What Are The Best Jungler Season 5, League Of Legends: 10 Best Jungle Players, Ranked

Reflecting upon the itemization overhauls and dynamic designs of the 2015 jungle.

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26 Nov 15




Season 5 saw the largest changes to the jungle in League of Legends history. With large itemization changes, modification to all the monsters on Summoner’s Rift and the introduction of Smite diversity, 2015’s jungle had the most variety yet.

Machete Upgrades

Jungle itemization was completely overhauled in Season 5 with the removal of all Spirit Stone item paths, as well as major components such as Madred’s Razors and Quill Coat. Spirit Stone was replaced with a range of smite-modifying machete upgrades such as the Ranger’s Trailblazer for healthier clears and the Stalker’s Blade for improved gank potential. These items were upgraded into their completed forms with mainstream, conventional items such as the Brutalizer or Sheen. These changes allowed for more adaptive building during the early stages of the game, as opposed to building jungle-exclusive item components which limited a player’s build path to a single outcome.

Enhanced Monsters

Crimson Raptor vs Quinn & Valor by WING

Season 5 introduced a new level of depth to the Rift’s cadre of monsters by introducing a slew of smite bonuses exclusive to each camp. Smiting Gromp grants a thornmail-like buff which poisons attackers, while Raptors grant a temporary true sight buff. These changes reward players who employ their smites thoughtfully, offering a range of situational bonuses and making monsters more than just troves of gold.

2015 also saw the introduction of an all-new jungle monster: the Rift Scuttler. Passively wandering along both halves of the river, these durable critters grant a temporary vision and speed-boosting shrine for whichever team takes them down. These shrines cannot be cleared with true sight, making it a highly contested objective.

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Further Item Reworks

Over the course of season 5, several jungle items received additional reworks to better suit the needs and demands of various champions.

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– Cinderhulk

In patch 5.5 we witnessed the fiery birth of the Cinderhulk, a replacement for the original Juggernaut item enchantment. Although Juggernaut provided a generous bundle of tank stats including tenacity, cooldown reduction and flat health, it offered little to support farming. This resulted in underwhelming performances from most tank junglers at the time. To resolve this, the Cinderhulk enchantment was introduced. Providing a version of the Sunfire Cape’s ‘Immolate’ passive, the Cinderhulk boosts clear speeds with a passive area-of-effect burn. While only marginally improving tanks with decent clears such as Amumu and Sejuani, this rework gave life to a range of champions with prolonged clears such as Gragas and Nautilus. The item proved so versatile that top laners such as Hecarim and Shyvana would build Cinderhulk in conjunction with smite as a strong, late-scaling tank item. Cinderhulk would allow top laners to both farm their own jungle and pressure the enemy jungler, amplifying gold income and game impact with a very cost-efficient item. To better accentuate the item’s intentions of jungle clearing, later patches reduced Immolates’ damage to champions while doubling its output to monsters.

– Runeglaive

Patch 5.12 saw the release of Runeglaive, replacing the standard Magus item for AP junglers. In a similar way to the aforementioned Juggernaut rework, Runeglaive was introduced to assist champions' jungle clears instead of providing raw power. Magus offered a large sum of 80 Ability Power and 20% cooldown reduction, serving as a jungle equivalent of Athene’s Unholy Grail or the Morellonomicon. Rather than improving a mage’s jungle clears directly, it would instead give champions with already decent clears a highly cost-effective mid-game stat infusion. The Runeglaive offers less Ability Power but gives an area-of-effect, mana-restoring Spellblade effect intended for spell-heavy jungle clears. Consequently, AP fighters such as Nidalee, Elise and Diana saw a massive surge of play. However, the first iteration of the item resonated particularly well with an unforeseen champion: Ezreal. Due to the excellent stats and mana sustain given by Runeglaive, mid-lane AP Ezreal became very strong, briefly rendering him as a highly contested pick. To better affix the item to the role of jungler, the AoE and mana restoration properties of the Spellblade passive were tweaked to only proc on monsters.

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– Sated Devourer

The Devourer enchantment saw significant changes in patch 5.13, shifting the farm-orientated jungle item further towards teamplay. Rather than infinitely stacking on-hit magic damage with each monster kill, the item received a cap of 30 stacks, at which point the item would ascend to a ‘sated’ form. The Sated Devourer applies on-hit effects twice upon every second auto-attack, giving a power-spike to champions such as Master Yi and Xin Zhao. These changes further adjusted the item’s focus from a solo-farming orientation to an objective-securing goal, with major objectives such as Dragon, Baron and Rift Scuttler giving the jungler more stacks than other camps. Sated Devourer defines a specific goal for a jungler, offering a rewarding power-spike and presenting clear counterplay for the enemy team.

What’s to come?

With the current 2016 preseason updates, light balance changes have been made to jungle items across the board. The most notable changes are the introduction of the Hunter’s Talisman and the Tracker’s Knife.

Hunter’s Talisman provides an alternative to the Hunter’s Machete for early-game clears, giving bonus health and mana regeneration. This item is designed with slow early clearers and casters in mind, while still building into the same items as its basic attack-centric counterpart.

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Ranger’s Trailblazer and Poacher’s Knife have been removed altogether and replaced with the Tracker’s Knife. The Trailblazer’s design has been rendered obsolete due to improved sustain adjustments, and Poacher’s Knife was unfavorable with its underwhelming, context-reliant design compared to its peers. The new Tracker’s Knife has in-built Sightstone functionality, holding two Stealth Ward charges that are restored at spawn. This allows for more fluid itemization, particularly since Sightstone and vision-control investments have become popular among junglers. This will undoubtedly be a common purchase among Lee Sin players for improved ward-hopping capabilities, as well as control junglers such as Nunu.

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Overall, the 2015 jungle proved to be the most coherently-designed iteration of the jungle to date, and the season 6 changes aim to refine the jungle further with smoother itemization paths. Enjoy the preseason, and good luck on the rift!

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