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Jax Build Guide by Voosha
Voosha's Challenger Jax Guide for Twisted TreelineBy Voosha | Updated on December 10, 2013
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Vroom Vroom Voosha
|Hello I am Voosha. I am currently in one of the top 10 3v3 challenger teams (currently ranked 3rd but that can change at any point). I play 3vs3 religiously and am very familiar with every aspect there is to it.|
Jax is my most used top laner when I do play top lane. He becomes tanky from building dps once he hits 6 and can outplay most bruisers. Currently, the build order for both skills and items are the same for Jax as in Summoner's Rift.(or at least how I play Jax and my friends do)
The only thing to get used to is the map and teamplay style. His Counter Strike is even more deadly with the small fighting areas. You should always try and him more than one person with this skill because it is a long cooldown and Jax is a bit vulnerable without it.
One of my personal favorite team comps to play as Jax with is
Aatrox ganks are especially good with jax since they can combo into each others skills very well. If aatrox lands a slow jax can leap onto them and stun them. If they try to flash away Aatrox can gap close with his jump as well. Zyra is great for controlling team fights which will help jax pick off targets easier.
This team comp is very "dive" centered. Everyone jumps straight into the enemy team and focuses one target down quickly. Very few champions can survive this onslaught if played correctly even tanks. This is a very aggressive team composition so play laning phase aggressively as well. Everyone should either commit or back off, do not be split on your decisions. This is not a comp that can play defense very well so you are committing towards being aggressive as soon as you pick these champs.
Although many other champions have options, there is pretty much only 2 spells that Jax should use. If an exhaust is needed for the enemy team have one of your teammates grab it instead. Jax needs the ignite to be a lane bully and dominate the lane. Flash is a given on pretty much all characters.
There is really only one set of masteries that I personally use for Jax.
The Spell Weaving and Blade Weaving greatly compliment all of Jax's abilities. Jax will get a pretty large boost in damage from them.
You can choose to switch out the Life steal quints for flat ad quints if that is your personal preference when playing Jax, but I like to use life steal. It does not matter too much but i prefer the extra bit of sustain I get from life steal quints. If you do get ad quints you should bully a lot more with auto attacks.
I would almost never level up the stun of the leap. Leveling up Jax's leap reduces the cooldown so you can both chase and escape more often. I would only consider getting E over Q if they all auto attacked alot which would be rare to see.
I like to level up Counter Strike level 1 just incase they decide to put some early aggression on. For example, most Riven's will try to be aggressive as much as possible so when she tries to combo me with her Q, I would just sit there in my creep wave and auto attack her with it on. Bruiser champs that auto attack alot cannot out trade jax early on in his minion wave with Counter Strike.
Someone like Renekton, however, could abuse this by simply running into to Q then leave.
The Ninja Tabi can be swapped out for Mercury's Treads depending on the enemy team comp but the Blade and the Triforce are essential. Some champions have multiple builds they can do, but Jax players should only stick to these 2 items at first. Jax thrives off of attack speed so Blade of the Ruined King provides an ample amount early on along with lifesteal. The active of Blade also helps Jax chase and secure kills. Most of the time before completion, champions can just simply run away from jax once his Counter Strike stun has faded. The active on Blade can help you chase more once your stun has worn off. Likewise, the Phage proc is also great to help Jax secure kills and chase down enemies. Jax really turns into a monster with the completion of the Trinity force. The 200% damage proc is just insane when you're right in their faces all the time.
Although I have Spirit Visage listed as a defensive item I almost always get a Randuin's Omen. Most team comps will not require the immediate spirit visage since you will get a decent amount of magic resistance with your ult after triforce has been completed. Randuin's gives 2 additional slows to your arsenal. They could be slowed when they hit you or the use of your active. Even if I'm ahead I would still consider getting this as a third item opposed to a Rageblade or something else. Despite it being listed under defensive items, your play style with Randuin's should be used aggressively.
Games should not last long enough for you to complete any of these items, but here are some explanations on them.
Last Whisper will help against those extra tanky teams.
Zephyr should be picked up if you chose Ninja Tabi as boots and are getting heavily cc'd. This is actually the only item I would consider getting over Randuin's depending on the situation.
Guinsoo's Rageblade is just a terrifying item for Jax. If it gets to a point where you can purchase this item on top of all your other items, you will just destroy the enemy team tanky or not.
Timing your counter strike before you leap into an enemy is crucial. It has a long cooldown at early levels and will leave you very vulnerable if you miss this skill. You should always activate this skill before trying to leap in so that when you land from your leap your stun will also activate.
A helpful trick to land your stun is to activate it in the top brush before leaving to jump. They will not hear the sound effect from Counter Strike and will give them less time to react when you make your move.
At level 1, if the enemy champion is being particularly aggressive, you can bait them to attacking you inside your minion wave. Let them engage onto you and activate your stun once they attack you and are in range of minion damage. I have done this countless times to people who think they can out trade a Jax level 1 and just drop to the floor as soon as they hit me. Don't be afraid to ignite during this as well, it will apply a huge amount of pressure which will allow you to push up the lane and finish the kill. You must be aggressive when playing Jax.
Timing your skills is crucial and knowing when to go in. If you leap in with your Counter Strike up, you will have no escape for a while and be very vulnerable to a counter gank or just simply counter aggression. Jax's abilities do cost quite a bit of mana so don't just spam your jump with an Empower everytime it's up.
Empower is Jax's main damage source. Not only will it give your leap or auto attack a damage boost, it is also the main damage source because it is an auto attack reset.
Here is an example of an optimal combo at level 3.
(in bush if possible)----> ----> activate Counter Strike into an auto attack ---> ---->
Putting as many auto attacks as you can in between your combos is what will help you advance your skills. Autp attacks do a significant amount of damage in combos even within AP champions.
Start off with a Doran's Blade, Cloth Armor and one Health Potion. You can choose to not purchase the Cloth Armor and pick up boots if you feel like you don't need the extra armor early on, but I highly recommend the armor. Push your lane so you can get an early level advantage over your opponent. If you get to level 2 before they are level 1, be very aggressive with your Leap Strike Counter Strike combo. The game could be decided early on if you put enough pressure onto them. By level 2 you could've forced them to back and by the time they're back in lane at level 1, you're already level 3. Have your jungler invade so that you can freely lane without the worry of a possible gank. If you do for your enemy laner out and back to base, i strongly suggest that your team contests the health relic when it spawns.
Mid game is where Jax really shines. You should have your Blade of the Ruined King completed by now and most of your triforce if not all. The attack speed boost from Blade compliments the passive on your ultimate very well. It is a pretty big spike in damage especially after you finish your triforce and gain the 200% damage proc. This is also a phase during the game where you are vulnerable. The long cooldown on your Counter Strike may not have mattered as much early on since champions did not do that much damage, but not during mid game where people can blow you up during your cooldown. Knowing when to Counter Strike is key to your surviving and winning team fights.
If you do engage for your team, remember to use your ultimate as soon as you land. The enemy team will have a choice of either fighting you when you're at your most tanky state or run away and let you and your teammates deal free damage. Your targets in team fights should be focusing down their main damage dealer while your other teammates kite and peel for each other.
Most games should end by the time you finish your triforce and before you can get your Randuin's. Jax just scales exponentially after these two items and will be the focused target in team fights. Try to end it before the get too tanky to sustain your damage.
Defense is not one of Jax's strong points. Of course diving a Jax is a bad idea since he can Counter Strike and counter the damage, but if they don't you're quite vulnerable to poke under tower. If you're behind you should just have the entire team gank your lane before you get so behind that you're a non factor in team fights. If you're behind on other champs like Zyra, it's not as bad since you still have utility within your spells. However for Jax, once his Counter Strike is gone and he is behind, he does almost nothing. It'll be like an annoying child poking at you with a stick. So try not to get behind and if you do have the team gank right away.