Jax Build Guide by vantu
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.
Hello everyone! This is my second guide here on Mobafire, and it covers how to play Jax comprehensively. I've been playing Jax for a few days now and I have arleady found a build that I really enjoy playing with. I thought that I would share my guide with the whole LoL community so that Jax players have a resource to go to in order to learn and get better.
There are 3 to's in the previous sencence; it's kind of hard to read.
Also, with a name like Jax, shouldn't he have a Jaxbro skin and use a Lacrosse stick as a weapon? I'm just wondering... it seems like Brolaf needs a buddy...
Jax is an AD/AP hybrid melee champion, who becomes quite bulky and tanky with the right items and masteries. With Guinsoo's Rageblade, Jax's dps accelerates incredibly fast as fights drag on. He has amazing potential as a carry, who can build in a very versatile manner; many games i have over 300 AD, over 500 AP, and over 150 Armor and MR, with 3.5k health to boot! He can be very bursty, but he also has remarkable sustained damage. With the nerfs that he took a few months ago (-15 base damage on Leap Strike AND on Empower, at all levels) Jax's early game has become a little less powerful, but if you play smart and last hit enough, you should be able to acquire items fast enough to secure kills and snowball your way to victory.
(Here is a game I played with Jax on 8/25, post nerf)
Edit* I recently picked up this guide again (November 2011) after the Fizz patch, and since masteries have changed, I've decided to publish my guide anew.
Pros / Cons
Great damage throughout the game, both burst and sustained
Incredible duelist/1v2 (Guinsoo's Rageblade and Bilgewater Cutlass)
Farms really well, especially with ultimate passive
Can be very agressive in lane
Leap Strike is offensive and defensive; you can jump to an ally to escape
Becomes tankier as the game progresses
Needs farm to do well (Ideal item set is VERY expensive)
Relies on RNG (much more versus a good opponent) for dodge to use E
Has no slow or independent CC (Counter Strike requires you to be the target of auto attacks)
Can be kited without Q
Getting silenced turns him into an AFK autoattacker
Is outlaned by most sustained melee damage in early levels (1-3)
SWORD OF THE DIVINE!!!!!!
Jax's passive. It allows him to build only damage items and become crazy bulky. Giving health per point of AD and per point of AP adds up when you have 300 AD (900 HP) and 500 AP (1000 HP). This, combined with Atma's Impaler and Jax's ultimate active, gives him 3.5k+ hp and 150+ armor and MR. That being said, it scales incredibly well throughout the game and really helps Jax take on multiple enemies alone. Some people recommend stacking AD and AP runes early game to get a lot of health at level 1, but I recommend against it if you want an improved late game; I believe that Magic Penetration and Arpen are much better stats that help champions in general perform in late game, Jax included. However, if you are confident that you can snowball early, grab the +Damage marks.
Jax's Q; his early game harasser/gap closer/burst initiator/escaper. Jax will leap towards his target, and deal damage to it if it's an enemy. The damage scales both off of his AD (1 point damage per point AD} and his AP (0.7 damage per point AP) doing magic damage. This spell is good for last hitting if you're struggling (don't just use it carelessly to do that though, it costs a fair amount of mana) but it is mostly used for closing on enemies or for running from them. Coupled with Empower, Jax can do ridiculous burst damage at really low levels.
Jax's W; it resets your AA timer and gives you bonus magic damage on hit. You can use this to stack your ultimate and Guinsoo's faster, to last hit creeps, to kill turrets faster (the bonus damage doesn't hit but your AA timer resets) but it is mostly used in conjunction with Leap Strike to provide with incredible burst. A Jax with Leap Strike, Empower and a Sheen proc hits EXTREMELY hard at all stages of the game.
Jax's E; it gives him passive dodge and an AoE stun+damage every time he dodges(on a cooldown), its also what he's famous for and why he wrecks melee 1v1. You can use it to farm if you have high AP and you're not in danger, but 90% of the time I use it on champions. You can use it offensively to stop a runner or keep them from flashing, but it is often better to use it to interrupt an ult like Infinite Duress, Nether Grasp, Absolute Zero, or Death Lotus.
Jax's R; his ultimate, and what makes him godly. Before lvl 6, Jax is squishy with burst damage and weak sustained dps. However, once you learn Relentless Assault, which increases your attack speed with each consecutive hit and deals huge magic damage every third hit, Jax becomes nearly unstoppable with incredible sustained damage. Also, the use gives you a MR steroid for 6 seconds, which scales of your dodge chance(around+80 MR at rank 3) which is higher than any single MR item in the game.
Ignite is a great summoner spell on Jax. Ignite helps secure first blood in like 90% of cases. Many people disregard Ignite because they believe it falls off at the end of the game, but Ignite does 410 True damage at level 18, which is impressive, and often 20% of a carry's health.
Flash is such a powerful summoner spell that very few champions can afford to pass it up. Flash helps you escape; it helps you counterflash enemies and it helps you get in range to land your Q, your E, Ignite or what have you.
Exhaust is another good summoner spell, but I believe it loses its value on Jax. Exhaust can be used to stop runners, but Jax is good at chasing already. Exhaust can also be used to shut down AA champs, but Jax is already designed to do that. Plus, I believe that Ignite is superior to Exhaust in early game because early game champions don't have much damage and Ignite helps you kill early.
