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Jarvan IV Build Guide by Vort

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Vort

*Support Jarvan IV (7.9)

Vort Last updated on May 6, 2017
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Guide Top

How to play Jarvan IV as a Support

Jarvan IV is a tanky melee fighter with excellent tools for early game damage, disruption, crowd control, initiation, peel, and survival. He can play to catch people out and start fights, or to protect carries, and when needed, he can even dish out a significant amount of damage, even as a support.

In the current meta, Jarvan IV suffers in lane a bit, like most other melee supports. That being said, his mobility and Golden Aegis utility do tend to mitigate this issue to a degree, and he can become a tremendous kill-pressure threat from as early as level 2 due to the sheer disruption, damage, and armor shred provided from his Demacian Standard + Dragon Strike + Martial Cadence combo.

Summoner Spells
There's just about no reason not to take Flash. It provides incredible mobility and safety in lane, increased initiation and kill threat range, and is generally your best play-making tool out of all the summoner spells. Not taking Flash will often draw the enemy jungler and mid lane to your lane more frequently, as they'll read it as an opportunity for easy kills.
If you're playing into a lane with the objective of punishing one of your lane opponents for poor positioning and killing them with your Demacian Standard + Dragon Strike + Martial Cadence combo, in conjunction with the damage of your carry, Ignite will add even more pressure to this combo.
For lanes in which you're expecting to play from the back foot, and kills are unlikely, take Exhaust. This can be due to an early-game imbalance in damage threat from the opposing carries, or due to an inability to consistently land the Demacian Standard + Dragon Strike combo because of enemy abilities such as Ezreals Arcane Shift. Exhaust is also a great tool to have later in the game to protect your carry from assassins such as Zed.

If you're playing as the primary initiation for your team, Courage of the Colossus is your best friend. Ideally, you don't want this role, however, as you probably won't be tanky enough with support income and items. That being said, it can still work out if your team has solid follow-up.
The extra health from Stoneborn Pact is appreciated, but Jarvan IV also has multiple tools for applying the passive to enemies, particularly if you go the Iceborn Gauntlet build path. His Demacian Standard + Dragon Strike combo will apply Stoneborn Pact on any targets caught in the knock-up, and Golden Aegis can also easily apply it to the majority of an enemy team in fights. Stoneborn Pact is ideal if you're not the primary initiation for your team, or you want to focus on protecting your carries.

Guide Top


Jarvan IV support should prioritize tank stats and cooldown reduction. Beyond typical utility items, these should be the build focus.
Starting Items
As a front-lining melee support, Relic Shield will provide the best balance of sustain and threat for Jarvan IV.

Early Core
Regardless of what build path you aim to go, these will be your early priority items.
Sightstone is your rush priority, providing lane brush and map control.
Boots of Speed are usually next, built into Ninja Tabi if brawling it out in lane, or Boots of Mobility if pressuring the map.
Redemption is your priority for high tier items, as Jarvan IV fights in locked locations. Drop it when you go for picks that look like they might turn into scraps. The health and CDR are excellent stats early, and the regeneration is nice if roaming.
Build Targon's Brace when you can't complete other mid and high tier items yet.
Once you have Redemption completed, Locket of the Iron Solari provides great synergy, both in adding resistances to back up the health of Redemption, but also in providing a shield to help people survive until the Redemption active drops. You can easily turn fights with this combo, and it should make you considerably tanky for the mid-game.

Utilize Control Wards in key locations later in laning phase, and through most of the rest of the game to help control key locations. Upon reaching level 9, pick up Oracle Alteration to further help control vision around the map.

Core Build Paths

Path 1: + >

This build path combines Targon's Brace and Sightstone into Eye of the Equinox. You'll have 20% Cooldown Reduction, a lot of health, and a fair bit of magic resist at this point, as well as two open item slots. I usually try to get a fair bit of armor and 20% Cooldown Reduction with those slots, but they're fairly flexible. This is the safer build path, better against physical damage teams, but not quite as strong against casters, nor if snowballing.

Path 2: > & >

This build path upgrades Targon's Brace into Face of the Mountain, and Sightstone into Ruby Sightstone. It has even more health than the previous build path, and has lots of utility via the actives and active Cooldown Reduction, but has to solve an armor deficit and Cooldown Reduction deficit with a single item, late in the game. It's generally stronger against caster teams, or if snowballing and rotating frequently.

Luxury Items
We have several strong luxury item options on Jarvan IV, but they'll typically be used to try and solve Cooldown Reduction (CDR) deficits (if they haven't been solved via runes and/or Ionian Boots of Lucidity), and deficits in resistances and/or damage (if needed).

20% CDR Options

Iceborn Gauntlet is a great CDR option, and also helps with solving armor deficits. It's excellent for locking up and disrupting enemies in team fights, and combines well with Stoneborn Pact if you chose that mastery option. It will also turn you into a minor threat towards squishies.
Frozen Heart is a more defense and armor heavy alternative to Iceborn Gauntlet, particularly good against attack speed based comps, and if significant armor is needed.
The Black Cleaver is your best damage option. It'll CDR cap Jarvan IV, provide utility shred, and turn you into a late game threat. It is, however, a bit of a greedy option, and expensive. You might want to opt for other options if you're not snowballing, particularly if your team is fine for damage.

10% CDR Options

Banner of Command is a decent item if you need armor and CDR, and want to group. It'll allow you to proxy push lanes, or buff siege potential a bit.
Mikael's Crucible should be built against certain target taunt and stun spells, if they're proving to be deadly to your carry.
Warmog's Armor isn't a great option in most cases, as it's expensive, and you're typically not lacking in health, but it's still worth considering, particularly against burst comps.

Other Luxury Items

Thornmail is excellent if you need budget armor in conjunction with all the health you innately have, due to your build path. Particularly good if you went for The Black Cleaver for CDR.
Knight's Vow is a great armor option, particularly if you're sticking with a carry most of the time.
Zz'Rot Portal is excellent if you need a mixture of resistances, and/or your team needs help with or against siege.
Gargoyle Stoneplate is an exceptional replacement for Guardian Angel, with the recent changes. It fills a similar role in team fights, providing incredible durability for a short burst of time.
Dead Man's Plate is a hyper-luxury defensive item if your team needs help catching people that are out of position. Jarvan IV is pretty good at this even without the movement speed, however.
Randuin's Omen is another hyper-luxury defensive item, great if you're diving or scrapping against crit heavy teams.

Boots Options

Boots of Mobility are ideal for pressuring the map, and providing gank support mid-game.
Ninja Tabi are ideal if you're generally stick with and babysitting your carry, and scraps are coming to you.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity aren't ideal, but are worth considering if you need certain items like Mikael's Crucible, but also want to CDR cap in as few item slots as possible.
Mercury's Treads aren't great on Jarvan IV, as his spells tend to come out in bursts, but if you're being shut down by CC, and auto-attacks are less of an issue, they're worth considering.