New monsters, new Smite effects and new items are coming for League of Legends junglers, in order to accommodate a wider range of jungle playstyles.
If you've been keeping an eye on the League of Legends competitive scene this season, you'll have noticed that the jungle role has become a bit... well, stagnant. Pretty much the only junglers who can stay competitive are those with absurd gank potential, which pretty much limits the pool to Kha'Zix, Evelyn, Rengar, Elise, Lee Sin, Jarvan, and the odd Rammus-pocket pick. Riot really wants to change that up for next season, and in a preseason update, have offered up some big, big changes to the League of Legends jungle.
"The 2015 changes are aimed at building a jungle that has components to empower and react to many different actions that junglers take. This allows us much finer control to react to the live state of the game with small changes to the jungle, rather than only having to tune champions and items," posted Riot on its official blog. What this means is that instead of ganking being the strongest action a jungler can take, tanking, farming, and counter-jungling could all become valid pathways. Riot has a three-pronged solution to this problem.
First up, Smite is getting a bit more love. "Each jungle camp now grants a buff the first time Smite is used on them (this buff is available each time they spawn). We'll have more details on these camps as we get them dialed in for release, but the goal of each reward is to provide a flexible tool that junglers can use in different ways based on the current state of each game," said Riot. For example, one of the rewards talked about was a friendly "ghost wolf" that would spawn if Smite was used on the wolf camp, who would then patrol the area and protect you from counter-jungling.
Next, a new jungle camp has been added: the scuttle crab. "This is the new monster found in the river that actually runs away from its attackers. The goal here is to give junglers a new reason to venture out of their jungle and contest the crab in smaller skirmishes. Currently, when a team defeats the Scuttle Crab, they're awarded a vision bubble and movement speed shrine that grants out of combat movement speed in front of Baron or Dragon pit."
Lastly, new items are being added. The Hunter's Machete will now upgrade to four other items, each of which changes your Smite spell to augment what type of action you might want to take as a jungler. For example, the Poacher's Knife provides you with additional power and incentive to cross the river and invade the enemy jungle, while the Ranger's Trailblazer makes you faster and safer at fighting jungle monsters, allowing you to stay safer while farming.
Be sure to check out the official blog post for a more detailed summary of all the jungle changes.
Source: Riot Games