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Volibear Build Guide by killjaden

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 killjaden

Volibear, The top of the food chain

killjaden Last updated on January 29, 2012
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Ability Sequence

4
8
10
12
13
Ability Key Q
1
3
5
7
9
Ability Key W
2
14
15
17
18
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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunder
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3/
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 0


Guide Top

His Lore

Though the northern reaches of Freljord are some of the most unforgiving lands in Valoran, the Ursine have survived upon the region's barren, stormy tundra for centuries. As a fierce and respected warrior of the Ursine, Volibear devoted his life to the protection of his people and loyalty to his elder brother, the tribe's chief. When his brother was killed during a hunt on the tundra, the tribe looked to Volibear as his successor. It was an honor and a burden that Volibear had never expected, but he shouldered the charge with pride. However, by Ursine tradition, the tribe could not recognize Volibear as chief until he returned from a journey to the peak of their sacred mountain, a place forever shrouded in a thundering maelstrom. There, Ursine chieftains must speak to the storm itself, gaining clarity and wisdom to empower them as mighty leaders.

Donning the chieftain's traditional armor and enchanted gauntlets, Volibear began the long and perilous climb up the slopes of the mountain. When he reached the peak and gazed into the raging storm above, he saw a horrific vision of a Freljord utterly consumed by war. Amidst the carnage, the Ursine fell dead upon a bloody battlefield. Believing the vision to be an omen of things to come if he did not act against them, Volibear traveled to the capitol of Freljord. The Ursine had not ventured across the southern mountains in centuries and his appearance was met with unease. However, Queen Ashe recognized Volibear as a wise and powerful ally. In what Volibear considered the first step against a war-torn future, they forged an alliance. As part of their agreement, he joined the League of Legends in the name of a unified Freljord, representing the primal might of his nation on the Field of Justice.

''Few can weather the storm that follows in the wake of Volibear's roar.'' - Ashe, the Frost Archer


Guide Top

Introduction


Volibear is in my opinion, a very strong solo top champion, and not just as a jungler, though he can fill that role quite well. He is an extremely aggressive laner at level one, beating many in early duels. His Frenzy will be his main source of damage throughout the game; but we will approach how to use his skills later. His main role is that of a tank, one that can soak up a lot of damage, allowing him to run in and use his Rolling Thunder. Volibear's playstyle is extremely aggressive and requires the player to be confident in his/her harass; so if you do not feel comfortable getting into the enemy's face and risking your life, then I do not recommend this guide. Other than that, let us continue.


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Patch Updates

I have been way to neglectful of this guide and the fans of this guide, for that I deeply apologize. So now I will be more diligent on updating, and keeping this guide fresh. Without further ado, here are the patch notes.

Ahri Patch notes
Volibear

-Frenzy base damage reduced to 80/125/170/215/260 from 90/140/190/240/290
-Frenzy bonus health scaling reduced to 18% from 20%


Sejuani Patch notes
Volibear

-Base armor increased to 20 from 17.5
-Rolling Thunder
-Damage increased to 30/60/90/120/150 from 25/50/75/100/125
-Volibear now gains 15% Movement Speed for the duration. This bonus increases to 45% Movement Speed when moving toward enemy champions.
-Fixed a bug where Rolling Thunder's attack would sometimes cancel against fast moving targets
-Frenzy bonus health to damage ratio reduced to 15% from 18%
-Majestic Roar damage increased to 60/105/150/195/240 from 60/95/130/165/200
-Chosen of the Storm (Passive) cooldown no longer resets on death


Guide Top

Pros/Cons

So why is Volibear our top choice?


PROS
  • Great harassment at top
  • Able to sustain well with wriggles
  • Natural attack speed
  • Great gap closer
  • Aoe slow and minion fear
  • Does more damage the less life they have

CONS
  • No real escape ability
  • Hard to farm early
  • No real sustain


Guide Top

Recommended Runes

Runes

Greater Mark of Attack Speed
9

Greater Seal of Scaling Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Health
3



The runes I run are basically all defensive runes with the marks being personal preference. I choose the greater seal of defense and Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist, since going top lane requires you to be prepared to defend against both physical and magic damage. Also, these runes allow for the player to have more breathing room in the end, without the need to stack huge amounts of armor and magic resist. For quints, I run Greater Quintessence of Health to get that extra health advantage over the enemy and to add a little boost to your Frenzy attack. For marks just choose per your liking; I go with just a small boost in attack speed with the Greater Mark of Attack Speed.


