JUNGLE TIER LIST
Patch v188.8.131.52 (S3, Nami Patch)
Tier GOD: Olaf, Darius
Tier 01: Dr. Mundo, Shyvana, Nocturne, Skarner, Diana, Amumu, Jax, Lee Sin, Cho’Gath, Maokai
Tier 02: Sejuani, Nautilus, Malphite, Gangplank, Kayle, Shaco, Master Yi, Trundle, Udyr
Tier 03: Warwick, Fiddlesticks, Alistar, Xin Zhao, Nunu, Tryndamere, Jarvan IV, Hecarim
Tier 04: Rammus, Wukong, Elise, Kha’Zix, Jayce, Poppy
Tier FRINGE: Evelynn, Irelia, Garen, Fiora, Riven, Rengar, Shen, Zed
I have reworked the tiers for simpler legibility.
JUNGLE MECHANICAL CHANGES
With the rework to the jungle, let’s go over some of the changes affecting junglers.
Initial jungle difficulty change: reduces the amount of viable junglers, and makes leashes much more vital.
Camp rewards adjusted: single target junglers will have a role again.
Camp scaling adjust: while this sounds like a wonder for Farming types, I have not seen the difference.
Leashing changed: a different type of leash will now play a pivotal role in the health of the jungler, and Dragon leashing is much easier.
Banking system removed: counter-jungling plays a slightly more important role.
Wraith repositiong: junglers will have a easier time hitting the entire camp.
Big Golem and Golem gain move speed: bottom lane can still do this camp to gain exp advantage, at the cost of a more significant health loss.
Increased base and per level HP for Dragon and Baron Nashor: Global objectives’ difficulties have increased.
Ramp leading to river widened: there are now less choke points and evasive maneuvers for Dragon and Baron Nashor fights.
With the advent of these changes comes some new tools for jungling. Boots and 3 Health Potions will no longer remain the default opening purchase for junglers. I highly recommend starting Hunter’s Machete on most junglers. Some jungler’s may escape with different starts. For example, Warwick, Fiddlesticks, and Nunu may start Boots, Health Potion, and a Vision Ward. Udyr (Tiger Stance) may actually start with Doran’s Blade due to his innate attack speed increase. Furthermore, Hunter’s Machete has 4 major upgrade paths which include Wriggle’s Lantern, Spirit Of The Elder Lizard, Spirit Of The Ancient Golem, and Spirit Of The Spectral Wraith. Jungler’s like Sejuani have a much stronger jungle clear after level 4. With the removal of Heart Of Gold and the nerfing of Philosopher’s Stone, gold-per-10-based jungling will decline heavily except for scenarios where the jungler may desire Shurelia’s Reverie such as Maokai and Olaf. Vampiric Scepter has received quite a nerf: now, you must purchase a Long Sword in order to build into a Vampiric Scepter. Oddly, this does not significantly hurt the two most popular Vampiric Scepter users, Nocturne and Jax. However, Shyvanas everywhere must pick up more Health Potions to maintain her fast and healthy clear. Finally, Oracle’s Elixir has received a major change: Oracle’s Elixir now has a finite duration of four minutes. This will just increase the amount of Vision Ward and Sight Ward counter play. Every role must pick up this slack.
RUNES AND MASTERIES
All of the penetration runes have received nerfs. Armor Pentration took the hardest hit, and junglers using these runes will see less damage in gank attempts. The masteries have received a moderate amount of moderation. Players should avoid the trap that is Legendary Armor: while it scales really well in the late game, these points are well wasted if you’re reaching late game since 5 bonus armor and or magic resist will not matter much. With the masteries changes, only two champions will have to look towards making major changes. Dr. Mundo and Shyvana enjoy attaining Magic Penetration in the Offense Tree; however, since the they have no AP ratios, getting to Magic Penetration will now require users to put 4 points into ability power, which Shyvana and Mundo care not. Instead, I highly suggest looking into alternative runes for Dr. Mundo and Shyvana while they ascend the attack damage route to receive armor penetration. Shyvana and Dr. Mundo should look into finding ways to include magic penetration in their runes.
