Jax Build Guide by Mog the Inhaler
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.
As dodge is getting completely removed, Jax will be getting a remake very soon. I will change the guide and adapt my build to suit the new Jax. The jungling may or may not be possible after the change, as dodge is what gives him most of his survivability, but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to work something out.
I am Bongon, formerly known as Mog the Inhaler, and between my two accounts I have over 1500 games on the NA servers.
This is my first guide so I will keep it simple.
This guide is not for novice Jax players, and therefor a lot of the basic stuff regarding Jax will not be covered, and I will focus on how this play/build style differentiates from other Jax builds.
I play Jax as a (very) tanky AD/hybrid carry. This build focuses on Jax solo top/mid and jungle.
Here are some scores showing how reliable and effective this build can be.
^ This last match is from Wavedsh, the first of many Mobafire members to test and review my guide.
Pros / Cons
Anybody who has played Jax enough should know his strengths and weaknesses fairly well, so in this section I will point out what makes this build superior to others.
- Can take mid, solo top, duo bot (not recommended), 1v2 top or jungle.
- Can be aggressive early game with Regrowth Pendant and flat offensive runes, allowing good sustain and great harass.
- Strong defense against magic damage, making him highly durable in conjuction with his ultimate and passive.
- Great AoE CC with the slow from Randuin's + Counter Strike.
- Less affected by enemy CC as he has the durability to last it out.
- Amazing duelist but can also carry team fights with AoE CC, great sustained damage and mobility, and the ability to tank the majority of fights.
- Not as much damage as AD, AP or hybrid Jax.
- Still strongly affected by enemy CC.
For masteries you can choose to go either defensively or offensively. I will include my jungle/lane masteries for each tree.
I usually take the offensive masteries when I'm jungling for a faster jungle and easier ganks, and the defensive masteries when I lane for more durability. If you arn't confident with your jungling I'd suggest taking the defensive masteries, and if you are confident in your lane try out the offensive ones.
Greater Quintessence of Health x 3
Greater Mark of Attack Damage x 9
Greater Seal of Evasion x 9
Greater Glyph of Ability Power x 9
This rune set-up is designed to help you through your early game laning phase because I have found that this is where Jax suffers most. Flat attack damage/ability power give great harassing power through early game as all your abilities (+ your auto-attacks) scale with AP or AD or both. They also provide you with health through your passive, hugely increasing your health pool when used with flat health quints.
I run Ghost and Ignite. Other viable offensive choices are Exhaust and Surge. My build does not focus on any MrP or ability power and I have not tried Surge for this reason, but I imagine if used properly to stack your ultimate it could be very effective.
I would not suggest going without a defensive spell, and I find Ghost to be the most effective for chasing and escaping.
Flash is less useful after it's nerf, and Jax has a free flash with longer range and lower cool down. Just press 2 ( Wriggle's Lantern should be in this slot), drop the ward where you want to flash to, then Leap Strike to the ward.
This gives Jax the vital sustain he needs in lane. I don't buy Doran's items as they slow down the core build. The only time I would suggest buying one is if you are 1v2 against double AD at top. In this case buy Doran's Shield.
Ninja Tabi are the best choice of boots for Jax right now and you shouldn't need me to explain why. Wriggle's Lantern provides great lifesteal, attack damage (= health from Relentless Assault) and armor. On top of great stats, it provides us with a free Flash when used with Leap Strike, or can act as just a standard ward. It also helps your farm a great deal in top lane, and increases your jungling speed. I get Heart of Gold early because it builds into Randuin's Omen, gives a good amount of health and the GP5.
I usually always choose Force of Nature as my MR item. I prefer it to Banshee's Veil as Jax has naturally high health from Relentless Assault, which synergizes with the regeneration from Force of Nature. The movement speed also allows you to chase/escape better. The shield from Banshee's Veil is good but you have the active from Relentless Assault to soften AP nukes. If the enemy team is full of CC, you might want to consider getting Banshee's Veil instead. Atma's Impaler is a must for Jax as it is extremely cost effective AD as well as a decent chunk of armor. Randuin's Omen Provides health that synergizes with Atma's Impaler, an AoE slow and a great debuff against auto-attackers, not to mention the armor.
