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Olaf Build Guide by fighter4143

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League of Legends Build Guide Author fighter4143

Jungle Olaf For All Your Axe-Throwing Needs

fighter4143 Last updated on April 25, 2012
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Team 1

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Top Lane
Ranked #48 in
Top Lane
Win 50%
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Ability Sequence

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

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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I have seen many jungle Olaf builds on Mobafire and I think that I should share some tips on how I play him. This is my guide on Olaf. I hope it will help you play him better. This is my first build on Mobafire so please give me some constructive criticism on how to make my build better. Also help me expand the guide by suggesting new sections to write up. Thank You and Enjoy.

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Pros and Cons


  • Solid jungler
  • Ult makes him immune to cc
  • Very hard to one on one
  • Does lots of damage
  • Can tank a lot of damage
  • Very strong late game

  • Needs items to be strong
  • Easily kited
  • Weak against burst mages
  • Weak early game
  • Sub-par ganks
  • No hard cc
  • Jungle is vulnerable early

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The runes that I get are typical tanky DPS runes. You can switch out the armor penetration runes for attack speed if you want but it really doesn't matter too much. The seals and glyphs are for tankiness that Olaf needs for charging in. You can switch the quints for movement speed if you like

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The masteries that I chose are 9/21/0. The 9 in offense gets the bonus armor penetration, and the 21 in defense gets the Bladed Armor mastery along with Juggernaut .

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Summoner Spells

The summoner spells that I get are Smite and Ghost. I get Smite because you always need smite in the jungle. Even if you think "Well I can take on the buffs without it and it only reduces my jungle time by a little bit" you still will need smite to take on counter-junglers and because jungle time is extremely important. I take Ghost because it's needed more than flash in my opinion since Olaf needs to chase people, and the speed boost helps a lot.

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Skill Sequences and Explanations

This passive makes Olaf extremely dangerous when he's at low health. This is also why I don't take Vampiric Scepter as my first item, and why I don't take Vicious Strikes at level 1.

The slow from this skill is great for chasing and the aoe damage it does in the jungle helps you clear faster. If you throw it at minimum range them Olaf will automatically pick it up. It is important to do this while jungling. I max this skill first because of the damage and slow and because it's long range.

This skill is basically what keeps your health up in a team fight and makes you a strong attacker at the same time. The life steal it gives is pretty good, but it also gives you an attack damage steroid. This makes it hard for someone to fight you alone. This skill can be maxed either second or third. It mostly depends on your preferences.

This skill makes Olaf so good at melting tanks mid-game, since it goes through armor and magic resist. Be careful when using this skill when you are low or you might get killed faster than if you had just relied on your life steal. The cooldown on this skill lowers every level so it might be a good idea to level this after maxing undertow. This skill can be maxed either second or third. It mostly depends on your preferences.

Ragnarok is Olaf's ultimate. Its passive gives Olaf a great amount of armor penetration which is nothing to scoff about. It gives armor and magic resistance which really helps you tank a lot more damage. It also gives you immunity to crowd-control which is really amazing. This allows you to rush in headfirst to a teamfight without being stopped. You can dive straight for the carry and kill him before he can do any major damage to your team. Basically, This turns you from a tanky-DPS into a full tank and a DPS that's immune to cc.

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When to pick Olaf

To be frank, Olaf isn't the best jungler to choose mostly because his ganks aren't that strong when compared to Skarner, Maokai etc.. And keep in mind he has no hard cc to keep people in place. Olaf doesn't take counter junglers very well. At the beginning his jungle will be dangerous and he will be an easy target for most junglers. These are reasons why you might not want to play him.

Each jungler has something special about them whether it's his ganks or his speed. If you want a better late game on your jungler Olaf can be a very good pick. Not many junglers can surpass Olaf's late game potential. He can also act as a pseudo-tank with Ragnarok, so you can choose him for a more tanky jungler. He also does an insane amount of damage after he gets a few items. Most of the time, his damage output will be more than the enemy jungler or maybe even the enemy carry.

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Lane Olaf

This guide was meant for jungle Olaf, but I figured I might as well put some tips in for lane Olaf

Lane Olaf has basically the same mid-late game, but a drastically different early game. Olaf needs farm no doubt about it, but in lane, Olaf can be harassed and denied farm, and his healing requires him to get into melee range of the creeps. His Undertow is a strong harassing tool, but it isn't as mana efficient as say Gangplank's Parrrley.

You shouldn't go lane Olaf against champions that have potent harass. The good part about lane Olaf is that since you aren't in the jungle you can actually level Reckless Swing first. This makes melee harass much stronger against your opponents. A typical harass in lane would just be to use Undertow and rush up to use Reckless Swing. I suggest going Cloth Armor + 5 Health Potions at the beginning. Then rushing a Wriggle's Lantern and after just follow the build.

