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Jax Build Guide by PH45

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League of Legends Build Guide Author PH45

[8.14] PH45's in-depth guide to Jax, the Grandmaster at arms

PH45 Last updated on July 18, 2018
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Team 1

Cheat Sheet
Previous Champion Build Next Champion Build

Top Lane

Jax Build

LoL Path: Precision
LoL Rune: Conqueror
LoL Rune: Triumph
LoL Rune: Legend: Alacrity
Legend: Alacrity
LoL Rune: Coup de Grace
Coup de Grace

LoL Path: Sorcery
LoL Rune: Celerity
LoL Rune: Scorch

+9% attack speed and +10 ability power or +6 attack damage, adaptive

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Top Lane
Ranked #39 in
Top Lane
Win 50%
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Threats to Jax with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Cho'Gath He should not stand a chance in lane against you since he's early game is really weak. Dodge his Q and just trade with E. If you don't have E up don't go close to him as his reworked E can really hurt. Later on he get's tanky but if you managed to beat him in lane he shouldn't be an issue later on.
Volibear Shouldn't be too big of an issue. Your E blocks his Q so always when he runs at you just E to cancel it. Careful though as his W deals quite a lot of damage when you are low HP. Bork is good against him since Volibears tend to get a lot of HP.
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Information about the author as well as Jax

Hello, I'm PH45, and this is my Jax Guide.

My real name is Patrik, but you can call me either way. I am a long time League of Legends player (started back in Season 1). I picked up Jax in season 4 and have been playing him ever since as my champion to go as far as ranked goes. I mainly play him in the top lane but I occasionally play him jungle if I get my secondary role. I was D5 in Season 7 and am currently sitting at D5. Mastery points I have about 970k on him when adding up all of my accounts, on my main about 460k, so I would say I have mastered him quite well.

My OP.GG for anyone interested

I also got multiple other accounts but right now I mainly play on my main.

Check out my YouTube channel where I occasionally post League related videos!

Now on to Jax. Jax is a melee fighter who has one of the best late games amongst all champions in League. Jax's most weak point is laning phase. He has hard time against several champions like Jayce, Kennen and Pantheon. If you can get past that his late game is really good. Good thing about Jax is he is also very flexible as far as his build goes. I have a pretty routine build on him that I build almost every game but he can be made to work with a lot of different builds and you shouldn't really have a hard time itemizing him.

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I might occasionally stream some games, you can find me here on!

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Update list

19.4.2017 - Thank you everyone for the 1000 views on the guide! I couldn't expect this to get this much views at all! I will be sure to update this regularly. :)

16.5.2017 - Updated the item section a bit.

2.7.2017 - Added a new section ''Some Jax tricks''

9.7.2017 - Edited the core build, also updated the rune setup. Almost 140k views!

24.7.2017 - Added a new clip into videos section! Also updated core build.

2.8.2017 - Updated some areas a bit.

8.8.2017 - Updated Pantheon matchup a bit, also starting items descriptions.

24.8.2017 - Added Ornn matchup

26.8.2017 - Updated masteries section

4.9.2017 - Updated Core build, edited masteries

22.9.2017 - Updated a couple matchups

25.9.2017 - Updated Singed Matchup

26.9.2017 - Added a new gameplay clip

30.9.2017 - Updated multiple matchups and also added a couple new ones

2.10.2017 - Added Gargoyle Stoneplate to build and item sections

17.10.2017 - Updated Sterak's Gage

25.10.2017 - Cleaned up some parts of the guide a bit

29.10.2017 - Added a new gameplay clip

1.11.2017 - Updated small areas around the guide + Added Kayle matchup.

8.11.2017 - Updated to Runes Reforged and added a runes section.

9.11.2017 - Updated the runes section a bit.

12.11.2017 - Updated some matchups.

19.11.2017 - Updated build order in 2 builds.

27.11.2017 - Updated runes, added gifs to abilitys.

1.12.2017 - Updated fav build.

7.1.2018 - Cleaned some stuff up. Also updated secondary runes.

