Bard, Master of Catches and Ba
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.
Welcome to my guide for Bard preseason 6 (patch 5.23)
After playing 100+ bard games in ranked and casual, I am confident that Bard is now a strong pick in the meta. With the changes to masteries and support items, Bard has gotten much stronger damage and catch potential. I will share the best item build for Bard in Ranked games.
Items Explanation, Bard Theory
In the past, the most popular Bard builds had a lot of tanky items or AP/AD builds for other lanes. In fact, Bard is best utilized as a Support who is capable of roaming the map and creating immense pressure with his movement speed, warding, and catch potential. One thing that Bard players have to understand is that his kit relies almost entirely on his abilities, so 45 percent CDR is a must with full build. Bard Scales with CDR because it allows him to essentially never die, even without any tanky items. This is because if you are being attacked, you can use a health pack and magical journey to speed yourself up and run away, and use your Stun to further slow enemies even if they follow you. Chimes also help Bard's ability to run (or glide) safely away from enemies or bait them into the jungle.
Since CDR, movement speed, and burst damage are Bard's specialties, Frost Queen's Claim is now the best first item on Bard (Besides SIghtstone to keep yourself and your team safe). It allows him to easily catch the enemy ADC/jungler/whatever who is over-extended. For this same reason, Trinity Force is good on Bard. It allows him to have great damage late game, which Bard always lacks. The 4-second 40% slow is huge on Frost Queens, combined with 1 auto attack and a Q, you should be able to do a nice burst of damage from Thunderlord's Decree mid-late game. Combined with this, Rapid Fire Cannon (added Meep auto attack damage and range) and Trinity Force are now literally the best options for Bard as late game items. That being said, Frozen Heart is terrible on bard, its pretty useless since you don't want to be taking damage anyways. Being able to kill secure is all you really need on Bard. If you can gather a chime or 2, speed up your team with magical journey and throw out the Tempered fate to catch 1-2 people, its easy kills if you have anyone with you.
Ruby Sightstone + Frost Queens is actually better than Eye of the Watcher because it reduces the cooldown on your Frost Queens and lets you store an extra ward. Don't forget to buy a pink or 2 as well with your extra gold.
The whole idea is that come late game, just gather a couple meeps for movement speed, use frost queens, and chase down and auto attack anything you see wandering around alone. Nothing can stop you when you have ult.
Other considerations include: Zeke's Harbinger, Banner of Command, Randuin's Omen (for AD crushing you) instead of Locket.