Olaf Build Guide by SlappyDawg
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.
Welcome to my guide for: (Br)Olaf, The Berserker!
Hello! I have considered Olaf as my main champion for quite some time now and i have had lots of great games with him, so i would like to share my build with the rest of the community!
This is my first guide, but i have worked hard on it to make it as good as i can make it.
I am very open to constructive feedback and criticism on how to improve this guide, so do not hesitate to comment the guide!
This is a kind of advanced guide so i won't be teaching you about very basic stuff like ''Last Hitting'' or ''How to move around on the map''. :P
So now that i am done with the intro, lets start with the guide!
Olaf: The Berserker Lore
On an uncharted continent beyond Valoran's grasping clutches, the conqueror named Olaf was born to a long tradition of soldiers unlike most others. Berserkers, as they tout themselves, are warriors who channel fury deep from their cores, unleashing pure and savage wrath upon their enemies. This fearsome evolution is a product of their unforgiving home, Lokfar - a barren tundra where all creatures must vie bitterly for every resource. Olaf belonged to a seafaring clan known for ruthlessly pillaging any and all villages within reach of their dragon-crested longboats. The last time he saw his icy home, Olaf was embarking on an expedition to pioneer and plunder a distant land known only to legend. However, while underway, a terrible storm sprung up and Olaf and his crew were thrown to the mercy of a roiling and pitiless sea.
His ship destroyed, his crew nowhere to be found, Olaf miraculously washed up untold miles from ''friendly'' waters on the foreign shores of Valoran, south of Demacia. This unfamiliar place stunned and frightened the Berserker, for Lokfar is not privy to such potent magicians. Approaching them, Olaf hoped that they could use their mysterious powers to send him back to his people. A bargain was struck. Olaf would use his awesome prowess as a warrior to serve the unusual wars of Valoran in the League of Legends, and in exchange the sorcerers would find him a way to return. Despite his participation in the League, Olaf knows better than to trust the ''finger wagglers'' that run the Institute of War. He deliberately keeps details of his life and home from them. After all, with enough information, they would most certainly find the Lokfarians and dominate them as they have dominated all of Valoran, keeping both quietly -- and unwittingly -- in their thrall.
Beware the war cry of the Berserker. What surges toward you is unyielding, free from the shackles of reason.
Lets start with Olaf's abilities.
Olaf's passive is Berserker Rage. He gains 1 percent increased attack speed for each 1 percent health missing. His passive combined with lifesteal makes him able to COMPLETELY turn a fight around.
Olaf's Q ability is Undertow.
Olaf throws out an axe witch hits all enemies it passes through and slows them for 2.5 seconds.
Undertow has a 8 second cooldown, unless you pick up your axe from where you threw it, it will decrease the cooldown of the ability by 4.5 seconds.
Undertow is Olaf's only ranged skillshot ability and gap closer, so it's this skill that will determine if you are a good Olaf player or not. Undertow doesn't have a very long range, so you will need to learn how to position yourself to fool your opponent to get in range of your Undertow. To successfully be able to chase and kill an enemy, you are going to need to hit him/her with every single undertow and pick it up again after each throw to slow your target over and over again until you get the kill.
If you do miss on one Undertow, you can also use Exhaust but then you will lose a summoner spell and summoner spells are VERY precious.
Olaf's W is Vicious Strikes witch increases his damage significantly for a short duration of time.
Try to use this ability when you are at about 40 percent health (4/10 of your health bar missing)since with your passive your attack speed will go up with 60 percent, and if you increase your damage when you have 60 percent increased attack speed you will deal massive amount of damage and be able to lifesteal back up to almost full health (unless your opponent is fed, or you are behind on CS and kills).
Olaf's E is Reckless Swing witch deals more and more true damage by each time you level the skill up.
This ability does NOT stack with your attack damage. This ability does hurt Olaf himself while using it, but the damage he deals is way more significant than the damage he will recieve.
Still do not max this skill when jungling, since it will only make you lose more HP and you can't gank as much. (I'll explain jungling later on in the guide.)
Of course in mid and late game, do not be afraid to spam your Reckless Swing.
If you do not know what true damage is, it means that the attack will completely ignore all armor or magic resistance your target may have.
