Jax Build Guide by OrangeAndApple
Not Updated For Current Season
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Late Game Options
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.
The Premier AP Jax Guide
Hi OrangeAndApple here and today I'm going to introduce you to a rare way of building Jax: Full AP. I have recently revamped this guide for Season 5, so expect more up-to-date items, playstyles and meta. I have played at least 3500 normal games and a few hundred ranked since season 2, and placed Platinum II season 4 with a variety of champions. So, just take this guide with a pinch of salt, and if you have any comments feel free to leave them in discussion.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
The basic AP runepage,
Flat Armor offer protection against early game harass and cooldown reduction blues are vital considering we are playing Jax as a caster. Magic resistance is less of an issue, because Grandmaster's Might provides MR which scales on our high AP.
MaPen runes are also extremely important and they contribute largely to your damage output later in the game.
AP Quints come in handy early game for that extra punch on your Empower and Leap Strike.
Starting Game Item Choices
Here are a few options:
Normally I would suggest the Boots of Speed and Health Potions because they provide ample sustain, and the boots will help you escape skillshots and melee autoattack range.
Doran's Ring is a decent choice for that mana regen and flat health, however you only get 2 Health Potions.
Amplifying Tome helps you rush your Sheen or Fiendish Codex faster, however also leaves you with only 1 potion. I would only recommend this if you have taken Teleport, for an early recall, or if it is an easy lane.
Finally Doran's Blade is mainly for that last hitting and early game dps, as majority of early game engagements rely heavily on auto-attacking. Again, I would advise against doran's because you really need to get your build up. You also only get 1 potion which will be a disaster.
Cloth Armor and five Health Potion also gives you a lot of sustain, run these if you happen to encounter a Darius or Riven or Renekton.
Early Game Tools
Transitioning into Mid Game you should have procured your Sheen and bought fiendish codex.
Seeker's Armguard may be a decent choice if you want some armor and AP and the same time. It improves in stats up to a maximum of 15 AP and armor with 0.5 each minion kill. The fact is, it gives all that you want for an AP semi tank, but please note that you can only upgrade it into Zhonya's Hourglass and that is something you have to take into account. I suggest getting Sheen first most of the time. You do not want to put back your Lich Bane.
Fiendish Codex is a possible item you may want to include. Morellonomicon is a vital item because of the 20% CDR.
At 40% max CDR, you can use Empower every 1.8 seconds, which ramps up your dps.
If you appear to have the extra money, build your Blasting Wand to lead into Rabadon's Deathcap for even more damage.
If you appear to have encountered a really scrubby enemy team, build your Lich Bane and continue snowballing your advantage.
Mid Game Weapons
At this point you would want to rush your Lich Bane as fast as possible because that's one of your major damage sources. It also provides some movement speed to chase down those slippery champions (i.e. all of the fotm champions).
Morellonomicon is something you MUST BUY. It's cost effectiveness and 20% CDR make it the premier AP Jax item. It's grievous wounds proc is especially useful against champions like Irelia, darned Transcendent Blades!
Late Game Armaments
Rabadon's Deathcap is your license to kill. The moment you make this 3rd buy, you are capable of dueling most champions in the game, and outright instagib most squishies before they can react. Play aggressively.
Zhonya's Hourglass would give the much needed armor. Because Grandmaster's Might will not provide as much armor for AP Jax, but more than enough MR, getting zhonya's rounds up your defenses and provides a backup when the defecation hits the oscillation.
Void Staff will maximize your damage, but save it for your 5th or 6th buy when opponents start stacking MR.
Hextech Gunblade provides the important spell vamp. This increases your effective health, which is crucial for late game teamfights. The active portion scales on AP, and provides a useful slow.
Will of the Ancients is an alternative spell vamp item, which also gives 10% CDR. A solid choice.
A Grandmaster's Techniques
Basically you hit faster and faster each consecutive strike, at late game, each stack gives 14% attack speed.
-The longer you stay in a fight the better
-Down towers faster
-The stacks last for only 2.5 seconds
One of the most awesome skills in your kit, you can leap strike to close gaps, leap strike to wards for running away, leap strike to get last hits on far minions. It scales with both ad and ap so after stacking your ability power, it will start packing a punch.
-Take note of the cooldown early levels.
-Do not leap strike at an enemy as far as possible, save it for when they Flash away.
