What happens when Jax gets caught between a rock and hard place?If he’s playing against someone who’s read this article, he loses lane. How To Counter Jax With Malphite tells you why.
Malphite’s popularity sky-rocketed when people realised you could build him full AP and run him jungle or mid lane. They shouldn’t forget that he is still a viable, easy to play top laner who becomes unkillable in the late game against AD champions if he builds armor, while providing useful CC. When you’re playing against a champion who does almost all his damage through basic attacks, an ability which slows attack speed is going to come in handy.
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Malphite stomps Jax. Take this knowledge of how to lane against Jax as Malphite, how to counter him with your build, and how to approach this match-up in the late game.
Take a good look at Jax’s abilities here before getting into this.
Jax and his autos
Jax’s abilities revolve around his auto attacks. This doesn’t mean that he only deals physical damage, only that if you can stop him from auto attacking you, you can stop him from damaging you. With your E, this is an easy task. Max your E first, because it’s the thing which is going to be taking away Jax’s attack speed and allowing you to win trades. Jax doesn’t have ranged poke, so get your shield up as often as possible and trades will go your way.
Save your Q
If Jax is running towards you, don’t turn, face and activate your Q. Keep on running. If he jumps on you, save your Q for after you’ve been stunned, but use your E before. Using your E before you are stunned will prevent the damage Jax can do while he hits you for free. It will also slow him down on picking up stacks.
Keep his passive in mind
Jax’s passive stacks are part of what make him so good at duels. The longer he stays in a fight the more attack speed he’ll have, which will be on top of the fact that he usually runs conqueror. Use your Q after you’ve been stunned. Your Q range is less than Jax’s leap range so it won’t help you get away at medium distance. After Jax has stunned you however, you can Q him, and you have the choice to either run away if it looks too dangerous or go back in for a trade which you should be winning. Max E, then Q, then W. W will be your least effective ability against Jax because of his ability to dodge basic attacks.
Level 6 Kill potential
Pre level 6 you are much more vulnerable to ganks than Jax is. While he can escape with a leap, all you have is the movement speed from your Q. Farm up for the first 6 levels, keeping the lane still and passive like a good rock. At level 6, your kill potential on Jax arises. Use your ult to escape if it would save your flash, otherwise keep it for fights. If you can surprise Jax with your ult, in other words stunning him before he can activate his E for which he will need grandmaster reflexes, you will be able to dish out boulders of damage in a short burst, even if you don’t build AP.
Jax may play aggressive to try and pick up an early kill, because he will struggle to fight you when you have items. Keep it cool till level 6 and you shouldn’t have to worry about that.
Countering Jax with Malphite: Runes and items
A Grasp lane
When it come to runes, this isn’t the time for the AP poke comet lane. You’re taking one for the team and building tank with Grasp of the Undying. It will help you in duels against Jax, in which he is dangerous to take on, and in lane if you can land the odd basic attack while you farm. There are other options with runes, but this will be the easiest to work around. Jax will block Grasp when his E is up, but you’ll find opportunities to use it like when you execute a quick trade during farm. He doesn’t always have his E up. Take Shield Bash too, it works well with your passive.
Same old items
Itemization to counter Jax as Malphite is nice and simple, because it doesn’t from what you would normally build. If Jax builds Trinity Force first, build Sunfire Cape which will help in 1v1s while giving you armor and health. You have a difficult choice between Thornmail and Frozen Heart. You should only be getting one of the two but both will work against Jax, because of the fact that they reduce attack speed. Take Thornmail if he seems to be running a lifesteal build involving Hextech Gunblade or BORK. It also works if there is a lot of healing on the enemy team. While Thornmail prevents healing with its grievous wounds, Frozen Heart will give you mana and CDR which will be needed against an aggressive Jax. Thereafter run what you normally would.
Your role team fights and the late game doesn’t change much in this matchup. Still be out on the watch for a tightly grouped enemy team which you can ult into. Keep Jax and his friends’ attacks speeds low with your E and your Thornmail or Frozen Heart. Jax is strong late game but if you can keep him off your carries he won’t be able to do much. He needs movement speed to get to them and stay there so Q him and prevent that.
Jax vs Malphite: Final thoughts
Both of these champions are popular and viable, so learning this matchup will come in handy. The more you play it and apply these tricks, the more you’ll realise the Malphite is rock, and Jax is scissors.
Have a look at our other posts here if you’re having trouble in other match-ups.