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Bard Build Guide by Mr buckets

Support challenger

Lathyrus' [10.21] EUW Challenger Guide: How To Carry In Solo

By Mr buckets | Updated on October 19, 2020
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Runes: Guardian

1 2 3 4 5
Resolve
Guardian
Font of Life
Conditioning
Unflinching

Precision
Triumph
Legend: Tenacity
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist

Spells:

Main summoner spells
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Support Role
Ranked #6 in
Support Role
Win 51%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
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INTRODUCTION
WELCOME TO LATHYRUS' BARD GUIDE!
Hi my name is Lathyrus, although some people may also know me as BardlyMissed.
I started playing League Of Legends in summer 2017 (Season 7). Starting off as a jungler to gain experience, but later on, swapped to support where I began maining Bard. After picking up Bard, I started climbing and ended up in challenger in March 2018 (Season 8). At the moment I have around 3 million mastery points on Bard and have reached challenger on the EUW, NA, and Korean servers.

Why Bard you ask?
Bard is a great playmaker in the support role. You are the one that is doing a lot of the shot-calling, you can engage and disengage, and overall have a high influence on the tempo of the game, due to your roam-ability. So if you love to impact the map, tilting the enemy team, and not just letting yourself get carried, then Bard is a great pick for you!

GUIDE UPDATES
This guide will continuously be updated. Me and my moderators (Flayless and Venm) are always hard at work to give you the most recent information, as fast as we can. However we do value quality over speed, so after patches it can take us a little bit of time to really know that what we tell you is the absolute best info we can give you!

Coming updates:
  • A matchup sheet for every matchup in the game, so you know into what teams you may or may not want to pick Bard, or what teammates your Bard would do well or badly with. This, however, will take us some time, since there is a lot of champions to cover, but we hope it can be of use to you!
  • New items, due to the new season, we are getting a lot of new items, so we will be getting tons of crazy new builds and playstyles to play with.
MEDIA LINKS
Before going on with the guide I wanna quickly shout out my own stream, Flayless' stream, and also give you the links to my OPGGs (for those who are curious). Lastly, I also linked my Discord server, so if you wanna talk with other Bard mains, just hang out and chill with other people, or know whenever I am streaming, feel free to join in!

LATHYRUS' TWITCH

FLAYLESS' TWITCH

MAIN OPGG

SMURF OPGG


NA OPGG

DISCORD




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BARD INFO
ABILITIES
In this section, we are quickly going to go over Bard's abilities. We'll talk about what every ability does, but also give some tips on how to use them.



P - TRAVELER'S CALL
Your passive is really the core of your kit, and also what makes Bard so super strong. Chimes will spawn all around the map, mostly around your location on the map. Collecting these chimes give you a stacking movement speed boost (max 5), restore 12% of your max mana, and also grant you a bit of experience. Bard also summons Meeps to aid him in combat by enhancing his auto-attack, these Meeps become stronger, larger in number, and spawn faster the more chimes you collect. You can see whenever you have a meep as a tooltip on your UI, or by the small little fellow following you around. Every 5 chimes will boost their damage, and provide you with an extra bonus. The most important bonuses are at 5 chimes at which point your Meep empowered auto will slow enemies, 15 chimes which will add a small AoE cone to your auto attack, and 35 chimes, which will increase the AoE further. (for more detailed info on all the bonuses, I advise you to check out the Bard League Wiki page which has all of the bonuses mentioned).

Now some tips for using your Passive!
First of all, never get baited by your chimes, yes it is important to pick them up, but do not throw a game, by just going chime hunting. Secondly, if you are struggling to hit your Q or R, try and use your Meep empowered attack to slow enemies before trying to hit them, this will make it very hard for them to dodge it. Last but not least, always note that although your Meeps enhance your auto attack, they themselves count as an individual spell, this means that just one auto-attack with a meep, will count for 2 stacks for runes like Electrocute, or Phase Rush.


Q - COSMIC BINDING
Your Q shoots out a projectile that upon hitting a target will check for any terrain, or enemy unit behind the first hit target. If it finds something then it will latch on that unit/terrain, and stun both targets, should it not find another target then it only slows the target. The damage dealt is applied to all units that are hit. This is the ability you are going to want to level and max first. The extra stun duration, the shorter cooldown, and a pretty good base damage just makes it an obvious choice.

Now some tips for using your Q!
So first of all it is very important to know that you can hit a lot of stuns on walls that do not seem possible, this is because the walls in league are not smooth, but actually have a lot of ridges. You'll learn the malformation of the map over time as you play, but just know that even if some stuns don't seem possible this is why they can hit. Secondly you can use champion made terain to stun people as well, think of abilities like Cataclysm or Volcanic Rupture. Furthermore clones and minions summoned by champions will also count to proc this, which makes your Q great against LeBlanc since you can stun her on her own passive. Lastly most spellshields will not block the stun from this ability, but instead only block the damage. This however doesn't apply to Black Shield since that shield only breaks after a certain amount of damage, not to one spell like Banshee's Veil or Edge of Night. If the spellshield is activated after the damage but before the stun, then the stun will be blocked.

