IntroductionJax is very well known for when your striving towards level 30 for being 'OP', especially in Twisted Treeline - however as you progress, people tend to think as him being less of a threat and is hardly played in higher ranked games - it's rare you see a jax in ranked games (unless it's twisted treeline)
Recently Jax had his Q nerfed to 0.7 Ratio instead of 1.0 Ratio, which was a very large nerf especially to his early game as stacking AD runes is no longer as beneficial as it used to be. However the Riot staff have mentioned they will be looking over this nerf and giving it a rework 'soon(tm)' - So i'll be holding out for that!
EDIT: With the change of the ratio back to 1.0 and the 15~ damage nerf to his Q, stacking AD runes (with offensive masteries is viable again) However I do not like to go a full 'offensive' Jax as I prefer the tankyness which my build offers, while still outputting considerable damage.
Jax is still very viable, especially as a top solo - I believe hes very strong when playing the tanky/bruiser type.
MasteriesRegarding the masteries, some people prefer to go offense - however those people also like to build on Jax. It's just a different play style as I don't build a Rageblade and much prefer to go tanky. Obviously you will make sure to pick up the nimbeless mastery in defense - one of the most important on Jax whether you chose to go 9/21/0 or 21/9/0.
Defensive masteries scale very well into late game, especially on Jax (The extra Ability Power/Attack Speed %) as well as 4% damage reduction. Making sure to pick up the magic penetration aswell, as a large portion of your damage is magic.
RunesThe runes can be debatable, I know some people still stick with AD Runes though. Before the patch as I said Jax had a 1.0 ratio on his however it is only 0.7 now, which means stacking AD runes is less viable and you should think more about your mid-late game when deciding runes.
EDIT: I have altered my rune pages slightly - I have 2, one which is for being against Melee and another against an AP.
When considering summoner spells, your going to want to take reguardless - thats a given. + makes for some very good escapes and kills alike.
Now, more debatable is the - When taking exhaust, you must make sure to pick up 'Cripple' (improved exhaust) in offensive tree. I like exhaust alot, because if your opponent engages you when your low - you can exhaust them and lifesteal back up.
Or when you leap onto the enemy carry in teamfights you can R->Q->W->E->Exhaust->Gunblade->Q->W and it generally means the enemy carry is dead or atleast completely forced out of the teamfight.
Some people will want to run , it's personal preference - however I prefer to shutdown the enemy carry in team fightw when I leap ontop of them - I don't want them doing any damage to my team (or atleast have it reduced until I force them out of the fight).
Passive: Equipment Mastery
Jax's prowess with weapons and armor increase his fortitude as he gains equipment. Jax gains 3 health per point of Attack Damage and 2 health per point of Ability Power received from items.
This in my opinion, is a VERY powerful passive and is one of the reasons Jax is so strong - because the damage items you get, the 'tankier' you become. Not neccesarily true, but you can take more burst because you gain more HP. Which is why I like to get some resistances to co-incide with his large HP base.
Q: Leap Strike
Jax leaps towards a target. If it's an enemy, he attacks it and deals an additional 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 / 150 (+70% of attack damage) (+70% of ability power) magic damage.
Cooldown 13 / 11 / 9 / 7 / 5 seconds
Cost 65 mana
This is the ability which I max first, it's a large portion of Jax's damage and it is also a great gap closer and escape mechanism - Having it on a lower cooldown is very beneficial.
Jax charges his weapon with energy, causing his next attack to deal 75/110/145/180/215 (+40% ap and 40% bonus ad) bonus magic damage.
As most jax players know, when you leap and have your W activated - they both deal damage at the same time when you leap - you should pretty much always do these 2 in conjunction together.
However another way to use your 'W' skill - is to use it together with your 3rd autoattack (when your ultimate procs) to deal considerable damage which the opponent will not expect.
E: Counter Strike
Passive: Increases Jax's dodge chance by 10 / 12 / 14 / 16 / 18%.
Active: Jax stuns surrounding enemies for 1 second and deals 80 / 100 / 120 / 140 / 160 (+60% of ability power) magic damage to them.
Usable only within 7 seconds of dodging an attack.
