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Jarvan IV Build Guide by Dare the Bear

Jarvan the Lance Paragon of Demacia

Jarvan the Lance Paragon of Demacia

Updated on October 3, 2011
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4,274 Views 4 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Dare the Bear Jarvan IV Build Guide By Dare the Bear Updated on October 3, 2011
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Understanding the Exemplar of Demacia.

Hello and welcome to my guide on Jarvan the IV, the Exemplar of Demacia. To be an exemplar is to be a paragon or the perfect example of something and Jarvan has the potential to do just that. In this guide you will see how this single man's utility will be able to make your opponents cry out in anguish as they realize the prince's power. His ability to mix in the abilities of an assassin, CCer, offtank, ganker and jungler all is what puts him high on my list added with even more utility through his active items pushes him over the top with coolheaded and precise players.

Note that this is intended for a very combative and map aware Jarvan. Assuming your able to secure yourself a jungler, Jarvan's potential in top lane makes him a very viable choice in matches today.
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What's good and bad about this build and Jarvan the IV himself

Jack of all Trades
Strong solo laner
Great initiator (fearsome even)
Can down squishies pretty fast in teamfights.
Great mobility
Able to go through some walls
Useful team buff
Can slow and speed up his team
His utility works with almost everyone
Fearsome Ultimate - Demacia!!!
Can easily 1v1 a mage or ranged
Overall a very fun character to use
This build is centered on those aggressive people who can secure kills or otherwise push them out to farm with impunity
He is a mammal

Requires just a bit of skill and timing for his moves
All his skills synergies rather well and can be considered weak when not used in conjunction with each other
On the other hand comboing the skills constantly can cause you to run out of mana rather fast.
Considered by many a throwaway initiator
For people unfamiliar with active items this build might be a challenge at first.
He's a tryhard
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Runes and Masteries

Why those runes you may ask? The explanation is simple, Jarvan is a DPS. Though one of his skills favors a very tanky role he is a dps first and an off-tank second.

Mixed with his passive, Jarvan has the potential to be very bursty character throughout the game. Starting off with ArP marks with one quint (also adding in masteries) you essentially have 24 armor penetration at the start of the match, which basically gives you true damage to anything other then other champions in the beginning. Lowering the armor of an opponent is effective throughout the match whereas attack damage and critical damage scales much lower then Armor penetration.

Which leads one to ask why not have all three quints be Armor Pen?
Well those quints can be converted into something else that would help you both against champions and minions/monsters rather then just something that only works against champions (since you already hit the max armor creeps/monsters have with that one Quint)

The last two Quints are more hardwired into your preferences and I took hp seeing as I'm rather aggressive early game when I have superior regen.

Magic resist for decent magic resist for late game where everything can really be lethal. More often then not during the later parts of the match spells make up the majority of damage you receive and these help will help mitigate some damage. This helps against late game damage against other champs.

Mana regen runes per level which helps alleviate the eventual lack of mana for Jarvan. At past lvl 5 they work better then the straight Mp5 runes and makes it that much easier to be sustainable.
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Summoner Spells

The Reason why I suggest flash and ignite is for early game and chasing people for that last kill. Both are useful for Jarvan since he's a very effective chaser having something similar to a fast 10-13 second cooldown (similar to Tryndamere's)

So running Flash and Ignite is the usual setup for me unless no one on my team has exhaust.

Flash - The most commonly used and staple summoner spell in Summoner's Rift. Used to escape when your oom or your standard is on CD. Has an innate surprise factor against low elo players and can be utilized in many situations.

Ignite - Use this against people with lifesteal or those clutching on to the last bars of their hp. Reduces the amount of heals given to them so a hardcounter to other regening champions like Mundo, Nasus and Soraka.

Exhaust - Slows the opponent down and decreases the damage they can do to other creatures. Basically a targeted flash as it's utility matches flash. However there isn't too much of a surprise factor and you still have to be in range during it's duration to make use of it.

Heal - Nub check. Don't grab it when there are so many better items. Only useful in the beginning where you can trick an opponent to fighting you and popping heal to save yourself before you deal the final blow. But after seeing that they usually flash away...

Revive - Only useful if in Domination or if you have the ability to do something from across the map. Shen, Karthus, Twisted Fate, Soraka and Pantheon make this summoner spell seem decent. However most wouldn't pick it anyways. You can try using this with Anivia to try to out exp them if your in bot lane. Though you shouldn't be dying that much with her.

Smite - Jungle Jarv? Get it.

Teleport - Pick it up if your starting out. Ideally you should be able to figure out when would be a good time to leave your lane without putting it in danger.

Cleanse - Decent skill in high elo matches. Not so much in lower ranked games where everyone runs straight damage items/characters.

Fortify - Works well with your Ulti but loses it's effectiveness the longer a match goes on.

