Bard Build Guide by SirZeros

League of Legends Build Guide Author SirZeros

Bard is the Word - How to REALLY play Bard [+Video] AD Bard

SirZeros Last updated on December 16, 2016
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R


Natural Talent
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 12


Cunning: 18

Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 0

Threats to Bard with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Galio You won't have much problems against him, since you deal mostly AD and it's pretty easy to land your Q on him, since he is pretty slow and fat :) (He still remains an awesome guy ^^)
Nidalee She isn't that strong at the moment, so she won't be a big problem, since she doesn't scale as good as you do. Punish her for farming in cougar form and do not let you get hit by her spear! I'm serious, it's not hard to avoid it.
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Warning: The champion threats are mainly for the early game since in the late game you can burst down almost anyone, if played correctly.

Hello curious summoners!
First of all I want to introduce myself and this build.
My name is SirZeros
I started playing league of legends in spring 2014 and I like the game a lot!
In Ranked I went up and down a lot and sometime I just stopped playing ranked because I wasn't having fun anymore.
After a while however I started to play ranked again but in that time where I was playing almost only normal games I started trying out everything ^^

Well I played so many games of League now and I really like to break the meta sometimes.
Most of the times it wasn't viable or it wasn't really fun to play after 1 or 2 games. Until I discovered this champion with this build.
I started to play AD Bard constantly and tried out many builds and many strategies.
I had so much fun with this little champion and I really never wanted to share this build, since I wanted to have a unique kind of champion playstile for me.

After many more games, I now decided to finally share this detailed Guide with all of you.
I hope you like it, and one more thing: Don't give up that fast, it is really hard to play him in this way ;)

However it is really fun and deals tons of damage ^^

(It is best played on the mid lane in my experience, but it definetly can also be played as a top laner or as an adc on botlane. But as we all know, Bard definetly doesn't work as a support, this is just a troll pick ;D )

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Pros / Cons

Here are the Pros and Cons
- It's just Bard ;)
- No one will ever expect this.
- So much utility! SO MUCH!
- Good teamfighting potential if played correctly.
- Mixed damage (AP and AD).
- Burst and consistant damage.
- Can prepare ganks on his lane really good with his Q/R.
- Can get to another lane pretty fast with E and chimes.
- Can gank pretty good with Q/R/E.
- Has good sustain on lane due to his chimes and his heals.
- Has an OP Late-Game! Can oneshot a squishy enemy.

- It's Bard... Your hitbox is fat D:
- You could get flamed in champion select ^^
- Is really hard to play!
- It's hard to get the last hit on kills.
- Does have to leave lane for chimes, which can be really dangerous.
- Is really squishy.
- Has a bad early game.
- Needs to farm CS and Chimes and has less time for objectives in the early game.
- Is mainly based on AD, which means that you need some more AP in your team.

Now you know, what is coming towards you.

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Video Example

Here's a good example of me playing AD Bard Mid with the exact same steps as I explain here.
Note that it is spoken in german and the actual video is mainly made for untertaining purposes. But if you only want to see how much damage it does and how it's played you still can just click through a little bit ^^
However I took some time and created English subtitles for you :3
Make sure you turn them on, if you need them ^^

(Have fun ^^)

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The start of the game

What do you have to do at the beginning of the game?
Follow these steps:
- Be prepared in the loading screen, you need to be ready when the game starts!!!
- As soon as you get out of loading screen, buy Doran's Blade, a Health Potion and a Ward.
- Get on your lane immediatly!
- Put a point on your W.
- Place 2 Heals behind your tower.
- Go take the 2 chimes spawned in.
- Go back to lane and place the 3rd and last heal behind your tower.
- Press B to go back.
- Go back to lane. If the last spawned chime is anywhere near you (About the area from red buff to blue buff) go and take it and then walk/fly back to lane and start farming.
If it's not near you, just let the last chime where it is ^^

(I suggest you try this out one or two times in a custom game to get the hang out of it)

If you follow these steps, you're gonna have:
1. 3 Healing stations
2. Full Mana
3. You're gonna hit Lvl 2 a bit earlier than your opponent because of the xp of the collected chimes.

