Hello guys. This is the first guide I've ever written for League of Legends, so pardon if its complete rubbish; though I doubt it'll be complete rubbish. Maybe just a little bit ^^
If there are any similarities between this guide and any others rest assured I did not copy any of them. Hell, I haven't even read them at the point of writing this, though I definitely will later and use their information to edit my own guide as and when I see fit. Thanks for reading and lets get on with the guide!
Note: For now, I shall focus on a jungler Volibear. Also, the item build seen above is only a rough guide; for more in-depth itemization, check out the "Items" section below.
Pros / Cons
- Highly effective jungler
- Good at ganking once level 4 is reached
- dishes out a high amount of damage rapidly
- Synergizes well with a variety of champions
- Not particularly tanky unless built/runed/masteried for health
- No instantaneous gap-closer
- Prone to CC
- Must start at blue (prone to counter-jungling)
For Marks, there is really only one ideal choice, the Greater Mark of Alacrity. This is because of two reasons: Volibear benefits greatly from increased attack speed as opposed to AD or AP (or for that matter ArPen or MagPen), and the fact that Marks are generally offensive oriented rules out any non-offensive bonuses for Marks. You really shouldn't be looking at any other Marks.
For Seals, I strongly recommend using the Greater Seal of Vitality. The health per level really helps at all points in the game, from boosting your passive to surviving the initial volley of spells and attacks in an engagement. Alternatively, using Greater Seal of Resilience might also be an option for that added flat armor early on, potentially making it easier to jungle.
For Glyphs, I'd only really suggest using the Greater Glyph of Focus, which adds Cooldown Reduction. This guide is entirely concerned with a jungle Volibear, and thus any other Glyphs such as Greater Glyph of Warding which adds Magic Resist is irrelevant because they do not add to your jungle capabilities.
Finally, we arrive at the Quintessences. Personally, I would use the Greater Quintessence of Alacrity as the attack speed is really substantial. However I have also seen several people use the Greater Quintessence of Desolation on Volibear, as well as the Greater Quintessence of Swiftness. I completely disagree with the latter; Volibear does not need that added movement speed as Rolling Thunder already adds sufficient gap-closing. With regards to the former, I'm not too sure if ArPen would be more valuable than the attack speed since its quite a considerable amount of ArPen, but I will not rule it out entirely.
I double-dipped into both Offense and Defense quite extensively because Volibear is, at heart, not very tanky. So on the one hand I wanted to boost his offensive capabilities, while on the other his lack of tankiness had to be accounted for as well. Thus, I felt a 14/16/0 Mastery setup would have been ideal for him.
Volibear does not have particularly strong AP scaling, hence why Mental Force is not acquired. I personally feel that +4 damage to minions will be more helpful than +1 AD and +1 AP, particularly for jungling, but that's entirely up to you. Next, I get attack speed and CDR, both of which are critical attributes for Volibear. Lastly, the ArPen and MagPen will definitely aid in Volibear's damage output. Absolutely worth it.
Summoner's Resolve just for that added 10 gold from Smite. 2 points into Hardiness for the Armor, and 2 in Tough Skin once again to boost Volibear's jungling potential. The health Masteries are for the same reasons you get Greater Seals of Vitality; reduced incoming damage along with Bladed Armor are also for better junglging. The final 3 points in CDR are, to me, better than any points you could put in the first level of the Utility tree. The only exception might be Summoner's Insight, just so you can reduce the cooldown of Flash by 15 seconds, but that is a personal preference.
Investing deep into this tree was definitely a consideration, especially since this tree is sort of geared towards junglers. However, I feel that the other two trees also give a substantial amount of jungling potential without sacrificing Volibear's other aspects too much. After all, you don't play Volibear to jungle all game do you?(:
Feel free to invest in the Utility as and when your gameplay suits it, however. Runic Mastery will surely be helpful.
I start off with a Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions. Standard jungler gear. It is kind of sad though that Riot nerfed the Health Potions.
After returning to base, you should be able to pick up a pair of boots and a Philosopher's Stone at least, assuming you have pulled off one successful gank, which should not be that hard to do since Volibear at level 4 has very high ganking potential. Alternatively, you could go straight for Wriggle's Latern first, the decision is yours.
Once I have procured my initial items, I then have to decide what boots to go. Above I have suggested going for Mercury's Treads, but that is not the be all and end all. For those who absolutely MUST have more attack speed, Berserker's Greaves work too. Ninja Tabi is a consideration for those games in which there are way to many enemy AD champions. I've also seen some people get Ionian Boots of Lucidity for the CDR, though I think that Volibear's biggest bane is disables because his gap-closing Q ability isn't instant.
I pick up a Phage early because it is only 1315 for added health, damage and a potential slow, all of which is important to Volibear's ganking ability.
Warmog's Armor and Atma's Impaler, the "Atmog" combination. Together they give Volibear some much needed survivability, as well as boosting his damage output significantly.
