Build Guide by Ultenth
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Jarvan IV Build
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.
Hi, I hope you get something out of my build, it is my very first attempt at one and is very much a work in progress. I enjoy Jarvan as a tanky DPS, and find him to be a good early game poker due to his passive and E, a solid complete game ganker once he gets his ult, and if built somewhat tanky can do some real damage in teamfights with his various AE abilities as well as being an extremely solid initiator and chaser.
He's okay solo with his passive, but I prefer to lane with others with Jarvan. He's an average minion killer, and can harrass okay, but can really benefit from laning with a good healer or ranged pusher. Laning with other melee is not ideal unless they have solid CC like Blitz etc.
I prefer him AD/CDR, mostly because I really like to abuse his passive while laning, and all the target switching lowers the strength of ATS early. Later on I like the added mobility and ganking of having a CDR heavy build. Since I'm using his abilities a lot more and moving from target to target, buffing his AD in order to buff said abilities seemed the best path. ATS or crit are solid for some functions, but due to the way his abilities and passive work, I personally find AD/CDR my personally favorite build.
Pros / Cons
Can be very versatile in terms of slight gearing shifts for MR or Armor or DPS and be very helpful in teamfights and ganking with all setups.
Able to be played as a pure tank with great initiators, or pure DPS, and everywhere between.
Throw on a Madred's BR, Last Whisper, and combined with his passive and Q he's a great Armor tank killer.
Can jungle okay (due to his passive and E), but best left to other champions
Have to be very careful in using his E/Q or R jump-in abilities in teamfights if not tank-spec'ed and initiating.
E ability scaling off AP as his only ability that does so is pretty gimpy.
For runes I like to give him a bit of a mana regen boost early, as it can be his main problem laning early on, and a main reason I prefer to not mid or solo-lane with him. So I choose 5 Seals of Clarity for 6 and up mana regen once you start getting more CDR, and 4 Seals of Replenishment to give him a quick early boost. I toss in a stack of Marks of Desolation, as the early -AP can be great vs. other tanks or tanky DPS, and can continue to be helpful later in the game as well. I also give him an early damage boost with 2 Quint of Strength, helping his early DPS and making him a better early game poker once he gets his Q. I also add in 9 Glyphs and 1 Quint of Focus, in order to get him closer to the CDR cap.
I go 12/6/12 with him, grabbing the early physical AD stuff in Offense, as well as the magipen which does help his E and passive skills, some MR/Armor from Defense, and the regen and XP talents in Util, in order to give him early boosts.
His passive is great for all stages of the game. It's great for early game, and can really help you push to get that first blood. Mid and late game it's what helps make him such a great ganker, as well as if built for it a beast at taking down other tanky DPS or full armor or HP tanks. Remember the 6 second cycle, and if the situation calls for it, try to switch targets (never with champions if your are focusing firing).
It's great for farming creeps, and the reason he can jungle at all, remember to use it when pushing minions, switch targets and smack em all if you're trying to push, otherwise wait and last hit, he's one of the easier melee's to last hit with (especially early) because of this.
Scales very well off AD, can get down to 3 second CD with max CDR and rank, and is great for either poking, or moving around with throwing down E's. Early on you should be using it to poke squishier characters after tossing your E at them. Later it is a good source of DPS, even without a Standard down for the knockup. Be careful early because combo'ing this and your standard too often can run your mana dry quickly, leaving you helpless when you may really need it. I usually max this last unless I get fed early and get lots of AD items on quickly, or if I'm laning against a really tanky armor using champion or along side a powerful AD champion, in which case the -Armor is very handy.
Decent shield, adds around 450 max HP in full teamfights, otherwise it's biggest use is as a snare. Very nice to combo after an E, Q combo, hitting it right as they land to drop your snare and boost your HP a bit. I usually max this second, unless I'm not having chasing/ganking issues or having squishyness issues, in which case I'll often finish it last. Remember if you have mana to spam it pretty regularly, at max rank with CDR it has an 8 sec CD, which gives you a minimum 31 hp/sec buffer with the shield.
Great ability for early poking, but scales off AP, use it mostly for ranged harrassing early, and for it's movement ability when combined with your Q late. If you get AD items quickly, feel free to max this last, as it doesn't scale off them, and ranking up doesn't decrease the cooldown. If you are low on coin though, max this first every time, as the boost from the AS and Armor is very nice if you're having item issues. A great use for this ability at all times is to flag bushes in order to check, as the flag allows you to see inside, removing the need to facecheck bushes.
A really good Ult, but be careful of using it in large teamfights as it doesn't have a true CC component. Great for splitting up teams, early game ganking, or chasing down runners. Otherwise be careful, because untimely use into a big group can get you focused and killed easily. But if you decide to go extremely tanky this is a great intitator along with E/Q/W to open and split up the team some. Scales very well off AD, so can do some great damage, just be careful who you use it on, don't get stuck in a cataclysm with a melee more powerful/geared than you. Feel free to E/Q to run away if you accidentally do. Downside can be pretty bad, lots of classes have ways to jump out of it with abilities, and anyone with flash can do the same. Be aware of this, and don't waste your Ult when you think they have flash or said abilities available.
