Chapter 3. The top Junglers for Season 7
What determines whether a Jungler is good after the Season 7 Jungle changes?
Let’s jump right into it.
One of the things that is different in this Season’s Jungle compared to Season 6 is that camps spawn slower than they used to, as respawn timers are increased to 150 seconds from 100.
Therefore, you will have a lot more time in between your farming, after you’ve already cleared your camps.
This means that you are essentially “forced” to gank more often, because your job as a Jungler is to use your time as efficiently as you can by either farming or looking for opportunities to gank.
Therefore, champions that have mobility and gap closers that allow them to roam better will have a significant advantage over the ones that are less mobile.
The changes to the camp respawn timers also mean that counterjungling becomes extremely punishing and if done well, can potentially decide which Jungler influences the game more.
I have a whole chapter on the topic of counterjungling and how to do it properly, because it has become such a powerful tool in this Season.
So, champions that are able to do it effectively have a great advantage over the other ones.
Another criteria for whether a Jungler will be effective or not is their clear speed.
Think about it. Since respawn timers for Jungle camps are now longer, if you are able to clear your camps faster you will have more opportunities to gank more times and even counterjungle your opponent, which would put him behind.
Therefore, Junglers that have the tools that allow them to clear Jungle camps quickly will inevitably be in the top tier list. The relative advantage that those champions have over the “slower” ones is even more pronounced this season.
One thing to note here is that the Junglers with high single target damage abilities will kill solo camps faster, but they will struggle with krugs/raptors and vice versa.
The other reason why fast clearers are superior is because if you gank a lane after you’ve already cleared the opposite side of your Jungle, there is no risk of you getting counterjungled, because nothing will spawn for the next 2+ minutes there anyway.
In fact, if anything, this gives you an opportunity to invade the camps on the side of the enemy Jungle in which you are already in and get them for yourself if they happen to be up.
The last criteria that determines if a Jungler is good right now is their ability to survive the jungle.
In other words, does he take too much damage when clearing the camps? If yes, does he have the tools that will help him sustain so he can be as healthy as possible and not too low?
If he takes too much damage and he has no way of keeping his health up while clearing, he runs too much of a risk of getting killed, since the enemy Jungler is much more likely to counterjungle in this season than ever before.
These are all factors that you need to consider when deciding whether a Jungler is overpowered or not in the current season.
The top Junglers for Season 7
Based on the analysis I gave you so far in this chapter, I am not going to list the Junglers that I suggest you pick up and I am going to justify each of my choices.
Just keep in mind that the list of Junglers I am about to present are not the ONLY Junglers that are good right now, but they represent the top tier at this time.
And guess what, things may change by the end of the season and some of these champions may fall off the list and get replaced by others.
The good news is that I’ve already equipped you with the knowledge you need to decide what makes a Jungler good, so you will be prepared no matter what Jungle changes take place.
Right now, Zac undoubtedly holds place in the top three Junglers for Season 7.
His clear speed is amazing and allows him to clear Jungle camps very efficiently. At the same time, he has a ton of sustain, which allows him to pretty much always stay full health when clearing.
At the same time he has one of the strongest mobility and ganking tools available, which is his E.
I should also add that he has 3 different crowd control tools in his kit and due to his tankiness and good base damages, he is extremely item efficient, which allows him to be relatively stronger than most other Junglers.
Kha’zix is extremely strong right now. He has a pretty decent clear speed due to the cooldown reduction changes to his Q on isolated targets, which allow you to spam it on the Buffs and Gromp. This becomes even more pronounced after his first item purchase.
He has 3 very strong ganking tools (his W, E and R), which facilitate him in executing his ganks successfully.
He also has a strong sustain tool (his W), which when combined with the heal from Smiting allows him to stay in the Jungle at close to full health, as long as he avoids taking the Raptors on his first clear.
He is also a very strong dualist due to his isolated Q damage, which allows him to deal with the predicament of getting invaded by his opponent.
Hecarim used to be one of the best Junglers for Season 6 and it just so happens that he still belongs to the top.
Once Hecarim gets some items, he becomes a huge threat to the enemy team with his ability to dive into the enemy backline and catch up to the enemy carries.
He does have certain sustain issues early on in his first clear which were negated due to the Smite heal changes.
His ganking ability is really strong, since he has the mobility that allows him to catch up to the enemy targets and cc them, especially when he gets his ultimate.
Bruiser Rengar has become extremely strong this season, due to the changes that were made to the champion.
His clear speed has become much stronger than it used to be. He also has a powerful sustain tool that allows him to stay alive for longer.
In fact, the healing he gets from his W makes it very hard to kill him once he gets a little bit tanky and really obnoxious to deal with in general.
At the same time he has incredible mobility tools which are his increased movement speed after using an empowered ability, his R and his ability to jump from bushes, which allow him to be very effective when ganking Top and Bot lane especially.
His duelling potential is also very strong.
After Shaco got reworked, there has been a lot of improvement to this champion when it comes to his win rate as a Jungler.
His Q can now crit along with his passive and his E now deals % health damage, which makes him a huge threat to the enemy team. This makes his power in the late game way better, which was a weakness he used to have.
The mobility he gets from his Q allows him to not just be a stealth threat to the enemy laners, but also counterjungle very successfully. He has a decent clear speed and sustainability due to his clowns which help deal damage and tank for him.
Olaf is one of the other Junglers that were strong back in Season 6 and he will stay that way, unless they nerf him considerably.
The clear he gets from his axes and W attack speed boost is absolutely insane, as long as you have mana to sustain it. His sustain from the lifesteal he gets combined with the healing from Smite make it very easy for him to stay at full health.
He is really tough to outduel early on in the game, so you can force fights by invading your opponent in his own Jungle and ghosting on him for the kill.
The other thing that makes him a very strong pick is his tankiness and immunity to CC when his ultimate is on, which allows him to dive through the enemy frontline and stick to the enemy carries.
Elise can easily be one of the top three best Junglers right now. Her skill cap level is a little bit higher than most other champions, but she is worth learning.
The versatility in her kit is amazing.
She has the best tool for Tower diving a target (her Rappel), a 2-second stun, an ability that deals % based damage and a ton of mobility while in spider form.
Her Jungle clear is one of the best, as long as you do it properly, because it allows you to stay full health at pretty much all times.
When you are clearing your camps, you need to use your human abilities + 1 auto and you then switch to spider form. Then you position in a way which will allow your spiderlings to tank the camps for you.
Some other strong Junglers that are worth playing right now also include Nidalee, Nunu, Vi, Volibear and Scarner.