The 1 RULE that Separates Low ELO and High ELO Junglers

The 1 RULE that Separates Low Elo and High Elo Junglers

If I asked you to name the one biggest thing that low elo and high elo junglers do differently, what would you say? Here's the thing, most players have this misconception that challenger junglers are these supercomputers predicting every move, knowing every lane matchup 12 moves ahead of everyone. Yet, all it takes is for you to tune into some of the most popular jungler streams to find, well, let's be honest, it's not a role known for the most mentally stable people. So, the role that requires the most decision-making has people who are emotionally unstable, not exactly the best mental state for making decisions. And yet, you can see them tilt their way to challenger year after year. So, what gives? Well, I'll let you in on a little secret: your concept of what makes a good jungler has likely been wrong all along.

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Another huge misconception players have is quite literally how improvement works in League of Legends. When you think of a person climbing from bronze to challenger, you likely imagine their improvement to take the shape of something like a pyramid, where the space in each tier of the pyramid represents what you have to learn to get to that rank. At the bottom, you have bronze, silver, and gold, making up the bulk of the space or improvement in the pyramid. Here you master all the fundamentals and basics, and as such, it takes up the majority of your time just to get to gold. Then, as we get into the higher ranks - platinum, diamond, master, challenger - at that point, there's less you have to learn, so there's less space in the pyramid. It's just about getting a few finer points correct, kind of as if getting good at League of Legends is like an ice cream sundae, with the low to mid ranks being all the ice cream, all the fundamentals and basics, and that once you've mastered that, then the knowledge needed to push to the higher ranks is just the cherry on top.

Well, I'm here to tell you this is completely wrong. Instead, improving is more like this odd shape that is more reminiscent of something Joe Rogan saw after taking DMT. You see this thin little strip? Yeah, this space represents everything you need to learn to get to the rank of Masters. Then, you see this giant area? Well, that's everything you need to learn to get to Challenger from Masters. I know you probably don't believe me. How can the gap between a Masters player and a Bronze player be smaller than a Masters player and a Challenger? Well, here's my promise to you: in this guide, we'll be going over the one biggest thing that makes the difference between a low elo jungler and a high elo jungler.

I want you to think of this like the one improvement that gives you the most bang for your buck, something that if you change today, will give you the greatest results. I can guarantee if you implement this one change, it will quite literally make you play at a skill level at a full rank higher than what you're currently at.

The 80% Rule: The Key to Success in the Jungle

By the way, we just created a brand new custom course specifically for this guide at skillcap.com. It's there you can unlock eight additional guides - yes, you heard me right, eight unique guides - that walk you through exactly how to implement this specific strategy you're about to learn that I promise will increase your rank by a full tier. Find out more along with a discount code at the end of the guide. Back to the video!

Alright, so with a promise like that, this tip should be something really special, right? Maybe you'll learn about vertical jungling or lane priority or that fancy word you always hear called tempo. Well, no, sorry to disappoint you. In reality, whether you're bronze, silver, gold, platinum, or diamond, the one biggest mistake you're making is that you're wasting time on forcing ganks or plays that are painfully obvious won't work. Don't believe me? Right, well, I'm going to show you each rank starting with this Gold Kane.

So far, Kane has just been farming as junglers do in the early game, and it's at this moment he spots Fiora chasing down his Garen and overextending top. So, he decides to react, and you know what he gets out of it? He lands a single W. Now, I know a lot of you are probably thinking, "Really? This is the one biggest mistake? This doesn't seem like a big deal." The entire reason a play like this seems normal to you is, news flash, why you're hard stuck. This is a massive loss, and I'm going to explain to you exactly why.

Firstly, look at the time when Kane first chooses to execute this gank. It's 5 minutes and 55 seconds. Then, look at the time when he decides to turn around after the gank fails. It's 6 minutes and 7 seconds. So, it took Kane 12 seconds to walk here, and that was with his very balanced E ability that lets him phase through walls. Well, now that's on cooldown, he has to walk all the way back to his Gromp, and he gets there at 6:20. That's a time loss of 25 seconds. Here's the thing, if you didn't just have a look of utter disgust on your face when I said he wasted 25 seconds, then you do not understand what makes a good jungler. Bear with me here, as what you're about to learn, I promise, will blow your mind and change the way you look at League.

So, there are 60 seconds in a minute, right? Meaning the first six minutes of the game are equal to 360 seconds. However, the game doesn't really start until one minute and 30 seconds, as that's when camps spawn, minions arrive in lane, all that kind of stuff. So, we deduct 90 seconds from 360. That's 270 seconds of time to work with prior to the six-minute mark. However, at the same time, the majority of junglers, such as Kane, can't really gank and influence lanes until level 3 when they have access to all three of their abilities. In this particular game, that did not happen until 2 minutes and 22 seconds. So, we can deduct another 52 seconds from 270, as this is the time we can't really use to do anything besides farm camps.

What this means is that by the time it's six minutes into the game, Kane has had only 218 seconds that he could have actually influenced anything on the map. And I want you to remember, we just saw him waste 25 seconds. Well, that 25 seconds represents 11% of 218 seconds, the total time he's had in the early game. I really want you guys to understand just how insane this is. What this means is that if Kane had just chosen to ignore this gank top and just farm his Gromp instead, he would have improved his early game by 11% instantly. You're still not convinced, right? Well, consider this: consider how long it takes to actually farm camps. In this case, at this time in the game, it will take Kane 10 seconds to farm his wolves and 14 seconds to farm his Gromp. So, let's just average that to 12 seconds. Well, a Gromp is worth 90 gold, and the wolves 95, for a total of 185 gold. This means that 12 seconds of time - the average amount of time to kill a camp - is roughly worth around 93 gold, the average worth of a camp. Or another way of thinking about it would be that every second of time is worth around 8 gold. In other words, that 25 seconds we just wasted, that 11% of our early game, can be thought of as losing 200 gold. That's more than half a kill's worth. But no, it doesn't stop there. You see, when you reveal yourself on the map, you instantly lose all map pressure everywhere else, as no other lane needs to worry about being ganked by you.

This means that the enemy jungler then has free rein to whatever he wants with no risk of being counter-ganked by you. For example, the enemy Viego was just casually walking back onto the map when he suddenly spots Kane ganking topside. As soon as Kane is revealed on the map, it now means that Viego can gank mid if he wanted, he can gank bot if it was overextended, I mean if Kane's Raptors were up, he could steal them. You should really begin to realize not only are you throwing away 11% of your early game, tossing 200 gold aside, but you could be giving the enemy free kills on your laners and free counter-jungling, putting you even further behind. And this, right here, this boring 25 seconds where he did nothing, is the difference between a good high elo jungler and a bad low elo jungler. A good jungler understands that what looks to be like a very small mistake on trying a gank that didn't work is actually the main reason why you aren't climbing ranks.

Okay, so you should now understand why this is so bad and the number one priority to fix. So next, we'll be teaching you how to fix it. To do this, let's go back to when Kane first chose to gank top. So right now, he checks top and sees this. Now, I want you to tell me, why is this a bad idea to gank this lane? Is it A) because of the matchup, Garen won't provide us a lot of help in setting up the gank with his lack of crowd control in his abilities? Is it B) Fiora is level 6 while Garen is level 5? Or is it C) because Fiora is an overpowered broken champion that needs to be nerfed? The answer is B. Fiora is level 6, having access to her ultimate, while Garen is still level 5.

Here's the thing, though, evaluating a gank like that is not binary. It's not just yes, this is a good gank, or no, this is a bad gank. In reality, you're playing the odds. It's based on probability. When looking at this lane, sure, sometimes Fiora will misplay and we will be able to get a kill - let's say around 10% of the time. Sometimes Fiora will just straight up kill Garen or us due to her ult advantage - let's say that happens around 20% of the time. And the other 70% of the time? Well, nothing happens. She just backs off. And this is what happened this time. Remember, you now know if nothing happens, that is a huge loss to you as a jungler. So, what this means is that if we gank top, we only have a 10% chance of getting a kill. Not exactly the odds we're looking for. The other 90% of the time, it's bad for us.

Now, here's the trick to making all of this far easier to execute in your games. If you follow this one rule, I promise you will immediately start climbing. When you check a lane to evaluate whether a gank is possible, only ever execute that gank if you think more than 80% of the time you will get a kill. With this new rule in the back of your mind, let's jump forward a bit where this Kane finds himself in an almost identical position. Fiora is once again overextended top, and Garen? Well, he's teleporting in.

I want you to tell me, looking at this, would ganking here have an 80% chance of success or higher? The answer is no, and here's why. Sure, Fiora could be brain-dead and just stand there at the tower, letting Garen teleport in. However, far more likely, she'll just back off, recognizes she's in danger as she sees the teleport in, in which case we either waste our time like before as she just casually walks away, or we do what this Kane does and overcommit and die 1v1 to the top laner that's two levels ahead of us. So, you know what would have been better? Just farming our Gromp while we wait to see if Fiora decides to stay. Once Garen finishes his teleport, if she does stay, then we can move to gank as it increases the chance of success dramatically. Maybe this is a Gold player problem though, right? I'm sure Platinum players don't make such simple mistakes.

