And there are many reasons why, let me first talk a little bit about what kind of player I am so you guys know more where I come from.
I play every lane on a regular basis, except bot lane. I don't really know why bot lane never interested me that much before. Probably because I used to dislike depending on someone else for my performance. I mainly play Talon, Viktor and a wide variety of tank/bruiser champions. That being said, Varus/Vayne and Blitzcrank are my choices when I had to go bottom.
With the arrival of Bard, my mind changed about bot lane progressively. Riot had finally released a support filled with conditions and even a few downsides gameplay wise, but still with one of the most rewarding kit for an utility support. A high skill/high reward support. Deciding to get out of my comfort zone, I bought him, built a quick item set, prepared some runes and masteries before jumping in the game with and against strangers.
Suprinsingly enough, I had decent success with him since the first game (I mostly play normal games with strangers). And I haven't stopped improving with him since then. My mechanics are getting smarter and my decision taking time, faster. Now with quite many played games and approximately 72% win rate as Bard, I am realizing something. This "something" is also the reason why I made this thread: Bard didn't just make me a better support, he also made me a better player in general. The reasons why is because the things I learned from him, his kit and his gameplay style can always be applied when playing other lanes and I feel like only Bard could teach me those things so well.
Here are the main aspects of the game I improved on recently:
- **Looking at the map.** It might sound silly, but yeah, my map awareness improved a lot because when I play Bard, I am forced to look at the map even more than before since I need to look out for Chimes. I then realized I was looking at my map much more often than before when playing other champions also. As Talon, I sometimes search for Chimes icon on my map, like a reflex built with all those previous Bard games. And then, I realize the enemy jungler just passed my ward to gank me. I can escape in time... Thank you, awkward Chimes searching map awareness reflex.
- **Going in enemy territory**. One of the first thing you learn as Bard is, just like the champion spotlight mentions it: "Just because you can go in a tunnel doesn't mean you have to." With that in mind, I learned that going in enemy territory without any vision or enemy champion awareness is a mistake that can kill you quickly. This aspect of Bard's gameplay taught me to buy more wards, to face-check less and to aknowledge enemy team position before going in the enemy's fog of war.
- **Game changing ultimates**. Bard and J4 both have an ultimate that can have a negative impact on a team fight. So when playing those champions, we make sure to wait for the right opportunity, right? Playing Bard, I learned to be patient with my skills. Since some of them have conditions and/or can be dangerous for my team, I use my brain more than before when using them. This reflex applies when I play other champions even when those champions don't have conditionnal or dangerous skills. Being more patient helps more than I thought.
- **Communication**. I always start my Bard games with a short chat with my ADC and jungler. Always. Not only it can make the game begin with a positive energy, it also tells me a little bit about them while they learned a little bit about what I'm up too. I can tell my jungler about my E gank thru the tri-bush wall. I can ask my ADC to be careful if I have a roaming opportunity. Without being rude, there's always a way to tell something in a way that is going to help the team and its upcoming teamfights. Bard is probably one of the most team depending champion in the game since his kit has little to no damages, so learning better communication has became natural as I progressed with him. I say that because while communication has always been a huge part of the game, some champions favorise it more than others. That being said, I can see that I start communicating more with my team mates when jungling, being mid or top and it helps a lot in every way.
**TL;DR**: Bard gameplay style helped me improved on aspects of the game that can be applied to every other champions in the game, no matter the lane and the role. His unique kit, while hard to master, is very rewarding and super fun. So thank you Riot for this release and I hope you keep him in a nice spot.
PS: Sorry in advance to all the ADCs for my auto-attack kill steals. Those Meeps pack one hell of a punch in the early game 0,0