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
|Alistar||Easy to poke, just keep using your cosmic binding and autos to harass him before level 4.|
|Kog'Maw||Very immobile champ (no escapes), and can be fairly easy to stun.|
Welcome ladies and Gentlemen, to my very first guide! Today I'm going to show you how to play the most OP support in the game, and hopefully you can carry your teams the way I do.
When I first started playing Bard, it took me a little time to get used to his mechanics and play style, but with time I learned how valuable his kit can be and how to use it to completely destroy enemy teams. Today I'll be discussing his basic itemization and skill sequence, and exactly how to utilize them to effectively carry your adc as well as your team in the late game.
For the most part, I always start Cosmic Binding, but I never take it until at least 1:40 into the game. The reason is to allow me to gank the enemy jungler at their first buff camp (which I'll get to in a bit). If something happens along the way and I get trapped, I can still level Magical Journey and escape, or even bait them if they come through it as well.
I always take Caretaker's Shrine second (only if I take cosmic binding first), and the reason for this is so that I can start setting them up by our tower for sustain, and even escapes.
Thirdly, I'll take Magical Journey, and I can look to either roam and gank mid, collect my chimes, or just make plays from around the wall, and this all depends on the situation in the bot lane.
Tempered Fate is a beautiful spell, and probably my favourite in the game as it allows me to make crazy outplays. For the most part, I try to use it offensively, meaning I tend to use it more on enemy champs than my own and the reason is because it can make a way for my team mate to escape rather than to get trapped and killed afterwards. The only case I use it on my own team mate is to save them from something like a Zed or Karthus ult. And of course I'll use it to troll my friends when they get caught ;).
Traveler's Call is Bard's passive and is his 2nd source of damage, after Cosmic Binding. It allows him to gather and store meeps over time, and gets upgraded with the more chimes that you get. The way I use it is to harass, as it applies a slow (with 5+ chimes) and can proc thunderlord's (Since an auto counts as 1 hit, and the meep counts as a second) after using cosmic binding. Every time you get a meep, you should look to auto and Q to proc thunderlord's on either the enemy adc or support.
Start of the Game
My way of starting the game is unique for Bard, and I'm not sure how many players do this, but if all goes well it can single handedly win the game for our team (as it may tilt the enemy jungler). I get my starting items, and rush to the enemy bot side jungle immediately (whether their jungler starts bot side or not, you'll find out, cuz you never know which buff they'll start) and hide in the first bush.
I wait in there until 1:25, and then ward their buff to gain complete vision of it. At 1:40 I'll level up my Cosmic Binding and patiently wait until they start fighting their buff. I head around the wall and just wait until they've almost finished taking their buff to bind them to the buff or wall, ignite them, and auto to proc thuderlords. 80% of the time this gets me first blood and a free buff out of it.
Now looking at this from the perspective of my adc, you might be thinking wtf he's doing without me. Well, he'll have to solo leash the jungler (if the jungler starts bot side) and solo lane for a good wave and a half. I find this to be very rewarding for the both of us, because normally after my first blood I'm level 2, and my adc gets the solo experience in lane, which leaves both of us ahead of the enemy bot lane in experience.
After carrying out your plan at the beginning of the game, you'll want to head to your lane and start helping your adc. What I usually always do when I enter lane is set up my Caretaker's Shrine close to my tower, and what this does is it forces my adc to come back to tower every time we get out poked. After I set up a few shrines, I like to camp in the first lane bush at bot side and wait for the right opportunity to poke and stun with my Cosmic Binding. It's always good to auto right after binding an enemy champion, as it will proc Thunderlord's and deal around half their hp in total. In lane is all about harassing with your Q and auto at the right time, and setting up your shrines in the right places.
You'll also want to look to gank mid lane near level 6, when either your adc goes B or the enemy bot laners go B. This can very well get you and your mid laner a kill.
Us Bard mains know what Chimes are and what they do, but sometimes we don't understand when exactly to go out and scavenge for some of them. Here's how I like to do it, and it'll usually get me around close to 40 chimes at 19 minutes in (which I think is a very solid number).
If my adc has solo potential (with either a good escape, or just passive play), I'll look to collect the chimes in the jungle near bot side when my mana is low from setting up my shrines and harassing with my Q. Shrines take up 90 mana to set up so it can be very costly! I try and collect them every once in a while, when I'm running low on mana or when there isn't pressure in my lane. This allows me stay in lane much longer than any other support.
I'll also look to collect my chimes right after going back to base, on my way to my lane and this gets me quite a bit of chimes. The most important way of getting chimes, in my opinion, is to go deep in the enemy jungle where a lot of them spawn. I don't completely waste my time by going there, as I like to get some deep pinks that give me a lot of information about the enemy jungler's whereabouts. I usually always go to get deep wards in and collect chimes right after a b.
In the mid to late game, the best way to collect chimes again, is by warding deep right after going to base, or when switching lanes (from mid, heading to bot).
Also, here is a list of the best chime power spikes and meep upgrades for Bard:
5 Chimes - Adds a 25% slow to your meep autos.
10 Chimes - Increases your base meep damage from 30 to 55 (nearly double).
15 Chimes - You can now stack 2 meeps.
25 Chimes - Meeps hit on a minion or champ will hit in a cone and slow everyone in it.
45 Chimes - Meeps now slow for 45%.
55 Chimes - You can now stack 3 meeps.
65 Chimes - Increased cone width (it is now huge).
85 Chimes - Slow is not 65%.
95 Chimes - You can stack 4 meeps, and that is your max.