Clarity - While it works well in the beginning it's usefullness is sorta wasted on you since you get an extra 100-200 so mana. Rather just have a caster have it and use it near you.

Rally - Gives you a free Pickaxe or B.F. Sword but the fact that this can be destroyed with 1 or two skills makes it very useless in teamfights. It's considered a nub spell. Though I've seen a Taric push out awesome extra dmg for the team when he stacks this with his ultimate.

Clairvoyance- Let the supports use this for you. Your E gives you sight so you don't need to worry about people hiding in bushes with Jarvan.
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Skill Sequence


Since your aim is to do as much damage in the shortest amount of time possible, your going to be seeing your w as your slow alongside your 1 button later in the match. Farming with the standard is much easier and much safer to use them his q which persists for only a short time while his Demacian standard lasts quite longer with a much more user friendly buff.
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The Method to the Active Items.

Above you'll notice a very consistent thread with the items sequence, until the endgame you usually have a 5 per 10 seond gold item on you. This is because they lead into items with very strong actives that work well with Jarvan as with most AD characters. After upgrading all three I usually set them up in a 1,2, and 3 I associate my 1 with Omen's slow, 2 with Ghostblade's speedbuff, 3 with a short teambuff that helps rushing those carries in the back together much easier and organized.

Basically this extra set of commands are replacement summoner spells
1 - Provides you with a mass exhaust that lasts for four seconds when activated. Useful for mass teamfights to dramatically lower their initial output which is crucial as most characters have innate burst.

2 - Gives you an improved ghost for four seconds but without ignoring unit collision. Meaning you still have to go around creeps to get by. But there is an upside to this. Alongside that you also receive a +50% attack speed boost within those few seconds. To add to that you get rewarded for actually attacking opponents, resulting in an extra two second duration for every autoattack maxing at 8 extra seconds. Pretty good eh? Basically used for chasing and finishing off enemies when ignite is on CD and you want to save your flash for something in the future. You have Master Yi's ultimate in item form (without the resist to slows though)

3 - Your group charge. This is a great item to use for when charging the enemy or running away from them as a team. You don't have to sacrifice yourself anymore, just pop this and your team's chances of a swift getaway are improved dramatically. Use to initiate fights alongside Omen to give your team both a damage and positioning advantage. Also on another note, if you pop this while near an ally that is going to kill an enemy it gives you the assist for it. The very first active I get and a very useful one indeed.

1 - Omen - Mass exhaust
2 - Ghostblade - Master Yi's ultimate highlander in item form
3 - Reveries - Mass speed boost, gives assists
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Reasoning behind the purchases

Now I will individually explain why I chose the item sequence listed above.

Regrowth and hp pot - sustainability is the key to laning with Jarvan. With these two items you essentially are able to keep yourself there until lvl 6 where the real fights begin.

Philosopher's stone - Mana regen is so so so important on Jarvan and this is easily one of the most important upgrades on him early game.

Boots of Speed - A somewhat forced item since everyone gets it. It's cheap and it's extra speed though so take it and punish those without them.

Note* - A good time to recall is when you have enough for both the stone and the boots along with 2-3 hp pots for the end of the early game.

Berserker Greaves - Same reasoning as above but by the time you purchase these you should be nearly done maxing out E. Get used to this attack speed and when your standard it is up. Respectable attackspeed overall.

Kindlegem - Seeing as it's the same amount as Heart of gold but has something that it doesn't have grab it whenever possible. This will help with the eventual purchase of Shurelya's Reverie.

Shurelya's Reverie - The best regening item in game is now yours. With 330 extra tacked along this is the best item for sustained fighting (which Jarvan excels in). Also you gain your first active, which gives you a speed boost which helps get to lanes/set up ganks faster.

Heart of Gold - More hp alongside that great 5 per 10 works it's magic for you as you continue laning/ganking. Just a win, win scenario either way with this item as it replaces the Philosopher's stone's 5g per 10 second and makes you slightly more tanky.

The Brutalizer - By the time you have bought this you should have already maxed out your E and be working on your Q. Alongside the Berzerker greaves you should have 83% extra attack speed if your taking account his passive which stacks with his passive and the extra 4% from your mastery tree. Now all you need is something to do some extra damage and armor penetration against champions. With Jarvan's Q you should be able to reduce enemy champions into rather low amounts and the added attack damage alongside the extra armor penetration makes your hits get dangerously close to true damage. If you crit while your debuff is on your almost guaranteed to make your opponent panic. Finally with the extra 10% CD reduction you almost reached the softcap, letting you chase with his "dash". Overall, a very worthwhile investment with Jarvan.

Chainmail - Extra defense against those that you are fighting. Your ulti sorta forces people stuck inside to autoattack you. Might as well get some armor now.

