Jarvan IV Build Guide by muse4756

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League of Legends Build Guide Author muse4756

Jarvan IV: The Champion of Demacia

muse4756 Last updated on October 12, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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In light of the recent patch updates to Jarvan, I have found that he is still a formidable Off Tank brute who wasn't really affected. Only some small decreases in his damage but with Jarvan you were mainly the Tank or Off Tank anyways so no harm done. This did make me change my guide a bit so he now better suits his role.

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Hello everyone and thank you for looking at my guide to building a Jarvan IV who is a good and formidable off-tank early-mid game. Then becomes a force to reckon with late game. In this build I will try to go over as much stuff in how I play Jarvan as much as I can. Hopefully, you can take from this guide and be able to make Jarvan one of your favorite champions to use.

Also, it is a lengthy guide but that is only to try and inform all of you with as much information as I possibly can!

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Quick Info

If you are someone who likes to do TONS of damage or have a ridiculous amount of kills then this build for Jarvan is not for you. With this build you are 1st and foremost an off/full tank for your team. Understand this and you will be a great asset to your team and your Win/Loss ratio :)

Now, I am not saying you wont get no kills with him, you will get your fair share but also realize you might die a lot. This is okay so long as your carries, especially those with snowball items, stay alive.

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Pros / Cons


- Tanky and isnt a tank that can be avoided.
- Amazing Laner and he can solo against 2 well if you have a jungler.
- Great initiator.
- Amazing at clearing creeps.
- Boosts other AD members attack speed in your team in team fights.
- His attack animations are brutal.
- His passive.
- Great escape mechanisms.
- He is just a boss. Period.


- Not a "true" tank. He will get dropped if you initiate with poor communication.
- His ult can wreck your own teammates if not used correctly.
- His ult can also ruin your chance at catching an opponent.
- Low mana pool early on. Mana will be scarce early I promise.
- No burst damage.
- Kinda weak early game with this build and item build. He can still do some good damage though but the point is to tank for your team until you get your 2 damage dealing items.

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The Frozen Mallet vs. Trinity Force Debate

My build uses a Frozen Mallet over a Trinity Force but most other builds use the tri force. Tri force does give you 10 more damage and 250 mana. It also gives you the movement speed and crit chance. It really is a great item but its very expensive. So is frozen mallet but with the extra money i saved purchasing the mallet I find my self completing my full build earlier. If you are really keen with Jarvans abilities then you can replace the Mallet with tri force but I only advise this if you feel like you can get your farm on in that game. If you feel like you can farm well and are going against another solo in top then I dont see no fault in replacing mallet with tri force here then. I always pick mallet though and it has brought me great success.
Also, with tri force you sit at 2600 health against 300 with mallet.

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Skill Sequence

Before I get into the rest of the guide I want to layout the quick "Flag+Lance" combo as I like to refer it to.

With Jarvan you can drop your Demacian Standard and then use your Dragon Strike to connect the end of your lance path to the place where you dropped your flag. This will cause Jarvan to get pulled to the location of the flag and knock up any enemies in his path. I will go more into detail with this combo later.

Martial Cadence
This passive is GREAT for last hitting and helps do some great damage with 1st hits and can help with team fights as you rotate between enemy champions to maximize its damage potential. It does get weaker as their health drops but it still makes a huge difference.

Dragon Strike
Jarvan's "Q" that is the 2nd part to your "Flag+Lance" combo. This is a great ability to harass opponents with and last hit minions. Also, it does damage AND reduces the enemies armor. How freaking awesome is that?

Golden Aegis
Jarvan's "W". A good ability that I always use at the end of my Flag+Lance combo. It gives you a decent shield that gets stronger with the number of enemy champions nearby. Also it slows them which helps against auto attackers. Also, if you are running away or helping a teammate run away, you can drop this bad boy to slow the enemy down.

Demacian Standard
Jarvan's "E" drops a "Flag" at target location and does a small bit of magic damage to enemies it lands on. Also, it boosts your nearby allies and your armor and attack speed. This is great when laning with someone and has further range than your Dragon Strike. You can also use this to finish off an opponent who has very little health and running away if you are good with the placement of the flag.

