BUILD GUIDE: The Psychology of Jungling by tapobu

by tapobu (last updated over a year ago)

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Hi again, it's Tapobu. This is another jungling guide. I have already written a guide to jungle gameplay and mechanics, which can be found here: http://solomid.net/guides.php?g=12408 . It has lots of pictures and videos, but this guide is going to be largely text-based, so if words scare you, don't bother reading.

This guide is something far more advanced than my first jungling guide. It entails the hidden psychological subtext behind everything you do. I'm going to talk about a lot of different things in terms of acting and the human psyche, two things that I know and understand pretty well. You are going to learn exactly how someone might take it when they show up and their red is gone, or if you first blood their ap carry in an invasion. This guide will not take a bad jungler and turn them into a good jungler, but it WILL take a good jungler and add a whole new level to your reasons for making decisions. Have I piqued your interest yet?

tl;dr: Jungling is the most stressful thing you can possibly do in League of Legends. I am going to teach you how to abuse the hell out of that stress.


  • Edited jungling and gender
  • Added psychology of laners
  • Added video demonstration
  • Added updates section
  • Nerfed Irelia
  • Champion section added
  • 7/5/12 Added "The Danger of Downshifting"
  • 7/25/12 Added a few new jungling updates, as well as a video to the danger of downshifting.
  • 10/20/12 Action and Reaction section
  • 12/21/12 - new Warwick vid in the psychology of comeback
  • 2/18/13 - announcement (at the end of the guide)

Fun fact: Not even a week into putting this guide up, it has more likes than my other jungling guide that's been up for months, and already 1/3 the views. This is a sign of how much our SoloMid community is growing and how many players are making the move to read guides and learn from them! Keep up the good work, players!

More to come!

Jungling and Gender

A big part of why I wrote this guide is because I don't see very many female junglers, and I want to see more. There's a reason for that, and I'm going to go into it in this chapter. This is probably the most controversial part of my guide, and some will think it is sexist. I will keep it in here because it reflects my understanding of human intellect after having dealt with many people of both genders over the year. Although there are exceptions (myself being one of them), I believe that many girl gamers (and some guy gamers) will find their own experiences resonating with this chapter.

Anyway, let's talk about girl gamers for a second. Girl gamers are a boon to the community. I enjoy playing with girls because whether it's a win or a lose, they have fun with it. When I'm playing, sometimes I get so obsessed with winning in ranked or whatever that I forget it's a game and I need to have fun. That said, jungling is not a "fun" role. It it intense, stressful, and takes more combined knowledge than any other position in the game. Even if you have all that knowledge and all that skill, a million different factors could be working against you and you could still end up losing your jungle.

In addition, jungling can often come down to brutality and cruelty. The best junglers are relentlessly aggressive, never giving their opponent a moment to breathe. I've been against junglers like this, and it's twenty minutes of hell. I've treated enemy junglers like this, and I always feel bad after. Jungling can also come down to winner and loser trading petty insults while the loser gets more and more stressed and angry. Your team rages at you, the other jungler's making fun of you, etc. It's really not fun at all. This sort of savage brutality is just not second nature to most girls as it unfortunately is to many guys. Don't get me wrong - girls can be aggressive and cruel just as easily as guys can, but it's rarely done in an open show of power (though there are exceptions!). When you're being beaten around in the jungle, it often comes off as an open show of power, and if you take it like that it can cause you to be passive and lose the game.

So that means girls can't jungle, right? Wrong.

You just need to find a new schema. A schema is a person's understanding of something - in this case, jungling. If you understand jungling as an open show of aggression and brutality, you're never going to measure up unless you find yourself capable of inflicting such aggression and brutality. No, you need to think of jungling as mind games. That's really the point of this entire guide. I want to describe jungling as a mental thing rather than a show of power and physicality. You're not going into the enemy's jungle and beating him senseless, you are using your champion's advantages to get under the other guy's skin, and you're doing it by being creative, quick-thinking, and strategic. This is something I know girls can do because my best friend IRL beats me quite horribly at strategy games all the time.

So with that in mind, welcome to my guide.

the stress of jungling

As I said in the intro, jungling is extremely stressful. Players who are used to the mindless back-and-forth cs/harass of the laning phase will have a hard time adjusting to the fluidity of jungling. In the jungle, you have to think and be alert. You might be following a set path or a popular guide. With jungling, however, you have to be ready to rewrite that script at a moment's notice. That is extremely stressful. I have NEVER had a game as jungler where I have not been at least slightly nervous before starting, because in the game that is about to happen, anything could happen, and you will be the victim of that anything. You are responsible for keeping ALL your lanes safe from the enemy jungler. You are responsible for killing an enemy that is getting fed. You are responsible for warding dragon, baron, and anything else that your team is too fail to ward. And if that Lee Sin happens to be waiting in the bush you're about to enter to gank from, you're dead.

Am I freaking you out yet? Good.

Allow me to give an example. When I play Udyr, I take my blue without smiting, go to the enemy red, and smite-kill it. Nine times out of ten, I get away with it. But that tenth time...oh baby. No matter who my enemy is, no matter how slow he is, invading FREAKS ME OUT because anything could happen. Maybe I hit a ward, maybe he checks red before doing wraiths (I almost always do this on slow junglers), maybe his AP carry has played against me before and is expecting an invade. I could die. I could THROW the game for my team, all in one stupidly ballsy move that works nine times out of ten.

the stress of learning jungling

Learning jungling was the worst. And I learned it when everyone was a bad jungler. Now everyone knows the tips and tricks. Learning jungling at this point in the game has to be absolute HELL. You can be decently good, and you are still going to get stomped hard by players who are more comfortable in the jungle.

In order to alleviate the stress of jungling, I would recommend that you learn defensive techniques as soon as possible. Learn how to avoid invasion. If someone is taking your wraiths, ward your wraith area. When they go for it, that's a free kill, and suddenly the other guy is freaking out in his head. If he's stupid, he'll try it again and you just turned the game around. If you can defend against an aggressive invader, you can beat him because you get your farm and he wastes time and maybe even dies.

I'll level with you here - even after you've mastered defensive jungling, it is going to take HUNDREDS of jungle games before you really start to feel confident in ranked or premade games. And when your elo raises, you're going to get tougher enemy junglers. Whereas a difference in lane skill at high levels is almost unnoticeable except for maybe 20 cs and a kill or two, difference in jungle skill levels is glaring. In normals, I play against 1600-1900 players frequently. There's never a close game as far as jungle is concerned - either I beat them bad, or they beat me bad. With all that said, are you really sure you want jungle to become your main role?

now that I've weeded out the weak...

I'm going to introduce an acting term to you: status. Status is a way to get what you want. There is high status (HS) and there is low status (LS).

