Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Season 3 Final Initial Thoughts and Predictions

As per my other posts, Season 3 jungle changes have implications towards junglers. One can not simply go about the Season 3 jungle playing the same as they did in Season 2. However, I feel like the overall consensus of the change is more of a quality of play and viability change than a complete re-work of the Jungle. In short, there are no major changes in the upcoming patch. Moreover, these changes represent the direction that Riot wants to take for the game.  

I feel like the main objectives of the jungle quality of play and viability changes results to
- Less early game jungle donation / steal  
- Less early game ganks, specifically on top lane
- More jungle viability in champions

Hunter’s Machete will become a required start item for most junglers; however, this doesn’t influence clear time / income significantly. The item was designed to off-set the jungle camp buffs and retain jungle clear efficiency. As a result, early-game camp donation and stealing to and by AP mids won’t be as effective (they’re trading more HP and mana for the additional income than they previously did). Furthermore, extremely early ganks on top lane are less appealing; however, mid lane ganks and bottom lane ganks for early game remain the same. You’ll still be seeing Maokais gank top lane at level 3-4 or a level 2 Lee Sin ganking top; but you won’t see junglers deliberately sacrifice early game potential and safety for a guaranteed first blood on top lane.   

You’ll also be seeing more bruisers / carries in the jungle instead of seeing a majority of a support jungler meta (eat your heart out korean teams). However, the support jungler is here to stay. Riot doesn’t want to completely remove them from viability but simply add more viability in. I feel like this is a good way for Riot to balance meta direction in League. Many games will attempt to “balance” the meta by simply nerfing one option to be unplayable and buffing another option to be over-powered.

The tier list of jungler hasn’t really changed; although AP (Diana, Fiddle), farm-dependent carries (Jax, Tryndamere, Yi), and level 6 rushers / single target clearers (Warwick) have been made significantly more viable.  

My predicted solo-queue Season 3 Tier 1 Junglers are as follows
- Skarner
- Maokai
- Nocturne
- Mundo
- Lee Sin
- Malphite

I look forward to seeing what actual changes the Season 3 rework has to bring and how it effects solo-queue and competitive play.  


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