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VOLIBEAR BUILD GUIDE: [S4 Jungle] Nibble Nibble - A Jungle Volibear Guide by timbits1o1

by timbits1o1 (last updated 3 months ago)

172,533 Views 1 Comments
9
Greater Seal of Armor(+12.69 armor)
9
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist(+12.06 magic resist)
3
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed(+4.5% movement speed)
9
Greater Mark of Attack Speed(+15.3% attack speed)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details

Starting

5

Full Item Build

View Item Details
9
21
0
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 4/4
mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
9 Offense
mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 2/2
mastery 4 2/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 3/3
mastery 1 3/3
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
21 Defense
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
0 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Chosen of the Storm
QRolling Thunder
WFrenzy
EMajestic Roar
RThunder Claws
View Skill Order Details

Introduction

Hi I'm timbits1o1 (summoner name ClevR) and this is my Volibear guide. Volibear is an extremely tanky jungler capable of isolating targets to initiate and performs incredibly well in early level dive situations. Volibear's early game prowess is unmatched, with one of the highest damage outputs for a tanky jungler before level 6. Volibear's ganks are rightly feared, as he has both a displacement and a slow at his disposal, as well as an incredibly powerful execute. With red buff volibear becomes almost unstoppable and his passive allows for incredibly early tower dives with relative safety.

Pros

-Is a bear
-Execute which does huge damage in the early game
-Flip
-AoE slow
-Passive allows for towerdives/clutch escapes
-Actually pretty good at the early tower push meta that's become standard in team game modes
-Good at "securing kills"

Cons

-Kited extremely easily
-Lategame initiation is unreliable unless flash is up
-No hard CC besides flip, which is used to initiate
-Being slightly pushed out of his role as aggressive early ganker by new popular junglers like Xin and Wukong
-Good at "securing kills"

Runes

Attack speed marks are great runes for Voli, they synergize with his W very well, and help him to clear the jungle faster. Since the rune changes, some champions have started taking glyphs and seals other than flat armor and MR, but for our early game ganking purposes, these are still the best runes due to not having to scale up. Movement speed quintessences are almost essential on Voli, as his only initiation is his flip, which does not give a lot of movement speed at early levels. Health quintessences are also acceptable, to increase Voli's diving potential and helping out his passive.

Masteries

mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 4/4
mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
9 Offense
mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 2/2
mastery 4 2/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 3/3
mastery 1 3/3
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
21 Defense
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
0 Utility
As outlined above, the standard configuration is 9-21-0, increasing Voli's durability and early game damage output. I do not take runic affinity as Volibear is not reliant on blue for mana and his early ganks already provide huge amounts of CC so red is not greatly needed. It is possible to run 0-21-9 taking runic affinity instead, you get slight movespeed increases and longer buffs in exchange for less attack speed and early attack damage. Second wind is a must, it synergizes so well with Voli's passive that it would be a huge mistake to pass up on.

Summoner Sets

Primary Set
OR

Smite is taken for obvious reasons, you're a jungler, buff control, blah blah blah.

Flash is the preferred summoner spell, although ghost works almost as well. Here's both sides of the argument for flash or ghost. Ghost enables Voli's ganks to be more successful, as flip is his only initiation. It has a lower cooldown than flash for this purpose and Voli doesn't have a lot of times where he just wants to "get out" of the fight, eliminating the need for flash. However, ghost is extremely predictable and doesn't have the surprise value of flash. Flash is great for towerdiving, as you can go in, pop your passive, and get out with flash. It's also possible to activate Q, run up to an enemy champion, and when they think they can just walk away flash to fling them back. Often times it results in a free kill.

In the end it comes down to personal preference mostly for flash/ghost, take whichever one you think will be most suited to your playstyle.

Item Builds

Starting Build(s)
Default Starting Build
5
Build 2
Starting: hunters-machetehealth-potion5 OR dorans-blade (only if confident in kill level 3)

First Back: spirit-stoneboots-of-speed OR ruby-crystalspirit-stone

Core: ninja-tabi OR (merc treads unless heavy AD enemy team and lack of enemy cc)

End Game Goals: randuins-omenspirit-visage

Situational: blade-of-the-ruined-kingfrozen-malletwits-endsunfire-capethornmailwarmogs-armorbanshees-veil
Final Build(s)
Standard Final Items
Starting Items



Standard jungle start. If you're sure you can get a kill when you gank at level 3 it's also possible to take



but it's kind of an all in start, as you'll be behind in your jungle due to having to back after the gank.

First Back



Usually this is all you'll have money for when you back the first time. If you have money for a Ruby Crystal instead of boots, go for it, you'll be able to towerdive much sooner.

Core Items



These are your core items, which you want to get before anything else. Get Merc Treads for the tenacity. Lizard elder received some buffs since the initial writing of this guide with conservation being placed on it. This makes lizard elder a great first item on Voli, to help his early ganks even more. Don't buy mobility boots, just don't. The changes to it make it so that if you're hit even once while running up to initiate, you become super slow fat bear. Mobility boots make Volibear sad. If you really want higher movespeed consider alacrity on boots of swiftness. Usually you would want to take one of either distortion, homeguard, or alacrity for your enchantment. This is mostly down to personal preference and whether or not your team is pushed to your base.

End Game Goals



Randuin's helps you initiate with the slow from its active. It's the best item against enemy AD champions and heavy AD comps. Spirit Visage not only provides MR, it's also incredibly helpful for increased healing from your passive. Due to this I firmly believe that this is the first MR item you should get every single game. The order in which these two are built depends on if the enemy team is AD or AP heavy, although usually you'll get Spirit Visage first for the healing increase.

Situational



There's a lot here, but you probably won't ever use some of them. BotRK and Frozen Mallet makes it so that the enemy can't just ignore you lategame and provides sticking power. Banshee's and Wit's End are when you need a second MR item to fill your slot, depending on the type of magic damage. Get Banshee's against poke, otherwise get Wit's End for a slight increase in damage and against sustained magic damage. BotRK and Wit's End are especially good if you plan on dueling the enemy 1v1 in a splitpush situation. Sunfire Cape and Thornmail fall into the "Ha the other team is all AD" category. Sunfire cape is good because you're mostly in melee range for a long time in a teamfight. Warmog's is for when you just need to be tankier against both types of damage, but don't get it if the other team has someone with a BotRK, as it'll be mostly useless against them.

Why not Golem?
Here I'm going to address the issue of Golem vs. Lizard as a jungle item for Volibear. Almost every other guide here recommends spirit of the ancient golem as opposed to spirit of the elder lizard. Really they're both great, and I sometimes go Golem as well if behind or if I need to get tanky fast. Just don't go merc treads with golem, tenacity is a unique passive and doesn't stack. Pick up Ninja Tabi if you're going that route. The argument for Golem is that Voli scales really well with health, and that's completely true. However, Elder Lizard gives on hit true damage, and your attack speed buff from W makes Voli able to use it much better than a lot of other junglers. Elder Lizard gives amazing early ganking power and even into the mid game. In my opinion it should definitely be used over Ancient Golem if you're ahead and don't need to be tanky really early on.
Build Order
5
The items are explained above, but we get Spirit Visage first for the passive synergy, and Randuin's is pretty much strictly better compared to Sunfire Cape because of the active slow. Because we have merc treads you'll likely want more armor compared to MR here, and while sunfire is an early game item, there's really no better choices. If you want MR here instead Banshee's is probably the best choice, although you can always consider Wit's End. BotRK of course is so you won't be ignored lategame.

Situational Items

Warmog's Armor
Sometimes you want this instead of Sunfire or Banshee's just because the enemy team has no % health damage. Be careful though as they can just build a BotRK and make this completely useless. If not for the existence of BotRK this would probably be one of the best items on Voli.
Wit's End
An alternate choice of MR that also provides damage. Don't get this if you're behind, because you need to tank for your team first and foremost. Consider this if you're going to splitpush, because it's great in 1v1 duels.

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Chosen of the Storm
QRolling Thunder
WFrenzy
EMajestic Roar
RThunder Claws
Take W first for the attack speed and execute to clear your first jungle camp. Then take E for AoE jungle clearing, and Q at level 3 for ganking.

