Volibear Build Guide by Yojasmagic
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.
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.
Hey y'all, and welcome to my guide for Volibear - The Thunder's roar! Even though he's only been out for a couple of days now, I really felt the need to write a guide here, mostly because I want to know the critic's point of view on my personal build. While Phreak built him more AP-focused in the spotlight, I personally tend to build him AD because of the passive on his W, Frenzy. Also, instead of jungling him (which he is good at -- don't be mistaken!) I decided to try to put him in-lane, as a solo top. And these are my findings!
Through 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
For Runes, I decided to take attack speed marks, magic resist per level glyphs, health per level seals and Movement speed quintessences. I find that this setup gives me some early-game tankyness, while it also gives me some late-game damage output and that much-needed magic resist; let's face it, you're F*CKED against mages with snares. The health per level also gives you another benefit - it buffs the damage on your "W" active. At the end of this build you'll be doing around 1100 damage with just the active part of that skill, but don't overdo it early on. This guy's a mid- to late-game champion. That is also the reason why I got movement speed quints -- you're quite vulnerable to ganks at early levels. In addition to starting with boots, let's just say that at this level it's better to run away then to stay and fight.
As far as masteries go, you can see my setup up top. If anything you'd want to be a little more tanky early on, as to not get smacked out of lane too quickly. Your passive helps a lot but the cooldown is rather high and your ability to counter harass isn't so, you're really quite helpless against enemies who can harass you from a distance. That's why you shouldn't pick volibear as a solo top when your opponent at top has good kiting skills; gangplank and his parley, for instance. However, against characters such as Nasus, you'll be far more effective.
I decided on a 9-21-0 setup for that reason. Volibear doesn't need any mana or CDR early on, so no points were given in the utility tree. The rest of it is rather obvious. Health per level once again benefits your skills, while the minion damage reduction mastery gives you more sustainability in lane. If you really have questions about these masteries, please ask them in the comment section. Ill put them in an FAQ section ASAP.
For items, my build focuses mainly on HP and overall tankyness, while Atma's and your passive from Frenzy gives you a nice damage output, as well.
Here comes the build in General:
- [*] Mercury's Treads
- [*] Frozen Mallet
- [*] Warmog's Armor
- [*] Atma's Impaler
- [*] Spirit Visage / (anything that gives CDR and health, I personally just like the passive effect on Volibear)
- [*] Wit's End / [*] Banshee's Veil
This is a very general idea; if you're facing a team with a fed AD carry, naturally you'd get Ninja Tabi instead. If you're getting fed yourself, or if you're planning to play as a jungler, Boots of Mobility might speed up your ganking. But overall, in a normal game with no OVERFED people, this is a pretty viable build. While I personally play him in-lane, I noticed his lack of good slows on an early level often makes me miss kills. Trying to counter this, I decided to build Frozen Mallet, which works in synch with his W (I love that skill :D). The extra health it gives is also a great asset, bla bla etcetera. You get the point.
Warmog's armor -- need I really explain this item? Aside from the awesome combo with Atma's, this makes you more tanky, gain more health, more attack, what else do you want? Just watch out for that shaco / teemo with an early-game bloodrazor and you'll be fine.
Atma's impaler -- aside from the crit and armor, this item is great on volibear because he needs a large amount of HP to be fully functional. With 5K HP at the end of this build, Atma's will be giving you a STUNNING 100 AD for a 2.3 K item. That's not very expensive, huh?
Spirit Visage -- great for his passive, the CDR also helps with getting kills. You have rather long cooldowns, you see. This keeps you back a lot. I also like getting this item BEFORE warmog's armor because it is so much cheaper.
Wit's End -- well, there you have it. Magic resist per hit. With a passive that stacks attack speed. While the item itself gives you attack speed. Still don't get it? Then I don't care anymore.
This is my build for most games. It might not be as helpful as some other builds; but I assume you all know the principle of counterbuilding. If not, I explained it above.
Quick note: if you're doing REALLY well, you might want to take a Leviathan somewhere in there, most likely as a replacement for your warmog's. The item isn't used a whole lot but when stacked is extremely viable.
