With League of Legends’ 2023 preseason preview, sweeping jungle changes were revealed. What do you need to know about the changes, and how will it affect LoL’s (arguably) most influential role?
Along with some other exciting news like new champions and big updates for Aurelion Sol and Ahri, the jungle role is getting some massive overhauls in preseason.
Jungle isn’t exactly an intuitive role for new players, and is often one of the hardest roles to learn. As Riot Phroxzon points out when explaining the jungle changes, his goal is to “make jungling more intuitive, and to help alleiviate some of its more painful parts.”
Well, Riot’s balance team is taking yet another stab at balancing the role, while making it more accessible.
There’s a lot to go over here.
First up, Riot is looking for ways to reward junglers for giving buffs to their laners.
Giving a blue buff to your mid laner or a red buff to your ADC can be a great way to give your carries a boost. However, that’s also gold and experience that you, as the jungler, are actively missing out on.
Phroxzon said that the balance team is “exploring a bunch of things to make this more painless to junglers, like buffs leaving behind a little friend that also has a buff, and a few other potential directions.”
One of these potential directions could be jungle pets, little guys that can help with clearing camps and give certain bonuses.
Phroxzon didn’t confirm too much as of yet about what’s actually going to change, but more that something is going to change here.
One of the biggest barriers of entry to jungling is understanding how to leash camps properly. Efficient clear is all about finding the best and most efficient route to clear camps, and it often comes with doing multiple camps at once.
Phroxzon points out that “You shouldn’t have to know exactly what pixel to stand on when doing red buff and raptors at the same time.”
The goal of loosening the rules around leashing camps is to make these efficient clears and strategies viable for players who haven’t spent hours watching videos and working in the practice tool.
There are also some jungle item changes coming that were discussed in a developer post. We don’t have any solid details on those changes yet.
Chemtech Drake was implemented at the outset of Season 12, and was removed shortly thereafter. The camouflaged map combined with Chemtech Drake’s revive mechanic with soul was frustrating for many.
Now, Chemtech Drake has an entirely different identity.
Rather than reviving players, Chemtech Drake’s buff drastically reduces the amount of damage taken and increases damage dealt at low health to help players clutch out teamfights by the skin of their teeth.
The other big change is what Chemtech Drake does to the map.
The plants that grow in the jungle evolve, giving players more ways to use them. For instance, evolved Blast Plant can get players over the wall large wall blocking access to mid lane and put you right into the fight.
Chemdrake’s return seems much more tame than its debut.
Arguably the most influential buff to the jungle is the enhanced ping system. The rest of the preseason changes are oriented around making the jungle more accessible to players, but the ping system updates will work wonders for high MMR ranked.
The ability to communicate to lanes in a more efficient way will be an incredibly valuable tool for junglers.
If you want to go for a dive, ping to push the lane and get that minion wave into tower. If you want a lane to hang back and let the enemy move up, ping to freeze and look for a gank when the enemy is at tower line.
This is a great quality of life change for everyone, but the ability to better communicate ganks will give junglers a huge boost in Season 13.
While these changes are still a bit vague, Riot has a clear plan to make jungling more accessible and rewarding for players going into the preseason.
You can find the full preseason update video here: