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Jarvan IV Build Guide by Define Statutory

Why Jarv Gets Nerfed

Why Jarv Gets Nerfed

Updated on August 8, 2011
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3,211 Views 0 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Define Statutory Jarvan IV Build Guide By Define Statutory Updated on August 8, 2011
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This build is not for amateur Jarvan players. If you are new to Jarvan you need to go somewhere else. This build will not make you good, it WILL make Jarvan the game carrying tank he is. This build is meant for players who know how to farm, get kills early, and help your jungle gank lanes, because in order to be successful with Jarvan you must be able to do all these early and often. Now that the noobs have left.....

I have played far too many games with Jarvan, I've tried the **** tank builds, I've tried the **** DPS builds, and what I've found is that Jarvan is meant to be the best of both worlds. With this build you WILL draw massive attention, you should be focused in every fight, but if you are good you will pull off 40 stacks with ease.

If you are going to use this Jarvan build you MUST go bottom lane. Bottom lane is where pro's win or lose the game. period. You have the best chance to rack up kills, the most chance to draw junglers away from your carries, and the other teams tanks generally populate bottom. If you can reduce their impact on the game early you can secure a win for your team in the first ten minutes of the game because you will be able to out-tank their beef and produce about the same DPS if not more than the other teams carries.


I have recently found that I will sometimes get not-so-good allies. In this case I alter my build somewhat to prepare for not getting kills early (thus missing out on critical gold). When games such as these arise, I start with Dorans Shield > Philo Stone (for q harass) > boots > Heart of Gold > Levi > Occult > GA (sell dorans shield) > At this point I usually keep Philo and Heart for GP10 to get an Infinty quicker. With GA I rarely get focused so the extra damage burns away health on other teams carries.
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My runes are pretty basic. Armor pen marks/quints to increase dmg, dodge for early game and speed boost when noobs be running away AND because dodging even 4-5 attacks in a team battle will save your life, and MR or CD glyphs depending on enemy team

Ive tried other run variations, mana regen seals, magic resist per lvl glyphs, flat armor seals, mana regen glyphs. Pick what you prefer. I HIGHLY recommend dodge seals, they are great early game to avoid creep attacks and hero AA, glyphs are your preference though, they are the FFA runes you can freely change as you wish. Depending on other teams comp I will usually get magic resist glyphs because AP is the most broke aspect of the game its always better to have more MR.

Marks and Quints should ALWAYS BE ARMOR PEN. I cannot emphasize this enough. Jarvan is built to break down armor, use this to your advantage. With all the nerfs it is especially crucial to have Armor pen in your runes because it gives back all the dmg Riot keeps taking from us.
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Please please please use the same masteries I have listed. Jarvan is THE early game tank. You will be diving right into groups of enemies, it is to your advantage to use defensive masteries. The added bonus of Offensive masteries does almost nothing for you once champs hit lvl 7, defensive masteries negate offensive ones early game, middle game, and late game. Not to mention with dodge runes and the dodge mastery you are looking at about 10% dodge, think of that as missing out on 10% damage. Add that too your 20 stack leviathon and 21 matery point 4% dmg redux and thats about 35% TOTAl damage reduction late game. You do not need a lot of health on your champ when you have 35% damage redux. Think about it.
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Skill Sequence

Its a pretty basic Skill sequence. Your QE are your big damage early game. You will half health enemies if you land QE and an auto attack. If you have a solid ally bot lane with you, its an easy kill. I get my W shield at lvl 4 because the slow prevents champs from escaping after they have burned flash, or prevents them from catching you if you are about to die. Use your W in both situations. Its not always about getting the shield, sometimes you just need to slow 1 champ to get away. Max your Q and E as fast as possible to get CD down and damage up. You only need 1 lvl of shield until lvl 11. After that I alternate it with my E. MAX Q FIRST ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS. Harass with it, kill creeps with it, it does a ton of damage and increases your Armor pen when you start a fight.
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Summoner Spells

Im not even going to give you the option of using other summoner spells. I only use Flash Exhaust.