The order to max skills I recommend is:

R > W > E > Q

Although almost any order works, except for maxing Q first. Maxing W first gives you incredible early game ganking power, and is more of an all in all ganks no farm strategy, as this doesn't clear the jungle as fast as maxing E does. Furthermore, E gives increased slow at higher ranks, so it helps in ganks as well provided your lanes have high damage. It's also a viable option to max Q second instead E or W, as Q gives increased movement speed as it ranks up, if you think you'll need it. Take ult whenever possible of course.

Skills

Chosen of the Storm
When Volibear's health drops below 30% of his maximum health, he will heal for 30% of his maximum health over the next 6 seconds.

One of the best passives in the game, no, THE best passive in the game. Bait your enemies into committing, towerdive freely, gettting out of sticky situations. This passive does it all. It's like Mundo ultimate without the movement speed. Let me repeat that, it's basically the same as an ult. Yeah. Best of all, the cooldown is much shorter compared to other life saving passives like Zac or Aatrox.
Rolling Thunder
For the next 4 seconds, Volibear will gain 15% movement speed. This bonus increases to 45% movement speed when headed toward a nearby visible enemy champion. Additionally, Volibear's next autoattack during this time will deal bonus physical damage and will fling the target behind him.

This is your main initiation tool. Judging when to use this skill is what separates the good Volis from the true chosen of the storm. Remember that this flips champions BACKWARDS, so don't run in on the opposite side of your team and flip the enemy to safety. Most of the movement speed buff also only applies when running towards enemies, so it's not a great escape either. This also resets your autoattack if you're pushing a turret or something.
Frenzy
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 won't be consumed. The bite will deal physical damage that scales with his own bonus health. This damage will in turn be increased by 1% for every 1% of the target's missing health.

This skill is why Volibear is such an early game menace. He gets free attack speed from this skill, which is huge in the earlygame where your autoattacks do a comparatively higher percent of the opponent's health compared to lategame. The execute does sometimes up to 20% of an enemy champion's health when timed correctly. Nibble nibble. The only drawback of this is its extremely long cooldown.
Majestic Roar
Volibear lets out a powerful roar that deals magic damage and slows nearby enemies for 2 seconds. Minions, monsters and pets are also feared for 3 seconds.

This skill is pretty straightforward, it's an AoE slow and helps clear the jungle. Remember that this fears minions and monsters, so if you're walking through a creep wave tanking damage use roar to get them off you. This also works on most champion pets including Tibbers and Shaco boxes.
Thunder Claws
For the next 12 seconds, Volibear's autoattacks will blast his target with lightning that will also bounce to up to 3 nearby enemies. Each bolt of lightning will deal magic damage and will only hit each target once.

This is the reason why Volibear isn't irrelevant in a teamfight after he flips someone. In the midgame this deals TONS of AoE damage, a lot of people underestimate the level 6 and 11 power spikes Voli has because of this ult. This is also why attackspeed scales so well with volibear. Use it in a teamfight and autoattack the enemy team to death. Due to its low cooldown at high levels it can also be used to farm large minion waves.

Champion Matchups

Amumu
Difficulty
Favors You
I'm going to do this a little differently. Since there are so many junglers and junglers don't really care about matchups greatly except "Can you 1v1 me?", I'm going to do this with a matchup against a jungler that CAN 1v1 you, and one that CAN'T.

And here on the other end of the spectrum we have the "amumu type" junglers, including but are not limited to Amumu, Warwick, Malphite, and Nasus. Honestly these guys aren't as common in the meta nowadays, but these are the ones you can counterjungle freely, because they tend to like to farm until level 6 and wait for lategame. Alternatively, just gank more than them and you'll snowball your team way more effectively.
Leesin
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
I'm going to do this a little differently. Since there are so many junglers and junglers don't really care about matchups greatly except "Can you 1v1 me?", I'm going to do this with a matchup against a jungler that CAN 1v1 you, and one that CAN'T.

This is for all "lee sin like" matchups. AKA junglers that stomp on your face. This list includes but is not limited to such fun opponents as Vi, Nocturne, Xin, and of course Lee Sin. Don't go into these guys' jungles unless you see them at the other side of the map. They will kill you and they will kill you before you can get help. Always be aware of the possibility of counterganks when ganking.

