Not Updated For Current Season
Olaf is a pretty ridiculous champion who is viable both early game and late game. Arguably the most effective Olaf in organized team play is one who jungles early, ganking a lane after he kills Lizard and Golem. This guide focuses more on the Solo Queue Olaf who doesn't have the luxury of competent teammates most of the time.
Just wanna say that I'm not pro by any means. This is just a build that works for my kind of playstyle. I don't play Olaf as a tank, I play him more like a DPS that can take hits if needed. I'm open to feedback for any improvements.
This build's Pros:
- Ridiculously high damage
- Very high survivability
- Easily catches fleeing opponents
This build's Cons:
- Doesn't make use of Olaf's strongest trait: Jungling
- HP fairly low until later, assuming the game even lasts that long
- Olaf kinda sucks for laning
Olaf's strongest points are his armor penetration and survivability, so the runes revolve around building these up.
Greater Mark of Desolation x9 - 14.94 Armor Penetration
This adds to his ult's passive 30 ArP, so it's a no-brainer.
Greater Seal of Evasion x9 - 6.75% Dodge
Nearly 7% Dodge is nothing to laugh at. Since Olaf does best at low HP, dodging an attack can mean the difference between getting a kill or getting killed.
Greater Glyph of Focus x9 - 5.85% Cooldown Reduction
Reckless Swing is Olaf's bread and butter, and being able to use it as often as possible, coupled with Olaf's ArPen, can tear pretty much anyone apart.
Greater Quitenssence of Fortitude - 97.2 Health
Health increases Olaf's damage. Higher HP also means being able to stay at low HP for longer periods of time without dying.
Ghost - No Olaf should ever be without Ghost. Not having any real ranged attacks, Olaf needs to get close to his targets as soon as possible. Coupled with Undertow, Ghost gives Olaf the abilities he needs to be able to initiate.
Ignite - Extremely useful when fighting someone who is either healing, or fleeing with low HP. Ignite is interchangeable with Smite if you feel like jungling.
Undertow - 10s cooldown
Damages Opponents by 65/110/165/200/245+30% of Attack Damage.
Slows Opponents by 24/28/32/36/40%.
You only really need 1 level in this early on. Its utility isn't as good as Vicious Strikes, and it doesn't do as much damage as Reckless Swing, so it's mainly used as an early harrass or ganking tool. Later in the game, you will use this for a variety of things. These include chasing an enemy, running away from enemies, and checking bushes. I also like to throw this at champions who are nearly dead and Rocket Jump/Flash/whatever over a wall.
Vicious Strikes - 12s cooldown
Increases Damage by 0.3/0.6/0.9/1.2/1.5% of max Health.
Gives Olaf 9/12/15/18/21% Lifesteal and Spell Vamp.
For the jungling Olaf, this is the most important ability to max first. It works in conjunction with Smite and Reckless Swing so it can keep you farming longer at earlier levels. However, for the Olaf build that focuses on laning, this gets maxed second to Reckless Swing.
Reckless Swing - 8/7/6/5/4s cooldown
Deals 100/160/220/280/340 True Damage to an enemy.
Also Deals 40/64/88/112/136 True Damage to self.
True Damage is damage that is not affected by Armor or Damage Reduction. Simply put, this ability eats people alive. It becomes nearly spammable with the proper runes and item build, and with ArP runes along with Olaf's passive ArP, he rips tanks apart quite well.
Ragnarok - 100s cooldown
Passive: Olaf has 10/20/30 increased Armor Penetration.
Active: For 5/6.5/8 seconds, Olaf is immune to disables and reduces incoming damage by 25/45/65.
Olaf's infamous ult. Since Olaf's primary targets are the opponent's squishy carries, the general idea is to use this along with Ghost to run in and kill the carry as soon as possible.
Passive: For each 1% of Health missing, Olaf's Attack Speed is increased by 1%.
This is what makes Olaf so deadly when he's low on HP. It takes some getting used to, but when you're playing as Olaf, you need to stick around in situations where other champions would normally run away. It takes a little while to be able to properly judge the amount of HP is good enough to fight someone, but once you do so, you will be able to bait and kill people very effectively. I've been in games where I'd be sitting at >20% HP by myself, defending a tower, waiting for my team to res, and all of the other team would just stand around outside of range, afraid to come near.
More HP, and a precursor to getting Phage.
Mercury's Treads or Berserker's Greaves
Totally depends on what the other team has. If you see they have a lot of casters and/or CC, get Merc. If they have a lot of physical DPS and not much CC, pick up Berserk.
Builds into Frozen Mallet.
Olaf's bread and butter item. I haven't met a successful Olaf who wasn't using one. Allows Olaf to stick to his target and get the kill.
Avarice Blade and The Brutalizer
Builds into Youmuu's Ghostblade.
Attack Damage, Crit, Cooldown Reduction for more Reckless Swings, on-demand faster Movement and Attack Speed... this item was practically made for Olaf. Use it to initiate, use it to chase, use it to spam Reckless Swing on a poor tank.
Extremely useful for Olaf. Remember, Olaf thrives at low HP. This item, coupled with Vicious Strikes, can keep Olaf in the middle of an enemy team while he takes out their carry. The amount of lifesteal will allow Olaf to run in, kill their carry, and open up his team to take out the opposition while he either tanks or even kills them himself.
If the game isn't over by now, this will allow Olaf to fight 1v2 or 1v3 and still win. It can absorb an enemy's CC, which can save a second or two off Ragnarok, which is extremely important.
Atma's Impaler or Guardian Angel
It was a tossup between these two. Really, at this point, you could use either one. Guardian Angel is extremely useful for Olaf because of his need to be at low HP for max effectiveness. It allows him to res if he dies, and he'll be at optimum HP levels to do some massive damage once he's back up, but its 5 minute timer is a pretty long time, especially considering this would be a final item to buy. Atma's Impaler is good to just wreck the enemy's carry so you can focus on other targets. It's useful at any point in the game, even late when one team fight could determine who wins or loses the match. Pick either one depending on what your needs are.