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Bard Build Guide by Nethelin

Support [10.16] Hail of Bards

By Nethelin | Updated on August 9, 2020
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Runes: Hail of Bards

1 2 3
Domination
Hail of Blades
Cheap Shot
Zombie Ward
Relentless Hunter

Sorcery
Celerity
Scorch
Bonus:

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor

Spells:

1 2
Standard
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Support Role
Ranked #6 in
Support Role
Win 52%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
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None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Champion Build Guide

[10.16] Hail of Bards

By Nethelin
About Me

I've been playing league for about 2.5 years now and I love Bard. He is one of, if not my absolute favorite champion. I wanted to share my experience and my favorite build with him. There wasn't a guide specifically focusing on Hail of Blades Bard (which I feel to be his best build), so I wanted to make one that highlights it! He is my most mastered champion with mastery 7 and about 200k points. I do quite well with him most games averaging around an A+/S-. I'm by no means a Bard master, but I know him quite well.

FYI I am a mid Gold ranked player (shooting for Plat this season), so this is not a guide by some Challenger god. If you like this build and tips I would 100% check out some of the other top guides on here written by more skilled players (Mr Buckets/Flayless/Lathyrus, Bizzleberry and Sh00zyz's). They are written very well and I learned a lot of what I know about Bard from them! Most all of the great knowledge they have can be applied to this build.

I learned about going Hail of Blades from the Challenger Bard player Jabbadahutsnuts (great name I know). He is a top #100 Bard in the world, and top #10 in North America with over 200 games on bard and almost a 60% win rate. Check him out!
Hail of Bards - Sling Your Meeps!! Back to Top
After trying a lot of different builds, I found this to be best for my play-style and Bard's passive/Meeps. Electrocute can be great, but I think Hail of Blades is more impactful over the course of the game. Electrocute falls off fairly hard. Hail of Blades allows you to unleash your Meeps in rapid succession, slowing and dealing much more damage than just an auto, Q Electrocute proc.

For items I find the Deadman/Rapidfire rush to be just too good to go anything else. Deadman helps with roams, a bit of burst and tankyness while Rapidfire gives you much needed range, damage and attack speed. After those two, you can pretty much build what you'd like, but I find Athene's to be great for the utility and Liandries for the extra damage on your autos and Qs.

I will continue to add to this guide as I improve with Bard and refine this build!
Summoners Back to Top
Flash and Ignite is standard and your best options into most all matchups. Exhaust can be taken, but only very situationally.
Runes Back to Top
Hail of Blades
Electrocute is great and totally viable. It has a better early game for sure and I run it into lanes I really want to punish, but I think Hail of Blades is more impactful over the course of the game. Electrocute falls off fairly hard. Hail allows you to unleash your meeps in rapid succession, slowing and dealing much more damage than just an auto, q Electrocute proc.

Cheap Shot
Cheap Shot adds great bust damage. You proc it with your Q stun/slow and also with the slow from your Meeps. Over all the best rune on bard in the first row.

Zombie Ward
Zombie Ward or Ghost Poro are both totally viable. They give the same damage boost, but I think Zombie Ward is better at giving more vision. Just make sure you grab Oracle Lens as soon as you finish your first support item quest. Then clear wards and get free vision that doesn't add to your ward limit. Can be super powerful.

Relentless Hunter
Relentless Hunter makes Bard go faster. Which he likes. A great rune for roaming and just getting to fights and objectives faster. Definitely the best for his play style. I love Ultimate Hunter on other champs, but don't usually go for it on Bard.

Celerity
Celerity is great. Makes you go fast...and Bard likes to go fast. The extra distance traveled at the end of games is usually insane.

Scorch
Scorch is really nice for early poke and trades in lane, and while the damage is pretty low late game, it can still secure you kills that you otherwise wouldn't have.
Abilities Back to Top
Traveler's Call
Ancient Chimes: Bard's presence causes sacred chimes to appear at random locations, and linger for up to 10 minutes. Collecting a chime grants Bard 24% bonus movement speed out of combat for 7 seconds, stacking up to 5 times, with every other chime collected beyond the first, granting an additional 14% bonus movement speed, up to a total of 80% bonus movement speed, 20 + (1 per minute after 5 minutes) experience, and 12% maximum mana. Bard empowers his meeps each time he collects 5 chimes.

Meeps: Bard's presence attracts small spirits - known as Meeps - to his side. Each of his basic attacks consumes a Meep, dealing 40 (+ 15 per 5 chimes collected) (+ 30% AP) bonus magic damage. At 5 chimes, Meeps start slowing damaged enemies by 25% − 75% (based on number of Chimes) for 1 second, and at 15 chimes they deal splash damage to enemies within 150 units of his target as well as those in a cone behind them, with the cone's size increasing at 35 chimes. Meeps spawn every 8 − 4 (based on number of Chimes) seconds and Bard can keep up to 1 − 9 (based on number of Chimes) of them at a time.

TIPS:

You want to collect your chimes when you roam. Don't die in the enemy jungle for them either, they last 10 minutes so you have plenty of time to collect them. You also want to try to save the ones close to lane for when you need mana in lane. They are a great way to sustain in lane when you'd normally have to back because you are out of mana. Bard's chimes give him endless scaling, making him a late game monster. You can constantly collect them throughout the game increasing the power of your Meep autos.


Cosmic Binding
ACTIVE: Bard fires a burst of spirit energy in the target direction, dealing magic damage to the first enemy struck and briefly slowing them by 60%.

After Cosmic Binding hits an enemy, the burst of energy passes through them and searches for secondary targets. If it hits a wall or a second enemy, it stuns both targets for the same duration, dealing the same magic damage to the second target as well.

TIPS:

Check out the tips section for some help on landing Qs and using them most effectively


Caretaker's Shrine
ACTIVE: Bard conjures a shrine at the target location that builds up in power over 10 seconds, which remain until consumed when a champion steps on them. You may only have up to 3 active shrines at one time.

If the champion was an ally or Bard himself, they are healed for an amount based on the shrine's power (150 ( + 30% AP) minimum at max rank) and gain 50% bonus movement speed that decays over 1.5 seconds.

TIPS:

Make sure to remember to place these in a safe spot in lane and let them charge up. You can have 3 out at a time, so you usually want to have 1 or 2 up at any given time in lane. Also, don't be afraid to use them as a normal point and click heal! They do the majority of their healing immediately. Waiting for charge is good if you can, but the instant heal and speed boost from them is also very helpful for yourself and adc in fights.


Magical Journey
ACTIVE: Bard opens a one-way magical corridor through a piece of terrain, in the target direction for 10 seconds. Magical Journey will not cast unless it can open a corridor.

Both allies and enemies can Dash pass through the corridor by right-clicking on it or its exit, with allies and Bard travelling at increased speed - 900 travel speed as of 9.14, up to 50% at max rank. 9.14 changed this to be 33% at all ranks.

TIPS:

You go faster than enemies, making this a great escape tool. Another good reason to hold your Q is, if the fight goes south you can use your Magical Journey to escape, and then slap the enemy against the wall with Q as soon as they follow. Your magical journey is also great for catching up to people and or getting behind them in lane.

When you are in base, if you stand back enough you can put in on the wall towards your tower and get from base/shop all the way to inhib tower. It take some practice, so go into practice mode and work on where you need to stand and the angle to place it. You want to be able to do it quickly, otherwise the time saved using it is lost if you take too long to place a good tunnel.


Tempered Fate
ACTIVE: Bard sends magical energy arcing to the target location, putting all units and structures in the target area into stasis for 2.5 seconds upon impact.

Despite normally being immune to crowd control, epic monsters and turrets (excluding the Nexus Obelisk) also enter stasis.

TIPS:

Check out the Tips section for a few tips and tricks when using Bard's ult. One of the most powerful ults in the game if used properly. Definitely the most versatile of any ult.
Tips! Back to Top
I'll put usueful gameplay tips here as I find time and learn more. Feel free to suggest any tips/tricks for Bard!!

Tip for landing Q's Cosmic Binding:

HOLD YOUR Q. This sounds simple but will improve your play dramatically. And it's easier said then done. It is so tempting to just immediately throw your Q when you have any opportunity to land it on someone. Sometimes it's ok to go for it, but if you expect the fight to last longer than just in and out, hold onto your Q for the most opportune time. Sometimes just walking up and autoing will be enough to win the fight with your Meep damage and slow. That will at least make your enemy panic. Then you can throw your Q at a good opportunity to secure the fight. People will try to dodge when you first walk up. Don't throw it, let them juke themselves out while you auto them and eventually they will stop dodging to auto, use an ability or something. That's when you smack em with the Bard BAZOOKA!

Tip for Landing R Tempered Fate:

R is hard to land from far away due to its travel time. It immediately shows where it's going to land, but the further you are the longer it takes to get there. It's super easy to dodge unless someone accidentally messes up pathing or you catch them really off guard. You want to try to get as close as possible without endangering yourself or giving yourself away. That way your ult lands quickly. And you usually don't want to place people directly in the center unless they are hard cced or not moving. Otherwise, put them a bit closer to the edge of the direction they are running away from (lead them). That way by the time they react they have already walked a few steps further in and are closer to the the center when it shows/lands.

