Volibear Build Guide by Arrion
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.
Top Lane Tank
Armor Build (Read Note)
Magic Resist Build
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
|Nasus||Requires farm to gain any damage, obviously you do not want to fight in his ground AoE.|
I'm fairly new to the game, but by no means a beginner. I've been playing for roughly six months, give or take, and any one who looks at my full match history will see, I'm no LCS player, and that for a long while I hit a MAJOR rough losing streak, that almost made me uninstall the game, until a recent friend I made, started helping me up my win streak with our Duo bot team with me playing mostly Thresh Support, and her various ADC.
I'm currently working on getting the last few champions I need to start playing Ranked matches, to see how good I've become since I first started playing, and had some Silver and gold ranked players I've faced in team Builder compliment me on my tenacity in a match, even when I find myself 1v5, because my team left me behind, and I'd still dive them in hopes of getting one kill, or more if I'm lucky, when playing one of my top lane tanks.
Only reason I'm actually posting this guide, is because of how many times, I've had enemy players tell me how scary my Volibear was in a match, generally backed up by the fact if I found one of them alone, their reaction was to get away as fast as they could, otherwise, I'd probably just keep it to myself, and laugh about how broken it is with my friends. I do hope you enjoy the guide, and thank ever so much for taking the time to read it.
First and foremost, let me assure you this is NOT, I repeat NOT a troll build. I can already tell you're looking at it and going What The ACTUAL ****. The entire purpose is that you are a walking sustainable wall, especially with support champions that grant shields, or heal such as Soraka, Sona, Nami, Janna, and Thresh. Morgana if using the Magic Resist build road.
As proof, Match History.
And again, before you go writing the enemy team off as just sucking, I'd like to explain, I was the thorn in their side. KNOWING That Susan(Nasus) needed to farm, to gain stacks for mid to late game, where he can become a hyper carry, forced him out of lane with repeated bully pushes, using the heavy damage of Frenzy to remind him, top lane is bear country, snagging kills whenever he was foolish enough to come into lane alone.(Yes I just went there.) After I had Thornmail, and Ninja Tabi built, I would roam down to mid land and help bully the Azir, before going back up to gank Susan, or again deny him Farm.
The enemy team did communicate wonderfully with each other, and worked wonderfully together in team fights, trying to focus down our Miss Fortune, who was our primary heavy damage dealer, or trying to kill our Soraka, who was AMAZING with her healing.(Note this is pre new Soraka kit.)
Note, As promised here are the full build numbers in armor. Numbers have been factored in for frenzy. The math is just off the top of my head, I will double check and confirm my numbers in a couple of days. Magic Resist numbers coming soon. I also want to note, the 1.35 attack speed, is with three stacks of frenzy, and no AS runes, or weapons.
Flash and Ignite are my prime choices for this build, as Volibear is rather fast for a fighter/tank champ, even without using thunder Roll.
In place of Ignite, you can take Teleport to help with mid game ganking, to aid your other lanes, or to get back to your lane to save a turret from being destryoyed, Barrier to further make you a larger walking wall than you already are, or Ghost, to use with Thunder Roll when giving chase, so that enemy minions cannot be used to get in your way.
Item Selection for this is basic. It is ALL About Survival. The entire idea here is that you ware a walking wall of face biting rage.
Against AD heavy teams you're going to start with Cloth Armor, Five health potions, or Three health potions and two Mana potions if you feel you're going to have the advantage in lane.
You will either first build Thornmail, if you're against an AA heavy Champion such as Tryndomere, Malphite, or Garen, as a punishment for trying to engage you in a fight, also the massive armor it gives you with will lower the damage they're dealing early on. Otherwise, when against champions like Nasus, who have lower early damage, build Sunfire Cape first, to give you a stronger lane presence, help your CS, and aid in denying your lane enemy farm, as the radius is larger than the graphic.
Second up you will want to build Ninja Tabi, which again, punishes AA heavy champs by further reducting their damage against you, and giving you even more armor, as the idea here is mitigation of AD. The ONLY Exception to this is if the team is highly CC heavy in which case you will build Mercury's Treads, or stacking Slows, in which you instead build Boots of Swiftness.
Third on the list will be either Sunfire Cape, or Thornmail, whichever one you did NOT build first, for the above listed reasons.
