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Olaf Build Guide by Jax In The Box

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Jax In The Box

Your Olaf Resource (tailored for Joshua)

Jax In The Box Last updated on December 31, 2014
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Top Lane
Ranked #48 in
Top Lane
Win 50%
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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

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

Threats to Olaf with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Nasus Zone him all day long. If he dares come close give him the E-AA-Q-AA combo and f*ck him up all the way back to his turret. Don't be afraid to 1v1 him because an unfarmed Nasus=a useless, walking bag of gold
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Before we begin...

This guide is meant for some of my misguided SJAB squadmates, who have long expressed their interest to learn the ways of Olaf, especially you, Joshua. Since I am such a generous and charitable soul, I will deign to share my knowledge of Olaf with you.

NOTE: This guide is not magical. Don't expect to read this and suddenly feel like you can take on anything. Many concepts in this guide might seem foreign to you, and if you scr*w up initially, don't be discouraged. Olaf might be abit hard to learn initially, but once you get the hang of it, he is alot of fun to play.

Also, many of the ides I incorporated into the guide, including freezing lane and successfully last-hitting, require practice. I would suggest you master these essential qualities first before whining about how Olaf is unviable.

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This guide is meant for my friend Joshua, who is such a noob that I must teach him how to play Olaf. Since its for Joshua, I'm not going to bother putting in any fancy images whatsoever. You read this, Joshua, and you'd better learn. The way you play Olaf is absolutely revolting.

Alright, so we start with the guide itself. Olaf is an extremely strong duelist, split pusher, and initiator. With his ultimate Ragnarok and the movement speed from both Ghost and Youmuu's Ghostblade, Olaf can easily dive a high priority target in the backline.

In-lane, Olaf is extremely strong as well. The bursting power of a Reckless Swing-AA- Undertow combo is something many champions cannot match. If an enemy chooses to fight to the death and prolong the battle, Vicious Strikes and his passive, Berserker Rage, aid greatly as the lower Olaf gets, the stronger he becomes. Vicious Strikes also ensures that Olaf remains healthy throughout the laning phase, and Ragnarok's active can easily set up Olaf for tower dives and can also be used in conjunction with Ghost to get out of a sticky situation.

Of course, that is not to say that Olaf has no counters nor weaknesses. Olaf's greatest weakness is that he has no instant gapclosers. As such, he is prone to getting kited by champions like Vayne and Lucian with high mobility, or a champion like Ezreal with displacement abilities. As such, avoid taking Olaf against ranged opponents like Kayle or Kennen.

Another weakness of Olaf is that he is extremely mana-hungry early on. An Undertow costs 60 mana at level 1, effectively removing about 2/9 of Olaf's mana early on. As such, harassing ranged lane opponents like Jayce is extremely difficult due to his high mana costs early. In lane, Olaf excels at coming up to his opponents and giving them a good smack in the face. As such, his zoning power is extremely powerful against melee opponents, but the 325-range on Reckless Swing can't reach ranged opponents easily.

So, can reading this guide make you better? No. No guide will ever make you better. Only experience can. As of now, you have much to learn about the essential qualities of a top laner, such as map awareness, freezing lane, and proper itemization. I hope that this guide can make you a better Olaf player.
Click me if you're noob!

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Champion Spotlight

You've probably seen this, but don't learn from it. Its outdated as h*ck and almost nothing inside is applicable. For a beginner player like you, however, it might offer some insights into how to play Olaf.

And please don't ever be like Phreak and tank the turret. Also the part about getting 1/2 of the minions is bulls*it, aim for 100% always.

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Pros / Cons and Misconceptions

-Excellent duelist
+Good synergy with champions that have alot of CC
+Bullies many melee champions with Reckless Swing
+Excellent tanker with ultimate Ragnarok, which gives Olaf a passive armor/MR boost
+Good teamfighter that can dive squishies in the backline without fear of getting peeled
+Incredible movement speed with Ghost and Ragnarok, good chaser/escaper
+Punishes split pushers/people caught out of position really easily with his mobility
+Is incredible in many aspects, with attack speed steroids( Vicious Strikes), AD buffs( Ragnarok), Armor/MR buffs( Ragnarok), slows( Undertow), invulnerability to CC( Ragnarok) and burst( Reckless Swing)

-Easily kited without of Ragnarok, Youmuu's Ghostblade active and Ghost
-Relies mainly on autoattacks to bring the pain
-No way of gapclosing immediately, can die easily without above mentioned skills if chasing an opponent into enemy team
-Only 1 long ranged ability, Undertow
-Only slow Undertow is is subpar compared to slows like Wither, and is a skillshot.
-Attack speed buff has a rather long cooldown.
-Can be harassed easily in lane and during sieges/attrition battles
-Lack of hard CC, unable to disrupt enemy channels like Katarina 's Death Lotus or Fiddlesticks ' Crowstorm.
Any misconceptions, my dear boy Joshy? If so, let me know.

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When to pick Olaf?

In-lane, Olaf serves best as a lane-bully of sorts. As such, he is best agaisnt champions that cannot match his high damage output, especially those with weak early games like Jax and Nasus as he can zone them and deny them CS to scale into their godly late game.

Olaf synergises best with champions that have movement speed buffs like Lulu and Jayce, that can help him reach the ranged carries more quickly, or champions with heavy CC like Sion or Amumu, which can lock down targets long enough for Olaf to dispose of them.

Of course, there are scenarios where you should not pick Olaf. Such scenarios include:

Ranged opponents. As you have read in the introduction, Olaf can't do s*it against a clever, say Ryze or Kennen. Olaf is easily prone to being harassed in lane, and since his sustain mechanism, Vicious Strikes, require him to be up close hitting minions, clever opponents can use this opportunity to further attack him.

Due to Olaf 's lack of heavy CC, avoid picking him in team compositions where there is already a lack of CC. As mentioned above, Olaf functions best when his enemies are locked down for him to kill, so CC is essential in a team with Olaf.

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This section is pretty much self-explanatory, because the two summoner spells I take are the most common for top laners out there. However, there are alternatives, and in this section I'll explain why. I will start with my two classic spells first, Ghost and Teleport.

Ghost is, in my opinion, the best summoner spell out there for Olaf. With Ragnarok, you already have CC immunity, meaning that there's no way to stop you from charging into an enemy backline and taking care of the carries. However, champions like Vayne and Kalista, which pack a f*ck ton of mobility, might be able to kite you till the duration of Ragnarok is finished. As such, Ghost is here to ensure that you can reach your target ASAP to maximise the potential of Ragnarok.

