Jax Build Guide by NoDust
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.
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.
So. I have always loved Jax, and he was one of the first champions I bought. This was a long time ago, before the patch that changed him. Back then the idea was to get as much dodge and attack speed as you could, and hope that the other team was made of auto attackers so you could stun every two seconds. He is a different character now. The way I like to play him is as a hybrid, although mostly AP champion. All of his moves stack with Ability Power, so it only makes sense to build it on him. However, he is an auto-attacker as well, so some AD is definitely necessary, and I think that's why pure AP builds don't work very well.
GUYZ GUESS WHAT I EDITED THIS ****
Recently I went through my build, updating and editing where I've changed things in my actual gameplay. Thank you for all of your feedback!
THIS **** ISN'T EXPIRED
I still use the build and it still works so ignore the expired **** up at the top. Don't know what that's about.
Go defensive masteries. I used to go offensive, but in the tanky-dps metagame you simply can't afford to give up what defensive masteries offer. The extra dodge and extra movement speed on dodge is wonderful, and the extra AP and AS work well too. Strength of Spirit is surprisingly useful for staying in the lane longer. Basically, just take defensive masteries, you'll be glad you did. 9/21/0 is the way to go, making sure to grab the spell pen and CDR from the offensive tree.
As for runes, you can either go with ArP marks, magic pen marks, or attack speed marks, just based on personal preference. For Seals, dodge synergizes really well with your E, so those are a necessity. For glyphs I chose flat AP, for an early game damage and health boost, the bonuses of which outweigh an extra 5.85% CDR. For quintessences I have recently begun using dodge quints, which has been way better than flat health. I start the game with 12% dodge just from runes and masteries, and by the end of the game you're up to roughly 40% dodge, which is sweet. Plus, you still start the game with 700 health if you went defensive masteries, my runes, and a dorans ring.
These are the summoner spells I find myself most often using, although I almost always use flash and cleanse.
Flash: Perfect for escaping through walls, flashing to get off that extra leap, just an all around good summoner spell.
Cleanse: Good for getting rid of annoying blinds, stuns, exhausts etc. It's saved my life countless times.
Exhaust: This makes it impossible for another melee character to 1v1 you, and makes it a lot easier to catch up to people when they start to run away.
Ghost: Sweet for chasing, running away, getting places faster. I usually switch between this and flash depending on my mood, hell sometimes I grab both.
Dorans's (Shield, Blade, Ring)- Gives great starting health, and depending on which one nice AP/Armor/AD, as well as lifesteal/health regen/ mana regen. I almost always choose Doran's Ring, because it lets me lane forever and I just love it. It's really up to personal preference which one. *NOTE* In light of the cost increase, you can also start with boots of speed or cloth armor and health pots, but I still prefer starting with a Doran's Ring.
Ninja Tabi- Nice cheap boots, they give some nice armor as well as needed dodge. With your E at rank one and these boots and your masteries and your runes you start out with around 30% dodge, which is awesome, especially if you have a creep or two attacking you. Now that phantom dancer doesn't give dodge, this is the only item that gives dodge.
Guinsoo's RageBlade- Absolutely a key item for Jax. It synergizes very well with your ultimate, getting your attack speed up super fast, while providing more AP. The AD and AP gives over 200 health from your passive too.
Sheen- More mana, 1/3 of your Lichbane, and a nice buffed auto-attack after leap-empower for amazing burst damage.
Hextech Gunblade- Excellent item, albeit expensive. Great AD and AP for a sweet health boost, a great damage boost, and the lifesteal and spell vamp lets you actually live in full team fights, where Jax isn't really all that amazing, mostly because he gets focus-fired down pretty fast.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter- This item is so freakin sweet. It bulks you up like a champ, giving you 660 health including your passive, only 80 less than a frozen mallet would give. The slow is awesome, and it lets you get kills you usually wouldn't have and escape when you usually would've died.
Lichbane- Before I edited this, I had Trinity Force in this slot. While it's still a viable option, I much prefer Lichbane. It gives a lot more damage than Trinity Force, and if you get this far you usually don't need the minimum survivability that Trinity Force gives you.
Rabbadon's DeathCap- If I'm destroying and the game is still going, I'll get a Rabbadons. The extra AP is ridiculous. If the game has gone on this long you should be ridiculously fed, and you should just wreck everyone. Or at least I always do XD.
Items To Consider
I find myself deviating from this build based on necessity. Here are some items I often find myself buying.
Malady: The new malady is actually pretty good for jax. 25 AP and 50% Attack speed are nice, but it's passive is great. It shreds enemy magic resistance, so if you find that your enemies are building some magic resist, this is a good buy. Another item to consider if they're building magic resist is a Void Staff, good AP and it makes 40% of their magic resist go away.
Hexdrinker: If enemy casters are wrecking you, Hexdrinker is a nice cheap option. At 1800 gold it gives 35 attack damage and 30 magic resist, as well as a shield that has saved my life on numerous occasions. Other good magic resist items for Jax are Banshee's Veil, Wit's End, and Quicksilver Sash. The Sash is an often overlooked item, but i love it. It gives you essentially a third summoner spell, a Cleanse, which is incredibly useful in getting rid of stuns and slows that can result in your death, while also giving you 48 mr.
Sword of the Divine: This is a nice cheap item that can be extremely helpful, but is also situational. The only time i find myself buying a sword of the divine is if the enemy team has a ton of exhausts, or champions that can blind, such as teemo.I ****ing hate teemo. The active ability to hit without fail is a lifesaver, it can allow you to kill that teemo even if he blinds and exhausts you. Otherwise, you don't really need it.
Phantom Dancer: This item used to be good for jax because it added 20% dodge. A recent patch, 12/14/10 changed it so that it no longer gives that dodge chance. Do not get phantom dancer. The Attack speed, crit, and movement speed are all nice but because it no longer has that dodge, it's more worth your while to get Lichbane.
Trinity Force: Great item. Terribly expensive, but great. It gives everything, health, mana, crit, move speed, AD, AP, just everything. It has a chance to slow on hit and a damage boost after using a spell. Buuuuut I like lichbane better because it gives a huge damage boost that you need for late game. But this item is still pretty sweet.
Nashor's Tooth: Good AP item for auto-attackers.55% attack speed, 55AP, and mana per 5. The 25% CDR is awesome. I usually get this if I feel like I have time to get off a lot of auto-attacks.
Atma's Impaler: I always thought this item was kind of useless, but I've been experimenting with it lately. Once I have every item up to and including my Rylai's, I have over 3k health. So the damage boost from atma's along with the extra crit and armor is extremely useful, and if you find the other time building magic resist I would reccomend buying this item and maybe an abyssal scepter to counteract that.
Leap-Empower: This will be your main combo from lvl 2 onwards. It allows you to jump on someone and deal a ton of damage with just one move. It's very simple. Just activate empower and then use leap on your target, and bam you fly through the air to hit them with an empowered staff, and because empower resets your auto-attack timer, you get an extra auto-attack as well. Now I'm going to do something I hate doing. Math. I did some calculations to determine the exact damage a leap empower combo does with this finished build, considering that Hextech Gunblade gives 60AD and 70AP. So you in fact have 240AD and 280AP with your finished build. Onto calculations. Leap: 150+196(70% of AP)= 346 DMG
Empower: 215+ 112(40% of AP)+ 50 (40% bonus AD) = 377 dmg. Auto Attack: 240 dmg. Added all together, that's 963 damage, not figuring in the enemies armor. With that figured in, it's still probably going to be 700-800 damage, unless it's on a tank but you shouldn't be focusing them anyway. This is a combo you can repeat every 3.5 seconds, and in those seconds you're auto attacking and stunning like a champ. In 10 seconds you can do 2'400 damage with just leap empower, and easily another 2k or so from auto attacks, considering every third consecutive hit you do on a single target does 240+210+ 196(70% of AP)= 646. That's 646 damage from one auto attack.That's if they don't focus you. You will rarely get the chance to attack nonstop for 10 seconds. Chances are you'll get CC'd, or they'll start to attack you because they realize you're decimating their team. If you do find yourself getting focused (Odds are you will be), leap outa there and then run back in if they stop chasing you. But still. *******. When you attack 2 times a second, in 5 seconds you can just devastate a squishy. So that's the power of leap-empower. *NOTE* The math here is a little off now, because I changed my build. However, it only changed for the better, because my edit's increased my AP, so the combo actually does more damage now.
Early Game- Start out with your choice of a Dorans item. Head down your chosen lane. Try to get a lane with someone who can disable, or harass with you. Supports are always nice too. I personally love to lane with Fiddle, Sona, and Rammus and Soraka. Shen and Sion are fun too. Focus your attention on farming last hits, and once you hit lvl 2 just start doing leap-empower combos on the squishiest enemy, hopefully forcing them to go back. Don't get too aggressive, because they will kill you if you try to get them under the tower, unless they have like 100hp and you can just flash away. Once you hit level six, farm like a boss and really go for kills. The first time you go back you should have a kill or two, or at least enough gold to buy full boots and a blasting wand. If you only have enough for boots, pick up a ward or two. Put them in strategic places, by buffs, or if you want to get fancy, in places you could leap too as a get away, like in the bushes by the enemy tower.
Mid-Game- Lane as long as you want, but as soon as team action starts, go right to your team. Try and run around ganking, and in team fights always focus the squishy. Leap-empower in then run out, or keep beating on them if there team allows it. Focus on getting enough money for Guinsoo's and Hextech, and go for lizard and golem whenever they're up, especially the enemies. You can take down Golem, Lizard, and Dragon really fast after you have Guinsoo's. Backdoor if you can, you are a champ tower killer and taking down one or two towers can really help your team push.
Late Game- At this point you should have most of your items, at least Guinsoo's, Hextech Gunblade, and RylaiÃ�ï¿½Ã�Â¢Ã�Â¯Ã�Â¿Ã�Â½Ã�Â¯Ã�Â¿Ã�Â½s. Focus on wrecking the squishies in fights (Leap-empower should take away anywhere from 1/4-1/2 or more of their health, especially to champions like veigar and ezreal), and stunning whenever you can. Put up wards at buffs, and wait to see if you can gank enemies there. One match i got 4 kills from doing that, it was pretty sweet. After you have RylaiÃ�ï¿½Ã�Â¢Ã�Â¯Ã�Â¿Ã�Â½Ã�Â¯Ã�Â¿Ã�Â½s you pretty much should have won the match, unless of course the other team is better than you and is wrecking.
Things Not to Do
- Never initiate. You will die if you initiate a team fight. You are an assassin, to fly out of bushes and the mists to 2 hit their casters, not someone to take the brunt of the damage. The only time you should every initiate is perhaps for a gank, or if it's 1v1 and you know where the other 4 team members are.
- Don't think you're invincible. I have this problem. All too often I do crazy things like running at fights my head knows I can't win, or chasing people way to far. Try to be cautious. Don't do stupid things. Yes you have a stun but you can't stun constantly, and if they slow you chances are their team will jump on you and you will die.
- Play Smart. Don't be stupid. Don't start fights you can't win. This advice should hold through with any other champion as well.