Jungle Tier List - Varus Era

Remember that this is largely opinion and it is not based on the best jungle PICKS since that is highly objective and subject to opinion. This list is taking into account the potential of characters to jungle on their own regards to make measuring their capabilities easier.

God Tier – Lee Sin, Udyr, Skarner, Dr. Mundo, Nocturne, Trundle
Tier 1 – Jarvan IV, Maokai, Nautilus, Alistar, Riven, Shaco, Shyvana, Cho'Gath, Malphite, Amumu, Olaf
Tier 2 – Hecarim, Gangplank, Volibear, Rammus, Master Yi, Warwick, Shen, Sejuani, Jax, Xin Zhao, Wukong, Nunu, Tryndamere, Renekton, Fiddlesticks
Tier 3 – Gragas, Rumble, Twitch, Fiora, Singed, Kayle, Pantheon, Twisted Fate, Janna, Kennen, Blitzcrank, Taric, Sion, Ezreal, Soraka, Karthus, Cassiopeia, Lulu, Ziggs, Fizz, Leona, Caitlyn, Corki, Heimerdinger, Brand, Eve
Tier 4 – Veigar, Yorick, Poppy, Karma, Nasus, Irelia, Malzahar, Sivir, Galio, Akali
Tier 5 – Viktor, Mordekaiser, Graves, Varus, Orianna, Garen, Ahri, Talon, Annie, Urgot, Kog'Maw, Ashe, Sona

 

For tiers G to 2 - the placement is more important towards indicating "who is better" but less so for tier 3. In tier 3, just think of it in brackets as the champions here are more flawed and harder to argue. You can say that the higher tier 3 champions are better than the lower tier 3 though. For Tier 4 and 5 it's pretty much wishy washy.

Some people seem to be getting confused with the ranking. It should be obvious by seeing who gets the S scores that S means higher than A.

S scoring is just some video game thing used to say things like “Oh man you are amazing” etc etc. It’s most commonly used in arcade type games.

The things that changed this time around

Dr. Mundo – Yeah he went up higher. He’s frankly overpowered at the moment. Yes his ganking is not the best (pretty average) but it’s the overall package and efficiency. He has too much buff control (his cleaver is really strong) and he has one of the most broken transitions for any jungler in the game which may make him rise even more. Few junglers can build completely 100% durability and still smash your face in. Dr. Mundo can build nothing but durability (and cheap durability too) and still dish out insane amount of damage. This is why he’s one of the godliest junglers atm. He’s very cost effective, fast, flexible and he’s a tank.

Nautilus – Think of him as a slower and harder to use Maokai. They may switch places soon but I’m going to be fair with Maokai since I haven’t really used Maokai much as of late so I can’t just jump the gun here. Maokai is effective faster than Nautilus is and can be more efficient but Nautilus becomes a demon as the game goes on. I may have said before that Maokai was better than Nautilus but I’ve been practicing Nautilus more and he’s just a monster. As for why I rank him higher than characters like Shyvana? Well Nautilus can actually gank (incredibly well) and transitions easier. Some characters might have speed over him but he transitions so damn easily that he doesn’t’ care. He becomes really threatening very quickly into the game and becomes far more useful and even more powerful than some junglers that would beat him at the start. His starting jungle is pretty average but he quickly transitions into one of the strongest in the game.

Shen – He was bumped up to reflect his similarities with Warwick. Other junglers like Jax can gank better and dish out more damage sure but Shen’s ultimate gives him a lot of power and makes him stand out more as a jungler.

Hecarim – This one is curious indeed. He is average but slightly better than average after more testing. He’s basically Malphite with sustain over burst and no debuffs. His ganking is akin to that of Rammus and is very strong especially once level 6 is obtained. I can just think of him as another Malphite. They’re both flexible with builds and paths and are pretty okay with mana usage. They both don’t lose much health when jungling. Hecarim has the better ganking pre 6 (at 6 it’s pretty much the same) but Malphite has the better transition and damage.

Volibear – I figured out he was underrated and I was wrong on many levels about his potential. So where to start? I will not deny that he probably shouldn’t be picked because there are characters like Nautilus who end up destroying everyone better than he could but that doesn’t mean Volibear isn’t a strong jungler. Holy hell is his ganking brutal. It will force their escapes and probably still lead to them getting a huge beating and probably dead. His Q is amazing especially when you build cooldown reduction on him AND max it out second (lowering the cooldown). His mini Garen ult also provides an incredible amount of early damage to finish off gank targets during a chase. Better yet is his sustain and flexibility. While he may be slower than other junglers you can take whatever runes you want and make him faster or you can build him super tank to up his sustain and efficiency. He can jungle with any item, take any path and is ungodly when amplified with buffs. His passive is also incredibly effective. You won’t always notice it but it will keep you jungling indefinitely.

