Volibear Build Guide by foxdrop
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+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Champion Build Guide
My name is foxdrop and I've been making League content since 2012. You may also recognise me as a caster from the EULCS/LEC. I've been diamond-master in every season and love sharing tips to help you get better at the game. You can find me on:
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If you have any questions about this guide (or League in general!) the best place to ask me is on my stream or twitter.
Passive: The Relentless Storm
The lightning zaps your target and up to 4 nearby (visible) targets for 11-60 Damage based on level and has a 40% AP scaling.
Q: Thundering Smash
If Volibear is immobilized during Thundering Smash, the effect ends and has it's cooldown reset.
This ability can be used as an auto attack reset for maximum damage.
W: Frenzied Maul
If used against a target who is already wounded, Frenzied Maul does 50% increased damage and heals Volibear for a portion of his missing health.
E: Sky Splitter
Conqueror, Triumph, Legend: Tenacity, Last Stand.
Nimbus Cloak, Waterwalking.
Attack Speed Armor Health
This is my alternate rune page
Volibear is a bruiser and allows for very aggressive and usually dangerous plays, conqueror rewards this style of play by allowing you to heal from sustained fights whether that be under an enemy's tower or in the Baron pit.
Last stand and triumph complement this really nicely, by increasing your damage drastically whilst your low (11% Increase below 30%HP) and healing your for 12% of your missing health whenever you get a takedown.
The advantage of conqueror is that you can stack it across multiple enemies and sustain yourself through any fight. Where as with Press the Attack you can only stack it on one target.
Press the Attack, Triumph, Legend: Alacrity,
Nimbus Cloak, Waterwalking.
Attack Speed Armor Health
This is my preferred rune page
PTA is the best burst rune, for those times you want to get in, get out and get kills. Usually 3 Auto attacks are required to get the extra damage. If you're this giant Thunder bear you apply on hits with your Q and W so you only need to auto once for max damage potential.
Running Alacrity for attack speed lets you continue your damage after you mark the enemy with PTA and allows for more passive procs.
The advantage of running Press the Attack is that you can focus a single target and burst them down, unfortunately it cannot be stacked across multiple enemies and once it is used it goes on a short cooldown. Against teams with decent CC (especially if you want to buy Ninja Tabis) you can take Legend: Tenacity instead.
Celerity is a good alternative to Waterwalking.
Does this Cape Make me Look Big?
Volibear isn't really an insanely unique champion when it comes to building your items. The two main things to consider whilst playing Volibear are: 1. Will it help you engage the enemy? 2. Will it help you survive?
My Standard build on Voli is Stalker's Blade - Cinderhulk, Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi and then either Righteous Glory or Shurelya's Reverie. After that, it's all about cramming as many tank items into your pockets as possible, the more the merrier.
Which Items Should I choose?
Righteous Glory is the go-to item for most champs that need to get to their opponent to engage, it provides 75% movement speed towards enemy champions, enemy towers, and an AoE slow upon reaching your target. It provides a fair amount of stats which includes 30 Armor and 400 Health which is a fair amount of tanky stats for a cheap price. This costs 2650 gold which is 600 more expensive than Shurelya's.
Shurelya's Reverie is often over-looked on most tanks, but provides "padded down" stats compared to Righteous Glory. It provides no armor but 300 Health as well as 100% Health and Mana Regen. It's passive which is often forgotten about gives you bonus healing and shielding, which works well with your W and E. It's active allows you to boost your, and nearby allies movement speed by 40%, this not only helps you engage, but helps your team stick with you whilst you engage. This item is also 600 Gold cheaper at 2050 Gold.
Ninja Tabi do exactly as they say on the tin, they give you 30 armor and reduce the damage from incoming basic attacks by 12%. These are great when you're up against AD Assassins, or anyone who relys on auto attacking to get most of their damage off, Rengar for example. Pick these up if they don't have much CC to lock you down or if their ADC starts to hurt.
Mercury's Treads are great if their team has plenty of Crowd Control potential (Stuns, roots, taunts etc.)
