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Jax Build Guide by BluAnimal

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League of Legends Build Guide Author BluAnimal

BluAnimal's Guide to Jax

BluAnimal Last updated on July 14, 2012
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Lane / Jungle

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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hello and welcome to my second MobaFire guide. This guide will be covering Jax, the Grandmaster at Arms, and in-depth advice on how to play him.

Credits to MobaFire for letting me host and create this guide.

Credits to Riot Games for creating a great game and a fun champion.

Credits to you, the reader, and anyone who +votes this guide up. :)

Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.

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Pros / Cons


+ Unrivaled late game potential
+ Amazing 1v1 duelist
+ Few counters
+ Great farmer with Grandmaster's Might
+ Uses both AP and AD, making him difficult to counter
+ Sexy voice and amazing skins ;D

- Rough early game (before level 6 and/or lifesteal)
- Vulnerable to CC
- Champions like Kennen can zone him
- Riot hates him :(

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Lane Jax
Offensive Tree
Summoner's Wrath for the Ignite bonus or Exhaust bonus.

3/3 Brute Force for early farming and harassing.

4/4 Alacrity to scale with your passive and also get to Weapon Expertise .

1/1 Weapon Expertise for the armor pen. since we won't be using armor pen. items or runes.

4/4 Sorcery Jax loves his cool downs, especially on Empower.

1/1 Arcane Knowledge magic penetration, again because we lack magic pen. runes or items.

3/3 Vampirism to stack with your Greater Quintessence of Life Steal, Hextech Gunblade and Wriggle's Lantern if one chooses to build it.

3/3 Sunder Again more armor penetration, see Weapon Expertise .

1/1 Executioner is useful for finishing off low health champions, or tanks such as Shen. Although the usefulness of this is debatable when you're hitting hard already. For those who don't wanna waste a point on Executioner you can swap it for Summoner's Insight for the cooldown on your flash.

Defensive Tree

1/3 Resistance Free magic resistance against the occasional AP champion you may encounter.

3/3 Hardiness for all the AD champions you'll face in top lane.

4/4 Durability Woo! Free health per level, unlocks Veteran's Scars.

1/1 Veteran's Scars 30 bonus health at level 1. Increases survivability.

Jungle Jax
Offensive Tree

Summoner's Wrath for the Ghost bonus.

3/3 Brute Force for early farming and harassing.

4/4 Alacrity to scale with your passive and also get to Weapon Expertise .

1/1 Weapon Expertise for the armor pen. since we won't be using armor pen. items or runes.

4/4 Sorcery Jax loves his cool downs, especially on Empower.

1/1 Arcane Knowledge magic penetration, again because we lack magic pen. runes or items.

3/3 Vampirism to stack with your Greater Quintessence of Life Steal, Hextech Gunblade and Wriggle's Lantern if one chooses to build it.

3/3 Sunder Again more armor penetration, see Weapon Expertise .

1/1 Executioner is useful for finishing off low health champions, or tanks such as Shen. Although the usefulness of this is debatable when you're hitting hard already. For those who don't wanna waste a point on Executioner you can swap it for Summoner's Insight for the cooldown on your flash.

Defensive Tree

1/1 Summoner's Resolve for bonus gold on use of Smite.

3/3 Hardiness to increase durability against those neutral creeps.

2/2 Tough Skin more durability against those neutral creeps, unlocks bladed armor.

1/1 Bladed Armor Ah... I have a love/hate with this mastery... I love the fact that it allows me to clear the jungle faster, especially the first run through. But when it comes to giving away my blue buff to my mid champion they always seem to not be able to burst it down and grab the buff, resulting in Mr. Golem hitting me, taking damage and giving me blue buff. which I don't have a problem with actually. :D

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Greater Quintessence of Life Steal

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Other Viable Options

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Summoner Spells

Great Summoner Spells

Flash A must-have in my opinion. A great skill for closing the gap for that Empower Leap Strike combo, or if you need to get away and quick.
Ignite Ignite is useful for securing that first blood, and great for reducing Swain, Dr. Mundo or another regen. champs healing. If you want the extra damage early, or need it for a champion like those two, take it.
Cleanse Cleanse has quickly become one of my favorite summoner spells. It's incredibly useful for escaping stuns, slows, taunts, fears, snares, etc. I usually take it if the enemy team has Maokai or Lux. It's also useful in top lane to prevent ganks, as well as removing DoTs such as Teemo and Ignite.
Other Viable Summoner Spells

Exhaust Exhaust is a great spell late game for slowing down that crazy fed Vayne, and can also be used defensively when ganked up top. You can also use it offensively after you're level 8 or 9 in top lane and going head to head with someone.
Ghost A good alternative to flash. The only reason I don't recommend it on lane Jax is that CC can easily shut down your escape. I do however think it's an incredible spell for jungling, for closing in on a gank or escaping one that went downhill.
Smite Necessary to jungle, self explanatory pretty much. You'll want Summoner's Resolve in the defense tree as well, to get the bonus 10 gold on each usage.

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Ability Explanation

Relentless Assault
Each auto-attack increases Jax's attack speed.
Every time Jax attacks an enemy he gains 4 / 6 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 14 % increased attack speed for 2.5 seconds. This effect stacks up to 6 times. Will still stack if the attack is dodged or misses due to a blind.

