My name is Ayame Kiyoshi and I am a level 30 player with about 1.4k matches up my belt, from which about 800 are won and the rest lost. My ranked career hasn't gone that far, the highest I have achieved being about 1350 in Season One. In Preseason 3, I have a maximum rating of 1309, the current one being 1260. For those of you who consider that I should not speak because of this reason, thank you for reading thus far.
Before I get into the actual explaining of what I believe a jungler to be, I am going to mention a few rules of thumb when playing League of Legends, especially solo que, no matter the ELO:
1. NEVER play a ranked game when you are: - tired, drunk, stoned, depressed, upset, extremely excited, etc. Point is, when you que up for ranked, your mood has to be balanced. You can't be too excited, because you'll overestimate your skills and lose the game. You can't be upset, because you'll underestimate your skill and lose the game. You NEED to be relaxed, calm, rational and composed.
2. DON'T "pick" your position by saying " I am jungle! ". Instead, it is of common sense, if you think your best position is jungling, to say something such as " Hello! My best position is jungling, so I would rather take up that to contribute better to the team. ". This way, you'll let the other guys know a few things:
- You are a nice guy. You're not going to rage, you're understanding, you're friendly, you can be trusted. Siv HD mentioned that if they trust you, you can lead them to victory ( more on that later ).
- You want to win. You are willing to try your best to win. People feel more secure when they know there's someone there who is willing to fight along them, be it life problems or League of Legends.
3. NEVER blame the others. Instead of whining like " Oh my GOD! These guys suck so bad! I am doing everything I can and they still suck! ", you can ask yourself, without spending time to write in chat, " What can I do to improve the situation we're in? ". It's simple. If you go the first way, the following will happen:
- Your team will start disliking you. You are going to lose their trust and you are NOT going to be taken into consideration anymore. You are going to lower their morale, which will, in turn, lower yours.
- You are never going to improve.
4. Know when to surrender and when to take it to late-game. Don't go around wasting your own time with a match that's clearly lost. I mean, it's not point playing when the opposing Graves already has Phantom Dancer, level 2 Boots, Bloodthirster, Infinity Edge and GA, while your carry only has his level 2 Boots and a Bloodthirster. It's obivous you are not going to win. Surrender, start a new game.
5. IF you are losing two matches in a row, TAKE A BREAK. In fact, take a 10 minute break after every game you play. It'll let you unwind and start again fresh. However, if you lose two matches in a row, take a break ranging from 30 minutes to at least 1 hour. Go out, cook, eat, do whatever you enjoy doing the most. You need to enter the game with a positive, fresh attitude.
6. Learn to understand the game. As soon as you start doing it, your win percent will go through the roof. That's one of the most important things the pros have over the lower elo. Things like why is it better to farm than jump in for all the kills that are possible but not assured, when to play defensive, why to play defensive, why X counters Y, does it counter it all the time, if no, why? Those things, the mechanics of the game, and the game itself must be understood before becoming a better player overall.
Now, onto the jungle-specific side of things.
Jungling is, in this game, a very important position, but with a much more impact during early and mid, mid to late game. The jungler has, in my opinion the following duties:
- Lead the team
- Help the lanes
- Know everything that's going on on the minimap
- Predict the opposing jungler
- Ward the opposing jungle
- Server as a beacon of communication
- Encourage the team
- Secure Dragon and later on Baron
- Secure own buffs
You, as a jungler, are the main core of the team. You are the one that is everywhere, so you must know everything. Your map awareness has to be, if not excellent, at least very good. Your prediction skills have to be above average and your leading abilities have to stand out. It is because of these reasons that a jungler can NEVER rage. You have to understand the team's complaints and, if they were wrong explain what they were doing wrong and help them as much as possible ( ex: your carry can't farm. Go take dragon, go take a few towers and give him gold ), otherwise, if you were wrong, apologize and straighten your mistakes.
