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Bard Build Guide by SignError

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League of Legends Build Guide Author SignError

[6.21] Bard: The Rift Roamer

SignError Last updated on October 21, 2016
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Ability Sequence

2
3
5
7
8
Ability Key Q
1
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
4
9
10
12
13
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

Fury
 
 
Sorcery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vampirism
 
 
Natural Talent
 
 
 
 
 
Bounty Hunter
Oppressor
 
 
 
 
 
Battering Blows
 
 
Piercing Thoughts
 
 
 
 

Ferocity: 0

5/
Wanderer
 
 
Savagery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Merciless
 
 
5/
Meditation
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Bandit
Dangerous Game
 
 
 
 
 
Precision
 
 
5/
Intelligence
 
 
 
 

Cunning: 18

Recovery
 
 
5/
Unyielding
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Explorer
Tough Skin
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Runic Armor
 
 
Veteran's Scars
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Insight
Perseverance
 
 
 
 
 
Swiftness
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 
 
 

Resolve: 12



Threats to Bard with this build

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Champion Notes
1
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.
1
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.
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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.


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Why Bard?

That's probably the best question you can ask when deciding to play a champion. Bard is a difficult champion to get used to. 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.


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Why Utility?

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.

To top things off, Bard gets a difficulty rating of 9/10. Those are some pretty daunting statistics.

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.


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Ally Synergy

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?

Rek'Sai may be one of Bard's most difficult counters, but she also makes a great ally. her Tremor Sense allows you to see the movements of distant enemies as long as she is nearby. This makes it much easier to land Tempered Fate on distant enemies that would otherwise be shrouded in the Fog of War. While their prey is trapped in stasis, Rek'Sai, Bard, and their allies can close the distance and secure the kill.


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Ally Discord

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 throws 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.
Yasuo is a champion that can act in the blink of an eye. With Tempered Fate's long cast time, Yasuo can use an empowered Steel Tempest and follow up with Last Breath just in time for everyone to be put into stasis. This strategy may work well on an enemy Yasuo, but if Yasuo is on your team, DO NOT use your ultimate if he has a tornado ready to let loose.


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Pros and Cons

Pros
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
- High skill floor



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Part II: Game Overview

The following Chapters will provide a description of Bard's unique play style during each phase of the game.


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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 and jung, and possibly even one for top lane.

Click here to display details

This strategy allows you to give your other allies a slight advantage while you are on bot helping your ADC.


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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. If you or your ADC need a heal before the other shrines are used, place the shrine directly on the target so that you don't remove the previously placed 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.


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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.


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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.
If your ADC needs you immediately, then head back to lane. Otherwise, recall to fountain or collect a few more chimes and then decide whether to gank mid again or head back to bottom lane.

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. If you coordinate your gank with your jungler, the three of you and even possibly the mid laner can then take done the Rift Herald. Otherwise, you should recall, as there isn't much else to do at the top side of the map.

Once you have your Sightstone and Magical Journey, 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.


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Chime Collection

During the early stages of the game, you want to mostly collect chimes for the mana regain . This is especially true for chimes that happen to appear in lane. Only take these chimes when you are out of mana, because the Meditation 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.


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Mid Game

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.


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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.


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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.


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Summoner Spells

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 or save it for when the ADC recovers from the previous crowd control effects.

Flash seems to be the go-to summoner spell for any champion. For Bard it can be used to escape sticky situations. This can be achieved by flashing toward a wall and then riding Magical Journey to safety. Alternatively, if you are surrounded by enemy champions, Ult directly above you and then immediately flash out, allowing you to get a good head start or reposition for a counter attack with your allies.


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Runes

  • 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 Wanderer mastery will also benefit from the percent movement speed bonus provided by these runes.

  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: In the early levels of the game, there isn't much threat from spells and magic damage. These runes will provide Bard 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. Taking hybrid runes will increase Bard's overall poke damage in the early game.


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Masteries

Click here for my justification of each mastery


TLDR: Here is a list of the masteries I've chosen, in order from highest tier to lowest tier.


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Abilities

  • 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, but upgrade it first. Its upgrades provide a longer stun, more damage, and a lower cooldown.

  • 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 is generally pretty weak, which is why I recommend leveling it last, in favor of Bard's other abilities. However, if you find yourself in constantly in lane defending your turret against siege, or you are constantly being poked from long range (think about champs like Varus), then it may be best to put extra points in Caretakers Shrine and postpone maxing Magical Journey.

  • E - Magical Journey: Wait to take this ability until lv 4 or even possibly 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, and don't accidentally take the portal yourself. This bluff can often trick the enemy into backing off when they could have taken a turret.

    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 second, and make it a priority if some of your allies are very far ahead. This especially applies if your jungler is fed and your marksman is relatively self efficient. You can easily team up with your jungler in order to raid the enemy jungle or gank the enemy laners.

  • 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 Dragon or Baron Nashor 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.


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Items

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.

Sweeping Lens is another staple of the support role with several uses. If you're hiding in a bot lane bush that gets warded, you can sweep and destroy the lens to remain hidden. The lens can also be used to remove enemy wards in the river entrances to bot lane in preparation for a jungler gank. If you get ahead in bot lane, you can use it in your own gank on mid lane. However, providing allied vision is more important than taking away the vision of the enemy, so son't switch trinkets until you buy Sightstone or even possibly Ruby Sightstone




Before you begin building some of the higher tier items, it would be good to have a few basic 10% CDR item. Fiendish Codex is a great candidate because it builds into Frost Queen's Claim 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.

Athene's Unholy Grail isn't an outstanding item for Bard, but it does provide a little of everything that he needs in the early game. The 20% CDR is probably the most attractive aspect, but the passive effect is pretty good too. Bard's shrines don't have a very good flat heal, and the AP ratio is almost nonexistent. This item's new Blood Charge passive will add some greatly needed kick to even an uncharged shrine. The tricky part is that it may take awhile to make on a support budget.

Frost Queen's Claim is your go-to first tier 3 item. It builds out of your best starting item, and it has all the stats for Bard's early to mid game. It is a great disengage item, especially when there are one or two enemy champions you want to keep away from your team. It can also be useful for scouting the position of the enemy champions when you are taking objectives or on warding/chime collection runs.

Oracle Alteration 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. Plan on making this upgrade after you hit level 9.

Ruby Sightstone This item provides extra health and an extra ward. But what makes this item great is the item active cooldown reduction. I recommend a lot of items with active effects in this build, so can make the greatest benefit of all of them.

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.

Locket of the Iron Solari Is great for teamfights where the enemy has high amounts of area of effect damage. It also provides a precious 10% CDR and magic resist for you and your teammates.

Mikael's Crucible is a great alternative to Athena's Unholy Grail if the enemy team has several devastating crowd control effects. Mana isn't an issue for Bard come late game, so the mana regain will not be very useful. However, the new Harmony passive will provide health regain instead. The new heal boost will also help compensate for the loss of Athena's Blood Charge passive.

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.

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 strong 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.

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 of Aeons early on so you can take advantage of its passive effects.

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.

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. But a major weakness to this item on Bard is that he cannot apply the damage bonus and slow from the Crushing Blow passive.

Zeke's Harbinger is pretty strong, 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.


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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.


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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!"

-SignError


Guide Top

Part VI: Update Log

Click here to display update log


Guide Top

Part VII: Acknowledgements

-- jhoijhoi --

Thanks for the Making a Guide guide, to get me started. The coding sections and examples were especially useful.


-- KikoHyuuga --

It may seem odd that I'm working with the author of another very popular Bard guide. However, as support role players, we don't mind helping out others and sharing the glory. KikoHyuuga and I have provided extensive feedback to help improve each others guides. Especially with Preseason 6 in full swing, we have been collaborating about the best ways to addapt Bard to all of the crazy changes that are happening on the Rift. For another take on Bard's build and play style, check out KikoHyuuga's guide Bard: The Fattest&Cutest Supp of Summoner's Rift.

-- League of Legends Wikia --

Provides up to date statistics for Bard, other champions, items, and all aspects of the game.

-- Surrender @ 20 --

Provides a sneak peak at upcoming changes which have already been released in the Public Beta Environment. This is especially useful when there are significant changes to game, specifically during the preseason update.