19.1.2018 - Updated fav build, also edited some little things.

17.2.2018 - Added a new build, also removed the splitpush build.

3.3.2018 - Added rune section about Bone Plating

31.3.2018 - 1 million views! Thanks everyone for viewing this guide! Will do my best to keep it updated!

8.4.2018 - Updated runes.

19.4.2018 - Updated Irelia matchup

15.6.2018 - Fixed an code error on the introduction section.

27.6.2018 - Updated the Aatrox matchup.

2.7.2018 - Updated small things around the guide.

9.7.2018 - Added a matchups section

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Summoner spells

Flash: Pretty normally taken summoner spell. Some like Ghost but I much more prefer Flash for capability of getting over walls or quickly getting in range with Leap Strike.

Ignite: Good for lanes you want to go aggressive on. Can easily win you the game if you put the enemy laner enough far behind. It is also extremely good against champions with a lot of healing like Dr. Mundo, Vladimir, Zac and even Aatrox.

Teleport: My preferred second summoner spell. Now the cooldown was nerfed to 6 minutes so it can be a bit harsh to take tp now but I think it's still the best second summoner for Jax Most of the time it enables you to splitpush and teleport to teamfights if you aren't near the fight when it breaks out. It can also help you in tough matchups where you have to back a lot early.

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Pros and Cons


+ Excellent duelist
+ Can fight almost anyone late game
+ Extremely strong late game
+ Great splitpusher
+ Has a built-in escape with ward + Q
+ Has an auto-attack reset
+ Gets naturally tanky in fights when using R as it gives you a good amount of resists

Jax is a very strong fighter once he picks up a couple items, and in late game he can be a monster in the right hands.

- Can be shut down with CC
- Hard to get back in the game if behind
- Requires matchup knowledge
- Has some difficult matchups
- Can sometimes struggle with teamfights

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So as we all know Riot introduced Runes Reforged last year in the Pre-Season. Overall it is a smoother system than the previous as you don't have to spend loads of IP to get Runes and so on.

As the keystone of choice I have picked Conqueror, other choice is Press the Attack. Conqueror is a great rune choice for Jax. It gives you more strength in lane for fighting and is a great choice if you want to do split pushing as it allows you to duel people more easily. If you are planning on grouping more then Press the Attack is a great choice as well but overall I think Conqueror is the better keystone right now.

Press the Attack sort of replaces the previous best keystone for Jax which was Fervor of Battle . It gives you more damage towards the target you have attacked with 3 consecutive basic attacks and it also increases damage to them from all sources for 6 seconds. Jax can pretty reliably proc Press the Attack and gets great benefit from using it so that's why I think it's the best keystone for him.

Next one on the list is Triumph. It replaced Dangerous Game and can save you in a clutch situation or just grant you some HP back in a intense teamfight.

Next are the Legend tier runes, from which I have picked either Legend: Alacrity or Legend: Tenacity. This choice you should alter depending on your match. If your opponents have a lot of CC or lockdown you are afraid of pickup the tenacity one. If you aren't afraid of that then you can take the Alacrity one and gain permanent attack speed with it, which we know Jax benefits from pretty well.

Lastly from the Precision tree we have Coup de Grace. I feel this will get most reliable use when you are playing Jax. Squishy targets melt faster and when you get tanks to lower HP they start melting as well. If your opponents have many targets who you know will build more HP than you then Cut Down might be a solid choice as well.

For the second tree, I have used Celerity and Scorch, as they feel pretty solid especially on lanes I want to go aggressive early on. The bit of extra damage helps with early trading and finishing off kills, which help you snowball and so on.

If you want to go defensive runes then take the Resolve tree. For the first rune I would probably take either Conditioning, as it gives you extra armor and MR after 10 minutes,

For the second rune one choice is Bone Plating. It's a new addition and it helps you in lane with your trades. After it procs it reduces the damage your opponents next 3 attacks/abilities deal to you by 20-50 depending on your level (works only for 1 enemy at a time).

Unflinching sort of feels niche to me, but if you manage to do good Teleport ganks then this will help if the person you are ganking has slowing abilitys and so on or if you Flash into the opponents in teamfights this rune will enchance your ability to stick to them.

Other choice for the primary rune tree is to take Inspiration and grab Kleptomancy. It has been a strong keystone for a while now and Jax can pretty easily proc it in lane with his Empower or Leap Strike. It helps those lanes where you need to scale faster while you won't have the chance to kill your opponent that often (vs tanks etc). After that you take Perfect Timing, Future's Market and lastly Cosmic Insight. I most of the time still like to run Press the Attack though but occasionally I take this.

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Ability Explanation

  • Relentless Assault (Passive): Jax gains bonus attack speed for 2.5 seconds every time he lands a basic attack, stacking up to 8 times. This falls off one stack at a time. To utilize this passive in lane auto attack minions as much as you can before engaging the enemy so you have more attack speed to fight with.

  • Leap Strike (Q): Jax leaps to targeted enemy while dealing physical damage to the target. It can also be used to jump on wards, plants, Thresh lanterns etc. If you use your W before using Q the W's damage will be applied on top of your Q's damage.

  • Empower (W): Jax's next basic attack or Leap Strike within 10 seconds deals bonus magic damage. It is also an autoattack reset so after your auto attack has landed activate this for and immediate autoattack. They also added 50 more range on this ability in the patch 7.12 which is really nice since it makes this ability easier to land on a running opponent.

  • Counter Strike (E): When activated the first time Jax will block all incoming auto attacks for 2 seconds aswell as will take 25% reduced damage from all area of effect abilities. At the end of the duration or when reactivated Jax stuns nearby enemies for 1 second and deals physical damage to them, increased by 20% for each attack dodged, up to a 100% increase. This is the key to winning melee matchups at level 1. Just auto minions for your passive and then auto the enemy while near his minion wave so your E's damage increases.

  • Grandmaster's Might (R): It's passive enables Jax to deal bonus magic damage on every third basic attack within 2.5 seconds of each other. When activated Jax gains bonus armor and bonus magic resistance for 8 seconds. Once you hit level 6 in lane auto minions twice and then Q onto your enemy and autoattack and follow with immediate W for a good amount of burst.

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Skill Sequence

> > >
You want to be taking points on Grandmaster's Might whenever possible. Out of the basic skills you want to max Empower most of the time for maximum DPS. In some ranged matchups maxing Leap Strike might be the better choice, against champs like Gangplank, Kayle, Gnar and so on. Maxing Counter Strike isn't worth in my opinion, as you get much more out of maxing Empower and Leap Strike.

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Titanic Hydra, the god of wave clearing
This item is extremely efficient when looking at it's stats. It gives Jax HP which is always good especially early on, some damage and most importantly it improves Jax's wave clear immensively.

Trinity force, never skipperino
Maybe the most important item for Jax. It gives Jax everything he can want. It has nice boost on his attack speed, some damage, movement speed, but most importantly it gives him the Sheen proc that makes Jax deal so much damage in short bursts.

Hextech gunblade, the endless sustain
This item gives lots of healing and some nice burst to kill squishies aswell as let you live longer in fights since it heals you for 15% of all damage you deal.

Blade of the ruined king, % health damage is good
This item is a good option if the opposing team has multiple tanky champs, or if your lane opponent is hard to stick with and you need some sustain as well (for example Singed)
It also gives you some attack speed which is always a nice stat on Jax.

Spirit Visage, healing improver
This item works extremely well with Hextech Gunblade as it improves it's already good healing. It was kind of nerfed in the patch 9.10 but I still think it's relatively good. It is also good against AP poke lanes since the repice item Spectre's Cowl grants you more regeneration after you have been damaged by enemy champion. It also gives nice amount of MR.

Essence Reaver, R,Q,Q
It can be a fun and effective item, but it can be a hit or miss in some cases. Essence Reaver allows you to spam your abilities after activating your Grandmaster's Might and just stick on to your opponents with the constant Leap Strikes and Counter Strikes. The CDR and AD are also a nice stat to have.