Naturally HS people are very much in control of a social situation. In their best form, HS people are friendly, outgoing, fun to be around, natural leaders. In their worst form, HS people are jerks and assholes (aka every Lee Sin player). Good HS League players act first, and they act hard in order to maintain their status. Saintvicious is primarily HS, though on very rare occasions he plays in a more LS style. Other famous players that are probably HS IRL are Vman7, TheRainMan, and Reginald. Good HS jungle champions are Dr. Mundo, Lee Sin, Shyvana, Nocturne, and Shaco.

Naturally LS people are followers. They're generally quiet, unbecoming, seemingly insignificant people who don't let others know what they're thinking. They may act first, but if they do so, it's quite possible nobody will even know they've acted at all. In their worst form, LS people are manipulative snakes who use their weakness as a bait. Good LS League players are able to predict what their enemy is going to do and bait them into bad ganks and bad invasions, as well as predict where their enemy might be in their own jungle and invade. This allows them to turn around a game vs someone who might well be a much better jungler. TheOddOne the best example of a player who can do a LS game very well if he has to, though he can also be ridiculously aggressive and is the #1 control jungler in my opinion. Other famous players that are probably LS IRL are Xpecial, Dyrus, and SpamHappy. Good LS jungle champions are Maokai, Nautilus, Trundle, Jarvan, Fiddlesticks (EPIC counterganks/counter-invade) and Amumu.

As for myself, I have been trained to do either because I've studied as an actor. All high elo main-junglers are dual status whether they realize it or not. If I had not been trained as an actor, I would probably be primarily one or the other, so I have this advantage over other junglers of my level. I choose my status based on who the enemy jungler picks. If you can learn HS and LS, you will become a much better jungler and you will be able to better gauge social situations. The best dual-status champion (and in my opinion the best jungle champ) is Udyr.

Which are you? Do you like to lead a conversation, or listen and observe? Play your strengths, don't try to become something you're not. I'm going to say right now, no matter who you are, you will always have situations where you are HS, and you will always have situations where you are LS. Natural status is just what you are most comfortable playing.

Please note that HS does not mean active and LS does not mean passive. You can have passive HS players who zombie gank lanes in predictable ways, and you can have active LS players who prepare for counterganks and utterly wreck aggressive players.

Status IRL

In every conversation you ever have, there is status. Knowing when to use each status could be the difference between getting a job or being rejected, between getting a girl or getting slapped in the face. In two-person conversation, someone always has HS and someone always has LS, no matter what. It is very, very rare that two people are talking to each other as equals. Next time you have a conversation with someone, observe very closely and try to figure out who's in control of the situation. The person in control might not necessarily be HS, but the person who thinks they're in control almost always is. Consider the conversations between men and women in romantic comedies - they're funny because the man is trying to be in charge, but the woman is leading him to say and do the things he does. She's using her low status to get what she wants, while his high status makes him look ridiculous and foolish.

Have you ever been to a foreign country? If you have, you know what it's like to be in perpetually low status. You know less about the country than the natives, so they immediately have status over you. This is most especially true if you're studying abroad. If you've been to college, you probably have noticed how students from other countries are generally very quiet and reserved. Maybe in their own country they are loud and boisterous, but here they're afraid to speak because they might not know the words they're trying to say in English. As the college years go by, these students gradually grow more and more open as they get more confident in both their surroundings and the English language.

Taking control through status IRL

Have you ever seen one of those scenes in a movie where a really loud, arrogant person is talking, and all of a sudden this quiet, reserved person speaks up and makes him look like a complete idiot? I'm going to post a commercial here that gives a very good example of that.

Notice how after she shuts him down twice, he completely loses all composure. His HS is gone, and he realizes he looks like a complete idiot. Chances are if the scene were to continue, he'd move on to the next table and give the same line, although he might be a little less confident. Maybe he'd be shut down, or maybe the next girl would buy it. This guy lost his status because his method of getting girls was interrupted.

I hate to say it girls, but this sort of thing is going to happen a lot. Men believe they have status over women, so you have to be doubly prepared when talking to a guy about something important. If a guy goes into a car dealership, he's going to get straight facts, but if a girl goes into that same dealership, the salesman is going to do everything he can to screw her over cuz he assumes she knows nothing about cars. I'm not kidding, my boss goes through that crap every time she wants a new car. You have to be confident and knowledgeable enough that you can take the status and be in control of the situation.


On the other hand, some people like to use LS to get what they want. I'm one of them, and I am very good at it. I'm going to give you an example from my acting improv class. We would play this game called Survival, where three people are on stage at one time. You win the game by having a bond formed with another player when the time is up. When I played this game, I almost always played a low-status, helpless character who needed the assistance of the other two characters. Suddenly, they were fighting for my attention and I never even had to work for my win. In one scenario, however, I hugely miscalculated. The scene was a treehouse, and we were children. I tried playing LS, but instead of wanting to be on my side, the other two "children" made fun of me and excluded me, as children so often will. The game could've gone on indefinitely and there never once would've been a moment where I was capable of winning.

If you want to practice with status, play Survival with some of your friends sometime. Set a timer for 2mins and see what happens. I guarantee you, this will make you a better jungler as you learn how to better assess a competitive social situation.

Taking control through status in League

If you're like me, you've already been thinking of ways to use status to your advantage in League. The absolute easiest games in League are when you prove your superiority to the enemy jungler in the first five minutes and keep it the whole way through. But a good jungler won't just give up, they'll fight for control. If you want to stay in the lead against a good jungler, you NEED to learn how to maintain an aggressive HS. If you want to catch up to a good jungler, you need to use your perceived weakness and LS to bait him into being cocky. If he's talking crap in all-chat, it's almost certain that he's going to play a little sloppy, so all you need to do is catch him. It is never, never, NEVER over until the Nexus falls. In the following chapters are a few tips to win based on what status you've been given in the first five minutes of the game.

Turning a game around while seeming insignificant (aka abusing HS people)

HS players are some of the scariest to go against, especially Lee Sin players. Here are some tips for beating them.

