Bard Build Guide by SignError
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Bard Utility Support
Situational Utility Items
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Threats to Bard with this build
|Ashe||Ashe has no mobility, making it easy to ult her. While in stasis, your teammates can surround her. When she comes out of stasis, her lack of mobility will make for an easy kill.|
|Kindred||Lamb's Respite can be countered with Tempered Fate. The enemy champions caught inside will still be unkillable, but they also wont be able to move or attack your allies, and they will be denied the heal at the end of Kindred's ult. Meanwhile, your teammates which were not put into stasis can move into position for the kill and even take advantage of the heal. During early game, be aware that Kindred can easily ambush and kill you if you roam without magical journey and they dodge your cosmic binding. Also, if you see that one of the nearby monsters has been marked, make a chime collection run toward it so that you can place a ward. Then you and your teammates can be prepared for an ambush when Kindred inevitably comes around to try to take the monster's life.|
Part I: Introduction
Bard is a champion who thrives on roaming the Rift and supporting all of his teammates, not only his bot lane ADC. This sets Bard apart from a traditional dedicated duo lane support, meaning that his play style must be different. This guide will help teach you some of my tricks and tips for playing Bard support.
That's probably the best question you can ask when deciding to play a champion. I'll begin by saying that, for the time being, you should NOT play Bard in ranked (unless you are really good). His ranked win-rate is currently around 45%. Also in the league community, Bard's viability is strongly questioned. Your teammates are likely to rage at you before the match has even begun.
So how about normals? Bard still isn't a very strong champion. But the key is that he is fun to play. You will need to play a few games as Bard in order to see what I mean. There is something satisfying about having half the enemy team stunned and the other half in stasis while your teammates close in for the Ace.
Still, Bard is very different from other champions, so you will need to think out of the box when playing as him.
Champions are rated on a scale of scale from 1 to 10 in the categories of attack, defense, and ability. Normally each champion is very strong in at least one of these categories. Bard, on the other hand, is rated with only 4 in attack, 4 in defense, and 5 in ability. In summary, Bard can't deal much damage, either with basic attacks or with abilities, and he isn't good at tanking damage either.
I'll say it again: You must have a different mindset when playing as Bard.
Utility is the name of Bard's game. This primarily includes speed to collect chimes and roam the Rift. Bard's kit has three forms of crowd control, a heal, and a unique portal that can be used for both engage and disengage. The items considered in this build guide will further improve Bard's utility with meaningful active and passive effects.
Just as there are enemy champions which Bard struggles and does well against, there are also allies Bard works well with... and teammates who aren't big fans of Bard. The guide summary above covers Bard's Enemy Threats, while this section provides a list of Ally Synergies.
|Anivia has a great revive passive which provides her a second chance to escape death and maybe even secure kills. However, her egg is usually destroyed before she even gets this chance. Enter Bard. As soon as he sees that Anivia is in trouble, he can start heading to her aid with his superior movement speed. Once Anivia has transformed into her egg, you can use Tempered Fate, even from afar. By the time stasis breaks, you should have arrived on scene and Anivia should be close to Rebirth. By combining the stun from Cosmic Binding with the damage of Glacial Storm, Bard and Anivia can turn the tables on their unfortunate enemy. Placing Caretaker's Shrine will provide Anivia a minor heal and a speed boost to get her out of the center of action. Anivia can then use Flash Frost's stun to keep the enemy locked in her ring of damage, and follow up with Frostbite's extreme damage for good measure.|
|Annie's Flash+ Summon: Tibbers+stun combo is infamous in the League. With Bard on Annie's team, things are even easier. Bard can ult a group of enemy champions. Then Annie can simply walk up to them and ult when they come out of stasis, no flash needed. Need I say more?|
Now that we've covered some of Bard's best teammates, it's time to review those champions with whom he doesn't get along.
|Kalista and Bard are among the worst bot lane partners. Kalista gains most of her power from having a nearby ally Oathsworn. And Bard is a support who must leave lane at least occasionally to gain his power. So they have conflicting play styles. If Fate's Call is used offensively, there isn't much he can do once he throughs himself into the enemy team (however, Kalista's ult is always at least useful for saving the support from an otherwise inevitable death). To top things off, if Kalista does not begin her bond with Bard at the very beginning of the game, the bonding ritual will eat up Bard's valuable time to complete his first shrine placement run. If you somehow get stuck with a Kalista, plan on staying in lane and having a low chime count. Zeke's Harbinger is a great early item to help make things a little better.|
Pros and Cons
|+ Relevant at all stages of the game
+ Supports all teammates
+ Provides high amounts of cc
+ Great teamfight presence
+ Excellent at chasing down champions
+ High skill cap
+ Fun to play
|- Reliant on teammates for damage
- ADC is vulnerable when out of lane
- Countered by early game lane bullies
- Currently low viability
- High skill floor
Part II: Game Overview
The following Chapters will provide a description of Bard's unique play style during each phase of the game.
Before the Match Really Begins
Normally before minions meet in mid lane and monsters spawn, there isn't much to do other than wait or strategically hide in a bush. However, Bard can do so much more than that. This is the reason why we take Caretaker's Shrine first. Bard can place three shrines at the beginning of the game, one each for mid, top, and jung.
This strategy allows you to give your other allies a slight advantage while you are on bot helping your ADC.
Very Early Game
The disadvantage of taking Caretaker's Shrine as your first ability is that you need to wait until lv 2 to get Cosmic Binding's damage and crowd control. This shouldn't be too much of a disadvantage, as most supports need lv 2 in order to get their combo.
Wait until the shrines in the other lanes are used before placing some on bot lane. It is also useful to know that you can place a shrine directly on an ally without eliminating one of your three shrines.
Your goal at this stage should be to use your Meeps to slowly poke down the enemy Hp. once you get Cosmic Binding, look for opportunities to stun one of the enemy champs to a minion, or even stun both enemy champions together. Follow up with a Meep auto, and then back off.
Don't be afraid to trade damage with the enemy champions. You can use your shrine and place another for your ADC to fall back on when needed. As long as the enemy is low on health and your ADC is close to full, you can safely begin to recall or roam as needed.
When to Roam
There are a few scenarios during which you should roam.
Ideally you can leave when the enemy bot lane champions are low on HP, forced to back, or dead. In these cases, leave your ADC to farm up, but be sure to ward and leave shrines so the lone marksman can escape a gank.
If you have pushed your lane and your marksman is backing, there is no reason to stay in lane, so go help someone else. Just be sure to be back when your ADC returns, especially if the enemy duo bot is beginning to push your turret.
If you ever run out of mana, you must leave lane to collect chimes, even if you only do so briefly. Your absence in lane may even encourage the enemy to turret dive. With chime enhanced movement speed, your unexpected return may catch them off guard. Use a shrine to heal your ADC and provide the movement speed to juke attacks, and use Cosmic Binding to stun at least one, if not both of them, under the tower.
If things go exceptionally well during the early game, you can begin to roam to whichever lane is most in need of your presence.
How to Roam
The number one rule of roaming is using pings. Let your ADC know you are leaving, and let your teammates know you are coming. This is especially true if you plan on ganking mid.
Yes, you read correctly; as a support you can gank mid. Head through the brush and use Cosmic Binding to stun the enemy Mid laner to a minion. This is especially easy when minions are approaching in single file. Continue to use Meep powered and even normal basic attacks until the enemy retreats out of range. Unless your Mid laner has high burst damage or your jungle ganks with you, you probably wont get the kill, but you will put the lane in your team's favor. Don't forget to leave a shrine to help keep the advantage on your side
Also, be aware of what your jungler is doing. If you are nearby, help out with a Cosmic Binding stun and a Caretaker's Shrine, which should be fully charged once the camp is cleared. This is especially useful in early game and with low sustain junglers. This will keep your jungler going longer for more camp clears and ganks.
Unfortunately, top lane is still an island, even when it comes to Bard's roaming. Only go to top if your ADC is doing exceptionally well in the solo lane, and plan on recalling afterward, as there isn't much else you can do on that side of the map.
Once you have your sight stone, warding is another good reason to roam. Try to ward the buff camp in the bot lane side of the enemy's jungle. This will help you notify your team of the enemy jungler's position. Your teammates can then either anticipate a gank or know that they are safe for the time being.
Of course, the best reason for Bard to roam is chime collection.
During the early stages of the game, you want to mostly collect chimes for the mana regain (except the first two chimes that spawn at 0:50, see the chapter on Before the Match Really Begins). This is especially true for chimes that happen to appear in lane. Only take these chimes when you are out of mana, because the
mastery will be most effective when you are low on mana. The brief movement speed burst in lane can also be helpful when poking with Meeps and Cosmic Binding.
When you begin to roam, collect chimes along the path toward your objective. The movement speed boost is especially useful when ganking mid. However, be sure to leave some chimes for your journey back to bot lane.
By looking at the mini map, you can actually see where chimes will appear as they are doing their spawning animation. Just be aware that champion icons will cover up the chime icons on the mini map. Red chimes will disappear soon. Collect those if you are nearby, but don't go too far out of your way. Missing a few chimes won't make too much of a difference in the long run.
It may even be strategic to leave some chimes nearby for an escape, or to chase fleeing enemies, especially when your team is attempting to take the neutral objectives.
At this point, you should have Dead Man's Plate, providing you with extraordinary movement speed to fuel your roaming. You can now quickly move to where you are most needed. Just be sure to keep a close eye on your ADC. Drop off wards in the enemy's jungle, and use Cosmic Binding or Magical Journey to escape any encounters you might have. In particular, keep the neutral objectives closely warded. Don't forget to keep placing shrines behind your ally champions.
Late Game / Teamfights
Keep doing what you've been doing. Have an even closer eye on neutral objectives. In addition, all the chimes you have collected have greatly empowered your Meeps. You can now actually do decent damage to squishies. You can apply up to 4 Meep empowered auto attacks that slow for 80%. Meeps also recharge fairly quickly.
By now, full-fledged teamfights will begin to break out if they haven't already. In these cases, you should ult the enemy back line damage dealers and then use Cosmic Binding to stun two of their front line champions (assuming that no minions or pets get in the way). This will buy your team about two seconds to whittle away at the health of their frontline. You can also contribute to your team's damage with your chime empowered Meeps.
If the teamfight ended in your favor, you can chase down any fleeing enemy champions by using your Magical Journey to catch up. Then slow them with your Meeps and pin them to walls with your Cosmic Binding. If your team hasn't suffered too much from the skirmish, you can also head to a neutral objective to start setting up Caretaker's Shrines and wards in preparation for taking the objective.
If the teamfight did not go your way, a combination of Cosmic Binding and Magical Journey can help your team escape. Your items should provide enough movement speed for you, and you can use Caretaker's Shrine to boost the movement speed of your fellow fleeing allies.
Part III: The Build
Now that you have learned about some of Bard's strategies and play styles, it is time to learn about his build. The following chapters provide justification for the choices provided in the build summary.
Exhaust is a pretty standard pick for the support role. It can help secure kills and escape deaths during the early game. When late game teamfights come, exhaust any frontline enemy champ that is not affected by your Cosmic Binding or Tempered Fate.
Flash seems to be the go-to summoner spell for any champion. Yet, it really doesn't seem all that effective in this case. The build in this guide provides enough movement speed to dodge skill shots or chase enemies, and Magical Journey can be used to pass through walls. It's still important to note that you won't have those abilities or items during the early game, so flash will still be extremely valuable then. It would be difficult to break the habit of taking flash, but if you can decide on another valuable summoner spell for Bard, go for it.
Ignite may be a suitable alternative for flash. Having both exhaust and ignite is a great way to obtain early kills or lane pressure. During late game it can be used on the ADC or other high sustain champions to diminish the effects of life steal, spell vamp, and support healing. Just remember that you give up early game survivability by taking this instead of flash.
- Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: The extra movement speed will help any roaming support. The flat movement speed bonuses from Boots of Mobility, Dead Man's Plate, and the
mastery will also benefit from the percent movement speed bonus provided by these runes.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction: Bard doesn't scale very well with ability power. However, both his damage and utility are greatly improved by cooldown reduction. When 3 of these runes are combined with the
mastery, your runes and masteries alone will provide 10% CDR at level 18. This is especially useful, as your items may not provide the full 40% CDR, but 30% is relatively easy to achieve.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: There are not many recommended items to boost Bard's magic resist. These runes will provide him some survivability against late game magic damage.
- Greater Seal of Armor: During the early game, these runes will provide some protection for trades with the enemy ADC. As an alternative, you could take Greater Seal of Scaling Armor Bard's roaming nature means he will not be in contact with the enemy ADC for extended periods of time during the early game. However, if the enemy ADC is particularly aggressive early game, you will run into trouble. Scaling runes are a high risk with a low reward.
- Greater Seal of Scaling Health: These runes work well with the armor and magic resist runes previously mentioned.
- greater mark of Hybrid Penetration: Until Bard collects 10 chimes, the physical attack portion of his basic attacks deals more damage than his Meep magical damage. When compared to Greater Mark of Magic Penetrationx9, by sacrificing 2.3 magic penetration, you gain 8.1 armor penetration. This will increase Bard's overall poke damage in the early game.
- Tier 1 -
Fleet of Foot
is the most useful mastery here and will have an effect similar to that of the Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed. At least one point in
will help manage Bard's early game mana usage. The higher mana pool also means that Bard will receive additional mana regain when collecting chimes.
is another useful option, especially for your early shrine placement speed run (see the chapter on Before the Match Really Begins). If you are used to taking
on your support champions, put a point into that instead. I will later explain why we put 5 points into this tier instead of only 4.
- Tier 2 - Unless you put 3 points in
, your choices for this tier are made for you.
may mean that your Exhaust will be off cooldown before the enemy support's. Plus, a lower cooldown on Flash is always a good thing.
will enhance the potions you buy during early game. The extended duration of elixirs will be more beneficial during late game.
- Tier 3 - Let's face it. You're a support, and you need all the gold you can get. For this reason,
is good. Otherwise, there is nothing else in this tier that will benefit you. You are not a jungler, so
is out. You deal little damage and will receive minimal benefits from
, and you should only ever use
if you use potions a lot (or if you want to embrace Pantheon's true profession). There are only three useful points on this tier, which is why we put 5 points into Tier 1.
- Tier 4 -
is the reason why you can start with two Health Potions and Stealth Ward.
will help with your early mana problems, but during late game mana shouldn't be a problem.
is less effective than on a traditional support as you miss out on the bonus gold when roaming between lanes. The extra accumulated gold will still be more beneficial come late game than an extra point in
. Do not take points in
. You loose the bonus when you are out of lane, and the experience from your chimes should keep your level about even with your allies.
- Tier 5 - Now we're getting to the good stuff. Again, your choices are made for you, but this time they each work extremely well with Bard's play style.
(in combination with Spellthief's Edge) provides a gold reward for poking champions with your Meep empowered auto attacks.
gives you the 5% CDR to go with the CDR from your runes. However, more importantly, it provides 20% CDR for your item actives. And as a utility support, you will have many item actives.
- Tier 6 - Bard is "The Wandering Caretaker," so the Wanderer mastery is right up his ally, or better said, it's right up his river between mid and bot lane. Just remember that you loose this movement speed as well as the movement speed from Boots of Mobility when entering combat. The movement speed from Dead Man's Plate is only lost when under the effects of CC or upon basic attacking. You always keep the Boots of Mobility's lesser flat movement speed, the bonus from Enchantment: Alacrity, and any percent movement speed.
So what do we put points in next? There isn't much else we can get from the Utility Tree. Also, Bard doesn't deal much damage, so the Offense Tree doesn't provide much. While Bard will not become a dedicated tank, by putting the remaining 9 points into the Defense Tree, Bard will have some extra survivability, especially during early game.
- Tier 1 -
will help you to take less damage during trades in the early game, and
will help you save your shrines and mana for healing your ADC. It isn't much, but early on it can make a difference.
is an appropriate alternative if the enemy has some annoying slows (read Ashe).
- Tier 2 -
provides additional protection during early game trades, and
gives you some extra health to trade.
- Tier 3 - Juggernaut will actually enhance your late game survivability, especially with two of your main items ( Dead Man's Plate and Ruby Sightstone) providing a combined total of 1000 health. Tenacious is a suitable alternative for when the enemy has many crowd control effects.
- Passive - Traveler's Call: Meeps play an important role in the very early stages of the game for poking at enemy champions. They are less effective in the early-mid stage of the game. At 65 chimes, the damaging cone receives a greatly increased size. It can now affect multiple enemy champions in a teamfight and even clear minion waves. Also see the chapter on Chime Collection.
- Q - Cosmic Binding: This ability is your main crowd control effect. Bot lane players are used to hiding behind minions in order to avoid damaging and crowd control skill shots. Because Cosmic Binding passes through the first target, it is more difficult for enemies to hide. If you land the stun on a champion, don't forget to use your free Meep empowered auto attack.
Unfortunately, this ability has a low range when compared to other skill shot abilities. You gain a little extra range after hitting the first target, but you still need to get close. The build in this guide provides the movement speed and a slight amount of tankiness to get close to an enemy champion, land the ability, and back off without taking too much retaliation damage.
Take this ability second, and update it second. It's upgrades provide a longer stun and more damage.
- W - Caretaker's Shrine: Take this first in order to provide heals to all your teammates (see the chapter on Before the Match Really Begins). In lanes, shrines should be placed in a path toward the allied tower so that the bonus movement speed can be used to evade a gank. If your tower is pushed, you should place multiple shrines behind your tower. When your team is preparing to take neutral objectives, place shrines nearby so that low health allies can quickly use them and rejoin the fight. Before a teamfight breaks out, place shrines behind your team. Try to have this ability off cooldown during the teamfight so that you can place your shrine directly on a low health ally. In addition, the speed boost can be used to help allies escape or reach a high priority target.
Caretaker's Shrine is also a useful ability when your team is chasing low health enemies. Place a shrine on your high damage dealers to speed them up so that they can secure the kill. This is a great way to gain assists when you show up too late to actually attack the enemy.
The heal from this ability tends to fall off into mid and late game, when allies have large amounts of life steal or tankiness. Therefore, additional levels in this ability will only have a significant effect on the early game, meaning that this ability should be leveled first. If you fall behind but your teammates are ahead, put points into your other abilities first.
- E - Magical Journey: You may be wondering why I postpone taking this ability until lv 5. The simple reason is that it provides no benefit while in lane, which is where you will spend the very early stages of the game. When you do begin to roam, it can be helpful for collecting chimes, but the portal usually doesn't make your route much shorter. I also discourage using Magical Journey to gank before lv 6, even if you are with your jungle. Doing so provides a big sign saying "Caution, enemies will appear here!" Of course, you can always mess with enemies by creating a portal without actually intending to use it. If you plan to do this, be sure to ping your allies to not take to portal.
One useful aspect of the Magical Journey's mechanics is that you can create a portal while you are still a certain distance away from the wall. This is especially beneficial when Bard is chasing down an enemy champion with the help of an ally. By creating the portal from a distance, your ally will have more time to see and take the portal. Otherwise, it is likely that the teammate will pass the portal and waste some valuable time doubling back. When using this method, also be aware that a skilled enemy can momentarily juke you by turning around after you have entered the portal. If this seems likely, let your ally take the portal while you continue to follow the enemy. This way, the enemy champion will be caught on both sides.
When being chased, if you use Magical Journey, the enemy will almost always follow you, often without even thinking about it. You can use this to your advantage. Try to make your portals long, so that the bonus movement speed while in the tunnel will lengthen your lead. If there is an ally nearby, portal to them, baiting the enemy champion to their death. On occasion, I've even lead enemies directly into an allied turret. In any case, when coming out of the portal, be ready with Cosmic Binding to stun up to two enemies upon exit. If three or more enemies are pursuing you, consider using your ultimate. In late game during favorable teamfights, use magical journey to flank the enemy or chase down stragglers for an Ace.
Leveling Magical Journey will reduce the cooldown and increase allied movement speed through the portal. Level this ability last, unless some of your allies are very far ahead. Then leveling this ability early will provide more opportunity to secure kills, especially in the jungle.
- R - Tempered Fate: This is bard's unique ultimate ability, and it has endless possibilities. Unfortunately, a poor ult can even aid the enemy team.
