Riot Games has decided to work their magic and craft, yet again, a brand new champion for players to use. This new champion is massive and he harnesses the power of lightning to subdue his opponents. Oh, and he’s a bear that wears armor, and I’m certain I know I’ve seen him somewhere before.
Volibear, the Thunder’s Roar is now playable and is purchasable at the standard cost of 6300 Influence Points or 975 Riot Points. He’s a tank, melee, and a fighter and his set of skills make him an effective jungler. So if you like tanking, fighting, jungling, and/or, stomping people’s faces as a massive white polar bear, he’s the champion for you.
The Bear Necessities
Volibear comes with a decently bearable set of abilities that makes him easy to pick up right off the bat. He’s not like a traditional tank that has a direct form of champion crowd control or a way of boosting defenses through shielding, but his abilities prove beneficial to a team, which is really all that matters when you’re a tank, the protector of your teammates.
Chosen of the Storm (passive) - Pretty much his only “true” survival ability, and a total rip-off of Mundo’s ultimate HP regen. When Volibear’s HP reaches 30%, he automatically triggers a very effective HP Regen that heals 30% of health very quickly. It has a 120 second cooldown and can’t be toggled on or off. This is what makes you a fighter and a tank because if you’re in combat, having this ability active acts as a buffer and hopefully gives you the upper hand.
[Q] Rolling Thunder (CC/Offense) – You can basically call this “bear mode”. Volibear will drop on all fours and gain increased movement speed if he is chasing his target. Once he makes contact with his target, he will fling them backwards behind him, hopefully, into his team or off a turret. This is really what makes you a tank. You can help “focus” down targets by flinging them into your teammates. It’s also a great ganking tool, and with enough cooldown, can be used relatively often to guarantee kills.
[W] Frenzy (Offense) – This move automatically gives you free DPS. Every time you strike, for up to three hits, you gain attack speed that varies by level. At the third strike, you may activate the abilities “bite” attack that cleaves a great amount of the opponent’s health. This move does more damage the lower your opponent’s health is so saving it as the final strike is beneficial as the cooldown is quite high. It is also boosted with bonus HP from your items so you may build defensively and still gain damage.
[E] Majestic Roar (AoE CC) – This move is an effective form of CC. It’s an area-of-effect spell that slows all nearby enemies, and fears opposing minions and monsters. This can be used to clear the battlefield of minions for a short amount of time, as well as helping in catching up with your opponent.
[R] Thunder Claws (Ultimate/Offense) – Like most tanks, their ultimate’s are designed for additional damage. Volibear’s ultimate allows his melee attacks to shoot lightning that bounces off of 4 additional targets. So ultimately, no pun intended, he can hit every champion on the opposing force during a team fight.
Volibear is relatively easy so picking him up won’t be a disappointment to even the most newish of players. He’s a tank, melee, fighter, and can be used in the jungle quite well if you know how to run a path best for you.
There are not very many specifics involved in using Volibear. He’s a pretty straight-forward champion that allows for the mashing of buttons. The only thing you need to keep in mind is when and where to fling your targets. His damage output comes from sustained DPS, as he can survive as well as dish out consistent damage. All his damage really comes from the “bite” on Frenzy, which will kill most targets if they’re low enough.
Keep in mind that he does not have a natural escape mechanism, only a natural chasing one, so picking up a summoner-spell that aids in survivability is a no-brainer, as you generally pick one up on most champions anyways.
As far as gear goes, he scales off of HP and AP so grabbing hybrid items that have both is not a bad idea. Of course, you’re still going to want your pure tank gear so finding a mix of both will have to be based on your overall playstyle. He can be built with several different items, but remember, you’re a tank so your gear will have to change from game to game depending on the opposing force.
For runes, I recommend HP/level or armor seals, magic resist glyphs, and attack speed marks. The masteries should also be 0/21/9, leaning more towards defense, as you are a tank and being melee, the extra survivability never hurts early on.
Earlier today, I tried to jungle with the bear and I had some trouble with sustain ability because relying only off of his passive was not adequate. The changes to the jungle also granted less experience from lesser creatures, but they respawn faster, which isn’t good when the sustain is low. However, majestic roar fears jungle minions as well, allowing for free hits off of the targets as they run away. Jungling will have to come down to your own preferences in path and item choices, as incorrectly utilizing the jungle could put you far behind.
Volibear is one beefy champion that packs a punch so fighting him can be rough. He also has an HP regen that will trigger when he reaches 30% health so fighters will be at a disadvantage. Really, you’re going to want to burst him down because Volibear’s damage output comes from a sustained fight. His Frenzy will cleave your HP if you’re low and his ultimate adds additional DPS. He doesn’t have a sure-fire way to burst targets down.
Focusing Volibear depends on the gear he already has. If he’s tanky, his team will “ace” yours if you don’t kill him quick enough. However, if you leave him alone, he can chip away tons of health with his ultimate and then bite someone for the kill before they even know it.
The only advice I can give is if he’s low, go for the kill. He doesn’t have any way of escaping besides burning through a summoner spell.
I can’t say Riot got too creative with this one. If you think about it, they put the abilities from the game’s “so-called” tanks and put them on a champion actually labeled a tank. Riot also seems to be fond of attack speed these days. Graves, Shyvanna, and now Volibear all have moves that benefit from Attack Speed and/or naturally boost it.
Still, he’s a very versatile character and can be built in numerous ways. You can play him a pure tank, maybe build some attack speed and attack, but he’s best suited for a defensive hybrid build.
For those looking for a champion that’s easy to use, Volibear is for you. He’s very versatile so you’ll be able to learn the basics of every world in one complete package.
Though the northern reaches of Freljord are some of the most unforgiving lands in Valoran, the Ursine have survived upon the region's barren, stormy tundra for centuries. As a fierce and respected warrior of the Ursine, Volibear devoted his life to the protection of his people and loyalty to his elder brother, the tribe's chief. When his brother was killed during a hunt on the tundra, the tribe looked to Volibear as his successor. It was an honor and a burden that Volibear had never expected, but he shouldered the charge with pride. However, by Ursine tradition, the tribe could not recognize Volibear as chief until he returned from a journey to the peak of their sacred mountain, a place forever shrouded in a thundering maelstrom. There, Ursine chieftains must speak to the storm itself, gaining clarity and wisdom to empower them as mighty leaders.
Donning the chieftain's traditional armor and enchanted gauntlets, Volibear began the long and perilous climb up the slopes of the mountain. When he reached the peak and gazed into the raging storm above, he saw a horrific vision of a Freljord utterly consumed by war. Amidst the carnage, the Ursine fell dead upon a bloody battlefield. Believing the vision to be an omen of things to come if he did not act against them, Volibear traveled to the capitol of Freljord. The Ursine had not ventured across the southern mountains in centuries and his appearance was met with unease. However, Queen Ashe recognized Volibear as a wise and powerful ally. In what Volibear considered the first step against a war-torn future, they forged an alliance. As part of their agreement, he joined the League of Legends in the name of a unified Freljord, representing the primal might of his nation on the Field of Justice.
''Few can weather the storm that follows in the wake of Volibear's roar.'' - Ashe, the Frost Archer