Is it worth it for any champion to try to jungle effectively without Smite?

  • In what situation would it be more advantageous to jungle without Smite?
  • Is Smite a must-have summoner spell for all junglers?
  • Are there any champion that would be a good jungler without Smite ? (I am not talking about champions that CAN jungle without smite, but rather someone that is drastically better dropping smite for another summoner spell)
  • Hmmm @Jay. I don't know if your Edit is right. WW, NUNU, Trynd and others CAN Clear a jungle easily without smite. the point of the question is, if worth or not go as jungler without smite. so i am re-editing the question.
    – Michel
    Mar 27, 2012 at 20:59
  • I dont really understand what you mean by if it is "worth it" to jungle without smite. Worth it is such an subjective term and needs to be farther defined if you are going to use that term. "Worth it" in what respect?
    – Jay
    Mar 27, 2012 at 21:03
  • @Jay Iam asking it, because I saw TONS of junglers going without smite, and they all said that is better have Exhaust + Ghost or any other combination, and skip Smite.
    – Michel
    Mar 27, 2012 at 21:04
  • 2
    Please, when you downvote a question/answer, let people KNOW why you did it. so they can fix the problem. Thanks
    – Michel
    Mar 28, 2012 at 13:06
  • I wonder why I keep getting DV on this question o.o
    – Michel
    May 23, 2014 at 19:45

8 Answers 8


In general, I would say it is an absolutely horrible idea to not have smite.

Smite allows you to clear the early jungle faster, but its more important aspect is control over Dragon and Baron. Most junglers will keep smite up as much as possible in the late game for Baron and Dragon so they have the ability to steal or take the objective more easily.

A stolen Baron or Dragon can easily help sway a game in a team's favor. The global gold (and buff in the case of Baron) is a huge boon to a team. It can allow you to stay in game if you are behind or seal the deal if you are ahead. By not running smite you are putting that at risk.

You might be able to get away with no smite if the enemy also lacked it, but you are making the taking of Dragon and Baron that much more of a gamble. If your team has smite and the enemy does not, then it is infinitely easier to steal both those objectives.

Nunu is one of the few junglers that could run without smite. His consume does comparable true damage to neutral creeps allowing for a lot more objective control compared to junglers without smite. Cho'Gath has a similar ability with his ultimate Feast, since it does such a large amount of true damage to neutral monsters.

However I'd still run Smite, it is just that important.


With Season 3¹²³, Riot has moved the jungle closer to its season one state wherein the monsters are much stronger. To compensate they have included some jungle only items (Hunter's Machete, Spirit Stone, etc) but overall the difficulty has been ramped up. This makes smite much more important for no/low sustain junglers. Without using smite you have to suffer much more damage from the larger camps, forcing you to fall behind as you retreat to the fountain to heal.

  • I think it is also prudent to mention Cho'Gath's Feast as a "smite substitute" in addition to Nunu's consume.
    – Jay
    Mar 27, 2012 at 21:08
  • Ah, good thought. I don't usually think of Cho when I think junglers even though he isn't terrible at it.
    – Rapida
    Mar 27, 2012 at 21:13
  • He is quite good with his Rupture that knocks up AND slows. And then he can use Feral Scream to silence the enemy so they can't use spells or summoner spells to escape. Plus he doesn't even need to be the jungler. Just having someone like Cho'Gath on your team during dragon and Baron can help secure them easily in case the jungler does decide to not take smite(Cho'gath with some AP will deal more damage than smite)
    – Jay
    Mar 27, 2012 at 21:18
  • I've jungled him a few times but if you can't land rupture reliably then he doesn't get very far gankwise.
    – Rapida
    Mar 27, 2012 at 21:24
  • That's true but it is also true for a lot of skillshot dependant junglers like Lee Sin and Amumu. Also ignore the comment about AP. Even a Cho'Gath with no AP at all will deal 1000 true damage(more than smite) to minions and neutral units.
    – Jay
    Mar 27, 2012 at 21:30

This can be broken down in two parts. Can a jungler clear the jungle without smite, including objectives? Answer is yes, the jungle camps are pretty easy to clear. Warwick, Nunu, Tryndamere, Chogath, Trundle, Lee Sin, Nocturne, and other junglers who can top lane all have strong sustain to clear the jungle, albeit slower than if they had this summoner spell that did 400+ true damage to minions and neutral monsters.

The bigger question is should a jungler ever jungle without smite? This is a resounding no.

Without smite, the enemy jungler can counterjungle you so easily. They could just buy wards, and ward the brush by your red and blue buff. As soon as they see you start they can stand on the other side of the wall and smite with you being able to do nothing to stop them. Smite's damage at low level is higher than any other spell to neutral minions except ChoGath's Feast and Nunu's Consume. However these two abilities have animation associated to them that an experienced player can take advantage of and even use their abilities in conjunction with smite to outburst these two abilities.

This inability to secure buffs would continue to Dragons and Barons being freely taken by the team with smite.

The question now becomes, can the jungler have that much stronger gank presence with the summoner spell they took in place of smite to make up for all the free dragons, barons, buffs in the game. Considering, 1 dragon is equivalent to 3 kills and respawns every 6 minutes. The jungler would have to get 1 kill every 2 minutes as a direct result of having that different summoner than smite.

But this was a rhetorical question. At least one player on each side should have smite, this tends to be the jungler. So a jungler without smite is simply trolling their team to be at a disadvantage.

