[img=http://www.newsoflegends.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/image2.jpg] Well hello there, you might know me as Varph, Xarph or even Zarph. I'm a chronic guide writer and this is my guide to the most underrated Bardass motherfucker. Bard gets a lot of bad rep and it is really undeserved, he is a versatile support with a fantastic lane phase and massive playmaking potential throughout the game. This guide isn't so much to convince you that he isn't crap but rather to roughly guide you to success on a legit good support, he is a strong champion right now albeit a difficult one as all of his abilities cannot be used randomly without thought, you need to think about every cast to get the most out of it. [highlight][center]Season 3 Stats[/center][/highlight] [center][imgext=http://i.imgur.com/3AFLZO0.png][/center] [center][imgext=http://i.imgur.com/p1T7PUL.png][/center] [center][b]Season 4[/b][/center] [center][img=http://i.imgur.com/kUml2hA.png][/center] [center][b]Season 5[/b][/center] [center][img=http://i.imgur.com/4gjpW2E.jpg][/center] [center]My [highlight]LoLKing[/highlight]: http://www.lolking.net/summoner/euw/25277585[/center] [center][b]Good Points[/b][/center] [center][.]Extremely versatile ult, picks making or team saving, kill denying and tower diving the list is endless.[/center] [center][.]Very powerful 2 man stun on a low cooldown.[/center] [center][.]Great damage for a tanky support.[/center] [center][.]Powerful laning phase[/center] [center][.]Gives your team a wall jump.[/center] [center][.]Works well with and against every Marksman[/center] [center][b]Bard Points[/b][/center] [center][.]His W sucks.[/center] [center][.]Hard to play, easy to screw up your own team[/center] [center][.]Chimes can bait you into your own death if recklessly collected.[/center] [center][.]Team may give you shit for picking him due to his undeserved negative stigma[/center] [center][.]Gives the enemy team a wall jump.[/center]
[center][img=skills/bard/q.png][/center] This ability is your kit, it is your damage and your CC. With strong damage/CC duration scaling per rank it is the skill to max in all of Bards games. [center]------------------------------[/center] [center][img=skills/bard/e.png][/center] E comes next for the speed boost it gives allies, at 10% extra travel speed the rank 1 E is almost the same ability for ally and enemy but by rank 5 moving 50% faster(along with a lower CD) makes this spell something to be reckoned with, the distance you can travel at a high speed makes for amazing escape/catch/bait potential. [center]------------------------------[/center] [center][img=skills/bard/w.png][/center] This gets maxed last... because it sucks. Gaining a measly 30-50 healing per rank on a crap skill is really nothing impressive, most of the time the ability will be used as a slight speed boost and an extra 30 health per rank isn't going to make much of a difference.
[center][img=items/rigtheous-glory.png][img=items/locket-of-the-iron-solari.png][img=items/ruby-sightstone.png][img=items/frozen-heart.png][img=items/banshees-veil.png][img=items/boots-of-mobility.png][/center] [center][img=items/spellthiefs-edge.png][/center] This is the best gold gen item for Bard [i]by far[/i], reason being is that he is an aggressive ranged support so neither Relic Shield or Coin have any synergy with him. Additionally his Meeps proc the passive on the item so Q+AA will get you all 3 stacks with ease, the reason it is the tier 1 and should not be upgraded is Bard doesn't want the stats of Frost Queen's[img=items/abyssal-scepter.png] since he wants tanky stats and the sooner he can build those tank items the better. Frostfang[img=items/frostfang.png] is a horribly inefficient upgrade and should be avoided as it is a huge gold sink despite being a gold generation item. [center]----------------------[/center] [center][img=items/rigtheous-glory.png][/center] Excellent source of health for Bard, typically bought after Frozen Heart and Locket the health will be very noticeable. This is mainly bought for the active however, the speed buff is ideal on a tanky support to engage for his team or in Bards case to get into position quickly on someone that he has ulted from afar. [center]----------------------[/center] [center][img=items/locket-of-the-iron-solari.png][/center] The support item, in 9/10 games your team should have one of these and the tanky support is the ideal choice for it. It provides a plethora of useful stats as a first item to be rushed, chunk of health and MR and a shield for you and your allies to cover the lack of armour. Even games against full AD can do with a Locket for its shield and the MR aura vs non dedicate magic damage dealers(like supports, tanks and the common magic damage spells some AD's have). [center]----------------------[/center] [center][img=items/ruby-sightstone.png][/center] [center]As a support you are your teams main warder... so you want a Sightstone, no questions asked.[/center] [center]----------------------[/center] [center][img=items/frozen-heart.png][/center] As your first armour item Frozen Heart wins 10/10 times, not only does it provide the most armour but more importantly it is a source of 20% CDR and the mana to sustain that extra spell spam. CDR being such an important stat for Bard, no other armour item can compete here. [center]----------------------[/center] [center][img=items/banshees-veil.png][/center] I like to finish up my build with Banshee's since it provides a nice final chunk of health and the spell shield. Although Bard aims to be a tanky support, he isn't a TANK support so he can still be focused and burst down and is vulnerable to being caught out so the spellshield protects him from that kind of thing. The extra MR is just an added bonus, along with Locket it will make him quite a difficult target for mages and other magic damage dealers to take out. [center]----------------------[/center] [center][img=items/boots-of-mobility.png][/center] Due to how much Bard roams(especially with chimes) Mobi boots are his best choice most of the time which is great really since they are so cheap, can't complain about the cheapest option being the best. [center]----------------------[/center] [center][b]Other Options[/b][/center] [center][img=items/mikaels-crucible.png][/center] This item is awesome mainly for its active, all the other stats on it really don't matter you buy it to cleanse a teammate from a key CC spell or just to heal them. The thing about it is that it has 10% CDR on it when the build I recommend you has 40% so you should plan ahead, look at your enemy team in champion select and decide whether or not you should run the 10% CDR from runes/masteries. It isn't THAT important though you can still just get this over the CDR cap it isn't the end of the world if you do. [center]----------------------[/center] [center][img=items/randuins-omen.png][/center] If against a full AD team you can get Randuin's as your final item for full blown anti-tank mode. I'd recommend this over Thornmail since you won't be tanky enough for Thornmail to make much of a difference compared to the utility and health that this offers. [center]----------------------[/center] [center][img=items/zekes-harbinger.png][/center] Its stats are a bit shit for you there is no denying that but if your ADC is snowballing from a very early point you can consider getting this as a second item to further snowball that lead and go for an early ending game. All the value of this item is in the passive really although the CDR is welcome. [center]----------------------[/center] [center][img=items/zzrot-portal.png][/center] If the enemy team is heavy damage but mixed I think this is a great final item for a support, it provides both armour and MR along with a handy little passive that allows you to secretly split push a side lane before you can quickly get back to your own team. [center]----------------------[/center] [center][b]Sub-optimal Items[/b][/center] [center][img=items/banner-of-command.png][/center] This is the AP/mage version of Locket which is why it isn't for you. Bard finds far more value in the extra defensive stats from Locket than he would the AP from Banner. [center]----------------------[/center] [center][img=items/ardent-censer.png][/center] You have 1 heal and its a long CD one that isn't used as a heal most of the time! This item straight up blows for Bard, treat him as a support without a heal or shield. [center]----------------------[/center] [center][img=items/face-of-the-mountain.png][/center] Compared to Spellthief's edge Relic shield can't compete for Bard. Bard is aggressive and ranged, he wants to trade often and the gold income from the blue item is simply too good to pass up rather than struggle to last hit minions as a ranged champion with 40 AD for the relic shield buff. The final item is quite good but building up to it is more trouble than it is worth compared to just starting on the standard core items
Starting off the game you need to make sure your first 2 Chimes don't spawn in retarded locations, the 2 chimes will spawn at 0:50 into the game roughly near you so make sure you are inside your own jungle so you can get those chimes safely, the next ONE will spawn at 1:40, by then you will be waiting at the Krugs/Gromp and hopefully it spawns in a reachable location in time, if not oh well. If your jungler is allowing you to do the Krugs/Gromp, unlike every other support as Bard you should make sure your ADC gets all of the experience, this allows you to enter in lane with a level 2 AD while you are Bard with your already very strong level 1(he doesn't gain much for level 2 anyway) so you can go on the aggressive from the start of the laning phase. In lane as Bard you want to get right in the enemy's face from level 1, Bards Q+AA harass assuming the Q stuns is a really strong trade and if you land it on the enemy marksman with your owns follow up you are looking at a solid 50% HP trade. Always keep your eyes open for opportunities to stun the enemy marksman by chaining your Q through the ranged minions. Bards W[img=skills/bard/w.png] is an expensive form of \"sustain\" but thanks to his Chimes he can afford it, generally you will want to leave 1 or 2 Shrines in the lane for you or your AD to retreat to heal a bit, additionally they should be placed so that if you get ganked you can utilize the speed buff they provide. Bard is infamous for ditching his AD for his chimes and leaving them to be miserable in a 1vs2, don't be that Bard. Your Chimes are mana potions if they are close and you should only leave for chimes if it is safe to do so AND there is enough to reach your next chime goal, that being said the only real important chime goals to achieve are 5, 15 and 45, don't spend too much effort trying to get other goals.
Outside of teamfights late game Bard is just about roaming about and collecting any chime he can find, due to the speed he can roam about along with his E>Q combo for fleeing he is relatively safe to wander the map as he can get back to the important places very quickly. That doesn't mean you should go into the enemy jungle blind at 40min to get that 1 chime though! Bard is pretty good at engaging teamfights with his ult since its a long range 2.5 second stasis, just look for the enemy priority targets and try hit them with it, if you do thats a free engage for your team and yourself since its generally quite easy to get in range of them before they are freed to stun them with your Q. Once you are in a teamfight it ends up pretty simple since you really just have 2 abilities, you spam your stun on whoever you can and use your E as a gapcloser/maker depending on the situation. W is rather unimportant, just cast it on people that look like they need the movement speed boost. Obviously not every teamfight opens with your ult so how you use your ult in teamfights if it is available is quite important as you can screw over your team as much as your own, I can't really tell you how to use it since its based off your specific team comps and how the game is going but generally using it to keep people out of a fight is better than trying something fancy to save a teammate since theres a good chance you get the opposite effect of what you want when doing that.
So that's my basic guide to Bard, now that he has been picked in the LCS the negative attitude many have towards Bard should die down soon and you will be able to pick the most fun support in the game without your team flaming you! Yay! [imgsmall=champ/ahri.png]Ahri - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/34307 [img=champ/velkoz.png]Vel'Koz - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/123802-velkoz-build-guide-apc-support-by-varph [imgsmall=champ/zyra.png]Zyra - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/64057 [imgsmall=champ/brand.png]Brand - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/64059 [imgsmall=champ/syndra.png]Syndra - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/43301 [imgsmall=champ/lissandra.png]Lissandra - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/120925 [imgsmall=champ/veigar.png]Veigar - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/121986-veigar-build-guide-apc-by-barph [imgsmall=champ/morgana.png]Morgana - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/120786-morgana-build-guide-by-barph [imgsmall=champ/anivia.png]Anivia - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/122383-anivia-build-guide-apc-by-barph [imgsmall=champ/xerath.png]Xerath - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/122384-xerath-build-guide-apc-by-varph [imgsmall=champ/ziggs.png]Ziggs - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/124195-ziggs-build-guide-apc-by-varph [imgsmall=champ/azir.png]Azir - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/130092?k=933521410893311 [img=champ/viktor.png]Viktor - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/130949-viktor-build-guide-apc-by-varph [img=champ/leblanc.png]LeBlanc - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/130580-leblanc-build-guide-apc-by-varph [img=champ/sion.png]Sion - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/130673-sion-build-guide-jungle-by-varph [img=champ/gragas.png]Gragas SUPPORT - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/126095-gragas-build-guide-support-by-varph [img=champ/janna.png]Janna SUPPORT - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/124973-janna-build-guide-support-by-varph [img=champ/maokai.png]Maokai Top - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/128362-maokai-build-guide-fighter-by-varph [img=champ/amumu.png]Amumu Jungle - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/127310-amumu-build-guide-jungle-by-varph [img=champ/nautilus.png]Nautilus Jungle - http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/128847-nautilus-build-guide-jungle-by-varph