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Jax Build Guide by emachel

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author emachel

Jax - solo top/jungle path to OP

emachel Last updated on July 2, 2012
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Ability Sequence

2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key Q
3
4
5
7
9
Ability Key W
1
14
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunder
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3/
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 0


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Banner


Guide Top

Hall of Fame



Here are some pics of epic Jax kicking butts with awesome performance using this guide! If you want to show yourself off as well, feel free to share some nice scores with me and I shall post them as well! Don't be shy and be proud you were allowed to use this never-ending power the mighty grandmaster gives you!

Myself:


Guide Top

Introduction



Yo fellas, no time for rest! Only hard training can make anyone become master! And I'm the living example of it! Ha ha! So if you haven't ever heard of me, me is Jax - the Grandmaster at Arms. But well, I'm Grandmaster at Everything and today I'll show you how you should properly dominate those damn top lanes and jungle. I dominate both at a time, but don't try this at home. For now, you'll be better off playing either top or jungle and I shall tell you when it's better to jungle and when it's safer to go top instead. You gonna end the same either ways... EATING ALL YOUR OPPONENTS AT ONCE, GODDAMIT!

Ok, in case you've really never heard what Jaxes are all about, lemme explain briefly. I'm a malee hybrid bruiser. Too many hard words at once? I don't like it as well, so I'll break it up for ya. Malee means I'm not ranged and cannot autoattack from distance. However, malee characters are stronger 1v1 against ranged champions, as they can use numerous gap-closers, have bigger attack power and sustain. The only difference is the way they combat in larger fights. Hybrid means I abuse both Attack Damage and Ability Power as a ways of improving my spells and overall performance in game. Hybrid champions still do prioritize one of those stats over another and I tend to go better with AD, so this is why my build relies on it more than AP. And the reason for it may be that I'm a bruiser, which again means I'm best at fighting 1v1 with chosen target, mostly with autoattacks. Bruisers don't abuse much of AoE skills (though I have one as well), but they just concentrate on a singular target and take it down as soon as possible.

Keep in mind though - I'm not a tank (at least untill very late game in some build options), so normally you don't want to use Jax to initiate fights (unless you consider jumping on opponent's AD carry and killing it before opponents are able to do any kind of reaction as an initiation).


Guide Top

Pros & Cons


Pros

  • one of the best 1v1 champions
  • deals TONS OF DAMAGE
  • nice gap close/escape with Leap Strike
  • great harass with Leap Strike and Empower
  • gets a huge boost at level 6 due to Grandmaster's Might
  • good timing of Counter Strike may change the output of the fight
  • overall great AP and AD boosts to all his spells
  • which makes his late game LEGENDARY

Cons

  • not the tankiest top/jungle you will think of
  • has a hard early game with sustain problems
  • highly item dependant
  • and those items aren't the cheapest around
  • takes some time to learn
  • he's ugly and skins won't change it
  • and when I said that I'm dead...


Guide Top

Runes & masteries



Runes

Runes

Greater Mark of Lethality
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3
  • greater mark of desolation is the most standard mark for all AD champions and it's viable for Jax as well. Note that Armor Penetration works with Leap Strike as well. This set of marks and quints is proven to be best for AD as it scales greatly thoughout the game.
  • Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage gives you a huge buff to your autoattack and some spells early on, as well as fits great with ArPen marks as said before.
  • Greater Seal of Armor makes you more durable against other malee fighters and decreases the amount of damage taken from minions and turrets. Good for laning, obligatory for jungling.
  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist on the other hand gives you magic resist per level. This gives you twice as more MRes than the flat runes and since you won't be typically encountering AP carries on your lane, there's no need to have early MRes and those would do just fine.

Masteries


Solo top - defensive build

Masteries
1/5
3/5
4/1
1/1
3/5
3/1
4/1
3/5
1/1
3/5
3/1
1/

This focuses on giving you additional health through Durability and Veteran's Scars , as well as more durability overall. This setup synergises very well with Atma's Impaler and makes it easier to survive early game on the top lane. As a player prefering safe laning I choose this version most of the time. If you feel yourself confident with Jax and want to do more harass early on, try the version below. Keep in mind that this version still empowers your passive, Relentless Assault and your ultimate, Grandmaster's Might via Alacrity in the Offence tree. Note that in the same tree there is Summoner's Wrath that you'll be using due to Ignite. If in your summoner spell's choices there is no Ignite, you may prefer to pick 1 point in Mental Force better.

Solo top - offensive build

Masteries
1/5
3/5
4/1
1/1
3/5
3/1
2/1
3/1
1/
1/5
3/1
4/1
1/1

This setup would be most preferable for most Jax's players as it concentrates on maximazing the damage output via Havoc and Executioner . Blast gives you some extra Ability Power for the late game and Vampirism some additional sustain for early game. In the Defence tree, focus is once more around Durability and Veteran's Scars .