Jarvan's "R" and ability that strikes fear into your opponents. This move is his "I am a bad *** and you are fighting me to the death" move....unless those bastards have Flash or an ability that lets them escape. This move should NEVER be used to initate UNLESS you have someone in your team that has aoe abilities that hit them all. An example would be Fiddlesticks using his aoe that in tandem with your ult will hold all of your opponents while Fiddles ult wrecks everything.

When playing against other Jarvans, I realize that many of them go for maxing out Dragon Strike before Demacian Standard. I dont. I always max out Demacian Standard first followed by Dragon Strike and finish it with Golden Aegis. Obviously you always put a point into your ultimate Cataclysm when you can.

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Summoner Spells

The best spells suited for this Jarvan build are going to be Flash and Teleport. These two are amazing spells that will help you out tremendously in escape and/or for great positioning.

Teleport is very important for Jarvan because it gets you back into your lane faster or to a team fight faster.

Out of the 2 spells, Teleport can be replaced alhtough I dont advise it. Flash I would definitely not replace. Dont even think about it. Ill explain why. For now though, I will tell you other possible spells you can get to replace Teleport

Use this to help reveal locations for your teammates. Specifically Baron for those late games.
Jarvan is very mana dependent early on and he will run out early on. This will help you in the early game with mana but is useless in the mid-late game, so I advise against it.
If you want to remove some buffs. More specifically, when you are trying to escape or chase someone down who tried to slow/stun you.
Useful for catching those pesky runners or slowing down auto attackers. My build uses 2 slows though so this is not required.
Helps with escaping, catching up to enemy champions, or just getting to a location a lot faster.

Now, Flash is a MUST in this build because it is a huge difference maker in escapes or runners. I always select this spell for pretty much all of my champions but it is essential for Jarvan, and ill tell you why.

Ex: You are running back to you lane and you see your lane partner just got ganked by 3 opponents. He is not dead yet but he is running for his life and will not make it. Jarvan to the rescue. This is where you come in and you use your Demacian Standard + Dragon Strike combo to knock all 3 up in the air. Then, once your team mate is out of range for your ult, you drop your ult on all 3 gankers and you Flash out of your own ult. Then you and your buddy can walk away and he will praise you for being so pro.
This also helps if you are getting ganked and you can ult on your gankers and Flash out and run away. Now I know you can use your Flag+Lance combo but normally if it is 3 or more gankers, I will get stunned or something and get killed. So I just use my Flash to escape those bad situations.
Yes, your ult can be used defensively. Amazing right? It is not just an ability that traps your opponent(s) or helps you catch a runner. It is a great defensive ability that is over looked by too many Jarvans.
Finally, ever had someone who is running and is just out of reach for your ult? very frustrating isnt it? Well no more. Use your Flash and catch up to the bastard and drop your crater right on his *** and watch him squirm as he realizes his death is upon him.

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Runes. I will offer info on my rune choices with some extra choices for you to have options.

For my Marks
I go with 9 Greater Mark of Desolation Greater Mark of Desolation. To be honest, these should not be replaced at all. This runes give you that early armor pen that can give you a few quick kills and some good armor pen when bundled with your quints.

For my Seals
I go with Greater Seal of Defense 9 Greater Seal of Defense. You get the per level because the final total armor output is great. Some other good alternatives are going with a full set of Greater Seal of Replenishment Greater Seal of Replenishment if you feel you need the mana regen and you think you can get away without the armor. Also, you can go with the flat armor seals Greater seal of Resilience so you can get a better armor rating early game.
I would only go with defensive or mana regen here though. If anything stick to armor seals and mana regen seals only.

For my Glyphs
I go with 9 Greater Glyph of Shielding. Obviously here you can go with the flat runes but I found it much more efficient going with the per level magic resist. You can also get some cooldown reductions runes like Greater Glyph of Focus or with Greater Glyph of Celerity. I prefer the magic resist for those damn AP casters.

Finally, the Quintessences
These 3 I fill with Greater Quintessence of Desolation Greater Quintessence of Desolation because bundled with your armor pen Marks, you will get some very nice armor pen; especially early on.

