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Bard Build Guide by KikoHyuuga

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League of Legends Build Guide Author KikoHyuuga

[S6]Bard: The Fattest&Cutest Supp of Summoner's Rift!

KikoHyuuga Last updated on October 9, 2016
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
3
8
10
12
13
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

Fury
 
 
Sorcery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vampirism
 
 
Natural Talent
 
 
 
 
 
Bounty Hunter
Oppressor
 
 
 
 
 
Battering Blows
 
 
Piercing Thoughts
 
 
 
 

Ferocity: 0

5/
Wanderer
 
 
Savagery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Merciless
 
 
5/
Meditation
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Bandit
Dangerous Game
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Precision
 
 
Intelligence
 
 
 
 

Cunning: 18

5/
Recovery
 
 
Unyielding
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Explorer
Tough Skin
 
 
 
 
 
Runic Armor
 
 
5/
Veteran's Scars
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Insight
Perseverance
 
 
 
 
 
Swiftness
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 
 
 

Resolve: 12



Threats to Bard with this build

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Champion Notes
2
Karthus You can block karthus ult with your own ult! Simple as that.
2
Nunu Cancel his ult with your own ult and you're ready to go!
2
Bard When you're facing one of your brothers(^^) you both will be roaming so it's going to be a peaceful lane. But a mirror lane is always a mirror lane so be careful!
2
Urgot If you're facing an Urgot in the bot lane, you're a lucky one. His tiny range is great for you and your ADC, since he won't be poking him as much as another ADC (like Cait) would.





oo Before starting, I want to give special thanks to SignError since we worked together after patch 5.22. We really helped each other and thanks to our small Bard club we managed to understand most of the changes that occurred in our favourite game <3. I still remember when our guides had 17K views! Well, you can see his guide by clicking here: Bard: The Rift Roamer
I'm a Portuguese Lol's player so I'm sorry if I don't write very well in english ^^'(I did my best!)
You may know me for some guides, that I archived due to some unpopularity (Janna and Ahri), but let’s talk about what matters.
I'm a Bard Main (Bard is my favourite champion!), and I absolutely love his concept and his kit, perfect for roaming ^^. I bought Bard as soon as he was released, in spite of being a little underestimated by some members of the community("BARD?!?","DO YOU HAVE LEONA?","GG BOT LANE BARD"). I love to play League of Legends and I felt in love with the support role as soon as I tried it. It's so complex and funny at the same time! I started to pay attention to all the supports and that's how I bought my first champion: Sona. Like I said before, I eventually bought Bard and decided to master him.
In this simple guide I'll pass you all my knowledge about this AWESOME champion. If you liked it, don't forget to upvote since it's very important for me to see this guide growing(and I expect to learn with your comments to!). Don't forget that I accept critics, but only if you have consistent arguments that will help me with this wonderful guide!
PS: Don't forget to watch my streams, you just have to click here
PS2:DON'T HATE BARD D:<
o






1-->Remember: You're the support so try not to steal kills from your teammates

2-->If your ADC doesn't know how Bard's heals work try to explain him that he has to wait some seconds until it's fully charged(bard's heals consume so much mana, it's a waste of mana to place a healing shrine for your ADC to take it when it's not at its full healing potential

3-->Don't farm!(okay this one was a little violent)

4-->Don't roam if you are losing your lane! Try to stay longer with your ADC when you're facing agressive opponents like Karma, Zyra and Caitlyn since they will poke your ADC when you're roaming.

5-->If you're winning, make sure to help the other lanes. Try to help your jungler to! If you gank with him, you'll turn his ganks more effective thanks to your Magical Journey!

6-->Don't cry if your Bard doesn't deal very damage, he doesn't need it, you only need your fantastic CC! It's normal if you get outhealed by some supports, or outdamaged by others! Bard is one of the most versatile supports






+Meeps have a lot of CC, specially in the late game.
+Good for the new tank meta, adding one more tank to your team
+A great passive for roaming, what fits Bard's roamer nature perfectly
+A good escape potential with all his abilities.
+An awesome ultimate to give your team a lot of advantage
ooo

-Easily outhealed by other supports in lane(Soraka, Sona)
-Small damage compared to other supports(like Sona, Zyra or Annie)
-Mana Hungry in the early game(if you don't catch any chimes)
-Needs a lot of coperation
with your ADC, mainly in the laning phase










ooooo --> Sightstone, in my opinion, is the core item for most supports(if not all supports!). It fits well on Bard because it gives HP and Bard is a tanky support. It's very important to buy Sightstone on your first recall because it gives you, and your ADC, vision, which is very important in this game. VISION IS POWER. Don't forget to ward your botlane(mainly in the two river entrances. You can ward one of the two bushes in the botlane in order to give you more lane control!) More ahead I explain how to ward properly, you should take a look! As you may know with the 5.22 patch update, Sightstone received new upgrades, take a look:




ooooo ooo

Ruby Sightstone


Synergy with Bard: Normal
Price: 1800 Gold
Provides you: A good amount of health points and item active cooldowns

