Ever since Jinx was released back in 2013, she’s been an incredibly fun and viable choice for bot lane. The Loose Cannon has had her share of ups and downs in the meta, as is the same with most other champions, though SK’s Juš "Crownshot" Marušič believes that Jinx as a whole is in a good position, though the current meta makes some of her matchups particularly hard.
“The champion [Jinx] is fine, but the meta right now has too many dives, which kind of makes her hard to pull off,” he says.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t try though. Jinx is a great choice for any botlaner because she doesn’t have a high skill cap. She has great wave clear capability, especially when she adds in the Runaan’s Hurricane to give her some added splash AoE damage from the fishbone rockets. Crownshot points out that her main weakness is lack of mobility,
“Lack of mobility is her main weakness. You would need a support like Thresh to get some sort of mobility.”
Crownshot uses the mobility provided by Thresh to chase down Mikyx and land the kill.
Crownshot also says that it’s difficult to come back and to make a difference once you fall behind your lane opponent. Playing safely and smart should be a main focus while championing Jinx. A major strength for Jinx is that she can snowball extremely hard and can greatly impact the outcome of a team fight.
“If she’s fed and gets one kill in a team fight, the fight is pretty much over.”
According to Crownshot, your rune choice will usually stay the same with some variance depending on who your lane opponent is. You should always be running the Precision/Inspiration combo. On the precision side of things, he likes to run Lethal Tempo, Triumph, Alacrity, and Coup de Grace.
“I usually go Lethal Tempo because it scales better than Fleet Footwork.”
As for the Inspiration runes, Crownshot prefers Perfect Timing for the stopwatch capabilities and then also Biscuit Delivery for help with sustainability. He does mention that in some cases Fleet Footwork is a better choice than Lethal Tempo. If you’re laning against something like an Ezreal, or anything with skillshots, then Fleet Footwork is a great choice to help you dodge those enemy abilities.
There should really be no situation where you wouldn’t take Flash. Flash is the most useful summoner spell for Jinx as it allows you to get in and out of tricky situations, whether it’s an offensive or defensive move. Heal is the go-to second summoner spell for Jinx (and usually any ADC). It’s a great way to help you survive longer, thus being able to pump out more DPS.
Passive: Get Excited!
This is one of Jinx’s most important resources that procs off kills and/or assists, and allows her to stick around in situations that other ADC’s aren’t capable of. Once she Gets Excited!, Jinx gains extra movement speed that decays over six seconds – and it has a snowball effect because she can continuously reset her passive. This allows Jinx to be an even better tower destroyer as the extra speed boost lets her get a couple extra shots in before having to retreat.
This is by far the most important ability in Jinx’s toolbelt. Mastering Switcheroo! is what will make or break someone when trying to master, and climb, with Jinx. Learning when to switch between the Rocket Launcher and the Minigun will be one of the most challenging parts about playing this ADC. Keep in mind that the Rocket Launcher is and will always be the best way to deal out some massive AoE splash damage, and that switching between the two also has a one second cooldown – not allowing the player to switch back and forth with endless ease.
Zap! deals damage and slows an enemy, making it a great tool to use when chasing someone down. You can also simply use this ability in the laning phase when you’re just looking to bully the enemy champion, as it does pack a solid amount of damage, especially in the early game.
E: Flame Chompers!
This ability will be your best form of defense/self-peel as it allows you to drop traps that deal some damage and also snare the first champion to set the trap off. While the skillcap ceiling isn’t super high with this ability, it’ll still take some practice if you’re new to Jinx. Learning where to properly place them so that the pursuing champion doesn’t just walk right over them or have enough time to avoid them is the biggest challenge with Flame Chompers!.
R: Super Mega Death Rocket!
You fire a rocket that explodes on the first champion hit and also does some splash damage. It does have a maximum amount of damage that it can do, so it’s more useful on trying to finish off weak or fleeing enemies. It can also be useful in the event that the enemy team is grouped too close together in a team fight. In most cases though, your other abilities and auto-attacks will do more damage than this, and your ult will usually just be used situationally.
Skill Max Order
Q > W > E (with R every chance you can of course)
Infinity Edge should usually be rushed first, according to Crownshot. After Infinity Edge, you should almost always go for Runaan’s Hurricane. Runaan’s greatly increases your AoE splash damage as you’ll be getting three fishbone rockets.
“Runaan’s Hurricane is great because it can proc cannon form three times.”
Crownshot punishes a greedy G2 and deals out some heavy AoE splash damage, landing a couple kills.
Your third item will usually be the Rapid Firecannon, which will increase your DPS even more and is a great zeal item for Jinx and allows her to poke from even further range.
Items like Phantom Dancer and Guardian Angel are dependent on the situation and are both extremely viable if you feel like you need a little extra padding to survive some rough team fights ahead.
Crownshot doesn’t focus on any one ability sequence combo, but does say that you should be layering your traps with CC. Getting a feel for knowing when to switch between the cannon and minigun is one of the hardest parts about mastering Jinx, according to Crownshot. The minigun will of course provide more DPS, but the cannon allows your to damage from further away.
Crownshot pokes out some high damage from a safe distance.
“Sometimes in teamfights it’s important to just stay safe. Once you get the first kill then maybe you can go into the fight with the minigun.”
As Jinx, you’ll first want to make sure and take Switcheroo! as your first ability. This will help you push your lane opponent back under their tower with relative ease. Your first goal should be outfarming and outleveling your opponent. At level two, you should make sure and take Zap! for its high early game damage potential. Your other goal should be to make sure and try and trap the enemy bot lane under their tower as much as possible, using the minion waves to her advantage.
“If Jinx gets ahead, she can carry the game alone.”
During the laning phase, Crownshot says that you should be heavily focused on preserving your mana and that too many players are using more mana than they should be.
“Don’t use W too much in laning phase because it costs a lot. Don’t get baited into using it because there’s so much sustain in the game right now that it’s not worth using it. Save your W for checking bushes,” he explains.
When you’re not in lane, you should try and stick with your team as much as possible and work on taking down the towers across the map. Jinx, because of her range and high damage output, makes her one of the best tower sieging champions out there. Be sure and keep an eye out for danger, though, as she lacks high mobility to escape.
Jinx is a great bot lane choice regardless of where you sit on the leaderboards. As a relatively easy ADC to learn, she’s a great champion for beginners to grow with or for veterans to master. Her high snowball capability and the potential to carry the game on her own makes her an especially fun champion to pick.
Special thanks to the SK Gaming bot-laner, Crownshot. We can’t wait to see how the rest of the Summer Split turns out!