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Bard, The Real Carry. (Diamond)
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+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-140 HP (lvls 1-18)
Traveler's Call (PASSIVE)
Bard Passive Ability
Threats & Synergies
Bard has a big hitbox and doesn't do well when displaced, if you don't get hooked and aim some good cosmic binding's you can save your adc but it isn't easy.
Braum can't deal with bard's poke or his cc.
Blitzcrank can make you cry by pulling you out of portals and displacing you into their team.
Alistar can be a big problem if not shutdown in lane, try poking him while he has mana issues and keep his lane under control before he gets tanky.
Annie is easily outranged by q and can be out sustained if you hang back collecting chimes and laying health packs.
A good janna can save her adc but if you and your adc poke at the same time you should easily break her shield and push them out of lane.
Karma can be tricky because she out ranges and can really run Bard out of mana, but late game is less impactful by far.
If Leona hooks onto Bard you are most likely dead but if your adc is good you should be able to switch focus to them and get a fair trade with your burst.
Lulu can be tricky with her counter cc and poke but is generally easy due to sustain issues with her mana.
Morg can really mess with your ult and stop a huge initiation or disengage that you were counting on. Try waiting until she shields and break it with q or a meep and then ulting or attempting to stun.
Nami can easliy out sustain bard especially early, however, once your mana levels out she won't be able to do much in terms of hard initiation from your ult/q.
She will out damage you early game around levels 1-8 Play safe and poke within your binds.
Good Soraka's will know not to fight bard outright, try landing your stun on her after she heals to whittle her down or make her burst herself.
Taric just needs to be zoned and he can be dealt with pretty easy, stun him when he tries to engage and when he ults.
Zilean should be a fairly easy matchup, but don't over commit to a kill by diving and die to the turret because he ulted.
Zyra can usually out damage and her plants can mess up your bind. Play safe and wack her when she comes up but don't overextend.
Tahm isn't the river king he used to be. Just zone him and don't get eaten.
Brand feasts on squishy supports but you can outplay him if you pay attention.
Ivern is tricky, he can really screw bard over by rooting him and catching him out be careful during laning but use his bushes against him.
Fiddle is literally the squishiest support just take out half his health level 1 with q + meep and keep kicking him while he's down. Stop his ult with yours.
A good Rakan can catch Bard out which is his worst nightmare, play back and try to dodge his kockup, or stun him while he goes in so you can blow him up
Entirely dependent on the Shen player, if he plays aggressive and coordinates with his carry he can put Bard in a bad position but if he misses taunt he is useless.
Pyke can match your roams and really mess you up if you get hooked.
Dont stand in the minions because she will root you through them, line up your stuns and you'll be fine
I like Bard and support is my favorite role, I typically play thresh in ranked but Bard is my favorite champion to play in any other situation and this build does work for ranked, however Bard's usually best played with known teammates in skype or discord or whatever voice chat system you use.
Basically this build focuses on utility while staying in the backlines and peeling your for carries/squishies. He scales well with AP and his meeps can output a ton of harass in lane when played correctly.
I take Domination because Electrocute is the best keystone for Bard it offers great value on Bard. Sorcery is a close second but I find the options in sorcery fit my play style better.
I like to take Electrocute as my keystone because Cosmic Binding + a meep can really chunk the ADC or support.
This ability will increase your damage after you land a Cosmic Binding and will further increase your Electrocute damage.
Zombie ward is nice because you should be roaming and clearing wards, this rune will help you trade with anyone you happen across while clearing wards.
With Mobility Boots this will make Bard able to collect his chimes much faster and give him a higher roaming potential.
I take Inspiration as my second path because it allows for that extra CDR on all things including the cap which is a great asset on Bard
I LOVE FREE STUFF. Boots are an essential on Bard because he has to go to collect chimes often and this allows for an earlier start on Mobility Boots without having to invest the gold.
This rune is the reason I take the Inspiration tree. having that extra CDR with all your tools like Redemption, Locket of the Iron Solari and even Flash are great and are super helpful when playing Bard.
- Most people take exhaust because it can be great peel or it can lockdown an escaping target I prefer to take it especially if it's in a blind game because I don't know my matchup yet.
- I like to take ignite on Bard if I know for sure I am going to have lots of early game kill potential and my ADC doesn't mind me taking kills.
- Nearly everyone takes flash because it helps in like every situation, Flash Cosmic Binding meep is op.
Passive - Traveler's Call
This is probably my favorite passive in the game, passively Bard will generate meeps that will attack the target he auto attacks. These meeps are one of Bards primary damage outputs and the second part of his passive improves their functionality. The second half of his passive is that "chimes" will spawn all throughout the map periodically. These chimes, when collected, give Bard a speed boost until hit, mana, and a small amount of experience; collecting 5 chimes upgrades Bards meeps which is a huge advantage when used correctly.
Mainly, you want to collect your meeps when you have nothing better to do, i.e. your carry went back and the lane is frozen, you are in desperate need of mana, or you have just gotten back from going base and are en route to lane or roaming.
Q - Cosmic Binding
This is Basically Bard's best ability. Bard shoots a skillshot that collides with either the first two enemies hit, or the first enemy and a wall if the binding connects with the second enemy or wall, both the enemies are stunned. This ability is Bard's second main damage ability and will amount to most of your burst because of the scaling and CC potential.
This ability is NOT easy to master, typically you want to aim for minions in lane and bounce off of their hitbox corners, but be careful when aiming at minions because you will tend to simply stun two of them instead of the intended target. Almost every time you land a stun, combine that with a meep to ensure your full poke is used. Even if you do not stun the slow is generally sufficient to land a good meep on the enemy and do some nice damage.
W - Caretaker's Shrine
This is a very versatile and fun ability. Bard places a health pack on the ground that gains power over time eventually capping for a scaling max movement speed and heal amount. These packs can be destroyed by enemy champions by walking over them or consumed by allies similarly. Bard can have 2-6 depending on the level, health packs out at a time but can place them under champions for an instant minimum-effect heal.
The key to playing a good Bard game is being tricky. So when placing health packs to charge for later, try and put them in strategic spots where if enemies try and step on them, an easy Cosmic Binding will be in place for punishment.
E - Magical Journey
This is such a fun ability, Bard places a portal through a wall that allies and enemies can travel through, when leveled up allied movement speed is significantly faster than enemy through he portal.
This is another great tool that clever Bard players can use to get out of sticky situations or create some havoc within the enemy team. Basically whenever you use the portal for escaping enemies, they will follow. This makes it exceptionally easy to land a cosmic binding and make your escape or bait the enemy into your team. BE CAREFUL, however, when using the portal for initiation, it is telegraphed and can lead to a squishy Bards demise.
R - Tempered Fate
This ability is a long range lobbed skillshot similar to Corki's Phosphorus Bomb that will put everyone within its range in stasis, making them invulnerable for its duration. This ability also works on towers and epic monsters like Baron and Dragon.
This ability is a huge asset to Bard's kit but be careful not to mess up your team indirectly. I tend to use this ability to either engage or disengage, aiming to put distance in between the enemy and my team or vice versa. However, abilities like Hemoplague from Vladimir and Death Mark from Zed can seriously be ruined by a poorly or nicely timed Bard ult.
I typically start with with this item as it works will with my play style on Bard, poking with AP damage. Ancient Coin isn't a bad second choice but it isn't what I personally prefer.
Boots of Mobility
These boots are so good on Bard because of the movement speed gained when collecting chimes from Traveler's Call it makes ganking, collecting more chimes, and escaping much easier as Tempered Fate doesn't remove your mobility buff.
The famous Ardent Censer This item is a little underwhelming on Bard it makes your heals stronger and gives them and gives your heals an on hit butt, I would build Redemption or Locket of the Iron Solari before I would build this.
This is an interesting item. As Bard you have the ability to prolong, start and stop fights but doing so isn't that easy. Redemption can help you smooth out bad plays or make good plays great. You just need to remember how long it takes to go off and that you can use it while dead and at long range. The stats and CDR are great.
Locket of the Iron Solari
This is an amazing support item for the tanky Bard player, it has great stats and a nice aoe sheild active super good after Sightstone/ Redemption and can help people stay alive until your Redemption heal kicks in.
Eye of the Watchers
MUST HAVE FOR SUPPORT --- What are you doing if you don't build this?
Banner of Command
This is an item in place of Locket of the Iron Solari. This item will give split pushing capabilities but you won't be as tanky as if you had built Locket of the Iron Solari.
This item is one of my favorites on Bard late game. CDR, damage, and an on hit that lets you chunk their squishies for half their health. If you are done with Redemption, Eye of the Watchers, Locket of the Iron Solari, and Ardent Censer give this item some consideration.
THIS IS ONLY IF YOU'RE WAY AHEAD AND CAN DO DAMAGE WITHOUT DYING
If you are looking for a fun time.
THIS IS ONLY IF YOU'RE WAY AHEAD AND CAN DO DAMAGE WITHOUT DYING
Good for health and a % current health debuff as well as some nice AP.
THIS IS ONLY IF YOU'RE WAY AHEAD AND CAN DO DAMAGE WITHOUT DYING
If you are rolling in money and in small amounts of danger this item can be worthwhile on Bard, I typically go for a tanky item to round my builds but a full damage AP item with small defensive stats can work just as well.
This item is great for Bard as it will typically aid with his worst enemies, displacement CC and mages. The added shield and magic resist can save Bard when in pursuit by the APC of the other team (it happens a lot more than you'd think, trust me)
On the other hand, if the other team is all AD and has no threatening shillshots/abilities for Bard, Randuin's Omen can be a great rounding item for survivability and stats.
If the enemy team has very hard and reliable CC ( Warwick, Malzahar, Leona) this is a must for supports. That active can save your team fights and prevent bas mistakes from losing games.
The jury is still out on this item. It is pretty good if you use your Tempered Fate to initiate a lot or if you still have someone to attack after using it. Overall I would take it if I was not confident in my Lich Bane pick.
This is a great late game item because it has armor magic resist and a sweet active for defending or shoving.
Frozen Frozen Heart
This is good if you need more CDR and if their AD champs are fed. typically attack speed based champions.
This is a good item if you are ahead early game and if they have a highly heal dependent champion like Vladimir or Soraka.
I usually go for Elixir of Sorcery for the AP and true damage, but Elixir of Iron can be great for high cc games or when you need to be tanky.
I hope this guide was helpful this is the first guide I have ever made so please leave suggestions my summoner name is HandfulofGranola send me a message if you want questions or comment here. Like I said I haven't really played much Bard in ranked but I love him in normals. You can tell your teammates to thank me later. ;^0
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