Olaf Build Guide by Considereth
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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.
Olaf the Berseker
Olaf is a tough offtank capable of ripping teams apart with his True Damage, AoE Slow, and an Ultimate which makes him immune to crowd control. He is a great anti-carry because of his Ultimate which is Ragnarok. The problem is Olaf is a horrible laner. He has mana issues and cannot last hit properly due to harassment. So how do we solve this problem? By jungling! Olaf is currently the fastest jungler along with the power to gank quite easily thanks to undertow. This guide aims to play Olaf to his fullest potential and best role. Meet Olaf the Anti-Carry Jungling Off-Tank Viking!
How to Jungle with Olaf:
Early Blue Buff
Safest Way to Jungle
If possible ask a teammate to hit golem for you in order to bring aggro off you just for a bit. They should immediately run away and you should continue to attack Golem. By using this simple trick it will allow you to maintain high life in the jungle easier. Also, you should be looking at the map constantly to make sure nobody is mia. If they are mias, care, they might be coming for you.
When going in for a Gank, make sure to let your team know by pinging and marking the target you wish to kill. Don't expect them to know what the hell you are doing. A lot of people do not have map awareness and will leave you to die. So ping the target, its very easy and takes no time at all. It is best for them to engage first because this allows you to caught them off guard when you come in. Throw undertow in a position to be able to pick it up and throw it again. This is very important! You must land undertow at least once in order to close the gap or the gank will probably be a fail. It is ok if you do not kill anyone. Even when you fail to kill someone by ganking a lane it puts pressure on the enemies making them have to blow their summoner spells to get away. You will give lane control to your team as well.
Note: If you are going to invade the enemy jungler at level one with your team you will want to pick up undertow as it is the best level one skill Olaf has. The AoE damage and slow is very good in level one team fights. Never select a point in anything until you are absolutely sure you can jungle in peace and/or if your team wants to invade their jungle.
As a jungler your job is to use sight ward to give vision of key locations throughout the map. Above I've put white square on where to place wards in order to gain the most benefit. You should always have a ward on dragon. Why? Dragon gives global 190 gold to the killing team, as well as 25 gold and additional experience to the killer and nearby allies. You should also have a ward on Baron Nashor after he appears 15 minutes into the game. Why? By killing Baron he grants a buff that gives massively increased attack damage and ability power as well as a bonus in health and mana regeneration. Not to mention the fact you also get 900 Experience Points and 300 Gold each.
As such, you will need to buy around four or five wards pure game along with the usage of Wriggle's Lantern in order to keep wards in key locations. Yes, wards are worth it. It will win you games. You will be able to set-up ganks better and prevent ganks by the simple act of buying wards.
Armor Penetration Mark in order to get through better, great on all melee/range physical carries. Allows us to have true damage to the jungle creeps as well.
Armor Seals because you need survivability early game in order for Olaf to remain healthy in the jungle. Armor Seals are necessary in order to prevent counter-jungling.
Magic Resistance Per Level Glyphs in order to give you more survivability.
Armor Penetration Quintessences as mentioned before, we want our attacks to do maximum damage.
is the summoner spell you must always take with Olaf. Olaf is extremely slow and lacks hard CC. A smart player will try to kite Olaf and dodge undertow. How do we avoid this? By taking ghost. This allows Olaf to catch up with his targets, slow them with undertow/frozen mallet, and destroy them. Ragnarok and Ghost makes it extremely easy to get away or go straight for their carry. A must have spell, makes ganking so much more easy.
because you are of course jungling. Yes, I know Olaf can jungle without smite but you need to realize that your job is to keep buffs/dragon/baron from being stolen. Smite also allows you to steal buffs from the enemy teams. You will win games as a result if you last hit properly with smite. Not to mention that you will also jungle a lot faster and be able to gank sooner. A good jungler always has smite, always!
Berzerker Rage - For each 1% of health missing, Olaf's attack speed is increased by 1%.
Berserker Rage is Olaf's passive. This is why Olaf is so dangerous at low life as his attack speed goes through the roof. Finding the right balance between life and death will result in many victories.
Undertow - Olaf throws an axe into the ground at a target location, dealing damage to units it passes through and slowing their movement speed. If Olaf picks up the axe, the ability's cooldown is reduced by 6 seconds.
Olaf throws an axe to a target location, dealing 50/90/130/170/210 (+) physical damage to units it passes through and slowing them by 24/28/32/36/40% for 2.5 seconds.
If Olaf picks up the axe, the ability's cooldown is reduced by 6 seconds.
Undertow is Olaf's only form of crowd control and it is a skill shot. Despite popular belief, undertow is a very good skill. The difference between a good Olaf and a bad Olaf is their ability to throw undertow well. This is the skill that allows you to close the gap between yourself and your target. As such, you want to position undertow to hit the target along with positioning undertow in a location you can pick it up and throw it again easily. Not only it is great at closing the gap but it is an excellent farming tool as well.
Vicious Strikes - Olaf's attack damage is increased, based on his health, and he gains massive lifesteal and spell vamp.
For 6 seconds, Olaf's attack damage is increased by 7/14/21/28/35 (+ [1% of maximum Health]) and he gains 9/12/15/18/21% lifesteal and spell vamp.
This is Olaf's main jungling tool in order to do battle with the forest creeps. It is a steroid skill which provides Olaf with massive life steal and increased damage. Vicious Strikes is what makes Olaf so good at going toe to toe with any champion. This skill combined with Olaf's berserker rage will let you pull off some crazy things. Vicious Strikes also has a nice passive which converts 1% of your maximum health into damage while it is active. This allows you to get high hit point survivability items without forfeiting too much damage.
