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Jarvan IV Build Guide by almeidaalajoel

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League of Legends Build Guide Author almeidaalajoel

The young J-Money, prince of PWN (Jarvan the 4th)

almeidaalajoel Last updated on September 15, 2014
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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

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Hey guys, it's Joel once again, back with a third guide. A bit about myself: I'm a platinum league of legends player and I love jungling. Jarvan is one of my more played champions and I think he is really good. He has potential to carry teams really hard and also can be more supportive if that's what's needed. So let's learn how to play some Jarvan!

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Jarvan's strengths and weaknesses


+ Excellent ganks
+ Decent jungle clear
+ Good lock-down in team fights
+ Naturally tanky
+ Naturally high damage
+ Can peel well in team fights
+ Great initiate
+ Can carry a bad team
+ Very Mobile
+ Good Aura for whole team

+ Enemies with flash can escape from you easily
+ Not as good counter-jungling as other junglers (Lee, Evelynn, Nunu)
+ Your ult can trap/hurt your own team if used poorly :(

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Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
These are my runes for J4. Attack speed is very strong on him for jungle clear, applying red buff in ganks, getting your passive off, and higher DPS in general. Armor to survive jungle monsters and MR for counter junglers like Evelynn, Elise, Nunu, and ambient magic damage you take while ganking or counter-ganking.

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This page gives early DMG and helps your team do damage too, along with some tank.

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Summoner Spells

Summoner Spells

Smite is pretty self explanatory on a jungler, 100% necessary. Buff/Objective control etc.

I always take flash on J4, it's great for a surprise huge gap closer with flash, E+Q, and ult. Also good for escaping/ganking over walls.

These are the only two spells I ever take on J4.

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Ability Explanation

  • Martial Cadence (Passive): J4's passive makes his first AA on any target deal 10% of their current health in physical damage. It's very nice for jungle clear and gives good late game damage even without building a lot of AD. This is one reason why armpen is good on him.
  • Dragon Strike (Q): This ability is a straight line skill shot that extends from J4, dealing damage and reducing the armor of all enemies hit by a % amount. This damage scales well with bonus AD. It also pulls Jarvan to a Demacian Standard if there is one in its path. If any enemies are between J4 and the flag, they will be knocked up as well. This is a great spell and combo'd with Demacian Standard is the basis for all your ganks. It's good for gap closing and for CC as well.
  • Golden Aegis (W): This ability gives Jarvan a shield and also slows all enemies in a circle around him. The more enemies around, the greater the shield size. It is good for a bit of extra CC in ganks and also gives nice survivability. I wouldn't spam it too much in the jungle though as it will sap your mana.
  • Demacian Standard (E): This ability passively gives J4 bonus attack speed and armor. It can also be placed on the ground to deal damage, reveal the area around it, and give nearby allies and J4 more bonus attack speed. If a Dragon Strike hits it, Jarvan will be pulled to the flag's location.
  • Cataclysm (R): Jarvan's ultimate is a gap closer that sends Jarvan to the target enemy champion, dealing damage and setting up walls around anyone in the area of the target. It has very high bonus AD scaling. This is a great spell for both initiation and peel, and sets up an excellent zone of control for AOE by your team. Just be careful, as you usually don't want to lock your own team in the walls. However, if you do, you can reactivate it to drop the walls.

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Ability Sequence

> > >
Obviously, max your ult first for more damage and better cooldown. Next max Q for extra damage and less cd. Max E next for extra passive effects and lower CD for gap closing. Max W last because shields are of less concern than damage, especially early on, and you want to be able to jump around as much as possible.

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Item Explanation


Item Sequence


Trinity Force

The Black Cleaver

Randuin's Omen

Locket of the Iron Solari

Mercury's Treads - Homeguard

Merc's are often your best bet nowadays. Most teams have enough CC to warrant tenacity as an excellent option, and the magic resist is nice against those pesky mid laners. If they dont have a lot of reducable CC then get Ninja Tabi instead.

This item gives great sustain early game with the %damage regen and extra AD, synergizing with itself. It also gives a lot of damage early on for your ganks. 10% CDR doesn't hurt either. All in all, a solid item for a high early damage jungler.

Loads of damage from armor shred and AD, plus synergizes with your Q to remove a lot of your enemies armor and the armor pen is really good for your %health damage from your passive. The CDR is also nice for more E+Qs. Great item if you're ahead. Helps both your team and you. Get The Brutalizer immediately after your Elder Lizard if you're snowballing, or The Hexdrinker if they have powerful magic damage. You'll be able to kill people much faster with these items. Hold off on finishing the full cleaver till you have gotten quite a bit tankier.

This is an excellent item to pick up to help out your whole team. 40 magic resist, 400 health, and a decent shield isn't too bad for yourself either. It's a very good item, and I almost always get it unless they are running 4 AD and a support.

Great for hurting the enemy ADC with the passive attack speed debuff if he/she is foolish enough to focus you. Loads of armor and health as well, so you can just jump straight into the enemy team. The active slow is great too. Even if they don't have a huge source of AD damage, this item is really good for minions, monsters, and turrets. I would almost always get this.

This item can be really good. I get it against enemies with a lot of damage from only one type, either magic or physical, because then I can devote most of my items to defending against that and go more offensive. I also sell my elder lizard and get tri-force in super late game full build situations. It can be good even in a regular, balanced build if you give up some tank, but you usually want your team to be a bit tanky to make up for it.

