Junglers typically set the pace for how the game will play out, depending on the areas of the map they decide to pressure. It’s exciting and informative to watch how world-class junglers like Lee “Tarzan” Seung-yong from Griffin and Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski from G2 will approach any given game. The jungle metagame moving into the group stage of Worlds looks fairly aggressive and focused on snowballing off of an early lead. While there are plenty of viable utility junglers, the following play-making jungle champions for Worlds have kits set up for flashy plays.
Nocturne is a jungler that looks to farm up until he can start jumping in with his long-range ultimate, Paranoia. While he can look to start ganking before this point, it becomes much easier to engage and stick on a target with his ultimate. It’s difficult for teams to play around Nocturne, which is why he is so strong in competitive play. Without having vision on him, laners can never truly feel safe from being ganked. There is also huge outplay potential with the spell shield on his W, Shroud of Darkness, to deny important abilities.
Karthus is another jungler that reaches a massive power spike once he has his global ultimate, Requiem. He is one of the only junglers that can impact a play on the complete opposite side of the map. Having one of the fastest jungle clear speeds in the game, he can quickly scale up and make plays. The ability to Flash in and continue to do damage after death makes him a strong pick for a variety of team compositions.
Lee Sin is an incredibly strong early-game jungler that will look to impact the map as quickly as possible. His high skill cap, strong dueling and outplay potential are some of his greatest strengths. He can turn a teamfight into a 5v4 scenario by ward hopping behind an enemy carry and kicking them into his team. While he tends to fall off in power in the later stages of the game, teams will look to apply early pressure to keep him relevant.
Elise is another early-game jungler that falls off in power later in the game. Her greatest strength is found in her ability to tower dive as early as level three. She can engage the dive with a stun and full combo, and then drop tower aggro with her E, Rappel, to survive. Top lane is the easiest for pulling off a dive with Elise, so players will typically path top early on.
Qiyana was primarily played as a roaming mid-laner upon release, but teams have been prioritizing her in the jungle. Her high mobility, in combination with Crowd Control and burst make her an excellent AD jungle assassin. Most of the flashy plays that come from Qiyana players involve her ultimate, Supreme Display of Talent. Fights in the jungle or near structures typically favor the team with Qiyana, because she can knockback and stun enemies against walls.
Talented junglers are a spectacle to behold on the Worlds stage, especially on champions that can make a huge impact during teamfights. These are the primary play-making champions for Worlds, but there are other champions such as Gragas, Olaf and Kha’Zix that will also see jungle play throughout worlds, along with some more unconventional picks to throw teams off guard. The jungler has one of the most important jobs in the early stages of the game, so it will be interesting to see the decisions that pull teams ahead, and the ones that fail.
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Featured photo from Riot Games
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