[Guide] Jax Mini Guide

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Akuma

Member

08-20-2009

UPDATE

It's official. Zileas has said Jax is OP, and given some of the experiments I ran this weekend, I tend to agree, as much as I hate to say it. I think magic nuke/stun heavy teams can beat Jax (Ryze/Annie by themselves can be tough, otherwise, you probably need 2 characters with at least one stun and one big nuke), but everyone else has a hard time.

Empower + Leap Strike combined with spammable Counter Strike was too strong. Empower + Leap gives you the first hit in almost all occasions. At that point, they either attack you (and you therefore will have a few chances to proc a dodge and therefore a stun) or they run (which means you are beating the **** out of them with no damage done to you). So enjoy it while it lasts, but most of the data below will probably need some modification once Jax gets nerfed.

But I did some experiments over the weekend and found some conclusions that people may or may not agree with. Here they are:
1. AP builds can be very much reasonable
2. Going with a physical DPS build nearly requires that you get a Sheen. That is just too good to pass up.
3. I think a Phage is good, but a Frozen Mallet is too much for Jax for the cost. You only get +2 damage, a slow, and +450 HP, not worth it for 2k gold more.
4. Attack speed is very important to allow you to trigger your ultimate. Combined with dodge and crit, Phantom dancer is critical for you, but AFTER you have significant +DAM
5. Jax needs some defense to be a real killing machine in late games when they will be focsing and hunting you. I tried a Guardian Angel, but much better is a Banshee's Veil

Summary

Though AP builds can be effective, physical DPS works better for Jax overall. In this guide, we maximize the advantage of two key skills:

1. Weapon mastery (+15% damage from +damage items)
2. Dodge -> Counter Strike
To go for a pure AP build is basically throwing away his passive (#1). An AP build gives you controllable up-front burst but lower sustained DPS. A physical build will give you better sustained DPS plus excellent burst, but not as controllable (since you are hoping for autoattack crits).

Dodging is great for defense, but in the case of Jax, his Counter Strike ability allows you to AOE stun and damage on a dodge. In short, dodge increases your survivability and your DPS, so you absolutely must maximize dodge at all costs. You will learn to love seeing Jax surrounded by a purple ball; that means he just dodged and is ready to Counter Strike.

Item Build


Item Build, v1.0
Regrowth Pendant
- HP regen needed for early game laning
Ninja Tabi - Speed and dodge make this a critical item for Jax
Phage - +damage, slow, health, and builds to Frozen Mallet
Infinity Edge - The main item you are going for
Zeal -> Phantom Dancer - The only other item in the game that gives you +dodge

Then choose between, depending on needs:
Frozen Mallet - You already have the Phage. Are you having problem finishing people? This will lock them in place for you.
Defensive Counter - Are they blowing you up? Against tanks, get cooldown items. Against magic, get magic resistance

Item Build, v1.1
Regrowth Pendant
- HP regen needed for early game laning
Ninja Tabi - Speed and dodge make this a critical item for Jax
Sheen - It is only natural that after an empower, counter strike, or leap strike that you want your next hit to increase +dam by your base damage. Do NOT upgrade this to a Lich Bane in this build.
B.F. Sword - The B.F. Sword is +50 DAM, but since you're Jax, you get +57.5
Zeal - Gives you much needed attack speed, crit chance, and move, and turns into Phantom Dancer, critical to your dodging.

