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Jarvan IV Build Guide by FrostForest

Jungle How I play Jarvan IV like a Challenger in Season 12 (12.15)

Jungle How I play Jarvan IV like a Challenger in Season 12 (12.15)

Updated on August 12, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author FrostForest Build Guide By FrostForest 203 11 402,733 Views 8 Comments
203 11 402,733 Views 8 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author FrostForest Jarvan IV Build Guide By FrostForest Updated on August 12, 2022
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Runes: Standard Runes

1 2 3 4
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Magical Footwear
Cosmic Insight

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2
Summoner Spells
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Smite



Bruiser Mythic
Healing Reduction buy one (tank/carry)

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

How I play Jarvan IV like a Challenger in Season 12 (12.15)

By FrostForest

Who am I?

Hey guys I am "FrostForest" a Challenger jungler that plays on the North American Server. I play many junglers but Jarvan is one of my favorite junglers to play since of how versatile he is.

Notable Achievements

    Top 50 NA
    Winthrop University
    TSM FTX Amateur
    C9 Academy
    Peak 1000 lp+
    CLOL Champion 2021
I have been a challenger since season 8 and played on many amateur teams
This also my first guide so feel free to comment if I am missing anything but I'm confident in the information I am sharing. It might not be the prettiest guide but there's a lot of content!
I stream occasionally on twitch so go ahead and drop a follow if you liked the guide
This is my current main
Basic Jungle Knowledge
Blue and Red Buffs: 5:00 min respawn
Camps/ Monsters: 2:15 min respawn
Rift Scuttler 3:15 min / 2:00 respawn after
Dragon: 5:00 spawn / 5:00 respawn / Only 3 Unique dragons per game
Rift Herald: 8:00 spawn / 6:00 respawn
Baron Nashor: 20:00 spawn / 5:00 respawn
Each camp killed = 4 cs
Ex. If you see the enemy jungler is lvl 3, has 12 cs, and has Blue and Red buff, you can safely assume he has done Blue Sentinel and Red Brambleback with Krugs or Gromp as his 3rd camp because you can't get lvl 3 unless you do one of those camps out of the 2. This is called jungle cs counting

JunglePlants Spawns are random
Blast Cone: 1st Inner cone spawn: 1:15 - 1:25 / 1st outer spawn: 5:00 - 5:30
Inner cone respawn 5:00 - 7:00 / Outer cone respawn 5:30 - 6:30
HoneyFruit: 1st spawn: 6:00 - 6:30 / Respawn time: 5:30 - 7:00
Scryer’s Bloom: 1st spawn: 3:00 - 3:30 / Respawn time : 5:00 - 6:30
Take this every game at the start for a jungler
Blue is chiling smite/ Red is Challenging smite
Never go Health Potion and always go refillable because it's very gold efficient and you get free charges every time you base for items
Take the Yellow Trinket if you aren't ganking that much and want to ward up for your teammates to prevent enemy ganks
Because you are such a strong early game jungler I usually recommend taking Red Trinket and look to gank lanes early or invade the enemy jungler
Take Red Smite when you want to duel the enemies
Take Blue Smite when you want stronger ganks or if your matchup is not possible to beat with red smite.


Rush Goredrinker or Sunfire Aegis depending if you need to be a tank or carry and pick up Boots and a Control Ward in between if you have the money. Goredrinker is a stronger spike early game but you won't be as tanky if you went sunfire. Goredrinker is the safest option as most games you will be the primary engage for your team, I would build it when even or ahead. Build Sunfire Aegis when you are behind since you will be tanking for your team primarily.
Stridebreaker is another option for the bruiser build but you already have 2 dashes already, maybe take into a team comp full of ranged champions so that you can slow into flag and drag but Goredrinker gives better stats.
Turbo Chemtank is a good item and is cheaper then Sunfire Aegis with the addition of having an engage passive but the problem is that you don't have as much damage and your base damage is pitiful with a tank build.
Prowler's Claw is by far the best lethality mythic in the game currently because the mythic passive gives lethality and has better base stats while Duskblade of Draktharr gives ability haste for it's mythic passive. If going assassin, you will one shot with this mythic.

