Jax Build Guide by Axebitten
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.
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.
What the **** is a Jax? Is it edible?
Jax is this funny looking guy wich has good mobility, decent HP, Awsome late game pwnage, stuns, dodges, jumps around, has life drain, spell vamp, solos Baron, kicks your *** with AP, kicks your *** with AD, he will make ppl rage, he will put a smile on your face when you master him. Jax is....OP (read lore)! There is no one else like him in the league.
What is this build all about anyway?
This build is a 1 2 3 item straightfoward platform that works insanely well for me. It focuses on providing all of the above and loads....loads of fun. It is optimized for Twisted Treeline (3v3). For Summoner's Rift (5v5) the gameplay for Jax changes a bit, and the items may vary. We'll talk about it more later.
This build was developed mostly on normal games experience but it always worked well on ranked games also. In my opinion, what divides the better player from the Newbie is the ability to adapt to the game, be watchful of the opponents items, their gameplay, and obviously, know their champs. Adapt accordingly, change your items, the order you buy them, the way you play, comunicate with your team, etc.
Oh! And sorry for my bad english, it is not my native language.
Let's beging then shall we?....
Ok so, the runes I use are basicly the same as 70% of Jax's builds out there except maybe for Quints...
-> A lot of your damage will be magical so magic penetration is always a good option, i use them on every single one of my champs. It just works.
-> Crucial stat for Jax. Must have!
-> Effective especialy on early game as it adds up to the 15 AP of Doran's ring and to the 5 AP of The single Quint making you start with 30 AP.
-> This one serves only to give you 30 AP with Doran's ring at start, you see, I like round numbers.
-> It is imperative that you survive in the early game, the more hp the better. Besides, your HP bar will look huge and desincourage your opponent to attack you in deteriment of another ally :P
Not much to say about masteries. Go 9/21/0 focusing on defense. I truly believe it works the best this way. On regard to Strengh of Spirit, I don't put any points on it prefering to get Defensive Mastery since i want to be walking a lot amongst enemy minions so they trigger Counter Strike. Evasion and Nimbleness is absolutely mandatory.
- Why? Well why not? Really, everything it gives you is super important at start, makes you initiate with 30 ap, gives more mana regen to harrass if needed and hp. Doran's shield could also be a viable option but, personaly I go for the ring.
- Costs 850g so it's easy to get early on, that alone means you will probably consider making a quick trip to base and back with it since it will probably make you outrun you opponent and make early ganking much easier. This is also the only item in game that gives you dodge since phantom dancer was changed. The armor bonus is also not to be ignored. Very rarely will I buy other boots for Jax.
- I'm one of those people who tries to do different of what everyone else is doing, and after seeing so many of Jax builds with it I tryed replacing this item with others like Malady, Sword of the Divine, Wit's End, Hexdrinker, etc.... Let me tell you, for this price, none of them gave me the synergy I needed that the rageblade gave. Besides, since I usually dont see any other champions using it, it adds a certain exclusivity factor. You won't imediately get a super cool effect when you use it, but the extra AD, the AP and the Attack Speed it gives after just a few stacks make a huge difference.
- Jax without this item is half the champ he can be. Not only it gives a bunch of stats (including a decent amount of HP on Jax), but the active ability is so effective for chasing people that it saddens me not to see folks really mastering it and spending tons of gold on Rilay's or frozen mallet just for the slowing effect. Just practice a lot activating this thing and no one will ever be able to escape from you. It's also a free last hitting nuke with a decent range, better then ignite if i'm not mistaken. This is also my 6th item if I ever get that far, wich is rare. Why I get it? because it gives jax what he needs, more damage, more lifedrain and spellvamp and more HP. But let's get real, you will rarely get beyond the 3rd big item to be able to stack this baby. Tip: If you buy the Bilgewater Cutlass first when building your second Hextech, you can temporarily get 2 "slow + nuke" active abilities at your disposal.
Ok so, you have a lot of firepower in your hands (and as a result HP also) and for this next item you want some defense. In most games I take Guardian Angel for that role. It gives you balanced armor and magic resistance and a 2nd life passive that could be decisive. If you are dominating the game, the enemy team might focus you at the start of a teamfight, if you die and guardian angel get's you back to life, you can still do a lot of damage on the already fragile opponents (if your team did anything while you were dead), and with your lifesteal and spell vamp you can even get your hp up as well and leave the encounter as a victor. With your ulti's magic resist and the tabi's armor you'll have tank like stats.
- Empower + Leapstrike = half health bar. That's all I have to say about this item.
These are your main items, they are the backbone of the build. Very rarely do I deviate from them. From now on there are a few options you might consider regarding the current game momentum. Sometimes you might want to buy another item in between these 3 if you find the urgent need for it, don't be afraid to do that but try not to spend a lot of money on other items if you don't have the first 3 already, just buy a cheap (under 1000g) piece that gives you what you need and resume. Sometimes you just got to think on surviving.
Other items you want to consider to replace the Guardian Angel:
When facing a lot of mages...
