Olaf Build Guide by Olaf Only
Olaf Only's Challenger Top Lane Guide [10.19]By Olaf Only | Updated on September 22, 2020
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
Runes: Easy, Good against ALL
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Threats & Synergies
Renekton is very weak until level 3, so try to fight him as much as possible. After level 3 he will win all trades so it's important to use your W to heal from the minionwave right after he trades with you.
She outscales you and every fight against her will be very close. Poke her in the earlygame before she has lifesteal items and NEVER let her proc vitals on you. Eventually she will always be able to 1v1 you so try to group up and end the game as soon as possible. Get Executioners Calling or Bramble vest
You win after lvl 6, try not to fight her before that and NEVER push as you die VERY easy to ganks due to her insane gapcloser. Camille outscales Olaf HARD.
Easy after 6. Before 6, poke and go for an all in if he is close enough to your turret. Avoid his Q poke from lvl 2-5.
All fights will be very close. Try to fight him when his W is on CD(15 seconds). Trundle is worse in teamfights but outscales Olaf eventually.
Don't fight him if he has his passive stacked up. Don't Auto attack through his E as you will take more damage. All fights will be close, so you have to try and poke him down before you all-in. Olaf is better in teamfights but Jax outscales HARD.
Wait for 2+ of his passive leg-explosions to proc before you go in melee range. Apart from that just poke and you win hard after lvl 6 as he cannot R you while your R is active. Urgot Outscales Olaf HARD.
Can be hard to kill if he has Phase rush, but he is no threat. Try to poke before 6 and freeze close to your turret so you can go for an all-in eventually. Swain Outscales Olaf HARD
Don't chase him unless you go for an all-in. With simple Q + E trades you will win this lane. Remember to use your R right before singed flips you! He is very hard to kill with his R active, so trading your ult for his is a good deal.
Survive until level 6, NEVER push the wave. If he goes Tank or has Ghost you won't be able to win all-ins vs him. After Black Cleaver you win 1v1 as you can kill him before he reaches 5 bleed stacks. Olaf is better in mid-game teamfights as Darius is easier to kite. Darius Outscales Olaf HARD.
Dont fight her if she has her passive stacked up. Hold on to your Q's and focus more on Auto attacking her to death as landing axes can be difficult. Get Bramble vest/Executioners Calling.
Only go for trades if his W is on CD. His Q has healing reduction which counters Olaf extremely hard. Olaf wins after Black Cleaver. He can also dive you whenever he wants: https://clips.twitch.tv/InterestingStupidCrabChefFrank
Before 6 try and poke as much as possible, you can fight him if he uses his Q's on the minionwave or if his passive is down. After 6 you outdamage him, but he gets movespeed which makes it hard to chain your Q's. If you land everything you win, but if you miss one you're usually doomed. Executioner's Calling is very good against him.
If she has Phase rush you will have a hard time. If not, you can kill her at lvl 6. Before 6 you can only poke.
Difficult to kill before Black Cleaver, but isn't a threat. Try to freeze and deny him all the cs that you can.
Easy to kill after lvl 6. Get Executioner's Calling first. Try to freeze and deny him all the cs that you can. Also take some Q's to your face to prevent him from last hitting cannon minions.
You win before 6. Just be careful at lvl 6 if you don't have Ninja Tabi + Kindlegem. Garen outscales and has great sustain in lane. Olaf is stronger in Midgame teamfights.
Poke before 6 as he has no sustain. He can kill you very easy in mid-lategame so you have to try and get a lead before that.
Buy Executioner's Calling first. Difficult to kill and you lose 1v1 if she has R up. Stay behind minions and dodge her E. She outscales you HARD in mid-lategame.
This lane is really easy if you can survive until lvl 6. If he has Phase rush, avoid all-ins and keep poking. Olaf is better in teamfights.
Difficult to kill, especially if he has Phase rush. You can kill him after level 6. Kennen has almost no damage in the earlygame* Kennen is really good in teamfights.
Difficult to kill. But she can't do much either.
Go for quick Q + E trades. He will poke with Q so use your W to heal back up. Establish a freeze and look for all-ins.
