In the weird world of off-meta League of Legends playstyles, there’s a single build I’ve tried to master for years – AP Jinx!
But to be honest, being good on AP Jinx is really tricky. And the reason why it’s so tricky is that Jinx wasn’t meant to be played with ability power items… at all!
In theory, AP Jinx should do decent damage but it’s not easy to get ahead and snowball the early leads. Or do well in every fight that breaks out.
In any case, I’ve tested many different build paths for AP Jinx, and in this post, I’ll give you the best one overall. I’ll tell you everything I know about playing AP Jinx so you can have a headstart in your journey.
Welcome to the simultaneously powerful and powerless playstyle of AP Jinx!
The Basics of AP Jinx
What’s “AP” in Jinx’s Kit?
The first thing we need to get clear on is which of Jinx’s abilities actually scales with ability power items. And this will help us understand how to approach the playstyle itself.
Well, Jinx’s E, Flame Chompers is the only magic damage ability this champion has. It’s a ground-target spell that places 3 chompers in a line. And when enemies step on them, the chompers root the enemies and deal damage that scales with Jinx’s AP.
Now, the great part about Jinx’s E is that the AP ratio is 100%. In other words, if you have 500 ability power then each Flame Chomper will deal its base damage, which is based on the rank, plus 500 magic damage on top of it.
Any ability with a 100% AP ratio will always deal a good amount of damage if you build ability power items, including Jinx’s E. So it’s at least worth trying to buff it up as much as you can.
What Can AP Jinx Do?
If you’ve never tried to play AP Jinx before, here’s what you can expect from it.
First of all, if you happen to land a good E in a teamfight, you can immobilize up 3 enemy champions while also applying good damage onto them. You can rinse and repeat this move until there are enemies in sight because it’s the strongest move of AP Jinx.
The cooldown of Jinx’s Flame Chompers in the late game is actually pretty low for an AoE CC effect. Every 6-7 seconds or so you’ll be able to throw your chompers, catch enemies, and set them up for your team.
If you’re ahead and your opponents are aware of the fact that you’re a full AP Jinx player, they’re likely to become reluctant to step over your chompers. This is actually a good thing because you can use Jinx’s E to prevent enemies from walking toward your team.
For example, you can place your chompers in the passages around the Dragon pit to give your jungler better chances of securing it. No one wants to be snared by Jinx’s chompers, especially when they deal a lot more damage than usual.
And lastly, the build version I’m going to discuss below is actually on-hit AP Jinx. It includes attack speed and on-hit items that give you consistent damage and removes the dependency on Flame Chompers.
So, you’ll also have lots of damage coming from your auto-attacks, just like you would with the regular Jinx build.
Read Also: AP Caitlyn One-Shot Build
What Should I Be Careful About on AP Jinx?
Even though there are multiple things that can go wrong when playing this build, a few things are really key to remember.
First, landing a good Jinx’s E is incredibly difficult. It doesn’t matter which elo you are, the ability has an animation longer than 1 whole second. This is more than enough time for the opposing players to get around it and completely avoid it.
The second thing you need to know is that once an enemy champion has stepped on one of your chompers, he can’t be damaged or rooted by the other two. This simply means that it’s not possible to catch a single enemy 3 times with a single cast of your E. A real shame.
And third, even though Jinx’s R deals a good damage regardless of the build (scales with the target’s missing health), it doesn’t scale with ability power items. It’s not like AP Ezreal where his ulti just decimates enemies all around.
On the other hand, when you play lethality Jinx, the ultimate gets empowered so much that it can one-shot enemies on the opposite side of the map.
How to Play AP Jinx in Season 13?
- Arcane Comet
- Manaflow Band
- Legend: Alacrity
- Coup de Grace
The rune page for AP Jinx is actually pretty simple.
We take Arcane Comet for the bonus upfront damage it grants. Obviously, it synergizes with Jinx’s E because when enemy champions get trapped, the comet will always hit them 100%. The damage scales with your level and AP, so it’s a good keystone overall.
Manaflow Band takes care of your mana and you’ll definitely need it once you start spamming those Flame Chompers.
With Transcendence, you get bonus ability haste as well as the ability to reset your E faster. It’s a useful rune to have later on when your damage will primarily come from your E.
Scorch allows you to burn your target for extra damage. It’s helpful for poking early on or applying pressure with your abilities, including your W.
But because you’ll need lots of attack speed too, Legend: Alacrity is the perfect secondary rune here. It passively but permanently increases your attack speed, so make sure to get it.
And Coup de Grace is here to increase your damage against enemies on low health.
Overall, you shouldn’t have any problems using this rune page in most of your games.
- Berserker’s Greaves
- Nashor’s Tooth
- Luden’s Tempest
- Lich Bane
- Rabadon’s Deathcap
- Void Staff
As I mentioned above, this item build aims to give you consistent damage on AP Jinx through on-hit magic effects and attack speed items as well as raw AP. Both things are important.
In the early game though, your goal is to get Berserker’s Greaves and Nashor’s Tooth as soon as possible.
Berserker’s Greaves are only here for stacking more attack speed but Nashor’s Tooth also adds bonus on-hit magic damage to each of your attacks. And it’s the item that will get you to the mid game.
When you have the gold to buy your mythic, my advice is to go for Luden’s Tempest. And the reason for it is that it amplifies the damage of Jinx’s Flame Chompers. You can also proc it with Jinx’s W and use it to stack bonus magic penetration too.
Next, you want to build toward Lich Bane. Lich Bane synergizes with Nashor’Tooth and it’s another on-hit AP item that’s useful for any champion that uses both abilities and attacks to deal damage, including Jinx.
The thing I like about Lich Bane is that it scales with both AP and AD, so it’s a great item to have in any situation.
In the late game, the best items overall are Rabadon’s Deathcap and Void Staff. One of them maximizes your AP while the other one your magic penetration. In other words, both items empower Jinx’s E significantly.
As far as situational items are concerned, I’d recommend building Riftmaker over Luden’s Tempest in certain matchups. I really like the self-healing that Riftmaker provides as well as the bonus true damage.
Other than that, go for Zhonya’s or Banshee’s Veil if you need extra defensiveness.
Read Also: Full AP Soraka Build Guide
Since Jinx’s E is our only magic damage spell, here we need to max it out first. The second is the W followed by the Q.
Here’s the skill order for AP Jinx level by level.
The choice of Summoner’s Spells for AP Jinx is pretty simple. You want to stick with Flash + Ignite in most of your games, especially if you’re in the mid lane. It allows you to threaten the enemy player and even 1v1 them.
Other than that, you can swap Ignite for Barrier, Exhaust, or Ghost, depending on the situation.
Sometimes you’ll need to match the mobility of the enemy team so Ghost would be the best choice there. And if you need to survive against assassins, Barrier and Exhaust can both help you out.
I believe that AP Jinx isn’t for everyone. There are a lot of players who give AP Jinx a shot only to end up frustrated and disappointed. But if you’re like me and understand the strengths and weaknesses of this build, you have a chance at enjoying it immensely.
I hope the runes and items above work as well for you as they have for me. Good luck and have fun my friend!