-Reserve your leap strike until you know where the battle is headed. If you are winning, leap strike to close the gap. If you start losing the battle, leap strike to a minion or ward to escape.
-Ward-Jumping is an important skill all Jax players should master. It saves your life most of the time. SMART CAST YOUR WARD. AND TURN OFF THE RANGE INDICATOR.
Empower (Mega Whacko)
Takes the basic out of your next basic attack. This scales with AP and is the main damage source for AP Jax. Max this first to get your damage up. It resets your Autoattack, so use that to your advantage to get your Relentless Assault and Grandmaster's Might stacks up ASAP. The thing about AP Jax, is that having a good grasp of when your Grandmaster's Might and Empower procs is crucial.
Remember that Empower also procs on your Leap Strike. If you want to initiate the fight with Leap Strike, make sure that you activate Empower beforehand. This prevents the target from Flashing or evading the autoattack.
For AP JAX I mentioned earlier that you have 2 MANDATORY WARNING WHACKS before your Grandmaster's Might procs. To fix this, simply whack minions twice before Leap Strikeing in to whoop the enemy's ***. With your Lich Bane up, let's take a look at the amount of ***-whoopin' you will be dishing out.
Leap Strike+ Grandmaster's Might third proc + Empower + Lich Bane proc in just 1 autoattack*.
*It is perfectly normal to half, if not three quarter, if not one whole a carry's health. Do not be alarmed.
After handing out so much damage, reactivate your Counter Strike to stun the insistent enemy, and destroy him with successive Empowered and Grandmaster's Mighted and Lich Baned strikes. awwwww yeah.
Delayed AOE stun. Pressing E will let you dodge all basic attacks, remember, only basic attacks, as well as blocking a quarter of incoming AOE spells. After 1 second you can choose to activate E again to stun surrounding targets for a second. If you choose not to, it will stun after another second. So basically, you have either a 1-second delayed stun or a 2-second dodge plus a 1-second stun.
-Press E first for 1 second and then Leap Strike to your target for an instant stun. Take note that they may Flash/escape away, wasting your stun. Timing is important as well.
-What I like to do is to simply walk up to the target and turn on Counter Strike. If they don't run, they get stunned. If they do run, Leap Strike.
You would be relying on your ultimate's passive effect much more than it's active. Basically it is another FREE Mega Whacko every third consecutive attack. As it also scales with AP, this will deal massive damage late game.
How do I know when it's the third consecutive strike?
The "consecutive" part is very slightly shorter than the timing on your Relentless Assault stack of 2.5 seconds.
The active part of this ultimate basically gives armor and magic resistance for 8 seconds. These values scale off your Attack Damage and Ability Power. Which is why I suggest just buying armor-items as your ridiculous ability power will more than make up the difference.
Please take note that it only lasts 8 seconds. Also please DO NOT FORGET to turn it on when the sh*t hits the fan. I have seen many jaxes "reserving" it when they are within an inch of their lives. You should activate it at the start of the fight to take advantage of the extra tankiness. Also, while Jax likes long engagements to really put his passive into effect, try to take note of when your active runs out. If start finding your health bar decreasing at a worrying rate, Leap Strike or Flash away.
Laning Phase 101
Listen up carefully. During the first wave of minions stay out of sight for a few seconds, only going in when you can last hit. Use this time to observe your lane opponent's positioning. This will tell you if he is playing aggressive, pushing for level 2, or hanging back. If he is pushing the lane, and is a strong early game champion like Darius, concede the first and second wave to farm under tower. Passive laners allow you to last hit, use Health Potions to sustain the harass, and try to push for level 2. Counter Strike is useful, do not hesitate to activate it even for a few cs, although be prudent with your mana.
You will level up on the 2nd waves' first warrior minion, provided no one does gromp or golems. Keep a mental image of where the opponent jungler is, and measure your steps accordingly.
At the start of laning phase, you will be really weak as your main damage source, Empower and your Grandmaster's Might will not be online yet. So play safely and hug your tower to just not die until you reach level 6. That's when you start returning the damage.
Pop Health Potions as soon as you lose about 150-200 hp. Do not wait until your health gets lower than that. There is no reason for you to stay at say half hp when you have health potions available, unless your lane opponent is not present and you are sure no one else is nearby.
