State of the Jungle: Article 1 - Vi Patch V126.96.36.199
State of the Jungle is an article series that details current meta changes in the jungle. It is aimed to inform players of all skill levels on how the jungle is currently played when effected by tournament results and solo queue formalities.
Check out what the Season 3 changes have brought to jungling after the jump!
As I predicted in my previous Articles, ganking is a lot more difficult to accomplish successfully now. The current jungle focuses on support itemization and farming. Support junglers are very much alive and present in the current meta due to the introduction of two new items.
The introduction of Sightstone and its upgraded version, ruby Sightstone, has brought serious implications on jungling. First, junglers themselves should be building this item frequently. Sightstones are routinely bought as the first item on support junglers. Personally, I prefer to build Sightstone after Boots and Spirit Stone; regardless, it should be built for early game or as soon as possible.
With the nerf of Oracles, junglers can no longer safely pressure lanes by removing wards. Oracles now has a timer, wards are free, and Sighstone wards give very little gold compared to normal wards. The only time junglers should be purchasing Oracles is when they want to bait baron. In early game, pink wards are safer to use to clear enemy vision.
Although the removal of Heart of Gold and the phasing out of Philosophers stone in the current season 3 meta, GP5s have been replaced by the extremely cost effective Sightstone. Essentially, instead of using GP5 money to keep up with items while buying wards, Sighstone simply allows junglers to keep up with items without buying wards.
Ganking is also a lot more difficult as junglers are warding for their laners extremely early with the rush of Sightstone on many junglers. Moreover, laners have become extremely difficult to early gank because of new laning items.
Crystalline Flask has effected starting items on laners by allowing many laners to start Flask, 3 Health potions, 2 Mana potions, and a ward. Early wards from many top laners make scary early-game ganks that were prevalent in Season 2 less scary in Season 3. In addition, with the nerf of Boots and buff of champion movement speed, players who start Crystalline Flask are still able to run out of creative ganks.
In season 2, many junglers were already purchasing Aegis of the Legion as it was one of the most cost effective items in the game. Riot intended Runic Bulwark to be an upgradeable Aegis of the Legion for late-game, solving Aegis' previous problem of being a liability to six item champions; however, Junglers are simply rushing Runic Bulwark because the item is just as cost effective as Aegis of the Legion. As a result, the currently favoured support junglers have two new extremely cost effective items to rush.
As a result of Season 3 changes, support junglers like Maokai are still the go-to junglers in Solo Queue and Competitive play.
Welcome to the Sighstone-Runic Bulwark support jungler meta.