Today I wanted to run a quick comparison of the jungle items!
First, let’s compare the Spirit Stone items. They have 4 sets of stats:
So what does this all mean? First, the stats on the Spirit Stone items are all worth ABOUT the same amount of gold:
Ancient Golem: 2169
Elder Lizard: 2281
Spectral Wraith: 2248
But on top of that, they have Butcher (the minion clearing passive), a unique passive, and a gold passive.
Butcher is the same across the items, so we won’t consider its value.
The unique passives are also VERY hard to value, so for now, we’ll leave them aside.
How to the gold passives measure up?
Conservation is worth essentially 80 gold every 120 seconds, or 6.67 gp10.
Bounty Hunter, on the other hand, gives you 10 gold per camp. Let’s assume you clear all of the camps constantly. Bounty Hunter will give you 40 gold every 50 seconds, 80 gold every 100 seconds, and about 96 gold every 120 seconds, or 8 gp10!
Gentleman Gustaf, that means that Elder Lizard and Ancient Golem are WAY more efficient than Ancient Golem, right? I can finally build straight damage from the jungle and carry!
Hang on! What happens if you stop clearing? Let’s say you go back to the fountain; it takes you 30 seconds to get back to clearing. That’s 24 gold you lose.
If you go back to the fountain once every 3 minutes, you’ll get 120 gold every 180 seconds. That means that if you visit the fountain MORE than once every 3 minutes, Ancient Golem will give you more gold.
What if you gank? It probably takes you about 30 seconds as well, so you lose 24 gold. You’ll get 40 gold if the ganks works out! So as long as you succeed 60% of your ganks, you’re breaking even!
What if you have to hold a lane? No chance of a kill there, so you’re probably just out 24 gold! Yes, you’re getting that sweet, sweet minion farm, but you’d get that with Ancient Golem, too!
But Gentleman Gustaf, I’ll clear faster with Elder Lizard/Spectral Wraith, and thus get more gold! This is true. On the other hand, you’ll be incredibly squishy on a (probably) melee champion, so hope that doesn’t ruin your farming.
But the true strength of the Ancient Golem is in the mid game, when laners start eating your camps. As long as you can clear one camp every 60 seconds or so, you keep getting the consistent gold from Conservation, whereas you will fall behind with the Bounty Hunter gold items.
So just looking at the Spirit Stone items, I’m a fan of all of them.
Ancient Golem is best for tanky junglers who are going to gank a lot, but it is good on everybody.
Elder Lizard is good on champions who can afford to just farm the jungle, due to long-ranged gank abilities. Vi, Hecarim, and Nocturne are all good examples.
Spectral Wraith is good on AP/mage junglers. Few are considered viable at the moment, but I think this item has the potential to make them so. Why? Because the passive guarantees you will be at full health/mana almost whenever you want. It makes the jungle into your fountain. Remember those fountain visits that cost you gold from Bounty Hunter? Spectral Wraith means you rarely have to make them! The one issue with these junglers is that there aren’t any who fit the bill quite like Vi/Hecarim/Nocturne when it comes to ganking/counter-ganking from the jungle. Amumu and Fiddlesticks come close, though, as does Elise.
Finally, we’ve got Wriggle’s Lantern. How much gold does it give you? Well, the Armor/AS stats on it are worth 1110. That’s already a bad sign for an item that costs 2000 gold. However, it does increase your jungle gold by 40%! How much is that? Let’s assume you get it at the 10 minute mark and power farm. The average gold for a jungle clear will be around 300 gold. This means you gain 120-ish gold per clear. You should get to clear 12 times, in 10 minutes, for a total of 1440 gold.
Gentleman Gustaf! That’s so much gold! Why ever buy Ancient Golem?
Compared to the 80 gold/120 seconds from Ancient Golem (400 gold over the same 10 minute period), this may seem strong, but it’s actually quite weak. Why?
First, the base stats on the item (20 Armor and 25% Attack Speed) are extremely low. Yes, you’ll make 1000 gold more from power-farming. Yes, that 1000 gold basically equals the stat difference between Ancient Golem and Wriggle’s. So you have to power-farm for the first 20 minutes of the game just to break even. And even if you did want to stop farming and gank, you’d have significantly fewer stats, giving you either less damage or less tankiness.
If you ARE going to power-farm, you may as well just pick up Elder Lizard or Spectral Wraith, because they will give around 480 gold.
Basically, if you buy the jungle items at 10 minutes and powerfarm until the 20 minute mark, you will have the following gold value at the end of it:
Ancient Golem: 2569
Elder Lizard: 2761
Spectral Wraith: 2728
But if you get Ancient Golem, you will continue to gain gold regardless of the pressure you exert, and with all three Spirit Stone items, you will have combat and sustain stats in between the 10 and 20 minute mark.
Yes, Wriggle’s has its own regen passive. Yes, that regen passive probably is worth something similar to the health/mana regen on the Spirit Stone items. But the Spirit Stone items also have their own unique passives which have some significant value (Tenacity/True Damage Burn/Infinite Sustain).
Basically, don’t buy Wriggle’s Lantern. But do buy a Spirit Stone item! They give you 2000 gold in stats, not to mention increased minion damage (extremely valuable) a unique passive (tenacity/true damage burn/infinite sustain), and probably 1000 gold over the course of a 50-minute game from the gold passive.
Mattias “Gentleman Gustaf” Lehman is a big time nerd-gamer who has been involved in both SC2 and LoL. He has ranked as high as Diamond 1 in solo queue and Diamond 3 in arranged 5s.
You can see his other work here:
Jungling is a very cerebral position, and I worry that too many junglers play on autopilot.
This video is about the importance of reading items and actions to determine somebody’s playstyle and counter it directly.
This is much more of a placeholder and a summary than anything; the meat of this post will be spread over a number of posts. But I couldn’t figure how to lead into this point without extending any articles on the subject far too long.
Almost everything you can do to improve is about respect. Of course, there are mechanical steps you can take to get better. But ultimately, most decisions in the game are about knowledge and respect.
It’s not enough to know what your champion and the enemy champions can do. You have to respect those options.
I’m going to start with a pretty simplistic example: Malphite. Malphite’s ultimate allows him to start a teamfight, anywhere and anytime. And the range is incredible! If Malphite has flash and his ult up, and you can see Malphite, he can start a teamfight on you. So if your top is split-pushing, and Malphite flashes and ults you, you can’t say ‘he flash-ulted me! There was nothing I can do!’
You died because you failed to respect Malphite’s capabilities. You forced your teamfight to give an objective because you didn’t respect Malphite.
First, I’ve got this guide up on LoLKing, as well as something similar up on LoLPro (they updated this one for S4 without asking me, so it’s got some inaccuracies), so feel free to check them out there.
Basically, you’ve got 5 phases when playing Skarner
Here’s a simple tip to winning more games. Envision winning the game. Now, I don’t mean any sort of placebo/confidence effect, although it is true that thinking you will win the game makes it more likely — that’s the root cause of all the statistics Riot has about positive players winning more – that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
No, I want you to imagine the moment you win the game. Not your team last-hitting the Nexus, but whatever play made that inevitable. I had a long, hard time understanding this concept at first. I said ‘well, there are plenty of ways I could win’. And that’s true. Your top lane could get so tanky he forms a front line for your team by himself. Your ADC Vayne could end up 12-0 and show off those godlike mechanics. Their jungler could AFK. These are ways you win, but they aren’t your win condition. What is your win condition? Imagine an exactly even game. How do you win?
Does your champion become unstoppable at split-pushing and force 2 opponent champions to follow you, lest they give up towers? Do you become so tanky and immune to CC that you can dive the ADC and prevent him from doing damage? Do you have so much CC that even the worst-positioned ADC can put out constant damage? Whatever your win condition, you should be playing with that in mind.
First, let’s take a personal example. Followers of my stream may have noticed that I jumped from Plat 1 to Diamond 1 about a month ago, mostly playing Skarner – a champion largely considered unviable – as well as some Nasus – a champion who had fallen out of favor (and has returned in Preseason 4). Why is this?
I knew exactly what my goal was. Regardless of being fed, average, or behind, (with Skarner) I wanted to take advantage rotation or positioning areas to make a pick on a valuable target – using flash, if need be – and turn that into objective advantage for my team. My win condition was basically catching their most crucial member – typically a fed carry, but often their best wave-clear champion – with flash ultimate, bursting them with my team, and shoving hard down a lane – preferably mid.
This informed everything; picks, bans, ganks, and so on. If their team had an Anivia or a Lux, I would gank her most of all, knowing that her AoE clear could thwart my win condition. If their ADC was hard to get onto late game (Ezreal/Vayne), I would do the same. If a champion had great ability to protect or disengage for my target (Kayle/Lulu), I tried to ban or get my team to pick them. And if I saw those champions, I considered a different champion pick. I tried to avoid the extremely late game, where Guardian Angel and Quicksilver Sash would ruin my day, which meant hyper-aggression in the mid-game. I bought Distortion Boots (for more flashes), and CDR items (for more ultimates). I ran 0/9/21 with experience glyphs, so I could hit level 6 faster and start on my game plan earlier.
