Bard Build Guide by CataclysmG
[8.138 Update] Bard Mid - The Wandering DestroyerBy CataclysmG | Updated on September 13, 2018
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Choose Champion Build:
AP/Attack Speed Mid Lane
Legacy AP Bard Mid [Pre 7.7]
Threats & Synergies
Dodge Q poking. When she wastes her charm, trade with her. Try to land a Q stun and auto her before she can W, because she'll almost always win that trade if she does. When she hits 6, you can halt her mid ult with Q stun or ult and just get away from her. Her damage spooky tho.
You can abuse Akali really hard because she's a melee that walks at you in a straight line. Maybe call a jungler if you aren't ahead by level 6 and you should be good.
If you can dodge her Q, Anivia is literally nothing. Immobile, little damage early game. The one thing you need to worry about is her passive since you can't really burst her twice. Ask a jungler to come in once you have it down. Post 6 you probably want to roam since she'll have a lot more pressure than you do.
This one's annoying. She's going to farm with Q, so try to poke her early while she doesn't have her stun. When she hits level 4 you won't have amazing trades, but you can outsustain her. At level 6 an Annie with ignite can probably get close to one shotting you, so exercise caution. Might want some early MR on this one, but she's punishable if she doesn't hold passive, and she loses out on farm if she does.
Not necessarily immobile, but has no escape. You can abuse him extremely hard as long as you respect his Q/W range.
This one's pretty obnoxious to fight. He's going to either farm the whole lane and zone you, or try to push his sand soldiers into you with Q and poke you. If he chooses the former, just focus on outfarming him. If the latter, walk towards him when he does it, land a Q stun since he's frozen when he autos, and poke him out since he can't reposition his soldiers for a while.
Blind picking Bard mid into Bard mid? Tragic. It's a skill matchup. :^)
Brand's very predictable. Just don't let him get close to you, and leave your minion wave if he ults you. Pretty simple. As long as you don't get Q stunned, you win trades.
If you do happen to see this, don't worry. If she goes for a hookshot, Q her and stun her onto the wall she does it on. If she ults you, ult her (if you can get her exclusively in it) and try to look for an angle to Q stun. If her ult is rank 1, she can't actually keep her ult up as long as yours lasts (as of 7.7)
Dodge Q, get out of W, and try to avoid letting her poke you with E. Turn around frequently to stop her from ulting you, and harass her with your Q auto combo in lane. If she lands poison your best bet is probably to ult her and get out of there.
Cho'gath mid is pretty threatening. You can poke him in lane, but if you let him hit late game (or even let him land a combo at level 6) you'll be in for a surprise.
This is (thankfully) a joke. Q her mid ult dash to stun her, outsustain her in lane with W, and poke her down since her Q is easy to dodge and she has no other reliable damage.
Another melee, this time with a non-ult gapcloser, insane damage, and a free "Get me out of this" card for an ult. Just avoid his W stuns and dodge his Q when it's coming back, and trades should be pretty free.
Fizz is pretty obnoxious. Similar to Cho'gath, he's not too bad early on but his level 6 is one of the stronger ones in the game. You can ult yourself when the shark is about to hit, but I still recommend taking a stopwatch if possible.
Galio has seen some damage shifts, so he's pretty weird. He's going to hurt if he lands a full combo, but a well timed Q should stop his passive-empowered auto.
Abuse him while he's trying to set up barrels, break his barrels (which takes practice with how slow Bard's attacks are normally), and just don't let him farm. If he hits level 13 you likely need to catch him out with ult and get your team to fight him with you.
Stun him on his turrets and try to kill the turrets, but never fight him. In fights, stun or even ult his R-turret to negate his DPS entirely.
Keep him away. He's going to outpoke you if you let him land a Q, so try to stick near or away from minions depending on the way the Jayce plays. When he engages, Q and then kite backwards, but never in a straight line.
Stick behind minions and try to poke her out. She can't poke through minions. You can. If she tries to walk up and W, there's probably a jungler nearby or she's insane. Q stun her and walk out.
He hurts, but investing in boots level 1 makes it easy to harass Karthus and destroy him since he's immobile. Your ult also counters his.
Melee, low base damage, but still a threat. Be careful for level 6, as he can avoid a lot of your damage. Late game he's a menace.
Kat is predictable, but she still hurts an awful lot and a skilled Katarina will run you down. Your ult stops hers but she should just shunpo out of it lol good luck with that one
She doesn't really... do anything? Just poke her out, be careful for her ult level 6. You win trades, so if she walks up to you and goes for a Q, just attack.
Don't get hit by a chain, and you win trades. Land those sick W predictions.
Our sustain makes this a decent matchup, but with Manaflow Band Lissandra can poke you out a lot more than previously. Take caution.
Dodge Q, walk away from E, ult yourself if you will get hit by Q, etc. Not an awful matchup.
Morgana got a mini-rework that gives her a bit of sustain. Thus, this matchup got much harder. Dodge Q if possible, and ult her if you can get out of her ult. Otherwise, ult yourself.
I'd rather roam than fight this. Orianna has way too much pressure to deal with successfully.
I don't know why someone would pick this into Bard. But if they do, just Q stun them when they do anything. His passive can block one auto, but the meep still hits and he can't block all of our autos.
His early game isn't the best, but he still hurts and if he hits late he'll easily outdamage you if you're caught offguard. Ward up.
Don't stand in Swain Q, CC him when he ults, and don't get hit by Nevermove. Basically, don't go near him and you're fine. If you do go near him, you're in a world of pain.
She's underplayed, but she's still really high damage when she is played. If you know she's going to ult you, ult yourself before it so it'll be wasted when she starts it (similar to how Zed can ult out of it or you can Zhonya's to stop it.)
Poke her out, try to avoid her combo. If she lands the combo and you don't have flash, you might as well trade with her anyways since you're going to be slowed and low health. If she shoves in post-6, ult her with a jungler nearby and she's free.
Melee, but high damage and has poke. Kind of an odd matchup for both sides, but he can one shot if you aren't careful. He also chases you through your E with his, so you need some good jukes to escape him.
Actually not too bad. Just poke him out and get away from him if he's going after you. With Aerie he's a bit more of a threat, and you might want to invest in a sweeping lens for the shrooms. So many shrooms. I need help.
Kind of an asshat. Avoid letting him W auto or E auto, as both will end in pain. You can still poke him a decent bit, but later on he should be able to escape you.
Vel'koz hurts. If Vel'koz can land skillshots, he hurts more. Don't let Vel'koz land skillshots. If he ults, ult him and leave/kill him.
Viktor hurts. There's also not much we can do to stop him post-6 since we have no reliable way to escape his W. Try to outroam him and hold out for late game.
He's actually fightable. Just sit behind minions when he goes to E, wait out his pool and try to land a Q as he comes out. Don't let him hit his empowered Q on you.
Avoid E, punish. Not too bad, though other people have different thoughts on this matchup.
He's Yasuo. It could go either way.
Ult when he ults you to negate most of the damage. In lane, dodge his Q then actually just walk up to him and kill him lol If you make him waste his shadow, he's virtually useless against you pre-6.
Ziggs throws a lot of bombs. If you can dodge them, you win. If you can't, you lose. Pretty simple.
Zyra got a bit of a rework that makes her viable in the mid lane. It hurts. Be careful.
Threats & Synergies
She outpokes you pretty hard and has a lot of mobility to screw your combo over. Look to Q through minions and catch her for a meep-empowered auto attack and thunderlords proc. Late game, auto her for the slow and try to stun her on another ally or wall with Q so your team can jump on her.
Melee so she is very susceptible to your Q, but since we have no MR glyphs she hurts a lot. If she is trying to engage, I recommend having heals behind you leading to your tower so she can't just tower dive you at level 6. Peel her off by ulting yourself under tower if necessary.