This one you already know! It gives you extra HP and it reduces your items cooldown. You should select this one if you are going to upgrade your support item. I usually prefer to evolve this one with supports without a lot of utility or CC (Example: Annie), since they usually need Frost Queen's Claim active. In general, it's a good item for Bard if you want to upgrade Talisman of Ascension or Frost Queen's Claim(the first one is more recommended), since it gives you extra HP and cooldown reduction for your actives. However, upgrading the basic sightstone into this one will mean one less item since one big benefit of the other upgrades is one more item you can buy, and that may give you a lot of advantages during a team fight or other fighting related situation, like taking an objective(towers, dragon, baron). For example, that item can be Mikael's Crucible or Zeke's Harbinger. Both these items provide you, and your teammates, a lot of utility during all kind of situations! But don't worry if you got confused with this small text! I will now analyze the three remaining options you can take!
ooooo


ooooo

Eye of the Watchers


Synergy with Bard: Good
Price: 2200 Gold
Provides you: Abiity Power and all Frostfang attributes, a small amount of HP and one extra slot for an item of your choice!

This upgrade is basically a fusion between Frostfang and Sightstone. It's the chosen sightstone upgrade for most agressive supports with a decent utility(Example: Karma). It gives a decent amount of HP, ability power, gold and mana regeneration. I don't recommend it if you prefer a really tanky Bard since it only gives you 200 HP, while Ruby Sightstone gives 500. It works very well with Bard so you should try it! Since it is a "fusion" between the traditional support item and wards you can save some space for an extra item when upgrading your Sightstone into this wonderful item! However, let's not forget that it costs a little more than Ruby Sightstone but I really don't think 400 gold will make a huge difference! Another thing I really like about taking this item with Bard is the possibilities it opens for you! Bard already has a slow whith Cosmic Binding and a movement speed buff with Caretaker's Shrine so you can buy a item capable of buffing your allies remaining stats (life their magic resist with Locket of the Iron Solari or their damage and critical strike chance with Zeke's Harbinger) instead of buying another item which purpose is reducing/buffing your enemies/allies movement speed (which is Frost Queen's Claim in this case. Let's not forget that this item also gives Bard's basic attacks and abilities extra damage against buildings and champions, something very useful when poking your enemies!
ooo ooooo


ooooo ooo

Eye of the Oasis


Synergy with Bard: Bad
Price: 2200 Gold
Provides you: Health Regeneration, a small amount of HP, all Nomad's Medallion attributes and space for an extra item!

In my opinion, it's probably the worst sightstone upgrade for Bard! The given mana and health regeneration are useful, like the 200 HP, but I really don't like it's passive nature, it simply doesn't fit on Bard. If you like Ancient Coin I suggest you to try Talisman of Ascension(a great item for Bard thanks to its active) which I recommended for Bard in the season 5. You should try this item with more passive supports, which isn't the case of Bard. Though it's recommended for passive supports, like Sona or Janna nor these two have to use this sightstone's upgrade anymore! Supports are becoming more agressive with time. In fact, in the current meta, picking mid laners as supports, like Brand and Veigar is a very popular choice! Frost Queen's Claim and Eye of the Watchers gold active, which provides you extra gold when poking, is great with champions like Bard(and let's not forget that Bard's AA count as two different attacks) so why choosing a boring gold passive when you can deal damage and get extra gold with it?!


ooooo

Eye of the Equinox


Synergy with Bard: Bad
Price: 2200 Gold
Provides you: A good amount of HP, health regeneration, all Targon's Brace attributes and space for one more item!

It's a decent item for Bard. It gives health regeneration, gold, a lot of HP and Targon's Brace passive. Since this passive works better with melee supports, like Leona or Braum, I really don't recommend it. However, it benefits Bard's tanky nature and it's better than Face of the Mountain with Bard since it won't occupy one more slot in your build. Like i've said it's not the worst choice but...we can pick something better for sure! It's hard for Bard to use it's passive, "Spoils of War". For the ones who are not informed about this passive: Your melee attacks will easily execute minions below 240 health, providing health and gold for you and a nearby ally. There is a small problem: Bard is a ranged champion, not melee...so it's not that great with him.
ooo ooooo


ooooo ooo

Frost Queen's Claim


Synergy with Bard: Good
Price: 2200 Gold
Provides you: A great amount of Ability Power, Frostfang attributes, a really cool active(movement speed debuff and vision of two enemy champions)

Yeah, I know this isn't a sightstone upgrade but I really had to include it here! In my opinion, it's one for the best options for Bard! It was great before pre-season 6, and with the new active, which offers Bard extra utility, it's even better! The given cooldown reduction, the extra gold and AP, and the bonus mana regeneration are just great for a support with an agressive nature. The only disadvantage is if you buy one of the Eye sightstone upgrades you will save one item slot for another item(something that doesn't happen when buying this one), but, in my opinion, this item active really compensates this small problem! However, like i've said before, Bard already gives movement speed to his allies and he also haves a movement speed debuff in his kit!


