Jarvan IV Build Guide by Zerksis

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Zerksis

Jarvan IV - A guide to a successful top lane

Zerksis Last updated on July 30, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Introduction - Who I am, and why this guide?

First of all, hello, and welcome to my very first MobaFire guide - featuring Jarvan IV, The Exemplar of Demacia.

I've been playing LoL for about 2 years now. I own most of the champions in the league - meaning I am an experienced player from Europe, playing whenever I have time.

As said above, I own a lot of champions - I don't just focus on 1 single champion, or, for example 1 lane ; I am viable, all the way from a beefy solo top, to the very squishy duo bottom (based on the current meta).

I made this guide because I want to hare my experience of a very good solo top champion - Jarvan IV. I like playing him a lot, becuase he's very viable - from a full AD ''carry'', to a beefy tank/offtank.

I really hope this guide will get attention from people that need help, or just want to read about their favourite champion.

If you have any opinions, personal experiance, or tips to share - just leave a reply and I will be more than happy, to be able to read what you guys have to say. I would also be very happy if you could help me make this guide better - leave some constructive criticism, or vote, if you have an account.

Thanks, and I also hope this guide will help you become a better LoL player.

Please remember, that this guide isn't done yet.

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Abbreviations - Short forms of words, what exactly do they mean?

Abbreviations are mostly used in LoL because they take less time to write and are faster to understand (for most people).

Most important abbreviations:

LoL - League of Legends

Top - top lane

Bot - bottom lane

Mid - middle lane

SS - miss/missing (enemy players are missing, for example ; SS top)

MIA - missing in action (same as SS)

Drake - Dragon

Drag - Dragon (same as Drake)

Baron - Baron Nashor

AA - auto attack

CC - crowd controll

MS - movement speed

GP10 - gold per 10 minutes

TF - team fight

AR - armor

MR - magic resist

MR/AR/lvl - magic resist/armor per level or/and at lvl 18

BF - blue buff

RB - red buff

AOE - area of affect

DOT - damage over time

Always keep in mind that calling SS or MIA is very important, it helps your team coordinatethe enemy player locations, but it also can and/or will save a team mate's life.

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Pros/cons - Why play Jarvan?


- viable

- beefy/tanky

- good sustain

- interesting abilities

- has a built in flash (if used right)

- can 1v1 in his very own arena

- fun to play

- has nearly no mana problems


- hard to master

- most champions can jump out of his ult

- team, item, and ability dependant

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Runes - Different options & explanation

My personal favourites:

Greater Mark of Desolation x9 - Good for mid game, where enemy players will start building more armor.

Greater Seal of Armor x9 - Good for early and mid game, because you need armor at the top lane, since you will mostly play against melee AD bruisers.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist x9 - Since you mostly won't be playing vs. AP casters in your lane, you won't need a lot of magic resist early game. Because AP casters do more damage mid and late game, these runes will give you some good defense stats when that time comes.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage x3 - These runes are close to perfect for early and mid game, they give you the little AD, which will help you a lot at farming and keeping up your damage. It's true, they don't do a lot late game, but they're still usefull.

You can switch these runes around however you want, remember, you must find something that fits to your gameplay.

Other viable rune options:

Greater Mark of Attack Damage - Good for early game damage and last hitting.

Greater Seal of Replenishment - Good if you're new to the game and have mana problems, which you, actually, shouldn't have.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist - Good if you want to have more defense early game, vs. those annoying and beefy AP casters.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation - Same as flat AD marks, good for early game damage and last hitting.

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - Overall a good rune choice for any champion, good for last hitting, chasing, and running away.

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Masteries - Different combinations & explanation

I've said this a few times now, but Jarvan IV really is a viable champion, meaning you can choose any mastery tree that includes damage and/or tankiness. I prefer the tanky 9/21 mastery page, because it gives you the tankiness, which you will need at thetop lane, and the damage, which you will need for last hitting, and most of all, fighting your lane opponent.

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Summoner spells - Best options & explanation

A lot of people will probably wonder why I pick Flash, when Jarvan IV already has a built in flash. Well, that's true, but if you're new, or just haven't mastered him yet, you will miss a lot of his ability potential - the combo also has a quite long cooldown, meaning you will be left defenseless.

I will talk more about his built in flash ability combination later - how to use it, and most of all, when to use it.

I pick Ignite for my second summoner spell, because it's good vs. champions like Dr. Mundo and Vladimir (it lowers their healing), but it's also good for finishing off enemies that are low on hp.

Other viable summoner spells:

Exhaust - Good for 1v1 situations (lowers an enemies damage output and defense), and most of all, shutting down their AD carry.

Ghost - Good for chasing and running away.

Teleport - Good for map controll, meaning you can, for example, recall and get back to your lane in a few seconds, teleport to a ward in a bush & help allies, teleport to an enemy tower and quicky destroy it,...

Cleanse - Good for defense, especially in TF's (removes all disables and summoner spell debuffs).

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Abilities - What the hell do they do?

Martial Cadence(passive)
Jarvan IV's first attack on his target deals 6 / 8 / 10 % of the target's current health as bonus physical damage, which caps at 400 damage. This effect cannot occur on the same target for 6 seconds.
Dragon Strike(Q)
Jarvan IV extends his lance through his opponent, dealing 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+1.1 per bonus attack damage) physical damage and lowering their armor by 10 / 14 / 18 / 22 / 26 % for 3 seconds. If its lance contacts his standard it will pull Jarvan IV to its location, knocking up all enemies in his path.
Golden Aegis(W)
Jarvan IV forges a shield protecting him for 50 / 90 / 130 / 170 / 210 (+20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 per nearby enemy champion) damage for 5 seconds and slowing surrounding enemies by 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 % for 2 seconds upon activation. The shield adds more mitigation for every enemy champion nearby when activating.
Demacian Standard(E)
Passive: Grants Jarvan IV a bonus 10 / 13 / 16 / 19 / 22 % attack speed and 10 / 13 / 16 / 19 / 22 armor.

Active: Jarvan IV throws a Demacian flag to a nearby area, dealing 60 / 105 / 150 / 195 / 240 (+80% of ability power) magic damage to enemies in the area and granting his passive benefits to nearby allies and again to himself for 8 seconds.
Jarvan IV heroically leaps to an enemy champion, dealing 200 / 325 / 450 (+1.5 per bonus attack damage) physical damage and creating a circle of impassable terrain around them for a 3.5 second duration. Jarvan IV can destroy the area by activating it again. Champions can still leave or enter the area by using teleport abilities.

Tips and tricks:

I was talking about Jarvan IV's built in flash in the sections above, if you wondered how to use it, or still do, this is for you:

Jarvan IV has some very interesting abilities, which are, in some solutions, hard to use and time right. The key to becoming a good Jarvan IV player is practice, practice, and more practice. So, now that you know, what his abilities do, let's get to some tricks.

If you alredy read what his abilities do, in the section above, you may know how to use his built in flash by now ; if not, I will explain it here:

How to use Jarvan IV's built in flash:

If you want to get away, chase an enemy, or just get over a wall fast, without using Flash, Jarvan IV has something that you will like. Once you get to lvl 2, you should have Demacian Standard and Dragon Strike, meaning you are ready to use his built in gap closer/flash. The trick is to drop down Demacian Standard into the direction you want to leap (smart-cast recommendet), and quickly pull yourself to it with Dragon Strike - basically, you just aim it into the direction of the flag (you must be close enough to the flag, else it won't work). That's basically it, it's a fun combo, which will save your life many times.

How to get away using Jarvan IV's ulti trap:

A more advanced way of getting away from an enemy could be to close them in with Cataclysm, and use your built in flash/leap, or Flash out of it. They will be trapped and you can continue your escape. Though, expect them to Flash out of it ; so still be carefull.

This combo also works for chasing.

How to harras/pressure an enemy using Jarvan IV's awesome harras combo:

If you want to harras/pressure an enemy player, simply use your E -> Q -> (AA) -> W combo. It is very usefull, because it will hurt him, while you'll take minimal damage because of your shield. You can do this as many times as you wish, just be careful. Don't dive him (do it only if he's low on hp), or leap into a big minion wave - it could lead to a painfull and most of all fast death.

You can also use Cataclysm in between, but expect your enemy to Flash out of it, as usually. The best moment would be to wait for them to use their Flash, and then immediately jump on them with Cataclysm.

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Items - What, why & when?

Never build the same way in all games, you will need to ]change it up many times. Trust me, if you will end up with a fed enemy carry, you will want to build armor sooner ; same for AP carries, if they get fed, you will want to build magic resist sooner.

It is true, that HP gives you quite a lot, since it will eat up both AD and AP damage. But, there are many anti-hp/tank items, which will tear you apart if you don't have any armor or/and magic resist. You need defensive stats, not just HP, you just do. You're the tank, always keep that in mind.

Recommendet items:

Doran's Shield - All-around a good item to start with, it gives you hp, armor, and bonus sustain.

Doran's Blade - Good item for hp, AD, and life steal. I wouldn't recommend starting with it, but sometimes, if you just have a bad early game, or low farm, it can help a lot - it brought me back into the game more than just once. I wouldn't recommend stacking more than 3, though. It can and/or will cripple your item build.

Philosopher's Stone - Very good item to get early in the game, it will give you a lot more sustain and the GP10 passive. You can sell this item later, and buy something better.

Heart of Gold - Also a good item choice, if you want some more HP, and GP10. It's also very good, because you can, later, build it into Randuin's Omen.

Mercury's Treads - Imo the best boots in the game. You get the MS bonus, some magic resist, and on top of that, tenacy. They're good vs. enemy teams with a lot of CC. Though, I always get them - they're very usefull.

Ninja Tabi - Imo the second best boots. They give you the MS bonus, some armor, and on top of that you also get a buff, which lowers the damage you recieve, when an enemy AA's you. Overall a good item choice, especially vs. heavy AD teams.

Trinity Force - It is a really expensive item, but it gives you many usefull stats, and a nice passive. You will want to build it as soon as possible. Sometimes, if the game goes good, I build it as my second item, after boots (though, GP10 items are always usefull and recommendet to build before).

Warmog's Armor - Very good item, if you need HP and HP regan. You can pretty much build it at any time in the game, because you can and/or will farm the passive up really fast - it doesn't matter when you get it ; the passive is not hard to max out.

Force of Nature - Good item vs. AP casters. It gives you MR, HP regan (based on your HP), and, on top of that, a nice MS passive, which is always usefull.

Atma's Impaler - It gives you nice armor stats, a critical strike chance and a more than usefull passive. The passive gives you bonus AD (based on your HP), it is usefull even before you get Warmog's Armor, but it really starts to shine after you get it.

Randuin's Omen - A nice item with nice stats, and a passive, which fits to Jarvan IV's play style. It basically slows down enemy players that are close to you, meaning you can use it after you leap into their team, after you use Cataclysm,... It would be sad not to build this item, since you already have Heart of Gold.

I just want to point out, that you don't have to build the two GP10 items, but it is recommendet, because you will have more income and sustain.

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Getting started - How & why that way?

Jarvan IV is a very strong champion, he has a lot of sustain and is quite beefy/tanky - that's why you mostly want to go top when playing him (you can also jungle and support with him, it's your personal choice - though, I'm focusing on solo top in this guide).

When you get into the game, put a point into Demacian Standard(E), and buy a Regrowth Pendant and a Health Potion, or Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion's, I prefer the first combination, because it gives you a lot of bonus early game sustain, and it builds into a fast Philosopher's Stone.

If you choose to go top lane, your team should have a jungler, and it's your job to protect him together with your mid and/or bot lane. Just stand near the jungle entrance, and make sure there are no unwelcome guests coming in. If he politely asks for a pull (AA the golem 1 time, then run back to your lane), do it, but try not to lose a lot of hp.

When you get to your lane, your biggest role is to farm and pay attention to the map (to prevent ganks and help allies in need). You can also pressure your lane opponent with a E -> Q -> W combo, but be careful, becuase his AA's and minions can hurt a lot, at these low lvl's. Try to not AA the minions all the time, just last hit - that will prevent you from getting overextendet, meaning the enemy jungler will have a hard time ganking.

If you manage to get your lane opponent low on hp, try to use your combo (E -> Q -> W) for a last time, which will throw him up into the air - immediately AA him a few times, and throw Ignite on him - he should die pretty fast (expect a Flash, he will try to get away - Ignite should finish him, though).

Keep farming, becuase it's very important - since Jarvan IV is quite item dependant, as mentioned above. If you manage to kill your lane opponent, or basically if there's a good time to recall - just do it, it doesn't hurt, unless you miss out a lot of last hits and exp. Buy a Philosopher's Stone, and a Heart of Gold early in the game, since they're GP10 items - they will also help you at staying longer in lane ; resulting in more last hits and exp.

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Team work - What's my role?

Your role is to farm, farm, farm early/mid game and not miss out any bigger actions. Always be ready to help your team, they need you, you're their tank. It's your role to defend and protect them from the enemy team, you're like a wall that stands in between, and teams are firing arrows over it/you, while you still deal decent damage. You're the one that goes first into battle ; even if you die. And no, I'm not telling you to go 1v5 and commit suicide, play smart ; it always leads to victory and more fun for all of you.

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Please read this

I have a lot more to add to this guide (including more images), but first, I want to see what people think of it. If people won't like it, there is no reason for me to continue writing and/or updating this. I hope you liked it, if not, please leave a reply why, and I will improve everything I can, to make it better for all of you.