When reaching Diamond Rank in Arena of Valor, we are met with the pick/ban phase where both teams get to ban two characters each and champions on both sides cannot be duplicated. This narrows down the character pool slightly due to the provision of bans, however it introduces the new mechanic of counter-picking- which means to pick the best champion to counter the enemy team or to synergize with your allies. As junglers are the main carry role in Arena of Valor, we will be discussing their matchups via this Jungler matchup guide to give players and in depth understanding of when to choose what junglers and how to counter them if the enemy team picks them.
Before jumping into the Arena of Valor jungler matchup guide, we would like to state that only orthodox junglers and commonly used as junglers will be considered, so less common picks such as Tulen, Astrid, Wonder Woman jungle etc will not be considered. We will be focusing on more traditional picks such as Murad, Violet and Ryoma in this guide.
Arena of Valor Jungler Matchup guide: Categories of Junglers
To effectively explain when you should pick what jungler in Arena of Valor, in this jungler matchup guide we have set the junglers into 8 different categories being Broken, Neutral, Dive, Backline, Control, Snowball, Earlygame and Lategame.
Champions : Paine, Keera, Elandorr
As the title says, this category consists of broken jungle champions who have high damage to demolish enemy back-lines within seconds while having high mobility to allow them to travel across them map quickly and roam like a jungler should. To add on to their broken-ness, they have little to no counters, making nearly no counter picks for them. However, due to them being “broken”, they are often prioritized as first or second ban and it is not players will not get to play them in ranked very often.
However, this does not mean that there is no value in learning these champions. This is because on some rare occasions, the enemy will forget to ban said broken champions, leaving them open for players to pick. If your team just so happens to have first pick and you also know how to play said broken character, do ask your teammates to snag it for you because it will give you a heavy edge into the game, significantly increasing your chances of winning.
In Arena of Valor, these champions work in nearly whatever team composition as when played optimally. The game won’t be so much about their team but about them carrying their team. A few things from our Arena of Valor jungler matchup guide when playing these champions is to remember that though you are strong, you are not invincible, don’t be too confident and think that the game will be a sure win, always keep in mind that a less meta character could beat you if the player has more skill than you do so use your champion advantage wisely and conservatively. When playing against these champions, try to exploit the weaknesses in their game, always watch for their misplays because those are your tickets to winning, but in most cases just ban them and choose not to take the risk of playing against them.
Sometimes, you may want to play the broken champions in ranked but they are banned for the most part. A method to get these broken characters is to communicate with your teammates and tell them not to ban character as you want to play it, of course if your team has the first pick it would be perfect, if not, you risk the enemy team taking it from you. It’s your decision whether you should risk it.
Champions : Zephys, Butterfly
Neutral champions are safe picks as they are nearly neutral to ally picks and enemy picks, they do not have strong synergies nor obvious counters and bring solid contribution to the game. If you aren’t too sure what to pick, these junglers are the ones for you.
Both Zephys and Butterfly are rather solid as they both bring tankiness with Zephys damage immunity passive and Butterfly’s 30% damage immunity from her ultimate while having moderate amounts of damage and decent mobility. They don’t require much ally help to survive and can do so on their own, being able to steadily deal damage and receive it makes them able to remove themselves from the meta, becoming balanced and neutral picks that fit into and against any team composition.
However, do note that their main weaknesses are that they are not especially strong against any character and their strengths are that they are not especially weak to any pick. We can’t stress this enough as you have to consider if there are better options for dealing with the enemy team or synergizing with your own. Unless all your team still needs is a bruiser/ semi-frontliner do you pick neutral junglers.
When picking neutral champ, do note that although Zephys is preferred as he possesses hard crowd control from his ult and is considerably more mobile than Butterfly as he has dashes and jumps. In the end it boils down to which character you are more comfortable playing.
When going against a neutral champion, you can practically ignore their ban pick presence as it won’t affect you much.
Champions : Qi, Volkath, Rourke
Dive junglers are junglers who can act as a frontliner with good engagement skills. This allows them to enter teamfights easily and without too much worry of being interrupted or killed on the way. They easily break the ranks of the enemy team as they have a high degree of tankiness and also a reasonable amount of crowd control at their disposal. A good entry engagement from a Dive jungler can pull the teamfight completely into their favor.
