Tips for Jax?

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HonorableGeneral

Senior Member

04-23-2012

I recently acquired Jax after hearing my friends bragging about his damage potential, though I've yet to get some serious gameplay in (tried one game with him, and we only won because our Kog'Maw carried us). My questions are several, and I'd like to be enlightened on why exactly the "Grandmaster at Arms" is so satisfying to play (so far I've seen nothing that really impresses me, but I'm holding out for something):

1. How do you build him? I see he's rather tanky thanks to his ultimate, but in-general I try to build my melee champions on the tanky side so I don't risk dying just for kills. The build I went for in my first game was as follows:

Doran's Shield (sold off to buy Wriggle's Lantern)
Wriggle's Lantern
Ninja Tabi (substitute out Merc Treads if a heavy AP or CC team)
Trinity Force
Warmog's Armor
Atma's Impaler (didn't get to buy, won game)
Hextech Gunblade (didn't get to buy, won game)

2. Is Jax designed to initiate fights or finish them? That is, should I jump in first or should I only go in to do damage after my teammates have already begun fighting, to prevent being bursted down?

3. Is it possible for Jax to win solo-top lanes against strong solo-tops like Mordekaiser or Tryndamere? If not, why not?

4. Which skill should I max on him first? I personally take Counter-Strike as my first skill to counter any lane-harass I might encounter, and then get one point in my Leap Strike, one in my Empower, and max out in the following order of importance: Grandmaster's Might, Counter-Strike, Empower, Leap Strike.

5. What is Jax's ideal role? I prefer playing him bottom with a support to help farm up my CS, but I haven't yet tried him solo-top. Mid I know is reserved for AP carries, so he doesn't belong there. As I'm not yet level 20, I've shied away from jungling due to the many complaints I get from level 30s who say that jungling before level 20 is a waste due to lack of runes/masteries causing longer clear times and requiring longer leashes.


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Megolantix

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Member

04-23-2012

1) My favorite jax build is starting with boots and then getting 2-3 doran blades, followed by an early cutlass (the slow item). The reason behind this build is that once you get cutlass you'll be able to use the slow to allow yourself to auto attack your enemy continously. This has always been the standard build on jax however recently people have been getting phage instead of cutlass and then turning phage into a trinity force.

2) Don't be afraid to initiate on jax. His ulti is amazing for soaking damage. However if you're the only damage on your team maybe you shouldn't be the one initiating.

3) Yes, very possible. You just have to learn each match up. Jax has his counters, but tryndamere and mordekaiser are easily beatable and by no means considered strong solo tops. What I consider strong solo tops in the current meta is leesin, olaf, riven, kennen and vladimir.

4) Depends. Q if you're against ranged and need that frequent gap closer, W against melee match ups.

5) Solo top


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HonorableGeneral

Senior Member

04-23-2012

Thanks. I played another Jax game solo top and still did pretty terrible - 3/8/11 - versus an Udyr. I could burst most the rest of the team, hence the assists, but the Udyr pretty much denied me farm the first half or so of laning phase (until I rushed my Wriggles and managed to out-sustain him in duels). Even then I died a couple of times during laning. I actually got a chance to not play initiator since our team had two tanky champs (Morgana and Galio), but even then I got focused pretty hard (dunno why they'd pick me over Ashe or Morgana or Xin Zhao) so I got melted a LOT during teamfights.

I find myself having issues in general with melee champs. I melt way too **** fast during fights and it's impossible for me to come out alive unless someone else on my team manages to taunt or blind them while I run away.


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HonorableGeneral

Senior Member

04-23-2012

Nevermind. I decided to stop trying to learn him. I'm pretty terrible with him as it is, so I think I'll stop punishing myself from now on. Back to Gangplank and Teemo.

Thanks for the advice anyways.


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CrazyBolas

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Senior Member

04-23-2012

Here's what I do with Jax. I like it a lot.

Starting setup:

Runes:

Quints: Attack Damage
Reds: Attack Damage
Yellows: Armor
Blues: Magic Resist per level

Summoner spells:

Smite
Ghost

Masteries:

Offense:
Butcher x 1 (+2 Minion Damage) OR Summoner's Wrath (if you want to run improved ghost)
Brute Force x 3 (+3 Attack Damage)
Alacrity x4 (+4% attack speed)
Weapon Expertise (+10% Armor Pen)

Defense:
Resistance x3 (+6 magic resist)
Tough Skin x2 (reduce monster damage by 2)
Durability x4 (+6 health per level)
Indomitable x2 (reduce incoming damage by 2)
Veteran's Scars (+30 health)
Bladed Armor x1 (6 damage return vs minions and monsters)
Siege Commander x1 (reduces armor of nearby turrets by 10)
Enlightenment (+8.1% cooldown reduction at level 18)
Honor Guard x3 (Reduces damage taken by 1.5%)
Juggernaught (+3% health, reduces disable duration by 10%)

Starting Item:

Vampiric Scepter

Jungle path:

Wolves
Blue Golem
Wraiths
Twin Golems
Red Lizard
gank...

