LoL Ganking Guide: The Best Paths for Early Game Success

Ganking is one of the most important parts of a jungler’s identity. Being able to successfully execute ganks in the early game is a recipe for snowballing the game into a win. The best junglers in League of Legends are able to identify the strongest sides of their map and assist them in getting a lead. This League of Legends ganking guide will help new junglers understand specific pathings that will lead to a strong early game.

League of Legends Ganking Guide

Ganking isn’t as simple as going towards a lane and hoping your teammates follow up. There are methods that will increase your chances of landing a kill or forcing your enemy to use their Flash, which are the two main goals of you want to achieve when ganking. In this ganking guide, we’ll be teaching you how to achieve these two main goals successfully. Remember that the biggest mistake junglers make is overcommitting to a gank so remember that it’s okay to leave once you achieve these goals.

Hecarim tearing through the paths - League of Legends Ganking Guide
Learn how to execute enemies with our ganking guide!

Let’s take a look at the different ways you can gank the enemy laners as efficiently as possible. Take note that mid lane ganks will not be included in this League of Legends ganking guide because the approach to that lane is extremely flexible and requires analysis of the situation. The true test of how good a jungler is at ganking is their ability to successfully gank the mid lane. For now, let’s take a look at how you can punish the bot and top lanes.

Level 2 Gank: Red Buff Start

The level 2 red buff start is an advanced method of ganking that requires the player to use a high-damage jungler. This strategy is difficult to execute when starting with a blue buff because you want to maximize damage and slows with the red buff effect. This strategy will work better if the teammate you are ganking has hard CC abilities (stun, sleep, fear, charm, knockup). If you fulfil these conditions, you can execute this strategy.

Jarvan doing a level 2 gank - League of Legends Ganking Guide
Catch them by surprise!

Jungle Path – Red Brambleback (use Smite) into Bot Lane/Top Lane

The general idea is to run towards the lane you want to gank as soon as you kill the red buff. You skip all the other camps to prevent the enemy from having enough time to reach level 2 (level 3 if you are ganking the top laner). You also need to have at least 70% HP for this to succeed. Inform your teammates that you will be going for a Level 2 gank to give them time to prepare their cooldowns to punish the enemy.

Level 3 Gank: Red Buff Start

The Level 3 red buff strat is the safer version of the first ganking method. The idea is that you essentially want all your abilities to be available before you initiate a gank. This is better if your champion relies on executing ability combos or doesn’t really deal a lot of burst damage to an enemy champion. With the additional damage from the red buff and the slow effect, the chances of this strategy should increase significantly.

Viego ganking bot lane at level 3 - League of Legends Ganking Guide
Now you have everything you need!

Jungle Path – Red Brambleback (Smite) > Raptors > Krugs > Bot Lane/Top Lane

The way to increase your chances of this strategy succeeding is to wait until the enemy is in the middle of the lane or pushed into your side of the map. If the enemy is near their own turret, the chances of this gank path succeeding is extremely low so you shouldn’t bother trying to go to that lane and continue jungling instead. This is the opportunity you can try to gank mid lane if you think that it’s possible.

Level 3 Gank: Blue Bluff Start

Ganking an enemy directly after taking blue buff is generally a waste of time unless the enemy is pushed really far into your side of the map. The reason you hate ganking after starting with blue is because it doesn’t have any effects that generally help you to succeed. This means that enemies can generally just escape easily without burning anything. However, if you have multiple abilities that can CC the enemy or deal a high amount of damage, it should generally be okay.

Sejuani ganking top lane - League of Legends Ganking Guide
Force them to Flash!

Jungle Path – Blue Sentinel > Gromp (Smite) > Wolves > Top Lane (Avoid using this strat in the bot lane)

If you are planning on doing a blue buff clear gank, make sure that your ally is fully aware that you are doing so. Blue buff ganks are generally unsuccessful because it’s so easy to run away unless they get hard CC’ed. The best way to initiate this gank is to come at them from behind, forcing them to use their Flash early and give your teammate an advantage in the laning phase. Don’t overcommit to the play.

Late Gank: Full Clear Reset

The full clear gank is a good way to punish enemies early. The general idea is to get Level 5 and an item advantage over your enemies. Essentially, you want to full clear the jungle as fast as possible and punish any lane that hasn’t had the chance to recall. With your item advantage, this ganking strategy is almost always successful at achieving one of your two goals if executed successfully.

Trundle buying Sheen - League of Legends Ganking Guide
Secure an item advantage!

Jungle Path – Red Brambleback (Smite) > Raptors > Wolves > Blue Sentinel (Smite) > Gromp > Scuttle Crab (Smite) > Recall > Bot Lane/Top Lane

They key to this succeeding is find a lane that is easy to gank. If your teammates are pushed deep into their own turret, the enemy is generally overconfident and they’ll continue to press their advantage. These are the perfect targets. However, you need to make sure that your allies are in a good enough state to fight. If they are less than 20% HP, they’ll generally be too afraid to fight.

Tower Diving the Enemy

Tower diving is an important skill to learn as a jungler. In this jungle ganking guide, you’ll generally be seeing a lot of opportunities to dive the enemy under their turret. However, this often leads to disaster because a large majority of tower dives in middle to lower ELOs end up in failure. There is a proper way to dive the enemy/enemies under their turret. The key is to learn proper teamfighting.

Vi tower diving the top lane - League of Legends Ganking Guide
Do make a mistake!

The first thing that you need to keep in mind when diving the enemy is if you have enough minions under their turret. The minimum amount is 4 minions (at least 3 melee) but you generally want at least 5 (at least 3 melee) minions to guarantee success. You also need to have a bulky teammate to initiate the fight. The final thing to keep in mind is to have all your mobility and damage spells available to take the enemy down quick and escape immediately.

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