  • Before you even enter the game, make sure you've read the top-rated guides for any flavor-of-the-month junglers. Often these guides describe specific invades or ganks to do. Be ready, cuz any type-A obsessive-compulsive jungler is going to read those guides and follow the tips. I killed SO MANY Mundos after Rincent's guide that told people to steal red came out, just because I told my mid to be ready to help me. I went to red before wraiths, found Mundo, killed Mundo. After that, what do they do? Their cookie-cutter method failed. You just turned a bad aggressive jungler into a bad passive jungler.
  • If there's a level-one invade and you see it coming, just back out and steal the same thing he's stealing. Most blue invaders just take blue, and most red invaders just take red. Take his wolves too, or his wraiths, leaving one.
  • Make sure all the enemy jungle exits are warded. If you do this, you won't need river wards because you can always see the jungler going into river.
  • If you are able, get a ward deeper into the enemy's jungle so you have a good idea who he might be going to gank. Wraith bush and blue bush are both very good spots for this. Red bush and the sidebushes near wolves are also good spots.
  • If you see the enemy jungler getting ready to gank someone, go stop him. If you catch him off-guard and get a kill, it will seriously mess with his head.
  • If he's invading a certain area a lot, set up a gank for him there. Then find a creative way to make fun of him in all-chat after you kill him.
  • Buy gold per 10 items, so even if you are trading jungles, trading kills, trading ganks, etc, you will come out with more gold.
  • Be ready for invasion at your second blue, especially if you have a mana-intensive mid. I almost always set up a blue-steal or blue-gank at 7 minutes, no matter whether I'm ahead or behind, and it almost always works. I ward your blue bush so I can see either way, and I ward the sidebush coming to blue because I can see your mid approaching.
  • Farm. If your team is just bending over and taking it in every single lane, farm. One of you needs to be strong for the late-game. I have had Udyr games where we lost all three lanes, only to come out ahead later because the enemy team was too aggressive and didn't realize how strong I had become just by farming. If you have a perfect gank opportunity take it, but you need to farm more than anything.
  • Keep fighting, keep responding to him no matter what. HS players pride themselves on being so aggressive that they can make the other team give up. If you keep playing on your terms, you're eventually going to catch him in an absolutely devastating fight, you're going to get several kills, and it's going to snowball.

Maintaining your high status in League (aka abusing LS people)

If someone comes into a game and immediately assumes LS, you've already won. If they want to fight for control of the game, however, you need to know how to fight back. Here are some tips for maintaining a lead in the game.

  • Your LS player won't have wards right away, so bully him at the start. Maybe it's a level 1 invade, or maybe you're trying that little red-steal trick I described above. Be prepared to back off, and spend every moment of that invade asking yourself "how am I going to get away if he comes from x?"
  • Make sure your lanes are aware of what you're doing if you invade. If his mid shows up, yours had better show up too or you're dead.
  • Get a few wards for his jungle exits too, so you can see him coming to countergank. Make sure bushes are warded, cuz lots of LS players like to wait in the lane bush if they know you're coming, and then BOOM ult dead. Fiddle is SO good at waiting in bushes, so if he's in the game, you need to almost expect it.
  • Oracle's elixer is your friend. Eat up all his little wards, and suddenly no more prediction.
  • Good LS players pride themselves on prediction. If you can do screwy stuff to mess with them, it will shatter their self-image and make them nerd-rage.
  • Good LS players also wait for you to get cocky and do something stupid. Don't get cocky and do something stupid. Unless you're a Lee Sin player, in which case you're going to be cocky and do something stupid regardless of what I say, so at least try to get out alive.

Abusing dual-status players

Dual-status players believe themselves to be masters of the jungle. There's nothing they can't overcome, and there's a good chance you won't be able to beat them in their own jungle. I rarely, RARELY die in my own jungle simply because I know how to play defensively when I have to. If you want to beat me, you have to break my lanes and get me to rage at them. A veteran jungler is used to having terrible lanes, and if you can make his lanes look terrible, he's going to get furious with them, especially in solo queue. He's not going to admit that he's been beaten by a better jungler - it has to be someone's fault. Notice how TheOddOne gets so snippy at any of his lanes when they die? It's because he doesn't think anyone can outjungle him, and he's right. You can't beat TheOddOne, but you can beat his lanes.

  • Gank every lane once or twice and see who's the weak link on the team. Go for him over and over again. Make him look like crap. Expect the enemy jungler to be there in subsequent ganks and kill him too.
  • Get an Oracle so you can clear out lane wards, especially mid/bot lane wards. If you can break mid or bot, you can win the game.
  • If someone starts raging in all chat, blame the enemy jungler. "Shouldn't you be helping your lanes?" It's just brilliant. This is playing a little dirty, so if you'd rather just let their rage play out without egging them on, do that instead.
  • Be prepared for tricky stuff mid and late game. A good jungler will bait you into a false sense of security then WRECK you when you try that tower-dive at the second mid tower. When I turn a game around, it's almost always at the second or third tower.
  • Don't bait baron unless you are WAY stronger than the enemy. This can wreck you in an instant if you don't gauge your baron speed well enough.
  • Don't have a mid standoff. Split push if you have to, just do not stand mid and poke in solo queue. EVER. You're just asking me to bait your teammates into attacking me. Always be doing something productive, or you are going to lose.

The danger of downshifting

If you're a car person, you know that downshifting means going into lower gear - e.g. you go more slowly. In psychology, downshifting is when you lose control of your higher order of thinking and become very focused on one particular thing. For example, if you've ever gotten into a fight, you might remember that the world around you begins to blur. You might lose your ability to form coherent sentences or rational thought. You probably just want to punch the other guy. In one of my teaching classes, I've been instructed to distract the people getting into a fight. Maybe I go up and offer them each a Starburst, or maybe I say "hey what's going on outside?" If it's a younger class, I can say "Is that Mrs. x walking her dog?" or something of that variety. All of a sudden, everyone's looking out the window for the dog, and the fight is forgotten.

It also can happen when you're taking tests. People who are "bad" at test-taking are bad because of this. Maybe you lose your focus and can't concentrate on anything. You probably know the information, it's just not coming because you are freaking out and panicking about the possibility of failing. If this happens, go sharpen your pencil. Go to the bathroom. Do something to get your mind off the test, if only for a moment. When you return, your head will be more clear, and while you were gone, maybe the answer even came to you.

In LoL, downshifting happens when you're getting owned. Maybe the other guy is ganking better. What is your response? BETTER FARM SOME MORE CREEPS. Someone starts whining at you? BETTER RAGE THEM. Your higher order thinking is gone, and you're on autopilot mode. You are going to crash and burn unless you get your act together. When a high level player like Dyrus is doing badly and can't get his act together, this is what's happening. Do you remember when Dyrus joined TSM and performed really, really badly for a while? I guarantee you the pressure of being on the #1 ranked team in America got to him and he downshifted every time he went into a game. He still does this in solo queue sometimes; it's why his laning is sometimes amazing, sometimes terrible. He has found a way to avoid downshifting in tournament gameplay, but it can still happen when he's playing casually. I use Dyrus as an example because everyone knows what I'm talking about and it's a perfect example. When Regi/OddOne downshift, they make terrible calls, and Regi in particular rages a bit. When TRM downshifts, he rages. When HotShotGG downshifts, he starts whining/trolling and it's hilarious. When SaintVicious downshifts, he starts raging everyone around him. The point is, THIS HAPPENS TO PRO PLAYERS ALL THE TIME. It happens in football, basketball, hockey, Starcraft, chess. The point is, you need to realize when it's happening and snap out of it.

If you want an example of someone who rarely, rarely ever downshifts, it's Chaox. Have you watched him? He's confident to the point that people hate to watch him on stream cuz he talks crap. But you know what? The guy backs it up with pure skill. When he starts losing his lane, he knows how to respond and fix it. Chaox almost never loses his lane, and when TSM loses, it's very, very rarely Chaox's fault. His CS is amazing, and he may have even won his lane. I don't know how he does it, but he does it. If someone can tell me what it is about Chaox that prevents him from downshifting, I would love to know.

