Bard Build Guide by BeretBandana
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Tank Bard Top
+12 Attack Damage or +20 Ability Power, Adaptive
Threats to Bard with this build
|Nami||If this happens, I owe you money. However, if it SOMEHOW does happen, watch for that knockup. It's easier to dodge if you're looking at the circle where it'll land.|
Introduction To Both Me, And Bard!
My name is BeretBandana, and I'm a Bard main. One of the main reasons I like Bard is because how flexible he is. In this specific guide, I'll be talking about tank Bard top. I suggest trying this out in blind/draft pick to get the hang of this before you people bring this to competitive.
Now, some of you are probably thinking: "Why the hell should I take Bard top?"
Let me answer with this: Bard has probably one of the most flexible build paths in the game. Bard is like Jax. You can build whatever you want, and you'll still be okay. Also, like Jax, Bard does TONS of damage, even when you build tanky. My best advise is to just try it out. What could go wrong?
Pros / Cons
Very tanky late game, but still can pump out damage
A 2-man stun for easily killing specific targets in teamfights
Save allies, or speed them up for a kill with (W) Caretaker's Shrine
Very potent roams or ganks with (E) Magical Journey
Mediocre laning phase
Relies on team to do most of damage in teamfights
Ult takes time to master
Wanderer or Savagery:Savagery, because farming is a little difficult with Bard's low early game AD and his strange AA animation. Savagery will help with that.
Assassin, Secret Stash, or Runic Affinity: We take Assassin for the extra damage, as we only get one potion the entire game in most scenarios, and you won't be using buffs, unless your jungle offers.
Merciless or Meditation: Bard is a mana pig early game, so taking Meditation can help quite a lot.
Greenfather's Gift, Bandit, or Dangerous Game: We take Dangerous Game for the team fight sustain, because we don't often jump out of bushes for attacks, and Bandit is mostly a support mastery.
Precision or Intelligence: We take Precision for the extra lethality and magic penetration, because CDR isn't all that needed on Bard. This is mostly a personal preference.
Recovery or Unyielding: We take Unyielding because we already have enough sustain from our (W) Caretaker's Shrine, so health region is needed less than Armor and Magic Resist.
Explorer, Tough Skin, or Siegemaster: We take Explorer for quicker and more potent roams, but if you're in a tough matchup, Siegemaster is good if you need to farm under tower.
Runic Armor or Veteran's Scars: We take Veteran's scars for the health, as we don't use or (W) Caretaker's Shrine THAT often, and unless one of our teammates have a shield, we are not using one ourselves.
Insight, Perseverance, or Fearless: We take Perseverance for the lane sustain, but if you would like shorter codlins on your summoner's spells that's completely O.K.
Now, for the question some might be asking: Why do we take Thunderlord's instead of Courage of The Colossus? Shouldn't you be building tank? This is because hitting an enemy with a Meep-empowered AA counts as two hits for Thunderlord's. If you use (Q) Cosmic Binding to stun your lane and then Meep them, you can activate this mastery rather easily. However, if you would like a improvement to your tankiness by sacrificing damage, by all means, go ahead.
Core Items Explanation
Wit's End: A good damage item that still gives some minor tankiness. Get this first for early damage.
Abyssal Scepter: The new updated Scepter allows for more tankiness, but still lets you do +10% Magic Damage.
Sunfire Cape: Lots of health, lots of armor, and a nice damage aura, too. A must-buy.
Randuin's Omen: Another tank item with a decently useful active. Another must-buy tank item.
Ninja Tabi: Some tanky shoes. Boots are mostly preference, though, feel free to change these out.
Thornmail: I like this item for both the INSANE tank stats it provides, and the reflect can make the enemy ADC rage quit.
Bard is a ranged champion, so poking most other toplaners is relatively easy. When you get an opportunity, feel free to Q+AA your laner and activate Thunderlords, getting a decent chunk of damage off. Farm under tower if your opponent is a difficult matchup. Prioritize farming over killing your laner, so you can buy items. If your jungler comes into lane, ult your opponent so you both can get into a good position to kill them.
Mid/Late Game Tips
Shoot your (Q) Cosmic Binding into front liners to stun them, allowing for your ADC or Midlaner to get a pick.
Peel attention from your ADC by being a frontliner. With this build, you become pretty tanky, so don't be afraid to soak up that DPS!
If retreating, use your (W) Caretaker's Shrine to speed up you or an ally. Focus on giving it to the ally closest to the enemy, because they are the most in danger.
If you are chasing an enemy or two, speed up your team to secure them a kill.
Ulting the backline is a good idea, just make sure you don't accidentally put it on your other frontliners.
Using E to "sandwich" the enemy is a good idea, but only if you have someone to follow you for help.
Use ult to secure Baron or Dragon. Don't let the actual creature, ult the enemy team, as it will allow you to fight the creature without resistance.
The E+Q Combo
If escaping from an enemy, you can use your E through a wall and then go through it. If the enemy follows you, Q them as they come out. This will be an automatic stun, because there will always be a wall behind them.
The R+Flash Combo
If you are in the midst of an enemy team, and seem to be about to die, ult on top of yourself and then flash out. This will leave the enemy in stasis, and you can run away safely.