Then choose between, depending on needs (typically, look at top killer on opponent side and determine counter):

[vs. Heavy Magic]: Banshee Veil - If there are lots of stuns and magic nukes (Ryze, Annie, Sion, Veigar), you will want this for the HP and magic resist. You aren't afraid of physical DPS (you already have a ton of armor and dodge). If they are glass cannons anyway (Ryze), you really need this earlier rather than the DPS.
[vs. Heavy Melee or you find you aren't stunning them enough]: Zeal -> Phantom Dancer - Against melee guys, Phantom Dancer's attack speed helps trigger the Ultimate more often in hand-to-hand fights (more common vs. melee), it helps your dodge (also good against melee and stunning), and your closing/escape speed (+movement).
[Generally need more DPS]: Infinity Edge / Black Cleaver / Phage - Buy the best one you can afford and move on.
Runes
I like stacking primary runes only, as secondary runes give you inferior stats. The latest patch made this even more evident. Therefore:
Red: Armor Penetration (recommended) or Critical Chance
Yellow: Dodge (so you can spam E)
Blue: Cooldown (so you can spam E)
Purple: Dodge (so you can spam E, see a pattern?)
Masteries
21/9/0 is the best, as it maximizes DPS, but it goes into the defensive tree enough to pick up all the dodge related masteries (+dodge and Nimbleness). The minor problem with this build is that your mana regen is insufficient because you'll be spamming your E ability at times. 0/9/21 also works, but I felt it was a bit gimped on the offense side.

Skills
For levels 1-3, get one of each of the skills, starting with Leap Strike, as it is very good killing tool at level 1-2. After that, choose based on the following priority, meaning the first item on the list must always be chosen if available:
1. Relentless Assault (R) - Helps laning, farming, burst, jungling, ganking, all for 0 mana cost. A must if available.
2. Counter Strike (E) - IMHO, his most important ability.
3. Leap Strike (W) - An incredible ability used mainly to start an attack or catch runners.
4. Empower (Q) - Kind of weak, it's a DPS increase, but your other abilities are key to how Jax works.
Summoner Spells
Flash - good for chasing down or escaping, though on long cooldown.
Exhaust - good for chasing down mainly, or running away from single enemy

Those are what I would recommend, though teleport and revive have their uses.

Strategy
Fight amongst a few enemy minions to help you trigger a dodge -> Counter Strike.
For other characters, ganking a lone champion is the ideal situation. For Jax, fighting amongst a few enemy minions actually helps you because the minions attacking you help trigger a dodge, which then allows you to AOE stun and DPS using Counter Strike. This is why we spent a ton of effort getting dodge, now we are going to abuse it. Just don't go too crazy with this in the early levels (your dodge isn't high enough), and don't jump into a huge mass of minions and you'll be fine.

Typical Fight
1. Empower your weapon (Q) (optional, only if significant time between Empower and your attack)
2. Leap Strike the enemy champion (W)
3. While you are still in melee range (safe or otherwise), spam Counter Strike (E)
4. Pursue if safe, otherwise run.
5. Repeat

Cautions
You are susceptible to a few things, so keep these in mind:
1. Baiting: After a Leap Strike, most people run, and many Jax players get in the habit of chasing. Jax players need to be wary of chasing too much and getting baited.
2. Ranged Magic Nukers: You are susceptible to ranged, glass-cannon magic based champions like Ryze because dodge doesn't help you against their nukes. If one of them is really owning you, consider picking up magic resist to counter. These are your biggest foes, make sure you get the jump on them; your Leap Strike (W) should outrange basically any ability you would be scared of.
3. Tanks: You really aren't that susceptible to tanks by themselves. They should obviously never be your first target, due to high HP and high armor. But if you do have to fight 1v1, and since they have to be in melee range and they are generally autoattacking, that gives you a ton of dodge chances puts them in range of your Counter Strike when it triggers. Basically, at high levels, they will be stunned at every E cooldown, and with your R ability, the longer you fight hand-to-hand, the faster and harder you hit, and they start running. If you are really having trouble with tanks, I would recommend getting some cooldown items to allow you to spam Counter Strike even faster.


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zYn

Senior Member

08-20-2009

Perfect mini-guide, straight and to the point.

I've been really interested in giving jax a shot. I now feel like I know what to be doing. (I normally play support, nuker role)


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Mearcliff

Junior Member

08-20-2009

悪魔Jaxプレイ方法を知っているものではありません。


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Belegost

Junior Member

08-20-2009

this is just one of strategies you can use,but it looks good.