Reckless Swing - Olaf attacks with such force that it deals true damage to his target and himself.
Olaf deals 100/160/220/280/340 true damage to his target and inflicts 40/64/88/112/136 true damage to himself.
Reckless Swing is a single-target nuke that does true damage. True damage means that you always does the same amount of damage and cannot be counter by armor/magic resistance. As such it is both great at taking down squishes and tanks alike.
Ragnarok - Olaf is immune to disables, has increased armor penetration and reduces incoming damage.
Active: For 5/6.5/8 seconds, Olaf is immune to disables and reduces incoming damage by 20/30/40.
Passive: Olaf has 10/20/30 increased armor penetration.
Ragnarok is Olaf's ultimate. This skill is what makes Olaf a great Anti-Carry. You can go straight through the enemy team and kill their carry thanks to the immune to control crowd and the damage reduction. You will want to use Ragnarok right after the team fight starts in order to absorb the control crowd and keep healthy. Be smart with Ragnarok and take note to not waste it if you are not being focused. You can also use this skill to get away quite easily, especially when combined with ghost. Do not be afraid to use Ragnarok if things go wrong and you need to get out. Ultimately it is a great skill for both chasing and escaping. Also comes with a great passive of increased armor penetration letting you hit for some crazy numbers.
Masteries and Skill Sequences:
For Masteries, I take 1/8/21. This masteries combination will give you the most utility of any combination. By going down the utility tree you will be able to max out improved neutral buff increase which is huge along with experience increase, improved ghost, movement speed increase, mana regen, and the ever so useful cooldown reduction. This will also allow you to pick up magic resistance, armor, and strength of spirit. You also get improved smite for more gold overall.
As for Skill Sequence, you want to get Undertow first in order to jungle faster. Undertow is the best skill because of the slow and AoE damage it brings to the table at level one. Put a point into Vicious Strikes next in order to jungle faster. Afterward you will want to max undertow first because it is your range gap closer and allows you to farm better. After maxing undertow, go ahead and max Reckless swing follow by Vicious Strikes. Put a point into your Ultimate when it is available.
Which to max first? The Undertow verse Reckless Swing Debate:
1)Stronger Ganks - By maxing undertow first you will be able to gank better due to the improved slow and range capabilities.
2)Better Farming - Undertow is one of the best farming abilities in the game. You can destroy entire minion waves extremely fast.
3)Better AoE Damage - Undertow is capable of hitting many targets with excellent damage along with an excellent slow.
1)Less Single Target Burst: Reckless swing is the better anti-carry skill because reckless swing does in fact do more damage to a single target.
2)More Skill to Use: Undertow takes a lot of skill to use correctly. You must throw undertow in a position to be picked up or you will not get the cooldown bonus. Otherwise, it has a very long cooldown and you are unable to abuse the damage. It is also a slow moving skill shot making it somewhat easy to dodge.
1)Better Single Target Damage: Reckless Swing is one of the best single-target nukes in the game right now.
2)Easily Used: Takes little to no skill to use. It also has a short cooldown once leveled making for very easy damage.
3)Uncounterable: Because Reckless Swing is true damage it cannot be countered. It cannot be dodged like undertow, its going to do full damage always once you are in range.
1)Weaker Ganks: Reckless Swing doesn't help close the gap between yourself and the enemy. It isn't going to help you get in range for the kills. Reckless Swing is more of a finisher move.
2)Weaker Farming: You will have a higher creep score with undertow maxed first, period.
Conclusion: After playing over 300 games with Olaf, I've found Undertow to be the better skill to max first. Undertow allows you to farm so quickly, you are able to destroy entire minion ways in a matter of seconds. It is also important for closing the gap between yourself and the enemy. Undertow will net you more gold overall, both in kills and in creeps.
You want to get and five to jungle most effective. After completing your first trip through the woods and hopefully first gank, you should be able to pick up both and . You want to upgrade to as soon as possible for the lifesteal and wards.
Next you will need to decide on which type of boots will be most effective at countering their team. I like for countering their melee damage. However, you should consider in order to counter the CC that is too much to handle even with Ragnarok.
Core For Battle
is an excellent item on Olaf for a number of reasons, namely for survivability and excellent paring with his moveset. Most of Olaf damage early and mid game will come from his abilities. As such, getting Warmog's Armor first will provide you with high hit points in order to get in close and do the damage.
is one of the best offensive and defensive items in the game for Olaf. The passive will give you amazing damage output when paired with Vicious Strikes passive. Atma's Impaler also gives you critical strike and armor which Olaf loves. These are the only two items I suggest you get every game with Olaf.
is an excellent item to save for last. Bloodthirster, paired with defensive items, makes Olaf a huge threat. This item will allows you to live despite taking large amounts of damage if keep attacking thanks to Olaf's passive and Warmogs/Atmas Combo. As such, I firmly believe that it is best to buy Bloodthirster last.
The optional/situational items change with every game. You will want to decide on how you are doing. gives an amazing passive which allows you to slow the enemies down along with the survivability necessary to handle any physical damage. gives you excellent magic resistance along with movement speed.
If you are dominating, go ahead and pick up for more damage output and survivability as it combines nicely with Atma's Impaler and Vicious Strikes.
After deciding between Randuin's Omen, Warmog's Armor, and/or Force of Nature you should purchase .
is extremely good against balanced teams and scales well with Olaf's passive and amazing lifesteal.
Examples of how to build against certain teams:
Heavy Magic Team:
Heavy Physical Team:
Remember to adjust your build according. Olaf is capable of countering carries quite well but needs correct decision on items in order to do so.