Still Bored? Here are Some More Hidden Junglers!

My last article on this same subject was quite popular and I did promise there would be a part 2 for it. It's the same premise as before, these junglers are all niche and situational but can really shine in certain situations. There may be junglers above them that fill the same roles or they just may be very specific. The point is that sometimes one just needs variety in their games and can't stand to play Zac for the millionth time. Keep in mind that when you pick a champion you should always keep your team's interest at heart even if it's an uncommon champion. A sensible person wouldn't scold you for picking a lower "tier" jungler but maybe they would if you picked them into a team comp that doesn't accommodate them.

Like before, this article will have a few niche junglers listed as well as team compositions they may be able to fit. Not all junglers listed may be competitively viable or solo queue powerhouses. The junglers are functional to a stronger degree than most characters people try to force to jungle. What I mean by that is that these characters have a much better time jungling than other junglers even if there are other characters much stronger than them for jungling. Needless to say most of these characters actually offer something to their team whether it's strong crowd control, stats or engagement.

Thresh

I'm going to start off by saying that the chances of you actually playing him in the jungle are beyond dismal outside of blind pick. Not only will he always be banned but your team will try to obtain him as a support before they hand him over as a jungler. Even then he's actually much stronger than some people give him credit for as a jungler. His issue tends to be that he won't really do "enough" compared to other jungler choices - this will be explained in a bit. As a jungler you build him as a bruiser and max out his E skill first unlike in lane (as far as I know). He actually deals a surprising amount of damage (at a range) and his clearing is actually quite strong for a tank/bruiser jungler. I need not say how strong his ganks are if you can land his skills. His ganking is also rather ridiculous when you add the fact that he applies red with his ranged auto attacks and can now easily land his crowd control. He is also able to farm souls undeterred and his gold requirement is rather low. So what's his downside? He has good damage for a bruiser but not enough compared to other bruiser junglers. He can become pretty tanky but not as quickly as other tanks. His dueling is also not that strong and he can be punished by other junglers and his cooldowns can be unforgiving. Also he's a rather high skilled character. Still he's wickedly fun!

Team Composition - As a support he tends to fill every team composition imaginable. As a jungler it's not too far from the same thing except you should remember that putting someone like him in the jungle who "may" not accomplish as much as another prime jungler detracts from your team. He's a jack of all trade sort of champion in the jungle. Even then I've personally enjoyed using him in full engage teams especially those that focus on diving. His natural tankiness combined with being range gives him the ability to pick at champions during pushes and perhaps provoke and engage - or he gets lucky with a pull. It's almost silly to write down everything Thresh can do for a team as everyone already knows he blesses his team with too much utility. That doesn't change when he's a jungler except now he likely can build even tankier or with actual damage.

Zyra

She is one of the weirdest junglers out there. At level 1 she can't do anything in the jungle unless she gets reasonable assistance. Once she's able to use her plants her jungling potential is unlocked. She's full of weaknesses and strengths and how they offset each other is still up in the air. It's easier to start with her weaknesses. Her most obvious one is that she has absolutely no mobility combined with one of the lowest movement speeds in the game. Combine her crappy mobility with poor defenses and health and you have someone that is prone to getting killed by the jungle monsters or the enemy jungler. She's also pretty mana intensive if she wants to power jungle though also restrained to her seed cooldowns to do so as well. As for her advantages, the most obvious advantage is the fact that she's a utility magic damage dealer with ap scaling. Her utility gifts her a buffer zone before the lack of gold starts sinking her as it does to a lot of junglers. If she obtains gold then she becomes a formidable ap carry and if she doesn't then she becomes a supportish ap champion. Needless to say she does very well with the few scraps of gold the jungle gives her. She also has plenty of item builds open including some odd jungle specific ones that function well such as a burn build using spirit of the lizard elder. Her ganking is strong as well as her post 5 invasion. She's strong at engaging fights, pushing and even disengaging with her team. Once she gains all her abilities jungling becomes easy for her and she won't have to worry about taking damage from the monsters. TLDR: She's a ridiculously efficient jungler when it comes to gold, utility and flexibility.

Team Composition: I personally like using her in team compositions that focus on pushing and taking objectives fast. As I mentioned above she has a certain time where her utility and base values makes it so she can ignore the gold depravation a jungler usually suffers from and therefore is rather powerful and chock full of usefulness. I use her to run to a lane and attempt to push it down while encouraging my team to try to take dragons and more towers. If I can obtain a good amount of gold before all hell starts breaking loose I can transition into another ap carry for my team and we can dominate team fights with her amazing team fighting capabilities. Even if my plans don't work I can at least transition into a supportish Zyra with moderate damage.

Fizz

Now he's a champion who's followers are adamant about. As a jungler he has a lot of conflicts and gross strengths. He's a very unusual one. He can build both bruiser and ability power and function decently well as both. However both builds are ridiculously gold intensive and this is aggravated by the fact that he sucks at clearing and his jungling is rather slow. He's not a strong duelist brawler but he's a strong duelist when it comes to outmaneuvering others, that is to say he can't slug it out with other junglers but he can dupe them with his abilities and mobility and kill plenty of them (aka if you don't know how to duel you'll just get slaughtered). He obtains his gold through murdering champions but he has no (real) crowd control outside his ultimate yet he has two forms of mobility including a complete aggro drop that lets him tower dive early and easily. To add to that his damage early is obscene with his abilities and auto attacks (thanks to his W). Then he gains one of the most random abilities in the game - his ultimate. What I mean by random is that a champion like him, although an assassin, gaining a super long range AoE crowd control initiating ability is just weird. It helps him gank really damn well sure but it also gives him initiation abilities as a jungler. That, in effect, means he gains some very strong initiation that is rare to fighter junglers. Most of the champions that have initiation are primarily tanks. Once he gains his ultimate his ganking prowess shoots up tenfold and he's ridiculously stronger at counter ganking as a good shark can punish poor engagements from the enemy team.

Team Composition - He's obviously a strong pick for gank heavy teams especially those that are dive happy. He's also a strong pick for full engage teams as his ultimate lets him be the one to initiate if there is an opening or follow up an engage. He can then dive the enemy mvp and usually kill them by himself as long as he's moderately good with his farm and can get his full combo off. There isn't much to say here really. He's all about the murdering and he does it well. Put him in a team composition that takes advantage of his shark and you'll be surprised at how quickly you can end team fights. It's worth noting that since he has initiation powers you can sometimes forgo having another champion with initiation. That means you could, in effect, have another strong fighter in top lane that will contribute damage for your team instead of trading some damage for utility.

Blitzcrank

Now I know he's similar to Thresh with his pull but this guy has one key difference and that is obscene mobility and better cooldowns. He's much stronger than Thresh (in the jungle) early game and his ganks are much cleaner. His clearing is ass but his ganking is what you'd expect from Blitzcrank. One pull and they will probably die. With blue buff Blitzcrank doesn't have to be worrying about mana and can just zoom across the battlefield and taunt people. He has an artificial gold buffer if he obtains the gold to buy defensive items with mana. His passive is actually able to be fueled with the fact that he has a better chance of obtaining more gold when he jungles than as a support - unless you face a weaker lane. Do I really need to say much more about Blitzcrank? Okay he's gold efficient, tons of crowd control, can be hard to kill and pulls people to their deaths.

Team Composition - Of course he's strong in gank and engage teams. He's much better just doing his own thing though and ganking everyone. I will only pick him with teams that have some way of following up with my shenanigans. I hope to try to start fights early and fast and just snowball the team. That's what he's all about. If you can't well at least you have crowd control and utility. It's a blood Blitzcrank. Moreso than Thresh, if you can't land your pulls then you're going to have a really bad time.

Leona

Well she's the one who won the last vote and I guess rightly so. There are a lot of players who really like Leona but don't want to just play her as a support. She struggles in other lanes because she's pure tank and can't always trade well with her opponents among other things. The obvious other choice is the jungle lane which, unless you get invaded, allows you to just focus on yourself. Leona packs a crapload of crowd control on short cooldowns with powers to initiate and lock people down by herself along with massive tank steroids. Her passive is a hit or miss depending on how it's used but it's still useful. As a jungler she has some sustain issues, some clearing issues and some mobility issues but she's gold effective, has (obviously) very strong ganks and can survive some gank attempts simply by (wo)manning through the pain and walking away. Those jungle clearing weaknesses aside, she's a ridiculously strong ganker at all phases of the game and gets incredibly stronger once she obtains her ultimate as long as you can land her abilities of course. That's where her strength comes though. She's all about combat. Her transitioning is perhaps one of the best in the game and even better than some of the prime junglers. The reason you won't see her though is that she can be denied her transitioning thanks to her weak jungle game and even her ganking can be dealt with proper preparation - or her opponent ended up being a strong counter ganker like Elise. Even so she's gold efficient but if she obtains items she can reach a point of near immortality and she can make her cooldowns almost non existent with the right items. I know I say it a lot but in the end she really is just a weaker Nautilus/Sejuani.

