Olaf Build Guide by
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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.
Hello there Ladies and Gentlemen of the Nordlands!
This is my first guide, and while I know there to be a ton of Olaf guides, none of them are of a Solo Top nature, which I believe Olaf is capable of due to his high starting health and W ability + passive in low health situations. While the berserker and Pantheon both share equal room in my hearts as my favorites in melee combat, this guide is centered around surviving 2 versus 1 in the top lane while your jungler jungles and (hopefully) ganks the **** out of top lane when a tower push is happening.
When the laning phase is over, Olaf becomes an extremely annoying pursuit melee for stragglers out of position. Even champions with obscene amounts of crowd control is only a Ragnarok away for being another stain in Summoner's Rift.
MARKS - 9x Greater Mark of Desolation: Like most AD champions, getting through an enemy's shell is paramount. Attack Damage, while useful, is only used to increase your melee and Undertow's damage output (at 0.5 per attack damage point) and Vicious Strikes' damage increase is more than enough to whittle down foes.
SEALS - 9x Greater Seal of Resilience: As Solo Top can be extremely taxing with two enemy champions on you, as well as being one of the prime targets in a team fight later on, having a little bit of armor to keep you alive is especially helpful.
GLYPHS - 9x Greater Glyph of Warding: Much like the seals section, you don't know what you're going to face top until you get there, so this is a good way to help cope with some long range/cast delay AP's like Veigar or Casseopeia. Magic Resist also works in spades in team fights later on.
QUINTESSENCES - 3x Greater Quintessence of Desolation: What's better than armor penetration? MORE armor penetration! While some favor flat health quints for survivability situations, as it will transfer to an increase in attack damage with Vicious Strikes and Atma's later on, the armor and the mag res runes will be enough for early game.
21 Offense / 6 Defense / 3 Utility
The offense tree of the build is fairly standard for an AD DPS. The one point of contention is actually in the first tier of abilities, where Cripple is chosen when the chosen summoner skills in the cheat sheet don't have Exhaust listed, but is listed as a maybe. However, seeing as the other choices is an improved version of a summoner skill I don't suggest using, and improving Ability Power which has no improvement on any of your abilities, Cripple is the obvious choice to progress the skill tree.
A pretty straightforward point allocation, granting 6 armor and 6 magic resist. While my first draft had the Defense Tree going down to 1 point of Harden Skin, the point allocation in the second tier of abilities was kind of lackluster to Olaf, as miniscule health regen based off of mana and dodge for 1 less damage from all sources seemed like an uneven trade, especially considering you can place them in...
Having Haste in your arsenal is definitely a plus, as adding 6% to your ghost speed increase is extremely helpful in either running from a gank or going in for a kill. Perseverance takes up the last 2 points, granting a little boost in health regen.
SITUATIONAL MASTERY BUILDS
21 Offense / 9 Defense / 0 Utility
This is mainly used to counter an AD heavy team. By exchanging Ghost for Exhaust and the Mercury Treads for a Ninja Tabi, you can slap some points down into the defense tree to improve your dodge for the AD assault. This loses a lot of your pursuit power with the lack of ghost, but you should be better suited for weathering the AD storm.
Skills and Skill Sequence
Passive: Berzerker Rage - For each 1% of health missing, Olaf's attack speed is increased by 1%
This passive is one of the many reasons you should not be in melee range of him when he's at 50% or below. At every stage of the game, an Olaf that can be sustained around this level of health is a definite threat due to such an extreme boost in attack speed and Vicious Strikes' life steal and spell vamp to keep him going under fire.
[Q]: Undertow - Olaf throws an axe to a target location, dealing 50/90/130/170/210 (+0.5 per attack damage) 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 used to slow a target almost indefinitely if you have skill with your skillshots. This can also be used to thin out lines of minions during laning/farming, or to tell enemy champions to step back if you follow it up by walking towards affected targets underneath your turret. While the Frozen Mallet is going to be your one stop shop for slows, there will still be a distance to cover between you and your target, and Undertow is the means to do it at medium range.
[W]: Vicious Strikes - 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% life steal and spell vamp.
This is where all that health stacking on items comes in. While best used at <50% health, you can use it to boost your damage to ridiculous highs, as well as grant some serious life steal and spell vamp. This is the skill to invest if you find yourself in a jungling situation, as popping it at low hp is a great way to mitigate (not stop) incoming damage from jungle creeps. Use this skill when you have minions under your tower, and no pesky champions to get rid of.
[E]: Reckless Swing - Olaf deals 100/160/220/280/340 true damage to his target and inflicts 40/64/88/112/136 true damage to himself.