W - CARETAKER'S SHRINE
Your W, spawns a little healing shrine that builds up in power over a time of 10 seconds. Your shrine will heal for a small amount, and grant a decaying movement speed buff. You can place three shrines at a time, but they will never despawn on their own, unless an enemy walks over it, or it is used by an ally. If you place a fourth shrine, then the first shrine you placed will disappear. You can also target the shrine onto an ally or yourself directly, which will apply the minimum heal, but not count towards your maximum shrine count.

Now some tips for using your W!
You'll mostly want to use your shrines as a small healing pool in botlane or any lane you might roam to. The shrines become more effective over time, so if you can, wait a little bit before you use them. When placing multiple shrines in the same lane, you should try and spread them out a bit, so that an enemy won't just walk over all of them at once. Another thing a lot of people often forget is that the shrine will give a little bit of vision shortly after being placed. So you can use your shrine to face check an objective or bush. Lastly, you can cast the shrines on yourself while roaming, to both, sustain a bit and move around the map a lot faster.

E - MAGICAL JOURNEY
Your E is a very straight forward skill, but it's usage is what can really show a good and bad Bard player. On cast you will make a portal trough terrain, that will stay open for 10 seconds. All champions (both your team and the enemy) can then pass trough the portal and move through the wall. Note that your team will travel through the portal faster than enemies, although this most of the time won't matter except for in very long tunnels.

Now some tips for using your E!
The first thing many people often forget is that your E does have a pretty long cast range, you do not have to be next to a wall to use it. Aside from that, the skill is fairly straight forward in itself, but its usage is super versatile. You can use it both to engage on an unsuspecting lane, use it to get away from sticky situations, dodge skill shots, or just use it to travel faster. If you want to enter the portal fast without being cucked by pathfinding, you can click on the middle of the portal. It might sometimes be tricky to get used to portal placement, but if you aim at where you want the portal to end, and practice that quite a bit, it is something you will be able to do very reliably (don't feel bad if you sometimes make the wrong portal, it happens).

R - TEMPERED FATE
Bard's ultimate is one of the most impactful abilities in the game. You target an area and after some travel time, everything in range is put into stasis for 2,5 seconds. This includes, all ally untis, all enemy units, neutral monsters, epic monsters, and also turrets. This on it's own might not sound too strong, but with it you are able to completely force anything to stop for a bit of time, and once anything is affected there is no way to cleanse the effect.

Now some tips for using your R!
Like I said before, your ult is a very high impact ultimate so using it just anytime it is up, isn't really advised. In teamfight you often wanna target part of the enemy team, while leaving your team out of the ult. This way you can deal with the other enemy team members for a bit without others intervening, or set up cc on the ones hit. You can also use your ult more defensively against champions like Karthus and Zed, which you can completely deny his ult, by ulting him while casting, or by ulting your team so they don't take the damage. Be careful when you use your ult on your team tho, since just like when you ult the enemy, if you are in stasis, the enemy has all the time to set up the kill for when it ends. Ulting objectives is also great to buy time for you and your team to start an advantageous fight. Ulting towers is also a great strat which can help you in a dive or safe a tower from an incoming enemy rift herald. Do note that you cannot ult towers that still have other towers before them, so don't try to ult an inhib tower, when you haven't gotten rid of the inner tower.
But the most important thing about your ultimate is just practice, the more you play Bard, the better you will get a feeling for using your ults.

PROS & CONS
PROS
CONS

+ Super versatile
+ Can be played both from behind and ahead
+ Very strong roams
+ Strong rotations
+ Setting up ganks
+ Getting people caught

Bard is a great pick to learn, he is versatile, and can be picked into and with every team. He has a high influence on the game, which makes it easy to impact the game and actually carry your own games. He has a very high skill ceiling, so there is always room to improve.
- Mainly Skill Matchups
- Weak Laningphase
- Low range
- Needs to scale
- Hard to learn
- Risky ultimate

Bard is hard to learn, so it takes quite a bit of time for you to really learn his ins and outs. Furthermore, he does have a lot of skill matchups in botlane, which could go wrong easily if you make mistakes early. Due to his low range, laning versus higher ranged opponents is quite tough.

TEAMCOMPS
Bard is extremely flexible and thus can fit into most team comps quite well. His kit allows him to morph into whatever the team needs, he can peel carries, engage, disengage, become an enchanter for the squishies, or be a damage-dealing tank. So generally you do not have that many problems when you want to one-trick Bard.