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Vukasa

Senior Member

08-20-2009

Physical, AP, and Tanking are all effective styles but from experience being able to hybrid the 3 together is where jax's strength lies. This version seems squishy but if the other team were to give you free farm i could see it being effective late gam. Also alot of what the AP version loses in "sustained" dmg is made up with the ult stacking 1:1. Not saying its more effective just that its sustained dmg is still pretty fierce.


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Sigurd

Member

08-20-2009

I'll say the movement speed quintessences are better than the dodge ones. Movement speed works on top of items while dodge suffers from diminishing returns.


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Akuma

Member

08-21-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigurd View Post
I'll say the movement speed quintessences are better than the dodge ones. Movement speed works on top of items while dodge suffers from diminishing returns.
Fair statement, and basically I had a tough time deciding between movement speed and dodge. Because dodge is very hard to come by and is critical to being able to trigger Counter Strike, I chose that. In other words, dodge is important for defense and offense.

But movement speed is also essential for Jax, for both attack and escape, that I think +move is the only other alternative, and may even be better. I need to think about it some more whether it is better, but it's certainly valid.

Regarding the other comments, I think that a pure AP build is not a good idea, however, I think that possibly a mixed build may also be good, because although physical DPS gives theoretically better sustained DPS, practically speaking, nobody is going to sit there and take hits from you. Typically they are running or you are running, with not much in between. So I'm experimenting with a few new builds, I did not like the pure AP build. I'll try some mixed builds and see how that goes.

Thanks for the feedback guys.


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LaSt HiT MaGic

Senior Member

08-21-2009

Quote:
Exhaust - good for chasing down mainly, or running away from single enemy
Cleanse is a way better choice then exhaust if your already using flash. This is because Cleanse will remove any negative stun/debuf you have it is a little over powered in my opinion.


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Bean

Junior Member

08-24-2009

I don't think Jax should touch AP at all. As for mixing up tanking, Frost Mallet is enough for all intents and purposes of tanking for Jax.

With Jax, my strat is to make him hard to run from and also hard to stay and fight against. So I pick up Cleanse and Flash. These are useful in both chasing and running as well as ganking.

For masteries, I want to augment my summoner spells and add dodge and movement spd.

So I go 13 down the Defense tree to pick up the Cleanse/Boost augmentation while picking up Evasion and Nimbleness. Then I go 17 down Utilities and pick up Blink of an Eye and Quickness. Awareness and Expanded Mind help alleviate Jax's need for quick lvling to take advantage of ult upgrades asap and Jax's need for mana (obviously it doesn't completely alleviate this problem).

Strength of Spirit in the Defense tree and Expanded Mind work together on this and help augment lane staying power.

For runes, I went Dodge and Crit Chance. Crit Chance works great with Jax and it helps augment his items which are almost all going to be attack power. Dodge... well obviously Dodge is ideal.

For items, I stick with Boots of Swiftness (lvl 3 movement), then the first level hammer (dun remember the name) that slows for the health, atk power, and ganking power. Then I jump to the Bloodthirster for the ability to jungle and compete in a toe to toe battle against one or two heroes. You can also handle waves of creep without wasting too much mana or health. That's my base items. From there, you can go Black Cleaver or Infinity Edge. Then Frost Mallet for the health against casters. If you need the health earlier than later, Frost Mallet after Bloodthirster isn't bad either.

Once you have all these items... the opposing team will have alot on their plate. It's alot of farming, but Jax is a farming and ganking machine once you get Bloodthirster. You deal as much dmg as most caster's nukes (even late game) per hit, you hit faster and faster until you hit too fast, and you deal extra magic dmg which is nice since most people don't get much magic resist items. Oh and you have an AOE stun which will almost always be available given your Dodge %. Unless they have alot of AOE. Then you're screwed no matter who you are. Lol.


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Haadogei

Member

08-24-2009

You are that Jax from yesterday haha. We woulda had you guys had our teamates been more helpful. We were the Jax/dillo combo.


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