Jarvan IV Build Guide by Telsa

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Telsa

Meta-game Jarvan

Telsa Last updated on March 20, 2012
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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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Seccond Edit : For some reason my Item Section overwrote both my pros / cons and summoner spells sections. I have to redo those sections over again. Patience is appreciated.

PLEASE NOTE - This guide is currently under much editing and construction. I'm adding more details, subsections and improving the overall quality of my guide.
If it seems to be broken or odd in ways, keep this in consideration. I will remove this when I'm done.

Ah, Jarvan. My friends got me into League maybe a week before Jarvan was released into the game. At this time, I thought new champions being released was a huge deal. I didn't realize Riot just released them weekly. So I scraped up the IP from under my couch cushions and bought him as soon as I could. I made a great purchase, and he remains my favorite champion to this day.

After deciding I was going to play Jarvan, obviously the first thing I did was hop over to Mobafire and look around for a build. Although I see the constructive thinking and reasoning to many of the builds here on Mobafire, I did not find any I personally liked. They all seemed a bit iffy to my own personal liking and play style. That quickly lead to the creation of my own build. While it uses many meta-games that you may or may not have seen in other builds, putting it down on paper is nice, and I figure why not publish it?

This is a build I use Laning as Jarvan, I do not (primarily) use this build for anything other then bottom lane. Although I have successfully used this build for Solo Top, I have not done so enough times to confirm it as viable for that role. As I just stated, this build has been and could prove to be successful option for other roles, but please do not use it for such and condone it against me.

Continuing, I hope you all take the time to give this guide a good read through and rate it constructively.

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Pros / Cons


  • Has very strong damage early-mid game.
  • Remains consistently durable throughout the match.
  • Is a good quick initiator
  • Can hop over walls with his Standard-pull combo.
  • Ultimate allows your team to position themselves and be more
    accurate with certain ability's
  • Fun to play.
  • Has some mana issues early-mid game.
  • Damage begins to fade later in the game.
  • Has no escape outside of summoners if initiating
  • Ultimate can backfire on champions with ability's to escape.
  • Ultimate can harm your team if you're not careful with it.

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Abilitys - Standard Pull (IMPORTANT)

So I've unofficially named the bread and butter combo that is Jarvan IV.

The Standad-Pull is the combination of your two main abilitys

(Hotkey E)
{Hotkey Q)

If you drop your Demacian Standard down, and then use your Dragon Strike towards it, if they connect properly, you will be pulled to the standard, knocking up any enemies in your path.

This as stated above, is indeed what makes Jarvan work. This is the combo that allows you to initiate and flee. It deals damage, provides your only disable, and lets you hop over walls either to chase or escape.

To be a successful Jarvan you need to get this down to a science. You need to be quick and accurate.

Things to keep in mind while using your Standard Pull Combo :

  • At maximum rank, your Dragon Strike will cost 65 Mana, your standard remains 55 throughout. Make sure you have enough mana to cast both abilitys, you don't want to throw down your standard and derp when you can't pull yourself to it. The benchmark for this is 120 mana.
  • Forecast your enemy movement, most people know to move as soon as that standard drops, so they will start moving, because of this, you need to forecast movement, by placing the standard in their moving direction or behind them to ensure you land that knockup.
  • While the cooldown is fairly short, remember that you need to use it to either initiate or run, you can't pull in then out, so don't commit to anything unless you are positive of your health, or can back up an escape with a summoner such as flash.
  • You can pull yourself up and over every barrier in the game
  • At max rank, the cooldown of Dragon Strike and Duration of your Standard will allow you to pull yourself to one standard twice, however the opportunity of that chance is very low, so don't rely on it.

Ability Overview

We already went over this along with Dragon Strike above so I'll keep it brief. This is your primarily ability. It statistic grants attack speed and armor, benefiting you and your team in several ways. It also gives you sight acting like a temporary ward. Nonetheless, maxing this first helps you and your team.

The poke of damage and armor pen combination allows this to be quite a threat. I max this over Gold Aegis for the reason that the statistic value increase on this increases much more then your Aegis, especially since your Aegis doesn't scale. Your damage is best early game, so you want to capitalize off of that while you can. Hence, upgrading this over Aegis is once again just a better choice.

This ability can be used offensively for the slow in order to catch up to people, but it better serves a defensive purpose. The shield obviously blocks damage and the slow makes people slowly trail behind you.

