Volibear Build Guide by basa
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.
Preferable final build
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.
So I'm here to tell you all about the idea of dominating top lane as volibear. First, i thought i would let you know about why i should be telling you how to play volibear. I main volibear top and with my stats, i average 6.8/3.1/11.4. With this volibear guide, you will become a very strong opponent for your enemies. You will also be very tanky and will be great for rushing right through their team at their AD carry. I know some of you are out just looking for builds but please read the entire guide because it compliments the build and can help you dominate your lane. Volibear is an incredibly strong top lane champion right now, due to the meta of HP stacking. He can just become an absolute monster if he gets fed. Please try this guide out before judging.
So first, im going to start by telling you why i chose percent health quints. Well first off, with your late game build. Percent health will just give you more health at all stages of the game than scaling. Late game it will proved about 15 more hp than scaling. The reason i dont take flat hp quints is that, although it is helpful early game. After about 10-15 min in the game, and you already have a giants belt, the percent hp quints will give you more hp, and then it will just keep going on from there. Even though i take these as my quints, both flat and scaling health quints are very viable options depending on how you plan on building, and how aggressive you are early game. Ok, now onto the seals. Some volibears like to run flat HP seals, because stacking HP is so good on voli. But i find this will help you more in the laning phase and later in the game. Most volibear items do'nt give you a lot of armor, therefore you need to compensate with you runes. Also, as a top lane, most of the time you are against another AD champion. This means that you will be able to significantly lower his damage output. Also, as a volibear, you are good at turret diving due to your bite doing a lot of damage and your passive being able to keep you alive. Having this bonus armor will allow you to tank the turret for another hit or two, which may be the difference between securing a kill and living safely, or giving up your lead in lane. However both armor per level and HP seals are completely viable. Ok, now onto the marks,i get flat ad runes because it significantly helps with last hitting minions early game. Volibear has very low base AD early in the game, making it difficult to last hit minions, especially under a turret. Other viable options for marks are attack speed and armor penetration. So lastly, the glyphs. These are pretty standard on a top lane. You need the tankiness in magic resistance, yet odds are you wont need that much magic resistance until mid game, when you start to encounter the enemies mid. Flat magic resistance is also viable, but please, do get magic resistance.
Ok, so onto the masteries. In the offensive branch i get CDR and Attack speed. Why do this? Well , like i said earlier, attack speed is very good on volibear due to his ultimate and bite. Also, in lane you are most likely going to be hitting them with your bite a lot and that extra CDR will really help you to poke your opponent. Ok, so in the defense branch i start by getting the HP per level. This is an obvious choice because stacking HP is so great on volibear. I then get the extra mag res and armor to improve my tankiness. I also get the lowering of crowd control. This is due to the fact that volibear is trying to run throught he enemy team to get to the carries. Having this lowering of crowd control really helps you to not be kited and get to them. Juggernaut is a MUST on volibear. You are going to be building alot of HP, and that extra 4% is so very very helpful and will increase your health by about 150 late game.
Ok, the root of a guide and the thing most people want to read about, my build. Well i start by getting boots 3 pots. This does make it so you dont get a sight ward early, but if youre careful and look at the time and know when a jungler would be finishing his route, you can prevent these ganks. Also, boots plus rolling thunder and your passive can make you very hard to kill that early in the game anyway, although you may have to back after a gank. It is also viable to start with rejuvenation beads and HP pots and a ward. This will help your sustain in lane and help you against ganks with your ward. Warding is a very key concept when playing top lane so, DO NOT FORGET TO KEEP WARDING. Ok, next i like to rush warmogs. This will help you so much in the laning phase by making you very tanky and make your bite do insane amounts of damage, especially if youre against a squishy top. I have found that warmogs is not a must on voli but it is incredibly good and helpful on him and i recommend always getting it early on voli. Next i like to get phage and build that into a frozen mallet. This will help you secure kills in lane with its slow, and will also give you some damage, while also making you very beefy. At this time you should have at least level 2 boots. This can go a number of ways. My favorite is going merc treads because the tenacity is so very helpful on a voli. If the enemy team is heavy ad then ninja tabi can also be used. Do not get ninja tabi just because your lane partner is AD. If they have an ap heavy team, but an AD top, still get merc treads. Other viable options are berserkers greaves, boots of swiftness, and even boots of mobility if you plan to push and roam alot. The next item you should be getting is Spirit Visage. This will greatly help your passive. With spirit visage, your passive will heal you for ridiculous amounts in fights, unless you happen to be ignited. This is just an incredibly useful item on voli, not only for the passive, but it gives almost everything a volibear needs. It gives HP, CDR, and mag res. After this there are a number of ways you can go. I like to get runicks bulwark because it will give a great aura for your team and will also make you a very tanky bear. If the enemy team is AD heavy, this can be replaced with iceborn, frozen heart, or sunfire. I then decide that i am tanky enough, and i want to do damage. I find the zephyr is just the best damage item on volibear. It gives good attack damage, where, combined with frozen mallet, your basic attacks are hitting pretty heavy for a tank. Also, the CDR, Attack speed, Move speed, and tenacity are all so very helpful on a volibear. This can however be replaced with items like blade or the ruined king, wits end, or ionic spark. These 3 items can also replace something else in your build if youre team is beefy enough and you need to be a strong damage dealer for your team.
Volibears passive is Chosen of the storm. This rapidly heals you once you get low on health, but has a 2 min CD. His Q is rolling thunder, where volibear runs on all fours, increasing attack speed and making his next attack flip his target behind him. His W is frenzy. This has a passive where that stacks up to 3 times, where each attack increases his attack speed, when he is at 3 stacks, he can bite someone, consuming the stacks. When he does this, the target takes physical damage. Frenzy does more damage, the more Hp the target has missing. Volibears E is Majestic Roar, which is when volibear lets out a roar, slowing all enemies nearby and fearing minions, while doing magic damage. Volibears ultimate is thunder claws, which is when volibear channels the power of the storm causing his attacks to blast his targets with lightning that bounces to other nearby enemies. I start by getting my q first. This allows me, combined with boots, to get away from any level 1 problem that may occur due to invades. This can also help you secure a kill if you are invading and the enemy runs away. A volibear should not pick a fight level one because he will not have his main damage dealing ability, his W. get your W second because this is volibears bread and butter. It allows you to actually fight someone, and even poke in lane. I then get my E because having all 3 abilities, excluding your utlimate, is very helpful, and necessary if you want to guarantee a kill on a low Hp target. This also allows you, in combination with your Q, to run away easier due to its slow. I max my W up first because it is your highest damage dealing ability. I then max out my E because it will help the slow, along with helping it do more damage and help with farming. Lastly i upgrade my q. This is because your q is mainly used to the gap closer and flip, not the damage, so its not that useful to upgrade this. And obviously, i upgrade my ultimate whenever possible.
So, as my volibear i always run teleport ignite. This is very helpful. Most people wonder, why no flash? This is because it isnt completely necessary on volibear. I'm not going to fight anyone without rolling thunder so its not needed as a gap closer and for running away, ill have rolling thunder unless i just used it to initiate, which wont happen because i am warding properly so only a nocturne ult or a Twisted fate ult could catch me, and even then ill be so tanky that ill be able to wait for my cds and get away with my slow and rolling thunder again. Teleport is very helpful. This allows me to gank a lane if needed, which will almost always guarantee a kill if done properly. This can also help me keep the upper hand in lane, it can allow me to go back and get back to lane instantly, which can give me a level advantage and a CS advantage. I just find that teleport will help me, more often than not, much more in a game than flash. I also take ignite, This is very helpful in a fight if you happen to be against someone who heals for alot, like a mundo or a warwick. Also, it can be helpful in securing a kill, or even turret diving. Flash and ghost are completely viable options on volibear and feel free to use them if you prefer. Exhaust could even be viable in certain situations, but i suggest you stay away from it, along with the other summoner spells i have yet to talk about.
Pros / Cons
Great sustain in lane
Can carry hard
Very good at focusing
Good poke against meelee
Not item dependant
Weak against Ranged
Difficult to farm with
Low dps while abilities are on CD
As a volibear, it is sometimes hard to remember that it is a team game sometimes. This can happen when you are having a great game and it seems it is impossible for you to die, well it is possible. In teamfights, voli should be either zoning the AD carry out of the fight or flipping them into it. Voli is very good at rushing through the front line and getting to the damage dealers in the back, use this to your advantage. Voli can also be used as a means of slowing everyone so they cant get to your AD carry. His flip is also useful in this. Most teamfights volbear will be initiating. This is because he is probably the tankiest person on your team, and plus you have your passive so when you get low, youll stay alive.
Volibear is difficult to farm with because his attacks dont do that much damage, and his AoE roar, doesnt do enough damage to clear out waves. To aid in this, try timing the last hits right before it is about to die. Once you have frenzy, it is important that you keep it up, so you might be auto attacking a little more so that you can bite more often. Try to punish people who try to get close to the farm by biting them, or if you can flipping them and doing some damage at first then biting. It may seem, at first, like this isn;t being very effective, but as you take out more and more of the enemies HP, your bite is doing more and more damage to them, so by the time they realize the amount of damage you are doing to them, they are weak enough for you to rolling thunder to them, ignite, slow, and bite to get a kill. The most important thing in lane is to continue to ward. Since you need your bite up and the enemy will most likely be scared of you, you'll most likely be pushing kind of hard, so wards are important to stop the ganks. As volibear, it is okay to not be afraid of ganks from the jungler. If you have your lane harrased enough, he wont be able to come into play once a ganks starts. And if he does, punish him by using your ult and biting him if hes low enough to die and you get an easy kill. Then it is just 1v1 with you and the jungler, and since your passive is most likely up he will not be able to take you, so you either get another kill or you are able to scare him off into turret. This allows you to b, buy, and teleport back to lane and get their before their top lane comes back, giving you a huge level advantage.