For detailed descriptions of every matchup, you can look in the threats and synergies section above. But in general, Bard does well with save longer-range ADCs or APCs, think of champions like Caitlyn or Jhin. While the shorter ranged champions will struggle a bit more, like Kai'Sa or Vayne. This is due to Bard's own range not being very large, which can often give an enemy a range advantage.



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BUILDS
SUMMONER SPELLS
Flash is our obvious first choice for our summoner spell. Bard doesn't have any short cooldown dashes so he needs Flash for the mobility it gives. Remember that you can Flash during your Q- Cosmic Binding to redirect it!
Ignite is our second choice, it gives you a lot more early kill pressure, for both in lane and when roaming. Late game you can also use it to get some grievous wounds on priority targets. Exhaust although good, is better used on the ADC themself, so that they can peel themselves. So if people ask you to go it, ask the ADC to get it.

RUNE PAGES
Bard is extremely flexible and can run a lot of different runes depending on your preferred playstyle. These are some of my favourite runes to go, but everyone can have their own preference.

Guardian is a great more supportive rune, that works well if you can rely on your teammates, and thus generally is better in higher elos.
Hail of Blades is a high damage rune that scales really well for Bard. This rune is more focused on a carry playstyle and thus often is nicer at lower elos, but it can definitely also work in higher elos.
Prototype: Omnistone is a rune that is super fun to play, but also quite tricky to play around. The rune takes some practice, so it is more advised for the more well versed Bard players, but once you get the rune under control it can work for you in all elos.
Phase Rush is another super fun rune, it doesn't provide much combat potential for you, but the kiting potential is great. This rune is often best used around the semi-high elos.
Electrocute has been a standard rune for Bard for a long while. I personally would recommend Hail of Blades since it scales better, but it is still a nice replacement if you do not feel comfortable with the attack speed from Hail of Blades.

You can check your preferred rune out by clicking the buttons below!



GUARDIAN

Bard with Guardian is pretty much the most well-known rune setups for him. The rune allows Bard to become better at protecting his team. His W- Caretaker's Shrine is not the best heal in the game, so the bonus global shield from Guardian it can provide is always welcome. So even if you are roaming, just leaving a shrine somewhere will allow your team to not only get a heal, and some movement speed, but also a nice shield on top of it. The rune although nerfed a bit is still super reliable, however, it does work best in the higher elos where you can rely some more on your team to back up your amazing utility.

Bard impairs movement a lot! His meep empowered auto-attacks, his Q, and his ultimate, all impair the movement of an enemy. Which is exactly why enabling allies to heal from you impairing them is so amazing.

As a mid game focused support, Conditioning will help you out by making you just that bit tankier when you are at your strongest. So even though a rune like Bone Plating is great for surviving the laning phase, Bard only really starts to shine later in the game.

We are taking Unflinching over Revitalize since you still heal for plenty without it. Even though overall you might lose a bit of healing, you will be able to get into and out of fights a lot better due to the tenacity this rune gives combined with Legend: Tenacity. Staying alive longer, means more healing for you and your allies.

Triumph is a great rune for sustaining yourself during fights. Bard can easily get assists either with meep empowered auto attacks, or by healing his allies. So even though you build a lot squishier with this build, you still are able to be quite tank in fights just due to the healing from Triumph.

We are taking Legend: Tenacity so that we can go for Boots of Swiftness over Mercury's Treads. And with this rune combined with Unflinching no CC will be able to hold you back anymore. If you want to be somewhere you will get there.

For your minor runeshards you will be taking two adaptive force, and one magic resistance runeshards. We are not taking the attack speed runeshard anymore since most trades do not last long enough for the attack speed to matter, which is why getting some adaptive force helps your Guardian. The build already rushes into Dead Man's Plate so we are taking a magic resist shard to round the build off.

For the build of this runepage, click here!
Or click here to go back to rune selection!


HAIL OF BLADES

Hail of Blades allows you to unleash 3 auto attacks off in rapid succession. Allowing you to quickly burst people down with multiple meep empowered auto-attacks. Early game it helps you gain more gold by auto-attacking enemies more often to proc Spellthief's Edge. While later in the game, you will gain great burst damage from your passive. Furthermore due to the low cooldown it is almost always up by going in and out of combat.

Since Bard has so many movement impairing abilities cheap shot will add a real nice amount of damage into your kit. This means that whenever you use your meeps to slow someone, or stun someone with your Q you deal bonus true damage to them.

Although a weird choice, we are taking Eyeball Collection over Ghost Poro and Zombie Ward because we want the most damage as fast as we can, so that we can snowball the game a lot harder. Eyeball Collection is for that reason the best choice since it is the fastest stacking of the three.

