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Bard Build Guide by SigtheOutcast

Support SigtheOutcast's Guide to Being The Real Carry

Support SigtheOutcast's Guide to Being The Real Carry

Updated on September 7, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author SigtheOutcast Build Guide By SigtheOutcast 7 1 12,689 Views 4 Comments
7 1 12,689 Views 4 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author SigtheOutcast Bard Build Guide By SigtheOutcast Updated on September 7, 2021
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Runes: Best rune page this side of the mississippi

1 2 3 4
Hail of Blades
Cheap Shot
Eyeball Collection
Relentless Hunter

Font of Life

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2
Against non-dive comps
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

SigtheOutcast's Guide to Being The Real Carry

By SigtheOutcast
Hello guys, gals, and nonbinary pals, this is my guide on how to pog hard on bard.

Now that I've successfully scared off 99 percent of you, for the rest of you, I just wanted to say: I know this season is tough, there are a lot of balance changes and a lot of your friends probably stopped playing. But we all know why we're here, beyond the obligation of sunk cost. We're here to game and have those matches we can look back on with pride. So don't give up, and remember that the ranked climb is a marathon, not a sprint. Even if you end up lower than you did last season, you should still look back on all the things you learned while playing and realize you likely changed for the better despite everything. Matchmaking may make us all want to tear our hair out, but all we got's each other, and this game we all somehow fell in love with, warts and all.

Lets go forth and prove our worth.


Also, I wanted to mention that I DO plan on properly turning this into n in-depth guide...there are a lot of things I found out while experimenting in-game, and patches surprisingly have been changing a lot of what I used to think about what's good and what's bad on bard. I want to try and expand on what I know and put as much advice in here as possible- bard's a great champ and despite enjoying this little fantasy feeling of playing this underrated gem and pulling crazy plays off, I do think that he deserves to be played more and given more love, especially after the nerfs some time back.

Thanks for reading and sticking with it, and I'll see y'all on the rift- good luck out there!
Weird Runes- Why?
Ok, so, do what you do with that one weird theory-crafting friend and/or Matthew Patthew/Matrick Patrick, and hear me out.

So my favorite kind of bard is the kind where you bully/go aggro early and mid, because 1. it tilts the enemy, meaning you have a 75 percent increased chance of winning, and 2. it's a very satisfying risk/reward playstyle. But with all the nerfs and changes to runes and items, I couldn't for the life of me figure out a good way to make aggro bard work anymore...

That is, until I fiddled with build after build, inting and carrying in various ways, and finally found a runeset and item build that works nearly every time.

I switched over to eyeball collection compared to what I originally had, as ghost poro, despite being safe, no longer gives enough damage to satisfy my carnal cravings for destroying kids in this game.

I switched to relentless hunter, I finally caved. It's mostly for better roams and ganks to other lanes, literally giving people kills on a silver platter with a million dollars and a happy ending.

I went font of life and revitalize for extra utility, so your team can benefit from you going in. That way, you can be selfish without being selfish. Alternatively, you can go more burst/poke-resistant or hp-stacking runes for safety if you find yourself needing to build damage on bard.

For shards, attack speed, adaptive force, and one defensive shard based on their damage. Mostly AD- armor. An apc lane? Magic resist. AD laner but AP jg? HP.

These runes should allow you to roam quite easily, get some cheesy kills and picks, and otherwise prove to the vast majority of the league community that bard is either a troll pick that is dodge-worthy, or a literal gift from the gods. Mileage will vary.
Erm...interesting? Item choices.
OK. So. Items. Why on earth do I go the items I do?

Well, hold on to your hat, uncle sam and aunt britain, cuz I want you to listen.

Why on earth do I go spellthiefs now, despite originally simping hard for the item literally only senna takes?

Because now that the meta is very fast-paced, snowball-y, and chaotic, especially with worlds right around the corner, exploiting and abusing the enemy's lack of vision and coordination and fully taking advantage of the ridiculous amount of burst bard can engage in is more important than consistently damaging the enemy, especially considering bard's horrible range. He's built around the element of surprise and catching people off-guard/when they're vulnerable. You are the t-rex from jurassic park who ate the ****o sitting on the toilet.

Imperial mandate is nerfed, yes, but with all my testing I found that it is STILL the best offensive support bard item. Go this most games. It gives your team a lot of damage and a small boost to your own, while giving some nice stats for bard overall. Although I do recommend going boots 2 first, since imperial mandate really only is useful once you do a decent amount of slow with your auto attacks.

Boots - nearly every boot except zerkers are good on bard, for different reasons, but choices are limited based on your progression in-game.
In early game, stick with either mobi's for lightning-quick mid ganks, swifties if the enemy team has slows for the same reasons as mobis, or ionian boots if you plan on ganking mid/roaming less often early (usually if you have an adc who has no self-peel and is helpless in bot lane, you'll go ionian and only roam mid when it's completely safe to.)

Late game, you want to go either merc treads or ninja tabi, depending on who is fed, and the amount of CC they have.

