Build Guide by Cole119
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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.
The biggest problem with Jax is that his ultimate and Guinsoo's Rageblade both take time to wind up before reaching their max potential. If you get destroyed in two hits, you aren't going to have enough time to reach that potential. The purpose of this build is to give you ridiculous damage while at the same time making you a pain in the *** to take down.
Note: Although I put tankiness in the title, you are not a tank! If you try to tank, you WILL die. Leave the tanking to champions like Rammus or Shen. Your job is to jump in and destroy their squishies and then finish of their tank once your ult and Guinsoo's are maxed.
Start off with Doran's Shield and a health potion. This, along with your runes/masteries, should give you enough survivability to last in lane for a very long time. Don't be afraid to go back if you have to. When you get enough money, buy Ninja Tabi (for obvious reasons). Now, for the next item, I always go Gunblade first, just because I find the lifesteal and spell vamp to be tremendously helpful, although you are welcome to go Rageblade first if you prefer. For you third item, get a Gunblade/Rageblade (whatever you don't already have).
Alright, you've probably noticed by now that there are only three items listed (minus Doran's shield) in the build. That's because every match is different. You will always build Ninja Tabi, Gunblade, and Guinsoo's; the last items you will build depending on what the enemy team is composed of.
Does their team consist of mostly physical damage? Get Atma's Impaler, Zhonya's Hourglass, and either another armor item or another AP item (I prefer Abyssal Scepter because of its passive).
Does their team consist of mostly AP champions? Get an Abyssal Scepter, Lich Bane, and either another magic resist item or another AP item (I would take either Banshee's Veil or Rabadon's Deathcap for insane nuking).
Does their team consist of a healthy mix of AP and physical? Get an Abyssal Scepter, Zhonya's Hourglass, and Lich Bane/Atma's (whichever is most needed).
Now for the skill sequence. Why do I get so many points in Leap Strike first? Because it lowers the cooldown significantly. This allows you to chase more effectively and tower dive more often (although I don't recommend that unless you know you can get away). After you get Leap Strike's cooldown down a bit, max Empower. And remember, always spam Empower whenever you're in a team fight or a 1v1. In 1v1's I am just constantly pressing W and E.
During laning phase, whenever you get a chance to safely harass, press W to activate Empower, and Leap Strike onto an enemy and then run away. You will be able to easily do 1/5 of their health with this combo.
Early game is, in my opinion, the toughest part of the match for Jax. You don't have much survivability, so you want to stay behind your minions, and just try to last hit the enemy minions for gold. Try not to overextend, and be aware of incoming ganks. If you ever see an opportunity to safely attack an enemy, activate Empower (W), and Leap Strike (Q) onto the enemy champion. If you can get the kill, keep attacking and activate your stun if you can. If you aren't absolutely certain you can get the kill, just run back behind your minions once you hit the enemy. Hitting an enemy with this combo a couple times should be enough to scare them back, so you should be able to farm more effectively.
When you get the chance to go back, pick up your Ninja Tabi first. If you have enough gold, pick up a Pickaxe or Vampiric Scepter, too.
If you manage to break your lane's tower before everyone else, try to go gank mid or top to help your teammates out. With your WQ combo, you should be able to pick up an easy kill. If you have your Tabi, I recommend jumping on the enemy champion when they have some of their minions around. This will almost guarantee you dodge an attack. If you see the enemy start to run away, stun them, or jump to them and stun them if they are too far away.
After you get a few kills, head back to base and get as many items as you can afford.
Once you have your Gunblade/Rageblade, you will be a force to be reckoned with. Around this time, team fights start to break out. Remember what I said in the Introduction? You want to stay behind your tank. Wait for him to initiate the fight, and then jump on the squishiest champion first. You should have no trouble destroying them in a few smacks, and then quickly shift your focus to the next squishy or highest damage champion on their team. Try to keep the stacks on your ult and Guinsoo's up. Spam Empower whenever it is off cooldown. Stun whenever you can. If you can manage to get a dodge, you should be able to stun their entire team at once. Your team really should have no problem cleaning up after that. Don't be afraid to take a melee DPS champion on 1v1.
Something to always remember: always pop your ult if you think you are about to get targeted by a mage. Your ult is a fantastic tool to have.
If the game is lasting a long time and you have most of your build complete, try to solo Baron Nashor while your team distracts the enemy. You shouldn't have much trouble doing it, but if it looks like you won't be able to make it, run away before you embarrass yourself lol.
I'm pretty tired right now, so I probably left something out. If I find something is missing I will update this guide as soon as I can. Please don't be afraid to post constructive criticism. Jax is my favorite champion, and if you know something that will make me better with him, then please share! Thanks for reading.