For skill sequence I start off with his E, which is great for early game harrassment and poking, then move into his Q and E to fill him out and make him have a decent shot at first blood (two initial shots, a knockup and a snare + summoner spells go a long way at the start). After that I usually fill in his E, again because it's such a great early game lane harrassing tool. Once you grab his Ulti you can beam back and then come out and try to get a gank at mid with it, and after that you may want to mix it up.
If you're getting pushed hard you'll want to push your W up a little faster, for the snare and HP boost, but if you're doing the pushing and have gotten enough to get your first AD items pretty quickly I say switch to filling out your Q, as that scales off your AD and can be used faster the more points you put in it, also it's -Armor effect can be great if you're having trouble with tanks or tanky dps, or want to boost the damage of an AD champ you are laning with. If you're continuing to lane and haven't gotten enough AD items, keep dumping into your E in order to continue to harrass.
Personally I choose
just because it makes Jarvin, an already powerful chaser and ganker, even more powerful, and it's great for early game ganking or even in-lane killing.
Alternatives are if you feel you'll be facing healers to grab , or if you prefer to chase or escape after doing your Q with , you can do that. If you're having a really hard time managing your mana and can't ever get blue buff for whatever reason, is a decent choice, but I would then toss the mana regen Runes for something else. If you are a primary ganker or lane assist, or just like the added mobility, you can grab a but I prefer battle-useable spells, and good communication and use of Sight Ward should make it easy to live without.
Righto then, to the items.
Even though I'm going fairly heavy DPS here, I prefer to grab a instead of the early. You already have decent early game DPS, with your passive and the Strength runes suggested. The additional HP, Armor, and HP regen help you with early laning endurance, and allow you a decent shot at taking a bit of a risk to grab that first blood if you can.
A lot of people grab next, but I prefer . Mainly because I often find myself poking early, as opposed to all-out assaulting, and I get more out of the 15% CDR, which helps me more easily reach or get close to CDR cap later without having to use less than ideal items.
is a standard next grab, the damage boost, further CDR, and ARP is really nice early, and can really help you start harrassing until you get them far down enough in HP to gank much easier.
is our next grab, a little damage boost, a little survivability as other characters start to power up, and the movement speed debuff makes him a really good early game ganker at this point, and you can start to roam more if you have the opportunity.
Next of course you complete your , which is a great all around item with a good active that can help you gank even better.
Next we boost our HP even more, and further increase our chasing ability with a .
After that we have choices, and it largely depends on your and your enemies group composition, as well as how the game is faring for your team.
If you're getting pushed by healing supports or self-healers, and are low on cash and didn't grab ignite, I greatly recommend the . The lifesteal can help your endurance while fighting them, the crit is always nice, and the active gives you a great boost vs. heal/regen chars.
If their team is filled with tanky armor DPS, I would recommend a , or if you have the coin a .
If they are AP or CC heavy, grab a (might want to trade the for a Mercury Treads at this point as well). If they are squishy and undergeared and you're killing them okay but just having a little issues, feel free to grab a instead.
If they are AD heavy and punishing you hard in melee range, I suggest grabbing a if you don't have much cash, and a or if you do.
Otherwise if your team is doing well and you want to push them harder and they are mostly AP, grab a , otherwise if they are AD consider an . If you'r tearing them apart and not having any issues, feel free to grab an to push your damage over the top.
If you're having trouble pushing lanes but doing fine killing them, I suggest a in order to help you with minion killing, which is also helpful if your teamfights tend to be tightly clustered.
If you're facing an enemy jungler or roaming ganker, I suggest either buying sight wards, or investing in a , as you benefit from everything the lantern has to offer and it helps your team as a whole with the wards, and it's fairly cheap as well. Combining this with his E's ability to bush check makes Jarvan fairly challenging to steal marches on.
Early game laning you should focus on last-hitting, and harrassing your opponents with your E enough to keep them honest, but not so much as you're constantly OOM and miss a chance to get a kill (especially a first blood). Normal melee last-hitting issues, but his passive does help quite a bit, but don't push too hard, let the fight be by your turret if possible, otherwise last hitting becomes extremely hard if you're at theirs. Your main strength in pushing while farming at all is constantly switching targets to allow your passive to function as often as possible. Mana issues make farming with abilities a bad idea, and they should be saved almost exclusively for enemy champions.
You should never really solo lane, but if you do you should pick up a or a or else you may have a hard time pushing hard enough when you need to unless you're really good at abusing Jarvan's passive.
Similar to solo laning, if you decide to try to jungle Jarvan, do the standard and 5x then pushing into and asap then grab a grab a as soon as you can. Remember to NOT focus fire creeps, switch targets at least every few seconds in order to smack the other creeps at least once with your passive, which is one of the only reasons he's a decent jungler. Other than that normal jungle rules apply.