There are three main cases where you will get the most value from your ult. The first can be to set up for a gank. Get as close as possible to the enemy so that the ability's cast time is low. While the enemy is in stasis, try to line up a stun with Cosmic Binding The enemy may try flashing to safety upon coming out, so also be ready to auto attack and apply Meep damage and slowing.
The second major use for Bard's ultimate is to stop fleeing enemies. Keep in mind that the farther away you are, the longer the cast time will be. Aim your ult just a little ahead of where the enemy champions are heading. They will either be trapped in stasis, or they will be forced to take a detour. In the latter case, a well-placed Magical Journey can be used to cut them off.
Finally, your ultimate can be used to put the enemy's damage dealing back line in timeout during a teamfight. Teamfights can be chaotic, so the ult should be easy to land. This usually takes out about two enemy champions, producing a favorable 5v3 scenario, which can turn into a 5v1 when combined with Cosmic Binding. In the crucial seconds during which the enemy team is locked down, your team can overwhelm them and come out victorious. A similar strategy is useful if the enemy team attempts an early turret dive.
There are also a few cool tricks you can do with your ult, which are harder to pull off or less impactful but can still be pretty interesting:
- If you are surrounded by a group of enemy champions but you have your ultimate and Flash off cooldown, you can ult the entire group and then flash out of it. The enemy will be frozen in menacing attack posses, while you are free to escape. This is a very costly and risky maneuver, so don't attempt it lightheartedly.
- If you are alone defending a turret being sieged by a melee enemy champion with a group of caster and cannon minions (NO melee minions) ult the ranged minions, causing the enemy champion to take damage from the turret. If you can stun the champion with Cosmic Binding, even better. This maneuver is very situational, and if successful it probably won't secure the kill but should save the turret.
- If the enemy team is taking a neutral objective, ult as many of them as possible while leaving
out of stasis. If all enemy champions and pets are put in stasis and no allies or other targets are nearby, the monster's health will begin to reset (I have personally tested this, and it still works with the new leashing rules introduced in Patch 5.19). If one enemy champion is left out, they will be forced to solo for a few seconds (this is most impactful for Baron). This strategy can be annoying to the enemy team, but if your team cannot follow up on it, the effort will be wasted.
- Using Tempered Fate on an enemy turret may help during an allied turret dive. Just be sure that the enemy champion isn't also put in stasis. And beware that if you are turret diving behind two turrets, the inner turret will be untragetable and therefore unaffected by your ultimate.
- If you are surrounded by a group of enemy champions but you have your ultimate and Flash off cooldown, you can ult the entire group and then flash out of it. The enemy will be frozen in menacing attack posses, while you are free to escape. This is a very costly and risky maneuver, so don't attempt it lightheartedly.
|Boots of Mobility are a must have for any roaming support. They also make chime collection easier. The flat out-of-combat movement speed boost will also scale with any percent movement speed boost you might have.|
|Sightstone is a standard item for Supports. Bard's roaming nature and high movement speed allow him to take greater advantage of this item. He can easily ward areas throughout the map, including the enemy jungle. It also upgrades to Ruby Sightstone for additional health.|
|Before you begin building some of the higher tier items, it would be good to have one basic 10% CDR item. Fiendish Codex is a great candidate because it builds into Twin Shadows or Banner of Command. If it doesn't seem like you'll need either of those items for the current match, consider building Kindlegem, Forbidden Idol, or Glacial Shroud. Just be sure that whatever you pick will build into an item you want for late game.|
|Dead Man's Plate is mainly used for the additional movement speed to aid Bard's roaming. The armor and health also provide some survivability without going to extreme tankiness. When being chased by a single champion, you can kite with Meeps. When there are multiple enemy champions on your pursuit, avoid auto attacking so you keep the bonus movement speed of this item.|
| Zz'Rot Portal has two main uses if your team is ahead. You can use it during a siege on the enemy base to help poke down towers. You can also use your high movement speed to place it in either top or bot lane and then rejoin your team to take objectives on the other side of the map. This will force the enemy team into a loose-loose decision of either leaving your Zz'Rot unchecked or engaging your team in an unfavorable 4v5. On occasion Zz'Rot Portal may be used to land Cosmic Binding's stun on a lone enemy champion when there are no nearby walls. To top things off, you get the gold for any minions your Voiding's kill, which is always nice on a support's income.
