Heart of the Hives is Crucible‘s most strategic and MOBA-like mode. And while this may not be immediately obvious, there are two distinct roles you can fulfill on your team in this mode. Your choice of hunter will determine whether you are better suited as a fighter or a jungler.
Most hunters in Crucible fall in this in this group, as team-fighting is a big part of Heart of the Hives. In general, the team should never fully split up, but rather travel as a group of 3 or 4. And there are a couple of hunters that should specifically never separate from their team.
Bugg needs to stay with his team at all times. His tool kit is all about area denial, team fighting, and supporting his teammates. He is also essential for securing the Hive heart, by planting defensive seedpods around it. Almost all of this goes for Shakirri as well. Her Force Dome is invaluable in team fights and to help secure the heart.
Rahi is another fighter that excels as part of a group rather than alone. He provides map awareness by scouting with Brother, and when fights break out he can tank for his team and shield them.
Finally, Drakahl and Ajonah are great offensive hunters, but they both perform much better in team fights. There, they can use the chaos around them to deal damage with impunity. If outnumbered, they are easily taken down.
Junglers are the only hunters who can spend time away from their team, farming essence and stealing objectives. So far, only Tosca and Summer appear to work well as dedicated junglers.
Tosca is the best jungler in Crucible, all thanks to her unique kit. She has faster interaction time than other hunters, so she can steal harvesters, collect buffs, and heal much more efficiently. She can also scan the area around her without slowing down, quickly finding objectives and creatures to farm while avoiding threats. If caught, she can make a quick getaway with her smoke screens and Blinks. Those same Blinks also let her rejoin her team quickly when she needs to.
Summer also makes a good jungler. She can kill multiple monsters very quickly, and her flamethrowers and Magma Spiral work miracles against Stomper herds. She even has a farm-specific talent at Level 1, Refinery Blast, which increases the essence gain of hunting creatures. When she needs to, she can rejoin her team pretty quickly too, due to her excellent overall mobility.
There are a couple of hunters in Crucible who are excellent as fighters, but can also jungle if they want to. Earl is one of them. He puts out a lot of damage in big team fights, while being tanky and fast enough to survive solo-farming and make it back to his team when needed.
Similarly, Sazan can kill creatures very quickly with her damage-focused kit, and is an outright escape artist when she needs to be. Her damage output, self-sustain and mobility allow her to be played in either role.
How to play as a Jungler
As a jungler, you should never stop moving, always killing monsters and capturing objectives, while remaining within reasonable distance from your team so you can go back to them when needed.
This isn’t to say that you should always run back the moment a fight breaks out. Sometimes getting a large amount of farm done can serve your team much better, and make your presence felt in the team fights you miss. As a general rule, if your team seems to be trading well without you, you should continue to farm aggressively.
If the enemy team finds you, you should try to escape in the direction of your team. There is one exception, however, and that is if your team is currently taking on the Hive, in which case you have a decision to make. If you are being chased by two or more enemies, or if you are nearly dead and likely not going to make it anyway, it’s better to lead the enemy hunters away from the Hive to give your team more time to capture it.
When running for your life, don’t spam your movement and escape abilities. Instead, save them up for one big disappearing act. For example, if you are playing Sazan, wait until both Jet-Dash charges are available, then equip the knife to go invisible, duck into a bush, and dash twice quickly in a different direction to break line of sight from your pursuers.
Finally, as a jungler, the jungle itself is your friend. Use environmental pods to your advantage whenever able. Heal on the move with green pods, and hide in the undregrowth to avoid enemy hunters. When running away, shoot red and purple pods to slow and damage your pursuers, and use yellow pods to go into stealth.