Guide Top

Alternative runes

Runes

Greater Mark of Lethality
9

greater mark of desolationThe reason we get Armor penetration instead of the magic penetration other guides suggest is because even though our Majestic Roar and Thunder Claws scale off AP, we don't use those as our main source of damage. Our Frenzy is physical damage, hence the armor penetration.

Runes

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

greater seal of vitality This rune is oriented towards our late game, so only use this rune if you plan on being less aggressive early on and a major wall on your team. This rune promotes more of a defensive aspect, instead of early aggression.


If you plan to be even more aggressive early game, then flat armor runes is much more recommended than their scaling counterpart. This will protect you against early aggression from other solo top champs. Doing this should help you out quite a bit up to lvl 6, at least.

Runes

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Same reason as to why you should get Greater Seal of Armor. No further explanation really needed.

Runes

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
3

Greater Quintessence of Lethality
3

This champion is a bear, so he really is quite slow. To help out with escaping those pesky ganks, or invading and penetrating the enemy group quickly, combined with Rolling Thunder, take the movement speed quints. They are just helpful for that extra little speed all players wish they had at that moment.

greater quintessence of Desolation Also the same reasons why we might run greater mark of desolation.


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Masteries

Masteries
1/5
3/5
4/1
1/1
3/5
3/1
4/1
3/5
1/1
3/5
3/1
1/
This added bonus attack speed is a great bonus to his already strong passive attack speed, plus the attack speed we're getting from Greater Mark of Attack Speed.

This added bonus of flat armor and magic resistance will help the level one duel that many people try to win in lanes to show dominance.

These two flat health boosts also help not only early game defense, but also increase the amount of damage Frenzy does.


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Summoner Spells

GOOD SPELLS
He has no real escape mechanism so he needs this badly. Also, since this spell is buffed by our Summoner's Wrath , it's even more of a plus to take over Flash. Combined with Rolling Thunder it is an unstoppable chase.


This will help team fights, as it shuts down their carry or at least makes them less of a nuisance. Also as said before, Volibear has no escape so this would be a more friendly running away tool than Ignite. Also this spell is included in our Summoner's Wrath mastery.

IF YOU WANT
This is a spell only if you feel like you won't do enough damage to completely finish them off; therefore, you use ignite to get that last bit of damage.

If you feel comfortable that you can dominate top late against the opponent, then exhaust or ignite should be replaced with teleport, as you can to go to your allies quickly and be able to help in any given situation.

Your passive heal only activates when you are under 30% health. In most cases, if you are that low, it means you're being attacked quickly and by a lot of foes all at once. So before your passive can fully do its work you might die beforehand. Heal increases your health instantly while your passive does its amazing work.


BAD SPELLS




These are all spells that are not needed on this champ. Surge is pointless as my build already gives enough attack speed and an ap boost is useless with his low ap ratios. Promote? Really? And lastly if you are running out of mana then you are spamming your abilities too often.


Guide Top

Your skills







Volibear heals rapidly for a few seconds when his health drops to a critical level.

This passive is phenomenal in the way that during a fight, both one-on-one or in a group, the enemy will not suspect this sudden increase of health regeneration. So during a very close duel, the enemy may think that he has the upper hand when suddenly you have more health than him. But, this ability should not be relied on for sustain in lane, as it does have a rather long cooldown of 120 seconds. Though 30% of your health being regained is nice, since it has an ultimate-like cooldown length, it should be treated as an ultimate, and not a spell or passive that can be spammed repeatedly.





Volibear drops to all fours and runs faster if chasing an enemy champion. The first enemy he attacks is knocked into the air.
Volibear gains 45% Movement Speed while moving toward enemy champions. Lasts 4 seconds.
Volibear's next attack deals an additional 25/50/75/100/125 physical damage and flings the target behind him


This is your initiator, your spell to start all fights, and also to catch up to the stragglers that leave the fight. This spell should be used to pull a person out of a group and throw them closer to your allies. It should be quickly followed up by Majestic Roar so they are slowed even more and will not be able to escape your team without wasting a flash or ghost. Though this has a movement speed buff, remember that this will only work when running toward an enemy champion. So when trying to escape, do not burn this ability thinking you will run faster. Though if there is a champ in your path of escape, by all means use it, followed by your Majestic Roar to escape. (Also note that Rolling Thunder does affect towers, so use this ability to add a little more zest to your tower take downs)





Volibear's repeated attacks grant him additional Attack Speed. Once Volibear has attacked four times consecutively, he can perform a vicious bite on his target which deals increased damage based on the target's missing health.

Passive: Volibear gains 8/11/14/17/20% Attack Speed with each attack. Stacks up to 3 times.

Active: When Volibear has 3 stacks of Frenzy, he can bite an enemy to deal 90/140/190/240/290 (+  [20% of bonus Health]) physical damage, increased by 1% for each 1% health the target is missing.


Your bread and butter. This is what kills the player off. Your garen ult in a nice little package. This is not an ability to be spammed, and it should be held to the last possible second where you think it'll do enough damage to kill them. This spell is the reason why we will be building those health items and Wit's End. With the passive attack speed boost from both the ability and the item, farming will go much more easily, and your harassment will be that much stronger. Even though I say not to spam this ability, in a different section I will explain much more thoroughly on how and when to use it correctly .





Volibear lets out a powerful roar that damages and slows enemies. Minions and monsters are feared as well.
Volibear deals 60/95/130/165/200 (+0.6) magic damage to nearby enemies and slow them by 30/35/40/45/50% for 3 seconds.


Minions and monsters are feared as well.

This is your only escape mechanism. so be sure to use it intelligently. If you are going to harass a champion and use the roar within your combo, you will be open to free ganks, so be sure to commit and know that you are safe. Other than that, it is a useful ability to be able to harass a champion inside a creep wave without the fear of minions ganging up on you in an instant.





Volibear channels the power of the storm causing his attacks to blast his targets with lightning that bounces to other nearby enemies.
Volibear channels the storm, causing all basic attacks for 12 seconds to deal 75/115/155 (+0.3) magic damage, which chains to 4 nearby enemies.


Now this spell is an extremely subtle AoE spell (and I say subtle because no one will take into account your ultimate during a teamfight that often), as it bounces off 4 other enemies to dish out EQUAL damage to all. Remember that, this ability does not get weaker with every bounce, but does the same damage to all enemies hit. If there is that one champion running away from the group who is low on life, it is possible to attack an enemy close to you to allow those bounces to reach the enemy and finish him off.


Guide Top

Skill Sequence

Your skills should be Frenzy at level one, then Majestic Roar at level two, Frenzy again at level three, Rolling Thunder at four, and maxing Frenzy and Thunder Claws when you can first. Rolling Thunder should be maxed second and lastly Majestic Roar. Your skill order should eventually look like this.


Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18


Another ability scaling that you can choose to use instead, as my friend pointed out, "lvl 1 is determined by CC and not damage skills. A fling means extra spacing for minion damage/aggro, +/- 60 extra damage, more if he does not flash. also, means you get 1 extra attack animation which is a plus if you exhaust mid fling, you can set up for almost guaranteed kill if it is an engagement." So with this in mind, another early game scaling can go like this. (By the way this doesn't affect our actual playstyle)
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18


Guide Top

Quick items reference

This is what your core build should look like
For the counter AD team
To counter against the AP heavy
No such thing as to much health(highly not recommended)






This items with five Health Potion will be the first buy.
This is an item to help your farm and sustain in lane, without relying on your passive, so you don't waste it.
Boots to get rid of the most pesky of crowd control and to gain that extra precious magic resist.
Increase your attack speed and more bonus magic resist to become even tankier.
Health boost and regen so your Frenzy does even more damage.
Increase your auto attack to become more of an actual threat plus armor to boot.
Perma slow after you are able to catch up to them using Rolling Thunder.