Remember to always have tri bush warded especially if you are purple team. If the minion waves have been reset, try to take the rift scuttler. This gives you river control and opens up ganking opportunities for you.
With enough playing experience, you should have a general idea of what the enemy top laner can do or even what they tend to do. Play your cards right and play smart. Jax does not require fast reflexes or strong mechanics. All you need is tactical sense and swift decision making.
What if they tower dive like greedy ****s?
Ans: Free kills for you. Run around your tower with your Counter Strike on and stun them. Use Flash and Leap Strike to widen and/or juke their skillshots and CC. Simply wait until the tower destroys them or you can Leap Strike and Empower to kill them before they can react. Again, it is impossible to come up with a definitive guide of what exactly to do. But know your enemy and their capabilities and ranges, and use them to your advantage.
Top Lane Opponents and How to Deal with them
Darius is one of those few melee champions that you would NOT want to get into a long engagement with. His Hemorrhage does a deceptively large amount of early game damage and if he gets five stacks up, he will probably kill you even if you manage to kill him first.
-Stay out of his Apprehend range and if you happen to get hooked, Leap Strike away. DO NOT FLASH OR LEAPSTRIKE WHEN HE HAS ALREADY CASTED APPREHEND, ONLY BEFORE. This will hook you all the way back to him.
- Counter Strike blocks Crippling Strike's damage, but not the slow.
-If you wish to engage in a fight if you think you have the advantage, stay close to him. Sounds counter-intuitive but his Decimate does even more damage if you stay within its optimum radius. Hugging Darius makes sure you take lesser damage.
-Always take note of how much Hemorrhage stacks you have and ensure you have sufficient health to withstand a Noxian Guillotine.
One of my other favourite and most played solotop champions. Playing against a Riven is hard but if you take note of some pointers, you should win the lane without much problems.
-Take note of whether she does the fast combo. This is the most obvious way to determine an opposing Riven's skill level.
-One of the most important ways to counter Riven is to count her cooldown time. Broken Wings has a constant 13 second cooldown regardless of skill level. Attacking after she uses it will give you a significant advantage as she cannot escape as easily nor deal as much damage.
-Riven does pure Attack Damage, building armor will blunt her attacks.
-Also be aware that she has Valor, so she might not have as little hp as you think.
Playing against yourself is something you might have to do someday. I don't really know how to advise you against Jax because it's really a battle against who has a better grasp of his skillset and capabilities.
-One thing to note is that if he jumps on you, wait till AFTER he activates Counter Strike to activate your own. If he continues the battle you will end up with the advantage. This is because he has to remain in your counter strike range to apply his own stun while you have the time to evade his stun and then stun him back.
-Leave Counter Strike on as long as possible if the fight doesnt seem to be in anyone's favour.
-Don't forget that Leap Strike or the magic damage from Empower is NOT blocked by your Counter Strike, hopefully he forgets.
Irelia is another popular top lane choice, she has a great sustain from Hiten Style as well as Transcendent Blades. Take into consideration that Equilibrium Strike can easily change the tides of a duel.
-Her Bladesurge has a hefty cooldown if she doesn't manage to last hit with it. If you even so happen to see her fail a cs, this is one good opportunity to fight.
- Hiten Style is easily observed with her cross shaped blade-thingy, if she so happens to use it to regenerate her hp, you know what to do.
-I would try to activate my Counter Strike when she activates her Hiten Style as you will block most of the incoming bonus true damage.
-Stay away from low health minions.
Lee Sin is one of the harder match ups for any top lane, he can spam his skills without fear of mana depletion and his early game is really strong. Iron Will lets him easily absorb harass as well as evading your Counter Strike stun.
-Avoid his Resonating Strike by walking around a bunch of minions.
-A lot of Lee Sin's like to Resonating Strike followed immediately by a Iron Will to escape, don't take the free harass, Empower your Leap Strike and do some quick damage to even things out.
-Don't stand in line with your teammates and give an easy Dragon's Rage.
-You can predict where he will Iron Will to and Counter Strike + Leap Strike to deny him an escape and place yourself in his path.
-I strongly suggest against fighting pre-6. Just hug your tower and farm.
A Few Parting Words
In short, AP Jax is a pretty fun way of playing Jax and I hope you guys will enjoy the different experience. I'll leave it to you whether you like it or not and whether hybrid is better or AP is better.