Relentless Hunter grants you a lot of extra movespeed out of combat. With the recent nerf to Boots of Mobility You need all the mobility you can get, so this rune will help you with that. Remember more speed = more chimes = more roams = more LP.

Perfect Timing will give you the item called Stopwatch which will give you a free Zhonya's Hourglass pretty much to outplay the opponent. It will save you in a lot of clutch situations, and will also allow you to go for some more risky plays, eg. dives a lot easier.

Future's Market's power is often underappreciated, just the fact that you are able to get your items just a little bit faster is a very worthy investment. Yes you pay a little bit more, but since you are a lot stronger because of it you will also gain more gold out of it. Since you will be able to get more kills, assists, objectives, or even support item stacks when you are stronger. And yes even for just a simple control ward it is worth it to go into debt, vision is extremely important in all stages of the game, so having that edge is always amazing.

For your minor runeshards you will be taking two adaptive force, and one magic resistance runeshards. Hail of Blades already gives plenty of attack speed, so we swap out the attack speed for some extra damage. The build already rushes into Dead Man's Plate so we are taking a magic resist shard to round the build off.

For the build of this runepage, click here!
Or click here to go back to rune selection!


PROTOTYPE: OMNISTONE

Prototype: Omnistone is a very special keystone. It's simply most of the other keystone put together in one where you will have the option to get any of the others keystones but with a lowered cooldown. I choose to use Prototype: Omnistone because Bard very easily can use every single keystone. So the lower cooldown helps you out by giving you way more runes during a single fight. Do note however that this rune is pretty hard to use, so it might not be the best rune for anyone just starting with Bard.

Perfect Timing will give you the item called Stopwatch which will give you a free Zhonya's Hourglass pretty much to outplay the opponent. It is the best option for the first 3 runes because you want to buy boots as early as possible so Magical Footwear is not an option and let's be real if you take Hextech Flashtraption on Bard, you're trolling.

You would like to take Future's Market here because this rune gives you the option to rush to your core items early and be able to roam. Biscuit Delivery isn't as good, as you usually want to get biscuits for mana regen and a bit of sustain. However Bard will get the mana back from his chimes, so he doesn't really have any mana issues. And Minion Dematerializer is just bad because you just don't want to take the minions from Your ADC, even in case you are running Relic Shield (which you should never) it is not good because you are ranged and will almost never need the Minion Dematerializer to farm relic stacks.

The cooldown reduction from Cosmic Insight is always a nice and reliable choice, cause free CDR is never something you pass up. Approach Velocity is also quite nice, but Cosmic Insight is just a bit more consistent throughout the entire game.

Although a weird choice, we are taking Eyeball Collection over Ghost Poro and Zombie Ward because we want the most damage as fast as we can, so that we can snowball the game a lot harder. Eyeball Collection is for that reason the best choice since it is the fastest stacking of the three.

Relentless Hunter grants you a lot of extra movespeed out of combat. With the recent nerf to Boots of Mobility You need all the mobility you can get, so this rune will help you with that. Remember more speed = more chimes = more roams = more LP.

For your minor runeshards you will be taking two adaptive force, and one magic resistance runeshards. Most keystones in Prototype: Omnistone scale a lot better with AP, so we are taking some adaptive damage to boost all of the runes a bit more. The build already rushes into Dead Man's Plate so we are taking a magic resist shard to round the build off.

For the build of this runepage, click here!
Or click here to go back to rune selection!


PHASE RUSH

Ever thought that Bard was not that fast? Well with this Phase Rush build you will not only roam fast, you will also be super fast in combat while being incredibly hard to kill. This runepage might not give you as much as Guardian or Hail of Blades do but it is incredibly fun to play. So let's get going on the rune explanations.

Welcome to league of Nimbus Cloak, no one can deny the sheer power of Nimbus right now. The movement speed it gives you is insanely good and will help you catch and escape a lot more often than you probably should.

Since we are running so many movement speed enhancing runes and items, Celerity can not be missed out on. Giving you a little extra boost in movespeed passively, but also increasing all other movement speed enhancers by 7%, which adds up to a hell of a lot of movement speed in the end.

Waterwalking helps you roam a lot more during the early game, giving you that great early movement speed through the river, plus of course also gaining some adaptive stats while there, which can help you when fighting with the jungler in the river.

Although a weird choice, we are taking Eyeball Collection over Ghost Poro and Zombie Ward because we want the most damage as fast as we can, so that we can snowball the game a lot harder. Eyeball Collection is for that reason the best choice since it is the fastest stacking of the three.

Relentless Hunter grants you a lot of extra movespeed out of combat. With the recent nerf to Boots of Mobility You need all the mobility you can get, so this rune will help you with that. Remember more speed = more chimes = more roams = more LP.

