Volibear Champion Review

Posted on at 1:11 AM by Moobeat
Well guys, it's been about a week since Volibear's release and I am ready to present you with my first impressions of our newest champion! I finally got around to getting some extensive  hands on time with cuddly little Volibear and I think I've finally got my bearings on him as a champion.
Someone is about to get the crap bit out of them.
I think the best way to recipe for Volibear, in terms of already released champions, would be a base of Singed mixed with a splash of Mundo and a lightly peppered with a dash of Garen. Like Singed, Volibear can utilize speed and his flip ability to initiate team fights and chase down fleeting enemies. With a passive akin to Mundo's ultimate, Volibear persists through one on one and sustained damage while dishing out a steady stream of AoE damage and is prone to finishing off low health targets Garen-style.

I've played about 15 to 20 games of Volibear, pretty evenly dispersed between both Summoner's Rift and Dominion, and I can honestly say he has been a blast to play. His kit is very forgiving to new players and is fairly easy to just pick up and get the hang of. Something about running around as a giant armored bear, snapping at low health squishies, and firing off lightning bolts is just plain fun. I feel like where his brawler one on one capabilities shine in Dominion, the area of effect damage he can serves up in the frequent team fights of Summoner's Rift make him equally as viable on either map. Personally, I enjoy him more on Summoner's Rift where I can abuse Warmog's Armor and take a real bite out of crime.

So, let's jump right in and take a good look at  his abilities and ratios and see just what we are dealing with.
( Passive ) 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. This passive effect has a 120 second cooldown.
( Q ) Rolling Thunder -  For the next 4 seconds, Volibear will gain 45% movement speed if he is moving towards a nearby visible enemy champion. Additionally, Volibear's next autoattack during this time will deal bonus physical damage ( 25 / 50 / 75 / 100 / 125  ) and will fling the target behind him.
( W ) Frenzy - Volibear temporarily gains bonus attack speed ( 8 / 11 / 14 / 17 / 20% per stack ) after an autoattack. This bonus is passive and stacks up to 3 times and lasts for 4 seconds. 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 90 / 140 / 190 / 240 / 290 (+20% of bonus health). This damage will in turn be increased by 1% for every 1% of the target's missing health.
( E ) Majestic Roar - Volibear lets out a powerful roar that deals magic damage (60 / 95 / 130 / 165 / 200 (+0.6 per ability power)) and slows ( 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50% ) nearby enemies for 3 seconds. Minions and monsters are feared for the duration as well.
( R ) Thunder Claws - For the next 12 seconds, Volibear's autoattacks will blast his targets with lightning that will bounce to up to 4 nearby enemies. Each bolt of lighting will deal magic damage (75 / 115 / 155 (+0.3 per ability power)) and will only hit each target once.
This kit gives Volibear with a healthy mix of both physical and magical damage and his sparse ratio ratios for each open up a variety of item builds. During my games I always found myself and the enemy Volibear's utilizing all sorts of kooky and weird builds... that actually worked. Effective as a typical bruiser, AP/HP tank ( similar to Cho'Gath or Singed ), pure Tank, or even as a Jungler, there is SO much diversity amongst his viable builds. The fact that his W scales with bonus HP leaves him very flexible and able to squeeze into any build that spikes up his health without sacrificing too much of his damage.

My biggest gripe about Volibear's kit is his cooldowns and how those high cool downs interact with and hamper his kit. His Q, W, and E pack cool downs of 8, 18, and 11 respectively at max rank and can be quite frustrating in the face of any respectable kiter. For example, say you initiate a fight with an adorable Teemo by flipping him over your head, you nail your slow, and begin to wail on him. Whether it is by the tip of his Blinding Dart or Move Quick, after the initial slow from your E wears off,  you are going to have a hard time both keeping up with him and continuing to auto attack enough to keep your three stacks of Frenzy online for a timely execute ( as the cool down is so long you can't realistically bite someone more than once or maybe twice a fight ). You also run into a similar problem in the face of strong CC champions ( Alistar, Janna, etc ) who can easily disrupt your toss charge leaving you with no means of getting back to your target. Coupled with the incredibly small range and long cool down on your E, it makes sticking on that carry very difficult. While the summoner skill Ghost can provide a remedy to this problem every 210 seconds, it's still a turn off for me to not be able to nom a perfectly delicious target without the stars aligning every team fight.
It shouldn't go without saying that if you are able to sink your claws into someone, you are a literally a beast. His chain lightning-esque ultimate lets you pump out some serious damage. Even with base damage, if you can manage to clump an enemy group together you are dealing a massive 775 damage per auto attack before resistances. While this isn't exactly a situation you will commonly find yourself in, it is a lot of power wrapped up into a bruisers ultimate. Topping this off with an "all consuming" Frenzy activation can make you quite the threat to an enemy team.

