Jax Build Guide by LunarCastle
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.
*I will be updating this guide heavily in the next couple of days.* Please comment and vote, I need the feedback.
Jax is a character I have grown to love over my past year or so of playing League. I love him because of his ability to withstand high amounts of damage and deal MASSIVE damage quickly. I have yet to play a champion that allows me to go around the Twisted Treeline like a king, diving past two turrets in pursuit of an enemy champ, engaging him with Jax at ~50% health, killing said champion AND his teammates and then smashing a few minions to regain full health.
Jax truly is a rewarding champion to play, you will like him for his ability to 3v1 with ease late game and keep on going. It's kind of like a train without breaks going 100mph... on fire. He just can't be stopped.
"Imagine if I had a real weapon." -Jax, Grandmaster at Arms
The Story of Jax "Armsmaster of the League"
It is seldom the case where a champion is defined by his actions after joining the League of Legends rather than before. Such is the case with Jax, for whom the argument could be made that he is the most prolific tournament fighter currently at the Institute of War. Before joining the League, Jax was an unremarkable soldier-for-hire. For reasons known only to the former leader of the League, High Councilor Reginald Ashram, Jax was put on the top of the list of candidates to receive a League Judgment - the interview process that either accepts or rejects a prospective champion. His Judgment was the quickest in League history, where the Doors of Acceptance glowed and slowly swung open as soon as it began. Jax faced no recorded Observation or Reflection during his Judgment.
Jax proved himself to be an immediate terror in the Fields of Justice. The self-proclaimed ''Armsmaster of the League'' rattled off a streak of consecutive wins that to this day has not been matched. A number of summoners in the League grew concerned that the perceived objectivity of the League of Legends would be questioned by the presence of an unknown fighter who was unbeatable. For this reason, the new leader of the League (following Reginald Ashram's disappearance), High Councilor Heyward Relivash, created special restrictions for Jax to fight under. This was something the League had never done before, and something that has never been done since. The burly fighter responded by imposing his own special conditions; as a means of protest, he permitted himself to fight using only a brass lamppost. Neither the League's sanctions nor his own has affected his winning ways. The League has since rescinded its sanctions, but Jax has not; he fights and fights well with his trusty brass lamppost.
Pros / Cons
-Impressive damage output mid to late game.(Hits like a Mac truck)
-Lots of health makes him feel tanky.
-His Stun - This makes Jax who he is, it will allow you to 3v1 and come out looking for more.
-Relatively easy to play.
-Deep voice is appealing to the ears.
-His success is largely dependent on dodge.
-If you fall behind its very hard to catch up again in terms of levels and kills.
-Might be hard to 4v1 or 5v1.
Pick this up at the start of the game for a survivability boost early game. Comes with a +15 Ability Power boost useful early game as well as still being advantageous late game since it directly fuels Empower. Using this ring you can often get the jump on an enemy champ in your lane for an early kill, and if that happens then our metaphorical flaming train has left the station and nothing can stop it.
Pick these up for the movement speed increase, you'll need it to chase down champs that think they can escape from the unstoppable fire-engulfed train of madness. It also gives you a little more dodge which is crucial to Jax's success. You need all the dodge you can get to really make use of Counter Strike.
Now that our train is up to speed, lets add some fire to the mix. Pick up this Rageblade for the insane attack speed bonus it gives Jax. This is a game changer as it stacks with Jax's ultimate, Relentless Assault, making him attack faster than the eye can see. Another reason for selecting this item is the +25 Attack Damage it offers. That attack damage will be nice in combination with Leap Strike.
The +60 Attack Damage and +75 Ability Power directly buff your Leap Strike and Empower, along with Counter Strike. The main reason I pick this item up is for the 20 Life Steal and 25 Spell Vamp, combined these make Jax a beast that can smash through a 3v1 encounter, refuel HP on minions, and keep on moving like nothing happened. The Life Steal will give you health back for physical damage dealt and the Spell Vamp will heal you for any ability you use that deals damage, such as Leap Strike and Counter Strike.
Pick this up for the increased Critical Strike Chance, in combination with the Infinity Edge you will have every other attack hitting for 250% critical damage. The 2% damage from maximum health turns out to be around 40 bonus Attack Damage at level 18. In most games I have somewhere around 3,000HP so it ends up giving me roughly 60 bonus Attack Damage. That's nice.
Pick up Infinity Edge late to end-game to make Jax completely unstoppable. The 80 Attack Damage greatly increases the damage from Leap Strike and Empower. The 25 Critical Strike Chance will make you a critting machine and once you see the insane 850+ damage crits from Jax's normal attacks you will wonder why you ever played another champ. Check out the Math Breakdown section for detailed damage assessments.
Drinking this makes the conductor of the train hit the Nitro Boost Button, catapulting the already flame-engulfed train of madness to the speed of light. The only passengers aboard this train are the poor souls who met Jax's Lamppost face to face.
I toss the majority of my points into offense. The reason I do this is because in 3v3, which is what I play most, Jax's high HP in combination with the Spell Vamp and Life Steal from items is almost always enough to mitigate incoming damage so I don't really have a reason to go deep into the defensive tree.
Things I would recommend picking up in this tree are:
- Alacrity: 4% Increased Attack Rate.
- Lethality: 10% Increased Critical Strike Damage.
- Havoc: 4% Increased Physical Damage.
To me the defense tree is only worth my points for the dodge and increased movement speed after a dodge.
Make sure you pick these up from the Defense tree:
- Evasion: 2% Increased Dodge Chance.
- Nimbleness: 10% increased movement speed for 5 seconds on dodge.
Greater Quintessence of Evasion
I use three of these as my quints for the same reason I use Greater Seal of Evasion, for the bonus it gives to Counter Strike. The more you can dodge, the more you can stun and the more you can stun, the less you are hit. Makes sense to me.
Greater Mark of Insight and Greater Glyph of Potency
These runes are personal preferences, swap these out with whatever you think makes sense depending on how you like to play. Just make sure you keep the dodge runes and quintessences for the bonus to Counter Strike.
Greater Seal of Evasion
Definately make sure you pick up this seal, it works perfectly with your Counter Strike which is crucial to the success of Jax. The more dodge chance the better, both for survivabilty and your stun.
Jax's Ability Combos
Sweet, I have these fancy mastery thingys all popped into place and my rune doo-dads are shining like gems in a sparkling river, but what the hell do I do now?
Well, now you end lives. With a Lamppost.
Main Initiator Combo
Use this to initiate fights with almost anything... just maybe not that Turret.
Before you ever initiate always check to see if you have your ultimate activated, Relentless Assault(R) needs to ALWAYS be on when you are fighting, without it your attack speed slows down and you won't be nearly as powerful as you could be with it activated. Always check before you wreck.
The combo is Empower+Leap Strike, or W+Q.
Basically what you want to do is find your target, use Empower(W), which will increase the damage of your next attack, and then immediately use Leap Strike(Q), which will send you flying through the air in a glorious arc to your targets location, AKA their skull.
Scroll down for an in-depth math breakdown of damage output using this combo.
During Battle - COUNTER STRIKE
During battle you need to listen, yes LISTEN. What are you listening for? THIS:COUNTER STRIKE. This is the most important aspect of playing Jax. You need to use your stun. It will save you, it will make you a beast, it will destroy enemies who try to run and those who try to face you toe to toe. Do not neglect it or you will fail.
Counter Strike, when activated by a dodge, will sound something like an old man trying to cough while stuffing his mouth with cotton balls, or something similar. It's a distinct sound and it will save your life. You need to get used to listening for it so you know when it is active, looking down at your ability bar works but listening for it is much faster.
During a fight you should be stunning AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE using Counter Stike, and using your Empower(W)+Leap Strike(Q) combo whenever it is available. Sometimes you can get a Leap Strike off in between Empower cooldowns but wait for it when you can.
No math yet but I will update this tomorrow with the breakdown and gameplay videos demonstrating the combo and also showing Counter Strike.
In summation, Jax is a beast when played right. I've read a few other builds on here and none of the more recent ones allow for Jax to go balls to the walls. They all have reservations about his capabilities since a few patches changed him. They say Jax can't initiate because he will get crushed... what? Are we playing the same Jax?
My Jax can run in their and wreck anyone and anything. My Jax dives multiple towers at a steady mobbin' pace and smashes a few skulls in with his Lamppost. My Jax initiates AND finishes. For my Jax the norm is hearing "Double kill... triple kill...aced!".
So don't listen to that **** that makes it sound like Jax is lacking and you have to play him conservatively to win, screw that. Run in their and dent some skulls.
''Be advised - there has been an outbreak of lamppost-shaped bruises in the League of Legends.'' - Gragas
This is my first build on Mobafire, I appreciate any criticism and will change the build up if you have better ideas. I will be updating the build with short youtube clips demonstrating certain key points sometime very soon. Thank you for reading and enjoy playing Jax!