Perhaps one of the more popular heroes to have come out in recent times, Jinx is a blue-haired girl with a penchant for making things go boom. She’s not just nice to look at, but also fun to play with as a ranged champion. While she can be a bit of a handful, she’s still worth mastering for those who are into this type of play.
Jinx is kind of hard to master, but well worth the time and effort put upon her. She has great wave clear and poke damage, so she’s not bad with laning at all. She gets nice attack speed bonus courtesy of her weapon Pow-Pow the Minigun. You have two weapons that you can switch in between with the ability Switcheroo, the other weapon being her rocket launcher. Her passive can help you escape, although it’s very situational.
Other than that, you have no escape skills to work with, so mistakes are less easily forgiven. You will also have problems with mana early on, so you have to be a bit conservative with your abilities and pick your spots better. While fast, Pow-Pow has relatively short range, so be careful with your positioning.
Overall, Jinx is as much of a handful as her character suggests, but she can be a lot of fun to play with. If you ever master her, opponents will love to hate you in-game.
Get Excited! (Passive)
Whenever a champion, tower, or inhibitor that Jinx has dealt damage to within the last 3 seconds is killed or destroyed, she gains 175% movement speed that decays over 4 seconds.
You don’t even have to last hit in order to gain movement speed with this. As long as one of the three is about to get killed, you gain the ability to either run in or get out for 4 seconds, whether to gank or escape. While it’s helpful with the former, it’s more practical for the latter since this is the only thing that lets Jinx escape.
Most would think that this is situational, but it actually comes up quite often in the game, and good Jinx players would know how to take advantage of this.
Switcheroo! (Q) – Obtain at levels 1, 4, 5, 7, 9
TOGGLE OFF — POW-POW, THE MINIGUN: Jinx’s basic attacks grant bonus attack speed for 2.5 seconds, stacking up to 3 times with the first stack granting twice as much attack speed as the second and third. The stacks decay one at a time when she stops attacking with her minigun.
Switching to her Rocket Launcher will not clear any active stacks, but they will not grant attack speed after her first attack.
TOGGLE ON — FISHBONES, THE ROCKET LAUNCHER: Jinx gains bonus attack range and deals 10% AD bonus damage on her attacks, at the cost of mana per attack.
Additionally, her attacks will splash, dealing full damage to all enemies in a 150-radius area. The bonus damage to her target and the splash damage both scale additively with critical strikes.
This must be maxed as soon as possible since this is what you have to work with for most of the time. You get stacked attack speed bonus off of Pow-Pow the Minigun. Meanwhile, using Fishbones the Rocket Launcher is for whenever you need splash damage to kill a bunch of minions all at once to aid a push, and the additional levels help with its range.
Zap! (W) – Obtain at levels 2, 8, 10, 12, 13
ACTIVE: After a short delay, Jinx fires a shock blast that deals physical damage to the first enemy hit, granting sight and slowing the unit for 2 seconds.
Zap should be available to slow enemies down when needed. This should be what you’re hitting enemies with in team fights most of the time to help out, and it’s also useful for poking as well to be more annoying. It’s not as good for laning though as minions can block it when you’re targeting an enemy champion, so make sure that you have a clear shot before firing this off.
Flame Chompers! (E) – Obtain at levels 3, 14, 15, 17, 18
ACTIVE: Jinx tosses out 3 chompers that, after an arm time of 0.7 seconds, explode on contact with enemy champions dealing magic damage over 1.5 seconds to enemies within 50-unit area. The champion that sets off the chomper is also rooted the same duration. Chompers explode automatically after 5 seconds. A single champion can only set off a single chomper, but can be damaged by any number if they remain in range.
This is the last skill you’d want to max for this build since it doesn’t really scale, but also very important as it’s sort of your stun ability (it’s actually root). They’re good for blocking off escape routes, so well-timed execution would be great in team fights. You can also use it to escape, although it’s not as effective as a full-on stun for that purpose.
Do take note though that’s not really a stun, but a root ability. Anyone caught by it won’t be able to move for a while but still can attack, so be careful as it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be entirely safe. It’s quite helpful for jungling though, so this skill is still useful for the most part.
