Hi, my name is Shapeshift and welcome to the best Qiyana Jungle guide you'll ever read. I am a Master tier jungle main on NA, and Qiyana is one of my favorite junglers in the entire game. In Season 11 I had a 62% winrate on Qiyana over 50 games in Masters+ elo.
Why Qiyana Jungle?
Qiyana Jungle rose to prominence again after patches 11.18 and 11.19, which saw significant buffs to her clear speed in the jungle. After these changes, Qiyana has remained among the best junglers in the game at higher levels of play. With enough practice, anyone can learn Qiyana and start stomping games.
Solid clear speed, especially with items
AOE hard CC
High burst damage
Low cooldown stealth makes her extremely difficult to pin down in a fight
Extremely fun to play
One of the hardest champions in the game
Clearing will require some practice
Very weak when behind
Practicing Qiyana's first clear is the single most important thing you can do to improve at this champion in the jungle. If you take nothing away from this guide, take away this: Your first clear sets the stage for your entire game. In this game, every advantage gained or lost snowballs throughout the course of the entire match. If you can consistently clear faster and healthier than other players, you will gain a very significant and constant advantage.
Important note: Do not simulate a leash in practice tool. Learn to do the clear leashless because some games you won't get a leash. If you can't do the clear leashless, you can't do the clear at all.
General Clearing Tips
Clearing the jungle on Qiyana is quite difficult, so there are a few key things to keep in mind.
Make sure that you are switching between grass and rock during the clear so that you can proc your passive multiple times.
Rock Q bonus damage is more damage than a passive proc, so it's better to do two rock q's in a row if the second one will hit while the camp is < 50% hp.
While you are holding an element, you gain 5-25% attack speed, on hit damage, and 25 auto range. For this reason it is generally best to hold onto an element as long as possible and only use Q once W is back up so you can grab one immediately.
Kiting camps is extremely important on Qiyana because she doesn't have any healing in her kit, so you need to minimize damage taken as much as possible.
I recommend watching the youtube videos I've linked for the clear as they will illustrate the optimal way to clear on Qiyana.
Red > Raptors > Wolves > Blue > Gromp
This video shows the best possible Red Start 5 camp clear for Qiyana
This is your classic red start 5 camp clear. This clear is best done if you know you won't need to impact a lane until after 3 minutes, which is most games. You can also stop this clear after blue and skip gromp if a lane is fighting and you really need to go, but the gromp heal is very valuable when ending a clear with gromp so it's ideal to finish the 5 camp if possible.
This video shows the best possible Blue Start 5 camp clear for Qiyana
This is your classic blue start 5 camp clear. If you want to you can break off after wolves and either gank mid on the way to raptors/red or gank the side lane you're pathing towards if you absolutely have to be there. It's generally not worth skipping raptors to 4 camp with red buff because you do them insanely quickly and it doesn't lose you any health.
Red > Raptors > Gromp
If you think you might want to be on the map before 3 minutes, this is your best clear. It's the fastest possible level 3 for you because you take raptors extremely quickly compared to blue buff. As well as being a fast level 3, you also get the option to do blue and wolves after gromp if a gank doesn't pan out. This clear ends at a similar timer and hp to a normal red start 5 camp, the only disadvantage is that your camps will respawn in a weird order which makes your 2nd clear a bit awkward. As a result, it's usually best to do a normal 5 camp if you are certain you won't have to make it to any fight before 3 minutes.
Qiyana's full clear is not very fast, but it's doable without a leash and even faster with. If you know for a fact that you will be uncontested on scuttle crab (say the enemy jungler started opposite to you) and that you won't have to fight early, a full clear can be a good option. If you opt to full clear, go W Q Q level 1 2 3 and E level 4. It makes the clear a bit faster which is important when you're slowing down so much to full clear.
Qiyana's jungle clear will take some time to get used to, but it is very rewarding once you do.
For Jungle Qiyana you have two main options in terms of runes.
The current standard set up is a First Strike rune page. First Strike gives you decent damage assuming you can proc it, as well as a lot of gold generation once you have 1 or 2 items. It accelerates your mid game by giving you 100-200 bonus gold per kill, with potentially more if you hit multiple champions with your ult or q's. Overall first strike is the best rune for Qiyana Jungle in games where you can proc it relatively frequently.
The alternative is an Electrocute path. This is a safer option, as you will always be able to proc electrocute unlike First Strike, and it is also stronger early game because of the solid base damage. Against teams with heavy poke and the ability to drop your First Strike before you get a chance to use it, opt for the Electrocute page.
Attack Speed vs Adaptive Force shard is personal preference. I heavily prefer Attack Speed, and I recommend it as the default option. Scaling Health shard can also be swapped out for Armor or MR depending on the enemy team, but Scaling Health is best in most situations. I would only go Armor or MR if the enemy comp heavily favored one damage type.
