IntroductionDespite nerfs, Olaf isn't that bad in the jungle but isn't completely faceroll vs ADs after getting a few defensive items. He's still somewhat strong early game but tends to take longer to get going mid game. I personally like using olaf against heavy CC or early game counter jungling.
July 11 2012 Update: Redid the items/runes/masteries/intro
Feburary 24 2013 Update: Redid masteries/items/runes/intro/teamfight/early,mid,late game
Olaf tends to just run at the enemy backlines and hammer at the enemy squishies. Due to his high damage without items, he is able to run around causing havok with just durability items such as randuins omen or warmogs armor. I prefer 21 in defense to booster Olaf's durabilty as he runs in and 9 in utility to get longer buff durations and cdr on his ghost as ghost is very important on Olaf due to him being immune to CC which means the only way the enemy could get away is either move faster or flash.
I run a hybrid armor pen/damage page to make the first clear really easy and do a fair bit of damage later in the game. Armor pen scales with Olaf's ultimate which also gives him armor penetration which is helped by Olaf's higher damage from W and quints. Standard runes for glyphs/seals.
I pick Smite/Ghost. Smite allows easy buff/dragon/baron control as there are next to no sources of damage that can outdamage it. Off the top of my head, the only things that can steal buffs/dragon/baron from a smite is:
2.Consume/Feast (melee range)
3.Alpha Strike/Madred Proc+Something Combo (unreliable)
4.A really really fed carry/caster/critical strike
So really, out of all those counters to a smite, only one is truly reliable and the others either rely on chance or walking up melee range, so in a nutshell, take smite. I use ghost as my second summoner as Olaf needs speed to catch up to people and keep up with people to constantly throw axes. It's also a great escape/initiate when used with his ultimate as nothing can disable him.
Passive: Berzerker Rage
For each 1% of health missing, Olaf's attack speed is increased by 1%.
This spell is fairly simple and is the reason why he can 1v1 or do jungle extremely quickly. While I don't recommend being constantly low hp to make use of this, it is extremely useful during and after a fight to quickly lifesteal or down a turret/dragon/buff when combined with Wriggles Latern. But the fact that this passive gives so much, allows Olaf to run armor pen runes because having 12-25% attack speed buff is fairly minimal when you can have a passive that gives 0-99% attack speed bonus.
Olaf throws an axe to a target location, dealing 50 / 90 / 130 / 170 / 210 physical damage plus 50% of his attack damage to units it passes through and slowing them by 16 / 22 / 28 / 34 / 40% for 2.5 seconds.
If Olaf picks up the axe, the ability's cooldown is reduced by 6 seconds.
Cost 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 / 75mana
This is basically half the reason Olaf is useful, because of the effect of CDR, this skill can effectively have a 1-2 second cooldown, far shorter than ANY aoe skill in the game. Because of it's synergy with is ult and armor pen runes, it will do a huge amount of damage all game and will easily clear waves faster than anything except a super fed AP carry. Undertow sets Olaf apart from the junglers in the fact that it's a reliable ranged CC before level 6 which allows him to do stronger ganks than WW/Udyr as he doesn't need to get in melee range to do it. Simply put, easily one of the strongest spells in the game.
W: Vicious Strikes
For 6 seconds, Olaf's attack damage is increased by 7 / 14 / 21 / 28 / 35 base damage plus 1% of his max health. While active, Olaf gains 9 / 12 / 15 / 18 / 21% lifesteal and spell vamp.
Cost 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 / 60mana
Because of nerfs, this skill is now relegated to being a 1 point wonder as the first point gives the 1% damage boost according to his health and doesn't change after that. This also gives him a fast way to heal when used with his Undertow as he can clear waves near instantly while taking minimal damage. I max this last because the last 4 points are relatively minimal in effect compared to the first and Reckless Swing requires the points to be useful.
E: Reckless Swing
Olaf deals 100 / 160 / 220 / 280 / 340 true damage to his target and inflicts 40 / 64 / 88 / 112 / 136 true damage to himself.
Despite it's seemingly low numbers, this spell is extremely brutal in damage against anything that stacks armor/mr because it is true damage. When used in combination with Undertow/Melee hits, this is a great source of damage and a great finisher. Leveling this over Vicious Strikes is because it not only increases the damage by a fair bit but it lowers the cooldown on it which essentially makes each next point even better than the last.
Active: For 5 / 6.5 / 8 seconds, Olaf is immune to disables and reduces incoming damage by 20 / 30 / 40.
Passive: Olaf has 10 / 20 / 30 increased armor penetration.
