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Olaf Build Guide by ForTheLoveOfDemacia

AD Offtank [S4] OLAF - KABOOM you're dead bro!

AD Offtank [S4] OLAF - KABOOM you're dead bro!

Updated on July 21, 2014
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League of Legends Build Guide Author ForTheLoveOfDemacia Build Guide By ForTheLoveOfDemacia 27 2 545,681 Views 41 Comments
27 2 545,681 Views 41 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author ForTheLoveOfDemacia Olaf Build Guide By ForTheLoveOfDemacia Updated on July 21, 2014
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Olaf
  • LoL Champion: Olaf
  • LoL Champion: Olaf

Before we begin

This is a patch 4.9 guide to Olaf with updates that include all changes from patch 4.1. It contains details about all possible top lane opponents as well as situational builds and advice. I hope it helps you dominate with my Bro! (yeah buy that Brolaf skin, probably the single best skin in the game today... and not *just" because he drinks beer!)

Now, that being said... Please please please please please (you see a pattern here?) please don't simply follow the build order or any of my suggestions blindly!

League of Legends is a game of skill AND adaptation. If you're doing really well and have 4 kills at the 10 minute mark, you are allowed to buy some damage items and roam (especially if you're not the only tank on your team). If you're doing really badly against an AP champion, buy health and magic resist and/or switch lanes.

Don't just stick to a single strategy because it's written here.


All comments are welcomed. I'll try to answer them as best I can. The chapter about lane adversaries is pretty complete but if I missed a champ and you'd like my opinion, just ask and I'll add a description to the chapter.

Now on with the show!
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Before anything, I think that Olaf is probably one of the most underrated champions in League of Legends.

He is tanky even without any items, has a great slow (even with the patch 4.1 nerf) which is also helpful to harass and clear waves quickly, two (yes TWO) attack speed buffs, innate lifesteal, an ultimate that makes him immune to all crowd control effects which basically means that you are ungankable.... oh and he destroys tanks 1vs1 with a true damage ability.

What more do you need? Really....?

As a general rule, don't play champions you are not comfortable with. I can't play a Katarina worth **** and I learned that the hard way. She just doesn't feel right for me and that puts me in dumb situations when I play her.

So read my guide, try Olaf when he's free in normal or ranked, and if his abilities and general feel come naturally to you, use him. If not, there are other top laners out there and a player will do better if he is comfortable with a champion rather than just play what others think is "OP". No champion is OP, Riot makes dam sure of that I guarantee you. OP comes with experience and being comfortable with a champ AND picking counters at champion select combined with a good team chemistry. That to me is OP!
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Pros / Cons

+ His E does TRUE DAMAGE at no mana cost!
+ Healthy and durable even with no items.
+ Ungankable with ultimate available.
+ Has 2 attack speed buffs.
+ Manageable mana costs to his abilities.
- Lacks hard Crowd Control.
- Can be harassed by ranged champions.
- Before level 6 easy champion to gank.
- Average farmer.
- Can fall-off late game.

All his abilities merge well together and he can sustain a lot of damage. One if not the best off-tank in the league with an ability to deal true damage to other tanks.

He does lack crowd control and that could be a problem in team fights. That being said, he cannot be affected by crowd control when his ultimate is on and since a tank or off-tank's job is to get to the enemy ADC/APC, there's no one better than Olaf to do that in all of LOL. Giving him a stun on top of that would make him way too powerful. Play to his strengths and you'll do great.

I honestly could've listed more pros and had trouble finding cons. To me, his pros outweigh his cons by a large margin.... Plus he says KABOOM when he hits an E (using his Brolaf skin) which is awesome!
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  • Greater Quintessence of Life Steal: 4.5% life steal. That seems small but combined with your W it makes a nice difference and will help your sustain. Add a late Bloodthirster or Blade of the Ruined King and combined with your 2 attack speed buffs, your health and armor: you'll be VERY hard to kill.... provided you get to your target :P
  • Greater Mark of Health: Health bro, health. That's what you need early to spam your E and not feel the effect too much especially since in most situations, you'll rank it first.
  • Greater Glyph of Health: What did I just say!?
  • Greater Seal of Health: You really want details, do you? Well taking mostly health runes will give you a bonus of 103.41 health. That's a big difference at level 1! You are a melee fighter so you have to get close to your opponent at some point. Health helps mitigate the harass and damage you'll receive.

I know people like to have attack buffs. Truth is so do I. On Olaf though, it's just not worth it. Sustain and deal true damage... the extra attack would not make much difference since you don't auto-attack to harass. I'll explain his gameplay in more details throughout this guide. Trust me for now and take all the health you can.

Health regeneration could be a nice alternative if you don't want pure health.

I don't like scaling health on Olaf since mid and late game it won't make a difference with all the health items you'll be buying and what's important is sustaining the health cost of your E early.

If you REALLY don't like health runes on a champion, armor and/or magic resist runes are viable options also. Early on, when an Olaf needs to be aggressive, they will help mitigate some of the damage. So, I'm willing to compromise here. If you're playing a draft game (normal draft or ranked) AND you know who your opponent is going to be in the Top lane, take Armor if he's AD OR Magic Resist if he's AP. Keep the lifesteal Quints and take more health with remaining rune slots. I said COMPROMISE, I'm not ready to let you not take health at all ya know :P
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Frankly, masteries are free so not using them would be dumb!

Use them intelligently though. Listen, there's a theme here: TANK!

We concentrated on health for runes, do the same with masteries. You have to take 22 points in defence and my setup is probably optimal for an Olaf. I use the rest to have even more health regeneration, mana regeneration, a bit of movement speed and 10% more impact from potions. That's what I found to work best for an Olaf.

A point could be made to build offensive masteries but that's not what I recommend and the reason, again, is simple: You want to be aggressive and spam your E. Push the opposing champion far from the minions so he can't farm. Even kill him a few times. To do that early as an Olaf, Health is more important than Damage.

So go 0-22-8 and scale your E, you'll see you don't need the damage to scare most opponents.
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Teleport: Provides a quick way to get back to lane and stop your opponent from farming. Also provides nice map presence. Ghost: You will often need to catchup to a foe OR run away when ganked. This spell has a lower cooldown than Flash AND in combination with your Ragnarok makes you almost impossible to gank.


Ignite: Useful to insure kills early. Necessary against tough lane opponents in certain cases. See the lane matchups section below. Flash: A nice alternative to Ghost if needed. I don't like it on Olaf though because he simply doesn't need that quick escape. Take it against an opponent where a quick dodge can save your life (i.e. Lee Sin)

95% of games, Teleport and Ghost are your go to mandatory spells and I base my entire Olaf aggressive strategy around that. Ignite and Flash are considerable alternatives but not my preference.

Note: In my recent matchups, I've had trouble finishing up my opponents. Seems they were always getting away with barely a few HP. Started taking Ignite instead of Ghost and I averaged quite a few more kills early game. Ignite is hence very viable in my book especially versus guys like Nasus or Renekton for example who have an ultimate that provides instant health. Ignite will mitigate this effect and provide more kills. Up to you to decide which spell you prefer to have: Ignite provides more kills, Ghost makes you ungankable and helps to catch fleeing enemies mid and late game.

All other spells should NEVER be used on an Olaf! Never bro or I'll drink all your beer!
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Ability details (or why his E is awesome!)

  • Berserker Rage (Passive): Olaf's attack speed increases by 1% for every 1% of his missing health.
  • Undertow (Q): Olaf throws an axe in a line to a target location, dealing physical damage and slowing enemies it passes through for between 1.5 and 2.5 seconds, depending on the distance the axe has travelled.
  • Vicious Strikes (W): Active: For 6 seconds, Olaf gains bonus lifesteal and bonus attack speed. During this time, Olaf also gains 1% enhanced healing from all sources for every 2.5% of his missing health.
  • Reckless Swing (E): Olaf attacks with such force that it deals true damage to his target. The ability's cost is equal to 30% of the damage dealt and the cost is refunded if Reckless Swing kills the target. Olaf's basic attacks will reduce the cooldown of Reckless Swing by 1 second.
  • Ragnarok (R): Olaf instantly removes all crowd control effects from himself and becomes immune to them for 6 seconds. During this time, he loses the passive bonus but gains bonus attack damage.


When using Undertow, if you pick up the axe the cooldown is reduced. Throw it at maximum range, walk to it and pick it up. It should be ready again. The cost is always 60 mana no matter the ability level. You scale it, it does more damage and does not cost you a cent more. FUN BRO!

At level 1, your W adds 9% life steal for 6 seconds. Remember that with your Greater Quintessence of Life Steal it adds another 6% so in reality, you have 15% life steal at level 1. A fully staked Bloodthirster has 18%. You're pretty well off for a level 1 ability! Same as with your Q, your W costs 30 mana at every level.

If you have some life steal items and engage an enemy, your Tough It Out add 1% for every 2.5% of health missing. The lower you are, the more you'll regenerate when attacking. So in close situations, keep attacking when low and you'll probably come up ahead. Oh and if very low, don't use your Reckless Swing unless it is to finish your opponent off or the health cost might be the small advantage your adversary needed to win the battle.

Even though you don't harass with auto attacks, it's nice to note that Olaf's basic attacks will reduce the cooldown of Reckless Swing by 1 second. So later in the game, with 40% cooldown reduction, your maxed out E will be ready every 5 seconds. In a 1vs1 battle, you can destroy anyone by activating your W for increased attack speed and go E-A-A-E-A-A-E.... he tries to flee and you Q him and continue your onslaught. He tries to slow you, stun you, flip you... activate your ultimate and keep attacking with auto attacks and Reckless Swing. He runs, pop Ghost. You will come out on top of most battles ahead. If not, you pop Ragnarok and Ghost and RUN!

Since his Reckless Swing has no health cost if it kills the target, use it to secure last hits IF your opponent is not there of stays far. It won't cost you a dime and since it will quickly deal more damage than your basic attacks, you won't miss out on minion farms by attacking a minion with a bit too much health left for a last hit.

Now it must be obvious to anyone reading this guide that I'm gaga for Olaf's Reckless Swing. My entire aggressive strategy is based around that ability. That being said, his ultimate is wonderful too. You are immune to all forms of crowd control. Nice right?! It really is and that means that while active, stuns, throwbacks, slows, suppressions and roots will not affect Olaf. What's even better is that you can activate your ultimate after the ability has already started! So that means that if Warwick jumps you with his Infinite Duress or Malzahar hits you with Nether Grasp just to name a few suppression abilities, just pop your ultimate as quickly as possible and you're a free bro (and their ability still goes on cooldown). Now that's AWESOME.

When you activate your ultimate you lose the passive armor and magic resist buffs BUT you gain attack damage. Which one is best if you're engaging 1vs1? Keeping the buffs or going for more damage? I'll tell ya (see how nice I am?!): It's BOTH! Yep, both. Here's what you do: Don't activate your ultimate until you're just below mid health or before your enemy has around 1/3 HP left. Once you hit one of those thresholds activate both your W and your ultimate. Being below half health will add regeneration to your W which scales with damage. You'll hurt the adversary more with the extra damage your ultimate provides so you'll lifesteal more also. Plus, if you start winning and your opponent faces impending death, he'll try CC on you ( Lee Sin will kick you away or Lissandra will try to stun you and run away for example) and you don't want that. You need your immunity to all forms of CC to finish the job and get the kill. Your ultimate will be active for "only" 6 seconds, so don't activate it too early or it will run off before you actually need it.

One last thing: Your ultimate's passive provides magic resist and armor! The duration of this ability is always 6 seconds and does not scale. You get passive buffs when you put a point into it and you also lower the cooldown. If you want, an argument could be made to use that point on another ability at level 11 and 16. Your choice.
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Ability Sequence

Max E first. Cannot be clearer than that.

That being said, there's a few good reasons to take Q first: Checking the brush and harassment!

Here's why Q should be taken at level 1:

Throw your axe in brushes and when it hits, you'll have a brief moment where you'll see if someone is there. That's a nice trick and might save your life early. Please note that if you leave the axe there, it does not provide vision. You only get a brief moment of vision when it lands.

At level 1, players usually mostly feel each other up. If the other top laner is ranged, he'll stay far from you. You need your Q to harass him a bit. In most cases, after a few Reckless Swing, they will not come close to you BUT in order to do that you'll need to hit a Q to slow them and get close.

Plus, if you're watching red buff for your team before it spawns or simply guarding in the jungle early game and the other team invades, the slow from a well aimed Q might prevent a very horrible first blood.

For all those reasons, I recommend starting the game with a point in your Q.

Again, the ability sequence written here is not a one size fits all strategy! Every time you level up, pick which ability to put your point into based on your opponent and how things are going. For example, if you need more sustain, put points in your W. If you don't have much health, don't put too many points too quickly into you E. If your jungler has no hard CC, put more points early in your Q. The rule is to adapt. Generally speaking, you'll be up against tanks or champions with sustain. To harass them and gain lane control, you need to make them fear you. That comes with a punishing E and skill shot accuracy with your Q.

I prefer 2 points in your E to be a punishing and intimidating force at level 3. That's my choice versus melee adversaries. Versus ranged champions, I take a point in my W for sustain at level 3. The ability sequence lists W at level 3 which is better for beginners but in reality, a second point in your E earlier once you are used to Olaf is a better strategy.
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In this section we'll look at early, mid and late game items you should buy. Again, it is important to note that there are more specific details in the adversary analysis section 2 chapters down.

The details I put here can lead to any of the builds at the start of this guide. I gave 3 examples depending on how you're doing and your role in the team:
1) TANKY BRO: Practically an unkillable force. Since your auto-attacks won't deal much pain, emphasis is on cooldown reduction to use abilities more often.
2) BRUISER BRO: An hybrid. Still pretty tanky but with an extra slow ( Blade of the Ruined King active) and focus on more damage.
3) POWER BRO: Hey you're an Olaf so of course some health and armor must be used. This build however has a focus on slowing your opponent and high damage output. Use it when fed early. Roam and gank with this build also.

The Runes, Masteries, Spells, Early items and general advice apply to all builds. The beginning is the same, the builds change depending on how the game evolves.


Alright so if you use the runes I suggested, buy a Doran's Shield and 1 health potion, your stats at level 1 will be:
  • HEALTH: 441 + 103.41 + 100 + 36 + 3% = 700.82
  • HEALTH REGEN: 7.0 + 2 + 1 = 10 (+2% of missing health)
  • MANA: 190
  • MANA REGEN: 6.5 + 3 = 9.5
  • ATTACK SPEED: 0.694
  • ARMOR: 17
  • MOV SPEED: 350 + 1.5% = 355.25

Plus, the Doran's Shield passive will block 8 attack damage per auto attack with an added 2 from your masteries for a total of 10 which is a big difference level 1 if you go in on an enemy.

700 health at level 1 IS A LOT! You saw earlier that at level 1, I take a point in my Q to check brush and harass a bit. Feel free to take a point in your E instead and go for lane domination early because you have the health to support the meager 21 health cost of your E which will in turn do 70 true damage to your adversary. Now that will hurt a Teemo or Riven at 378 and 414 health respectively with no item or rune health buffs.

Finally with patch 4.1 RIOT lowered the cost of Ruby Crystal to 400$. If you don't want to "waste" money on an item that's not upgradable, buy it instead of the Doran's Shield and add 2 potions. It will add more health but you'll have less regen. If you do that, make sure to take a point in your W at level 4 or before to compensate.


If you're against an AD laner, buy health and armor. Against an AP, health and magic resist. You have my choices in the recommended builds AND details per adversary in the next section.

Please don't go back if you don't have enough to buy what you need. Check the costs before recalling. Boots are also important if you plan on killing your opponent or pushing the lane.

Ideally, if you are against an AD champ, wait until you have 1845$ to buy a Chain Vest, Boots and a Vampiric Scepter. If you don't have enough, the Chain Vest is priority #1.

If you are up against an AP champ, wait until you have 1725$ to buy a Spectre's Cowl and Boots. If you have enough, a Vampiric Scepter is your next buy.

Spend the remaining money on potions and wards.


Now's the time to itemize according to more than your lane opponent. Hopefully, you're dominating him now and have more total gold than him. Look at the enemy team's stats. If someone on their team is having a good game with many kills, you itemize to counter that champions. He's AP, you buy magic resist ( Spirit Visage is your priority FOR SURE but consider also other magic resist items afterwards if need be). He's AD, you buy armor (the priority is either a Sunfire Aegis, Randuin's Omen or Frozen Heart). It's that simple. Team fights are coming and you must sustain as best you can since you'll throw yourself right in the thick of things as soon as it starts to get nasty.


