Bard Build Guide by CataclysmG

League of Legends Build Guide Author CataclysmG

[UPDATED 7.1] Full AP Bard Mid - A guide for the untiltable

CataclysmG Last updated on January 19, 2017
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R


Natural Talent
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Offense: 12


Defense: 18

Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Utility: 0

Threats to Bard with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Aurelion Sol You can literally just harass ASol for minutes straight since his damage is all telegraphed and his poke does nothing early on. You should be able to instakill him with two or three items if you land a good protobelt.
Brand You can sit behind your minions and outpoke Brand since his abilities rely on being close for the most part. He can't get close enough to E without losing the trade, wasting Q on poke hurts him heavily, and his W does almost no damage if he doesn't hit another spell first.
Karthus Immobile, easy to dodge his Q. Just build mobility boots early and avoid his wall of pain and you should be able to outpoke him as long as he doesn't get into a range where his E hits you. That ability hurts more than you would think. Ult/heal low health allies when he tries to ult.
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Hello! I'm CataclysmG, just call me Cata though. I'm a silver Bard main on NA (that used to be a plat Riven main but that account got banned lmao) with 83,786 points at the time of writing. This is my first guide, so I would appreciate any feedback you have for either the writing of my guide or the format. I'm also new to the Mobafire guide creator anyways, so this is probably going to look like a mess. Anyways, here's an example of this build (the example full build) in a ranked game I played today.

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Pros +

- Huge roaming potential
- High base damage for early trades
- Massive setup potential
- Can save whole teams or even stop the enemy team with ult
- Big heals come with lots of AP
- Can make escape or engage paths for his whole team

Cons -

- If he loses lane, he loses hard
- Requires lots of AP to be relevant late game
- Easy to gank pre-6
- Requires ignite for a lot of his kills
- Highly "outplayable"
- Hard to master (or play in master elo)
- People might hate you in ranked :^)

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How to Play Bard Mid

Alright, so Bard is generally played as a support. You see some very good support Bard players, but I think his real potential is as a carry mid laner. He has many tools that make him a very versatile champion, so many in fact that he can win almost any matchup in some way. I have detailed every matchup I can think of in the matchup section.

The thing about Bard mid is his sustain. Early game, watch where your chimes spawn. If they spawn near your lane, leave them so you can sustain mana while you poke early on. If they spawn far away, collect them before minions spawn and think of a path to collect the rest as you roam to other lanes. Speaking of roaming, that's the golden thing about Bard; his roaming potential. He is THE roaming support, given his title (The Wandering Caretaker), so if you get any advantage in lane either by pushing your opponent out or even just killing them, it's a good idea to roam for chimes and look for picks on top and bot lane. On blue side, focus on bot lane since your E set up easy ganks through the wall by their outer turret. On red, focus top lane for the same reason; that huge wall.

In lane, depending on the matchup, you look to poke with Q's high base damage. You can also focus on waveclear once you hit 25 chimes on your passive. If you land a stun on your lane opponent, you auto attack. If your auto is empowered by your passive, you'll even proc thunderlords for a massive hit. Once you pick up your revolver, you will likely half health your enemy laner with this combo alone, setting up nice kills and forcing flashes with your ult.

Speaking of passive, it's a very important part of Bard's kit. Every 5 chimes you collect that spawn around the map, you gain bonus effects on your auto attacks. These range from an additional slow on your first few autos, extra damage that really racks up over time, and also having more empowered auto attacks in a row. The next "chapter" will have a full list of the upgrades up to 95, which is about the highest number you can expect to ever see in an average length game.

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Bard's Passive Upgrades

5 Chimes- Thrown Meeps apply a 25% slow
10 Chimes- Thrown Meeps do (30 at 0 stacks) +25 additional magic Dmg (55)
15 Chimes- Gain +1 additional meeps
20 Chimes- Thrown meeps do +25 additional magic Dmg (80)
25 Chimes- Thrown meeps will now strike through the initial target in a cone, applying slow and dmg to all hit inside the cone
30 Chimes- Thrown meeps do +30 additional magic Dmg (110)
35 Chimes- Meeps reappear 1 second faster (12 at 0 stacks) (11)
40 Chimes- Thrown meeps do +30 additional magic Dmg (140)
45 Chimes- Thrown meeps apply a 45% slow
50 Chimes- Thrown meeps do +35 additional magic Dmg (175)
55 Chimes- Gain +1 additional meeps
60 Chimes- Thrown meeps do +35 additional magic Dmg (210)
65 Chimes- Increased cone width (this is actually huge)
70 Chimes- Thrown meeps do +35 additional magic Dmg (245)
75 Chimes- Meeps reappear 1 second faster (10)
80 Chimes- Thrown meeps do +35 additional magic Dmg (280)
85 Chimes- Thrown meeps apply a 60% slow
90 Chimes- Thrown meeps do +30 additional magic Dmg (310)
95 Chimes- Gain +1 additional meeps

TL;DR: Bard has a lot of damage potential and even has a strikethrough effect, which adds a lot of waveclear to his kit.

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First of all, I would like to thank /r/bardmains for being such a great community on Discord and Reddit both, they're full of great people and Bard mains of course. I'm active on their Discord if you would like to join and talk to me, or just directly message me (Cata#4979).

I would also like to thank myself for actually having the motivation to make this guide, I've been procrastinating it for a while but writing this out was a lot of fun.

And last, I'd like to thank those of you who are going to take the time to write feedback after reading through this. I'll improve based on what you guys think.

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Edit 1: Added lots of information about Bard's passive, planning to add my AD Bard top/AD Bard jungle build later

Edit 2: Fixed skill max for E rather than W, note edited. Old note kept below. Added Camille to matchup list.