Jinx Build Guide by Aqua Dragon
Diamond Top Jinx - Muramana Zapper Trapper
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+8 ability haste
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Champion Build Guide
Hi! I’m Aqua Dragon. I've been in Diamond for multiple seasons and I play Top Jinx.
I also play:
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- Zap cooldown is 2 seconds! The 70% slow is 2 seconds long!
- Can easily reach 1,000 damage on each Zap!
- Chomper cooldown is 5 seconds, and Chompers last for 5 seconds
- Great anti-freeze power; can play safely into any lane
- Ult provides some map relevancy during the lane phase
- One of the strongest mid-game spikes in the game
- Excellent self-peel against mobile champions
- Very passive laning phase; Weak early game.
- Very dependent on proper wave management to avoid dives
- Low movement speed.
- Difficulty landing initial Zaps while sieging
- Ult can be difficult to land from top lane
- Low attack speed makes pushing down towers difficult early.
- Can't easily weave in autoattacks between the nonstop Zaps.
Top Jinx sounds extremely unintuitive until you realize a few things.
1. Zap can get a 2 second cooldown.
2. Zap slows targets by 70% for 2 seconds.
3. Zap can easily hit for over 800 damage.
This means after one Zap, it becomes feasible to hit someone with multiple more Zaps in a row! The low cooldown on Zap makes it feel like playing Jinx on URF mode.
Furthermore, Chompers eventually can be brought down to a 5 second cooldown, and each Chomper lasts on the ground for 5 seconds. This makes it possible to permanently have out Chompers at level 13!
The combination of these things makes Jinx have one of the most powerful mid-games of any champion in the game!
Why Top Lane?
Reaching that mid-game power is the tricky part. Attaining the coveted zap-chains and perma-chompers requires about 100 Ability Haste and a hefty pool of mana.
The big problem is that Top lane is the only lane that won't heavily punish the time it takes to scale up to this power.
Unless you are a hypercarry (which Zapper Jinx is not), both Mid and Bot lanes heavily punish passive laners. Dragons will be taken, plates will be shoved for, roams will destroy everyone. A hypercarry makes the gamble of "That's fine if you do that; I'll kill you late-game anyway." However, this Jinx build, while extremely powerful mid-game, is no hypercarry, and so can't just farm passively at Mid or Bot. That gamble doesn't pay off.
The linear nature of Mid-lane also makes hitting people with Zaps extremely difficult, if not outright impossible at times. At Bot, the passive playstyle is shoved in especially hard and splitting EXP means it takes even longer to reach the critical power spikes that Zapper Jinx needs to thrive.
Jinx also has the tools to survive at Top compared to other Marksmen. Zap has enough range to unfreeze any waves and to farm from an enormous level of safety. Plus, the chompers are great for surviving against dives, as long as you don't get crashed into by a massive wave.
Pazappa the Trapper
100 Ability Haste is uniquely and crucially important for Zap Jinx that wants to minimize the slow time between each Zap shot.
Provides Teleport without needing to commit to Teleport. Rationale against Arcane Comet noted further down.
Magical Footwear lets you invest 300g more into Ability Haste rather than putting it into movement speed.
Biscuits help give mana for more zaps; can't deal damage if you don't have enough mana.
Cosmic Insight helps provide a surprising amount of forgiveness for the laning phase. Approach Velocity barely impacts the end result of fights.
Mana is so desperately necessary for Zap Jinx.
Transcendence's speeds up the build toward the critically important 100 Ability Haste point, which is more important than more AD.
Ability Haste, Flat AD, and Armor
There's only so many ways to word "100 ability haste", alright?
The choice not to go Arcane Comet on an artillery playstyle like this may seem initially strange. The Zap slow all-but-guarantees the comet will land, and Gathering Storm helps boost up Zap's damage quite a hefty amount. But the exclusion of it can be summarized in a single sentence:
It's too unforgiving.
Try as I might, the sheer brutality of top lane made it too inconsistent an option. While a perfect player may be able to get away with it, I found my overall match consistency improving dramatically after switching to Unsealed Spellbook.
To some extent, this makes sense. The loss of these two runes costs about 8 - 15% overall damage, but simply being able to hold under tower dives with Barrier and Cosmic Insight, having a useful summoner spell in teamfights instead of Teleport, and being able to have more versatility with Unsealed Spellbook allows for more gold acquisition over the course of the match that makes up for the damage loss and then some.
