Do not underestimate this ability; it hurts a lot early game. Against squishier champions, you will do significant burst damage if you use this before Leap Strike.
On activation, Empower resets your auto-attack counter. This can be used to ensure that you get the last hit on minion. Try to use this as much as possible in team fights, as it will get your ultimate and item stacks up quickly.
The bonus damage does not affect towers, but it still resets your auto-attack counter.
Relentless Assault increases your attack speed by a great amount and the extra damage granted on every third hit hurts quite a lot. Therefore, counting attacks in the laning phase is crucial when playing Jax.
As this ability requires Jax to attack constantly, always try to fight in a lane. The active ability allows Jax to soak up some damage in place of his team, which is good. You can sort of initiate team fights, but most of the times you will want to jump in right after your tank.
Generally, it is not worth it to stack dodge to increase the magic resistance granted by the active effect. Dodge does not stack linearly.
Note: You will gain attack speed upon hitting towers, but you will not deal extra damage every third hit. Sadly, neither work upon hitting inhibitors.
This is my first guide and a work in progress. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section. I do not claim to know everything and any meaningful contributions would be well appreciated.
Jax is a great bulky melee champion, who is very hard to itemize against. Jax deals a considerable amount of both magic and physical damage. With his new ultimate, he can initiate team battles with some success. Generally though, you will want your tank or someone with more consistent crowd control to do this.
Jax has gone through some iterations, with having differing opinions on Jax's strength as a champion. However, the latest buffs are very welcome as Jax is the only melee DPS champions without some way to regenerate health after harassment in the laning phase.
The formula for effective dodge is a + (1 - a)*b + (1 - a - b)*c . . .
where a, b and c are the dodge values stated by the items/skills respectively.
The dodge stated is multiplied by the remaining dodge. The remaining dodge is 100% - the sum of dodge granted by previous items/skills. The order of items/skills do not affect calculations. I have placed them in the order in which they will most likely be obtained.
Pros / Cons
+ Strong mid-late game
+ One of the easier characters to learn
+ Deals both physical and magical damage
+ Consistent damage output
+ Very bulky if built correctly
+ Can completely bypass the enemy team's tank
- Weak laning phase
- Extremely item dependent
- Can be easily shut down by crowd control effects
- Unreliable crowd control and escape mechanisms
My personal favorites are Ghost and Cleanse. However, any combination of those shown below will help Jax significantly.
Ghost is self-explanatory; it is simply the best summoner spells in the game. It can be used for chasing, escaping or to move quickly from one lane to another.
Cleanse is an extremely useful for melee DPS characters like Jax. It prevents Jax from being completely useless when stunned or snared, and removes blinds from abilities or Exhaust.
Flash deserves a special mention due to its sheer popularity. It can be used to dodge incoming attacks and abilities. It is very helpful for newer players as the effect is instantaneous.
Exhaust is used mainly for its slow as Jax has no consistent crowd control. The resistance reduction is nice if you get the upgrade in the offensive tree. Be wary, this can be removed by Cleanse.
The runes on the left are the ideal runes that Jax should use. However, I use the runes on the right as they are the standard runes of many other champions. It really comes down to the skill of the player; runes only help so much.
The survivability granted by the defensive tree is huge. Evasion and Strength of Spirit help Jax's early game a lot, whereas Tenacity is just great. Increased experience is also a nice benefit. These are my preferred masteries.
This page swaps the increased experience for magic penetration. However, I prefer leveling up faster as it gives you more of a boost early game.
If you want more damage, you can opt to use the masteries above, which focus more on penetration. I don't use this page as much, as you need to be alive to do damage.
Doran's Shield + Health Potion
Doran's Shield will give you the most lane staying power out of all the starting items. Coupled with Strength of Spirit, you will have pretty good starting health regeneration.
Boots of Speed + Health Potion + Sight Ward
You should start with these items if your partner is a healer, or if you run the risk of being ganked by the enemy jungler. You can choose to get either three health potions or one health potion and a sight ward depending on whom you face.
Ninja Tabi + Guinsoo's Rageblade
The next item that you should ALWAYS get on Jax is Guinsoo's Rageblade. It synergizes well with your ultimate and is one of the most cost efficient items in the game. If you don't get this item, you will severely hamper your damage output. Ninja Tabi helps Jax to proc Counter Strike by quite a bit.
Never use one item build for every single game. This is a common mistake that many players make. You only have six slots available and you will always want to adapt to the situation at hand.
Jax benefits the most from attack damage and ability power, as it gives him increased survivability from his passive. Jax will also need items to increase his innate attack speed, so that he can get stacks on Guinsoo's Rageblade and Relentless Assault quickly. Finally, he will need defensive items to ensure that he can do a good amount of damage in a team fight without being focused down.
After purchasing your core items, I usually build a damage item, a defensive item, and an attack speed item in that order. The reasoning behind this is that you will want to become bulky as quickly as possible and then build attack speed to increase your damage multiplicatively. There are, of course, other orders in which you can get your items, but this order has worked for me so far.
Here is a list of items that can be used on Jax:
Hextech Gunblade has a great active ability and gives good amounts of free health. Consider buying this item first if you have no preferences.
After the Sheen buff, I find myself using this on many characters. The passive is nothing to scoff about, as it synergizes extremely well with Jax's Empower. However, I would advise against completing Trinity Force early as it expensive.
The Black Cleaver
Grab this item if you have another physical attacker. This item will remove the base armor that most champions have.
This can be worth it if you decide to build purely attack damage. However, the items which synergize with Jax also give him ability power, and you will need some critical chance to make this an effective purchase.
This item is just ridiculously good. The passive effect stacks with Jax's passive, albeit with diminishing returns. This will boost your late game considerably.
This item gives Jax a constant slow on his attacks. Combined with Atma's Impaler, this will give Jax a considerable amount of damage and health. However, this combination is very expensive and it may not be worth it if you are consistently getting the Lizard Buff.
This will make your opponents hesitant to use their crowd control abilities on you allowing you to do consistent damage. The health granted by this item also synergizes very well with Atma's Impaler.
This is great aura item if either team has a lot of casters. It helps a lot as your casters will generally want to stay as far away as possible from the other team until the initial chaos of a team fight has subsided.
Grab this item if the enemy team has a ridiculous amount of crowd control. Remember, this item removes suppression effects so it can be used as a replacement for Cleanse.
This item is a double-edged sword. It moves focus away from Jax in a team fight as the enemy team will have to kill you twice. However, this will not save you if your entire team is dead. Purchasing this is up to you.
ATTACK SPEED ITEMS
Malady's rework is a great item on many champions, including Jax. As his damage output is both physical and magic, any reduction in either resistance is very welcome.
Stark's Fervor works very well on almost anyone. The armor reduction is a very welcome addition on Jax. As most of the effects of the item are present on the aura, you may want to have someone else buy this. You will need the money on other items and elixirs.
There are times where the enemy team will be very bulky. Jax has the attack speed to take advantage of the passive but will be considerably squishier as this item costs a lot and offers very little in terms of flat attack damage.
Phantom Dancer is a very expensive item. It usually built in conjunction with Infinity Edge to utilize the critical chance granted by this item. If you purchase this item, you may consider swapping Ninja Tabi for Mercury's Treads as dodge stacks with diminishing returns.
PRIORITY LIST Relentless Assault boosts Jax's DPS output significantly; get this whenever you can. Empower provides more damage per level, so this should be maxed before Leap Strike. Leap Strike is your distance closer. Get at least one level early for its utility. Counter Strike does not scale very well on leveling. However, an early point can save you from ganks.
[builder=Jax/9a97892c290b74b35e5c1c7ab504550e] STANDARD BUILD - 13655 Gold
This is the build that you will be using if the games lasts longer than an hour. It gives a decent amount of survivability with Jax's passive and allows you to kill the enemy's carry fairly quickly. Please note that there are games that will end before you even complete Guinsoo's Rageblade, so don't fret too much about this.
[builder=Jax/79678974af700860aedc0114b64f63d7] REALISTIC BUILD - 6710 Gold
This build is much more reasonable at less than half the price of the first. You will most likely be using this build for the majority of your games as games will rarely last long.
Jungling is the process of gaining levels, usually until level 6, by solely killing neutral minions in the jungle. It benefits the team as they will have the experience advantage, allowing them to obtain their ultimates faster. Jax is one of the many champions that is capable of jungling, but is overshadowed by others better suited to this role. Nevertheless, I will be showing you how to jungle with Jax.
If you do not have the marks and seals above, you will most likely die to neutral minions. Glyphs and Quintessence choices do not significantly impact jungle times.
Harden Skin and Defensive Mastery are taken to reduce damage from minions instead of Strength of Spirit.
STARTING ITEMS Cloth Armor + 5 x Health Potion
Cloth Armor allows you to take more hits from neutral minions. This gives you more chances to proc Counter Strike. In an actual game, you will want your team to protect you at the Ancient Golem, as Jax gets countered by any strong jungler, such as Shaco and Udyr. Save smite for the last hit on the neutral buffs to prevent it from being stolen by the opposing team. When you have enough gold, teleport back and purchase Ninja Tabi.
If your allied champions are having trouble with a lane, or they are at low health, PLEASE COVER THEIR LANE. Do not spend the entire game in the jungle. The experience you receive from jungling gets worse compared to laning the longer the game progresses.
Never take a solo lane. Jax has a mediocre laning phase, and as such you will want to secure partners that have a strong presence in a lane. Generally, you should lane with someone who has a form of crowd control, or a means of protecting Jax from sustained harassment.
Play very cautiously for the first few minutes of the game. Jax does not deal noticeable damage until he has farmed up enough for Guinsoo's Rageblade. Avoid going for ganks unless you are sure that you will be able to kill them.
Jax is very weak in the early stages of the game. His abilities are extremely risky as they place you in range of the opponents abilities, especially if they have a form of crowd control. Most of the times, it isn't worth it to try to harass the enemy out of their lane as you will have a stronger mid-late game anyway. Despite all of these warnings, there are a few tips that can improve your early game:
~ Do not auto-attack as this pushes the creep wave forward, putting you at risk of being ganked.
~ Quickly use Empower after your first auto-attack to 'Double Hit' a minion.
~ Every third attack will deal bonus damage with Relentless Assault. Count your attacks to maximize your damage.
~ If minions are being pushed to your tower, you can clear them quickly with Counter Strike, as it has a very low cooldown.
~ Attack enemy champions once to draw minion aggro, then attack them once Counter Strike has processed.
You also need to mindful of the range of your opponents abilities, especially if they have a snare or a stun. However, this only comes with experience. Here is a great introduction to the basics of zoning by Shurelia, but please note that it does not take into the consideration the extra range provided by the summoner spells Ghost and Flash.