Though they have high offensive capability, they are easily affected by constant control such as Aleister and Omega. These characters can ruin your entry rhythm and cause you to engage at the wrong time or at the wrong position. Thus characters with high or frequent crowd control are your counter picks thus you should not pick Dive Junglers into them.
If your teammates also pick a dive character for another role such as Marja, Maloch and Cresht, you could pick a Dive Jungler as well to fulfill a “Dive Composition” by having as many dive characters on your team as possible, making tower dives extremely easy for you and enabling an aggressive presence from your team.
These picks can also be regarded as “anti-assassin” picks as many junglers tend to be squishy as they are mostly assassins and ADCs but Dive Junglers are not. They are warriors who have good damage and tankiness, making them less able to be one-shotted by assassins and in turn destroying the assassins as they come into melee range. From this we can see that Dive Junglers are also anti-assassin picks and can be used to counter pick the enemy assassin jungler or assassin carry.
Champions : Lindis, Violet, Slimz, Fennik
Backline jungler champions completely consists of marksmen junglers with little mobility and as the name implies- it is preferred for them to stay in the backlines to deal damage as their low mobility means low chances of escaping if they are caught out or for some reason caught in the crossfire of a teamfight.
It is extremely undesirable to pick backline junglers when the enemy’s team composition consists of one or more assassins or Dive Junglers as it is easy for champions within those categories to catch you out and eliminate you. Unless you have a really good support backing you up, it is highly possible that you will end up feeding the enemy team as your low mobility and squishiness does not allow you to escape the burst and mobility of assassins and Dive Junglers
Within the meta of Summer 2020, backline junglers are not very popular as they are easily caught out and have nearly no means of self protection or escape, with burst-heavy assassin junglers such as Paine and Keera in the meta, backline junglers are kept in place and are not an ideal pick as their much needed early game farm can be easily disrupted by assassins and Dive Junglers.
However, they may be viable if you have a support that can help you protect and jungle and ultimately your farm. In short, if you have an ensured farm and steady micro, you are most likely able to perform optimally and get out of tough situations with the help of a protective support. So do be aware of your team composition and look if there are protective supports such as Teemee, Lumurr and Baldum. If so, picking a backline jungler could potentially be an optimal choice and could be considered- as long as the enemy team does not have too many assassins or Dive Junglers.
Champions : D’arcy, Enzo, Slimz
Control Junglers’ kit mainly focuses on being able to crowd control the enemy team, effectively acting as a second support during the early game. But as the game progresses they often develop high amounts of damage, finally being able to use their control to their own personal advantage rather than to support their team.
These junglers are highly valued as good players who use them can easily create openings for their team to engage and attack. No matter how good the enemies’ defense is, a good crowd control from a control jungler can send the enemy team into chaos.
However, they are easily countered by the crowd control cleansing enchantment on the support items as it denies the core of their kit. Moreover, Chaugnar – a support with a built in crowd control cleanse is their absolute nightmare as he is a walking negation of your efforts to control his team. Do not pick Control Junglers into Chaugnar.
If you just so happen to have been counter picked by the enemy team as they pick up chaugnar, your hopes lie in farming to the late game as Control Junglers usually have a considerable amount of damage to dish out.
But if the enemies think that they can fully counter you by using the crowd control cleansing support item, they’re wrong. Although they can cleanse your crowd control, the cooldown on their support item is most likely a few times longer than that of your crowd controlling ability, so if they use it at the current moment, they will most likely not be able to cleanse it the next time you use it again. Or you take your chances with your crowd control only in situations where the enemy support is not here, increasing the success rate of your crowd control.
When going up against Control Junglers, players ( except the jungler ) could consider taking the challenger talent “Purify” as it allows you to remove all crowd control from you for a while, acting as a personal counter to them.
Control Junglers are very strong in the game but are easily countered, playing them equals high risk and high reward.
Champions : Enzo, Quillen, Zanis
Snowball Junglers are great in a winning match but absolutely useless in a losing one. Their kits all have some buffs based on whether you kill the enemy, be it Butterfly and Quillen’s ability reset, Enzo’s attack speed and move speed buff or Zanis’ passive stacks.
Whether they are used to their maximum efficiency or not is dependent on their ability to kill the enemy and ultimately how hard they snowball. Snowballing is easiest during the early game where the match is usually in a neutral state and can sway to either side easily. However, most Snowball Junglers don’t possess much damage during the late game, thus it is difficult for them to snowball on their own as they may not get many kills easily during the late game. This is why champions with strong early games such as Ata, Riktor and Elsu can coordinate well with them by aiding them with kills and equipping them with the ability to snowball.
To counter pick against snowball champions during jungler matchup in Arena of Valor, our suggestion via guide is the same as to pick with them. You once again pick early game heroes to shut them down. Early game junglers that can shut them down include Batman, Ryoma and Kriknak. By bullying them during the early game and prohibiting them from snowballing you can easily counter snowball heroes.
However, in the occasion that they have been allowed to snowball, it is nearly impossible for you to shut them down and your only chance in winning is hoping that they play cocky and try to 1v5 your team. In some cases, they might win that as well, so never ever allow the enemy snowball champion to snowball and put all the effort you can into your snowball jungler fed and snowballing.
Using or having a Snowball Jungler is a high risk, high reward playstyle. Either you may have the ability to end the game in 10 minutes or you could flop hard and end up losing the game in 10 minutes.
Champions : Ryoma, Batman, Kriknak, Nakroth
Earlygame junglers like to gank every lane during the early game when their opponents are separated by their respectives roles and rarely come together as a team. They excel at picking off single targets but flop at teamfights, therefore in lategame they flop hard and aren’t able to do much.
The method to fully utilize early game junglers to their highest potential is to pick more characters with a strong early game such as Arum, Ata and Raz to help them engage in jungle invasions and ganks. Thus allowing early game junglers to use their early game strengths to their maximum potential as they are aided by a team full of champions with strong early games, oppressing the enemy team’s early game and suppressing their economic/ experience development as much as possible and maximizing their own. With good coordination, Earlygame junglers and their earlygame teammates can end the game quickly and with speed and ease.
However, once the game progresses into the lategame, the Earlygame Junglers’ impact on the game exponentially decreases and the game becomes more of a 4.5 vs 5 in favor of the enemy team. Therefore, the only counter option to earlygame Junglers is playing conservatively and defensively, biding your time and focusing on farming, waiting for the late game to arrive and a nice comeback. Do not force fights with Earlygame junglers within the early game as it mostly results in a loss for you.
Because of the fast paced nature of the game, Earlygame Junglers are favored as they do more things at an earlier availability. Even mechanically weaker Earlygame Junglers were put to use in the competitive scene as MAD Neil used his Ryoma to establish an early lead onto ONE team during the Warm Up matches of the GCS Summer Season, capitalizing on the strong early game and ending the match within 12 minutes.
Champions : Murad, Wukong, Marksmen Junglers
Lategame junglers are junglers who usually have a lot of damage output during the lategame and are capable of single-handedly carrying the entire game during that late game. However they usually have a hard time during the early game as their damage hasn’t developed yet or they haven’t reached their powerspike yet, thus having relatively slow clear speed
Lategame Junglers tend to focus more on farming and less on ranking during the early game to ensure that they will have a lategame to get to and to get to it in the shortest amount of time possible. Because they need to farm and usually have weaker early games, it is advised that you pick strong earlygame champions to make up for the lack of contribution of Lategame Junglers during the early game and also to protect the farm of Lategame Junglers.
To counter Lategame Junglers in Arena of Valor, via this jungler matchup guide, our suggestion is the same as to synergize with them. Instead of protecting their weakness, you have to exploit their weakness that is the early game by picking earlygame champions to shut them down during the early game and minimize their farm so to postpone their entry to the lategame. It is important that you do this when playing against a lategame jungler as they are nearly impossible to defeat during then. Never let them reach their lategame powerspike or else it is game over for your team.
With the nerf to the Endless Cycle rune, games seldom get dragged into the lategame and are more fast paced than before, therefore Lategame junglers are not popular within the current meta. However if you manage to find reliable teammates to carry you to the lategame where you carry them in return, the option for Lategame Junglers is constantly open and could mean a sure win for every match.
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