Some champions in League of Legends are just much stronger than others.
For junglers, there are multiple considerations when weighing which champions are better. The most important thing to look at, and the most obvious, is whether the champion would be good at ganking and either securing kills or aiding their teammates in doing so. Behind the scenes, though, is where things get complicated.
Clear speed, invasion pressure, and macro mobility are all factors that need to be evaluated for keeping up with the enemy jungler. The best jungle champions are the ones that can do it all.
This list of top-tier champions can change depending on a number of things. Sometimes the meta shifts for no apparent reason other than players’ tastes, but usually there’s some kind of balance update, small or large, that’s behind the sudden change. It can be difficult to keep up on the flavor-of-the-month champs, so let us do it for you.
Here’s our current tier list for the best jungle champions in League of Legends.
Here are our top five junglers for League’s Patch 10.15.
- Global ultimate
- Impactful even after death
- Good source of magic damage in AD composition
- Needs time to scale
- Cannot contest early objectives
Karthus is one of the best ability power junglers to round out a full AD composition. This is mostly thanks to the utility from his kit, as well as his slow and global ultimate. Karthus is a power farmer with barely any cooldown on Q, allowing for quick jungle clear. But he’s rather mana hungry and struggles with early ganks.
He’s highly contested in high elo due to his ability to turn fights around with his ultimate.
The Domination tree is important for Karthus. It grants access to additional damage from Dark Harvest, Cheap Shot, and Eyeball Collection, which synergizes extremely well with Karthus’ ultimate, alongside additional sustain from Ravenous Hunter to make your clear healthier. The Precision secondary is great on Karthus since Coup de Grace increases your ultimate damage directly onto low health targets and Presence of Mind increases your mana cap to allow you to use E more often.
Karthus’s ability priority is R>Q>W>E. Your Q is your primary damaging tool in both the jungle and teamfights. Learn how to aim with it to maximize damage output on a single target to be able to zone out the important carries of a teamfight. Max W second since its width gets increased with level. While the damage from E is good, the utility from the slow is much more useful and it will allow you to get into range or escape much easier.
Karthus is a power farmer who needs to reach level six as soon as possible to be able to influence the game. While his early game isn’t the worst in League, he definitely needs items and levels to get going. Don’t look to contest objectives until level six since you’ll most likely end up dead and behind, while also giving an advantage to the enemy.
After you get level six, watch over the map and look for low health enemies to finish them off. Remember not to use it wastefully since it has a high cooldown early on. Use it for guaranteed kills only. Keep farming as the game goes on. Don’t focus on attempting to gank too much since it might be telegraphed. Try to farm up, get items, and use your ultimate on cooldown for kills.
Image via Riot Games
- Rewarding if mastered
- Relies on snowballing
- Hard to come back if behind
Graves is one of the most popular picks this patch after the resurgence of strong champions that can be kited, such as Ornn in the top lane, Galio in the mid lane, and Trundle in the jungle. He is the master at kiting enemies and slowly chipping their health bars down. He is one of the most reliable snowballing champions due to how easy it is to gank with Graves. You have access to a dash, which allows you to pass through walls, and a smoke bomb, which slows and denies vision from the enemy champions.
Screengrab via Riot Games
There are a lot of viable builds for Graves but the most picked one is the kiting version with the Sorcery tree as the core tree due to Phase Rush. It grants you insane kiting potential and it’s easy to proc. Sorcery’s Celerity and Water Walking make you swift and much harder to catch. While some champions could not get away with such a rune style, Graves has more than enough damage in his kit to compensate for the no-damage runes.
The secondary tree is Precision due to Legend: Alacrity, which grants you the much-needed attack speed, and Triumph for those cheeky low-health plays from which you come unscathed and gain extra gold.
Graves’s ability priority is R>Q>E>W. His Q is the only damaging tool in his kit which will help you clear waves. E is maxed second for the extra mobility and additional resists. Try to time it from camp to camp so that it doesn’t fall off and you will barely lose any health in the jungle, allowing you to clear camps safely and then force an invade or a gank early on. While W is one of the best vision denials spells in the game, the effectiveness of Q and E is much more superior so it’s maxed last after them.
Graves is one of the most mobile junglers in League. You should use this to your advantage and try to gank lanes from unexpected angles. Always carry a sweeper to clear wards before you come for ganks. Use the water walking rune to your advantage and fight over in the river if someone comes to contest the scuttle crab. Your runes are perfect for such fights early on and you should win most of them with no issues.
Going into the mid-game, try to kite in team fights and use the E reset to get good burst damage on an overextended opponent. Don’t waste R for damage early on. Instead, try to catch people off guard who flash away with low health and burst them down.
- Strong one-vs-one fighter
- Can be easily kited
Volibear is the latest reworked champion in the game. He received both visual and kit updates to bring him in line with other recent releases, such as Sett, Aphelios, and Senna.
The first few days were harsh for the reworked Volibear since he failed to excel in any area. But the hotfixes he received within 48 hours brought him back into play. He’s now a dominant pick in both the top lane and jungle.
The core tree for Volibear is Precision since it grants him everything he wants to excel at dueling other champions. Press the Attack is the keystone you should take since it’s the easiest keystone to proc and it deals a lot of damage in a small period of time. Other notable runes that help Volibear be the thunder bear of his team are Triumph, Legend: Tenacity, and Last Stand to increase your damage if you’re low on health.
The secondary rune page is more flexible, with most players preferring the Sorcery page for the additional movement speed from Nimbus Cloak and the additional cooldown reduction from Transcendence.
Volibear’s skill priority is R>W>Q>E. Maxing W allows you to farm easily or duel anyone during the later stages of the game. Max Q second to make you more mobile. E is last due to its utility being much lower compared to Q or W.
Volibear is in a good place a couple of weeks after being released. Your goal as a Volibear jungle is to clear your camps as soon as possible and then look for opportunities to gank any lane. If you see no such opportunities, focus on getting the crabs in the river for additional vision or the Rift Herald alongside the dragon.
Due to the fact that your gameplay is predictable, you might not outduel most champions early on, so try to look for countergank opportunities instead. It’s much easier to get a kill in such cases instead of a gank.
As the game goes on, try to maintain good vision coverage for your team and act as the beefy initiator they need alongside being the Smite-bot for dragons and Baron.
Image via Riot Games
- Six abilities at level three
- Untargetability via spider form E
- Strong burst damage
- Gets outscalled by other meta junglers
- Hard to come back if behind
Elise is one of the most popular AP junglers, alongside Karthus, who fills in a different niche. While Karthus looks to power farm the jungle and reaches items and levels, Elise can exploit enemies starting from level three where she gets access to three human form abilities and three spider form abilities.
The ability to become untargetable allows for early dives on low health opponents while minimizing the risk of dying to a tower.
Screengrab via Riot Games
Elise uses the Domination tree. It grants access to additional damage from Electrocute, Cheap Shot, and Eyeball Collection, which synergizes extremely well with Elise’s burst damage. Relentless Hunter makes you mobile and allows you to roam the map much faster. The Sorcery secondary synergizes well with the aggressive playstyle of Elise. Nimbus Cloak allows you to close the gap with enemies faster by using smite on them and Waterwalking allows you to move around faster in the river and contest Scuttle Crab early on.
Elise’s ability priority is R>Q>W>E. Your Q is your primary direct damaging tool. It serves as a good initiation when ganking to deal maximum percent health damage and acts as an execute when you go into spider form. W is maxed second for the additional burst damage, while E is maxed last since the additional damage acts better than the lower cooldown on your CC. The best CC is death.
Elise is an aggressive jungler who should focus on roaming the map on a constant basis and invading the enemy jungler. You’re extremely strong early on due to the access to six abilities. Use that to your advantage and punish enemies who are out of position with swift ganks and dives under the tower.
Contest the Scuttle Crabs early on with Waterwalking, which grants you additional movement speed and ability power while in the river. Focus on maintaining an aggressive playstyle and constant ganks. The moment you start focusing on the farm is the moment you lose the game.
Elise doesn’t scale as well as other junglers and you should keep that in mind if you intend to go to the late game. Your goal is to build an advantage early on and allow your team to carry the game.
- Game-changing ultimate
- Relies on teammates
- Mostly useless if falling behind early
Nunu is one of the best counter junglers in the game. His power comes from the mobility in his kit allowing him to be around the map really quick without you noticing combined with his Q, which deals insane amounts of damage to jungle minions.
While he was away from the meta, the recent buffs to his AP off-build alongside nerfs to other popular junglers brought him back into the game.
There are several viable rune pages on Nunu. The most popular one is primary Sorcery combined with Precision as secondary. This gives you access to Phase Rush keystone alongside three ordinary runes which all increase your movement speed. This allows you to ‘teleport’ in the blink of an eye from the top lane to the bottom lane for surprise ganks or get away unscathed.
Precision secondary is taken to improve your clear and get some health back during those early dives which you’ll do to snowball your laners.
Nunu’s skill priority is: R>Q>E>W. You want to max Q as soon as possible to be able to deal a lot of true damage to monsters more often. This directly allows you to walk into the enemy jungler and steal his camps under his nose and achieve a huge lead while he falls behind.
E is maxed second for the utility and damage provided. It allows you to deal that lethal blow during your ganks, while W is maxed last since it is the least useful basic ability in his kit which needs to be ranked up.
Your goal as Nunu is to invade the enemy jungler and deny him valuable experience and gold. Look for gank opportunities when an opponent is pushing their lane too much. Your passive combined with E will allow you to secure kills easily if enemies push too far forward.
Going into the mid-game look into securing objectives with your Q which is better than Smite most of the time. If you combine it with Smite, you can easily secure objectives from a health threshold from which enemies have no chance at taking it.