Jax Build Guide by Magmyte
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.
OP Lamppost Jax
Mid-Late Game Tanky Items
Example Final Build
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.
Threats to Jax with this build
|Fiora||Ironically, Fiora is not the best duelist. Jax can easily outduel Fiora, early and late game [and his counter-strike dodges her ult].|
Introduction to My Jax Guide
Why am I making this guide? Because I have tried quite a few guides with Jax, but not many of them actually helped. I made my own custom build, and I did much better than if I used other people guides, so here I am, setting my guide to the public.
This is actually my first guide, so I hope people like it as much as I do. If you do like it, please up-vote. If not, tell me what I can do better so that I can get better at this.
EDIT: As a sidenote, I'm thinking of adding a Jungle Jax, but haven't decided on an overall build yet. Leave your suggestions in the comments, and I'll try them out for myself.
EDIT: December 15, 2013
Wait, wait, hold on a second. Are you saying that MY guide just reached the number one spot for Jax guides on MobaFire? WHAT?!
I am SO thankful for this opportunity to give the public my guide on Jax. I couldn't have asked for a better situation, now that my guide is number one. I have many friends to thank for this, since it was our combined knowledge and experience that gave me this build. And I would like to also thank everybody that has looked over my guide, that has reviewed my guide, and has used my guide to win games. As Magmyte, I say thanks, and have fun smashing skulls!
EDIT: March 16, 2014
I did it again :D
I really appreciate the kindness MobaFire, League of Legends, and my fellow League players have been showing me lately, and I would like to thank everyone for this great honor once more. Even though I haven't been seeing a lot of Jaxs lately, he is still very viable as a Top Laner. Jax was, is, and will forever be my favorite champion, because that lamppost is just too stupidly good.
Choosing to Play Jax
Jax is a melee champion that can soak up a bit of damage, but plenty of damage to return in both physical and magic damage. He has a very hard engage, and can trade off with many champions mid to late game.
Realize that Jax cannot trade damage well until he hits Level 6, where he reaches one of his peaks. He has no pokes, which forces him to engage, should he want to deal damage. He should generally be chosen when you are playing against a champion that can't continuously poke you before Level 6, as Jax absolutely NEEDS the farm.
Pros and Cons as I See It
+Good sustained damage
+Can duel almost anyone
+Good escape and gap closing
+Can split push really well
+Clear minion waves and jungle camps very fast
+Bashes everybody's face in with a lamppost
-Weak very early game and mana-reliant
-Really reliant on basic attacks for damage
-Hard time taking down extremely tanky tanks ( Nautilus, I'm looking at you)
-Stun is only one second and doesn't increase
-No ranged attacks or pokes
Why These Items [AD/Tanky Jax]?
Doran's Blade gives a nice bit of health and damage for Jax, plus some sustain. Doran's Shield is great if you think you'll be taking some damage, but not as much harass as Renekton or Darius can dish out. The Health Potions allow him to stay in lane just a bit longer. These items help a lot with staying in lane early game. Warding Totem can help Jax out of a dangerous place, since you can place it across a wall, then jump to it with your Leap Strike.
Cloth Armor should be taken against any early game bullies like Renekton or Darius. Generally, I wouldn't recommend that you choose Jax against these champions, but it's up to you. In the end, you will also out-scale them late game, so try to play as passively as you can.
The Bilgewater Cutlass is a must have. It gives lifesteal, and paired with Jax's attack speed, he gets very nice sustain. Quoted from the Bilgewater Cutlass:
|Deals 100 magic damage and slows the target enemy champion's movement speed by 25% for 2 seconds. 90 second cooldown. (450 range)|
As you can see, 25% of the target's movement speed is taken away for 2 seconds, which is devastating early game. This active can be helpful in chasing down an opponent or running away, which is why I say Bilgewater Cutlass is a must have.
For boots, get Ninja Tabi against an AD team, or Mercury's Treads against an AP team or if you need the Tenacity. For enchantment, get Furor or Homeguards. The extra bonus movement speed (and cheaper cost) on Furor helps Jax stick to enemies, and Homeguards helps Jax get out of base faster.
Trinity Force is a very nice item to have. Start off by making Phage, for the extra health and crazy stickiness, and then the Sheen, for the amazing bonus damage on your Empower. As well, its passives give Jax extra movespeed after his attacks, and extra damage after his abilities, leading up to TONS OF DAMAGE.
Blade of the Ruined King is what you want after Bilgewater Cutlass. It's the ultimate tank shredder by dealing 8% of their max health as bonus on every auto-attack. From Blade of the Ruined King:
|Drains target champion, dealing 10% of the target's maximum health in physical damage (min. 100) and healing you for the damage dealt. Additionally you steal 25% of their movement speed for 3 seconds. 90 second cooldown. (450 range)|
This active is pretty insane. You steal not only 10% of your opponent's max health, but also a whopping 25% of their movement speed for 3 seconds, plenty of time to take down a champion or run away late game. This active just utterly DESTROYS anybody, tanks included, and is way better than BT against enemies with more than 2100 health (pretty much everyone late game), for the Marksmen out there.
Hexdrinker early game against an AP top is very helpful. Before taking magic damage that would be lethal, you instead get a shield that applies before the damage is done. Build into Maw of Malmortius if three or more of the opponent's team relies on magic damage.
Randuin's Omen is very helpful against an AD team. It comes with a bonus of 500 health and 70 armor, and the passive and active slow down the attack and movement speed of attacking enemies. From Randuin's Omen:
|Slows the movement speed of nearby enemy units by 35% for 2 (+ 0.5% armor) (+ 0.5% magic resistance) seconds. 60 second cooldown (500 Range)|
This is extremely helpful in taking down champions that just run too fast. Also, in my opinion, this is the absolute best armor item in the game, which makes it an almost insta-buy on every Jax.
Sunfire Cape is decently good now, since it gives only slightly less stats than Randuin's Omen, but it has the magic damage aura. This is great on Jax because most of the fighting will be done when you're bashing in their faces with your lamppost.
Thornmail is good for when you're just taking way too much AD damage, and you want lots of armor or you just want to punish the hell out of whoever's kiting you.
Spirit Visage is a great item against an AP team. It grants magic resist, while providing you with even more lifesteal and cooldown reduction, which helps when it comes to running after low-health enemies, or escaping out of a tricky situation.
Banshee's Veil is almost as good as Spirit Visage, even though I do prefer SV over BV. However, it will be all up to you. Banshee's Veil might not gives you the CDR that Spirit Visage does, but it does have a spell shield that is great if you're afraid of getting bursted by enemy mages.
By now, I bet you're thinking why I haven't chosen Warmog's Armor. The reason is simple: it grants only health, but no armor or magic resist. Plus, the passive isn't the best either, since Jax should never be cowering from a fight.
As a substitute, I would rather go with Frozen Mallet, as it gives you plenty of health (700, to be exact), and the passive slow allows you to stick to your targets.
Hextech Gunblade is an item I've found not the most useful on AD/Tanky Jax. As quoted from Hextech Gunblade:
|Deals 150 (+ 40% AP) magic damage and slows the target champion's movement speed by 40% for 2 seconds. 60 second cooldown. (700 range)|
As you can see, the Hextech Gunblade scales off of AP, which is very unhelpful in this build. Even though the Gunblade has a longer range and a better slow, Blade of the Ruined King actually steals the health and movement speed taken, and you already have a great gap closer, so I would much rather prefer Blade of the Ruined King over Hextech Gunblade on this build.
On the other hand, The Black Cleaver is great for just tearing through armor with basic attacks. Guinsoo's Rageblade gives only a bit of AD and AP, but the passives give much more AD, AP, lifesteal, and spellvamp. Last Whisper doesn't offer much, but is nice to have in the case where the enemy team is building way too much armor. Guardian Angel gives armor and magic resist to insure a second chance of survival upon death.
Why These Items [AP Jax]?
Doran's Ring is a solid item on all AP champions, as long as they use mana. Since AP Jax is very mana-reliant for damage, it would make sense that his early game would be focused around farming, with the occasional Empower to harass his opponent (but no more until you hit six). Health Potions are to stay in lane longer so you can keep soaking up gold and XP to carry your team.
Nashor's Tooth is a great item on AP Jax. Nashor's Tooth provides nearly every stat that an AP Jax could possibly want, with 60 AP, 50% Attack speed, 20% Cooldown Reduction, and bonus magic damage on every auto attack. This is an absolute must-have item on AP Jax.