For your minor runeshards you will be taking two adaptive force, and one magic resistance runeshards. We are not taking the attack speed runeshard anymore since most trades do not last long enough for the attack speed to matter, so we take some extra damage instead with the adaptive force. The build already rushes into Dead Man's Plate so we are taking a magic resist shard to round the build off.

For the build of this runepage, click here!
Or click here to go back to rune selection!


ELECTROCUTE

This rune will help your early game and helps you to deal a surprising amount of poke damage. Electrocute is also incredibly easy to proc since your meep-empowered auto attacks count as two hits, so a meep-auto + Q combo will deal 200 damage – this level of damage isn’t normally expected by ADCs and they can be quickly forced out of lane with just a few bad trades. In addition, your Ignite also counts as a hit so in an all-in a meep-auto plus Ignite can help kill secure that all-important First Blood.

Since Bard has so many movement impairing abilities cheap shot will add a real nice amount of damage into your kit. This means that whenever you use your meeps to slow someone, or stun someone with your Q you deal bonus true damage to them.

Although a weird choice, we are taking Eyeball Collection over Ghost Poro and Zombie Ward because we want the most damage as fast as we can, so that we can snowball the game a lot harder. Eyeball Collection is for that reason the best choice since it is the fastest stacking of the three.

Relentless Hunter grants you a lot of extra movespeed out of combat. With the recent nerf to Boots of Mobility You need all the mobility you can get, so this rune will help you with that. Remember more speed = more chimes = more roams = more LP.

Celerity will further enhance the movement speed you get from your boots, as well as the boost granted from collecting a chime and of course on the speed up on your W. Half of the roaming equation is about speed after all, so you really can’t go wrong by empowering your roams with this rune.

Scorch gives a bit of burn damage that procs when you hit an enemy with a spell i.e. your Q, as well as your meep-autos. Basically just free damage that will give you an even stronger early game – not much more to say. Once more, the idea of this build is to present a strong Early Bard who can still scale into a monster later off of just chimes – so Gathering Storm doesn’t really give us as much as you might think.

For your minor runeshards you will be taking two adaptive force, and one magic resistance runeshards. We are not taking the attack speed runeshard anymore since most trades do not last long enough for the attack speed to matter, which is why getting some adaptive force helps your Electrocute damage. Since Bard already has a bit higher base armour we are taking a magic resist shard to round the build off.

For the build of this runepage, click here!
Or click here to go back to rune selection!

ITEM PAGES
There is so many ways to build Bard, and although there is no wrong way to build him, these are the builds that I have had the most success with.

You can check your build per rune out by clicking the buttons below!



GUARDIAN

+
OR
OR


SPELLTHIEF'S EDGE
Easily the fastest stacking support item you can have on Bard if you're abusing your early poke like you should be doing. Once fully stacked it offers lots of (practically-free) Ability Power and some much-needed mana regen for those critical moments when you can’t top off your mana on chimes. It even comes with some HP, which is super nice for adding a little thickness to best Bard.

BOOTS OF SWIFTNESS
After quite a bit of testing, Boots of Swiftness's in-combat movement speed has been proven quite valuable. Which is why we now choose it over the other boot options.

DEAD MAN'S PLATE
Since we no longer go with the Boots of Mobility and also do not have Relentless Hunter, we need to get some extra mobility and movement speed. Thus we are still building Dead Man's Plate as our first item. The health from it will also boost your guardian shield by a significant amount, so nothing goes to waste.

ATHENE'S UNHOLY GRAIL
I buy Athene's Unholy Grail because of the insane healing from it's passive, as well as some very solid stats. Bard never struggles to output large amounts of damage, which makes him stack up the heal a lot faster than other supports. However in normal cases, Bard can only proc the heal by using his W Caretaker's Shrine, however, due to us picking up Font of Life in our runes, we can also proc it by having any teammate attack a target that we have CCed. The AP it gives from it's passive is also applied to the mana regen from the actual item. So just from that passive, the item will give you a total of 90 AP at full build, and to top it off it will also give you some much-needed magic resistance.

SHURELYA'S REVERIE
Really good item when it comes to synergies with runes and other items, besides being a good item with its active. This item, just like Redemption will give you more heal and shield power, increasing them even further. The active item helps your team to either engage, disengage, or reposition yourselves to get the upper hand of the fight.

REDEMPTION
Redemption is pretty much the first item anyone who thinks of a support item thinks off, okay I might be overexaggerating, but you get what I mean. This item brings you so much utility and a lot of great stats. Use it whenever your team is clumped up for maximum efficiency (do not, I repeat do not keep it till the end of the fight when most people are already dead). The extra heal and shield power helps your Guardian shields and the healing from your Athene's Unholy Grail and Font of Life a lot.

