Jax Build Guide by LordAdrian
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.
Pros / Cons
+ Can sustain very well
+ Is capable of soloing almost anybody
+ Can deal INSANE amounts of damage
+ Synergizes well with AD AND AP
+ A good anti-carry champion
+ Can determine the results of a game by being fed
+ Can recover well from feeding
- Can be a squishy early game
- Limited amount of crowd control
- Is often focused hard when fed
Jax, Who, When, and Why?
Jax is a melee fighter champion that excels in dealing huge amounts of damage quickly and getting kills easily in and out of team fights, effecting the very game itself! Once you get Empower at level 2, you will be dealing extraordinary amounts of damage without help from items. Also, once you get Counter Strike at level 3, you will be able to control target opponents and lead them into their doom!
Jax is a great champion to pick because he WILL carry your team when he is fed well, there is no doubt about that. He will additionally help your team by getting that needed ace in teamfights, for he can pick off single targets very nicely. Also, laning with Jax will give an advantage to his partner, for they will be dominating their lane, once again, with the right amount of feed.
Do not play Jax if there is an overabundance of AP champions on your team, this hybrid build will put too much AP into your team. Aside from that, Jax can be played universally and under no circumstances.
||Tier 1: In the first tier, I take a point into
and 3 points into
. I do this because
pairs well with Ignite and
makes Jax stronger by giving him free attack damage.
Tier 2: In the second tier, I take 4 points into Alacrity . There is not much to say for this, but every AD champion needs their attack speed, and Jax is no exception!
Tier 3: In the third tier, I put 4 points into Deadliness and 1 point into Weapon Expertise . This is great because it Jax a stacking power boost, so he gets stronger every level, as well as giving him some additional free armor penetration. Remember, Weapon Expertise pairs well with Greater Mark of Desolation!
Tier 4: In the fourth tier, I add 1 point into Lethality and 3 points into Vampirism . I do this because it basically gives Jax some extra damage output as well as life steal, an essential element of a good carry!
Tier 5: In tier 5, I put 3 points into Sunder . This is a great choice because it is yet ANOTHER mastery that goes along well with Greater Mark of Desolations.
Tier 6: Finally, in the sixth tier, I insert 1 point into Executioner . I find this important because it is a great mastery for Jax to solo enemies with, as well as giving him better opportunities to clean up in team-fights!
||Tier 1: In the first tier, I put 2 points into
and 2 points into
because they go along well with the magic resist and armor you will be getting from Greater Glyph of Magic Resist and Greater Seal of Armor
Tier 2: In the second tier, I put 4 points into Durability . I do this only to advance into the next tier for a necessary talent, Veteran's Scars .
Tier 3: In the third and last tier, I put a point into Veteran's Scars . I do this because this is a nice tanky talent that allows Jax to be fairly healthy and sustainable throughout the game.
In my mastery choices, I am basically putting in as much focus on maximum damage output as I can in the offensive tree, while still giving Jax some sustain and bulk in the defensive tree as well.
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
- Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: I use attack damage runes because Jax needs a good amount of strength from attack damage for ability power to pair with his strength from armor penetration. These runes help especially with early game damage and are very effective on Jax.
- Greater Mark of Desolation: I get these marks because, like my quintessences, I need to pair them with magic penetration to have maximum dual damage. Also, this helps shred tanks and others building on armor late-game, while still having optimum damage early-game as well.
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: I use these glyphs to avoid trouble with disruptive AP casters like Veigar and Lux that will be annoying in team-fights. They will interrupt Jax's carnage and deny him kills, and may even kill HIM with the right amount of crowd-control, so make sure you can handle them with these.
- Greater Seal of Armor: I use these seals because they give Jax the sustain he needs earlier in game without items that give him much armor or health. These are great for keeping up in team-fights, soloing opponents, and pushing. Very good throughout all stages of the game, I hope you use these!
Even though this is a hybrid guide, I feel Jax needs more focus on attack damage than ability power, which is why I prioritize attack damage in my rune choices.
Ignite: This is a wonderful summoner spell on Jax that allows him to achieve first blood (assuming he does sufficient damage), and more kills early in game. The down-side to having this summoner spell is that is will be less and less useful the more the game progresses, so it is mostly an early game summoner spell.
Ghost: This summoner is my second choice on Jax, because sometimes enemies can be hard to catch up to, even with Leap Strike and Counter Strike, so this can be a big help. Also, this is like an alternate Flash, so it can be used for escaping yourself in sticky situations.
Exhaust: This summoner is a great replacement for Ignite, once again, being a great little tool to help you catch up to enemies. It can be very effective in cleaning up!
Flash: A near perfect replacement for Ghost, Flash works well on Jax because it helps him for the same reasons that Ghost does. I prefer Ghost over Flash, but it is still a viable choice.