Jungle - defensive build

Masteries
3/5
1/1
4/1
1/1
1/5
1/5
2/1
2/1
4/1
2/5
1/1
1/1
3/5
3/1
1/

Pretty similiar to the classic version, although it also includes Summoner's Resolve for bonus gold with Smite and Bladed Armor for easier jungling. Since we take no Ignite, replace its mastery with Butcher for the same reason.

Jungle - offensive build

Masteries
3/5
1/1
4/1
1/1
3/5
3/1
2/1
3/1
1/
1/5
1/5
1/1
2/1
3/1
1/1

The combination of offensive build with jungle tools mentioned above. Note that Vampirism is partucarly useful here as it makes you more durable while fighting against monsters in the jungle.


Guide Top

Skill explanation



Relentless Assault is Jax's passive. It increases his attack speed every hit up to 6 times, giving you up to 24% to 84% AS depending on the level, which makes you really insane late game. Hint: this works on any target, including turrets, and may be used to push your opponents very effectively!

Leap Strike is Jax's gap close and escape ability in one. It lets you jump on either his enemy dealing damage or on allied champions. This ability applies on-hit effects and can be used to jump on enemies when ganking or jump on allies to get away. Hint: you can jump basically on anything, you can even put a ward from Wriggle's Lantern over the wall and then Leap Strike to it to get a free Flash.

Empower is the major Jax's damage dealing spell. It boosts his next autoattack or Leap Strike with additional bonus damage, scaling with AP. Combination of Empower and Leap Strike is your main source of harass early on and is really good later when you have your items on you.

Counter Strike is the utility spell, which gives you 2-second dodge and reduce of AoE damage, doing damage and stunning enemies around you at the end of the duration. You can also reactivate this spell again after 1 second to cause it end faster, but keep in mind that the damage is increased by 20% (up to 100%) for each dodged autoattack. You can use it on the beggining of 1v1 fight with enemy bruiser to harass them while dodging theirs attacks and stun them afterwards (sometimes requires Flash to make sure you hit the stun).

Grandmaster's Might is Jax's ultimate and what makes Jax really become Jax. It has both passive and active. Passive empowers your basic attacks after 3 consecutive hits. Axtive gives you bonus armor and magic resist for 8 seconds. You'll be best using this ulti for teamfights, when you'll be busy focusing single target and want to minimise the damage from the rest of enemies coming onto you.

Basic skills picking order: -> ->
Take Counter Strike on level 1, as you will need it to avoid early ganks, safely walk into brushes and dodge an early charge from your opponent. You may want to take Leap Strike first on solo top otherwise, but for jungle always star with Counter Strike as it will minimise the dmg you receive from the camps. Take Empower last as it has no utility in-build whatsoever.

Basic skills maxing order: -> ->
Max Empower first as it does most damage and gives you a massive burst. Second would be Leap Strike for the same reasons. Level up Counter Strike last since it's mostly a utility spell and the amount of damage it does is thus of lesser importance.

Skills combination: -> -> -> ->
Empower your Leap Strike, then jump on enemy. When they see you and start attacking activate Counter Strike and do it once more to shut away their escape if neccessary. If you find yourself troubled, activate Grandmaster's Might to gain additional defence resource.

Running away: -> -> -> -> +
Use Counter Strike to stun your enemies and leave them away, trying to jump on something with Leap Strike (probably you'll have some fast running teammates) or jump on your own's Wriggle's Lantern's ward as mentioned before to do a bonus Flash over a wall (which is obviously also a viable resource).

AP ratio for skills:
Bonus AD ratio for skills:
Jax's spells does not scale with his overall AD, only with bonus one.


Guide Top

Summoner spells



For my spell choices I use Flash and Ignite for solo top or Flash with Smite for jungle. This spells are most typical for the metagame nowadays, but there are still more possible options if you want to experiment.

Mostly viable spell choices


  • Flash - most because it is... The best counter for Flash. Jax has no other ways of shutting opponents down other than 1-second stun with Counter Strike and even this can be dodged by Flashing away. Take your own Flash and you're back to safety!
  • Ignite - it gives you additional damage burst (up to ~500 true damage on 18 level) and lowers enemies healing, which can be useful against certain healing-dependant champions like Dr. Mundo or Vladimir. Other than that, Ignite has nice utility with Summoner's Wrath .
  • Smite - take it instead of Ignite when you're jungling. It will grant you some bonus gold with Summoner's Resolve and is neccessary for blue/red buffs, dragon and baron protection. Make sure you have it with you when your opponents may want to steal away precious buffs or dragons.
  • Ghost - an alternative for Flash. It helps you cover large distances and lower the distance required to land a Leap Strike or stun with Counter Strike. It can also help you get away from being chased or out of stun's range.
  • Cleanse - a good way for getting away from stuns/silences etc. It is also the only possible way for Jax to get rid of Ignite, which can be very annoying especially for denying massive healing he gets from Hextech Gunblade and other resources. High cooldown still makes it less possible alternative for Ignite.