Skill order:

EWQWWRWEWEEEQQRQQ (Q and E can be interchanged depending on what you prefer)

Build order:

Vampiric Scepter >> Wriggle's Lantern
Boots of Speed
Phage
Guinsoo's Rageblade
Mercury's Treads
Frozen Mallet (from the Phage)
Atma's Impaler
Infinity Edge or Banshee's Veil (situational)

Very Late game, you can upgrade Wriggle's Lantern and Guinsoo's Rageblade to Trinity Force, Hextech Gunblade, and/or Madred's Bloodrazor, depending on what you need the most.

Madred's Bloodrazor is if they are building lots of armor and hit points, since that will do magic damage that scales with their hit points.

Usually the game ends shortly after Frozen Mallet / Atma's Impaler, but I like to have a plan for what to do in case the game runs longer.

Core items:

Wriggle's Lantern
Mercury's Treads
Guinsoo's Rageblade
Frozen Mallet
Atma's Impaler

Note that if they are going heavy AP damage, you might want to build Wit's End instead of Guinsoo's Rageblade, due to the increased magic resist. Hexdrinker to Maw of Malmortius is also an option, especially vs Karthus's ultimate.

If you want to be a bit more offensive, another mastery set that works fine is 21/9/0, like this:

Offense:
Brute Force x 3 (+3 attack damage)
Butcher x2 (+4 minion damage)
Alacrity x4 (+4% attack speed)
Demolitionist x1 (+10 tower damage)
Weapon Expertise (10% armor pen)
Havoc (1.5% increase damage dealt)
Vampirism (3% lifesteal)
Sunder (+6 armor pen)
Executioner (+6% damage to targets below 40% health)

Defense:

Hardiness x1 (+2 armor)
Resistance x3 (+6 magic resist)
Durability (+6 health per level)
Veteran's Scars (+30 health)

An alternate jungle path is to start at wraiths, then either go to wolves & blue, or red & gank. For the very early gank strat, go with Q as your second skill. This will only work if you really know the people in the lane you will be ganking.

Try to get your teammates to help watch the entries to the jungle, so that the enemy team doesn't steal one of your buffs or ward your jungle without you knowing about it.

Also, if your teammates can help you clear your first camp (by damaging without taking the last hit) and leashing the buff mob from your second camp, this helps a lot to speed up the jungle clear and get you ganking sooner. Earlier ganks can be much more effective in some cases.

It's also possible to do Jax in a lane. Not a good idea to go bottom lane with two people though, because he has a tough time getting any farm against two opponents. Middle or top solo can work ok, you will even level up faster than in the jungle, but you generally won't be ganking as much. Obviously do different summoner spells and possibly runes if you are going to lane. Exhaust / Ghost are generally good picks, as that keeps the enemies from escaping. Smite / Ghost is also ok. I don't like Flash on Jax as much as Ghost, because there are too many times when you need want to be able to either initiate or escape and need the speed to get into leap strike distance, when a flash would just get counter-flashed. Leapstrike, Empower, Ghost, gone..... escape succeeded.


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HonorableGeneral

Senior Member

04-23-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyBolas View Post
Here's what I do with Jax. I like it a lot.

Starting setup:

Runes:

Quints: Attack Damage
Reds: Attack Damage
Yellows: Armor
Blues: Magic Resist per level

Summoner spells:

Smite
Ghost

Masteries:

Offense:
Butcher x 1 (+2 Minion Damage) OR Summoner's Wrath (if you want to run improved ghost)
Brute Force x 3 (+3 Attack Damage)
Alacrity x4 (+4% attack speed)
Weapon Expertise (+10% Armor Pen)

Defense:
Resistance x3 (+6 magic resist)
Tough Skin x2 (reduce monster damage by 2)
Durability x4 (+6 health per level)
Indomitable x2 (reduce incoming damage by 2)
Veteran's Scars (+30 health)
Bladed Armor x1 (6 damage return vs minions and monsters)
Siege Commander x1 (reduces armor of nearby turrets by 10)
Enlightenment (+8.1% cooldown reduction at level 18)
Honor Guard x3 (Reduces damage taken by 1.5%)
Juggernaught (+3% health, reduces disable duration by 10%)

Starting Item:

Vampiric Scepter

Jungle path:

Wolves
Blue Golem
Wraiths
Twin Golems
Red Lizard
gank...