Here is a video you need to watch:

Action and Reaction

This section is inspired in part by Aboithegameboi's queries on the forum.

Think about a time you've been invaded. How did you respond? Your blue got taken. Were you caught off-guard? Did you run away and waste flash? Did you end up getting killed? That's reaction.

When you are jungling, you do not want to react. Reaction is bad. It means you're a step behind your enemy. Reaction means you are playing his game, doing what he expects you to do. I win games because my enemy does what I expect him to do, and I punish him for it. If you can keep an enemy reacting, you have already won.

The biggest difference between a good jungler and a great jungler is reaction. A good jungler reacts. A great jungler does not.

So how do you avoid reacting? Let's go back to that blue invade. How could you have avoided reacting there?
  • Have your team stand in positions that can see all entrances to your jungle. For blue buff, that's the mid sidebush and the blue bush. If someone comes, you'll see it and can back off. You might get your blue taken, but you can respond by taking their blue at the same time.
  • Position your entire team at the mid sidebush near blue and have your support ward your blue buff. Do this if you are playing someone who is often invaded such as Amumu. If an enemy facechecks your side-bush, you instantly kill him. If they all go to your blue from the far lane, YOU have the advantage and can destroy them once they start your blue buff. *If Blitzcrank is on the enemy team, don't stand in the sidebush - ward it instead.
  • Do your own invasion.

The point is, HAVE A PLAN FOR ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. Do not go into a game as Mundo and say "I'm going to invade the enemy jungler and kill him." If it goes wrong, suddenly you are in reaction mode. You need to go into that game and say "I'm going to invade the enemy jungler. If he comes, I am going to use x escape route. If my mid doesn't come with me, I am going to back off because it's too dangerous to go in alone. If the far lane's enemy disappears as I enter, it means they probably saw me and I should leave." This should ALL register on your mind as you prepare that invade, or YOU WILL MESS IT UP IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG. Do not be the cause of your team's loss.

The Amumu Factor

This is what inspired me to write it. My buddy Aboithegameboi was asking about safe junglers, and I said Amumu. The thing is, if you pick Amumu, YOU ARE ALWAYS GOING TO GET INVADED. So how is that safe? Because you know you are going to get invaded. Being invaded is psychologically damaging, yes. But it is FAR MORE DAMAGING to be the person who called for an invasion that went horribly wrong. If you can anticipate an enemy's aggression and stop it, THIS IS INFINITELY MORE USEFUL THAN BEING AGGRESSIVE YOURSELF. Why? Because IF he screws up an invasion, it not only gives you an early advantage, it is a direct assault on the enemy jungler's belief that he is capable and in control. In short, you just put him in reaction mode, you just took away his status, and he just downshifted.


In the next few chapters, I'll be going in-depth into what might go through a person's head at any given moment in the game. If you'd rather watch than read, I have made a video commentary giving a look into the mind of my premade team during a rather difficult game so you can see just how much goes through a person's head while jungling.

The effect of different champions on player psychology

Here is a list of some champions you'll see and how they might be thinking. The first few are my favored picks, after that it's no particular order.

  • Skarner/Udyr. Either status. Skarner and Udyr both snowball very quickly if they're played aggressively, but they can also sit back, farm, and build gp10 and come out just fine. Udyr is more of an immediate powerhouse due to his not-insane mana costs, though Skarner can also bully early, steal stuff, etc. If a Skarner gets ahead of you, good luck catching up. Same with Udyr. If Skarner's behind you, all he needs is that perfect ult to wreck your team. I have a Skarner guide, though it hasn't been updated in a while so read at your own risk. I plan to write an Udyr guide sometime in the near future if time permits.

  • Mundo/Shyvana: High status. These two play very much alike. They're invaders, bullies who will be happy to 1v1 you. They like to assert their authority over you very early, when their kit is at its most OP. Mundo's early game damage is insane, as is Shyvana's. Later, they both fall off if they get behind the enemy jungler. With Mundo especially, I don't have a problem getting behind, but Shyv is one that can fall off quickly if you don't get gold. You absolutely cannot play her passively, or you throw away your win.

On a bit of a tangent, here's a comment that was posted concerning Shyvana jungle: As a girl jungler I was just laughing at the comment about us. Well, I can totally say that specific "hormone boost" once a month gives me some excellent shyvana games when I play aggressive enough (gross I know but had to share it).

  • Xin Zhao. This is a champion that can really get into the heads of your lanes. He is an excellent ganker, especially with Phage or Red buff. Xin was made to kill AD carries, and he's great at it. With this champion, you will get the kills, and you will end up carrying pretty hard. You generally do NOT want to invade with Xin simply because he has no escape. The few times I've tried minor invades like wraiths, I have just gotten myself almost killed. With big buffs, you can steal but you need to be careful because you lack the shield/speed boost/cc many junglers sport today. Your job is not to steal, it's to utterly destroy lanes. Find the weakest lane and pick on them. Gank thru the lane, through the tribush, through the river. If they're warding everything, get an Oracle. If you can't gank, you aren't useful, so gank and countergank.

  • Nocturne. High status. If you're vs any of the above, you can be counterjungled pretty easily. You're mostly safe from anyone else, but there's always the possibility. Nocturne is the champ that people fear. When things go dark, players freak out and do stupid things. When that ult pops, every lane suddenly gets scared, even if it's not them being hit. They'll get passive suddenly, and your lanes can take advantage of this if they're good. When Nocturne's ult is rolling, have all your lanes bully the enemy team with free shots. You can set up some pretty OP bonuses with Nocturne, such as TF, Karthus, Pantheon, or Shen. Be aggressive though, because if you fall behind, you won't be tanky enough and your ult will kill you in teamfights.

  • Lee Sin. High status. Lee Sins are dicks, and it's very easy to get them raging. There's a larger section on Lee later in the guide.

  • Maokai. Either status. Maokai can build pretty much like Skarner, though his kit is way more useful pre-6 and late-game. He's a hard tank who still does a lot of damage due to his skillset. If you're gonna play Maokai, you are asking to be counterjungled. Your job is to gank, and gank a lot. If you fail your ganks, you really can't farm very well so your only option is to set up wards and countergank. A game can quickly be turned around by killing an enemy jungler + lane. Even if there are a lot of wards in lanes, you need to find a way to crack them. Keep going at it, always from different angles.

  • Jarvan. Either status. Jarvans have very powerful ganks, but they are also kinda slow and easily counterjungled by the first four on the list. If you have to play passive, just build for the lategame and farm up. Jarvan is an insane force in a team-fight, IF you know how his kit works. Don't kill your team with his ult or you're a noob.

Sidenote: I did that once. Maybe more than once.

  • Jax. High status. This guy's a beastly ganker that snowballs harder than most jungles. All he really needs is a gunblade and his damage just goes through the roof. Gunblade, sheen, and tanky is perfect for the jungle - maybe not even Sheen. Just do not fall behind, or you're a joke. I like to be really aggressive with Jaxes because they're not good at losing. Bad Jax players know how to win if they're fed, but they don't know how to win if they're unfed.

  • Nautilus. Low status. He is a slow and quiet behemoth who slowly builds up power over time. If he gets through his entire jungle and hits 4 without any interruption, he WILL get a lane kill if he's any good at all. A good Nautilus is patient and can come back even if counterjungled. A bad Nautilus falls apart after being invaded. Don't play him if you don't know how to handle invasion, because I always invade Nautilus and other good junglers will probably do the same.

  • Alistar. High status that turns into low status. Alistar is a great ganker and counterganker, but it's SO easy to get him behind just by taking all his stuff and properly warding lanes. He really has no farm power at all, so all he's got is ganks. That said, a good Alistar ganks like crazy. Later in the game, even a successful Alistar will turn into a support rather than a killer. He's basically a very tanky counter-initiator who accomplishes very little by actually initiating. He'll just wait for you to initiate then punish you for it. Just remember, after his two skills are used, he literally has nothing left to do to you. Make him pop his skills and then ignore him while he does 40 damage to your AD carry.

  • Amumu. Low status. You're just asking to be invaded with this little guy. In my experience, Amumu players seem to take everything personally, as if they know they're dumb for playing the mummy. It's pretty easy to get under a bad Amumu's skin, but just don't do anything to get banned. If you must play him, be patient and put trolls on ignore. He works best in premades, but Maokai is a preferable pick if you're going for AOE teams. That said...the little guy packs a punch, and he can be used to carry games against slow junglers.

  • Warwick. Low status that becomes high status at 6. Warwick, like Amumu, is asking to get counterjungled. Don't gank, just farm. Get six, then gank every time ult is up. You will get a kill every time if your team is any good at all. I love jungling WW, and if I'm vs a manageable jungler it's the easiest win in the game. I used to counterjungle with WW, and you can do this vs slower junglers like Amumu or Nautilus. Your 1v1 ability is strong just because of all that sustain, but he kills slowly at first so make sure your lane is aware. Late-game, a fully-built WW is one of the most dangerous 1v1s in the game.

  • Trundle. Either status. Trundle is pretty good at everything, and if he gets rolling he's a beast. He needs to be built tanky to be effective, and he has a lot of steroids that allow him to invade and 1v1 with ease. You don't see him much simply because he's very hard to play. When you do see him, however, he's probably a very good player, and he will troll you. All. Day. Long.

Sidenote: I once trolled my friend Nociess by pretending to gank his lane, pillaring him in with Sion and getting him killed. I also ignored him while he was running from Sion a few times. We lost terribly, and Noci looked like a total feeder. 10/23/11. Never forgive, never forget.

  • Shaco. HIGH STATUS. You are gonna need like 20-30 games with Shaco to be a threat. His kit is so weak, but you anyone with invisibility is OP in the right hands. Shaco is a ganker, an invader, or whatever else you want him to be. Set up 3 jack in the boxes at enemy blue, wait for him to come, insta-kill him. AP shaco is weaker than AD shaco, but it's ridiculously fun. AD is the only one that can really do anything useful in late-game, but even he falls off if he isn't ridiculously ahead of the enemy jungler. Play at your own risk.

  • Tryndamere. High status. If they get kills, GG. If they don't, GG. Either then win hard or they lose hard. Trynd players are also notorious ragers, so do everything you can to make them say something bannable. Then report them, cuz we really don't want these players in our community.

Laner psychology

Laners are the average League of Legends players. Naturally, they are not on the same level as a decent jungler but they do have their uses - for example, many laners scale very well with items. Despite this, laners like to think that the game is all about them, and that your job is to help them in everything they do. If you don't help a laner, they'll rage. If you do help a laner and your team facerolls, they'll take credit for carrying. Your job is to give an unwavering show of support, both with your words and your actions. I've read about how on the sets for big movies, much of the crew goes out of their way to compliment the most famous people, get them whatever they want, baby them, etc. This is your job as jungler. You are the crew, and the lanes are the cast. Of course the show can't go on if you don't perform your behind-the-scenes work, but there's no sense in trying to explain this because actors just don't get it. Here are a few tips on preserving the delicate balance of harmony in your games:

  • Watch your teammates' hp in the left hand side. If they're getting low, go help them.
  • Watch how your lanes are pushing, and the time in the game. If you're blue team, it's 3:30, and your top lane is pushing to the enemy's tower, the odds of them getting ganked in the next 45 seconds are well above 80%. Countergank.
  • If your lanes feed first blood, you need to help that lane because they're probably counterpicked or outclassed skillwise.
  • If you get your laners kills, they WILL do well, even if they're terrible players. Most everyone knows how to perform in a winning lane, but very few know how to perform in a losing lane.
  • If you are planning to invade, tell your laners in very explicit detail what you plan to do at the start of the game. Make sure they acknowledge this with some sort of response, or there's a good chance they aren't going to help you.
  • If you can avoid it, don't KS your lane. That 300-400 gold is going to do you very little good in the jungle, but it's a world of difference in the lane.
  • If you organize a plan to counterjungle and your lanes don't respond, don't try it again. Odds are they're dumb as a post and won't help in later attempts either. You will get blamed for the loss, and rightly so because you depended on help from idiots.
  • Mid and late game, you are the leader. You call the shots. Know when to Baron and when to push. If two or more enemies are down for 20 seconds or more (or if the main carry is down), you can safely baron. DO NOT push towers, wait for them to spawn, and then go to baron. You'll get it stolen, you'll get aced, and your laners will blame you.

the psychological implications of a single moment

Let's consider that red-steal and all the possibilities that could come from it. My plan is:
1) take my blue without smite
2) take his red with smite before he gets there
3) gank the nearest, most overextended lane at level 3

Possibility 1: You pull off the red steal and he doesn't realize it til he gets there. Your enemy could:
  • Immediately start playing more passively because he thinks you're more skilled than him
  • Immediately start playing more aggressively because he needs to catch up to you
  • Start warding up so he can catch you next time you invade
  • Attempt to counterjungle you right away
  • Go try and gank the nearest lane right away at level 2 (I'd do this, but I'd take red first and gank at 3)

Any of these options could result in your success or failure. His aggression could be too much for you to handle. His passivity could end up in him getting super farmed and keeping you out of further invasions. His wards might lead to you baiting him into going for you. His counterjungle might catch you off-guard and kill you. His gank might countergank and kill you. Or he might be sloppy, stupid, helpless, or a tasty first-blood snack.

Possibility 2: He catches you at his red. His mid is there. You die. Your enemy might:
  • Roll with his advantage and gank a lane now that you're out of the picture
  • Continue in his jungle path, go back, and buy. He might even say "wut" in allchat
  • Mock you relentlessly
  • Immediately go to your red buff for the steal (that's what I would do unless a lane is really exposed)

These options look pretty bad for you, but it could go in your favor after all. You could alert your lane and they get away just fine. You can ignore him if he mocks you. You can catch him at your red buff. But if he just chooses to farm, then you're in trouble because he is doing the most guaranteed, certain way to further his lead on you.

Possibility 3: He catches you at his red. Your mid is there. You get a kill, maybe a double kill. In addition to most of the poss 1 options, he might:
  • Rage his mid, maybe even in all-chat, maybe even AFK in base (any of these options = you are 95% going to win)
  • Give up entirely and play a terrible jungle from this point on
  • Sing "Bet on It" from High School Musical in his head while working himself up into a teenage frenzy all about perseverence and stick-to-it-iveness - aka play defensive and wait for a late-game comeback (HELL NO I WOULD NOT SING HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL IN MY HEAD. BUT I WOULD PREPARE FOR LATE GAME. F--- HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL)

Most of these options are a guaranteed win for you, but if he goes HSM on you and farms up for late-game, you might see a come-back if you play sloppy. It's your job to make sure the free win you just gave yourself remains a free win. Make sure your mid uses the advantage to gank other lanes, and you do the same.

Possibility 4: He went straight for your red in the same manner. Then he might...
  • Double back and finish his own jungle
  • Immediately gank an overextending lane
  • Wait to kill you

If he does the first option, he's going to find his stuff missing as well, and it was basically a trade. If you got a kill from ganking and he just doubled back, you've won the trade. If he ganks and you both get a kill, whoever ganked bot lane will probably come out ahead, though if you've got a kill-lane top it's a toss-up. If someone ganked mid, they win the trade. If he waits to kill you, lol. He's gonna take the rest of your jungle after he sees you gank, so you'd better hope you get a kill.

See how much can come from that one instance? So many possibilities, and I know I haven't even begun to list them all. Are you starting to understand why that red invasion gets my heart racing every time I do it? I'm much, MUCH more comfortable defending my own stuff because I have the home team advantage. But invasion can lead to such incredible rewards - just think how far behind he is if you wait and kill him at his red, or gank and kill his top lane before he even finishes a clear!

the psychology of level one invasion

This is the most stressful thing imaginable. If you aren't invading, you run the risk of being invaded and giving first blood. If you are invading, you run the risk of them catching you and slaughtering your entire team. The most stressful part about it is you can never tell where an invade will be. You MUST move as a full team to invade or defend invasion. If they're going at your blue and you have someone "guarding" your red, it's a 4v5. If they go to your red, your little human ward is gonna give away a lot more than 25g. That said, the stakes are VERY high. I'm gonna describe a few types of invasion and their psychological implications.

1) The safe invade. In a safe invade, you go to the place that your enemy probably will not be starting. If it's someone who needs blue, red is a safe bet. If it's Mundo, Lee, Riven, or Shyvana, invading is a little more tricky cuz they could start anywhere. So, here are a few possibilities that could occur if you safe invade.
  • You invade. They don't see you. You steal 3 wraiths, all of lizard, and maybe even a double golem. Your enemy is completely crippled. He's going to get to his stuff and freak out cuz he literally has nothing to farm. He might force a bad gank or a bad invade, and you could very easily get a first blood off him.
  • You invade. They don't see you. While you're taking wraiths, their far lane walks into wraith bush and you first blood him. Already there could be some rage going on in their team, especially in solo queue. You can encourage this by allchatting. You can heavily encourage this by ganking the deader as soon as he gets back to lane and killing him again. If the enemy jungler is good, he'll probably go to your jungle right after his blue's done, so you need to run to your own stuff to defend, then hit the lane that died. It'll give him time to push out and become vulnerable.
  • You invade. They see you. It turns into a trade as they go for your stuff. Nobody is really worse off than the other, though depending on which side you are, your lane that has to walk far/walk from base will suffer a bit. The enemy jungler might think he's pretty pro for counterinvading, or he might be scared that you are going to be a tough jungler.
  • You invade. They see you. A fight breaks out. You get first blood. Again, there's the rage factor, especially if someone did something stupid. They'll possibly be blaming the person who pinged to fight your invade, or maybe they'll brush it off and go on with their game. Either way, you have the psychological advantage, so drive it home by ganking their jungle (who will now be well behind you) or the lane that died (who will also be well behind you).
  • You invade. They see you. A fight breaks out. You give first blood. Reverse everything I just said, cuz that's what the enemy jungler might do to you. Rush to your most important buff cuz they may be trying to steal it. You have the psychological disadvantage, but make an advantage out of it by punishing anyone who gets cocky about first blood. If they're trash talking you, they might also be playing badly, so punish them for it.
  • You're invading red, they're invading blue. You catch each other. Either of the two above could happen, or you could end up going back to your jungle. Both teams will be a bit shaken up if nobody dies, but if someone does die the killing team has a HUGE psychological advantage. The other guy just tried doing something bold and got punished for it. There's a good chance whoever made that call won't be as bold next time.

Again, these are just a few possibilities compared to the vast extent of the human ability to react to any given situation.

2) The risky invade. In a risky invade, you're out for blood. You want to steal the buff the enemy is going for (generally blue) and maybe get a first blood in the process. Here are some possibilities:
  • You invade, they invade. You trade blues. Both junglers feel fairly confident until they get to their blue and it's gone, at which point you swear. If you gave the enemy blue to your AP carry thinking you could take your own later, you swear a lot.
  • You invade, they are there. You catch them off-guard and get one or more kills. This may induce rage, or if you kill more than one, it may even cause the team to give up prematurely. Just don't get cocky. I've seen CLG vs TSM games where one team got 1-3 kills in the invade and ended up losing due to being overconfident. That said, you have a big advantage. Press it by ganking or invading before the enemy jungler can get on his feet.
  • You invade, they are there. You trade kills, and it's not quite apparent who won. You'll probably end up backing off and not getting blue. If their jungler survived, they came out ahead in an even trade cuz he starts his jungle right away and you don't. IF you can get the jungler low, you've done well and he will have to heal before he starts. Just do not die or you're way behind.
  • You invade, they are there. You lose one or more and clearly come out behind in the trade. Don't get discouraged - they are probably overconfident, maybe even trolling. Get up off the ground and punish them for their cockiness. But if you are an invasion-heavy champ, you are going to want to cut back because if you die again...you're even further behind and you'll probably get raged.
  • You invade, they are there. They back off and let you have the blue. The enemy jungler might make a beeline to your blue and try to steal it - have one of your team go back and guard so you win the early-game by securing two blues. Give the second to your AP carry and press the advantage. If you're vs a blue-dependent enemy, you're going to starve them out early if you invade a lot.
  • You invade, but they force you back without losing anyone. Get into your jungle and start farming immediately because you don't want to get behind. If you're near red, start red and go to blue (unless you are a very mana-intensive champion). Try and cut your losses and get on your feet as quickly as you can.

3) The WTF invasion. This entails waiting with your entire team in a random bush somewhere in the jungle (I recommend wraith bush). If you're Shaco, you can do it on your own waiting in a bush with boxes. Once someone facechecks the bush, you beat the crap out of them and they wet themselves. There are four possibilites here:
  • You killed him. He all-chats WTF. Your lanes are way behind but you got first blood. It was hysterical but it really accomplishes very little aside from gimp that poor little Amumu and scar him for life.
  • He got away. He all-chats LOL. Somehow between your alistar Q and Sion stun, you just couldn't do enough damage in the 10 seconds it took him to realize he was under attack. You just wasted ridiculous amounts of time, and you got nothing out of it. You might want to consider uninstalling.
  • His entire team facechecks the bush and you have an epic deathmatch in which every single player on each team dies. The only possible result of this is you call off the game and turn it into an ARAM dance war.
  • You are Shaco. Of course you got the kill. You have his blue, and you probably stole his red, so you're level 2 or 3. Time to go gank mid lane and get another kill. At this point, the enemy team hacks the game and surrenders immediately.

Now, take the above information and try to figure out on your own what might go through your head if you are on the receiving end of one of these invasions. Be ready for any of them, because I've seen them all happen on numerous occasions. Yes, even the failed WTF gank.

the psychology of a well-orchestrated countergank

Ganks don't win games, counterganks do. Why? Because they're unexpected and they get people to rage their junglers. A countergank is when you see an enemy jungler ganking the lane and you gank at the same time or shortly after. Here's why it's good.
  • If a lane knows a gank is coming, they are likely going to be more aggressive and play sloppy.
  • If your lane knows an enemy gank is coming, they are going to prepare for it, but the other team doesn't know you are coming and thus are not prepared.
  • An enemy jungler often ganks as though he has the advantage. He'll take a lot of damage if necessary and go way too aggressive in the hopes of winning a 3v2. If it becomes a 3v3, suddenly he's exposed and his team backs off.

So how do you set up the perfect counterganks?
  • Ward jungle exits at the very least. Even better, ward bushes IN the enemy jungle so you see where he's going before he gets there.
  • If you are farming and a lane gets ganked, stop farming and go there NOW. Every second matters, and you're useless if you get there after your bot lane got double-killed.
  • If your lane is pushing really hard, that is a prime target for an enemy jungler. If your bot lane is at the enemy's tower and you have an Ashe with absolutely no escapes, she's an easy kill for any decent jungler. Head to that lane, through the lane, and wait for all hell to break loose.

Ok, that's all well and good, but how do you avoid getting counterganked?
  • Remember that pushing lane? Don't tower-dive it unless they're very, VERY low. If you tower-dive a malphite and he ults you + gets a gank, you're toast.
  • Do not overexpose yourself. Always have a way out if things go wrong.
  • Make sure mid is in mid.
  • Don't gank at low hp. If you do, post a video so I can laugh at you for giving first blood.
  • Have wards up in lanes so you don't get ganked from obvious spots.
  • The most likely place to be ganked is from the lane. If the enemy jungler hasn't been seen for a while, he might be coming up the lane to countergank. Be ready.
  • Is Nocturne's ult up? He's waiting for you to gank. Bait him.

the psychology of a comeback

It is very easy to snowball into a victory if you're already ahead. If you're behind, however, there is *always* the possibility of turning a game around. I once had a game where we hadn't dropped a single enemy tower and they were at our nexus - not the nexus towers, the NEXUS. We aced them three times, took two barons, and won.

The first fight in a comeback is the one that matters most. Consider the psychology of this moment.
  • If they're far enough ahead, the enemy has likely already written off the game as a "win." The further ahead they are, the more this holds true. They don't think they can be beaten.
  • Your team is probably rather demoralized, maybe even raging at each other. There's a good chance they're blaming the jungler, which would be you. So your head is a mess too.

What you want is a 5v5 under your tower (if it's still early enough in the game for baron damage to matter, a 5v5 at baron works too). The best 5v5s and the best comebacks come from the second inhib tower or your nexus towers. By this point, they've got at least one inhib, and they know they've won. One good blow can send them reeling. Let them towerdive you. Do NOT give up an inhib tower without fighting for it. Once they dive, you need to zerg their biggest carry. If you're Udyr, stun them all. If you're Rammus, taunt their AP carry. If you're Skarner, drag a carry to his death (DO NOT ULT A TANK ON SKARNER). If you have a bunch of aoe cc like Alistar, Malphite, or Kennen, make sure you give them opportunity to get it off on the entire enemy team. If you win this fight, you have maybe a 25%-50% chance of victory, depending on the situation.

So let's say you just won the fight. What's the psychology now?
  • Your team suddenly realizes it can win. This is a good thing, but don't get cocky and throw the game again.
  • The enemy team just took a punch in the gut. They might be raging, they might be paranoid about throwing.
  • If it's solo queue, they're almost definitely in a frenzy. Some might be playing safer now, but others will still think it's a free win with a minor setback.

Your job is to rally the team, say good job to everyone involved in the fight, let anyone who died know how awesome they are for their sacrifice. And then you wait. If it's solo queue, they're going to come face off again. Maybe they'll be more cautious, but someone will get cocky, and this time you all have much better items. The second fight is easier in solo queue but more difficult in team games. This is the fight you want. If you can win the second fight, there's a very good chance you can snowball to victory - maybe 60-75%. Just remember when baron's up, and FIGHT for it. You can probably win a baron fight at this point, especially if you have a better team comp.

Here's a video (SEASON 3 APPROVED):

The Lee Sin Factor

Do you remember when you started playing League? Maybe it was a few months, maybe a few years, it doesn't matter. There were Tryndamere players. They were generally HORRIBLE beyond all reason. Stupidly aggressive, always angry, and complete assholes to you if they start carrying. They played Trynd because he's the easiest champ to pubstomp with and generally takes no skill whatsoever at low levels / low elo. Well, guess what. All the old Trynd players have been playing LoL for two years, and they're all playing Lee Sin now. They're every bit the asshole they used to be, but they're very, very good at abusing a high-skill champ rather than a low-skill one. Lee sin is broken. Lee Sin will always be broken. No amount of nerfs could make him weak if he is in the hands of someone who knows how to abuse his kit.

Lee Trynds are every bit as aggressive as they used to be, but because of their kit, they can get away with it. Bad Lees are predictable - they take red or blue, gank the nearest lane, and if it works, they'll leave. If the gank doesn't work, they'll sit around and gank again. If it doesn't work, they'll sit around and gank again. They will give or get first blood, depending on whether you help the lane.

Good Lees, on the other hand, are much more difficult to handle. They might double-gank a lane, but they'll also invade, wait for you at your red and kill you, gank your blue and kill you, etc. Lee Sin is the only champion who can beat me in my jungle without having a significant lead on me. And even if he doesn't beat me, he can always just shield away or kick away to something or other.

