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Jarvan IV Build Guide by KarEssMoua

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League of Legends Build Guide Author KarEssMoua

Let's make a bunch of champion !

KarEssMoua Last updated on January 18, 2013
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Top Lane
Ranked #18 in
Top Lane
Win 49%
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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


Utility: 0

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Hey guys ! After a long time of thought, I gonna make my first build for the most wonderful, awesomeness and painful champion : Jarvan IV.

First of all, I'm sure I gonna make some mistakes in english during my build(english is not my mother tongue) so please, try to skip them and let's be focused on the build... That's why we are here right ? :)

Some lines about me... As here, my name in LoL is KarEssMoua. It means something in french, but it's only phonetic. If you want to imagine the definition of my name, listen to gunther with his tralalala... Anyway, I didn't play a lot of ranked games due to all the QQers, afkers and ragers who are making ranked match so painful to play. But at least, I have played around 2 000 normal games (more win than loss hopefully). I don't wanna be pretentious, but I have a good level of gameplay (ow and i'm looking for a team if anyone is interested ^^), especially with jarvan, volibear, blitz and some others AP casters/topers.

So, as I said, you will find here a build of Jarvan... I mean MY build, which permits me to carry a lot of games and so, win them. At the beginning, I didn't even imagine to play this bad-*** until i saw a Jarvan carried a game, destroy us one by one with his tankiness and his damage. After a few (fail) games, I own most of the time my top.

Let's start !

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Pros / Cons

- Deals high damage from the beginning to the end
- Tanking as hell
- Painfull for the ennemy team if wellplayed
- If ulti well used, team fight is yours
- Good synergy with most of the compositions
- Helpfull for the team with his spell : AOE prison damage, slow, armor reduction, attack speed and armor given to allies
- Jarvan counters you teemobiitch
- Insane combo E-Q-R (Can almost OS an AD carry)

- A bit squishy in the first levels
- You gonna running out of mana quickly if you don't care about it
- You need a lot of farm if you don't kill. Assist is nice, KS is better haha :P
- If any kill, mid game you gonna deal less damage until you get some assists or kills
- Bad use of your ulti could make your team loose

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Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

The runes... Depending on gameplay, people would prefer different runes. In my build, I will use for several reasons. The scales ratio of jarvan are really nice: has 110% of bonus attack damage and Cataclysm has 150%. It also gives you more damage when you will auto attack your opponnent and with your passive and your Q, you may deal a quite good amount of damage during the fight.

Armor runes... No explanations about that, we all know why they are here: Gives you the ability to tank better and to don't be destroy in the first minutes of the game.

About Glyphs... Well, I asked one of my friend with a high elo (around 1600) about the glyphs of magic resist: Flat or scale ?

I used to play with Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist but with the new scaling of natural magic resist, I play now with Greater Glyph of Magic Resist as my friend told me. It doesn't change a lot, you may loose a bit of magic resist in late game but fairly improve your tankiness in early/mid game. Here it will be on your own. If you prefer the scaling glyphs, feel free :)

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Through the game, Jarvan will be naturally more & more tanky, especially with his Golden Aegis which is allowing you to tank a bit more. Moreover, you are going to build tanky and add some damages across the game. So to improve those damage i choose to make an offensive tree.

Attack Speed is a must have for Jarvan to support his Demacian Standard and because you will not have any AS item. In TF, be sure to fight near your flag. The armor penetration is also needed to improve your passive and the damage of Dragon Strike. Don't take the critical strike masteries, this a loss of point of masteries and it's better to go on Sorcery to reduce the cooldown of your spells.

In Defensive tree, take all the HP bonus and armor to make you stronger and obtains more survivability. As I said in the cons, Jarvan stills a bit squishy in the first few minutes, so he really needs that.

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I have tried a lot of build on him, doing my renekton's build, the volibear's one, and some others I forgot... At the beginning, I played as a heavy tank but when you know how to master him, you can play more offensively. But even if I play agressive, Jarvan really needs some tank items. He deals fair damage without any damage item, so what he needs is health.

Starting game :



3x 2x



Choose carrefully your start. You could even start with magic restit but you will not buy as many potions as you should. Depending of you gonna face with, prepare yourself correctly. Most of the time, I take armor and potions then my Philosopher's Stone and I finish my boots with Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi. The items you gonna buy will most of the time determine how your top will go, but on my opinions, when i see a hard top, i rush Philosopher's Stone and my boots to gain more gold if I couldn't farm as I would like.

Growing means win : Early game to mid game

When you finished both of them, let's take health and... damage ?

Item Sequence

Frozen Mallet

Giant's Belt

Warden's Mail


Randuin's Omen

Rush a Phage then a Giant's Belt and do your Frozen Mallet. It will increase your damage and also your survivability. Expensive yes, but Jarvan will give expensive strikes also !


If you are taking heavy physical damage top, rush on Warden's Mail then Randuin's Omen. armor, slow and health, show your opponent how his damage doesn't hurt you anymore !


In rare cases, the ennemy has a lot of AP characters, so you should be more focused on health and magic resist. Build Mercury's Treads, Phage and a Hexdrinker. Those items allow you to go forward, resisting on spells with a shield, and dealing damage to the poor one close to you... Wait, "poor one"? No mercy ! Cut his bloody head off his body !

Mid game to late game : Demacian Justice, no one will escape her

Item Sequence

Mercurial Scimitar

The Black Cleaver

Depending how the game is working on, the build could be made in differents ways of course. If the Hexdrinker and your Mercury's Treads are enough to tank the AP damage, go on The Black Cleaver. This will makes you extremely powerful, espacially with your Dragon Strike & Martial Cadence.

If your actual items don't allow you to tank correctly, let's finish them as soon as possible and get finnaly The Black Cleaver or a Warmog's Armor if you need more health to tank for your team. I usually go on The Black Cleaver than Warmog's Armor because at this stage of the game I'm able to take heavy damage.

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Skill Sequence

At the very first level, try to kill as much minions as you can. If the ennemy is poking you, do it with your Dragon Strike. Darius, Teemo & Olaf are quite good for that, even Riven. So be carefull when you are farming. Until your level 3, try to avoid all the ennemy pokes because at level 3, it's your turn. Be impredictable : move, throw your Demacian Standard behind your ennemy, use your Dragon Strike on your flag and let's bump him ! Then go hit him with your passive when your opponent has the armor reduction on him. If he tries to do something to you, active your Golden Aegis and hit him one or two times before back until the next combo.

Be sure if you use your E-Q-W, to deal more damage than he will. It also consumes a considerable part of your mana, so be sure of what you are going to do. As I said before, max as soon as possible your Dragon Strike to deal more damage and reduce as much as you can the opponent's armor.

One more thing... If your ennemy (only melee) is dumb and attack your minions near you, hit him just one time with your passive. Or if you have the time, Dragon Strike + Martial Cadence.

At level 6 : The end is near dear !

At this stage, your ennemy should be prepared to receive the Demacian Justice from Jarvan. Poke your opponent with your passive & Dragon Strike. When he is around mid life or a bit more (it depends of the ennemy champion), go end his life ! Demacian Standard ==> Dragon Strike, hit, Golden Aegis (for slow), keep hitting until he flashs then... DEMACIA ! with your Cataclysm + Ignite. If you did great, the only thing you gonna see is a dead body...

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Team Work

Okay, here is the most difficult part for you.

Your team needs you to tank and catch some ennemies, but remember that you are here also to deal damage. So be carefull to don't die while you are engaging. Your role here is to tank the champions you will keep inside your arena. It will give the opportunity to your team to focus the other ones who still free.

To engage a TF, you can ulti directly to get some people in your Cataclysm, but your team needs to follow you to get down those who are outside. Use your ultimate directly is a bit risky because a lot of people are flashing away when Jarvan is dashing to his standard. So wait for it and use your ultimate. If you dash close to one or two ennemies, don't waste time & slow them with your Golden Aegis. Hit someone to keep a champion close to you (your Frozen Mallet will slow the target). Here three options are opened to you :

1st one :

- Use your Flash & Cataclysm if you are sure the champion will not run out. Try to get someone else in the arena. This will force the ennemy team to enter in a TF unprepared whereas your allies are. (they need to be very close to you)

2nd one :

- If the ennemy stills close enough, use Randuin's Omen to keep him slow and get him again. The ennemy will come to you in group : Jarvan's ultimate ! If you are taking high damage inside your arena try to flash or dash out if you can. This situation will give an enormous advantage to your team.

3rd one :

- Wait for the CD and do the combo when your team is ready. Focus the one who has flashed if it's not the tank of course... Hit your target hard and you will be focused while the rest of your team will kick their... You know what I mean huh ?

Don't forget that depending on your build, you need to stay alive to deal damage (or not). Tanking for the team is nice, hitting your opponent's face is better.

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One day we will see each other... I hope for you in the same team ! =P

So I have done all (or most) the explanations. I will also add some videos when I played Jarvan to prove what I've done with this build (13/2/20, 16/0/20 for example). Feel free to comment, rate with explanations to understand why you disagree with some parts of my build (or the entire maybe ? haha).

Thanks for reading and maybe see ya on League Of Legends ! :)

Videos : Coming soon !