Volibear Build Guide

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Laning with Volibear (v4)

written by wickermoon

Volibear Build



Table of Contents

  • Abilities

    Chosen of the Storm
    A life saver and when people tend to forget that passive, you can screw them hard. :3


    Rolling Thunder
    Chug 'em into your tower range, towards your (far off) ranged DDs or away from low-HP allies. Or even out of their own tower's range!


    Frenzy
    Early on, this skill should be used when the enemy is starting to flee or when you need to scare someone off. Don't use it directly as an opener, as its damage will increase the lower the enemies current HP drops. You're probably not going to be able to use it twice anyway, as it has a rather long CD.

    From mid- to late-game, when team-fights are more common, you can start to use it as opener, as you'll probably get a chance to use it again.

    Following this guide - and being maxed - you hit your enemies for 828 dmg + 828 * %HP-missing-on-the-enemy. With 25% of their health missing, you'll break the 1000dmg mark (not counting resistances). Adding your R and E to the mix, this will be quite devastating for most but the hardiest of tanks.


    Majestic Roar
    Slow with damage and minions will also be feared. Woohoo!


    Thunder Claws
    Minion waves just die, several enemy champs on the same spot will cry and wonder what hit them, if you're also having your frenzy up. Good DPS!

    Also, you can use this in laning phase to damage enemy ranged champions if they're too close to their own minions.


  • Introduction


  • Masteries

    For Masteries I chose a 9/21/0 build (again, this is for laning, not for jungling). I know, I give up on the extra buff duration. And here are the reasons I gave up on it:

    - While you're laning, you're not going to get the blue buff anyway. Probably, someone else on your team has a greater need for it, anyway
    - In mid-game you might stumble upon some mana issues, depending on how well you do. But those should be dealt with via items or careful skill usage and shouldn't last all mid-game long (if at all!)
    - In late-game you're not going to have mana issues. In a team fight you might use your abilites once, even twice and you're gonna have a mana pool that should suffice for this and more


    I also give up on the extra 4% movement speed, but compensate for with Initiator. While this only last's for the first 30% of your life and will not help you running away, it will help you chase an enemy early in a fight and get back into your lane.


    Last but not least, I'm giving up on the Flash CDR. As most people probably know, Flash can be a very powerful and important summoner spell, if not THE most important for survival. So, having an extra 15 seconds off this cooldown is just beautiful. BUT taking this one point, I'd have to abandon either Juggernaut (+3% hp + 10% disable-time-reduction) or Weapon Expertise (+10% ArmPen). In my personal opinion, 15s off a 4:25 minute cooldown is not worth giving up on either of it:
    - 10% ArmPen is crucial for this build, as there are no ArmPen items and minimal to no ArmPen runes
    - 10% duration reduction on enemy disables + 3% HP in this build relate to 142 HP
    -- 142 extra dmg, the enemy has to deal
    -- 17,6 extra dmg on your W
    -- 47,3 extra hp regenerated by your Passive (again, extra HP, the enemy has to negate - in a best case scenario)
    -- 4,5s stun instead of a 5 second stun (I think there's pretty more than just this)


    Anyway, here's the build:



    The Offense Tree should be quite obvious:
    - For our W we need those 6% AS to get it up quickly. Also, as we're AD based, we get a higher DPS from it.
    - 10% ArmPen is explaind above: Necessary to not get totally countered by armor stackers

    The Defense Tree:
    - I sometimes tend to choose Heal over Exhaust, but imho  Exhaust is much more useful on Volibear and unless your team really needs that heal, would always choose  Exhaust over  Heal. But this is just preference. If you like  Heal or  Cleanse, take one point out of Resistance and put it into [mastery=Summoner's Resolve].
    - [mastery=Durability] and [mastery=Veteran's Scars] are just logic choices for Voli

    - [mastery=Vigor] are 3 extra hp5, which is good for the early game, but might be replaced by [mastery=Evasion] for dmg reduction in team fights or against AoE heavy champs

    - [mastery=Initiator] gives us the 3% MS we had to give up, due to not skilling into Utility

