How to pick your jungler

Alright you’re last pick. The enemy team consists of Amumu, Ashe, Sion, Taric, and Warwick. You’re like “Damn they look pretty mean – I wonder which jungler I should use!”
Which of these would be the best choice?
A)    Warwick
B)    Olaf
C)    Udyr
D)    Trundle
The right answer is —-
NOT Warwick – First of all it’s draft so you can’t pick him. But let’s say you’re the second coming of Jesus and the rules don’t apply. Warwick would not the best but he would not be the worst. He’s largely considered a safe jungler to pick due to his decent stats, suppression is powerful and sustained jungle. He counters some teams and isn’t easily countered and he does okay against other set ups.
Olaf es #1 – Most CC heavy set ups are relying on a key member to dish out the damage. Olaf can laugh at their CC and beeline toward that key character and murder them. If not, most heroes are weak without their hard CC and Olaf can ignore then and just butcher them. Combine the fact with Olaf’s ability to build tanky and still dish out massive damage and you have a guy that CC teams cannot lock down with their CC or burst down with their pitiful damage.
NOT Udyr – Enjoy kiting. Udyr’s greatest weakness is the fact that he’s easy to kite and lock down. Bear is a gap closer but it’s still him just walking up to a target. He can’t stick to a target like he should vs a team with heavy CC. He would be the worst pick out of the 4.
NOT Trundle – While he may have some CC reduction it isn’t as much as Olaf’s 100% reduction. Trundle would definitely be the 2nd best choice though especially considering he can become a threat by forcing CC on him since he can separate the key target and lunge at them yet shrug it off thanks to his CC reduction. Fact is – Trundle could be the better choice except your team wasn’t given and you’d assume Olaf since he can actually carry later into the game.
Now I love being last pick in my team since I can choose a jungler that is safe and a jungler that can counter the enemy line up. This is the reason why you should learn as many junglers (or Warwick).
In this post I will give you feedback in how I process which jungler would be the best pick. Some of these are the accepted best picks and some are those I deem best picks. My wide range of junglers gives me more options to choose from.
I’ll try to do things this way. I’ll simulate a draft game. Where I am an early pick (which is basically solo queue) and last pick and that no jungler was banned.
The game is starting – the teams have banned teemo 4 times. Your team has first pick and unfortunately it’s solo queue. You can’t really trust your team so your first pick is a jungler and you gotta make it count and you have to make it useful.
The picks I’d have in mind – Warwick, Amumu, Rammus, Cho Gath, Nocturne, Lee Sin
First thing some people would ask – why are you leaving out awesome junglers like Udyr and Nunu?
Well those heroes are bad first picks. Their counters are wide and varied so you’re setting yourself up to get countered hard and being useless if you start with these.
If you look at my choices – they’re heavy control junglers or strong gankers with utility.
Warwick and Lee Sin – Safe jungler that asserts pressure and control on both junglers and can survive most attempts of counter jungling. They can focus on counter jungling too if they feel like it as they are pretty beefy at it. They’re also strong teammates to have for team objectives.
Amumu and Rammus – Rammus is the stronger ganker but Amumu is the better tank/initiator. Having a tank is a must and very rarely can you count on your team to actually pick a tank so go with this. Assert pressure on lanes and become useful later. Difference is that Rammus MUST get ganks in order to tank and all Amumu really has to do is press R.
Cho Gath – Another control jungler that is very difficult to stop. Best of all he can snowball in the jungle simply getting faster and out of control. His ganking is weaker than most but his control is absurd. Also you’re getting a tanky hero that can be used as a support tank, dps (yes physical) or a mage. Versatile pick that, despite being your first pick, can be varied before the game starts.
Nocturne – Heavy duty ganking across all levels that can take advantage of stupidity from your opponents. The best part about Nocturne is that your enemy HAS to pick their heroes accordingly in order to deal with Nocturne. If they pick like idiots then they’ll just be eaten alive. As far as I can see – Nocturne is one of the better first pick junglers since he HAS to be countered or he’ll be hard to deal with and forcing your opponents to do that is a victory in itself.
Of course here’s hoping no dunce cap goes “lolz imma jungle!” and robs you from your position.
It’s easy to plan for your what your team needs. This section here is for “Which jungler fits your team” and it’s not detailed since it’s simply obvious. Combine this section with the next section.