Randuin's Omen, death to ADC's
The build path got updated again and now it's again a sensible way to build it. I usually pick up Warden's Mail first and then build it onwards from there. Helps extremely well in auto-attack oriented matchups and later on it's slowing effect is nice in teamfights and it also slows enemies attack speed when they hit you so it lessens the enemy DPS.

Ninja tabi
Good for autoattack reliant matchups and also vs fed ADC's etc. Most of the time I go these boots unless the enemy comp has heavy CC which can be an issue. Late game it isn't as noticeable but it's still quite good.

Mercury's treads, the option for CC
Pretty self-explanatory, get this if the enemy laner or the whole enemy comp has a lot of CC as it can shut you down pretty well.

Guardian Angel, Aatrox passive for everyone
The item got a slight change, now builds out of a B. F. Sword and a Cloth Armor, it can be somewhat awkward to build as Jax doesn't need the huge AD you get from B. F. Sword but it's a efficient buy if you are getting focused a lot or you are the frontline of your team. If you have extra gold in late game and this items passive is down sell it and switch it for something else as the pure stats aren't worthwhile the wait.

Gargoyle Stoneplate, time to jump in to the fight
I don't build this item too often, but when I do damn does it feel good to jump in to the fight and just tanking damage for a long time. Stone Skin passive gives you +40 armor and mr if there are 3 or more opponents near you, so you will just have a lot of extra resistance then, then when you activate it you get extra hp also. You will lose 60% of your damage for 4 seconds but thats a worthy trade off imo, as if you build this item and you go in to a big fight you aren't looking to oneshot anyone at that time, rather soak up damage and after withering the opponents then killing them. Very good buy if your team lacks frontline or you just need to survive longer in fights.

Thornmail, the way to cripple an AD comp
This item seems to be really good in some cases now. If the opposing team has lot's of healing champions or just a fed AD champ with lifesteal this is the perfect item.
Thornmail now applies Grievous wound which helps killing those pesky healing champs much easier. Also it get's the cold steel passive which is nice.

Iceborn Gauntlet, Sheen with CC
I don't really like to build this item ever, but it gives you armor, sheen proc and a small slow so you can stick to people. I wouldn't recommend building it over Trinity Force but Jax is so versatile with his builds you can make this item work on him since it has a Sheen proc.

Sterak's Gage, Tenacity and shields
Sterak's Gage actually got changed in the 7.20 patch. Now the build recipe is a bit different and the shield acts different. It now gives a shield and +30% tenacity, which is a good stat on Jax. Only thing you need to keep in mind is that the shield doesn't pop every time, so this item is good if you are getting bursted a lot in fights and you need to also negate some CC when chasing down your opponents. This item isn't a must buy every game but it got a lot better than before.

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Matchups section

When facing Cho'Gath in lane, pay attention to his position when he uses Vorpal Spikes. Don't get hit by the spikes to avoid the slow and if he fights you with them make sure to dodge the damage with your Counter Strike. Key here is to dodge his Rupture and just all in him after that since he loses to you after that unless you are miles behind him (which shouldn't happen). Just be careful if you are low HP as he can quickly delete you with his Feast. Overall one of the easiest matchups for Jax.

Volibear shouldn't be too big of an issue to you. He can be hard to finish off though since his Majestic Roar knocks back champions now and also his passive Chosen of the Storm can save him from death. Your Counter Strike blocks his Rolling Thunder so make sure to make good use of that in lane. Care of his Frenzy's damage though as it can hurt a lot when you are low HP.

While playing against Illaoi it's important to dodge her Test of Spirit. After she misses that you are free to trade with her as she misses a good portion of her damage when she can't utilize the spirit from it. If she ults and you know you can't finish her at that moment Q away as she heals for a good amount when she deals damage in her ult. If you are having trouble with her healing buy Bramble Vest.

Dr. Mundo can become quite hard to kill after he gets a few items. Careful of his cleavers as they hurt a lot and slow you down a bunch. When he activates his Masochism be sure to dodge the autoattacks with your Counter Strike. Blade of the Ruined King works in this matchup quite well thanks to the movement speed steal and %health damage.

He has strong early damage thanks to his passive enhanced autoattacks. Make sure to Counter Strike but also if you want to kill him save your Leap Strike when he E+Q's away. If you can't kill him and he ults you just wardhop out of his ult. Ninja Tabi is an essential item in this matchup.

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Laning vs tanks

So the meta is somewhat shifting back to tank meta with champions like Cho'Gath and Maokai being extremely strong. Some can find certain tank matchups hard for Jax, but most of them are pretty manageable. If you face a tank in top lane just do what you usually do, farm and trade with them if the opportunity is good, and kill them if they make dumb mistakes. However when they get to a certain point of tankiness it becomes hard to kill them. In this case just buy Tiamat like usual and shove them to their tower while warding around so you don't get ganked. This gives them 2 options, either Teleport to help their team in fights and lose the top lane tower or stay in lane to clear waves while your team fights the opposing team without their tank/cc machine.

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Splitpushing is a good way of pressuring the enemy team. Jax excells at this since his passive gives him more attack speed and he can take turrets down pretty fast after he get's Sheen. You just auto-attack and right as the attack has landed you use Empower for the auto attack reset and at the same time you get a Sheen proc. Also having Titanic Hydra helps splitpushing as your waveclear improves and it also gives you an autoattack reset. Jax is also a strong splitpusher since he can duel pretty much anyone in the later points of the game and if you are ahead splitpushing is a great way of giving the enemy team pressure around the map. Jax can also escape sticky situations with his ward hop mechanic which makes him somewhat slippery as he can jump over walls.

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Some Jax tricks

At level 1 you can cheese your opponent (easier vs melee champs) with having Counter Strike up, going to auto them in their minion wave, after you have attacked and minions turn aggro on you activate your Counter Strike and keep autoattacking your opponent if you can stay in range. If done correctly you should chunk your opponent for a good hefty amount of damage and force them to pop a potion or in general just back off.

When you reach 6 a common thing to do is auto minions twice, then Leap Strike on to your opponent, auto them and immediatly follow with Empower. This combo will do good amount of damage as your Grandmaster's Might 3rd proc + Empower do quite a lot of damage in a short burst.

You can also cancel your autoattack animation with your Counter Strike. When the you have activated Counter Strike and you have autoattacked, right as the damage from your autoattack lands re-activate Counter Strike and this will cancel the rest of your autoattack. This is very useful if you want to do a fast combo with your W and Titanic Hydra for example.

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Ranked Play/Jax's place in the team

Jax can be played in multiple ways. He can splitpush very effectively, especially in mid- to lategame with the Titanic Hydra rush. He can escape sticky situations with his ward hops and with that put constant pressure on the lane he splits. He can also be played as a frontliner if your team lacks a tanky champion since Jax gets naturally tanky with Grandmaster's Might and a couple of tank items and you are set. He can also assasinate squishys even when building tanky, so if your team is fighting and you see the enemy ADC caught off guard you should try to assasinate the ADC if possible.

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Gameplay clips

Ill add some cool clips I get on Jax from time to time.

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Ward hopping and trinket choice

Sometimes after top laners and others switch to either Farsight Alteration or Oracle Lens but not on Jax. On Jax you keep Warding Totem so you can ward hop and potentially escape from tough spots. It's extremely useful when splitpushing and there are multiple enemies coming at you you just wardhop over a wall.

You should also note you can use your Leap Strike on things like Jarvan IV flag, Thresh lantern and so on.

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Jax is extremely good champion at taking advantage of an lead and carrying your team to victory! He can be difficult to play against comps with lot's of heavy CC but even that can't stop the Grandmaster in some cases.

Any feedback on this guide is highly appriciated, I will be updating this constantly whenever there is something to update or new ways of playing Jax are discovered

Have a great time splitpushing and smashing enemies as Jax!

And of course if you enjoyed the guide make sure to subscribe on YouTube for League of Legends content! Subscribe

Also some of the code used in the making of this guide is from @jhoijhoi

- PH45