Not much to think about here, you're a tank so just like MID game, look at the stats and build accordingly. Oh and one more thing: If you're doing incredibly well, now's the time to buy some damage items. People seem to think that just because we are building Olaf as a tank, he won't get kills. WRONG BRO, WRONG! Most of the games I play Olaf, I endup with more kills than the AD carry! So look for a Blade of the Ruined King or Frozen Mallet, those two are really good items on Olaf.

I'd like to make a quick note about my TANKY BRO example build (which is the build that I think offers the absolute best chance of winning the game in most situations): I think that throughout this guide you'll see the emphasis I put on your E. It is your main ability and whether in lane or in team fights, you should spam it as soon as it is available. For that, cooldown reduction is a nice upgrade for Olaf. That's the idea behind the items I picked.

Advantages of the example build:
  • It maxes cooldown reduction at 40% (you cannot have more than that).
  • It sets your armor around 200.
  • You have plenty of magic resist at 132.
  • You get over 4000 health.
  • You deal magic damage because of the Sunfire Aegis to anyone standing next to you.
  • Your auto-attacks AND abilities only deal physical damage which apply the armor debuff of the Black Cleaver. A Q through the entire team and attacks to the ADC will soften them up for your team.
  • Your auto attacks slow the enemy's movement which helps you stick to them AND helps your ADC's kitting in team fights.
  • You have PLENTY of health regeneration which is important for Olaf.
  • You have tenacity to lower stuns and slows durations which is important when your ultimate is down.

The damage items are open for debate. For example a Ravenous Hydra is awesome for sustain, adds health regeneration and deals damage to more than one adversary if they're close. So why not use that item instead of a Black Cleaver? Good question. Like I said before, adapt. Pick items based on team compositions and itemizations. In this case, I like the armor penetration buff and extra health.... but it's not ALWAYS how I build Olaf so you shouldn't either. Take a close look at the Situational Alternatives items I mention in the beginning. Pick and choose from those based on how you're doing and what your main enemy *targets* are building.

Finally, if you are building lot's of armor, always take a Sunfire Aegis and EITHER Randuin's Omen or Frozen Heart, never both. If the other team only has one AD heavy champ (the ADC), take a Randuin's Omen. If they are heavily dependent on attack speed (teams with combinations of Vayne, Tryndamere, Kayle, Teemo, Twitch and Udyr for example) then go for Frozen Heart.
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Bad item choices

First of all, a note on armor and what we call effective health. Effective health is the amount of damage it takes to kill you. That's damage minus the reduction from armor and magic resist you have. Let's look at the formula from the Riot code in order to calculate the damage you receive from an attack.

Incoming physical damage is multiplied by a factor based on the unit's armor:

Damage multiplier = 100 / (100 + Armor) if Armor β‰₯ 0
Damage multiplier = 2 βˆ’ [100 / (100 βˆ’ Armor)] if Armor ≀ 0


25 armor β†’ Γ—0.8 incoming physical damage (20% reduction, +25% effective health).
100 armor β†’ Γ—0.5 incoming physical damage (50% reduction, +100% effective health).
βˆ’25 armor β†’ Γ—1.20 incoming physical damage (20% increase, βˆ’16.67% effective health).

Note: Armor can be lower than zero because of armor reduction items.

Why am I showing you this? Because in my opinion, at around 200 armor, it is useless to buy more. The impact it will have is simply not cost effective (unless the enemy team buys armor reduction items). With 200 armor, you only *feel* 33% of the physical damage dealt to you. A 4000 hp Olaf with 200 net armor hence has 12000 effective health. That's A LOT!

When you get to 200 armor or around that, look at the items the enemy team is buying. If you don't see Last Whisper or Black Cleaver for example, stop buying armor and add more health. It will be more effective and will make you tankier. If you see a lot of armor penetration items, you can buy more armor AND you should definitely target the champs with those items first in team fights.

The calculations for actual magic damage vs the amount of magic resist you have is basically the same. So if the other team is AP heavy and a LeBlanc or Kassadin or Ziggs gets fed, around 200 magic resist is A LOT. You won't need more.... unless they buy Magic Penetration items such as Void Staff, Haunting Guise or Sorcerer's Shoes. Because the last 2 items have a fix value for magic penetration, they are easy to counter (i.e. if you want around 200 magic resist and the APC has Haunting Guise and Sorcerer's Shoes, just go to 230 magic resist and you'll negate the effect of the 2 items). If they buy a Void Staff you'll have to invest a lot of money into magic resist items to counter it so I suggest sticking to 200 MAXIMUM magic resist and try to focus the APC with the void staff first in team fights.

That's why MID or LATE game, it is perfectly fine to add attack damage, critical chance or other offensive items. At some point, you'll have enough health, armor and magic resist to sustain a lot of offense.

Other than that, a vast majority of items will be useful in certain situations. Again, pick any items from my Situational alternatives list at the beginning of the guide. They all provide benefits for Olaf.

If you want to pick outside my lists there are some clear no-no's!

First of all, none of his abilities scale with AP. All he does is deal physical damage. So no item that provides Ability Power, no matter the passives or actives, should be bought.... EVER!

As for all rules, there is ONE exception: Sheen

A Sheen will provide some mana but its passive is why we would buy it. Since as Olaf you're relying on abilities to deal damage, during the cooldowns you'll have to trade some auto-attacks. The Sheen passive will help you deal more damage. Plus, a Sheen can later be upgraded to an Iceborn Gauntlet which provides valuable AOE damage, a slow, cooldown reduction and armor.

Another type of item you should avoid is attack speed buffs. You already have a passive attack speed buff AND an ability that, when maxed, gives 80% additional attack speed! I'm not saying attack speed is not good on Olaf, it does enable you to use your E more often after all, but at some point you have to restrict yourself to 6 total items maximum. Your abilities scale with attack damage and so does your basic attacks. I prefer damage and cooldown reduction over attack speed on Olaf.

Again, one *tolerable* exception: Blade of the Ruined King

The reason why this item could still be bought for Olaf is because of everything else OTHER than attack speed it brings to the table. Life steal is good for you. Attack damage. An active slow and 15% MAX HEALTH instant damage. But most interesting of all, passive 5% current health bonus attack damage. Against tanks with full hp, that's HUGE! Consider buying this item if you're stuck in lane against a tank (i.e. Nasus would be a prime example of this).

Your abilities will not crit. But critical strike chance is always good. For example an Infinity Edge is a good item with both damage AND critical strike. I'm all for the crit as long as it comes with damage.
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Lane adversaries


The descriptions here are just my opinion. If you loooooooove Rumble so much that you take my comments personally, you're free to go read another guide. Those are my opinions based on games played against those champions. Did I always come ahead against LOW difficulty opponents? Heck no! This is a general feeling that represents situations where player skills are equal AND junglers do their jobs equally. Just like real life, things don't always happen the way they should. Don't trust this blindly and adapt to your opponent.

And remember: One good thing about playing a team game is that you don't have to always carry, if you're not doing well call for help. Don't hate, always play nice and use the chat to strategize not to criticize.

Now on with the analysis!

Difficulty: High

He has a stun. He regenerates health. Has no mana cost to his abilities. Has an ult that gives instant health AND does magic damage when you fight him. He clears waves like a pro. He usually builds lots of armor and health. He has a few escape spells if you slow him. On top of everything he's a crocodile!

How do you counter that?

Everytime you'll get close, expect a stun and some damage. The only good news here is that Renekton players rarely build any damage.

So be a man and take it! Build Mercury's Treads for tenacity to have his stun fade quicker and to negate some damage from his ultimate and upcoming Sunfire Aegis (yeah you Renekton players are soooooo predictable).

Also, don't build Randuin's Omen, at least not still in the laning phase, the attack speed debuff is useless against Renekton, he will cut you with abilities and not auto-attacks. Take an early Glacial Shroud or rush a Sunfire Aegis and an early point in your W for sustain. Consider an early Vampiric Scepter too. Later, an upgrade of Glacial Shroud into Frozen Heart or Iceborn Gauntlet will also help you sustain his relentless attacks.

Don't try to kill him unless you pick up a huge health advantage. Wait for a gank. Just farm.

That doesn't mean that you should simply take his bruising. Usually, he'll stun, hit you a few times then Slice and Dice out of there before the stun wears off. If he doesn't, use your E. By doing true damage to him, you might discourage his attacks and if not, at least he'll have a little less health when a gank finally comes. Against him, last hit front minions with auto-attacks and if you're low or he has an advantage, farm the range minions with a maxed-out Q Axe.

