How To Play Olaf In League Of Legends
Last Updated: November 25, 2021
Olaf is a great 1v1 champion that can demolish the enemy team if left unchecked. He is a very versatile fighter that can slot in as a Jungler or a Top Laner. Here’s how you can get started playing him.
Olaf is a very underrated champion. A lot of players tend to overlook his potential simply because his kit and play style are pretty basic. Add to the fact that he’s one of the oldest champions in the game, being around since 2010, and hasn’t received that many updates or changes to his kit. Despite all of this, Olaf is still a really strong pick. He can fit into most team comps and generally does well in any match up.
Olaf’s kit is geared towards fighting. After all, Olaf isn’t called the Berserker for no reason. Olaf rewards players for playing aggressive and can almost win every 1v1 or even any 1v2 situations he finds himself in. His kit also gives him great sustain, peel, damage, and can allow him to easily dive the opponent’s backline.
Passive – Berserker Rage
Olaf’s Attack Speed is increased by 0.75% for each 1% of his Health he is missing.
Berserker Rage is a pretty straightforward passive and fits Olaf’s entire image. This passive buys into his whole identity as the Berserker and makes him a very dangerous 1v1 champion.
Q – Undertow
Olaf throws an axe to target location, dealing physical damage to units it passes through and slowing them for up to 2.5 seconds. The further the Axe flies, the longer the slow lasts, but it is never less than 1.5 seconds. If Olaf picks up the axe, the ability’s cooldown is reduced by 4.5 seconds.
Undertow is Olaf’s only form of crowd control and his main offensive ability. Undertow has a lot of uses and can deal decent damage. You can use it to clear minion waves, poke your opponent in lane, or to catch up to fleeing targets.
W – Vicious Strikes
For 6 seconds, Olaf gains bonus Life Steal and Attack Speed. During this time, Olaf also receives 1% increased healing from all sources for every 2% of Health he is missing.
This along with Berserker Rage is what makes Olaf such a potent duelist. It also gives him a lot of sustain that lets him stay in lane longer, duel to his heart’s content, and clear jungle camps more efficiently. It can also be a great ability to help you easily destroy turrets faster whenever you use it in lane. Pop this ability every time you’re in a fight.
E – Reckless Swing
Olaf ferociously swings his axes, dealing true damage to his target. This ability’s cost is equal to 30% of the total damage dealt, but the cost is refunded if it kills the target. Basic attacks lower the cooldown of Reckless Swing by 1 second.
Reckless Swing is a very good ability. It deals true damage and at level 1, it deals a base damage of 70. It’s perfect for trading as it can take out a chunk of the opponent’s health especially if you’re against a squishy champion. It also kind of works like a mini Smite so it can be useful to secure objectives as well.
R – Ragnarok
Passive: Olaf gains Armor and Magic Resist.
Active: Olaf removes all disables from himself and becomes immune to them for the next 6 seconds. Olaf also receives a Movement Speed bonus towards enemy champions for 1 second. During this time, Olaf loses the passive portion of Ragnarok and gains Attack Damage.
This ultimate is Olaf’s signature ability and what he is best known for. Ragnarok is what makes Olaf a true berserker allowing him to easily charge the enemy’s back line without fear of being CC’d. Try to look for the perfect time when to use this ability so you wouldn’t waste its effects.
Runes and Item Builds
For runes and items, your focus is to improve Olaf’s strong areas. In this case, that would be dueling so you would need to pad up his damage, survivability, and sustain.
Olaf’s starting items largely depends on his role. If you’re a Jungler, the best item to start with would be Emberknife. This gives you everything you need to start out in the jungle and after 5 uses, upgrades your Smite into Challenging Smite which marks enemy champions and causes them to receive increased damage from you. If you’re in the Top Lane, you should always start with Corrupting Potion. This gives Olaf enough sustain and a bit of extra damage early on before he can get his core items.
For Mythic items, you have two choices. The superior choice and the item you should go for 90% of the time is Goredrinker. It has everything Olaf would want from an item like Health, Damage, Omnivamp, and Ability Haste. It also has an active that restores health based on how many champions he hits. It makes Olaf very strong in duels or team fights. The other viable Mythic is Stridebreaker. While it isn’t as strong as Goredrinker, it can be useful in certain situations. If you’re against a mobile enemy and you’re still struggling with hitting Undertow, you can opt for a Stridebreaker to help you get your hits in.
After purchasing your desired Mythic, your next focus is to upgrade into tier 2 boots. The best option for boots is always Plated Steelcaps although you can swap it out for Mercury’s Treads if the enemies have a lot of magic damage. Next, go for a Sterak’s Gage. This item increases both your damage and survivability by a mile. It also has a passive shield that procs whenever your health falls below 30%. Once you complete that item, you need to go for Spirit Visage. This item increases your durability and health regeneration. It works perfectly with your passive and the lifesteal you get from Vicious Strikes. Death’s Dance is up next since it allows you to be more aggressive when diving your opponent. It gives you damage and adds more resistances to your already tanky build. Finish off your build with a Thornmail for the armor, health, and return damage.
Other Viable Items
There are plenty of other viable items on Olaf. In fact, as long as it gives health, armor, magic resist, or attack damage, you can make a case for it being a viable item on Olaf. Here are some of the best choices you can seamlessly swap for one of the items on your core build.
- Black Cleaver – This item is great when against tanky champions with a lot of armor. It helps you deal more damage while also increasing your health.
- Chempunk Chainsword – Being a Jungler or a Top Laner, you’ll no doubt be up against champions with a lot of sustain in their kits. You can purchase this item to mitigate some of their regenerative abilities so that you’ll easily win trades.
- Titanic Hydra/Ravenous Hydra – Both of these items are very similar and whichever you choose to include in your core build depends on what you need in your situation. If you need more durability, go for Titanic Hydra. If you need more damage and sustain, go for Ravenous Hydra.
- Gargoyle Stoneplate – This item is perfect for champions that like to dive under turrets. It gives you both armor and magic resist while also giving you an active shield that essentially acts like a second life bar.
For runes, you should always go with the Precision tree and take Conqueror as your keystone. Conqueror is at its best when utilized in extended fights. Being a duelist, Olaf can maximize the heck out of this rune and easily edge out his opponent. Next take Triumph for the bonuses, Legend: Alacrity for bonus attack speed, and Last Stand to help you kill your opponent in close call situations. For secondaries, take Magical Footwear for free boots and Approach Velocity to help you easily get close to your targets after hitting them with Undertow. For rune shards, take Attack Speed, Adaptive Force, and Armor.
- Olaf gets more powerful the lower health he has so don’t be afraid to go for all ins when fighting an enemy. Berserker Rage and Vicious Strike make you insanely difficult to take down as they amplify both your lifesteal and attack speed.
- Olaf has one of the best jungle clears in the game. Don’t hesitate to invade the enemy jungle to try and steal some of their buffs and camps. Chances are, they won’t be able to win a fight against you unless they’re ahead or get help from their teammates.
- For summoner spells, always take Smite and Flash if you’re a Jungler. If you’re a Top Laner, take Teleport instead of Smite.
So there you have it! That’s all you need to know about playing Olaf in League of Legends. Be sure to check back with us again for more awesome guides on your favorite games. Have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!