The current Jungle meta is a pretty fierce place. Most of the top-picked Junglers heavily prioritize ganking and early kills, leaving other Jungle Champions in a pretty weird place. Playing these off-meta picks means learning how to counter the aggressive playstyle that’s so popular right now. It’s easier said than done, but rewarding once you get the hang of it.
In this article, we’ll discuss the 7 best off-meta Junglers in League of Legends, as well as a few strategies for each Champion to help you counter while you’re in lane.
Let’s get started!
A Quick Word About How to Play Off-Meta Champions
Playing off-meta is a challenging task. You have to understand the meta very well to be able to counter it effectively, which means you usually have to play the meta competently, too. Even if you don’t regularly change up your playstyle to fit whatever the current meta is, it’s at least helpful to know what you’re up against. This is especially true in ranked play, where a majority of players will be using the current meta.
The current Jungle meta mostly consists of high-damage Champions — specifically, assassins and brawler types like Lee Sin, Graves, and Kayn. Like we mentioned before, it’s all about quick kills and efficient ganks.
If you’re going to play off-meta, you have to be able to stop those things in their tracks. Most of the off-meta Junglers on our list are tanks, supports, and some lesser-played aggressive types that can shut down those bigger plays.
With this in mind, let’s jump into our picks for the best off-meta Junglers in LoL!
Note: The stats in this article are all from lolalytics.com.
Best Off-Meta Junglers in LoL: Top 7 Champions
Before we begin, remember that your success with off-meta picks will still be dependent on how good you are with said Champion. No amount of theory crafting will ensure success if you don’t have the skills to back it up!
With that in mind, let’s take a look at our picks for the best off-meta Junglers in LoL.
Stats: Win Rate: 51.63% | Pick Rate: 1.01%
What makes Ivern an interesting choice is his unique passive ability. He can share buffs with ally Champions, which is the kind of skill that’s welcome on any team comp. The reason he’s fallen so low in popularity rankings is because he’s so easily counter-jungled — there’s not much stopping a Graves or Lee Sin from walking into lane and doing whatever they want.
That is, of course, unless the Ivern player knows what they’re doing. With Ivern, especially in the current meta, you have to play very strategically and keep everything warded. He’s one of the most risky picks right now, but also one of the most rewarding.
Stats: Win Rate: 51.48% | Pick Rate: 0.45%
Of all the off-meta Junglers on this list, Mordekaiser is one of the easiest to learn. He also boasts unique abilities, with his ultimate being one of the most useful for Junglers — he can stop ganks from happening or perform his own easily. He certainly falls into the realm of “aggressive” Junglers, but in a different way from the meta picks.
Mordekaiser’s strength doesn’t lie in his ability to kill enemies quickly, but in his versatility. He can be a very effective crowd control tank or a burst mage, depending on how things are going. It’s all about fitting in with what your team needs, and that can be a blessing in solo queue.
Stats: Win Rate: 52.91% | Pick Rate: 0.66%
The main reason I love Skarner is because he can easily shut down highly aggressive Champions. In a meta filled with Graves, Lee Sin, and Kha’Zix, Skarner’s ultimate ability to suppress any enemy has never been better, especially in Jungle. If only he had better resources before Level 6.
Skarner doesn’t really do much on his own or in early game, so you’ll have to play around your team. Taking one-on-one fights as Skarner will almost certainly end in disaster, so don’t try to be a carry. He’s all about teamwork — talk to your teammates about picking him before you lock him in.
Stats: Win Rate: 51.12% | Pick Rate: 2.05%
Volibear is an aggressive Champion, so it might seem odd that he isn’t more popular right now. Where Voli differs from the other top Junglers is the kind of aggression he specializes in. League players love “stylish” Champions with heavy snowball potential, which isn’t what Voli is.
Volibear is much more of a brawler than other Junglers. He’ll usually lose one-on-one battles against burst damage dealers, but having a good team comp lets him shine. Right now, Voli fits best on teams that already have burst damage covered and need a tank instead. Be careful with him, but if you’re skilled enough, you can make excellent use of him.
Stats: Win Rate: 51.96% | Pick Rate: 1.55%
Sejuani is an excellent counter-pick for Champions like Graves and Viego, which makes her a great off-meta Jungler. She counters those high-energy Champions with her ability to shut them down via her ultimate and her general tankiness.
Sej is almost always a pretty decent pick because of how strong her ultimate is, but she currently fits the role of a niche counter-pick perfectly. I wouldn’t recommend blind picking her, and I also wouldn’t recommend her on a team that is tank-heavy. Just like with all the other off-meta Junglers, you have to know when they’ll actually be effective and when it’s better to just stick with the meta.
Stats: Win Rate: 52.97% | Pick Rate: 4.25%
It hasn’t been long since Nocturne was one of the best, most popular Junglers in the game. Since then, though, we’ve seen a pretty distinct shift in Jungle meta. People stopped playing Nocturne as much because there are newer options now in the assassin-ish field, and Nocturne doesn’t fair quite so well against the currently-popular Champions.
However, there’s still a lot of room for Nocturne, as long as you aren’t picking him blindly. Nocturne’s usefulness also depends heavily on what Champions are in enemy lanes, so you have to factor that in as well. If you think you can effectively gank lanes with Nocturne in a specific match (and the enemy Jungler doesn’t counter him too hard), give him a shot.
Stats: Win Rate: 53.63% | Pick Rate: 1.9%
Rammus is always a pretty controversial pick. I honestly don’t remember a time when he was a “great” option, but the current meta is actually pretty good for Ramus. There are a lot of Champions doing high amounts of attack damage, and Rammus has no problem with shrugging off AD. You’ll obviously need a pretty fine-tuned team comp for Rammus to work, though — specifically one with reliable damage and support elsewhere.
Rammus functions exclusively as a tank with just a bit of crowd control. He’s a bit of a meme pick, but we can always use one of those from time to time. Just be careful where you play Rammus. He can be absolutely useless if you pick him into the wrong team, so only pick him when you’re one of the last to choose.
Join the High Ground
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best off-meta junglers in LoL. Making the decision to go off-meta in a game like League of Legends is always a risky choice, but it can have great rewards if you do it well. Do your research before doing this kind of thing in high-level games, but don’t be hesitant to give it a try once you feel you’re ready.