Bard Build Guide by SwelteringMuffin
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
+15-135 Health (at levels 1-18) and +10 ability power or +6 attack damage, adaptive
Swap To Oracle Lv9
Support your teammates by healing them, stunning enemies and taking everyone for a rollercoaster ride!
Check masteries above.
Check tips & tricks below for useful information on Bard gameplay and chapter items for reasonings.
You start by buying Spellthief's Edge and Faerie Charm which both are used for your first item Eye of the Watchers.
The mp regen from Faerie Charm makes you not have to waste your gold on potions, for Bard it's totally great because his mp converts to hp when using W.
The key is to outsustain and outrotate your opponents by placing as many health shrines for your teammates as possible, know your positioning, and hit your Q now and then, and most important have fun playing Bard and don't ever step off that roller coaster and be all alone.
Bard is a champion based on crowd control, peeling and rotations, therefore you opt for the keystone mastery Aftershock.
The remaining points are put in the Sorcery tree, this will grant you alot more mana sustain and some extra damage.
Spellthief's Edge -> Mp regen, gold and AP
Faerie Charm -> Mp regen early game, very useful
Warding Totem -> Vision*
*Swap to Oracle Lens at Lv9 -> great for vision denial preventing tp flanks, keep track of cooldown to use it directly when available try to cover as much map as possible whilst it's active
FIRST item: Eye of the Watchers
SECOND and THIRD items: Frozen Heart Spirit Visage Build Frozen Heart second if there's more AD than AP on enemy team, otherwise build Locket as second item
- MOST EFFECTIVE way to max cooldown reduction
- BIG amounts of armor, magic resist and hp early on makes you tanky for your team
- GREAT gold income
- WARDS four of them, vision of dark places to get knowledge where enemies hide giving you safety or surprising the lonely enemy with your team
- GREAT sustain (mp and hp), the extra mana on frozen heart makes chimes restore relatively more mp
Oasis: 10% cooldown reduction
Frozen Heart: 20% cooldown reduction
Spirit Visage: 10% cooldown reduction
Total: 40% cooldown reduction
Useful because: reduces your ult cooldown to close or open gaps more often on enemies and you can spam Cosmic Binding stuns super fast during teamfights
FOURTH item: Mercury's Treads
Bard is a tank, thus also a frontliner, most teams have alot of crowd control making Mercury's Treads a nice pick
FIFTH and SIXTH items: Locket of the Iron Solari Randuin's Omen
If there's more AD than AP at this point on the enemy team build Randuin's as fifth item, otherwise build Locket as fifth item
Both of these items give a great boost to your HP, armor and magic resist and thus making you even more tanky
When the game you're in doesn't want to end: get Elixir of Iron
Max out skills in this order: R>Q>W>E
Start with Q, poke enemies, stun or slow them
At lv 2 go W, heal teammates, make them stay longer in lane, gives movement speed boost
At lv 3 go E, great rollercoaster for rotating, ganking or escaping through walls
Ult at lv 6, 11 and 16 as usual, for lower cooldown
Get Exhaust and Flash, no discussion. Both can get you out of sticky situations but can also get your teammates to kill the exhausted person really easy as it reduces their movement speed, attack speed, armor, magic resist and damage dealt for a good 2.5 seconds
Pros / Cons
- Strong ganks and rotations
- Great crowd control, slows, stuns and statis
- Amazing aoe statis, saving teammates or get kills
- Very tanky, high sustain
- Strong heals with speed boost
- High damage
Ulting the wrong champions/things may lose you teamfights so be precise
Vision & General Gameplay
Before I start talking about where you should exactly place your wards as a support or any role you're playing as, I want to give insight about certain topics that alot players forget or are not aware of.
First of all, what is vision?
Vision is information of the map that your enemy team may not know about, basically you're talking about advantages.
Two examples are:
- You have a ward placed in the river. What does this mean? This means you can spot an enemy champion, most likely the enemy jungler but also the rest of the enemy team, since anyone may roam to other lanes at almost any point.
- You have a ward placed between the blue buff and gromp of the enemy jungle. What does this mean? Not only can you spot the enemy jungler/rest of their team, but you have vision of the enemies jungle camps aswell. Meaning you may know the route or where the enemy jungler may be/has been.
Once you have your vision you need MAP AWARENESS. What is map awareness and what is the important factor that goes with it?
Why do we want map awareness?
- Knowing in what situation you are in
- Where your champion is located
- In what kind of dangers you may be
- What you're risking
You want to know in what situation you are in because you don't want to die from a gank or a roam. Therefore the other important factor is being aware of what the enemies team composition is (aswell as your own team). This means you should know what the enemies are capable of doing.
