Jax Build Guide

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Grandmaster at Jax (by Bobyus)

written by bobyus

Jax Build



Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Hello, this is my first LoL guide, featuring my favorite champion Jax - Grandmaster at Arms.

    My Masteries, Runes and Items build are not only focused on killing Carries. With so many Mages, snares and stuns nowadays, you want to also focus on playing against those. Jax is a very flexible champion, you can build him almost any way you want, can be either AP, AD, Hybrid and even Offtank. I am focusing on Hybrid since that's the build I've been practicing for quite a while.

    This guide is focused on 5v5 games. Yes, believe it or not, Jax is also good on 5v5.

    Hope you enjoy this guide, any constructive feedback is appreciated. This guide is constantly getting updated. Short videos included.

    -Bobyus (LoL-EU)

    Last update: 09/14/2011 **

  • Screenshots

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  • Masteries + Runes

    Quintessences - 2 x Greater Quintessence of Swiftness
    1 x Greater Quintessence of Evasion

    Red - Greater Mark of Might
    Yellow - Greater Seal of Evasion
    Blue - Greater Glyph of Force

    You can also get Greater Glyph of Warding which is a good idea, but with the recent Jax nerfs leaving him harmless in the early game, you want to get some of that damage back, and the only way to do it is through runes.

    Total Runes Stats:
    +3.0% movement speed (Good for chasing, this is what every melee carry needs, the more... the better).
    8.3% dodge (Totalling 10.3% with [mastery=Nimbleness]).
    28 Ability power at level 18.
    22 Physical damage at level 18.

    Masteries 21/9/0

    External Image

    Pretty much the standard masteries build for Jax, taking [mastery=Burning Embers] as an early game AP boost.

    DO NOT:

    -Get Armor penetration Runes
    (Your abilities deal magic damage, even if they scale with AD too, so if it was the case you want to get some penetration... you'd actually want to get Magic Penetration instead, besides.. if AD gives you health, why will you get armor penetration instead?)

    External Image

    -3 x Dodge Quintessences
    Too much dodge is just not necessary, most of your Counter Strike procs come from minion attacks, besides a Sword of the Divine will make it all worthless against champions, I recommend just getting one of them, to start with a nice 10% dodge at level 1. As for the other two quintessences its matter of choice, I generally like and prefer Movement Speed over other quintessences when it comes to Melee carries, specially on Jax, who's a good skirmisher.

  • Items

    I like to start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions

    Throughout early to mid game, I rush to Bilgewater Cutlass and Ninja Tabi. Jax is quite bad at chasing early on, so getting that item will add some burst and an easier chasing method, you must finish building into Hextech Gunblade before going for another item.

    Do not make the same mistake many Jax players do, DO NOT build Guinsoo's Rageblade as a first item, that item does basically NOTHING for you in the early game, Hextech Gunblade is much better for early game burst/chasing plus the lifesteal/spell vamp components.

    Early build order (not inclusing pots and/or wards)

    3 x


    -




    CORE ITEMS



    Whatever you build after this depends on your preferences/game style, here are some examples.

    PRE-NERF HYBRID BUILD


    -
    *After the recent Jax early game nerf, Lich Bane is just much better than Trinity Force-


    RECOMMENDED HYBRID BUILD (POST-Nerf)


    -
    *6th item will depend on how the game is going-


    ANTI-MAGES/CC BUILD


    - -


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you're getting overwhelmed by mages early-mid game, get a Hexdrinker before Guinsoo's Rageblade. Against heavy CC teams, you may want to get a Banshee's Veil ASAP.

  • Items Discussion

    While I believe my 2 hybrid builds are very good, there's also many choices. Let me show you what I think are Good and Bad common items people will usually get on Jax.

    [item=Madred's Bloodrazor]
    Many people think this is good on Jax since it gives a bunch of attack speed. This.. is... NOT.. a good item on Jax, unless you decide to take it during the late game as a last item. It gives you almost no health and comes at a very expensive price... which is not only the 3800 gold but the price of your deaths during early and mid game while building the item.

    Rylai's Crystal Scepter
    Gives you a bunch of health, yes. Gives a slowing effect, yes. But is all around much better than this item for you. It gives you lifesteal, spellvamp, AD, AP and a slowing effect that will also do damage. I really dont see why you should get Rylai's instead of a Gunblade, you'd lose a high ammount of damage output.

    Phantom Dancer
    I did never believe this item was good on Jax, even when it used to boost your dodge chance by 20%. The reason is simple... you get no health from that item = Mages dance on top of you. It is kind of a Must-Get item if you go for an AD build, but it comes at that high risk. I would recommend the new over this item.

    Rabadon's Deathcap
    This item is overpowered at the moment. I would say it is a good idea getting it, since it will greatly increase your health and, very important, AoE damage which is always welcome for team fights. ( Counter Strike only scales from AP)


    Youmuu's Ghostblade
    If you go for an AD build, this is another Must-Get item. The active effect will insanely boost your damage and chasing capabilities. But AD item builds provide you less health bonuses than on hybrid builds, and this is because most AD items focus more on critical strikes, so again: AD builds for Jax are great, but they come at a higher risk.

    [item=Malady]
    I would only recommend this item if you go for an AP build as a mid game item, since it reduces your target's magic resistance and will get your ultimate procs more often. (which only scales with AP, same as Counter Strike) On most hybrid builds it is just not that great, since your physical damage is around 55% of your total damage.

    [item=Stark's Fervor]
    Remember what we talked about Armor Penetration? Do not get this please, not even in AD builds. If you want lifesteal for AD builds, get a Bloodthirster instead.

    Mejai's Soulstealer and Sword of the Occult
    Personally, I am not a fan of snowball items, because of the high risk-high reward factor. People will already hate you by picking the underrated Jax in ranked 5v5 games, do not give your team another frustration by failing at getting your stacks up. Jax is not the type of champion that gets many kills/assists without dying in the try. Leave this for Kassadin, Vladimir and such.

    Finally...

    Mercury's Treads
    I've noticed this item is highly discussed for Jax. These boots are good for any champ against heavy CC teams, and Jax is not an exception to this.

    Enemy carries trying to counter you with Sword of the Divine? regardless if they get this or not, you'll actually chop them into pieces all the time, that item will not counter you if you play smart -> fight by their minions.

  • Skilling Order

    You do not want to be very aggressive early in the game, many other champions will outshine you at this point. Focus on farming and last hitting minions until you reach at least lvl 4 to start harrasing a little bit. This is very simple.

    Get Empower first to last hit minions, follow by Leap Strike and leave Counter Strike Rank 1 at level 3.

    Max Leap Strike first, so you can get it with a low cooldown, followed by Empower, and leaving Counter Strike at last.

  • Summoner Abilities

    I use Cleanse and Ignite as summoner spells of choice.
    Cleanse will be the key against those mages and heavy CC champions like Sion, Anivia, Lux, etc.

    Ignite will get you some early kills which you DEFINITELY need.

    Getting Ghost and Exhaust can also be good choices.

    --

    Why Cleanse?
    Simple, that's what makes Jax viable in 5v5. Unlike other carries like Master Yi who can become inmune to slows and untargetable for 1 second with Alpha Strike, Tryndamere who can simply survive through CC with his ultimate, Olaf inmune to disables with Ragnarok, Jax does not have any anti CC abilities.

  • Abilities

    [spell=Equipment Mastery]
    This is what makes Jax very powerful in Mid to Late game. You do not need to worry about getting health items. You will get it from Attack Damage and Ability Power.

    This passive scales really good with Atma's Impaler


    Leap Strike
    This is Jax's blinking ability, even though is not very reliable for escaping, it definitely is for chasing. You can Leap Strike to your Team Mates, Minions and Wards for escaping.


    Empower
    Great for last hitting minions and burst damage. This ability is essential in my Harrasing Combo I'll explain later on. This ability resets autoattacking, which means you can triguer an instant second attack right after the first one.


    Counter Strike
    Max this ability at Last. If you're smart enough you will save this stun along with Leap Strike for when enemies try to escape or to interrupt some ultimates like Death Lotus and Absolute Zero.


    Relentless Assault
    This is why they will fear to go toe-to-toe against you. Combined with Guinsoo's Rageblade you will get an amazing attack speed rate. There's a lot of tricks you can pull from this ultimate. One example is hitting a minion twice and then do the third hit on a champion, or hitting a champion after several hits on a turret, and Leap Strike out right away.

    Look at my 5-HIT combo explanation below if you want to use this Ultimate effectively during laning phase.


  • Pros / Cons

    PROS
    - Great sustained and burst Damage
    - One of the best counters against Carries
    - Outstanding Late Game
    - High ammounts of health without the need of defensive items
    - Unbeatable 1v1 once you build at least 4 items.

    Jax is the undisputed 1v1 king in League of Legends. Try to look for 1v1 fights as much as you can, mostly through their jungle, do this after team fights when everyone goes farming, just be careful with commonly warded areas.

    "Nocturne OP"? pfft.


    CONS
    - Lacks significant AoE damage.
    - Weak early game, prone to ganks (with practice though, i have already been able to turn this the other way around)
    - Depends way too much on items.
    - Relatively weak against Mages and heavy CC teams, mostly because he won't keep his Ultimate stacks up.
    - Bad at escaping, Leap Strike is not reliable in many situations.

    - Heavily dependant on Team
    If your team lacks coordination Jax can be really useless. If you are gonna play Ranked 5v5, try to pick him only on 2-5 players premades.

  • Working in the team

    Since CC can leave Jax in the world of Useless-ness, you want to wait until the enemy team starts wasting some CC on your tank and off tank.

    Go for the squishies first, you should be able to get on them with Leap Strike + and in this cases, use Empower to trigger instant attacks instead of
    trying to burst them down with +.

    + is just to finish off runners or for early game harrasing. Do not use that combo when taking someone down from full health.

    Save your Counter Strike for champions like Nunu and Katarina using their ultimates or for when a champion wants to escape. It just not about using your stun whenever it is up. Try to hit as many targets you can with it, since it is AoE.

  • Working in laning phase

    Now this is very important. You need to get at least 2 or more kills before you move on to mid game. If you start with a 0-2 or 0-3 it will be way too difficult to recover, unless you steal a few kills, you won't supply enough damage for your team later on. If this happens your best choice is... to either get hopefully carried by your team, or to make the game as long as possible so you can have a good late game since Jax excells at this.

    You MUST NOT push your lane, and you should try to get minions to attack you and get Dodge procs, a 5-hit combo will make most champions recall after 1 or 2 times.

  • 5-hit Combo. Using Relentless Assault effectively during Laning Phase.

    Jax is the only champion that can rely on Dodges to make offensive pressure.

    Now get ready and pay attention, this next harrasing combo is unique and really powerful when you practice it.

    I have not seen other Jax players doing it, if you are one of those, pay attention.

    Once you reach level 3 and get Counter Strike
    You can start now harrasing carefully.

    Let minions attack you in each wave, with the purpose of getting a dodge. You now have 7 seconds to do the following:

    - Leap Strike to an enemy champion (WITHOUT ACTIVATING EMPOWER!)
    - Immediately use your Counter Strike
    - Let a normal autoattack hit him.
    - Right after that normal attack you must activate Empower to get an instant second attack on your target (remember how Empower resets autoattacking??)

    All of this will happen in matter of 2-3 seconds. Since you made 2 autoattacks already while your target was stunned, the next one will be a Relentless Assault third-consecutive blasting attack.

    With that combo you're guaranteed to take at least half health of most non-tank enemy champions. With the help of your laning partner this can get you a few kills early on.