ELIXIR OF IRON / SORCERY
In most situations your standard elixir of choice will be the Elixir of Iron. However sometimes you might need some extra damage at the end of the game to win a fight, or help out your team the most you can, if you find yourself in that situation I recommend getting an Elixir of Sorcery.
For the runes of this build, click here!
Or click here to go back to build selection!


HAIL OF BLADES

+
OR
OR
OR


SPELLTHIEF'S EDGE
Easily the fastest stacking support item you can have on Bard if you're abusing your early poke like you should be doing. Once fully stacked it offers lots of (practically-free) Ability Power and some much-needed mana regen for those critical moments when you can’t top off your mana on chimes. It even comes with some HP, which is super nice for adding a little thickness to best Bard.

MERCURY'S TREADS / NINJA TABI
Since the changes to Boots of Mobility made them too expensive to make it worth it to buy. I'd recommend you to go for Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi as it's far more worth when it comes to the price. You want to go for Mercury's Treads when the enemy team has either full Ability Power based damage or mixed damage but with good amounts of CC. Ninja Tabi is the best option if they have no hard CC or if they are full Attack damage based team.

DEAD MAN'S PLATE
Dead Man's Plate brings great value when it comes to its raw stats and the passive. The movement speed helps out Bard a lot with what he does best (roaming, catching people, and damage). Besides that, with Bard's high amount of movement speed from picking up chimes and with your boots, it makes him stack up the passive from Dead Man's Plate really fast. The amount of armour and hp that it offers, is a good amount and will be a good help to survive through most of the laning phase, as many mage supports aren't meta anymore.

WIT'S END
For the fourth item, I go Wit's End because it is the safest item you can get now for an attack speed item which is really good, because attack speed gives Bard so much more DPS (Damage per second) with him being able to fire multiple meeps in a shorter duration. Also, it gives movement speed and extra on-hit damage, so overall a really good item for Bard. Note that even if an enemy team might have a lot of AD champions, most AD champions still have abilities that deal magic damage, so even then getting a Wit's End is worth it.

DEATH'S DANCE
Wait Death's Dance on Bard?? Yes! The item even post-nerf is still super strong, even for Bard. His kit just works great for a more bruiser style build, and this item will both give you some oompf, as well as getting a bit of healing, and a lot of survivability due to the passive and the armour and magic resistance. It is an expensive item, so it will take some time to complete, and a lot of the time games will end quite soon after completing the item (so don't worry if you can't get to full build), but Aegis of the Legion and Caulfield's Warhammer are both nice items to hold on to for a while, although I do recommend to get the Aegis of the Legion before the other components.

LIANDRY'S TORMENT
Perfect synergy with your passive! If you’re buying this item, it means one of two things. Either you’ve somehow gotten yourself fed instead of your teammates (happens quite a bit0 or you’re now in the very late game. Either way, expect to do an absolutely disgusting amount of damage with the maximum health percentage damage, and don’t be too surprised if you find yourself topping the damage meters!

ELIXIR OF IRON / SORCERY
In most situations your standard elixir of choice will be the Elixir of Iron. However sometimes you might need some extra damage at the end of the game to win a fight, or help out your team the most you can, if you find yourself in that situation I recommend getting an Elixir of Sorcery.
For the runes of this build, click here!
Or click here to go back to build selection!


PROTOTYPE: OMNISTONE

+
OR
OR
OR


SPELLTHIEF'S EDGE
Easily the fastest stacking support item you can have on Bard if you're abusing your early poke like you should be doing. Once fully stacked it offers lots of (practically-free) Ability Power and some much-needed mana regen for those critical moments when you can’t top off your mana on chimes. It even comes with some HP, which is super nice for adding a little thickness to best Bard.

MERCURY'S TREADS / NINJA TABI
Since the changes to Boots of Mobility made them too expensive to make it worth it to buy. I'd recommend you to go for Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi as it's far more worth when it comes to the price. You want to go for Mercury's Treads when the enemy team has either full Ability Power based damage or mixed damage but with good amounts of CC. Ninja Tabi is the best option if they have no hard CC or if they are full Attack damage based team.

DEAD MAN'S PLATE
Dead Man's Plate brings great value when it comes to its raw stats and the passive. The movement speed helps out Bard a lot with what he does best (roaming, catching people, and damage). Besides that, with Bard's high amount of movement speed from picking up chimes and with your boots, it makes him stack up the passive from Dead Man's Plate really fast. The amount of armour and hp that it offers, is a good amount and will be a good help to survive through most of the laning phase, as many mage supports aren't meta anymore.

ADAPTIVE HELM
Adaptive Helm is often overlooked when it comes to magic resistance items, but is easily one of the best. Bard doesn't heal much on his own (his W doesn't count since the heal is both very small, and most often either used for the speed up alone, or to give to allies), so getting an item like Spirit Visage, which is a lot more popular, is not really good. This item will just make you extra tanky and help you survive in fights, while also allowing you to smack people around with your passive and your Q.

