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 sixth tier list for junglers for Solo Q. This list is for patch 5.4 and focuses on Junglers in general. 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 rocked the jungle a bit with a few changes:
- Jarvan is going to be taking more damage from physical attacks from champions and the jungle. He received a minor armor buff to his armor, but his E no longer grants passive armor to him. Also, they fixed/nerfed his knockuo working in various scenarios outside of the E + Q pathing.
- Junglers that enjoyed the short lived item swap won’t like the 250 gold cost change. This will make it for various junglers that enjoyed getting trailblazer and swaping it out later for a more aggressive smite.
- Warrior enchant lost 5 damage. It’s not a massive change, but the nerf can be felt.
- A big change was to smite. Smite’s range was lowered from 750 to 500 (edge of champion’s hitbox to edge of opponent’s hitbox), which results in ~175 range loss against champions. This will make is considerably harder to get chilling smite off on enemy champions.
- Revive removed . . . bye? Doesn’t really do anything to junglers.
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: Vi, Fiddle Sticks, Lee Sin, Nidalee.
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. Top 5 champions have their own champion cards now with recommended builds and skill order.
- Vi (2nd to 1st) – A smashing good time. No longer in the shadow of Jarvan. The recent changes to the jungle and other junglers have helped her rise. She has everything needed to carry in solo Q. She can go either full tank, tanky damage, or full damage. Her W helps her do decent to good damage all game and the armor shred is welcomed by all ADs. Q can be good for positioning, gap closing, clearing, and CC. Watch the distance on Q, because falling short on terrain will leave you stranded. Try not to put too much distance between you and your team, because you can end up surrounded by enemies with no allies around. Using Q on camps can line up the monsters for clearing, but avoid spamming it without blue while farming or you’ll run OOM. Suggested jungle enchant: Warrior. Pros – Solid CC, shred. Cons – poor disengage, mana issues. Vi’s Champion Card
- Lee Sin (3rd to 2nd) – Blindly moving forward. Some things have changes, but he isn’t going anywhere. The changes to smite and jungle item changing barely affect him. He has the utility and playmaking to carry his team to an early lead. Sightstone on him allows for great mobility and fantastic ward coverage. The downfalls of him come from his high skill cap and poor scaling. He excels in the early to mid game, but he then starts to fall off. Watch how you position your kicks, because a bad kick can either save the enemy or send a hostile target into your fragile team. Suggested jungle enchant: Warrior. Pros – Lots of utility, great invading. Cons – weak late game, player skill dependent. Lee Sin’s Champion Card
- Nidalee (4th to 3rd) – Shifty spears hit their mark. This cougar likes to prey on the young and the weak. Her mobility and damage are not to be underestimated. She has an amazing kit to carry in Solo Q. Plaster the map with traps that provide vision once activated for an early warning system. Also, it proves a speed boost and shreds a bit of health. Her Q in cougar form is a scaling Garen ult on a short cooldown and is a great skill to secure objectives and kills with. She depends greatly on landing her spears to do damage, but even without being fully accurate she has a lot to offer the team. Her heal is amazing for replenishing your target and providing a steroid for your ADC. Suggested jungle enchant: Magus. Pros – high mobility, great damage. Cons – No CC, skillshot dependent. Nidalee’s Champion Card
- Fiddlesticks (8th to 4th) – An Awkward surprise. He’s been nerfed a number of times in recent patches, but it has done very little to hurt him. Riot has only nerfed his damage output, but has done nothing to harm his amazing kit. He does well all game and has a top notch team fight. He only needs a few items, hourglass and mobility boots, to crush. He can solo dragon during his first clear at level three or four without having to back. Upgrade your sweeper trinket early. His biggest weakness is the enemy team having vision of him or the ability to CC him before he can get his damage off. Suggested jungle enchant: Magus. Pros – lots of CC, solid team fight. Cons – being CC’ed, vision of him. Fiddlesticks’ Champion Card
- Pantheon (5th to 5th) – The flying mandrop. This is SOLO Q! He’s been up and down on this list, but he hasn’t fallen off of it. He has an amazing early and mid game. He can easily get around the map and snowball a lead. His ultimate is more of a utility/map control tool than a source of damage. He falls off late game, but itemizing against your enemy and a good lead can keep you viable throughout the game. Rushing damage without a tank on the team can turn you into a paper stun bot. Suggested jungle enchant: Warrior. Pros – strong ganks, powerful early-mid game. Cons – weak late game, poor escape. Pantheon’s Champion Card
Bottom 5 – The runners up:
- Rek’sai (7th to 6th) – Incoming Rekt’sai. This saucy minx isn’t afraid to get her nails dirty. A number of nerfs have hit her, but her kit is solid for solo Q. She has high mobility and an amazing damage to tank ratio. Her ultimate allows for her to easily get around the map, for free. Also, it gives her the advantage of being able to split push while having flash too. Maintaining a level advantage with her ultimate is rather easy. It can be hard for her to land her CC and can be kited rather easily. Make sure to place tunnels wisely or the enemy team will be laughing all the way to the bank. Suggested jungle enchant: Warrior. Pros – high damage to tank ratio, high mobility. Cons – being kited, iffy CC.
