Zoe is a fantastic pocket-pick jungle champion that counters many different team comps, especially poke compositions.

She outranges nearly all champions in League of Legends. Zoe has an incredibly safe ability kit that allows her to assassinate enemies from afar.

And learning her playstyle might take you a bit of time, but it’s very rewarding, even in the jungle.

Read Also: Top 15 Best Off-Meta Junglers

The Strengths & Weaknesses of Jungle Zoe

Zoe jungle gameplay

What can you expect from playing Zoe in the jungle role?

Insane ganks

Zoe’s biggest strength as a jungler is her ability to set up kills in all lanes.

No matter whether she ganks the bot, the mid, or the top lane, Zoe can use the terrain to throw her E – Sleepy Trouble Bubble from a great distance.

Sleepy Trouble Bubble is one of the best crowd control abilities in the entire LoL! Not only does it puts the enemy to sleep (i.e., stuns him), but it also does bonus true damage upon pricing. 

The best part about it is that Zoe doesn’t even have to proc it. Any of Zoe’s allies that attack the sleeping target first will deal extra true damage.

And unless you’re playing against someone like Morgana, your bubbles will always be deadly!

So what makes Zoe a good jungler?

  • Amazing Gank Potential – If Zoe can aim her E, the ganks are always successful.
  • High Burst & One-shot Damage – Zoe can quickly kill squishy targets, especially those that are asleep.
  • Versatile Playstyle – Because of her W, Zoe can have different approaches to ganking and team fighting.
  • Extremely Safe Pick – Zoe can greatly impact the game without getting near the enemy champions!

And what makes Zoe a bad jungler?

  • Weak Jungle Clear at the Start – Basically, your damage is too low to clear the camps as efficiently as other junglers, at least until levels 4 or 5.
  • Squishy Champion – Zoe’s HP can also be a problem since she has no way of regaining her health other than through runes.
  • Can’t Take Objectives Alone – As a mage, Zoe can’t take Dragons by herself. She needs her team to assist her with objectives around the map.
  • Loses 1v1 Against Early Game Junglers – It’s best for Zoe to avoid duels in the early levels and focus on ganking instead.

With that said, let’s talk about the runes and the item build you should run on Zoe jungle!

Read Also: The 10 Zoe Tips That Will Get You To Diamond

Zoe Jungle – Runes

Zoe jungle runes

Electrocute

Electrocute is a really easy keystone to play with. And Zoe can proc it in multiple ways.

First, the basic E+Q+AA combo will always trigger Electrocute. But even auto-attacking twice and using your Q – Paddle Star will activate the rune.

One thing that players often forget is the power of Zoe’s W – Spell Thief. No matter which spell or item you currently have, you’re going to spawn 3 stars upon using it.

These 3 stars contribute to proccing Electrocute because they count as attacks

So even if your Q and E are on cooldown, simply activating your W will help you trigger Electrocute.

Cheap Shot

In the second row of Domination, all 3 choices are useful on Zoe jungle. We choose Cheap Shot because it deals true damage to enemies who’re in CC, i.e., Sleepy Trouble Bubble.

It only has a 4-seconds cooldown, so you have it every time you gank.

However, Taste of Blood can also be a great option if you’re struggling with losing a lot of HP while clearing the monster camps. 

And Sudden Impact can amplify your damage because it grants Magic Penetration. It perfectly synergizes with your ultimate, so you might want to take it against tanks.

Read Also: A Complete Guide for Jungle Alistar

Eyeball Collection

Eyeball Collection is the best rune in the third row, giving you bonus AP as the game goes on. All you need to do is contribute to champion takedowns, either by scoring kills or assists.

Ravenous Hunter

On a squishy champion such as Zoe, Ravenous Hunter is one of the most helpful runes in League of Legends.

It grants tons of Omnivamp, which significantly improves Zoe’s sustainability in the jungle – something that she desperately needs!

But Relentless Hunter is also a valuable choice, boosting your overall Movement Speed. 

The MS you have, the more active you can be on the map. This means more ganks and more gold!

Nimbus Cloak

Nimbus Cloak grants a burst of Movement Speed, as well as Ghosting (passing through units) each time you use a Summoner Spell.

And since Zoe can collect Summoner Spells with her W, she can abuse the MS from Nimbus Cloak to effectively chase enemies or run away from them.

