Olaf Build Guide by Roxy0233
Olaf Only's Challenger Top Lane Guide [9.24] BY OLAF ONLYBy Roxy0233 | Updated on December 14, 2019
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+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
Ability Order ABILITY ORDER
Threats & Synergies
Champion Build Guide
My main motivation for creation of this guide is to provide (hopefully) somehow relevant guide for Olaf, which I used to play for quite some time in the past. I still play him sometimes, even though I am not really super active Olaf player, because I already have quite many champions to practice.
Tank Olaf is simply reliable. You can snowball early/midgame, which is exactly what you are made for. It as well allows you to rush into enemy backline with ability to stick on your targets for a while, before you get killed, which also depends on how the game goes. Whenever your opponents are trying to catch you, you are able to outrun them and possibly escape, before they manage to take you down. All of that is very important in competetive enviroment, where you are actually trying to win a game with less options to counter you.
Against that AD Olaf suffers from the fact, that he can get killed quite fast. Main problem is, that whenever you try to rush to kill someone, if your opponent has some kiting tool + damage, you will usually die before you even reach him. Another thing is, that in teamfights it's very easy to focus you and take you down. Your only option is usually splitpush, but that is not always an option either, once your opponents scale up, because most of assasins can just burst you, while escaping.
For many players it's popular to go for lifesteal Olaf. Main reason for that is, that you have high built-in attack speed and lifesteal, which will allow you to reach incredible amounts of lifesteal, making you invincible against targets, that don't have enough damage to take you down. This works on paper quite well, but in reality it's not so good. Again, you aren't able to teamfight, because you will get usually blown up before you even reach any target to lifesteal yourself. Another - and probably the biggest issue is, that there are multiple items that will simply make your entire build useless. Those items obviously are Bramble Vest, Executioner's Calling and Morellonomicon. If you get your healing reduced, your ability to sustain yourself will be crippled in a way, that your entire build simply stops making any sense, making you weak and vulnerable to any kind of damage. For that reason, even though it might be fun to play in some games, where opponents simply don't know what to build, it's still very unreliable build, that I wouldn't recommend to anyone.
+ Strong laning phase
+ Ability to snowball the game during midgame
+ Very good diver, who is quite hard to peel
+ Decent damage output/tankyness
- Falls off quite hard later on
- Hard to get back into game, when behind
- Can get kited quite hard
So, for Olaf, I find it really great, that you have really strong laning phase and you are able to farm very efficiently early on, due to the fact, that you have built-in sustain and Undertow, that can help you to farm from distance. As I mentioned, your early and mid game is really strong, because you usually do quite a lot of damage on squishies, while being tanky and your opponents usually don't really have items to take you down.
Problem comes in a moment, when you are unable to end the game fast enough. Because once enemy carries get their items, they will usually melt you down in matter of seconds (sometimes you simply die in a moment, when you reach them). Another annoying thing is, that if you get kited a lot, it's hard to achieve pretty much anything. Last problem is, that if enemy jungler really hates you, then (especially pre-6) it's hard to escape ganks and if you are not using your Undertow wisely, you will usually just keep shoving your lane, which will always open opportunity for ganks.
Another thing is, that you are able to dive enemy backline quite easily, so when you are facing a lot of immobile champions, then Olaf is your tool to do so.
On the other hand, if you are facing a lot of mobile champions, with ability to kite you, you will have really hard time and you will basically rely on your team to win a game.
Already at this point, you will be deciding whether the game will go well or badly for you. Olaf has quite strong early game, but he lacks escape, which means that if you let enemy jungler gank you for free, you might have a lot of problems, at least against certain champions like Darius, who can snowball you quite easily. Thing is, that whenever you start using your Undertow, you are usually pushing your lane, opening opportunity for enemy jungler.
For that reason, you should always aim for playing it a bit safe, trying to poke a bit from angle, where you don't really push your wave and letting your jungler do stuff if possible. Otherwise, if you manage to drop your opponent and you know that enemy jungler is not nearby, you can just run down your lane opponent, because it's usually really hard to get away from Olaf, especially if you play on your side of map.
You should try to get ahead or be somehow equal during this game phase, because you are not very tanky and if you get behind, you will have hard time to get back in the game.
In this phase, you are literally beast, because you start being quite tanky and your opponents (unless they are fed), won't be able to take you down fast enough during your engages. For that reason, you should be looking for engages on enemy team whenever you have possibility to flank/catch someone.
Main reason is, that from this point, you are fighting with time, because if you don't end the game fast enough or if you don't create lead for your team, you will have hard time to do anything during lategame.
That is another reason, why is it so important to not exactly lose early as Olaf, because if you do, you won't really snowball during this game phase and instead you will try to catch up. And usually in the moment when you catch up, enemies will start having enough items to melt you down no matter what.
For lategame I have bad news here. It's not like you are completely useless, but you are champion who needs to chase and who needs some time to build up his damage. Problem is that important targets have their defensive items/enough health to survive your damage output, but even more importantly, they have enough damage to melt you down in matter of seconds.
For that reason, during this phase you become basically fully reliant on your team, trying to be some sort of meatshield, while praying that your carries will kill enemy frontline faster, than theirs.
From my experience, if game extends too much, while you were the one carrying early/midgame, you will mostly end up losing entire game, because if your carries didn't step up back then, they won't do it even now, because either way they are autofilled or they are tilted or anything else, causing them to perform poorly. So generally speaking - try to avoid extending game length too much and don't toy with your opponents, while being fed, because it might backfire quite badly.
So I wish you good luck with your games as Olaf and hopefully you will have a lot of fun. But more importantly...