Leap Strike
Jax jumps to a target (This can be a friendly champion, friendly minion, enemy champion, enemy minion, friendly ward, enemy ward or neutral creep)
Jax leaps towards a target. If it is an enemy, he attacks, dealing 70/110/150/190/230 (+60% of his ability power) (+1 per bonus attack damage) physical damage.

Jax's next auto attack deals bonus magic damage. (Resets auto attacks!)
Jax charges his weapon with energy, causing his next attack to deal 40/75/110/145/180 (+60% of his ability power) as magic damage.

Counter Strike
Jax dodges all incoming auto attacks for 2 seconds. Can be activated again to stun nearby champions.
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 50/75/100/125/150 (+0.5 bonus attack damage) physical damage to nearby enemies and stuns them for 1 second. This spell deals 20% (up to a maximum of 100%) increased damage for each attack dodged. Jax has the option to activate the ability again after 1 second to end the effect early.
Note: Counter Strike can dodge Parrrley and Blade Waltz.

Grandmaster's Might
Jax receives bonus armor and magic resistance upon activation. Jax's every third hit passively inflicts extra magical damage.
Passive: Hitting 3 consecutive times enhances Jax's next attack for 100 / 160 / 220 (+70% of ability power) bonus magic damage.

Active: Jax gains 25/35/45 (+30% of his bonus attack damage) armor and 25/35/45 (+20% of his ability power) magic resist for 8 seconds.

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Ability Sequence Order

Ability Sequence Order: Laning
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

With this skill order you want to take Leap Strike first for two reasons: It can secure you thatearly kill. It can prevent them from doing the same. At level 2 it's up to you to take Empower or Counter Strike. I'd take Empower in most cases, unless they have a Fiora, Tryndamere or other auto attack heavy champion. Max W Empower first since it's on the lowest cool down and gives you the most damage over time, plus it has a low mana cost. Maxing Leap Strike or Counter Strike next is up to you. I usually max Q next though, because putting points into Counter Strike usually doesn't give you much other than a lower cool down and more damage returned.
Ability Sequence Order: Jungle
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

The only difference between this order and Lane Jax is the fact that youmust take Counter Strike first. It'll help reduce the initial damage from wolves and blue buff. Next you should put a point into Empower at level 2 to speed up the jungle. At level 3 you can put either another point into empower or a point into Leap Strike if you want/need to gank a lane. Continue maxing Empower when possible, your ultimate whenever possible, and then Leap Strike or Counter Strike, depending on your preference.

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Early Game

That right there is your starting items. The boots are useful for dodging skill shots or just general harassment, the health potions keep you in lane longer and you already have a jump start on your build with the boots. Other options include...

Personally not a fan of doran's blade first. A great item if you're behind in farm or having a rough time in lane, but anyways. These are pretty hilarious to take for the sole purpose of running down your lane at level 1 with 15% lifesteal from Vampirism , Greater Quintessence of Life Steal and Doran's Blade along with 70-80 attack damage. Doran's blade can be exceptionally useful item to secure a lane as well. One or two Doran's can almost guarantee a safe and farmed lane. Just make sure the cost doesn't put you too far behind your build. Credits to TehAsian for the tip on securing a lane as well. :)

I prefer this to Doran's Blade because Jax thrives off of ability power early game, making Empower and Grandmaster's Might really make them second guess attacking you. Mana regen. is also great on Jax, letting you spam your skills just a bit more.

Annnother Doran's item. The health regen., armor and extra health is all appreciated on Jax, but you'd be better off taking Cloth Armor...

I'd say this is the other good choice besides Boots of Speed, giving you an early start on your Wriggle's Lantern if that's what you want to build. (I personally don't like wriggle's.) Along with 5 Health Potion you're set for lane for quite some time. I'd strongly recommend this against Riven, Fiora, or another AD heavy champion. If Wriggle's isn't your style you can always build the cloth armor into Ninja Tabi.

A good item for top laners universally. A free sight ward every 3 minutes, lifesteal, armor, attack damage and an incredible farming tool. I honestly prefer rushing a Bilgewater Cutlass for the active and incredible attack damage spike. It boils down to personal preference, however Wriggle's can get you back on your feet quick in a rough lane.

Your first big item if you didn't get a Wriggle's Lantern. If you did get the lantern then put this off until after your Trinity Force. This item gives you incredible attack damage and lifesteal, plus a great active for chasing down someone after a fight. I try and stay in lane and farm until I can go back for the first time and buy a Pickaxe.

Great boots for a lot of top laners nowadays. Jax unfortunately is focused a lot of games, and CC is definitely not a good thing for you. They also give you some nice magic resist so you can put off a Negatron Cloak until lategame. Pick these up if they have at least 2 forms of hard CC.

Good boots if they have a fed bottom lane, Tryndamere, Fiora or other auto attacker. You can build your Cloth Armor from earlier into Tabi if you need to. 9/10 games however I'd recommend Mercury's Treads.

Mid Game

By now you should have your completed boots, Bilgewater Cutlass or Wriggle's Lantern and either completing or working on your Sheen/ Phage. Keep warding the river, and if possible pick up another sight ward or two and ward for your jungler and mid lane. Call MIA and participate in any team fights that are nearby. Try and get your tower down by the 15-20 minute mark so you can begin roaming for kills.