Of course, some games I would simply get fed as Skarner, rampage over champions, and win through sheer advantage. Then again, a lot of my losses were precisely from these games. I got so fed that I tried to win without attention to my goal, and it led to mistakes. The benefits of having a goal are twofold:
Another example is perhaps forthcoming: when playing Nasus, I knew I wanted to maintain early vision control, and take early dragons with my ultimate, push down early towers with Spirit Fire, and then push early to gain control over their jungle camps. The constant pushing pressure creates a huge gold advantage, and Wither guarantees much higher damage out of my ADC than theirs, allowing for safe pushing.
So there you have it. Visualize your win, and what leads up to it. And make sure everything you do is about that. This is ultimately what players mean when they say ‘don’t fight for no reason’. A lot of players will just decide ‘now I fight my opponent laner’. Yes, there are timings where you are stronger and should fight. But it should have a purpose. Are you shoving him out of lane or kill him so you can push tower and force his jungler top? Go ahead. But I you’re fighting hi just because you think you can pick up the kill, consider that their jungler might show up, and it won’t have been worth the risk if they 2v1 you.
Here are some examples: don’t all-in in AP vs. AD lanes: you gain a bit of wave clear from a win, while they probably gain 50% damage on your tower. And if you DO all-in as an AP champion, roam and try to pick up kills in other lanes. Obviously, if you know you’ll win and you know you won’t get counter-ganked, all-in their game. But if it’s all up for question, consider how much they gain compared with you, and how you’re accomplishing your goals.
If you’re a split-pusher, and you’ve already taken both of your top lane towers, you should probably split-push bot instead. What are you gaining by splitting top? Not much. And if your team splits bot, the enemy team now has baron control. But whatever you do, don’t join up with your team. You’re no good in team fights!
If you’re a strong team fight champion, the reverse holds! Join your team already, no matter how hard you’re winning lane!
Once you know about your champion, try to incorporate knowledge about ally and enemy champions. You may be a split-pusher, but do they have a better split-pusher on their team? Maybe you’re better off joining fights!
Obviously, there are so many specifics that going through them would be an exercise in wasted time. But keep this idea in mind in your next game: don’t do anything without thinking about what it gets you, and how closely what it gets you aligns with your win condition.
Feast: + 2 Health and + 1 mana per unit kill
It’s about 20 health and 10 mana per minute in lane, and about the same in the jungle. Not super exciting. It’s basically a biscuit every 4 minutes. But here’s a look at why it’s pretty bad. If your sustain already keeps you going, 20 health and 10 mana isn’t going to make a difference.
Fury: + 1.25%/2.5%/3.75%/5% Attack Speed for 4 points. Cool. 25% buff from its current numbers
Sorcery: + 1.25%/2.5%/3.75%/5% CDR for 4 points. Cool. 25% buff from its current numbers.
Butcher: + 2 damage to minions/monsters. Cool.
Double Edge Sword: + 2% damage dealt and + 1% damage taken if melee, otherwise + 1.5% damage dealt and taken.
This point may seem like shit, but consider how much time you spend doing damage without taking it. Split-pushing. Farming. Being ranged.
Brute Force: + 4/8/12 AD at level 18.
33% buff from its current numbers.
Mental Force: + 6/12/18 AP at level 18.
33% buff from its current numbers.
Spell/Blade Weaving: Spell damage increases auto-attack damage by 1% stacking up to 3 times, and vice versa.
Are you Jax?
Martial Mastery: + 5 AD.
That’s a lot of AD.
Arcane Mastery: + 8 AP.
That’s a lot of AP.
Executioner: increases damage dealt to targets below 20/35/50% health by 5%.
Dangerous Game: Restores 5% of Health/Mana on kill
Probably good on assassins, who like Executioner as well.
Warlord: Increases bonus AD by 2%/3.5%/5%.
Archmage: Increases AP by 2%/3.5%/5%.
Frenzy: Crit = + 5% AS, but stacks up to 3 times and last 3 seconds.
Essentially, one lucky crit won’t help as much anymore, but lots of crit will help more.
Devastating Strikes: + 2%/4%/6% Armor/Magic Pen.
This is a nerf, but there are also alleged Penetration changes in the work, so who knows what this will mean. Essentially, Riot sounds like they want to make flat pen kill squishies, while % Pen only kills tanks. As such, I think they’re nerfing % Pen so you have to really itemize to kill tanks.
