Olaf Build Guide by cyanide2x4
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.
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.
A Brief Introduction...
This is a simple guide to a simple way to play jungle Olaf. This guide is more so intended for lower ELO play, and variations are encouraged. This will cover both the essentials of playing a simple jungle Olaf, as well as some tips and tricks to improve performance. So, without further ado, here is A Simple Jungle Olaf!
SATURDAY, MAY 5
* Added Force of Nature into the alternate items section
* Altered reasoning for taking Ionic Spark
* Altered order of skills and, by extension, certain descriptions in the Tips & Tricks Section relative to these changes
* Next additions will be as follows; Avarice Blade, Wit's End, Maw of Malmortius, a Jungling Path section, and whatever else comes to mind in the future
WEDNESDAY, MAY 9
* Small update
* Added Avarice Blade to items section, early game subsection
* Wit's End and Maw of Malmortius to be added soon, along with a jungle path section
* Recently loaded LoL replay on my PC, hoping to add some videos to the build as well! :)
FRIDAY, JUNE 22
* Figured it was time for an update, so here we go;
* Added a paragraph regarding choice of boots
* Added mention of a Philosopher's Stone
* Added Randuin's Omen, Wit's End, and Maw of Malmortius to the alternative items section
* Hoping to have a jungle path up by the end of the weekend, and perhaps a brief look at counter jungling strategies
Pros / Cons
* Very strong jungle early game (doesn't need a leash at blue!)
* Capable of out-farming solo lanes
* Good balance of damage output and defensive stats
* Has a 1.0 ad scaling ration on his skillshot slow, Undertow
* Ultimate can ensure both safety and kills in all sorts of situations
* Fits well into most team compositions
* He's a viking
* Difficulty with early ganks due to lack of potions
* Very little survivability until level 6, or upgraded boots
* Sometimes difficult to initiate ganks, critical to strike the target with Undertow
* Has only 1 form of built in CC
* He has no pants
The mastery setup is no real surprise, divided up at 15/15/0. Given his prominent role as an offtank, i outfit Olaf with health per level and
. This, combined with health regen and
, greatly assists jungling early in the game. In offense i take minion damage and attack damage at the first level, continuing on with full points in attack speed. Points in
provide a boost in both early and late game, their percentage based nature being almost a necessity. I spend the final three points on life steal, which too provides Olaf with an incredibly strong start in the jungle.
Although gold per 5 and buff duration are attractive options, i find that Olaf benefits more from this combat based setup. He is capable of clearing the jungle so quickly and effortlessly that really has no need for gold per 5, a good player being able to rival is not best the farm of the solo lanes. As for buff duration, keep in mind that Olaf is an offtank. As the game progresses, he'll be giving most of his buffs to teammates, having no need for blue and minimal need for red. Thus is my reasoning for not taking any points in the utility tree.
Ahh, the fun part.
This build attempts to outfit Olaf with both high damage output and survivability. Given his ability to fulfill a variety of roles on the team, it is appropriate that this variety is matched in his loadout.
Start / Early Game
I start jungle Olaf with a Vampiric Scepter. He really has no need for potions; the 10% lifesteal from the scepter plus the 9% on the first rank of Vicious Strikes and the 3% from the mastery tree total 22%. Tack on top of that the extra lifesteal available in rune selection, and you can have a lifesteal of almost 30% by level 1. These factors combined create almost infinite sustain in the jungle, often allowing Olaf to heal more damage than he takes from the weaker camps.
While effective at initially clearing, this particular start cripples the potential of ganking until first recall, which can oftentimes wait until level 5 or even 6. Should your team want to invade or request and early gank, it's worth considering starting Cloth Armor and 5 health potions instead.
For the first 4 or 5 minutes, Olaf can thrive in his jungle, farming up gold and experience until he reaches about level 5. If every game went perfectly, one could harvest enough gold to purchase Wriggle's Lantern and Boots of Speed on the same recall. However desirable, this is not always the case, and it is no crime to recall prior to this should your team require it. I would prioritize the boots over the wriggles, but this is entirely circumstantial and should be decided at the player's discretion.
At some point during this stage, you will no doubt be in the market for boots. Olaf has many options in this, and the Boots of Swiftness mentioned above are by no means the best choice, as preference varies from player to player. If you find your ganks to be too far and few, it might be worth investing in Boots of Mobility. Combined with Ragnarok, these can be quite an effective purchase! Another less conventional choice is the Mercury Treads. These are always efficient on tanky DPS champions who have to soak up large amounts of CC, but i find that because of Ragnarok, there are much better options available to the player.
The last purchase to make relatively early on in the game is The Brutalizer. Even though it isn't upgrades until far later in the build, i still find that Olaf benefits massively from having the bonus armor penetration, as well as the cooldown reduction and the attack damage. Alternatively, one could purchase the other component of the ghostblade; an Avarice Blade. Although this probably isn't your best option as far as Olaf's kit goes, the gold per 5 is always a positive. Granted one could find similar use of a Heart of Gold or a Philosopher's Stone, i would heavily advise taking the avarice blade instead. In the long run, the blade will bring more income simply because you don't need to sell it later on according to the core build. You could always upgrade to a Shurelya's Reverie (see Alternative Items section), but this is quite often unnecessary to the point of impractical. All things considered, taking an avarice blade early in the game is not a bad idea to think about, despite the unattractive stats; It will pay for itself and more eventually!
As the game progresses, your first priority should be become a Frozen Mallet. Considering the massive health boost and the extremely functional passive ability, this is probably the only must have item in the build. It works particularly well in tandem with his unstoppable speed while using Ragnarok. With this item equipped, Olaf is almost guaranteed to catch and kill any crippled enemy on the run.
The next item to purchase is an Ionic Spark. A little less conventional to Olaf builds, but still very powerful and should not be disregarded. As an offtank, Olaf is expected to deal gratuitous amounts of damage in a short period of time. He functions as the backbone of the teamfight, and this item contributes three great attributes to this role;
* He gains a 50% attack speed boost, which greatly compliments Vicious Strikes
* He gains 250 Health, which is always beneficial in a tanky dps build
* Most importantly, he gains the unique passive of a chain lightning bolt that damages nearby enemies. Seeing as he needs to be constantly spitting out damage in teamfights, this passive is incredibly useful for Olaf, allowing him not only to damage the entire enemy team at once, but also enabling him to acquire assists and kills on all five!
Keep in mind that this item is a lot less than conventional on Olaf. Although i fully believe it works, and works well at that, it definitely needs to be thought about by the player before purchasing. Read through the Alternative Items section thoroughly, and make certain that there is no item you'd rather take in it's place. That being said, please do try the ionic spark for a few games, as it's one of those items that needs to be given a chance before any final decision is made! So proceed with discretion at this point in the build, but do not let that discretion blind you from a fun and functional item choice!
As the game extends into the better half of an hour, be sure to pick up an Atma's Impaler. Olaf absolutely cannot go wrong with this item, granting him both armor and a considerable attack damage boost, considering the girth of his health bar. Also worth noting; the statistics at the top of the page don't incorporate the percentage health bonus from this item, nor does it factor in any other percentage bonuses. If this changes at any point, please let me know and i'll remove this comment as soon as possible!
The other major aspect of the build to upgrade your brutalizer into a Youmuu's Ghostblade. Although slated second last in the build, this item can be placed at varying priorities depending on circumstances. The key point is to have the brutalizer early so that when the time comes, upgrading into this item is easy to do. Furthermore, the unique passive can prove to extremely effective in a lot of situations. Whether it be to escape pursuers or catch stragglers, this item proves time and time again to be a strong choice on Olaf.
This section wont get into excessive detail on every item, but will outline some of the arguments for taking certain items and what they can be switched out for.
Not a bad item by any stretch, and certainly a practical choice. The only problem i find with taking a warmogs is that it often works best when taken early in the game, and as a result really hurts Olaf's damage output until components for the next item are underway. As long as your team has a functioning tank, this item really isn't necessary, but certainly not a terrible choice for Olaf.
Another perfectly acceptable item, but also largely circumstantial. The attack speed and lifesteal boost is attractive, and the aura it provides your team is fantastic. It doesn't fit exceptionally well with the build, however, as it offers no solid defensive attribute. If taken, this item is based substituted with the Wriggle's Lantern in the late game phase.
This is an awesome item to pick up on Olaf. It contributes to his already tanky loadout, providing both godly health regeneration and a much needed magic resist bonus. This item is one of best options for taking magic resist because of how tanky it can get you, not the mention the movement speed bonus. It isn't included in the core build because i don't feel that it's a necessity, as dealing damage can often suit Olaf better than excessively defensive items. However, should the need for magic resist arise, this is almost a must! Other choices include a Wit's End or a Maw of Malmortius, which both trump the FoN in offensive prowess. However, if magic damage is proving too heavy of a burden, the Force of Nature is probably unrivalled in the protection it can provide.
All things considered, this is one of the strongest countering items available in the shop, and Olaf benefits from it just as well as other champs. That being said, however, Thornmail is 100% situational. Only in the case of a fed, auto-attacking champion along the lines of Tryndamere or Master Yi should this item be crucial. In these instances, i again suggest switching out with your Wriggle's Lantern.
While incredibly powerful on most auto-attacking champions, i didn't include the bloodthirster in the core build simply because of the role this build caters to. Olaf already has a decent amount of lifesteal in the core build, and substituting this for another item would reduce some of his defensive prowess. Personally, i feel that Olaf can benefit much greater from a Zeke's Herald as mentioned above (your team will thank you for this as well).