Heal: Jax excels from the healing boosts early game. So, while it isn't too viable later in game, it is still a good choice as a summoner.
A NOTE on Heal/ Ignite Combo: I recommend trying this out, because if you know that you will have a tough lane, this combo of summoner spells almost GUARANTEES lane dominance!
- Teleport - Jax's movement speed will be fine enough to get to lanes in game, and the cooldown on this is almost wasteful when you could be using another summoner, I don't recommend getting this.
- Garrison - Don't even think of getting this one, just a waste!
- Revive - Not recommended, if you are fed well, you won't be dying anyway. Also, the cooldown is a bit ridiculous, another waste of space than anything.
- Surge - This could be reasonable, but the attack speed bonus isn't necessary (because
of Relentless Assault
- Promote - This isn't really necessary because Jax will already be doing enough damage to severely push turrets.
- Cleanse - I can see where this COULD be viable, but I just think that the summoners I mentioned were good on Jax are much better choices. Therefore, whether I think this is good on Jax is neutral, it's up to you.
- Clairvoyance - This is a waste of a summoner, it's almost pointless. Leave this one to the support champions, and move on.
- Empower is Jax's primary source of damage in his abilities, so I ALWAYS max it as quickly as possible. By doing this, I get early lane domination from huge power!
- I max Leap Strike next, because it's damage when leveled up is greater than Counter Strike leveled up, and this build is about maximum damage early game. Therefore, Leap Strike is the next and more powerful choice to level up on Jax.
- I put a point into Counter Strike then max it last. This is because Jax needs the stun and dodge ability early for the crowd-control, but doesn't really need it until later in-game, when all of Jax's damage abilities are maxed out.
- Put points into Grandmaster's Might at levels 6, 11, and 16, because this is an important ultimate to get whenever you can!
Abilities, Tips, and Tricks
Every time Jax performs an autoattack, he gains 4 / 6 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 14 % attack speed. This buff lasts for 2.5 seconds and stacks up to 6 times.: This passive basically allows Jax to get faster as he attacks.
Jax leaps towards a target, dealing physical damage if the target was an enemy.
You're going to want to max out Leap Strike after Empower and before Counter Strike.
- Use this to jump to minions when escaping in lane.
- Use this to jump to a ward after you place it as an emergency escape.
- Use this to catch up to an opponent that is running away from you.
Jax charges his weapon with energy, causing his next autoattack or Leap Strike to deal additional magic damage. This ability resets the autoattack timer. : This (as was said earlier in the build) is Jax's primary damage source, and should be spammed.
You're going to want to max out Empower before Leap Strike and before Counter Strike.
- Use this to clear jungle camps quickly.
- Use this to last hit minions to secure farming.
- Make sure to spam this ability when fighting an opponent. At higher levels, the cooldown for this can go down to 2 seconds, so use Empower as much as possible.
- Pair this ability with Leap Strike and Counter Strike to deal a devastating damage and stun combo!
NOTE: Empower CANNOT be used on turrets, so don't waste the mana!
Jax enters a defensive stance for up to 2 seconds, dodging all incoming basic attacks and taking 25% less damage from area of effect abilities. At the end of the duration or if Counter Strike is activated again, Jax deals physical damage and stuns nearby enemies for 1 second. This spell deals 20% additional damage for each attack dodged to a maximum of 100% increased damage.: This stunning and dodging ability is crowd-control and defense for Jax. It also has long cooldowns, so make sure to use it wisely!
You're going to want to max out Counter Strike after Leap Strike and Empower.
- Use this ability to stun escaping opponents.
- Use this ability to allow your opponents to catch up to an important target.
- Use this ability to (not initiate, mind you) survive in team fights while dealing tons of damage.
- Use this ability to get an advantage in damage on an opponent.
Jax deals additional magic damage on every third basic attack. The counter will be reset if he does not attack for 2.5 seconds. Also, Jax gains armor and magic resist. : This is your tool to sustain in big fights, and to stay alive while soloing a tough champion.
You're going to want to take Grandmaster's Might at levels 6, 11, and 16.
- Use this ability in team fights the most, where you might get focused hard.
- Use this ability when facing strong AP casters or champions with high armor penetration.
Jax needs to have a great early start in game, so let's take a look at what makes the early-game item selection successful.
: I start off the game with Boots of Speed. The reason I do this is because it is a great help to achieving first blood. Say you just Leap Striked into the opponent you and your laning partner have decided to target. You have already dealt a significant amount of damage to them, but they are starting to get away! This is why the Boots of Speed will allow you to catch up to your opponent, and will allow you to deal enough damage to them so that you can Ignite them. This will result in first blood (and maybe even the beginning of a feeding streak for your opponents), all thanks to Boots of Speed! I also like getting the Boots of Speed first to quickly build to your first core item, Ninja Tabi.
- : After this, you will have the 3 health potions from extra money to stay in your lane and survive until you really must leave the lane.
Doran's Blade: This is a good choice on Jax because it gives him an early game advantage in attack damage, as well as giving him some extra life steal and health to stay alive in the fight for an early kill. Unfortunately, you have to sell this later in game to pay for the other items, but it is a viable choice on Jax.
- Doran's Shield: This is a good choice on Jax if you decide to leave the "getting fed" to your laning partner early game, or if you wish to solo a lane. This will give you some good sustain to hold your lane for a while.
A NOTE on Vampiric Scepter: If you feel that you need some life-steal BEFORE your Hextech Gunblade, feel free to pick up a Vampiric Scepter at any time. It might just help you survive a bit longer!
This build works very well in order, but you should feel free to change it's order if necessary depending on your play style. This is the order of the items, and why they work great.
Maw of Malmortius
: I choose Ninja Tabi as my boots because they give Jax a good amount of sustain early game, so he can freely attack champions and get early game kills. I also decide to get boots first for the mobility in chasing targets that it can give you.
: This item is terrific on Jax. I get the Phage first because, like the Ninja Tabi, I like to prioritize on sustain early game with him. Also, the Phage gets you more bulky and gives you the excellent SLOWING effect, which is great for Jax to keep up with targets. The Trinity Force gives you attack speed, critical strike chance, ability power, and even mana! Therefore, with the multitude of great traits it will give Jax, it is a necessary item for him. It may be expensive, but if you are getting kills and earning a lot of money, affording this should be no sweat.
: This item not only gives you a nice amount of ability power AND attack damage (making it a great hybrid item), but it also gives a useful unique passive that allows Jax to stack ability power as he attacks. A great ability if you ask me, and it allows Jax to dominate whenever he fights an enemy champion. It is also not too expensive either, so make sure to pick it up! Start building it with a Pickaxe
: Once you build this item on Jax, you will be winning in teamfights and soloing anybody and anything. You will also be able to take on waves of minions like a piece of cake. This item's great amounts of damage, ability power, and lifesteal make it a spectacular item on not only Jax, but other hybrid champions. Also, it gives you 20% spell vamp, so Jax now has 2 lifesteal amounts! How awesome! Not only this, but the Hextech Gunblade gives him an ADDITIONAL slowing effect added already to the one from the Trinity Force. It's like double everything with this item! Make sure to pick up this item, it is quintessential on Jax!
: I have found that this item synergizes very well with Jax because it gives him extra offensive and defensive capabilities, like magic resist and extra damage. Also, it's unique ability is great on Jax, it basically gives him a free "Blitzcrank's Passive" (or a shield at low health), a wonderful savior when you're in combat and at low health.
- : To finish off the build, I get a last form of viability for Jax, the almighty Warmog's Armor. This item is great on Jax because he may be incredibly powerful around this time in the game, but he will be targeted, and he will be relatively squishy compared to other champions. To solve this, the Warmog's Armor gives bonus health AND health regeneration, so pick this grand finale up to keep yourself from dying!
These are items you should get when you are having specific troubles advancing with Jax throughout the game. Lets take a look:
: If you feel that you are having a disadvantage in fighting, you should consider getting the Atma's Impaler. It gives Jax a great amount of armor. So while the critical strike from it isn't important, the bulk that it gives Jax is, for soloing and just getting and sustaining in team fights.
: If you feel that you are really lacking attack speed, get this item, not Phantom Dancer. The reason for this item over Phantom Dancer is that it helps Jax not only with straight-on attack speed, but it gives him a massive increase in damage.
: This is a great multipurpose item for any AP champion, but it works well on Jax. It gives him a nice amount of AP (80), some helpful magic resist, a little bit of movement speed, and a GREAT passive that synergizes exceptionally well with Jax's almost-spammable Empower. I could find this as a item to switch out for possibly Guinsoo's Rageblade, but I find it better to stick to the build.
: I haven't really experimented too much with this item, but it is great if you badly need to counter some annoying crowd-control.
: This is a nice item if AD carries on the enemy team are getting super fed, (i.e. Master Yi, Tryndamere, etc). I like having this because it really is effective, and can give your game some different results!
: An excellent item for a champion like Jax, the Banshee's Veil allows nice magic resistance levels, and a sweet passive that completely counters the next ability every 45 seconds! However, be careful with positioning, you don't want to waste this awesome passive because of an unimportant fighting sequence!
- : I don't always recommend this item, but I'm not gonna lie, this is a fun way to cheat death (assuming you don't get spawn killed by the enemy first). Along with giving a decent amount of armor, this could be a viable late game choice, but it's definitely not needed.