THIS IS NOT A HEAL This rule doesn't apply only to Jarvan, it applies to every champion with a shield such as or and of course our lovely prince Jarvan.

Don't necessarily hesitate to use this ability, but please think about why you're using it. Every single time I play league I see people randomly poping their shield when they aren't in a threat of danger. Wait to use this shield when you are about to take damage, don't use it while a tryndamere is 10 yards behind you. You want to make sure your shield is absorbing the damage, and that they are in range for the slow. This is an spell that has the intention of saving your life you want to make the most you can out of its ability to do so.

Otherwise, this is a filler ability you should use early when initiating to get the cooldown rolling and to slow everyone you trap in your knock up or standard.

Let's take a moment to get over the fact that you are slamming so hard into the ground that the earth around you creates an arena, and go over its mechanics. You leap to your target trapping them in a circle. They cannot move out of the defined area, but still have the ability to do whatever they wish while inside. Keep this in mind when chasing or dueling, this is not a stun. They can still turn around and smack you in the face.

This can backfire on you I've been victim of this several times, and also am guilty of doing so. Accidentally trapping your team in or out of your ultimate. This either makes them unable to dish out damage if they are melee, or unable to escape if they are going to do.

Last thing to keep in mind while using this are all the built in flashes that exist within the game. Perfect examples are;
  • Tumble
  • Distortion
  • Deceive

This list goes on, basically any champion that has the ability to move over terrain can and will move out of your ultimate (This includes other Jarvans).
The most common one you'll run into is players with summoner .
All you can really do is try to time your ultimate on enemies that have those ability's on cooldown. Keep tabs on that, and you'll be successful. Don't get too frustrated though, remember the cooldown on Flash is much longer then your ultimate's.

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Laning Phase (Solo top VS Bottom)

This will mostly be a wall of text that may be tiring to read through, but those who are new to Jarvan or question his ability to lane, I ask you to give this a proper read through

I seem to get a ridiculous amount of flak for laning as Jarvan. With the jungle nerf, I see jungling is becoming much more common then it once was in common games, and it has always been in ranked. Whenever I join a game and lock in as Jarvan, everybody assumes I'm soloing top if there's a jungler on the team. I now have to constantly state that I'm more interested in laning bottom, and when I do every loses their mind and starts rambling on about how bottom Jarvan is garbage.

I'm not particularly trying to boast, but unless my partner is incredibly passive or is just plain bad, my lane usually completely dominated, and I start seeing a lot of apologies.

I really want to change this motive. So many people are stuck in the mind set that Jarvan need's to be a solo top when he doesn't. I've even heard "If you're not solo top as Jarvan it's wasted potential." If anything, I see it the other way around.

FIRMLY STATING before you read this that I think Jarvan is a phenomenal solo top champion and fits that roll very well.

As I've said and as many other Jarvan players have said, one of the princes main attributes is his quick effective and threatening way to initiate a fight. When you're in top lane, there is no one to benefit off of this potential but yourself. Especially since many solo top champions these days are boarding the category of tanks, if they haven't firmly placed their roots there yet.

I think we can agree that one of Jarvan's more favorable capabilitys in solo top is the fact you can straight out lane your enemies 99% of the time. With the harras of your standard-pull, the consistency of your hybrid tank-DPS set up, and the last hitting advantage from your , what's not to love?

But there's a certain word I didn't use in that above paragraph, that I see all over this guide, aswell as almost every other Jarvan build I see. Initiate.

I'll get into laning combinations in the next paragraph, but lets go back to the main point. If you are laning with a champion that can capitalize off of positioning, or a carry of any sort that is able to pump out damage if left along, your standard-pull is straight devastating.

I'm going to give an example with two champions that work differently, but both have the ability to benefit off of what Jarvan can offer.

Now to start off, I have to say this is my favorite laning partner as Jarvan but I'll go more into that later. Grave's early game depend heavily depends on . If you standard-pull and quickdraw in together onto the same target, you allow graves to maximize his damage because your knock up allow him to position himself to make the most use of out his buckshot.

You don't often find morgana laning because she's such a dominant mid but I again want to clarify this is an example. One thing that will stop a Morgana is using a minion wave to prevent her from landing her on you. If you standard-pull and drop on your target simultaneously, the damage combination clears the minion wave, allowing Morgana to land her snare. If you get the unlucky odd that the minion wave doesn't die, the knock up often allows Morgana to move around the wave to land it. The big problem with that is often that it's obvious when a Morgana is trying to move around a minion wave, but when you're knocked up it doesn't matter how obvious that is.

