Jax Build Guide by Snorlaxe
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.
Why you need to read this guide!
This guide is focused on creating the best possible early game Jax in order to reach his godlike late game as quickly as possible. Most people find that Jax tends to be quite the squishy hero early game, which is their downfall. Feeling squishy means a harder time farming creeps, laning in general, and a harder time getting to his late game greatness.
Jax can be an extremely strong early game hero if he is given the right Relentless Assault to work with. (That would have been a good pun if 'Mastery' wasn't there in his passive.) This is why Jax can be called the master of deception, as he can be one of the strongest early game heroes and no one ever expects it!
Contrary to the title, this is not about his time spent in the military...
A Jax without runes, masteries and items is a pretty sad sight. Jax with the right runes and almost even without masteries can be made insanely stronger if you take into account his weaknesses and his strengths when setting him up pregame.
You need to be attacked if you want access to your stun.
Early game health pool.
Early game damage output.
Early game damage mitigation.
I think you get the point...
Larger health pool means staying alive longer to do more damage.
It also means you can stay alive longer to get more stuns off.
Basically, this is all saying early game=bad and late game=good. This is a problem, because you need to do well early game in order to do well later. If you counteract his weaknesses early game, you will find great success later! To do this your main three things you need are damage, survivability, and a way to farm. Following this guide will cover all three.
Greater Mark of Desolation
Greater Mark of Scaling Ability Power
Jax is a hybrid hero. Magic and armor penetration only affect half his damage. Why would you get armor penetration when half your damage is coming from magic and vice versa? You wouldn't do that. This makes those runes useless virtually half of the game. Instead, you could be getting something with more synergy. Ability power per level does not help his early game near enough for this build.
Now on to the good part!
Greater Mark of Attack Damage Yes, I know this only affects his physical damage just like armor penetration would, but there is a reason why these are chosen. All that damage converts into extra health! You gain around 9 extra damage and almost 30 health. That's already an extreme boost to his early game. It gives him extra sustainability, ability to harass more efficiently and makes last hitting creeps extremely easy.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed A viable choice as attack speed adds to overall physical damage dealt as well as magic damage with Relentless Assault. Also attack speed allows Jax to build up the Relentless Assault attack speed buff quicker than normal. These are what I used to use before switching to Greater Mark of Attack Damage.
Overall, both are great choices but Greater Mark of Attack Damage helps his early game tremendously more, so it is the preferred rune for this guide.
Greater Seal of Evasion
The only reason to not use these is due to the fact that they are expensive and out of your current price range. If that is the case then Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power, Greater Seal of Armor, or Greater Seal of Health should be used.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Why? Even though it does not help his early as much as other runes could, I still feel like the extra MR is needed. His ult's activatable only lasts so long and I find the extra MR is needed given a lack of Mercury's Treads in this build.
Greater Glyph of Ability Power or Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power would be the next best alternatives as you are getting both AP and HP.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage or Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
I prefer the AP as it gives you more HP, but the difference is marginal. It is just a matter of preference.
Greater Quintessence of Health These can be used but are not quite as good in my opinion as you are basically choosing between 15 AP and 30 health (Greater Quintessence of Potentcy) or 72 health.
Greater Quintessence of Evasion I find the dodge to almost be overkill. Could be useful to have these in certain games where you need as much dodge as possible.
Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist You already have MR blues so these aren't needed too badly unless against a very heavy AP team.
I have explained in the Marks section as to why armor pen. or magic pen. would be a bad choice so scroll up if needed.
I choose 9/21/0 over 21/9/0 for multiple reasons and it is very important to not be tempted by the alternative.
-The added health from the defensive tree is nice early game.
-Increased attack speed and ability power from farther down the defensive tree is very convenient as they are both important stats to Jax
-The armor pen. and critical damage from the offensive tree is not as useful as the survivability from the defensive tree to Jax
-One of the most important reasons is the fact that late game Jax becomes a tank so he shall be taking a lot of damage or you are playing him wrong. Taking 4% less damage as a tank is essential.
This is in no means a set item build. Every game is different and you should never get the same items each game. Instead you get items in order to counter what the other team has and items to complement your own team. Regardless of that, some items are very important for [Jax] and you will get them most games.
Doran's Blade 100 health + 30 more from the attack damage so a total of 130 HP, 10 AD and a small bit of lifesteal. With AD runes this makes your base attack do 78 damage...
Doran's Ring Same amount of HP and gives AP instead. Jax doesn't need mana regen as his spells cost very little mana. You will find yourself low on mana not very often if you conserve. This can be taken as a starter item as the 3% lifesteal isn't that great either.
Cloth Armor + 5 health pots If you wish to jungle, which isn't reccomended, you shall need this.[/color]
First time back
Ninja Tabi Great item for Jax, needs to be gotten asap.
Doran's Blade Some games I get one, some games I have gotten 4, it is all based on preference and how the game is going. Keep in mind that each Doran's Blade you get will only make you stronger if you are struggling early but will also delay your late game build.
Go for the Hextech Gunblade as quickly as possible most games, otherwise get a Guinsoo's Rageblade. Banshee's Veil will a lot of times be your next item bought after choosing between those two. It is very important for any AP or CC heavy teams. Atma's Impaler is insanely good on him late game as u watch your damage, health and mitigation greatly increase after equiping. Some games getting a Sheen early game and later turning into a Trinity Force can be very effective. Guardian Angel can be a good item also given how the game is going.
DO NOT GET
Rylai's Crystal Sceptor Almost a complete waste of gold. Why would u ever need a slow from this item when you have a slow from your Hextech Gunblade, a stun from Counter Strike and a slow from Trinity Force. Not only that but it only gives you AP and ZERO AD which is very important for your damage and to bring up your HP pool. Oh, Rylai's gives you health? By the time you make a Rylai's that HP gives you a worthless almost of mitigation compared to armor or MR.
Armor and Magic Resistance are much more important than Health on items. Late game you are going to have a lot of HP no matter what so it is better to get mitigation for that HP.
Ghost or Flash can replace either. It is all based on preference. but remember you basically have a flash with your Leap Strike. If you need to get away you can leap to an ally within range a lot of the time.
Laning Phase (Where the Deception comes in)
After buying your Doran's Blade head to your lane. Don't hesitate to take a solo lane as you will dominate most heroes in a 1 on 1. If you do take a lane partner you have a lot to work with either way.
Laning with partner-
A great laning partner to have is one with a stun. This is because no matter when your lane partner initiates you can Leap Strike right to them. This makes Jax very hard to lane against as he can drop right on you at any point. Early game you will do a lot of damage and your Leap Strike should be used as often as possible. A good strategy to do is try and let some minions hit you generating a dodge. Once you have the stun it is a perfect time to leap in and try to stun both heros. Given that you are pubbing, hopefully your lane partner comes at this point. Him leading to another stun is almost guaranteed a kill. In between harassing last hitting should be a breeze with all that extra attack damage. They should be scared of you at this point making them less likely to harass you as you last hit.
Similar to duo laning and even easier to harass as you only have to worry about a single target. Also you don't have to worry about having a bad lane partner that refuses to harass. Start off by using Leap Strike and immediately clicking back towards your tower. His leap goes off so quickly that you should already be back behind your creeps by the time he even realizes what happened. This ensures that you aren't hit by any skillshots. Eventually you will easily be able to kill most ranged heroes by making use of your stun and maxing out Jax' damage. (Combat Jax will be explained next section)
How to use Jax and his Lamppost
Using Leap Strike to harass is nice and easy, but what do you do when you are ready for the kill? There is more to Jax than just spamming his spells, this is what can separate a good Jax from a bad one.
Ok, so after the initial Leap Strike you will notice him swing his post. If you cast Empower immediately afterwards you will reset his autoattack! This means that he will get another attack off that he normally wouldn't if you just right clicked. The same thing works for his Counter Strike. This makes his burst damage extremely high if timed right. This is the main reason an early Sheen on him can be very viable. It is advised that unless you are worried about your health dropping too quickly that you wait to stun though. It is much better to stun a target when they attempt to run than to use it beforehand and potentially lose the kill. In most cases they will attempt to run immediately, so using Counter Strike fairly quickly may be needed.
This guide is not yet finished and they are other sections left to be done. Please post any feedback, it is greatly appreciated!