Volibear Build Guide by Tankyouverymuch
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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.
Doran's Shield: Good starting item for Volibear... raises the damage of his bite, plus increases his sustainability.
Warmog Armor: HP on Volibear... The bite will become ridonkulous. Also, his health regeneration will begin to get a little crazy. (When you get Baron, he heals at 24 health every second naturally from health regeneration without his passive)
Mercury Treads (Alacrity): Movement for chasing and magic resist for those pesky mages. Also the Tenacity is pretty helpful (stacks with Masteries).
Spirit Visage: Futher increases Volibear's HP regeneration, HP, and is like a jaggerbomb to his passive. Slowly he becomes too beast... On top of that, there is the magic resist and cooldown reduction, which really makes you scarier too. Think of Cho'Gath's ultimate going off every few seconds...
Randuin's Omen: HP again for another bite boost and the armor as well. It also slows whoever attacks you and when you use the active.... ohhhhhhhh ****.....
Thornmail: This is a very peculiar item... It is extremely helpful without the special circumstances of a Blade of the Ruined King being used against you, although, it may be just as useful to go with Guardian Angel... See more on this under Guardian Angel... Gives you amazing Armor and 30% return on damage from auto attacks. This can save you from a fed adc or just Yi lol. It is pretty cheap also which is good, although, I leave it to later in the build because that Health is really really needed to be OP.
Banshee's Veil: I didn't talk about this too much, but its awesome. They edited this item in a patch or so ago and it became even better than it was. Before it had mana with it I believe although NOW it has the buff of Health Regeneration every 10 seconds after taking damage from an enemy which just bolsters Volibear even more! So more HP, more Magic Resist, A spell shield which is great for catching those early hefty spells for your team in a fight, and the regeneration, which gives you layers and layers of regeneration. This helps in a kind of scrambled wider field team fight, where you can escape for two seconds. Voli can disengage and come back with full HP.
Guardian Angel: OKAY so this I haven't tried yet with Voli although I have heard many great things about it. The reason I haven't tried it with Volibear is because I have had bad experiences with this item because the rebirth is only beneficial in a team fight when you have your allies to make sure you don't get gang banged. With Volibear however, I have heard through other builds and whatnot, that this item causes Voli to rebirth with his passive renewed and active, giving him way more health than the item usually respawns you with. If this is the case, it may be worth while... Use at your own risk though since I don't trust it -.-.
Blade of the Ruined King: Last, but not least, the mighty giant killer. The reason I list it with Voli is because he has high dps and stacks with him very nicely. Because his health regeneration is already ridiculous, imagine, adding lifesteal and HP sapping power into his furry little paws, not to mention a little more attack speed! Don't forget Spirit Visage either, which will boost the lifesteal.
Building in the game with Volibear! (somewhat informational)
K so at the beginning you have Doran's Shield and a potion... Sometimes I get a couple more potions if I go back after a kill or close kill. Depends on your HP. Sometimes you can actually stick out being low HP until your passive has reset and cause minion aggro to set it off to restore your HP.
Your first goal should be getting health!
Get what you can afford! Ruby Crystal or Giant's Belt or both! I wouldn't bother with the rejuv beads right away (building Warmog Armor first btw...). Once you get the HP, get boots.
Then you want to get the beads and upgrade to Warmog Armor. I find that sometimes you just really need the boots to make that kill happen.
So after you complete Warmog Armor upgrade your boots to Mercury Treads (get Alacrity when the chase is a little too close for you sometimes). After Mercury Treads, it really is up to you whether to build Randuin's Omen or Spirit Visage first... Depends on where your damage is coming from. If you ever die, ALWAYS look to see where the most damage came from. Minimize that damage. Personally, I have always gone Spirit Visage first because it is kickass with your passive. You heal for more and you heal faster. You still get HP and the resist usually helps balance out your Armor to Magic Resist ratio (Since your Runes are Armor). Afterwards I get Randuin's Omen which helps a lot in team fights or 3 vs 3. I always get the HP Armor/Magic Resist items first because that HP is crucial to your w damage. I always get the HP root item first when building an item, UNTIL I reach Banshee's Veil. When I do Banshee's Veil, I usually build the Negatron Cloak first as you will only have one slot available and you will need that Magic Resist. If you can afford the whole Banshee's Veil in one go though, go ahead :D
Team fight with Volibear!!! (Important)
I find personally, this is where playing Volibear gets extremely tough. I find when I play Volibear, it feels strange when you consider him tank. The reason being, his damage output is kind of adc like, where he has a high dps, and high damage moves. In team fights, I find with Volibear, I don't usually like to be the initiator because if you run in to chase the adc, you can get closed off from your team and targeted. I find usually what I'll do is either I will flip the tank in the front into my team and I'll delay the rest of their team while my team kills the tank, or I will let the jungler and rest of the team start attacking. Once the damage starts. I go Randuin's active, q, e, r, ignite, of course bite ;)
Sometimes I'll even use ghost too, just so that, there's not too much time that my team is in the fray without me. A few seconds can mean a difference. I find that this method is actually very successful because as Volibear, you are ridiculously targeted because of your high damage bite, your ulti, and your flip, so what happens instead, is when you delay rushing in for a second, and then BANG you're suddenly in the middle of the fray, it confuses a lot of people on who they should target (Should I target the person I already started attacking or Volibear who is on a killing streak and who can finish us all when we are low HP?) Also, when you rush in delayed and unleash your cc's, your team then swings the tide of battle dramatically. When I mean delayed though, I mean that you come in 1 to 2 seconds at most behind your teammates. Whatever works best though. Changes a little each game depending on the match ups!
Strategy with Volibear: Laning and Supporting! (A lot of talking but useful
Starting your game off, you get Doran's Shield and a Health Potion and head for bot. I find not much really happens in those first minutes when I choose to upgrade my w first, seeing as I can't flip. Although getting w first is an assurance that you won't be the one to die if you do get in a scrap before the first wave of minions. Go with your adc to check the bushes, leading the way. I check both bushes on the outside of the map and then the one leading to the river. Better me dying than the to be adc if we get a full team gank. Of course you have Ghost though. Usually I'll catch the enemy champs sitting on their end of their bush along the bottom of the map. I find once they see Volibear, they usually keep their distance and back off to their turret. Your ally can fire a couple spells to do damage, or I use my ignite on one of them to make them waste a potion. Sometimes they'll come forward and I'll try to get my bite in. Pretty straight forward there though. Once the minion waves start, I usually walk a type of sideways figure 8 on the map. I just walk in front of my adc, curve through the bush, maybe sit there for a bit, and then curve right in front of the enemies. They usually back off, or if they don't, I ignite or harass a little with my bite. To harass with my bite, I'll strike 3 different minions (to not take any cs) and then just bite the enemy. You want to make sure to ask your ally to only last hit the minions to avoid pushing too much; you don't want to be near their turret when you chase lol. The real fun comes when you get your w on level 2 though. I follow the same pattern, except, I don't walk in front of the enemy as often, I hangout in the bush more. In the middle of a bush though (the enemy champs usually send spells at the tip of the bush). I try to hangout there for a bit and then ping to my ally which one I'm going for and tell them to be ready. Then I either wait until the enemy comes near the bush, is going into it to see if I'm there, or when they step forward towards my champion. Basically whenever they are busy thinking or in the process of doing something so I catch them off guard a little bit. So basically, q, to rush them, I ignite as I'm rushing (so my ignite will be over early so my ally can ignite too), when they land after being flipped, I hit e if I have it (level 3), I then start auto attacking and unleash a bite once they are at half health, and if the exchange is long enough, sometimes you can get another bite, or flip in or e in... all the while your ally if sending whatever they got at them. You basically continue this type of harassment, switching between the two of them so they don't know who to protect. Either you will get lots of kills between your ally and yourself or you will scare the enemy champs into turret hugging, in which they may call for a gank from their jungler, which would probably be around the 4 minute mark or so. What you do as Voli then is sit in the river bush if you can get experience from it and let your ally know that you are jumping the jungler together when they come. Always make sure your adc is with you, one because its your duty to protect him and two... you're screwed if he doesn't dish out damage to the target you're seeking.
Anyways, the flip usually causes a little bit of confusion which helps you take less damage. On the side note... cooperation with adc is absolutely necessary if you want to survive unless you are flipping them into your turret ;) The first few times you attempt this as well, i suggest STRONGLY, on saving ghost until after you kill the chosen champ (preferably their adc) so that you can run for your dwindling life as your health fights to regenerate. If you screw up and die, it usually doesn't hurt you at all because your adc will most often still get the kill! As long as you get assists and target their adc, you usually will be ahead. Just don't die to often...
Use ghost once you really need to flip them when they are as far away from their turret as possible. Always wait for your passive to come back also before trying these mad maneuvers. How close would I cut it sometimes? I would sometimes be flipping in between the bush and their turret, which yes is in turret range, which means that yes you have to deal 1000 damage in 5-10 seconds which requires a lot of help from your adc, but still means that you have to haul *** out of there. In case you dont know either, best combo at the beginning: ignite, q, e, w. E after you flip them btw, gives you an extra second of slow, rather then it being wasted while the champ is in the air over your head. Last thing on that part: try and get the adc to ONLY last hit while you chill in the bushes pinging which target you're taking. This way you wont push to their turret.... if you push to the turret, you cant chase so give them a little space to help them feed you :) Once you kill both of them however, knock that turret down as fast as you can so that you can have a long chasing stretch with your q and ghost. That is where you will find LOTS of kills.
As for warding..... I've heard all sorts of **** regarding warding and honestly, i think wards are a waste of cash. All it really takes is for you to watch the corner map and watch when people disappear and keep track of what direction they disappear to and how long they are gone for. If you get ganked.... thats why you also want to get the adc to only last hit, you have ghost, you have q, you have e, and your adc should be behind you. If you arent senile and dont push the turret like crazy at the beginning of the game, then you wont get caught being ganked. If the adc complains about your turret stealing last hits, tank the minions for them... easy enough when you got a pool of hp because of how full you are from feeding ;)
An interesting Volibear trick that works if you have fed and the enemy adc hasn't: if you are alone in your lane against the support and adc and you are all half health and you have your passive, and all spells off cooldown (especially thunder claws) you can most likely get a double kill if you can get them to overlook your passive. Just make sure to really save the bite until they are half health and really use your ignite too. Full effort. I was doing this against the support, the adc, and the jungle, alone getting a double kill. Sounds not bad? I had 4 minion kills so my adc could farm. For Volibear, you just need to be extremely aggressive and coordinated with the adc. Even if you don't get over 3 kills in your lane, your enemies are going to be turret hugging so hard and losing TONS of cs. If they are turret hugging? Get your jungle and adc to lunge and go for kills while you unleash all you got: q, w, e, r, and ignite! That is actually usually the play that kills the bottom pair and wins you that turret kill.
Also, I must insist... do the Volibear dance within view of your enemies every chance you get...
Postroduction (All unimportant stuff, you are welcome to skip entirely)
Hey! My name is Tyrel. I'm a big fan of support and tanks, although don't mind adc either. Basically I went through different tanks and fighters trying out different methods and builds that would have a beast champion, that can also dish out a **** ton of damage, although also be able to work some tougher strategy and fun into. I don't like getting bored playing tank. When I tried Volibear, I had been a noob when I first played him, although I eventually made my way back after I had played enough matches that I was in awe with his potential. I tried several types of builds, even dps and adc builds, just out of curiosity really and to really gauge all of Volibear's strengths and weaknesses. As it of course came down to, was that nothing quite works so well with Voli as a tank build with heavy hp to boost his bite. Kind of similar to some Shen builds. Anyways, this is what I have come up with and it has granted me much fun and success! Just to list off my last few games with Voli and my build: 12-8-28, 14-10-19, 24-10-19... and that is really just only the beginning. Solid numbers for a support, although excuse the deaths as I was having tunnel vision for the champ with low hp near the turret... Also, on the side note, these scores are as a support with almost no minion kills whatsoever to help the adc out. I think at the 15 minute mark in the 24 kill game, I had 4 minion kills or something like that.