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JAX BUILD GUIDE: [S4] Jax the Doüche. by Achyllis

by Achyllis (last updated 3 weeks ago)

68,825 Views 2 Comments
9
Greater Mark of Attack Damage(+8.55 attack damage)
9
Greater Seal of Armor(+9 armor)
9
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist(+27 at champion level 18)
1
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage(+2.25 attack damage)
2
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal(+3% Life Steal)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details

Starting

Full Item Build

View Item Details
9
21
0
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 2/4
mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
9 Offense
mastery 1 1/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 2/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 3/3
mastery 1 3/3
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
21 Defense
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
0 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Relentless Assault
QLeap Strike
WEmpower
ECounter Strike
RGrandmaster's Might
View Skill Order Details

Introduction

Sorry I haven't been keeping this up-to-date, school's been eating up pretty much every waking moment right now, as well as a bout with severe depression is just killing me.

STAGE 1 OF MEGA ULTRA OVERHAUL COMPLETE. STAGE 2 IS IN THE WORKS! DON"T CHANGE THAT DIAL, WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK AFTER THESE MESSAGES!

(^cheers if you caught that Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series Reference.)


Hello Solomid, my name is Achyllis, and I am your average player who is currently Silver IV in Solo/Duo queue, and has roughly a 50/50 win/loss rate overall. I have mained Jax ever since I started playing League of Legends in February 2012 and have never gotten tired of playing the same guy over and over again, trying to convince myself that there is always something to be improved upon. I haven't been able to find a solid base guide for playing Jax that I completely agreed with/worked for me, so I figured I'd write my own guide and see what kinds of reactions I'd get. I think of myself as an above-average Jax player, but a below average to average LoL player, and the two don't tend to mix very well. My trials and errors will be spilled out in this guide, so enjoy!

Do note, I am no expert on jungling. If that is what you came here for, I will be adding a jungling section as I play it more, but in the meantime I would suggest giving PantsAreDragon's Jax jungle guide a read. He also explains phases of the game very well and is easy to understand. You can find it as a featured guide near the top of the Jax search results.

Edit, 1.13.14: 50,000 views, that's awesome! Believe me I'm paying attention to stuff like that, so thank you for reading my guide!
Do not hesitate to leave constructive criticism in the comments, seeing as this is my first guide and I really want to get into doing this more if it works out. Please truly try the build out before leaving a thumbs down, and let me know in the comments what I can improve on! Thanks!

Guide Change Log:

5.7.13:
-Guide released to public

5.9.13:
-Fixed *most* pictures

5.26.13:
-Big-ish update!
-Big-ish edits to intro item build and big build chapter; *removed rageblade from 1st item due to experimenting and finding better st00f.
-Added off-rune picture to Runes section.
-Added Cooldown times, ranges, and mana costs to abilities in abilities chapter.

6.5.13:
-Messed with flat AP glyphs, must say they're fun to use if you know what you're doing.
-Added Barrier to plausible Summoner Spells.
-Little tidbits here and there.

9.14.13:
-Revised Item Build, build Trinity Force as 3rd item. Randuin's Omen too OP. Build it at some point regardless of how you're doing.
-Revised Skill Order, found that I am again liking maxing Empower first.
-General revisions and small additions throughout the guide.

1.4.14:
-Working as fast as I can to get the guide into the new Beta format SoloMid has given us; also updates in pretty much every section of the guide.

8.10.14: MEGA SUPER SPECIAL AWESOME UPDATE BECAUSE REASONS

To-Do list:
*item list into new format
*lane matchups
*more in-depth teamfight and early/mid/late game chapters
*Working on getting the guide informative enough for approval!

Runes

~<|>~Marks~<|>~
Flat AD Marks assist in last-hitting in early game. Also improves damage on your Leap Strike, Counter-Strike, in addition to giving slightly more armour when you use your ultimate. These are the best in the slot for consistently strong gameplay or someone new to Jax.

~<|>~Seals~<|>~
Armour Seals are irreplaceable. The armour improves resistance from both champion AutoAttacks, Abilities, as well as minion damage. A lot of people underestimate the damage minion exposure can bring, but it is definitely something to pay attention to.

