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Volibear Build Guide by Froz

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Froz

Volibear, the Armored Bear - Solotop and Jungle

Froz Last updated on August 10, 2013
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Solotop

[VS]

Jungle

Ability Sequence

2
14
15
17
18
Ability Key Q
1
4
5
8
9
Ability Key W
3
7
10
12
13
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 5

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Honor Guard
 
 

Defense: 24

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pickpocket
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nimble
 
 

Utility: 1


Guide Top

Introduction

Hello Summoners!

I guess I should introduce myself. I am a pretty casual player for the most part and rarely play ranked, but to put things into perspective, my last ranked game (as of this edit) was with Voli, who brought me to a Gold ELO of 1515. Obviously I'm not pro, but at the same time, I guess it's safe to say I know what I'm doing... most of the time.

Anyways, welcome to my guide about armored bears! More specifically, electric, destructive indestructible armored bears that do not know fear. Volibear is quite a unique champion in that he makes a nice tank and also deals good damage. Not very many champions can soak up damage, protect your carries, and weaken the entire enemy team at the same time. Volibear also makes a great tanky DPS, but due to the way his skillset works, I prefer to make him more tanky than DPS. Volibear is best played Solotop or Jungle.





What this guide will cover

  • How to effectively play Solotop and how to Jungle with Volibear
  • Masteries, runes, and spells which fit well with Volibear
  • Ability descriptions, skill order, and additional tips and tricks
  • Item Builds and a description for core and situational buys.
  • Dealing with lane matchups and your role in a teamfight

What this guide will NOT include

  • Screenshots of kills, deaths, and assists (because they discourage teamwork and are misleading due to ELO, both hidden and ranked).
  • A Warding guide. There are already plenty of them. This is a Volibear guide. You should always be warding no matter who you play as.
  • 3v3 and Dominion. Coming soon / eventually though...




I don't claim that this is the ideal way to build Volibear. In fact, an ideal build for any given champ most likely does not exist. This is just the best way I build him to fit my playing style. For me, assists are just as good as kills. However, if my team is not doing the job, I like to be able to step up to the plate and still carry the team. This is the reasoning behind my build, and precisely why I love playing Volibear. Your playing style may or may not match.

Note that the cheatsheet is extremely general. Skill sequencing and items change drastically depending on many things, including enemy team composition, allied team composition, and who your laning counterpart is. This is especially true for your first skill you choose to put a point into.

*I'll be updating this guide regularly and making it more visually appealing sooner or later.



Change Log

  • 6/11/12 - Guide released
  • 6/15/12 - Fixed some typos and added some notes regarding first skill choice and turret diving
  • 6/16/12 - Expanded Masteries section and put more emphasis on Exhaust's viability
  • 7/7/12 - Added orbing to Frenzy's skill description
  • 7/19/12 - Upcoming nerfs and previous changes: Heart of Gold and Philosopher's Stone nerfs. HoG nerf kinda hurts, but I still recommend it for the GP5. Just be more careful when judging an outcome of a fight. Ionic Spark now does more damage and costs less than Wit's End. It's now a much more viable option, especially when enemy team isn't AP heavy.
  • 8/7/12 - After some consideration, the first point Rolling Thunder on the solotop build has been moved up. This will decrease early damage output a bit, but allow for an early jungle gank to be much deadlier.
  • 8/8/12 - Added more information to the solotop section.
  • 10/2/12 - No changes to Volibear or any of his items within previous patches...
  • 11/8/12 - After further review, I've decided that the jungling section has several flaws. Due to the fact that there will be a huge jungle rework very soon, I will not be updating it until then. Consider viewing other guides for the time being. View the comments section for more detail.
  • 12/24/12 - Finally got to updating for Season 3! So many changes...
    - Mastery Pages Changed
    - Heal Replaced with Ignite for primary summoner spells Solotop
    - Item Optimization Changed
    - Updated item section according to S3 overhaul of items.
    - RIP Heart of Gold and Ionic Spark
    - Changed Jungle Stuff
    - Updated everything else accordingly
    - PRETTY MUCH CHANGED LIKE HALF THE GUIDE
  • 12/25/12 - Merry Christmas! :D Added a Tips and Tricks section and made some more edits to the item section.
  • 12/26/12 - Added a Possible Full Builds section to the end of the Item Build and Sequence Chapter.
  • 12/27/12 - Changed Solotop Mastery page a bit (moved 2 points out of Legendary Armor since I discovered it only scales off of BONUS armor and MR). Also added a self intro and fixed a few typos.
  • 12/27/12 - Made the guide look neater. Also added my sentiments on support Volibear :)
  • 12/31/12 - Yeah, this is how I'm spending New Years Eve. Formatted guide to look neater and trimmed down guide to make it more concise.
  • 1/1/13 - Happy New Years! Yep, this is how I spent part of my New Years too :P Made the guide look much neater, trimmed it down even more, and made it look much more visually appealing, as promised.
  • 1/14/13 - Fixed some typos. Started working on a lane matchup section.
  • 1/19/13 - Just got to gold ELO playing Volibear! I know I said I wouldn't be putting in screenshots of KDA and stuff like that, but here's one just for ELO proof :P Yeah you can probably see I haven't played many ranked games, but keep in mind that everything ranked other than ELO was completely reset not to long ago because season 3.
  • 2/17/13 - Volibear got a pretty nice base attack speed buff not long ago, helping him clear the jungle a few seconds quicker.
  • 4/29/13 - Edited Jungle Masteries and changed its description in customization section.
  • 6/12/13 - A while ago, Voli's Q was nerfed quite hard. It now has 15% less movement speed bonus at rank 1. Because of this, Jungle Voli's build and skill order must change. Either getting boots of mobility or maxing Q earlier will alleviate the nerf.
  • 8/10/13 - Updated items. RIP Bulwark :(


