Volibear Build Guide by Mijak PL

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Mijak PL

Volibear, the Damaging Tank [in-depth guide]

Mijak PL Last updated on January 9, 2014
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.



Offense: 9

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Hello, Summoners!

I am Gold V and I believe I am very good with some champions.

This is my first guide and I am dedicating it to Volibear, my favorite champion.
You can play him in jungle, solo lane, sometimes even bot lane with ADC. He is also one of the strongest champions for 1vs1 games.

If you are beginner and you don't understand what "ADC", "DPS" or "CC" means, you can check it out in LoL Wiki or LoL Dictionary

And well, I don't really like that kind of music (mostly Rock and Metal), so I didn't ever heard about original, but here is something good to listen while reading my guide: I'm a Volibear

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Pros / Cons


+ Very tanky for a DPS
+ Very high damage for a tank
+ OP sustain in new Jungle
+ Lifesaving passive
+ Very good initiator vs alone enemies
+ Can 1vs1 almost every other champion
+ He is a freakin armored bear, that strikes with lightning


- Weak teamfights initiator, gets counterd with CC
- Can fall off late game vs fed enemies
- Easy to counterpick
- Rather weak with ulti and/or passive on cooldown
- It's very annoying if you flip minion instead of champion

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More about Volibear

If you want to play good Volibear, you need to learn something about him.

There are some unfavorable opinions about him around the Internet - I will try to argue most of them.

Volibear is "tu stronk", he have OP damage for a full tank and that passive is @#$! Riot nerf him pls!

So unfair...
Of course, Volibear is strong (if he wasn't i wouldn't play him), and if it comes to trading blows in melee range he will most likely win.
BUT there are some ways to deal with him:
- stay in safe range. You will lose some farm, but that isn't high cost for not feeding him.
- try to make him waste Q (and mana) and than harras him
- Ignite him when his passive shows up
- Don't try to counterjungle him, call your teammates whenever you see him in your jungle.

Volibear is useless, he is not really a tank - he can't initiate because he will get CC-ed

That is partially true.
Volibear is worse initiator than other tanks - his flip affects just one target and he needs autoattack to do it - and he is melee with no gap closer, just MS buff.
His E slow isn't much and it has short range too.
So, Volibear isn't true tank. But that doesn't mean Volibear is useless.
Volibear is something between Tank and Offtank. He is too tanky for Offtank, but deals too much damage for full tank.

Volibear can't supp. All he has is flip and his bite is KS tool against his ADC

That is partially true too.
Volibear isn't support champion, and it's pointless to buy support items on him. He needs lots of tankyness and some damage to do his job well.
BUT in many cases he can give his ADC tons of early kills, getting tons of assists too for his build.
And later in game he can take some kills and farm to not fall off.
Maybe in high ELO games support is obligatory, but in normals and low ELO another offtank is good choice too.
And good Volibear player always know when to bite dealing massive damage but without taking kill himself.

Volibear doesn't really counter anybody

OK, but he doesn't need to. He is very strong, so he will beat other champions without countering them (of course if he won't get countered himself).

Volibear gets countered easy

That is true. You need to pick him last, or make sure that your greatest counters are banned But even if countered in lane he can be good in late game... If enemies are not too fed.

Volibear is Pedobear

I have tough life in the Internet and it's all because of that guy named Pedobear... Remember, it's like with priests - one pedophile in community does not mean all members are pedophiles.

Your guide is bad, that stats aren't so good

I don't know why, but that site doesn't include runes and masteries. And well, real power of this build is from passive damage and armor/resist reduction.

Your guide is bad, because it's rating is very low

Well, my build was bad, concentrated only on late game, but I changed few things and now it's is much stronger early to mid game and still good enough in late. So, I'd say - give it another chance.

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So, if you want to play good Volibear, you need to know exactly what he can do and how can you use his abilities.

Passive - Chosen of the Storm
When Volibear's health drops below 30% of his maximum health, he will heal for 30% of his maximum health over the next 6 seconds. Chosen of the Storm has a static cooldown and is unaffected by cooldown reduction.

Very good passive, makes Volibear good tank and turret-diver.
If your lane enemy isn't smart enough he will attack you when you are low HP and lose because he won't be able to deal damage faster than you heal.
It's good for early jungle too - you can heal with it before using first health potion to stay in jungle for longer time. It's risky though, because you will need your passive if enemy jungler decides to counterjungle you... But in most cases he won't risk facing Volibear. And you don't really need it for early ganks because you can't tower dive so early anyway.

Q - Rolling Thunder
Active: Volibear gains 15% movement speed for the next 4 seconds. This bonus increases to 30/35/40/45/50% when headed toward a nearby visible enemy champion. Additionally, Volibear's next autoattack during this time will deal 30/60/90/120/150 bonus physical damage and will pull the target behind himself. (fling distance - 300)

Your first ability to take as support and last, but not least for everyone else.
You can spend some early levels for it, but never max it first. Upgrade it for cooldown reduction and chasing speed, but if you can catch enemies easy and you want some more damage, upgrade other abilities.

W - Frenzy
Passive: Volibear temporarily gains 8/11/14/17/20% bonus attack speed after an autoattack. This bonus stacks up to 3 times and lasts for 4 seconds.
Max Bonus Attack Speed: 24/33/42/51/60%
Active: While Volibear has 3 stacks of Frenzy, he can activate this ability to bite a target enemy. The stacks are not consumed. The bite will deal 80/125/170/215/260 (+ 15% of bonus health) physical damage. This damage is further increased by 1% for every 1% of the target's missing health.

This is what gives Volibear OP damage for a tank. You will almost always want to max it first.
Bonus attack speed scales well with AD tank items like Atma's and Mallet and your Ulti.
Bite scales well with HP, so you can build lots of it for both tankyness and damage.
It has very long cooldown though, and deal more damage to injured enemies, so make sure you won't waste it too early. If you use it to harras, make sure you will use it right before enemy escape you.
And you have to be careful using it as support Voli not to kill steal your ADC... Too often ;)

E - Majestic Roar
Active: Volibear lets out a powerful roar that deals 60/105/150/195/240 (+60% AP) magic damage and slows nearby enemies 30/35/40/45/50% for 3 seconds. Minions, monsters and pets are also feared for the duration.

