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
|Braum||This match is bug easy Stand behind braum? oops q insta stun... the dudes immobile, bard ult is easy to hit and you have shrines so you outsustain this dude.|
This guide and my view on Bard
First thing: OMG Bard IS THE GREATEST CHAMPION EVAR
OK seriously, I do think he is a superb champion. I see Bard as the best support champion and outmatches the majority of the current support champions. I do know however there are things he simply can't do ( Nautilus dis champion omg) but I will try to explain why I believe in this awesome champion.
- He has ONE damage ability (kinda). This is his Q which scales AP and does magic damage. TWO of his abilities literally has no scaling and levels only reduce the cooldown. THIS MEANS he benefits far more than other support champions from building utility IN ORDER to provide himself options. Think about it, in a team fight if a Janna has Rabadon's Deathcap her ult can heal for incredible amounts, slow for more on her W, Q does higher damage and her shield is crazy especially with the CDR. Bard however would only benefit from a higher damage Q and stronger shrine heals because the other two do not benefit from anything but CDR. This is why I stress the importance of maximising utility and buying items that can somehow make Bard more active in team fights, skirmishes and objectives. This makes Bard sound a bit weak but this is because the utility he brings is SO GOOD specifically his magical journey and tempered fate. the bonus utility simply means you maximise the gold you get and the amount of contribution to your teams victory.
- Secondly he's an amazing roaming champion. Unlike other supports that are more beefy or have more cc, what Bard brings to the table is FASTER ROAMS (chimes), CREATIVE GANKS (magical journey), and BETTER VISION (sometimes). Bard is quite squishy and he doesn't have the easiest kit to help him out of bad situations but its good enough and it allows him to place great wards in river or enemy territory.
- His ultimate. enough said...OK I'll explain my reasons: The reason this ultimate is so good is because it is VERSATILE in good AND bad ways. I will explain more in depth further down but his ultimate is literally game breaking for your team (and the enemy team >.>)
I am going to try to make this guide as in-depth as I possibly can. How I'll explain is shown in the contents when I find where it is. I will explain individually the reason for choices of items, then how early, mid and late game works for Bard, his abilities with a special part for explaining the strength of his ultimate. hopefully that will cover everything but If I have anything more I will add on later as extra chapters.
hope you enjoy :)
THIS IS YOUR TYPICAL SCORE:JK this should be a decent one:
So there are a couple of times where picking Bard is quite good:
- To counter pick (by champion): Bard works well against Braum lanes or highly immobile ADC's such as ones like Ashe because it is easier to catch them out of position and punish them such as by using your journey to close in on her , Cosmic Binding to stun her or Tempered Fate.
- To counter pick (comp): There are a couple of comps that Bard works very good against. The easiest example that I like using is immobile champs as it exemplifies bard's kit very well. this is explained more later but for now pick him against like Orianna, Kog'Maw, Cho'Gath and stuff.
- He provides a lot of roaming, vision and unique ways to move around the map: This is sort of its own stand alone point because Magical Journey is a unique way to traverse the map. This takes experience and knowledge of what you can do, for example if you are red side then you can sneak past wards near baron by tunnelling behind the pit bypassing enemy vision.
- If your team does not require a tanky support like Thresh, then Bard can be a versatile pick to fill the support role: This is due to the amount of utility Bard can have. However Bard is quite squishy, he typically niches with the caster supports more than the other variants.
So generally I favour him mostly against specific comps. Every comp has a win condition even the oddest ones have something that their comp will use to win the game, we will call this the win strategy. Lets go over some of the win strategies and how Bard reacts to it (sounds like chemistry class now haha):
DEFEND THE ADC/PROTECT Kog'Maw:
Pretty uncommon win strategy in solo q and ranked team however this is where Bard's ultimate is strongest which I will explain the concept in the Tempered Fate section below, the reason Bard is good for this comp is generally they have a decent damage threat mid like Orianna and a very strong, buffed ADC like Kog'Maw. This means the strategy must rely on the damage output of one champion and four champions fueling the champion. As Bard it is easy to land effective Q stuns on immobile casters like the ones required in this type of composition, this is coupled with the power of taking people out of the team fight with Tempered Fate and thus damaging the limbs of this win strategy. It works even better because as you roam in the jungle you pass by choke points. These choke points are perfect areas to collapse onto this comp with as well as stunning many champions with success from your Q.