Shurelya's Reverie is an interesting item. It adds health, health regen, CDR and movement speed, all of which are incredibly crucial to Volibear. The only problem is that I don't find it very game-changing for me, even though I list it as part of my item build. Maybe it is, and I'm just imagining things, but either way on paper this item is glorious for Volibear.
Lastly, I get a Trinity Force. Honestly, even though Volibear truly shines late game, you shouldn't be playing games this long. Trinity Force gives everything that Volibear needs. Everything. The only reason why I get it last is because other items give what Volibear needs in better ways, and you only really need the Phage aspect of Trinity Force early on as opposed to the others, helpful as they are.
I understand that the itemization above is not comprehensive. Every game of League of Legends is slightly different, and as such there is no "perfect build". Hence, I will explore several variations on the itemization detailed above.
AP Heavy Enemy Lineup
Against an AP Heavy enemy lineup, it is definitely important to build more Magic Resist. Thus, this is a possible alternative build. In terms of order of itemization, I would get a Phage before my Wit's End. Following which I complete Trinity Force as my third core item after Mercury's Treads and Wit's End. The rest of the item components may be bought in whichever order is more effective.
Quicksilver Sash may be bought instead of Banshee's Veil. It is an extremely good item for its relatively low cost; however, it does not add health and mana unlike Banshee's Veil, which might be crucial considering this build does not stack very much health. Choose wisely based on the situation.
AD Heavy Enemy Lineup
Even in an AD Heavy Lineup, I still maintain the purchasing of Mercury's Treads simply because CCs really are Volibear's greatest bane. For this build, replace the Phiolosopher's Stone with a Heart of Gold. The completion of Randuin's Omen may be shifted to the final item, moving Trinity Force up instead.
Volibear Tank Style
Some of you will be wondering about a Volibear tank build. Volibear is NOT a tank, though he can off-tank if you build him correctly. In this respect, you might consider him in the same league as Jarvan IV. The items you build are tanky, he tends to act as a tank, but compared to a team with a full proper tank he is nowhere near.
I start off with a point in Frenzy, because at level 1 Volibear wants high single target damage in order to take out the Rune creep first. This is followed by 2 points in Majestic Roar to improve his jungling against the camps with more creeps such as the Wraiths and Wolves. One point in Rolling Thunder at level 4 in order to allow Volibear to gank effectively. After that, it is simply a matter of maxing out Frenzy followed by Majestic Roar and then Rolling Thunder, getting Thunder Claws as and when it's available.
Thunder Claws > Frenzy > Majestic Roar > Rolling thunder
The choice of Smite is obvious.
Flash would be the other Summoner Spell of choice in 90% of all games, also for obvious reasons such as escape, ganking, positioning etc.
Lately I have been experimenting with Heal on junglers, Volibear included. I find it quite useful as it increases your sustainability noticeably, as well as a being a good panic button in situations where you don't exactly want to run away from the enemy champion but just want to last longer in a fight. Choose this over Flash if you're in an adventurous mood.
The other summoner spells such as Ghost just don't work as well, although Ghost is more effective in comparison to the rest. Feel free to substitute in whatever suits your fancy. It is just a game, after all.
Creeping / Jungling
In terms of Jungling, Volibear follows a very typical jungle route. The order is as follows:
Blue Creep > Wolves > Wraiths > Red Creep > Twin Golems
Additionally, the creeps are now on a shorter respawn timer. Thus, if your lanes are all too far pushed for you to efficiently carry out a gank, return to the Wolves camp and they should have respawned by the time you reach it.
Beware of counter-jungling by the enemy champions, especially if they camp your blue. Without the Blue Buff, Volibear isn't a horrible jungler, but it severely hampers his ability to jungle due to fewer Majestic Roars.
Volibear is an initiator who excels at picking off enemy champions who are out of position. Always be on the lookout for squishies such as AD Carries and Support champions which find themselves too close to the front lines. A quick dash forward with Rolling Thunder or even a Flash followed by Rolling Thunder might be able to toss the enemy champion into your allies. Follow up with Majestic Roar for a very quick face raping.
In mass engagements, always remember to turn on your ultimate. The AOE dps from it is insane. It is essentially a free, stronger version of Ionic Spark from Dominion games.
Nothing much to say here. Last hit well, creep fast, pop cooldowns on time while jungling. Don't feed; being dead means time spent not farming/ganking for gold.
With regards to Volibear's ultimate, you may use it to jungle slightly faster or clear a dragon faster, etc. You may also use it to clear huge swathes of creeps in a lane. Thunder Claws itself is not a critical skill to every engagement, but is as important as any other pure DPS skill. Nice when you have it, alright when you don't. Farming is absolutely important early on for Volibear, because he is insanely item dependent.
This guide is far from done, and I shall be updating it should I see the need to. Will definitely add more content, so stay tuned!
Feedback, comments and criticism are all appreciated. I do not mind if someone outrightly told me something was wrong, just please state why other than the generic "It sucks because I don't like it" *troll*.
Lastly, have fun playing Volibear, and may the face raping begin.