Build Guide by Rapacious

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Rapacious

Jax, The Armament Master

Rapacious Last updated on October 27, 2010
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

- Introduction -
I'm Rapacious and this is my build for Jax, the hero with the most awesome lore. The guy fights with a damn lamp post (fishing rod or hockey stick for some skins) JUST SO YOU HAVE A CHANCE.

- Facts to know when playing Jax and this build -

This build is designed mostly for Twisted Treeline, because:
1) After the nerf, Jax can't go into team fights like he once did and pentakill (though he still has one of the greatest damage potentials in the game), so you'll have to settle with a triple kill most of the time *sigh*. Seriously, it's way easier to jump in against 3 distracted heroes than against a ZOMG NUKED TO DEATH 5 hero team
2) Most Twisted Treeline players use physical heroes, like Master Yi, who is easily the most advantaged in this map. Except Jax, of course. Use this build, and you'll pwn yi in 1 vs 1 easily (well not really, you still need some skill outside bashing QUER). You'll have Yi screaming "OMG ITS JAX! RUN". Only 2 heroes i see posing a problem are Olaf, with his ulti, and Tryndamere.

There is only one weakness in this build that i can thank a Galio for showing it to me. Basically, you'll be dealing so much damage, that you can kill yourself against rammus, and thornmail bearers, in general. Rammus' defensive curl and thornmail return a percentage of the true damage you deal, that is without any resistance or armor reduction involved. That means you may get more damage thrown back at you than you may deal, and at about 500 damage per hit due to tri-force and ultimate, plus the awesome attack speed you have, you will not have an easy life, so remember to play as safe as possible under those circumstances.

- About the Rune Build -
For the runes, it's optimal to go for dodge quints and seals, such that you're able to counterstrike alot even early game, Attack speed marks, because jax is all about the 99hit combo, altough a good alternative is to get magic penetration marks, so your abilities hit harder. The more damage you get in, the better. Magic resistance glyphs are quite helpful, because your role is that of a DPS hunter, mostly, so casters will deal alot of damage to you. The more you can deflect, the better. I was considering Attack damage marks and Ability power, to benefit from your innate, but i find their bonuses too little to consider. You're free to use them, though. more damage, more life. But I believe that my suggestion gives more.

- About the Masteries -
Jax goes full offense. No question here. You'll take 9 in offence for a bit more magic resistance, and most important, the dodge and nimbleness are what interest you. In offence, we go for crit chance, some ability power and attack speed also go nice. However, you may want to choose reduced cooldowns and magic penetration for your skills. I also pick extra minion damage for better farming. Armor penetration, Crit damage, Attack damage, and Havoc help you hit harder. Nuff said, let's move on

- About the Summoner spells -
For Jax, I use Exhaust and Clarity. Exhaust is self-obvious, and a must have. I choose to use clarity because early on, and maybe even later on, you may run out of mana, and there's nothing more upsetting than not being able to last hit *insert champ name here* with a leap strike because you can't afford the cost. Also, early on you need it to spam empower to farm minions. If you prefer something else, go ghost for awesome speed, though you have tri-force and phantom., or ignite for more burst.
- About the Skill Build -
The first point i put is in leap strike. Early on, you're quite vulnerable, so you need it as an initiation/escape mechanism. It is very dependant on the minions in the area, so practice alot to be effective with it. Only one point goes to It, because as this Jax, you won't be focusing on dealing initiation damage. you're focusing on crushing the enemy with an endless flurry of blows. you just need to get there.
Second point goes to Empower. Empower is very useful for farming, and you need that farming early on, because you're very item dependant. Use it before leapstriking to compensate for the lack of damage you'll have on it until you hit 15. this way, you'll have an aoe initiation.
Third point goes to Counterstrike. Counterstrike is an awesome ability, it's your dps killer. To maximise it's effect, you should try to fight near enemy minions, but ONLY AFTER you're resilient enough to take a little punishment. Don't take empty risks.
From now on, your priority is Relentless Assault, Empower, Counterstrike, and Leap Strike

- About the item build -
Right now, before explaining All the items and their purpose, I'd like to answer a question that i'm sure alot of you are going to pose. Why am i leaving phantom dancer last? Well, that's easy. This Jax build has enough dodge as it is, and the same goes for the attack speed. It's not aiming for a Jax that's impossible to hit, it's a jax that finishes off others nearly instantly. Phantom helps with the extra movement speed, dodge, and more crit chance and attack speed are always awesome, so get them if the game drags on, but until then most heroes will probably be dead before you have the chance to avoid an attack. With that said, let's begin!

Your first item should be cloth armor. Jax needs survivability early on, and cloth armor is perfect, since it's part of your ninja tabi, and it costs little enough for you to get 5 health potions, which will let you lane longer. Try to hold on as much as possible, at least until you can get ninja tabi and guinsoo's rageblade. Ninja tabi adds armor, which is imperative in anti-DPS play, and also, you get the godly dodge you need to activate counterstrike. Guinsoo's rageblade is also very very awesome on jax. You get both damage and AP, which, with the innate, make you less squshy, and it stacks with your ultimate. Whoever thinks they can mess with you will get turn into one of Picasso's works, with added lamp post after a couple of seconds. It's a must have. Also, get a Sheen after you reach level 6. I haven't seen sheen on almost any Jax build, and i'm dissapointed. Jax's ulti works like an ability, which means that sheen will activate itself on cd just from your autoattacks, and it will add alot of damage. Alot. you'll be almost amazed by the change. Well, not necessarily as amazed as yi who finds out he's about to die, but still.
This is your core build.
Now let's get to the top tier items
First off, go for bilgewater cutlass, with Vampiric scepter as your first item. Jax will be dealing lots of dps right now, and getting life out of it is better than to rely on spell vamp, and you'll be getting it fast enough anyway. Also, you get an extra burst, which is sweet. After you complete Gunblade (awesome name, btw),Literally every action you take will give you life. At the damage you deal, lots of it. Now you might want atma's impaler. Jax by now should have enough life to get good extra damage, and the item also stacks with Jax's passive. Again, the extra armor and crit chance will Empower your Anti-dps role, and, like you weren't striking hard enough already, you get a nice critical chance, which will later on stack with your phantom.
If Farming is a bother for you, at any given time you can add Tiamat into your build, which will give you the farming abilities of a god.
If By this time the game is not over, Turn that sheen into a Tri-force. If you are having a problem with people running away, get Phage as the first item in the composition. The damage increase you'll get will be awesome again, due to the innate+atma's impaler, the extra damage and ap, and a stronger sheen effect. And you'll move faster and slow running pidgeons. And if STILL you don't think you're pwny enough, Get Phantom dancer. Congratulations, now all die against you. Including yourself, maybe, Since you may implode from awesomeness.
If you really don't need Phantom, get a Zonya, or whatever you like.

- About playing with Jax -
Although small tips already lie above, this is the encyclopedia of Jax playing. Here's a list of to do/not to do things:
- Play safe early on. Jax isn't invincible without equipment, and every death means less equipment. Your Enemies will most likely raise you a statue, though, while your team mates spit on it.
- Practice last hitting. Seriously, you need to learn to farm properly with Jax. Ask for top lane, when you can. Practice Hitting with Empower, so that you know how much damage you need to last hit as many minions as possible.
- Draw the enemies in your deadly dance. Try to seem as vulnerable as you can. Make them think you're easy. And when they buy it, strike with power, and strike viciously. Try to draw them near the turret, and counterstrike them ASAP. This will get you easy kills most of the time.
- Focus the enemy DPS. Jax is a DPS Hunter. That means other fighters fall before him. Attack the dps, and counterstrike him while spamming empower. Use Gunblade's active to ensure the kill.
- Get a warm-up on minions. Jax gets faster and stronger the longer he is in battle, so keep him in the battle, so that he's ready to fire a rain of blows on any foolish enough to draw near.
- Jungle for buffs. Jax with equipment is awesome. Jax with all the buffs is gg. they will allow you to spam your skills alot, which ensures kills. Also, Jax will be dealing so much damage, that perhaps only nashor would make him drop a sweat.
- You're the team assasin. You have 1 aoe, no support, no CC. Therefore, while the forces are engaged, you jump in out of nowhere, and eliminate the weakest targets in a couple of seconds while your team moves in for the kill.
- Never back off unless you can pull it off. If you're being chased, and the enemy has you within CC range, stay and fight. Even with low life, you'll cause awesome damage, probably killing in the process. Unfortunately, Experience is required, so it will take some time before you see it well enough with your mind's eye.
- Activating empower before a Jump will make it an aoe with added damage.
- You can deal gangplank's parrrley every second. Pretty awesome, huh?
- By mid game, You will have instilled fear into your opponents, so no pour soul will attempt to take you on alone. Use this fear to chase them when they are running away, knowing they won't try to fight back, and predict a gank when they seem to try and hold you back.

- Map Advice -

- 3 vs 3, The Twisted Treeline

This map is tricky for people who play 5 vs 5 at first. Your behaviour should consist of getting an early first blood. Grab the items fast, then move to the southern bush with the mates. Strike, back up a bit, repeat. Leap strike any enemy that tries to leave.
Try to get solo top after that, so you can farm in peace, without your mates stealing minions. Be on the lookout for fight on the bot lane, and be ready to go help. Mid game, when you see missing foes, try searching the jungles for easy kills. Steal their buff too, to make victory sweeter. Jungle whenever you find it appropriate. With this build you can finish the entire map in under 3 minutes, with about 5 seconds per minions group, after your items settle in. Always kill something.

- 5 vs 5, The Summoner's rift

Here, things get tricky. Your build should be basically the same, Maybe addapted with some Magic resistance items. Banshee's veil for the win. Try sneaking to the enemy's jungle when they seem to be missing, and ward the place a bit. If you played ok, you should have enough damage to destroy them good. Out here, going toe to toe with adversaries is very hard, as you go from 3 to 5. Wait for your team to initiate, and try to leapstrike in from a stealthy perspective, such as bushwacking(leapstrike from the bush), then eliminating the squishies while doing aoe stun. It's tricky, but with skill you can pull it of nice and easy. Always adapt your play style to the skill of your foes.

Hate to say goodbye, but the time to end the guide has come. I'll be waiting for feedback on this build. Please leave a comment if you feel that the build is not good enough yet, suggest tweaks, so that we know what's wrong with it, and I'll take the advice into perspective and improve the guide. I hope that this guide will help you become the God of armaments that Jax is. Enjoy!