Playing Ivern Like the Pros
Despite receiving nothing but nerfs, Ivern always has a way of rising to the top of the win rates for the Jungle role. Ivern, who according to Champion.gg has a 51% win rate in bronze, a 56.5% in platinum plus, and a 66.7% in the NA LCS 2017 Spring Split, is a difficult yet powerful champion. With Ivern, the more experienced the player is with the champion, the more abundantly clear how overpowered the champion is.
Friend of the Forest
Due to Ivern’s passive, Friend of the Forest, his clear path is like no other jungler. Ivern channels for 2.5 seconds at each camp, donating health and mana in order to create a grove, maturing over the next 40 – 6 (based on level) seconds. Ivern can then free the critters from their groves, taking their gold and experience. If the camp’s large monster has already been slain, Ivern can freely channel a grove and consume it instantly at no cost; so if you are looking to counter jungle Ivern, take as many of the little ones as possible. Starting at level 5, Ivern can turn buffs into candy (saplings), allowing for himself and an ally to take part in the burn or the extra magic. Just remember that these candies only last for one minute before fleeing the Rift.
Ivern’s passive can allow for some very powerful counter jungling, as smiting a camp that you have used your passive on frees it instantly, allowing Ivern to claim the gold and experience regardless of the camp’s health. Interrupting Ivern’s channel or killing him is the only way to contest the camp when Ivern has smite up. The power of Ivern’s passive for securing camps was seen in game one of the NALCS Spring Split grand finals, TSM vs. Cloud9. Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnse secured his own red buff from Juan “Contractz” Garcia with an instant smite on his fully matured red buff.
Runes and Masteries
There is some variation in Ivern rune pages as far as reds and blues go, but the general trend is to take attack speed reds and scaling magic resist blues. Against AD heavy comps, taking armor reds and scaling ability power blues will be more worthwhile. As for masteries, some players choose to take Merciless over Meditation, or take a split between the two. I always opt for Meditation as I find it helps my early game clear.
The Standard Clear vs. The Solo Queue Clear
Ivern’s standard clear path has him effectively clearing his entire jungle by around 3:20. This clear path starts by creating a grove on Wolves, smiting Blue, then creating groves on Gromp, Raptors, Red, then returning to collect your camps after they have fully matured in the same order. Krugs can be added to this full clear after red, but if you are playing into a jungler who likes to invade early, this camp should be given up so as not to be left at ridiculously low health and mana. Krugs are also not the most efficient camp for Ivern, as freeing this camp only grants two creeps (the first two Krugs), totaling 80 gold instead of the usual 120.
Ivern’s solo queue clear is a bit riskier. Start by creating a grove on either Wolves or Raptors, depending on whichever is your top side camp. Next move to take the enemy’s Red/Blue with smite, depending on whichever camp is their top side. Make sure to have your teammates use their wards early to find where the enemy jungler starts, otherwise this invade can get very messy. As Ivern you do not want to duel the enemy jungler, you just want to take their stuff and be as annoying as possible. From smiting their Red/Blue, continue your normal clear returning to your safe side of the jungle.
You can use Rootcaller (Q) to maneuver the jungle faster when at full mana. You can use Rootcaller to gap close on jungle camps without aggroing them. Also, remember to use Brushmaker (W) to scout out potential threats and check what camps are up for your opponents. The range of this ability is ridiculously long at 1650 and should be used to avoid face checking.
In professional matches, junglers focus on securing each Raptor camp due to the inflated rewards of these camps and accessible locations. As Ivern, Raptor camps and Red/Blue need to be your focus early game. Keep the enemy Raptor camp warded by warding the brush entrance just past it. Use your Brushmaker (W) on that brush before face checking it. The last thing you want is to fight the enemy jungler on their own turf.
Raptors spawn every 2 minutes and 30 seconds, so time your enemy Raptors based upon the enemy jungler’s starting location. Raptor contesting was seen most recently in the third place match of the NALCS between Phoenix1’s Rami “Inori” Charagh and FlyQuest’s Galen “Moon” Holgate, where Moon tracked Inori’s Raptors respawn by seeing him start the camp initially, allowing him to contest and steal the camp at 4 minutes and 40 seconds into the game.
The Green Father Ganks/Teamfights
1: Don’t get counter ganked
Use vision and camp knowledge to avoid counter ganks when ganking as Ivern. Your damage is laughable, especially pre 6. So, ward up the enemy jungle and only focus the lanes that are warding. A counter gank will more often than not lead to a dead Ivern and dead freshly baited teammates.
2: Use Brushmaker to sneak in your Rootcaller
Using brushmaker, and then entering the brush to fire Rootcaller, hides your animation and the beginning of the projectile itself. This is a simple tip that was utilized by Inori in almost every gank during Phoenix1’s victory over FlyQuest. Not only does Inori hide his Rootcaller animation, but he will often cast Triggerseed (E) while under the cover of brush, only to exit the brush with a slowing time bomb already ticking away. Brushmaker cuts the time your opponents have to react in addition to empowering your autos, so use it wisely.
3: Wait out the escapes
Have Red Buff? If yes, then start your ganks out by getting some empowered autos on your opponents. This accompanied by an early Triggerseed can slow your opponents, forcing them to use their escapes early, thus granting an easier to hit Rootcaller.
4: If the gank is successful, convert it into an advantage
Nice job on the gank, now shove that lane in. Remember to use Triggerseed on your allies to push the lane, because they get any last hits that occur from its secondary explosion. Also, use Brushmaker when attacking structures as it gives your autos extra damage. Finally, use Daisy for keeping your minions alive when taking towers. Use Triggerseed on her because the tower prioritizes her over minions. FlyQuest used Daisy very effectively in a base race 12 minutes into game two of FlyQuest vs. Phoenix1. Moon’s use of Daisy to soak tower shots and create a massive minion advantage undeniably started the FlyQuest snowball in this game.
5: Use Daisy for more than just CC/Damage
Daisy is the Jill of all trades. In Phoenix1 vs FlyQuest, Inori used Daisy to block Graves’ autoattacks, tank Nautilus hooks, and continually pressure objectives. Using Daisy as a meatshield can be very advantageous. Make sure to micro her in between you and your opponent for maximum impact. Once you have summoned Daisy, keep using her. Move Daisy around the map, pushing in waves and pressuring your opposing laners for her entire duration. Inori does this very well in going from a gank attempt bot to pressuring mid lane, denying the enemy laner CS while also getting substantial tower damage down.
6: Use Brushmaker for Sieges
Throwing brush up while sieging a tower allows for your teammates to weave in and out of vision. This gives them the advantage both when juking enemy skillshots, and when firing off their own. This brush can also be used to hide how many players are actually on the assault, oftentimes making the enemy team second guess their initiation.
7: Redemption Counter Ganks
Buy Redemption as soon as possible. This item is terribly overpowered and its semi-global active will allow you to counter gank from halfway across the map. Just take the time to get used to the delay on the active because the cooldown is punishing.
To see these tips in action, watch the following Ivern highlight compilation. Clips are courtesy of Riot games NALCS.