Don't Buy These Items

Don't buy these items. Don't do it.


NO. DON'T DO THIS. "but, but it gives attack speed!" NO. That attack speed is the false prophet sent to guide you down the dark path of the herbivore jungler. Volibear's greatest strength is his great early ganks, don't squander this advantage by buying an item designed to have you gank as little as possible. Voli doesn't clear the jungle as fast as other users of wriggles with W max, and he also isn't a damage threat like Xin or Nocturne.


I know, it has attack speed, but look, the crit chance is a wasted stat on Voli. The point of this item is actually the small amount of burst you get from the passive, and for waveclear. Voli shouldn't be the one depended upon to waveclear (otherwise your team comp has some serious problems), and he most definitely does not burst.


No, I don't care if Trick2G says it's a core item. Pants Are Dragon has the right idea, this thing isn't even on his list of alternate items. Let's count the stats that are wasted, shall we? Ability power, Mana, Crit, Attack damage does very little for Voli because he scales off attack speed better anyways. That's like 1500 wasted gold. Yes there is the movement speed buff, but what are you going to do with spellblade? What, proc it with your 20s cooldown W? No thanks.

Early Game

Gank. Gank lots. If your team is running 1v2 lane swaps with top and bot, go push the turret as 3 or 4, Voli is actually a great early turret pusher due to attack speed from W and Q auto resets that also do increased damage. Volibear also has the best level 3 turret dive, bar none, if the enemy top lane decides to stay. Whenever ganking bot or top lane, it's important to go from lane through the bushes if possible for a better angle to flip from. Between ganks you should take your small jungle camps, and always help hold lanes if you're asked to. It's great for you too since you get the exp from it.

Mid Game

You should now be looking to pressure Dragon. Ask your bottom lane to pink ward Dragon, and if you kill the opponent bot lane, immediately rotate to Dragon and take it. At this point in the game, you should be giving your mid lane the blue buff. When considering a turret dive, always go first and go if and only if you have your passive as well as flash up, unless extenuating circumstances are present. Don't hang around top at this phase of the game, and especially don't let the other team see that you're at the top portion of the map, because they will just take a free dragon. Of course this applies to you as well, if you see the enemy jungler top, go take dragon. Volibear can actually solo dragon in the midgame quite well, and you can do this if you sweep and no wards are there. Voli has immense midgame teamfight presence due to ult, so look to make plays around dragon at this point in the game.

Late Game

Look to teamfight and always keep an eye on Baron. You should never EVER show yourself at bot lane if the enemy team is in a position to rotate to Baron. Your job as a jungler is to ensure control of Baron by being in the top half of the map whenever the enemy can potentially take Baron. Conversely, if the opponent jungler shows him or herself bot when your team is near Baron, tell your team to take it immediately. Basically, same principal as midgame dragon control. Splitpushing is an alternate and less preferred playstyle to teamfighting, it is a last resort when you are fed and you know your team can't win 5v5s. When splitpushing, tell your team to take objectives while you are distracting the enemy, and remember to use Q to reset autos on turrets.

Jungling

The jungle paths you should take are

Smite Blue > Wolves or Wight > Smite Red > Gank

or

Smite Red > Wraiths > Smite Blue > Gank

Depending on which lane you want to gank first. You want to plan your path so that the lane you plan to gank is near the second buff you finish. I don't recommend a full clear for level 4 because it's excruciatingly slow and you should be ganking anyways, as a gank heavy jungler. When contesting Dragon or Baron, try to time Smite with your W, start using the W first when the objective's HP is a little too high for smite, as it has a cast animation, and then smite as W is casting for maximum security.

Counterjungling

It is not recommended to counterjungle with our favourite bear. Although his damage output is high, Volibear's power mainly comes from his ability to displace and without red buff it's hard to stick to targets one on one. Most of the time the enemy jungler will either beat you straight up (Lee, Vi, Nocturne), or just walk away. However, if the enemy jungler is someone without a good escape and someone who you know you can duel, then and only then is counterjungling taken into consideration. The questions that have to be asked are

1. Can I beat the opponent jungler 1v1?
2. Can me and my mid beat the opponent jungler and mid 2v2?
3. Is there a better use of my time right now? (an easy gank, taking own buffs)
4. Can I win a smite war?
5. Is it possible to get out if something goes wrong?