If you need to carry your team really hard, and the enemy is just STACKING armor, I'd grab this with The Black Cleaver + Spirit of the Elder Lizard, as my three offensive items and the rest tank. If they don't have that much armor I'd just take Trinity Force instead.

If you're getting pretty fed early game and the enemy AP is scary, you can get hexdrinker after elder lizard for more damage and survival. It's also good against heavy AP comps combined with your Locket to give a lot of MR and the shield, plus a good amount of damage. Overall, a good item when faced with bursty AP threats.

I rarely get this item. I pretty much would just get it to replace Spirit of the Elder Lizard super late game against a really heavy AD comp because with Randuin's, Ninja Tabi, and Thornmail, you have about all the tank you need vs AD and you can just go damage. If that is the case, then this is a good item.

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When/Where to ward

When to ward? ALWAYS. I cannot stress this enough. Warding is one of the most important things anyone can do in the entire game. As jungler, don't try to delegate the responsibility of warding to the laners or the support. You need to be warding too. Here is a simple map of common places to ward.
Yellow: Vital to protect the jungler on your team
Blue: For protection depending on which lane you're on
Red: To guard Dragon and Baron
Orange: In order to Counter-Jungle

(this map was taken from Jhoijhoi's great guide making guide)
Make sure if you are warding you're also keeping an eye on the map to see if people go by them. If you keep their wraiths warded like in the picture, you can often find their jungler low health taking monsters and get a free kill or flash.
A good place for pink wards is shown here:
People usually walk right past these bushes and you can often get 20 minutes wards since pink wards don't get destroyed till someone sees them. Helps your mid laner a lot to not get ganked.
Don't be afraid to buy pinks for one time objectives, if it gets you that dragon/baron/double kill bot lane then it was worth it. Vision control is very important.

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Jungle Start Path

I remember first starting playing LoL and I had no idea where to go when jungling. So here's the most common/easy jungling path that I usually do, shown for each side.

You usually want to start on whatever side your bottom lane is at for the best leash. However, if you want to gank bottom lane first, you can start on the other side so you can get to them after you're done with your second buff. After taking those first 3 camps, just look at the map and see if top or mid are more gankable. Who's more pushed, lower, etc. Remember that often the enemy jungler will be going to the same spot as you so you need to watch out. After you gank mid or top, if you're low or you got a lot of gold, you can go back and buy. Otherwise, head back into the jungle and farm some camps until another opportunity to gank shows itself.

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Ganking Lanes

Where and how to gank

This picture shows some common places to gank from/to:

LG=Lane Gank
RG=River Gank
TG= Tri Gank

River ganks are pretty self explanatory: walk in through the river and start attacking the enemy if they're pushed up. However, often the river is warded or the enemy is not pushed up. In this case, you may want to perform a lane gank. A lane gank is when your laner pushes up so the enemy doesn't have vision of the brush closest to your turret. The jungler then comes into that bush, waits till the enemies push too far or are in a bad spot (particularly helped out by a bait from the laners), and jumps out. Follow the arrows, but make sure the laners are pushed far enough up so there's no vision of you when you move between bushes. Communicate with your laners before you attempt this, because sometimes these bushes are warded. Another way to gank without being detected is coming through the tri bush. In bot on blue side and top on purple side ganking from their tri bush (TG(b)) will involve turret diving. Have your laners push the minions to the turrets so they will tank the turret while you get into position. However, as soon as you attack the enemies, the turret will turn on you, so be careful. You usually only want to dive if the enemy is already somewhat low. You cannot be low leveled for these types of gank or you will most likely die without superb mechanics. You can also gank from your tri bush (TG(a)) if the enemy is pushed up too far. You can often get behind the enemies more quickly than they can run to their turret. Mid ganks are pretty self explanatory from the arrows. With J4, you want to get behind the laner(s), and walk up to them and start autoing. If they flash, use E+Q combo to catch up to them and knock them up. If you know they dont have flash, then you can use E+Q combo right away. The reason you don't want to E+Q right away if they do have flash is because they can just flash the combo and walk away, leaving you far from them. Once you have ult, ganking becomes easier. Walk in and ult the enemy, then if they flash/dash out, E+Q to them and let down your wall. Communicate with your laner so that they CC the enemy as you are ganking.

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Team fights

Jarvan is very good in team fights. His high damage, tank, and CC make him very strong and versatile. If you need an initiator, you want to E+Q one of their carries, then ult as many enemies into your circle as possible, then pop randuin's/your shield for the slow. This way, your team can get lots of AOE down on everyone in the circle. You may have to flash to get E+Q onto one of their carries, but it is usually worth it if you can lock them down for long enough that your team can kill them. Don't forget to use Locket of the Iron Solari's active when a fight starts. If the enemy has assassins that are trying to kill your carries, you can play peeler instead of initiator. If someone is running after your carry, E+Q them for the pop-up. If they're still going, you can slow them with randuin's or if all else fails use your ultimate to stop them. Make sure you're not trapping your carry that you're trying to protect in with the assassin, though. As J4, you want to be front line: absorbing as much ambient damage as possible while CCing as many people as possible as well.

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Jarvan the Fourth is a great champion with a lot of tank, damage, and CC to bring to the table. His long range initiate is one of the best in the game, and he is reasonably strong through all stages of the game. Adding him to your jungler champion pool is a great idea!