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Bard Build Guide by Willowran

Support Bard: Playmaker of the Century

By Willowran | Updated on September 7, 2016

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PinkBlood (1) | September 3, 2016 2:15am
Very instresting builds. I LIEK!!!
upvoted and fav :)
Sir Wellington (31) | May 24, 2016 12:24am
<◄•►> Sir Wellington's Review Shop <◄•►>

Cheat Sheet

+ Items are placed in a logical/nice looking format.

- IBG and Farsight Alteration are listed in both the "Core Items" and "Standard Items" sections. It's a bit redundant since we should be always getting both of those in a standard game.

- Boot enchantments have (sadly) been removed. Make sure to remove them from your guide to avoid confusion.

- About the champion matchups section:

First off, it's a mobafire problem, not your problem. You've put in a ton of work here and should definitely keep it in! All it needs is for the format to be fixed. Here's a few remedies you can try:

(first things first: copy all the text you've written (and take a screenshot of the matchups list to remember each champion's place on the scale) and put it off to the side, like in a Word doc or a text file.)

1. Delete the champion matchups cheat sheet. The whole thing. Not your other 3, just that one. Then create a new one and put all your matchups data back in (copy+paste is your friend here). If that doesn't work, then try...

2. This will take a lot more work, but it will pay off more. Scrap the idea of putting champion matchups in a cheat sheet altogether and make a full matchups section in your guide (preferably towards the end). It will require a good deal of coding to make it look nice, but it would definitely be worth it. You've already done half of the work by writing matchup descriptions, so all you would need to do is create a coding template for one of the champions, then copy + paste it down and insert the correct images/descriptions for each champion.


+ You have almost all the basics here. Name, rank, reason for playing Bard, etc.

- Unfortunately there's nothing else at all here. Spruce it up with some artwork or coding; give us a reason to get excited for this guide!

- Also don't be afraid to expand your intro paragraph some more. I know your summoner name/rank and know you're still actively playing, but how long have you been involved in League? When did you start playing Bard? How many games have you played with him (ranked or normal)? Some might think the 6-paragraph intro for my Xin Zhao guide is excessive, but by the end you know a lot about me, Xin Zhao, and what you're about to read. It gives your guide a lot more personality and tends to make the reader think "hmm I like this guy!"


+ These are quite informative! Much better than "Tanky champion is tanky", etc

- This section is organized well, but it could definitely use some coding to make it more attractive, like some color or artwork.


+ Very strong explanation for the health regen quints/seals.

- However, your other two choices are inefficient - an extra 9.72 health every level up is almost negligible in terms of health regen (hp5) because you have yellow runes in your red and blue slots. While the extra 175 health is a nice addition at level 18, Bard is weakest early game and thus you would probably be better off with something like flat AP or magic pen marks, and flat AP or (maybe?) mana regen glyphs. In almost every case, it's best to match each rune type with its respective color (red/blue/yellow) because the benefits otherwise are extremely small in comparison.


+ I like how you broke down the trees by tier, in a THIS or THAT fashion. However, the space you need for this setup to work only covers the left half of the screen. You can shrink the dividers and wrap the text so that you have the entire other half to put pics in, like the full mastery trees.

- Switch Perseverance to Perseverance ("perseverance" to "mastery perseverance") to avoid confusion.

Summoner Spells

+ Great explanation of Ignite over Exhaust!!


+ Nice dividers :)

- Maybe use a little coding for the tips? Look at the difference between TIP 3: and TIP 3:

+ In terms of content and layout, this cannot get any better. You've sectioned it all off perfectly imo :)


+ More concrete explanations. This section is quite solid!

Rapid Firecannon vs. Frost Queen's Claim

+ This part is so in-depth it's hard to see the bottom :)

+ Very well explained argument. I would've initially thought RFC on Bard is borderline troll, but you have me fully convinced now.

- One small coding fix would make this look more organized. Each time you have the pairs of large item icons, make them centered. (use "center" and "/center" in double brackets). It will look much nicer in the spoiler sections in particular.

Early Game: Dominating the Lane Phase (Or Just Surviving It)

+ Nice formatting! You're skilled at separating individual thoughts into short paragraphs, which helps reduce the "wall of text" feeling. You also have well-placed bolded sentences, but...

-...they're barely noticeable (the bold setting on this website is very weak imo). Try pairing the bold with underline or a different color.

- Depending on how much time you want to invest in this guide, a short gameplay video (to illustrate a point in one of your paragraphs) is IMMENSELY helpful. Gameplay videos take time and effort to put in the guide however, so even just a few pictures would help a lot.

Meep Collection, and Bard's Gameplay Focus

+ More fantastic formatting/spacing (though you might want to add an extra space to go with those green dividers so it doesn't look so cramped).

- Your math is a bit incorrect here. You calculated 7 seconds * .45 (cdr) to get 3.15 (3.2), which is an easy mistake. The correct numbers are 7 seconds * .55 (1 - .45) = 3.85 or ~3.9. Still gets your point across: you can spam it VERY often :)

+ Maybe it's just because I have never played Bard before, but it seems like your explanations here are crystal clear and on point!

Teamfights: To Peel, or to Lock Down?

+ YAY darkorange! Perfect use of color here, along with the formatting.

+ The way you set this section up with questions and answers is exactly the way a new player should train himself to think (because that's how the rest of us think) in-game. Very well done here.

If you fall behind...

- All you really need here is a bit more coding to make it look more interesting. An easy start is to add color to the bolded words.

AP Bard

- I like the italics, but once again see the above comment.

The Proof's in the Pudding

+ Aahhh here's the gameplay videos!

- However, due to the length, lack of commentary or notes, and FPS drops, I'm guessing few people would actually watch them all the way through.


+ Not much to say here. Looks nice.


This guide has quite a lot of substance. Your RFC vs. FQC and Teamfights sections in particular are the two parts you really nailed. However, it's got a few gameplay/itemization flaws (Rune choices are inefficient, some items are so situational they aren't really worth putting in the guide, maybe too much emphasis on his poke? I've never been impressed with a Bard's damage except in URF). It also needs a lot of cleaning up, coding, and artwork of some kind. It's also missing important info like a Tips & Trick section (mandatory for showing possible Magical Journey routes). I'd give it a 3 out of 5, but the Teamfighting section in particular is 5/5.

Sorry this took so long! I hope it was useful. Let me know with a pm or comment on my review shop if you need additional help.
utopus (313) | March 1, 2016 10:10pm
Hello, you requested a review from my review service, found here.

Attached below is a PDF of your guide that i've marked up with my comments.

You had some pretty abnormal content in your guide - from runes, to masteries (imo), to itemization. Some veterans (vynertje, joxuu, embracing e.g.) are likely to unconditionally give you flak for this no matter how well you defend your choices. I have the philosophy that as long as you properly defend your opinions, the guide can thrive.

Of these, I think that the only thing that you defended well was Rapid Firecannon, although your choice of Farsight Alteration was kind of well defended. You need to really defend everything else better - I've outlined this clearly in my review.

You should also look to beautify your guide a bit, because it's difficult to read through all of it. Hop by artist's corner and request a banner for your guide, along with some divders for your chapters. Also look to spread out your blocks of text (it was really blocky - I take breaks whenever i struggle reading things and it took me an hour and a half to get through your entire guide) through usage of pictures, and nicer formatting (see if you can learn how to use tables to your advantage)

I'd also like you to expand on how to exert lane pressure on your opponents, teaching your readers how to team fight well with bard, identifying whether an opponent is caught, and how to ward.

If you have any questions, feel free to PM me, respond here, or respond in my review thread. If you got something out of this, throw me a +rep; That gives me a good idea of whether I need to re-evaluate the way i review guides. Thanks for your time
Willowran | February 24, 2016 2:17pm
First off, thanks for the review (a comment I do not make sarcastically). I didn't expect everyone to agree with my choices, though I hope I can convince you there is some merit to my ideas. Some of the things you said I completely agree with. For example, the AP Bard section is not intended for serious ranked play- and I plan to add a disclaimer to mention that. It can work (and has worked for me), but it can seriously limit your ability to help your team properly, instead being far too selfish, and risky. In normals, it can be fun, but as a buildpath it should not be taken in ranked.

I also agree that Frost Queen's Claim is useful enough that I should probably give it an honourable mention, or at least make a subsection explaining why I do not use that as an item.

The main thing I disagree with in your review, however, is your implicit assumption that my build must be wrong merely because it is not the same as some other build that you clearly prefer. The way I play Bard is apparently different from the way you know of/do play. Per my aggressive playing of Bard, most of the items and runes you propose would not work- I would probably die. For example.

runes: You're not using runes that are optimal for the stat they grant part of the time, don't do that. Also, early game stats are better on supports than late game ones in most cases. I'd suggest one of these two options for Bard:

Spoiler: Click to view

Tough Skin > Explorer
Insight > Perseverance on supports, generally.
Veteran's Scars > Runic Armor , generally

Spoiler: Click to view

Items: There are a lot of problems with the recommended items in general. For one, Bard is a support and the item builds, in general, contain very few supportive items despite this.

Spoiler: Click to view

Two, Bard is a utility support and he doesn't particularly need or want damage items with the exception of items like Frost Queen's Claim (which you completely neglect to mention, despite it being very good)... Bard doesn't need Rapid Firecannon to do his job and, bluntly, buying it is a waste of gold that could be used for items that are actually good on a support.

Spoiler: Click to view

you want to go the Eye of the Watchers route, that's fine, but the general item build you have is pretty terrible and far too expensive. It's your job as the support to buy what the team needs, not buy selfish items. If your team needs you to buy Mikael's Crucible, you buy it, just as an example.
Spoiler: Click to view

Your argument for Farsight Alteration over Oracle Alteration just plain sucks. You're the support, part of that is, at the very least, an attempt at vision control/denial. Getting the trinket used to reveal (and destroy) wards is in the job description and has been since they removed Oracle's Elixir from the game and replaced it.

Spoiler: Click to view

Videos in low Elo don't really prove anything besides "I tried it and it worked for me". I can build full ****** AP Janna and win games easily in low Elo. Though, Janna actually scales with AP in ways that are helpful while Bard does not scale with either AP or AD particularly well. So AP Janna does at least have that going for it.

Spoiler: Click to view

DISCLAIMER: I do not intend to appear aggressive or insulting in any of my positions or arguments, I am merely defending my point of view, and explaining why I believe what I believe, and how I came to my beliefs based on my in-game experience.
The_Nameless_Bard (635) | February 22, 2016 5:51pm
oooookay then, I'm not gonna pull any punches here.
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