Jax Build Guide by Exzious
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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.
Hello, I wanted to make this guide to show you how to properly build a Jax, since I have met a good few terrible Jax players in my long life as Jax. In here you will find the best runes, skill sequence, items and reasoning for all the above.
Pros / Cons
+ high health
+ high damage
+ fun to play
+ a jump!
+ low cooldowns
+ did I mention the jump?!
- easily trapped
- very easily outranged
- can be killed easily if not played correctly
- no organized team? BG
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Evasion
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
If you are wondering why I am not going any armor- or magiv penetration, it is because Jax doesn't do well with either. He gains health from flat AD and AP. The more AD/AP you have the more health.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage: I take these to increase the starting damage of Leap Strike + Empower and to get some early game survival. They add 8.5 extra AD and also 26 hp more throughout the fight. As a replacement you could use the Greater Mark of Attack Speed. They do help alot and helps a little bit on building your ulti.
Greater Seal of Evasion: These are really the only option here, as the dodge seals are the only viable seals.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: They are the best glyphs since you will want to jump alot early for the harass. If you do not have these, or for some reason don't want them, you could go with Greater Glyph of Magic Resist for survival or the Greater Glyph of Attack Speed for ulti building.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: I chose these because they give you the best to all 3 abilities. All of [Jax] abilities takes from Ability Power, and 2 from Attack Damage. This is why he is a hybrid. As an option, you could go with Greater Quintessence of Evasion, but you really want this early game AP as it gives you both damage on all your abilities and some health.
This is just going to be a list of the masteries and reasons why I chose them.
3/3 in Archmage's Savvy : I chose this because it gives him the most damage. Jax hits with AP every 3rd attack and on every ability.
1/3 in Deadliness : I took this just as a pointsfiller. But you don't need either Plentiful Bounty nor Cripple on him, as you won't ever jungle or Exhaust anyone.
4/4 in Sorcery: CDR is good on Jax! Learn it and you will learn Jax quicker!
4/4 in Alacrity : Once again: Attack Speed helps building up Ulti faster.
1/1 in Burning Embers : You will be wanting to burst your Ignite because of this extra AP.
1/1 in Archaic Knowledge : This makes Jax hurt. All his abilities deal magic damage, this extra magic pen really helps.
3/3 in Sunder : You DO do physical damage in 2 out of 3 of your attacks.
3/3 in Brute Force : Gives extra HP (for survivability early) and that little extra spice to your jumps.
1/1 in Havoc : Why go to the bottom of the offence tree without getting this one? That's called stupidity.
1/3 in Resistance : This is just a pointskeeper, as you don't ever use Heal or Revive.
3/3 in Hardiness : This is good as Jax will be dangerous against AD carries. He hurts them to put it lightly.
4/4 in Evasion : You want to dodge THIS much. You NEED to dodge. If you don't dodge, you can go play Cho'Gath or some other big *** easy to hit hero.
1/1 in Nimbleness : Extra run speed after every dodge? Hell yeah!
If you are wondering on the masteries I did not choose, ask me in the comments and I will answer the best way I possibly, humanly can.
You will now learn why you should build items in the way you do!
You start out with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion or a Doran's Ring. You could start out with an Amplifying Tome and 1 Health Potion, but your survivability would be way down in the basement. Some people like to go after Phreak's "recommended" items and go Dorans Shield. I don't, neither should you. It doesn't build to anything, and you don't get a Health Potion from it anymore.
You will back when you have 500 gold to buy yourself those lovely Ninja Tabi boots. They will boost your damage and your survivability with dodge chance and more movement speed (we like the movement speed!).
You can choose to wait for [Pickaxe] or just buy the Vampiric Scepter asap, that only matters how it's going. Need more time to kill someone? Buy a Vampiric Scepter. Need more health and AD and got the gold? Go back and buy a Pickaxe. You finish off the Bilgewater Cutlass asap.
Next you build Hextech Gunblade. This item is the number 1 best item on Jax. It gives him more AD/AP/Lifesteal and spell vamp! Everything you would want as a Jax. Even beats the next item!
Guinsoo's Rageblade! This is the second best item you can possibly get on Jax. I do say build it second. I have tried getting Guinsoo's Rageblade first, you get your 2 first items slower than this way.
That's it for your core as Jax. Out from here, it is all situational. Need more armor/hp? Build an Atmog's build. Are they loaded up on them lovely squishy AP carries? build an Abyssal Mask, Wit's End, even Force of Nature works wonders here.
The skill sequence is really easy.
Leap Strike is really just a way for Jax to reach their enemy after the base damage nerf. Empower does more damage at rank 3 than Leap Strike does at rank 5, so we finish Empower first. Counter Strike is a nobrainer. A passive that gives more dodge chance? Yes please. Regular ulti every level possible.
I find Flash to be a great utility for Jax. It gives him the chance to jump in, get a kill, then Flash back out. Only a few selected champions have that, and it is a special thing to care about.
Ignite is also a good spell. Killing Swain? No problem, you will live through his damage, Ignite him and he is pretty much over with.
There are of course some other optionable spells to choose from.
Ghost: Don't like the flash spell or are you simply not level 30 yet? Go level or get Ghost.
Exhaust: You can, but it's not really a good choice. VERY situational, other team full of AD carries? go Exhaust. (Aka, only for draft mode)
Terrible summoner spells with Jax: (Yes I have seen Jax with some of these mentioned below)
Teleport: No. Just, no. Don't ever go this, you don't even need it to solo top.
Heal: Waste of a summoner spell. Not even worth it for the extra survivability.
Clarity: Do you want to play as a support damage freak? Go play Nidalee or Kayle.
Clairvoyance: This is just a trollpick, seriously. (I have met a Jax with this once).
To sum it up. Jax is great, he's fun to play, he's just overall awesome.
If you want to contribute to the guide, help me make it better, come with suggestions. I will try it and if it works, I will either put it as recommended or as an option for Jax depending on how well it works.
16.11.2011: Season 2 patch: Nothing new to Jax but the new talents, added them in.
09.12.2011: Fixed the skill sequence to be the best one.