Teleport is simply great for Olaf, because it functions as so many purposes. In the later stages of the game, your split-pushing potential is incredible. Teleport can easily take you from one place to another, great for split pushing and pressuring baron, that kind of thing. As you are a top laner, Teleport is essential in, say, a teamfight contesting dragon, or when bot lane is facing a crisis and your presence might mean a double kill for your team as compared to a double kill for an enemy. Teleport is great, but getting it means forsaking kill potential with Ignite.
The following spells below are viable spells but I would usually exclude them unless there are especial circumstances.

If you're jungling, Smite is a must, no questions asked. Smite has so many uses I can't even illustrate them all. How are you going to secure Dragon/Baron, or even your own Red/Blue Buff against other junglers if you don't take smite? Besides, Riot removed the idea of Smiteless Junglers by making Hunter's Machete, and all subsequent upgrades unpurchasable without Smite. There is NO excuse for not taking Smite, because without it, you lose objectives, security, EXP, gold, and even sustain if you're building Ranger's Trailblazer.

In my opinion, taking Flash is kinda overkill because heck, you already have Ghost and the movement speed buff from Youmuu's Ghostblade as well as the slow from Randuin's Omen and Blade of the Ruined King. Why would you still need movement speed for? Unless I'm against slippery opponents that rely on kiting like say, Vayne or Lucian, I would pick Teleport over this spell any day. Of course, when a situation arises of which I am against a Lee Sin in lane, or when there are enemy champions like Blitzcrank or Thresh, which rely on landing skillshots like Rocket Grab and Death Sentence, I might choose to take Flash over Ghost as well.

Exhaust makes your enemy weaker, slows them, and makes you deal more damage to them. This is great against those very strong "right-click to win" champions that rely on auto-attacks to bring the pain, like Aatrox, Jax, or Master Yi. This will practically disable them and make them deal no damage, but for the cost of a spell like Ghost or Teleport that proves useful in more circumstances. Unless you really need the extra edge to catch up/fight a tough champion, I wouldn't get this as Olaf already ranks top among many duelists. I would ONLY get this against matchups like Trundle or Udyr. This also works great if you need that extra edge to catch up to fleeing targets when your jungler ganks, but otherwise I would avoid it.

Well, there's not much to say about Ignite. This spell can mean the extra edge in a duel, but from mid/late game onward, its pretty much useless as it only serves as a kill-securing ;) tool. Of course, your kill potential will be much higher with Ignite early on, but I find that Ghost already gives me all the mobility I need to deal damage to an enemy. Of course, if you find Teleport unncessary (due to your s*itty map awareness), you can substitute Teleport for this.
That is all the spells I take for Olaf. Of course, you can opt for other spells while jungling, or if you think other spells deserve an honourable mention, do share your opinion, Joshy.

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Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Lethality

This section will be split into 4 sections explaining why I take (ARPEN) Quintessences & Marks, (CDR) Quintessences, Seals, and Glyphs respectively. I take this rune page nearly all the time for Olaf, unless I'm against certain weird compositions where all 5 of the enemy team is AD or something.
greater mark of armor penetration and greater quintessence of armor penetration:
I take Armor Penetration for these runes because they are meant for offense. Armor Penetration will help in the late-game, of which you can shred an enemy with ease. Since Olaf is almost entirely composed of AD, with exception of Reckless Swing, armor penetration will greatly increase your damage output.

If you suck so much that you need AD runes, look below.

P/S. : If you're asking why can't you take AD runes, f*ck you, thats why. Olaf already has an extremely strong early game. With Infinity Edge, The Bloodthirster, Blade of the Ruined King, Youmuu's Ghostblade and Ragnarok, you already have an additional 310 AD, excluding masteries. Are you so f*cking desperate that you want that extra 15 or so AD? Go learn how to CS early, scrub.
Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction:
With 2 of this and your masteries, at level 1 you would already have 10% CDR. CDR is great early for you to smack your enemies with more Reckless Swing in the face. With Youmuu's Ghostblade, Spirit Visage and(hopefully) crest of insight (or blue buff), you would have maxed out CDR at 40%.
Greater Seal of Armor:
I take armor seals in other to mitigate minion damage early, and to help against lane opponents(most top laners are AD). If you really want, you may consider taking HP seals, but I find armor scales better later on.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist:
Immediate MR is unnecessary early game as minions don't deal magic damage, and you are probably not going to face an AP enemy in lane. Anyway, the damage mages deal with their spells early game is practically negligible. I take scaling MR as to minimise the amount of damage mages will deal to me once they complete their core items. It is in the late game where mages will hurt most, so you want scaling MR to prepare for that.

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Double-Edged Sword : I take this mastery because of the 2% extra damage. With your high resistances the 1% damage returned to you is negligible.
Sorcery: I max out Sorcery for the 5% CDR, which will help in spamming my abilites, and in turn bullying my lane opponent.
Brute Force : I max this out for the 10 AD, which is great because Olaf scales well with AD, given his high CSC and AS.
Martial Mastery : Instant 4AD for just 1 point? Why not? AD helps in so many ways(see above).
Spell Weaving and Blade Weaving : Olaf autoattacks so often that these two masteries serve their maximum potential on him.
Frenzy: With your high CSC and AS, you will be critting very often. Thus, I get Frenzy to make the most out of it.
Executioner : I max this out to maximise damage potential on champions.
Warlord : Through The Bloodthirster, Infinity Edge, Youmuu's Ghostblade, Blade of the Ruined King and Ragnarok, you're going to have alot of bonus AD. Therefore, I get the most out all your bonus AD it by maxing this.
Devastating Strikes : You deal mostly physical damage, so you need all the penetration you can get to maximise damage output.
Havoc : Yep, 3% bonus damage is too good to pass up.
Enchanted Armor : I get this to maximise resistances gained from my items and Ragnarok. This helps me get bonus armor and MR, which is great.
Block : Good for tanking that damage when running up to the enemy backline or in a lane skirmish. The reduced damage taken might well win you a fight.
Veteran Scars : Flat-up HP is great for the early game as minions and champion AAs really hurt.
Unyielding : See my notes on Block .
Juggernaut : With Randuin's Omen and Spirit Visage, you're going to have alot of HP. Take this to maximise the amount of HP you get.

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Nice Video to help explain about Olaf

Yeah the guy's not bad but the items and skill distribution are wrong. His tactics are good though, learn from him.

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Skill Explanation

> > >
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

BERSERKER RAGE: Olaf's attack speed increases by 1% for every 1% of his missing health.