For the final two items...

this is far, far too situational to give you a straightforward answer, but the best way to put it, is look at your runes, look at the enemy team and what your team needs, and pick based on that. If you end up going font of life, go at least either ardent or SoFW, to increase your heal and empower your allies with your big aoe meep slaps. If your team struggles in teamfights and you can afford to, go another healing item, like redemption or whatever you didn't pick earlier. Mikaels is exceedingly niche, so I didn't include this in commonly-built items, but it's a very solid item when dealing with one or two game-winning cc moves, like morgana q or lissandra ult. If they can chain-cc easily, it's not that great of an item, because they can just get hit by more cc afterwards, making it a waste of an active item, but if they only have one or two hard cc moves that lock down single targets, it's an insane item with good stats.

You have 3 anti-heal items that work on bard. Chemtech is best when you go font of life, obviously, thornmail is best when the ones who heal the most require auto attacking (and you also aren't going font of life), and morellos is built the rest of the time. Typically you only go morellos if you aren't going font of life, and if you're dealing with tanks who do lower damage than carries would (aka you won't likely be one-shot and went resistance secondaries instead of font of life/revitalize).

The tank items do different things and are required in different situations. Dead man's plate is great versus a good amount of AD that isn't auto-attack reliant or where frozen heart doesn't work against (riven, master yi due to his ult, other AD casters), and gives you more damage on-hit and more movement speed. Spirit visage is your MR you go when you have another member of your team who heals (rare, but could happen), force of nature versus DoT/spell spam, frozen heart versus auto-attack reliant champs, and, though not listed due to being very niche, going randuin's is very good if you're dealing with melee champions who crit. (crit yi, tryndamere...actually, that's kind of all there is.)...abyssal is self-explanatory; MR that lets everyone do more damage to people you ult or Q is pretty amazing. Zhonya's is another one that I believe is more's exceedingly useful, but as bard, there are not a whole lotta times where an instant stasis will be that good unless the enemy team has 2 or more assassins that are out for your blood. If that IS the case, zhonya's is another good item.

The damage items are mostly there for when you're up against a lot of tanks. Cosmic drive is all around very useful on bard, demonic embrace is very good as well, and if your team is mostly magic damage, void staff will be necessary to help wittle their hp bars down enough for the kill.

A good rule of thumb when building bard is to build according to your strengths and what is needed, without thinking too hard about how strong you individually will be. Because you're bard, so you will always be strong and hard to predict. If the enemy team has a lot of tanks, you need a lot of tank melting and at least a couple ways to avoid dying instantly. They have a lot of squishies, go tanky so they are not very useful against you. Your scaling damage will be enough, you don't need to build magic pen or extra damage at that point.

As far as RFC, the literal only time you should take this, is if you are building full squishy items and going the arcane comet page. You NEED the extra safety so you don't immediately get your floaty cheeks clapped. Pretty rare that you'll build it, but when you do, this item will be a godsend.
Important Miscellaneous Bard Tips and Tricks
When playing with a jhin:


Ult their support or whoever is in front of them. Your jhin will honor you and sing your praises over mead in valhalla if you lose and in dms after they friended you if you win.

When your team is turret-diving...ult the turret, not the target. You can literally shut off turrets with your ult, resetting turret aggro and making every turret dive a complete cinch.

Use bushes a LOT when getting ganked, as well as the alcove. As bard, you can tunnel through walls and stall for a really long time. Do this, and make sure that bush is warded if at all possible. If you're lucky, you can distract them long enough for your jungler to gank, your adc to escape, or your q to come off cooldown so you can walk away. You can also tunnel nearly to turret from alcove, so if you immediately run over there, you and your adc could potentially have a free escape nearly every time.

When stealing dragon: ult the team, not the dragon, if you can help it. Let them leash it for you so you can steal it. There's a good chance in lower elos that they won't have smite, thinking they can just fight you if ahead or sneak it if they speedrun it. Junglers cannot (from what I know) use smite if in stasis, meaning bard ult is the ONLY form of cc other than malz ult that can deny smites!

For your heal, I recommend always having 2 back at turret for your adc, and one fairly close behind for escape/bad trades for either of you. Try to have your heal up and ready in case they need an extra pep in their step to escape a thresh hook or gank- you'd be surprised how useful that little tiny bit of extra movespeed can be if timed well enough.

As long as at least one other member of your team jumps in, there's a high likelihood that you can steal dragon, so long as you have vision of their jungler! I've done it quite a few times, and the worst that will happen is you and the one other person who helped you (if they even did) will die. That's a death or two for a possible dragon steal, which is ALWAYS worth.

Last but not least, and this isn't a bard tip but it IS a game tip:
Do NOT criticize anyone for their plays, ever. It will only tilt them and make them nervous and screw up further. Even if they're complete lunatics who play the game by bashing their face into their keyboard and hoping for the best, anytime they do something good after feeding hard, point out what they did right and praise them for it. Don't be patronizing, obviously, but pat them on the back for making good plays, and they will likely want to impress you further and continue doing well. Everyone wants validation, that's partly why we play video games. Support this need and fulfill it, and you'll do far better than people who get on their case constantly.
League of Legends Build Guide Author SigtheOutcast
SigtheOutcast Bard Guide
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SigtheOutcast's Guide to Being The Real Carry

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