Some champions in League of Legends are just much 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, small or large, 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.
Here are our top five junglers for League’s Patch 10.23.
- Six abilities at level three
- Untargetability via spider form E ability
- Strong burst damage
- Gets outscalled by other meta junglers
- Hard to come back if behind
Elise is one of the most popular AP junglers who excels at snowballing the game early on before she reaches the mid to late game. While she’s a strong early-game pick, she falls off. If you fail to snowball, you’re most likely going to become a crowd-control bot.
Elise can exploit enemies starting from level three where she gets access to three human-form abilities and three spider-form abilities. The ability to become untargetable allows for early dives on low-health opponents while minimizing the risk of dying to a tower.
Elise uses the Domination tree. It grants her access to additional damage from Electrocute, Cheap Shot, and Eyeball Collection, which synergizes extremely well with Elise’s burst damage. Relentless Hunter makes you mobile and allows you to roam the map much faster.
The Sorcery secondary synergizes well with the aggressive playstyle of Elise. Nimbus Cloak allows you to close the gap with enemies faster by using smite on them and Waterwalking lets you move around in the river and contest Scuttle Crabs early on.
Elise’s ability priority is R>Q>W>E. Your Q is your primary direct damaging tool. It serves as a good initiation tool when ganking to deal maximum percent health damage and acts as an execute when you go into spider form. W is maxed second for the additional burst damage, while E is maxed last since the additional damage acts better than the lower cooldown on your CC. The best CC is death.
Elise is an aggressive jungler that should focus on roaming the map on a constant basis and invading the enemy jungler. You’re extremely strong early on due to having access to six abilities. Use that to your advantage and punish enemies who are out of position with swift ganks and dives under tower.
Contest the Scuttle Crabs early on with Waterwalking, which grants you additional movement speed and ability power while in the river. Focus on maintaining an aggressive playstyle and constant ganks. The moment you start focusing on farm is the moment you lose the game.
Elise doesn’t scale as well as other junglers and you should keep that in mind if you intend to go to the late game. Your goal is to build an advantage early on and allow your team to carry the game.
- Rewarding if mastered
- Relies on snowballing
- Hard to come back if behind
Graves is one of the most popular picks this patch after the resurgence of strong champions that can be kited, such as Ornn in the top lane, Galio in the mid lane, and Trundle in the jungle. He is the master at kiting enemies and slowly chipping their health bars down. He is one of the most reliable snowballing champions due to how easy it is to gank with Graves. You have access to a dash, which allows you to pass through walls, and a smoke bomb, which slows and denies vision from the enemy champions.
There are a lot of viable builds for Graves but the most picked one is the kiting version with the Sorcery tree as the core tree due to Phase Rush. It grants you insane kiting potential and it’s easy to proc. Sorcery’s Celerity and Water Walking make you swift and much harder to catch. While some champions could not get away with such a rune style, Graves has more than enough damage in his kit to compensate for the no-damage runes.
The secondary tree is Precision due to Legend: Alacrity, which grants you the much-needed attack speed, and Triumph for those cheeky low-health plays from which you come unscathed and gain extra gold.
Graves’s ability priority is R>Q>E>W. His Q is the only damaging tool in his kit which will help you clear waves. E is maxed second for the extra mobility and additional resists. Try to time it from camp to camp so that it doesn’t fall off and you will barely lose any health in the jungle, allowing you to clear camps safely and then force an invade or a gank early on. While W is one of the best vision denials spells in the game, the effectiveness of Q and E is much more superior so it’s maxed last after them.
Graves is one of the most mobile junglers in League. You should use this to your advantage and try to gank lanes from unexpected angles. Always carry a sweeper to clear wards before you come for ganks. Use the water walking rune to your advantage and fight over in the river if someone comes to contest the scuttle crab. Your runes are perfect for such fights early on and you should win most of them with no issues.
Going into the mid-game, try to kite in team fights and use the E reset to get good burst damage on an overextended opponent. Don’t waste R for damage early on. Instead, try to catch people off guard who flash away with low health and burst them down.
- Strong duelist
- Easy to play
- AoE crowd-control ultimate
- Predictable playstyle
Hecarim rose in the jungle ranks of solo queue silently over the course of the past few patches. As more people realized how strong he is, his pick rate has suddenly increased alongside his win rate. He benefits a lot from the new items in the preseason, making him one of the best junglers in the current patch.
He is quite easy to play and can be picked up by any player, including non-junglers.
Hecarim has plenty of viable rune pages, but the most successful one currently is Precision primary with Domination as a secondary tree. Precision grants you access to Conqueror, one of the strongest keystones in the game, giving you a lot of attack damage and healing, on top of being easy to stack up. Other great runes are Triumph to help your low-health escapes, Legend: Alacrity to increase your attack speed, and Last Stand to make you deadlier the lower your health is.
Domination is taken primarily for Ravenous Hunter, which synergizes very well with Conqueror. These two runes combined give you a lot of healing, making you deceptively tanky. Sudden Impact is taken since it will get easily activated with your E to increase your damage.