~<|>~Glyphs are a bit more open to interpretation.~<|>~
If you are new to Jax or if you're facing an opponent with a consistent source of magic damage, scaling magic resist glyphs are the best choice. Magic resist is also not typically integrated into a Jax build unless an opposing AP gets out of hand, so having them in your runes is never a bad idea.
Armour Glyphs are viable if you are going against a 3-4 AD team. The focus at that point is to keep the AP enemies down, since you have little MR.

~<|>~Quintessences are a mixed bag and more of a personal preference.~<|>~
Even after their nerf a few patches back, Lifesteal Quints still provide Jax with much needed sustain that he doesn't have built-in. These stay effective throughout the course of the game.

Flat AD Quints are another good option, again easier last-hitting during the early game, as well as some good scaling puts these to good use. Typically I use a combination of AD and Lifesteal Quints for some extra damage and the needed sustain.

Other reasonable options include Flat Health, Health Regen, Movespeed, Attack Speed, and even hybrid penetration. Any of these will work and are mostly based on preference and opposing team composition.

As your last-hitting gets better over time, I may suggest leaning away from AD Quints and replacing them with another Quintessence of your choice, which improves how well you can utilize your rune slots. REMOVING THE TRAINING WHEELS FROM THE BICYCLE OF LEARNING!

Masteries

mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 2/4
mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
9 Offense
mastery 1 1/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 2/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 3/3
mastery 1 3/3
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
21 Defense
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
0 Utility
I suggest new Jax players to start out with the 9/21/0 setup I've outlined here. You still gain a bit of damage output, but the greater survivability ensures you stick around to deal said damage. A good rule of thumb? A dead Jax does no damage. His base stats along with his strong scaling allows you to go this route and still be relevant early game.

Other reasons this may be your meal ticket:
-If you want a safer laning phase,
-If you know you're gonna end up either helping the tank with teamfights or being the tank yourself,
-Or if you want to stalemate your lane and make it a farmfest. (I like this one.)

The points in Offense get you some extra early AD to help with last hitting and trading with your lane opponent, as well as a minor AS boost and some sustain off last hits.

Summoner Sets

Primary Set
Is arguably the most useful Summoner Spell in the game. The ability to get in, get out, escape, re-position yourself, or make plays in the blink of an eye is simply too good to pass up. Even though having the ability to set a ward and jump to it is incredibly useful, Flash covers me in the event I either don't have a ward or I'm in a REALLY bad spot, as well as the endless other benefits it gives you.

Is excellent for picking apart those last few HP's you didn't hit, securing kills, etc. Ignite is meant to be a "fire and forget" sort of deal if used in such a fashion, so practice and get that down, and you'll find it more useful on any champion, not just Jax.
Also bring if you're against someone in lane with a lot of sustain, such as , , , , the list goes on. Oh, and of course for .
Ghost & Ignite
If you are comfortable with ward jumping or you are like me and like a lot of movement speed, then Ghost is for you. It allows you to avoid getting kited by opponents, and stick on them like Singed's StickyGlue. If need be, can be used to disengage from a fight, albeit not as nicely as Flash does. This choice really comes down to personal preference.
Flash & Teleport
I love running teleport; I feel like every team should have at least 2 people run it. I would only suggest using this if you are a more experienced Jax player and have good map awareness in order to make full use of this spell. The map control available to you with this spell is incredible. If you're facing a Shen top I highly advise taking this to keep fights around the map even. Winning your lane hard but bot isn't doing so hot and your jungler is getting shut out? Teleport to a ward in brush and EVERYTHING WILL BE K.
Ghost & Teleport
Same reasoning as Flash + Teleport, but running Ghost really comes down to personal preference.
Flash & Smite
Take Smite when jungling Jax, it helps in the early phases getting through your first few clears, in addition to absolutely needing it in order to secure buffs and large objectives later in the game such as Dragon and Baron.

