Bard Build Guide by Flagoony
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Runes: Electrocute - Precision
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order Skill Order: R-Q-W-E
Threats & Synergies
Very easy lane. Poke him down with your Q autos and heal back his poke with your W's. When you are running low on mana, collect chimes and continue the process. Be careful of his level 6 power-spike though, as it may result in your death.
Very easy matchup. Pre 6, poke him down with Q autos. After he hits 6, space far enough so he can't engage with his R. Position yourself near walls to E to safety. If he goes in to fight you, kite back and burst him down.
Look for Q AA's to proc electrocute. Don't take extended fights before your first item.
Fizz top is a pretty easy matchup. When he gets on top of you, stun him and kite away. If he lands an R on you, R yourself to not take damage and then kite back.
Going against Gragas is pretty easy. Make sure you space far enough away so he can't all in you with his E. After he hits 6 be careful of his ult and try not to let him engage onto you.
Poke him down early into the lane and when he spins at you stun him and run away. Fight near the walls top lane so you can tunnel away to your tower if he tries to kill you. After he hits 6, ult whenever he ults to stall his ultimate duration and set up an easy kill.
Fiora isn't a difficult matchup. Play it safe and poke her down when she goes for cs. Whenever she lunges in at you stun her with your q and kite back. Watch out for her W as it can result in you dying.
Not a difficult matchup. Stay far enough away from him so he can't pull you in. Q him if he walks up and constantly poke him down throughout the lane.
Aatrox is easy to beat before he hits level 6. Poke him down early and dodge his Q's. Make sure he is not able to engage onto you. After he hits level 6, fight near walls just in case you need to tunnel away.
Not a difficult matchup. Dodge his E and poke him down. Heal from his poke with your W's. Collect chimes when you are low on mana. Since he will usually build items that make him tankier, I recommend looking for roams around the map to get leads.
Same as Teemo, try to land a Q stun with auto electrocute proc.
Vi is very dangerous for Bard because of her ability to get on top of you. Her Q into a R makes it so that you can't escape. Try to stun her and walk to safety if you can.
Vayne outranges you and can easily dodge your Q with her own. In this matchup you will want to play safe and try to not fall behind too much so you can fight her late game.
Before she hits level 6, you can look to poke her down. After she hits level 6, you can't walk up to far as she will engage and kill you. Stay near your tower and poke her down before she engages so that you can kill her with your burst.
Very difficult match-up if he knows what he is doing. Save your Q for when he runs at you then stun him and run away. Don't let him get to close to you in lane.
Nocturne is a very difficult matchup for Bard. His spell shield blocks your stun and his e is perfect for locking you down. Play this lane safe and watch out for his lvl 6 all in. If you see an opportunity, roam to get a lead.
Rek'Sai is great with Bard because she can help him get ahead with early ganks because of the cc they have.
Skarner is great with Bard because he can follow up on Bard's R with his own. Skarner also has plenty of slows and stuns to assist Bard.
Miss Fortune is great with bard if you time your ultimate's correctly. But usually you just end up saving the enemies from her ult.
Pantheon is a nice jungler to have with AD Bard because of his CC and all in potential combined with your R.
Zyra is very good with AD Bard because of her CC and ultimate in combination with yours. Zyra is also usually AP so your enemies will not be able to stack armor.
Nunu & Willump
Very strong ganker with his knock-ups, stuns, and slows. Great synergy with Bard because of the CC and the opposite damage (AP).
Ivern is not very good with Bard early. This is because of Bard's weak damage early game combined with a low damage jungler. If Ivern were to gank Bard's lane before his cutlass powerspike, they would simply not have enough damage to kill the enemy. Later in the game however, Ivern can easily support Bard to help him 1 v 5.
Hello and Welcome to my guide! First off, a bit about myself. I am a Mastery 7 Bard Main. I was a former support and one day I wanted to try AD Bard. At first I was just messing around and having fun until I noticed my damage. My damage output was extremely high considering Bard's more popular role was support. I experimented a bit more with the build and ended up making this guide! I wanted to share this guide with everyone as I enjoy it very much and think it is very fun to one shot enemies as a "support". Now, this is not some secret OP strategy and it takes time to master and perfect. If you are, however, interested in trying AD Bard, I highly recommend looking into this guide.
