Guide to the Three Builds
As I'm sure you've noticed, the three builds have alot in common and have alot -not- so in common. In this guide I'll explain the three builds and their purposes.In each of the three builds, you need to keep in mind that you're A. A tank. B. A Crowd Control and C. The best initiator of all combat.
When you start, you'll want to hug the brush. The brush is your friend, for more reasons than I can explain. While later you'll be a tank, undoubtedly, early on, you're just as squishy as anybody else, without the range. When an enemy comes far enough that you're sure you can get to them, mark them so your ally knows who to focus and work with them to destroy one, then the other. You MUST be aware of your passive it's the only thing that keeps your squishiness from turning into dead bear, and the moment it triggers, you need to either be finishing combat, or running. You cannot go jumping the gun! I cannot stress enough how often a
dies from a lure. Awareness of all players is a must.
After you've done this a while, you'll start reaching that point where you'll have to make the fateful and long term game decision. Stregnth, Speed, or Stamina. Ba-dump tish.
2. Speed Build
As with the original Jax, Volibear possesses a passive move in that increases your attack speed the more you strike an opponent, making his Speed Build very valid. Because of this
is a -very- fun option to have. While speed might not SEEM viable from an outwards appearance, this build emphasizes the use of the often forgotten ult, . Combined with
which increases speed on strike, AP on strike, and a normal addition to attack and ability power which fuels the THAT much more, you quickly gain a large amount of damage in a short time using the ult.
This is a very viable build, and because of his crowd control abilities, he's able to make maximum use of it for quick and powerful ganks of up to three opponents at once (if you're lucky) or an extremely hard to escape one person gank.
Sadly, because of the build towards speed over stregnth, his survival chances under turrets drops like a rock, and without a
, you don't get the passive slowing on strike.
This build is best for a team with a single tank or two semi-tanky characters. If your opponents happen to be running a
, though... Either get back to a damage build, get back to a tank, or try to find a way to incorporate
3. Tank Build
By far the most defensive of the three, this Tank Build is for those who want to soak in the damage, and come back for more afterwards. This build emphasizes Volibear's , Crowd Control, and passive . This is partially a copy, and partially a counter to the style
uses so very often.
has an ability that increases regen by a great deal. With some hefty increases to his maximum health and regen from
, his survival rises to all new highs. The nice bonus from
gives him, not just the similar regen to
's, but the added speed to go along with making attack and escape much easier. Another option to replace this if you're in need of money, is
which turns the thirty percent into thirty-five, as well as boosting the one hundred twenty health regenerated from four
into one hundred thirty eight. While each of those seems like small boosts, together, they can turn the tide of combat when your passive goes off in the middle of a fight, though of the options, I personally chose to pay the extra money for the more powerful of the two.
While not -as- tanky as a
in rage, this build gives the user a great deal of soaking ability, a natural knack for coming back into combat, and a self sustaining ability that would make a
blush. Now... If you're looking for the catch to this build, it's the same weakness as any other build that focuses on high health or regeneration.
Burn. Poison. Damage over Time. Any form of it especially with grievous wounds effect, can tear the furry sphincter apart of any
, but with a style specifically meant for sustaining oneself, burning away the regeneration can leave the user FAR too open for most bear's comfort.
How to Decide?
This is the quintessential tough choice. At first it'll be hard to discern what is or isn't a threat. Since you play a single lane, you can't always know what's dangerous and what isn't. Your best bet is to use your scoreboard to track everybody's status.
If you're running an average game. 1-2 tanks, 1-2 AD, 1-2 AP, you'll more than likely want to run with either the Damage or Tank sets. Damage is obvious, you're fighting but not having a hard enough time to really push towards a specific build. Tank if you're finding your enemies are holding up to the turret alot.