As an example to what it's been stated above, I'll write down how a match of mine usually goes:
Provided I jungle, at the start of the match I communicate to my team that I'd like mid to damage my wraiths and pull my red, top lane hit red a few times and bot lane just protect the blue until minions spawn. Then I proceed to tell them I'll start ganking after level 4.
I proceed with my jungle route and in no time I am level 4. Before ganking, if possible, I will ping the lane and ask if there is any ward. If there is, I will try to either gank from another angle or go to another lane. If there is not, I proceed to with saying " I gank " in chat. If the laner does not respond to my question, I will know where the ward might be placed ( intuition skills ) and attempt a gank.
NOTE: Remember! A gank is successful as long as you at least make the opponent waste a summoner!
If I decide to hit the enemy jungler to counter-jungle or just ward, I will say in chat " Going enemy jungle! Mid top / bot, please assist if necessary! " They know what's going on, they know what will happen, everything's planned, there's no chaos, the match goes on in order.
By mid-game I am usually able to figure out how it's going to end, without any surprises. If I believe we should wait until late-game, I will say in chat " I think we should late-game. Farm as much as possible and stall it. Avoid teamfights. We are not able to 5v5. At most, try to catch them one by one, otherwise disengage immediately ". If you've been a good guy and they trust you, they will listen.
If that is not the case, though, and we can 5v5 them and come out on top, I will say " Everyone gather here * ping *. We're going to engage. Focus X, then Y, in that order. X goes in first with Shurelya's ". Again, everyone knows what is going to happen, there is no chaos, only order.
So, now taht's I've written all this, you might ask " Kiyoshi, but what do I need to do effectively, physically, so I can get better at jungling? ". Well, I think it goes like this:
1. Understand the game. Read as many guides as possible and write it down, if you need to and learn it. Learn everything. If you wanna play LoL at a higher rank, you gotta take it seriously, just like you would take a sport.
2. Learn to communicate. Learn to type fast. It goes hand in hand. As no means of communication exist in solo que, you have to let the team know what you're doing by writing it down in chat. You've gotta type fast and you've gotta know how to shorten that wall of text to a few common abbreviations. A good way is to go into a custom game and do your jungle. While you're at it, write down everything you do.
3. Play to get better, not to win. You're gonna win if you get better. That's the ultimate purpose. To increase your League of Legends playing ability.
4. Learn 1-2 junglers from each category and know them by heart ( including cooldowns, abilities, range, stats, etc ). Pick a tank, a support jungler, a damage dealer, a ward cleaner, a fast clearer, a sustainer, etc. It is against common sense to want to win and play a champion you barely know.
5. Learn to lead. Learn to keep your cool no matter what. Learn to bear with the team blaming you, learn to ignore what appears to be an imminent loss that can be avoided, learn to think rational and be above the game you're playing. You need to assess the situation at hand, relax, and think of a proper strategy to continue the game with.
6. Learn to encourage the team. A player who is doing bad, even if he is ****, will do better if you tell him something like " Yeah, you're doing fine at the moment. I like it. Though, I would like to suggest focusing on farming a little more ", instead of going on with the classic " You IDIOT! FARM MORE DUMBASS! ".
7. Learn to ward and gank. Wards don't go anywhere on the map. Proper warding, as a notion, exists, because wards are 75g and you need to make the most out of them. Ganks too, they aren't easy. Learn multiple ganking paths, and try to know if you can get a kill, waste a summoner, or just harass the lane.
8. I cannot stress this enough. WATCH videos and streams. You can learn SO much by watching those. Also, try to install LoLReplay and watch your matches so you can learn of your mistakes and bad habits. Write them down and avoid them.
If there is anything missing, point it out to me in the replies and I will add it.
PS: Here is a list of channels and streams I find relevant to getting better as a player and as a jungler:
- Siv HD
- any other tutorial and jungle related YouTube channel that I cannot remember right now.
- same as before, any jungle related stream that is out there. All junglers in the competitive scene are worth watching, because they each have a different style of playing and each has something valuable to teach the audience.