- Every champ in the game gets stronger with this one, it's the ultimate defensive boost against mages, they want to hit you with that nasty spell? They will have to pop that bubble first! More HP? More MP? More MR? Sweeeeet!
- Didn't bring Cleanse and you're facing hard CC? No problem! Also works against supression! Like Warwick's ulti or Malzahar's ulti. You also get magic resist so you can survive longer in teamfights. Active ability is usable every minute and a half.
When facing a lot of AD DPS...
- Description speaks for itself. Don't forget to activate that embeded skill!
- If, for some reason, AD is your only worry, this is the way to go.
or my personal favourite.....
- Stack those *****es! When you think about the option of buying an extra Ninja Tabi, you should look at the description for every extra one of them as the following: Ninja Tabi: +25 Armor +12% Dodge Chance + 12% Counterstrike Stun trigger chance + 12 Magic Resist when using ulti. For 850g it's a bargain!!! You can get you dodge to 50%. 50 ****ing percent!!! You dodge an attack every 2 attempts! Get ready for the most humiliating fights if you're facing champ that relly on basic attacks!
- Facing a tank team? That sucks! This can help!
- Facing another Jax? I usually get the edge on him but truth be told, it works suprisingly well in Jax and against him. Replace the rageblade for it.
- Used to get Ghost but flash can be invaluable specially when you are most fragile, at the early game. use to get away through a wall, to avoid ganks, to chase, etc.
- Invaluable in 3v3. Can make the difference between living or dying. Great for first blood also. And an excelent tool for preventing enemies of getting away.
Other Spells you might consider:
- Sometimes you just need to move faster. Either to be able to keep up with that fleeing foe, if you need to escape, or even to reach the teamfight on time. It's useful, but not as decisive as flash in my opinion.
- Seriously consider having it where heavy CC is more frequent. Personaly, if I feel CC will become a great problem I just rush Quicksilver Sash.
Start with Leap Strike so you can harrass or escape if you so require. At level 2 put a point on empower so you can harrass harder and/or to confirm last hit on minions. Notice that it only costs 20 mana at lvl 1. At lvl 3 get another point on Leap Strike and, from that moment on, level Leap Strike whenever you can and Counter Strike second, leaving Empower at lvl 1 until the end. Scaling Counter Strike will be more useful than empower since you'll want to dodge more and trigger your stun, it will make a bigger difference overall and it will also make jungling easier, trust me on that. You should obviously level your ultimate whenever you can.
Gameplay regarding skill usage
There isn't a lot to say about the skill usage sequence on Jax. Correct timing them tough can be a completely diferent story.
You can and should use Empower + Leap Strike to harrass enemies throughout the game. Notice that when you use empower it will cut down on the auto-attack animation, so when you know that you have a chance against the enemy 1 on 1, what you should optimaly be doing is Leap Strike-> auto-attack -> empower -> auto attack.
Don't be afraid to engage an enemy among their minions or neutral monsters (from mid game onward). Altough you will take a bit more damage from them, they will trigger counterstrike stun. You can also aggro them to trigger the stun before engaging enemies. It will be available for use for 7 seconds.
Always and I mean ALWAYS use your Ulti right before a teamfight, the extra Magic Resist will absorve a lot of the initial skill damage targeting you and that will actually enable you to survive for a lot more.
Playing 3v3? You should get top lane in most cases. Get your Doran's ring and play very carefully until you reach level 6. As a Jax player it's easy to get all pumped up and want to jump on the enemy's face asap, but you must not do that! Play closer to your turret, go jungle whenever you have the minions at least on the center of the lane and communicate with your teamates about MIA. If you are sure an enemy is going to gank them, warn them fast and go help them! You can, in most cases, surround the ganking opponent and kill him fast.
You can and should play agressive against certain enemies on the laning phase, mostly ranged carry, abuse those bushes, go empower + leapstrike on their faces and imediately hide in the bushes and move back.
Unlike what many people believe Jax is also reliable on 5v5 but you should never go solo lane! Duh! Get a ranged teamate, preferably support, go sidelane and play carefuly. Once again, use those bushes, farm, jungle and gank if the odds favoures you. Be specially aware of these rules: Never initiate teamfights and always turn on your ulti before one! If you forget that, you will die in 2 seconds. Jax will do wounders if the first wave of spells is not directed at him.
On late game, you can go a bit crasier but don't go thinking you are invincible, it will be the end of you. Get the enemy's carry fast but never initiate. As soon as the enemy sees you jumping they will attack you, mark my words. Let your tank do his thing and then move in for the squishis.
Things to remember....
- Jax is a carry, you get to be a monster on the late game but in the early minutes you are a "below average" champ so play very carefuly and defensive on most cases. This is a golden rule that many Jax players seem to forget and so they fail terribly because they die a lot at the beggining.
- Jax is a great jungler after level 6, use that to your advantage, and get that red buff!
- Learning to use the active abilites of your items will help you a lot! Practise!
- Always activate your ulti before a fight! You will get hit the most on the first seconds.
- Never initiate a teamfight!
- Have I mentioned you should play defensive at the first minutes? Well, you should!
- And, for the love of God! Buy wards!
Lastly....always have fun!