You may also swap out some of the minor runes depending on the game. For example, if you are into a team with a lot of hard CC, your best secondary runes are Legend Tenacity and Last Stand. You can also choose Relentless Hunter over Ultimate Hunter when building Prowler's Claw as it gives you Ability Haste that Eclipse doesn't. This makes up for the loss of Ultimate Hunter and makes the movement speed from Relentless Hunter more valuable.
Qiyana doesn't get much choice when it comes to Summoner Spells. Flash is incredibly powerful on the champion, allowing for really good ult angles during big fights as well as the ability to secure otherwise lost kills or escape a bad situation. In fact, one of the reasons Qiyana takes Cosmic Insight over Magical Footwear when going Inspiration secondary is because of how strong the Flash CDR is. And of course, as this is a jungle guide, smite is mandatory.
You take W level one because it gives you a healthier and faster clear when compared to taking Q level one. Keep in mind that Qiyana's level one is among the weakest in the entire jungle, and as a result you are quite vulnerable to invades. This adds another use to leveling W first, as the dash over a wall or out of a skillshot can save you from an invade.
Eclipse is the strongest mythic in the majority of games. If the enemy team is buying even a bit of armor then you'll want eclipse because it does similar damage to squishies and much more damage to anyone buying armor. The shield and move speed are also very helpful for staying alive when you can't instantly oneshot someone.
When nobody on the enemy team is buying any armor, Prowler's Claw is the best mythic option. You'll do more damage to champions who don't buy armor, especially squishy ranged champs like mages and adcs. The damage amp also helps your oneshots on single targets which can be very valuable.
Lucidities are the strongest boots on qiyana in most situations. Qiyana loves CDR as well as Summoner CDR, and the boots are also cheaper than the alternatives which is nice. An earlier move speed spike is great for Qiyana because it helps her move around the map as well as within fights.
When playing against heavily auto attack focused comps, Steelcaps are a good alternative to Lucidity boots. If the enemy team has multiple auto attack heavy skirmishers like Viego and Irelia on top of their ADC, then Steelcaps can be a good purchase to keep yourself alive.
When playing against heavy CC comps, Mercs are very strong. Tenacity is extremely good on Qiyana because if you get stunned you can get oneshot really fast.
Youmuu's Ghostblade is the strongest generic second item on Qiyana. If you don't need the shield cut from Serpent's Fang, or the spell shield from Edge of Night, Youmuu's Ghostblade will give you more damage and mobility and ability haste than any other second item. It synergizes extremely well with Qiyana's kit.
Against heavy shield comps, Serpent's Fang is the best second item. For example, a shield support and a shieldbow on one of the enemies. In a game like that, Serpent's Fang is a very strong buy because it heavily cuts the enemies shielding.
Against champions that want to dive onto you and can be easily stopped with a spell shield, Edge of Night has very high value. Examples include Rek'Sai for stopping her burrowed W, and Vi for stopping her Q or R.
Serylda's is your strongest third item by far for pure damage. If you don't need Serpent's or Edge of Night, Serylda's will give you a massive spike in damage and ability haste.
If you've finished two items but you find you really need the shield cut, it can be fine to go Serpent's third.
As with Serpent's, if you find you don't need the damage from Serylda's as much as you need to not die to a champion like Rek'Sai then Edge of Night can be a good third item.
If you are extremely ahead, you no longer need extra damage on your third item. At that point it's much more valuable to just protect your shutdown and to keep people from killing you, so GA becomes the best third item.
If you haven't bought a GA already, then GA is your best 4th item. The revive is a lot of safety and the AD and Armor are both great.
For your last item, Death's Dance is extremely strong against AD champions and is also good against AP champions too after the buffs. It's a lot of AD, Armor, Ability Haste, and the damage reduction and healing are both very good for Qiyana. It's the best generic last item if you have no need for another more situational item like Maw.
When against heavy AP comps or a very fed AP champion, you can go for a Maw last item for the very big magic damage shield and a lot of MR.
If you haven't bought it already by this point, Serylda's Grudge is the strongest pure damage item you can buy.
Qiyana's rock Q gives bonus damage when the enemy is under half hp. If the enemy is above half hp, rock Q gives no bonus at all. It should therefore only be used when the enemy is under half health, otherwise you should use a different element if possible.
Qiyana's river Q roots enemies for .5 seconds, and then slows them afterwards for 1 second. River Q is best used in combination with E for a guaranteed root to set up for another Q. Lead into ganks with river Q to set up for your laners. You can also guarantee ulti by hitting a river Q when someone is within ult range.
