Bard Build Guide by Hanjaro
[10.2] Hanjaro's Bard Supporting your way to Challenger.By Hanjaro | Updated on January 23, 2020
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+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
Threats & Synergies
She has long range, high damage, and a root combo could spell your death. Dodge her abilities, harass when they're on cooldown as she's squishy. All in on her generally can spell a kill.
She can heal up your damage, while poking you down. She's squishy, so try to all-in her when her abilities are on CD, or harass her enough to wittle down her mana - she has high costs on her heal.
Fiddle can negate a lot of your engage due to his silence and fear, he can combo his fear with his ult before you manage to use yours. Try play passive and keep your lane topped up with heals.
Brand is scary with his high damage, and can easily kill you in one combo. Be very careful, dodge his spells, wait for a gank.
Longer range than you, higher damage. Play passive and dodge his spells, wait for a gank - use your ult on him when he's ulting!
She has high sustain, high damage. Try to stun her to all-in, otherwise wait for a gank.
Nautilus is scary, his all-in is very dangerous - but you can easily poke him down. Dodge his abilities and you should win the lane. Focus on killing the ADC instead.
Her all-in is very scary, and she is very tanky - but you have a good chance of poking her down and ruining her engage with your stun or stasis.
Draven has high burst, you have high burst - making this a very scary kill lane if you hit a stun. Play aggressive, keep Draven topped up and boost his movement speed for a catch.
High mobility and high early game damage, if you catch someone out with a stun, it's most likely a kill.
Ezreal doesn't need your peel, and he doesn't have as much burst. Still potential kills if you land a stun and he lands his combo. He enables you to roam a bit more though.
She has good damage and a catch is normally a quick kill.
Same as Trist, high damage, you can peel for her and increase her movement speed, and heal her when she goes into melee with her ult.
Kog'maw needs protecting, and ideally wants you to stay in lane, and around him consistently. He wants buffs and heals, you want to roam. There are better supports for him.
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The reasoning behind Ignite is that it gives you a lot of extra pressure in lane, and furthermore adds a 40% healing reduction. Bard's burst damage is very high for a support, Ignite increases this and can be used to secure a kill.
Flash is your primary escape summoner, and a gap-closer for Cosmic Binding or Tempered Fate.
|Electrocute provides Bard with insanely high early laning phase damage. It can be easily procced with his auto attacks plus meeps, and Cosmic Binding. It's the best rune for him to take to dominate early game and snowball his ADC.|
|Bard uses Cosmic Binding, Cheap Shot will proc, granting up to 45 bonus true damage (based on level). It also procs with your Traveler's Call passive slow, beginning at 5 chimes.|
|Bard is very damage focused, so choosing Eyeball Collection is the smartest choice in this column. Every champion takedown provides you with one eyeball, gaining a bonus of 1.2 AD or 2 AP per eyeball. You gain up to 6 AD or 10 AP when you finish your collection - giving Bard another increase to his damage.|
|Bard is a highly mobile champion with his Traveler's Call passive, and Magical Journey, Relentless Hunter helps provide him with even more mobility, increasing his roaming potential even further.|
|As I've already mentioned, Bard has very high mobility, and what does Celerity do? Increase it even further! A must have for Bard.|
|Scorch increases our high damage output during laning phase, dealing up to an extra 35 bonus magic damage. Exerts more pressure early game, and helps to wittle down your enemies.|
Boots of Mobility > MOVEMENT SPEED
These are the cheapest boots in the game, but often the most useful - especially on a support, and one that can engage at that. Bard wants to be roaming a lot, and catching enemies out, so having the bonus movement speed is invaluable. He also takes Relentless Hunter and Celerity, increasing his movement speed further, helping land Cosmic Binding's.
Mercury's Treads > MAGIC RESIST/TENACITY
If the enemy team has a lot of CC, or a lot of AP damage, you can trade Mobi's out for these. They offer +25 magic resist, along with reducing the effect of stuns, slows, taunts, fears, silences, blinds and immobilizes by 30%.
Ninja Tabi's > ARMOR
If the enemy team has a lot of physical damage threats, and you need some extra survivability on top of Aftershock, Ninja Tabi's are the way to go, offering 20 armor, and reducing incoming basic attacks by 12%.
Redemption > CDR/HP+MANA REGEN/SUSTAIN
Redemption offers an aoe heal in an area, adding an aoe health sustain for his allies that Bard's kit lacks, outside of his single use Caretaker's Shrine. It also offers HP and Mana regen, meaning you can stay in the fights longer, recall less, and you can help out even while dead. It also offers an extra 10% healing power, which synergizes with your Caretaker's Shrine.
Knight's Vow > SURVIVABILITY/SUSTAIN
You gain extra HP, 40 armor and 10% CDR with this item, not including the extra 20 armor and 15% bonus movement speed when your chosen ally is nearby.
If your ally is nearby, you heal for 12% of all the damage they do (increasing your tankiness), and redirecting 12% of the damage they take, to yourself (increasing their survivability]. Usually a core item to take vs physical damage. Healing and damage reduction is halved due to the fact Bard is ranged.
Zhonya's Hourglass > UTILITY/SURVIVABILITY/DAMAGE
If the enemy team has a lot of burst damage threats, you can take Zhonya's Hourglass to keep yourself alive longer, or negate damage spells such as Zed's Death Mark or Ignite. It can spell the difference between living or dying, you also gain a nice chunk of AP for your burst damage, 45 armor and CDR.
Mikael's Crucible > SURVIVABILITY/CDR/UTILITY
A good pick when facing an enemy team with hard CC that you need to Cleanse on allies, such as Impale, Dark Binding, Cocoon etc and grants bonus movement speed for 2s after successfully cleansing an ability.