Guide Top

Pros and Cons

Pros :)

  • Strong early laning
  • Great Chase Mechanism
  • Built in Execution
  • Awesome Damage Steroid
  • Amazing Ganks
  • Fun, unique playstyle
  • Somewhat Versatile
  • Is an Armored Bear

Cons :(

  • Slow Jungling
  • Weak Escape
  • Ignite hurts
  • High Cooldowns
  • Low innate sustain
  • Subject to kiting
  • Inconsistent Ability Scaling
  • Mediocre Lategame


Guide Top

Summoner Customization

Summoner Spells


Flash is an all around great summoner spell. Not only can it get you out of many bad situations, it's great offensively. However, unlike Ghost, Flash is instant (and lets you jump walls). It gives your opponent little time to react, allowing you to really mess up enemy team's positioning with Rolling Thunder, or even turret dive for that last hit.

Nice addition to your burst. Use it to secure your kill in case Frenzy doesn't quite finish the enemy champion off. It also deals quite a bit of damage late game. If nobody else has Exhaust or Heal however, you could go for that instead of Ignite.

Nice speed boost for chase and escape, but I already mentioned why I prefer flash. However, when jungling, the anti-unit-collision it provides is priceless when it comes to ganks. It also has a much lower cooldown.

Smite is just about always required on Jungle Volibear. Volibear's jungling speed is way too slow without it. Also used to secure your buffs, steal enemy buffs, and most importantly, securing Baron / Dragon. With Summoner's Resolve , it also nets you some nice gold.


Other options



The great thing about Heal is that it's a burst recover. This can help prevent you from being bursted down before your passive fully goes off. Because Volibear is able to use Heal effectively for himself, you can have it around in teamfights later. However, I would rather take Ignite or Exhaust if another one of your teammates already has this.

Good for chase and escape, but more importantly, it almost completely shuts down a carry for a few seconds. As your job as a tank, you can use it to help protect your own carries from the enemy's as your skills have rather long cooldowns without CDR. Take this if your team already has Heal.

Teleport is great throughout the game. Early game, it can give you stronger lane presence. Same goes for Mid-game: gank a lane, recall, buy items, back to lane. Late-game however, you want to be doing it the other way around: split push and teleport back to your team when a teamfight is about to break out.

Good for getting out of bad situations... but so does Flash, which also works offensively as well. Combined with Ghost however, you should be able to get in and out of any situation given that you're tanky enough. Remember though, that Cleanse doesn't stop the healing reduction debuff effect from Ignite.

A more selfish form of Heal. It gives a little more protection and has a little less cooldown. The main benefit however is that it isn't a heal so it works just as effectively even when Ignite'd. Keep in mind it only lasts 2 seconds now...




