All Guides Jarvan IV Guides Jarvan IV In-Depth, Basics & Advanced
7 months ago

Jarvan IV Statistics for ClimbMountTargon

Author's performance with Jarvan IV compared to the ranked average.

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Summoner Spells Back to Top

A new season, but the same old summoners.

Keep an eye out, like I will, for the possibility of Summoner Spellbook Summoner%20Specialist.png?width=32 becoming meta on junglers. That could mean J4 could run something like Ignite/Smite or Exhaust/Smite and try to land brutal early ganks, then swap back to flash later on. For now, stick to the classic playstyle.
//Small update: Summoner Spellbook turned out to be OP and got nerfed, more because of laners than for junglers, but wasn't really used on J4 anyway. Still, Riot talked about possibly of changing this rune.



Flash has been a staple of the game for so long that it's hard to justify not getting it on a jungler, even just for the sake of being on equal footing with everyone else who has Flash.
If you pull off a gank that starts well, but your target flashes out, don't be afraid to flash straight up after him to stay on his face and apply Red Buff - Assuming he's not too close to his turret.

Jarvan IV being able to Flash out of his jarvanivcataclysm.png Ult's terrain after trapping enemies inside, is icing on the cake, but realistically in most of these situations, flashing out is enough unless you're up against a champion that moves really fast, but cannot cross the terrain.

Flashing during your E+Q Dash will cause you to apply the knock-up to wherever your Flash lands you, but it really has little uses other than surprising something like a Fizz that has an untargetability and killing him with one Autoattack+R during the knock-up before he can get away. (Check out the "Combos, Tips and Tricks" section for a video that demonstrates this)
In pretty much all other situations it'll be better to Flash, then EQ on your target, since you won't be wasting the (big) damage that your E+Q combo deals.


General Advice

About the use of your Smite while jungling: Jungle paths tend to vary often, and using Smite on a specific monster is part of the path, but so you can get a better idea of how it works, here are the general guidelines:
  • It's better to smite jungle camps that hit hard, so you can be done with them as fast as possible.
  • It's better to smite, out of the two buffs, whichever resists to your damage type (Be wary of this rule, check the details below in the Champion-Specific Advice).
  • It's better to smite camps depending on how much AoE you've got. Example: If your E+Q combo plus an extra Q (when it's back up) is enough to kill the small Raptors, it's good to not smite the Big Raptor and just autoattack it while you're waiting for your Q cooldown. On the other hand, if your E+Q kills the small Raptors in one go, it can be good to smite the big one right away and move on.
^ The guidelines above are just the theory, don't interpret them as "I MUST smite THIS in all my games".

Champion-Specific Advice

As for how to use your Smite specifically as J4, just keep in mind that your Passive jarvanivpassive.png deals a percentage of CURRENT HP - Which means you're better off smiting as late as possible (Good thing, since that's usually what a jungler wants to do!).

About Buffs and Smiting - I wrote earlier that in theory, it's better to smite whichever of the two buffs resists to your damage type - For J4, that's Blue Buff ("The Blue Sentinel") we're talking about, as it has positive armor and negative magic resist, while the opposite is true for Red Buff ("The Red Brambleback").
And while Red Buff takes a lot of extra physical damage, especially from J4's Passive jarvanivpassive.png, here's the problem: Red Buff hits like a truck. Which is why, at least in your first clear, I recommend using your Smite when clearing it.

Later on, when you can clear without worrying about losing too much health, it's effectively better to not smite Red Buff and whack it with your physical damage. But still, be wary of not getting it stolen because you didn't bother smiting - Red Buff is a really strong buff.

When Smiting Epic Monsters (Dragons and Barons), use your Smite for the killing blow, while landing a jarvanivdragonstrike.png Q or an autoattack simultaneously with the Smite. That's far less execute damage than what a few other junglers can pull off (Elise, Lee, KZ...) but you've got to use what you got.

New Runes Back to Top

Picking a Keystone Rune (General advice)

This is a piece of general advice, regardless of the champion: While Keystones feel like they define your playstyle, keep in mind that the free stats gained from choosing your Primary Path (and since recent patches, also from your secondary), also matter a lot. What I mean by this is that, regardless of what our Keystone rune does, it's better to choose a Primary Path that grants the stats you want.

As a reminder:

  • Press%20the%20Attack.png?width=32Precision grants AS
  • Electrocute.png?width=32Domination and Summon%20Aerie.png?width=32 Sorcery grant AD or AP
  • Aftershock.png?width=32Resolve grants HP
  • Summoner%20Specialist.png?width=32Inspiration grants Potion duration (gone next patch), and the stats of the Secondary Tree you choose (e.g. Inspiration-Precision grants AS)

All this leads to situations where players choose their Keystone Rune for the stats it gives them. For instance, we've seen high Elo Sejuani players running Fleet%20Footwork.png?width=32Fleet Footwork (in Precision) so that they get +18% AS to help them clear the jungle, rather than a Resolve Keystone like Aftershock.png?width=32Aftershock (and don't get them wrong, Aftershock is great, but lacking the free offensive stats from another primary tree, isn't)

Thankfully, Jarvan IV doesn't have this problem right now (His go-to Keystone grants the stats he wants), but keep that in mind if Riot adds new Keystone runes or changes the stats gained from Primary trees.


Jarvan IV's Runes - Detailed Breakdown!


Primary Path, Keystone Rune

Here, we'll be running Domination/Electrocute Electrocute.png?width=32 in all cases. As I explain above, this provides not only a keystone that fits J4's kit, but also the stats we want (AD).

So, aside from the stats, why is Electrocute great?

Electrocute is defined by having a long CD, and a solid burst of damage, but gets outperformed by other runes in term of sustained damage. In the case of junglers, Electrocute is the perfect fit: Your ganks will pack more damage, then you'll be clearing the jungle/a scuttle crab/recalling during its cooldown, or simply just looking for the next gank.

This is why the meta in Preseason 8 has mostly been about whichever junglers uses Electrocute the best (KZ, J4, Kayn, to quote a few). It simply fits the job of a jungler so well, AND it gives offensive stats to clear the jungle.

Keep in mind that unlike Thunderlord's Decree that we had before Runes Reforged, Electrocute can be triggered by non-damaging spells. In J4's case, that's his jarvanivgoldenaegis.png W. It'll rarely mean the difference between like and death, but hey, it's something. It could mean the once-in-a-lifetime, funny situation where your W triggers Electrocute and kills somebody who's out of autoattacking range.

Discussing other options:
(I do not recommend those, but this is brainstorming/understanding how to choose a Keystone rune):

There aren't really any other alternatives to Electrocute, aside from Domination/Dark Harvest Dark%20Harvest.png?width=32, but it's a bit of a gamble. Not only is this rune geared towards midgame and further (While Electrocute is more impactful from early to midgame), but it's also hard to quantify its power (it's stronger if Cannon Minions die around you, stronger if ally or enemy champions die around you during a teamfight...). If you're curious, it can be a good thing to try out Dark Harvest in a normal game and see how it plays out for you. As for myself, I prefer the good old, reliable Electrocute.

Even if you feel like your team needs a tank, do not run a Resolve Keystone. Lacking the bonus AD from Domination and getting Health instead will slow your clear direly, meaning less ganks, less kill pressure, less gold from farming... It's better to run Electrocute and then adapt your build to be tanky after snowballing from your kill pressure thanks to Electrocute.

Inspiration/Summoner Spellbook Summoner%20Specialist.png?width=32 has potential to be meta on junglers, but Riot has recently said they might change the rune to be less about having -15% cooldown (already nerfed from -25%!) on summoner spells... So I doubt this rune will be a good choice in the future.


Primary Path, Secondary Runes, Slot 1

Run Sudden Impact Sudden%20Impact.png?width=32 in all cases.

The other options are simply not worth it.

Taste of Blood Taste%20of%20Blood.png?width=32 is for laners (though it can help in a duel/2v2 as a jungler, but it doesn't beat out Sudden Impact).

Cheap Shot cheap%20shot1.png?width=32 is undertuned. It should be a great rune for almost all junglers, since they have access to Red Buff early on, which allows them to permanently trigger the rune easily by simply autoattacking (and besides J4 has 2 ways to trigger this rune without red buff)... But in the end, the numbers are simply not enough to compete with Sudden Impact.

Take note that Sudden Impact isn't as great as it first sounds on J4, since in most cases you'll gain the lethality AFTER using your E+Q combo, meaning your Q damage won't get increased by the lethality. Still, it's a solid rune overall, your Passive's jarvanivpassive.png autoattack will get a good extra crunch thanks to the lethality, just like your R. In THEORY the most value you'd get out of this rune would be to first flash, then E-Q-R, but please don't waste your flash for just a bit of extra damage!


Primary Path, Secondary Runes, Slot 2

Option 1) Eyeball Collection Eyeball%20Collection.png?width=32

 Option 2) Zombie Ward Zombie%20Ward.png?width=32    


Eyeball%20Collection.png?width=32 Eyeball Collection, the first option, is the straightforward choice if you want to snowball, get more stats, and hit people in the face. Take note how important it is to destroy wards to stack this rune quickly (It's fine by me, I love running Red Trinket. More about that in the Items section). Technically, there's nothing that prevents you from running this even if you want to be tanky, but read further:

Zombie%20Ward.png?width=32 Zombie Ward, the second option, is overall good, but much better if you actively invest in creating/removing vision: Buying more 2055.png control wards, placing and removing more wards if your trinkets.

The more wards you place, the more Zombie Wards you'll get when they expire, letting you double dip on the vision - Which is a LOT more vision. Enemy wards that you remove will also turn into Zombie Wards, so keep an eye out for them, use your red trinket often.

You can pick one of these two options according to your playstyle, regardless of your goal in the game, but as I've shown in the runepages above, it makes more sense to use Zombie Ward when you're focusing heavily your playstyle on warding and de-warding, and Eyeball Collection when you're all about snowballing kills and destroying turrets.


Primary Path, Secondary Runes, Slot 3

Run Relentless Hunter Relentless%20Hunter.png?width=32 in almost (all) cases.

Choosing between these three options is really champion-specific. J4 doesn't really use Ravenous Hunter Ravenous%20Hunter.png?width=32 well.

Relentless Hunter Relentless%20Hunter.png?width=32 is straightforward and reliable, you can't go wrong without of combat movespeed, especially on junglers, especially as J4 who needs to walk into E-Q range and then doesn't really care about his in-combat movespeed (since he'll be locking down his target).

Ingenious Hunter Ingenious%20Hunter.png?width=32, on the other hand, has some potential. I didn't include it in the ready-to-use runepages above, but hear me out on this: The item active CDR that it grants works on trinkets (This is often forgotten). So I think that fitting this rune in a playstyle where you're looking to remove as many wards as possible (coupled with Zombie Ward Zombie%20Ward.png?width=32) can be interesting. But to make it really worthwhile, it'd be good to double dip on this rune by grabbing items with good actives. I'll be covering items with more details later on, but to give you a peek, here are a few items active that J4 can build: 3748.png3143.png3193.png3142.png

Beware, though, that's just the theory. Ingenious Hunter has a pale winrate compared to Relentless Hunter, but I think it's not that bad of a rune. I might be biased because this rune is great on Supports, which is my other role.

Conclusion: I really recommend running Relentless Hunter Relentless%20Hunter.png?width=32.
If you're enjoying a playstyle around Zombie Ward, and placing/removing a lot of wards, then I think Ingenious Hunter can be worthwhile, as long as you build items to make use of it. That would most likely be a tanky J4, with 1413.png3748.png3193.png

Still, that's a very experimental playstyle.


Secondary Path

Four choices!


1) Secondary: Precision

//Quick note: Since this patch, going Domination/Precision grants +AD and +AS instead of a bunch of +AD. This isn't a big change. Slightly less upfront burst, a tiny bit more sustained damage/jungle clearing.

This is the straightforward option if you just want to deal more damage and improve your jungle clear.

These are the secondary runes you get, and why:

Legend: Alacrity Legend%20Alacrity.png?width=32 . While AS might not be the prime offensive stat for J4, this rune is a good fit on junglers since they rely on AS when clearing the jungle. The "Legend" runes mostly look to be about scaling, but starting with 3% extra AS at lvl 1 is still a small bonus. After a level 3 clear and maybe a few kills and assists, it'll quickly ramp up to be free stats to keep your jungle clear competitive.

Coup de Grace Coup%20De%20Grace.png?width=32. This rune is a staple of the Precision Tree, and while I agree it's great, I think it's a little overrated. Still, get it before it's nerfed. Every extra damage you can get from Runes is additional kill pressure for your ganks.

Good alternative:

Triumph Triumph.png?width=32 is also a very popular rune in the Precision Tree, and it fits J4 well (Your E makes you one of the best champions to grab assists in teamfights). I would actually recommend using this one in all your games if you're in low Elo (no shame in that!), because low Elo games tend to see a LOT of champion deaths - and the more kills and assists you get, the more impactful triumph is.
If you decide to run Triumph, then swap out Coup de Grace for it.

Not-so-good alternative:

Legend: Tenacity Legend%20Tenacity.png?width=32. J4 has a few tricks to shrug off crowd control, and that would mean losing the great improvement to jungle clearing (and champion damage, too!) that Legend: Alacrity brings.


2) Secondary: Resolve

//Quick update: As I'm writing this, Riot JUST changed the Domination+Resolve bonus from 11 AD to 5 AD and 65 HP. Which is, in our situation, a nerf to clearing speed, and most likely a nerf overall to what already was not the best option. Still, if being tanky is your concern, you can safely choose this tree.
This looks like a straightforward option for players who want to be at least slightly tanky as J4, but this tree sadly isn't that impactful. It's still a decent pick and is mostly about getting some extra defensive stats.

Conditioning Conditioning.png?width=32: It's a staple of this tree, you can't go wrong with additional armor/mres. It's even better if you are up against mixed damage type.

Overgrowth Overgrowth.png?width=32: Not a great rune, but it's the second best you got in this tree. It's almost meaningless early, and it's okay from midgame onwards. The extra stats you get are more impactful if you build Gargoyle Stoneplate.

Situational alternative:
Iron Skin Iron%20Skin.png?width=32: Run this ONLY IF you're up against almost only physical damage. This rune is a bit lackluster, but unlike Conditioning, it's here as soon as the game starts, and really helps with your early jungle clear thanks to the flat armor increase. As the tooltip says, it grants +5% armor when using a shield or a self-heal, meaning you can juggle with your W cooldown, your smite cooldown (it heals you) and using your potions to get that bonus armor as often as possible when clearing.

The new rune in Resolve, Bone Plating, looks interesting if you want to pick up 1v1 fights in the river, or invade the enemy jungle.


3) Secondary: Sorcery

I use this secondary tree to grab two solid runes that fit well together:
Celerity Celerity.png?width=32: Don't overthink the Movespeed -> AD conversion that this rune brings, it's icing on the cake. The point of this rune is to get +3% movespeed, which helps with so many things (Roaming, moving between your jungle camps, getting close to your target, running away from threats...). As soon as you've got boots, it's a little more AD - Nothing too groundbreaking, but hey, it's free.

Waterwalking Waterwalking.png?width=32: This rune felt underwhelming to me at first glance, but I've taken a liking to it. When combined with Celerity, you get a decent bonus to your AD when in River, which lets you kill Scuttle Crabs quicker, and also helps when taking Dragons (And Barons, too, but realistically it won't help that much!). The real deal breaker is that the +25 movespeed in river allows you to be much more mobile when moving between lanes, when you need to countergank for instance.


4) Secondary: Inspiration

Mostly just to get the free Stopwatch.

Perfect Timing Perfect%20Timing.png?width=32: You get a free Stopwatch at 6 minutes. if you're experienced in using Stopwatch/Zhonya actives, it can be a lifesaver, or allow you to perform a clean safe turret dive. You can upgrade the stopwatch, broken or not, to a slightly cheaper 3026.png Guardian Angel or 3193.png Stoneplate.

Cosmic Insight Cosmic%20Insight.png?width=32: There aren't many other choices in the Inspiration tree. This rune is just a bit of additional stats that you can't refuse... CDR is a great stat on J4.


Drawing conclusions

Your primary tree is Domination/Electrocute in all cases, with little variation in the secondary runes (Mostly choosing between Eyeball%20Collection.png?width=32 Eyeball Collection for more snowballing and damage, and Zombie%20Ward.png?width=32 Zombie Ward for better vision control)

For your secondary tree:

Pick Precision if you value high kill pressure during ganks, jungle clearing, and 1v1ing the most.

Pick Resolve if you're more about tankiness than damage. You do not NEED to build tank items JUST BECAUSE you went for Resolve, but you'll get more value out of it.

Pick Sorcery if you like killing scuttle crabs and playing around them, running up and down the river to look for ganks. Take note that Sorcery does give you some extra kill pressure, but it doesn't compare to Precision.

Pick Inspiration secondary if you're good at using the Stopwatch active. I suspect the Stopwatch will fall out of flavor soon.


I'll try to keep this section as updated as possible. Riot has been looking into creating a "bruiser keystone rune", and who knows, maybe it'll fit J4 well.

Abilities Back to Top


Abilities Breakdown


jarvanivpassive.png Passive: Martial Cadence

Jarvan IV's basic attacks deal 8% of target's current health as bonus physical damage, capped at 400 damage against non-champions. This effect cannot occur on the same target more than once every few seconds (10/8/6 seconds at level 1/7/13).

dot-pattern.png %HP damage is always great to have while jungling. In most cases you won't need to put much thought into your passive (You just autoattack jungle monsters anyway). I'll put more details into using your spells when clearing the jungle in a section further below, "Jungle Clearing".

dot-pattern.png When fighting champions there is little subtlety to use this when jungling as J4 (unlike when he's laning). It does reward you for not E+Qing straight away when ganking - If your target is overextended enough, just walk up to them, autoattack them while they still have all their health, so the %current HP deals as much as possible. If you have Red Buff and use jarvanivgoldenaegis.png W, they'll most likely remain in autoattack range, then it's up to you when to use E+Q (If they flash out, for instance).


jarvanivdragonstrike.png Q: Dragon Strike

Jarvan IV extends his lance in a straight line, dealing (80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+ 120% bonus AD)) physical damage to all enemies it passes through and reducing their armor (10 / 14 / 18 / 22 / 26%) for 3 seconds.

If the lance connects with a deployed jarvanivdemacianstandard.png Demacian Standard (E), Jarvan IV dashes to it, knocking up nearby enemies along his path for 0.75 seconds.

dot-pattern.png This is your bread and butter damage ability, even though J4 is usually remembered for this spell only when combined with his E. Damage-wise, it's the most important ability to hit out of the two spells of the combo. Depending on how long a gank goes on, and how many levels in Q you have, you might have the possibility to use a second Q (Without E) on your target, so if somebody flashes out with 40hp from your gank and you have a few seconds until your Q is back up, chase after him and try sniping him with the tip of your Q.

dot-pattern.png If you find yourself caught in a fight to the death in melee range, stay focused: it's easy to miss a point-blank Q if your opponent is moving around you. It really hits in FRONT of you, unlike most recent champions who have a generous hitbox on their spells (Like Illaoi's Q) that allows them to hit targets that are sticking to them.

dot-pattern.png If you need to push a lane (after a gank for instance), Q through multiple minions while targeting the middle range minion (after they've lined up and start autoattacking).

dot-pattern.png The armor shred on this ability means it can be a good idea to land a combo on an enemy fed tank/juggernaut if he's really giving trouble to your teammates. Usually, you're expected to be diving the enemy team, but there are many situations in the game where it's fine to take the fight to an enemy frontliner and help your backline.

dot-pattern.pngThe cooldown on this spell goes down by 1 second per rank, and its base damage increases by 40 (which is solid compared to the average in league of legends), and is maxxed first.

For the uses of this spell while jungling, check the Jungle Clearing section further below.


jarvanivgoldenaegis.png W: Golden Aegis

Jarvan IV slows all nearby enemies for 2 seconds by 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35%. Jarvan IV also shields himself for 5 seconds, increasing in strength for each enemy champion hit by Golden Aegis.

Base shield: 60 / 85 / 110 / 135 / 160
Extra shield per enemy champion hit: 2 / 2.25 / 2.5 / 2.75 / 3% of Jarvan IV's maximum health.

dot-pattern.png This is your only real defensive ability. It doesn't scale that well with ranks, but makes up for it by being a spell that stays relevant in midgame even with one point invested into it (thanks to the max health scaling and the flat 12 seconds cooldown), and only costing 30 mana at all ranks. This is one of the reasons it's maxxed last.

dot-pattern.png It actually has an impressive range: 625. If somebody flashes out from your E+Q combo, chances are they'll still be in range of your W slow... In most cases, it won't make much of a difference, though, but it can allow one of your teammates to catch up.

dot-pattern.png While the obvious use is to slow enemies who are running away from you, it works both ways: Use it to slow whoever is running after you, or even to slow enemies who are chasing after your allies but who cannot take you on.

dot-pattern.png Don't be too hasty and use this as soon as your E+Q has connected. The slow only lasts 2 seconds, and your E+Q knockup lasts 0.75 seconds, so you'd be wasting almost half of the slow duration. Similarly, it can be interesting to not W while you're applying Red Buff to an enemy champion, since slows do not stack additively. If your target manages to walk out of your autoattacks' reach, use W right away to keep them slowed and catch up.

dot-pattern.pngIf you choose to build Gargoyle's Stoneplate 3193.png , use your W after activating the Stoneplate for a much stronger shield.


jarvanivdemacianstandard.png E: Demacian Standard

Passive: Jarvan IV permanently has bonus attack speed (15 / 17.5 / 20 / 22.5 / 25%).

Active: Jarvan IV throws a Demacian flag to the target location, dealing magic damage (60 / 105 / 150 / 195 / 240 (+ 80% AP)) to all nearby enemies. The flag then remains for 8 seconds, granting sight around it and providing an aura that grants Demacian Standard's bonus attack speed to all nearby allied champions.

dot-pattern.png A simple chunk of magic damage in a small AoE. Of course, what matters here is the use for your E+Q combo. It's obviously better to land the damage part of your E, especially in the early game, but once players start gaining levels and you start investing points in Q, the damage portion of E will be laughable, until you start putting points in it at level 8.

dot-pattern.png What I'm getting at: Don't sweat it if you land your E behind your target when E+Qing at level 5/6/7. At that moment of the game, champions have bought boots, so landing your E to damage them might make your E+Q too short to knock them up if they run away. (Even worse if your target has a dash or something).

dot-pattern.pngConclusion: If your E deals damage, it's great, but it's better to miss the damage part of your E but land the knock-up and Q damage, rather than nicely land your E damage but have your target just escape your knock-up.

Refer to the section Jungle Clearing for uses of E while jungling.


jarvanivcataclysm.png R: Cataclysm

Active: Jarvan IV leaps, unstoppable, to an enemy champion and deals physical damage (200 / 325 / 450 (+ 150% bonus AD)) to all nearby enemies upon arrival.

Upon impact, he creates a circle of impassable terrain for 3.5 seconds that grants sight around it. Jarvan IV can reactivate Cataclysm to instantly destroy the circle.

dot-pattern.png J4's signature devastating ultimate. It almost guarantees him to be a viable jungler (or completely trash) because if he ganks you with it, you either have a way to deal with it or you don't.

dot-pattern.png Pay attention to Flash cooldowns when playing J4. For most players, Flash has a 5 minutes cooldown (-15 seconds if they're running Inspiration/Cosmic%20Insight.png?width=32, -75 seconds if they're running Inspiration/Summoner's SpellbookSummoner%20Specialist.png?width=32. Plan your ganks accordingly to which enemy champions do not have flash available (and which ones have other spells that allow them to get out of your ult).

dot-pattern.png If you've got the option between ulting somebody with no flash and no way to get out, and somebody who can get out (e.g. when ganking botlane), just go for the easy target and butcher it. There's no point trying so hard to ult the ADC "because he's the ADC" when you can just guarantee his support's death and then take the enemy turret 3v1.

dot-pattern.png Deals a very respectable nuke of physical damage. In most of your ganks, the 3.5s terrain is what is going to matter the most, but if you're fighting for a kill, then just use it for the damage - Preferably after shredding your target's armor with Q.

dot-pattern.png The damage is dealt upon creation of the terrain, and only to enemies inside the terrain... Which means that if your target Flashes out during your dash, they will not only be outside the created terrain but also will take no damage. Play accordingly.

dot-pattern.png As the tooltip says, you're Unstoppable while dashing to your target before creating the terrain. You are not IMMUNE to CCs, since you will still receive debuffs (For instance, if Morgana binds you with a Q during your dash, it will not interrupt you, you'll still create the terrain, but after that, you'll still be rooted for the remaining duration). However, this Unstoppable status has a lot of uses, which I will cover in the Matchups section (I'll mostly include jungle matchups, but also all important things to do against specific champions, junglers and non-junglers).


Skill Order

J4's skill order has been fairly static over the years, there's not much to debate here.

To clear up a few possible misconceptions for beginning J4 players:
  • You start jarvanivdemacianstandard.png E, always, 30% AS matters more than any possible slight increase in damage you might get from having Q instead.
  • jarvanivgoldenaegis.png W shield really doesn't increase much with ranks, and the cooldown is static. As of now, there really is no point maxxing it second, especially now that maxxing E reduces its CD (back in the days maxxing W over E was worthwhile)
  • Maxxing E second reduces its CD, meaning more E+Q combos. Maxxing jarvanivdragonstrike.png Q first is not only the best option damage-wise, but it also lets you have such a low cooldown on your Q that you can use it twice in the duration of a single E Flag.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Most efficient start
    Slower first clear, more health
    If you really can't manage a healthy 1st clear with refillable
    Against lvl 1/2/3 possible invades of your jungle, and to ward river

Core Items

    Duelling and kill potential
    In all builds except pure tank
    Core items of tank J4
    If you got the free stopwatch rune
    Almost always
    Buy them.

Situational Items

    Your usual armor item(s)
    Against specific champs
    Need armor and GW
    Well-rounded, avoid against %hp damage
    You got a teammate that carries
    Not that good, still decent buy in a HP-heavy build
    Against AP burst/executes
    Only against 3 tanks
    Good item to snowball, not as good as duskblade
    Enemy team has a LOT of CC, a bad adc, and no champs that deal most of their damage through autos
    Keep the warding trinket if you're not used to sweep
    I recommend switching to red trinket

About starting jungle items:

This is subject to be changed soon, most likely in the next patch, where talisman/machete will be rebalanced. As of now, 1041.png Machete just gives way too much clearing speed. The only point of 1039.png Talisman is having more health regen which you should not need on your first clear.

Ideally you should be able to thrive with machete + refill pot and be healthy for a level 3 clear. That involves kiting monsters between your autoattacks and a few other small things. If you can't, that's fine, pick starting items with more sustain.


About upgraded jungle items:

//Tracker's Knife is gone! Deleting some text below that was all about Tracker's Knife.

Run 3715.png Skirmisher's Sabre. Challenging Smite is great to ensure you can snowball and smash people in 1v1s.

As for the enchantment on your jungle item, 1412.png Warrior is the straightforward choice if you want to be a bruiser and have a good damage powerspike to snowball. 1413.png Cinderhulk is also a fine choice if your build is going to include a fair share of HP (Black Cleaver, Warmog...).

Don't run 3706.png Stalker's Blade, it's just bad, you shouldn't need it to catch up to enemies as J4.


About situational items:

When to consider buying 3194.png Adaptive Helm?
  1. Champs that Adaptive Helm is great against: Aurelion Sol, Azir, Cassiopeia, Corki, Fiddlesticks, Karthus, Katarina, Kayle, Malzahar, Mordekaiser, Rumble, Singed, (reworked) Swain, Taliyah, Teemo.
  2. Other champs which Adaptive Helm works fairly well against: Amumu, Brand, Heimerdinger, Kennen, Kog, Ornn, Rammus, Syndra, Varus, Zyra.
  3. Champions that deal mostly physical damage, but who have some magic damage in their kit that gets mitigated easily by Adaptive Helm: Gnar, Jax, Nasus, Renekton, Shyvana, Trundle, Volibear.
  4. And lastly, the on-hit damage from 3504.png Ardent Censer's buff, 3124.png Rageblade, the damage from 3068.png Sunfire/1413.png Cinderhulk, and from 3151.png Liandry are mitigated by Adaptive Helm.
What about 3748.png Titanic Hydra?
  1. The more health you've already built, and the more you're planning to build later, the more value you get out of titanic hydra. It's still a decent item by itself, even without having built too much health.
  2. The active's cooldown is reduced by the rune Ingenious%20Hunter.png?width=32 Ingenious Hunter. While the rune is not mandatory and not great, it's still worth mentioning.
  3. Hydra has a good synergy with 3071.png Black Cleaver, who grants HP to increase the Hydra's damage, and causing the Hydra's autoattack reset to apply one extra stack of the Black Cleaver's armor shred to your target.


About trinkets:

The 3340.png warding trinket is vital at start to protect yourself from invades, and get vision on the enemy jungler's paths (In the river, in his jungle, on the exits from his jungle to the river and to lanes...).

I usually switch to the 3341.png Sweeper quickly, at my first or second recall, but I recommend keeping your warding trinket until level 9. The upgraded 3364.png Red Trinket is much more potent than the un-upgraded one.

Since Tracker's Knife is gone now, your team might expect you to provide some warding, so you can keep using the  3340.png warding totem for longer than usual if you like having vision where you need it.