- Sejuani (10th to 7th) – The frostbitten delivery. She’s been around for a while, but has had issues getting to the top. The recent changes to the jungle or other junglers have helped her greatly. She can be built mage tank or pure tank and still punish her enemies. She has great initiate and a load of CC. She does rather well all game and scales while becoming tankier. She lacks any form of sustain and has mana issues early on. Avoid spamming without blue and make sure to either carry potions to keep your health up or back before ganking. Remember, she has an amazing team fight, so don’t give up from being down a little. Suggested jungle enchant: Juggernaut/magus. Pros – lots of CC, solid team fight. Cons – no sustain, mana issues early levels.
- Jarvan the IV (1st to 8th) – One fallen from grace. Riot finally nerfed him and you know what? I am glad! Why? Now I can finally get to play him again. That and it’s amazing how many people don’t read patch notes. The removal of armor on his E has hurt him, a lot. He has a, marginally, higher base armor, but isn’t not saving him. He takes considerably more damage than before in the jungle and he can’t Solo Ads nearly as much as he could. He is still an amazing jungler and a great top laner. He can’t knock up people as much with the nerfs to his E + Q combo too. Suggested jungle enchant: Warrior. Pros – Strong ganks, solid team fight. Cons – being invaded, mana issues.
- Shaco (11-20 to 9th) – A little magic trick. The demonic trickster has deceived his way onto the list. He does amazingly well in Solo Q. He can easily start without a leash, provided you can get your boxes down properly. He can start at either his buffs or counterjungle the enemy buff. He has fantastic ganks and can outplay the enemy team with a few tricks. His ultimate can dodge abilities, such as Vi’s ultimate and he can split push with ease. Also, he can solo dragon rather easily at level four. He is very gold dependent and doesn’t have the best team fight. Don’t pick him without a decent team already built. He takes some skill and getting used to. A good Shaco is a terroer, a bad Shaco is a true terror. It seems the enemy Shaco is always a god though and the one I am stuck with is. . .crap. . .it’s me. Suggested jungle enchant: Warrior. Pros – amazing ganks, great split pushing. Cons – weak team fights, player skill dependent.
- Udyr (11-20 to 10th) – Shape shifting moods. I have had my ups and downs on him, but he has a very strong Solo Q presence. He can clear the jungle rather easily and isn’t afraid of most invades. He has great mobility with stance shifting and can stick to a target rather well. Both approaches of tiger and phoenix are strong, but your play style and current situation will dictate which fits you and the current state better. He needs gold to get snowballing and can be kited rather easily. He lacks gap closing outside of running really fast at a target and stance shifting a stun on them. Suggested jungle enchant: Devourer/Juggernaut. Pros – high mobility, easy jungle clears. Cons – rather easily kited, item dependent.
Contested champions: (these are champions I wanted to place in top 10 but felt others did slightly better): Xin Zhao – Ghetto Jarvan was a close top 10 pick after the changes to the jungle. He’s similar to Jarvan in many ways and has no issues clearing the jungle. Wu Kong – Not allowed to discuss him, because someone might murder me. Cho’gath – A tanky ap that brings a lot of CC to table and great damage to tank ratio. He has no issues clearing the jungle. Kha’zix – the evolving hyper carry that can easily reset his way to a killing spree. Having to pay to change the jungle item gimped his comeback.
11-20 Junglers: This section was added by request and will not be explained in detail. They are in no specific order. Wu Kong, Rengar, Kha’zix, Cho’gath, Nunu, Hecarim, Amumu, Evelynn, Xin Zhao, Master Yi.
My Personal Choice: Cho’God – I have always liked Cho’gath, both in lane and in the jungle. He has great AP damage to tank ratio and has great CC. He can secure objectives easily with his ultimate and has no issues clearing the jungle. His downfalls stem from the ability of the player to land skillshots or the enemy able to dodge them and he gets kited rather easily. Early game he runs out of mana insanely fast.
Honorable mentions – every champion in the game not mentioned above.
God-tier – Urgod, still, don’t ask questions.
Post any comments below or let me know what you think. I post all my tier lists on goldper10.com and they can be seen there along with my other articles and comic series. I am currently working on another tier list. This one will focus on five specific champions, I feel, are good for climbing in bronze, silver, and gold. I will include possible runes, masteries, builds, etc. If you are interested, let me know. I hope everyone is enjoying these tier lists. Thank you for all the support, feedback, and criticism. I greatly appreciate it! My social sites are Facebook, Twitch, Youtube, and Twitter. I owe to people a special thanks for their contribution. First, to my amazing girlfriend that goes out of her way to make sure everything I do is the best. Thanks babe. You mean the world to me. Second, thanks goes to Nunire for checking my work, input, and helping me with various design projects. Thanks Mijo. Have a wonderful day and best of luck to you in your games.
TL;DR – This patch hurt junglers in a few ways. It now costs gold to change the jungle item and smite has a shorter range. Jarvan has been knocked off his throne.