I’ve been ranking recently, and while I usually play support, sometimes I find myself in other roles. Jungle is probably where I feel least comfortable, and a bit unsure of what to do, so I’d like some advice. I know the general strategy - to amplify the effectiveness of my laners by rotating to gank or apply lane pressure, or to starve the enemy team with opportunistic invades, while making sure our own jungle resources don’t sit too long untaken.
But more specifically… what should I do in the first minute?
I’ve seen a few different openings from various streamers and teammates:
SIMPLE (kind of possessive) ROTATION
Jungler takes WP buff, then Gold Treant, then healers (although sometimes leaves them for the bot laner), then heads to top jungle for CP buff, then Jeff & Marty, then top jungle healers (if they’re not gone). Then repeat. And occasionally go to a lane when pinged. A more proactive version of this is to rotate through bot jungle alone (while bot laner farms lane), then head to bot lane to apply pressure and/or try to poach the enemy healer camp. This seems like a slightly passive way to play, maybe good for when the team doesn’t seem that coordinated or on the same page.
Jungler places cam at the entrance to bot jungle between mid lane and the dragon pit, bot laner helps farm jungle (jungler takes - oops I mean gold treant - and WP buff, laner takes healer and healer’s buddy), then both laner and jungler head to bot lane for an early gank and sustained pressure. Past the first minute, this leads to occasional dips into the enemy jungle to steal their healer and buddy, and repeat trips through their own jungle. This strategy generally ignores the top jungle, leaving it to split between the top and mid laner.
TENTATIVE INVADE / INVASION DEFENSE
Jungler responds to what the mid/support combo is doing. If they appear to be taking the CP buff, jungler starts Jeff & Marty (to either share them with mid laner or take them for themselves, depending on how they leash the camps), ready to join teamfight if enemy mid/support/jungler come to steal. If mid/support are floating around enemy CP buff, jungler heads that way to help engage and steal enemy top jungle. Then cycle down to bot lane to steal enemy healers and cycle back through bot jungle. Sometimes turns into a version of the COOPERATIVE OPENING above, as the jungler and bot laner sync up.
STEAL THE CAMPS! Starting with enemy bot jungle (WP buff, gold treant, healers). Needs top laner and support to help, usually, or a really aggressive and daring Inara. Sometimes turns into a gank of the enemy bot laner if they aren’t paying attention or responding to the jungle invasion.
I’m sure there are a bunch of other ways to do it, but those are the ones I’ve seen most regularly. What are the openings you use, and how do you decide which strategy to go with? Is it related to your comp? The enemy comp? A particular hero? Whether you’re playing a damage or utility jungle role? Or is just based on the day of the week? Let me know!