    - [mastery=Enlightenment] gives us another 8,1% CDR adding up to a beautiful 13,99% CDR on lvl 18 together with our runes. Adding Shurelya's Reverie's 15%, Spirit Visage's 10% and Randuin's Omen 5% this adds up to 43,99% cdr. So we're over the CDR. 4 Options (if that bothers you):
    -- Remove  Randuin's Omen from your list and build a Thornmail instead, if you're against a heavy auto-hitter, or a Sunfire Cape (provides less armor and has noe hp5, but does magic damage and gives more HP)
    -- Remove 2 points from [mastery=Enlightenment] and put them wherever you want. If you do this, you'd probably have to get your cdr items quicker than expected, buy a blue potion, or buy both Kindlegems relatively early, if you like your cdr
    -- Remove  Shurelya's Reverie and  Randuin's Omen, build a Frozen Heart You're missing out on a great number of hp5, though!
    -- Remove 6 of your Greater Glyph of Focus and use some tank glyphs instead. This is the worst choice in my opinion, as those glyphs give you low CDs right from the start and you'll want low CDs

    - Juggernaut gives us 3% extra HP, providing damage and health, and a sweet 10% duration reduction on enemy disables. Perfect!

  • Summoner Abilities

    Exhaust and Flash

  • Runes

    - Greater Mark of Alacrity Greater Quintessence of Alacrity == 25% AS == Berserker's Greaves
    - Greater Seal of Endurance == more Health == both more survivability and damage thanks to Volibear's W

    - Greater Glyph of Focus is hard to not take, but if you're focussing on late game, do as I mentioned earlier and switch 6 of 'em with some tank glyphs

  • Skilling Order

    Again something, I'm not entirely sure about and probably depends on who you're laning against and with.


    First off: ALWAYS skill W first. This is your main Damage and can give you champion kills early on.

    I choose to skill Rolling Thunder on 2nd level, because in my opinion, its throw is much more useful than Majestic Roar early on. Its throw, though, is the only thing I want at this moment. Majestic roar does more damage on any level and deals magic damage, so your enemy has to buy resists against both physical and magical damage, or ignore one of the two (probably magic, though, as your W can deal tons of damage, even early game). Also, your minion farming will be much easier.

    That being said, I tend to mix Q and E, as the CD on Q is lowered by skill level. And throwing enemies around a bit more often can be quite helpful.
    Also, enemies with magic resist will lower your E's dmg output quite a bit, as you have no magic penetration, unless someone around you has got an Abyssal Scepter (Or you've got Fiddlesticks / Morgana with you).

  • Items

    Here a quick overview of the items I build towards: Ninja Tabi: With 25% AS through runes, you'll wanna get some tanky stuff, especially against AD. Those boots make Volibear the OP champ, he can be!
    Spirit Visage: Early on MR, HP, CDR and your healing and regen effects are increased by 15%. Those 15% multiply with your 30% from your passive (30 * 1.15). What more could a bear want?
    Shurelya's Reverie: It gives HP, HP5, MP5, CDR and MS every 60s. w00t!
    Randuin's Omen: HP, Armor, HP5, CDR, passive Slow, Active slow. It is the weakest item in this build and can be easily replaced with others, like Sunfire Cape, forfeiting two slows, 25hp5 and 30armor but gaining 100hp and a 35dmg aoe in the process, making minion farming a bit easier.
    Warmog's Armor: This item seems to be made especially with Volibear in mind, don't you think so?
    [item=Force of Nature]: MR, HP5, MS, HP5 based on your HP. A cheap anti-AP item, in my opinion, which works superbly with Volibears health pool.

    So, why  Ninja Tabi instead of  Mercury's Treads? Well, You'll get your magic resist through other stuff, but hey, if you're feeling more comfortable with Merc's + your enemy team is AP heavy, go ahead and buy Merc's. Ninja Tabis just help you early game, where Volibear can be easily harrassed with ranged auto-attacks + dodge is absolute damage avoidance!

    Vital end stats from items + runes alone are:

    - 2613 HP
    -135 hp/5 (not counting FoN's .35% hp/s)
    - 106 MR
    - 75 AR (+ Tabis) [UPDATE NEEDED]
    - 43,99% CDR

    Adding it all up with masteries, you'll have:
    - 4744 HP (not counting taking pots)
    - 218 hp5
    - +538 dmg on your W

    That being said, if you want to deal more damage and can do without a bit of survivability as well as cdr, switch Shurelya's Reverie with The Black Cleaver. Your auto-attacks + Q + W will love you for it. Your teammates might not, though, depending on the situation.