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The Masteries

With my masteries I go with a 9-21-0 set up.

I pump 9 of those points into Offense and 21 into Defense.
Now, obviously the defensive points are there for defense but you can modify the placement of the points to your liking.

In the offense you want those 4 points in Sorcery to help with cooldown and at least 1 point in Sunder for some more armor pen. Cant have enough penetration :)

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So now its time for the items. The items I put in the build order are the items you should have in the end. Now in this section I will go more in depth in how you should go about obtaining the items and give you some situational items.


Now that you have your core you have to judge your next items on how their team is playing.

If you are having a good match and you feel like its under control, then stick to the original build and finish it. You will continue to be tanky and deal great amounts of damage.

Now we get into the order of the items.

Early Game

1v2 or 1v1 Top
I start off with Regrowth Pendant and one health pot. Usually I end up with a jungler and I will always go with the 1v2 lane. By taking the solo lane you MUST be defensive and let them push into your turret with their minion waves and just focus on last hitting minions. Dont even bother harassing the enemy champions unless the opportunity rises. By this I mean you should not be poking them with your lance or flag. Save your mana and last hit minions. Rack up gold and experience so you can lvl faster and build your items quickly. The main thing is you want to stay in your lane as long as possible. Once you have your gold grab your boots and Philosopher's Stone Philosopher's Stone. The stone you will sell later on but you will need for the mana/health regen and the gold it grants. If you are not having problems with mana then get the Heart of Gold and a few health pots instead.

Now if you lane with someone then you follow the same thing but if the option comes up to push them back do it. Try and get you and your laning partner to deprive the enemy champions in your lane from experience. The first time you go back try and get Heart of Gold along with the Philosopher's Stone Philosopher's Stone and your boots (tier 1 is ok for now). You will later turn the HoG into a Randuins Omen.

Solo Mid

Now I have been asked to solo mid in some games before. In the past I have played in mid and I was successful. By successful I dont not mean I pushed them or that I got a kill. What I mean is that they did little to no damage to my turret and I got the experience and gold I needed. Now, if you solo mid with Jarvan, you will NEED to really on ganks to finish off your opponent unless he is just bad. I faced a Teemo who thought he was going to have a field day with me and he pushed into my turret way too far. As my turret was finishing off his last minion, Teemo turned to run and I used my Flag+Lance combo to knock him into the air. The turret turned on him lit him up with 2 shots and then I ult on him to finish him off. The only mids I had a very hard time with was with a Leblanc and an Alistar. Once I get a chance to square off against them again ill update this guide and let you know how to handle them. As for know, just be super defensive and dont push past the river.

Mid Game

Now we are into the Mid Game section and this starts when you are in the 20-35 min mark. In this aspect of the game you start building into your core and try to finish it off. Once you have your 4 core items you should look at the enemy team and see who on their team is carrying them.

If they are Attack Damage/Attack Speed then go with these

If you build these two then sell the HoG and use the money into buying them. Randuins would be good here but you already have a slow with Frozen Mallet so you wont need it and these 2 items will provide better defenses. Plus, the Frozen Heart comes with a passive slow to any enemies within range. The 2 items You would be replacing would be Banshees and Randuins

If they are AP/Caster go with these

If you go with any of these 2 selections up top then realize you are going FULL tank with Jarvan and while you sacrifice damage, you are becoming super tanky and are taking the role of tank for your team. You should only follow this route if you have no tank or off tank in your team. Or if you feel like your team would benefit more from following this route. The 2 you would replace here will be Atmas for FoN and Randuins for the Guardian Angel.

If they are pretty well balanced and dont have a major threat then stick to the original build and finish off the Randuins Omen and your Atmas Impaler. Now, I get a lot of smack for running 2 slowing items, Randuins and the Mallet. However, the Mallet only slows who you ATTACK. Randuins slows every enemy champion NEAR you. This is an ultimate devastation to the opponents team. Especially if they have auto attackers. Now if you feel the 2 slows are excessive then replace Randuins with a Sunfire Cape. The point of getting the Atmas is to have over 3400 health and in tandem with your Flag+Lance combo, you will start doing some good damage. Not only can you tank but you can be a formidable damage dealer too.




