Jax Build Guide by tiktakkk
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+9% attack speed and +10 ability power or +6 attack damage, adaptive
Threats to Jax with this build
|Dr. Mundo||The matchups are all introduced in a chapter 9 below, because this is probably the most important thing for me in this guide and I don't want it to be unnoticed.|
Introduction and something about the champion
About the author
Hello everyone and welcome to my toplane Jax guide. First, I would like to introduce myself, in League of Legends people know me as tiktakkk and I'm playing on EU West server, I've been playing League since season 1, for some time occasionally, for some time a lot, I've been gold season 1, platinum seasons 2-5 and diamond season 6, in season 7 I was d3-d4 most of the time and that's how I ended the season. Right now I'm not playing much due to lack of time and ****ty toplane meta, but I'll reach Diamond soon and obviously I'm a Jax main.
The thing about this guide is that it that it obviously concentrates around Jax, his strengths and weaknesses in particular scenarios, matchups and jungle threats,
but it doesn't only apply to Jax, as I tried to share my knowledge of the macro play and overall toplane gameplay below. Especially I gave a lot of love into the matchups so I hope you are going to enjoy it and feel free to give criticism if you disagree with something or some feedback in the comments.
Here is a link to my op.gg
Few words about Jax
I would like to point out that when it comes to the champion, his abilities and tools maybe are not the most complicated to use when it comes to learning how to play Jax, but he is considered to be one of the hardest champions to master. Why? Because when you play Jax you have to adapt, every single matchup makes you play differently and that will be the main point of this guide, because you can find builds and runes for Jax all around and they are normally okay, but that won't teach you how to play the champion, as it should be different for every game and every scenario and I am really keen on that so I decided to share it with you.
Jax club & stream
I own a Jax mains club on Europe West server with Jax' clubtag. It's a new idea, we will be discussing Jax's place in the meta, the matchups and everything about him there.
REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN
- Level 30 account
- 50.000 mastery points on Jax
- He has to be one of your top 3 most played champions
- Higher elo is also a positive aspect
If you think that you meet the requirements feel free to add tiktakkk in game.
I also stream from time to time, I'm new to it, but I feel like I'm improving every time I stream, so if you want to get some quality Jax and toplane content I encourage you to follow and check it out.
I hardly ever stream right now, because Jax top is not in a good condition, it might change when Conqueror comes live.
Also, there are going to be some VODs on the channel.
My thoughs on preseason and runes so far
Basicly, Jax is not as strong as he was in the late state of the season,
Fervor of Battle
is gone, and even though Jax uses Press the Attack really well and can proc it really fast, he doesn't feel strong at all.
We are already 4 months into the runes reforged and there is still no keystone for melee bruisers. Riot seems to like the toplane meta being tanks and ranged champions and don't care at all about people who play champions like Jax, Irelia, Tryndamere, Darius, Aatrox, Urgot etc. Fervor of Battle gave you benefits for being melee, Press the Attack does not, which means it is an ADC Keystone.
He is still probably in the best spot considering all the bruisers (except Camille who uses Arcane Comet really well. The problem is that bruisers as a role are weak itself, we have the most expensive items and there is no point in the game where we can 1v1 a tank, playing against Maokai and Ornn every game is really frustrating. They are better in 1v1, have better sustain and are better in teamfights, way better. It's not a Jax problem, it's the problem of fighters themselves or tanks and range being broken...
So how to win as Jax?
It's much easier to win by constantly pushing your lane and roaming on the map looking for plays rather than trying to kill your opponent 1v1, I found a lot of success doing that.
Jax is also extremely strong 2v2, so if your jungler is smart he can take a lot of advantage of it, and people usually do, I feel like when I play Jax I get a lot of attention from both junglers almost every game.
Don't get me wrong, Jax is not bad, but there are champions that are so broken that it feels like he is weak, he still destroys most of the matchups he did before and scales super well.
Gnar has been overpowered for 3 years already and they havn't done anything with this champion.
Right now we are waiting for Conqueror that is already on PBE for some time to be up which will most likely bring bruisers and Jax himself back into toplane meta. We are going to be back bois, just need to wait a bit longer.
Classic Press the attack Jax
So, there is no Fervor of Battle anymore, so we need to find another way to play Jax.
The Precision tree is the best option for you as your primary one.
Basically we have two choices here, one is Press the Attack and the second one is Conqueror.
Triumph makes the most sense, I hardly ever get any lifesteal, so Overheal doesn't sound very effective, simple as that.
Next, we have 3 choices, after a takedown to get attack speed, tenacity or lifesteal. I'm using Legend: Alacrity, but Legend: Tenacity makes a lot of sense too, I need more experience with these to tell you what's better, obviously, tenacity helps a lot versus CC tanks like Maokai.
In the last spot I think that from the 3 options the only one you are not going to use is Cut Down as Jax usually has a lot of health. Coup de Grace and Last Stand are both good choices, Last Stand seems more like an Olaf style mastery, and since we don't have lifesteal I would go for Coup de Grace.
Second treeWe have few options here, going for either Resolve tree, Domination tree or Sorcery one.
I play with Sudden Impact and Ravenous Hunter if I feel like I can kill my opponent, you can also go for Zombie Ward instead of Ravenous Hunter if you want to, it's also a really good mastery.
Now it depends on a matchup, if you face a harsh one like Jayce or Gnar it's good to go for Iron Skin, if it's not that bad go for Conditioning.
You can also go for Overgrowth against a tank lane or a heavy all in, Second Wind into a poke lane, if you feel like you don't need one of the options above you can go for Demolish, but it is more like a tank mastery.
Celerity and Scorch got nerfed, but are still very very strong and are pretty decent on Jax.
Nullifying Orb is great against a mage like Kennen, Swain or Heimerdinger, it pretty much works like a Hexdrinker and it's a pretty good choice against heavy AP.
Gathering Storm would also be the choice, as it let's you scale even better.
If you play a really easy lane you can also go for Transcendence instead of Scorch for the scaling.
What's the point of playing Jax with Kleptomancy?
Money making against melee champions that you can't kill 1v1, mostly tanks and 45% CDR.
Considering that your damage with this page is almost unexistant early game you need to be careful and don't greed for the klepto procs, Empower itself lets you proc the mastery, which is makes small trades really good for you.
The rest of the tree
Perfect Timing - because it's broken, you can evade spells, drop tower aggro and it is free gold for you, just take it and don't ask too many questions.
Future's Market - because the only other option here is Magical Footwear and it's good, but I like to have boots faster + it is free gold, obviously.
Cosmic Insight - raw stats, just like that, even if your champion doesn't scale that well with CDR just take it, unbalanced rune.
Triumph and Coup de Grace. You need precision for the attack speed, just go for it, not much to add here.
How to play Kleptomancy Jax
You try to proc your mastery as much as possible and remember that your damage is way worse early game. Rush trinity force into Glacial Shroud and Kindlegem and bam, you have 45% CDR, 3 second cooldown on Leap Strike, 1,5 second on Empower, also, you have Counter Strike back faster too, which is even better. Make Righteous Glory from the Glacial Shroud and go for either Titanic Hydra or Sterak's Gage, you can get Spirit Visage from the Kindlegem later on.
It's pretty fun, give it a try.
Skills and Sequence
Simple explaination of abilities
You attack faster with each next autoattack on any target, simple as that.
Every single ability gets it's cooldown lowered by leveling it up.
Let's you leap into an enemy or ally target, including wards (except Farsight Alteration when it's put by your teammate, you can leap into opponent's one, so keep that in mind), you can also use Leap Strike on every single plant in the jungle, try to always have a Warding Totem stack to be able to jump anywhere you want.
First of all, autoattack reset, one of your main damage tools, maxed in most of the games with some ranged matchup exceptions. Empower also gives you 50 range to your attack which is really important, keep that in mind.
Counter strike is life, counter strike is love, first of all it is a dodge that can counter most of attack damage oriented champions, second, it's an activated aoe stun. Jax would not be close to being the same champion he is if Counter Strike was deleted, it's the only skill in the game that provides dodge and Jax is known for Counter Strike, loved and hated for it.
R Ability - Ultimate
So basically it gives you a passive strenghtened autoattack every 3 hits which is also a main Jax damage tool. Active hardens your champion, gives resistances, magic and armor.
We always want to max our ultimate whenever it's possible, we also always want to max Counter Strike last, the only thing that can be different is whenether we should get our Empower at level 4 and max it by level 9 or Leap Strike and it depends on matchup, from my experience i max Empower in most cases, but when you are playing against a ranged champion like Teemo or Vladimir it's really good to rush Q ( Leap Strike) first.