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The first item I get is a Doran's Blade. Normally most Olaf builds will tell you to get a Vampiric Scepter first which actually slows down your jungle a lot since Olaf's passive gets him bonus attack speed depending on how low you are.

When you decide to go back go straight for Boots of Speed or rushing Wriggle's Lantern depending on what you need. After that start building a Phage. When you're done with Phage get Berserker's Greaves (or Mercury's Treads if they have a lot of cc)

The items that are core in your build are Wriggle's Lantern and Frozen Mallet. It doesn't seem like much, but that's because the items you get after can come in pretty much any order you want. I usually rush Wit's End against mage-oriented teams and Atma's Impaler when I'm against more physical teams. If you feel you don't need the slow from Frozen Mallet then you can pick up a Warmog's Armor instead.

When you reach late game there are a variety of items you can get. The main ones are Banshee's Veil, Randuin's Omen, Warmog's Armor, and Guardian Angel. Get Banshee's when you are against bursty mages and Randuin's when you are against more AD carries. Guardian Angel and Warmog's Armor are general items that you can get against any team.

DPS Build

I really don't like more DPS oriented builds but some people might. It's basically the same thing except the optional items at the end are Phantom Dancer, Infinity Edge, or The Bloodthirster.

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Items (In-Depth)

You may looks at this item and wonder "Why in the world would you take Doran's Blade first in the jungle?" Taking Cloth Armor or Vampiric Scepter first would result in a safe, but very slow jungle. You do not need any more sustain in the jungle early since Vicious Strikes should be enough.

Obviously you need boots, and these are the best ones that you can get. You can get Boots of Swiftness if you feel like your enemies are getting away too often, but I usually don't get it since Frozen Mallet and Undertow usually fix those issues.

These help stick on to a person so you can do much more damage and not let them get away. The bonus health makes you much tankier and makes Vicious Strikes stronger.

Wriggle's Lantern is a great item for almost any jungler. The passive makes clearing camps much faster. Just be careful not to accidentally kill a buff when you want to give it away.The life steal it gives makes it much easier to survive in a fight when Vicious Strikes wears off. If you think this delays your build too much then by all means don't get it. Remember to place your ward!

I cannot tell you how much I love this item on any tanky DPS. This gives attack speed, magic resistance, and even 32 bonus magic damage on hit. Not to mention that it is very cheap at only 2000 gold. This is a must for any Olaf to get. I'm surprised I haven't seen more Olaf guides recommend this.

This item seems like it was built for Olaf. It gives armor, critical strike, and attack damage. The attack damage also scales with health just like your Vicious Strikes.

Banshee's gives health, mana (helps for spamming axe more for poke), magic resistance, and blocks 1 spell every 45 seconds. This can make you really powerful since you will be immune to one spell and the magic resistance is pretty sweet too.

Believe it or not, this item is amazing on Olaf. Since you are going to be one of the guys on the front you will get focused a lot. The passive will lower the carry's damage and the active helps you chase a stray champion that's out of position. You can use the active in the middle of a team fight to reduce the attack speed of everyone in the vicinity and prevent anyone from escaping.

Normally I wouldn't get this on Olaf unless we are winning by a lot, but you can also get it if the opponents are killing you too quickly and they have armor/magic penetration.

This item is probably the strongest late game item in the game. When everybody's respawn timers are 60 or over a Guardian Angel can win the game for your team. Not to mention that it also gives armor and magic resistance in one item.

I get this as a second magic resistance item. It has very good synergy with your passive. The shield can reduce any huge nukes on you as well.

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Items Not to Get

At first glance this may look to be the perfect item for Olaf. There are many reasons for why this is not true.

    1. Trinity is so expensive
    2. You won't proc the slow every time
    3. Olaf only has close range low cooldown abilities
    4. Doesn't make you very tanky

I don't like when Olafs get this because Wit's End is infinitely better. The only thing that is better in phantom dancer is the movement speed. It doesn't give you the magic resistance, and it isn't as cheap. The crit chance could be useful, but you already get crit chance from atma's. This isn't a horrible item that should never be used but I don't feel like it's needed on Olaf.

Just like Phantom Dancer This item just doesn't seem good on Olaf mainly because it doesn't give any tankyness that all tanky-dps need (besides tryndamere).