A great item on Jax and a lot of top laners. Gives you some health and attack damage as well as some decent CC for chasing (which you will be doing). Save it for Trinity Force. You should take this before Sheen if you're having a hard time staying in lane/chasing. Jax doesn't have much CC besides his Counter Strike and most players carry Flash nowadays so you really wanna pile on the slows.

Another great item on Jax. Some ability power, mana for any problems you may have had with spamming skills and most of all an incredible passive that deals double attack damage after using an ability. Can you say Empower for 400? You should take Sheen before Phage if you're doing good in lane (with a kill or more, you're farming without problems or they have very low harass). This will boost your damage on Empower and Leap Strike.

Combines your Phage and Sheen into an all around great item. Movement speed, critical chance, attack speed, an on hit slow, 150% bonus AD damage after using an ability, ability power, mana, health, attack damage all in one inventory spot.

This should be your next item after Trinity Force unless you're having some problems surviving. This combines your Bilgewater Cutlass with a Hextech Revolver giving you some nice ability power with spell vamp., and buffing your active's range and damage tenfold.

Late Game

Alright, you've got your damage and sustain from Hextech Gunblade and Trinity Force, and you've got 3 spots left. We're going to use those for boosting our damage more and also building resistances. You should be coming out of 30-40 minute mark with around 3,000 health. That's when it's time to build Atma's.

18% crit chance and 45 armor, but what we really want here is that passive. Converts 1.5% of your health into attack damage! That's roughly 40-50 extra attack damage coming from an item with critical chance and armor. Fair trade-off.

This right here, incredible. You've already got your slow on auto attack from Trinity Force, and you've got Counter Strike for stunning, now all you need is a guarantee slow on Leap Strike as well. With Rylai's you get more health to go with Atma's Impaler and some ability power, because Jax is best built both AD and AP. Start with the Giant's Belt because that's the main reason we build this. If you don't need the extra AP go ahead and build a Warmog's Armor instead.

So now you've got... So what should your final items be?

I Need Armor!

Lots of armor, a good passive and a good active, and more health for Atma's Impaler. The Heart of Gold should be built first and if you're having a hard time in lane build it after Bilgewater Cutlass or Wriggle's Lantern. Gold/time items are a great way to get back into the game.

So their AD carry is extremely fed. And how do we counter it? Thornmail. Reflecting 30% of their damage is kind of hilarious to watch Caitlyn kill herself from your stack of health and armor.

I Need Magic Resist!

Some great damage, a bit of magic resistance and an awesome passive that's gonna absorb most of the magic damage from someone's burst. The passive is also incredible for when you're solo'ing someone. The lower you get, the harder you'll hit. This item can be the difference between Veigar bursting you from 3000 to 0 or you surviving with 300 and killing him for it.

I'm personally not a big fan of QSS, but if the CC is hurting that much, it's time to invest. It also gives some handy magic resistance for the price. It's more effective than Cleanse with a lower cool down and applying the cleanse to a wider variety of CC. ( Warwick's ultimate)

This is my preferred item for magic resistance. It has a sweet passive that resists the next spell cast on you, and you'll have that effect again in 45 seconds. One problem with it though is someone with easy poke or AoE damage can easily pop it and leave you without it for a team fight. It also gives you some health and mana, which compliments Atma's Impaler nicely.

A decent item for Jax. Good magic resistance, great health regen. and a nice little movement boost. This item goes great with another regen item or stack of health *cough cough* Warmog's Armor

I Need Damage!

Honestly it seems like a bad item on Jax, but at the rate you farm you can have full stacks before the next team fight begins. And nothing says carry like 50% lifesteal from your items, runes and masteries. I would say there are much better choices though.

It used to be an incredible must-have item on Jax before he was updated majorly, but it's still a great item that syncs well with his passive. It gives you both AP and AD so you'll be harder to counter and your ultimate will be just a bit stronger in the Magic Resist department.

A great item for this build because you're going to end up with near 4,000 health you're going to be dealing some killer damage from Atma's Impaler and Maw of Malmortius goes great with health as well. The lower your health is, the harder you'll be hitting. Also you'll be getting a great shield for 400 damage if a spell would be leaving you below 30% health. Great against casters like Veigar and Ryze.

I Don't Know What I Need!

1300~ health after you get it to full stacks (which should be quick). This item goes hilariously well with your Atma's Impaler which should be netting you around 80 attack damage now from the passive. This is a great item to get if you have resistances. Because building health on health is just going to give them more health to cut through. Aim for a resistance and health item like Banshee's Veil or Randuin's Omen

Always a good choice for your final item. Every 5 minutes you can cheat death and be revived for 750 health. This goes great in teamfights if you're being focused first. "die", then once they switch targets turn around and kill their squishy carries.


I wasn't sure if warding deserved it's own section or not so it will be here for now.

Q: When should I buy a sight ward?
A: Every chance you have gold left over. I try to farm 2-3 extra minions before I recall so I can afford a ward or two. Don't sacrifice the safety of a ward because you want to build your [[mercury's treads[/b] instead.