A top lane Lee will want to invade your buffs and kill you. He'll do it too, and then he'll blood your lane. Then he'll blood it again. Then you go to gank him, and he uses one of his three million escapes to survive.

So basically, you have two options.
1) Play Lee
2) Ban Lee

If you don't do one of these two options, you are opening Pandora's box. You could have an amazing Lee on their team who decimates you, or you could have a Lee Trynd on your own team who decimates you.

If you must play with Lee Sin, here are a few tips to beating him:
  • Have someone on your team pack a CV. You need to know where he starts and if at all possible, gank him before he gets a chance to get rolling. If your team is weak at invasion, steal his other buff.
  • If you're not invading, you NEED to be at the far lane that he's ganking. Lees usually won't gank mid at 2 unless they're overextending massively, but the far lane is almost a certain kill. He doesn't have his W yet, so take advantage of that. Wait for him to initiate, then go in. If you try and catch him in the bush, you die.
  • You need to ward up a lot. Make sure EVERY jungle exit is warded, no matter what. If you can see his ganks coming, you're potentially safe. Also ward lane bushes if you are pushed to your tower. If you see him come in, go and countergank.
  • If he taunts you in all-chat, ignore him immediately.
  • If you are beating him, try and get him raging in all-chat. But if the game turns around, you're never gonna hear the end of it.
  • If he gets an Oracle, you NEED to set up a countergank on him, or a gank in his own jungle. The longer he has Oracles, the more kills he gets because he's free to gank whomever he wants.
  • Lee's early levels, he has really low hp and goes down fast, even with big escapes. At high levels, consider him unkillable and do not even attempt to go for him in team fights until the carries are dead.
  • If you are blue team, it's very easy to set up a Baron bait, or stop him if he's doing Baron. The same thing applies to dragon if you're purple.
  • Get an oracle and clear out his wards, or he's always going to have something to jump to. A good Lee always carries a ward because it's a free escape, and a great Lee will not initiate a fight unless he has a ward to jump to.
  • If you troll him enough after the game's over, he might uninstall and never play again. No, probably not. But he will challenge you to 1v1 and insult your mother's heritage.

Final Words

If you've made it this far in the guide, I'm impressed. The whole thing is one big wall of text, but isn't it just so INTERESTING?? I'm sure more sections will come, but first I need to think of them. If you have any ideas, just let me know.

Anywho, I hope this has helped you learn a little more about jungling, and I hope to see a few more ladies who are pro jungle! (if you ARE a girl who's good in the jungle, send me some replays or videos cuz I wanna put them up in a video section on this guide!) If you have any questions, you are always free to comment or message me, and I will answer as well as I am able.

As always, thanks for watching. Happy Jungling!


If you've read it this far, you are definitely a dedicated reader/player. Thanks a ton for continued support of this guide. I'm really surprised every time I log onto solomid and see thousands of new hits. But as some of you have surely been able to tell, this particular guide has slowly fallen into disrepair, and due to my changing schedule, I really lack the time to adequately update it.

SO. If you have seen something that you think is outdated, I'd love it if you could message/comment and let me know. OR if you're feeling really ambitious, write up something or rewrite a section and I'll put it in here and give you the credit you deserve. I really don't want this guide to become outdated and useless because so much of the information is always going to be relevant. So if anyone would like to try out their guide-writing skills, I'd absolutely love any help I can get. Thanks!

(oh, but if you leave me a really long message about every single thing that's outdated i'll probably close out the screen and go rock back and forth in a corner for a bit while quietly sobbing to myself. so please, one thing at a time)


February 9, 2015 - 08:29 PM #1

Really enjoyed reading this, I con only hope to apply this all to my games and become a better player because of it.

Thanks man :)

February 3, 2015 - 06:46 PM #2

This has got to be one of the most interesting things i've read in a while. Though a lot of the items you talk about are pretty outdated, such as oracles elixir and the 10gp5 items. Other than that though, its a very good read.

January 14, 2014 - 08:08 AM #3

Hello tapobu.
I found this guide really helpfull and it's really funny to see you talking about Lee Sin, I have laughed a lot.
I'm a Low Status player (I'm good at predicting enemy locations sometimes) and I main Lee Sin. I'm never satisfied with what I already know about jungling, so I always look for some guides. I'm the kind of player who likes to learn from people with more experience and from my own mistakes. I wouldn't say I'm bad.
The "Lee Sin Factor" part actually helped a lot, now I know some things that will make me a little bit less predictable.
Thank you very much!

July 5, 2013 - 12:31 AM #4

REALLY Amazing guide, bro! Couldn't stop reading till the end!

I just decided to pick up jungling, cause even though I got to Platinum ranking playing top and mid, at least 50% of the games my jungler just failed hard. So I found this guide by accident, and now I deffinetely wanna start jungling! (though not a girl, sorry XD)

But REALLY nice job, keep it up, please!

July 2, 2013 - 05:02 AM #5

missingno: i honestly haven't played jarvan too well. i really like the idea of him, but he's too all-in for me. i play all-in champions, i die...thus the silver. ;) but in theory he's wonderful, and in the hands of an actually skilled player, he's definitely top-tier for pre-6 ganks and really good for locking down carries in mid/late-game.

July 1, 2013 - 02:02 AM #6

This really is a great, well-rounded, and not to mention, a well-thought out guide. Single handily made me sign up for Solomid.net

PS: do you have any particular love for jungle jarvan?

March 30, 2013 - 04:06 PM #7

As a girl who mains jungle that first part was cute :) nice guide though!

March 15, 2013 - 02:41 PM #8

Tapobu: I really appreciate your guide. Being an undergrad studying Psychology, the psychological aspect of gaming is interesting to me. I read that you wondered why Chaox seems to avoid "downshifting." I believe he is able to accept responsibility for his mistakes, and he is relentless at analyzing himself so he can perfect his game. Instead of taking out his frustration from his own mistakes on others, he typically says something like "oh, how'd I miss that CS!" or "with Caitlyn's range, I really shouldn't be missing any CS." He understands what he's doing wrong, and how to fix it. His knowledge of the game allows him to pick out any mistake he has made, and rather than waste time raging or giving, he finds out a solution with rational logic. I liked one of the things he has said similar to this (don't take this word for word): "If you lose a game, assume it's your fault." He goes on to explain that there's always an aspect of your game you can improve on, so by placing the blame on yourself (even when we know it isn't entirely our fault) it opens the opportunity to improve yourself rather than play blame games.I am curious to see what you think- let me know!

- Immortal Solace

February 23, 2013 - 11:18 AM #9

What do you think about jungling Shen?

February 19, 2013 - 07:01 PM #10

olaf is definitely still viable. although i question the use of malphite and nunu by ordinary men, the legends speak of their use in recent tournaments...so it is possible.

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