The skill is pretty self-explanatory, it makes Olaf scarier the lower he drops, and combined with Blade of the Ruined King, Vicious Strikes, Youmuu's Ghostblade and Phantom Dancer, its not uncommon to hit the max AS cap of 2.5 AS. With the rate at which you are critting for, you can erase an ADC late game with 2 or 3 crits easily.

- Berserker Rage makes Olaf deadlier at low levels of health. As such, Olaf is susceptible to execution abilities like Noxian Guillotine and Demacian Justice, of which can deny you from reaching your most powerful phase of which you are low HP.
-With Berserker Rage, you can win many matchups at lower levels, provided they don't have a way of burning through your HP quickly. This can be used to bait an opponent into fighting you.
- Berserker Rage synergises well with Vicious Strikes. Use Vicious Strikes when low in order to maximise AS and LS.
UNDERTOW: Olaf throws an axe to a target location, dealing 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to units it passes through and slowing them by 29 / 33 / 37 / 41 / 45 % for 1.5-2.5 seconds based on distance travelled.
If Olaf picks up the axe, the ability's cooldown is reduced by 4.5 seconds.

You would already have experience with Olaf's Undertow mechanism. This ability is your only form of CC, and is not particularly strong. However, by predicting enemy movement and landing the axe accurately in the path of which they are running, you can run to them, pick up the axe, then continue the process. It works like Dr. Mundo 's Infected Cleaver, of which you can chain up a series of slows once you land the first one.

In lane, however, use Undertow sparingly. The mana cost is very high in early levels, and is often not justifiable to be spammed unless you have Blue Buff at hand. I would only use this to catch up to a fleeing opponent or for the extra burst damage to force my opponent to recall.

-Use Undertow immediately after an AA as a sort of AA reset, like this: AA-Q-AA. Although it doesn't reset the timer, it does give you and additional burst of damage.
-Learn how to predict your opponent's escape route. By throwing it toward the direction of which they flee, you can set up a chain of slows of which you can pick up the axe, throw it, then rinse and repeat.
-Maxing Undertow first does not increase its mana cost, unlike abilities such as Master Yi's Alpha Strike. As such, you may choose to max Undertow first if you're getting zoned to CS and harass from afar.
VICIOUS STRIKES: For 6 seconds, Olaf gains 9 / 12 / 15 / 18 / 21 % lifesteal and 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 % attack speed. He gains 1% extra healing for every 2% health he is missing.

Ah, we come to Vicious Strikes, Olaf's tool to deal sustained damage and stay healthy during laning phase, and his ability to be near unkillable provided he can lifesteal off sources late-game. Synergises well with Berserker Rage to provide you with incredible AS. With the lifesteal, AD, CSC, and AS from your items, imagine the amount of damage you would be hitting for every second. Vicious Strikes lasts for only 6 seconds, with a cooldown of 16 seconds (9.6 at max CDR). Thus, use it only when you have actually engaged in combat and not in advance. Clever foes can kite you for the duration of Vicious Strikes, so be careful when you use it.

- Vicious Strikes is an ability of which increases all your healing. When levelling up, activating the skill can potentially make you recover more health.
-The health you gain back when Reckless Swing kills an enemy can be amplified by Vicious Strikes. Remember to activate this ability if you need the extra HP.
- Vicious Strikes ' passive healing increase stacks with Spirit Visage. As such, Spirit Visage synergises very well with Olaf.
-Use Vicious Strikes only when you have engaged an opponent in combat and not in advance, as mentioned above.
-The active from Youmuu's Ghostblade is best used together with Vicious Strikes in a 1v1 situation to maximise the potential of the lifesteal.
- Vicious Strikes works better the lower Olaf gets. Try using when at lower health, your health gained will be phenomenal.
RECKLESS SWING: Olaf deals 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+ 40 % of total attack damage) true damage to his target. If he doesn't kill his target, he inflicts 30 % of the total damage dealt to himself as true damage.
Basic attack reduce the cooldown of this ability by 1 second.

Olaf's bread and butter ability for harassing, CSing, trading, bursting, and establishing lane dominance. Also makes it near impossible for a lane opponent to itemise against Olaf early on as he has plenty of both AD and True damage. Basically, you want to drop it as much as possible to force your opponent out of lane. Whoever is CSing in melee range should be taking a good smack in the face. Don't be afraid to spam it---its meagre health cost is easily recovered via Vicious Strikes. The only thing that improves the damage this does is levelling up the skill. Luckily, its damage is very powerful considering the cooldown. Late-game, this isn't powerful to be considered a nuke like Poppy's Devastating Blow. Hell, once you get your damage items, you will deal like 2x more damage with your AAs. This is just an extra button to help you burst people down.
- Reckless Swing can be used to CS if you think you're not going to use it anytime soon against an opponent. However, I like to conserve it in lane unless I'm under turret.
-Similar to Undertow, use Reckless Swing immediately after an initial AA if possible to serve as an AA reset. However, Reckless Swing will be used mostly by itself due to its higher range compared to your AA range.
-The health you get back from Reckless Swing can be amplified by both the healing increase from Vicious Strikes and Spirit Visage. Don't be afraid to last hit with Reckless Swing while under the effects of Vicious Strikes.
RAGNAROK: Passive: Olaf gains 10 / 20 / 30 armor and magic resist.
Active: Breaks any crowd control effects. Olaf loses the passive bonus armor and magic resist, but gains 40/60/80 bonus attack damage.

This is Olaf's defining ability, making him ignores all forms of CC for 6 seconds. This means that you have 6 seconds to dive into the enemy backline and f*ck the carries upside down. With your DPS, 6 seconds should be more than enough to kill the enemy carry. In-lane, its not as big a powerspike compared to other champions' ultimates, like Jax's Grandmaster's Might or Trundle's Subjugate, but nonetheless is a very powerful tool if utilised properly. This ability is like Tryndamere's Undying Rage: you can activate while under the effects of any CC. That means if you're currently suppressed under Warwick or Malzahar, you can instantly activate Ragnarok and the suppression will end on the spot. It also gives you a notable 80AD. Not game-changing, but notable, as the 80AD will help you kill the carries faster.

- Ragnarok can save you from potentially sticky situations, such as when ganked. A combination of Ragnarok and Ghost early on can get you back to your turret safely.
- Ragnarok only gives you CC immunity and not bonus movement speed. That means against champions like Fiora and Master Yi that have no in-built CC, DO NOT EVER USE Ragnarok(unless they have something like Red Buff or Frozen Mallet). PLEASE SAVE YOURSELF FROM THE NOOBNESS.
-If you're under the effects of a CC, you can still activate Ragnarok. Example: Thresh lands Death Sentence on you, you can activate Ragnarok while hooked to negate the effect.
-Thanks to Ragnarok, items that provide tenacity or offer a similar effect are unnecessary for Olaf, as Ragnarok, which gives CC immunity, already negates all CC. Therefore, avoid buying items like Zephyr and Mercurial Scimitar.
- Ragnarok only removes the CC component of an ability. For example, the slow from Tryndamere's Mocking Shout will be purged, but the AD debuff will still take place. This is the same with Trundle's Chomp.