Not that much of viable spell choices

  • Exhaust - this is again an alternative for Ignite. It helps you mostly on 1v1 fights and I wouldn't recommend it, since Jax already has natural advantage in them, maybe apart from early game. However, for most of solo top opponent's you're going to face, this does nothing, since they will run off while the duration or completely deny it (I'm thinking of champs like Gangplank, Olaf, Riven or Master Yi).
  • Heal - you gain massive spell vamp and life steal through Wriggle's Lantern and Hextech Gunblade, why would you need this bonus amount of heal, when you already have so much? Let AD carries take it instead.
  • Teleport - this spell is mostly early-game viable and it cause you to leave lane. Are the words "early-game" and "leaving the lane" really fitting for Jax? No. You want to be busy farming, not saving other's lifes for wasted spell slot.
  • Clarity - Jax doesn't have more problems with mana than other AD bruisers and don't need to spam spells too often early on, when he's already playing defensive. And later, you're not going to have any mana problems anyways.
  • Clairvoyance - spare it for supports, if you really need it in team.

Other spells wouldn't be viable for anyone most of the time, so there is no reason to discuss why Jax doesn't need them either... Isn't there?


Guide Top

Item builds



Here is a full description of how I think is the best way of building Jax. Ignore the build I put on the sheet, it's just one of the options and I myself never have done it in real (lol), even though it contains most of the important items you may want to include.

Beggining items


Item Sequence











Health Potion
50

Health Potion
50

Health Potion
50

Health Potion
50

Health Potion
50


Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions is what I consider the best start for Jax, both in jungle (when it's almost neccessary) and on top lane. As said before, Jax is bad and kinda squishy early on, so you really need to be able to defend yourself against those AD bruisers that will harrass you like Gangplank or Renekton, but in general as well. If you're feeling afraid of early ganks, you may even get one sight ward instead of some Health Potions.

Other beggining possibilities


Item Sequence











Doran's Shield
450

Doran's Blade
450

Long Sword
350

Health Potion
50


Boots of Speed alongside with 3 Health Potions are standard items for solo lanes. This can do great for fighting with champions that have dodge skills, like Dr. Mundo or Olaf, and especially against ranged carries like Nidalee or Teemo. However, since you have your Leap Strike for covering long distances I don't really see why you'd take that over Cloth Armor for most of the time.

Doran's Blade and Doran's Shield are items you cannot upgrade later on, which isn't good thing since Jax is so item-dependant with costly items to get, that you really can't afford to waste that item slot. Plus you'll be having no funds to get any Health Potions for sustain.

Long Sword and 1 Health Potion would only be good when 2 conditions are met: you're sure of yourself early on against your opponent that you only need 1 potion and that you're going to build Phage later on. This is why you'll rarely get it.

First recall items


Item Sequence











Vampiric Scepter
900

Long Sword
350

Boots of Speed
300

Stealth Ward
75

Wriggle's Lantern
1800

On your first recall, try to grab as many ingredients for Wriggle's Lantern as possible. Starting from Cloth Armor, if you haven't already gotten it, then getting Vampiric Scepter for more sustain with life steal and closing with Long Sword that gives you bonus damage. Unless you can complete Wriggle's Lantern get a sight ward for warding your lane or important parts of the jungle (more in the warding section). If you're laning, don't rush the lantern without getting Boots of Speed first, as you will need them to get on your lane faster and avoid getting ganked.

Wriggle's Lantern is your first and primary investment. Why? Because it gives you everything you may need early and later on for such a cheap price with low-price ingredients to it. Additional sight ward each 3 minutes (which is exactly the duration of it) will reduce your need for getting wards and spare you an item slot for them. Additional passive of Wriggle's Lantern can be used to push, get last hits easier or jungle more efficiently (or you can always go grab some free camps on a way back to your lane).

Boot choices


Item Sequence











Ninja Tabi
1100

Berserker's Greaves
1100

Boots of Mobility
900

After getting Wriggle's Lantern, you will certainly want to improve your Boots of Speed. However, there are many possibilites, so which one you would grab? Typically, there are 3 viable options for Jax, but since I'm trying to be more versatile than I could be, I also included 4th one, which is to be used for fun only (keep that in mind!).

Mercury's Treads are in my opinion the best boots in game and they would be your most often choice. Why? Unless you are playing normal or some fun games, you will see teams having lots of CCs against you. And believe me, there is nothing more annoying to be stunned for 5 hours while being a bruiser. This boots would reduce the length of all stuns by 35% and also give you some bonus Magic Resistance in case opponent's AP carry looks scary to you.

