Jungler Pathing in LoL – Why planning your route is so important
If you want to be successful as League of Legends Jungler you need to work on your Pathing first and foremost. Here is our guide to get you started!
Junglers in Ranked League of Legends have a massive influence on the entire map and the flow of the game. In order to help your team achieve victory you need to optimize your Pathing.
If you are unfamiliar with that concept it means the different routes through which you can clear out the jungle on Summoner’s Rift. While it sounds easy, it is much more complicated than just walking from one creep to the other: Good Pathing also considers which of your lanes are stronger, the respawn timers, the status of the objectives on the map and the position of the opposing Jungler.
Recognize your win conditions: Which side is stronger?
Even before the match starts you should have a rough outline for your Pathing in-game. Typically you go for a complete clear of your Jungle first. Usually players start on the Red or Blue Buff for that.
Your starting point is important and you should consider your lanes before deciding. If you have a strong top laner like Renekton you can start from the bottom and work your way up to set up a timing to help him on the lane. But if your lineup has a tank like Ornn it might be more prudent to start top and move towards your bot lane to be active there after your first clear.
So make sure to know beforehand which sidelane is stronger in order to properly exploit that strength. The other side will be your team’s weakside. Ideally it will be a laner that can farm safely without assistance from the Jungle.
Keep an eye on Camps and Objectives
Regular ganks on your strong side are important, but you need to also keep up in farm yourself. So make sure to know your Jungle Camps and clear them repeatedly as they respawn. Plan your route in a way that you not only effectively traverse your camps but also end up where you want to gank next.
The other key responsibility of a Jungler are the objectives. These range from the early game Scuttle Crabs that give gold, experience and vision in the river to the drakes and the Rift Herald. If you manage to steal both Scuttle Crabs early you can already take an advantage over the opposing Jungler, so make sure to keep objectives in mind for your route.
Once the game progresses past the early stages the objectives become even more important. The first drake will spawn after five minutes, while the Rift Herald arrives after eight minutes. Early drakes are an investment into the later stages of the match as they bring you closer to the Dragonsoul. The first Herald can also be used to earn a gold advantage if you manage to knock down turret platings or even the turret itself.
As the objectives are spread throughout the map you need to remember your weak and strong side setup at the beginning and act accordingly. Strong bot lanes enable you to take early drakes, which could also contest the herald if they swap with top afterwards. But in reverse a strong top lane enables you to focus on the Herald if you are willing to not contest the drakes.
Adaption is key – What is your opponent doing?
Farming, ganking, strong sides and objectives – all these aspects of Jungling are complicated to keep together, but another important factor is your opposing Jungler, who is also juggling those responsibilities.
You can place wards in the enemy jungle and keep an eye on the minimap to track your opponent’s progress and anticipate his plans. Which camps is he currently clearing? Where is he headed next? Can you clear faster than him? Can you contest him one-on-one?
A good Jungler constantly adjusts his Pathing in reaction to his opponent’s actions. You can steal his camps, counter his ganks or play opposite of him to secure your own ganks or objectives. You should always be able to have a response ready to movement by the opposing Jungler. If he ganks your bot lane successfully, you ideally are already on the top side of the map stealing camps or even securing the Herald.
If you are ahead on mid and one of the sidelanes you can also aggressively contest the enemy Jungler. As long as your allies can join you faster or if you are stronger in the one-on-one you can push your opponent out and restrict his ressources. So make sure to keep that aspect in mind too.
Jungler is one of the most demanding roles in League of Legends. You need to observe the map, secure objectives and also help your lanes, while keeping up in farm yourself. Subsequently you need a lot of practice and knowledge to perform well. But it is all worth it as strong Junglers can take over a game to climb the ranks quickly.
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