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Skill Sequence

Click me if you are still noob! Ignore this if you are pro!

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Item Overview

I understand you, Joshy, I really do. Alright, you are pardoned if you do not understand why my items are as such. They looked f*cked up individually and throughout my entire arsenal of items, only 1 or 2 tanky items are present. But don't treat this build as trash. It works. It really does. Now, let me explain and go through this step-by-step.

Item Sequence

Youmuu's Ghostblade

Randuin's Omen

Infinity Edge

Spirit Visage

The Bloodthirster

Phantom Dancer
Note: Ignore the <<ITEM SEQUENCE>> thing. This is only to show you the full build.
Alright, on with the show.

Lets breakdown this item in terms of the stats it provides.

80 AD---Very good, very strong obviously, no questions asked. Gives your Undertow and Reckless Swing extra damage, and when enhanced by a crit, this 80 AD is nothing to be laughed at.

20% LIFESTEAL---Incredibly Strong. You might not realise it, but when you crit for over 1000 damage in the late-game, this lifesteal is useful as f*ck. With the healing amplification from Spirit Visage(if you choose to get it over Blade of the Ruined King/ Youmuu's Ghostblade) and Vicious Strikes, the amount of HP you can lifesteal is crazy.

50-350 HP SHIELD---F*CKING GOOD. EXTREMELY GOOD. I HAVE NO F*CKING WORDS TO DESCRIBE MY JOY ABOUT THIS SHIELD. Its like an additional 350 HP, and because of your high lifesteal, you can refresh it over and over again. The shield scales with your armor and MR, meaning that its exactly like your HP pool. In-lane, the shield will help you take harassment from your lane opponent or shrug off retaliations. Hell, the shield can even absorb the damage you deal to yourself with Reckless Swing. Whats there not to like?!

Generally because of the high offensive stats that The Bloodthirster provides, I like to rush it as a first item IF I'M DOMINATING THE LANE. The bonus AD is great because both of your offensive abilites, Undertow and Reckless Swing, scale up with AD, and the lifesteal is good for recovering from enemy retaliations. However if you're screwing up, its best to leave this item alone and rush some resistances/HP first.

50% AS---A good amount of AS is great to aid your DPS. Not much to explain here, since Olaf already has so much AS through Berserker Rage, Vicious Strikes and his other items that this item won't make much of a difference (maybe around 0.4 extra AS%).

30% CS---This is the reason why you get Phantom Dancer. God*amn, 30% CSC is nothing to sneeze at. Combined with Youmuu's Ghostblade and Infinity Edge, you'll be hitting 70% CSC---essentially critting 2 out of every 3 attacks or even moreso. With your high AD, your crits will be hitting for insane damage. I will elaborate more on this later.

5% MS---Nothing much, will help you in catching up with the carries in the backline late-game but pretty substandard compared to the MS from Youmuu's Ghostblade and Ghost. Even so, better than nothing.

30 AD---A small amount of AD which will help increase your damage output, not amazing, but respectable. Coupled with other items, this AD will become very noticeable.

15% CSC---CSC is really under-rated on Olaf. 15% crit chance is nothing on its own, but coupled with Infinity Edge you should be critting at least twice per 3 AAs. In the late game, a critical strike deals around 1k damage on a squishy champion. Obviously, 1k damage in a single auto-attack is nothing to laugh at.

20 ARMOR PENETRATION---Insane. Seriously, it may not seem like much, but 20 Armor Penetration is a LOT, and even more when you take Armor Penetration runes. This stat is one of the biggest reasons why Youmuu's Ghostblade is viable. Don't know why? More emphasis will be put on explaining the power of Armor Penetration later on in the guide.

20% MOVEMENT SPEED (ACTIVE)---GODLIKE. This probably doesn't even look that good at first glance, but trust me, it's EXTREMELY strong. It plays a huge part in the plays you will be able to make with Ghost and Ragnarok. Again, this will be explained more in depth further on in the guide.

40% ATTACK SPEED (ACTIVE)---Not the most amazing thing about the item, but still very much welcome. The ability to become an even more powerful DPS champ than you already are for 6 seconds is stronger than you might think. If Olaf can deal 1k damage to squishies per auto-attack, imagine how much damage he can do when he deals an additonal 0.3 attacks per second for 6 seconds. Even ignoring the amazingness of being able to turn into a DPS and r@pe everyone for 6 seconds, you'll mostly be using Youmuu's Ghostblade's active to charge onto squishy enemies and melt them as fast as possible. Attack speed = more damage, and more damage, no matter from what source, is ALWAYS welcome when you're fighting.

80 AD---Similar to that of The Bloodthirster. Obviously very strong, no questions asked.

25% CSC---Very strong as well, although its very, very under-rated. On its own, it wouldn't be worth buying Infinity Edge, but with Youmuu's Ghostblade and Phantom Dancer, which are core items on Olaf simply because of the additional MS it provides for you to quickly reach an opponent, the CSC you get adds up to a total of 70%, since Youmuu's Ghostblade and Phantom Dancer coincidentally also give CSC. This high amount of CSC means that you're almost guaranteed to crit twice every 3 AAs. A crit basically increases your damage's AD ratio by 1 point, which is extremely strong. The fact that 25% CSC will synergize with Youmuu's Ghostblade and Phantom Dancer 15% and 30% CSC respectively, means that this 25% CSC is also nothing to sneeze at.

+50% CRIT DAMAGE---It increases your damage's AD ratio by 0.5 for every crit you make. Not that strong, but still very noticeable. It means that each critical strike you score increases your damage's AD ratio by 1.5 points. Which is stronger than you might think, especially when you have so much AD through your items.

500 HP---I don't need to tell you how 500 HP can come in useful in so many ways, especially since you have high resistances thanks to this item's 70 Armor, Spirit Visage's 55 MR, and Ragnarok's passive Armor & MR bonus. Again, this might not seem like alot by itself, but combined with the 450 HP from Spirit Visage and the 350 damage shield from The Bloodthirster and including your bonus health from Veteran Scars and Juggernaut in the mastery tree, you would have well over 3500 HP. I don't need to tell you how much that is. I will further elaborate on this later on.

