Volibear Build Guide by tasteslikepuddin
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.
Rolling through top lane
Usual full build
Vs. Strong AP teams
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.
Threats to Volibear with this build
|Jax||engage on him. Despite his counter strike you are stronger. The later the game goes on though the stronger this guy gets.|
|Lee Sin||Mainly in the jungle but is a skittish one as well. If he blows his stuff he's done|
|Rengar||He can try to sustain himself in lane but you can beat him down due to his lack of escape.|
|Yorick||He is weak early on with little health. Your kit helps you win this fight|
Hello I'm Tasteslikepuddin I used to write guides on Mobafire a long time ago (about two years ago). I decided to come out of guide-tirement to talk about an amazing champion. In this guide I will go over everythingI have learned about Volibear, and what you can do with this character in top lane. This is an in-depth guide so there is a lot to read. If you leave a comment be specific. A teacher once told me, "vague advice is worse than no advice at all."
Volibear is a Health/ %AD/ Bruiser. Meaning his main focus point are his health and dueling abilities. Volibear is a versatile champion as he can be played Top, Jungle, and Support which allows him to be perform in different compositions. I prefer him as a top laner though due to his weaker gank potential. He is also strong in 3's and Dominion and can go toe to toe with almost every top-laner.
II. Pro's and Con's
|So why play a champion that goes against the high mobility and kite meta that has become league due popular champions such as Zed, Lee Sin, and Yasuo? The main reason is tankyness and DPS. Well if you look at most bruiser they lack a hard initiation unless they get in a relatively close range. This is true for most top-laners with the exceptions of Aatrox, Cho'Gath, Malphite, and Wukong. In fights he can be a wall that can hit multiple target with his ultimate and can secure kills on low health opponents eliminating them from the fight every 18 seconds! If damage isn't enough I can promise you that Volibear can at least 2v1 by mid-game with his passive. He is a very fun and easy champion to learn that can add quite a punch to a team composition if they need damage and tankyiness|
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Health
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
Armor is an essential on top laners as most deal AD or mixed damage to their enemies. This is a great choice on him due to his low starting armor of 16.5. Adding the additional 9 Armor with these runes will bump your armor up to 25.5 + masteries will make you start off with a total of 35.36 Armor! This will help against early aggressive AD champions like Fiora, Rengar, and Gangplank. And health seals are a great choice as your main damage spell is Frenzy it gives you 72 extra starting health. That means more health, more damage, and more regeneration from your passive. This will also help you deal with Magic damage. Having both health and armor will benefit him early game and running it 4 armor and 5 health is the best optimal start as you have the most armor and the most health in a balanced proportion.
This is a great choice on Volibear as it allows him to have strong DPS and with the finished build can make him reach up to 2.0 attack speed with the final build. I will take these if I need to deal more DPS than burst damage. Because the more I can auto attack the more damage I can get off. You will start off with an additional 15.3% attack speed.I recommend taking this against auto-attack reliant champions as they will want to have long trades in lane.
I prefer these on Volibear due to the fact that he needs to be able to deal damage and it will increase his early game trade potential in short trades. It gives you 8.55 extra AD which is enough to make a significant difference as it will boost your AD to around 70 which an ADC will usually have. I take these if I know I can beat the enemy without the extra attack speed and they are more likely to try for small trades. I like these over Armor penetration because Volibear still has to deal most of his damage with auto attacks so Attack speed or Attack damage marks are the best choices.
Magic resist Glyphs are beneficial to Volibear as they make him more resistant to Magic damage. They will give him a total of 12.06 Extra Magic Resist. This helps against AP top lane champs such Vladimir, Teemo, Ryze and Nidalee.I take these If I'm running full Armor Yellows especially. Because most AP laners are big on harassing and kiting enemies these are a must have.
These are a good secondary option as they shall allow you to use your spells more often. It will give you a total of 7.47% CDR. This will allow you to use Frenzy more often resulting in a higher chance of getting kills. Take these if your not up against an AP top laner and you feel confident enough in yourself to get a kill. If you don't feel confident run Magic resist runes.
As Volibear relies on his Rolling Thunder for his initiation into fights, this is helpful in closing the gap. Because sometimes there are situations when you need to move just a little bit faster even with your movement speed boost from Rolling Thunder. I like these but some people prefer more attack speed quintessences.I get these if I'm up against a ranged character.
If you want to attack even faster here is another solid option on volibear. It will give you a total of 13.5% attack speed. Take these if you feel confident enough in your ability as a player and you know you can catch the enemy.I take these if I know that I can easily out trade an opponent and win.I will run these against auto attack reliant and non ranged champions.
I like to run a 9/21/0 build with Volibear as he doesn't need a lot of offensive stats to bite a chunk out of enemies. He is better with a bruiser style due to his game play and kit. This build emphasizes on his strongest points and evening out the areas where he needs a little extra help. I am towards increasing attack speed and making him start with more health and resistances.
For a more detailed response look below for the more detailed and explained reasons in the spoilers.
V. Summoner spells
You have 2 usual combinations of spells which are:
Flash is the escape and mobility skill that almost all champions use. It doesn't allow your opponents to have the time needed to counter any attack that may result from it. This can be nice as it's good for a fast little engage or escape. I don’t recommend engaging with it unless you know that you can kill the enemy. Always take this spell.
Ignite is a damage summoner spell that is good for dueling your opponents. It deals damage over time while reducing health regeneration and granting you vision of your opponent. This is one of my personal favorites vs Irelia or Olaf.
Ghost is another viability due to Volibear having to chase his prey. This will speed up his travel time and make catching pesky kite champions a lot easier. You can take this with the combination of Teleport , Ignite or Flash as a secondary spell.
Teleport is one of the spells I enjoy using as it allows you to get into lane or help gank a losing lane. Take this as your secondary summoner spell if you know that your lane will be difficult or take it if you know you can gank other lanes easily. Take this as your secondary spell instead of Ignite. This is also strong in countering an enemies teleport.
VII. Situational items
These are items that I take when the need calls for them. They aren't neccesarily for the main build because they may not hold the same value as a main item. But some of these items can be the deciding factor between victory or defeat.
VIII. Abilities and Sequence
I max Frenzy at level 9 because getting Majestic Roar at level 3 helps to push waves and allows for stronger trade potential. I Max Frenzy first due to the damage of his bite. I max Majestic Roar secondly as it gives the second most damage. And then I max Thunder Claws when ever I can and Rolling Thunder last.
There is also a hidden passive with Zilean.When there is an enemy Zilean on the enemy team an icon will appear, with the text: "Not even Zilean could keep an armored bear out of the League of Legends".The enemy Zilean also gains the Armored Bear Hater icon with the text: "In my day, we would never have allowed an armored bear into the League of Legends."
Whenever you kill a Zilean you will get 11 gold but if he kills you he will obtain an additional 10 gold.
Chosen of The Storm
VIV. Combos and how to use skills
This is where we shall discuss how to properly fight with Volibear and how to use each of his skills to create successful combos and maximize your chances of winning lane and the game.
Basic fighting combo pre-6
This is the basic combo for fighting pre-6. The first 3 parts will allow you to stack up to Frenzy and have it ready for use then Majestic Roar slows them so you can continue to punish them. If they begin to get away use Frenzy's active.
If you have to catch them pre-6
If you need to catch your opponent and Rolling Thunder just isn't cutting it, you can use the AOE slow from Majestic Roar to slow your enemies enough to catch them if they are in range.
This is a version of the Singed Fling auto-attack. While your opponent is getting flipped in the air from Rolling Thunder click on them and when they land Volibear will perform an auto-attack reducing the time between attacks and will give you that third stack of frenzy earlier than having having to move to your opponent and hitting them saving you time and will give you a little more damage when you follow up with your combo and actually move to your opponent.
Post 6 combo
Leading with Thunder Claws is frowned upon because most enemies will be to afraid to fight you head on. By adding it mid combo you will still be able to dish out significant damage and if they escape past your bite range you can chain the lightning through minions to hit the champion.
X. Tactical Early game
Ok so lets talk about early game and why it's a crucial part for Volibear. Because of his early game damage and kill potential it's important for Volibear to get one of two things to be successful in lane. You must get either farm or at least a kill. Early game can be divided into 3 major pieces.
