League of Legends - Olaf Guide

Posted by Jindooo on Dienstag, November 01, 2011

Olaf is an extremely strong jungler and ganker and can be a very powerful late-game asset to any team. He makes a great initiator and damage absorber for your team. Olaf is best played as a jungle champion but he can also be used in lane.

This Olaf guide aims to be a basic and simple introduction on basic strategy that should be adopted when playing Olaf, it is recommended for people just starting to use Olaf.


  • Olaf Berserker Rage (Passive): Olaf's passive makes him extremely dangerous as he reaches lower HP, this also makes him an amazing jungler and gives him that extra damage he needs in 1v1 fights (can be deceptive to opponents).

  • Olaf Undertow: This skill allows Olaf to chase down his enemies or prevent them from chasing him, it is also quite an easy skill shot to hit. Undertow also helps slightly in jungling, but it shines in ganking as it allows Olaf to quickly close the gap between him and his target, Ghost also helps.

  • Olaf Vicious Strikes: Olaf's free life-steal and spell-vamp skill, it also provides a decent chunk of attack damage (based on health) late-game,this makes health items a solid choice for Olaf, making him tankier and more of a threat at the same time.

  • Olaf Reckless Swing: Reckless Swing is an amazing ability because it deals true damage and can quickly eat through a target, the self-damage can be ignored as you will recover this quickly through life-steal.

  • Olaf Ragnarok (Ultimate): Olaf's ultimate has a passive effect that gives him bonus armor penetration, helping him destroy squishy characters and cause some damage to tanks. The active makes Olaf a great initiator as he becomes immune to all crowd control effects and reduces incoming damage. This also works great when chasing down the enemy carry, combining this with Ghost makes you very scary and unstoppable.

Ability Order

The way to level Olaf's abilities is: Ult > Reckless Swing > Undertow > Vicious Strikes

Reckless Swing scales very nicely with each level ans is maxed first to increase your damage output (both for ganks and faster jungling speed). From here maxing Undertow is best as it really dominates during the mid game. Vicious Strikes only requires a single point to be effective and thus is left till last, as Wriggles Lantern provides all the life-steal you need.


Olaf's Rune Build

Red (Marks) - Armor Penetration
Yellow (Seals) - Armor
Blue (Glyphs) - Magic Resistance // Attack Speed
Purple (Quintessences) - Flat Health // Attack Speed // Movement Speed

Marks are of course armor penetration, this helps you hit harder and jungle more effectively. Armor is also a must to jungle effectively as it reduces incoming minion damage. For Glyphs you should run magic resistance by default, but if you have attack speed Glyphs they can help increase your jungling speed slightly. Health on Quintessences improves your early game survivability and thus jungling security, but can be changed to movement speed or attack speed (or a combination of any three) when you are more confident with Olaf.

Summoner Spells

Best Summoner Spells:

Ghost and Smite are the best Summoner Spells for Olaf, Smite allows you to jungle effectively and effeciently. While Ghost + Ultimate + Undertow will generally always guarantee a successful gank. You should be sure to use Smite whenever its off cooldown in mid-late game as you will be jungling less and you want to still make use of Smite.

Other Good Summoner Spells:

Exhaust is the only other option for Olaf in the way of summoner spells and should be taken only if your laning (replace Smite with it). It allows you to take enemy physical DPS characters more easily and adds to Olaf's ganking ability. If you take Exhaust, don't forget to place a mastery point into it.

Olaf Masteries

Olaf is best played as a 1/19/10.

This setup gives you lots of durability by increasing your armor, magic resistance, dodge chance and health. While also reducing incoming minion damage and physical damage.
Combined with points in the utility tree which offers improved ghost, improved experience and buff duration (vital for a jungler).

Item Build

Final Item Build:
-Mercury Treads
-Wriggle's Lantern
-Banshee's Veil
-Randuin's Omen
-Frozen Mallet
-Atma's Impaler

-Start with 5 Health Potions and a Cloth Armor.
-After your first forest run (and potential gank) you want to build your Madred's Razors, as these greatly increase your jungling.
-From here your first core items are Wriggle's Lantern and Mercury's Treads.
-A good opening for Olaf is to pick up a Heart of Gold and build towards a Frozen Mallet.
-The game will determine your next item, if you need more damage take an Atma's Impaler, if you need armor upgrade into a Randuin's Omen and if you need magic resistance grab a Banshee's Veil, these defensive options also increase your damage since they offer health.

-The Bloodthirster (Need more raw damage/life-steal for 1v1 fights)
-Force of Nature (Need more magic resistance)
-Sunfire (Enemy is AD heavy)
-Warmog's Armor (Game looks like it will be drawn out consider picking this up)

General Olaf Tips

  • You should consider jungling with Olaf it is preferred over laning. You can practice in a practice game to be sure you know the routine and can pull it off without dying. There are also countless YouTube videos on the subject.
  • Note any enemies that have Exhaust on the team, this is a dangerous counter to Olaf (and any other physical based characters), if you decide to 1v1 this character be sure to have your ultimate available to you.
  • Always hit your ultimate when you initiate, you need to time it just before you are in the enemies crowd control range, this will ensure they waste their stuns on you and you also get maximum time out of your ultimate.
  • Vicious Strikes is Olaf's bread and butter be sure to activate it before using your attacking an enemy champion.

Early Game - Level 1-6

  • Start with 5 Health Potions and a Cloth Armor if you are jungling. Start at Blue Golem > Wolves > Wraith > Red Lizard > Normal Golems. From here you can either recall or try and gank bottom lane, this will depend on how far the lane is pushed and the health of your allies and enemies.
  • If you are jungling be sure to watch the other lanes and support or cover them as appropriate, be sure to let your teammates know to call out for you if they need help.
  • If the enemy doesn't have a jungler then be sure to use their forest, but be aware of the map and where your enemies are. If they do have a jungler you can try to find them and kill them (Olaf is great 1v1). Be careful though as you can quickly be swamped by the enemy as you are in their territory.

Mid Game - Level 7-12

  • Consider taking out dragon at this stage of the game when you have Smite up, you can kill him at level 5/6 but it is often safer to kill him around level 8 or 9.
  • During this stage of the game you will be out of forest more often, popping in and out to grab the buffs as appropriate. Your role now is to gank lanes and hold/push towers with your team as appropriate.
  • As you will be moving around alot it is often a good idea to place the wards for your team, river should be your priority and the enemy forest (especially if they have a jungler), if your team is already being forced back ward around your own forest. By warding your own forest you can catch the enemies that linger around and try to steal your neutrals, it also protects you while you grab the buffs.

Late Game - 13-18

  • Your team fight role involves running into the enemy with your ultimate on and letting them waste their various snares and stuns on you, you should make a run for their support and carries and chase them away, hopefully killing them.
  • Timing your ultimate along with Ghost is they key to both initiating and surviving in this stage of the game.
  • You are very safe in 1v1 situations now, you have massive life-steal and your ultimate will stop any disables, if they enemy decides to run you can chase them down with Undertow.
  • Be sure to use Smite whenever it is available, it becomes obsolete late-game (apart from securing Baron) so counter this by using it as much as possible. 
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