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League of Legends Build Guide Author TorCoolguy12

Jarvan IV - The Heavy Harassment Tank/DPS

TorCoolguy12 Last updated on March 18, 2011
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Team 1

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Jungle Role
Ranked #29 in
Jungle Role
Win 51%
Get More Stats

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: 1

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

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

Utility: 8

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Version History

Version 1 - Initial Guide

Version 2 - Changed Runes, Skill Building and added a 2nd build for a DPS Jarvan, which led to a name change of the Guide

Version 2.1 - Changed an error in the runes (Flat Health to Health Per Level)

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Welcome to my first guide for Jarvan IV, The Exemplar of Demacia. Any comments are welcome, i'm always open to new suggestions and i'll be sure to put anything into consideration. Now onto the build. This is a build that really focuses on the armor and Magic Resist portions of a tank, and not as much on health. Also, a lot of Jarvan's abilities help his armor and also keep him alive. Another major factor is his great abilities that allow him to initiate, making Jarvan IV an ideal tank, regardless of the situation he's faced with.

A few notes before starting:

- Do not expect to beat down your opponents with Jarvan IV. His job is to keep enemy champions around long enough for your team to lay the beat down on them. With a good team that communicates, Jarvan can easily pick up 15-25 Assists a game (Personal best is 32 one game)

- Use Golden Aegis ALWAYS. It is a great way to keep yourself alive in tough spots.

- Demacian Standard and Dragon Strike are a great tandem to stun opponents. Just make sure to plant the flag quickly and use it before your opponents can get out of the way.

- Some opponents can get out of the impassable terrain of Cataclysm (Yi, Shen, etc.). Be aware if this happens and end your ultimate quickly to keep up the chase.

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Pros and Cons

Pro's of Jarvan IV:

- Major harassment abilities keep opponents nearby for other allies
- Big armor bonus due to the passive of Demacian Standard
- Ranged attacking and also a great farming tool late game in Dragon Strike
- Huge health pool

Con's of Jarvan IV:

- Steep Learning Curve (One mistake leads to a quick death)
- Extremely low mana pool leads to not very many abilities in suceession

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Summoner Spells

First off, Summoner skills are rather basic for Jarvan.

Recommended Spells:

Flash - Standard for any Jarvan build, this his him great manuverability and allows him to use his abilities to the fullest. A quick flash near a weakened opponent can lead into a quick Cataclysm, allowing your allies to surround them for a kill.

Exhaust - Also great for landing hits. Exhaust can give you the needed time to plant the Demacian Standard into the Dragon Strike, not only hurting your opponents, but stunning them, possibly long enough to get the DPS into striking distance to pick up the kills.

Other Useful Spells:

Ghost - If your not the best with Flash, Ghost can also help you catch up to opponents long enough to stun them, but Flash will make more of an impact overall.

Clarity - Jarvan is not well-known for having high mana, so Clarity can make sure you keep yourself in the positive with mana. However, Golem buff and other heavy mana users will more than likely give you enough mana regeneration to keep you going.

Ignite - If your opponent runs off with low health, Ignite can do enough to get the job done, basic spell.

Teleport - This can be very useful after level 6 with your ultimate. If a turret is being hammered by opponents, you can quickly teleport in, use Cataclysm, and hopefully get some turret fire to help get the kill.

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My Masteries are a 1-21-8 combination.

My only offensive point is for Cripple to increase its effectiveness.

In defense, I always make sure to take max of Resistance and Hardiness to buff up my armor and MR, then 2 in Defensive Mastery and 3 in Harden skin to block off even more damage, finishing in Defense with Veterans Scars (for the health bonus), Ardor (giving an extra dose of atk speed that synergizes with Demacian Standard's passive), and Tenacity to lower damage even farther.

In utilites, I take 3 in Good Hands to get back into the field faster after a death (which WILL happen since your the tank of the team), and 3 in Perseverance to increase Health and Mana Regen. Lastly, I put 2 into Expanded Mind, to increase total Mana.

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Runes are kinda simple as follows

For Marks, I used to just use flat health , but after looking over the damage output of Jarvan (and how he can be built either DPS or Tank), i'm leaning now more towards Armor Pen., which lets his Dragon Strike and Standard do even more damage while your taking the heavy blows.

For Seals and Quints, i'm gonna take Health Per Level now, as they will give you a huge boost in health that can synergize well with Atma's if you decide to take it

For Glyphs, i'm sticking with Mana Regen because Jarvan usually is hurting for it in the end-game levels, and they can keep you going quickly, especially when paired with Golem buff.

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Item Summary

Items are very Standard.

- I usually will start with a Ruby Crystal, giving me a large health bonus to start the game and giving me a building block towards my Frozen Mallet.

- This should be followed up by finishing the Phage as soon as possible, and after that grabbing the Giants Belt to finish up your Frozen Mallet, I can normally get this done in about 15 minutes.

- By this point, everybody else will have their boots, which is ok because you should still have time to get at least your Boots of Speed before the team battles begin. Soon after, finish your Mercury's Treads to boost up your MR

- After getting your boots, you can go one of two ways. If you have a high AD opposition, go for a quick Thornmail. I can ususally finish mine around level 12-13, which will coincide with getting your last levels in Demacian Standard, giving you a huge Armor rating (usually around 170). If your opposition is high in AP, go right to the Force of Nature. The health regeneration and high Magic Resist should prove to keep them at bay.

- Regardless of what you chose for your third item, your fourth should always be a Guardian Angel. This will increase both Armor and Magic Resist, and also give you the coveted ability to come back into the game quickly, and as a tank like Jarvan, this can keep your team going.

