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Jarvan IV, Enryuu's Guide

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This is my first guide and is with one of the newest champions that Riot has released Jarvan IV, The Exemplar of Demacia. This guide is how I play Jarvan on Summoner's Rift. I don't play any Twisted Treeline so I'm not so sure how well this guide will work there. But I'd suggest going tanky first still and then building up the damage.

I usually play Jarvan as a side laner so this guide will mostly be about that then anything else. So let's start off with the pros and cons of Jarvan.

Great initiator
Decent CC
Decent DPS
Good utility for armor pen and slowing to help in team fights
Good farmer
Good survivability
Great escapist
Ultimate can lock a target to their death
Ultimate easily avoidable
Ultimate double edged sword
Needs heavy farming
Slow melee
Not the best chaser

Runes and Masteries

These are the runes and masteries that I use personally while laning and I will add in jungling as well.

Laning - 21/8/1
3 - Deadliness
1 - Cripple
3 - Sorcery
4 - Alacrity
3 - Sunder
3 - Brute Force
3 - Lethality
1 - Havoc
3 - Resistance
3 - Hardiness
2 - Strength of Spirit
1 - Haste

Jungling - 1/21/8
1 - Plentiful Bounty
3 - Resistance
3 - Hardiness
3 - Strength of Spirit
2 - Defensive Mastery
2 - Hardened Skin
4 - Veteran's Scars
3 - Ardor
1 - Tenacity
1 - Haste
3 - Perseverance
4 - Awareness

Left side if recommended and what I personally use the Right are alternatives or a matter of preference
9x Greater Quintessence of Desolation(+3.33 Armor Penetration) or Greater Quintessence of Fortitude(+26 Health)
9x Greater Mark of Desolation(+1.66 Armor Penetration)
9x Greater Seal of Vitality(+1.08 Health Per Level) or Greater Seal of Evasion(+0.75% Dodge)
9x Greater Glyph of Shielding(+0.15 Magic Resist Per Level)

So why these runes. Well you need armor pen since your melee DPS and so you can still dish out some damage early game even if the opposing team gets some early armor. Your Q only does so much so why not Pen their armor even further for more DPS right? The seals I chose the health per lvl ones because I felt Jarvan was kind of squishy and low on health and he's a Bruiser after all so instead of using a lot of time building up health items to make him a bit tankier why not just get it from runes. The Glyphs are self-explanatory since they are MR per lvl runes so as to help you out on the MR seeing as Jarvan is more of a physical damage mitigation type champion with the passive effects and active of his E ability.

If you prefer the health quints for more health early game as a safety net go with those over the Armor Pen. However for seals I prefer the health per level as a way to make Jarvan more tanky and without relying on some RNG mechanics like Dodge. But it may work better if you change up your masteries a bit to grab the Dodge as well in the Defensive mastery tree along with Nimbleness.

Skill Order
1-6 - Laning
then R,Q,E,W or swap W and E pending on the team composition and what you need.

More magic dealers go W the shield is very helpful and it doesn't hurt to have more of a slow from the shield active. More physical damage then more points in the E for more DPS with the attack speed active/passive.

1-6 Jungle
then R,Q,E,W again same thing as laning

Can experiment with the jungle build a bit more, since another viable skill order is E,W,E,Q,Q,R so go with what best fits for your play style and build.

If you are jungling I'd suggest ganking at 4 when you get all 3 of your abilities because the knock up slow is definitely good for that. You may get a bit low or have to base early but that's normal for jungling and Jarvan imho isn't the fastest jungler but it is doable.

Summoner Spells:
Ghost/Exhaust(or Ignite for early kills)

Jarvan is a pretty slow champ so ghost is needed to catch up to champions and is very good to help you get away when coupled with your Q and E which is almost like a build in flash but don't overuse this to get around you will go OOM quickly.

Exhaust brings good utility specially if you have it improved. Ignite is self-explanatory...extra DPS and good for netting the KB on a low health champ or for those pesky healers.

Start off with either a Doran's Shield, Cloth Armor and 5xHealth Pots, or Long Sword and a health pot.

There many builds that are viable for Jarvan so I will try and go into detail of them all.