FROZEN HEART
Frozen Heart is our next item, besides giving a boatload of armour, it also gives us 20% cooldown reduction, which at this point in the game is really nice. Furthermore, the attack speed slow will help you a lot against the later game ADCs but can also help against any other auto attacker.

LIANDRY'S TORMENT
Perfect synergy with your passive! If you’re buying this item, it means one of two things. Either you’ve somehow gotten yourself fed instead of your teammates (happens quite a bit0 or you’re now in the very late game. Either way, expect to do an absolutely disgusting amount of damage with the maximum health percentage damage, and don’t be too surprised if you find yourself topping the damage meters!

ELIXIR OF IRON / SORCERY
In most situations your standard elixir of choice will be the Elixir of Iron. However sometimes you might need some extra damage at the end of the game to win a fight, or help out your team the most you can, if you find yourself in that situation I recommend getting an Elixir of Sorcery.
For the runes of this build, click here!
Or click here to go back to build selection!


PHASE RUSH

+
OR
OR


SPELLTHIEF'S EDGE
Easily the fastest stacking support item you can have on Bard if you're abusing your early poke like you should be doing. Once fully stacked it offers lots of (practically-free) Ability Power and some much-needed mana regen for those critical moments when you can’t top off your mana on chimes. It even comes with some HP, which is super nice for adding a little thickness to best Bard.

BOOTS OF SWIFTNESS
After quite a bit of testing, Boots of Swiftness's in-combat movement speed has been proven quite valuable. Which is why we now choose it over the other boot options.Especially when also proccing Phase Rush you will zoom over the battlefield.

DEAD MAN'S PLATE
Dead Man's Plate brings great value when it comes to its raw stats and the passive. The movement speed helps out Bard a lot with what he does best (roaming, catching people, and damage). Besides that, with Bard's high amount of movement speed from picking up chimes and with your boots, it makes him stack up the passive from Dead Man's Plate really fast. The amount of armour and hp that it offers, is a good amount and will be a good help to survive through most of the laning phase, as many mage supports aren't meta anymore.

WIT'S END
For the fourth item, I go Wit's End because it is the safest item you can get now for an attack speed item which is really good, because attack speed gives Bard so much more DPS (Damage per second) with him being able to fire multiple meeps in a shorter duration. Also, it gives movement speed and extra on-hit damage, so overall a really good item for Bard. Note that even if an enemy team might have a lot of AD champions, most AD champions still have abilities that deal magic damage, so even then getting a Wit's End is worth it.

DEATH'S DANCE
Wait Death's Dance on Bard?? Yes! The item even post-nerf is still super strong, even for Bard. His kit just works great for a more bruiser style build, and this item will both give you some oompf, as well as getting a bit of healing, and a lot of survivability due to the passive and the armour and magic resistance. It is an expensive item, so it will take some time to complete, and a lot of the time games will end quite soon after completing the item (so don't worry if you can't get to full build), but Aegis of the Legion and Caulfield's Warhammer are both nice items to hold on to for a while, although I do recommend to get the Aegis of the Legion before the other components.

BLACK CLEAVER
Another item that may sound a tad weird to build, but Black Cleaver does really help Bard a lot, the stats it gives and it's passive are actually really nice for his kit. It gives a lot of health, movement speed, cooldown reduction, and armour shred for the entire team. Allowing you to both be tankier, as well as being more mobile while fighting, and giving some good utility to the team's AD members.

ELIXIR OF IRON/SORCERY
In most situations your standard elixir of choice will be the Elixir of Iron. However sometimes you might need some extra damage at the end of the game to win a fight, or help out your team the most you can, if you find yourself in that situation I recommend getting an Elixir of Sorcery.
For the runes of this build, click here!
Or click here to go back to build selection!


ELECTROCUTE

+
OR
OR
OR


SPELLTHIEF'S EDGE
Easily the fastest stacking support item you can have on Bard if you're abusing your early poke like you should be doing. Once fully stacked it offers lots of (practically-free) Ability Power and some much-needed mana regen for those critical moments when you can’t top off your mana on chimes. It even comes with some HP, which is super nice for adding a little thickness to best Bard.

MERCURY'S TREADS / NINJA TABI
Since the changes to Boots of Mobility made them too expensive to make it worth it to buy. I'd recommend you to go for Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi as it's far more worth when it comes to the price. You want to go for Mercury's Treads when the enemy team has either full Ability Power based damage or mixed damage but with good amounts of CC. Ninja Tabi is the best option if they have no hard CC or if they are full Attack damage based team.

