Neutral creeping in general refers to fighting one of the neutral camps at any point in the
game, but for this article I will talk about neuting from level 1.
This strategy is quite powerful if you know what you are doing, so some practice is in order.
- The first wave of neutral creeps spawn at 0:30
- After this, neutrals will spawn at each camp on every minute (x:00)
- Creeps will not spawn if a unit is within a certain rectangular area of the given creep camp at the next minute mark
- This includes your hero, any creeps (neutral or otherwise), wards and DEAD creeps (that leave a corpse - a creep takes between 15 and 20 seconds to disappear, so if you kill a camp at x:55 leaving a corpse in the area, the next wave will not spawn)
- All neutral creeps have some AI (some are "smarter" than others)
- higher level creeps (level 5/6) will attack a low hp hero rather than creeps
- predictability of neutral creep AI will allow you to jungle effectively
- High level Centaurs/Furbolgs will use their stomps when 3 units are at melee range
- High level Satyrs will send out a shockwave when 2 units are in range of the wave (careful of chicken!)
- Neutrals can be "kited" by ranged heroes due to their predictable aggression patterns
- Since neutrals will not respawn at the designated time if units are in the area, you can pull the neutral creeps out of this area and make an additional camp (creep stacking) by engaging the creeps and then running out of the area
Advantages of Jungling
- Gives your team an additional solo lane (increased EXP, money for you AND the team as a whole)
- You do not have to compete for last hits against allies/enemies
- Easier time ganking (since you are always "mia" and can pop out at the best time)
- If pulling, you can decrease the enemy's experience/money gain
- Some heroes perform better in jungle (can farm better unhindered by enemy)
- An entertaining change of pace from conventional laning
- lots of starting builds are acceptable but in general, HP/mana regen (depending on hero) is essential
- practice is required in pretty much EVERY case (except maybe Enigma ^.^) in order to get good experience/farm
So - Who makes a good jungler?
Enchantress, Syllabear, Enigma, Furion, Chen, Lycanthrope, Broodmother
Juggernaut, Beastmaster, Bristleback, Pandaren Brewmaster, Leviathan (Anchor Smash), Axe, Dark Seer, Centaur Warchief (Return)
Troll Warlord (Blind, kiting), Bloodseeker (Blood bath), Naix (Feast), Terrorblade (Images/meta/pulling), Ursa (Fury Swipes)
Note (Tree Destroyers)
Both BMs, Furion - expand upon this
In actuality, many heroes can jungle - even more than the ones I listed. In terms of difficulty, however, these ones are generally a bit easier than others, so try these to start. Also, just because you CAN jungle doesn't mean that you should given the hero lineups.
Summoners have a wonderful aspect to their neutralling - they have a built in tank! The most important thing to keep in mind here is to make the most out of that tank.
- Many summons cost significant mana: prioritize mana regen over HP regen in these cases (clarities or perhaps a RoB/Sobi)
- Have you and your summon(s) attack the same creep (fewer creeps = less damage)
- Once your summon is low in HP, move the summon back so that another summon or a hero can tank for a bit allowing the hurt summon to attack (particularly important with Enigma)
- If the summon is about to expire to time, it should tank as much as possible (even dying)
- you can also send the summon to scout (rune location, perhaps)
- Remember that your summons (as well as hero) will block the next spawn if they are within the designated area
- Do not forget about your other abilities and forgo ganking if there is a good opportunity (especially in the case of Enchantress/Chen who can use their neutral creeps)
- Take into account the nature of your jungler: if the hero is mana independent for jungling, spend more on HP regen items/HP boosting items or a stout shield
- Axe, Centaur, etc.
- Use creep stacking to maximize the value of your spells (Axe w/ Counter Helix; Dark Seer with Ion Shell; Leviathan with Anchor Smash)
- Use creep pulling have your creeps tank a bit of damage for you
- If mana dependent, consider a bottle (HP/Mana Regen + Rune capturing) or clarities
- If possible, try to kite the creep camps to minimize damage (though this takes more time)
Specific Camps and how to tackle the jungle
Here is an overview map of the Jungle.
These rectangular areas are the ones I was referring to earlier regarding "CREEP RESPAWN." You do not have to memorize them but be familiar with the general area so you can position yourself far enough away come the next minute.
