Build Guide by ExistentialWhoa
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Not Updated For Current Season
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So you are looking for a Jax build. The first thing you need to do is understand what Jax is and isn't. Jax is a melee carry. A slow one at that. Kills early game require a good lane partner, a bad lane opponent, and cracker jack timing, Wang. Jax ramps up very slowly. The Phantom Dancer nerf made this even more true than before. AP hurts you early. So farm. And Farm. Then farm. Etc.
ArP marks are a must. They do work and you should know this. If you think otherwise, go for it. Take heal while you are at it. If you play an AD carry, ArP marks are clutch.
Dodge seals are made for Jax. The fact that they aren't called Jax seals is odd to me. You love dodge as Jax and as of the Phantom Dancer nerf, it's in limited supply so take it when you can. And since that means Ninja Tabi and seals now in LoL, this choice is also a no brainer. Proc's your stun, pumps your ulti. One of few pure defense runes that will not only stop AD, but AP through your ulti. Put on top of that the fact that when you dodge you stun, and when you stun you feed, and when you feed you win? Yes, dodge is clutch as well.
Now for the glyphs. In my opinion, these are the only ones that allow any wiggle room. I choose AP resist as that is by far Jax's largest weak point. These plus ulti means living through a Kartas blast, or a Teemo DoT, or a Morgana Stun Pool Combo. If you think otherwise, feel free. But don't worry about damage. You'll do more than is ever needed without glyphs.
Quints are debateable. I use Flat Health on most champs. Jax's weak early game makes him a prime canidate for a little extra health to keep you safe while you farm.
21 points in offense has always served me best. There is wiggle room here for some variation. I choose attack speed and CD redux over a few other points because I feel they serve Jax best. Play with it. There is room for some customization. Heavy armor free champion week? Take a few more points in ArP. Just remember, this build has no AP in it. Don't bother with ImpIgnite.
The 9 points in def are tailor made for Jax. Noone in the game, anywhere, utilize the dodge increase or dodge speed proc better than Jax. He loves dodge. We went over this already. But its worth it. Dodge = kills, kills = fed, fed = win.
A wise man once told me, "never take Phantom Dancer first".
He didn't play Jax. Start all with a regen pendant and a pot. No more Dorans. Sucks. This combo will keep you out longer anyhow. Your first trip back should score you your most important item. Ninja Tabi. See above comments about dodge. If your lane is stupid and let you feed, reach for a Zeal as well. On your next return you have a decision to make. Is the lane phase over? if yes, grab a BF sword for a chance go erly kills. If not, Go Phantom Dancer. The idea here is to be fast, do bits of damage and bounce out. When you die you don't feed. You don't want to die. Phantom Dancer lets you farm creep with your ulti, escape fights, catch runners and is all around crucial for your full build. That conludes early game.
Now on to the mid game. Here comes your farming. Oh the farming. You can solo dragon at 12 safely, blue at 8 safely, red at 8 safely, and creep in between. Be curtious to your team but if they are slackers, take the buffs. They are good for you and shouldn't be wasted or even worse, stolen by ballsy opponents. Get that Bloodthirster. Get it fast. Once you have this, P.Dancer and Tabi, you are actually dangerous. If you get kills, and you should, go after your Hexteck Gunblade. Its an odd item. I had my doubts. It's all over the place as stats go. It's on use ability is however, very nice. 300 damage and a 50% slow. I have been made fun of for this purchase, I have been told its not the best use of gold.
But one thing i can't deny, Gunblade and a B.Thirster with Jax's attack speed, I can take on whole teams. This item, love it or hate it, turns you into a God. Melee run in fear. IF a melee attacks you, they lose. Period. Poppy, Yi, Tanks, Olaf, AD sion, Renekton. It just doenst matter. And sure you must be thinking about those AP users. At this point, when you jump to someone, Gunblade them, ulti for defense, whatever you just hit, died.
Anything after these items is just fluff. Atma's is sick for sure. It adds a bit more survival that you don't need, it synergizes with your passive perfectly, what more could you ask for?
And my last item, which if you got to? Congrats on the 25+ kills and 200+ creep kills. Its nigh impossible to get. Why put it in? Because ive gotten there a few times and found that your core + atmas + Warmogs is sheer unstoppability. You now have no counter. No weakness. You can stand in their base and attack people forever. Tank turrets and hit a creep to get back to full health. If you get to this point, honestly no 3 melee stand a chance. Jax just is that powerful when fed. You will eat Xin Zhoa's and **** Rammus's. Damn would that hurt now that I think about it.
Start off with a point in Q. Great for harrass, great for escaping. Then a point in E to get your base dodge up. Next get your first point in W to complete your harass combo. Charge a stun on a creep, empower, leap, run away unharmed or stay in for a kill.
After your first 3, Take your abilities in a priority of R>E>Q>W.
The big differance of my build and playstyle and other Jax players is the priority of Counterstrike over Empower. Empower is nice. Its just not what makes Jax great. Counterstrike and Leap are what make Jax scary AND sturdy. Max em fast. Get empower when you can.
Of course, take your ulti at 6, 11, 16. Its huge. No brainer.
Pros and Cons
Possible the strongest end game melee carry out there.
Great escape mechanic and intiation spell in leap. Low CD.
Makes AD champs regret ever locking in.
Makes AP champs question their manhood when your ult is up. Low CD.
Solo Baron Post patch after your gunblade is complete. Nothing like a surprise Baron rush.
One of the better tank killers in the game even when not built to do so.
Slow starter which means if you stumble out of the gate, the mountain you have to climb is huge.
Chasing can be an issue until you learn the finer points of proc'ing dodges.
Not an initiater. Just because you can dodge, doesn't mean you are a tank. Don't play like one.
Might be a ninja turtle. We just aren't sure.