Volibear Build Guide by rickyrascal
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.
Changed Jungle Masteries to give more durability and scraped the minion damage choices
Cleaned up alot of the spaces and added text to images
Added jungle tactics for ganking
added a duo lane section
added a solo lane section
added item breakdown to show why each item is a good choice and what items you could replace
So , You've just purchased Volibear and want to find a good way of playing him. Well guess what , your not alone. Ive just started playing Him and figured I would release my build for him on here. Ive had good results with these builds and If you spare the time to read it I'm sure your find it useful.
This is mainly focused on a jungle build. However ive now added more detail to my lane build for Volibear. Please vote and comment if you like/dislike the build.
Pros & Cons
Life Saving Passive
Great at Ganking
Great at chasing
Is a bear ? how cute :D
New champion so people will still be learning builds ect
Fast ban on draft due to people being scared of whats new
Here is my breakdown of the runes I use for jungle and why.
Greater Mark of Desolation Greater Mark of Desolation
Greater Mark of Alacrity
I tried both of these runes for marks , Although I get attack speed benefits Volibear I found the Armor pen runes far more useful in the jungle. My reasoning for this is as follows.
The was helping me hit my 3 ticks on faster. However. Without cool-down reduction runes it is a 15second cool-down on when you first start the game. Now it didn't seem worth scrapping my Magic resist runes for cool-down as my item build includes decent cool-down reduction.
What I found was the attack speed runes were enough for me to clear the jungle , However I would have very low health at some points and it was a longer process.
Now using the Greater Mark of Desolation I was doing more damage to the jungle mobs and killing them faster. I was still having to wait the 15 seconds for to become available so It was better in my opinion to do more damage in-between using this ability.
I clear the jungle faster , and with higher health using the Armor penetration runes. I don't need attack speed runes as my mid-late game attack speed is nice enough , My damage is higher using armor pen and generally leads to a more comfortable jungle.
However , both rune sets are a viable choice , I completely get that attack speed runes will benefit this champion. My personal preference is to take armor pen.
Greater Seal of Resilience
Greater Seal of Vitality Greater Seal of Vitality
I personally take the . Armor is vital for a jungler and makes life a whole lot easier. I also like to be tanky in defense rather than just adding to the big health bank your already going to have with your items.Greater Seal of Vitality Is a viable option if you would rather some extra health than armor. However this will make your jungle tougher and In my personal opinion is not as beneficial in the long run.
Glyph of Shielding
Glyph of Focus
Glyph of Alacrity
I personally take for the extra defence. However taking the focus runes could be a good Idea if you want to take instead of the Or even the if you really want the extra attack speed early game but don't want to give up the armor pen / armor.
Greater Quintessence of Desolation Greater Quintessence of Desolation
Quintessence of Fortitude
Both are a great choice. I take Greater Quintessence of Desolation just for the extra armor pen.
I actually find that most standard mastery builds work well with Volibear.
I use 21/9/0 finding , Havock in the offence tree to be more useful than the critical strike options.
I have recently been testing out how valuable the and skills are for a jungler. Although they do indeed Help i have found that being maxed is slightly more beneficial. I would suggest that both are viable , however I would suggest using the skills instead.
However, If you think you want to lane with Volibear I would advise possibly dropping the Havock and Butcher skills in favor of and
in the offence tree and swapping Tough skin and Bladed armor for and more
Ive also seen 0/21/9 builds work well , and 9/21/0.
Id say it depends if you want to be in lane, jungler , or tank.
Now we get onto the jungle order. I will list my jungle order and alternative choices if you decide to lane/ off tank instead.
This is my starting item for my jungle build. If you have decided to remove the armor seals I would advise you take and 5 instead. However if you've followed my runes/masteries exactly then the will be more than enough.
On first Recall I buy my I then go back to the jungle / gank , and on my next recall I purchase my
At this point your be about level 5/6. Once you have your go and kill dragon. You should now be ganking whenever you can. Keep wards down on lake and make sure you get the buffs as they spawn.
Continue the item build listed above depending on your needs.
Jungle Mobs Order:
Finaly kill the 2 golloms
You should complete all of this without having to recall , pretty much the same jungle order as trundle.
At level 6 or completion take the drake , use your ultimate and smite to ensure a swift kill.
This is my tactics for ganking ,Im sure this will evolve over time but so far it seems to be working very well.
Once you clear your side of the jungle , you will probably be at about half health. Now ive found this is actually a great time to gank middle lane if the player in middle has over-extened and is not at 100% health.
My reasoning for this is as followed.
The player In middle will most likely not have wards down yet , as they probably have not had time to recall yet Nobody expects a jungler to gank right away at a low level and after taking damage from the jungle creeps
Depending on were they are in the lane , there are two viable ways to gank this early in my opinion.
You will have red and blue buffs if ganking this early , you go to the bush in middle lane (should be the bottom bush as you just finished killing red/twin golloms) Maybe even consider skipping the twin golloms if you feel you want that extra health and middle is low on health themselves. Now you have a two choices.
1)Pop and run in front of your enemy (between your tower and them). The reason for this is the speed you will get to them should not give them much time to react. Also being in between your tower and them means you will fling them closer to your tower and further from their own. Meaning they have to escape you+middle lane champ + tower , and go through you before they can escape. You then auto attack them once , hit your to do extra damage and slow them (as theres no doubt they should be trying to flee at this point). You then hit them with 2more auto attacks and finish using .
Considering most mid champs are AP squishys , this has pretty much worked for me every time i have tried for an early gank.
However if the enemy champion has alot of escape skills , and is high on health it might be worth trying this at a later point. Such as once you have recalled back from your first jungle clear. Putting you at full health and with your first boots.
2)Instead of using to initiate the fight , you could use ghost to get behind them. You then use your to slow them and do some damage. Then hit with auto attacks and and if they are close to their tower at this point you use to fling them behind you and finish them off before they escape.
Both work reasonably well , I often use this second tactic for champions who I feel could escape. For example people using or people with stuns/slows.
You could consider this a waste of but if it gets you or your middle lane player a kill its far from a waste. This should give your middle lane time to recall and buy items , or push the minion wave with you and possibly take a turret.
Other than this early ganking , you should gank whenever your lanes are being pushed too hard. using the same rules to initiate. As a general rule I normally use to initiate a gank as it gives me the element of surprise. Some good speed boost and also the ability to put myself in the way of their escape.
When I lane with Volibear I find he works well in solo top or bottom lane if needed. Here I will list what Items I generally use for lane play and why.
Doran's SheildDorans Sheild: Gives more starting health and also armor and health regen. A great start for anyone wanting more survivability. Anything giving health is a bonus on Volibear as it effects his passive and also his fury moves.
& are another good choice if you dont like to take Dorans items at the start. These will get you on the way to your upgraded boots and also give you the speed needed to catch people with your
You should complete your boots asoon as you can. Take the if your going a damage build. Using my damage build this will be your cool down reduction and I would not advice replacing these boots unless your happy to take another cooldown item later on in place of another build item.
Guinsoo's Rage BladeThis should be your next item after your boots. The reason for choosing this item is the extra attack damage , but mainly the attack speed increase. This works amazingly well with the similar stat on your Skill. Meaning after a few seconds of attacking minions/champions/towers your attack speed is insane. Great for being in lane and killing turrets. The ability power on this item is a bonus , but personally I don't think AP scales well with volibear and would not advice buying any actuall AP items for this reason.
Now you should make a choice depending on your situation.
If you want to keep damage up but feel you need more survivability I recommend these items.
Warmogs Armor giving a massive health bonus. This means your spell will deal a whole lot more damage. The reason for this is the damage it causes scales on your Bonus health. Health items will give you survivability but also damage (I know it rocks right?)
Atmas ImpalerYour extra health makes this item worth its cost. Your gain a nice ammount of damage due to your warmogs and also gain some armor giving your enemies a hard time to kill you.
If you feel your safe enough with your current situation. I would recommend these items.
Madreds BloodrazorThis item makes you a killing machine!The attack speed is great at getting your skill activated and passive makes you a tank killer. The extra damage and armor is nice also.
Trinity ForceThis just offers so much ,Perfect item if you can afford to build this. Will give you increased movement speed. Always helpfull for your to catch people. Increased attack speed/damage and extra health. All adding to the effectiveness of your also giving your attacks a slowing ability. Awesome item.
I would recommend this if you decided to take instead of as this will give your passive a more powerful health regen effect and most importantly give you that much needed cool down reduction you lost from your choice of boots.
Shurelya's ReverieA great item for its cooldown reduction and the active ability meaning people will really struggle to escape you using this and your ability together.
Possible replacement for the trinity force. Will give you more health adding to the damage of your and also give you a nice slow to add to your attacks.
Solo Lane / Tank Build
This build focuses more on being able to survive and kill minion waves. This is ideal for people who like to play more as a tank and assist the team rather than hunting for kills.
Heres my breakdown.
Doran's Sheild Same reasons as above,extra health and armor is always a good idea in a solo lane.
& Also a good starting item , you can use this to keep yourself in lane longer and also turn it into your earlier than if you choose the Doran's Sheild
boots of speed and again will help with your skill but I personally wouldn't take this in a solo lane as you loose survivability.
You should be aiming to get the following:
Mercurys Treads will give you Tenacity and magic resist , Great item for people wanting to survive slows and need a bit more magic resist.
Frozen MalletAlways seems a good early item for me when I solo lane as Volibear. The reason for this is the bonus health adds to the damage of my skill , meaning im not falling behind with my damage. It also gives me more survivability and the slow on the frozen mallet combined with and the ability mean if your jungler decides to gank your lane you can really assist him in taking the enemies down.
Next items to build are the following:
Frozen Heart will give you a nice ammount of cooldown reduction. You will find this really helpfull if you took and ontop of this your have a massive armor boost and the passive will slow the attack speed of your opponents. Great for teams with alot of AD champions with good attack speed. such as Xin/Teemo/Yi.
Warmogs Armor Will give you a massive health boost. Keeping your survivability up and also increase the damage on your frezy skill by a large ammount. Great for any tank and awesome for Volibear.
Force of NatureIs great if the other team have high Ability power damage. Great magic resist , this is often in dispute with choosing However I find the FON more useful on Volibear due to the health regen and movement speed bonuses.
Always a nice item for a tank , this will give you more AOE damage for minions in lane. Also giving a bonus to health and your damage and an armor boost.
Really nice item to replace the sunfire cape with. Will give more armor/Magic resist and also revive you once youve died ? why not!
A great defence item. I personally like the Force of Nature more on Volibear but this is still a nice tanky item to take.
Skill Priorities for every occasion.
I wont put the ultimate in the skill order as you should always take it every chance you get. Period
Max this first for more damage
Max this second for a better slow and damage increase
One point early for ganking , then max this last
Max your Frenzy to kill the jungle fastest , put one point in Rolling Thunder at level 3/4 for ganking purposes. Then focus on leveling your Frenzy and Majestic Roar for more damage and the ability to slow your opponent. Rolling thunder is mainly to toss the target away from thier destination and create a good gank opportunity. The other skills are far more important for actually picking up the kills and stopping the target escaping using your slow.
Max this first for more damage
Max this second for a better slow and damage increase
Max this last
The same order as the jungle priorities. Take a point in rolling thunder early if you feel your lane can pick up the kills easily. This will let you chase down your target and stop them escaping. Other than that reason , Max Frenzy then Majestic Roar first and second.
Max this first to farm the minions and keep enemy from turret
Max this second for more damage
Max this last
Slightly different when playing solo top with a tank build. I max Majestic Roar first to keep my farm on the minions and can keep my opponent from my turret doing this. You will find you don't necessarily have to MAX this one first , but put your first few points into it so you can clear a minion wave with haste.
Then focus on your frenzy for damage and your rolling thunder last.
Listing in my personal order of preference:
Note: Smite is not vital to kill the jungle , However I feel every jungler should have this for fast grabs of buffs / counter jungle / stealing buffs from other jungler.
Ghost works great with Volibear and makes you really hard to escape combined with your skills.
Heal is also actually really good on Volibear combined with your passive ability to heal.
Notes: Cleanse combined with ghost or exhaust makes you a really big threat for ganks. People trying to escape you are pretty screwed if your cleanse is up. Combined with your speed from your skills , and a nice exhaust = shutdown opponent
Well I hope my builds been of some help to people , It will be updated as i learn more about the champion and adjust my playstyle / build accordingly.
Please leave feedback and Im happy to hear any ideas / suggestions with things Ive done wrong on my build or what needs changing.