Dota 2 is a race. To come out with the victory, a team has to be more efficient in gaining resources, namely gold and experience. However, that is easier said than done.
Both teams have the same objective. Thus, they should look to disrupt each other’s farm, which is part of why Dota is so hard but exciting to play and watch. Because of this, it is necessary to maximize the resources available to the players anywhere in the map.
An opportunity to collect gold and XP is available in the jungle, where there are camps that spawn neutral creeps on every minute. There are various reasons to go jungling. One of them is so that an ally hero can solo a lane and does not have to split gained XP from enemy creeps. Another reason is to catch up on net worth and levels when a hero is having a bad laning stage.
Not all heroes, though, are built for jungling, especially in the initial phases of the match. There are heroes that can accomplish the task better than others can. In this guide, I will show who the best junglers in Dota 2 are.
Traits of the Best Jungler Heroes
Before we discuss the heroes, it is important to learn first what makes an effective jungler.
First of all, it has to be able to clear the jungle camps as quickly as possible. Any second wasted can lead to a farm disadvantage or an opportunity for enemies to gank. Additionally, a camp will not respawn neutral creeps if there is still any unit alive within the box. Junglers should then be efficient in killing the entire camp.
Also, it is better if the hero does not need to consume a significant amount of regen items when going jungling. The heroes that fit this characteristic well are those who can heal themselves or those who have the ability to summon or control other units who can kite the neutral creeps.
Lastly, the best junglers in Dota 2 are those who have effective escape mechanisms should opposing heroes try to gank. Because players have to limit the other team from farming, they invade the jungle every now and then. Therefore, junglers can deal with any ambush from opponents.
Best Picks for Strength
One of the beefiest heroes and best offlaners in Dota 2, Axe can manfight an entire wave or camp by himself once his necessary skills are online.
His third skill Counter Helix gives him the passive ability to deal an area-of-effect (AoE) damage every time he is attacked. The proc deals up to 180 pure damage and has a 20 percent chance of triggering.
What makes Mogul Khan a great hero to jungle with is that it allows him to set up ganks on enemy heroes. He can pick off opposing supports by himself or initiate on enemy cores, thanks to all three of his other abilities.
Axe can start jungling once he is equipped with HP regen items, such as Tranquil Boots, and has enough Healing Salve in his inventory. He can actually begin earlier by pulling enemy creep waves and bringing them to a neutral camp.
Throughout the years, Lycan’s role has changed because of some changes to his kit. Banehallow has been commonly used as a carry, but recently, he has also shifted towards the offlane. Regardless of what lane he is placed in, Lycan has always been one of the best junglers in Dota 2.
All of his spells enable him to kill neutral camps quickly and efficiently, as he can summon two wolves to tank the damage for him. Lycan also has the ability to reduce the armor of nearby enemy or neutral units, while his third skill Feral Impulse increases his and his controlled unit’s attack damage and health regen.
If enemies try to ambush him in the jungle, he can just cast Shapeshift (assuming the user has leveled up the ultimate) and run away. His wolves, when the Summon Wolves ability is at level 4, also has a small chance of crippling or rooting enemy units.
Best Picks for Agility
Like mentioned, self-sustain is one of the key traits of the best junglers in Dota 2. And Bloodseeker is one of the beasts when HP regen is concerned.
The combination of his Bloodrage and Thirst abilities can boost his attack speed significantly and restore a portion of his health whenever he kills a unit.
One of the jungling techniques some players have employed with this hero is when Thirst is enabled, they head to a jungle camp instead of ganking. This way, Bloodseeker can quickly move from camp to camp.
Additionally, it helps to put some points on his second skill Blood Rite. Not only does it deal heavy AoE damage, but it also silences enemies caught inside the cast area. This is particularly useful now that many neutral creeps have been coded to cast their own spells more frequently.
Bloodseeker’s ultimate Rupture can also help avert an ambush because casting it on the enemy’s primary damage dealer can prevent the hero from being chased.
Meepo is one of the most difficult heroes to play against, and he is also one of the hardest to use. The Geomancer also has a case to be named as one of the best carry heroes in Dota 2.
What makes Meepo a scary jungler is his ability to create clones of himself. Though they are weaker than the original Meepo, the sheer number of heroes can overwhelm neutral camps in no time. Furthermore, each of his clone can cast spells.
He can also sustain himself easily when jungling because his Ransack skill allows him to passively steal health with each strike on opposing units.
If you decide to use this hero, you have to be careful, because once any Meepo clone is killed, all of them, including the original die. This makes Meepo quite susceptible to ganks.
Fortunately, Meepo does have an escape mechanism in case a surprise attack comes. His second skill Poof allows him to teleport to another Meepo or itself. You can hide a Meepo clone safely in a different part of the map then use it to teleport the other Meepos in the event of a gank.
Best Picks for Intelligence
One of the best healer heroes in Dota 2, Chen is played mainly as a support. Still, he can be an effective jungler, if needed.
The skill that makes him adept in the jungle is Holy Persuasion. It lets him take control of an enemy or neutral creep, whose base health, movement speed, and attack damage are given a boost. The Holy Knight can convert up to four units (seven with Aghanim’s Shard) allowing him to clear jungle camps in no time.
Because he can build up a powerful creep army, it would be unwise for the opponents to gank Chen, unless they are bringing in the number to the fight. Moreover, having a creep army is a good reason for the hero to be positioned in the jungle. It will let him stay closer to the lanes in case he is needed for a team fight or save ally heroes from being killed.
The king of the jungle, Enigma is built for it. In fact, Dotabuff stats show that players who use Enigma stay in the jungle nearly half of the laning phase.
The Consumer of Worlds can transform neutral creeps into at least three eidolons. These are summoned creeps who can tank attacks for Enigma and dole out a significant amount of damage. They also multiply after launching their seventh attack.
Enigma has an AoE attack that can damage enemy units based on their current HP for around 10 seconds. On the other hand, his first skill Malefice can help him evade ambushes as the spell mini-stuns affected enemies several times. This is especially useful because picking Enigma in the draft often triggers opponents to select heroes who are built to invade the jungle.
When playing Enigma, be sure to prioritize getting a Black King Bar, as the hero is not just a strong jungler but also an effective initiator of team fights, thanks to Black Hole. Because the ultimate can be dispelled, he needs magic immunity when casting Black Hole.
There are some ways to jungle effectively, such as learning how to stack camps and creep pull.
Stacking camps means pulling creeps away from out of the area just before the camp spawns new units. By doing so, it will provide you double the amount of gold and experience at once. This is a valuable way to level up fast in Dota 2.
On the other hand, creep pulling entails luring the neutral creeps to your lane at the right time so that they will attack your ally creeps. An alternative is to pull an enemy creep wave to a jungle camp, so that they battle one another. Make sure that you know how to last hit so you collect more gold.
Now that you know who are the best jungler heroes in Dota 2 and how to jungle, it is time to put them to the test by practicing them in matches.
However, make sure to coordinate properly with your teammates that you intend to play a jungler. Because doing so might cause one of your them to solo in the safe lane or offlane, which not all heroes are equipped to succeed in.