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League of Legends is a game of decisions. decision making is widely agreed among the best players in the game to be the most important skill to master in order to climb and carry games - even more important than having good mechanics. The first 5 minutes of every game you play as a Jungler, is when you have by far the most impact on the outcome of that game - which is all centered around the decisions you make. Before you even load into game you have to think about a gameplan, which lanes you think you should impact, what camps you should clear, and then changing your plan based on information you gather in the meantime. For example, imagine a low elo jungler starting bot side, as they always do for the better leash, which just leaves him pathing top side towards his Nasus who won't do anything to help with a gank. Meanwhile, the other jungler knowing that a worse leash won't matter starts top to path towards bottom. That way, he can impact the highly volatile bot lane as quickly as possible to get them rolling. One jungler has made a correct decision and will likely be rewarded for it, while the other will probably have no impact on the early game.
In this guide, we're going to teach you how to be the smart jungler who is always getting things done and not wasting his time as we train you how to ALWAYS make the best decisions as a jungler. Let's get started! To make proper decisions as a jungler, there's 3 vital skills you need to be aware of to increase your chances of success substantially. Match-Up Knowledge Info Gathering and Wave Control Knowledge We'll be reviewing a few games, but for the first one, we'll be heavily quizzing you on these topics to help you learn in real time how a Challenger jungler would approach the first few minutes to have a successful early game. For our first game we have a Hecarim jungle playing against a Kha'Zix. Here are the drafts for both teams. Take a moment to think to yourself - would you start your clear from top or bot side as the Hecarim? If you said bot side, you'd be correct - since at the end of your clear you want to be in a position to impact the map. By starting bot, Hecarim could impact mid or top lane, which are both melee match-ups.
Melee match-ups are predictably hostile, since both champions must get close to each other in order to last-hit. Whereas, Hecarim's bot lane is Seraphine and Ezreal vs a Xayah Rakan. With their range advantage, they'll likely be pushing in the wave all the time, which would make finding ganks down there much less likely than in top and mid. Hecarim's opening route was decided simply from Match-Up Knowledge, which is about having at least a vague idea of how lanes interact will allow you to make the best decision possible, and we'll cover more examples as we go on. Anyway, Hecarim starts bot, clearing blue, gromp, wolves and then raptors. During raptors, Hecarim's Zed dies to the enemy Ekko. Knowing that the mid match-up would be volatile, do you think Hecarim should've been there to help his Zed? That's a question most junglers ask themselves when their laners die while they were nearby clearing a camp. The answer in this case for Hecarim is no. While he could predict the match-up would be volatile, if he had skilled E and tried to gank mid, he would be relying on his Zed to follow up during a neutral lane state and
for the Ekko to commit to a fight before landing the gank. Deviating from your clear as a farming jungler for an uncertain play he has no control over could easily lose him the early game - especially if the enemy Khazix were around to counter-gank. However, if Hecarim was instead an early ganking jungler like Elise, Reksai or Jarvan, then yes, seeing the heavy action in mid could have warranted immediately pathing over there upon hitting level 3. Not because Zed is going to suddenly become more competent when you're playing those champions, but rather because you have more agency to get a kill alone as a powerful early jungler. With that in mind, Hecarim moves onto red after raptors, then pans his camera over the mid lane. As a jungler, it's essential to actively move your camera onto nearby lanes to gather information which is the second skill required to make the correct decisions: Information Gathering By scouting Khaz'ix mid here with his camera, Hecarim can try to determine where Kha'Zix will go next. Given the angle Kha'Zix is approaching the lane and that he has double buffs, Hecarim
knows he did a fast clear from top to bot, skipping a top camp along the way. Unfortunately for him, this means Kha'Zix could now path top or bot, since he has 1 camp top and 2 camps bot. While it's more likely he'll go bot, he can't know for sure. Importantly, Hecarim also scouts the Singed going to ward at the same time. Now he knows if he paths into the river area from top tribrush, he will be seen by the enemy. After finishing red buff, Hecarim once again gathers information by panning his camera top side. As we pause here, what information do you think Hecarim just gathered? With the third skill: wave control knowledge, Hecarim knows that the gragas' blue wave is slow pushing into the Singed. So he can kill krugs as a stalling move while Gragas' slow pushes into the Singed's tower for a dive. So, Hecarim does Krugs, walks into river, and waits for the wave to crash before successfully diving the enemy Singed. The Challenger Hecarim has successfully full cleared and destroyed the enemy top laner
right after by utilising the 3 skills required to make the best decisions possible to take over the early game as a jungler. You're probably wondering things like: - What if the enemy jungler was there to counter gank? - What if Hecarim's top laner was losing? This all seems too easy, right? So first, we want to address the concern of counter ganks when going for a dive like this. Hecarim knew that Khazix could be top side. As he pathed through the river, we see that Kha took the scuttle very recently, so the risk of him being around is quite high. Here's why it doesn't matter though. Since Gragas is crashing a massive wave into Singed's tower, if Hecarim and Kha encounter each other, Gragas is free to move and help out in the skirmish, whereas Singed will be stuck under his tower farming. And if Singed moves over to fight the 2v2, then if Gragas and Hecarim just disengage, they win out the trade since Singed will be losing a ton of farm to the tower. So what if Hecarim's top laner was losing? So, he purposely pathed from his passive bot side toward a volatile melee match-up, which
increases the odds of him having an impact at the end of his clear. If Singed was winning, he'd likely be over-extended and Hecarim could just easily gank him to score a kill. This scenario would also be where Information Gathering would come in clutch. Knowing where Khazix is would be crucial in a situation like this. If you know that he's bot-side, then you can just gank as usual. But if you're either unaware of his location or know he's top, then you can just call off the gank altogether. Instead you look to recall and path bot - repeating the three-skill process and looking for other better opportunities to impact the game. Anyway, with Gragas' TP advantage he makes a play bot with the Hecarim and they easily snowball the early game in less than 5 minutes. Let's go ahead and jump into some more examples of early game decision making! Here we have Elise who's starting top side and pathing bot. She didn't want to path bot to top, because the enemy top laner is Shaco, which is probably one of the most difficult champions you could gank. Bot side however, she has a Xayah Rakan against a Morgana Kai'Sa.
Typically when you have a melee support against a ranged support, the ranged support lane will push. So, by the time Elise paths bot, she can expect them to be pushed and vulnerable to a gank. So, with match-up knowledge determining what path Elise will take, let's see what happens. She clears red buff, then the enemy Kayn tries to cheese her but loses the smite fight. Elise walks it off with a thumbs up and heads off to clear blue into gromp. While clearing gromp, she pans her camera to the bot lane - the match-up didn't go to plan and her Xayah Rakan are actually the ones pushing, which we'll talk more about in a moment. With this information in mind though, what would YOU do next as the Elise? So, because Elise got cheesed by the Kayn previously, she's thinking about what Kayn would do next and how she can gain an advantage. If Kayn pathed to her Krugs after the cheese, it'd be wildly inefficient to path all the way there for a single camp, so it's most likely that he will go back to his own jungle to clear, as he's a farming jungler. Using this information, Elise decides to invade the Kayn for 2 reasons.
One, if Kayn is fully clearing his blue side, she can 3 camp him by just taking his red before he gets here. Two, if Kayn is rushing to red to make sure Elise can't take it, she'll crush him in a 1v1, since she's stronger early. Keep in mind though, that this will only be possible since she knows her bot lane has priority. Let's see what happens. She ends up finding Kayn at Krugs and goes for the 1v1, while constantly checking up on how her bot lane is doing. If they lost priority, she would immediately disengage. But since they were winning, she was able to keep fighting and easily finish off the Kayn. Afterwards, they also set up an easy dive totally taking over the early game once again by utilizing all 3 skills of decision making. Of course, there's an obvious concern in most people's minds watching this. Elise just got lucky that her bot lane was randomly winning, no? Yes, she did, but that wasn't her plan to begin with anyways. She *wanted* her bot lane be getting pushed in, so she could gank the pushing enemy bot. If they were losing, she would've just ganked them as planned, but this is the difference between high and low elo junglers.
They use the information at hand to adapt their decision making to come out ahead, regardless of what's going on in the map. And with that, let's jump into our final game of today's guide. In this game our challenger jungler is playing Graves. He starts bot side and paths to top - why? Because he has a Seraphine Senna, two ranged champions who will EASILY push in an Alistar Jinx lane. Also, top side is GP vs Irelia who has ignite, so it's certainly volatile and likely to be impacted with a gank. As graves is finishing blue, he notices he has the teammates he's always been dreaming of having in solo queue and they randomly scout out and pincer the enemy Skarner, securing a double kill that in itself - essentially stomps the early game without Graves doing a whole lot besides showing up. Now - this is certainly a rare scenario to encounter and the beauty if League of Legends is that no two games are ever the same, it's by following the three skills to make the best decisions that our jungler is able to use this blessing to completely demolish the early game.
So - in this luxurious position, Graves takes things to the next level and eliminates Irelia from the game by constantly gathering information and using his wave control knowledge. After stealing red, he he paths towards krugs, but is constantly checking the state of top lane and immediately knows when a fight is breaking out - so he abandons the krugs and heads over to help Gangplank. Once GP is safe, Graves identifies the blue wave is crashed into the enemy tower as the red wave arrives. This means that when the next red wave arrives, it'll build up and push into GP. Irelia doesn't want this to happen while recalling, so she wants to push into the enemy tower before resetting. This is all going to take time to come to fruition so as a stalling move, Graves goes back to killing krugs and then the top side scuttle crab. By the time both of these camps are taken, he repeat ganks the Irelia, securing GP with a freeze the Irelia was unable to deny, and she has to take a bad recall, falling further behind. What do you think the Graves should do now?
The best thing Graves can do now, is recall and path to his top side once again. Since he has two remaining camps there, it's still efficient, and he can once again gank the Irelia who'll be forced to move up into a pushed lane, rewarding Graves with an easy kill and essentially deletes Irelia from the game as she's now way too far behind. Alright guys, hopefully after this guide you're able to appreciate the importance of decision making a little more and feel confident in trying to make challenger level decision making in your games! Remember, even if you're not able to always make the perfect decision like the jungler featured in today's guide - just actively using the three skills and thinking about your pathing in a logical way will SIGNIFICANTLY improve your impact in the early game as a jungler in your solo queue games. Thanks for watching, and we'll see you in the next video.
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