After Finishing your mythic item, finish your Tier 2 Boots then
start to build either more tankiness or damage.
If you want both then build a Sterak's Gage into a Guardian Angel
The Strongest 1 item buys after his jungle item are Sterak's Gage and Gargoyle Stoneplate as they give him the strongest stats he needs as a diver. Gargoyle Stoneplate allows you to dive in 1v5 without dieing most of the time but with Gargoyle Stoneplate you can pop it as you go in and soak damage for your team. The Active and Passive gives you massive amounts of HP and Resistances and the item gets more cost efficient the more enemies there are around. I pick this item up in 70% of my games as this 1 item turns me into a monster diver.


Gargoyle Stoneplate for mixed damage, Randuin's Omen or Thornmail for Heavy Physical Damage, and Force of Nature or Spirit Visage for Heavy Magic Resist. I like building a Warmog's Armor to reach the 3000 hp threshold due to the out of combat ability to regenerate to full life


Black Cleaver and a Guardian Angel if you are still stronger then the enemies. Damage items built on Jarvan IV should be primarily focused on attack damage with lethatlity being a one shot option.
Jarvan IV is a champion that relies on diving in to deal damage resulting in retaliation after using all of his combo
The strongest 1 item buys are Black Cleaver and Gargoyle Stoneplate because they give the best stats needed for Jarvan IV which is health and resistances.
Main Runes
The best keystone to take on Jarvan IV is Conqueror because its good in any situation and can help you transition into a tank or carry very easily. It's just a well rounded rune. I take it in 90% of my games.
The second best rune choice on Jarvan IVto take whenever you go in the Precision tree. Triumph is a must to take because of how many assists and kills you are able to get in a teamfight due to Demacian Standard. It gives free gold and massive hp restore in teamfights whenever you kill any enemy. I sometimes drop it near my allies before they Teleport and I manage to snag 1-2 assists for free.
Take Legend: Tenacity if the enemy team has a lot of crowd control
Take Legend: Alacrity if they enemy has little or no crowd control as this can increase your clear speed and damage a bit
Last Stand is overall a better option on Jarvan IV because you are usually diving in and taking the most damage. It synergizes well with what Jarvan IV wants to do and is encourages fighting with low hp with Triumph keeping you topped up if you get a kill.
Coup de Grace is not a bad option to take if you think you can carry a game but is not reliable in every situation. I usually take Last Stand over Coup de Grace ever since the nerfs to Coup de Grace and the buffs to Last Stand. This rune does give stronger early ganks because you are usually killing the enemies but doesn't scale well if you are going tank Jarvan IV
Secondary Main Runes
First Strike is a viable option when you want a stronger early game when it comes to ganks or if you are looking to carry as Jarvan IV by playing more like an assassin instead of a bruiser. This rune also allows you to transition into a bruiser or tank but your damage will be more burst and less sustainable in a long fight. You also get free gold whenever you want to annoy people with a flag!

Magical Footwear is a very consistent option as you will always get free boots however if you want to buy early boots, you can opt into Perfect Timing to get a free stopwatch when you are diving in deep.
Future's Market allows you to buy items to hit your powerspikes earlier in the game. This allows you to get your 1100 gold item powerspike a lot quickly in the game and can help snowball the game.
Cosmic insight is generally all around good since it lowers the cooldown on your summoner spells such as smite and flash and gives you your upgraded smite right before the herald spawns.


