Olaf Build Guide by GargoPat

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League of Legends Build Guide Author GargoPat

The Berserker: Olaf Top Lane Guide

GargoPat Last updated on May 20, 2013
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Hi! Welcome to my second Mobafire guide, this time on Olaf the Berserker. I find him to be a very powerful top lane champion, with Harass with Undertow and sustain with Vicious Strikes makes for a good lane. He is a lost warrior fighting to make a name for himself, and boy does he ever! This guide will show you the items, runes and masteries I use when i feel the need to spill some blood and dominate the top lane.

Olaf might not be listed as a tank, But trust me when I say that he is! Olaf's playstyle involves building tons of health, so he can survive a long fight, allowing his passive, Berserker Rage to kick in and win it for him. The longer a fight goes on, the higher the chance that Olaf will emerge victorious. He also has a huge damage spike from his Reckless Swing, which deals true damage!

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Pros / Cons

+Naturally Tanky
+Great Early Game
+Huge DPS
+Anti-Tank with True Damage
+Ultimate Negates Ganks
+He's a feaking Viking! Who doesn't love Vikings?!

-Easily Kited by any ranged Champion
-Heavy mana costs
-No natural escapes, so he must rely on Summoner spells and Ultimate
-If you miss with Undertow, then the enemies can escape easily
-Needs lifesteal items to counter health costs from his True Damage
-Rather weak to Ignite

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Skill Sequence

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

Max Reckless Swing first, as it is your best Damage tool. 340 true damage every 5 seconds adds up, as explained in the abilities chapter. Building health and lifesteal will mitigate the health costs to this sill. Since Olaf will be involved in a lot of melee fights, going into them with a maxed Vicious Strikes, for the extra damage and lifesteal. Maxing Undertow third will increase the usefulness of the slow in the late game, but be sparing with it, as it gets rather mana-heavy.

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Olaf's Passive, Berserker Rage, means the longer a team fight goes on, the faster he hits. This makes jungling easier and faster, and foes will have to be good judges on whether or not they think they can kill you. It can turn what seems like a free kill into the start of a snowball from hell. It also ties in great with the passive from Maw of Malmortius

Olaf's Q, Undertow hits the foe and slows them significantly. This makes it quite viable for chasing or some early game poke. The mana cost is steep at the early game, so that's why I max it second. In my earlier Olaf days, I would max this skill first, and find myself constantly mana-starved. When chasing, make sure to throw so it will hit the slow, and you can pick up the axe while continuing to chase. Unless you can safely pick up the axe though, it doesn't hurt to simply wait for the regular cooldown. (Don't pick it up if it means going into range of a turret or something like that.)

Olaf's W, Vicious Strikes temporarily increases, his attack damage, lifesteal, and spell vamp. This skill gives him some sustain in lane, but it's not a steady source thanks to the mana cost. Take one point early when laning, and max it second. The damage scales with his maximum health. To find how much it will increase by, look at how much health you heal from Warmog's Armor's passive. They both use 1% of your maximum health, so these values will be equal.

Olaf's E, Reckless Swing is perhaps his most valuable skill in his set. You can poke with it, and it deals true damage, at the cost of some health. Building some lifesteal on Olaf will compensate for this small payment for immense damage. Maxing it first will allow you to deal 340 true damage every 5 seconds to an enemy. That adds up to 1020 true damage over 15 seconds, before cooldown reduction. Once you get Ravenous Hydra, you will heal back most of the true damage you took from the attack over a few basic attacks. Maxing it second in the jungle will help clear the camps faster.

Despite Olaf's recent nerfs, this skill Ragnarok is still very useful, but now its more useful in the middle of a fight, as opposed to an escape tool. The Armor Penetration now is only in effect when the spell is active, limiting its usage. If you relied heavily on Olaf's Armor Pen., then you may need to change your build to compensate for the Armor Pen. bonus he lost.

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Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration

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Viable options:

Ignite: That extra
damage you might need to finish off a fleeing foe. A good choice for Olaf.

Flash: lets you escape a sticky situation. A good choice, but I prefer Ghost, as I find Ghost works well with champions who tend to chase down foes.

Ghost: Close the gap between a foe or make it bigger! The spell with 1000 uses.

Exhaust: Slow that foe down so they cant escape, or beat you in a fight. Great if your jungler doesn't have a ton of CC when it comes to ganking.

Non-Viable spells:

Clairvoyance: You're not a support. Don't bother.

Clarity: Olaf might be a bit mana-heavy, but this is just a waste of a spell.

Cleanse: Your ultimate is this spell, but neutralizes all CC instead of reducing its effects. Don't bother with this at all.

