Jarvan IV Build Guide by CellOne

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League of Legends Build Guide Author CellOne

Jarvan revamped: Atmogs ftw!

CellOne Last updated on August 7, 2011
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Trinity Force

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: 11

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 6

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

Utility: 13

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Hi guys and welcome to my Jarvan IV guide!
In this guide I will tell you why I prefer Atmogs (= Warmog's Armor + Atma's Impaler) with Jarvan instead of Trinity Force and what this means for you and our great Jarvan!

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Atmogs vs Trinity Force

After the row of nerfes for Jarvan I felt sad when playing him. I made a few tests and had the feeling that the other, new offtanks are way better at solo top than a standard Trinity Force Jarvan.
So I began playing Jarvan with Atmogs.
Atmogs means, you buy a Warmog's Armor and after this an Atma's Impaler to get tons of defense, HP and damage with two items.
Actually there are two common offtank builds:

Trinity Force



Trinity Force is very nice due to the high burst damage you can deal with it and an offtank also needs all the other things that item offers.
Atmogs is a more tanky way. Most offtanks are nearly immortal with a Warmog's and together with Atma's the damage is increased a lot.

I don't want to compare those two builds on their own, instead I will focus on Jarvan.

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Trinity Force is tricky...

Three things you need to know about Trinity Force!

  1. The "Sheen"-effect only triggers every two seconds! If you don't believe it, try it out.
  2. The increased damage for the next attack is only your BASE damage (in case you play Jarvan it's 111)! Any bonus damage won't be counted for this effect!
  3. The "Sheen"-effect does NOT multiplicate with Critical Strikes!

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What to play with Jarvan?

I want to show you these two situations:

Jarvan IV, lvl 18, Trinity Force

He hits the enemy with Demacian Standard + Dragon Strike, sets an autoattack to activate the passive and use the proc from TF and uses (with a short delay so TF triggers again) Cataclysm. Another 3 autoattacks (one with the proc) and he activates his shield to trigger TF again. Another 4 autoattacks due to the slow from the shield.

Q + E + R
8 autoattacks
3x TF

Jarvan IV, lvl 18, Trinity Force

He hits the enemy with Demacian Standard + Dragon Strike, sets an autoattack to activate the passive and uses instantly Cataclysm. Another 3 autoattacks in the arena. Then he activates his shield to slow the target and lands another 3-4 autoattacks.

Q + E + R
7 autoattacks (let's say it's one less - TF offers some AS)

I will ignore the ArP, damage from skills and the passive's damage for these examples, since the ArP and skill damage is (should be) the same in both cases and the passive is not a that hard damage source in a lategame (except noone is buying MR, lol).

So here's the calculation!
(if you don't want to read this, jump to the last sentence from this chapter)

Jarvan's basic AD is 111. With Trinity Force 141.

8 * 141 = 1128
3 * (1.5*111) = 499.5
1128 + 499.5 = 1627.5

Bonus damage from the skills:
Dragon Strike: 30*1.1 = 33
Demacian Standard: 30*0.8 = 24
Cataclysm: 30*1.5 = 45
33 + 45 + 24 = 102

102 + 1627.5 = 1729.5

With Atmogs Jarvan's AD is with a full Warmog's around 190.

7 * 190 = 1330

Bonus damage from the skills:
Dragon Strike: 80*1.1 = 88
Cataclysm: 80*1.5 = 120
88 + 120 = 208

208 + 1330 = 1538

As you can see, the damage from the Trinity Force-Jarvan is slighty better (nearly 200 points).
But this is just a small example for a short situation in theory. But even this shows us that Atmog's is even in a burst damage situation not far behind Trinity Force. Why this?
In general Jarvan tries hard on triggering TF. You need to use "always" two of your skills together and in general you jump instantly with Cataclysm without waiting two seconds to get the most damage due to the armor reduction. Only the shield will trigger TF again in a short time. This means: 4 abilities -> 2x TF.
Without the third time TF triggering the damage from Atmogs is less than 100 points lower.
And there are still a few things to remember:

  • Let's say, you get Trinity Force to trigger every two seconds (even though it's not written there, it triggers only every two seconds) with an AS of ~1.5 attacks/second. That means, in 6 seconds you do 9 attacks, 3 with the proc.
    9 * 141 = 1269
    3 * (1.5*111) = 499.5
    1768.5 damage

    With Atmogs:

    9 * 190 = 1710 damage

    -> just 58.5 damage less!