Even after the nerf, Qiyana's grass Q is still extremely strong. It is the best general purpose element by far. 3 seconds of stealth is insane, as well as giving you move speed and damage with the Q itself. Qiyana players tend to heavily underrate grass Q relative to river and rock Q. Grass Q can be used to check bushes with the damage, and you can walk into the bush in stealth to get vision beyond it. It can also allow you to play more aggressively in teamfights and skirmishes by letting you position closer to the enemies without being hit. It can also help you stall for cooldowns keeping you safe while you wait for W to come back up to execute somebody. Qiyana's grass Q cannot be revealed by pink wards, but it can be revealed by abilities that give true sight such as Lee Sin Q and E, or LeBlanc E.
Qiyana's W is her key spell that the rest of her kit builds off of. It resets her Q and gives her the previously mentioned elements rock, grass, and river. Holding an element also gives you a lot of buffs. You get bonus magic damage on autos and basic abilities, attack speed, 25 aa range, and you get move speed out of combat near the element that you are holding. You want to be holding an element as often as possible when clearing the jungle and moving around the map because of this. W also gives you a short dash, so it can be used to dodge skills or go over walls.
This image shows every wall that you can jump over in green. Hard but possible walls are in orange. A lot of small corners can also be cut that aren't shown here.
One of the important W mechanics is canceling the dash. Qiyana's dash takes a set amount of time, but it can be cancelled with E which allows you to act faster. This can let you oneshot someone quicker or auto attack faster after W. You can also cancel the W dash with prowler's claw. Here is an example. The first W prowler's is the slow version. The second one is the animation cancel.
Qiyana's E seems very basic at first but there are a few important things to note about it.
First, when you Q during E to an enemy champion it will automatically aim Q at them. If the enemy flashes or uses a long dash after you press Q, they will not get hit by the Q and it will miss. However, if you hold Q during E and only press it after they flash (but before E ends), Q will follow their flash. This is very strong because people think that you can 100% dodge qiyana Q if she throws it during E with flash, but as the qiyana player you can actually outplay this by holding Q a bit longer.
Q only auto targets to champions, so you can E through a minion and aim Q wherever you want to catch someone off guard. Here is an example clip. To do this you have to quickly move your mouse after pressing E to aim your Q, otherwise Q will still aim towards the minion because your cursor was over the minion when you pressed Q.
E over walls
Another important thing to note is that your E goes a fixed distance, just like Yasuo E. As a result, if you want to E over walls, you should stand as close as possible to the target to maximize the E distance.
Qiyana's ult ties the champion together. There are a lot of different ways to use this ultimate to it's fullest potential.
The first important thing to note is that you can ult during E. This can help you to guarantee ult by making sure the shockwave knocks them into the wall. The only issue with E R is that if you are too close when you E, you can miss the ulti by going too far past them. Make sure that you are at a decent range from the target when using E R, otherwise it's better to just R instead.
The next important thing to note is that R flash can move the ult. When you R flash, the ult will aim where your cursor was initially but will cast from your new position. Here is an example.
When playing with First Strike, you often want to ult early on into a combo especially against multiple targets because you can hit multiple people and generate hundreds of gold off of ult alone. Just make sure not to let them proc your first strike before the ult goes off, or you won't get any gold or damage at all.
River & Bushes
One final note is that ult will not only explode on walls, but will also explode when cast over the river and bushes. This can be very helpful when ganking bot or top, as you can ult people into the bushes in lane for a much easier ult to hit than aiming for the walls. And in river fights around dragon or baron, you can easily hit large ults by aiming it through the river and also at a wall.
Qiyana's passive is quite simple to understand. There are no hidden mechanics to play with, but it's important to keep it in mind at all times because it adds a lot of damage to your combos. Correctly sequencing your abilities will almost always require you to be mindful of what elements you used so that you can use a different one next. The color of the circle underneath enemies indicates which element was used so you can check that if you're unsure. Passive is proc'd on autos, Q, and E, but not R.
There are a few basic combos that are important to be able to execute if you want to play Qiyana.
E Q W AA AA AA Q
When in the very early game, your goal is to land as many autos as possible with your W onhit and attack speed before throwing your final Q for the kill. You want to EQ with river, W behind them with rock, and keep autoing until Q will kill or they use a dash or flash.
Q W E Q
This is your fastest oneshot combo without ult once you have enough damage to oneshot someone. You want to use a non rock Q for the first Q, and then follow it up with W E cancel into rock Q.
AA E Q W AA Q
This is the oneshot combo if you start in auto range and you don't quite have enough damage to kill with just your basic abilities.
The ult combos are very similar to the basic combos but with ult as well for damage.
Q W R AA E Q
This is one of your most common oneshot combos with ulti once you have some items. Again, ideally you lead with a non rock Q into a rock Q for the extra passive proc and rock execute. Note that you can use ult during the W dash, which is why you Q W R instead of Q R W.
E R AA Q W Q
This combo is your best oneshot combo if you lead with E R.
E Q R W Q AA
This combo is your classic oneshot combo when you lead with E Q, usually with river element. It will lock them down to guarantee the ult, which will then guarantee the W Q and AA.
