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Olaf/Strategy

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Champion Background Strategy Skins & Trivia


Skill usage

  • Because of  Berserker Rage's effect and  Undertow,  Olaf is one of the fastest junglers in the league.  Undertow allows him to gank effectively, and the combination of  Vicious Strikes and  Berserker Rage let him both sustain his health throughout the early game and effectively take on and defeat most other junglers.
  •  Undertow is a versatile ability and offers many different utilities to  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 will travel straight through all enemies it hits for full damage. At early levels, however, recklessly spamming it will swiftly leave  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  Olaf's sustained damage output isn't very powerful during early game, his burst is surprisingly strong as his  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  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  Olaf may potentially wind up helping to kill himself.
  •  Olaf can combine  Berserker Rage,  Vicious Strikes, and  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 and Exhaust, he can become formidably hard to kill.
  •  Ragnarok provides complete immunity to all forms of CC, and largely defines  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.
    •  Olaf's most common and effective role during lategame teamfights is to function as a bulky assassin. Upon the commencing of a pitched teamfight,  Olaf can activate  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 affords him, he becomes extremely difficult for the opposing team to peel away. Even if  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.
    •  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 and the excellent damage output from  Reckless Swing can make it extremely difficult for enemy champions to safely attack the carry without risking being kited and killed.

Build usage

  •  Olaf naturally receives armor and magic resistance from the passive effect of  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 or Frozen Mallet if a build with one sole health item is desired. A Frozen Mallet is one of the most useful items for  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. However, if the player is confident with their ability to consistently land axes on a fleeing opponent, then Frozen Mallet can be substituted for a Warmog's Armor for its much greater health and survivability boosts.
  • When  Olaf does not have  Ragnarok or  Undertow available for use, he can be extremely vulnerable to kiting. A Randuin's Omen greatly reduces the effectiveness of this tactic and also offers a considerable amount of health and a useful active CC which  Olaf greatly appreciates.
  • Atma's Impaler is a particularly useful on  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.
  • Some form of life steal or health regeneration is advised when dealing damage with  Reckless Swing to negate the health cost. An early Vampiric Scepter can be sufficient for sustaining his health and removes the need to quickly level  Vicious Strikes. Later on, it can be upgraded into The Bloodthirster for a highly offensive strategy, with the life steal stacking with  Vicious Strikes. A more utility-oriented upgrade can be found in Bilgewater Cutlass and Blade of the Ruined King - both offer extremely useful active CCs and the latter additionally hastens  Olaf, making him almost completely impossible to outrun with  Ragnarok active.
  • A Maw of Malmortius synergizes incomparably well with  Olaf's kit - the passive attack damage boost as his health drops increases his DPS exponentially when combined with  Berserker Rage, and the magic damage shield lets him stay at low health more safely.
    • Alternatively, a Banshee's Veil can be purchased as an anti-burst item if enemy spellcasters become a significant threat. Because it offers health,  Olaf can still obtain an defensive boost from the item through  Ragnarok.
  • Cooldown reduction synergizes well with  Undertow. With a maximum 40% cooldown reduction, the cooldown on  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, 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 - with access to at least 284 true damage nuke on a 4.8 second cooldown at level 9,  Olaf has excellent damage output from it alone, allowing him to dedicate the rest of his build towards improving his defenses and tanking ability.
  •  Olaf has no dash ability, so augmenting his mobility with an early boots upgrade often proves to be very effective.
  • A Frozen Heart can greatly augment  Olaf's carry-killing power by cutting their attack speed by 20%, in addition to its very useful armor and cooldown reduction bonuses.
  • Olaf does not need much 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 deals decent damage to tanks.  Undertow also benefits from flat damage. If the enemy team is especially heavily armored, The Black Cleaver is still a reasonable purchase though as  Undertow spam and basic attacks can quickly shred the entire enemy team's armor.

Jungling

Recommended builds

Summoner's Rift
recommended items
Starting Doran's Shield item Health Potion item
Essential Ninja Tabi item Kindlegem item Phage item
Offensive Ravenous Hydra item Zeke's Herald item Sunfire Cape item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Randuin's Omen item Warmog's Armor item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item Sight Ward item
The Howling Abyss
recommended items
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
recommended items
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
recommended items
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  Olaf you have to fully commit in doing so; leaving the job-half done will make him even more dangerous due to  Berserker Rage and he is likely to simply life steal all the effort your team put on him
  •  Undertow is a slow projectile, meaning that you can dodge the spell easily.
    • You can deny  Olaf from spamming  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  Olaf is chasing you will prevent him from picking up his axe and continuing to close the distance on you.
  • Save your CC while  Olaf is using  Ragnarok. It removes and negates any CC cast on him while it is active.
    •  Olaf's  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  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 and player-created terrain such as  Cataclysm. You should try to save these abilities for when he uses his ultimate to make him waste the duration.

Champion spotlight

Olaf Champion Spotlight(05:40)
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