There are two last tidbits of information: Having a spec in the mastery for Smite grants the jungler 10 gold each time they use it. This is a little bit of gold that can help the jungler a little as they can cast smite about once per minute. Finally, Smite can be cast even if you are stunned. In other words, if you are the jungler and in range to smite, the only way you can stop them from smite stealing the objective is to kill the jungler. On the other hand, if a Nunu or Chogath is silenced, suppressed, snared slightly out of range, knock backed, knocked up, feared, any kind of CC except a slow, they cannot use their consume or feast abilities.

  • About preventing the jungler from smiting, death is not the only option. Using suppression skills such as Warwick's ultimate or Malzahar ultimate will prevent the use of Smite.
    – astryad
    Mar 28, 2012 at 9:53

As a jungler myself I would personally never replace smite as a summoner spell. Although certain champs can do it without smite such as Warwick, Nunu, and Tryndamere. It would affect the clear time since it takes more time to deal the damage smite would originally take care of. Even as one of these people smite would still be useful for stealing jungle objectives such a red and blue buff, dragon, and baron. In my opinion I don't think that jungling without smite would be beneficial at any point except the fact of another summoner spell. Would you really be able to use that summoner spell early game for ganks if you are already behind in the jungle (time wise)? Your ganks would be less efficient since it took you longer to level means that others are higher level. This would cause bad ganks and may result in the loss of the lane.


Smite deals 420+25*lvl true damage (445-870) to a minion. Smite is most useful when "securing" the kill on neutral minions (Golem, Dragon, Baron, etc), because of it's high burst damage. Smite is a common pick for junglers to speed up their jungle time.

Is Smite a must-have summoner spell for all junglers?

Any champion can clear the jungle faster by using smite, but some champions require it for an early jungle. Ignite can be used as a replacement for smite, though it's damage is significantly lower.

In what situation would it be more advantageous to jungle without Smite?

A jungler's two main jobs are clearing the jungle and ganking. If the champion has trouble ganking effectively (ex: Shyvana), it may be better to take exhaust instead. This will make the lvl 1 jungle much more difficult, so teamwork is essential.

Are there any champion that would be a good jungler without Smite ?

Nunu (Consume), Shyvana (Burnout), Fiddlesticks (LifeDrain), and Cho Gath (everything). These champions have some form of damage/sustain that makes their early jungle much easier.

  • 1
    Ignite is no longer usable on anything but champions.
    – kba
    Jan 17, 2014 at 5:11
  • It's one of the unfortunate consequences of answering questions about a game that is constantly changing. Ideally, each question would be marked with the season it applied to, but even during seasons gameplay can change dramatically.
    – Ryre
    Jan 18, 2014 at 18:08
  • Please note that this answer is over 2 years old, and likely no longer relevant.
    – Ryre
    May 27, 2014 at 20:32

Season 4 changes have made the jungler very painful for anyone who attempts to jungle without smite it is possible yes but the enemy team will make more plays to secure baron, dragon and you're own buffs if they find you do not have smite. Also because you will be low on hp you will find most of you're camps will be stolen and you yourself will be either killed or hurt a lot in terms of your HP as well as levels. Season 3 was a hell of a lot easier you could start doran on elise shaco lee sin and many other champions however the jungle objectives would always be in damage of being smite stolen. In this season however I would suggest playing champions who deal % max health damage as well as champions who have some form of sustain and low mana cost the low mana cost is so you can stay in you're jungle longer


I would say no, as it makes your clear time longer, leaves you vulnerable to counter jungling, and could make you lose important things like dragon/baron.

So in my opinion, yes smite is a must have on every jungler you play. now flash is questionable, as i run exhaust on lee sin and mundo instead of flash.

And again, i would not recommend not taking smite on any jungler, as it leaves you too vulerable to fall behind, get ganked, and potentially lose the game.


I can tell you from my experience that you CAN jungle easily without smite. I play Wukong with exhaust/flash all the time. Gotta warn you though that if you have a noob team and no one helps you clear the first camp you are in trouble. You won't believe how many noobs left me almost die to red cause they just pull and run away. Without smite of course you clear jungle much slower, so I suggest you go hyper-aggressive - I always gank bot after first buff. Doesn't even matter which side you are on - both red and blue are wonderful for ganking. If you give your bot or mid lane first blood they get a huge advantage. With a standard armor + pots u can clear 1-2 small camps and back when you can afford a Madred's and than maybe speed boots. Since the other jungler will probably have smite he will have more farm than you, probably be a level or two ahead, but don't worry. You make up for this with aggression - don't be afraid to flash in and exhaust for a kill. When u level up a bit smite doesn't matter that much - only drawback is that you can't steal dragon/baron so make sure you ward those well and take them before enemy team.

There are of course junglers that can do better without smite - like Shaco or Mundo maybe, but Wukong is so much fun to gank - after level 3 they don't even see you coming :D. So continue ganking until you get at least 2 of the 3 lanes winning, than it doesn't make a difference that you are a level behind since with Wukong you will probably die when you ult in enemy team :)

Good luck and have fun with the game man, try it out.

  • 2
    With the season 3 changes, can Wu Kong clear the jungle without the machete and smite? I'm a bit dubious, they've made it much more difficult for low sustain junglers to go without the use of smite.
    – Rapida
    Dec 4, 2012 at 19:17

Yes you can, however it is more challenging in the current jungle (Patch 4.20 - Preseason 5)

Notable Champions:

  • Aatrox
  • Nunu
  • Warwick

However objective control will be worse without smite and your clear will be weaker.

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