Even though you are going to max your Counter Strike by level 18 it is still your most important skill and whole Jax playstyle is basing on it.
It really works as it lowers the cooldown and gives you capability of going all in into them.
Flash and always flash, never ghost, I've tried Ghost a lot and from my experience flashing away an ability or going over the wall gives you so much more, of course, you can use your Leap Strike to jump over the walls and to get out of ganks and that is exactly what I do around 20 times per game, but having a flash is really important.
Peoople would say that why do they need Flash when they can wardhop anyway with your Leap Strike, well, yeah, Kassadin can do that too, but have you ever seen a Kassadin with Ghost instead of Flash? I dont think so.
Always take Teleport, it is so important, especialy higher your ELO goes, it just gies so much pressure. You can get choked on lane and get a free back in early, you can make plays all over the map and most important, it gives your team so much when Baron Nashor is up, you are a splitpusher so you can always force someone to go bottom with you and just use your Teleport to get into a 5v4 over Baron. Ignite is cool, it gives you more kill pressure, but Teleport just gives much much more.
Pros / Cons
What makes Jax strong is his ability to take over the game by snowballing. When Jax gets ahead it's nearly impossible to take him down in a 1v1, we are talking about a champion with a gapcloser and a stun, what makes you a great setup for your jungler, so don't be scared to ask your jungler for gank, especially versus immobile champions like Rumble or Swain. Jax is also one of those champions that you can build differently depending on the situation. Even though I really rarely build Hextech Gunblade or Blade of the Ruined King or even Guinsoo's Rageblade, these are still viable Jax items that can be great in some situations, especially when you are smurfing.
Jax really struggles against champions that can't be denied their damage with Counter Strike like Swain, Pantheon etc. He is VERY hard to play, don't listen to people talking about Jax being an easy champion, the higher your ELO the harder it is to play Jax, we are talking about a champion that has been around almost forever, so everyone who knows what he's doing will know how to play against him. Jax needs a lot of gold to be effective, he needs his items way more than other champions to make magic happen, has a lot of tricks in different matchups and is extremely hard to play from behind, so you need to play very smart in the early stages of the game. Jax really struggles against hard CC and is really difficult to teamfight with, as with most of the mobile champions.
A short clip showing how hard Jax can carry in the late game.
What do we want to buy first?
That's the classic start, Long Sword and refilable potion could also be a thing, but I hardly ever go for that.
If we are playing against a bruiser like Riven, Gnar or Fiora we want to build Ninja Tabi as soon as possible. I usually start with Corrupting Potion and then get Doran's Blade and Ninja Tabi. Then we proceed to think about Trinity Force
I really suggest getting it against lanes that poke you with autoattacks like Gnar or Jayce if you struggle in a matchup.
As Jax you don't want to upgrade your Warding Totem and just keep it for the wardhops.
We want to rush Trinity Force every game, I've tried starting Titanic Hydra as my first item, but Trinity works better for me and everyone I would say.
First of all, many people think that Sheen is the most important Trinity Force's component for Jax, that's nonsense. Renekton is the only champion i can think of that sheen might be better than Phage first.
So, as i said, we want to get Phage first for the movement speed and to trade longer, if we have some extra money it's always good to buy a Dagger so I mostly end up doing Stinger before Sheen.
Buying Trinity Force is a huge powerspike for Jax, if you were not looking for all ins now it is the time to do it, having it makes a huge difference when compared to having Sheen, Phage and Stinger and it is just 333 gold.
So, we've got Trinity Force, that's a big powerspike, but Jax gets stronger and stronger, but also needs to get tankier. That's the main reason we are not buying Hextech Gunblade or Blade of the Ruined King anymore, it works on lane, but you just get blown up by midlaners and junglers.
The Jax wombo combo
Here is your perfect item, Titanic Hydra works great as it gives Jax another autoattack reset. Before doing it I suggest everyone to practise the most relevant Jax combo right now which is Leap Strike into a target with your Counter Strike stun, then make and autoattack, follow it by Empower which gives an autoattack reset and then use your Titanic Hydra for another reset. The combo is a disgusting squishy target destroyer if done correctly.
This is a pretty standard item for Jax, works great versus heavy AD, but is also an ADC destroyer if it is a crit dependant champion like Vayne, Tristana, after it's buff in 7.16 Randuin's Omen is almost an every game choice for me, but make sure to use the active.
Sterak's Gage is the 1st item that can be made to make you less vulnerable in teamfights, as it prevents you from getting bursted, mostly by their midlaner. Sterak's is pretty good if you are ahead, it makes you less vulnerable dying instantly and hard CC while also giving some offensive powers.
Pretty cool option if you are playing vs a tanky champion and you are ahead, gives you the ability to catch up to your enemies much easier, you don't really struggle in chasing with your Trinity Force, but it's an essential item to be able to duel a Gnar late game, also really good against mobility champions like Riven. I suggest to give it a try and see for yourself how you like it.
I actually really like the combination of Ninja Tabi, Trinity Force, Frozen Mallet and Titanic Hydra, combined with your ulti active you are super hard to kill and deal a lot of damage.
If you are ahead Guardian Angel would be one of the best choices for your build, as it gives you some armor, more damage, and obviously, a second life. Well, if you are not ahead and plan to play for a teamfight and rely on your midlaner or adc it's also a very good item, as it let's you jump into the enemy team and take a lot of attention away from the other carry.
Jax sometimes struggles when CC'd in teamfights, if you had made your damage already and you are getting focused on i can't think of a better item to activate than Gargoyle Stoneplate, it really works on Jax as it makes you really hard to kill when you go agressive in a fight, I strongly recommend.
Doesn't work so well anymore, there are better choices, dont bother buying it.
I like the new thornmail, works great against champions that want to poke you a lot with their autoattacks, I really suggest to get a Bramble Vest early in the game against champions like Gnar and Jayce, makes the lane much easier.
Also a decent option, Frozen Heart is by many people considered a really good item for Jax, but I personally like Randuin's Omen more because of the active. But this item is also fine, which I would not say about Dead Man's Plate on Jax.
Magic resistance options
It is an option but only in the early stages of the game. Later on you don't need the offense from it, but as a first item, I like it, it's smart against a Rumble or any other mage top.
Spirit Visage gives a lot of magic resistance, but the healing Jax gets is not that great without lifesteal, I usually buy it but I think that Jax lacks something to make full use of this item.
This is another great choice, but building deffensive items is really dependant on what kind of game you are in, matter of your own decision and about being smart. Adaptive Helm tho is a great choice against Swain or Singed in the toplane.
SOME CRAZIER STUFF
Typical item for 1v1, it is pretty fun to play with if you focus on splitpush only against a champion that also scales pretty well, I really hardly ever get it, I used to make it some time ago.
Works decently against tanks, but I build it only when I'm playing versus splitpushers and very strong duel champions who either want to fight you all the time or have a lot of sustain, so it gives you option to trade against heavy sustain.
It works really well on Jax, but the higher the elo the worse the item is, still, it gives you a lot of damage and sustain and a slow, it's pretty expensive tho and opens you up for being bursted, as it does not give you any tankiness.
The thing I want to say about Hextech Gunblade is that it is really good in the tank meta right now, when you play against a full tank like Sion, Maokai or Malphite it's really good, because they can't kill you anyway and they can't go for armor only while you just outsustain them and keep pushing. I did it a lot in 7.18-7.19 and i find it pretty cool.
A lot of damage, a lot of ulti procs, a lot of fun, but also a lot of troll, cool to pick up when smurfing tho.
Pretty decent if you are playing versus a mage top and need a hexdrinker, so you could finish the maw later in the game, it's very situational item, I prefer straight magic resistance tanky items like Spirit Visage, but I saw people doing well with the Maw.
TANKY ITEMS NOT WORTH BUYING
Those just don't give you as much as you could get by getting something else.
How to play toplane and what is it about
For me this is and the matchup one are the most important chapters in this whole guide, you would ask me why? Well, being a good toplaner is not all about being flexible with your picks or mastering champions' abilities to do the combos the best possible way using your Flash etc. Of course, it helps a lot, but the most important thing is wave management and knowing when to trade and when not to and to do that you need to know the matchups and experience them a lot.