Both trinkets, warding and sweeper, benefit from the runes Ingenious%20Hunter.png?width=32 Ingenious Hunter (Reduced cooldown) and Zombie%20Ward.png?width=32Zombie Ward (Wards you sweep and destroy, and your own destroyed wards, spawn a zombie ward)

Matchups Back to Top

Click on a champion below to see the author's notes on that particular matchup.

  • Aatrox
  • Ahri
  • Akali
  • Alistar
  • Amumu
  • Anivia
  • Annie
  • Ashe
  • Aurelion Sol
  • Azir
  • Bard
  • Blitzcrank
  • Brand
  • Braum
  • Caitlyn
  • Camille
  • Cassiopeia
  • Cho'Gath
  • Corki
  • Darius
  • Diana
  • Dr. Mundo
  • Draven
  • Ekko
  • Elise
  • Evelynn
  • Ezreal
  • Fiddlesticks
  • Fiora
  • Fizz
  • Galio
  • Gangplank
  • Garen
  • Gnar
  • Gragas
  • Graves
  • Hecarim
  • Heimerdinger
  • Illaoi
  • Irelia
  • Ivern
  • Janna
  • Jax
  • Jayce
  • Jhin
  • Kayn
  • Kha'Zix
  • Kindred
  • Lee Sin
  • Master Yi
  • Mordekaiser
  • Nidalee
  • Nocturne
  • Nunu
  • Olaf
  • Rammus
  • Rek'Sai
  • Rengar
  • Sejuani
  • Shaco
  • Shyvana
  • Skarner
  • Udyr
  • Vi
  • Volibear
  • Warwick
  • Xin Zhao
  • Zac




Rarely seen jungling, but must not be underestimated. Wins sustained trades with you.

If you're ganking him, don't bother E+Qing unless you know his Q is on cooldown, he can just use it whenever he sees you starting to E+Q.

If your cooldowns are coming back up during his passive, be ready to E+Q as soon as he's targetable again.

Relies on autoattacking enemies to be relevant (allows him to use his revive passive). If he's incredibly fed, and if the situation allows it, ult him and get out of the arena and let your teammates kill him safely.

His aatroxq.png Q knockup can be negated by using your R on him when he's about to land on you.




Her ahriseduce.png charm interrupts your E+Q dash. Using your jarvanivcataclysm.png R will still cause you to be charmed for the remaining duration after creating the terrain.

Her R makes her pretty much ungankable if it's up, and even without it, she can easily escape by charming you (you need to dash in a straight line to gank) and getting away with her Q movespeed.

Only chance of ganking her is to Flash+E+Q really fast, which either results in

  •  She thinks even faster and charms you, wasting your flash (unlikely)
  • She flashes out when seeing your flash, making you even (That doesn't really help your ganks, but your midlaner will have a easier time beating her now)
  • She doesn't react fast enough and most likely dies now that you're on her face, if your midlaner is following (or she flashes out after getting knocked up, and now is forced to recall or to use potions)

Conclusion: She's really hard to gank assuming equal player skill. Ahri players sometimes get cocky though, if you see her using her third R charge close to you, jump in and punish her.




A great Akali is a nightmare to gank, but for the average ones, it's easier.

They'll usually farm in melee range (Meaning you can begin your gank when she's reaching out to a minion) while using her akalimota.png Q off cooldown on her lane opponent (meaning you can go on her when she's trying to do that).
When Akali sees you she'll most likely W akalismokebomb.png instantly to stealth. Just walk up to her. If she leaves the shroud, E+Q her, you should be in range. If she stays (that's what bad Akalis do) just stay on the side of her shroud closer to her turret, use W when the shroud wears off, beat her down with autoattacks, and E+Q before she reaches the turret.

A good Akali will be laning safely enough that the small dash on her W will be enough to not expose her to ganks.

Take note that in some matchups, Akali uses W on the minion wave to farm, so that she can stealth when she's not farming to take unecessary poke. If that happens while you're preparing a gank, just wait out her W.

If Akali is laning safely, simply do not bother, it's a waste of time.

After 6, Akali is extremely annoying to gank and has a huge kill potential. It's better to shut her down before 6, and unfortunately you might need to give up on her lane if she doesn't get handled before.

Buying 3155.png hexdrinker can be a good idea, even if she's the only relevant magic damage dealer. The magic damage shield is usually just enough to survive and get away from her akalishadowdance.png dashes.




A good Alistar will headbutt.png W you whenever you E+Q towards him, or W you out of your R.
However, if his W connects during your R dash, you'll negate the knockback entirely. So, you can definitely outplay him on this, but that's more about Alistar making a poor decision than you making a good one.

Basically, wherever Alistar is, he'll deny you of the threat you apply to enemy champions.

His ferocioushowl.png R makes him ridiculously tanky to give him one extra tool if he screws up the rest somehow. If you've bought 3715.png Red Smite, use it, as the true damage will not be mitigated by his ult.

To gank Alistar, the only reliable solution is to wait for him to W+Q on your botlane. Even his Q is enough to deny you a lot of ganking power.




There is not much you can do to outperform Amumu in teamfights aside from being much more fed than he is, so you'll have to hit him where he's weak: His pre-6 early game.

Back in the days it was common advice to "just invade Amumu", but be wary, he's not THAT weak. You should win straight up 1v1s, but don't be reckless and just run into his jungle and dash on his face when you see him.

Most seasoned Amumus will decide to just farm up to level 6 and not bother with ganks unless there's a really easy opportunity. Play around that by counterjungling him (= Farming his camps before he's here, not camping a bush until he shows up), warding his jungle, killing scuttle crabs, and ganking his lanes from behind after running through his jungle. If he meets you in his jungle, there's not much he can do to punish you aside from using bandagetoss.png Q, which won't do much harm to you since you can just E+Q away before dying, even if it was on cooldown before you met him.

By denying his jungle camps, you should hit lvl 6 before he does. At this point either use your jarvanivcataclysm.png ult to roughly punish one of his laners that doesn't have flash, or invade his jungle aggressively around his red buff, with the goal of taking it and bursting him with E+Q+R.

In all cases where you're dueling Amumu, keep in mind he tends to win extended trades against champions like you - his tantrum.png E cooldown is partially refunded whenever he gets autoattacked. Try to burst him down rather than autoattack him while saving your cooldowns.

When midgame hits it can be better to take the initiative and engage the enemy team, ulting Amumu and bodyblocking him so that he doesn't bandagetoss.png Q one of your teammates, rather than sit around until he inevitably hits one on your squishy teammates and curseofthesadmummy.png ults them all.




For a champion known to be immobile, can be challenging to gank.

Pre-6 she'll just flashfrost.png Q directly on you when you approach, use crystallize.png W if necessary, and walk away. Your only option at this point is to E+Q over the wall/before the stun hits (sidestepping the stun would just lose you too much ground) - If she's in range then it was terrible positioning fropm her, otherwise then there's no point to dash.

After 6 she'll constantly waveclear with R while staying pretty much under her turret, and with her passive, that means she's almost ungankable.

Your two tools when ganking Anivia pre-6 are to hope she uses Q on minions/her lane opponent, and to gank her by walking through her own jungle. E+Q her straight up as soon as you've flanked her, before she can cast anything - She'll most likely flash out when that happens.




Annie doesn't have such a great range on the disintegrate.png Q spam she uses to farm, usually exposing her to ganks. If her passive is charged, she'll most likely play recklessly to zone her opponent out, which should be a good opportunity for you to come in and engage the gank (she might stun you when that happens, but that won't be enough to save her pre-6).

Post-6 she can (and most likely will) 100-0 you if her infernalguardian.png R is up and you haven't invested in magic resist, so be wary. If you forced her to flash out of your ganks pre-6 it greatly limits her opportunities to win lane (by Flash+R).

Her passive stuns will not stop your R dash, but will still stun you for the remaining duration after.




Usually seen as a free gank fodder, which is mostly true, but don't be overzealous.

If she uses enchantedcrystalarrow.png R in short range as a last resort to disengage you, you can use your own ult straight up to soak the stun (You'll still be stunned after creating the terrain)


Aurelion Sol


A good ASol player will ruin your life. He'll be hard to gank since he'll be pushing the waves quickly then back off to turret/roam and he'll be counterganking you as soon as he can.

If you approach him, his aurelionsolq.png Q will usually be enough to disengage from you (though there's room to dodge it). His aurelionsolr.png R can potentially snap you out of your E+Q dash, but the knockback only happens if you're close enough.
The workaround for this can be to use R before completing your E+Q dash, since it'll make you unstoppable to the knockback.

In the greater scheme of things there isn't really much you can do to prevent Aurelion from roaming and screwing up your ganks, it's mostly up to your midlaner.
If you see him on his way to roam where you're ganking, it can be good to back off.




Azir is, in general, hard to gank (He'll make sure to have his E up and a soldier to dash to, to get away from you). It's better to leave his lane as it is, or to take scuttle crabs and threaten his jungler in river, and force a 2v2 with your midlaner.

Since his soft-rework, his R will no longer interrupt dashes after the wall is deployed. Thank goodness. The wall will still interrupt your E+Q dash when the wall is moving forward, though (and will knock you back in general) - But you can circumvent it by using your jarvanivcataclysm.png R's dash to ignore the knockback with the CC immunity.

His azirewrapper.png E is interrupted when he collides with an enemy champion, so if you've managed to get on his face while his E is up, hug him tightly.




Good Bards are annoying to gank, but in general you might be able to punish them before lvl 6.
After lvl 6 it becomes harder since he can easily stun you with a bardq.png Q inside your own R terrain, and can toss a bardr.png R on the location of your E when you're using your E+Q dash.

What you'll be looking to do when ganking Bard pre-6 is to cut off his path of escape that would be him using his barde.png E through a wall and lead him to his turret or beyond.




Not much to say here aside from how blitzcrank players really like to overextend a lot and can't do much against your ganks.




If Brand uses E->Q to stun you, then you're most likely in range to use your jarvanivcataclysm.png R, meaning you'll be Unstoppable during the stun (You'll still be stunned after ulting).

A better Brand will most likely try to brandw.png W you first (Which has longer range than brande.png E) and then land a brandq.png Q stun to disengage your gank - All you can do here is dodge either his W or Q (or both..).

Brand deals massive damage to champions that stack a lot of HP on their core item (that means you), so make sure to build 3194.png Adaptative Helm if he's doing any good.




Braum can be a tough nut to crack.
While you don't have any projectiles that he can block and would ruin your entire fighting pattern, he'll use his braumw.png W to dodge your E+Q, or to get out of your jarvanivcataclysm.png R. He'll also usually throw a max range braumq.png Q when he sees you coming to slow you down.
If you don't have any other choice but to target Braum when ganking, try to first force him to use his W without using anything but W (that means he's terribly overextended).
He needs a target to W to, though, so if he has no minions or allies in range, then feel free to just ult him.

His braumrwrapper.png R knockup will snap you out of a E+Q combo, but your R's unstoppable status will ignore the knockup.




If Caitlyn has the slightest vision of seeing you coming she'll just caitlynentrapment.png E away, and even if you catch her by surprise she'll most likely have enough time to E away during your E+Q dash and punish you with an empowered autoattack + Q.

Meaning it can be pointless to try to gank a Caitlyn lane before you're lvl 6, where you get a much better opportunity at taking her down (if she's ridiculously overextended pre-6 you can still gank her of course, just walk up to her, W and autoattack, and safe E+Q when she Es/flashes out).




Camille has been a regular staple of toplane because of how her camillee.png E makes her laning incredibly safe unless she uses it to all-in on somebody. It just opens up too many paths of escape to her, including through your own jungle even if you gank her while she's below your team's turret.

You can still gank her post-6 if she's mispositioned, though she'll most likely get away if she has her flash up. Approach her, wait for her to use her second E, E+Q towards her (most likely dealing no damage), use your jarvanivcataclysm.png R and hope your toplaner has followed you.

If at some point in the game, you see Camille using her second camillee.png E towards you to all-in you, you can use your jarvanivcataclysm.png R on her before she connects with you, which will deny the (short) stun that her second E applies to her target. You'll most likely lose the 1v1, though (especially since her true damage bypasses the -20% damage reduction from  3715.pngChallenging Smite, which J4 usually relies on to beat strong duellist champions)




A good Cassiopeia will eat you alive if you play poorly but in all other cases it's an easy work to gank her.

Do NOT give her an opportunity to cassiopeiaq.png Q an enemy champion (specifically, you!) or she'll use the bonus movespeed to very easily dodge your E+Q or to simply run away from you.

Her cassiopeiaw.png W does not prevent you from dashing with E+Q (Since neither Q or E are considered a dash, you're free to use either of them, thus free to use both of them), but will prevent you from jarvanivcataclysm.png ulting.
Speaking of our R, the Unstoppable status during the dash can allow you to shrug off her cassiopeiar.png R stun (you'll be stunned after dashing and creating the terrain). Since there's a small delay where you can see Cassiopeia about to ult (especially if she's not currently facing where she ults, you can see her rotating towards her target for a split second), use that to R straight away or she'll just run away while you're stunned.

Build 3194.png Adaptative Helm, it's a great item against her, her presence in the enemy team is enough justification to buy it.
You'll most likely need 3715.png Challenging Smite to 1v1 her inside your ult without a huge gold/level difference.



Cho'gath is a champion that can feel extremely unfair to play against, so it's better to act quickly before he pisses you off: Gank him early. As soon as he's 6 he's going to start stacking massive amounts of health and will most likely be able to shrug off your ganks.

Cho'gath tends to push his lane a bit (or even a lot) from his uses of vorpalspikes.png E to trade with his opponent or even just to last hit better, so watch out for him being overextended in his lane.

If you gank him and he sees you coming he'll most likely try to land a rupture.png Q on you before you get in close, which you need to dodge by either stepping out quickly (most likely requiring you to step away, which can cost you a split second of time that he'll use to get away), or by E+Qing REAL QUICK as soon as you see Cho'gath even thinking about using his Q. If you're too slow, his Q knockup will snap you out of the E+Q combo.

His feast.png R damage will ignore the -20% damage reduction from your 3715.png Challenging Smite.
You could buy an Adaptative Helm 3194.png to mitigate his E damage, but that won't get you very far (If his team has other champions that justify buying the Adaptative Helm, then go for it!)

In teamfights try peeling him off your team if the enemy backline isn't too threatening. You can choose to jarvanivcataclysm.png R him while he's rushing towards your team with 3800.png Righteous Glory, forcing him to flash (or to just sit here 3.5 seconds!), but he might just choose to eat you instead.




Corki usually goes mid which guarantees he's safe enough to just W out of ganks, but still, there's usually some room to play around it. Gank him by walking from his own jungle, approach him to jarvanivgoldenaegis.png W+apply redbuff, and then E+Q at his landing point when he Ws away.

Corki has some brutal powerspikes (completing triforce, sorcerer's boots...) where he'll be absolutely shredding you 100-0, so don't disrespect him if he's in a position where he can just autoattack you.