Doran's Shield good starting item gives you some tankiness and health for early game sustainability and you already have some decent harass with your passive which is good for last hitting during the laning phase as well.

Cloth Armor is good to give you early armor mitigation and helps you build into 2 awesome items for whether you are jungling or laning and the health pots let's you stay in the lane awhile and harass.

Long Sword is good for early game damage especially with your Q since that has a good range for a melee champ for harassing your enemies with. Just be careful not to overuse it so you end up going OOM and have to constantly recall or be on the other end of the harass.

Ok so onto the core build pending on how you started.

Tanky DPS Item Build

If you got a Doran's Shield or Cloth Armor at the start wait if you can until you have money to go back and grab a Heart of Gold and boots. If not just grab the boots later. Heart of Gold will pay itself off later. The sooner you get this the better off you are hence I suggest mainly starting off with the Cloth Armor and 5pots but your health pool is pretty squishy so Doran's Shield isn't bad either just delays your build a bit more. So you want to have by around the 10-15min mark 2 Hearts of Gold and Merc Treads and on your way to building a Banshee's Veil by getting Catalyst. The 2 Hearts of Gold is enough to ignore the physical DPS or at least reduce the damage to a not so omg I'm squishy omg the pain amount. Merc Treads well can't go wrong there MR and CC Reduction.

Catalyst and Banshee's Veil will net you enough MR with this build to be at roughly 150+ MR by 18 which around 60% reduced damage if no Magic Pen is present.

After you want to start farming up for a BF sword which you will then turn into a Bloodthirster. This will give you omg amazing extra damage to not only your Q and you R but you'll be bringing the pain to their squishies and even their tanks because you got tank survivability and the life steal of Bloodthirster for sustainability. If the squishies are building armor or the tanks are build a Last Whisper. But hold on the Last Whisper if the opposing team has someone who works off attack speed and is physical damage. Starting turning one of those Hearts of Gold into a Randuin's Omen. CD, Health, and an Active Slow for movement and Atk Speed. It will make those Atk Speed stackers cry seeing their damage drop. Making you even more of a tank that brings the pain, while allowing your squishy teammates to live and throw out the damages.

If the game is still going then sell that last Heart of Gold and build whatever you think is needed to finish up the game Infinity Edge, Atmas Impaler, Frozen Mallet, Force of Nature. Either go more tanky or go more DPS its up to you at this point.

For those that started with a Long Sword you can turn it into a Wriggle's Lantern for the ward and lifesteal effect along with the passive for farming. Or you can keep it for a part to a Last Whisper and go with the above build. In the end you will be basically building the same core items for tanking and DPS as the above even if you start with the Long Sword. However if you got to deal with more magic damage and what more damage for early game try building a Hexdrinker.

If your jungling turn the Cloth Armor into a Madreds then into a Wriggle's Lantern. Which will speed up your jungle and then proceed to go DPS or tanky.

End Result: Randuin's Omen, Mercury Treads, Banshee's Veil, Bloodthirster, Last Whisper, (Infinity Edge[more DPS/crit fun], Frozen Mallet[slow more health], Atmas Impaler[more DPS,more armor])

If you jungled then you last item would probably Wriggle's instead or you can sell it later your choice.

Tank Items
Tank items I'd recommend are Randuin's Omen, Banshee's Veil, Force of Nature, Atmas Impaler, Merc Treads. These items should net you enough health to add some good damage from Atmas and be able to withstand the damage being dished out for awhile since you will have around 200 MR and Armor. For you last item I'd suggest either more health for Atmas damage conversion or build a Last Whisper so you can hurt more with the penetration coupled with your Q to make a penetration of 60% Armor Pen give or take. This build takes awhile so I would suggest grabbing more Hearts of Gold quickly for this build and be wary don't expect your K/D ratio to be in your favor here. You will get a lot of assists instead of kills and will not be dishing out the same amount of damage as the tanky DPS build mentioned above but instead be more of a durable tank that is a great initiator but can withstand the pain brought on from the enemy for a longer period of time.

End Result: Randuin's Omen, Banshee's Veil, Force of Nature, Atmas Impaler, Last Whisper, Mercury Treads.

Jarvan is great for farming. His passive gives him a little extra damage for last hitting which may or may not take some time getting used to. But it allows you to last hit with ease in most cases without getting harassed much. Otherwise his E and Q spells are great at wiping off an easy 3 minions mainly the casters once you get enough points into your abilities. Usually around 5 in Q and 2-3 in E. Otherwise just time your Q to wipe out minions in a straight line for combo gold.

Use your passive as much as you can to harass and/or harass with your Q while your farming against the opposing champion(s) to not only get gold but dish out some free damage. Also use your Standard to give site whether it be in bushes for early jungle ganking at lvl 1 or just to check the bushes since it gives site almost like a ward.

Also when your laning try to overextend too much specially if the enemy team has a jungler. You can definitely see a death in your future if you do if they got early game CC of some kind. He can escape in most cases but don't expect Jarvan to be the Great Houdini and be an amazing magical escape artist.

Jungling Order:

So for jungling start at Wraiths and smite the blue one then kill the rest after hitting them to start with your standard. The armore and atk speed active will cause you to kill the wraiths with ease and with minimal damage taken. Then move onto wolves and mini golemns. Then in most cases port back buy a long sword or more health pots and head to blue then lizard and then gank or buy if you got enough money for Madreds. Rinse and repeat. However if there is no jungler on the opposing team then instead of basing and going to Blue Buff. Go to the enemies side and kill wolves or wraiths(or swap the order) and then mini golemns then base and grab Madreds.

Ultimate Usage:
Jarvan's ultimate is a bit tricky to time and use at times. You want to avoid anyone that has a flash ability or flash of some sort, as well as people who can go through walls. So all in all Jarvan's ult is a bit useless in most cases but its good for making people waste summoner spells or catching up to people. Just be careful not to use it near a tower and having it auto queued, because sometimes it will work just outside the actual range and once your in motion its gg on your part for a free kill if your by a tower to the opposing team. Learned from experience...yup been there done that lol. If you can time your ult just right its pretty much a free kill or 2 for you team depending on how many you lock in there and the damage output of your team. Be careful not to lock your teammates in there with you as well especially squishy ones. However if you can try to use it to save teammates instead if timed correctly. This will come with practice and time so just go out there and test til you get the timing down. Otherwise stick with the saving with your slow on your W or your knock up effect combo with your Q and E.

Also as a side note do not try to use your ult on a Katarina easy shunpo and Death Lotus if you use your ult with no Magic Resist on you. Not to mention it can spell the end for your teammates that are stuck in there with you. So be careful and aware of what is the best time and place to use your ult not to mention on which champion.

Champion lane partners:
Forgot to mention champions that are good to lane with when playing Jarvan.

Taric, Sion, Xin Zhao, Lux, Galio, Soraka, Poppy

Taric and Sion, stuns from hell coupled with your knock up will pretty much net you some kills if not first blood. Not to mention Taric's passive armor with yours omg physical damage dealers night mare.

Xin...Three Talon Strike/Audacisou Charge coupled with your Ult and knock up good bye whoever is unfortunate enough to not have a way out at lvl 6.

Lux...what else is there to say damage and support with a tanky dps means someone is gonna be in for some hurt.

Galio ult and your ult afterwards or during to start off with the flash ult combo, best CC and lock in your going to get on people to group them up for AOE pain.

Soraka sustainbility in the lane at its greatest let along armor passive with the heals. Smack away and never run out of mana or die in most occasions.

Poppy...rofl you can see the deadly combo here with Jarvan. Ult produces walls and if not charge and knock up coupled with a a devastating blow from Poppy means your health is gone in no time and you'll be QQing and screaming OP.

Garen..spinning til you drop or an ult to your face and nothing you can do about it while silenced while your in Jarvan's ult.

Urgot and Jarvan the deadly set up combo...ult to lock them in and ult to swap them out to destroy them further. Heck you can even use this combo for causing someone to cry by getting owned by the tower if you tiime your ults just right

Blitzcrank and Jarvan pretty good combo, pulls and knock ups galore = one poor CCed dead champion

Alistar same as Blitz and JArvan combo with the CC from hell let alone chance of tower whooping you down.

Malz or WW and Jarvan is pretty lolsy with the suppression combination along with the knock ups and Jarvan's ult. But even more OP when coupled with Malz's ult, Null Zone combo inside of Jarvan's ult. Anyone trapped in there is going to be one sad panda.

