Chapter 7. Counterjungling in Season 7 – how to stomp the enemy Jungler
Map awareness for the Jungler
Map awareness is the key, critical factor that will allow you to be able to recognize what is happening on the map at any given moment. It is one of the best skills you can develop not only as a Jungler, but in any other role in the game.
If your map awareness is on point, you will be seeing even the slightest opportunities to direct the game to the outcome you desire. You will not be missing anything important that happens on the map.
You will see the chances for ganks, counterganks and also counterjungling, which is the main topic of this chapter.
So the million dollar question is – How should you go about developing that high-end map awareness that will serve you so well in your Ranked games?
Well, the method I teach Junglers is a little bit different compared to the one I teach laners.
What I advise laners when coaching them on 1 on 1 basis is to just briefly look at the mini map after each successful last hit that they land.
Of course, you don’t just start out that way, because it would be too much for most people. There is a progression to it for laners, which you can read about in “21 Days to Diamond and Beyond” if you are interested.
Obviously, you can’t follow it as a Jungler though, because you are not laning.
So the way to develop map awareness as a Jungler is to watch the minimap every few seconds when you are moving in between your camps, and once more every time you clear a camp.
Lastly, pay attention to it for the full duration while you are heading towards a lane to gank it. You want to see if the enemy Jungler pops out somewhere else, so you can use that as an opportunity to invade his Jungle.
Another tip I can give you to not miss out on any events, is to track the health bars of your teammates and if you see any of them dropping down, quickly click on the minimap (or press one of the F numbered buttons on your keyboard) to target the view on that player.
This way you will always be up to speed with everything that’s going around the map.
This gives you a huge advantage over the enemy Jungler, because you will be able to react to whatever is happening elsewhere on the map faster than him.
You will warn your teammates of danger faster than him, you will predict outcomes and situations before they even happen, and you will be of so much more use to your team.
One trick that will make all of this easier, is to increase the size of your mini map. Go into the Game Options and set it to 100% scale to make it more visible for your eyes.
You can also move it left or right, depending on your personal preference. Choose whichever option seems more natural.
The factors you need to consider before counterjungling
As we established in chapter 3 of this book, counterjungling is much more impactful in this Season compared to Season 6, due to the longer respawn timers of the camps.
It is extremely punishing and if done well, will decide which Jungler influences the game more.
So what are the factors that you need to look at when considering if you should invade the enemy Jungler?
The first factor you need to assess is what the 1vs1 potential looks like for you against their Jungler?
Does your champion have an innate advantage over his or is it vice versa?
Maybe you have seen that he is low on hp and you are at full hp? Or maybe you have a level advantage on him, as well? Or maybe he is completely out of mana.
In all of these cases, you know you will win the duel as long as it’s a 1vs1 and therefore you should consider counterjungling.
Another factor that’s important is the vision control. Having some sort of vision is mandatory if you want to be able to make informed decisions.
Do you have any wards in his Jungle that will help you react if you see him approaching you from a distance? If not, is it safe to go and place a few wards or ask your laner to do it if he has pushed his the wave?
Another factor you need to take into consideration is the laners’ positioning.
I will get into more detail in the next part of this chapter when I talk about the specific scenarios in which you can counterjungle, but you always have to be aware of where the nearest laners are before you decide to invade the enemy Jungle.
Are they all missing in action? And where are yours? Are they close by so they can back you up in case you need them? How strong are they compared to the enemy laners?
These are all things you need to pay attention to in order to make an informed decision.
The 4 scenarios in which you should invade the enemy Jungle
After we covered the things you need to pay attention to when contemplating whether to invade the enemy Jungle, here are the 4 exact scenarios in which you should go for it.
The 1st case when you should invade the enemy Jungle is when you are on either Bot/Top side of the map and you see him ganking the opposite part of the map.
So, for instance, if you are currently Top and you see him pop off at Bot lane, you should head immediately to his Top side Jungle and grab all the Jungle camps.
In this case it is always best if you clear the opposite side of your Jungle first, so that the enemy Jungler cannot counterjungle you.
That way, if his gank on Bot lane is unsuccessful, he will eventually be forced to go into his Bot side Jungle, because you will have cleared the camps on yours.
In the worst case scenario you will find that he has cleared them all, which is not too bad anyways, because it gives you a lot of information you can work with.
In the best case scenario you will take his whole Top side Jungle and he will not be able to farm it for another 2 and a half minutes, which would take him noticeably behind you.
The 2nd scenario in which you should invade the enemy Jungler is when you see that he is currently low on health in his Jungle, while you are at full health. Ideally, you would also want to have a level advantage over him, although it’s not necessary in this case.
In this scenario it is best to immediately head towards him if you are near the side of the Jungle side he is currently at, and try to ambush him while he is farming. That way you could get a kill AND get to clear his part of the Jungle.
If you happen to be on the other side of the map, simply invade that part of his Jungle and take it. If you think he might have spotted you, make sure to ping your allies to aware them that he is low and he might try to invade your Jungle.
The 3rd scenario when you want to invade the opposing team’s Jungler is if you are playing a very strong early game “cheese” Jungler (such as Nidalee), the enemy is playing a weak early game champion (such as Amumu) and you know which camp he started.
In this case, it is worth heading towards him in an attempt to first blood him as soon as you get your Buff (Red or Blue) down. This is really easy if you are playing champions like Nidalee or Shaco.
Make sure you communicate your intentions with your allies so they can back you up in case you need help.
The 4th scenario is a little bit riskier than the previous three, but it is still a great opportunity to take advantage of. Take a look at the positioning of the nearest laners to you.
Let’s assume you are currently Top side. Compare the positioning of your Mid and Top laners to the enemy’s.
If you see that your Mid and Top laners are applying a lot of pressure and they are both pushing into the enemy Towers, and you are at least even with the enemy Jungler, you should invade this side of his Jungle.
Make sure you tell your laners about your intentions. This way you can be certain that they will be prepared to assist you if you need it.
Also, your laners are much more likely to arrive to the action before the enemy’s do, because they will be in the better position for it.
Ideally, you would also want some sort of vision coverage in the area so you can see if an enemy is approaching you.