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Wild Rift Jungle Guide: Season 4 (Patch 2.6a)

Wild Rift Jungle

Wild Rift Jungle is a broken role by definition. It is the only role that isn’t bound to a lane. Moreover, value and skill as a jungler are primarily determined by the jungler’s choices. Those include champion choices AND in game decisions. Mechanical skill is just the icing on the cake. Knowing how and where to force, alongside avoid fights is something Wild Rift jungle players NEED to understand if they want to win most of their games. It’s not about outplaying the enemy permanently.  This Wild Rift jungle guide will go over in depth the necessary knowledge to succeed on the role.

[Related: Wild Rift 2.6a High Elo Tier List]

The information was provided by Kerxx and Vindey of RiftGuides. Special thanks for their help.

Be sure to check out their channel by clicking the link below for a video version of the guide. 

Champion Choices

First up starting with the champion choices in the jungle role. There have active playmakers such as Lee sin and there are champions like Evelynn that want to sit back and farm to at least level 5 before they go crazy.

The playmakers usually look for early ganks & invading. Their goal is to accelerate the game with aggression and chaos. As an example: whenever seeing that the enemy team has a lee sin there are a few rules to follow.

Number 1

Place a ward close to the allied blue buff to see if he’s trying to invade – don’t get caught off guard and die to him.

Alternatively ward the brush in the river to see his play a bit earlier.

Number 2

If playing a farming jungler such as Evelynn it’s very likely that the Lee sin is going to invade at Wolves or the at the latest blue. 

If the champion isn’t fully functional yet and gets brutally beaten up by those early game monsters. Another thing to keep in mind is that melee champions have an inherent advantage over ranged champions in the jungle.  Champion cleave when they’re auto attacking, ranged champions don’t.

So before even thinking about influencing ANY lane make sure to secure the jungle income. What is the goal and what do players need to impact the map in the most reliable fashion? While doing so, think about anything that would hurt THE MOST while playing towards that goal. Now grab that thought – and implement it INTO gameplay and try to use it against enemies. Suffering from bad experiences is not a cool thing, but – players can use exactly that experience to inflict similar harm to their future enemies. 

Don’t play fair – play smart.

Jungle Pathing

Now onwards to cover the most important things about jungle pathing. Usually every jungler wants to start at red buff. Taking down this monster grants onus true damage on hit which is really helpful for clears. After doing so players are presented with their first major decision. Did anything happen while clearing the buff that led to believe that a level 2 gank is a reasonable choice? If yes – go for it and if not – don’t get baited into doing something coinflip. Go for the consistent choice and farm camps. 

Now remember: is the enemy champion a champion the player can fight OR is he stronger than the player? Next after that question comes another one: Have any idea of the lane dynamics around the area to path towards?

Path 1

The most typical path that most junglers can do consists of Red buff, Raptors and Blue buff. Taking down those 3 usually takes junglers until 1 minute and 25 seconds – or more conveniently said: until the scuttle crab spawns. 

After killing 2 camps hit level 3 thanks to passive experience at about 1 minute 16 seconds. So technically speaking players are not forced to do the third camp before scuttler spawns – they’ll hit level 3 ANYWAY. However if the player does the 3rd camp, they’ll hit level 4 after killing the scuttle crab.

Alternatively fully clear the red-side – this is the safest option available.
This path allows players to acquire the most information with the least risk. After clearing those 3 camps, choose a scuttler depending on the information available.

Path 2

The last typical clear is a 4 camp clear before the scuttler spawns. There are other clears in the game that are more specific but they usually only play a role in super high levels of play as they’re based on a lot of expectations and avoidance. 

For this 4 camp clear, take Morgana as an example.
She is able to clear 4 camps in under 1 minute and 25 seconds without getting a leash.
Which means at scuttle she’ll be level 4 whereas the vast majority of OTHER champions are only level 3. Before the nerfs to rengar and Kha’zix both of those champions were able to do that as well by abusing a little trick.

How to Prioritize Different Jungle Camps

This trick involves camps and their type of resistance. All jungle camps have different resistances. Some have armor – some magic resist and some don’t have any. 

Before they nerfed Kha’zix & Rengar, they were able to clear Red, Raptors, Wolves and gromp before scuttle spawned. That way they’d easily hit level 4.
But why not kill blue? Because the unevolved version of blue buff is way weaker than most think it is. 

Not only that but it’s also way stronger than gromp. Just check out the tankiness of the camps and think how much more time needed to get that buff killed in direct comparison to gromp. In the jungle every second matters and being on scuttle at its spawn as a level 4 champion is QUITE broken. 

On top of Junglers, thanks to the changes, they don’t need the mana regen from it any more during the early game and the life-regen out of combat is only useful in certain situations. It heals for 5% of missing HP per second after being out of combat for 5 seconds. But how long do players realistically want to stay on the map without spending gold? Rather make up decide on what to do –  don’t want to run around the map endlessly. Spend gold – and focus on the next play.