Adaptative Helm 3194.png does wonders against him (reducing damage from his autoattacks converted into magic damage, from every missilebarrage.png missile beyond the first, from every tick of his ggun.png E beyond the first...). You can combine it with Ninja Tabis 3047.pngif his team has other autoattack-reliant champions -  Even though Corki deals massive magic damage, the damage reduction from Tabis will still work.




Gank him pre-6 preferably but still be very cautious - Even without his dariusexecute.png R he'll still deal extremely heavy damage if he's allowed to reach 5 stacks of his passive on any enemy champion.

If your toplaner is below his turret with 60 hp, assume that you'll need to 1v1 Darius, which means usually you'll lose unless he's low hp himself. A decent Darius will usually use his dariusaxegrabcone.png E or dariusnoxiantacticsonh.png W on you to apply a 1 second slow which will give him enough time to easily land a dariuscleave.png Q that will heal him. There's not much you can do if he pulls this off correctly, but make sure that if you're in a situation where you're ganking him and he's fleeing, stick close to him (so that he doesn't just Q and gets healed without bothering to slow you...), and try to step forward ahead of him between your autoattacks to make it harder for him to distance you when he slows you.

Be wary that if you're trying to E+Q away from him  (we all have very good reasons for wanting to get away from Darius), he can use his dariusaxegrabcone.png E to snap you out of the dash.

Challenging Smite 3715.png will not help against his R true damage, but still will come handy for all the physical damage he dishes out.

Use your 3071.png Black Cleaver and jarvanivdragonstrike.png Q armor shreds to allow your teammates to gun down Darius before he can land 5 stacks on somebody and kill you all. You can also just ult him and get out of the arena (so that he doesn't just stack on you, kill you, and kill everybody).

If your support isn't buying it, having a 3190.png Locket can come in handy if you use it the very moment he uses his R.




Who even plays Diana.

Well, if she's Mid you can try ganking her whenever she's farming in melee range, that's very straightforward as she can't do much but run away in a straight line and CC you a bit with dianavortex.png E when you've gotten in melee range.

If she's jungling she'll be powerfarming, not really able to force you to 1v1 if she crosses you, but not really going to lose if you force that 1v1, either. Counterjungle her to delay her leveling to 6 but don't expect to just crush her if you see her in her jungle.

Countergank her after 6 or just keep ganking normally (Though counterganking works wonders since she'll usually be going deep with her dianateleport.png R).
Get 3715.png Challenging Smite and 3155.png Hexdrinker to deal with her easily and not get bursted down.


Dr. Mundo


A seasoned Mundo player (in toplane) will usually be farming safely with his infectedcleavermissilecast.png Q cleavers, and will rarely be mispositioned to be gankable before lvl 6. After 6 he might try to pressure his lane a bit more, and you'll have your jarvanivcataclysm.png R to have more impactful ganks.

While Mundo will usually be carefully about not wasting it, he might use sadism.png R to just sustain health back up and keep laning. If you see him doing that, or are told he did, try to gank him in the next minute. Ulting him, applying 3715.png Challenging Smite and having some support from your toplaner will usually be enough to make short work of him.




I'm rating it Easy because in a soloq environment you're well geared to generally shut down Draven, but don't get me wrong: He can be a pain in the ass to deal with.

The idea is that Draven obviously cannot get out of your R (or from you being in his melee range) aside from flashing out, but that his E can allow him to snap you out of your E+Q dash, which can make it hard for you to gank if he has any proper ward coverage.

Sadly, you cannot just choose to ignore Draven's lane, even if he's not doing well it's your duty to make sure he stacks his passive as little as possible (Not just by dying but also by giving up farm because you're here).

So the plan is that removing wards around Draven's lane and letting him know you're here (Do not waste time camping bushes, the idea is to use red trinket, remove wards, and then move to the river or back to your jungle and have Draven play cautiously around the fact that you're near. If Draven does NOT play cautiously, then go ahead and do an actual gank).

This is assuming Draven and his support are warding correctly and not laning recklessly. If they aren't, then you can just go ahead and gank, all you need to care about is 1) Draven's E stopping your EQ dash 2) Draven dealing a metric ton of damage which will likely require you to build 3047.png Tabis and 3715.png Challenging Smite.
If Draven builds a lot of crit (it seems Draven's ideal build changes every patch, so I'm putting an "if"), 3143.png Randuin's Omen can be a good item. The slow can be handy to catch Draven out of position even if he has Flash up, but the item has so much of its gold value shifted into the Crit damage reduction that it's worthless if you don't make use of it.




Early on, Midlane Ekko will usually be laning fairly safely, tossing ekkoq.png Qs to farm. Even if he does get in melee range to farm he'll usually always have his E up to escape any attempts from you to gank him.

If your midlaner has some crowd control it's still very possible to kill Ekko if he got a bit careless and is too far from his turret. In that case it's most likely to walk through his jungle and flank him from behind (Coming from the sides would just mean he'd E away from you/through the walls between river and the paths towards the jungle).

Once he's 6 and has shopped once, Ekko will often be looking to roam after pushing his lane. If it's just him, you shouldn't have any trouble, but if his jungler is with him, you'll quickly feel like you're in a constant 2v4/3v4.

So, don't be hasty and ward the river + take scuttle crabs, look for opportunities to 1v1 him here and hope your midlaner will do something out of it (not necesarily come over and kill him, but at least push his wave and damage the turret).

In general Ekko can be annoying for you to deal with since his ekkoe.png E allows him to cross your R's terrain (both the dash and the blink), or to dodge your E+Q (By dashing in any direction except towards you), he can R either to get out of your R terrain or to damage you if he stands and fights, so on. But still, he doesn't really beat you head-on, and if you guarantee he doesn't get fed from roaming, he'll fall off.




Since Elise is seemingly almost always viable as a jungler, it can be good to be used to play against her!

As I'm writing right now, J4 statistically counters Elise (he wins ~1% more games)

Elise will mostly be looking for early ganks, possibly to invade your jungle, because she usually falls off later on (Don't just shrug and wait for the late game though).

J4 isn't bad early either, so make sure she doesn't outperform you early on.
You'll most likely lose fights if you rush head on. She's kinda squishy, but before you complete an item, and unless you catch her entirely by surprise, you cannot just walk towards her and E+Q or she'll elisehumane.png cocoon you, blow all her spells in both forms and outtrade you with the huge AS bonus from spider form W.

Once her spells are on cooldown though (and her AS steroid gone), she's weak. Which means that if you catch Elise with her spells on cooldown (for instance she's killing scuttle crab), then go for it (Though if she kept her elisehumane.png E she'll just disengage you). If you're counterganking, you should  be in a good spot to kill her (assuming your laner(s) didn't just die before) - Walking into Elise in spider form after she's used everything on your laner is usually a death sentence for her, she'll try to (spider form) E out of this situation, so don't E+Q straight away.

Don't let Elise take free dragons, she's decent at it and it lets her remain relevant after midgame.

If there are other magic damage dealers than Elise in her team, 3155.png Hexdrinker can help you survive her burst. Elise's elisehumanq.png Q (both forms) scale well with her target's hp (annoyingly so), but you cannot really choose to opt out of 3071.png Black Cleaver (and the other usual tank items like 3742.png DMP). If you're the kind of person that fancies full lethality J4, and your team already has a good frontline, then go for it (But get an hexdrinker, though, or Elise will just E on your face whenever you try to assassinate anybody).




//Patch 8.2: She got some nerfs to her E damage. It's a decent nerf but doesn't really change how the matchup plays out, so I'm leaving the text below as it is.
These nerfs are currently being almost reverted on PBE, so we'll see!

She's weak to counterganks pre-6, first because she cannot bypass normal wards yet, second because once she cannot get out of fights (unless using flash) because she relies on evelynnr.png R for that.
She will not ENGAGE a fight if she knows you're here to countergank though, so focus on taking scuttle crabs and looking out for your laners getting ganked (if they ping for help when targeted by her evelynnw.png W, that's great).

You can try counterjungling her, but don't be too reckless. She's not THAT weak early, and if she spots you from cover of a bush (Mostly the raptors one), she can easily secure your death if her laner(s) come to help.

After level 6 Evelynn becomes extremely annoying to deal with, as she'll bypass normal wards. You're supposed to be buying 2055.png control wards always when jungling, but double down on these when you're playing against Evelynn.

Evelynn uses R to execute targets (including tankier ones like you) and to get out of fights. Meaning that even if you rush in to help an ally, you will, at best, see her R out of the fight (and save your ally, that's great), but not much more... Unless she missplays horribly.

Speaking of her R, it deals massive damage if you're below 30% hp, so an 3155.png Hexdrinker can come in handy (Though if she's fed she'll most likely just ignore it). A 3190.png Locket will allow you to save teammate(s) from her R execute if you use it reactively. Having the 20% cdr from 3071.png Black Cleaver can help you catch up with her after she ults out.




There's not much to be said about Ezreal. If he has E he'll use it to get out of your R or to dodge your E+Q. If he doesn't have it, he flashes. If he doesn't have flash, he dies.

So, if he's overextended enough, approach him without using E+Q, use W and redbuff to force him to E, use E+Q.




Fiddlesticks mains can be really impressive but the theory is still that you beat him.

He really can't compete with you early unless he's outnumbering you with his team, so he'll most likely try to powerfarm unti lvl 6 so he can pull off crowstorm.png R ganks on your unaware laners.

It's up to you to ward his jungle, and the map in general, to avoid that. Counterjungle him early but don't be overzealous (The point is to deny his XP/gold, not to kill him).
Countergank him whenever you can (If you know where he is hiding to prepare an R, go ahead and engage him, he'll likely win the 2v2/3v3 if he lands his ult).

3194.png Adaptative Helm is the perfect item against Fiddlesticks, all his sources of damage tick up to 5 times (His E technically will rarely hit you more than once but it's the least important), and you WILL take a lot of damage from his crowstorm.png R in almost all situations. 3190.png Locket also comes in handy when he lands a good R.




Good thing Fiora isn't meta anymore because she ruins your kit so much it's not even funny.

Her fioraw.png W guarantees your E+Qs will fail most of the times, her fioraq.png Q also allows her to dodge your E+Q easily, or to get out of your jarvanivcataclysm.png R terrain, and if she's any ahead she can melt you with her %hp true damage, regardless of what items you've built.

Unless you're walking into Fiora having 50 hp, ganking Fiora will require a real 2v1 where your toplaner will have to contribute as much to the gank as you do.
As long as she still has W ready do NOT E+Q on her directly (Still, you can use it to gap close, it's better to be in melee range than not in range at all, but do not let her use it to stun you).
If your toplaner (or any teammate, in general) manages to CC her, then E+Q during the duration of that CC.

Only use your R if you've seen her using fioraq.png Q recently, preferably if that Q did not hit anything (Its CD gets refunded if it does).




Fizz entirely relies on his E to not fall to jungle pressure. But it's also his waveclear spell. Still, it can be kinda pointless to wait for him to use it before you can actually start a gank.
If your laner has some good CC it can be possible for him to lock down Fizz (or force Fizz to E to not get locked down), which is the right opportunity for you to walk in.
Sadly Fizz can still fizzq.png Q through a minion to dodge your E+Q, like a Yasuo would use his E. If you try to gank Fizz by walking from behind him he might Q through you, which gives him an escape route but also makes him dash in a predictable path for you to E+Q on.

Unless he has a really free matchup, Fizz will usually be looking to roam once he's level 6, so be wary of that, ward up the river/their jungle, buy pinks. Unlike Ekko, Fizz can and will take you on if he meets you while he's roaming. By the time he's 6 you'll usually have enough damage to 100-0 him, but he'll avoid part of your burst with his E.

3715.png Challenging Smite and 3155.png Hexdrinker help you to not get bursted down by him and fight him back.




Galio has suddenly become meta again. The only noteworthy detail is how he'll usually be looking to galior.png R on whoever you've used your own jarvanivcataclysm.png R on, which pretty much guarantees you'll be in trouble.

So, when playing against Galio, play as if you were playing against a 98.png Shen, without the infinite range on the R.

His galioe.png E cannot cross walls including your R terrain, so you got that going for you. If he bumps onto you with his E, it'll cancel your E+Q dash. On the other hand, it'll also stop his own dash




GP is really strong right now but barring that, you're a good pick to jungle against him. He relies on his gangplankw.png W crowd control cleanse to escape ganks, but against you it doesn't help that much - The correct play is to hold your jarvanivgoldenaegis.png W until he's used his oranges to cleanse your E+Q knockup.

After level 6 you're pretty much guaranteed that he'll need to use his Flash to escape your ganks. While ganking top after 6 isn't that great (Due to dragons and botlane needing to not lose their turret), it can be a good choice to pressure GP rather than his teammates, or he'll drop his gangplankr.png R during your ganks which can really turn the tide for his team.




Garen is quite the lackluster champion these days but don't underestimate a decently played Garen.

First, his garenq.png Q cleanses slows on him, so try if possible to not use your jarvanivgoldenaegis.png W until you've seen him using it. He'll most likely use it when he sees you coming, to try to escape ASAP.

His garenw.png W grants him a -30% damage taken buff (and tenacity), doubled to -60% during the first 0.75 seconds of the effect. Do not use all your burst at once when he uses his W. Even in the best case for him, he'll use W to mitigate your E+Q damage, so even if this happens, wait 1 second before using your jarvanivpassive.png Passive's autoattack, and do not jarvanivcataclysm.png R as long as his W is active (Unless he's about to get away and you need to trap him in your R terrain).

If you're the Villain then he'll most likely wait for you to engage a fight on his teammates, run at you and garenr.png dunk you for a huge amount of true damage. Not much you can do against this except wait to not be the Villain anymore (= your teammates need to get kills).




Gank Gnar when he's in Mini form.
You'll do your toplaner (and your team) a favor to delay as much as possible the abomination that Gnar can become.

Gank by flanking him to his side (Don't let him use gnare.png E directly on top of you to give him an extra dash to get away towards his turret), use W+autoattacks, and E+Q whenever he's used E or Flash.

The main problem is that his gnarr.png R will screw over anybody in your team that is inside your jarvanivcataclysm.png R terrain, or near it, it's really nasty. I would straight up not advise using your R in a teamfight unless you know Gnar cannot R (He's in mini form, or has already used it).
The correct way to play around that is to force a hard engage when he's in mini form with zero rage, but that requires your team to follow up on that.

3194.pngAdaptative Helm helps against Gnar's nasty %hp magic damage on his gnarw.png W. Don't get me wrong, he mostly deals physical damage, but if his team has other magic damage dealers that require you to build Adaptative Helm, then a bonus is a bonus.



Gragas is definitely what I'd consider a Medium matchup, it's just the fair middle ground.
He's kinda weak right now so you should win most of your matchups.

He's a lot like you, he has good lvl 3 ganks, his ganks get much better with his gragasr.png R, and he remains relevant later on because he can engage and disrupt fights.

So you can expect him to play like you would. Take scuttle crabs, countergank him if you see him heading towards a lane (Once he's used all his spells he lacks sustained damage compared to the +30% AS that you got from jarvanivdemacianstandard.png E and the AD you build/get from runes).

