Jax Build Guide by AceWindstorm
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Jungle Jax: My Way
+12 Attack Damage or +20 Ability Power, Adaptive
Rush Against Tanks/Mobile Champs
Threats to Jax with this build
Hey guys, this guide is coming by request from quite a few people! I'm currently a Challenger/Master player who for the past year and a half have grown very fond of Jax. I've tried a LOT of different stuff with him, and figured I ought to weigh in on the various ways our Grandmaster can be played.
This guide is gunna be pretty in-depth, so get comfy! This is by no means a beginner guide, but mostly for those who are at least somewhat familiar with Jax's kit.
|Jax is canonically the best duelist in League of Legends. Even counting the times when he intentionally was severly handicapped, he has only ever not won once, when he was escaping Icathia after the void had ruptured - the only stalemate he has ever experienced. When executed perfectly, Jax is as powerful in the hands of a player as he is on his own in Runeterra. He is simply to play, but difficult to master.|
Not quite ready yet! Just follow the runes at the top of the guide (when you click on the different Jax icons at the very top) for now :)
||Flash and Teleport when toplane, and when in the jungle you take Flash and Smite. Nothing else is really worth considering in my opinion, as they are suboptimal, however Ghost and Ignite are two other somewhat commonly taken summoner spells.|
This ability listing here is not meant to give you the hard numbers, but rather some advice on their use/purpose. You can find the Cooldowns, Mana Costs, etc. by looking in practice tool, on the wiki, etc.
|Every time Jax attacks an enemy he gains 3.5-11% increased attack speed for 2.5 seconds.|
Nothing to really say about this, other than when expecting to be caught out and forced into combat, begin auto attacking to ramp up the stacking attackspeed from your passive.
|Jax leaps towards a target. If it's an enemy, he attacks, dealing 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+60% of ability power) (+1.0 per bonus attack damage) physical damage.|
This is Jax's mobility tool. It is extremely useful however incredibly harmful when used incorrectly. Heavily discipline your use of this spell, it is not merely an offensive tool. It is far more than that.
|Jax charges his weapon with energy, causing his next attack to gain 50 range and deal 40 / 75 / 110 / 145 / 180 (+60% of ability power) additional magic damage.|
This ability is mainly used as an auto attack reset. It can also be used to more safely farm by extending your range over minions or even to chip away at the enemy laner if they don't expect it.
|Jax dodges all incoming basic attacks for 2 seconds and reduces AoE damage by 25% while he is dodging. At the end of the duration, Jax deals physical damage to nearby enemies and stuns them.|
Jax's key ability. Proper use of this makes or breaks a Jax player. This ability can be used for multi-person stuns, mitigating important damage, peeling, and more.
Passive: Hitting 3 consecutive times enhances Jax's next attack.
Active: Jax gains bonus armor and magic resist for 8 seconds.
Do NOT underestimate the importance of this skill. Using this skill at the right time to mitigate incoming damage is critical. It lasts 7 seconds, so don't be afraid to use it on initiation.
This section is for listing out all the bread and butter combos for Jax. I'm gunna link videos of these as well, and will update this section at a later time. For now, I wanna get this guide posted!
These combos are the ones you want to work on first, as they are the most applicable and important combos.
The Proper Engage combo is a really important one to master. It makes use of the deceptively large range of your (E) Counterstrike to stun the opponent earlier than they think possible, effectively minimizing their reaction window. All complex engage combos stem from this skill.
Tiamat Resetting is different from Titanic Resetting (below). It is a very slight difference but a difference nonetheless, and can make or break a gank, a kill, even a game. You can combine this with proper engage combo to get the full burst combo.
Titanic Resetting is the opposite of Tiamat Resetting. With Tiamat, you use W beforehand, but with Titanic you use it after. Just like Tiamat, you combine this combo with the Proper Engage to get the full burst combo.
Your Full Burst Combo is the bread and butter of your existence. This is what makes Jax REALLY strong as both an initiator and a backline threat. It combines the Proper Engage and Tiamat/Titanic combos together. Note that if you aren't getting your W auto off at the tail end because people are flashing away, it means you aren't fast enough with the combo yet. This is NOT easy to do.
Some of these aren't necessarily 'complex' but do add an additional layer of things on top of the basic combos above, or aren't very commonly used/hard to pull off. This section also covers animation canceling.
Using E to animation cancel is not particularly intuitive, but it's relatively simple once you figure it out. If you do the Full Burst Combo properly, you have actually already been doing this. If you start an attack during the ending animation of your E, the auto attack animation should entirely cancelled while still doing damage. This ends up making the second auto attack come out faster. Add on the fact that you are resetting with W/Titanic/Movement, and it ends up being MUCH faster, especially in the case where you use movement afterwards.
*E as soon as AA
**Note that when using E to animation cancel while Qing works best if done immediately after landing, so only do it like that if they have no escapes up.
