Olaf Build Guide by Olaf Only
Olaf Only's Challenger Top Lane Guide [11.5]By Olaf Only | Updated on March 5, 2021
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++8 ability haste
+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. 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. Irelia will die very fast if CC'd, so Olaf will generally be more useful in teamfights. Bramble Vest - Must Buy!
Only go for trades if his W is on CD. His Q has healing reduction which counters Olaf extremely hard. Olaf is much better in teamfights. He can tower dive you: 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 - Must Buy!
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 but isn't a threat. Try to freeze and deny him all the CS that you can. You win 2v2's with your jungler and Cho'Gath is easy to kite in teamfights.
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.
Be careful at lvl 6 if you don't have Steelcaps as he can kill you in one rotation with ignite. Garen has great sustain in lane so focus on farming. Olaf is stronger in Midgame teamfights and has better target access.
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. Olaf has stronger early+midgame. Farm up and help your jungler.
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. Go for poke before 6 and try lvl 1 all-in. Pantheon can roam very efficient so try to counter him with your Teleport or take Turret.
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 or turret. 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.
Very close matchup at all stages of the game. His passive helps him sustain all short trades, so your best bet is to Poke with Q and go for All-ins. Pick up Oracle Lens to counter his W ability. Wukong is tankier than Olaf and has more mobility in teamfights. The only upside Olaf has is CC-immunity.
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. Bramble Vest - Must Buy
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
- Weak 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 decent vs hard CC teams but gets even better if you go with a (Tank + Ability haste) setup.
You will essentially only spam Q+E with enough Ability Haste and therefore not have time to autoattack much.
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 Resolve in this guide as it is what I personally use and what I believe is the best choice in season 11.
Useful in matchups where you will have constant priority and/or against champions with weak waveclear, bad sustain or roam-heavy playstyle.
It's the early-game rune to help you get turret plates before 14 minutes.
Very strong on Olaf combined with a Tank build.
All items you buy will get extra value thanks to this rune.
It makes your early-game extremely weak until 12 minutes.
Valuable if you face a ranged champion with constant poke (ex. Quinn) and you can't get acceptable CS until 12 minutes for Conditioning to activate.
Only viable vs Melee champions that rely on All-in's and have no poke.
Ex. ( Sett, Darius, Trundle, Jax, Garen).
But it will be less effective against better players as they can find ways to proc it before going in on you.
Midgame focused rune similar to Conditioning that gets increased value with all items in my build because all items scale with additional HP.
I don't consider these runes to ever outperform the ones above
and therefore not recommending them.
You want Time to help reach a high enough Ability Haste where Olaf will have no cooldown on Undertow after picking it back up and to keep enemies slowed 100% of the time.
Diamond makes farming minion 's easier.
As for the final slot, you can take Heart vs easy matchups or Shield/ Circle depending on the matchup.
Gives you a safe laning phase and can be used as an instant gapcloser for fast burst combos.
"Safe laning" in this case means it offers better survivability against Enemy Top+Jungle ganks with hard CC.
(Ex. Camille + Elise)
More risky than Flash as you die easier to ganks with hard CC and Towerdives.
You can't dodge important ablities with Ghost like you can with Flash (Ex. Camille E). So positioning becomes more important.
In return Ghost offers better Kill potential 1v1 and is better in teamfights.
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.
Good to get after first recall if you have kill potential.
Usually the first completed item if you're against AD champions such as Tryndamere, Irelia, Renekton, Kled etc.
The movement speed increases your kill pressure/escape and makes you more durable in fights vs certain AD champions.
Really bad item, not worth the extra gold to fully complete it.
Perfect item for Olaf.
The more people that attack you, the bigger shield you get.
Scales of your max HP which gets a lot of value with my build.
Poor stats but it's cheap and the passive enables you to teamfight better or find enemies out of position.
Nerfed a few times but still offers the best defense against Burst damage (which is Olaf's biggest weakness) and also gives strong dueling power.
Good if you want Tank + Damage in one item.
It's damage scales of your max HP which gets a lot of value with my build.
The best MR item for Olaf.
Empowers the effect of Triumph, Conqueror and Vicious Strikes.
The best armor item for Olaf if the enemy team has Crit.
The best armor item against Life steal heavy teams.
Build into Thornmail lategame.
The best Tank 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.
Only good vs AD Heavy teams.
It's great against burst damage as the damage you take is delayed by 3 seconds which can give you enough time for it's 2nd passive + Triumph to kick in.
Situationally good for Olaf if you're up against AP heavy teams and if you're laning vs Akali, Corki, Viktor etc.
Upgrade to Maw of Malmortius as last item.
Does not stack with Sterak's Gage.
Good lategame teamfight 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.
Synergizes with Olaf very well in theory but in practice it's hard to recommend.
Olaf dies too fast in teamfights if you fit this into your build, so the lifesteal and passive won't get much use.
You have to Auto attack to make use out of this item, which is not easy as you get kited a lot.
Olaf becomes very squishy if you build this and it's terrible for teamfights.
You have to Auto attack to make use out of this item, 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.
Not great on Olaf.
Armor Pen + Missing HP% Damage are both bad because Olaf won't benefit fully from them.
Usually you last hit champions with E, so the missing HP damage is wasted as it won't affect the true damage.
Same goes for Armor Pen, doesn't affect Olaf's E.
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 for build #1 is to get Plated Steelcaps + Turbo Chemtank.
This provides opportunities to catch out enemies, and win fights around Dragon / Rift Herald .
For build #2 you can start playing aggressive after lvl 6 + Kindlegem + Plated Steelcaps.
When your Teleport is available again, look for botlane fights.
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 or Dragon -Soul teamfight, as it is the most impactful fight of the game.
Try your best to Kill and Zone 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!