Glory of the Climb – Junglers: How to Win 65% More Games!
I’ve begun to notice a heavy shift in the importance of Jungler presence this Season. Something I always preached back when I was writing articles and making videos in Season 2, was that the Jungler completely dictated the pace of the game, and if you had a good Jungler you would most likely win. When Season 3 started I finally thought this trend was dead and that Junglers would basically become another laner with the increased gold from the jungle. As always, people learn to adapt and can now micromanage the jungle to be able to farm it efficiently while still keeping lane pressure. Ok, so what does this mean? What is all this about Junglers winning 65% more games?
Dragon Control and Why it’s More Important than Ganking.
With the passing of the LCS Superweek an interesting infographic was posted that showed which team won based on the objectives they completed first. In my opinion the most interesting statistic was that in 26/40 games the winning team took the first Dragon. Now, the other two similar statistics are that 24/40 teams that got firstblood and took the first tower won, however I think these are less important to look at for soloqueue. The reason I think firstblood/towers are less important in soloqueue is because these stats come from the LCS competitive scene and the current popular strategy is to 2v1 laneswap, three-man gank the one-person lane, and then kill the tower. Since 2v1 lanes are a rare occurrence in soloqueue, we will only be focusing on Dragon and why it’s so important.
Firstblood in Soloqueue is a Coin Toss.
While ganking is important as a Jungler, getting your team first blood is not going to increase your win-percentage by that much in soloqueue. You need to aim for something more convincing. We should also compare “competitive scene firstblood” to “soloqueue firstblood.” In the competitive scene, the person that gets firstblood is coordinating with four other people who he can communicate with and better apply his 400g advantage. In soloqueue getting someone firstblood is great, but there is a good chance they don’t know how to effectively apply that kind of an advantage, and they are probably not going to try and coordinate their newfound power to help the other players. It’s definitely a 50/50 thing in soloqueue and if at the end of one of my articles you didn’t learn anything more valuable than a coin toss, well then my articles wouldn’t be worth reading.
35% of Pro’s Lose After Giving Up Dragon. Imagine That Number in Soloqueue.
The 26/40 statistic stands out to me because it is a pretty convincing statistic for the competitive scene. Dragon is a nice objective but it has never seemed as game-defining as getting the first Baron (27/37 [16/17 in EU] games won), yet it yields a 65% higher chance to win the game. If the statistic is indeed consistent and 35% of PROFESSIONAL teams can not overcome a first Dragon deficit, think of how large that statistic would grow for soloqueue. In my experience, Junglers in soloqueue put too much emphasis on ganking lanes and not enough on securing Dragon. What is better: 400g for one person on your team (+200g with an assist) or 950g for your whole team? How many times have you seen a Jungler complain “You’re all pushed I can’t gank!” Instead of complaining, go buy a pink ward, clear Dragon, and then get bot and mid to help you kill it!
People Understand Dragon is Important and it Prompts Stupid Decisions.
If all your lanes are pushing, they are winning, so why not snowball their gold advantage? Also, if at any point your mid or bot lanes secure a kill GO DO DRAGON! Think of how difficult it is for the opposing team to respond in a timely fashion if you coordinate pushing in your mid and bot lanes at the same time and collapsing to Dragon. First off they have to decide if losing 6+ minions worth of gold and exp is worth stopping you. Then they have to determine if they can possibly steal it. Then they have to coordinate collapsing on you from two different sides so that you don’t 4v1 their collapsing mid or 4v2 their collapsing bottom, or 4v2/4v3 if their jungler is even in the area and is also aware of what’s happening. You are creating so much chaos for their team and creating so many opportunities for them to make a mistake for you to capitalize on. It is so incredibly difficult for a team to come back from not only losing a Dragon, but also losing one or two Champions in an uncoordinated collapse, and then that resulting in them losing a mid or bot tower because you are now four strong and pushing. If this happens and you get Dragon and a Tower, you get a combined 1700 global gold for your team. That’s a hard advantage to lose with.
The overall point I want Junglers to take away from this is that you are an extra appendage for the rest of your team. You are four extra skills and two extra summoners for each lane, you are extra eyes on the map, and you are responsible for getting the snowball rolling. Gank lanes, but if you can’t gank for them then ward for them. If your team has wards use the vision to your advantage and secure global objectives. Don’t just sit in the jungle the whole time, farm and think you are going to carry the game. Tell your mid to push their lane while you go bottom to help them push, then collapse on the Dragon. You need to try to create situations for the other team to overreact and make mistakes so you can capitalize. If you start to adapt this into your normal ganking routine I think it is safe to say you will win 65% more games, and I would actually say even higher.
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