If and only if the answers to all those questions is yes should you counterjungle. Do not waste your time with non buff camps, as you likely have better things to do, being a gank focused jungler. However, if the opponent is a farm jungler reliant on either his buffs (Amumu, Malphite) or the gold and exp from them, counterjungling is a great way to make sure they never impact the game in a meaningful way.

To prevent counterjungling from an enemy that you know will do so, ask your team to ward the buff you're not starting at and if they show up, collapse on them with mid and possibly other lanes if needed. After your first or second back try to pick up wards and keep either the entrances to your jungle from river or the buffs themselves warded. Do not attempt to 1v1 enemy Jarvans or Lee Sins.

Invades

DO. NOT. INVADE. WITH. BEAR. Don't do it. The reasoning is because of a total lack of CC that can actually land on the enemy. If you take Rolling Thunder first, your jungle clear time will be an eternity and you might not even have enough HP to take down your second buff should the invade fail. Majestic Roar IS CC, but it's not hard CC and opponents can easily flash a wall, aside from the fact that you shouldn't ever be near enough to anyone to land it. Short story: unless your team has something like a Blitzcrank, don't invade.

To protect your jungle from enemy invasion, ward the bush beside mid lane close to the buff you are starting at. Ask your lanes to protect the other buff. In the event of an invade, your first job is to assess how many people are invading your jungle and if you have time to get to the enemy buff of the same colour as the one being taken from you. If there are 4 or 5 people, you have 2 options. If you think your team can win a 5v5 or 5v4 fight, tell your team to gather up to surround and collapse, if otherwise, go immediately to the opponent buff and take it with at least one of your laners there to leash. If there are only 3 people or less invading, tell your team to collapse on them, but if minions have already reached towers and the lane that's far from your doesn't want to miss a wave of minions, then that's fine. Fight 3v3. It's better for them to get the wave than to get a kill due to the experience they would gain from the wave.

Team Fights

If your team has a champion that can initiate from afar, or someone who has a safer initiation (I.E. Leona), then you don't have to do any of that work at all. Save your Q, relax, let them do the work. Then proceed to flip back a vulnerable target like the enemy ADC, roar in the enemy team's face, call on the power of the storm to infuse your claws with thunder, and wreck the enemy team.

However, if your team doesn't have a better initiation, then you're going to have to do the work yourself. Charge at them on all fours with your Q and maybe flash to get in range if they run. Flip someone back and roar in their face. Pop ult and autoattack the guy you just flipped back. Remeber, DO NOT FLIP AN AMUMU INTO YOUR TEAM. That would result in an "I'm Volibear, I'm heeeeeelping" situation. Don't be that guy.

In both situations, save W to execute an enemy. Stick to your carries like glue and act like a shield to protect them.

Final Comments

Well that's the end of the guide, I hope it wasn't unBEARable for you to read. (come on, it's a Volibear guide, I have to include that somewhere) If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment on the guide and I'll respond if possible. Don't forget to upvote if you enjoyed the guide, and have fun nibbling your opponents to death on the fields of justice!

Comments

May 20, 2014 - 08:56 PM #1

I'm not following your elder lizard > ancient golem argument.

A couple points:
- The true damage DoT doesn't stack. This means attack speed is irrelevant--all you do is refresh the duration, it still only does 5-17 true damage per second or so (depending on your level).
- 30 AD is decent. Early game this + the DoT probably adds 50-100 total (after reduction) damage to your gank.

On the other hand, with ancient golem, you get:
- 350 hp (and an extra 117 or so on your passive)
- tenacity--if you are ganking lanes that have cc, this helps a lot. Yeah you can build merc treads before finishing elder lizard to get tenacity, but then you don't have the elder lizard for dmg & gold generation. This also frees you up to get ninja tabi, which are quite good tanking boots, better than merc treads.

I'd gladly trade 30 AD & a small truedamage burn that you can't apply to more than 1 target at once (unlike, say, panth who has an aoe phys dmg ability) for ~467 health & ability to swap merc treads into ninja tabi.

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