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Olaf/Strategy

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Champion Background Strategy Skins & Trivia


Skill usage

  • Because of Berserker Rage.png Berserker Rage's effect and Undertow.png Undertow, OlafSquare.png Olaf is one of the fastest junglers in the league. Undertow.png Undertow allows him to gank effectively, and the combination of Vicious Strikes.png Vicious Strikes and Berserker Rage.png Berserker Rage let him both sustain his health throughout the early game and effectively take on and defeat most other junglers.
  • Undertow.png Undertow is a versatile ability and offers many different utilities to OlafSquare.png Olaf:
    • It is a very useful ability for chasing because of its own cooldown reduction (if you can pick it up while chasing). Throwing your axe where you are likely to chase your opponent lets you refresh its cooldown much quicker and increases its slow uptime.
    • It is an effective harassment ability. While many skillshots are consumed upon hitting the first target, or will lose effectiveness as they do,Undertow.png Undertow will travel straight through all enemies it hits for full damage. At early levels, however, recklessly spamming it will swiftly leave OlafSquare.png Olaf without mana.
    • It will remove the fog of war in a large area around where it is thrown for a very brief duration, making it useful for checking bushes.
  • Although OlafSquare.png Olaf's sustained damage output isn't very powerful during early game, his burst is surprisingly strong as his Reckless Swing.png Reckless Swing deals a significant amount of true damage which cannot be mitigated by any means. With a few ranks invested in the ability it can devastate the health of most squishier champions during mid-game.
    • If you have not invested in significant HP or health sustain as you level it, it can also fairly quickly devastate the health of OlafSquare.png Olaf himself if you are not careful with its usage. With this in mind, it can often be unwise to abuse this during a duel, as OlafSquare.png Olaf may potentially wind up helping to kill himself.
  • OlafSquare.png Olaf can combine Berserker Rage.png Berserker Rage, Vicious Strikes.png Vicious Strikes, and Ragnarok.png Ragnarok at low life to become deceptively tanky. This makes him a great duelist, as he can take on most champions even at low health. When combined with items and spells such as Randuin's Omen item.png Randuin's Omen and Exhaust.png Exhaust, he can become formidably hard to kill.
  • In lane Reckless Swing.png Reckless Swing has a higher range than OlafSquare.png Olaf's basic attack range, this allows you to poke with it.
  • Ragnarok.png Ragnarok provides complete immunity to all forms of CC, and largely defines OlafSquare.png Olaf's playstyle during the later stages of the game. It can be used either to initiate a battle, to improve his fighting ability midway through one, or to make an emergency retreat if the situation starts to become disadvantageous.
    • OlafSquare.png Olaf's most common and effective role during late-game teamfights is to function as a bulky assassin. Upon the commencing of a pitched teamfight, OlafSquare.png Olaf can activate Ragnarok.png Ragnarok and dive straight through the frontline of the enemy team, singling out the opposing AD carry. Because of the complete CC immunity that Ragnarok.png Ragnarok affords him, he becomes extremely difficult for the opposing team to peel away. Even if OlafSquare.png Olaf is unsuccessful in slaying his target, the threat he poses is often enough to drive them completely out of the teamfight in their attempts to avoid him, drastically reducing the enemy's team's damage output.
    • OlafSquare.png Olaf is also a very useful peeler himself, operating to safeguard his own carry from the opposing team. His ability to chain-slow enemies with Undertow.png Undertow and the excellent damage output from Reckless Swing.png Reckless Swing can make it extremely difficult for enemy champions to safely attack the carry without risking being kited and killed.

Build usage

  • OlafSquare.png Olaf naturally receives armor and magic resistance from the passive effect of Ragnarok.png Ragnarok. Because of this, it takes more skills and time to kill him with the bonus armor and magic resistance, therefore stacking health on him is a very common build path.
    • Consider Warmog's Armor item.png Warmog's Armor or Frozen Mallet item.png Frozen Mallet if a build with one sole health item is desired. A Frozen Mallet item.png Frozen Mallet is one of the most useful items for OlafSquare.png Olaf, as in addition to the large amount of health it has, it slows any opponents he autoattacks, giving him a much more reliable form of crowd control than his Undertow.png Undertow. However, if the player is confident with their ability to consistently land axes on a fleeing opponent, then Frozen Mallet item.png Frozen Mallet can be substituted for a Warmog's Armor item.png Warmog's Armor for its much greater health and survivability boosts.
  • When OlafSquare.png Olaf does not have Ragnarok.png Ragnarok or Undertow.png Undertow available for use, he can be extremely vulnerable to kiting. A Randuin's Omen item.png Randuin's Omen greatly reduces the effectiveness of this tactic and also offers a considerable amount of health and a useful active CC which OlafSquare.png Olaf greatly appreciates.
  • Atma's Impaler item.png Atma's Impaler is a particularly useful on OlafSquare.png Olaf - because of his natural tendency to obtain a significant amount of health, the bonus attack damage provided by its passive effect can be quite substantial. It also provides armor, improving his survivability, and critical strike chance, offering a powerful, if unreliable, boost to his DPS.
  • Spirit Visage item.png Spirit Visage is one of the best items that Olaf can purchase. It synergizes with Vicious Strikes.png Vicious Strikes, increasing the sustain that is already increased by the ability itself even more, not to mention any lifesteal item that Olaf is likely to purchase. The cooldown reduction is also a great asset to Olaf. Due to these reasons, this item is nearly essential for Olaf, except when there are no AP champions on the enemy team.
    • Olaf does not need Banshee's Veil item.png Banshee's Veil that much because Ragnarok.png Ragnarok makes him immune to nearly every crowd control he would want to block with this item. However, it should still be considered if there is an important damaging spell that Olaf should block.
  • Some form of life steal or health regeneration is advised when dealing damage with Reckless Swing.png Reckless Swing to negate the health cost. An early Vampiric Scepter item.png Vampiric Scepter can be sufficient for sustaining his health and removes the need to quickly level Vicious Strikes.png Vicious Strikes. Later on, it can be upgraded into The Bloodthirster item.png The Bloodthirster for a highly offensive strategy, with the life steal stacking with Vicious Strikes.png Vicious Strikes. A more utility-oriented upgrade can be found in Bilgewater Cutlass item.png Bilgewater Cutlass and Blade of the Ruined King item.png Blade of the Ruined King - both offer extremely useful active CCs and the latter additionally hastens OlafSquare.png Olaf, making him almost completely impossible to outrun with Ragnarok.png Ragnarok active.
  • It is important to note that Blade of the Ruined King deals damage based on the enemy's current health. Generally, enemies want to stack health to mitigate the effects from the true damage dealt by Reckless Swing.png Reckless Swing, but since BotRK counters this, there are very few things in terms of defense that enemies can do to mitigate Olaf's damage with this item. However, if offers lower raw AD, therefore less damage with both Undertow.png Undertow and Reckless Swing itself. The extra attack speed and the active from Ragnarok.png Ragnarok should compensate for that, however.
    • Also, Blade of the Ruined King does not offer minion clearing capabilities that Ravenous Hydra offers, forcing players to either buy Sunfire Cape item.png Sunfire Cape or constantly spam Undertow.png Undertow to clear minion waves.
  • A Maw of Malmortius item.png Maw of Malmortius synergizes incomparably well with OlafSquare.png Olaf's kit - the passive attack damage boost as his health drops increases his DPS exponentially when combined with Berserker Rage.png Berserker Rage, and the magic damage shield lets him stay at low health more safely.
  • Cooldown reduction synergizes well with Undertow.png Undertow. With a maximum 40% cooldown reduction, the cooldown on Undertow.png Undertow is a mere 0.3 seconds after picking up the axe, as the flat cooldown reduction from picking up the axe becomes even more effective. For the sole purpose of maintaining the slow of Undertow.png Undertow, assuming that the axe is retrieved within 2.5 seconds of throwing it, 12.5% cooldown reduction is all that is needed for the target to be permanently slowed.
    • Heavy cooldown reduction also greatly benefits his Reckless Swing.png Reckless Swing - with access to at least 284 true damage nuke on a 4.8 second cooldown at level 9, OlafSquare.png Olaf has excellent damage output from it alone, allowing him to dedicate the rest of his build towards improving his defenses and tanking ability.
  • OlafSquare.png Olaf has no dash ability, so augmenting his mobility with an early boots upgrade often proves to be very effective.
    • Boots of Swiftness item.png Boots of Swiftness are a good option in this regard. They make Olaf hard to kite, but at same time, they make him rely on Ragnarok.png Ragnarok to get rid of crowd control effects that are not slows. If those CCs are a problem, Mercury's Treads item.png Mercury's Treads may prove to be a better choice.
      • It is important to note that Spirit of the Ancient Golem item.png Spirit of the Ancient Golem no longer offers tenacity, so Olaf should still choose between the two above boots when going jungle.
  • A Frozen Heart item.png Frozen Heart can greatly augment OlafSquare.png Olaf's carry-killing power by cutting their attack speed by 15%, in addition to its very useful armor and cooldown reduction bonuses.
  • Olaf does not need armor penetration. When choosing between flat damage and armor penetration, it is better to go for flat attack damage because his main target is the AD carry with low armor and the true damage from Reckless Swing.png Reckless Swing deals decent damage to tanks. Undertow.png Undertow also benefits from flat damage. If the enemy team is especially heavily armored, The Black Cleaver item.png The Black Cleaver is still a reasonable purchase though as Undertow.png Undertow spam and basic attacks can quickly shred the entire enemy team's armor.

Jungling

Recommended builds

Summoner's Rift
Starting Doran's Shield item Health Potion item Warding Totem item
Essential Ninja Tabi item The Brutalizer item Spirit Visage item
Offensive Blade of the Ruined King item Ravenous Hydra item Youmuu's Ghostblade item
Defensive Maw of Malmortius item Righteous Glory item Frozen Heart item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item Sight Ward item Vision Ward item Elixir of Iron item
Summoner's Rift (Jungler)
Starting Hunter's Machete item Health Potion item2 Warding Totem item
Essential Ninja Tabi item Poacher's Knife (Warrior) item Spirit Visage item
Offensive Blade of the Ruined King item Ravenous Hydra item Youmuu's Ghostblade item
Defensive Maw of Malmortius item Righteous Glory item Frozen Heart item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item Sight Ward item Vision Ward item Elixir of Iron item


The Howling Abyss
Starting Boots of Speed item Guardian's Horn item
Essential Ionian Boots of Lucidity item Frozen Mallet item The Brutalizer item
Offensive Youmuu's Ghostblade item Ravenous Hydra item Atma's Impaler item
Defensive Mercurial Scimitar item Randuin's Omen item Sunfire Cape item Orb of Winter item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item
The Crystal Scar
Starting Boots of Speed item Long Sword item Ruby Crystal item Health Potion item3
Essential Phage item Ionian Boots of Lucidity item Hexdrinker item
Offensive Ravenous Hydra item Frozen Mallet item The Black Cleaver item
Defensive Atma's Impaler item Frozen Heart item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item
The Twisted Treeline
Starting Boots of Speed item Doran's Shield item
Essential Berserker's Greaves item Phage item Grez's Spectral Lantern item
Offensive Ravenous Hydra item The Black Cleaver item Sunfire Cape item
Defensive Atma's Impaler item Frozen Heart item Overlord's Bloodmail item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item

Countering

  • If your team plans on killing OlafSquare.png Olaf you have to fully commit in doing so; leaving the job-half done will make him even more dangerous due to Berserker Rage.png Berserker Rage and he is likely to simply life steal all the effort your team put on him
  • Undertow.png Undertow is a slow projectile, meaning that you can dodge the spell easily.
    • You can deny OlafSquare.png Olaf from spamming Undertow.png Undertow by preventing him from picking up the axe that the spell left in the path.
    • In a similar vein, making significant course changes while OlafSquare.png Olaf is chasing you will prevent him from picking up his axe and continuing to close the distance on you.
  • Save your CC while OlafSquare.png Olaf is using Ragnarok.png Ragnarok. It removes and negates any CC cast on him while it is active.
    • OlafSquare.png Olaf's Ragnarok.png Ragnarok also gives him bonus armor and magic resistance. However, when activated, the passive bonus is lost and he gains a lot of AD to boost his damage. It might be wiser to try and burst him before the buff duration is over.
    • As OlafSquare.png Olaf is immune to any forms of CC placed upon him, the most effective forms of keeping him away are self-displacement abilities such as Arcane Shift.png Arcane Shift and player-created terrain such as Cataclysm.png Cataclysm. You should try to save these abilities for when he uses his ultimate to make him waste the duration.

Champion spotlight

Olaf Champion Spotlight05:40

Olaf Champion Spotlight

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