Week 5 – Jungling is hard

Being an ADC main I don’t have a large brain and only think about farming and kills 😛 With all the changes to the jungle lately I have tried my hand at it last week. What have I learnt… it is damn hard.

Jungling is a very unique role with a very unique range of skills and game sense required. You need good mechanics, great game knowledge and impeccable game reading and strategy. A good jungler will know when to gank, how to gank, when to farm, when to invade and what lane he should stay away from, all whilst not falling too farm behind in levels and granting advantages to his lanes. That is a lot of responsibility to rest on one persons shoulders yet he (or she it is 2018 after all) is usually the first one we all blame when we lose lane.

Why do we blame our jungler?

Because junglers play such an integral role in the game their impact, especially in the early to mid game in incredible. A good jungler can single-handedly win the early game and give his team enough of an advantage to win the game. On the flipside they can also be the reason for lanes losing. Now don’t for one second think that your jungler is the only one at fault here. If you suck in lane, and your opponent beats you and gains a 40cs lead at 25 minutes with no ganks given by either jungler that’s all on you buddy and is not your junglers fault.

Your jungler has a responsibility to control their jungle, gank when they deem necessary and invade if possible, all in the pursuit of attaining an early game advantage over the other team. Your jungler DOES NOT have to gank, I repeat they are not forced to gank if they don’t feel it is right and them not ganking is no excuse for you to get your flame on.

Some junglers are better at ganking than others, some champs are better at it than others and that’s the fact of the game. A master yi has little ganking potential compared to a zac simply due to the differences in their kit. They serve different purposes and lend themselves to different playstyles and as laners it is our job to respect that. This also applies to the player as well, some players prefer to farm more, gain cs leads over their opposing jungle then fight and gank in teamfights as they feel the item advantage will aid them in swinging the fight. Others prefer to gank heaps early and ignore farming the jungle as they feel this is a good way to win. It is all personal preference and we all play the game differently, the same as when some laners prefer to focus on cs leads whilst others prefer solo-kills.

What have I learnt from the jungle changes?

After jungling for roughly a week I have found that I am terrible at it and due to my ADC mindset I tend to prefer farming my jungle then ganking later after level 6. Now this isn’t always the case, I do gank early on zac and similar easy ganking junglers but I have found I tend to focus more on farming than ganking. Is this wrong? Well no because we each play the game our own way. Did it work? Mostly. This seems like a poor answer, but the answer lies in the change to jungle items.

With the removal of trackers knife, that leaves only stalkers blade and skirmishers sabre (red and blue smite) for jungle items and both serve a very different purpose. Stalkers blade is direct true damage in a fight and a slow (quite useful early game and in ganks), whilst skirmishers sabre is a true damage burn that increases based on your attacks to that champion (more useful in teamfights, splitpushing or one on one fights in the mid to late game). As such we are seeing champs like rengar enjoy time in the limelight with red smite and ganking junglers with blue.

Your jungler has a very important role to play and with Riot changing the jungle just about every season, they are constantly being forced to re-learn their role. You don’t see riot completely changing the way mid lane works (top lane will see a change soon though due to its stagnancy and how volatile it is) so they no longer can farm and must roam. Yet each season Riot drastically changes the jungle forcing junglers to learn from the ground up.

Jungling is hard and everyone needs to respect the amount of effort that a jungler must put in each game simply to be relevant. I’m not saying the other roles aren’t as influential all I’m getting at is that junglers tend to be the first person blamed when really they may not have anything to do with the matter. Take some time to play jungle for a solid week or two in normal and ranked if you like and you will see how much pressure you actually have on your shoulders as 2 of your lanes are screaming for ganks, one is feeding, all whilst the opposing jungle is stealing all your camps.

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships” – Michael Jordan

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