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Jarvan IV guide: How to Flag and Drag your way to victory

Jump into the jungle and deal as much damage as you can.

Jarvan IV is one of League’s oldest and most regal champions. With his easily recognizable Flag & Drag and his obnoxious voice lines, Jarvan has stayed relevant even after the game has seemingly moved in a far more mobile direction. While an update to Jarvan’s ability kit is certainly not far off, he is still a solid pick for the time being.

If you want to learn how to kick ass on the prince of Demacia, you have come to the right place.

The Build

Start

  • Hunter’s Machete
  • Refillable Potion

Boots

  • Mercury’s Treads

Build

J4 is a weird mix of tanky assassin with or without a ton of items. Adding to his repertoire will certainly net you some sweet benefits, but will only be added to said damage or tank. Since Jarvan is cool like that, we are gonna start by building mostly damage with Warrior and our staple item Titanic Hydra. Then we will get some tank on us.

  • Chilling Smite Warrior
  • Titanic Hydra
  • Dead Man’s Plate
  • Spirit Visage
  • Dead Man’s Plate

Ability Maxing

  1. Cataclysm (R)
  2. Dragon Strike (Q)
  3. Demacian Standard (E)
  4. Golden Aegies (W)

Runes and Masteries

For Jarvan, we want to grab nine AD Marks, nine MR Glpyhs, nine armor Seals and three attack speed Quints.

For our masteries, we go 18 down Cunning, ending with Thunderlord’s Decree and 12 down Ferocity. For those curious or paying attention, Jarvan IV has the same exact Rune/Mastery set up as Lee Sin.

The Kit

Passive - Martial Cadence

Jarvan’s basic attack deal percent of health damage to the target. Martial Cadence cannot harm the same target until a few seconds after (internal, per-champion cooldown).

This is one of the most mindless passives in the entire game, but it is very powerful. Basically, you want to make sure that you are basic attacking your targets when you get close to them, as Martial Cadence does ludicrous amounts of damage. That is all, move along.

Q - Dragon Strike

Jarvan stabs in a target line with his lance, causing it to extend forward. This deals damage to all targets hit and reduces their armor.

Dragon Strike is your main damaging ability on Jarvan and also comes with a small amount of range. It is on a relatively short cooldown, so you can use it to start a gank and end one by finishing off your target with a long-range poke. Use it frequently in battle to be sure that your enemies never recover their armor.

W - Golden Aegies

Jarvan lays down a slowing field around him and also shields himself. Enemies hit by the slowing field add to the shield absorption.

Golden Aegies is pretty straightforward. Need to slow an enemy? Drop a zone. Need to tank a hit? Drop a zone. Those are pretty much the two use cases but it will help you out in a tight spot.

E - Demacian Standard

Jarvan drops the Standard of Demacia at a targeted location, dealing damage to any enemies it lands on. It provides vision of an area while also granting nearby allies an attack speed bonus. Passively, Demacian Standard grants J4 a permanent attack speed bonus.

Finally, things get a little more complicated. Using Demacian Standard on its own is very simple, you drop it wherever you need it. However, using Demacian Standard in conjunction with Dragon Strike will provide you with one of the most fun combos in the game. If you connect Dragon Strike with Demacian Standard, Jarvan will pull himself toward the standard’s location, knocking up all enemies along the way.

Essentially, this means that you are dropping the flag where you want to go and then pulling yourself there. Place it behind an enemy for a gank or to a safe location when you want to get away. This will allow the otherwise slow, tanky Jarvan to get some added mobility.

R - Cataclysm

Jarvan IV leaps onto an enemy champion, causing a shockwave so powerful that the earth erupts into walls around them. These walls cannot be walked through and remain for a few seconds or until Jarvan lowers them by pressing the ability again.

In the current mobile world of League of Legends, where many characters have a dash of sorts, Cataclysm has taken on a new role. While it can still be used to burn a quick panic-flash, it is more of a burst ability than anything now. Target an enemy, jump on them, watch their health bar melt away. Of course, if you manage to trap a immobile character in Cataclysm, you hit the jackpot. Look for targets like Kog’Maw that can give you the most bang for your buck.

The Verdict

J4 is an old champion and that is kind of evident when playing him. He doesn’t feel new or flashy, but he remains fun and useful. J4 is a popular character, one that does tons of damage in the jungle and can take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’. While his old age may be getting to him, he is a prime example of a champion that has one timeless mechanic (Flag & Drag 4 life) that keeps them fun and relevant in a world that has seemingly left them behind. In a world filled with new, don’t forget to show your respects and have a good time with the older folks in it. Hug your grandparents and play J4, basically.