How To Play Volibear In League Of Legends
Last Updated: April 4, 2022
One of the best examples of a rework done right is Volibear. From being an afterthought of a champion to being one of the best in the game, this bear god from Freljord’s tundra is a nightmare for all those that dare to fight him. Here’s everything you need to know to get you started playing the Relentless Storm.
Ever since his rework, Volibear has been on a roll. The rework proved to be successful as it brought back Volibear into the forefront of the meta. His entire kit has been changed for the better and now he is a very versatile champion that can play 4 out of the 5 roles. He has great crowd control, excellent dueling power, good engage, and decent sustain. While he can be played in most roles, he shines best as either a Top Laner or a Jungler.
Volibear’s reworked kit revolves around making him a more powerful duelist while retaining his amazing engage and initiation capabilities.
Passive – The Relentless Storm
Volibear gains 5% (+4% per 100) attack speed whenever he deals damage, which stacks up to 5 times. At 5 stacks, he gains Lightning Claws.
Lightning Claws: Volibear’s claws ignite with lightning, causing his basic attacks to deal bonus magic damage to the 5 closest enemies. Volibear must deal damage within 6 seconds to maintain this effect
Volibear’s passive is a big reason why he is a strong duelist. It also contributes to his excellent wave clear in lane and in the Jungle. Having Relentless Storm makes Volibear nearly impossible to 1v1.
Q – Thundering Smash
Volibear gains movement speed for 4 seconds (doubled towards enemy champions) and the ability to move through units. While active, Volibear’s next basic attack deals bonus physical damage and stuns the target for 1 second.
Volibear becomes enraged if an enemy immobilizes him before he stuns a target, resetting this ability and its cooldown.
Thundering Smash is Volibear’s primary source of crowd control outside of his ultimate. This is a great ability that lets him have solid ganks as early as level 2. This is your go to whenever you gank other lanes or when your Jungler tries to gank for you. It can also be a decent escape tool under the right circumstances.
W – Frenzied Maul
Volibear mauls an enemy, dealing physical damage, applying on-hit effects, and wounding the target for 8 seconds. If Frenzied Maul is used on a wounded target, its damage is increased by 50% and Volibear restores health plus a percentage of his missing health. (half effective against minions)
Frenzied Maul is Volibear’s bread and butter. This is your primary source of damage and what you would often use to duel your opponent. It also gives him decent sustain in lane so you can be as aggressive as you want when playing in the Top Lane. A lot of players will tend to underestimate the damage this ability deals so try to use that to your advantage to secure an early lead.
E – Sky Splitter
After a delay, Volibear summons a lightning bolt at a target location. This deals magic damage and slows enemies by 40% for 2 seconds. Damage against monsters is capped at 750. If Volibear is inside the blast zone, he gains a shield equal to [+15% max] (+80%) for 3 seconds.
Sky Splitter is a very unique ability to have. In a lot of ways, this is Volibear’s only source of poke. It has good range so you can abuse your lane opponent when they try to farm minions beyond your range. Additionally, it can be used to strengthen your dueling power as it not only deals damage, it also gives you a shield if you are inside the blast zone when you use it.
R – Stormbringer
Volibear transforms and leaps toward a target location, gaining bonus health, 50 attack range, and the ability to move through units for the next 12 seconds. Upon landing, nearby enemy towers are disabled for a few seconds and suffer physical damage. Nearby enemies are slowed by 50%, decaying over 1 second. Enemies directly underneath Volibear suffer the same physical damage.
This is probably one of the most satisfying abilities to land. Stormbringer is very similar to Galio’s Hero’s Entrance but this doesn’t require a target for you to use. You can use this to engage in 1v1s or to make a disruptive entrance in a team fight. Basically, use this when you have it up and you’re planning to fight against an enemy champion.
Runes and Item Builds
For items, your focus on Volibear is to increase both his damage output and his survivability. You can use this to buy items favored by Fighters or Bruiser that can increase his health and resistances while also giving him attack damage.