My skill sequence starts off with a level in Rolling Thunder. The reason for this is that you are probably going to be tower hugging until level 6, taking last hits beneath the tower which (I admit) can be pretty tricky. However, if you do not towerhug, your opponent (who will almost ALWAYS have better kiting) will slowly chop down your HP, until you will die a worthless death. As such, I recommend tower hugging. Not to mention, this also increases your jungler's ganking ability. Rolling thunder helps you keep your enemy away from your tower. As soon as he tries to come near it to take it's HP down, just use Rolling Thunder, knock him over your head and start hitting him. No way he's going to towerdive with that passive of yours.
At level 2, a single level in Majestic Roar massively increases your countering capability, as well as (if your opponent tries to towerhit anyways) fearing away any minions that attack you or your tower while you're attacking your opponent. This is also a great skill for helping the jungler, as not all junglers have a reliable slow or other cc. Just get the timing right since it's only a three-second slow.
At level 3, it's finally time to start leveling Frenzy! The attack speed bonus makes last hitting a lot easier, and since you've become a lot more tanky by this point, it might be time to start pushing out a bit. The nuke on the third hit will make you a very hard to counter opponent. Keep leveling this because of the nuke and attack speed bonus, and you'll be fine in a duel.
Your skill order in a fight is Q-E-W-R. You throw the enemy carry into your team's arms (even though the fling is a lot less effective then Singed's. Oh well.), then slow him so he can't get back quickly, since that'll have eaten up a bit of his HP quickly hit him with Frenzy (if loaded), and if you can't or if it isn't necessary, just activate your R and keep hitting him. You know what, after that, activate your R anyways.
My summoner spells of choice are, and have always been (for volibear, at least):
Teleport -- Gets you back to that top lane quite quickly. Also nice to do a little trick with; when getting chased, just teleport somewhere on the map when you're still above 3 K health. You'll probably survive and escape at the same time.
Ghost -- Volibear needs this one for ganking. Even if you're not the jungler, ganking is still an important part of gameplay. Active your Q, then ghost, your masteries also give you a little boost - and off you go! Also helps to get back to lane or escape when teleport is on cooldown.
Promote -- Just doesnt really have a role on the team. It's nice, but not so much as to use it as a solo top character.
Heal -- With a passive like yours? Don't need it.
Cleanse -- Very useful, but if your opponent has a lot of stuns/snares, it's pretty much a rule to get Mercury's anyways.
Clarity -- He really doesnt have mana problems. I'm serious, I haven't been oom yet.
THE REST -- while they may have their uses, I don't like using the rest. Either because I'm not very capable with them or because you simply don't need them. You should pick for yourself, though.
In short, Volibear is a great champion to play; he's just vulnerable against kiting. I haven't really gotten in-depth about his skills much, but I will if this build gets enough upvotes. I'd really like to hear your thoughts on this, and (hopefully) some good criticism. If you're just here to troll, well, I like doing that too so no problem. Just don't overdo it -.-
Pros / Cons
- Great dualist
- Very durable late-game
- AoE damage with ultimate
- Early game nuke with Frenzy active
- High attack speed
- Great chasing ability
- He's a M*THERF*CKING BEAR!!
- Bad against kiting and Crowd Control
- Not the best pick for solo top, as he is easily driven out if not careful
- Has yet to show any true power; he just came out
- This build gives him rather low penetration, but that really isn't your job, anyways
Thursday December 1st -- Guide launched. Hurray :)
Friday December 2nd -- Minor grammatical errors corrected. Also changed the skill order. It appears I'd forgotten a few steps. Also, I tried adding some pictures to the guide, but it seems I can't quite figure out how to do it. If someone can explain this to me I'll be very happy.
Added a Lore section. Not very important, but pretty cool anyways.
________________________________________________________________________________________________Saturday December 3rd -- Item overhaul. I didn't think it was precise enough so I changed the item order and added the starting items. Also, voting has been enabled and I almost have 3000 views. Going pretty smoothly :D
Also, changed the Quints to movement speed. The armor pen simply didn't suffice in giving you enough survivability until you get those tank items. With this, you can run away.