If you're having a hard time surviving your fights or seem to be getting ganked often, you should try the tank or speed builds. Tanks for more survival, either until allies arrive or just for that extra second in combat to finish somebody off. Speed... The less obvious answer. It's a 'ganky' build, which wouldn't normally be ***osciated with survival, but with the added combat and movement speed, you get to pick and choose your fights. With the exception of
, few can catch a full speed
. This includes
thanks to the effect of .
When it comes down to it, it's purely a choice. Whether you like it or not,
isn't the stealthy runner, so there will be times when your chances of survival drops to zero, but you have to look critically at whether you can build to defend against it in the future, or if you can build to trash them harder so they're too far on the defense to try it again. My only advice is have fun with it!
Best spells for Volibear vary from match to match, however to my personal style, I've found that the following spells are most effective.
Flash, A quick leap is ALWAYS great to have, not just for getting away, but for the best ganks early and later on. Believe it or not, when you play Volibear, people WILL respect your crowd control, and when you hide it he bushes, people fear your presence there. What's the best solution for this? Some good ol' fashioned Rolling Thunder + Flash comboing. You'll usually land right on top of them, right from the brush, and a quick Majestic Roar ensures they won't be getting away before you put your fist to their face a few times.
Exhaust, It seems redundant to have it and Majestic Roar, but the slows stacking together can turn a quick escape into a near snare situation, while also tearing away their ability to throw some punches back.
Ignite, The quintessential ender both early and late game. This spell stops the few that get out of your miniscule range from getting that oh so needed breather, healing, or simply ending the fight for them (until their next respawn.)
Cleanse, You will get CCed to hell and back. There is no denying it will happen in group fights, and your best bet is to either get a Quicksilver Sash at the cost of much needed HP or AD, or invest in this spell. While not as satisfying as, say, a Flash out of combat, or that Ignite that does just enough to put a champ down, it can turn a no-win situation into a great escape that enemies will be shaking their heads at trying to figure out.
Ghost, This... It's a good replacement for Flash. While Flash has that instant movement and the bonus of being able to move through walls at times, Ghost has a longer range, you're left with more control, and it gives you the chance to land more hits on opponents who decide to try to get away at the last minute with that once inch of space between the two. Whereas the Flash would give you a momentary strike, Ghost would give you a longer period to hit time and again. While not as glamorous, it is more effective in straight runs.
Spells that LOOK LIKE a great idea but rarely if ever are.
Heal, I'm sorry, but... What? Yes, it is nice to be able to heal yourself when you really need it, but with the exception of the speed build, which could use better spells anyway, every build would naturally regen what heal would give in less than a minute, and if a person's put in a situation where they need it, their passive would normally give three times that at any point after level five.
Clarity, Yet again, a temporary solution to a problem that might not even exist. Early on you may from time to time need a little more mp. Clarity is not a solution for this, because there shouldn't NEED to be a remedy. This is something that fixes itself quickly, or by taking a thirty-second breather between attacks.
Surge, It looks pretty, it's dressed to impress, but it isn't up to par of what you need. This is an example of a skill that's very tempting because it looks nice, but with the exception of once again the speed build, it's just not -that- good. The AP given is small, and while the attack speed is nice,the cooldown of three minutes means it isn't readily available as often as would be necessary to put next to the Thunder Claws for that added threat, and when it is ready, you're waiting too often for that perfect time to use it, while an Ignite is something you can use independently of your skills for effectiveness, and it still all around effective regardless of what an opponent tries to do, even to the point of dropping heals to fix it.
Teleport, I like this spell, I really do. But quite simply, there are other spells you'd need much more than Teleport. With your higher than average speed, you can move more quickly around the field (especially with the low cooldown, Rolling Thunder.) So 'thank you, but no thank you.
Most people tend to build their skills first to , and then to . I disagree with this largely for ONE simple reason. Crowd Control.
