How To Play Jarvan IV In League Of Legends

As the crown prince of valiant warriors, Jarvan IV has the skill set of a true hero willing to fight and die for his team. If this kind of playstyle interests you, then you may just have found the perfect champion for you to main. Here’s everything you need to know to get you started playing the Exemplar of Demacia.


Like most bruisers, Jarvan is a pretty versatile champion. There are lots of ways to build him. He can be played in any lane and has seen decent playing time in all roles except as an ADC. But for this guide, we’ll be focusing on Jarvan as a Jungler since that is where he shines best. Thanks to his kit, he’s great at easily clearing camps, he’s great at dueling, and best of all, he is amazing when ganking lanes because of his mobility. He has relatively low cooldowns and really good lockdown crowd control that can almost always secure a kill for him or his teammates. 


Jarvan’s abilities are all geared towards diving enemy teams and dealing damage. 

Passive – Martial Cadence

Jarvan IV’s initial basic attack on a target deals [+8% target’s current health] (min 20) bonus physical damage. This effect cannot occur again on the same target for a short duration.

This passive is pretty straightforward. Jarvan’s attacks deal a bit more damage on a single target. When clearing camps with multiple units, try to hit all targets at least once to maximize this ability.

Q – Dragon Strike

Extends Jarvan IV’s lance dealing physical damage and lowering the Armor of enemies hit for 3 seconds. If the lance contacts Demacian Standard it will pull Jarvan IV to its location, knocking up enemies in his path. This effect can be triggered even when immobilized.

This is Jarvan’s bread and butter. Dragon Strike is your primary damaging ability and what you would be using as the jumping pad for all your other combos. It has great range and pretty good damage. If used with your E ability, you can knock up all enemies you hit in its path. This ability is also the source of your mobility. 

W – Golden Aegis

Grants a shield that absorbs an amount plus [+1.3% Jarvan’s max] damage for each nearby enemy champion for 5 seconds, and slows surrounding enemies for 2 seconds.

Golden Aegis is a great ability that not only gives Jarvan a shield, it also lets him slow surrounding enemies for 2 seconds. This is great to help you land your other abilities when you are going for a combo with all your other crowd control. Using this after knocking up enemies will ensure that they won’t get away easily.

E – Demacian Standard

Passive: Gains Attack Speed.

Active: Throws a Demacian Standard to a nearby area dealing magic damage to enemies. The Standard lasts for 8 seconds and grants surrounding allied champions Demacian Standard’s passive Attack Speed.

Demacian Standard is a very useful ability, not only because it ties into your knock up combo, but because it has a ton of utility. Demacian Standard gives you and your team bonus attack speed and also deals damage when you land it on top of enemies.

R – Cataclysm

Heroically leaps to an enemy Champion dealing physical damage to nearby enemies and creating an arena of impassable terrain around them for 3.5 seconds. Activate again to collapse the terrain.

Cataclysm is a very powerful ability. It helps you lock down multiple targets inside an arena where they’ll be trapped; opening opportunities for your team to follow up and secure kills. When used right, this ability can always guarantee at least 1 kill.

Runes and Item Builds

When it comes to items, your focus should be to increase both Jarvan’s damage and survivability. Since he’ll be going in and initiating fights most of the time, you’ll need to equip him with items that give health, damage, and bonus resistances.

Starting Items

Jarvan starts the game like any other Jungler. You have two choices for your Starting items. These are Emberknife, which will turn your Smite into Challenging Smite, and Hailblade, which will turn your Smite into Chilling Smite. Emberknife is the better overall option as it helps you deal more damage to targets you hit with Challenging Smite.

Mythic Item

For your Mythic item, there are two good options you can choose from: Goredrinker or Divine Sunderer. The better overall choice is Goredrinker because it gives you all the stats you need from health to damage plus an active ability that restores your health based on the number of enemies you hit with it. It greatly increases your sustain and will allow you to last in fights longer. On the other hand, Divine Sunderer gives you a whole lot more damage thanks to its passive which enhances your next basic attack right after using a spell. Go for Goredrinker most of the time but if the enemy team has a lot of tanks or tanky bruiser, you can go for Divine Sunderer instead.

Full Build

Right after purchasing your desired Mythic, go for tier 2 boots. The standard for most bruisers is Plated Steelcaps but you can switch it for Mercury’s Treads. Next, go for Death’s Dance to increase your survivability when diving enemies. Then go for Black Cleaver for the health, damage, and the ability to shred your opponent’s armor. Up next, you’ll need Sterak’s Gage to further increase your survivability thanks to its passive shield which will automatically activate when you are low on health. Finish off your build with Maw of Malmortius which works similarly to Sterak’s Gage but instead gives you a spell shield which can block potentially lethal damage from enemy abilities.


For your runes, go with the Precision tree and take Conqueror as your keystone. This will increase your damage and sustain when you are in extended fights. Next, take Triumph for the sustain, Legend: Alacrity for the attack speed, and Coup De Grace to help you finish off low health enemy champions. For your secondaries, take Magical Footwear and Cosmic Insight from the Inspiration tree. Magical Footwear gives you free boots while Cosmic Insight improves your cooldowns. For rune shards, take Attack Speed, Adaptive Force, and Armor.

Useful Tips

  1. Demacian Standard grants vision when you plant it inside a brush. Additionally, your teammates can also teleport to your Demacian Standard.
  2. Jarvan IV is countered by Karthus, Talon, Diana, Graves, and Nidalee. If you’re matched up against these champions, try to play it safe instead of being aggressive.
  3. For your Summoner Spells, always take Flash and Smite. Flash adds another layer of mobility to your kit while Smite lets you easily clear Jungle camps while also letting you secure objectives like Dragon or Baron.

So there you have it! That’s all you need to know about playing Jarvan IV in League of Legends. Be sure to check back with us again for more awesome guides on your favorite games. Have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!