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Olaf Build Guide by Jazzbear

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Jazzbear

Olaf - A viable jungle pick?

Jazzbear Last updated on October 31, 2012
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Jungle Role
Ranked #45 in
Jungle Role
Win 49%
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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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Heyho Summoners!

Welcome to my guide on Jungle Olaf! Before i start off i want to give you some of my general thoughts on jungle Olaf.

Though he is not a top tier jungler i think that his potential in the jungle is pretty good and he can often be a great addition to the team. His clear speed as well as his ganks are pretty good throughout the whole game - even before level 6. If you haven't played him in the jungle yet, give him a try and see if he works for you. For me he does, so let me try to convince you with this guide.

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First of all let's take a look at the runes i'm using when i play Olaf in the jungle.


Greater Mark of Armor

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed


For Marks i'm using nine Greater Mark of Armor most games. As a jungler you always need a good portion of armor to fight jungle creeps - especially in the early stages of the game. But of course armor helps you to survive longer all game.
Alternatively Greater Mark of Attack Speed are also a great pick for junglers. The extra attack-speed helps you clear creep camps faster and synergizes really well with your Vicious Strikes since you regain health even faster.
If you want to have some more damage early on Greater Mark of Attack Damage are also a good choice. But since i want to become as tanky as possible as fast as possible i prefer the armor marks most of the time.


I'm using armor Seals for more general tankiness. Greater Seal of Armor give you even more armor than the Marks. Now you have additional 21 armor and are highly prepared for going into the jungle without losing a big part of your health which you need for ganking.


Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist provide you with a great magic resist boost that increases over time. They are way more effeicient than Greater Glyph of Magic Resist because they give you double the amount of magic resist at level 18. During your first few levels you don't need that much magic resist because you're fighting mainly jungle creeps and the enemy AP mid should not be overly farmed until then.


For Qutintessences i'm using Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed for a good movement speed boost. Movement speed is one of the most important stats a jungler can have. Olaf especially benefits from more movement speed because he is a jungler that chases down enemies with his Undertow and tries to reach the enemy carries in teamfights as fast as possible.

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For jungle Olaf i'm using 9-21-0 masteries. Let's see what i skilled and why:

Offensive tree

Defensive tree

Utility tree (not recommended)

Alternatively you can skill 8 or 9 points into the Utility tree so you can get the 2% movement speed bonus from Swiftness . But in my opinion jungle Olaf doesn't benefit enough from the other points you have to invest to reach Swiftness .

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Summoner Spells

For Jungle Olaf i am jusing Smite and Ghost.

Obivously we need Smite for the extra damage on jungle creeps - especially blue and red buff. Later in the game we need it to secure Dragon and Baron - or to make possible counter-jungling easier.

Why do i pick Ghost over Flash on Olaf?

While Flash obviously is the best summoner spell in the game, some champions just benefit more from using Ghost.
Olaf does because he is a jungler that is really good at chasing fleeing enemies. Ghost makes chasing a lot easier and also helps you picking up your axe if you missed it or threw it too far.

Don't use Ghost prematurely though! If you are going for a gank in mid lane for example, make sure that you waste the enemies Flash before you gank again with Ghost.
If you run in at level four with your Ghost activated, the enemy will just Flash away under his tower and laugh at you. That makes Olaf sad face.
Ganks with Ghost are much more likely to be successfull if the enemy doesn't have an easy escape anymore. Keep that in mind while going for ganks.

Other summoner spells are not really viable on Jungle Olaf in my opinion.
Though Exhaust CAN work too, i think that Ghost is much more reliable when chasing enemies because you don't have to get in range of your enemy to make use of it efficiently.

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Skill Sequence

The skill sequence on Jungle Olaf depends on your playstyle and situation in the game.

Undertow (axe)

We always want to start off with putting your first point in Undertow though since It's Olafs main tool if he's jungling.
It helps you clearing jungle camps pretty fast if you can manage to pick up your axe over and over again. So try to throw the axe right in front of you for maximum CDR.

Additionally it's a gerat chasing tool. And since we are jungling we want to max it first to increase the slow effect. Once you hit an enemy with Undertow your enemy is already doomed to be perma-slowed if you manage to keep hitting him with the axe again and again. Throw in some Reckless Swings and activate your Vicious Strikes for more damage and your enemy will fall very fast.