ooooo Briefly Ruby Sightstone is a good choice for Bard since it gives him cooldown reduction for his items' active and it allows you to upgrade your support item. However, the other three upgrades, despite not allowing you to upgrade your initial item, they give you an additional slot for another item, like Mikael's Crucible. Eye of the Watchers is, in my opinion, the best choice for Bard since it gives you extra ability power and gold. Eye of the Equinox is a good choice if you're looking for a tank build, however its passive isn't the best. Eye of the Oasis is, honestly, the worst choice since it was made for passive supports.
Frost Queen's Claim offers great stats and a good active, however, you'll have to occupy two slots with the supports mandatory items: wards and the starter support item.
Concluding, here are the items above, organized from the most recommended to the less recommended:
ooooo



ooooo --> Boots of Mobility are my favourite boots to go with Bard ^^. When Bard was designed, they gave him a kit capable of turning him into a roaming support. This explains everything, you'll need a lot of speed to collect meeps and help other lanes. They'll give him more speed than the other boots! More defensive boots like Ninja Tabi and Mercury's Treads are good when your team is playing more defensively, or in the late game when you don't need as much speed as you needed in the mid game. I don't recommend Berserker's Greaves for a support Bard. ( --') I often use Ionian Boots of Lucidity due to it's cooldown reduction bonus! They are really useful since Bard needs a lot of cooldown reduction in order to spam Cosmic Binding as much as possible. If you took the mastery Intelligence I highly recommend you to buy this boots! But be careful: if your build already gives you 45% CR you shouldn't buy this ones or you'll eventually lose some stats. Boots of Swiftness are a very popular choice too, in fact, I actually use this ones more than Boots of Mobility! The boots of swiftness will give you more movement speed during a fight, while the other ones will give you more movement speed out of combact! Since Bard needs to roam a lot (and you need movement speed so that you can take objectives more easily) the mobility ones are very useful but...movement speed during combact is very important too, and since the Boots of Swiftness offer you a lot of movement speed out of combact too, they might be a great choice too.
ooooo --> Locket of the Iron Solari is a GREAT item for our favourite support ^^. It gives him extra health, magic resistance, and cooldown reduction for Bard's long cooldowns. I usually make it as my first item, and when they have a fed AP carry rush into this item immediately since you give MR to your team too!
Passive--> So, let's talk about this item's passive. This item gives Bard a aura around him capable of buffing Bard's allies stats. It gives extra health regeneration and 20 magic resistance. This is amazing, it helps your team in terms of sustain, and when they have a fed ability power champion, it's fantastic. I also recommend Banner of Command in spite of not giving any tankyness to Bard. However, it gives him more ability power and an awesome active capable of buffing your team's pushing potential.
Active--> When you activate this item, your nearby allies will receive(all of them) a small shield. This is my favourite thing in this item. It gives Bard extra utility, and when your in the middle of a team fight this extra shield can change the result of the battle, so don't forget to activate it when you're all together fighting. This active works very well with Ardent Censer because all your team will receive extra ability power and attack spite(duo to your shields).
ooooo --> Frozen Heart is a good Item for Bard, in general. It gives him a lot of armor and a lot of cooldown reduction. Well, Bard needs both so...why not?(You can pass this item if your team is not having trouble with the AD enemies. However, if you're having problems with their ADC, you should buy this item as soon as possible)
Passive--> This item has an interesting passive. It reduces the attack speed of nearby enemies! This is great specially when they have a strong melee champion. When combined with Thornmail, your Bard can take down almost every ADC XD(rofl). Don't forget to stay close to their ADC so that tou can lower his AS and consequently his damage.
ooooo --> Zeke's Harbinger is a new item, and in my opinion it gives everything that Bard needs. When it was announced I got very happy since I knew it was was perfect for Bard! It gives extra mana, great for a support, extra ability power, what more can I say? it's hard to find an utility item that gives ability power. It gives cooldown reduction, perfect for a support! I normally buy this item after Locket of the Iron Solari or Frozen Heart, depending on their team.
Passive--> This passive it's absolutely fantastic, I have no words for it! It works in a similar way to Kalista's passive. Like kalista passive, you select an ally champion to bind. The unique difference is that you can change the binded ally whenever you want(it has a cooldown, you can't be changing everytime]. When you and your binded ally are close to each other, you'll generate charges passively. Damaging minions, enemies, monsters, everything, will generate extra charges. When you hit 100 charges, you and your ally will receive 20% bonus Ability power and 50% critical chance. Preety OP, no? I recommend you to use it on your ADC, but it's great on your APC to! Can you imagine 6 seconds of criticals?
ooooo --> Mikael's Crucible is one of my favourite items, and it works very well with Bard! It gives you tons of utility, and when properly used it can save on of your teammates.
Passive--> A good passive in overall. It gives Bard a lot of mana regeneration(wich is great in almost every supports).
Unique Active--> One of my favourite actives in this game. Can you imagine removing ALL CC from one of your allies during a teamfight? It changes the course of a battle. It heals the target to, which is great since Bard's heal is not the best compared to other supports.

