Preseason 13 Jungle Rework - First Impressions

Surely they didn't forget about Ivern..... right...???

Preseason 13 Jungle Rework - First Impressions

Patch 12.22 brings the new preseason and a massive overhaul to how jungling works. So how does Ivern fare in the new jungle? In this post, I'll go in-depth into each change and how they influence Ivern.

Note: This article was written on 11/13/2022 from the PBE server, so everything mentioned is subject to change. This is also not meant to be an exhaustive list of PBE changes, so anything irrelevant to Ivern will be omitted.

Healing and Sustain

Historically, Ivern has always had issues with staying healthy during his clears. This is because he was designed during a time when every jungler had sustain issues, but has been left behind as Riot introduced healing to junglers though damaging camps (onhit, spell vamp, omnivamp, etc).

In season 13, healing has once again received an overhaul, this time for having your pet damage camps. Junglers will no longer gain omnivamp against monsters and smite will no longer heal at all. In return, they will restore a significant amount of health each time their pet attacks.

Jungle Pet Details:
-Deals 20 + 4% bonus HP + 15% AP + 10% AD AoE true damage per attack against monsters
-Attacks roughly 1.1x per second
-Heals for 70% of damage dealt (to the first enemy hit)

Additionally, gromp's large heal has been replaced by a small heal for clearing any camp. For reference, clearing roughly 4-5 camps will heal the same amount as gromp's large heal.

Jungle Camp Healing Details:
Large monster kills now heal 25 - 78 + 2.25% max HP and restore 15-49 + 2.25% mana.

Lastly, the jungle item's price has gone from 350g to 450g. This is relevant because instead of being able to buy a refillable potion, you're now only left with 50g for a health pot.

So what does this mean for Ivern?

Keep in mind that Ivern is already pretty weak in S12 primarily because of his inability to sustain. Let's take a look at what sources of healing he currently has:

  • Smite (130-160 hp per 90s)
  • Refillable Potion (200hp per reset)
  • Gromp (150-220 hp per clear)
  • Natural Healing (1.4-2 hp per second)
  • Red Buff (1.1-1.6 hp per second)

For reference, each camp takes roughly 140 hp to mark as Ivern. If you do the math, these healing sources are just barely enough to keep Ivern functional. You'll still often times see Ivern players taking cosmic insight and/or lucidity boots for the sole purpose of having more smites to heal from. Anyways, let's look at which sources of healing he has after the preseason changes:

  • 1x health potion (120 hp)
  • Large monster kill heal (50-80hp per camp)
  • Natural Healing (1.4-2 hp per second)
  • Red Buff (1.1-1.6 hp per second)

If you're following here, you'll notice that Ivern simply does not have enough health to clear camps. If you want to make it through the early game, you usually need to resort to tactics like spending 550g early on ruby crystal + refillable pot.

Even then, you still often do not have the health to properly react to situations. A sudden countergank opportunity may not be possible due to low health, you might get invaded during your clear, you could find it too risky to walk into even an unguarded enemy jungle, etc.

Having to wait for enough health to clear scuttle crab...

For these reasons, Ivern is not suitable to be played in the jungle until further notice. If you still want to play Ivern, I'd recommend playing him mid or adc instead.

Since there's still a lot of other jungle changes to go over, I'll be writing the rest of this post assuming Ivern is either given additional sustain or has had his health costs significantly reduced. If Ivern remains unchanged, please do your teammates a favor and lock in a different jungler.

Bonus Treats and Power Curves

The jungle role has always been prone to being very easy to fall far behind on. This is because if your camps get taken or if you path inefficiently, your camps will respawn later, you'll fall behind in resources, not have any plays to make, and end up useless. That isn't to say that this can't happen to laners, but it feels uniquely bad as a jungler since your whole team is relying on you to some extent.

Tarzaned keeping a Zac at level 1 for 7 minutes

Riot has been trying to address this problem in various ways over the years (mostly in the form of catchup exp), and they're taking another shot at it, this time with a system called Bonus Treats.

Starting at 2:30, you will receive a stack of bonus treats every 60 seconds. There isn't any limit to the amount of jungle treats you can stockpile. Whenever you clear a large monster, you'll feed one of them to your pet, gaining a bonus +50g and +75xp. Additionally, all jungle camps have had their base gold/xp values reduced to accommodate this bonus.

Unlike catchup exp, these changes are highly significant and will be relevant in every game. In essence, jungle has had a portion of their resources gated behind a timer. This means that when it comes to clearing camps, it becomes harder to get ahead of your opponent and easier to stay on curve. Even if your camps get taken, you'll still have bonus treats stocked up for your next opportunity to clear.

This is an absolutely meta defining change that incentivizes skipping camps and playing around lanes more aggressively. Aggressive early game junglers and supportive junglers will massively benefit from these changes, whereas snowballing/invading junglers will have a harder time pulling ahead.

