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Strength Through Progress - In Depth Jayce Guide
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+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-140 HP (lvls 1-18)
This guide focuses on both Jayce Mid and Top because they're pretty interchangeable and you won't have a huge playstyle change from the lanes. However, as a whole it's more focused for Top lane.
+ Strong Lane Presence
+ Great early/mid game damage
+ Incredibly powerful poke
+ Excellent Utility
+ Incredible effective Range
+ Always has options
- Very hard to pick up/play
- Mana Management is important
- Falls of super late game
- Bad Passive
- Easy to mess up with
- Falls behind, stays behind
You max your Q first, then your W second and your E last. You can't put ANY points into the transform ability, so it's ignored. Jayce has 6 skill points of his skills instead of the normal 5.
Q first because it increases the base damage of both forms damage. It's your main poke tool and early utility with the Slow in hammer form. Simple really, damage is good.
W second because in ranged form it scales up the damage your W will deal per auto attack, going from a low 70% up to a nice 110%. It also lowers the cooldown drastically allowing for better tower pushing and general DPS. In hammer form it increases the AoE field up from 100 to a whopping 400 over it's duration, it's one of the highest base damaging abilities in the game. It's also magic damage, which is good for when you go in on a tanky opponent who built armour. It also has a nice passive, giving you mana back per auto attack. A good Jayce will abuse this when he can.
E last because it's your utility spell. In ranged form all it does is increase the movement speed bonus. An old nerf to Jayce was the removal of lowering its CDR, but now it's a flat mana cost and a flat CD so it's pretty useless to max second. In hammer form its your main utility thanks to the knock-back and % damage it deals, which is very nice but it's not good enough to pick up over Hyper Charge / Lightning Field.
|Hextech Capacitor||INNATE:Each time Jayce switches between Mercury Hammer and Mercury Cannon he is ghosted and gains 40 bonus movement speed for 1.25 seconds.|
This passive... sucks to be honest. It's only good for getting back into lane and running away from a bad trade (Transform into Acceleration Gate or Thundering Blow then legging it) or for following up on a Q E combo to all in a target. It's nice, it's noticeable but compared to something like Trial By Fire or Blade's End it sucks.
I max this FIRST all the time, every time. It deals a load of damage (448 base damage when shot through a gate in ranged form? That's A LOT.) With a huge bonus AD ratio. It also has a nice slow in hammer form, which is great for lane fights. You get this level 1 as well to Q auto Q in ranged form, then swap to hammer before Q autoing once more.
There isn't much to this ability. Press Q to fire a skillshot that deals damage in a small AoE, or press Q on a target to deal damage in a small AoE that also slows.
I max this SECOND all the time, every time. In cannon form, it's what gives Jayce some incredible DPS. Pressing W instantly resets your auto attack timer allowing for 4 auto attacks in a row at maximum attack speed which will deal high damage to anything within your range. Towers get shredded quickly and champions killed faster. It can also apply on-hit effects very quickly, but currently Jayce doesn't buy or get any.
In hammer form, it has some nice dueling utility with the AoE magic damage (that has a huge base damage) enabling some scraps against tankier opponents. Its main benefit, outside of pushing a wave, is it's passive. Getting mana back on every auto and the new Manaflow Band makes it so Jayce no longer needs to buy a tear, which is great for his early-mid game centric gameplay. It's hard to know when it's safe to just whack at stuff in hammer form, but it's usually when you're under tower against a melee opponent or after you chunk them so if they get too close you can finish them off.
I max this LAST. In both forms it's main use is a utility spell. In cannon form, it deploys a gate that your team, including yourself can walk through to gain movement speed. It doesn't have a cast animation so it can be cast when moving without stopping. THIS is very important as it what allows for the "Q E combo" that I cover in the "Combos" section. Jayce can use the gate to disengage, engage or just generally improve his mobility by a fair bit.
In melee form it's a nice % damage ability in the form of a great self peel. If W wasn't so good, or the bonus you get from E was better you would max this ability second purely because of the hammer form damage. (However, right now you SHOULD NEVER do so.) In lane, you mainly use it as an extra auto attack that deals magic damage in a trade, or save it for when a jungler gets on you (or anyone for that matter that you don't want). Press E and they get knocked away, simple. Late game you can use it as an execute due to its damage and the fact once you press it (unless you started in hammer form) you can no longer do damage.
YOU CANNOT INSEC WITH THIS SKILL. A common misconception is that this works similar to Dragon's Rage where you can press E on a target, then flash behind them to cancel the animation and instantly smack them backwards. Instead, as soon as you begin the windup your target is "stuck" to go to whatever distance is locked. It also means it's unescapable (unless you lose vision) meaning if you E them and begin the animation, but they flash, they will be knocked to the location of when you press E, not after they flash.
So you can't put any points into this ability. You instead start with it at level 1, your other 3 abilities have 6 ranks instead of 5 and it gains more bonuses based on Jayce's level. Every time you activate this ability, you Trigger your passive Hextech Capacitor. When you transform into the Mercury Cannon, your first auto attack will shred Armour/MR. If you're able to auto attack to shred their armour, then do a full combo (with a LDR/Black cleaver) you'll be able to melt tanks like butter. It's very underrated, mainly because it's rare to get close enough late game to make it worth it (as you're squishy) and early game 5% shred is too small to really notice.
When you transform into the Mercury Hammer you gain a small amount of resistances and deal bonus magic damage on your first auto. The resistances stay for as long as you're in hammer form, meaning they don't disappear. The first auto that deals magic damage and scales off of AD letting you deal some good hybrid damage early on. The burst potential is fantastic, and in a full combo you can kill someone very quickly with the items and runes you usually take.
When you're running back to lane you should spam this ability on cooldown for the extra movement speed, just make sure to be in the correct form before you actually get into lane as you may need to quickly do something but be unable to swap into the correct form.
|Summon Aery is the best keystone on Jayce for most situations. The extra harass you can get from auto attack trading and the bonus damage your Q E combo can do will add up to a lot of damage over the course of the game. He can also make some use of the shield you give to allies because Acceleration Gate will proc the defencive aery shield on an allied champion who runs through it, potentially saving their life.|
|Manaflow Band helps a lot with Jayce's mana problems you can run into if you poke too much and can't abuse the Lightning Field mana regeneration. Nullifying Orb can have some situational use but manaflow is always going to be useful. You also literally cannot take Nimbus Cloak. It turns into Null Orb.|
|The only option you can make consistent use out of is Absolute Focus. Celerity is now bad because of the changes and Transcendence takes too long to become useful. Not to mention the extra attack damage you gain is nearly always going to be similar to that of Absolute Focus anyway.|
|Gathering Storm is the only viable option. Scorch just does too little damage to be useful, in fact it can heal champions who take Second Wind or Doran's Shield. Gathering Storm gives your mid-late game a little extra damage even though you fall off pretty hard. With this rune you just fall off less hard.|
Taste of Blood: One of the strongest things about Jayce is his unrivalled lane dominance. This rune can make over aggressive trades just another won trade for you as the healing is very consistent and very strong in the early game.
Ravenous Hunter Jayce doesn't buy much lifesteal, if any, in most games. Whilst most of the damage you deal is considered AoE the healing this rune provides is second to none even for AoE champions. Together with Taste of Blood the enemy team will be unable to out-poke you.
|Offence: Attack Damage +6|
|Flex: Attack Damage +6|
|Defense: Health 15-90|
As Jayce you want as much attack damage as possible, and as a mid/top lane bully you can play greedily and get the scaling health rune. The only viable option for the first 2 slots is the adaptive attack damage but you can situationally go for the armour of magic resistance in your defence slot if the enemy team has a dramatic amount of early damage.
You'll always take Flash on Jayce. No exceptions. You need it because an instant blink has a billion and one uses, plus you don't have a huge amount of synergy with Ghost alone.
Your secondary summoner, can be one of several. The default one that I usually take is Ignite. I take Ignite because it gives me more snowball potential, thanks to Jayce having an incredible early game. In the top lane, your opponenets will usually take Teleport so they're down a combat summoner meaning you can abuse them every time your Ignite is up. So long as they don't get free roams. In mid lane, same reasons.
The other spell I recommend is Teleport. Top lane, it's a no brainer because you have little map impact until the towers start to fall (and by then, champions start to scale up a bit faster than Jayce) so TP can help a losing lane, or turn an objective fight and even just help you if you fall behind. It has great utility and tonnes of uses, just not effective in combat. I'd take this maybe 30-40% of the time top, and 10-20% of the time mid (Usually against hyper roamers, like Twisted Fate).
A spell I only take against assassins and Yasuo, Exhaust is something you must be aware of. Against the likes of a Talon or Zed an Exhaust can ruin their day, but more importantly you'll be on the receiving end of it. When you go for that tasty follow up after a combo, or if you catch someone in the jungle, a support might come by and ruin your day with an Exhaust meaning you'll be in melee range, with no spells and an enemy target that's alive and DPSing. Keep track of enemy summoner spells, and ping them when they get used to make more informed decisions.
