Bard Build Guide by sh00zyz
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+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Champion Build Guide
I'm sh00zyz from OCE, and I have achieved Challenger in midseason in season 8 with Bard being my most played champion.
I hope you can learn something regardless of your rank.
|By far the best rune on Bard. It’s very easy to proc since one auto attack with a meep and your Cosmic Binding is enough to proc Electrocute. It suits Bard’s playstyle and provides amazing damage. The other option is Guardian but I really dislike this rune. Some people are saying this is the new most viable keystone on Bard but I disagree. Even though Guardian can proc off your Caretaker's Shrine, I find this rune to be underwhelming and unsuited for Bard. The rest of the Resolve tree also has poor options for Bard compared to the Domination tree. Dealing more damage can also enable you to get many more kills which can also help you carry games.|
|Provides some extra damage and is fairly easy to proc. The other option is Taste of Blood, but I dislike it as I just prefer dealing more damage, so you can have stronger roams and trades.|
|After the changes to Zombie Ward, Eyeball Collection, and Ghost Poro, Eyeball Collection is surprisingly the best. I have found myself in many games with over 10 kills contributed in and very little Zombie Ward stacks. All seem viable to take, but Eyeball Collection is the easiest to stack.|
|This is the best option in this row. Firstly, it suits Bard’s playstyle of roaming and collecting chimes. We also take Celerity so that synergizes well with Relentless Hunter. The other two options are Ultimate Hunter and Ingenious Hunter. Ingenious Hunter would be decent as we do build active items and the CDR would be nice, but it’s not good enough to justify the potential move speed you could gain from Relentless Hunter. Ultimate Hunter is in the same boat; it’s not good enough to justify taking it over Relentless Hunter. Bard is one of the best champions in the game to utilize Relentless Hunter.|
For the secondary tree, Sorcery is the best. Resolve is outclassed by Sorcery by far. The power from the Sorcery tree really helps to win games whereas Resolve's power is underwhelming. I use to take Resolve but after Chrysalis being removed from the tree, there is no longer any good combination's of Resolve runes for Bard. The only viable option is Bone Plating, but the other runes don't synergize well at all with Bard. Hence, I take Sorcery.
|Celerity has always been taken on Bard and now that it has just received buffs in patch [9.1], this makes it even stronger. This is essential on Bard. It helps you roam much faster which is very important because it saves lots of time and helps you gets to fight much earlier which could be the difference between your team picking up kills or your team dying. It synergizes extremely well with Relentless Hunter and Traveler's Call.|
|This is a great rune on Bard. Firstly, it can proc off your meeps that is, a basic attack, so it's very easy to proc. Even though it has had some nerfs it’s still excellent on your kit and provides a little more damage on roams and in lane; the extra damage from scorch can really add up enabling you to get kills. The other option is Waterwalking, but I dislike roaming through the river as it can be warded and dangerous.|
Stats; Adaptive, Adaptive and Armour (or HP)
Here are where things can get tricky. For the first row, we have adaptive, attack speed or scaling CDR. I prefer the +9 AP simply because I believe hitting heavier is always better than hitting faster but weaker attacks. Especially in support where trades usually consist of one auto attack and often one ability as there isn’t enough time for very long trades. Taking the adaptive will allow stronger trades in lane. I can see how attack speed would work with Bard’s kit as he does utilize auto attacks to damage with meeps, but I often find myself running out of meeps in fights anyways, hence the attack speed is unnecessary.
The CDR isn’t good enough to justify taking over adaptive and since the CDR scales based on level, we shouldn’t be taking the CDR since supports are often the lowest level in the game.
For the second row, I take adaptive again. We could also take the armour or magic resist, but adaptive is far too good. Adaptive did recieve a slight nerf in [9.2], but they're not large enough to justify taking a resistance shard for this row.
