Build Guide by Zhugan
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Jarvan IV Build
Not Updated For Current Season
Jarvan IV has the abilities of a fantastic tank, and most people try to play him like a ad/as carry. I disagree with this method of play. Because Jarvan has so many good crowd control abilities, as well as two excellent ways to initiate, he is better suited to be a tank who can do high initial dps. Jarvan's ability to knock a group of enemies into the air and then, after they land, use an aoe 35% slow on the opposing team means that your carries can get in and target whoever they want, and get out relatively safely. What's more, Jarvan's ultimate can force opponents to give up chasing allies, or be used to trap enemy carries into a small killing zone, in which your ranged ad carries, or spell casters can farm enemy champions with relative ease. In short, Jarvan is most effective as a tank because his abilities work best to initiate team fights and allow teammates to get kills, not Jarvan himself. If you are consistently finishing games with a lot more assists than kills as a champion focusing on dps, then you're doing it wrong.
Explanation of Items, Runes, Masteries, and Summoner Spells
1. Summoner Spells
Jarvan IV is an excellent jungler, between his passive and Demacian Standard, he possess a lot of armor and a lot of ability to jungle. Thus taking exhaust and Smite are both powerful options. Smite allows Jarvan to start at blue buff and quickly move through the majority of the jungle, having to b after getting red and before getting little golems, and then immediately being able to gank at level 4. Exhaust helps Jarvan to improve the amount of disables he can use, giving him four total disables between his slow, knockup, ultimate, and exhaust. Flash and ghost are both good options as well to chase down fleeing enemies or initiate a team fight.
The masteries selected for Jarvan are meant to maximize his effectiveness in the jungle, and to maximize his effectiveness as a tank. Improved smite makes Jarvan a much faster jungler, and the 8 points in utility allow you to be level two immediately after killing blue buff. This allows you to do more of the jungle immediately, and get red buff at level 3. The defense tree masteries come into use once you hit level 4 and begin ganking. Even without items typical of a laning champion, due to Jarvan's ability to initiate a gank with a knockup followed immediately by a slow, you are almsot guaranteed a kill on an enemy champion if one of your allies has another disable, even if it is just another slow. What's more, the defense tree masteries also make jungling far more efficient.
The runes for Jarvan are very simple and intended to make his early game ganks and jungling even faster and more effective. Flat health is better than health per level for a jungler, since it allows you to stay in the jungle for longer, even without lifesteal. Second, the additional armor and magic resist make you a very powerful mid game force against the enemy team because around level 11, you will be tougher than all but the toughest of traditional tanks due to the combination of runes and masteries, even without any ganks and a purely jungle Jarvan.
In the beginning of the game, you obviously want to get a cloth armor and 5 healing potions, so that you can jungle until you run out of potions, usually getting blue buff, wolves, ghosts, and red buff before going back, getting golems and ghosts again, and then going to gank. When you go back the first time, only get boots and 2-3 more healing potions. After a gank attempt, stay in the jungle and gank as needed/necessary. By the time you exit the jungle to start engaging in mid game team fights, you should have at least wriggles lantern and mercury treads, if not also catalyst of the protector or all of banshee's veil.
Once you have banshee's veil, if your team is in good condition for team fighting, you should engage as often as possible within reason because the combination of shield, ultimate, banshee's veil, and knockup will make you a powerhouse in the beginning of a teamfight, and invaluable in forcing enemy champions to burn their flashes to escape your ultimate before the fight has even really started. Sunfire cape, warmog's and frozen mallet give you yet more armor and health, while also allowing you to capitalize on the rate of your attacks, slowing opponents so your carries can get even more kills.
Early Game, Mid Game, and Late Game Tank Jarvan
1. Early Game
In the very beginning of the game you will want to start at blue buff, go to wolves, then ghoest, then red buff, then golems. In order to complete this, you have to use all five potions, and preferably have mid leash blue buff for you at the start of jungling, to prevent any possibility of death. At level 4, if you run exhaust especially, it is very easy to gank any lane you desire, provided that both members of the lane don't have flash. What's more, at the very beginning of the game, that is when your dps will be highest, so these ganks are when you will get the majority of your kills. Remember though, if you can let a carry get the kills, do it. An assist may not be as good money, but in the long run, it is better for the team. This build of Jarvan is a farming machine, and most games I finish with over 200 farm. Make sure to gank heavily before any towers are pushed, especially again once you hit 6 and again any time your ultimate ability is up, as it is perfect for ganks.
This is arguably the worst time for a jungling tank Jarvan if you didn't gank enough, or for some reason, your ganks weren't successful. You need the ganks to make sure that you finish the early game with boots, wriggle's lantern, and banshee's veil. Without those, it makes mid game very difficult because it highly increases the chances that you will die in team fights. And you want to be initiating team fights. If you can quickly dash in, and use your ultimate to block enemy carries inside of it, then your carries can quickly pick them off. This is especially effective with champions like Lux, Miss Fortune, Brand, Ryze, etc. who have powerful aoe ultimates and other abilities. Even with many deaths in this phase however, if you farm up between team fights, and effectively tank, allowing your team to win team fights and subsequently push, this phase will quickly be over, and Jarvan's best phase will come in.
Tank Jarvan's end game is one of the strongest of any tanks' for several reasons. He gives an aoe armor and attack speed buff to his allies, which is particularly powerful for ad carries. His shield makes initiating less immediately dangerous while also slowing down the other team opening them up to be singled out one at a time. His ultimate functions much like amumu's or shen's, forcing enemy champions to attack a single target/do nothing at all. His passive means that when he first hits the various carries, he hits very hard, and can quickly rack up a large amount of damage on multiple targets. Finally, as low as your attack damage is, your attack rate will be rather high for a tank, especially with your standard planted, which means that you can quickly push towers with one or two allies, even without creep once you have reached a full build, which means that a creep wave isn't necessary to push inhibitor turrets. Assuming the enemy team isn't all tanks, this phase is the phase when tank Jarvan roles the competition, and feeds his carries the decisive kills of the game.