Lastly Ghost can be taken alongside Flash (NEVER take ghost INSTEAD of flash) for some low CD mobility. It's great midlane when you're always looking to roam, and ignite just won't do anything (such as against Lux or Xerath). I also never take it top lane, as Ignite or Teleport has a lot more consistent and applicable use.
This is your standard "all in" combo. You can do it in reverse by starting with a hammer form W > Q > E then during the knockback, change into cannon form to do an auto reset with W into a Q E combo.
Here is a clip of the standard all in at 50% speed (on a jungle buff, but you can do this on a player).
|Jayce loves this item. Giving 55 AD, 18 Lethality, a great active and a healthy 10% CDR it gives Jayce every stat he could want to kill a squishy champion. You usually will be building this first if you're ahead or even. Your Q E combos will deal 600 damage to a 1k HP ADC and your damage in general will just be HUGE. Always get this item either first.|
|This is the definition of an assassins item. Giving a 55 AD, 21 Lethality, a passive that lets you sneak by wards and another passive that gives you bonus damage on your first basic attack after being out of sight of the enemy team. If you trigger the damage in melee form you'll also gain a momentary 99% slow. This item is perfect for Jayce as at the moment he's more on the assassin/squishy killer than the poke heavy siege based champion.|
|Another item Jayce adores. Granting % Armour shred, extra movementspeed, a healthy chunk of AD, a nice buffer of HP and a whopping 20% CDR makes it THE safe item for Jayce. The huge amount of CDR it offers means that's pretty good to rush against tanks like Malphite and should be what you buy first if you're top lane against a non squishy champ most of the time. I can't really say much more about it, it's solid. Usually you'll buy this third after the 2 lethality items.|
|One of the three Defence boots. You take this if your opponents have little to no magic damage and not much CC. Great against champions like Yasuo or Riven. Also solid if their ADC gets uncontrollably fed.|
|One of the three Defence boots. You take this if your opponents have a lot of magic damage and a decent amount of CC. Great against champions like Veigar, Morgana, Ahri and Kennen. The best defence boot if you don't need armour and are not sure what boots to get.|
|One of the three Defence boots. You take this if your opponents have very little auto attack based damage and Tenacity reducible CC, or if they have some obscene slows. Champions like Olaf, Dr. Mundo and Shyvana are best countered by being able to keep away from them as no matter what other boots you have, if they get into melee range you're probably dead.|
|A fantastic defence item for any physical damage based champion. Cheap, offers good attack damage and some armour with the fantastic passive of reviving after you die every few minutes. This late game allows Jayce to play a lot more recklessly to kill important targets as if you're able to kill (or almost kill) a carry but then not truly die you can single handedly win games off of that.|
|Towards the later stages of the game, lethality and the % penetration of the last whisper items become a lot smaller in difference against squishy targets. If you don't need both defence hybrid items like Edge of Night or Guardian Angel then this can not only do more damage to squishy champions but also help you shred tanks. Together with your ranged form armour shred, Black Cleaver and this item you'll be able to melt any champion with high armour.|
|Simple item here, you buy this instead of Lord Dominik's Regards if the enemy team have a decent amount of healing/sustain. Dr. Mundo, Soraka, Vladimir and Aatrox come to mind for getting this item. Get the Executioner's Calling early if you're laning vs one, or get it when you start to need to fight past the healer.|
|A great defence item that will replace your Mercurial Scimitar and free up your boots to get something other than Lucidity. Giving you 55AD, 10% CDR and 45MR with one of the best hybrid passives in the game. When you take damage below a certain HP threshold, you gain a magic damage only shield and you get extra AD/Lifesteal/Spellvamp for as long as you remain in combat. This item is great against magic damage burst that isn't helped by removing a CC affect. Such as a good Xerath or Katarina whom can one shot you easily without the help of CC. Solid defence item.|
|This is my guilty pleasure item, I love it's concept and it feels pretty good to buy. 80 AD, 10%CDR and 15% healing from damage make this item really good. The DoT you take is also incredibly powerful as it slows down burst by 30%. Although you still take the full damage, it can buy you a precious second or two to deal some damage to heal it back. The only downside is that Jayce's main damage is his Q combo, which is considered AoE for the purpose of this items healing.|
|Due to the fact Jayce is very squishy, this item is a great "get out of Jail free card" if you get hit by some CC (and if you do get hit by CC, you're probably dead). Meaning it's a lot safer for you to run face first to an enemy squishy even if they have CC based peel (Like Leona or Morgana). Still, don't be looking to get hit by CC as you only have one use and most champions with CC have more than 1. Ontop of the great active, it has 65 AD, 10% lifesteal and 35 MR. This makes it great if you get hit by poke of your own, as most poke is magic and you'll have some lifesteal to sustain back up. This is a situational item that has replacements outlined below.|
Laning as Jayce is pretty straight forward for the most part. You're the king of the lane as you usually can out-trade/push most champions. Those that can stand toe to toe with you, are generally skill matchups.
Do keep in mind, as a solo laner you're on your own. Don't expect your jungler to gank (it's nice if he does, but don't expect it) and do your best to 1v2. What I mean by this is, assume your jungler won't gank, but assume theirs will. Make sure to keep wards up as being the lane bully means usually you'll be pushed closer to their tower than not.
Firs things first, is you should look to auto attack down the enemy as often as you can. After you auto, walk into a bush to drop creep aggro. Try not to just spam Q's early, as their damage is similar to an auto attack. I personally use it to force a level 2 quickly rather than to get any meaningful poke off.
Once you hit level 2, you can start to look to kill the opponent. If you hit level 2 first, walk at them and line up a Q into a few W auto attacks. If they're in a bad spot, you can go into hammer form to Q Auto (Don't use W early, it's a waste of mana). If you chunked them low enough, Ignite and finish of a kill for first blood. If they won't die to ignite, don't use it and just take the won trade.
After this point, you'll want to ward up so you don't get ganked. Top lane should be tri bush or river (blue or red side) and in mid you should ward a pixel brush and stay closer to that side so you can escape a gank easily.
Continue to harass, farm and kill your lane opponent. Also, don't be shy to roam to another lane. With your passive and Lethality item OOC movement speed, you can shove in a wave and attempt to pressure or kill an opposing laners allied team.
Try and get tower ASAP, as it'll give you more room to roam with and extra gold for you and your team. Once either your tower or the enemy tower goes down, this is usually the transition into midgane.
This is where Jayce shines. His Q E combo will deal 400-500 damage, his burst is one of the highest in the game and he can push down towers faster than an ADC if left alone. Here, you'll want to look to skirmish (NOT team fight). So anything with less than 5v5 is a skirmish, obviously you want this in your favour.
Group up around your teams target objectives, and tell them (nicely) what you want to do. No point in have a 5v5 stalemate mid, just gets boring and gets no one anywhere.
Start by rotating to all lanes killing the outer towers. Ask your team to group with you whilst you do so, mid will be the hardest usually so get bot and top first. Always look to catch out a squishy whilst making sure you're not vulnerable yourself. Keep warding, buying Control Wards and just generally being the guy making the first moves instead of reacting to other people.
Once the towers start to fall, look to keep taking towers (and maybe even an inhib) along side jungle control. Make sure the enemy jungle is clear of their wards, and lit up with yours. (Always have a Control Ward in your inventory if you have the gold. ALWAYS.) and continue to look for kills that will allow you to take objectives.
Try and snowball this into winning outright, by taking things like Dragons and Baron and then either sieging down without resistance or catching and killing several members of the enemy team.
As Jayce, you can force this all by yourself. If you say go top, and catch their ADC alone you can then either attempt to take the tower, or regroup with your team and force a 4v5/objective. This will last for a long time, as late game you'll start to be unable to find lone targets or unable to kill someone safely.
Jayce will begin to fall off after his GB BC DB powerspike. This is because your Q is no longer gaining base damage along side the AD you get, and your W is probably maxed too. At this point, your strengths still lay with Poking down targets and catching squshies, but just know it's a lot more risky to all in a target as people usually stop being alone at this point.
You'll mainly be focusing on baiting the enemy team into bad fights by poking down key targets then killing their team (or them) if they don't play properly. Which is common for every elo outside of chall, at which point you probably don't need to read guides.
Try and catch enemies in a rotation, or when you get alone time in a lane, blitz through a tower with your W and raw AD.
In a full 5v5 teamfight, you're at your weakest. Try to poke down the backline before it starts, but if that's not possible just stay in ranged form auto attacking until you can get a clear shot at one shotting anyone. Use your E to get extra mobility, and to pseudo peel for your AD/Mid.
So overall, Jayce is a lane bully that can transition into a godlike midgame monster, but falls off a bit late game due to his lack of true ultimate and 500 range. However, his lane pressure and midgame damage means he can single handedly carry a game and has the tool to do so against any comp.
He's mechanically demanding, and will always be at least viable due to his flexibility. Tank/DPS Jayce isn't meta right now, but it's still usable. So long as Black Cleaver isn't dumpster tier, he can find a place in top lane.
Remember, there is always Strength through Progress.
Headers: Janitsu. His stuff is a lot nicer than anything I could make artistically.
ATM there is only one person, because this guide is built from the ground up by myself. That being said, edits/changes can always be added to here.