Once he's level 6 he will (if he's any good) use gragase.png E+Flash+ gragasr.png R to almost guarantee a 100% kill on a lane and get the turret first blood, so be extremely wary of that. Even if you don't countergank in time, don't let the turret fall.

When duelling him keep in mind that his gragase.png E will bump you first if you E+Q towards him, and that his gragasw.png W grants him a (small) damage reduction buff, so if you can afford to, don't R straight away if he uses it.

Your team will surely appreciate if you shred his armor with 3071.png Black Cleaver and jarvanivdragonstrike.png Q. Gragas isn't that tanky stat-wise but he makes up for it by having a lot of CC (People who are gragase.png stunned and gragasr.png knocked around don't deal much damage), so if you're locking him down in your R and bodyblocking him so that he doesn't E away (It stops on the first unit hit), he'll quickly get ripped by your ADC.




Graves seems to have fallen out of the meta a bit. Regardless of Graves being too strong/too weak, J4 is a good pick into him.

Graves clears the jungle really well, so much that you might not want to invade him (unless you've warded earlier and got him right where you want him) or you'll mostly see empty, cleared jungle camps.
During the downtime where his camps are respawning Graves will be looking to gank your overextended laners (He lacks CC but has a huge damage output), possibly taking scuttle crabs on the way (He has no hard CC to kill them easily, so it'll take him a while beyond the first scuttle who only has 800 hp).

Counterganking him can be rewarding but risky - Graves has some decent sustained damage and appreciates long fights where he can repeatedly refund his gravesmove.png E cooldown by autoattacking. But if you catch him with his pants down during while his E is on cooldown, he'll most likely have to flash out or die.

If you decide to gank by yourself bot or top you can expect that he'll try to counterjungle the opposite side of where you've shown up. Try to clear your jungle accordingly so that he doesn't get free xp and gold from that.

After level 6, and after completing an item, you become a real threat to him and can 100-0 him in a full well-executed combo. That usually requires catching him by surprise and/or while his gravesmove.png E is on cooldown, since he can use it to dodge your E+Q.
When you catch Graves out of position, he'll gravesmove.png E or  graveschargeshot.pngR out. If he uses E, use jarvanivgoldenaegis.png W and catch up. If he uses R, use your own jarvanivcataclysm.png R.

Keep in mind you'll most likely need 3715.png Challenging Smite to outduel him (Because he'll buy it too). Buying a 3742.png DMP will give you the tank stats to soak through his damage (which can get nasty once he completes his 3071.png Black Cleaver) and the movespeed will come in handy to stick close to him.




Out of meta, but not a bad matchup in general.

Countergank him once his hecarimramp.png E is on cooldown and he's a sitting duck. Don't take extended trades or he'll deal more sustained damage with hecarimrapidslash.png Q.

His hecarimramp.png E dash can allow him to cross short walls if his target is close to the wall, so stay in the center of your jarvanivcataclysm.png R terrain if he's inside with E still up.




As sad as it may sound, in most situations you straight up cannot gank Heimerdinger. That's mostly if his heimerdingerr.png R is up and/or if he has too many heimerdingerq.png turrets down.
That mostly goes to toplane Heimerdinger, when he'll usually be facing a champion that can't do much about his turrets. If whoever in your team is against Heimerdinger can handle him, then you're free to gank (Mages with decent range and waveclear, plus some CC, handle him well).

3194.png Adaptative Helm is a great item against Heimerdinger.




First things first: When Illaoi uses illaoir.png R, you're not supposed to be in melee range. I should say "you MUST NOT be in melee range" but it'd be too harsh.

Illaoi's gameplay revolves around smashing people if they're in melee range, and she doesn't care how many there are in her melee range (Aside from how they deal damage to her).

In fact, Illaoi almost wants you to gank her, if she's lvl 6 and her toplane opponent isn't too threatening.

The more tentacles (from her passive) Illaoi has around her, the easiest it'll be for her to 1v2 you. If she lands illaoie.png E, it'll make it even easier for her (Though you can't be expected to dodge it in melee range).

You can choose to back off from her when she casts illaoir.png R (She leaps into the air), but that might upset your toplaner, even though it's usually a good decision. Otherwise, fully commit to the fight, bring 3715.png Challenging Smite to not die in a few seconds.




Irelia can be annoying to gank because of her ireliagatotsu.png Q dash resetting on minions. Bide your time, do not rush towards her in a straight line if she's preparing to dash on minions to escape (most likely by going into a bush). Use your E+Q when you know her Q is on cooldown or if she has nothing to dash to except yourself.

She'll most likely also ireliaequilibriumstrike.png E you when you've closed the gap on her, and will use the stun to disengage you. Try to use jarvanivgoldenaegis.png W before she lands the stun so that she remains slowed while you're stunned, but it'll most likely not be enough to catch up with her.




Does anybody even still play this guy?

Most of Ivern's plan is to invade the buff you're not starting at and instantly smite it, so ask (beg) your laners to give some vision. Keep the paths between river and your jungle warded, take scuttle crabs, and be ready to countergank him, or to fight him 1v1 if you meet him in the river (you might not kill him since he'll ivernq.png snare and iverne.png slow you, but you'll deal more than enough damage to force him to back off and make it harder for him to gank before his next recall)




Janna howlinggale.png Q and reapthewhirlwind.png R snaps you out of your E+Q dash, but not out of your jarvanivcataclysm.png R dash. Her R will also not throw anybody over your R terrain.

Ganking a Janna lane is hard and will most likely involve running up to her or her adc, using W+autoattacks until you're sure she cannot instant Q to cancel your dash.

Do NOT ignore Janna lanes just because "Janna won't kill my botlane she'll just scale", Janna currently is a mean lane bully that spams sowthewind.png empowered with Summon%20Aerie.png?width=32 Aery/ Scorch.png?width=32 Scorch

3194.png Adaptative Helm is a good item to buy when the enemy team has an 3504.png Ardent Censer user. The on-hit damage from censer will be reduced beyond the first autoattack that hits you. Don't buy Adaptative Helm JUST because Janna has a censer, though, but it's icing on the cake if the purchase is already justified.



Toplane Jax:

Jax relies on his jaxcounterstrike.png E to get out of ganks without taking too much damage, but he also relies on it to trade 1v1 on his lane. Try to get your toplaner to engage a trade on him and force Jax to use his E, before you actually begin your gank.

Regardless of his E being up or not, Jax will look to jaxleapstrike.png Q on a minion or ward to get away from danger. If you engage the gank when he doesn't have a minion wave incoming from his turret, that's already a good advantage for you. Jax players will usually keep 1 ward (3340.png Trinket or 2055.png Control Ward) to ensure they can Q away on something regardless of minions, so be ready for that to happen.

Your goal is to E+Q on him when he jaxleapstrike.png Qs out. If you're in melee range (with EQ still up) and he activates jaxcounterstrike.png E, use jarvanivgoldenaegis.png W and step out of his stun range (while also moving towards his escape path). Catch up with him through the slow, and E+Q as soon as his E is gone (And when he'll most likely Q out).

Jax scales hard and quickly, so don't try to 1v1 him after lvl 6 unless you're extremely fed. His weakness is coordinated teamfighting.

Jax Jungle apparently became a good pick recently! He's still not a common sight, but the things that are sure is that you cannot take straight up 1v1s against him if he's any good: His jaxcounterstrike.png E mitigates your Q/E/R damage by 25%, on top of ignoring your autoattacks. That's just too much damage he can avoid from you, if he uses his E correctly.

His E is also his only CC during ganks, and he usually uses it to lock down his target in place when ganking. If you manage to countergank him at this moment, it'll be really punishing for him.

Jax scales really well and will usually take the role of a real frontliner when jungling, with more tankiness than what he usually gets in toplane. If his backline isn't strong enough, consider shredding his armor with jarvanivdragonstrike.png Q and Black Cleaver to help your teammates deal with him.




Jayce will usually switch to hammer form when he sees you ganking (Possibly deploying a ranged E acceleration field first) to gain movespeed from his passive and allow him to jaycethunderingblow.png E you out after you've gap closed. For that reason, you might want to use jarvanivgoldenaegis.png W as soon as you're reaching melee range during your E+Q, so that he remains slowed after being knocked away.

If Jayce is really overextended then just walk up to him and start the gank by slowing him with W and redbuff, and E+Q only after he knocks you away or flashes out.

Timely use of your jarvanivcataclysm.png R will allow you to resist his jaycethunderingblow.png E knockback if it connects while you're dashing.




Jhin is a squishy champion with no dashes/blinks and whose only mobility is a burst of movespeed when he crits or lands a jhinw.png W, so you should be doing good enough against him.

When ganking it can be good to not step into bushes directly unless it's necessary - Jhin might have tossed a few jhine.png E traps in bushes to prevent ganks.
As a last resort Jhin might try to autoattack you once then jhinw.png W to snare you - If he's in autoattack range then he's in E+Q range for you, so dash in right away.

3143.png Randuin's Omen's damage reduction can come in handy against Jhin if he builds any crit at all (Even with no items he already crits on one autoattack out of 4 anyway)




Kayn isn't a bad matchup but most of the problem resides on how many kaynq.png damned dashes he has to dodge your E+Q or get out of your jarvanivcataclysm.png R.

It's better in general to not bother forcing Kayn to fight you and dash on him because he'll just use kayne.png E and kaynq.png Q to get out of fights that he doesn't want to take. If you countergank him though, he'll be really vulnerable.

He's a bit of a lackluster champion before he gets to transform into something, so he'll pick his fights accordingly - Make sure to have a high impact on your lanes before he transforms.

It's really, really hard to peel Kayn in teamfights, regardless of which form he chose, because of his Q and kaynr.png R, that he'll use to avoid your CC and jarvanivcataclysm.png R. If you can catch him out of position before he has damaged anybody (that he could R on), it's a good move. Otherwise, focus on disrupting his backline and hope your teammates can deal with him




Patch 8.2: Kha'Zix recieved some nerfs, shifting AD scaling from his passive to his Q. Seems to have some impact but not that much.

It's a fair matchup, though statistically KZ tends to win a bit more.

He'll most likely be looking to gank at lvl 3 so he might get a chance to snowball as soon as possible. You'll need to watch out for that (knowing where he started at lvl 1 is important) and try to countergank him - While also knowing that you'll most likely not be able to 1v1 him if you meet him (In the river for instance). If you catch him in a countergank with his khazixe.png E on cooldown, he'll have to flash out (and/or die).

After lvl 6 this becomes even more important - His (evolved) R makes it extremely hard to punish him when he's out of position, but you can rely on your R to lock him down if his E and flash are on cooldown. Evolving R first is the meta, but it seems to be shifting back to evolving Q now that the AD scalings on his passive (procced by his R) were shifted to his Q, in patch 8.2.

Long story short: Do not attempt to 1v1 him (unless you're massively ahead, and still, he might just choose to get out), doing your own ganks while he's elsewhere is fine, counterganking him is better.




She's not really popular, and while not weak, still an easy matchup.

Kindred can be oppressive when ahead for two things:

  1.  Because of her E kindredewrapper.png slow, but you shrug it off by E+Qing out if the need arises.
  2. By kiting back slow melee champions with Q kindredq.png while doing a lot of damage over time with W kindredw.png, but you work around that by closing the gap with E+Q as soon as possible (Though it doesn't help about her W damage, it helps with not being kited)

Whenever Kindred marks a jungle camp with her passive it's your duty to go there as fast as you can and kill that jungle camp (Unless you see exactly where she is and know she's not going to take that jungle camp anytime soon).

The low cooldown on Kindred's Q kindredq.png means that while counterganking her is nice, you'll need to E+Q at the right time while her Q is on cooldown to actually be a threat to her.

Be wary to not let her take free dragons. If she's ahead she'll most likely take them so she can remain relevant later on no matter what.


Lee Sin


Lee being pretty much the most popular champion in the game for years so all practice you get against him is the most valuable you can get.

Lee should outduel you pretty much at all stages of the game (assuming equal gold and XP). If he misses Q blindmonkqone.png while in range of your E+Q though just go ahead, jump in and punish him for this shameful display.

So, do not look for direct confrontation with him. Mind your own business and find easy ganks that do not leave you exposed to an easy countergank, ward the river/his jungle, take scuttle crabs (Lee is slower than average when taking scuttle crabs, as he lacks hard CC in his basic spells).

When Lee is lvl 6 + has upgraded his jungle item 1400.png, he CAN AND WILL 100-0 you in a few seconds by simply going in melee range and using QRQ+some autoattacks and E. That's his most important powerspike and you need to be wary of it.

From midgame onwards, if Lee is about to insec one of your teammates, you need to E+Q on him straight away and make sure he dies as soon as possible. Even if he ends up kicking one of your teammates to his death, you need at least to make it a 4v4 (And besides if Lee is dead and you aren't, you have some kind of pressure around Baron because you have a smite and they don't).

Timely use of your jarvanivcataclysm.png R can allow you to ignore Lee's blindmonkrkick.png R knockback. This is tricky since his R applies a mini-stun during the animation before applying the knockback, so this is almost pure prediction. This is especially useful if you catch him out of position and he relies on his R to kncok you away to get to safety.


Master Yi


Yi is rarely played, especially in high elo, and is kinda bad right now (He's scheduled for buffs next patch as I write this), so it's hard for me to forge an opinion, but here we go from my experience:

Yi will be usually be powerfarming to 6, though he's not weak by any means before that. Invade him at your own risk, if he's been clearing his jungle correctly he will straight up 1v1 you.
Yi players might try a lvl 3 or 4 gank if they see an opportunity that cannot be ignored, usually targeting laners that rely on flash to get out of ganks (Yi will walk up to his target, start autoattacking with wujustyle.png E, and use alphastrike.png Q if they flash out).
For this reason, consider warding the river/his jungle a bit, and kill scuttle crabs as well (He has no CC to kill them quickly). Counterganking also helps if you come in at the moment he uses Q.

Assuming he just powerfarms to 6 and ignores the rest, be on the lookout that he might solo a dragon while his jungle camps are respawning (Take the scuttle crab in the botside river, or ward the dragon pit).
If he's powerfarming, your job is to give your laners a lead before Yi hits lvl 6. That doesn't mean you HAVE TO kill the enemy laners: Forcing them to flash out, to recall, to lose farm, dealing damage to their turret, are all valid ways to build an advantage while Yi is farming.

After 6 Yi is not to be trifled with, he will dumpster you 1v1 if you're not extremely ahead, and even in a 2v2/3v3 where you came in with a timely countergank, he will most likely kill somebody before going down.

It can be extremely hard to peel Yi in teamfights, but if you see an opening to do it (His Q is on cooldown, he's already CCd by something else...), then go ahead and E+Q him. Using jarvanivcataclysm.png R might not be that useful unless for the sake of bursting him down.




You'll see a Mordekaiser jungling in one game out of a thousand but just for that game, get the hint: Do NOT let him take dragons or he'll completely ruin your turrets.

Also don't just sit here and try to 1v1 him in melee range, that's the only thing he's good at.




Nidalee shifts in and out of viability/popularity really hard. Some things remain true, though:

Nidalee has a fairly fast and healthy clear to lvl 3, and she'll use it to gank a lane as soon as possible.
Lacking CC but having high damage, she'll most likely target lanes where her teammate(s) can lock down their lane opponent, even for a second, so she can land a javelintoss.png Q and place a bushwhack.png trap behind them. That's just the theory, though - She might gank anywhere.

Straight up 1v1ing Nidalee isn't impossible but make sure you're as close to full HP when engaging her, or she'll win the duel by using the huge execute damage she has on her cougar form Q.

Speaking of which, a 3155.png Hexdrinker can help against her execute damage, but it's not that great of an item, so only buy it if she has an AP midlaner or anything else that justifies buying the hexdrinker.

Nidalee "falls off" in the sense that she doesn't have a lot of possibilities in teamfights, so don't be afraid to stall the game a bit if you've fallen behind.




Not played much, not bad either.

Beats you 1v1 fair and square unless you're ahead, don't try to confront him unecessarily.

He'll usually be powerfarming to lvl 6, but might try some early ganks on overextended lanes and/or those with no way to get out of his nocturneunspeakablehorror.png E. It's good to countergank him if you see him heading to a lane for a gank, as he cannot really get out of a fight once he has commited to it (and his E is on cd) other than his nocturneshroudofdarkness.png W spellshield. A timely countergank will require him to flash out and possibly die.

If he's powerfarming there's not much you can do to stop him- Take scuttle crabs if you can spare the time, and counterjungle only if you know you won't cross him 1v1.
Build up a lead for your laners with early ganks, but stay competitive in xp to be level 6 as soon as possible.

Once he's 6 his ganks because much, much more potent. It's your duty to be here to countergank him whenever he ults. That requires good warding of his jungle (more precisely the paths from his jungle to the river), possibly of the river too (just kill the scuttle crab). If he ults and you're on the way to countergank, spam "On my way" pings towards where he's landed - I don't guarantee your teammates will stand and fight but it's better than nothing.

If Nocturne catches out of of position in a 1v1, use E+Q to break his nocturneunspeakablehorror.png E tether, preferably through a wall so that he doesn't catch up with his nocturneduskbringer.png Q movespeed.




Nunu can be really OP whenever Riot decides to randomly overbuff him once in a while. Still, J4 does well against him in general.

His objective control:

First important matter (and that's not just when playing J4): Do NOT let Nunu get free dragons. He doesn't get more benefit out of them like a Mordekaiser would but it's so easy for him to get them, and it feels the gap in his schedule that he can't fill because of his lack of good ganks. Simply ward the dragon pit and keep an eye on it, or take scuttle regularly (Though keep in mind Nunu is pretty good at taking scuttles).
Same goes for Rift Herald... And Baron. You CANNOT leave Baron unwarded after 20 mins against a Nunu that has any idea of what he's doing.

His counterjungling:

Nunu will be looking to counterjungle you, though that aspect of his kit is usually overrated. If Nunu maxxes consume.png Q (which he should) he can't really 1v1 anybody, if he maxxes E he only has a weak Q to outsmite your camps.
So, if Nunu is repeatedly visiting your jungle, ward up in river to see him coming, and just stand your ground after pinging his presence (though you shouldn't require your teammates to help, but they're free to come to try and kill him). If you're already clearing a camp when you see him coming, kill the large monster ASAP and either leave or engage him depending on how much HP you got.


While there's nothing specific to build against Nunu himself, keep in mind that his bloodboil.png W will buff the DPS of one of his teammates. If his team drafted a champ that scales well with both AP and AS (Kayle, Azir...) he'll most likely buff this one, so get extra magic resist and an 3194.png Adaptative Helm. Otherwise he'll usually buff his ADC, so bring extra armor, preferably Randuin/Thornmail to mitigate the high attack speed that Nunu's ADC will bring.




Not meta, but worth mentioning.


  • Olaf will usually rip you apart 1v1 if you don't have a big xp/gold lead, so give him the respect he deserves. If you cross him and he's in a foul mood, E+Q away ASAP before he hits a olafaxethrowcast.png Q on you then repeats until he catches up to you.
  • If OIaf chooses to ignore your backline and right click you instead, you'll take a lot of damage, regardless of how tanky you can be. By constantly autoattacking Olaf can reset his olafrecklessstrike.png E, which adds up to a lot of damage in long fights, and fighting in melee range allows him to constantly pick up his Q axes, which adds up too. So, pick your fights carefully, do not assume that Olaf "doesn't count" when you want to dive somebody just because you assume he'll try to kill one of your ranged teammates instead.

Early game:

Olaf might intentionally drop himself to low hp while jungling (By not drinking potions and clearing camps without regard to staying high hp) in order to increase his clearing speed from his passive granting %AS from his missing health.
In theory, you could invade him and cheese a first blood on him, but Olaf isn't to be trifled with, you'd need to come with full hp and really catch him with his pants down.

Lvl 6+ and midgame:

  • Olaf is pretty good at taking dragons (He enjoys taking some damage and hitting targets that stand still). It's not a top priority for him but still, keep a ward or a scuttle crab on it.
  • Olaf is also really efficient at taking turrets after a harsh fight - By that I mean Olaf has taken some damage, and whoever in the enemy team that would defend the turret is dead or recalled. The lost health will increase his attack speed on the turret, and he  can make quick work of the incoming minion waves with two olafaxethrowcast.png Qs. If you see Olaf sitting on a lane after a gank, be ready to come in and defend the turret.


As I said above, Olaf doesn't care much about how tanky you can be. But building damage will most likely not be enough to take him down either.

3071.png Black Cleaver will come in handy since you'll most likely require focus fire from your adc to take him down in teamfights. Besides, the 20% CDR can always help if you need to E+Q away from him.





  • Rammus has a lot of armor at all stages of the game, even before completing items (From his defensiveballcurl.png W). That, however, doesn't make the matchup hard for you as a champion that deals mostly physical damage.
  • Your jarvanivdragonstrike.png Q shreds a % of armor, and 3071.png Black Cleaver (which you usually build anyway) also does. This comes in handy, as Rammus' armor isn't only his tank stat but also his damage stat. Don't expect to melt Rammus like warm butter because of that, but it helps a lot towards beating him.
  • If you want to ward up against Rammus' ganks, ward deep in his jungle. It won't help much to see Rammus coming in a river bush when he's powerballing at full speed.

Early game:

  • Rammus has a fair early clear and will usually be looking to pressure lanes as soon as he's lvl 3. You should be able to 1v1 him at this point if you use jarvanivgoldenaegis.png W+Walk away when he activates defensiveballcurl.png W, instead of autoattacking him (besides the inevitable duration of his taunt).
  • If he doesn't try to confront you, try counterganking him. Once he's commited to a gank all his spells are on cooldown, and once his W duration is gone he's extremely weak.
  • You can also do your own ganks by yourself, but be wary that Rammus' ganks can have a really high impact, more than yours pre-6.

Midgame onwards:

Rammus scales well, stat-wise. He'll be (far) tankier than you and will still deal reliable damage. The difference is that he has less "options" in his kit than you do. He needs to run at somebody and taunt them - Sometimes flashing in as an extra.

You, on the other hand, have a more reliable gap closing, and more team utility overall.

It's better to make some small 2v2/3v3 fights happen in midgame than wait for 5v5s lategame - Because in small fights you'll be able to easily choose between shredding Rammus' armor, or engaging on his backline. In a 5v5 going on Rammus means your team will lack a frontline, and going into his backline will most likely mean you'll die before he does.


  • Adaptative Helm 3194.png is the best buy against Rammus' damage, but the purchase might not be justified if you buy it JUST for Rammus. It reduces damage from his R beyond the first tick (and that's a lot of damage), the damage from his passive (applied on his autoattacks, and when struck during his defensiveballcurl.png W)
  • If Rammus' teammates include something with a lot of heals (Vladimir, Mundo, Soraka...) I think it's fair game to buy a 3033.png Mortal Reminder. If Rammus has a LOT of HP, far more than you do, and his toplaner (Malphite, Shen...) or support (Braum...) is a pure tank too, you can consider a 3036.png LDR. In both cases, you can consider buying the 3035.png Last Whisper as soon as Rammus completes a big armor item (Last time I checked, Rammus still gets thornmail after his jungle item).
  • In all cases, 3071.png Black Cleaver is what you need.




Statistically, J4 struggles a lot against Reksai. The last 3 years or so, in competitive, saw Reksai being kind of an improved version of J4 - The jungler who clears fine, has a lot of mobility, dashes on somebody, knocks it up, and has his team following up, while not being a bad duellist at any stage.

Reksai got a lot of nerfs since, and J4 was able to shine again in pro play, but both champions remain with these similarities.


Since her soft-rework Reksai got changed a bit to be less of a Engage+CC bot (Like J4 tends to be), and more of an assassin/bruiser.

  • That means Reksai tends to outduel you at all stages of the game to trade off for her lack of CC/team utility you now have above her. During the early game it's not that bad (Unless she has full rage to empower her reksaie.png E, you can actually 1v1 her at this point), but her AD scalings are great now (better than yours!), so she'll beat you easily once she's completed her jungle item 1400.png.
  • Her reksaiw.png unborrowing can snap you out of your E+Q dash, and while it can definitely happen, it's definitely a terrible mistake to be in such a situation. If reksai is burrowed and heading towards you, get out before she closes the gap, or only get out once she has unburrow and is autoattacking you.

Early game:

  • She has a fair first clear, and will usually be looking to take a scuttle crab after hitting 3. It's your call if you want to fight for it or to just ignore it and go somewhere else. Keep in mind she'll just countergank you if you gank the lanes next to the scuttle crab she's killing.
  • Counterganking her (after she's engaged a 2v1/3v2 for her team) doesn't work that great. Her Q has a 4s cd, she'll most likely choose to just stand and fight the 2v2/3v3. And once the tunnel (that she used to gap close with in her gank) is off cooldown, she'll use it to leave the fight if she wishes.
  • Intercepting her as she's about to start ganking your laner, and if your laners are able to come up and help you (before the enemy laners), is good, however. Walk up to her and use E+Q only when she tunnels out.

Lvl 6+ onwards:

  • As I mentioned earlier, her powerspike when completing her first item that grants AD (should be her jungle item) is really, really nasty. Be very wary of it. Get tabis as soon as possible (that can be after your full jungle item) to help with that (Besides, Tabis are just almost always the better option these days).
  • Focus on picking fights with your team, 2v2 or 3v3, where you can make use of the utility you have and she lacks (The AS aura on your jarvanivdemacianstandard.png E, the disruptive terrain on your jarvanivcataclysm.png R...).


Her build will mirror yours. You might get some armor but she'll get 3071.png BC, like you do, and she'll get armor too...

3047.png Tabis are what matters, mostly.




Rengar is pending for a rework next patch, so I'll leave this barebones.

You can invade Rengar if you wish but only attempt to 1v1 him if he's a low ferocity/lower hp than you/tanking jungle monsters.
But mostly focus on having good pressure in the early game which he can't compete for. After 6 stay around bot, he can't 3v3 you if he ults bot, and if he ults anywhere else, take the bot turret.





Sejuani has some rough powerspikes and windows of weakness. While she hasn't bought any combat stats yet (That means, until she gets 3751.png Bami/ 1409.png Cinderhulk), she's really weak and can be easily invaded. Once she has cinderhulk, she can stand her ground against you, without really killing you yet. Once she's 6 she can win 2v2s easily, and once she's 7 (+5% max hp damage on her stuns) she can straight up 1v1 you if not behind. More on that below.

At all stages of the game, when fighting her: if you have the possibility, simply autoattack her without using your damaging spells, until her passive armor is gone.

Early game:

As said above, Sejuani is really weak. Her lvl 3 is lackluster in 1v1s. You can invade her at this point, but it's up to how confident you are when invading your opponents' jungle, and how your laners are faring. You might beat Sejuani in a 1v1 but it won't do much if it ends up as a 1v3 because your laners cannot assist you.

If you cannot confront her directly because of that, simply steal her jungle camps and get out before her laners might come in.

Her weakness early also involves that you can easily countergank her. But if she hides in her jungle and farms to 6, build up advantages on your lanes.

Midgame onwards:

You need to have built an advantage for your team at this point for Sejuani to not outshine you. Taking dragons, turrets, and herald ASAP before she scales, helps with that.

If you have a standard bruiser build (Warrior->BC->Some tank item) do not overrestimate your tankiness. You might be a frontliner but if you're out of position, Sejuani might choose to ult you if she has teammates to followup on it, and you very well might die.

If Sejuani is out of position and YOU have teammates that can followup, don't be ashamed to ult her straight up. If you stay close to her she'll have no way to escape (Her Q stops upon colliding with a champion) other than her flash.


None specifically. Sejuani deals mixed damage and the magic damage she deals isn't subject to being reduced by Adaptative Helm.

3111.png Mercuries can come in handy but they're kinda bad compared to Tabis these days. Only get these if the enemy team has other dangerous CC aside from Sejuani and their adc is bad (and they don't have something like Yasuo/Riven... that would justify Tabis).




I'm setting the matchup to Hard because Shaco players are usually one-trick ponies or almost, while I'm assuming you're average at J4. The theory is that the matchup is not that bad but that the player experience will make it hard.


  • Shaco is EXTREMELY slippery. In most situations it's better to not bother chasing him, that's usually what he wants (Unless he's blatantly low hp and has nobody to help him). The moments where you have an opportunity to lock him down and try to kill him are when his deceive.png Q is on cooldown (The cooldown is heavily reduced if he autoattacks after leaving stealth, but is quite long if he doesn't). If you can walk around the jackinthebox.png boxes he might place on your path, it's usually better to walk around them rather than get feared away from the box (most likely away from Shaco too) and take some serious damage.
  • Shaco's ability to pick even fights varies. Most of his damage is in loaded into his passive's backstabs, part of which is unavoidable assuming he Qs behind you, or autoattacks you while a box has feared you away. The base cooldown on backstabs is 3 seconds, so once he has landed one on you, hold your ground and face him so that he may not backstab you again.
  • Ward deep against Shaco, over the walls he can Q over to gank your laners.

Early game:

  • Shaco's lvl 2/3 aren't what they used to be, but still, beware. Get your team to invade at lvl 1, if possible, to remove some of Shaco's boxes and to know what jungle camp he's starting at. Start on the same side as he is, clear your buff, move to the next side and clear the other buff ASAP plus a camp to get lvl 3.
  • Take scuttle crabs and ward up. You can gank if you wish, but beware risky ganks where Shaco might countergank you. In a straightforward 2v2 Shaco isn't that great but if you took some damage by ganking a dangerous laner, shaco might come in and finish you off.
  • At lvl 6 Shaco will surely be looking to take dragon and herald. Ward up in their respective pits and take scuttle crabs.