Forth on the list will be Spirit Visage, UNLESS you have trouble keeping on your enemy champs because of heavy speed peel like Warwick, and Master Yi, in which case you will build Randuin's Omen instead for it's active, to stack with your Majestic Roar.
Fifth up with be Warmog's Armor. While this item does not give armor, it does give you a MASSIVE boost to your health, and with it's passive better sustainability in conjunction with your kit passive, and the final layer of icing on this wonderful cake, is the health boost greatly increases Frenzy's active damage, as it's based on health.
Last in the line like with third, will be either Randuin's Omen, or Spirit Visage, based on which one you did not build.
For AP heavy teams you're going to start out with Ruby Crystal, since the cost of Null-Magic Mantle makes it to costly to be a starter, Five Health Potion and Warding Totem.
First in line for this build, without any room for negotiation is Banshee's Veil. This will but a huge hurt early on to the enemy team's AP damage dealers like Katarina, Ryze, Alistar, Malphite, and Vlad, to name a few, as people you might face top lane, or deal with as Junglers. It's passive has a decent, but not devastating cooldown, unlike Guardian Angel, and can totally negate opening CC, which most casters like Morgana, Ryze, and Nami, would use to get a drop on you in a fight. Again just to name a few.
Second up will be Mercury Treads, for the further increase to your MR, and to help aid with CC heavy teams. In this build I would NOT recommend the use of any other boots, even if there are a bunch of slow applying champs. You need every bit of MR you can get, especially if one of their team buys an Abyssal Scepter, and/or a Void Staff.
Third in line, I recommend Guardian Angel, again do not break order here, in case you're dealing with one VERY fed Veigar, because after he's burned his entire kit to kill you, it's open season on his Yordle ***. Also the fact taht when it's passive is off CD, it denies a kill to the enemy team, and allows you to make a clean break after you revive.
Forth, I highly recommend Sunfire Cape, just because of the fact, again it's damage radius is larger than the aura graphic and even if you can't land a last hit with an ability, it's aura can still net you a kill during a chase, and will punish an enemy team in a team fight along with Thunder Claws, for being grouped on you.
Fifth and Sixth, is gambler's Choice though, I'd still go with Warmog's first just for the sustain and massive boost to Frenzy's active.
With the Maximum Health build, build in whatever order you want, but I'd highly recommend that you build Frozen Hammer, and Randuin's Omen first, as this build does not have boots, and you will need a way to keep on your foes. Also, keep in mind, I have not tested this item build yet, and may revise it to have boots, or remove it completely.
The entire idea here is that you are a sustainable tank. That you take minimal damage and can be the shield wall your team follows behind. By the time you have three items for either build you SHOULD be able to dive turrets and laugh at their damage, land a kill/assist, and get back out before you even have to worry about your passive kicking in.
Do NOT EVER consider taking Tough Skin, Bladed Armor, or Runic Blessing, as you're not Jungling and WOO HOO! 50 HP shield! What a laugh.
Again the point of this build is you're near impossible to kill without an ENTIRE team focusing you down, and that Frenzy is your bread and butter damage dealer, because most of your items will boost your health a good deal.
I highly recommend taking flat Attack Damage Marks, Armor Seals, Magic Resist Glyphs and Armor Quintessences, BUT you can opt to instead take the scaling versions to be a bit softer early game, and a bigger mountain late game.
Another option is, to take Armor Pen marks over AD, but I'd actually would suggest against this idea.
Other options are Flat Health/Scaling Health Seals, and Attack Speed Marks to double stack of Frenzy's Active and passives, especially for late game team fights it would give you a lot more procs on Thunder Claws to use the AS marks.
Frenzy is the bread and butter here. It is your main source of damage and power in every phase of the game. NEVER use it to get your CS higher, because it's just a waste of mana, and damage.
Frenzy is your bully/Kill ability. You will use it to bully Mid and late game champions out of lane to gain CS, and level progression over them, and land killing blows when they are nearly dead. This is probably the most punishing ability in the game in terms of damage potential. You will take and max this first, because it's passive scales with each rank meaning your attacks come faster and faster without needing attack speed gear, and the higher your health the more damage the active deals.
Frenzy's base damage at level twenty, and max rank is 260, + 15% of his bonus health in armor build comes to 352.5 for a total of, 612.5 damage before factoring in 1% increase for 1% missing enemy Health. So at 25% missing that's 765.6, 50% 918.75, 75% 1,075.8. In Magic Resist gear there is only a 50 hp difference so that's a total of 345 extra damage based on bonus health, totaling, 605 damage. Now factoring in 25% 756.25 Damage, 50% 907.5, and 75% 1,058.75 damage. Now keep in mind that all of this math does NOT factor in enemy armor, Nor does it factor in an Elixir of Ruin.
Majestic Roar, you will want to take secondly as it's good for getting last hit on multiple minions at once, and buying you some early game lane bully time, against your lane enemy, if they engage you first, by forcing their minions to be feared, leaving you, and your Minions to deal some early hurt. You will want to max this second to reduce it's CD, allowing you to get more uses out of it mid and late game.
Thunder Roll, will be taken at level three, so that you have a quick engage, and if your enemy is dumb enough to chase you to close to your turret, throw them into it. This is the last ability you will max out as it plays an important role in your combat early on, but it's damage is minimal, as well as it's use compared to Frenzy and Majestic Roar.
Thunder Claws, your Ultimate is taken at the obvious levels. The only times you want to use this ability, is if you are alone surrounded by minions and engaging an enemy champ who thinks they will help them kill you, giving easy gold and bonus damage to the champ you're fighting, To get last hit on a fleeing champ trying to use a line of minions to slow your chase, or most importantly in team fights, because it's AoE damage is rather amazing. FYI, Moba's tooltip of the ability is wrong. It hit's four targets not three.
Early game for Volibear is quite simple with this build, Bully your lane. Bully it hard, bully it often. This is ESPECIALLY important against champions like Nasus, who need farm to gain power. When dealing with Champions like Renekton, you're going to do a lot of lane Trading, but make sure they know, the lane will be yours fairly soon, but constantly(literally) biting their faces off with Frenzy Active. Trading is VERY important against champs with heavy early damage, if you can manage to lure them close enough to your turret, to Thunder Roll them in and use Majestic Roar to keep them there longer. This is a double edged sword though, based on your remaining health, you might risk just trading a killing blow, in which case you've just helped each other out.
Midgame will go one of three ways based on the following.
Winning lane hard. If you've won your lane, by either snowballing kills to where you have three or more levels over your enemy champ, or taken down a turret, you'll start roaming and helping your other lanes
Losing Lane. Provided you're not by some weird chance being steam rolled by one of your lane counters like Jayce, who is nearly impossible to stay on top of because of melee CC, which can force you to waste cooldowns, and the massive poke damage of his Shock Blast, will be spent trying to make up lane progression once you have three or four parts of your build going.
Enemy team grouping up for mid game team fights. At this point it becomes your job, to rally your team to do the same, and for you to act as not only the team shield, but to help insure kills happen with your control and AoE damage. This is where your two AP abilities Majestic Roar, and Thunder Claws REALLY come into play. Needless to say you're going to single out their strongest damage dealer, and Thunder Roll them into your team, so they're separated and focused down fast and hard. Next you're going to of course immediately Majestic Roar, and use thunder Claws to begin a massive AoE burn. For this I reccomend doing your best to keep An Elixir active on yourself to give you extra sustain and damage.
This is where you shine. Winning or losing, this is where Volibear REALLY begins to take charge as guardian of his team. Provided you're not stuck turtling your base, You're always going to want to be in the lead, for obvious reasons.
First, you're a survival/Sustain tank, just as this build intends you to be, and it means any CC abilities like Charm, or snares like Dark Binding, are going to hit you instead of your allies, so your ADC and other heavy Damage get to do their jobs unhindered.
Second, you bring a level of control to a fight with your AoE slow and damage.
Third, with a good healer, you are literally unstoppable. I've taken on an entire enemy team with only Soraka behind me, and forced them to retreat.
Last, at full build you are a punishing power house. With almost 5,000 health, your damage from Frenzy's active is enough to make even the roughest assassin's cringe in fear, and because of this health pool in either build, and with all of the reduced damage you take from any source, means that you are less likely to be focused in an drawn out team fight because you're just to beefy to kill fast enough, which is a stupid mistake, because you can rival your ADC for power. Because of how durable you are at full build, one of your team could break off from team fights and split push turrets, simply on the fact, that not only are you hard as hell to kill, but your damage is just as equally insane as your ability to survive a team fight.