Recent buffs to one LoL champ have support players going on a magical journey to higher ranks

These unexpected changes have proven to be the best the champion has received in years.

League of Legends image showing Akali fighting Baron Nashor.
Image via Riot Games

One League of Legends champion’s never-ending journey to assist his allies and find his friends just got much easier in the game’s most recent patch.

Thanks to a handful of adjustments that more clearly fall into the category of “net buffs,” Bard, the Wandering Caretaker, has gone from one of League’s most niche champions to one of the best options in the support role. Though his playstyle remains unorthodox compared to nearly every other champion in the game, the several touch-ups that Riot Games pushed to Bard in Patch 13.18 have brought him to a nearly 52-percent win rate in high Elo—the highest it has been in a number of patches, according to OP.GG and U.GG.

The splash art for Snow Day Bard, Gnar, and Syndra.
Bard’s journey has finally brought him back to the top of the support meta—kind of. Image via Riot Games

At the end of August, Riot Yelough, a game designer on League’s champions team, announced that the team planned to make Bard more accessible to a wider range of players, with particular focus on his ability to roam around Summoner’s Rift at a quick pace. This included a substantial buff to the movement speed Bard gains upon picking up one of his Chimes, as well as the efficiency of the healing through his W, Caretaker’s Shrine.

Though Bard sports a large fan base, his unique kit that vastly separates him from other champions within the support role leaves him mostly unpicked and never meta-defining. He’s also one of the few champions in the game that has never sported one specific build path as his kit possesses both damage and support abilities that can lead to different itemization and runes depending on the situation—like opting for Fleet Footwork over Guardian.

The current build that Bard is flourishing with is a more defensive option with Guardian and a rush into Locket of the Iron Solari. This combination, complete with the new buffs to his passive and W, allow the Wandering Caretaker to do just what his epithet entails more efficiently: rush to his allies from long distances, negate damage done to them, then assist in the retaliation. Other items like Dead Man’s Plate and Boots of Swiftness or Mobility Boots make his rescue attempts even easier.

But it seems most League players have not yet caught on to Bard’s substantial changes as his pick rate remains around four to five-percent despite the increase to his win rate. Should his win rate continue to grow prior to the release of Patch 13.19 on Sept. 27, it is possible Bard will appear in the nerfs section of a patch preview for the first time since last year’s durability patch.

About the author
Ethan Garcia

Ethan Garcia is a freelance writer for Dot Esports, having been part of the company for three years. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Magazine Journalism from Syracuse University and specializes particularly in coverage of League of Legends, various Nintendo IPs, and beyond.