Prowler's Claw can be used during Qiyana's combos for the dash as well as the bonus damage. One important note for using prowler's claw is that you can use it during grass Q stealth and unless you leave the area the stealth will not end. This can let you move through your stealth area much more quickly than people expect, and catch them off guard.
Q R W P AA E Q
An important thing to note is that you have to do this combo quickly otherwise the R won't be damage amped by the Prowler's. You can cancel W dash with Prowler's just like E if you do it quick enough, which can help to ensure R gets the bonus damage. Here is an example of the full combo.
Other prowler's combos are just variations of the normal combos but with prowler's after W or before E.
Matchups and Synergies
Qiyana's best matchups are into junglers that have to farm to be relevant. Examples include Evelynn, Karthus, Ekko, and Fiddlesticks. Into these champions, you're allowed to do whatever you want in the early game which can set you up to win the entire game later on. Qiyana's worst matchups are champions that can heavily bully her during her early game where she has relatively weak dueling power compared to a lot of junglers. Examples include Lee Sin, Xin Zhao, Rek'Sai, and Olaf. These are champions that you will never be allowed to fight 1 on 1 in the early game, and as a result they have much more pressure than you for the first 5-10 minutes of the game. This can cause the game to snowball out of your control before you can start oneshotting people.
Qiyana can also struggle against tanks in the jungle because if she doesn't get a big enough lead early game, they will outscale her and have more impact than her in later fights while being unkillable. Examples include Zac, Sejuani, and Nunu.
When it comes to synergies, Qiyana really likes laners with good skirmishing, good gank set up, and lane priority. Qiyana thrives when she has laners that can 2v2 with her against the enemy laner + jg during counterganks or invades. She loves CC heavy champions because when someone is locked down its basically impossible not to oneshot them as Qiyana.
Very difficult matchup. This is the champion I permaban right now. He outfarms you, outdamages you, is tankier than you, and has better ganks than you. Your best option is to try to get a laner ahead and play with them to shut him down before he becomes unkillable.
Another difficult matchup. The issue with Rek'Sai is that she can always kill you 1v1, especially in the early game. As a result, you can almost never contest her on plays she wants to make early on. Your goal in this matchup is to make plays on the opposite side of the map until you're strong enough to either one shot her during ult or teamfight, because your teamfights are significantly stronger than hers.
Very easy, you can easily 1v1 him until he scales to 3+ items, so you can get a lead early and use it to end the game before he even gets a chance to play. Invading him is also very powerful when you have a lead.
Like Hecarim but you get a chance to play the game. He's stronger than you in duels at lvl 3 and 4 but by level 6+ and 1 item you have a chance to kill him before he kills you. Just don't get behind early and you'll be able to win.
Similar to Karthus, this is a very easy matchup. You have significantly more pressure than Evelynn does before 6, and by the time she can hit level 6 you should already have a sizeable lead. Make sure to ward her camps when you have the opportunity to walk into their jungle after 6 because you want to see where she's walking after clearing her camps before she stealths. Be cautious around objectives because eve r + smite can steal any drag or baron with ease.
You have significantly more damage than him in the early game, and he isn't tanky enough to stop you yet. Your best bet is to fight him early and play through a strong laner to shut him down with you later on.
Renekton is the quintessential early game setup and skirmishing top laner. If you have a Renekton top you can play through top lane and win any 2v2 to set up a lead that can carry you through the rest of the game.
LeBlanc's chains are an absurdly strong ability to set up for you, and her magic damage means that in 2v2s they cannot itemize against you because you'll both burst them with both damage types. A very strong mid jungle duo. Your roaming together is also unmatched so feel free to bully the enemy laners or jungler as a team.
Aphelios is a great ADC to have on your team when you're Qiyana jungle. He does the two things you really want out of your ADC: Set up for you with hard CC, and scale into the late game with high damage for shredding targets you can't like bruisers.
Leona is a fantastic support with a lot of hard CC to enable you to play very aggressively through bot lane early game, and gives you strong teamfight engage later on.
Yuumi is your favorite enchanter as Qiyana because together you're basically unstoppable with a lead. She can follow you into the enemy team and hide with you in shroud, and it allows you to play much more aggressively in teamfights as a result.
Qiyana is one of the best junglers in the entire game at the moment. She is a very difficult champion to play correctly, but when you put the time in you will be rewarded with an extremely strong and fun champion to play. The most important thing when learning any jungler but especially Qiyana is the first clear. Make sure you have the first clear practiced as much as possible before going into ranked games. Qiyana's first clear is quite punishing if you are not used to it, so watch the demonstrations carefully and put the time in.
Thank you for reading my guide. I hope you found it helpful and I hope it inspires to you learn Qiyana jungle, because she is very much worth your time.