@TealNinje, Olaf Play.

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Mugz

Senior Member

05-13-2011

Saw you in the Tryn thread making an honest case for Olaf.

Used to play him myself but never got particulaly good at him because of mana constrictions early game and a complete misunderstanding of build order.

Could you outline some of your Olaf playstyle and builds for me? Such as Masteries, Summoner Spells, and some of the milestones along the leveling playing field?


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TealNinje

Senior Member

05-13-2011

Roger. Prepare for inbound of awesome.

Runes: Armor Penetration Marks. Mana Regen per level Seals. Flat Cooldown Reduction Glyphs. Movespeed, Armor Penetration OR Flat Cooldown Reduction Quintessences. (Movespeed is better for fighting against mobile enemies, Cooldown speeds up your early game by a lot, and Armor Penetration makes you more relevant later.)

Summoner Abilities: Ghost/Exhaust, Ghost/Teleport. You pretty much need Ghost to chase/escape with. Exhaust makes any opponent who CAN kill you become completely incapable of doing so. Teleport gives you the ability to gank across the map, and since getting TO the enemy is Olaf's greatest problem, jumping up right next to them alleviates that problem and gives him the opportunity to wreck their face in.

Masteries: 0 Offensive, 21 Defensive, 8 Utility. (This gives 1 floating point. Put it into the improved version of your second summoner ability.)
Defensive Tree: Take the extra MR and Armor masteries to max. Take the damage reduction extension of Armor. Take the life regen based on max mana extension from MR. Take the dodge chance, and the improved run after dodge. Take the max life. Take the 4% reduced damage from all sources.
Utility Tree: Take improved Ghost. Take reduced death timer (2 points if you have improved teleport, 3 if you don't.) Take the % increased max mana. If you have another point, take the improved mana regen.

Entire item build: Ionian Boots of Lucidity (#1 priority), Glacial Shroud. That's it. Everything thereafter is a flavour item. I generally get Rylai's Crystal Scepter to increase the slow on Undertow and give very potent slow combination from Undertow's 40% and 35% slow if you hit them with Reckless Swing. Warmog's is a great annoyance item to the enemy, since it increases your damage without doing anything else (well, it also makes you a gigantic bulls-eye, since noone is capable of ignoring you, and through your ult you are deceptively tanky). Banshee's Veil is a great MR item that also provides mana and life. Oh yeah, and noone else has their entire item build be 2575 gold.

My most recent Olaf game involved me stacking AP and Spellvamp, for no other reason than I wanted to see how ridiculous it would be healing 60+ hp per Undertow per enemy. It was ridiculous. 240 physical damage + 22% spellvamp from 240 (I had 45% + 21% from W means 66%, reduced by 1/3 because Undertow is multitarget.) So 48 heal about per enemy hit with Undertow, more if I get a crowd of units. Reckless Swing was healing me for over 100 hp, which means that the damage I would have taken from it was removed. I carried that game by the way, 12/4 or something. They had a Vayne who complained about me. Lux constantly said "Axes OP" (though I imagine she was jesting.)

Lane. Despite what most people seem to think, Olaf is a better laner than he is a jungler. First of all, as a jungler he can't really gank since he has no ranged CC other than a skillshot. He's a pretty good counter-jungler, but if played right he can eat anyone out of his lane, so there's no point in counter-jungling.

You max out Undertow first, because it is a ranged harass with high base damage and an incredible slow. You max out Reckless Swing second, because true damage on a decreasing cooldown is always relevant. You don't even CARE about W (I honestly don't even know what its name is anymore.) You take your ultimate whenever you can.

Most people would look at my items and assume I max out Reckless Swing first because it has a higher damage and lower base cooldown. That WOULD be correct, if it weren't for the fact that Undertow can benefit from 100% Cooldown Reduction, which is the ONLY ability in the game that can. Let me rephrase that: Undertow has a 0 second cooldown when you have 40% Cooldown Reduction and you pick up the axe thrown. 10 second base cooldown, reduced by 4 seconds for 40% Cooldown Reduction, then reduced by 6 seconds because of the extra passive on the ability when you pick up your axe.

For playstyle, you throw your axe and then pick it up again. You want to play fairly restrained in lane for the first 2 levels. When you hit level 3, you can use Undertow to harass, and if they play pretty close to you, combo an Undertow throw with a Reckless Swing and then retreat. That's an instant 200 damage, and if you do it right then there's no risk to yourself. If they try to force an encounter, well you have to have thrown the Undertow pretty much directly on them, so that you're able to pick it up in a fight. If you can't pick it up, retreat - most champions will NOT be able to do more damage to you than you did to them, and the few that can generally do about the same amount of damage. If they're a melee champion trying to farm, Undertow them, Reckless Swing them, pick up the axe and force them out of lane or kill them through autoattacks and repeated Undertows. If they're a ranged champion they can't stay under your Undertow harass and will generally have to back up or heal. Healers are very annoying for Olaf, but they will have to max out their heal ability first in order to deal with your harass. This ruins their mid-game farming capabilities. Once you have built your Ionian Boots of Lucidity and Glacial Shroud, if you have both CDR runesets (Glyph and Quintessence), then you should be batting at 40% CDR already. If you only have Glyhps, you're at 35.89% or something. More than enough to get the job done. You want to hunt champions at this point - any 1 vs 1 is entirely your ball game, since your item build is complete you can kill anyone in a 1 vs 1 fight. There are several champions you don't WANT to hunt, like Kassadin, because they can escape and turn it into a very protracted fight. This is a problem since you need to have your ultimate to deal with any CC, and if they're away then it's not doing anything. To kill champions, you don't use your autoattack at all; you throw your Undertow, pick it up and throw it again. If they're in range of Reckless Swing, use it every time it's off of cooldown. If you have time to autoattack, you have time to Undertow again, and Undertow ALWAYS does more damage than your auto. I used to prioritize getting Phage and using autoattacks in between Undertows, but it lowered my focus and was less reliable than forgoing autoattacks entirely. If you're engaging an enemy who doesn't have the damage to kill you and lacks hard CC, do not use your Ragnarok if you can help it. You want to be able to kill people without using it in case you get ganked - if they gank you and you have Ragnarok ready, they will not kill you. I have had 5man teams chasing me through their own base and be unable to kill me because they used 4 disables on me and I didn't even feel them.

For extended items and the reasons why:

Rylai's Crystal Scepter, pretty much always. It adds 500 health and extra slow on Undertow. That extra slow is incredible. It also gives you reliable slow through Reckless Swing, in case they're dodging your Undertows but are still getting close. Plus, Undertow + 35% slow is pretty much guaranteed catching ability.

Manamune, pretty often. It adds mana. I don't even care about the extra damage; in fact, some games I get Archangel's Staff just to taunt the enemy (and to do extra damage to towers.) My Olaf build and playstyle is entirely limited by max mana; once I've ran out of mana, I can no longer do anything in fights.

Hextech Gunblade, haven't ever but want to. Ranged slow. The spellvamp component is incredible for reducing the damage you take through healing with Undertow and even Reckless Swing, but it isn't a priority.

Warmog's Armor, very often. Big health pool. The biggest problem I encounter with this build is ranged carries who can kill me before I kill them at the mid-game. This is resolved through Warmog's Armor. The Warmog's provides almost 1k health, and health regen to mitigate any harass I encounter. Yes, it doesn't provide any armor or magic resistance, but Ragnarok reduces ALL sources of damage by 45. That means if an enemy happens to have Wit's End, Malady AND Blood Razors, EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THOSE ITEMS DOES 45 LESS DAMAGE TO YOU. That' means Malady does MR reduction AND THAT'S IT. Wit's End does NOTHING. Bloodrazors does 4% of your max health, reduced by your MR, then REDUCED BY 45. This is FANTASTIC for dealing with champions who use on-hit effects, or champions who are trying to do quick bandage jobs for stats they need without sacrificing their damage. Any AD or ability damage they happen to build is reduced by 45, and many champions suffer large amounts from doing 45 less damage per hit.

Sub Post Script: Do NOT take Warmog's versus Amumu or Malzahar. They deal too much % of max health per tick for you to be able to afford to buy JUST a health stat-stick.

That's it for the regular items, now for counter-building:

Versus a magic-damage heavy team: Force of Nature, Banshee's Veil. BV should provide enough life with Rylai's to be able to withstand their burst, and the MR is there to truncate it. You won't be dealing as much damage, but you've spent that in exchange for there being nothing the enemy can do to kill you.

