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Bard Build Guide by SkellyBirb

Middle gold

[10.22] A Guide to Lich Bane Bard Mid!

By SkellyBirb | Updated on October 28, 2020
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Bard
    Bard Mid
  • LoL Champion: Bard
    WIP

Runes: Standard

1 2 3
Domination
Electrocute
Cheap Shot
Eyeball Collection
Relentless Hunter

Inspiration
Cosmic Insight
Biscuit Delivery
Bonus:

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

Spells:

1 2 3 4
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

[10.22] A Guide to Lich Bane Bard Mid!

By SkellyBirb
Who Am I?
My name is SkellyBirb, and I play on the NA server under the name "Hextech KogMaw". I was low gold in Season 9 and am constantly testing out builds in normals for my own playstyle. I've come to enjoy League the most by playing a lot of different off-meta builds and created my MOBAFire guides to share them. A lot of these builds I would suggest playing in normals, however if you master them they can definitely be a good situational pick in ranked depending on match ups. However, I would avoid first picking these in ranked, and for some of these builds, I'd avoid entirely in ranked.
Why Bard Mid? Back to Top
Bard works as a mid laner due to his high burst, great roaming, and decent sustain. He often can't take advantage of his roaming potential as a support without leaving his adc without peel, but as a mid laner he's able to roam much more. He can also help out top, something which he'd struggle to do as a support. Bard also has decent AP Scaling. Each meep empowered auto has 30% AP Scaling. Cosmic Binding has 65% AP scaling. Caretaker's Shrine has 30% AP Scaling, doubled to 60% after 10 seconds. Combined with Lich Bane's and Nashor's Tooth's scalings, you will deal an unexpected amount of damage with meep empowered auto attacks.
Bard is also extremely versatile with many viable ways to build him, so he can work in most situations. This makes AP Bard mid viable and is why I suggest trying it out for fun.
Important Bard Mechanics Back to Top
Bard is an extremely unique champion. A lot about him takes time to learn and make habit. As such, here are a few things that you are important to focus on and know.

First, [[Traveler's Call]. Your passive is the largest reason Bard mid actually works. You're able to roam and collect a lot of chimes and build up your damage and maximum meeps. With each additional meep, you get an auto that'll deal 30% of your AP, which can be huge. As such, you should focus on getting a large amount of chimes before they despawn unless they're in dangerous places. Because they can spawn all over the map, having vision is extremely important, which is why I suggest buying control wards whenever you have the extra gold.

Next is Cosmic Binding. This is a fairly basic ability with 65% AP scaling. It does decent damage, but it's mainly used for the slow, or even better, stun if you can collide it with another enemy or terrain. It can travel through walls, but those walls will not count as the first hit so it would need to hit 2 enemies to activate the stun, or it would just activate the slow. This ability is what makes Bard able to succeed in 1v1s and solo lanes.

Some notes about Caretaker's Shrine is it takes 10 seconds to build to the maximum heal. These shrines give a small amount of vision for a moment after being placed. Additionally, place them away so the enemy can't step on them. If you place them correctly against a wall, you can have them stacked on top of each other which'll give a large heal at once. However, this isn't very useful most of the time.

Magical Journey is a pretty simple ability. It's cooldown is 22 seconds at level 1, and decreased by 1.5 seconds for each level put into it, down to 16 seconds at level 5. Allies move 33.3% faster in it than enemies, making it useful for escapes. Additionally, if you hit an enemy about to exit the portal, they will still get stunned. This can be used to burst enemies who go through the portal or to secure your escape.

Finally, Tempered Fate. This ability is a basic concept with so much potential. It can help both sides depending on how it is used and takes time to learn how to use properly. It gives vision of the area it's cast on and will put everyone in a statis for 2.5 seconds. There are a few exceptions with unique interactions.
For example, a Warwick using his Q, Jaws of the Beast, has a second to not be put into the statis. Olaf's ultimate will also make him immune. There are a small handful of these unique interactions, but most aren't that important to learning Bard. This ability can also be used like a Zhonya's Hourglass to dodge Zed's Death Mark or Fizz's Chum the Waters.
Shrines Back to Top
Shrines are extremely important as Bard obviously. One common mistake I see new Bard players make is not placing down shrines unless someone is already low. You should place down shrines ahead of time so they have the 10 seconds to build up to the larger heal, which will make a significant difference in staying alive or even just staying in lane rather than having to back.

