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Jayce Build Guide by OTGBionicArm

Assassin Jayce: Complete Guide to a Brighter Tomorrow.

Assassin Jayce: Complete Guide to a Brighter Tomorrow.

Updated on September 22, 2015
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League of Legends Build Guide Author OTGBionicArm Build Guide By OTGBionicArm 22 1 182,317 Views 69 Comments
22 1 182,317 Views 69 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author OTGBionicArm Jayce Build Guide By OTGBionicArm Updated on September 22, 2015
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Table of Contents

Quick Guide


Basic Information

Advanced Tactices

Wrapping Up

Starting Items



Core Builds



Offensive Items

Defensive Items

Synergies & Counters

Jayce is good against:

Jayce is weak against:

Jayce works well with:

Summoner Spells

Jayce is relatively fragile, but also has great play making abilities, making Flash the most important summoner spell available to him. You can use it to escape death or set up kills with crafty use of Thundering Blow, for a Lee Sin-esque play. Ignite increases your kill potential massively, especially on squishy mid laners, and can go a long way to securing your early game lead. Additionally, it has some utility in shutting down healing from champions like Swain. Your other option is Ghost, which can help you chase, kite and re-position yourself with great ease in team fights. It's slower cooldown can make it more reliable than Ignite for newer players.


These are the standard runes for Top Lane Jayce. Heavy AD feeds Jayce's ratios and harassment and denial style laning. The Marks and Quints will be the same every game, but the other runes are more flexible. I prefer getting 10% CDR from 6 CDR Glyphs and masteries, but you can also run flat MR in place against AP laners. Scaling Health will make Jayce a bit more durable late game, but you can also opt for flat health, or armor against AD laners.


Click to Enlarge

Jayce pretty much uses the Mastery Page of an AD Carry, so take all the AD you can. Spell Weaving and Blade Weaving play perfectly into Jayce's mixed ability and auto attacking focused kit. Another point of interest are Dangerous Game which can be pretty clutch in multi-kill scenarios.

About the Author

Hello, MOBAFire! I'm OTGBionicArm, a veteran here on the site, guide writer, critic, and theory crafter. I mained Jayce for quite a while, and I'm continuing to use him extensively in Season 5. My reason for writing this guide is not only to teach aspiring Jayce players, but to also learn more about Jayce myself through critique and reviews of this guide.
While studying to play Jayce more effectively I came across a build used by a Korean player, VTG Kyle, and I have been closely emulating his build and play style.

Special THANKS TO:

  • GrandmasterD; for creating the guide format and being awesome enough to let all of MOBAFire use it, and helping me with general advice in gameplay.
  • iPodPulse; For making all of the graphics in this guide, as well as generally being a total bro.
  • Natedog13; For mentoring me and showing me the path to less rage, more carrying and over all better state of mind when playing, as well as answering all of my repeatitive stupid questions.
  • Vynertje; For recommending the video detailing the build used by VTG Kyle as well as general build critique and advice.
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Jayce, the Defender of Tomorrow is a hybrid fighter and marksman champion, contrary to his title of "Defender". He combines heavy ability combos with sieging, kiting, and brawling to secure early advantages, as well as demolish team fights, towers and objectives.

As mentioned, I'm emulating a Korean player's build for this guide. In the past, Jayce was used a siege monster, much like pre-rework Nidalee, chunking people repeatedly with deadly Shock Blast and Acceleration Gate combos. Many nerfs later, Jayce has slightly fallen out of grace in this department. However, his sieging abilities are not the only selling point to his kit. Jayce is also a very effective duelist and psuedo-assassin with his combined high DPS and burst.

In this guide we'll be covering how to play Jayce as more of an assassin in the Mid Lane, but we'll also cover how to siege, split push, duel effectively and secure lane dominance.

Some Jayce Mood Music; Listen while you read!
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Who is Jayce?


+Dominant Ranged Laner
+Long Range Poke
+High DPS
+Potent All-In
+Strong Disengage

Jayce's Strengths

Jayce's main selling points are his absurd trading potential in lane, combined with his harass and DPS. He is very dominant in lane, using his abilities and ranged auto attacks to punish enemy misplays and secure an advantage. His high DPS coupled with a strong disengage means that Jayce can be extremely difficult for any melee champion to trade with him. He aims to use all of his strengths to eventually all-in his enemies and secure a kill, or send them back to base. Either outcome gives Jayce more than enough opportunity to mow down towers and snowball his lead further. Additionally, Jayce is a very strong splitpusher due to his above average skills in dueling, destroying turrets and disengaging.

