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Jarvan IV Build Guide by crazieshado

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League of Legends Build Guide Author crazieshado

Jarvan - [Tank/Offtank] You Can't Kill Me But I Can Kill You

crazieshado Last updated on October 9, 2012
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Team 1

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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Alright! Let's do this.

{Special Thanks to JakofAllSpaydes for the Banner!}

Anyways, if you care to know more about what I've been doing recently, come check out me and my team's blog.

Click Here!

If you have any questions or things you wanna talk about or ask me, go on and find the Discussion section and leave a comment, since I'm more likely to make a timely response there.

Anyways, on with the build!

Second build I've done so far, but anyways, I hope you enjoy this build, etcetera, Jarvan is awesome, blatant advertising, anyways. Now that that's out of the way, I'm sure you're here because you've realized that Jarvan is the way to go and that he should be the president, and that you're clearly going to win every game you play with him as long as your team has half a brain. Well I'm here to help you do that. Enjoy the build.


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Your Role As Jarvan IV

Jarvan is probably one of the most versatile champions I've ever played.

He can fulfill a variety of roles based on what your team needs. He can Jungle quite well, and has an above average ganking ability right out of jungle due to his flag pull, slow and Cataclysm.

He can solo top very well, because he is quite sustainable and can last very long without going back, and also harass quite well with his flag pull, slow and retreat combo. Getting him extra farm is also very good because with this build, he needs to get his Trinity Force ASAP and start being a force to be reckoned with in teamfights.

He can duo lane bot and by doing so either support your carry as full tank or offtank and double as both a tank and your AD carry.

He can do all of these things quite well, but while still possible, it is not recommended that you try to do mid. A job like that is usually better suited for your AP carry to fill.

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Offtank, Tank, What's the Difference?

Alright, here, I'll detail what the difference is between the two builds.

In the 1st one, where I build full Tank, you really won't be dishing out much damage at all, but you'll be getting your team heaps of kills and yourself heaps of assists, and you'll be practically unkillable and piss everyone on the enemy team off. I recommend this if your team already has enough carries and doesn't need anyone to annoy them by trying to steal their kills.

In the 2nd one, I build offtank, and while you'll be pretty tough in laning and mid game and be capable of setting up you and your lane with good kills, late game you'll be doing less tanking and dishing out some really solid damage. You'll still be durable, but you'll be focused more on dealing damage. I recommend this only if your team actually already has a solid tank and needs more killing power.

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A Note on Offtanking and Why It's Practical

Sometimes, your team will already have a full tank and going full tank yourself might make your team really unkillable, but you could be using your place on the team to deal some damage as an offtank instead, doubling as both a tank and an AD carry. This is good because you can initiate fights better and dish lots of damage doing it, while still being really tough to kill, and your team will hopefully be right behind you backing you up. Often times if you're offtanking, you can even take out your AD carry for a roamer, another support, or something else that you might be needing.

In regards to resistances, it is traditional for a tank to get heaps of resistances, often 250+, and completely disregard damage items. This actually isn't always practical, as the more resistances you buy, the less effective additional amounts will be. At some point, your % of resistance to magic/physical damage will "max out", and getting more really does not give you much more resistance.

Usually it's a good idea to get maybe 30-40 more resistances than this perpetual sweet spot, in order to account for apen and mpen that the enemy team's carries will (hopefully) obviously have. If they have things like a Void Staff or Last Whisper, you might want to get something more like 60-70 more than your sweet spot. This sweet spot that I speak of is usually around 150 in my opinion. After that point, it is usually a better idea to get more damage because more resistances isn't as practical for your item slots. You can opt to choose to get less or more than this sweet spot as needed per game, but then you will begin leaning more towards full tanking or AD carry. However, you always need to know how to adjust to your situation and build accordingly. That, my friends, is the philosophy of offtanking.

Credits to DuffTime for teaching me this basic concept. I would consider checking out his "Offtanks, The New Metagame" build if you want to learn more about this or if you just want to get good in general. Linky:

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Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Lethality

Greater Quintessence of Health

I pack the same Runes for both builds, which makes work easy for me! I only have to explain this **** once.

9 Greater Mark of Desolation: These are marks. They are usually used for Apen or Mpen. Jarvan dishes physical damage. Armor is bad. You want to penetrate it, very hard. If you cannot grasp this concept, get good.

9 Greater Seal of Armor: I try to get runes that are both offensive and defensive for him, since I am building an offensive sort of tank/offtank. This helps his defensive department and all this armor will make you quite a bit tougher early on before you can get the bigger items.

9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: These scaling mres runes will actually help out your magic resistance a lot later on, which is good because my core build is slightly lacking on magic resistance. This helps quite nicely towards your end game mres. If you want to, getting Greater Glyph of Magic Resist instead is valid.