DO NOT purchase Zz'Rot if you are behind, as your team will not be able to properly protect it, and you will only be feeding the enemy team additional gold and experience.
|Twin Shadows is a great disengage item, especially when there are one or two enemy champions you want to keep away from your team. This is a better item if you are behind, but it can always be useful for scouting the position of the enemy champions. This item is not very good for chasing, as you can actually outrun your ghosts.|
|You already have more than enough personal movement speed; it's time to share some with your team. Enchantment: Captain provides allies 10% bonus movement speed when moving towards you. And because you have some minor tankiness, you can lead attacks as well as retreats. Enchantment: Alacrity is a good alternative, as most of your movement speed bonuses are lost when in combat.|
|Oracle's Lens is not an upgrade you want to save for when you are at full build. It provides you with a true sight aura for 10 seconds which, when combined with your high movement speed, means you can scan a large area for additional wards. If you are roaming into enemy territory, this will also let you know if the enemy is able to see you or not.|
|Elixir of Ruin provides health, which is always nice, but it also increases the power and movement speed of nearby minions. This is especially useful for your team's sieges on the enemy base. Elixir of Iron is a good alternative when you are behind and the enemy team has a lot of crowd control. Also, as long as you are currently alive, you can purchase elixirs even if all your item slots are full. The elixir will be activated immediately.|
|Righteous Glory is the item for you if your team needs hard engage. If you know that you are going to buy this during the match, try to purchase catalyst the protector early on so you can take advantage of its passive effects.|
|Banner of Command is used much like Zz'Rot Portal. It is a better option for when the enemy team only has at most one attack damage dealer. Most players don't know that promoted minions are IMMUNE TO MAGIC DAMAGE, which makes this a terrific item against teams with high amounts of magic damage. A promoted cannon minion that is empowered by Hand of Baron buff will devastate the enemy team.|
|Locket of the Iron Solari Is great for teamfights where the enemy has high amounts of area of effect damage. Do not get it in addition to Banner of Command, as the passives do not stack, and do not get it if the enemy team deals mainly physical damage, as the passive will be wasted.|
|Frozen Heart's passive aura is great at countering teams with high amounts of physical, auto attack damage. The 20% CDR is nice on Bard, but mana doesn't help him much late game and that much armor is meant for dedicated tanks. If you feel the aura will help your team, try to convince your top laner or jungler to buy it instead.|
|Mikael's Crucible should be rushed if the enemy has multiple devastating crowd control abilities. Otherwise, it isn't that useful for Bard. After the early game, Bard has no mana problems, and there are better options for CDR and magic resist.|
|Zeke's Harbinger is pretty strong right now, and Glacial Shroud provides some great stat's for Bard's early game. Unfortunately Bard rarely stays with the same champion for an extended period of time, making it difficult to build up Conduit Charges and access the bonus stats. This is a useful item if you plan to stay close to your ADC, but Bard's innate roaming nature will be hindered.|
Part IV: Featured Content
When a featured game mode or other special event comes around, I like to update my guide for the occasion. This unique information about how to adapt Bard's play style and build to these special situations will help you Roam the Rift (or whatever map we happen to be on) with style.
The following is a list of past featured content. I have moved each to a separate build guide which I have archived but can still be accessed by using the link below. If you enjoyed the featured content when I first included it, feel free to revisit the pages.
- One For All featured game mode 2015: Bard: One For All And All For Fun
Part V: Conclusion
Throughout this guide, we have seen a glimpse of Bard's potential. Bard is a very versatile champion, but he is difficult to pick up and even more challenging to master. He is great at using his utility to set up opportunities, but he relies on allies to take advantage of those opportunities. While Bard is very fun to play, he currently has low viability when it comes to ranked or professional play.
I hope that you were able to learn some tips and tricks for playing as Bard. Feedback would be greatly appreciated, as this is my first guide on Mobafire.
Have fun "Roaming the Rift!"
Part VII: Acknowledgements
-- jhoijhoi --
-- League of Legends Wikia --