Hard Engage


Strong Lockdown

Tons of Burst damage


Assist Kingdom

Strong Synergy

Can be built like a Tank, Bruiser, or Assassin


No Hard CC (Stuns/Surpression)

Easy to dodge abilities (EQ combo)

Not the highest damage dealer

Easy to mess up

Mechanics and Abilities
Martial Cadence is your passive and you ideally want to use it before dealing the rest of your damage because the damage is based off of opponent's current health. Not too important but your passive can help your clear when dealing with multiple monsters. Hit each individual target once on each camp to proc the passive once then finish your camp. This allows you the possibility to proc your passive twice on each camp, making your clear speed a bit faster.
Dragon Strike shreds armor so always use this ability first before the rest of your combo if you can. Scales heavily with AD with a 1.1 bonus ad ratio.
Golden Aegis gives you a bigger shield depending on how many enemies are in your radius when you use this ability. You can also use it as a slow although it is a weak slow in most cases. It scales with Jarvan IV maximum hp, so it's not too bad.
Demacian Standard can be used more then just for engage and damage, you can just plop it down when hitting turrets or if you can't help in teamfights. You give attack speed to nearby allies and get assists just placing it. It even gives assist when you place down near a Teleport ally and they can nab a couple kills. You can also Teleport on the flag just like a ward or turret.
Cataclysm is one of the strongest ultimates in the game and can be a game changer. Try to keep track of enemy flashes as they are only a 5 minute cooldown when used. This is important when choosing which targets to engage, as they might be unable to escape. Cataclysm also has a whopping 1.5 bonus ad ratio meaning the damage scales heavily with attack damage


To Form the strongest CC chain possible on your champion you start with Demacian Standard into a Dragon Strike then follow up with a Cataclysm. This knockups any enemy hit by your first combo and locks them down in your Cataclysm afterwards.

Another combo I like to use is starting out with your Cataclysm then using your Demacian Standard and Dragon Strike combo to go out of your cage. I do this when my team is quicker to follow up and they just need time to reach the target so they can kill him, however you are too weak to fight the champ/champions you trap.
This is especially effective against enemies that have no dashes but can kill you in a 1v1. Examples are Olaf, Trundle, Nocturne, etc

Once you get enough cooldown reduction, you have the chance to get 2 knockups in a teamfights because your Demacian Standard will be on the ground longer then the cooldown reduction of your Dragon Strike. This allows you to Dragon Strike to your Demacian Standard twice in a teamfight.

Flash Mechanic

If you ever miss your Demacian Standard and Dragon Strike combo (Flag and Drag) or can't close the distance, then use flash!
Flashing during the middle of your Demacian Standard and Dragon Strike combo can guarantee the knockup CC but not the damage. This is only good in situations where the Crowd Control is crucial to secure a kill or blow a summoner spell

J4 EQ flash combo example video

Try practicing it in practice tool to get the hang of it and you'll be using it regularly in game in no time.
Early Game

0 - 8 min

The early game is by far the easiest and hardest part of the game depending on how you play it. This part of the game setups how the rest of the game will go. Small leads you generate for your laners will slowly grow into larger ones as the game progresses and it's up to you as the jungler to play towards your strengths and weaknesses


As a jungler you want to path to benefit the laner that is the strongest on your team if you can play around them, or defend the enemy from getting any leads. This is dependent on your team comp. If you have strong top, weak bot, then play around top.
A good rule of thumb if you don't know where to start is to start on red. This allows you to gank right after finishing red and path to the nearest lane or farm up and gank at lvl 3.
The fastest path to get lvl 3 is Blue Buff > Gromp > Red Buff or Red Buff > Blue Buff > Gromp.
His clear is not that healthy and he takes a lot of damage from multiple monster camps. I would avoid doing camps like Raptors unless you have smite up during your first clear.


Invading is when you (the jungler) crosses over to the enemy side of the map and tries to place vision, steal camps, or kill the enemy jungler.
Invading as Jarvan is very strong and you can easily catch someone off guard with your combo or escape safely dash out if spotted in a dangerous situation
Jarvan IV Lvl 2 is easily the strongest lvl 2 in the game and you can beat most junglers when they're both lvl 2. Invading is beneficial because it steals camps from the enemy jungler and helps predict or track their movements if you notice any of their camps are already gone.