MULTI TANK COMP:
I very like Bard against many tank threat comps because the win strategy of a many tank comp is to hold out long enough for the back line dps (damage per second) can kill the enemy team through their ADC's consistent damage and APC's burst damage. If you take either part of the comp out it exposes the other to their weakness, in this case back line's lack of tankiness and the tanks lack of damage. What makes this more effective (but both risky and difficult) is to have your primary engage like Amumu to engage the front line and root them, followed by your Bard ult and your team killing the back line.
This is a bit more complex but an example would be tear stacking champions like Ryze. In the early game the first 720 gold they earn in the lane is used for mana. This sets back on the scaling of these champs meaning they want a safe early game to reach their power spikes safely, that way they are not behind due to the stacking. Bard can orchestrate some very effective tower dives from ulting the tower to ulting your team post-dive to keep them alive. This threat when he hits 6 makes the scaling of these champions harder and if you were successful the first time as Bard you can keep the pressure with camps and vision thereby rendering the champion useless until he can farm the deficit built up on him.
Just Miss fortune:
If you see on the enemy team a miss fortune, fed or not just ult her. She does so much damage that it is better to keep her out of the fight for a while before focusing her or to set up a kill on her. The ultimate alone does incredible damage but her new passive and unbreakable strut allows her to play teamfights to her advantage most of the time.
Bard in my opinion doesn't have bad synergy with any champion. I feel like his utility can be given to anyone and the varied use of his ultimate can be applied to any situation for your team. that being said a couple of pairings are very effective .
Kalista: With Bard's providence of shrines to sustain Kalista's somewhat shaky lane, very hard punishes that can lead to an easy kill against the enemy bot lane and the Tempered Fate to allow Kalista and your team to position accordingly in team fights makes the pairing very good also including Kalista's ultimate as an escape for Bard too adds more to the pair.
Sivir: In the first couple of levels, Sivir will want to shove the wave hard using her Q and W to make the wave go under their tower. Because junglers need time before they gank this is pretty safe and it gives you a minor advantage in harass and cs lead. Bard is very good at harassing the enemy underneath their tower as you have empowered auto's which allows you to deal more damage than lets say a Janna auto under their tower. Furthermore the tower makes it more easier to land a q-stun leading to strong trades as well. Sivir is also a very forgiving champion as she has a mana shield if you ever make mistake or if you are caught, Sivir's ultimate is helpful in your escape and/or re-engage. In team fights Bard's ultimate can both be used before or after a Sivir ultimate to set up how your team will position in team fights. One of the main reasons Sivir's ultimate is so good is because it allows your team to initiate very cleanly against the other team and adding a Bard ult extends this ability.
Graves: Bard/ Graves The brand new Graves is incredibly strong and what i like about the duo is that even though he is short ranged, Bard compensates for trades as well as punishes very hard with a q and end of the line combo which can half shot many opponents. Graves also has incredible dueling capabilities where in 2v2's your ultimate can set up Graves' burst from his combo and the enormous damage from his auto attacks. Graves does have a smaller range and so when building items on Bard you want to focus on peel items or utility such as going for the talisman, aegis, or Mikael's as your first support item.
Runes and masteries
OK so I have explained when you will instalok Bard BUT we now need to know how we are going to play him. It sounds weird but champions can be played in various ways for example... me! I have proudly played Bard in every lane and role and have tried ludicrous things from Luden's Echo Bard mid to my favourite, Devourer Bard jungle WHICH is successful(W-L ratio 1-4...). Anyway lets get to the reasons for runes and masteries:
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Quintessence of Health
So how I've learn't to make runes for support is basically how i want to play my lane with my ADC. for me i chose raw health as like an extra health pot in my lane as Bard is quite squishy as opposed to other tanky supports that are available. I chose magic pen because, especially later on, Bard's Q has very decent base stats along with the passive therefore it pretty much covers my damage using these runes. Armour seals are normal to reduce early game damage and the scaling AP is just to have some AP in the late game. These are my current runes on support, they're not ideal but they are fine for me. Ideally if you want good Bard runes change scaling AP to mana and magic pen to armour.
