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Jax Build Guide by coeurloyal

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author coeurloyal

A Piece of the Champ ( AP/AD Hybrid)

coeurloyal Last updated on October 15, 2014
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Ability Sequence

3
9
10
12
13
Ability Key Q
1
4
5
7
8
Ability Key W
2
14
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 25

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 

Defense: 5

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 0



Threats to Jax with this build

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Champion Notes
1
Aatrox Aatrok may have been a menace before, but he's too health-oriented to stand up against Jax now. Duel him and walk away smiling.
1
Tryndamere Any HP oriented foe is weak against Jax's fast hitting. Trynd should walk away crying every time.
1
Yasuo Yasuo has great damage output, but he's so squishy that you should be able to clear him quickly.
Guide Top

Introduction

Hi internet peoples! Thanks for checking out my Jax guide. While I don't like to 'main' any specific champion, Jax is definitely one of my absolute favorite champions to play as. He provides the player with a lot of build flexibility, and can fill in a lot of blank spots in your team composition.

While a lot of Jax guides build a tanky AD champ or a pure AP assassin, this build is centered around the idea that Jax can excel with an AP/AD hybrid build because most of his abilities utilize both AP and AD. Attack Speed is also central in this build, because Jax is very reliant on Auto Attacks.

In the end, I feel that most of the flexibility in Jax's kit comes from having and utilizing a hybrid stat set. While it stops you from becoming a specialist in your role, it allows you to become a strong asset for the team overall. It's about being able to support your team while still running enough burst to eliminate the carry or jungler early on in a teamfight, and it's also about playing carefully and knowing when to all-in on the fight.

Also, keep in mind that this build is still very experimental because it doesn't run a normal fit in a team composition. I've played it numerous times with success, but I'm hoping some better players than myself will pick up the guide and see what happens; maybe it gets proven to be a strong build, and maybe we learn that it's not a viable route.

Please try the build before you downvote it, and if you end up liking the way it plays throw a scoreboard from your game history in the comments. The only way we'll know if it works is if people test it in-game.


Pros:
- High burst damage
- Great escape and survivability options
- Top tier duelist
- Strong ganks
- Can remain strong when behind
- Allows a lot of build flexibility
Cons:
- Squishy pre-6 (a little squishier than normal post-6 due to lack of extra defense items)
- Mana hungry pre-3
- Susceptible to kiting/harass
- Can be shut down by AS reduction (AA Reliant)
- No AOE damage (slow farm & clear times pre-6)


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Runes

Runes

Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
3

Greater Glyph of Attack Speed
9

Greater Mark of Precision
9

Greater Seal of Scaling Armor
9


The most important thing to know about Jax is that Attack Speed benefits him more than either AD or AP due to the scaling from his passive and ult passive. So if you have to make a choice between them, always pick AS.

In light of that knowledge, all of my Quints and Glyphs are AS. I chose Hybrid Pen Marks because both AD and AP help Jax, and they will increase your damage output regardless of whether the enemy builds armor or MRes.

I also chose to include Armor Seals because you do need to be able to stand and brawl for a short while to maximize your damage output. If you don't think you need it you can swap it for attack speed, but don't let yourself get too low on armor across your stats or a good assassin with CC will be able to take you out of the fight early.


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Masteries

Masteries
4/5
3/5
3/5
1/1
1/1
1/5
1/5
3/1
3/1
3/
1/
1/
2/5
2/1
1/1


Because Jax benefits greatly from both AP and AD, it's best to give him a strong mix of both. If you want to shuffle a few points around, putting some points into Executioner , Blade Weaving , and Expose Weakness can add a lot of damage. Some CDR from Sorcery wouldn't hurt, either.

I wouldn't recommend playing with the distribution too much, though, especially if you're looking to add more defense. I do realize that 25-5-0 is an odd configuration, but I think it provides the best balance of survivability and damage on Jax. While he does need to stand and brawl, it's best to make sure it's a short brawl rather than aiming for tankyness. Think of the whole, "The best defensive is a good offense" addage.

Whatever the case, definitely don't fall below 18 Offense. Any less than that means a lot of lost potential in your masteries.


Guide Top

Spells

As stated everywhere else, Flash is one of those must-have utilities 99% of the time. It's escape and chase potential in addition to its wall jumping and dodging capabilites make it too useful to pass up.

