Volibear Build Guide by J 2 the ROC
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+9% Attack Speed and +15-135 Health (at levels 1-18)
After a long period of uselessness, Volibear has finally returned and he's more powerful then ever. In classic Riot fashion, no one bothered to see if the new buffs from patch 8.4 were actually balanced, so until the next patch or the rework, Volibear Deluxe Doom Edition is freelo!
Pros and Cons
What Volibear is good at
+ Extremely tanky with Chosen of the Storm
+ Burst Execute with Frenzy
+ Great utility and sticking power with Rolling Thunder and Majestic Roar
+ Very strong auto attacks with Thunder Claws
+ Can peel your own carry or focus down enemy carries
What Volibear sucks at
- VERY easily kited in teamfights
- Loses a lot of tankyness when his passive is on cooldown
- Leveling up Frenzy doesn't reduce cooldown
- Easily countered with Ignite
Runes and Masteries
Conqueror is by far the strongest keystone on Volibear. While it is proced, your Frenzy will deal 20% true damage, as well as ALL OF YOUR OTHER ABILITIES. Until this gets nerfed, stick with it as your keystone in any and all matchups.
Triumph is just broken on tanks, Legend: Alacrity is needed to boost your attack speed since you won't be building any attack speed items, and Coup de Grace synergies best with the execute from Frenzy.
Bone Plating is disgustingly strong in trades and Second Wind provides a good amount of raw healing in lane phase and extended teamfights. Revitalize might seem like a better option at first, but after a experimenting with the different mastery combos, I've found that Second Wind provides almost twice as much healing.
Chosen of the Storm
|Mini Dr. Mundo Ult that automatically triggers when low on health. This passive is arguably one of strongest in the game, quickly returning 30% of your max health when you get too low. But the best thing about it is the fact your opponent will almost always underestimate just how much you can heal, and you can bait very easily with it. Unfortunately, Grievous Wounds severely reduces the effectiveness of this passive, so always be careful if your opponent has Ignite.|
|Movement speed steroid that let's you fling your opponent behind you. Rolling Thunder has an incredible amount of utility, both in lane and teamfights. Open with Rolling Thunder, use Majestic Roar once they start to run away, and then start whacking away at them. The movement speed buff can be used to get to mobile opponents, or to escape an incoming gank. If your opponent is pressuring you under tower, try and fling them back when they aggro you so they take even more damage. Max this last.|
|Grants attack speed and a single target execute. The passive portion of Frenzy grants bonus attack speed, which synergizes well with your super strong auto attacks. Once you have three stacks, you can use the execute portion of Frenzy. I think the hardest part of playing Volibear is knowing when to use the execute, as lot of people will do it too early and lose out on a lot of damage. If you are trying to kill your opponent, then wait till they are down to about 20% health before using it. If they don't have much max health, you can use it a bit earlier. Max this first.|
|Area of Effect slow that also fears minions and monsters and knocks enemies back. Majestic Roar is a great utility ability, not only effective for sticking to fleeing enemies, but also very useful in team fights for either peeling or your own carry or slowing the enemy carries. Because this ability fears minions, you can still be aggressive towards your opponent even if they are around a big minion wave. Just make sure you fear the caster minions before a trade. When engaging, always use Rolling Thunder to flip your opponent, and then use Majestic Roar so you can stick to them as long as possible. Be very weary of this abilities range, as it is relatively small. With the new buff from patch 8.4, Majestic Roar provides immense value in teamfights - simply sit on your ADC and knock-back anyone that tries to kill him. Max this second.|
|Auto attack steroid that applies damage to your target and up to three targets around it.. This where the majority of Volibear's damage comes from, as the damage buff that it provides is just ridiculous. At level 6, your auto attacks do an extra 75 damage for 12 seconds. That's the equivalent of instantly getting three Pickaxes for 12 seconds. On top of that, Thunder Claws deals magic damage, and most of your lane opponents won't be building magic resist against you. Because Thunder Claws applies to up to three enemies around your target, you will be doing a lot of damage in teamfights just by auto attacking the closest enemy. Max this ASAP.|
There are many different items that are viable on Volibear, and knowing which ones to build and when to build them are important. However, in virtually every scenario, your first two will be the same.
If you are playing against an AD opponent, get a Sunfire Cape first. The health and armor are obviously good, but the AoE passive is excellent for clearing minion waves. Stand in the middle of wave and use Majestic Roar while Sunfire Cape finishes them off. The burn is also pretty useful for damaging your opponents in extended fights.
If playing against an AP top, start Spirit Visage. The 20% increased healing makes Chosen of the Storm even stronger than it already is. This will be your primary source of magic resist, unless you get Mercury's Treads. Even if the enemy team was full AD, I'd still take Spirit Visage for the increased healing.
|Ninja Tabi's are just too strong in today's meta to pass up. 10% auto attack reduction is incredibly powerful. The only alternative to Tabi's are Mercury's Treads, which I would only take if the enemy has only one AD. Even then, if they have a hyper carry like Kog'Maw, Tabi's might still be the better option.|
|Thornmail is usually the third item I get, because by around this time in the game the enemy ADC is dealing decent damage and will have sort of healing. Thornmail is extra useful when the enemy team has another auto attack based champion ( Master Yi, Xin Zhao, etc.)|
|Warmog's Armor will give you the most health flat out of any item. The passive on this item allows you to regain all your health in a matter of seconds after a teamfight. Against a poke comp or teams with a lot of burst damage, Warmog's Armor is your best option.|
|Titanic Hydra is the one dedicated damage item that you can build on Volibear, as it boosts your overall health, and make your auto attack damage increase as your max health increases. If I am ahead, I will get this as my third item, but most of the time this will be the last item I get. If my team has a lot of damage and I am the only real tank, then I will forgo this item for something else.|
|This item is extremely strong on Volibear, and I usually get this as my fourth item after Thornmail. It provides a good amount of health and armor, but the passive allows you to build up a lot of speed before fights, which makes it a lot easier to get on an enemy carry, and then stick to them with the small slow it applies.|
|Randuin's Omen is very strong against teams with fed ADCs or teams with more than one auto-attack based champion (an ADC and someone like Master Yi or Tryndamere). The active is also nice, as you can use it after the slow from Majestic Roar wears off.|
|Frozen Mallet is actually very underrated on a lot of melee champions. Every single auto attack you land will slow your target by 40% for 1.5 seconds, which is great for chasing down and sticking to enemies. Frozen Mallet also provides the most health of an item besides Warmog's Armor, and you can usually use the two interchangeably depending on what you prefer.|
|I really only get this item when I am behind, since it is relatively cheap compared to a lot of other items on this list. The shield you get with this item is nice, but it doesn't affect your maximum health for Frenzy or Chosen of the Storm.|
Tips to remember when playing Volibear
Once all your abilities are ready to use, you should be looking for opportunities to start a fight. The best times do so are after an enemy has just used an important ability (like after Darius uses Decimate on a minion wave). When you're ready to engage, use Rolling Thunder to flip your opponent, then immediately activate Thunder Claws and begin auto attacking. When they start to run away, place yourself between the enemy champion and their turret, and use Majestic Roar to slow them and knock them back. It is important to constantly reposition yourself in front of your enemy after each auto attack, so you can get as many as you can off on your opponent. Finally, once you have done as much damage as you can do with your auto attacks, use Frenzy to execute the enemy. A rule of thumb I go by is to use Frenzy when my opponent is down to around 15-20% health. If they have a lot of max health, then I would wait till they are a bit lower, and if they are squishier, then I would wait till they are at about 25 or even 30% health.
Teamfighting with Volibear
And most importantly. always be on the look out to use your ultimate engage combo if a carry is caught out; Flash + Rolling Thunder. This combo is a perfect setup to begin a teamfight, as the enemy carry will be in range of the rest of your team.
Thank you for reading my guide. Pls vote and comment as I will respond to any and all criticism or feedback. Also, check out my updated Warwick top guide, here.
You can also sometimes catch me on my friend's stream making filthy plays on Volibear, Warwick, or some other no-skill-involved champion here.