Varus – I don’t need to say anything.

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Comments

  • #39 sbatchel

    Your spreadsheet has left out Nidalee!

  • #38 KungfuDojo

    Fizz is placed way to low.

  • #37 Dracksed

    I must say, you can't put veigar berfore nasus in the jungle. i think nasus is a underated jungler and player have to re-test him. he is one of the few jungle that can solo dragon at 6 (7:00 before blue pawn) whit only a regrowth pendant. he is not the fastest, not the greatest ganker, BUT his kit make him stable and very strong in team fight ACCORDING TO THE ACTUAL TANKY META.

    Of course you can't stack his Q super fast like in lane, but anyway in lane you get counter picked most of the time. for clearing he got aoe dmg, and a strong; big camp clearing capability. his slow is one of the best anti-carry cc for now and since anyway you only put 1 lvl in Q his E will reduce resist by significant amount.

    i put him in the same categorie has amumu nautilus and jax : you pick those champ to win in team fight and control objective.

    i run double gp/10, tri force rush, omen/F.heart, FoN and then what ever you want. he dont need any item to be at his max potential since he have a life steal passive, an anti-carry cc, a anti-tank AoE and an HP booster + max hp killer ult.

  • #36 Kantuti

    Also, yeah, i gotta agree with everything said about Volibear. In fact i'd say he's definitely tier 1. He doesn't excel at one thing

     Not the best speed and buff control, but good sustain, pathing, a lot of flexibility with starting items, and god, his ganking is just balls insane. Arguably one of best champions for diving thanks to both his passive and Q. If you catch up to someone its pretty much a death sentence, or at the very least they burn a summoner spell. 

     Good in team fights as well, he is sort of like Mundo , very disruptive, too tanky to be focused, too much damage to be ignored.

     

    I have yet to see how he performs in very long games though. 

  • #35 Kantuti

    Trundle he falls off past 30 minute mark. Badly. I cant tell you how many games with Trundle i went 4-0, 5-0, 6-0, only to have my team rolled over if we fail to push for an early win.  Guys like Udyr, Mundo, Lee Sin, Olaf with an early lead like this will just spiral out of control and win you game singlehandedly. 

    Also as far as initiation goes, he is kind of meh, "Swap dick" is excellent tool in its own niche , particularily if there are a lot of fights breaking out in jungle, but most of the time its not something you use to start fights, typically its best once fighting has already begun. You should only really use him if top will be played by powerful initiatior like Jarvan or Warwick.

    Also, yeah. I don't know how everyone else builds Master Yi , but i do it Irelia-style.  Trinity Force is typically my only offensive item. After that its metagolem all the way, Warmogs, Atmas, Guardian Angel. Then i just go and chop down every turret while the other team hopelessly tries to cut me down fast enough. 

    Only time i ever build glass-cannon Yi is when the other team doesn't have a lot of ways disable Meditate channel: then you can typical trick them into wasting a lot of their abilities and tank it with Meditate armor/mr bonus. But as new champions come out thats a rare occurance. 

  • #33 Aleksdgreat

    How to build Nocturne

  • #34 Aleksdgreat

    Stonewall if u could add core builds to champs. Plus a proper redirection on links

  • #32 Darkbodbod

    Hey Stonewall, could you explain something quickly, and it might be a little bit of a noob question.

    I love Trundle and have been using him to try and drag myself out of elo hell and I think that he's really strong. However, you said that he doesn't really fit into the meta. Can you explain a little what you mean by this? Sorry for not really understanding, but if they current meta seems to be tanky-dps junglers, doesn't Trundle fit that really well or am I missing something here?

  • #27 NicknameMy

    Hmm, a little thought about Yi. As Mundo, he gets very much free damage, so why not build him tanky, at least early. This way you can abuse your damage without dying.

    You could also skip wriggle's, since Yi deals enough damage without it to minions. Also, with Mallet, he can be the god of kiting.

    Last edited by NicknameMy: 5/15/2012 2:55:10 PM
  • #28 StonewallRoG

    Yi can't kite for shit...what are you talking about?

  • #30 Interceptor402

    Maybe he listened to your video segment about Kayle, heard "kite her ass around", and assumed that "kite" meant something different to you than it does to 99% of the gaming populace.