I use Frozen Mallet over Trinity Force or Rylai's Crystal Scepter for a few reasons. Trinity Force is expensive and a lot of the gold you're spending goes towards wasted stats like critical strike and mana. The slow on Frozen Mallet is also far more effective. Rylai's Crystal Scepter is also good, but my build focuses on AD, and Frozen Mallet has more health for better synergy with Atma's Impaler. Once I've finished everything else, I replace Wriggle's Lantern with Wit's End. Late game, Wriggle's Lantern is not as powerful. Escaping ganks will be less important so the ward is no longer needed. The stats are good early game, but as it is a cheap item they scale off towards the end. The minion damage proc is no longer useful as you will have finished your build. Wit's End not only balances out your resistances, but also gives you attack speed and an on-hit effect, which both scale with Relentless Assault passive. If the enemy team has a bunch of AD carries, it's probably a good idea to just keep Wriggle's Lantern or replace it with a Sunfire Cape, Guardian Angel or even Madred's Bloodrazor if they have a lot of tanky champions.
How to harass properly in your lane.
When Counter Strike proc's (take minion aggro for a second), Leap Strike to your enemy, auto-attack them once, press Counter Strike, auto-attack them again then immediately Empower to reset your attack timer and proc the passive on Relentless Assault. Then either retreat or chase them down with Empower+ Leap Strike+ Ignite.
If you can't get a solo lane the best place for you to be is probably the jungle. Even in 2v2 lanes, Jax can't farm to his full potential, and this is the most important thing to be focusing on early game.
Since the mastery and jungle changes, I've found Jax can jungle quite well. He can take blue without a leash (though it's best if you can get one) and clear the rest of the jungle pretty fast. Due to his limited CC and short buffs without Runic Affinity , ganks rely on good communication and timing. My ideal route (this is assuming they don't have a jungler, you're solo top is strong enough not to need many ganks, and that you dodge enough while jungling to safely attempt ganks (this is not often the case)) is as follows:
1. Blue Golem.
4. Red Lizard.
5. Small Golems, then recall.
6. Try gank mid, aim to at least force them to burn summoner spells. Head to bot, and try gank.
7. Take their Blue Golem. Even if you're health is low, you will be able to kill it with Ninja Tabi + Health Potion.
8. Their Wolves.
9. Return to mid and kill the champion you just forced to waste Flash. Recall.
10. Their Wraiths.
11. Their Red Lizard.
12. Gank top.
13. Their Small Golems.
Ideal spots for wards are marked as blue circles on the map below.
Try get Red buff before you gank, as Jax's limited CC makes it hard to ensure kills if your ally doesn't have CC. Speak to your teammates/s and time it so that when they are about to engage, you can Empower+ Leap Strike to the focus target. The reason for doing this is if you let your ally attack first, they will take minion aggro and deny you Counter Strike proc's, which can help ensure the kill. The enemy should be running now. If you get a Counter Strike proc, Leap Strike to them again and use the AA > E > AA > W > Ignite combo (refer to How to harass properly in your lane.) If you don't get a Counter Strike proc you can try keep chasing them down with Empower+ Leap Strike+ Ignite
In solo que more often then not, everybody will lock in a carry of some sort and you are the closest thing to a full tank. This is not a problem, as I end most games with over 4k health, 200+ armor and magic resist when Relentless Assault + Wit's End stacks are active.
If you ARE tanking:
Leap Strike onto the first squishy who over extends and start beating on them. The second someone proc's Counter Strike, get into position to stun as many people as possible and use the stun, then the second it wears off use Randuin's Omen. From this point onwards you should be focusing their carries and protecting yours. This is not as easy for Jax as it is for a lot of other tanks, as he doesn't have much CC. What he does have is threat in abundance, and Leap Strike + Counter Strike will generally prevent an enemy from chasing further.
If you ARE NOT tanking:
Let the tank initiate, and follow up immediately with a Leap Strike onto their carry, or the squishiest champion in your range. When Counter Strike proc's, get into position to stun multiple targets and use it, followed by Randuin's Omen. For the rest of the fight keep focusing whichever fed carry that comes close to you. Jax can easily chase down low health champions who've escaped after the fight with Leap Strike + Ghost + Frozen Mallet + Randuin's Omen.
Jax is an extremely powerful champion with a few critical flaws, and this build is designed to counter those flaws and enhance his many strengths. I think that even though you are sacrificing burst damage compared to Hybrid/AD/AP builds, you will end up doing a lot more damage and providing a huge amount of utility by following my build.
As I said before, this is my first guide, so any feedback is appreciated. Please give it a try and if you like it then rate it highly. If you are going to downvote please add a comment explaining your problems with the build. If you do well with it send me some screenshots of you dominating and I will put them in the scores section.
Thank you for reading and have fun smashing noobs off the daddy chain!
24/11/11 - Build published.
24/11/11 - Added AD carry build.
25/11/11 - Added an AP version of the main build.
25/11/11 - Replaced Zhonya's with Abyssal Scepter in the AP build.
27/11/11 - First update regarding Jax remake.