2 Greater Quintessence of Desolation: Although these are often used only in jungling, I feel that getting heavy on apen is good, and you can do practically true damage to most champions early in the game with this amount of it. Even later, you can do pretty hard damage to squishy carries without additional apen (which is definitely not to say that you shouldn't get any).

1 Greater Quintessence of Health: Getting 26 extra max health at the beginning of the game can make you pretty resilient in your lane along with your Regrowth Pendant. Flat health is always a practical choice.

For the most part, these runes are pretty much set in stone, and you won't really want to change much except for the Quints. You could choose to not take the Greater Quintessence of Health and opt for one more Greater Quintessence of Desolation.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage is a solid choice as it will make your early game harassing capabilities even stronger, but tend to fall off a bit late game.

Greater Quintessence of Life Steal is another strong pick, especially if you are going solo top, as it provides Jarvan with the sustain he needs so much in the earlier levels.

A popular choice is Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, but I am not a personal fan of these on Jarvan. By end game he is fast enough, and has a gap closer/built in blink ability, so he is plenty mobile, but if you want you can get these so that you're a bit faster early on.

Note: Jarvan is a bit mana hungry early in the game, but I've found that with practice you can manage your mana decently until you can go back for your Philosopher's Stone, which will more or less save your mana problems. However, if you really wish, it's okay to switch out some of your glyphs or seals for Greater Seal of Replenishment and/or Greater Glyph of Replenishment. Be reasonable with the amount you take out, though; you don't want to sacrifice too much resistances for a minor early game problem.

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With the change of masteries coming in Season 2, I've rethought my Mastery page for Jarvan. Now,I take 9 21 0 in either case, because I feel that it helps your early game become much more solid with the first half of the masteries, and you really start to feel the difference of the latter half in late game. Of course, taking 10% armor penetration down the Offense tree is quite beneficial for a number of reasons.

It's worth mentioning, though, that if you are going for a more aggressive playstyle, you can try to put 21 in Offense, and putting 3 in mres, 2 in armor and 4 in HP/level in Defense. Since the change in the utility tree, I don't really like it as much anymore. I wouldn't recommend any more than 9 to get to Runic Affinity , but if you really want to, there are some benefits to taking the XP and CDR buffs lower in the tree.

However, feel free to experiment with these as masteries are largely your own preference. Leave a comment below if you think you've found something effective.

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Summoner Spells

These are pretty self explanatory for Jarvan.


Ghost is a better option than ever, and is particularly great for tanky folk such as Jarvan. With his built in gap closer, the speed buff from Ghost (which you can optionally grab the mastery for as well) can be incredibly useful in many situations. It helps your escape hugely, helps chases and many other things. I mean, it really isn't that hard to imagine how a move speed steroid can be useful, so I need not explain too much.

Exhaust is good for slowing someone to help you and your team catch up and kick their ***. It's also good for singling out one target when their team is running away. Another important note that some newer players tend to forget is that Exhaust reduces the target's damage output. When you're going 1 on 1 against someone, remembering to Exhaust them can let you win fights that you should definitely have lost.

Teleport is a really powerful spell overall. A lot of people overlook it, but it has great utility even outside of getting back into lane early on. If your other lanes have the decency to ward (which they always should, by the way), it makes it much easier for you to just Teleport to the ward to set up some ganks, or even steal Dragon or Baron (I've done it before, often). Also excellent for some quick side pushing or backdooring when you notice an opening for it.

Options You Can Consider:

Flash is a pretty solid option. It let's you flash over walls and break chases. Of course, it's also great for getting a jump on enemies; essentially using it as an additional gap closer. It's really useful for initiating fights and re-positioning yourself advantageously as well. However, since the range nerf, I feel that it's defensive utilities have been hurt a bit, especially when flashing to get away without going over a wall, it is relatively easy for enemies to catch back up. However, it's offensive use as a gap closer and initiator are still powerful, but due to the nature of Jarvan and his skillset, an additionally gap closer like that is seldom necessary. For this reason, I feel that Ghost is a superior option in many situations nowadays.

Cleanse is a legitimate spell to pick, but I don't tend to use it too often. While many see it as a tank spell, (controversial statement incoming) I think that it's better used on carries. For most purposes, you can grab a Quicksilver Sash instead. However, since the buff, it is more useful than it used to be, and a Ghost- Cleanse combo will allow you to escape almost anything, and a double cleanse if you have Quicksilver Sash can turn you into Olaf the 2nd, which is sure to frustrate anyone and help you blow up things in teamfights.

