Olaf Build Guide

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The way of the Warrior - Pure DPS

written by SunOfABeach

Olaf Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

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    I will show you the way of the real warrior.

    Olaf has a lot of potential and 95% of the Olafs I see dont use it to its half.

    Olaf is a Viking. He is meant to cleave through hundreds of enemies, not to slow them.

    So stop building those stupid champion spotlight HP Frozenmallet/Starks builds.

    Olaf is a DPS, and so shall he deliver. NO, Health is not going to give you any reasonable damage push to make a HP build viable. Stop messing up your dps for a bit of health and a slow you get from Lizard.
    An atmas build is good if you are terrible fed early and your damage comes not too late.

    But you say you deal lots of damage ? No you do not with your mallet, neither does a starks without +damage.
    Your surviability isnt better either. DPS Olaf lifesteals more you´d ever imagined.
    Your staying power comes from your damage, not from your mallet..

    This guide is about the best Olaf does. Soft jungling, Hard carrying and taking their heads.
    This Guide is for People who like to play risky and good. The Guide is mainly for carrying Normals

    >> LAST UPDATE - 13.1.2011


    This guide is unusual, and requires good gameplay and timing from you. There is a lot more room for great success with this build and DPS Olaf can be a lot more gamechanging than tank olaf - but has also bigger chance to fail if you don't know what to do.

    For Olaf in his whole - to work properly in a team, your team should not be a composition of total failure.
    You are the one going second in, not first.
    For Normal Matches, there will be times where you carry hard and there will be times where morgana sion and amumu make you useless all game. Ult or not, Hard CC is still the counter to you, just like for any other champion.

    So think about what counters you too hard if you play ranked before you pick olaf (whatever build you follow).

  • Abilities

    Hard to land, a hell lot better after the change to physical damage. This is why they are going to cry.

    Vicious Strikes
    This is what makes you even more deadly.

    Reckless Swing
    This is what will take their heads.

    This is what will make you their nemesis.

    Dont forget to use it. Use it everytime you start killing people. Dont forget the Damage absorb, it negates pretty much minion damage, keep this in mind. The same is for Ignite. You cant get stunned slowed nothing.
    This plus Ghost is pretty unstoppable.

  • Creep Jungling

    I call it soft Jungling. Why ? Because you wont take Golem at level 1 and you don't take smite.
    Olaf is better in the Jungle than on the lane, and this tactic has several advantages:

    1. Nobody knows that you are Jungling at start and in Loading Screen
    2. Nobody can gank you while Jungling
    3. You wont get killed in the laning phase for shure
    4. You have 3 solo high EXP lanes for your Team
    5. You get EXP faster than Golem taking Junglers
    6. You can gank everyone and you should
    7. Nobody knows where you are
    8. You have Lizard and Golem buff as soon you have Madreds
    9. You don't need Mallet for Slow, you have Lizard for this
    10. You can focus leveling the skills you want to maximize dps
    12. You don't need Smite
    13. You have 2 good Summoner Spells for the whole match
    14. You don't have to rely on lane partners
    15. You wont get harassed
    16. The soloing mate is getting pushed to his tower, means easy ganks
    17. Jungle has mostly no competition
    19. If you have, Olaf is very strong 1on1
    20. Exhaust instead of smite gives you 1on1 freewin against an enemy jungler

    Why choose Smite if you only need it before level 5 ? When you first port back with 700 Gold, you
    can get Golem and Lizard with ease. And you level faster at start if you ignore Golem and Olaf wants
    his skills very fast.
    Smite got nerfed anyways the renekton patch. You can take smite if you arent sure about yourself and you know
    theres an enemy jungler.
    And even with smite, golem first is barely possible for this build.



    This is my route (for when no enemy jungler is there), you can take another if you are sure about yourself.
    You start at the Wolves mid lane. Then you activate 1 health potion and fight the Ghosts.
    Go for your Golems and activate another one. It will be close with your health, but it should work fine if you
    take my setup. If you don't, i guarantee nothing. So rather stay at the things I write here.
    You could also try Golems first, but its even more risky, but it should work. Gives you a better route, but the
    risk is there.

    If you finished the golems, you can go to their jungle and take their Golems and Ghosts.
    If they have a jungler, look for a good gank while waiting for your Wolves.
    After that , teleport home if you have 700 Gold, of proceed to your Wolves. After optaining your Madreds
    you can do pretty much what you want. Just beware of Dragon, he is pretty strong without Ignite, so wait
    around level 8-10. Thats your only disadvantage.

