I have been getting plenty of requests to give my opinion on both the wriggle's changes and the Lee Sin changes. The Lee changes require an article of their own so that is likely to be released sometime this week but the lantern changes are something that can be addressed quite easily. As it stands, Feral Flare, the item it transforms into, has been removed from the Wriggle's Lantern for the time being and is still giving incomplete information anyways. I can only comment on the idea they are going for. Frankly put, the Wriggle's Lantern has been quite the joke this season as it is absolutely terrible in comparison to the spirit items and made even worse with the recent spirit buffs.
Top 5 Junglers to Start with: Part 1: Elise Top 5 Junglers to Start with: Part 2: Cho'Gath
I am finally well enough to be writing again and thus I am able to bring you the next part of the "Top 5 Junglers to Start With" series. The first one was Elise which is a champion that offers plenty of versatility and safety all while teaching a slew of mechanics in one go. The second one was Cho Gath who is more of a defensive type of champion who teaches players forms of teamwork, patience and how malleability. The next champions is Aatrox who is a jungler who represents one of the purest forms of an offensive mindset. He, like his lore would suggest, is heavily combat oriented and is a great choice for learning junglers who needs to add a carry type jungler to their library. It is unfortunate that he costs quite a bit of IP in order to unlock but he is well worth the investment.
I state once again that I value versatility and efficiency quite a bit and Aatrox is on par with other top versatile champions. He is very straightforward offensive champion but his builds are versatile in that they can be mix of offense and defense while still taking advantage of his combat abilities. His versatility goes further as, much like Lee Sin, he is a champion that can change the focus of his build while in game and suffer very little for doing so. If he intended to be pure tank but somehow found himself fed and farmed early, he can alter his build into an offensive build and take that gamble with less severe reprecussions than most junglers. This will be explained a bit later when his abilities are detailed. Aatrox, in a sense, allows a player to suffer a little less for making build mistakes which is likely to happen to people learning how to jungle. It is also always a plus to be able to have a jungler who can go pure tank and pure carry and fit multiple teams as a result.
I am delaying the next part of the learning junglers mini-series in order to post an article about a topic that has been cropping up in my social media networks. Wukong and Pantheon have seen a rise in play, even more than before, ever since the latest spirit line changes. They were being used off and on in pro-player matches and having sporadic use in solo queue games. Their powers were boosted thanks to the Spirit of the Elder Lizard damage buffs and the general changes to the jungle. However, the had sustain and clearing issues that some players, including pro-players, were uncomfortable with.
The latest sustain changes to the jungle items have made sustain basically trivial for most junglers in the game. Plenty of junglers whose only "true" weakness was sustain have become much stronger picks as a result. Both Wukong and Pantheon's sustain issues have been essentially made negligible and thus they can now be justified as sure-fire (instead of potentially risky) picks. However, as awesome as it is that these champions see competitive play and join the jungler pool, they present quite a problem towards jungler champion balance and perhaps solo queue health. Please note that I am not calling for the champions to be nerfed. The last paragraphs do contain potential solutions and/or balance points that will have to be made.
The first part of this series was well received though with the odd criticism that the champion suggested is "too hard" for less experienced junglers. To be perfectly blunt, most champions in this game have a learning curve and a definitely better if you are skilled but it is still relatively easy to understand their core mechanics. Elise is one of those champions that has a low floor and a high ceiling. That means she can be played at a relatively less experienced level and function well while mastering her can take time but prove rewarding. With that said, the next champion on the list is a jungler who has mostly been forgotten throughout the metas.
Cho'Gath is a jungler who rarely meshes with what is needed in the competitive or higher levels of ranked play but handles the jungle easily and can contribute greatly to a team.
Cho'Gath is very powerful in the jungle as he contains both powerful clearing and built in sustain, mana sustain to boot, while being a tanky champion that is equipped with multiple means of mass crowd control. He is also a magic damage champion with the potential of taking a deadly ability power build if things go his way early or he somehow needs to build that way. Despite being a godlike jungler, he never caught on because of his deemed "boring" gameplay as well as the fact that he's drifted into a more situational pick. He is a strong choice versus certain compositions such as being especially deadly versus combo champions.
I have written about this before in other articles and I have mentioned this often in video. Still the question arises frequently, and by that I mean this is perhaps the most often asked question in youtube comments, personal messages and in my stream chat. Players who want to get into jungling ask me which champions I would recommend they start jungling with. Often times my suggestions are met with skepticism because I do not suggest the current flavor-of-the-month champions or whoever is being used in the LCS. Truth be told that most of the champions currently being used are pretty terrible junglers to throw onto a beginner. It is not to say they are hard to learn but what they teach is more limited compared to the ones I will suggest over the course of this week.
I strongly value versatility and efficiency. Any jungler who allows you to mold your playstyle within the game in order to fit how the game is evolving is a great jungler for players new to the jungle. My idea behind "learning junglers" is that they teach a player a multitude at things all at once but at reasonably manageable levels. They encourage players to pay attention, be brave but careful and ultimately make the user feel rewarded. These champions teach the person enough things that can be carried over into learning more specialized junglers, more complex junglers or the ability to easily pick up any flavor-of-the-month picks they become "obligated" to pick.
The following champions suggested, throughout the course of this mini-series, all boast multiple tools to cover many facets of the game. The most common factor they all share is crowd control though in variations of that and widely different in usage. They also hold a wide array of different build options as itemization is one of the most important things a player needs to learn. To add to all this, they all have both defensive and offensive styles of play that can be exploited in game.