Volibear Build Guide by jamosmith
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Peeler / Damage Dealer
Not Updated For Current Season
This is a quick and simple guide to help players master Volibear in solo lanes. This works in the mid (mostly unranked games) and solo top in all games.
Some aspects of this build are unconventional but these are not necessarily bad things in unconventional/unranked games and if used properly can still be powerful in ranked games.
This guide will not teach you how to use Volibear's abilities, instead it aims to help you change your mindset in regards to when to use his abilities and how to position yourself throughout the game.
Laning - Early Game
To start off I grab two Regeneration Beads and three Health Potions to ensure that I don't get sent home from my lane. Being sent home will set you behind in experience which is unacceptable for this strategy. This works well with Voli's passive, giving you the ability to stay in your lane for a very long time.
The primary goal of solo laning with Voli is 1) stay alive and 2) get an XP advantage and 3) gank. Pushing and taking the turret shouldn't be your goal until you're level 9 or higher. Obviously your biggest risks are a ranged opponent who send you home or a jungler who sneaks up behind you. For these reasons I stay very close to my turret at the cost of a few last kills.
A Voli gank typically goes like this: Dash (optional), Majestic Roar, Rolling Thunder, Frenzy and Ignite (optional). This will finish most opponents and give you a kill [at least] every 300 seconds.
To ensure your success pay attention to the following:
- Your opponent's Dash cool down. If you see them blow it they are basically begging to be slaughtered.
- Your XP advantage/disadvantage. Pay close attention to when your opponent levels up. What's your XP and level at? If you can get a slight XP advantage it will give you a short period of time when you have a full level on them. This will help enormously. The goal is to get a significant level advantage on your solo opponent so that you can devastate everyone else around the map.
- Key levels to gank: 4, 5 and 6 are huge. Use Thunder Claws on incoming minions to secure an escaping opponents.
- Voli'ing your opponent into your turret is key with Voli. Watch minions and watch opponent. If the opponent is in range to be volied into the turret's range and no minions are currently taking damage from the turret, Rolling Thunder them back into your turret. This most likely cause your opponent to wet their pants as they start taking damage from the turret. This will give you extra support to initiate your gank. Majestic Roar them in place and bite them around 30-40% hp. Easy mode.
Once you've got your level advantage and the middle turret is either dead or wounded; head top or bottom to assist your teammates. Bottom is will be especially weak as they are sharing experience with each other.
Going Dual Top
In some unranked games you might find yourself facing two opponents on top. What do you do? This is actually easier than it looks and will give you the opportunity to really dominate.
Here are some tips:
- Do not cross river. Chances are you won't be able to anyways.
- Play really conservative. All you have to do is stay alive and protect your turret and you will reach level 9 or 10 when they reach level 7 or 8. This level advantage will probably give you the edge to assist a gank with your jungler.
- Ask your jungler to scare them back if you're running low on hp or mana.
- Try to clear minions with Majestic Roar and even Thunder Claws if your opponents are doing damage to your turret.
- Look for opportunities to Frenzy bite and pull one of your opponents into your turret's ranged. You may not have the strength to pull of a gank 1x2 but you sure as hell can send one of them home crying.
- After you send one home, remember: now you've got a level advantage and you're 1x1. You might be able to pull off a gank. This will create a cycle of your opponents returning alone.
- Basically continue this strategy until either your teammates can come help push your lane or you have a 3 level advantage, some gear and can take them 1x2. With Voli's quick ganks you can seriously take both of them down with a 3 level advantage and some gear.
During the end game Voli works well as a quasi-tank (thanks life steal) and peeler (with Rolling Thunder). A lot of times you'll be limited in diving because of your low hp and armor, but during team fights you will be able to stay alive long enough to use Thunder Claws to regen a lot of health and do a lot of damage.
Your job is to stop escaping opponents, break channeling spells like Fiddlestick's fear and do bite damage to finish off opponents. Ignire is seldom ever up because I'm using it to secure kills whenever it IS up.
I wish I had more advice for end game, but the way you play Voli is going to depend on your team's strength, composition and organization.
As explained in the Laning section I open with two Regeneration Beads. If you don't like this playstyle use something else. I build into Warmogs which gives me an awesome health pool through midgame. The regeneration helps tremendously too, especially coupled with Chosen of the Storm (his passive regen). This will help you stay in combat longer and do more overall damage. Staying alive without investing in a lot of tanking gear is one of Voli's strengths.
After I get Warmogs I will either build Berserker's Greaves or a Stinger, depending on whether I feel the need for speed. It's usually a good idea to build the Greaves first; you never know when they are going to come in handy.
My favorite end game build after this it to have a Ravenous Hydra, Blade of the Ruined King and Phantom Blades as quickly as possible. Depending on my income and what we're doing (defending or going offensive) I might build Zeal and a Bilgewater Cutlass and then finish them off as a Phantom Blade and Blade of the Ruined King. After those are built you can add the Daggers more frequently for 400 gold each.
I left the Ravenous Hydra last and in the optional position because I might not invest that much into it depending on the situation. I might swap the Hydra, Phantom Blades or BORK for any of the Optional Items listed above. If an AP caster is doing a lot of damage I might sacrifice for a Spirit Visage. Each item has its strength and, to be honest, Voli is very versatile in this sense.
Voli is strong, but there are a few things to consider:
- He doesn't have a lot of auto attack damage so he's dependent on cool downs. It might be just as important for your teammates to understand this too.
- His Chosen of the Storm passive won't help you in big team brawls... unless you can get out of focus with Dash and Rolling Thunder.
- Voli might look like a tank, so your opponents might ignore you thinking that they won't be able to kill you anyways. Let them be fooled.
- Without a Frozen Mallet, Sunfire Cape or something similar, you're going to have a lot of people get away from you if you don't time your Frenzy bite correctly. This happens, avoid chasing them into risky situations. Voli is worthless dead