Fog of War initiation is actually pretty nuts. By teching flash into the full burst combo, you gain enough range to initiate on the enemy from fog of war distances. This requires a very exacting knowledge of your ranges to pull off well.
Basic Q auto animation canceling is pretty crucial post level 6. It tightens up your auto attack strings so that even with escapes you begin to confirm three hit combos or two hit combos without use of E. It's also incredibly simple to do, and practice, but far more difficult to implement in an actual game setting. The animation canceling is done by issuing an attack command immediately after landing from Q. Yes, it's possible to do this by spam clicking, but that can cause issues if you misclick once and cancel the auto, the enemy blinks away and you walk forward a bit into a bad situation, etc. It's best to practice it with as few clicks as possible so you maintain calm and accurate inputs.
|Tabi against AD teams, Treads against AP-heavy enemy team comps or enemy teams that have a lot of CC.|
Jax's level 1 is very powerful. Your (E) is one of the strongest abilities in the game, as it causes you to be immune to basic attacks. Your optimal level 1 trading goes like this :
|Auto attack the enemy champion once, and take an auto from them as well. This causes you to draw minion aggro which will empower your (E).|
|Since you have taken minion aggro and a little bit of damage, this maximizes the efficiency of your (E) which you will use immediately AND maximizes the efficiency of the corrupting pot charge you are going to use.|
This results in you literally getting the best scenario out of EVERYTHING you have level one. It really can't be beat directly by most champions. Combine these things with proper attack animation canceling and movement, and you get a massive chunk on an enemy who does not respect this.
Obviously this level 1 strategy doesn't work against ranged champions very well, so adjust accordingly. Most, if not all of the time, you will still take (E) level one though.
Your starting item does not change this early game strategy either. What you need to focus on however, is the state that you put the wave in. Most often, you will end up stunning the enemy + 2-5 minions depending on the spacing/pathing, and this will cause your lane to slow shove into enemy tower for exactly 3 waves. At this moment the most important thing to do is prepare to fight a 2v1 gank, or ward it and give up lane pressure for over a full minute. Getting early vision and information on where the jungler starts is crucial to setting yourself up for success.
It's also okay if you don't manage to get this really good trade, as it isn't necessary to win lane, it just makes it a bit easier. You still want to make sure you are csing well, and work towards your items. At the end of the day, you outscale almost every opponent in the game, so most of the time you will have that to fall back on. In cases where you want to stay safe, try and use (Q) as little as possible, to keep it around for the escape potential.
All of these champs are very VERY annoying to deal with, so I am making a separate section to address them in more detail.
So you have two choices in the midgame as toplane Jax. It is also possible to blend the two options together if you are really good at macro n stuff.
|Splitpush and itemize directly against the opponent you will split against. Attempt to win the 1v1 while the rest of your team holds out on the 4v4. This is the best way to avoid teamfighting as a whole if they have better teamfight.|
|Group up with your team once you hit your two item spike (Tri + Titanic) and start teamfighting. If you can find a flank into a fight, you are hugely effective. You can melt carries super quickly with proper combos.|
The blending of these two playstyles is difficult but is probably the most effective way to play Jax. If you can split against the enemy laner, but roam behind/into the enemy team before your laner can react, you can take a 4v5 advantage fight somewhere else. It blends the properties of splitpush pressure and teamfight prowess into one. This obviously isn't easy, and requires a lot of thought beforehand.
You need to ask yourself, can you win a teamfight? Is their disengage too strong? Can I win a 1v1 if "x" laner goes aggressive on me? Do we win a 4v4? Can my team disengage from a 4v4? These are all examples of knowing the state of the game and realizing how to address it.
Keep in mind that splitpushing is a very, VERY tricky and dangerous game to play. It requires an immense amount of map awareness, intuition, wave knowledge, and skill to execute effectively. It also limits your teamfighting effectiveness in some cases by a very extreme amount, so be VERY CAREFUL when choosing this strategy. Some quick tips for splitpushing:
|If you have a tank or someone you cannot kill but are not threatened by stopping your push, simply wait until the wave in the opposite lane begins to push onto a tower, recall, and teleport to it. This will either prompt a response from someone holding the midlane, or forces a teleport from your laner. When this happens, the rest of your team can rotate botlane on the next shoving wave and beat down the tower, destroying it or doing a lot of damage. This is the basic concept of 4-1 splitpushing. The other option is that when someone rotates from midlane, it creates the possibility for a 3v4 dive scenario.|
|Know that the best way to set up a wave for a slow-push is to kill the caster + cannon minions and leave the wave alone.|
|Specifically for Jax, timing your aggression with the arrival of a new minion wave provides some extra safety, as you can (Q) Leap Strike away for free should the situation turn against your favor.|
|When splitpushing, Durability > Sustain, because of the 2v1 scenarios. This is why most of the time you still go the generic Tri Titanic before optimizing your build towards one opponent, if you choose to do so. It is more flexible should splitpushing no longer be favorable, while still offering very strong pushing/dueling power.|
|At the end of the day, sometimes a splitpush is not a feasible strategy to win a game. If the enemy team has Malphite, Jarvan, Orianna, Miss Fortune, Alistar, your team IS GOING TO GET ENGAGED ON. You splitting isn't going to do anything if your team gets wiped by hard engage combos. This is why identifying your win condition BEFORE a game starts is very important.|
If you hit 6 items, you should be unkillable 1v1. When you have Tri + Titanic + Frozen Mallet + Thornmail + Gunblade + Phantom Dancer (totally hypothetical build), it's gunna be REAL hard to kill you. At this point, you should be able to splitpush against pretty much anyone. If you feel like your team can't win straight out teamfights, you have this option in the pocket. Just make sure you don't get picked off so the enemy team doesn't get priority over objectives.
