Jarvan IV Build Guide by SVPssa0114

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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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author SVPssa0114

Slayer of Beasts

SVPssa0114 Last updated on October 21, 2013
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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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Abit about Jarvan

At the moment Jarvan IV is in the top-3 Greatest Junglers. He can be played as an off-tank bruiser or as a full-on-tank with AD (atack damage); AS (atack speed) and alot of armor-pen. He Is an important asset to every team and can turn a situation around if played correctly. Plus he can has 3 natural cc's and you can even add more (usually i have about 5 cc's in total, no one can escape me). He can lose to stronger junglers, like Vi or Hecarim, but by ganking he can make a great difference, especially if a team member has an AoE stun.

''There is only one truth, and you will find it at the point of my lance.''
-Jarvan the IVth-

I made this guide since i saw that there is no guide for Jarvan IV that shows all of his play-styles correctly, Even the highest rated one didn't appeal to me. As I said he is a really good champ (and my 2nd favorite at that!) and i was quite sad that no guide exploited him to his full potential.
This is also my first guide so i hope you like it.
(ps: this is my first guide ever)

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Pros / Cons


  • -Has 3 cc's
  • -Naturally tanky and MANLY
  • -One of the best junglers
  • -Great ult
  • -natural escape
  • -Nobody can escape him


  • -His q+e combo is a skill-shot
  • -Not the greatest dualist
  • -Succefull Gank dependent
  • -Can be abit tricky at the begining
  • -Can be melted as a bruiser if he uses ult on the enemy team

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Tankier builds

The cool thing about Jarvan IV is that he has a lot of versatility in builds and in-game he can take every role that an off-tank has to offer, which makes him such an important aspect to any team.

Core Defensive Masteries

4x +1x +3x +3x +1x

If you want a bruiser Jarvan


If you want a tanky Jarvan


AD focused Masteries


If you want a more AD focused build, these are the masteries you should take, but beware as you may lose your engagement potential and tankiness. I recommend taking these masteries only if you have another strong initiater in your team or a lot of cc.

For jungle just redistribute your first 9 points of Defense in this way:

4x +2x +1x +1x +1x

Since you need to take less damage from creeps

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Movement Spells

I recommend this item on any Jarvan, since it Can help you get out of your Cataclysm or help you get in position to cast it, also in addition to your Q+E combo this spell can help you get some distance between you and your enemies.It is the greatest positioning tool in the league.

Except for chasing or running away this item doesn't serve a purpose on Jarvan IV, since if you cast your ult and you want to get out of it, the only way to do it is by Q+E-ing your way out, but if you get silenced, you are pretty much dead.

This item is really good for Team-players, because you can teleport to wards in bushes and flank bot or mid or top, knock em' up with your Q+E and Cataclysm on them, then you can just pick them off.

Other Spells

You all know this spell, it lets you kill fleeing targets. It is quite useful since it deals true damage. I recommend using this item when you are going really aggressive, because tanks don't really need this spell.

This spell is great for when you play more supportive-ly. You should target with it very AS reliant targets like adcs or fleeing targets, in both cases it is a very powerful tool.

Basic Jungle spell (and with reason), It is very useful early game when you are not assisted in jungle and late-game for Baron nashor .

I recommend having this spell on tankier J4 tops, since it can give you some extra survival in TF and it allows you to engage better, but it is fairly short so you need to time it just right, otherwise it's useless.

Kind of self explanatory, but J4 can also be quite the support tank in TF so yeah. Definitively last pick for me, but it may come in handy. (use it when more people are around you)

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and what i have to tell you about them

His Passive

Jarvan IV has quite the unique passive which lets him survive the jungle with ease as it helps you clear large creatures faster. It has a long cooldown when applied on a single target so i recommend maxing out the damage by hitting multiple opponents.
(check out laning and jungle chapters to learn more about this ability)

His Q and main damage dealer

Dragon Strike gives Jarvan IV Damage, Range and Poke pottential, in order to finish off his enemies. I recommend maxing this ability first, if playing in a lane, as it is quite the good harrass tool, but beware as it drains your mana fast so save it for ganking.
(check out laning and jungle chapters to learn more about this ability)

His Shield/AoE-Slow

This ability is an important part of Jarvan's combo as it can give him a shield and a slow, it is perfect for engaging. I recommend using this ability either when you land your Cataclysm or when it breaks, it can also permit you to land your Q+E combo on someone as it can provoke them to flash away, you then knock-'em-up and deny their flash.
(check out laning and jungle chapters to learn more about this ability)

His passive/active AR+AS boost

This Ability is essential for Jungle Jarvan, it gives you extra armor and atack speed, making Jarvan IV a natural off-tank. I recommend grabbing it first on lane and jungle Jarvan, and maxing it out first on jungle Jarvan. It can also be used to check bushes, deny escapes and buff your AS reliant teammates.
(check out laning and jungle chapters to learn more about this ability)

His Ult + His 3rd CC and trap

This is the 2nd Greatest Jungler's ult right after Amumu's Curse of the Sad Mummy, the only difference is that this deals physical damage to only 1 taget and opponents can escape it so it is a good idea to have forced someone to flash I recommend grabbing it as soon as you can.
(check out laning and jungle chapters to learn more about this ability)

Usually I prefer to max-out abilities on Jarvan IV on lvl 10 instead of 9 because it gives me more versatility in the game, be it in the jungle or in the lane.