Now, as said those are two very specific examples that you can argue only apply to those two specific laning combos, however the general idea is there. Anyone who can move in offensively with Jarvan is going to knock out a couple of teeth if the standard pull is successful, and any champion who needs to work around minion waves is bought time to re position themselves or even clear the minion wave out.

If you are playing with a partner who knows how to initiate aggressively, anyone who moves in range of your standard-pull is going to get hit, and if they don't they are getting zoned out of experience and gold.

There are very few laning set ups in the game that can push you out of this dominant state. Either way, you are winning in your lane, and its gonna force their jungler to jump in or let them die. This could push you back, or if you're smart with your and you with your wriggle's and your jungler are warding properly, the gank will backfire in their faces.

One thing I will say you should worry about when laning with someone. Make sure you are aware of your partner's mobility and range. As earlier said, if playing your lane properly you will 90% of the time be zoning your enemies. When they try to pop into range to harass you or re-establish their position in the lane is usually when you can get the jump on them.

One good example I will use is . Jarvan's ability to Bodyguard her and the fact she benefits from his Make them a strong combative force. Head-to-head they are a durable and deadly duo, however. As said above, you will likely have the advantage of being able to zone your opponents. If you zoom up to your enemies with an ashe, she doesn't have the mobility or proper ranged utility to be in the fight with you immediately, and you may catch yourself in an unfortunate 2v1 for a couple of seconds, and in a bursty game like League, a couple of seconds is a lot.

Laning Partners

Now, I'm very cautious on how to rate certain set ups, and It's hard to find puggies that know how to aggressively progress with you, but here are some combinations I know from experience synergize very well together. Keep in mind that I wouldn't suggest blindly trying new compositions in ranked games, but if you have a friend and are playing public matches, think through what champions can really benefit from Jarvans quick initiation and try it out. There aren't many champions that I necessarily consider bad to lane with Jarvan - Well, scratch that.
Any passive mage, farmer, or tanky-low damage champion is not a good choice. For the millionth time I've said this in my guide and apologies if it's getting repetitive. You want to be combative and aggressive.

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Summoner Spells

Recommended Summoners

Flash is a really good summoner that I take on most champions I play. I try to stay away from flash with champions that have a built in flash (Such as Jarvan). However, with the aggressive initiator way to play him that I find to be the most effective, having a flash to back out of initiations as well as being able to instantly escape your ultimate makes this very useful for both offensive and defensive maneuvers.

This is another summoner I've nearly proposed to several times. It fits in with many AD Champions and Jarvan is one of them. You're usually one of the first if not the first in the fight, enabling you to shut down some of the enemies carrys. It also serves nicely as a dueling summoner, to chase or to run. It can be used in almost every scenario to gain the advantage in a team fight, seal a kill or get the hell out.

Viable Alternatives

Flash is such an overpowering summoner that you tend to see less ghost around. It does fit nicely into Jarvan because he has the built in ability to go over terrain. Ghost gradually grants the better chance to chase or run, and is better in flash in that way. I do however prefer flash for reasons stated above in the flash overview. Overall though, if you prefer to take this summoner, I don't have anything against it.

Ignite is a very strong summoner that I tend to use on many other champions I play but Jarvan is not one of them. While I see this summoner as viable, I personally don't use it because I feel Jarvan has enough chasing and finishing power that ignite isn't necessary. I know people use exhaust a lot for duels / one on ones but I feel exhaust works in that slot quite well. As far as taking ignite for heal based champions like and I usually leave ignite for other players, as it seems to be common and favorable.

This is more particular summoner. It is useful in certain situations. With the ability to Standard pull out, using this to out yourself out of a stun can let you make pretty nifty get aways. While I can see why some people use this, items later in the game like and can substitute this. Altough they are very unalike, does cover a good chunk of disables. I haven't done too much testing with cleanse, but It's worth trying out if you enjoy the spell overall.