Do not waste this spell to escape death. Use your QE combo. I laugh at noobs who think flash is a good escape. You know why I get flash. To finish a kill. Before I start any fight early game I hit tab key and see which of the 2 champs has flash. If 1 of them doesnt, I focus them, if they both do I focus the weaker one. Here is where flash comes into play. Your QE combo plus a regular attack WILL get off before they can flash. They are now half health. If they try to flash away, flash next to them and hit W. They are now slowed. If you are lvl 3, use exhaust. EZ KILL YO.

Exhaust is THE most underrated summoner spell in game. With the mastery point i recommend it reduces the targeted champs armor and MR by 10. Hmmmmmmmmm. I'm using an Armor Pen champ, Im loaded with Armor Pen runes, that extra -10 armor sounds pretty good now doesnt it. This spell is the main reason Offensive masteries are pointless. The only good thing about Offensive masteries for Jarv is the +6 armor pen, but guess what, with the exhaust mastery point, you just got 4 more armor pen than those 3 points give, and didnt have to waste 10 points to get it. Learn to use exhaust, its great early game, its even better late game. Exhaust owns and should be in every Jarvans repertoire
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While this guide is not meant for a roaming Jarvan, if you are playing for stacks you will find yourself roaming more often than not. You will always want to initiate and try to separate the carries from the tanks in big battles. Buy wards for your team. Wards are the defining factor that separates noobs from good players. If you know where the enemy is moving you can help your team get more dragons and barons throughout the course of the game. Map Awareness is critical to winning games.
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I start every game with Dorans shield. It puts me around 760 starting health with masteries. It gives you regen to stay in lane, armor to reduce creep and hero basic attacks. Most Jarvan players dont realize that early game most damage they take is from creeps. As soon as you combo in for the popup-disable you are immediately focused by 5-10 creeps depending on the wave cycling. You want to avoid as much damage as possible in these scenarios to maximize the damage you deal and the time you are available to stay in the fight.

I stay in lane until I have 1400 gold, whether I earn it from CS or kills/assists. Once I reach 1400 I buy Heart of Gold and an extra Ruby Crystal and 2 wards. This gives you a massive amount of health early game (usually around lvl 6-7). I buy the heart of gold because Occult Levi are expensive and you want to get them ASAP to start stacking.

You think, why no boots, you need boots. No. Let me explain.
If you are following my guide, you have dodge runes and the speed buff mastery. Jarvan initiates fights with the Q E combo to quickly disable champs. With this build as soon as you land your disable I GUARANTEE you will have dodged a minion attack. This short speed buff is all you need early game to secure a kill or deal enough damage that they run back to tower. There is no need for boots for another reason. With flash, your QE combo, and wards in river grass you can escape any gank while you farm the gold needed to finish occult levi. There is no need for early game boots with this play style because with your large amount of health you want to constantly harass enemy champs back to tower or fountain, all the while killing creeps/zoning and allowing your gold to rack up.

Once you are farmed to the point of 2300 gold return to fountain to buy. Normally this takes about 3-4 levels (around 8,9,10 depending on your kills/farm in lane). Finish leviathon, buy swiftness boots, and purchase a long sword (for your soon to be occult). At this point, do not return to lane, instead try ganking mid or top with your jungle. I generally go mid because its a weak AP champ, and with you QE + R combo its either a guarenteed kill or assist.

On boots.
I see a lot of builds telling players to buy merc treads. Don't waste your time. Tenacity may be good for other champs, but you have a built in flash stun. There is 0 disable in the game which has a long enough duration to prevent you from chasing with your QE combo. Berserker are worthless too, 15% AS, we arent a DPS champ, and 15% is minuscule as it is. You want swiftness boots because this build is based around your ability to get 20 stacks on 2 items. With swiftness boots and 20 stack occult plus your dodge buff there is no way any champ will get away, and we play for aces right? Here is a great tip that I have seen no other Jarvan use. If you see a champ running away low health and you have your ult. Quickly QE combo and ult onto him. The range one this combo is ridiculous. Seriosuly, this combo is the reason you dont need merc treads. Your Ult range is about the same as flash and your QE has longer range than flash. Im telling you, YOU CAN CATCH THEM. Greed is a horrible attribute of mine, but it helped me learn Jarvan's boundaries, and believe me, he has very few.

As soon as you have enough gold to finish Occult return to fountain and purchase it. Now if you are a player who knows how to gain stacks you realize that your hero is now in the mode where getting kills for yourself/team is THE most important thing. Start ganking, do not worry about creep killing because at this point your HoG will be giving you enough gold to sustain your gank mode mentality. Our next item is a Guardian. Try to get this ASAP. After finshing Occult and ganking you should be around 7-8 stacks. I am normally a little low on health and return to fountain. I purchase the Null Magic Mantle and Chain Vest. This makes your GA cost about 1500. To quicken my GA I always ALWAYS ALWAYS sell my dorans shield and heart of gold. You should have enough stacks on Levi that you no longer need this health. After selling both of these items your GA cost is now about 850, 850 is not a lot of gold to gain, its about 2 kills or 4 assists. I say sell these items, but DO NOT SELL THEM until you have 850 gold in the bank, then return to fountain, sell the items, and finish GA. Congrats, you now have about 10-12 stacks, a GA, and it should only be about 25 mins into game. After GA I buy a BF Sword, because with GA, for some reason, enemy players will stop focusing you because they believe you are not doing a lot of damage. With your BF and stacks you are looking at about 240 dmg and 2600 health. This BF will turn into a cleaver. Do not buy the AS sword. Instead use the space for wards. I constantly buy wards for my team. I tend to only buy the best parts of an item and wait til I have enough gold to finish it. Sure would 15% AS do some good, yeah, but if 4 wards placed around the map result in kills/***its IMO its a much better investment.

The weird thing about this build is that smart players will focus you, but noobs will pass you by for your squish because they BELIEVE your carries are doing the damage. I have play styles for both.

Getting Focused.
If you QE in and find that every player jumps on you the first thing you need to do is locate the squish champ lagging behind the team trying to avoid major damage. Once I QE in I always find this champ and to divert damage from myself I ult them. Your ult is THE best spell to take focus away from you/remove their carries from the fights. Once you ult, if they have been focusing you, you will notice the 3-4 champs turn from fight and head your way. No worries, have you ever seen someone flash INTO a Jarvan ult, nope. The reason this play style works with this build is because your initiation of QE+W has just allowed you to do dmg to about 3-5 of their champs. When they switch focus to you and your team starts picking up kills you are not only gaining stacks of damage, but also health. Occult Levi combo is the most broke combo in big fights because as their champs start dying you are gaining damage AND health, all the while hiding behind your big wall doing work to their carry.

You NEED to be alert though of which champ you ult on. Try to focus on AP champs, they generally have no built in escapes. Most DPS carries have built in escapes so they will not need to burn flash. If you force an AP carry to burn flash, guess what, he isnt flashing into the fight you just ulted away from. You will completely take their carry out of fight, and by this time your QEW combo should be ready to use again to save your allies.

If not getting focused.
If you QE+W to start the fight and you find all their champs run right past you, you should feel mad, because they dont respect you. Immediately find the largest cluster, normally about 3-4 champs running past you towards your carry/squish. Ult the one in the middle of the group. You will trap about 3-4 champs easily, and your team has free aim, because for some reason, when people get ulted by Jarvan they try to run through the wall? I know it makes no sense, but they will not attack you, they will try to get away. Pick out the weakest champ, normally the dps'r you trapped with their tanks, and let loose on him with regular attacks. Once your ult is down you have about 2-3 seconds until your QE+W combo is up again. This is perfect because not only have you trapped them for 3 seconds but you are about to pop them up, and drop a slow on them.
The best aspect of Jarvans Ult is that it forces enemies to burn summoner spells. You want this, because your team has been doing tons of damage to them, and when they waste those escapes on your ult, they have nowhere to go when they get low. Jarvan is a clean up king, recognize this, and abuse it.