Honestly, Nimbus Cloak is a broken rune. The burst of MS is way too high for any champion to match. And you can escape all situations by simply using your Smite, Flash, or W as Zoe and running away.

Read Also: How to Jungle as Yasuo in LoL Guide

Transcendence

Ability Haste is a vital stat in LoL, especially on Zoe jungle. The less cooldown you have on your abilities, the more you can use them. This is really a key because Zoe needs to quickly kill the monster camps and not tank them.

Transcendence grants 10 Ability Haste, and it also resets the remaining 20% cooldown of your basic abilities. It’s helpful throughout the game, and it doesn’t cost anything!

Optional Runes

Here are a few runes to consider on jungle Zoe besides the main build:

  • Dark Harvest – better keystone than Electrocute for snowballing and late game.
  • Fleet Footwork – reliable keystone for self-healing in the jungle early on.
  • Gathering Storm – increases your AP passively as the game progresses.
  • Biscuit Delivery – provides you with potions and helps you survive the early game.

Read Also: The Best Zoe Skin For Climbing In LoL

Zoe Jungle – Build

Zoe jungle item build

Starting Items

No matter the jungle matchup, the best pet for Zoe jungle is the red one, Scorchclaw. When fully evolved, the red pet grants bonus upfront damage which fits perfectly into the whole playstyle of Zoe.

Here’s my guide on jungle pets if you want to learn more about them.

Health Potion should be able to get you through the first clear if you’re carefully kiting the monster camps.

Luden’s Tempest

There aren’t too many options when it comes to mythic items for Zoe.

Luden’s Tempest is the best choice because it grants Ability Power, Mana, Mana Regeneration, and Ability Haste. It also deals AoE damage to monsters periodically, so there is no reason not to take it.

You can experiment with Everfrost too, especially against all-melee team compositions. It can help you set up your bubbles and keep enemies away.

Liandry’s Anguish is effective against tanks. Remember that damage-over-time effects, such as Liandry’s burn, don’t break Zoe’s E. So it’s a reliable mythic item too.

Read Also: Red vs. Blue Kayn Guide

Lich Bane

Lich Bane is the item that can make or break your Zoe jungle experience.

But why is that?

Lich Bane enhances your auto-attacks to deal more damage, and it scales with AP. Other than her Q – Paddle Star, Zoe doesn’t have any other AoE ability. And this can hurt her clearing speed.

Lich Bane has only 2.5 seconds cooldown. So you can constantly use it to squeeze extra damage through your basic attacks.

Obviously, it’s great for melting Dragons and turrets too. Plus, it deals a good amount of damage to champions!

If you’re an experienced jungler, then you might not need to build Lich Bane. But if you’re relatively new or just giving Zoe jungle a shot, then definitely build Lich Bane! 

Read Also: Zoe One Shot Build Guide

Zhonya’s Hourglass

Zhonya’s Hourglass is a really handy item to have in your inventory, no matter the situation.

It can save you from an all-in or an engage, or you can use it to outplay the enemy jungler.

One thing that you should always do is to purchase Seeker’s Armguard first before completing Zhonya’s. The additional Armor will make you tougher and help you against the jungle camps.

Horizon Focus

Horizon Focus isn’t as essential as the core 3 items in the Zoe jungle build. However, it does increase your burst damage significantly. 

Sometimes it’s better to purchase Horizon Focus before Zhonya’s Hourglass and even Lich Bane. It simply does a lot of extra damage, so it’s a good investment early on. And you can use it to snowball your power!

Read Also: How to Gank as Rengar?

Rabadon’s Deathcap

Rabadon’s Deathcap is the best item to boost your damage in the late game. It grants tons of Ability Power and makes your E+Q combo deadly!

But keep in mind that sometimes it’s better to build Void Staff than Rabadon’s Deathcap. Magic Penetration is generally a more valuable stat against enemies with a lot of Magic Resist, like tanks.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity

Since you’re going to be building Luden’s Tempest (it grants +6 Magic penetration per item), you don’t need to get Sorcerer’s Shoes.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity grant 20 Ability Haste for the price of 950 gold only. You can purchase it pretty early on and have your abilities recharge faster until the end of the game.

Optional Items

There are many useful items for Zoe jungle, depending on the situation. Here are some:

  • Void Staff – amplifies your damage.
  • Morellonomicon – reduces the healing of your opponents.
  • Banshee’s Veil – protects you against crowd control.
  • Nashor’s Tooth – helps you with jungle clearing.