Even though Jax is a great chaser, sometimes you just need that extra bit of firepower (get it?), and Ignite can easily fill that void, especially pre-3 or however long it takes you to secure a Bilgewater Cutlass. It can also provide a little extra range or surprise damage needed against self-healing champs or champs with snares. It can make for some angry enemy Lux players who think they have you pinned.


Other Options


Ghost can be a very viable option, especially when needing to cross the map quickly or reduce time spent in the jungle. However, it just doesn't have the utility that Flash provides, and most players I see that prefer this over Flash only do so to overcome the learning curve necessary when learning when and where to Flash.

Exhaust is also a viable option, but you typically shouldn't have any trouble chasing down opponents. It can be useful in early duels against high AS opponents like Master Yi, Nocturne and Fiora, though.

Teleport Tends to see a lot of use in the top lane and on fighters doing a lot of moving around due to its ability to return to lane quickly, provide ganks in other lanes, and provide quick support to allies that need it. It's hard for me to justify giving up the extra damage from Ignite for the convenience, though.


Guide Top

Items

Core Items


Bilgewater Cutlass is an absolute necessity on Jax, especially early to mid game. Jax has a complete lack of self sustain, and most life steal items don't play well into an AP/AD hybrid build. This item is good because it provides a damage boost along with a decent amount of Life Steal for a very low price. Additionally, it's active is a great pocket nuke + slow that can help you secure kills early while your abilities still have long CD's and aren't as accessible. You should always build your Cutlass before any other item with Jax.

Bilgewater Cutlass builds into Hextech Gunblade and Blade of the Ruined King.



While Sheen may not seem like a necessity on the surface, the mana does help early in the game because just that little bit lets you spam your abilities an awful lot. Also, when you get Empower down to a 3 sec cooldown, it also means that you're procing Sheen's passive every 3 seconds as well, sometimes even stacking with your Empowered swing after using a Leap Strike and not even factoring in the CDR you acquire.

Sheen builds into Trinity Force and Lich Bane, which are both good options. It also build into Iceborn Gauntlet, but I don't like using it in this build.



As stated before, AS is king on Jax, and Stinger provides a ton of it at a very low price. The CDR doesn't hurt either. It can really boost your damage output pre-6.

Stinger builds into Zephyr and Nashor's Tooth. It also builds into Dervish Blade which technically can be built, but I don't think the escape is necessary in most situations.



While it isn't a direct requirement and can be very difficult to build when you're behind, Trinity Force gives you every stat you could ever want with Jax, and a decent amount of it at that. You can build Lich Bane as an alternative, but I usually prefer to have the survivability and Movement buffs from Trinity Force. The lower tier items don't exactly hurt during the early to mid phase you're building them, either.



If Bilgewater Cutlass is the core of Jax's gameplay, then Hextech Gunblade is the crazy ultra-core on steroids. It gives you a hefty boost to your overall damage output, bumps up your Life Steal, and provides a Spell Vamp on your Leap Strike that can bring your HP back up to a happy place in no time. It also turns Bilgewater's active into a usable and effective ability in lategame fights.



Obviously, everybody needs boots. At first glance Berserker's Greaves seems like the obvious choice, and in a lot of ways it can be. However, you should think about your team composition and strategy before you just jump on the Greaves. If you expect longer duels or a lot of poke, pick up Ninja Tabi. If you're facing an AP opponent, get Mercury's Treads no questions asked, and if you plan on roaming a lot or have to face off against good escapists, Boots of Swiftness may fit the bill best. None of them are bad choices, just do your best to pick wisely.



ALWAYS WARD. It kills me when teams don't help ward at all. The extra vision can mean life or death against a fast gank on Jax, because you are often susceptible to burst deaths with this build. They are also self-serving, because you can use Leap Strike to jump to them when escaping or chasing. If you do it often and jump to an allied JG waiting in the brush, it can mean a very nasty surprise death for the enemy chasing you because they thought you just ward hopped again.




Defensive Options (Also Core)



Because there's only one slot reserved for armor in this build, you should be careful about which one you pick.

After building Bilgewater Cutlass first and either Sheen or Stinger, I'll build Trinity Force if I'm ahead or comfortable with my matchup. When this isn't the case (Either you have a hard lane or you're falling behind), I build my armor third.



