First off, Jinx is a slightly unorthodox marksman. She has no escape, a telegraphed poke, traps that can be used offensively, and two different auto attack ranges a la switching between weapons with her Q (“Switcheroo!”). She is not your average right clicker, and does come with a bit of a learning curve. Mastering the two auto attack ranges is one the keys to unlocking Jinx’s full potential. We cover this and more in our detailed Jinx Guide.
Jinx Guide – Laning Phase
Jinx best skill arguably is her Q. This skill is what makes Jinx such a versatile marksman. Jinx can switch so quickly between rocket launcher and mini-gun that she can simply switch to whatever mode best suits her positioning and range needs. Last hit with mini-gun then switch to rocket launcher in between last hits to poke? No problem. Skilled Jinx players can abuse the range and AOE of Rocket Launcher form to harass opponents who make positioning mistakes, forcing them to either take a risk and stay in lane or blue pill and miss valuable CS.
Rocket launcher can be used to last hit minions from a safe distance, last hit a minion near an enemy champion to apply AOE damage to that champion, or quickly shove and/or reset the lane. As long as you have mana, even if you are low HP and losing the lane it is possible to still get last hits in with your rocket launcher. Some Jinx players opt to max their W (“Zap!”) first. This works well if you are laning with an Annie type support where you can combo your W and E (“Flame Chompers!”) after her stun. In general, supports with hard CC work great with Jinx because she can chain CC with her traps. This will keep the enemy locked in place for a long time if executed correctly. Most of the time Jinx’s combo synergized with a bursty support will result in a kill, particularly once you are six and land your R (“Super Mega Death Rocket!”) on a low HP target.
Remember, traps are great defensive weapon against nasty enemy junglers but serve as a wonderful offensive tool as well. If you can get one or both of the enemy laners in bot lane low cut off their escape with your traps to set up an easy W, this most of the time is enough to finish them off or force summoner spells if your support also lands abilities. Jinx players should always keep an eye out for global snipes; an extra 300 gold in your pocket could initiate the beginning of a fine snowball.
Jinx is vulnerable in lane early due to her lack of escape. Her traps mitigate this risk to an extent but are not nearly as reliable as a dash. This makes her a prime ganking target for any wise enemy junglers. Junglers such as Pantheon, Lee Sin, and Vi must be treated with the utmost respect by playing extremely safe or you may be on the receiving end of some intentional feed reports after the game is over.
In addition, all but one of her abilities are skill shots. Her traps cover a decent zone, but unless dropped quickly in many situations an opponent can run past these without activating them. Even if you put them down quickly, they can still be ran around or even flashed over. W is difficult to land—as a blue particle laser telegraphs the location of the skill shot. Anyone with halfway decent reaction time will be able dodge it. Her ultimate is also has a “wind up” time before fired resulting in some awkward whiffs and “goals.”
Jinx Guide – Team Fight Phase
Jinx becomes very powerful late game. The attack speed steroid from mini-gun form allows her to shred the enemy’s front line. In rocket launcher form she is excellent at sieging, poking down towers and clearing oncoming waves. Jinx can combo rocket launcher form with her ultimate for huge AOE damage. If she lands a crit it will splash crit any enemy team members nearby. This can do a substantial amount of damage especially once you acquire an infinity edge. If you can’t get a clear shot or angle for your ult, its best to save it for a time when you are set up for a high percentage shot. Jinx’s ult is one of the best marksman ultimates in the game and can easily swing the tides of battle in your team’s favor if you land it on multiple low hp targets.
Her passive is delightful for chasing down annoying Nidalees and Lulus and anyone else who tries to flee from a lost battle. If the team fight is about even use the speed boost to reposition/kite if necessary. The ability to fully rotate and flank a squishy target that may be isolated from the rest of the action should not be overlooked. 5% Xerath thought he was safe back there? Nope.. auto, auto, passive refresh.
You always have two options as Jinx in team fights thanks to Q. You will learn over time whether you should opt for AOE and range with your rocket launcher or single target shred with your mini-gun to optimize your overall damage output in a 5v5. In general, you’ll want to stay in Rocket Launcher form until the fight really breaks out and then switch to mini-gun to shred down whoever comes after you. However, if you are left to freely auto, it might be worth staying in Rocket Launcher form if the enemy team is bunched up. Pick a target in the middle of everyone and auto away in rocket launcher form from a safe distance.
Even though Jinx has no hard escape, if she is getting focused she can use her traps to stun melee targets, auto attack and move back, then W the target (if it makes sense) and auto attack and move back again. Using this method, she can kite most targets fairly well. Mini-gun is best for isolated targets and 1v1 situations. The bottom line is use rocket launcher form for AOE opportunities and when safety is a priority; use mini-gun for maximum single target damage (Maxed Q gives up to 130% bonus attack speed or 175 bonus range).
Because of the lack of a hard escape, any CC is going to be Jinx worst enemy, but especially high range CC (which could lead to chain CC). If your flash is down and you get locked up even once, you’re pretty much dead. If the enemy team has high range CC such as Leona’s ultimate, you may even consider encouraging your support pick up a Mikael’s Crucible.
Another threat in team fights comes from managing the speed of Jinx’s passive. Players new to Jinx may excitedly rush a little too far into battle upon their first reset and pay the iron price (much akin to the an ADC who flashes into a team fight to get try and get that last hit on a fleeing target). The key is knowing how to use this boost of movement speed in a variety of different situations. It can be overwhelming at times and being able to prioritize targets and make decisions quickly separates the great from the good Jinx players and the quadra/triple kills from the penta kills.
High Ground Perspective:
- One of the best late game marksman in the league.
- Attack speed steroid from mini-gun & AOE damage from rocket launcher dish out tons of damage.
- Ultimate is satisfying to kill with and relatively powerful.
- Lack of escape makes life difficult against dive comps. Be wary of champions such as Vi and Jax.
- Marksman Power Level: 8