We continue our League of Legends guide to the jungle with a focus on the big boys and girls on the Rift: the epic monsters. The Rift Herald, the dragons and Baron Nashor are among the most important objectives in the game – do you know all about them?
If you have missed it, here is the first part of our guide:
The Rift Herald, Baron Nashor and the dragons are often referred to as “epic monsters”. They spawn less often and teams will often fight around them. Not only do they usually require multiple people to take down, but defeating them also gives a much bigger advantage.
The scuttler’s bigger and meaner cousin will show up in the Baron’s pit 8 minutes into the game. She will take a while to fight but several of her attacks – like the charge and the big sweep – are easy to dodge. Occasionally, she will open an eye on her back that a champion can target for massive damage.
Killing the Herald drops its eye, an item a champion from the same team as the killer can take within 20 seconds. With the Eye, the champion can recall faster (like with the Baron buff) and summon the Herald to fight for their team. Its charge does massive damage to towers.
If killed before 13:45 minutes into the game, the Herald will respawn once 6 minutes later. It will despawn at 19:45 minutes to make room for the Baron but it can last for 10 more seconds if currently in a fight.
There are actually five dragon types with different powers that can show up on the Rift, the first spawning at 5 minutes and then respawning every 5 minutes afterward. Dragons have a fair bit of HP, good defenses and are immune to crowd control.
Initially, the dragon can be one of four elemental types – cloud, ocean, infernal and mountain. All elemental dragons give a permanent buff to the team that kills them, but later dragons do bonus damage and have more damage resistance against this team. The dragon spawns have a different pattern every game: the first three dragons are different and after that, all elemental dragons will be from the same type as the third until either team gets a dragon soul.
After the second dragon is killed, the map changes depending on what the next dragons will be, turning into a cloud, ocean, infernal or mountain rift. A cloud rift will have areas where champions move faster (like with the rift scuttler zone), 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.
The first team to get to 4 dragon buffs unlocks the powerful “soul” buff which is often game-deciding. Unlike with previous buffs, only one team can have the soul buff. Here is a short rundown of dragons and the buffs they give:
- A Cloud Dragon has high single target damage. Killing a cloud drake gives the team +10% cooldown reduction for their ultimate abilities that can go beyond the regular 40% CDR cap. The cloud soul gives the team a permanent 10% move speed bonus, increasing to 50% for 6 seconds after casting an ultimate ability.
- An Ocean Dragon has slowing attacks. Killing it will give the team extra health and mana regeneration. 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.
- An Infernal Drake has area damage. Killing it gives the team 4% more AD and AP per stack to all champions. The infernal soul will make attacks and damaging abilities do bonus area damage with a small cooldown.
- A Mountain Dragon is extra resilient and has strong, but with slow attacks. Killing it gives the team 6% 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 and comes back after the champion has not been attacked for 5 seconds.
- After either team has scored a soul, Elder Dragons will spawn. 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, but is extremely powerful. All attack abilities do bonus damage and enemy champions that fall under 20% of their max health from such an attack are immediately killed.
The legendary monster spawns in the area near the river in the top left part of the map 20 minutes in. Taking it down is one of the big objectives in the mid game. The Baron has a lot of health, good resistances, immunity to all forms of crowd control except stasis and multiple special attacks.
Killing it gives 300 gold to anyone on the team and all living team members get the Hand of the Baron buff for extra AD and AP, faster recalls and an aura that buffs nearby minions. This buff, often called the Baron buff for short, lasts 180 seconds but will be immediately lost if the champion is killed.
The Baron spawns at 20 minutes and then respawns every 6 minutes after it’s been killed.