Highly immobile and recently nerfed. Can't dodge your combo, wall useless against you. Easy lane.
No mobility so she is possible to catch with Q and proc thunderlords off of, but when she gets protobelt her damage becomes a real threat. Try to beat her pre-6.
You can literally just harass ASol for minutes straight since his damage is all telegraphed and his poke does nothing early on. You should be able to instakill him with two or three items if you gunblade.
Avoid Azir if you can. He has a lot of ways to harass you from places where you can't get anywhere near him, and if you do get near him he's just going to EQ out of whatever you're going to do. You can still catch him out with your ult if his reaction time is bad, but it isn't likely.
You can sit behind your minions and outpoke Brand since his abilities rely on being close for the most part. He can't get close enough to E without losing the trade, wasting Q on poke hurts him heavily, and his W does almost no damage if he doesn't hit another spell first.
I don't think I can write a guide where Cass isn't a threat. She nukes mobility, she nukes you, and she nukes your team. You can almost outpoke her in lane, but if you get caught in her W you can say goodbye to your health. Her E restoring health makes her sustain better than yours once she gets a tear.
While Cho has a lot of presence in lane, you can harass him really hard since his mobility is virtually nothing. Try to predict where he will use Q and stay out of the range of his W, and you should win this lane.
All Ezreal does is poke. While he can sit behind minions and snipe you when you make any mistakes, you can't really reach him. If you catch him out without E or flash, you can try to stun him with Q or line up a Q with ult. Since he's an ADC, you can burst him with a few items.
You can harass Fizz really hard in lane since his E will be on such a high cooldown. Late game, you can ult whoever his ult latches on to so the damage is mitigated, you can outheal his W DoT and you can burst him pretty hard since he's squishy (assuming you catch him with no E and zhonyas)
Low mobility, you can ult your allies while he's in his ult so they take no damage and you can even stun him out of it from a safe distance. If you can avoid his Q, this matchup is easy.
He makes minions for you to stun him on, so his normal turtling tactics won't work. You can even just ult his ult-Q so it can't do anything. Outpoke him in lane and he'll be useless.
Jayce can outpoke you if he's smart, but when he tries to do his melee combo you can stun him on his minion wave or a wall and outtrade him extremely hard. Be careful for ganks or flanking, since Jayce can definitely one shot you.
Karma outpokes you, can lock you down with W, and shields all of your damage on her whole team with E. Even catching her out is hard because of her movement speed on her shield. Try to get jungler help to take her out early since she's somewhat feast or famine.
Immobile, easy to dodge his Q. Just build mobility boots early and avoid his wall of pain and you should be able to outpoke him as long as he doesn't get into a range where his E hits you. That ability hurts more than you would think. Ult/heal low health allies when he tries to ult.
Katarina's movements are extremely telegraphed by her daggers, so you can easily poke her out with Q and autos. If she tries to engage, Q stun or ult her out of her ult and either run or kill her.
Lots of damage, lots of teleporting with W, so try to predict when she will try to teleport back to her W and either Q or ult her so you can set up your combo for winning trades.
She can out poke you very hard with her passive, and at level 6 she can one shot you with her ult/Q/E/W/Q combo. Try to learn when she will engage on you, and ult her/yourself before or as she is ulting you so she can't get her dps down.
Outpokes you, outranges you, and can even instakill you with her level 6 combo. Try to stay alive in lane and either flash out of her ult or ult yourself when you get snared so you don't explode. Either find lucky Q opportunities where you can try to outtrade her or use ult to set up for yourself and/or your jungler.
Neither of you really have kill potential on each other, but you poke through minions and she can't. Ult yourself/her when she tries to ult you and just avoid her bindings, and you should win lane.