Hecarim’s skill priority is R>Q>E>W. Maxing Q allows you to farm camps easily and do as much damage as often as possible. It is a primary requirement for this build, where you need to be spamming Q’s to proc Conqueror and Ravenous Hunter. E is maxed second for the movement speed and W is a pretty subpar ability, so is maxed last.
Hecarim is currently in a pretty good place in the jungle. Your goal as a Hecarim jungle is to clear your camps as soon as possible and then look for opportunities to gank any lane. If you see no such opportunities, focus on getting the crabs in the river for additional vision or the Rift Herald alongside the dragon. But remember to keep farming camps for the gold income to ensure you can get your core items as soon as possible.
Once you get a Mythic item such as Trinity Force, you will become much stronger, so try to keep your gold income steady to get it as soon as possible. Due to the fact that your gameplay is predictable, try to look for countergank opportunities instead of a gank. It’s much easier to get a kill in such cases instead of a gank.
As the game goes on, try to maintain good vision coverage for your team and act as an initiator for them with your ultimate. Remember to punish the champions who have no flash by jumping on them with E then following up with an R to push them into your team for an easy kill.
- Invisibility in his kit
- One of the strongest one-vs-one champions
- Flexible playstyle
- Hard to come back if behind
- Needs good teamfight awareness for maximum efficiency
Kha’Zix has become one of the better junglers after the item rework. He has a lot of viable builds, either focused on lethality or on sustained damage. While the sustained damage build mostly focuses on weaving in and out of teamfights and being as slippery as possible, the lethality version is much easier to pay since all you have to do is find isolated targets and kill them before they can react. Below will be the build presented for the easier lethality version.
Domination is the core tree for lethality oriented Kha’Zix. It has a lot of offensive runes options, increasing your burst damage output and making you overall a deadlier champion for the opposing team. Electrocute will give you an additional burst of damage during your early ganks and it scales well with attack damage, making it valuable the longer the game goes. Sudden Impact will give you some additional lethality when you use your jump or invisibility, allowing you to get a lot of benefit from this rune. Eyeball Collection is taken for the additional AD and Ravenous Hunter for some additional sustain. With the help of Ravenous Hunter, you can stick around and farm the jungle for as long as you want.
The secondary recommended tree is Precision for Triumph and Coup de Grace. The first rune will help you survive those low-health encounters and increase your gold income from kills or assists. The second will give you some additional damage to lower-health targets, allowing you to finish them before they escape.
Kha’Zix’s ability priority is R>Q>W>E. Max Q first since it is your primary tool to farm, deal damage, and execute targets. W is maxed second for the additional damage, helping you land kills during a gank. E is maxed last since the additional damage or lower cooldown is not that impactful compared to maxing Q or W. As for the Evolves, you want to focus on getting Q evolved at level six, R at level 11, and either E or W at level 16, depending on game state. If you need the jump reset, get the E evolve, if you don’t then get the W evolve.
Kha’Zix focuses on stalking his prey and finding them isolated to deal the maximum amount of damage. Early on, focus on getting your double buffs and then try to gank any pushing lane or invade the enemy jungler. You are very strong early on in one-vs-one scenarios and can take upon most meta junglers with ease.
As the game keeps going, aim to build your core lethality items with an aim to get Duskblade of Draktharr first for the amazing passive effect, which increases your burst damage and allows you to get a small period of invisibility on champion takedowns. This effect resets when you get a kill, allowing you to get multiple procs during a teamfight easily.
- Flexible gameplay style
- Straightforward kit
- Exceptional teamfighter
- Needs to snowball to be effective
Kayn received a few buffs a couple of patches ago and has quickly risen in play rate and win rate. His recent popularity is also due to his great match-ups in the current jungle meta. While Rhaast is the most picked form, Shadow Assassin is good for certain compositions as well if you need an assassin to delete the enemy carries before they can react.
Kayn is flexible when it comes to runes and can use multiple types of keystones and rune combinations easily. The most successful one remains Conqueror, though, due to how strong this keystone is for bruisers. It grants you additional attack damage and healing when fully stacked, which is strong when coupled with Kayn’s self-sustain.
Triumph is taken for the low-health risky plays. Legend: Tenacity is the best in the second row because you need to go Ninja Tabi most of the time for the early game armor. Mercury Threads are taken in extreme cases when the enemy team is filled with crowd control. Last Stand is the best in the third row since you’ll be fighting for long periods of time with this build.
The second row is as flexible as the first one. Most players prefer to go for Bone Plating and Revitalize for the additional sustain and tankiness.
Kayn’s skill priority is R>Q>W>E. You want to max your Q first for the damage and mobility. It will help you clear out camps quickly and move through walls without issues. W is maxed second for the damage and crowd control. E is maxed last since the utility and damage from Q and W outweigh the utility from E.
Kayn is a bruiser or an assassin depending on which gameplay style you intend to go for. If you go for the bruiser build, you should look to farm and get your core items as quickly as possible so that you don’t fall behind and are ready for mid-game fights. If you go for the assassin route, try to gank as often as possible to keep the enemies down and pull the game into your favor before it gets extended and you get outscaled.
Learn how your E interacts with walls to get the most value out of it during the game and get unexpected ganks.