League of Legends: 8 Radical Ways to Rebalance the Jungle

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

6. Open Up the Dragon and Baron Pits

Right now, whether a team is on the red or blue side of the map provides each side with a specific advantage when it comes to contesting one of the two major neutral objectives. It also provides certain lanes extra safety, as the dragon and baron pits prevent junglers from ganking via certain angles without a dash.

Here’s a radical idea, then: open the back of the dragon and baron pits to allow players to traverse the river with ease. Not only does this expand the pool of champions who can jungle, it also reduces the advantage that blue/red side can give teams given the configuration of the pit.

One downside, obviously, is that it eliminates the hype of baron and dragon steals. However, I think this is a worthy sacrifice in order to open up the jungle, literally and figuratively.

League of Legends shouldn’t balance the jungle role around a few items.

7. Remove Jungle Items

Ending on another controversial suggestion, why doesn’t Riot simply get rid of jungle items altogether? They have already begun to remove the items from junglers inventories (it now disappears after smiting five camps) and currently the jungle role is largely balanced around the power that Red Smite has.

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The jungle items are also the means by which the jungle gold and experience is balanced because only players who have those items get the bonus gold and XP when killing camps. But if those items were removed, it could serve a few very interesting purpose.

First, it would mean that Riot doesn’t have to balance the camp gold and experience around the bonuses the jungle items grant. Instead, all champions would know exactly how much gold and experience they get by killing a camp.

Second, this would open up laners to be able to interact with the enemy jungler by punishing them for taking inopportune ganks. For instance, if a top laner sees the enemy jungler ganking bot lane while leaving his top lane camps up, it would allow the laner to counter jungle and punish the enemy’s bad pathing without losing experience.

Yes, this could also set a precedent where laners will start stealing their own jungler’s camps, but Riot could easily fix this by either 1) making camps hard to kill (take longer) without Smite at early levels, reducing the incentive to take camps from their own jungler or 2) making the Smite spell grant bonus experience after a few uses. This would encourage junglers to farm heavier earlier to get that bonus experience and make the camps easier to kill for teammates who needed to take them.

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Not all of these changes are viable, and certainly they couldn’t all be implemented at once. But Riot’s continued tweaking of camp gold and experience is just going to cause small changes that ultimately do not create a satisfying experience for junglers or laners. Ultimately, at the end of the day, the best change that Riot can make to the jungle is no change at all.