Olaf Build Guide

His love for you is like a truck BER-SER-KER! [S4 Toplane]

Uploader BlasiuS
Updated 3 years ago
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Hi I'm BlasiuS my summoner name is GyjYa and I am a Platinum league top and jungle player. For top, Olaf is one of my favorite champs. Since patch 3.13 I have been playing Olaf a lot more (as have many other high-level players). He is still uncommon for a top lane pick, as he is currently used mostly in the jungle. But I feel the top lane is better for him since he can get more farm in the top lane (jury still out on whether or not the S4 jungle gives junglers as much gold as a laner). [img=http://i.imgur.com/SwKpQYG.png] Olaf used to be one of the strongest health-tanks in the game, and could very easily delete any carry when he wished in Season 2. He was a bit weak in solo queue, but dominated competitive play. Fairly early in Season 3 he was nerfed into oblivion, and became one of the lowest-winrate champs in all of League. He was finally reworked in patch 3.12, released on October 1st, 2013. However he was still in a fairly weak spot. He gained multiple buffs in patch 3.13, released October 30th, 2013. The question is, are these buffs enough to make him viable? [center][imgext=http://i.imgur.com/fnVIqjS.jpg][/center] [center][highlight]Olaf, the Berserker[/highlight][/center] [highlight]PROS:[/highlight] [.]Very good at chasing fleeing targets [.]Does good damage even when building tanky [.]Consistent true damage [.]Lots of free stats from his kit [.]Ult gives complete immunity from CC [.]Good splitpushing [highlight]CONS:[/highlight] [.]No gap-closers/gap-openers [.]very weak to kiting when [imgsmall=skills/olaf/r.png] and/or [imgsmall=summoners/ghost.png] is down [.]0 innate tankiness while [imgsmall=skills/olaf/r.png] is active [.]Very susceptible to early-game ganks

I assume that most people know not to buy non-bruiser items on Olaf i.e. no AP items, no support items like [imgsmall=items/ruby-sightstone.png], no ad carry items like [imgsmall=items/phantom-dancer.png][imgsmall=items/infinity-edge.png]. However there are some items that are good for bruisers in general, but are sub-optimal on Olaf specifically. That's what this section is for. [center][img=items/the-bloodthirster.png][/center] If you want an item that gives AD + lifesteal, both [imgsmall=items/blade-of-the-ruined-king.png][imgsmall=items/ravenous-hydra.png] are better. [imgsmall=items/blade-of-the-ruined-king.png] is better for dueling, and [imgsmall=items/ravenous-hydra.png] is better for splitpushing and teamfighting. Really at this point Bloodthirster is only good for AD carries, or champs that hyper-scale off of AD (like [imgsmall=champ/riven.png]). [center][img=items/the-brutalizer.png][img=items/the-black-cleaver.png][/center] Great item, but suffers the same problem as [imgsmall=items/trinity-force.png]; it doesn't offer any utility for Olaf, only damage. Olaf doesn't have a problem with damage. Before the re-work, Olaf benefited greatly from additional armor penetration due to his [imgsmall=skills/olaf/r.png], so brutalizer and black cleaver were great damage options for him. Now, he benefits more from straight AD, but at the same time neither of these items help his splitpushing or CC. [center][img=items/atmas-impaler.png][/center] Atma's is generally a noob-trap. The combination of stats that it offers doesn't really fit any champion or role. Bruisers don't build crit, so the crit stat is mostly wasted. If it was a straight AD + armor item and thus priced appropriately, it would be used a lot more. If enough crit bruiser items are released, then atma's may be useful, but as it stands, it's not that good. [center][img=items/banshees-veil.png][/center] Severely outclassed by [imgsmall=items/spirit-visage.png]. Banshee's is only for champs that don't need CDR (who doesn't?) and don't have any kind of self-heal. The mana also generally isn't needed except for certain champs ([imgsmall=champ/ryze.png]) or mana-hungry champs that can always make use of the mana ([imgsmall=champ/corki.png][imgsmall=champ/jayce.png]). Unless they have 4 or 5 AP champs, I would avoid this item.

