*TLDR:* We did a pretty poor job ensuring you guys got the full reasoning for why we were doing this, and I really dropped the ball here. I failed to ensure that our patch notes reflected the intent of these changes, nor did I give Pwyff and crew nearly enough info to make that possible for them. I'm here to give the full context and also talk about how these changes fit into our strategy around the jungle right now.
So, the 5.1 "Smite with Charges!" change does a lot of cool stuff for the strategic freedom of the jungler, but we also knew that it would hit some of the same issues the Conservation mechanic had from season 4. Mainly, when you're not 'wasting' a resource with overflow, it creates very clear windows for the jungler to go do something else with a very low cost. In other words, a jungler waiting for Smite to come off cooldown can gank or go kill wards without feeling like they're making a deliberate trade for it.
Combined with a few junglers that could grab a camp or two and then bring out very potent ganks, this meant that 5.1 created a situation where the optimal strategy for some of our most powerful gankers was to go back to their old habits of deciding lanes before laners had even hit level 2 (in some cases). Worst of all was that failing these ganks didn't really set these junglers behind, because many other junglers didn't have the ability to invade and punish them after the failed gank.
The adjustments were made to hit this specifically, so that guys like Jarvan and Lee Sin had a bit more of a risky start if they tried this, as would Shaco, Xin, and Panth, even if they're not currently centered in the spotlight.
We are aware that this change hurts some of the junglers with weak clears, leaving them with less gold for pots to stay healthy during their second clear. We know this is really painful when blind monks and dunking princes are taking over games. We know have a lot of work ahead of us. We've been making changes and adjustments to the systems around the jungle at a really high frequency, and that's largely complicated the work that could have been done on the individual items or the champs. We've already been having a lot of internal discussions about what we need to do as the dust settles on the systematic changes. The 5.2 changes happened because we know early gankers needed to be much higher risk, and the extremely cheap jungle items were a main contributor to their reliability.
We still need to carve out more space for our tank junglers, and we are still trying to give junglers more reason to invade and counter jungle. These actions are one of the core reactions necessary to keep gankers in check, and currently aren't functioning at the levels necessary for healthier play. Can't say it enough, we have lots of work ahead of us still, and we're committed to making this better. 5.3 is already very tight for changes, so 5.4 is much more likely for the next round of changes.