Skill order:

EWQWWRWEWEEEQQRQQ (Q and E can be interchanged depending on what you prefer)

Build order:

Vampiric Scepter >> Wriggle's Lantern
Boots of Speed
Phage
Guinsoo's Rageblade
Mercury's Treads
Frozen Mallet (from the Phage)
Atma's Impaler
Infinity Edge or Banshee's Veil (situational)

Very Late game, you can upgrade Wriggle's Lantern and Guinsoo's Rageblade to Trinity Force, Hextech Gunblade, and/or Madred's Bloodrazor, depending on what you need the most.

Madred's Bloodrazor is if they are building lots of armor and hit points, since that will do magic damage that scales with their hit points.

Usually the game ends shortly after Frozen Mallet / Atma's Impaler, but I like to have a plan for what to do in case the game runs longer.

Core items:

Wriggle's Lantern
Mercury's Treads
Guinsoo's Rageblade
Frozen Mallet
Atma's Impaler

Note that if they are going heavy AP damage, you might want to build Wit's End instead of Guinsoo's Rageblade, due to the increased magic resist. Hexdrinker to Maw of Malmortius is also an option, especially vs Karthus's ultimate.

If you want to be a bit more offensive, another mastery set that works fine is 21/9/0, like this:

Offense:
Brute Force x 3 (+3 attack damage)
Butcher x2 (+4 minion damage)
Alacrity x4 (+4% attack speed)
Demolitionist x1 (+10 tower damage)
Weapon Expertise (10% armor pen)
Havoc (1.5% increase damage dealt)
Vampirism (3% lifesteal)
Sunder (+6 armor pen)
Executioner (+6% damage to targets below 40% health)

Defense:

Hardiness x1 (+2 armor)
Resistance x3 (+6 magic resist)
Durability (+6 health per level)
Veteran's Scars (+30 health)

An alternate jungle path is to start at wraiths, then either go to wolves & blue, or red & gank. For the very early gank strat, go with Q as your second skill. This will only work if you really know the people in the lane you will be ganking.

Try to get your teammates to help watch the entries to the jungle, so that the enemy team doesn't steal one of your buffs or ward your jungle without you knowing about it.

Also, if your teammates can help you clear your first camp (by damaging without taking the last hit) and leashing the buff mob from your second camp, this helps a lot to speed up the jungle clear and get you ganking sooner. Earlier ganks can be much more effective in some cases.

It's also possible to do Jax in a lane. Not a good idea to go bottom lane with two people though, because he has a tough time getting any farm against two opponents. Middle or top solo can work ok, you will even level up faster than in the jungle, but you generally won't be ganking as much. Obviously do different summoner spells and possibly runes if you are going to lane. Exhaust / Ghost are generally good picks, as that keeps the enemies from escaping. Smite / Ghost is also ok. I don't like Flash on Jax as much as Ghost, because there are too many times when you need want to be able to either initiate or escape and need the speed to get into leap strike distance, when a flash would just get counter-flashed. Leapstrike, Empower, Ghost, gone..... escape succeeded.
Thanks for the guide.

Bit late though. I just quit him because... I'm terrible with him. Not to say that I rape with all the champions I play - I don't - but there's no sense investing time in a champ I'm not having any fun with (I'm getting really, really pissed whenever I play him because I die constantly). Best to move onto champs I can actually play.


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CrazyBolas

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

04-23-2012

>1. How do you build him? I see he's rather tanky thanks to his ultimate, but in-general I try to build my melee champions on the tanky side so I don't risk dying just for kills. The build I went for in my first game was as follows:

I like to build him where he is fairly balanced and gets some basic defense at the start. The main thing you need to get kills is some way to slow the enemy, if they are not able to run away you will generally out damage them. So early Phage or Bilgewater Cutlass tends to be good.

>Doran's Shield (sold off to buy Wriggle's Lantern)
Wriggle's Lantern
Ninja Tabi (substitute out Merc Treads if a heavy AP or CC team)
Trinity Force
Warmog's Armor
Atma's Impaler (didn't get to buy, won game)
Hextech Gunblade (didn't get to buy, won game)

That's a fairly solid build, actually. Only change I would make would be skipping the Doran's Shield and instead starting off with something you'll use later. Maybe something like this:

Boots of speed & 3 red potions
Wriggle's Lantern
Phage
Mercury's Treads (do this before phage if you are fighting heavy AP casters)
Sheen or Zeal
Trinity Force
Warmog's Armor
Atma's Impaler
Banshee's Veil if you need defense, Infinite Edge if you need offense.