I've only talked about the core items. But don't forget, this is an EXAMPLE of a final build! I've suggested other items, so you chan choose between all of them!(Or not, it's your choice if you trust this guide). If you want a more tanky Bard, you should replace Talisman of Ascension for Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Banshee's Veil. A little explanation about some other items:
ooooo --> Talisman of Ascension is a great utility item for Bard. It gives him exra movement speed, great for roaming, extra gold(a lot of players say that supports need more gold, because they don't farm, so this item will help our Bard in that requisite. It gives bonus cooldown reduction(more cooldown!:D). You can buy this item if you don't like Eye of the Watchers or Frost Queen's Claim, but I recommend this two over Talisman!
Passive--> A preety OP passive, it gives 100% bonus health regeneration, and 100% bonus mana regeneration(great for Bard!)
Unique Passive--> When a minion, next to you, dies, you'll receive extra gold and health! :D, If you're going to use this item, make sure to prioritize it! It'll give extra gold to Bard and that will help you buying other items.
Unique Active--> This is amazing, it gives 40% bonus movement speed, for a short duration, to all nearby allies. This is great when you're escaping, or hunting.... >:D.
ooooo --> Elixir of Iron is, in my opinion, the best elixir for Bard. He's going to get fatteeeer and cuteeer. He will become more resistant to slows, stuns and other type of CC. When you're moving, you will leave a path of iron, wich increases your teammates movement speed. This is very useful in the late game since you'll need to be quick in order to get all drakes(and nashor) before them!
ooooo --> Ardent Censer gives even more mana regeneration to Bard! I also like this item thanks to the given AP since it will increase your heals. Cooldown Reduction is always necessary
Unique Passive--> Ardent Censer gives Bard extra movement speed which is great due to Bard's roamer nature.
Unique Passive--> After you shielded or healed an ally, your target will receive extra attack speed and ability power(magic on-hit). This item is great with utility supports(like Janna, Soraka and Bard) since it will buff their shield and heals. You should try this item combo with Locket of the Iron Solari, all your team is going to get buffed thanks to you! If you bought this one, don't forget to your heals even if your allies are with full HP!








Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18


ooooo Traveler's Call is Bard's main passive. I think it is absolutely amazing for roaming, personally i like the speed provided by the chimes when I'm helping other lanes. The cute meeps will turn your basic attacks into your best weapon in combat(they're CC is so GOOD that they can replace Exhaust). Catching chimes will give you extra mana which is a great thing for Bard in the early game since you'll have a lot of mana problems(if you dont catch chimes).
In the spoiler is the information about Bard's meeps CC:
Information

ooooo Cosmic Binding is Bard's main damaging ability. This ability is used mainly to poke your enemies in lane, and to stun them(super OP stun). There's nothing more to say about this ability, you can stun an enemy when he's next to a wall, or when your enemy is next to a minion or another enemy champion(they both get stunned). Stunning both enemies in the laning phase will be a great way for you to engage. Ulting before using Cosmic Binding is a great way for you to ensure the stun. I usually max it first since it's your only damaging ability. When evolving it, you'll increase its slow and stun duration(and its damage)
ooooo Caretaker's Shrine is Bard's main healing ability. It can be placed on the ground and it gives extra movement speed to! But be careful because your enemies can destroy your shrine buy passing through it. In my opinion, this ability could be buffed in terms of health provided, but I simply love the bonus movement speed. It's very good when you are chasing your opponents. You can place three healing shrines at the same time, but, where do we place them? The answer is:
-At the beginning, you should place one shrine next to your tower, to heal your ADC when he is almost dying. The second shrine should be placed in the bush near your tower, because, when the enemy jungler is ganking your lane, your ADC can win extra movement speed to run away, going trough the bushes hided(if you like you can place two shrines here, one for you and one for your ADC!). The third shrine can be placed in the bush near the bot lane, in the river. It can be used by your jungler when ganking your lane, so he can win extra movement speed!!!(NOTE: Remember, you should always wait for shrine to be fully charged)
-When roaming, you should put one shrine in each lane, to help your mid laner and top laner and the ADC you left alone!(NOTE: You should only roam when you are WINNING your lane)
-At the end of the game, i normally place the shrine directly on the champion I want to heal or give movement speed. If you want to, you can buy Ardent Censer since it offers your teammates extra AP and Attack Speed when they are healed. This is usually the second ability that I evolve since heals are very important for Bard's role, but since you'll be easily outhealed in the laning phase and they give extra movement speed, I find them more useful in the late game.
ooooo Magical Journey is a very different ability from what we are used to see in League of Legends, but that's what makes it interesting! It's the last ability that I evolve since it's not very useful in the laning phase. I like to use it to collect chimes faster, but it's super amazing when you use it to help your jungler with ganks, or when you want to run away ^^(NOTE: When running away, your enemy will probably enter on your "tunnel" to, right? If he does that, use Cosmic Binding when the enemy is almost at the end of the tunnel, he'll get stunned ^^)
This ability is very useful when you want to trap an enemy champion, if he is dumb, he'll follow you to death >wO.
Magical Journey can be used to gank other lanes(while roaming) or to help your jungler ganking. I've taken some prints(with my bard :D) with some examples of Magical Journey, in each lane:
ooooo Tempered Fate is Bard's ultimate. I know that a lot of you don't like this ability because "It doesn't give any damage!" -______-(DIE PLEASE). Okay, so, this ability has 0 damage, right? Don't worry, we can use it for other things, like.....GIVING SOME SUPPORT TO OUR ALLIES BECAUSE WE ARE THE FREAKING SUPPORT RIGHT, SO WE DONT NEED ANY DAMAGE AT ALL RIGHT?!?!?!?!(sorry I'm just to stressed about it!). This ability is so awesome, I love to steal the dragon or the Baron freezing the enemy champions! I like to use it when the enemy champion is running away( he isn't escaping anymore hihihi), or the opposite(when your ally is being beaten up and you freeze the enemy and your ally runs away). You can freeze turrets to! Bard's ultimate can be used as an engage tool too since it will freeze all your enemies, giving your team extra time. You shoud evolve it when you hit level 6,11 and 16, ALWAYS.






For Bard, in my opinion, the best mastery page is 0/18/12, since it offers him a lot of utility and sustain. Right below, I'll discuss the best masteries for Bard in this season, and mainly, I'll explain why I chose Thunderlord's Decree as Bard's keystone mastery.

Cunning Tree


For Bard, this mastery tree is almost obligatory since it offers you a lot of utility, which is a need for our fat support! Briefly, I selected this tree to make your laning phase easier since most of the selected masteries offer you a little of utility (like mana regeneration, a very important thing for Bard in the early game, and gold when you poke someone).

oo Tier 1- Wanderer vs Savagery

You have to choose between 3% movement speed out of combat and bonus damage to minions and monsters. In my opinion, it's an easy choice. You need a lot of movement speed when you're playing with Bard and this mastery was totally made for roamers! On the other hand, you can win free damage to monsters and minions....which is an horrible thing for a support!!! 3% movement speed out of combat wins this one.


Tier 2- Runic Affinity vs Secret Stash vs Assassin

In this tier, you'll have to choose between longer(15%) buffs(including nashor), Longer potions, flasks and elixirs(10%).Your potions become biscuits that restore you 20 health and 10 mana instantly and 1.5% extra damage when you're alone. I think that the first one is more appropriate for junglers since you won't receive any buffs besides nashor buff and aspect of the dragon. These biscuits can make miracles in the laning phase and their will help you a lot since they last 10% longer than the normal ones. The bonus damage is literally the most useless mastery for Bard since extra damage is not your priority and you'll never be alone, since you have to protect your ADC and you're in a duo lane. Secret Stash is clearly the winner.

Tier 3- Merciless vs Meditation

You can gain 5% increased damage to champions bellow 40% health or 1.5% of your missing mana every 5 seconds. Ok, guys, this is being so easy!!! It's pretty obvious that extra mana is great for Bard!!! Most supports are very mana hungry during this phase, and Bard isn't an exception! The extra damage is great for most champions, but for a tanky support it's not very useful... It's not useless, but I simply don't recommend it since damage isn't your biggest attribute.


Tier 4- Bandit vs Dangerous Game

You'll have to choose between additional gold when poking and when your ADC farms and mana and health restoration after a kill or assist. I'm not going to lie to you. It's very tempting to restore 5% of your mana and health after an assist, but are you willing to lose extra gold in the laning phase? Both are great masteries, but the first one is just more useful for a support since you won't farm(you're the support, remember??) and you need a lot of gold to buy your items! Bandit is the best option for Bard, however Dangerous Game isn't an horrible option for our little supp.
oo

oo Tier 5- Precision vs Intelligence

We are almost at the end!!! So, in this one, you'll have to choose between extra armor and magic penetration and bonus cooldown reduction and an increase in your CR cap. I know that the second one is a very popular choice, mainly for supports. However, I began to love the first one due to the bonus damage it offers when poking your enemies during the early game! Cooldown Reduction is very important on Bard since you’ll need to spam your Cosmic Binding, but I really love the extra damage! Let’s not forget that Intelligence increases your cooldown reduction cap from 40 to 45 and that is something we can’t just ignore!!! Precision is just a great mastery for our buddy! However, they are both GREAT masteries for Bard! If you like to play aggressively in the early game I suggest you to take the recommended one. If you prefer to play more passively, the second Tier 5 mastery will surely be more useful to you during the late game!


Tier 6(Keystone)- Stormraider's Surge vs Thunderlord's Decree vs Windspeaker's Blessing

Finally a real discussion! Right bellow, I'll give you all the pros and cons for each keystone mastery, and of course, I'll select the best one for Bard:

Stormraider's Surge

Dealing 30% of a champion maximum health will grant bonus movement speed and slow resistance during 3 seconds A good mastery I must say! However, we can surely get something better for Bard. This mastery was designed for assassins since they will burst their enemies out! If Bard dealt a lot of damage, it would be recommendable. However, Bard, unfortunately, barely deals 20% of their maximum health in the late game :’D. Concluding, it is a funny mastery for an AP Bard during an ARAM game (it still isn’t the best option for him but who cares) but we can find way better!


Thunderlord's Decree

You'll deal bonus damage in area every third attack My favorite keystone mastery! I think it was designed just for Bard! Bard auto attacks count as 2 separated damaging abilities and Cosmic Binding as another one, so you’ll just need to use your Q and, right after, one auto attack(with a meep). This is a great mastery for poking, and you know I love to poke when I’m playing as Bard! The extra damage can’t be ignored by your enemies, especially in the early game! You should give a try to this masterpiece if you want to conquer your lane (and your ADC heart) with your high damage dealing!


Windspeaker's Blessing

Your heals and shields will be 10% stronger, in allies, and they’ll increase their magic resistance and armor for 3 seconds. If you were convinced by Thunderlord’s Decree please don’t change your mind because of this! It may sound great, “wow extra healing, that looks so good!” but it isn’t! Don’t forget that Bard is easily out healed by other support, like Sona and Soraka! In my opinion, Bard’s heal purpose it’s to give movement speed to his allies (mainly in the late game). Of course, it’s not a bad choice! In fact, I recommend it if you like to play Bard more passively since you won’t poke as much as you would and so you wouldn’t need the second keystone mastery! Summing up, not a bad mastery but you can have better since Bard was not designed for healing but for poking (and tanking a little I guess!)