Skill a point in Vicious Strikes at level 2 to keep stustaining yourself in the jungle. At level 3 put another point in Undertow - skill Reckless Swing at level 4.

Vicious Strikes - Reckless Swing

Now it's up to you what you want to max out second after Undertow.
If you want to max out your damage output as soon as possible, maxing Reckless Swing is the right thing. 340 TRUE damage at max level is a huge chunk of the enemy's health bar.

If you're having trouble with sustain in the jungle and find yourself dieing a lot, maxing Vicious Strikes second can help you out a lot. You clear jungle camps even faster and regain more health as well.


Put a point in his ultimate Ragnarok at level 6, 11 and 16 since it makes Olaf to a huge threat for enemy carries.

Olaf breaks all kind of CC and is immune to any incoming CC as well for 6 seconds. Additionally he gains 30/45/60 armor AND magic resist. That's HUGE! It allows Olaf to just run into the enemy team and jump straight onto the enemy AD or AP carry to dismember him part by part. He cannot be stopped in any way because he just ignores everyone and everything.
The passive increase of armor penetration by 10/20/30% is also really nice and increases his damage output a lot.

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Let's move on by talking about the items i like to get when jungling with Olaf.

Early Game Items

Philosopher's stone

I like to start off with Boots of Speed and three Health Potions. Since we have plenty of armor in our Runes we don't need to start off with Cloth Armor and five Health Potions.
Neither do i like to start with a Vampiric Scepter. It's a popular starting item on jungle Olafs but there are two reasons why it's not fitting in my build and playstyle:

1. A Vampiric Scepter is a good starting item if you are planning on building it into Wriggle's Lantern later in the game. But since i am building philosopher's stone and Heart of Gold first it would be a waste to still buy Wriggle's Lantern after these since it's rather an early mid-game item which falls of late-game.
Don't get me wrong: Wriggle's Lantern is an awesome and really cost-efficient item on many junglers including Olaf but i prefer building passive gold income when jungling. No Wriggle's 4 u.

2. It's really important for me to have early movement speed with junglers that have good or at least decent ganks before level 6. Olaf indeed does have really good early ganks IF you can manage to hit your Undertow and utilize it in the most efficient way for maximum slow and damage.
Olafs ganks are just much more likely to be successful if you have good movement speed - hence the Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed and Boots of Speed as a first item.

Like i already mentioned above i am building philosopher's stone and Heart of Gold as my next two items. Having passive gold ticking while running around the whole map is great and doesn't make you totally dependent of doing well in the game. So it's always a safe items build and let's you scale well into late-game almost every game.

I either buy tier 2 boots after philosopher's stone or after Heart of Gold. It depends on how greedy you are and if you think you still can gank well with tier 1 boots.
But most of the time i am greedy and build boots afer Heart of Gold. :)

In 80% of the time i am buying Mercury's Treads because they are just amazing boots. The magic resist is nice, but you mainly buy them for the tenacity (CC reduction) which is a must have if you are diving into the enemy team to get to the enemy carries.
Ninja Tabi are also a good pick if the enemy team has a lot of auto-attackers that deal tons of physical damage. They also decrease the damage from jungle creeps by a lot.

Mid Game Items

Once the game has run for a little while it's time to buy some "real" items so we can become tanky - which is my main goal with Olaf. I personally pick the following items really situationally.


Phage is an awesome item for a lot of junglers due to it's possible slow. Combined with Undertow it will be really hard for the enemy to get away from you. BUT: I only buy Phage (first) if me and my team are doing well or at least are toe to toe with the enemy. If i feel i have to get some more resistances i'll get following items first:

Glacial Shroud

Glacial Shroud is also a great item that synergizes really well with Olaf and may be built into Frozen Heart later in the game. The combination of armor, mana and 15% cooldown reduction makes it an item that Olaf just can't ignore. This item prepares you for the early or mid-game teamfights and shuts down the enemy's physical damage by a lot.

Spirit Visage - Hexdrinker

For extra magic resist i'm always choosing between these two lovely items for the mid game. Spirit Visage is the more defensive choice because it provides you with 250 health and 30 magic resist. Additionally it boosts up your cooldown reduction to 25% which already is a lot! This allows you to spam Undertow and Reckless Swing more often in teamfights or when chasing enemies. It also increases the healing effect on your Vicious Strikes - moar sustain!

Hexdrinker provides you with 30 macig resist as well but also increases your attack damage by 25. If you're feeling confident in your and your teams game this is definetely the item to pick up. The passive gives you a shield of 250 health against magic damage if you fall under 30% health which is really awesome, especially against these nasty Karthus or Vladimir ults.

Late Game Items

shurelya's reverie

Okay... as you see we now have a LOT of different item choices to become a late game terror.
Let's take a look at all the different items and in which situations they fit best:

Frozen heart

Since we already bought Glacial Shroud in the mid game it is now time to develop it into Frozen Heart. It increases your armor by 99, that's the second most armor an item can give you. The 500 mana are a bit unnecessary in the late game in my opinion though Olaf tends to run out of mana sometimes. But genreally that should'nt be an issue later in the game. Cooldown reduction - as is said before - great. And of course the passive is awesome and game-changing! Every team should have at least one frozen heart in my opinion since it gives you such a great advantage in team fights due to it's attack speed debuff on your enemies. It's even more effective against heavy AD teams.

Frozen Mallet

The other frozen thing. It gives you great stats overall: 700 HP make you tanky as f*ck, 20 attack damage is always nice to dish out more damage and of course your slow is 100% reliant. It slows by 40% on auto attacks. Combined with Undertow on rank 5 you can slow your enemy up to 80%! That... is... soooo sloooooooow! No really, noone can ever escape from this without the help of his team. Another rather minor advantage is that the 700 HP synergize well with Vicious Strikes because it gives you more AD the more HP you have.

Force of Nature

If you find yourself suffering under a lot of magic damage this is the ideal item. 40 additional HP regeneration, 76 magic resist and 8% more movement speed are all stats Olaf can benefit from. You are now really, really tanky and even faster! This makes chasing and diving into the enemy team a lot easier. Not much more to say about that - awesome item.

Maw of Malmortius

Maw of Malmortius is the alternative item for magic resist which we can build out of Hexdrinker. But it's a more offensive choice because it doesn't provide as much magic resist as other items. (The shield increases to 400 though) So, as i said before, it's an item that is really good if you find yourself in a comfortable position throughout the game. If not, Force of Nature is the better choice in my opinion.

Randuin's Omen

Randuin's Omen is just awesome. It gives you a ton of useful stats to become even tankier. 75 armor, 350 health and 20 HP regeneration make Olaf to a really tanky beast. Additionally it has a great passive (possible slow and attackspeed debuff) and one of the bast actives in the game along with shurelya's reverie. It slows surrounding enemies move- and attackspeed by 35% for 2(+) seconds. This is great in big teamfights or when chasing or fleeing from enemies. Again: Every team should have (at least) one!

shurelya's reverie
Shurelya's Reverie

This is another great item for Olaf and the whole team. It's pretty cheap to build since we already have philosopher's stone and it's a great initiation tool due to it's 40% movement speed boost for 3 seconds. Buy this if you feel that you are already tanky enough but want to be able to initiate on the enemy team even better. Even if your support already has one: get it if you feel like it. Double shurelya's reverie is awesome!

Guardian Angel

So, this is the item for maximum trolling and frustration for the enemy team. It also gives you pretty good armor and magic resist stats and of course the passive is what defines Guardian Angel. The enemy team will already have a hard time killing you anyway. But with Guardian Angel you have the chance to come back and dish out some more damage with Undertows and Reckless Swings. Tanky bruisers with GA make people mad - simple fact. The think they finally killed you... NOPE! Please take more axes and thunderbolts in your face good sir, thank you.

Alright, i've gone through a lot of items now and of course we (unfortunately) can't buy all of them. So always try to evaluate the enemy's damage output. Is it more physical? Is it more magic damage? Build your items accordinly to decrease the incoming damage as much as possible and terrorize the enemy team. Here are some suggestions how your end-game item builds should look like in different situations:

Heavy AD

If the enemy AD carry is fed or the enemy team has a lot of physical auto-attackers you're going to need a ton of armor. I recommend building for this late-game item build which gives you additional 267 armor.

Heavy AP

If the enemy AP carry is fed and one shots everybody or the enemy team runs an AP mid and top laner, maybe even an AP jungler as well i recomment building these items. With this build, which provides you with additional 175 MR, you should be well prepared for a lot of incoming magic damage. You may even think about purchasing Banshee's Veil if it's really ridiculous and not even funny anymore.

Blanced damage

I recommend this build if the enemy's damage output is a bit of everything - AD and AP - AND your team need an almost full tank Olaf. This build makes you super-tanky and they'll have a really hard time killing you.

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Jungling & Ganking

Jungling with Olaf is pretty simple and efficient. He clears camps pretty fast because of the aoe damage of Undertow. This is also your main farming tool. But be careful spamming it in the jungle. If you spam too much, you'll run out of mana really quickly and won't be able to gank anymore.

There are a few standard jungle routes you can go with almost any jungler but i personally prefer jungling to level 4 before i go for ganks. Except one lane really needs your help early or gets really far pushed. In these cases i'm trying to help out as fast as possible.
Otherwise i'm using following jungling route:

I'm starting off at the wolf camp. Ideally i get assisted by my team for some extra damage. Then i'll head over to the blue buff, get it pulled and kill it with Undertow and autoattacks. It is really important that you throw your axe right in front of you and hit as many targets as possible with it. If you can manage to pick up your axe everytime, it's cooldown will be set back 4,5 seconds and you can use it again almost immediately.
At level 2 i'm putting one point in Vicious Strikes so i can sustain myself in the jungle and can keep my health up.
After the blue buff i'm heading to the wraith camp. I try to hit every wraith with my axe, pick it up and repeat. Then i'm going back to the wolf camp. It should be up by now. Now we're level 3 and put one more point in Undertow.
Now it's time to head to the red buff. Smite should be off of cooldown again so we can kill the lizard really fast. One more wraith camp will bring us up to level 4. At this point i am skilling the first point into Reckless Swing so our damage output during ganks will be pretty high.

Ganking time!

Due to Vicious Strikes and our health pots we should be able to be at full health at level 4.
Most of the time, it's easiest to gank top lane because the laners probably didn't go back yet so there are no wards for the enemy. Pick a good moment and run out of the bush onto your enemy. Ideally we can proc our red buff with an autoattack first. After that make sure you can throw your Undertow correctly so you can pick it up again and again. If you can proc red buff AND the slow from the axe, your enemy should have used Flash by now. If not he should be pretty dead.
A gank is then successful if you can burn your enemy's Flash or Ghost or get a kill. If you can manage to do so, great! Now move on with jungling or ganking other lanes.
If not.. no problem. Try again immediately or continue jungling.

Of course you can do alternative routes if you're able to communicate with your team enough. For exampe: Start at blue buff and tell your teammates to do so much damage to it so you don't have to use Smite. After blue, head straight over to the red buff. Kill it with Smite and head to top or mid lane. Early ganks can snowball a lane quiet easily so consider doing early ganks as well sometimes, especially if your lane matchups are not in your favor.

Another alternative is starting at the red buff, Smite it fast and head to top lane immediately. As i said, early ganks can be really devastating to the enemy laner. Consider this route as well for early lane domination.

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We finally arrived at the end of my guide on Jungle Olaf. I hope i was able to get my thoughts on him across to you guys. Like i said in the introduction, i've had a lot of success with this build and playstyle and ton of fun as well. Give it a try and see if it works for you. This guide might not be completely finished though. But for now i'm pretty happy with it. Maybe i'll add some more detailed content soon though, we'll see.

And of course: Please tell me your possible improvements on the guide, may it be with regards on content or only on the visual structure of the guide. I'm open to all kinds of critic and suggestions, negative or positive. Bombard me with your thoughts.

Special thanks to jhoijhoi for providing us with her awesome guide on how to make a guide and these little img's for structuring and seperating the guides. Thanks a lot!

That was it on my part. Have a great day and keep on playing and enjoying LoL!


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Guide updates

31.10.2012 - Added possible late game item builds depending on the enemy setup