- Jax: Champion Overview
- Deckbuilding Options
- General Playstyle
Jax, the Grandmaster at Arms, is one of the more mysterious champions in the world of Runeterra due to the concealment of his true identity. In League of Legends, as his title implies, he is an expert fighter who fights with a lamp to purposefully disadvantage himself because he’s that good, and this certainly rings true in Legends of Runeterra as well.
Equipped with his Light of Icathia (the lamp), Jax has the potential to snowball a game in your favor just as easily as many other champions, provided you can keep him alive long enough to do so. So let’s take a look at what Jax can do and how you can build an effective deck around him.
Jax: Champion Overview
Jax is a three-attack, two-health unit that costs two mana to play, and his evolution condition is the following: “Equipped allies have struck for 15+ damage.” The mana stats-to-cost ratio here is above average (an average ratio would land him with two-health, two-attack), meaning he has an inherent value already. When evolved, he has four-attack, three-health, and considering he can be leveled up while he's out of play, those stats are remarkable value for only two mana.
Additionally, he Auto-Equips his weapon, “The Light of Icathia,” which grants him Quick Attack, and, if evolved, also grants him Overwhelm. These stats and keywords are nothing to scoff at, making him a very strong unit to curve out in the early game, or even play in the mid- to late-game when he’s already evolved.
With the previously mentioned evolution condition for Jax in mind, once he is evolved, he has a pretty decent effect.
When attacking, he gains one health and attack for each Equipped ally, but this buff only lasts for that round. This is certainly a scary situation to be in if you have to defend against a buffed-up Jax, especially considering he has Overwhelm. But, this makes him extra vulnerable when not attacking if his stats aren’t already buffed from Forging him.
Jax’s champion spell is Jax’s Counter Strike. It shields Jax with Barrier and Forges him (or, more accurately, his weapon, granting it plus one health and attack). It costs three mana to play and is a burst spell, making it incredibly strong.
The main downside is that it can only be cast on Jax. So, unlike other champion spells that are separate cards in themselves (Zed’s Shadowshift, for example), Jax’s Counter Strike can only be cast when you have one Jax in play and one in your hand.
Jax’s passive is Grandmaster at Arms and reads the following: “You may put any Weaponmaster cards into your deck during deckbuilding.”
In other words, any Weaponmaster card can be put in your deck, regardless of their region(s), as long as there’s a Jax in your deck. This allows for some serious multi-regionality, which fosters a couple of different deckbuilding strategies, as we’ll see in the next section.
Considering Jax’s low stats, it's best to run a deck that excels at defending him when he’s in play, and there are a few regions that have the capacity to do this really well: Ionia, Demacia, Freljord.
Also, Jax is best played around two different factors: Equipment and Forge keywords through his evolution condition, and multi-regionality through his Grandmaster at Arms passive.
When it comes to the former two keywords, it’s best to have other cards that can Equip and Forge so that way Jax isn’t the only way he can level himself up. When it comes to his passive, there are Weaponmaster units and spells across all the regions, making a multi-regional deck a great way to go. With all that said, let’s take a look at a couple of decks for each strategy.
Jax And Kayn
Kayn, one of the other champions released alongside Jax in the Awakening expansion, works well with him just by virtue of his Auto-Equipping his Darkin Scythe, so he would be able to evolve Jax by himself.
On top of that, Kayn’s passive allows Cultist Cards of any region to be placed in a deck with him, and many of the Cultist cards synergize well with Equipment, making them a seamless pair for Weaponmaster cards.
Jax And Ornn
Ornn, another champion released alongside Jax in the Awakening expansion, works well with him for similar reasons as Kayn. Ornn may not have an Auto-Equip as Kayn does, but both he and a nice chunk of Freljordian cards complement the Equip and Forge keywords very well.
Jax And Tristana
Pairing Jax up with Tristana is great because of the multi-regional aspect of Weaponmasters. Multi-regionality complements Tristana very well, as it inherently buffs up her attack power as well as makes it easier to level her up (her level-up condition is summoning 4+ multi-regional allies). She continues to buff multi-regional followers once she’s evolved by giving them plus one attack and Impact, which is nice to have.
On the topic of multi-regionality, sticking the Landmark The Bandle Tree with Jax can be a bit of a cheeky way to win the game through the many regions represented by the Weaponmaster cards.
Jax And Pantheon
The thinking behind putting Pantheon with Jax is the Fated keyword (units with Fated gain one health and attack the first time they’re targetted with an allied card each round). A deck containing Jax and his Weaponmasters can easily be built with Pantheon and other Fated cards, as they can make for some devastating units as they are continually Equipped and Forged.
Aside from Jax’s most glaring synergies, it’s a good idea to run a deck that protects him well, as previously mentioned. With only two health on his base form, he is vulnerable to all sorts of removal spells, and the last thing you want to happen is to have him get slain as soon as you curve him out on turn two. So no matter what region you end up choosing to build a deck with alongside Jax, it pays to pick up some defensive cards.
Don’t play Jax unless you have defensive cards in your hand (and the mana to play them). You need to be able to respond to your enemy should they try and kill him.
Typically, decks built around Jax will not be geared toward the late game, so heavy control decks will likely beat you if you don’t curve out early. Thus, it’s important that you do, in fact, curve out with this deck so you can pressure your opponent as best you can. Some Jax decks may be more midrange than aggro, but in both cases, early pressure is quintessential to beating another midrange or control deck, and in some cases, even a heavy aggro deck.
Another thing worth noting is that it’s alright if your Jax is killed when he’s all buffed up. Remember: when you Forge Jax, he’s technically not the one getting the buffs, it’s his weapon, “The Light of Icathia,” which will return to your hand with all its stats if he dies. The real problem arises if the Equipment is destroyed by, say, the Shadow Isles card “Quietus.”
Jax is an extremely versatile champion mainly due to his Grandmaster at Arms passive. He can synergize well with most regions, as there is a sizable number of Equipment cards to choose from, such as Souls Sword (Ionia), Bone Club (Freljord), Draconic Brands (Targon), or Great Hammers (Noxus), to name a few. With all that in mind, don’t be afraid to try things out, for there’s a lot you can do with Jax.
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