't be able to deal enough damage to stand toe to toe with Udyr at least not before Udyr has torn his shadow ghost throat out. Tiger Udyr is a lot more menacing in a duel than Phoenix and god forbid Nocturne comes face to face with one. Essentially put there is practically no positive situation for Nocturne when it comes to dueling Udyr aside from the most lopsided advantages - aka finding Udyr at like 1 health. Udyr should win every duel vs Nocturne. The only reason the match up isn't severely positive for Udyr is because Nocturne can still elude Udyr. Nocturne's spellshield and E give him a good chance to escape from Udyr.


Team Match-Up - Mage Teams

This is even more severe if the enemy team is sustained damage. Maokai has a double dosage of power vs mage teams. First off his ultimate can complete screw the enemy mages of their damage and deal some of it back to them. As least while it lasted, if Maokai obtains Aegis/Bulwark along with a locket of the iron solari and combined these items with his ultimate he could almost completely diminish a mage's damage. Then Maokai's passive is charged up more frequently vs team comps that use a flurry of spells. It is not unheard of for Maokai to heal himself for a good amount in fights vs mages and prolonging his life. On a smaller note his Q is spammable and can slap down anyone who tries to channel some spell or ability.

Lane Match-Up - Twisted Fate/Severe

This is another classic match up. Twisted Fate just can't do anything to resist Maokai's ganks. A single click of Maokai's W can be a death sentence for Twisted Fate. Twisted Fate cannot gold card Maokai while he's snaring him and his low mobility guarantees he's going to get repeatedly slapped down by Maokai's Q. It really is one of the funniest things you can do. In solo queue I'll pick Maokai against Twisted Fate and camp him. If he gets anywhere near mid lane he's going to get snared unless of course he flashed. You can't stop him from ganking most of the time but sometimes leaving saplings in areas you think he might go when you're not murdering him can give him away - it's minor but it's still a thing.

Jungle Match-Up - Fiddlesticks/Advantageous

It's a bit silly to note Fiddlesticks considering tons of people technically counter him but Maokai just totally bitch slaps him. Maokai not only meets Fiddlestick's ultimate (and technically his drain too) with his own and reduces the damage by a good amount but he can also make damn sure Fiddlesticks will never have a drain up for long. Maokai is built to deal with mages and even moreso mages that rely on sustained damage and unfortunately Fiddlesticks is both of them. If you want a TLDR: Maokai utterly cockblocks Fiddlesticks.


Team Match-Up - Bruiser Comps

Jarvan is honestly very strong vs many team comps and alongside plenty as well. However I tend to favor him vs team comps that have an ample frontline. Some teams, especially in solo queue, tend enjoy a healthy bruiser comp line up and thus give themselves a beefy wall to protect their mvps usually the caster and ad carry. Jarvan is able to deal with this line up rather easily in a few ways. A damage centered Jarvan can simply bypass the entire frontline and dunk the mvp and probably burst them down. If not he can simply lock out most bruisers and disrupt the enemy focus. Another way tends to be riskier to pull off in solo queue because of people's weird positioning. Jarvan can knock up the front line and peel for his carries. His AoE crowd control works wonders here and it is infinitely more effective if he manages to use his ultimate properly and trap some of the aggressive front line bruisers of the enemy team. Some champions are very easy to trap such as Udyr and Olaf. In a clearer explanation, Jarvan is basically a strong bodyguard for his teammates when facing a bruiser composition.

Lane Match-Up - Vladimir/Advantageous

Jarvan is one of the few junglers that has favorable ganking success vs mobility/blink characters due to his wide array of gap closers and crowd control. He can gank characters like Ahri, Kassadin, Ezreal and such with moderate success which is saying a lot considering some junglers can't do much against them aside from burning them down 100% with their team. One of Jarvan's most classic match ups is Vladimir. Back when Vladimir was more common and a huge issue some players would take Jarvan to make sure they could stop his shenanigans especially if that Vladimir decided to lower his chances of survivable with ghost. Vladimir cannot pool through Jarvan's wall by the way and his mobility is non existent without it. A basic ganking scenario would be that Jarvan walks up to Vladimir and gets in range for his E Q combo. Vladimir can decide to eat it and get crowd controlled. Jarvan's teammate is allowed to deal damage to Vladimir up until he pools. Jarvan can then use his ultimate to trap Vladimir once he resurfaces. If Vladimir doesn't have flash then he'll be taking a beating. Jarvan can also simply use his ultimate on Vladimir and trap him for free damage. If Vladimir uses his pool while trapped then he wastes the immunity and mobility and cannot use it when he needs to run. If he uses it as soon as the wall goes down then Jarvan can simply re-engage on him with his E Q combo and lock him down further.

