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Build Guide by deac0n

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League of Legends Build Guide Author deac0n

Jarvan IV - The Champion formerly known as Prince

deac0n Last updated on March 19, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 8

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 1

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Please leave comments so that I can improve upon this build. Also, don't just look at the item build and masteries before making your decision about the guide. Read what I have said and/or try it out then comment on it.

Alright, let's talk about Jarvan IV. I have been playing this champion almost nonstop since he was released and I can honestly say he has propelled himself to the top of my list of favorites. I decided to make this guide because I had seen a lot of different guides but nothing that really satisfied me. I will continue to update it when I have time, so give me your feedback and let me know what you think.

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Pros / Cons


    -Tanky DPS Champion
    -Excellent Lockdown (Ultimate)
    -Good laning partner
    -AoE Snare
    -Early game harassment
    -Works Well in a Team

    -Can be gimp without enough farm
    -Situational Ultimate
    -Usually the focus of teamfights
    -Squishy early game

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Greater Mark of DesolationGreater Mark of Desolation x9

This is a MUST in my opinion. Jarvan's abilities deal attack damage, and the direct mitigation to attack damage is armor so penetrating the enemy's armor is the way to go.

Greater Seal of Resilience x9

For the seals, the choice is not so obvious. I have seen guides with Evasion seals and with Clarity seals, but I do not find mana to be a big issue and for me dodge is not as reliable in mitigating attack damage as flat armor is. This will help keep you alive early game, and help you outlast the enemy when you are locked into your Cataclysm with the other team's carry. This can also help you stay alive when you start to get focused in team fights.

Greater Glyph of Focus x9

This is another rune that to me is cut and dry. With the farming potential of Demacian Standard and Dragon Strike, having them on shorter cooldowns makes you own the lane.

Greater Quintessence of DesolationGreater Quintessence of Desolation x3

This is the obvious choice, much like the marks. His abilities deal attack damage, so penetrating the one thing that can cause your abilities to do less damage only makes perfect sense.


Greater Mark of Strength

You could take this if you wanted to increase the amount of base attack damage that you have. However, you will need to build an item that has armor penetration on it to make up for the loss of armor pen that you miss out on from choosing this glyph.

Greater Seal of Evasion

This one is almost interchangeable with the Seal of Resilience in that they both mitigate physical damage. However, as I said in my original choice above, I do not feel as though this is as reliable at doing its job as armor is. Especially without speccing deep enough into the Defense tree to gain the movement speed buff from dodging enemy attacks.

Greater Seal of Clarity or Greater Seal of ReplenishmentGreater Seal of Replenishment

If you find that you are running low on mana you could get one of these. I usually don't have mana issues with him because I tend to take the blue golem as soon as I can once I have my Wriggle's. Even without having the blue golem buff, I have not experienced any mana issues with him.

Greater Glyph of Shielding or Greater Glyph of Warding

I personally do not take these runes, especially since one of the first items I build is the Banshee's Veil. But if you are playing and keep getting destroyed by the enemy's AP carries, these runes are a viable substitution.

Greater Quintessence of Fortitude

If for whatever reason, you are not staying alive long enough to do damage to the opposing team then this Quintessence will help solve a lot of the problem. I do not personally think that the loss of armor penetration that you would be giving up is not worth it but you can decide that based on your personal experiences with him.

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Masteries & Summoner Spells

Alright, getting to the meat and potatoes of the build, the Masteries! I went with a 21/8/1 build picking up Haste out of the Defensive tree which is really a nice addition while trying to land your Cataclysm. The offensive tree is pretty much standard fare for melee attack damage champions picking up 3/4 in Alacrity because its not as important as Sorcery due to the Berserker's Greaves and Demacian Standard. In the defensive tree pick up 2/3 in Hardiness then max out Strength of Spirit because the health regeneration is way more useful than an extra 2 armor, especially considering the armor from Wriggle's Lantern and Demacian Standard.


Since Jarvan lacks what I would call a reliable slow (Golden Aegis requires the enemy champion to be within melee range) Exhaust is a must. It is a great way to slow the enemy champion to keep them within range for Cataclysm, or slow them to the point where placing and timing a Standard + Dragon Strike combo much easier.


This is a very important addition to Jarvan's arsenal that has so many uses. As mentioned above, you can use Ghost to chase and Cataclysm a hero. I have also used this ability several times in conjunction with the Standard + Dragon Strike combo to escape. That combo by the way, is one of the most useful escape mechanics in the game.



Flash seems to me like the only other plausible alternative for Jarvan in the way of summoner spells. I personally do not prefer this ability on him since Ghost has more utility, but others may prefer it for the surprise attack Cataclysm that you can pull off if done correctly.

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Martial Cadence

His passive. I LOVE this passive. It makes getting a Bloodlust really easy, and it is a really effective tool for last hitting creeps. This single ability makes Jarvan worth playing all by itself. When you start getting your items, which include some additional base attack damage you will hit enemy champions like a truck. Trinity Force makes this passive wreak havoc on an enemy champions health.