Increases your Mana and HP regeneration, while granting you 40 magic resist, and 20% healing power - good synergy with Caretaker's Shrine.
Twin Shadows > UTILITY/DAMAGE
A great item to help you chase down enemies faster with the slow, up to 40%, synergising with your Traveler's Call passive, and your high mobility - or if you want vision of where enemies could be, helps you not to face check brushes or while taking objectives. You gain 70 AP, adding onto your burst damage window, 10% CDR and extra movement speed.
Locket of the Iron Solari > DAMAGE/UTILITY/SURVIVABILITY
With Locket of the Iron Solari, you gain 30 armor and 60 magic resist, increasing your overall tankiness, while providing a shield to your allies upon use - using +20% of your maximum health, which Redemption and Knight's Vow both increase.
Athene's Unholy Grail > SUSTAIN
Athene's Unholy Grail is a niche pickup on Bard, it only proc's with his Caretaker's Shrine, which his allies have to utilize themselves by walking over it.. you see why this is a problem?! You can stack the charges fast with the damage you do, and it increases your MR by 30, but you do have better options before taking this.
Dead Man's Plate > SURVIVABILITY/UTILITY
A decent pick up for extra movement speed - up to 60 at maximum stacks, which has good synergy with Celerity. It's increases your overall survivability by increasing your health, and armor - so it's a good pickup vs physical comps.
You also gain Crushing Blow passive - your basic attacks deal 1 magic damage per stack of Momentum, discharging all stacks. Very good synergy with all the burst damage Bard has to offer.
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.
Cosmic Binding (Q)
EFFECT RADIUS: 950
COST: 60 mana
COOLDOWN: 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 / 7
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.
Caretaker's Shrine (W)
TARGET RANGE: 800
COST: 70 mana
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.
- Leveling up Caretaker's Shrine will affect the healing of existing shrines.
- If Bard has 3 shrines on the map and creates a new that is immediately consumed, the oldest shrine will not be destroyed. This is because the Shrine is used as an actual targeted heal on himself or someone else, and not a permanent shrine, so the other 3 stay.
Magical Journey (E)
TARGET RANGE: 900
COST: 30 mana
COOLDOWN: 18 / 17 / 16 / 15 / 14
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,
Tempered Fate (R)
TARGET RANGE: 3400
EFFECT RADIUS: 350
COST: 100 mana
COOLDOWN: 110 / 95 / 80
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.
- Tempered Fate has no effect on untargetable turrets (those protected by another tower or the inhibitors), untargetable units, or enemy champions that are immune to disables (such as Olaf under the effects of Ragnarok or an enemy with Black Shield). Also does not cast on Yuumi if she is attached.
- Tempered Fate cannot affect the enemy team's Nexus and inhibitors. This behavior is intended, as accidentally putting it into stasis would be extremely punishing for Bard's team.
- This ability can only be blocked by an enemy's Spell Shield. Allies will be put in stasis no matter what they do - be careful!
At level 1, you will choose to level up your Cosmic Binding,
as it's your primary poke and catch tool.
You can collect chimes from Traveler's Call while waiting for minions to spawn, if there is no danger of being invaded, granting you extra experience and your meeps.
During laning phase, you can harass with your meeps, proccing Electrocute easily, dealing a huge chunk of damage - and landing your Cosmic Bindings. Use the enemy caster minions to proc the stun onto the enemy ADC, or if the support is stood next to them, get a double stun for a potential engage.
Put your Caretaker's Shrines near the tower, away from the enemies - as they will be destroyed if stood on by an enemy. Don't use these sparingly, or risk losing a lot of mana. You can use them as a targeted heal, or as an escape as they do grant movement speed.
You can use Magical Journey to grant an engage path for your ally jungler when they want to gank, or as an easy escape if you get engaged on. You can use this to set up ganks in other lanes
if you decide to roam, while collecting your charms. AS OF 9.14, Magical Journey has had a travel speed buff, increasing the power of early game ganks, along with increasing Bard's base health, making him slightly more durable.
As Bard is still a squishy, backline mage, you generally want to be around your team as much as you can, especially late game, where warding alone can get you caught out and potentially lose the game in a 4v5 teamfight. Use Magical Journey to gain vision control, and clutch escapes if you do get caught out - you gain movement speed while travelling, the enemy doesn't!
Tempered Fate can be utilized in many different ways, depending on how you want to go into a teamfight. You can put enemies in stasis while they're taking an important objective, giving your team chance to catch them - or engage in a Smite battle. If the enemy is coming while your team is taking an objective, you can use it to stop them engaging.
You can use it to protect falling towers, giving your team a chance to defend if they're elsewhere on the map, you can protect fleeing allies by casting it on chasing enemies - or vise versa.
It can be used for peeling your ADC as an enemy assassin tries to engage, such as Zed or Kha'Zix - but be very careful of putting them into a vulnerable spot where it could give the enemies a chance to move forward to help their assassin.
Prioritize using Cosmic Binding for peel, and try to aim it towards a wall, or between two enemies to proc the stun. Remember, your meeps slow with your auto attacks, so be sure to take advantage of this. Use your active items to keep your team sustained.
The main thing to be aware of, is making sure your teams threats stay alive, while removing, or zoning, the enemy teams threats.
Control Ward's are a staple part of any support, both to deny your enemies vision, and to provide your team extra vision. You should make sure to buy one at least every time you back, preferably to have 2 on you at all times.
If you enjoyed my guide, you can check out my other guides here, in which I've covered more styles of supports, incase you want to branch out on supports such as tanky engagers ( Nautilus, Thresh etc!).
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