Jarvan IV Build Guide

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[Update-03/31/2011] Jarvan IV - Let the hunt begin!

written by Killcat

Jarvan IV Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Hello summoners,

    this guide represents my personal experience with Jarvan and suits my playing style in the team as well as in the game. Since English isn't my mother tongue and I haven't written a proper text in English for while, don't look for mistakes otherwise you will find them. This is my first guide, so don't be to harsh on your comments. And while at home fixing my PC I finally have the time to write this guide.

    I hope that I can give you some advice and tips how to play Jarvan.

    Let's begin with a summary of his spells.

  • Change Log & coming soon

    Change Log

    03/14/2011 - Guide goes online
    03/15/2011 - Added a chapter on: Combination of &
    - Added a chapter on: The use of
    - No update on this guide necessary for patch v1.0.0.113
    03/18/2011 - Added chapter on : How armor penetration/reduction works
    03/30/2011 - Missed chance due to patch v1.0.0.113 added
    - more examples and reasoning added in chapter How armor penetration/reduction works
    - Added a chapter Solo lane
    03/31/2011 - Corrected some calculations

    Coming soon

    Additional chapter:
    - Laning phase
    - vs
    - Laning partner
    (- How to jungle Jarvan) --> maybe
    (- Taking mid lane with Jarvan) --> maybe

  • Abilities

    Martial Cadence
    Jarvan IV's attacks deal 10% of the target's current Health as magic damage (max: 400 damage). This effect cannot occur on the same target for 6 seconds.

    His passive is great for an early harassment as well as for lasthiting minions.

    Dragon Strike
    Jarvan IV extends his lance, dealing physical damage and lowering the Armor of all enemies in its path. Additionally, this will pull Jarvan to his Demacian Standard, knocking up enemies in his path.

    The initial manacost is 40 (+5 per additional skilllevel), while the damage puts itself together from 70 (+50 per additional skilllevel) and the damage gained from items times a ratio of 1.1 constant at any skilllevel.

    In combination with it can initiate a fight, can make the kill or can be used to escape. Note, that this skill has armorreduction %! This is an important fact, which I will explain later on in the build chapter.

    Golden Aegis
    Jarvan IV calls upon the ancient kings of Demacia to shield him from harm and slow surrounding enemies. DOESN'T automatically trigger anymore if damage would reduce Jarvan IV below 300 Health if it is not on cooldown since last patch.

    The manacost is constant at 75 while the extra healtgain is 50 (+50 per additional skilllevel) and 20 (+5 per additional skilllevel) for every surrounding enemy. The slow starts by 15% (+5% per additional skilllevel) for 2 seconds constantly.

    This skill can either be used aggressive or defensive. In both way the slow is the key point, however the healboost is also a psychological boost in a 1vs1. It's important that you don't cast this spell to early in fight due to his high cooldown.

    Demacian Standard
    Jarvan IV carries the pride of Demacia, passively granting him bonus attack speed and armor. Activating Demacian Standard allows Jarvan IV to place a Demacian flag, granting these benefits to nearby allies.

    The manacost is constant at 60 as well as the cooldown. It grants an attackspeedbonus of 10% (+4% per additional skilllevel) and an armorbonus of 10 (+4 additional per skilllevel). On impact at deals 60 (+50 per additional skilllevel) magic damage in a small area. For your interest, the AP-ratio is 0.8, but due to the fact that Jarvan isn't build AP, it is negligible. The flag and therefore the bonus for allied champions lasts 8 seconds constantly.

    This spell not only works great in combination with , but also the bonus for allies is quite nice and helps nicely to push enemy towers. Also it can be used to scout bushes or ways on your lane, for example to safeguard yourself against enemy ganks.

    Jarvan IV heroically leaps into battle with such force that he terraforms the surrounding area to create an arena around them.

    The pysical damage dealt by this ulti is 200 (+150 per addiotinal skilllevel) and Jarvan's attack damage times a ratio of 1.5. The cooldown decreases from 120 seconds by 15 seconds per additional skilllevel, while the manacost increase from 100 by 25 mana per additional skilllevel.

    His Ultimate actually sounds greater than it is. While that? I will explain that later in an extra chapter. But once again, this spell can be used in many ways.

  • Runes, Masteries and Summoner spells

    In this section I will show you, which set of runes I use and how I set my masteries.

    Let's begin with the runes:

    As Quintessence I use 3x
    As Marks I use 9x
    As Seals I use 9x
    As Glyphs I use 9x

    The healtboost from runes is necessary to use my following mastery setup. I tried other rune setups but none of them worked for me as good as this one.

    In masteries I take the classic 21/0/9. Since you got health from runes, you can choose an aggressive mastery setup.

    As you can see from my masteries I use and . Why should be self-explanatory by now.

    Since this guide does'nt include a chapter on how to jungle with Jarvan, I leave out a summary of alternative summonerspells.