|Traveler's Call ~ Passive: Chimes spawn randomly around the rift and are shown with icons on the minimap. Collecting these chimes grants Bard movement speed stacking up to 5 times for a total of 80% movement speed, experience, and 12% of his maximum mana. For every 5 chimes collected Bard will empower his Meeps. Meeps spawn at Bard's side up to a maximum of 9 at a time scaling with chimes, these meeps empower Bard's auto attacks. The more chimes collected, the more they are empowered.|
|Cosmic Binding ~ Q: Bard shoots a skillshot in a line. If it collides with an enemy, it will deal magic damage, slow them for 60%, and continue travelling forward. If the skillshot collides with another enemy or a wall, it will instead stun the target(s) for a small duration.|
|Caretaker's Shrine ~ W: Bard places down a small pad. The pad charges, gaining power for up to 10 seconds. If Bard or an ally step onto the pad, they will be healed (depending on how long the pad was charged) and granted a small amount of movement speed. The pad's are destroyed if an enemy walks over them.|
|Magical Journey ~ E: Bard creates a one-way portal on a target wall. The portal leads to the other side of the wall. All Champions are allowed to go through it, but allies travel 33% faster than enemies.|
|Tempered Fate ~ R: After a short delay, Bard puts all units (champions, minions, turrets, etc.) in a target area into stasis for 2.5 seconds. These units are untargetable, invulnurable, and unable to perform any action.|
Playing AD Bard is an enjoyable experience. The high mobility built into his kit along with the insane amount of damage you do to enemies work well together. Being able to save teammates or engage a teamfight with your R Tempered Fate is extremely satisfying and fun to do. You should also play AD Bard if you want to surprise enemies with your damage and bait them in for free kills. Although this build might not be the strongest or best Bard build, it is worth trying out if you want to have some fun.
|Electrocute is the best keystone to take on AD Bard. The extra damage helps a ton with his early game as well as his burst mid game. This rune also works very well with Bard because of his meeps. Since they count as an ability, they contribute to the 3 attacks needed to proc electrocute. This means that 1 meep auto counts as 2 attacks for electrocute. I would highly recommend taking Electrocute in every game.|
|Cheap Shot is a great rune for Bard. The rune works well because of how easily Bard can proc it. His Q Cosmic Binding is both a slow and a stun. After you hit your Q, your next auto attack will do bonus true damage because of Cheap Shot. I recommend taking this rune as it helps your early game damage.|
|Eyeball Collection is my next rune choice for AD Bard. I find the extra damage to be helpful while I am snowballing a lead. While you can take Ghost Poro or Zombie Ward, I find Eyeball Collection to be the most reliable and I recommend you take it over the other 2.|
|Ravenous Hunter is my choice for the next rune. Personally, I like the extra healing from the rune as it keeps me healthier in teamfights. Relentless Hunter is also a viable option if you prefer a little more movement speed though.|
|There are two choices for secondary runes, the first one is Sorcery. I recommend taking Sorcery against enemy champions that will look to get on top of you. Great for survivability and slipperiness.|
|Nimbus Cloak is a great rune to take on many champions, Bard included. This rune helps you chase down targets as well as run away from them. For example, you could follow a low health enemy's Flash with your own and gain a burst of movement speed to catch up to them for the kill.|
|Celerity works great on Bard. Not only does it make you faster while collecting chimes, it also buffs the movement speed you gain from Nimbus Cloak. I find this rune to be great throughout the game especially during roams or teamfights.|
|The next secondary rune choice is Precision. I recommend taking Precision when you want a bit more damage in the late game teamfights and won't need to kite too much. Great for DPS and Teamfights.|
|Triumph is the first rune in the Precision tree you will take. The healing you get from takedowns helps you stay alive longer during close teamfights and will allow you to carry harder. I recommend taking Triumph over Presence of Mind as you will not need mana because of your passive Traveler's Call.|
|Flash is a great summoner spell to have on many champions and Bard is no exception. I take this spell in every game and I highly recommend you do so as well.|
|Ignite is another great summoner spell to take on Bard. I take this in almost every game as it allows for easier picks to help snowball.|
|Teleport works well on Bard because of his roaming potential. You could clear a wave top, roam bot for a kill, then teleport back top to catch a wave. Although I do not recommend taking this over Ignite because of Bard's mobility, it is an option if you think you will roam frequently.|
|I take Exhaust very rarely on AD Bard. You should only take Exhaust against a difficult matchup, such as Sett or Nocturne, or against a team full of assassins that will look to kill you in teamfights.|
