Volibear is one of the most popular top laners in League of Legends solo queue. He’s easy to play and has a great kit, which scales well throughout the entire duration of the game.
His kit allows him to have a flexible build path, allowing you to adjust your itemization based on your needs without issues. He has great ratios and benefits well from the latest item additions to League. He is one of the safest top laners to pick right now due to his ability to withstand pressure easily from various champions.
While Volibear is a powerful top laner who can have a huge impact on the game, he can be controlled during the laning phase. There are various champions who can put a stop to this beast, but if you’ve found yourself in a bad matchup, there are various items to help you out in your journey to win the lane.
Here are the best counter picks to beat Volibear in the top lane.
Volibear has a predictable kit and you can withstand his lane pressure with ease as long as you pay attention to his Sky Splitter (E) ability, which makes him quite durable, and Frenzied Maul (W), which is his main damaging ability. Engage on him when these abilities are on cooldown and you’ll have the upper hand. Even if you aren’t careful and get caught by his combo, he won’t be a huge threat as long as you don’t get caught by him multiple times.
While with some champions such as Gragas, you look towards keeping up in farm and scaling for the later stages of the game, others like Kled or Quinn can be used to dominate the laning phase and put Volibear in a dire spot. It’s up to you to choose your tactic which you want to go for, however as long as you pay attention to his basic combo, you’ll be fine regardless of tactic.
Once Volibear reaches level six, he becomes a huge problem for champions who are playing defensively since his ultimate Stormbringer (R) disables towers, allowing his jungle to come and dive you without issues for an easy kill. That’s why it’s important to never fall back and at least keep even in gold, unless you want to be the target of multiple dives after level six.
Kled is one of the best counters against Volibear because he has a built-in healing-reduction effect, which allows you to stop his sustain through his W.
Your kit allows you to use Jousting (E) to dash through minions to escape melee range if Volibear catches up to you, then Bear Trap on a Rope (Q) to follow up with some damage against him once at safe distance. Your attack speed steroid in Violent Tendencies (W) makes your trades powerful against Volibear, who needs time to get going.
By trying to keep Volibear under control, you can roam and use Chaaaaaaaarge!!! (R) to influence the rest of the map, while Volibear will look to push the top lane or try to help his team with Teleport. If he doesn’t have Teleport, you’re going to have a one-man advantage against his team, so you should be able to build a lead. By roaming and snowballing your team, you can ensure you have high chances of winning the game instead of just waiting in the top lane for something to happen.
If you put Volibear on the backfoot early on, he won’t be able to be the frontline his team needs. He will be reduced to a turret disabler, who will die to your carries with no issues. Use your lead to continue split pushing around the map and punish Volibear. If he tries to match you, use your ultimate or Teleport to join your team and create five-vs-four fight scenarios.
One of the best counter picks to melee champions in the top lane, Quinn excels at dealing with pesky top laners due to her range advantage on top of her blind from Blinding Assault (Q).
During the laning phase, all you have to do is keep attacking Volibear every time he tries to go for a last hit. If he tries to engage on you, use either the blind or Vault (E) to distance yourself from him and turn on him while he’s slowed. The matchup is highly favored towards Quinn and you shouldn’t lose the lane unless you overextend. But even if you overextend, you can keep him under control by keeping a safe distance and slowly withering his health pool down. He has a predictable playstyle and you should easily be able to win against him.
By keeping Volibear in check, you can look to start roaming around the map at level six once you get Behind Enemy Lines (R). The huge movement speed from the ultimate will allow you to cover wide distances around the map and will increase your pressure on the opposing team tenfold. You can even forego Teleport as a traditional top laner and go for offensive spells such as Ignite or Exhaust.
In the mid to late stages of the game, avoid grouping up and instead focus on split pushing. Even if you set Volibear behind, he will be a decent teamfight frontline while you’ll be relegated to a subpar ADC position. It’s better to force the enemy team to react to your taking down their base instead of having a mediocre impact in a teamfight. If you prefer a more teamfight-oriented approach, Quinn is not for you since she has to be split pushing constantly.
Gragas is one of the most stable tanks in the top lane. He has a decent kit that scales well throughout the entire duration of the game. Your plan is to trade evenly with Volibear and scale into the later stages of the game, where you have an edge over him due to your superior sustain and displacement via ultimate.
During the laning phase, aim to get Plated Steelcaps and Bami’s Cinder, so you’ll be able to win plenty of trades against the bear, who won’t have a lot of magic resistance on. Your base damage combined with your sustain will be strong enough to deal with Volibear if he tries to match you.
As the game progresses and you acquire your tank items, your teamfight presence should be more impactful compared to Volibear, especially due to your ultimate which can be a huge game-changer against flashless enemies. A good ultimate to knock the carries into your team can win the teamfight or the game on the spot. This unpredictability makes you a huge threat regardless of how well you’re doing personally. Compared to you, Volibear doesn’t have such a huge teamfight presence. While he does have his turret-disabling ability, it’s no match to your displacement ultimate.
If you followed these tips and farmed up, you will be a great frontline for your team. By soaking damage and giving time to your carries to do damage, you’ll have a clean path towards victory. Look to protect them and avoid diving the backline, unless you can displace them to get killed quickly by your team.
Items to build into Volibear
This is a great item against Volibear since a lot of his damage is centered around auto attacks. By picking up early armor and reducing his auto-attack damage, you’ll become much beefier and harder to kill, even if you get repeatedly ganked.
This is a great anti-sustain item against Volibear if you want additional tankiness and are finding yourself in melee range against him too often. The armor granted by it is a nice addition to the anti-healing effect. With so many champions having a lot of sustain nowadays, this item can be a great investment for the later stages of the game.
This Mythic tank item is one of the best tank items in the game currently. It is powerful due to its active effect, which allows you to charge in teamfights and get into a good position to displace the opponents. On top of having a good teamfight active, the passive effect allows you to farm up waves in the top lane and do great damage to Volibear.
Goredrinker is a great Mythic bruiser item, allowing you to match Volibear’s sustain. If he tries to all-in you, use this item to regain a huge chunk of health back, giving you enough time to turn the tides and attempt to either kill or escape the skirmish. The stats granted by it are great and it’s overall a good item, even after nerfs.
This Mythic item should help you escape Volibear if he tries to engage you due to its dash ability. On top of that, the movement speed granted by it should help you kite him efficiently and slowly wither his health pool down.
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