0-18-12, Keystone: Windspeaker's Blessing 0-12-18, Keystone: Bond of stone
The new masteries are now ferocity, cunning, resolve. You will either go 0-18-12 or 0-12-18.
Windspeaker's blessing: its OK on Bard, its not very optimal because you don't get your heal up as often as Soraka or Janna, but out of the three it is highly unlikely you can deal 30% of someones health in 2 seconds.
Thunderlord's decree: Pretty OP mastery since nearly 100% of all champions in every role are now taking this mastery, even supports. Either this will be nerfed or the other masteries are going to be buffed. Nevertheless this is pretty good in lane with a q and two autos.
Bond of stone: if you have picked this however it is a bit more efficient as you would be going tank bard. This can make you an effective front liner depending on your items and how late into the game it is. This feels more effective than the other keystone and may even be better than the other keystone because of the rest of the tree in resolve.
Those are the main reasons i take those masteries, part of this is down to preference as i quite like the mobility Bard can have out of lane. Try what fits you the most.
Summoner spells and abilities
Its not as significant but i would like to explain a bit about the summoner spells you take on Bard.
You will only take these summoners when playing Bard. Now you might think "why not Exhaust?" well basically looking at Bard, we see that he has a slow/stun and a passive auto allowing larger auto attacks and later on a slow. the problem isn't so much Exhaust but more of that bard especially early game doesn't have much damage and the two things ignite brings; damage and grievous wounds are things bard can't bring. This is why ignite is a much greater choice because it allows for deceptive damage from Bard and a better form of kill securing. Another reason is because when exhausting people you do this to reduce the effectiveness of that champion. Well you have a Bard ult and a very effective q which in my opinion out weighs the need for an Exhaust. If you do need an Exhaust against let's say an assassin mid like Zed, you can take it but its better if your mid laner took it seeming they are playing against the assassin and therefore have the power to shut the Zed down.
Passive/ Traveler's Call:
Chimes will spawn around the map at random giving a movement speed stack and a portion of mana back to Bard, meeps will appear by Bard's side allowing for empowered auto-attacks. The chimes are not full RNG, they tend to appear close to where you are, in the first minute of the game where you first go is where the chimes will spawn first, typically two. These chimes will be your mana pots when you go low. Be mindful of when you leave your adc you normally want to leave when he has cleared the wave and there is a shrine or two nearby in case things go horrible like a jungle gank etc. later on find opportunities to leave the lane such as helping a jungler gank mid or helping him ward by dragon pit. It's not critical to do so and some games as Bard you may just sit in lane for 20 minutes with your ADC, sometimes that happens. The later the game goes more chimes appear so if its not detrimental to your team, it's often good to go on long journeys collecting chimes to upgrade your meeps and place vision along the way and because of the speed you go, its quite safe to stick a couple of wards around the enemy jungle.
As for the meeps themselves in the early game you just use them as trading tools with or without q, something like a volley coupled with your q and meep auto leads to some very good trades. Later on in the game your meeps should come to a point where they are able to slow and do AOE. The AOE is OK for wave clear but the slow is more important as it can be used to catch people out of position but be careful not to get caught yourself.
Q/ Cosmic Binding
This ability is what makes you not unviable. Seriously this ability has stun time of about 2 seconds to two people. The speed it goes is quite slow and you will typically find you don't tend to hit many of these because of it. HOWEVER, there are some ways to make it easier:
In lane you want to hug the bush side mostly so you are on the outer edges of the minion waves in which you will wait for an opening where a minion is directly behind either the ADC or support. When you see them you you shoot this to stun the ADC behind and thereby allowing you and your ADC to trade effectively.
When not in lane, if you're chasing try to get a slow from your auto to catch up and stun/slow them, when running try to look around to where you could go that you can fire a q which would stun the chasers. Other tips for landing q also include your ultimate catching a couple of players in stasis and setting up so that as soon as they leave it, you instantly stun them for your team to collapse or simply when two champions are clustered together so that your q stuns both champions.
W/ Caretaker's Shrine:
Very good ability and very useful to use in many situations. There are many ways to use shrines and in one game you can't do all the possible ways because its simply not needed to win. Shrines however are good because of this such as for example if your mid lane isn't doing so well, Bard can come to gank and afterwards leave shrines to sustain him BUT if he is doing fine in the lane or has a crystalline then place those shrines a bit back and let the jungler have them to keep up in their jungle clears.