This applies to every role, whether it be as a mid laner or a support. Caretaker's Shrine is an amazing ability when used correctly. However, this doesn't mean you should never use it on an ally without the build up, as the movement speed and heal can still be extremely important. Without the build up, it may not be as large, but it can still make a huge difference, which is why I put so much emphasis on this single ability.
Pros & Cons Back to Top

Pros


-Unexpected Burst
-Easily Procs Electrocute
-Good Sustain with Caretaker's Shrine
-Amazing ability to roam.
-Great mana sustain with chimes
-Play making potential with Tempered Fate
-Fun to play.
-Elderwood and Astronaut Bard are great skins




Cons


-Fairly squishy
-Little damage after using all meeps and abilities
-Can ruin a fight if Tempered Fate is used poorly
-Not a traditional mid laner
-Your team may not be happy with this pick
-Struggles when behind
-Can be difficult to last hit with if there aren't meeps
-Autoing minions can waste meeps you might want to save for champions.
Runes Back to Top

Keystone Explanation


Electrocute - This is really the only viable keystone you should use. Meep empowered auto attacks will count as 2 hits and make it easy to proc and burst people. A simple combo with a meep empowered auto and Cosmic Binding will proc it for example. Some others may work, like Dark Harvest if you can stack it, but this is the most reliable and the only one I'd suggest.


Domination Options


Cheap Shot - This is what I'd suggest taking. It gives you more burst and is easy to proc with Cosmic Binding

Taste of Blood - This gives you some extra health, but I wouldn't suggest it since you have healing with Caretaker's Shrine anyway.

Zombie Ward - This can work if you clear wards, but I really wouldn't suggest it due to how nice it is to have a yellow or blue trinket and not rely on buying control wards just to clear them.

Ghost Poro - This is a good option if you ward a lot and can be easy to stack and reliable.

Eyeball Collection - Eyeball Collection is good and a not too difficult to stack. I tend to take this.

Ravenous Hunter - This may seem like a decent option, but it doesn't give you the movement speed you need to roam like Relentless Hunter does.

Relentless Hunter - More movement speed allows you to roam better and this is basically a must for Bard mid.


Inspiration Options


Magical Footwear - This takes too long to get boots for Bard, who relies on roaming early on.

Perfect Timing - This can work as you do build Zhonya's and the active can be useful. The reason I don't take this is simply because I prefer Biscuit Delivery and Cosmic Insight.

Biscuit Delivery - This is great for sustain early game and also increases your maximum mana by 50. This should mainly be used when you're low on mana and there aren't any chimes you can get easily.

Cosmic Insight - CDR is extremely good for Bard. He benefits from it with every skill, which is why I take this. CDR also helps with activating Lich Bane's passive.

Approach Velocity - Bard is already mobile and the point of stunning is to burst them as they're already stunned, so there isn't much of a need for this over Cosmic Insight.

Time Warp Tonic - This just isn't necessary as the main use of Biscuit Delivery is for the mana, especially the initial 50 it gives.


Sorcery Options


Nullifying Orb - This could help keep you alive against burst mages like Syndra, Ahri, and Fizz, but there are simply better choices.

Manaflow Band - Bard doesn't struggle much with mana with this build as he already builds Sheen early on and chimes will restore missing mana.

Nimbus Cloak - This could be a useful option for an all in or guaranteeing your escape, but there's just better options.

Transcendence - This build already gives 40% CDR so it's not great.

Celerity - This could increase your movement speed overall from chimes and help you roam faster.

Absolute Focus - This isn't reliable enough to be all that great on Bard as he doesn't have the best range and is fairly squishy.

Scorch - This will give you lane pressure, but Bard mid is great at roaming, so it's not as good.

Waterwalking - This helps you roam and get around the map quickly.

Gathering Storm - Bard's AP Scaling is alright, but he doesn't want to rely on getting to late game to use it. It'd also take the spot of Waterwalking, which would hinder his roaming.


