Olaf Build Guide by The Golden Monkey
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PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
Not Updated For Current Season
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Top Lane Olaf
Core Items (Situational)
Sample Build (Resistances+CDR)
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.
This guide is outdated as of patch 3.12. Although olaf's overall is still similar, major changes will be made to his build and play style. The current build still works but will be made better.
Before i start i wanted to share something i read on CasterMaster's Xerath Guide.He said:
"Before you vote, I highly suggest you try out the guide/build. Even if you do poorly on one game, it may not always be your fault or you may have misunderstood something. If you were to down-vote my guide, please tell me why with a comment and maybe we can sort things out. Trust me, down-votes hurt. Think about other people's feelings before you take action. Have I done anything wrong?"
Yeah, so your vote is ultimately your decision but just something to think about. Ok, without further ado...
Olaf, In-depthWelcome to xXXxBrianxXXx's Olaf guide here on Mobafire (and yes I know there aren't enough x's in my name.) To start, a basic summary of Olaf:
Olaf is a versatile top lane and jungle that has the ability to do good DPS without having to build massive amounts of ad. Ever since his early season 3 nerfs, i haven't seen Olaf played much anymore. He is definitely not as broken as before and if he doesn't make use of his ult Ragnarok then he is at best average. BUT if he against heavy cc, Olaf is a very strong if not broken pick.
Pros and Cons
- Can build tanky and do lots of dmg with just cdr
- Strong early, mid, and late. Never really falls off
- Pretty good poke and wave clear with Undertow
- Godlike ultimate Ragnarok to soak up cc for your team, kill carries and make easy escapes
- Built in sustain from Vicious Strikes
- Very fast jungle time
- Amazing true damage with Reckless Swing
- Very easily kited without his ult Ragnarok
- Difficult to keep picking up and throwing Undertows while fighting. Very easy to miss 1 axe and have to run a different way to pick it up
- Can't throw an Undertow to cut someone off. Needs to throw them forward for maximum benefit. (explained later)
Berserker Rage (passive)- Grants attack speed based on missing health. Combined with Vicious Strikes makes you a monster a low health. Attack speed not affected by shields so works very well with shields at low health ex. Maw of Malmortius
Undertow (Q)- Throws a skillshot axe that slows and can be picked up for a 4.5 seconds cooldown reduction. Give a decent form of poke and wave clear. Very useful for ganking, dueling and chasing but kinda difficult to use properly (Details in "Axe throwing guide" section).
If you land just one good Undertow in lane you can follow up and chunk your opponent for good amounts of dmg. Usually leveled second because can easily drain mana if it's your main damage source in lane. Also more useful for team fights. Reckless Swing is usually better for single target damage and laning. Can be leveled first against a ranged champ (ex. Nidalee) or against someone that poke is strong against (ex. Garen).
Vicious Strikes (W)- Increases attack damage based on maximum health and grants bonus lifesteal and spell vamp. Allows Olaf to stack health and still do lots of damage. 1 point early for the sustain is enough. Max ths third. Be careful when you use this spell because you lose a lot of power when this is on cool down.
Reckless Swing (E)- Melee raged spell that deals true damage to an enemy and yourself. Very strong single target damage and usually leveled first in lane. Doesn't scale very well into late game (only 340) but is very strong early. In most cases spam this as much as you can in lane on the enemy champ. If they have a shield (ex. Shen)try baiting it before using Reckless Swing or you may hurt yourself more than them.
Ragnarok (R)- Olaf become immune to disabilities and gain bonus armor, magic resist, and armor penetration for 6 seconds. This is Olaf's signature spell and what makes him such a strong pick. Allows him to charge through a team and kill carries, make very easy escapes, and get huge bursts of power along with Vicious Strikes and Berserker Rage
Top lane olaf goes with 9/0/21 masteries.
- Perseverance is very good combined with Berserker Rage
- Juggernaut works very well with Olaf's massive health and Vicious Strikes
- Sorcery vs Fury :cdr is better than attack speed because of Berserker Rage
- 2 points can be put into Butcher from Sorcery for last hitting
- Hardiness and Resistance can be switched depending on lane opponent
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
- Greater Mark of Attack Damage Good for farming and early trades because of autos and the scaling on Undertow
- Greater Seal of Armor flat armor to avoid early ad damage
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist scaling magic reist to not get blown up by late game casters and to make up for how few good mr items olaf can use
- Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage same as marks
Note: All items in cheat sheet are in either build order or order of how good the item is. Changes can be made to build orders.
|x5||Armor and pots: Standard start against ad. Replace 3 Health Potions for a ward if you don't think you'll need the sustain.|
|sight ward||flask start: Good season 3 sustain start. Crystalline Flask pays for itself after 5 uses.|
|sight ward x5||Rejuvenation Bead: Another good sustain start. Use to get a head start on an early Warmog's Armor or Locket of the Iron Solari.|
|x3||Nerfed red pot: big balls, big reward (not recommended anymore, was nerfed too hard)|
Early Game Items
Early Game Items
|Doran's Blade: A strong item first back to dominate lane or to catch up if behind.|
|The Brutalizer: Strongest early damage item for Olaf. Gives damage, armor penetration, and cooldown reduction, Olaf's 3 main damage stats. Buy first if ahead.|
|Giant's belt: Gives 380 health to make Vicious Strikes more powerful and allows more Reckless Swings. Buy first if behind in lane|
|boots of speed: Not necessary for Olaf early game. Buy this after you have a The Brutalizer or a Giant's Belt|
|Kindlegem: Give good amount of health and cdr. Builds into an early Locket of the Iron Solari. This is more of a support olaf start if you're behind.|
Tier 2 Boots
|Murcury's Treads: Good against high cc teams when Ragnarok is on cooldown. Olaf needs to stay mobile to keep picking up Undertows and swinging Reckless Swing. Also great because Olaf has very few viable magic resist items.|
|Ninja Tabi: Boots to get against ad teams. Also good to get if you think you will only need cc reduction for teamfights where Ragnarok will be enough. Broken passive- 10% auto attack damage reduction|
|Ionian boots of Lucidity: Good if your build is lacking in CDR and you want a big boost early. These are your "offensive" boots|
|Berserker's Greaves: A meh item on Olaf but i'm putting it in here becuase it a common misconception that there are the best boots for Olaf. Olaf is not an auto attacker and attack speed is only good for auto attacks. Get Ionian Boots of Lucidity for offense.|
Mid/Late Game Items
|Warmog's Armor: The best health item on Olaf. Gives 1000 health (+10 ad for Vicious Strikes) which makes you much tankier once you finish it. Still a expensive commitment to finish. Dont buy if you're behind|
|The Black Cleaver: Gives health, attack damage, armor penetration, and cooldown reduction, the 4 best stats for Olaf. So why not just rush this before Giant's Belt? First, this is only useful once your Undertow is leveled and you usually level Reckless Swing first. Also, you are very squishy if you build The Black Cleaver first. Build this after Giant's Belt if you are ahead.|
NOTE: for these 3 items you should not flat out rush them and not buy anything else. You should get a Giant's Belt before you finish these items so you dont explode in team fights as support Olaf. Build Giant's Belt into a Randuin's Omen or Sunfire Cape later.( Warmog's Armor is very expensive and a big commitment)
|Locket of the Iron Solari: Core item for a support style Olaf. If you lost lane hard, lost your turret and need to start team fighting, pick up this. It gives health, cdr, a nice shield for team fights and is pretty cheap. You should have started with a Kindlegem when you started to lose lane.|
|Wriggle's Lantern: Was the season 2 standard start if you were behind in lane. Still ok top lane on Olaf if you're behind and your team wants to pressure dragon or baron very early. Works well with Teleport|
|shurelya's reverie||Shurelya's reverie: Good if your team really needs the move speed or is a hard initiate comp and no one has it. Usually outclassed by Locket of the Iron Solari overall. Do not get philosopher's stone before Kindlegem because the money you get is horrible and you will get destroyed in lane without health because you should be losing lane since you went support Olaf.||Shurelya's reverie|
|Frozen Heart: Best armor item for a balanced Olaf. Gives you lots of armor and 20% cdr with a nice passive. Will require that you already purchased a good amount of health because gives no health. Not something to get if you're behind and haven't gotten the money to buy health|
|Randuin's Omen: Best armor item for a fed Olaf or a support Olaf. Support olaf because this gives you armor and health all in one item which means no need to save money for two separate items. Best for fed olaf because when you are fed, you can be in the middle of the enemy team and live for a while. With its active and passive you will help you team a lot. No cdr though.|
|Sunfire Cape: Good alternative for Randuin's Omen (still good on support and carry Olaf). Take this if you value the wave clear and damage over the team fight potential of Randuin's Omen. "My team already has cc" is not a reason to take this over Randuin's Omen because you can make some really nice combos with randuins and a cc team.|
|Guardian Angel: only get this if you are carrying your team hard and you are the damage of the team. Also useful if your entire team happens to not have a brain stem. 9 times out of 10 though, i won't get this.|
|Thornmail: Good if the entire enemy team is ad or if they have a hyper fed adc, Master Yi, Tryndamere ect. No cdr so usually outclassed by Frozen Heart. If you really fear their ad don't get those two together because that leavees you with little health. Get a Randuin's Omen or Sunfire Cape with one of those two.|
|Frozen Mallet: Another stereotypical Olaf item that really isn't that good. Olaf is not an auto attacker. While this may help you in lane where you do auto a lot, you won't be able to make use of this later. The health outclassed by Warmog's Armor, slow outclassed by Randuin's Omen, ad is horrible and a very expensive item. Only get this if you team has little or no cc at all.|
|Atma's Imapler: VERY situational (Atma's Impaler in depth.)|
|Maw of Malmortius: Best offensive magic resist item on Olaf by far. Grants attack damage based on missing health and gives a 400 damage shield at 30% health. Along with Berserker Rage and Vicious Strikes this makes you unstoppable at low health.|
|Spirit Visage: Best defensive magic resist item on Olaf. Gives lots of cdr and a bit of health. outclassed by Maw of Malmortius overall but is better if you lack cdr or you team has many healers.|
|Runic Bulwark: Little health and no cdr but good amount of resistances for yourself and teammates. A possible item instead of Spirit Visage on support Olaf if no one else will build it and you already have enough health and cdr.|
|Banshee's Veil: Ok item that gives you a decent amount of health and a meh passive. It's not very useful with your ult Ragnarok. Really only good against 1 spell wonders like Blitzcrank that can catch you off guard before you can ult. Maw of Malmortius with Spirit Visage and Mercury's Treads is the best build against heavy magic damage hands down. Much better than Banshee's Veil with any other combination.|
|Mercurial Scimitar: Outclassed by Maw of Malmortius but a possible repacelment for Spirit Visage as a second item for a carry Olaf against a heavy magic damage team. No cdr and active is useless with Ragnarok on but movement speed is useful to stick on carries. Only get this item if you have an all-in team, the enemy it heavy magic damage, your job is to murder their carries and you already have Maw of Malmortius. Getting Maw of Malmortius nad Mercurial Scimitar requires you to focus on health and cdr for your other items.|
|Maw of Malmortius: I put this in magic resist and damage because it is the best damage item on Olaf as well if they have magic damage or not. look above for description.|
|The Bloodthirster: Item that gives the highest amount of ad when fully stacked along with lifesteal. Makes your Undertow do a lot more damage. Get this for a huge boost in damage once you have some essential items.|
|Trinity Force: A much safer damage item but is a huge commitment to buy. Not as cost efficient on Olaf as Maw of Malmortius or The Bloodthirster but gives good damage and utility to Olaf. Buy this very late game when you have money to spare and you need an item that does a lot in just 1 item slot.|
|Youmuu's Ghostblade: Outclassed by The Black Cleaver most of the time. Gives a nice passive for you to keep using Undertow and Reckless Swing. Do not replace The Black Cleaver with this as a second item. This item is good later during team fights if you have an all-in team. It allows for easier inittation and carry murdering.|
|Ravenous Hydra: Gives a good amount of damage and life steal and a decent active/passive. Overall, The Bloodthirster does more single target damage but Ravenous Hydra gives more wave clear and aoe damage. Usually not very good for team fights because your job is not to do the damage but kill carries which you need single target damage for. Still a good choice if you're the main source of damage on your team. Passive and active work well with The Black Cleaver.|
|Blade of the Ruined Kind: Not a huge fan of this item. Gives very little ad just an atuo attack prock and Olaf is not an auto attacker. Does give move speed to stick on enemies and an good active. Get this if your sole job is to murder their hyper carry.|
Atma's Impaler In Depth
Ok, so this is such a big misconception that i feel like i have to dedicate an entire section to just 1 item. Olaf but very situational. To start, lets look at why Atma's Impaler looks like a good item (At first glance)
At first Glance
Ok so if we just quickly skim over Atma's Impaler it looks pretty good. It has armor, crit, and a passive that works pretty much like Vicious Strikes all for cheap.
lets look at exactly what Atma's Impaler gives to Olaf overall. Also lets assume this Olaf already has 4000 health. In order for him to have that much health without the build already being horrible, that will take at least 5 items (including boots).
So for a 5 item, 4000 health olaf, Atma's Impaler gives 45 armor, 60 attack damage and 15% crit chance. If we ignore the crit chance for right now then that's about the same as a B. F. Sword and a Chain Vest. Lets compare Atma's Impaler and B. F. Sword + Chain Vest.
You do all this for a whopping 5 armor, 15 attack damage, and 15% crit chance profit
Still, the 15% crit chance can't be completely ignored. Although Olaf is not a complete auto attacker, he still does benefit from crit since he does auto quite a bit. This little crit chance wouldn't be helpful on a support or tank olaf but does give good single target damage to a damage olaf to kill carries. Even though the crit is useful, there are better items to buy for damage if you have the money.
so the only time you would buy this item is if:
- you have already 4000 health from 5 items (not because you want to build Atma's Impaler but because the 4000 health build is actually appropriate.)
- this is your 6th item and you think the last fight is about to happen and you have just enough money to buy Atma's Impaler
- you already have 30-40% cdr ( Atma's Impaler gives no cdr and cdr is better than attack damage on olaf.)
- You are playing as a carry or fed Olaf and you need to kill their carries.
If you say yes to all these requirements, then you can build Atma's Impaler.
Items in order of how viable they are in general and at filling the selected stat.
|Cooldown Reduction:||shurelya's reverie|
A balanced Olaf build that gives good health, resistances and damage. Guardian Angel can be changed for another defensive item.
Lots of health (over 4000) to maximize Vicious Strikes and a decent amount of damage but not many resistances.
A more balanced damage Olaf build that allows you to deal good damamge even if not fed. Ok amount of health with resistances. Same as resistances build but The Bloodthirster instead of Guardian Angel or another defensive item for more damage.
Good build if you fell behind in lane. The cheapest build out of the 5. You want to teamfight with this build not split push. Your goal with this build is to stay in front of your team to soak up damage and cc not to deal much damage.
Squishier Olaf build that has few resistances and relies totally on health for survival in order to maximize Vicious Strikes. Run in, use Randuin's Omen and kill everything. Only use this if you're ahead or you won't survive in fights.
You should always start with Undertow for the aoe damage, slow, ability to check bushes. If your team is not invading, your mid lane should cover the sport closer to mid And you cover either tri-bush or the spot above blue buff. If you are invading, you should either:
- Go with them if the buff is on the same side as top lane. Also go if you think that is where the enemy team is and and you think it will be a bloody invade. The damage, slow, and vision you provide with Undertow amazing at level 1.
- If the buff is on the opposite side of top lane and you think there won't be a level 1 fight then stay and guard your buff (blue or red depending on side). During a sneaky invade its important to know if they decide to counter invade.
When on blue side, if you can trust your mid lane to ward mid, then put your ward in tri-bush (1). Watch in advance if they come up mid to gank you. If your mid laner doesn't always have between mid and top warded (most of the time) put your ward at 2 and use Ragnarok to get out of tough situations.
On purple side, put your ward deep near enemy blue (3) for more agressive play. You can see ganks coming much sooner but be careful because they might swing around and gank fron tri-bush. Put your ward at 2 if you want vision on them in the bush (ex. Fiddlesticks).
Axe throwing guide
Undertow is your only skillshot so it is important to know how to use its maximum potential.
Things to remember:
- never throw your Undertow farther than you need to
- throw you Undertow in a direction that you will be able to pick up later
- make sure to keep picking up and throwing Undertows during team fights especially with high cdr
- don't be afraid to hold onto your Undertow for a better position to throw especially if you're ganking/coming from a different direction
Here are 2 examples (credits to Stonewall008 for his Team Battle Olaf 4. )
- make sure he hits both of them
- get vision of the bush
- have a better position to pick up the Undertow
Dueling and Chasing
Mid/Late Game and Team Fights
Mid game is Olaf's weakest point. Mid game you can choose to stay in your lane and split push or Start team fighting. After taking a first tower though, split pushing just doesn't have the potential that team fighting has. If you think you can or might be able to win team fights mid game, definitely do. Only commit to split pushing if you know you will lose any kinds of fights.
If you know that your team can't win fights you may need to split push as Olaf. You may want to invest in an early Sunfire Cape if you are really committed to split pushing. Not really a fan of Ravenous Hydra because your wave clear comes from Undertow not auto attacks. On blue side depending on how deep you are, you should ward tri-bush or enemy red. On purple side, same thing with river or enemy blue. If you really commit to split pushing, you need your team's cooperation. There's good chance of you dying during a split push but you need your team to take advantage of the pressure you create. Have them pressure and take objective while you split. .
During a team fight as Olaf it's tempting to run in every time with Ragnarok and ghost guns blazing but that is not the role you should fill. Your job is not to be a "tanky assassin" that can run in and kill the carries even though it seems that way with your ult Ragnarok. Even when Olaf is un cc-able, he can still get kited by carries with escapes and you simply dont have the burst damage to be a carry killer. Even though you can avoid cc to chase carries, it is more important to protect your own. Your job is to be a very tanky front line that can still provide strong presence with your abilities. Stay in front of your team, soak up cc with Ragnarok, position for Undertows and spam Reckless Swing with your high cdr.
Not polished up yet but this is the raw info in case you wanted it. More champs to come soon. Kinda busy right now with school but it will get finished eventually :P.
Thanks for reading the guide and I hope you enjoyed it! Hopefully this guide will help you become a better olaf player. This is my first guide so it's not anywhere near perfect. Always looking for feedback on on the guide information and overall appearance.
If you really didn't like the guide, I'm not asking you to waste your time trying it out but know that down votes really do hurt and don't do anything to make the guide better. I understand it's your opinion but if you are going to down-vote at least leave a comment about how i can improve.
Well that's the end of this guide. Hope you enjoyed it and I know that right now you have become a better olaf player.
- Fabro87 for the awesome Brolaf wallpaper. http://leaguecraft.com/wallpapers/809-brolaf-wallpaper.xhtml
- JHOIJHOI for her guide on making a guide http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/making-a-guide-101506
- Stonewall008 for screenshots from his video Team Battle Olaf 4.
- CasterMaster for his quote about voting for guides in his Xerath Guide and for some formatting ideas.
- Special thanks to rcyzhang12345, zlod, moknight8, and everyone else that has supported this guide
(May 10, 2013)- Olaf guide published
(May 18, 2013)- Atma's Impaler section edited
(May 26, 2013)- Mercurial Scimitar description updated
(June 2, 2013)- Raw matchup info for riven, shen, teemo, zed, yorick, jax, wukong, and irelia is posted