Jax Build Guide by baggingbagelnarb

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League of Legends Build Guide Author baggingbagelnarb

[S3] Tactical Jax*** Incoming (WIP - League of BotRK Patch)

baggingbagelnarb Last updated on March 3, 2013
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Top Lane



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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Chapter 1: Introduction

Hi, this is 正統之一. I present you with my guide: Jax, The Savage Jumper

Before we start, I would like you to know:

1. My first language is NOT english, so please do give me some slack on grammar, etc.
2. Use this guide as a reference, and you can do whatever you want with it.
3. My skills are definitely not the best, and I am not saying so either
4. Please read through the content before deciding whether or not to vote.

My season 2 elo:

Jax Wins/Stats:

I want to share my experiences on certain champions in hopes of helping other players getting better at LoL. Please, I do not expect everyone to like this guide, but please leave constructive criticism, and at least try to see the effort I put into this guide.

Thank you and I hope you enjoy my guide!

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Chapter 2: Who is Jax?

Who is Jax?

Jax was one of the first characters that I enjoyed since the start of me playing league of legends. Since season three, I have started to use him more and more. With a gap closer, ridiculous burst, being able to scale extremely well into late game, and the ability to jungle and lane, he was an easy pick for me. Jax is one of the most powerful AD characters in the game. Early game, quick bursts will take care of your enemies, while late game, you carry your way to victory. With a flexible way of building and playing I have included four different builds, each to fit your situation and playstyle, as well as a (soon coming) mini-dominion guide.

Although this video is quite old, I believe the champion spotlight does give a little foretaste of this great champion:

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Chapter 3: Pros & Cons

Like all champions in League of Legends, Jax is not flawless and has pros and cons. Here below are Jax's key weaknesses and great advantages.

Pros / Cons


+ // Scales well into late game
+ // Great deulist
+ // Low cooldowns
+ // Becomes very tanky
+ // Great escape/gap closer
+ // Flexible itemization

- // Early game might get buillied by ranged enemies
- // Early mana issues
- // Cannot play well when deprived of farm
- // No natural sustain
- // Cannot be played glass cannon
- // Slow base speed

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Chapter 4: Summoner Spells


SPACE Ghost is an absolutely amazing summoner spell. It has a longer duration than Flash, more distance covered, as well as a lower cooldown than Flash. People may argue that Flash is more useful on Jax than ghost, but I think otherwise: Jax already has a distance closer/escape through his mighty leap strike. Having an extra flash however, would be somewhat of a waste. On the other hand, because Jax has only one CC ability, and that has quite a long cooldown, having ghost makes chasing a breeze, and really procs your Phage slow as well has giving you the distance to spam your empower SPACE


SPACE Exhaust is a great spell for Jax. It gives a great slow and also shuts down enemy AD characters. You can use it to escape easily or use it aggressively. I include this in my vs AD build because it will help get you an early advantage by making his damage very low. Also, Talon is a great 1 v 1 champion through his dodge and constantly spammable empower, so its a great idea to maximize that through exhaust. SPACE


SPACE Ignite is one of my personal favorite summoner spells. It is great at early levels to get first blood. It also deals true damage, and with the Summoner's Wrath buff, it is pretty OP. It is also good for getting rid of health regaining ultimates like Dr.Mundo's and Swain's . If the enemy gets away with little to no health, tag them with Ignite and then they die! I use this against AP champions in top lane because exhaust would be sort of a waste as Ap champions dont deal much damage through their autoattacks. SPACE


-Securing of buffs/dragon/baron
-Much harder for you to be counter jungled
-Faster (in some cases, by a huge amount) jungle times
-More ganks, due to needing less time in the jungle for XP
-Ability to counter jungle a LOT easier, you can steal their buffs with Smite
-You only need a lower level to kill Dragon
-More/faster gold, for items

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Chapter 5.1: Jax's Abilities

Jax's skill set is one of the best in the game. Jax has an escape/gap closer, the only dodge left in the game, aoe stun, great passive, and reset attack timer. I couldn't ask for anything better. So here is my explanation for the skills.

Relentless Assault

Basic attacks increase Jax's attack speed by 4% / 6% / 8% / 10% / 12% / 14%. Relentless Assault lasts for 2.5 seconds and stacks up to 6 times.

This is probably my favorite top laner's passive (except for maybe teemo's :P). It is great in the jungler to clear camps faster. In top lane, its uses are many: killing towers faster, easier farming, great dueling, etc. One thing to keep in mind is that when using Empower to reset the attack timer, it still procs the passive, making it great. This means that you should spam the reset attack timer on towers and duels to proc your passive faster therefore making your ultimate's passive come faster.

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-Use Empower to proc it faster->Faster Attack Speed->Faster Ultimate
-Good for killing towers, farming (in jungle also), and dueling.

Leap Strike

Jax leaps to target unit, dealing damage if the target is an enemy.

Leap strike is Jax’s main escape/chasing tool. It can also be used early game as a harass tool by doing Q->E->aa->W->aa->E->W->aa->Q. Remember, however, not to go overly aggressive on an enemy because it is your only escape tool and the cooldown is quite long. I max it second because I feel that the higher levels of counter strike is not as benefitting as the extra cooldown reduction and damage from leap strike which is your only escape/chasing. Remember that you can jump to enemies, allies, minions, and wards; so don’t forget to buy a few wards to jump to!

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-Leap Strike is Jax’s main escape/chasing tool
-Use wisely as the cooldown is quite long.
-Max second
-Jump to wards


Jax's next basic attack or Leap Strike within the next 10 seconds deals additional damage. Empower resets the autoattack timer.

Empower is Jax’s main damage tool and what you should be maxing first. It provides a good attack timer reset, and is the main reason why you get a sheen-type item, like trinity force. It deals magic and physical damage, so your lane opponent will have to get BOTH in order to counter you, or get health, which you can easily counter with blade of the ruined king. Additionally, this skill has a very low cooldown so you can spam it very often.

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-Main damage tool
-Mana and cooldown are low
-Max first
-Reset your attack timer

Counter Strike

For up to 2 seconds, Jax dodges all basic attacks and takes 25% less damage from area of effect abilities. At the end of the duration or if Counter Strike is activated again, Jax deals damage and stuns nearby enemies for 1 second. This spell deals 20% additional damage for each attack dodged to a maximum of 100% increased damage.

Counter strike is your only cc tool, but it sure is a good one. You get an on demand area of effect stun, and you dodge all the basic attacks, making your dueling power very strong. Along with your spammable empower and great chasing throw leap strike, you will be a fearsome opponent. I max this last because increasing levels of this isn’t really that useful. Also, this is a great skill for jungling as you dodge all the monster’s attacks and stun then afterwards[/center]

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-Only CC tool
-Makes you good duelist
-Max last
-Take first when jungling

Grandmaster’s Might

PASSIVE: Jax deals additional damage on every third basic attack. The counter will reset if he does not attack for 2.5 seconds.
ACTIVE: Jax gains bonus armor and magic resist for 8 seconds.PASSIVE

Every third following autoattack deals bonus magic damage. It makes PFTHH sound. If this effect is ready to use you will see small icon above your HUD (fist with eye). You HAVE TO land this attack pretty soon (2 seconds) after previous autoattack or it is lost! If you manage to land AA + Empower + Sheen damage proc + PFTHH, you deal ridiculous amount of damage.


This active part of ultimate is survivability stuff. So if you activate it, you receive bonus armor and MR. The received value is base value (25/35/45) plus % of your current bonus AD and total AP! The bonus lasts 8 seconds.

What does that actualy mean? It is actualy much better than it looks like, because if you are facing heavy AD team you build AD items and get more bonus armor from ulti. Similar if you are facing heavy AP team, you build AP items and get more MR bonus from ulti. Looks pretty well.

One last note: If you read previous paragraph once again and then remember the stuff I was talking about Hybrid Jax, you will realize one awesome thing. As Hybrid you are hard to counter, BUT you can pretty easily counter AD and even AP champ, just by buying AD/AP items.

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-Makes you very tanky
-Actually uses a lot of mana
-Needs to be charged
-Bonus magic damage every third autoattack

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Chapter 5.3: Combos

Coming Soon!

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Chapter 6: Runes

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Getting attack damage is key to winning a lane early. You will see almost all guides on AD champions having armor pen runes, but because Jax utilizes both magic and physical damage, there is no point in getting them. Last hitting will also be easier with this, so it is a good choice overall. You can try using marks of attack speed, but I dont suggest that.