    The math-freaks will already recognize the point in this: the more attacks you are doing, the closer the "damage distance" so to say between both builds is. And this is just the theorycrafting! In practice noone is able to (or even wants to, maybe you want to save your shield or "jump" for later on) trigger Trinity Force every two seconds.

    Side note: in a real game you would make probably one attack less than the TF-Jarvan due to his slightly higher AS.
  • So this is my thesis: Atmogs and TF deal the same damage after a few seconds (sometimes right from the beginning, depending on how often TF triggers) and Atmogs can even deal very soon more damage than TF.

    In case we say they deal the same damage, we need to look at the other things the builds are offering us.
    To do this, just have a look at the first three builds on the left and the build on the right side at top. You will see that the Atmogs-Jarvans have way more HP (and more HP earlier on, with TF you get to high HP values quite late), armor, HP reg, AD (meh, MOBA sucks... Atma's bonus damage is not added :P) and even more crit chance.
    The Trinity Force-Jarvan has more mana and AP (both more or less useless for Jarvan), slightly more MS and AS and the chance to slow his enemy. I added the Giant's Belt to get nearly the same final cost.

    As you can imagine, the mana and AP doesn't matter. You won't kill an enemy with Jarvan IV by having more AP since you won't even hit enemys all the time with Demacian Standard. You need to get it into a good position to knock up, not to deal damage.
    The MS is pretty nice, but not that important for Jarvan with his ton of CC. The other good things about TF are AS and slow. But does Jarvan really need any slow? I don't think so - you got a knock up, a AoE-slow and a cage. Pwnd.
    And the AS is pretty useless on a TF-Jarvan since his AD is really low.

    But what offers Atmogs?

    Atmogs allows you to be VERY tanky (as I said, you have way more HP) plus dealing A TON of damage. An Atmogs-Jarvan is way more tanky than a TF-Jarvan.
    Also every item that gives you HP will increase your damage furthermore (e.g. Banshee's Veil, Randuin's Omen, Frost Mallet, Trinity Force). A TF-Jarvan needs to buy more damage items to increase the damage (except he goes for Atma's as well). But Jarvan is not a DD, he's an offtank.

In the end both builds are more or less similiar strong and dealing the same damage. But Atmog's has one big advantage: you got way more HP. And that's the main reason I play Atmogs. Enemys just can't kill you. I love that.

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Enough theory...

Hope you got no headache so far :)
But this is not just a math-guide, I want to write down some practical things about Jarvan as well. Let's go!

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This is my standard Offtank mastery set.
I want to get primary four things:

  1. bonus armor penetration
  2. slightly more defense
  3. bonus manareg
  4. bonus XP

If you are the only and full tank in your team, 0-21-9 is viable as well. If there is another full tank, I'd still recommend 11-6-13, but 21-9-0 or 21-0-9 work as well.

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Greater Mark of Desolation
More armor penetration, more damage on your basic attacks, Dragon Strike and Cataclysm. 'Nuff said.

Great on any offtank and - in my opinion - versus the "burst damage offtank meta".

This allows you to harass more and will deny some mana problems you normally have with Jarvan.

Greater Quintessence of Vitality
Good for Atmogs and lategame champions, but I also like to go with Greater Quintessence of Desolation.

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Skill Sequence

In general:

Martial Cadence is the ability allowing you to **** up every enemy early on and the reason for good Jarvans hitting enemies in lane every 6 seconds. Also great for lasthitting!

Dragon Strike is your main harassment skill. You also should use it - of couse - with Demacian Standard to initiate and any time it's ready to reduce the armor of enemies hit. Sometimes you can also finish with this easily ;)

Golden Aegis is your second saviour (the first is Q + E = jump over walls!) and last chasing skill. Use this also to protect your mates with the AoE slow (it's op, isn't it?).

Demacian Standard makes Jarvan a very good offtank and including Golden Aegis and Cataclysm a great support in teamfights. If you want to jump with Q + E, don't care about hitting with E or not, the Q is way more important (more damage + armor reduction).

Cataclysm is your finisher, burst damage, third CC, support, chasing and escaping skill. Can't believe it? :P
In teamfights be careful when using it early on. Most times you will just "help" your enemys by locking out your mates.
There are a few "special" situations:

  • An enemy is chasing your mate who's low on HP? Use your ultimate to stop him!
  • An enemy is running towards in a teamfight and his mates can't follow? Capture him before he recognizes his mistake!
  • An enemy is chasing you (works especially well under your own turrets) and you won't escape with just Q + E? Activate your ultimate and jump out of the cage with Q + E!

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Summoner Spells

I run this with most the offtanks I play, because all these offtanks are great at towerpushing. Jarvan is great with his high AS (always activate your Demacian Standard when pushing a tower!). That's one reason for using Teleport. The other is, to get the gold/s items as soon as possible. The last reason is: you can hold most lanes easily with this skill. It's very useful for Jarvan IV as well since he has no heal on his own.

Flash is standard. You can counter Flash only with Flash so we grab it.

Other viable options:

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As you can see, I listed three basic builds for Atmogs-Jarvan. They are all similiar, only one item changes:

-> ->

Which item you grab, depends on your lane:

  • Your enemy(s) deal a lot of damage and you are not able to farm well?
  • You can harass your enemys all the time with Q and/or they have a lot of armor?
  • You are able to do some autoattacks and/or the enemy's armor is pretty low?

Also remember the option to get the Chain Vest early if your enemy in the lane deals a lot of physical damage. An early Chain Vest will let you dominate the lane quickly and won't change a lot in your build and gameplay: you just upgrade later on to Atma's Impaler and everything's fine.

Something about the other items:

Philosopher's Stone
This is for lane survivability and to fix additionally Jarvan's mana problems. Grab it when you earned 715 gold (=> Philosopher's Stone + Boots of Speed) with Teleport (if using it). The earlier you get it, the better. After ~27 minutes (from the bought on) this item's gold bonus reached it's cost.

The standard tank/offtank boots. Never get something else on Jarvan, except the enemy team has at least 3 physicals (then you can grab Ninja Tabi). And even then think twice about it.

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What to buy after finishing Atmogs?

These lategame items are very situational - so buy, whatever is needed. I added a fifth build to show one possible full build.

Some good item examples for "normal" games:

This is great in general and absolutely great for an Atmogs build. It helps a lot versus champions like Malzahar, Cassiopeia, Amumu, Karthus, Kassadin, ... everyone, whose skills needs to be activated in any order or who deals a lot of burst damage with his skills.

Even though you want to play an Atmogs Jarvan, Trinity Force is still great for him.

Shurelya's Reverie
I really like this item. Not just because it means you don't have to sell your Philosopher's Stone, it's simply cool: lifereg, manareg (both great for Jarvan), CDR, HP and a really nice active if used well.

Still a good item. Just buy it if the enemys have someone like Master Yi, Tryndamere etc. who is focusing on autoattacks. As you do not really need the armor, you really just should get it if those champions are raping your team.

If you don't need any actives or armor/MR, you can also grab a second Warmog's Armor. But that's really... you know? :3 (even though it can be quite funny - try it out!)

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Team Work

There is just one thing you need to know:
You are the initiator.

That means, the team will wait for your initation. And you will wait 'til your team is ready.
To initiate, just use Dragon Strike + Demacian Standard. Very simple.
Try to knock up the enemys DD and ALWAYS get with this jump to their ranged AD carry and kill him or at least disturb him.

I already mentioned it: be careful with your ultimate in teamfights! I've seen a lot of Jarvans making things only worse with their ultimate.

Also try to protect your mates with your AoE slow and CC. You are not the carry, you are a tank. Even as an offtank.

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I hope you had fun reading my guide :) Or at least an enlightment for your own Jarvan style :P
For any suggestions, critiscm, questions or anything else just leave a comment pls!
Keep on playing LoL!



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6th August 2011:
Guide released.