  • #31 NicknameMy

    Well, kite is maybe the wrong word, just nobody can escape him with mallet(except with flash or hard cc). And if he is tanky, he can still do good damage, so he is a good tanky dps.

    Why play him over other tanky dps?

    • still insanse jungle speed
    • still great towerpushing
    • gap closer which can put you behind the enemy line with ease
    • meditate
    • there can be only one highlander
    Last edited by NicknameMy: 5/16/2012 5:43:14 PM
  • #25 RoyalDevilZ

    Hi Stonewall, Im still a new player to LoL and would like to thank you for your guides, work and effort you put into these jungle lists and the advice you give. As a new player iknow its helped me a lot and im sure its helped others too really appreciate it , I was just wondering if you ever do live streams? and if not would you consider doing them? im pretty sure you would get a hell of a lot of views.

    Also i was just wondering if you or anyone else here on the forums could reccomend a jungler or two whos good at carrying when your in solo q and more often that not end up with retarded lanes, so far had the best results with Nocturne and Udyr.

    Anyway thanks for your help and keep up the good work

  • #24 ivan3345

    hey stonewall! love the lists! question, who do you think are the strongest ACTUAL SOLO QUEUE junglers? assuming your whole team is retarded and you have to carry that shit like its hot, what champs would you use?

  • #29 Interceptor402

    If your whole team is retarded, that implies that the other team is also retarded, so I'd use Dr. Mundo in the jungle. They won't be smart enough to take advantage of his weaknesses in the mid-to-late game, and the other jungler won't be able to stop you in the early game. He's only 1350 IP and pretty faceroll style-wise, so it's a good pickup even if you don't know how to play him.

  • #23 Thisdude1

    This is going to sound kind of silly, but I think talon should be a little bit higher not teir 1 or 2 but possibly teir 3 his ganks are very strong with a long range blink silence and high burst damage. Also you can start with boots and three health pot with the right rune and mastery setup then go 2 - 3 dorans blades.

  • #15 Interceptor402

    I listened to your video segment on Kayle. After hearing your argument, I would say that the reason that people keep bringing her up constantly, is that there are some issues with the logic that you give. I don't know if this is because maybe your build needs to be tweaked, or you need to make an adjustment to your style with her, but I'll post a point-by-point rebuttal here for you.

    "Kayle is unsustained" - this is not borne out by the facts. Kayle's camp-clearing ability is mana-neutral, because she only uses Righteous Fury (which costs 45 mana for 10 seconds at all ranks) to clear. With 30 mana restored from small camps, and 7-11 natural MP/5 from levels 1-9, she actually recovers mana over time while clearing. This leaves her mana pool to be used on ganks, and sustain. Her W, which is taken at level 2 or 3, heals at a 1:1 ratio. With blue buff, this is academic, she can spam all of her skills and stay healthy forever. Without, she can get by with started lifesteal and sparing use of W.

    Medium term, Kayle sustains not through W, but through lifesteal. 15+ down the Offense tree and Vampirism quints give her 9% base lifesteal at level 1, and double Doran's Blades puts her at 15%. It's not a coincidence that this mirrors her top lane build: it's good in the jungle for the same reason it's good up there: extremely gold efficient power. Kayle is best built AS/AD whether it be solo top, or support DPS roles.

    There are several champions placed abover her with worse sustain, or no sustain whatsoever. You can't even call her sustain bad: it's just not "good".

    "She's path-dependent": - Kayle doesn't rely on jungle buffs, she's a fast clearer, and she can start easily on any camp. This is the hallmark of someone who has options, not someone who is limited. Stealing Kayle's blue while she's on red, has the same net effect as Kayle giving up blue to her mid lane. Kayle doesn't need blue to jungle (see above point), so it's just annoying more than anything else. It does not have the disruptive effect that stealing from Fiddlesticks has, or popping saplings/boxes, for example. Kayle will just go somewhere else. Or if it's a worthwhile risk, steal something from you. Never mind that countermeasures against blue theft via team/warding are pretty effective to begin with.

    "Her ganking ... she has no control" - Her Q is better than you give it credit for, and you ignored the impact of her W (which matters on level 3+ ganks). Kayle's Q is a targetted nuke with 650 range. It has a 35% slow. Against most targets, this reduces their movement speed over the duration to where they lose 400-500+ units of potential distance: more than a Flash's worth. And in less than 4 seconds, Q is available again. Combined with speed on W (either for yourself or for your lane partner to catch up), it is not difficult to land this on people.