Concluding, Bard's keystone’s masteries benefit his aggressive support nature, giving him more tools to help his allies! I've organized the keystones, from best to worst (in my opinion):

Resolve Tree


This is Bard's secondary tree since it gives him a lot of sustain and you'll receive bonus health, tenacity and even movement speed! As you probably noticed this tree is used by most tanks, and Bard is a tanky support so I definitely recommend you to put 12 points in this tree!

oo Tier 1- Recovery vs Unyielding

So you have to choose between 2 health regeneration per 5 seconds and 6% bonus armor and magic resist. This tier is probably one of most hard decisions in this mastery tree. Personally I prefer Recovery over Unyielding since it's more useful in the early game, and for me when you're choosing your masteries you should principally focus on your laning phase(the keystone is probably one of the unique exceptions). If you want to, you can put 3 points in one of them, and 2 in the other one.


Tier 2- Explorer vs Tough Skin

It's up to you:12 movement speed in brush and river or 2 less damage from champions and monsters basic attacks. So many hard choices!! Like I've said before, Bard is our little professional roamer, so movement speed should always have priority. However, Bard is a tanky support and the damage reduction is great when you're poking since it'll protect you from possible attacks from their ADC. It's really up to you, but my final suggestion is Explorer .

Tier 3- Runic Armor vs Veteran's Scars

You can receive 8% bonus heals and shields on you or 4% total health. Since you're the support so you're probably the one with shields and heals this mastery isn't going to be very useful, but it's not useless since your ADC will probably go with heal. The bonus health is great since you'll have a moderate amount of HP in the late game. Just for you to know, if you have 3000 HP, you'll gain 120 HP thanks to Veteran's Scars


Tier 4- Insight vs Perseverance

You can choose between 15% cooldown on your summoner spells and increased health regen. The cooldown reduction given is very interesting since the support role requires a very active use of summoners spells. The bonus health regen is a good choice for Bard but there is no need for more health regeneration, and since we need our summoner spells, like, a lot, Insight wins this one.
oo

NOTE: Bond of Stone was, previously, my recommended keystone mastery for Bard! I really like this mastery since it helps you protecting your ADC (and you won’t even notice!). If you like to play Bard as SUPER tank with only TANK items, I recommend you the mentioned mastery.

Runes

Greater Mark of Precision
9

Greater Seal of Health
9

Greater Quintessence of Armor
3

Greater Glyph of Ability Power
9

The runes I selected will benefit Bard’s tanky and aggressive natures since I really love an aggressive support/tank Bard ^^.


9x Greater Seal of Health--> I selected this type of runes because they'll provide Bard extra health, which is great to protect him from the enemies’ poke during the laning phase. If you don't like this rune, I recommend Greater Seal of Armor since it’ll protect you from the other ADC and minions attacks. I truly prefer the runes I recommended since they protect you from any type of damage! For me, runes are great for the early game, but if you love a really tank Bard, with lots of health during the late game, Greater Seal of Scaling Health is the perfect choice for you!



3x Greater Quintessence of Armor--> I really love this runes since they offer some protection against minions and AD enemies (ADCs). Armor on Bard is ABSOLUTELY OBLIGATORY since you’ll need it when you’re poking, or you will lose all your trades due to the enemy minions! Right before this little discussion about the recommended quintessence runes, I said Greater Seal of Armor were a good choice for Bard too. If you selected this seals then Greater Quintessence of Health or Greater Quintessence of Scaling Health are also recommended. But I really think you should stick to the recommended ones! ^^



9x Greater Glyph of Ability Power--> Bard needs Ability Power in order to do some damage when poking during the laning phase. His Q and auto attacks will benefit from this glyph since they scale with AP ( Thunderlord's Decree will benefit too). If you don’t like to poke, then Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is a great option since it offers you some protection against an aggressive support, like Zyra or Sona!



9x Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration--> A great option for Bard since its auto attacks stack with both AP and AD. These marks will enhance your AA, so as your Cosmic Binding damage too! I’ve seen a lot of people choosing Greater Mark of Magic Penetration but, in my opinion, hybrid penetration is way more recommended for a champion like Bard since he scales with both fonts of damage.