How To Play Zoe Jungle?

Zoe slaying the blue buff

How do you play Zoe jungle?

The way to play Zoe jungle is to focus on ganking as much as possible and on farming as little as possible. Zoe’s greatest strength comes from her E, and you can use it to set up kills around Summoner’s Rift.

You should always look for ways to assist your team and never contest objectives without them.

While simple, that’s Zoe’s strategy as a jungler in a nutshell.

Here’s why you should closely focus on these few main points!

1. Focus on Ganking Instead of Farming

Zoe doesn’t get any benefit from just farming and scaling for the late game. She’s an incredibly powerful mage that excels in the early to mid game. Her overall damage is high enough to grant her kills around the map.

So there’s no point staying in the jungle!

Of course, buffs and keeping up with CS are two important elements of succeeding as a jungle.

However, you simply get more value when you’re being annoying to the enemy team than when you’re farming in your own jungle.

As Zoe, you should fish for Sleepy Trouble Bubbles as often as possible. This ability is wonderful at creating opportunities for your own teammates to score kills on their own.

And half the time, you won’t even need to do anything else!

For example, let’s say that you’re ganking bot lane as Zoe jungle. There are excellent walls around this part of the map that allow you to extend the range of your E significantly. 

And if you aim it right, Sleepy Trouble Bubble will put the enemy ADC to sleep, allowing your teammates to finish him off. The extra true damage hits hard, no matter who breaks the sleep!

We also mentioned that Zoe struggles with keeping her Health up in the jungle, especially in the early levels. And this is true for everyone, no matter the skill or knowledge.

So your goal here is to avoid the jungle at the start.

Gank more, get more kills, and buy items that allow you to spend time in the jungle!

Read Also: How to Play Veigar Jungle

2. Use Your Sleepy Trouble Bubble Effectively

The mechanic of Zoe’s E is pretty simple – any terrain can extend Sleep Trouble Bubble’s range for precisely the amount of length that the terrain has. 

For example, the narrow walls around the mid lane will only slightly extend this ability.

But the terrain around the bot lane will double or triple the range of Sleepy Trouble Bubble if Zoe uses it there.

So how do you learn to use Zoe’s E effectively?

Just practice it! Jump into the Practice Tool and start throwing your bubbles around the map. Each time you near a different terrain, cast the ability and see what happens.

Different angles may alter the range as well, so it’s good to familiarize yourself with the way Zoe’s E interacts with the other parts of Summoner’s Rift.

Obviously, it takes time to learn all the positions for Sleepy Trouble Bubble. And your overall skill in League of Legends affects that too. 

But generally, you want to be standing behind walls as Zoe jungle and throw your E from the fog of war. This can surprise your enemies and catch them unprepared. Don’t try the Q+R combo first.

Instead, use your E to apply crowd control, then try to deal damage!

3. Play Around Your Team

Dragon fight

Zoe isn’t a solo pick. She can’t fight too many types of champions in 1v1 duels. And she can’t take objectives by herself!

This is really a key to understand because it will help you make better decisions when playing Zoe as a jungler. Typically, you want to help your lanes first, then call them to take the Dragon or the Baron with you.

For example, if you have a successful bot lane gank and the enemy duo is eliminated, you can call your ADC and support to help you take the Dragon.

On the other hand, helping your top laner slay his opponent allows you to take the Rift Herald with him. 

Another thing that people struggle with is Zoe’s playstyle in team fights. It’s true – you can be utterly useless if you miss your skill shots. 

But, the smarter way to approach team fights as Zoe is to win them before even starting them!

What does this mean?

It means that you want to look for picks before a team fight breaks out. Your E is a great way to one-shot someone from afar and turn the situation into a 5v4. With such an advantage, it’s way easier to win the game.

Read Also: Is Zoe Actually Broken? A Master Player’s Opinion!

Conclusion

I hope this guide helped you figure out how to play Zoe as a jungler in League of Legends!

Zoe is an AP champion, which makes her a valuable pocket pick to have. The only tricky part about playing her in the jungle is the start.

Once you pick up a few kills, you can quickly clear monster camps and create opportunities for your team around the map!

So even if you’re a mid lane Zoe main, you can still use this guide when Riot Games autofills you in the jungle role!

Last Update: March 2, 2024