It's hard to write a universal guide on how to lane with Olaf (or any champ really), because a large part of laning depends on your opponent and their abilities. Olaf's early game items, skill order, and playstyle will depend on your lane opponent. Roughly, Olaf's matchups are split into two categories: [.] Ranged and/or "squishy" opponents. Squishy champs typically do not build any tank stats (armor/MR/health), and instead focus on offensive stats (AP/AD/AS/crit) for most/all of the game. Common top-lane squishy examples are [imgsmall=champ/vladimir.png][imgsmall=champ/teemo.png] AP[imgsmall=champ/nidalee.png]. Any AD carry and most AP carries also qualify as "squishy" [.] Melee and/or "tanky" opponents. Tanky champs typically will at the very least build tank stats during the laning phase, and some build tank for the entire game. Common top-lane tank examples are [imgsmall=champ/zac.png][imgsmall=champ/shen.png]. Bruisers also qualify as tank champs. Bruisers and tanks are normally pretty common in top lane. Olaf himself definitely qualifies as a bruiser. [highlight]Laning vs. Squishy opponents[/highlight] Against squishy opponents, you will want to use the [number]"Max [imgsmall=skills/olaf/q.png]"[/number] skill order. The reason [imgsmall=skills/olaf/q.png] is maxed first is so you can easily catch the opponent. Olaf can easily duel squishy or burst champs (there are a couple of exceptions), so as long as you can get within melee range you can win trades or go all-in for a kill. Maxing [imgsmall=skills/olaf/q.png] increases the slow amount and damage, and reduces mana cost, letting you throw more and more easily catch the opponent when you land one. It also helps with wave-clear in the beginning of mid game (levels 9-13). You generally want to play safe vs. these champs, since they are usually ranged and you are melee. Last-hit when you can, but if you notice the enemy minion wave building up, you'll have to hang back and wait for the wave to hit your tower so you can last-hit safely. Unless the enemy champ has an extremely strong level 1 and/or level 2, you can usually ignore auto-attack harass, since your block masteries and the passive from [imgsmall=items/dorans-shield.png] along with your armor will negate a large portion of the auto-attack damage. Just be careful that you don't catch minion aggro. Minion damage is especially harsh in the first few levels. Avoid taking a lot of harass when you last-hit minions. This may mean that you have to give up some last hits on caster minions for the first few levels. Hiding in the top bush, and only coming out to last hit works well, since the opponent must come into melee range to see you and do damage; melee range is where Olaf excels, especially against squishies. Only extremely bad opponents will engage you in a bush while you are both even in health/minions. [number]Trading vs. ranged opponents[/number] Against a ranged champ, you can't just walk up to them to get in melee range. They will simply back up while hitting you with their abilities, and in addition to taking their harass you will draw minion aggro, taking additional damage. Assuming you are both equal, you will lose more health than your opponent, or at worst, die. If you notice the opponent getting too close to you, you may be able to get within 325 range to use [imgsmall=skills/olaf/e.png], but this is less likely to happen the better your opponent is. Your goal is to land as many [imgsmall=skills/olaf/q.png] as possible. Landing a full-range [imgsmall=skills/olaf/q.png] slows the opponent for 2.5 seconds. This will allow you to walk up to melee range before they can get away. You may need to pick up the axe and hit them a 2nd time in order to get within range. Your success against a ranged opponent will depend entirely on your ability to land [imgsmall=skills/olaf/q.png]. If you continually miss, you will run out of mana, and won't be able to threaten the opponent with an all-in, which means they can just poke you and hit you with abilities and you won't be able to retaliate. This is a very bad situation to be in, because it means you have to last-hit under tower and/or get zoned from last-hits or even possibly experience. [number]Tips for landing [imgsmall=skills/olaf/q.png][/number] [.]Throw an axe right when you would normally last-hit a minion. You won't telegraph your throw, and many champs want to try and attack you as you last hit, so they may move closer to you. In addition you'll still hit the minion for the last-hit! [.]Throw from inside a bush. This gives the opponent less time to react. [imgsmall=skills/olaf/q.png] has 1000 range, so you can pretty easily land one even from inside the bush. [.]If you know which minion your opponent is about to last-hit, you can time the axe so that it hits them right when they go to last-hit. This is a bit harder to do against ranged opponents but if you do it right they have to either miss the last-hit or eat an axe. [highlight]Laning vs. Tanky opponents[/highlight] Laning against tanky/melee opponents is much more straightforward than laning against ranged/squishy opponents. There isn't as much mind-gaming when trying to land [imgsmall=skills/olaf/q.png], you can easily land axes when you are at melee range. Most of your damage comes from [imgsmall=skills/olaf/e.png] which is a targeted spell. [imgsmall=skills/olaf/w.png] is also easy to use, just use it whenever the opponent stands and fights with you. [imgsmall=skills/olaf/e.png] does more dps than [imgsmall=skills/olaf/q.png], so if you are able to consistently land [imgsmall=skills/olaf/e.png], then maxing it first will give you more damage during trades/duels/all-ins. Because of this, it's best to max [imgsmall=skills/olaf/e.png] first against tanky and/or melee opponents. Almost all melee champions fall under this category, since they will have to come within range in order to last hit minions. This allows you to hit them with [imgsmall=skills/olaf/e.png] then run away. If you are able to do this, consider it a successful trade. If you can trade like this one or two more times you will gain a lead in lane. Often when you run up to an enemy and [imgsmall=skills/olaf/e.png], they will immediately attempt to retaliate. This is because they don't want to you let you hit them with [imgsmall=skills/olaf/e.png] for free, because if they do you will win the lane. So often times you have to immediately follow up with [imgsmall=skills/olaf/q.png], and then if they stay and fight, turn on [imgsmall=skills/olaf/w.png]. [highlight]*NOTE: don't use [imgsmall=skills/olaf/e.png] to last-hit a minion unless you are under tower. You give your opponent 5-10 seconds of free harass if you do.[/highlight] The best way to land [imgsmall=skills/olaf/e.png] with a melee opponent is to walk up to them and hit them right when they last-hit a minion. What happens after that depends on what specific opponent you are facing (more details in the matchups section). [b]Managing Mana[/b] Olaf only has one thing you need to keep an eye on to manag your mana: using [img=skills/olaf/q.png] too much early game. The mana cost for level 1 and level 2 [img=skills/olaf/q.png] is quite high. As a general rule, I don't use it at all level 1 unless my jungler is coming in for a gank. I try not to use it at level 2 unless I'm sure I can follow up with [img=skills/olaf/e.png]. Starting at level 5, you can spam level 3 [img=skills/olaf/q.png] more, since the mana cost gets reduced as it levels up.