For the third row, I take the armour. I have seen many players take the scaling HP but I really dislike this compared to the armour. Firstly, in bot lane you will take a lot of physical damage from the enemy adc, the enemy support (even if they’re AP they will likely still use auto attacks) and from minions. The additional 6 armour (which just received buffs in [9.2]) will reduce a lot of damage. Now with the scaling HP I don’t like it because as mentioned earlier, supports don’t gain as much EXP and won’t be utilizing the scaling HP as well. However, there are some circumstances where HP is fine to take, as it is effective against both AD and AP and you will be buying some resistance anyways. Take it into mixed damage bot lane or if you think the armour will be unnecessary. Take the magic resist stat into heavy AP bot lanes.
|Flash is essential on Bard. Take it every game as it’s the best summoner spell in the game, no exceptions.|
|Ignite is also essential on Bard. Taking Ignite dramatically increases your chances of winning lane as the damage can enable a lot of kills. It also reduces the enemy's Heal effectiveness. Do not be afraid to use it even if it overkills your opponent. A guaranteed kill is better than a likely kill. Ignite did just receive a damage nerf (but a cooldown buff) in [9.2], but it's still essential on Bard.|
Always take these two summoner spells, never take Exhaust as it's rubbish compared to ignite.
This is your most standard skill order on Bard. We take a second point in Cosmic Binding at level 3 because your Magical Journey won’t be useful in lane at level 3. Some games however, you may want to take Magical Journey level 3 if you need to if you’re leaving lane to help your jungler and want to use it as an escape which is fine.
Magical Journey max second on Bard is best. By the time Bard reaches the level where he can max his second ability, laning phase will be over and your Caretaker's Shrine won’t be as useful as it can be very tricky to get charged up Shrines to be utilized well as team fights/skirmishers happen. The reason why Magical Journey max second is so good is because it increases the speed in which your allies travel through the portal which is very important as it can help you escape enemies. If we decided to not max Magical Journey, enemies will have a much easier time catching us when they take the portal as well.
Maxing Magical Journey will save your life in many more scenarios than a slightly increased heal from Caretaker's Shrine max second would.
Take points into Tempered Fate whenever possible.
Passive: Traveler's Call
Bard causes chimes to appear on the map. Collecting a chime grants Bard out of combat movement speed which can stack, grant experience and restore some mana. Every 5 chimes collected empowers his meeps.
Bard gains meeps passively. Auto attacking consumes a meep to deal additional damage and slow. Collecting chimes empower meeps; increasing their power.
Bard’s passive is what makes Bard. His meeps are what makes him do a lot of damage and it is essential you collect a lot of chimes.
Some tips for Bard passive:
•Having a meep will allow you to easily proc electrocute via an auto attack and one Cosmic Binding.
•Having a meep and auto attacking a champion provides two procs of Spellthief's Edge and Frostfang which provides more damage as Spellthief's Edge and Frostfang do bonus magic damage on proc.
•Chimes restore mana, so if you have full mana, you may want to place a Caretaker's Shrine before you collect a chime as you will instantly gain the mana back.
•Chimes that appear red on the map indicate they’re about to expire. Go collect these ones before they do expire.
•If you plan to collect chimes in the enemy jungle, DO NOT use your Magical Journey to get to chimes quicker. Save your Magical Journey for if you get caught.
•If the enemy is sieging and it's too dangerous to walk up and AA them directly, you can AA minions to poke them via your splash damage from your meeps.
Now when should you leave lane to collect chimes? Well there is no exact rule for when you should stay or leave in lane, but some things I consider are:
•How many chimes I am on. If I’m one or two chimes away from empowering my meeps, I’ll collect them.
•How far are away the chimes are from bot lane.
•How much mana I am on.
•The state of the lane; if we have lane priority I can leave.
Collecting chimes increases their power; not just damage.
Q: Cosmic binding
|Bard fires a missile which will slow the first enemy struck and continue onward. If it strikes a wall, it will stun the initial target; if it strikes another enemy, it will stun them both.|
Bard’s Cosmic Binding may not be the most reliable stun in the game, but a very rewarding one if landed. In lane, you will want to utilize this by using it on minions and trying to get the second part of the Cosmic Binding to hit enemy champions. Bard’s Cosmic Binding has a fixed range on both parts. If you hit an enemy with the first part of Cosmic Binding regardless of how close you were, it’s range will then move on to the second part of the Cosmic Binding (which is fixed).
Therefore, the best way to poke with Cosmic Binding in lane is by using your Cosmic Binding on minions at max range as this will cover the most distance. If you walk too close to minion to try to Q, enemies will easily be able to predict what you’re doing, and you will likely miss your Cosmic Binding. I’ve had the most success with using Cosmic Binding from a distance when poking enemy champions through minions.