    Look for ganks if your Ghost is ready and farm your money.


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    After Madreds you can take down Golem and Lizard, depending on Madred Procc luck, with ease or not, but you clearly kill them. Dragon is a bit more difficult, you can take him when you have your latern and Boots.
    Try to get him as often as possible, A Dragon is like 2 Hero kills in Gold and EXP for your team.

    If you really have problems with Jungling because of not finished runes or stuff, try taking [spell_text=Fortify] as second Spell. It helps you alot in the jungle, but is not that useless later and can grant you a nice kill if activated
    in the right time when someone is trying to Tower dive one of your mates.

    If you play ranked and you dont feel sure about yourself, pick smite and start at golem, just take care at lizard, you cant take it on the first run. Buying a ward after going back and get it to their lizard is a great gank opportunity.


    As Jungler, you can Gank everyone, everywhere. Use this to the hard. You are a great ganker and with Ghost ready, you can take down pretty much everything. Dont stay in the jungle all day, help your Teammates, look for people beeing low health and on bad spots. Dont run into towers too hard, use the element of surprise, coupled with Ghost, Maybe Exhaust and Ultimate to get your kills. If you get some kills early mid game, you will really become beasty and mostly able to take down 2 enemies in a teamfight. Dont forget your ult, heal yourself up
    with vicious strikes and chop them down with your very hard Reckless swing damage.

    Dont forget; the Lizard-Buff increases your gank capability by a lot.

    You have to be everywhere anytime. Jungle there where you think a gank option comes in. Maybe wait a bit until they position unsafe, and then rush in. If they dont give you the chance, go back in the jungle.
    Help mid if the enemy is on a good position, try getting first blood, but dont take stupid risks.
    I rather take 1 down and survive than getting 2 and die, but if there is no other option, it has to be fine.

    Play aggressive and behold how you become feared.

    And dont forget; Olaf fights like a man, he does not run like a teemo. It is often better fighting someone than running away, because Berzerker rage often does the impossible possible, coupled with a bit lifesteal and reckless swing. So if you see you are pretty shure gonna die, just fight against the 2 squishies trying to finish you and you often gonna take one or even two down with a bit skill usage. You need to know your limits
    and need to know what you can take down. Dont forget ult reduces a lot of damage, especially against 2 low hitters.

  • Masteries + Runes


    I had 2 different ways to Rune and Skill Olaf, but I think the Armor Pen build works best.

    9x Greater Mark of Desolation Armor Pen
    9x Greater Seal of Vitality HP per level
    3x Greater Glyph of Celerity CDR per level
    6x Greater Glyph of Focus CDR

    2x Greater Quintessence of Desolation Armor Pen

    And the last one is how you like.
    If you have enough money go for full flat CDR , theyre just better. The mix is also ok ..


    Greater Quintessence of Desolation Armor Pen
    Greater Quintessence of Alacrity Attackspeed
    Greater Quintessence of Swiftness Movementspeed

    You are pretty free on your quints. Use what you like. Im really into the movementspeed ones for the moment. They are great, its like getting quite the speed boots for free. Change how you like, you have enough armor pen.
    But more is pretty much always good. You can use the flat HP Quints too.

    This gives you those stats:

    175 Health at level 18
    25 Armor Pen
    3.90 Cooldown %
    2.70 Cooldown % at level 18
    (+ last Quint, lets say AS)
    3,4 Attackspeed %


    With Offensive Mastery:

    175 Health at level 18
    31 Armor Pen
    6,15 Cooldown %
    2.70 Cooldown % at level 18
    7,4 Attackspeed %
    10 Crit damage %
    5 Damage %


    I always used the attack-speed one, because my build uses not much attack-speed.
    Movement speed would be nice too if you have the money.

    My second build was an attack-speed Reds build, worked fine, better while Jungling and no more attack-speed
    needed then, but Armor Pen is too good on Olaf and stacks way too high to not use it.

    CDR as flat is the best way to go. CDR is great to keep vicious strikes up and for your ult.
    You can change the mix how you like. CDR are more effective, you can go all-CDR too if you want. But the mix
    works fine and its a bit cheaper.

    I dont like dodge seals because you wont spend points for dodge in defense and they are luck based, and I dont like relying on luck, especially if it is only 6%. And the HP seals boost your damage a tiny tiny bit.

    With this Runebuild and my Items you will have 81 Passive Armor Penetration without Starks. Which is a lot.
    With Black Cleaver you easily get on the - Armor mark, causing terrible damage on mostly everything.



    Both mastery Options fit very nicely, the offensive has Jungling advantages, but the Defensive one helps you
    a lot for lasting longer, it is your choice. Both work great.


    You can switch Attackspeed for CDR if you want in Offense.


    You can switch CDR or Attackspeed for 4 more minion damage if you have problems jungling with an unfinished build.

    Offensive is great because you maximise your damage, you get more EXP and 15% longer Neutral Monster Buff.

  • Items


    I needed many games and a lot of theorycraft to find this build.
    I absolutely recommend this, and you should not change anything to it if you want to follow this guide.


    I will write the upgrade cost in Gold after every item, so you need that amount to upgrade from your previous item.


    Start with 5 Health Potion & Cloth Armor
    Even if you lane, this is the best start in my opinion. 5 Health potions + Armor give you insane staying power.

    Build Madred's Razors as soon you have [700] Gold.

    Now, get Berserker's Greaves [920] as fast as you can. You need the attack-speed of them to get rolling. Greaves are no bad item. They are bad on bad builds. (AS stacking..) They are needed here.
    If they have a lot of hard CC grab mercurys.

    This is pretty much all the attack-speed you need and get. If you have an Attack-speed runepage,
    you should take Boots of Mobility instead.

    Now build your Razors into a Wriggle's Lantern [525] Jungle or not.

    Start building The Brutalizer [1337] and Avarice Blade [750] to build
    into Youmuu's Ghostblade [600]

    Ghostblade and Lantern are the most effective items there are and the combination of the two
    gives you all you want and all you need to chop their heads. Do not change one of those 2 items at all!

    Lantern got even buffed last patch and is even more cost effective. Use Ghostblades effect, switch it to Itemslot 1 and bind it to a good hotkey. I bound it on [T], so you can press [R] and [T] very fast and start
    going nuts. Learn to use it in every fight, it really is a huge boost and can win lost fights for you.
    Ghostblade is really A half Master Yi ultimate. Don't forget to use it.
    Someone mentioned [Space] as hotkey and I think its great to not forget or push the wrong button.

    Now is your core build quite finished and you should build on Infinity Edge
    I replaced the Cleaver with Infinity edge. It is better for the build and the best damage boost by far.

    Get one Cloak of Agility [880] and one Vampiric Scepter [450]

    Why the Vampiric Scepter ? Because you want more lifesteal now. And those 12% are enough for the moment, and it only costs 450, so get it fast. Sometimes if you want to upgrade yourself and have no money, just grab a Scepter.
    You can still sell it for a real item or upgrade it. ( Lategame! ) 2 Scepters in your inventory ? Why not ?

    You can get your B. F. Sword [1850] before Cloak of Agility if you have the money of course. It would be better. Finish to Infinity Edge
    Either get Cloak or B.F. Sword, the Mace is not that effective to get first.

    If you find yourself carrying a solo Q where you are the tank and the carry in 1 .... You should grab
    more defense after and get mercury threads. A sunfire, Randuins or Banshees Veil should do.
    It all depends on the match you play. The core Build is the most important thing. Lantern and Ghostblade.
    If they have a lot of Fast or blinking people, Trinity force is a great item for Olaf, pushing you really good.
    The wasted AP is very low on itemvalue, so you dont care.

    Trinity force gives you a lot of things this build is missing. So try it out. Find for yourself what fits best after,
    it all depends on the match you play and how you play.


    Get Scepter for lifesteal and try to get Cloak


    Now Get B.F. Sword and finish IE - This is your core build and how you have it most of the games


    If the game is still going and you have the money try to get a Bloodthirster


    Now you can buy multiple things, if they have much CC, you should get another boots.


    Now we compensated the attackspeed with Zeal / Phantom Dancer

    If you are horrible fed , this is kinda the perfect build


    It happens once in a while, sell your lantern and buy Elixirs with the rest of your money.

    HINT: Armor Reduction seems to come before Penetration since 1-2 patches, so I want to replace the Cleaver
    Spot with Infinity Edge. IE is obviously the best DPS upgrade and it synergies very well with the critchance
    of the build, so your chance is high enough (17% -> 37%)


    If you are not too slow and have Ghostblade fast enough, the slaughter can begin. Nobody wants to mess with you and you will have fights where others will write WTF OLAF sometimes.

    Play offensive, play a bit until you know your limits. Use your massive lifesteal and behold how you are chopping and healing against their damage.