Olaf's ultimate (R) is Ragnarok witch increases his armor and magic ressistance and makes him immune to all disables, knock up effects and stuns for 6 seconds. Olaf's ultimate also has a passive, witch is that he gains 10 armor penetration for each time you level the skill up.
Olaf's ultimate is great from escaping ganks, for instance he will be immune to Jax 's ability Counter Strike
Olaf's ultimate is what makes him a complete BEAST in teamfights. More about what you should do in teamfights later on in the guide.
Be sure check out the skill sequence at the top, as you will see my laning skill sequence is very different from my jungling sequence.
That was a quick tour of Olaf's abilities. I will be explaining how and when to use each skill more in depth, later on in the guide.
I take Flash on both Laning build and Jungle build.
Flash has saved me countless of times so i highly recommend it.
Ghost is also very viable option for him.
The reason i take Flash over Ghost is because in some given situations, you will most likely die even if you pop both Ghost and Ragnarok. For instance, if your team is trying to take baron, but the other team shows up and kills 3 people on your team, it is a lot nicer to just be able to flash over the wall and to safety.
Besides you can use Flash to enter a teamfight very suddenly, confusing and (well) scaring the enemy team.
With Ghost you will probably escape anything, unless your cornered.
For instance, its only you against 3 other people, if you pop both Ghost and Ragnarok you will definitely escape. But for this you burn both Ghost and Ragnarok only to escape one situation. Still you can use ghost to chase enemies with rather ease.
So its up to you, Flash or Ghost?
I take Exhaust on my laning build since i think it is a great spell and has given me kills and let me escaped a lot of times. It is also beast combined with Frozen Mallet and Undertow. It also is great when fighting people 1v1 since those two seconds of your opponent beeing slowed and reduced attack speed will help you out a lot more than you know.
Small tip if someone uses Exhaust on you, pop Ragnarok and Exhaust them (both if escaping and fighting 1v1).
I take Smite for my Jungle buid because you do need smite when jungling with Olaf. I know some champions like Shaco can jungle without smite, but Olaf can't (or at least it would make you fall behind on XP and CS).
I take Armor Penetration Marks runes because i think it's really good and a standard on any melee fighter.
I take Armor Seals since you need it to fight against other Melee fighters in the laning phase.
I take Magic resistance glyphs per level because you need it in late game to not get completely destroyed by enemy AP ranged carry.
I take increased damage for quintessences becuase... more damage? YEEAAAHH!
I put 21 points into offense because i think about Olaf more of a damage dude, and not a tanky dude. But i still pick up 9 points in defense to make Olaf a little bit more tanky.
As you can see there are different builds for the Laning build, and the Jungling build. The reason is simply to show you two builds. The Jungling build is a lot more sensitive to Magic Damage, but is stronger against melee fighters. The Laning build has Wit's End witch gives 30 magic resist, and is there a more viable option if the enemies AP ranged carry is fed.
The reason i chose Wit's End instead of Maw of Malmortius or Force of Nature, is because the attack speed is completely insane combined with Olaf's passive and lifesteal.
The reason i buy both Wriggle's Lantern and The Bloodthirster, is because Olaf's (W) Vicious Strikes will boost Olaf's lifesteal a lot. At max level with all items and using your (W) Vicious Strikes you will have about 45 percent lifesteal (3 percent lifesteal comes from masteries).
The reason i don't sell wriggles late game, is because of the infinite ward it gives.
By keeping my wriggles i have often managed to steal baron, or kill the enemy team while/after taking baron. WARDS ARE 50 PERCENT OF THE GAME!
Of course if you have a support player with loads of wards, you may choose to sell Wriggle's Lantern and buy another The Bloodthirster. Definitely keep the lifesteal! (of course that is just MY way of playing Olaf, he can be built differently :D ).
Your build choice must be made about mid game. You must see who on the enemy team who is most fed or is the biggest damage dealer. If for instance the enemy Cassiopeia is fed, you should buy Wit's End. If the enemies Ashe is fed you should buy Atma's Impaler.
Sometimes your team is very squishy and you should take the initiative to be more tanky then what the builds i have created say. I will try to make a very tanky Olaf build later when i have time.
Other viable options to buy for Olaf's DAMAGE is : Phantom Dancer, Infinity Edge, Maw of Malmortius and 2 The Bloodthirster's
Other viable options to buy for Olaf's DEFENSE is : Force of Nature, Frozen Heart etc.
