Saturday, December 14, 2013

League of Legends Season 4 Jungle Preview

Finals are over. Season 4 patch has been released. Yasuo is now on summoners rift. And I am now back from my ridiculously long hiatus with promised content. I'm sure a lot of you, maybe like two people, are interested in what I feel about the new jungle and game changes in general. In this article, I will go over the general theoretical changes that can be applied to most games due to the new patch.  

Check it out after the jump!

Please use the following patch notes for reference: 3.143.15

After playing Solo Queue for two to three days in diamond 5 to 2 MMR zone, I feel that the jungles are in general, quite positive for the game and junglers alike. They made an active effort to create more variety in the jungle. Furthermore, they have explicitly stated that they want to create games that snowball less. While I feel that they have essentially achieved this, the problem is that it was at the cost of the jungler.

General Jungle Effects

The general jungle changes seem to have resulted to a shift towards creating a winning situation. The winning situation is not conditional for the victory of a team due to the reduced snowballing effect, but more conditional for the effectiveness of the jungler. The fact of the matter is that, while every other player has retained their gold income or received increased gold income, the jungler has essentially received a gold income based on the status of the game. This is due to many reasons. Primarily, based on the fact that income for the jungler is based on camps that are taken by other players when losing and the fact that GP5 items are now limited to a core jungle item part that relies on taking camps. Furthermore, there has been a removal of cheap, effective tank items as Locket is now less efficient.  

More gold? Or another target? 

As a result of the gold changes, item changes, and GP5 changes, junglers tend to fall behind in comparative gold very fast in a losing scenario. Along with more early vision due to trinkets, I feel that there has been a favour towards two styles. The first, being the a power jungler who farms the jungle more effectively and can attain the necessary items. This is the safer method of playing that attempts to attain a winning situation safely. The other method is choosing very strong ganking junglers who build damage in an attempt to snowball the game to victory in the early game to create a winning situation.    

In the previous jungle, where a losing situation would be snowballed is actually different from the current jungle meta. A jungler who is losing in this current meta is actually more useless than in the previous meta as the enemy jungler, the enemy support, and the allied support is actually substantially stronger than you. Whereas, in the previous meta the disparity between the the four was far less. As such, picking a third style, a support-tank jungler style, is incredibly risky. A support-tank jungler is going to be a lot less efficient in the mid-late game when they are losing, a style that is risky causes a higher potential for a losing situation. Also, ganks are a lot more difficult to pull off without the additional power from bruiser junglers.

Effective Junglers 

As such, the junglers that are strong at the moment are those that fit the two styles: the power jungler and the strong-bruiser jungler.

Power Junglers:  
- Shyvana
- Dr. Mundo

These junglers can farm incredibly efficiently for big ticket items that can win team fights and create favourable situations.

Strong-Bruiser Junglers:
- Vi
- Lee Sin
- Elise
- Evelyn  

These junglers are incredibly potent in ganks and maximize gank potential in a meta that doesn't cater to ganks. As such, ganks are still an alternative with these kinds of junglers to create a favourable situation.

I feel that these 6 junglers are the strongest at the moment. However, I still have no tested Olaf, much of Evelyn, Aatrox, Wu Kong, Volibear, or the many of the support-tank junglers.  

As season 4 approaches, I will be testing more and hopefully do more articles. As my private life has become a lot more hectic, the frequency of articles will not be clear.

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