HEXTECH PROTOBELT-01
A super cheap item that will put a little meat on Bard’s bones as well as provide a surprisingly high amount of burst when activated, letting you create short combos like Q-AA-PB. The Protobelt also has a built-in mini-dash that will allow you to outplay your enemies, like juking their skillshots - or even dodging your own point-blank Ultimate to make a clean get-away! As a bonus, the damage from the Hextech Revolver before you finish the item will provide yet more burst while you find yourself unable to finish it.

WIT'S END
For the fourth item, I go Wit's End because it is the safest item you can get now for an attack speed item which is really good, because attack speed gives Bard so much more DPS (Damage per second) with him being able to fire multiple meeps in a shorter duration. Also, it gives movement speed and extra on-hit damage, so overall a really good item for Bard. Note that even if an enemy team might have a lot of AD champions, most AD champions still have abilities that deal magic damage, so even then getting a Wit's End is worth it.

ATHENE'S UNHOLY GRAIL
Easily one of my favourite items for Bard. Once they added the mana regen back to the support items, building this item after fully stacking your Spellthief’s Edge will give you a total of 70 Ability Power, 30 Magic Resist, and 10% CDR for only 2.1k gold. As if that weren’t enough, the meep-autos make it incredibly easy to charge this item for some clutch heals.

LIANDRY'S TORMENT
Perfect synergy with your passive! If you’re buying this item, it means one of two things. Either you’ve somehow gotten yourself fed instead of your teammates (happens quite a bit0 or you’re now in the very late game. Either way, expect to do an absolutely disgusting amount of damage with the maximum health percentage damage, and don’t be too surprised if you find yourself topping the damage meters!

ELIXIR OF IRON / SORCERY
In most situations your standard elixir of choice will be the Elixir of Iron. However sometimes you might need some extra damage at the end of the game to win a fight, or help out your team the most you can, if you find yourself in that situation I recommend getting an Elixir of Sorcery.
For the runes of this build, click here!
Or click here to go back to build selection!



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GAMEPLAY
EARLY GAME
As explained earlier Bard's weakest point in the game, is primarily his laningphase. He is too weak to walk up and trade with so many supports who are getting backup from their ADC. His range is too low to trade easily in lane, so it is easy for your opponent to punish you.

In the laningphase, you want to stay as safe as possible and keep some Caretaker's Shrine on the floor for sustain and movespeed in case you get ganked or collapsed on. However, since you take Spellthief's Edge you do not want to play the lane completely passive, you want to be looking for opportunities to get your meep auto attacks off whenever you can since each meep empowered auto will grant you two stacks of your support item. You can use your Cosmic Binding for free poke when enemy ADC walks up to farm or defensively on the support to slow/stun them when they want to engage or poke you.

Levels one and two you will mostly be in lane and repeat the patterns above, you only really want to pick up the chimes that spawn close to the lane. Once you hit level three though you can look to gather chimes that are further away as well. On your first back, you are always looking to get your tier two boots when possible, after which you will be able to start roaming whenever you see an opportunity on the map for a successful gank.

MID GAME
This is where Bard is starting to shine. At 35+ chimes, is where Bard begins to be dangerous for the enemy team. With 3 chimes from your passive which applies 35% slow for 1 second each, Bard becomes a big threat for the enemy team because of the big cone that the meeps shoot out which also deals 145 bonus magic damage.

Bard is the type of support where you are the playmaker who sets up most of the plays for your team with Tempered Fate and Magical Journey. If you ever find yourself unable to be the playmaker for the team, warding is a big part of the set up for that. You are super mobile and are able to cover a lot of ground to place your wards and also clear the enemies' wards. Be sure that you always carry around 2 control wards at this stage of the game!

Use your ultimate Tempered Fate to catch out enemies, or disable turrets when your team is diving, another great use of your ult around the mid-game is using it to stop the rift herald (hereafter named Shelly) charging your turret, this will prevent the turret to take any damage from Shelly's true damage dash, which can save your team a turret, and slow down the momentum of the enemy team.

LATE GAME
After your strong phase of the game, you might still feel strong. But as the game progresses, most enemy supports outshines you when it comes to utility or tankyness (Depending on which support). Keep in mind, going to lategame can also be good, but it depends on both team's teamcompositions. Think about if your team is stronger past 35 minutes.

What you want to do to prevent your team from going to lategame, is usually try to siege as much as possible. Try to use Tempered Fate to zone away enemies from objectives. Your job in a fight in lategame, is to use Tempered Fate to keep important threats out of the fight for 2.5 seconds, use your utility kit on your carry and slow as many people as possible with your AOE slow from Traveler's Call



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THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING!
I hope that you were able to either learn something new from the guide or were able to find the runes and builds that you were looking for. From the entire team, thank you so much for taking the time to read the guide. If you still have any questions you can always hop into my stream, my discord, or just in the discussion tab here, I am always willing to help you out with!
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