    Last but not least, one of the most funny items on Volibear:
    Leviathan: If you can manage to get many assists or kills and to not die, this is the item for you! 820hp + 15% dmg reduction = teh awesome. Skip Shurelya's (keep the Philosopher's stone, until you need the space) or Spirit Visage, get this item instead. It's not an assured win, but it'll let your enemies despair while trying to kill you (also, tower tanking isn't that much of a problem anymore). Together with Warmogs, this item is just evil (IMHO).

  • Farming

    When you're rather undisturbed, use E while enemy minions are low and sometimes your R skill, if you're not going to get into a teamfight for the next 50 or so seconds.

  • Build Example

    I usually start with Doran's Shield. Cloth Armor is also viable for extremely heavy AD and to build right into Ninja Tabi. Doran's Shield should suffice, though. It also gives sustainability, survivability and damage all at the same time!
    After that I try to figure out what's best in the given situation. Ideally you'll want your resistances up as quick as possible, thus delaying  Warmog's Armor for a bit. It has a great synergy with your W, but I think in the beginning you'll want to get your resists up. You ARE an Initiator after all. Buy items for it together with other stuff, but don't try to get it ASAP. HP are worthless without any resists.

    Depending on the enemy's team, I build either into Spirit Visage or Randuin's Omen, trying to counter the enemy's main source of damage. Again, don't try to get those items ASAP. Buy several smaller ones for each. This diversity will leave you more adaptable to the situation.
    To benefit longer from Philospher's Stone, I'd start to build Shurelya's Reverie last. But again, this is up to you and the situation.

    Also, and probably most important, BUY Sight Wards and Health Potions! Intel is the most important thing in this game and Wards provide you with it. A Health Potion here and there might be helpful, even if that delays your build.
    An example against an AP heavy team, would be:

    - Doran's Shield for lane sustainability
    - If you have the enemy's ADs against you, built towards Ninja Tabi, otherwise go for Null-Magic Mantle or if you've done good so far Negatron Cloak (if possible, try to buy Tabis + Mantle/Cloak). Also, don't forget your Health Potion and maybe a Sight Ward
    - Negatron Cloak / Null-Magic Mantle
    - If you haven't already, buy Ninja Tabi and try to get a grip on a Ruby Crystal or, if possible, a Kindlegem for more HP, dmg and CDR
    - Consider a [item=Heart of Gold] if you've got money problems
    - Finish Spirit Visage and get a Chain Vest (to counter the enemy's ADs)
    - Try to build towards a [item=Force of Nature] and finish it, but if you can afford it, try get items for the  Warmog's Armor, too.
    - Randuin's Omen Shurelya's Reverie after that, the other one.
    You can further delay Warmogs, if needed, but don't delay it for too long. It'll need some time to stack.

    And never never never forget to buy: Health Potion and Sight Ward. They're both infinitely important.

  • Summary

    All in all, Volibear can be quite powerful, taking a lot of punishment, while at the same time dealing quite some damage. You'll have to adapt to your laning groups, though. If you're against ranged DPS, you might not have such a great time - depending on your laning partner - as probably with all melees. But as Volibear needs to build up his W first, his threatening potential suffers greatly.

  • Pros / Cons

    Pro:
    - Takes alot of abuse
    - Does some nice damage because of tank items
    - Good chasing abilities through skills
    - Decent CC
    - Has an awesome self-heal
    - AD to AP ratio is about 2:1, making it harder to avoid all of his damage


    Cons:
    - Susceptible to Ranged Damage
    - Needs to build up his W to do damage
    - Slow base movement speed

  • Working in the team

    Volibear works best with Ranged DDs, Q'ing enemy champs towards them, then slowing them down with E, while lowering their HP with W. They can also keep enemy champs away, so he'll be able to get some minion kills. He's also able to keep enemy champs away from his laning partner (especially so with Exhaust) and due to his low resistances early on, might even be the focus target of early harass.
    Beware, though. If you're planning on running towards enemies with your Q activated, you should make sure your lane partner knows what you're up to. People tend to be unobserving, concerning allied champs, and may not foresee what you've got in mind, thus missing out on a good opportunity, while you might've brought yourself into a position where the enemy team will be able to kill you or force you out of your lane.



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Submitted by wickermoon

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