Volibear Build Guide by Hrafnir
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
This guide has been updated. 3rd Dec 2011.
Apologies for the lazy format, but this is my first attempt at making a build on mobafire :)
So, chill out and take a few moments to get to grips with this guide.
Volibear is a an armoured bear! 'nuff said. My first thought when I saw this character was that he would be a great tanky character for jungling. With that in mind, I've tried to make a guide for a good jungle build which tries to build as much health as possible to take advantage of his skill/health synergy. Attacking quickly helps too, since it lets you get to your all important W when you need it in teamfights. This will be an evolving guide for myself to see where my own build for the bear goes.
Pros / Cons
Just freeze for a moment before jumping to conclusions. I know and you know that people always have differing opinions on what is good and bad about a particular champion. With that said, here are my thoughts.
Lots of health
Great utility and synergy in team fights
Good at jungling once you get past the first recall
He's an armoured bear!
Good at ganking, especially with red buff.
Has to start at blue and use smite and possibly his heal right at the start of his jungling, though this vulnerability is short-lived and negated with a few levels/items.
Vulnerable to counter-jungling early on.
Very little burst, damage can be relatively low from each skill used.
Relatively slow jungle to start
9x Greater Mark of Alacrity
9x Greater Seal of Fortitude
9x Greater Glyph of Shielding
9x Greater Quint of Alacrity
This gives 25.5% attack speed increase, 48.15 health and 1.35 magic resistance (later building to 24.3) to start, from runes alone.
I prioritised health and attack speed. Since Volibear needs more health from runes early on, due to the high health bonus of items, I took straight health runes rather than health per level. Since the items provide relatively little magic resistance, I took magic resistance per level glyphs to provide a greater bonus later on. This curve means that Volibear has a better health bonus early on when he needs it, and magic resistance ramps up more later to make up a little for the lack of it in the final items in this build. I wasnt as sure about the Quints, and you could argue that others would be equally good or better for this build, such as Quints of Desolation (Armor pen), Might (+Strenth), Fortitude (+Health).
You may wish to build a more tanky bear, but I subscribe to the theory that the best defence is a good offence! :) With that in mind, I took a more offensive build with the masteries, with a token gesture towards tanking. Hopefully, it will work out. Time will tell.
I was tempted to put more points into Resistance and Hardiness and make for a more tanky bear, but in the end I decided I wanted to focus more on damage since early testing seemed to suggest that his offensive output (and overall DPS threat) was very poor when going too all-out-defensive. I will admit this build is a compromise and perhaps it would be interesting to see how well he could do if he was stacked more damage items. However, I found that he dies a bit too easily without lots and lots of health.
The masteries speak for themselves. Have a look. I think they synergise / work well together. I've neglected cooldown reduction in many areas of this build because you simply dont have the mana to spam your abilities any faster. I feel this is almost optimal in terms of cooldown. I would say that I've been disappointed with his overall damage, but taking away from the tank that's here makes him even more vulnerable.
You could take the one point out of Executioner for Veteran's Scars, but Executioner makes running down and killing your enemies more fun! It's a hard call.
The item build and order of items in particular I feel are very important for this build.
I want to maximise the time I have philosopher's stone giving me money, but I want the health bonus damage effect to be as high as it can be at all times, so the building of straight health bonus items as a priority would make sense to me. Early warmogs and shuriya's should ramp up the bear goodness optimally in my view.
The Frozen Mallet might be better taken after Spirit Visage and Atma's Impaler, or even replaced by a better item for the situation. I'm not sure yet. :)
I take my all-important W skill, Frenzy first since it will help deal with the biggest threats in minion fights in the opening game.
I take my E Majestic roar early on (level 2) so that I can stop the minions from hitting me as much as possible. Other people would take the Q, Rolling Thunder at level 2, but the damage bonus from this skill at low level isnt that great an advantage in the jungle. There is no minion wave behind you to make Q higher priority at level 2. I would take W again at level 3 for improved jungling, and whenever possible after that. See the grid above.
Maximising your W as early as possible will put your enemies on ice! It's your kill-steal button ;)
For jungling, I'd take Smite and Heal
As discussed later there are benefits to taking other spells such as ghost (better at catching fleeing enemies), exhaust (better at stopping enemies fleeing), teleport (getting to those enemies) etc etc. But this build requires smite and heal to ensure success in the early jungle.
And anyway, summoner heal is pro ;)
You shouldnt need to use your summoner heal for a while unless you are unlucky - it's backup instead of potions. Get W first and use it on the biggest threat whenever it's off cooldown. Get your E before your Q because it helps with early jungling. Use E on the jungle minions whenever it's off cooldown for the mini fear effect.
Start at blue golem. Use your Smite on the golem immediately (or immediately after leash/friendly pull), killing off the little ones as quickly as possible with your basic attacks.
Move onto wolves. Kill them in the face. Remember W!
Then head over to wraiths using your W on the big bad blue wraith. At some point during the wraith fight your passive will kick in if it hasnt already (if your passive has already gone off and you think you are on too little health to take double golems, pop your summoner heal now).
Next head to double golems and use your smite (which should be off cooldown) to kill them quickly before recalling - remember to W. When you recall you should just about have enough for Regrowth Pendant, so buy that when you can, hanging around for 5 seconds if necessary.
Now you are ready for red lizard as soon as your Smite is ready. Kill whatever jungle minions you can in the meantime while Smite is on cooldown. You should then be ready for ganking or more jungling by level 4.
After red lizard, I start wandering over to enemy blue sometimes depending how the jungle is going and how lucky I feel :P
Once you have that initial red buff you shouldnt have any more problems jungling wherever you like. Follow the item order as best you can. This route works well for me. Have faith in your passive ability. Use E whenever you can to stop minions hitting you. Always remember to use your W. You will rarely run out of mana so spam those abilities early on!
As I've said, this is an evolving guide and I will keep you updated. This should work out ok as a non-jungling fairly aggressive laning build but the summoner spells should be changed obviously (I'd suggest Ghost and Heal, Teleport/Flash/Exhaust also good choices).
Feel free to comment, and suggest alternatives, but please try it this way first and see what you think. I look forward to seeing what people think of this build and discussing ways of making this awesome bear as good as he should be. Ideally I'd like him to do more damage and die as little as possible. You know, like everyone else :) And to win each and every game. ;) I dont ask for much, but I did ask for an armoured bear to show up in LoL, and it did, so I'm happy! :D
Just one more thing...
Why does he dye his hair in his alternate skins? Is it to appear more youthful? :) Why would anyone want anything other than a polar bear!? Maybe it's just me... :)
I've added in his story, which I think is kind of cool (geddit?) :)
And the hints/tips for playing for and against him, which is also quite useful to know.
Though the northern reaches of Freljord are some of the most unforgiving lands in Valoran, the Ursine have survived upon the region's barren, stormy tundra for centuries. As a fierce and respected warrior of the Ursine, Volibear devoted his life to the protection of his people and loyalty to his elder brother, the tribe's chief. When his brother was killed during a hunt on the tundra, the tribe looked to Volibear as his successor. It was an honor and a burden that Volibear had never expected, but he shouldered the charge with pride. However, by Ursine tradition, the tribe could not recognize Volibear as chief until he returned from a journey to the peak of their sacred mountain, a place forever shrouded in a thundering maelstrom. There, Ursine chieftains must speak to the storm itself, gaining clarity and wisdom to empower them as mighty leaders.
Donning the chieftain's traditional armor and enchanted gauntlets, Volibear began the long and perilous climb up the slopes of the mountain. When he reached the peak and gazed into the raging storm above, he saw a horrific vision of a Freljord utterly consumed by war. Amidst the carnage, the Ursine fell dead upon a bloody battlefield. Believing the vision to be an omen of things to come if he did not act against them, Volibear traveled to the capitol of Freljord. The Ursine had not ventured across the southern mountains in centuries and his appearance was met with unease. However, Queen Ashe recognized Volibear as a wise and powerful ally. In what Volibear considered the first step against a war-torn future, they forged an alliance. As part of their agreement, he joined the League of Legends in the name of a unified Freljord, representing the primal might of his nation on the Field of Justice.
''Few can weather the storm that follows in the wake of Volibear's roar.'' - Ashe, the Frost Archer
Playing as Volibear:
Lead the charge with Rolling Thunder and slow enemies with Majestic Roar
Volibear benefits a great deal from additional health and cooldown reduction
You must attack three times in order to activate Frenzy. Having the toughness to survive for a long time is one way to accomplish this goal.
Bear in mind these warnings:
Volibear gets no speed bonus when running away.
Smart opponents might realise your health will regenerate when it gets to a critical level (or they will, eventually).
Being slowed or stunned will greatly reduce your effectiveness.