Item Builds

Starting Build(s)
Safe, Tanky Start
Aggressive Start
Jungle Start
Sustain Start
Against Magic Damage
Dominion Start
3v3 Start
Against Heavy AD
Failsafe S2 Nostalgia
Initial purchases in either 3's or 5's:
sheen OR phage (For Trinity Force) OR bilgewater-cutlass (For Blade of the Ruined King OR Hextech Gunblade)
health-potion + sight-ward

If you are going to build BotRK before trinity-force, aim to get cutlass by first back, makes for a big power boost.

Midgame Core: mercurys-treads OR ninja-tabi + bilgewater-cutlass --> blade-of-the-ruined-king + phage/sheen --> trinity-force

If facerolling: nashors-tooth AND/OR ravenous-hydra

More detailed item information in the following section.
Final Build(s)
Standard Final Items
This is a very generic Jax build that fits in very well with the current meta. Jax will have a substantial amount of health, and his damage will be reasonable.

- gives you much needed sustain.
- gives a plethora of stats, primarily for the "Rage" passive as well as the procs.
- is a very nice item to counter the AD carry or that pesky . If you don't need the extra health, is an excellent alternative.
- is almost overkill in chasing terms. Combine the 40% slow with Rage passive, you can chase to the ends of the earth. NO ONE WILL ESCAPE.
- gives a reasonable amount of health & magic resist, as well as the improved healing passive, making this a very nice item.

This makes for an extremely solid build against a balanced team who doesn't really have a single outstanding player kicking your arse. But as you should always be doing, be observant and build what fits the game, adjusting necessary resistances accordingly.
Build Order

Situational/Alternative Items

Hextech Gunblade
Gunblade is your go-to item for extra overkill damage and sustain. My damage items usually stop here, with Trinity Force and BotRK already doing TONS OF DAMAGE.

Jax's W and ult passive are very tricky to classify in terms of proccing Spellvamp. They do, which is GOOD!

I would only build this if I am in a comfortable spot, this is a luxury item due to its high cost. Everything except for the Spellvamp stacks when purchasing more than 1, which defeats the purpose of building this twice for the ridiculous cost.
Ravenous Hydra
Having tested this item out, Ravenous Hydra is better than a Bloodthirster on Jax. BT Scales best on champs who build crit (hence why Trynd and ADC's build it,) but you're Jax, so you shouldn't be building directly towards crit. Hydra gives Jax drastically improved waveclear, and a fair chunk of Lifesteal to add to your . In skirmishes and fights, you can think of the active as a 5th skill. In order to make it worth your hard earned gold, you MUST be using the active constantly, otherwise you're missing out on the majority of the item's damage and sustain.

As OldManEyeBrows on Reign of Gaming says, "this is a 'win more' item." (For those of you who play Magic: The Gathering.)
The Black Cleaver
I tend to go for this over Last Whisper if the enemy isn't stacking some serious armour, roughly upwards of 125-150 armour. The health this gives, the slight AD advantage, and the CDR it gives make it more attractive then Last Whisper in many situations. CDR is OP on Jax, so try to fit it in wherever you can. There isn't a single stat wasted from this item, so I like it a lot.
Zephyr
This is a niche item I like. If you didn't/don't plan on buying Merc Treads, consider this item. Only build one or the other as the Tenacity passives don't stack. The offensive benefits are quite nice; extra attack speed helps you proc more ult passives in an extended teamfight, movespeed and tenacity helps you stick to enemies, and the extra 25 AD never hurt either. On paper it looks very nice, but I would only buy if you're *very* far ahead and looking for additional damage.

Math: Tenacity items and Masteries stack multiplicatively, so the 35% from Zephyr or Merc Treads and 15% from the Tenacious mastery gives you:

.35 x .15 = .4025 i.e. 40.25% effective tenacity.
Warmog's Armor
I have grown to like building this item early if I feel a big health steroid will benefit more than armour/magic resist. Typically against true damage and DoT effects.
Also if something I have noticed is the psychological effect of building a ton of health. Looking at health bars and seeing a ton of health gives off the feeling of intimidation, especially early game when really no one is exceptionally tanky. Build this or similar items early to win part of the mind game.

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Relentless Assault
QLeap Strike
WEmpower
ECounter Strike
RGrandmaster's Might
Max your Empower () first, it is great to get that on a nice CD early so you can trade more effectively with your lane opponent and make last-hitting a lot easier.