Arcane Blade: 5% of AP on-hit.
Captain Teemo, on duty!
Havoc: 3% Increased Damage
Block: Reduces incoming champion attack damage by 1/2
Unyielding: Reduces incoming champion damage by 2 if melee, 1 if ranged.
Recovery: +1/+2 Heath Regen/5 seconds.
12 health per minute? That’s worse than Feast, although you don’t have to constantly kill minions to benefit from it.
Enchanted Armor: + 2.5%/+5% Bonus Armor/MR
Unlikely to be valuable unless you’re buying a good deal of Armor/MR. After all, Legendary Armor never caught on this season. But this is at a much lower point level, and has barely any good competition on non-junglers. I could see it being an ok pick on laners, since they won’t want Tough Skin.
Tough Skin: Reduced jungle damage by 1/by 2.
Bladed Armor: Returns 1% of current health in damage to jungle monsters that attack you.
Being % Current Health, this will no longer steal buffs! I still consider it weak.
Veteran Scars: + 12/24/36 Health
Don’t compare this to the old Veteran’s Scars; it falls short, but it stands up better against Durability; it gives about a third of the health at level 18, but is better until level 6 (this is the cutoff point Riot is trying to set for a lot of their flat vs per level runes)
Juggernat: + 3% Max Health
Old Juggernaut gave you 4% of your Max health with 3 points; now you get 3% with 1 point! Talk about a buff.
Oppression: 3% DR vs CC’d targets
Hardiness/Resistance: 2/3.5/5 Armor/MR
The same masteries you know and live, but higher up in the tree
Perseverance: +1/2/3% of your missing health every 5 seconds.
How strong is this? Well, if you have 500 health (level 1) and are at half health (250), you will get 2.5 Health per 5. That’s 25% more health regen than Feast gives you, and 150% more health than Recovery gives. As your health goes up, it only gets stronger. It’s stronger than Mundo’s passive whenever you’re below 70% health (and when you’re above 70% health, are you in dire need of Regen?)
Second Wind: +10% Healing when below 25% health
I could see this being cool if you have lots of lifesteal or healers on your team. But it’s definitely situational unless you’re Aatrox.
Swiftness: reduces slows by 10%
Only costing 1 point instead of 2 is definitely a buff, but the problem is that if you’re getting slowed, reducing the amount of the slow probably isn’t going to do much for you.
Reinforced Armor: Reduces incoming crit damage by 10%
Evasion: Reduced AoE damage by 4%.
I think this is pretty decent. Mages rarely focus tanks, so most of the magic damage you take is AoE.
Legendary Guardian: + 1 Armor and + .5 MR per nearby champion.
1 point of this gives you 5 Armor and 2.5 MR in teamfights. That’s 3 points in Hardiness and 1.5 points in resistance.
In a 1v1, it’s only worth 1 Armor and .5 MR, for about 1 point in Hardiness/Resistance.
So the 1 point mastery is worth in between 1 point and 4.5 points in masteries. I’ll take it.
4 points of this gives you a whopping 20 Armor and 10 MR in teamfights, for 18 mastery points worth of resistances. And let’s not forget the extra 1 point of Armor and half point of MR from Enchanted Armor 😀
Runic Shield: 50 HP shield that regens on respawn
This point is straight up terrible.
Tenacity: 15% CC Reduction
Much better as a one-point wonder than a 3-point drain
Phasewalker: Faster Recall. *snore*
Fleet of Foot: + .5%/1%/1.5% Movement Speed.
I’m sad to lose the 3% Movement Speed from Utility, but this is much more readily available.
Meditation: +1/2/3 Mana Regen per 5 seconds
You either like Mana Regen or you don’t
Scout: Longer cast range on wards.
This is way better than longer sight range on wards. It makes warding brushes a lot safer.
Conjurer: traps and other conjured units last 10% longer
Summoner’s Insight: 4/7/10% Summoner Spell CDR
Good before, good now!
Strength of Spirit: 10% of Mana Regen -> Health Regen
Do you stack Mana Regen?
Alchemist: 10% longer potions/elixirs
Uh…cool. Because when I want to all-in people with Fort Pots, I definitely run 9 in Utility.
Biscuiteer: 20 health and 10 mana per potion
If you buy more than 1 ward per minute, this beats out Feast!
Runic Affinity: Increased Buff Duration
Are you a jungler/mid? Cool!