Jungle Match-Up - Evelynn/Udyr/Olaf: Reactionary

Jarvan possesses one of the more interesting match ups situations for the game. There really isn't any junglers he beats in the jungle. He has damage and can kill several junglers sure but he can never beat the best champions and the players actually have to be smart and good with Jarvan in order to with duels. He doesn't focus on invading or fighting other junglers. However when it comes to counter ganks and team fights he is able to completely shut down mobility based champions. Much like it was explained already in the previous two paragraphs Jarvan can deny champions that are charging for his teammates by getting in their face and, if need be, trapping them for a few seconds either forcing them to wait or use some form of escape. The most classic example of this is Olaf as some players would respond to an overpowered Olaf pick with Jarvan and simply trap him during a team fight to waste his ultimate and ghost while Jarvan's team hopefully killed a few of the enemy champions. Players need to remember that in most cases that if Jarvan is inside his ultimate while he has someone trapped he is considered trapped with them. Olaf, Udyr and possibly Evelynn can kill Jarvan while trapped. He can merely deny them gank opportunities and disrupt their team fighting potential but at least he's ridiculously good at doing that.


Team Match-Up - Push Compositions

It is no big secret that Nasus does very well against teams looking to push down towers. He has ridiculously strong wave clear especially if he has a blue buff attached to him. That's essentially all it consists of . He can walk to any lane that is being pressured and completely deny the enemy push. It's even more ridiculous if his teammate has strong clear as well. They can keep a tower completely safe even against some of the strongest of pushers. Nasus's wither can also punish anyone that attempts to get close for auto attacks

Lane Match-Up - Anyone without a blink/Severe

Wither is one of the game's most overpowered spells. This isn't even debated. It's pretty much widely agreed that wither is overpowered in team fights and ganking. It used to be even more insane till it was nerfed. If the enemy team has laners that lack blinks or strong means of escape then they will be easy victim's for Nasus's wither. Often times they won't even be able to fight back due to how crippling the spell tends to be to their offensive capabilities. Champions like Jax, Irelia, Twisted Fate, most AD carries, are easy targets for Nasus. It would be an injustice to name just one. I was close to naming Jax as his best target since wither utterly cripples him.

Jungle Match-Up - Vi/Severe

Frankly this was hard to decide since Nasus has lots of match ups that aren't exactly super favorable dueling wise but he is capable of easily deterring most every other jungler in the game both in team fights and in counter ganks as well as jungle duels. He won't exactly win every duel or fight but he'll make his opponent just not want to fight sort of like Fiddlesticks never winning duels but never really losing them either. However Vi is a champion that simply cannot do anything vs Nasus. Nasus's wither completely shuts down most of her damage and the bits he takes from her E and Q will just be healed up with his lifesteal. She can't all-in him either as he'll just pop his ultimate and go berserker on her ass and she can't exactly fight him standing on his E either. He counter ganks her with almost no effort and outright butchers her ability to grab someone and full combo them to death. Vi is pure damage with no utility and when a champion like Nasus can deny your damage exists then it's rather wise to never pick into him.

Lee Sin

Team Match-Up - Teams that need killing

Lee Sin's will be a bit different than the others. He's very flexible and ridiculously skilled based. However he is technically an assassin for the early portion of the game and then a supportive bruiser with some assassin qualities and the ability to pseudo initiate. He's ridiculously flexible as he can work a bit like weaker versions of hard counter champions like Malphite (AS/movement speed debuff), Tristana (disengaging ultimate), and so on. As far as the early game goes he's excellent for teams who want an early game lead. He grants his team this by ganking early and pressuring lanes and being excellent at stealing and securing buffs. He is very apt at the art of killing and can utterly decimate most squishy targets. This goes without saying. He's very versatile but never overly so. He doesn't really counter any teams if not just greatly compliment his own team.

Lane Match-Up - Everyone

This is kind of what happens when you're versatile and as overpowered as Lee Sin EARLY game. He can gank anyone. There really isn't much to say here now is there? His ganking tools are obscene and he can deal with almost any situation. He packs damage, the crowd control, the gap closers, the disengage, he has it all and this is just reiterating everything everyone already knows. He just requires a lot of finesse playing and that's what makes his match ups work.

Jungle Match-Up - Nunu/Resistant

Lee Sin is one of those duelists that doesn't always slug it out with his opponents and instead outmaneuvers them. A skilled Lee Sin player can answer to even the most dangerous of duelists like Udyr and Skarner. It's rather silly to put all those Lee Sin stomps in the jungle - which are many. Lee Sin is one of the few junglers that can resist Nunu and deal with him properly (the other is Elise). Lee Sin can focus on ganking if Nunu is dominating the jungles or he can hunt Nunu down and actually fight him. Nunu actually can have issues kiting Lee Sin because of his ability to use the bushes to his advantage while denying Nunu this same advantage (vision from Lee's abilities) as well as being able to slow Nunu and close the gap simultaneously. To add to all this Lee Sin runs on energy and can start anywhere. Lee Sin can figure out a proper clearing path to deny Nunu the chance to steal anything from him. The Lee Sin player actually needs to be knowledgeable in order to take advantage of this but as far as things go Lee Sin is a good champion to pick vs a Nunu. If you play right he won't be able to do anything to you or keep you out of the game and while Lee Sin's late game isn't the best it is certainly better than Nunu's.



  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.
Posts Quoted:
Clear All Quotes