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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Snow Day Bard. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo courtesy of Riot Games. /

Lanes Bard players love

  • Galio: He has a very telegraphed all-in pattern, and generally Bard does very well into melee picks. As long as you don’t get taunted, you’re usually free to poke and auto at your leisure.
  • Braum: Similar story to Galio, but he does have the added issue of being able to dodge your Qs easier with his W – Stand Behind Me and block them with his E – Unbreakable. However, once his shield is down, it’s free harass on him all day.
  • Soraka: for an entirely different reason: she can’t punish your roams. Champions like her, Karma, and Janna have no way to pressure Bard when he roams. You won’t win your lane like you might against a melee support, but you can easily win other lanes for your allies.

Lanes Bard players hate

  • Zyra: In general, Bard does very badly into high-damage matchups since he cannot sustain through or mitigate their heavy damage. Zyra, in particular, is quite hard because she spawns all those tendrils that can block Bard’s Q – Cosmic Binding. While there is an opportunity to use these plants to confirm the stun, it’s also another target the enemy can use to intercept the stun.
  • Blitzcrank: Similar to high-damage supports, all-in supports also give Bard a ton of problems. While he has plenty of mobility to go across the map, he has hardly any to dodge skill shots in lane. One hook onto you and you’re almost certainly dead.
  • Thresh: For all the reasons Bard hates Blitzcrank, he hates Thresh just as much.

Tips for playing Bard

  • Save your Q – Cosmic Binding if you’re about to go through one of your E – Magical Journey. If an enemy follows you through, they’re lined up with a wall for an easily predicted stun!
  • You should primarily use your R – Tempered Fate to either separate a team after their primary engage (ulting the back-line so they can’t follow the initiation with their damage) or to catch retreating enemies. In either case, you don’t risk ulting your team and allowing them to get collapsed on.
  • Be careful to not ruin one of your ally’s big ultimates with your own! Ulting the enemy team when your Orianna has a perfect Shockwave lined up is sure to tilt her. Either lead with your ult or use if after your team has blown their key cooldowns.

Tips for playing against Bard

  • You can see Bard’s chimes as you walk around the map. Try to note where they are and take advantage (they’re almost always a sure spot for a Teemo shroom.
  • You can walk over his W – Caretaker’s Shrine and destroy them. Do this whenever you can, but don’t let him bait you into a position for an easy stun set-up.
  • Bard is going to try and roam to collect chimes. Do your best to get deep wards onto the paths where he’ll go on his little adventures. When he’s gone, all-in his ADC before he comes back. He might be coming back with his jungler.

Champion Difficulty: 8/10

Bard is an incredibly difficult champion to master. Just learning how to use his ult properly requires more time than learning how to properly utilize some champions entire kits. You also need to be good at lining up your Q skill shot, even though it is quite forgiving in how the hitbox will latch onto objects behind you.

As stated multiple times, though, the most difficult part about Bard is learning how to use your skills to help more than hurt your allies. Learning where to place your ults and your W- Caretaker’s Shrines in lane, where to put your E – Magical Journey on walls is just as important as learning your damage output.

Similar to champions

Karma, Morgana, Sona.

Next. Nocturne champion spotlight. dark

Got any tips for players who are looking to learn Bard? Leave them for us in the comments!