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and all you need to know about them

Jungle Items

Let's get down to business

Basic Items


These are your basic jungling items that are ESSENTIAL for EVERY jungler.


This is a great item for tankier Jarvans, as it offers 500 HP and 10% CR and the Tenacity of Mercury's Treads, It really makes a change and helps alot in ganking as you can tank abit more damage, it is also quite cheap. I recommend with ease as it has saved my life loads of times.



Combined with Red-Buff this Item can pack quite a mean punch and ensure that your target doesn't get away. It is quite useful against tankier opponents as true damage ignores all armor and the 45 AD boost plus the 10% CR give you an advantage over your enemies.

Either way

No matter what you choose as your play-style, you need that extra Attack-Speed and Damage to finish off your opponents, this item gives you both, plus it gives you Lifesteal and a miniature passive like Martial Cadence only it does damage equal to 5% of their max health instead of 10%, this gives you extra potency in the jungle. But the icing on the cake is the movement speed steal, which can permit you to chase down targets in fights even faster.(also this item is anti- Hecarim just hit him right before he jumps on you)

Tanky items

This Item is great because of it's slow, It works well on jungle and on Top-lane Jarvan,but it is quite expensive to be rushed, so i only take giant's bealt and complete it later when i have the money, i usually rush it as a third item on jungle JIV because it gives you almost as much health as Warmog's Armor and some AD with a slow.

I used to play alot with Warmog's Armor, but then i found this marvelous item, it trades the extra health-regen, but it gives 70 armor, a 2 second slow which evolves into a 4 second slow late game and adds 500 HP, I recommend first grabbing Warden's Mail right after you complete your Spirit of the Ancient Golem and then grabbing Bilgewater Cutlass for some life-steal. Plus the AS slow of enemies that hit you, can help you against ad carries

This item works quite well on jarvan since it gives him more health, armor and it does 40 magic damage/per second to all nearby enemies, its range isn't too big, but it covers roughly the same zone as your Cataclysm. I would recommend this item on bruiser Jarvans for some tankiness.

This is an okay-ish item on Jarvan since it solves your mana problem plus it gives the 2nd highest amount of armor: 95, it also gives 20% CR and an AttackSpeed AoE-slow. I would pick Randuin's Omen insted of frozen heart as it has almost the same health benefits Frozen Heart and armor benefits of Frozen Mallet. It is not recommended on Jungle Jarvan.

Warmog is a must have on bruiser builds, but i still prefer Randuin's Omen or Frozen Mallet .
This item helps alot in situations when you need more health fast and cheap, because you have alot of armor but not enough health. I recommend it on more AD builds because it works great with Atma's Impaler and/or with Maw of Malmortius.

Well this item is your basic situational item: Do you have problems with the enemy's team adc?; or is it just that all your enemies are ad and have no mr or ap?; or the ocasional: "build some armor Jarvan they are melting you!"; well this item is just for you because it has gives the highest amount of armor and returns 30% of the physical damage received as magical damage.

This item is quite good for when the enemy team has alot of ap and your team is too lazy to buy mr. The extra HP and armor help alot, but i only recommend it for when you are the only tank in your team and if your supp hasn't taken one already, as the effect doesn't stack.
(contrary to what other guides have said, the passive does not stack and only gives you 30 mr 300 hp and 20 armor ,not 60 mr 600 hp and 40 armor)

Damage Orientated Items

This item is a good addition to Off-tank and AD focused Jarvans, as the CR reduction and AD boost give you an edge. Because of your abilities you can always get close and personal and reduce the armor of your enemies with this item, in order for your team to melt them down. I recommend this item instead of Last Whisper, Because in combination with your Q it reduces enemies armor by 51%!!!!, which makes them extremely squishy and if they build health you can just Martial Cadence and Blade of the Ruined King them.

This item works wonders with Warmog's Armor, Randuin's Omen, Sunfire Cape and Frozen Mallet, Because more health=More Damage. It also gives a hefty amount of armor and the critical strike is the icing on the cake. I recommend this item on AD bruisers.

