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Strategy and Tactics
Basics of Jungling
As this is a guide on how to jungle Amumu, not a guide on how to jungle in general, I will not go into the details on how to jungle. There is already a great guide on LoLPro explaining the general principles of jungling, linked below:
In the following chapters, I will explain different jungling paths depending on what team color you have. You can either be Blue Team (bottom left corner) or Purple Team (top right corner). Since your teammates and the buffs are positioned at different locations, depending on what side of the map you start on, there will be different tactics for the different sides.
One general heads up though: Try to get a team that communicates well. You cannot win a game yourself if you play aggressive. Your team has to react. They have to come save your ass when both side lanes move towards you. Make sure to pay attention on the map where the opponents are moving. You might have stepped on a ward.
Aggressive Path and Invading
My favorite opponents versus Amumu, when I'm playing on the blue side, are aggressive junglers that are supposed to counter-jungle me. Normally, they (purple side) start one out of two paths.
1) Their blue -> their red -> gank top/mid
2) Their blue -> your red (killing you or just stealing it)
Most of these junglers are heavily dependent on Red buff to do good ganks. To out play them, invade and steal their Red buff following one of the two paths described below.
Always make sure to consider the opponent team before invading. If they have more CC and better early game damage, make sure you don't get caught in a 5v5 fight. If you catch one of them 5v1, that's great. If they are all there, just leave and do the traditional path described later in this guide.
Quickly to level 6
- Enemy Lizard
- Lizard Elder
- Ancient Golem
This path lets you reach level 4 quickly, while being in control of 3/4 early buffs. The objective of rushing your red right after theirs, is that the opponent jungler is very likely to go your red (once he realizes that you stole his). If your team pays attention, it's a free first blood for you.
A disadvantage with this path, is the lack of mana. Don't use your abilities for nothing. After doing red buff, you will be too low mana to gank. After doing blue buff (the 3rd buff), you will be too low hp to gank. Return to base.
If you ward the bush next to his wraiths when invading (with a 3-min ward), you can know whether he went to your red or not. If he didn't, you can go do as the path described below.
- Enemy Lizard
- Ancient Golem
- Gank Mid
- Gank Top
This is a path that lets you gank sooner, since you still have the mana for it after taking blue. After you hit lvl 3, go for a gank in a nearby lane. Usually, that is either mid or top. It is very likely that your red buff is stolen by now (but that's ok, since you stole his). Just make sure to make your team aware of that, so they don't fall for an easy gank.
The more traditional jungling paths for Amumu, focuses on quickly gaining lvl 6, without fighting the opponent jungler. Whether you start blue or red doesn't matter. If you start red, however, you should get a no-smite pull to avoid being out of mana when doing your blue. These are fine no matter which side you are on. If you start on the purple side, however, you will be able to spam more abilities sooner, thus clearing a few seconds faster. The most traditional path is always starting blue buff on Amumu, from the myth that you need blue buff to jungle. As long as you are careful with using your mana, you don't actually need blue. It will let you clear faster, yes, but the game isn't over if they steal yours. If there's any other camps you can do, avoid going to the Wight camp or Double Golems, as these two camps are more single-target oriented.
Which path you choose should depend on where you want to gank first. At the end of the path described below, it says "gank mid". I do not mean you have to gank mid. Think for yourself: Which lane am I most likely to pull of a successful gank in? Go gank that lane.
- Ancient Golem
- Lizard Elder
- Gank Mid
- Lizard Elder
- Ancient Golem
- Gank Mid
The Opponent Jungler
To be a great jungler, you must learn to know where the opponent jungler is. The pro teams usually does this by insane amount of wards and map awareness. However, in solo queue games, that is unlikely to happen. If you know where the opponent jungler is, you can avoid being counter ganked, you can warn your teammates and you can secure important objectives (buffs/dragon/baron) when the opponent jungler is far away.
Amumu can drop camps and buffs incredibly fast without taking a lot of damage, which makes him good as a counter jungler. You do not, however, want to fight the opponent jungler + his allies in his jungle. Therefore, it is very important that you know where he is, go quickly run, take an objective and leave quickly.