While looking at the timeframe of 1:25 to 3:30 minutes it’s time to either power farm or impact the map while looking for ganks and invades. For this actively check the map for opportunities – don’t simply go there on a whim – gather information and act on that information. 

However the moment the game reaches close to the 3 minute mark, junglers need to make a decision. It’s about the use of the ultimate ability. Using it now usually means that it won’t be up for the Dragon & Herald. Both of those objectives spawn at 4 minutes and usually mark the second big skirmish right after the scuttle shenanigans. 

Early Game Objective Prioritization (Elemental Drake, Rift Herald)

Which Objective should junglers prioritize? Generally, make the following statement: A Dragon offers better scaling whereas Rift Herald offers the opportunity to snowball.

A Dragon grants a buff – be it a % shield, % damage, movement speed or omnivamp. All of those stats have a gold value and add to current stats. Normally players spend gold to buy those stats but with dragons, they’re given those for technically free. However – taking down the herald allows players to dictate the pace of the game. 

Once both objectives have been taken down there’s going to be a period in which no neutral objective is available. Consequently the frequency of fighting should go down and players focus on acquiring as much gold as possible until the objectives spawn again – ideally that is.

Preparing for the Next Objective

The respawn timers for both herald and dragon are 240 seconds. Inside that window of opportunity it’s up to the team that holds the herald to create an opening in which they can use the herald. The best strategy for this would be to create another neutral objective. To do that, freeze a sidelane and steal gold away from the enemy team as their minions are killing the allied minions, while only last hitting theirs. 

While waiting for the enemy to try and break this OR commit to another play on the other side of the map. It’s now time for the jungler to be very aware of what is going on. 

Since this scenario isn’t really realistic in soloq, so moving on to an easier concept. With the herald in hand, junglers need to choose: Do they want pressure or do they want an increased economy. By taking down tier 1 mid they’re going to break open the map as they’re removing the enemy’s security. Doing so is not that easy though even with the herald. Be really patient and wait for an opening to get that done.

Other than that focus on increasing personal economy, especially on a carry jungler such as Kha’zix. Taking down the enemy OUTER turret on the baron lane and most likely getting closer to the tier 2 is not that hard of a job in soloq. With that, alongside the herald’s initial gold in the pocket, the jungler will become astronomically fed.

But that also means that the game is most likely going to rest on the jungler’s shoulders. 

Late Game Wild Rift Jungle Objectives (Baron and Elder)

The next objectives for discussion are Baron & Elder. Don’t worry about losing dragons throughout the game – it’s not the end of the world, but losing elder usually is. Elder is absolutely broken and its potency scales with the amount of dragons killed throughout the game. For a comparison, get elder over 3 normal dragons ANY day of the week as it’s a MASSIVE damage buff. 

Now for baron. This purple worm spawns 13 minutes into the game and is THE objective when wanting to siege an enemy base. It greatly increases minions durability as well as granting them and the player extra stats. Having the worm’s buff increases AD, AP armor & magic resistance.

By the way – the baron buff makes cannon minions deal SPLASH damage – so be mindful of that – THEY HURT.

After killing that worm it takes 210 seconds to respawn. 

Smite Guide

With that out of the way, time to briefly discuss smite as a summoner spell and what junglers can do with it. First it grants increased mana regen if in the jungle or river. On top of that, dealing damage to monsters applies a damage over time effect on them that allows to increase clearing efficiency.

Say a little raptor is alive with 15 HP – rather than hitting it again just walk towards the next destination as it’s going to die from the burn anyway. As mentioned before jungling is all about time management – so learn to save them where possible – min maxing matters. 

Upon evolving smite use it on enemy champions and get the option to take either a blue or a red smite. Here are the differences:

Blue smite deals damage and SLOWS the enemy whereas REDSMITE deals the SAME true damage to the target, BUT it also grants 11-25 AD OR 16-30AP. That’s pretty insane.

So if players are going to DUEL a lot, take red smite. It’s going to help win so many skirmishes. 

Last but not least time to discuss what players can do when behind and needing to carry the game on their own. Usually during midgame, a lot of players just play aram. They’ll just face off on mid lane and accomplish nothing. Similar to that they’ll also see them do the same around objectives that they cannot realistically dream of contesting – so why should commit to this decision with them?

Just don’t. Either crossplay and take the objective on the other side of the map OR go into a sidelane and acquire all the gold there is: Minions, enemy & allied camps and towers – take all the resources necessary in order to come back into the game. 

In Conclusion

Hopefully this Wild Rift jungle guide provided the necessary information for players to improve in their games. There was a lot of information dropped in the guide, so take some time to closely examine and study each appropriate section. In addition, keep in mind that this Wild Rift Jungle guide was created before patch 3.0 drops. In essence, before the incoming dragon changes are implemented. Though a majority of the information will remain relevant regardless, the new dragon update will definitely shift some priority, especially in the early game.


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