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Olaf Build Guide by Nightsh0t

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Nightsh0t


Nightsh0t Last updated on December 5, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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About Me and My Guide

Hello everyone this is my first guide ever, which I decided to make to help beginners with Olaf and basically all melee damage dealers; however, almost anyone can benefit from this guide. In case you do not know who Olaf is, he is a powerful viking who can work as a jungler, off-tank, and a damage dealer. Due to this and many other factors Olaf is my favourite character by far. For a long time I have considered him my main and I have had much success with him. Using this guide you will be able to play Olaf and dominate ranked and non-ranked games. This guide will tell you how to be a fight initiator, dominator, and amazing damage dealer who can work as an off tank.

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Olaf "The Berserker" starts out pretty well and can usually get kills against almost any hero very early on with the help of some summoner spells, but he really shines once he gets to the late game. In the late game once he has stacked health he becomes an almost indestructible titan. This is because he has high health and health regeneration, and benefits in damage from having this because of his abilities. When this high health goes down we have a lifesteal ability and some items to help us increase it again. If enemies can still manage to lower Olaf's health his passive lets him gain 1% attack speed for every 1% health missing, meaning that you can destroy anyone even at low health. This is also how I got 22 kills, 0 deaths, and 9 assists in one game. Here is an example of my record when I first started to use this build:

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On an uncharted continent beyond Valoran's grasping clutches, the conqueror named Olaf was born to a long tradition of soldiers unlike most others. Berserkers, as they tout themselves, are warriors who channel fury deep from their cores, unleashing pure and savage wrath upon their enemies. This fearsome evolution is a product of their unforgiving home, Lokfar - a barren tundra where all creatures must vie bitterly for every resource. Olaf belonged to a seafaring clan known for ruthlessly pillaging any and all villages within reach of their dragon-crested longboats. The last time he saw his icy home, Olaf was embarking on an expedition to pioneer and plunder a distant land known only to legend. However, while underway, a terrible storm sprung up and Olaf and his crew were thrown to the mercy of a roiling and pitiless sea.

His ship destroyed, his crew nowhere to be found, Olaf miraculously washed up untold miles from ''friendly'' waters on the foreign shores of Valoran, south of Demacia. This unfamiliar place stunned and frightened the Berserker, for Lokfar is not privy to such potent magicians. Approaching them, Olaf hoped that they could use their mysterious powers to send him back to his people. A bargain was struck. Olaf would use his awesome prowess as a warrior to serve the unusual wars of Valoran in the League of Legends, and in exchange the sorcerers would find him a way to return. Despite his participation in the League, Olaf knows better than to trust the ''finger wagglers'' that run the Institute of War. He deliberately keeps details of his life and home from them. After all, with enough information, they would most certainly find the Lokfarians and dominate them as they have dominated all of Valoran, keeping both quietly -- and unwittingly -- in their thrall.

Beware the war cry of the Berserker. What surges toward you is unyielding, free from the shackles of reason.

(Taken from

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Pros /Cons

Like any other champion Olaf does have his pros and cons here they are:

You can stack health with him and still do insane damage
Is a great in the early and late games
He can be a off-tank, jungler, or melee damage dealer depending on how he is played
He is not squishy at all, like many damage dealers
He can still does more damage at low health allowing you to decieve your opponents
His passive (Enough said)
He can be played well by almost anyone
He is a great champion overall(Enough said)

His axe can be quite difficult to use at first
He has to be built properly in order to be sucessful
He has decent DPS but not the highest in the game, yet he makes up for it with his health

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Olaf's Abilities

Berzerker Rage- For each 1% of health missing, Olaf's attack speed is increased by 1%.

Berzerker Rage is, in my opinion, one of the best passives in the game if properly used. This will give you an advantage against anyone in the game for you will get more powerful at a lower health. Due to this you can trick the enemy champions into thinking that you are weak and unable to beat them by running, yet when they come near you can then attack them and finish them off using your increased attack speed.