Resolve Options


Demolish - Helps you take towers faster.

Font of Life - Not very good as you don't build health most of the time.

Conditioning - A decent option, but leaves you a little open early on to being burst.

Second Wind - Helps with poke, but you already have Caretaker's Shrine so it's not necessary.

Bone Plating - This'll help keep you from being one shot, especially early on. If you go Resolve, I'd suggest take this.

Overgrowth - The main reason I don't take this is because Bard roams a lot and doesn't gain enough from it since he's constantly roaming.

Revitalize - This could be useful, but it's not a huge boost, so it's not really necessary as Bard's main goal isn't healing or shielding like many enchanters.

Unflinching - This isn't that great because you're so squishy, the small amount of tenacity likely won't stop you from being burst in that time.
Items Back to Top

Core Items


Lich Bane - This is a great item and it gives you burst due to it's passive. Bard takes advantage of everything it gives, which is why you rush it.

Sorcerer's Shoes - Magic Penetration on Bard is huge, which is why I always take these boots.

Nashor's Tooth - More attack speed to get your damage from meeps off quickly, as well as cooldown reduction, AP, and on hit damage. An overall great item for Bard prioritizing damage.

Zhonya's Hourglass - This is great for Bard as it lets him be a little more tanky while dealing damage. Most importantly, it maxed out his CDR and gives him a useful active ability that can save him.


Aggressive Situational


Morellonomicon - Great item for magic pen/damage, some health, and grievous wounds.

Rabadon's Deathcap - This is great late game as 40% is a significant increase in AP.

Rapid Firecannon - More attack speed to get your meep off faster, as well as more burst and a longer ranged auto that can slow the enemy with a meep.

Void Staff - Great against tanky champs who are building magic resist.

Hextech Protobelt-01 - Some mobility as well as a damage active. Also more damage and health.

Liandry's Torment - The passive can be useful for longer fights and keeping the enemy burned. It also gives you some health and more damage.

Mejai's Soulstealer - If you stack this, it can be great. The issue is, if you lose all your stacks you'll fall off and it'll be hard to catch back up.

Hextech Gunblade - An option for healing based on your damage as well as increasing your auto damage. It also gives you more burst and point and click slow with the active.


Defensive Situational


Rylai's Crystal Scepter - This gives you AP and Health while also giving you a slow, making it a solid option if you need to keep an enemy off you.

Twin Shadows - More AP and movement speed, as well as more vision and a slow.

Banshee's Veil - Helps prevent one shot abilities or crowd control while providing Magic Resist and AP.

Abyssal Mask - Bard can burn through a lot of mana and restore health using the passive. It also provides the aura for more damage to close enemies. Additionally, more health and magic resist.

Warmog's Armor - 800 health makes it really hard to burst you and if the passive if active then you don't have to back simply because you're low and you can regen while just collecting some chimes.


Supportive Situational


Athene's Unholy Grail - You deal damage so you'll easily stack this constantly and you can heal your allies with it. Great if you have a fed carry. It also gives some decent stats.

Ardent Censer - More AP, More Movement Speed, and a passive that can heal an ally while giving both you and your ally attack speed and damage. Also increases healing.

Redemption - This can be a game changer with the active in team fights. It also gives you some health and health regen. Also gives you larger heals.

Locket of the Iron Solari - More Armor and Magic Resist will help you stay alive, as well as a shield for your entire team. Overall a good item.

Shurelya's Reverie - Good item for engaging fights with the movement speed active. Also gives a bit of health and increased healing.

Mikael's Crucible - If you have a single carry you need to protect from crowd control, this should be your go to item because of the active. The movement speed increase for an ally can also be great. More magic resist and increased healing as well.
Thanks for Reading! Back to Top
Thanks for taking a look at my guide. I'd love to hear if you tried it out and how it went, as well as any additional feedback. If you have any other item suggestions that aren't included in my build, I'd love to hear them and test them out. If they work well, I'd likely add them to my guide. I also would appreciate votes and comments that help me improve the guide and show how liked or disliked the guide is!
League of Legends Build Guide Author SkellyBirb
SkellyBirb Bard Guide
[10.22] A Guide to Lich Bane Bard Mid!
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