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Jax Build Guide by Icosa

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This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Icosa

Jax, Tank or Carry?

Icosa Last updated on July 6, 2012
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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: 29

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 1

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7/5/12: Updated win-loss record and input a new build path dedicated shifting towards late game lifesteal and attack speed.

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This is a disclaimer; this is my first guide ever so if there are any errors please let me know so I can fix them ASAP. This guide is also based around a guide I found for Jax when I began playing dominion. The other guide has since expired due to a lack of updates and no longer appears on searches but can be found here, How to Troll Dominion. Now before you look at that name and decided that this is all a big joke and you should ignore this entire guide just read through it and test it out what is there to lose other than a little bit of your time while playing LoL.

Current record (6/25/12) Wins:23 Losses:4

Now onto the brief introduction. This is something I want to stress right now; I made this guide because I have results that back it up, not just because I wanted to make a guide. This build may seem strange to many of you and seeing the items I was surprised at first also but the truth is that even if you may not have the same damage output as a triforce/hextech Jax build but this build is way more versatile. You may be wondering what I mean by versatile and here is the claim I am going to make, with this build you can be as effective of a brawler as a triforce/hextech Jax and at the same time be the best tank on your team. Now let me get into the rest of the guide so I can show you what I mean.

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You are versatile, a brawler and an initiator. For team fights you should almost always be the one to jump into the attack first this build gives you enough health to take a lot of punishment and still deal damage and provides quite the dilemma for the other team, do we focus Jax or ignore him? This build makes it hard to do either, if you are ignored you have enough damage to focus down their carries and if you are focused you have enough health to survive long enough for your team to take down their carries or at least disable them and force them from the fight. I have had games where I went 18-2-9 and games where I went 8-6-19 with the exact same items!

With this build I will always go top if given the choice. I may have to make a separate section for a bottom build once I have more experience because I have only played with this build at bottom a few times.

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This may be slightly different arrangement of sections to other guide but I felt it was best to address the unconventional item choice right now. Most people begin the game getting Boots of Speed and some other items to supplement their character something like Prospector's Blade or Prospector's Ring. These are all good choices but here are some pros and cons for going with Phage.


  • 225 Health
  • 25% chance to slow the enemy by 30% for 2.5 seconds.
  • 18 Attack Damage
  • Builds into Frozen Mallet

  • Only 25 more Health than a Prospector's Item
  • No boots to start
  • 2 Less Attack Damage than a Prospector's Blade
  • No Lifesteal

It is pretty even and just looking at what you get for your gold I wouldn't fault anyone for initially going with the Blade and the Boots but I go with Phage because of how the first fight should be played with this build. For the first fight you will almost always be the most aggressive initiator and enabler for your team. To fulfill this role the slow of Phage allows you to catch someone who over extends the slightest amount combined with Jax's stun it is almost impossible for them to escape you or more specifically your teammates who have some sort of boots and once you can make it a 4v3 it usually begins to snowball in your favor. Being the initiator you will take damage, a lot of damage and while it is uncommon for you to die when in the first fight it is not unheard of but most of the time you will survive long enough to have your team take out at least one of their champions as well.

The rest of the items are designed to create an inescapable brawler and an initiator that can take a lot of punishment. Here is a brief explanation of the items and other possible options.

Core Items


I get these items almost every game. The frozen mallet gives you a lot of health and keeps almost everyone from escaping your wrath even if they use Flash. Atma's is incredible in this build and is what allows you to keep up with the best of the brawlers in terms of damage. The ninja tabi are still a great choice on Jax even after the removal of dodge the 10% damage reduction provides great resilience. I can understand choosing to go with Mercury's Treads for the tenacity and magic resistance but I usually only pick them up if the other team has at least 3 heavy AP carries.

Strong Items


Sunfire Cape is another item I get almost every game because it provides more defense, health, and a consistent damage output even if you are disabled. I will delay picking this item up if the main damage from the opposing team is from AP champions in which case I will pick up the Force of Nature first. Both of these items are design to increase your resilience. Sunfire Cape will provide extra damage and Force of Nature will allow you to have to recall less due to the increased regeneration.

One item I have been trying out as a conditional pickup is the Sanguine Blade (because let's be honest who ever actually builds 6 final tier items on dominion? I know I haven't ever). I pick up Sanguine blade if the other team has an AD brawler who is building something like Frozen Mallet, Mercury's Treads, Sanguine Blade, Last Whisper (or Phantom Dancer) going 1v1 with them can spell trouble because of their high health and lifesteal to counteract this I pickup a Sanguine Blade of my own as my 3rd or 4th item leaving me with Ninja Tabi, Frozen Mallet, Atma's Impaler, and Sanguine Blade. I have not extensively tested this but it has been very effective when I did use it. Until I test more Sanguine Blade will remain 6th but if I discover upon more testing that it is a good pickup I could see moving it as high as the 4th item slot.

Retired Items

I used to include Rylai's Crystal Scepter in this build but it was usually the 4th or 5th item I built and by that time the health mattered less and I found the AP boost did not have as large of an impact as some of the other options. The slow also overlapped with the Frozen Mallet making it unneeded because there should be no reason that you can't keep them always slowed with just the mallet.

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Summoner Spells

For summoner spells I usually take Ignite and Flash here is a brief explanation why I take them and when I use them.

Flash is much less popular in Dominion than it is in Classic but I find that used right it can ensure your escape or a kill. When going for a kill I make sure that I will have an extremely good chance of getting the kill before using it. Here is a situation I have encounter occasionally, I begin Counter Strike before jumping on an enemy and they see me doing this they then Flash, Ghost, or use an ability to get out of range of Leap Strike this is the perfect time to use Flash+ Leap Strike to ensure you land your stun and most likely a slow from Phage or your Frozen Mallet. When trying to escape I will use Flash more freely because if you can survive going back to your fountain to heal takes less time than waiting to revive.

Ignite I take this spell because it increases your damage output and reduces healing. The reduced healing might not seem like much but when everyone goes to the top to start most people will take health pots and this reduces their effectiveness. Late game it reduces the effect of lifesteal or spellvamp and when you are 1v1 in the jungle against their most fed carry it can be the difference between winning the fight or maybe even just forcing them to retreat. I use this spell much more freely than flash and will often use it as soon as I am sure a slow has been applied to an enemy.

Tier 1 Alternatives

Ghost and Exhaust are pretty self-explanatory, they are good choice on dominion, mobility and disables can be a huge advantage.

Revive is less common but I still see very often as a pickup as it allows you to join the battle immediately after dying. I do not take revive because the spawn times are so incredibly low and it is rare that your team gets aced. If you find yourself commonly on teams that get aced this may be a better choice than ignite in order to be able to delay the other teams pushes.

Tier 2 Alternatives

Garrison This spells is also commonly taken and can provide great help when pushing or defending towers. I do not take this because when you are being dived on a tower there are usually enough enemy champions that they can keep the tower lockdown effectively making the tower buff useless. When diving a tower I could see this spell being helpful with the reduced tower damage but I feel that with your high health and damage this spell is unnecessary because you can usually kill or push the enemies of the tower before the damage becomes significant.

Surge is an interesting option that could possibly be a tier 1 alternative but I am not convinced that it provides an advantage over Exhaust or Ignite and because of that I am placing it as a tier 2 alternative.

Cleanse I don't often see this spell taken but I would consider it a good choice although not tier 1 because disables are so huge on dominion, being able to lock someone down then apply a slow effect often ensure the kill. Cleanse would allow you to escape these effects and possibly turning a death into a kill.

Tier 3 Alternatives

I would not recommend these spells for use on Jax, they may not be useless but there are much better choices.

I have never seen any of these make a difference in a dominion game.

Promote may help slightly with pushing but you would be better off taking Garrison if you want to focus on pushing or defending.

Smite there is no jungle on dominion. Don't take this spell. Ever.