    If you are really good going and the match goes on: (Without Pictures)

    Build your Vampiric Scepter to a
    The Bloodthirster or Consider an
    The Black Cleaver If they have around 150 armor
    Frozen Mallet if you want to boost your HP a lot [You dont build it because of the damage!]
    [item=Stark's Fervor] can also be considered if you want the attackspeed and 20 bonus Armor pen.
    But dont get 2 lifesteal items on the last spot, 1 is enough, rather boost your damage.

    (I pretty much never take frozen mallet by myself, but if you are really nuts on it, get it.)

    Now you can choose a bit how you like and depending on the enemies. You have all you need an one a bit less effective item does not change much at this point.

    If you are really fed and all slots are gone, consider selling lantern for an other lifesteal item.

    If the match runs bad for you and your money income is bad:

    Stay with your
    Vampiric Scepter
    and build another
    The Brutalizer

    Brutalizer and Ghostblade do stack. So this is a really really nice option for the low money.
    Black cleavers do stack too, but the max stack is still 5, you only give 2 stacks per hit.

    If your money income stays low, consider upgrading your Scepter to
    Executioner's Calling

    If you manage to change the tide of the battle, you can still sell the brutalizer or Exe.


    Why are Frozen mallet & Fervor builds early bad ?

    Because Vicious strikes gives you not enough damage to build HP effectively. Not even if you maxed it early.
    And you dont want to max it early. Frozen mallet costs 3200 and that i a LOT of lost DPS when you needed it most.

    Why not Starks early ?

    Because the upgrade cost are too high, and you dont need attackspeed beyond Berzerker Rage and Greaves.
    And Attack damage boosts way better than speed anytime, any hero. And you dont want too much lifesteal if you
    do no damage yet. Lifesteal does nothing if there is nothing to steal. So get you damage up first as I wrote.

    Dont build Atmas impaler, this is good for HP beyond 3500.


    For Wriggle's Lantern

    If you only have 1 or 2 wards as option, cover these 2 spots or one of them. If you could only choose 1 spot
    i recommend those.

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    Another great thing on Lantern is the Madreds procc effect. It triggers lifesteal too, so you can heal
    yourself by big chunks on minions. I talk about 3-500 hp lategame per Lantern procc on minion.
    You will see it is great.


    This build has everything Olaf needs.

    Lantern gives Damage, Armor , Minion Kill & Lifesteal procc, and a free Ward. This is just too effective.

    Ghostblade gives you all you want. Damage, Crit, Cooldown reduction for ult and vicious Strikes uptime.
    More Armor Pen. the Activation is just too good to not take Ghostblade.
    If you always forget using it in fights, use it to take down Towers very fast atleast.

    Attackspeed comes from greaves and Passive, so you have a really nice balanced build and lacks on nothing for very low cost compared to most other items.

    Dont forget to have a good Keybind for Ghostblade.

  • Skilling Order

    With this hell of an armor pen build, the axe does so fucking hell lot of a damage that you dont want to specc E first anymore. Its was lacking when it still was magical damage, but now it kicks so much ass that you want it first.

    The really good thing about the W nerf is, that you dont want to specc it anymore after 1 point. This gives you the option to get E maxed second, it may not kick so much butt, but its still a great increase to your damage.

    Try to land your Q to slow, its a pretty sure hit if they just run away in a direction and so you can pick it back up on the run and hit it again.

    After the Cassiopeia patch, Q does a lot more damage and W is pretty bad. So you leave W at first rank and Level E first and max Q second. Overall olaf feels better with the "new" axe in my opinion.

  • Summoner Abilities


    No question here. You can take other Summoner spells but then you should stop reading this guide.
    You maybe maybe could change exhaust, but I would not recommend it.

    You can take Fortify on place of exhaust if your rune build is not finished yet and you die while jungling
    at level 1-3, or makes your jungling a lot safer with the full build. I use it more often the last time, its really nice, give it a try. (With it, starting at the 2 Golems does not leave you at very low hp afterwards)

    Ghost is your Gank initiator and you need it more than anything else.
    Ghost makes you a well oiled machine of death. Exhaust gives you the slow you need so hard, and the ability
    to shut down any other DPS with ease.

    Sometimes you just want to use Ghost and your Ult to Chop everyone and get very fast from enemy to enemy.
    Don't use Ragnarok too early and waste its duration. Ghost, Ult + Ghostblade and vicious strikes = Carnage.


    This was my Guide, i hope there will be more good Olafs around in time. If you dont want to follow my guide straight I can not guarantee for success. But this way clearly works 1450+

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