Jarvan IV Build Guide

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Jarvan IV, The Solo Top Beast

written by Hepodix

Jarvan IV Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    This is my short guide to explain how Jarvan IV works in solo top lane.
    All of my experience are based on EU Solo Ranked and the players ratings goes around 1700-2100ish.
    All the details in this guide are personally MY OPINIONS, but suggesting better item choises for example to the comments are totally welcome!

  • Abilities

    Martial Cadence
    Jarvan IV's first attack on a target deals 10% of their current Health as bonus magic damage (max: 400 damage). This effect cannot occur on the same target for 6 seconds.

    Really strong passive especially against High HP laners such as Shen or Malphite.

    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.
    Jarvan IV extends his lance, dealing 70/120/170/220/270 (+) physical damage and lowering the Armor of all enemies in its path by 10/14/18/22/26% for 3 seconds.

    If it contacts his standard it will pull Jarvan IV to its location, knocking up enemies in his path.

    Cost: 40/45/50/55/60 Mana
    Range: 770

    Your main harassment spell, the so called "bread and butter". Does nice amounts of physical damage and totally rapes the squishies off! Watch out to use it too frequently in case you need to escape or interrupt a spell with it.

    Golden Aegis
    Jarvan IV calls upon the ancient kings of Demacia to shield him from harm and slow surrounding enemies.
    Jarvan IV forges a 50/100/150/200/250 (+20/25/30/35/40 health for each nearby enemy champion) health shield for 5 seconds, which slows surrounding enemies by 15/20/25/30/35% for 2 seconds.

    Cost: 75/75/75/75/75 Mana
    Range: 600

    This ability can be used either offensively or defensively and synergies very well with Randuin's Omen.

    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.

    Passive: Jarvan IV has 10/14/18/22/26% bonus Attack Speed and 10/14/18/22/26 bonus Armor.

    Active: Jarvan IV throws a Demacian flag to a nearby area, dealing 60/110/160/210/260 (+0.8) magic damage to enemies, and granting surrounding allied champions his passive bonus for 8 seconds.

    Cost: 60/60/60/60/60 Mana
    Range: 830

    Your support spell in team fights; It really reminds me a Summoner Spell [spell_icon=Rally][spell_text=Rally]. The flag itself does decent damage too and it can be also used to reveal brushes. The most important factor with this spell is that when you land Demacian Standard to the ground and coordinate your Dragon Strike into the flag, Jarvan IV will charge to the flag and knocks everyone to the air whoever are in his way! Another good trick is to capture enemy with Cataclysm and use the above method to escape from the circle instead of deactiviting it and letting the ones suffer inside whoever you caught there!

    Jarvan IV heroically leaps into battle with such force that he terraforms the surrounding area to create an arena around them.
    Jarvan IV heroically leaps at an enemy champion, dealing 200/350/500 (+) physical damage and creating an arena of impassable terrain around them for 3.5 seconds.

    Activate again to collapse the wall.

    Cost: 100/125/150 Mana
    Range: 650

    This ability makes you a little assassin, but not as cheeky as Shaco for instance. Make sure you are trying to focus their most squishiest targets in order to get biggest effort from this spell. Also keep a look to the enemy's abilities, because with the spells like Valkyrie or Riftwalk they can easily escape from the Cataclysm. Otherwise it is a death trap and most of the time it will guarantee a kill for your team. However if you happen to fail the initiation you can always cancel the circle by pressing the active button again. Also note that if opponents don't have any teleport-mechanism ability, they can still have Summoner Spell Flash in their sleeves!

  • Summoner Spells

    Ghost 5/5 and Teleport 5/5
    Pretty standard choise when playing solo top lane.
    Reason for Teleport is that since you are far away from team, you NEED to get yourself into the action as fast as possible (or use it to go back to the top lane and farm). Teleporting into early-game Dragon or Golem/Lizard fights guarantees a higher chanse of success to win the teamfight.

    Other options:
    Smite 5/5
    Makes Jarvan IV a completely viable jungler. However I am not digging deeper into this issue since my experience is based on laning in a top lane.

    Exhaust 4/5
    Good option to 'disable' enemy team's AD or AP carry or whoever is fed and needs to be taken care off. There should be always at least one Exhaust per team.

    Ignite 4/5
    Not a bad option either. As mentioned above, there should be also one Ignite per team as well, but preferable that your team's AP Carry has this.

    Flash 4/5
    A fine replacement for Ghost. However, is it really good idea to waste Ghost in order to get past one wall or obstacle? Or why not take both of them? It's up to you!

    Cleanse 3/5
    Good Summoner Spell against heavy crowd control teams, but I personally go for the Quicksilver Sash than spending summoner spell slot for Cleanse. Main reason for this is because there are spells such as Nether Grasp or Infinite Duress that cannot be cancelled via Cleanse so concluding this matter Quicksilver Sash makes more effort with it's +56 Magic Resistance and a cheap price of 1440 Gold.

    NOTE:Quicksilver Sash removes ALL kinds of debuffs from your character such as Ignite or the most hated ability Children of the Grave so it is really worth giving it a shot sometimes!

    Clairvoyance 3/5
    Every good team has this spell for good map awareness and to counter early-game ganks. In case your team doesn't have support or your support player is retarded and refuses to take Clairvoyance, consider to take it, because it makes you a better team player. League of Legends is team-based game after all!

