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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.
This is a build that I've been using lately to great success. It combines multiple aspects from other guides while adding some of my own ideas to deal with issues that I've have had with Jax's squishiness. Cleanse provides much-needed anti-CC while Ghost provides chasing and escapability. My issue with Jax is that he dies too fast, due to focus fire and CC. This build for Jax is useful at low levels (I'm only LV14), in which it may be necessary for you to have some survivability in order to carry the team.
I do NOT buy attack speed items! Jax as DPS won't deal as much damage as other DPS characters, and he has no CC (Counterstrike is reactive) and escape ability.
I do NOT build Jax as a tank! All health (aside from the Mallet) is gained through AD and AP. The point is to make a well-rounded Jax that can survive against all sorts of scenarios, which is perfect for pub play.
I DO buy items that exploit his Equipment Mastery skill! The combination of Gunblade plus Rageblade gives a bonus of 700HP.
I DO buy items that give AP as well as attack damage! Leap Strike and Empower (which you should constantly be spamming) become much more dangerous as a result.
At the start of the game, buy Cloth Armor and a few health/mana pots. See if your teammates will let you solo, in which you should play defensively and focus on gaining levels and gold. Offer up some harassment when the moment is right: hit your empower and use leap strike if your opponent is playing too aggressively. If your Counterstrike is charged, it's a good time to hit him with all three (empower, then leap and stun). When you have reached ~lv8 and have bought at least up to the Vampiric Scepter, you can begin playing more aggressively and start actively ganking. Of course, if your teammates need help or if there's a good opportunity, you should help gank before then as well.
Max out Leap as fast as possible for the CD reduction after taking a point each in Counterstrike and Empower. Max out Counterstrike last since the benefits are tiny for each level (2% dodge, small damage increase). Of course, grab your ult when you can. Always hit your Empower as soon as it is charged when attacking enemy heroes.
Ninja Tabi is an obvious choice for Jax.
Early Vampiric Scepter provides more lane staying power and helps survivability in general.
Guinsoo's Rageblade is terrific on Jax, helping damage with Leap and Empower while also providing a neat 310HP courtesy of Equipment Mastery. The passive effect is like a mini-ult for Jax. You enter the fight with at least two stacks on the Rageblade due to Empower + Leap Strike.
Phage helps with survivability (+315 health) and provides a Slow effect.
In my opinion, Hextech Gunblade is an underused item on Jax. All the effects are useful: you gain 390 health, on top of the damage. Spell Vamp is triggered by Empower and Leap Strike. The active ability is great for chasing and provides a free nuke.
Atma's Impaler has natural synergy with Equipment Mastery and provides some more survivability as well.
Late game, Frozen Mallet may be useful for pesky heroes for which the Gunblade Active is not enough. Bloodthirster provides even more damage and Lifesteal, and thus even more damage and survability.
Other items that may be useful are Banshee's Veil for caster-heavy teams and Executioner's Call for teams with heavy healers and/or Warwick.
This build exploits Equipment Mastery to create a well-balanced Jax that is decent at many things but terrific at none. It is best suited for pub play in which you cannot play in a more specialized role or depend heavily on your teammates for success. This Jax still offers decent DPS (augmented by his spells) while also having massive HP and some chasing ability.
This is my first guide so feedback is extremely welcome!