Jayce's Limitations

Despite being labeled as a Fighter and playing like one for the most part, Jayce is surprisingly fragile, meaning he must be very careful about his placement in fights or he can easily be dropped instantly by enemy focus. Being Ranged in lane also has it's downsides. Jayce will constantly push the creep wave towards the enemy tower if he keeps the pressure up on his enemy laner with auto attacks, meaning he is a primary target for ganks. One must also be careful to not be wasteful with his mana, as he has a very meager pool early in the game, making Tear of the Goddess a must buy. Jayce has an extremely static build path, for the most part. He mainly builds flat AD and functions poorly on a Bruiser-esque (defensive oriented) build, solidifying him as a "Carry" laner. Jayce's team may also suffer if the top laner or jungler are not a strong source of magic damage.


-Very Squishy
-Early Mana Issues
-Gank Magnet
-Poor Build Flexibility
-No Level 6/11/16 Power Spike
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Jayce's Skillset

Hextech Capacitor
(Innate): Upon switching between Hammer and Cannon form, you will get a short burst of mobility. Use this to your advantage to chase and escape. Remember that you ignore unit collision for the duration, and you can avoid being creep blocked, or move through the target to Thundering Blow them backwards.

To the Skies!
(Active): Your primary gap closer in Hammer form. It also is very effective for clearing creep waves. Keep in mind that this ability will land Jayce where the enemy was when cast. It will not follow enemies who have Flashed or dashed away before you landed, nor will it deal damage or slow them.

Lightning Field
(Active): Adds a bit more DPS in brawls, and it's magic damage, making Jayce slightly harder to itemize against. When you know your enemy laner is not a threat to you (they either cannot trade with you at all, or they are dead/at base) use the passive on this ability to regain mana and stay in lane even longer.

Thundering Blow
(Active): Your disengage ability. It also deals magic damage and deals %max health damage, making it very potent late game against tanks. It can be used to simply create distance between you and your enemy, or to knock an enemy into your team mates or a turret from behind.

(Active): You may switch stances freely with a short cool down between casts. Upon entering each stance, you gain a buff that affects your next auto attack. Use the bonus magic damage in your Hammer form to burst or hit a turret harder and use the armor and MR shred when switching to Cannon form to rip through your enemies in a brutal combo. Another note is that you get free defenses in Hammer form, but you really don't get any beefier from this.

Shock Blast
(Active): This is your main poke and siege ability. By itself it has decent range and damage, but when shot through Acceleration Gate is becomes highly destructive and harder to dodge. Use this combo to harass your enemy while also clearing creep waves from a safe distance.

Hyper Charge
(Active): This ability makes Jayce's DPS insane. If an enemy gets to close, use this to get more damage off in the skirmish before disengaging. It also helps you secure creeps from your own turret, as well as demolish enemy turrets with relative ease.

Acceleration Gate
(Active): Sets up your Shock Blast combo. It's also very useful for escaping ganks as well as setting your team up for a massive zerg or retreat.
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Skilling Order

Skilling Priority



















When leveling Jayce, you'll want to max your Q first because they are both your strongest burst and harassment abilities. Jayce's "ultimate" is not ranked until very last because it does not actually give you any power spike, and leveling Hyper Charge or Thundering Blow is far more beneficial in terms of damage output. Jayce's R no longer has to be leveled and he has 6 ranks in each ability. This effectively improves his late game, but he will not reach his massive power spike until level 11, instead of 9. You may max E second instead of W for higher burst damage with Thundering Blow but I generally prefer the higher DPS from W maxing. This style of skill order gives Jayce a much stronger power curve to make up for his lack of true power spikes through an ultimate ability.
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Core Build

Tear of the Goddess and it's eventual completed upgrade, Muramana, is the most important part of Jayce's core build. It provides you with a massive mana pool to work with and spam abilities. Grab your tear as soon as you can to begin stacking it. Generally you can fill the tear by 25-30 minutes if you get it as soon as possible.

Next is your first damage, and you generally choose between The Brutalizer and B. F. Sword. B. F. Sword is more powerful in terms of raw damage output, but The Brutalizer is more effective against squishier targets. A new option emerged recently in Phage, which now builds into Black Cleaver, which gives you a bit of early, beef, damage and mobility. Grab this is you want a very economic purchase.

Additionally, if you are struggling in lane, or need some extra beef and sustain to survive ganks or all-ins, you can grab a second Doran's Blade. Boots and your upgrade of choice can be purchased as you need them early and mid game, but don't deny yourself a major damage purchase just to have them.

A Bit About Trinkets

You will always want to start the game with Stealth Ward just for lane safety. You can use it before going to lane to protect your junglers buffs or to help key an eye on the enemies (this can be risky) It's generally a good idea to use this ward around 1:40 game time and you should have it back by the time you need it in lane.

At level 9 you can choose to upgrade the trinket, or swap it for a different one and upgrade that one. Greater Stealth Totem is the least useful as normal stealth wards are far easier to use. Greater Vision Totem is nice as it frees your inventory up to assist your team with securing vision dominance with pink wards on the map.

My personal favorite trinket on Jayce is Oracle's Lens. Jayce makes a perfect ward hunter because he can check brushes for enemy champions from far away with his abilities and then quickly and safely remove wards with Hyper Charge.

The last option is Farsight Orb. It's not much better than Greater Stealth Totem but it has a few key uses. First, you can check areas in the fog of war without wasting abilities or face checking. Second, you can use it to easily acquire vision of Baron or Dragon if you suspect the enemy is killing them. Lastly, When you're in a fight to the death with someone, they may attempt to juke into brush to throw you off targeting. Use this to deny them of their advantage.

Offensive Choices

As mentioned, you'll almost ALWAYS want to build Muramana. It synergizes so well with Jayce's kit, particularly the toggle effect combined with his Hyper Charge. You should build this directly after The Brutalizer or B. F. Sword. Remember to toggle off the Muramana when not in combat with enemy champions, unless you have an Essence Reaver.

Your next major item will build out of your chosen first damage item, and all of the main options provide Jayce with much loved CDR. If you bought The Brutalizer, you can get Youmuu's Ghostblade if you simply need more mobility and dueling power. You can also opt to skip The Brutalizer if you plan on building Black Cleaver instead. Recently reworked, this item now grants 20% CDR and retains it's stacking armor shred. A staple to bruiser Jayce, this item remains very effective for dealing with very tanky champions in unison with Last Whisper, and gives him some utility by softening up champions for his fellow ADC.

If you went for the B. F. Sword route, you can build it into Essence Reaver. This item gives you a big chunk of damage and sustain for both health and mana. It's passive has particular synergy with Muramana because it allows you to keep firing off empowered shots from it's toggle effect.

Your third major item will almost always be Last Whisper, but you can actually rush it before your first major damage item too, if the enemy team rushes a LOT of armor (Like, two or more people). It let's you eat through defenses with your super high physical damage and is basically one of your biggest damage increases. You can skip this and get a higher AD item if you're fighting a team that hasn't purchased many armor items at this point of the game.

Your final damage item will often be Infinity Edge. This item increases Jayce's DPS exponentially and if RNGesus smiles upon you, can allow you to 3 shot squishies with Hyper Charge alone. If you're feeling ballsy, you can rush this in place of Essence Reaver in the B. F. Sword build path. Unlike ADC's, Jayce can get away with rushing this item without any attack speed items due to Hyper Charge.

Defensive Items

Bloodthirster can be built as a replacement for Essence Reaver if you'd like more health sustain instead of mana sustain. It's passive will give you a shield that will help you survive heavy bursts and assassins in team fights as well as giving you the sustain to win 1v1's easier.

Hexdrinker is an alternative to both The Brutalizer and B. F. Sword paths when you need to survive heavy AP burst in lane. If you feel so inclined to buy the upgrade, Maw of Malmortius is a decent damage boost, but it's likely better to sell Hexdrinker for a better MR or AD purchase later. Another mixed AD/MR defensive purchase is Mercurial Scimitar, which is a replacement to Essence Reaver or Infinity Edge. It is mainly used to deal with Infinite Duress and Nether Grasp, and you can honestly get away with buying just the Quicksilver Sash for this purpose.

Randuin's Omen and Banshee's Veil are high durability puchases to survive being focused hard. When facing mostly physical threats, a Randuin's Omen will go a long way to winning skirmishes and 1v1s, and you can use the active to peel for yourself, help allies out, or prevent fleeing enemies from getting away. Banshee's Veil helps a lot against poke comps and prevents assassin's from getting a full combo on you every time.

Lastly, the most common defensive purchase you will use is Guardian Angel. If you've dominated and secured a well enough lead. Buying one of these bad boys will secure it even harder. It's bad enough having to focus you because you're fed, but having two lives will infuriate the enemies further. This purchase is also used to "nullify" enemy Guardian Angel purchases, as many late game team fights may be decided by "who has more GA's".

End Game Build TL;DR

Ok, so to reiterate how to effectively build Jayce, we'll go step by step:
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Jayce is strong at all points of the game when going even or ahead, but laning phase is arguably where he sets himself up to carry. Jayce has the luxury and advantage over many melee laners of being ranged (500 range). This means that he can easily bully them with auto attacks when they go to CS. Also having access to a disengage in Thundering Blow makes him very difficult or frustrating to deal with for many assassin mid laners.

Against these champions, your best bet is to farm and harass them for going to CS. Use E+Q combos to hammer them if they move past their creep line. There are two ways to trade with melee champions in lane. If you attack them first you can initiate with Shock Blast+ Acceleration Gate and activate Hyper Charge, switch forms and use To The Skies! with Lightning Field active. get 3 quick Hammer smacks then disengage the trade with Thundering Blow. This is a very safe and effective combo. Another combo is if they attack you first, you can start by knocking them back with Thundering Blow and using To The Skies!. Switch to Cannon form and activate Hyper Charge and Acceleration Gate behind yourself and start to kite the enemy back wards by orb walking (taking a small step after your attack animation goes through to cancel the animation) and fire Shock Blast through the gate. This combo is riskier, but you should still come out on top if done correctly.

Jayce loses his major advantage against other ranged mid laners like Xerath or Azir. He cannot freely harass them for CSing unless they misstep, and you should never count on the enemy making a mistake to win. However, the trade-off of these champions being harder to harass is that they are far squishier. E+Q combos can easily take 1/4th of a ranged champions health, and Jayce's full rotation can outright kill them with Ignite if played correctly. Be careful though, because just as easy as you can kill them, they can do to you if you over step or misplay.

Against ranged laners you'll often spend most of your time clearing creep waves and attempting to hit the enemy laner with Shock Blast while simultaneously clearing the waves. This can often be easy to do as people will stand in or near the caster creeps and once you have The Brutalizer or B. F. Sword, you can instantly clear these with E+Q. Make every blast count and you can win a war of attrition with ease as you still out-range the most popular ranged mid laners with your abilities, and many of them lack health sustain.

Trading is one thing that Jayce is great at, but he is also great at denial and pressuring. Every time you see the enemy go for a CS, tag them with auto attacks. If they try to fight back, trade. If you're winning your trades and harassing them for CSing, you will make the enemy too afraid to go near creeps. If you're a kill up on them, or just generally stronger then them, you can start positioning yourself inside their creep wave and attacking them for attempting to come near the wave, further denying them.

Pressuring works a bit different. The idea is to poke the enemy to low health while remaining on high health, shoving them to their turret and giving them an ultimatum. Their choices are either to keep attempting to clear the waves and risk dying to EQ blasts, or leave and allow you to potentially destroy their tower. This is a more effective form of denial, but be aware that this makes you a prime gank target, so ask your jungler to assist you to force a 2v2, which you will likely win if properly pressuring the enemy.

Bonus bit on effective wave clearing; the best way to full clear waves is to kill the melee and cannon creeps by last hitting them, and then using Shock Blast+ Acceleration Gate to instantly clear the caster creeps. From what I've seen, you will need 2 long swords and a Doran's Blade to be able to instantly kill the caster creeps with one blast in this matter.
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Jayce's role in team fighting is to poke down enemies from afar with gated Shock Blasts and to burst down squishy champions after his team initiates.

Team fights will often begin with a standoff or "dancing" as some players call it; everyone will be grouped as 5 and kind of waiting for the other team to make a move. This is where you'll be firing off Shaock blasts through Acceleration Gate, trying to hit as many squishy targets as possible to whittle down the enemy team before the team fight erupts.

Once the fight initiates, you have two options; either stay back and position like a Marksman, kiting and attacking the closet target, or seeking mispositioned squishy targets to Shock Blast+ Acceleration Gate, and all-in burst with To The Skies! and Thundering Blow. The idea is to kill these kinds of targets without getting yourself into the middle of the enemy team where you will likely be locked down by CC and die.

Alternatively to team fighting, you can splitpush if you are very ahead. If you are sure you can 1v1 or even 1v2 anyone on the enemy team, then take a side lane and shove it and keep pushing towers. This will often force multiple enemies to come to deal with you, alloing your team to force a potential 4v3 and push even harder. If your team is strong enough to handle a 4v5, you have free reign to keep pushing freely, and kill any enemy that is silly enough to attempt to stop you by themselves.

While split pushing, just be sure to keep the jungle entrances warded and be wary of your escape routes, and which ones may be blocked. You can take 1 or 2 people if fed, but 3 or more will be very dangerous.

The goal with split pushing is to take towers yourself to punish enemies for ignoring you, or give your team a window to push towers themselves because the enemies have taken the time to attempt to stop you.
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Tips 'n Tricks

Strength Through Progress

Melee to Ranged Combo - Thundering Blow, To The Skies!, Lightnin Field, Mercury Cannon, Hyper Charge, Shock Blast+ Acceleration Gate. Use this combo to initiate targets when they are in melee range of you.

Ranged to Melee Combo - Shock Blast+ Acceleration Gate, Hyper Charge, Mercury Hammer, To The Skies!, Lightning Field, auto attacks, Thundering Blow. Use this combo to initiate targets normally.

Kiting Combo - Hyper Charge, Orb Walking attacks, Acceleration Gate, Kite through the gate, Shock Blast. Use this to deal damage while fleeing from enemies.

Vertical Gates - When not in combat, and using Acceleration Gate to speed yourself up, try casting the Gate vertically and running all the way through it. This will give you a far longer lasting speed buff.

Hyper Hammer - Hyper Charge continues to work in Mercury Hammer stance, meaning you can activate it and get 3 devastating attacks in melee range after To The Skies!

Thundering Burst - The sequence of using Thundering Blow into To The Skies! is much faster to burst with because To The Skies! has a slow animation cast time, meaning that initiating with it gets your burst off slower. If looking to burst a target to death as fast as possible, use this sequence.

The Art of not Actually "Face-Checking" - Shock Blast and Acceleration Gate both grant vision over the area they are cast. Use this to avoid checking un-warded brushes with your beautiful face.

Ward Wars - Using Hyper Charge you can quickly destroy enemy wards immediately when placed if you are fast enough. This is also great when combined with Oracle's Lens to assist your team in ward sweeping. If you don't need your Warding Trinket anymore, grab oracle's lense at level 9.

Great Escapes - Jayce can make crafty escapes and jukes by using Thundering Blow. For example, it can be used to knock enemies over thin walls. Use this to your advantage in the jungle to escape enemy champions. Another way to escape persuers is to fire Shock Blast to reveal enemy monster camps then use To The Skies! to jump the wall and escape.
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Jayce does not specifically synergize with many champions, but the fact that he is AD, means he'll likely want an AP top laner to compliment. Lissandra and Maokai stand out among the bunch, laying down consistent DPS and having amazing engage and CC potential to hold people still for your assaults.

Jayce does synergize with some supports as well, as he functions like an AD Carry of sorts. Janna's Eye Of The Storm, Braum's Concussive Blows and Sona's Hymn of Valor all massively buff Jayce's damage potential.

Additionally, Jayce compliments heavy all-in teams with his Acceleration Gate. This and a support with talisman of ascension or Sivir's On The Hunt can mobilize massive team wide zergs and quickly surprise and catch enemies out of place.
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Jayce is not exactly "countered" by anything, but he does have very difficult match ups. These are mostly against champions that heavily out range him, and have much more consistant poke or wave clear.

Azir and Xerath are the most frightening with their very low cooldowns, high mana sustain and high range. They can easily abuse Jayce's lower range and higher cooldowns. However, clean EQ blasts still hurt them like hell, and they can be killed all in. Just watch for Emperor's Divide or Shocking Orb.

Syndra was recently nerfed pretty hard, but shes still threatening. She can disenage you, poke consistently and nuke you with her ultimate. Hexdrinker is HIGHLY advised in this match up.

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Well, that about concludes my guide on Jayce, the Defender of Tomorrow. I still have a lot to learn myself, but I hope that this guide helps out other aspiring Jayce players. Think of this as my collective notes from maining him.

Anyway, Jayce is an amazingly fun champion with a high skill cap and high ability to carry games, so if that sounds up your ally, give him a shot!

Wubba lubba dub dubs, I don't give a ****!
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