Midgame onwards:

  • Shaco will usually be looking to splitpush or to pick off lone enemies. If your toplaner knows how to split and can handle shaco, simply let him push minions out while you engage a 4v4. If not, try to force a 5v4 as soon as you can. There is NO POINT in chasing after a splitpushing Shaco that knows what he's doing.
  • If you can't manage to engage, stay around Baron, place control wards and remove vision to force the enemy team to overextend here.


  • Shaco's backstabs are treated as Critical Strikes, meaning 3143.png Randuin can come in handy. The slow might help to not let Shaco get away. It's not a great item overall, but definitely go for it if the enemy adc is building crit (And absolutely go for it against a Yasuo)
  • An 3194.png Adaptive Helm is very useful against the jackinthebox.png boxes' damage. If Shaco is building AP I'd say the item is mandatory. If Shaco is AD then it's a small bonus if Shaco's teammates are heavy on magic damage.
  • Tabis will help against the heavy damage of backstabs.




J4 struggles a lot against Shyvana and it shows in his winrate against her ever since she sprung back to viability.


  • Shyvana lacks CC and mobility and makes up for it by dealing huge sustained damage in melee range, which you cannot compete against. Assuming you're at equal HP she should beat you in straight 1v1s unless you got a serious gold and xp lead. Do not force a fight against her that you cannot win.
  • Use E+Q away to disengage fights against her, if possible by going through her to knock her up and get some distance between you and her. If she catches up with shyvanatransformcast.png R, use jarvanivgoldenaegis.png W.
  • Shyvana gets extra defensive stats for taking Dragons. Deny her the opportunities to take dragons. If she soloes them, she'll take some damage and shouldn't be able to kill you while taking the dragon.
  • Ulting her while she's in dragon form guarantees her only way to get out is to flash. Make sure she doesn't just decide to kill you, though.

Early game:

  • Shyvana clears fast, but not healthily. She might look for a scuttle crab to kill once she's lvl 3, and at this point you should be healthy enough to contest it. Do not engage on her unless you know her W/E are on cooldown.
  • She has bad ganks but great counterganks. If you've just used E+Q and she rushes in to countergank, walk away from her/into a bush to earn some time until your E+Q is back up.
  • Do not be too anxious about counterganks either: you NEED to give your team a lead with your ganks.
  • Aside from that, mind your own business when farming. If she counterjungles you, finish off the large monster if you can and back off unless you have a teammate coming in to help you.

Lvl 6:

  • You need to make use of your ult and do some high impact ganks for your team. With lvl 6, Shyvana also got the gap closer she wants direly, but it still doesn't do much until she's completed 1419.png Bloodrazor + Tier 2 boots.
  • At this point she's still very squishy. If you're in a 2v2/3v3 fight and can lock her down while your teammates burst her, you should survive her damage. If she shyvanatransformcast.png ults directly onto your teammates, E+Q on her straight away to help them and burst her down.


  • Do not force an engage while Shyvana is around who you want to engage on. She might choose to simply right click you, melting you with her teammates, then engage what's pretty much a 5v4 for her team.
  • If her backline isn't threatening, you can focus her in teamfights and peel her off your teammates, shredding her armor with Q and 3071.png black cleaver to take her down quickly. It's usually better than letting her ramp up a lot of sustained damage.


Shyvana relies a lot on her attack speed. She doesn't build crit though, so a 3143.png Randuin will be wasted unless her teammates have built a lot of crit.

3194.png Adaptive Helm will mitigate damage from her shyvanaimmolationaura.png W and shyvanafireball.png E (the debuff that empowers her autoattacks on the target). Still, that's not the majority of her damage, but having 3047.png Tabis + Helm will cut down on her damage a fair bit. Do not buy Helm just for her, though.




Skarner is pretty strong right now, and more popular than he used to be. The matchup with J4 is still not that bad.


  • Skarner is heavily reliant on hitting his skarnerfracture.png E so that his enemies do not just run away from him (It also deals fair damage). If you're far away from him, you can safely dodge it. If he's already in melee range he's pretty much guaranteed to hit it.
  • Skarner's Crystal Spires grant him a lot of free offensive stats when he's on the zone. You shouldn't duel him in those zones, ever, unless massively ahead. Capturing these spires will ensure he cannot get the stats here until he captures them back - Keep in mind that players can see when the spires get captured on the minimap, meaning you could reveal your position to the enemy team, or an enemy could reveal his position to you.
  • Skarner can use R to stop your E+Q combo (mostly if you want to escape) and isn't afraid to 1v1 you at any point of the game.

Early game:

  • Skarner has a decent early clear thanks to the Spires I mention above. He'll leave his jungle at 3 to kill a crab, or keep farming to 4. Since you can just E+Q away if you don't want to fight him at this point of the game, he won't be looking to chase after you that much yet. Do NOT fight him, find your own places to gank.
  • He'll try to land some easy ganks if your laners are overextended. Only countergank if your laner dominates the lane, as Skarner might just choose to stand and fight (and win). You must gank elsewhere, as it is easier for you to pull off ganks where Skarner wouldn't be able to have an impact.

Lvl 6 onwards:

  • Skarner's ganks become much more impactful with his skarnerimpale.png R, especially if he flashes in to almost guarantee a kill. Be wary of his pathing, don't let him pick up a free kill on a lane and push a turret first blood right after.
  • If one of his laners is winning hard he might invade you to set you behind, as he knows you cannot force a 1v1 against him, and that he'll win the 2v2/3v3 thanks to his laners.
  • In teamfights, look for opportunities to ult him if he's frontlining too eagerly. If his flash is down he'll most likely just have to sit here and die, if his flash is up he'll have to use it to get out, meaning he won't be able to Flash+R anybody for a few minutes.


None in particular, though 3047.png Tabis will come in handy to reduce the damage from his triforce procs.





  • Udyr trades his lack of mobility and AoE for pure duelling potential. A bit like Skarner/Shyvana, who are the previous matchups I wrote, do not force fights against him.
  • All of Udyr's spells are on a 6 seconds cooldown and they have persistent effects, meaning he doesn't really have any "period of weakness". Counterganking him is pointless unless he/his laners are really low hp, otherwise he'll just stand and fight you. It's the radical opposite of something like Rammus that you'd catch with Q/W/E on cooldown.

Early game:

  • Udyr has a great early clear and will most likely leave the jungle at level 3 early to kill a scuttle crab quickly and look for a possible gank. He has little possibilities to make a gank work other than run at them/flash and stun, so don't be overly protective of lanes that he cannot gank.
  • Do your own ganks while warding up against counterganks, or just start ganks if you're sure Udyr is farming or ganking elsewhere.
  • If Udyr is charging at you and your E+Q is on cooldown, use jarvanivgoldenaegis.png W at max range and keep walking away. The slow should be enough to mitigate his E movespeed in early ranks, at least one use of it.

Lvl 6+:

  • Udyr gets just one more rank into one of his spells, while you get an actual ultimate. You have to make use of it and do some great ganks.
  • If a 2v2/3v3 break out, you can choose to ult Udyr straight away, if your team is ready to burst him while he's sitting in the terrain.
  • Udyr is pretty good at soloing Dragons, so keep an eye out for it, dragon buffs help him remain relevant in lategame.


  • Force engages if Udyr is splitpushing. If he's splitpushing in botlane, force the enemy team to facecheck Baron. At this point of the game it should be pointless to chase after Udyr, he'll have enough movespeed from items/ranks in udyrbearstance.png E.
  • If Udyr is trying to teamfight, lock him inside your jarvanivcataclysm.png R when he's close enough to get bursted by your team.


  • 3047.png Tabis are mandatory against udyrtigerstance.png Tiger Udyr, and still good against udyrphoenixstance.png Phoenix Udyr.
  • 3194.png Adaptive Helmet is great against Phoenix Udyr. Against Tiger Udyr, any armor item will do, choose accordingly to what the rest of his team has.





  • Because of her viw.png W, Vi has more sustained damage than you do. She should outduel you... However, to deal decent damage, she's supposed to charge a full viq.png Q (during which she can't autoattack).
  • That means that if Vi engages on you by charging a Q, she'll definitely outduel you, but if you engage on her before she charges a Q (or even better, cancelling her Q charge with your E+Q knockup), you have the advantage. An uncharged rank 1 Vi Q in melee range deals 50-ish damage, which is much worse than the damage you got on Q or E at the same rank.
  • What you lack in duelling power compared to her, you make up for it with better teamfights, where Vi can't do much but right click and vir.png ult somebody if she won't die in the process.
  • Your gank patterns are kinda similar: A reliable dash that applies CC, though Vi suffers from being more predictable.

Early game:

  • Vi's first clear is fairly fast but she takes a fair bit of damage during it. If she heads to take a scuttle crab at lvl 3, you might be able to catch her at the perfect moment where she's not full hp after her first clear, and with her Q on cooldown (Because she used it to kill the scuttle crab faster, which honestly is a mistake, the first scuttle crab only has 800 hp).
  • Counterganking her isn't that great. While catching her with her Q on cooldown helps, she has good sustained damage. Only countergank if your laner is ready and able to fight a 2v2.
  • If she counterganks you, however, you're in trouble, unless you dodge her Q and get out safely or straight up kill her with your laner's help.

Lvl 6:

  • Vi's lvl 6 is really, really nasty. While your R looks like a better tool to gank, the long range on her R and the guaranteed CC on it can mean a guaranteed death for one of your laners (Or yourself!).
  • Her AD scalings are better, too, and it'll show once she completes her jungle item.
  • Start taking fights with your team. The more you are, the hardest it is for Vi to pick a target and not get bursted.


  • As said above, force Vi in 5v5 situations where she would just get bursted 100-0 if she ulted a backliner in your team. She can still be useful by ulting an assassin in your team that would be too reckless - The ideal situation is that your team's frontline is tanky enough and your damage dealers are fed enough that Vi can't just right click you.
  • If Vi vir.png ults on one of your squishy teammates while your E+Q is up, just E+Q her straight away when she reaches her target (While she's pathing to it she knocks enemies on her path aside, and is CC immune). Keep your ult, though.


  • 3047.png Tabis are straightforward.
  • Vi can safely ignore 1 armor item on you because of her viw.png W and Black Cleaver, so a good second item is to get your own 3071.png Black Cleaver yourself so you can compete in damage and use the CDR to lock her down if she misplays.
  • Of course, you'll need some armor later on if their adc is any relevant. 3742.png DMP can be a good choice here, the movespeed helps dodging Vi's viq.png Q and catch up to her if she made a messy engage.




Nobody plays Volibear. He's getting buffed next patch (or later, depending on how PBE goes) though, so let's give him a proper matchup.
//The buff went through! I'll have a look at how he fares from now on.


  • Volibear volibearq.png Q's fling snaps you out of your E+Q dash. It's very easy for him to do so if you're using it to get away from him while he's already on your face.
  • Respect his volibearw.png W execute damage. It's not that great at rank 1, but scales up in ranks very sharply.
  • DO NOT, AND I MEAN, DO NOT stand still and 1v1 him if he uses his volibearr.png ult, unless you're so incredibly fed that it doesn't matter. Just using his rank 1 R and autoattacking you three times is already 300 magic damage - And he can land far more than three autoattacks when you're slowed by his volibeare.png E.

Early game:

  • Volibear's first clear is a bit lacking and he might use his passive (dropping himself below 30% hp by not using potions) to sustain some health back, meaning he'll be weak for 2 minutes after that.
  • If his passive is on cooldown you should be able duel him at lvl 3, if not there's no point trying.
  • His ganks are really lacking unless on very overextended laners. If he chooses to flash in to instantly volibearq.png fling his target, he actualy has a lot of kill pressure - Once he's reached his target the 3 seconds slow from his volibeare.png E + redbuff can almost guarantee a kill if his laner is ready to followup.
  • Volibear isn't exactly weak or resistant to counterganks, it's up to how your laner and his laner are. If his volibearw.png W and volibeare.png E are on cooldown though, he's really really weak.

Lvl 6:

  • Volibear's lvl 6 doesn't fix his problem: He still has trouble reaching his targets. It only "improves" his ganks by giving him more damage that he doesn't really need. It's the right time for you to lead high impact ganks with your jarvanivcataclysm.png R.
  • If he's out of position you can choose to ult him, his only way to get out is his flash. Keep in mind though, as I said in Generalities, you do not want to stand still and let Volibear autoattack you with his volibearr.png ult, especially since he'll have some ranks in volibearw.png W and it's starting to actually hurt.
  • Volibear is really poor at soloing Dragon, but don't just ignore the possiblity that he'll do it, either.
  • To remain relevant at this point Volibear will most likely camp one lane super hard, flash in to kill them, take their turret and have his laner snowball off it.

Midgame onwards:

  • Volibear struggles direly in large fights where he rarely can reach squishier targets if the enemy team (especially the support) is any competent.
  • If you can "assassinate" (Not really 100-0 but land a full combo and guarantee the death of) one of his squishy teammates, go for it. Volibear only has his flash to get in/out of your R. If he's outside he can't get in to kill you, if he's inside he can't get out to kill anybody but you.
  • If Volibear is fed and rushes in with 3800.png Righteous Glory to engage a fight, and that your teammates have no way to disengage him, go forward and jarvanivcataclysm.png ult him. Best situation: Your teammates turn back, kill Volibear and you get out of your R terrain with E+Q or flash. Worst situation: You die... but at least your teammates didn't get butchered, and you looked heroic.


None specifically.

  • Having Grievous Wounds 3123.png / 3033.png helps against Volibear but it's hard to include this item in your build.
  • Some armor/HP will come in handy to not just get butchered by his rank 5 W. 3071.png Black Cleaver won't give you enough HP but you direly need the item anyway, especially since Volibear will most likely get a 3742.png DMP after completing Cinderhulk and you'll need to shred that armor.





  • When Warwick warwickq.png Qs you and holds it down, he'll follow your movement for a second. If you flash out, he'll stick to you. If you E+Q out, he'll stick to you. This is not a bug, this is intended.
  • His warwicke.png E grants a huge damage reduction (For comparison, Maokai had to be reworked for the -20% damage taken on his ult, and warwick has -35% on his E, while for a shorter duration). Do not burst him during the duration (at most 2.5s, it ends he when howls and fears nearby enemies)
  • In almost all cases it's a bad idea to 1v1 Warwick when: He's below 50% or 25% hp and you can't burst him to 0, or you're below 50% hp. That's because of his passive and his warwickw.png W passive.
  • His W grants him a huge out-of-combat movespeed, but unlike mobility boots it reactivates very quickly after being out of combat. Still, using your jarvanivgoldenaegis.png W while he's tailing you will buy you some time by slowing him and deactivating his out of combat movespeed.
  • Using your jarvanivcataclysm.png ult on warwick while he is using his warwickr.png ult's dash towards you, should allow you to be immune to the suppression effect. You'll still take his ult's damage and he'll heal himself, but you won't be CCd for 1.5 seconds.

