Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Season 3 Movement Speed and Starting Jungle Item Changes

Current changes for PBE, and eventually live, on season 3 in regards to movement speed and starting items for junglers will have a huge impact on optimal decision making for junglers. First, let’s take a look at the changes in store.

As per Morello’s post on November 16, 2012, (
below are the changes to be discussed:

General (Boots)

  • Movement Speed
    • Boots give 25 less movement speed across the board.
    • All champions have had their base movement speed increased by 25.
  • Tier 2 boots can be enchanted, upgrading them to a Tier 3 boot for some gold.
    • Homeguard: Provides powerful regeneration and movement speed at fountain.
    • Furor: Increased movement speed in combat.
    • Captain: Increases movement speed of allies moving toward you.
    • Distortion: Decreases cooldown of Ghost, Teleport and Flash.
    • Alacrity: Grants a small additional base movement speed bonus.

New jungle items have been added to the store and old jungle items have been adjusted

  • Hunter’s Machete - new jungle starting item that builds into Madred’s Razors and Spirit Stone
  • Spirit Stone - jungle item geared towards casters and tanks that has 3 upgrade paths
  • Madred’s Razors and Wriggle’s Lantern have been modified to build out of Hunter’s Machete

Specific stats can be found on league wiki, League NA Forums, or reddit. I won’t post specific item stats because they are subject to change on PBE quite frequently; i’ll discuss specific stats when items are released on live.

Let’s discuss the boots changes. Originally, boots gave 50 movement speed upon purchase. This movement speed was crucial to every champion in the game. Starting boots 3 was the meta for everyone on team, with the exceptions of a majority of supports. However, with the change to boots giving 25 movement speed and champions all having 25 more movement speed; there is less incentive to start boots.

The movement speed & boots change itself is not a big deal for junglers as everyone will have the same movement speed regardless; however, coupled with the new jungle starting items it is of major importance.

My initial testing of jungle changes and the new item Hunter’s Machete is quite substantial. Almost every jungler benefits from starting Hunter’s Machete and 5 pots. It’s almost impossible to start another item as a jungler, except maybe when playing Nunu, simply because you will be sacrificing significant clear time, health, and level advantage. Moreover, Hunter’s machete isn’t like the previous madreds / wriggles. Area of effect (AoE) jungle clears like Mundo, and Shyvana, benefit from it greatly too. In addition, support junglers like Maokai can benefit, use, and build properly with it. The final items of Hunter’s Machete, Wriggles and the three paths of spirit stone, are extremely versatile and fit almost every champion in the game.

So what does the global change in movement speed and starting items for junglers mean?

Junglers will now have less incentive to gank early game or during their first clear. If you remember the current, or soon to be previous, meta, junglers would get 1-2 buffs hitting levels between 1-3 and instantly look for a gank. Early ganks provided pressure and usually had very high kill potential. However, now that junglers start Machete and have 25 less movement speed than laners who start boots 3, it’s lowers the kill potential of ganks significantly. Furthermore, it’s important to understand that Hunter’s Machete is a non-item which does not give any stats when you’re actually in combat with other champions. Also, if you don’t gank you’ll be using Hunter’s Machete to clear the jungle and secure gold much faster.   

As a result, due to movement speed changes and the mechanics of Hunter’s Machete, early ganks are much less appealing to junglers. Of course, this doesn’t mean that early game ganks are going to be inexistent. Junglers with high CC like Maokai can still do amazing in early game ganks in the right lanes or if laners are extremely over extended they will still be able to be killed; however, laners can feel safer in the new jungle knowing that junglers can’t just trade summoners and run them down in the early game with a red buff. I would not be surprised if junglers like Nocturne or Skarner are chosen simply to farm the jungle till 6 and buy then get free kills with their ultimates. Jungle camp changes and XP changes make this a much more viable strategy which will be covered in the next article.

tl;dr: Season 3 movement speed and mandatory Hunter's Machete start makes early ganks less appealing and less effective than they did in Season 2.


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