You do not always have to stun an enemy champion when trading with them, you may just want to hit an enemy champion with the first part of the Cosmic Binding which is fine to do. If you do want to trade with an enemy champion, it is quicker to do AA>Q>AA than it is to do Q>AA>AA. Using an auto attack first before Cosmic Binding is the most efficient way to do damage. This is because you want to use the ability during the downtime of an auto attack which is far more efficient than using Cosmic Binding, auto attacking and doing nothing in the downtime of your auto attack when the Cosmic Binding could’ve been used during this downtime. This is why auto attacking first does more damage quickly. However when leashing, I prefer to Cosmic Binding instantly as auto attacking first may cause the camp to move and you might miss the stun.
There are some circumstances where using Cosmic Binding first to guarantee the stun is better than auto attacking first. The best example is when you’re out of vision and an enemy is walking beside a wall; then it is acceptable to Cosmic Binding first as auto attacking first will indicate to enemies you’re there and will then try to dodge your Cosmic Binding. The second example is when an enemy is ulted. Always use your stun first when they break out of your Tempered Fate.
In teamfights, try and use your Cosmic Binding to stun two enemy champions. Stunning two enemy champions is huge and can usually turn around teamfights. I can’t really give tips on how to do this, you just have to position yourself and aim it well.
You can also buffer Cosmic Binding with Flash, meaning you can press Q first then Flash, and your Cosmic Binding will fire after your Flash, giving your opponents very little time to react. It is like Gragas using Body Slam first then flashing to hit their enemy.
W: Caretaker's Shrine
|Bard places a shrine which powers up over a short time. Allies can step on it to restore health and gain a burst of movement speed. Enemies can destroy the shrine by stepping on it.|
Bard’s Caretaker's Shrine is only really decent in lane. It is best to use in lane by putting it behind you based on where the wave currently is. I prefer to put shrines in the middle of the lane. I dislike putting them to close to the river because if you get ganked, you or your adc that attempts to collect may have to walk closer to the enemy jungler in order to pick it up. Try not to spam this ability unnecessarily and don’t put it in places where it will get destroyed by enemies.
When roaming on Bard, you can also drop a shrine in mid lane for your mid or for your jungler if you’re near your jungler.
Bard’s Caretaker's Shrine also grants vision when casted, so you can use it to check bushes quickly.
In teamfights, I like to use the shrine solely for move speed. I almost never place it down for it to charge up in teamfights because it is way too difficult to put it in a suitable spot for your team mates to pick up. Using the W directly on allies for the move speed which can help them chase kills or run away is the best use for teamfights.
Bard can only have up to three Caretaker's Shrine on the map at any time, but you can still cast it on an ally instantly and it wont destroy any of the three that are on the map.
E: Magical Journey
|Bard opens up a one-way corridor through terrain to the other side. All champions can right click the portal to travel to the other side. Allies travel faster than enemies.|
This ability opens a lot of gank paths for your team in laning phase. Make sure the brush you’re in has no vision and use your Magical Journey to get behind enemies. Here are the two best examples for blue and red side. Make sure to have Control Ward in these brushes.
For blue side:
For red side:
I suggest you should use this ability with quick cast and normal cast. You can use quick cast if you want to quickly get over a wall of terrain where it won’t really matter where you specifically end up. Normal cast may want to be used for longer terrain where accurate portals are needed. One trick is to use your Magical Journey at the end of the wall, that is, the place where you want to end up, for more accurate portals.
Here is an example where quick cast may be used:
Here is an example where normal cast should be used:
You can create portals in base to get to lane much quicker. You have to practice getting the portal as far as possible as you will have to stand in a specific location to get it long. I suggest practicing this in practice tool.
Here is an example:
If you’re helping your team get an objective like a tower, dragon or baron and want to escape after, you can create a portal a few seconds before the objective dies, so your team is aware that they can quickly get out and prepare to take it.
Bard’s Magical Journey can also be used at a range from a wall, so you do not have to be directly next to terrain in order to use it. This can be very useful to save allies as it gives your allies time to react early so they know to take the portal.
