For several months now in League of Legends, junglers with strong snowball potential (Lee Sin, Elise, Gragas) have been the masters of the jungle. Only Olaf and Karthus are exceptions to this rule, thanks to their ability to farm very quickly. However, players are starting to feel the return of tanky junglers (notably Zac and Sejuani) for a few patches now, and it seems that Patch 10.4 is providential for fans of Cinderhulk!
The comeback of tank junglers
Patch 10.4 brings back tanks, thanks to the changes made to the passive property of Cinderhulk: Immolate. This increases the damage of your next immobilizing skill from 12 to 29 (+3% of bonus HP) damage to all enemies hit and unleashes a fire wave that inflicts the same damage around you (with a 12-second cooldown).
As you can see, this passive gives a significant extra burst when ganking and scales on bonus health, which is ideal for champions who want to maximize their health (such as Zac or Sejuani).
Note — the unique passive property Immolate is also present with Bami's Cinder and Sunfire Cape, thus benefiting toplane tanks such as Ornn. Since Ornn reached a winrate of over 57%, a hotfix to Patch 10.4 was quickly executed to reduce Immolate's damage.
With Patch 10.4 some champions are now playable in the jungle:
Darius deals additional damage to monsters and can now heal himself on large monsters with Q - Decimate.
Darius' jungle clean is pretty easy. To gank your enemies easily, however, you'll need some movement speed; the Summoner spell Ghost and/or a rune such as Predator or Phase Rush will help you greatly. Also, consider Righteous Glory.
Diana deals 150% damage against non-epic monsters.
Diana is currently very powerful in mid, so this buff reinforces Diana in the meta and helps her climb the most popular picks of the moment. Also, the jungle clear is good, but you have no control over killing the Scuttler quickly.
Patch 10.4 is a blessing for Garen, who receives buffs to several abilities. In addition, E - Judgement now deals 150% damage against non-epic monsters.
Garen quickly clears the jungle and can influence the game from the very first levels. The buffs he receives make the Demacian good in the mid- and late game. Moreover, your Q - Decisive Strike gives you speed to catch up with your enemies, unlike Darius who has nothing in his kit to get closer to his targets.
Damage from W - Hyper is increased to 300 in all ranks.
Gnar seems to be a very unsuitable jungle pick... However, the increase in the AP ratio of the R - Gnar! active may signal Riot's desire to see Gnar jungle AP. Although this idea is far-fetched, we'll soon find out!
Mordekaiser's Passive - Darkness Rise inflicts more damage to jungle monsters.
Mordekaiser has been very popular in toplane since his rework; while the champion is now playable in the jungle, we can expect the Iron Revenant to be even more present on the professional stage as well as in your ranked games! What's more, Mordekaiser's jungle clear is quite quick, and also makes it easy to get rid of the Scuttler.
Talon's Passive - Blade's End injures all jungle monsters and deals 120% damage.
Talon's Jungle clear is not good at all, and is even slower than Diana's. Since Talon isn't an incredible champion at the end of the game, you'll have to play very aggressively to get as many kills as possible to snowball the game. Go for ganks and counter-jungle using your E - Assassin's Path. As you can move very quickly on the map, playing with the Ignite Summoner spell instead of Flash can be a good option.
The damage of Zed's Passive - Contempt for the Weak is drastically increased against jungle monsters.
Just like Talon, Zed's jungle clear is no good at all... Just like Gnar, the Shadow Master doesn't seem destined to be a jungler... Nevertheless, Zed has more damage on his objectives as a midlaner and can easily recover an opposing camp if he gets the chance.
After several months during which the jungle focused only on a couple of champions, the meta finally seems to be opening up to tanks and new champions are appearing in the jungle. It is towards diversification that Riot appears to be heading, and this won't displease many players.
We still hope that the changes made to Cinderhulk (via the unique passive Immolate) and to some abilities on champions like Gnar or Zed, won't force the laners to play with Smite.
Patch 10.4 introduces a new wave of balance changes for champions, but also for items and runes! It also announces the return of the Blood Moon skin family into the Rift.