This item + your Dragon Strike reduce enemies armor by 59% but only for you. I prefer buying The Black Cleaver, but if you are in a pinch and don't have enough money, this item cost 525 less gold, but it gives less AD, no health and no CR.

This is now okay-ish on Jarvan. I recommend using it against AP heavy teams, but most of the time Blade of the Ruined King is a better choice, but if you don't have enough money you can take this item as it is much cheaper. (1000 gold cheaper than Blade of the Ruined King).

This item is very important to any kind Of tankier Jarvans as it gives alot of MR and a spell shield, plus it trades health for atack damage, when you have lost 25% of you health it would have surpassed Mercurial Scimitar in atack damage.

This item is good on less tanky Jarvans because of its active that Cleanses all stuns on you, so that you can get out of a fight. it has more MR and less AD than Maw of Malmortius but it has a higher amount of MR. In the end the choice is yours as these items are quite similar.

Other Items i don't use but are still good on Jarvan

With the changes in the 3.8 Patch i actually like this item. If you want you can take it to help you clear jungles faster and give you extra tankiness. Also, DON'T FORGET TO WARD. You have Demacian Standard already so check bushes with it, instead ward some key positions in the jungle or around top and mid, since most players don't get any wards for top or mid.

Shurelya's reverie This is a good item for tanky, jungle and assassin Jarvans, since it give you the means of letting your team escape, or catching the fleeing enemies or just move into position for your ult. Plus the extra health, CR and regen are quite handy.

Zeke's Herald Not a great item on Jarvan, but if you are taking a more supportive role, this item can make a difference to your ADC's attack damage and the extra life steal can help squishier, but powerful team-mates stay in fights for a longer time.

For me this item is a meh choice for Jarvan IV, it does give you quite alot of AD and LS plus some health regen and the spread of its passive is about the size of your ult. I recommend activating it right before your Cataclysm and if you have abit of AS already build up.

This is quite a good MR item, its passive works great with Warmog's Armor and Ravenous Hydra or any health regen or LS item. The extra HP and CR are also great. I recommend using it against ap heavy teams.

This is also a good MR item, as it can block any spell cast on you and it gives alot of HP, MR and mana that solves your ability cast problem. All in all this is a good item, I recommend it when you are facing ap heavy teams and CC heavy teams, since it can block any ability cast.

This is a great, but expenssive item for almost any situation. I recommend this item on bruiser focused Jarvans since it gives alot of usefull stuff like slow, AS boost, AD, boost and a lot more.

This is a good item on bruiser focused Jarvans because of its tenacity, CR, movement speed and AS boost. I recommend using it with Ravenous Hydra for extra damage and with some extra armor or health.

I recommend Ravenous Hydra instead of this item, since The Bloodthirster only gives you 25 more AD and 3% more LS, but Ravenous Hydra gives you AoE attack and since most of the time you will be on the front lines, you should opt to do more damage to their entire team instead of just 1 person. I recommend this item on assassin Jarvans and ranged champions.

This item, as usual, gives you a lot of Critical strike chance, AD and increases critical strike damage from 200% to 250%. I recommend using this item on really AD heavy or assassin Jarvans for when you want to do a lot of damage, but i usually don't recommend it. (You are not Garen after-all, so stop screaming "Demacia!")

This is a good item for when you are being melted by the enemy team as it can save your life and give you more mr and armor. I recommend using this item for when you have health but you are still being melted by the enemy.


The Jungle Boots

Essential for most junglers, these boots work great on Jarvan as they give you a quicker way of transportation between lanes and a way to chase down fleeing opponents.

The MR Boots

These boots are great for taking ap damage and their tenacity can save your life in those nasty situations. I recommend these boots on less tanky Jarvans and when you are playing against alot of ap.

The Armor Boots

These boots give you extra armor and block 10% of enemies basic atacks. I recommend using these boots against AD focused teams and when you have a problem with enemy criters like Tryndamere or Gangplank.

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Initial Jungling

You should always start with blue and take Demacian Standard as a first ability, because of the armor and atack-speed boost. Ask for pull, you can do it yourself but you take more damage and it takes a longer time to clear Blue.
Note: If you are counter-Jungling it is better to not use smite, if your counterpart is a fast jungler.
You should now be lvl-2, I recommend taking Dragon Strike as it allows you to use your knock-up combo.

Up next are the wolves. They are essential to jarvanIV no matter if he is counter jungling or clearing his own jungle, as long as you don't want to gank quickly, they are essetial. Even when you are opting for an early gank i recommend first clearing the wolves and then proceeding forward.

I don't recommend starting with wolves as you lose some mana, your teammates can take your XP and you don't level up if you successfully clear the camp.