Warden's Mail - Same as above but this time you have a debuff which protects you even more when you get hit. Noticeable lessens the damage output of people attacking you.

Randuin's Omen - Yay! You got yourself your second active item. This item is easily one of the most important purchases you can buy seeing as it's active is soooooooooo good. :) Use it when dashing in/using your ulti and see the lack of damage you sustain while doing so. A great amount of armor and hp come long with this item seeing as it came from Frozen Heart and Warden's mail.

Avarice Blade - Hey another 5 gold per 10 item! To be honest if you had Philosopher's Stone/Heart of Gold long enough this was actually a free purchase after holding those items for so long. If you held any of the 5 per 10 items for 23 minutes in total you just made yourself very smart investments in these items. If not that means your wrecking face anyways and with the 5g per 10 second items you didn't waste too much potential stats that it is considered a bad move.

Youmuu's Ghostblade - Basically giving you everything that Jarvan doesn't have naturally. Attack damage, crit, CD reduction and some armor penetration. This item's active synergies well with his combos. Either use it during his ulti for some quick burst or when you hit someone with your W to make the most of the slow before knocking them back up again with his usual e to q combo.

Negatron Cloak - By now your opponents have maxed out their main skills and they are noticeable now. With this your able to negate most damage skills from AD characters while still keeping those AP casters in check while you rush them.

Banshee's Veil - Hp, Mana, and Magic resist. This item has it all! It even has a passive that negates one move used against you. Now, when you attack other champions their initial burst is partially taken away with the absence of CC or their nuke. Also very useful for trying to escape while being run down. Their 1st snare/slow won't affect you which gives you a greater chance to run to safety (Alongside your actives). However I'll admit it's usefulness is based on it's user. If your the focus of everyone's attacks I would either play a bit more passively and let the tank do his job or time/space your attacks better.

B.F. Sword - AKA the Best Friend Sword or Big Freaking Sword. Now that you've taken into account all the potential damage mitigation an tanky dps needs you can finally nurture the dps part of your decription. This badboy gives you 45 damage and leads up into the three greatest items an AD could ever want.

Infinity Edge - One of the most cost effecient items in the game. (regarding base stats) Bloodthirster eventually beats it out with enough minion kills and Sword of the occult hits even with it at around 14 stacks. However this is still a very good item with an added 25 crit chance that works with Youmuu's Ghostblade. Alongside it's passive Jarvan has 40ish% crit chance which hits for 250%. With ArP runes, masteries and ghostblade, when you apply your debuff to other champions your dealing attacks that are close to doing true damage. Alongside the extra damage from your crits the amount of burst Jarvan has is definitely lethal to enemy carries.
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If there is an abundance of CC or AP I would pick up the Mercury Threads since an AD is no good if he's out of the equation for even the slightest of moments (or dead). However if you noticed that they are all ranged AD I would pick up the berserker's greaves since those help take out said champions on an opposing team. A basic combo from Jarvan and using your ulti to chase into another quick skill combo kills any carry/ranged champion. Ninja tabi to me aren't isn't quite worth wasting the spot for. True you may dodge certain moves but I find that effective hp (sustainable hp) is usually much better then using avoidance in most games. The cooldown boots are somewhat of a joke to me since it only provides a meager 15% while the actives give you around 35% already.

Berserker Greaves - Against the squish
Mercury Threads - Very stable choice
Ninja Tabi - Against teams with more then 3 AD (or if those AD are scary good)
Boots of Lucidity- Too close to the cooldown% softcap, don't bother.

Grab the lvl 2's when you feel it necessary. General rule for me is when the ganks start happening (on either side), you need them.
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The Alternative Items

This section is to lead you to the right path in choosing replacement items if actives really aren't your thing.

Frozen Mallet - Though many consider it a great tanky dps item I don't think Jarvan would need this item at all. Unless this person has an innate flash ability (Ezreal) or is incredibly evasive (Nidalee, Teemo, Singed) I wouldn't consider buying this item for Jarven. Usually if I couldn't burst them down with my standard, lance to knockup, slow, AA spam with occasional lance stabs I don't think I could have done it with me having a slow and less damage.

A crutch item in most cases. Get actual damage rather then this if you can manage it. Replaces Omen.

Soul Shroud - Decent amount of hp and look! a mp5 aura! This must be useful in teamfights! Not for Jarvan. True, this provides Jarvan with the a remedy for his mana but he already has the reviere in this build to rely on. Not only that Reverie also gives you hp regen and a useful active.

Only decent against pure burst teams where the extra damage given doesn't let you continue on after a teamfight. Replaces Reverie.

Spirit Visage - Having little to no natural healing on his own this choice would be an odd fit with Jarven. If the enemy team is giving you a hard time with their AP go Force of Nature or something.

Don't buy this.

