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Jax Build Guide by tehAsian

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Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author tehAsian

Jax - the Grandmaster at Solo Top

tehAsian Last updated on June 11, 2012
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vsAD/vsAP/Wriggles/Atmogs

Ability Sequence

3
8
10
12
13
Ability Key Q
2
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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3/
Sunder
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
4/
Durability
Vigor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 0


Guide Top

Who Wants a Piece of the Champ?

Hey guys, I'm back, and this time I'm writing a guide on Jax, the Grandmaster at Arms.

Ever since the removal of Dodge, I have seldom touched Jax. The major changes at first bursted him harder than LeBlanc. You were no longer tanky and was extremely lackluster in fights unless you were given the chance to auto-attack non-stop for ~5 seconds, which never happened.

~A few buffs later...

Or more specifically, some health buffs and the change in his ult that gave him back his inevitability, I replayed him in Dominion, easily grabbing 1.5k+ points EACH game and achieving first place. Recent games even gave me at the most 2.6k points, and over twice the max points on the other team and the twice 2nd place on my team, with a 1v4 Quadra kill. If that doesn't say OP, I don't know what does.

Sooo anyway, the purpose of creating this guide was to show you my playstyle and build on how I play Jax, so here we go~


Guide Top

"Old" Jax

Before I begin, I'd like to tell everyone who didn't know 'Old' Jax about 'Old' Jax.

The current Jax, compared to Old Jax, is quite underwhelming. Old Jax was tankier, had a cheaper build, did more damage, and had more CC and dodge potential. The removal of Dodge was a MASSIVE nerf to our Grandmaster.

His old passive practically gave him free health for buying damage. This meant you can hit 3k~4k health going pure damage items, and gave him extreme tankiness with even one defensive item. Items that gave both defensive and offensive stats, like Atma's Impaler especially made him into TERROR.

In short, his end game stats were something like 150 Armor + Mres, 300+ AD, 200 AP, and 3k+ health with 2.5 attack speed. He was IMPOSSIBLE to take down, and 30% dodge made it worse.

Now, his stats go something like the ones on the cheatsheet. He's definitely super stronk right now, but nowhere near his old self.


Guide Top

How I make Jax work

There are two kinds of health in League of Legends. The most common is Flat Health. This comes directly from buying health items ( ), or indirectly through effective health from Resistances ( ).

The second kind is Regenerated Health. This health is gained through regeneration effects such as Life Steal (On-hit), Force of Nature's passive (Sheer Regeneration), skills like Transfusion (Spell Vamp), or spells like Astral Blessing/ Heal (Heals). The effects are halved by Ignite or similar healing reduction debuffs. You cannot go over your maximum health with this, unlike flat health where you directly increase it, but there isn't a limit to how much you can regenerate.


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Flat Health vs Regenerated Health

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Against most team compositions, you'd want Regenerated Health with a TON of resistances. The reason for this is because since the second change to Jax's ultimate, he can now build glass cannon again while being tanky as hell. The more AD and AP you build, the more resistances you gain.

The BEST way to abuse this is not flat health through a Warmog's Armor, although it's a very good option and better at times, but to build straight damage and resistances, then build some form of life steal and spell vamp (remember Jax is a hybrid champion). Think about it: End game with your ult, you have 250 Armor and Magic Resist, which is a ~71% reduction to any damage done to you. Anyone without a Last Whisper or Void Staff will hit you for less than 1/3rd of their maximum damage. A standard AD carry will do about 1000 crits without counting resists, but through sheer resistances you can lower that into 290 per crit. Through the life steal and spell vamp from Hextech Gunblade, which is your main source of 'Health', you heal for, lets say, 50 each hit, 100 every 3rd hit, and 75 from Empower every 3rd hit as well because of the low cooldown. Hitting 1.5 attack speed, you reach your 3rd hit every 2 seconds, meaning 50*3 + 100 + 75 = 300+ regenerated health.

Take in the fact you have Counter Strike to avoid damage and stun with high base damages, it'll be very difficult to 1v1 you while you can beat down the carries quickly and efficiently, while staying alive.


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Counters to Regenerated Health

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The biggest counter to Regenerated Health is CC. If you aren't doing damage, you aren't Spell Vamping/Life Stealing off anything, simple as that. I try to solve this problem through items like Quicksilver Sash, Mercury's Treads, or Banshee's Veil.

The second counter is Healing Reduction effects such as Ignite, Explosive Shot, or Seastone Trident. It effectively halves your regeneration. This can be countered through Cleansing effects such as Cleanse or Quicksilver Sash, but ONLY those.

