Riot unveils reworked Volibear’s new abilities

Freljord's own thunderous demigod will hit live servers soon with a new look and feel.

Image via Riot Games

Riot Games has officially revealed Volibear’s new reworked abilities today, and the much-beloved League of Legends champion has been changed to play quite differently than previously.

Volibear’s passive, named The Relentless Storm, has been completely overhauled. Instead of healing for 30 percent of his maximum health over six seconds when at low health, the champion’s attacks and abilities grant attack speed. This causes his basic attacks to deal bonus magic damage to nearby enemies.

His Q is named Thundering Smash. Volibear still plants all four feet on the ground and gains speed towards enemies. But now, in perhaps the most controversial of all the changes in the rework, Volibear no longer flips the target over himself. He instead bites the enemy, stunning and damaging them. Despite losing the iconic flip animation, having an actual stun instead of just the displacement should be a small buff to the champ.

Volibear’s W has been simplified quite a lot. He damages an enemy and applies on-hit effects, and marking them. If Volibear casts this spell on the same target a second time, it deals bonus damage and heals Volibear. The champion no longer needs to build three stacks of frenzy to activate his W, and, according to some longtime Volibear mains, the bite is much more reliable and less clunky.

Volibear’s E is named Sky Splitter. This ability summons a lightning bolt at a location, dealing damage and slowing enemies while granting Volibear a shield if he’s inside the blast radius. This will greatly improve the survivability of the champion. There is also a great synergy between this ability and his ultimate, seeing as the shield amount from Sky Splitter depends on his HP, and the champ’s ultimate ability grants him a large amount of bonus health.

Volibear’s new ultimate ability, Stormbringer, allows him to leap to a target’s location, slowing and damaging enemies beneath him while gaining bonus health. Enemy towers near his landing location also become temporarily disabled, meaning Volibear could become a terrifying lane ganker potentially. Similarly, Volibear is mechanically “unstoppable” during his R and cannot be interrupted. It also has no cast time and can be cast while moving, according to champion designer Lutzberg. His old ultimate, the area-of-effect chain lightning, has been modified and is now part of his passive.

If you want to take a closer look at all of Volibear’s new abilities, watch the full reveal livestream here. The rework will hit live League servers on May 28.