Hextech Gunblade is a pretty good item on AP Jax. Not only are you outfitted with both AD and AP, of which you make the maximum usage of, since you're a hybrid, you're also given a large bonus in both Lifesteal and Spellvamp, both of which are extremely useful on an AP Jax, sporting both strong auto-attacks and abilities. Also, you have your Hextech Gunblade active that goes as so:
|Deals 150 (+ 40% AP) magic damage and slows the target champion's movement speed by 40% for 2 seconds. 60 second cooldown. (700 range)|
As you can see, not only do you get a good amount of AD, AP, Lifesteal, and Spellvamp, but you also get an active that's great for chasing. Also given the fact that basic attacks and single target spells versus champs reduce the cooldown of the active by 3 seconds, you'll gain even more chasing potential the longer you stay in combat. To summarize, Hextech Gunblade is a good item for Jaxes that are looking for sustained fighting.
Lich Bane is an absolute monster on Jax. Even if it did get nerfed sometime in Season 4, if you build enough AP, Jax's Empower can chunk a huge amount off of any APC or ADC that gets close to him. Since Lich Bane procs when you activate a spell, and your Empower is a spell that modifies your next auto-attack, just like Lich Bane, with the two of these together, you'll effectively do
119 (level 18 base attack damage) + 89.25 ( Lich Bane bonus) + 180 (Rank 5 Empower base damage) + 110% of your AP ( Empower and Lich Bane bonus)
= 388.25 + 110% of your AP
in total. That's a lot of damage, even if you ended up with only about 300 AP.
**MORE TO BE ADDED LATER**
|Flash: It's a really nice spell to have, since you can jump walls, close gaps, and run away. Think of it as a really long cooldown Leap Strike without a target. This spell can be used both offensively and defensively to make clutch plays at the last moment, such as flashing so your Counter Strike hits an enemy or stunning an enemy while you flash away. In my opinion, I prefer Flash, but you can take Ghost as well.|
|Teleport: This spell is being used a lot more often now in the Top Lane, and I can see why. This spell is great for when you want to get back to lane to farm, and you can use it to get back into lane if you're behind. This spell can also be used to gank other lanes, and it gives you plenty of map control, keeping your enemies on their toes.|
|Ignite: Nice to have if your enemy is running away too fast with lamp post shaped bruises and wounds, and you just can't get to them fast enough. Can be used to finish off an opponent or reduce the healing they get, i.e. Volibear's passive. I, however, wouldn't recommend this if you were up against either a heavy bully lane or a passive farming lane.|
|Ghost: This spell should be used in the case where you need to cover a longer distance than Flash, but you don't have to instantaneously. It helps if you need to get away or cover just a bit of distance so you can Leap Strike to your target, and then stick to them afterwards. It won't help too much in the way of making clutch plays, but it's much better at covering longer distances. The instances I would recommend this summoner spell is when your opponent doesn't have an instantaneous gap closer or strong escape, but otherwise I would recommend Flash.|
|Exhaust: By late game, the effects of exhaust can be done with Blade of the Ruined King and Randuin's Omen, so generally I don't take it. If you are aggressive and engage early game often, this is very nice to have when dueling, but it falls off late game, because you are the incredibly hard-scaling Jax.|
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal: These help a lot because a lot of your damage comes from basic attacks, so you get lots of sustain from Doran's Blade, too.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: This makes it easier to trade and last hit earlier in the game.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage: Just like the Quint of AD, this makes it easier to last hit and trade in the early game, which is why I use them. Jax has enough damage late game, but he definitely needs early game damage, so that is why I use these.
Greater Seal of Armor: So Jax isn't as squishy and fragile like those Marksmen ADCs. Also helps with harassment from the other Top Laner.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Same thing as the armor runes, but scaling, since huge AP damage doesn't come until later in the game.
Not much to put here, but you mainly want to go for AD, as those are the main sources of Jax's burst and sustained damage.
Just put a few points into defense for survivability, and you'll be good for soloing top.
These are generally the masteries I use for most of my AP Mages, and it works well enough for AP Jax too. You can also choose to go Spell Weaving (but not Blade Weaving ) instead of Dangerous Game , since with Nashor's Tooth and a Lich Bane, you'll be doing plenty of buffed auto attack damage, which increases your spell damage.