Similar to Azir, but doesn't need attack speed to one shot you with a combo. Also a lot less safe, since she has no real mobility spells aside from a speed increase. Try to get your jungler to flank her or just land a good stun and you can outtrade her before she uses her E to shield.
Versatile, but Bard can heavily outtrade him early game and abuse Ryze's lack of sustain to shove him out of lane.
As a heavy control mage with such high amounts of burst that she's regarded as brainless, she's a massive threat. You can, however, outpoke her from behind the minions and juke her QE and WE combo horizontally to avoid the stun and hit back. Just be careful of level 6, because any stun she has landing means the end of your life.
A good Taliyah should be able to outpoke you until you have lost enough health to have to waste flash on her EW combo. A bad Taliyah will try to use the combo early and get punished for it. Either way, she has no real mobility spells so you can punish her from behind your minions.
High mobility, high damage, easy poke through minions, and can one shot you with a serrated dirk at level 6. Try to abuse him pre-6 and avoid his early game passive+ignite cheese, and you should be able to harass him until he can't farm. That, or get your jungler to deal with him once he wastes his W.
Teemo is broken this patch, plain and simple. One shots anybody with Liandry's and Gunblade. You can poke him in lane, but once he gets those two items there's not much chance of taking him out.
Twisted Fate has a lot of poke and an easily accessible stun, but he lacks in the mobility department. If he ults in lane and goes to roam, you can ult or stun him out of his ult. Similarly, if he tries to go near you, you can punish him with Q and back off so he wastes mana.
If Veigar gets a lot of farm or lands a lot of abilities, you pretty much instantly lose. He'll throw down a circle that you can ult yourself inside of, and he's low mobility, but having 1000 AP within 30 minutes is not ok.
Vel'koz has a lot of poke, a little bit of mobility, and is hard countered by Bard, actually. If he can't hit E before a close-range trade, you win that trade since you can just walk out of both his Q and W. When he tries to ult, you can ult him and stop it. However, he still has a lot of kill potential through his true damage passive, so be careful.
Viktor is immobile. You can also get away from his ult with E and protobelt both, so when he tries to use his full combo, just protobelt to the nearest wall and E through. Maybe if you're lucky, he'll follow you through and you'll be waiting with a stun and a jungler. :)
Low damage early, higher damage late, immobile, yet mobile. Vlad is kind of weird. You can poke him in lane, but his manaless health-restoring kit rivals even your heals. I would call this one of the only actual farm lanes.
Xerath has a lot of high-damage poke and also a slow and stun all on the same kit. You can try to avoid his ult with your E similar to Viktor, but if he knows where the E ends he can predict a shot and likely kill you as you go through. He is immobile though, so dodging his Q and E means you win trades easily.
Yasuo, being melee, is a very fun matchup for Bard. If he tries to get to you using your minions, just Q auto to stun him and proc thunderlords. Bait his windwall with autos. If he is ulting a target, ult both of them and none of the damage will go through, or just ult Yasuo to let his target go free.
Zed is highly mobile, has a lot of damage and poke, but is still melee. Your ult also counters his since you can cancel the damage it deals, and you can even pick up a Zhonya's to even further the chance that his ult doesn't damage you.
Ziggs has some mobility and tons of poke, and especially when he picks up mana you are potentially in trouble. Your ult counters his since you can just ult the center of his if you get stuck there, you can outpoke him pretty hard since all of his damage is telegraphed, and it isn't a problem if he escapes with low health because he has zero sustain.
Your ult counters Zilean's Q, but he isn't very killable. He's probably just going to use E and run, and just ult even if you kill him. Remember; can't killean the Zilean. But in a fight, kill him first so he can't ult a higher priority target.
Zyra does damage. More specifically, her plants do. You don't have many tools to deal with her plants, so you should just try to poke her and heal/run when the damage starts piling up. She can almost instantly kill you if she lands a snare on you since her combo+plants do upwards of 1200 damage with one full item.
I'm a bit iffy on this one, as Camille can definitely just