What are the Pros/Contras of this strategy?
- Way better sustain, so you can farm on your lane much longer.
- Slightly better early game power.
- You can help your jungler with 1 or 2 heals. DON'T FORGET TO PLACE THEM AGAIN, AFTER THEY TAKE THEM!
- If you get low in a fight and get ignited (or DoT'ed), you can prevent yourself from dying with your heals.
- When your lane opponent pokes you, heal yourself with the heals at your tower and place new ones, this is the most efficient way to get heath for mana :)
- You have no Q on Lvl 1, which shouldn't be a problem, since you don't have much power on Lvl 1 anyway.
- You can't really help if your team wants to invade or gets invaded.

When you hit lvl 3 you might don't want to put a point into your e yet, but instead put the 2nd one in your Q. This just makes you slightly stronger in lvl 3 trades. Be careful about this decision: Only do this if the enemy is pushing the lane more than you do and if you feel safe. Keep in mind that you're sacrificing your escape tool :P

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Game Stages

Early Game:
- Focus on dodging enemy skillshots and farming. Your main goal is not to get kills, but to get as much farm as you can! Only go aggressive when your jungler is ganking your lane!
- Don't focus on hitting your enemy with your Q! It's better to use it to kill minions.
- Only if your enemy laner is positioning himself in a really bad spot, you're gonna use your Q to stun him. So don't try to force the stun, just wait for the right moment!
- If you get ignited use your heals to negate your death.
- If you push: Don't forget to ward at least one bush! Stay at the side of the warded bush. It is the best to stay near a wall, so if someone should gank you, you can escape through the tunnel.
- Wait for the right moment to collect chimes. (To see more about when to go for chimes, scroll down)
- It is best to always have your minions slightly out of range of your tower, so you can stay in front of it and stay pretty safe for any ganks.
- If you get low and have no more heals placed or your have to go back, be sure to place all 3 heals again, then go back, buy items and teleport/walk back to your lane.
- You should not have to go back, if you don't have tp up (unless you roamed a bit ^^)!
If you this is the case, you probably made something wrong.

Mid Game:
- At this stage you should have your Infinity Edge and Boots.
- You are now ready to take advantage of your roaming power.
- Help your teammates and make them know, that you probably have to get the kills, since your Items aren't cheap at all!
- You should not only gank when they need help! You still can get some money, if you get an assist or a kill!
- When should you go on another lane:
- Not only when they need help! You can get some money, if you get an assist or a kill!
1. Watch if the enemies are pushing enough for you to gank!
2. Look for chimes to collect on your way.
3. Make sure your lane is pushed a little bit, before you go.
The more of these "requirements" are the case, the more worth is the roam!
- Plan your route to the goal first!
- Try to get as near to the lane as you can and then ult the champion(s) you want to kill (if you aren't completely sure, that you will get them anyway).
- If you went near enough, you should be able to walk up to them in a way that you can get your stun on them.
- If you didn't use your ulti and they went under tower, you still can ult the tower for a pretty nice tower dive. This requires some practice however.

- On lane you can now play a bit aggressive. Still not too much! But now look for good moments to stun your enemy and if you get it on him try to make as much damage as you can without risking to lose much health yourself. Do this everytime you get the stun on your opponent, until he's low enough to get killed.
- AGAIN!!! Don't forget to still farm many creeps and chimes!

Late Game:
- As soon as you get one or two more Items, you should be able to 1v1 someone who is about as fed as you are (or less ^^)
- Only engage alone if you are 100% sure you can kill him!
- Try to stay with at least one team member that can probably protect you with cc or tankyness.
- If you want to engage in a teamfight, it hurts a lot, if you just ult half of their team, just before your frontline goes in! It's easier to kill less champs right?
- If you have a teammate that can hard cc a whole team (like a Sejuani or a Malphite) you can help them doing their job by throwing your ult on the biggest part of the enemy team.
- Always be kind of in the middle of your team! You still are squishy, keep that in mind!
- Always try to get a stun on someone, if you miss it, it's probably better to retreat unless you are ahead.
- You are kind of an assassin, so don't go in a 1v(more than 1) unless your are really ahead or you are 100% sure that you can beat them. Your passive cooldown is your now pretty much your only weakness!
- If you get really ahead and you have 5 dmg Items and 80> chimes, you should be able to litterally one-twoshot a squishy target.

