Bard Build Guide by Twilight Prankster
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.
Threats to Bard with this build
|Morgana||Thanks to the fact that your stun/slow has much more utility, you'll be able to easily out-support her early and mid game. Keep a steady stream of damage along with your lane partner, and Morgana will be forced to go back to base plenty of times, or she'll make a small mistake, and allow an instant kill|
Bard does NOT suck
Okay.. before I get into the itty bitty details of this guide. Let me start by saying first and foremost BARD DOES NOT SUCK! Those of you who think that, have been playing him wrong thanks to the fact that not only is he a new champion, he is also exceptionally more difficult then most supports.
Here's the deal, most are used to supports being high powered in defense, or at least with some massively extreme abilities that do a lot of damage to make up for the inherently low attack. Bard isn't your typical support, that's because he's the first ever roaming support, and actually that can be a very overpowered skill in itself, because it means Bard is capable of supporting troubled nearby lanes with all due speed, by far, Bard is actually even more mobile then Rek'Sai in many cases, as long as he doesn't get into nasty battles in the jungle as he travels between lanes.
This guide will tell you how to NOT suck as Bard, as well as address common mistakes that first time Bard runners do and end up feeding as a result.
Tank out that Bard
A very common mistake with Bard, is that everyone tends to try to build mainly on AP. In reality, this DOESN'T work. Firstly, even though Bard's highest stat is his AP, that's not what makes him good stat wise. His main advantage in stats, is that they are all nearly even to each other, meaning Bard can build either way in his counters. AP counter, AD counter, you name it. Bard is pretty even. Plus you don't really need to build offense, as your Meeps, Bard's little helpers, will compensate tremendously for your lack of firepower as you collect chimes.
The main technique you need to remember with Bard is this: Tank it up, and keep your distance.
Bard is a long distance fighter, and his only offensive ability, his q, is actually pretty op when used correctly. Not only can it hit two champs at once, but in the right conditions, it turns into a very nasty stun. The problem with first time Bard runners, is the fact that Bard is actually the least kill getting champ out of all supports. On a good game, you will get around 3 kills 0 deaths and 27 assists. Bard can rack up assists like crazy. In any case, you'll want to build hp building items early. Though it might not look like it from first glance, Bard's health is actually barely short of a tank, and if you build completely on that side.. he will become one for sure, I've even been able to tank out a Garen with this. However, he's a TRUE tank once you use the 'keep away' policy. Keep Bard behind your AD carrier at all times. keep your AD's health steady with a health pack every moment or so, and then throw out some q every time you recharge to hinder the enemy AD and support with some nasty slows and stuns. Bard's stuns and slows can hit two targets at a time, so as long as you keep clear of minions blocking your shots, you and your buddy will be able to make quicker work of both champs rather then just focusing on one champ at a time, this often leads to first bloods and double kills early game, and since you'll be avoiding hits often, that combined with your tanky build, will allow you to last very long in your lane and stay to collect those much needed chimes.
Many Bards make the mistake of timing their chime collecting way wrong. It's a common mistake and frankly, it's an easy one to rectify. Early game, when you're level one, there will typically be 3 chimes in the vicinity. Grab these without hesitation, as you and your lane partner aren't really in danger unless your opponent is an idiot and tries to invade like every troll team I've ever met. However, both mid and early game when the fighting starts, you'll want to stick to lane partner mostly. Don't go chime hunting yet! Be a good support, and stick to your partner and turret. When your partner goes back to spend money or heal, or he's slain, that's when you go chime hunting. Primarily because Bard can never hold his own in a 2v1 or 1v1 fight, even if you're in full tank build, you'll only win a kill if your opponent is down by half already in health, I barely survived a 1v1 encounter with Jinx this way, and she's pretty squishy. if somebody leaves a bard to fend for himself, then feel free to call them an idiot unless he had no choice. Your main chime collecting time though, is when your lane is properly pushed, or your lane enemies are both slain or missing. When that happens, let your partner know with a ping that you're off on a chime hunt, and PLAN YOUR ROUTE!! This is key. Your opponents could return at any time, and you need to be sure you can come back quickly, or better yet, come back with a jungler or mid laner for help. Here, Magical Journey comes in happy when you need to traverse large terrain, but don't depend on it two much, Magical Journey, your E ability, is more suited to moving large groups around then a solo Bard. What you do, is look for chimes on the map, and draw a path. Remember, Bard's speed stacks with each chime he collects, and by drawing a path that takes you from your starting point and draws you back to your bot lane while encountering the most chimes and least obstacles, will allow you to finish chime collecting in less then 15 seconds, especially since by the time you reach that chime collecting period, their will be tons of chimes all pretty close together in the jungle. This route planning will also allow you to reach other lanes with maximum speed, so you can help out both your bot and your mid lane if it's failing. Top lane becomes more accessible late game after you hang out in mid lane enough for chimes to show up in the top jungle.
