In-Depth Guide to Jax

SUMMONER SPELLS

Ignite is strong and viable in the top lane again. Jax has insane dueling and snowballing potential which means you’ll be utilizing it a lot. Flash is mandatory as you can make some unpredictable plays with it and overall it makes your lane phase much more forgiving as you can escape ganks or use it aggressively to get yourself a lead.

TP is still a handy spell for counter matchups or games where you’ll need to have presence elsewhere. I personally play a split push threat that can’t be dealt with alone so I use ignite+flash.

OVERALL TELEPORT IS A BETTER ALTERNATIVE IN SOLOQUE UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE A SPLITPUSH THREAT THAT CAN SNOWBALL HEAVILY AND KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING.

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RUNES

9x +0.95 attack damage 
9x +0.16 magic resist per level 
9x +1 armor 
3x +4.5% attack speed

The cookiecutter-bruiser runes are viable. Jax doesn’t need any fancy runes to function properly. These runes will give you a good lane phase, you’ll be durable and your auto attacks will be strong. There isn’t much to add here, you can always alter the magic resist runes to either full scaling or flat ones, depending on your match-up.

You can also replace them with armor ones if you face a full physical damage dealing match up, such as Riven. However, I find a mixture of flat and scaling ones to be the best as you will start out rather strong against magic damage while having some scaling magic resist as well, keeping it relevant as you move towards later phases of the game.

Hybrid Penetration Marks

Fully optional, I feel they are kind of lackluster for the lane phase as they only begin to use their full potential after level 6 and your pre-6 phase will be less potent as with straight AD runes. You will, however, be a bit stronger after 6, so it’s a tradeoff.

It’s up to you whether to use them or AD marks. If you do, however, use hybrid penetration mark runes, I recommend you to max W as it deals magic damage and it benefits from the magic penetration you have. Attack damage scales better for destroying turrets and you’ll want to be a split push threat.

Attack Speed Marks

Attack speeds quints were just buffed so I think they actually add a lot to Jax gameplay considering how hard it can help you with auto attack animation. They were buffed to 14% attack speed from 3 quints, combining this with AD marks can give you a very nice early lane phase without sacrificing much of your ‘raw’ damage.

Scaling CDR Glyphs

If you aren’t versus a heavy magic damage dealing lane, 10% scaling CDR will be really useful as it will make your already insanely strong late game even stronger with less downtime on your counter strike.

Scaling Magic Resist Glyphs

Very useful if your enemy laner isn’t a threat early in the magic department.

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MASTERIES — 18/0/12

Fervor of battle is really strong early in lane if you manage to prolong a trade. Nothing else stands out really in the phage, you can swap the 2-edged sword for feast if you’d rather go for sustain but otherwise it’s pretty straightforward. The 12 points in resolve help a lot though, having summoners up is really handy and extra hp+durability help during trades.

Grasp of the undying is a possible alternative, however it scales off YOUR max hp and unless you’re going to build hp early I don’t think it’s that good. Fervor of battle has a synergy with your passive as your damage and attack speed increase between every auto attack.

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ABILITIES

MAX ORDER
E,Q,W,W,W,R,W,Q,W,Q,Q,R,Q,E,E,R,E

This is how I generally max, I used to max Q when a lot of ranged champions were meta but now that the game is shifting back to melee champions W might be a bit better, as it allows you to trade 2 auto attacks by utilizing the auto-timer reset. Q is a really versatile skill with many uses, however. You can escape, disengage, hop over walls to wards or minions or champions, use it as a nuke. It specializes against ranged champions however, as you can trade often and efficiently with this spell against them.

If you are against a champion that specializes in aggressive melee trading, then you should max Empower (w), as it’s great in melee range short trades. This also works for free harass if it’s somebody like Singed just walking to your caster minions to put some gas on them, you can just auto attack-w to reset your auto attack timer for a quick harass. Maxing Q against ranged champions is still better in my opinion.

There aren’t really matchups that you should max your e (Counter-strike) against. Unless you are having a REALLY hard time against someone that deals majority of their damage through auto-attacks (such as Irelia, Tryndamere, Fiora etc) you shouldn’t max this spell as it has more defensive properties than offensive.

Ultimate (Grandmaster’s might) is pretty self-explanatory, you should always put a point on it when you can as it gives you great power spikes at levels 6, 11 and 16. The damage it adds to your auto attacks is insane and the free stats are amazingly good.

Relentless Assault

His passive, relentless assault, gives you attack speed on every auto attack. This passive has SO MUCH HIDDEN POWER you wouldn’t even realize. Managing it properly means that you will have bonus attack speed worth multiple thousand gold. Controlling the passive is a perk that separates good Jaxes from the bad ones.

Always keep an eye on the buff timer and try to attack at the last possible second to keep the stacks up. The attack speed will help your trading TREMENDOUSLY and I suggest you always ramp up the passive before you try to trade let alone all in.

Leap strike

As the name suggests, this skill makes you leap to an enemy. This ability is simply great. Maxing it is against ranged champions is optimal as it reduces the cooldown drastically, allowing you to escape with it or just use it to nuke somebody in lane. Has a minimal cast time if you are near your opponent which makes it a great trading tool.

You can also use it to hop on a ward over wall for a quick escape. You can also activate W to boost its damage, but I rarely do that because w is much better used as an auto attack reset. Only use q+w if you are positive it will finish the kill.

Empower

A great ability, as it resets your auto attack timer and deals some good damage. You can alter your skill maxing path if you face someone who is melee and trades with you constantly, as this ability will be better in a matchup like that. It’s best used after 6 by attacking once, resetting the auto attack timer by immediately activating w and having your next attack proc ult. Really deceptive burst.

Counter Strike

The most Jax-defining skill in my opinion. It’s a one-point wonder as an ability, it’s great at level 1, it’s great in every phase of the game really. It will make you pseudo-invincible to champions that rely on auto attacks, which makes many match-ups favorable for Jax in the top lane.

However, If you use this skill just for the stun, you’re using it wrong. There are occasions where you can use it just for that, but most of the time people take free damage by thinking stun is all this spell does. Always let it channel fully if you can, and try to only use it when your opponents disengaging abilities are on cooldown so you can maximize the impact this skill actually has on a duel.

Grandmaster’s Might

A huge powers pike for Jax, this ability allows you to deal much more damage and tank more damage. It makes you a dueling monster and helps you trade in the top lane by hitting a minion twice and then leap striking onto your enemy and proccing the passive onto them. Makes for a great harass. After 6 you can also clear jungle quite fast, if you see your lane resetting somewhere you can get a camp before you go to lane as you gain more from that.

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ITEMS

There is no right build, you have so many options to choose from depending on the match-up, their team comp and your team comp. Jax can build so many different things depending on the situation you’re in. Do not be afraid to experiment to see which builds you personally find strong or which compliment your playstyle.

Generally Jax has a weak early game, medium to strong midgame (depending on your performance) and godlike late game. Some champions can give Jax a really hard time in lane, and corrupting potion is an excellent item to help you in trades while also giving you some good sustain.

Jax is really free to build and this is why you shouldn’t have a hard time itemizing by their/your teams comp.