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Volibear Build Guide by darksage1234

Top In-Depth Guide to Volibear the Thundergod

By darksage1234 | Updated on July 16, 2020

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Runes: Main Choice

1 2
Resolve
Grasp of the Undying
Shield Bash
Conditioning
Overgrowth

Inspiration
Biscuit Delivery
Cosmic Insight
Bonus:

+10% Attack Speed
+6 Armor
+6 Armor

Spells:

1 2 3
Essential Top
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport

Teleport

LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #7 in
Jungle Role
Win 53%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
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None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Champion Build Guide

In-Depth Guide to Volibear the Thundergod

By darksage1234
Introduction




Volibear the Thundergod

Volibear is one of the primordial gods in Runeterra and has a brother whom he despises: Ornn. As of the moment, Volibear is fighting is rightful position as god, since most of his followers had forgotten him. Aside for his typical god hobbies, Volibear also participates in the WWE as a complete dominant powerhouse capable of jumping cables and wrecking some fools who are unlucky enough to be under his "Lighting Zone."

Typically, Volibear is played top and jungle, and is currently dominating those two roles at Summoner's Rift. If you are familiar with tanks, initiations, and dives, Voli is a champion that you will easily master. He is a simple tank bruiser that can deliver a lot of punishment both in the frontline and backline of the enemy team. And he has one of the best ultimates in the game.



Player Introduction

Hello everyone! I am Darksage1234 and I have played LoL ever since season 1. I stopped playing between seasons 7 to 8 and I have just started to play again in the near end of season 9. My rank used to be between platinum and diamond in the most part of seasons 3 to 5. Currently, I restarted my climb from Bronze and have recently reached Gold, and one of the champions that aided me in this climb is Volibear. This guide looks into multiple aspects of playing this certain champion and I highly suggest that you read this guide before starting to play the Thundergod. He is not a mechanically complex champion, but the knowledge that this guide can give you can help you optimize your games with this champion.
Pros and Cons Back to Top
PROS
+ Extremely Tanky
+ One of the best ults in the game
+ Player-friendly
+ Good Teamfight potential

Volibear is one of the tanks in the game. He has high dive potential and immense map presence because of his ultimate. Nowhere is safe from him even under towers. His kit is very functional at all points of the game. They are also pretty simple to understand. He is not mechanically demanding compared to champions like Riven and Irelia but he has some depth that can be explored to maximize his true potential.
CONS
- Easily Kited
- Not a lot of room for creativity
- Has some CD problems early on

Volibear can be kited easily by mobile champions like Quinn or Vayne. Teams can also play against this if they are well coordinated. Good thing that is very rare in Solo Queue. Additionally, his kit leaves little room for creativity. He is a dive champion that get in the thick of it, and most of the time you'll be auto-attacking and Frenzied Maul-ing one unlucky enemy champ, since your other skills have pretty high cooldowns.
Summoner's Spells Back to Top

SUMMONER SPELLS
-
FLASH: Best summoner in the game and most picked summoner spell. It works well because it synergizes with your not-so-reliable Thundering Smash. If the enemy team have slows or stuns to cancel it, just activate it, flash, and stun them. Flash is also good with escapes as well, considering that Volibear does not have much when it comes to that.
SMITE: You get this if you are jungling. You can't get away without it nowadays. Plus its good for securing objectives alongside Frenzied Maul. You're looking for Challenging Smite or Chilling Smite as an augmentation. Challenging Smite is good for dueling other junglers or AD carries while Chilling Smite is very good for ganking and chasing since your Thundering Smash is not that reliable as an engage tool. Also, its good for securing kills, but you don't really want to use it for that ;)
TELEPORT: A good summoner spell for top laners since side lanes are very long and usually isolated from most of the action. Teleport helps you bring in your presence into anywhere around the map every five minutes. Its also good if you get killed in the top lane during the early stages of the game. You won't miss much xp or gold but remember by tp-ing into your lane you lose your map presence. Teleport is also good for initiations because of the temporary speed it gives you, catching many players off-guard. Just remember that stuns can stop your tp. Also push your lane before tp-ing into the action, unless it is urgent. Be pro-active with this summoner spell, since you are a tank/bruiser, you want to be early into the fight.
GHOST:Riot buffed this summoner spell to kingdom come and it makes it so hard to ignore it now. As of patch 10.14 this summoner spell has became way too stronk. Get this if you want to do all-ins early on alongside Ignite. Also as a jungler, you can replace your Flash and get this instead because you can activate this so much more times than Flash increasing its effectivity and efficiency. Make sure to use it everytime its off cooldown.
Runes Back to Top

