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Bard Build Guide by MasterOfChimes

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League of Legends Build Guide Author MasterOfChimes

From Good to Bad guy Bard Guide

MasterOfChimes Last updated on July 6, 2018
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Team 1

Cheat Sheet
Previous Champion Build Next Champion Build

The Standard Support

Bard Build

LoL Path: Sorcery
LoL Rune: Summon Aery
Summon Aery
LoL Rune: Nullifying Orb
Nullifying Orb
LoL Rune: Celerity
LoL Rune: Scorch

LoL Path: Resolve
LoL Rune: Font of Life
Font of Life
LoL Rune: Revitalize

+6 Attack Damage or +10 Ability Power, Adaptive and +15-135 Health (at levels 1-18)

LeagueSpy Logo
Support Role
Ranked #12 in
Support Role
Win 52%
Get More Stats

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Threats to Bard with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Janna Easy, once you get a good stun off she's basically fucked. It can be quite boring because most janna players don't want to trade they just want to keep their ADC alive
Sona Her poke can be pretty annoying but the matchup in general is easy to handle pre 6. DON'T RESPECT HER! She has some nice poke but you can just all in her pre 6 and you're most likely going to kill her. after lvl 6 you need to abuse her ult cooldown
Syndra Syndra is just like Sona. Don't respect her and show her who's boss! Her spells are easy to doge and you got more damage early on. build some MR early to survive her ultimate
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Hi I'm a Bard main in Silver V. You might think ''Why is this low level scrub confident enough to cover a good guide?''. I'lL answer this question along the way and I guess that if you read my guide, you'll notice that I know some decent things about Bard and the support role in general. But I also wanted to make this Guide for myself. To get better with Bard because I don't wanna stay in Silver! I started playing League in mid Season 5 and I just played for fun and I didn't really care about my Rank. But I started getting more and more Interested in the strategic aspects of LoL towards the end of Season 6 and That's when I got to play Bard. I fell in love with him and I still Love him. I Have 300K on Bard and I consider him as my Best Champion. I need to improve in some things But I know almost everything about him (Bards lvl 3 HP regen 6.21 per second :P) I really Hope you're going to enjoy my Guide and I'm looking forward on some feedback!

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Why should you play Bard?

Bard is one of the strongest supports in League of Legends. He provides Survivabillity and Poke for The laning phase, CC for Teamfights and a good amount of utility! He also got some weaknesses which is the reason why he's such a difficult Champion. But once you understand his Kit you'll think about him as an easy Champion.

He has Some great CC
His E and his Ultimate are great utility tools
His W provides some survivability
His passive allows him to roam a lot
He never runs out of mana due to his passive
He Provides some serious Damage with his AA's
He can carry Teamfights and has some good pick pontetial
and so on...

I could Talk about his Pro's for Ages but before You can abuse hi's Pro's you need to know how What his weaknesses are and how to cover them, which I'm going to explain Later in the Guide!

He's easy to punish
his Ultimate can kill your teammates or save the enemy
You need matchup experience
get's easy outranged

You may Think ''Hmm not many weaknesses at all.'' but trust me
you're not playing Janna. You need to know what you're doing!
When should you roam?
When should you play passive and agressive?
How do you use your ult correctly?
There are many aspects to cover.

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Traveler's Call(Passive)

ANCIENT CHIMES: Bard's presence causes sacred chimes to appear at random locations and linger for up to 10 minutes. Collecting a chime grants Bard 24% bonus movement speed out of combat for 7 seconds, stacking up to 5 times, with every other chime collected beyond the first granting an additional 14% bonus movement speed, up to a total of 80% bonus movement speed, 20 + (1 per minute after 5 minutes) experience, and 12% maximum mana. Bard empowers his Traveler's Call 2 Meeps each time he collects 5 chimes.