I've actually never taken this summoner as Jarvan before. Using teleport to get up to team fights will never be an issue if you're properly initiating for your team, and lane sustainability is usually covered by your early choice of mana / health pots and later your wriggles. So in perspective, all you would be taking this for is to cover back-dooring and minions pushing up on your turrets. With that said, I feel there are better champions to fulfill that roll, and I personally do not like using teleport. I will however leave it under viable purely for the fact it can give you the advantage in the right situation.

This is boarding my non-viable list, but I can't call it a bad summoner, I can just call it not as good. I personally do not condone using this summoner. I'll just leave it here for people who personally do prefer it, but if anyone on your team is taking heal, it shouldn't be you. You can do much more picking something like over heal.

Non-viable Summoner Spells

Playing Jarvan, I noticed having two combative summoner spells at hand gives you and your team a huge advantages during Skirmishes and team fights. Playing Jarvan, you will find yourself with some mana issues, yes. However, this is a summoner better left for champions that are under the category of support or mage.

You have sight throughout your Standard and your Wriggle's ward. While their sight is not really comparable to CV's, it is still enough to get you by your laning and jungle creeping phases. As said before, you need two combative summoners, and this like clarity is better left for supports.

So I've barley tested out this summoner but out of I think the two times I did try it, it just felt very weak and underwhelming. I really felt people were more scared of the fact I was glowing red then the fact I was attacking faster. Regardless, you can obtain attack speed from many places, and Jarvan is super attack speed based and it is by no means worth sacrificing a summoner spell for a little extra.

As said above, I've been successful with this build in essentially every roll in the game, but this is primarily a Summoner's Rift / Bottom lane build. Since this is obviously strictly a dominion summoner, I'm just going to list it as non-viable. In my very limited experience while playing Dominion I didn't find this that good anyways, but besides the point this isn't a dominion guide.

I find this to generally be a weak summoner, this is another one I really haven't tested all too much because I was discouraged by how easily the minion could be killed. For those reasons, I don't condone the use of this summoner, on any champion really.

You don't need to take this summoner unless jungling, and this isn't a jungle build.

I don't think I'll get too many arguments for not suggesting this one. Summoner's can be used to stop you from dying, so taking one to compensate for so, is just silly.

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Armor Pen Marks
greater mark of desolation
This is the best way to obtain your damage.
Armor pen is an incredible stat that can't be
obtained from many places in league. Overall,
it's your best option for red slots.

Flat Armor Seals

I've had a lot of contemplation about picking
armor runes over mana regeneration runes but I
think overall it triumphs for more consistency.
I found as long as I used my abilitys in a smart
manor in situations where it was most applicable,
I didn't find myself too low on mana outside of the
early game, and mana pots keep my covered for that.

Magic Resist Glyphs

Your magic resist doesn't really kick in until a
little later into the game, to compensate for that
as well as making you a tad bit more durable these,
with the armor seals are just enhancing your defensive

Armor Pen Quintessences
greater quintessence of desolation
These are just capitalizing on your offensive aspect.
I'd just be rephrasing myself, so in summary; the same
deal with your marks on this one.

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My masterie set up is actually a copy of SinJustice's Jarvan IV build. While I don't fancy his particular build choice, I do agree with his masteries. I always used the 21/9/0 set up for masteries, but I did do a bit of browsing to see if I could just maximize its efficiency. Although the change from my old masterie set up to SinJustice's is very minor, I still did edit those last few points so credit here is due.

Link to SinJustic'es Jarvan IV Build :

I feel like runes and the items in this build allow an offensive masterie tree to make a near-perfect combination of durability and damage. Just a standard 21/9/0 build we're going with here. I'll leave it at that.

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Start-Early game

The reason I start like this because of the obvious rush for a Wriggles. Out of the Long Sword, Vampiric Scepter and Cloth Armor Choices, cloth armor seems the best for general lane sustainability. The Mana / Health pot combo is because Jarvan's standard-pull combo if used constantly to initiate consumes quite a bit of mana.

This is an incredible item and I think is suitable for many AD champions. Free wards, lifesteal, armor / damage, free minion farm? Incredibly solid item that will last you throughout the game for an extremely low cost of gold. I often end up soloing dragon for my team if we don't have a jungler.

I think this is an invaluable item. Tenacity is a phenomenal stat, and is very hard to obtain outside of Mercury's treads. I will not go over every pair of boots because I think this is your obvious best. Your only two other options are or . Both attack speed and movement speed can be compensated for.

Mid game

Excluding this one, your next items are heavy mid-late game items like Frozen Mallet and Mog's, this is an extremely good filler mid game item for several reasons.