The final counter is reducing your damage. Specifically to Jax, this can be done with Randuin's Omen, Exhaust, and/or Frozen Heart. You can fix the Randuin's Omen and Exhaust debuff with Cleanse or Quicksilver Sash, but Frozen Heart can only be removed by killing the bearer.


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Counters to How This Works

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I'm going to make this short: Void Staff or Last Whisper, or True Damage ( Reckless Swing, Noxian Guillotine). Makes 40% of your resists obsolete or ignores it, so you need either

a)Way more damage + lifesteal/spell vamp

b) Exhaust to reduce damage dealt, or

c)In the case of True Damage, more health. This can be solved with Atmogs, or Warmog's Armor + Atma's Impaler.


Guide Top

Runes

Runes

Greater Mark of Lethality
9

Greater Mark of Precision
9

Greater Mark of Attack Damage
9
M
A
R
K
S
spa
  • greater mark of desolation: Against most bruiser tops, they'll most likely have 9x Greater Seal of Armor and maybe a Cloth Armor start. This will help negate a lot of their tankiness, but most of your damage is magical anyway, so part of this goes to waste.
  • Greater Mark of Precision: I don't really know how I feel about these, some people say they're great for hybrids, I don't really think they are worth investing into as I play Jax with more of an AD focus, but I'm not saying no.
  • Greater Mark of Attack Damage: My Marks of choice. Because you do a mix of both physical and magical damage, but mostly physical, and that Counter Strike scales well with bonus AD, I take these for a better early game advantage over my opponent.
spa
M
A
R
K
S
asd
asd
Runes

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Seal of Magic Resist
9
S
E
A
L
S
spa spa
S
E
A
L
S
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Runes

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
9

Greater Glyph of Armor
9
G
L
Y
P
H
S
spa spa
G
L
Y
P
H
S
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asd
Runes

Greater Quintessence of Precision
3

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3

Greater Quintessence of Lethality
3
Q
U
I
N
T
S
spa spa
Q
U
I
N
T
S
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In all:

Runes

Greater Mark of Attack Damage
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3
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Total Bonuses:
  • +15 AD
  • +12.69 Armor
  • +12.06 Magic Resist
Your rune setup should look something like this. This gives a stronger early game through flat AD Marks and Quints and extra durability to make up for some sustain and negate some poke in lane.


Guide Top

Masteries


Offensive Tree

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Lower Tiers

Masteries
1/5
3/5
4/1
4/5
1/1
1/1
space
Explanation:
These are pretty standard masteries for a damage dealer like Jax. Because Jax does hybrid damage, meaning both Physical and Magical damage, we take both Weapon Expertise and Arcane Knowledge to increase both of our damage output sources. Putting points into Deadliness > Lethality is simply not worth it because they belong in a crit-based build, and unless we are rolf-stomping every game enough to be buying Trinity Force + Infinity Edge + Hextech Gunblade, Arcane Knowledge will benefit you more than 9 AD at level 18 and 10% crit damage.

Offensive Upper Tiers

Masteries
3/1
3/1
1/
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  • Vampirism : For that tiny bit of early game sustain. After 6, you will be auto-attacking a lot so it'll really add up.
  • Sunder : 6 Armor Pen, because there's really nothing else to get in this tier.
  • Executioner : The 21st and our final point in the Offensive Tree. This will increase your damage by 6% for targets under 40% health. The application of this mastery helps for getting those last hits on minions and dealing the killing blows on enemy champions.
space
Explanation:
There's nothing really special here, I just take the rest of the Offensive Masteries that go well with Jax. This means a bit of Armor Pen from Sunder , life steal, and the final point in Executioner .
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Defensive Tree

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I put points into these two Masteries depending on the damage output of my opponent. In Blind Pick, it's generally safer and better to put 1/3 Resistance and 3/3 Hardiness because you're going to be dealing with auto-attacks anyway. space space Durability and Veteran's Scars both give a decent amount of health. Durability gives 6 health/level, with your natural health gain you get ~100 HP for every level up. That's a LOT. Veteran's Scars is probably one of the best mastery available, the bonus for just one point is more than a Flat Health Quintt.
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Explanation:
For some reason, the defensive masteries always had an incredible low tier bonus, it being Veteran's Scars . In S1, it required more points, but put you at +48 health at level 1. In S2, it needs 1 point, but puts you at +30 health. Both are really good, but this one is better.