And basically any spell not listed under viable spells is not viable!

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  • Summoner's Wrath : Boosting your most viable summoner spells! Increased movement speed on Ghost, Bonus AD from Ignite, and softening up a target with Exhaust!
  • Fury : Olaf loves Attack Speed! More is better.
  • Deadliness : A little scaling AD, but the only reason you take this is to get to Weapon Expertise .
  • Weapon Expertise : Armor Penetration is a great thing for any AD Champion.


  • Durability : Scaling health for Olaf makes him tanky, synergizing well with his kit.
  • Hardiness & Resistance : These two help Olaf survive poke from the enemy top lane, be it physical or magic damage.
  • Unyielding & Block & Honor Guard : Negating a ton of damage from enemy champions, and with a Doran's Shield, you negate even more damage!
  • Safeguard: If you find yourself tower diving a lot, this mastery can save your life. It also lets you tank towers late game to help your team fight under them, or take them down.
  • Juggernaut : More health means more damage for Olaf! It makes him tougher, and stronger! And nobody was scared of the weak Viking who wasn't tanky.
  • Reinforced Armor : In case you find yourself against Tryndamere or Gangplank top lane, you negate those pesky crits.
  • Defender : More armor and magic resist, it's like a weaker version of Wukong's Stone Skin.

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Berserker's Greaves: Provides Olaf with more attack and movement speed. The best boots you can buy for Olaf. You can also take Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads.

Ravenous Hydra: The best S3 item in Olaf's lineup. Gives attack damage, lifesteal, and AOE splash damage. Also has a UNIQUE active that damages nearby foes for 100% of your AD, with a 10-second cooldown. There is no reason not to take this item ever.

The Black Cleaver: Gives health, attack damage, and reduces the targets armor. Each hit will hit harder and harder, up to a cap of course. And the armor REDUCTION, not PENETRATION, means your allies will hit the target harder too.

Sunfire Cape: Health and armor, with an aura that damages nearby foes each second. This greatly increases Olaf's survivability and DPS in a fight. A perfect item that synthesizes with Olaf's kit. It deals magic damage, so their armor will not imoact it in any way, like Darius's Hemorrhage.

Frozen Mallet: Another perfect item. Gives massive health, and each hit slows the opponent's movement speed. Should they decide to run, they won't get far thanks to the passive of Frozen Mallet and Undertow.

Warmog's Armor: Massive amounts of health, and huge health regeneration. Combined with the health regeneration of Ravenous Hydra you will have good sustain outside of combat. Also increases the damage on Vicious Strikes.

Blade of the Ruined King: This item gives damage and attack speed, on top of lifesteal. Olaf's favorite stats. The passive also lets Olaf mow through an enemy tank or any high-importance target, and the active lets him chase down foes.

Maw of Malmortius: Damage and Magic Resistance coupled with a life-saving passive makes for a solid choice when constructing your build. The passive that gives more damage as you lose health ties in perfectly with your passive. When you have a ton of health, you gain a ton of attack damage and attack speed as it drops.

Runic Bulwark: Tank-based aura that helps your whole team. You should only take this if your support has not, say if you have a Soraka or a Janna, whereas Taric or Thresh are more likely to take it.

Randuin's Omen: Health and armor, with passives that slow opponents attack speeds, and also stops them from running away. Good against a high attack speed ADC like Caitlyn or Kog'Maw, or Teemo, Xin Zhao, or Udyr.

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Team Work/Ranked Play

Remember that although listed as a MELEE FIGHTER, Olaf is a tank! Don't believe me? Guess who else is only listed as a melee fighter...

- Garen
- Singed
- Malphite
- Jarvan IV
- Zac
- Dr. Mundo

That's right. All of these tanks are not listed as tanks. So don't go thinking, " Olaf isn't a tank! He's just a fighter!". Olaf is a unique tank in which he jumps in on an enemy, and tanks for his team, while dealing out as much damage as his adc. He also excels at soloing the dragon whenever possible. Olaf's job is not to seek out and assassinate the enemy ADC or APC, his role is to tank and kill opponents. Leave the assassination to the jungler. That doesn't mean not to focus high importance targets, but to stay in the fight and soak up damage, not chasing a fleeing out away from the fight. Olaf is best suited to stay in the fight from start to finish!

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Well, this is my guide to a tanky Olaf. I will update more in the future, as well as general edits. Please remember that this is my personal preference, and you are free to change this build to suit your needs. Please no hate comments, and thumbs up maybe! :)

If you liked this, check out my other guides in my Signature!