LET HIM PUSH! He'll endup close to your tower and will make a successful gank on him easier since with a single Slice and dice and a Flash, he'll be half way to his tower. A jungler with a stun like Udyr and Elise will make ganks more successful. Watch out for his ultimate though. If he's low but under his tower, don't jump him! He could ult giving himself some nice bonus health and stun you under the tower for a surprise kill. Let him go back to base, push the lane by farming all the minions then go back yourself. If he used his ultimate, call on your jungler as soon as he gets back. You'll have more chances to kill him then.

General advice: You are not a good counter to Renekton but not the worst either. I wouldn't ALWAYS auto-pick Olaf against him but it depends entirely on your comfort level.

Difficulty: High

Note: With patch 4.1, Riven has been nerfed.... or has she? In reality, her Q triple combo hurts more now BUT her shield lasts 1.5 seconds instead of 2.5. To me, that simply means one thing: Lousy Riven players will waste the shield but for great players, the buffed Q will make their Riven even more potent. The shield against Olaf is a reflex thing to absorb axes. It won't matter if the axe is coming how long the shield last. Only good news for us is less chances to get dunked under our tower in early levels :)

To me, Riven is one of the worst adversary you could be facing with Olaf. Try to Q her and she shields. Not only that, the shield comes with a freakin dash! So even without great reflexes, either you hit her and do no damage or she avoids it entirely. Plus, even if you do hit her to slow her because a gank is coming, she can use the shield dash AND her Q for, count them, 4 quick jumps which are not affected by the slow. Once she's done jumping, your slow is ready to wear off and she might still have a Flash in hand just in case.

If you're aggressive or get too close, she can stun you and deal a big bad load of damage even while you try to get away. That, plus get a bit too low on health and you'll eat an execute ultimate that will either kill you or get your *** back to base.

If you stick to your tower, at about level 3-4 she can shield-dash, stun/hit you a few times and get out of range. She'll take 1-2 tower shots but most of the damage will be absorbed by the shield. While you're stuck there, she'll be clearing waves like a maniac since she can use her abilities all the time because they have no cost. If she gets ahead early and buys a The Brutalizer and some form of sustain, you're in for a tough afternoon of pain.

The (relative) only good news here is that a riven rarely builds armor. If she pushes hard, an early gank right after she used her Q to clear a wave will probably kill her. This is imperative: Your jungler is essential to your success. Every time she pushes the lane close to your tower, he should drop by your lane. Worst case scenario: she backs off and you can free farm a bit.

No help from the jungler against a potent Riven and it's probably GG top lane (and maybe GG period since a fed Riven is an unstoppable bi***!)

Try to land a E here and there if you can manage the health cost and regen on minions with your W. A Sunfire Aegis will help your sustain and Mercury's Treads will diminish her stun's duration. Farm as best you can and build health and armor. In team fights, your team will need you to sustain a lot of damage. Since you'll be under attack most of the time, I suggest taking a point in your E early but ranking that ability only when you have enough health and life steal. Exceptionally consider ranking up your W with a few points early.

Unless you're pretty sure the other player doesn't know how to play Riven or is generally unskilled, avoid picking Olaf against her at champion select.

Difficulty: High

Shyvana is not really hard per say, she's actually a pretty straightforward champion. The fact that makes her tough to lane against is that for a tank, she's an awesome farmer. What makes her awesome is her Burnout ability that cuts through minions AND stops you from getting too close. It also makes you prioritize a Spirit Visage and/or some form of magic resist early which makes you vulnerable to AD assasins/junglers. Her burnout has been nerfed since patch 4.1 BUT it still hurts if you stay close and she adds duration with basic attacks. General rule early game: Don't fight her when it's active.

The next reason she's so tough is her Q. She hits that skill shot in a fight and her auto attacks do bonus magic damage based on your maximum health. Wait what? Yep!

Olaf is dependent on having health reserves and even without items his health scales pretty well. So without any attack items, she can hurt you bad. She has pretty good sustain, farming abilities and a nice escape with her ultimate. Oh and she can jump you under a tower with that same ultimate and give you some major pain. With just a slow, you're very vulnerable.

Basically, just like Renekton, she will probably outfarm you early. Just like Renekton, the advice hence remains the same: LET HER PUSH and call for a gank early. The difference here is that at some point you'll need to get close to her so you need magic resist. A Spirit Visage is enough though, after that you should still go for a Sunfire Aegis or other armor items like a Glacial Shroud.

That being said, team fights with a Shyvana is a bit different for you. Every team fight, she'll Dragon her way to your AD carry. You cannot let your ADC just try to avoid her or burn to death. In such a situations, your primary objective is to get to the other carry and make her protect him or make him run away. Pop your ultimate, Q the enemy ADC and hit an E followed by auto attacks after activating your W. That will probably take the ADC to half health or better. He'll run away. If he does not, kill him or take him down further with another E. With 30% cooldown reduction that will take 3-4 seconds maximum. Then, you have to get to the tanks. Remember that your E does TRUE DAMAGE. It ignores armor. So your team will need you to kill Shyvana. If your team does not have strong CC against her, they'll need you.

If your team is semi-decent and you hit your R-Q-E-W initial combo on the other ADC, he'll die quickly or run scared. With your ultimate, walking round from the ADC to the tank will be easy. Oh and if they all target you, let them! Focusing an attacking tank is what you want in a team fight. You might die but it will free up your team and they'll destroy the high damage output champions on the enemy team. So jump in early and hope to bait Shyvana into attacking you instead of your ADC. If it doesn't work, deal solid damage and then concentrate on Shyvana.

Difficulty: Low

Shen is easy to counter. Your Q and E will destroy him early. There's only 2 things your need to watch for:
1) His taunt under his tower.
2) His ultimate.

His freakin ultimate! That's your main concern and it can create nightmares.... for other members of your team! You, it leaves you alone in lane. So if Shen moves to the other side of the map, farm quickly and use your W on the tower to take it down. If Shen's move gets the other team 1-2 kills, it is still not worth a tower. Make him pay for leaving the lane.

There's 3 more things you should do when you see him use his ultimate:
1) Get close, land a E and activate your W to deal the most damage you can before he disappears. That difference might get your team a kill on him.
2) As close to possible to when he's getting ready to disappear, hit him with a maxed ranged Q (the slow duration is longer at max range). That will slow him when he gets to his destination. That might save a teammate's life!
3) Take Teleport! Against a Shen, that's mandatory! That being said, you are NOT allowed to use your teleport to get back to lane. Save it to follow him into a fight as often as possible.

You're a better farmer than him so if you want to go back to base push the lane and recall. If you see him using his ultimate, PING YOUR TEAM! Then you have a decision to make and make it quickly. Either you do what I said in 1) OR teleport close to where he's going and even the odds in the upcoming fight. If you're close to him, do BOTH. Hit him with an E then use your teleport.

In team fights, don't worry about him. Pop your ultimate and get to the other carries. His taunt won't work on you and other than that, he's not much use and you should not focus him. You're a better tank than him, deal more damage, can slow an entire team, etc. Ignore him, kill everyone else. If he uses his shield on the ADC, don't run scared and keep attacking the squishy carry with E's to the face!

Difficulty: Low

Poor little Darius! He has no chance against you.

His main damage spell Decimate requires him to be close to you to hit. What happens if he gets close? He gets a nice E to the face! His Decimate costs mana, your E a bit of health which you'll regen fast enough on minions since, after a few encounters, he'll stay far. Keep harassing him with axes. He will not be able to farm. Do NOT push the lane or you'll get ganked. Darius has a pull and a slow which, without your ultimate available, makes you prone to die if ganked. Plus, his ultimate does huge true damage so don't put yourself in danger by being low health close to him or he will kill you. If he uses his Decimate, like he should, to hit you, that ability plus his Hemorrhage will push the lane. Let him. If you have trouble killing him, a gank close to your tower will do it.

Basically, he's no match for Olaf. Buy an early Sunfire Aegis and a Bloodthirster (or another damage item of your choice). Your axes and auto-attacks will deal plenty of damage and you'll sustain his few attacks or successful pulls easily. Without kills and farm, Darius does not stand a chance against Olaf.

One last thing, in team fights slow him with an nice Q. He'll try to get to your carry and pull him. Slowing him early will greatly help your ADC's kitting.