Take it first in jungle or on top lane if you are about to help your jungler with red/blue. AOE damage and 3 sec fear will make him love you.
Take it right after Q on "support" Volibear. Slow can be more useful than you think and fearing minions will improve your ADC farm.
You can use it to farm minions waves too, but remember - it costs lots of mana. So better save it for enemy champion and farm with it only if it's only way to lat hit minions worth more than 50 gold.
Use it right before catching enemy with your Q to make sure he won't escape you.

Ulti - Thunder Claws
Active: For the next 12 seconds, Volibear's autoattacks will blast his target with lightning that will also bounce to up to 3 nearby enemies within 300 range. Each bolt of lightning will deal 75/115/155 (+30% AP) magic damage and will only hit each target once per autoattack.

Some people say this ulti is weak. That it isn't good for tank, because has no CC. If you are one of them, don't play Volibear. Really, he is not for you.
This ulti is very strong if used correctly. With Ulti and Passive on Volibear can beat any other champion 1vs1 and deal tons of damage in teamfights.
Let's do the math... It lasts 12 seconds... You can strike a bit less than once per second on lv6 and a bit more on lv18 (even without proper items, because of runes and W passive).
So you can deal about 800/1400/2000 bonus Magic Damage to 4 targets(!). You need to survive 12 seconds of teamfight to do this, but you are tank, so you won't get focused anyway... And if you will, rest of your team will deal much more damage.
Of course you need to use it wisely to deal that much damage - before triggering it make sure that you will be able to hit as many times as you can.
And it's very fun to use. Sometimes I killed running enemy champion with lightning hitting his minions (few times I got double kills that way - on one hit)
One advice if you are playing vs Volibear - if he uses his ulti, run. You can try to beat him when it ends, but before that you have no chance.

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Greater Mark of Attack Speed
+1,7% Attack speed

Always take 9 of those. They can be less popular than Attack Damage ones, because it makes your last hits on top lane minions more difficult, but in late game it scales very good with your ulti - and it makes your Frenzy stack faster.

Greater Seal of Armor
+1.41 Armor

Not much to say here - probably best Seals of all, especially for tank/offtank like Volibear.
You could consider taking HP ones because they scales with your bite, but they are much worse (maybe vs full AP team, but still you need armor for minions and turrets). You will have enough HP on your build anyway.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
+1.34 Magic Resist

I prefer it over scaling ones because they give you more in early game and as Volibear you will want to win fast and use all of your early advantage. Take it if one of your lane opponents or enemy jungler is AP.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
+ 0,15 Magic Resist per level (2.7)

They are more popular choice, because on 18lv they give over twice as much MR as flat ones, but I don't like them. Take them if your lane opponent and enemy jungler are both AD.

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
+1,5% Movement Speed

Very good choice for every Volibear, especially jungle or "support" - it allows you to move faster (so you can ward, gank or clear jungle) and chase enemies with your Q much easier.

Greater Quintessence of Scaling Health
+1,5% HP

Also very good choice for HP tank like Volibear. With full build it can give you over 70 bonus HP and one bonus Attack Damage for your Atma's. I prefer two Quints of Movement Speed and one of Scaling HP, but you can try other setup if you like.

Greater Quintessence of Hybrid Penetration
+1.79 Armor Penetration +1.4 Magic Resist Penetration

Probably best runes for solo lane Volibear with that build, but very expansive. If you can sacrifice lot of IP for rune page just for Voli or if you play some AS-hybrid champions like Kayle, Jax or Teemo, buy those and use it for Volibear too.

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Summoner Spells

Best summoner spell for every Volibear on Summoner's Rift (and most other champions too), it's good for escape and perfect for catching enemies with your Q

I take that summoner spell almost every time I play top, but that is just my style, you can have different. It lets you return to base and be back in lane fast, what is - for me - better than any other summoner spell, because it restores your HP, mana and lets you buy some items, what gives you huge lane advantage. Only weakness is that it takes a few seconds.
It's good for late game too, because it lets you split push and join teamfights wherever you are.

Must have for jungle Volibear, almost useless for any other Volibear. Enough said.

You must have this if you play "support" Volibear, sometimes it can be useful for solo lane too. Use it mostly to secure kills, or sometimes to escape ganks.

In most cases worse than Flash, but if you are one of those who doesn't like flash, you must take this. Some say it's better for jungle ganks and it has lower cooldown than flash, so maybe for jungle voli...
Or you can try Flash AND Ghost, so no-one will ever escape your Q.

Personally I don't like this summoner spell, but there are some players that can't imagine top lane champion without it. If you are one of them, feel free to take it.

Did I mention that Volibear gets countered with CC and Ignite? You can try this to make you more difficult to counter, but I have to tell you that I tried it and found it weaker than other summoner spells for Volibear. Maybe it's good vs heavy CC team but in that case I think you should just pick another champion.

It can be good vs champions that can burst you down through your passive, like Cho'Gath or Darius Ulti or Pantheon and his 100% crit chance... But you are tank, so you won't get focused enough to make this viable after laning phase.

Probably worst Summoner Spell in LoL, I've never seen anyone using it (except trolls). I believe it can be good to defend base in very late game, but if you are forced to that you will probably lose anyway.

It could be viable only for support Volibear, but support Volibear needs Exhaust and Flash way more than Heal.

It's true that Volibear can run out of mana quickly... But to avoid that you should learn to use your mana wisely and not waste it roaring minions all the time. Clarity isn't the way for Volibear.

I can't really say much about this summoner spell, because it's not seen often in game... Maybe it's good to have it in team, but it fits long range nukers much more than Volibear.

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Doran's Blade

+80 Health
+8 Attack Damage
Passive: Basic attacks restore 5 HP

Good start item for agressive, pushing solo lane, but you shouldn't buy more than one. Sell it later.

