Mowzer's Solo Q Jungle Tier List for Patch 5.2
Hey everyone. Mowzer here. I am a diamond jungle main on both the Korean and NA servers. I have been playing since closed beta and I love theory crafting. Here is my fourth stab at a tier list for junglers, in Solo Q. This list is for patch 5.2 and focuses on Junglers in general. This list is not aimed at any specific MMR. I have been asked to do a low MMR tier list and with enough interest I would be happy to make one. These are the champions, I feel, are strong in Solo Q, but that does not mean that everyone else is trash. I have spent a great deal of time thinking, playing games (on both NA and KR), testing champions, reading guides, and watching games to develop this list.
This patch was a mild nerf to junglers. The addition of 100 gold to upgrading the jungle item was aimed at stopping three various situations when the jungle could back to upgrade rather quickly. These three specific instances are: 1) A team invades level 1 and the jungler gets first blood and then is able to back to upgrade. 2) The jungler takes one camp for level two and then invades the enemy jungler at their first buff to kill them and back if successful to upgrade. I refer to this as the “lvl 2 cheese.” 3) The jungler clears three camps and backs to upgrade. For my play style, this is not a massive nerf. I feel it will only hinder those that play the very aggressive early level invades and those who like the safety of backing after three camps. I can see another situation coming from this, invading the second buff or flat out stealing it. Since a great deal of junglers won’t back, I can see an enemy jungle going aggressive at the second buff. Watch out for invades! Save your ward trinket for aggressive junglers or at the second buff to counter this.
The following are listed from strongest to weakest, but none of these junglers are remotely under powered. Also, at the end of the list I have included what I feel are the 11-20 junglers, in no specific order. Attention! This is a top ten tier list, not a complete tier list. I will say that again, this is NOT a complete tier list of every champion that can jungle.
Top 4 jungle bans: Rek’sai, Jarvan, Lee Sin, Fiddlesticks.
Top 5 – The big hitters: - note (5th to 1st) means that I ranked the champion on my list at 5th last time and now is placed 1st. Unlisted means they were not on the previous list.
1. Jarvan (1st to 1st) – Praise the son! Well, he is the son of the king. Riot, nerf this champion. Why? I want to play him again and not because he’s OP. He has almost everything a jungler needs to be a top pick. He’s innately tanks and has a high damage to tank ratio. He has fantastic ganks and great utility. His E + Q combo makes it easy for him to get in and out to tower dive, steal dragon/baron or take an objective. Build him pure tank or tanky DPS and he does insanely well. Watch out, he is weak his first clear and strong invades can dominate and counter gank him. Pantheon and Lee Sin make short work of him early on. Don’t forget that your ultimate can screw over your team as much as it can the enemy team. Also, you can jump walls with your ultimate if the target is close enough to you. Suggested jungle enchant: Warrior. Pros – Ganks, team fight. Cons – early invades, mana.
2. Fiddlesticks (2nd to 2nd) – Surprise mother f##ker! I ban this champion every, single game. He has no issues clearing with or without a jungle item. His ganks all game are amazing and he scales amazingly. He only needs hourglass to be effective and anything outside of that just makes him an even better pick. Be careful because he is made of straw. Watch out for wards and upgrade your trinket early on. If you get caught out and are unable to ult you become nearly useless. Suggested jungle enchant: Magus. Pros – CC, team fight. Cons – CC, getting caught out.
3. Pantheon (4th to 3rd) – The baker always delivers. Mandrop the enemy team into oblivion. He has an insanely good early game and has the potential to snowball the lanes easily. His passive makes tower diving easy and flash + W can catch a carry out of position with ease. Ultimate behind the enemy to cut off their retreat, drop on top of them for maximum damage or just use it to split push/control the map. Pantheon is an aggressive jungler and is not for the type that likes to sit back and farm. You need to balance your build with him or else you will fall off as the game progresses. You then, basically, become a stun bot. You have nearly no escape, so when you go in, you’re in. Suggested jungle enchant: Warrior. Pros – ganks, early-mid game. Cons – Late game, poor escape*
4. Lee Sin (3rd to 4th) – I see, said the blind man. Kick them into the graveyard, not safety. He has possibly the highest skill cap on this list. To be a master of the Lee you need to know you limits. His early game is amazing and has one of the highest playmaking skills out of any jungler. Manage your cooldowns and don’t help the enemy team by kicking them to safety. Itemize carefully because if you don’t you will become useless as the game goes on. Sightstone is one of your best friends because it helps you not only control the map but allows for you to get around the map. Suggested jungle enchant: Warrior. Pros – Utility, invading. Cons – Late game, skill cap.
5. Vi (6th to 5th) – A little smash and grab. She’s finally here! With Jarvan being picked and banned 24/7, thanks flavor of the month jerks, she’s getting a lot more play. She has a solid kit and a great damage to tank ratio. She has great mobility and ganks. Her ultimate can, literally, shove everything out of the way as she dives her target and her passive keeps her alive more often than you would think. Don’t spam Q when clearing or you will run OOM without blue buff. Make sure you build her to match what your team needs. Don’t fall behind and still rush damage because you might not live long enough to do anything. Be careful ulting targets that have escapes because you could find yourself alone and surrounded by enemies that wouldn’t mind smashing your head like a cupcake. Suggested jungle enchant: Warrior. Pros – CC, shred. Cons – disengage, mana issues.
