Jax Build Guide by imtherealsuperman
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.
Jax is one of the strongest 1v1 champions in the game and is an extremely good top laner. This guide will try to help you understand how to play Jax and learn some tips on top lane along the way as well. I apologize in advance for the lack of aesthetic appeal.
I use Greater Mark of Attack Damage because jax's Leap Strike and Counter Strike both scale off attack damage. His Empower and Grandmaster's Might benefits from these runes as well. Empower is a buff to his auto attack so either way the Attack Damage is used. Grandmaster's Might uses the same reasoning for the passive damage every three auto-attacks but it also converts his attack damage into armor.
Greater Seal of Armor is there because generally top laners will be physical damage champions and because you'd need armor later in the game anyways because of their AD carry.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist can be used interchangeably with Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist. The only difference is that Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is if you know you're up against an AP champion. Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist is better later in the game because it scales. However, I realize the majority of players reading this probably play normal blind-pick games so I chose flat magic resist instead.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage is the same reasoning as the marks.
I like to run Jax with 9/21/0 masteries because he already deals huge amounts of damage but his only natural defense will be Grandmaster's Might which will not always be up.
The main question you guys probably have is why Weapon Expertise over Arcane Knowledge . The reason is because Jax relies so much on his auto attacks. His Empower and the passive of Grandmaster's Might all rely on being able to auto attack the person because they're essentially just extra damage on his hits. With his item build he'll also deal considerable damage with his auto attacks alone and his Counter Strike and Leap Strike both deal physical damage as well.
Explanation of Recommended Items:
- These can be replaced with Ninja Tabi if you feel you need them in lane. If you do buy Ninja Tabi, sell them sometime later in the game for Mercury's Treads because they're much more beneficial. It's generally easier to get armor from items than magic resist so you're not at a disadvantage. The true strength of this item ,however, comes from it's tenacity stat. 35% lower duration of most cc's on you is very good.
and - The reason why I get Bilgewater Cutlass first and finish Hextech Gunblade after Trinity Force is because its a high increase in attack damage and gives you sustain in lane since Jax does not have natural sustain. It also provides a slow which can help you net kills because it's basically a free Phage proc.
Hextech Gunblade is good because Jax's moves scale with both attack damage and ability power and this item provides both. It even provides lifesteal and spell vamp so no matter what Jax does, he's healing somehow. This will make him last very long in fights and the slow from Bilgewater Cutlass becomes stronger once you've upgraded it into this item.
- This item is extremely good on Jax. He benefits from every single stat that this item provides. He uses his spells very often so he'll benefit tremendously from the Sheen effect. He also gains high attack speed from Zeal and his passive, Relentless Assault which help proc the passive of Grandmaster's Might and helps apply the Phage proc from Trinity Force.
- By now, you're dealing very high amounts of damage and can get tanky from activating Grandmaster's Might. What you want to do next is get even more tankier, and this item does just that. You also have high amounts of sustain from Hextech Gunblade so if you do pop your Guardian Angel, you're able to steal a lot of life back and stay in the fight longer than other champs could do in that situation.
- With the items you have, you probably have higher armor than magic resist so you'll want to fix that. This item provides more magic resist as well as a nice shield and offers even more attack damage to Jax's arsenal.
- You really don't need this item unless it gets extremely late in the game. Your items give you lots of damage so you should make up for a lack of hp with this item since you gain lots of armor and magic resist from Grandmaster's Might and Guardian Angel.
As you may have noticed, I chose to level Counter Strike at level one. This is not necessary, I only got it to deter champs that may want to fight early on such as Xin Zhao or Riven with the reduced AOE damage, dodge, and stun.
You may also question my early points in Empower even though I choose to max Leap Strike first. The reason is for easy last hitting. This is completely optional and is not necessary in the slightest. If you know you can easily win your lane then max Leap Strike right off the bat.
Leap Strike should be maxed first because it offers the most damage out of all of Jax's moves. It also scales better (having AD as well as AP ratios).
And of course, as always, max your ultimate Grandmaster's Might whenever you can because the passive damage is quite high and the defenses are invaluable.
are overall the best to use for Jax.
Ignite helps secures kills and provides more kill potential and Flash is the best spell in the game due to it's utility.
You can consider using Exhaust if you're up against someone who deals large amounts of damage in litttle time and will be trying hard to kill you, such as Riven.
All the other spells are kind of meh. Some should never be used such as Clarity or Promote because they do not help Jax. Others have their time and place such as Teleport or Heal but should generally not be used.
Combo-ing, How to use moves
Small harass would be to activate Empower and hit the enemy when he walks close.
A stronger form of harass would be to activate Empower and then Leap Strike towards them. Leap Strike will apply the damage from Empower without having to auto attack, which results in a quick burst.
Remember to activate Counter Strike if the enemy ever tries to harass you back because you'll stun him and evade all auto attacks during that time period.
To perform Jax's full combo, you'll want to activate Counter Strike, then activate Empower, then Leap Strike towards the enemy and activate the second half of Counter Strike earlier. Activate Grandmaster's Might if the enemy tries to fight you or if you plan on diving them under their turret.
Normally you don't want to be the one to initiate team fights as Jax, but feel free to do it early - mid game where you're still mildly tanky. Do not be afraid to jump on one guy who's split out from his team because you can win nearly all 1v1 fights.
In team fights, you want to focus on killing the AD carry. The reason being that they do not have many defenses whereas Jax has ridiculous amounts of damage with a good gap closer in Leap Strike. On top of that, he can dodge all auto attacks with Counter Strike and increase his own defenses with Grandmaster's Might which makes it near-impossible for the enemy AD carry to kill Jax.