Aegis of the Legion - If your starting out with a ruby crystal to rush this in the beginning your already messing up this guide's intended goal. This Jarvan is not a natural tank, he's a bruiser/scrapper that pressures opponents to back off from the onslaught. While this may be good for tanks it's quite the investment early game for him, where Jarvan is suppose to ramp up with his 5 gold per 10 second items into greater items.

Talk to the team tank. If he's not getting this might as well take one for the team. It's cheaper and has decent stats for it's price. Replaces Omen.

Last Whisper - May be consider useful but it cause your Q and it to work against each other. I would only get this if your facing a very tanky team (Which leads me to asking why aren't you using your q on them?)

Doesn't synergize with Jarvan too well. Get actual attack damage/speed. Don't use.

Atma's Impaler - Going into the tanky dps avenue one can forgoe the ghostblade's active for this sweet wep. Giving Jarvan an extra 60 Attack Power with the haste given to him would put pressure on any opponent.

Works well against squishies and melee dps oddly. Armor against the AD and attack damage for the people your hitting. Replaces ghostblade.

Manamune - Alright this is pushing it but if your still oom after every encounter I would suggest this item over Ghostblade or Reviere's. Now spamming Jarvan's moves actually rewards the user by giving extra mana capping at 1000 mana. This is intended for the spacers that like to spam pokes in hopes of chipping away at their hp. Somewhat useable in lane, unbelievable in LONG team fights. I would suggest just getting blue buff though...

It's uses are noticeable. But since Jarvan doesn't make very good use of it's passive (the mana into AP) I wouldn't recommend this item at all. Don't be lazy and just grab blue buff.

Hexdrinker - If a team is DoT heavy I find this saves people quite a bit.

This is one of the first items I get shortly after getting my Heart of gold, boots and Reverie if the team has lots of Dots. Grab before building the brutalizer, sell before building Banshee's Veil.

Lich Bane - Doesn't build AP so it's pretty useless on Jarvan

Phantom Dancers - If you prefer being fast normally just go ahead and pick these up. Replaces Youmuu's.

Stark's Fervor - If you are still bearing the brunt of attacks but you aren't getting ganked after a fight's over this helps Jarvan sustain himself for longer. A common replacement for Youmuu's since it replaces the attack damage with attack speed, the active with the lifesteal and gives a constant mass armor reducing debuff which teammates can use.

Start building it alongside The Brutalizer. Sell Brutalizer if you don't have enough for Starks.

Quicksilver Sash - Useful against CC heavy teams. However you have to be very comfortable with the amount of mana Jarvan has with it. Replaces Banshee's veil.

Force of Nature - Great sustain item. Gives you hp regen, magic resist and movement speed. Also gives you more hp regen and you can easily regen his hp within two/three minutes even faster with Starks. Replaces Banshee's Veil but one has to be very comfortable with the amount of mana Jarvan has. Compliments Stark's Fervor.

Sunfire Cape/Thornmail - If you think the active from Randuin's is too hard just pick this item up instead. Does extra damage but you get less hp and dmg mitigated compared to Omen. I would suggest Omen that instead.

Get if your horrible with actives and want a passive instead. Pales in comparison to Omen.

Warmong's Armor - More hp and hp regen. If your opposing team just has AP pokers or ranged just grab this and bumrush em. (Useful against Lux, Vlad, Ezreal, People with DoT's etc.) Also works well with Jarvan since he can farm creeps rather easily. Though I doubt you'll be able to grab 100 creep kills after you buy this item. 10 champion kills on the other hand...

Replaces Omen but gives no armor in return. Better grab Atma's to replace Ghostblade while your at it.
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Creeping / Jungling

Just know that Jarvan's E to Q combo can clear creep waves later ingame. With his mobility he's also a strong jungler after getting the three active items. Just e to q to jump in and 2-3 autoattacks should take out most low priority jungle camps.

Note: Though he can solo dragon it's generally a better idea to have someone help you with that.
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Team Work

Finally the it's time for the teamfight. Position yourself carefully with the e,q lance combo before the match if you can. Let whoever wants to go first initiate then jump in and lead with your ulti or usual CC combo. Your targeting carries here, so take aim and launch that ulti at their face. Unless it's Tryn or Gangplank, quickly dispatch a ranged within reasonable distance from you and the group and take them out. If they have flash be prepared to flag out or crumble the wall before running back between the tank and the rest of the group. If they don't have flash unload on the sucker, finishing with a W if they manage to live the encounter. If they are clustered don't be afraid to launch all of them and hit your w or 1. This is what will usually make your group win if they followed up. However if it looks like they might be getting away pop your 3 to clean up or to run if things aren't looking good.

Note: Never trap another teammate with you unless he/she is a melee AD with a dash of sorts (Shen, Tryndamere, Jax etc) or if the danger is minimal.
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