You have to freeze the lane in this matchup to deny his lifesteal and Q farm. Trading your ultimate for his is fine. Nasus is impossible to kill with his R active* Your teamfighting is superior so try to just deny cs.
He is fairly strong lvl 2-5. But easy after lvl 6. Try to bait his W and trade when its on CD.
Easy if you survive until lvl 6. Just go for poke before 6 and try lvl 1 all-in. Pantheon can roam very efficient so try to counter him with your Teleport.
Easy after lvl 6. Never trade if her passive is up. She can do a lot of damage you if you are close to a wall. You can all-in after lvl 6, just make sure to use your R before her's.
Easy if you survive until lvl 6. Focus on farming to 6 with your Q. She will roam a lot so try to counter with your Teleport.
Rengar is really strong before lvl 6. Position yourself close to the river so that he cannot leap to you ever. Most importantly, NEVER push the wave.
Relatively easy after lvl 6. Don't go close unless his Q is on CD and keep poking with Q. Stay behind minions to dodge his E.
Difficult to kill. You are stronger 1v1 until mid game. Prioritize denying CS rather than going for all-ins as she can escape most attempts.
Very difficult to kill if he has Phase rush. You win all-ins if you don't miss a Q. Ryze wins lategame 1v1.
Easy after lvl 6. Don't go too close to his minonwave as he can E you for extra minion damage. Wait for his Passive shield to fade before trading. Difficult to kill if he has his W active. Look to freeze after lvl 6 and kill/deny farm
You win at every point of the game. Can be difficult to kill later on, but try to deny CS if you can't threaten a kill.
You can't win 1v1 after lvl 6. Before 6, go for trades if he has 0 fury. You have to close out the game as fast as possible because Tryndamere can dive you if he gets enough items. Olaf is better in teamfights.
Easy after 6. Can't really kill him before 6 so just poke and farm up. Difficult Midgame to Lategame.
Difficult to kill. Avoid his empowered Q. Vladimir is extremly powerful mid-lategame Olaf is better in teamfights early-midgame.
Haven't played enough to give an opinion*
Easy if you survive until lvl 6. Timing your R in this matchup is VERY important. For the most part you should focus on Auto attacking him to death rather than spamming Q since it is incredibly hard to land Q's against him.
Yorick is weak until 6. After 6 focus on farming and roaming. Olaf is stronger in midgame teamfights.
Try to force a kill lvl 1. Survive and last hit under turret. She is weaker in teamfights, so focus on farming and roaming.
He is weak early game, Freeze lane while denying cs and look for All-ins. He scales like a monster so you need to push your early game lead.
Very similar to Darius matchup. Sett is very strong 1v1, but is easy to kite in teamfights. Focus on farming up. After 6 Olaf has kill potential. Sett outscales Olaf.
Champion Build Guide
I have attempted to main a lot of different top lane champions such as Rengar, Riven, Renekton and Lee Sin.
However Olaf is the only champion that I never got "bored of".
You also see a trend here that I played mostly early game focused champions, which to me is way more fun as you don't need to farm for 20 minutes before you actually can do something like most other champions.
Once you get a lead with Olaf(which is very common), you will never die to ganks and you can 1v2 everytime you have Ragnarok ready.
Translating into teamfights you will become an unstoppable meatshield that can kill any target of your choice while the enemy team helplessly attempts to slow you down.
+ Cannot be CC'd, enables you to kill important targets.
+ Fun to play with a lot to learn
+ Consistant build path
- Useless lategame
- Bad against high mobility teams
- Requires a proactive playstyle
Precision is pretty much mandatory as your Primary Rune Path.
Conqueror, Triumph and Last Stand are undeniably the best runes in this tree.
Chosing between Legend: Alacrity, Legend: Bloodline and Legend: Tenacity is a lot more difficult.
Legend: Tenacity is never used on Olaf because it doesn't give combat stats and it has anti-synergy with Ragnarok.
The more interesting comparison is between Legend: Alacrity and Legend: Bloodline.
In short: Legend: Alacrity is better early game while Legend: Bloodline is better mid to late game.
Click here for an in-depth comparison between Legend: Alacrity and Legend: Bloodline and see how they synergize with Olaf.
