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League of Legends - Olaf Guide and Build (Top and Jungle)

Updated on January 31, 2015

League of Legends - Season 3 Olaf Guide and Build (Top and Jungle)

Are you looking for a Season 3 Olaf guide or an Olaf build? This page covers the basics of playing Olaf (Jungle and Top) effectively including skills, runes, masteries, tips and includes custom skins.

Olaf is as strong jungler and also has a powerful presence in the top lane. He specialises in rushing into the enemy team and taking out the enemy carry with his good initiation, chasing power and damage absorbing abilities. Olaf is a great choice for people who enjoy tanky bruiser style champions.

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

Don't own Olaf? Or want to get one of the many Olaf skins available? Get free Riot Points for League of Legends.

Guide current as of Season 3: Release Notes v3.02

This Olaf guide is also available in summary format (thanks to

Images on this page are sourced from the official League of Legends website and the game client. They are used for review, commentary and educational purposes.

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Olaf Skills

Olaf Skills
Olaf Skills

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).

Undertow (Q): 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. This skill offers great damage scaling and also deals physical damage, allowing it to really pack a punch. Thanks to the cooldown refresh it can be very hard to escape from Olaf (it can also be used to speed up jungle speeds).

Vicious Strikes (W): Olaf's free life-steal 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.

Reckless Swing (E): Reckless Swing is an amazing ability because it deals true damage and can quickly eat through a target, this makes Olaf particularly powerful in fights and at laning (top). The health you lose by using this skill helps to fuel your passive and can be quickly recovered through life-steal anyway.

Ragnarok (Ultimate): Olaf's ultimate has a passive effect that gives him bonus armor penetration, helping him destroy squishy characters and helps him fight it out in top lane. 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 or another speed up (Ghostblade or Reverie) makes Olaf unstoppable.

Olaf Skill Order - What To Max First On Olaf (Top and Jungle)

Olaf Skill Order
Olaf Skill Order

As Top Olaf you want to level your skills (shown):

Ult > Reckless Swing > Undertow > Vicious Strikes

As Jungle Olaf or Top Olaf against a ranged champion you want to level your skills:

Ult > Undertow > Reckless Swing > Vicious Strikes

Reckless Swing scales very nicely with each level and is maxed first on Olaf to increase your damage output, this skill makes you very deadly as a top lane champion. However, if you are playing Jungle Olaf or against a ranged champion in top lane you should definitely look at maxing Undertow first as it also has strong damage growth and also boosts the slow amount. This will speed up Jungle speed, make your ganks more deadly or allow you to close the gap as Top lane Olaf.

I generally do not take Vicious Strikes until level 4 unless I am looking to heal quickly from an early engage (Jungle Olaf should grab it at level 2).

Forsaken Olaf

Forsaken Olaf
Forsaken Olaf

Olaf Runes - Olaf's Rune Build

Olaf Runes
Olaf Runes

Red (Marks) - Armor Penetration

Yellow (Seals) - Armor

Blue (Glyphs) - Magic Resistance Per Level

Purple (Quintessences) - Attack Damage // Health // Movement Speed

Marks for Olaf are of course armor penetration, this helps you hit harder and jungle more effectively. Armor is also a must to top or jungle effectively as it reduces incoming enemy and minion damage.

For Glyphs you should run Magic Resistance per level by default to make you more tanky in the mid-late game. Attack Damage offers some good early game benefits such as improved last-hitting and the obvious extra damage boost. In those slot you can also consider running Health to boost your survivability or Movement Speed to help you chase down enemies.

For more information on runes and jungle Olaf rune options see this Rune Guide.

Olaf Summoner Spells
Olaf Summoner Spells

Olaf Summoner Spells

Best Summoner Spells:



Ghost and Ignite are good options to run as summoner spells for Olaf. Ghost suits Olaf's playstyle of fast paced initiation and chasing, it also makes for powerful ganks as Jungle Olaf.

Ignite combines well to improve your killing ability both in lane and during mid-late game. Ignite will secure many kills that you may miss out on otherwise.

Other Good Summoner Spells:




Smite is your obvious choice if you are playing Jungle Olaf as it improves jungle speed and helps you to secure buffs and Dragon/Baron.

If you aren't having success with Ghost then you can swap it out for Flash, because Flash is such a common summoner spell some players find it difficult to adjust to using Ghost effectively (it also requires more map awareness as you don't have an easy escape).

Teleport is another option for Top Olaf summoner spells and can be used to help secure kills and objectives for your team or be used to go back to base early without costing yourself experience and gold. Some players are able to really use this effectively to their advantage in this way but it does require some adjustment as you don't have Ignite to secure kills. This choice will depend on your playstyle.

Olaf Masteries - How To Setup Masteries For Olaf (19/11/0)

Olaf Masteries
Olaf Masteries

This tanky Olaf mastery setup (19/11/0) offers Olaf strong damage output and also gives a great boost to survivability.

If you want to play a more defensive style of gameplay then consider choosing a 9/21/0 setup. Jungle Olaf should consider moving some points around to ensure they get Bladed Armor for better jungle speed.

The offensive tree is offering you attack damage, armor penetration and some life-steal. While the defensive tree gives you good boosts to health and Armor.

To learn more about masteries and your mastery options, visit the LoL Masteries Guide.

Olaf Build
Olaf Build

Olaf Build

Final Item Build:

-Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads

-Wriggle's Lantern (Not needed on Top Olaf)

-Frozen Mallet

-Youmuu's Ghostblade

-Randuin's Omen

-Atma's Impaler


As both Jungle and Top Olaf you can start with Boots and Health Potions, this provides the necessary sustain while also helping you move around the map faster (increase jungle speed or avoid ganks).

-Olaf is very deadly with full boots especially because of his chasing ability, as such your first item should be full boots (either Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads depending on the enemy).

-As Jungle Olaf building up a Wriggle's Lantern is your next priority, to boost jungle speed.

-As Top Olaf you want to get a Brutalizer up and combine it with a Phage. This offers you armor penetration for more damage, cooldown reduction to use your abilities more often, a powerful slow and a nice health boost.

-If you are having a tough top lane as Olaf consider building up an early Heart of Gold to get some gold generation.

-From here your Olaf build will be very dependant on what your team needs. If you need to tank up you want to look at building a Frozen Mallet, Randuin's Omen and eventually an Atma's Impaler (works well with Vicious Strikes and the health items you've built).

-While a more aggressive choice is a Youmuu's Ghostblade, which also comes with a powerful active.

-As Top Olaf does not need to build Wriggle's Lantern you will want to consider one of the alternatives below:


-Banshee's Veil (If you need magic resistance this item is great and offers health/mana).

-Sunfire Cape (If the enemy is AD heavy, consider building this early).

-Warmog's Armor (For drawn out, long games, this item really pays off).

-Maw of Malmortius (If you are up against an AP champion in lane then grab this).

-Frozen Heart (Another popular anti AD item).

Don't Feed Olaf - In Depth Champion Guide - By Ciderhelm

Olaf Tips

General Olaf Gameplay Tips & Hints

  • You should be very confident with your limits as Jungle Olaf, creating your own practice game to do a few jungle clears before you start playing him can really help.
  • 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 attacking any enemies (don't forget it also increased Undertow damage).

Early Game - Level 1-6

  • Your standard jungle run is Wolves > Blue Golem > Wraith > Red Lizard > Golems. If you want to gank earlier and catch your enemies off guard consider starting at red.
  • If you are jungling be sure to watch the other lanes while you are killing jungle creeps. Do they need help? Are they struggling? Is the lane pushed towards your side of the map? Are all things that you should consider.
  • As Top Olaf you want to focus on last-hitting and avoiding harassment (especially if your opponent is a ranged champion) until around level 3-4 at which point you can start hitting them with your Reckless Swing for harassment.

Mid Game - Level 7-12

  • Top Lane Olaf can really start dominating his lane with Reckless Swing during this stage of the game, Undertow can also really help out your jungler during ganks.
  • As Jungle Olaf 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. Of course making sure the enemy isn't able to stop you is also an important consideration.
  • As Jungle Olaf now has his ultimate available and a decent number of levels in Undertow your ganks are very deadly, this is definitely the time that Olaf shines.
  • As you will be moving around a lot it is often a good idea to place the wards for your team, river should be your priority and the enemy jungle.

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 great 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 keep your Smite available for Baron and Dragon during these later stages of the game.

Glacial Olaf

Glacial Olaf
Glacial Olaf

Did You Find This Olaf Build Helpful? - Do You Play Olaf? Got Any Olaf Tips?

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    • SimilarSam profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Australia

      @anonymous: I am currently playing a lot of Olaf to decide what works and what doesn't for the big Season 3 changes.. The core is still very much the same.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      sups i was looking around for an olaf guide i'm kinda good with olaf but i wanted to do better i found this website and i saw that it was out of date it would help a lot more if it were up dated

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Reminds me of the old viking "Hagar the horrible", distinct and clear as ever in the battle ground.

    • SimilarSam profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Australia

      @Fergo2: Thanks to Riot's changes regarding Dodge and Crit Chance, this is less luck based.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      @SimilarSam: Doesnt that mean you are relying on luck? Do you get ninja tabi for the dodge as well?

    • SimilarSam profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Australia

      @anonymous: Armor is way better in the jungle i will not argue that point. Dodge is more effective late game as it can mitigate high amounts of potential damage that armor cannot (say 8% chance to dodge 1000 damage, as opposed to 100% chance to reduced that 1000 damage to 950). You should be running armor on Olaf if your not used to his jungling as it does make it A lot safer.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hey Sammy, I love your guides they've helped me out a lot but I've noticed you use dodge runes over armor runes and I have always wondered why... I mean yea you get an 8% chance to completely ignore a bit of damage but armor runes gives you a 100% chance to take a lot less damage and I have found that jungling with armor runes is a lot safer and just as fast... but I don't know that is just my opinion and I'd like to hear your side of the argument as to why dodge is the better choice

    • SimilarSam profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Australia

      @anonymous: One of the alternative listed, Starks and Banshee are your two best options. If you don't need defenses then Black Cleaver is also an okay option.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What is a good replacement for the frozen mallet?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Olaf is the best champion hes so good


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