Small Camps (one of these sets of neutrals will spawn in the small locations)
- 2 Fel Boars/1 Ghost
- 3 Gnoll Assassins
- 1 Kobold Taskmaster/2 Troll Beserkers
- 1 Troll High Priest/2 Troll Beserkers
- like 200 little Kobold dudes
This is often the best camp to try to fight as it is very easy to take in the early levels (in fact, often it will be the only one you can take without requiring a full HP heal). This should be where you start your journey (unless you are Chen/Enchantress and can dominate a creep).
- 2 Normal Wolves/1 Alpha Wolf (command aura)
- 1 Centaur Khan (stomp)/1 Centaur Runner
- 2 lvl4 Satyrs (mana burn)/2 Satyr Tricksters (purge)
- 1 Ogre Magi (frost armor)/2 Ogres
- 2 Mud golems (magic immune)
The medium camps are important ones since the topmost (scourge) and lowermost (sentinel) are the ones that you use for creep pulling. The mud golems are generally the worst to fight as they deal a lot of damage and are immune to many spells (enchant/persuasion, conversion, ion shell, etc.).
- High level Centaur Khans will use their stomps when 3 units are at melee range: keep this in mind when pulling or using summons. Try to bait the Centaur into using his stomp by getting in range and then quickly leaving range.
- 1 Centaur Khan (stomp)/1 Centaur Runner (same as medium level)
- 2 Furbolgs (white one has a stomp, red one doesn't)
- 1 Satyr Hellcaller (shockwave), 1 lvl4 satyr (mana burn), 1 Satyr trickster (purge)
- 2 Little Blue Trolls/1 Dark Troll Warlord (with net/summon skeletons)
- 1 Enraged Wildkin (tornado)/2 Baby Wildkins
These camps are the most difficult to kill. It is not a good idea to take these early but with summons and good micro, this can be done (better to take other camps first, however, to level up until these are easy).
I will not mention the ancients much since that takes a lot of gear in most cases as well as a lot of time. Lycan, however, (as one example) can take ancient camps at hero lvl7 (lvl4 wolves) with a vladmirs offering.
This term refers to pulling a neutral creep wave out of their camp's location for some other purpose. Most of the time, the purpose is to have allied creeps aid you in fighting the neutral camp, an EXTREMELY useful tactic to employ.
- Allows you to avoid taking damage since your creeps fight for you
- Denies some enemy experience since your creeps may die to neutrals
- Useful while your summons are on CD or you do not have sufficient mana
- Greatly disturbs the creep wave line (first, brings the "wave" way back under your tower and after the creeps have finished engaging, there will be a push back in the other direction towards the enemy tower as your wave will contain more creeps)
- Can be done by any hero, not just those with good jungling abilities
- Pulls on the two primary camps should be done at approximately x:15/x:45 but can be a bit varied (easy to do with a few times of practice)
- Makes it difficult for enemy team to lane as they will have to proceed far past tower to stay in exp range (or go to the neutral area where you have creeps and they do not)
*Since these spawns are blockable by use of wards, teams in higher level play will often place a ward in the spawning rectangle in order to prevent the neutrals from spawning. This makes the lane easier for them.
The two primary camps that are used for pulling are the topmost medium camp on scourge (near top 1st tower) and the bottommost medium camp on sentinel (near bottom 1st tower.
- If the camp you are pulling contains a Centaur Khan (lvl5 with stomp), he will stomp you/allied creeps if 3 units are in range of the stomp. Your creeps will lose their agro towards the camp if this happens and they are out of acquisition range (make sure to keep vision of these creeps when pulling on sentinel side so allied creeps will know where to go).
This term refers to a special technique of pulling the neutral creeps away from the rectangular area just as the next minute occurs (thus allowing another set of creeps to spawn as no units are in the rectangle).
Here is a video of me doing this with sniper:
This is particularly valuable for heroes with AoE abilities or anyone that can take the extra damage. I would advise this with Axe as often as you can, Centaur, Dark Seer, plenty of summoners and maybe Leviathan (but not early).
Using this technique allows you more experience and gold than you would have gained by killing the creep camp in the x:40 - x:59 window in the rectangular area. The exact time varies from camp to camp but it is generally x:52 - x:55. Note that if you are trying to stack a camp with a satyr trickster in it as a melee hero, he will purge you slowing your movement (and the neutral's movement) so you may need to start earlier in this case.
I plan on playing each one of the heroes listed above in jungle and showing approximately how
effective it is. If anyone feels that they are strong in them (or wants to get some of the
easy ones out of the way), feel free to PM me.
Also, I am waiting on permission to use some screenshots from another person at which point I
will include them here with explanations.