Team Composition - I'm sounding like a broken record here but I just noticed most of the junglers in this article are pretty much all champions that fit engage composition. That's what Leona fits too. She has a truck load of crowd control, has tank steroids, strong initiation powers and is ridiculously gold efficient. She wants to murder people. She thrives on teams that full on dunk people. She wants to make people bleed as much as she does. She can provide all the crowd control your team may need especially if you tack on more crowd control on her via items like Randuin's Omen.

I'm aware that some of the videos are rather old but I did try to have some updated footage. Didn't work out though so I had to settle for older ones.


 

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Comments

  • #45 svNNN

    Hey guys, what do you think about Poppy jungle?

  • #46 Sanear

    her stunn is quite hard to land, but still has quite good burst from her Q, dunno about jungle clearing speed

  • #47 svNNN

    The only thing thats denies you from hitting her stun is too less movement speed imo. A essential thing is to have an early sheen + AS runes + masteries. AS on Poppy is really (really) beastly!

    ~excause my bad english ~_~

  • #48 A2ZOMG

    Jungle Alistar is better than Jungle Poppy in practically every way, and Jungle Alistar is pretty bad.

    Alistar actually is sorta able to clear without sucking after Spirit itemization.  Also his ganks do more damage and disable for longer.

  • #39 Kallyadranok

    I made a thresh jungle myself, and i liked the way he performed ingame. But he has a huge problem, that is his passive. When he aproaches the lane, some spirits starts to spawn, warning the lanner his presence around. I already send a ticket to riot asking them to think on something about it. Maybe the spirits showing everywhere, not just when he is near, or maybe he can shut his passive down. 

  • #40 Dimovict

    The enemy can only see souls if you're in sight (with a ward, a champion, a trap or TF ult, for example), so if they retreat by seeing your souls it's because they were seeing you anyways :)

  • #41 Kallyadranok

    really? i dont remember that. i remember walking on the river and spirits spotting on the lane. actualy i dont know if they was seeing the souls.  but anyway, i agree thresh is a damn strong jungle. 

  • #44 Kiedisticelixer

    ... Your enemies cant see the spirits if they cant see Thresh...

  • #33 skippersd

    I think jungle Diana could have been mentioned. It is far from borderline trollpick (like some of the above) but still nieche.

  • #35 Brianmc4233

    rofl its not mentioned bc she isn't a "troll" pick or "niche" pick. She is a fine pick rofl. Come on you should know that. Diana is still top tier jungler and laner. Low Tier 1 or Tier 2.

  • #26 Sanear

    In my opinion there is one issue with jungle Thresh - whenever you are close to any lane souls will appear on warning enemy that Thresh is near

  • #27 raikaria

    Quote from Sanear »

    In my opinion there is one issue with jungle Thresh - whenever you are close to any lane souls will appear on warning enemy that Thresh is near


    That is the 'hilarious' weakness mentioned but not covered, I think.

  • #30 SilentWaltz

    I read somewhere that the souls do not appear to enemies unless they saw him first around the area.

    Can anyone confirm this? In laning you see it because you've seen him at the beginning of the laning phase I think. I could be wrong though.

  • #32 OuterRaven

    Quote from raikaria »

    Quote from Sanear »

    In my opinion there is one issue with jungle Thresh - whenever you are close to any lane souls will appear on warning enemy that Thresh is near


    That is the 'hilarious' weakness mentioned but not covered, I think.


    You won't see any souls if you have no vision of Thresh.

  • #23 EYEtriforc3

    Btw did you see Diamonds jungle Karma out of LCS yesterday ?

  • #22 EYEtriforc3

    Nice article again, out of these i can strongly vouch for jungle Blitz, Jungle Leona works but as stonewall says its a weaker version of Nautilus. id love some comments on the changed Shyvana

  • #20 skytoucher

    TheOddOne has a few videos up jungling Taric that inspired me to give him a shot. Now he's my main/favorite jungler.

  • #16 Sorator

    Have you tried jungling Lissandra? I haven't, as I don't own her, but I'd think that could be interesting... low on sustain, high on mana costs, but godly CC and mobility. I'd think she'd win most duels post-6 thanks to her ult, and with a bit of maneuvering she should be able to get the increased damage on her Q onto most of the jungle camps... thoughts?

  • #21 KesslerCOIL

    jungle lissandra is terrible.
    You need to be babysat by laner for your first 2 camps or you'll die to red(assuming you dont go from blue straight to red), she has amazing ganks but she is too squishy for camp clearing.

  • #28 raikaria

    Quote from KesslerCOIL »

    jungle lissandra is terrible.
    You need to be babysat by laner for your first 2 camps or you'll die to red(assuming you dont go from blue straight to red), she has amazing ganks but she is too squishy for camp clearing.


    Who dosen't go Blue-> Red these days after the EXP changes? If you don't you usually won't HAVE a red buff to take!

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