Bard is a kill maker of Oppertunity. This means, he'll only score a kill if he's either lucky, or you see a big chance and go for it. However, this can easily turn you into a kill stealer. So DONT stress too much about kills. If you have minimal deaths, and plenty of assists, then you're doing great. An average good Bard game where the opponent surrenders early-late game will look like this: 1/0/15. Bard doesn't typically kill unless he's in URF mode, where his heal pads and q get really overpowered. And Bard isn't even defined fully by his assists, players will regard you as a good Bard especially because Bard is good at saving players from being slain. His heal pads, when stepped on, grant both speed and health, so your allies can step on them for some handy escapes with an extra bit of hp in case they're against somebody like Karthus. And your Ult can put an enemy gank on hold long enough for everyone to get away, or for approaching allies to gather around the enemy to gank them instead. Overall, Bard is defined by his nice saves that prevents your team from unintentionally feeding if mastered correctly. (and if your team isn't an idiot that decides to run back to the enemy after you stun them to HELP YOUR FRIENDS GET AWAY).
Common Bard Mistakes
1. AP building. The offensive Bard that REALLY doesn't work.
A mistake the League of Legends staff made when they put out Bard's general champ info on the store, was that they listed his secondary as Mage. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES!! SHOULD YOU EVER RUN A BARD MAGE!!! Bard is perhaps, the weakest of all potential mages, if you try him in a 1v1, you will be screwed unless your opponent is a level 1 noob. Never mid lane Bard, never try to build nothing but AP, and never EVER try and go in for a kill without your lane partner. You're built to save your allies, not make your enemies beg for mercy. It's one of the common mistakes that have made many feeder bards, and many players think of Bard as useless.
2. Rumble in The Jungle
Bard is terrible early game stat wise, the best thing to do to compensate for that is to start out with Relic shield as he has sort of an even encounter with AP carriers and AD carriers. However, if your enemy jungler is hanging around the bot jungle, BE CAUTIOUS!! late game, if you've done well, it'll be much safer not to do this, since Bard will be pretty mobile by then, and your friends will be able to hang around the jungle to guard you if need be, but an enemy jungler can completely wreck bard early game, especially if he picks the wrong time to go Chime hunting and doesn't have a planned route like discussed in a previous chapter. (Cough cough, Rek'Sai). So place wards in front of your enemy jungler's territory, and be sure to NOT go for chimes in the enemy jungle if you're sure that the enemy jungler is definitely Bot Jungle. Also, keep your planned route in mind so you can use your handy chimes to speed out of trouble, and NEVER let your enemies get close, especially since your chime speed is lost when you're hit with any kind of attack, which makes long range ability junglers like Nocturne and Rek'Sai VERY dangerous . (Prey Seeker, another reason why Rek'Sai is annoying.)
3. Assuming Bard stinks.
Okay folks.. just because you met somebody using Bard, and they fed, and you used Bard, and you fed, doesn't mean Bard stinks. The indisputable LOL fact is that there is NO such thing as a sucky champion. Every champion is evenly good with their own quirks, builds and abilities, it's all a matter of learning to use them right. Bard is spectacular, if he wasn't, LOL would've updated him already..