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

by Achyllis (last updated 1 month ago)

66,690 Views 2 Comments
9
Greater Mark of Attack Damage(+8.55 attack damage)
9
Greater Seal of Armor(+12.69 armor)
9
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist(+1.35 magic resist per level (24.3 at champion level 18))
3
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal(+6% Life Steal)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details

Starting

Full Item Build

View Item Details
9
21
0
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/4
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

Still updating guide to reflect Patch 4.9 changes, but the information in the guide is still quite relevant.

Hello Solomid, my name is Achyllis, and I am your average player who is just starting to get into ranked Solo/Duo queue, and has roughly a 50/50 win/loss rate. 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, check another guide because I am no help in that department.

Also, I'm not the best at explaining teamfights and game phases; I'm sure there's a guide out there to help you in your quest.

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. If you leave a thumbs down, please let me know in the comments what I can improve on! Thanks!

Runes

-Flat AD Marks assist in last-hitting in early game. Also improves damage on all but one of your abilities. In my opinion there aren't any other options for this slot.

-Flat Armour Seals help in trades by improving defence from both champion damage, and also 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're facing an opponent with a source of magic damage (AP champs, magic damage passives, etc.) scaling magic resist glyphs are the best choice. Magic resist is also not typically integrated into a Jax build unless you specifically build items for it, so having them in your runes is never a bad idea.
Armour Glyphs are viable if you know you won't encounter an excessive amount of magic damage throughout the game.
If you know you won't have magic damage from your enemy laner, AP glyphs are lots of fun. Try them sometime for a bit of extra early game damage for your Q and W. Little extra defensive and offensive bonus for your ult never hurt either. If that is not the case, scaling magic resist is the best in the slot.

-Quintessences are a mixed bag and more of a personal preference. I have grown to really like LifeSteal Quints, but other options are Flat AD, Flat Health, Health Regen, Movespeed, and even hybrid penetration. Any of these will work and are mostly based on preference and opposing team composition.
I've been leaning away from AD Quints because my last-hitting has gotten much better over time(quite the concept, right?) and so I feel I can utilize the slots for something else, hence why I typically run LifeSteal Quints.

Masteries

mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/4
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
Going 9/21/0 hasn't changed from what I recommend going in Season 3. Pre-6 Jax does't have the durability from his ultimate which makes him fairly susceptible to ganks, and he just needs some improved defence overall. I would pick this setup for a number of reasons:

-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.

The points in Offense get you some extra early AD to help with last hitting and trading with your laning 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 or get out to escape or make plays in the blink of an eye is simply too good to pass up. Even though + = , having the ability to set the ward and jump to it is extremely time consuming in comparison to . Don't get me wrong, warding over a wall and jumping is incredibly useful, but I'm not that good yet, so I take to cover my bases. Flash allows me to get in range with my to pick off fleeing opponents. You feel real good about those.

Is excellent for picking apart those last few HP's you didn't hit, securing kills, etc. Getting the timing right is crucial though, to make sure that it is not a wasted summoner spell. Use it too early whilst chasing an opponent outside AA range is a waste; you'll never catch up and get those last 2-3 AA's in *after* ignite has finished. Ignite is meant to be a "fire and forget" sort of deal, so practice and get that down, and you'll find it to be a more useful spell, as opposed to just picking it up because everyone else is.
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 stick on opponents like Singed's StickyGlue, and if need be, let's you disengage from a fight fairly well, albeit not quite 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.
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)
Failsafe
Against Heavy AD
Jungle Start
Sustain Start
Against Magic Damage
Dominion Start
3v3 Start
Initial purchases in either 3's or 5's:
sheen OR phage OR bilgewater-cutlass + 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: ninja-tabi OR mercurys-treads + bilgewater-cutlass --> blade-of-the-ruined-king + phage --> trinity-force

If facerolling: nashors-tooth

More detailed item build information in the Item Build chapter.
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 large amount of health, and his damage will be reasonable. This makes for a good build against a balanced team who doesn't really have a single outstanding player kicking your arse.
Build Order
I like this build order starting with Blade of the Ruined King due to Jax's lack of innate sustain; it is something he needs very badly, so I make that a priority and build it first. Even if the enemy team isn't building a lot of health, the base stats are very good and scale very well with Jax's kit.

When building Trinity Force you have a couple options. If you want to stay a bit safer in lane, start with the Phage piece first. It gives some good health and also gives the Movement Speed buff. I am very happy with the changes Riot has made to this item, so it is never a bad idea to lead off with it. If you feel you're doing alright and just want more damage, start with a Sheen.

Past these two items, you really have to build situationally and go with the flow of the game. If your tank is able to soak up all of the enemy's cc, then building health and resistance should be less of a priority than damage. However, if you find yourself dying fairly quickly (and believe me, against certain lane matchups, you will), building some tanky items is definitely worth your while.

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
I have yet to test this in game to any extent, but from my reading, 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 crit. Jax's waveclear lacks in comparison to other top laners (Nasus has his Spirit Fire, Teemo has shrooms, etc.) so if you are in need a really good pushing item with a lot of sustain, this is your item.