R Tempered Fate Use Tips:

Use your ult creatively. You can use it like an Ohmwrecker to shut down enemy towers for a dive. You can use it to freeze minions under your own tower and make diving/pushing enemies take tower aggro. You can use it to save your own tower from death or rift herald hits. You can use it to freeze enemies who are doing drag/baron/buffs or to freeze the dragon/baron/buff to allow your team to collapse and steal. You can use it on yourself like a Zhonya's Hourglass or you can use it on yourself/enemies and then flash out at the last second to lock them down while you escape.

R Tempered Fate Standard Combo:

The bread and butter ult combo for catching people/engaging is to 1. Ult the target. As soon as the ult lands (not when you click it, but when it lands) start counting in your head, one one thousand - two one thousand - three. And on three you send your q. The ult will come up right as your q lands (2.5 seconds). While counting/waiting for it to come up you need to position yourself for the best Q possible. Ideally you can get a stun by hitting two enemies or one enemy into a wall. Even a non stun Q is good and can secure kills with the damage and slow.
Gameplay Back to Top

Early Game



Level 1 you'll want to start with Q most of the time. Into hard lanes and poke lanes where you want to just safely farm, you can take W first. If you do this, you can drop a heal pad for your jungle and one in lane, then collect your Meeps before leashing/going to lane and you'll be full mana with free heals.

Bard's laning isn't amazing. You generally want to play safe and try your best to land cheeky Qs. If you land a Q you can walk up and pop them with as many Hail of Blades autos as you safely can. Just be careful of getting all ined. Not every Q can be followed up on, take into account their supports positioning and engage potential. You can also simply poke with your autos/meeps when the enemy adc attempts to cs. Bards poke/trades can be pretty good if you can juggle auto ranges. If a support steps up with half health and you land a Q stun while your adc is near, ignite and auto them. Should be a free kill.

Once you hit level 3 or so you can start looking to roam. If you are winning lane and can shove the wave, do so with your relic shield procs and then look to go up river collecting chimes towards mid lane. You should try to have a Control Ward or Oracle Lens ready whenever your roam to deny vision before you come in. Then you can use Magical Journey to fly into midlane (I like to use the river wall closer to enemy tower, but you can use the wall close to your mids tower if the enemy is super pushed). Once you come in, DO NOT Q, I REPEAT DO NOT Q. If you can 100% get a free Q on them then take it. But most likely they will see you and try to start juking and running back. Just right click them. Right click and hit them with your Hail of Blades autos/Meeps. At this point they will most likely Flash if they have it and your mid laner is going in. If they don't have flash, slap them with a q after your Meep slows, ignite, continue autoing, and you can usually get a pretty free kill.

You can then help shove mid a bit if you have Relic Shield procs and then go back to base. You'll want to head back to your bot lane as the wave should be pushed back to you. Now your getting close to level 5-6 and Dragon is going to become a play. Get vision up around your lane and watch out for 3-4 man ganks/dives from the enemy as they will want drag pressure. If you can, safely clear and get vision on drag and then help your adc shove lane if possible. You'll then want to ping and try to get your team to play for the drag.


Mid Game



After the first drag, it's starting to get close to mid game. You'll want to keep shoving wave and roaming when you can to try to keep pressure and hit 6. When it's time to group with your team around 15-20mins, this is when you shine. Once you have Dead Man's Plate and Rapid Firecannon you are ready to rage. Your auto range when charged is deadly, and you can very easily catch out of position people with a Rapid Firecannon proc, followed up by 3 quick Meep autos from your Hail of Blades and then a Q. If you catch someone out of position with this, your team can easily jump on and finish them off before the enemy has time to react much.


Late Game



In team fights you want to focus on your positioning. Stay back and try to get as many safe Meep/ Hail of Blades autos off as possible and hold your Q for opportune stuns. It's quite easy to land stuns in team fights if you are just patient. And your stun is an huge game changer in fights. You'll also want to be dropping healing pads for your team either behind the fight to charge up, or as a point and click heal. It's also super easy to get assists if you heal pad/speed up someone going in for a kill. You also want to look for ult opportunities. Bards ult is tough to use in big team fights (check out the tips section) as you don't want to mess up any engages/abilities from your team mates. You mostly want to look for an ult onto one of the enemies carries or big threatening front lines. if you can single them out, your team has time to either jump on the carries while the tank/bruiser is stuck, or deal with the tank/bruiser while the carry/backline is stuck. You can also look for multiple/full enemy team ults as a first engage, allowing your team to position for the all in.

Late game you are a monster. Don't underestimate your damage, you'll surprise yourself with your Rapid Firecannon proc into Hail of Blades Meep autos into a Q Ignite. You can kill most squishy carries pretty easily, and help melt tankier people. Just always be ready to run. using Magical Journey to escape and then stunning the enemy to the wall when they follow and come out of it is a really nice and reliable escape. Don't be afraid to use your W for the speed boost and uncharged heal as well.
League of Legends Build Guide Author Nethelin
Nethelin Bard Guide
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[10.16] Hail of Bards
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