The God Tier in the Season 3 jungle include Olaf and Darius for this patch. Darius has an extremely fast jungle clear time but does not remain high health. Olaf now has two (possibly three) purchases that will not only vastly increase his already extremely fast jungle clear, but keep him sustained in the jungle. Philosopher’s Stone will remain relevant as it builds into Shurelia’s Reverie, a free Ghost-like active. Hunter’s Machete may build into Wriggle’s Lantern or Spirit Of The Ancient Golem. Furthermore, with the general nerf to armor statistics in items, the value of Health in items has increased, turning Olaf into a frightening anti-caster anti-carry nightmare. Note that both of these junglers remain relatively safe, have a fast jungle clear, and easily snowball their advantage for their team while remaining relevant in fights no matter what.
Not much has changed in Tier 1 with the exception of the ascension of Amumu and decline of Lee Sin. Amumu remains a farmer by heart, but his jungle clear has hastened in the wake of Spirit Stone Lee Sin’s jungle clear has declined due to the strengthening of monsters (jungle minions). While his clear speed remains at a highly respectable mark, his health deteriorates quickly in the new jungle. Safe Guard and Wriggle’s Lantern will play an extremely pivotal role.
Tier 2 observes the rise of Sejuani, Nautilus, and Gangplank. These farming junglers remain strong late game, but their post-level-4 jungle has strengthened significantly with the changes to items. Shaco’s Jack In The Box has passively received a major buff as it allows for a safer jungle for Shaco since monsters attack the closest threat now. Master Yi has a higher chance to farm in the new jungle. Both Master Yi and Shaco have the great option to look into Sword Of The Divine as an item for mid-level skirmishes. Udyr has fallen slightly out of favor since his damage has never scaled well, but his jungle remains relatively safe. However, his jungle clear speed has received a hit.
Tier 3 includes the flaunted Warwick and Fiddlesticks. They are two of the safest junglers in the current format. However, Warwick requires an awkward build to make him viable and his jungle clear remains relatively mediocre. Fiddlesticks also has a mediocre jungle clear. But both Warwick and Fiddlesticks have 2 of the strongest level 6 ultimate ganks in League Of Legends. Xin Zhao has received more attention within the last few months of Season 2 as a competitive jungler with a strong disengage and engage. The strengthening jungle will make Xin Zhao players re-prioritize the skills in order to remain relevant. Hecarim has received a small attack damage buff, but his ganks remain awkward.
The Fringe Tier consists of many junglers that I feel do not fit currently or have a difficult time itemizing into middle game. Note that most of these champions do not have mana resources. If you take an item route that does not include mana regeneration in the jungle, your only choice is Wriggle’s, and some champions do not auto-attack often in the jungle. Furthermore, Doran’s Blade has received a nerf that renders it ineffective for champions that do not auto-attack.
Shen stands alone in one of the oddest positions. He remains more than capable of jungling, albeit at a less than mediocre rate. But Wriggle’s Lantern doesn’t remain good on Shen. Shen wants high attack speed early, and Recurve Bow has taken a hit. Shen may want to look into buying an early Wit’s End as his only way out especially with the removal of Heart Of Gold. Until I receive more testing, if Shen were in an actual tier, Shen would probably belong in tier 3.
Fiora and Kha’Zix have quite an odd predicament on the tip of their blades. Neither have a sustained attack speed buff, so neither have much use for a Wriggle’s Lantern. But neither cast spells too heavily. Perhaps Kha’Zix might benefit more than I give credit with a Spirit Stone, but itemization beyond that for Kha’Zix remains awkward and lofty. If both of these champions can snowball into an early Black Cleaver and Blade Of The Ruined King, hope may exist. But that’s quite conditional of the snowball.
In the next patch, expect to see the strengthening of Master Yi, the intensified nerfing of Rengar, and the rise of Vi, a possible new jungler.