Undertow- Olaf throws an axe to a target location, dealing 50 / 90 / 130 / 170 / 210 (+0.5 per attack damage) physical damage to units it passes through and slowing them by 24 / 28 / 32 / 36 / 40% for 2.5 seconds. If Olaf picks up the axe, the ability's cooldown is reduced by 6 seconds. Cooldown 10 seconds | Cost 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 mana | Range 1000

Undertow is a useful ability for Olaf that can either be maxed out first or last. This is because it allows you to have superior ganking abilities, which I shall explain later, due to its slow. Along with this it give you more area of effect damage, meaning that you can farm better. The only con to this ability is that instead of dealing magic damage, as it used to, it deals physical damage, making it counterable.

Vicious Strikes
- For 6 seconds, Olaf's attack damage is increased by 7 / 14 / 21 / 28 / 35 base damage plus 1% of his max health. While active, Olaf gains 9 / 12 / 15 / 18 / 21% lifesteal and spell vamp. Cost: 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 / 60 mana | Range 700

Olaf's Vicious Strikes is an effective abilty if used at the right time. This is because it does not last a long time, but can be used frequently due to its low cooldown. If you use this ability before a battle starts you will not be able to get much out of it, so I recommend that you use it while in a fight or 1 second before it starts. Coupled with Olaf's other ability, Ragnarok, you will be untoppable for a few seconds so take advantage of this. Another use that I found for this ability is healing. The reason why you can heal with this is because it gives you a 21% lifesteal and if used on minions this will regenerate your health quite quickly and help you farm.

Reckless Swing
- Olaf deals 100 / 160 / 220 / 280 / 340 true damage to his target and inflicts 40 / 64 / 88 / 112 / 136 true damage to himself. Cost 50 mana | Range 325

Reckless Swing is my favourite ability on Olaf, which is why I like maxing it out first. This is because when you max this spell you cannot be countered for this does true damage, meaning that it goes through the armour and magic resistance of enemy champions. When using this ability I do not target minion, for this is a waste of mana. Instead I save this for heroes, especially last shotting them which Olaf is not good with if this ability is on cooldown. However, when you max this ability and have a 4 second cooldown it can be used multiple times in combat with enemy champions and should be used whenever possible while fighting.

Ragnarok- Active: For 5 / 6.5 / 8 seconds, Olaf is immune to disables and reduces incoming damage by 20 / 30 / 40. Passive: Olaf has 10 / 20 / 30 increased armor penetration. Cost 100 / 75 / 50 mana | Range 400

Ragnarok is Olafs most powerful ability when used; however because it has a high cooldown you need to know when to use it. The best times to use this are with Vicious Strikes while fighting an enemy champion, rendering them helpless, or to run away when you are about to be killed or are being chased. This ability is useful for running away for it makes him immune to stuns and disables.

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Summoner Spells

My Main Summoner Spells:

Exhaust- Reduces a target's Attack Damage by 70%, Ability/Item damage by 35% and slows its Movement Speed by 40% for 3 seconds. 550 Range (estimate).

Exhaust is by far the best summoner spell you can get on Olaf. This is due to the fact that you do not max out undertow first, which is your only slow. Although you do put one point in undertow early on this is sometime not good enough to catch an enemy champion and kill them. On the other hand exhaust slows them down dramatically, is easy to aim, and weakens them too, making it easy to kill a champion whenever this is used carefully. Before using this you should think if it is really necessary that you have to use this to kill the enemy, if it is not just use undertow for this has a long cooldown. If you use this wisely this spell will become your best friends as it can also be used for escapes by slowing down the chaser.

Ghost- Your champion ignores unit collision and moves 27% faster for 10 seconds.

Ghost is the secound best summoner spell that you can get for Olaf. This is because it help you increase Olaf's normally slow speed to catch enemies or run away. This should be used with caution as well, just like your other summoner spell exhaust.

