Some champions in League of Legends are just flat-out stronger than others.
For junglers, there are multiple considerations when weighing which champions are better. The most important thing to look at, and the most obvious, is whether the champion would be good at ganking and either securing kills or aiding their teammates in doing so. Behind the scenes, though, is where things get complicated. Clear speed, invasion pressure, and macro mobility are all factors that need to be evaluated for keeping up with the enemy jungler. The best jungle champions are the ones that can do it all.
This list of top-tier champions can change depending on a number of things. Sometimes the meta shifts for no apparent reason other than players’ tastes, but usually there’s some kind of balance update, either small or significant, that’s behind the sudden change. It can be difficult to keep up on the flavor-of-the-month champs, so let us do it for you.
Here’s our current tier list for the best jungle champions in League of Legends.
Champions in this tier are the strongest champions in the current meta, and it doesn’t take much effort to carry yourself through the ranks of solo queue with them.
League’s jester received a significant buff in Patch 9.20, giving him better early game scaling and bringing him to the top of this list. It might take a while to master playing Shaco, but he gives everything a jungler should—counterjungling mechanics, fast clear, high mobility, and easy ganks. He can stealth, he can fear units, and he deals a decent chunk of damage, especially when backstabbing enemies.
Mundo is always going in and out of the meta, but he has been played more and more recently. Although he lacks a bit in utility, he is an extremely mobile champion with high levels of sustain and clear speed and always a safe pick for the jungle. Killing a late game Mundo seems like an impossible task, and escaping his slows isn’t easy either. He is also very easy to play.
Ekko excels in roaming around the map and picking up kills. He has high potential to carry games with his high burst and CC abilities. Even though his jungle clear speed isn’t as fast as Shaco or Mundo’s, Ekko can easily engage in any fight and even safely steal objectives. When ganking, he has an ability to completely zone out enemies and control the fight, and as he scales into the game, he just becomes stronger.
Kha’Zix’s versatility and burst potential make him one of the best junglers to climb the ranks with since he’s decently easy and rewarding to play. Kha’Zix is an assassin with high mobility and stealth, whose abilities allow him to jump in, quickly kill of enemies’ squishy carry, and jump away back to safety. Just like the other top tier junglers on this list, he is also highly mobile and clears jungle camps fast.
The second most powerful junglers take a little bit more effort to play well, but when executed properly, they can carry a game just as hard as the best.
The remake for Volibear has been announced for 2020, but that doesn’t mean he’s currently not a viable unit. Freljord’s demigod is extremely tanky and has CC. He is fast, engaging, and can peel for your carries. His early game is particularly strong due to his fast-roaming kit, and he can help the whole team snowball ahead, but he does struggle a bit against compositions with a lot of poke.
Nunu & Willump
When Nunu and Willump got reworked last year, the boy and his yeti weren’t getting much love, but things have changed since. Nunu’s jungle clear is sustainable thanks to heals from Consume, and he has a strong engage thanks to the knock-up and slows. His AP damage is also not to be overlooked, especially having in mind he is a tank. Nunu isn’t very mobile, however, which is a downside for a jungler.
Zac is another tank on this list, but his playstyle is quite unique. What makes Zac good is his ability to engage and gank from places players don’t easily predict thanks to his slingshot launch. His kit is mostly AoE and he offers a lot of CC, together with the passive revive that allows more aggressive plays. But if you don’t land where you want with the slingshot, you’ll find yourself in a very tricky situation.
Lee will always be useful, thanks to his high early damage and utility in the late game. Although it might take a while to learn how to land his unique combos and Q around the map, it’s worth it. Lee is a perfect champion for outplaying and he can gank lanes from any side given his engage options. He can also be used for efficient counterjungling since one properly placed ward is all it takes him to escape.
This is an interesting tier, because champions at this level aren’t exactly strong in the meta, but if you can learn how to play them well, you can still make them work to carry games. It might require a bit of extra effort to get there, though.
Elise’s two forms make for very fun and powerful gameplay. The Spider Queen can clear camps pretty fast and set very strong ganks early in the game since her auto attacks become more damaging with AP, and she can dodge CC in her spider form if timed correctly. She is quite squishy, though, which doesn’t make her the best unit for teamfights since you’re giving up a potential tank spot by picking her in the jungle.
Although Karthus is more of a typical mid lane mage, he’s not an uncommon pick in the jungle. This is mostly thanks to his global ultimate that, when timed correctly, can change the outcome of a fight on any lane. Besides, Karthus is a power farmer with barely any cooldown on Q, allowing for quick jungle clear, although he is very mana hungry and struggles with flank ganks.
Jax, one of the original League champions, is almost as good in the jungle as he is as a top laner. He is one of the strongest late game champions with both great sustain and damage. He can gank very early thanks to Jax’s AoE stun and the ability to jump on the enemy, helping your teammates to snowball early. Jax cannot easily snowball when he’s behind, however, and he’s often banned in ranked games.
Jarvan’s ultimate can control the outcome of a fight, and if you don’t have any means of dashing out of it when he’s ganking you, you’re done for good. He has good clear time in the jungle, deals a nice amount of damage, and has high objective control. But he is relatively squishy, and if you do have a sort of a dash, he’s not hard to escape.