Versus a physical-damage heavy team: Finish Frozen Heart, buy Warmog's and Atma's Impaler. The enemy isn't going to be doing a great deal of physical damage to you through Frozen Heart's 20% reduced attack speed aura AND the 99 armor it provides. Therefore, you don't really need more armor items; health items will suffice. You want to have a lot of mana through Manamune so you can maintain your damage output, and with Atma's Impaler and Warmog's you can easily pass 200 damage per autoattack, giving you some pretty powerful tower-pushing capabilities. You still don't want to autoattack very often though.

Against a team who happens to have lot's of silence: Push towers. Seriously, build health/magic resistance and push towers all day. They WILL come hunt you, but because your name is Olaf and you have Ghost, it doesn't even matter how much Silence they throw at you. If it's only one person, then you get to wreck their face off. If it's multiple people, congratulations! You've just distracted their team and given YOUR team an advantage in a teamfight. Let me point out why silence is the only CC I care about: It's the only CC that penetrates Ragnarok (well, besides blind, but you don't autoattack so who cares if you're blind?) If they ignore you and your team plays defensively, you will quite quickly take an inhibitor. If their entire team comes to kill you, YOUR team will get an inhibitor. It is a lose-lose situation for them; they cannot send any SINGLE person to stop you from pushing; even Malzahar's full combo shouldn't do more than 50% of your life if you have sufficient MR, and that's if he catches you unaware so you don't use your ultimate. If you use your ultimate, he's looking at MAYBE 800 magic damage from everything. Less if you've moved out of his pool. Your team wants to avoid full teamfights because silence destroys your playstyle; every second you're silenced is easily 500 damage output you've missed, potentially more if your Reckless Swing is ready. If you can somehow manage to force the enemy to use their silences on someone else, then you can mop up the teamfight.

In teamfights, bruisers don't deal any damage whatsoever to you, and carries die too fast. So you just enter the teamfight, hunt their back line, and let the rest of your team take care of their tanks. Once the teamfight is over, it should be all 5 of you versus 2-3 back liners, assuming the carries ran away. If the carries didn't run away, you should have aced them with very minimal losses.

All paragraphs are stated with the assumption of equal farm. As Olaf, you improve your damage by improving your survivability. Kinda like Ryze, except better. The moment you get your 2 main items, your damage output SKYROCKETS. You can throw 4 Undertows in 2 seconds EASILY, which is 960 damage in 2 seconds. Throw in a Reckless Swing in there, and you get 1320 damage in 2 seconds. A fifth Undertow, to round out the time to 2.4 seconds, makes your damage output 1560 every 2.4 seconds (roughly). Not too shabby. If they run, you have 40% slow on Undertow. If you happen to be losing a fight, Undertow has 40% slow and a 6 second cooldown; they will NOT be catching you, and if they happen to have a dedicated chaser (like Nidalee), then the moment they get in range by themselves, you can turn around and kill them, and continue retreating.

Outright Counters to the build: Poppy. That's it. Poppy can do the same build, but because her Q get's 8% of your max life as extra damage, she's going to hurt no matter what. Your 240 damage isn't going to do a lot when her passive reduces all damage that exceeds 10% of her life by 50%. If she builds squishy, you can kill her before she kills you, EXCEPT if she does nuke AP, because then she can pretty much instagib you if you don't exhaust her in time. On the other hand, she has no chance at catching you, so the moment she uses her ultimate on you you can bring her on a merry chase. Just remember to avoid the walls and always slow her with Undertow.

Partial counters to this build: Champions with flash abilities on pretty low cooldowns. And by that I mean Kassadin. Kassadin has a silence, which is incredibly annoying, AND a low cooldown flash. It's almost impossible to catch him, although if you do he generally dies nigh-instantly. Other champions with short cooldown flashes (like Ezreal) are not nearly as much of a problem, since you don't need more than 6 seconds or so to kill them, so they only really get enough time for one flash. Nidalee is also annoying to kill, but that's because her hitbox is screwed up for cat form. You can throw Undertows through her and they don't do damage. It's kind of annoying.

Tanky DPS, which is the current metagame, does no damage to this build of Olaf, since you're pretty much Tanky DPS incarnate. Ranged Carries do not have the HP to withstand you. Melee Carries do not generally have the kit to do anything to you. Assassins use their entire load to do 50% of your life, and then you turn around and kill them. AP Carries hate it when you have a large HP pool; alternatively, they hate it if you have high MR. Tanks generally don't care about you, except for your 360 true damage every 2.4 seconds, but they hate the fact that, because of you, every teamfight they're playing at a disadvantage because their carries can't get INTO the fight.

Ok, was that enough postage about my Olaf build/playstyle?


