Jax Build Guide by PotatoWorship
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.
Top Lane Jax
Not Updated For Current Season
My Jax Experience
Hello, and welcome to my Jax guide! I've played quite a lot of Jax, and he feels stronger than ever in the start of Season 4. He dominates every champ in a 1v1 fight, and there's nothing you can do to stop a fed Jax. People tend to underestimate his dueling potential and it's not difficult to snowball out of control as Jax. I hope that my guide can help you get better or get into the Grandmaster.
I originally picked up Jax because I had decided that I was good at dueling people 1v1, but did not own many champs that did so in a masterful way. Jax does. He is my favorite duelist, and one of the best ones in the game. His dodge, stun, and empowered W's make for excellent trading and 1v1 potential. He's not too hard to pick up, but takes some time to master.
Wow, it's been a while since I updated this guide. I last touched it right when Feral Flare came out, and since then people have really realized that Jax is OP. I haven't gotten to play him in ranked hardly at all for about a month or two now, so I'm doing the best I can to update this guide and keep it relevant.
Pros / Cons
-can delete squishies lategame
-does tons of damage while being tanky
-few hard counters
-can gank well
-excellent lategame presence
-autoattack based (screw their silences)
-autoattack based (blinds can shut down)
-no innate sustain
-can be unforgiving if you fall too far behind
Blade of the Ruined King for a Ravenous Hydra.
Teemo). Good all-around runes for use on lots of champs.
Teemo, Ryze, or Rumble, you may want to roll with Greater Seal of Scaling Health instead. Armor isn't worth much against them, so you will just want the health for more survivability. Keep the armor against the likes of Renekton or Riven.
Bilgewater Cutlass for your dueling and lane sustain. An alternative would be Flat AD Quints or MS Quints, but in most cases life-steal is a good pal of yours.
Good Summoner Spells
Flash is a gap-closer, gap-extender, wall-jumper, play-maker... you get it.
Ignite is great for extreme healers (Mundo) or finishing someone off.
Ghost lets you chase people down for that juicy kill gold.
Exhaust stops enemies in their tracks, and helps you catch the fast ones.
Smite is the super epic awesome helpful jungling spell. Jax can actually jungle pretty effectively, and I'll talk about that later. Take if jungling.
Okay Summoner Spells
Teleport lets you splitpush or join your team at a whim. This would be in the "Good Summoner Spells" section, but due to its cooldown, it's not incredible.
Heal got buffed! It's really pretty nice now, especially in tough matchups. However, I would still recommend taking Flash, Ignite, or Teleport instead.
Cleanse can help against teams with hard CC, so nothing can stop you from going in deep.
Bad Summoner Spells
Jax has mana issues early, but not THAT bad. Don't get this.
If anyone on your team is going to take this spell, it should be the support. You need spells to help you fight.
Please don't take revive. It's a noob trap for people who die a lot. Don't die a lot. Don't take revive.
Barrier is like a worse heal that doesn't have a built-in minighost, is only temporary, and doesn't remove grievous wounds. Why take it?
Leap Strike Range: 700 Cost: 65 Mana Cooldown:10/9/8/7/6
Description: Jax leaps towards an enemy and strikes them with his weapon.
Effect: Jax leaps to a target unit, dealing 70/110/150/190/230(+1.0 Bonus AD)(+0.6 AP) physical damage if if is an enemy.
Empower Range:0 Cost:30 Mana Cooldown:7/6/5/4/3
Description: Jax charges his weapon with energy, causing his next attack to deal additional damage.
Effect: Jax charges his weapon with energy, causing his next basic attack or Leap Strike to deal an additional 40/75/110/145/180(+0.6 AP) magic damage.
Counter Strike Cost: 70/75/80/85/90 Mana Cooldown:18/16/14/12/10
Description: Jax's combat prowess allows him to dodge all incoming attacks for a short duration and then quickly counterattack, stunning all surrounding enemies.
Effect: Jax enters a defensive stance for up to 2 seconds, dodging all basic attacks and taking 25% less damage from AoE abilities. After 2 seconds or if reactivated again, Jax stuns surrounding enemies for 1 second and deals 50/75/100/125/150(+0.5 Bonus AD) physical damage to them. Counter Strike deals 20% more damage for each attack Jax dodged (Max: 100% increased damage).
Grandmaster's Might Range:0 Cost:100 Mana Cooldown:80 seconds
Description: Every third consecutive basic attack deals additional magic damage. Additionally, Jax can activate this ability to strengthen his resolve, increasing his Armor and Magic Resist for a short duration.
Effect: Passive: Every third consecutive strike, Jax deals 100/160/220(+0.7 AP) additional magic damage. Active: Jax strengthens his resolve, granting him bonus Armor and Magic Resist for 8 seconds. Armor bonus is equal to 25/35/45(+0.3 Bonus AD). Magic Resist bonus is equal to 25/35/45(+0.2 AP).
Relentless Assault Passive Ability
Description: Jax's consecutive basic attacks continuously increase his Attack Speed.