I don't take Summoner's Resolve because we aren't using Smite, Revive, or Garrison, but if you like using Cleanse or Heal, feel free to take it.
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Together: 21/9/0

Masteries
1/5
3/5
4/1
4/5
1/1
1/1
3/1
3/1
1/
1/5
3/1
4/1
1/1
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Taking extra damage in the Offensive Tree while adding a bit of durability from the Defensive Tree fits Jax well as a hybrid damage dealer.


Guide Top

Summoner Spells


Recommended
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The all purpose spell. This is just great for Jax, combined with Leap Strike you essentially have two Flashes when this is up. It's VERY strong for juking though walls, chasing, getting away, everything.

The anti-carry spell. Grabbing this makes it literally impossible for anyone else to 1v1 you. That isn't always necessary though, but if no one on your team takes this, you should.

Ignite is always great for securing early kills, or shutting down healers like Swain or Dr. Mundo. I use it mostly for the kills :P

This is sometimes better than Flash because Jax technically already has a Flash with Leap Strike + wards. This lets you chase down over a longer distance than Flash or Leap Strike can.
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Viable Summoner Spells
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This is an amazing spell, but I don't take it because I usually build enough CC reduction with Quicksilver Sash, Mercury's Treads, etc to not take this. If you do take Cleanse, do not buy a Quicksilver Sash.

Map control spell. Jax doesn't necessarily need any mobility spells, nor does he need offensive spells. This is probably one of his most beneficial spells as it's the only one that offers him something he can't do on his own.

Heal bait OP. It's not as STRONK as it was because it was nerfed, but it's okay for baits, 1v1s, surviving in fights, etc. It's easily shut down by Ignites, however, and a lot of Solo Tops pack that.


Guide Top

Skill Sequence

> > >

R > W > Q > E

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
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We want to max Empower first because it has the shortest cooldown, lowest mana cost that doesn't increase with levels, and it does the most damage as well as resetting your auto-attack timer that will increase your passive stacks.

What we take next depends on the situation. Sometimes it's better to take Leap Strike over Counter Strike to chase easier and land killing blows, as most of the time Jax's DPS is high enough to take on targets 1v1 without using Counter Strike more than once, but a lower cooldown on Counter Strike can potentially be safer against ganks as it negates more damage than you think, and there are a lot of times where you're against a lot of auto-attackers like Tryndamere and Vayne on the same team, and you can engage, disengage, and re-engage at a quicker pace.

Again, it depends on the situation, but I prefer Leap Strike for the extra damage and lower cooldown for chasing power.

Of course, take your ultimate whenever you can, extra durability for free is always great.


Guide Top

Items


Core Items
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In order, they are:
Trinity Force gives Jax everything he needs, and he has very high spike damage with the proc + Empower + 3rd ult hit.

Hextech Gunblade is THE item for hybrids, with an on-demand big slow if the Phage proc isn't enough.

Guardian Angel has the highest combined raw resistances in any given item, and deters people from trying to kill you most of the time. And if they do, you can always revive + Counter Strike.

These three items are literally ALL YOU NEED up until mid-late game. Late game you'll get 2 more big items, but that comes later.
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Core Item Purchase Order
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This is kind of simple. Your item stats priorities would be Sustain first, boots to counter damage from my lane, optional Doran's Blades, then Trinity Force > Hextech Gunblade > Guardian Angel. The magic of this is that while building more damage, Jax gets durability from his ultimate and more regenerated health from sufficient life steal so you don't need to build ANY defensive items until later in the game.

The item I take for sustain depend on my lane opponent, but 90% of the time I'll go for Bilgewater Cutlass. Building AD grants armor due to Grandmaster's Might, and armor counters most of the damage from your standard bruiser at top. Also, we get a slow from the active ^_^ You can also buy a Wriggle's Lantern here, but I personally feel it's overrated on Jax just because it has a built in ward for you to jump to.

If I'm against an AP top or against Teemo, I'll go straight for Hextech Revolver for AP, which converts into Magic Resist. If I'm getting stomped, I'll buy a Hexdrinker first.

Grabbing 1 or 2 Doran's Blades is entirely optional, I prefer not to buy them because they delay Trinity Force for ~1000 gold, and I want that as soon as possible. However, they are great for filling up that extra inventory space that you might not get to when the game ends, or just as a small boost in early-mid game.

After I finish my sustain and situational items, I go straight for Trinity Force. Trinity Force rush is better than Hextech Gunblade rush because of the massive spike damage, AND it has bonus attack speed to get your passive stacked faster, which is crucial in fights as Jax is very vulnerable to burst, and the faster you get your stacks up, the more regenerated health you gain.

The massive spike damage from Sheen pretty much makes you CRUSH your lane. Every 5-6 seconds, you can Leap Strike > Empower (NOT Empower > Leap Strike! There's a difference!) with the 3rd hit on your ultimate for 500+ damage, ~300 after resists early mid game where most champions have about 1500 health. It's fast, mana efficient, and if they decide to fight or trade you can decide to just kill them with the stun from Counter Strike and high sustained DPS.

Last, NEVER buy Zeal first. Buy Sheen if you're winning your lane, Phage if you're unsure or just want survivability, or Phage if you want the slow.

After Trinity Force, finish Hextech Gunblade and build up a Guardian Angel. If you got fed up until now, then it's GG~! If not, the power of these three items (unless you're feeding really hard) should be strong enough to pull you back into the game.
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Finishing Your Build

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At this point, you can go for even more damage, or survivability depending on what you need. Pure survivability items are ALWAYS better than going glass cannon for the same amount of resists as you'll get an additional effect most of the time. Items that give BOTH survivability and damage, like Atma's Impaler or Maw of Malmortius are GREAT at this point because, well, you do more damage AND become tankier.

I recommend going for Maw of Malmortius next because it's one of the best late game items for Jax. Jax already has built in survivability against auto-attackers like Sivir or Ashe, but nothing to stop single-target casters from blowing his face in. Maw of Malmortius allows Jax to tank a few more spells while beating down his target, then moving on to other squishies.

The shield and passive also has great synergy with Jax where they all kick in a while after a fight has started. The shield from Maw of Malmortius and extra damage really kick in together at about the time when you have 6 stacks on Relentless Assault, making you THAT much more dangerous compared to the beginning of the fight, and they both prevent you from getting bursted down the rest of the fight.

Another great item would be Quicksilver Sash, as it erases all CC from you, and CC is really the biggest thing that destroys Jax in a team fight. Also, it's cheap and has the 3rd highest Mres in a single item.

Your last two items should always be situational. ALWAYS.
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Situational Items, by Category~!

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spa
Attack
Damage
spa
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spa
Ability
Power
spaa
asd
spa
Armor
spac
asd
spa
Magic
Resist
spac
asd
spal
Health
spa shurelya's reverie zeke's herald
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A lot of these items are fairly straightforward, you just buy them for extra BAMF in fights or just to be extra tanky. Buy damage if you're ahead, resists if you're behind. Nothing hard about that.
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Why I don't like Wriggle's Lantern
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It delays your build too much, and double Doran's Blades are better. Buy wards or jump to minions/allies instead :P I don't care if it's 'on-demand', it's called timing your minion wave with your aggression. When it's coming, play extra aggressive because you know they will be there. When it's not, don't be as aggressive but still slap your opponent around.

Also, you can juke to enemy champions too, saved my life more than once.

You can take it if you want, it's just personal preference for me :P


Guide Top

Gameplay

I'm going to focus on a lot of things here, as not a lot of other guides go over this topic as specifically as possible.

Jax isn't necessarily the strongest early game laner, but once he gets a few levels on he becomes impossible to deal with. Going over the early game 'hurdle' is important, because getting shut down almost always loses you the game.
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Levels 1-5

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Jax is VERY weak in comparison to other top laners here...

...if it weren't for Counter Strike ;D

Counter Strike is the BEST trading skill in the game at low levels. You completely negate minion and auto-attack damage, it has really high base damage AND ratio, but it has a long cooldown. So how do we use this to our advantage...?

It's easy, when you feel your opponent will commit even a bit, even if it's a skirmish, use it. Auto-attack them to PURPOSELY draw minion aggro, as it'll increase your damage, and chase to keep in range. After the full two seconds have passed, stun them, and back off, utilizing the brush to lose minion/champion aggro.

While Counter Strike is down, play passively ;3 When it's up, it lets you be more aggressive, because there's no way any skill at levels 1-3 will do serious damage, except for maybe Olaf, and Jax avoids the rest of the damage through dodge.

Once you hit 2, grab Empower. You now have the nastiest level 2 trading skills in the game. When the other laner comes in to trade, Counter Strike > auto-attack > reset with Empower, stun them, and back off. MAKE SURE YOU USE THE RESET!!! The extra 40-50 damage helps immensely, especially early game when champions only have 700-800 health tops.