Doran's Shield

+100 Health
+10 Health regeneretion per 5 seconds
Passive: blocks 8 damage from champion basic attacks

Good start item if you don't want to push. Especially viable vs Attack Speed based champions due to it's passive, but almost useless vs abilities based ones.

Hunter's Machete

Unique Passive - Butcher: Damage dealt to monsters increased by 10%.
Unique Passive - Maim: Basic attacks against monsters deal 10 bonus magic damage and restore 5 health.

Best start item for jungle, buffed for season 4, but upgrading it isn't really viable for Volibear.
New, goldgiving passives for Spirit items are only good if bought early and there are lot better items to buy early as Volibear. So, sell it in late game to make room for better items.

Boots - which one to choose?

Mercury's Treads

+25 magic resistance
Unique Passive – Enhanced Movement: +45 movement speed
Unique Passive – Tenacity: The duration of stuns, slows, taunts, fears, silences, blinds and immobilizes are reduced by 35%.

Best choice in most cases, mostly because of Tenacity, but some Magic Resist is also good, because there aren't many Magic Res items in game.

Mercury's Treads

+25 armor
Unique passive – Enhanced Movement: +45 movement speed.
Unique passive: Blocks 10% of the damage from basic attacks.

Also good choice. Cheaper and better vs heavy AD team but lack of Tenacity can be really painful for Volibear.
Buy it vs AD team without much CC or if you play jungle and want to buy Spirit of Ancient Golem

Boots of Swiftness

Unique Passive – Enhanced Movement: +60 movement speed.
Unique Passive – Slow Resist: Movement slowing effects are reduced by 25%.

More Movement Speed and Slow Resist can be good vs enemies with annoying escapes, but lack of tankyness make it bad choice for Volibear in most cases.
Very situational item.

Berserker's Greaves

+20% attack speed
Unique Passive – Enhanced Movement: +45 movement speed

Attack Speed is good for Volibear and those boots are cheapest in game, but remember that you are a tank in the first place.
Don't buy it... Well, maybe if your team has other tank (or two) and really needs more damage.

Sunfire Cape

+450 health
+45 armor
Unique Passive: Deals 40 magic damage per second to nearby enemies (400 range)

I was suprised how strong that item is if bought early.
Good for every tank, even autoattack based like Volibear. And it synergizes well with:

Wit's End

+42% attack speed
+25 magic resistance
Unique Passive: Basic attacks deal 42 bonus magic damage on hit.
Unique Passive: Basic attacks increase your magic resistance by 5 for 5 seconds and reduce the target's magic resistance by 5 on hit (stacks up to 5 times).

Very good item for Volibear. Synergizes well with his Ultimate, Sunfire Cape and AP champions in both your and enemy team.
Must have in most games, but can be replaced with other AS item if enemy team has very low Magic Damage.

Spirit Visage

+400 health
+55 magic resistance
+20% cooldown reduction
+20 health regeneration per 5 seconds
Unique Passive: Increases your self-healing, health regen, life steal and spell vamp by 20%

Must have in most games. Makes your passive lot stronger, gives you tons of tankyness and well, Cooldown Reduction is also good for you.
You can not buy it only if enemy team has very low Magic Damage.

Randuin's Omen

+500 health
+70 armor
Unique Passive – Cold Steel: When hit by basic attacks, reduces the attacker's attack speed by 15% and movement speed by 10% for 1 second.
Unique Active: Slows the movement speed of nearby enemy units by 35% for 2 (+ 0.5% armor) (+ 0.5% magic resistance) seconds. 60 second cooldown (500 Range).

Do you see those stats? It's probably the strongest tank item IN GAME.
Also Uniques - both Passive and Active - can be really strong if you want to initiate.
Very good item, just a bit expanive.

Black Cleaver

+200 health
+50 attack damage
+10% cooldown reduction
Unique: +10 armor penetration
Passive: Dealing physical damage to an enemy champion reduces their armor by 5% for 4 seconds. This effect stacks up to 5 times.

This item works surprisingly good on Volibear. Armor reduction stacks very fast with your runes, Frenzy and one AS item and it makes your bite and teammates deal more damage, especially to tanks. Some HP and Cooldown Reduction are also very good for you.
Just don't buy it if you gets burst down too fast. In that case you will need another tank item instead.

Frozen Mallet

+700 health
+30 attack damage
Passive Unique – Icy: Your basic attacks slow your target's Movement Speed by 40% for 1.5 seconds

700 HP is very good, 30 damage can be useful but real reason to buy this item instead of others is on-hit slow.
Take it if you can't stick to your enemies well enough, but otherwise it's better to buy something else instead, because unfortunately this item is very expansive.

Warmog's Armor

+1000 health
Unique Passive: You gain health regeneration equal to 1% of your maximum health.

Very good item for most tanks, especially Volibear and his HP scaling bite.
Rushing it isn't good strategy, but it's good to buy it later, especially if you want to get also...

Atma's Impaler

+45 armor
+15% critical strike chance
Unique Passive: You gain attack damage equal to 1.5% of your maximum health.

Some say this item was nerfed to the ground. Some say those stats (crit strike for tank?!) make no sense. But I say that 60-70 AD (because it will give you that much when you are full build) and 45 Armor for 2300 gold is good enough.
You don't need Warmog's to make it viable - Sunfire Cape, Randuin's Omen, Spirit Visage and Frozen Mallet gives you enough HP.

Blade of the Ruined King

+25 attack damage
+15% life steal
+40% attack speed
Unique Passive: Your attacks deal 5% of the target's current health in physical damage (60 max vs minions and monsters)
Unique Active: Drains target champion, dealing 15% of the champion's maximum Health in physical damage and healing you for the damage dealt. Additionally you steal 30% of their movement speed for 3 seconds - 90 second cooldown. (450 range)

Interesting and pretty good item for Volibear. Damage and Attack Speed can make you dominant in teamfights and 1vs1 situations, lifesteal will give you some bonus sustain and Active can make your Q more succesfull.
But true reason to get this item is it's Passive, so take it vs tanky items, especially HP tanks like Mundo or Cho'Gath.
It's also one of the best items for 1vs1 games.


+100 Armor
Unique Passive: On being hit by basic attacks, returns 30% of damage, before any reductions such as armor, as magic damage

I don't like this item, but sometimes you have to buy it.
1. Enemy ADC is too fed and you can't even 1vs1 him without Thornmail
2. You are playing 1vs1 against heavy AD champion

Guardian Angel

+50 armor
+40 magic resistance
Unique Passive: Revives your champion upon death, restoring 30% of your maximum health and mana after 4 seconds of stasis. 5 minute cooldown.

Very good item for almost every champion. Stats are good for tank and its Passive combined with Volibear Passive can make him immortal.
Buy it if your build is about damage and you get focused in teamfights.

Locket of the Iron Solari

+300 health
+20 armor
+10% cooldown reduction
Unique Aura – Legion: Nearby allied champions gain +20 magic resist and +10 health regen per 5 seconds. (1100 range)
Unique Active: Shield yourself and nearby allied champions for 5 seconds, absorbing up to 50 (+10 per level) damage. 60 second cooldown. (600 range)

Good item for tank, but in most cases worse than other choices for Volibear. Take it if you play "Support" Voli or your Support didn't get it and enemy team has strong AOE damage, especially magic.

Spirit of the Ancient Golem

+350 health
+14 health regeneration per 5 seconds
+7 mana regeneration per 5 seconds
+10% cooldown reduction
Passive UNIQUE - TENACITY: The duration of stuns, slows, taunts, fears, silences, blinds and immobilizes are reduced by 35%.
UNIQUE - CONSERVATION: You generate Conservation stacks every 1.5 seconds, up to 80. Killing a large monster will consume up to 40 stacks and grant 1 bonus gold per stack consumed.
UNIQUE - BUTCHER: Damage dealt to monsters increased by 30%.
UNIQUE - GOLD INCOME: You may only be in possession of 1 Gold Income item.

The only Spirit item that got nerfed in preseason. I don't like it on Volibear but if for some reason you can't gank much and need to farm jungle all the time you can buy it.
Or if enemy team has much CC but low Magic Damage - in that case you can get Ninja Tabi instead of Mercury's Treads and this item will give you Tenacity.
Never buy it if you have Mercury's Treads. It's pointless to pay twice for Tenacity.

Guide Top

Early game on Top

Most of the times it's easy - you just stand in lane and farm. Enemy can try to harras you but you are to tanky to care about it, and when he gets to close, just Q, E and W - in few seconds you can deal more damage, than you get with enemy harras. Volibear is so strong toplaner, that sometimes he can win 1vs2 when ganked.

But all depends on the enemy. There are some champions that can fight you and win, and there are some champions that counter you completely.
Fortunately, bears are lazy, but very smart animals. They won't use brain when there is no need for that, but where they need they can use more complicated strategy than just standing and farming all the time.

If you are countered best strategy is to stay back and wait for opportunity to Q enemy into your turret.

If you are countered, jungler should help you. Your Q and slow from E are great for supporting ganks, especially if you hide in bushes and there go at no expecting enemy - it's good time to use your flash.

You can put 2 points in Butcher on masteries tree if you have problems with last-hitting minions. I have to agree, that early farming without wasting mana isn't easy with my build because you have no early bonus AD.

So, here I will tell you something more about some enemies on top lane - I will try to focus on Volibear's greatest counters - and champions that are known as his counters for some reason, but in fact he counters them.
Sorry for not writing about all toplaners, but I didn't play Volibear vs all of them... Yet. Anyway, most of those that I didn't write about are yellow - so be careful, but not scared if you meet one of them - try to read something about them and think yourself, than learn about them as much as you can playing vs them so maybe you will help me finish my guide.

Red - hard counters
Yellow - tough opponents
Green - free kills for you

Aatrox - he's OP, but you are still srtonger
That Darkin can harras you with his E - it costs some HP, but he doesn't care, because that guy can heal a lot with his W.
Fortunately, that heal isn't so OP on early levels, so if you play agressive, he will feel your bites pretty hard.
You need to play agressive, because otherwise he can easy outsustain you with his no-mana mechanics, healing with autoattacks and ranged harras. Fortunately you are still better in melee 1vs1 in early game.
Try to flip him with Q just after he tries to jump out. It's tricky and risky, but if you succeed he won't be able to escape.
And always make sure you will have enough mana to bite him dead when he is low HP - otherwise he will heal back with Blood Thirst (he heals 3 times faster when low HP).
On higher levels though, you will need your ulti to deal damage faster, than he heals. If you build tank like my guide says he will beat you 1vs1 in late game almost every time... But 1vs1 is not likely seen in late game.

So - play agressive, farm a lot, deny his farm, counter his E harras with dodges and tankyness, flip-roar-bite combo him whenever you can, but don't waste your mana.

Cho'Gath - thunder > spikes
You have lot in common with that guy - you are both big guys with powerful voice and strong bite and heal ability. But you have power of the storm, he has power of the spikes.
Fortunately, storm is not only way more cool, but more powerful too.
Cho' has no mobility, no escapes and his passive doesn't heal much, especially when there is a bear autoattacking him whenever he tries to farm. His Q can be annoying when you try to catch him with yours, but it's too slow to harras - most of the times you can easily dodge it.
But remember - his knock-up and silence are good to help his jungler gank - and smart jungler will gank you often, because without it Cho will lose his lane for sure.
His ulti can be dangerous - it can burst you down through your passive. Fortunately it deals true damage and you are building mostly HP, so...
And your ulti is just better. Cho' is tanky and - although you can push him out of lane easily and farm - you can have problems with dealing damage fast enough to kill him... Unless you release the storm.

Darius - not so OP
"Green? Why Darius green? Darius OP!" - you can think so, but it's not true. I've heard some opinions about Darius countering Voli, but only time I lost lane vs Darius was when I laned 1vs2 - he have more push and farm, but we were equal with kills. Why is that?
Darius deals physical damage, his passive deals magic damage, his E passive penetrates armor and his ulti deals true damage - so it's difficult to counterbuild him as a tank...
Bull***t! Best way to counterbuild him as tank is HP and you are Volibear - you build lots of HP to make your bite more painful! Mystery solved.
Just make sure your blow trades will be long - you can be scared of his damage at start, but with your W you are better for long trades. His Crippling Strike and Decimate can deal lot of damage fast, but then you will get much better attack speed and bite scaling with missing HP.
You don't really need to be afraid of his ulti scaling with passive stacks - your ulti deals way more damage in the long run. If you are still afraid that he will cut through your passive, just take barrier and hit it when you see him jump for ult (don't take cleanse, it doesn't remove his passive).

Gangpank - ROAR! > Arrrr!
I've read somwhere, that Gangplank counters Volibear with his ranged harras with Q and crazy sustain with W. This is absolutely not true.
First of all - those abilities costs mana. If you play like you used to, he won't be able to deal you serious damage and heal enough.
Secondly - he has no escape, so you can counter his ranged harras with melee power. His E Movement Speed bonus is almost nothing, so he can't escape from the Rolling Thunder.
His ulti deals less damage than yours... But slow can be dangerous - it lets him escape or make your escape nearly impossible, which is dangerous if you get ganked.

Try to play agressive, just like with Aatrox. His pistol can be annoying, cause it can't be dodged, but he must choose - harras or farm. And unlike Aatrox, GP can run out of mana pretty fast.

He can be really annoying.
First of all - his passive makes him very good long-time-blow-trader... But if you max your W first - as you should - you will still be better at early levels.
Secondly, he deals combined magic and physical damage, so it's difficult to counterbuild him as a tank, especially if you notice that you can't really know what is he going to build by looking at his runes and masteries. But fortunately my guide is about building HP, Armor and Magic Resist altogether.
But most annoying thing about that guy is his "I'm too cool to be hit, LOL I stunned you" E - even if it blocks only your autoattacks - and "hahaha, here comes my minion, so you can't catch me even if I have 10 HP" Q.
But well, you are Volibear, you are really strong, so even with those abilities it's pretty equal match.

Jayce... I hate that guy. I ban him whenever I can, because all of his counterpicks are completely not my style.
You can't farm, because you will get harrased a lot with ranged autoattacks. You can't try to catch him with your Q, because he will open his Acceleration Gate, switch to hammer, knock you back and run (dealing tons of damage by the way), then switch back to cannon and deal even more damage.
Honestly, I have no idea how to deal with that guy as Volibear. You can try starting with armor and 5 pots and make him run out of mana, but I can't promise that will work any better.

Kennen - two storms on top
I really like that yordle. He is my favorite ninja and I play him to counter most of Volibear's counters on top.
But focus on facing him as Voli.
First of all - you can't do anything to him. His Lightning Rush is perfect escape in most cases - your Rolling Thunder isn't exception.
Secondly - he can harras you all day and all of the night with his Q and W (active and passive). So, it looks like lost lane.
But it isn't easy for him either. You are very tanky and his Q isn't easy to land (especially if you hide behind your minions as you should), so his harras won't really hurt you - he can't make you enough low on HP to rush in and kill you, because of your passive.
And even if he knows that you shouldn't try to catch him he will be scared when he sees you running at him - he will probably E back, leaving you some minions to farm in peace (but remember - do it only after he misses his Q, because otherwise you will get stunned and damaged).
So now it looks like good lane for you - none of you get the kills, but you can farm more easily.
But well, it's team game and when it comes to jungler ganks, he will have big advantage.
He has harras damage, some burst damage and a stun, but you are too tanky to get burst down just by him. So all he needs from jungler is some DPS (damage per second) and most junglers has it.
You can't even touch him, so you need more specific jungler - one with ranged hard CC. Maokai with his root and knockback, Warwick with his Ulti or Fiddlesticks and his OP 3 sec. fear are best for that, but there are some champions not well known as junglers and they can jungle pretty well - like Taric, Blitzcranck or Morgana. Last one is best for that lane because she can Black Shield you to protect from stun even if Kennen uses ulti. And once you catch-flip-roar-punch-bite him when he wasted his E you will most likely kill him fast enough, especially with some bonus damage from your jungler.

Lee Sin
Some say that he is Volibear's greatest counter on top. Well, his crazy sustain and lot of dashes can be really annoying if you don't know how to deal with him, but he isn't really dangerous. Not for Volibear, anyway.
There is one thing you need to know about his dash out - you can flip him when he dashes. It's not easy and you need practice to do that, but once you master it, he will be too scared to harras you more. Or he will try again and die.
You need to know one more thing about your Q and his dashes - he can dash through minions, you can't chase him through minions - so don't ever hide behind minions vs Lee Sin! His Sonic Wave is very small part of his harras-combo damage, so it doesn't really matter if it hits you or your minion. Let him dash to you, catch him when he try to dash out and show him the power of Ursine!
Next thing - all of his damage are physical. So on your build focus on armor and HP - if their jungler is AD too, you can even buy Ninja Tabi instead of Mercury's (if their Mid is AD or not fed it's obligatory).
His ulti can be annoying though, because even if you flip his dash out, he can still knock you back. Or he can use it to help his jungler gank and knock you away from your turret (but with your ulti you should be able to win even 1vs2 in many cases).
And well, you CAN flip his dash, but you will not always succeed unless you are super pro. And one combo isn't enough to kill him, what - combined with his strong sustain with lifesteal and energy - makes him still strong opponent.

Another "many people says he counter you, but in fact you counter him" champion. Just remember - vs him you need flat Magic Resist runes instead of per level ones and he won't be able to deal any serious damage to you.
His lot-of-armor tankyness can be annoying before you get your ulti - after that you will win easily.
His Q isn't enough to escape your Q, especially if he uses it too often to harras you and have it on cooldown all the time.
You can simply outdamage him and his passive is almost useless vs you.
Only thing about him that can be dangerous is his ulti - he can kill you with it when you are trying to recall under your turret or he can escape with it - but it has really long cooldown, he is very weak without it and you can just remember to always go a bit further away from him before recall.

Nasus - dog specially trained to hunt bears
That guy has everything melee champion can have to counter you. His passive gives him sustain and makes AD build viable, his E and Ulti deals Magic Damage, so he isn't easy to counterbuild for tank.
His Q is his only ability not designed to counter you... But it's still crazy strong for farming, harras and getting even stronger in late game.
His W ruins your combo, because you needs Movement Speed to catch him and Attack Speed to stack Frenzy and deal some damage with Ulti. Combined with E it makes fighting Nasus impossible for you.
Both his W and E are strong for assisting ganks too.
And his Ulti deals damage based on your max HP - as Volibear you need lots of HP to be strong, so it counters you like hell.
All you can do vs Nasus is stay back, try to farm as much as you can, ask jungler for help and flip Nasus at your turret whenever he feels too cocky. But smart Nasus will just farm his Q and wait with other abilities for your attack.

Pantheon - wait for the storm
That guy counters you pretty hard until lv6. His Q harras is way more painful than Gangplank's, his W-E combo is pretty strong and his with his E passive (100% crit chance if his enemy is below 15% HP) he can easily burst you down through your passive. His passive makes you can't feel safe even under your turret. And his Ulti gives him enough mobility, so there is no need for him to get Teleport, so in most cases he will have Ignite.
But if you play safe, only damage you will get will be from his Q - and throwing lots of spears will leave him with no mana. If you dodge his E right after stun ends, he won't deal as much damage as he could. Maybe if you start with armor and 5 pots, you will even outsustain him (I didn't try that yet). But generally try to play passive and don't initiate in early game.
But everything changes when you both get your ultis. Well, his Ulti can be very usefull for mobility, breaking teamfights or clear minion waves, but in 1vs1 fight it's almost nothing and your is pretty OP for that.
Even with more farm gold he won't be able to beat you when you release the storm, but if you feed him before getting level 6, your ulti won't be enough. Playing safe early game is really important vs that guy.

Renekton - not as dangerous as his brother
He is very strong melee top and he can harras you a lot with his double dash and stun. His Q can harras you too and it gives him sustain.
Playing vs him is similar to vs Lee Sin - don't stand near minions, because he can Q or dash through them, and you won't be able to chase him. Although Renekton doesn't have that much of this annoying mobility, he has more raw power - but you are still better in trading blows.
His ulti can be painfull, because it deals magic damage and you will focus on building armor vs him, because - well - rest of his abilities deals physical damage. But he will have the same problem with you and your Ulti is still better.

I don't have much to say about him.
Just remember - you are stronger, but don't underestimate his damage. Always make sure your blow-trades will be long, because his Q makes him stronger for 4 seconds, then you are stronger with your Frenzy. Don't let him hide in bushes, because his passive gives him more than you think.
His ulti isn't really dangerous vs you, but it's one of most annoying escapes in game - unless you are full build and can buy Oracles all the time.

Some say that Riven can beat anyone on top. I really like her, but I have to disagree.
She can be dangerous with lots of mobility and some CC, but once you flip her you can take down almost half of her HP.
Smart Riven will try to hit you with 3rd Q - upknocking one - than stun you and get away safe, but whenever she makes mistake, you can combo her.
Just remember - don't waste mana on minions and don't waste your bite on her shield. And don't underestimate her - she is green difficulty, but only if you play it right.
And well, even if you win the lane, she can still farm like crazy and return strong in late game.

Just hide behind minions, trying to dodge his electric harpoons - once he misses you can easily get him with your Q - his flying shield won't be enough to escape - and then outdamage him. You shouldn't be too afraid of his flamethrower while fighting him, but don't let him harras you with this when you are farming.
His ulti can be painful with huge damage, slow and healing reduction, but in most cases you should be able to leave it's area fast and still catch that yordle.

Shen - wait for the storm... Again
In my first game Voli vs Shen top I was really suprised - he was able to outdamage me in blow trades AND he had ranged harras with his Q. So OP.
Then I realized - he is similar to Pantheon. His ulti gives him nothing in lane, so he needs other abilities and base stats to be very strong. You just need to play passive before level 6, than wait for a good opportunity to strike him with lightning.
He can be just a bit more annoying than Pantheon, because he is energy user. That means he can harras you with that Q all the time and never go out of mana.
I should tell you also not to farm minions under his turret, because he can taunt you so turret will attack you... But I already told you to play passive, right?

Singed - the unchaseable
I don't like that guy. He is bold, he is from Noxus and his fighting style is running around, farting all the time.
And he counters Volibear pretty hard.
Well, maybe not as hard as Nasus, Jayce and Yorick, that you can't do nothing to - if enemy Singed is noob you can still beat him pretty easily. But as guide maker I should never assume you, that enemy is noob.
First of all - you are Volibear, you have your Q, so you chase enemies. And Singed is Singed, he has Poison Trail, that damages hard anyone trying to chase him. Of course before he gets his ulti you can still catch him pretty easily, but if he is smart enough to not only run around and poison you, but autoattack from time to time too, he will outdamage you every time. And when you finish your combo with bite and try to get back, he will flip you back much further than you can flip.
When you have your ulti you can beat him, but then he will be able to escape you with his ulti Movement Speed buff - and damage you even harder with AP buff.
So most of the times you just want to stay away from his poison and farm and whenever he gets cocky (trying to get close to you) you should think he wants to use Fling and there is enemy jungler nearby.
But if you are lucky to play against noob Singed you should beat him easily. How can you tell when Singed is noob? That is simple - he will get out of mana very quickly, farming minions with Q too much - then you can do whatever you want to him.

Teemo - size DOES matter
The most hated hamster (and the most hated champion of all) in LoL. Well, I don't like him either, because he counters many tops pretty hard with his crazy early damage from poison...
But that's why I love to play vs him as Volibear. Because finally I can get my revange. And in draft mode it's quite easy to meet Teemo top vs Volibear, because - for some reason - most of summoners thinks he counters Volibear.
All of myths about Teemo countering Volibear makes sence - Teemo is ranged with OP damage from autoattacks, so he can harras Voli all the time without losing mana. Teemo has movement speed buff, so he can escape your Rolling Thunder every time. Teemo has blind, so even if you catch him, you won't be able to deal any damage. And Volibear is very easy for Teemo to bait on mushrooms when it comes to level 6.
But even with all that facts I was always (one exception, but that later) like 2/0 or 3/0 playing Voli top vs Teemo before level 6. So I thoughed "why is that?"
Than I tried to argue those myths one by one.

Teemo is ranged with OP damage from autoattacks, so he can harras Voli all the time without losing mana.

That is true, but Volibear is very tanky with my runes and masteries. So, even if Teemo's early damage is facemelting vs melee tops focused on dealing damage (Riven, Trynda, Darius etc.), all it does to Volibear is tickles him.
And Teemo's range is pretty low for ranged champion, so...

Teemo has movement speed buff, so he can escape your Rolling Thunder every time.

...So that myth is busted too. I am not sure why exactly it happens, but when Teemo is close enough to harras you, he is also close enough for you to get him with your Rolling Thunder even if he hits his MS buff. But then...

Teemo has blind, so even if you catch him, you won't be able to deal any damage.

Yes, but two things about that blind.
1 - it blocks only your AA damage (which is low), it doesn't bloch your flip, roar or Frenzy (stacking and bite)
2 - it lasts too short to block more than 2-3 of your autoattacks - and once you catch him you will be able to hit him at least 5 times.
On level 3 your full combo (flip, roar, 5 autoattacks and bite) deals about 500 damage. Blinding dart can block 2 or 3 of your autoattacks - about 1/5-1/4 of that damage.
500 damage from one combo is OP even vs tanks, so 340-390 is enough to make littile squishy Teemo cry.

Volibear is very easy for Teemo to bait on mushrooms when it comes to level 6.

Yes, but mushroom damage is too low to deal any serious damage to Voli, and if you get Mercury's fast (as you should) slow won't stop you either.

If you play vs very smart Teemo though, he can sacrifice some of his early damage for better escape - he will buy boots early and max W. That way he will get able to kite you all day long...
...BUT that way his damage won't even tickle you anymore and you can always hide in bushes to get him whenever he gets too close.

And remember - once you started chasing Teemo don't go back until getting him - unless you really have to because of turret or enemy jungler - because he will get some free shots when you go back. That's one of the reasons I lost lane vs him once (but even if I lost lane I had much better late game and win). Second one is I underestimated him too much, because I never lost to Teemo as Volibear before. Third is - well, he was just damn good with Teemo.
Anyway - when you get your ulti and some tankyness - and enemy jungler isn't fed - you should be able to win 1vs2 with Teemo and jungler or dive him successfully - and go back only when more than one enemy champion is going to gank you.

Trynda can be very strong with his high damage, natural crit chance and ulti. But Volibear is just stronger and none of Trynda unique abilities is really useful vs Voli.
Bloodlust and no-mana mechanics gives Trynda potentially great sustain, but this heal is too low to be really useful vs your combo.
Mocking Shout reduces your autoattack damage, but most of your damage is from your abilities, so it's not too painful. It can slow you only when you are trying to escape him - and in most cases there is no need too escape that guy as Voli.
His Spinning Slash can be very annoying as escape mechanism, especially with its ability to go though walls, but nothing more. Its damage is almost nothing.
His Ulti is quite OP... But only vs squishies that he can kill with his autoattacks before it ends. And you are too tanky for that. It can be really annoying though if you waste your bite on it, because it's difficult to say exactly when it ends. Anyway, what's super-hyper-OP vs other champions vs you is just another annoying escape mechanism.

Playing vs that guy is a bit similar as vs Kennen, but there are some differences.
First of all, his range is much shorter and his abilities can't be dodged - so there is no need for you to hide behind minions.
Secondly, his impossible-to-catch escape mechanism has muuuch longer cooldown, so you can chase him with your Q a lot to make him use it, than chase him again when he has it on cooldown.
His farming is really difficult without spamming abilities, so you can stay back a bit (you can hide in bushes), wait for him to use them and than go at him without taking damage.
So, catching and damaging him isn't so difficult as it can look like, but unfortunately he is too tanky to get burst down by just one of your combos and he has crazy healing mechanism, especially when he gets some spellvamp.
But if you play it very agressive as I told you, with sacrificing some farm you will be able to outsustain him to make him recall or die - and then you can get your farm.

Yorick - your hardest counter
There is nothing you can do vs this guy, and he don't need any skill to beat you completely.
He just stay back and spam his ghouls to harras you. You can't escape them, because for some reason your fear from roar doesn't work on them (even if it worked it has longer cooldown than his ghouls and costs lots of mana).
You can't really escape them... Only good thing about that nightmare is newest patch change - 5 gold from last hitting every ghoul.
I didn't play vs Yorick after that patch but I don't think it's big change - you are still totally countered.
If you try to catch Yorick you will fail - one of his ghouls slows you, other gives him movement speed buff, so you will catch him only if he wants you to.
And even if he let you catch him it gives you nothing, because his E gives him so crazy healing, that he doesn't need it to heal back after you attack him - he use it when fighting you and heals faster than you can deal damage!
I've heard that he isn't so dangerous, because he runs out of mana fast - maybe that's true, but before that he can harras you so much that you will need to recall before him anyway.
He is also quite hard to counterbuild - he deals mostly physical damage, but even if he goes full AD he can still deal some serious magic damage, because it scales with his AD!
Well, maybe you can outsustain him anyway with starting armor + 5 pots and asking your jungler for very early gank, but it's desperate and I am not sure if it would work (I didn't try that yet).

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Early game in Jungle

Start with machete and 5 pots. Wait with your 1st level - take E most of the times, Q if you see enemies in your jungle and you want to catch one of them, or W if you see enemies in your jungle and your teammates have some hard CC already.

At first kill blue golem (you can smite him or ask teammates for help), then go normal jungle route - wolves (smite if yoyu have), wraiths, golems, Red lizard (smite), wraiths, wolves and gank.

