League of Legends Volibear guide — best runes, build, tips and tricks

Riot Games

The Volibear rework is here on League of Legends Patch 10.11, and the Relentless Storm has undergone some major changes. No matter if you are a main or a first-time player, check out our dedicated Volibear guide to learn the ropes before picking him up again.

Volibear’s long-awaited rework is finally here. After getting voted for a full gameplay update back in 2018, fans of the Relentless Storm don’t have to wait much longer to get their hands on him.

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For all intents and purposes, the champion still works the same. However, his kit has been modernized, and will be a huge threat on the Rift once his release comes on Patch 10.11.

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If you want to get your hands on Volibear early, we’ve compiled a guide of everything you need to know so you can master him before you launch into game.

Thousand Pierced Volibear skin for League of LegendsRiot Games
The Volibear rework is here.

What are Volibear’s reworked abilities?

The reworked Volibear works similarly to the old one. However, there’s a few key changes. Notably, his passive has been replaced by his old ultimate, while his healing has been shifted to his W.

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Passive: The Relentless Storm

Volibear’s new passive is akin to his old ultimate, but with a few changes. Volibear will gain a stacking attack speed buff every time he deals damage.

Once he hits five stacks, his auto attacks will be empowered, dealing bonus damage to multiple nearby enemies.

Q: Thundering Smash

Volibear’s Q has undergone an update, but it works in the same way for the most part. He will still run at enemies, but instead of flipping them, he will stun them. Also, if he gets immobilized while channeling his Q, its cooldown will be reset.

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W: Frenzied Maul

Volibear’s W is quite different from his old W. While it’s still a point-and-click damage ability, that’s where the similarities end. He will wound enemies with his W, applying on-hit effects. If he then uses W again on a wounded enemy, he will do extra damage, and restore health.

E: Sky Splitter

Volibear’s E has been completely reworked. It’s the only ranged ability in his kit that can affect champions. After a delay, Volibear summons a lightning bolt, which deals magic damage and slows enemies. Volibear also gets a shield if he is hit by the lightning bolt.

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R: Stormbringer

Ohmwrecker is back in Volibear’s new ultimate. Volibear leaps to a target location, disabling nearby enemies towers and getting a boost in stats. Enemies under Volibear take damage and are slowed. It’s basically Bard’s ultimate combined with Sett’s, with decent range.

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Volibear’s new ultimate is one of the best in the game.

Best runes for Volibear

Volibear has two core keystones he can take: Conqueror and Aftershock. Both of these runes are good regardless of where you take Volibear, but serve two different purposes.

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Conqueror allows Volibear to become a bruiser menace. The increased healing makes him almost unkillable without the assistance of grievous wounds. Partnered with Legend: Alacrity and Coup de Grace, and the Relentless Storm will be able to shred any foes he comes across.

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You’re probably going to be taking Conqueror more often than not.

Aftershock, on the other hand, allows Volibear to become the team’s beefy tank. If you have a lot of damage on your team, but not enough frontline potential, it might be worth all-inning into Aftershock. Demolish also helps him shred down towers, doubling up with his ultimate.

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Nimbus Cloak and Celerity are stock-standard secondary jungle options, and work wonders on Volibear. Smiting an enemy for the Nimbus Cloak movement speed, coupled with Celerity and his Q, means no enemy will be able to escape your grasp. Bonus points if you have Righteous Glory too.

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Aftershock Volibear is good if you need to be the front line for your team, or lay down some extra burst damage.

Finally, as a bit of a cheesy curveball option, you can also take Predator as a keystone. Buffs to the rune are on the way, and while some of the secondary Domination options aren’t ideal, you can still make it work.

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These runes are all optimized for jungle. If you want to run top lane Volibear, looking into Second Wind over Bone Plating is a good idea. Also, you can swap Nimbus Cloak and Celerity for another secondary pair, like Time Warp Tonic and Biscuit Delivery.

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Take Predator for a bit of fun.

Best items and build for Volibear

Volibear’s new home is in the jungle. While he’s seen a lot of play in top lane and support as of late, in the jungle is where he thrives. This means his build will need to be optimized for that.

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Starting with Hunter’s Machete will allow you to breeze through your first clear, although you’ll need to keep an eye on your health. If you can manage jungle aggro correctly, there’s no reason to not take it over Talisman.

Tiamat will help you blaze through your clear as well. Getting that early after you complete Cinderhulk (aim for Blue smite) will make resetting your camps easy. It will also increase your damage in teamfights, as it will activate on your W as an on-hit effect.

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Maximise on Volibear’s AoE with Tiamat to help speed up your clear.

Dead Man’s Plate is also a must-buy. Given Volibear’s core kit is running at people, why wouldn’t you want to increase your movement speed and damage? With Dead Man’s Plate, you can look at bursting down carries you get on top of with just one Q.

Spirit Visage, Righteous Glory, Trinity Force, Iceborn Gauntlet, Abyssal Mask, Black Cleaver and Adaptive Helm are all situationally good on Volibear. It really depends on where you take him.

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It’s ill-advised to take him into support right now, but can definitely be possible. Look at getting an early Dead Man’s Plate, and couple it with Righteous Glory. Knights Vow and Gargoyle Stoneplate are also good pickups to increase your tankiness in fights.

How to play Volibear post-rework


Volibear jungle is pretty straightforward. Like the old Volibear jungle, he is really good at ganking and tower diving. While this used to be because of his old passive, now it’s because of his ultimate.

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As Volibear, you should focus on clearing your jungle early in the game to hit level six. Getting your ultimate is a huge power spike. Then, from there, you’ll want to exploit vulnerable enemy laners. Set up tower dives with your ultimate off cooldown, and make use of it.

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If you aren’t tower diving with Volibear, you are playing him wrong.

You have to be careful for invades when clearing your jungle. Given your early sustain isn’t good, aggressive early game junglers can shut you down and put you far enough behind that your ganks will have no impact.

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To help with your sustain, keep one creep in a jungle camp alive while you clear the rest. This will allow you to keep stacking your W and healing.

Top lane

In the top lane, Volibear is a bit different. You’ll want to look for extended trades around your W, healing constantly while your enemies gets chunked down. If you are in a melee-vs-melee matchup, this should be easy. In ranged matchups, it’s a bit tougher.

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Using your E is also key. It’s a great way to force enemies back into you, as well as baiting enemies into unfavorable trades with the extra shielding. Then, once your jungler comes around for a gank, jump underneath the enemy tower and clean up with your ultimate.

After the early game, jungle and top lane Volibear play out very similarly. You’ll be looking for engage opportunities under every tower possible. Given that League players are conditioned to huddle under towers as protection from dives, being able to negate them completely can leave a lot of teams vulnerable.

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Thunderlord Volibear skin for League of LegendsRiot Games
Volibear’s rework will be released on May 28 during Patch 10.11.

Partnering Volibear with Bard is also super strong. Locking enemy structures down for upwards of eight seconds is ridiculous, and can basically remove any home-ground advantage for an entire fight.

If you find yourself stuck in a side lane, it’s not the end of the world. Volibear can handle two opponents by himself pretty easily if he’s leveled enough, although his lack of mobility does mean he gets outscaled in the late game. His ultimate is also good for trying to push in towers quickly, but its long cooldown makes this strategy a bit less viable.

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The Volibear rework will be released on League Patch 10.11, which drops on May 28. If you don’t own the champion, you can buy him in the in-game store for 4800 BE or 880 RP.

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