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Your Job in a Fight

What are you good for?
As an AD Bard, you generally have to punish anyone, that is out of position!
This is, what Bard can do better than anyone else.
In a teamfight, you should be able to land your stun really easy, if they are clumping.
If the frontline is stunned, you're free to walk one step forward to hit a basic attack on a squishy. Make sure to get back after it.
You are basicly an adc/assassin with hard cc.
You are a squishy target, so don't get caught yourself.
Stay back a little bit.
If the enemy team plays a bit stupidly, you could be able to use your ult on all of them, making you go through them to the backliners and get your stun on them. If you can do this, the fight will be pretty easy for your team, but don't force it, just wait for the right moment.
Focus on: CCing the enemy team, heal your foes if they get low, staying in a safe spot, kill the squishy targets and punishing everyone that is out of position.

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When to go for Chimes?

When is a good time to go on a magical journey?
Well it's pretty much up to you! Just wait a bit for the right moment!
Here are some tips, when you SHOULD go to get chimes:
- When there are some on the same part of the map.
- When you get low on mana.
- When the enemy jungler is dead or busy.
- When your lane opponent is not on your lane and your minions are going for the tower.
- When the places you want to go are safe and warded.
- When you roam to another lane.

What is your goal on the amount of chimes you collected?
Basicly every minute 2 chimes are spawned randomly on the map (normally somewhere nearby).
My goal is to get at least 2*(Minutes InGame)-5.
You are 23:11 Minutes InGame. 2*23-5 = 46-5 = 41 Chimes.
If you don't have this amount of Chimes collected you probably should go on a magical journey in the next minutes ^^

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Power Spikes

Your power spikes are based on Lvls, Items and Chimes.
Lvl Powerspike:
- Basicly the more points you get on your Q, the safer and stronger you are, since every point on your Q makes the stun last longer.
- Lvl 6 really isn't a big powerspike, because it doesn't help you get more damage out of your kit.

Item Powerspike:
- The biggest powerspike you get is as soon as you finish Statikk Shiv (and Infinity Edge), since you can now deal so much damage with your first basic attack on an enemy champion due to Statikk's passive and your Meeps. All these and the AD + Crits from Infinity Edge make you deal enormeous damage! And it gets even better the more chimes you collect.
- Another big powerspike is when you finish Essence Reaver, because of the instant 30% Cooldown Reduction.

Chimes Powerspikes:
- Basicly every 5 Chimes you get a little powerspike due to increasing damage.
- When you have 5 Chimes collected you get a slow on attacking with your meeps.
- When you have 25 Chimes collected you get AOE dmg when attacking with your meeps. This will be enlargened as soon as you get 65 chimes.
- Every time you get less meep respawn cooldown and especially when you get an extra meep-"slot", you get a lot stronger.

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Summoner Spells

Okay, here I will explain a bit, why and when you should take what ^^
My recommended Summoner Spells are always Flash and Teleport.

Flash is essencial, with it you can reposition yourself pretty immediately to f.e. get away when getting ganked or get a better position to hit your stun.

Teleport helps you out a lot! You can go back to buy Items without losing too much cs. Since you don't have time to walk around, because you'll miss some farm for chimes anyway. It also gives you more pressure on the map. I highly recommend you to take Teleport as your second Summoner Spell. Even with the nerf in the PreSeason 2016 it is really strong! (Try to only TP to your lane early!)

Ignite is an aggressive Summoner Spell, with which you actually get some more lane pressure. It's surely useful and I used to take this Summoner Spell, too. But I still recommend you to take teleport because it fits way better with AD-Bard's Playstyle. I can understand if you take it for example against a healing champion like Swain, but otherwhise you really should take Teleport.

Exhaust and Barrier can really be useful if you play against an assassin. But again, in the early game you'll probably not fight at all, but only farm cs and Teleport just makes you get more cs in general.

I don't really know why you should take one of the other summoner spells, since they really aren't worth taking on Bard.

Last of all it's up to you, what Summoner Spell you take, but I definetly had the best experience with Flash and Teleport and do recommend you to take them at all costs.

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Okay now I'm gonna explain you, why I like to take the items listed above and why I don't recommend some other Items so let's get started with:

1. Starting Items
Basicly these Items just help you to get through your early game safely and more easly.
Doran's Blade makes Last hitting easier and gives you a little boost to your sustain.

2. Berserker's Greaves
Makes it easier for you to dodge skillshots and move around. Does give you a small amount of attack speed, which is pretty good, because you'll buy IE and BT before you buy an attack speed item.

3. BF Sword
Gives you your first small damage boost and makes it way easier to farm now ^^

4. Statikk Shiv
Gives you a good amount of Attack Speed and Crit Chance along with a passive that synergises perfectly with your passive. This gives you a big boost to your bursting potential and an awesome wave clear to get even more minions in a short time. Statikk Shiv's Passive + Infinity Edge deals 250 damage if it crits (which it should with all this crit chance you'll be stacking up).

5. Infinity Edge
Gives you a huge boost to your damage output which will make it easier for you to clear waves and poke a bit better. If you'd like some more sustain you totally could buy Bloodthirster before you buy Infinity Edge.

6. Essence Reaver
Is really nice! 20% Crit Chance, 65 AD and a nice "Mana Regen" Thingy is already really cool, but the really awesome part about this is, that you can get 30% CDR, if you have enough crit chance from other items (Which you actually have ^^).

7. Rapid Firecannon/Runaan's Hurricane/Phantom Dancer
You definetely need one of these items to get your crit chance to 100%.
This way you're gonna be sure, that you can kill your opponent every time and not get a clutchy situation where you just were unlucky not to crit.
I still generally like Rapid Firecannon most, just because of how safe you can stay and still be able to half(or more)-shot someone with your longrange basic attack.
Here's basicly what they're good at:
RFC: 1v1 scenarios where you know you're gonna be oneshotting your opponent pretty quickly and/or you need to stay out of range (say sth. like Darius etc.)
RH: Big teamfights where you can stay in a pretty offensive position and the enemy team is clumped together.
PD: 1v1 scenarios in which you most likely need to fight for a longer period of time and/or are likely to take much damage.

As soon as you get these Items, you should be strong enough to fight anyone that isn't too fed. Now you can decide wether you buy a last offensive or defensive item.

But I recommend you to only take a defensive item if you are getting blown up by assassins. My most recommended Offensive Items however are Youmuu's Blade, Edge of Night and a Last Whisper Item.

Offensive Items:

1. Youmuu's Blade
I generally recommend you to always build this item, since it gives you the missing 10% CDR, much AD and a good amount of Armor Penetration in addition with an awesome active.

2. Edge of Night
Is a really good item against AP Champins like Brand, Fizz, Lux etc.
Just a really solid item and really strong with it's spellshield!

3. Last Whisper Items
Gives you a little AD-Boost but is pretty strong against tanks because of the 40% Bonus Armor Penetration.
I generally recommend you to take this if you play against multiple tanks or self-healing champions like Vladimir or Swain.

4. Mercurial Scimitar
I recommend you taking this item against a heavy cc team.
If you face someone like Annie I'd even recommend you to take Quicksilver Sash pretty early because this item pretty much is the only thing that "counters" her.

5. Sterak's Gage
Can help you if you need to fight against other AD Champions (Especially Assassins) like Zed, Talon or Rengar. You certainly can buy a Jaurim's Fist early, if you need it.

