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Jarvan IV Build Guide by deeej

Not Updated For Current Season

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

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League of Legends Build Guide Author deeej

Jungle Jarvan Balboa, Best offtank build. *READ B4 BUILD*

deeej Last updated on July 31, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Intro to this build and Jarvan. READ BEFORE YOU BUILD.


If you do not read the jungle/build setup section this build will fail you. This build will only work for you if you generally know the rules of jungle and YOU KNOW HOW TO PLAY JARVAN.


Jarvan is fairly fast in the jungle provided his high power, but the ganks are is where the money is at. Knowing when to knockup, when to ult are what everyone struggles at and it takes practice. I provide the jungle route/tips and the build, you learn how to play him. My text about this build will be very simple and straight to the point. It won't be fancy like others with pretty pictures. In order for this build to work for you, you must have a lot of exp with Jarvan.

I am going to explan my reasoning for the purchase order of this build a few slides down and why it is perfect as time goes on from the start to the end. The one thing I have noticed about some of these other builds here is the gap of armor/magic res and health in the beginning which leaves room for Jarvan to be weak with little armor or magic res. This build eliminates that and provides jarvan with a soild punch and tanky build, hence the "Balboa" refrence. Rocky could take a punch and equally throw one back just as hard if not harder.

If you get behind as Jarvan it is practically over, but with my build this won't happan. Especially in solo que.

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Masteries.. Simple explanation.

These runes are here because your main focus is killing the enemy. Jarvan's E+Q combo in the jungle with smite on red and blue make a fast jungle. These runes are for the sole purpose of making sure your ganks count and you get the kill. With jarvan's knockup and ult. Ganks can be deadly provided you have lane runes on.

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Runes.. Simple explanation

The runes like the mysteries serve one sole purpose and that is to get the kill. With ample attack power, armor pen, armor, and magic res, you will be the ultimate offtank. From the start to the beginning.

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Items explanation. Read items with a ** by it! NO READ=FAIL


Note: Ideally I shouldn't tell you how to build. If you play against all Ap, are you going put on armor?.. the answer is no. So be liberal about your build.

So this may be long, but each item here serves a purpose at each time during your play. Even when your sleightly behind, these items will still be effective. The most important item(s) that will require a change have an "*" by it, please note this cause its probably the most imporant out of them all. Through out the game you'll always consist of a "offtank" feature with ampel armor and magic res along with some attack damage. At the end of the game you should easily have 300 AD, 190 Armor, 150-170 Magic res, pending on how you play. Once I have explained my setup, afterwards there will be alternate build in certain situations against who you play.

Armor and 5 health reg

> Good to start and leads to madred razors

Boot of speed
> Makes for better ganks with speed.

Madred razors
> jungle a lot faster/adds damage + adds armor against top/bot.

Wiggles Lanter
> Armor, ward, attack damage, life steal.

Magic boots
> Good protection against an ap mid when ganking about 10 minutes.

Heart of gold
> GP Item/provides health with an early armor/magic res setup

*philosopher's stone*
> GP Item/provides that magic regen. needed when blue isn't there. *** THIS ITEM MUST BE TRADED OUT AFTER BLOODTHIRSTER FOR MAGIC RES***

> This helps big time with your ult and your abilities. It leads to trinity force and helps makes ganks much more effective cause more damage especially when the passive is active.

> Adds damage and health. At this point teambattles will come out and you'll be a monster offtank for the early team fights. Especially if you and your team aim for the ADC and AP and are fed.

> Despite everything on Jarvan, this is the core of the offtank. Once you get this, this is when kills really start to come out. All these attributes really effect Jarvan's overall performance. There is no area on offense that lacks skill with this. He is fast, fed, lots of health and mean. But wait.. its not over.

**Blood Thirster**
> Get BF first, you will have no more inventory. BF sword enough should without a doubt get you kills. You should be about level 15 when you get this, if not earlier. I've gotten it at level 14 before. For about 1.3k you will need left to get blood thirster. Stack it fast and get kills. Works well when you have a strong tank like malphite or rammus on your team that JUST tank.

> This part is extremely important. ***Your inventory will be completely full at this point and you need to sell philosopher's stone.*** Once you sell it, you need to buy wardens mail. I usually finish off the build and get Randuin's Omen for 900 gold. If you have enough gold just buy the whole thing.

Force of nature
> This completes the build. A normal game for me is an extremely weak AP mid for the other team. I gank so hard and hit it every time come level 18 there are extremely underfed and useless, but this is the most optimal magic res out there. If you have extra tanky guys on your teams, mal of mortirous isn't a bad option for more attack damage.

Optional items to replace.

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Jungle route tips&tricks with teamates

In order for Jarvan to be succesfull in jungle, you have to know how to jungle. I would not recommend this build with him if you are new with jungle, or jarvan himself.

Rules of jungling for J4

    Start your way to blue than work down to red.

    A good leash to about half way health on blue is a
This usually happans if you have a set 5. If you make this happan that means you will have more health and a faster jungle.

Constantly use the knockup E+Q combo in the jungle. It stuns them and takes damage off you.

Once you get red, top or bot. Making the trip to bot is a loss in buffs, exp, and gold.

Make sure you hit the E+Q move on your ganks.. Otherwise your useless. Time it right. Generally mid has a stun of some sort. Ryze or lux on your team are great and almost always cause a successfull gank. My team has a Ryze playing mid, with his stun and my knockup we always shut down mid fast and there mid is always useless.

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Pros / Cons


    Effective all game long.
    Hits really hard
    Can take damage as well
    Skins look good
    ADC/AP carries fear him

    DPS like xin,tryn, fiora, warick rape Jarvan. Instant counter jarvan is DPS.
    His ult needs perfect timing.
    His ult is buggy, some players can walk through it.
    If you get behind, may be hard to come back.

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Jarvan is a pretty hard champ to play if you haven't played him before. His moves are very unique because its all about timing.

If you are about to..

Team fight

Golden universal rule, Go for there fed champ. ADC/AP carry. NEVER ult right off the bat in a team fight. Your first move should be the knock up on the adc/ap. As soon as you aim for them you get focused, which is awsome because that takes the heat off your adc/ap. When you knock up there adc/ap start hitting them when they start to walk away, hit your W to slow them. At this point they will flash or ability to get away and try to get away, that is when you ult. If they flash away thats a win. Trading your ult for flash is a win

About to die..

Always run to a ledge if your about to die. Example: 3 people are chasing you and you run down river. Run to baron, go straight to the back of baron to the edge drop your flag on top ledge and Q to your flag. When do this when you need to go through a wall. Drop the flag on the other side of the wall and Q to it and you'll go through the wall.

About to gank

Just like the team fight, with a stun or exhaust from a teamate, have them do that if not make sure they engage them before you go in. Once they do, if they begin to run away before you get there hit W than Q+E, if not engage, right click them, and as soon as they try to escape, E+Q, keep hitting them, if they are not dead after the knock up and still try to run away, ult. This should get the kill.