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Bard Build Guide by Amstramgramite

Jungle [10.5] Jungle Bard : how to control the game

Jungle [10.5] Jungle Bard : how to control the game

Updated on March 4, 2020
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29 3 69,049 Views 1 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Amstramgramite Bard Build Guide By Amstramgramite Updated on March 4, 2020
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Runes: Most common

1 2
Cheap Shot
Zombie Ward
Relentless Hunter


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


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Smite


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

[10.5] Jungle Bard : how to control the game

By Amstramgramite
Patch Updates

Nerf on Bard's passive, decreasing meeps dmg from 15 to 12 for each 5 additionnal chimes. The nerf increases with the game duration, from 340 to 280 add. dmg at 100 chimes, though the early won't be impacted much.
Time to try Gathering Storm in compensation? ;)

Kayn can now transform sooner, so be careful if he goes assassin.

Mobility Boots are now 100g more expensive...
Why this Bard jungle Guide ?
I'm currently creating this guide, so it will evolve with time. Its goal is to help me and anyone who wants to play Bard in the jungle, by having a place to gather experiences and knowlegde. To be honest, i'm just starting to play it (approx. 40 games), and it's working well ! (approx. 70% winrate) Mostly premade with an otp Riven.
And i secretly hope that Riot will make some changes in Bard's kit to give him more possibilites in the jungle. It could be just as they buffed some non-jungle champs in the jungle ( Garen, Gnar, Zed, ...) by increasing dmg on jungle monsters in patch 10.4.

Why in the jungle?
Well, because he's designed for it: chimes appear in the jungle, you can make Magical Journey to go through walls, you have Cosmic Binding that work with walls, plus you're a cosmic spirit, so you shouldn't be stuck on a lane !
And it's, from far, the coolest champion in the rift, with overpowered ultimate.

In addition, Bard is a highly adaptive champion, and playing him support doesn't allow to explore all his possibilities. In the jungle, you get more build options and you can adapt his utility depending on the enemy team and the current of the game. In fact, he can become a jungling support, like Ivern, with high engage than has nothing to envy to Sejuani, Zac, Amumu, etc., or become a dangerous ap burster, like Ekko, Elise, with high movespeed to catch solo targets like Hecarim, Kayn, Gragas, or even build some tanky items, that won't allow him to frontlane but he can still stand some damage while engaging, like a Rakan, Jarvan IV, Vi, ...
So this is the point you need to focus the more on : the versatility of your build. Because you will be a jungler with a lot of interactions in the rift, you do not want to afk farming.
What you need to know about the mechanics.
I won't explain the spells, there is a description for it.

Traveler's Call
  • Chimes improve your meeps every 5 you get.
  • Important powerspikes are:
    15 -> AoE dmg > important for clearing, this is the moment you should start perma clear raptors, plus you can now help lanes to push and get plates.
    30 -> third meep > the 3 meeps combined with finished Skirmisher's Sabre - Runic Echoes (15min), will make it possible to 1v1 targets, even if they're not too squishy.
    Next powerspike comes with items, like Hextech Revolver or Sheen.
  • If you want to know precisly how meeps scales, go check here. I've done it myself 0:) Tell me if you have any suggestions.
  • The movespeed chimes gives is great for ganking, think about taking them before a gank.

Cosmic Binding
  • You need to learn the timing to use it right after your ult ends, so opponent has no time to react.
  • Hextech Rocketbelt makes it easier to re-position for landing a stun.
  • Distance travel : there is a max distance to hit a first target, and then a different max distance to hit something behind. Get used to both distances, by practising on jungle camps for instance. The second has a smaller range.
  • Cosmic Binding after Magical Journey is the best way to proc a reliable cc, since you can Q the enemy before he gets out of your portal because the second hit of Q will then travel in the wall and stun. Very usefull for escapes.

Caretaker's Shrine
  • Don't forget to put some shrines on lanes when you gank, or in your jungle to have some heal packs.
  • In teamfights or ganks, use the movespeed it gives on an ally.

Magical Journey
  • This is what makes Bard a really good ganker. Use it for surprising ganks from unexpected spots, combined with ult for dives.
  • It's also the most efficient spell to avoid fights with agressive enemy jungler.
  • Keep it to escape when you go get chimes in enemy jungle. Even if you only go do the scutle in the weak side.
  • When you do an abjective on the weak side, you can use your portal to go back to safety with all team, but warn them or they wont think about it.
  • Be carefull, some spots are tricky around the pits next to te tribush.
  • Always put a tunnel in base to go back on lane faster.