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, this is the item you will want to pick up. Both Zephyr and Mercury Treads have the Unique Passive: Tenacity so you only want to build one or the other, not both. 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 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.
Lich Bane
Build this in place of Trinity Force if you are playing full AP Jax. The proc with your W does stupid damage all throughout the game. Think Fizz damage.

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.

This is a passive you want to abuse, which is the only reason I consider buying Guinsoo's Rageblade. Your passive and stack, giving a big AS boost. Drawn out trades are where Jax excels, and his passive 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.
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. Your opponents won't know what to think when they're duelling you with armour, thinking they all stronk, then WHOMP, have a possible + + passive in one hit. They be like WTF Y U DO DAMAGE WHEN I AM FUCKING BRICK
Counter Strike
This is pretty much the only reason Jax is viable in the jungle, because otherwise if he didn't have this, the early jungle clears would be a nightmare. It's also likely the reason he's considered OP at times. You have to make the choice of when to stop the dodge, and to start the stun; if you need the defence of a dodge or the offence 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
BOP
hit
hit
BOP

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 is a bit 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.

Guide Changelog

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.

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!

Will get to these as I have time, but here's the guide so far!

Item Builds

3v3 Starting Items: + +

Reasoning: I grab boots just like S2 and S3, movespeed is just always nice and with the "redistribution" of movement speed from boots into champion base movement speed, Tier 1 Boots are nice to have early and getting Tier 2 boots quickly makes for a nice all-around performance boost. As I mentioned in the Masteries and Rune sections, I believe that the majority of very early damage (i.e. level 1 teamfights) comes from AA's, so that's where the cloth armour comes in handy. I almost always build this into Ninja Tabi () later. Health Potions are almost always necessary to sustain yourself in lane since you have no innate methods unless you brought lifesteal quintessences. (Which I do recommend against a passive lane where you can harass well.) Keeping health potions in your inventory is never a bad idea, I keep a couple until roughly level 10-13, depending on how well I'm doing. Potions have saved my life from many a Teemo poison, amongst other things.

5v5 Starting Items: OR OR OR OR

Reasoning: Use the Hunter's Machete for jungling; I don't build Wriggle's anymore so I almost always start Cloth Armour and 5 Pots for jungling. Boots are still an OK start top, but I would only go with those if there are skillshots to be juked. Otherwise go Null-Magic Mantle if against an AP champ, Cloth Armour if against a heavy AD champ, and I have grown to like Doran's Shield if against someone with DoT effects or a combination of any of the 3(i.e. Darius, Teemo, the like.)

1st Back Options:

Depending on how you feel your laning phase will go, grab either:

if you want to build first,

--OR--

/ if you want to build first.

Always make sure to grab some and some for vision and sustain in lane.

Assuming you're playing safely and avoiding ganks, try to aim for either the Cutlass or a Triforce piece by your first back, as getting a big-ish item early in the laning phase can make your life a lot easier and help you snowball a lot earlier into mid and late game.

Sometimes with some games, I find myself building pieces of both items simultaneously, Cutlass is unavoidable for the sustain it gives, and phage for tankiness. Early Sheen for the lolz and extra damage.

After that, I build whatever fits the game. Does the tank need help sharing the pain? Help out with a tanky item of your choice. He's doing alright or someone else has assisted him in that department? Feel free to build damage to help you on your quest of destroying squishy targets. A combination of both build paths is what I find myself doing most games.

Typically I find that building some AP early when my lane opponent is building armour helps immensely since he hasn't built against it. (Helps against those Darius and Malphite lanes.)

TL;DR: Build BotRK & Triforce -> something tanky -> moar damage -> moar damage OR tanky item.

Other Viable Items
: Lots of armour, mana, and the awesome passive that helps you on your mission to kill enemy carries. This is near-core on Jax in my opinion.

: The stats are good on Jax; the only thing keeping me from buying it is the wasted passive since you already have it from , and that one is better. Up to personal preference if you want to build it.

: Getting this once you start getting focused is an excellent buy not just for the passive but obviously from the armour and MR.

: Always a good choice if unsure how things are going; more damage to the enemy never hurt anybody. Wait...

: I actually really like using this on Jax; free CC, health, and armour. What more can you ask for?

: It's ok, it's another niche item if the enemies are stacking armour out the Wazzu.

: HUEHUEHUE COUNTER ALL THE AP'S

: Another item I almost consider core on Jax, although only if I'm going AP + Attack Speed route.

: BOP ULT HURT

: Second only to Sword of the Occult in terms of top AD, BT is definitely the way to go to enhance your sustainability and damage output.

: For 3v3's, substitute for Bloodthirster and Ravenous Hydra.

: I LOVE THIS FUCKING ITEM

: Substitute for Rabadon's in 3v3. BOP

: Good stats for an AP-oriented Jax, armour never hurt either.

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

Past that, just 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.

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.

/**
*
*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 rape face 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 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 tank (generally,) don't be the initiator if you don't have to. 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 your AD Carry, all the while putting tons of damage down on whatever is closest, and jump to whatever is out of position and kill it.

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

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

Finally

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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