R: Tempered Fate
|Bard sends spirit energy arcing to a location, putting all champions, minions, monsters, and turrets hit into stasis for a brief time.|
The best way to use this ability is for picks. If you see an enemy out of position, don’t hesitate to just use your Tempered Fate immediately because by the time you decide, they may already move to a safer spot. Don’t worry too much if you miss your ult when using it instantly, that’s ok because having the right idea is what matters and eventually, you will get more picks by practicing to ult instantly. I’ve had many games when someone is out of position and have missed my ult many times; it’s not the easiest ult to land.
Don’t use your ultimate at max range, only at close or medium range. Bard's ultimate has a very long range, but I never use it at a long range as it’s way too hard to hit. It has a very long travel time and enemies can easily dodge it therefore, you should only use it when you’re close to enemies. The only time I would use it at max range is when I ult Baron nashor , Dragon or Turret (something that I can guarantee to hit as it won’t move) or if they’re under heavy crowd control (you may throw your ult from a distance if you think you can land it).
Using it on allies to save them is niche. I don’t really like using it on allies too often and I prefer using it for picks. However, if I’m against champions like a Zed or Talon, I will use it on allies like a Zhonya's Hourglass. It requires good coordination with your allies and you should let them know you’re willing to ult them. You can use it on allies who are taking DOT damage to prevent them from dying.
A very niche mechanic involving Tempered Fate and Redemption is you can cast Tempered Fate on an ally and then cast Redemption slightly after they’re ulted. Since Tempered Fate stasis lasts for 2.5 second, and Redemption has a cast time of 2.5 seconds, the redemption heal will go through almost immediately after the stasis ends. This is useful if you want to heal an ally that would die within 2.5 seconds before your redemption goes through; the stasis stalls their life. This is an advanced mechanic.
Another advanced mechanic is using Tempered Fate on your towers against Rift Herald . When the enemy Rift Herald is about to charge, you can cast Tempered Fate on your tower and the Rift Herald will charge at the tower but not damage it.
You can also use Tempered Fate on the enemy champion when they first start summoning Rift herald to cancel it.
Be careful, don’t use it on enemies who are already likely already caught or are going to die. A lot of Bard games will help you get better at using Bard ult as it is one of the hardest abilities to use in the game.
AP/AD/On-hit Bard is trash. If you want to build AP, play a champion like Brand, Zyra or Vel'Koz, who have almost all damaging abilities and utilize AP well. Bard doesn’t have the best AP ratios and has only two damaging abilities (including his passive). What makes Bard do damage are his meeps once you collect lots of chimes; not his AP ratios. You can get some AP through runes and stats, rather than buying it through expensive items to help you do a bit more damage.
There is no reason to go expensive items such as Nashor's Tooth, Lich Bane or Rapid Firecannon when you can go cheap and useful items like Redemption, Mikael's Crucible and Locket of the Iron Solari which provide so much utility for your team as well as providing great stats. I can see why players build items such as Nashor's Tooth as Bard does use auto attacks and has meeps but compared to support items, those items are rubbish.
Spellthief's Edge> Frostfang> Boots of Mobility> Redemption> Mikael's Crucible> Locket of the Iron Solari
Get Frostfang and some Control Wards on your first back and if you can, purchase Boots of Speed. Don’t upgrade Frostfang into Remnant of the Watchers unless you are full build as Remnant of the Watchers stats aren’t good enough to justify buying for an additional 950 gold. Purchasing Remnant of the Watchers also delays your core items on Bard. Remember to get Oracle Lens once your item quest is complete.
Always get Boots of Mobility immediately after Frostfang because it’s very important on Bard. Other boot options are Ninja Tabi into all AD comps, Mercury's Treads into heavy CC/AP, but 95% of the time, I get Boots of Mobility. Do not delay tier 2 boots. Move speed is very important for support as it helps you dramatically with roaming. If you do not have 600 gold when you back to afford Boots of Mobility (given you have Boots of Speed), you can start buying some components of Redemption, mainly Faerie Charm. In the very late game, you can sell your Boots of Mobility for either Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi as the movespeed may become unnecessary in the late game and becomes more team fight focused.