Q: When should I buy a Vision Ward?
A: Whenever you see your enemy laner pick up a ward of any sort, take a vision ward so you can counter it and let your jungler gank. 50 extra gold is worth the gank.
Note: Vision Wards are also an easy and safe way to destroy Teemo's Noxious Trap while making back some gold.

Q: Where do I place the Vision Ward then?
A: Most people place the ward in the bush or just outside of it. Place the ward in the bush just to be safe.

Warding Map
Spoiler: Click to view
  • For protection from lane (depending on which lane you're in)
  • Protection for your jungler and buffs
  • Dragon and Baron Nashor wards. Make sure these are Vision Ward!
  • Counter-jungling

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Enemy Champions A-G

Enemy Champions A-G
  • Enemy champions will be rated on a scale of difficulty ranging from Very Easy, Easy, Moderate, Difficult, and Hard.
  • This list will be constantly changing, and nothing you see here is set in stone.
  • For those who would like to volunteer in research, drop me a PM. You will be credited at the end of the guide.
  • If you feel I have marked someone incorrectly, message me why or take me up on it in-game if it's personal :)

Akali, The Fist of Shadow
Difficulty: Moderate
Akali isn't too big of a problem for Jax. As long as you stay away from her poking with Mark of the Assassin and farm to the best of your ability. A Vision Ward in your lane can help with her Twilight Shroud as well. When she does Shadow Dance back off and Empower her. Your trades will come out relatively even. Hopefully her shroud will be down or you'll have sight of her and can punish her for attacking you. I would not recommend going for kills in this match-up. Akali is great at escaping and killing you at low health. Be careful when recalling.

Cho'Gath, The Terror of the Void
Difficulty: Easy
Cho'Gath can be an incredibly sluggish and slow laner. You're only fear you have to worry about is the jungler ganking you, and Cho'Gath getting free farm when you're not in lane. Vorpal Spikes can do some serious damage over time if you stand in your minion wave. Try to keep control of the bushes, preferably both your side and his side. Whenever he attempts to Rupture you into the air either dodge it if convenient or Leap Strike to a nearby minion or Cho'Gath himself. Beware at level 6 when he gets Feast. Simply keep your health up by auto attacking. You should be able to win 1v1 against him, despite his ultimate. You'll eventually out-sustain him.

Darius, The Hand of Noxus
Difficulty: Difficult
Darius is just a broken champion in my opinion. He counters most of the current popular solo tops, including our beloved Jax. Decimate has the range and damage to poke you, and you can't do much about since you're an auto attacking champion. Crippling Strike can slow you and set you up for both Noxian Guillotine and a gank from their jungler, so avoid getting in close at all costs. If you're forced into fighting him from a pull of Apprehend, activate Counter Strike, Empower in between auto attacks and try to keep your health about 700-800 to counter-act his ultimate. Chances are you'll come out of the laning phase underfarmed, so grab duo golems if you're on purple team.

Dr. Mundo,The Madman of Zaun
Difficulty: Easy
I very rarely see Mundo in top lane anymore, but better to be safe than sorry, right? If you know beforehand that Mundo will be top, bring Ignite with you to counter that ultimate. Lane passively and keep an eye on your sight ward in the river, avoiding the jungler since Infected Cleaver can set you up for some nasty ganks. When going toe to toe with him use your ultimate, since he will no doubt have Burning Agony activated. Stun him with Counter Strike and drop ignite on him the second you see his ult go up. If you can secure the kill, Empower and Leap Strike him, if not pull off and go back to farming if your health allows you to do so.

Fiora, The Grand Duelist
Difficulty: Very Easy
You are the #1 counter to Fiora. Everything she can do, Jax will do it better. I highly suggest taking Ignite since she has ridiculous health regeneration from her passive. This is a killing lane, and you will be the killer. Farm passively until you have your full moveset, then the second she makes the wrong move or attempts to harass/kill you, activate Counter Strike and watch her miss all her attacks. Empower in between auto attacks and if it's later in the game activate Grandmaster's Might for that extra bit of armor. Most Fiora's are gonna spam their ultimate the second they get to 100-200 health left so prepare to Counter Strike for the full duration, negating all damage of her ultimate. The second you have sight of her drop Ignite, land that last Empower and Shift+4 because she attempted to 1v1 Jax.

Fizz, The Tidal Trickster
Difficulty: Very Easy to Moderate.
I've seen Fizz go both ways as solo top. The majority of players are better off crushing a squishy mid champion like Karthus, but you'll have to deal with him for now. I've yet to test if Cleanse removes Chum the Waters, but I don't think it does. He'll mostly farm early game, and if he's getting aggressive it's most likely because there's an Udyr sitting behind you. Playful / Trickster is incredibly annoying, being pretty much a get-out-of-gank-free-card. Only initiate the fight after he has used his skills. Tell your jungler to wait until his escape is on cool down. Other than that, farm when possible and smack him with Empower and that third Grandmaster's Might when he gets too close.