Clairvoyance isn't really your job, but if your team doesn't have a support, it's fine to take this. Remember it's on a short CD and should be constantly spammed at important chokes, buffs, brushes and other stuff of the like.

Smite is workable and particularly viable in the jungle, which Jarvan can be quite good at, but it is also possible to incorporate in a lane. It can help you steal buffs really easily, helps you take out the cannon minion in waves instantly, and has several other merits. In a coordinated team, having a double smite in conjunction with your jungler can be quite deadly in some situations. However, if you are in a normal game, you should leave this spell for the jungler more often than not.

Heal and Clarity are both much more viable since the patch, particularly the former. I have been taking Heal sometimes on a few of my champions, and has shown some good results. You can bait people to tower dive and then pop Heal and blow them up, and if you're going in bot lane, you can make certain candidates for support much more viable, as the reason some supports aren't "top tier" is because they lack a heal. This spell can help slightly with that. In teamfights, it can also be used much like a Wish, albeit not quite as strong.

Ignite has it's purposes, I suppose, but personally I do not like this spell very much. It is a good finisher, especially earlier in the game, and is a spell that is useful for shutting down specific champions, such as Sion, Dr. Mundo, Vladimir, and other champions with huge health regen/life steal steroids. However, overall I feel that it's limited utilities do not warrant a slot in your spells, especially for someone like Jarvan.

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Here I'll list some general purposes and utilities for your skills.

(Passive) - Martial Cadence - This is basically your last hitting tool in lane. It does 6/8/10% of the target's current health in physical damage, capping at a maximum of 400 on your first hit on a target. This effect won't proc again on the same target for another 6 seconds. Helps out your last hitting in lane, and is remarkably good for harass - if the enemy gets too close, give them a quick Dragon Strike and Martial Cadence for some serious hurt. It's also worthy to note that it now procs with life steal, which is quite nice.

Q - Dragon Strike - Get this ability at level one for some good harass for the first few levels if you’re tanking. However, since I level my E first, eventually that will become the better harass tool. However, once leveled it will do considerable damage, and the armor reduction that it causes is definitely not to be underestimated. However, if you’re doing offtank it's better to level this first, as it provides stronger offense and better harass.

W - Golden Aegis - A good shield ability with some interesting utilities. The slow can help you save teammates and yourself and help you catch an opponent. While the damage shield seems underwhelming at first sight, it is decent when fully leveled, and when used around a group of enemies, it will shield for even more.

E - Demacian Standard - Your key ability when doing full tank. I level this first when tanking to get the passive AS and Armor, but it will also do some decent harass damage when you drop it. The aura is great and will help your teammates in anything from teamfights to taking down towers. This combined with Dragon Strike to create the flag pull will be your key skill and is what you should always be practicing. More information on utilities for this in the Unique Skills chapter.

R- Cataclysm - A very powerful ulti that takes skill to learn when to use. Usually, if your opponent has a blink type ability (ie Tryndamere's Spinning Slash), they can get right through the ulti, or if they have flash they may use that to get away as well. Keep tabs on such abilities when considering whether or not to slam someone's face in. In addition, it is a great ganking tool and can really catch someone by surprise. Can also be used to trap enemies in so you and your team can get out of a bad situation.

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Skill Sequence



For tank, I opt to level the Demacian Standard first, as it increases my durability quite nicely and also lets me buff my teammates better. I take Golden Aegis after that. While the shield may look pitiful at start, as you level it the damage shield becomes noticeable. The slow is also very good and scales decently. If you want a bit more offensive power, you can choose to get Golden Aegis and Dragon Strike in an alternate pattern instead.



For offtank, I max Dragon Strike first to maximize harass and damage, and then get Demacian Standard next since it's passive is great and it makes putting the flag down give even better buffs. I get Golden Aegis last after putting one point in at level 4 for the slow. Another option is to level Dragon Strike and Demacian Standard in an alternate pattern for a slightly tankier style of play. Also, if you are pit up against a strong lane or are just having a bit of trouble in general, you can opt to level Golden Aegis after Dragon Strike for a better shield and slow.

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For either way I play Jarvan, I start off with the same items up to my Trinity Force. In this section I will first explain why I pick these items early on. Then I will talk about a few core items for either playstyle (there may be similarities between the two). Such items are usually useful and work in a variety of situations. Lower below, I show items that have situational purposes but may not always be the best of choices.

Early Game Items:

Philosopher's Stone

Philosopher's Stone: This item is really great for a variety of reasons. It solves a lot of Jarvan's early game mana problems and gives you some solid health regen. Most importantly here however is the GP10. These types of items work great on Jarvan because he has great sustainability in lane, so getting these will help you amass large amounts of gold so you can get better things sooner.

