Mobafire League of Legends Build Guides Mobafire League of Legends Build Guides

Jarvan IV Build Guide by Kalmay

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

Like Build on Facebook Tweet This Build Share This Build on Reddit
League of Legends Build Guide Author Kalmay

Jarvan IV: The Cavalry Jungler

Kalmay Last updated on November 6, 2012
Did this guide help you? If so please give them a vote or leave a comment. You can even win prizes by doing so!

You must be logged in to comment. Please login or register.

I liked this Guide
I didn't like this Guide
Commenting is required to vote!

Thank You!

Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.

TankyDPS / Off Tank

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: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

Guide Top


Hello, and welcome to my first ever guide featuring one of my favorite Jungle characters, Jarvan IV!!! This guide will explain my build and setup as well as explanations behind these choices. In addition, I will explain gameplay as Jarvan. LET'S DO THIS!

Guide Top

Pros and Cons of Jarvan IV


    Insane initial damage
    Great Crowd Control
    Pretty Tanky late game
    Works well with almost any team comp

    Mana hungry without Blue Buff
    Ultimate could backfire
    Hard to pull off combo gank

Guide Top


Let us start with the rune page, it's very important!

Our first choice is to go nine Greater Mark of Desolation, to increase the damage output Jarvan can inflict on his opponents. This is pretty much the standard marks for any AD Champion so it's best not to question it.

Second, you're going to want nine Greater Seal of Armor, Jarvan takes a huge beating early jungle phase and needs these to help keep him going.

Third, you're going to want to grab nine Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist, Jarvan doesn't really need the magic resist early game as much as late game, so a steady increase would be in his best interest.

Finally, you'll want to get Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, Jarvan is pretty slow in the jungle untill he gets some boots, so it's helpful to grab these to give him a little kick in his stride.

Guide Top


Masteries are just as important as Runes, however, they can even effect late game as opposed to the majority of Runes.

I go with a typical 0/21/9 setup, but here are the key masteries you MUST have:

Summoner's Resolve - For this guide, you won't be building any items like Philosopher's Stone or Heart of Gold, so it's good to have that extra 10 gold boost with your Smite.

Guide Top


Like all builds, they have to be adaptable to the situation. However, there are a couple of core items that you should keep in mind.

Frozen Mallet: Frozen Mallet is key for Jarvan, because it helps with slowing the enemy down for a kill or assist. Also, the extra health and damage wouldn't hurt.

Warmog's Armor: Since you're a Bruiser who's going to get kills even if it is only a couple, having Warmog's is a very good way to jack up your health and add to that tanky-ness you'll want as an initiator.

Mercury's Treads: This is really your only defense against Crowd Control, so always get these.

Wriggle's Lantern: This is pivotal for Junglers, it help you clear away the beasties. Also, a free ward and life steal is pretty sweet! This is mainly for early to mid game. After review, I've decided to take it out late game and swap it out for Maw of Malmortius, mainly because of the spell shield and extra damage. Jarvan doesn't have many defenses against AP characters and can be shut down by them.

Atma's Impaler: This sort of goes in tandem with Frozen Mallet. It gives you some bonus armor andthe Unique Passive is wonderful with your own passive!

Maw of Malmortius: This is a late game item that will replace your Wriggle's. Its spell shield is very good for protecting against mages and AP carries.


Trinity Force: I do enjoy grabbing this, because Jarvan can make use of pretty much all of what it has to offer!

Force of Nature: If you don't really have time to go back to base and/or their team is AP heavy, this makes for a decent buy.

Phantom Dancer: If on the off chance you get a crit on your first hit, your passive will pretty much blow up. Why not try to give your crit chance a boost?

Aegis of the Legion: A good item for you and the whole gang! Though, only get this if the support doesn't.

Frozen Heart: Cooldown Reduction, Mana, and a good amount of armor? This is a very decent buy, good for when you don't really NEED Thornmail.

Randuin's Omen: Many perks and not TOO expensive. A good investment.

Youmuu's Ghostblade: With the damage and cooldown reduction, if you're dominating this could be a great buy!


The Bloodthirster: In my opinion, it's a waste of a slot. As the initiator or tank, you serve a higher chance of dying, since no one can learn to not focus the tank.

Guardian Angel: All this really does is give the enemy a chance to kill you again. The perks of the stat boosts are not as high as the cost is worth.

Shurelya's Reverie: You're not Alistar...don't get this.