|Blade of the Ruined King is a great item on AD Bard. The attack damage, attack speed, and active slow work great with his kit and help you chase down your targets. I highly recommend building this first in EVERY game as it is one of your biggest powerspikes.|
|Statikk Shiv is my next item on AD Bard. The attack speed and crit give you more damage per second and allow you to carry mid-game teamfights with ease. I recommend building this item second unless you need a Phantom Dancer instead.|
|Bard has a few options for boots. The first is Berserker's Greaves. I recommend building these boots when you are ahead as they increase your damage, allowing you to snowball.|
|Ninja Tabi is the next option for boots. Build these when you are against an AD brawler, such as Tryndamere or Sett.|
|Only build Mercury's Treads on Bard if most of the opponents deal magic damage, have a large amount of CC, or both.|
|I rarely build Mobility Boots on AD Bard. I only recommend building these if you are in a bad matchup and your team is winning. This will allow you to help your team snowball as well as help you get a lead by roaming.|
|For your third item, (Not Including Boots), you have two options. The first option, and a personal favorite, is Infinity Edge. I build this as my third item almost every game. I like the extra damage and crit Infinity Edge gives. This allows for AD Bard to have a much higher damage output. If you would rather trade damage for cooldown reduction, Essence Reaver would be a better choice.|
|The second choice for your third item is Essence Reaver. While this item gives less damage than Infinity Edge, it makes up for that with the 20% cooldown reduction it gives. I recommend taking this over Infinity Edge if you need to use your Q Cosmic Binding in fights more.|
|For his last two items, Bard has a couple options. One that I usually build is Black Cleaver. This item gives me the cooldown reduction I lack from Infinity Edge while also giving me extra health for more survivability.|
|If you already have cooldown reduction from Essence Reaver, or if the opponents have many tanks and or healers, I recommend building Mortal Reminder. This item helps Bard kill tanks significantly faster and prevents the healers from staying alive or keeping the enemy carries alive.|
|AD Bard benefits greatly from this item as it helps him survive an assassin's burst. This will allow Bard to do more damage for a longer period of time. If you went Phantom Dancer as your second item, you can build Statikk Shiv or Rapid Firecannon here.|
|Rapid Firecannon allows Bard to slow people from a farther distance. Rapid Firecannon also gives Bard 25% more crit. I recommend building this item if you want to catch out or chase enemies with your teammates.|
|Another option for your last item is Guardian Angel. This item allows you to revive in the same spot as you died in. This item is especially good into assassins who will look to pick you out, as they will only proc your Guardian Angel allowing you to continue doing damage.|
In lane, AD Bard's main trading tool is Q Cosmic Binding along with an auto attack with meep. This combo will proc electrocute and is very important during laning phase. You will want to rush Bilgewater Cutlass as the item is essential for killing your opponent. Most of the time, you will want to play safe in lane so you do not fall behind later. Look for good roam opportunities to help get a lead and collect your chimes while roaming or walking back to lane. After you finish Blade of the Ruined King you will hit a big powerspike and be able to fight opponents if you did not fall behind. Look for Q Cosmic Binding stuns to get free autos and follow up with the active slow from Blade of the Ruined King to stick to your target. If you have a jungler with CC, their ganks will work very well with your kit and almost always secure a kill. AD Bard has weak early game damage and is very squishy. Because of this, you will want to play extremely safe into bad match-ups and look for roam opportunities. If you were able to stay equal or even get ahead of your opponent, you will be able to scale and deal insane damage mid-game.
If you did not fall behind early, you should have good damage output and be able to one shot enemy squishies. At this point, you want to look for picks with your R Tempered Fate or while running around collecting chimes. If you have decent teammates, you can also use your ultimate Tempered Fate to catch out of position carries and kill them. In teamfights, you want to look to kill the enemy squishies as you do alot of burst damage.
As AD Bard, you want to position like an ADC in teamfights. You want to make sure you will not get caught out and you want to look for a good ultimate to help your team engage on the enemy carries. You want to focus the carries first as you do not have much health. You will be able to shred bruisers as long as you stay in a good position where you will not die.
Thank you for reading my guide! I hope you try it out and if you do I hope you enjoy it! If you have any questions or ideas, leave a comment and I will try to respond to all of them. If you enjoyed the guide, leave a like as it motivates me to continue updating it.