70 ARMOR---You don't need me to tell you about the benefits of armor. What more is there to say? More armor=less damage taken. Since enemies mostly deal AD, its always good to have the bonus armor mitigate some of that damage dealt.

AOE SLOW---Very, very strong. The fact that it is AOE makes it even better. As Olaf, your primary and most probable job is to dive into the enemy team and take down the ADC while surviving as long as possible to deal damage. The fact that you are right in the middle of the enemy team makes this slow affect many members. Also, the slow is a great way to ensure you manage to stick to the carries for long enough just in case you can't land Undertow or need that extra edge to catch up initially. With Red Buff, Randuin's Omen, Ragnarok and all my MS buffs, sticking to an opponent is never easier.

15% ATTACK SPEED SLOWING EFFECT---So, based on the damage you deal you obviously will become a priority target late-game. Thus, people will inevitably decide to focus you first. The fact that you are melee makes it even easier for them since you will need to tank some damage before being able to reach the enemy backline(unless somehow a Kalista has bonded with you and can throw you inside the action). This effect will make carries wary of attacking you as their AS will be slowed. This effect isn't very strong, but will help you maintain you health while diving an enemy team.

Randuin's Omen is my go-to armor item for Olaf 90% of the time. the initial buy of Cloth Armor and Giant's Belt is something you would be likely to do in-laneto mitigate some damage dealt to you. Warden's Mail is also a decent laning-item, especially if you are against AA-reliant champions that are mostly AD like Master Yi, Tryndamere, Yasuo, Rengar and the like. If you're losing lane against an AD opponent, this or Frozen Heart would be the first item I rush.

However, some champions like Renekton and Riven rely on abilities and not AAs to f*ck you up. In such cases, I would either get Sunfire Cape or simply a Giant's Belt and Cloth Armor.

400 HP---Great on Olaf obviously. HP is good on everyone. Go read up my section on Randuin's Omen.

55 MR---With our kind of luck, there's almost 100% an AP champion is a threat. Either its a godlike Elise rampaging through the jungle, or an unstoppable Akali dominating the lane. This MR will help you sustain some initial burst from AP champions. Its actually similar to the reason of which you take armor.

10% CDR---By itself, it isn't alot, but with the 10% CDR from Youmuu's Ghostblade, 5% from Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction and 5% from Sorcery, you would have 30% CDR. Top it up with a Blue Buff, and bingo: max CDR at 40%.

20% HEALING AMPLIFICATION---Do you even need me to explain this? Olaf's kit is practically MEANT for sustain. Look at Vicious Strikes. Look at the 30% LS from The Bloodthirster and Blade of the Ruined King. This healing amplification will bring your healing off-charts. It scales with practically everything. I will increase the damage you lifesteal, it will increase the heal of an ally Soraka, it will increase the health you gain as you level up, it will even increase the HP you gain back when you kill a unit with Reckless Swing! What's there not to like?
Generally, the above items are what I get 80% of the time. However, if a particular situation arises of which the enemy team is full AD (it happens) or if they just like stacking HP instead of resistances, I would include it my build:

Yep, this baby. One of my favourite items in LoL. Obviously because it deals % damage, its great for the situation when your enemies spam HP and neglect armor altogether. Blade of the Ruined King is also a viable substitution for Youmuu's Ghostblade if you don't find yourself in particular need of mobility as it also gives you chasing power, although not as great as Youmuu's Ghostblade. Of course as I have already stated when you are against a full AD team, you can substitute out Spirit Visage for this as well.

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Itemization & Sequence

In 90% of all my games, I start with either Doran's Blade or Doran's Shield. These two items vary in terms of one being more conservative and tanky, and the other more on damage potential and sustain.

I split the opponents you will face top lane into 4 categories:

AA-reliant champions: Tryndamere, Fiora, Jax, Udyr, Rengar, Yasuo, Master Yi, Warwick, Xin Zhao, Trundle, Aatrox, Jayce, Volibear, Irelia, Rek'Sai, Gnar, AD Kayle, another Olaf

AD casters (who cast abilities to deal damage): Riven, Zed, Renekton, Kha'Zix, Wukong, Darius, Shen, Shyvana, Lee Sin, Yorick, Garen, Nidalee, Pantheon

Tanks: Rammus, Dr. Mundo, Galio, Singed, Nasus, Sion, tanky Cho'Gath

AP casters: AP Kayle, Kennen, Akali, Nidalee, AP Cho'Gath, Teemo, Rumble, Vladimir

Of course, not all lane matchups are included, but these champions are generally what you see top most of the time.

Against category 1, AA-reliant champions: Most of these champions are no match for you early, with exceptions being perhaps Xin Zhao or Udyr. If you think that their AAs are going to be a problem(e.g. they can harass from a distance like Gnar or will engage on you often like Xin Zhao), pick Doran's Shield. It is good for taking less damage, and through the health regen and you Vicious Strikes you will be able to stay healthy while emerging triumphant in lane skirmishes.

Against category 2, AD casters: Some of these champions have very strong early games, like Pantheon and Renekton. If you think you can't match their prowess early on, consider Cloth Armor+4 Health Potions+1 Mana Potion. This build is meant at giving you maximum sustain in lane and ensures that you can take harass. However, if they are pushovers like Darius, that can be easily harassed and can be won in early duels, Doran's Blade is the way to go. Since AD casters rely on abilities and not AAs to fight you, do not pick Doran's Shield.

Against category 3, tanks: These champions have weak early games and, in general, tend to rush health and resistances. As such, they will be dealing minimal damage, damage that you can easily lifesteal back with Vicious Strikes. In this scenario, my preferred start would be Doran's Blade because the flat HP and AD help me in many lane skirmishes, and the lifesteal ensures I stay healthy. Due to the fact that they won't be offensive, don't buy defensive items yet.

Lastly, category 4: AP casters: I hate going against these champions because they have something Olaf doesn't: range. try asking for a lane swap if possible, but if it isn't, then get either Crystalline Flask and Health Potions or Doran's Blade. get Crystalline Flask if you know you can going to take alot of harassment in lane and need the sustain to remain in lane, such as against a Vladimir. On the contrary, if you are confident of this matchup(like your AP opponent is melee such as Rumble), then you can take Doran's Blade and start dropping the harassment with Reckless Swing and Undertow.

