Playing in the jungle is an arms race to see who can get gold faster and spend that gold on more powerful items. To get gold, you need to kill monsters. But you’re not the only ones in the jungle, of course. Enemy junglers have the same objective. And expect they won’t be satisfied just killing the monsters on their side of the map. They’re going to invade your territory and kill monsters on your side to “starve” you of gold.
In order to hold your own in the jungle, you’ll need to efficiently clear your own jungle monster camps before the enemy has a chance to poach them. This Quickstart Guide should give you the foundation you need to have fun and get it done.
Let’s count it down …
#8: Buy two Halcyon (health) Potions and a Tier 1 item
When the match begins, you have money to spend! Tap on the Shop and grab the first recommended item. In future matches, consider this first item purchase to be setting you down one of two paths: Weapon or Crystal. If your first purchase grants weapon power, you’re gearing up to buy more red-background items from the Weapon menu. These mostly boost the power of your basic attacks or increase your basic attack speed.
If your first purchase grants crystal power, you’re setting up to buy more blue-background items from the Ability menu. These mostly boost the power or capacity of your three hero abilities or speed up the frequency with which you can use your awesome abilities.
#7: See who’s Ironguarding, if anyone
During the match, you can pull up the scoreboard by tapping on the crossed-swords icon to see what allies (and enemies) have purchased from the shop. What players buy will tell you a lot about how they intend to play. If someone has purchased Ironguard Contract (looks like a scroll on a purple background), they’re likely implicitly telling you: “I’ll hit monsters first and reduce them to low health. You hit monsters last and deal the killing blow.” This last hit will give you the gold, and the more gold you get, the more stuff you can buy. If no one is Ironguarding, that’s fine. You’ll both kill stuff.
#6: Head to the jungle & stick together
Most likely, you and one other teammate will both be “jungling.” Stick together because it’s difficult to survive a 2v1 fight. On your way to the jungle, hit the “+” button above your first or second ability. This selects which ability you’ll learn and can use first. They’re all good; don’t worry about which one you pick.
#5: ‘Travel the Circle’ of monsters
Think of the jungle as having two halves: yours and theirs. Think of the path around your half of the jungle as a circle. Pick a camp, kill the monsters there and then travel clockwise to the next spot, and so forth. If you get the timing just right, by the time you’re finished with a full cycle, the monsters in the first camp will be just about to respawn, so you can kill ’em again!
These jungle monsters come in two types: A single monster with a green aura and a set of two smaller monsters together. The green-aura monster will give you a small heal when killed (like using a Halcyon Potion). The pair of monsters yield more gold. When you’re low health, prioritize killing a green aura monster. (Remember: You need to deliver the killing blow to get the heal.)
When you’re feeling frisky, make a quick trip into the enemy-side jungle and see if you can steal a monster or two. If you encounter enemy forces, back off unless you have numbers on your side.
#4: ‘Rush’ a Tier 2 item
Your initial jungling goal should be to get enough gold to purchase a Tier 2 item as fast as possible. Know in advance how much gold that second item costs. (Just tap on the shop icon if you don’t remember.) When you have enough gold, head to the shop in the middle of the jungle or recall to base. As an example, Koshka’s recommended Tier 2 items are Heavy Prism and Void Battery. Either one is great to “rush,” and you’ll need to purchase both to be in prime position to eventually buy the Tier 3 (Frostburn).
#3: Hide & ‘Gank’
One of the most fun things about playing in the jungle is to pick a high-traffic spot to hide and wait for an unsuspecting enemy hero to stroll by. When the enemy is close, pounce and attack! This kind of ambush is known as a “gank.” To hide, stop in a section of brush. You’ll see your hero crouch down out of enemy sight. If it’s working, keep ganking as the match goes on. You can also head up to the brush that borders the lane and gank lane opponents.
#2: Always shop when waiting to respawn
Did you get killed? No worries; it happens! Just make sure the second you die to pull up the shop and get a head start on spending your gold. Ideally, when you respawn back at the platform, you’ll be done shopping and ready to jump straight back into the action. One tip to die less: When in a fight, make sure to pay attention to your own health bar every bit as much as your opponents’. If you’re really low on health, use a potion to heal and/or get out of there. It’s always better to survive a fight because your death gives the enemy a lot of gold.
#1: Keep an eye on the mini-map
As the match progresses, it will become more and more important to close ranks with your teammates and fight as one unit against multiple enemies. If you see two or three enemy circles on the mini map converging on a single ally, get there as fast as possible to help your teammates. These “team-fights” may not occur in the first five minutes, but acclimating to the mini-map from the outset will put you in a position to recognize team needs at crucial moments late in the game.
You’re all set. Jump into a match!