Some Alternatives:

Heal- Restores 140 + 20 x level health to your champion and 50% of that to nearby allies within 600 range.

Heal can be an ok alternative to ghost for Olaf; however, I do not believe that it is necessary to use this for you healing. This is because you can just turn on Vicious Strikes to get lifesteal and heal. Along with this if you are using my build you will already have a huge advantage in health even if the other person does use heal. Along with this without heal you have room for ghost which helps you chase and run away, which is better than just getting healed.

Flash- Teleports your Champion to your mouse cursor. 475 range.

Flash is not my favourite ability, however it is still effective if used properly for chasing and running away. This is because you can just teleport closer to you enemy or your base with this. Although flash may seem good at the start it is only a one-time thing and does not have too long a range, making ghost a better choice in my opinion.

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For my masteries I go for a standard 21/0/9 and I really like it. This is because after trying out many builds I stopped and thought that this is the perfect one for me, not to say that the other ones are bad though. The reason why I like this build is that Olaf is meant to be a damage dealer with a lot of health, but I have seen people getting too carried away with health and not focusing on damage as well, making them unsuccessful. This is why I go with the offence tree, which gives me more damage, while allowing me to still have a good amount of health. Going into the defence tree can be good as well, except I do not think that I need any more health or defence than I already have with this build, and as they say offence is the best defence. I do not like to go for utility as Olaf either. This is because I would rather have the last abilities in the offence tree than the utility tree, which focuses more on mana, which Olaf rarely runs out of if used properly, and cooldown reduction, which is not really necessary either. However I do put nine into the utility tree rather than the defence tree because I already have defence from my runes so I would rather have the bottom of the utility tree, which gives you more experience and increases your health.

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My Main Runes

Greater Mark of Desolation

Marks- For my mark I usually go for armour penetration and no other. This is by far the best mark you can get on Olaf, and basically any other melee damage dealer. Armour penetration helps you get through the tanks, which can be cut into pieces if you have armour penetration and Reckless Swing (Which does true damage). There are no alternatives that I can think of for this, because it is the best mark you can get by far.

Greater Seal of Resilience

Seals- For my seal I usually go for armour because it helps a lot with survivability. If I do not go for armour then I usually use health seals, which are also for survivability on Olaf; however these are unnecessary because I use health quintessences. Finally if you do not go for either of these you can get dodge seals, which I never really liked but may prove useful to you.

Greater Glyph of Warding

Glyphs- I usually go for magic resistance with my glyphs. This is because the way I build Olaf he does not get much magic resist, which is very important for survival. Once you get these glyphs however, you do not need to worry about magic resistance for these are substantial enough. Another glyph that I would recommend if you already have a lot of magic resistance is the cooldown reduction one, for this allows you to use you amazing abilities more often, especially your Reckless Swing.

Greater Quintessence of Fortitude

Quintessences- For the quintessences I usually go for health this is because health is what helps Olaf most so it is fitting that the strongest runes be used for that stat. Health not only gives Olaf more survivability, it also gives him more damage. The only other quintessence that I would recommend is the armour one, only if you are not going for armour with your seal.

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The Basics of Gameplay With Olaf

The Start of the Game: Early on in the game Olaf can really shine, along with any other part of the game, but the beginning especially. However in order to do this you have to build him correctly. I have already gone over the spells and how to use them but here I will give you a walkthough of a game and what to do at different times. When I start the game I like buying either a Doran's Shield or a Doran's Blade which both give you a health bonus and a armour or damage bonus. When you have one of these and your Greater Quintessences of Fortitude you will either have a 198 health bonus, with Doran's Shield purchased, or a 178 health bonus, with Doran's Blade purchased. Considering that in the early game champions have under 100 health you will have a huge advantage over your enemies with around 200 extra.

Getting Out to the Lanes: In this guide I will tell you about how to lane with Olaf; however if you would wish to learn jungling there are many other guides made just for that. I prefer laning over jungling for it is more interesting because you never know what is going to happen, along with this there is nothing like the satisfaction of wiping out a noob who shouldn't even be in the game right from the bat keeping him at a lower level then you and giving you lots of money.