Wave managementThis is where Teleport helps a lot, toplane is not really about the CS, you can give up creeps, but you never want to give up experience! Level advantage is the most important thing on toplane, so when you push your lane make sure it goes to opponents tower. The worst scenario possible is that the wave slowpushes into your opponent, you have to back and lose 2 waves of exp due to it so it's hardly ever worth to take damage from your opponent just to lasthit a creep, that's why you never want to walk and lasthit a creep against a ranged champion when your melees and his melees are fighting and you must wait for another wave to come, never be too greedy when it comes to farming early game, because you don't want to get choked for free and forced to play passive. You don't beat your opponent by killing him once or twice, you beat him by making him starve and fall behind as much as possible.
What does it mean that it slowpushes?When the next wave comes by the one who gets there first is going to push, simple as that.
If you are on blue side feel free to leave the lane for a moment, but as a red side toplaner you shouldn't leave this lane unless you really have to.
Now you have to decide whether you can push the wave fast enough to make it reset and leave the lane or you can stack the waves.
This is really important, because that's toplane basics. You never want to get the wave into a position that it crashes into opponent's wave and his caster minions are in his tower range. When that happens this is called BAD WAVE MANAGEMENT, you have to have in mind when the waves are going to come into the lane.
Stacking waves means that you know that your creeps are going to push it anyway but you just lasthit. So you make a big wave the you push with, this is a great tool to farm against a counter pick, because he can't fight you in a huge creep wave early game, so you just can ignore what he does and finally reset it into his tower and go back, because it's going to push back to you.
Now this is a short clip of why you should feel safe when pushing with a big wave, when you are not super behind you are worth two champions when inside the wave, but don't run away from it, fight in it, right where they are going to feel the creeps damage.
That doesn't apply that much into midlane, neither does to bottom, but toplane is all about the levels, when you are 2 levels down there is no turning back without your jungler's presence.
Oh yeah, this comes with experience, but i will share it with you guys as we are in patch 8.7 starting with the ones I know best, these hasn't been updated too much after runes have been changed, but I promise I'm going to do it, as I played Jax a lot in preseason.
The matchup works that way, Riven wants to bait Jax to use his Counter Strike and fall back, then strike back when it is down, the lane normally goes like this, she goes into you and stuns you, you pop your Counter Strike, she falls back, you Leap Strike into her and stun her followed by Empower, you can keep fighting this if you know that you can kill her before her cooldowns are back up, if you dont know that back off, her cooldowns are down and can't really chase you if you are close to minions or your tower, after that YOU CAN'T GET TO HER without your E ready, it's the key to this matchup, if you keep fighting this she is going to use her ult and kill you, so it is tricky, a very skilled matchup and both Jax and Riven need a lot of experience of it to beat the opponent. Riven will always want to poke you down by using Q + W stun, autoattack and back away. What you need to do is find an opportunity to leap to her when she has no dashes to evade her damage output while doing yours.
BTW. Ninja Tabi is your first item this game.
A Riven player would mostly go for Electrocute which is more or less like Thunderlord's, which makes her win short trades and get her *** beaten after you proc your Press the Attack.
If she uses her E shield to initiate a fight with you just stand your ground and kill her, this is the most common mistake.
Swain after 8.5 update seems like a decent champion, but he is way different than he was before. Basicly what they did is they deleted the champion completely and made a new one calling him the same as the previous one.
So what's with up with the new Swain?
He is not a hard-carry anymore, he is way tankier and builds tankier, has spammable abilities that doesn't as much damage as it did before. He has a way better waveclear right now at early stages than he had before and has a really big cooldown on his ultimate compared to what it was before.
Before the rework Swain was one of the hardest scaling champions in the game, you can forget that now, 6 item Swain won't kill your entire team late game while healing himself, he is more of a tanky supportive aoe damage dealer with some sustain and I'm fine with that.
How to beat Swain?
He wont take half of your hp anymore if he lands his combo so you don't have to be THAT careful anymore. Do not greed for cs, remember that right now he doesn't get sustain at level 6, but his ultimate doesn't cost any mana.
His E is the only form of CC that you need to worry about, the case is that he can't drop Q anymore on himself when you Leap Strike into him and beat you in a trade. Try to force him to use his E aggresively and jump on him with full combo, also, if the trade is even and he goes on you with his ulth his ult just wardhop away and make him blow the cooldown.
If ahead go for Gunblade, he can't do anything if he doesn't go for full damage and if he does - just blow him up.
This one has always been harsh one, Gnar counters you because of his poke and he pokes a lot, especially when he gets Frozen Mallet this lane becomes hell. These are some tricks that might help you, Gnar will always start with his Boomerang Throw level one, maybe if he comes to close you can try to cheese him with your Counter Strike level 1, but it hardly ever happens, if it does make sure he hits you with 1st attack and then you pop your E, so he gets creep aggro! Basicly what you want to do is wait till level 2, and let him auto you, if his W passive procs on you you know that he can't leap back, jump on him with Leap Strike and Counter Strike and do some damage.
Now, what you want to do is you want to force him to use his leap and all in him when he doesn't have it, but take care of the rage bar.
The best way to do so is when he tries to harass you just walk into him and pop your Counter Strike, if you get in range he is going to leap back, jump into him and stun him and all in. Works really well especially when you have Ninja Tabi already and can outrun him. Don't do that if he is going to get mega gnar tho.
If he lets you farm take it.
Another tip, this is a great one, Ninja Tabi.
And another one, even better, really works against gnar and his annoying autoattack harass - Bramble Vest.
Mega Gnar is pretty good in teamfights, but is really killable in a 1v1, especially if he misses the W stun and he will always use it, because he has no cd on it when he goes back to mini gnar. Also, Mega Gnar's leap has way less range than the double jump of mini one, you can use it for your advantage and all in 1v1 when he's mega.
Once Gnar gets his Frozen Mallet it's really hard to duel him, we talk about later stages in the game right now, especially when you splitpush. I really suggest getting Frozen Mallet too against Gnar just to catch up to him, because otherwise it's really hard and you have to dodge his first auto with Counter Strike and stun him instantly or Flash after his leap, otherwise he will just zone you out.
Jax does not counter Tryndamere, first important thing that you need to know. This matchup is played all around your Counter Strike and his Rage. This is how it goes, he starts attacking you, you pop your Counter Strike, Tryndamere uses his Spinning Slash to jump away, you Leap Strike into him, attack him and stun him, then you have no E, he will chase you, it really depends how fast can you make him use his Undying Rage and start kiting him. It really depends on how lucky will he be with his crits and it is a really jungle dependant matchup. Make sure to trade with him early and not let him have his Rage full all the time, because if that happens you can't fight him.
Tryndamere wins the level 1 trade, so be aware of that, he will start to autoattack you and when you pop your Counter Strike he will just spin away and damage you with it, so try not to get poked too much level 1 before you have your Leap Strike
Of course, Ninja Tabi and this is one of two matchups i get Blade of the Ruined King for sustain. Simple, but fun lane, unless you get camped because it snowballs superhard both ways.
Jayce has everything in his kit that counters you, ranged poke, knockback and damage that can't be blocked with Counter Strike, that has always been a terrible matchup for Jax, but a bad Jayce player is not that hard to punish, so the problem is mostly with people who main the champion.
Jayce doesn't have sustain either so if you can force a good trade early game or a gank it might give you an opportunity to fight back in this lane. If he gets ignored by your jungler and plays around your tower he is really frustrating to play against.
Go for a lot of Armor even delaying your Trinity Force to survive the lane, also Jayce items are cheaper than ones that Jax needs.
Jayce wants to poke you so much that you are mad enough to jump on him while he has his ranged weapon, he will just switch to melee and use his Thundering Blow to knock you back, if u have used your Counter Strike while jumping to him he will use To The Skies! to jump to you when it wears off and you lose the trade super hard.
What you want to do is play passive early, get some armor if needed and use your Teleport to get back to lane, I suggest a Corrupting Potion or Doran's Shield start right there.
The real opportunity for you to jump on Jayce and kill him is when he switches from melee form to his ranged form, because he can't switch back and knock you back, so you just Leap Strike on him, use your stun and hit him as hard as you can, that's the way you win this lane.
Another way to beat a Jayce is rushing Ninja Tabi and going into a full all in when he has no boots and just run him down, tried this many times, works most of the times, but be careful of the enemy jungler, if you Leap Strike into him and enemy jungler shows up you are pretty much dead. It used to be a terrible matchup, but believe it or not I hardly ever lose against Jayce compared to other cancer lanes.
