Hello guys and gals. This is my first attempt at a guide. Beware, I am not an high elo player. I just like Bard alot and have cooked up a fun build to play with him. This is not the 'perfect' build, or the 'only right way to play Bard' This is just the build that I prefer and I thought I'd share it with you peoples. Speed is a Bard's best friend. The faster he goes, the happier he gets. The reason is his passive [img=skills/bard/p.png] the more Chimes he collects the better he gets. But because those Chimes spawn all over the map you need quite alot of movement speed to collect them all, or most of them. This guide will focus on just that, the need for speed. Added bonus to this build is that you pack quite alot of burst. But most of all, it is just a very fun way of playing Bard. Enjoy!
Unless your team is invading at lvl 1 you want to go for W [img=skills/bard/w.png] So you can give some extra heals to your jungler and mid laner. Always attend people on where the heals are. The reason we are maxing Q [img=skills/bard/q.png] first has to do with two reasons. First, we want as little as possible cooldown on the skill that will have an impact in teamfights. Second is because we are building AP as well. When you max your W you will be very mana hungry. When being that mana hungry you will need to focus your itemization on mana regen instead of AP and Movement speed. And after you complete your [img=items/twin-shadows.png] the heal will not lose out on a whole lot of healing if you would've gone with maxing W first. [img=skills/bard/e.png] will be maxed last. Because even though it helps you speed up and will give you the option of jump hurdles more often, it is just not impactfull enough to compete with the other two skills. As with most champions you level up your R [img=skills/bard/r.png] whenever possible. As this skill can be game defining.
Drop two heal packs for your Jungler and one for your Mid laner. After this collect your three chimes and go to lane. Most of the time you will hit lvl 2 before the opponent, use this advantadge to bully enemies and get a little gold from your [img=items/spellthiefs-edge.png] Having both Ignite and Exhaust will make it easily possible for you and your ADC to kill opposing ADC quite early. If you land a good Q and use an AA for some extra slow you and your ADC will make quick work of the enemy. Getting that early kill will help immensely, because whenever your ADC is alone against a support or opposing ADC you can leave some healing packs (W) behind and collect some chimes and maybe gank mid. When your jungler comes to gank remember that you can use a portal to give him that shorter route. When, in this early stage of the game, you won't be collecting much chimes, unless you get a kill in the bottom lane. This is OK because the chimes will remain on the battlefield for 10 minutes. By then it will already be Mid Game.
Mid game is your time to shine, quite literally with your ultimate. Because Bard has not much impact in a 2v2 lane because two of his skills [img=skills/bard/w.png] and [img=skills/bard/e.png] don't directly affect an enemy. It will be very usefull for your jungle to gank your lane. When he does and the gank is succesfull you are free to roam with your jungler. A couple of options: 1: Get Dragon. This one speaks for itself. 2: Invade into enemy jungle, help your jungler clear the enemy jungle fast and put down some deep wards. When this is your plan, use [img=items/twin-shadows.png] to make sure there are no enemies near you. If you find the enemy jungler this way, you can try to R him and portal (E) your way towards him to get an extra kill. 3: Follow your jungler towards mid lane and attempt a two man gank. Most mid players will have the two middle brushes warded, but luckily for you you can get past that without walking trough there. Put a portal (E) along the terrain dividing the river and land. 4: Gather some Chimes in enemy territory. By now a couple of Chimes will probably have spawned in enemy territory, you might want to collect them while the risk is lower. Use your [img=items/twin-shadows.png] to make sure where the nearby enemies are before gathering them. Also try to save your portal (E) for running back instead of running in.While collecting leave a ward at Red or Blue to give some more information to your team. In a different guide I read that you should leave some Chimes in the river, because they give you a speed boost when you want to quickly gank mid or run away from a gank gone bad. Solid advice. But don't forget to grab the chimes anyway once they turn red on your minimap (when you see a red Chime you have 30 seconds to collect it, more then enough time) The most important part that Bard kan bring to the table is numbers advantadge. Being able to quickly assist in multiple lanes during Mid Game is hugely benificial. Always try to bring an ally into a gank. And use your [img=skills/bard/r.png] To zone any enemy that might interfere. Always try to make the fights unfair by bringing more allies and denying enemy participation. The best way to do this is Vision. Make sure that you see the enemies coming when ganking. Here, again, [img=items/twin-shadows.png] is your best friend. For even more Vision you can switch your trinket towards [img=items/scrying-orb.png]
The longer the game lasts the more impact Tempered Fate [img=skills/bard/r.png] will have. Since your damage dealers will have maxed out their items, they will be able to melt anyone that has been seperated from the herd. After big team fights try to pick up as much Chimes as possible. Your movement speed by now should be around 500-550 When collecting Chimes it will be even higher. Collecting the Chimes should be really easy as you can dodge any skillshot with that speed and no enemy will be able to catch you. After 150 Chimes, collecting more chimes will only give you extra damage, so your damage will keep growing bigger, making you a more relevant damage dealer. So Don't forget to mix Auto Attacks with your casting.
Make the team fights as unfair as possible. Try keep out certain champions by ultimating them. Or use R to capture a multiple enemy champions, ensuring your allies to hit all their AOE after 2,5 seconds. When you see a big Teamfight coming up, ready two packs of healing [img=skills/bard/w.png] for your mages and ADC to pick up during the fight. When fighting at Dragon or Baron you have to possibility to all be in the pit. Since your portal can make everyone exit in dire situations. And when the enemies are doing the objective you can let your entire team inside to steal.