During laning phase, I like to get a few Doran's Blades, usually 1 or 2 of them. The base stats of a Doran's Blade is really good and very cost efficient. Every of the stats Doran's Blade provides is useful on Olaf. However, if you don't find that you need this extra edge over your enemy as you are winning lane hard, you can choose to rush your first offensive item, B. F. Sword or Vampiric Scepter. If you are the one getting downright dominated, however, rushing resistances and HP in the form of either Cloth Armor, Spectre's Cowl or Giant's Belt is fine. Don't be afraid to get defensive items EVEN if you are winning lane. It can help you alot in future lane skirmishes and tower dives/ganks.

Of course, even though boots should be sold later on, you can get boots based on your current needs. Ninja Tabi, for example, is really good against a Yasuo and Mercury's Treads can help you take that annoying Lissandra harass better. Feel free to get an early Boots of Speed to help catch up to fleeing opponents.

My first offensive item would be The Bloodthirster. Rushing this item is great early because the sustain it gives is amazing, and the shield lets you shrug off harass easily. For more details, read my <Item Explanation> section above.

Against AD opponents, you SHOULD be dominating them by the time it comes to your first item. There aren't many champions that scale as well as Olaf especially around the level 7-9 mark when you essentially hit them once every few seconds for 1/5 of their HP with Reckless Swing. Get a few Cloth Armors if you're getting roughed over, then a Giant's Belt to ensure you have sufficient HP to boot up the armor, then build either Sunfire Cape or Randuin's Omen depending on whether the enemy is an AD caster or an AA-reliant champion.

If you're facing an AP champion, however, rushing Spectre's Cowl and subsequently Spirit Visage is a good alternative. Giant's Belt is also viable if you need more HP to sustain the harass. For greater offensive power, getting Hexdrinker into Maw of Malmortius is a good way to sustain the pain as well as giving you a possible chance to counterattack and turn the table on your opponent.

After laning phase, you would want to itemize against the entire enemy team because teamfights will become much more frequent. Basically, you want resistances to counter whoever is doing the best on the enemy team. I like to rush some resistances early through Warden's Mail and some health through Spectre's Cowl and Giant's Belt. Note that YOU DON'T NEED TO COMPLETE THESE ITEMS ANYTIME SOON unless you really need the extra HP/resistance badly. After an initial The Bloodthirster, I like to get The Brutalizer and then Youmuu's Ghostblade. Then if need be, I finish my defensive items before getting Infinity Edge and finally Phantom Dancer or Blade of the Ruined King.

You would want to pick Olaf only into WINNING matchups like Nasus and Irelia, because this increases our chance of destroying them and getting your items more quickly. However in blind pick, it is understandable that you, Joshy, might sometimes get trumped by a better opponent or a strong matchup. In his case, my build #4(see cheatsheet) comes in useful. Play a more supportive role on your team, and rush resistances and HP.

Items like Locket of the Iron Solari, Righteous Glory and Frozen Heart will aid your team greatly since you're playing more of a supportive role. Of course, you're Olaf, so a bit of damage items will be very welcome. I like Blade of the Ruined King and Ravenous Hydra because they give me good split-pushing and 1v1 potential. If need be, Righteous Glory's active can help me reach the enemy carries quickly and these damage items are enough for me to finish them off.

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Item Calculations

Alright, if you can't remember, lets go over the build another time.

Item Sequence

Youmuu's Ghostblade

Randuin's Omen

Infinity Edge

Spirit Visage

The Bloodthirster

Phantom Dancer

As I have mentioned in the previous chapters, this build is good and efficient, because it allows Olaf excellent sticking potential while giving you tons of damage and ensuring that you stay relatively tanky at the same time.

But wait! Don't just take my word for it. Let me prove it for you.

Olaf's base HP at level 18 is 2178. Spirit Visage gives an additional 400, and Randuin's Omen 500. Finally, Veteran Scars give 36, Juggernaut provides a 3% increase in all of this, and The Bloodthirster's shield effectively gives you an additional 350.

[(Base HP+ Spirit Visage+ Randuin's Omen+ Veteran Scars x (100%+3% from Juggernaut )]+ The Bloodthirster shield
= [(2178+400+500+36) x 1.03]+350
= 3557.42
= 3557 (nearest whole number)

Olaf's base armor at level 18 is 77. Randuin's Omen provides 70 bonus armor. Ragnarok also gives 30 bonus armor. Your Greater Seal of Armor will give you 1 bonus armor each. Enchanted Armor will augment the bonus armor by an additional 5%.

Base Armor+[( Randuin's Omen+ Ragnarok+ Greater Seal of Armor) x (100%+5% from Enchanted Armor )]
= 77+[(70+30+9) x 1.05]
= 191.45 armor
= 191 armor (nearest whole number)

Olaf's base MR is 53.4. Spirit Visage provides 55 bonus MR, Ragnarok provides a bonus 30 MR, Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist give 3 MR each, and Enchanted Armor enhances your bonus MR by 5%.

Base MR+[( Spirit Visage+ Ragnarok+ Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist) x (100%+5% from Enchanted Armor )]
= 53.4+[(55+30+27) x 1.05]
= 171.0 MR

Total: 171 MR, 191 Armor, 3557 HP
Now, take a look at this graph.

Basically, having 191 armor will put you around 64~65% physical damage reduction. Meaning that with 3557 HP, the effective HP you have is almost tripled.

171 MR will also put you around 62~63% magic damage reduction. Against mages, your effective health is nearly tripled as well.

So you get what I mean? With a mere 2 items(excluding The Bloodthirster) and despite going 21:9, Olaf has such high tanky potential. What does this prove? That he is DEFINITELY tanky enough to ensure he can remain alive till he reaches the enemy carries.
Alright, now to the damage part. I've already told you that my Olaf build packs a tonload of damage. But again, don't simply trust what I say! Allow me to show you.

Olaf's base AD at level 18 is 119. Ragnarok's active component gives him an additional 80, followed by Infinity Edge and The Bloodthirster, that give Olaf 80 AD each. Youmuu's Ghostblade provides an additional 30 AD to the mix. Finally, Brute Force and Martial Mastery will give a total of 14 AD, with Warlord topping it off by giving you 5% bonus AD. So, your total AD will be equivalent to:

Base AD+[( Ragnarok+ Infinity Edge+ The Bloodthirster+ Youmuu's Ghostblade+ Brute Force + Martial Mastery ) x (100%+5% from Warlord )
= 119+[(80+80+80+30+10+4) x 1.05]
= 417.2 AD

Now look at this damage. Impressive right? but wait! We aren't finished yet! With all the CSC you accumulated, you should be critting pretty often. Lets see how much a single crit will do!

Total AD x (200%+50% from Infinity Edge)
= 417.2 x 2.5
= 1043.0 Physical Damage

Over 1000. The crits you'll be scoring twice a second will hit for over 1000. I'm not even taking into account the damage increase from Havoc , Executioner and Double-Edged Sword yet, and you already see the 1000 damage coming to the table. Still have doubts about Olaf's DPS?

