Olaf Build Guide by Heroslayer

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Heroslayer

Olaf: A ruthless Viking Top Lane

Heroslayer Last updated on April 18, 2013
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Ability Sequence

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

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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Olaf laughs in the face of CC while others weep as they await their stun duration to end. Olaf when played right is arguably the scariest champion in League of Legends, he was recently Nerfed because pro players know how to utilize his massive damage out put with his ultimate RAGNAROK correctly. He is difficult to play but very satisfying once mastered.

Ragnorok is one of the best skills in the game. CC reliant enemies such as Lux, Vieger, Ashe, Taric, etc have no means of escaping him while his ultimate is active. Build Olaf tanky with damage and you will dominate.

Olaf has great natural damage so focus on getting him tanky. Olafs ultimate is an indication that he should be used aggressively to take down important targets. Tanky DPS Olaf is the right way to go.

I am shocked to see People jungle him as oppose to top laning him. His Undertow is a pursuit type skill shot NOT A FLANKING SKILL SHOT. Meaning Olaf is better at CHASING and NOT great at ganking. Undertows short cool down is another indication that Olaf is superior top lane as oppose to Jungling. Sure Olaf can Jungle great, but his ganks are average. Champions like Ammumu, Maokai, Xin Zhao, Jarvan, Voli bear, and Hecarim are superior gankers. While Olaf is great at carrying a team he needs alot of farm to become nasty late game. This is why I prefer Top laning Olaf vs Jungling him. And many forget that Olaf is just a beast against most of the popular Top Laners. Read on to find out more!

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For Quints on Olaf I like to take Attack damage Quints OR Movement speed quints

You might be thinking "I MUCH RATHER have the DAMAGE over the SPEED" Well Olaf early and Mid game has great damage with his Reckless swing, but he has trouble reaching his target even with well placed undertows.

Annoying champs like Teemo, Jayce or Nidalee will be easier to reach with Movement speed quints! I feel that movement speed quints really help during the laning phase.

Standard Armor and MR runes on Olaf are fine.

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Key Items on Olaf

Flask is the safest starting Item on Olaf. It will likely be useful till the very late game once you need to sell it. This Flask provides you an extra 300 HP and 180 Mana which means you wont be bullied out of the laning phase that easily. Olaf is quite mana hungry early on, this item solves that problem.

Frozen Mallet is Great for sticking to targets. Olaf has no gap closer skills he only has his undertow which is a good slow. Sticking to important targets is not only good for Olaf but good for the team. The bonus health, damage and CC is also great.

Youmuus Ghost blade is not as popular as the Black cleaver but actually better for Olaf. When you activate it for 6 seconds the ghostblade behaves as a Phantom Dancer/Black Cleaver in other words you will recieve the benefits of two items instead of one!!! Thats right! Olaf can pop his ultimate Ragnorok and activate the Ghost blade to give him 20% movement speed 40% attack speed, 20 Armor Pen, 15% Crit Chance, 10% CDR, and 30 Damage. This Item was MADE for OLAF. The Ghost blade makes my guide different from others, I've played Olaf many times he is my main champion and this item is by far the most usefull on him. Ghost blade costs 2700 gold but for 6 seconds while activated it has a 6000 gold value. Also remember CDR is very beneficial on Olaf.

Warmogs- Olaf W vicious Strikes scales with Health, the more Health you build the more damage Olaf does. PLus Olaf uses Health when using Reckless swing, Warmogs gives you amazing Health regen which is good for spamming your reckless swing. Its also great for sieging against heavy poke enemy teams. Warmogs is the ultimate anti-Poke armor. They can poke you all day and you will simply regenerate that health in seconds.

ONce you have tons of Health on Olaf, Atmas Implaer gives you the bite to go with your bark. Atmas and Ghost blade have great value both great cost efficient item. It gives you around 40-70 damage based on your health, 15% crit chance, 45 Armor. So in other words its as if your buying a BF sword, Cloak of agility, and a Chain vest. That is almost a 3000 gold value for 2300.

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Situation items

Bulwark- Maybe the enemy has way too much AP. Maybe you are behind and wish to help your team out and notice no one is building this item. Or Maybe you simply want to be a pain to the enemy with tons of Survivability. WHY NOT PICK UP THIS BABY!!! Bulwarks is the best team item in the game. If your team isn't making one go ahead and get it.

Scimitar- Another under rated Item. remember Olaf can't jump over walls like Jarvan or Khazix. ONce your ultimate is on cool down you will have a hard time escaping enemy cc. This Item is great vs heavy enemy CC teams. A good strategy is to save your ult and use the Scimitar the first time you are CC'ed. Later on pop your ult to drive the enemy insane. They will be wondering how you are CC immune all the damn time! Mind games ftw!

Wow Shurelyas is one of Olafs favorite Items. If your just a team player get this item. Not only is it great for chasing and escaping, it has insane synergy with Olafs ultimate making him a freight train immune to CC and fast as hell. It also gives CDR which is great on Olaf. But be careful not to rush this Item during your laning phase. IT gives Olaf very little HP, it gives no Armor and no damage and is very expensive. Pick it up late game.

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Skill Sequence

RECKLESS SWING- Try to max this first but another good strategy is to alternate points between your Q and E. Undertow is very useful in lane, a very strong long range poke and slow.

UNDERTOW-Remember Picking up your ax reduces your its cool down by 4.5 seconds. At 40% CDR which is the Cap, you can have almost a 0 second cool down meaning Olafs damage output is unmatched when dueling. I actually tried this many times even killed 3 champs who were lined up in front of me by just spamming my ax right in front of Olaf(I was a bit fed at this point). Remember Undertow does Splash damage, meaning you can hit multiple targets with one Ax doing hundreds of damage to many targets.

VICIOUS STRIKES- Don't bother putting a single point into vicious strikes (w) until you max your E and Q. You don't need the Life-steal and spell vamp if you have enough pots. Vicious strikes is a good jungling steroid and very good late game once maxed but early game not so helpful. If your being harassed alot go ahead and put a point in to life steal off minions.

Berserker rage- increases his attack speed by 1% for every 1% health missing. Its easy picking up first bloods early in the game with this great passive. When Playing Olaf try to take advantage of this and go very aggressive early game.

Ragnarok- makes Olaf immune to all enemy cc. In team fights Don't throw Your undertow somewhere it can't be reached. Ragnarok and Undertow are meant to be used together. Make sure to pop your ult if needed and pick up your undertow as your take on your target. You need to micro manage alot in these 6 seconds. If you don't pick up your undertow you may have just missed out on 500-600 extra damage which is 1-2 extra ax throws!

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Ignite- is GREAT on almost any champion lanning top or mid. Ignite makes tower dives happen and help alot in 1 v 1 duels. IF your opponent has ignite and you don't be careful your chances of winning that next fight early on are slim.

GHost is Olafs favorite summoner spell. 8 Seconds of insane speed along with ragnorok is all kinds of pain for enemy champions.

A good skill. It depends on your preference whether you go ignite/ghost or exaust/ghost.

Flash/Ghost is great on Olaf as well. Many enemies will flash over walls to escape from you which is one reason. Another reason is that Flash can be used aggresively as a Gap closer to make plays. Olaf has very limited escapes which makes Flash a smart choice for him. If your going up against Jarvan its also best to take Flash/Ghost to escape his ultimate.

Teleport is AMAZING. It gives Olaf the ability to constantly split push and farm like a beast but than teleport in to help your team once a fight breaks out. You can also help counter gank for other lanes and defend dragon/baron. A great skill.

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Viking strategies

Undertow is the difference between pro Olaf players and scrubs. Landing your undertow is difficult but picking up your axe is even more difficult. Remember picking up your axe will give you a near 5 second cool down on a 8 second Spell. Which means you can constantly damage and slow your enemy. Many people suck with Olaf and claim the champion is terrible but really they havn't put the effort into mastering his undertow which is one of the best skills in the game. Very few champions in LoL can keep an enemy slowed forever thats right! This is why a good idea is to build CDR on Olaf. When dueling an enemy its a good idea to keep picking up your axe. With max 40% cdr you can throw your axe instantly picking up your axe will give you a near 0 Second cool down! Try to land your Q right infront of Olaf to spam it over and over.

This is why I prefer CDR boots on Olaf vs Berserker Grieves

But if the enemy has tons of CC its best to go with Mercs.

Remember this spell will cost you health, its wise to build tons of Health on Olaf for this reason. Also a good strategy is not to use this spell when dueling some one at low HP. This skill may actually help olaf kill himself. Max CDR will give you a 3 second cool down on a 340 true damage skill.

Another reason why Berserk grieves and attack speed are not very important to build on Olaf. You should look to be useful to your team. Building tanky and damage will give you a strong Poke with your Q and survivability in team fights. Attack speed is only useful when dueling an enemy like Jax . But your passive should give you enough attack speed to win most of those duels. Also keep in mind Most enemy champions will run from Olaf so attack speed isn't very useful when being kited.

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Pros / Cons

-Ragnarok CC immunity 6 seconds
-Very dangerous at low health
-Can chain slow enemies if you pick up Ax
-True Damage from Reckless swing
-Low cool downs
-Does great damage when built pure tanky
-Great counter to heavy CC enemy teams
-A fast junger
-Can 1 v 1 almost any champion in the game
-Very low cool downs on Under tow and Reckless swing

-Undertow Very difficult to master
-Picking up AXE is kinda annoying
-Reckless swing costs Health
-Mana hungry champion
-Lacks mobility and escapes
-Limited CC
-Team utility is low compared to other bruisers like Jarvan, Xin zhao
-Often will die in team fights once ultimate is used
-Easy to kite especially when Ultimates on CD
-Damage falls off late game especially his Reckless swing
-Very risky champion since he is strongest at low health

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Team Work

You should do your best to farm for the first 20 minutes. If your enemy laner leaves the lane make sure you let you team know he is missing. Force your laner to stay in lane by pushing the lane in or even taking his turret if he keeps leaving. Stealing enemy Blues early game will give Olaf a HUGE advantage. Try to steal them when you can with your junglers help.

By now you should have a good mix of tankiness and damage. Your role is to target enemy squihy ADC's and APC. Olaf is strongest in the mid game, a good Undertow, auto attack, Reckless swing combo will take down atleast 50% of an enemy champions health. Olafs ragnarok gives him the freedom to do what ever he wants to enemy back lines.

By now Olafs damage may not be very impressive unless your stacking damage items and not tankiness. Try not to dive enemy teams in team fights they will focus you hard to protect their carries. The enemy ADC will likely be fed by this time and will probably kill you before you kill him/her. So its best to attack the frontline of the enemy and peel for your own ADC. BUT if you see a potential play to be made, meaning an exposed enemy ADC or something go for it. But remember just because you feel invincible with Ragnarok does not mean you are late game.

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Enemy champions

List of Enemy top laners you will see most frequently and how to deal with them


Don't fear akali. She is terribly weak early game. If she hides in her shroud just throw random Axes through it. Your Undertow has a very big radius it covers so you will likely still hit her.


Fizz needs to get close to the wave to farm. Which means he needs to get close to Olaf which Olaf loves. Punish him with reckless swing and undertow. There is no way he should be able to farm against an Olaf.


Make sure you go real aggressive on Khazix. He has a very annoying poke, but will easily be beaten once you get close to him. Learn to land your Q on him.

Master Yi

Easiest match up for Olaf. Yi simply does not have the burst Olaf does.


Yep thats right Olaf does very well vs Nasus. Sure his wither is annoying but before Nasus hits 6 try to kill him a few times while he is very weak. Olafs early game is very dangerous.


Shen doesn't scare anyone in the laning phase, shens team fights are scary how ever. He is easy in lane. Try to take teleport to fallow him when he ults.


Should not give Olaf any trouble. Max Reckless swing for when ever he tries to flip you.

Rat I mean Teemo

Did the enemy pick Teemo? Well Olaf will make Teemo and his shrooms into a nice hot pizza. Undertow is very effective in locking down teemo.


Way to easy. Vlad is a sustain based champ with weak burst. Go aggressive on the soft vlads.


WW will do well vs Olaf in 1 v 1 Duels with his healing ability. But He has no long range poke. SO keep poking him. He isn't very difficult to beat.


Yes even the mighty Zed is not much trouble. Zed has trouble vs bruisers.


She has an early stun, long range poke and descent damage. Buy alot of pots or she will get farmed up.


Mundo is very similar to Olaf in every way. His Long range Q. His w and e use his own health. He does great damage early on. His ultimate gives him great stats and health regen. Be careful not to under estimate a Mundo when dueling. HIs cleavers hurt like crazy and is on a very short cool down.

Gang PLank

He has terrible damage but his Orange eating makes it hard to reach him even with undertow. He has a good poke with his Q also which makes him a bit dangerous in lane.


If you play passively vs Jayce you will lose. As long as you land undertows and punish him when you can he will not look to fight you.


Olaf simply out duels her easily and can poke her.

Lee sin

The fact is Lee sin players are often aggressive because they do have a strong early game. But Olaf simply is stronger. Make sure you poke him when you can because he will certainly poke you. Lee sin is a very mobile champion but his burst is average compared to others.


His Q is very annoying and he does have a stun, but if he does jump to you, make sure he doesn't run from you, slow him and punish him. Olaf is fine with champions who jump to him but lack escapes.


Many people have difficulty vs Riven but Olaf is the perfect counter to her. Remember she has very long cool downs on her abilities while Olaf has very short cool downs. Make sure to fight her when she wastes her abilities and you will own her.


He will focus on farming and pushing he has a long range slow but make sure you harass him and keep his health low.


Make sure you go aggressive on Yorick he has no escapes and is very weak in duels but he can poke you down hard under your turret if you don't keep him restrained.


Wukong can be annoying but You have the potential to out trade him every time he attacks you so he isn't the most difficult champion to beat.

-Some of these guys are just bad News for Olaf. But It will always depend on your skill level how you fare against these guys. Always have pots and wards vs these guys.

Chogath-Evenly Matched
It can be difficult to push a chogath out of lane. IF you don't get an early kill on him he will likely just out sustain you and become too much trouble to fight. Make sure to dodge his ruptures. Olaf has true damage so he can shut cho gath down easily but it will depend on your opponents skill.

DARIUS-Evenly Matched

Its important to stack health and Armor vs Darius, because once he hits lvl 6 he can easily shut Olaf down if your building damage instead of health. Although before level 6 Olaf can easily defeat darius in duels. Darius vs Olaf is a classic match up, my favorite match up these two guys hate each other. I've had games where I fell behind 0/2 but still won my lane by 20 minutes without ganks and went 4/2. Darius can snow ball vs Olaf but if you play smart and have ignite you can get back into the game.

Garen-Counters Olaf!!!

Garen Actually does very well vs Olaf. Olaf has difficulty vs Mobile champions and strong burst which Garen has. Garens silence fallowed by spin will really deal tons of damage. Make sure you stack health and armor.

jarvan-Counters Olaf

You can beat Jarvan in lane but the problem is most Olaf players take ghost and not flash, once Jarvan hits 6 you will often be stuck in his ult with no way out. Its a good idea to take Flash/Ghsot vs Jarvan this will save you many times.

Jax- Evenly matched

Jax has a gap closer and a stun which makes him tough early game. He is one of the best dueling champions in the game as well. Although Olaf is a great dueling champion as well, Jax is dangerous to take on. Play smart vs Jax. Bait him to use his Stun and run away before re-engaging.


She is very dangerous vs almost any top laner. She deals tons of mixed damage so its difficult to stack armor or MR vs her. Instead I opt for Warmogs and damage items. You will likely need help from your jungler unless she just sucks. She can harass you hard and her ultimate is amazing.

Kennan-Evenly Matched

I actually do very well vs Kennan although its always a difficult match up. Make sure you force the kennan to use his escapes than constantly harass him and try to land as many reckless swings on him as you can.

Malphite-Evenly Matched

Probably the cheapest champion in the game haha. You have to keep harassing him to make sure his passive shield does not activate. He is actually not that hard. Alot of Malphite players believe Olaf counters them because of his true damage. So really you should do well vs Malphite although your still fighting a rock which is just dificult.

Nidalee-Evenly matched

Such a troll champion. Im not sure why people play her. Im sure its fun to run around tossing spears... Her laning is strong but her team fights are weak unless your great at spear throws remember this because you will get annoyed by her in lane. Her strange sounds, her spear tossing and running away like a... anyways just try to harass her alot and farm. Don't try to chase her too much you will waste your own time. Save your ghost for team fights. You can kill her before she hits lvl 6 but once she is 6 its better to just farm.

Renekton-Evenly matched

Again you have the advantage before he hits level 6. You can beat him in fights. But once Renekton is 6 he can give tons of problems if your not careful. Renekton is also one of the most common top picks you will see. Olaf does well vs him you just need to practice.

Trendemere-Evenly Matched

Trendemere does well vs Olaf because he is highly mobile. He can dodge every undertow if he wants which means you will never get close to him. But he is still quite weak before his level 6 in fights.

Volibear- Evenly matched

Voli will build very similar to Olaf. Tanky-HP this means he will be quite hard to burst. His passive is very dangerous so make sure to pop it and than run from him. Only go all in vs him once his passive is down.

Xin Zhao-Evenly Matched

Xin vs Olaf is very snowballish. IF xin picks up an early kill he will snow ball. If olaf does, he will snow ball. But Xin is very dangerous. His E can slow you, and his Q can knock you up. Which makes it difficult to escape xin without losing large chunks of your HP. If he does combo you make sure you continue fighting him. He has long cool downs which means you can beat him even if he chunks you a little.

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Olaf is my Main champion, I've Jungled him, laned him Mid, top and even Support (LOL) for many games just to see how he functions in every role. Ive tried almost every build on him outside of AP builds(wtf). This guide is based tons of experience I had with Olaf I hope you guys try out some of the things you've seen here. I also think this guide will totally change the way many of us play Olaf.

Anyways I leave you with a quote from Brolaf "I'm OP? Your MOMS OP!"

(Will make an Olaf jungle guide in the future)