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Apr 21, 2017

Weird Picks #79: AD Bard Top

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Bard's never been much of a solo laner, but ever since the chime changes in Patch 7.7, players have started considering him as a potential mid to late game carry. His scaling is still very weak if he doesn't get enough charms, but the bonus damage he gets combined with his maximum meep increase allows him to deal much more damage than before.

Introduction

Bard's never been much of a solo laner, but ever since the chime changes in Patch 7.7, players have started considering him as a potential mid to late game carry. His scaling is still very weak if he doesn't get enough charms, but the bonus damage he gets combined with his maximum meep increase allows him to deal much more damage than before.

How to Play
RunesAttack Speed Quints, Attack Damage RedsFlat Armor Yellows, Magic Resist Blues
Masteries: 12-18-0, Thunderlord Masteries
Abilities: Q, W, E then prioritize R > Q > W > E
Summoner Spells: Flash + Teleport
Starting Items: Corrupting Potion
Core Items: Trinity Force, Ninja Tabi, Hextech Gunblade, Rapid Firecannon, Guardian Angel, Randuin's Omen

Why It Works

Massive Utility
There's a reason Bard is so fun to play as a support, and that's largely a result of the huge utility he provides and his playmaking ability. This build allows you to expand on that by weaving in extra auto attacks into the fray, allowing you to kite enemies along before you narrowly escape via your Magical Utility. While he may not be optimal as a top laner, his utility allows him to remain relevant, even if he falls behind.

Good 15 Chime Waveclear
The increased Meep carry potential allows Bard to quickly and effectively clear the lane once he hits 15 chimes, and the reduced meep respawn time allows him to stack them up more quickly than before.

Safe Laning Phase
Bard's laning phase tends to be very safe. His magical journey is rarely used in lane, and can easily reach his turret and safety. If enemies try to follow, they are instantly placed in turret range and potentially stunned as well.

Excellent Sustain
Bard's heal non-withstanding, he also gains a ton of mana sustain from his charms, allowing him to easily stay in lane and scale via Meeps before he needs to head back to base and heal.

Lane Bully Potential
As a ranged champion, Bard has a good amount of lane-bullying potential, and can catch players running melee champions off guard with his poke and burst damage.

Potential Pitfalls

Weak Early Game
Because Bard needs his meeps to scale up, his early game is somewhat weak before he can pick up enough meeps to be relevant. His burst damage is also a bit low 1v1 compared to most top laners, but he makes up for if via his sustain and small trades.

Difficulty Roaming to Collect Chimes
Against high waveclear champions, Bard has significant difficulty keeping the wave off his tower long enough to go pick up chimes. Last-hitting aside, top lane is very susceptible to getting shoved in repeatedly. Early game, Bard players may find themselves hugging turret, even against melee champions. Be sure to call for a jungle gank if this is the case for some free kills.

Conclusions

As a top laner, Bard is still vastly inferior to his support role. However, his new chime reworks does allow him to snowball if the enemy top laner is either a low waveclear champion like Shen or simply underestimates the amount of damage Bard puts out.

Suggested Rating: Tier 3

What do you think about AD Bard Top? Comment below!


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