Tempered Fate
  • Get to learn with the sound the moment when you ult ends, to chain cc with Q.
  • On dives, keep it to release aggro at the end of the dive.
  • Usefull to save an ally from ignite or similar abilities ( Malzahar, Brand, ...).
  • In pits to contest : ult the enemy team, not the objective, and steal it with a higher burst than them (the best is to ult the enemy jungler).
  • For escaping think about using it when enemy get out of your portal. You can ult enemy while they're still in the portal. Combined with a Q before gives you 4 seconds to escape.
Rune's choices
It's a good thing to take a look at your Runes stats at the end of each game, to see how they help you and to compare it with others you want to try.
Runes that I don't discribe are mostly useless on Bard. Take some time to think about their advantage compared to others and you will realize it yourself.



Easy to play
The strongest early
Doesn't scale that well

Easy and really good rune, you can proc it easy with AA-Q (mostly in this order to benefit from slow to land q, unless you want to stun fast).
Gives a midlife burst early game and helps 1v1 as soon as you have 3 meeps.

The easiest to carry late
Powerspike to 1v1 at 30 chimes
Weak early

The extra Attack Speed gives a huge burst once you have 3 meeps. Doesn't help alot on ganks though. The best lategame, unless you have many Dark Harvest's stacks (>35).

The funniest
Can carry late
Weak early

Hard to play, because Bard has already much to do in the jungle. But if you manage your stacks well, or if they have a late game compo, think about taking it.
You will need to gank very often, but it's quite natural with Bard. Try to gank right after a kill to get a second stack with no cd.
Hail of Blades may be a safer scaling, although dark harvest is an enjoying rune to play with that little sound when you get a stack 0:)



Easy to proc with an AA, increases the burst and you can proc it multiple times (4sec cd), which gives 10-45 dmg 2 times
Other option would be Taste of Blood, but the cd on this rune is 20sec, so you will heal less, 18-35 one time, than the dmg you would deal with Cheap Shot.


The main difference between those 3 are how you get the max stacks :
with kills for Eyeball Collection
with warding for Ghost Poro
with ward clearing for Zombie Ward.
Since you have to buy Oracle Lens pretty soon, i guess the best should be the Zombie Ward. With this in mind, forget taking Ghost Poro.


With a great synergy with Bard's movespeed and roaming, it's undubitably the best rune to pick here.
Other possible option would be Ultimate Hunter, for more catchs with your ult, but since there's a rune giving movespeed, it's propably not worth.
I sometimes think about taking Ingenious Hunter if i go for Zhonya's Hourglass, in addition to the Hextech Rocketbelt and eventually Twin Shadows



Probably the secondary path you will always take.

Is the best, because of great synergies with others runes ( Relentless Hunter), items ( Dead Man's Plate, Lich Bane, Mobility Boots, ...), abilites ( Caretaker's Shrine, Magical Journey, chimes).

Could be pick versus ap jungler, or agressive ap midlaner, and always when there's both of them.

Pick this else, because you will play alot around rivers, for many ganks and taking the scuttler's vision.

Could be picked for late game, though keep in mind that you already scale pretty good. So you may take more early/mid runes to help you sooner.


For some more tankiness or utility.

Maybe the best option to get some tankiness on ganks or versus the enemy jungler.

Can be usefull if you plan to push with your laners, and build something tanky ( Locket of the Iron Solari, Dead Man's Plate, Liandry's Anguish, ..)

Can give utility combined with Athene's Unholy Grail and Redemption. You will take it if you're confident in you team mates.

Can be useful vs high cc compos, though you rather want to avoid the cc than taking them :p

Items Comparison
I compare items Bard can buy at the same moment to help choose which is the best.

Here it goes for the first item you will buy after jungler item !

  • Tankiness
  • Dash for landing Cosmic Binding's stun
    Gives everything Bard needs early : hp, dmg, dash, cdr.

  • Heavy damage
  • Sheen gives a good powerspike for a few gold
  • Extra movespeed
  • Costs a lot (remember you don't farm much)
    Really high damage potential, you can hard snowball with it, but be aware of your squishiness

You can also start with Sheen and then go for Hextech Rocketbelt to have an early powerspike. If you see an opponent laner inting for instance or if you trust an ally to gank him hard early.
Other good idea is to rush Dead Man's Plate if they have ad midlaner or agressive ad jungler.
Last option for first item would be Rod of Ages but I haven't tried it recently. It's a quite tanky build for lategame, but you will lack of camps clearing, so maybe buy Stinger before/after Catalyst of Aeons.