Pros / Cons for this build.
Can deal massive damage while taking quite the beating.
Can chase enemies really well, considering you are skilled enough with his Undertow.
Great at fighting people 1v1 due to his passive and lifesteal.
Great in teamfights cause he can deal and take tons of damage and can become immune to all CC (Crowd Control) wich makes it hard to keep him away from the enemy team's AD ranged carry.
He doesn't have gap closers, unless u consider his Undertow a gap closer, even though enemies can just juke or Flash away from it easily.
In the laning phase, if he goes vs. a AP or AD ranged carry, they can pretty easily harass him without taking to much damage. (More detailed later on in the guide).
Laning and Farming
Olaf is a solo top player and is very strong against melee fighters.
When laning with Olaf, you should start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion s
The extra movement speed will make it easier and less dangerous to harass your opponent.
The 3 Health Potions will help you stay in the lane longer and/or if you get harassed.
Be sure check out the skill sequence at the top, as you will see my laning skill sequence is very different from my jungling sequence.
At level 1 pick up your (E) Reckless Swing and use it on your opponent every time he comes close to take a last hit. They will probably back away from you after you have used your Reckless Swing but if they don't punish them with some extra auto attacks and if they are really dumb and stay way to long, hit them with another Reckless Swing.
Of course some champions deals more damage then Olaf in early game (for example Tryndamere) so you shouldn't stay and auto attack after using your Reckless Swing.
At level 2 pick up your (Q) Undertow.
Now, if you have managed to harass and damage your opponent with your Reckless Swing and they are backing off because they don't want to take any more damage, you should start using the combination of your Undertow and Reckless Swing. Throw your undertow at your opponent and if it hits follow up with running up to your opponent and hit them with your Reckless Swing. Since you have boots, and undertow slows the target hit by 2.5 seconds you should have no problem catching up to your opponent. If your opponent has over extended and you know that you can take him down 1v1, continue throwing Undertow at him/her and hit him/her with Reckless Swing and do this until you have killed your opponent.
First blood gives you a lot of extra gold, so if you know that by using Exhaust you will get the kill, do it.
You will only pick up your (W) Vicious Strikes at level 4, since Reckless Swing is your main harassing ability, you should get 2 points in it already by level 3.
You must of course farm as well as harassing, but harassing your opponent will make it easier to farm, since they will be scared to take last hits or to harass you.
If your lane is beeing pushed very badly and you need to quickly clear out a minion wave, throw your Undertow so that it will hit most of the minions and follow up by activating Vicious Strikes at the minions with low health. (Very basic) ;)
Try not to push the lane, since it will make it easier for the enemy jungler to gank you. If you are level 6 and have picked up your ultimate Ragnarok you can use it to escape from a gank rather easily. Ragnarok has a pretty short cooldown for being an ultimate so be sure to use it and not save it for later.
You must also remember to ward the river. Ward it a bit under the bush at the left side of the lane. You can place it a lot of other places considering you do pay attention to your map or not. At least find a place where you know that you will see the enemy jungler before its too late.
You can buy a sight ward or wait for Wriggle's Lantern, its your choice.
If a ranged AD or AP carry is going solo top, you should try to switch lanes with someone, since Olaf's primary damage source is close combat, so it's hard to harass ranged opponents since they deal loads of damage from a distance while Olaf may try to run up to them, and when he is close they just run away. But if you do need to lane against a raged opponent, just stay back and tower hug and farm like crazy. Well try not to let them push you all the way to your tower since the tower will probably take pretty many last hits from you, but let the minion wave stay at about 70 percent of your side of the lane.
If/when your teams jungler comes to gank your lane, you must initiate.
Of course if you have very low on HP from a lot of harassing, you should ask your jungler to drive your opponent away from the lane and hold the lane for you while you are backing.
Pretty much the same goes for going solo top against 2 opponents. Don't try to harass, but just farm a lot. Eventually you will be stronger then them, since they have to share last hits and XP. Once again if your teams jungler comes to gank your lane, you must initiate.
Remember to check your map frequently so that your jungler doesn't engage without you and gets killed. I have seen that happen too many times...
Always remember to farm a lot! Last hits are underrated!
When jungling with Olaf, you can start with either Vampiric Scepter or Cloth Armor and 5 health pots ( Health Potion). Its easier to jungle with Cloth Armor but if you are a skilled Olaf player/jungler, you will save some gold by starting with Vampiric Scepter.