Once you've bought Frostfang and Boots of Mobility, you buy your first core item. Redemption first is standard but if they have any hard CC such as Dark Binding, Pick A Card (Gold card), Glacial Prison you can rush Mikael's Crucible first item. Make sure you get good at using this item because it can be extremely powerful when purchased first. If you want to get good at using Mikael's Crucible, you need to predict and react the CC. For example, if you see an enemy twisted fate walking up to your ADC and he starts picking his cards, you should be ready to Mikael's Crucible your ADC for when he gets hit by the gold card. Some games you may not even need Mikael's Crucible at all due to the enemy team having lack of hard CC, which is fine.
Now after you purchase your first core item, you buy the remaining core items. If you purchased Mikael's Crucible first, you'd complete Redemption next and then Locket of the Iron Solari as third item.
If you purchased Redemption first, complete Mikael's Crucible and Locket of the Iron Solari in either order depending on the enemy comp. If they're high burst, you can get Locket of the Iron Solari before Mikael's Crucible.
TL;DR Buy Redemption, Mikael's Crucible and Locket of the Iron Solari in any order, excluding buying Locket of the Iron Solari first.
My preferred build path order is: Redemption > Mikael's Crucible > Locket of the Iron Solari
If the enemy team is all AD. You can change your build path by just going all armor items, such as Frozen Heart, Randuin's Omen and Knight's Vow. More detail below.
After you complete your three core items (or two if you didn’t need Mikael's Crucible), you can pick what situational items you’d like. These are ordered from most preferred to least preferred
|A very good item however as Bard is a ranged champion, the healing and damage redirection are reduced by 50%. Even though the effects are only 50% effective, it is still good enough to justify buying it. You can get it if you don’t want Twin Shadows and want to keep one of your team mates alive. This item is good into heavy AD comps as Knight's Vow gives armour. This is my most preferred situational item.|
|The active part component is what makes this item worthwhile buying and the MS and CDR work well for Bard. Whilst I don’t like buying AP Items on Bard, this is an exception as it is cheap and the active is good. Get this item if you don’t need any other items and just want a bit more AP damage.|
|I always buy this item into all AD comps. Even purchasing it as a first item is acceptable. It makes you very tanky and the CDR and passive makes it very good. Get this item into all AD comps or you can get it situationally if they have a lot of attack speed champions such as Master Yi, Yasuo, Varus, Xin Zhao, etc.|
|It may seem strange to get this on Bard but into all AD comps and paired with frozen heart, this item is excellent. It makes you very tanky by giving HP and the active can be utilized even though you are ranged there are scenarios where you can walk up to use the active. Get this item into all AD comps alongside with Frozen Heart and Knight's Vow.|
Athene's Unholy Grail
|I almost never buy this item. Firstly, Bard is not an enchanter, so he can’t utilize it good at all. The cooldown on Caretaker's Shrine is fairly long as well, so you're "wasting" potential charges by not using it frequently, compared to a champion such as Soraka or Sona who is always using the charges. I don’t like to use Bard's Caretaker's Shrine solely for the healing, but rather the MS. You can get this into heavy AP comps as it gives magic resist, but I find the passive slightly awkward to utilize well. I've seen some Bard players purchase this item if they max Caretaker's Shrine second.|
|Similar to Athene's Unholy Grail, I almost never buy this. These types of items are suited to supports with lots of healing like Sona who can utilize the passive well and consistently.|
|I rarely get this. The move speed active is more suited for hard engage supports. There is no reason to buy this when Twin Shadows exists as Twin Shadows synergizes with Bard’s kit much better as it can help you land Tempered Fate by slowing them via Twin Shadows' active.|
If you do not need to leash your jungler, you can cheese. There are several sports you can cheese to try get some summs or a kill. This can be huge as you can get a huge exp lead since they may die or have to recall. Use your Cosmic Binding first when you encounter the enemies for an easy stun. You do not always have to proceed and try to kill them.
For blue side:
For red side:
For this one below, I recommend putting the ward in the brush as show in the image. Put it there around 1:00.
The reason this is done because if the enemy Flashes over the wall to try and live, they may go through the bush and we can still have vision of them so you and your ADC can still attack them (if you decide to Flash over as well to try kill them).
If it were not warded, we may lose vision of the enemy and therefore not be able to attack them. The second reason is so we can see if they walk to lane which means you can just leave the tribrush and just go to lane.
