All about epic monsters in League of Legends

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The jungle is filled with monsters that show no loyalty from either side of the battle for Summoner’s Rift. All of them provide gold and experience (XP) to their killers and the killers’ nearby allies. Some give temporary buffs that can be helpful in combat. Some of these monsters, however, are so great that they are contested by both teams as much as possible. These are the epic monsters and they can all be found by the river. 

Baron camp

The Baron camp is named after its greater denizen, Baron Nashor. However, it is guarded by the Rift Herald in the early game. This camp is found in the upper section of the game between the top and middle lane. 

Rift Herald

The Rift Herald is a crab-like beetle monster that guards the Baron Camp between 8:00 and 19:45 on a League of Legends match timer. Slaying it will cause a new one to spawn after 6 minutes unless the first one wasn’t slain until 13:45. Its slayer will get the Eye of Herald, a buff that grants its wielder two boons. 

The first is empowered recall which makes the recall channel delay only 1 second at most. Its more notable gift is the ability called Herald’s Call which summons the Rift Herald to fight on your side in the nearest lane. It is strong against structures but it can take heavy recoil damage after its first attack. 

Baron Nashor

The Baron Nashor is the true denizen of the Baron Camp. It’s a giant monster from the void. It is one of the only two neutral monsters that cannot be slain by any champion alone. This is made even more difficult with its abilities that weaken groups. The Baron Nashor only appears in 20:00 and respawns every 7 minutes. 

Slaying the Baron Nashor grants the Hand of Baron to each living member of the slayer’s teammates. Those who are in respawn cannot gain this buff and those who die while carrying it lose the benefits. The Hand of Baron grants empowered recall and an aura that powers up all allied lane minions. 

Dragon pit

The Dragon pit is found by the river between the middle and bottom lanes. It is where all of the dragons and dragon-like creatures reside but only one can appear at a time. Defeating drakes and dragons grants the entire team a permanent buff with an additional temporary boon. 

Elemental Drakes

There are four Elemental Drakes namely the Infernal Dragon (fire), Mountain Dragon (earth), Ocean Dragon (water), and Cloud Dragon (air). Each of them grants specific boons to those who have slain them. The Infernal Dragon grants +4% ability power and attack damage while the Mountain Dragon adds +6% armour and magic resistance. Ocean Dragon gives 2.5% health regeneration every 5 seconds and Cloud Dragon gives +12 ultimate haste.

Drake buff stacks are given to each member of the slayer’s team and these are permanent, unlike the Hand of Baron and Eye of Herald. Since season 11, League of Legends gained two more Elemental Drakes known as the Hextech and Chemtech Dragons. Just like the others, these dragons offer permanent boons but they come with temporary effects at the start. 

The Chemtech Dragon’s buff increases damage output when the wielder’s health is low. Hextech Dragon’s buff, on the other hand, grants an ability that slows down an attack target as well as other random enemy units that are selected by a chain lightning special effect. 

Slaying four dragons upgrades the buff stack into Dragon Soul. Its effects depend on which elemental drake was killed by the team twice. Once achieved, the team keeps the effects of the previous buff stacks from the dragons they’ve slain and gains an additional permanent buff from the soul’s element. Each variation adds a game-changing element that can help end the game as early as possible.

Elder Dragon

The Elder Dragon is the most powerful denizen of the Dragon Pit. Its strength is comparable to the Baron Nashor but its rewards make it exponentially more valuable as an epic monster. Most pro gamers consider getting the Elder Dragon’s buff as a win condition and game over for the opponents. 

Slaying the Elder Dragon grants the Aspect of the Dragon, which makes slaying enemy Champions a lot easier. All attacks and damaging abilities burn affected enemies with true damage for roughly 2 seconds. The damage is half of the summoner’s spell ‘ignite’. Champions with below 20% health while afflicted by this effect are further cursed with Elder Immolation, which kills them within a split second. 

Strategies when going after epic monsters

Going after epic masters is a tricky stunt that few teams can pull off expertly. You have to be aware of your lanes and the positions of every player in the match. The best time to take objectives is when your team has the lane advantage. Push the two lanes surrounding the camp that you wish to take all the way to the second tower before attempting to kill the epic monster.

The reason that you want to take control of the lanes first is to prevent enemy champions from trying to steal your kill. Pushing the adjacent lanes will give your team a vision of further territories, then plant a few vision trinkets in the jungle to watch out for sneak attacks. It’s better to have three members taking the monster while the other two are pushing the lanes.

If you find that the opponent is using the above strategy against you, then your best response is to take the objective on the other side of the river or spread into three teams to push all three lanes. Fast pushing will minimize the enemy’s pressure once they are done taking the buff. This is especially useful if they are trying to take the Hand of Baron. Stealing the kill is a stunt that only a few can pull off in high rank in League of Legends. It’s a risky move but pulling it off gives your allies a huge advantage. Otherwise, it’s better to sneak in as a team and defeat the entire group first before securing the monster.

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