Feral Flare – who can use it?

With the release of Feral Flare, a new item, the jungling landscape changed, but how much did it really change?  If you are looking to improve as a jungler or willing to pick up more jungler games it’s important to keep up with the latest jungler strategies. Patch 4.5 brought us Feral Flare and the item instantly made a large impact. Madred’s Razor and Wriggle’s Lantern improved the damage auto attacks do to jungle monsters. After a set amount of camps killed the item transforms into Feral Flare gaining a bit of power and enabling some of the damage done per attack on champions. The gold gained per slain monster is okay but falls behind the Spirit Stone upgrades. You need to farm more camps to make it an effective choice.

feral flare item parts

The item is properly balanced and not as overpowered as others may think. Probably it will need some slight tweaks in power and we will see some readjustments for Feral Flare in patches 4.6 and onwards. One cheesy play is to combine Feral Flare with the 700gold costing Spirit Stone for ridiculous Baron clearing power. I can’t imagine this was intended by Riot as Baron is already easy enough to solo at some point for most Feral Flare users. I will run you through a few junglers that raised questions at the launch of Feral Flare and conclude with how to play against a Wriggle’s Lantern or Feral Flare user.

Nocturne, Xin Zhao and Udyr – Contenders for the top

Three easy to use but strong junglers at all levels of play. Nocturne, Xin Zhao and Udyr are three junglers that often are among the contenders for the top picks. They can scale through many different statistics which gives them versatility and the luxury to just build the strongest items at a given time. Buffs to the Spirit of the Elder Lizard benefited other champions more which is why these three haven’t been as popular. Now with Lee Sin, Vi, Elise and Wukong nerfed they are ready to take the top spots.

Feral Flare is a strong item and since attack speed is a very beneficial stat in more than one way for Nocturne, Xin Zhao and Udyr it will not only boost their farming speed but also their dueling power. This does not mean that the Spirit line is simply outclassed on them. Are you a jungler who ganks a lot? the Spirit line is probably more effective. You get your combat stats earlier and the gold gain passive will give you more gold than Wriggle’s Lantern and it’s upgrade.

In my opinion this is how these items should function in a perfect state of balance. Spirit of the Ancient Golem makes you beefy, Elder Lizard grants damage and Wriggle’s Lantern promotes farming.

Jax and Shen – Chasing the pot of gold

Jax and Shen are iffy junglers. Their jungling isn’t all dandy. Jax needs a while to ramp up his clear speed. Shen is known for being a bad clearer throughout the game but he can be virtually anywhere because of his Ultimate to keep farming. Their ganks aren’t the best but have their merits. So if you like to play them they’re better choices than they where before.

Feral Flare makes sense since they both love to farm towards a filled inventory and attack speed does more for them than just improving their basic attacks. What keeps them from being overpowered is how they want defenses and clearing speed at the same time, something that no item can do for them.

Aatrox and Olaf – Imagine if they had a real weapon

These are two junglers who are not sought after but still over a lot of unique power in the right hands. Especially on Aatrox Feral Flare feels underwhelming. Aatrox is a rather slow and squishy jungler who needs some help in items to make him able to withstand pressure.

Both Olaf and Aatrox excel at brutal ganks and skirmishes where their body does the work. Throwing yourself into the heat of the battle requires some beef and Feral Flare line only offers offensive stats. Spirit of the Ancient Golem is perfect on these guys and will probably earn you more money in between your ganks. Looking for an offensive item? Hexdrinker, Bilgewater Cutlass and Tiamat are three great options with strong late game upgrades.

Master Yi and Tryndamere – The carry junglers

Is Feral Flare a good item on Master Yi or Tryndamere? Yes! Are Master Yi and Tryndamere good junglers? It depends. These junglers love to farm and just sign up for counterganks since they nothing but auto attacks and lack proper ways to pin down the target. They did become stronger at what they’re picked for – farming to deal damage. If you’re an inexperienced jungler but an experienced player then you can make these champions work by farming up to a point of relevancy.

However, most team compositions seek junglers to initiate fights, pin down targets and protect their team. Yi and Tryndamere do not fit into this category and bring nothing but damage to the table. This makes them good splitpushers and will punish teams who do not properly focus them down fast. If your team can use the perks of a jungler like this or the other team can’t exploit your weaknesses – go for it. Master Yi feels easier to pull off since his early game is more forgiving.

How to counter Wriggle’s Lantern and Feral Flare

The new Wriggle’s Lantern and Feral Flare give nothing but offensive statistics and puts a lot of weight in the passive that doesn’t work on champions until the Flare is there. A jungler using Madreds Razor or Wriggle’s Lantern is likely to tunnel on farm, aiming to get his upgrade online asap. You can exploit his weaker early game by bringing the fight to him and invading his jungle or go for a gank heavy approach.

Feral Flare is no holy grail to victory, but it does widen the horizon of viable champions. An effort of Riot Games that is only to be complimented. Even if you do not like the style of the jungling style that Feral Flare opens it’s important to learn how to use the item to be able to play against it. What are your experiences with Feral Flare? Please let us know in the comments!

3 thoughts on “Feral Flare – who can use it?”

  1. Poo and Diapers says:

    Did you consider Shyvana and Lee Sin?

    They are notorious for their clearance, an early wriggles can exploit this strength. Even though they would definitely benefit from the tankiness brought by Spirit of the Ancient Golemn (so sad that many people prefer Elder Lizard variant on Lee), they are definitely capable of stacking the passive of Feral Flare expeditiously.

    Just a thought.

    1. lumni says:

      I think Lee is a great Spirit line user. As said the spirit line gives you more gold unless you powerfarm and even then the wriggles line will only kick in quite late at grabbing you more gold. When you are looking to snowball the game early and running from lane to lane doing camps in between the spirit line is way more cost efficient. Most junglers build Lizard on Lee Sin because it gives cheap damage and the spirit line passives. This helps him to emphasize on his early and mid game power even more.

      Shyvana is a different story and she can make the Feral Flare work because she can powerfarm. She is a bruiser that likes to jump in the heat of the battle so when fights start you are going to need some defenses. As you stated yourself the Golem item fits her like a glove when it comes to soaking damage without neglecting her jungling clearspeed too much.

  2. Jonathan says:

    I find this very informative however , I have my own stand on this.

    I feel that the spirit line is great and should continue to be used over and over each every single game. Feral flare simply takes up too much time ( unless you are some kind of super speed jungler ) and will cause the lack of global pressure. This lack of global pressure will then, have the enemy team to push for objectives such as towers and dragons , and the jungler would have no choice but to farm jungle camps in order to unleash feral flare. I feel that feral flare should be used for junglers who have to reach 6 in order to gank lanes. Since they have no choice but to farm , this will likely cause feral flare to be unleashed faster than normal junglers such as lee who should be ganking ( at least in my opinion , lee should not be a farming simulator jungler )
    In my conclusion , feral flare should just be another option and should not be so highly anticipated since the damage on feral flare per hit only does 33% to champions ( e.g 100 dmg per hit = 33dmg to champions , not accounting for any armor) Whenever i play jungle , i always like to get spirit of the ancient golem , no matter what jungler i play. This allows me to have some health and cooldown reduction which is useful especially for junglers who rely on using abilities in order to clear out camps.

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