When you hit 3, you should have your full spell combo. This is Jax's first major increase in lane power. Save Leap Strike to chase so that you LAND that stun if they try running, or use it to escape ganks. DO NOT use it to trade unless you absolutely have to against a ranged champion like Yorick or Vladimir.

As you grow in levels and put more points into Empower, your trading damage will get higher and higher. Always remember to auto-attack THEN Empower for the reset, you want every bit of damage early game for dominance.
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Levels 6 and on

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Level 6 is when Jax gains another increase in laning power, and this one makes him start CRUSHING his lane.

Once I get my ultimate, I start paying close attention for when my next attack will proc my ultimate. When it does, Leap Strike in then instantly Empower to slap your opponent for 300-400 damage. Alternatively, you can Leap Strike > AA > Empower, but the first method works better because there's no delay between the proc and the jump.

Every time you find yourself where your next hit (Or second to next hit, if you're skilled) will proc your ult and your opponent is in range, Leap Strike and slap them.

When they come in auto-attack range, SLAP THEM with Empower.

When they get low, add in Counter Strike at the right moment and KILL THEM.

BULLY YOUR LANE OPPONENT WITH YOUR ULT!!! I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH!!!


What if you run OOM? Well, the magic of this is, with an early Sheen you won't unless you've literally killed/forced back your opponent 2-3 times without you going back yourself. Empower and free bonus damage with natural regen costs soooooo little mana and does soooo much damage that it's not even fair.

What if your opponent tries to trade that damage? Counter Strike to avoid it, stun them, and SLAP THEM SOME MORE. That is all.
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Teamfights

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Focus squishies. Avoid people with items like Randuin's Omen and Frozen Heart. It;s okay to fight people with Thornmail, those people don't know anything about Jax.

Activate your ult right before you engage, you don't want to be bursted down before it begins.

Use Leap Strike to get onto squishies, the AD Carry in particular, slow them with Hextech Gunblade, and keep pounding at them, Flash to keep up if necessary. Counter Strike to avoid ALL their auto-attack damage and try bursting them down.

Spam W, but try to time it so you reset your auto-attack. Spam Counter Strike too for maximum survivability, but it's not as important when the auto-attacking threats are gone.

When the AD dies, jump onto the AP Carry. That simple :3

Team fighting as Jax isn't that difficult, you just have to use your item actives at the right time (easy), click Q, right click some squishies, and BAM you get a triple/quadra/penta and both teams are saying GG.

Also, using Counter Strike's stun can be GAME CHANGING. Using Leap Strike into a position where you can stun 3-4, maybe even 5 enemy champions at once can give your team that one second to do enough burst to take out a majority of the other team. Try to find out if it's better to stun multiple enemy champions, or just your target. If you're in a position to do both, take the oppurtunity to do it!
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What if I'm not doing so great?

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Play safe and farm up. A farmed Jax is just as dangerous as a fed Jax.

Alternatively, you can gank other lanes. This isn't that guaranteed as you can feed more, but play it safe and you might come ahead again ^_^

If you're getting stomped/zoned in lane, the best thing to do is call for a gank. Make sure your resources (health + mana) are both relatively high, or low if you think you can bait, and that your lane opponent is in a position to be ganked. Then, Counter Strike > Leap Strike > Empower. Not killing them is okay, as long as you and your jungler pressure them enough to leave you alone.

If you aren't getting any CS at all, buy some GP5 items, and build them into something else later on. I personally enjoy using philosopher's stone + Heart of Gold into shurelya's reverie and Randuin's Omen in solo top, but Avarice Blade into Youmuu's Ghostblade works good too. Gold per 5 practically guarantees your late game to have some worth as you're making money without doing anything, but also know there's a chance you won't make it there if you feed too hard :P


Guide Top

Additional Tips and Tricks

Unfortunately, I can't do this section without pics/videos :P

Coming as soon as I re-download League of Replays and get some screen shots and videos.


Guide Top

Ending Notes

Well, here's the end of my guide :P

I enjoyed playing and writing about Jax a lot, and hope I've helped you understand and play Jax better.

Credits to JhoiJhoi for her Guide on Making a Guide! I learned how to do most of the coding from that~

Thanks for reading~


Guide Top

Change Log

June 11, 2012

  • Published Guide


Guide Top

To Do

  • Pictures and videos, and everything associated with it. Also goes for my other guides.
  • Buy Temple Jax skin.
  • Get free elo from playing Jax.
  • Lane Matchups, gotta play Jax more. PM me if you want to help!