Step 1: Assert Dominance
Asserting dominance in your lane is important because Volibear doesn't have any long range spells that make farming easy. So establishing dominance is important. To do this try to reach level 2 before the enemy. This can be done by pushing the lane out or by killing the first minion before your opponent gets to lane. Once you reach level 2 try to create a few trade situations and lower their health. You then have 2 options; either deny them farm and freeze the lane or try to get an early kill. Either way if you succeed in the trades you will have completed Step 1 which will allow you to farm.If You cannot establish dominance in lane try to freeze lane near your turret and try to farm as much as possible and try to get a few ganks from your jungler.
Step 2: Warding and Dueling
Secondly, knowing where and when to ward is a very important thing for staying safe and knowing the enemies position. If you are Purple team and the enemy Jungler is starting Blue Buff place your ward down near the entrance to blue buff near the river around 3:00 and 5:00 minutes into game. By these times the enemy will most likely try for an early level 2 gank or will come around after clearing all of his buffs at 5:00 minutes.
If you are starting Blue side and your enemy is Purple Team place a ward in the tri-bush around 3:00 minutes. Most junglers will finish Red Buff by then and will try to come top. Now this is also an important step to remember. If the jungler is Evelynn or Rengar buy a pink ward after a first back if you have the money and put it in the river bush.
Trading is a very important part of top lane. To really excel in top lane you must be able to know when and where to trade. Don’t trade if you’re in their creep wave because this will put minion aggravation on you. Try to throw him into your wave and fight there. If you want to start a dual try to engage on your opponent by either using the Volibear uppercut or a Rolling Thunder start. After the initiation begin to auto attack him and use Majestic Roar to damage him and keep minion aggravation off of yourself. If he begins to run follow him and continue attacking and use Frenzy to end the fight because it’s not point blank. If you have more health than the enemy you successfully won the trade; give yourself a pat on the back.
Step 3 Tower
Now that you have completed Step 1, you can move on to the second most important part of early game. Getting Tower in lane is important for most laners. It fills them with confidence and content. The question is, "When do I take tower?" This is very important. If your facerolling the enemy and know you can continue to kill him and deny him creep let him keep his turret so you can go do other more important things like, gank mid, or counter jungle. Try not to take tower too early as it will allow him to free farm or roam.
XI. Tactical Mid-game
Mid game is also a very important phase of the game. You will have reached level 6 and will most likely be sitting on a Bilgewater Cutlass, Ninja Tabi, and Randuin's Omen.This is a phase in the game where there are 3 things you can do which will be covered in 3 options. When you get to this point in the game you have either.
A: Taken a tower
B: Reached at least 130 farm
C: Skirmished in a objective team fight
Here are the three options:
Option 1: Split-push
As a top laner split pushing is an important job. It can force a jungler to come and try to fight a 2v1 which you can win at this point with thunder claws and Ignite if necessary. While not every champion and time is suited to split pushing, applying this strategy at key points in the game forces your enemies to make decisions they'd rather not.
They can split up their team and send members to stop your pushing or make a hard engagement on your team while you're pushing. Split-pushing works because it's incredibly difficult to counter. Because there is no surefire way to handle pressure in two lanes at once, a losing team that employs split-pushing creates neutrality and gives their team a chance to catch up while a winning team that employs split-pushing snowballs their lead and builds up a larger gold lead on the enemy team. If you can force their jungler top and kill both him and the top laner you will be able to push the lane out and have the ability to make your team be able to turn and fight a 4V3 in whatever lane they are in and you can continue to push for a little a bit or go back to base and heal up. There are champions though that you should avoid trying to split against mainly Jax, Shyvana, Ryze, or Fiora and when their jungler is Evelynn, Lee Sin or Rengar.
Option 2: Team fighting
You have a very important role in team fights. Your goals are to engage and be the front-line. To engage a fight you can use Bilgewater Cutlass to slow down the enemy and Rolling Thunder him out of position and initiate a beat down. If you are kited out by a champion with a form of cc than don't fret, they wasted a spell to try and stop you most cc spells have a long cooldown and therefore next time one of your allies or you engage you are more likely to succeed in initiating a fight. Be sure to use your Thunder Claws in these situations. Activate Randuin's Omen to slow as many enemies down as possible. When the first enemy gets low use Frenzy and eliminate him from the fight. After this your Rolling Thunder should be up again; try to repeat the process and throw another champion out of position. You have two major goals in the fight. You must either get to their adc and make them peel you off thus forcing at least the support and adc to focus you turning the fight for your allies into a 4v3. Or you peel for your adc or mage and protect them from suffering major damage in the fight. The best way to do this is after you initiate. You can attack the out of position enemy or run back towards the mage or adc and force them to deal with your presence.If you die in the fight due to the enemies casting multiple spells on you than you have done your job. You will have then prevented those enemies from using them on your teammates. And if you survive that's even better because your team will have one more person to work with. If your team wins the fight you should try to take objectives, meaning you should go and take some turrets or Baron Nashor's buff. If you lose the fight then somewhere something went wrong for someone on your team.
Option 3 Objectives
So let's talk about these guys now. These guys have great momentum and worth for a game. They can be used to set up teamfights get gold and incredibly strong buffs. The important things here is "When do you take them?" If your team is stronger than the enemies you can set up a trap and force a teamfight there or if they are too skittish to contest take the objective and leave. If your team is weaker than the enemy and is less likely to win a contest against them try to either steal, poke, or wait till they are low to engage on them. It's ok to give up an objective from time to time if it means saving your towers and the game.
Dragon initially spawns at 2:30 and will re-spawn every 6 minutes. This is a big objective in the game due to its global gold that it will give to the team that kill it. It will give +125 gold to all teammates. Killing dragon can secure a strong gold league.
Baron Nashor is more of a late game objective and it spawns at 15:00 minutes into game and re-spawns every 7:00 minutes. This will give you a buff that will significantly increase your overall damage, health regeneration, and mana regeneration.
Now let's talk about the times when you shouldn't go for these! If your team is low on health, ultimate moves are down, lack of vision, or lack of damage champions, you shouldn't try to get Baron or Dragon. Remember to put a Vision Ward there as that should allow you to keep vision on it as long as it's still alive. This will also reveal nearby Stealth Ward's.
XII. Tactical Late game
By late game you should have 5 of your 6 main items finished or you have reached their inner turrets. This is when you must be able to siege inner turrets, take inhibitors and nexus turrets. The best way to get inner turrets is after a big fight and your team has more members than the other team. Or you can split up and do 4 and 1 and make the enemy team a play a game I like to call "Either, Or". If you can get an inner turret than you have succeeded and are one step closer to win the game. You can either back off and heal, continue pushing, or go for Baron. But in all cases remember these 2 things! Stick together and maintain vision of the map. If you can remember these things you are more likely to win. When and if you win, remember to be a good sport and say GG WP.
Initially champions who counter Volibear will have a slow, percent damage, Damage over time, or a range. Champions with these attributes are extremely hard for him to fight because his lack of gap closer except Rolling Thunder.Slows and range ruin most chances of fighting because they will be able to kite you out of range. While percent damage attacks and damage over time will whittle away his health and can interfere with healing from Chosen of the Storm. These champions are extremely difficult to fight for Volibear.
XIV. Other lane matchups
Someone else giving you a hard time in lane? here are ways that I have fought them and either won lane or survived it.This section will go in alphabetical order to make it easier.
XV. Final notes and the record.
Here are a few games that show the power and awe that this build is capable of.Due to people still squealing over Gnar I haven't been able to play Volibear in a while.
Thank you all for reading this guide on how to top lane Volibear. I will take into consideration all forms of criticism that come my way. Tell me if you used this build and it worked. Please leave a comment on how this guide can be better or what you enjoyed about it and please leave a vote! I would like to give special thanks to jhoihoi for her amazing BBCode guide and to all that have I have asked for reviews.
XVI. Change log
8/1/2014 Added chapter on Other champions
8/8/2014 Added Spell sequence, explanations for just about everything, Masteries, and fixed a few coding errors.
8/9/2014 Added Tactical Sections to the guide.
8/13/2014 Major overhaul of Coding and additions (took me a whole day to finish)
8/29/2014 Another overhaul of coding. Added in Gnar and kept guide serious
9/4/2014 A small update and the addition of a great games played.
9/15/2014 Small nitpick stuff and aesthetic update.