Mid-game for olaf is all about farming. You need the farm to get your core items. As you continue to level your [imgsmall=skills/olaf/q.png] the mana cost will go down, this will help with farming. Use [imgsmall=skills/olaf/e.png] to last-hit for faster farming. If you have killed the outer turret, continue pushing top and try to draw the jungler to your lane so your other lanes can take their towers. Olaf is not very mobile, and his ganks are sub-par so he's not great at roaming. I recommend splitpushing top unless you can group with the whole team for an objective. If you are behind going into the mid-game, just concentrate on farming and pushing as fast as possible. Buy multiple wards (I usually get 2) so that you don't get ganked trying to farm. If you see the opponent on the bottom half of the map, push hard to take the turret. If you have already died a lot, it's worth suiciding to kill the tower, since even if you get ganked you won't be worth a lot of gold. [highlight]Waveclearing[/highlight] It's important to know the most efficient way to waveclear with your champ. [.]At level 5, 2 [imgsmall=skills/olaf/q.png] will do most of the damage to a wave [.]At level 5, 1 [imgsmall=skills/olaf/q.png] + 1 auto attack will kill caster minions

There are 2 main roles you can choose with Olaf late-game. [b]Splitpush[/b] When you splitpush with Olaf, your goal is to take down all the top-lane towers by yourself. You generally don't get involved in teamfights and you stay only in your lane until you are able to kill the inhibitor. Your goal is to be strong enough that they have to send 2 champions to stop you. This allows the rest of your team to go into a 4v3 teamfight and (hopefully) win. Splitpushers have a few requirements to be able to splitpush effectively: [.] Fast waveclear - splitpushers need to be able to quickly get to the tower to take it down. The quicker the better; faster waveclear means the enemy team has less time to run and save their tower(s). Olaf does this by having either [img=items/tiamat.png] or [img=items/ravenous-hydra.png], and by having level 5 [img=skills/olaf/q.png]. This lets Olaf clear a wave extremely fast [.] Strong dueler - Be strong enough to duel 1v1 anyone that that the enemy team sends at you. Olaf is a top-tier dueler, although there are some champs that will out-duel him with equal gold/levels (examples: [img=champ/jax.png][img=champ/tryndamere.png][img=champ/irelia.png]). However, if you get ahead in the early-game and hold your advantage in the mid-game, then you WILL be able to kill anyone who tries to come top lane to stop you. Olaf destroys carries so the only champ that can stop him is an equally fed bruiser. [.] Good mobility - Once you are strong enough to 1v1 anyone on the enemy team, they are forced to send multiple people to stop you. When this happens, you need to be able to escape. The best splitpushers have some kind of dash/jump ([img=champ/tryndamere.png]), or can stealth and get away ([img=champ/rengar.png]). [.] Good tower-pushing - Good tower-pushing champs have either an AD steroid ([img=champ/tryndamere.png]) or an AS steroid ([img=champ/rengar.png][img=champ/xinzhao.png][img=champ/fiora.png]) so that once they reach a tower they can attack it down fast. Some champs have auto-attack enhancers that will work on towers ([img=champ/xinzhao.png][img=champ/vi.png]) which lets them push down towers fast. Olaf is strong in all of these categories except for one: mobility. He can use [img=items/ravenous-hydra.png][img=skills/olaf/q.png] for fast wave-clear, is a very strong 1v1 dueler, and can use [img=skills/olaf/w.png] to push down towers extremely fast. Unfortunately he is lacking in mobility. You should only splitpush when you have the following: [.] at least 2 wards in the enemy team's top-side jungle. This will let you see when they send someone to try and stop you. More importantly, it will let you see when they send 2 or more people to stop you. [.]You will need both [img=summoners/ghost.png][img=skills/olaf/r.png] ready for when they try and stop you. This will let you escape without being cc'd to death. You should really only be splitpushing if you can 1v1 the enemy top lane. If you get behind, splitpushing won't do you any good since the enemy team will just send their top-laner to stop you, and then your team won't be able to teamfight with a champ advantage. [b]Teamfights[/b] Olaf is a great teamfighter. In teamfights you have just one goal in mind: to remove their strongest carry from the fight and/or kill them. One thing to keep in mind when teamfighting with Olaf: [b]he is not an initiator[/b]. He has is now much better than before, giving a 55% slow for 2.5 seconds. Once you get in close, turn on [img=summoners/ghost.png]. Once you get close enough to [img=skills/olaf/e.png], you should turn on [img=skills/olaf/r.png] so you can't be peeled, and for additional damage. Don't use [img=skills/olaf/r.png] before that, since you lose your free armor/mr and you will get kited until it wears off. Until then, you can spam [img=skills/olaf/q.png] until you hit someone, or you can peel for your carries if their tank tries to dive you.

[b]I. Opening[/b] Olaf usually goes top lane, so that he can poke with his [img=skills/olaf/q.png] on multiple enemies. But, he can hold is own in many bot lane matchups, so it's not terrible if he has to go bot. First, gauge how many of your lane opponent(s) are cowardly kiters or manly fighters. If the kiters equal or outnumber the fighters, then you will want to open with [img=items/pickaxe.png][img=items/ruby-crystal.png] and rush for [img=items/frozen-mallet.png] as soon as possible. Mallet isn't that good for laning but is devastating for teamfights, and in dominion, top lane is more or less always a 4v4 teamfight. Once you finish mallet, getting into melee range of a champ should result in a kill for your team assuming that you are going going rambo mode. If there are more fighters than kiters, then you want to see how many are AD and how many are AP. If there are more AD, then you want to get either [img=items/randuins-omen.png] or [img=items/frozen-heart.png] first. Otherwise, get [img=items/spirit-visage.png] first. [b]II. Mid-game/Late-game[/b] Core build is [img=items/ionian-boots-of-lucidity.png][img=items/spirit-visage.png][img=items/randuins-omen.png][img=items/ravenous-hydra.png][img=items/frozen-mallet.png], similar to summoner's rift. If you want more damage, feel free to substitute [img=items/entropy.png] for [img=items/frozen-mallet.png]. The 6th item can be whatever you need based on team comp, enemy comp, how fed or behind you are, or how the game is going. Any of the normal situational items apply here. [b]III. Masteries[/b] I use the tanky mastery setup, 4/26/0. Legendary Guardian is extra important, since you'll be teamfighting immediately, you can get the bonus. Everything else is the same as summoner's rift [b]IV. Runes[/b] Lifesteal isn't as important in dominion early-game, and maximizing both armor and MR early game is important. Flat AD/MR/Armor rune setup is best, using [img=runes/Greater-Mark-of-Attack-Damage.png][img=runes/Greater-Quintessence-of-Attack-Damage.png][img=runes/Greater-Seal-of-Armor.png][img=runes/Greater-Glyph-of-Magic-Resist.png].

12/15/2013 - added Yasuo matchup 12/25/2013 - added Dominion section 12/27/2013 - added alternate rune pages for bruisers, APs, and AP sustain champs 1/3/2014 - added section for managing mana during laning phase 1/22/2014 - removed cloth + 5 pot from openings. After researching doran + pot vs. cloth 5, I realized that doran + pot is superior in all cases. The only case where cloth 5 gives more sustain is if you use all 5 pots in the first 5 minutes. This should never happen if you are playing correctly, thus doran + pot is the best sustain opening. Also, moved BotRK from sub-optimal item to situational item. 1/29/2014 - added Shyvana matchup 2/9/2014 - Added trundle matchup 2/18/2014 - after playing a few decent yasuos top lane, I now realize that it's an impossible matchup for Olaf.

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