    NOTE: You should always have at least one mobility Summoner Spell, either Flash or Ghost

  • Masteries

    For masteries I go for standard 0/21/9.
    I find Offense spec too greedy and Utility too 'cheap' because of it's weak defense points.

    NOTE: Remember to get other improved summoner spells if you don't take the ones I am suggesting!

  • Runes

    Marks: Greater Mark of Desolation x9
    Seals: Greater Seal of Evasion x9
    Glyphs: Greater Glyph of Clarity x9
    Quintessences: Greater Quintessence of Strength x3

    NOTE: With these runes you get the Mana Regeneration you need, Dodge Chance wich synergies well with [mastery_icon=Nimbleness][mastery_text=Nimbleness] and Physical Damage output.
    I've found these runes best by so far for Jarvan IV.

  • Items

    1. There are two viable starting items for Jarvan IV:

    A)Doran's Shield
    Gives you fine amounts Health, Armor and Health Regeneration for early-game.

    B)Cloth Armor + Health Potion x5
    This option is also fine and utilizes for a cheaper [item_icon=Heart of Gold][item_text=Heart of Gold].


    2. After your first recall, you should have at least money to gain [item_icon=Heart of Gold][item_text=Heart of Gold]. However if you cannot afford it, just take Boots of Speed and a few Health Potions. Buying one Sight Ward isn't bad condiment either, if you are pushing the lane and/or you are aware of enemy jungle/mid ganks.


    3. Second recall is starting to tell you how well you have managed to last hit the enemy minions and/or have you possibly also gain any kills? If the answer is positive and you got some good amounts of money it is time to buy Boots of Speed if you don't have them yet and The Brutalizer. If you can't afford The Brutalizer yet, just take 1-2Long Sword.


    4. After 2-4 recalls depending your success you should have a build like this:
    [builder=Jarvan IV/1ecace4dcab1b0072516d6efbf224192]


    5. As the game progresses further you want to upgrade your Boots of Speed to either of the following:

    A)Mercury's Treads
    These boots you will be buying most of the time, because of it's awesome crowd control reduction and magic resistance bonus.


    B)Ninja Tabi
    If the enemy team is very strongly based on Physical Damage, Dodge + Armor bonus helps alot and overextends Mercury's Treads.


    6. After upgrading the boots it is time to finish your The Brutalizer and [item_icon=Heart of Gold][item_text=Heart of Gold]. If you are doing good and want to manage some damage, upgrade your The Brutalizer first into Youmuu's Ghostblade. However if you feel you are getting your ass handed to them, it is better to finish off Randuin's Omen first. After getting these items your build should look like this:

    [builder=Jarvan IV/045c24a43cbd772a1ca3820cabcfff95]

    [builder=Jarvan IV/e278feea02befe82fe5735e82ef6e2a7]


    7. Now it is time to think is their AD or AP side more fed? After you finded out the answer you will have to build the most corresponding way as possible. I will give a build examples how to counter each side the most effectively: (The new items are in suggested buying order)

    [builder=Jarvan IV/ec2814d9c0f747949198dc87f9a39d4d]

    [builder=Jarvan IV/6c3002d51a8f355ad1f18f8928d01370]

    [builder=Jarvan IV/ccdcccc419969e2dbb79ef7119f77cc4]

    [builder=Jarvan IV/e82b0da9bef91c8ad215f3696727cdf6]

    [builder=Jarvan IV/9893fe05e4589dc3e841912ec916cc06]

    [builder=Jarvan IV/d2ce3e6466cd4b3f55bea6767cbe843b]

    NOTE:Hexdrinker in my opinion is a 'spell troll'; When low health you are running away with low HP and opponents like Karthus or Lux are thinking "Hey I can finish him off with my Ultimate"! But oops! The coolface of Hexdrinker appears and they will get frustrated since they won't kill you, but at the same time you got satisfied, smiling and coolfacing them: "Problem, officer? People really underrates this item but it is worth of trying!"

    Here are some item build variations to Jarvan IV. However if you feel unconfortable with some of the conclusions I have made, feel free to mix your kind of build. Not every person should be identical!

  • Skilling Order

    Pretty standard skilling order for Jarvan IV; Maximising the Dragon Strike followed by Demacian Standard and finally Golden Aegis makes the best effort to go with. Remember to always take ultimate whenever its avaible!

  • Pros. And Cons.

    + Jarvan IV does good damage even without diving into deep physical damage build.
    + Fine amounts of crowd control spells for intiation and escaping.
    + Can be also very supportive with correct item builds + Demacian Standard spell.
    + Can be totally viable jungler.
    + Some people might underrate Jarvan IV; use it as your advantage!

    - Jarvan IV can't handle solo tanking in a most situations. Issue for this is to get a proper tank for jungling.
    - Jarvan IV's mana pool is extremely low. Pay a close attention how often and when do you use your spells. Spamming abilities like Kassadin would do with his Archangel's Staff makes you OOM pretty instantly!
    - Cooldowns of the spells are somewhat too high, but it makes the champion more balanced.
    - Using Cataclysm in wrong way may cause your own teammates not to get 'touch' with the enemy. Example for this is a physical damage-ranged champion who cannot outrange through the walls of Cataclysm and causes no damage source from him. So be very cautious how and when to use it!

  • Credits

    If you made this far, I really appreciate by reading my short guide to Jarvan IV. If you got some ideas wich I could add or change, feel free to comment to the comments!


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