How bonus treats impact Ivern

As you might have been able to tell by now, this is a highly Ivern-favored change. Ivern is a champion that will naturally fall behind in camp rotations due to his clear mechanics, and he also delays his clears into timers that are easily planned around. This means that Ivern can mark his camps, save up bonus treats, and then clear them all at once.

This also favors Ivern since champions like Graves and Kindred will have a harder time establishing large resource leads and abusing him. If you also dislike Graves and Kindred, you'll also like this next change...

Counter-jungling nerfs

In 12.22, Riot has COMPLETELY SILENTLY nerfed counterjungling by reducing damage dealt to monsters in the opposing jungle. Based on dev responses, this change is intentional and not some kind of mistake. Through testing, people have found that you will deal around 18% less damage to enemy camps.


Many people have argued that this reduces the skill expression and interactivity of jungle by making it harder to steal camps and shut your opponent out of the game. I'm of the complete opposite opinion. I believe that these changes increase skill expression in the jungle. Let me explain:

There's generally 3 reasons why you would decide to counterjungle as the jungler:

  • To put yourself in a more aggressive position for ganks and dive plays
  • To force a fight in the enemy jungle
  • To funnel resources onto yourself

If you consider the damage nerfs, they only seriously impact the 3rd reason. This is because the first 2 reasons have tactical advantages to them besides just accruing a large sum of money. Out of the 3, the 1st and 2nd reasons also are overwhelmingly more skill and macro intensive, since you need to consider and understand the state of your lanes and power of your laners much better.

Overall, I'm of the opinion that these changes make counterjungling more skillful and reward smart play over Graves clearing 3 quadrants of the jungle and 1v9ing. I think this change is very healthy for the game, as it reduces the overall power of the jungle role while also making it more skill expressive.

Note: Out of all the opinions in this post, this is by far the most speculative. I look forward to whether this will age poorly or not.

How does this affect Ivern?

These changes are completely Ivern favored due to counterjungling being one of Ivern's major weaknesses. The nature of his passive means that his camps will be left up for extended periods of time, so them being harder to steal is beneficial.

Jungle Pets and Progression

At the start of the game, instead of the hail/ember knives, you'll buy a pet with a treat counter of 40. Each time you clear a camp, you'll feed a treat (and a bonus one if available) to your pet. Based on how many treats you've fed, your smite will upgrade and you will gain new bonuses:

0 Treats Fed

  • Your smite does 600 true damage

20 Treats Fed

  • Your smite now does 900 true damage
  • Your smite can now be cast on champions to deal 20-156 true damage and slow for 20% (basically chilling smite)

40 Treats Fed

  • Your smite now does 1200 true damage to it's target and 600 true damage to surrounding monsters
  • Take 30% reduced damage from Epic Monsters while 2 or more Ally champions are nearby
  • Unlock your pet's bonus effect
Pet Bonus Effects:

Embercat: Build up ember stacks over time and by clearing camps. Attacking a champion at max Ember consumes the stacks to inflict an AOE burn that deals 4% max health true damage and slows for 30%.

Cloudleaper: Entering a bush grants +45% movement speed, decaying over 2 seconds. Killing a large monster grants +60% movement speed, decaying over 2 seconds.

Mosstomper: Gain a 75-330 health shield when out of combat or by clearing camps. This shield lasts until destroyed and grants 20% tenacity and slow resist while active.

In my games, junglers were getting their first upgrade at around 7-10 minutes and their max upgrade at 17-20 minutes. I'm still on a pretty low sample size, so this is only to give a rough idea of when each upgrade will happen.

How this affects Ivern

First of all, the increased smite damage means Daisy is less durable in skirmishes (especially levels 6-10). I still haven't tested how much damage they do to pets, but hopefully level 1 smite doesn't do the full 600.

As for which pet Ivern should choose, cloudleaper's bush synergy immediately stands out. I've tested it 4 times on PBE now (I would've tested more but it's very hard to get jungle right now), and I can confidently say that it's very strong on Ivern. Contrary to what you might think, Ivern works great with movement speed as it allows him to safely shield frontliners and juke between his bushes.

+45% movement speed

It's also worth noting that as lane Ivern, you can use your bushes to grant your jungler movement speed if they took cloudleaper. I don't think this is necessarily a game changer in solo queue, but there's definitely some funny duo combos that can stem from this.

Closing Thoughts

Despite all of the positive changes for Ivern, at the end of the day he still cannot function as a jungler due to his lack of healing. However, I'd also advise Riot against giving him a super healthy clear like the rest of the junglers, as the current circumstances are a little too Ivern favored (I'd like to keep his banrate below 1%).

Outside of Ivern, I think these changes are great for the game and I'm looking forward to how the meta progresses. Let's just hope Riot remembers that Ivern exists before 12.22 hits live.