    If Kayle has no control with a 650 range 35% slow and an 18% MS buff, what does that say about everyone else? Nocturne's MS buff is self-only and positional, the fear is amazing but has a range of 425 and must be leashed. Volibear's MS boost is obscene, and he also has a good slow, but his best work requires that he get into point blank range. These two champions are exceptional at ganking, so for Kayle's gank game to be similar but with equal/better range, and yet considered vanilla or ordinary, makes no sense at all. If enemy laners won't be caught by Q, what hope do they have of being caught by something with shorter range?

    This, of course, sets aside her second-largest advantage, which is her damage output. Kayle has more DPS at level two than just about anyone that you can name. How many people can hit for ~87 a shot at 525 range at this level? Who can do that even in melee range? The other thing about Kayle's ganks, is that she doesn't need to stick to targets like melees, she can shadow them as they attempt to run, staying in front or to the side by manually moving after each attack animation. In other words, towards where they are RUNNING, not where they are standing, an advantage that only ranged attackers have. This is very, very powerful in the side lanes.

    Finally, her ult. Not available until level 6, obviously, but this combines with her high damage output to make for some serious tower dives. She can ult herself or the lane mate, and it will eat burst and a couple tower hits if properly timed. She's also immune to the "Benny Hill" strategy where people try to kite you around the tower, because she has 525 range and just ignores your antics. Finally, the range on this skill is so long (1200 units) that you can sit in a bush and bait someone to attack your wounded ally, turning the tables pretty effectively. You give Alistar credit for his tower dive prowess, so I have no idea why you withhold the same from Kayle.

    So, given all this, I don't see how she has no control in ganks. There is no evidence for it at all. If Kayle's ganks are mediocre, by that standard so are pretty much everyone's, unless your name is Nautilus or something.

    "She's an expensive-ass jungler" - Kayle's gear is not expensive. She is viable as a 0 CS support, and that ought to tell you something about the power of her base parameters. Her ult is amazing, and requires no farm whatsoever to be good. Not even CDR (although it is nice), because the CD on her ult is only 90/75/60 to begin with. Her Q requires no farm to be a strong slow. Her W requires no farm to be a decent heal and a strong MS boost. Her passive and her E's damage add only require you to buy AS to make them useful, which happens to be a very cheap stat to itemize for. Kayle is very much a champion that does well on a jungler's salary. She is not a Jax or Master Yi that needs to get a bunch of farm to be able to do something in a fight.

    Incidentally she's also one of the best people to buy Zeke's, since it's not only useful for the carry, but it might be good for a top lane bruiser, and Kayle (unlike a support) actually uses all of the stats on it.

    "They can kite her ass around" - This doesn't really make any sense. Kayle kites people, people don't kite Kayle. She has an MS steroid, a slow, and a ranged attack (where most junglers have to attack in melee range). If you jump in and out of bushes in Kayle's jungle trying to waste time, that's just an invitation for her allied mid and top/bottom lanes to collapse on you and turn it into a 2v1 or 3v1. I don't see how this is an advantageous tactical decision by the invading jungler, unless Kayle's lanes are all weak and you have an epic escape mechanism.

    Admittedly, Kayle has a lot of trouble dealing with someone like Lee Sin (because of Cripple... AS reductions are problematic), but she stands up well against most junglers. She doesn't HAVE to attack at range -- as I've said in another post, Kayle suffers from a perception of being "squishy" that's unjustified. In reality, her starting Armor/health is right on par with most bruisers, and in fact is pretty much identical to Dr. Mundo's. Kayle can attack at range, but her base defenses are MUCH better than normal ranged DPS champions -- she's not 430/15.5 Ezreal. Kayle has no problem fighting someone in melee if they force the issue by bush-juking.

    "Invading the last thing she wants to do with crappy mobility, W not going to help" - Come on now. Kayle's 310 base MS is nothing to write home about, but it's not "crappy mobility". Her W at rank one puts half a Flash's distance between her and a pursuer, never mind that she can Q to disengage even more quickly. The fact that she can also clear a camp pretty quickly with E's AOE (which, incidentally, actually scales with her build) means there should be no problem. I'm not calling her an epic invader, but certainly she can hold her own.

     

    I'd rather lane with Kayle too, but the fact of the matter is, that doesn't have anything to do with her jungle, really. Other than the fact that if she gets counter-picked top, she can easily slide into the jungle without even changing her runes/masteries or core item build.

    tl;dr - Kayle has decent sustain, doesn't rely on blue, is not path-constrained, has good ganking power, doesn't have an expensive item build, can't be kited by melee junglers in duels, and can invade if she needs to. To me this is tier 2, nobody there is significantly better than her.