Masteries


Solotop masteries should be pretty much self-explanatory. As a tank, I primarily choose the defensive tree. The health and CC reduction are especially important for Volibear compared to other tanks. CC and slow reduction allow you to use Rolling Thunder more effectively while health scales with Chosen of the Storm and Frenzy.

For Junglebear, I mainly use masteries from the offensive tree to speed up his slow jungling. Obviously, the AD, AS, and CDR gives more DPS, but keep in mind that ALL jungle creeps also have armor, making Weapon Expertise and Sunder excellent choices. If it is not obvious, keep in mind that Executioner also works on jungle creeps. Masteries from the defensive tree should be self explanatory and Wanderer helps a small bit for ganks.



Runes


Attack Speed Marks scale with both Frenzy (to get 3rd stack quicker) and Thunder Claws. Great both early and late game and lowers jungle clear time.
Flat Attack Damage Marks helps a ton with early damage and farming. Due to the fact that Voli has such a big model, creep block is going to make last hitting difficult--also allows you to last hit under the tower.
Flat Armor Seals to help early tankyness. Also great for jungling sustain.
Flat Magic Resist Glyphs also to help with early game survivability.
Scaling Magic Resist Glyphs to help with lategame tankyness. Used with Jungle Volibear because MR is less of an issue early game inside the jungle.
Movement Speed Quintessences for utility. Allows you to catch enemies quicker with Rolling Thunder and lets you get around the jungle more efficiently.

Other options

Flat Maximum Health Seals
Maximum Health per Level Seals
Flat Attack Damage Quintessences
Flat Attack Speed Quintessences
Flat Armor Quintessences
Flat Maximum Health Quintessences
Maximum Health per Level Quintessences


Guide Top

Skill Description and Sequence

-> -> ->

Frenzy is maxed first as you get more attack speed on the passive and more damage on the active, making it great for early game burst. Majestic Roar is maxed second for the scaling on the slow (maxed first if having trouble with farming because lane dominance). Rolling Thunder is given a point early and maxed last because it's more of a utility. Thunder Claws is always maxed whenever possible. The scaling on damage and cooldown is too good to miss out on.




CHOSEN OF THE STORM


Volibear's Passive is amazing... at least, as long as you aren't ignited. Still though, this is the ability that allows Volibear to be tanky. 30% of your maximum health is A LOT and it makes Volibear pretty hard to kill. However, in draft pick, you can pretty much expect to be on fire whenever it goes off, so don't depend on it too much if you know your enemy has Ignite.
  • Building more maximum health increases the amount you get from the passive (and also lets you stay alive longer to use the full duration of it).


Q: ROLLING THUNDER


Rolling Thunder is an ability that allows you to build Volibear as a tank because it gives so much utility. You can use it to engage or chase down dying enemies. The movement speed bonus when not chasing however, isn't very significant. Keep in mind that if another enemy tries to block your escape path during a gank, you can run even quicker, fling him behind you, and continue towards the safety of your tower. In teamfights, it's a really good displacement tool for either flinging the enemy carry or flinging an anticarry away from yours.
  • Using it resets the AA timer and flinging someone gives you a stack of Frenzy.
  • Save it for when the enemy starts to run because it has a long cooldown while unleveled.
  • Useful for disrupting enemy abilities like Death Lotus or Requiem.
  • Lategame, use it to peel for your ADC. You are not an assassin.


W: FRENZY


Nom. Frenzy is one of those 2-in-1 abilities, granting both a passive and an active. Its passive gives you on-hit stacks which give Attack Speed and its active is an execution bite that deals more damage when the enemy is on low health. The active however, can only be used upon reaching 3 stacks. The cooldown on the active is moderately long meaning it'll probably only be used once or twice per teamfight. If you see an enemy quickly melting with no chance of escape, don't waste it.
  • Generally, you want to max this first.
  • Poke with this constantly (in lane) so you can later execute with it.
  • Building HP will increase the damage and building attack speed will make it easier to land.
  • To further increases the chances of using the bite, move between your attacks in the direction the enemy is running.


E: MAJESTIC ROAR


Not your typical AoE slow, Majestic Roar also fears minions. This ability is great in many situations: speeding up your jungling, slowing a fleeing enemy, slowing down enemies while being chased, and even instantly halting minion aggression towards you or a dying tower for 3 seconds. If used correctly, it makes Volibear an amazing duelist in lane.
  • It helps keep the enemy in range for you get your 3 Frenzy and cast its active.
  • You can use this with Rolling Thunder if you need to catch an enemy quicker, say, before you overextend too far into enemy territory.
  • If you don't need to before then, use it after they hit the ground so that it maximizes the duration of CC. It can be pretty easy to get excited and slap E right when you catch someone.