If you have still no tankiness, choose between those.

  • Moove speed scales with Celerity
  • Increase burst (100 additional dmg)
    This item really helps ganking and dealing the extra damage you may lack sometimes.
  • Usefull vs crit compos ( Shaco, Yasuo, ...) and attackspeed
  • Active may be hard to use and Bard has already slows

Frozen Heart is maybe the best option vs full AD compos, combined with one of boths to be really tanky.
I've seen some builds with Thornmail, though I haven't tried it yet and I dont see how it can be better than Frozen Heart.

This could be your third item choice, right after Hextech Rocketbelt.

  • Helps a lot to burst
    Use combo : AA-Q(electrocute)-AA(boosted)
  • Sheen powerspike
  • Movespeed bonus
  • CDR
  • Bad AP scaling on Bard
  • Delays tankiness build
    Gives early high damage, usefull vs squishy compos if you take the lead.
  • Cheap
  • Muti usage active (escape, invade, gank, scout, ...)
    You can use your Tempered Fate right after they slow an enemy to target him easier.
  • Move speed
  • CDR
  • Bad AP scaling on Bard

As last item, if they have 3 or more AP damage dealers and if you still have no MR.

  • Passive great vs CC compos
  • Helps tank some AP dmg
  • Nice AP dmg
  • Cdr is the only synergie with Bard kit (low ap ratio on bard's spells)
  • Good tankiness
  • Caretaker's Shrine heal some more
  • Cdr is the only synergie with Bard
    Good if you want to be able to 1v1 mages

Athene's Unholy Grail and Locket of the Iron Solari are the others MR items in Bard's pool, but they will rather be bought for utility, as third or fourth item.
Herald is not a threat, since you can ult the turret to avoid the dmg from charge.

Drakes are hard to take early, try to have it ward often to know if they're doing it. If so maybe trade it with something else (herald, gank top, clear their jg, ...).

On any pits, you can always contest by trying to ult as many enemies as possible when the objective is low hp to try to have a higher burst than them. The best is to get the jungler. But avoid hitting the objective too.
Bard's role in the jungle
You can play Bard 2 differents ways in the jungle. Either as an agressive high burst damage dealer, or as a utility lane carrier.
No matter which one you pick, there are also particular jungling specificities to Bard

Ganking with Bard

These are the usual portals you will use for ganks, depending on your side.
1) is for cheese and blue invade, put a point in Magical Journey lvl 2 and directly gank top with your laner.
2) with those you can avoid being seen by a ward in the river. It's quite good if enemies have pushed in the early game (when there's still no pink).
The thin walls on the midlane are tricky, don't smartcast them (which means, click on the spell, and then on the wall, where you want it to be, don't just press E on the wall).

Bard jungling

Don't even Dream about having a proper farming. I hardly go above 50cs/15min, though i'm not focusing it enough. Before 15 chimes (8min) and/or completed Skirmisher's Sabre - Runic Echoes you wont even try clearing raptors. Krugs are good because they give more XP ans gold and you can kill them properly, Wolves are ok and gromp is quite tanky. Once you pass your first powerspike, go clear raptors ans Wolves as often as possible, because it will go fast and you should focus on easy farm.
What you lack of in farming is balanced with high gank potential and agressive jungling. You may be behind on cs, but you will put the enemies even more behind. Red trinket and pinks should be bought before 10min in addition to Mobility Boots.
Try to ward the enemy jungle to catch the jungler low life on a camp, to see where they're going, or use the advantage of him not being here to setup a gank.
Next keypoint to focus on is obviously your ganks. You want to put an enemy laner as behind as you can be, with lots of ganks with Magical Journey and Tempered Fate once you reach lvl 6. Best lane for this is top if you started top side or bot if you started botside. Midlane is Always a good lane to gank, take Care of not smartcasting your Magical Journey on the thin wall, else there is a high risk you don't go as far as expected. See which allies you can trust for snowball, and if you can't, then take the kills and buy high kill potential items ( Lich Bane, Hextech Rocketbelt, Nashor's Tooth, Twin Shadows, ...).
Towers and drakes will be hard to get, keep them warded and try to put your AD carries above their opponents for more dmg on objectives.

Boom-here's-Bard strategy

Your goal is catch enemies with help of high movespeed and burst damage. You will build Mobility Boots fast, then either Sheen if you feel confident or Hextech Revolver to go on a safer build. Electrocute is the best Rune early for this, but if you plan more lategame go for Hail of Blades.

Utility Bard

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