Welcome to League of Legends, where Ryze gets a rework every week and the lanes don’t matter.
Following in the footsteps of irritating marksmen like Lucian and Corki abandoning their bot lane to become mid laners, jungle Ezreal is now the flavor-of-the-month champion for people who love playing ADC but hate playing in a lane alongside another player. And that’s what League is all about, right? Doing everything in our power to avoid teamwork?
If you’ve watched H2k-Gaming’s Marcin “Jankos” Jankowski, Splyce’s Jonas “Trashy” Andersen, or even KT Rolster’s Heo “PawN” Won-seok play this infamous pick or maybe if you’ve seen it at the top of Mobalytics’ solo queue tier list, you probably want to try it out for yourself.
Well, look no further, because we’ve thrown together a guide so you can copy your favorite pros. You’ll probably piss some people off as you learn how to play it, and some people will probably tell you to uninstall the game and insult your mother while you do, but at the end of the road, you’ll be a proud Ezreal jungle player. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
The optimal runes are standard AD runes with some extra attack speed and CDR thrown into the mix to assist with clearing camps. The masteries are the interesting part of jungle Ezreal’s pregame build, because unlike most ranged junglers, he doesn’t run Fervor of Battle, Warlord’s Bloodlust, or Thunderlord’s Decree. Ezreal doesn’t have crowd control to assist with his ganks, so he needs to be able to stick to his targets somehow, and Stormraider’s Surge gives him that power.
Jungle Ezreal’s core items are the Warrior enchantment and the Trinity Force. This gives him a lot of early power, and the Challenging Smite allows him to win duels fairly easily. After you have these, things get a little more complicated.
For boots, Jungle Ezreal has a ton of options. If you’re ahead, and you want more fighting power, you could opt into Berzerker’s Greaves. But typically, you’ll want to either run the Mercury Treads or Ninja Tabi, depending on the prominent damage on the enemy team.
For your next damage item, you’ll always want to either build the Blade of the Ruined King or the Duskblade of Draktharr. The Duskblade works better if the enemy team only has one tank or you’re really ahead, but the BorK works well against tanky teams of if you’re playing from behind.
Close the build out with a Last Whisper item, either the Mortal Reminder or Lord Dominik’s Regards, running Lord Dominik’s if the team is tanky.
Ezreal doesn’t have any AoE abilities, but his single target damage is very high, so stick to as many single target or small mob camps that you can. The major buffs, Gromp, and the Wolves are Ezreal’s camps of choice, so focus on them before moving to clear your other camps.
The name of the game for clearing camps as Ezreal is kiting. Ezreal is a squishy ADC with no tools to shield or heal him. With no sustain, he can’t take many hits from big camps, so you want to constantly move around them so they only hit you a few times. It’s easiest to do on Gromp and Blue Buff, but the Red and Wolves move a bit faster, and are more difficult. Just keep moving around, don’t stand still and basic attack them.
Ezreal’s early damage is surprisingly high for a jungle ADC, so you want to gank early and often. He can also come in from weird angles thanks to his Arcane Shift by hopping over large walls to avoid wards.
Even though he deals a lot of damage in early ganks thanks to the Red Buff, he’s still an ADC, meaning he’s remarkably squishy. He’ll scale up into the late game like any ADC would, but on the flip side, when he gets behind in the early game, just like an ADC, he becomes remarkably useless. Unlike normal ADCs, though, he can’t sit in a lane and farm until he’s caught up—he has to keep ganking, making it much more challenging.
To avoid setting yourself behind and dooming the rest of your game, you need to be cautious when ganking early on. Even though you need to gank often, you can’t gank recklessly. The trick? Don’t die.
It’s easier than it sounds, don’t worry. When you gank, you should be able to deal enough damage very quickly to force a Flash, get a kill, or at least scare the hell out of them. When they try to run away, as soon as they get past you, give up on the fight. Don’t chase them at all, because if you overextend and they turn on you, they’ll have enough damage to seriously trip you up. Even worse, if you overextend and the enemy jungler shows up, almost every jungler in the game can duel an Ezreal in the early levels, so you’re setting yourself up to fail there as well.
Gank often, but gank safe, and don’t get greedy. If you keep these simple rules in mind, you’ll have jungle Ezreal down pat in no time.