Bottom 5 – The runners up:
1. Rek’Sai (5th to 6th) – Click, click, rwar, SCREAM! Her early game got nerfed a bit more but Riot still hasn’t touched her biggest issues, her cool downs. She has amazing damage to tank ratio still and amazing mobility. She can use her tunnels to gank or move around the map. Build a network and traverse the map easily. Use her ult to farm the jungle, split push, gank, secure objectives, etc. Make sure you place tunnels often and wisely. Don’t just give the enemy free gold for no reason. Make sure to manage your merge and submerge correctly, or you might end up looking pretty stupid. It’s easy to grab a level lead and hold it by using tunnels and your ultimate. Suggested jungle enchant: Warrior. Pros – damage to tank ratio, mobility. Cons – kiting, iffy CC.
2. Hecarim (10th to 7th) – Look at my horse. My Horse is amazing! The buffs did the trick for bring him back to life. He’s an even stronger pick for top lane with the heal buff but I shouldn’t say that because I don’t want people picking him. He has amazing mobility and with gank boots and homeguard he’s everywhere. Crush the enemy lanes for an early lead and snowball your graceful stride to victory. Itemize and try not to fall behind. Hecarim needs items to be useful because his kit only allows for all ins. You can’t just sit back and throw your poo at the enemy like some can. Don’t spam all your mana clearing if you plan to gank or else you’re just going to look stupid and do nothing. Suggested jungle enchant: Warrior. Pros – initiate, mobility. Cons - item dependent, mana.
3. Rengar (9th to 8th) – Kills are his catnip. He likes to pounce from the bushes or the shadows. He melts carries with ease and can go either glass cannon to melt face or tanky to still melt face, just slower. His clearing is decent but his ganks are better. Split push for days or execute a carry caught out. He has insane mobility with his pounce and ultimate and can easily cross the map. Know when to build him full damage and when to get tankier. Itemize incorrectly and you might be a rug on the floor for people to wipe their feet on. Manage your stacks so you can optimize your damage or cc. Suggested jungle enchant: Warrior. Pros – burst, manaless. Cons - item dependent, cc.
4. Xin Zhao (8th to 9th) – Stop playing Jarvan, he sucks. Play Ghetto Jarvan, so I can play Jarvan instead. He has solid clears and takes very little damage with the heal from his W. His passive is a welcomed shred to all the ADs on the team. His kit is similar to Jarvan’s, but not as much mobility/utility. Xin does split the enemy team and stick to his target better though. He has amazing damage to tank ratio and decent sustain. Grab warrior and an offensive item to carry more or just go pure tank after warrior to almost never die. Be careful ulting because you can actually help the enemy team by throwing them into positions they’d actually like to be in. Also, you have escape outside of flash so when you’re in, you’re all in. Suggested jungle enchant: Warrior or Devourer. (I prefer the CDR and armor pen from warrior but devourer can be a good pick when you are able to farm and or get lots of kills/assists.) Pros – stick, tanky. Cons – no escape, kiting.
5. Cho’gath (7th to 10th) – Nom, nom, nom nom, nnnnnoooommmm. This cheeky “little” fellow loves to eat the carries. He has an amazing kit with, effectively, three CC. His Q is both a knock up and a slow and his W is a silence that scales per point. He is passively tanky and can either be a bursty mage or a tank with lots to offer. Max Q when going AP to dish out more damage, max W (usually max this first) to utilize the extended silence or max E for clears and tons of damage on auto attacks. Don’t spam spells without blue or you’ll run OOM. Practice your skills shots or else you’ll just be a manaless tank that just screams randomly. Kiting is not your friend so randiuns comes in handy. You can easily get 40% cdr in 15 minutes by rushing magus and frozen heart. This makes for laying down the law. Suggested jungle enchant: Magus or Juggernaut. (I almost always build magus on him, because it helps him power spike early. Also, it makes it easy to get 40% cdr on him. I, typically, will rush frozen heart as my second item. This allows for him to max cdr, even without runes/masteries, as early as 15 minutes. Juggernaut is a solid pick too and is more aimed at a tanky build. Juggernaut is more of a Cho’pansy style and Magus the Cho’god approach.) Pros – cc, tanky, cons – mana, kiting.
Contested champions (these are champions I wanted to place in top 10 but felt others did slightly better): Sejuani – Great tank and initiator with lots of CC. Nunu – Amazing counter jungler and map controller with the new ward trinket update., Udyr – A solid jungler that has the ability to chase down targets and lay down DMG with CC. Kha’zix – Hyper carry with high mobility. His downfall is his lack of hard CC and requires lots of gold/kills.
11-20 Junglers: This section was added by request and will not be explained in detail. They are in no specific order. – Sejuani, Nidalee, Master Yi, Elise, Olaf, Nunu, Shyvana, Nautilus, Udyr, Kha’zix.
Honorable mentions - I added this section to ease the rage over various junglers not listed above. This is *NOT* a complete tier list and is a top 10 tier list. There are far more than 10, even 20, junglers. Some are niche picks and require the right situation to be viable or need a great deal of skill/luck to pull off. The honorable mentions are - Twisted Fate, Karma, Diana, Gragas, Skarner, Eve, Kayle, Noc, Karthus, Zac, Shaco, Rammus, Wu, and every single champion not listed.
Post any comments below or let me know what you think. I am expanding each tier list to include more information and add more details. I hope everyone is enjoying these. Would anyone be interested in a low MMR tier list focusing on champions that excel in the lower tiers? If so, let me know and with enough interest I would be willing to put together one! My social sites are Facebook, Twitch, Youtube, and Twitter. Have a wonderful day and best of luck you in your games.
TL;DR – This patch nerfed the early backing for junglers to upgrade jungle the item and shifted around the top junglers a bit. Rek’sai did get nerfed again but she still has a lot of power. Please, nerf Jarvan. Why? Because I want to play him again and not because he’s OP.