Greater Quintessence of Strength

Getting attack damage is key to winning a lane early. You will see almost all guides on AD champions having armor pen runes, but because Jax utilizes both magic and physical damage, there is no point in getting them. Last hitting will also be easier with this, so it is a good choice overall. You can try using marks of attack speed, but I dont suggest that.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

If you are against an AP in lane, the magic resist would definitely mitigate some the that damage, so take the glyphs of magic resist. Otherwise, if you are against an AD champion top, take the scaling ones since you won't be needing them early game.

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Seals of Armor are a guaranteed must. It reduces minion aggro, and as most junglers are attack damage based, this will be very useful to get out of ganks. Even better if your opponent is AD, you will mitigate much of his damage. ALWAYS take these, no matter what, especially if you are jungling.

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Chapter 7: Masteries

You can either spec heavily into the Defensive tree and pick up some of the new ridiculous mastery points such as the slow/CC reduction that stacks multiplicatively with tenacity by going 9/21/0 with offensive spec in armor penetration, or you can go heavy into the Offensive Tree with 21/9/0 with Dual Magic/Armor Pen and some of the later offensive tree mastery points add to his damage, but in general I would recommend 9/21/0.


Summoner’s Wrath (1/1): for the Increase on AP and AD when ignite is on cooldown.

Fury (3/4): Attack speed is awesome on Jax, just get 3 points though because we aren’t going much further down into the Offense tree

Deadliness (4/4): More attack damage is always good, also there’s not really any other viable option for Jax on the 2nd line of the offense tree since you’re going AD. Plus you need this to get to Weapon Expertise.

Weapon Expertise(1/1): 8% Armor Penetration will help you get through the enemy’s resistances, get this always.


Perseverance (3/3): No one knows 100% how this works, but one of Jax’s problems is his early game, and health regen may help him get it through it.

Durability (4/4): By far the best mastery points you can get on the first line, it scales awesomely into late game and it lets you get Veteran Scars

Hardiness (3/3) or (0/3): Extra armor is always good. Take 3 points if you’re going against an AD champ.

Resistance (3/3 or 0/3): Hardiness’ Magic Resist counterpart, take 3 points here instead of in Hardiness if you’re going against an AP champ on top lane

Veteran Scars (1/1): Might not seem like a lot, but this is slightly better than a flat health quint. Will help you a lot in early levels when you’re dueling.

Relentless (2/2): One of the best new masteries in season 3. A 15% reduction on slows, not on the duration, but on the slow percentage. You should take this so enemies can’t shut you down by slowing you so much.

Tenacious (3/3): This mastery has gone through an improvement for season 3 and is now even better. 15% Tenacity will go every well with the Zephyr on your build, reducing CC is key to get to the enemy carry.

Defender (1/1): Similar to Wukong’s passive. It will help you out a lot in team fights, especially during mid-game. Also 1 point here is stronger than 1 point in Legendary Amor

Honor Guard (1/1): A 3% Damage Reduction from all sources, this mastery is really good in order to make Jax tankier

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Chapter 8.1: Starting Items

Boots of Speed Route

The extra movement speed is great for harassing or getting out of ganks. Simply use boots go get close and use W. They will be forced to retreat and you will get some free farm. Also, if you are against a skill shot heavy character like Jayce or Ezreal, you should take boots to dodge the shots. It also comes with three handy potions so sustain shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Doran's Blade Start

This is the route taken by many Jax players. It gives health, damage, and a little bit of lifesteal. It seems to be a great item, but the lack of sustain really makes it a less effective item, and it won't provide much utility to get out of ganks.

Cloth Armor Route

This is another nice route if you are going solo top for a quick Wriggle's Lantern. If you are facing a high harass AD solo top character like Riven or Irelia, the armor and five Health Potions are going to be very useful.

Rejuvination Bead Start

sight ward

If you are planning on rushing a Philosopher's Stone or if you are planning to play in a very passive style, this route will be great. You will be able to take all kinds of harass and regain all your health in no time. Plus, this sustain doesn't run out! The only downside to this is that the health regen time is quite slow and you will not be gaining any real stats.

Potions Start

sight wardsight ward

This is the most common route, and I think it's pretty good for Jax. The idea for this is to be able to sustain in lane forever, get enough gold, and outright buy your core items. The additional wards are OP as well, and are good for having map awareness or ward jumping.

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Chapter 8.2: Core Items

SPACE The Mercury's Treads is my personal preference for boots on Jax. If you are against champions who deal magic damage, these boots provide quite a good amount of it for a cheap price, and you get a great passive. Late game, your goal is to dive into the carry and kill him, and you will need tenacity to survive the CC on your way out, so these boots are great.

SPACE An alternative to Mercury's Treads is the Ninja Tabi. If you are up against a heavy AD team, or against a very difficult AD lane at top, these boots are a good choice. They are EXTREMELY cheap, and if you started off with Cloth Armor, you could use these.


SPACE This item is really good right now, and builds into the extremely OP blade of the ruined king. It gives nice sustain, a REALLY good passive, and decent AD. It is a great item for Jax, and is pretty cheap too. ALWAYS pick it up because you can always build it into either hextech gunblade or blade of the ruined king

SPACE In Season 2, it was probably more common to see Phage taken on Jax, rather than Sheen, and for a good reason: Jax needed health and damage more than AP and mana. However, in season 3, although the same thing is true, Jax may choose to take either Trinity Force or Iceborn Gauntlet. This means that taking Phage might not build into one of these choices, and will have to be sold (as iceborn gauntlet already has a movespeed slow). Additionally, as armor and health has become cheaper in season three, magic damage might benefit Jax more.

SPACE While starting off with a Doran's Blade is a bad choice, stacking 1 or 2 of them after your first back is a good idea. It is cheap attack damage, sustain, and health. These will greatly increase your trade potential, and its other stats are quite useful too. SPACE

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Chapter 8.3: Situational Items

Coming Soon!

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Chapter 9: Lane Choice

Jax is surprisingly flexible in the lanes he can choose. He is mostly seen top, occasionally in the jungle, and I’ve seen a few mid Jaxs in competitive play before (namely xPeke midlaner for Fnatic)

Top Lane

Jax is normally found in the top lane. Why? He has a great disengage through leap strike so he can easily get away from incoming ganks. Additionally, many top laners are AD bruisers, and if they rely heavily on their auto attacks, such as Irelia or Xin Zhao, his dodge completely shuts them down. He is also great at farming because of his passive and W. Overall, Jax’s top lane viability is the highest because he can dominate the lane easily through his utility.


Jax jungle is also viable, and I see it occasionally in low elo or normal games. This is mainly because Jax needs the farm in top lane, and the jungle provides little to no gold. What makes Jax have the ability to jungle is his dodge, which makes him take zero damage from the monsters for some time. His AA->W combo and his passive also makes him clear camps quickly. His Q and E also help him gank well. Overall, Jax’s jungling is good, but he needs the farm of top lane.

Mid Lane

I first saw Jax mid lane which watching xPeke playing Jax mid against CLG EU at Dreamhack Winter. It worked amazingly well, so I decided to take a look at why it worked. First of all, I realized that Jax mid is in fact non viable. However, what you can do with Jax is counter pick that specific mid laner that has no AP counter (or very little) and dominate that lane. For example, xPeke played Jax mid against Karthus. He countered Karthus perfectly by Abusing Jax’s mobility. Overall, you shouldn't play Jax mid under normal circumstances; wait until the enemy picks someone mid you counter to pick him.

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Chapter 10: Jungling

Why Hunter's Machete and Five Health Potions?

The reason why I prefer to start out with this combo is:
1. Jax has no sustain, and five health pots will definitely boost his survivability.
2. The season 3 jungle is much tougher, especially with the lack of leashes, so this safe route is the best
3. Hunter's machete builds into a great item for Jax later, Wriggle's lantern.

Jungle Route

1. Start with counter strike and purchase

Step 2

Start attacking the big wolf first, initiating with a basic attack and following quickly with dodge to get longer time on dodge. The big wolf will heal you a little bit, so it is a good idea to kill him first.

Step 3

Go to blue buff Blue Buff. Jax is mana-dependent in both jungle AND lane. Have your teammate help you with blue and you should smite it when it has around 400 health.

-Use a potion here

-Pick empower as your second skill.

Step 4

Move on to the wraiths. Engage with a basic attack and immediately follow with Empower. This way you get two attacks off. If you’re health is getting low, don’t worry, just kill the bigger blue wraith and regain your health.

-Use yet another potion while fighting wraiths

Step 5

Now head to the Golem camp. Engage with a basic attack and immediately follow with Empower. This way you get two attacks off. Then follow with counterstrike. Golems should be a breeze.

-Choose empower as your third skill
-Use potion

Step 6

Now fight the red buff. Use the same tactics, and with an extra point in empower, it should go by pretty quickly.

-Use 1 more potion

Step 7

Go back to the wraith camp and finish it.

-Use the last potion

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Chapter 11: Laning

When laning as Jax, focus on farming at the start. Like all other top laners, you want to get enough gold to deal damage. Start off by picking your starting item, depending on your team and the enemy’s team. You only want to harass if they come to get a minion but not attack you. In this case, use a basic attack and immediately use Empower afterwards to deal a nice amount of damage. On your first back, pick up a ward and two Doran’s Blades, and any other stuff/potions you can carry with you. Continue to farm passively (unless you are directly countering the enemy champion, in which case you should play aggressively) until you reach level six, and you will get a major damage spike through your ultimate.

This is when you want to start being a bit more aggressive on the enemy champion, harassing them whenever you get the opportunity. To do so, attack the minions once or twice, then immediately engage on the enemy, using grandmaster’s might’s proc and immediately following up with an empower. Try to use your leap strike sparingly as that is your only escape. This will start to bring down their health bar very quickly, making them play much more passively and giving you a better opportunity to zone them out. If they try to go aggressive on your, immediately turn on counterstrike and start your own counter-attack.

If you farmed well and even got a kill or two, you will enter the mid game with a lot of damage and be a force to be reckoned with.

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Chapter 12: Teamfights

In order to pinpoint Jax's role in a teamfight, let us answer a few questions.

1. Who should be Jax's target?
2. What is Jax's build at this point?
3. What kind of enemies are Jax facing?
4. What team comp does Jax have?
5. What is the current situation in a game?

Many people simply state the role of a character, like "You should be trying to stay in the backline and focusing down their ad/ap carry." While this may be true, it is often difficult to do so, and so you must assess the situation in order to properly understand what you are to do.

Most people, as you should probably already know, suggest Jax to dive the enemy AP/AD carry, kill them, and get away. While this is true, if Jax does not have enough tankiness or damage, he might have to do other things. For example, if Jax is lacking damage, he should be building tanky, so it is instead a better idea to DISTRACT the enemy AD/AP carry, depending on whether you have MR or Armor, and jumping away at the right time, serving as a tank. If Jax is lacking tankiness, it is a better idea to perhaps take an indirect route, assassinate their carry, and attempt to leave unscathed. Now another problem emerges. What type of enemy are you facing? Do they have a lot of CC? If so, then perhaps you should be wiser than jumping into the middle of five enemies, and trying to take out their carry. Another alternative is to let your tank soak up the damage before you engage. Another question would be what is Jax's team comp. For example, if you have an Urgot on your team, there would be no need to jump into five people, and instead you should let him ultimate, then you kill their carry. Or, if they have two, kill the one who is still safe (on the enemy team) then to kill the one swapped, etc. Lastly, the situation of the game dictates what to do. If you are 3 inhibitors behind, 30 kills down, DO NOT attempt to kill their carry--you will die trying.

Final Summation
Assess the five questions above before deciding how to kill the enemy carry.

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Chapter 13: Warding

Coming Soon!

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Chapter 14.1: Jax's Enemies (Top)

Coming Soon!

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Chapter 15: Mini Dominion Guide

Coming Soon!

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Chapter 16: Closing, Final Thoughts, and Credits

Yup, and that's the end to my guide!

I hope you have enjoyed your stay here, and I wish you luck in your next game as Jax. Before I go, I would like to thank:

1. Jhoijhoi, whose "making a guide" and awesome line separators helped me significantly. Thank you!

2. My freinds, who reviewed and helped me with my guide, offering support at all times.

3. My family, who were awesome enough to let me temporarily do this guide aside from some gay **** homework.

4. And finally, all those other great guides i've read on Mobafire to give me the inspiration to do this 5 month project.

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Chapter 17: Changelog

3/3/13 - Guide Released