Bard Build Guide by Alu Banidosu
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
Runes: AP/CDR Bonuses
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
Threats & Synergies
Morgana's long range root stops Bard from engaging in for his Cosmic Binding (Q).
The ability to block projectiles saves Braum and his ADC from Bard's Cosmic Binding, as well as his Meep AA Damage.
Janna poses very little threat due to her Q having a long cooldown, as well as high mana costs. Poking in lane will be relatively easy.
Blitzcrank's hook can pull you or your ADC out of position, and if at a decent range, Bard's kit (pre- level 6) will be nearly useless, possibly resulting in a death.
Due to Thresh's high amounts of Crowd Control in the form of a hook, knock up, and 99% slow for an ult, this champion can easily outpace Bard. The danger that Thresh presents also denies Bard the chance to roam, preventing scaling off of Chimes. Thresh's ability to save his own ADC from bad positioning also adds to the difficulty of the laning phase.
Brand's high damage output threatens Bard and his ADC since the Healing Shrines (W) give very low healing. This poke is dangerous and can prevent your team from farming in the bot lane.
Similar to Brand, Vel'koz can dish out high levels of damage that Bard is unable to remedy.
Xerath's long range poke far out performs Bard's own poke. Xerath does have mana issues, which is something you should use to your advantage.
Although Yuumi removes the extra body needed to Stun with Cosmic Binding (Q), Bard can prevent the enemy ADC from recovering if an early engage is utilized.
Caitlyn has a very strong early game, matching Bard's own strong level 1. Look to engage as early as possible (if ideal) to get an advantage.
Vayne has the potential to solo carry in lane, even against both the opposing Support and ADC, allowing you to roam safely.
Ashe's ability to slow her enemies allows her to stay relatively safe in lane and keep her at a good distance. This sometimes can allow Bard to take short roams into the jungle for Chimes or objectives.
Ezreal's kit can be well timed with Cosmic Binding to deal massive damage, though this pairing is not ideal due to how weak Ezreal is alone.
Aphelios has a strong level 2 engage, matching Bard's good early game, but is still a bit squishy on his own.
Draven's strong engage and early game make him a good match for Bard. The only downside is Draven's low range, which can make it harder to leave lane safely.
Jhin is able to hold attackers at bay while also dealing heavy damage. Jhin's traps also prevent enemies to attack from certain angles. This allows Bard to roam safely and scale with Chimes.
Champion Build Guide
Taking Arcane Comet as the Keystone Rune will allow extra poke in lane, without the need to attack three times, as is the case with Electrocute. The Comet can also proc Spellthief's Edge when it hits an enemy champion.
Manaflow Band will increase the level of mana that Bard has during the laning phase, as well as increasing the mana refunded when a chime is collected.
The Transcendence rune matches well with the AP/CDR ideology of this build, granting additional CDR, as well as bonus AP (or AD) for each percentage of CDR over the limit.
Biscuit Delivery enables a higher level of sustain in lane, while also increasing maximum mana. Again, increasing the mana limit increases the amount of mana that is refunded through passive Chime collection.
Cosmic Insight increases the CDR cap, further allowing faster access to abilities, namely Cosmic Binding (Q).
Taking Spellthief's Edge can sometimes be risky in lane, but with Bard's strong level one and his ability to harass during the laning phase makes this item my choice. In addition, when Bard roams, he will be able to still earn gold without messing up another lane's farming strategy (i.e. if the mid lane is freezing a wave).
While increasing AP and CDR, Lich Bane has the unique Passive called Spellblade that empowers the next auto attack after each spell cast. This pairs well with Bard's already empowered auto attacks, further increasing his power.
Banshee's Veil is a defensive item which increases AP, CDR, and also provides a spell shield. The shield blocks one enemy spell cast every 40 seconds. This can allow the support to take more hits for the ADC, even if tank items are not being built. This item is replaceable with other items, such as Redemption.
Similar to the idea behind building Lich Bane, Nashor's Tooth deals bonus magic damage for each auto attack. This item also increases AP, CDR, and Attack Speed.
This item increases AP, CDR, and movement speed (which helps with roaming). Twin Shadows can be used to prevent enemies from escaping or to scout out a nearby zone with no vision.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
These boots are just additional cooldown. Sorcerer's Shoes can also be utilized in place of these boots.
This section will eventually give the math on ability cooldowns based on level, as well as damage dealt based on items built and level.
I'll be updating this build as I collect more data, as well as each patch comes out. This is my first published guide, so I will also be updating the visuals throughout this guide!