Volibear is extremely strong right now and is an excellent pick for both Jungle and Top Lane. His reworked kit offers a ton of damage and some unique utility. He has become excellent at tower diving and his passive offers a ton of AOE damage during team fights. At the same time, he remains fairly tanky and very hard to defeat.
With his rework, Volibear has gone from the bottom half of champions right to the top. An argument could be made that he is pick or ban in season 10. He is insanely strong at the moment and offers a few build paths to maximize the effectiveness of your play style.
Where Does Volibear play
Volibear excels in both the jungle and in the top lane. Both are viable and incredibly strong picks. Of these two, I prefer the jungle role. His kit gives you a great gap closer for ganks, sustainability with your W heal, and the incredible tower dive potential once you hit level six.
In the top lane, you have some good matchups. A few champions with good disengage or crowd control may give you some trouble. The sustain of your W plus the wave clear potential of your passive allow you to control the lane really well.
Build Guide – Rework Build
Starter Item – Hunter’s Machete > Refillable Potion (Use Talisman if you want to do more than a 3-camp clear before your first back or you will run out of mana)
Cinderhulk (Blue) > Trinity Force > Boots of Swiftness > Deadman’s Plate > Spirit Visage > Wit’s End
Start by completing your jungle item. It is very efficient and gives you a quick power spike and an advantage when ganking lanes. Next you need an item that combines health and damage. Sheen items are a good choice since they synergize well with Voli’s base stats. Gauntlet and Tri-Force are really strong as the second item. The attack speed that you get from Tri Force enables you to stack your passive even faster for more overall DPS. Voli is going to get really tanky, so you do not need the extra damage reduction in your boots. Boots of swiftness allow you to close gaps effectively. You can substitute these for Merc Treads if the enemy team has a lot of crowd control. Deadman’s Plate enhances Volibear’s mobility and Spirit Visage works with the healing on his “W” ability. Rounding out the build with an item like Wit’s End to increase tank stats and add attack speed to stack your passive.
Starter Item – Doran’s Ring > Potion > Potion
Iceborn Gauntlet > Titanic Hydra > Mercury Treads > Deadman’s Plate > Spirit Visage > Wit’s End
The top build is very similar. Instead of the jungle item, you go straight into your sheen item first. Iceborn Gauntlet is the choice here because of the length of the top lane. This item allows you to stick on your target longer which is very valuable as you use the extra space you have in the top lane. Your second item would also stack health and damage. Titanic Hydra is a good choice as well as Black Cleaver. Then you would finish your build with the tank items that synergize with Voli. If you are facing a heavy AD team, substitute the Wit’s End for something like Thornmail for additional survivability and damage against ADCs.
By far the most popular keystone to take on Volibear is Press the Attack and for good reason. It is so quick to stack and provides a ton of extra damage over extended trades. Triumph gives you a boost during team fights as the takedowns start to accumulate. Tenacity is somewhat built into Voli’s kit, but the extra tenacity stacking during the game is nice. Lat stand makes you more dangerous as you start to take damage.
On the secondary tree, nimbus cloak, waterwalking, and transcendence are all good choices. With your flex picks, choose attack speed, adaptive damage, and either armor or magic resist depending on the enemy composition.
Volibear Abilities – What to max first
Passive – The Relentless Storm
Each basic attack and ability used adds a stack of his passive to a target. Each stack adds attack speed for Voli. At five stacks each attack deals bonus magic damage (chain lightning) to up to five targets.
Q – Thundering Smash
Volibear gain movement speed for the next 4 seconds and his next attack does bonus damage and stuns the target. The speed buff is increased when moving toward an enemy champion. When Q is active, Voli can move through units. If Voli is crowd controlled during his Q, his mana is refunded and the cooldown is reset.
W – Frenzied Maul
This is Volibear’s bread and butter attack. It deals a good amount of damage and “wounds” the target. If W is used again on a wounded target, it deals even more damage and heals Volibear. This gives him incredible sustain during longer exchanges.
E – Sky Splitter
This ablilty places a circle on the target location and after a short delay, a lightning bolt will hit that area dealing damage (based on the targets maximum health) and slowing enemies. If you are inside the circle when the lightning strikes, you will also get a shield that is based on your maximum health.
Volibear get huge and gains health and attack speed. He leaps a good distance and smashes into the ground. He deals damage to all enemies in the area and also disables turrets for up to 6 seconds.
Max W first then Q the E. Take R at evey chance.
Both Q and W are auto attack resets. You want to start each combo with an auto attack and then immediately use Q or W with another auto and then the other. This will drastically increase your overall damage. If you need to close distance – start with Q > Auto > W. if they are in range, Start W > Auto > Q > Auto. Before each of these, try to place your E in the place you want to fight and make sure to get the extra shield. You can use your R as a gap closer because if its great range, but it much more effective as a way to keep on your target if they flash or move out of melee range toward the end of the fight. It is also great to tower dive since it disables the tower for so long.
Volibear Jungle Routes and Guide
Generally, you will start at your Red Buff, then go straight to Blue and then Gromp.
I would recommend a 3-camp clear for Volibear. His first clear is a little shaky so Hunter’s Machete is essential for a good clear time. If you go for more than 3 camps, you will need Talisman, or you will run out of mana. A 3-camp clear allows you to use the more powerful starting item, have a good clear time, and get an early back to pick up talisman. Once you have the first half of your jungle item complete, you have all you need for future clears.
Voli has a lot of strength early. Taking enemy camps and finding the right early skirmishes can really set your opponent behind. There are very few champs that can deal with his early pressure. Take advantage of this by ganking in between clears especially when opposing laners are pushed up in the lane. He hits power spikes when he completes his jungle item and then again once Tri Force is complete. Use that extra power to get your laners ahead.
Volibear Top Lane Guide
The key to Volibear in the top lane is to out sustain your opponent. Use your early damage to push them out of lane, set up a freeze with your minions, and deny them resources. Voli excels at extended trades especially if you can fight within your E. Use the healing on your W to outlast your opponent through each exchange. He scales really well, so denying your opponent early will create an incredible gap that will make it hard for them to come back.
What Counters Volibear
Countering Voli in the Jungle requires either some trickery or raw tank power. Shyvana, Shaco, Trundle, and Ekko do well against him.
To beat Volibear in the top lane, you need either better sustain or crowd control. Champions that can mitigate damage and remove some of the effectiveness of his passive excel against him. Garen, Renekton, Darius, and Camille are good picks into a Voli.
For current win rates and most popular builds see Champion.gg.
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