Difficulty: Low

I hesitated between a low and medium difficulty for Nasus. In the end, he's an easy opponent for Olaf BUT he scales well so you have to deny him farm as long as you can. If you're ahead, keep going back to lane or have the jungler or MID go there if you're roaming. Nasus could be far behind and farm his way back if you leave him alone too long. Go back and kill him until he's not even worth 50 gold! ;)

Now that being said, a Nasus might be the single most predictable adversary you'll face top lane.

Here's why: All a Nasus wants is to farm his Siphoning Strike.

You'll usually endup close to his tower and prone to ganks if you farm other than just last hitting. Until you hit level 6, a well placed Wither will slow you for a gank and you will probably die.

So here's what you do: When one of your minions is low, expect him to try to last hit with Siphoning Strike. Stay close and catch him each time with an E. Max E first, just like for every opponent (unless I advised otherwise haha) and he will be very low very quickly since the cooldown of both Siphoning Strike and Reckless Swing is close to the same BUT yours gets a 1 second bonus every time you auto attack. Q him here and there and make him go back to base. You have to deny him farm. He cannot hurt you if his Q remains stackless. So start with a Cloth Armor and 5 potions to sustain the health cost of your E and minion retaliation. When he goes back to base, farm and push the lane then go back. You'll have more farm than him but that's not enough. A Nasus can still be a threat late game even though he loses early. Kill him! Get him low and call for a gank if needed, he won't escape. With armor and health, around level 8-9, you'll be able to jump him under a tower and kill him if he's low. His ultimate does provide bonus health though so be careful. Bait his ultimate, let it run out, then go in again!

He'll be cursing to his entire team that Olaf is OP :)

You can't ignore him in team fights but unlike Shyvana, he has no quick way to get to your ADC. Take care of the enemy carries and let a member of your team with hard CC (a stun or root) restrain him.

Difficulty: Medium

A good Lee Sin will harass you and that's actually a good thing. Bait him into using his dash when your jungler is close and he won't be able to escape. Very easy kill after that even if he has Flash. Q him and destroy him.

If your jungler doesn't help, that's bad. Try to E him often and get him low then go all-in. When you're close to killing him, pop your ultimate. His kick will not push you with your ultimate on. Most Lee players will fight you until death is apparent then kick you away, surprise him with Ragnarok and finish the job!

Since Lee Sin can go AD, AP, full tank and any combination in between. He's hard to itemize against until you see a clear pattern in his items (usually around his second trip to base). Build health AND armor. Armor is always useful for dives and team fights but health on Olaf is crucial if you want to spam your E. Lee Sin's Sonic Wave and Resonating Strike combo will damage based on missing health though. So if you don't build armor, that skill will HURT. Health Regeneration items and Life Steal are also good choices to keep your health high and lessen the damage from this skill. That being said, if you're low and running away, the single most important thing to do is avoid his Sonic Wave. Take a few auto attacks or an Ignite for it I don't care but AVOID THE SKILL SHOT AT ALL COSTS.

If not, that's a crazy amount of damage coming your way and you're probably a dead viking! Consider taking Flash if only to make sure that when low, you avoid his Sonic Wave and save your life.

Difficulty: Low

Aatrox is a squishy who has one spell with range. Not a good combo when facing Olaf. Same recipe as most melee oponents: When he farms, you hit an E. Don't let him get close and auto-attack or he'll regain lost health. He gets close, you E. He stays there, you auto attack. He stays far, you Q him. When he's low, you kill him.... twice ;)

Honestly, Aatrox should never own an Olaf. If you start aggressive, there's not much he can do but back off. Then, if suddenly he becomes aggressive, it's probably because you are getting ganked. Activate your ultimate if you see him jump (the animation gives you lots of notice) and move away. The best thing about this is that if he tries to attack you from afar, it'll cost him health. While you regenerate easily, he'll just make himself squishier by doing so.

Since he won't be able to farm, he will not have much gold. Every Aatrox player likes to buy attack speed and damage items which does not improve their squishiness. Those items will not save him, Bloodwell or not. Harass and kill him until GG.

Difficulty: Medium

A Mundo should NEVER be able to kill an Olaf in lane. Especially after you hit level 6. And that still stands if they come in and gank you 3vs1!

His axes are easily avoidable if you stay behind minions and farm. If he uses his burn and gets close, E him to death. His ultimate has a short cooldown though so without a gank, he'll be hard to kill if he has it available. Bait it out by being aggressive and call for help if needed. Early on, his burn will hurt him. Let him push the lane with it, E then a Q then activate W.... then auto attack, E when it's available then POW he's dead. No escape spells for Mundo and his slow won't work if you have your ultimate available.

Mundo is a health freak and in team fights, people who target him ALWAYS lose fights. He will try to bait you into chasing him especially when getting very low just before activating his ultimate. Just like everyone on your team should do, IGNORE HIM COMPLETELY in team fights. Maybe your ADC or APC will get hit in the face by an axe, big deal! They're easy to avoid so if they do get hit it's their fault. His burn will not kill anyone and since most ADC have life steal, they'll survive. Get to the other carries fast and put pressure there. An Olaf will deal more damage than a Mundo and can sustain quite well. If all goes according to plan, he'll use his ultimate at some point. Kill everyone, Q him and finish the job.

Oh by the way, Ignite diminishes health regeneration so in order to counter his ultimate, it's a must pick when laning against him.

Difficulty: Low

Alright, ability wise you stack up pretty nicely.... until she hits level 6 that is.

She has a speed buff ability, you do to and yours has life steal. Advantage Olaf.

She can lunge, attack, and re-lunge out of harm’s way on a minion quickly. Get your reflexes ready and E her every time she does that.

If you don't, that's the only harass she has that does not guaranty an E to the face. Discourage it by being aggressive if she tries it. Early on, minion retaliation will also help to give her some damage.

Her Riposte is a nice spell but blocking an auto attack from you here and there will not help her much. You farm, harass with some Q and E her every time she's in range.

Simple right!? It kinda is really.

Now one thing is her ultimate. Since she's untargettable while it's active, being low health under your tower will not help make you safe. Her ultimate plus Ignite should do the trick for her. Be very careful not to die unnecessarily to her ultimate because you stayed in lane too long. Go back to base, itemize and Teleport back. The rest should be a piece of cake.

Difficulty: Low

Let's compare both passives first:
He gains attack speed the more he attacks. You gain attack speed the more health you lose. He starts with .638, you start with .692. He needs the stacks to get to your level. My experience is, early levels, you'll always attack faster than him. I should really do the math to prove it though... what I'm sure of, with your W active, you will attack faster than he will (and add some life steal which is awesome!)

Other than that, Jax has to get close to hit you with any of his abilities. Yes a full combo will hurt. But early game you can take it. Until he reaches level 6, you E him to the grave! If he stays far, Q him. Go read my section on Darius or most melee champions. Same applies here.

You harass them with E (which you max first) and then farm because they stay far from you. There's really little Jax can do.

Of course, when he reaches level 6, things change a bit. You should then be far ahead in farm and itemized to protect yourself from his onslaught. If he pops his ult, walk away and wait a bit (unless he does it defensively because he's low, then KILL HIM). When his ult is active, he has more armor. So don't fight him but keep harassing him with E here and there. It does true damage! Armor or not, ult or not, you'll do the same exact damage to him.

Usually what happens when I face a Jax is total domination from Olaf. Expect a gank (cause the Jax will surely ask for help). The thing is, it's so easy to see it coming. If you see him activate Counter Strike, either he's jumping you to do some damage or someone is coming. Just pop your ultimate to negate the stun and walk away safely.

While Counter Strike is active, only use abilities. If you auto attack, get ready for a world of hurt when that stun hits.

Difficulty: Medium-Low

Jayce to me is like a Lee Sin in the sense that he'll attack you then punch you away. The advice is the exact same as Lee Sin, pop your ultimate and you'll be immune to the throwback.

The rest is actually quite easy since a Jayce relies heavily on mana. If he's aggressive, you can regenerate but he'll be out of mana after very few combos! Then, not much he can do but take your Q to the face and E when he gets close. What's even worst is that when he goes back to buy, he'll spend money on a Tear of the Goddess or something like that. He comes back and he's still squishy! Keep him from farming by being aggressive especially right after he uses his Shock Blast. If he used it through an Acceleration Gate, that's bye bye mana and 16 seconds of cooldown. That's 2-3 Q and 2 E from you. Bye bye health!