Ninja Tabi is a choice when it's not CCs you are afraid of, but the physical damage. This boots would reduce all non-turrets autoattacks' power by 10%. So if you are fighting against many low-CC fighters getting out of control, like Tryndamere or Vayne and the AP carry is a minor problem for you, get those instead.

Berserker's Greaves are once more the option for those who feel too confident. Bonus attack speed would synergise very well with Grandmaster's Might and generally improve your performance as a bruiser, but will also leave you without any defence options those two options above would offer. Choose only if you feel like you are already steam-rolling the game.

Boots of Mobility are the fun option that I would only recommend for fun games, if not at all. This will help you push more effectively and since on the late game turrrets would be no opponent for you thanks to Relentless Assault, you may just unexpectedly appear and destroy them while the rest of your team would take your opponent's attention. But hey, you're the mighty Jax, do you really need such dirty tricks?


First major items


Item Sequence











Hextech Revolver
1050

Bilgewater Cutlass
1500

Hextech Gunblade
3400

After getting Wriggle's Lantern and your boots, most probably Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi, you are finally ready to go get probably the most important key item Jax could ever think of, not to say the item that is the essence of Jaxiness itself... The mighty Hextech Gunblade.

However, before we even discuss why this is such an important item in the first place, let's discuss how to build it properly. By this I mean you should start with the AP part of it, which is Hextech Revolver. Why? Because so far you would already have nice AD boost, while your AP would be really low (can be 0-10, depending on your masteries) and you need to start Empowering (lol) your spells with AP. You also already have life steal due to Wriggle's Lantern, but no spell vamp. As a a hybrid character, you need both of them. Needless to say, Hextech Revolver is 625g cheaper than AD part, Bilgewater Cutlass, and for all that reasons you will want to get it first.

Hextech Gunblade is not only a hybrid item, it's the best hybrid item you can get in this game. It gives you massive AP of a Void Staff, AD nearly equal to B. F. Sword, additional life steal and maximum spell vamp you can get from items, highly increasing your damage from autoattacks and spells, as well as your sustain from both of them again. Additionaly, you get a nice active giving you additional magic damage and 50% slow each 60 seconds with an awesome range, just remember to use it when neccessary.

Ok, at this point you'll be having your first 3 items, which would be: With 3 more spaces to bring items to, there are many possibilities, including some situational defence ways. I will try to describe as many popular further build options as possible, as well as provide you some general hints when to build them, but the point is that if you are doing well to this point already, there is nothing that can really be worse or better, it's just based on your intuition. Try to pick what you believe would be best in your situation.

The way of AtMog


Item Sequence











Frozen Mallet
3100

Giant's Belt
1000

Warmog's Armor
2850

Atma's Impaler
2300

This is the tankiest of all options, giving you massive health and regeneration without losing too much of later damage thanks to Atma's Impaler's passive. This is the most popular choice for late-game AD bruisers, but keep in mind that this build will not give you any more Ability Power and although it would give you some Attack Damage, this will happen only when you complete it. This would also not grant you any specific resistance other than health overall, despite some portion of armor with Atma's Impaler.
When to build it? Usually when your team needs someone tankier. With this build you can safely initiate fights and your team would benefit from having you focused. Frozen Mallet is always a good choice when you need more CC. With this build you will be crushing your opponent's AD carries even more effectively, although Madred's Bloodrazor would be a scary thing to look for.

Frozen Mallet is one of the best and most versatile items for most AD bruisers and can be used on Jax as well. Giving you nice portion of sustain and amazing slow to your autoattacks, making it extremely easy to chase them with combination of Leap Strike to it, making it almost impossible for them to run away, even with Flash.

The way of TriForce


Item Sequence











Sheen
1050

Zeal
1300

Trinity Force
3733

Before I started writing this section, I made a Top5 list of the most costly items in League of Legends. This doesn't have to do much with the content of this guide, but treat is as a free addition.

Top5 most costly items in League of Legends

1. Trinity Force (4070g)
2. Infinity Edge (3830g)
3. Madred's Bloodrazor (3800g)
4. Hextech Gunblade (3625g)
5. Rabadon's Deathcap (3600g)

As you probably realize, we already have item nr. 4 on that list in our inventory and now we're talking about taking... The highest prized item in LoL of all times. Now you know that I wasn't lying when talking about not-cheap items...

When to build it? When you already have advantage in game and want to further it with no need for situational items. TriForce won't make you a tank, but will centrainly improve your damage burst and sustain a little. It costs a lot and would take some time before you complete it, but you won't regret having it when it's completed.

Trinity Force is an underlooked item by many pro-players and this may have something in common with Phreak's commonly known attitude towards it (just give it to anyone and enjoy TONS OF DAMAGE!). Still, there are some champions that really benefit from this item (some are even hard to play without it, like Irelia) and Jax is one of them. However, since this is such a complex item, let's break it into its subparts.

Phage is the base item for either Frozen Mallet which we discussed above or the Trinity Force we're talking now. Here it's much weaker, with only 25% for a slow in its passive, but I still suggest buying it first, for additional damage ( Hextech Gunblade prioritises AP over AD, so now go AD first to keep the balance) and sustain. You can start with Sheen as well for its offence power.

Sheen can be built in either Lich Bane or Trinity Force. It has more or less the same passive in both, granting bonus damage with first basic attack after each spell use (with 2.5 seconds cooldown), but in case of Lich Bane the bonus scales with AP, while with both basic Sheen and Trinity Force it does with AD. And since Jax tends to have more AD than AP, the passive is even better with Trinity Force than it's alternative. Apart from giving you massive damage burst with its passive, Sheen gives you some extra Ability Power as well.

Zeal is the last part of Trinity Force you want to grab, otherwise improved into Phantom Dancer. It gives you crit change, attack speed and movement speed. Do you need any of those? Well, they are useful, but not top-priority. You gan attack speed through Relentless Assault, although it would still help you activate Grandmaster's Might faster, and you can cover distances with Leap Strike, but still bonus movement is always helpful. So, last priority item in TriForce build, bot not completely useless anyways.

When you already have your Trinity Force on you, you still have 2 spare spaces for items. By the amount of gold you've spend the game may have already ended, but if not you may still think of what to buy next. If there are no situational items to get, I suggest going for Warmog's Armor and Atma's Impaler as mentioned in the previous build. Although this build would cost so much in total that I've never managed to complete it in a single game, this is really similiar to the one above, with the difference of Trinity Force being outlined here instead of Frozen Mallet. Other than this, you can combine it with AP build suggested below or with situational items.

The way of AP Jax


Item Sequence











Sheen
1050

Rabadon's Deathcap
3800

Lich Bane
3200

Out of 3 classic ways of building late-game Jax, this one would certainly be the less popular option, but you still may find yourself in a need to use it, so I will briefly describe it as well, based on the 2 above. This is a very situational one and most of the time you'll be chosing between 2 aforementioned possibilities or situational items mixed with them, so make sure you know what you're doing when you choose this one.

When to build it? When you have no AP carry or it's a weak one, your opponents have massive armor or for any other reason your team would require a huge boost to magical damage. Jax is naturally a AD-more-hybrid, but he can be build more AP as well if neccessary.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter is the Frozen Mallet for AP. Literally. It gives you health. It gives you boost to your damage, from AP instead of AD. It gives you slow, from spells instead of from basic attacks. If you understand why you want to build Phage/ Frozen Mallet for AD-concetrated Jax, the same reasoning goes with Rylai's Crystal Scepter for AP Jax.

Rabadon's Deathcap on the other hand is the best AP item overall in the game. It will give you massive load of Ability Power and bonus AP for AP... Well, let's say that you can't go wrong doing AP build by buying this item.

Lich Bane is your Sheen from Trinity Force, just like Rylai's Crystal Scepter is your Frozen Mallet. With more AP than AD, its obvious you want to hit bonus damage per AP rather than AD. Apart from it, more AP to synergize with Rabadon's Deathcap mentioned above and some nice magic resist to it. You can build Sheen before Rabadon's Deathcap, but do not complete Lich Bane without this item first, since you won't get max of it.


Basic builds - summary


This is how your item builds should look like at the end of the game (apart from the base one of course). Note that this will be classic ways of building Jax, not covering any of situational items. Moreover, keep in mind that Mercury's Treads are put here as the most often used boots, but you may grab other ones instead as discussed in the boots section earlier. This will also slightly change the summary build prices as this are the most costly boots.

Core build
Item Sequence











Mercury's Treads
1100

Hextech Gunblade
3400
Total cost: 6425g

AtMog build
Item Sequence











Mercury's Treads
1100

Hextech Gunblade
3400

Frozen Mallet
3100

Warmog's Armor
2850

Atma's Impaler
2300
Total cost: 15030g

TriForce build
Item Sequence











Mercury's Treads
1100

Hextech Gunblade
3400

Trinity Force
3733

Warmog's Armor
2850

Atma's Impaler
2300
Total cost: 15850g

AP build
Item Sequence











Mercury's Treads
1100

Hextech Gunblade
3400

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
3200

Rabadon's Deathcap
3800

Lich Bane
3200
Total cost: 16600g

As you see, surprisingly it's the AP build that costs the most money. However, all of them cost indeed a real fortune and even if you steam-role the game, you'll often find yourself winning without the full build on you. Still, there is an important part we cannot forget about - the situational items you may want to include after getting the core build.

Situational items


Anti-AD items
Item Sequence











Guardian Angel
2400

Sunfire Cape
2900

Thornmail
2350

Zhonya's Hourglass
2900

Atma's Impaler as discussed, is a natural part of AtMog build or extended TriForce build. Sometimes you may want to grab it a bit earlier, just for this extra armor. Getting Chain Vest alone is a good idea as well, since Atma's Impaler does not increase its armor anyways.

Guardian Angel gives you additional armor plus a nice passive that revives you once every 5 minutes. This may be useful option if you go for less tanky build options and tend to be focused down, especially by ADs. This will reduce the damage you take as well as help survive those large teamfights.

Sunfire Cape gives you not only armor, but also additional health making you more tanky and doing well with Atma's Impaler (you may use this item instead of Frozen Mallet in the AtMog build if you need more armor). The passive it gives you is also very nice one, increasing your overall damage in both teamfights and 1v1 battles, making you more scary target to go for.

Thornmail is the ultimate tool providing armor and... Nothing apart from it. Grab it only if opponent's got really AD-heavy team (4-5 champions hitting hard with AD) and it would do wonders. Not only will it reduce damage you take, but also grant you some additional one with the passive. Unless you really fight only with ADs, Counter Strike would do well covering you in those larger teamfights.

Zhonya's Hourglass is your armor resource for AP-based build. It gives you massive AP, nice armor and passive that gives you additional 2-second immortality. This is not that useful for Jax, but if you need item that grants you both AP and armor, this is your only option for the most of the time.

Anti-AP items
Item Sequence











Banshee's Veil
2450

Force of Nature
2610

Maw of Malmortius
3250

Abyssal Scepter, just like Zhonya's Hourglass is item for AP Jax, this time anti-mage one. It would give you some AP, magic resist and its passive would even decrease your opponent's magic resistance. This way you decrease the magical damage you receive and increase the magical damage you do.

Banshee's Veil is the most powerful and versatile item for dealing with AP carries. If you're facing some getting out of control, you can grab it and either stop their combos by blocking 1 spell or deny the burst damage they do with single one of them. It will help you get rid of those powerful finishers, like Caitlyn's Ace in the Hole or Karthus's Requiem.

Force of Nature on the other hand is the item that will save you against this harassing AP champions like Kennen or Katarina, by decreasing the damage they do and giving you massive health regeneration. Since they won't burst you down, this would completely shut down their options to kill you while 1v1.

Maw of Malmortius is a new upgrade to Hexdrinker and it's really good, although again very costly, item for Jax in my opinion, if you're not doing the AP path. It gives you lots of AD, somehow little amount of flat MRes, but granting you defence against spells with its shield. This once again would make you harder to kill by those deadly Requiems and other finishers. Particularly good against Darius, you can use this to lure him into wasting his ultimate, Noxian Guillotine and not getting the cooldown refresh.


Yes, I didn't believe this section would see an end. But it did. Funny, isn't it?


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Solo top laning



This are the opponents you should pick Jax against:



And any AD carries in general (including Teemo, Vayne etc).

Jax is a good counter-pick to those solo tops that really require to fight with basic attacks most of the time and cannot afford to harass you from the back on the larger scale, hoping to outsustain you. So this are those ones who you have natural advantage of with explanation of how to properly abuse it.

Tryndamere is the champion Jax is straight counter for. Can Trynda do anything without basic attacks? No. However hard he tries, your Counter Strike and Empowered basic attacks of your would always beat him. At reaching level 6 with Grandmaster's Might he would especially be np for you. He's the easiest possible opponent you may ever get as a Jax player.

Fiora can get bonus AD through Riposte and parry your 1 basic attack every now and then, but you can dodge a lot more. Just like Tryndamere, she doesn't do anything else than autoattacks. She can leap onto you to be stunned or increase her attack speed while being dodged, but she can't dream of winning 1v1 fight with you. What's funny, Counter Strike would even dodge all the damage from Blade Waltz, Fiora's ulti.

Darius, the latest top champion to be claimed broken is in fact easily countered by you. He is based on close-range fights, his Hemorrhage can be scary, but your Grandmaster's Might is even scarier... If you're having problems with his ultimate, Noxian Guillotine, grab a Maw of Malmortius and wait for his rage.

Irelia is a champion that can be never underlooked. She has nice sustain with Hiten Style and Transcendent Blades, but the key to winning with her is harass, harass and once more not letting her farm. If she tries to push you out wanting to outfarm you, she is very easy to gank due to no escape engines other than short stun with Equilibrium Strike. Play safely against her by farming and constantly harrasing her and you should do just fine. Also, try to hit Counter Strike when she activates Hiten Style to deny her additional damage and healing.

Master Yi, just like Fiora doesn't do much without basic attacks. He can heal with Meditate, but you can shut it down from him with Counter Strike or get away with Highlander, which again - doesn't make him free from stuns. And hitting Counter Strike's dodge when he activates Wuju Style would certainly punish him hard.

