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Volibear Build Guide by verikukko



Updated on March 8, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author verikukko Build Guide By verikukko 31 1 44,357 Views 0 Comments
31 1 44,357 Views 0 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author verikukko Volibear Build Guide By verikukko Updated on March 8, 2022
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Runes: Standard Lethal Tempo

1 2
Lethal Tempo
Legend: Alacrity
Last Stand


+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


Standard sums
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide


By verikukko
About author
I am Verikukko, a top lane Volibear player/streamer. My stream is however, the commentary is in Finnish. I can still answer any questions in English though, if you want to drop by when I'm online.

Introduction to Volibear top
A fool and his head are easily parted ::Volibear

Volibear is a tanky high damage bruiser with more mechanical and strategical depth than it might seem like from the outside. As a top laner, he is a very snowbally pick and his single biggest strength is his ability to turret dive the opposing top laner from full HP.

If you enjoy playing for solokills in laning phase and don't mind the snowbally nature of his kit, I recommend trying the bear.

Disclaimer: nothing in this guide applies to Volibear jungle, jungle bear is a completely different pick with different strengths/weaknessess and builds.
Snowballing with Volibear
Volibear is a very snowball heavy champion, his base damages and base tankiness are both awful and he provides little to no utility for a team. If you don't have a lead when playing as a top lane bear, you don't deal damage, you are not tanky and you can't be useful in any way.

However, to compensate for all this, Volibear has all around absolutely nutty scalings. His Q has a staggering 220% AD scaling, his Empowered W has a 150% AD scaling with 9%/16% Health scalings for the damage and healing respectively, while his R is a 250% AD nuclear bomb. To top it all of, Volibear has one of the highest (if not the highest?) base AS ratios in the game, which every source of bonus AS multiplies.

So all in all, Volibear benefits massively from having an item lead over his opponents, he uses every point of Health, AD, AH and AS that you gain from items extremely efficiently. A Volibear with an item lead is a one-man-army with very high damage and very high tankiness.

This is why it's very important to focus on getting an item lead when playing as Volibear, there are two main ways of achieving this:

1. Solokills in lane. Volibear can turn small leads into big leads by turret diving his opponent over and over with his ultimate.

2. Splitfarming. If laning phase doesn't go well, the plan B in mid game is to power farm side lane minion waves and jungle camps until we get that lead. You should generally avoid grouping in mid game if you don't have a lead, it's better to have your team lose fights 4v5 while you are farming, than losing the same fights 5v5 cause you are useless.
Ability usage tips
Standard level 3+ trading combo against melee champs in lane:
This is Volibears most standard trading combo for laning phase. Place E on top of your opponent, then Q them in place. The Q prevents us from taking damage before we get our shield, it stuns them in place so that our E lands and the MS boost from it always remains for the full 4 sec duration, even after we have used the empowered attack. Lastly, use your W before disengaging. For most melee top laners, it's very hard to trade against this.

Standard turret dive combo:
When going for turret dives, we almost always want to mark the opponent with our W first, then drop the turret aggro before committing for an E+Q+R full dive combo. Note that we almost always want to combo our Q and R like this, the stun from Q makes the damage from R undodgeable.

W does not draw minion aggro:
Volibears W is a single target ability, however unlike every other such ability in the game, it does not draw minion aggro at all, ever. Use this to prep free W marks even in the middle of a minion wave.
Items explained
"A cat uses its paw, a bear all five fingers."

Excellent items for Voli top

CDR Boots:
On Volibear, CDR boots have a massively higher WR than other boot options. You should almost never buy any other boots. Only consider Tabis/Mercs if the enemy team truly has an extraordinarily high concentration of autoattack-damage or CC, respectively.

Black Cleaver:
Black Cleaver is always the single best performing item on Volibear, on every patch. CDR, HP and AD are all super valuable stats for the bear.

Sunfire Cape:
Sunfire Cape is my personal favorite mythic item for Volibear right now, but Trinity Force and Frostfire Gauntlet are also solid options. Sunfire Cape deals a lot of damage and is definitely the strongest item for winning 1v2 and 1v3 fights. Basically, it's the mythic item for Volibear with the highest solo carry potential.

Titanic Hydra:
Titanic Hydra doesn't give any Ability Haste, but other than that it's a fantastic late game item for Volibear. We gain HP from all our items, and on top of that the HP that we gain from our Ultimate is also counted as Bonus HP for Titanic Hydra. Notably this item also has great synergy with Lethal Tempo.

Gargoyles Stoneplate:
This item doesn't give any HP, however the active has a huge HP scaling so it fits our HP heavy builds very well. The shield in late game is so large that it's basically a Kayle R for teamfights, you can't really die through it.

Fimbulwinter build:
"For bears, winter is one night."
The Fimbulwinter build listed in the items section is an alternative build to the standard one, it's the strongest scaling build for Volibear. Very strong in lategame but it takes a while to ramp up. Volibear has the 3rd highest level 18 mana pool in the game, only behind Ezreal and Kassadin. So he gets more HP and stronger shields from Fimbulwinter than pretty much any other champions, excluding Kassadin.

If you enjoy late game oriented picks/builds, I recommend doing the Fimbulwinter build. Make sure to combine it with the Fimbulwinter Runepage.

Awful items for Voli top

These are very weak items for Volibear with generally mediocre to awful winrates.

Nashors Tooth:
There are AP items that perform decently well on Voli, like Riftmaker, Cosmic Drive and Lich Bane, but stay far away from Nashors and Zhonias. Nashors Tooth is strictly worse than Blade of the Ruined King / Wits End. It literally is just a worse BOTRK, and we don't even buy a BOTRK.

Zhonias Hourglass:
Zhonias Hourglass generally doesn't have THE worst winratio among Volibears commonly bought items, but buying it absolutely ruins Volibears damage output and solo carry potential. You can combine a Zhonias Hourglass with Deaths Dance (Zhonias active can be used to remove DD:s bleed damage in teamfights) and be a squishy teamfight oriented utility champion that loses 1v1 against everything in a sidelane, but that build is not for solo carrying games.

Thornmail manages to be statistically the worst performing item (with a significant sample size) on Volibear, despite people treating it as a situational item against healing. People love buying anti-healing items for psychological reasons, humans can end up feeling helpless if they can't directly "counter" the opponents strategy in video games.

I heavily recommend against ever buying a Thornmail on top lane Volibear, that items winrates on Voli are so bad that you are pretty much intentionally losing at that point. So how do we "counter" enemy comps with a lot of healing? By having our own pro-active gameplan, Volibear is really strong when we stack a lot of HP and buy a Titanic Hydra on top of all that HP for a huge lategame power spike, or a Stoneplate for 2000+HP shields in teamfights. If we skip either one of those items for a Thornmail to "counter" the opponents healing, your brains might end up alleviating the stress level from not being able to counter the opponents strategy, but sadly Volibear will also be much weaker and you will end up losing more games in the long run.

This is not to say that Thornmail is a bad item, it's absolutely not. It performs completely fine on reactive tanks like Malphite, who don't have better proactive items to buy. But on Volibear, it's generally awful.
Why so much Attack speed from Runes?
Volibear has an absolutely nutty AS ratio of 0.7. Among, the highest in the game, might be the highest one. AS Ratio is not the same thing as Base AS, AS ratio does not modify how fast he attacks without runes/items. AS ratio modifies the amount of Attack speed that you gain from all sources of Bonus Attack speed.

Basically it means that Volibear gets significantly more Attack speed from Attack speed Runes (and items) than other champs. There aren't really any good AS items for Volibear to abuse this, however we can get a ton of AS from Runes.

For this reason, Unflinching is a better option for Tenacity from Runes than Legend:Tenacity is, because we want to grab Legend:Alacrity for the juicy bonus Attack speed.

Lethal Tempo overall works really well with a tanky build, we live for a long time in fights which means that the uptime on our max stacked Lethal Tempo is high and we can milk a lot of damage out of it.

Lethal Tempo is also by far the strongest Keystone option for level 1, with Lethal Tempo and a Q start, Volibear wins most level 1 all-ins.

No matter which Runes you choose to run, always take the 10% AS Shard.
Early game
In the threats (matchups) section, I listed Volibears hardest and easiest matchups. Generally Volibear is very strong against tanky melee champs in lane and weak against champs who are hard to reach for an all-in (like Aatrox) or champs that disrupt his all-in pattern (like Jax/Akali).

At level 1 against ranged champs, you should start with E and use the AOE damage+shield to farm as safely as possible. Usually against ranged champs you want start looking for all-ins after level 6 with your R.

Against melee champs, you can start with Q level 1. If the enemy is stronger in level 1 (like Tryndamere with a full rage bar) you can look for quick Auto+Q+Auto trades and disengage. Note that Volibears Q always gives its MS boost for the full 4 sec duration, even though the running animation ends after using up the empowered attack. This means that even in quick AA+Q combos we can still use the full MS steroid for safe disengaging or for chasing the opponent.

Against most melee top laners, Volibear is actually stronger in level 1 as long as you use Lethal Tempo. This means that we can use Q for sticking on the opponent for an all-in/extended trade and really chunk their health bar.

Volibears strongest power spike against melee champs in top lane is his level 3. Always take 1 point in every ability by level 3. His abilities don't get much stronger from leveling them further, however they are all quite strong at rank 1. Very few melee champions can win trades against a level 3 Volibear, try to force trades/allins at this point.
Mid game
"Everyone knows the bear, but the bear knows no one."
If your laning phase doesn't go well, focus on powerfarming side lane waves and jungle camps. It's always better to let your team 4v5 and have them lose fights, than to group and still lose the same fights 5v5. Volibear is very weak in teamfights without a gold lead. If you are behind in gold in mid game, you can get 3-shot by ADC autoattacks in teamfights without contributing anything to teamfights. So just focus on farming up gold.

Note that in teamfights, Volibear is not a tank, he is a bruiser. Your job is not to absorb damage for your teammates, but rather we build tanky items so that we can survive longer in fights to get more DPS out ourselves.
Late game
Kill nexus

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide