Volibear Build Guide by Dangerfield
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
EDIT: 1/20/2012 - Added a new build and mastery set up thats centered around the Ionic Spark to Team 1. This build keeps you alive against balanced bursty and/or hybrid enemies. Such as Fizz, Wukong, Xin, Shaco, Jax, Le Blanc etc. If there are 3 or more of those type of champs, the 2nd build in team 1 is the way to go.
I supposed you all want an introduction....well how about THERE'S A GIANT ARMORED BEAR RUNNING AFTER YOU WITH LIGHTNING SHOOTING FROM HIS FINGERTIPS! How's that for an intro? Basically Volibear is a Tanky DPS. For noobs that means he is able to soak up damage from the enemy and deal a bit of damage at the same time. While when he first came out and through a few patches he was more on the tank side than the dps. The most recent patch as of 1/17/2012 with the release of Sejuani, Volibear is a true tanky dps thanks to a few buffs, a miiinor nerf, and the addition of the Ionic Spark for Classic gameplay. Here is a snippet of the notes
Base armor increased to 20 from 17.5
Damage increased to 30/60/90/120/150 from 25/50/75/100/125
Volibear now gains 15% Movement Speed for the duration. This bonus increases to 45% Movement Speed when moving toward enemy champions.
Fixed a bug where Rolling Thunder's attack would sometimes cancel against fast moving targets
Frenzy bonus health to damage ratio reduced to 15% from 18%
Majestic Roar damage increased to 60/105/150/195/240 from 60/95/130/165/200
Chosen of the Storm (Passive) cooldown no longer resets on death
Ionic Spark is now purchasable on Summoner's Rift and Twisted Treeline
Volibear is great at getting first bloods, because of passive and W doing a nice chunk of damage to weakened enemies. Here are some Pros and Cons to the big bad bear.
No Sustain pre wriggles lantern
Susceptible To Ganks Early
High Attack Speed
No Sustain pre wriggles lantern
The very best part of Volibear is that he has the "Haters gonna hate" walk
I like to go 9/21/0 in lane as Volibear and 21/9/0 when jungling. Here's a pic of each and an explanation
This is my tank set up. Going with the bare minimum in offense and the rest in defensive masteries as I will be the main tank for the team.
For jungling you still want some defensive masteries, but only the armor and mres and the skills that help you reduce minion dmg and reflect dmg back to them. The rest go into the offensive tree because while you are a tanky dps, as a jungler you're trying to fill the dps role more than the tanky part(although now volibear does both without really trying too hard).
For runes I use
6x Alacrity Reds
3x Attack damage reds
5x Vitality Yellows
4x Flat armor Yellows
9x Magic Resist per lvl blues
2x AD per lvl Quints
1x Attack Speed Quint
I use these in lane and jungling since the changes make it much easier to clear.
Attack Speed (Flat)
Attack Damage (Flat)
Armor Penetration (Flat)
Magic Resist (Scaling)
Magic Resist (Flat)
Cooldown Reduction (Scaling)
Cooldown Reduction (Flat)
Armor Yellows (Flat)
Attack Damage (Flat)
Health Regeneration (Flat)
Attack Speed (Flat)
Magic Resist (Flat)
You don't have mana issues unless you're failing as a player, not at the champion. Sorry, that's just how it is.
By the time these are useful (you deal enough magic damage) it's so minor it's not worth it.
Gold Per Ten
You're not a support, god dammit!
Doesn't give enough experience.
Reduced Time Spent Dead
Stop dying noob.
Pretty standard and I don't need to add pics because if you want to see them that bad you can just scroll back to the top ;).
Laning I go with Heal/Ghost
Jungle I go with Smite Ghost.
As a jungler not having heal kind of sucks. Volibear is the king of the heal bait strategy. So this just means you have to play a little less wreckless.
Heals volibear for 30% of his Maximum Health over 6 seconds when he drops below 30% Health.
120 second cooldown
All champions have four skills and a passive. That passive can usually be comparable without about one half of a skill. Very few champions get a full skill out of their passive and Volibear is one of those champions who gets a full skill. 30% of his maximum health is healed over six seconds if he goes below 30% health. Mundo gets 70% of his health over 12 seconds. It's basically half a max level Mundo ultimate. Which is ridiculous.
The one issue with this passive is that you hit low health. The healing is extreme but if you're being focused it won't heal enough soon enough. This is why I take heal over everything else. Heal gives you the time you need and makes you last just that much longer. Basically this plus heal is 45% more health then you actually have which could as you can surely imagine completely turn around a one versus one or a team fight.
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
You charge at your enemy super fast and prepare to toss them behind you. When you reach them you throw them over your shoulder and win. Basically what it does is it gives you a decent chunk of additional movement speed when going toward enemy champions and if you attack an enemy (not just champion) you deal additional damage as well as flipping them over your shoulder, much like Singed's E "Fling". It's a strong harass and initiating skill.
This skill is your initiator. In lane you'll often use this to get in range and harass your lane opponent because if you're successful they'll be hugging their own turret. When initiating in team fights you aim for their squishiest champion (AD/AP Carry) and after that if the fight lasts long enough you can use it to throw people off of your teammates. You generally want to combine this skill with E for the slow once you're in range.
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) (+15% of bonus Health) physical damage, increased by (1)% for each (1)% health the target is missing.
Cooldown 18 Seconds
Cost 35 Mana
If you auto attack three times within a certain amount of time of each other you can use this skill to deal a large amount of additional damage that scales not only on your bonus health (health from runes, masteries, and items) but also increased by a percentage depending on how much health in percentage that the enemy is missing. So basically this skill has the potential to hit like a truck STILL even after the nerf.
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
This combined with Volibears Q is what makes him a great ganker from the jungle or even roaming. It's an AOE slow that fears minions. Nothing ground breaking, but still a useful skill especially with the damage buffs in the recent patch.
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
This skill is the main reason Attack Speed is your main damage stat. You get a free 155-620 magic damage on every auto attack depending on how many enemies are nearby which is fantastic. It lasts twelve seconds too which is about the length of the average team fight so if you don't get focused you can obliterate the enemy team yourself. This skill also makes 1v3's pretty damn easy to win if you're tanky enough to support 12 seconds of attacking.
Start with W
lvl 2: Grab Q
lvl3: Grab E
Max W first
then lvl Q and E evenly throughout lvl 18.
E,R,Q(when they try to run away),after a few auto attack W to maximize its damage.
Is probably the most common way ppl start Volibear. Its great if you know you're going up against a melee champ or if the other team is melee/right click heavy. I personally don't like this because the armor and heal are good, it doesn't build into anything I need.
The next most common and probably the most beneficial starting items are
x5. This is my personal favorite because although you don't get any extra health the pots give you sustain somewhat and it builds into a wriggles lantern which is great for lane phase or jungling.
Don't forget to grab boots somewhere in the middle of your Wriggles Lantern. After that you'll need HP so you should start working on your....
Grabbing the giants belt and the ruby crystal and finishing your is probably the safest route to go. You get HP and a bit of mres and tenacity for cc reduction.
After this you'll want to start working on one of your Attack Speed items....
If you need the extra mres go with the Wits End. If your team is doing ok and/or you're pretty fed go with the Ionic Spark.
Also if you feel like the enemy is always able to escape before you can finish them off you can pass up the Ionic Spark, and grab a Frozen Mallet
Heading into late game this is where Volibear starts getting scary. Grabbing...
Gives you a hefty amound of attack damage with the Warmoogs and the Ionic Spark. After finish your Atmas Impaler you should get your second attack speed item. Congrats you are now a BEAST!
Situational 6th Items you can use to replace
You will lose the sustain from the wriggles because you won't have life steal anymore, but you will max out your armor and mres and become a true late game tank(especially if you are playing the pure tank role GET THIS ITEM).
Winning Hard and Just want to troll? Grab a Bloodthirster...
This will send your damage on your focus target through the roof and you'll have 28% life once you max out the stats on it if you jungle (including the lifesteal mastery)
My Armor Def is fine but I need more Mres then grab....
Banshees Veil lets you take a hit for free because of its shield. This could keep you from getting CC'd or just save you from some annoying poke damage from say ..Xerath or Nidalee. Force of Nature is just pure raw Magic Resist. It's great for Volibear because it grants a movement speed buff and extra HP regen. Both are great choices for mres, just decide if you need the extra speed to chase down mobile champs or help mitigating damage from pokes.
Laning phase is fairly straight forward so I want to skip that and go into jungling. Here is a video on how to clear as Volibear by Stonewall008.
Starting with the Vamp Scepter gives you sustain to clear, and if you're team is just kind of turtling and doing ok in lane you can keep farming the jungle a bit more before you gank. If you are someone that just HAS to have the extended buff duration when you jungle. Go with a 9/12/9 set up. Keep in mind going this route will make you a jack of all trades, but you will suffer a bit late game.
Great Lane Partners
Here is a quick list of champs I found it very fun to lane with, because of their synergy together.
Cho'Gath: My personal favorite XD. Volibear's early lane phase is pretty poor, but Cho' Gaths is great. Pairing up with him in lane is great bot lane to pressure an AD Carry and Support Combo.
Cait: Also a deadly duo bot lane. Volibear is a meh support at best, but with heal and some gp/5 items you can fulfill that role with cait just fine. The way this works is that when you toss someone with your Q Cait has to be fast and set a trap right under them giving you both extra dps time then you E to slow them after the trap wares off and then W to seal the deal. If they aren't dead yet Cait can finish them off with her ult. GG
Trist: Kind of Similar to the Cait combo except after your slow wares off Trist jumps in to keep the enemey slowed.
Ahri: Her great harass gives voli the ability to stay in the close range to last hit. While farm is important to both the main thing AP carries benefit most from is levels, and if you're denying the enemy exp shes out lvling them. Great synergy with her taunt skill and massive damage.
Lux: She has a hard CC just as Ahri Morg and Ryze, but she also has an AOE slow+damage she can throw out after you fling them behind you from her CC.
Morgana: She really shines mid, but if you ever lane with a morg its a decent combo. Her shield keeps you from being CC'd and you can just run in without a care in the world and fling your target.
Ryze: Machine gun spamming of his skills + the CC for after you fling your targets so you can continue dishing out your damage and final bite.
I'll post more as I find them in my ventures with the bear.
Well there you have it. You can now successfully play Volibear in lane or jungle congrats! Thank you for reading my guide, and thanks to Stonewall008 and people like him making videos and educating the community to become better players. I hope you enjoyed the Guide and good luck!