If your jungler is a jungler that gets low after their first clear, take w first early and place 3 shrines for him in his jungle then back before minions spawn. This will allow your jungler to gank earlier than they could after a full clear either surprising enemy lanes or allowing your jungler to counter jungle safely.
If your lane is pretty horrific then set up a few shrines if you and your ADC will take a jungle camp or place them by the turret so that you have more effective health in the lane. Sometimes you can have your jungler lane gank for you even when he's low as he takes your lane shrines.
Later in the game shrines are best for sieges especially against poke champs as it acts like a Nidalee heal after being poked. Try to keep at least one shrine on the map anywhere as it can be useful to have it for any situation near that area especially near objectives like dragon and baron. At this stage though you will tend to insta-heal your teammates rather than leaving them on the floor because its strong enough to act as a heal.
A small final tip on the shrine, if you want to heal lets say after a fight leave it on the floor to ferment like a fine wine. Try to be patient as the taste (the heal) will certainly be better. (^_<)
E/ Magical Journey:
I want to say this is what makes Bard iconic but pretty much his entire kit is so iconic. This ability can be used in countless situations that I can't list all of them. There are a couple main ways to use Magical Journey and I have already mentioned one above. The rest of the ways to use Magical Journey is down to you and the creativity of how you perceive the situations you encounter.
TIPS: When running away and you Magical Journey, if an enemy or two pass through as well, fire a Q at them and it guarantees a stun on your chasers as well as being a bait for teammates on the other side to pick them off.
Another tactic that's more difficult is to enter a bush and place a journey, the difference is you do not enter the tunnel and instead leave the bush without them seeing you that way you juke any pursuing enemies.
In lane, when you see your jungler come to gank, leave lane and meet him to do a Magical Journey gank to allow it easier to engage on the opposing bot lane. Sometimes you can perform solo ganks onto other lanes like mid lane by using Magical Journey to enter the lane and q them behind a minion.
Pics of places to do really good bard journeys
Fun to do out of base
Sometimes you just gotta go through your nexus you know.
I think its the longest one and can save a lot of time if performed quickly
Place tunnel in bush and run into fog
Mid lane gank (Take care)
Red side good escape
Very good gank tunnel for bot lane and for both sides
Sneak a Baron, make sure to de-ward the bush and pit to sneak it
Top lane gank
Another way to gank top
Effective journeys that cover long distance
same as above
DRIVE BY, Your jungler can actually use this to do a sneaky smite steal
Just an interesting one you can use, maybe for quick rotations?
Sometimes to make your great escape, you gotta journey through the inhibitor :P
The reason you picked Bard.
You pick Leona because she has very hard engage and an AOE stun. You pick Thresh because he has engage and disengage built into his kit. You pick Nautilus cos you're a **** and like to cc someone for a couple o' thousand years. What about Bard then? squishy Leona? less-effective Janna? Well that's because this dude is unique in the sense that Tempered Fate doesn't have a designated role as an ultimate. Leona's ultimate is seen as an engage because it stuns enemies. Well Bard can with his ult but he can also "stun" his teammates too. Due to this the potential of Bard's ultimate is incredible and so can be used in ANY situation to favour your team. It is universal simply because it can affect ANY tower and ANY champion.
HOW THIS THING WORKS:
OK so to put this in very basic terms, you take something in the game and throw it out for a couple of seconds (I think its 2 seconds-ish). This is the way i want you to think of it, why you might ask? well because it doesn't behave the same way as "cc". Another way to think of it is Zhonya's Hourglass. Zhonya's makes you invulnerable meaning by going golden you essentially don't exist (however things like Soraka ultimate can still heal you). With this in mind you should be able to look at any scenario and quickly think WHAT CAN YOU DO with Tempered fate to gain an advantage for your team because aforementioned, this ultimate isn't a stun. you can't simply try to bard ult as many of the enemy team thinking it will help (and I'm sure you have seen gameplay of this) because it isn't a stun/form of cc. Why is Leona allowed to do that? because her team can still continue to do damage after the stun. Bard's ult does not do this and you should never think it like that.
