Given how much League of Legends has developed over these 12 Seasons, players have by now gotten used to the consistent nature of meta and balance changes, as at times, the game seemed to favor a few classes of champions over others. Thankfully though, as we reached the 10th season, Riot has made an effort to keep the strengths and weaknesses of all roles and champion types in relative balance, allowing for the meta to change naturally, without it being driven by the external changes.
Yet, despite the occasionally wild dynamics of League, a handful of champions managed to retain their throughout the seasons, with a notable pick being Jarvan IV, The Exemplar of Demacia, whose role in the game has been solidified in both regular and professional play.
Powerful engages, the ability to soak up and at the same time deal considerable amounts of damage, Demacia’s prince is the subject for this article. Jarvan IV manages to fulfill the Jungler role especially well, given his kit which enables him to attack lanes with easy, one-combo ganks.
Allow us to walk you through the essentials of playing Jarvan IV, The Exemplar of Demacia, before heading into the main topic of this guide, the most effective Jungle routes and clearing strategies to follow!
Flash + Smite
As with most high-mobility champions who can cross terrain using only their basic abilities, Jarvan can theoretically substitute Flash for another Summoner Spell, but given how Flash can help players in setting up those perfect Ultimates, we’d recommend sticking to the standard option of running Flash.
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The Best Jarvan IV Runes
Similarly to champions such as Lee Sin, Vi or Trundle, players will optimally go for a Bruiser play style, occasionally building either more damage or resistance items, depending on what their team needs most. While this might provide flexibility with items, in terms of the optimal Runes, there’s only one ideal path to go with.
As your Keystone, Conqueror is going to provide the most effective effects, which you follow with Triumph, Legend: Alacrity or Tenacity, which is a matter of personal preference, and lastly Coup de Grace or Last Stand, once again depending on what you prioritize in terms of stats.
For the secondary Runes, Sudden Impact and Relentless or Ultimate Hunter are pretty standard choices, but players can also run Bone Plating and Overgrowth for a more tanky approach.
The Best Jarvan IV Items
Starting Items: Emberknife + Refillable Potion
Mythic Item: Goredrinker / Sunfire Aegis
Core Items: Defensive Boots, Black Cleaver, Sterak’s Gage / Maw of Malmortius, Guardian Angel
Finishing Options: Randuin’s Omen, Spirit Visage, Dead Man’s Plate, Warmog’s Armor
The first big question when it comes to items is your Mythic, with Goredrinker being the most popular choice, even on the competitive scene. It synergizes particularly well with Jarvan’s Ultimate ability, as it allows players to activate it on three, four or perhaps five enemies.
However, if your team is stacked with damage, and the enemy composition has mostly ranged carries, Sunfire Aegis might be the safer option, as it can be difficult to activate Goredrinker effectively on ranged targets, whose main focus is to take you down through kite.
While Sterak’s Gage is also going to be the better option in most games, if the enemy team relies heavily on magic damage as their win condition, substituting that for Maw of Malmortius will prove more profitable.
For the finishing options, get resistance stats which counteract the enemy team’s primary carries, adapting these choices from game to game.
The Best Skill Order for Jarvan IV
Q > E > W > R
However, at LVL 1 players should take E first, as the bonus attack speed stats provided by both its passive and active effect will be much more valuable when it comes to taking down the first camp than the damage provided by Q, which you will be taking second.
The Best Jungle Paths for Jarvan IV
As The Exemplar of Demacia has a rather expensive item build, it is important not to fall behind in gold throughout the game, which can be difficult if the ganks are not successfully converted into takedowns. Players should always consider their allies’ kill potential when ganking, making sure not to invest too much time in ganks which are unlikely to convert.
We are going to cover the most advantageous starts from each side, but players should keep a few factors in mind when deciding upon where their Jungle pathing should start. These are:
- Which laners are going to provide more help in clearing the first camp?
- Counter-jungle opportunities, based on where the enemy Jungler is likely to start.
- Which lane would you like to gank first, depending on both the allied and enemy champions.
Jarvan can execute ganks as soon as he hits LVL 2, but LVL 3 is going to provide him with an additional slow (from W) to keep his target from running away without having to at least burn Flash.
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Red Side, Red Clear
Kicking things off from the Red Side, starting your clearing route from the Red Buff might initially be the slower option unless your Laner decides to provide extended help, as your E alone won’t provide too much brawling power.
However, players can make up for the lost time and tempo at the Raptor camp, which is the second objective. Carefully landing an E + Q combo on all of the mobs, following it up with a Passive proc on each Raptor and finishing the largest one with the help of Smite will have players finishing this camp in no time.
For the third camp, head towards to other side of your Jungle and clear the Wolves, getting the most out of your Passive by sequencing it on all three mobs whenever it comes off cooldown.
Next on the list is securing your second Buff. Given how sturdy these mobs are, do not hesitate to use the second charge of your Smite to accelerate the process, which will also keep your Health bar in a safe place, in case the enemy Jungler decides to invade.
As for your fifth camp, spend the extra time needed to kill Gromp before heading into the River. With all three of your basic abilities unlocked, this clear is going to leave players with more HP than they started with, allowing them to walk into the River safely, without a real risk of dying to the enemy Jungler.
