Bard Effective Pressure Applie
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
|Soraka||Focus poking her down and she cant do much back to you. Plus safest support to roam against since she can not hard engage on your adc.|
PLEASE at least read early, core, and late sections, as it is important to understanding this build, I know some people just see the items and build them without knowing why. So, I truly enjoyed playing Bard very much so. He is one of the funnest champs for me to play. I think we can agree though that many of the standard builds for him out there feel lack luster. It usually consist of you going straight tank and just offering utility. I use to do it that way, and many times I would hate using my abilities than feeling useless. Going tanky does not matter to the enemy team since you can be easily ignored. I experimented alot and read the effects of every item to see what would work well with Bard's play style. This build is in accordance to giving bard a bigger role on the rift, and I do mean bigger role because this build offers much more power to Bard. This build is for aggressive but SMART Bard players, and I truly mean smart Bard players because this can be a difficult build to pull off. Although it may be difficult, it is in my opinion the most rewarding and effective. The focus of this build is to use Bard to his full potential in making his strengths even stronger.
The runes are standard runes for support Bard. The hybrid penetration runes work well with bard early on in his poking. The movement speed to get around quickly, since you will need to be doing so with bard. Standard flat armor runes and scaling magic resist rune for survivability.
So here is where you become as squishy as a stuffed animal. The cunning tree, just follow the path of support masteries, secret stash, wanderer, bandit, and precision. Thunder lord decree is probably the strongest mastery right now, offering a short quick effective burst. It works extremely well, with Bard especially when you get two meeps Q-Auto-Auto. This gives quite a nice little burst. The ferocity tree with damaging masteries because this build if for the aggressive bard.
Flash and ignite. Flash because it is standard utility that cant be passed up. Ignite for damage, securing kills, and denying heals. If the enemy team has 2 or 3 assassins for some reason, take exhaust instead so your poor adc doesn't get insta gibbed.
Early items and early gameplay (important, read)
This moment is Bard's weakest. You have to be very careful in how you play early on. Early on, you should have Sightstone Boots and sweeping lense and possibly Sheen Provide warding for yourself and within the enemy jungle. Support your lane and make smart decisions. Also DO NOT leave your lane partner alone early on. The problem with this is that, you partner becomes extremely endangered and you lose out on experience. Your goal early game is to stay healthy in lane. When your lane partner recalls to buy this is your opportunity to roam.
Make sure you have at least 75% percent health, as anything lower if you are caught out, you can be bursted down quickly and if you gank mid lane with low health you are basically giving their mid laner a free kill. So staying healthy early on is important for effective roaming when your lane partner recalls.
If you can not find a gank mid, there are still other options. Go into the enemy jungle and provide wards there, be careful while doing this, magical journey should provide a safe escape if you do encounter enemies. Before you enter the enemy jungle leave a caretaker shrine at the entrance you plan of leaving from just for extra safety padding. If there is no enemies in the bot side of the jungle and you are with your jugnler you can help him counter jungle and warn your teammate that the enemy jungler is not on the bottom side of the map. Also don't forget to collect your chimes!
Core Items and gameplay (important, read)
At this point you should have completed Iceborn Gaunlet and Boots of Mobility while working towards your Frost Queen's Claim . Here you gain a good power spike and should be playing more aggressively. Still make smart decisions of course which you should always be making, but you have more leeway with added tankyness, slows and damage.
If the laning phase is not over, this is your oppertunity to really push the pace of the game. Call your jungler over for easy gank at bot lane through magical journey. It should be guarantee kills every time kills that open up objective such as towers and dragon. The scenario should play out like this. Magical Journey to lane with jungler, auto attack apply iceborn gauntlet slow which usually is enough. At this point the enemy will use one of their gap closers or flash to get away, this is when you use tempered fate. You close the gap and you should have a very easy cosmic binding stun set up right out of tempered fate. This works if you are pushed in or at the mid section of the lane.
Now if they are under tower, again you should at least get one kill from this. Call your jungler over through the lane. Set up and use tempered fate on the tower and dive the enemy. Then use magical journey to escape the towers range when it is back online. These are things you can do to almost always effective control bot lane. Now, if your lane partner recalls or has a big freeze where nothing is going on, then you can roam.
Going to mid lane usually the enemy mid laner is a squishy and you alone can take 50 to 70 percent of their health relatively quickly. Use frost queen's active, Magical journey in, auto attack to apply ice born gauntlet slow, use cosmic binding to activate sheen and apply another slow or stun, ignite, then use another meep auto attack to apply sheen, plus thunderlord, and another ice born gauntlet slow. All your mid laner has to really do is land one damaging skill to finish them off.
When setting up for dragon set up your three care taker shrines around the pit for your team to have, and ward. Also boots of mobility if a must for getting around quickly. I notice people build iona boots for the cdr, but with this build you have max cdr without the boots.
Late Items and gameplay (Important, read)
Here you should have Banner of Command for it gives Bard everything that benefits this build and just bard as a champion overall. It will give you max cdr, magic resist to your teammates, health, ability power, and a decent active against wave clear mages. Z'z Portal really doesn't get finished unless the game goes really late. In replacement you can upgrade your sight stone to a ruby sight stone and buy a raptor cloak. If the game continues upgrade your raptor cloak into a Z'z portal.
When you have full build and your team is grouping at this point team fight is key. You can quickly travel to the far end of an enemy lane and drop Z'z portal's active, so the lane can start pushing in your favor. Someone on the enemy team will have to go deal with it making it 5v4. Group with your teammates quickly and the moment when you and the enemy team dance around each other before the big team fight begin to set up your caretaker shrines. Now your ultimate can be used to catch somebody and get a pick. Or if someone left to deal with your Z'z portal use it on the enemy team to force engage the 5v4. Typically using your ultimate on the entire enemy team does not do much unless your team has a wombo combo that can easily be followed up after your ult.
The most effective way I noticed to use Bard ultimate in a 5v5 team fight is in isolation.Using the ultimate on their front line leaving the back line open for your team. It works extremely well when pulled off right. Your team has to react immediately in diving their back line and killing them quickly. So let your team know that is what you plan on doing and you will ping when you are about to ult. This in my opinion is like bards equivalent to blitz hooking their adc late game. It is basically bards trump card, his game ender.
Pros / Cons
Great map pressure
Amazing mid and late
Amazing utility, slows are nuts
Horrendous early game
Early prolonged stay to roam after adc recalls
Difficult early game surviving
Anyway guys, thanks for reading this guide on Bard. I'm really passionate about this champion so I truly worked at finding a build that is effective on him. I really hope this becomes a staple route on building an aggressive Bard. I would like to hear your guys thoughts and experience with the build. Thanks and have a good day :)