MORE ON Tempered Fate:
I have contradicted a bit on what i have said above. I have said it can be used in any situation to gain an advantage for your team, however I have also just said you can't ultimate a lot of people like an AOE Leona ultimate. Lets clarify this. I don't want you to think of it like a Leona stun, I want you to think of it as a form of getting advantages by removing factors in the game thereby reducing the amount of focus needed on targets or objectives. In one situation you will need to Bard ult their entire team but you do it because it allows your team to do something else. The most common way and the way i want you to use Tempered Fate is in to strategically take people who are threats to your team out of the fight for a couple of seconds allowing you to fight 4v5 or 3v5 depending on how many you hit.
Juggernauts: Currently in 5.19, the introductions of Juggernauts has pushed the game into a very chaotic situation. The basic idea is that top lane carries are very threatening especially the likes of Darius, bot lane is kinda weaker yet stronger because it is very easy to kite Juggernauts. Bard is very good against these champs and i would say does fairly better than most supports on average. Is his pick rate going to increase now? well, probably not because the juggernauts are slightly too powerful and just because one juggernaut cannot chase a Bard doesn't mean the other 4 can't. I overall can't say whether you would do better or worse except for champion specific matchups.
IN PRO PLAY: (notice how SK gaming's team were setting up an initiation because of the ult)
This section will just elaborate on the item choices over others. Some items have more use than other items in certain situation and you need to notice which ones will have more impact and which ones won't.
Spellthief's Edge: The item change has made this the most prominent item to pick up on almost any support. The gold generation and stats are incredibly high. You usually get roughly 1000 gold to 1500 gold in 30 minutes however the main reason this has become much better is because of the new active which is the twin shadows active. What made the twin shadows a non viable item was the fact that it took an item slot but only gave small amounts of stats. With this new item it's more effective to rush this item as the first item along with sightstone because of how much it gives you. Aim to get this complete after sightstone is built or if another situational item takes priority.
Sightstone: Might seem obvious but i sometimes see people skip the item. Don't. Seriously. I used to play DoTA and vision in that game isn't as easy as in League. The game allows you to freely place vision anywhere making it so good. You might think it's just to see jungler ganks but vision, especially in the higher ranks, is important for objectives, the positions of people on the map, and key decisions that could win you the game just from a stealth ward.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity: Ionians good on Bard because it's the only item that Gives 15% cooldown reduction after spirit visage was reduced to 10% from 15%. If you run 5% masteries or runes then Ionian is the niche boots.
Talisman of Ascension: Super good item on Bard. The stats are good as a whole but the active is amazing because it's "effective range" is much longer than of the other caster support item Frost Queen's Claim. What this mean is the active of frost queen is a very small range for it to be used to pick people. In reality the only thing i see in the active is that it is good for kiting. As for Talisman of Ascension, the movement speed allows you to close more distance towards an enemy and use your meep-auto attack to slow who you are picking. It's use can also be for rotating fast, getting in range, mini Sivir ult for team, the uses for this item is much higher than Frost Queen's Claim.
Locket of the Iron Solari: A pretty common item on Bard. The stats benefit him greatly with more health and magic resist as well as the aura for your team in skirmishes and fights being very useful. The item also gives a portion of cooldown reduction which is really nice. You might just be buying the Aegis of the Legion part which is fine as it allows you to spend more money on other utility items.
Mikael's Crucible: Admittedly I don't actually buy the item much because mostly I don't get enough money to buy it anyway and the reasoning in buying it is as extra really. On the other hand i do sometimes rush the item in certain situations like I am facing someone like Syndra because it helps nullify the one-shot potential against either me or my ADC as well as reducing Syndra's effectiveness in the team fight.
Zeke's Harbinger: New changes to all the ADC have given them more power in the mid game making them more impact and priority to kill. This will be your first item most of the time unless given the situation. This item is incredible by practically doubling both you and your ADC damage during team fights if procced well. Often it can be very effective if used well however it is an item that definitely needs practicing for someone to use. Overall along with stats, the item very favours Bard as a champ and support at the moment.
Sweeping Lens: (NOW CHANGED, NEW Obvious item to get. Get it after first back to prepare to de-ward dragon pit or your jungle. DO NOT FORGET TO UPGRADE, seriously leave some of your pocket change to the side and upgrade it post-Level 9. It is important you upgrade this because mentioned above, vision is important and so therefore clearing vision is as important as putting vision (Also you're most likely the only person on your team to buy red trinket anyway). With the set up of Sightstone and oracle you are able to clear massive paths of vision for your team in 1050 gold. pretty cheap right? NOTE: this includes buying pink wards too.
Banner of Command: Very useful item. Do not recommend it too highly but its good to counter pushing waves. I generally buy it if we have a strong team fight comp and buff the opposite side of the baron pit cannon minion to let it split push. This way it helps prevent minions taking side turrets freely as well as pressure the side lanes should your team not be effective at splitpushing. The item is also very strong to counter AP waveclear champions such as Viktor.
Mejai's Soulstealer: One of my friends does this build to get 40% CDR alongside Talisman of Ascension and Locket of the Iron Solari. This isn't a 100% effective way to build him as you must reach 20 stacks, risk building it early and possibly falling behind, or if hitting 20 stacks must try their best to not die as Bard. When it does work it is really good because the bonus AP greatly helps the damage of Q and his meeps as well as his shrine healing. It also frees up a lot of space and possible options and items to build on Bard later in the game. Due to the risk I can only recommend it as a situational item or if you are confident in your ability and the game you are in then it is definitely a very good item to build.
Tanky stuff: You will buy a defensive item if extra utility is not needed and bonus health on you is more useful. The main items will be Spirit Visage for magic resist and shrines, Warmog's Armor for poke/siege, Banshee's Veil for long cooldown burst mages, Iceborn Gauntlet for short-range ADC's like Sivir/ Lucian and Frozen Heart for higher damage ADC's or AD team comps like Vayne/ Graves/Full AD teams. ( Frozen Heart and Randuin's Omen are the best items against Vayne because percentage health true damage is difficult to itemise against therefore Frozen Heart reducing attack speed is the optimal method of stopping a fed Vayne). In a nutshell, just hit tab and look at their team, if need MR go locket or spirit and if armour go Deadman's plate or randuin's (goes well with Talisman).
Remember, always build for the appropriate situation. Don't copy the same build every game because sometimes it won't be as effective as building a different item. I remember playing with a friend who was playing Zed and he was against a Diana. The Diana rushed an Abyssal Scepter first item against him and he told me what's the point of copying a build if you don't understand why you buy the item. So take it as a lesson like the Diana and think about what you are building and what it brings to your team.
So you say Bard is the best support, then why is he not played that much?
I've gone on about the pros of playing Bard but I haven't actually spoken about the cons of him. Like every champ, each one has strengths and weaknesses, the amount of weaknesses vary though. For Bard there are many reasons that don't allow him to become meta.
Other supports just outclass him: Sadly this is just the case. There are supports specialised in their role which simply do Bard's job better. Two examples are Leona, and Janna. Leona has short cooldown abilities that help her lock down champions in team fights or in picks. For Bard to do similar it requires his ultimate every 10 seconds because your q cannot beat a Leona w-e-q, also she's far tankier than Bard. And for Janna, she is more safe in the back line because of the amount of peel she brings in her entire kit, the AOE heal that easily beats Bard's shrines and the 5 second shield which can also provide AD too. Further adding onto this, these champions are easier to use because of their specialised role.
He requires a lot of team coordination: Bard needs the communication of his team to be very effective all because of the way his Magical Journey and Tempered Fate work. Sometimes you misjudge a situation with your Bard ult and it goes horribly wrong for your team. Well if you were Leona the only way to fail your ultimate is to miss it but on the other hand, sometimes missing your bard ult would benefit more than landing it.
It is really easy to punish him: In lane, Thresh's long range on his q forgives him should he miss, Leona's cc kit is forgiving should she be caught, Janna is really safe because you can play behind your ADC and provide shields plus your peel alone can keep you alive. For Bard, he must enter auto attack range to harass or even do anything. If he can't do this, all he becomes is a heal bot for your team. The problem is he is more risky to pick than the other supports who have definitive ways of knowing what you want to do with them in the game whereas Bard is pretty abstract about his role, is he a healer? is he a front line tank? etc. That's why people are less enthusiastic to play him into certain comps than other supports which you can understand the interactions with the enemy champions very easily with.