At this point, you are armor heavy. You have your armor runes, your passive armor, and your wriggle's. You need some filler Magic Resist. Here are some other convincing stats.

  • The attack speed combination of your new Wit's End with the early attack speed from dropping your standard give you the perfect amount of attack speed to get those Magic Resist Stacks rolling before they are even out of your initial knockup
  • The attack speed additionally gives you more chances to proc wriggles while soloing buffs, dragon, and eventually baron.
  • Furthermore, your attacking faster, so you're able to maximize the damage of your very early in team fights.
Overall? Take this item.

The build at this point is becoming a very common meta game. Start with the Mallet,this items obvious use ties in well with Jarvan's as the Aegis allows you to catch up to people, while the Frozen Mallet lets you stay with them once you've hit them. I have the issue with Jarvan where I can tag someone with my Aegis to catch up, but after that first hit they can just skip past me.

Mid-late game


This is a very common item combo that you will see in many other builds. We don't have to be rocket scientist to see that you get more damage depending on your health, and the health gain from your Warmog's and Frozen Mallet together really let you gain a lot out of this. Getting damage for being tanky? Yes please.

Late-End game / Last slot options
If you get to this part of the game, you are going to need start building situational. While this build aims at giving your durability towards both AD and AP damage, when the game gets this late you will need to start gearing towards the larger threat on the enemy team.

The Trinity Force

In the comments and in games I've received many mixed thoughts on why I choose not to take this item and I'll put it in a nutshell right here.

Now Trinity Force is by far the most versatile item in the game, and seeing as jarvan really does benefit off of (almost) every stat on the item, it is by no means a BAD item choice. My biggest problem with Trinity force is the gold cost and how spread out it is. I can't help but think about what I could do with 4 k gold. Yes, one of trinity force's benefits is that you are able to complete tier 2 items along to way to grant benefits whilst building the item, but I want to come back to the word consistency. You'll see that word a lot in my guide, consistency, consistency. It doesn't really serve its purpose of a consistent Jarvan when the stats are so far and spread. These, along with the fact it grants not other defensive stats aside from health turn me off from the item. You'll notice every item in this guide either provides armor or magic resist (exluding the late game )

Now, here's my last little issue with trinity force. It's looked upon too much as a stat based item. I want to reassure that I'm not calling this a BAD item. Back to point, I think my summary of is a perfect example of this. If you compare Wit's End and Trinity force on paper, even including the gold cost Trinity Force reigns superior, but when I think of these items past the numbers they add in the bottom left of my screen, It just makes sense for me to take things like Wit's End or over an early trinity force. Besides the RNG based slow, and the sheen aspect that isn't very easy to maximize of use on Jarvan, this item really is completely stat based, and while those stats do tremendously benefit other champions, I do not think Jarvan is one, or at least not a champion you should take until a last slot item.

Overall, this item gears towards a more carry-ish feel, and while Jarvan does need to substain is damage and hybrid aspect, I feel you can spend your gold in other places previous a trinity force. I know I will get much disagreement over this section, but I stand by my opinion and would recommend in this guide to leave it as an end-game item if you intend on taking it.

Magic Resist

This is my more favorable option. This is the highest flat magic resist item in the game. For that reason, it keeps you tanky and gives a couple other fun stats (It's Health Regen / Movement Speed). I prefer to take this item over banshee's veil if the other game has more then one AP nuke.

I very often as said above take force of nature but this serves its purpose no doubt. If you're facing champions that are very combo based such as or it really shuts down their ability to catch you on a whim, and have little time to compensate for that when your a quick initiator.

So this is a little bit like your Banshee's veil in the sense that it stops champion combos,

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Before I say anything, I need to give a HUGE Credit here to jhoijhoi. This person is the reason my guide is anything more then a lifeless wall of text, please check out this link that helped and inspired me to make my guide.

Just quickly concluding here. I just ask for what I asked in my intro, please give any constructive criticism. I am incredibly fond of my build and will most likely not change the item or rune sequence, but I am an open minded person. I am however looking for more advice regarding explanation thought process or overall presentation of any section of this guide.

As a future note : I do have interest in making a video on youtube with commentary assuming this guide gets enough attention, it will not be until I get a new microphone though, because apparently a 100$ Headset only last two months.

Anyways, thank you all.