Also remember that when jungling you should NOT max your (E) Reckless Swing first but your (Q) Undertow. Be sure check out the skill sequence at the top, as you will see my laning skill sequence is very different from my jungling sequence.
I pick up my (Q) Undertow and start at wolves and then continue to blue.
After blue you will be level 2. Now pick up your (W) Vicious Strikes If either top or mid lane is already in immediate need of a gank you go gank there.
If not you just proceed to wraiths and after that go to golems and then red buff.
The reason i take golems before red buff is because after killing golems my Smite will be back up wich leads to a lot easier red buff kill.
Now most likely one of your lanes are beeing pushed and you should go help the lane.
From after this i kinda freestyle my jungling after witch creep camp I'm closest too.
Remember when ganking, plan your gank, dont just run in like a maniac.
When ganking, let the teammate(s) in the lane know that you are there and ready to gank and let them initiate. When your teammate has initiated you must run up and throw your Undertow at your target. Also try to throw your Undertow so that you will be able to pick it up while still pursuing and chasing your enemy.
To put it mildly, if you miss with your Undertow the gank has failed. Of course maybe if your teammate has CC you will be able to kill your target, but if you want to become a good Olaf jungler, you need to learn to use your Undertow very effectively when ganking. Just try to do your best and eventually you will have mastered the technique, guaranteed! ;)
Sometimes your teammates have been harassed a lot and has almost no HP left. Then you should just scare away the enemy in the lane you are ganking, but don't be so hasty about chasing after him/her. Of course if you see that u can clearly kill the enemy, you do it.
A very important thing to remember when jungling, is the timing of the Blue buff and Red buff.
Blue buff spawns at 1.55 min and when you kill it its probably around 2.05-2.10 min. Then the blue buff will spawn again at about 8 min. BE THERE! You do not want to get counter jungled.
This time don't take the blue for yourself be a BROOO, and give it to your mid laner (witch probably is an AP carry who uses mana). But of course, if for instance Vladimir is going mid, who has almost no use for the blue buff except for the cooldown reduction, then you should most likely take the blue buff for yourself to be able to gank more and clear the jungle faster.
You will most likely have slain the red buff at about 3.30 min. Then the red buff will spawn again at about 9.30 min. Red buff you take for yourself.
That is pretty much all i have to say about jungling.
Teamfights: Your participation
Lets cut to the chase. In late game you are an off-tank. That means u deal quite the damage while still being able to take a lot of damage. But still, if someone is more tankier than you, you should let them engage. But after your tank has initiated or at least somehow a teamfight has broken loose, immediately target the enemy team's AD or AP ranged carry. Once you get close to the AD or AP ranged carry, pop your ulti Ragnarok hopefully, the enemy team will start focusing you and use CC on you (it will not have any effect due to your ultimate). And whatever you do, don't stop attacking and focusing the ranged AD or AP carry. Because Olaf's passive will make him able to deal more and more damage from every second the teamfight goes on because his attack speed will increase.
A good teamfight is where you will be able to kill the ranged AD or AP carry, and after that you will have so low health=high attack speed that you can lifesteal it back up again on another squishy person, while the rest of your team kills the other enemies.
An OK teamfight is where you die after you killed the enemy teams AD or AP ranged carry, but your teammates manage to kill the rest of the enemy team.
A BAD teamfight is where you will not be able to kill the enemy AD or AP ranged carry and he/she will be able to continue to kill the rest of your team.
So short explanation: Pop Ulti, run in and kill enemy AD or AP ranged carry. LIFESTEAL and ACE.
This is why i think Olaf is a true berserker. Just running into teamfight ignoring damage and CC and completely destroying the enemy team. ♥ Ahhh i love Olaf ♥
Thanks for reading!
This was my first build ever, so it's probably not very good. I also don't know how to add pictures here on mobafire so it is a lot of text and no pictures, but i have worked very hard on this guide and i feel like i can help people play Olaf. :D
I will probably still fix a lot of things on the guide giving i only worked on it for about three days.
Thank you for reading and be sure to commentate your question or arguments towards the build, i will probably update and improve this guide later when i have the time, but for now seeya! :D
P.S. Buy the Brolaf skin. You will not regret it. BROMACIA!
Thanks again! :D