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Jungle Route

Ask your team for a leash at the very beginning. You do not need one but it will speed up your jungle time. Start at wolves by hitting it with an auto-attack then use Undertow so you hit all the wolves at minimum range. You should get to Blue in time for it to spawn. Smite it when it gets low, and pick up your w. Finish wraiths then go to Red. After red go kill; the double golems. After this you can keep jungling or gank a lane.

Wolves --> Blue --> Wraiths --> Red --> Double Golems

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Ganking is necessary for any jungler to do even if his ganks aren't too strong. Olaf has no hard cc on any of his abilities and his slow is a skillshot. His Undertow does a surprising amount of damage if you max it first so it is pretty much mandatory that you hit it. The good thing about Olaf's ganks that some people overlook is that his slow ( Undertow) has a huge range of 1000. If your teammates are paying attention it shouldn't be hard to kill someone if you remember to pick up your axe.

Don't gank the lanes that are pushing to the enemy tower. The first priority is to gank the lanes that aren't doing very well. If all the lanes are being pushed to the enemy towers then you can keep farming in the jungle.

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Early Game

Most of the time early game, you will be farming hard in the jungle. Your ganks aren't very good since you have no gap closer and no hard cc, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't gank. If you see a lane pushed try ganking it and your team may get a kill. If a lane has to go b then you can cover for them, but don't 'tax' the lane. What i mean by 'tax' is don't push the wave by auto-attacking or using spells, and if there are allies don't stick around stealing their farm and xp.

Another big thing is to buy and use wards. Wards are so important because they give vision over objectives (Dragon, Baron), and you can see if someone is trying to gank or steal your buffs. You can also use wards offensively by laying a few in the enemy jungle or at their buffs and having your team assist you in ganks on the enemy.

Another concept you need to know for early and mid-game is counter-jungling. Counter-jungling can be as simple as warding the enemy jungle and ganking him when the time is right. Most of the time when you steal the enemies small camps you should leave one small wraith or small wolf.

A type of counter-jungling is invading. Invading usually happens at the beginning where the whole team goes into the enemy jungle to steal buffs and even kill a few people. I highly recommend using Clairvoyance before rushing in. This will give you the position of the enemy jungler and team so you can gank/avoid them.

When you steal the enemies buffs you can either leave the small lizards or kill them for the buff timer. The buffs respawn every 5 minutes after you kill all the creeps for Red and Blue buff. For future reference dragon respawns every 6 minutes and baron is every 7 minutes. You can type the timers in chat if you think you will forget. Having timers allows you to have complete control over the enemy's buffs and the objectives.

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During mid-game Olaf will be very strong and can one v. one most equally fed champs. You still want to jungle and counter-jungle in mid-game, but Baron and Dragon are more important now and you should have them warded all the time. If you win a teamfight, or if the enemies are on the opposite side of the map you can take objectives easily, but don't just randomly suggest to do dragon or baron if the enemies are near or mia. This can easily get your team killed.

During mid-game you should be sticking together a little more and pushing. Again be sure to ward so you don't get caught by surprise. During teamfights you want to pop your ult and be at the front of your team. Be sure to focus the enemy carries first and not focus the tank, and keep using Undertow and Reckless Swing every time they are off cooldown.

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Late Game

Late game is where Olaf truly shines. When you have most of the items in your build you can tank quite a lot of damage and dish out a lot more. It is extremely important to ward baron now and not get caught out of position. If even 1 of you guys are down the enemy team could go for baron. You want a good initiation from your tank in a teamfight.

If the enemy team catches your team and gets a good initiation, most of the time the fight will already be over. Again, you always want to be right beside your tank in front of your team when a teamfight is erupting. Be sure to get items according to whoever you're going against.

In a teamfight, Olaf's job is to ult and rush in to kill the carry. Olaf can't be peeled off of them if he is immune to cc. Once the carry is dead switch your focus to the next high damage target, most likely the ap caster.

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Tanky vs Damage

I made this section to help explain why I don't get much damage in my build.

When I first bought Olaf and first played him I really liked his play style, but at the time since I was building more damage instead of tankyness, burst mages melted me instantly and AD carries destroyed me in a teamfight. I decided to try building a little more tanky, and to my amazement, it worked out great!

Olaf already has a great amount of damage if you factor in his passive and Vicious Strikes. Unfortunately, even with his ult on you can't charge up and do massive damage unless if you build tanky. You still need some attack speed, damage, and crit chance, but that's what Wit's End and Atma's Impaler are for. They give tankyness while also giving damage, a perfect combination if you ask me.

You can get dps items as your situational items if you like, but I don't think you will live very long to do damage if you ignore resistances.

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A guide about making a guide

Be sure to check out jhoijhoi's guide on how to make a guide:

Also be sure to take a look at my Yorick guide: