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Volibear Build Guide by Ravenks

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Ravenks

[SE6.12 updated] Volibear, Bite of Doom, (Top), in-depth

Ravenks Last updated on June 16, 2016
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Natural Talent
Bounty Hunter
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 0

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 12

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 18

Threats to Volibear with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Nasus Everytime I see an enemy pick Nasus to "counter" my volibear I smile a bit. Nasus is a really easy match up even though he has [[wither]]. deny his early farm by freezing lane and punishing nasus with your standard combo every single time he comes to farm with his Q. Early on you can push his lane really hard but don't forget to ward after the second minion wave. from about LVL 6 and up try letting him push a little bit. Most nasus/nasi (or whatever haha) will rush into armor to counter your early dominance over them in lane, when this happens you can easily kill them thanks to the magic damage of your [[thunder claws]] and [[majestic roar]]. When Nasus gets early damage (like a [[sheen]]) you will still outdamage him. I have fought this matchup a dozen times and you can kill nasus while in his aoe, while withered, while he has his ult up, as long as you have all your cooldowns as well.
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Welcome to my very first guide, featuring Volibear

The reason I made this guide is because of the fun I had with this champion climbing through the ranks and it is on this champion that I massively increased my knowledge on LoL strategies in general.

I hope you enjoy reading this guide, and I welcome you to leave comments and or suggestions!

Yours truly,

ravenks - EUW

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Pros & Cons

- very fun and satisfying to play
- easy to play well
- Strong Ganks
- Snowballs really hard (can sometimes 1v2 opponent toplaner + jungler when only slightly ahead)

- Prone to be kited
- Will be targeted by ignite A LOT

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Early game strategy & skill sequence

Volibear's passive combined with his increased auto attack speed and his execute means he can outduel most champions. In order to abuse this strength in most situations it is best to start pushing your lane as fast as you can in order to achieve level 2 before your opponent does.
The moment you hit level 2 before your opponent does means you will have more friendly minions on your lane than enemy minions. When this situation happens (which should be most of the time) run towards your enemy and Rolling Thunder them into your own minions and start hitting them.
At this point your opponent will have two options,
he can start attacking back, which will lead to you out damaging them because of the level difference + minions + Chosen of the Storm as failsafe. End any trade with your Frenzy either for killing a low hp enemy or putting in some extra trade damage.
your opponent can also start running and accept your damage on him, giving you some free trade damage, rinse and repeat and dont forget to end every trade with a bite.

Unless your opponent is really low it is best to back off untill you got your Frenzy off cooldown.

As soon as you hit level 3 your trades get even easier since you now got your Majestic Roar.
The use of your majestic roar depends on the state of your lane,
If you have more minions on lane than your opponent start with Rolling Thunder and flip your opponent into your minions, follow by Majestic Roar ensuring you will take less damage from your opponents minions, and slowing your enemy allowing more friendly minion hits on him. End the trade with Frenzy.
If your opponent has more minions start the trade by walking up to your opponent, auto attacking him once to get minion aggro (this ensures maximum amount of feared minions, follow up with your Majestic Roar to fear the enemy minions, next you flip your opponent away from his minions using Rolling Thunder (preferably in the opposite direction from his tower). This allows you to get a few hits in without the minion disadvantage, end the trade with bite and back off to prevent the minions collapsing on you.
It is not advised to fight with a minions disadvantage without the minions being feared unless you have your ult to clear them out along with the enemy champion.

You will notice Bami's Cinder is a pretty big power spike for early Volibear and you should have this item around this time.

As soon as you hit level 6 you wont have to be as scared of fighting with a minion disadvantage. This is because the chain damage of Thunder Claws will kill most minions within a few hits (about the time the fear from Majestic Roar lasts)

Above section works really well vs almost all melee champions, but you will notice it is harder to pull off vs ranged champions. This is mostly caused by the kiting capability of the enemy champions. To counter the enemy champions kiting capability it is advised to rush into Boots of Swiftness as fast as possible in order to keep up with your opponent. You will notice that unless fallen behind you will even out-duel ranged champions as long as you got the movement speed to catch up with them.

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Under construction - tutorial video's

I am currently working on tutorial video's that actually show the skills sequence and strategies used in different stages of the game.

to be continued!

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Mid game strategy

During the mid game is where Volibear shines brightest. At this point you will probably have an advantage over your enemy toplaner.
If this is the case you will be looking to help out other lanes as well. Winning your lane does'nt mean a lot if your others lanes both lose, the mistake a lot of toplaners make is to focus on their own lane without much regard for other lanes, you might end up going 10-0 but still losing the game.
Luckily Volibear has a kit that allows him to perform some really solid ganks. It is advised to look at the lane you are about to gank. Usually it is best to don't gank untill you get your Boots of Swiftness because it increases the deadliness of your ganks by quite a lot.
The most common mistake I see Volibear players make is the timing of their Rolling Thunder.

When you walk unto the lane of an unsuspecting midlaner DO NOT start off with your Rolling Thunder. First walk up to them positioning yourself between the enemy champion and his tower (this is why Boots of Swiftness is so strong for ganking). the moment your get in range slow the enemy champion using your Majestic Roar activate Thunder Claws and start auto attacking.
Your enemy will most likely panic and try to escape towards his tower. if he dashes and/or Flash you instantly activate Rolling Thunder this will completly undo the enemy Flash and will most likely lead to either you or your midlaner taking a clean kill.
In contradiction to what i stated above it is possible to use your Rolling Thunder to close the gap right of the bat, but this is way less effective if your opponent has an escape ready. Only do this if you do not suspect your opponent to have an escape off cooldown but never flip an enemy towards their tower. (example given a Vel'Koz or Brand with flash on cooldown where you engage positioned between the enemy and your own friendly tower)

Ganking botlane is a bit harder than ganking midlane, first because it is simply much further away from your lane. and secondly because botlane houses not one but two enemy champions.
The most effective way to gank botlane is to make use of the deep ward Teleport gank.
Ask your botlane to deep ward the second bush on the botlane. next you wait for the enemy adc and support to push their lane or when an heavy engage happens from either side. when this happens use your teleport to end up between the two enemy champions and their tower.At this point your botlane should heavy engage the enemy and your objective is to stall the enemy from returning to their tower as long as possible. Use the same principle as with ganking midlane. Do not start off with your Rolling Thunder as you will actually flip the enemy towards their tower, possibly saving them. start with Majestic Roar and Thunder Claws. The moment the enemy uses an escape use your Rolling Thunder to close the gap and flip them back away from their tower, negating their escape.
Do not be afraid of fighting the enemy if their jungler joins the fray halfway as you can probably still beat them if you have your Thunder Claws due to your damage and tanking capability through itemization as long as no other enemy also joins the battle.
the biggest risk here is a massive collapse on botlane with the enemy also Teleporting in.

This is more risky and you should not use this strategy untill you are more confident with the dynamics of jungle camp timers and map awareness.
When you suspect the enemy buff situated near toplane is up and your enemy jungler is either dead or you know where he is (and it is not near this buff) you can decide to steal this buff, denying the enemy from obtaining a blue or red buff (depending on which side you play on) getting red buff is a huge pro for voli because it increases his lockdown potential for both ganking and while dueling his own lane opponent by a very large amount. Getting blue is also really nice since it allows you to spam your abilities without going out of mana (your Majestic Roar costs quite a lot of many when used frequently. Volibear also benefits quite a lot from the cooldown reduction (remember how you should end every trade with a Frenzy. blue allows for more frequent trades.
These buffs add to the denying the enemy from obtaining the buff.
when using this strategy keep an eye for a collapse of the top and mid enemy, but also a rush from the enemy jungler. remember, getting the buff is not worth dying for since you will only hand it to them on death.

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Late game strategy

In this section I will only briefly explain the split push strategy for Volibear since it does not differ much from any other split push strategy.
Before you decide to split push make sure your team is going to or already putting pressure on another lane or objective like dragon or baron nashor . DO NOT split push on bot lane if you do not have your Teleport off cooldown as your opponent can exploit this by forcing a team fight 5v4 near Baron nashor possibly resulting in an unfavorable trade kill/objective wise.
When you notice a fight occuring use your Teleport to join the fray, or when you are top and the fight is near baron, rush there ASAP.

The reason split pushing is effective is because you are volibear, you can outduel almost every champion when played correctly and not behind. This means your opponent has to sent atleast 2 champions to your lane to kill you. this puts your team at a 4v3 advantage, meaning they can force to take a tower and possibly a few kills. You should at all times avoid your team having to fight 5v4, this is your responsibility as well as your team's.

IF your team lacks any other front line champions, it is not wise to go split pushing since your team might be at a disadvantage even when outnumbering the enemy. If this is the case only make sure one or two lanes are pushing automatically via minion numbers and head back for a 5v5 siege on another lane.

When an enemy goes to defend the minion lane you can engage a team fight 5v4 or take an objevtive/tower.

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Team fight strategy

Volibear is tanky enough to be a front liner but still deals enough damage to blow up squishies quite easily, combined with his utility volibear can assume two different roles during a team fight. The role you should take depends on the balance between teams in terms of composition and how well the different champion on each team are performing gold/build wise.

Role 1: Kill the carries
The first role is usually more fun as Volibear but should only be taken if you are fed enough, and if your ADC is either already well protected (good peel from other team members) or when you simply have a bad or fallen behind adc.
In this situation you will be looking to get to the backline of the enemy and kill either or both of their carries as fast as possible, try to land your Majestic Roar on as many enemies as possible but it should atleast hit your main target, activate Thunder Claws and flip your primary target towards your team, kill him and reposition towards the next carry, repeat.

Role 2: Mash & Peel
This role revolves around protection your carries at all costs. you have both your Majestic Roar and Rolling Thunder to peel enemies who try to get to your carries. save these abilities for this defensive purpose. Your Thunder Claws deals chain damage meaning you will put out some decent damage per second on all enemies but you will be focusing the enemy frontliners and switch to the highest priority target near your carries accordingly, but protecting your carries is more important.

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Eventhough patch 6.9 nerfed Sunfire Cape and Spirit Visage these items are still too valueable for volibear to let slide. The biggest change is probably the value of Warmog's Armor
Warmog's already was a great item for Volibear but the added cooldown reduction mean it an item I now more regularly pick.

Blade of the Ruined King
Get this item if you are facing high HPed opponents and/or slippery carries, this item has a lot of synergy with Volibears kit since it allows for a further range slow, allowing you to catch up with the enemy in order to lead the engage with Majestic Roar before you flip them and it also increases the damage output via extra ticks of your Thunder Claws.

Dead Man's Plate
Even though this item is slightly situational and can be disregarded versus a heavy AP team, i recommend getting this item in 80% of the match ups, simply because it greatly enhances the engage potential next to giving you decent armor and extra hp to increase the damage of your Frenzy the slow is nice but since you will most likely use Majestic Roar on contact with your target enemy it is just a nice bonus.

Randuin's Omen
works really well with your kit and the active is a like a non damaging Majestic Roar giving you almost perma slow untill your ability comes off cooldown for another slow. The hp works really well with Frenzy and Chosen of the Storm. This item works really well versus attack speed reliant enemies such as Jax and Vayne (even though the hp increases the damage of Silver Bolts the attack speed reduction still helps a lot).

Titanic Hydra
Works really well with the rest of your hp stacking itamization, consider getting this item if you suspect you will be one of the main damage dealers in your team (possibly when you take role 1: kill the carries).

Guinsoo's Rageblade
As far as when to pick this item its quite similar to Titanic Hydra although Guinsoo's Rageblade has a larger impact on your damage output, it does not really increase your tanking capabilities. I only recommend this item if your enemy is only building armor since the proc and atack speed boost of Guinsoo's Rageblade in combination with your Majestic Roar and Thunder Claws will make you a quite effective magic damage dealer. eventhough I really like this item it is still a quite niche item on Volibear.

Wit's End
This item works really well vs AP bruisers who build armor (such as Nautilus) as well as increases your MR vs ap carries and allowing your own ap carry to deal more damage.
The attack speed and MR rend work really well with your Thunder Claws
The updated boost to the stats and build path of Wit's End mean it is now extra valueable to build on Volibear.
This is now officially the go to second MR item when needed (still after Spirit Visage).

Does the enemy have a lot of auto atacking reliant champions? get this item and try to finish it before team fighting starts. note that you should not take this item vs for example a Vayne or Corki enemy adc, you will notice that this item is much less effective vs these champions due to magic damage/true damage. Quite niche but still notable item for Volibear.

Zz'Rot Portal
Does your team lack a frontline without you and does your enemy has both physical and magic damage? get this item to allow your minions to split push as I explained in the late game strategy by placing this baby on the lane you want to auto push. It has decent defensive stats and the auto split push ability works really well to force 5v4 engages.

Frozen Heart
Niche item to counter attack speed reliant enemies probably your best defensive option versus a Vayne.

Warmog's Armor
This item is really nice to have on Volibear because of the sheir amount of hp it gives in conjunction with your Frenzy and Chosen of the Storm. The passive allows you to regain health after a skirmish really quickly.
eventhough this item is really nice on volibear I would only take this item when the enemy has a larger poke during sieges than your own team, I would understand picking this item in most cases except when facing heavy hp% dealing enemies. (could make another Vayne reference here]].

Trinity Force
This item got buffed to fit volibear in quite a massive way. I even considered putting it in his core, thats how good this item now fits Volibear. The enhanced Attack speed and cooldown reduction in 6.11 mean this I take this item every single game where I get ahead of my enemy. The only reason not to build this item is if you fall behind, or when your team really needs you to go full tank. Otherwise, the stats are too good to ignore.

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Fun facts

Did you know?
Volibears Majestic Roar can fear champion created minions such as
- Shaco's Hallucinate, allowing you to target the right Shaco
- Annie's Summon: Tibbers