League of Legends changes: Jungle in Season 7

Kha'Zix splash art, courtesy of Riot Games
Kha'Zix splash art, courtesy of Riot Games /

More League of Legends changes have been announced on the PBE, this time to the jungle. Players with farm-heavy styles may want to avert their eyes.

Riot has been busy making changes for Season 7. One of their most heralded changes involved fundamental shifts to the way the jungle is played. Today, they explained the thinking behind many of the changes that recently hit the PBE.

Let’s dive in and see what changes they made and what effect that will have on the game.


smite /

One of the big changes were the

jungle plants

that Riot added. It seems that adding these plants caused ripple effects, namely on the Smite spell. Explained Rioter Kuo-Yen “Xypherous” Lo:

"Smite buffs generally did good work and it was a system that was working well, in my opinion. The complexity cost of the system made adding new content harder but that didn’t seem like a problem at the time (because we’re weren’t adding new content to the Jungle.) With the addition of more map objectives – we had to make a hard decision of removal a system that we liked in exchange for attempting to do more with less complexity."

We’ve known about this change for a while. Instead of monster bonuses, smiting a large monster would instead heal the champion for 100 plus 10 percent of maximum health.

That’s huge.

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Already, people are wondering if Smite will be viable on top- and mid-lane champions that can venture into the jungle for a quick experience boost with no cost to their health. To counter this, Riot increased Smite’s cooldown. But it will be interesting to see if people experiment taking it into the mid lane and farming wraiths again and again.

The downside, as many on the boards have pointed out, is that the Smite bonuses really aren’t that hard to take care of. Krugs and Gromp help clear single targets and groups, respectively. Blue helps mana users, Red low-sustain junglers. Wolves prevent counter jungling and Wraiths give you more vision denial to play aggressively.

It’s hard to see how the new smite bonus and the plants will make up for these widely varying smite buffs. Junglers will now have to ward their own jungle more carefully, especially those will slow clears. And it seems like the new control wards, which deny vision, will be a must on even the first back.

Camp changes

Big changes were also expected to the jungle camp. The bad news? They’re about to get a lot harder.

The red and blue buffs lost their friends, so there’s only the large monster. There are five small Wraiths now instead of three. And Krugs got a lot — A LOT — harder.

The new Krugs now split into successively small pieces after a lag, so you have to kill more creatures (kind of like Zac blobs). Riot did this on purpose — they want people to make a conscious decision of whether or not Krugs are worth it, especially now that they don’t give execute damage when smited. They are balancing it somewhat by having Krugs grant 50% more experience than a normal camp. Explained by Xypherous:

"Krugs is out of the way and hard to justify taking. We’ve doubled down on the time taken and the rewards to make Krugs a valuable but time intensive camp."

Next: Rengar, the jungle assassin, gets big changes

Spawn times

The other huge change? Krugs and Gromp will now spawn 15 seconds AFTER the other camps (the whole jungle will spawn three seconds later). Riot apparently wants to simplify early-game strats and give teams less opportunity to pull off creative starts and invades:

"The later spawn time is just to limit the amount of lane shenanigans this tactic has on the early game. While in the far future, we probably want the level 1 poach to have some kind of balanceable tradeoff with a standard start or protecting your jungler – for now, we’re just pushing the camp spawn time to limit these starts."

The other thing about the spawn times? Players will almost have to take red or blue first.

"Blue / Red are primary starters. Wolves and Raptors can be starts depending on your champion choice or if you’re forced into it by an invade."

This is going to make for some very weird pathing.

The end of power farming

And we haven’t even gotten to the end of the timing changes: camp respawn times will increase by 50%  to 150 seconds from 100 seconds. So after you clear a camp, it won’t respawn for 2.5 minutes!

Master Yi splash art, courtesy of Riot Games
Master Yi splash art, courtesy of Riot Games /

This is a direct shot across the bow at farm-dependent junglers like Master Yi and Xin Zhao. Xypherous acknowledged as much:

"Power farming junglers are something that we’re suppressing as we’ve never really been happy with the gameplay of continuously power-farming your jungle until you come out fully farmed at 20 minutes."

He noted that the current respawn timing makes the jungle seem a bit like whack-a-mole: the camps respawn right after you clear them.

But this ignores the numerous ways teams interact with jungle camps. Some mid laners will push and farm wraiths. Some bot lanes will consistently clear krugs on the way to lane knowing that the camp will also be available to their jungler.

And while Riot seem to dislike farming junglers, this seems to constrain the meta in an unproductive way. What’s wrong with a jungler that needs level six and a couple items to gank? Why can’t a jungler transition into a primary carry and split-push threat? There are good roaming supports that can set up ganks. Having viable farm-heavy champions gives teams another way to play the game, and decision-making and more choices seem like things Riot want.


Although the layering of plants is something new, but determining pathing and reducing the viability of a whole class of jungle champion, Riot is reducing complexity. And they know it:

"However, we don’t aim to be a game that you attach to continuously 24/7. Our goal for League of Legends is closer to a hobby rather than a game you dedicate yourself to in one continuous stream.It’s a disagreement on basic principles at this point – we strive to keep the net complexity at any given time to a moderate level as we pretty much want re-engagement to be the primary thing about the game. Continuously adding complexity eventually creates a wall such that it is insurmountable for re-engagement to happen."

Their goal is to make the jungle role more approachable for new/returning players that don’t have the time to catch up on the changes. We’ll reserve judgment until the changes are played in depth, but it feels like there are lots of unintended consequences coming, like the current bot lane meta after the lane swap patch.

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