Guide Top

How To Play: Off Tank Versus Tanky DPS

There's a huge difference in my two play styles of Jarvan, and it revolves around items.

Banshee's Veil and Thornmail are swapped in late game instead of Wriggle's Lantern and Infinity Edge. Either setup, you can take a decent beating. HOWEVER, play styles are varied.

As a pure Off Tank, Jarvan is usually the first to engage, using his ultimate to trigger the enemies' Flash.

When playing a tanky DPS, you'll want to wait a few seconds before engaging. Try to flank your enemy and make sure they have used up their Flash or escape mechanics before using your ultimate. I prefer to play this way.

Guide Top

Counter Jungling / Oppositions

This section is designed to let you know who you do well against and who you do not do well against. There will be explanations as to why.


Udyr: Udyr is a relatively basic jungler that only has a single stun that can be countered with Tenacity, as well as a slow burning damage source. Jarvan's initial burst damage is strong enough to burn through his shield and any defenses he may have. Also, if he gets knocked up before he can hit you with a stun he's at a huge disadvantage.

Sejuani: Sejuani is an initiator just the same. All you need to do is dodge her ultimate and she really deals no damage. Plus, with the passive, her tanky nature is pretty much useless.

Riven: Despite claims of her being tanky and fighter-esque, Riven is actually very vulnerable. Countering her with tenacity and knocking her up in the air defeats most of her mechanics. As well, she is a much slower jungler. The only thing she has going for her is a gap closer. Try not to run if your team is nearby or if you can kill her.

Nautilus: All you have to do for Nautilus is stack magic resist and tenacity. Wade out the immense ammount of crowd control, and have a team to back you up.

Warwick: This little doggy is quite simple to counter, so long as you build an early Madred's. This little pup won't know what to do!

Nunu: Build magic resist to counter his snowball, and Cataclysm onto him to cut him off from a minion supply. Should he use his ultimate, all you gotta do is use your combo to pull yourself out.

Evelynn: She still is pretty much useless. If you find her you can ignore her unless she's fed. If that's the case, stack up on magic resist to counter her Hate Spike spam.

Shyvana: Shyvana is not really a concern at all. Just keep away from her dragon form, otherwise, just beat on her when you can.

Skarner: Ah, the scorpion dude. This one is a bit technical. The key to taking down this dude, is to either make sure his ultimate is on cooldown, or force him to use it on you away from his tower's or teammates. If you can do that you're golden.

Alistar: This counter is depending on his build. If he chooses a more damage oriented setup, you'll want to keep away from him and build rather tanky. However, if he's focused on the support or tank role, by all means beat on him.

Hecarim: Hecarim is a somewhat underpowered jungler and, like Skarner, can be pretty easy take down without his ultimate.

Malphite: He's very tanky, and has the armor to block your damage. Now, I see two ways to counter him, and one of them I dislike. First, which I don't suggest, is grab a Last Whisper for some extra armor penetration. The second idea, is to catch him by surprise in the early game with a teammate or two.

Pantheon: The only concern with Pantheon is his early game Spear Shot and Aegis of Zonia. Other than that, just burst through his shield and it should be good game. Another trick is to have an ally make him waste his passive and that way you can land yours.


Shaco: Jarvan IV is a very weak early game, and Shaco is a champion that doesn't even need to be around to counter you. All he has to do is put a box in one of the bushes and it ruins you. Be wary of Shaco and watch the bushes. If you're in this spot, don't be afraid to grab an Oracle's Elixir.

Olaf: Even though your burst is pretty impressive, Olaf has incredible build on damage that will destroy you. He also has his true damage spell that will go right through your armor. A way to counter this is to grab a Guardian Angel so you get a second chance at either a kill or an escape.

Dr. Mundo: This is a bit of a hit or miss type of deal. Mundo's ultimate can pose a huge problem when trying to take him down, but if you can push through it, he's not really great. I'd suggest getting a Madred's Bloodrazor to compensate for the health and health regen.

Xin Zhao: With his new updates, the Challenger passive will really screw you over. Try to make sure he stayson you, regardless. You'll want that passive on you as opposed to the Carry. If his damage is getting to be a bit much, feel free to snag a Thornmail.

Nocturne: Nocturne is one of the biggest annoyances for Jarvan. His fear will really ruin your day. Not to mention, his spell shield will ruin your combo if placed right. Simply put, stack some armor and keep away from him if possible.

