Volibear Build Guide by Sander2215
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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.
I am Sander2215, and this is my Volibear guide. ever since i started playing LoL, he caught my eye. and when he got free to play, he became to be my main champion, and also the first champion i would buy.
Why do i like Volibear?
He is awesome looking, has a very strong kit, and can be played in various lanes. The fact that he is tanky also suits me well, because i like tanks. :)
However, Volibear isn't exactly a tank. Although he usually stacks health, it isn't smart to initiate teamfights like other tanks would do. Volibear usually follows up initiates with his Q, and tries to damage/kill the person he grabs. More on that later.
This is my very first build here on mobafire, so good critiques would be very nice for future builds :)
Pros / Cons
- High movement speed
- Strong execution skill
- Strong passive
- Decent initiate
- Vulnerable to CC
- Can be harassed by ranged champions
- High cooldowns
Although ranged champions are able to harass you, you will still be able to grab them if you use flash, or even just a Q, if the enemy doesn't have a slow. This way, you can actually counter ranged champs even more, as they are usually squishy.
I mainly use Flash and Ignite, because Ignite goes very well with your Frenzy to execute targets. and Flash is useful for a lot of things. it can be sued to escape, or as a gapcloser. I usually use as a gapcloser for my Rolling Thunder, because you will be able to instantly throw someone behind you, before they can react.
Other useful spells
Ghost:Is a common choice on Volibear, because it goes so well with his Q. Personally i think flash is better, because it is instant.
Exhaust:This spell is usefull on Volibear, because it will make him an even more scarier dueler. If you take exhaust, you will most likely be going against an enemy who has shield abilities, or rely heavily on AS (Like Jax).
Heal:Heal will make you almost invincible early game. together with Chosen of the Storm it can make you regain a lot of HP back in a matter of a second.
Barrier:Same story as with heal. It can make you have a shield to let your passive do its healing work.
Cleanse:Still testing. I would think this is useful if the enemy team has a lot of CC, so your Rolling Thunder will be easier to land.
Teleport:Can be very useful for ganks, and follow up with Rolling Thunder but i do not prefer it myself
Smite:Only if you're jungle ofc :)
All the other spells not listed here (Like Clarity or Revive) are not viable. if you think i missed something, feel free to discuss it in the comments.
Masteries, Runes, and Items
With the masteries, i usually go with 9/21/0 (See build above). This is a good balance of defense and offence for Volibear.
i get 4 points in Fury for the bonus AS for his Frenzy.
as for defense, You will need the HP and armor from Durability and Hardiness . I get the tenacity against slows for his Rolling Thunder and the honor guard to survive better in lane.
For runes i also try to have a good balance between offence and defense. For marks, i get 9 Greater Mark of Attack Speed so i can get enough AS to make my Frenzy charge up faster, and for Quints i get 3 Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage to make farming easier and get your AA's to deal more damage onto enemy champions.
As for Defense, i take 9 Greater Glyph of Magic Resist for magic resist, since you don't need any AP, and for seals i get 9 Greater Seal of Armor. That is a pretty common choice for AD champs who do not need mana very much.
For the items i buy, i usually start with a Ruby Crystal. I get it because i want to get FB early with my Rolling Thunder and Frenzy. However, if i think i will not be able to kill my enemy early, i mostly start with one of the 3 other builds above. When i get back in base, i usually try to rush my Phage, if i don't have enough money, i buy only a sword, pots, and a ward.
The next time i go back, i will buy boots of speed (Unless i started with it) and a giants belt. i can build the giants belt either into a Frozen Mallet, or an Warmog's Armor. I get the Warmogs first if i want to be able to duel the enemy well, and a frozen mallet first if i can just murder the enemy, and need something to chase him.
There are several ways to go here. You have the choice to buy Boots of Swiftness before Zeal if everything is going according to plan (No problems in lane). However, if you have problems in lane, you should go for Spirit Visage first. Why? because it procs with your passive. that means that it will be 20% more effective, and your health will regen back incredibly fast. After i get those 3 items, i will most likely go for Sunfire Cape. This will give me the tankyness i need to stay alive in teamfights and get my damage off on the enemy. However, if i feel like i don't need it, i won't hesitate and get a The Black Cleaver. A The Black Cleaver will give me more CDR, armor pen, and some more AD.
Chosen of the storm (Passive)
This is a really strong passive. It makes Volibear a very strong dueler in lane, especially early game, as it makes him heal 1/3 of his HP back when your under 1/3 of your own HP. You can even use it to gain health back when low in lane.
- Strong sustain in lane and in jungle.
- Very strong when the enemy is tower-diving! (You can try to bait)
- Easily countered with ignite.
- relatively long cooldown, so don't spam it for sustain in lane.
Rolling thunder (Q)
This ability is one of the most known abilities of Volibear. His Q makes him go faster when activated, and his next AA will throw the target behind you. (If you aren't too late)
You can use this ability very well to initiate 1v1 fights, and you can also use this to follow up initiates on teamfights.
- Very useful for ganks or initiates.
- Deals a decent amount of dmg
- Useless if the target has a lot of range stuns, unless you flash grab.
- Doesn't scale with your AD
This ability is very unique. It is an execution skill, but it scales with HP. This is the main reason you would want to stack HP over armor. And, it will deal the same amount of % of the targets missing HP extra in addition to the base damage. It increases your AS every time you use an AA, so it is also an AS steroid. I max this skill as fast as i can.
- Very strong execute.
- Can give you a very early FB when used with your Q.
- Amazing harass damage!
- Can be hard to land the 3 AA's you need to use it.
This ability is strong to chase champs, and as well as to duel champs. that is because it slows enemies, deals decent amount of damage, and also fears the surrounding minions for 3 seconds! This allows you to farm, and not take minion damage while fighting for 3 seconds. It can be used as a follow up to your Q, but also to catch up to them if you don't think you can grab them in time.
- Good magic damage.
- Good for chasing.
- Strong for dueling.
- When used to farm, it will push your lane.
- You will need to know its range in order to use it when chasing.
This is Volibears ulti, Thunder claws. it will deal 75/115/155 extra magic damage on each auto attack. Some might think this is a lacking ulti, but it is actually very strong, and usefull in teamfights. It is strong because it will deal tons of damage to your enemy when fighting, and it will also hit surrounding enemies and minions. When initiating onto someone, use it immediately. Don't be afraid to do so, because else you will not get its full duration onto your enemy. and if it fails, it has a relatively short cooldown.
- Very strong for 1v1, or even 1v2.
- Pretty short cooldown.
- It looks very cool!
- Can also be used to clear a wave.
- If you can't AA your enemy anymore, it will be useless (not counting AA's on minions)
Top lane is where you want to play Volibear. Although he is also very strong in the jungle, i think he belongs top lane as a top bruiser.
Assuming you are blue side, you will have to help your jungler take blue buff, and if necessary, hardpull it. once you get in lane, you might have a small farm and lvl disadvantage in comparison to your enemy, but try to compensate by zoning him.
Zoning with Volibear can be hard, but when done right, pretty easy. When last hitting creeps, you will charge your Frenzy. make sure the charges stay up, and if it is almost going down, you should AA a creep, or even the enemy. if you get 3 charges, you try to use your Frenzy immediately. this will chunk your enemies health lower and lower. this will make him back off, and you might get your lvl disadvantage back (When blue side).
Once you get lvl 2, you should be able to go aggressive onto your opponent. Initiate with your Rolling Thunder and AA him till you can use Frenzy. don't use it immediately though, try too chunk him down till you think you will get him low enough to execute him together with ignite. if he flashes, try to follow that up with your flash, and your Frenzy together with an Ignite.
If you get a kill, clear the lane and recall. if you didn't, you should still clear the lane, as he has probably recalled. if not, stay in lane, and maybe try to bait him with your passive.
Once back in lane, try to repeat the combo until you got him zoned out. if that happens, that means you have won the lane. and once you won your lane, you should try to roam, and maybe get an easy kill mid lane.
Once you hit lvl 6, you got your ult Thunder Claws and right then, you should start rushing the frozen mallet if you don't have a lot of trouble surviving the lane. To get the ult combo:
Initiate with Rolling Thunder, and after the target has landed, use your Thunder Claws and Majestic Roar to keep the damage, AA's, and slows onto your enemy. once you got him low enough, you should use your Frenzy. you can also use your Ignite a few seconds before using it, so he has less health.
However, if you think you can't get your Q off on him in time, you should use your E before grabbing him, so you have an easier time closing in on him.
In team fights, you should always focus the AD carry or AP carry. if none of them is there, you should always win teamfights :). If not, you're doing something wrong. But lets assume they are there.
When you see the enemy ADC, he is probably behind the enemy lines. You should not like run into the enemy team to grab him, but you should follow up in the start of a teamfight. in the chaos of the teamfight, the enemy tanks and support will be fighting and forget about protecting their adc. That's your chance to grab him, and let your team kill him. This is hard to do, as not every teamfight will be chaos, and they might instantly turn on you. It is easier to grab the ADC when your flash is up. When it is up, you can use it with your Rolling Thunder to throw him behind you.
Getting the APC in a grab, can be either more easy, or harder than grabbing the ADC. In cases of assassin AP carries, you will have a better time grabbing him. however, there is a big chance that they will have Zhonya's Hourglass. When they activate it, you should always turn the fight to the other enemies till it has run out. In most cases, this will be the same with the supporty AP carries. however, getting them is harder, as they will be behind the enemy team together with the AD carry. With the support AP carries, it is actually good that you get them into stasis, so they can't ''support'' the team. When he gets out of stasis, immediately turn focus onto him, or else you have a good chance you will lose the teamfight.
Ability usage in teamfights
As you might have noticed already, you use your Rolling Thunder to grab high priority targets. Once you grab them (and maybe with Flash) you immediately use your Thunder Claws for damage, and your Majestic Roar to stay onto them. you will be able to to a high amount of damage to the target, but with your ult, you will also hit the enemies close to you. Use your Frenzy to finish off low health targets. and after you've won the teamfight, you should either push, or take on of the global objectives (Dragon/Baron).
Akali has recently been nerfed very hard, and this will make the lane even more easy against her. Early game, you will be able to pretty much wreck her. the only thing she has for escape is her shroud, and that will not stop you from gaining ground onto her. When you got your ult, you will be able to hit her in the shroud by just hitting minions. this will proc your Frenzy too, so this lane will be easy.
This guy will make a very passive lane until lvl 6. you will most likely not be able to grab him, and if you do, he will silence your Majestic Roar and your Frenzy. he will not be able to kill you before lvl 6. After he got his ult, he can just ignite and ult your passive. However, even then, it is just as hard for him to kill you, as it is for you to kill him. try to ask for ganks if you need a kill, or got behind in CS. that way, he will not be able to focus his Q on one person, and he is more likely to die.
You may be known as somewhat of a counter to him, you still need to be very careful, or he will ult past your passive. you should either start with the Cloth Armor, or with the Red elixir with him. keep harassing him with your Frenzy and be careful to combo him. play very safe, and farm until you've got enough armor and health to survive trades with him. Darius is also vulnerable to ganks, as he has no escape besides flash. use that advantage!
Personally, i have never won a lane against her with Volibear. she can harass with Neurotoxin all day long, and escape your combo by simply stunning you, or jump into the air. only thing that will save you, is when she runs OOM. If that's the case, ask for a gank, and try to fling her. the only thing she can do is jump, and that will most likely be behind you, to your minions. But thats just assuming she runs out of mana...
More to come
Well, this has been my Volibear guide. He has been one of my favorite champions since is started LoL, and he still is.
It has been fun to make this guide, and i will keep updating this guide until i won't be able to do so anymore. :)
I would also like to thank shukmeister. I used his guide a lot before i made my own, and i used his as an example, because this is my very first guide here. I also want to thank him for getting the needed changes to Volibear done and making him the champ that i love so much right now.
This has been my Volibear guide, i hope you liked it, and please comment to let me improve this guide, or give tips about making future guides better.