  • #26 Isysar

    I don't play Kalye, but this seems like a well thought out post. I'll have to give her a try sometimes. Thanks

  • #14 Velhelm

    Stonewall, I believe your theoretical evaluation of Cho'gath is a bit off. Also I believe your list could benefit if his placement was significantly lowered.

    First off I believe you have slightly under-estimated the value that Cho'gath receives from amplifiers. Red not only directly increases the damage that Cho'gath deals but when ganking it also allows him to land Rupture more easily when he is able to get on top of someone. Furthermore exhaust on Cho'gath is immensely powerful as it not only disables an enemy while ganking or in team fights but it almost guarantees a Rupture on them. Finally, while blue is not overly useful to Cho'gath it does allow him to spam Rupture and Feral Scream which does increase his jungle speed.

    Moving beyond amplifiers, I believe you have also low balled his ganking potential as well. When Cho'gath lands Rupture it grants a pop-up followed by a 3 second, 60% slow - this is amazing! Furthermore Cho'gath has respectable damage when gets on top of someone and his ultimate is a true damage nuke.

    Simply, if Cho'gath lands his Rupture his ganking is top tier, but how often can he land it? Early in the game before enemies have fully upgraded boots (or any boots at all) it is not very hard to land Rupture on enemies; this translates to Cho'gath having fairly strong ganks when most characters ganks are fairly weak. As the game progresses and players upgrade boots you cannot land Rupture unless you get a hard read or a player is running against a wall/around a corner. This is where most people come to view Cho'gath's ganks as hit or miss, however there are ways to eliminate this weakness. If an ally in lane can preface your Rupture with a slow, stun, or immobilize this weakness is solved. Also, as mentioned earlier amplifiers such as red or exhaust help greatly. It should be noted that even at its first rank, his silence gives ample time to land Rupture without giving the enemy a chance to use escape abilities.

    I am not sure why but in some jungle stat sheets you have Cho'gath's invasion listed as C/A? Cho'gath has an amazing potential for invasion. His AoE damage is high and he can take small creep camps down quickly. When he hits level 6 he instantly becomes a monster at larger creep camps being able to take them down in a few seconds with his ultimate and smite. On top of this Cho'gath has a very strong escape ability in Rupture allowing him to just run away if he is caught in the jungle. Earlier it was noted that rupture can be difficult to land on a fleeing opponent in the open however it is so damn easy to land when you know where the enemy is moving towards in cramped spaces like the jungle. I think his invasion ranking is the biggest discrepancy between what you have listed and his actual ability.

    I do not know to what extent, if any, that this matters but last patch they buffed Cho'gath's base move speed. I know in the past one of your criticisms of Cho'gath was how slow he moved and you have often suggested getting move speed quints (somewhat weird when others had slower move speed: Alistar, Maokai, Amumu, Nautilus come to mind.) This change may alter some of his jungling stats slightly but that would have to be tested.

    Despite looking good on paper, I believe Cho'gath should be lowered. Literally no one uses Cho'gath as a jungle - hell, I do not even see that many people use Cho'gath top... or at all. No one in the community likes to use Cho'gath jungle because it is annoying to learn to gank with him. There is a decent learning curve to landing Rupture and even then you have to rely on your teammates to work with you in ganks; this leads to failed ganks where you waste time not farming while looking stupid/bad. No one wants to rely on bad pugs or take time to learn him when you can just pick Nocturne/Skarner and hit R to win or Shyvana/Mundo and just never gank.

    Being that no one plays Cho'gath and when people try to pick him up and cannot gank he seems bad. Consequently The general consensus in the community is that Cho'gath is not that great of a jungler. Look a couple posts down where someone has listed their opinions on a lot of the higher tier junglers and some alternatives - Master Yi, and Xin Zhao are mentioned but Cho'gath is not!

    You put a lot of time in to providing this tier list and videos and you do an amazing job. It is good for your tier list and credibility if your tier list takes into account the beliefs of the community and reflects it. I believe you should throw Cho'gath somewhere into tier 2 or 3 because it will make your tier list look better and more accurate to what most perceive the list should be.

  • #19 StonewallRoG

    I do not agree that my tier list should take the opinions of the community so randomly. It's the same damn community who said Maokai, Shyvana, Trundle, Udyr, Lee Sin, Riven, Olaf and Amumu were/are terrible.

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