/Credits to @MHLoppy for this comparison
The Secondary Rune Path is a lot more debatable with plenty of viable options.
In short: Inspiration makes snowballing easier, but you don't get the combat stats that Resolve and Domination provide.
Sorcery empowers your movement speed with Nimbus Cloak which can save you from ganks and enables better Teleport roams.
I'm only gonna be covering Inspiration in this guide as it is what I personally use and it's the most popular choice.
Gives you 15% movement speed towards enemies hit by Undertow.
Increases Olaf's kill pressure in lane and in teamfights. Closing the gap against most champions is very difficult but this rune makes it easier.
5% CDR from this rune is really good on Olaf.
It may not look like much, but you will be able to spam Undertow faster which will increase your DPS and keep enemies perma slowed.
After 6 minutes you get +150 maximum mana, which is enough for 3 extra Undertows.
Since Olaf can't build viable mana items early on, this becomes very valuable as Olaf is extremly mana hungry during the laning phase.
Has to be used in a specific way*
How to use (video): https://youtu.be/Z6uaTUTvt4w
Or read my "Advanced" Rune page notes
Very good for midgame as you save gold and get max Movement speed.
You can't buy Boots though, so your early game will be weaker compared to Biscuit Delivery.
Doesn't help you in the laning phase and has very situational use.
Would not recommend.
Again, a very situational rune that Olaf doesn't use to great effect compared to other champions.
Does not help you win lane or get stronger.
Helps you get item power spikes faster and can situationally be a game changer.
Definitely a contender with Biscuit Delivery.
Olaf already has good waveclear so this isn't necessary.
You want Diamond in both slots because Olaf has insane AD ratios which increases your Undertow damage, Reckless Swing damage and Ragnarok bonus damage.
As for the final slot, you can take Heart vs easy matchups or Shield/ Circle depending on the enemy team.
Gives you a safe laning phase and can be used as an instant gapcloser for fast burst combos.
Gives you a riskier laning phase but in return makes it easier to snowball in the 1v1.
It also prevents Olaf from being kited in teamfights as much and enables Olaf to spam Undertow faster for more damage.
A must have if you want to impact the game as a toplaner.
Enables you to turn the tides of fights around the map, especially around botlane.
Gives you more XP in the 1v1 compared to Ignite, as your backtimings won't be an issue.
Increases your kill pressure in lane and in teamfights.
However it makes roaming next to impossible and you tend to fall behind in XP compared to Teleport.
The only viable Starting item that gives you extra mana and is required if you want to last hit minion s or poke with Undertow.
Extremely cheap and gives Olaf a massive power spike compared to what other champions typically build.
After lvl 6 you simply can't lose with this item.
The 10% CDR makes your Undertow spam much more effective in both damage and slow.
If you don't have enough gold for Kindlegem, get this as it is really strong on Olaf early.
Can also be a good starting item vs certain Melee Champions while using my "Advanced Rune Page"
Usually the second item if you're against AD champions such as Tryndamere, Irelia, Renekton, Kled etc.
The movement speed increases your kill pressure and makes you more durable in fights vs certain champions.
Not the greatest item by itself but it increases your kill pressure with more movement speed and durability.
Is required for Black Cleaver*
Yet another BIG power spike for Olaf.
Completing this item will give you additional movement speed on every Undertow you hit and 10% CDR for faster Undertow spam.
The most cost effective part of Sterak's Gage.
I like to get this after Black Cleaver most of the time.
It's a good middle ground if you want both damage and tankiness.
We don't care about the 30% Tenacity that it offers as it has anti-synergy with Ragnarok.
However, it offers AD and Survivability against burst damage that Olaf uses very well.
Buy this after Kindlegem for a total of 20% CDR against AD heavy teams.
All of this together with Ninja Tabi will make you near unkillable with tons of damage from Undertow spam.
Builds into Turbo Chemtank*
Very good as a first or second item vs AD heavy teams or teams with high mobility.
The best MR item for Olaf.
Empowers the effect of Triumph, Conqueror and Vicious Strikes.
10% CDR for faster Undertow spam.
The best late game armor item for Olaf if the enemy team has Crit.