Well, here's a Platinum Gwen jungle. She's near bot lane, and her Caitlyn is in lane. She moves her camera and sees this. Now, if Gwen ganks this, does she have more than an 80% chance of success? No, it's a 2v2. The enemy has a big wave built up, and they're all the same level. There's just no clear big advantage that indicates this has a very high chance of success. I mean, Gwen literally gets so lucky and that the enemy Jinx just full tunnel visions on Caitlyn. Jinx has horrible positioning, doesn't even play around her traps properly. If she even played this remotely well, Gwen is dead here. Instead, the best-case scenario just results in her getting her flash, meanwhile Gwen and Caitlyn are now chunked out. Gwen wasted nearly 30 seconds of her time and revealed herself on the map, which you now know is just a horrible thing to do.

Let's take this a step further though, looking at a Diamond Jarvan. So, Jarvan is doing his Gromp and he spots Lee Sin ganking his Jax top. We move our camera and looking at this, do you think it's a good idea to move and counter-gank? Now following our 80% rule, you should have said no, we shouldn't counter-gank. I mean, it's a 1v2, and that's great as a starting point, but I want to show you how to build on that to fine-tune your decision-making a bit further. You see, when we look at this, it's unclear whether Jax will be able to get a kill on Kennen, whether he'll escape, or what the outcome is. So what you can do is move towards a lane where the outcome is unclear while you wait for things to play out a bit further. Think of it like a very minor time investment. Instead of overcommitting, then shortly after, it will become much more obvious whether counter-ganking is a good idea. In this case, Jax just died, so let's look top now.

I want you to tell me, is it a good idea to continue moving to gank this lane or not? Well, it's a bad idea. We definitely don't have that 80% chance of success or higher. For one, we're moving through lane, so it's not like we have some sort of good angle. They could just walk away as soon as they see us. Second, it's a 1v2, meaning if we were to use all of our abilities and flash to kill Kennen, well then Lee Sin would just turn on us while our abilities are on cooldown and kill us instead. If we look at the mini-map, we can see scuttles are spawning soon, and we have lane priority in mid lane. We could just wait in a brush by the top scuttle for Lee Sin to go to it, then jump him from that brush and have our mid lane rotate first to win the fight. If Lee Sin just gives up the scuttle, great, we then get the scuttle for free, then can impact mid first with the transition gank into the bot side scuttle, and impact bot first. Instead, Jarvan goes full-on monkey brain. "Lee Sin got kill, me get kill too!" just forcing plays where the outcome is at best a coin flip, resulting in a typical low elo fiesta where he eventually dies again. This Jarvan is Diamond. This is what soloq below Masters looks like. All you have to do is stop forcing plays that aren't there, and you'll see an instant improvement.

So shortly after, once Jarvan respawns after the play top, Jarvan is killing Raptors and sees the Janna support rotating from mid back to bot. Keep in mind, Janna is full health, full mana, all abilities up, while our mid laner isn't even in lane, while the enemy Veigar is. Once Jarvan finishes killing his Raptors, he then begins to move to Janna to make a pick. Looking at this screenshot, in what world would killing Janna happen more than 80% of the time? She has full health, mana, all abilities up. We don't have lane priority in mid lane. It's just a terrible idea. You can see how all Jarvan is accomplishing at this moment is wasting his time. Meanwhile, he could be heading topside to farm his camps that are there. Also, what exactly are we fighting over here? A pink ward? Why take such a risky, unclear fight for the most minuscule of advantages? By the way, Jarvan lost around 45 seconds of time due to this choice when you factor in his death timer and the time it takes to walk from base back onto the map. And it's not even six minutes yet. That's more than 20% of his entire early game just thrown away on this one play.

We're still not done though, as once he respawns, he clears his wolves and heads to his Gromp where he spots Lee Sin. I want you to keep in mind, Lee Sin is level 6 to Jarvan's level 5. When we look at our nearby lanes, we can see we lack priority in both of them. Hell, our Jax isn't even in lane. We have no clear advantages. We obviously don't win this more than 80% of the time, but this Diamond Jarvan does not follow this simple rule and dies shortly after because of it.

Now here's what's really crazy about all of what you've just learned. In every single one of the clips we just went over, at no point was any of these plays forced. Each one of these mistakes, which were by far the biggest cause of them losing, was actually done by their choice. These players from Gold to Diamond actually chose to waste their time on ganks that didn't work. They chose to take fights that resulted in their death. They are quite literally choosing to lose. These aren't opponents outplaying them. It's not that their teammates suck. They are simply forcing plays that are not there.

So the next time you queue up as a jungler, before you gank a lane or take a fight, just ask yourself, "Does this work out more than 80% of the time?" If the answer is no, just don't do it. Look for better ways of spending that time instead, and I promise you will see an immediate improvement in your gameplay.

About the Author

Hey there! My name is Saurabh Kumar aka 100, a Tech-savvy Blogger and Content Creator from Bihar, India. I enjoy teaching and creating interesting content on gaming, including videos, guides, and articles. Join me on this journey of discovery, as we…

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