If you'd like to choose Arcane Comet despite these notes, you can simply trade out Cosmic Insight with Gathering Storm and Unsealed Spellbook with Arcane Comet. Godspeed.
If you've peeked at the build order, you may notice that the build path has a triple Caulfield's Hammer stack as part of the core.
Image courtesy of our Discord member, Coqueiro Lendário
Reiterating once more, 100 Ability Haste is the dream end goal for Jinx Top, as that allows for the coveted perma-zap that can break apart targets.
For 3200g, Duskblade of Draktharr gives 25 Ability Haste, 60 Attack Damage, and 18 Lethality
The Nightstalker passive to turn invisible is... eh? It's not that useful on Top Jinx at all.
After running some tests, it was found that the damage loss between Triple Hammer and Duskblade was largely insignificant, on the magnitude of about 25 damage per Zap on relevant squishy targets.
The two builds are roughly similar in terms of the comparative power they provide. Since Ability Haste is favored more than a little extra raw damage, the triple hammer build is slightly preferred. Ultimately though, there's nothing wrong with rushing for Duskblade first instead since it's almost the same, minus the mostly negligible Nightstalker passive.
Breaking Down the Building
Tear start is tempting, but Jinx can only get around 30-40 stacks pre-1st-back.
This is because W and E aren't used often early, and Q rockets don't stack Tear.
By buying Long Sword, Jinx can start with Refillable, which provides much-needed sustain.
→ → → → →
Refer to the previous section for more information on the triple hammer rush.
It takes 3 complete items to reach the 100 ability haste dream
Though having 80 - 85 Ability Haste is pretty close to that too
Learning to Give a Zap
In the early game, your goals are to
- Survive till the mid-game
- Zap from far away to farm
- Ult across the map regularly
Rely on Minigun When Possible: While Fishbone's rockets are nice for their reach and for stacking Tear, you still want to use Pow-Pow to avoid pushing the wave too much and getting partially stuck on a freeze.
Farm From Afar with Zap: Zap has an absolutely absurd range that is nearly impossible to punish. Don't fret about your mana too much; that's what the Biscuits and Teleport are for.
Punish Freezes by Going Back: If it looks like the enemy top laner is trying to freeze, just use it as a chance to go back and refill on mana. Better than them going for plates. You can unfreeze the wave later using Zap, though be mindful of jungler ganks.
Ult Liberally, Not Just to Execute: Unlike ADC Jinx, the Zapper Jinx build isn't only looking to ult for kills. Use it almost off cooldown to try to help other lanes, to gain vision of the enemy jungler, to try and stop enemies getting a plate, or even just to wound your lane opponent a little. It has a short cooldown; it'll be back up soon enough.
As the laning phase ends, you reach the peak of your power!
- Zap into Zap into Zap into Zap!
- Start moving around with the team
- Help siege down towers
Complete Muramana: The constant Zaps and the constant Fishbone rockets will quickly start stacking up Manamune. Once it's complete, you hit your next major power spike, adding a huge bit of extra damage to each Zap!
Reach Level 13 for Perma-Chompers: At level 13, you hit your next major powerspike, now able to have permanent chomper uptime. While it's tough to remember, be sure to use Chompers off cooldown in the middle of chaotic teamfights! They have no cast time.
Follow Up Ally CC: Hitting an initial Zap can be pretty difficult at times, but if an ally slows or stuns a target, they should become a prime candidate for a zap chain. Zapper Jinx works best as a follow-up artillery.
Use Ult Often: Just as before, the ult is on an extremely short cooldown. Don't just save it for executes or you may find yourself not using it at all.
Avoid Autoing Much in Fights: While your autos individually hit a bit hard, your low attack speed makes it unfeasible to weave in autos at a safe range while also Zapping and Chomping and Ulting. Just rely on Zaps unless it looks like 1-3 autos will finish off a target.
The role remains largely similar
- ZAP INTO ZAP INTO ZAP INTO ZAP
- Your pushing speed is pretty good now!
- Avoid getting caught
Set Up Walls of Chompers: The Chompers are large enough to completely seal off one jungle entrance forever. Great to use when enemies are trying to move in to contest a baron or dragon!
Help Push Towers: Once you hit 18, your autos are actually fairly quick and can melt towers down. Use that speed to your advantage.