Where is he?
Early game, you can often see which direction the opponents mid lane is coming from when he enters the lane. If he comes from Blue buff, the opponent jungler probably started Blue (same goes for Red). In the current meta games, most junglers do minor camp -> Red or Blue -> minor camp -> Red or Blue -> gank. Knowing where he started gives you a lot of information about his movements. Think "where would I have been, if I was on the opponent team?". If you invaded and stole his red, and he realized that you did so (e.g. by seeing where your mid lane came from), a logical path for him would be Blue -> YOUR RED -> gank. You can counter-invade him and kill him at your red. If you do not, however (e.g. for mana reasons), you should make your team aware of the danger that he might come from your red - thus preparing them for an early gank.
Lategame, only wards can offer you the same information, unless you by chance happen to spot him somewhere. I always recommend buying a lot of wards. They are considered to be the single most op item in the game.
Abusing your knowledge
Before minions spawn
Very early, you can use this information to counter jungle him. If possible, use the aggressive jungle path described above to steal one of his early buffs. Always have your team help you with this. Go as 5 until you are sure of where the opponents start. Perhaps you'll even get a kill from it!
Early to Mid Game
Knowing where the opponent jungler is early and mid game lets you:
- Secure objectives (e.g. Drake if he is top lane)
- Countergank him
- Gank other lanes, knowing that he can't countergank you
- Invade his jungle
- He can't counterjungle you
Lategame, the opponent jungler won't be much different from any opponent. If you see an opponent out of position, you can try to claim objectives, engage a 5v4 teamfight or kill that person.
Ganking as Amumu
How to Gank
As this is an Amumu guide, not a jungle guide, I won't explain the general tactics of ganking here. Please see the following LoLPro Guide:
Now that you know the basics of ganking, let me explain how to do it with Amumu. The common misperception is that you need to hit your Bandage Toss (Q) to gank successfully. As long as you have Red buff, you can manage to pull of a good gank even without landing your Q. However, landing it is a major advantage. When possible, you can walk up to the opponents and start auto attacking before using your Q. Hitting a Q from close range is way easier than doing it on full range. Of course, some times you have to engage with your Q. Try to think where the opponent will move when you use your Q. Is he likely to try to dodge it? Where will he try to dodge it? Then hit your Q there. It is also possible to flash + Q if you know the opponents have no escapes and you come at them by surprise. That often leads to sure kills. Try to let the enemy minions pass before you go in. They are on the same spot as yours are (just opposite), which you can see on the mini-map.
After you are level 6, you can use the same tactics as described above. Very often I walk up to the opponent, use my ultimate, and then use my Q. It is always easier to hit skillshots on targets that cannot move. There is no law that says you have to engage with your Q. Do what you consider to be the best in the current situation. Your goal is to lock them in place for as long as possible; not to show off your amazing abilities in landing (or failing) skillshots.
When to Gank/Farm
You should never gank for the sake of ganking. You need an objective that is possible to accomplish. If your teammate has 3 waves at his turret, it is an extremely bad time to gank. Not only will he lose a lot of HP by moving through the minions to engage. If you do not kill, he has lost a lot of minions. It is simply not worth the risk. Wait for him to clear some of the minions or return to gank at a later point in time.
If your teammate is pushing to the opponent turret, it is almost impossible to gank the lane. Then it is better to gank another lane. If all the lanes are pushing, I would advice you to kindly explain that if they push that far all the time, the opponent jungler can gank while you can't.
If you aren't ganking, you should be farming or securing objectives. Never walk randomly around in the jungle without doing anything. Try to always do something.