R: THUNDER CLAWS


Rawr. Thunder Claws is one of the strongest damage steroids in the game. Few champions can 1 on 1 Volibear when he reaches level 6, and in a teamfight, it'll be harder for enemy champions to just simply ignore you (lest they want to take loads of damage). When the enemy team doesn't ignore you, you're playing your job as tank right. With this ability, you'll be dishing out damage almost equal to that of a carry (though evenly distributed rather than focused on quickly melting an individual champ).
  • It has relatively low cooldown, so feel free to pop this anytime a skirmish happens.
  • If needs be, you can use this to clear minion waves to take on objectives.


Guide Top

Item Build and Sequence

Volibear is able to scale with Health, Attack Speed, and Ability Power. Additionally, due to his innate Attack Speed ability, he is able to scale with Attack Damage as well. However, I will only take advantage of his scaling with Health and Attack Speed.

With the transfer of movement speed from boots to base stats, you can actually start with something other than boots and 3 pots, especially if you run movement speed quints. Crystalline Flask is incredibly cost efficient, it provides tons of early sustain and leaves enough gold for either 3 more health pots or 1 health pot and 1 ward. Volibear already has one of the strongest early damage, but even if you took a bit more in a trade, you will heal it all back in no time and the mana it provides allows you to harass with all your abilities often.

If the jungler or support doesn't plan on buying it, GET THIS. It's a good teamfighting item and it provides some decent defensive stats for yourself too. Upgrade it into Locket of the Iron Solari when you can.

Warmog's Armor gives a crazy amount of maximum HP and HP regeneration. Once you buy this, your survivability shoots up and the damage on Frenzy also gets a really nice boost. You also heal much more health with Chosen of the Storm. I usually always get this item despite how heavily oriented the enemy team is towards AD or AP.

Mercury's Treads are great. I try to get these decently early because of the movement speed increase to help catch with Rolling Thunder. The CC reduction they give is also really important for tanks because you'll probably be hit with some upon engaging.

Get these whenever the enemy team has lots of auto attackers and lacks crowd control. 10% damage reduction is a lot more than most people would think. They even cost a little less than Mercury's Treads. However, Mercury's Treads tenacity is too much to miss out on unless you're jungling, in which case you'll get the Tenacity from Spirit of the Ancient Golem.

Wit's End is a really cost efficient item. Your DPS will increase dramatically once you buy this. You get some on-hit magic damage and magic resist. Most importantly however, is the Attack Speed it gives. Frenzy stacks much quicker and Thunder Claws hit much harder in a teamfight. This is your only true offensive item, and the magic resistance they give definitely makes this an effective use of an item slot for a tank. The earlier you get these, the more effective the bonus 42 damage is.

Frozen Heart gives the 2nd most armor in the game. In addition to that, you get 20% CDR (also the 2nd most in the game) and lots of mana. Finally, its passive aura is what makes this item shine. Reducing the attack speed of every nearby enemy champion easily pushes a teamfight towards your advantage. This item is great for Volibear due to his cooldown dependency and his nature of being on the front lines.

Obviously used for jungling. It gives lots of health, regeneration, Tenacity, and Armor out of nowhere. Oh and it makes you deal more damage to jungle creeps, which is good considering how slow Volibear jungles. Very cost efficient.

In terms of survivability, I think Randuin's Omen beats that of Frozen Heart. In addition to giving quite a lot of Armor, Randuin's Omen also gives lots of HP. The AS reduction however, isn't as reliable in a teamfight (removed from the active as of S3) as you must be hit. The active slows movement speed by a good amount, making it great for sticking or disengaging, like a second Majestic Roar.

Shurelya's Reverie
This item is like a mini Ghost on steroids. It makes up for Volibear's weak escape mechanism and also gives it to your team. Additionally, the sudden burst of speed also helps to catch your opponents off guard when combined with Rolling Thunder. Just like Randuin's Omen, Shurelya's Reverie aids in engaging and disengaging. The 2 combined basically lets you decide when you want a teamfight, and when you don't. The extra health and regen is also a nice added bonus. The item is pretty cost efficient and even has a gold generating item in its recipe.

Health, CDR, and MR along with a nice passive, all of which is great for Tankybear. With the S3 changes, this item now gives a ton of MR, more cooldown reduction, and more bonus to healing effects, which synchronizes well with your passive.




Other Possible Situational Items



Obviously, this should only be taken when jungling. It incredibly increases the jungle speed Volibear lacks, and allows you to take on Dragon earlier. It also gives some nice AD and Armor. The free wards are also what makes this so cost efficient. However, late game, you'll want to be transitioning into a tank and therefore selling the item.

Lots of AP or lots of CC? Go ahead and grab this item. In addition, it stops Ignite from ruining your passive because unlike Cleanse, it also removes the healing reduction effect from it as well. However, unlike Cleanse, it does not further prevent more CC from getting you after activation. If you time it quick enough, it can stop the enemy team from stopping you're Rolling Thunder. You can also upgrade it to a Mercurial Scimitar at the end if you somehow manage to get enough gold.

Ever since the huge nerf to the HP scaling on this, I've found the item to be more situational. Atma's Impaler still grants quite a bit of attack damage, though I wouldn't recommend it unless your team is majorly lacking AD, in which case I'd go ahead and go for the full Fratmog combo. This item doesn't give too much armor, but it could also possibly be used in addition to other armor items when the enemy team is AD heavy.

I usually get this when I'm winning lane by a good amount... It's great for snowballing. It gives a hefty amount of HP and provides you with a reliable slow to keep your enemies from getting away. Due to Volibear's ability to catch enemies with Rolling Thunder, this item isn't a bad idea. This could be a possible substitute for Warmog's Armor, but since it also provides some hefty AD you might as well go for the full Fratmog combo.

It provides tons of attack speed, some decent attack damage, tons of movement speed, and tenacity. All of which scale with Volibear. Get these if you don't think you need very much magic resist because with these, you won't need Mercury's Treads nor Wit's End, both of which were providing magic resist.

Zeke's HeraldThe HP bonus, attack damage, and CDR all compliment Volibear. The attack damage and lifesteal aura is also nice for your team, especially now with the lack of Lifesteal from items in general. If your team is heavily AD oriented, go ahead and get this item.

I usually get this on Jungle Volibear. A jungler needs to place down wards. They also need gold and generally end up being the most gold deprived. A Ruby Sightstone effectively solves the ward problem, and since you won't be getting much gold anyways, it's cheap and it'll be an effective use of your item slot.

These boots are great for jungle ganks. They help you get around the map quicker and allows you to catch people with Rolling Thunder much more easily, especially after the recent nerf to its movement speed at early levels.

With the S3 changes, these boots are actually a little more useful! Volibear thrives off of movement speed and that's exactly what this item gives more of. However, only get this if the enemy team has little to no hard CC and just a bunch of slows because Ninja Tabi and Mercury's Treads are too good.




Possible Final Builds



Against a Balanced Team:
Shurelya's Reverie
This build gives Health, Armor, and MR for defenses in addition to AS for damage. It also gives some auras for aiding your team's survival. Provides decent cooldown reduction.


Against a heavily AD oriented Team:
Shurelya's Reverie
Once in a while you'll see an AD caster like Talon or Pantheon go mid, leaving no AP caster. This build obviously provides tons of armor, but that's only half the reason (as The Black Cleaver and Last Whisper will ignore over half of it). What's important is the Health to survive bursts and the passives that reduce AS to lower damage output while their skills are on cooldown. Do whatever you can to save your carries from being chunked because they are your only advantage against such a team composition.


Against a heavily AP oriented team:

Obviously we have a lot more Magic Resist. We do however, keep some defense against AD with armor from Aegis and Randuin's Omen. Both of which also grant HP for surviving multiple bursts.


AD Volibear, for when you dominate your lane AND your team does no damage:

Tons of AD, Tons of Health, some armor and MR, some crit and AS, and lots of mobility. This build however, lacks CDR, but hey, you're auto attacks deal tons of damage. On the downside, it also costs a ton of gold, hence why you have to dominate your lane and be fed. Really, I almost never go for this build, but if your team is full of tanks and your ADC doesn't do any damage, why should you stay a tank?


AP BURRRR. For lolz and trollz:

You got lots of health, some armor, and some MR. Oh and around 335 AP, 50 AS, 35% CDR, along with tons and tons of slows. It's fun to play and works pretty decently, though you'll be missing out on better potential.


Guide Top

Playing Solotop

Volibear makes a solid Solotop champion. He is an excellent fighter and has nice (low range) harass. What truly makes Volibear a great Solotop champion however, is his Rolling Thunder in conjunction with Majestic Roar. These abilities works wonders when your jungler comes to gank. If your lane is not pushed and your opponent lacks sufficient ward coverage, you are almost always guaranteed to gain lane dominance or at least burn their Flash whenever your jungler comes by.

A solid solotop build can be tricky, as your early game build is somewhat dependent on who your laning counterpart is. To master a champion, you must know when to play aggressively and when to play passively. Normally against another melee champion, you'll be winning the exchanges and therefore want to play a little more aggressively. For example, against a Darius, you do not want to be playing too defensively. He has much more harass, but will lose in a 1v1 situation where both start on equal grounds. The same goes for Olaf. Remember that playing aggressively does not mean destroying all enemy minions. It means either slaying the enemy champion or harassing them to the point that they are zoned out and unable to farm. Pushing your lane means that you will most likely be ganked, losing your advantage. Also, get these: Sight WardSight WardSight WardSight WardSight WardSight WardSight WardSight Ward

Against certain champions like Teemo however you want to be farming passively. You will always lose any attack exchanges as his Blinding Dart shuts down your auto as well as 3 of your 4 abilities. You can also never catch him due to his Move Quick. Kennen also comes to mind as he can easily kite you with his superior range in addition to his Lightning Rush means that you can never catch him either. In situations like these, you want to max out your Majestic Roar first for passive farming. It won't be fun, but at least you can grab a few extra CS. The same is true for a 2v1 situation if the enemy team decides they don't need a jungler. Normally when this happens, the 2 are desperate to deny you farm. You can still grab most of the creep score and somewhat do minor kiting with Majestic Roar. In their attempt to deny you farm, they will also have overextended. Call in a gank from your jungler, and maybe even the aid of your mid and they'll both probably be dead.





Common Lane Matchups


Lane matchups don't mean everything as a good player can still defeat a difficult counterpick. However, here the lane matchups are determined by good players on both parts. I will assume that both sides know how to play their respective champions well.

Teemo
Difficulty: 10/10
You're going to lose lane... unless you get a really good gank(s) early on. His Blinding Dart will render everything but your E useless. His Move Quick means you won't catch him with your Q. He will become nearly ungankable after he gets his ulti.

Darius
Difficulty: 4/10
This could snowball either way depending on jungle ganks. If you both get equal or no help, you will win out. Do not give him free hits with Decimate; initiate with Majestic Roar when he tries to hit you with it, auto attack, flip, auto until he starts to disengage, end with your bite. You'll win out in damage exchange (again, assuming even grounds).

Riven
Difficulty: 5/10
Riven snowballs hard, so don't risk giving her an advantage. She has nice mobility and really high level 1 damage. You want to either wait for a jungle gank, or wait for her to try to burn her ability cooldowns. The ideal time to engage is when you see her use her stun to CS or when she tries to engage by gap closing with Broken Wings or Valor. That way she loses out on damage output and has much less mobility to escape.

Shen
Difficulty: 4/10
This is a tricky lane. Shen has a lot more sustain and he can also poke you down from a safe distance. He has decent fighting potential, so fights can be close, but once you reach level 6, you can pretty easily dominate your lane. The only problem is that he can help the other teammates more easily, in which case all you can really do is just push.

Jayce
Difficulty: 8/10
Pokes you from afar, difficult to catch with his passive and his gate, and can go into melee if you manage to catch him. He can also knock you away with his E in hammer form while you're running at him. He's difficult to gank, but because Voli syncs so well with ganks, it's not impossible.

More Coming Soon!


Guide Top

Jungling Stuff

As mentioned in the the Pros and Cons section, Volibear is a slow jungler and has low sustain. The changes made in season 3 have sadly made nearly no difference in speed. Instead you have to start with a Hunter's Machete instead of Cloth Armor, meaning less jungle sustain and less fighting potential. So, what makes him such a viable jungler? His ganks. With Rolling Thunder and Majestic Roar, you could easily destroy an overextended champion with the help of your teammates, so DO NOT forget to gank whenever possible as that is the primary goal of an aggressive jungler, ESPECIALLY when they are slow at jungling.

As far as jungle speed however, Volibear isn't the best as he has no spammable AoE damage. To compensate, we give him Bladed Armor , Butcher , and some masteries from the offense tree to help with early game jungling.

During early game, with just Boots of Speed and Spirit Stone, you won't be able to 1v1 most champions unless you are at a clear health advantage. You are there to turn fights into 2v1 or 3v2. To do this, you need to place down wards to prevent being counterganked. Ruby Sightstone helps out with that a lot.

During mid to late game, you can either try to catch people out of position or peel for your teammates. Auto attack the people nearby and your ulti will deal damage to the others afar. That way you can be quick to flip anyone to jump onto your squishies.



Volibear's Initial Jungle Path


  1. Start with Frenzy and head towards Wolves (as they spawn first). Try to get lots of DPS help from your teammates. If you have to solo it, try to move between attacks towards the golem camp. That way you can keep Frenzy's attack speed buff active.
  2. Go to blue buff. Ask for a good amount of DPS help. Secure the buff with Smite and Frenzy's active.
    Put a point into Majestic Roar
  3. Make your way down to the Wraiths and kill them like normal
  4. Go back up to Wolves and kill them too
    Put another point into Frenzy
  5. Go back down to Red, use Smite to secure the buff.
  6. Finish off at the double golems.
    Put a point into Rolling Thunder and look for a possible gank


Guide Top

Support Volibear...?

No! Volibear does not work as a support! He is very gold dependent, and with the removal of Heart of Gold, this option is even less feasible. I know because support is surprisingly my strongest position and I have opted to practice it, unlike many who only play support because all other roles are taken.

In lane, most AD carries have good forms of mobility and most supports have good forms of peel. You won't be able to throw anyone with your Rolling Thunder unless the enemy laners are really unskilled. Go ahead and try your luck in blind pick if you wish, but unless you're last pick in draft mode and you see that the enemy laners have no form of mobility or peel, this will not work! (Keep in mind that the pick order is ordered by ELO). If you aren't able to flip anyone, you will end up as dead weight, the same way a Blitzcrank is if he never lands any grabs.

In a teamfight, you will feel useless. You can (and must due to your squishyness without the right items) stay behind and peel your carry with the flip and slow from Q and E, and you will be dealing sub-par damage. That means only 2 of your skills will really be contributing to the fight and you will be very dependent on your carries making plays.

Leave support to actual supports who can actually function well without that many items. Supports don't have to run into the middle of the teamfight to contribute unless they have natural tankiness from abilities like Shatter, Mana Barrier, or Unbreakable Will). Voli's passive does not provide enough tankiness, especially if you didn't build much bonus HP. Supports aid your ADC so much more than Volibear can. They can usually buff their damage output or sustainability, or provide tons of CC for the entire team (or all 3, like Janna). Volibear does not. Supports get their carries fed. Volibear takes kills.


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Teamwork

Ah, the phase following laning, where the action starts to pick up. Here is where you want to transition into a pure tank and buy items that support your entire team during fights, such as Shurelya's Reverie, Locket of the Iron Solari, and Frozen Heart.

One of your goals as the tank is to make good engagements. Your engagement is but decent as a simple CC could void your entire engagement. Due to the fact that nearly every new champion has some sort of hard CC and some sort of escape, you want to be an opportunistic engager. Only use Rolling Thunder to catch people off guard or out of position. Charge into the enemy team only if you are at a clear advantage and only if your team will follow up (the Captain's Enchantment on your boots will help with this). Otherwise save your Rolling Thunder to peel.

When either team engages, you want to be in the front line to absorb damage while your carries do their thing.

In the case that you are the engager, make sure your team follows behind as you do not want to be in the middle of the enemy team alone. Message them or make a signal that you are about to engage. There's nothing more frustrating than making the perfect engage and tanking damage while 2 or so of your teammates decides to run off to farm a little CS.

If another teammate can engage or if the other team engage on yours, you can stay back and peel enemies from your carries using Rolling Thunder and Majestic Roar. You especially want to do this if your carry is fed. Thunder Claws will allow you to deal damage to whoever you peeled in addition to some good damage to enemy carries from afar.

The general guideline I use for whether or not I chase or protect depends on how fed each carry is. If the enemy carry is more fed, chase him down. If a friendly carry is more fed, protect him. If the enemy team does not know how to focus, you can charge in and they'll probably just all attack the closest thing: you. Just make sure that you're tanky enough for your team to follow up.

Finally, do not engage in a fight your team cannot win! That means you should have your FULL team with you (or at least have more than the enemy team at the given time) and you should NOT engage at a turret unless the enemy team is severely damaged or if you can pick off one of their champs and quickly disengage afterwords.

Remember that a turret's damage output is worth around 2 champions early game and only around 1 or less late game. As the tank, you'll often be the one tanking damage from turrets during dives. One thing that people tend to forget about turrets is that they do more and more damage for each successive hit on the same champion! You do not want to stick around the turret for too long and overestimate how much HP you'll escape with.

When you know a teamfight is breaking out, use Thunder Claws and start chipping away at everyone's health. Save Frenzy's active for someone low on health (around a third) as you will generally only be able to use it once per fight. Use Rolling Thunder to peel or try to fling an enemy carry out of position into your team and NOT their tank. However, tank flinging is sometimes okay if the majority of the enemy team is nowhere to be found. Finally, don't forget to use your items!


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3v3 and Dominion

More Details Coming soontm!



The first time I tried playing 3v3, it was with Volibear and I won my first three 3v3 games with him. I don't remember how many more times in a row I won with him since I started experimenting with other champions in Twisted Treeline.

Anyways, I'm going to give it to you straight and to the point. Sadly, in higher ranked play, Volibear is just straight up outclassed. However, I do believe Volibear is still viable with the appropriate teammates AND with the appropriate enemies.

Teemo, the #1 counter to Volibear, is also the #1 picked in the new Twisted Treeline, where wards are nonexistent.

However, if your are a casual blind-pick player, Volibear works extremely well and is extremely fun to play with in Twisted Treeline.

I'm not too big of a Dominion fan as it puts a much bigger strain on my FPS. If any of you want to share your experiences in Dominion with Volibear... feel free to share.


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TL;DR. GIVE ME THE TIPS AND TRICKS!

Though I recommend reading the entire guide (which also already included most of the following), here are all the tips and tricks, neatly compiled into 1 section for your convenience.

  • You can use Chosen of the Storm as a bait! Bait them towards overextending when your jungler is ready to gank. When tower dived, fling them closer to the tower and slow them.
  • You can use Rolling Thunder to quickly escape a jungle gank if they decide to try blocking your path as you will run quicker and fling him behind you.
  • Walk between each attack towards the enemy's escape path after you flip or slow to make sure the enemy is in range for Frenzy's active.
  • During the laning phase, you can keep up your Frenzy stacks by attacking minions. This will, however, push your lane.
  • Hold the tilde key (~) when using Frenzy's execute to make sure you don't use it on a minion!
  • You can use Majestic Roar while running on all fours to catch the enemy before they escape.
  • It can be very easy to forget to use Shurelya's Reverie's active. Setting item 1 to middle click on the mouse and putting it on item 1's slot will allow you to access it more easily.
  • Majestic Roar fears pets! Use it to fear Tibbers, Mordekaiser's Ghost, Shaco's Copy, Yorick's Omen, and others to prevent them from dealing damage. Additionally, it can be used to help differentiate between the real or fake Shaco / Leblanc as the clone will be feared while the other will be slowed.
  • If an enemy has escaped with a sliver of health and there is a minion wave between you and that enemy, you can use Thunder Claws and attack a minion to finish him off as it does prioritize champions.


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Conclusion

Volibear is an extremely fun champion to play with once you learn how. In fact, he was the first champion I really got to know how to play. I bought Volibear because the friend who recommended me League of Legends also recommended that I should play Volibear (to compliment his main champion at the time, but I digress). I can honestly say that I was just terrible with him at first (although that may or may not be because he was my first melee champion as I was still fairly new to the game). However, after practicing with him a few times, he quickly became the champion I felt most comfortable with.

What I'm saying is, do not be disappointed if you don't do well when first playing Volibear. Keep practicing and you too can be having fun roaming around with an armored bear! Well, that concludes the end of my guide. I hope you enjoyed reading it and I hope that it helps you to understand how to play Volibear as an influential game-changing tank.