Carry – Olaf
Tank/Initiator – Rammus, Amumu
Tank/Bruiser – Cho Gath, Trundle, Udyr, Olaf, Warwick (tank focused)
CC Toolbox – Cho Gath, Warwick, Trundle, Udyr
Anti Carry – Olaf, Warwick, Trundle, Udyr
Support – Nunu
Mage – Nunu, Cho Gath, Fiddlesticks
If your team lacks strong laners – you need a ganking jungler. There really is no exception to this since you will need to relieve them and pressure their opponents often. You can assist getting fed or at least keep them from getting destroyed. Later on they will likely carry you instead.
If your team has strong laners – a control jungler is preferred. You can take a ganking jungler if you want but a control jungler can effectively deny their team their jungler’s support while controlling the map for his team through wards and surveillance. Control junglers are often times also the stronger dragon killers and pushers.
This next section is a lot more difficult to decipher but it’s to check what you must consider before making your choice of jungler vs your opponents taking in what your team has as well. Combine with the previous section to better understand this.
First off just, consider if your jungle has a chance of being successful. If they have a far superior level 1 team group then your jungle will likely be impacted if they decide to take advantage of that. If that’s the case – ganking junglers are immediately riskier picks.
A control jungler has the chance to recover if you get hurt (especially if they also have a counter jungler like Nunu) or an omni jungler (decent at control and ganking) can suffice. Even if they don’t have a strong level 1 team you may have to consider a varied jungler if they have a strong counter jungler.
While Rammus may be a strong ganker he is more susceptible to counter jungling than Trundle. You may pick a slightly weaker ganker due to the fact that you want to be safe vs a counter jungler. Same goes for any other type of jungler pick.
If the enemy team is heavy CC – Cho Gath, Olaf, Trundle
Worst Choice -Udyr
Olaf and Trundle were already explained. Cho Gath’s silence can help prevent the stun locking that will occur on an ally and Cho is likely strong enough to survive one volley of stun locks if he’s the target.
If the enemy team is caster heavy – Cho gath
To be fair – this enemy set up doesn’t really require a specific jungler to deal with. Getting some magic resistance is pretty much all you need to shut up the mages. However, Cho Gath’s silence and feast HP gains help him vs mages. The hp gain makes him a sponge and makes his resistance even more valuable while his silence just shuts off their spells.
If the team is melee heavy – Rammus, Olaf, Udyr, Nunu
Rammus is so obvious it’s not funny. Olaf builds naturally tanky and deals damage anyways. He also packs a Randuin’s Omen as part of his core build so good luck melee. Not a deal maker but his axe can be used to deal massive damage to clustered up enemies and he can simply chain the thing. Udyr has a built in sunfire cape and a slap that stuns anyone he can get close to. He’s also just a beefy character that can cause anyone he touches to explode. Nunu welcomes anyone to get close to him – against a heavy melee team he might actually get his ultimate off – more often he’ll be using it as a crippling slow though. Nunu will also be debuffing and kiting the poor melee.
If the enemy team lacks CC – Udyr, Warwick, Nocturne, Nunu
Nocturne – what every little CC they may have can be stopped with his spellshield. Have fun eating the squishies of the team. Nunu ultimate not being stopped in time or at all is brutal and your carry is even more menacing with bloodboil speed boost. Warwick likely gains the ability to initiate against these teams or the ability to take an opponent out of a fight without fearing CC. Udyr can simply rampage as he likely won’t be kept at bay like he normally would.
If the enemy team revolves around one hero – Warwick, Nocturne
Does this really need explanation? They can pin down/reach the target if they’re escaping, back of the pack or out of position.
Your team has a strong laning presence but the enemy picked a strong ganker to deal with that? Pick a strong control/counter jungler – Trundle, Nunu, Shaco
Cripple the enemy jungler and keep them down in order to preserve your team’s laning dominance. Nunu forces the enemy jungler to back off if they fight each other and he can steal things from right under him while at the same time apply pressure to lanes. Shaco can outright hunt down the enemy jungler and try to murder him. Trundle is a strong invader but Trundle is also very quick to cover grounds and defend his allies.
Or – screw it all and just pick Warwick
I am not the end all voice of jungling. Also – sometimes it’s best to just use a jungler you’re actually good at than one you think you should be using.

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