  • Skillingorder

    How you skill Jarvan's spells varies with the flow of the game. Mostly however I can use my main skillingorder which goes like this:

    I start with and take at level 2. This allows you against lowhealth champions a really high and fast damage output and often an easy kill or even first blood. At level 4 I pick for the first time, because it feels much saver to have it ready when you need it. It saved my ass several times already. Then I maximise after level 6 first, to have a high damageoutput as well as armorreduction. Since you want to survive your initiation I max second and last but not least . 2 points in until level 15 is enough in my opinion, because I use this spell for it combination with rather than it's damage.

  • Itembuild

    Starting item(s)

    There are several possibilities how you can begin. I like to start with a , because it gives you health regeneration, armor and health. Since you leave out the defensive masterypath is a quite good substitution for that. You can also start with the following item combinations:

    - and 3
    - and 5
    - and 2

    A tried them all, but only really convinced me.

    1st trip back

    Try stay as long as possible on your lane until you got at least 1,200 gold. When you go back grab . Since you have armor from it is time to get some magic resistance too. At this point I beg you do not buy . I have already seen several Jarvan builds, who took this boots, but you dont want to have an high attackspeed at this point, you want to survive and make killig you as hard as possible. The next item I'm going for is . This item is in my opinion a must-have in any Jarvan build, because it gives you health, armor and magic resistance plus a nice aura for your team. With this item the chance of surviving your ultimate is much higher. I tried many other builds but none worked as good as this using . I normally start with a . Depending on how the game goes, I get or . If I can't buy all of it, I buy 2 . My build after the first trip back looks normally something like this:

    [builder=Jarvan IV/1cec73966101f9a5341203a655db0b02]

    Finishing your core build

    After you have finished , go for [item_icon=Stark's Fervor]. You might ask why. You got already one aura, so why not a second one. It gives lifesteal to your team and has a flat armor reduction of 20. On top of that it boosts your attack speed and healt regeneration. Can you imagine all this combined in one item? Yes, because you know how great [item_icon=Stark's Fervor] is. I start with , but most of the time I can immediately buy [item_icon=Emblem of Valour]. At this point, most games have ended, therefore I consider this my core build. However there are games, where I can finish my build. My core build looks as follows:

    [builder=Jarvan IV/e3cfd2025c4c022c15edb3979289a483]

    The complete build

    The next item you want to get is . For a while I thought would be more effective, but some calculation proved me wrong. Since then I go for the . For that I get first in order to maximise my damage output. If the game is still going, I make the first time my next item dependable on the enemy team. If they have more caster, I get , however if they have more DPS champions I go for . I either start with or .
    My last item will always be . It gives you some more armor as well a nice boost in your damage, which will increase the damage of and significantly.

    So your final build vs. caster team should look like this:

    [builder=Jarvan IV/9f98c6b3eec5c3f617ee65fcf2a28819]

    If you play vs. DPS team it should something like this:

    [builder=Jarvan IV/ebe8874e7af56698c2a46fff1dbb35d5]

  • Solo lane

    Since there has been a new jungler, I had the chance to try Jarvan playing the solo lane - 1vs1 and 1vs2.

    1 vs. 2

    I don't change anything in case of skilling order, starting item or general item build. However what you love as being Jarvan, are greedy enemies. If you play versus burst or stun, don't risk too much, because you might get killed. However, if there is a squishy champion laning against you and he is supported by a tank like Mundo or Malphite, harass the squishy one. Try to use your and as much as possible. The rest of the time focus on last hitting minions. For a sucessful gank it is important that you let them do the pushing. As longer the way to their tower is as more likely it is that the gank will be sucessful. If they harass you when you try to last hit, stay back and just grab the EP. As the game goes on, it might happen that the other enemy lanes start ganking, feel free to get a . On the other hand tell any miss, even so they might just hide in a bush on your lane. A miss call too many is better than a dead ally.

    1 vs. 1

    Once again I don't change my starting build/item. However depending who you play against I vary my playing style. I always try to get him at low health using and . Therefore it is important, that you let do him/her the last hitting, so that when you attack, you don't get too much damage dealt by the minions. When you suceed with this tactic change to last hitting and keeping him out of EP range. For a 1 vs. 1 lane it is even more important to get a . Before that, check the bush at the river site using . When your jungler gets ask him to put his ward in your bush. When you lose sight of that bush due to disappearance of the ward, fall back. By that move you save yourself for being ganked and maybe you make the enemy gready, what should be his dead by a sucessful gank of your jungler.

    As time goes by I will add a section on 1 vs 1 enemies and what you should take into account playing against them.

  • Dragon Strike & Demacian Standard

    In this chapter I'm going to explain the several ways of using and . As I said before, you can use the combination of both spells in a defensive or offensive way. Let's start with the offensive combination which you hopefully will use most of the time

    Offensive Combination

    After you have reached level 2, you are ready to use this combinations, as long as you follow my skillingorder. It is important that you don't cast to far away, because otherwise won't reach the flag. You will learn that will playing with Jarvan. If you want to test the range of the combination, try it in a custom game. It is also important that you don't cast the spells too fast one after another, because it happened to me, that the flag hadn't been placed while casting .However, you will learn that too while playing as Jarvan.