ooo Many of you are probably wondering why I've selected Ignite as one of Bard's main summoner spells, since Bard is a support, and usually supports take Exhaust. But oh well, I think that I'm an exception! Bard is an agressive support in lane so I really like how Ignite complements Bard's agressive nature. This spell is amazing when they have an heavy healer, like Soraka or Sona since ignite reduces the healing effects on the ignited target while he's "burning". This spell is a great source of damage since Bard main attributes are everything besides dealing damage. Ignite deals true damage, so their defenses are not going to be a big problem to you since you're going to deal the same amount of damage to a player who has 300 Armor and to another one who has only 50 Armor! At level 1, it deals 70 damage, and at level 18 it deals 410!!! If you want to secure kills for your teammates, and to reduce their heals and life steal, Ignite is the perfect spell for you.
ooo You're probably wondering, "This guy has mental problems :)". Well, I don't have any mental problems, since I remember...but yes, I'm actually going to explain why Flash, the most famous summoner spell in league of legends, is useful...Ok, flash is great with almost every champions, and Bard isn't an exception. This spell can save you from a lot of situations, and it can help you securing some kills at the same time! There's not a lot to say about flash, just save it for really "sticky" situations.
ooo Exhaust is probably the most used summoner spell by supports, after flash. It slows the target which is a great thing for your ADC since this will help him to get some kills if the target was managing to run away. It reduces the damage dealt by the target in 40%...Amazing. This is great, and this is the main reason why I recommend flash when they have an all in champion like LeBlanc and Zed. It also shreds 10 armor and magic resistance. The only reason why I prefer Ignite over Exhaust is the fact that ignite turns out to be more useful in lane since it is a counter to most supports. Bard has a lot of CC so exhaust's slow is not really necessary for Bard. However the damage reduction can change the fate of a teamfight and Exhaust is way more useful in the late game than ignite. It's your choice: Ignite for reduced heals and exra damage or Exhaust for extra CC and damage reduction.

ooo Ghost is a decent summoner spell for Bard. It can be replaced by Flash since it offers him movement speed during a short time. I like how it stacks with Bard's passive [[Traveler's Call] movement speed, and it's a good option for roaming. In overall I prefer flash over ghost, but if you really prefer the second one, you can go ahead!








In the early game, a.k.a laning phase, Bard's main function is to help his ADC. You have to poke poke your enemies with your basic attacks while your ADC farms. Don't forget to place at least one healing shrine to give movement speed to your ADC in case of an enemy gank! At the end of this game phase, you should start roaming, it's always nice to help lanes that are having problems! Help your jungler ganking, but don't forget: You can only leave your ADC alone if you are winning the lane, and if your ADC is not having troubles there. Leave always, at least, one healing shrine in the bot lane. And don't forget to ward at least the entrances of the bot lane! If you're losing, try to play safier because if they get fed right in the beginning, you'll have a lot of problems from now on. Try not to roam as much as you will in the mid game since your ADC needs you in this phase so that you can heal and protect him from enemies' poke, in order to farm.

Okay, now you're going to start to roam even more (but you have to go back to your lane sometimes). Continue to ward (this time, put one ward to protect the bot lane, one to protect the mid laner[the mid lane has two entrances so one is warded by you and the other one by the mid laner), and the other one to protect the top lane(you should ward the dragon too). You should concentrate even more on collecting chimes in this game phase because you want to prepare your Bard for the team fights, right? Don't forget to protect your ADC and to stay in the bot lane. If you prefer to roam a lot in this phase you should, at least, save a few minutes to stay with your ADC(and don't forget to put some healing shrines before you leave).

The team fights have arrived, now is your time to protect the whole team! Use your ultimate when they are trying to run away, or when you are trying to escape, to freeze the enemies. Place shrines next to the team fight, and when an ally needs speed, put the shrine directly on him. In this game phase one of the teams is probably going to get the baron so WARD BARON. If they try to get it, use your ulti to steal it! The same goes for the dragon. You should concentrate in collecting chimes too, since they are very important for Bard thanks to their buffs to your basic attacks. Although you want to protect your ADC even more, you should try to protect your team too( Talisman of Ascension is a great item for this).







As you may know, one of the duties of a support is to ward the battlefield.

-->Early Game:


-Keep your lane warded, ALWAYS. You should start with a Warding Totem so you can ward one of the bushes. Like I said before, in the first recall you should buy Sightstone and one Vision Ward. Your ADC should always ward one bush in order to save you 3 wards: two for bot lane entrances and one for the drake. When you hit level 5/6 don't forget to ward drake (the dragon) since it can provide your team important buffs. As soon as you buy Sightstone you should also buy Sweeping Lens since you won't need your yellow ward anyore. You can use that item in order to destroy enemy's wards. Once you hit level 9, you can upgrade it to Oracle Alteration, a more powerful version of the old normal lens.

-->Mid Game/Late Game:


-Warding is a very important thing during the early game, due to ganks and roam. However, in this two game phases warding is crucial! If you're going to split push with one of your teammates don't forget to ward the entrances of the lane you're trying to push since you and your ally/allies will probably be their next targets. When taking objectives, like nashor, it's important to ward the area around it since the other team will eventually realize where you are. It's important to use Oracle Alteration in bushes next to drake and nashor since it's a common place for both team to ward.

In the following image I have pointed out the best spots for you to ward during the game.








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As you can see, these three ADCs play very agressively. Caitlyn is a perfect pick when you have a Bard on your team. She has a long range(wich is great when Bard is roaming because it allows Caitlyn to play safe) , CC(Crowd Control) and her Yordle Snaptraps are perfect when the enemies are stunned. Jinx is a good pick for the same reasons as Caitlyn. Her ultimate is wonderful when the enemies are stunned by bard! I like Draven because he plays aggressively and with Bard's CC, heals and poke, he can easily stay in lane for a long time. He's ultimate works very well with Bard's kit




o o o o o o o o


Most of the AD Carries placed here have a decent CC, a strong early game, and an aggressive play style. Honorable mentions to Vayne and Ashe. With Vayne stun, Bard can stun the same enemie for a CC chain. The same for Ashe, as she has a lot of CC and a good ult. I like Kalista because her ultimate is great with tanks. Her W passive, Sentinel is perfect with Bard, since Bard's auto attacks are one of his main source of damage. With her passive you and Kalista will easily poke your enemies, dealing tons of damage. With the enemies stunned it will be easier for Graves, Kog'Maw and Lucian to hit their attacks(their ultis mainly). With Varus you can stun your enemies for a long period thanks to his ultimate. Sivir works very well with healing supports and with her ultimate she has an escape which can be used when you're roaming, so that she doesn't die duo to your absence.




oo oo oo oo


The ADC above don't have the best synergy with our little support(ADC with stuns are great with Bard). Ezreal and Bard can work quite well together since Ezreal has a lot of skillshots and Bard a lot of stuns and slows. The other ones can shine with Bard if you both have strategy and a good communication!