SIDENOTE: If you'd like, you're very welcome to go 9/21/0 instead of 21/9/0.
|Basic attacks increase Jax's attack speed by 4% / 6% / 8% / 10% / 12% / 14%. Relentless Assault lasts for 2.5 seconds and stacks up to 6 times for a maximum of 24% / 36% / 48% / 60% / 72% / 84%|
Gives you bonus attack speed with basic attacks, stacking up to 6 times. At level 16, this almost doubles your attack speed, and paired with Grandmaster's Might, it really does pack a punch.
|Jax leaps to target unit, dealing physical damage if the target is an enemy.|
Jax flies through the air like a bird, dunking his target. Not only can this be used on enemies, but friendly units and wards as well, so it is a great gap closer and escape tool. If used on an enemy, Jax will also pile-drive his lamp post onto the enemy's head.
|Jax's next basic attack or Leap Strike within the next 10 seconds deals additional magic damage. Empower resets the autoattack timer.|
This is self-explanatory. Upon activation, the next time Jax bashes somebody's face in, he does it with more force this time. Try to activate this ability right after you attack so you auto-attack again immediately, which also gives you stacks of Relentless Assault.
When activated, Jax will dodge every basic attack coming at him for two seconds, including from minions. After two seconds, or until he casts it again, Jax swings his lamp post around him (like Darius, but better), stunning everyone around him for 1 second and returning more damage the more he would have taken. This is your chance to start hitting people with your magnificent lamp post.
|PASSIVE: Jax deals additional magic damage on every third basic attack. The counter will reset if he does not attack for 2.5 seconds.
ACTIVE: Jax gains bonus armor and magic resistance for 8 seconds.
Jax takes a percentage of his Attack Damage and turns it into bonus Armor. He also takes some of this Ability Power and converts that into bonus Magic Resist. Needless to say, if somehow you die, you probably didn't hit your ult. Also as a passive, every third attack does bonus magic damage. So, if you match the third attack with Empower, and it is a critical attack, well... let's just say we're playing baseball. With a lamp post.
Your basic combo will probably go something like this:
We hit Counter Strike to ready our stun. This way, if we Leap Strike to our opponent, and we get CCed so we can't cast spells, our stun will still activate. Right after the Leap Strike comes Empower, so our first basic attack is a mortal blow to the face. Continue to chase the champion until he/she dies.
|Jax reaches his peak around Level 6, when he gets this ability. Around this time is when you want to get back your mana pool, have at least a Bilgewater Cutlass, and then the fun begins. Since the passive on Jax's ult deals magic damage, it is around this time that your opponent won't be able to have damage, armor and magic resistance items, allowing them to trade off with you. If they do start engaging on you, hit your ult. Many times has this helped me in Top Lane.|
Playing In Game
Solo Top Lane:
Jax can wreck anyone in a duel top lane at Level 6. Just make sure to ward the bush in the river to avoid ganks, and you should be fine. If you can engage the enemy far away from their tower, you should be able to trade off fine, as long as you hit your ult, which has a decently low cooldown. If you need help, ping your jungler to come gank top. Someone with a hard CC or strong slow should do nicely, so you can land as many auto-attacks as you need to on your target.
Your job as Jax in a teamfight is not to engage. Leave that to your tanks. Instead, after the enemy has used their abilities, is when you can backline their ADC's and APC's so that their team no longer has a huge damage output. Hit your ult before you jump in to engage, and simply just destroy their backline. DO NOT BE THE FIRST TO JUMP IN. The other team will target you immediately, giving them a free kill. Jump in after your tanks have engaged, so you can mop up the floor. Janitor Jax has never been more fitting of a name.
Split-pushing is generally a very dangerous game, unless you're somebody like Zed who can kill a whole wave of minions with one combo, take down a tower in mere seconds, delete anybody who comes to stop you, and repeat the process like nothing happened. For one, if your team ever decides to teamfight, they'll lose out on one whole champion, turning into fights that are 4v4s or 4v5s. This could create a huge disadvantage for your team. Secondly, if you don't have good map awareness, you may end up not realizing that some or all of the enemy team are missing. They could be back at base, they could be taking objectives, or they could be coming to stop you. In any situation, make sure that the map is thoroughly warded, or else this would be the perfect opportunity for you to leave before you get killed. However, should your team be able to defend your base without your help, and you have full knowledge of where the enemy team is, then feel free to shove the lane. With your Blade of the Ruined King, Empower, Ult passive, and your regular passive, minions and towers fall with ease underneath the mighty lamppost of Jax.
Synergies and Counters
I've listed here what synergies I've found to be nice on him as well as some of his counters:
**MORE WILL BE COMING**
Well, I hope you enjoyed reading my guide as much as I writing it. Please up-vote if you like it and made sure it worked, and tell me what I can do better next time I write a guide. Thanks for reading my guide on Jax, and as my friends put it, "LAMPPOST OP".