Dragon Strike

Dragon Strike is one part of the bread and butter combination for Jarvan. It does a pretty decent amount of damage, and when used in conjunction with Demacian Standard provides a nice crowd control option. That knock up provided by this ability will cancel most channeled ultimates, so things like Nunu's Absolute Zero become absolutely useless (see what I did there?)

Golden Aegis

What a cool ability! It is a slow, and a shield making this one of the cooler abilities in the game in my opinion. There are several times to use this, the first and most obvious is when you Cataclysm on a champion you want to use this ability to shield yourself from their inevitable retribution against you. Second, is when you are chasing down an enemy hero and you use your combo. After knocking the enemy into the air, pop Golden Aegis to slow them down allowing the rest of your team to catch up and finish them off.

Demacian Standard

Other than his ultimate, this is my favorite of Jarvan's abilities. It gives a base amount of attack speed and armor (both extremely awesome on him) and then when placed on the ground, those bonuses are passed along to the rest of the team as well. On top of that it does damage to anyone within range of its landing site. If all that isn't awesome enough, its low mana cost allows you to just about spam it while in the laning phase to harass the enemy champions. But wait, there's more! It is the second part of the bread and butter combo for Jarvan allowing you to pull yourself to the Standard when you use Dragon Strike at it.


One of the most unique abilities I have seen anywhere. It does a ton of damage, and locks you and whoever else foolish enough to be caught inside with you for a short time. This ability is a great way to initiate onto the enemy squishies, but if used improperly it can also get you killed. Setting this up properly, allowing your teammates to be inside of it when they need to be and ensuring that the enemy champion can't escape takes a lot of practice but once you get it down this ability can swing momentum in your favor. It's also important to note that sometimes the champion locked inside will die before the terrain returns to normal, so make sure that you activate it again to drop the ult early so your team can give chase on the rest of the enemy team.

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Starting Items:

x2 x2

I like to start with these items because early on in the laning phase you can still do quite a bit of damage but staying alive and harassing is much easier with a little bit more Armor to aid you. Along with the potions, you can stay in the lane longer and keep harassing the other team the without fear of returning to regenerate mana.

I have yet to test it but grabbing may be a viable alternative, but without the mana potions you will have to play more conservatively with your skills.

First Trip:

After farming up about 1500 gold, going back to the store you should be able to pick up these three items. These items give Jarvan an advantage over the others in his lane, and also make him viable to go into the jungle to clean out the blue golem camp. This is also about when I start checking other lanes for opportunities to gank. Alternatively you can wait until you have 1575 gold to buy your Wriggle's Lantern a little bit earlier.

Core Items:

Once you have finished Wriggle's Lantern, get the Berserker's Greaves for the attack speed buff then start working on your Banshee's Veil. I tend to start with the Ruby Crystal first, then build the rest of the Catalyst before completing the full Veil. I do this to give me a little bit of extra HP to survive in team fights. As a side note, with just Berserker's Greaves, Wriggle's, and the Catalyst I have been able to solo the dragon at level 8 and if you find yourself in this position I highly recommend locking down dragon control by killing the dragon then warding the spot with the Wriggle's activated ability.

Luxury Items:

Trinity Force

Build Order:
Build this first, again starting with Ruby Crystal for extra health. Of the three items that comprise Trinity Force, I feel that this is the most important for the aforementioned HP, but also because of the slow that accompanies it.
Critical Strike chance, Attack Speed, and Movement Speed. Three different stats that all benefit Jarvan. Besides that, this item is really cheap!
Sheen, on Jarvan? Yes and I'll tell you why. While it is true that most of his abilities are granted bonuses from Attack Damage, Demacian Standard does receive a bonus (albeit a small one) from Ability Power. And on top of that, with Jarvan's passive which already deals a percentage if the enemy's HP in damage, Sheen makes the initial attack on an enemy absolutely devastating.

Sunfire Cape

This is a great item to have on Jarvan because it gives additional health and armor, which will both help to keep him alive in team fights. This also ensures that whoever gets locked into your ult with you takes a consistent amount of damage on top of the burst damage that you are slamming them with.

Atma's Impaler

This is a great item, especially with this build. With the additional health gained from Banshee's Veil, Trinity Force, and Sunfire Cape, picking up Atma's Impaler is simply a no brainer. It will push your damage up to the point where you will scare any other champion foolish enough to face you.

The Bloodthirster

If you make it this far then your game has lasted for a LONG time, or you have just been wrecking the other team so hard that you have become sufficiently farmed to get this item. At this point in the game, worrying about ganks and controlling the dragon become less important, so sell your Wriggle's once you can afford the B.F. Sword for this recipe to help you pay for the rest of the item. The stacking nature of this item coupled with the damage output of Dragon Strike ensures that getting up to full stacks on this item is not very hard. With the life steal provided by this item you will be able to outlast anyone on either team (aside from a full tank) and do enough damage to take 2 or 3 enemy champions down.

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