Volibear Build Guide by KrYoS
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.
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.
Volibear is a rather strong Dominion champion. Like most tanky DPS types, however, he is subject to being kited since he has no gap closer. Also, due to the healing nerf on Crystal Scar, his passive is not as powerful as it is in SR or TT.
This guide is going to discuss the way I play him and what I have found to be a good build for Dominion. Since using this build, I've seen a definite improvement over a build like the one Phreak used on the Champion Spotlight.
Because his AP ratios are so low, I personally don't see the point in building AP on Volibear. His prime ability, Frenzy, gets better the more HP Volibear has and because his cooldowns are lengthy, it's also important to try to lower them as well.
As you will see after viewing the guide, the total cost for this build is 13,180 gold, so it's definitely possible to get the full build. I often see builds that go up over 16k and I'm sorry, but even with 25+ kills and a 27 minute game, you just will not see that much gold. So let's get to it shall we?
For Runes, I chose the following:
Greater Seal of Vitality x9
The alacrity marks and quints will increase your attack speed, which is key for Volibear's damage. His big move is Frenzy and with a lot of attack speed, he can dish out quite a bit of damage and build up those stacks so that you can you get the stacks to do the active ability of Frenzy fast.
As for seals, I take scaling health seals since it improves the damage output of Frenzy, as well as makes him beefier. For Glyphs, I like to take shielding because you will almost always take a good deal of magic damage in games and the more resists you have, the better
I really like the 9/21/0 build listed above. I don't find that Volibear needs the extra mana from the utility tree and the 20% duration increase of Runic Affinity, while nice, just doesn't seem as strong to me as the 9 points in offense, especially since Volibear is best served with attack speed marks and quints as opposed to armor penetration. The 21 points in defensive masteries are pretty much a no brainer since you definitely want the extra health of durability and veteran's scars as well as the cooldown reduction of enlightenment.
I always start out with:
Boots of Speed and 2x Ruby Crystal and a Health Potion or two. This starts you off with over 1100 health and the crystals build in to two of your early items. The next trip back, you will want to buy Mercury's Treads. Most likely you won't be able to afford your Spirit Visage yet, but if you do, I go ahead and grab it next. After that, I like to pick up Phage. Volibear is easily kited, so you need to be able to counter this and Phage will help. Next on the list, I like to get Ionic Spark. This item gives you everything you want, much needed attack speed, health and the passive ability that hits 100 magic damage to up to 4 targets not only has great synergy with Thunder Claws, it also helps you hold points when multiple targets attack. Next on the list, I grab a Giant's Belt and then Frozen Mallet as soon as possible. You will have spent 8370 gold to get these 4 items and I consider them the true "core" build for Volibear.
Once you have the core items, I like to go ahead and pick up another Kindlegem. It only costs 850 gold and will give you a good health boost and the much needed cooldown reduction. After that, I pick up another Giant's Belt and work my way up to a Sunfire Cape. Now you have some armor, more health and passive helps give you more AOE presence. To finish out the build, I upgrade my Kindlegem to Shurelya's Reverie. I'm not a huge fan of health regen and mana regen on Dominion personally, but the item is fairly cheap overall, puts you up over 33% CD reduction at lvl 18 and late game, the 40% move speed boost for 3 seconds can mean the difference between capping or losing a tower.
As with all game of League of Legends, sometimes you will want to vary your build slightly depending on your opponent. Odyn's Veil is a solid choice for Magic Resists and Randuin's Omen for Armor. I always try to build stuff that gives health because it synergizes so well with Volibear's Frenzy ability, but there are times where items like Kitae's Bloodrazor, The Black Cleaver, Wit's End, Trinity Force or even another Ionic Spark can all serve you well. I try to stick to the main build, but if you need to, switch it up!
As for skills, always max out Frenzy first. After that, I level Rolling Thunder next and Majestic Roar last. Naturally, you will always level your ultimate, Thunder Claws at lvl's 6, 11, and 16. I suppose you could add in a rank or 2 of Majestic Roar instead of always going with Rolling Thunder, but that's a matter of preference and both are obviously going to help out, especially in team fights on Crystal Scar.
I personally like Exhaust and Ghost as my summoner's spells. I play Volibear as a top laner and feel he is strong overall in team fights. However, if you were to go bottom lane, Promote could definitely be useful to push. Some people may like Heal, but I don't really care much for it myself. Surge could be useful as well, but Summoner Spells, much like Runes, are often a matter of player choice.
One thing I will mention is that I always like to burn Ghost and get to the top lane ASAP. Gaining and controlling the Windmill early gives your team the advantage, so I like to Ghost to top as fast as possible and either save Exhaust to kill a runner or use it on an AD champ to help ensure a victory early at the Windmill.
Overall, I think Volibear is a pretty cool champ and fairly solid in Dominion. Obviously, the healing reduction on Crystal Scar reduces the effects of his passive ability, but it can still make him hard to kill. Always remember that after 3 attacks, you can use the active Frenzy ability on someone and it's a very strong finisher move. Also remember to play smart and try to use Rolling Thunder to toss your opponent back to within range of your turret when defending, or away from their turret if assaulting. Majestic Roar is good for keeping them from getting away as well as dishing out damage.
Please let me know what you think about this guide. Any comments or suggestions are always welcome. See you on the Fields of Justice Summoners!