Cost 100 / 75 / 50mana
This spell now gives magic resistance and armor now making it superior for later game. However, it's true strength lies in the fact that you are immune to CC, this fact alone is the other half of what makes Olaf viable. If he didn't have this, he'd be basically a Yi as he'd be perma stunned to oblivion whenever he'd go in to melee. But thanks to this spell, Olaf's damage and durability are mostly taken care of and basically allows Olaf to solo people mid game with only Wriggles.
is EXTREMELY useful and basically one of the two reasons which sets Olaf apart from the rest. If he didn't have , he'd simply be a fairly crappy version of Yi as it gives him ranged harass, a CC and the highest sustained aoe damage for a spell in the game (thanks to 0-1 sec cd). I get one point in at level 2 to gain the 1% bonus damage from max hp, which is significant for just one point and gives me some lifesteal which I'll need early game when comboing things with . I max over because is fairly nice extra damage despite being fairly weak early, it allows Olaf to dominate all game despite having little items but it's obvious weakness is the fact that it's a melee single target spell so thats why I'd get over it first.
Item BuildsStarting Items:
Standard start for most jungles, significant sustain and damage output on jungle camps from this start.
Standard for autoattack jungles, some people like spiritstone but I feel Olaf can easily kill the small minions fast while taking more time on the main monster.
If snowballing(getting kills/fed):
If you're ahead early on, these items can help 'snowball' your lead by killing camps faster as well as killing the underleveled champions you're facing.
These help Olaf's damage through his W and aid his durability to allow him to charge at the enemy back lines.
Depending on enemies: or
Depending on what the opponent has, choose accordingly.
- Standard: , or
Significant defensive boosts, if the enemy has many autoattackers, FH might be ideal as it also gives you damage by reducing the cooldown on your undertow and reckless swing.
- Fed/Must Carry team:
Randuins is always a great item as it hurts the enemy AD carries significantly. Ghostblade is like a 2nd ghost when you're ahead and Maw is mostly for end game dueling and gives nice defense against magic damage.
- Get whenever you want:
- End game:
Early GameOlaf is extremely strong early game, there are few if any junglers that can really 1v1 in the middle of the river like Olaf can. His damage is huge if he can spam his axes, his slow is basically infinite as long as he has the mana for it and unlike Amumu/WW/Malphite, he doesn't need to waste his ultimate to roam as he can easily win fights without it. Olaf's ganks will be stronger because of his armor pen and the fact that his Q is ranged which allows him to fight or initiate without being in melee range (ww/udyr problems) which allows him to soften targets up before a tower dive. His Q also allows him to near instant clear of waves faster than any other champion early game because of it's cooldown and damage. When combined with his level 1 W, he can basically take no damage from the wave or even heal off of it. Axe juggling is extremely important on Olaf as it allows him to keep his slow on the enemy and do massive damage. Because of Olaf's power, he is a extremely good dragon killer as he has a good ultimate to escape with if enemies start closing in and he has a good ranged spell to stop people from harassing him.
Mid GameOlaf with only wriggles/mercs will slice up the enemy provided he either has a team or the enemy strength is low. Olaf's ultimate basically negates the damage of most CC champions such as anivia and allows him to effectively ignore her presence if her AP isn't high. Mid game should be the time Olaf is farming/controlling the dragon as it's extremely hard for most champions to do enough disables/damage to kill Olaf at this point in the game. His armor pen allows him to keep up in damage as this is usually the stage where champions haven't started on their armor items yet and are still feeling the effects of 35-45 armor penetration. If there are no easy possible ganks, it is highly recommended to farm every camp possible as Olaf will use the gold very well late game because of his great scaling.
Late GameUnlike most junglers where you feel you become completely useless late game when tanks are dominating, Olaf scales extremely well with items well into the late game and his damage can easily solo ADCs by just going durability items. Often Olaf will have to go in with the tank to completely wreck havoc on anyone dumb enough to stand still as even Tanks are hurt by his reckless swing. However the biggest threat to Olaf late game would be if people play chicken and constantly run back whenever Olaf moves in which could bait his ultimate and make him a stun magnet later. However, hopefully his team can CC for him to stop them from constantly kiting/moving back as Olaf tends to do little damage if his ultimate is down and guys like Alistar are stunning him constantly.
Team FightsOlaf is similar to the Nunu style where you're either peeling people off or diving the enemy carry with your slow and ultimate with ghost on. It is extremely hard for enemy champions to peel off a Olaf chasing because of the fact he's immune to disables and is slowing the enemy he's chasing. However he has to watch out if the enemy can outrun him (or you miss his undertow) as Olaf's ult will be fairly short and he might become a kite target by CC champions afterwards. But for the most part, Olaf will be one of the highest damage dealers on the team despite being the jungle role as he's likely the strongest bruiser out of them because of his all game dominance.