This items with five Health Potion will be the first buy.
This is an item to help your farm and sustain in lane, without relying on your passive, so you don't waste it.
Boots to get rid of the most pesky of crowd control and to gain that extra precious magic resist.
That early phase rush if you don't need more magic resist, and you should be able to chase better with this slow.
Health boost and regen so your Frenzy does even more damage.
or The frozen mallet if your team needs more tankyness, and trinity force if you have breathing room and can dish out damage.
Increase your auto attack to become more of an actual threat plus armor to boot.


Guide Top

The Boots

Tenacity is must have for a character such as Volibear. His role in a team fight already requires him to dive head first and pull a person out to start the fight. And there is no bigger risk than getting caught by those pesky slows and stuns. This will be your generic buy most of the time and is one of your main core items.

The claim is that Volibear needs attack speed as a core item, yet this is just a misconception people are getting. Yes his w stacks but it is only three stacks and he is a tank champion anyway, so such aggressive boots are not needed. I understand you want to abuse you ultimate auto as much as possible, you can do this with Wit's End which is not only a tank item, but provides faster attack speed.

Cooldown reduction aimed at his w,which is once again should be used more for an execution maneuver than a spammed ability. These boots should be only bought by those who are extremely dissatisfied with the long cooldown of Frenzy and those who feel they can tank without Mercury's Treads.

I only recommend these boots if you are up against a highly physical damage team. They should not be bought only to counter the enemy solo top champion. So remember, if the team is highly physical, do not buy these boots.


You are not an AP champion and this guide does not contain or promote AP Volibear. His Ap ratios are to small for me to even imagine creating a section for an AP build.


NO! You have Rolling Thunder, and if you still cannot catch up you are probably running the opposite direction.



Read directly above.


Guide Top

Beginning Items

This item plus 5 Health Potion would be the generic beginning that I suggest against most top lane champions. As it not only gives that flat armor, you also have 5 potions to help you sustain at top for a good portion of the time. And later it can be built into our Wriggle's Lantern.

This item is for those who prefer to have that extra movement speed at the beginning of the game. Which is perfectly understandable as Volibear isn't quite the quickest on his feet. Along with 5 Health Potion it should give him a good amount of sustain to last in lane if careful.

Warmog's rush what can I say. But this can also be turned into a Philosopher's Stone which many other solo top champs get. This will not only help your sustain but also give you a little more freedom when casting spells. If you are going to be taking this route I highly suggest not taking the lantern, and rushing either the Warmog's Armor or Frozen Mallet.


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Mid game items

The reason why we get this item even though we are not jungling is because of two reason. Volibear is not a good farmer, and he lacks any true sustain. His passive does not count. So for this reason, plus he gets added armor benefits from the item, we try to purchase this early on.

Warmog's isn't just an item you should have, it is an essential part of your whole build. It is the core and stands for everything volibear represents. Health and massive amounts of it. I recommend only getting one of these as there are many other health items you can buy that have added benefits that would definitely help you and your team out.

There is no other item that goes better with the amount of health Volibear aims to achieve other than Atma's Impaler. Not only does is provide armor so we may become even more tanky, it grants ad that scales with the amount of maximum health we have. Also critical strike chance to boot. This item is a must whenever building Volibear as it goes hand in hand with Warmog's Armor.

All around good item for Volibear as it give him bonus health, and also gives him that passive on-hit slow. Which allows him to run up grab someone and slow him just by using his Frozen Mallet saving his Majestic Roar for later when he really might need it. Also that little bit of damage it gives is helpful.

Attack speed and magic resist are two things a tanky volibear would love in an item. And it is right here. This item helps dish out auto-attacks combined with your ultimate to deal the most damage possible. Also in lane this gets off a few more of those harassment hits before you activate Frenzy to do even more damage.


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Late game items

This item is for those who decided to turn their phage into a Trinity Force instead of a Frozen Mallet. I suggest getting this item only if you are doing well, or if there is a True tank on your team. This item will provide you with the movement speed to be to catch up to enemies while your Rolling Thunder is down, and the passive slow that can proc.

All around good item for Volibear as it give him bonus health, and also gives him that passive on-hit slow. Which allows him to run up grab someone and slow him just by using his Frozen Mallet saving his Majestic Roar for later when he really might need it. Also that little bit of damage it gives is helpful.

At this point we would probably sell our wriggle's lanter in place of this item. The reason being is more lifesteal, some bonus attack speed, and the aura that allows your allies to benefit from this lifesteal.