Don't forget:

-Bard isn't designed to have a good synergy with an ADC, he needs to have a good synergy with all the team, duo to his roaming abilities!
-Bard plays well with every ADC, specially when your AD carry is your premade(your ultimate is great when it's planned with your friends!). You musn't forget to put some healing shrines in the bot lane when you're going to roam(they give your ADC a lot of help when they are alone).
-Bard is a champion that requires communication between you and your ADC, so it's recommended to play with a premade bot since you'll have to leave the bot lane in order to roam.







Okay, so..this is the end of my Bard's guide T_______T
I really hope you enjoyed it. If my english is bad, I’m very sorry(I'm not a native english speaker!)
For the grand finale, here it's a little resume about his guide! ^^:

1--> Bard is a great support for roaming, when your lane is winning!


2-->Don't forget that Bard is a tanky support so he needs some tank items in the late game.


3-->Bard's meeps guarantees him a lot of CC, so if you prefer, you can use Ignite instead of Exhaust!


4-->Your ultimate is great for stealing the baron, and your Magical Journey is great for escapes and ambushes!


5-->You should start collecting a lot of chimes in the mid game, you need to prepare yourself for the team fights.


6-->Your runes should provide Bard more defense in combat, to help him in the early game, and his masteries some utility!


7-->Never forget that your Caretaker's Shrine gives bonus movement speed to! >:D


8-->Be careful with Bard's mana waste at the beginning of the game, his heals consume a lot of mana!!!


9-->When you're out of mana, collect the chimes near your lane to get extra mana. This way you can have more presence in lane because you'll reduce the number of recalls.


10-->And never forget that Bard is an absolutely amazing champion!!! He only needs some love! He has such a great kit, he is cute, and he's so funny to play with! I hope that my guide helped you understanding that, and if it did, thank you!






First of all: here it is Bard's lore! If you want to play this champion or buy a skin for it i think you have to know, at least, something about this champion!!!

Bard's Lore


As you can see...it's not very complete and I guess none of us felt connected with this lore...so I'm going to pass you the link to Bard's small video/animation called Bard: Mountain, maid by League of Legends :D Enjoy!

Bard Movie

OK, so I think you're now ready to take a look at Bard skins! (since you already now the basic about Bard).

oo
Elderwood Bard

This is a super nice skin! It was Bard's release skin but that doesn't mean it is incomplete or something like that! It gives Bard (and his chimes and meeps) a new model, so as new particles for all his abilities! A new joke, recall, dance and death animations are also included.

Price: 975 RP Category: Regular

Elderwood Bard is a very nice skin! It has a cool concept and for nature fans it's a perfect skin! The price is reasonable for what the skin brings, and if you could buy it during a discount it would be perfect! I like how the skin brings a totally different concept but it still mantains Bard's mythical nature and appearance.

oo



Snow Day Bard

Bard's second skin! It was release during the 2015 snowdown! He shares the splash art with Syndra and Gnar. It's a very cool skin and the penguins are simply adorable (but I actually think they should be poros!). Like his previous skin, this one also gives Bard and his chimes/meeps a new model, new particles, a new dance, joke, death, recall and taunt. He has a new walking animation, so as his meeps/penguins. New sounds for his meeps, abilities(icy sounds), auto-attacks and recall!

Price: 1350 RP Category: Regular

Snow Day Bard is a good skin, in my opinion. I always like winter-related skins so this skin is not an exception. I love his hot chocolate shrine and the penguins following him! The recall animation is very cute too! The new sounds are just a small adittion, but they complete the skin.

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Summing up, Bard may only have 2 skins, but they are both very cool and magical! I love them, almost equally, however, I must say Snow Day Bard is a better choice! It may cost a little more, but if you're going to waste some money on a skin, I think you should try to buy the most complete skin you can. If his winter skin is on discount I think you should give it a try! If you don't know which one to choose, then Elderwood Bard is the best option since it is cheaper and very beautiful! Honestly, you should buy the one you get on discount first! (on your personal shop for example!).






Frequently Asked


Answers



Q: Is Bard a viable choice in ranked matches? // I'm pretty happy to announce that Bard is now a viable choice in rankeds!!! People are getting more used to him(and I'm so happy that he was picked in the world championship ^^)



Q: What makes of Bard a viable choice, when compared to other supports? // What makes Bard a viable choice, it's his "hybrid" support play. He has some tank features, and some healer features to! He's like a mixture of Leona and Sona! He has a lot of CC and that's a very important thing for a support!



Don't forget to post on the "Guide discussion" some questions you want me to answer about Bard! ^^







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