The Basics of Laning With Olaf: So as I said earlier you will go out into the lane with around 200 health more than your enemy, if they have the same base health and didn't buy anything. Due to Olaf's high base health the difference can sometimes even be greater then this. Olaf can be successful in any lane; however if you build him my way it is better to go to either the top or bottom lane. This is because in the middle lane there is not much space to chase the enemy champion without running into a tower, while in the bottom and top lanes there is grass to hide in and ambush the enemy from and a longer distance to chase them. If you do lane with someone, which is quite likely, then I would recommend that you go with a ranged champion for they can help you chase down your enemies while you take the damage with you insane health.

Early Game Laning: The early game stage is arguably the most important part of the game for it can affect what goes on throughout the rest of it. It is important that you remember that you should not die in this part or you will be set back for the whole game and good players will take advantage of this. As I stated earlier you should go to either the top or bottom lane in a match. While in this bottom lane it is best to go with a ranged champion, but if you cannot it is fine as well. What you need to do in order to get an early champion kill is wait. It's that simple, just wait. If you do this then the enemy champions will become over-extended and easy prey for Olaf. However, idling and waiting for them to come to you is different. You should not just stay in one position until they come near your tower, what you should do is just focus on last hitting minions, doing minimal damage while receiving maximum experience and money. This means that you get the full benefits of attacking while luring the enemy champion closer to you. Once they near you tower, which may even happen before minions come then it is time to attack them and kill them if you can.

In case you do not know which lanes are which here is a diagram showing you where each lane is:

Ganking: Now we are ready to start learning other meathods of how to kill enemy champions, after luring them to your tower. Luring the enemy champion to your tower is a good strategy, but you have to make sure your teammate knows you are doing it or they will try to push. In the early game luring is the best strategy, as everyone is trying to get experience in the lanes; however later on you can ambush or just straight out attack them if you are powerful enough. To ambush or gank enemy champions all you need to do it hide whether it is in the jungle or in the bushes. Once they near then you pop out and can get the first hit an eventually kill them. If Olaf is powerful enough he can usually turn the ganker into the ganked just by using his ulti. The best place to gank or ambush someone is in a place that is behind them. If you wait until they get closer to your tower then you, they will have no place to run and you will be able to kill them easily. When ganking make sure that there are no escape routes except past you. The best champions to gank are low health ones or ones that you know you can take out quickly, to avoid other coming to their aid.

Killing Champions: When trying to kill champions you need to think of several thing because although killing an enemy sets them back and gives you money there are priorities over that. For example if you could destroy a strategic enemy tower then it would be much better for your team then if you just killed a 1-5 Dr.Mundo. Destroying the enemy base is always the priority of the game so before you kill an enemy champion remember that your main goal is to destroy the enemy base; however if killing another champion is the best thing that you can do to help you win, then go for it.

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Money, Money, Money!

How to Make Money: Money is a very important thing in League of Legends and must be spent correctly if you wish to get the most out of it. There are three main ways to make money in League of Legends. These ways are destroying turrets, killing or assisting someone to kill an enemy champion, and killing minions. Along with this you can kill the monster in the jungle; however, to learn how to do that properly I would recommend another guide for I am focusing on laning. While in a lane it is important to remember not to auto-attack unless you are trying to push the lane (Move the minions of the enemy team back). This is because if you auto attack it is hard to get the last hit on minions and get money. The way not to auto-attack is by continuously moving until the minion is at a health where you can one-shot them. Using this strategy you will be able to have an advantage in money over enemy champions. To get the last hit on champions your Reckless Swing ability is your best bet for it is the only flat damage ability that Olaf has. Remember that it important not to sacrifice your life to kill somebody else, unless they are on a kill streak and you are not. This is because if you sacrifice yourself you will lose your kill streak and therefore earn them more money for killing you than you did for killing them.