To finish your first clear, shift your focus towards the Scuttler and break its shield using the E + Q combo. This position is going to enable players to execute a quick gank on either Mid or Bot, choosing the lane which is most likely to convert into an early kill before the first reset.
Red Side, Blue Clear
Starting from the opposite side of your Jungle will help in overcoming Jarvan’s slow first clear, as you now have two allies assisting with the first camp. Remember that E will also boost your allies’ attack speed, so make sure to cast it accordingly.
After securing the first Buff, take the safer route and go for a full Jungle clear. Your next objective is going to be the Gromp, on which you should be casting your first Smite, in order to accelerate your tempo.
For the third and fourth stops, players should clear the multi-mob camps, the Wolves and Raptors, by once again sequencing their Passive on each individual monster. In case you are worried about losing too much Health and getting invaded by the enemy Jungler, feel free to use the Refillable Potion to regenerate.
Shifting your focus towards the Red Buff, as your fifth camp, make sure to use the second Smite charge to keep up the pace.
Unlike with the previous clear, players will ideally want to clear the Krugs as well, before starting to look for a gank. Jarvan’s Passive and W makes it very easy to slay the Krugs without any considerable HP loss.
At this point, players should head into the River to secure the Scuttler, once again investing the E + Q combo to break its shield before ganking. However, if you have reason to believe that the Scuttler has been taken already, or you notice a good opportunity for a gank Top, skip over this camp entirely and start pressuring the lanes.
Blue Side, Blue Clear
Switching over to the Blue Side, the clearing paths are mostly identical, with the only significant difference being the reversal of the starting positions for both routes.
Despite having only your Top Laner to assist you, meaning that the start is on the slower side, Jarvan players should still mirror the previous route, fully clearing their Jungle before initiating their first gank.
After slaying Blue, kill the Gromp with the help of your first Smite charge and shift your focus towards the Wolves and Raptors, as shown in the associated image. The Gromp should leave you with plenty of Health, and the multi-mob camps should not pose a threat, given Jarvan’s abilities.
The second Smite is expected to go down onto the Red Buff, allowing players to gain some HP back before the final camp of their Jungle. Whilst clearing the Krugs, players can start scouting the map for info, surrounding either the enemy Jungler’s position or the possibility for a converting gank on Bot.
If Bot is quiet and the enemy Jungler doesn’t show signs of heading in your direction, secure the Scuttler and ask your allies for information surrounding enemy vision, allowing you to pick between Mid or Bot to gank in a calculated fashion.
Blue Side, Red Clear
Starting with the Red Buff, you will now have the assistance of two allies, yet it is still best to skip over the Krug camp on this route, prioritizing the execution of an early gank, given the faster tempo.
After slaying the Red Buff, once again head for the Raptors, using Smite on the larger mob to finish the camp quickly. Next are the Wolves, where players should apply the same principle of sequencing Jarvan’s Passive in order to get the most out of the extra damage.
At your fourth camp, the Blue Buff, do not hesitate to use the second charge of Smite, leaving you with more than sufficient Health to kill the Gromp with afterwards.
Having cleared both Blue and the Gromp, players are expected to head into the River to secure some extra gold and vision through the Scuttler, before investing their tempo into a gank on one of the solo lanes, followed by a reset.
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The Best Tips and Tricks for Jarvan IV
- Jarvan’s early game focuses on performing quick and effective ganks, putting your allies ahead of yourself. The simple E + Q combo, paired with a first proc of your Passive and a few more auto-attacks, will be more than enough to allow your allies to finish kills.
- Demacian Standard (E) gives a small pocket of vision when aimed into the fog of war, allowing players to catch a glimpse of what is happening in the Baron or Dragon Pit from a safe distance, whenever your team failed to secure vision onto these objectives.
- As tempting as it can be to use all three of your basic abilities in quick succession, remember that W also applies a slow to all surrounding enemies. What this translates to is that players should always wait until the enemy which you’ve hopefully knocked up using the E + Q combo hits the ground, so the slow doesn’t overlap with the airtime.
- For those compilation-worthy plays, try forcing enemies into narrow corridors of terrain, where they have no other choice but to group up. This allows players to execute a those large-scale E + Q + R combos, catching multiple enemies in the circle of terrain.
- Additionally, prioritize building a Guardian Angel rather quickly, as once you’ve fully committed to a fight and used up all of your abilities, until your team manages to follow and clean up, you are likely to get taken down.
The Exemplar of Demacia is and has always been an impactful champion, as we would consistently encounter him on the professional scene as a top tier Jungler. While his clear may not be the quickest, Jarvan’s ganks are among the strongest in the game, as his kit provides a straightforward mechanism to immobilize targets with.
As the game progresses, Jarvan’s role is to find and execute favorable engages, either by trapping the majority of the enemy team in his Cataclysm, or by simply catching the enemy carries out of position and investing his Ultimate to kill them. However, players should always remember that an E + Q + Flash + R combo can cover rather large distances, potentially making it difficult for your allies to follow.
Once in the middle of combat, focus on dishing out as much damage as possible whilst tanking the enemy team, even if it means losing your life or Guardian Angel. Building a Gargoyle Stoneplate in combination with Sterak’s is a great way to survive in extended fights.
And this concludes our Jungle route and clearing guide for Jarvan IV, The Exemplar of Demacia, one of the most impactful and consistent Junglers in League of Legends!
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