Protector of the ADC
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.
Threats to Bard with this build
|Sona||You may find a Pokey Sona, but never one as pokey as you. Stun her against her ADC or a wall and watch her melt from your ADC.|
Hello, and welcome.
My name is Kaal, a North American League player, Unranked.
This guide is for a fun, informative, and useful path to my all time favorite support.
You will be supporting. Naturally, Exhaust will come to mind for escapes, chases, lowering the DPS of an enemy ADC in general. Ask your ADC what they prefer, they might want you to take ignite, heal, Clarity (Bard is VERY Mana Hungry early game)... Be flexible.
Flash. Standard on most champions, for obvious reasons. It's too useful to pass up, unless you are far more comfortable running without it. Even then, consider it.
These are hardly "fine tuned," I don't have the IP for that. This is a cost efficient way to play bard, and you're free to do what you will with Runes. I run Ability Power so Shrines heal more, Q's hurt more, and Meeps poke more. Magic Pen to shred enemies and feed my ADC with a silver spoon. Health to make me as generally enduring as I can for when Mid roams bottom. Do your thing, but consider my guidance.
Q is your bread and Butter. Slow, Stun, Auto Attack, Thunderlord's, repeat.
W will help laning exponentially.
E for the occasional roam, Jungler Gank, Escape, Chase, Etc.
R for the ultimate Bard plays. Disable CC enemies while your whole team shreds the 2-4 squishies! (Ult tanks, move in, stun squishies if possible. If Squishies run, stun tanks and retreat.)
Wanderer or Savagery: We're not last hitting, we're wandering. Wanderer.
Runic Affinity, Secret Stash, or Assassin: We won't 1v1, or get buffs. Secret Stash.
Meditation or Merciless: Bard is Mana hungry, and we shouldn't be hitting below 40% for kills. Meditation.
Bandit or Dangerous Game: Kinda equal, I recommend Bandit.
Precision or Intelligence: Once again, Equal but to ensure no last hits I say Intelligence.
Typically, I don't love Thunderlord's. Ever since 6.5, it's gotten a nerf too many people didn't realize, because it was the best for so long. But Bard gets a Q, an Auto Attack, and a Meep. 3 hits, a Thunderlord's and his damage has maxed until Thunderlord's resets. Kill Stealing is minor, but you can justify Deathfire Touch (by taking Sorcery, Expose Weakness, Natural Talent, Oppressor, Piercing Thoughts and Deathfire Touch).
Finally, I recommend 6 in Ferocity and Resolve to benefit from Expose Weakness and Explorer, but I also understand dedicating to one tree for increased benefits based on play style and Need. Use your best judgement, or trust mine, either way, have fun!
Every good song has an outro. I know I wrote a lot, and potentially left a lot up in the air. And a lot of people won't like how I don't advocate support items exclusively how Riot recommends playing the Wandering Caretaker. However, this is fun, and effective in my experience outside of ranked. I don't believe Bard shines as a strictly support or tanky Champion, I believe Ability Power makes his power and playability go through the roof. I want everyone reading this to feel encouraged to ask me any questions about this build, offer insight, etc. I just want a forethought to be "I have a Max Champion Mastery as Bard, have mained him for a while now, am unranked, and play for fun." I've even solo queued as Bard, and still spoon fed ADC's who had never played with me before. I may not be the best, but I'm not an idiot either. I believe a Support that stuns, stasis's, offers escapes, heals, and shreds health is epic. Build some health and he can pseudo tank as well.
This guide is not perfect, this guide is not strict, and this guide is supposed to be for a fun Bardic Experience, while remaining serious and flexible. If I don't achieve that, then it should be revised, and I welcome comments and questions of a helpful nature to me and readers.
Now, then, get out there and ward, chime, ult, stun, and have fun. Play well, play on.