How to Spend Your Money in the Early-Game: Now that we know how to make money we can start spending it. As I said earlier it is best to get a Doran's Shield or a Doran's Blade at the start of the game, which can be sold later on once you have five more items or when you need the money to purchase a better item. I recommend going back to your base for the first time after killing an enemy, except if you do it before minions spawn or at level 1. After killing an enemy champion and/or getting around 200 gold you can go back to your base to buy some items. These items should be Boots of Speed, a Long Sword or a Ruby Crystal, and some health potions if you can afford them because they can be effective in the early game. Then after this when I get enough money for Phage or both Phage and Berserker's Greaves I go trade in my Ruby Crystal or Long Sword for a Phage and my Boots of Speed for a Berserker's Greaves.

How to Spend Your Money in the Mid-Game: Now we are in the mid-game we should have all our basic items, Berserker's Greaves, which give us a speed boost for catching champions and traveling along with attack speed, and Phage, which sets us up for the best item you can get on Olaf (Frozen Mallet). In the mid game you will travel back to your main base for the third time when nobody is pushing your lane and you have enough money for either Frozen Mallet or Giant's Belt, the other ingredient for Frozen Mallet. Once you get Frozen Mallet you should have a huge advantage if purchased early enough for this gives you a slow, 700 health, and some attack damage. After this I usually save up for an ingredient to or Atma's Inplaler itself, which gives you 2% of you health in extra damage. Always remember if you have to go back to your base and cannot afford the item try to get an ingredient for it. After this I usually try to get Warmog's Armor, which needs kills to get more powerful so is better got sooner than later. When Warmog's Amour is fully charged it gives you almost 1400 extra health, which will help survivability, damage output, and your Atma's Impaler.

How to Spend Your Money in the Late Game: In the late game you can basically get anything that gives you damage, health, or lifesteal because you already have the 4 main items. I usually like getting an upgrade of the B.F. Sword for my fifth item and for the last a Banshee's Viel. If you are actually able to get all of these items then you will dominate and win any battle.

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How to Kill With Olaf

Earlier I have gone over the basic of how to kill with Olaf and when to use his abilities, but I never put them all in one place. In this section I will tell you how and when you should use your abilities. Your first ability is Undertow, which I max out last, this ability is good for farming and area damage or it can be used for harassment of enemy champions slowly lowering their health from a distance. This ability should be used carefully for if you just spam it you will run out of mana quickly in the early game. The main time where I use Undertow is to slow enemy champions so I can catch up to them and finish them off; however, your summoner spells may help you do this too. Remember that you should always try to save you summoner spells but never get so scared that you do not use them at all. A good combination to use is putting on Vicious Strikes and Ragnarok on then using a slow or speed boosting ability so you can catch and kill your enemy while buffed.

When engaging in combat with enemies you will almost always win your battles if you follow those steps for you will have 2 or more buffs on yourself and be moving faster than your them. Keep in mind that you can differ from this a little for example you do not always need to use Ragnarok if you can finish them off without it or if it is on cooldown. As for your last ability Reckless Swing you should not use it except for the last hit on enemy champions just to make sure nobody can steal your kill; however this can be used to weaken the enemy if you are doing a 1v1 or if you can fit in 2 before killing them.

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This guide was meant to help mainly beginners to Olaf, yet it may even benefit experienced players. In this guide I covered the basics of Olaf, going over his pros and cons, giving a brief summary of him, guiding you about what to do in game as an off-tank, and talking about his abilities and how to use them. If you use all of my tips and trick I believe that you will be a successful League of Legend player with Olaf and you will be able to dominate any match that you play.

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Final Remarks

Thank you for reading this guide! I hope you enjoyed it! Feel free to tell me about any ways I can improve this guide, remember it's my first one so I'm still learning and I would appreciate any help that I can get. Finally post any questions that you have about this guide in the comments section and I will respond as soon as possible. See you out on the battlefield!