Volibear Build Guide by BlackHeartCactus
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You will food your ADC (WIP)
Example final build
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.
Threats to Volibear with this build
|Soraka||Soraka overall isn't as strong. Get her to waste her mana and she's done.|
My name is Jaymes, aka BlackHeartCactus, and I want to personally dedicate this guide to my duo buddy, my partner, my favorite support and my best friend, A Bad Vibe. He not only helped me test this guide from his play-style but when he did he would say bear puns the entire match making not only me but our friends laugh nonstop. He was possibly one of the best supports I had the pleasure of ever laning with and I hope you rest in peace you magnificent bastard. Keep singing Journey till I see you on the other side.
To start things off, I know I'm not the best player in league. I don't play ranked yet but I've tested and still am testing this build. I will update it as much as I can and I would love any constructive criticism that you may have. Don't follow this guide to the dot because you need to also adapt in game as well. I just want to help you have a decent foothold prior too.
Pros / Cons
So as with any champion, Volibear has his pros and his cons. Below is a list of his Pros and Cons as a support/champion.
- Tank/Damage Dealer
- Can be hard to kill with his passive
- Has 1 hard CC and 1 soft CC
- Strong peeling capabilities
- Good at roaming/ganking (Mid to late game)
- He's a bear and makes bear jokes
- Can keep other champions off of your ADC
- If focused, can be bursted down before passive can kick in
- Prime target for Ignite
- Can be easy to kite
- No ranged skills (More for when against a poke comp)
Flash is overall one of the best escapes in the game. You can also use it to chase an enemy down, as well as let you initiate and successfully pull off Rolling Thunder.
Exhaust is another great spell to bring so you can help secure that kill early game. At level 3 you will have at least 1 hard CC and 2 soft CC with Exhaust.
Other Good Spells to bring:
With the recent rework on Heal, it makes it really strong to have so you can not only keep yourself alive but your ADC.
This allows you can come back to lane faster after a back, get to places, or even help top with a gank from jungle (if they are falling super behind). The con of using that is you leave your ADC behind and open to harass.
To start things off, lets break down Volibear's skills and what they do.
Active: Volibear gains 15% movement speed for the next 4 seconds. This bonus increases when headed toward a nearby visible enemy champion. Additionally, Volibear's next autoattack during this time will deal bonus physical damage and will toss the target behind himself.
Passive: Volibear temporarily gains bonus attack speed after an autoattack. This bonus stacks up to 3 times and lasts for 4 seconds.
Active: While Volibear has 3 stacks of Frenzy, he can activate this ability to bite a target enemy. The stacks are not consumed. The bite will deal physical damage that scales with his own bonus health. This damage is further increased by 1% for every 1% of the target's missing health.
Active: Volibear lets out a powerful roar that deals magic damage and slows nearby enemies for 3 seconds. Minions, monsters and pets are also feared for the duration. [/column]
Active: For the next 12 seconds, Volibear's autoattacks will blast his target with lightning that will also bounce to up to 3 nearby enemies within 300 range. Each bolt of lightning will deal magic damage and will only hit each target once per autoattack.
The reason I put a point into Rolling Thunder first is for the fact that it has such great peel at level 1 making it possible to get a kill pre-2 (really risky but achievable). It's better, in my opinion, not only for that but you can also zone rather well with an intimidation factor making the enemy ADC/support think you will try to send them flying backwards. Now the reason you don't put a point into it again until after you max your Frenzy and Majestic Roar is because you only use it for peeling the carries and an auto-attack reset on towers/objectives.
Frenzy is not only my favorite skill on Volibear but one of the best in his kit. It can deal massive damage to a enemy champion upon activation so that they either have to fall back or die and gives you great attack speed so you can help take towers with your ADC early on. The reason I don't put a point into Frenzy until level 3 is because I go for as much CC early on for easier peels and to help the jungler if they gank our lane. The reason I max it first though is because you can do a load of damage to the enemy so your ADC has an easier time getting the kill. (Careful though, sometimes you can bite more than you can chew ;D ... aka you can accidentally get a kill off of the activation of your W when you are trying to get your ADC the kill... I'm terrible at puns... -.-)
So among other skills in his kit Volibear has the most Majestic Roar you have ever heard. It makes Tibbers quake in fear... (I should stop these jokes.. eff me) This skill has a very good soft CC early on which can not only help you catching up to the enemy so you can successfully use Rolling Thunder because of the slow it applies, but it also fears minions which can help push a lane or stop Elise's spiders or Yorick's ghouls for messing with you for a short time. I max it second is because you get a longer slow and more damage.
Thunder Claws is not only an awesome ultimate, but this can help secure a kill on a champion who is trying to escape when they have low health. For instance, if you are next to a minion wave and they are too with their low health but out of your teams auto range, activate it and smack the minions. The bolts will bounce to the champion possibly securing your team a kill and the enemy champion with less gold. This is also a good ultimate to help lower the enemy teams health while you soak up the damage.
((As a side note: If you want to do an all in at level 2 but do not think you can do the most damage, putting a point into Frenzy can help burst down the champion as well.))
The reason I chose the runes for my build are listed below.
Greater Seal of Health is for that extra HP for trades in bot lane. It can allow you take one more auto, a couple more minion hits. The longer you can sit in the lane for more pressure you can apply which is always good. I also chose this straight armor seals because of the nerfs that were applied to said seals.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist. This is a strong rune to have because of the magic resist you start with will help you take some hits early on from their mid lane if they decide to roam or if the enemy support is an ap champion such as Soraka, Sona, Leona, Annie, and a couple more.
Greater Mark of Armor. Since you are going to play more of an aggressive role, you're going to be on the front lines more often. So getting that extra armor to mitigate that extra damage early on in the bottom lane as well as later in the game can really help you snowball your ADC/Team.
Greater Quintessence of Armor This is another good Quint to get if you want to tank up more. It's overall nice to bring in the armor for the trades you'll be doing and, again, to mitigate as much damage to you. Another good choice is below.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed With this Quint you inherently have some pretty good movement speed from the get go which will let you get to lane faster, make some of your plays quicker, and so on.
**If there is a better way of wording this section please feel free to give input**
This is what I currently run on Support Volibear. You can also run Veteran's Scars instead of Runic Armor in the Resolve Tree, but this is what I generally find to fit my play style more.
To start things off, you need to understand that you have a very low budget as a support. You don't get nearly as much gold as say the ADC. So building items like the Trinity Force or the Frozen Mallet aren't going to be a priority. You probably not even going to build them at all. Knowing that, you need to build cheaper items that are still effective.
I explained most of the items in the notes with the items up top, but I will point out most of the items I build in my games.
I usually get this in all my games as Volibear because of the fact that I'm always going to be in the middle of the fight. The passive aura is really strong along with Thunder Claws. The armor also protects you some from the enemy ADC's damage. It overall is one of my favorite items.
This is another good item for cheap that I will make if they are at least 2 champions with Ability Power. The health plays off of your Frenzy but the passive makes your Chosen of the Storm even stronger which can help you in lane and team fights. I would only get this item now if I need to get more magic resist than the locket.
I am starting to prefer getting this item over other magic resist options (such as Spirit Visage) because its active is really strong for your team. You become more of a team player with this item than you do with Spirit Visage. It depends on the situation mostly so try to prepare accordingly.
Okay so this item isn't the most important but let me explain. The Sightstone itself is really strong as is. I don't feel the extra gold for the health is really worth it. I would much rather spend the gold on getting items that I can use for Armor, MR or more health than this item itself provides. I would rush Sightstone and then start building tanky from there, personally.
This items great for Frenzy but do not rush it! You are only hindering yourself with it but you are sacrificing the utility that your team could benefit from so much. ONLY BUILD IF YOU GET FED OR NEED TO BE SUPER TANKY.
If you want to know about the rest of the items, please check the notes along with the item list up at the top of the guide. If you have any other questions or items you want to provide, leave a comment.
Team work is a key part of this game and a lot of times when I'm in solo q or I'm watching solo q, I've seen that go out the window and people just become toxic. You can mitigate that as much as you can by going out of your way to ward the objectives, pinging the targets you are going in on, communicate with your jungler and ADC. Knowing who you are going to try and burst down before an engagement is a way to secure a kill instead of getting both of them really low they escape.
This also includes letting your jungler know when the summoners are down for both sides. I find keeping a tab on both lets you know calculate the risk even more so because if your ADC or you don't have an escape, a poorly planned engagement can end very badly. Make sure to call it out when you see it, the more often the better.
Another thing, as a support, you should have a really strong map awareness. Check the map to see how the lanes are doing, where the enemy jungle is, where the mid is, etc etc because not everyone pings when their lane is MIA. The reason you do this is so you can make sure that you can all in the safest conditions. If you see the enemy jungler top lane, that may be a good moment to put strong pressure on in bot lane. If you don't see a moment to harass them, take the time to ward because you can roam safely without fear of the jungler catching you out. Don't try and force a fight either because you may never end up winning those fights.
A friend once told me, you can't kill the enemy if you don't have vision on them. It makes so much sense but not a lot of people know that.
