So lately I’ve been messing around with off-meta runes on tank/bruiser champs (god forbid I run anything but Conquerer while in the top lane) and I think I discovered the most powerful Voli setup, regardless of the opposing champ. I haven’t seen anyone else in my Elo ever use an AP build with Voli, so I thought I’d share my experiences and suggestions on it.
A couple of lil things, this build is amazing but only so when your mid lane Yasuo doesn’t go 2/11 in the first 15 minutes. The other part, it can be hard to dominate your lane w/ this build if the enemy jungler wants to set up a lil tent and firepit in nearby bushes.
My Runes are Arcane comet, Manaflow Band, Transcendence and Gathering Storm.
Secondly, I go with Resolve, (though I haven’t played with other secondaries) rocking Demolish and Bone Plating.
I build into My E first, second being Q, and saving W for last.
The primary goal of this build isn’t to try and play aggro, but to pressure them back to the turret by a constant wave push. By doing this you’re heavily disrupting their ability to farm and can have a 2:1 or even 3:1 cs score by 15 mins. It’s important not to overreach in your wave, as getting too close to your counterpart sets you up for bad (and sometimes losing) trades. Often people in Low Elo’s forget that a champion’s role is determined by their items, not the champ itself. On top of that, most top laners don’t expect the big bear to go with mage items. If they don’t respect your lightning, you’ll chunk their health by the hundreds every hit.
I start with either Doran’s ring, or even Dark Seal if I’m feeling confident. If the enemy top lane hasn’t already caught on from the set runes, I start building Bilgewater, usually opting for two long swords and boots by the first back. This is a little counter-intuitive as you’re maxing your E as soon as possible, however most of the time the opposition builds armour in response, which sets you up for more damage once you’ve built some AP. Second back, I build into Hextech Revolver. This is a major boost for your E and helps your auto’s as Voli passive (on auto attacks) scales with ability power as well. Finishing Hextech Gunblade is important as it helps you secure even more hits with your E once you’ve got some damage output with it. If they do end up building MR regardless, you can opt for items such as Guinsoo’s Rageblade which has incredible synergy with Voli’s passive.
From there I build into Stinger, and then Luden’s Echo. the rest is open to interpretation.
Once you’ve got past lane phase, usually one or two of the enemy team is fed. Having full AP items is a double-edged sword, as volibear becomes somewhat of a glass cannon during team fights. having massive damage output but easily cc’d and singled out. I usually opt for a hit-and-run playstyle, using my E on the enemy, using my Q to hopefully stun them in the blast zone. At this point, you either stick around to get your shield (which also increases with AP) or get out. Generally, your healing is much lower than it would be with a typical Volibear build, so it’s important not to get too greedy while fighting. If the enemy team doesn’t have enough damage output to smash you faster than a 1v1 with a fed Yasuo, you should be okay to play more aggressive and sustain with your shield. Once you’ve got your third or fourth item (if the game lasts that long) you should have some room to start building tanky items. I usually opt for Spirit Visage, Gargoyle Stoneplating or Thornmail. All have their own benefits and should be bought according to the outcome of the game. From that point, you’ve become a fast attacking, high magic damage thunder-bear god who just won’t fking die. Thanks for reading my lil suggestive guide and let me know if you think there’s anything I’ve missed. Cheers!