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Jarvan IV Build Guide by Sarlatan

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sarlatan

Jarvan IV - The real Prince Charming

Sarlatan Last updated on November 17, 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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 2

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 7

Chapter 1


Edit [17/11/11] - I'm back from the dead.
Okay so I let this build die because I couldn't really be bothered. However, I've returned to the game and picked up my old Demacian friend again. This time I have a brand new build, yes, it's unorthodox just like my old manamune build.. but it works - really - well.

Welcome to my Jarvan IV build and guide, most people would consider it rather unorthodox - but this is how I play him and it works very well for me. Please comment or at least try the build out before voting. I've been playing Jarvan pretty much since he came out and he's my main moreorless.

Jarvan IV is a bruiser, by definition. He deals decent damage, while having the survivability necessary to stay alive in a teamfight - for awhile anyway. He also has the biggest weapon in the game, he isn't compensating for anything, he's just that manly.

Here's some quick Jarvan IV facts:

Tryndameres right arm is alot stronger then his left. Jarvans left arm is alot stronger then tryns right arm.
Mundo goes where he pleases, except where Jarvan is.
Kassadin once tried to silence Jarvan, boy did he regret that.
Caitlyn fired her Ace in the Hole at Jarvan, he just caught the round in between his teeth.
Jarvan IV can cage Nidalee.
Jarvan makes a pole out of fiddlesticks.
Master Yi can't be slowed down, only Jarvan can do that.
Jarvan didn't use to have armor... until Blitzcrank rocket grabbed him from the bushes.
Amumu used to be such a happy little guy! Until he faced Jarvan.
When Jarvan IV was hit by Ashe's rank 3 ultimate he thought it's her basic attack.
Once Shaco started to say: "For the next trick I'll make......" Then saw Jarvan and finished "me disappear...."
Jarvan got ganked by 5 enemies. Ally Shen used ulti on Jarvan. Jarvan got 6 kills.

Before you read this guide, you need to be in the Demacia zone:
J-4 in the house with my dragon spear
Raisin' my banner's gonna fill you with fear
You can't finish me off, QQ, shed a tear
Crown Prince of Demacia up in here
It's you and me now, noob, enjoy your prison
'Cause your friends can't make it through my Cataclysm
We're conquerin' you after doin' division
And over your nexus a new banner is risen

Not feeling quite manly enough? Here's some Disney for you:

Pros and Cons


-Insane pusher (E + Q clears a wave)
-Even dying is awesome (******ic death scream)
-Nice poking ability (which has been nerfed a tiny bit)
-Great duelist, his 1v1 is simply amazing.
-Super sexy, this goes without saying.


-Hard to master (really, he isn't that easy)
-Some of the worst skins in the game (Debatable, I know)
-Being too sexy hurts (his shirt)
-Requires teamwork (read below!)
-Poor use of Cataclysm can work against your own team
-Terrible amount of mana (unless you build manamune, hey ho!)


Added a targeting ring to Cataclysm.
Fixed a bug where Cataclysm was dealing less damage than intended at rank 2 and 3.
Fixed an issue where certain skins had inconsistent model sizes.

Jarvan will no longer follow the target while he is in the air during Cataclysm.
It will now create the ring of terrain regardless of whether the enemy can be targeted or not.
It will now be slightly more likely to push targets that the ring lands on into the center rather than out.
Fixed a bug where it could be interrupted by movement displacing abilities such as Crystallize or Pillar of Filth.
Fixed a bug where Dragon Strike reduced the target's base armor rather than total armor.

Demacian Standard:
Base damage reduced to 60/105/150/195/240 from 60/110/160/210/260.
Cooldown increased to 13 from 12.
Dragon Strike: base damage reduced to 70/115/160/205/250 from 70/120/170/220/270.

Demacian Standard:
Armor bonus reduced to 10/13/16/19/22 from 10/14/18/22/26.
Attack speed bonus reduced to 10/13/16/19/22% from 10/14/18/22/26%.
Martial Cadence: target's max health to magic damage ratio reduced to 8% from 10%.

