In this second part of our jungling guide, we will talk about the epic monsters of Summoner’s Rift: the Rift Herald, dragons and Baron Nashor.
Last week, we went over the basics of jungle camps and plants. Now it’s time to level up our guide and to to the big leagues.
Several creatures on the Rift often referred to as "epic monsters" - the Rift Herald, Baron Nashor and the various dragons. They spawn less often, but give much greater rewards and are often the focus of big fights between the teams - especially as they usually require multiple people to take down, but defeating them also gives a much bigger advantage. All Epic Monsters spawn in two locations along the river, semi-open zones called the Baron's pit (in the upper left part of the map) and the Dragon's pit (in the lower right). In addition, all three have a trait that renders them immune to any crowd control except stasis and to anything that would reduce their stats (like, say, a Trundle Q stealing attack damage)
While the humble Rift Scuttler is a true pacifist at heart, its bigger cousin is a different matter entirely. She shows up in the Baron pit at the 8-minute mark and has several strong attacks that can do a lot of damage, especially the big charge. However, they are easy to dodge. The Herald has a lot of HP, but will occasionally open an eye on her back that you can hit for massive damage.
Killing the Rift Herald drops the Eye of the Herald item that anyone on the killing team may pick up within 20 seconds. It takes the place of your trinket. With it, the champion recalls faster, as if having the Baron buff, and can summon the Herald to fight for their team. She will then head towards the nearest lane and walk down it, and its charge does huge damage to towers.
If the Herald is killed before 13:45, it will respawn once six minutes later. It disappears from the map at 19:45 unless it is currently in a fight, in which case it stays until 19:55 before leaving to vacate the pit for the Baron.
There are actually seven different types of dragons that can be found on the Rift. Initially, the dragon can be one of six "elemental" drakes – cloud, ocean, infernal, mountain, chemtech and hextech. Killing such a dragon gives a permanent buff to the entire team, though the more your team has killed, the more damage and damage reduction they get against you. Drake spawns follow a different pattern every game, where the first three are different, and then dragons are the same as the third until one team gets four dragon buffs and the stronger "dragon soul" effect, which only one team can get. All dragons after one team has a soul buff are elder dragons, whose buff is only temporary and lost on death - but its power can, and often will, decide a game. For most teams, giving up elemental drakes is not a big deal, but the elder dragon must be contested if at all possible.
After the second drake is killed, the map changes depending on what the next dragons will be. A cloud-dominated Rift will have areas where champions move faster (like with the rift scuttler zone), for example, while an ocean Rift will have more bushes, an infernal Rift will have some of the walls broken down and a mountain Rift will have more walls. A hextech Rift will have small portals that make champions that step through them blink and then vanish for a short duration, while a chemtech Rift will have fewer bushes and areas of poisoned gas that can hide champions and empower their attacks.
- Chemtech Drakes have higher attack speed as their health decreases. Killing one gives the team bonus damage against enemies with higher max health, while the chemtech soul puts the champions into an empowered zombie state when killed, similar to Sion's passive.
- Cloud Drakes have good single-target damage, which makes them more dangerous to solo junglers. Killing them gives the team out of combat speed and slow resist. The cloud soul gives the team a permanent 10% move speed bonus, increasing to 60% for 6 seconds after casting an ultimate ability.
- Hextech Drakes have slow and a chain damage effect on every fourth attack. Killing one gives bonus ability haste and attack speed, while the hextech soul gives attacks and abilities extra damage and a slow effect.
- Infernal drakes have area damage. Killing one gives the team bonus AD and AP per stack. The infernal soul gives the team's attacks and abilities bonus area damage with a brief cooldown.
- Mountain drakes do not do as much damage as the others, but is more resilient. Killing mountain dragons gives the team more armor and magic resistance per stack. A mountain soul gives all team members a shield that scales with bonus health, bonus AD and AP. The shield comes back if the champion has not been attacked in the last 5 seconds.
- Ocean drakes have slowing attacks. Killing one will give the team health regeneration, based off their missing health. An ocean soul will let the team recover additional health (scaling with bonus AD, AP and bonus health) and mana for 4 seconds after damaging an enemy.
- Elder Dragons spawn only once a team has secured a soul. They are even stronger but killing them gives the team the Aspect of the Dragon buff. Unlike other dragon buffs, it is temporary and is lost on death. With it, all attack abilities do bonus damage over time and enemy champions that fall under 20% of their max health from such an attack are immediately killed.
The big guy is one the most iconic League monsters. He spawns in the Baron pit at 20 minutes and killing him is one of the biggest mid-game objectives. The Baron has it all - health, resistances, a damage debuff to whoever he last attacked and multiple special attacks.
On the other hand, killing it is worth 300 gold to every member of the team and all of them who are a live get the Hand of the Baron buff. It gives extra AD and AP, faster recall and an aura that empowers nearby minions. The Baron buff, as it is commonly called, lasts for three minutes but is lost on death.
The Baron respawns six minutes after killed.
- Jungle Guide Part 1: Camps and Plants
- Warding 101: A Guide to Staying Alive and Winning Games
- Champion Guide: Amumu, The Sad Mummy