Clarity and Heal are both spells that have some potential but due to certain reasons should not be taken on dominion. Heal shouldn't be taken due to the abundance of enemies who take Ignite and health packs around the map. Chances are that you can kite to a health pack if you really need it. Mana occasionally is an issue with Jax but due to the rate at which you get gold it is never too bad to recall, it allows you to buy your next item and refill your health and mana all but eliminating the need to take Clarity.

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The focus of my runes are to increase Jax's ability to survive while being the main target for the opposing team.

This increases your initial health and allows you to be the tank for your team in the first fight. If you are able to do this and survive until your team takes down an enemy champion then you have done your job because often the first fight snowballs in favor of the team who gets the first kill.

These are important runes to get because until Force of Nature there is no magic resistance in this build. While having a small effect early by late game the effect is more significant than flat magic resist glyphs.

These are important for the first fight to mitigate the damage you take from auto-attacks and AD champions on the enemy team allowing you to be the tank in the first fight.

I have not tested many other runes so I am open to suggestions of other combinations to try out. If there is another combination that seems to be more effective I will update this section to reflect that.

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These are designed to increase you damage output to compensate for the lack of focus on damage output in the item build. In the build that I based this one from the masteries were focused in defense giving increased health and damage reduction but I found that switching to almost all attack masteries greatly increases your ability to 1v1 enemy champions. I also found that the decrease in health and damage reduction by switching from defensive to offensive masteries did not result in more deaths; if anything it may have reduced the number because it increased your effectiveness in combat.

As with runes if someone finds a better combination of masteries I would be more than willing to switch this section to reflect the new "best" masteries or provide and alternative masteries section in this guide.

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Skill Sequence/Skill Use

When starting the game I put one point into QWE allowing me to use all of my spells for the first fight. After that I level my skills in this order


grandmaster's might passively increases your damage output and actively increases your resilience in combat potentially making the difference between surviving a fight or not.

I usually use Grandmaster's Might after I jump into a fight unless I am already being targeted by champions with disables. If I know that as soon as I initiate I will be focused I will activate Grandmaster's Might before I use Leap Strike to reduce the damage I will take.

Empower this ability provides your greatest source of damage in combat. The low cooldown allows you to spam this spell and each time you activate this ability your auto-attack resets giving you a near instant second attack if used immediately after an auto-attack.

The use for this one is pretty simple I use it before jumping with Leap Strike and then as often as I can afterwards. If Counter Strike is off cooldown I will prioritize the use of Counter Strike before Empower in order to mitigate the damage I take.

Leap Strike this is your initiation spell and your best friend for chasing. It allows you to jump to squishy back line champions or chase down champions who have and escape ability.

I this spell is pretty simple also, I use it for initiation in every fight that it is off cooldown and then save it until the end of the fight for either an escape or to chase down the enemy champions. This is maxed 3rd after Grandmaster's Might and Empower because reducing the cooldown to allow multiple jumps while chasing can be the difference between a kill and dying to other enemy champions. A unique use of this spell and one of the reasons I take Flash is because quickly Flashing into Leap Strike range has allowed me to kill multiple enemy champions before they have a chance to react.

Counter Strike this spell mitigates damage and stuns enemies but I level this spell last. That might seem odd to many of you because stuns and damage mitigation is really good right? The reason I level this last is because other than using this then initiating with Leap Strike to stun all of the enemies on initiation I do not expect a fight to last long enough for multiple uses of this spell (10 second cooldown at max level). If I can use it multiple times in a fight then that is awesome but extremely unusual unless you are fighting around a tower.

I use this spell before Leap Strike to initiate this makes sure the cooldown is off from the first activation of Counter Strike allowing me to pop it to immediately stun all of the enemies often drawing all of their focus while my team follow up without fear of getting focused. If possible use this in a fog of war zone so that the enemy does not have any time to prepare for the stun.

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Here are a few screen shots of my results with this build
When I get a chance I will record a game or two with this build and upload it to youtube for the guide.

This build may seem strange and possibly even bad but give it a chance. Try it out and see how effective it is, you will not be disappointed.

Please let me know about any errors or updates I should make and if you like the guide please vote it up. Thanks for your time =D