At that point, when you have six solid items, that would be when you'd consider upgrading from Wriggle's Lantern to Hextech Gunblade, to get some more sustain.

Generally I get the Mercury's Treads because almost every team has some magic damage and some CC, and it's tougher to get enough magic resist generally. If they have a lot of AD damage, then the Ninja Tabi is a good pick, but you'll need to pick up the magic resist somewhere else, such as Hexdrinker or Wit's End.

The tenacity is also fairly important, you don't want to be kited or just sitting there rooted, taunted, or feared. So you might end up needing to get a tenacity item later on if you don't get the mercury's treads.



2. Is Jax designed to initiate fights or finish them? That is, should I jump in first or should I only go in to do damage after my teammates have already begun fighting, to prevent being bursted down?

Jax should jump in to the fights second. Or rather, walk in, then jump out if you get into trouble.

Your biggest threat is after you've been swinging away for a while, once you've built up some speed. So you want to be in the thick of things, but not instantly focused down. The ideal situation would be someone else initiates with some kind of aoe (such as amumu ult), you walk in and start swinging, when people group up to try to kill you, morgana ults and you hit your dodge, then as they flee low hp, you finish them all off in rapid succession for the pentakill.

3. Is it possible for Jax to win solo-top lanes against strong solo-tops like Mordekaiser or Tryndamere? If not, why not?

It's possible. I've seen Jax do some nasty stuff top. You gotta be smart about it though and know your opponent and what they are capable of doing.

4. Which skill should I max on him first? I personally take Counter-Strike as my first skill to counter any lane-harass I might encounter, and then get one point in my Leap Strike, one in my Empower, and max out in the following order of importance: Grandmaster's Might, Counter-Strike, Empower, Leap Strike.

Max out Empower before Counter-Strike, typically. That's your best single-target damage and it's low mana, so you get the most burst and thus the most kills from it. Counter-strike could be chosen before empower, but I like empower first because of the low cool down and low mana cost. That combines nicely with a sheen or trinity force. I also like going with AD runes, because they up your base damage, which increases the burst you get from trinity force (at least I think so, I could be wrong).

5. What is Jax's ideal role? I prefer playing him bottom with a support to help farm up my CS, but I haven't yet tried him solo-top. Mid I know is reserved for AP carries, so he doesn't belong there. As I'm not yet level 20, I've shied away from jungling due to the many complaints I get from level 30s who say that jungling before level 20 is a waste due to lack of runes/masteries causing longer clear times and requiring longer leashes.

Jungle or top solo. In a pinch, could go mid solo but that's generally not a good idea. He's not really a "carry" but more of a fighter, so bot is a poor choice of lane for him.

Against a lot of opponents, he'll dominate top. Especially if your jungle comes to help gank, since you have an on-demand stun.


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CrazyBolas

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Senior Member

04-23-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by HonorableGeneral View Post
Thanks for the guide.

Bit late though. I just quit him because... I'm terrible with him. Not to say that I rape with all the champions I play - I don't - but there's no sense investing time in a champ I'm not having any fun with (I'm getting really, really pissed whenever I play him because I die constantly). Best to move onto champs I can actually play.
Try jungling with him if you die constantly in lane early.

And try walking in to fights but then jumping out to safety when you get low hp.


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Amoc

Senior Member

04-24-2012

I like to Jungle Jax. I play him with offensive masteries (i know a lot of people use defensive) but I like to start with vamp sceptre and get a full-health and fast early clear so that I can pull off an early gank top or mid. At any rate, I'd build to Wriggle's from there, then Guinso's, then phage, then revolver, then finish Frozen Mallet or Gunblade depending on what's going on. After that it's situational.

Anyways, if you're jungling, level W first, start blue, clear to top and pick up Q and E along the way (for lvl 3 gank at top if possible). When ganking, try not to jump to initiate, unless you're fairly certain you can kill the target within the stun. Try and sneak up behind and use Q to close after the target flashes or something.

If you're solo top, I recommend levelling Q first, so that you have some early harrass and escape potential and don't die early. For me, Jax is a struggle to lane with in the beginning, but it doesn't take that long for him to really start being effective. I think you want to start with Wriggle's regardless.

As for team fights, no, you don't initiate. Let your tank initiate, and then you RUN in and find a squishy and stun him. Keep Q for chasing that squishy down or for escaping focus. Don't initiate with it. After level 6 Jax's damage burns squishies down crazy fast and he's REALLY hard to get away from.


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HeXiiS

Senior Member

04-24-2012

try gunblade before triforce, for better sustain, try rageblade because it compliments his ult passive, try some atkspeed from items like wits end, atkspeed on jax is just nasty.

leap strike > empower > counter strike usually.


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