Heart of Gold: This wonderful thing gives you a solid amount of extra health to help you take a bit more punishment in lane early on, but again the most important part of this is the GP10. With this and the Philosopher's Stone, you'll be getting gold at a clip of more than 1 per second.

Mercury's Treads: This is a bit obvious. You always need boots on your champ, and these wonderful pairs give you Tenacity, which is always great for a tank or offtank. Not much to be said about this one.

Trinity Force: While I could theoretically file this under core, I felt putting it here would be better because it more greatly emphasizes its importance. It gives you a bit of everything Jarvan needs; Mana to solve his mana problems, Attack Speed and Damage to improve his offense, Ability Power and the Sheen passive to help his Demacian Standard's landing damage and the damage on the flag pull harass and a slow to help you chase people. There really isn't any more you could ask for in an item. Very important. However, if you feel like you are taking too much punishment from their team and need to get some defense earlier on, it is valid to get the Sheen first, get whatever defensive item you require (usually either a Warden's Mail or a Negatron Cloak; delving deeper than that will slow down your offense a bit too much), and then return to getting your Trinity Force.

Core Tank Items:

Randuin's Omen: This item is pretty amazing for tank or offtank Jarv, and I would basically consider it staple. It gives you some cooldown reduction, health, and mana regen, which are all really useful, but on top of that it also has an excellent passive that debuffs people as they attack you. The active is also really excellent in conjunction with your E+Q+W combo, assuming you remember to use it. Not to mention, you already built the Heart of Gold earlier on, so it would be a waste not to get this.

Force of Nature: Very important item to take for Jarvan, solidifies his tankiness a lot versus magic damage, and due to your large health pool, you'll have ridiculous health regen in combination with Warmog's Armor an all around solid choice. An alternative would be Banshee's Veil or even Quicksilver Sash in comps with lighter magic damage.

Aegis of the Legion: While this item isn't actually part of the build mentioned at the top of the guide, I think this item deserves its name under core regardless. While I don't get it every single game, Aegis of the Legion is one of the most cost-effective items in the game, and will give you a solid amount of health, armor, mres, and even a bit of damage. The best part is, it's even a partial aura so it's very beneficial in team fights in combination with Demacian Standard. If you think you can't finish this somewhat pricey build, this is an excellent all around choice for a tank item.

Warmog's Armor: Since you're already getting items like Atma's Impaler and Force of Nature, the larger health pool is obviously an excellent choice, as at this point you will be quite buffed up in terms of resistances. Alternatively, this could be an excellent place to sneak in an Aegis of the Legion or a cheaper item if you are pressed for gold.

Atma's Impaler: When you're building tank, this will be the only other item besides the Trinity Force that will be mostly Offensive. Even without the Warmog's Armor to boost it the passive will still give you about 50 or 60 AD, not to mention some solid armor and some more crit chance to throw on top of what you get in your Trinity Force, making you hit hard and take more punishment. Throw the Warmog's Armor in and you'll have about 90 bonus AD instead of 50-60. That's incredibly solid and will make you an indestructible tank that can hit hard as hell. The trick with this item is, like the Aegis of the Legion, knowing when to buy it, and when to be going for something better for the situation.

Core Offtank Items:

The Bloodthirster: Great offensive item to pick up right after the Trinity Force. I like to get a B.F. Sword a bit earlier on as it adds a lot to your early offense and Jarvan is usually naturally tanky enough to get by. Picking this up after the Trinity Force is good since opponents are probably going to start focusing you, and the life steal from this will keep you in the game. You can opt to pick up a basic defensive item such as Warden's Mail or Negatron Cloak first in order to make yourself tougher first and keep yourself safe from dying. A great option instead of The Bloodthirster here is a Youmuu's Ghostblade, grabbing The Brutalizer early in place of the B.F. Sword, which makes your one on one aspect incredibly strong. However, if you wish, this slot can be used for something more defensive if you are simply starting to get focused too much. Look at the "Viable Defensive Options" section for more info.

Randuin's Omen: Since you're building offtank, this generally means you want 2 defensive items, and not too many more or less, because less will make you too squishy, and more will make you more of a tank. You usually want one for each type of resistance, and the Randuin's Omen will give you enough armor and some decent stats to go with it as well. A solid choice for any Jarvan build, I say.

Banshee's Veil: Like I said before, really important for Jarvan to have this. The shield blocks can save you life, especially against combo reliant casters. You also get a good amount of mres and some nice health and mana as well. Overall great item. IF you aren't afraid to sacrifice some health or mana, you could also consider getting a Force of Nature here, or a Quicksilver Sash even. If you choose to do so, it may be advisable to grab an Aegis of the Legion at some point to make up for health and whatnot.