OR You can add Sunfire Cape for Warmogs and Frozen Heart for Randuins or Warmogs.

A Guardian Angel can also take on the spot of Youmuu's Ghostblade in the original build if you need to go full tank. This will make you real tanky while sacrificing some power. However, initiating will be a lot easier because you can die and you will revive and continue causing mayhem.

A Warmog's Armor can also replace Randuins Omen if you feel that you dont need all that armor. This will bulk your hp up a great amount and further increasing your damage output.


After the 40 min mark, the late game begins and hopefully you have your build close to being complete or complete. A this point in the game you are the initiator and must go in there and start ****. This is the ONE AND ONLY time you try and use your ult to trap all of their team, or most of them, in your ult and drop your Randuins if you have it. If not, use your Flag+Lance combo to knock as many up of them up into the air and letting your team focus their squishy characters. You have no idea how annoying it is to go in there, start ****, then see your team focus the tanks and let you die and then watch your team die because they spent too much time killing a tank while the other teams carry/carries ruined all of you. Please, communicate with your teammates and let them know to focus the squishy characters.

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How to Play With Jarvan/Team Work

This is the last section and this goes into more in depth on how to use Jarvan in game.


In a 1v1 situation it is all about using your Flag+Lance combo as often as you can. Usually you use it twice before he dies unless you went DPS. So basically you start off the fight by going E->Q->W and then auto attacking until you get your combo back and then use it again. If the fight is close and it looks like you might not make it but he is almost gone too but your E is still a few seconds away from being usable, use your Dragon Strike to do some damage and lower his armor so you can finish him off. If he is low on health and turns to run, dont use your ult immediately if you know he has Flash. Chase and wait for your Flag+Lance combo to come back up and use it on him. He will panic and he will Flash out but should still be in range for your ult. Then he is trapped and you have a kill. Also, if you miss your combo, dont continue the chase. More than likely he will have a teammate coming up to him and its better to just let it go.


In this situation you are in a bad spot and you could be in trouble. If you know you are in trouble then you must turn on the escape tactics. What you do is you try to get to terrain you can flash through. However, you dont use flash. Use your Flag+Lance combo to get you through the terrain and if they Flash through or use a skill to get them through the terrain, Flash back to the other side of the terrain and watch him curse your pro dodge.
If you can take on them, drop your combo on them and try to knock both of them up. Aim for the greater threat to you 1st and quickly dispatch of him. If you have your Ghostblade, activate it and take him out quickly so you can turn on his teammate.


In a 2v2, you are going to be taking the blunt of the damage and letting your teammate finish off the enemy. Use your Flag+Lance combo and try to harass them with your passive so they can turn their attention to you. If they try to run ult on both of them. Hopefully your fellow teammate can finish them off. Now, if your teammate is a close combat character then dont ult on them as he wont be able to help you and they can shred you. If only 1 is running and the other stays, DONT CHASE. Stay with your teammate and finish of the other enemy. If you have time try to Flash closer and ult on the runner. If not, its not worth chasing after him and potentially having him escape and having your teammate die to the other enemy champion.

Team Fights

In team fights its the only time you can use your ult as an initiation. The only problem with that is that due to your badass drop on them, they will usually focus you down hard. However, your ults walls will remain up and leave your enemies cluttered together. This will allow your ranged carry/carries enough time to do some damage to the opposing team and wreck some havoc. If you are not immediately dropped as you used your ult, try to quickly Flash out and then use your Flag+Lance combo to get back in your ult to knock them all into the air. Then hopefully they try to focus you down like idiots, leaving them open to your teammates to pick them apart. If you do this right and you have good teammates, you should not die if you do it correctly or at least go down like a bad *** but with the knowledge of knowing you were the reason why your team was able to score that crucial ACE!

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So, In conclusion, Jarvan is one of those characters that is pretty versatile but is mostly used as a Tank or Off Tank. If any of you have any info on how I can make this guide better please let me know. Have fun and hopefully I have helped you all fall in love with Jarvan and make him one of your favorite champions to use. More importantly though, being able to use him effectively and making him benefit your team rather then crippling you all with poorly timed ults and initiations. Peace and have fun.