's big damage comes NOT from , but his basic attacks, , and Thunder Claws. is an initiating skill in combat, and it is used for NOTHING else aside from throwing an enemy closer to allies (which is part of initiating 85% of the time.)
is still the first and foremost in ANY combat build. The second is . Unlike , the roar gets increased crowd control as it grows. If an enemy runs and tries to stay just at the tip of your range, a single roar can turn their great escape into a lightning filled furry facepalm of death.
People may say 'I can just put 1 point in it', but 30% is NOT that much speed loss when you look at people like
who have great deals of speed at their beck and call to use in emergencies, or players who carry CC of their own to slow you down such as Ryze or Singed.
On top of this, it's a PERFECT skill for large groups of minions or even champions when you have allies around. A simple roar, and your team goes from running in circles, to sniping or crowding in around the group that's too busy trying to fight you to react.
is a team player in late game, and early game, he relies on his allies for his best ganks before he gets meaty enough to do it himself. You will need your allies in the beginning for your greatest chunk of damage, while you yourself rely on your flipping and roaring to hold them in range long enough. The speed from your
will help ensure that you can do this without losing ground, while also giving you the ability to run for your life when your job is done.
As for late game... Your role as initiator is VERY important. Your job is to set the grounds for the fight. You pick the target and grab them, pulling them from their allies/turret far enough for others, and then either A. Soak in the damage of the turret while avoiding combat so that your allies can run in for the kill. B. Take part in ending the enemy and holding them from escaping until about half health, then running.
When group fights begin, you're both a savior and a brawler. If you see somebody who's dealing alot of damage, you can pull them away, if you see a weak enemy making a break for it, you grab them and toss them back in the fight (or for others to finish.) You are PIVOTAL in group fights, because anything you do can change the flow of the combat either for or against your team.
The only time you should not initiate or be part of a group fight is if you are near death, or if it's kill stealing.
As for the unlisted mid-game... If you're on level with everybody else gold and level wise or higher, you can own a lane by yourself (assuming you aren't in the situation of facing the people in the next chapter.)
Champions to Watch Out For
This list is both annoying yet necessary information. There are enemies who have an innate ability to annihilate Volibear either through unique skills or sheer force.
Brand, Cassiopeia, Fiddlesticks, Swain, Twitch, Teemo, Dr. Mundo, and Poppy.
Now, as I'm sure you noticed, all of these people, with the exception of
, have one of two things going for them. Self Healing OR Damage Over Time.
are tough customers, each of them having the ability to easily recover great deals of damage from you while weakening your ability to counterattack.
is especially good at this with his Fear, while
simply has his snare. If you've got a solid
available, don't be afraid to fire it off to kill these three's healing, but be very prepared for a painful fight regardless.
, you've no doubt noticed that they all have very painful damage over time, and to be quite honest, they're all very powerful and effective at destroying
with harassment, and because Voli's passive is regeneration, their skills could completely nullify or overpower it when the situation comes along. As a suggestion, if you believe you're going to be fighting these targets, you could replace your third item with a
that way you get to keep your 30% regeneration and possibly break their poison/burn dead even.
... She's one of the only ones I've met whom simply overpower
's initiate. Her combined with Devastating Blow tend to do so much damage in one go (combined with a stun) that you're often left with no counterattack, and if you are left with one, she could simply leave combat while she's ahead, taking advantage of 's three hit requirement, while using to book it out of your range. The only advice I can offer is keep your back away from a wall, and you'll have a chance.
There are no doubt builds or champions out there that are more than well equipped to keep
at bay. My only advice for them is keep your ear to the ground and improvise. Builds are guides, not rules. If you ever think you need something instead of what's listed, try it. I created this guide after I found the one I had followed myself wasn't quite cutting it.
is a great champion, and while he has his stregnths, and his weaknesses, building him right can prepare you for so much of it. If you ever find a time where you can't be the boss of somebody, think of a way around their stregnth. The bear's flexible, and you never know where you might find the most unexpected advantages. I wish all of you good luck and happy hunting.