Atma's Impaler : While you get a smaller bonus with this than with a full tank build, you still get a bonus of about 60-70 AD, and the crit chance will also help you very much when paired with that of the Trinity Force. Armor also never hurts. I usually take something offensive in the 6th slot for Jarvan regardless of playstyle, and this seems to offer a good mix. However, you can go even more offensively with things like the Infinity Edge or Youmuu's Ghostblade. More info below in the "Viable Offensive Options" section.


While my recommended items at the top of each of my builds are a generally good selection to go with in most games, it is always better to be able to be flexible when building any champion, and countering their team will make you much more effective than staying with one build.

Below I outline both defensively and offensively oriented alternate options, in no particular order. I'd like to remind you that while some of these may be less frequently used, that might just mean that they have more specific utilities and shine particularly there, but are valid nonetheless. Essentially, these are items you can switch out one or two core items for if a situation calls for it. However, I wouldn't recommend switching out anything mentioned in the Early Game list, and even the Atma's Impaler should fairly rarely be taken out.

Viable Defensive Options:

Shurelya's ReverieZeke's Herald

Quicksilver Sash: This item gives you some solid magic res, but that's really not the point of this thing. If the enemy has so much damn CC that they just seem to be playing football with your body or something, get this. It's essentially Cleanse minus the 65 tenacity for 3 seconds after cast. Now that's not even the best part. The CD is only 90 seconds, so this is definitely a good choice several cases. If you need to get mres earlier than planned, this is a particularly good choice as it is economical and efficient.

Force of Nature: Excellent choice for getting magic resistance. If you are already quite tanky, the health regen it gives is nothing to scoff at, and the move speed bonus on top of that of the Trinity Force is a force to be reckoned with (weak pun FTW). The health regen on the Force of Nature combined with that of the Warmog's Armor is a force to be reckoned with.

Banshee's Veil: This and the Force of Nature are both excellent choices for magic resistance. If you don't plan to get a Warmog's Armor or some other large health item, you can sacrifice some mres in favor of the health, mana and spell shield this gives. At the end of the day, it's up to you to decide which one is better for the situation. Generally, this is a better option if you plan to build less tanky as a whole.

Thornmail: While the Randuin's Omen and whatever else you have will usually supply you with more than enough armor, if the enemy has lots of physical damage and not much magic, or if they have a really fed DPS Carry (Xin Zhao, Tryndamere, etc.), you should really consider picking this up. Basically used to hard counter certain situations. Unfortunately, the passive is nullified quite quickly by life steal or magic resistance.

Frozen Heart: Usually a more versatile method of adding armor to your build than Thornmail in cases that don't involve DPS carries. The mana and CDR on this item are definitely welcomed, and combined with the aura will make you more of a force to be reckoned with in teamfights. Great choice for armor if the Randuin's Omen just isn't cutting it.

Sunfire Cape: Very solid armor item to add on top of the build, as it doesn't overkill your armor too badly, and also adds some very welcome health. Pretty solid choice to replace the Warmog's Armor with if you want health but also need more armor. Since Jarvan is also often up in the enemy's face, you'll also get plenty of chances to put the passive to good use.

Guardian Angel: A solid choice for quite a few situations. It gives you more of both armor and magic res and has a solid passive to go with it. As games drag on, dying accidentally is going to cost your team dearly as the timer goes past the minute mark. With this, you'll be given a bit more leeway for messing up and gives you a shot at escape. I would usually only get this if the game drags on, or if I need to have more of both types of resistances after completing a build and needing a bit more of both.

Shurelya's Reverie: Great item in general, since you get a Philosopher's Stone earlier on, you can just build it into this for CDR, some good regen, and an active that could save lives or make a teamfight. Especially excellent if you don't expect a long game and/or are pressed for gold.

Zeke's Herald: Much more of an interesting item especially now that it's been changed. While it tragically no longer grants apen, the health is definitely welcome. Not only that, the lifesteal, CDR and attack speed aura is incredibly beneficial for not only yourself, but your team. A solid defensive replacement for Wriggle's Lantern late game if you do choose to get one (an offensive replacement would be The Bloodthirster).

Locket of the Iron Solari: Definitely an interesting item to take. For a long time, I felt the Heart of Gold was a bit of a waste of space in my inventory since I got my Randuin's Omen so late. Like the Shurelya's Reverie, this item transitions quite nicely from my early game core, and all the stats that it provides can be hugely helpful. The active is also great teamfight utility and can save someones life more often than you might think.

