Tank Jungle Buffs: Who Will Rise?

 

Players are rather hyped about the jungle changes that are coming which Riot hopes will bring up the effectiveness of jungle tanks. The first changes added were Gromp's passive being increased with bonus health, Bami's Cinder and the Cinderhulk items being added and a few champions receiving some jungle friendly buffs. These changes felt rather misguided as they do not seem to tackle the early game problems junglers would have with their first and/or second clears especially concerning safety and sustain. I felt that Bami's Cinder would be Quill Coat 2.0 in that it may be a useful item but it comes too late for it to make a difference for the tank jungler. By the time you get Bami's Cinder, most tank junglers would not have an issue clearing anyways and have little to no sustain problems. Also, needing to invest a lot to even obtain the item in the first place is quite a detriment and hurts your build versatility. To its credit though, it is a powerful item once you do get it and will help any tank jungler that gets behind on farm and definitely will have an impact in team fights. In a sense, Riot has buffed the mid game and late game of plenty of junglers by given them damage and presence.

 

The second slew of changes comes in the form of just flat out nerfing the damage of the most dangerous jungle monsters. This is a flat out universal buff for all junglers and, while bruisers will also be strengthened from it, tank junglers, especially the slow ones, will gain the most benefit from it.

 

I welcome these changes wholeheartedly because it does seem they aren't just going to demolish bruiser champions but instead boost tanks a bit. I mean the early game is still a pain but leashes should help most junglers and the better tank junglers do not exactly have a problem with it. This is a very important thing to note and why it is smart for Riot not to just make a flood of changes all at once. There are some tank junglers that are already good and very powerful but are simply not meta and/or not popular at all. I have a feeling that these changes can run the potential risk of making some of these champion very powerful and even overpowered but sadly not be able to save the weaker champions. To reiterate, the already strong tanks will become better while the weak ones will likely continue to be weak. I also hope that people understand that tanks are trading efficiency for power. They are losing cooldown reduction and tenacity in exchange for the sunfire effect.

 

Thankfully there are more strong jungle tanks than there are weak ones so the potential to see a resurgence of some of them is rather high. With that in mind, I do think there is a few junglers who could potentially become a menace with these jungle changes. The funny thing about this is that a few of them are not necessarily the most purest of tanks but they will definitely see a power shift in the days to come.


Amumu

 

First off, Amumu is a jungler that is already very potent and is simply kept at bay because he is prone to being shut down or flat out countered by counter-picks such as Janna, Nami and Lee Sin. He's fast, can build AP to become a holy hand grenade and has the potential to initiate strong fights. For a tank, his damage is already on the upper end of the spectrum and having a sunfire cape that he can obtain early will bless him with even more power. Bami's Cinder will be adding AoE clearing power to Amumu's already incredible AoE clearing so we may even see Amumu players powerfarming at speeds not even many bruisers could hope to match. Of course, as already mentioned, he has weaknesses so he can be controlled so I am not too worried about becoming insanely overpowered.


Volibear

 

The next champion is one I already clamored as being powerful in this jungle but simply unpopular and lacking in itemization. Volibear is more of a bruiser than a straight out tank but the cinder line is just so awesome on him. He did receive a buff to his W but, after testing it, it does not really help his early game clearing up until he gets a few ranks. His biggest weaknesses is his slow clearing, that he is prone to being kited and he lacks strong initiation. That said, he is incredibly dangerous in early fights and ganks and has some of the best jungle match ups of any jungler. Even some of the jungle dueling gods like Udyr and Skarner can find themselves torn to pieces by Volibear. He already has good match-ups versus some of the popular junglers like Jarvan and Lee Sin. The problem has always been that he tends to get ignored as the game goes on as his damage tapers off and his utility is on the lower end for fatties like him. I figure the Cinderhulk will give him some much needed damage to become a threat in fights.

 

As I said though, he is not a weak jungler at the moment but is simply rough around the edges in a few things. He can snowball really hard early game and become a menace during mid game but if is ever behind or sometimes even if he's on par with everyone else, he tends to flounder and suck. The cinder line will help him out during those times where he is just even and I think that just fixing that will bring him to the forefront.


Sejuani

 

The other champion is a strong MAYBE because the champion still has easily exposed weaknesses but already has strong snowball potential and a lethal late game. Sejuani's early game is notoriously rough even compared to other tanks. The changes haven't done much to help this aside from having the chickens and Gromp nerfed. With that said, Sejuani's potential damage and late game is among the strongest of all tanks and, arguably, IS the strongest. She can have a rough mid-game due to her weak early game but can be stupidly strong if she gets any gold boosts through murder money. The cinder line adds more AoE damage to her already strong AoE but is amplified further thanks to the bonus health on the Cinderhulk. This, again, is a LATE game benefit that she gets but it has the potential to be crazy. I'm just divided on her because I am not too certain yet whether the cinder line will truly rectify a lot of problems some junglers have. To sum up Sejuani's potential boon is that she may be getting a crap ton of damage soon.


Trundle

 

I am also mixed about one of my favorite junglers making a return. Trundle excels in metas that are tank and bruiser heavy since he can just rob them of their stats and outmaneuver them with his wall. Trundle has always been a strong champion in the jungle but he has always been very meta sensitive. He has good speed, super sustain, high damage, tons of free stats and very unique utility. Of course though none of his abilities are of immediate impact so he is dependant on factors such as the team composition of the enemy team and his own team. The thing that makes his potential rise funny is that, while cinder line is not necessarily weak on him, he could potentially see play in the jungle or in top lane simply because he counters tanks and bruisers. Again this is highly dependent if tanks manage to become a thing but Trundle does have a disgusting advantage over many of them.

 

Trundle can rip the stats off a tank and simultaneously make himself unkillable while making the victim easy to shut down. His counter ganking and invasions are insane already and plenty of tanks are prone to counter ganks as well as invasions. Most tanks have maneuverability problems throughout the game and Trundle's wall can potentially shut them down in fights if properly placed and sometimes even nullify proper initiations. Again, Trundle's potential rise is completely dependent on the rise of the tanks so it is completely up in the air whether this one will work out or not. That said, I have no damn clue why Riot buffed Trundle. He had no issue whatsoever in the new jungle and they straight out mega buffed him. I hope that doesn't lead to some random nerfs down the line.


 

There are a few other junglers that benefit from the changes greatly too but many of them will see similar boosts in strength to the ones already explained while others probably will not see a massive powershift. For many the cinder line will likely just be an equal boost in power similar to the rest and nothing more.

 

On that note, I did not mention Nautilus because he is in the process of receiving some wild changes so I do not know where he will stand. I also stress that people must understand that the cinder line may or may not make champions immediately godlike. I have a strong feeling that there will be plenty of players who will finally try tank champions and realize how powerful they are and then falsely attribute the strength of the champion to the item. Players need to realize that many of these champions are strong on within their own rights but certain variables kept them from being used or viable in certain metas.

 

These are the champions I think will see a huge boon to their jungle but I do not claim to predict that any of these will become competitively viable. We will not know whether or not the item will bring tank junglers to the forefront until the changes are released and we have players excruciatingly test them out. I could be very wrong or I could be right but either way I am excited at the potential and hoping that jungle versatility sees a revitalization.

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