This build was my own creation, that I used throughout almost the entirety of Season 7 and early Season 8. Since the jungle changes in 8.10 though, I have found that it is much weaker and no longer insanely powerful, but after some testing again I think it is still the best build for jungle Jax, and puts him at a slightly above average level. It is still fun to play while being strong enough but definitely not the best thing to gain LP with compared to other champions. That being said, mastering this build and playstyle can be very effective, as back when I was an OTP I peaked rank 68 with 550 LP.
|My standard setup. Electrocute is stronger than Thunderlords in terms of raw damage, so the build feels even better than it did before. Dark Harvest is a worthy mention however it is just too slow, don't expect to reach 150 stacks before 30 minutes.|
|Ravenous Hunter feels great on Jax, as a lot of your damage comes from abilities. This includes your ultimate passive! It's almost like a budget Gunblade.|
|Zombie Ward is INSANELY good. Unless it gets nerfed, it will be the most common choice in that slot without a doubt. Having 4+ minutes of vision in an area is nutty. Honorable mention to Eyeball Collection, but its just not worth enough.|
|Sudden Impact is the obvious choice here, it synergizes extremely well with Q and the way Jungle fights tend to go in terms of timing/cooldowns. Taste of Blood is more suited for laning, and Cheap Shot is pretty weak.|
In terms of your secondary tree, you should always take Sorcery, with Celerity and Scorch, every time.
|Pretty standard start for auto attack reliant junglers.|
|Keeps your farm speed up to par and tightens your ganking windows. Is the go to buy if you have 1200+ gold on your first back.|
|Red smite best smite get this every game.|
|A very common purchase, but you should try to avoid these if you can and prioritize getting Bloodrazor enchant first if you can.|
|bloodrazor||Skirmishing Bloodrazor + Titanic Hydra lets you be a strong duelist in extended fights while still having very strong initiation burst.|
There really isn't any clear that Jax can't do. You really have a lot of room to adapt your jungle route according to the game.
Right now I tend to lean towards Blue -> Gromp -> Scuttle -> Red or Red -> Opposite Scuttle -> Blue -> Gromp.
You want to keep in mind your gank power is huge. A decently large gap closer, stun, and auto reset + Electrocute burst is no joke. You can straight out flash on people under tower and kill them before they can react when they are under 348 hp if you are level 3 and execute it properly.
When you gank, you want to try and WAIT to use your E until you get close to the enemy laner. This forces a situation where they either are forced to flash and you follow with Q and still stun them, OR they fail to flash in time and you detonate E early, in which case they also die. The most optimal gank is where you can walk into E range before even activating it.
So that's pretty much all I got for our boy Jax. This is the first guide I've ever written, so feedback is greatly appreciated! Keep in mind that this is not the "final version" of the guide, as I plan to update it with things I might want to add or through suggestions from you guys!
In case anyone wants to keep up with me, here's my socials/twitch/whatever:
9/17 - Published
9/18 - Edited some small language mistakes
9/19 - Added Swain, Gnar, and Kennen to toplane matchups, thanks to feedback.
9/24 - Fixed up some title stuff for nicer display, put some work into combo section. Grammatical fixes.
11/11 - Preseason runes update!
11/14 - Added Garen to toplane matchup section. Updated combo section. Did some color stuff and strikethrough text, the strikethrough will stick around for a while until people become completely familiar with the new Runes Reforged systems. Also fixed my Toplane runes, seemed like they errored on the secondaries.
12/29 - Updated Rune builds for both jungle and top, removed tank jungle jax, edited Preason Runes section. Updated items for Jungle Jax My Way, Autofill Jungle Jax and Top Jax My Way.
1/20 - Fixed rune description inconsistency.
2/18 - Updated toplane runes to account for minor rune changes.
2/26 - Updated Rune descriptions and added some color to the first chapters that were missing + editing. Rune updates.
2/28 - Jungle matchup section updated. Toplane matchup section updated.
3/11 - Culled the Season 8 Pre-season rune update section.
6/13 - Massive guide overhaul, mostly thanks to work from the wonderful Jovy! Not completed yet, things will be messy for a while probably, been away from the guide for some time.