Volibear is a very versatile champion. So versatile, that he has a lot of options when it comes to his item path. For starting items, the best choice would be Corrupting Potion. This gives you sustain in lane while also giving you a bit of boost in damage when your opponent tries to trade with you. If you want to play a bit more aggressive, go with Doran’s Ring. While Volibear isn’t a full AP champion, Doran’s Ring does give him mana and powers up his E ability, Sky Splitter. If you’re going against a ranged top laner or would just like to be more durable, then go for Doran’s Shield instead. Now, if you’re playing in the jungle, always go with Hailblade. This item will turn your Smite into Chilling Smite which slows targets that you hit with the summoner spell. This is great for your ganking and lets you easily catch up or stick to your targets.
Like with his starting items, Volibear has his fair share of options when it comes to his Mythic items. In fact, you could argue that most of, if not all, the tank and fighter Mythic items are viable on Volibear. However, statistics will show that these four are the best Mythic items on Volibear if he were to be played up Top or in the Jungle. The go to choice is Divine Sunderer. This gives him health and good damage plus the Spellblade passive which makes him a very strong duelist. Next is Goredrinker. This item also makes Volibear a strong duelist while also increasing his sustain. This makes him more suited as a tank or offtank for your team. When playing in the Jungle, the best Mythic for him is Turbocharged Chemtank. This is a tank item that gives him a little bit of everything in terms of stats while giving him an active that increases his movement speed when moving towards champions or enemy towers. The last option is Frostfire Gauntlet. This item is good in both Top and Jungle. This gives Volibear all the tank and durability stats he ended while also increasing his dueling power thanks to Snowbind. What you choose should depend on your preference, team comp, and matchups. If unsure, the safest option is Divine Sunderer.
After purchasing your Mythic, go for tier 2 boots. The standard is Plated Steelcaps but you can swap it out for Mercury’s Treads depending on the situation. Next go for Thornmail and Spirit Visage. These items increase your armor, health and magic resist while giving you the ability to return damage and increase your health regeneration. Next up is Frozen Heart for the mana, armor, and attack speed reduction on enemy champions. Finish off your build with Sterak’s Gage for the damage and the passive shield.
Other Viable Items
While the full build we’ve shown above is generally considered the standard for Volibear, it is not set in stone. There are plenty of other items that you can purchase depending on your preference or what your situation currently needs. Items like Hullbreaker, Dead Man’s Plate, Gargoyle Stoneplate, Winter’s Approach, and Force of Nature are all good items to have especially if you’re leaning towards being more of a tank. Try to mix and match these item sets to see what works best for you. Doing so will help you develop a better understanding of the game’s deeper mechanics.
For your runes, go with the Precision tree and take Press the Attack as your keystone. This will further increase your dueling power. Next, take Triumph for the sustain, Legend: Tenacity to help you deal with crowd control, and Last Stand for more damage when you’re low on health. For secondaries, take Shield Bash and Bone Plating from the Resolve tree. Shield Bash will increase the shield you get from items like Sterak’s Gage or abilities like Storm Splitter. Bone Plating, on the other hand, will increase your resistances to damage from a specific champion. For rune shards, take Attack Speed, Adaptive Force, and Armor.
- You can actually cheese a first blood at level 1 when you take Thundering Smash as your first ability. This is a good way to get an early lead but it requires the cooperation of your entire team.
- Volibear doesn’t have many counters when played in the Top Lane. He does have quite a few counters when played in the Jungle, however. Champions like Diana, Nidalee, Shyvana, Nocturne, and Hecarim are strong Junglers that can counter Volibear and reduce his effectiveness.
- For your summoner spells, always take Flash and Teleport when playing in a lane. If playing in the Jungle, swap out Teleport for Smite.
So there you have it! That’s all you need to know about playing Volibear in League of Legends. Be sure to check back with us again for more awesome guides on your favorite games. Have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!