Volibear Build Guide by DTStudios
Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hey, my name is DTStudios, or Jonah, and Volibear is my main. I love to play him in the top lane aswell as in the jungle, which i will release a guide for. Volibear is a great champion but does have some pros and cons, and takes some time to get used to. When playing volibear you need to really focus on map awareness because as a jungler this is crucial.
- Volibear is a Tank
- His passive can be shut down with Ignite
- His jungle route is initially slow but improves quickly
- Starting at either buff is very viable
- his cc is just enough for good ganks as a jungler
- If played solo top he can still be very usefull
Pros / Cons
Frenzy Does Immense damage late game
Can carry a game
Doesn't need to be fed
No real damage without Attack speed and Frenzy
Completely shut down by Madred's Bloodrazor
Not extremely tanky naturally
As explained above a good chaser but not good at locking someone down like Nautilus
When and when not to pick Volibear
Volibear is a great pick, but is not always a smart move. His jungle time is slow initally and really isn't made for invades unless you start blue and run to their red to smite steal it. Some champions that you shouldn't try to pick volibear against are:
Darius He's darius. Top lane and in the jungle HE WILL DESTROY YOU EVERY TIME you need to get a second person to help and it is crucial to shut him down early, or he will outplay you
Warwick Warwick has a lot of sustain and in a duel will beat you almost every time. Warwick almost always gets a Madred's Bloodrazor and that is one of the biggest counters to volibear. The combination of that and his Q will win him the exchange
Olaf Olaf's true damage really hurts voliear, because volibear relies on armour. Since Olaf can just cut right through it it will be a challenge to kill him. make sure to shut him down early if you can.
Riven Riven is always a strong pick, and in the jungle she is very tough to beat. If you can counter her early you will gain dominance over her most times. She is trick however and should not be taken lightly
Jax Jax should be easy to take down. His stun on his E is the only thing that can make him a threat. You're a tank and as such will shut him down because you also can do tons of damage. make sure to land all of your cc and he will go down easy
Gangplank Gangplank is just annoying. Crit plank will be hard to mess with but he is not naturally tanky and will be destroyed. all you have to do is make his waste his remove scurvy and he will be easy to take down. he has no natural escape and if you can fling him out of his ultimate and fight him there
For masteries I take 21 in Defence and 9 in Utility because for me, it works well. Voli is not strong early game and having some of those masteries in utility will help with movement speed early game and keeping buffs up longer. He is ,afterall, a tank and or bruiser depending on how you build him. This guide mainly focuses on being more of a tank than a bruiser.
In my defense tree, I take everything that i can that give me more tank ability. i do however max initiator because that movement speed plus Rolling Thunder is a great combo
Taking the 9 in the utility tree give you a bit more mana regeneration, movement speed, and longer flashes for closing in gaps
If you took Damage or Armor Penetration Runes you can run 21/9/0 because you still need some defence
You can chose to take 0/9/21 if you want to play more of a supporting role, but i don't recommend it.
I take Attack Speed marks, Armor seals, Magic Resist per level glyphs, and health quints. The quints can be subbed for armor penetration or movement speed.
Attack speed marks will help you in team fights to get your frenzy ready faster! Who wouldn't want that? You can also use Armor Penetration marks for more damage early game until they start to build more!
Armor seals are a necessity on almost any jungler. you're by yourself, you need to be able to take some hits, there no support to heal you. If you're extremely aggressive you can take Attack Speed seals as a second choice
Magic Resist per Level glyphs are important. I normally end up playing solo tops like riven or darius that use attack damage, so having magic resist at the beginning isnt really needed. plus you end up with more resist than if you used glyphs of warding, which are still a good alternative
Movement Speed Quints are very good for volibear, he has a very low base movement speed and these will give him the much needed boost. If you want you can sub out one of the Quints for something like Armoor Penetration or Attack Damage but it's all preference
You can Take Armor Penetration Reds or Attack Damage Reds if you plan on being more of a carrying Jungle. The passive effect on Frenzy give you a mild attack speed bonus that can compensate
I use Flash because, well, it's flash. It helps for fast and sudden ganks with your Rolling Thunder
I use Smite because well, IT'S SMITE come on, you're a jungler, you should always have that. Just because you have Frenzy doesn't mean it replaces Smite
Passive: Chosen of the Storm
Heals volibear for 30% of his Maximum Health over 6 seconds when he drops below 30% Health.
120 second cooldown
Usefull for tower diving and getting away, NEVER use it just because you can. make sure to stay behind minions so that you don't accidentally waste it. With the initial clear of the jungle this passive allows you to take red before smite is up, but it will still probably get triggered if you go golems first because they will get you low.
Volibear gains 45% Movement Speed while moving toward enemy champions. Lasts 4 seconds.
Volibear's next attack deals an additional 25 / 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 physical damage and flings the target behind him.
12/11/10/9/8 second Cooldown
Costs 40 Mana
Initiate with Rolling Thunder to set them back, max this last but take at level four. Rolling Thunder gives you a movement boost if you are not running towards an enemy, just not as much I normally max it last because of this, but take it at level 3 or 4 depending on how fast i need to gank
Passive: Volibear gains 8% Attack Speed with each attack. Stacks up to 3 times.
