Hello I'm Gunmay, 6'4 gaming machine from Sweden. You might know me from such classics as being a Berserker one-trick on the NA server in Set 2 known as "me no zerks", winning some tournaments in Set 3 like GiantSlayers own GSS2 and who can forget that one time I completely choked in the EU regional snapshots and ended rank 41 out of 40. So as you can see I'm not your average Challenger TFT player, talent like this does not come around often. I've been ranked top 10 in NA, EUW and EUNE and today I'm living life as a retired man waiting for the EU region to get a competitive scene and spending my days typing SadgeInTheRain daily in the #esports channel in the Lobby 2 Discord.
Back in Set 2 I wrote a pretty long and detailed guide on Berserkers on /r/competitivetft which you might of seen, so naturally it only seemed right that we run it back now that Olaf is back in the game as of Set 4.5. A lot has changed though, mainly the team around him. Berserkers are no more and now we're working with Slayer, Dragonsoul and a bunch of different utility units to help our favorite 4-cost melee hyper carry go around cleaving people. Olaf himself is fairly similar to his old self, his cleave has been moved from the Berserker trait and is now part of his ability and because he no longer has the Berserker tag he can no longer jump at the start of combat so that'll change our positioning a fair bit. But fear not, I'll guide you through everything you need to know to climb ladder with Olaf once again.
This time around I've learned to (barely) structure my text and I'll focus on keeping it a bit shorter and simple, more straight to the point hoping that it'll be easier to read for both new players and veteran players alike. I'll be sorting the guide in different sections, so if you're someone that is just interested in one part of the guide you can easily jump around as you want.
I've worked together with Gangly to create this video summary of the guide, for people who don't want to read the whole thing for whatever reason. I do however recommend that if you want to learn everything there is to know from the guide that you read the full thing as the video does not go into as much detail as the written guide, keep that in mind.
So let's start off by talking about the comp itself. The comp can be split apart into 3 parts, your Slayers, your utility and your Chosen. Let's start off with your Slayer units.
Obviously, Olaf is your main carry (most of the time, sometimes you might highroll a Samira 2* early and want to switch to her as your primary carry). You NEED 3 Slayer in or he really won't do much work at all, he needs both the damage and more importantly the sustain from Slayer and without it you're not gonna see any success. So that means we need 2 more Slayers, and in almost every situation it'll be Pyke and Samira. Pyke because he is the only Slayer with built in utility in his aoe stun and Samira simply because shes the highest cost Slayer and does a lot of damage with little or no items at all. Shes also great at holding any left over or late carousel items that you can't fit on Olaf. Since Samira is a 5-cost, you're generally not gonna see her until level 8 so until then you just play whatever upgraded Slayer unit you can find.
So we have our core Slayers, now what? Now we need to build around this core of units with units that either synergize with their traits directly or just has great utility and CC. We'll call these Utility units.
These units are generally what you'll put into your comp to round out your team. Aatrox and Sejuani are great frontliners that provide you with CC and some meat shields for Olaf, Morgana and Swain provide great utility and together give the Syphoner trait which provides the team (and most importantly Olaf) omnivamp. Zilean and Janna are generally gonna be your go to Mystic units if you're facing a lot of magic damage, and Sivir is a attack speed buff bot that also rounds out synergies for your team in Sharpshooter for Samira and Cultist for 3 Cultist for some added tankyness and CC.
So what does the full comp actually look like? The great thing about this comp is that it's very flexible even if it runs the same core units every game and that lets you really take advantage of the Chosen mechanic and that makes it this comp very easy to force as long as you know what Chosens are worth taking and how to play around them.
This is in my opinion the strongest version of the comp at level 9. This gives Olaf everything he needs to be that 1v9 unit that'll solo carry against most comps. However, going level 9 alone is hard enough as it is in this meta and ending up in this comp is not realistic every or even most games. Below I'll have links to different versions of the comp at level 8 that are more realistic and that you'll probably end up running most of the time.
Standard Level 8
Olaf Chosen (Dragonsoul)
Aatrox/Sejuani Chosen (Vanguard)
If you're looking to force this comp and get the best consistent results I'd recommend playing with the "Standard Level 8" comp as your plan but hope to end up in Olaf Chosen (Dragonsoul) or Aatrox/Sejuani Chosen (Vanguard). I don't think 6 Slayer or 6 Dragonsoul is worth playing in this meta and especially 6 Dragonsoul I would only play if I had a Dragonsoul spatula. Obviously there are gonna be some highroll cases where you get to go into these comps so I figured I'd provide you guys with an example, but I don't recommend actually trying to go for either 6 Slayer or 6 Dragonsoul and instead aim for the other versions.
So you guys have already seen some suggested items in different comps I listed above, but let's go over what the best items are for Olaf and for the other units as well.
Olaf has some core items that you want to focus on every game, some more important than others but you're not going to end up with perfect items every game so I'll go over what items I consider flexible, what you can play instead and what I think are best in slot.
Runaan's Hurricane - The #1 most important on Olaf right now since Hurricane procs his cleave from his ability. It's huge increase in DPS and also provides you with some pretty nice stats. I'd say if there is one item that should not be changed on Olaf, it's this one.
Deathblade - Highest attack damage item in the game, pairs extremly well with Hurricane as it let's him stack it up faster. If there is one damage item you want on Olaf, especially if you're already running Hurricane, it's Deathblade.
Guardian Angel - Olaf is a melee carry, which means he's easily exposed to danger. Because of this you want something that ensures that he survives, and Guardian Angel not only provides with good stats but the revive also has the added benefit of making it so he loses aggro from the enemy units as he "dies". Meaning together with his ability, Slayer and his items can very easily turn a fight and 1v9 the enemy board. In my opinion this is the best defensive item on Olaf but there are substitutes.
These 3 items are in my opinion the best in slot items for Olaf as it gives you the best matchups overall, but there are other great items that you can use on Olaf outside of these 3.
Rapid Firecannon - Increases his range, turning the melee carry into a ranged carry. This helps for a multitude of reasons, first and foremost it keeps him away from danger easier. You can position him more back and let the rest of your team tank for him instead. It also let's you buff him easier with Sivir's attack speed ability. So even if it's a 2x bow item, it's basically a defensive item for Olaf. Another added benefit of RFC is that Olaf has historically had horrible pathing/AI and RFC lets him find a new target easier, meaning less downtime and that is actually a huge increase in DPS. I recommend playing this item over Guardian Angel.
Last Whisper - Situational item that you might need to be able to kill through tanks, sometimes you'll find yourself in a matchup where the other board has 4 or 6 Vanguards and you need Last Whisper to chew through the tanks. I recommend using this item over Hurricane, because most of the time if you're going against Vanguards, then the bolt is doing pretty poor damage anyways.
Infinity Edge - Probably the second best attack damage item for Olaf after Deathblade. Paired together with Last Whisper lets you kill tanks easily, but makes you more single target damage focused and you'll have a harder time in other matchups. I recommend using this item over Deathblade, especially paired with Last Whisper.
Giant Slayer - Situational item that you want to use if there are a lot of high HP frontliners with low armour (for example, Brawlers). I recommend using this item over Deathblade.
Dragons Claw - Situational item that you want to use as a defensive option if the lobby has a lot of magic damage. Olaf has a really high base magic resist, so together with Dragons Claw and maybe even Mystics, he'll have no issue dealing with magic damage comps. However this makes you a LOT worse into many of the physical damage comps and should only be done if you know you're ahead enough to win those matchups anyways. I recommend using this item over Guardian Angel.
Hand of Justice - Strong item in the meta currently that is very flexible, however it's not great on Olaf but it's also not bad. If slamming HoJ lets you win early game at the expense of a bit of a subpar item on Olaf later on it's generally an ok trade off. I recommend using this item over Deathblade.
But what about the rest of your team? You get an average of 12 components (or 6 full items) every game so what shold you do with the rest of them? Here are some examples of good items that you can give to the rest of your team that you can slam early game to winstreak or save HP, or just items that help Olaf carry even harder even if he's not carrying those items himself.
Morellonomicon/Sunfire Cape - Morellos is a great item in this comp as you often use Morgana/Swain/Sejuani and all 3 are great users of Morellos. Their abilities are large aoe and applying anti heal and a true damage dot to most of the enemy team is always really good and especially now where there is a decent amount of healing in the meta. You can do Sunfire Cape instead of Morellos if it lets you push winstreak early and the same units can use it even if it's worse late game. You trade early power for a little less power later on in the game.
Locket of the Iron Solari - Great utility item that makes your already strong frontline even stronger, also helps protect Olaf even more. Great early item to slam to winstreak and save HP as well. I generally just put it on whatever frontline unit I have upgraded, I think Swain is great for it as it gives you the best positioning as well.
Redemption - I think this item is super undervalued in the meta as a whole, it also uses tear which is one of the worst items for this comp. I generally put this on Aatrox because he has uneven mana and one Tear lets him ult 2 auto attacks faster and it lines up really well for when Olaf ults and cleaves everything down. Note that this is not an item I recommend slamming in the early game but instead something you toss on Aatrox or someone else after you've seen all of your components for that game.
Early/mid game (Stage 2 and 3)
So now we know what units to use, what items to build but now remains the most important part: how do we get there? Obviously we're not gonna have all of this ready and available in Stage 2 so what items and units should you prioritize first? What units should you play in the early game? What unit holds what items?
There are a fair amount of item holders for Olafs items as he uses very universal AD items that work on most carries later on. Some units I recommend as item holders for Olaf in the early game are Sharpshooters like Tristana, Nidalee or Sivir. Playing Brawlers early together with Shyvana as an item holder for Olaf. Yasuo together with a Duelist start. Here are some examples I threw together to give you an idea of level 6 boards that you can have after leveling to 6 on 3-2:
To put it simply, tank items on frontliners and carry items on backliners. You play whatever you get that you can upgrade and you play that, that way you don't have to roll until later while still not losing to much HP, because this comp is really expensive and getting to level 8 with enough health and econ to hit everything is the most important thing when playing this comp.
For any new players that are unsure when to level I'd suggest you as a rule of thumb that you level to 4 on 2-1, 5 on 2-5 (if you still have 10g left after) and then level to 6 on 3-2.
Late game (Stage 4 onwards)
Again, for any new players that are unsure when to level I suggest you level to 7 on 4-1 and if you have great econ you level to 8 on 4-5 otherwise wait until 5-1 or even 5-2 if you're really low on gold. Generally since this comp is so expensive, you don't want to be in a situation where you roll on 7, because even if you might hit 1 4-cost 2*, the chance of you hitting more are very low and should only be done as a last resort like if you've been lose streaking hard all game and you're on really low HP. Learning to play strongest board until level 8 and understanding what items to build early to save HP is crucial to this comp. But if you do have to roll on 7, basically switch out your legendary units for 2-cost and 3-cost units with similar synergies but still focus on getting Olaf and your 4-cost Vanguards if you can.
Once you finally reach level 8, it's time to roll. The chosens you want to pick from are generally pretty expensive, and as long as you have the gold to I recommend you're greedy in what you pick but not greedy enough to where you're at 10g and you still haven't picked up a Chosen. Of course, if you can you always take any Olaf Chosen, but I'd say if you're unsure what to pick, go back to the Standard Level 8 comp list and pick any of those higher cost units as a Chosen and that is generally gonna be a good choice. Learning what Chosens are good, and when to just take the one you have offered and when to greed for a better one comes from experience and playing a lot so it's hard to teach in a guide but hopefully I've given you enough to go on for you to make your own judgement call when the time comes.
Level 9 right now is not something that is very "viable", it's hard to go level 9 first of all because it's very expensive and the meta is aggressive so staying healthy generally requires a decent amount of highrolling. See level 9 as a bonus if you're doing well but focus on upgrading your board on level 8 before going to level 9.
The comp is very straight forward when it comes to positioning, as most of your units are frontliners. Also positioning always mainly depends on how your opponents position versus you, so always be ready and willing to change your positioning to counter what you're opponent is doing. But there are some things to keep in mind and I'll point them out just incase.
Sivir - Sivir has a 2 tile radius on her ability, which means if you want her to give attack speed to your Olaf, she needs to be within 2 tiles of him when she casts her ability, this is made a lot easier if you're playing Rapidfire Cannon since you can backline them together but otherwise just position her higher up so shes close to Olaf because her main job is just to be a synergy bot for your team and to use her ability once for Olaf.
Aatrox - I like to corner him together with Olaf on the left or right side especially if Aatrox has 1 tear item, he'll pull in backliners just as Olaf ults and he'll cleave them down. He also normally has the Vanguard buff which makes him great for being in the top corners of your board because he'll be one of the first units to get hit by backline carries, meaning you'll get a lot of value from his mitigated damage. Aatrox positioning can be game winning, if your opponent has a backline carry in the corner without QSS you can generally always pull that into your team and win instantly. Always keep an eye out for those opportunities.
Olaf - This depends on his items, as he'll be backlined if he has Rapidfire Cannon. But without that you generally want him on one of the two sides but not in the exact corner (for the reasons mentioned above) as you don't want him to be the first target by cornered carries. Put him around units like Aatrox, Sejuani and Swain to make sure they share the damage with him by splitting the enemy aggro and making sure he takes some damage but not enough to where he is in danger and can just heal up.
Pyke - You want to position him away from your team, so that he ults towards your backline to protect them and to stun across the map to hit the most units possible.
I've already mentioned Chosens plenty but I'll add this so it's easy to find. In my opinion your Chosen priority at 8 should be something like this:
1. Olaf (Dragonsoul)
2. Olaf (Slayer)
3. Aatrox (Vanguard)
4. Sejuani (Vanguard)
5. Any 5-cost at level 9
Follow me on my socials, tonight at 8pm Central time I'll be playing in the first Fight Night: Rising of Set 4.5 so you might be able to catch me playing this comp live in a tournament setting. Also follow me on Twitter if you want to have a say in what the next guide should be about, I post a poll on Twitter when I'm about to write a new one.