Gangplank, The Saltwater Scourge
Difficulty: Very Easy
Gangplank currently is quite a joke as a top laner. His Parrrley isn't doing too much against the armor heavy bruisers in top lane, and he has incredibly low damage early and mid-game. One problem he presents though, would be Remove Scurvy screwing up your Counter Strike when fighting. Try to ignite him and lay on the damage so he's forced to heal himself with it, then stun him. Counter Strike can also dodge Parrrley, but I would not recommend doing so every time he shoots you since it's 70ish mana gone. Only dodge it when you're under the tower and he attempts to finish you off. Over-all, farm his minions and once you have Wriggle's Lantern or Bilgewater Cutlass start farming him.

Garen, The Might Of Demacia
Garen is a rather sturdy top laner with his passive, Perseverance. I would highly discourage trying to kill him before you have any form of lifesteal or your ultimate. Chances are, if you get him low enough, he'll drop Demacian Justice on you and walk away with 300 gold. Avoid Judgment like a pro and when his skills are on cool down, either take him for your self or coordinate a gank with your jungler.

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Enemy Champions H-P

Enemy Champions H-P

Irelia, The Will of the Blades
Difficulty: Easy
Irelia relies heavily on auto attacks and that's what Jax counters best. Counter Strike also dodges Hiten Style, making her only damage source her Bladesurge and Transcendent Blades. Bladesurge will most likely be used to initiate the fight or escape from it. Most Irelia's can bladesurge to one low health minion, then to another, to avoid ganks. Coordinate with your jungler on when to gank, and where to position. Equilibrium Strike is a truly unique skill. If you have less health than Irelia, you'll be slowed and damaged. If you have more health however, you'll be stunned. Transcendent Blades in my opinion is a total joke. Unless you're at 10 health and she's chasing for that kill, they probably won't scare you much. Just shrug them off like a normal attack and keep smacking her.

Jarvan IV, The Exemplar of Demacia
Difficulty: Easy
Jarvan is going to go two ways for you. He will build his philosopher's stone and Heart of Gold and farm under his tower all game, occasionally throwing a Demacian Standard at you for damage. Late game he will turn into a tank with probably low damage. Or he will grab a The Brutalizer, Wriggle's Lantern or other offense item. In this case expect to see him using Dragon Strike, trying to knock you up with his Demacian Standard combo and popping Golden Aegis after going in. In this case, he is going to be very annoying and very stupid for trying to kill you in this lane. In most situations you should focus on farming and zoning him out of the lane with harassment, but when he fights back make him pay for it. As for Cataclysm you can simply Flash out of it or Leap Strike to a nearby minion, champion or ward.

Jayce, The Defender of Tomorrow
Difficulty: To Be Determined
I've yet to play against Jayce so I have no experience with him. I'm expecting him to be moderate or difficult. If anyone owns Jayce and would be willing to contribute to the guide add me in game: BluAnimal. You will be credited in the guide.

Kayle, The Judicator
Difficulty: Moderate
Kayle is one of the newer top laners I've seen around, although still pretty rare, she can be a pain. You're best off coordinating a gank with your jungler to get her out of lane early (level 1-4). She'll be an incredible farmer and harasser with Righteous Fury, but fortunately you can dodge those attacks with Counter Strike. Try not to be baited into tower diving her if her ultimate is up. If you do dive her, deal the damage while her ultimate is up, then throw ignite on her when it is off and Leap Strike away.

Kennen, The Heart of the Tempest
Difficulty: Very easy to difficult.
Kennen is an absolutely annoying counter to you, at least early game. I've run this lane multiple times when people tell me that Kennen will win the lane, hard. Kennen will have the upper hand early game (Usually pre-6 and pre-lifesteal), so try your best to farm, avoid his auto attacks and dodge Thundering Shuriken. Keep an eye on your river ward because you'll notice him become extremely aggressive. If he activates Slicing Maelstrom try and Leap Strike out of it to a nearby minion, or maybe the ganker. Just play and farm passively until you have the lifesteal to take him out.

Lee Sin, The Blind Monk
Difficulty: Moderate
The majority of his damage comes from his auto attacks so you know the drill: Leap Strike, Empower, Counter Strike and win. The reason I've put him as moderate over easy is his amount of CC. He has the perfect tool kit for setting you up for a gank, which is why he's such a great jungler. That, combined with his extreme mobility makes him a pretty even match for Jax. Safeguard / Iron Will will be your only real worry when trying to take him out one versus one. Ganking him will be rather difficult unless he is trying to take you out under your tower, in which case a gank would be great.

Malphite, Shard of the Monolith
Difficulty: Hard
Here it is, your first true counter in top lane. Seismic Shard is an incredible tool to set you up for more attacks from him or a jungler to gank you, while his passive Granite Shield will make any poking or harassing from you useless. It's best to get a kill on him extremely early (level 1, 2, or 3) so he proves to be less of a problem. Mercury's Treads are a must for the amount of CC he is packing, and the ability power on top of all of it. Coordinate a gank with your jungler and get ahead of him early, or else you'll come out of the laning phase extremely underfarmed.

Mordekaiser, The Master of Metal
Difficulty: Moderate
Thankfully Mordekaiser lacks any form of CC. He can push a lane extremely fast though, so make sure to push the wave far up before you recall. Avoid standing in your minion wave since he can poke you with Siphon of Destruction while he is farming. Avoid fighting him at low health and don't try to poke him when Iron Man is up. Your main goal here is to farm and keep him zoned. A farmed Mordekaiser is just as scary as a fed Mordekaiser. Mercury's Treads will negate some damage from him, but if you need more magic resistance in lane pick up a Hexdrinker.