For example the enemy jungler is Kindred or Nidalee. You should know these champions have a wall hop. This means your wards that give you protection from being ganked may get bypassed and giving you false hope of not dying. You should not only be aware of the enemy jungler because roams, spells and champion skills that have teleports may get you in trouble too.
So how do we get good at knowing in what situations you are currently in?
- You get map awareness by looking frequently at the minimap
- Frequently is like once every 10 or so seconds
I never look at the minimap, is this a disadvantage for me?
Yes, this is definitely a big factor. You can train yourself by looking more frequently at the minimap. You don't have to look every 10 seconds at it if you find it too distracting. Try looking at it atleast once every 30 seconds, then start lowering it for yourself.
When you've checked your minimap you must immediately think about certain things and inform your teammates in an efficient way.
When do I inform my teammates?
- You inform your teammates when enemies are missing for about 10secs
How do I inform my teammates quick and safe?
- Use your ping functions on the minimap
- In options when you press esc, hotkeys, communication you have Alert Ping and Retreat Ping
- When you press your hotkey for either Alert or Retreat, aim it at the location on the minimap, hold your mousebutton on the minimap, you may drag it around and release it for more ping options such as On My Way, Missing Enemy, Danger, Assist Me.
For example, your top laner has placed a ward in the top river. The enemy jungler goes through the top river and you notice this. What should you do as a support in the bottom lane? You can ping Danger at the location where you spot the enemy jungler so that the rest of your team notices this too. Once you know this information of the enemy jungler being in the top river, you also know that you're most likely not going to be ganked. Unless there's some kind of teleport factor that you should be aware of.
If there are 3 enemies in the top lane that means there can only be 2 enemies in the rest of the map. Therefore you may make plays in other lanes, play more aggressive, try to push out waves, get a tower and take jungle camps on the way back if you're in the position to do so. Otherwise your team should rotate to other lanes to save towers in the top lane.
Now that we have a better understanding of how it all works. Let's talk more about vision, wards and how to use your wards efficiently.
- Stealth Ward -> from Sightstone or the upgrades from it
- Vision Ward -> 75 gold in the shop
- Farsight Alteration -> at Lv9 from Warding Totem
- Rift Scuttler
All of these options are used in a different way.
- Stealth wards have a limited use. Per champion you can only have a maximum of 3 on the map at the same time. Therefore you should use them wisely and efficiently. Don't place 2 wards on the same location or near each other, try to spread them around and place them in bushes so that if an enemy goes in a bush you or your team can still attack them. Place the wards for protection if you're being pushed in, or try to place them in the enemy jungle for deeper vision, without risking to die, around the OBJECTIVES that you're going for (towers/dragon/baron).
- Vision wards are wards that give vision, but are visible to enemies if they spot them. They last forever until poked down by the enemies, they give vision of enemy stealth wards and stealthed enemy champions. You can only have one of these on the map per champion. They aren't free so try to protect them by attacking the enemy. They are used to deny vision of a certain spot, so if the enemy team wards nearby you can clear out that ward. The best use for it is to place them in bushes where they will last long but give good information.
- Farsight Alteration are wards that give vision but are visible to enemies if they spot them. Don't waste them by putting them in a bush where there is already a ward. Keep track of the cooldown and spam these in any bush for deep vision. It is also effective to place them in bushes of your own jungle, they are more likely to last longer but can still give vision of enemies invading your jungle.
- Rift Scuttler, take these with your team whenever dragon or baron is a possible objective for either team. This vision cannot be removed using Vision Wards or anything, so enemies that are about to do dragon or baron will be spotted either way. Also it gives a nice movement speed buff that may help you win teamfights that break out.
When you ward be careful, it is not worth dying to place a ward. It is also not worth going halfway across the map to place a Vision Ward, you lose too much time running around and you'll fall behind on xp/levels/gold. However it is worth if your team is about to make plays on that side of the map.