Dragon Strike:
Cooldown increased to 10/9/8/7/6 from 9/8/7/6/5.
Mana cost increased to 45/50/55/60/65 from 40/45/50/55/60.
Golden Aegis: shield strength reduced to 50/90/130/170/210 from 50/100/150/200/250.
Cataclysm: damage reduced to 200/325/450 from 200/350/500.
Fixed a bug where Demacian Standard caused a hitch the first time it was cast.

Golden Aegis: description no longer states it triggers automatically.

Jarvan has received quite a few nerfs, which admittedly he deserved. He was doing too much damage while having too much survivability. His numbers have been tweaked but his game play has largely stayed the same.


Runes are fairly standard,
Greater Mark of Desolation x 9-This is a must rune for DPS champions. Armor penetation supports his main damage skills and his damage. Moreover it gives you less hard time when facing enemy tanks with high armor such as Rammus which don't go down easily plus you can kill the squishy champions faster like Ashe. Combine those Greater Mark of Desolation with armor penetration items for a more effective outcome.
Greater Seal of Vitality x 9- I find that having extra health in late game (or mid game) really helps Jarvan IV out, otherwise he's pretty squishy. These are paramount if you intend to build Atma's early on, otherwise it's a waste of gold.
x 9- Cooldown reduction so your lance can hit their faces a lot more often, you will like it but they won't.
Greater Quintessence of Desolation x 3 - More penetration for Jarvan means more trouble for the enemies. You just counter enemies who stack armor with armor penetration. Shame this doesn't apply to Magic Resist..

The rune setup is nothing special, runes don't really make or break Jarvan - it's just your preference.


Standard offense setup for the extra 5% damage.
Eight points in defense mainly for Strength of Spirit - it's very underrated and keeps you laning longer, especially if you're solo lane.
One point in ghost, just to improve it - IF you take it in the first place.
Masteries on Jarvan IV are essential, you CAN build defense mainly but I feel it isn't needed - Jarvan IV is not a tank, he never was and never will be. Think Xin Zhao but sexier, a lot sexier.


Right, here is where people often question me on what the hell I'm doing.
Mercury's Treads - can't go wrong with these, magic resist and less duration on CC (gief)
Manamune - OMFG YOU TOOK MANAMUNE ON JARV FLAME FLAME, yeah, Manamune removes the severe mana problem that Jarvan has AND gives you some decent AD.. I'm not seeing how you can argue against it really.
Banshee's Veil - This is interchangeable with sunfire, all depends on if your enemies are more AD or AP. Both items provide enough health (if you took vitality or hp runes) for Atma's to boost your AD significantly.
Atma's Impaler - Armor and (if you purchased Banshee's or Sunfire before hand) some nice AD, usually around 50ish. This is interchangeable with Banshee's/Sunfire too, depends on if you want to build more DPS first or want more survivability.
Sunfire Cape - Pretty standard item, the aura damage is ignorable for champs (but nice on minions or creeps) however it gives nice armor and health boosts.
Frozen Heart - I never really get to this point, the game is usually over - however you can swap this with whatever item you prefer. I even take Warmog's sometimes, just for the extra health to boost Atma's.


Okay so, Jarvan features some rather unique abilities.
Dragon Strike - line skillshot that will deal physical damage to all enemies hit, it will also lower their armor for 3 seconds. The damage will apply fully to all enemies hit. If the attack hits the flag left by Jarvan's Demacian Standard Jarvan will be pulled to the flag's location, knocking up any enemies he passes through. It's a great harassing tool and the armor reduction is just icing on the cake, making it easier to slice that champion.

Note: If you use Dragon Strike too early after using Demacian Standard, the combo won't work, your knock-up won't activate and you'll have wasted mana.

Golden Aegis - this makes a shield that blocks an amount of incoming damage for 5 seconds or until enough damage is absorbed to break the shield. The amount of damaged blocked is increased depending on the number of enemy champions surrounding Jarvan at the time of activation. In addition, near by enemies are slowed for 2 seconds. You pop this in the middle of the enemy team, if you want the most out of it. It's great while chasing for the slow but aside from looking cool, it isn't that special.

Demacian Standard - The passive part of this ability increases Jarvan's attack speed and armor. When the ability is activated Jarvan throws a standard on a small target area dealing magic damage to all enemies hit. The standard remains on the location for 8 seconds, giving the same bonuses as his passive to all allies near it. This includes all champions, including himself, and ally minions and pets. This also reveals the area it lands in, essentially giving Jarvan a small-time sight ward. Despite the animation, the damage is instant - meaning you can kill that Shaco who is about to decieve away just by throwing this at his face.

This ability is great for farming (in combo with your Q), killing towers (the attack speed bonus), last hitting champions (die you cowards), scouting (facecheck that brush, I dare you) and for initiate/scape from a fight (also usable inside your ulti's rings).

Cataclysm- targeted spell that causes Jarvan to leap on the targeted enemy, dealing physical damage. In addition, a ring of impassable terrain around the target is created for 3.5 seconds. Jarvan, the target and any units that were very close to the target will be inside the ring. Jarvan can destroy the ring of terrain by activating the ability again. This ultimate is by far one of my favorites in the game, but it's also one of the riskiest. You can completely screw your team if you use this at the wrong time and place. However, if used correctly it can win a team fight. It's also nice just for the damage burst (it's pretty much instant).

- The walls can be bypassed. Skills like Shunpo or Flash will make your ultimate useless, in the best of cases. They can also use these to get in, so careful!

- Try to cooperate with your teammates. If your laning partner is a melee, make sure he can dive in with an ability like Xin's Audacious Charge or is inside the zone. A ranged partner needs to be OUTSIDE the ulti, or you're screwing them with your manly heroic leap.

Martial Cadence - When Jarvan uses a basic attack on an enemy he will deal magic damage equal to 10% of the enemy's current health in addition to his normal attack. The target will receive a buff that makes the effect not proc on them for the next 6 seconds. This passive is my favorite in the game, it's great for the entire game. It provides steady burst without being overpowered (cuz i'ts based on current health).. meaning that if they have 200 health, it only does 20 magic damage - don't rambo with low health thinking this will one shot them.

Most Jarvan IV players would disagree on this sequence, saying that Aegis is a must. I disagree, I feel the shield is worthless early on. You gain far more from leveling the standard rather than the aegis, but again, this is my preference.
Generally I level:
R > Q > E > W
Most people overlook the benefits that Demacian Standard give, please don't be a fool and do the same :p

Summoner Spells

What you should have:
Exhaust - This spell is such a huge make or break early game with both a blind and specced armor reduce, this gives you great gank opportunities early game.
Ignite - This spell makes it so the enemy can't regenerate/heal well and gives a burst of true damage, a nice alternative to Exhaust.

What you could have:
Flash - Really, your flag combo is practically a flash, you don't need this but hey.. maybe you suck at chasing or maybe, just maybe, you love to face check.

What you should never have:
Rally - Okay, it gives stats but you have Demacian Standard for that!
Revive - Stop stealthing into my build Eve..

Exhaust is interchangeable with Ignite, it depends on your enemy setup and whether or not you want more first blood power. Take Ignite for first blood, Exhaust for better late-game viability (I still manage first blood with Exhaust, but hey).

Tips und Tricks

- Red buff isn't essential on Jarvan, but like Xin Zhao it is useful regardless.
- Due to his Demacian Standard and Martial Cadence Jarvan makes an excellent jungler.
- He can solo Dragon, granted he has Wriggle's Lantern at around level 11.
- Don't underestimate the pull range of your E + Q, it works on every wall in the game and can save your *** countless times.
- Despite having a rather limited skillset, Jarvan can duel extremely well.
- Using E + Q during a 1v1 sometimes isn't the answer, the time required to knockup can disrupt your auto attacks (for late game).


I plan to add more to this guide, but this is the rudimentary sum of it - just so I can give the build out ASAP and receive a rating. Thanks for taking the time to read my Jarvan IV guide, I -know- it's an odd build but trust me, I know what I'm doing.