Viable Offensive Options:

Youmuu's Ghostblade: The most versatile way to obtain armor penetration. Great choice for sure in an offtank build to make your one on one fighting capability much stronger. Even in a tank build it's really great. Apen is a great way to get damage without having to waste too many slots on it, and also gives you some damage. Remembering to use the active will also significantly add to the value of this item.

Last Whisper: A bit situational, usually getting a Youmuu's Ghostblade is enough armor penetration and has better utility in other fields. If the enemy is really stacking on the armor, you can choose to get this, however, losing out on the active and CDR of Youmuu's Ghostblade will hurt, so you need to judge your situation, as always.

The Black Cleaver: A bit of an uncommon choice on Jarvan, it will actually work out decently enough in replacement of one of your later items. It's always tough to try to find the right place to slip this in, but if the enemy doesn't have too much armor, this is a good way to shred what little they have and do more or less true damage to them. The extra attack speed can also be devastating.

Frozen Mallet: Great option for added durability and chasing power. Usually, it isn’t a good idea to get both this and the Trinity Force, but sometimes, even the slow on the Trinity Force isn’t enough, or you just want more health but don’t really want a Warmog’s Armor. The slow on this thing is stronger and will help you chase down some very slippery champions. Not to mention that it works incredibly well in combination with the Atma’s Impaler.

Wit's End: This item is often overlooked for Jarvan. It gives a solid 30 base mres, and along with your Demacian Standard buff and the 40% attack speed from this, you'll be hitting at about 1.7 attacks per second, making the proc buff your mres up to an additional 20, making 50. Since you'll be hitting plenty hard with whatever you have already, throwing this on top will give you a good mix of offense and defense.

Wriggle's Lantern: Really solid item for the laning phase, especially in solo top (even if you aren't jungling). The free ward helps prevent you from being blindsided and ganked as easily, and the life steal and armor really helps hugely in solving Jarvan's sustain problems in lane. Also buffs his damage quite nicely. Not only that, but if you hold on to this item until late game, it makes you a substantial baron threat with the proc on it.

The Bloodthirster: Pretty good item to have in general, it's a great way to top off a build, since it'll give you a very powerful offense but the life steal will keep you in the fight for longer. The Banshee's Veil and Randuin's Omen is usually enough to keep you tough, so if you aren't dying too often you can choose to pick this as your topping item. If you got a Wriggle's Lantern earlier, this is a great offensive option to replace it (the defensive option being Zeke's Herald.

Infinity Edge: While some people may argue that this may not be a good item to take, you get good crit chance from your Atma's Impaler and Trinity Force (and whatever else you may have). You would usually get this as a topping item, as you would if getting a The Bloodthirster, so by then your crit chance will be almost half, making the active pretty good. It'll also make you hit really hard. Again, get this if you're holding strong and don't need more defense.

Why No Phantom Dancer?

When discussing with a friend about how to build a good offensively oriented Jarvan, he brought up the Phantom Dancer. While it seems that it may be good to maximize the effectiveness of the presence of an Infinity Edge, I feel that the slot can be better utilized to get items that can help you pack more punch, rather than attack or move around faster. Some may argue that the attack speed and crit chance can add to your damage, but the Trinity Force and Demacian Standard's passive pack some very strong attack speed already, and the Infinity Edge and Trinity Force already give you solid crit chance. In addition, you can deal much more reliable damage by getting armor penetration because it lets you deal closer to true damage (while still having some good crit and attack speed stats), whereas trying to stack on crit chance and attack speed can easily be countered by getting lots of armor, or even a Thornmail. A Phantom Dancer can be considered, but I sincerely think that there is almost always a better item for the slot.

Managing Trinity Force Procs

Regardless of how you build him, your Trinity Force procs is going to be your main source of damage, or at least a substantial chunk of it. There are a lot of things to keep in mind for managing these procs and using them effectively can drastically improve your play. Therefore, I thought it was necessary that I devote a section for this alone.

Most basically, it lets you do much more damage when fighting than you usually would. By flag pulling into the enemy, you activate your proc, and with the proc combining with Martial Cadence, your first hit on the enemy is going to do some seriously hard damage. If the opponent decides to stay to fight, try to find opportunities to use your abilities as you want to get as many procs in one fight as possible. Using the proc can also make your farming more effective to some extent.

Less obviously, the Trinity Force procs also work on towers, so again, maximizing your procs when attacking a tower will help you take it down much faster.

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While the job of keeping the enemy's actions under tabs is usually the Jungler's job with their Wriggle's Lantern, Sight Wards and Vision Wards, or the support's job with Clairvoyance, sometimes you just find yourself in a situation where you need to be the one doing it. Common ward spots are pretty common sense; you want one in the middle of each river at Baron and dragon, and if their ganks are giving you a lot of trouble, the brushes by each lane are good candidates for wards, as are the red and blue buffs.

