Right Jungle Route and tactics
Standard route for junglers is ‘Blue’ then ‘Red’. You have to farm a small camp (wolves) till your smite is on cooldown. You have to be there at ‘Red’ when your smite is up and ready. You can have your own buffs or enemy buffs. In solo queue, I always recommend you to stick to your own buffs. If you think, you can easily 1 v 1 enemy jungler, try to get him at his 2nd buff. You need to have a clear idea of enemy jungler’s route to do so. Knowing enemy junglers route will help you in identifying the ealy ganks too.
When to alter your route
Going for the ‘Blue’ is not the only option. You can start with ‘Red’ in some situations. I usually do it in following situations.
- When we are playing a champs not highly based on cooldowns but on basic attacks (When I play twitch, I usually start with ‘Red’)
- When enemy jungler is doing red and I am planning to 1v1 him at his blue
- 2v1 top and need to help top as early as possible (soon after I complete both buffs)
Other than that following points should be noted when selecting the perfect jungling route
- Champion you are playing
- Who is the enemy jungler
- Which lanes are vulnerable to an early gank and will need help.
Timing Creeps and other natural camps
With the patch 4.12, jungle timers are available within the game. Until now most of us where using 3rd party plugin for the same reason. Jungle timers currently track the next spawn time of: enemy / team Elder Lizard, enemy / team Ancient Golem, Dragon, and Baron. Timers will only start tracking a camp if you or a teammate directly witnesses a monster camp being fully cleared (similar to minimap icons). If you manage to snipe Baron or Dragon without vision, the timer will set itself off. You can access jungle timers by pressing TAB (default key) through the scoreboard.
Counter-jungling is the act of invading the enemy jungle to steal creeps. By doing this, you reduce the enemy jungler’s gold, make him under-leveled, and make his ganks weak. Safe counter-jungling can be done at any time when the enemy jungler is spotted on the opposite side of the map to you. If their jungler is ganking bottom, you invade his top jungle. If he is ganking top, you invade his bottom jungle. If you are both on the same side, you want to counter-gank.
Leave the cheapest minion of the camp alive so the remaining creeps only respawn when the last minion dies. Maximize your gold while minimizing enemy gold.
Jungling is a role that gives you lot of map presence and ability to carry the game even when your teammates are not doing well. You need to master the route and speedup the jungling process. If you do this right you will easily note that you can level up even faster than the mid. With the current setup (with the additional natural camp) ganking can affect your level badly. Therefor always, choose the right ganks only. Believe me, this is one of the hardest jobs in the game, especially in the solo queue where others do not have a clue about your plans. Always communicate, where you are heading, to the other teammates.