Initiator Support DPS / Release Date: March 1
Jarvan is the Demacian bad-ass your momma warned you about. If champions look up to Garen for his righteous epicness, then Jarvan IV is the one Garen looks up to— Jarvan screams “DEMACIA!” in not one, but two different ways. He was the first to take down Baron Nashor and bring him to the League, and in his spare time, Jarvan enjoys slaughtering dragons, skinning them for their scales and attaching their teeth to his armor and golden lance. His lance can split apart into multiple segments, and is constantly rotating like a drill—he’s basically wielding a gyrating dragon’s tail. Jarvan is a pompous warrior, maybe even flamboyant—but don’t let him hear you say so, or he’ll bury you six feet deep.
When we saw Jarvan, he was in a very early stage of development, so the designers were tossing around ideas for abilities that are worthy of Jarvan’s epic stature. He was actually first sketched over three years ago, and it’s finally time to bring this decked-out, over-the-top dragoon to the Field of Justice. A sort of foil to Swain, the Master Tactician, Jarvan is a Demacian prince who may have his family lineage explored in later updates.
A possibility for Jarvan’s Q ability is a single-target nuke where Jarvan dashes towards and through an enemy, straight to the person behind the target, like the Demacian Goku. This would enable Jarvan to dash through tanks so he can get straight to cutting up the fragile DPS or support champions hanging out in the back during teamfights.
Another potential ability would have Jarvan hurling his lance like a giant spear, impaling an enemy champion. The throw is so powerful that the lance would plant in the ground behind them, where it would transform into a flag that buffs allies. Jarvan can pick the lance back up, ala Olaf’s axe throw, but enemy champions have an opportunity to burn the flag before he gets the chance to.
Epic. Jarvan’s ultimate has him leap into the air and slam down lance-first into an enemy champion within range. Upon impact, an arena springs up from the ground to create a one-on-one duel between Jarvan and his unfortunate nemesis. This sounds like a combination of Pantheon’s and Poppy’s ultimate abilities, although it was undecided if the ultimate will be global or how long the duel would last.
Jarvan’s passive is designed to support his playstyle: initiate fights with the enemy, run into the fray hitting everyone a little bit (rather than single-target DPS), and keep on going ‘til the opposing champions are wiped out. His passive lets him deal extra damage to champions with 70% or more of their maximum health, meaning Jarvan players have the incentive to change targets rapidly in a fight, softening them a bit and then moving on to the next and letting their teammates clean up the rest. The developers were also toying with the idea of giving him an innate slowing debuff on his auto-attacks, to encourage players to tag as many enemy champions as possible to maximize his effectiveness.