    Laning phase

    Depending on your laning partner you can grab some easy early kills using this combinations. The best way of doing that is by leting the enemy team push towards your tower. When in tower range place behind your target enemy champion and then cast . This works great on 'towerdivers'in my experience.
    However, when you want to towerdive, you can use this combination in order to make the kill or get out of tower range afterwards.
    When at level 4 it is important not to cast too early otherwise you waste valuable time of the slowduration.

    Midgame & ganking

    The importance during this time of the game is that you never initiate a teamfight with and . Use to do that, because if your team somehow misses to help you, you can always use and to escape while the enemy is caged in

    Remember: Always cast while pushing a tower or inhibitor to grant your allies a attackspeed bonus!

    Should you at some point get hold of a blue buff, use and to tear enemy minion waves down. Therefore you place onto the caster minions and let them fligh to heaven using . Don't do that, if don't have the blue buff otherwise you will miss the mana when you really need it.

  • Cataclysm and how to use it...

    His ultimate is nice, but easily can you or a teammate get killed. So I try to explain how to use properly, but still I fail sometimes.

    Using Cataclysm in a teamfight

    Always make sure before casting that you won't cage a allied champion with low health. Otherwise the enemy champion will focus him rather then you. If you notice, that you can't kill the enemy champion alone while is up, break at as soon as possible. If your team has enough range champions: Cast on an enemy champion, who has neither or a spell like . Then place outside the cage and get the hell out of there using . If possible hit the enemy champion in the air.

    Using Cataclysm on greedy champions

    Case I: When at low health an enemy champion tries to towerdive you let him hit you once, cast and get out of the cage with & while watching the tower killing him (hopefully).

    Case II: Imagine you get ganked by Warwick. Cast again , get out of there using & and laugh at him while you get out of there. If he runs after you, cast if possible in towerrange and when & are already ready to cast, feel free to send him up the air once more.

    Overall you see that you can use all of Jarvan's spells offensively or defensively. It's your choice.

  • How armor penetration/reduction works

    Since I saw several comments asking how armor penetration and reduction works, I will show you with some following examples. The order of effects is:

    1. Armor reduction %
    2. Armor reduction flat
    3. Armor penetration flat
    4. Armor penetration %
    (Source: More infos here)

    I will update this example section later, when I got more time. However there have been discussions, why flat before %. Here is why:

    Example 1:

    % before flat:

    150 armor * .6 = 90 armor
    90 armor - 15 (marks) - 6 (mastery) = 79 armor

    Reduction: 47,4%

    flat before %:

    150 armor - 15 -6 = 129 armor
    129 armor * .6 = 77,4 armor

    Reduction: 48,4%

    Example 2:

    % before flat:

    90 armor * .6 = 54 armor
    54 armor - 21 = 33 armor

    Reduction: 63,3%

    flat before %:

    90 armor - 21 = 69 armor
    69 armor * .6 = 41,4 armor

    Reduction: 54%

    If it is % before flat, champions with low armor would melt like butter, while with increasing armor the armor reduction would get more inefficient. However the intention is to incerease the effect of armor reduction for increasing armor. Therefore it is flat before %.

    Therefore the order of armor reduction/penetration is the following for my build:

    1. Armor reduction by 26 % caused by .
    2. Armor redution by 20 due to [item_icon=Stark's Fervor].
    3. Armor reduction by 15 due to the first stack of .
    4. Armor penetration by 21 caused by and masteries.
    5. Armor reduction by 15 for each following stack of .

    I show you the effect by the following example. Let's assume you fight 1vs1 against a tank like for example amumu carrying heavy armor worth 200 armor. Therefore he reduces the taken damage at the beginning by 67%. I going to show you now the reduction process one time step by step. For any other example I will go straight to the result.

    1. 200 armor * .74 = 148 armor
    2. 148 armor - 20 = 128 armor
    3. 128 armor - 15 = 113 armor
    4. 113 armor - 21 = 92 armor
    5. 92 armor - 2*15 = 62 armor

    Total reduction = 138 armor or 69%

    Note: If your attack speed isn't high enough and the effect of expires before you can hit the target for a 3rd time. Then the result of reduction/penetration would be the following:
    200 armor - 20 - 15 - 21 - 30 = 114 armor

    In a case of a caster with no armor at all, here Veigar:

    Base armor at level 18: 79.95 armor --> step 1. to 5. --> -26.84 armor --> armor reduction: 106.79 armor or 133.6% --> damage taken: 1.21 * your attack damage. Note: Even without the effect of you would keep Veigar's armor constantly at -6.05 armor.

    Note: When you want to prove this calcutlation in a game, take into account that the value of armor penetration isn't shown in the enemie's armor value.

  • Some last words

    If you made it to this chapter, thank you for reading my guide. If you have any questions or suggestions post them and I will try to answer them as soon as possible. Since I don't have so much free time at the moment it might take a while until I add the additional chapters, so please be patient.

    At this point I want to thank my friends, who still kept playing with me, even when I sometimes fed trying new builds and skillings.

    So far,


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