So, Pantheon is considered as the biggest counter and I have to say, he is really annoying, he usually also runs Ignite and has a massive kill potential on you, I usually start with Doran's Shield on this lane and try to farm as much as I can, you don't want to miss creeps on this lane as you won't get many opportunities to get them early. Basicly what you want to do there early game is make him run out of mana (smart Pantheon will have a Corrupting Potion which makes it kinda hard) or bait him into a stupid fight.
Gank the **** out of this champion early game, he has no escapes and if hes caught in the middle of the wave the only thing he can do is take one of you down with him.
His passive blocks towershots so it's very hard for a Jax to farm at his tower. Get as much armor as possible, Ninja Tabi is a must this game, also i suggest to give up your early damage for some more tanky stats, as you don't want to feed but you will if you go all damage early.
My tip on this lane is
Don't get greedy saying to yourself "I am low but i can farm that wave under my tower", the worst thing you can do is die while a massive wave dies to your turret. Use your teleport defensively early game, try to get as much gold as you can and back into lane with a Cloth Armor, or two of them.
Opportunity for you to kill Pantheon is when he spears you at your tower and takes a tower hit into his passive, if you don't have a massive wave on your tower this is where you can Leap Strike on him, pop his passive with autoattack, follow by empower and make him get a tower shot and all in, obviously, you can't be low on health to start that.
Pantheon would usually push into your tower, make sure to call him missing every time you don't have vision on him, Pantheon pretty much wins the lane against you just because of his kit, but don't let him carry other lanes too.
Sometimes when he wants to poke you while you farm on your tower he does that while taking a tower shot into his passive, you can jump on him and stun him then.
When Pantheon uses his Q he takes minion aggro now, which was a really decent nerf for the champion as he used to just freeze the wave and force you out of experience using Q every time you came closer. Taking minion aggro pushes the wave so the update denied that apportunity for him massively.
Irelia is a skill matchup but advantageous to Jax, you can hardly ever see people playing Irelia, but if you do don't be scared and pick Jax.
The matchup is all about the health percentage difference between you and her and her ability to stun you. If you start using your Counter Strike and attacking her she will use her Equilibrium Strike to stun you, walk away till Counter Strike pops off and jump back into you to all in you, so make sure you don't do that. Start attacking her with aa's and Empower, when she stuns you pop your Counter Strike, a good Irelia would start to jump to creeps with her Q to avoid you, Leap Strike to her and stun her and combo as well as you can for the kill.
If both players are on the same skill level Jax should win this lane more often, but it is also a skill matchup and you can get easily outplayed and snowballed really hard.
You just counter Garen, simple as that, whenether he wants to use his Q on you just pop your Counter Strike and combo him, do not pop your E when he starts to use Judgment on you, just use it every time he tries to silence you and when you want to setup a gank with your jungler. Never fight Garen when your Counter Strike is down, so feel free to give away some cs in the early game and don't be scared to fight him every time he comes close when your Counter Strike is there and you should easily win this lane, if he stays behind and is trying to regenerate just reset the wave and go somewhere else, you can gank, go back or just get a scuttle and you outscale him superhard, new Garen is stronger, but not that strong to beat Jax especially after Duskblade got nerfed.
Ninja Tabi also helps this lane, and watch out, if Garen gets ahead there is no way you are gonna kill him and he will outrade you, so don't get too cocky. Still, you get way more than Garen with every single item you build, so sometimes playing passive is playing to win.
Fiora matchup is a definition of a skill one, it's all about how well can she play around Vitals and if she can Riposte your stun from Counter Strike into you. But you are the guy with the stun, so you have the pace in this matchup. She will hop around to get Vitals from you and you need to take a moment, one shot, one opportunity and all in her, never jump on her with your Counter Strike being about to wear off, because you are just gonna stun yourself and very possibly, kill yourself, because she would just pop her ult and try to chase you down, which would be smart. You can rush Blade of the Ruined King in this particular matchup to be able to trade with Fiora and outsustain her, it makes you vulnerable to getting oneshot, but can make splitpush a lot easier against her.
Ninja Tabi, obviously.
Trade with Fiora level 1 when you have a Vital behind you or on the side and she tries to get it, you can dodge her Q with Counter Strike so it's about how fast you can pop it, if you do and she doesn't get the movespeed feel free to drop few autoattacks on her. It gets tricky from level 2, when she gets her Riposte and you have your Leap Strike. Remember, when she hits the vitals she gets the creep aggro, so sometimes even if she does it and you don't do anything to her you still win the trade. If you wait your whole Counter Strike duration you should always be able to sidestep the parry, the only time she should be able to stun you if you decide to pop your Counter Strike stun faster and she uses her parry faster too, always try to move around her when she is about to Riposte, it will save your life.
Also, Bramble Vest really works well against fiora, as she is also an autoattack relying champion and denies her healing with vitals and her ultimate.
Remember that her Q counts as autoattack and it grants minion aggro, Fiora will most likely have Kleptomancy in her kit which can force her to jump on you in a stupid way.
Kleptomancy does not provide any damage early game so if you can catch her without Riposte or dash you can go for an all in.
Below in the spoiler you have a perfect example how to play around your Counter Strike and her Riposte.
Galio wants to take small trades with you and poke you down, you can try to cheese him level 1 with Counter Strike, but it will not likely be a very good trade, but from my experience I know that you can bait Galio into a fight that he shouldn't take, when he goes into you don't pop your E, wait for him to do his damage if he hits you with the knockup and start attacking and when you are low and stacked use your Counter Strike and kill him, never be too fast with using Counter Strike, because he can just use his taunt or knockup to make the time he is stunned not relevant as you won't be able to damage him.
He wants you to use your Counter Strike to block his passive damage, if you do so you are going to lose the trade as he will taunt you, knock you up, Q you and just walk away.
Galio right now is more likely to be picked into midlane, the thing is that Galio builds more Ability Power right now and pushes superhard, but if you can catch him in a fight you should be able to kill him 1v1.
The thing here is that Olaf early game will take small trades with you, go back and heal with his W, and he will win the initiation of the trade with his true damage, Olaf will be pushing into you, so if you can't trade him just farm on your tower and outscale him really hard, sometimes Olaf players are too greedy and go to deep to a trade so you can punish them, but he has his ult already dont jump into him with the stun as he will just pop Ragnarok and try to run you down ignoring the stun.
Tip: Ragnarok has a pretty low cooldown.
Tip2: if he goes for the Reckless Swing max get some hp, Titanic Hydra 1st should be pretty good. Ninja Tabi, obviously.
This is one of the matchups you are going to max Leap Strike and not regret it, the lane is pretty hard to play and really annoying, sometimes you just have to harden yourself with your ulti and try to all in the little guy, cause he will make your laning phase hell if you decide to "just farm". Teemo is really vulnerable to ganks so keep that in mind and ping your jungler to help you out, you are playing a champion with a gapcloser and a stun, you can setup ganks easily.
Don't get me wrong, you can kill Teemo 1v1, it is just pretty rough, to do so I suggest getting early tier 2 boots, maxing Leap Strike and trying to run him down, because its not in the trade where you take the most damage, you are getting screwed when you can't catch him and try to fall back. Blade of the Ruined King or Hextech Gunblade really helps in this matchup to slow him down and kill the Teemo.
Also, make sure to not waste your time by autoattacking him while you are blind, it also blocks your W so just run the same direction he does and go full man mode when blind is down.
Rumble does a lot of damage early game, make sure to have your Counter Strike up when he overheats, as his autoattacks make so much damage, then you can punish him for that, otherwise i don't really suggest leaping into him early, as he will slow you with his E and kite you. Rumble pushes the lane when he tries to harass and can't really keep attacking you at your tower as he is really vulnerable to ganks.
Rumble can be killed when he is close to overheating, because he can't go for full combo on you, as he would not be able to cast abilities and you block his empowered autoattacks with your Counter Strike, you can make rumble panic and overheat by using Leap Strike on him and autoattack with Empower then follow up by using Counter Strike while walking and beating him.
Doran's Shield or Corrupting Potion first, so he doesn't just Parrrley you down, he will always use his oranges to get out of your stun, so make sure to punish it if he decides to use it as a heal and Leap Strike into him then. Otherwise what you need to do is get your passive going on creeps, jump on him with Leap Strike and after you do that destroy his Powder Keg that is gonna stand right behind him, make sure he doesn't hit you with his passive autoattack because he will get movespeed and run away, putting more points into Leap Strike can be key to this matchup, every time I tried that it worked out for me very well. Also, another thing, Blade of the Ruined King is really good in this matchup, because he is obviously gonna use his oranges to get out of your stun, but you can follow that with Blade of the Ruined King active and chase him down. This is a lane when you can pretty much keep diving him when you get ahead, but it really sucks if you make a mistake early and give him a lead, because if you try to build agressively he will take half of your health with his barrel.
