Ultimate Olaf guide: Best League of Legends builds, runes, tips & tricks

Lawrence Scotti
olaf league of legends

Olaf has been one of League of Legends‘ most iconic fighters for years now, known for his ferocious axe-swinging power. If you’re looking to master the Berserker then look no further as we’ve got his best build, runes, and some tips and tricks.

Released all the way back in 2010, Olaf has long been identified as a powerful early-game jungler that dominates by fighting as often as possible.

Though he fell out of popularity over the last few years, Olaf’s Season 12 mid-scope update has brought the fighter back to the forefront of not only the jungle meta, but also top-lane.

Wondering how to temper the Freljordian menace to dominate the Rift? Here’s our Olaf guide to help you master League of Legends’ viking warrior.


Glacial Olaf in League of Legends
Olaf is viable in both jungle and the top lane.

Who is Olaf?

Olaf is a brutal berserker hailing from the peninsula of Lofkar in the Freljord. While many fighters run from the fear of death, Olaf seeks it out, swinging his axes into battle with reckless abandon in pursuit of one thing: a glorious death.

He’s journeyed through the Freljord in search of formidable foes even going toe-to-toe with Sejuani and her tribe, the Winter’s Claw. Olaf is fueled by bloodlust and an infinite desire to grant him a true warrior’s death.

On Summoner’s Rift, Olaf is a jungle fighter who runs down opponents with his axes and unstoppable ultimate.

Olaf abilities & gameplay

Olaf rocks one of the most basic kits in the entirety of League of Legends.

The most important part of playing Olaf is landing his Q ability, Undertow, which has Olaf hurl an axe forward slowing opponents and also shredding their armor. Undertow is also a useful spell for top lane as he can clear minion waves quickly with it. Picking up the thrown axe resets the abilities cooldown, so look to move in the direction of the axe for maximum damage.

When low on health Olaf’s W ability, Tough It Out, comes in handy as it grants him a shield that reduces incoming damage and increases his attack speed.

To finish off opponents his E ability, Reckless Swing, deals True Damage to a single opponent within melee range and can help turn the tides of a fight or finish off a gank attempt.

Olaf’s most iconic ability is his ultimate, Ragnarok, which makes him immune to disables for the duration. With the Patch 12.9 update, Olaf can now extend the duration of Ragnarok by attacking opponents or landing Reckless Swing.

Jungle Olaf is great at fighting in the early game for objectives and building a quick lead.

  • Passive: Berserker Rage ⁠— Olaf gains Attack Speed and Life Steal based on his missing health.
  • Q: Undertow ⁠— Olaf throws an axe into the ground at a target location, dealing damage to enemies it passes through and reducing their Armor and Move Speed. If Olaf picks up the axe, the ability’s cooldown is reset.
  • W: Tough It Out — Olaf’s Attack Speed is increased, he reduces incoming damage, and he gains a Shield.
  • E: Reckless Swing — Olaf attacks with such force that it deals true damage to his target and himself, refunding the Health cost if he destroys the target.
  • R: Ragnarok — Olaf passively gains increased armor and magic resist. He can activate this ability to become immune to disables for as long as he keeps attacking.

Best build for Olaf

As an AD fighter and bruiser champion, there are a ton of items that work well for Olaf, meaning he doesn’t have one specific Mythic item that is best in every situation.

One of his best Mythic options is Goredrinker, as it allows him to extend fights by healing off of enemies within melee range using its active ability, Thirsting Slash.

However, there are other options for Olaf as well. Stridebreaker allows him to slow opponents he gets on top of, and Trinity Force brings a ton of useful stats as well as movement speed through its passive.

After your chosen Mythic there are loads of both damage and tank options for Olaf to buy, like Death’s Dance and Maw of Malmortius.

Top meta Olaf items in Season 12

  • Mythic: Goredrinker / Stridebreaker / Trinity Force
  • Boots: Plated Steelcaps / Ionian Boots of Lucidity
  • Starting Item: Hailblade for jungle, Doran’s Blade for top lane
  • Death’s Dance
  • Maw of Malmortius
  • Sterak’s Gage
  • Black Cleaver
  • Spirit Visage (if paired with enchanter)
  • Guardian Angel
Dragonslayer Olaf and Diana in League of Legends
Dragonslayer Olaf is one of Olaf’s most popular skins.

Best runes for Olaf

Olaf’s runes are designed to grant Olaf increased damage in fights which in turn turns into healing.

The best option for Olaf is Conqueror. After that, Triumph, Legend: Alacrity, and Last Stand are the most reliable options in the Precision tree to grant increased attack speed and more damage when low on health.

For secondary runes, look to take Magical Footwear and Approach Velocity from the Inspiration tree. Approach Velocity pairs well with Undertower and Olaf will gain increased speed towards movement-impaired enemies.

Top meta Olaf runes in Season 12

  • Conqueror
  • Triumph
  • Legend: Alacrity
  • Last Stand
  • Magical Footwear
  • Approach Velocity

olaf runes league of legends

Olaf skins in League of Legends

Olaf is a solid choice for new League players looking to try out the jungle role for the first time, and with these tips and tricks, you’ll be slicing your way to mastery on Olaf in no time at all.

Looking to master all of Runeterra’s finest? Be sure to check out our other League of Legends guides:

How to get Orange Essence | How to get Prestige Points | How to get Prime Gaming loot | Ahri guide | Akali guide | Amumu guide | Blitzcrank guide | Camile guide | Evelynn guide | Hecarim guide | Irelia guide | Karma guide | Kayn guide | Kindred guide | Lulu guide | Nami guide | Sona guide | Tahm Kench guide | Thresh guide | Warwick guide | Varus guide | Vex guide | Yuumi guide

About The Author

Lawrence is a former Dexerto writer, based in New York City, who covered entertainment and games for Dexerto focusing on Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, NBA 2K, and any indie game he can review.