Some of you may be asking yourself the question “Why would I read this Tier list when Stonewall already has one?”
Let me firstly say that I am fully aware of the competition. However, I want to differentiate my Tier list from Stonewall’s. I do not want to replace it. His Tier lists are not wrong, but there are several factors that separate my Tier list from Stonewall’s:
- I aim to make mine shorter and simpler (a TL;DR Tier list, if you will), a simple list with some explanations for champs that I think deserve them.
- Be from not only my experience playing at Diamond 1 with the very best players but also the opinions of other high Elo players and professionals, as opposed to the theorycrafted list that Stonewall creates
- To interact with the readers in the comments (if you watch my Youtube you’ll see I try my best to answer people’s questions and comments),
- Be focused around solo queue.
Here’s how the list will be structured: Junglers will be placed in either Elite, Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, or Tier 4. Champions that are highlighted in bold will have a short description as to why they are placed in that Tier further down the article. The champions will be judged by their skill potential as a jungler overall. There is no order within the Tiers, so the first champion listed in Tier 1 is not necessarily better than the last champion in that same Tier.
Elite junglers are those that are first pick/ban worthy in every game; junglers that can be picked in to any team comp and be absolute terrors with little to no counterplay.
Tier 1 junglers are extremely effective in most team comps, but not to the extent that Elite junglers are. Very few flaws to their play.
Tier 2 junglers are decent picks but don’t really shine in comparison to those in the Tiers above them. Alternatively, they could be junglers with the potential to be extremely good but only in a limited amount of team comps. They have more flaws than those in Tier 1.
Tier 3 junglers are starting to get borderline not-so-good. These junglers can be picked and be effective in certain situations, but are outclassed by many other picks.
Tier 4 junglers are champions that can jungle, but really shouldn’t. Mostly picks that are played just for fun and not very serious. If a champion isn’t on the Tier list and you’re wondering where it belongs, it’s probably here.
So with that out of the way, here’s my Solo Queue Jungle Tierlist for Patch 3.8:
Tier 1: Zac, Elise, Evelynn, Hecarim, Jarvan, Kha’Zix, Lee Sin, Maokai, Nautilus, Nocturne, Rengar, Sejauni, Shaco, Udyr, Xin Zhao
Tier 2: Cho’Gath, Dr. Mundo, Amumu, Fiddlesticks, Kayle, Malphite, Rammus, Shen, Trundle, Vi, Volibear, Master Yi,
Tier 3: Aatrox, Darius, Diana, Ezreal, Fizz, Gangplank, Gragas, Jax, Jayce, Morgana, Nasus, Olaf, Renekton, Riven, Shyvana, Thresh, Tryndamere, Twitch, Zed, Pantheon, Skarner, Leona,
Tier 4: Akali, Alistar, Blitzcrank, Brand, Fiora, Heimerdinger, Irelia, Karma, Karthus, Kassadin, Katarina, Lissandra, Malzahar, Poppy, Rumble, Singed, Sion, Talon, Teemo, Vayne, Warwick, Wukong, Zyra, Twisted Fate.
Nunu- Where to begin with this guy. There is everything wrong with Nunu. I have a strong hatred for this Yeti-riding sprog. With the introduction of the new Patch 3.8 jungle changes, counterjungling has become more and more appealing mostly due to the increased experience yielded by buffs. Normally I’d say anything that encourages this kind of play is a good thing as it encourages aggressive play and puts more focus on the impact of the jungler, but there is literally no counter play for stopping Nunu. Nunu will walk in to your jungle and steal your buff faster than the NSA downloads your internet history. EVEN IF YOU ARE ON THAT GADDAMN BUFF YOURSELF. This is ignoring all the other strengths of Nunu, like his speed, CC, and new “consume buffs”.
Zac- Not as annoying as Nunu, but extremely potent in Solo Queue. Clears pretty quickly, does a lot of damage while still being very tanky, but most importantly can gank and engage from miles away, completely catching people unawares. His Ulti is an amazing follow up skills and his passive allows him to tower dive pretty early on.