Keystones The best keystones for Volibear are Grasp of the Undying and Conqueror. Grasp of the Undying gives you the ability to win short trades, and it gives you a lot of sustain, as well. If you are looking for a patient laning phase or trading with other junglers this is the best keystone for you. Conqueror is just overall good right now. Very good for all-ins in lane and for invading enemy junglers if you are looking for a kill.


Resolve Path Shield Bash is the most optimal in lane. I know plate gold is pretty good with Demolish but without Shield Bash you can't push your enemy out of lane or kill him. Font of Life is not all that good unless you're support or jungling.

Second Wind if you are looking for consistent sustain in teamfights or trades. Conditioning if you are investing a lot into the mid game or when you are planning to go bruiser and you are not planning to get any early defensive items. Bone Plating is not all that good because the damage it protects you from can be neglible. But hey if you are looking for clutch plays this is pretty good.

Revitalize is a very good pick because it synergizes with Shield Bash and Sky Splitter. Remember that the shield you get improves when you have lower health, making you tankier as you trade more. Overgrowth is an investment and good if you're not getting any early defensive items. Unflinching is negligible right now and you can't really see the difference in games you have it.


Precision Path Triumph is just way too good for snowballing lane and them 1v2s. Overheal synergizes if you take Revitalize and Shield Bash. Sadly, there is no real way to proc this early on the game. Only your second Frenzied Maul has that capability but by then you have taken quite some damage in the trade. Presence of Mind is a poor choice because you have enough mana to sustain you with just your base stats.

Legend: Alacrity is the best when you have Conqueror. It's also pretty good to activate your passive. Legend: Tenacity if you are expecting a lot of CC from the enemy team. Legend: Bloodline if you have Overheal and want to stack them shields early on.

Last Stand and Coup de Grace are both good choices, but remember that Last Stand gives you its buff when you are at 60% health while Coup de Grace gives you its buff when the target has 40% of its maximum health. Cut Down will rarely happen because you are stacking health when you are building a bruiser. It might be pretty good for someone like Dr. Mundo if you see him.


Support Runes I personally like the Inspiration path and the Domination path as my support runes. Magical Footwear and Biscuit Delivery are especially good if you are planning to sustain and get ahead in your lane. Cosmic Insight gets you ahead of the cooldown reduction curve and Future's Market helps you get your power spikes faster.

When it comes to the Domination path I like Taste of Blood and Ravenous Hunter for sustain and snowballing in lane or even in the jungle. Relentless Hunter can be pretty good if you want to gank a lot as a jungler or get to objectives faster.

Arguably the Sorcery path can be also good. I can see Celerity and Waterwalking to be good in the jungle. Alongside Relentless Hunter you can get to objectives fast or just be all around the map. But that is if you go domination path and inspiration path as your support. Celerity is good if you have a support like Lulu.
Champion Abilities Back to Top
PASSIVE ABILITY
The Relentless Storm
Volibear's passive makes him a good AA trader and lane pusher, given that you are able to activate this in lane. It also makes it easier for him to clear jungle camps. But this also means that it makes it hard for you to control the lane, because once you are able to start it, it will most likely end until you decide to miss a creep or two. Once you have stacked your passive, you can choose to trade as early as level 1 or 2, but be careful against champions like Yasuo or Riven because they will outtrade you during those levels.
1ST SKILL
Thundering smash
This used to be a toss over Volibear, but because of the mechanic falliability of such a toss, Riot decided to make it a stun instead. I don't personally mind the change because it fits better in modern day LoL. However, this is still quite an underwhelming spell because of how unreliability it is in lane and teamfights. Remember that this spell can be removed once you are stunned, and you are still affected by slows, and many other status ailments like silence. But the speed and the ability to pass through units is always good for chase. Additionally, it is also an auto-attack refresher which means that you can easily do three hits on a target easily: AA-->1st-->AA making you activate your pasive a lot faster.
2ND SKILL
Frenzied Maul
This is your bread and butter skill and you will be using this a lot at every point of the game. It has two parts, first you target an enemy champ which will wound the target and mark them. If you once again use the skill on the wounded champion, it will deal more damage than the last time and heal you based on your missing HP. You usually have a four second window to do this, but this becomes higher as you get some cooldown reduction. Also the mark isn't consumed after your first set of combos, so you can keep doing it until the champion dies.

The craziest thing about this skill is that it procs on-hit effects and lifesteal so this means that Sheen based AA can add serious buffs to this skill.
3RD SKILL
Sky Splitter
This is ranged spell that slows and damages your opponent (based on their max hp) and gives Voli a shield if he is under the spell's location. Both the damage and the slow is nothing to scoff at as I have killed AD carries with 20% to 30% health under tower with one barrage of this spell. I do not usually use this to initiate and use it more of a follow up instead. This spell is the best during chases because of its range.

Pro Tip: Remember to arc the skill shot to your opponent's retreat pattern. This is usually going towards their nexus or turret. Most players will instinctually click towards that location in the efforts of a retreat or to kite you.
ULT
STORMBRINGER
I believe that this one of the best and scariest ultimates in the game. Technically, Volibear jumps to a location, ghosting him, making him immune to CC during the casting of the spell, gaining health, extra range for AA and Frenzied Maul, dealing damage, slowing enemy champs, and disabling turrets. Oh my god, that is AN ULTIMATE. This makes Volibear the ultimate powerhouse in teamfights, solo fights, and chases. Nowhere is safe with Volibear. It can also bring fear to enemies because of how loud the ultimate can be. Additionally, it can be a good escape tool.
Combo Back to Top

Conqueror's Volley

AA--> -->AA--> -->AA




This combo can easily activate your passive and also your Conqueror. Done well, you can outtrade opponents as early as level 1 or level 2.

Note: Since patch 10.13, Conqueror got nerfed and it only activates by the 12th hit (double-stack for each melee attack). This combo is still viable, you just have to add another AA by the end.


Storm's Calling

AA--> -->AA--> -->AA --> AA


This is a full combo before level 6. If your Sky Splitter hits the target then you can most definitely outtrade any champion in the game, given that they can't kite you, because not only you have a shield but your Shield Bash will also proc. This can work at almost any situation even at 1v2 situations, given that your enemy laner has lower health than you and Sky Splitter has dealt damage to both targets and has given you a shield. As a rule of thumb in 1v2s, always try to kill the lowest health enemy champ first, given that the champ can't kite you. This combo is very tricky to pull off especially in real-game situations since players will usually move around you and try to out-maneuver you. But it is a very efficient combo that deals ridiculous amounts of damage, especially if you hit your 2nd Frenzied Maul by the end.

Note: As of patch 10.13 this is the most reliable combo to proc Conqueror.


Stormbringer
AA--> -->AA--> / -->AA / --> AA -->


There are many variations to this combo and it is definitely up to the situation. But this combo can easily vanquish a squishy target without mobility in teamfights. It can also help isolate the backline from the frontline, so your team can eliminate the enemy team tank while you wreck havoc at their carries. Sky Splitter can be done during the beginning, middle, or the end of the combo, depending on your preference. Ideally, you want to use it either at the beginning (if you want that early shield with Shield Bash) or at the end (if you are looking to chase).
Item Choices Back to Top

Boots Choices

Ninja tabi

Mercury's treads
Rushing Ninja Tabi is beneficial against an all AD team or against AD laners like Irelia, Aatrox, Jax and the rest. It can also help mitigate Conqueror damage by blocking the AA of the lane opponent. I usually don't choose to rush Mercury's Treads unless the enemy team has significant CC potential. Instead I rush Spectre's Cowl against AP lane opponents. Magical Footwear can also be beneficial if you think you can dominate lane as you get it earlier if you have takedowns. Overall, if there is a boots augment to rush it would be Ninja Tabi because of it being so good. Just stick with brown boots until you get your essential items.


First Back

Bami's Cinder

Glacial Shroud

Kindlegem
There are multiple choices for the first back of Volibear and it depends on your lane matchup. But I personally think that Bami's Cinder is one of the most essential buys for your first back especially if you are running Teleport. Bami's Cinder can help you pressure lane by making you push it easily since you also have your passive as well. This can open you to safely Teleport to help your team in essential parts during the early game. However, if you don't want to push your lane you can go for the Glacial Shroud and Kindlegem combo. Both give you the tankiness and cd reduction to trade in lane and they build to two of the most essential items for Voli.


Bruiser First Back

phage

hexdrinker
If you are planning to go to the bruiser build Phage is one of the best items to get for your first back. Its movement speed, damage, and health are all beneficial for you and it makes you stick really hard to your opponent. It also builds to Trinity Force later on or Frozen Mallet or Black Cleaver giving you a lot of options to play with. Don't forget your Hexdrinker and Maw of Malmortius when you're against heavy AP team comps.


Essential items (Tank)

Frozen Heart

Spirit Visage

Titanic Hydra
Arguably Frozen Heart and Spirit Visage are the most fundamental to Volibear especially during the mid game. However, I found a lot of success with Sunfire Cape and Titanic Hydra. Both give me the ability to split push and then Teleport to essential teamfights when I need to, without sacrificing my lane. Additionally, the damage that both items can deliver in teamfights are nothing to scoff at. The passive and active components of Titanic Hydra can also one shot AD carries. Sunfire Cape can be replaced by Dead Man's Plate if you are against mobile champions.

Late game you are looking for something like Sterak's Gage or Thornmail. Abyssal Mask can also help you dish out a bit more magic damage since you have a lot of skills that has magic damage. Gargoyle Stoneplate can also be a good choice especially if you are looking to tank more damage. You can activate this when you have half health or when all your skills are in cooldown to make sure that you can survive late-game teamfights.

Other items that are quite essential to Voli are Righteous Glory and Locket of the Iron Solari. Both items have good stats that can help your tankiness and their active components can aid your team in initiations and in the middle of teamfights.


Essential items (Bruiser)

Trinity Force

Death's Dance

Sterak's Gage
For a bruiser oriented build you can never fail with Trinity Force and Death's Dance combo. Both synergizes well with one another alongside Sterak's Gage. Just remember that if you only have two of these items don't go in diving into the enemy team because they will just blow you up. Have all three for maximized effectiveness. Guardian Angel is also a good choice for this build because of the damage and armor it gives. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to Trinity Force, Iceborn Gauntlet is pretty good since it gives you Sheen proc and a slow, alongside CD reduction and mana. All are good for Voli. Other alternatives might be Frozen Mallet or Black Cleaver. I suggest the former than the latter because it can help you stick on any mobile champs in the rift, but Black Cleaver shouldn't be underestimated because of the cd reduction you can get, flat armor removal, and Phage proc as it helps you chase champs.


Off the Counter Items

Looking for items that are not prescripted but can bring tons of fun in your game? Try these ones out:
Wit's End Wit's End it's a good pick for Voli early on in the game but make sure you have the necessary defensive items before grabbing it because it'll leave you vulnerable. If you're ahead and against an AP heavy team then try this item out. The reason why I don't suggest this item is that you have an AA reset that can already help you proc your passive and Conqueror if you have it. Sure extra attack speed is always nice but it has diminishing returns. My rule of thumb with attack speed for bruisers generally is to only get what you need.

Nashor's Tooth Nashor's Tooth goes alongside your passive and that's a lot of magic damage per hit. It also gives you CD reduction which is nice. But nothing much after that. It's pretty expensive so only get it when you are ahead.

Guinsoo's Rageblade Guinsoo's Rageblade Both the passives are really good and the extra on-hit effect makes this a really good item, but come on, do you really need all of it?

Lich Bane Lich Bane If you are looking to finish your Exodia of on-hit effects on Voli. The Sheen proc is insane and if you add all the items listed above you can definitely one-shot any squishies out there. At the cost of your own life, of course. It's not that bad of the item because of CD reduction and movement speed plus Sheen proc but once again, ask yourself, do you really need it?

Stormrazor Stormrazor This is very Off the counter since your stun can override the duration of the slow. But theoretically, you're looking to hit the target when your Thundering Smash is in cooldown. That gives you a lot of chase potential for a hefty sum of 3200 gold. Oh crit is also fun.

Hextech Protobelt-01 Hextech Protobelt-01 I actually suggest this item because of its stats and active components. It's fairly cheap and gives you a dash that deals magic damage. You can use it as a gap closer to hit your Thundering Smash. It also gives you health and cd reduction. Sadly, it won't scale well if you don't invest more into magic dealing items. But hey Abyssal Mask's passive lets you dish out more magic damage so Hextech Protobelt-01 might be good if you are against a heavy AP team.

Blade of the Ruined King Blade of the Ruined King is a very good early item if, first, you are definitely ahead, and second, you can afford it. This item makes you kill your lane opponent so many times even if he is under his or her tower. It can also make you 1v2 if you're smart. Pretty decent item for someone looking to dominate lane and get ahead real fast.

Hextech Gunblade Hextech Gunblade Same principle with Blade of the Ruined King. But instead, this one gives you a lot of health back during your second Frenzied Maul. The activation of the item also does a lot of damage and its range its decent, making it a good last hitting item. Insane when you are ahead, not so much when you're behind.
Comments on Recent Updates Back to Top
Patch 10.13
- The Conqueror nerfs hit us pretty hard bois. Well, not as hard as I expected. It now procs on the 12th hit so that makes the Conqueror's Volley combo not so efficient. But hey, you just need another AA to proc it so yeah. Moreover, because of this nerf to Conqueror, Grasp of the Undying just became a bit stronger. So use it a bit more often now for sustain and just overall lane presence.

Patch 10.14
- Nerfs to Volibear's base auto-attack speed and enemy heal on Frenzied Maul is big.
- This might primarily affect Volibear jungle, but remember the Conqueror nerf from the previous patch already increased the hits to 12 to proc it and the base attack speed really damages the combos I have listed. It makes it feel clunky, and at some point someone like Jax can have the first hit on you and kill you because of that nerf.
- The nerf on the heal also affected early rift scuttler making players less efficient in taking it from the top lane.
- Overall, pretty big nerf for both top lane bruiser and jungle Volibear, but does not change much of the playstyle.
- Ghost got buffed again. The movement speed is just way too good now in chasing and solo kills. Might even prioritize this over Ignite. Updated the guide to include Ghost because of how good it is now.

(I'll keep this updated for future patches)
Change log Back to Top
-July 3, 2020= started the guide
-July 9, 2020= finished the fundamentals
-July 15, 2020= added some categorization and design alongside gifs for the combo
-July 16, 2020= Placed my comments on the recent patches

-Planning to add a matchup section
(Any additions to my guide or just want to message me for some reason? contact me through: kenzcompany@gmail.com)

Note: Thank you so much to jhoihoi for the guide of making a guide. I used and modified a couple of designs from there. Here is the link: https://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/making-a-guide-101506
League of Legends Build Guide Author darksage1234
darksage1234 Volibear Guide

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In-Depth Guide to Volibear the Thundergod