MEEPS: Bard's presence attracts small spirits known as Meeps to his side. Each of his basic attacks consumes a Meep, dealing 40 (+ 15 per 5 chimes collected) (+ 30% AP) bonus magic damage. At 5 chimes, Meeps Slow icon slow damaged enemies by 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 / 65 / 75% for 1 second, and at 15 chimes deal splash damage to enemies within 150 units of his target as well as those in a cone behind them, with the cone's size increasing at 35 chimes. Meeps spawn every 8 / 7 / 6 / 5 / 4 seconds and Bard can keep up to 1 - 9 (based on Chimes) of them at a time.

Cosmic Binding(Q)

ACTIVE: Bard fires a burst of spirit energy in the target direction, dealing magic damage to the first enemy struck and briefly Slow slowing them by 60%
After Cosmic Binding hits an enemy, the burst of energy passes through them and searches for secondary targets. If it hits a wall or a second enemy, it Stun icon stuns both targets for the same duration, dealing the same magic damage to the second target as well.

Caretaker's Shrine(W)

ACTIVE: Bard conjures a shrine at the target location that builds up in power over 10 seconds, up to 3 shrines active at once, which remain until consumed when a champion steps on them.
If the champion was an ally or Bard himself, they are healed for an amount based on the shrine's power and gain 50% bonus movement speed that decays over 1.5 seconds.

Magical Journey(E)

ACTIVE: Bard opens a one-way magical corridor through a piece of terrain in the target direction for 10 seconds. Magical Journey will not cast unless it can open a corridor.
Both allies and enemies can pass through the corridor by right-clicking on it or its exit, with allies and Bard travelling at increased speed.

Tempered Fate(R)

ACTIVE: Bard sends magical energy arcing to the target location, putting all units and structures in the target area into Stasis icon stasis for 2.5 seconds upon impact.
Despite normally being immune to crowd control, epic monsters and turrets (excluding the Nexus Obelisk) also enter Stasis icon stasis

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Since Riot released the new rune system I couldn't wait to test things out and I found many ways to play Bard!
As Riot mentioned, they wanted to create different playstyles with the new rune system And that's exactly what I did! I tested everything and created different playstyles with bard that work fine for me so far!
with each rune set I'll talk about it's strenghts and about it's weaknesses and which Kind of Experience level you need to get it to work.
The sets are;

The Standard Support variation
Vintage Bard
Dark Harvast Bard(comming soon)
Summoner Specialist Bard(comming soon)

The Standard Support

This Build Focuses on being a true support.
You take Summon Aery for some good poke with Q and your autos or to Shield you ADC with your W.
Nullifying Orb against AP matchups otherwise you wanna go Ultimate Hat
Nullifying Orb is the Best option If you ask me.
Celertity as a support you most likely going to build mobility boots and due to your passive you gain extra movmentspeed when collecting chimes. Imagine how much your first Meep attack will hurt them with your fully stacked movementspeed.
And Last but not least Scorch which provides some nice little extra damage throughout the game!

For your Subtree you'll chose Resolve because it provides some well synergizing survivabillity with your Kit.
You take Font of life because you will constantly proc it with autos and Q.
And lastly Revitalize you're shrines will heal them even more when they are on low health which is extremly helpful in critical situations.

As you see you Just provide Healing ad CC you don't really get into the damage Part. I would say this is a good Build for beginners because you can't do anything wrong with this Build. You Heal your Teammates while you Initiate with a Q into stund and your ultimate.
This Build is probably the safest option you can learn Bards trading habbits and get to know how to play this champion in lane. You can do All the things you should do with the other pages. But Bard is not the usual support as you'll notice throughout the runesets.

Vintage Bard

You want to take Electrocute with this set. Since Electrocute does work exactly as Thunderlords you'll trigger it with Q into an autoattack.
Cheap shot will provide some nice damage since you always impare the enemies movmenet with your Q or your AA's.
Zombie ward is a must. You're a Support after all. It is one of your Jobs to get some vision around the map.
Relentless Hunter will help you to Roam but If you don't have the confidence to roam you can take Ingenious Hunter as well. It'll synergize with you're active Items Like Redemption.

This Build covers good Item usage or roaming while giving you the feeling of the good old Season 7 Bard. It is more of an advanced build. You need to do Things which are more advanced like roaming or warding the enemies jungle which shouldn't be done if you don't have the right Plan and knowledge. They could even leave you to feed which is not what you want. I'll Talk about the Whole Strategy in the Strategy Parts.

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Earlygame Strategy

Bard has a pretty Strong earlygame. Since Q is your only damage spell it deals a lot of Basedamage while you're Chimes will add their part through your autoattacks.

after the game starts You want to wait between the Tier 1 and Tier 2 turret to ''manipulate'' your passive.
Your passive spawns a total of 3 Chimes which give you a little Experience boost.
Some Bard players skill W first because it has such High mana costs and you're able to refund most of your mana with the Chimes. I simply don't like it but it should be mentioned depending on How you play Bard.
Generally speaking you want to be a bit more agressive in the early stages of the game. You want To auto the enemy ADC or the enemy Support,get some stuns of and look for all in situations.
The easiest way to do so is by using the trading stance, It basically means ''Stand on top of your dying Minion.''
This basically means that you want to pay attention to your Minions that drop on a low amount of HP, so the enemy wants to take the Lasthit. While they are in the lasthit animation the can't do anything which is your oppotunity to poke them. The enemy is going to cancle the lasthit in many cases and miss the Minion. You need to pay attention to the enemies trading zone, so the range he has to trade you back. Because some people sacrifice the CS just to poke you back. As a Support you want to keep your enemies busy while being in a safe spot to not get into any trouble.
The second option of the Trading stance is to zone your enemy from getting CS which is easier to apply when your lane has a level advantage.

If you get a bad Matchup pay attention on how the enemy uses their spells. Try to focus on the enemies mistakes while being as safe as possible. Prepare some shrines for disengages and some healing if you feel like you can't do much.

once you reached level 4 and you got your sightstone you can start to roam and collect some Chimes. But be careful about your roaming! There are many scenarios in which you shouldn't roam!
If your laner goes even with the enemy tell him to stay safe and think if the enemie ADC and Support could possibly dive your ADC. If yes, don't roam!
If you think your ADC is safe for the next couple of minutes you can Roam and collect Chimes.
You got to make sure if your ADC is safe. If you think he's not safe DO NOT ROAM!

Roam Strategy

So you are about to roam, what do you need to do and what can you do?
First of all, I know I repeat myself, but you got to make sure your ADC is safe!
your first Roam task;
Make sure your ADC has Vision around him and keep an eye on the minimap to ping him if needed.
Vision is a key which leads to succsess in this game. You got many places to ward.
[*] You can ward your jungle to prevent the enemy Jungler from invading your jungle.
[*] You can ward the enemies jungle, which you should only do if you know the enemies jungler is not around

Bard is specialized in enetring dangerous situations so don't be afraid if you made a mistake by predicting the enmies jungler. In most cases you can get out safely with your E.
and last but not least
[*] You can ward for your midlaner to prevent ganks from botside River.

sure you only got 3 wards to place so you gotta make sure you place your wards in some good spot.
Also remember that you can place one additional Pinkward which you should always do!
But how about dewarding?
You can always deward places with the Sweeping lense or with the Oracle Alteration.
Dewarding is as important as Warding is!

Now that you warded the entire area around you what could you do next?
You could gank your midlaner if the enemie is pushing or you could coordinate with your jungler to invade the enemies jungle.

And I can't say it enough, make sure your laner is safe.
It's a common mistake that many Bard player make, they roam without making sure that their ADC is safe. And don't spend your hole time warding or ganking. Think about Which actions could have an impact right now?

Okay you hit level 6 and get your Ultimate, what you want to do now is easy and hard at the same time! You want to make a play happen.
Ping your Jungler for assistance or check if you could make it with your ADC alone.
Ult the enemie as an initiating tool.
if you can't seem to get a kill on bot try to roam mid and check if you can make a play there.

If you Follow these steps over to the midgame, you have succsessfully survived the earlygame!

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Midgame Strategy

Now that you've made it through the earlygame let's talk about the midgame.
Bards midgame Strenght depends on how you play Bard. If you can't seem to achieve anything your midgame is going to be rather weak.

The midgame is the phase of the game where you don't need to stick like glue with the ADC. You want to be close to your Teammates, but collect as many Chimes as possible while contesting vision in the jungle.
If your Team is on the lead, you want to ''float'' between the lanes.
For example;
Your Toplaner is splitpushing Bot while the rest of your Team groups mid to push, your job is to collect Chimes between those lanes to make sure you're able to catch up if you need to help someone and to provide vision between those lanes. So the midgame is rather simple. If your splitpushing laner encounters two or more people, you can try to use your ult as a disengage tool or help him to escape with your E. Another option would be to turn the situation and reengage the enemy but you should only do that if the rest of your team ctaches up to you.
If your Team is grouping up think of yourself as an Assassin. You don't want to be seen because the element of surprise is one of Bards biggest weapons. You want to Provide vision in one side of the jungle as well as dewarding and collecting Chimes.
From now on You can chose what to do. Let your Team siege the enemies turrets or engaging a fight with your ultimate? It's up to you. If your team is stronger then the enemy, you should try to force Fights with your ultimate.
If you're Team is weaker on the other Hand what to do?
It's hard to cover a weak team and although it seems impossible it is indeed not!
It takes a lot of patients to be useful now but remember EVERYONE makes mistakes. See yourself as a Judge, you decide if you punish your enemies for doing mistakes or not.

For example:
If your team loses Teamfights over and over again you are obviously not in a good spot.
- who is their carry?
- Who needs to be locked out
- Who positions himself Bad for a good pick

Questions like these will provide a Simple answer most of the Time. make shotcalls based on answered questions. This is the Best advice for this game in general and also the most common mistake by players like me. I always catch myself ulting before asking if I can get value out of it, before reconsidering the fact that I ulted the wrong guy.

Thinking more leads to good results, and If I would finally start doing it more I would probably Climb a lot higher!

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Lategame Strategy / Teamfights

Now we're 40 minutes into the Game,you're most likely full Itembuild and let's say you collected 70 chimes so far, which is okay for a beginner.
You are Pretty strong right now and good news, you're only getting stronger!
The Key is to collect as many Chimes as possible throughout the game because they provide you with a slow, extra onhit and splash damage.

The midgame strategy doesn't change that much you're basically doing the same things in the lategame so I think it's best to explain you guys what to do in teamfights.


Bard is a good Teamfighter! Your Ultimate can be used as an initiator for teamfights as well as being a disengage tool in bad situations! If you hit two targets with your Ultimate you can walk up to them and keep them in a CC-Chain with your Q. Think of yourself as a Mage in a Teamfight! You want to make sure you placed some shrines behind your team, just in case you need to back off.
So if Q and your Ultimate are on cooldown, use autoattacks and stay close to a wall. Your autoattacks will deal a lot of damage, if you collected enough Chimes. If you're dropping low on HP cast your E and disengage while pinging your team to backoff as well, unless they can't carry the teamfight on their own. Overextending in Teamfights is a huge mistake which will make you lose the fights.
To break it down into Steps:
    Step 1 - Use your Ultimate as an Initiator/Disengage tool
    Step 2 - Follow up with CC/retreat if using it as an disengage!
    Step 3 - Auttoattack from a save distance (position yourself next to a wall, except they have a vayne)
    Step 4 - Back of, if you're dropping low

It's a rather simple Breakdown.
Bard in generall is not really that hard to play, he's just a doubleedged sword because wrong decisions lead to fatal consequences.

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Rune Based strategy Breakdown

This will give you a brief understanding on what you want to Achieve with those runes.

The Standart Support

I can Explain this one really fast. There are a lot of advanced things with Bard and I don't expect anyone Below Platinum to really keep those things in mind every game!
tis rune Page will give you everything, tankieness, Damage and utility. It is just the most forgiving page and I would still recommend using this Page when you're facing Harder Matchups like Thresh or Leona.

Vintage Bard

The people who played Bard before season 8 will know why I call this Vintage Bard!
Q > AA will proc electrocute! That's the keypart about this Keystone. It#s a very earlygame based runepage you want to be agressive and keep poking when electrocute is up. But it falls of if you don't really build damage!

The DD

First of all, I love this page BUT just because I love it doesn't mean you can play it.
It's simple you stack dark harvest through cannon's.
Optimal scenario;
one cannon dies you get the stack Q > aa
the other one dies Q > aa
this rune is a bit weaker then electrocute I guess BUT it scales up with your base AA scaling, Means It's later in the game much stronger then electrocute! People would argue that you don't get to stack it extremely well and I agree halfway. I wouldnt recommend a Beginner to use this but someone who know's what he is supposed to do will know. So if you know what you're doing try and take it! It sure is a lot of fun.

The Fake Toplaner

I guess you Saw that there is one summoner spell missing right?
Well, you can take whatever you want! I mainly take exhaust But if you're better of with Ignite go ahead and take it!
So what you want to do is simple coordinate with your Team, you can get a lot of map preassure with this.
For example:
When you get to switch your summoner spell for the first Time you can coordinate with you jungler like ''Hey got Ignite AND exhaust up so come down to gank pls''

or what I like to do (works most of the time because I play with 4 pre's):
-Go back
- heading towards Top
- gank top
and to explain this now, most of the time people dont consider the fact that you took unsealed spellbook and could potentionally switched one spell to TP so the enemies push most of the Time especially when they see that you ganked top. Push top with the toplaner and TP with him bot! You could coordinate with the jungler as well which results in safe kills most of the Time. (But sometimes it fails because me and my Team we're a bunch of ******s xD)

So here you got some reasons On the different settings!

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How to play from Behind / What If your ADC sucks

So, you may think ''Okay, this is great so far but what if i'm behind? Or what if I am godlike and my ADC doesn't seem to get any value out of my plays?''
That's a pretty good question!

The positive thing about Bard is that you can't take him out of the game thanks To his Ultimate Tempered Fate.
If you are far behind in levels you need to stay calm in the first place.
One good Ultimate can turn the game completely! You need to be carefull because if you fall behind you'll most likely take more damage so positioning is way more important then you think it is. Try to fight with your team and only deal damage from a save distance.
Just do anything you can do to prevent another death.

What to do if your ADC is Bad?

ADC's can not be perfect and sometimes they have bad games as well, they are maybe tilted from their last game, maybe they have yelling parents and so on. There are so many reasons causing your ADC to play bad. Don't start mashing your keyboard with things like ''OMG, UNINSTALL!!!1!!11!'' and things like that. It's causing your teammates to play even worse.
I know how hard it is to play with a bad ADC but there is a simple solution to that.
make sure you survive the earlygame and everything will be fine. Coordinate with your jungler to get your midlane ahead and if you did that coordinate a 4 man Botlane gank.

Your options are infinite. Try to help your jungler or midlaner in some cases you could even try to Help your Toplaner!
Stay Calm and ask yourself ''Who is carrying this match?'' Support your carry as much as possible and you're most likely to win the game.
At this point I just want to mention communication is very important in League of Legends. Don't waste your energy by flaming your teammates! Use the chat only to coordinate with your team for ganks, burned summoner spells and so on!

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Bard is a funny champion which can be seen as a bruiser in the support role. He requires good decisionmaking but once you mastered him you'll be able to truly CARRY a game as a support. Bard is a good Roamer and a good teamfighter Your job is to think of yourself as a second jungler/ap mage!
Try to Stay calm to make good decisions throughout the game. If you follow my strategy you should be doing fine throughout the game!

Thanks for reading so far! This guide is far from being ''Finished''!
I want to add more Chapters to it since there are a lot of things Which I didn't talk about also I want to provide you with some ingame footage as soon as I recorded some stuff!

I hope you enjoyed reading and I'll look foreward to some Feedback!

Comming Soon
Tips and Tricks Guide
Warding Spots
Detailled look on Itemization
Ultimate guide - How to use it
Added Builds + how they work
Videos to cover anything