Volibear Build Guide by Credestrian
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Hello everyone. I'm Credestrian and this is my guide to jungle Volibear. Volibear can terrify the enemy when he emerges from the jungle, he can absolutly devestate in a team fight, and the best part of all... he's as close to invincible as you're going to get.
I've never made a guide before, so forgive me if the layout is a bit simple or odd. I've tried to highlight what I consider Volibear's key components. Comments greatly appreciated.
Why this guide?
There are many other respectable Volibear guides around here and elsewhere and even a few good jungle ones but I haven't really been able to find any that highlight Volibears strengths as a more tanky-support jungler. Volibear gets a lot of disrespect as a jungler, mainly from players who think an ideal jungler is about surprise attacking and nuking foes to oblivion, but I feel like a true jungler is more about setting up his allies for kills and saving the day.
This guide is about playing a Volibear that can rip a Garen off of your solotop Olaf letting him hurl an axe for victory, A Volibear that can be relied on to initiate team fights with trolling thunder and have the enemy carries saying, "please stop frenzying me," a Volibear that takes Nidalee spears willfully because her mana is worth more than his health.... yeah.. that Volibear.
9 greater mark of desolation
9 Greater Seal of Armor
9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
3 greater quintessence of endurance
Armor seals and magic resist per level glyphs are standard runes for a jungler and provide early survival in the jungle and a bit of cushion in later teamfights. The seals are not really optional but if you prefer you can substitute cooldown glyphs to make up for this build's relative lack of cooldown reduction.
I chose greater mark of desolation for the overall amplification to damage output, particularly because armor can shut down the physical damage nuke of Frenzy. Flat damage marks are also acceptable for a boost early game but they tend to fall off late game as compared to armor penetration.
The 4.5% bonus health from 3 greater quintessence of endurance is nothing to sneeze at and it synergizes with the item build and frenzy damage nicely. Alternativly a more agressive playstyle may chose movement speed or attack speed quintessences which will help you chase down with rolling thunder sooner, which as Skaeling pointed out in the comments might be necessary when enemy Phantom Dancer comes into the picture.
Attack speed marks and/or quintessences can be a good choice to quickly get to your frenzy when initiating and to ramp up your damage after you acquire Atma's Impaler but you may want to find room in your item build/masteries to substitute for the armor penetration.
When jungling any champion I almost always used to take Heal/ Smite which wasn't always viewed favorably by my team mates, and since the recent heal nerfs I don't use it as often, but I find that for Volibear in particular heal is the best choice because:
If cast after his passive has procured heal can provide a nearly insurmountable wall of health especially after you acquire your spirit visage
When encountering a counter-jungler heal can provide the edge you need to stand your ground and win the kill and monster camp or at least survive until help arrives, whereas flash/ghost only serve as a means of escape and ignite at best will scare off the enemy possibly leaving you too weak to continue the jungle.
I find that, if you have the heal to spare, showing up in a lane and healing allies can provide them the lane presence to not need to go back to base and can give them a significant farming advantage even without a gank.
Exhaust is also an exceptional choice on Volibear during later team fights when coupled with rolling thunder you can dive past the enemy tanks and pluck out the squishiest members of the opposing team; however it is arguably not as useful early game and leaves you a bit more vulnerable.
Flash/ghost are of course viable options for initiating a gank or securing an escape but I find that Rolling Thunder will usually suffice particularly because you do not want to leave your carries behind during a chase potentially exposing yourself to danger.
The only other main option is ignite, and some people even prefer to take ignite over smite but I find that ignite is only situationally better than other spells (such as when facing Warwick or Dr. Mundo) and can be safely left to the laning champions.
Masteries provide the greatest wiggle room in this guide. I chose to go for 0/21/9 focusing on
. This set up will provide you with some tanky durability that should make early jungling easier and safer.
A 9/21/0 build with points in Alacrity and Weapon Expertise coheeds with this guide as well. Losing the points in Swiftness means it will be a bit harder to chase down enemies but when you catch them you'll more than make up with it with that armor penetration.
Even 21/9/0 or 21/0/9 builds can be viable depending on your play style. I prefer to play a more defensive, "share the kills" role on my team, but if you think you may need to spend time alone or carry a bit more, agression is key.
If you are new to jungle Volibear I highly suggest you stick at least 21 points in the defensive tree and get the health boost and damage reduction, but once you find your own playstyle this comes down to personal preference.
