League of Legends champion profile: Bard, the Wandering Caretaker

League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Elderwood Bard. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /

Ability Description

"Passive (Traveller’s Call) – ANCIENT CHIMES: Throughout the game, sacred chimes appear near Bard at random locations. Collecting a chime grants bonus movement speed for 7 seconds, a small amount of experience, and 12% of his maximum mana. Bard empowers his Meeps each time he collects 5 chimes. MEEPS: Bard’s presence attracts small spirits known as Meeps to his side. Each of his basic attacks consumes a Meep, dealing bonus magic damage. At 5 chimes, Meeps start slowing damaged enemies and at 15 chimes they deal splash damage to enemies within 150 units of his target as well as those in a cone behind them, with the cone’s size increasing at 35 chimes. Meeps spawn every 8 − 4 (based on number of Chimes) seconds and Bard can keep up to 1 − 9 (based on number of Chimes) of them at a time."

Okay, so this passive is a bit complicated to wrap your head around, especially how each part interacts with each other. We’ll start with the chimes.

The chimes spawn around Bard, in an area that’s fairly large. For instance, early in the game while Bard is mainly in the bot lane, chimes will all spawn in the river and the bot side of each jungle. They’ll last there for 10 minutes so that means the map won’t be cluttered with unclaimed chimes.

As Bard, you want to get chimes whenever you can, because they will empower your Meeps (which we’ll discuss in a second). However, they will also grant you a good amount of XP and mana, which can also be incredibly beneficial during the laning phase.

Most importantly, though, collecting more chimes will empower your auto-attacks if you have Meeps. Meeps will come to Bard every so often, you don’t have to go collect them, but every auto will use up these Meeps, so if you don’t have Meeps with you, you won’t get the empowered effect.

The tl;dr is collect chimes to get XP and mana and get empowered auto-attacks more often. When you have the little Meeps following you, you’ll get the empowered effect.

"Q (Cosmic Binding) – Bard fires a burst of spirit energy in the target direction, dealing magic damage to the first enemy struck and briefly slowing them. After Cosmic Binding hits an enemy, the burst of energy passes through them and searches for secondary targets. If it hits a wall or a second enemy, it stuns both targets for the same duration, dealing the same magic damage to the second target as well."

Bard’s Q is a lined skill shot that will stun the target if it also hits something directly behind it. You can use it to stun two enemies if you line it up right, but you can also use it to stun a single target if it hits a wall, monster, or minion. This gives Bard a ton of playmaking potential as he can use different angles to get the stun on his Q off on one or two enemies.

"W (Caretaker’s Shrine) – Bard conjures a shrine at the target location that builds up in power over 10 seconds, up to 3 shrines active at once, which remain until consumed when a champion steps on them. If the champion was an ally or Bard himself, they are healed and gain % bonus movement speed."

While you might think that Caretaker’s Shrine makes Bard a healer support, but in practice the Shrine really doesn’t give you a ton of healing until you have a decent amount of AP. Even if you give it the 10 seconds to build in power (to give a bigger heal and move speed boost), it’s not healing to the same level of a Sona or Soraka. It’ll be helpful in some laning situations, especially when your ally walks over it on a retreat path to give them the extra speed and health.

Later in the game, though, the heal can be quite impactful. You don’t even need to drop the Shrine to let it build power to get a significant heal at that point.

"E (Magical Journey) – Bard opens a one-way magical corridor through a piece of terrain in the target direction for 10 seconds. Both allies and enemies can pass through the corridor by right-clicking on it or its exit, with allies and Bard travelling at increased speed."

Bard’s most unique ability for traversing the map, Magical Journey will allow Bard and his allies to have unique entry and escape routes to fights. He can also apply Magical Journey to player-created terrain like Jarvan’s ult. It’s also a great tool for getting around to roam and collect chimes in the early and mid game.

"R (Tempered Fate) – Bard sends magical energy arcing to the target location, putting all units and structures in the target area into stasis for 2.5 seconds upon impact. Despite normally being immune to crowd control, epic monsters and turrets (excluding the Nexus Obelisk) also enter Stasis icon stasis."

Tempered Fate is a targetted AoE ability that has a massive range, like half the map, giving Bard some great options to initiate a fight or save an ally with this ability. But this ability is perhaps the trickiest to execute in League of Legends because of how it can hurt your allies if used incorrectly.

As the description states, Tempered Fate will put everything that is hit by the target area into stasis, which can be helpful or harmful depending on what gets hit. You can use it to hit a turret to stop aggro during a dive, but if you hit the enemy champion he’ll also be immune from damage.

You can use it on your entire team to save them from the ultimate of a massive Brand, but that will also allow the enemy team to get in position to CC you once the stasis ends. You can throw it out to catch enemies as they’re escaping a fight, stop them from finishing off Baron, or pushing a wave, but if you miss you could instead doom your team. Tempered Fate is incredibly impactful in both its effect and the variety of uses it brings, but that impact won’t always be for your team’s benefit.

Types of Scaling

Passive – AP (on the bonus damage)
Q – AP
W – AP
E – none
R – none

Crowd control

Slow on his passive (after five Meeps)
Stun on his Q (if it hits another enemy or a wall)