Max your Leap Strike () second, because having that on a nice CD makes you a lot more mobile in both teamfights and just around the map in general; you pose a greater threat if you're ganking as jungler, or say if you brought teleport and help bottom with a problematic matchup.

Lastly, max your Counter Strike (). The cooldown reduction per level is alright, but in the skirmishes I've experienced, the reduced cooldown of Counter Strike is outshined by the possible extra Empower damage. Playing safe will allow the cooldown to finish, and so you can safely invest in more Empower damage.

And always get your levels in Grandmaster's Might () whenever it's up.

Skills

Relentless Assault
I don't think Jax has a bread and butter skill per se, his whole kit works together to make the death machine that is a guy with a lamppost.

In my honest opinion I think the early levels of this passive are pretty lackluster compared to a lot of other common top lane picks. Late game though. Huehuehue. 84% additional attack speed for free after 6 stacks. What's not to like at that point?

This is a passive you want to abuse, which is the primary reason Guinsoo's Rageblade works well with him. Your passive and stack, giving a big AS boost. Drawn out trades are where Jax excels, and his passive as well as his is probably the biggest reason. You will want to build on it.
Leap Strike
I call this a mini-spammable-nuke. You will want to abuse the level 5 super low CD with some CDR items and jump people everywhere. With 40% CDR, it's up every 3.6 seconds. You're a fucking frog. With a brass lamppost. Such badassery.

Getting in range with Flash to pick off fleeing opponents with a Leap Strike is a good, simple trick to know if a kill is about to go to waste. You feel real good about getting those.

Also, a simple equation for a VERY useful trick that is hard to master:
+ =
If you can get ward-jumping down in tight situations, that's a feather in your cap. Well done.
Empower
This is nearly identical to your ultimate passive in terms of what it does. The AA timer reset is awesome when trying to push turrets down even though the magic damage doesn't go through. Having another AP-scaling damage skill (along with your and ) is what makes Jax so scary. Quite a few people underestimate the Magic damage Jax can deal, and the don't prepare for it. Then WHOMP, you smash them with + + passive in one hit. You opponent is thinking: WTF Y U DO DAMAGE WHEN I AM FUCKING BRICK
Counter Strike
This is pretty much the only reason Jax is able to get though early jungle clears. Considering this is the only skill left in the game with Dodge, it's also a big reason he's considered OP at times. You have to make the call of when to stun someone after activating this; whether you need the defense of a dodge or the offense of a stun. A good Jax will know exactly when to pop his . I highly advise NOT using this to farm, as it is a long CD and you are very susceptible to ganks if you don't have this.

Early game, this skill does tons of damage, so try your best to dodge 3-5 attacks and get damage and stuns down in the level-1 teamfights.
Grandmaster's Might
hehehe...hehe...
hit, hit, THWOMP
hit, hit, THWOMP

All there is to the passive. I like to trigger the 3rd hit using my to do a ton of damage instantly, and the enemy laner will be scared to even be around you.

When jungling, use the maximum damage of the passive on higher health creeps, I.E. don't waste it on nearly dead creeps that only need an AA to kill.

The active can be difficult to time when going into a teamfight; if you use it too early, everyone will avoid you until it wears off, and if used too late, you will likely get CC'd and killed. Don't be the initiator unless you absolutely have to, that's what tanks are for.

Early Game

I brushed on early game quite a bit in my rune and masteries sections; but here's a quick overview:

Lvl 1 teamfights: YOU STUN, YOU DO GUD. Jax's dodge has a very high base damage at level 1, and for each attack dodged that goes up by an additional 20%. You can easily take 1/3 of a squishy's health just with that during an invade.

Past that, be sure to farm farm farm. Jax builds are pricey and you can't afford stuff like that tower-diving and staying even with your opponent. Farm up, zone them out of farm, get yourself into a good position to maintain a lead in your lane.

Poking your opponent should only be done when there is minimal harm to you; it doesn't gain you any money, and there is potential farm loss as well.

And I'm sure it's cliché, but the point still stands:

WARDS SAVE LIVES

I can only imagine how many times I've been having a good laning phase, only to be ruined with a single quality gank from the enemy jungler when I hadn't warded my lane. It sucks. Get into the habit of buying at least one ward every back, if not two, so you can have one to jump to in a bad situation.

If you fall behind, make sure to let your team know that you're gonna be grinding farm a bit later than expected in order to catch up. They should be taking fewer risks as a result if they were relying on you for trying objectives on the map.

Farm is the most reliable form of gold, so make the most of every wave and do your best to get every one. Last hitting and lane control sound like simple concepts, but they're very important skills that take a lot of practice. Learning when to push, when to allow the lane to push toward your tower, and when/how to freeze the lane.

/**
*
*insert generic early game jibberjabber here
*
**/

Mid Game

I tend to define mid game as around level 9-11, where people are getting that second level on their ultimate abilities, and can start dealing a good bit more damage. At this point you find teamfights breaking out, both small and large alike.

If the enemy top laner leaves to join the fight, USE YOUR COMMON SENSE TO EITHER FOLLOW OR STAY PUT AT TOP.
Say a teamfight breaks out in mid when their jungler ganks, and your lane opponent leaves to follow. Use your best judgement to determine if it is worth your while to leave lane (FARM) for a small teamfight that can end up in either team's favor.

If they stick around in top lane, use your best judgement and use common sense. are your teammates doing fine without your help? Then by all means keep farming and possibly safely pushing your lane; continue to acquire currency. If they're falling back but you feel your presence can change it back in your team's favor, by all means head down to mid or wherever the fight is, and delete people with your stupid low CD's and high damage.

/**
*
*insert generic mid game jibberjabber here
*
**/

Late Game

Ah yes, late game. Jax the wonder-scalar. You can be considered a fairly sturdy melee carry at this point if you played safe and got plenty of farm to afford your many needs. Jax scales so nicely with items it's ridiculous. Just always remember that you're not the primary tank (generally,) so don't be the initiator unless necessary. You can't tank damage for long enough for your team to do deeps on them.

If you do need to tank, try to force small fights that Jax can handle; then you should be O.K.

Assault minimal health targets, acquire currency.

/**
*
*insert generic late game jibberjabber here
*
**/

Team Fights

Touched on this briefly in late game chapter.

You're not the tank. Don't even pretend to be the tank. It simply doesn't work.

Peel for, and protect your Carries, as they are the greatest source of your team's damage. Balance that with dealing damage to whatever is closest, and jumping to whatever is out of position and doing violent acts against them.

/**
*
*insert generic team fight jibberjabber here
*
**/

Finally

And that's pretty much it. Go win games.

If you read through this whole guide, I commend you with:

[http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v200/chrissypooh/peanutbutter_ecookie.jpg]

Comments

May 8, 2013 - 07:19 AM #1

Thanks for the tips. Yea, Q skill leveling first is optional, but this is my opinion on how to play/level as Jax. I like having that low CD so I have utility. Generally you *should* be doing enough damage without a leveled up empower to kill someone, but if you feel you lack that bit of damage, go for it.



Guinsoo's I build first if I'm snowballing early really well; otherwise I typically build Gunblade/Frozen mallet simultaneously. It's nice having tankiness early, as I'm sure you know.



I'll have to try 14-16-0 sometime. Like I said, I'm just an average LoL player so I still make mistakes, hehe.

May 7, 2013 - 07:52 PM #2

Nice guide, but... i see some weird things.First, Q priority skill order it is just an optional way if you feel like you need it in a low CD, in a normal way, maxing W is always the best skill to max, cost almost no mana and it is in a 3 seconds cooldown at max level, why not?And i know how powerful is Guinsoo´s if you got some early kills and you wanna snowball, but, as first item?i don´t see that clear.And maybe you should try 14-16-0 masteries, they work great on jax.Maybe in 3v3 you don´t have that many problems in mid game teamfights, but in 5v5, you need to get something like a randuins or a warmog after your early damage buy(for example imagine you bought guinsoo´s and phage).If instead of picking something for tankiness you finish your damage item(in this case trinity) you are gonna explode in 5v5 teamfights, your ult won´t be enough

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