Level 1 and level 2 is the time when you can force his Flash or just choke him down really hard, because most of the Gangplank players won't have their oranges yet, so there is no way they can prevent you from doing damage, unless you are going to walk in a barrel.
If someone was reading my guide before he knows I said that I usually struggle in this matchup, well, I don't anymore. I really recommend starting Doran's Blade and trying to kill him before lvl6, try to never eat his Decimate for free, this is the key and take trades that last few hits and reset his passive by giving it some time. You can always use Leap Strike on him when he starts channeling Decimate. If you manage to dodge his Crippling Strike with Counter Strike you are pretty much good to go and to kill him. Smart Darius uses his grab as a form of CC when you jump on him, once he hits you with Crippling Strike never use your E, it's almost never worth it. Try to just walk to him and start fighting by getting hit by the least amount of skills and attacks possible.
Remember, a Darius would start Doran's Shield in most games, trade with him and if you are winning those and he's getting lower you can kill him. You win small trades in this lane, can't really take an extended fight early game unless you outplay him, but you can kill him in few tries.
Singed is also a really hard lane, never fight him before stacking your passive unless it is level 1, then you can win the trade with Counter Strike and cheesing, the key to this matchup is to never start a fight with Singed by using your Leap Strike to jump into him as he will Fling you and make you regret that super hard.
Make sure to always have your Leap Strike up whenether he can fling you and obviously, you can't get flinged into the goo, cuz getting graunded there will possibly kill you and make Singed absolutely unkillable for you for the rest of the game.
After Singed got changed a bit the counterplay changed a bit. On level 1 you want him to come close to you and pop his passive, you can auto him once but then just back away, when he comes back to you then pop your Counter Strike and start hitting him, and you cant do that when his passive is up, cause he would just run away and outtrade you. Get Empower level 2 and max it obviously, your Empower has bigger range than his Fling so keep using it when he comes in range and don't greed for creeps and walk into his poison, if you Empower him and he flings you walk out of poison, if he comes back again pop your E, R active and keep hitting him, but remember that you can't leap or flash from his goo.
Wukong is a pretty easy lane for Jax, if you use your Counter Strike and he goes invisible just pop it off straight to do it's damage and you will see where he is (you do, I've checked it), then just run him down with all your combo, get Ninja Tabi and Phage into trinity and you should be fine. You win the level 1 and level 2 trades really hard, so when he decides to use his E on you level 1 just pop your Counter Strike and go for it, you can force him back most of the times, get level 2 faster and jump on him again with your Counter Strike back again, that should force a Flash for sure if he doesn't expect it.
After getting level 6 it gets more tricky, as he has another way to disengage you - with his ult, so you becoms more of a skilled matchup. Wukong will be building full lethality, so get some armor not to get oneshot and your constant damage should win versus an assassin-like combo. It's kinda the same way with Talon and Zed.
If Nasus start Siphoning Strike always cheese him level 1, it is usually a free chunk of at least half of his HP, Nasus player will always try to play passive, try to punish him straight after getting level 2, later on in the lane consider getting QSS, as Wither really makes Jax's life hard, but obviouslly, Nasus can be ganked and dove so keep that in mind when talking to your jungler. He outscales you, but not as much as he thinks he does.
If you want to solokill a Nasus you gotta walk into him and start attacking him, when he uses his Wither back away, he would make some damage to you, but Wither is down and you still have your Counter Strike. this is when you use it, Leap Strike into him and go for all in, when it comes to mid/late game you can get a Quicksilver Sash to get rid of Wither when you take an all in. It's really easy to bait Nasus' ultimate and Leap Strike away, Nasus has some lifesteal so if you don't plan on going in again and again later on don't bother trading. But if you want to play this lane like me go super agressive, use your Empower to harass when he goes for CS.
Another way to beat a Nasus is playing passive level 1, because if you cheese him level 1 the wave is going to push towards you. You can beat him by trying to zone him, if he tries to lasthit with his E he is going to push the wave, freeze it and all in him when he comes to farm with his Q.
Malphite counters you, but cant really kill you either, he just makes this lane really frustrating for you, as his E lowers your attack speed so drasticly that you can't even hit him once. Early game is where you can to punish him, you could also go for Hextech Gunblade to make some magic damage, but i would prefer going standard build, farming it up and scaling, you can easily splitpush against him later in the game.
Way to win this matchup is not to get hit by autoattacks when Malphite uses his W and try to bait him to use his E, many Malphite players farm with the E slam, so feel free to fight him when it's down, as there is nothing he can do to you then. If he plays smart just farm, he should't be able to dive you.
This lane is a joke, you can try fighting him when he uses his W passive on a creep, then jump on him and stun him as fast as possible, as if he is fast enough he can Q, W and use his E to run away stunning you meanwhile.
Kennen player will probably max W, so be careful not to take free damage from the strengthened autoattack, you can give up some creeps, and if you have to walk into his range when he has it consider dodging it with Counter Strike, but remember, this is actually really important, if you dodge it, he will still have it afterwards.
To win against Kennen go for Leap Strike max and jump on him when some abilities are down (like Q), you could try to jump on him without Counter Strike to make him use his Lightning Rush, you are going to lose the trade, but if you manage to do it not that badly you can jump on him again when your Leap Strike is back with Counter Strike, harden yourself with Grandmaster's Might and all in.
Also, a Hexdrinker rush is essential against Kennen to prevent him from oneshotting you.
Poppy is not an easy matchup because she is extremely tanky, she can block your Leap Strike if you want to jump both on her and away from her so be aware of that. Good Poppy would get her passive shield off and jump into you with full combo and back away and possibly end up winning the trade, you have to make her miss the stun and answer with your damage tools. If poppy is smart she is gonna rush Bramble Vest as her 1st item and it's really hard to kill her at this point as she is very tanky early game, play for Trinity Force and Titanic Hydra safe or try to rush Blade of the Ruined King so you can actully kill her.
Renekton outsustains Jax, which is kinda sad, try to avoid fighting him when his rage bar is full, if you can Counter Strike dodge his W stun you can outtrade him, be sure you can beat him if you Leap Strike into him, as he will just take your damage, use his ulti and kill you. Ninja Tabi is the choice right there.
What you want to do in this lane is try to hit him with Empower and back away forcing him to dash into you, this is why early Sheen is really good in this lane, you got a range buff for your Empower few patches ago, and every Jax player knows it's a huge buff so use it to your advantage.
Never jump on Renekton using Counter Strike intantly when he has his cooldowns, because he is just going to slice back, dodge the stun and dice back to you and kill you. You want him to make a first move, or just start attacking him when he goes for CS. Try to predict Renek with his W stun, it's an auttack reset so it's not easy but if you do you should be able to kill him even through his ultimate.
Dr. Mundo can't really fight Jax in the early game, so he will probably just farm with his cleaver giving you a free lane, make sure to be mean and block his cleaver (and take damage obviously) so he doesnt get the cannon minion. Consider getting Executioner's Calling and leap into him when he comes too close as you can pretty much win this every time.
You can play this lane by two ways, either you can let him farm and go for Titanic after Trinity Force which will make you push the lane with Tiamat into him all the time or you can go for Hextech Gunblade and freeze the wave when it pushes to you and make him fight you, with the gunblade rush you have a slow proc after he ults and you can try to beat him and force his ult whenether he tries to come by.
The key to the matchup against Jarvan IV is to dodge his Dragon Strike, because that's the ability every Jarvan is going to max first and to not get hit by his passive autoattack, when one of the abilities which are Dragon Strike or Demacian Standard is down you can jump on him with Leap Strike and make as much damage as you can, consider going Ninja Tabi and try not to get poked for free as he will try to use Dragon Strike a lot in the early laning phase, once you get Trinity Force you should be able to beat him, but be careful, as Jarvan IV is pretty good at setting up ganks against you.
The easiest way to win matchup versus Jarvan is to bait him into using his E+Q combo into you and dodging it, if this happens he should be free.
You never want to trade an autoattack with jarvan and back away, when trading stun him with Counter Strike active and don't go for another autoattack as he will hurt much more with his one.
Akali is one of the hardest matchup for Jax, especially after 7.15, as she got buffed in the patch. Akali will always try to make you use your Counter Strike and get invisible by using her Twilight Shroud to minimalize the damage you deal while in the stance, this one is really hard and frustrating to play, Akali players are usually very greedy, so try to use it as your advantage to bait her into a fight she won't win, as there is not really much counterplay for this lane when your opponent is smart.
