Jax - Lifesteal tank - by Emoshun

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Due to this still being beta and I'm assuming that people have at least a knowledge of a champions abilities before they go looking about the forums I will not be listing them. Also, this is something that i hope generates discussion among people because I've found it to be very unique and successful for myself.
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Below is a list of the contents of this guide and each sections will be followed with a justification.

*NOTE* If I did this correctly you should be able to go to each section using the 'find' tool, just copy the section you want to jump to and then paste it in find.


1. Ability Build

2. Masteries

3. Runes

4. Items

5. Discussion

1. Ability Build

1 - Leaping strike

2 - Counterstike

3 - Empower

4 - Leaping strike

5 - Counterstike

6 - Relentless Assault

7 - Leaping strike

8 - Counterstike

9 - Leaping strike

10 - Counterstike

11 - Relentless Assault

12 - Counterstike/Leaping srtike

13 - Leaping strike/Counterstike

14 - Empower

15 - Empower

16 - Relentless Assault

17 - Empower

18 - Empower

*NOTE* I cannot remember if you are capable of getting relentless assault at 11 or 12, for some reason i just think its 11, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Justification: As a chaser Jax benefits greatly from his Leaping strike which can close the gap on a faster champion and allow him to land a hit that would've otherwise allowed the hero to escape (especially once you have phage/frozen mallet). 

With counterstrike and a high dodge chance you can develop an effective combo with leaping strike and counter attack to catch your opponent and snare him for others to close the gap. 

The single early empower is to put out some extra damage early on when fighting squishy damage or caster type classes. I find this great for initiating a battle, and to put on just before leaping strike to give that blow afterwards some more damage, I've noticed that it doesn't fade even when you use another ability.

Relentless assault should always be taken when available simply because of the sheer boost in damage it gives you. Every third hit is equivalent to a guaranteed crit possibly more, not many heroes can say they'll have that at 6. Top that off with increased attack speed on every swing, you can farm minions, as well as output amazing damage on champins.

2. Masteries

Why am I going to list a certain mastery build for Jax? Because these talents can give you an extreme advantage in the game when used correctly!


Archmage's savvy - 3/3 

Deadliness 2/3

Sorcery 3/3 

Sunder 3/3

Archaic knowledge 1/1

Lethality 3/3

Improved rally 1/1

Havoc 1/1

Total: 21


Hardiness 3/3

Mender's faith1/1

Evasion 4/4

Nimbleness 1/1

Total: 9

Utility: 0


The defense tree is to give him higher dodge to give more counterattacks, and with nimbleness it could spell defeat for your opponent when they might have gotten away. From personal experience I've tower dived and dodge tower shots to steal the kill. Yeah its nice.

Offense tree is up for grabs really, I use the archmage's savvy to gain more damage output from abilities, as well as the archaic knowledge. Sunder allows Jax to deal more physical damage, which in turn gives more life back. I personally use rally for early ganks and tower tanking, but feel free to play with the points and find something optimal for your style of play.

3. Runes

Marks - I've been using mainly armor penetration and +crit damage so you do more physical damage and get more health back. Also I think that this scales better for late game since they are percentages, and only a tank would stack a ton of armor.

Seals - All dodge. This combined with quintessences gves you 11% starting out the game. Free Ninja Tabai (not sure on spelling).

Glyphs - I've tried ability power here and + armor. The AP gives you more damage, and the armor a little more survivability.

Quintessence - Once again, all dodge.

4. Items

Due to the unique item build i use, justification for each stage will be presented.

*NOTE* I will work on putting the prices of each item into the build, but bear with me as i cannot remember all of them off the top of my head.

Early game (1-6) - lifesteal scepter(450) =>stark's fervor(1750 after you purchase scepter), ninja tabai(850). 


I left off some valuable information in this section that should be present. 

Ok, been seeing some people talk about regen and this is my retort: emblem of valor for 350g. you get 10h per 5 and a 17% lifesteal. Plus, it helps build your stark' fervor which then gives you 30h per 5 and 20% lifesteal on top of 45% attack speed and a -25 armor debuff to enemy units. Since this build focuses on physical damage obviously the debuff would be EXTREMELY helpful for yourself using it. As for the regen, there you folks have it, you'll get some if you build stark's fervor and not not have to drop 475g on a regrowth pendant. obtaining an emblem of valour is relatively easy if you get enough finishing blows, and on top of it its an aura, so your lane partner benefits from it as well (if you have one). To me this is the wiser choice because it aids your teammates, and who doesn't like a helpful teammate?


This build is perfectly feasible if you gank early and get the kills or if you neutral creep kill quickly. The scepter makes up for the lost regen, and if you're laning with a ranged champion you should have no problem smacking creeps to regen health. I usually do get the ninja tabai before i get the stark's fervor. 

Justification: With this build early game you have survivability, a good chance to proc counterstrike, and awesome attack speed for your level. The aura on Stark's fervor has been an asset to my teams and kept up some of my teammates in battles we would have otherwise lost. In addition, it adds movement speed which makes it easier to chase and get those champions that might've escaped.

Mid game (6-12) phage=>frozen mallet or phantom dancer. 

Easy enough if you keep up with farming, pushing, and ganking.

Justification: The phage/frozen mallet will make of for a deficiency in life that you would face while taking on a tank or two dps'ers, and also adds a very useful slow to ensure the kill ( and the + dmg isn't too shabby either). Phantom dancer will give you extra attack speed, movement speed and yes, dodge chance. What more could you ask for?

While each of these items are very useful, i also find that they are both expensive. I personally always go for the frozen mallet, because of the extra life and slow it has on it. If you are aggressive enough and people let you farm them, it is feasible to get both mid game, but very unlikely as you should be leveling quickly with this setup.

Late game (12-18) phantom dancer, banshee's veil, + whatever else you can think of.

The final touches on what I believe to be a superb hero.

Justification: The banshee's veil is mainly to give you more survivability so you can avoid those nasty snares (morganna, ryze, and ashe come to mind). After that and phantom dancer, it's really up to you. Need more damage? Get a black cleaver. More crit? Take your pick. 

5. Discussion

The main way to play with this build is AGRESSIVE! I've fought many heroes who thought they had the health regen or damage output to take Jax down, but because i didn't run and got in that extra health from blows i would have otherwise missed out on by running away, I came out the victor.

I've read over many other people's posts about how they build Jax as AP, which just felt wrong to me since he can get such a fast attack speed. He is on par with Warwick early on with the lifesteal (I've soloed him heads up) and his ability to close the gap between heroes and stun them is superb. Although this build does wane from his burst damage, I've found that attack 2 to 3 time's in a second might make up for the cooldown on leaping strike and counterstrike easily.

Due to the items and his passive ability of relentless assault, his damage output is already very high, and with increased attack speed it only gets better. I've taken on duo's many times because of the lifesteal and lack of stuns on their part. 

All in all I hope this gives a new perspective on a great hero in my opinion. Give it a try and post some feedback as to how it treats you. 

Thanks for the read.


The most amazing thing I've found about this though is that late game you can defeat virtually anyone solo. As a team player you offer the lifesteal and movement speed aura and can go kill the dragon whenever you happen to be close to it (done it at level 6). 

Hopefully some of you will read this and give it a go, I would greatly appreciate any feedback as to how it treats you.

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