Jhin, the Virtuoso, is one of the most unorthodox marksmen in League of Legends. With a 48.91% win rate and a 19.71% pick rate, his unique playstyle takes some time to get used to, but once you get a hang of it, you can seamlessly break open your games. Let’s see how you can use Jhin to carry in Solo Queue!
Jhin’s auto attacks use ammo, and his attack speed can’t be improved through items or buffs. The Virtuoso can attack up to 4 times before having to reload. Jhin’s fourth attack is a guaranteed critical strike that also deals a portion of target’s missing health as physical damage. Whenever Jhin critically strikes, he gains 10% bonus movement speed for 2 seconds, however, his total critical damage is reduced by 25%. Additionally, his bonus attacks speed and critical strike chance grant him more AD.
How to use: The description might seem long-winded, but the passive itself is simple. Just remember that you have four shots, and your last bullet always crits, dealing even more damage if your target is low on health. This leads to a playstyle where you want to take short trades before backing out and reloading. The fact that you can’t improve your attack speed makes it easier to kite and weave in spells between auto attacks.
Q: Dancing Grenade
Jhin throws out an explosive canister at the target enemy, dealing physical damage. The canister bounces to up to three additional enemies, dealing more damage with each kill it scores (+35% damage per kill).
How to Use: Dancing Grenade is your main trading ability, and AA > Q > AA should be your go-to combo. Considering its short cooldown and low mana cost, you can use Dancing Grenade to CS when you’re reloading.
But what really makes this ability shine are the bounces. Because of them, you can throw your Q at the enemy minions and still graze the opposing marksman if he doesn’t back away in time. And if you manage to score a few last-hits, Dancing Grenade will take a third of a squishy champion’s health.
When you’re flashing in for the kill with a fourth Whisper shot, always cast Q first to make sure your auto attack does more damage.
W: Deadly Flourish
Passive: When enemy champions get damaged by Jhin or his allies, they get marked for 4 seconds. The same thing happens when enemies walk into Jhin’s Lotus Traps [E].
Active: After a brief delay, Jhin fires a shot in a straight line, dealing physical damage to anyone in its way and stopping at the first enemy champion hit. Deadly Flourish deals 75% damage to minions and monsters. If Jhin lands his W onto a marked champion, they get rooted, and Jhin receives bonus movement speed from his passive.
How to use: Deadly Flourish is insanely useful for catching out enemies and layering crowd control. The range on it is quite long, so you can root a champion from more than a screen away. Of course, the delay gives them some time to react, but most enemies won’t be able to escape your W if you predict their movement. Keep in mind that Deadly Flourish also deals quite a bit of damage, and you can use it to finish off stragglers or clear minion waves.
E: Captive Audience
Passive: Jhin conjures a Lotus Trap under every champion he kills. Additionally Jhin stores up to 2 Lotus Trap charges, which he can use to deploy said traps manually.
Active: Jhin places a Lotus Trap at the target area. The trap lasts for 2 minutes and activates when enemies walk over it, revealing anyone in the vicinity for 4 seconds. All foes inside the trap are slowed by 35% for 2 seconds. After this time, Lotus Trap detonates, dealing damage to all enemies caught in the explosion.
How to use: While Lotus Traps aren’t as impactful as Jhin’s other basic abilities, they do have their uses. Most notably, you can throw out Lotus Traps into brushes and choke points as a cheap alternative to wards. The slow on them makes it easier to kite and tag people with Deadly Flourish [W].
Finally, you can set up large Lotus Trap clusters and root the unfortunate soul that steps into them with W for a massive detonation. Of course, this tactic requires you to spend a lot of time stacking traps on top of each other, so it’s usually not viable. Also, you pretty much have to connect crowd control to make Lotus Traps explode into someone’s face.
R: Curtain Call
First Cast: Jhin goes into a sniping mode for 10 seconds, gaining four Curtain Call charges.
Following Casts: Jhin shoots an explosive round in the target direction. The bullet stops at the first enemy champion hit, revealing them for 2 seconds and dealing physical damage to all nearby foes. Everyone struck by Curtain Call is briefly slowed by 80%. Each bullet does additional damage based on target’s missing health, and the fourth shot critically strikes.
How to use: Curtain Call is a perfect finishing move. Just had a close duel with the enemy bottom lane? Walk a few steps backward, channel your ultimate and finish the job. The range on it is huge, but the real kicker is the missing health damage that makes it much easier to kill wounded foes.
Of course, most opponents will try to juke Curtain Call, so it’s important to get a good read on their movement. It will often come down to playstyles and preferences, but one tactic you could use is to fire your second shot into the exact same spot where the first shot went. Most players will juke back and forth, meaning they’ll naturally move to the same place where you just fired.
R > Q > W > E
Dancing Grenade [Q] is your most spammable (and most damaging) ability, so always max it first. Follow up with Deadly Flourish [W] to increase your damage output and CC duration. Finish your leveling process with Captive Audience [E]. One thing to note about this ability is that many Jhin players skip it altogether. This is because Deadly Flourish scales quite well with ranks, so you want to start investing skill points into it as soon as possible. Also, Lotus Traps aren’t very reliable in all-ins, so you’ll deal more damage in those do-or-die scenarios with an extra point in W. And of course, level up Curtain Call [R] whenever you can.
Jhin Runes and Summoner Spells
Jhin works best with Sorcery and Precision runes. In the Sorcery tree, you want to grab the Arcane Comet keystone. It works well with Jhin’s caster AD carry playstyle, and the root from Deadly Flourish [W] will help you land it on a consistent basis. Next, pick up Manaflow Band to have a better time spamming skills. Follow up with Celerity—the additional movement speed will be invaluable when dodging skill shots and disengaging from trades. Your final rune is Scorch for that extra bit of damage in trades and all-ins.
As for the Precision tree, get Triumph for the health regeneration from takedowns and Coup de Grace for empowering your fourth shot and your Curtain Call [R]. Keep in mind, though, that Precision isn’t the only option, and you can very well take Biscuit Delivery and Cosmic Insight from Inspiration to have a stronger laning presence.
Since Jhin is a marksman, he doesn’t have much of a choice in terms of summoner spells. Run Flash and Heal every game. The former will be useful when you need to escape a shaky situation or move in for a kill, and the latter will be great for the bottom lane trades.
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1.) Youmuu’s Ghostblade > Boots of Swiftness > Duskblade of Draktharr > Rapid Firecannon > Infinity Edge > Lord Dominik’s Regards
Jhin has several viable builds, but the most common one combines critical strike with lethality. Youmuu’s Ghostblade has an awesome mix of AD, CDR, and , and its movement speed active will be great for finding kills and dodging skill shots. Since Jhin is an immobile marksman that doesn’t benefit much from attack speed, Boots of Swiftness are a good choice for increasing your maneuverability.
Then we have Duskblade of Draktharr. This item lets you tear through squishies if they make a mistake of walking into your auto attack range. And if they don’t, your next purchase—Rapid Firecannon—will let you reach them anyway. Since you always crit with fourth shots from auto attacks and Curtain Call [R], Infinity Edge has guaranteed value attached to it. Round out your build with Lord Dominik’s Regards to have a better time shredding tanks.
Jhin has a plethora of situational items you want to incorporate into your build. Even though Boots of Swiftness are great, Ninja Tabi is a much better choice if you’re facing several AD divers that will try to burst you down. Also, Berserker’s Greaves still boost your attack damage, so get these if you’re only worried about your DPS.
Then, you can also go for the standard crit build with Essence Reaver (amazing CDR) > Infinity Edge > Rapid Firecannon > Statikk Shyv (great burst) > Lord Dominik’s Regards > Bloodthirster (good sustainability). Switch out Bloodthirster in favor of Mercurial Scimitar if you’re going against hard crowd control. This build is useful when the enemy team has tanks with a ton of armor because lethality won’t really put that much of a dent in them.
And don’t forget about Mortal Reminder. Its healing reduction is amazing against the likes of Maokai, Rhaast, Soraka, Vladimir. For defensive items, buy Maw of Malmortius versus strong mages and Guardian Angel against everyone else.
When to pick Jhin?
Unlike most marksmen, Jhin relies on a mix of auto attacks and spells casts to deal the bulk of his damage. This means he has a ton of burst but is lacking in terms of DPS. Pick Jhin into team compositions that don’t have strong tanks because he’s excellent at dealing with everything else.
For an immobile AD carry, the Virtuoso is surprisingly self-sufficient, and you can always keep your distance from assassins and bruisers. Regarding your own team composition, you want some sort of a frontline as well as CC to set up Deadly Flourish [W]/Curtain Call [R].
Since Jhin prefers to trade in short bursts, shielding supports like Janna and Lulu work well with him, but champions like Taric, Leona, or Alistar also offer a lot to the Virtuoso.