Defensvie Items:

1. Guardian Angel:
Well this item is pretty hard to explain. I kinda like it, but I don't think that the passive is too strong on Bard since he relies on hitting his Q and his Meeps.
In the time that you get revived, your enemies will have enough time position themselves to not get stunned by you. It can get you some time for your meep(s) to respawn however.
Well it's still up to you to decide wether you take it or not ^^
It's definetly good if need both: Magic Resist and Armor since it gives you a chunk.

2. Dead Man's Plate
This is one of my favourite defensive items, since it gives you movement speed, which is never wrong (especially when playing Bard ^^), good defensive stats and a really cool passive that synergises good with Bard's bursty playstyle, giving him extra 100 Physical damage on his first autoattack after collecting 100 Stacks. Definetly recommend this item the most if you lack survivability!

3. Banshee's Veil
This item can be really useful if your enemies deal mostly magic damage or you need that nice Spell Shield ^^

4. Randuin's Omen
Okay, well the active is more or less useless, since you won't really get in range for it (unless your enemies engage on you ^^). But his Stats are really good and his passive will help you out a lot against other ADC's or Crit Champions like Yasuo. I still recommend you to take Dead Man's Plate over Randuin's Omen however ^^

Items I don't recommend:

1. Trinity Force:
It just doesn't help you as much as you might think it would do. There are too many better options, that fit better to AD-Bard's kit.

2. Guinsoo's Rageblade
I mean I really like the item and it WOULD give Bard good stats, but practicly it just doesn't work well with Bard. While you're stacking Guinsoo's up to get more AD and AP you already used your chimes and empowered auto attack from Statikk Shiv. If you are targeting a squishy it will be already dead. So it would make more sense to buy this against tanks, but really: If you want to deal more damage against tanks you should buy a Last Whisper Item, since it helps you out far more! ;)

3. Hextech Gunblade
I understand that it gives you AP and AD, but imo there just are some better options than this. It does give you a nice amount of AP, but your abilities really don't scale that much with ap. And the amount of AD is just poor. You also don't really need it's slow since you should already slow enough with your meeps ^^

4. Manamune/Muramana
Pls don't tell me, that you have to spam anything with Bard or that your mana costs are so high, that you're always out of mana. I won't believe you :|
If you have Blue Buff you can spam your Q and your W as many times as you want ;)
And since your chimes give you some mana too it shouldn't be much of a problem anyway.
Don't get me wrong, it would be a nice help for the laning phase, but it's just **** late.

5. Black Cleaver
First I also thought about it... I mean high Cooldown Reduction... Damage... Armor Penetration... Well the problem is, that you deal most of your damage with the first couple of Auto Attacks. So this Armor Penetration isn't this usefull as it really seems. Trust me, you will deal way more damage, when you just buy Youmuu's Blade ;)

6. Ravenous Hydra/Titanic Hydra
I'm sorry man, but you really aren't a Melee Champion... For real now...

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Here are some Quick Tips about how to use your Abilities.
There really aren't many Combos, since AD-Bard is practicly an ADC. None of the ADCs has many combos ^^

Let's Get Started!

Q-Stun -> Basic Attacks
Nothing Special :)

Basic Attack (Meep Slow) -> Q -> Basic Attacks
Helps you getting a cleaner stun, because of the slow.

R on enemy near Wall or Minions -> Position yourself in the right spot -> Q
Gives you an almost garantueed stun.

E -> Go through -> Wait for your enemy to come through it -> Q
Basicly relies on baiting your enemy to go through your tunnel, which will give you an almost garantueed stun.

E -> Not go through but walk ahead
This works good, if they don't have perfect vision of you (works really good at some spots in the jungle). Relies on the enemy thinking, that you went through the tunnel, which of course you didn't ;)

These are some little "combos", that could help you, especially if you are a beginner Bard player.

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Final Words

And that's (already) it! I hope I could introduce you in the magical world of the AD-Bard!
I hope you liked my little guide and would be really happy about your votes.
I'm really interested in how well you did, if you tried it ^^
If you want to tell me anything, you're free to do it! :3
And if you should have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
I hope you all have a wonderful day and wish you all good luck for your next games of League of Legends.