Super Mega Death Rocket! (R) – Obtain at levels 6, 11, 16
ACTIVE: Jinx fires a rocket that travels in a line, exploding on the first enemy champion hit. Enemies caught in the explosion take physical damage equal to a base amount (this amount increases over the first second the rocket travels) plus a percentage of their missing health (max. 300 vs. minions and monsters ). The primary target of the explosion takes full damage, while nearby enemies take 80% damage.
This ultimate skill is devastating with good AoE damage, but should still be used only when you’re guaranteed a hit and kill. If used right, you can even gank tanks if they’re about to go down. This build doesn’t have much in the way of attack speed, which means that you’ll rely more on hitting really hard, and that’s exactly what this ultimate skill does.
It’s more helpful when used during the end of a team fight as it’s more effective when enemies already have missing health. Just make sure that you hit it at a spot where it catches the most amount of enemies, hopefully killing them off all at once.
A cool but risky way to make sure that you can get in range with this ultimate is to have your passive take effect in order to gain movement speed to chase down whoever could be ganked. That does mean you have to be aware of what is about to go down, so that you can take advantage of it.
You’re pretty much going for spells like Heal and Flash to make up for the fact that Jinx doesn’t really have much of an escape plan. Playing her is like a tightrope balancing act of being annoying to opponents and being cautious, so these spells should give you just a bit of leeway, enough to survive in tight spots.
As for runes, you should have a balanced mix that can make Jinx feel more solid to play with. That means a lot of Marks of Attack Damage, some Quints of Attack Speed, and maybe a Quint of Attack Damage. Everything else should be about boosting your defenses, such as some Seals of Armor, Seals of Scaling Health, and Glyphs of Magic Resist.
Health Potion x3
Infinity Edge – The combination of attack damage and crit chance is perfect for Jinx.
Guardian Angel – If you happen to be the main carry in your team, then you’ll need this to stay alive. If you happen to die, you’ll be revived with 30% health; this effect is usable once every five minutes.
Banshee’s Veil – This can save your life if an enemy catches you with a CC spell, and it helps against teams with high AP due to its bonuses to health and magic resistance.
Berserker’s Greaves (Distortion)
Statikk Shiv / Phantom Dancer – The former is great for the early game, while the latter is better for the late game. These are your sources of attack speed in this build.
Guardian Angel / Banshee’s Veil
Blade of the Ruined King
The Bloodthirster – This is a late game item that gives you life steal and attack damage.
If you like doing shenanigans while laning, then you can do it quite a bit here as Jinx is great for harassing opponents due to her Switcheroo ability. Whenever an enemy carry is about to last hit, switch to Fishbones and blow everything up to both farm and harass at the same time. You have to keep up with straight-up last hitting though so that you don’t fall behind.
Remember that the main target for harassment is the carry, but also remember to play it safe and put farming up as your main priority. Also, don’t get mad if your support isn’t doing a good job; you’re supposed to make your opponents mad, not get mad yourself.
This phase is pretty good for Jinx as Switcheroo should be maxed and Pow-Pow the Minigun should have full attack speed bonus, letting you deliver high DPS down the line. Her ultimate ability Super Mega Death Rocket should also be there to make you a major threat in team fights.
Playing Jinx is a practice in initiative. She has all the tools to gank mid, namely a stun and a slow. With a good support, you can handle who come your way, as long as you’re not outnumbered. Just beware of champions that may have tools to take you out like high ability power, stun or slow, and such that may give you some trouble. Make sure that you learn your matchups so you know who to avoid and who to chase down.
It must be said that Jinx isn’t exactly the best late game carry as she doesn’t have an escape spell, so assassins can take her out and she remains dependent on a support and tank. But as long as things go well, you’ll get most of the recommended items for Jinx by this point, which still makes her a threat in any team fight.
If you are playing with friends, then at least you can communicate and let them know that you need assistance; they need you as you need them. Whenever you are left alone in a bad position, you’re basically dead. She’s no late game hero, but at least she still has an ultimate that can take out almost anyone.