Vampirism: +1/2/3% Lifesteal/Spell Vamp
This is alright enough, but getting 3 points means sacrificing damage elsewhere, and if your damage is low, your lifesteal/spell vamp will be too.
Bandit: + 15 gold on Kill/Assist?
This Mastery is for supports.
Scavenger: + 1 gold per nearby minion death
Expanded Mind: + 2% Max Mana
Are you Singed? 2% of 1000 Mana is 20 Mana, so I don’t see this as that exciting…
Inspiration: + 5 XP every 10 seconds when near a higher level champion.
Unless you intend on just living in solo lanes….
Intelligence: + 2/4/6% CDR and + 4/8/12% Activated Item CDR.
A nice buff to add activated items to this.
Wanderer: + 5% Movement Speed out of combat.
This is a lot of Movement Speed at the start of your ganks. It probably won’t be that useful while clearing, because minions count as combat.
9 points in Offense never felt so good. Junglers didn’t get much out of 9 points in offense; AD/lvl didn’t kick in until carries had too much damage, and % Pen didn’t do much to increase your damage. As a result, you either invested the whole 21 points to get the early game boosts to damage or you picked up AD/lvl and % Pen and didn’t really help your early game damage at all. 21 points in offense will really only pay off now if you pick up pure offensive items, something that has been dangerous in the past in the jungle. Maybe the new gold will change this.
Defense now has a lot of scaling strength in the top of the tree, with its flat strength coming at points 9+. This may seem paradoxical, but the nerf to the early tankiness available is a buff to bruisers. In Season 3, everybody put 9 points in defense, so bruisers and tanks weren’t really special early game in tankiness. Their benefits were LATE game tankiness, which often didn’t really set in until they had been out-scaled by carries. Now, champions who invest in defensive masteries will actually be significantly tankier than other champions early game.
Utility is basically the same, but loses the XP, while gaining more accessible Movement Speed. What does this mean? It means getting INTO a gank will be a bit easier. Getting around the map will be easier. Sticking on a target will be a bit harder, but not noticeably.
0/21/9 got a small buff; your early game Movement Speed in combat is up.
9/21/0 got a huge buff; your early game strength will be great compared with that of 21/9/0 carries.
9/9/9 now has two viable endings: 9/9/12 (for Lifesteal) or 9/12/9 (for Armor). I look to see these page be very strong.
0/9/21 is still strong, but doesn’t get you an early 6. However, it gives you 5 biscuits, a TON of Movement Speed, and even extra gold early game, and sacrifices tankiness. I think this style is weaker now, but not by much. The lower Smite CD will also alleviate that.
21/9/0 does seem weaker to me, objectively. I’m not sure much can be done about that.
Gentleman Gustaf here to talk about jungle masteries. First, I want to discuss what the masteries are, and then match up pages to champions.
It’s important to divide masteries into 0-9 and 10-21. Why? Because given 30 points, if you put 21 points into 1 mastery tree (to get the ultimate point), you have 9 points left.
0/21/9 – Cho, Nautilus, Sejuani, Amumu
This page is for jungle tanks, who want tankiness but need movement speed and mana over extra damage.
9/21/0 – Vi, Zac, Volibear
This page is for jungle bruisers, who want tankiness and added damage. As well, they can take “Tenacious” so that their damage won’t be interrupted as much by CC.
21/9/0 – Lee Sin, Jarvan, Aatrox
This page is for early aggressive junglers, who want flat damage to boost the strength of their invades, ganks, and dives.
0/9/21 – Skarner, Nasus, Nocturne, Udyr
This page is for junglers who have enough early game strength to survive without 21 in tankiness, not enough to go aggressive with 21 in offense, and strong enough ultimates to make an early level 6 extremely worthwhile. Udyr may not have the ultimate, but his early game is hardly weakened by 0/9/21, and he will still benefit from early levels and stats like CDR, Lifesteal/Spell Vamp, and Movement Speed
9/9/12 – Situational.
I hope you learned something from this! I’ll be trimming down and cleaning up all of my video content in the future, so this is just the start!
Portland is my kind of town. I don’t mean its liberal attitude, or its hip, ‘we don’t need your approval’ punk undertones, or its ‘we don’t got no employability’ college graduate feel. I mean the weather. It rains all year round, and it’s always cold. I’ve always gotten hives when temperatures run high or emotions flare, when I’m afraid or anxious. But around friends, I feel secure, and my flesh isn’t coated in nettles. Portland is a friend, with its cool weather and accepting atmosphere.
But tonight isn’t one of those nights.