When you get to lane, do not be that support that sits back and does nothing, especially on Bard. Your goals in early laning should be:
• Poke and trade
• Push for level 2
• Complete your Spellthief's Edge/ Frostfang quest ASAP
Bard has very strong auto attacks with his meeps. One thing you may not know about Spellthief's Edge/ Frostfang is its damaging passive:
“Damaging spells and attacks against champions and buildings consume a charge, up to one per attack or cast. Consuming a charge deals them 13/18 bonus magic damage and grants 10/20 gold.”
So, whenever you have charges on Spellthief's Edge/ Frostfang, your attacks will deal bonus damage. With Bard’s auto attack, he can procs two Spellthief's Edge/ Frostfang (the auto attack and his meep). Combined with the auto attack damage, his meep, Scorch and the 26/36 bonus magic damage, Bard’s auto attacks hurt a lot. Stand in the bushes and auto attack and use your Cosmic Binding to trade on the enemy bot lane, walk back into bushes to remove minion aggro (may not work if the bush is warded). Melee supports are the easiest to auto attack due to the range advantage but some other mage/enchanter supports can be hard to walk into to as they can trade well to, so be careful if they’re a ranged support and respect their damage.
Always push for level 2. When pushing for level 2, you can zone in which their bot lane will not be able to auto attack your minions or be busy trading with you. You should also auto attack enemy minions to help push but do not mess up last hits for your AD. You can just auto minions that your ADC is not attacking.
Remember that auto attacking minions consumes your meep so do not auto minions then look for auto attacks on enemy champions until your meep is back up. I prefer to auto attack enemy champions first then auto the minions when your meeps are down.
I.e. Use the meeps on the champions and if you do use it on minions, wait until your meeps are back before trading.
To help complete quests faster, one thing to know is that towers give Spellthief's Edge/ Frostfang procs. In bot lane, typically one bot lane recalls than the other team shoves then recalls. What you can do before you recall is hit the tower to proc your Spellthief's Edge/ Frostfang to get 30/60 gold. You can check above your HUD for how many procs you have available. I find that it will generally be 3 procs and I like to proc all of them on the tower before the first recall. However, do not do this if trying to do this will result in your overstaying and therefore, a risk of dying. I find doing this is the easiest if their bot lane recalls first and your ADC can shove very quickly as it gives you a lot of time before they arrive in lane.
If your ADC is not in lane and there is an enemy minion wave crashing at your tower and there are no enemy champions in lane, you can hold the wave for your ADC, shown in the image below.
On blue side: Most common place to put them is in the bottom left of the tri bush
On red side: Top of the brush in the river OR the tri bush near blue and gromp. This control ward allows cut off vision from the enemy team in this area, which means you can make easy tunnels with your jungler that will be unseen. This opens up an incredibly strong gank path via your Magical Journey as discussed earlier in the guide.
The reason why we put the Control Wards in these areas because there is a far greater chance your jungler will not be spotted early when going for a gank.
E.g. On blue side, if there are no wards in the tribush and he goes for a gank but is spotted by a ward in the long brush in the river, that’s ok because he will be spotted very late by the enemy team and the gank will very likely still work. However, if there is no control ward in the tribush and your jungler is spotted there, this results in the jungler being spotted very early and it will be very difficult for your jungler to gank. It’s your responsibility to clear vision so your jungler can have successful ganks.
We also put the Control Wards specifically in the bottom left of the tri bush (for blue side) and top of the long bush (for red side) because it is more dangerous for the enemy team to destroy them.
We can also put Control Wards in the long brushes in the lane for zoning control, but I don’t like doing this too often as it can be fairly easy to destroy. The most common time I would be put a Control Ward in the long brushes if my jungler wants to lane gank so I can ensure there is no vision in there.
After laning phase, you should have your Oracle Lens and Control Wards to clear out vision for objectives or anywhere for that matter. Clearing vision very powerful and it is the best way to enable easy ganks for your team. What ever objective you're aiming for, make sure you place good wards around the area and a Control Ward.
• If there is a fight from bot lane to mid lane through the river, Bard can instantly leave the lane and help.
Early game, a lot of junglers may fight for scuttle. The thing about bot lane, it’s ok if the support leaves to help junglers because your ADC will still be getting exp from the lane; nothing is lost from the lane if you leave. You need be very quick to react if there is a fight in the river because if you arrive there first before their support does, you will win the fight. Leaving instantly and helping can result in a lot of free kills. Having mobility boots helps so much with leaving lane instantly to help as you can often run as far to mid lane to help in skirmishers.
• Having lane priority, that is, constantly pushing towards the enemy.
If you’re constantly shoved in, it may be hard to roam since your ADC may just get dove. Having lane priority gives you freedom as it’s much safer to roam.
• Enemy bot lane champions.
If the enemy bot lane for example is Draven paired with a Rakan or Alistar, their engage will be very strong. You may not want to roam as much as leaving lane would mean your ADC will get engaged on and die.
• Having a mobile ADC.
Having a mobile ADC like Ezreal, allows you to roam much easier as there is less likelihood your ADC will die.
• Assessing whether mid is gankable.
If your mid laner is Katarina into a mobile LeBlanc, don’t even bother roaming mid since you’re never going to kill him. If however, you have a LeBlanc into a Karthus, you should definitely be looking to camp that as LeBlanc has great CC and Karthus has no mobility. Assess both laners kits and just evaluate whether you can get kills or not.
• Going top lane rarely.
I rarely roam top lane unless the game is a stomp. Firstly, top lane is very far from bot so roaming there will just leave your ADC isolated for too long. Secondly, there can be tanky champions top lane so it can be difficult to get kills. Roam top if there is nothing to do bot or mid and the enemy top laners are squishy fighters such as Gangplank, Riven, Camille, Wukong, etc.
• If your ADC recalled.
If your ADC recalls, there is probably nothing to do in bot lane, so go and roam.
• If the enemy bot lane isn’t present in bot lane.
If the enemy laners recall, there is likely no action; you can roam.
• Going with your jungler if he is at scuttle or invading the bot side jungle.
If your jungler is going for the scuttle or goes for an invade bot side, you can leave lane and go with him given that you have lane priority. If you go with your jungler, just wait a bit out of vision then if the enemy jungler engages in a fight, then go and help him. It is very easy to land your stun against the enemy since there are a lot of walls in the jungle. I’ve found this only works if I have lane priority which is why it’s super important to always push. Going with your jungler gives you lots of kills. If he goes for scuttle, you can leave temporarily and just stay near him (do not auto the scuttle as this will consume your meeps), if the enemy jungler shows, it should be an easy kill.
• Very concise champion pool
When I climbed to Challenger, I played 3 champions. I would mainly play Bard but almost only play two other champions in other roles ( Graves and Gangplank).
• Learn the best build on your champion
Look at probuilds, look at a guide or go to op.gg on Korea. To find players builds on op.gg, go to Leaderboards then go to champions (http://www.op.gg/ranking/champions/). Find the champion you want and look at some of the builds. You can also check LolAlytics to see the win rates of each rune on a champion. Having an optimal build is very essential to winning more games. When I first learned Gangplank ages ago, I had a rubbish build and would win about 50% of my games. As soon as I learned the correct build path, I started winning dramatically more.
• Play a few games a day
Playing less games, a day ensures you play quality games as you will be more focused and not on autopilot. If you spam games, you will be mentally drained and far more prone to tilt. Make sure you don't play on autopilot.
• /Mute all and never type anything negative
You don’t really need to listen to anything your team says. /Mute all if you have to and never ever bring your team down. Firstly, if you’re typing in game, you’re spending more time typing than you are actually playing the game so you’re not being productive. Maybe only type tactics if necessary. Secondly, it brings your teams level down as it makes them upset. They’re your team, you should support them. Saying things like “Come on guys we can win!” is very helpful.
• Dodge if needed
If you think you’re going to lose a game in champion select, just dodge. It’s only -3 LP and you lose no mmr. It is far better to guarantee -3 LP than say a 30% chance of winning.
• Be willing to learn (best way to improve)
There is a lot to learn in League of Legends. If you’re unsure about something, go on summoner school subreddit and ask questions, go watch some coaching videos and take notes. Read items and read champion abilities. The game is always changing so you have to constantly learn the game. It may sound corny, but I believe this is key to becoming better. I’m still learning heaps about the game even now.
If you have any feedback or questions, please feel free to leave comments regarding so.
This guide will be up to date with future patches.
Special thanks to Monica and Julian for helping me.