Always Blame the Jungler
Yes, that's you! You are jungling. People are expecting you to outplay the opponent jungler, gank more than him, countergank him, secure all the objectives and win all the lanes. Not only isn't that your job, it's not possible. People will blame you if you jungle. Try not to flame back. Some games, you have done an amazing job and all the lanes are blaming you because they aren't good enough to win their own lanes. It happens. People get frustrated. Choosing between accepting that they simply aren't good enough and blaming someone else for their loss, it is always easier to blame someone else. Mind you, it is possible to ruin lanes as a jungler aswell. Don't gank with too low HP. Double buffs in lanes are incredibly powerful and should not be underestimated.
Late Game: Objectives & Teamfights
Most of late game focuses around securing important objectives. The most important building objectives are: Nexus -> inhibitor -> turret. If you ahed at this point, you should be able to tank the turrets for a long time. If the teams are even, however, never tower dive unless you get a great engage. Amumu does not push down turrets very fast by himself, due to his low AP/AD/attack speed.
The most important monster objectives are Baron -> Dragon -> Red/Blue buff. Amumu deals % damage to these objectives, meaning that he drops them incredibly fast. If you have another % champion on your team (such as Nasus) or a fed AD carry, chances are that you can do the baron just the two of you! If you see the opponents out of position (e.g. two of them bot lane) very late, your team can rush baron and secure it quickly. Always make sure to ward a lot before you do this. Doing a risky baron is a classic "throw trap". If the opponents team fight you, you lose the team fight and steal baron, the game will be way more even or they will be ahead of you. Don't forget to ask your team to burst the monster at a given HP. That way, you can smite at e.g. 1300 instead of 1000, since your team will burst it for more than 300 hp anyways. It's a great trick to avoid being countered by the opponent jungler (who also has smite!).
In teamfights, your role is to be as disruptive as possible while dealing damage. Turn on your W, spam your E and Q as often you can, and you will deal naturally high damage lategame. Try to hit as many opponents as possible with your ultimate. The best ultimate possible is to hit all five opponents. However, that may not always be possible. If you can hit or catch two priority targets such as both the carries (or just one really mega fed one), that can often be enough. However, if you cannot hit the carries, try to hit at least 3 opponents.
People used to think that engaging with Amumu's ultimate was the best way to use it. However, if you can use it right after the engage, chances are it will decide the outcome of the teamfight, instead of merely giving you an advantage. I prefer having another engage on my team (e.g. lux/zyra bind, malphite, etc) and then use my ultimate in the actual teamfight. That way, the opponents are immobilized for the full duration, while your team can attack them for the full duration. What's the point of using your ultimate to engage with, if the opponents are out of it by the time your team are there to deal damage?
There are situations when you should engage with your ultimate. If you catch the opponent team (or their carries) off guard or out of position (e.g. they aren't close enough to defend their carries), you can use your ultimate to engage with. Just make sure your team is close enough to follow up on your engage. If they aren't, there's no point in engaging. Either way, don't engage with flash + bandage, because that means your team will be too far away to follow up on your engage.
Synergies & Counters
A good team composition with Amumu has an engage and champions that synergises well with his ultimate. In general, any champion who can snare, hook or stun an opponent out of position is good with Amumu. This allows your team to engage on that opponent, often forcing the opponent team to counter engage. If they do, it's often an opportunity to hit a perfect ultimate. Engaging champions can be champions such as Lux, Thresh, Zyra, Blitzcrank and Elise. Champions that combine good with Amumu are champions such as Miss Fortune, Kennen.
Amumu is also great with champions that relies on bursting down the opponents and then making a safe exit. Using Amumu's ultimate at the very start of a team fight can allow them to burst down a priority target and then quickly escape to safety.
Amumu is one the junglers that is very susceptible to counter jungling, making junglers such as Dr. Mundo or Shyvana very difficult to play against if the other team coordinates an invade. In addition, supports such as Soraka or Janna are able to minimize the effectiveness of your ultimate by either Silencing you for a long time after you get into position to ult then burst you down. On the other hand, Janna's Monsoon stops your team from following up your ultimate.
Other strong counters to Amumu and AoE comps are champions like Olaf and Irelia. Their ability to ignore/reduce crowd control makes your abilities a lot less impactful versus them and they are still able to kill your carries and deal tons of damage.
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