This is the first skill that you max and the reason you make people pay for staying toe to toe with you. This skill causes true damage, which cannot be reduced by any mitigation, which makes this useful for any type of enemy. While this skill does hurt you, which may become the straw that breaks the camel's back, using this in tandem with Vicious Strikes will negate some of the backlash damage through the spell vamp gain.
Another great use for this skill is to punish champions for tower pushing or diving. By using Reckless Swing on a champion under your turret, it will damage the enemy champ and yourself. This in turn will make the turret target the enemy champ because it believes that the champion caused the damage to you, potentially scoring a first blood/kill if you follow the Reckless Swing with Undertow.
[R]: Ragnarok - 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.
This Ultimate is the major piece of the puzzle that is Olaf. Ragnarok can be used in a multitude of ways. First off, it gives you a great escape mechanism in conjunction with either using Undertow to slow incoming enemies or Ghost to simply be unable to catch for 5 to 8 seconds. Another great use for Ragnarok's active is to murder their anti-carry before they have a chance to control you or before the carry runs away. Pop Ragnarok and Vicious Strikes before you get into their range to prevent crowd control (because stuns, silence, or suppression can prevent you from activating the skill), and go absolutely NORSE on their squishiest carry before they have enough force to bring you down.
While the active is great, the passive also helps Olaf quite well, as the passive armor penetration paired with the armor penetration runes eliminates most, if not all, of the armor on all ranged not stacking armor.
As this is a special case if you're solo in a lane with jungling backup and two enemy champions who want some sweet monies from your corpse. With Undertow to start, stay out of range of the enemy heroes and try to line up your shots so they can last hit minions along with slowing heroes, just to show who's boss.
Get Reckless Swing next, as by level 2, the champions should be close to your tower. Punish any melee who try and go in for swings on the tower with a Reckless Swing>Undertow>Melee before they leave turret range. Once level 3, get Vicious Strikes so that you can add health regen while killing minions under your tower.
I get another point into Undertow and Vicious Strikes afterward to improve survivability and improving your chances to last hit minions before grabbing Ragnarok at 6, as well as proving extra slow to initiate ganks with your jungler. Juice up Vicious Strikes again at 7 before maxing out Reckless Swing in preparation for mid/late game damage dealing, not forgetting to put points into Ragnarok when you reach the appropriate levels (11 and 16). After level 12, max out Vicious Strikes and Undertow in that order.
Ghost - Your champion ignores unit collision and moves 27% faster for 10 seconds.
What's the best spell to close or extend gaps over long distances? That would be Ghost, my friend. Paired with Undertow for chasing and Ragnarok for escaping, Ghost is probably the best summoner skill that Olaf could have. If you soup it up with Haste in the Utility Tree in masteries, you can turn up the juice to 33% movespeed increase for 11.5 seconds.
Flash - Teleports your champion to your mouse cursor. 475 range.
This skill I set as mandatory if I am playing any melee class (Except Kassadin. OP 6 second flashing sonova*****). The instant gap close can bring enemy champions into range of Undertow, or to escape into the jungle or brush.
Exhaust - If you think that you will do your team better in quick ambushes rather than escapes, take Exhaust. Especially useful for robbing squshy ranged AD's of all dps and ability to effectively escape.
Teleport - This skill is extremely useful for playing Solo Top, preventing a champion from backdooring your base, and initiating a backdoor to relieve pressure off other lanes. Teleport is extremely useful early game when you need to go back to base quickly and get your Philosopher's Stone/Heart of Gold and quickly get back in time to defend your turret.
Ignite - Always a good spell to take if you feel you're not getting your point across in engagements. While typically not helpful early on, catching a champion under your tower with its pants down and igniting him could be the difference between a close escape or a kill for your team.
Cleanse - You have a cleanse already in Ragnarok. If there is no way that you can get away from a group with Ghost/Flash/Exhaust and Ragnarok before you get to your team/safety, then you should probably just turn around and try to dent their squishiest character before biting the bullet.
Heal - Typically used for players playing champions for the first time. If you're reading a Solo Top Guide before learning the basics, I suggest playing some regular lane games first.
Clarity - While Olaf can get mana hungry if you Undertow like a madman, the mana regeneration from Philosopher's Stone should be more than enough to bide you over until the lane phase is complete.
Clairvoyance - Handy to check for ganks, but best used for support champions or champions that have extreme range skills (Caitlyn, Lux, Nocturne, Pantheon, etc.)
Revive - I've only used this skill once, and it was during a troll tank game with revive/teleport... There are better spells than Revive for Olaf.
Rally - While beneficial to Olaf, it's also stationary, which will only help in solitary ambushes, not pursuit where Olaf shines.
Smite - Typically a jungler skill, and seeing as this is not a jungle build for Olaf, pick something else.
Fortify - While useful if paired with the corresponding defense mastery, it is typically a spell reserved for tanks, not tanky DPS.