Most Jayce players just stay away and try to hit the occasional Shock Blast from then on. Farm with only last hits to not push the lane and get ganked. By the time he gets damage items after his mana items, you'll have way more farm, maybe a few kills and enough armor and health to impose some lane dominance.

Without major help from the jungler, I don't see you losing this matchup. Yes he can harass you with his ranged form BUT his attack damage is low. When he does that, with only 500 range, Q him and then walk up to him and E. Then walk back. I don't see him following you or harassing you anymore, I wonder why?! :P

Difficulty: Medium

Rengar is an assassin. With his ult, he'll get to a carry and destroy him. That's why in my opinion, he's probably better suited to being a jungler. If not and used as a top laner, he'll probably roam a lot.

If you don't see him, tell your mid laner. He's probably going to get ganked soon especially if he's pushing. Communication is very important when facing a Twitch or Rengar. It is your responsibility to talk to your teammates so do it.

For an Olaf, Rengar's invisibility is not a "big" problem. You usually build health and armor so if you keep healthy, an assassination is highly unlikely.

If he goes invisible and launches at you, you have no choice but to take the damage. Then, retaliate! Slow him, E him, auto attack him. If you decide to go in on him or if your jungler or mid laner comes to help, Rengar has a slow but that's about it, he can't escape. If he uses his Bola Strike and you think you can kill him, pop your ultimate and/or Ghost and go for it.

Later, you or your support should buy pink wards when pushing. An Oracle's Elixir is even better. You'll see him coming and can then react.

If he kills your ADC and then the other team engages a team fight, I suggest running away unless you remaining 4 are really fed. Wait for the ADC to revive to fight.

Difficulty: Low

Honestly, pray for this matchup! It is easy fun times top with a Rumble versus an Olaf. He's just too squishy and, early, concentrates on AP items. After killing him the first time, buy a Spirit Visage and don't worry about him anymore. Oh and by the way, he has two abilities that slow... but your ultimate makes you immune. So if he tries to use it to help a gank or to escape, it won't work. Every time he flames you, E him. You'll win those trades all the time.

Quick note here: Usually, when a Rumble is top, an AD champion is mid for the enemy team. That makes Rumble the AP carry for his team. In team fights, he hence becomes a target. Thing is, his first move will be his ult in most cases. Since it has MAJOR range, you won't be able to kill him before he uses it. But then what!? If you dominated him early like you should, his other abilities won't hurt. Pop your ult and get to the carries. If the ADC for the other team is fed, concentrate solely on him. If not, kill Rumble and move on to the ADC.

Difficulty: Medium

Well Singed is a tank and you have true damage. Early it's not even fair. First buy should include a Null-Magic Mantle. The initial buy should also include two potions. That will minimize his poison's damage. If you're feeling confident, buy a Doran's Shield and one potion.

Early laning is simple: Every time you're close to him, you spam your E. You should be able to kill him early. Take Ignite instead of Teleport or Ghost to guarantee early kills and lane dominance.

The reason Singed is a Medium difficulty opponent is that a Singed doesn't care about losing lane early. He will farm his way back and get to be very tanky even if you begin the game with 3 early kills. He will be potent in team fights, poisoning everyone and flipping your ADC. Try to slow him to give your ADC a chance. Of course, against all AP top laners, a Spirit Visage is a must here.

Since a Singed will farm anyways, try to get an early tower and then go help mid or bot lane. A Singed has no attack so he relies on minions to destroy the tower. Alternate between helping your team and coming back top. Keeping Teleport is nice for doing that.

Other than that, don't chase a Singed for too long, let him go and farm. You should be fine.

Difficulty: High

Everybody should HATE Teemo!

Teemo is though for all melee top laners period. That's especially true if you really rely on auto attacks. Since your Q and E are abilities, you can still punish him when blinded.

Take an early Null-Magic Mantle. The initial buy should also include two potions. I suggest upgrading the Null-Magic Mantle to an Hexdrinker later on. The shield will proc at 30% health and that's low enough to bait him and try to kill you. Hopefully he gets close enough and you can kill him. Use abilities when blinded then auto attack him to death.

Summoner spells must also change when facing Teemo. Take Ghost and Ignite. You must stick to him and auto attack which you need Ghost for that. Ignite will insure the kill. Take one point in your Q at level one and try to hit him a few times during laning and let him push the lane a bit avoiding his auto attacks. The next 2 levels, take 2 points in your E. Compared to you, at level 3, most Teemos will have a point in each skill.

During those first 3 levels, he will kite you and harass, so try to stay away. You have 2 potions, if he hits you, you're allowed to use one. The second should be saved, it will be useful later. If not, it is more important to remain at max health so use it if necessary.

As soon as you hit level 3, you should be close to full health. Throw a Q and get to him. We are going all-in here so be prepared to fight.

If he blinds, which he will, use your abilities. When you use your Q now, PICK UP THE AXE. With 2 points, an E will deal 115 damage and deal only 34 back to you. Teemo starts with 582 health at level 3. So a quick Q-E combo brings him down to about 460 health
(assuming he bought a Doran Ring/Blade). You start with over 880 health at level 3 if you followed by earlier build advices, so advantage Olaf!

Pop Ghost once your initial Q slow wears off and use abilities when they are available. If you have a potion available, pop it! Q-E-A-A-Q-A-A-E-Ignite boom.... Dead Teemo.

I can't stress this enough: YOU MUST KILL HIM! If not, that whole ordeal will put you low and he'll probably have potions. That means two things:

1) You'll die!
2) You have to go back to base which, in the meantime, he'll farm and get even more ahead.

Not good.

If you want a guaranteed kill, share that plan with the jungler early in the game before minions spawn. Make sure to ping him when you're close to level 3. If he comes and you're at level 2, you still should go all in! His damage should make up for your E not having an extra point. My only advice here is that if ganked with impending death, a Teemo will go all in on one of you. That's usually the first one that attacked him. If that's you, use your Ghost to run when at mid health! He'll die anyway, no reason to risk a poison/ignite combo that could get you killed. Take the assist and just retreat. Don't feed him an early kill. An Hexdrinker is 950 gold now, farm the lane while he's gone and you should have that amount easily. Go back to base, buy it with boots/potions if you can and do this all over again.

The single most important rule here is you do not harass a Teemo, you kill a Teemo! All the kills before he reaches level 6 are important. After the hexdrinker, prioritize a Spirit Visage and Mercury's Treads even if he's building AD. Armor can come after that (note: a Randuin's Omen is better than a Sunfire Aegis against a Teemo).

That's it.

If you see a Teemo in champion select, pick a Sivir, Jayce, Nidalee or someone with some range and kick his A**! My plan with an Olaf will work if executed properly but it's risky. I don't recommend picking an Olaf into a Teemo EVER.

Difficulty: Low

Note one thing about Tryndamere: when his ultimate is on and his health is stuck at 1 hp, don't even waste time attacking him. No health loss means no life steal! So you're just taking damage and losing health.

If he's attacking you while unkillable, you have 2 choices:

1) Take it like a man and wait until it finishes to kill him.
2) Q him and kite him.

I pick number 2 in most cases. Here's why:
Tryndamere picks up Battle Fury every time he auto attacks. That can be converted into health using his Bloodlust. So if you stick in there not only are you getting damage and increasing his crit chance, you're actually helping him get more health once his ultimate finishes. Since Tryndamere never builds AP, his heal cannot be over 300 hp which is pretty low. When he activates his ultimate, throw a Q and kite him. Odds are, when his ultimate wears off, he'll use Spinning Slash to get away. With good positioning, a single Q will catch him then you can walk up to him and hit a single E which will either kill him or take him extremely low. If you have Ignite, use it now, if not, auto-attack him. If he used Bloodlust, he has a lost less crit chances now. He should be no match.

The ONLY reason to consider option 1 is to bait him because someone from your team is coming and you don't want him to run away. Other than that, your Q has a low cooldown (remember to pick up the AXE though) and you can slow him enough to avoid a lot of damage and still have the skill to complete the steps above. If you Q him and he uses Spinning Slash to get to you, your slow should allow you to kite him and he won't have it available to get away. Dead man walking!

During all the above steps, if he slows you with his Mocking Shout, don't be afraid to use your ult.

Other than that, Tryndamere is pretty easy. Like all melee, when he gets close you E him and harass with your Q. I'd be very disappointed not to either at least triple his farm before level 6 or kill him twice depending on if he simply backs off or tries to fight and farm.

