Ok so I'm going to open with this isn't a complaint about the balance of jungle in 9.4 the role seems decently balanced with a decent spread of champions. Hell my champ pool of Elise, Graves, Reksai, Vi and Sejuani seems to be in a decent spot if only on the slightly weak side.
My issues are with fun right now and how I feel a lack of agency or personal choice. So much of my choices rely on others actions and my own choices are completely reliant on my laners having the knowledge jungles have that I can't teach them by typeing in a game. I also want to know if I'm in the majority or minority with my opinion. So without further ado hers my issues.
Scuttle Crab: This guy makes the game less fun for me than any other season he completely takes agency away from me and puts it into the hands of if my laners want to be helping me with it. YES I can play around it the optimal start of Red>Krug>Scuttle one> Scuttle two, I can rant for a easy hour on the different pathing options surrounding it and choices that can be made. BUT so much of this feels like the way I get to choose to play around it is completely dependent on if my team wants to let me. If they don't want to get the wards that watch for the enemy jungle moving to scuttle or lose the push and cant let me invade or God forbid have the push and don't collapse literally takes the ways I can play the game away from me. If my laners don't want to play around me I lose alot of my agency and can be forced to full clear my jungle as the enemy takes his and gets two scuttles giving him a level advantage. I can Gank while he is doing scuttles but if my laners are not setting up when im on their side then I literally lose not only levels and gold but I have absolutely zero agency to change it.
Vision: I used to be a high vision jungler I would buy green item and constantly try and map my enemies pathing so I could play around it but now I have so little to myself especially early that if my laners don't give me the vision I need I have to make bling guesses what he's doing based on if he's doing what I think is optimal. This is so feast or famine to me because if he's doing what I would I'm profiting and getting leads but if he's not then I could literally be in enemy territory with two pushed lanes but get collapsed on because my laners are fiddling around. I'm still as high vision as I possibly can be I buy one pink on my first and third backs and try to keep two pinks and a red trink in my items at all times post 15 and buy one or two each back unless I have exactly enough for a full item completion(not a component completion) and it feels like it's never enough.
Camps respawn: there so slow if I'm relagated to a full my side clear and then don't have any Gank opportunities while my enemy jungle has laners assisting with scuttles and river vision my only choice is to sneak into a sidelane bush and soak exp while delaying recalls hoping to see the enemy be a idiot and walk up.
So these three are some of my main issues and I think alot of these cause the issues that laners feel about us. I find myself level two hyper aggro ganking because I have little choices after knowing that I can't do a invade and will likely lose the scuttles and or only get the trade I am just bleeding exp and gold if I don't make the level two play.
I love jungling I love watching pro vods in pro and solo que and guessing pathing choices based on vision and lane prios. And I don't think I'm very good I'm at my peak a gold 1 player but I'm burnt out by this iteration of the jungle which I find strange because I've been playing since season one and have always found something I have loved about it I que adc as my main role because it has me so burnt out.
What do my fellow jungle mains feel? I'm not having any fun in the jungle this year. And I feel all of my agency is dictated so much by my teammates this year compared to any other one I've ever played(and I played in Philo stone ward bot#2 metas).
All I can say at the end is please riot YES the role is balanced. And YES we know how to play around it. But this is the least fun iver ever had in the jungle that for for my longest stint ever I haven't qued it as main role and for the longest stint ever I haven't been playing very much. Please make my role fun again.
If everyone disagrees with me then I guess I am wrong and that's ok I hope if I'm the minority all my fellow jungle mains majority don't burn out like I do.
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