Bard Build Guide by Lord Kilborn
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Building Bard without active i
Get TOUGH (greater Magic Resistance)
Get TOUGH (greater Armor)
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.
The purpose of this Bard build
While many players utilize item active effects, some players prefer their items to have few or no active effects. If you prefer to not have to use item effects to be an effective Bard support, this guide is for YOU! (The one exception is Sightstone, which requires use of an item slot with a hotkey to be effective.)
Bard is the ultimate team support. The best bards work well with tough ADCs who can typically hold their own in lane, farming solo for 30 seconds (or so) while Bard roams to pick up his "sacred chimes". These items help Bard gain more experience.
In early game, placing a healing shrine or two near your jungler will improve your jungler's ability to make their first sweep through the jungle. Leaving a shrine beside your tower will also give your ADC a way to heal up early in the laning phase should they take more damage than intended in a trade.
Use your ranged basic attacks to harass opponents or knock down minions. When you start to get "meeps", your first basic attack will travel through the initial target and damage+slow the targets behind. This helps your harassing ability as well. Additionally, when you activate "Q" (Cosmic Binding), you can shoot it through a single wall of minions to damage and stun an opponent behind. Using this type of harassment - both with basic attacks and your Q ability - will help an astute ADC get a number of damaging pokes on the enemy support or ADC, weakening their ability to stay in lane and farm... which over time should give your ADC a distinct gold advantage.
If you see your jungler coming in for a gank, feign recalling just near enough to the enemy that they might think you are leaving, and let your ADC pull your opponents in. Cancel your recall and move further away - but circle to a hidden area near the lane. Your "Magical Journey" (E) will allow you to travel through walls of practically any distance, but they only last a few seconds before disappearing. If you place your portal well, you can surprise your enemy. Worst case, you will cause the enemy to burn two flashes. Best case - you catch both enemies out of position, stun them with your Q, and your jungler/ADC clean up the mess!
When you and your ADC push past the river, encourage your ADC to play a bit conservatively and safely. This will allow you to enter the river, placing ward(s) in the tri-bush or river bushes. Typically, there will be "sacred chimes" for you to gather in the river. Use caution - Bard has little ability to do damage should he be caught out of position with a jungler attacking him. If your middle-lane teammate is doing a good job roaming and you are brazen, you might even jump up into the middle lane to poke at the enemy there, pushing them backwards or yielding a kill for your mid-laner. However, remember your loyalty - for now - is to your ADC in the bottom lane - both keeping them alive and helping them net kills.
If your team pushes ahead across the map, ward carefully for your ADC, and roam a bit, gathering chimes and jumping into other lanes to assist teammates in securing kills or pushing lanes. If you have purchased the Boots of Mobility at this time, it becomes rather easy to move around the screen smoothly and quickly. After a quick jaunt, however, always return to the bottom lane to back up your ADC and, if needed, plant further healing shrines.
The ultimate ability is the trickiest to use. It will not cancel all enemy abilities - something I found out to my own detriment twice in the same game regarding Ezreal's ultimate ability... which fired off and killed me even when Ezreal was in stasis. The danger of the ultimate ability is that you can accidentally use it right as your teammates are about to use their abilities or ultimates to take down your enemies. I have found it most useful when utilized to freeze an opponent (and sometimes a severely damaged teammate) for a few seconds... allowing my own teammates to arrive for the fight and be right there waiting for the enemy team members when they come out of stasis. However, it is very easy to screw up the ultimate, so use it sparingly and only when you believe it is going to help turn a situation more positive. Casting it on yourself will freeze you as well as enemies in the sphere of influence - but will leave you just as vulnerable to attack if your teammates do not react and come to your aid.
Wrapping up, Bard is very fun to play - especially with a responsive team that watches the map and an opportunistic ADC who jumps into the fray when appropriate. I hope this helps a significant number of people in forming their upcoming strategies playing Bard!