Jax: Jax is to put it simply, broken as all hell. If you don't shut him down early, you're practically useless against him. Try to counter or invade his jungle if you can early on.

Lee Sin: He might be blind, but he's got a lot of tricks and can dive like he's Bruce Lee drop kicking you in the nuts. All in all, do not take him on alone, make sure you've got your buddy with you.


The only times I would be okay with invading the enemy jungle would be as follows.

1) If the enemy jungler is highly dependant on their Blue Buff, such as Skarner or Alistar.

2) If your team composition is highly bred for early group fights.

3) If you're in a premade group who has good communication.

Guide Top

Early Game: The Jungle (1-6)

For the start of the game, you're going to engage Blue Buff. Get a good initial leash, but make sure everyone backs off. Once they back off, and you have Demacian Standard down, pop a potion and be sure to Smite the Golem when he's relatively low. That should get you to level two and get you your Dragon Strike.

Now that you have your pull and knockup combo, head to wolves and give it a whirl. Focus the big one as always, then move on to the Wraiths. Once their, throw down your standard and pull yourself through the trees. Focus the big one but do not waste your smite. Take care of them and then move on to EITHER, Red Buff or the small Golems.

Should you choose the buff, make sure you have potions and your combo is off cooldown. You're going to combo in and use a potion to make sure you live. Once the combo is up again use it and then smite the Elder. You shouldbe level three now.

If you went smaller golems, it's a simple combo and smite the smaller one.

Keep on the pattern untill you hit level four and get Golden Aegis. Now you can start ganking. Ganking with Jarvan is more of an art form than combat. It takes a good combo to knock the enemy up in the air. When they land just use your shield and keep hitting them.

Keep hitting up the jungle when not ganking or buying items. Once you hit level six, you get to have fun with Cataclysm!

Guide Top

Mid Game: Flanking (7-15)

This stage of the game is all about ganks! Jarvan is one of those Junglers where he needs to be constantly on the move and killing creeps or champions. However, there are things you need to be cautious of.

Crowd Control: Even though you have plenty of it, when it's used against you you're vulnerable to death. If you can't get close to the AD Carry, focus the one with the CC.

Enemy Jungle: It's okay to slip into their TriBush to grab that low health enemy, but don't be too free roam in their jungle.

Thornmail: If the enemy has this, be wary! Even though it's meant for the Carry, due to Jarvan's passive, it can hurt a bit.

Fed Mid Champs: This is a huge red flag! Champions like Veigar and Viktor will wipe the floor with Jarvan if they get too fed. However, if you keep pressure on them early game it should be managable.

Guide Top

Late/End Game: Cooperation (16-18)

It's at this point the game gets real intense. Your team will need you at any and all times. Here are some tips for late/end game.

Do NOT use your Cataclysm if under a turret, unless the turret is targetting you. Also, do not use it on an enemy chasing a low health ally. You run the risk of getting your ally killed. If this situation happens, just use your Demacian Standard to Dragon Strike combo to knock 'em up in the air.

Always grab Dragon when it's up. If your team is in trouble though, ignore all minions and jungle monsters and run to them. Dragon can wait.

Keep a ward on Baron at all times if you go with Wriggle's Lantern.

Guide Top

Frequently Voiced Questions/Concerns

Q: Kalmay! I didn't get level two after Blue Buff! Is my jungle path ruined?

A: Of course not. While you may experience a slight slack at wolves, you only lose a a few seconds.

Q: Kalmay, what if every lane is in need of my help?

A: That can happen, but don't be disheartened! Figure out which lane is in the need of help most. Gank the other two lanes quickly then sit in that one lane untill you put the pressure on him/them.

Q: My jungle is being invaded! HALP MEH!

A: Woah, easy there! Just keep calm. If you have all but top guarding just play a little cat and mouse. Keep tossing your standard on top of them, and if Blue Buff is being attacked, smite it before your opponent can.

Guide Top


I hope you have enjoyed my first ever MOBAFire guide! I'd appreciate any feedback and please give this guide a chance. If you down vote it, let me know why and I'll look at it!



Guide Top

Change Log


07/23/2012 - Added a new section on counter jungling and oppositions. Also touched up the Masteries section a little.

07/27/2012 - Updated the item sequence for the Off Tank build.

11/3/2012 - After a comment submitted by a viewer, changed the overall item build and added in Maw of Malmortius as an item to get to replace Wriggle's Lantern with. Wll fix the Item Sequence section when I get to a computer.