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Interchangeable Items

This is where I'll explain items that I might use in different situations and such.

Frozen Heart is an item that not only gives a huge amount of armor, but also a good bit of mana and cooldown reduction. Even though these are nice benefits for a champ like Volibear who has rather long cooldowns, he honestly does not have mana issues if you use your abilities correctly. In this case I would much rather get different armor items such as, Randuin's Omen and thorn mail.

The reason for this item being a good choice over Frozen Heart is that it not only provides a huge amount of armor, but also gives you health, simultaneously boosting your Frenzy activation. Also provides a good amount of health regen for those times you're just sitting outside the enemy tower harassing it down. Also this item's active is a great chaser and/or way to slow down enemies you pulled. Since you do not have a escape mechanism this can act as a very nice backup plan.

This is a great item for initiation as when you run it, the enemy must waste an ability to pop your shield in order to stop you, and in some lucky cases, a crowd control spell would be wasted on accident. I choose this over Force of Nature not just because of the health and mana boost, but also the bonus movement speed is not needed as Rolling Thunder already gives enough burst speed to get in there and fling someone out.

These are the items i'm not to fond of getting.

The reason I don't like getting this item is because even though it buffs the passive and give a cooldown reduction, I believe getting even more attack speed and magic resist is much more beneficial. Spamming your Frenzy will not be happening and your passive is not meant to heal all of your life.


You will not be spamming your abilities enough to be able to make full use of this item. Also your abilities that scale off AP are quite low and the only practical use for this item is your ultimate. Therefore I believe Frozen Mallet is a better choice.


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Your laning phase

Now for the laning phase, the strongest time for you to duel is lvl 1. You will most likely have the faster auto attack, the more tankyness, and the sudden heal and damage output from Chosen of the Storm and Frenzy. When the two minion wave collide at top try to give a false sense of security to the enemy champ as you farm last hits. Once they get close, begin to harass with auto attacks. Once they start, back off, and activate Frenzy to do that last bit of damage. This will most likely make them think that your activation will only do that much. But the trick is in the second encounter, before reaching level two, you must do this again and if they have not somehow magically healed back to full health you should be able to get first blood. If needed, use your summoner spells to secure the kill.

The reason why I say you should be able to accomplish this is that if they fight back, first, they will unknowingly think that your activation will only do that much damage all the time since it was the first time they saw it. Second, they will not be expecting Chosen of the Storm to heal you so suddenly, which will halve the time they have to turn tail and run, saving you from any further harm and allowing you to run after them and kill them. On the off chance they keep fighting be sure to be ready exhaust in case they might be doing very high amounts of damage. But your Frenzy should finish them off this time seeing as how they should have lower life now.

After you have gotten first blood, go back to base and purchase Boots of Speed and a Long Sword. From there your harassment should be like this: use Rolling Thunder to close the gap suddenly and fling them over, Majestic Roar so they cannot run away, and fear minions around you from doing too much extra damage to you, finishing off with a Frenzy activation when the slow finally wears off.


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Team fights

Your role in fights is to be the initiator and the tank. When with the group, be sure to keep an eye on any carries on the enemy that go out of position. If anyone has a stun make sure to quickly run up the the stunned person to throw them towards your allies, unless it's their tank of course. Make sure when the fight does start, you are constantly attacking their carry with your ultimate, as this will still damage all other enemies, and make sure you do not spam your Frenzy whenever it's up. It should be saved like a Garen ult and be used only when you see an enemy champ low for a guaranteed kill.


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Previous games with this build

These are all games I used the strategies and build listed above. I do not win all games, but at least you still come out positive with the bear.




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Summary

Well this is my guide to Volibear The Thunder's Roar. If there are any suggestions, questions, or complaints, please leave a comment below. Other than that, I hope you will be able to use this guide to dominate top lane against the many other champions out there.

If there is anything you would like to see added to this guide, be it videos, more pictures, other builds for him, a jungle guide, then please say so below and I'll be sure to quickly edit to your satisfaction to gain your vote as one of the best Volibear guides around.

I would also like to thank my good friend Micah who proof read this guide and corrected many of the grammatical errors I made, which I'm sure many had to suffer to get through the guide.