Lane phase is the earliest phase of the game. This is also where Jax is his weakest. I didn't say he was weak, but it is his least-strong point of the game. After level 3, you will have your full combo and be able to trade with your lane opponent. I suggest that you mostly just try to autoattack harass, since your mana will go down the toilet if you use your full combo every time it's up. On your first couple of backs, you'll want to pick up the Bilgewater Cutlass for lane sustain and the chasing active. I immediately build Sheen afterwards for the damage increase and mana it gives. You will always want to build the Trinity Force next, because it creates a HUGE power spike for Jax. The Blade of the Ruined King that comes afterwards only helps Jax more. Once you have these two items built, your lane opponent will severely struggle to fight you, let alone kill you. This is when you want to start roaming, because you will be able to gank mid easily if they're overextending. If you manage to take your opponent's tower, ward the enemy jungle. The jungler may be vulnerable if you are in the area, and you can steal their buffs or camps.
Mid game is where you become a huge pain in the arse. Jax is a beast at splitpushing, and he's also an incredible duelist, so I see many Jax players attempt to roam, or just fight their top lane opponent to death. There's one thing you need to consider in the midgame: are you applying pressure somewhere? Are you taking jungle camps, towers, or at the very least farming top? Anything you can do to try to gain an advantage forces the enemy team to react to you, which is true on any champion. HOWEVER, it is a far larger task to react to Jax than most champions. If you send one person top, it is very likely that Jax will just kill them, get farther ahead, and pressure more. If you send too many people top, you have shut down Jax but risk letting the rest of his team take objectives elsewhere. This is why Jax is such a scary champion, because he can draw at least 2 people to stop him which gives his team an easy 4v3. However, if your team really needs you to carry super hard, going top and dying to 4-man ganks repeatedly is not the way to do it. Apply pressure in a smart way; buy wards, watch the map, rotate objectives. Always be watching for a good aggressive Teleport. Your build should be around Trinity Force, Blade of the Ruined King, and perhaps a Randuin's Omen, Sunfire Cape, or Spirit Visage.
IMPORTANT THING TO KNOW WHEN SPLITPUSHING:
Make 110% sure your team knows not to play aggressive when you are splitpushing. Not that they shouldn't take any easy picks they get, but until someone shows to stop you, they must remember they are in a 4v5 and will likely not win it unless the enemy misplays. All they have to do is keep the enemy off their tower while you win the game for them. If the enemy tries to recall, they should not allow that to happen.
Late Game is where it comes down to your own game instinct. Look at the enemy team, and look at yours. Figure out who you can kill and who can kill you. Think of different ways to apply pressure with or without your team, and communicate often. You should have almost 6 items at this point, and be very much a monster. This is when the enemy team has to send at least 3 people to stop you, but this is not something they can really afford to do. Keep applying pressure, and take any chances to get off a clean 1v1 with anyone on the enemy team. As long as you don't get baited or countered hard, you should win due to your strong duelist kit. Watch for opportunities to backdoor the enemy team. They will come up to stop you almost every time, but the only time that matters is the one time they don't notice or only one person notices. I've played too many games as Udyr, Jax, or Nasus where the enemy just does not ward their jungle and groups as 5 mid and allows you to get easy inhib towers or inhibs while your team holds them off mid. Look for these opportunities because Jax has O-K teamfights, assuming the enemy team knows how to peel and kite.
I DO NOT RECCOMMEND Feral Flare ON JAX. HERE IS WHY.
Jax has a great jungle presence if you gank often early. He does not need the extra attack speed from flare, and he should not be farming enough for it to be worth it.
Teams Jax Works With
If you watch my poor-quality pentakill replay, you may have noticed that I was starting in on a Phantom Dancer. It probably wasn't a great choice for Jax, but you get the idea. If you're super fed and nobody can stop you, you don't need to be tankier. Here are some good third or fourth damage items.
Items You Cannot Switch Out
THESE ARE CORE. You cannot skip out on the Randuin's Omen, because its active as well as boost to your tankiness makes it incredibly difficult to kill you or run away from you. The Trinity Force is simply great on Jax. The Spellblade passive, the Crit Chance, the Attack Speed, the movespeed... everything about it is awesome. "Now PotatoWorship, couldn't that be said about any champ?" Well, if you are seriously questioning my lowlife advice about the Trinity Force, then look at almost any top Jax guide written by a professional. Almost every one has the Trinity Force. It's just such a huge power spike for Jax.
This is my first guide, so if there was something you didn't like or liked a lot, please leave a comment telling me why. Like so many others, Jhoijhoi's guide to making a guide was a huge help to me. I recommend it to anyone looking to make a guide. I hope that people have success with Jax, and if you have any great replays, feel free to send them! If I deem them worthy, I'll link them somewhere.
I'm definitely not the greatest Jax player out there. If you disagree with something I say in this guide, you can take it with a grain of salt. I'm just speaking from what I've seen work and what I've had work. I wish you luck, and I'll see you around on the Fields of Justice!
Feb. 7: Guide started, crash course in BBCode
Feb. 8: After several hours, guide is basically finished
Feb. 8: Added jungle section w/map
Feb. 9: Added two more Additional Items and got more in-depth on runes; cleaned up sloppy mistakes (no boots, what a nub i am)
Feb. 12: 1k views
Feb. 13: Added "items you cannot switch out" below optional items so people don't skip out on things I consider core on
Apr. 28: Finally getting up to date on these rune changes, and I will be adding in the legendary Feral Flare info on my next update. It'll probably replace Ravenous Hydra in the jungle section and you'll just build like lane Jax.
I'm always up for suggestions on changes!
Sorry about the quality of this one, will work on it in the future. This is my pentakill.
Got any good replays? PM me and I might just post them here!