    TIP - Experienced players will stand back when they see Jax getting a dodge proc, because they know you might be using a stun on them. If this is the case, just be patient and do not try to stun them everytime you get a dodge proc. They will eventually get close enough for you to perform the combo.

    Here's a video to show you how I do it.

  • Extra Tips - Jax's most feared enemies

    You need to have Cleanse refreshed if you want to stand a chance. This is considered from a Team Fighting point of view. You will most likely kill most of them in a 1v1 situation if you're fast enough but... mages dont go around alone, so you can stop dreaming right there. (tanks can also give you problems when killing other champions, but since they're there specifically for that, it is pointless to talk about them)

    External Image ANNIE

    Make sure you cleanse right away from her stun, her combo is way too bursty for you to stand right there hugging Tibbers and letting other champs just finish you off in case she didnt already.

    External Image ANIVIA

    Again make sure you cleanse right away from her stun, problem with a good Anivia player is that he'll be way too difficult to kill for you, he can save her ultimate to just kite you everytime you jump at him. Besides that champion got a high burst combo too.

    External Image AKALI

    This champion will ruin your laning phase almost all the time. Besides she's not as dependant on items as Jax is. If you dont have oracles or sight wards around, Akali will burst you down way faster, and her Twilight Shroud (smoke area) will counter your ultimate stacks. A very difficult fight for Jax.

    External Image TRYNDAMERE with Sword of the Divine

    A late game Tryndamere with this item can be a huge problem, his critical strikes are insane at this point, as well as his attack speed and movement speed. Your best bet here is to fight near enemy minions to get Counter Strike up, and save it for the moment Tryndamere pops his ultimate. Immediately use your Hextech Gunblade on him and Leap Strike away to a minion, ward or allied champion, Cleanse his Slow spell in case he didnt use it yet and kite him for a few seconds, after that he's yours. Takes practice, but it is guaranteed to work, it is still hard for me to do this perfectly.

    External Image FIDDLESTICKS

    You may not fear the crows, but Jax actually does. Fiddlesticks will usually take you by surprise with a Crowstorm out of nowhere, this is some massive AoE damage. You HAVE to cleanse right away out of his Terrify and kill him as fast as possible, save your stun to stop his Drain if you have the chance, but overall, this champ will give you lots of problems.

    External Image VLADIMIR

    Another champ that will make you go rage, his Transfusion spam is the most annoying thing, if you try to focus him he'll just pool under you, while slowing at the same time, since he has a lot of health, he'll be able to kite you long enough for a team mate to come and help him. The only tip I can give you here is... Save your Hextech Gunblade for the moment he comes out of the Sanguine Pool spell in order to finish him off.


    And... the worst of them all

    External Image MALZAHAR

    Any good Malzahar player will save his ultimate just for you in case you're having a good game as Jax. In team fights, the only tip I can give you is to wait for him to use his ultimate on someone else, but you cannot wait too much otherwise your team gets ripped off. Cleanse will not save you this time, there's nothing you can do if you get supressed by Nether Grasp, even if he doesnt kill you, his teammates will. Work with a team mate to CC Malzahar the moment this happens. Only thing you can do yourself is getting a Quicksilver Sash, it will get you free from his ultimate, but you gotta be fast.

    Null Zone will counter your high ammounts of HP also, so this time your passive wont do much for you either.

    IMPORTANT

    If you see at least 2 of those champions already picked by the enemy team in ranked games... just don't pick Jax yourself even if you master him already, you'll be in trouble if they're also good at their champs.

    Jax has something in common with a few champs, specially the stealth ones ---> can be countered in ranked games as early as champion selection, if you're first/second pick... don't pick Jax, unless you ask for a switch.

  • DISCLAIMER

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    This guide is meant to help you getting started with Jax. By no means I claim to be the among the best Jax players. I made this guide to share my experience at successfully playing this champion the best I can.


    Take your time, read the guide, give constructive feedback on the comments and vote :)



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