Jax's Gameplay Roles
When playing Jax early-game, you must prioritize on getting kills whenever possible (including first blood), but to not be foolish about it! Getting kills and not dying is actually being fed, and not just trading kills for deaths by turret-diving a champion at level one. The only way to actually progress and get your item build going quickly is to play smart. Also, do some last-minion hitting in your lane for farming, and fully attack minions once you achieve your ultimate at level 6. Make sure that you are swift in building an expensive item like Trinity Force.
At mid-game, you should begin to gank other lanes, steal buffs, and even start team fights in lanes like mid. You should also start to prioritize on clearing lanes by killing, and then pushing turrets HARD. At around this point in the game, team fights will start to occur, so here are some tips on how to deal with them:
- You might think Jax can dodge everything with Counter Strike, but actually, he is NOT an initiator! He is a background fighter that leaps into the battle after the fight has begun, and THEN proceeds on getting kills .
- When there are signs of enemy danger, DO NOT chase targets, as they might lead you to traps! Only do this if you know you can take your opponent before they hit their potential trap!
- Only clean-up remaining targets when they are not near their turret. If they are, make sure you have a team-mate to go with you and take some turret damage for you.
In late-game, focus on killing dragon at around level 15, back-dooring lanes, winning more team fights, destroying exposed inhibitors, assist in killing Baron Nasher (or be a bait to allow your team to get it), and focusing the most fed champions on the enemy team. This will result in weakening the enemy (fed) champions, getting extra gold to speed through the item build, and dominating lanes by pushing.
Play with these tactics every game, and winning should be a piece of cake!
Jax In A Teamfight
When playing as Jax, knowing how to use him in a team fight is vital to success, and may win you a pentakill. However, if you incorporate poor positioning and choices, a bad team-fight with Jax may even result in losing a game!
Below is the best video I could find that shows good positioning, turret advantages, and using Jax's abilities well. The video's actual team-fight starts at 0:23, so fast-forward to there.
At the beginning of the team fight, right off the bat, Jax has good positioning. The tanks of the team Blitzcrank and Amumu start the fight and Jax follows shortly, killing an annoying crowd-control-heavy target, Malzahar.
Next, Blitzcrank and Kennen deal some substantial damage by using their AoE ultimates on the whole team, allowing Jax to attack everyone in a close radius.
Afterwards, Jax notices a threatening target that might be a problem, and one that he can take alone, Ezreal, who might be escaping.
After killing Ezreal, Jax picks up an easy kill on a low Taric, and then turns to Kennen, who foolishly walked back into a fight that was already lost for him, instead of running. Here, Jax has 4 kills, and barely breaks a sweat by jumping to Nautilus and dealing loads of damage, earning him a sweet pentakill.
As you can see, this strategy of Jax in a team-fight works fantastic. Make sure to interpret these tools and tips into your own team-fights, and maybe you yourself will earn a penta-kill and a win!
Here is a screenshot of a victory streak I had with my own guide. Most of the scores are pretty good, as you can see! Try to ignore the first score though, I trying out someone else's build when I did.
These are MY screenshots:
If you try out this build, feel free to shoot me a pm with a screenshot of your good score with it. If you do, I will mention it, credited of course, in this chapter.
If you are looking for a champion that will not only carry you from elo hell, but also have you winning every time, give Jax a try! If you give him a try, then you should give this guide a try as well. As you can see from the screenshots, this build can really be effective on him, and if you are a smart Jax player, you will be having fun with him as well!
Credits go to jhoijhoi for the wonderful template, which you can find here.
I hope that readers of this guide have learned a little more about my main champion than you did before, and happy gaming with Jax, The Grandmaster At Arms!
~6/8/12: The guide was first published.
~6/9/12: Swapped The Bloodthirster for Hextech Gunblade, edited defensive mastery tree, added a small section on timing with Vampiric Scepter, added screenshots from "alphakretin", changed a typo to the "Jax, Who*, When, and Why" section, and added a gameplay roles chapter. All on day two, :D!
~6/13/12: Added the "PAX Jax" skin screenshot in the Introduction, added a situational items section (currently unfinished) in the "Core Items" chapter, and added a screenshot with the updated build.
~6/15/12: Removed the "PAX Jax" skin screenshot, made the color of the ability definitions in the "Abilities, Tips, and Tricks" section, added on to the "Situational Items" section, and replaced regular line dividers with "Jhoihoi"'s custom line dividers.
~6/16/12: Added an entire section on team-fights by request of "Phil Collins".
~6/25/12: Added Lich Bane as a situational item, and decreased bbcoding overload in the first section.
~7/9/12: Changed title of the guide, was previously known as "Jax, Are You Joking Me?".
~7/10/12: Added the Guardian Angel to the situational items chapter.