Gangplank is again a harder opponent to fight with. He can long-range harass you with Parrrley and get rid of your stun and heal some damage with Remove Scurvy, but if he does it too often, he'll soon get out of mana. And there is nothing more pitiful than GP without mana. Push it to your advantage and remember that combo Empower/ Leap Strike does way more damage than Parrrley. Especially if you add some basic attacks later.

Riven is a combo-based champion, but her Broken Wings can be dodged. She can try to escape with them and Valor but you can chase her with Leap Strike and stun her with Counter Strike. Remember that she got a short-duration stun as well with Ki Burst. Try to disrupt her combos and you should do just fine.

Udyr is once more a tricky champion. He can give you a stun with Bear Stance, nuke you with Tiger Stance or consistently harass you with Phoenix Stance. The key thing is that he cannot do any of this... Without basic attacks. That would mean that the output of your fights would depend on timing of Counter Strike. Try to dodge his stuns, attack him when you have dodge and Leap Strike to stun him if gets away. Your Empower would than give you higher nuke than Udyr can give to you.

This are the opponents you should not pick Jax against:



And any AP carries in general (including Kennen, Swain etc).

Jax has problems against champions that has good sustain for staying on the lane despite his Leap Strike+ Empower harass and especially those who can do big damage with spells that cannot be blocked by his Counter Strike and don't rely on on-hit effects too much. Thus, let me explain briefly why you shouldn't pick Jax against certain champions.

Olaf, otherwise known as Brolaf, is the straight counter to Jax. His Reckless Swing does true damage that cannot be shut down by either Counter Strike or any amounts of armor, his Vicious Strikes gives him huge boost to sustain while fighting 1v1 and his Ragnarok completely denies your stuns and slows. Needless to say, he's got a slow of his own with the Undertow.

Malphite with his Granite Shield, long-range harass from Seismic Shard, massive armor from Brutal Strikes and ability to reduce your attack speed with Ground Slam is a wall that Jax won't be able to go through. He will just harass you slowly not taking any damage on his own.

Rumble is just an example of an AP carry that does certainly well with Jax. He doesn't need to hit you with dodgeable basic attacks, his Flamespitter and Electro-Harpoons would destroy you alone...

Yorick is another character that can easily do good just on spells and would just out sustain you with Omen of Famine and Omen of Pestilence.

Singed... Again an AP-based champ that would Fling and Poison Trail you laughing at your defence and inability to do him any kind of harass.

Pantheon is one of the strongest early-game champions and his Spear Shots, stuns from Aegis of Zeonia and massive damage from Heartseeker Strike would totally ruin. Needless to say, Aegis Protection can dodge your Empowered Leap Strike (sic!).

Volibear, just like Singed, would love just to throw you with his Rolling Thunder, then Frenzy and Majestic Roar you to death. Sounds inviting? So I thought.


Ok, I think now you get the idea of who you should fear on solo top. In case you ever meat them, immediately ask the jungler for help and play as defensively till his visit as possible. Try grabbing some magic resist, if you are fighting some AP-running champions like Singed or Rumble. You can even get an early Null-Magic Mantle and 2 Health Potions as your beggining items that you would later improve into Mercury's Treads.


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Jungling



Jungle path


This is by no means an universal jungle path you have to follow! Especially the timing of ganks, the marked ones are where you would be most comfortable to do a gank on a certain lane. Some of players would want to start with Wolfs+Blue buff first, but for certain reasons I think that Wraiths+Red buff will give you better beginning.
  • Having Red buff will make it easier to do further jungling and you will do further jungling, cause you can't gank before 3-4th level.
  • Having Blue buff will make it easier to spam spells, but you don't have much spells to spam on 2nd level (which is when you complete the first buff)...
  • After Blue buff you have straight opening for the mid lane, but you won't be able to gank it for now on...
  • After Red buff you can safely go to do Wolfs+Blue buff and then start doing ganks!
One more thing - doing Blue buff first would always be forgiven (and even praised) when it's your opponents' one and you give it to your AP carry (see more in the Counter jungling section). Remember that you only take Blue buff once each game, since as soon as you get Wriggle's Lantern (which would be about level 6) you won't need any additional mana regen as you would clear jungle with basic attacks alone and you would only use your spells (and mana) for ganks. Give all Blue buffs starting from 2nd to AP carry, but may take Red buffs much longer (until the end of the game), since you would always be in the middle of the fight. If your AD carry needs it more than you however, give it to them and try to ward-steal opponent's one for yourself.