Regardless, you should be buying wards with any spare cash you have after buying what you need every time you go back, especially early game. It'll save you from more ganks than you can imagine, especially if your team doesn't have time to call "MIA".

Here's a picture of popular ward spots, with their purpose and order of priority described below. Credits go to Apotheosis, check out his build over at

Order of priority:

Baron/Dragon Wards: However you decide to set these up with your team, whether it be orderly among the team or supports only buy wards, make sure these are always laid out! Baron and Dragon are what we're primarily keeping an eye on here. Early in the match it's not as important obviously, however, you still need to know whether top, mid, or bot will be set up for a gank when enemy laners/junglers are wandering about. These early kills can help the enemy sculpt the rest of the match and land a victory. We don't want to be allowing the enemy to kill either Baron or Dragon. That's a good chunk of gold that will distribute among their team, not to mention Baron's handy buff. Again, don't overlook these wards!

Note: I would recommend using Vision Wards for these locations, especially Baron mid-late game. If not Vision Wards, then make sure someone, usually the tank, has Oracles for discovering enemy wards.

Self Privacy Wards: There's orange points at top, mid, and bot hiding locations. I would hope that your entire team would try to ward the areas entitled to them. These wards are not entirely important, however, they are lifesavers. Junglers and wandering laners will use these bushes to set up for early kills. If you're pushing your lane, then it would be a good idea to ward the bush(s) that is closest to you.

Team Privacy Wards: These are crucial wards to put out if the match can go either way by eliminating possible ambushes when pushing minions or entering your own jungle.

Game Changing Wards: Of course all of the wards posted on the map are capable of changing the outcome of a game, but these wards are placed in a location that both teams will always drift by. Reasons to go through the wards (for both teams): Getting to Baron and dragon, changing lanes, shifting from allied jungle to the enemy's jungle (either by self or team) to steal mobs/buffs, shifting as a team to gank the enemy team, etc. If you just have a ward on either Baron and/or dragon, you can still miss the enemy slipping by into your jungle never knowing it. This allows enemies to set up ganks. Therefore, these wards change the outcome of a game because you know whats coming.

Invading Wards: I thought it was appropriate to name these wards in this manner because you can enter their bushes knowing whether they're there or not before you attempt to set up a gank. The enemy usually walks through these bushes hoping to freely enter their jungle for experience/gold and/or buffs.

Buff Wards: Monitor yours and enemy's buffs with these wards. Good to set in your own jungle if they start playing dirty and snatching buffs early game from your jungle. These wards are primarily for the junglers of each team.

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Unique Skills

Here I'll outline a few neat tricks you can pull off with your kit. There are plenty of other things you can do with Jarvan, but this just outlines a few solid ones. I'll add whatever I can remember.

1. It is often a good idea to flag pull into a group of enemies in chase of a squishy on your team and use your Golden Aegis and then get out yourself to help them escape, but you have to learn when to judge to do things like these, and think about how much punishment you can take at the time.

2. Always remember that you can use your flag pull as an excellent ganking tool, especially when the enemy is remarkably close to a wall, you can actually flag pull right through it and catch them in the knockup. Often times this is enough to guarantee a kill if there is someone else in the lane you're ganking.

3. Always remember to put down your Demacian Standard when trying to push down towers; every little bit of attack speed can help.

4. Don't forget about the buffs your Demacian Standard gives. Just by doing a flag pull in a fight, you'll be giving attack speed and armor to your team for a good amount of time. Putting your Demacian Standard down while enemies are in chase of either you or a teammate may also be enough to save them due to the bonus armor.

5. Your flag pull is a surprisingly good juking tool; if being chased, walk calmly into a brush, then flag pull into a different direction. Makes for a very confused enemy and a very amusing situation. Continue running.

6. If the enemy is just out of reach of your flag pull, do not despair; simply flag pull as close to the target as you can, and the Golden Aegis should be in range to slow them enough for you to catch up. If that isn't enough, you shouldn't be chasing the guy anyways.

7. Don't underestimate the slow on your Golden Aegis. It'll save lives AND ruin the enemy's lives. Great when used in conjunction with the Randuin's Omen active.

8. Your Cataclysm has great utility. You can stop an enemy trying to chase your friends, trap them in and get them owned, force a Flash, and gank. Also, if you are running away from enemies, you can sometimes Cataclysm them in and flag pull yourself out to trap them in for a few seconds. To be honest, I don't pull that trick very often and just go for the flag pull to escape. Always judge when to use it properly; you don't want to trap an unwilling teammate in with you and get them killed. Good judgement will come with practice. To gank with Cataclysm, the best method is usually to flash out and jump them before they realize whats happening, or by doing it over a wall to an unsuspecting enemy (which is admittedly more difficult to pull off, mainly because the range just barely reaches over most walls).

9. Cataclysm is a huge nuke, which people tend to forget. Using it as a finishing move is very effective. You can press R again to break the barrier as soon as they are dead. This is generally more reliable, because if you use it as a finisher, they can't Flash out, because, well, they're dead.

10. Use your Demacian Standard as a temporary ward; putting it in brushes will give you sight as long as it is there. Outside of ranked, many enemies do not know of this. Use this to your advantage by flag pulling to an enemy in brush who thinks they are safe.

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Jarvan makes for a pretty solid Jungle and has pretty good ganks right out of jungle, even at level 4. At level 6 it's even more devastating with Cataclysm, but he's generally a really solid ganker and jungler. I wish I were more informed on this topic, but I'd rather admit my incompetence in this field than misguide you. This build focuses more on his other aspects. However, make no mistake; Jarvan is a very good jungler.

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Jarvan's a pretty good farmer. Early on, his Martial Cadence gives you a bit of an easier time with last hits, and depending on how you build, just your flag pull is enough to flat out clear or seriously injure a whole wave of minions.

However, if you're tanking you don't want to take too much farm from your carry. Try to limit yourself to maybe 2 or 3 caster minions, as the GP10 you get earlier on for my tank build should help you get by. Later in the game you can be free to farm a bit more, but make sure that doesn't mean that you're not participating in fights or generally being useful to the team.

If you're offtanking, you're usually solo top, so you can take all the farm you please. Even in duo bot lane, you generally have license to take the farm, unless you're with some other carry, in which case you should probably be tanking anyways. When building this way, just a flag pull will do enough damage to clear waves pretty much instantaneously.

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Proof of Legitimacy

I'm legit at Jarvan. Yeah. I'll post more as I get them.

So in this game, the enemy team actually thought I was hacking. Thought it was pretty funny.

I don't do ranked very much, but I'll post my ranked runs here.

This one's from awhile ago, but it's still good.

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Jarvan's a great champion overall, and has been my main for quite some time now. He's versatile enough to cover more or less any role is called for, and with practice it becomes evident what items you should be getting at what situations. Definitely give him a spin if you haven't yet, and if you're a seasoned Jarvan player, I salute you for having good taste and I hope my guide was able to assist you. I might come back to edit stuff and add more as time goes on, so look out for that. Constructive criticism is appreciated and please remember to vote accordingly.

{Special Thanks to JakofAllSpaydes again}

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Aug. 22nd, 11 - Build published.

August 24th, 11 - Added a section detailing the basic utility of each ability, and added icons for summoner spells, items and abilities. May add pictures for runes in the future if I get over my laziness.

August 25th, 11 - Broke down and fixed up my relatively half-***ed runes section. It's a bit better now.

August 29th, 11 - After playing some more games in the offtank style, changed core items for 2nd build a bit and updated the Items chapter as necessary. Also added a short chapter on Warding and the job of sight. In addition, added a section in Items chapter covering my reasoning for the lack of a Phantom Dancer. Added proof of legitimacy section where I post good runs with Jarvan, which is a WIP.

August 30th, 11 - Added a more in depth explanation to the exact reason and concept behind offtanking, and updated Warding chapter. Edited skill sequence for offtank build and changed skill sequence chapter accordingly. Changed Runes section to what I now use.

September 4th, 11 - Improved warding section with a picture and better explanations, credit to Apotheosis given.

September 10th, 11 - Changed bold red text to bold yellow to make it a bit less irritating due to multiple requests.

September 15th, 11 - Changed 2nd build Purchase Order and core items, and changed items chapter to reflect as such.

September 19th, 11 - Revamped Summoner Spells section to be much more in depth.

October 7th, 11 - Revamped second build after doing more playing around with offensive Jarvan.

October 10th, 11 - Formatting and icon additions, no gameplay or item changes, added banners.

October 12th, 11 - Updated Farming section to be more specific, added a section under the Items chapter regarding Trinity Force procs.

December 10th, 11 - Threw up a 3rd build. This one is quite well balanced for the offtank method, and a bit more difficult to use, but gives you really respectable damage throughout the game. Just a different way to do it.

December 15th, 11 - Changed up the Masteries and Runes chapters to include some more options, and updated my Defense masteries slightly. Wriggle's Lantern opinion in Items chapter also changed. Removed 3rd build until further revision.

February 28th, 12 - Swapped out Banshee's Veil for Force of Nature in the tank build's core. Revised and reformatted several things in the items chapter.