As soon as you spawn on summoner's rift get ready to go. You have to first decide whether Caretaker's Shrine is necessary to opt first. If you are invading or your jungler doesn't need the shrines then take your q first for the lane trades. Focus specifically on landing safe harass and not risky one's as most supports will have some way of out damaging you therefore your trades are mostly opportunistic. Once you reach level 3, you will have your main abilities, you must now analyse the game to see:
- Is the lane safe? can I leave me ADC to soak solo experience while I roam to collect chimes or help jungle gank mid?
- Where is the enemy jungler? is it not safe to leave lane? maybe he is an early game jungler that takes dragon very early?
- Should I just stay in lane, place a few shrines nearby and focus on my lane? sometimes it's the best option.
Back at a good time, typically when your ADC has farmed enough for a major item in lane. Your first back should be roughly 800 - 100 gold allowing you either buy Sightstone, pink ward, health potions and red trinket or Boots of Mobility, green wards, pink ward, health potions and red trinket (typically). This set up allows you to start roaming to make plays, find the enemy jungler and so on. Once you get the second part of the set you can efficiently clear wards, make picks with your ult, rotate very fast and get chimes. Remember to consistently get your chimes but don't over extend for them. I generally have 20 maybe at 20 minutes which should allow you to have the slow and AOE.
Post 25 minutes usually, this means you have at least a stand alone support item like Aegis of the Legion along with your usual set up. This is where team fights are important for objectives. Analyse both your team and their team, specifically for those that are fed from the early game or have reached power spikes ( Corki) for you to centre focus on. If you have a strong engage champion like Malphite, try to see if you can make it easier for fights to start BUT not get in the way of your team's initiation. For example if enemy team gathered mid to take mid turret however bot is pushing on their side, their bot lane go to clear it leaving you 5v3 mid lane. Well this is perfect because you can either catch the bot lane that left their team and pick them off with your Malphite or let your team engage and you ult the mid turret to prevent aggro. If in a siege, keep some shrines behind as they can be useful for the move speed or for the health. If your team is thinking of Baron, you can stall time with your ult if the enemy team are coming to you or place a journey behind the pit for your team to escape and make picks from should they go through the Magical Journey.
At this point of the game it's all about how you use your comp to strategically outmaneuver their comp. Focus on using your bard ult to make quick picks or to start large fights in your team's favour. Vision is key here and whoever has the best vision often gets the better advantage. Be smart about this, if you know they can't see you but you can see them watch when they split and get some cheap kills with your team. At this point chimes should be nearly 50 at 30 minutes. You can clear waves very well as Bard now and generally 2 meeps should clear a full wave. Chimes will be frequent so don't worry too much if you feel you are not getting many chimes because at this point that shouldn't be your focus.
past 40 minutes is essentially late game. You can tell because if you lose or win a team fight, the death timers are long enough to make a major difference such as free Baron or 2 inhibs. You must be very mindful of your positioning and to be sure you are beside your carries peeling against tanks, assassins, Nautilus (Look I don't hate the champ I just find it so depressing to face a champ with so much CC). you do have a bit of damage but it's not substantial so don't bother trying to 1v1 ADC's or mages. shrines don't need to be placed because the heal is probably good enough to be instantly casted onto champions. Your ult is crucial hear and remember the points I have been telling you; use it to cut people out of the fight, land them if you know you can land them, your ult can make or break the game at this point, be wise.
Final words and a bit about me
I hope you enjoyed reading my first guide, I know it was very long and I am both sorry and very happy if you did manage to read it all. This is my first time ever doing something like this and I have really enjoyed doing it. Any criticism or improvements are greatly appreciated. If you would like to ask any questions message me and i will try to find it as I am clueless on things on this site.
In terms of me I originally started PC gaming from being introduced to Dota 2 before moving onto League of legends in season 3 where I started off pretty badly playing random champs on rotation which finally came to me playing my current favourite champs which are Riven, Jayce, Bard and stuff. Despite this I like to play different champs from time to time and mostly pick odd champions mid (this includes: Bard, Aatrox, Leona, AP nasus) but also includes in other roles too (Singed ADC, Skarner TOP, Darius JUNGLE).
I am Platinum currently although I am aiming to reach higher, hopefully diamond :D
Anyway I think that's all for now. Thank you for reading it all the way up to this point :D