The Start of the Match/Jungle Route
I begin by purchasing a Regrowth Pendant and one Health Potion and by putting my first skill point into Majestic Roar. As you head to the river beyond your blue buff to watch for an invasion* inform the outside lane that they are welcome to take the small golems if they please. A leash on blue buff will help a great deal but is not required as majestic roar will protect you from a great deal of damage during the fear. As soon as you take your first hit from the large golem begin drinking your health potion and you should end at around 75% health.
*In the event of an invasion at your blue Volibear is particularly vulnerable to counter-junglers; Back off and try to counter-steal their blue with help from your team, take their wolves and prepare a gank on either their mid, or their jungler when they check their blue.
The skill points in frenzy will provide a mini-smite for the wolves and wraiths and the damage from majestic roar and Bladed Armor should just about take care of the smaller foes. At about this time smite should come off of cooldown. When getting red buff initiate with majestic roar but focus the smaller lizards first and try to keep your passive from procuring.
-if your passive did not proc: look for a good lane to gank, ping for your ally and help your team enjoy first blood. If there are no good gank opportunities proceede as below
-if your passive did proc: look for any lanes in dire need of summoner heal/coverage and try to get (a little) CS, follow up with small golems and possibly wraiths again to get to level 4.
Get rolling thunder, go to base and get Boots of Speed and as much Warmog's Armor as you can and start the ganking phase. Be generous with your blue and try to steal the enemy blue as often as possible.
Skill SequenceE W W Q W R W E W E R E E Q Q R Q Q
Q- Rolling Thunder The fling is invaluable for initiation and keeping pesky runners in their place, but the damage and cooldown scale isn't exactly worth priority. Taking 1 point at level 4 and maxing it last should serve you well.
w- Frenzy Your bread and butter. The attack speed is always welcome, and the nuke will melt faces. I take this skill levels 2,3,5,7,9
e- Majestic Roar I take my first point here for the fear utility during the first blue buff fight. The slow is great especially until you get your Frozen Mallet
r- Thunder Claws Three great uses for this ult:
1: Multiply your presence as soon as the teamfight starts and watch enemies flee. (insert trolling thunder here)
2: Clear up large minion waves in a snap and soak up that glorious gold.
3: In the all too terrible, all too likly event that someone flashes just out of reach of your auto-attacking claws with 20 health left, use their own minions as a conduit to your success.
, and 1
1:start Warmog's Armor
2:get Ninja Tabi
3:finish Warmog's Armor
4:get Spirit Visage
6:get the most appropriate of Atma's Impaler, Force of Nature
7:either upgrade to Frozen Mallet or get the other of the above.
8: Frozen Mallet, Atma's Impaler, or Force of Nature whatever's left.
, , , , , and
Sprinkle with sight ward and where appropriate.
, , , and even can be a nice touch before taking on dragon, baron, or a daunting gank.. don't underestimate them.
*Don't be greedy with your jungle. Let your outside lane take small golems whenever they're pushed back and its much better to share your blue buff. In return its fair to expect that you can make up the gold when covering their lane or by taking out a few minions with each gank.
*Wards are officially your responsibility. It sucks somtimes, but try to deal with it. Whenever you go back pick up a couple. Placing one in front of dragon and one between the entrance to blue jungle and baron.
*This guide will give you a volibear that can 1v1, secure kills, and team fight like a champ but your true power will come in setting up your allies for the kills. Communication when you gank will let you pluck the enemy right into your allies arms and destroy them.
*Volibear obviously isn't a pure support but there's no reason he can't be an ally first and a show stopper second. You will probably have the most survivability on your team, let them rely on you.
Tips and Tricks
Volibear's only real combo is quite simple; fling-roar-frenzy, but the timing can make a world of difference.
Please don't fling your opponent out of danger, and please please don't fling them into range of your fleeing friends. Same rules as Singed here.
The slow is best saved for the last second especially during the phage minutes to give you the chance to keep them in your grasp, however if you feel your rolling thunder might run out in a chase, hitting the enemy with a roar as soon as they are in range might give you that clutch capture.
When to use your frenzy is one of the most important decisions you can make. It will almost always deal more damage than your opponent will expect but the cooldown can leave you crippled. Sometimes its best to open with the bite and hope to get in a second or even a third before the fight is over but sometimes its best saved to trick your opponent into being brave and staying to fight, and then finishing them off.
So that's about it. Thank you for taking the time to read my first guide. I'm sorry if its not the prettiest guide, but I really believe if you stick to it volibear could easily become your favorite jungler too. Please comment and rate.
Thank you to KingEmonerd BlackIceT and Skaeling for your early support, and to Johijohi's guide to making a guide for some layout pointers.