Quick Builds:
( disclaimer: While I highly doubt these builds are God's gift to Volibear players, I think they might sway you into the right direction if you are in need of guidance. As you should with any build, make sure you adapt your build based on the enemy team. )

1)  Personal Favorite / Jungler - This is the build I typically find myself slipping into regardless of if I find myself in the lane or in jungle. Two massive health items intertwined with tried and true usefulness of Wriggles make you an animal to take down in a team fight.  Frozen Mallet and Wit's End combine for heavy damage and let you stick on people while making the most of the zap's from your R. This build has the flexibility of a very adaptive build order. Aside from your first item almost exclusively being Wriggles Lantern, you are free to move about this item sequence as the match dictates.

2) The Metabear - A meta golem/standard bruiser build with some cheap CDR and utility items that sync well with Volibear's kit. While the natural Synergy between Warmog's Armor, Atma's Impaler, and Trinity Force make the most of Volibear's damage while still leaving him rather tanky. Spirit Visage serves as a decent CDR / HP mid game item that helps amplify the effect of his passive and an early Philosopher's Stone into Shurelia's Reverie gives him cheap sustain and utility while also pushing his CDR closer to cap.
3) The AP Off Tank - While it is a bit of a different look on Volibear from the other two builds, I found this one to still be effective enough to work. By abusing high HP and AP items, we can shift Volibear's damage more to the AoE side to really make him shine in a team fight.  Combine this with the ridiculous Atma's Impaler and Warmogs combo and you got yourself one beefy bear. I would make a fair guess that this build is far too expensive to get to a fifth item in an average game, but filling out the last spot with a your choice of a proper defensive item would be the way to go. Something to sync with the ludicrous amount of HP you have or a Guardian angel would work best. An early Catalyst into Rod of Ages also comes with the advantage of nice regeneration to keep you farming and keep you healthy for team fights.
Tips and Tricks:
  • Popping Summoner Heal as soon as your passive triggers will often refill you up to maximum health and turn the tide of a skirmish
  • Majestic Roar minion fear easily reveals which is the champion and which is the clone against deceptive champions such as Shaco and LeBlanc.
  • Bear in mind the timing of your Rolling Thunder activation, as a misplaced toss is often as valuable as no toss. We have all felt the vile bite of an ill placed Singed Fling or Alistar Headbutt.
  • Flexible item paths and multiple effective builds.
  • Easy and Straight forward kit to pick up and play.
  • His ultimate garners tons of AoE damage for such a bulky champion.
  • The execute like effect on his W activation gives him fantastic one on one damage
  • Great scaling into late game and with a fair amount of coin.
  • Very susceptible to CC and Slows as his damage output hinges on auto attacks.
  • No natural defensive steroid despite his Bruiser / Off tank role.
  • Long base cool downs lean your builds to include CDR.
  • Passive has Mundo syndrome and is greatly hindered by Ignite and heavy burst.
  • No Escape Mechanics or natural Sustain ( dropping below 30% for a 2 minute heal isn't exactly ideal ) leave him vulnerable to ganks early game.
... and that does it for my first new champion review! I hope you enjoyed it and I am planning on churning these out in the future. I hope I can overcome my nasty bout of Strep throat so I can continue mauling some faces off on the Fields of Justice!


  1. Great review, looks like a really good champion!

  2. op champion is op, half the games i've played against him, he has been dishing out more damage in team fights than a 4/1/7 annie, and taking less damgage than a full tank rammus!

  3. Really helpful review. Many spelling mistakes though. Im sorry I just can't ignore them.

  4. @Aegis

    Trying to suss them out :(

  5. This champion is actually pretty well broken. I've seen voldi walk up to my turrets with one ally and destroy them one by one with little to no effort as his passive returns most of his health back in 6 seconds. Once he builds a warmogs there isnt much that can stand in his way esp as a tanky jungler. I have played many nukers against him and where ignite may be handy it just doesnt compare to the regeneration this smarter than the avereage bear has,and usually he can take you down before you get the last bit of damage out. As long as you play him well he is easily one of the most sustainable champions in the game. Looking forward to picking him up and trying him before an inevitable nerf. If playing against vodibear ignite and flash are your friends or at least an exhaust other ccs arent the greatest 1v1 due to his rolling thunder. If anyone else has any tips for playing against voldibear please post cuz my friends and I could seriously use the help lol :D

  6. Sry I play mostly nukers and am fairly new so dont really know what to build against champs like this. (forgot to explain where i was coming from)

  7. @mystaff. i would disagree about ur fact of exhaust as the only cc that truly works ok on him

    Volibear and singed (who is a nasty combo laning agenst, and therefor teams up rather often (IMO anyway) are 2 champs that is the reason for the ranged AD carry, that IMO is a must for a team

    The ranged carry's job is to grab a madreds blodrezor, some armorpenetration if he builds armor instead of a health-orientated build.

    then in a teamfight, ur team cc's him so he cant do a thing (silence, root/snare or stun allways works for me) and sets your AD carry on him. (the more cc the carry can ditch out, the better.) and the rest of your team procedes to take down the rest of the team

    i usually play tf, and i cannot recall a situation where i was not able to take down a volibear this way, and before he had the chance to ditch out that enormous dammage he has the potential to. 50/50 of the times my tf can also take him in a 1v1.

    if there is a volibear on the enemy team. ur ranged carry rushes a Madreds blodrazor, and makes volibear first target for the carry in teamfights.