Teleport is a good spell when you have a coordinated team. If you're soloing top lane, you can run teleport with flash. Teleport gives you a global presence and allows you to show up to help your team secure Dragon or team fight extremely well. I would recommend against running teleport in non-premade games because teleport requires exceptional coordination to be used to its potential.
Surge is a brand new summoner spell (as of November 15). The reason I would consider it on Jax is because unlike most champions, Jax would benefit from both bonuses, the attack speed and the ability power. I have not tried it extensively on Jax yet, but it may be competitive with ignite, especially if your team already has 2+ ignites.
My runes are set up on maximizing both damage and survivability. For marks, I run Greater Mark of Attack Damage to increase his early game power. For seals, I currently run Greater Seal of Evasion for dodge, there is really no feasible alternative to dodge seals, since Jax has two abilities that scale of dodge chance. For glyphs I use Greater Glyph of Ability Power to help with Jax's late game damage. For quintessences I use Greater Quintessence of Evasion to synergize with his kit, but you can use Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage for early game damage.
If you would like to do more late game damage, you can consider running Greater Mark of Desolation or Greater Mark of Magic Penetration to help penetrate enemies defenses, but Jax has the toolkit to deal strong damage irregardless of his Arpen and Mpen.
With the changes in the Fizz patch, masteries have gotten a massive overhaul. Pre-Fizz, 9/21/0 was the best mastery set for Jax, picking up increased Mpen, dodge, and health to dominate throughout game. With the loss of dodge mastery, I have decided that maximizing Jax's damage though masteries is the way to go, because Jax has so much natural tankiness. I'm certain that putting at least 21 points into defense is viable as well, (9/21/0 or 0/30/0). I would advise against investing heavily into the utility tree, as it has become much truer to its name (bringing utility, rather than being OP).
As a solo top champion, you want to set yourself up to win your lane, and what you buy first can make a world of a difference. For most solo top opponents, you'll want to take Cloth Armor and 5 health potions to outlast your opponent and get level 6 first. You will turn the armor into Ninja Tabi so try not to go back until you have at least 550 gold.
If your opponent top is heavily magic ( Rumble Kassadin etc.) grab the boots for mobility to evade what you can. Likewise, don't go back until you have enough for Ninja Tabi
If you're struggling to establish yourself in lane, or you're facing a bursty opponent, grabbing 1-2 Doran's Blade is a good idea. All Doran's items offer a lot for their price, damage, a little lifesteal, and health, which can help you turn the tide in a lot of fights.
Try to get Bilgewater Cutlass and Sheen early. It is important that you get these items because they are the foundation of your core build. If you are doing extremely well, you can hold off on the Sheen and go straight for Hextech Gunblade. After you get your core built, go for Guinsoo's Rageblade if you aren't being focused/shut down, otherwise consider grabbing a Chain Vest or a Negatron Cloak to help you survive. In terms of the rest of the build, you can pick it up in any order. Get Rabadon's Deathcap if enemy armor is becoming an issue.
*Grab Atma's Impaler fast if you need the enemy has enough sense to buy Sword of the Divine. The on use effect of SotD makes the enemy's attacks undodgeable, which makes your E useless and subjects you to much more damage. I would still recommend Atma's in the normal build as it gives you even more HP and Damage, not to mention armor. Armor is not necessairily fantastic on Jax (Armor and Dodge detract the value of each other, reducing damage vs. negating it entirely) but it can help you absorb those hits you don't manage to dodge.
In most cases, I will get Guinsoo's Rageblade and Trinity Force before either Atma's or Rabadon's, because they are cheaper (TF is cheaper after you get Sheen) and are more important to have before late game.
Jax can be built in a very versatile manner. Here are other items I would consider grabbing instead of Rabadon's if the situation calls for it.
Banshee's Veil is an extremely powerful item. It gives you a nice amount of MR and a spellshield every 45 seconds. This item is very strong if the enemy has a strong combo champion Annie Cassiopeia. Also, the health and mana are nice too.
Quicksilver Sash I would recommend this item over Banshee's Veil in most cases. It requires you to use it, but it can clear you of ALL debuffs, including Ignite and Exhaust, which can save you in so many cases. This item is a no brainer against a Warwick or a Malzahar.
Guardian Angel gives you nice Armor and MR, along with a passive revive (on a 450 second cooldown). When the passive is up, enemies are often discouraged from focusing you in case you live, only to turn around and destroy them! It is a very strong item, but only get it if you're being heavily focused.
Lich Bane Lich Bane is an interesting item. I used to use it on Jax, but I've decided that Trinity Force just has so much more to offer. However, it does give you a little MR, and with Rabadon's Deathcap, a few hundred more AP than you would have if you grabbed Trinity Force Lich Bane is definitely a strong item, but I would recommend Trinity Force in most cases.
In team fights, Jax should be all over the enemy AD carries, interrupting their sustained damage with Counter Strike and killing them fast. Jax is not a real tank, but with this build, you should be able to take a little bit of focus. Do not initiate for your team, unless you catch someone squishy out of position. If you can get multiple enemies with your Counter Strike do it, it is an extremely powerful AoE stun and can win your team fights hamdily.
Jax's ultimate also allows him to handle AP carries reasonably well, so if the AD is dead or unreachable go ahead and pound on that enemy Brand until he's a pile of ashes.
I tried to make a guide that helps players of all experience levels understand Jax in a better way. Jax is a situational, but strong, champion who is undoubtedly fun to play. Feel free to leave any constructive comments/props in the comment section below!