Too often I see Jarvan players not use their slow in fights. Once I QE in I immediately hit W, because if they focus you, you have just gained a 200 shield. If they dont focus you, they are now slowed so your carries can kite damage.

Next Item.
Depending on your team comp, after I finish Cleaver (great for AS which you will need, and Armor pen which you can never have enough of) I will either go Infinity or Force of Nature. Inifity is a troll item at this point, you will 3 shot Ashe Cait Vayne Ez etc., with this build you dont need the extra damage, but you really dont NEED the extra MR. I only get FoN if they are AP heavy or have escape champs. Yep thats right, I buy Force for the move speed bonus. The MR is nice, but the move speed is beautiful with your 20 stack occult, dodge buff, and swiftness. You really wont need the MR, because of your damage redux and your GA. If I see in champ select they are AP heavy I usually get MR per lvl glyphs because I will then not need the FoN and can get Infinity instead (if the game even goes that long). You only want to get FoN if their AP carries know what they are doing and have 500+ AP.

With this build it is easy to forget you ARE THE TANK. I know you will want to protect your stacks, but you have to realize, sometimes you get stacks from kills, most of the time you get stacks from assists. I love getting stacks from assists, I feel like they add up faster and are easier to sustain because you are in return feeding your allies but benefiting from it. Generally in team fights I might get 1 kill if I'm lucky, but I will always get 3-4 assists. You only need to win 3 consecutive fights for your stacks to accumulate. By fights I dont mean 5v5, Im talking about picking off those 2 champs roaming jungle together, or the 3 people trying to push a tower. This Jarvan build is support intended. Once you get Levi Occult you should be following a group of allies around the map, no more laning.
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I know this build seems trollish. Believe me, you have no idea how many times my allies ***** about my item purchase. If you dont start the game off well, if you keep dying in team fights, relax, once you get your GA it will turn around. Even if you are at 7 stacks 35 mins into game, you would be surprised how easy it is to turn 7 stacks into 12 or 15 in one team fight, especially when youre not drawing attention.

Friendly Tips....
As payback for killing Baron and trapping him in the League, up until Baron spawns (~15 mins) your QE combo will produce a 2 second glitch. This is a blessing and a curse, the enemy will also experience the lag and it will give you a chance to quickly get your auto attack focused on them. It is annoying though.

Your QE combo has some downfalls. You need to wait until the flag hits the ground, otherwise your quick Q cast will cancel the E and you will just jab your spear out like an Rtard. You can master the timing pretty easily, but be aware. In critical situations be .005 seconds more patient, it could be the difference between staying alive or winning the fight.

When players flash out of Jarvans ult too soon after you cast it (about 1.5-2 seconds) you will be transported next to them. Be aware of this, just because you see them flash doesnt mean you arent right next to them. Whether this is a glitch or an equalizer to people flashing out, it happens, be ready for when it does.

Finally, Remeber that hitting R again after casting ult will break down the walls. Be aware of this, Ive had lots of Jarvans forget about this and either get teammates killed by trapping them inside, or missing out on an easy chase because they arent quick enough.

Thank you for browsing/trying out my build, I hope it brings you as much success as it has brought me. It took me A LOT of games to figure out this build, so consider yourself lucky I posted it.

In this game I laned bottom against Renekton Singed, look how they turned out

This game I laned bottom against Nid Garen

Dont let the opposing team sit back and play this game like its about farming. Force them to attack you, not creeps. Play aggressive and zone. Fundamentals win games, not items.
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