  8. @Arthur. What is Volibear's team doing that whole time? This is the problem with Volibear, by building pure health he gains the ability to Survive (massive health + massive passive + massive Summoner heal) and dish out a massive nuke (even without getting too carried away, his W can easily deal 800 damage to full health targets). So this creates a situation where he becomes a champ that if you choose to focus him, his sustainability means that in the time and effort it takes you to kill him, his team has already taken out half of yours. If you ignore him, the disrupt from his toss, the high base damage on his ult, and the Garen ult, I mean his W, will do massive damage to your team.

    I've seen a volibear with two warmogs and boots tower dive a full health Poppy, take DFG, ignite, and 1v1 Poppy. Volibear not only won, but walked out from under the turret with over 1/3 health.

    It's gotten to the point where if I see Volibear on the enemy team at the loading screen, unless that player or at least three other people on the team are bad, I already consider it a loss.

    When he hits the competitive scene, it should be fun. He'll probably be a standard ban, but if not and you have first pick, ban kog and Malz, and you should be able to faceroll.

    The other thing that is starting to not be fun is teams like Volibear, Karthus, Tryndamere, Mundo, and Zilean. Who do you focus first? They all have something that makes them very hard/impossible to burst to any effect.

  9. Volibear is not OP tho he is a good jungler/initiator, he does need a lot of HP to make his pasive and his w active work better but you also need lots of armor/m resist to be able to tank, a good 5v5 ranked premade isnt a joke.
    His pasive heals for 30% of his total health over 6 seconds after falling below 30% hp.
    Wich on a 3.5k hp volibear means he will heal around 1.2k doing around 200 heal per second. If you already fell under 30% hp it means you have less than 1.2k hp remaining. At this point 1 ignite will reduce his healing by 600 while doing damage, if after this you still cant kill volibear then you are aimming wrong or got the wrong setup since most times volibear will be in the middle of the fight with no way back.

  10. volibear is op, maybe broken and in need of nerf. Smart use of ignite can take him out tho

  11. Volibear is indeed going to get nerfed in his W, the major downfall of that ablity its the long cooldown on his W(18 secs) altough with CDR you can put it at just 10 secs

    Also another good counter against his W, that wasn't explained here is that his W needs 3 auto attacks to get 3 frenzy stacks(wich lasts for 4 secs) a stun or knockback and running away can make him lose his stacks and losing his burst power for the next 3/4 secs the other problem with that his that his Q+E will allow him to catch you unless you flash over a wall or have improved ghost(or exausting him but there are more options)

    Another of his pros is that at 40% CDR he can chain pull&slow you ALONE Q and E need a small CD increase the W nerf won't be enough

  12. Volibear is easy...
    add 1 Oalf
    Built healthy and semi tanky (usually a Warmorgs and Mallet) toss on an Atma's, IE, and Phantom Dancer... and what Bear? Oh you mean the floor rug beneath my feat. Whats worse is the more damage you do to Olaf the faster he hits. Often times I'll come in from the back of a team fight where I've been waiting for the first few seconds of burst to pass and Volibear will run. I mean come on. Just as easy to kill as any other tank. I own him quit well with the Dragoness or Fizz as well.

  13. Who tanks anymore? Typical meta is tanky DPS top, tanky DPS jungler, AP mid, AD carry + Support bottom.

    So a typical Volibear build (2 warmogs, spirit visage, merc treads, atmas) gives him over 5k health, 114 health regen/5, a passive that heals for over 1.5k, a summoner heal that heals for ~720. That's the sustain side.

    On the offensive side, he has 220 AD, when he uses his ult he adds 155 magic damage to his basic attacks for 12 seconds, for a whopping 375 damage per hit before reductions. That's pretty damn impressive for having one hybrid offensive item, considering the passive buff from W will give him an attack speed of ~1.2

    and last but not least, the base damage on W is over 800 before taking into account the bonuses from missing health.

    He simply scales too well off of one defensive stat. In my opinion, gaining offensive ability based off of defensive stats is fairly questionable in any form.

  14. You guys all talk like oh simply get 2 warmogs and atmas blah blah, how the hell do u do that top laners like olaf, udyr, kennen, teemo, garen, ryze, tryndamere, gangplank, and sion all flat out beat him. Lanes like irelia, nasus, riven(decent player) can free farm or beat him and they are the weaker laners with more late game focus. Seriously if you aren't playing in 1200 rating or below he can't win a lane and jungles too slowly to be viable in the new jungle. His ganks are also only as efficient as udyr ganks which is C+ at best.

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