Fiddlesticks and Jarvan with their ults and CC are a great combo in the lane. Not to mention when you have Fiddle ult on top of people trapped within your own ultimate. So long as you got a pro Fiddlesticks with you and your CCs are pro you both will be a force to be reckoned with not only in the lane but in teamfights as well.


So to sum this all up Jarvan is a fun champion and a great tank/initiator that can throw out the damage. Best way I can think of him is almost like the old days of Garen. Just not as op at level 1 with the spin to win. Hope you enjoyed the guide and if I think of anything else I'll be sure to update and edit. But hope this helps those not sure of how to play the new champ and looking for some kind of guidance. Also as a side note Jarvan is good in 2v1 or mid situations since he can farm well and wipe out creep waves. Don't be afraid to try different things out either, so go out there and have fun and make Demacia proud.

Update 3/7/2011 added Champion partners section
Update 3/8/2011 added in more champion partners
Update 3/10/2011 added more details on runes and more info about alternative choices and my own
Update 3/25/2011 added more into champion partners

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Junior Member



I is are can has read guide and I is are can has like it a lot. It does teh damages and noms squishies while still being teh tankyzorz. This guide is are can haz gud guide and me likes a lotz.


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Senior Member



critiques are welcome btw

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unless they have powerful ap i build Manamune,tabi,thornmail,hellfire,atmas,Infinityedge/starks/lastwhisper. Makes me hella tanky and great dmg. many doubles/triples, a quadra(shoulda been a penta but f'n kassadin ks) Allows me to 2v1 too. Most games the enemy fears me in the lane. I also skill build R, E, Q, W in that priority. Never W until I'm forced to. Q just doesn't do enough dmg at a low lvl and lvling E Q first allows me to harass constantly, i also start with the Mp5 for the tear in manamune which is enough mp5 to spam both abilities all early game.

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Senior Member


hellfire? Don't know what item you meant there only that comes close is Deathfire but I don't see AP on Jarvan being good at all...so I know its something else. Hexdrinker?

And I tried that build order before just didn't work very well for me. This build nets me good early harass. Haven't gotten any higher then a double but then again most of the time people run away or someone else takes the kill when they are low. Might give your build a try, but a bit more detail of runes/masteries and what you start with and everything might help others out as well if they want to start trying your build over mine.

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great guide but you didnt mention swain as a good laning partner.
You knock then back while swain hold them and slow them at the same time. Both of you together pretty much deal a high amount of dmg in a few second

*forgot to mention you that, on a tank build I notice that frozen heart is really good on jarvan giving im lot of mana and tons of armor, you can build that item if they got a strong AD team.*

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Senior Member


great guide but you didnt mention swain as a good laning partner.
You knock then back while swain hold them and slow them at the same time. Both of you together pretty much deal a high amount of dmg in a few second

Champions with translation CCs synergize most with Jarvan in lane. IE, Blitzcrank pulls them, knocks them up, Jarvan knocks them up, traps them in ult. Urgot is also another selection as well as Alistar.

I'd just like to ask why E first as a skill in lane? Wouldn't it be better at lvl 1 to have Q, it gives better farming range and harassment for lower mana cost.

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A Cute 8 YO Girl

Senior Member


I enjoyed the guide and would like to bring to the table that Warwick + Jarvan makes me lol heartily. Both ults are impossible to survive.

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Senior Member


E as a skill first because you can use the E to scout bushes, presumably. It provides sight where it lands.

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Senior Member


Champions with translation CCs synergize most with Jarvan in lane. IE, Blitzcrank pulls them, knocks them up, Jarvan knocks them up, traps them in ult. Urgot is also another selection as well as Alistar.

I'd just like to ask why E first as a skill in lane? Wouldn't it be better at lvl 1 to have Q, it gives better farming range and harassment for lower mana cost.

E for the extra armor because your squishy early on with this build, but also for the fact of the site acting like a ward for bush checking. Q is good but the damage output is negligble til you get lvl 3 and get 2 points in there pending the armor amount they have.

And ya I needed to add in more champs just couldn't think of any off the top of my head. Will add in more when I get the free time.