My initial thoughts on current meta champions who can be, will be, or are played in the current or future jungle and how they have been effected by the Season 3 jungle changes or how they will be played.
Tier 1 Playables
Dr.Mundo: New changes to items effects mundo. No longer is it worth it to rush spirit visage; I feel like warmogs rush is better now. No Heart of gold, but he doesn’t need it because jungle farm is good and he has amazing clear times. Early clear times are rougher, making runes more important, due to lack of innate sustain early levels. Regardless, he can get a lot of gold by farming extremely efficiently making him a monster late game. Laners still have to fear the level 2 mundo gank with exhaust, but it’s no longer guaranteed first blood the moment a laner strays past the half-way point.
Lee Sin: Clear times have been effected significantly by the new changes. His early clear time is poor and early ganks on him have less incentive. However, he is still the most flexible and all-in-one jungler out there. Arguably, Hunter’s Machete has been less positive on his clear time when compared to other junglers. Blade of the Ruined King gives Lee Sin crazy damage and healing. Blade of the ruined king, wriggles, tabi, and some more armor and health, allows Lee to solo baron at level 13-14. Look for my upcoming season 3 Lee Sin guide, as I have always been a big Lee Sin player.
Maokai: Probably one of the only support junglers to make it out of the Season 3 changes as top tier. Maokai’s clear times and gank potential remain untouched as he does not really rely on movement speed. Probably not worth it to start wraiths anymore though. Look for my upcoming Season 3 Maokai guide.
Nocturne: Arguably the most positively effected jungler in Season 3. I would bet that Nocturne will be nerfed in upcoming patches as he will be extremely strong. Not only are Nocturne’s ganks going to be strong early due to movement speed increase on his Q, he has innate sustain and aoe clear. Very strong clear times due to Hunter’s Machete. Very strong ganks on level 6, letting him sit in jungle and rush 6 very quickly means it’s an efficient way of jungling. Scales very well with items and has farm in jungle to get it even if he doesn’t get fed off ganks. Late game, click R to have farmed Nocturne kill the enemy AD Carry. Look for my upcoming Season 3 Nocturne guide.
Skarner: Skarner’s jungling hasn’t changed much at all, although early clears hurt a little more. He’s still amazing. Plays like a bruiser early - mid game, initiation of a support jungler late game, tankiness of maokai late game, and builds like a support jungler. Being able to start fights whenever means he’s a solo queue monster. FROZEN FIST IS AMAZING ON SKARNER - INFINITE PEELS. Look for my Season 3 Skarner guide.
Alistar: Being barely playable in season 2 after the nerfs, he has been devastated by the Season 3 changes the most. No clear time, very low in jungle, low movement speed early game, high enemy movement speed. Unplayable.
Amumu: Early clear has always been extremely susceptible to counter jungling; however, his clear time is still good. He is still a late game monster. Playable.
Cho’Gath: The king of jungle clearing and sustain is here to stay. However, bad dueling and extremely high skilled ganks makes him a bad choice for solo queue as he was before. No major changes. Playable. Tier 1 playable if you’re Snoopeh.
Darius: He is a lot stronger now; although I haven’t tested much of him. More playable than before.
Diana: AP Changes makes her more playable now; however, has always had poor potential until 6 as her ulti is a huge part of her kit. An AP Carry in the jungle makes your team lose a tanky bruiser though. Not optimally playable.
Fiddlesticks: Similar to Diana. Not optimally playable.
Fiora: Clear times are better; but it’s not her issue. Her kit is bad and Riot should feel bad. Not optimally playable.
Gangplank: BANKPLANK FARM JUNGLE 24/7. Playable, although not competitively playable.
Hecarim: I haven’t tested enough of Hecarim to give a valuable judgment. I feel like his early clears will suffer greatly as he already suffered from below average early clears in Season 2. I feel like he is playable and would be a future viable support jungler.
Jarvan: Not tested. Predicting no significant changes to him.
Jax: Carries in the jungle may be the new future meta, for now I have not tested him enough to really say.
Kayle: Read Jax.
Kha’zix: Read Jax.
Malphite: I have always been a Malphite enthusiast. Malphite is my hipster jungler. I played him before MLG made him popular and was devastated when he became perma ban. I feel like Malphite may suffer from the new jungle though. He had great clear times and sustain because of his AoE and small shield; however stronger creeps means his base damage is less effective and his shield will save less hp. However, he does benefit from the farm till-6 play style. Almost tier 1 playable as a support jungler.
Master Yi: Read Jax.
Nautilus: I had a 91% win percentage with Nautilus in Season 2. I am sad to say this but unless he gets significant buffs he’s going to be unplayable. His early clear time had issues in Season 2 with are magnified in Season 3. By the time he sees red buff in Season 3 he can die from an amumu counter jungle. He is less innately tanky than maokai, so why not just choose mao?
Nunu: Fuck you, Nunu. It’s Nunu. Snowball around in enemy jungler and win because the enemy team is bad and doesn’t know how to play against you making it a 4 v 5 or lose because the enemy team has played against you and you become another support. No changes. Playable.
Olaf: Great at everything. Tier 1.1 playable. However, I feel like he’s just a better top laner. Regardless, if pro players play him enough he will become tier 1 in solo queue. Only problem I see is that the lack of hard CC makes him difficult to gank with, but good players will be able to play around it.
Pantheon: The Leblanc of the jungle. Build new items, go 20/0, and win in 20 minutes or afk at fountain. New caster AD items will help him a lot.
Rammus: LOL RAMMUS.
Renekton: I’ve always loved Renekton Jungle; however, he’s just better in lane because he’s more of a trader than a sustained dps. Still, not optimally playable.
Rengar: I haven’t tested Rengar jungle. I heard AP Rengar is back though.
Riven: She used to die at red buff with no leash …. However, if she gets a lot of damage on the buff in Season 3 and snowballs she will be amazing as usual. She can also farm for her items now as she is very item dependent. No major testing done.
Sejuani: Similar to Nautilus. However, new buffs to her AOE clear may make her viable. Need to test more of her.
Shaco: I haven’t tested Shaco, but pimpmaster shaco always keeps his bitches in line even in any jungle (WATCH THE SIVHD VIDEO).
Shen: GG Shen jungle. RIP. Play if you want to clear the jungle by the time your initial buff respawns.
Shyvana: Shyvana has always had good clear times. In Season 2 she really shined because camps were weak and she didn’t take much damage from them before she cleared them making her lack of innate sustain a non-problem. However, new Season 3 jungle puts more emphasis on sustain. Playable but no longer tier 1.
Trundle: Similar to Udyr, Trundle has always been amazing in the jungle. However, his kit is extremely stale and useless late game. Teams will only pick him for his pillar. Playable.
Tryndamere: Read Jax.
Udyr: Similar to Trundle, Udyr has always been the jungler of junglers; however, he suffers from his mid-late game usefulness with his kit. He just doesn’t do much unless he’s super fed. He becomes a damage soak and peeling stun bot late game. Tenacity changes means his stuns are even less effective now. Still a good pick for solo queue. ALWAYS PLAYABLE.
Volibear: He’s a bear. Seriously, he’s a bear. No changes.
Warwick: Much better now due to Hunter’s Machete and farming till 6 not being the worst strategy in the meta of League. His sustain is greatly desired in the new jungle. Playable.
Xin Zhao: Much faster clear times due to Hunter’s Machete and good sustain. Has access to farm for items now instead of relying on snowballing from kills. Improved from Season 2 in higher elo play.