Elise- The Spider Queen is seeing huge amounts of play at the moment. Her kit allows her to be extremely versatile and a huge threat in almost every situation. She is strong throughout all stages in game and can build either full tank, full carry, or somewhere in between.
Evelynn– Invisibility on a jungler is a pretty broken feature. Whenever Eve is picked, it completely changes the dynamic of the game- you are never really safe unless you spend crazy amounts of money of Pink wards.
Kha’Zix- The changes to Kha’Zix in the recent patch may have seemed like a huge nerf at first, but his power as a pure assassin have been increased. As a jungler, he is extremely powerful at dueling when making use of his Isolated Q damage. Evolving Q first is much more fruitful than before, and he can also snowball harder than most other junglers.
Rengar- Rengar’s Tier 1 status may surprise a few people, but the one-eyed predator had been flying under the radar until recently. He is not the same champion as in the past, but when played as an AD Caster/assassin he can still be extremely powerful. Never underestimate the power of a double Q, or the pressure his Ulti gives him.
Shaco– Unless something astronomical happens Shaco will always be a Tier 1 solo queue jungler- in the right hands. Now that counterjungling is more rewarding, Shaco can wreck even more havoc on the enemy jungler.
Shen- As far as actual jungling goes, Shen is not that great. He is extremely slow and his ganking is very hit and miss- if you mess up your taunt, you’ve got nothing. The reason he is still a decent pick however is all about his Ultimate. Shen’s Ult is unrivaled as far as mid/late game splitpushing is concerned. For this reason, he is much more valuable in competitive play than Solo Queue, but still a decent pick.
Aatrox- The newest addition to the League looked very promising, but unfortunately falls short in the jungle department. If he gets fed he can be extremely effective, but is pretty much just Tryndamere 2.0. You can see a detailed write-up on jungle Aatrox here:
Morgana- Casters are rarely placed above Tier 3 due to the nature of those champions and the tanky/bruiser meta that surrounds the jungle. There was an article recently that suggested it may be viable. In practice, it’s not that great.
Nasus– Nasus- The Big Dog has always been better in competitive play than Solo Queue. He works extremely well as a support jungler due to the Attack Speed and Movespeed slow on his W, the Armour Pen on his E, and the fact that he scales very well without items (his Q gains strength over time, his Ulti makes him naturally beefy). However, support junglers are always hit and miss in Solo Queue and When Nasus got nerfed he fell out of favour quite considerably. The recent jungle changes also hurt him slightly as he is not much of a counter jungler and can be fairly vulnerable, especially early. He clears very slowly (similar to Shen) and as a result can be easy prey for stronger junglers.
Shyvana– Shyv, alongside Skarner, have been left out to dry since the end of Season 2. Despite the 3.8 jungle changes, the dragon girl still has many downsides to her play which make placing her above Tier 3 very difficult.
Thresh- The most recent changes to Thresh made his jungling a lot better. Moving the bonus damage on basic attacks over to his E from his Q means that you maxing his E gives you double benefit for your clearing. He’s not the fastest jungler or the best dueler, but his ganks are amazing and his supporty playstyle flows very well with the meta and his role within the team overall.
Malzahar- Sorry Snoopeh, but Malz is not a good jungler. I’m still not convinced it works in competitive play, but I know that it most certainly doesn’t work in Solo Queue. The biggest problem is that you cannot fend for yourself- you are left at the mercy of the enemy jungler and rely on your lanes to protect you. Relying on teammates in Solo Queue is always a recipe for disaster.
Warwick- Ironically the purest ‘jungle’ champion in the game. Unfortunately for Ralph there are many more elements to playing jungle outside living in the jungle. Slow clear, bad ganks, little to no team fight presence, no benefit to the team. But hey, at least he can solo Dragon at level 8.