Randuin's Omen is my first pick for defensive items largely because you're top laning with this build, which means armor is typically more important than MRes. The active also helps you make a big impact in teamfights later in the game, as well.



Banshee's Veil is your best options for Mres due to its extra HP bonus and its passive. The spellshield has a low enough CD that you can pretty much assume it's ready every time you enter a TF, and a lot of nukers will be looking to take you out early with a quick nukeshot.



If your lane is atypical and you have an AP opponent, go ahead and grab a Guardian Angel instead. It isn't as helpful in teamfights, but it covers your bases and allows for a little extra risky gameplay. Assuming it isn't nerfed any time soon, it's a solid pick.



It's rare that you would need Maw of Malmortius, but it does happen. Against heavy AP teams or when a mage decides to face you on top lane ( Ryze, Brand, Annie, and Amumu come to mind), an early Hexdrinker should happen every time in before picking up your second item.




Offensive Options


Zephyr is my favorite offensive item to build on Jax. It gives you a damage boost, lots of AS, Movement Speed, and CDR. All good stats. The Tenacity passive doesn't hurt either. Try not to pair Zephyr with Mercury's Treads, though, or you'll be losing out on a doubled passive.



Guinsoo's Rageblade gives you a decent all-around damage boost, in addition to giving you the extra damage on the stacks you already have to build up anyway. When you have to jump into a duel against an AA-reliant enemy, the half health boost can often guarantee you a kill or bring your health back up while farming. It also negates the bonus enemies get from Executioner if they have it.



Last Whisper is very situational. Basically, grab it if you need to face down a tank or someone that built extra tanky. It isn't often necessary, but if they get too much armor it becomes an absolute must (Especially against Malphite, Rammus, or Garen.



Statikk Shiv is a good choice because it charges up very quickly in this kit and has the added bonus of Critical Strike chance. If you go this route, try to pair it with one of the following AP items to help fill out your stats.



If Trinity Force just wasn't an option, Lich Bane can still fill in your mana and AP needs just fine at a lower price. I don't prefer it becaue it lacks AS and sustainability stats, but it's better than losing your Sheen procs altogether.



If you're becoming less ability relaint and more AA reliant, Nashor's Tooth should be your go-to. It has tons of AP, tons of AS, tons of CDR, and converts your AP into AA damage.



Youmuu's Ghostblade is a good pick, but not the best. Armor Pen becomes less important when you run the hybrid build, and I don't think you need the extra chasing potential from the active. I'd much rather have a Last Whisper when facing off against high armor opponents.



Blade of the Ruined King tends to be the favorite on most builds, but I don't build it because I choose to use Hextech Gunblade instead. It doesn't really make sense to use both, so you'll have to sacrifice the AP and extended range from the Gunblade if you can't talk yourself into divorcing this item.

Keep in mind that by choosing BoRK, you're signing up to replace the lost AP somewhere elsewhere else in the build. Also, while some people would argue that having two of the same (or near to the same) active is a nice bonus, it's very expensive to build them both together and sacrifices the passives from having other items. I definitely prefer the Hextech Gunblade over BoRK because it's more gold efficient, provides AP, has a nice stepping stone in the form of the Hextech Revolver, and the active far outranges that of the BoRK (750 to 450).


Guide Top

Skills

When you're reading through these skills, remember that the core build listed above grants you right around 100 AP and 75 AD, not counting any Masteries, Runes, or your two damage items. Jax' Base damage is 117.5 at lv 18, or 56 starting out.

Also, keep in mind that all of the numbers are approximated. I'm not willing to whip out a calculator and find out the exact numbers.



Relentless Assault is pretty self-explanatory. The longer you duel, the faster you deal damage. When your level 6 passive kicks in and you start doing huge chunks of AP damage every 2 seconds (give or take), you start tearing enemies down pretty quickly with your AP hits. In tandem with your normal AD and the 200% base boost from procing Sheen (which comes out to be right around 240 damage at lv 18), there isn't much you can't tear down very quickly.



Leap Strike is a great movement tool and a rather powerful nuke shot, dealing a whopping 365 unmodified damage on impact. It's important to know that Leap Strike is your only skill that doesn't apply on-hit effects, meaning it's your only skill that procs Sheen and Spell Vamp. For beginners, it's also important to know that you can leap to any unit that isn't a building, including allies and wards. Just to be clear, leaping to allied units deals no damage. It's an excellent skill for escaping, catching up, jumping thin walls, and leading enemies into allies hiding in the brush.