Against Tryndamere, I recommend an early Randuin's Omen. He relies on attack speed to kill you and that will be negated with that item. Plus, that item's active offers a second way of slowing Tryndamere which will be particularly helpful right after his ultimate wears off. After that, go for health and damage items.

Difficulty: Medium

The only reason why Garen got a Medium difficulty is because of his passive. His spells don't do much damage and all Garen players use him the same way:

1) Hit you with Decisive Strike which silences you so you can't use abilities.
2) Cast Courage to mitigate minion retaliation (if not on cooldown).
3) Cast Judgment and farm/harass you (which at level 1 only does 60 total damage if you stick there the entire 3 seconds).

With basic attacks, that's a maximum total of about 150 damage BUT with your basic armor it's much less than that. Tough it out.... but still try to kite him a bit, don't just stand there! An early Vampiric Scepter is a must here.

If you E him once the silence is over and regen with your W, there's not much he can do. Usually, between an Olaf and a Garen, the more aggressive of the two wins early lane dominance and that's it. So don't back down and stand up to him.

If he wants to fight til the end and you are before level 6, DO IT! (that is, not if you're low health or in danger or if it's early and you are behind his minions)

His passive only kicks in when out of combat so it's useless if you both start a war. Yours is a different story! You gain attack speed the lower your health is. So basically, with about the same attack damage early and a small advantage to you on base attack speed, you will hit him more often than he will hit you. Plus, as stated earlier, your basic armor blocks some of his ability damage, not so when using your E on him. You will win every 1vs1 if he wants to fight... but most of the time, once his health bar gets low, he'll run and regenerate. Farm with your W (and buy some life steal) and you'll be fine.

If you are even with him and he hits level 6, watch out for his ultimate. In my case, I don't remember ever dying to his ultimate since I dominate the lane so much that I'm much more fed than he is. He's not fighting me 1vs1 EVER and if he does he loses so convincingly that it doesn't get to a point where his ultimate could kill me.

One last note, Garen can purge slows. In team fights, don't even waste a Q on him. Go straight for the enemy carry and ignore him. I said that Mundo does no damage, Garen is even worst. You'll dominate him so hard that, other than his ultimate on someone with not much health left, he will not be a threat.

Difficulty: Low

He's mostly used as a jungler now (or support) but he's worth mentioning.

Note that neither his slow or his flip will work if you pop your ultimate. So if he runs in to gank, pop it and walk safely back to your tower. Hit CTRL-4 while you're doing that just for fun ;)

He's a melee and he does no damage. E him til he's low and kill him or farm while he stays away. It's that simple.

Two things to note here: He's easy to kill early but his Frenzy , which is maxed first by all Volibear players who know what they're doing, will hurt more when he buys health. Keep that in mind and look at his items when he comes back from base. That being said, your E is a much more powerful ability and it is on a lower cooldown than his Frenzy .

Second, his passive. Especially early on, this thing is frustrating. Don't get baited into jumping under his tower. You simply don't have the damage to compensate for his crazy regeneration. So try to pop his passive early and then you have 2 minutes to kill him. Once you buy damage items and your E is at level 5, don't even worry about his passive, it won't matter anymore.

Still watch out for tower baits or early level aggression with the jungler if you're low under your own tower. If in doubt, recall, heal up and Teleport back to lane.... then you kill him!

Difficulty: Low

To me Irelia is a bit like Aatrox in the sense that she needs to attack to regen. So level 1 expect her to take her W and max it first. She has no ranged attacks until level 6 so she will have to get close to hit you. E her every chance and she'll back up since early levels, you are stronger than her. One thing though, her healing comes from a passive on her W (and her ultimate but we're talking about early level aggression here). You need to activate your W to access your sustain. So don't fight her behind her minions if she has a lead in health, she might win the trade and if you get too low and try to flee, she'll dash and finish the job.

Talking about her dash, she can only use it on an enemy so, other than Flash, she pretty much has no escapes. If your jungler helps early, one of you should get a kill on her.

I don't see her winning against you. Like all melee opponents, assert lane dominance by scaling E first and W second. Because of her passive the slow will not last as long so make good use of it.

Difficulty: Medium

Yorick is a medium difficulty opponent because he's annoying. He's quite easy though and he should look like a dollar sign for your jungler!

Basically he's going to harass you non-stop with his ghouls. They deal damage and the more ghouls, the more bonus for him. So be prepared to have 1, 2 or 3 of his little annoying friends chasing you all game. Let him push the lane and try to keep your health up. If he's passed the midway point, a gank will get him. His only escape is a speed buff when he hits a Q BUT he needs to do that on an enemy so if no minions are close, you got him. He has a ghoul that slows but you're immune to that with your ultimate. If you don't get help from the jungler, you'll sustain pretty well and get back to lane quickly with your teleport. You won't get kills but since you're building as a tank, you'll be stronger than him mid and late.

He falls off late game BUT his ultimate can revive the adc for 10 secs. So watchout for that little trick. Late game, 10 seconds is an enormous amount of time! If you see an adc ghoul, maybe try to concentrate on another enemy until the ghoul dies.

Otherwise, playing against Yorick is pretty straightforward. Since you'll need a lot of sustain, I suggest a Vampiric Scepter early. You can also start with a Cloth Armor and 5 potions.

Difficulty: High

That void beast will be tough to handle.

Why? Because he is very tanky by nature, is considered melee but his Vorpal Spikes make his attacks a range hybrid that will hurt you if you stay close, has a big range to harass you even under a tower with his other abilities and his ultimate does true damage.

He is NOT someone you want to face because my aggressive strategy will probably not work. Your only option is to harass at a distance and wait for a gank. He has a slow but it's a skill shot so if he misses, a gank will probably kill him.

Otherwise, avoid him at all costs. A Cho'Gath is simply too strong versus a melee champion. Pick a Kayle, Nidalee, Jayce or another hybrid or tanky range champion to face him instead. If not, buy a lot of magic resist including a Null-Magic Mantle and 2 potions from the start.

Difficulty: Medium

Since RIOT buffed his Q, we've been seeing Ryze top more often than mid which makes certain sense to me.... only certain sense.

The reason why Ryze is a good idea for a mage top is that he will be able to build tanky items while still scaling. Frozen Heart and Rod of Ages for example will make him tanky and expand his mana pool which provide more power to his abilities. So because of that and because he's ranged, he's not easy.

That is until you get to him. His Rune Prison only lasts 0.75 secs at level 1 and since all Ryze players should (and will) max Overload first, it won't be enough to stop you from pounding him.

I suggest buying a Null-Magic Mantle and 2 potions first. Let him push the lane and try to keep up on levels. Take Q first and E at level 2 and 3. Do not touch him with E's because he will win those trades all the time with a short CD Overload and basic attacks behind his minions. Let him farm 10-12 minions more than you and push the lane a bit. As soon as you hit level 3, try to hit him with a Q. If you hit the skill shot, that's your GO and dive in for the kill. I GUARANTY you that one E will make him RUN because he won't expect that much damage. Auto-attack him a bit and let him retreat. Last hit only the minions and grab W at level 4 for sustain. Keep him far by throwing your Q and if you hit that Q, landing one E if he's not too close to the tower. That will keep him from farming.

Now that strategy will not kill him. You will dominate the lane though but Ryze scales really well late game so not killing him and denying farm is not enough. I suggest taking Ignite instead of Teleport to finish the job. If not, you should kill him EVERY TIME your jungler comes up to help. All Ryze can do to escape is use his prison on one of you and with his ult he can run faster. Even with those AND a flash, a well placed gank and continuous Q's from you should be enough.

One last thing, since Ryze is ranged (and against all ranged enemies) I suggest an early Vampiric Scepter for sustain. It can later be upgraded to a Blade of the Ruined King or Bloodthirster.

Difficulty: Medium

Pantheon is a medium difficulty opponent because a lot of your success against him depends on who will get the first kill. I actually think that Pantheon is not that hard but I've seen a lot of Olaf players lose badly to him.

Against him, I ALWAYS take E first instead of Q. You HAVE to win the trades and make him back up early. His spears will hurt in later levels and he will scale that ability first. Early game, his spears and your E will have approximately the same CD especially since yours get a bonus with basic attacks. He will have to get close to farm and he will harass you with spears.... just take it and return the favor with your E. If you start with a Cloth Armor and 5 potions, his spears will not hurt as much as your E and you'll have plenty of ways to regen the damage. If he keeps harassing with the spears or farms from afar with them, he'll be out of mana really soon.

A Pantheon with no mana is pretty harmless. So your strategy is to keep him far from the farm from then on, harrass him with Q when he tries to last hit and get him low enough to kill him with a Q-E some auto attacks and ignite combo. I don't suggest a dive under his tower unless you activate your ultimate first or else a well placed stun plus his high output damage and tower shots could make you a very dead viking.

You should be able to kill him easily if he's low since he has no escapes other than flash. If your jungler is there ready to pounce and you can bait his stun, he's pretty much dead. Unless a Pantheon gets really fed, he falls off hard late game. Plus, if he builds armor, you'll still be much stronger than him because your E does true damage.

Don't let him get ahead, take ignite and teleport and build sustain and damage/armor items, you'll do GREAT. Take a look at the last paragraph of the Trundle section below for advice when getting ganked and jumped under your tower.

Difficulty: Medium

I don't like Trundle because he scales really well. As soon as he'll reach level 6 he becomes a lot of trouble with his ultimate. Plus, your ultimate helps against the slow from his pilar but you can't go through the pilar itself. So, being almost ungankable against everybody else is not the case against him (same with Anivia).

That's why he's a medium difficulty opponent. The good news is that there's 5 levels prior to level 6 and that's when Olaf has a big advantage.

Like any other melee opponent, everytime he gets close you E him. You should be doing more damage than him early on and win all trades easily. If you want to be really aggressive, take Ignite and E at level 1 with a Cloth Armor and 5 potions. Harrass him early and as soon as you hit level 2 take Q, hit him with it, E him (he'll flash) and now you can either pick up the axe and go for a kill with an ignite or just farm it up while he stays far. One thing though, if you see a pilar, that means that a gank is coming. That's why your summoner spells should be Flash to escape through a well placed pilar and either Ghost to catchup to him/escape easily or Ignite to get early kills.

I don't suggest Teleport here because you have to be REALLY careful against Trundle and not push the lane then get caught deep. Push only when you know the opposite jungler is not close OR if you have enough vision because of wards to prevent a gank. So push the lane deep enough while being prudent, then recall and walk back. The lane should be pushed close to your tower now where it is safer to farm from.

Now, a little bit like Fiora, good Trundle players are tower divers. DO NOT THINK YOU ARE SAFE UNDER YOUR TOWER if relatively low if he has hit level 6 and especially so if his jungler drops by. If you stay there, you will die! There's no point in giving up a kill plus a tower. If the tower gets crushed, so be it. Don't give them 300 more gold. If you think you can fight back, I suggest the following: Activate your W as soon as he dives you an Auto-Attack him. Do not Q until he tries to retreat in order to get him to be hit by a few more tower shots. I would not use my E because you'll need to keep all the HP you can.... unless you think you can get the kill with it. If the jungler is there and jumps in to help and he has a stun or fear ( Pantheon, Udyr, Elise or Fiddlesticks are all prime examples) then activate your ultimate also. You cannot regenerate with your W if you're unable to attack.
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Team Fights

Team fights and your ability to win them will often be turning points in one game. Knowing your role and execution differentiates between the good players and the bad ones.

In your case, because you're melee, you will get in the middle of things. That means that you will need to be able to sustain considerable damage. That's why Olaf should always be built as a tank or off tank. Even the POWER BRO build has some form of amor and magic resist recommended.

So, what should you do when a team fight occurs? Your role is to protect the carries and get to the enemy carries. What's fun about this is that you can do both by being ultra aggressive and launching yourself at the enemy backline. Target the assassin that is fed or the ADC/APC if they are a threat. Look at the game stats often and keep an eye on the best enemy player: HE'S YOUR TARGET! If you launch yourself at him and can sustain the early output, you are stopping him from attacking your squishies and delivering some pain at the same time.

The error most people make is that they attack whoever goes in first. I'm telling you, jumping on a Mundo or Amumu or Rammus or Shyvana will NEVER win you a team fight! Plus, the aggressor is usually the winner IF his team reacts quickly.

So ignore the front line tanks, pop your ult and run to the enemy carry. If he runs, it's now 5vs4 and that's good for you, focus the second most dangerous target. Other than hitting a Q to slow them down a bit in certain cases, you should only attack the enemy tanks after the rest are dead or they ran away. A tank doesn't kill people (unless really fed) but the good ones can completely dictate a team fight. You have enough power to inflict major damage and sustain for a long time.

Now, when team fights occur, you will find yourself with 4 potential outcome:
  • Your team won the fight and you survived.
  • Your team won the fight but you died.
  • Your team lost the fight but you survived.
  • Your team lost the fight and you died.

To me, winning means you got more kills than they did OR they retreated before an impending massacre.

Let's look at every situation and see what you can do to improve:

Your team won the fight and you survived

PERFECT! That's the easy one. Take a look at what went well and buy accordingly. If you got targeted and barely lost health, consider buying attack damage now. You are probably fed and can sustain all their damage, time to get some kills. If it was a close escape for you, look into more health, armor and/or magic resist depending on the enemy team composition.

Your team won the fight but you died

That happens. You're the tank after all, it is "kinda" your role. Build more tanky and get back in.

Your team lost the fight but you survived

Did you target the ADC/APC? Is it because their tanks got to your carries? In this case, I would try to have the enemy team stick to me and not get to my damage dealing teammates. Consider an Iceborn Gauntlet or Frozen Mallet to slow them down a bit. Throw your Q to slow them even more (if you do both, the slow will be GINORMOUS and act like a root spell). Buy some damage items also. You are tanky enough since you sustained their onslaught and got away. Get to the enemy carries and deal major pain, make the other team focus you and not your backline.

Your team lost the fight and you died

Well that su***! Alright what went wrong here? If you got totally dominated 5 to 0 in kills it's not looking good. If not or if the few enemy team members barely got away with a bit of health, there's hope. Build 100% tank and try to fight the other team under a tower next time. Catch them in "god mode" thinking they cannot die. Oh and one more thing, when a team fight ends with an ace, remaining enemy champions will usually farm or jungle and not go back to base immediately. Once your team revives, which will probably be relatively all at the same time, try to rush a Baron. Chances are you'll catch the enemy team offguard or unable to defend it because they are low and/or did not go back to buy and are now weaker than your team. That strategy is very risky though but if it's not looking good for your team, a Baron buff could turn the tides. In leagues below GOLD, they won't even ward Baron most of the time so this strategy will be successful more often.
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First of all, what are you looking for when picking a jungler?

I like junglers with some hard Crowd Control. I believe in most instances that Vi, Amumu, Lee Sin, Udyr, Volibear, Elise and Jarvan IV just to name a few have better chances of a gank being successful than Shaco, Hecarim or even Evelynn for example. Since ganking is a MAJOR part of jungling, champions with stuns, suppression, roots and throwbacks are better junglers in my opinion... a simple slow will often not be enough. But again, it also depends on team composition and strategy.

I also like my junglers to be great gap closers. A speed buff ability or something like Elise's Rappel will also help make ganks successful.

Last but not least: Sustain. If a jungler has a way to regenerate health he'll be better at his role by spending less time at the base and hence not falling behind early in levels.

That being said, without items, Olaf's only Crowd Control ability is a slow which happens to also be a skill shot. If the lane is pushed and you come in from behind, then you can deal some damage and have better odds of hitting the skill shot when chasing the enemy if he flees. But that last comment could be said of most champions... anyone can come in from behind and deal some form of damage.

Olaf has great sustain and is tanky enough to jungle. If you want to try him as a jungler, go ahead. The advice in this guide and the builds can all apply to jungling (except the very first buy where you'll probably replace the Doran's Shield with a Hunter's Machete and 5 potions or a Cloth Armor and 5 potions). I suggest building Frozen Mallet or Iceborn Gauntlet early to increase your chances of a successful gank though.

Because of his lack of Crowd Control, his slow being a skill shot and no gap closing innate abilities, I personally think that Olaf is better suited as a top laner.
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Conclusion and final advice

Reckless Swing all the time!

That's my advice.

In most cases, you should not push a lane top or you'll get ganked. Last hits only.

Beginner players love the BIG ULTIMATES that deal huge damage. I promise that you will learn to love Olaf's ultimate and the synergy he has with all his abilities. Try him out, he won't disappoint.

Hopefully, this guide was useful. I hope you enjoyed it.

Now, glhf bro!

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide