Jax Build Guide by Malkeezadek
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 a character that was previously insanely tanky and strong with his old passive. He now has a different passive, and a different E, thus his tankyness has been removed to some degree and there has been a lot of recent forum QQing on the fact that he is no longer overpowered tanky DPS infinite health/damage Jax.
Hopefully this guide will do something to illuminate the new ability of Jax to be an extremely viable and strong jungle champion.
***I will be adding a Laning section fairly soon, I just wanted to get this put up for now***
Also, this is my first guide! So please be gentle, but criticism and input is welcome as long as you aren't mean about it. I'll be checking and updating it regularly as i continue to refine the build.
The Runes I use are fairly common in the AD ranged runes people use. you get about 7 AD, 15 Arm Pen, and 13 of each resist.
Yellows: 13 Armor, invaluable in the jungle, good for ganking, pretty self explanatory
Blues: 13 Magic Resist, good for ganking magic dealers, but these could easily be switched out for CDR blues if you have them, or even atk speed.
Quints: Atk. Dmg. because free attack damage is always fun and good.
I go 9/21/0, but this is by no means the only way to do so. I like to run a little tankier because Jax can now be killed (whaaa???). something like 21/9/0 is also completely viable, but I am of the opinion that i'd rather be tankier because jax does crazy dmg with a very low amount of items.
Also something i had experimented with but had no real opinion on is running 14/16/0... Getting the 9 in offense i have listed above, as well as 4 in Sorcery and 1 in Arcane Knowledge, for increased CDR and some magic penetration, as your ulti's passive gives you some free magic damage.
I would recommend trying the 9/21/0 for new players to Jax, as you will probably make mistakes and overextend/tower dive, etc... the added tankiness is a small cushion
I run Exhaust and Smite. Mostly because as jax you can carry a ward with you, drop it over a wall, and use your leap-strike to jump to it to get you out of most situations.
Exhaust is Overpowered, it decreases damage output and move speed by a ton, it is insanely good later in the game even, so I try to run this summoner as often as I can.
Smite is essential to the jungle, I take the smite mastery because i figure by the time i finish my jungle route it has yielded me about 30 gold, and by the 2nd-3rd run through it has yielded me about 70-80 gold, which is a free ward.
Flash is also completely viable, or Ignite. I personally just think that Exhaust is better than ignite later in the game, and dont feel like running flash because Jax has somewhat of a flash for free in the ward dropping thing i'll mention later.
This is also really variable. Starting with your W at blue golem is really essential, it does a lot of damage and is kind of spammable. Also getting your E next at lvl 2 is the best thing to do, I've got my Q at lvl 2 before and it still works but red buff was VERY precarious, i think I ended it with something like 90 HP left then had to back to base and heal. After you get one Q, W, E lvl it is really up to you wether or not you want to max your Q or W next. I have taken recently to actually maxing my Q over my W first because i've found if the enemy is faster than me slightly that my W doesn't always go off, and so I want the guaranteed damage on my Q.
If you're confident at landing your stun and knowing you can get your W off on the laner you're ganking just level W...
Do Not Max Your E First, it's not worth it. Yes there is a slight cooldown decrease and a slight damage increase, but you're jungling. Often-times if you gank a lane they're just going to run ,not attack you, so the damage increase from dodging is not really useful, also there is almost not situation until 20:00+ that you will be able to use you're E multiple times in a fight anyway, so the CDR is not worth it.
- You jump to things and do damage. You can jump to enemies, allies, allied creeps, enemy creeps, neutral creeps, or wards. THIS IS VERY USEFUL.
- Always carry a ward in your inventory on a hotkey you can easily reach on the fly. If you get into a bad situation, look for a wall, drop the ward over it, jump to the ward and laugh as you managed to get away from some scary stuff.
- This ability adds damage based on AP to your attack (this is why we get some AP on jax)... It has a very short cooldown and is semi spammable late game with some CDR, only about 2 seconds.
- It is important to note that this ability resets your auto-attack timer... Why is this good? it means you get a free extra attack. Instead of attack - attack, you can go attack - immediately hit EMPOWER - attack in the same amount of time.... This greatly increases your damage output.
- NOTE you can also do the attack - empower - attack thing on towers, this is CRAZY good for getting some quick damage on towers. Empower does not proc off towers though, so it will not do more damage than a normal auto-attack.
- Makes you dodge basic attack for 1.5 seconds then stuns nearby enemies for 1 second. This ability also does additional damage based on how many attack are dodged
- This is very good in the jungle, if you time it right you can dodge 3-4 attacks at the wolves (for 30-40 bonus damage) and 4-5 attacks at the wraiths (for 40-50 bonus damage) as well as taking no damage for 2.5 seconds of the fight [1.5 sec dodge + 1 sec stun]
- It is also prudent to note that this ability is Jax's "bread and butter" of ganking, so to speak. If you are running in on a lane and know you are going to be able to leap strike to an opponent activate this ability slightly BEFORE you leap strike to guarantee it will stun the gankee.