But wait! We aren't finished yet. A fundamantal part of Olaf's kit still remains uncovered: Attack Speed.

Olaf's base AS is 0.694(+45.9 at level 18). Phantom Dancer provides 50% AS, the active of Youmuu's Ghostblade gives another 40%, and Vicious Strikes tops it off with 80%. Lets assume Olaf still has 3/4 of his HP when he finally gets to the enemy ADC. Berserker Rage would then give him 25% AS.

Calculating bonus AS:
AS from levelling up+ Phantom Dancer+ Youmuu's Ghostblade+ Vicious Strikes+ Berserker Rage
= 45.9 %+50 %+40 %+80 %+25 %
= 240.9% bonus AS

Total AS:
Base AS x (100%+bonus AS %)
= 0.694 x (100%+240.9%)
= 2.365846 AS
= 2.37 (2 dec. pl.)

As you can see here, you will be hitting for well over 2 times a second. With the AS cap being 2.5, you can easily hit it if your HP manages to drop lower than 50 or so %. Now, let us calculate how much damage we will deal per second based on this AS.

How much health does an ADC have late-game? Around 2000~. At this rate of which we are hitting, how long do you think it takes to burst him down?

But wait! We can't just rely on HP to tell how powerful is Olaf's damage. We need to take into account armor as well. So, lets set up a scenario of which you, Olaf, are against an enemy Miss Fortune.

Miss Fortune has 75 base armor and 2023 base HP at level 18. Lets assume she went for a couple of Greater Seal of Armor, which would then put her armor at 84. Now, lets begin to factor in our damage by first taking into consideration our armor penetration.

From greater mark of armor penetration and greater quintessence of armor penetration, I gain 1.28 and 2.56 armor penetration respectively. Youmuu's Ghostblade gives me an additional 20 armor penetration, and from Devastating Strikes I obtain 6% armor penetration.

[Base armor x (100%-6% from Devastating Strikes )]-(1.28 from greater mark of armor penetration x 9)-2.58 from greater quintessence of armor penetration-20 from Youmuu's Ghostblade)
= (84 x 0.94)-(1.28 x 9)-2.58-20
= 44.86 armor

Damage dealt to Miss Fortune with 44.86 armor (per crit)
= [100÷(100+44.86)] x 1043
= 720 physical damage (nearest whole number)

Damage dealt to Miss Fortune with 44.86 armor (non-crit)
= [100÷(100+44.86)] x 417.2
= 288 physical damage (nearest whole number)

Lets run over Miss Fortune's HP again: 2023. With 70% CSC, it can be taken as that you would usually crit thrice upon every 4 AAs (75%~ chance). Lets take this into account:

Damage dealt over 4 AAs
= (3 x 720) + 288
= 2488 effective HP

How much AS do you have? 2.37. Ignoring the excess .37 AS, let us assume that you simply have an AS of 2.00. Even so, you would be able to land 4 AAs in the timespan of 2 seconds. I've already given you how much damage you would probably deal with these 4 AAs. What does this mean? It means that even excluding the damage you could deal from Reckless Swing and Undertow, you are likely to kill an ADC extremely quickly, around 2 seconds or so once you land your initial AA.

But how are we even going to reach them? How is Olaf going to stick to them? The answer is simple. By your incredible MS from Phantom Dancer, Ghost and Youmuu's Ghostblade, CC immunity through Ragnarok, slow from Undertow and hopefully the Red Buff that your jungler donated to you. But as usual, don't just let me leave my word at that and trust me! Let me show you what I mean.

Olaf's base MS is 350. Ghost gives him a flat 28% for 10 seconds. Youmuu's Ghostblade provides an extra 20%, followed by Phantom Dancer's flat 5%.

Total MS
=350 x (100% + 28% from Ghost + 20% from Youmuu's Ghostblade + 5% from Phantom Dancer)
=350 x 153% (or 1.53)
=535.5 MS
=536 MS (nearest whole number)

Let's use Miss Fortune as an example again. Miss Fortune's base MS is 325. Lets say that, like any generic ADC build, she has berserker greaves and a Phantom Dancer. These 2 items help her gain up to [(325+45) x 1.05]=388.5 MS. Let's not take Miss Fortune's passive, Strut, into account here because you SHOULD have landed an axe onto her in the beginning of the fight, negating it. How much MS do you have? 536. Undertow will reduce Miss Fortune's MS by 45%, essentially making her MS (388.5 x 0.55)=214 MS (nearest whole number). What does this mean? This means that you travel practically 2.5x faster than her. Once your each her, there's no escaping. 4 AAs will leave her dead, and she will stay in range long enough due to Undertow and Red Buff.

And that's not even including the MS that your allies could possible give you, for example through Jayce's Acceleration Gate, Lulu's Whimsy, or an allied champion activating Righteous Glory. With the two slows from Undertow and Red Buff, sticking to a target is no problem at all.
So, let's put everything together, right from the beginning.

Olaf's stats:
HP: 3557
ARMOR: 191
MR: 171
AD: 417
ARMOR PEN: 6%, 34
AS: 2.37
MS: 536

What do we have here? We have a tanky, incredibly strong DPS champion that can not only soak up an impressive amount of damage but also deal some good damage of his own. Olaf can stay alive for long enough to deal signifcant damage, and even so it will be difficult to put him down due to his high sustain through lifesteal.

Lets just go over the pros of this build:

The combination of instant, fast MS at the press of a button AND your high DPS means that if Olaf catches anyone out of position, either when split pushing or in a teamfight, he can punish the enemy really well. Because of Olaf's instant mobility and high damage output, he can easily charge out from the fog of war, ambush a lone(or even 2) member(s) of the enemy team and kill them before they manage to escape.

The combination of having high resistances and a substantial amount of health to boot means that Olaf can soak up a good amount of damage for his team. Due to the CC immunity from Ragnarok and through the MS from your items and Ghost, Olaf can become a near uncatchable force.

Due to your high escaping potential as highlighted above, Olaf has both the damage to split push extremely quickly and the ability to GTFO if things get rough. Due to Olaf's kit and his high damage as well as tankiness, his potential to 1v1 is extremely powerful, thus making him suitable for the role of split-pushing as no lone member of the enemy team can possibly hope to stop a rampaging Olaf.

There are other pros, like how it gives your dive-oriented playstyle a much higher rate of success and the like, but the pros mentioned above are unique to this such build. As such, these "controversial" items like Youmuu's Ghostblade, Infinity Edge etc. become incredibly viable.