Nasus, The Curator of the Sands
Difficulty: Very Easy
Nasus is an extremely passive laner, which is good and bad. Jax is best at reacting to a fight, then initiating it (at least early game). Nasus will focus on farming his Siphoning Strike and most likely build gold/time items like philosopher's stone and Heart of Gold. Wither can prove to be an incredible debuff to you, especially at early levels in fights. If you have Cleanse now is the time to use it, then proceed to smack him with Empower and auto attacks. Unfortunately Nasus will most likely turn into an incredible tank, giving you few to no kills in lane, but hopefully you will have denied him farm and he'll be hitting for incredibly low.

Nidalee, The Bestial Hunter
Difficulty: Difficult
Nidalee is a pain for Jax for many reasons. She's a ranged champion and will auto-attack you every chance she gets. She can farm with relative ease because of this. Her ultimate Aspect Of The Cougar will enable to get away from the majority of ganks. Bushwhack / Pounce gives her the sight of any jungler attempting to gank her. Do your best to dodge her Javelin Toss / Takedown and activate Counter Strike when ever she starts to auto attack you. Do your best to farm and let the lane push closer to your side so you can farm easier.

Olaf, The Berserker
Difficulty: Easy
Olaf is a pretty easy lane for you. The majority of his damage comes from Reckless Swing, which won't be doing much because of your lifesteal. His Undertow is relatively easy to sidestep. Your only concern would be Reckless Swing, but with your lifesteal from Bilgewater Cutlass and/or Wriggle's Lantern you'll heal all the damage back. Be sure to throw Ignite on him when he starts up Vicious Strikes. Olaf is an auto-attack heavy champion, which is why I've marked him as Easy.

Pantheon, The Artisan of War
Difficulty: Difficult
Pantheon is going to be a more difficult match up for you since he relies little on auto attacking, besides farming. I would recommend taking Cleanse to counter his Aegis of Zeonia stun. Keep the river warded at all times and be sure to call MIA since Grand Skyfall can allow him to gank from one lane over. You can't do much to counter his Spear Shot other than to build some armor with an item like Wriggle's Lantern or Ninja Tabi (although they're not as useful since he doesn't use auto attacks much.) You'd be better off with Mercury's Treads to counter his stun. His Heartseeker Strike won't do very much since he'll be leveling his Spear Shot first. Just farm when you can and stay out of range of his spear shot. Try not to fight him until level 6 or 7.

Poppy, The Iron Ambassador
Difficulty: Easy
Credits to Pluckin Penguin
for the much needed information on Poppy. :)
Poppy has a weak laning phase against Jax. You're Counter Strike should cover any damage she attempts to dish out, and you'll out damage the whole lane. (Implying you don't give any kills to her). Your biggest problem is going to be the jungler which can be taken care of with 75 gold sight ward.

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Enemy Champions Q-Z

Enemy Champions Q-Z

Renekton, The Butcher of the Sands
Difficulty: Moderate
I myself do quite a lot of games as Renekton so I have a good grasp of his gameplay and moveset. He'll use Slice and Dice to get up close to you, Ruthless Predator to stun you, Cull the Meek to get some life and heavy damage on you, then simply Slice and Dice back out of the wave. What makes him moderate is his on-hit stun, mobility and his ultimate which will make 1v1'ing him very difficult. Play safe, farm what you can and try not to be in his zone when he goes to last hit. Avoid attacking him until you have some form of sustain ( Wriggle's Lantern, Bilgewater Cutlass) then go for the kill. Thankfully Ignite is a good tool for Dominus. Just know when to back out of the fight.

Riven, The Exile
Difficulty: Easy
*Sigh* I'm currently torn between which champion is easier. Darius or Riven. But I'll stop crying and start spitting out advice and tips. Riven has some serious AD early, especially when she goes back and possibly picks up one or two Doran's Blade. I used to see Wriggle's Lantern run on her fairly often but that trend has seemed to die down. She'll rush off-tank items like Phage, Hexdrinker and then work towards a The Bloodthirster. Your goal is to farm it up and deny her any farm you can. When she goes up to take a last hit Empower her. Better yet, time your third hit of Grandmaster's Might and Empower her for some serious damage. When going toe to toe do the usual Counter Strike and the occasional Empower. Grandmaster's Might is usually necessary when finishing her off because her ultimate is yet another easy last chance to knock off half your health. An early gank from your jungler would be appreciated, before she has all her dashes. Other than that, be a total pain for her and smack her around every chance you get.

Rumble, The Mechanized Menace
Difficulty: Moderate
Rumble can be a real pain with Flamespitter. Just do your best to avoid standing in the minions. Electro-Harpoon can poke you for some serious damage late game, but will tickle early. When killing Rumble try and get him to spam his spells to the point that he silences himself, then just go to town on him. DO NOT stand in The Equalizer. It will do insane amounts of damage over time, all while he's attacking you. When he ults, get out of the way and continue fighting.

Shen, Eye of Twilight
Difficulty: Hard
On the bright side, Shen is almost always banned in draft pick. On the down side when he isn't banned you can bet he'll be played. Maybe I've only played against good Shens but, from past experience, every single one has been able to zone me from level 1. Vorpal Blade pokes for some serious damage. Just try and farm under your tower and take golems if you're on purple team. Take advantage of him being out of your lane when he uses Stand United to go save someone. Hopefully you can push down his tower before he returns and you'll be free to roam and free farm whatever.

Singed, The Mad Chemist
Difficulty: Moderate
Singed is going to Poison Trail your minion waves and farm that way. Try not to chase him when it's active. If he starts getting more aggressive, expect to be Fling into their jungler. There's really no shutting down Singed without outside help so your best bet would be to farm passively and try and poke him with Empower if he gets too close.

Teemo, The Swift Scout
Difficulty: Easy to Difficult.
Teemo is another champion that can totally mess up your laning phase or feed you all of early game. AD Teemo is a joke to Jax, AP Teemo on the other hand... Blinding Dart is going to make farming difficult and Toxic Shot is going to shred your health over time if you let him get multiple hits on you. A Vision Ward or Oracle's Elixir will help with Noxious Trap and clearing a path for your jungler to gank. Counter Strike dodges the initial damage from Toxic Shot but the damage over time will still tick.

Tryndamere, The Barbarian King
Difficulty: Very Easy.
Tryndamere is a total joke for you. I won't even go over his abilities. All you need to keep in mind is Undying Rage. If you have to Leap Strike him and drop Ignite on him after he ults.

Udyr, The Animal Spirit
Difficulty: Easy to Difficult
All of Udyr's damage relies solely on auto attacks. Jax specializes in auto attackers. Do the math. :)
When you get into a fight start Counter Strike for the full duration and just smack the hell out of him. Unfortunately his Turtle Stance has the upperhand for sustain for the first few levels. After that though he's fair game. The only problem I've had with Udyr is Bear Stance stuns, but Cleanse can always take care of those.

Vladimir, The Crimson Reaper
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
He can be a pain zoning you with Transfusion and his auto attacks but you should come out on top. He's a great champion for shutting down those AD carries up top, but hopefully we won't fall into that category. Take advantage of double golems if you're on purple team and farm under your tower if you are zoned. You'll have a better chance once you pick up lifesteal of some sort. When you go to engaged him Empower, Leap Strike, Counter Strike. He should Sanguine Pool from this and when he surfaces attack him with Bilgewater Cutlass/ Hextech Gunblade, more CC! Finish him off with another Empower, Leap Strike combo and drop Ignite on him if he's not dead. Note: An early Hexdrinker is a good way to counteract him and his ultimate.

Volibear, The Thunder's Roar
Difficulty: Moderate
Volibear can be a pain at first, but like most champions, Jax isn't going to stomp them into the ground at level 1. After you pick up some sustain he's fair game as usual. My only concern is that you either Ignite when Chosen of the Storm activates or you wait for it to be on cool down. Don't try towerdiving him. Chances are his passive is up and he'll fling you to your death. Play smart around Volibear and don't get greedy. His passive is great at baiting you into a 1v1 which then can turn into a 2v1 when his jungler stops by. Try not to get a kill on him unless:
1. His Chosen of the Storm is down.
2. Your jungler is ganking him as well.

Warwick, The Blood Hunter
Difficulty: Moderate
Warwick has some great sustain from Eternal Thirst and Hungering Strike. Ignite is a great choice against all that lifesteal. Focus on farming and focus on harassing him away from his minions. You'll be able to take him by level 7 or 8. Don't towerdive him unless you're positive his ult his down or he is incredibly low on mana.

Wukong, The Monkey King
Difficulty: Moderate
I've yet to see a skilled Wukong. The best thing they can really do is rush a Sheen and hope the Nimbus Strike auto attack Crushing Blow combo does a lot. Be careful for his ultimate though, standing in it will shred your health and the knock up is great for a jungler to finish you off. Focus on last hitting and remember, two minion waves is worth more than a champion kill. Denying him farm will give him a terrible mid-game which is where Wukong really shines.

Yorick, The Gravedigger
Difficulty: Difficult
Yorick is an incredible solo top that can zone most champions. On the bright side you can Counter Strike his omens and he's incredibly mana hungry. So save your mana up and the second his is low, push the lane up and then Empower, Leap Strike, Counter Strike. Hopefully he'll at least burn a Flash if you don't secure the kill. Keep your river warded at all times and after you get some decent items you'll have the upper hand in lane.

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A Wild Teamfight Appears!


Before going any further I would like to clear something up. Jax is a great initiator... Against one or two champions max. You SHOULD NOT be the first one into the teamfight. Leave that to Amumu or Nautilus or Malphite. Once the tank/disabler initiates get in there. You're tanky enough to get into the fight early, have enough sustain to take on their team and you've got enough damage to take out your targets which are...

Jax is an incredible anti-carry, use it to your advantage. Once their team is confused immediately Leap Strike and Empower their AD carries like Graves or Caitlyn, activating Counter Strike when necessary. Other good targets would be their AP nuke like Veigar, Ziggs, Heimerdinger. The second you start taking heavy damage activate Grandmaster's Might. Don't be surprised if you can't reach these targets, they know where to be, which is at the back of their team. On the bright side Jax has a great tool for closing that gap. Do your normal Empower Leap Strike counter onto the squishy, activate Counter Strike if you'll be able to stun 2 or more targets, or if the carry is now focusing you. Activate Grandmaster's Might if you are now the focus (which will be very likely). If you can take out the carry, your job is done. If you're still alive switch to their AP champions.
General Rules

When in a teamfight or if there is going to be a teamfight, do not split away from your team. Do not go grab the farm in top lane, do not go defend bottom tower. Your main focus here is going to be their team. If they have Baron Nashor' Buff do not even bother engaging a fight.

One thing you can do is set up in a nearby bush so they assume it is now 4v5. The second they initiate Leap Strike their now vulnerable carries and go to town. But if you are separated from your team always make sure you have an escape route, ex. A sight ward or Wriggle's Lantern to jump to over a wall.

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Jungling 101

Jungling Basics

I am personally not the biggest fan of jungling with Jax but he is definitely not a bad choice. He can keep up with junglers like Nocturne, steal from slower junglers like Amumu and he has great potential for ganking. You want to start with Vampiric Scepter and put a point in Counter Strike. If you can get assistance with wolves, go for it. You want to then immediately go to blue buff right after, and mid will hopefully leash for you (implying you're not in elo hell) Put a point into Empower at level 2 then continue on to wraiths, double golems, then red buff. At level 3 you can put either another point in Empower for faster clears or Leap Strike for ganking. After a full clear of the jungle and a gank if possible, recall and pick up Boots of Speed and Madred's Razors if possible.
Leap Strike is your tool for engaging and ganking. When you go to gank a lane you should either
A. Wait for your team's lane to initiate ( Seismic Shard, Dark Binding, etc.) then engage.

B. You engage by procing Counter Strike, Empower and then Leap Strike your target.

When to take Leap Strike is up to you. If your team needs a gank bad, put a point into it at level 3, then go gank the lane(s). If your team doesn't need any help at the moment put your second point into Empower and then put a point into Leap Strike at level 4.

Jungle Route

Spawn Times
Wolves/Golems - 1:40 (Respawns every minute)
Wraiths - 1:40 (respawns every 50 seconds)
Blue Buff/Red Buff - 1:55 (Respawns every 6 minutes)
Dragon - 2:30 (Respawns every 6 minutes)
Baron Nashor - 15:00 (Respawns every 7 minutes)

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Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks
  • Leap Strike can be used to jump to friendly wards and champions. This can be extremely useful for catching up, cutting off an escape route, escaping and avoiding a gank.
  • Try and time Empower after two-three auto attacks so it immediately resets the timer, boosting your damage over time dramatically. Always activate it immediately after your second or third auto attack.
  • You can gain minion aggro in lane, activate Counter Strike and gain bonus return damage on it because of the minions attacking you.
  • When going against an auto attack heavy champion use Counter Strike for it's full duration.
  • Hextech Gunblade and Bilgewater Cutlass both have incredible active's that can make the difference between life and death (for you and them). Use the extreme range on Hextech Gunblade to slow a pursuer or to chase someone down. Same concept with Bilgewater Cutlass except it has a very small range.
  • Try and use Grandmaster's Might and Counter Strike separately. And don't be afraid to open up a teamfight with Grandmaster's Might active, it has a long effect (8 seconds) which you can follow up with Counter Strike.
  • If you've over-extended and getting ganked Leap Strike to the incoming ganker and run.
  • You can use Empower to fake out your enemy by activating it and walking towards them as though you're going to engage. Simply push them away/zone them and then use that Empower to take a last hit instead.
  • Ward jumping. See below.

That simple. Drop a ward, or activate Wriggle's Lantern, Leap Strike to the ward and boom, free Flash!

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Credits And Hall of Fame


Credits to MobaFire for letting me host and create this guide.

Credits to Riot Games for creating a great game and a fun champion.

Credits to you, the reader, and anyone who +votes this guide up. :)

Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.

Hall of Fame

SkullzxFeel free to drop me a message with a picture of your best Jax games and I'll be sure to post them here and credit you. :)

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And there you have it. My new and improved guide to solo top and jungle Jax. I hope you've enjoyed it and learned a few things. If you found this guide helpful don't forget to leave a comment, +vote and if you're feeling generous +rep me. Thanks for reading :)

Now you have a real weapon!

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Change Log

Change Log

7/9/2012 -
  • Quick changes to Summary and Credits
  • Added Maw of Malmortius under Damage as well as Magic Resistance
  • Spacing issues fixed
  • Jayce information still needed
  • Warding section added under Items
  • Expanded Tips and Tricks
  • Twisted Treeline and Mid lane Jax under construction

7/4/2012 -
6/30/2012 -
6/27/2012 -
  • Changed some coding
  • Added Skullzx to the Hall of Fame
  • Teamfight Section
  • Expanded Jungling Section

6/18/2012 -
  • Changed Vladimir's difficult to easy and moderate. Credit: Koksei
  • Added Poppy to the list of match-ups. Credit: Pluckin Penguin
  • Additional viable rune choices added. Thanks: Koksei
  • A Team Fights section will be added with the next update of this guide. Stay tuned :)

  • 6/16/2012 - Guide Published.
  • 6/16/2012 - Old Guide Archived. (Can be found here)