Unless you're functioning as your team's tank, this item probably isn't the greatest choice. I mention it because of the passive and the health bonus, but there are far greater choices for equipping Olaf. Besides, in most instances, your tank or support will already have one.
Perhaps if you were getting extremely fed, this is worth consideration. The movement speed bonus is always nice too. In most instances, however, i wouldn't opt for a PD, as it has no real substitution option from the core build. The most appropriate choice would be the Ionic Spark which, as mentioned in the Items Section, provides Olaf with a lot of useful attributes in team fights which i personally am reluctant to go without.
This is a great addition to a tankier build on Olaf. It allows him to soak up even more damage, combined with the ability to decrease the attack speed of nearby enemies. Perhaps the strongest argument for purchasing this is the fact that one of it's core components is a strong gold per 5 item, the Heart of Gold. This means that Olaf can acquire a Gp5 item that provides a statistic he can greatly benefit from; Health! The passive gained from the wardens mail is also effective in that it can deter focus, fatally punishing enemies who mistake you for an easy kill.
Do you find the enemy team to be dealing excessive amounts of magic damage? Well then either of these two items are a must! Although they both share the fundamental aspect of magic resist, they are two completely unique items. The maw (and it's component the Hexdrinker) grants the player a shield when reduced below 30% health by magic damage. Highly effective at avoiding burst damage from casters, this can often keep Olaf in a fight that he would otherwise perish in. The other option for magic resist, the Wit's End, is a little less straightforward. All things considered, this probably allows Olaf to be an even bigger source of damage output in teamfights, but the unique passive of scaling magic resist is only going to be useful in such fights. In other words, if a low health Olaf is being chased down by somebody like a Xerath, his chances of walking away in one piece are slim. So again, both of these items are effective in a build that requires magic resist, but each has very different strengths and weaknesses
Tips and Tricks
* The cooldown on Undertow is reduced to about 3 seconds if the axe is retrieved, making it one of the most effective slows for chasing down an enemy.
* It's unique combination of a damaging, slowing skillshot which affects all enemies in it's path makes it an incredibly powerful ability.
* Before ganking, make sure you have enough mana to cast this ability at least 2 or 3 times, as it often is the determining factor as to the gank's success.
* Take note of the attractive 1.0 scaling ratio; all things put together, this is arguably Olaf's strongest ability.
* Allows Olaf's damage and lifesteal to increase by a considerable amount for a short period of time.
* Although Vicious Strikes is what defines Olaf as such a powerful jungler, it proves highly effective even at early ranks; thus, it is not necessary to max it too early, as Olaf can deal far more damage by maxing the other abilities.
* Synergizes well with his passive (long sentence incoming); because his attack speed increases with each 1% of missing health, he by extension attacks his target more, which permits him to steal more life the closer he is to death, thus allowing him to regenerate health in a way similar to that of Chalice of Harmony's mana regeneration.
* As it can often make the difference in surviving a teamfight, make sure that not a second of this buff is wasted in combat; when it's on, auto-attack constantly!
* True damage is always nice (duh).
* This ability is best maxed early, because although i wouldn't defend it as a powerful a super powerful ability late game, there is no denying it's impact in the early game. 300 true damage at level eight? That'll keep em on their toes.
* Although i find it the least functional of Olaf's abilities, it still finds incredible use in spitting out that little extra bit of damage that can ensure the kill.
* Incredibly useful against tanks or anybody who has purchased a Thornmail
* Olaf is immune to incoming CC, which makes this ability as reliable means of both escape and pursuit (AKA when in doubt, press R).
* Also removes all current CC effects, making it even more reliable.
* This ability makes up the majority of Olaf's strength as an initiator simply due to the fact that he can run into a fight completely unphased by the enemies as they waste their precious cc, often allowing your team to completely steamroll your foes.
* To expand on the previous point, there is nothing more satisfying that watching a Warwick or a Malzahar cast their ult on you. It will make your day.
* More of a warning to newer Olaf players; Ragnarok does not give a speed boost!!! This is not the same as Highlander, and this needs to be understood to avoid wasting your ultimate.
In short, that's my take on jungle Olaf. He fulfills both his role as a sponge for damage and a reliable source of DPS adequately. Feel free to tinker with the build and comment with any suggestions, although do so with respect. I don't waste time with trolls in games, and i certainly wont be making any exceptions here; say it politely, or don't say it. This site is a wonderful way for people to both learn and teach through publishing builds,. So to conclude, i hope that this guide can point a few players in the right direction, as well as bring in some constructive criticism as to how to improve it. Good luck on the fields of justice, and enjoy playing A Simple Jungle Olaf!