Empower Though Empower doesn't use your AD, it uses 3/4 of your AP on hit, meaning it dishes out 240 bonus magic damage every 3 seconds. It becomes even more frequent when you start factoring in CDR, which is why Empower really is your core damage dealing ability. Keep in mind, it's an on-hit effect, meaning it's tied to your Auto Attack and doesn't apply any Spell Vamp or Sheen procs.



Counter Strike is, in my opinion, one of the best skills in the game. It deals a bit lower damage compared to your other skills (about 195, more if you actually dodge some attacks), but it does it in a small AOE and provides a one second stun. It may not seem like much, but that's plenty of time to get 3 auto attacks in, procing both your Grandmaster's Might bonus and an Empowered hit in.

It's also plenty of time for a fleeing ally to put some space between themselves and the champs you stunned, then leap to your fleeing ally and run away together. It's a very powerful disrupt in both duels and team fights, and has a lot of utility all around. It even has the benefit of letting you block all auto attacks (including from creeps and minions) for 2 seconds, helping your survive during wave clears and taking down jungle creeps.



In a nutshell, Grandmaster's Might makes every third AA do an additional 290 magic damage all the time while providing you with an 'Oh ****' button that uses a chunk of your AD and AP to generate Armor and MRes, respectively. It's a great anti-tank or general survivability skill that scales off both AP and AD. It's important to have both so that you can survive against any opponent, rather than gaining a boost in only one or the other.


Guide Top

Gameplay Tips

I'll add more as I think of them and remember to add them. If I see any good ones in the comments, I'll try to take the time to add those as well.


-Be careful how you play this build. Because you aren't centering all your items around your AA's or AP nuking, your damage output isn't as rapid as other assassins. Using this combination almost provides an AP Caster style play until you're ready to duel. It requires more thinking than just waiting for an enemy to get peeled or isolated before jumping on them. If that's what you want to do, you should probably play Kha'Zix or Nocturne instead.


- Always ward your area with Jax. Not only does it help the team, but it gives you fast avenues of escape when you need to get out of dodge.


- When you're getting ready to engage, activate Counter Strike a second before you leap in so that the stun activates or can be manually activated right after you land. That way, you get a quick start on your AA stacks and can use it again before the fight is over.


- Be careful about how you use your skills early. Jax takes time to develop out of his squishyness and mana starvation, so choose your moments carefully and don't all-in on them pre-6.


- Farm like a madman. Jax' wave clear is horrible early, so you need to spend a fair amount of time last hitting and pocketing gold so that you can start out with a bang once you hit lv 6.


- When you're getting kited by an ADC and need to move forward, activate Counter Strike so they can't hurt you with their AA's before you get within leaping range. You may or may not have the benefit of the stun when you land, but you typically won't need it once you get within striking distance of an ADC.


- If you're falling behind, you should pick up a Crystalline Flask and kiss your Trinity Force goodbye. Hold on to Sheen, but build your armor early instead and consider getting a second tanky item if you think you'll need it.


- If your JG isn't using it, pop into the jungle once in a while and grab the blue buff (give preference to your mage first, of course). It can really boost your relevancy and gank power at lv 3 and throughout your early to mid game.


- If you have a few extra Health Potions and at least one damage item and armor item ready to go at lv 6, don't be afraid to solo the Dragon when an opportunity presents itself. Using your skills wisely should allow you to take him down on your own without too much trouble. Just be ready to get the heck out of there as soon as you're done.


- Due to the number of high damage numbers he can put out when initiating, Jax can be very good at counter jungling (stealing buffs from the enemy jungle) and stealing Dragon/Baron. Make sure that these are warded when you're nearby so that you can jump in and clean them out. If no ADC is there, you can usually jump in, stun the enemy, and then proceed to steal the kill as they're forced to sit by and watch you finish up for them.


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Changelog

- Published 8/23/14. First guide done. Yay.

-Updated 8/27/14 with a little extra info. I was informed that I needed to better explain why I don't build Blade of the Ruined King isn't in the core build.

-Updated 9/1/14 to fix a small mistake in the masteries setup. Thanks to PeruvianGamer for catching it.