Jhin Matchups and Counters
Jhin excels at winning poke wars and punishing immobile AD carries. Champions like Caitlyn, Xayah, Twitch, Jinx, and Vayne are all easy target for him in the laning phase. Things get substantially more difficult once you mix in some mobility, and marksmen like Tristana, Ezreal, Lucian, Draven, and Kalista can all force all-ins and take advantage of Jhin’s reload timer. In a similar fashion, Ashe, Varus, and Sivir can catch out the Virtuoso with their ultimates.
Laning Phase and Early Game
Before we discuss Jhin’s early game, a word on his starting items. Both Doran’s Blade and Doran’s Shield are completely viable options. You should get the former to push your lead in advantageous matchups and the latter to survive against tough opponents. Some time ago, both of these were pushed out by Doran’s Ring. This was mainly because of the mana regen from Doran’s Ring allowed you to spam Dancing Grenades [Q] as much as you wanted. However, with the addition of the Manaflow Band rune, you can do it anyway, so Doran’s Ring is no longer a must.
Anyway, onto the laning phase! Your #1 priority should be winning the push for level 2. Provided both duos enter the lane at the same time, this should be relatively easy. Just Q the minion wave as soon as you see it and keep auto attacking. Try to make your second Q bounce off the ranged minions onto the enemy carry and move in for the fourth auto attack when it’s up.
Once you level up, put a point into Deadly Flourish [W] and try to tag one of your enemies with an auto attack. From then on, try to connect your W. If you land it, your support will have an easy time following up, and you can force summoners or even get a kill.
If the enemy bot lane doesn’t give you any openings, go back to pushing and pressuring. Usually, you want to trade in short bursts. This means that you auto attack creeps three times to set up your fourth shot and walk up for the Q > AA combo. Even if the enemy marksman answers with an auto attack of his own, he’ll never outdamage a guaranteed critical strike.
From then on, you can either disengage or cast W and push for the kill. We recommend you mostly go with the former option as the latter only works if you’ve already harassed the enemy AD carry enough. Of course, your enemies will know about this trading pattern, so they’ll try to stay away while your fourth shot is up. In this case, use this window to zone them away from creeps.
Once Jhin hits level 6, his kill pressure goes through the roof. You want to trade damage as much as possible because when your enemies fall below half health, you can channel Curtain Call [R] and find easy kills. And if the opposing duo goes with a safer option of recalling back to base, you can use this opportunity to chip away at the enemy turret.
Jhin shines the most in the mid game. This is mainly because Deadly Flourish [W] and Curtain Call [R] are amazing at catching out enemy champions. Simply move into another lane, cast your W on a marked target and follow up with your ultimate. If you’re good at landing skill shots, this will lead to a guaranteed kill and—most likely—a free turret.
The same combo can be used to catch out stragglers or initiate fights. Hell, if you manage to W a key target during a teamfight, you’ll likely win the entire thing. Of course, your worth doesn’t boil down to Deadly Flourish. Jhin does a ton of damage in fights and skirmishes, and you can easily chunk out enemy carries with the AA > Q > AA combo.
One thing to note about Jhin is that he doesn’t have to be up close and personal. Even if enemy tanks and bruisers are zoning you away from a teamfight, you can use your abilities to deal damage from a safe distance. For the same reason, Jhin is amazing at sieging and poking enemies under turrets.
Jhin also excels at objective control. Granted, your DPS isn’t that high, but the fact that your fourth shot can outdamage a Smite makes up for this shortcoming. And if you catch the enemy team rushing down Dragon, you can go for a steal with the fourth Curtain Call’s shot.
In the late game, Jhin gets insane amounts of raw AD. This means your auto attacks hit like a truck, and you may very well one-shot a squishie with a lucky crit. Coincidentally, Curtain Call [R] goes from a finishing move to the most powerful weapon in your arsenal, and you can even 100-0 an enemy carry if land all of your shots.
However, your DPS in teamfights is still lacking compared to that of traditional marksmen, and you have to look for other ways to make up for it. First, you can move in with the Rapid Firecannon passive and try to chunk out a carry before a fight even starts. Second, you can use Curtain Call to initiate skirmishes and punish positioning mistakes. Third, you can chain Deadly Flourish with allied crowd control to lock down a priority target.
Also, even though Captive Audience [E] isn’t that impactful, it can still turn the tide of the battle. Place Lotus Traps in choke points and throw them at melee champions for the slow. Even though he’s not a true hypercarry, Jhin can be a very strong late champion in the right hands. You just have to know how to use him.
Jhin offers a perfect blend of utility and raw damage. He works well in most traditional team comps, he provides crowd control, and he has enough burst to delete enemy carries with a few auto attacks. And if you devote time and effort to mastering his unique kit, you’ll enjoy great success in Solo Queue!
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