The best armor item against Life steal heavy teams.
Build into Thornmail lategame.
Thornmail and Randuin's Omen do not stack.
The best armor item if the enemy team has No Crit.
Buy this when you know the game will be decided by the next teamfight and you only have 650 gold to spare.
Cheap and good against Casters with spellvamp such as Aatrox, Cassiopeia, Dr. Mundo Illaoi etc.
Good against: Cassiopeia, Corki, Kog'Maw, Rumble, Heimerdinger etc.
Situationally good for Olaf if you're up against AP heavy teams or if you're laning vs Akali, Corki, Viktor etc.
Upgrade to Maw of Malmortius later.
Does not stack with Sterak's Gage.
Good lategame item against AD heavy teams.
In the VERY late game Olaf falls off hard, but this item makes you more useful.
It boosts your carries survivability and synergizes well with Olaf.
Good if you're up against Vayne, Fiora, Kog'Maw or any other %MaxHP damage dealers.
As a final item this can be good for more burst damage as it scales of your max HP.
A superior version of Ravenous Hydra in my opinion.
Has a great build path, with 10% CDR.
It's also great against burst damage as the damage you take is delayed by 3 seconds which can give you enough time for Triumph to kick in.
Synergizes with Olaf very well in theory but it has no CDR which makes it hard to build early.
You have to Auto attack to make use out of this item, which is not easy as you get kited a lot.
It's good for split pushing if that's your thing.
Terrible build path and is optimal against tanks.
You have to Auto attack to make use out of this item, which is not easy as you get kited a lot.
You already have perma slow with Undertow and slows do not stack.
It's not terrible but i'd rather go Titanic Hydra if you want Damage + HP.
A weaker version of Death's Dance in my opinion.
Bad buildpath and relies on Auto attacking a lot, which is not easy as you get kited a lot.
Great item if the enemy team is full AD, but the extra mana isn't necessary and I would rather go with Randuin's Omen or Dead Man's Plate.
A weaker version of Black Cleaver in my opinion.
Bad buildpath, very expensive and does not give you the movement speed after landing an Undertow like Black Cleaver does.
Black Cleaver gives you a better build path, more HP and AD for less gold.
Even if the enemy team has no armor i still prefer Black Cleaver.
Undertow-> Reckless Swing->back off.
Against Ranged champions you have to poke with Undertow.
Be careful not to push the minionwave though, as you are vulnerable to ganks!
Try to freeze the lane towards your own turret , that way you won't die to ganks and you can potentially go for all-ins.
Don't bother going for turret plates before 5 minutes*
Your goal in the early game is to get Kindlegem by level 6.
This is your early power spike that enables you to snowball by forcing All-ins.
When your Teleport is available again, look for botlane flanks.
Always help your jungler and try to predict whats going to happen in the next 30 seconds so you're ready to respond.
Save your Flash or Ghost if you can for the upcoming Baron teamfight, as it is the most important time of the game.
Try your best to Kill their carries in fights
Protect your most valuable carry.
Save Reckless Swing for the final blow on champions and minions. Otherwise, you will not refund the HP cost!
Use Vicious Strikes to heal faster in Fountain, get more HP from Honeyfruit-plants or to increase the healing from Corrupting Potion.
Make use out of Ragnarok's full duration. For example, if you are chasing Tristana with Buster Shot ready to go, use Ragnarok just before she starts casting Buster Shot.
Or if you are fighting Poppy, use Ragnarok when you think she is gonna knock you away with Keeper's Verdict.
Whenever you use Undertow, throw it as short as possible while still hitting the target. This will maximize your all-in damage and efficiency.
Whenever you get minion aggro from a trade, go into a Brush as soon as possible to drop it.
Generally, you should always use Teleport after your first back. Otherwise, you tend to fall behind in XP which is very important in the early game.
Your other Teleports should be used for objectives or flanks!
The best advice I can give you is to play A LOT of games. This shouldn’t come as a surprise but it is hands down the best way to improve at the game itself and Olaf specifically.
If you play enough you will reach a point where you don’t have to focus on your cooldowns and you will know your limits etc. When you reach this state you can put all your focus on the macro play which will win you more games in the end!