The notorious 'bubble' around jax is really powerful, it makes him very strong in 1v1's especially because of his low cooldowns - Be conservative of when you use this, as the enemy starts to run - or starts to chase you for example. Don't spam it whenever it is up - it is also amazing if you can have this proc'd pre team fight and Leap strike right onto their carry and stun him.
R: Relentless Assault
(passive) Jax's basic attacks increase his attack speed by 6 / 10 / 14% for a short duration, and hitting the same unit 2 consecutive times enhances Jax's next attack for 140 / 170 / 210 (+70% of ability power) bonus magic damage. Attack speed stacks up to 10 times.
(active) Grants 20/35/50 + Jax's dodge percent in bonus magic resistance for a short time upon activation.
Cooldown 60 seconds
Cost 80 mana
The ultimate rework they did on Jax is really powerful. When you get to level 6, you become a force to be reckoned with :) Auto attack creeps twice, then the enemy champion (combining it with your W) It does a really nice amount of damage.
Your ultimate is also VERY strong when leaping into a team fight, activate it and jump in - soak up ALL of the enemys burst, then leap/flash out (if you have to) - try get a stun off if you can before getting out. This is what I really like about Jax, he can soak up so much damage jump out and then go back in again with relative ease.
Skill OrderIf you are purple team, then you may want to consider getting first - It's my most common first skill, as it helps protect against the early ganks - especially from junglers like Jarvan, Fiddlesticks, amumu - who may try and gank top early.
I may start with sometimes, it depends on who I'm laning against (and if I am blue team) - I would take E first on blue team against Irelia for example.
You should make sure you have your Q + W + E by level 4 ( with 2 points in Q)
-> -> ->
Early GameAt this point, your pretty weak (mostly because of the nerfs on Jax's ratio's) and as such you should try and play it safe - at least until level 4, when you have all your skills and can knock out a combo.
You can harass a little bit, but make sure you don't go out of mana as your leap and stun make for excellent escape abilities if you need to use them.
If you see your jungler coming to gank your lane, try and build up a stun (auto attack your opponent and all minions will attack you) this will proc your E, so you have a stun ready. Once you have the stun ready, back off a little bit so your opponent comes closer and then when your think hes close enough - PING to notify your jungler your going in, leap and stun your opponent.
Concentrate on farming if you can, Jax's ultimate is pretty strong but it's not that amazing until level 11 - You really want to farm for your (or at least the so you have some sustainability in lane)
Mid GameBy mid game, you should aim to have your - it is such a powerful item on Jax and if the game is running pretty even - you can pretty much 1v1 anyone. Don't be afraid to harass your opponent if your still in lane and don't be afraid to chase people down as at this point you will be doing alot of damage and have a lot of crowd control. ( + + and case down / run away)
This is where you should be picking up your kills, get involved in team fights and look for fights - This will allow you to snowball into lategame.
Late Game / TeamfightsThere are a few champions that are known as strong 'Late Game' champions and Jaximus is one of them, among Yi & Tryndamere. However one of the major benefits of Jax is that he doesn't depend on farming all game like Yi and Tryndamere as he is naturally strong due to his amazing skill set.
You should be very strong and by now should have :
+ + +
You will be able to leap straight into the middle of a team fight, even starting one - just make sure you activate your ultimate as your leaping / just before to negate any damage you take on approach. Exhaust the enemy carry and apply your Q/W/E and flash out if you need to (You will probally have taken most of the enemys burst) - But because of Jax's high HP and the Resists incorporated into my build you are very tanky.
If you still have enough health, jump back into the fight straight onto the enemy carrys and shut them down, stop them getting from hitting your team and get in there face. You can soak up and deal so much damage, so drawing attention from their carrys is good for your team.
I have made several quadra and penta kills with jax late game - because he is simply amazing late game, especially with my build if it's an even game.
Final CommentsMost important is to play pretty passive - but understand how much damage you can do and how much you can take - theres a very fine balance.
I will try and add some videos to this guide to show you how I play Jax in ranked solo queue sometimes. There may already be a video or two of me playing jax on my channel at www.own3D.tv/Snoopeh/ - which you can check out, or just watch my stream! :)
Enjoy Jaximus Maximus - as much as i do !