It’s hard to gank if you’re in bad shape
The Jungler is the role with the most impact on the game and strong Junglers mains can be feared the most in the depths of Solo Queue. A good Jungler can take over the map and be practically anywhere and everywhere at any given time.
To dominate the map in this fashion, you’ll need to know how to stay healthy. If you have a good chunk of health, you’re able to continue to apply pressure to the enemy. If you’re struggling to stay at a good HP percentage, you’ll be must less threatening and may be endangering yourself to potential invades. In this article written by Picklepants, we’ll be exploring different tips and techniques for staying healthy in the jungle.
As an intro, here’s a video by Foxdrop about this topic – although it’s from Season 7, it still has relevant concepts that are still definitely useful in Season 8 and onward.
Think of health as a form of currency in League of Legends – if you have lots of health, you’re able to achieve a number of things. Firstly, you will be able to continue to farm and not have to back. This is useful as it can allow you to earn more gold and experience, and it will also prevent the enemy from counter jungling and stealing your camps.
Secondly, you will also be able to apply pressure around the map by ganking and helping your allies. The current meta is snowball heavy and you need to be able to snowball your advantage before the enemy team does.
Learn how to kite
To get the most efficient and healthiest clear in the Jungle, you need to learn how to kite. Kiting is when you auto attack and move to minimize the amount of damage you take by keeping your attacker out of reach. The technique is normally associated with the ADC but it’s possible in all roles and on all champions. Before you learn how to kite, we need to make it clear that learning to kite takes: patience, determination, and complete focus.
If you let your mind slip, you will take extra damage that could’ve been avoided. It sounds silly, but every little bit of health lost matters – every mistake can eventually get you killed. With every patch and every Jungle change, kiting becomes different for Junglers and you should try to adapt to get the healthiest clear possible.
Kiting with ranged champions
Ranged champions are the easiest to kite with because they have a much wider range circle where they can auto attack anybody in. Compared to melee champions, this is a lot wider which gives them the advantage when kiting. To kite successfully, you need to know how big your champions range is and how big the Jungle camps range is.
You want to keep as far back away from the monster’s auto attack without getting hit and without allowing the camp to reset. To do this, you need to auto attack the camp, walk back out of the auto attack range of the camp, and then auto attack it again. After auto attacking, you want to move again and rinse and repeat.
Now… It’s quite difficult to put into words on how to do this, however, here’s a video by AllThingsNerd on how to kite Jungle camps.
Bonus Tip: Press “A” on your keyboard to see the range of your champion. Right click away from the camp and auto attack the camp again. Keep pressing and taking note of your auto attack range by pressing “A.”
Kiting with melee champions
Melee champions cannot kite as effectively compared to ranged champions, however, the same principle applies. You need to stay outside of the auto attack range of the camps while also being able to deal damage to them. Whenever you auto attack, back off slightly and let the camp run to you. Then when your auto attack is ready, auto attack the camp and then repeat. Do this over and over for best results.
Try to kite as much as you can and avoid standing still as you will take extra damage. As previously stated, it can be difficult to kite, but it’s still worth putting in the practice to save yourself some health.
Kill the small camp monsters first
Another way to stay healthy is knowing how to clear camps with more than one monster. Trying to take these camps in the early game can be quite difficult and costly to your health if you don’t know what you’re doing. To beat these camps, you need to focus down the little monsters before you try to take down the big one. This is the best way to clear the camps if you are a single target champion. However, if you have AOE abilities (such as Lee Sin’s E) then you should take the big ones first.
This is a great video by ScrapComputer which is very beneficial if you play any of the champions featured in the tutorial.
You should do this because all of the little monsters, especially at the wolves and raptors, deal tons of damage when they are alive and this damage really does stack up. You need to kill the little ones first to prevent taking extra damage.
Plan your pathing appropriately
It’s important to take the most effective jungle route on your champion to clear the jungle in the healthiest and fastest way possible. You need to find a good balance between being able to clear quickly and clear healthily. If you can clear quickly, but do so inefficiently and lose lots of health, you would’ve gained nothing from the quick clear. So, you need to get a balance between a quick clear where you hit level 3 in a reasonable time with a good portion of health remaining.
To find out the best clear for your favorite champion, you need to practice, practice and practice. Clearing efficiently takes a lot of research too. One way of researching and finding the best clear is by checking out how other players play that champion. Twitch is the best place for this. With a plethora of streamers dedicated to playing the Jungle role, you can copy what the streamer does and how they take the camp. If they take a different route to the one you’re used to, ask yourself why and try to learn from their choices. We’ve also written a guide on this subject before! Check it out here.
Make the most of free food
Throughout the game, there will be a Jungle plant that spawns. This plant in question that gives us health is the honey fruit. The honey fruit grants anybody who kills or steps over it, up to 5 fruit that heals them and gives them some mana.
The honey fruits spawn in both side of the river between 5:00 minutes and 5:30. They also respawn between 5:30 and 7:00 minutes after they’ve been absorbed. You can use this timer to your advantage if you know how the enemy Jungler clears.
If they do not have the easiest clear, you may be able to contest and fight over the honey fruit or allow you to track the enemy Jungler. Another way the honey fruit can help you track the enemy Jungler is by looking at the ground and looking for its debris. This will allow you to know if the enemy is on this side of the map or not.
Taking the plant and using it will give you more health and mana back which can help you in ganking lanes or help you to continue farming.
Utilize the Scuttle for sustain
The Scuttle Crabs were changed recently and are even more important to take whenever they are up. Taking these objectives away from the enemy will give you gold and experience that will allow you to get ahead of the enemy. They also will give you bonus health when smited.
Scuttle Crabs do not attack and do not deal damage, this means you can regenerate some of your health back while you kill these critters, especially if you have some lifesteal. Taking the Scuttle Crab is an efficient way of staying in combat while receiving no damage and gaining experience and gold. They spawn at 2 minutes on the dot, which gives you enough time to clear your first camp with or without a leash and get there in time to take them.
In professional play, Jungler’s are taking their first buff and then rotating to the other side of the map to take the Rift Scuttler. This is a good route to take as you can get a level advantage on your third camp, get more gold and more CS. You will also be able to save some health by not needing to use your first potion as quickly. Alternatively, you may want to just take your buff and then go to the nearest Scuttle Crab.
- If you have any form of CC, use that on the Scuttle Crab to reduce her defenses. This will allow you to clear it more quickly and get out before the enemy comes.
- Avoid using your dash or escape ability just in case the enemy comes and has the same idea as you. Unless you can successfully fight level 2, hold on to your dash and save it in case the inevitable ambush happens.
Pick up a Hunter’s Potion
When watching lower ranked players, I noticed one thing that many players forget to buy or they overlook. It all involves health pots and item choices. Health pots are quite costly, and many people either buy too many of them or don’t buy them at all.
Starting items are crucial. If you can clear and hit level 3 with ease without having to use to many pots, then you can take Refillable Potion. However, if you struggle with hitting level 3 without falling incredibly low, you should take 3 Health Pots instead. After hitting level 3, you may find yourself struggling to farm effectively. If you’re a Jungler that relies heavily on farming in the early game, then you will benefit from picking up a Hunter’s Potion.
Hunter’s Potion is a cost efficient item for Junglers. You may want to pick this item up if you:
- Struggle clearing the Jungle. It’s a good item as you can get bonus pots after each camp has been cleared, which will give you more sustain and allowing you to take more camps or help out more lanes before having to back.
- You are getting invaded. There are some Junglers that naturally get invaded more than others, and there are Junglers that invade more than others too. If you are playing a champion that can easily be killed from an invade and get put behind, you should try out the Hunter’s Potion. Picking this up will allow you to fight the enemy by constantly popping the pots when fighting. Also, this item will allow you to take more camps before having to recall. If you can take the camps, the enemy will not be able to take anything when they invade.
- Use Mana. Not only does it give you health, but it also gives you a lot of mana restoration. If you use your abilities as your main source of damage to clear- then this is the item for you.
However, Hunter’s Potion is a super situational item. Not every Jungler agrees or likes this item. It is quite an expensive thing to buy especially early when you want your core items. It is also not very good on every Jungler. Champions like Lee Sin or Rumble will not get the full benefits of this item compared to an Elise or Evelynn.
There are so many things to think about while Jungling in order to stay healthy. Map pressure is one of the hardest things to maintain because you need to stay level in farm and XP too. Remember folks’, kiting can be difficult, so don’t sweat the small stuff and try your best to kite those camps!
Thanks for reading! Do you know any other great ways to stay healthy while jungling? Let us know in the comments below. As always, you can find Picklepants in our Discord if you have any questions.