Jax Build Guide by Reederboard
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.
On a note I have noticed that Jax's passive does not increase on this guide for the items. I believe if memory serves me correctly he stand in the 3000 range for hp. I will test this out and edit this guide when i have the exact number he is at.
Into to Jax
I have seen a few very good Jax builds, however I feel they could be even better. So I decided to share what I have learned.
All DPS characters have the constant problem of survivability. Having a character that does lots of damage fast is great... but what happens when you are stunned, slowed, silenced or the like. You get destroyed without a chance. There has to be a balance between being a killer and living more than 2 seconds in a battle. This build not only lets you do massive damage with both AD and AP, but you are able to survive... if you can handle Jax's great potential.
Runes and Masteries
Starting with the runes and masteries you should get for this build, you will notice most are for survivability. Jax lacks in magic resistance without using his ult, however do so and you lose you passive and the subsequent extra damage. So i build his magic resistance up high enough so that a mage cannot straight destroy you. I should not have to explain why you want as much dodge as possible; the more you dodge the less damage you take and the sooner you can use your stun.
Masteries(9/21/0): I always build AP penetration. Without it, you're losing out on precious damage. Even without equipment, characters have roughly 1/3 magic reduction by level 18. If you can't get through that you cannot win. The extra defense, magic resist, dodge percent is all crucial. Having the bonus attack speed and ap help jax in every corner. Bonus attack speed helps your attack speed jump higher with your ult and rageblade. Last damage reduction helps you survive when you might not have before.
Runes: I chose runes that increase your dodge and your magic resist. Spells never miss when cast on you, so having the best you can get for magic resist will always help you. Dodging runes... still a no brainer.
Items and Summoner Abilities
The biggest thing about this Jax build is life steal and spell vamp. Getting 3 Gunblades gives you 60% life steal and 75% spell vamp, plus 180 AD and 225 AP.
The Gunblade offers almost everything Jax could want: AD, AP, Life Steal, and Spell vamp - and no item offers them in such high quantities as the gunblade.
The Rageblade is great for Jax because of ad, ap, and extra attack speed. Every attack not only gives you increased attack speed, damage, and ap, but also increases your HP from Jax's passives; granting that slight edge of extra hp as the fight starts.
Then the phantom dancer. I debated between a few attack speed items but have decided I like the Phantom Dancers the best only because of the movement speed. High movement speed coupled with DPS is what makes a killer. Though Jax can jump and stun I still feel you need to be faster than your pray or you will never kill him/her.
By having these items and masteries combined, when jax hits max stacks with his ult and rageblade he barely caps out at 2.5 attack speed. There is a disadvantage of being slower in the start of a fight, but it is a waste to build attack speed that you never see. That i believe makes jax perfectly set.
As for your summoner abilities I will preach why exhaust and cleanse ARE the 2 best spell for any dps character. Firstly, exhaust can prevent the single most powerful enemy champion from overwhelming you in an uneven battle or allow you to get your stacks at max before he can do any real damage. It also reduces movement speed, allowing you to catch runners that otherwise would have escaped. Exhaust's power and versatility makes it a must.
Then cleanse. I notice very few people use cleanse, instead using flash, ignite, ghost and heal. However, being that Jax can easily be killed by a stun, cleanse is the second best spell you can have. If you are stunned and cannot attack you no longer have life steal and spell vamp to keep you alive. You are toast. Having this will turn the tides of a battle in an instant. Countering a stun and quickly dispatching that weak mage will give you the time to kill the remaining enemies with ease. Without cleanse you might be able to pick up an extra kill now and again with ignite. A silent kill or escape with flash. But, if you are stunned you still die.
I find that Jax is fairly weak in the beginning of a game because of his slow attack speed. Generally, stick to your lane until around level 6. I get Leap Strike up first so you can harass enemy characters more. Also, the higher level reduces the cool down giving you a higher chance to land that last hit when they are running away, or use it to quickly escape by jumping to a minion or teammate.
Utilizing your stun and your gunblade activation is critical. A stun too early or too late can ruin your assault or escape. Try to stun as many champions as possible. Also the gunblade does 300 extra damage and slowing effect, use it whenever possible. It can be the difference between life and death.
Jax's highest weakness is slow attack speed until his stacks are up. As such, try to walk into battles with full stacks. So, lead with your abilities or attack minions before diving in.
Having such high life steal and spell vamp is highly helpful when you enter any battle. Most people do not think of this in battle but minions have hardly any defense. Meaning if you attack them instead of a champion you will do more damage and in turn get lots more life steal or spell vamp. Instead of running or attacking till death and hoping you will survive, try engaging when minions are near by that way if you are on the cusp of death attack a few minions to quickly heal yourself, even in the heat of battle.