Jungle setup
  • Choose the appropriate masteries set for jungle (defensive of offensive jungle version).
  • Always start with Cloth Armor and 3 Health Potions.
  • Take Flash and Smite for safe jungle or Ignite and Smite for aggressive, but riskier version.
  • Always pick Counter Strike on level 1 to minimise the damage you receive from camps (unless you do counter jungle).

Doing ganks
  • Open up with Empowered Leap Strike and don't leave Empower for later attacks - enemy might escape before you would be able to land them!
  • Activate Counter Strike before jumping on them, so you can instantly re-activate it for the stun (it needs 1 second to be reused)!
  • While doing ganks on the bottom lane, always aim for the AD carry.
  • When you spot enemy jungler when you're ready to do a gank, don't hesitate to charge on them, since you win most of 1v1!
  • Still, make sure your team sees what you're doing, in case they would call reinforcements.
  • When you do a successful gank on the bottom lane and you have level 6 with Wriggle's Lantern, doing dragon with your support and AD carry would be a piece of cake.
  • Make sure there is a sight ward showing dragon when you're 6. Tell your support to put it there if neccessary.
  • Ganks are usually easier to do on mid and top, since enemy's support would ward bot. Be more aggresive on this solo lanes and attack bot when you're sure you won't be noticed.
  • If bot is warded, but your AD implies on getting a gank, tell your support to get Vision Ward or Oracle's Elixir and unward it.
  • When going on/running away from gank, remember you can always Leap Strike to your allies, including any sight wards.
  • Make sure your allies know it, so they won't run away from you too far denying your escape route.

Counter jungling


There are some junglers that heavily relies on having access to Blue buff, like Shaco or Amumu and the easiest way to shut them down is to make sure they would get none of it. In such case, doing a full-team invade on their Blue buff is not only very good option, but it is heavily recommended. It will very heavily hurt enemy's jungler and an extra beginning blue would be a great help for your AP carry.

Important thing to notice while preparing to do such invade is that you don't particularly need to take Counter Strike on level 1 while counter jungling, simply because your entire team would be there to do the Blue buff and you won't be taking much damage (maybe you won't tank it). However, make sure you have at least some level 1 stuns that some champions, like Taric or Sion can offer. If you have such champions with level 1 stuns in your team, you can go for Leap Strike first, to make sure you kill enemies running away (pretty muc in a way that Lee Sin's Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike works for counter jungle).

After stealing Blue buff take some of your enemy's jungle for more exp and use the occassion to do a fast gank on mid-lane (you can be even on level 2 with only Leap Strike and Counter Strike) just to put some further pressure on your enemies, then instantly take yours Blue buff (you should have Smite with you, since you didn't use it on the other one), so the enemy jungler wouldn't get an access to it. If you see them? Simply crush them and use Smite in case they want to steal it. Then, proceed with standard jungle route. After ganking bot, it's a good opportunity to ward your enemies' buff and try to get it once more (you can use Wriggle's Lantern for this purpose if you already have it). If you are on the bottom side of the map, this would also show their dragon's opening, so use it for double benefit.


Guide Top

Last hints



Looks like this guide is (finally!) coming to an end, so let me share you some last amount of help with Jax I can possibly give you. This will have to do more with improving your gameplay in general, but it will help you play this particular champion as well.

Smartcast is one of the features advanced players use for skillshot-relied champions. However, Jax does not have any skilshots. In fact, only one of his spells ( which is Leap Strike) ever needs targeting and the rest are activated upon usage. And since there is nothing more annoying than Empower Leap Strikeing on the wrong enemy, I do not recommend using smartcast with Jax.

Recommended items as default in LoL often have little to do with reality and are totally useless in terms of finding the items you want to buy. Little do most players know is that you can legally alter those items to make you lose less time on buying stuff. It's easy, fast and working. You need just one program you can download here, as well as get some info about how to use it (although it is very, very simple). The items I recommend to imput for Jax using this build would be:

Item Sequence











Wriggle's Lantern
1800

Mercury's Treads
1100

Hextech Gunblade
3400

Phage
1250

Warmog's Armor
2850

Simply because they will fit into the two basic item builds I mention here. Phage can be build into both Frozen Mallet and Trinity Force, so you will have no troubles finding the items you need (only Atma's Impaler didn't make its place, but if you want you can get rid of Cloth Armor as the opening item and put it on the last spot, although I prefer to buy beginning items as fast as possible).

Having said that, this is the last doze of info I could give you atm. I will try to update this build with new stuff, some bug fixes etc etc. For now on I have only 1 more section planned and it will be a picture guide of how to ward properly on important places on the map. Again, more of a general thing, but will work here as well.

Hope you enjoyed reading my guide and stay tuned for further updates! Any kind of feedback would be veeery appreciated :3


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Log of changes

28.06.2012
- the building of the build has started
30.06.2012
- the build was publicly released
01.07.2012
- fixed some bugs, mostly BBcode errors
02.07.2012
- added some more scores of my own