Hi there. I’ve been maining jungle since season 3 now, and I can tell you that if a lane doesn’t ask for help it doesn’t mean they don’t need it. And viceversa. I know this may seem obvious but many people forget this and focus on their already 15 kill fed talon with 6 items at 30 minutes.
I want to break this mini guide into 3 parts: Top, Mid and Botlane.
Top lane is isolated from the rest of the map, and doesn’t have many objectives to contest pre-20. For this reason, it’s usually the lane that has the least impact in the game, and the reason why the teleport meta has become most viable. Champions like Jax, Renekton and Irelia used to dominate the toplane in a sort of bully style, but after the season 4 changes to teleport, the meta has drifted away into Tanky, Disrupting champions that either focus on the enemy carries, dive in teamfights or provide tankyness and cc to their team(a.k.a MaoKai).
For this reason, you want to help them out if they are only in dire need of it, or if the opportunity arises. The toplane usually won’t carry your game unless they go something like Riven, and therefore you don’t want to gank them often, but you do want to gank them early, so they can get an early advantage. This is exempt from laneswaps, as a 2v2 may result in a double kill for their adc. You should also be wary of the tribrush, river bush and the lane bushes for possible counter ganks, as more often than not their jungler will try to do the same thing that you are. Once they get a nice advantage it all comes down to their skill, so pray that Riven goes 20/0 and not 1/20. And of course, help them take the outer turret, they can roam safer and apply more pressure after that.
This is the lane you want to camp in a bush and wait for the enemy midlaner to engage or be ready for a counter gank. It’s in the middle of the map, and most usually you will see champions that can reliably snowball or clear and push waves to get items extremely fast. There are two things you need to watch out for though:
Does the enemy laner have a high chance to escape? Analyse on your way to mid if they have 2 dashes, flash and cc, or if they are a sitting duck(a.k.a Anivia w/o passive), and if your midlaner is one of these ducks or is the first case. In the worst case scenario, you want to wait for the enemy to use one of their abilities that could be used to escape, to instead engage the enemy(Ezreal’s E for example), so that as soon as it’s casted you punish their aggressiveness. Don’t be afraid to burn a flash, it may end in a free kill + tower and maybe even a dragon, but don’t get greedy and die under tower to that kiting(seriously don’t).
Does your laner have the resources to assist you? If their ultimate and flash is down, it’s really going to hard for them to assist your gank, let alone engage at all and leave you to 1v1(or 1v2). Look at their mana(if they have mana), do they have at least 200 mana? If they do, then they can help you out for sure, if they don’t, avoid forcing the gank. It’s better to put pressure and not do shit than attempt a kill and end up dying.
You should also ask your laner to ward the opposite side to where you are at. This is because if the enemy jungler ganks from your side, you can out-trade them and possibly kill them. Be wary when you walk into the brush yourself though, the enemy jungler may be doing the same thing, so always have a backup plan.
Once mid lane gets a nice advantage(bigger than the toplaner usually) they can usually handle themselves, but keep an eye out for their jungler: They want their midlaner to come back for sure. Also ward for them, they have 6 spots they can get ganked from, and only 4 wards they can place.
Ahh, the botlane. This is the lane that you always, and I mean always, want to be ahead. The attack damage carry isn’t there to farm only. They are there to carry the game. Hence why carry is on their name. Sure, your mid and top can snowball and win from that.. sometimes. The AD Carry will win you games if they have common sense and an advantage, guaranteed. It’s important this lane doesn’t get behind, hence why you see lane swaps in LCS so commonly – They want their carry to not fall behind.
And let’s not forget the support: They benefit greatly from ganks too. They are there to assist THE TEAM, and protect the adc in laning phase. So think of them as an asset for ganking; that leona has tons of cc and is tanky, she will help you secure objectives and kills. And the best part comes after the advantage: If your adc is skilled enough to play defensively with wards after getting an advantage, your support can roam and gank lanes too! Think of them as a second jungler who’s job is more assist focused.
If you have a thresh on your team, they may land a godlike hook and win you a teamfight, so don’t think they are the least important; by far, they are really important on deciding the outcome of a teamfight. That Janna ult may have just saved your Ahri from death and let her combo the enemy Jinx.
Please, please PLEASE gank your botlane. Not only can they carry the game; dragon is right beside them, and dragon is one of the most important objectives in the game after inhibitors and inner turrets/inhib turrets(and debatably still more important). If you secure a kill in bot, you almost always secure a turret/dragon.
You can lane gank(through the lane bush, the same as top lane), counter gank, coordinate gank with mid AND top(if they are there or have tp) or just gank normally, the possibilities are so big that it’s hard not to do anything.
However… don’t camp bot. There are other things to do in the map: specially if they are too far behind. Sometimes they will get really bad laning and feed, and it’s a bad idea to gank them consistently if this happens. Instead, gank top more often or try to sneak a dragon with your midlaner. Hell, even counter jungle, this is just something all junglers should aim to do when possible. But don’t abandon them, they still need help, so to sum up this paragraph:
Make sure your adc can still get gold.
And that’s about it guys, let me know what you think and if you can add more or if there is something you disagree with.