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Mar 31, 2012

Predicting Jungler Movements

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What's the difference between an OK jungler and an amazing jungler?

Map Awareness.

Specifically, the awareness of where the enemy jungler is at all times.

If you've ever fought against a jungler who was "ALWAYS THERE" then you know exactly what I mean.

If you don't, essentially it's like this: Every single gank you try and pull off as a 1v2 always seems to turn into a 2v2 without warning, and every time you try and take a buff it seems like their entire team is there.

How did they do it?

1. Timers:
Timing Baron and Dragon are clearly the most important objectives mid and late game. However, timing your own blue and red allows you to be there when it spawns, decreasing the chances of it getting stolen.

Timing the enemy buffs gives you a chance to intercept the enemy as he tries to either take it, or maybe as he tries to give it away (meaning your smite has a very good chance of stealing it).

Even wraiths are an important thing to take note of. If you walk from purple side to blue wraiths and notice them gone, chances are the enemy jungler either went back or he's planning on ganking bot soon.

Knowing if the enemy jungler has red buff also gives you a strong insight on whether he'll be ganking soon, which gives you a chance to counter him.

Timers available here

2. Knowledge of Jungle Paths:
Almost every jungler nowadays starts at Blue. However, it's important to know the ones that might not, such as Shaco, Dr. Mundo, Shyvana, and Lee Sin.

It's also important to know which junglers might invade your red if they're starting at Blue, in particular Dr. Mundo, Shaco, and Shyvana. In this case you might want to skip wraiths on your way from blue to your main jungle and check on your Red first.

If the enemy jungler is Shaco, you might even want to start with an early ward at your jungle entrance to avoid any nasty box trap surprises at level 2.

3. Know What He Knows About Wards:
Sorry if I worded that a bit strangly, but it's basically this: If a jungler tries to gank and a lane acts strangely, he knows that lane is warded, and will probably stray away from ganking that lane or try a different ganking path.

If you know that he knows, this limits the possible routes that the enemy jungler will take, which gives you a better chance of predicting his movements.

4. Get Early Oracle/Wards:
If you have a strong dueling hero with little need for items such as Udyr, definitely look into getting an early oracle and a ward or two. Map awareness is easy when the enemy is running blind and you can clearly see them at all times.

5. Think in their shoes:
This one tip is the one that should be on your mind at all times. Just look at the map and ask yourself:
"if I was the enemy jungler, where would I be headed right now?" 
Laners sometimes tunnel vision and have trouble realizing that they're getting ganked without wards, but as a jungler it's fairly obvious that if a lane is pushed up and low health he looks like a tasty target.

Hopefully some of these tips will help you out in improving your jungling skills!

I may be blind, but I can still see your every move!

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