You can be very creative in your gank pathing with Jarvan and you can start ganking as soon as you hit lvl 2. It doesn't mean you should gank, but you have the option to. Because he can dash over walls, you can dodge enemy wards and gank from unexepected areas which can surprise enemies and net you a kill or summoner spells.
Lvl 2 ganks are much more effective with Red Buff because your auto's will slow the enemy and burn them for true damage
Starting the Oracle Lens is very beneficial in clearing wards and seeing whether or not the enemy knows you are in the area.
If you're behind the enemy, don't waste your Demacian Standard and Dragon Strike to close the distance but instead start walking at them and autoing them. If you have Red buff, they will get slowed and slowly start dieing. Only use your gap closer after they flash to close the distance. Your Golden Aegis is also a small slow which can also hinder their movement.
Mid Game

8 - 20 min

This is when the 1st Rift Herald spawns and when there is the chance that there are 2 objectives on the map being played for. Dragon and Rift Herald.
This is Jarvan IV strongest point in the game where his jungle item is finished and he has the power to hard engage and deal lots of Area of effect damage
At this stage of the game you should have your Cataclysm and be looking to lock down players with your team and combo your Cataclysm with your team's damage or Ultimates.
Look to engage with numbers advantage and on their main carry. Blowing the enemy's flashes and forcing their escapes will guarantee the objective and the fight won.
When using Rift Herald for plates, If you want to destroy the entire tower then use the Rift Herald for the last 2 tower platings as towers gain more resistances the more platings it loses and Rift Herald does True damage to turrets.
Late Game

20 - End Game

This is the time when Baron Nashor and Elder Dragon spawns and teams start grouping even harder to fight for control on these objectives.
It's important to buy lots of Control Ward to control these objectives
Your role in these fights are to either peel your carry or lockdown the enemy carry.
Engaging on flashless and dashless enemies with your Cataclysm will guarantee a kill if your team is nearby but always look at the map before commiting to an engage.
One teamfight will win or lose the game and it's up to you to understand what your role is in a team composition before committing to the play.
Look to trap multiple people in your Cataclysm and chain it with your team's damage and crowd control.
Jarvan is designed to be an diver and is the reason I dislike Assassin Jarvan so much. His only way to deal damage is to go in and this leave you vulnerable to any counter attack if your engage doesn't catch anyone.
The reason why Jarvan is strong in the current meta is because he creates an impassible barrier in the form of his Cataclysm that you can't get out of unless you blow your flash or use a dash. Catching flashless champions will net you free kills if they are out of place.
Sometimes your job is just to soak damage for your team or create a barrier so that your team can deal with flankers.

This could be you

All of these are twitch clips of myself and I'm not trying to stroke my own ego (ok maybe a bit) but I do want to show you how powerful Jarvan can be with the best gameplay possible
Jarvan setup
Full Tank Jarvan btw
Jarvan in the Current Meta
Jarvan is currently a Strong champion in the current meta the recent buffs has helped his damage build while also providing lots of utility. A lot of the meta champions counter him but he can still be picked into team comps where he is against a lot of dashless champions. He still does the same thing and can be tank or carry but other junglers can do his job better and can farm quicker. The best mythic is Goredrinker on him as it gives him everything he wants. This champ is really strong when you play against lots of dashless enemies.

The recent buffs in patch 11.16, 12.12, and 12.14 have boosted him to a bruiser carry in the current meta. With more damage in his kit, it makes him more viable as a bruiser with the current patch build.


I'd love to teach everyone how to jungle but unfortunately this is a guide to playing Jarvan IV.
Jungle is a complicated role but you have the most impact in the game.
If you enjoyed this guide, please feel free to leave a vote. It's free after all
If you have any other questions feel free to ask below in the comments or watch my stream and I hope you enjoyed my guide!
I also do Jungle Coaching for a price around 25$ so you can message me on discord, Chan#6603 if you are interested.
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