I really don't like this matchup, I feel like Akali is just brainless, doesn't have any skillshots, has a lot of sustain and can just go invisible for way too long. I wouldn't recommend picking Jax into this.
Yasuo is a pretty easy matchup unless you greed too much for CS and get hit by Steel Tempest too much, you can give up some as he will try to use it every time you go for a creep, early levels are when he can punish you, after that when you get your items you can easily kill a Yasuo in a straight all in. Try to fight him when there are not many ally creeps nearby and use your autoattack to pop his shield when it's up from time to time. Yasuo's Wind Wall doesn't do anything against Jax, dont Leap Strike into him when he has his knockup up, as he will knock you up midair and deny the damage. Every time Yasuo
moves to you using ur creeps autoattack him followed by your Empower and back away,
don't go for Counter Strike if he can just jump away with his E through creeps unless you know you can Leap Strike into him and straight up kill him. Blade of the Ruined King is really good against Yasuo and let's you snowball on him like mad.
If you kill Yasuo once or twice you can pretty much kill him over and over and over.
Mordekaiser does really well against melee matchups so be aware of that, you can deny a lot of his damage by using your Counter Strike correctly. Mordekaiser is really vulnerable to ganks to advice your jungler to visit toplane early game, do not trade against Morde when you dont have your Counter Strike up, as he can blow you up instantly if you take the bait.
Now this is a funny matchup, but I find it slightly sided for Jax, the key to it is to wait until Kled uses his Violent Tendencies empowered autoattacks on creeps and fight him afterwards, do not use your Leap Strike to start a fight early on, he is also melee, he will walk into you, pop your Counter Strike and fight him after you are able to demount the Kled and Leap Strike into him after he uses his Pocket Pistol, do not use everything to demount him as he will get his mount back almost instantly when he starts hitting you with empowered autoattacks when your cooldowns are down. The most important thing here is not to get baited to demount him because if you let him damage you for free he will get it back almost instantly and kill you. When you get your items are not behind you can take an extended fight.
Vladimir is a pretty hard matchup for Jax, do not let him Transfusion you when his bar becomes red, as it makes a lot of damage and heals him a tone, go for Executioner's Calling and max Leap Strike first to be able to catch up to him when he uses Sanguine Pool to dodge your Counter Strike stun. I also suggest Blade of the Ruined King there to chase him down. Play agressive from level 1 with Leap Strike taken there and just keep jumping on him over and over and over unless his bar is red or is about to be.
Vladimir is also likely to have Ignite early game with Spellbook, so be aware of that.
You are going to be pushed in all the time against Kayle, consider getting more points into Leap Strike and go for fast Phage to be able to catch up to her in all ins, try to fight Kayle when her E is about to end, she will always try to Q slow you and use her heal on herself to run away while your Counter Strike is active, to kill her you will surely need a flash or to leap to her a second time, that's why points in Q are really important in this matchup as you can't really start a fight against her without going in with your Leap Strike.
Cho'Gath has always struggled to play against Jax, because you can dodge his E's with your Counter Strike and all in him, so he can't heal up on creeps, I suggest trying to punish him early on, when Cho'Gath uses his Feast on a creep make sure to punish that as well as he lacks a lot of his damage output.
The thing is that if you manage to dodge his Rupture you can easily try to kill him before level 6 and this is where you should try to take you chances to get him. Never use your Counter Strike too early just to get he stun, make it a response to his E slows when you all in.
Later on in the game you can't really kill the guy in splitpushing unless you went for a non - standard build, the champion is really stupid, sometimes you can ignore him and go for towers, especially if you have a baron buff, but otherwise splitpushing against him is just shoving from 2 sides.
When it comes to playing against Illaoi as a melee champion it is really dependant on dodging her Test of Spirit, be aware that if she hits it and ults you when you Leap Strike on her she can blow you up instantly. What you need to do is bait her to use her ultimate and fight her afterwards, she is extremely good at killing both you and your jungler when ganked, so play it smart.
Right now though Illaoi isn't really that strong and you can fight her really well if you don't let her stack the tentacles all around, you got an autoattack reset on Empower so taking it down is a split second for you as it has 2 points of "wards life" when she is around, otherwise it's just one.
If she tried to use Test of Spirit agressively on you and missed just jump on her and all in, with it on cooldown you win the 1v1.
Laning against Shen is pretty easy, you have to dodge his empowered autoattack with your Counter Strike, Shen can be easily killed once you get your Trinity Force powerspike, he does a lot of damage early game, so build Ninja Tabi and try not to get poked with his Q, Shens shield blocks most of Jax's damage tools for the duration, but Counter Strike denies almost all of Shen's damage, in a longer fight you can outdamage him and kill him if you manage to stay with your Counter Strike ready for some time and pop it when he gets greedy.
Don't take Q damage with his grasp (most of the times he will have it) and take a smart all in, especially when he taunts into you and uses all abilities.
It is one of my most favourite matchups right now, because the only time Shen actually beats Jax is level 3, so if you take it smart and play passive around that time you should easily beat him by the time you hit some more levels.
Since Duskblade got nerfed at 7.15 I don't think that he will see much play Top anymore, key to win this matchup is simple, try to kill Talon before level 6 and all in him when he has no walls nearby to juke you, once he gets level 6 he will always use his ultimate to leave the fight, but you can almost always kill him 1v1 unless he is fed enough to oneshot you. Another important thing here is not to get hit twice by his Rake always try to sidestep when the blades are going to return to him and Leap Strike onto him afterwards when he has no walls next to him or he has already used them. Talon will roam a lot, especially if he can't do anything to you he will try to force something mid, let your mates know it or just follow him.
Camille is not that hard of a matchup, as Jax you have to avoid situation when she jumps into the wall and goes back to stun you when you have your Counter Strike popped, try to trade with her, attack her to bait her shield and go in once again when it's down, Camille most of the times would wait with her dash for the time you use Counter Strike to back away, but if you manage to bait her dash just go full ham on her with Counter Strike and Grandmaster's Might active. Camille is pretty squishy which gives Jax ability to kill her before she gets her damage output off.
The thing about Camille right now is her poke with W and Arcane Comet which is supper annoying early game and pretty much wins her the lane against Jax by default, which is really sad, because there is no real outplay from her and she pokes you down, while Jax struggles without sustain.
You can stop her E if you do it fast enough, try not to fight her when her shield is going to pop and dodge as much of her damage with your Counter Strike as you can.
Gragas doesn't see much play toplane after Doran's Ring stacking was disabled, but when you are against him you need to wait with your Counter Strike until he uses his Body Slam, when he does you shouldn't worry that he wins the initial trade, jump on him afterwards with Leap Strike and Counter Strike and hit him as hard as you can until he disengages with Explosive Cask, flashes or dies, because Gragas without his cooldowns doesn't really do anything. It's pretty much like playing against Galio.
You pretty much counter Aatrox, all you have to do on this lane is not get poked for free and not let him utilize the passive in all ins, if you can do that im pretty sure you cn beat most Aatrox players. MOST, because for example I have played againt an Aatrox onetrick with Ignite once this season and I lost, but the matchup is really fine for Jax.
Matchup against Quinn is pretty hard early on as he will try to poke you a lot with his autoattacks, jump on him when he uses his Vault, because you can't really do that when it's up, because he will just use it and poke you down since your Leap Strike is down. Quinn will roam a lot with his ultimate, so be careful about that and warn your teammates that he might be coming to them. Go for some armor early, Bramble Vest could be good there, Ninja Tabi rush is also a must and max Leap Strike first, once you get some levels you can jump on him and run him down.
I personally find this matchup really easy, as you can avoid Sion's knockup by using Leap Strike to jump into him and walk behind him or just jump sideway and keep attacking him. Sion will not want to all in you, but rather to push the wave and poke, try to force it, especially when you get your Trinity Force.
Sion is getting wrecked by hardscaling mobile champions like Riven, Fiora or Jax, because you can move away from his knockup, if you can reach him melee fight him, you pretty much win 1v1 in every stage in the game, but if it's close and you are going to kill him always have either Counter Strike to block his passive or Leap Strike to jump away from it.
Stay away from the bushes that he enters, because he is going to cast his knockup there and you won't see it. Fight him when you know what he's doing.
Sion's E range got fixed finally and the matchup is just fine right now. The thing he is going to do is maxing his E and trying to poke you down with it using Arcane Comet as well, in most cases you can see it coming so try to dodge the ability. Sion pushes really hard and he lacks poke when has no enemy minions nearby so you can always play this lane safe. He is also very immobile besides his ultimate and if he wants to use his knockup he can't move for some time which makes him really vulnerable to ganks, keep that in mind and use it to your advantage.
Dodging Yorick's Last Rites with your Counter Strike is really important in those trades, if he uses his Mourning Mist agressively and misses, then it's your time to try to kill him as you won't lose the trade while being able to dodge his Q, Yorick usually rush sheen so it desreases his damage output drasticly. Remember that if you get caught in his Dark Procession you can't use your Leap Strike to jump away and you need to destroy one of the walls to get away, if you are getting hit by his ultimate and the ghouls and that time this is the only real opportuinity that he can kill you. You shouldn't play too agressive early game, because getting caught in the Dark Procession really makes you lose a lot of health and when you get your Trinity Force you pretty much beat him and it gets even better with Titanic Hydra.
Key to the matchup against Trundle is to make him use his ultimate before you use yours as he won't get rid of your resistances. Trundle can stop your Leap Strike with his pillar so be aware of that. The thing that is different here than other matchups is not to use your ultimate active when you start all ining him, try to fight him when you have stacked your passive and hit as fast as you can, if he ults you can leap away or keep fighting if you are confident to kill him. Counter Strike denies his Q bite and the slow, so take it as your advantage to start a smart fight. Remember, Trundle also doesn't like small trades that much, he wants to ult you and fight you, so try to get some trades like Counter Strike his bite, Empower him, stun him and jump away, sometimes he is going to pillar you and rush on you with ultimate, but you have advantage right there.
Take a note that Trundle also takes towers like a beast, because his bite can be used on towers now, so don't leave him solo on lane for too long when you decide to make a play on the map.
Matchup against Ornn is pretty tricky, he has a lot of CC but can't dodge your Counter Strike stun with his Bellows Breath anymore, when you come to lane is the time you want to fight him, as if you overextend with your gold he will have item advantage on you, because he can forge his items anywhere at any time. What you want to do there is pretty much like matchup against Gragas, you want to bait him to use his skills as he doesn't do much damage with autos, so if you can force him to use his Searing Charge into you just Counter Strike and kill him. He can always jump away with his E, so use don't Leap Strike with Counter Strike into him, try to walk to him, use Counter Strike and leap onto him if he jumps back, if he takes a full all in and doesn't jump away just make sure to time your damage so he doesn't shield everything and you should be just fine.
Heimerdinger is a real pain, mainly because you don't really have a power to destroy his towers, so try to get as many creeps as possible while not being poked down too hard, you are probably just gonna be sitting at your tower and struggling, when you go onto him to fight make sure to dodge the granade, because the turrets are going to instakill you combined with his W, problem in this lane is that Counter Strike doesn't really deny anything from his tool and it just works as a stun, so just use it like a stun, try to make him waste his granade or bait him to use it on you and Leap Strike into him then, if you are in a later stage in the game he is going to use his big tower and zhonya, so just hit and kill the tower as fast as possible and chase him down with your Grandmaster's Might active, never underrestimate Heimerdinger's damage and if you want to fight him make sure to have it up or you just gonna die.
You can kill him by maxing Leap Strike and fighting him when he has no grenade, when he uses it aggressively just jump on him, if he's smart you have to bait him to use it and jump again as soon as Leap Strike is back, now with Counter Strike.
Early game Maokai will only want to farm while trying to hit you with Q from time to time, do not play around bushes as his sapplings are going to hurt a lot, Maokai is more of a potent jungler, so if you are at same amount of gold you can win all in most of the times, he will try to dodge your Counter Strike stun and damage with his W, if he uses his Q on you don't instantly Leap Strike on him unless he is going out of range, try to wait out the slow to maximize your damage when you get on him and so he doesn't just walk away.
Since Maokai sees a lot more of a toplane play right now we need to say something more about the matchup.
So, Maokai is that kind of a champion that can't really solokill you if you don't want to fight him, but he is great at setting up ganks (point and click CC that have 0 counterplay) so be careful of an enemy jungler. He heals a lot so taking small trades isn't really going to work out very well for you, but he can't really bully you early game like some other champions, which doesn't make him that frustrating to play against, you can just farm against him early game unless he makes a mistake and you see an opportunity to shine. Since Maokai is a full tank I suggest going for Hextech Gunblade in this matchup, so he can't build armor only and you are going to have sustain to jump on him over and over and over again when splitpushing against him later in the game.
Matchup against Urgot is pretty much sided for Jax. You can deny his whole W damage with Counter Strike and stop it with your stun, make sure to not pop it before he uses his W and you should be good. Also try not to get poked for free with his blast autoattacks from passive and take smart fights, especially when you can start it without using Leap Strike, because he can't get away from you swapping backwards, as you will just leap into him. Urgot is ranged, but I strongly suggest to max Empower in this matchup and play agressive when Counter Strike is up.
What I usually do against Urgot is I play passive early levels and start fighting him around level 5, your kit pretty much beats him once you get few levels and later on it gets better and better for you.
So the matchup against Rengar really depends more on how good the Rengar is, he is going to play around the bushes all the time and jumping around to lasthit and trying to harass you. He can get out of your Counter Strike stun with empowered Battle Roar while healing himself, he doesn't have much kill potential on you, but a good Rengar will force you to play a bit passive and try to make plays on the map using his ulti, so make your team aware of his roams. There is not much you can do to kill him early levels solo, but you can setup a gank for him really well, while the only way he can do it is by hitting you with empowered Bola Strike, otherwise you can just wardhop away.
There are some Rengar high elo onetricks that play really well, but when it comes to a worse player try to fight him when he doesn't have many stacks, so he can't get our of your stun and you can try to kill him then.
Zed isn't really a toplaner, but he is played there from time to time, so I guess I can write something about the matchup. I consider him easier to play against than Talon and Wukong that's why he is a level 2 threat. Level 1 is your powerspike against him, if he decides to do something more than farm with Razor Shuriken you know what to do, Counter Strike and autoattack him, might be a Flash or even death if you manage to get behind him when starting that. Now, you are stronger in this matchup level 1 so you can get level 2 faster, he can't outpush you, if he is too close level up Leap Strike as soon as possible and jump on him with Counter Strike again. It gets a little more interesting when he gets his Living Shadow level 2 or level 3, if he doesn't have it level 2 keep bullying him same way as before. If he tries to harass you using Living Shadow don't leap into him instantly, wait for it to wear off then jump, because if you jump on him while it's still there he will activate it again and dodge your stun. After he gets level 6 he is going to use his ultimate to dodge your stun, this is why you shouldnt pop your Counter Strike anymore while jumping on him, but force him to ulti you and then use it combined with your active on Grandmaster's Might, if you don't have Counter Strike try to leap away somewhere to prevent him from making damage to you unless he is low and you know you can kill him. The more items you both get the least he will do to you and more you will do to him, when you are against him toplane splitpush against him mid game and that should give enemy team a lot of trouble later in the game.
When it comes to playing Jax your lane is usually gonna be visited by both (hopefully) junglers a lot, because it is hardly ever a farm lane when Jax is around. You also might get camped a lot, because it's really easy to kill a Jax if he plays agressive.
When I play as Jax I really often push my lane and walk down into river, do a scuttle crab, ward enemy's red or blue buff or just gank mid so I have a lot of interaction with enemy jungler.
As Jax you can pretty much 1v1 most of the junglers and some of them can't really do anything to you even when they gank you into 2v1.
Remember that Jax isn't that opressive 1v1 early on, but he is still one of the best champions in the game to have in a 2v2, so if you can bait your opponents into a situation like that you can probably blow up enemy jungler.
This is the scariest jungler for Jax in my opinion, if your opponent on the lane also has a stun and he can stun you into a Cocoon you are pretty much dead. Counter Strike doesnt do anything versus Elise and she can also reset tower aggro to dive you. Scary.
Tank CC junglers
Tank CC junglers are also the ones that are probably going to gank you a lot, it's really hard for you to kill them and they can provide the CC to make your lane opponent kill you, so be aware, also, those champions aren't really denied anything by your Counter Strike, well you can block Gragas W, but that's it.
Bruisers without a very good setup
They can't 1v1 you when they are not ahead, could gank you if they have a decent setup, but arent that much of a threat because Counter Strike denies a lot of their damage, you aren't really afraid of the them, because you can just wardhop away from most of them.
Bruisers with gapclosers and CC
These champions can't really kill you 1v1, but they can work really well with your opponent toplaner to pretty much kill you instantly. Not as scary as Elise, but still need to pay attention not to get blown up instantly.
They gank you, you pop your Counter Strike and wardhop or minionhop away. Not scary at all, the only way they kill you if you get baited by your opponent toplaner.
If twitch shows up you can kill him almost instantly if you have some items.
Evelynn after reword is opressive, be careful of her, she does a lot of damage, dies almost instantly tho if you can bait her in.
Kayn is actually pretty good against Jax, he can dodge your Counter Strike stun with his ult and make a lot of damage, I've struggled to 1v1 a Kayn many times, surely a decent pick against us.
Jax has a really good ability of getting out of his ultimate's walls with his Leap Strike, you can pretty much always just get away from Jarvan with a wardhop, and he can't go super far for you if you aren't low with his ultimate because you can just kill him if enemy toplaner isn't close enough.
The only way she could be able to knock you up is when she flashes on you, otherwise just dodge her and wardhop away, when ganked you don't want to use your Counter Strike when she is able to ulti you, because you are just going to use it for nothing.
Make sure to dodge his 1st autoattack with Counter Strike if he has redbuff, wardhop away and you should be fine unless you are low enough for him to burst you down.
This is tricky, if you start fighting Kha'Zix you pretty much force his ultimate with your Counter Strike, but it doesn't block his Q, so he will go invis until it pops off. He can kill you 1v1 if you are isolated, you can kill him too, pretty much depends on items on both of you.
He can gank you early game when you have your Counter Strike down, but you can pretty much wardhop to get away from his fear range, he won't ult you even if you have 20% hp because you can just kill him. He is not a threat at all.
Low threat and you can oneshot her if she gets too close, if she misses her spear there is nothing she can do against you, if you want to play Nidalee you must be really good with her, otherwise this champion is pretty much useless.
He won't gank you, he can't do anything if your Counter Strike is up, very low threat.
Worse version of elise, the fear lasts forever, when caught out of vision into a 1v2 with fiddle ulti on your face you are pretty much dead.
Not scary, no disengage, should be a kill or a flash if you find her solo.
Teleport plays / ganking / macro play
Yes, ganking, from the toplane, a good toplaner doesn't sit on his lane all the time, he plays all around the map and fights for objectives..
The only time you don't want to Teleport is if there is a massive wave coming into your tower or if it starts to slowpush into enemy's tower, in the second case just go and reset it.
When you use your Teleport to get behind enemy lines into botlane most of the time you want to pop your Counter Strike and WALK INTO THEM, never use your Leap Strike to start a fight when they are going to come to you anyway, a lot of people do that, save your Leap Strike for their dashes or if they Flash away you can follow it up with Q.
If you are on red side you want to get rid of the Blast Cone marked by red cross IF YOUR OPPONENT'S TIER1 IS STILL UP, if it's not it's pretty good escape tool for you.
On the map I marked possible roaming routes as well as best places for deepwards for both sides (circles on the map).
You also want to be present on midlane from time to time. If you are having a decent time top try to give your midlaner some love and gank his lane, you can even Flash into Leap Strike and Counter Strike stun if needed, Jax is a pretty good ganker, that's why he is also used as a jungler sometimes so use that.
As Jax you can do the Scuttle Crab if you have a bit of time extremely fast after using your Counter Strike stun to get yourself some vision, it's super good for Jax as you can keep your Warding Totem charges for wardhops. Also lets you get a Honeyfruit if you need some Health or Mana back.
This is very important, if you win your lane but all you do is walk back top and use your Teleport only to get back to your lane you have no idea how to play toplane. If you want to go back then reset the wave by pushing into opponents tower, hide and back, they will also think that you might gank mid, which is good, makes more pressure.
Have you ever been that guy that stays top and complains that your team is giving your opponent free kills? Yeah, you have to roam too, that's how the game works.
Good strategy is to get the tower of your opponent, push the wave all the way into his tier2 and back to base just to go dragon, bottom to gank or even dive, in most of the cases you can get something of it and Teleport back top or just walk there if it's not worth to teleport.
RESET THE WAVE BEFORE YOU LEAVE
If you want to leave your lane and you are healthy enough to not go to base make sure to reset the wave before you go, which means that you push the minions so they get into your opponents tower! Be careful to watch out if your opponent doesn't freeze it, if not you are free to go for some time.
When you get the gank
You or your jungler got the kill, now there are few scenarios.
These are mostly early game things
Lane pushes into you
Your opponent has Teleport - your jungler shouldn't push it, ping for example Riven Teleport and he should leave your lane.
Your opponent has no Teleport - freezing the wave is the best option IF YOU CAN TELEPORT BACK or you are healthy enough to stay, otherwise your jungler should help you push it into opponents tower, smart jungler would just help pushing and get exp, not take all the cs, but if he does it's also fine.
Lane pushes into him
Ask your jungler to help you push the wave ONLY IF you can make it reset to his tower before he uses Teleport to get back OR you are too low to stay and push it by yourself.
You are a splitpusher in your team, you never want to share a lane with anyone, but you are open for rotations.
Feel free to swap between bottom and top lane whenether you can benefit the most. If Baron Nashor is up you want to be bottom splitpushing, if your team lost a fight don't recall and try to 1v4, keep going, make pressure.
Unless you group for a fight you always want to be pushing a side lane.
ADC SHOULD NEVER SPLITPUSH
Now this is such a common mistake on every ELO. AD Carry doesn't need that much exp, he needs farm, toplaner is the one that needs exp the most, you never want to share experience, you are a bruiser, you need to be higher level to be effective.
Obviously, Jax is considered a splitpush god. First of all let's explain why.
If Jax builds against the opposing toplaner he can win the duel against him in almost every matchup later in the game, but even if your opponent is ahead it's still good to force him to keep pushing out the lane you are shoving constantly. But when it comes to Jax his entire kit is made for dueling, a low cooldown gapcloser, dodge, autoattack resets, tankiness.
TAKES TOWERS REALLY FAST
Jax's passive makes him a huge threat to towers, especially if you can keep your Sheen procs by using Empower and Leap Strike, try to keep your Counter Strike up. Jax is one of the champions you have to send someone to face him or engage into the enemy team instantly to force a Teleport or a 5v4 fight as soon as possible.
The old Jax didn't have what we have now, which is Titanic Hydra, it lets you take waves in a split second. almost as fast as Tryndamere with Statikk Shiv (he only needs his spin and 1 autoattack).
This is where Jax beats almost every other splitpusher and what makes him what he is. Leap Strike combined with a 2 stack Warding Totem basically makes you a Kassadin that can also dodge autoattacks, stun a target before leaping and is way tankier. There are some matchups where Jax can just start attacking a tower ignoring opponent with Counter Strike and just Leap Strike away after stunning the target and there is nothing they can do about it, because they cant kill you.
WHEN TO SPLITPUSH
Splitpushing needs a little coordination with your team. First of all I want to say that you don't need your teleport to be up to start splitting, it's cool to have it but it's not necessary. You want your team to make pressure on other lanes, otherwise they will just gank you with 5 men and kill you, but if it happens you want your team to get something out of it, like Baron Nashor or at least a tower.
PLAY WITH THE VISION
Always observe how many opponents you can see on the map, when splitting think about enemy team first, which one of them can kill you, who you can take on, this is important. For example, it's really easy to solokill a Twitch, but it's a much different story with Tristana or Vayne. You can always take down Twisted Fate, Orianna or Annie, but it's way harder against Cassiopeia or Kassadin in the late game, so be aware of that.
When your team has no pressure just shove waves in and back away, try to get vision in the jungle, steal camps, force creeps to die to tower, but don't go for towers without vision on enemy team. If they engage you have two options.
1. Look for Teleport play or run there if it's close (for example you are bottom, they are mid).
2. Keep going as fast as possible, make a mess on the map and hope that your team are able to disengage or that enemy team will be so forced to do something because of you splitting that they are going to throw themselves into your team and lose a 5v4. This actually happens A LOT, forced plays are the worst plays, keep that in mind.
Which point is better? Situational, like every time, sometimes I just shove a wave and run straight into my team to force a fight with flank, splitpushing is always about making decisions, you just need to consider all the things, your enemies, your teammates, gold difference and your personal experience - all that should result in your decision what to do.
Thank you for reading my guide, I hope that everyone could learn something from it and get to use the knowledge in the game.
Good luck, summoners.