Early game:

  • Warwick has a decent early clear, and you shouldn't try to 1v1 him.
  • His weaknesses are that his ganks are kinda predictable (He gains huge bonuses against targets below 50% hp, they get a warning about it, and if he uses warwickw.png W to hunt a target even above 50% hp, they get a warning too), and that he goes very deep during his ganks...
  • ... Which means counterganking could help in theory, but if Warwick is ganking your laner it's likely that your laner is below 50% hp, and by the time Warwick has reached him, your laner will most likely not be ready to fight anymore, and in this situation Warwick can still 1v1 you if he's full HP, even with his E on cooldown. And I'm not even counting Warwick's own laner that can still be there.

Midgame onwards:

  • At lvl 6 both you and Warwick get better ganks and your duelling potential stays the same. Keep playing the same, find ganks to give your team a lead.
  • Warwick remains strong in midgame when he has two items (most likely titanic hydra + cinderhulk)
  • When bigger fights happen and your damage dealers got more items Warwick will fall off. There's not much he can do but stick to a target and autoattack/Q it. For this reason it can be easy to peel Warwick off your team if he's reckless.
  • You need to be more relevant than he is by using your CC, R terrain, and the free stats on E to your team.


  • By the time you complete a defensive item Warwick will most likely not be hitting you, but keep in mind that 3194.png Adaptive Helm works wonders against his passive's on-hit damage. Having at least a bit of magic resist is really important against his warwickq.png Q which deals a solid amount of %hp magic damage.
  • While it's hard to include in your build, 3123.png Executioner's Calling helps.


Xin Zhao



  • Xin should outduel you at most stages of the game. Definitely up to lvl 9, where his xinzhaow.png W base damage is massive. His ranks in Q and E are weaker compared to the ranks you get in your second maxxed spell (Should be jarvanivdemacianstandard.png E). His xinzhaoe.png engage range is much shorter than yours though, so you should have no trouble avoiding fights with him.
  • The knockup on the third strike of his xinzhaoq.png Q can snap you out of your E+Q dash, and his xinzhaor.png R knockback can throw you away during your E+Q dash (mostly if you use it towards him). However, you can ignore both of these CCs by using your jarvanivcataclysm.png R timely.

Early game:

  • Xin is not at his strongest yet, but he should still beat you 1v1 in extended fights. In a 2v2/3v3 situation, you can choose to engage Xin if he gets bursted quickly.
  • Be wary of his presence around lanes that struggle against ganks. Xin's ganks are lackluster if he doesn't have the room to walk in a straight line at his target and right click it.
  • He usually relies on walking through your jungle to gank your laners from behind. Ward up the paths between your jungle and river, and take scuttle crabs when it's safe.

Lvl 6:

  • Xin's xinzhaor.png R doesn't improve his ganks that much unless he uses it at the very start of a gank, after walking behind his target, to knock it towards his allies. It's a good tool for small fights (2v2/3v3), not that much for duelling (Even if he uses it when you're at max HP, it shouldn't deal more damage than your jarvanivcataclysm.png own ult)
  • However he's started to invest ranks in W, and his passive gives him a solid increase in his damage every level. Once he has his jungle item completed (Warrior), he should beat you fair and square.
  • You should stall the game at this point, pick fights that you cannot lose and easy ganks. Respect Xin's powerspike.

Midgame onwards:

  • Ulting Xin if he's out of position is almost pointless. Your jarvanivcataclysm.png ult's terrain lasts 3.5 seconds, while the effect of his xinzhaor.png ult lasts 3 seconds, extended when he autoattacks/casts spells. He'll just sit there and autoattack you, invulnerable to any damage from outside of your ult.
  • In a normal situation Xin will most likely be looking to land his ult on as many enemies as possible, for the disruption (like a Gragas R) and the damage, while sticking to a squishy target.
  • While it's hard to do so (the matchup is Hard for a reason!), the goal is to not let Xin find an opening, while not being simply swept aside by his R. You'll most likely need somebody else in your team to handle Xin in teamfights.


  • 3047.png Tabis are mandatory. Reworked Xin does less autoattacking compared to the old one, and his damage is loaded into his xinzhaow.png W, but he still autoattacks a damn lot.
  • Any kind of extra armor will help. Xin doesn't crit, so you can stick to a 3742.png DMP. Randuin's active (the slow) and passive (the -%AS cripple) can come in handy against Xin, so it's a wise buy if his adc has some crit already.





  • Each rank in Zac's zace.png E improves his ganking potential by giving him more range on it. The base damage and cooldown reduction on it are great too. As Zac climbs from lvl 3 to 9, he gains more and more gank pressure, which he already has a lot of. Be wary of it, you'll have to compete against it.
  • The Unstoppable status during your jarvanivcataclysm.png R dash can allow you to ignore the displacement effect on his second zacq.png Q (Where he bashes two enemies together), the knockback of his un-charged zacr.png R, and the displacement of his charged R. Though, this has little practical uses...
  • Zac spreads bloblets when he hits enemies with abilities. Step on these to prevent him from touching them to recover health. Though it's not that easy since you potentially lose some autoattack damage by walking, while he cares less than you do about that.

Early game:

  • Zac isn't that great in 1v1s at this point of the game, but his revive passive can allow him to survive invades and bad duels, if his teammates back him up.
  • If he uses E to knockup the scuttle crab (It takes far more damage after getting hard CCd), Zac will be vulnerable for a good while (It a 24 seconds cooldown at rank 1). You should be able to punish him if he does this while you're close.
  • He'll be starting to apply gank pressure, either find him and stop him (Counterganks, 1v1 in river) or do your own ganks (He'll have an easier time than you pulling off good ganks, though)

Lvl 6:

  • A good Zac can do devastating ganks once he has access to his zacr.png R, and the extra range he gets by ranking up zace.png E gives him more and more options to bypass wards and jump over bigger walls.
  • Get vision of his jungle camps so you know ahead where he'll be looking to gank, and stay close to your botlane. Ideally, you should be the one initiating the gank, even if Zac is ready to jump in. If he gets the initiative, he'll just zacr.png R straight away after landing (Becoming immune to CC) then will scoop your teammates to their death.

Midgame onwards:

  • Ward up spots behind walls where Zac would want to engage.
  • If Zac misses an E engage and get hit by a hard CC, use E+Q to followup. If you were to E+Q him before he's CCd, he would be able to zacr.png R, giving him CC immunity against your E+Q, then scoop you towards his team... Which can be good or bad, but most likely bad.
  • If Zac lands an engage and zacr.png scoops your teammates towards his team you should rush in and try to CC his damage dealers so your teammates do not get bursted straight away.


  • None specifically. In theory if Zac spams zacw.png W and picks up a bloblet between each W, and has some CDR, 3194.png Adaptive Helmet would work, but it'll rarely matter by the time you complete such an item.
  • Simply get some extra mres according to what other magic damage dealers his team has.

Jungle Clearing Back to Top

Extra advice regarding abilities

jarvanivpassive.png Passive:

I do recommend making full use of your passive by autoattacking the small wolves, once, on your first clear. By that time you don't have enough AoE damage, so you might as well take them down faster by using your passive early on them, rather than later.

When getting scuttle crabs, don't autoattack until you've E+Q'd it (Assuming you want to spend the mana on the scuttle, which is not always) : Scuttle takes increased damage during a crowd control and after it, so it's better if you slap it with the 8% HP damage during the damage increase.

Autoattacking the Large and Medium Krugs once, to apply your passive, is a good idea, but avoiding to take too many autoattacks from them is more important.

jarvanivdragonstrike.png Q:

When clearing camps with multiple monsters in them (Mostly Raptors), get their aggro with an autoattack or an jarvanivdemacianstandard.png E, then only use Q when they're all clustered up nicely.

When going for wolves at your level 2, approach the camp so that your Q is lined up with the wolves, drop the E in the center of them, and Q them all.

If a monster has less HP left than what your Q deals, and your Q has a few seconds of cooldown left, start walking away from the camp to your next objective, and then finish the monster with a Q when it comes off cooldown.

jarvanivgoldenaegis.png W:

Assuming you're willing to spend the mana, you should spam W whenever it's up and you're taking damage from monsters. You can even activate it slightly before engaging the monsters, since the shield lasts 5 seconds and goes on cooldown as soon as you use it.

jarvanivdemacianstandard.png E:

Do not underestimate the damage that adds up from having 15% attack speed when clearing jungle camps early on. And do not neglect the damage that the flag drop deals, it's not just here to buff yourself. Hit multiple monsters with it when you can.

Use E+Q combos to dash over the walls of your jungle while dealing damage to the monsters you're dashing onto, rather than walk around the wall. Make sure it doesn't come at the cost of missing your damaging spells on the monsters, though.

6312.png Autoattacks:

You'll have to learn, over time, to move between your autoattacks when clearing the jungle. It greatly reduces the damage you take from monsters while, ideally, not reducing the damage you deal.

That's because your autoattacks have a nice quick animation, and you have a fairly fast attack speed, while most monsters have slower autoattack animations, and some of them have very low attack speed (Blue Buff, mostly).
Raptors (and Krugs a bit as well) also tend to suffer from "minion block", meaning that when you're moving between your autoattacks, small raptors will be walking around their brethren, instead of attacking you, because they're blocking each other.

Some monsters, mostly Krug and Blue Buff, also have a very low movespeed, combined with low attack speed, meaning you can easily land two or three autoattacks on them while they only land one. Krugs make it easier and more rewarding to kite, since you've got one or two seconds of freely repositioning after the Large/Medium Krugs die, while they're splitting up.


Jungle Route:

First clear:

Currently, Buff -> Wolves -> Buff is the most straightforward. You get the XP (to level 3) you need, the two buffs, and the wolves who are quickly killed and don't deal a lot of damage.

Doesn't matter which buff you start at. It's a nice bonus to start at Blue Buff, so that your Red Buff lasts longer once you hit level 3 (Red Buff is really, really strong to 1v1 and gank). But in general, it's better to start on the bottom side of the map, so that your botlane might help you with the level 1 pull.

Later on:

If you need to gank quickly, but are really close to getting an extra level, you can kill the Large and Medium Krugs that are in their camp at the start, and ignore the smaller ones that split up. If you kill the two initial Krugs and leave the camp, the split ones will disappear and the camp will respawn. This will give you less gold and XP than clearing the camp entirely, but will be quicker.

Raptors give a decent reward (Used to give way too much and required a lot of changes!), but require a lot of AoE damage. your first Raptors should ideally be at your level 4. Once you have 1412.png Warrior, your jarvanivdragonstrike.png Q should deal enough damage to make short work of them, and if you buy 1413.png Cinderhulk you can take them safely and quickly.

Wolves are simple to take at any point of the game.

Only clear Gromp if you've got some health to spare (You've got potions ready, you're going to recall, or are going to eat a Honeyfruit plant). It deals a fair amount of damage, and you don't have the best single target damage out of all junglers.

Include scuttle crabs in your jungle pathing whenever you can, they're great! As I wrote earlier when talking about your Passive, keep in mind Scuttle Crab takes increased damage (+25%) while suffering from a hard CC, even from 11.png Smite, and permanently loses 50 armor and magic resist after getting hit with the CC, even once it's worn off.

Combos, Tips and Tricks Back to Top

Take note: This section is meant to have an easy access to a quick recap of various tips spread across the other sections. If you've read everything else, then you might feel deja-vu when reading below.

Simple combos:

1) E+Q dashes to your E's location, knocking up enemies on your path.

Damage-wise, it's more important to land Q than E, during the combo, so don't feel too bad for not hitting E because you're throwing it behind your target to be sure your dash will knock them up.

 2) Q+Passive

Your passive deals 8% of your target's current HP as physical damage, and your Q reduces armor on targets hit.
There are a few cases where Passive->Q deals more damage than Q->Passive (Target has a lot of health and little armor, also depends on your Q rank...) but for Jungle J4 it's kind of a no-brainer since in most cases you'll choose between dashing on somebody and applying your passive, or applying your passive then using E+Q when your target got away... And damage is not your primary concern when choosing between these two options.

3) Q+R

Your R deals a flat amount of physical damage, and your Q shreds armor. This armor reduction lasts 3 seconds, so using your ult within 3 seconds of landing a Q will add some extra damage to your full combo.

dot-pattern.png If you add this all up, the result is the simple J4 playstyle you already know: E+Q+auto+R. Nothing really subtle. But still, keep things like Q+R in mind, it comes handy every now and then.

Advanced combos:

1) Flash, then E+Q

It's not a special interaction or anything, but is only worthwhile if you do it quickly. The point of it is to reach a target that is outside your E+Q range, so you can burst them and knock them up, usually ulting right after if they Flash out or use something similar.

2) Flash during the E+Q dash

This has very, very few uses, but it's a thing. It'll cause you to apply the dash's knock-up wherever the Flash lands you. Deals no damage.

The only point of this compared to Flash->E+Q is that this leaves no reaction time to your target, since they will be instantly CCd.

Watch this example, where Fizz had his E up and would have used it to escape J4's R:

Maximizing slows during ganks:

1) Do not jarvanivgoldenaegis.png W on hard-CCd enemies

Obviously, there's no point slowing an enemy that cannot move anyway. That means holding your W while you've knocked up your target with E+Q, or during any other hard CC from your teammates. There's also no point in using W to slow enemies trapped inside of your jarvanivcataclysm.png ult, unless you need the shield.

2) Make full use of red buff

While you've got red buff and are constantly reapplying it in melee range, you have no reason to use W to slow your target any further. Save it for the moment your target gets out of your autoattack range (Which will often happen since you need to stand still for a small moment during your autoattack animation, while your fleeing target doesn't)

Some other small tips:

  • When engaging Dragon, autoattack it once with your passive, place your jarvanivdemacianstandard.png E on it, then use jarvanivdragonstrike.png Q as soon as the Dragon blows you back. You'll dash to your E right away.
  • To escape an enemy champion with high movespeed but no dashes/blinks/Flash, jarvanivcataclysm.png Ult him then E+Q out of the terrain or flash out.

Credits/Sources Back to Top for ability tooltips. for some data here and here. Most reliable site I've found!
My friend Shamber, Skarner OTP, for some great insight for the Skarner matchup.

Who am I? Back to Top

Just a SoloQ player. In Season 4 and the first half of Season 5 I got to Challenger and stayed here but never got better than a small team that could compete in French tournamentss and not much more.
In those seasons J4 was my most played jungler by far, so much that people used to call me an OTP even though I also played support!

J4 was kinda bad in season 5 and 6, but I kept trying to make him work, and my elo took a blow (Not just because J4 was bad). I got back to Master in Season 7 and I'm content with it, going pro is really too much work.

I've switched to being a Support main but Jungle is still my secondary role, J4 is still my second favourite champion, and I still play him when I feel like it.

If you've got questions, ask away in the comments. I don't use social medias that much.

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