Placing Vision Wards when on blue side:
Placing Vision Wards when on red side:
Recommended Stealth Wards when doing dragon:
*Blue squares are Stealth Wards placed by blue team, red squares for red team
Recommended Stealth Wards when doing baron:
*Blue squares are Stealth Wards placed by blue team, red squares for red team
*The darker coloured squares are optional
Tips & Tricks
- Ulting puts minions, monsters, turrets and champions in statis including champions of your own team for 2.5 seconds and can be a huge game changer, it's purpose is to close or open a gap between you/your team and enemy champions
- When someone of the enemy team is a little too much forward you can ult them to seperate one or two from the rest to pick up some kills
- Sometimes in crucial moments when all your skills are on cooldown ult right on top of the enemy chasing directly behind you and flash out of your own ult
- Stun enemies with Q, hitting the champion and a wall/structure/enemy minion or another enemy champion, Q slows the target if no second target is found, try lining up two enemy champions stunning both may result in a great teamfight/victory
- Shrines heal teammates more the longer they are on the ground, you can only have three up at the same time, make sure your ADC takes them once the ten seconds have passed for maximum heal effect and whenever your ADC is not at full hp
- Shrines give movement speed, place them directly on top of your teammates for the speed buff during fights
- Situationally you can use W to check a bush as it gives a small radius of vision for about a second
- Know where you place your shrines, shrines can be stepped on by enemies and removing them, don't place them too much forward unless you're using shrines to bait an enemy champion to mess them up
- Use your E to travel through (long) walls and rotate to other lanes faster than the enemy team to secure turrets and/or cut off enemy paths, use it on the wall at the fountain to get back faster into lane, also useful from tribush to lane to gank with your jungler
- If you won a trade bottom lane and they're recalling but you can't quite get them you can use your E towards the tower without taking the Journey to fake a tower dive and delay their recalls
- You may sneak drake, rift herald, elder dragon or even baron by entering with your team through the back of the pit with E if they only have vision in the river and no vision at the back or inside the pit
- When escaping with E and being followed through the portal use Q to stun enemies at the portal if you think more enemies will come through the portal you can try stunning both to give you more time getting away
- Ancient chimes restore mana, gives xp and out of combat movement speed for a while
- When low on mana you don't always have to recall, check where ancient chimes have spawned on your minimap and think about your pathing grab the chimes and combine it with warding
This is my seventh guide, if it helped you in any way, like by voting or leave a comment for questions/feedback :D
I play on the NA server with the username SwelteringMuffin (previously X_Ploxinator_X)
I mainly play support. Beside the fact that it's the fastest to queue with, it's a really easy role. You don't really have to worry about last hitting minions. It is an easy role, but to be great at it you have to do alot for the team. I like playing unusual support champions, because people don't know what to expect when you change a champions standard role/lane/build which can be beneficial for your team.
I have also played alot of jungle. It gives a good knowledge on when to exactly gank and how to bait your enemies perfectly into death as a laner. Since I play alot of squishy supports I've learnt how to bait enemies very well, provoking them or sometimes showing that lv5 champion mastery is enough to get them greedy.
Because of how much I've played as a support I have a good understanding on how the bottom lane and synergy between AD and support works. This is one of the reasons I like to play AD aswell.
Aside of all that, maining support has taught me how to efficiently ward, bringing the most vision to your team. This is something that I've transferred to other roles aswell, warding efficiently, because vision is not only the supports job, it's a team job. Once you get the hang of warding efficiently you will automatically work on your map awareness. Having map awareness made me know very well how to rotate around the map and when to take turrets, dragons or barons.
I don't have a Bard skin but if I'd have to pick/suggest one, it'd be Snow Day Bard.
If you like Bard you may also like Tahm Kench.
- My guides
Tahm Kench: http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/support-tahm-kench-to-spit-or-to-swallow-6-19-433887
2 June 2015: Creation of guide (Soraka)
24 July 2015: 100k champion points on Soraka, wooooo!
28 August 2015: Creation of guide (Sona)
9 October 2015: Creation of guide (Tahm Kench)
14 November 2015: 100k views on Soraka guide, aww yeeaa!
14 November 2015: Creation of guide (Nunu)
2 December 2015: Creation of guide (Kayle)
6 December 2015: 100k views on Tahm Kench guide, woop woop!
6 December 2015: 100k views on Sona guide, double woop woop!
18 December 2015: 500k views on Soraka guide, keep on healin' keep on healin'!
24 January 2016: 500k views on Tahm Kench guide, don't stop licking :P
1 February 2016: Creation of guide (Jhin)
3 February 2016: 100k views on Nunu guide, let's build this snowman!
12 February 2016: 100k views on Kayle guide, keep on smackin' with your sword!
10 March 2016: 1M views on Soraka guide, a small loan of a million views.
13 March 2016: 100k views on Jhin guide, load, aim, headshot!
31 March 2016: 500k views on Sona Guide, heal, speed, burst, repeat!
16 May 2016: 2M views on Soraka guide, that's quite a bit, but we heal more with one W! >:D
9 July 2016: 500k views on Nunu guide, stay frosty.
16 August 2016: Creation of guide (Bard)
24 August 2016: 1M views on Tahm Kench guide, Lickitung would be proud of this.
3 September 2016: Lv7 mastery on Soraka!
29 September 2016: 500k views on Kayle guide.
29 September 2016: 100k champion points on Sona.
- Champions I like to play