If one of your lanes needs early gank start with boots and 4 potions and take Q after taking Blue. Try not to waste your flash, but use it if it's only way to gank successfully.

You shouldn't counterjungle. Your clear times are not too good and your Q and slow from E isn't enough to be good escape mechanism.

Most junglers will be too scared of your 1vs1 power to try counterjungle, but if you are afraid that enemy will smite your buff and escape, there are to tricks to avoid it.
First - fight Blue Golem and Red Lizard in bushes - your Q will help you with that.
Second - don't use smite to last-hit. Watch creep's HP and use Smite to leave him with 150-500 HP (depending on level and build) and bite him with your W right after that.

Your ganks are pretty strong and easy, just remember - when you gank champion with hard CC or escape dash, wait for him to waste it before going at him with your Q.
Or wait for him to come close enough for you to flip him before he can react (you can use Flash for that).

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Early game as Support

As I said before - Volibear is tank and DPS, he can't really supp and he is very weak building support items.
But he can go bot lane with ADC and build sightstone instead of other HP item. He will become weaker that way, but Voli+ADC bot can win vs most Support+ADC bot setups and that way your teammates on top and jungle can focus on dealing damage, because your team already has a tank.

As "support" Voli always take Exhaust and Flash as summoner spells, start with boots, 2 HP pots and ward and take Q first. It's great ability for giving your ADC first blood, almost like blitz grab. Not so OP, but much easier.
Your strategy is simple - wait in bushes for the right moment (when enemies are more harrased than you and your ADC and/or they have abilities on cooldown and/or low mana), then chase like hell with Q, slow with E and deal as much damage with autoattacks and Bite as you can without stealing a kill from your ADC. Repeat it until your ADC is super fed and enjoy early win.

When and why you want to play Voli support
- If you are forced to play support role, but you are bad with most support champions and good with tanks and offtanks
- If your team don't have a tank jungle, top nor mid
- If your ADC says it's good idea and knows how to play good with Voli support
- If enemy ADC has low mobility
- If enemy Support is squishy and has not enough CC to make your Q useless
- Volibear as support can give your team (especially ADC) early domination

When and why you shouldn't play Voli support
- If your team (especially ADC) says it's bad idea and doesn't know how to play with Voli support. They will just rage at you.
- If your team already has 2 other tanks - second tank can be always useful, but 3 is too many
- If you are counterpicked on bot - it's harder to say than on solo lane, but your counters on bot are generally ADC with some CC and high mobility (Tristana or Vayne) and tanky supports with enough CC to make you unable to catch enemy ADC (Taric or Alistar). You can still win vs one counter, but if both enemy champions counters you you will be useless.
- In early game Voli leaves all the farm and most kills for ADC, but if he doesn't take TONS of assist early and some farm and kills later, he will be very weak in late game, because unlike most of other supports Voli needs to go very close to enemy (so he needs lots of tankyness in build) and he can deal lot of damage (so it's good for him to have some tanky-damage items). As support he probably won't get enough gold for that and will get burst down in teamfights before he deal some damage.
- As Volibear you don't want to spend too much gold for wards (for the same reason)

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Midlane Voli?

Yes, sometimes it's pretty viable.

You can play mid Voli if you have AP carry somewhere else and your team needs a tank. It isn't safe pick, but as counterpick it can be really strong.
Playing mid Volibear is veeeery easy in some cases and impossible in others.

I didn't mention all mid champions because, well, I am not sure about some.

Mid champions that you should eat as Volibear

Those champions have none or very little CC and escapes, so you can catch them easily and burst over half HP with one combo.

Mid champions that can be difficult to play against as Volibear

Those champions have enough CC, escapes, sustain and/or damage to make catching and killing them very difficult for Volibear - but not impossible.

Champions that you can beat before level 6 but then you can't do anything to them:

You should play very agressive before level 6, because once they get their ulti it will be impossible for you to catch them. Unfortunately if their jungler uses his brain he will babysit mid and make it very difficult for you even before level 6.

Champions that counter you completely:

Their long range combined with CC (or Fizz OP escape and burst) make it impossible for you to catch them if they just use brain enough to not spam CC abilities and save for when you try to catch them.

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Mid/Late game

If you have other tank in team, just go into teamfight right after him, hit ulti and deal as much damage as you can (focus carries of course and flip them when they try to escape, bite when low HP). You can build one Attack Speed item in that case.

If you are only tank in your team - and that happens lot more often, because most players prefers champions with massive damage instead of tankyness - your job is more difficult. You have to build full tank - maybe with some Attack Damage - and wait for the right moment.
In team vs team situations when you see squishy enemy close enough for you to catch with Q - do it. Especially if their team has more harras abilities then your.
Then there are three possibilities.
1. You will get focused with all of their damaging abilities and die, but your team will use that time and their cooldowns to deal massive damage and win
2. You are tank, so you won't get focused and you will be able to deal massive damage and kill one or two squishies.
3. You will get CC-ed and burst down very fast because some of your enemies are extremely fed and/or you failed your early game. In that case you will be literally useless - sad but true.

Don't be afraid to take kills, even if you are "support" - you are pretty item dependent for a tank and if you won't get some tanky items you will get burst down before you can do anything and you will be useless. And if you get overfed you can carry the game almost as good as fed ADC.

Good thing about Volibear in lategame is - he can take most of the champions 1vs1. Vs squishies you can even win 1vs3 (i once won 1vs3 situation - all full HP - vs Ashe, Lux and Evelynn).
Of course there are some champions that can beat you, especially if they are more fed than you.
Hard lifesteal champions (Aatrox or Sion) with good lategame build can heal faster than you deal damage - in that case don't try to take them out solo.
And there are also some champions not too dangerous, but impossible or almost impossible for you to catch - like Tristana with crazy jump and knockback, Ahri with her 3 dashes ulti, Kassadin with his OP flash every 5 sec or Fizz with untargetable jump. Don't chase them (unless you know they have escapes on cooldown or very low mana) - it's waste of time and they can drag you into a trap.