Morgana for example, or if they lack AD damage. They provide 25 Magic Resist and reduce Crowd Control effects by 30%, which may just save your life, or help you pummel their ADC into the void.
Fun fact: you can stack both Mercury's Treads and Legend: Tenacity for extra tenacity (52% in total) - this is good versus heavy CC teams, such as when you're playing versus a Leona AND Fiddlesticks
Why Can't I Hold All These Tank Items?
After your core items, it's time to go wild. Get as many resistances as you can fit into your bear pockets and then borrow your bear friend's jacket to fit more.
When building defensive items just remember to consider the enemy team and what damage they provide, you don't want to be building Magic Resist against a full AD team.
Consider what champions they have, a Yasuo or a Tryndamere you will probably want a Randuin's Omen because of their large amount of crit for example.
Here are a few of my personal favourite items to build on Volibear.
Deadman's plate is a great engaging item, it builds up stacks as you run around which increases your movement speed and applies a slow on your next auto-attack, consuming the stacks. It gives you a cheeky 425 Health and 60 armor which isn't too bad for a mere 2900 gold. This item is great when you need that little boost of speed to catch up to a slippery enemy, beware though, if you get CC'ed you lose all stacks and have to build them up again.
Spirit Visage is your best form of magic defense on Volibear. Not only does it give you 450 health and 55 Magic Resistance. But it improves your healing by 30%, this includes heals from your W, Triumph, your Soraka who hasn't ulted the whole game, and smite! It drastically improves your survivability and helps negates grievous wounds. Overall, a must buy if you're in the business to not die.
Warmogs, what else needs to be said really? It gives you a whopping 800 health 10% Cooldown reduction and one of the best item passives in the game. The bonus health synergises well with your kit, your W damage scales off your max health, and the heal scales off missing health, the more health you have to lose, the more health you heal! It also increases your shield amount from your E Sky Splitter .Once you reach 3000 total health you gain 'Warmog's Heart' which heals you for 2.5% Of your maximum health every half second whilst out of combat, or to simplify it, heals you for 100% of your health within 20 seconds out of combat. This item is great for recovering from teamfights leaving you healthy enough to do objectives like Baron Nashor or Drake
Bramble vest is good because it is cheap, in those situations where you need to stop an Aatrox or anyone who is hitting you from healing. It can be turned into a Thornmail later, but you've got the core healing reduction for now.
The Budget Bear's Build Guide
Basically if you buy inexpensive items you can get more items, quicker.The best way to do it is by building around the rest of your team picking up items to help them survive can also help you to survive.
Here are some items you might want to pick up if you're on a gold diet.
Zeke's is a great pickup if you have a strong or scaling ADC, it allows you to engage into a fight, slow down enemies around you and gives your bound ally a burn on their autos, similar to red buff.
Knight's Vow works really well if anyone on your team is fed, it transfers 12% of the damage they take to you instead, and you heal for 12% of the damage they deal. This is ideal if they have a fair amount of burst and you can't peel everyone off your bound ally.
Gargoyle Stoneplate is the best YOLO item in the game, you run straight in activate Gargoyle's Active ability, double your health and become the biggest meat shield possible, tank everything and disrupt their team whilst your team takes them down.
Locket is most commonly seen on supports but is surprisingly good on anyone who needs to be tankier. It gives a shield which scales with level and 20% Of your Max Health, and if you have Gargoyle Stoneplate it becomes a pretty big shield...
Welcome to the section where cubs become bears, in this multiple section chapter we will be going over, Early, Mid, Late, the do's and don'ts and the "Why is my botlane afk at 15 minutes".
If you're looking for Volibear strategies and mechanics they are probably covered in this section. We will cover Ganks, Tower Dives, Drakes, Barons and everything inbetween.
This part may be complex but hold on tight as everything will be explained.
Early is where the fun happens, where no one knows eachother and you're already being flamed for some unknown reason. The best thing to do, specially if you are learning a champion is to "/mute all". It makes the game much more peaceful and suddenly everyone is your best friend.
Volibear is a fairly early-mid champion, he's not completely useless late but is definitely no where near as strong. The earlier you end the game the better,
One of the best strats is to run to the buff you are NOT starting, and ward the river brush to protect from invades. Then you can immediately Recall and purchase an Oracle Lens which will help you gank later.
Jungle Paths And the Road to Victory
Jungle pathing on Voli is all about where you want to end up, you have really good clear AOE with your passive The Relentless Storm and great single target with your W Frenzied Maul.
Take a look at your lanes and see if there are any easy lanes to gank, if your botlane has a Morgana for example, it can be easy to chain CC and enemy and get a free kill, if not you might get their flash instead.
If their are no lanes with any CC or abilities to help you gank, see if any laners are over stepping, if your top laner is being pushed under tower it can be easy to flank the enemy and relieve some pressure. Just make sure your ally is healthy enough to fight, and there isn't too many minions as you will draw their aggro.
Here are some easy paths to take, if done well you can end up at scuttle almost exactly as it spawns.
These paths are more like guidelines really, they are just made so you can contest scuttle and gank early. Both paths can gank mid so it's up to you where you want to end up. Just consider where the enemy jungler is, if they have taken a similar path they may end up fighting you at scuttle or counter-ganking if they're quick enough.
How to Gank
It sounds super simple and obvious but there is more that goes into a gank than one may consider.
Before you even think about ganking make sure you are healthy enough to do so, and acknowledge who you are ganking and what their escapes/sources of damage are.
Obviously this is not going to be the only gank you will be doing all game but this covers the basics of a gank.
You've just finished scuttle and you've decided to gank top, this is generally how it looks.
The yellow crosses are the common spots to put wards so if you recalled earlier and purchased an Oracle Lens now is your chance to get a free gank, or get 30 Gold.
The safer path to take is through the river, straight to the enemy. This isn't as effective as flanking, so it may not result in a kill but you may use their Flash.
Flanking is the more dangerous but more effective path, you need to be wary of the enemy jungler as they may be near the tri-brush waiting for you to gank. If they are not there, and the bush is not warded, this is the best oppurtunity to kill the enemy as, they have almost no where to run.
Once you've decided on a path and are about to engage, use your Q Thundering Smash. This gives you a boost of movement speed to get to the enemy, and a stun if you can auto attack them. If you stun them into your E Sky Splitter, you will do a large amount of damage, and give you a nice shield to protect you. You want to spam your W Frenzied Maul whenever you can, but this early they probably won't survive long enough to get 2 or more off.
If you've just ganked someone, they've used their Flash and they are choosing to stay in lane, you can easily get another gank off, as they may not have an escape this time. Just check your health, check their health, and make sure the bush isn't warded.
Most people die in League because they are greedy, overstaying is one of the most common forms of greed and is easily punishable. If they give an inch, take a mile.
Everyone likes a swim, so what better way to do it than to get your enemies involved!
Once you've reached level 6 and have unlocked your R Stormbringer the enemy team should be scared. This lets you gank much easier but is also much riskier.
To start you want to make sure your team is aware you are going to dive, so ping that you are on your way to their tower and they should start pushing the minion wave to the enemy tower.
Sadly that's not a treasure map, but it will help you get gold!
These are 2 potential paths for a tower dive, once again we've got two choices, a safe path and a riskier path.
The safe path relies on your team pushing all the way to tower and also gives the enemy much more time to react as they will see you running up to tower.
The riskier path exposes you to more ward spots and scuttle if they have taken it. But lets you get up close and personal with the enemy without knowing you are there.
Whichever you choose the combo remains the same, R Stormbringer into tower range, Q Thundering Smash onto your chosen target, followed by your E Sky Splitter and spam your W Frenzied Maul where you can. If all goes well they should die before the tower lands too many hits on you.
I know what you're wondering, "Wait a minute, objectives aren't a game stage".
If you're not thinking that, brilliant, if you are then strap in, because if you do this part right you might not have to get to late game.
Objectives make or break games, whether it is Dragon , Rift Herald , or Baron , every objective will affect the outcome of your game, and if you're not ready for any of them then you're going to be in for a hard time.
"Fail to prepare, prepare to fail"
That's what this entire chapter boils down to.
The most coinflip objective of the game is the first dragon. It spawns at 5 minutes into the game and usually no-one is ready for it. Since you're playing an early game jungle it can be easy to solo-kill if you are prepared.
How to prepare
The main requirements to prep an objective are as follows:
- Vision Warding Totem
- Map Control
- Enemy Location
- Health and Mana
You need vision to start any objective, no matter if you are trying to solo it or take it with your team. If you haven't removed wards from the pit or around the area, you are going to get swarmed by the entire enemy team.
If you are taking drake and your bot lane is being pushed under tower, chances are the enemy bot lane may walk up to start drake with their jungler. Don't let that happen, help your lanes push before taking the objective.
This is a mixture of the first two. You need to know where the enemy are. The main one being the enemy jungler, if he wants to start the drake you're going to have to tango for it. This counts for all roles, their mid or top could start roaming and if they bump into you, they're not going to shake hands.
Health and mana is simple really, you don't really want to be doing an objective on less than 50% health unless you have your team to back you up.
Taking the Drake
Taking the drake is really simple, it's just a case of spamming your W Frenzied Maul, and using your E Sky Splitter if you are starting to get low. This works if you're taking it solo, or taking it with a teammate.
Whereas the dragon won't pose any threat to you as Volibear, the enemy team will. Make sure you've swept the dragon area with either your Oracle Lens or Control Ward and your lanes are in position where they can stop enemies from collapsing to you - this is called lane priority (or prio for short).
For example, if your mid Kassadin is under his tower with a wave of minions, he won't be able to stop the enemy talon from ruining your day.
The perfect time to go for dragon is when you have good lane prio, the enemy team has no vision, and their jungler is top side.
Follow these steps and you should be storming through the game in no time!
Team fighting is possibly the most important part to league. If it's done right, it can win you the game, on the other hand, if you do it wrong, it can lose you the game.
Let's get into how it's done.
Firstly, make sure your team is there, a single person down and you could throw the game.
Now we can decide how we want to engage.
Option 1: Engaging With Q
Now, we look for an oppurtunity, the most common ways to engage are after an enemy has missed an ability,
Morgana for example, if she misses her Dark Binding she can't use that ability to save herself for another few seconds, so now we strike.
Use your Righteous Glory or Shurelya's Reverie and press your Q Thundering Smash and get on top of an enemy, it is good practice to follow this with your E,W if you can.
Now that the fight has begun, we can use our R Stormbringer to become a HUGE target and gain a large boost to Health.
Option 2: Engaging with R
Unlike option 1 we don't necessarily need to wait for a window of oppurtunity as our R makes us unstoppable, though you can still get CC'ed after you land, so once you're in, it will be hard to get out.
We engage with our R Stormbringer, to become unstoppable during the flight and get right on top of our target. We then proceed to Q,E,W a target for the most damage possible and continue to run them down for the rest of the fight.
Team fights are pretty simple once you've engaged on the enemy. Just make sure you're not too far away from your team as you don't want to be collapsed on 1v5.
Now it is just a case of sticking to one target and using your W Frenzied Maul whenever possible, this will heal you for up to 16% of your missing health everytime you use it against an already wounded champion.
If you're behind, this is slightly different.
Your best way to win a fight when behind is to peel for either who is strongest on your team, or your ADC.
You can still engage using one of the options above, but you will want to swap targets to whoever is looking to delete your strong ally. The combo of Q,E,W stays the same but may be a bit more spread out between targets.
This works even better if you have built either a Knight's Vow or a Zeke's Convergence
You've fought, you won, good job!
Now what do you do?
Gather your allies and aim for objectives, if you're healthy enough you can often go for Baron Nashor or
Drake . If you're health bar isn't looking too green you can look for a tower. If all else fails you can recall, buy your items and start pushing waves where possible. Now you should be even stronger for next fight.
Remember, the enemy death timers are the key to victory. You just need to look for an oppurtunity.
Mid is where you are looking to seal out the game as soon as possible, it's where a lot of champs start scaling in or out and sadly, Volibear doesn't scale too well past this point.
We will start seeing a lot more team fights at this point so it's important to keep an eye on where you are on the map. You don't want your team to be caught out half way across the map whilst you're taking krugs.
Positioning is key, but so is keeping up in XP!
You'll find it hard to keep farming and being at the right place at the right time for a while, it comes with time and practice. But it's 10x more important to be there for a team fight, even if it's a 4v4 and your team is strong, you can seal the outcome just from being there.
You will want to continually use your sweeper to clear your jungle, objectives and the river, but you don't want to go alone. Your support will have finished their warding item and can help you gain and clear vision where you need it, ask them politely to ward with you and you'll be a lot safer.
The most important places to gain vision control are near objectives that are spawning soon, mainly Baron Nashor . You want to place wards about a minute before they spawn even if you know the enemy team won't take it as soon as it spawns, it gives you that peace of mind, and forces the enemy team to do the same, leaving them vunerable to attacks.
Remember, a Control Ward costs 75G a death could cost you the game.
There is no excuse to not have a control ward down.
How to end the game
Lets go over how to use your advantages, and push the enemy off the scoreboard.
Those pennies in your pocket have one main use, to make you as strong as possible, if you have taken more towers, have more kills, or have farmed better than the enemy team you will have more gold than them.
Forcing fights whilst you're ahead in gold usually results in an easy win if you played the fight well, just make sure that you don't leave any of your team behind. The last thing you want is to accidentally engage on the enemy team after your ADC just recalled.
Also make sure you're not fighting with too much gold in your pocket, if you can squeeze in an extra bit of health or armor you will be much better off in a fight.
That big purple snake thing with arms that makes your minions shiny, yeah that thing, Mr Baron Nashor . He's not just a pretty face but a really good friend to help you siege the enemies' base.
If you've got good vision on Baron and the enemy team is no where near you can take this mini-boss down and get yourself a nice buff. Once slain he will buff your minions making them much tankier and much more damaging.
Group as 5 or let someone split push, and use Baron to it's full effect, cannon minions out-range towers whilst buffed and will slowly chip away at towers so stay near them and let them do their job.
Team fights are very common after killing Baron, so be on your toes and don't get caught with your pants down, as a good team fight with Baron will end most games.
How to Train your Dragons
Drakes. If you've slain a lot of them, great, you're on your way to winning the game. Kill 4 of these armoured birds and you will grant your team a huge buff that lasts the rest of the game. There are 4 different Dragon Soul buffs that will assist you in fighting and give you a huge advantage over the enemy team.
Forcing a team fight with Dragon Soul can be the best way to end a game, Mountain and Ocean soul will keep you alive, Infernal will help you bring down the enemy team, and Cloud soul will make you super slippy and almost impossible to catch up to.
If either team has claimed 4 drakes the next drake will always be Elder Dragon I know I mentioned how strong the Dragon Soul buff is but this is even stronger.
Slaying this drake will grant you a buff that allows you to instantly execute any enemies that are below 25% HP. This will not execute enemies that are invicible or untargetable, so Lamb's Respite for example, will save them.
Group as five, either take their base, or take their lives, even the weakest teams become strong after killing Elder Dragon .
This is where things can get rocky, but the game isn't over yet!
The "How to end the game" from the mid-game chapter still applies here, in fact it's probably more important here, but we're going to ignore that.
There will never be a 'Perfect way to end the game' so we will have to play around what we have.
All of these things are equally as important. You need to make sure you are contesting them all where you can.
Giving away any of these can throw the game out of your control. Vision is your gateway to objectives if you can see the enemy team running to an objective you can be one step behind them and follow them to it.
Alternatively, if the enemy team can't see you run to an objective, they won't be one step behind you, so make sure you're sweeping and placing control wards where you can, it will save you without you realising.
Just stick with your team, think one step ahead, and as that one ADC that went 0/8/0 in my last game said "Better Jungle Wins"... just kidding.