- Your fifth item can also vary depending on the type of team. If your facing a lot of crowd control, go for Banshee's Veil, which will give you a big Health and Mana boost (at this point in the game you should be hurting a little for mana, this can really help you.) If you don't need the effect, go for the item you DIDN'T get in the 3 slot.

- Your last item will be the one you didn't get as the #3 or #5. As you can see by the stats at the beginning of the guide, your MR will top out around 240, and your Armor will hit 260 with your Demacian Standard passive.

Optional Builds:

I've been working a little bit, especially with the new Co-Op Vs. AI mode, and i've found also a very good DPS build for Jarvan, as follows.

First, start with either a Rejuvenation Bead or a Long Sword, depending on what lane you take (I usually take a Long Sword on the lanes, and a Rejuvenation Bead for mid), and build this into Tiamat, which gives you a solid AD buff, plus giving you even more splash damage.

After this, go right for Berserker's Greaves, which give you the movement and the Atk Speed buff.

By this time, it's really up to what you feel you need. If you still want to be a tank of some sort with more damage, I would build into Atma's and Warmog's first, as they will give you big health and damage boosts. After that, build a Last Whisper for even more Armor Pen., and then finish with a Phantom Dancer for the big Atk Speed boost and Critical Chance.

You can flip Last Whisper and Atma's if you feel you need the Armor Pen. first, the choices are up to you. Also, if the game goes really long and you finished your build (in a Co-Op vs. AI test match, I was about 30-11-12 by this point and we just got into their base, playing mid), you can switch out Tiamat for an Infinity Edge, as it will give you a lot more Attack and Critical Chance over the Health Regen, which you probably won't need as much if you got to this point.

If you really hate being strapped for Mana, you can switch out a Thornmail for a Frozen Heart. Both are essentially the same Armor, but your Frozen Heart will give you 500 mana and also a nice ability, but you lose the 30% throwback from not having Thornmail.

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Skill Sequence

For Skill Building, i've changed it up since my last update.

Tank Build:

Start by getting a point each in Standard and Dragon Strike, just so you can use the combo early on, hoping to set up your teammate for a kill.

After that, put two points into Golden Aegis so you can take some more hits, and another point into Demacian Standard for the bonus speed and Armor before your first point in Cataclysm.

After Level 6, start working on balancing yourself out, because all of your skills are important in tandem. Take a point in Standard, then Aegis, then Dragon Strike to level 10, then your fourth point in Aegis before a 2nd in Cataclysm.

By this point, hopefully your items and attack are keeping up, so you can just boost up your Standard to level 5 giving you some more speed before finishing off Aegis as well. After that, it should be basic, taking the rest in Dragon Strike and Cataclysm.

DPS Build:

For DPS Jarvan, it's almost the opposite. Start once again with Demacian Standard, but then 2 points in Dragon Strike to boost your attacks early on, then take a point in Aegis just so you can have it handy. A 2nd point in Standard before Cataclysm can make sure you do a TON of damage with a Cataclysm/Standard/Dragon Strike combo.

After that, take a point in Standard at levels 7 and 9 with a point in Dragon Strike in between before your 2nd point in Aegis, just so you don't die as fast in Cataclysm, as you take your 2nd point.

By level 12 you should have Demacian Standard done with, and quickly after finish your Dragon Strike. After that, it should be a basic finish with Golden Aegis.

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Team Battles

In a team battle, Jarvan can either be a huge ally, or a terrible hinderance. Your a huge initiator, having the ability to stun anybody on their team with the Standard/Dragon Strike combo. After shooting yourself into the fray, making sure your teammates are with you, stand in and take the big damage for your team. If your getting low, use Golden Aegis/Flash to save yourself if needed.

If your team is doing well, start working on hitting individual targets. First, use your Golden Aegis if it is up, because it will slow any opponent in range. Also, make sure to use the Demacian Standard/Dragon Strike to knock them up in the air, and also use Exhaust. The main goal for Jarvan is simply this:

Keep Your Opponents In Range Of Your Teammates

You have so many options to do this.

1. Dragon Strike/Demacian Standard will knock anybody up into the air, allowing teammates to get close.

2. Golden Aegis will slow anybody in the aura, allowing your friends to beat them down.

3. Use Exhaust to slow down your enemies

4. Use any combination of the first 3

5. Use Flash along with options 1 or 2

6. Use Option 1 or 2 along with Cataclysm, slowing or stunning your opponents to get close enough to entrap them in your terrain.

7. Use Flash/Cataclysm, getting close enough to stop an opponent short (especially when they think they can get back to a turret), and allow the beatdown to commence.

Jarvan is a harassment tank, more than any other tank in the game in my honest opinion. Every one of his skills allows you to keep opponents nearby, not exactly giving you kills, but you get the assists. I can't stress it enough, the most important thing to know when using Jarvan is to keep your opponents nearby.

However, this can also backfire if you decide not to play well. A bad use of Cataclysm can lead to you being stuck in a bad situation that your teammates cannot help you with. A two-on-one situation is bad for any tank, especially a low-damage tank.

Also, Standard/Dragon Strike can lead you into a bad spot. If you plant the flag too far into the opposition, a quick stun can lead to your own beatdown, and with the tank down before the fight even begins, your team will be in a huge hole.

The last thing i'd like to stress is that you should know who can get in and out of your Ultimate. As far as i've seen so far, Shen, Yi, and Katarina are the only three heroes who have abilities that will allow them to teleport out of Cataclysm. Also, any summoner with Flash can quickly get in or out. Be aware of these champions at all times, and plan accordingly.

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Thanks a lot for reading my guide on Jarvan IV! As stated above, i'm always willing to listen to comments/concerns/improvements/criticism about the guide, and you can either leave a comment below or email me at, and i'll be sure to answer as soon as possible.