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Giltia Zero

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Senior Member

05-13-2011

I see Laneloaf. Now, I know Loaf CAN lane, but that's just all kinds of bad idea. Your only ranged ability is a skillshot, and you can't lifesteal/shield like Lanewick or Udyr. Loaf is almost a free kill for ranged carries who know their poking and last hitting.


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TealNinje

Senior Member

05-13-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giltia Zero View Post
I see Laneloaf. Now, I know Loaf CAN lane, but that's just all kinds of bad idea. Your only ranged ability is a skillshot, and you can't lifesteal/shield like Lanewick or Udyr. Loaf is almost a free kill for ranged carries who know their poking and last hitting.
Try reading the post. Olaf loves ranged carries, because they can't do anything to him without getting an Undertow response.


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Giltia Zero

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Senior Member

05-13-2011

And then what? Slows don't stop auto attacks. Dodge an Undertow and it's free harass week at the bread factory.

The damage on Undertow is not that significant, and the cooldown is pretty long if you're not picking it up, which you can't do with ranged characters pecking at you with auto attacks. Not to mention you can dodge it.

Lane Loaf's greatest weakness is that he's so easy to zone.


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TealNinje

Senior Member

05-13-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giltia Zero View Post
And then what? Slows don't stop auto attacks. Dodge an Undertow and it's free harass week at the bread factory.

The damage on Undertow is not that significant, and the cooldown is pretty long if you're not picking it up, which you can't do with ranged characters pecking at you with auto attacks. Not to mention you can dodge it.

Lane Loaf's greatest weakness is that he's so easy to zone.
Not significant? It's 60 damage at level 1 base (including AD ratio). That's a free autoattack. On a 4 second cooldown if they DON'T retreat. Rank 2 it's 100 damage. Rank 3 140. Rank 4 180. Rank 5 220. Plus AD ratio. Averages out to about 240 damage per Undertow at rank 5. If a ranged champion tries to autoattack me, I undertow them. If they try to keep autoattacking me, I close the distance and kill them because my passive makes me MORE dangerous the lower you get me, and Undertow has a 4 second cooldown so long as I pick it up. This is level 1 game. The moment it hit's level 2, Reckless Swing every so often for 100 true damage. Tell me that a champion wants to eat 100 true damage at level 2 and keep attacking. There isn't one. Level 3 game, Undertow hits harder than anyone's regular autoattack. It's up about as frequently, and you can autoattack around it. There's still Reckless Swing. Level 4, hey, Reckless Swing hurts more and more often. Level 5, Undertow is about 2 autoattacks, and is up as often as 2 autoattacks. Reckless Swing is still there. Level 6, even if they have hard CC there's nothing they can do to you.

Olaf can go mid versus just about anyone, because Undertow does everything. Would he? No, he likes those bushes too much; noone dares to come near Olaf's bush.


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Giltia Zero

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Senior Member

05-13-2011

A free auto attack? They get three while you're running at them. Olaf is not an efficient laner. "4 seconds" assumes you pick it up, which, again, involves running at them. And that of course is assuming they don't have their own abilities. Most of which start at 70 or 80 damage.


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TealNinje

Senior Member

05-13-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giltia Zero View Post
A free auto attack? They get three while you're running at them. Olaf is not an efficient laner. "4 seconds" assumes you pick it up, which, again, involves running at them. And that of course is assuming they don't have their own abilities. Most of which start at 70 or 80 damage.
3? What game are you playing? Base attack speed is just shy of 1 attack every 2 seconds. They might get TWO before I'm in their face, and noone can take Olaf's autoattack capability at level 1. The preferred ranged laners? Usually 8 second cooldown on their abilities, and that's being generous. What champion are you talking about that is magically able to out-damage Olaf?


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Mugz

Senior Member

05-13-2011

I like it - thanks.


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Giltia Zero

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Senior Member

05-13-2011

Standard ranged carries include Ashe, Caitlyn, Tristana, Miss Fortune... Ashe and MF in particular can kite Loaf with ease at level one. Outright kiting. Caitlyn will poke you to death like she does to any melee without a dash. Tristana jumps away when you try to engage.

Beyond that? Vayne outlanes you, Ryze outlanes you, Rumble, Morde, Malphite, Kog'Maw, Urgot, Zilean, Vlad, Brand, Ezreal, Heimerdinger, Cassiopeia, Swain... I dunno, maybe you could beat Sivir.


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