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Bad Item Choices

The following section is dedicated some alternatives to my items you might prefer. I would generally avoid picking these items unless a particular situation arises. Even so, there are some clear NOs even if you want to pick outside of those items I chose.

First off, Olaf does not need any AP whatsoever. He does not have a single ability that scales with AP, so AP is completely wasted on him!

As with all rules however, there are certain exceptions: Sheen and its two upgrades, Trinity Force and Iceborn Gauntlet.

The mana and AP is unneeded on Olaf, yes, but the reason why Sheen is acceptable on Olaf is because of its passive. Since Olaf is by nature, an AA champion and also since your ability cooldowns are so low, you can easily spam Sheen proc, which will help you deal alot more damage. Plus, a Sheen can later be upgraded to an Iceborn Gauntlet which provides valuable AOE damage, a slow, CDR and armor. Or, it can be upgraded into a Trinity Force which will give you even greater sticking power with the Phage passive, Rage, as well a bunch of other useful stats like AD, MS, CSC and HP. As such, Sheen and its subsequent upgrades are welcome on Olaf.
Secondly, avoid buying too much of a particular kind of resistance. Why so? lets refresh your memory with this little graph here.

Now, as you can see from the graph, 100 armor/MR puts you at 50% damage reduction. 200 armor/MR puts you at 66.6666...% damage reduction. 300 armor/MR puts you at 75% damage reduction. See how the % damage reduction gets lower the higher your armor? The increase in % damage reduction from 200 armor/MR to 300 armor/MR is practically non-existent at 8.33... %. This is the reason why I strongly advise against exceeding the 200 armor/MR point, unless the enemy has built penetration items. So unless you see items like Last Whisper, Void Staff and The Black Cleaver, avoid exceeding the 200 armor/MR point.

Of course, when the armor/magic pen items really start making a difference in the late-game where an enemy would potentially have more than 1 armor/magic pen item. Even so, you would want to stick to a definite amount of armor/MR.

Lets take a scenario, for example, of which an enemy Azir gets fed. The fed Azir buys Liandry's Torment and Sorcerer's Shoes. Flat armor/magic pen is easy to itemize against, because you only need to increase your MR by the amount you wish. For example if you have a current MR of 171, you only need to buy an additional 30 MR to make up for the magic pen.

However, % armor/magic pen is a different scenario altogether. You simply can't just keep stacking armor because it will only aid the amount of armor the item is able to ignore.As sch, I recommend sticking to a MAXIMUM of 300 armor and 250 MR. That way, even if the enemy has a Last Whisper, you will still have an effective 200~ armor left, enough to tank a fair bit of damage.
Lastly, remember the fact that Olaf already has Ragnarok to get himself in and out of nasty situations. This means that items like Quicksilver Sash that work JUST LIKE HIS ULT are practically unneeded on him. You already have 6 seconds of CC immunity, why the hell do you need more?

This also applies to tenacity items like Zephyr, obviously, because who cares about shortening CC duration when YOU CAN'T EVEN BE AFFECTED BY IT IN THE FIRST PLACE. However of course, as with the previous cases, there are certain exceptions of which the purchase of such items like tolerable.

You can buy Mercurial Scimitar if you're against Trundle. I repeat: you can buy Mercurial Scimitar against Trundle. ONLY AGAINST Trundle. The purchase of Mercurial Scimitar is justified only with an enemy Trundle. That is the only reason why you should even glance at this item.

Why? Reason being Trundle's ultimate, Subjugate. It's devastating. Once this spell is cast, you can say bye-bye to all of your high resistances and you tanking all the way to the enemy backline, because it softens you up so much that unless you can purge it, you're pretty much f*cked. Look at what Subjugate does again. 40% of your armor and MR, 28% of your HP. As if that wasn't enough, it would be Trundle getting these benefits. As aforementioned, armor pen brings a whole new case to the table, because if the enemy ADC buys Last Whisper and you already have 40% of your armor gone, the pain you are going to take is huge. As such, Mercurial Scimitar is only viable in such a scenario. Yes, you won't be able to stop the initial channel. But you will immediately stop the debuff, so the 14% of your health lost isn't that much of a deal compared to taking a full channel of Subjugate.

Another item similar to that of Mercurial Scimitar is Banshee's Veil. You'd want to buy this for the same reason: negating potentially deadly enemy abilities. The spell shield will save you from a deadly spell should such a circumstance arise. Banshee's Veil is good for stopping that super fed Karthus that's channeling Requiem, it might be the vital difference between dying to Lee Sin's Sonic Wave, it will prevent your booty from getting stolen by Blitzcrank. As you have seen from my examples provided (I hope), I would only get Banshee's Veil If there's an extremely important spell I need to negate the effects of. Otherwise, Maw of Malmortius or Spirit Visage trump this any day.
From the information I have provided above, it is obvious why you should avoid these items. Unless, as I have stated, a particular situation arises, just avoid the items I listed above.

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SItuational Alternatives

This section is dedicated to the alternatives that might either arise out of a special situation OR are simply a good choice when you fall behind/die too often, that kind of thing. As I have always mentioned to you, adapt. Use your imagination! Items that seem preposterous on Olaf might be very effective in a certain situation. I've given one such example about mercurial simitar and how it counters Trundle.

In short, the items I am going to write about below are items that you might select when in a certain scenario (e.g. against AP heavy team etc.). Note that I HAVE NOT considered all item synergies with Olaf as of yet, so don't flame me if I miss out a certain item. I'm not perfect. Feel free to tell me if you think any other items deserve a spot here, Joshy, but please use your brain to think about this item beforehand before coming to me like an idiot.


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Early Game Strategies: Laning Phase

In laning phase, you outshine alot of champions that will be going top, especially since most of them are melee. Go read up on my section about Itemization and Sequence(PLS READ IT) on regards about what to get when going top. This will mainly be focused on the strategies of laning.

As a laner, there are a few things you need to learn about. Map awareness, last-hitting, warding, or even knowing the correct opportunity to go in for a kill, are all key and imperative in the skills of a top laner. This chapter is aimed to teaching you, Joshy, the key concepts to mastering the lane and dominating your opponents.

1: The Lane
As a laner, your primary concern early is of course, to take care of your own lane. You don't want to forsake your farm and EXP at top to keep on, say, pressuring dragon or camping mid, not at such an early stage of the game.

For me, the key to dominating the lane is very simple. I always keep tabs on how far I am within the lane, and whether I should freeze or push the lane. Below is a map that I often take into account about my decisions:As you can see, there are 3 sections in the lane itself. The green section is when