Lets talk about which abilities you want

The first thing you want is Demacian Standard, because of the AS and Armor which enables you to clear jungle faster and take as little damage as possible, alternatively you can take Dragon Strike for ArmPen and damage, but it does imply that if you don't want to take a lot of damage in jungle you will have to go full tanky in runes and mysteries. The reason that i do not recommend the full ad variant is that your team will have to get another tank, it might give you some advantage, but if you can't rush down the enemy team in under 30min they will begin stacking armor, rendering you obsolete.
You should for that very same reason max-out demacian standart early but you can choose to max out Dragon Strike first, i recommend (if you do the 2nd) to take as much health and sustain as you can get, since you don't want to go back every 2 seconds.


So first of all, When should you play counter? Now, Now... You need 2 requirements in order to counter someone:

1. Are they squishy or do less damage?

Basically can you take them head on or no

2. Do they have a lot of sustain?

Do they have alot of health-regen ability

So if 1 is YES and 2 is NO. then you are in luck! Only one more thing to be cautioned about is the possibility of them setting traps like Shaco's boxes or some kind of a CC that is annoying.

Most Junglers reach red about the time you have cleared the wolves and you are crossing the River, if not just don't clear the wolves, that leaves you a little before lvl3, since Lizards and Golems give you 95% of the XP required to level up.
Don't worry you still have enough time to position yourself in the bushes on the Lizard (those who let you see the Creature). Wait until the beast is lower than 500 than smite it can E+Q your way in, or if the enemy is too powerful or has back-up just E+Q your way out of there. Either way you just stole red and are now lvl3 while your counterpart is only lvl2, That is a HUGE difference in power.

You can now gank as lvl 3, having a slight advantage over your opponents or just grab your own red to ensure your counterpart doesn't receive the buff, also this puts you in lvl4, and that is a very important thing, although you just ate your 2 reds!

Always look at your mini-map it shows you which creatures have re-spawned, although with a slight delay. And think! You might be able to take their buffs right under their noses if you know what you are doing. Try to deny your counterpart any farm or buffs, and keep him dead for as long as you can :D since you are a medium duelist you should opt for 1v1 if you have, farm, damage, health and level advantage.

If you want to deny your counterpart completely of buffs, go more aggressive and take Attack damage and Attack speed items earlier, for most junglers i recommend taking the Spirit of the Ancient Golem for a health advantage. The thing about J4 is his early jungle presence and you should exploit that to the maximum by timing your jungle and making successful ganks.

Tips and Builds

What i like to do in jungle is take as much cc and movement speed as possible as early on and turn into a tank late-game, for that i take mostly defensive masteries (9-21-0), armor penetration Quintenstances, armor glyphs, magic resistence seals and 6 ArmPen marks with 3 AttSpeed marks. This gives me early damage and tankiness with Demacian Standard.

Here are some Jungle paths i use:

Remmember that you can take a sight stone in order to provide wards for top and mid and also get some health. This can also help you to counter the enemy's jungler.

General Info

J4 is Very early gank dependable

If you are off to a bad start, your team might be in serious danger if you don't take some more gold. Since i was inactive for quite some time and descended to bronze 1 (although i am in qualification for silver V at the moment) i found out that if your team is pushing lanes you can't gank, so if your team are a bunch of douschbags don't pick j4 or try to completely destroy the enemy's jungler.

It is very important to avoid wards

So for example lets say you want to gank bot but you know they have a ward on drake or somewhere there, so they will know you are coming miles away, The soution to your problem is to go above drake into the enemy's jungle and then going descending into their bushes,

(Note: it is a general misconseption to then go into the river, DON'T DO THAT, wait for the minion wave to pass and then go down in the direction of the tower, but don't let it hit you )

And pop up behind them and E+Q your way into their rears.
Always think smart and out manouver your opponents, that is the greatest virtue of J4.

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Note for the Haters :P, please read before posting comments

I know very well that I should not post incomplete guides, but i don't have the time to finish it in 1 day, heck i started this guide at the beginning of summer.

For those who see some outdated info Runic Bulwark, i know and i am going to fix them very soon like a day since i publish it.

I do not play alot of j4 top, although i know how to play him, but if you have tips please tell me, in order to put up a good top lane guide.

I need to rework some stuff and this weekend i will be dedicating at-least 2 hours to polish my work, so if you see something wrong, please tell me i gladly accept feedback and i will respond as soon as i can.

And again please don't post comments saying its incomplete, i know it is but i don't know if i will ever have time to finish it, although i am fairly certain next week i will be releasing the final version of this guide.

And i am not posting this guide for nothing, i am posting it to see how well it works and what people think of it, so i can make it more complete, i just need a bit of inspiration to complete it.

Thank you for reading this and thank you for understanding.

Oh and one day i will bring myself to do the runes, its just tedious since they are kind of apparent and require a bit of my time that i need to complete more important stuff.