Active: When Volibear has (3) stacks of Frenzy, he can bite an enemy to deal (90/140/190/240/290) (+20% of bonus Health) physical damage, increased by (1)% for each (1)% health the target is missing.
Cooldown 18 Seconds
Cost 35 Mana
your most IMPORTANT skill. this is what makes Volibear powerful, and will do damage scaling off of THEIR missing health. I can't tell you how many times I've seen someone use it when they are low and the enemy isn't because they thought that was how it works. If you know you can get close while you are near minions, you can charge it twice on minions then get in range. This tactic works if you know they can outrun you but are close enough to burst
Volibear deals (60/95/130/165/200) (+60% of ability power) magic damage to nearby enemies and slow them by 30% for 3 seconds.
Cooldown 11 Seconds
Cost 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 mana
After initiating with Rolling Thunder, slow them with Majestic Roar to make sure you can get some auto attack off AFTER you use your ultimate. The fear only effects mobs. Alternatively, you can use this durring Rolling Thunder if you just can't catch up.
Volibear channels the storm, causing all basic attacks for (12) seconds to deal (75/115/155) (+30% of ability power) magic damage, which chains to 4 nearby enemies.
Cost 100 Mana
Cooldown 100 / 90 / 80 seconds
His ultimate attack. After initiating with Rolling Thunder and Landing it use Thunder Claws and then Majestic Roar to make sure your auto attacks while the enemy is slowed do tons of damage!
If the enemy is escaping and there are minions, Thunder Claws will sent lightning through the minions, and if the enemy is within range they will be hit by the 75 magic damage.
Maxing Frenzy first is very important, you get that early damage and really destroy in lane. Take at level 2 and max immediately
Maxing Majestic Roar second is smart, but Rolling Thunder can be maxed second if you so desire, they are both good. Some people just take Majestic Roarand max it last since the slow doesn't scale, but the damage is good. Put one skill in it first for the fear in the jungle.
As explained above Rolling Thunder can be maxed third or second depending on preference.
Your Ultimate Thunder Claws will be taken whenever available at levels 6, 11, and 16
Your Role in Team Fights / Build Variations
When in team fights, volibear is a very important part of the team, hes the Tank! His croud control is not the best but can set up some great kills and leaves enemies crying. Be sure to initiate instead of having an AD or AP Carry do it. You're a better tank, and the enemy wasting cooldowns on you is a good thing. IF you are finding that for some strange reason they are still taking you out too early, get a Guardian Angel or something of the sorts like a Maw of Malmortius. Taking cleanse is viable but it requires changing around your build.
As for your build, there are many different ways you can go. Volibear can use many items to his advantage because he has the potential for heavy damage and dps or to be able to take a ton of damage, or even both. More offensively, switching Wriggle's Lantern for a Madred's Bloodrazor late is a good idea, because you do more damage. Wit's End and Ionic Spark are also good items to use because their passives are very helpfull along with their attack speed. a Heart of Gold is also good as it gives gold per 10 and can be made into a Randuin's Omen which is good for team fights
If you want to jungle, Take Movement Speed Quints instead of Health, which is okay if you know that they have a strong jungler like Lee Sin or shyvanna. This will help you go from camp to camp faster making things easier.
When jungling you want to make sure you take Majestic Roar first for the fear on mobs.
There are two possible routes on Volibear
- Small Golems
- Teleport Home
Clear small camps and gank untill buffs are back up after any of these paths, and make sure to pay attention to what lanes will be kills, what will be trades, and what will be failures.
Counter Jungling Your Opponent
Counter Jungling with volibear is very simple. Certain enemies make it even easier to do. An enemy champion that you know has a slow clear time or that you can get a Clairvoyance on will be easy to counter early game. For example someone like Lee Sin can be easy to counter, you can start red and get a good leash and then run over to his blue and take it. Make sure to leave one of the little lizards so that the buff doesn't spawn. If you need it take someone with you from bottom, like the support. That way half of the time they will think that the support was just placing a ward or something, which they can do on the way there. Remember that Volibear can easily get away if you have your passive. If you start against someone that takes a long time to finish off the blue buff like Amumu because his initial clear is very slow without Tantrum. Someone like Maokai that can start wraiths then walk right over to blue then wolves can be easily countered by taking his golems and really his red buff aswell. Naturally he will get to blue buff a second or two late, which if you take your top with you to give it to them or whatever it is you want to do, should be enough.
Remember That Wraiths Wolves and Golems spawn at 1:40 and Red and Blue buff spawn at 1:55. Buffs have a 5 minute respawn time, Dragon has a 6 minute respawn time and spawns initally at 2:30, and Baron Nashor has a 7 minute respawn time, spawning at 15 minutes.
Final Comments / Special Thanks
I put a lot of effort into this guide, and will update it as needed or when i stumble across some important information. If you feel i have left something out or you want me to add a champion to the list of counters and non counters just drop a comment below.Thank you so much for reading this guide and I hope you enjoy it!
Also check out this amazing riven guide by Kman12
Special Thanks to Jhoi Jhoi for the banners throughout the guide
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