- Jax's ULti. IT IS EXTREMELY GOOD. Gives extra magic damage to your attacks every 3 swings. Also has an activatable effect that gives you bonus AD and AP.
- Activate this in team fights, or before ganks that you know your allies can CC the enemies for bonus damage to your attacks.
For now i'm not going to include an in depth items section, as the items I listed in the build order are what I recommend. I will put some more work into this section later, but for now i'm not going to go tooooo in depth.
Also, in some cases you may want to get Warmog's very early, as being tanky is nice. Experiment with what you like, in some cases you may wish to just buy the giant's belt portion of it before the Trinity and Gunblade to decrease your squishiness some. Also by no means is Warmog/GA necessary. A lot of games i've played recently I just went Boots,Wriggles,Trinity,Gunblade and was getting Quadra-Kills no problem.
These are my two main comments on items for the moment though
** Quicksilver Sash (QSS) - if you are being raped because you are getting cc'd by the enemy team you may want to buy a QSS to get rid of that pesky CC
--that being said, i prefer the QSS to Banshee's sometimes, other times not, just depends how much CC the enemy team has
**Late game you are going to want to trade out your wriggles for something. Viable items include (in no particular order):
- Banshee's Veil
- Ionic Spark (i love this item, tankiness + attack speed = OP)
- Phantom Dancer
- The Bloodthirster
- Atma's Impaler
-Anything to increase your Damage Output
-Anything to increase your Tankyness (health items, resist items, etc)
-Level your "W" NOTE: you can also level your E first if you feel like it. (This will be explained in the next section)
-Get a Leash
-Use Empower right after your first auto attack so you have time to use empower again to minimize time spent on this part of the jungle.
-Smite at low-ish HP
-Once Dead level your "E"
-Do the attack -> Empower trick again on the Big Wolf
-Use your E right before the wolves go to attack you for the second or third time to dodge their attacks and do maximum damage to them
-Repeat Wolves step but focusing the Blue Wraith.
Red Buff/Double Golem
-At this point you can either go double golems into red buff, or red buff into double golems, it doesn't really matter - though it may be smarter to do red buff second so you have red buff for longer. Just make sure to continue to use the empower trick and your E at the right times.
-Level your "Q"
-Kill the one of these two camps that you did not kill first.
***At this point you can either gank the lane closest to you or mid if one of them is pushed or you can do wraiths again***
-i recommend killing the wraiths again after you kill the last of the red/double golem camp, because this will allow you to hit level 4, significantly increasing your damage. Most jungles have to do wraiths again to get their "cc" ability at lvl 4 because they have leveled their damage abilities at lvls 1,2, and 3... however, Jax doesn't need lvl 4 to gank, as you already have 1 lvl of all your skills.
-Level either "Q" or "W", whichever suits your fancy.
Counter Jungling and/or Lvl. 2 Ganking!
I completely recommend doing this.
To counter jungle and lvl. 2 gank, start either with Boots of Speed + 3 Health Potion's, or a Doran's Blade. Level your E first, as this is just as viable as leveling your W first in the jungle. Do Blue buff normally, then level either your Q or W, and complete wolves. If you've taken Boots of Speed you should be able to pop up behind your enemy jungler as they are doing/completing their Wraiths. This should be either an easy kill, or you can steal their red buff.
If you get the Doran's Blade you should have an extreme advantage over their jungler in health and attack damage and almost a guaranteed kill if they try to 1v1 you. For this reason if I'm planning to counter jungle I usually go 21/9/0, added damage and armor pen is very nice (with masteries and your runes and a Doran's Blade you'll have about 20 bonus atk. dmg)
The other option is if you are close to bot/mid/top and see an easy gank to gank the lane at lvl 2, as you will have Leap Strike/your stun. For this reason i recommend leveling leap strike instead of your W next after E just because it will let you decide if you wish to gank or counter jungle.
** Counter Jungling is dangerous! As you do this watch ALL the lanes. If you see the enemy champions in a lane adjacent to you disappear get the hell out of the jungle! Giving first blood to the enemy carry or jungle is crippling if you do this, plus you will lose your blue buff. This could lose your mid lane to the enemy by giving blue to their mid! BAD STUFF.
***THIS SECTION IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION***
Though currently I have what build i'm experimenting with listed on this I have no comments on it yet. They will be upcoming
Please don't give negative votes without explanations! Any comments and suggestions will be greatly appreciated, as it is only about 1-2 days since the Jax Update this guide is obviously not the end all of Jax guides, but I think it's pretty adequate for a tanky/DPS Jax Jungle.
In my Opinion the most important thing to remember is that YOU ARE NO LONGER OVERPOWERED!... That means you need to play like a normal AD melee jungle, you will take a lot of hurt if you overextend in a gank or if you get cc'd, so you need to be smart. Riot by taking his old passive away has essentially just made jax into a really solid melee AD damage dealer, in stead of the freak tank damage dealer he was previously.
Good Luck to everyone who tries it! Gimme dat feedback! :D