I said this in my notes on items but I can't stress it enough on how Vision is key. Just because they gave warding trinkets to everyone doesn't mean you shouldn't rely on just the trinket alone and the ADC to keep vision up. Try to capitalize on the maximum vision that you can get with the Ruby Sightstone and Vision Ward. You want your ADC to use their trinkets for the bushes in lane so that way they don't leave themselves open to the jungler's attacks from going to the river alone.
When warding, you want to ward in key spots that you can get ganked from. You want to ward the river (I pref to ward above the bush because it gives you more reaction time when you see the enemy jungler on the map) and the tri-bush the most. Those are the spots that the enemy could come from, so having vision there will make your lane feel safer.
When you have the chance, you should pick up a Vision Ward and ward dragon. That's good objective early game to keep vision control over because that is where some team fights may start to break out. A Vision Ward is an investment and even if that investment is short lived aka the enemy go out of their way to destroy it, that investment is worth it because now you mad them go out of their way and you found out where they were. You should always try to replace a Vision Ward when yours is destroyed.
After you get the Sightstone or Ruby Sightstone, you should swap your trinket out for the Sweeping Lens. Your job, when you aren't harassing, is to manage the enemy wards and make sure that they have little to no vision so your jungler can gank in a safer environment, know when dragon attempts are made, when they are doing their buffs, or when mid decides it wants to roam bottom.
In solo q, I've seen and been told that ADC's can get really angry when you attack "their" CS. Now I'm not saying that you should go up and just plain as day take it but you should let them know ahead of team that you are using the Relic Shield so you can utilize it to its fullest potential. This being you try and grab the Siege minions when they arrive so you both receive the nice chunk of change from it. I always save a charge from the Relic Shield to do that and the rest of the charges whenever the minion is already low and my ADC cant get both. This item can get you and your ADC a gold advantage early on.
The con to using the Relic Shield is that you can leave yourself open to harass from the other ADC or support. You have to know when you can go in and take the harass or not. Planning is necessary, so try and plan accordingly.
When your ADC is away from lane, leaving you alone with the minion waves, you should "freeze the lane." What this means is you don't push the lane any, you just want to control where the minions are, preferably in the same spot so that way your ADC doesn't lose any CS or Exp.
Now for your match ups. Your worst match-ups are going to be poke comps. For example you have Nidalee, Karma, Zyra, Heimer, etc etc. The reason being that you have no range move what-so-ever. You are a complete melee champ as I'm sure you know and as I stated in Volibear's cons, he can be EASILY kited, so please keep that in mind when you are picking Volibear.
There is a couple ways to play against the typical poke comp. If you can dodge skill shots, you are halfway there. You can also play really aggressively by abusing the bushes in lane. Make them waste their poke, use that mana pool, and then engage. Make them regret (WIP)
In conclusion to this all I believe that Volibear can be a really strong pick as a support for your team. He has great CC, peeling and overall a strong tank that can burst down quite a few champs. He does take a tab bit more skill to play in bottom lane, as he was not meant to be a full fledged support, but his kit does allow for him to take the role on.
How you build him and when you pick him is up to you. Some items are good and some items are alright BUT still work in certain situations. You MUST ADAPT to the situation's at hand with your items. That is not just for Volibear, but for ALL SUPPORTS EVER!
Make sure you ward your objectives and key locations to mitigate as much aggro/damage from the jungler as possible from your ADC or those key objectives. REMEMBER, VISION CAN CHANGE THE TIDE OF ANY GAME! So is communication, if you are in Solo Que, make sure to properly communicate with your lane partner and your jungler. Leaving them in the dark can lead to you feeding the other team on accident when your intentions are good.
You can always change your runes and masteries to your preferred play style. These are JUST A GUIDE, A SUGGESTION. You don't have to follow them to the dot. Make sure to play how you want to play as well because this game is intended for you to have fun.
Make sure to practice freezing your lane as well as letting your lane partner know how you plan on using your Relic Shield -> Face of the Mountain. Maintain your charges on the shield and know when the charges will be ready and when they won't. It isn't needed but it does help.
Last of all, I would like to thank a few users who helped me with not only the guide but getting me into League of Legends as well. Thank you to 2omelettes, LazyFizh, Rebel Fantum, Vanquol, ninjadude002, RehtroUnaktive, rogue62, and most of A Bad Vibe. You guys were all awesome and helpful to me in a lot of ways!
If you have any suggestions, ideas, comments, concerns or questions please feel free to make a comment on the discussion of the guide. I hope this guide helps you in every way possible.