Build Guide by AvariaDemon
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.
Jax is without a doubt my favorite champion of all the champs in league of legends. not just in the game either, i love his personality, i love his voice, and i even love everything i ever have seen about him. though personally i don't see him as ridiculously OP (that slot is saved for tryndamere) he can easily carry a team. he may not be the best at any one particular area, but he is the best in the most areas. from a fighter to an assassin, from a tank to a glass cannon jax can be it all. so the question comes down to this: who wants a piece of the champ?
2/25/2011: okay I'm going to be editing the item area (and some of the point of game areas to), because i think i found a better way to run jax, more explanation in the item section
also i changed the masteries up a bit and am trying out 9/21/0 instead of 0/21/9, the reason its not in the guide atm is because i want to give it a quick test before i actually do so
3/3/2011: i decided to change the masteries slightly, the masteries i have up now are 1/21/8 and the 21 is a bit different, strength of spirit might be a bit useless here so i gave him a bit more health, if you think otherwise please tell me i would love to know
3/3/2011: added recommended replacement items, added items to avoid. sleight change to mastery trees.
3/25/2011: okay i updated a few of the parts will put a little more effort in later when i get the chance, added images
4/17/2011: a bit more of an overhaul to the entire guide, I'm changing the starting item and the order of the items, I'm also changing masteries to 1/14/15 for extra movement speed. glyph runes changed for a more Magic resist.
also quick note to those who don't know, and this is something i only recently found out, but jax actually has scaling magic resist so his base magic resist at 18 is 52.5. this was a pleasant surprise to me, making him a lot more resistant to mages (that usually can kill him really easy)
and one more note, despite what my last comment stated, Atma's impaler actually does add to your passive, if anyone tells you otherwise or you don't know who to believe test it in a custom game, i did.
i start with this because it's so obvious, out of all the runes this is probably the only one that has no options. Jax needs dodge chance for Relentless Assault to make the MR better and of course Counter Strike.
i know you can get dodge chance in the form of quintessences but i just prefer the movement speed, its just one of those areas that you almost never can have enough of, and though an extra 4.5 percent dodge chance would be useful i prefer the movement speed, this is entirely up to you if you want the dodge chance go for it. now I'm not entirely sure how the dodge chance scales, according to LoL main site, its not additive, its multiplicative. if i did it correctly, you should have a 65% chance of being hit or 35% chance of dodge. with the Greater Quintessence of Evasion you have about 38% chance its not bad but again its a matter of preference and its up to you.
greater mark of desolation
marks are a bit different you have a bit of options here. i personally prefer greater mark of desolation with about 15 extra armor pen. but if your trying for a bit more AP focus Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. the last possible option would be some extra MR in the form of Greater Mark of Scaling Magic Resist.
okay now i prefer the Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist over everything else here, more MR means more survivability nuff said, and why the per level? cause the flat glyphs suck, nuff said. okay to be honest they are not to bad, but honestly what would you rather have a bit more MR early game or over all better MR, as far as I'm concerned per level helps late game a lot. again you can decide to go for the offensive route in the form of Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power for extra AP. lastly you could get some cool down reduction, for whatever reason you might want to, if so go for Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
in the defense tree you want to at least get Nimbleness i like to get three into both Resistance and Hardiness as well i also like to get 3 into Strength of Spirit for a bit of extra health regen. i get one into cripple because i usually take exhaust. then the rest goes into utility for 3% extra speed and 5% extra exp. remember to get good hands over perseverance because perseverance dose not give you enough health regen/mana regen. in order to get 1 extra health per 5 seconds you have to have 25. if you don't take ghost or exhaust as your summoner spells then don't put a point into them.
(OR) 4 (wait about 10 15 seconds after minion spawn to get your fourth pot)
Example final build:
(the reason the gunblade is in second spot is because you want to move it to a number that is easier to hit i always move it to number 2 but if you want it on number 1 that's good to. REMEMBER TO USE IT!)
alright now i would like to take a few seconds to talk about something that changed in my build. you see for a little bit i had my build start with boots and pots and i no longer do. this change was made because of one commenter pointing out that it is a waste of money to buy a doran's shield. so i tried boots, and i liked it. the extra movement speed you get early game is excellent and pots keep you in lane for a while. however after a few bad games and a few test runs here and there i realized something. first off if you get 4 pots your still technically wasting 140 gold on the pots verses 238 gold on the shield. second off WHO CARES ABOUT THE GOLD YOUR WASTING? third off, and this is most important, the amount of survivability that you get with the shield verses without it is way better. pots only last a little while depending on how reckless you are. they wont last forever, the shield on the other hand will last you till your ready to sell it, which would be around when you get your last item. so your getting that health, health regen and even armor for the majority of the game. if you buy this item most of your games will end before you sell it. all in all this is why the shield is in the example build up top while the boots are just a second possibility. the shield just allows you to lane longer.
okay, now that we have that out of the way, here comes the fun part. item order is one of the most important things here. so obviously you start with the Doran's Shield this gives you great survivability early game. i like to stay in lane for a while. try to save up enough for Boots of Speed and a Bilgewater Cutlass. you want that slow literally asap, you have no idea how much that slow helps me early game. it has a short range but you have a leap strike so it all evens out. after you save enough go back for your Ninja Tabi.
after you get your Ninja Tabi start saving up for the Guinsoo's Rageblade, you don't have to get it all at once but i suggest to get the Pickaxe if your not going to finish it, making the final product a bit cheaper. Guinsoo's Rageblade is a great early/mid game item for jax that works really well with your ulti.
your next up is your Hextech Gunblade. once you get that, it makes your job a LOT easier.
now get a Sheen, then get a Zeal after this its just a matter of saving for your Trinity Force (1615). ok stop, these four items you have right now? that, is basically all you need. right at this point you dish out more then enough damage to at least kill some squishies in a couple of hits, you really don't need more damage, not saying you cant get more, but by this point you literally could get anything as your last two items and it wouldn't matter much. that's not to say your invincible just that your really strong.
so the question is what do you want for your last two items. seriously you could go for almost anything a Rylai's Crystal Scepter, perhaps Sword of the Occult whatever floats your boat. so what do i suggest? well by this point you should be sporting about 3k health so my suggestion should be obvious (even though you saw it coming) Atma's Impaler, it will be giving you about 60 extra attack damage, plus 45 armor. the 60 damage will in turn give you 180 health which will give you about 3-4 extra damage (which will give you about 12 extra health, which will give you about .2 extra damage <,< you get the picture)
after that you have your choice between health and MR if you want to go health go for a Rylai's Crystal Scepter it will give you about 13 extra AD. but i think it would probably be better to go for magic resist, anything is worthwhile but i personally think that Force of Nature would help out the most. best MR, health regen, and movement speed.
Recommended replacement items
so lets say your on your last item but you don't think you really need that magic resist item, what could you possibly get to really concrete your dominance over everyone. Rylai's Crystal Scepter, with 500 base health, 80 AP (extra 160 health), and a nice little slowing ability. or you could get Rod of Ages, with this you can get most of that save for the slowing ability so it can work as well.
this one is really obvious, if your opponents team is stacking health then Madred's Bloodrazor is for you. do be aware that this item costs A LOT, only get it if you think you REALLY NEED IT. don't get this item lightly. you should probably replace the atma's with this
this is one of those REALLY situational items. but i have to say DON'T FORGET ABOUT IT, this item, when the time asks for it, is an amazing item at the very least for its active. lets say you are not using ignite, as i usually don't, but your going against a swain or worse yet a dr. mundo. these characters are ridiculous, they will tear through your team with barely a scratch on them. but in comes Executioner's Calling! with its active you get the 50% reduced healing for 8 SECONDS! that is more then enough time to kill them i cannot stress how useful this ability is against these characters. it renders their ulties (both mundo and swain) almost useless (in healing regards) BUT its only useful against characters that have heavy healing DO NOT GET THIS ITEM if they don't have a champion that relies heavily on healing.
anti armor items ( )
okay your going against heavy armor and you just don't think your doing enough damage to them. so you need some armor pen (or armor reduction) this is where one of these two items comes into play. honestly i would go with the Last Whisper, it does not give as much AD but it does give 40% armor penetration (better then reduction in most cases) and it is a LOT cheaper.
this item has it all. it is like the Swiss army knife of ad items. ad? got it, armor pen? got that to critical strike and CDR? why not. heck it even has attack speed boost and movement speed boost in its ability, its like a Trinity Force overall a great item. do remember if you choose to get this get the avarice blade early game lets say you buy it by 10 minutes and you don't use it till about 35 by that time it will have payed for it self. so if this item is so awesome why isn't it in the main build? well it was actually, but the thing is its a lot like the Trinity Force, as in it has everything but it has very little amounts of everything 30 AD is weak, 20 armor pen, 15 crit chance, the only things that are substantial are the CDR (which isn't necessary) and the ability (which isn't permanent). its a great item but do take it with a grain of salt, by the time you get to this item you really wont need it.
high damage ( )
okay so you don't think this build has enough raw damage, Trinity Force, hexteck gunblade, give me something that hits REALLY HARD! well here are the items for you, The Bloodthirster and/or Sword of the Occult. personally I'd go with Sword of the Occult, i never REALLY liked the B. F. Sword and all of its creations unless they were really necessary, and The Bloodthirster is not necessary here. the Sword of the Occult on the other hand is a very powerful item, not only is it cheap it has the chance of giving you 110 AD that's an additional 330 health and 15% movement speed. only get it if you really think you can handle it.
magic resist offensive ( )
these are three great replacements for the Force of Nature, first up you have Hexdrinker the ad characters magic resist item, with 35 extra AD (105 extra health) 30 MR and a decent ability you really couldn't go wrong. next up we have Wit's End it does not give you AD so it wont increase your health, but it dose give you attack speed AND a damaging passive plus 30 MR. lastly we have Abyssal Scepter lets say those other items just didn't give you enough MR well here's 57 go knock yourself out. in addition to the MR it also lowers enemies MR by 20 and 70 ap (140 health).
magic resist defensive ( )
if you don't think the Force of Nature gives you enough then Banshee's Veil is a great alternative, not only does it give a good amount of MR but it gives health, mana for extra health regen, and a decent ability. Quicksilver Sash, this is a HEAVILY UNDER RATED ITEM, and for bad reason to because it has one of the BEST MR in the game and it only costs 1440! plus its ability can actually get you out of jams similar to banshee's veil honestly its a great item. if you don't want to go Banshee's Veil you should consider the Quicksilver Sash its an amazing item and ridiculously cheap.
Items to avoid
health based items (ex:
the main reason i put this on avoid is you really don't need JUST health based items. the reason one might want to get these is because of Atma's Impaler. the exception to this rule would be something like Rylai's Crystal Scepter because it gives you a LOT more then just health. Warmog's Armor is a BIG no no, think about it your gaining 1370 health from it (at max) the only argument FOR Warmog's Armor is Atma's Impalers passive, but your only gaining 27 AD remember your paying 3000 gold for 27 ad... yeah kinda pointless. the one that's a little more understandable is Frozen Mallet, it actually gives you 20 AD plus the health must be a LOT right? wrong, with the health your only getting about 35 ad that is nothing mind you this item costs 3200. again its not a worthless item and if you MUST HAVE HEALTH id still suggest to go for a Rylai's Crystal Scepter over this, but its still an option and i wouldn't think down upon you if you decided to try it, i still say Frozen Mallet is not worth the price even with the slow.
though to be honest now that i think about it i would like to give this item a bit of a test run, with 725 base mana plus 250 (from Trinity Force) and a bit of mana from this item and you could look at having almost 2000 mana... that's about 60 AD. the only problem? the length you'd have to go to in order to get it around that point. not only would you have to get an early Tear of the Goddess to utilize its ability, putting a wrench in the works, but even then its possible you wont get that much mana. jax's most spam-able ability is empower and i just don't think you will get a lot of mana with just that and a few other activations. still i would not mind hearing if its worthwhile or not so go ahead and give it a single chance, i know I'm going to give it a shot just to see how it works out.
Phantom Dancer used to be a staple on jax, because of the dodge chance. now that that was changed there's barely any reason to get this item for him. it gives movement, attack speed and crit hit. though they are all nice in their own right none of it is VERY necessary. it is a very unnecessary item and there isn't much more to say about it then that.
random attack speed items (ex: )
YOU DON'T NEED A LOT OF ATTACK SPEED! i cannot stress this enough, the 30% you get from Trinity Force and the ability on the Guinsoo's Rageblade are ENOUGH any more would just be a waist of item slot, nuff said.
heavy ap items ( )
if you were going for an AP build? then yes these would be great considerations for your character. but since your not DON'T GET THEM. why? why would you need these items, the only reason you should get Mejai's Soulstealer on a hybrid jax is if your going bravery.
did you know that if you have a Lich Bane and a Trinity Force you only get one of the two actives? cause i didn't until i tested it in a custom game. moral of this story? only get lich bane if your going ap jax otherwise go for trinity.
i like both of these spells for their duel uses. on the one hand Ghost is often used as a defensive spell while Exhaust is used as an offencive. they can be combined for effective chasing or effective excaping. i think exhaust is more important here because jax has low CC especially early game.
other posible spells:
Ignite is a great spell to get, its great early game and can even gurantee a kill. plus the prevention of heal is invaluable especially against certain problematic characters. you can replace either one with this but i often see people putting on Ignite and Exhaust which is a pretty good idea for early game kills.
Flash is an iffy one its ok but its far from my favorite on jax. if you find you need to be able to get in and out of situations quick this spell is great for you you'll probably want to replace Ghost with this one.
Teleport is another useful one but we're starting to get into the ones that i suggest moreso against. Teleport is quite useful but honestly you can live with out it, if you really need position control or you really like backdooring this is a decent summoner spell. but honestly every one of the summoner spells said up to this point would probably be a better choice.
Cleanse has great uses it can easly make you able to get out of sticky situations, though you probably dont need it. if you love it that much try it out but im pretty sure you can live without it
i would like to start to say that you should probably pick a side lane. jax CAN mid but its usually not a good idea. unless your opponent is worse at harassing then you are. that's not to say that Jax is good or bad at harassing early game, he actually has a pretty good harass but there are betters at harassing then him. the characters with the best harass usually go mid and they can often out harass you. however if you want to go mid and/or know a good strategy for going mid then im not stopping you. i never go mid cause i don't trust my ability to do so.
anyhow the laning phase is the hardest phase for jax, you have a decent harass with your Leap Strike/ Empower combo but don't be reckless. Leap Strike is a great ability but it has one big problem, it closes the gap. usually this is great and often it helps, but early game putting yourself next to someone can end up getting you killed. be smart about your combo. harass someone if you think you can get in and out with minimal damage.
diving for a kill is another thing, don't do it unless you KNOW your going to get the kill. diving is not entirely worth it, even when you can get the kill. if you die in the process of getting the kill that evens the score, and even that's not to good.
your main goal during this phase is to farm as much as you can and NOT DIE. the more you die the less chance you have to be good.
alright now exactly when you transfer from laning to ganking is up to you. your not going to be as much of a prick as evelynn but your movement speed should be able to get you in and out of each lane easily. remember to be patient, you have to be an opportunist, that is the way of the assassin. to be a good assassin you have to be able to jump at the right time, in this case that's a bit more literal.
when ganking someone you need to be patient like i said opportunity is your best friend when being an assassin. wait in near by bushes come up from behind them be where they wont expect you to be.
one thing to note however, do not initiate a team fight. even after becoming tanky, you still need to be wary of starting fights with people who outnumber you. if you see a squishy all by his lonesome, make sure you give him a good lesson by jumping him. the jungle is your friend obviously make it's acquaintance often and go through bushes.
do be aware of opposing problem champs such as teemo, they can make you a useless assassin. just understand that if theres a stealthed person or worse yet a teemo on the opposing team being an assassin wont work as well.
i can only hope that by this point you will have at least your core build. by this point your team should be moving around as a team. team fights abound, ganks handed out on a regular basis. if you actually make it to this point congratulations, but jax does have a few problems with team fights.
initiation, you shouldn't do it. jax often gets focused in team fights and no matter how tanky or squishy you are your probably going to die. if they focus you, especially if you don't have your tanky items by this point. even with decent armor and magic resist your still going to die quickly if they focus you. a good idea here is to kind of Leap Strike in hit a few times maybe and run out. by 18 your Leap Strike and Empower have 5 second cool downs, you should have it up pretty soon. the best part about this, is if they are focusing you when you back off a bit they fallow and get focused themselves. also remember to try to time your ultimate right, the less magic damage you take the better.
if all else fails jax can be a pretty substantial back door champion as well. if you know how to he's pretty tanky has fast attack speed and does a lot of damage. try pushing a lane, but be careful you'll need to run at the first sign of resistance.
that concludes my guide to jax. i hope it is informative and gives you inspiration to use the character.
on a side note i do intend on updating this guide, but most of the updates will only happen when something changes. if the change is drastic enough i will have to change my guide in response. we can only hope for a buff on jax asap, but untill that point i will stand by my guide.
thank you for reading