Riot Games have revealed a full in-depth look of the upcoming Volibear rework, which was ushered by the League of Legends fanbase, who voted for his Visual and Gameplay update (VGU) in 2019.
Shortly after Riot introduced the Fiddlesticks' update which hit the Summoner's Rift on April 1, the League of Legends developer announced that Volibear's VGU was almost ready to be added to the game. Since then, Riot slowly unveiled changes that are coming our way, but it was not until this Friday when Riot Games uncovered a full look of Volibear's upcoming changes, including a new model, new abilities and new skins.
With the Volibear's VGU Update Riot Games found the right mix, by not changing Thunderous Demigod too much, while also introducing updated abilities and new look, which will fit in with some newer releases. The new look and new abilities will also go hand-in-hand with Volibear's ferocious lore, that portrays Volibear as a battle-spirit of Freljord, known as Thousand-Pierced Bear, who fought in the coldest wars for thousands of years, which hardened him into an indomitable force.
Riot Games unveiled Volibear's VGU update in a livestream that took place on May 8, where the LoL developer highlighted Volibear's updated model and skins in action, while also uncovering all of Volibear's new abilities. Although the numbers and scaling of Volibear's abilities are yet to be determined, his updated kit has been recognised as a massive positive by the LoL community, since it looks significantly more competitive and better suited for the current state of the game.
The Relentless Storm (Passive): Volibear's attacks grant him an attack speed buff and once stacked make Volibear's auto attack deal bonus magic damage to nearby enemies in a form of a bolt of lightning.
Thundering Smash (Q): Grants Volibear bonus movement speed when moving towards enemies, stunning and damaging the first one he attacks.
Frenzied Maul (W): Volibear damages an enemy, applying on-hit effects and marking them. Upon the second cast on the same target, Volibear deals bonus damages and heals himself.
Sky Splitter (E): Volibear summons a lightning bolt at a targeted location, dealing damage and slowing the enemies hit while granting Volibear a shield if he is inside the blast radius.
Stormbringer (R): Volibear leaps to a target location, slowing and damaging enemies beneath him, while also gaining bonus health for a set amount of time. Enemy towers near his landing location are temporarily disabled and cannot attack.
Volibear's new kit brings a lot of utility, the Thunderous Demigod did not have before, while also keeping his abilities similar to those he had before the rework. This will also make Volibear a great flex pick, meaning he could be played at several different roles. Although it's still unclear in which roles Volibear will excel, it seems very likely he will be played in one of the three roles.
Jungler: Due to his passive AoE, Volibear will have a strong clear, making him an excellent pickup for the jungle, where he will have no difficulties clearing the camps. Additionally, with his leap and stun, Volibear will have the potential to execute strong ganks.
Top Laner: Strong waveclear and sustain will make Volibear a great pick up for the top lane, where he should be able to hold his own against tanks and bruiser picks.
Support: Perhaps not as effective as in other two roles, Volibear's crowd control abilities will make him a great support pick into engaging supports such as Leona, Nautilus and even Blitzcrank or Thresh. As a melee champion, however, he will most likely struggle against range supports, enchanters and poke compositions.
While there will be individuals who might try Volibear as a mid lane champion it's difficult to expect he will excel in that role, since his waveclear can hardly compare to that of mages. Nonetheless, Volibear could prove to be an excellent counter-pick for assassins such as Zed and Talon.
After unveiling the new look, skins and abilities of Frejlordian bear, Riot Games also announced they will be hosting a limited-time in-game event in the All-Random-All-Mid (ARAM) game mode, where players will be able to earn exclusive Volibear emote until Tuesday, May 12.
It is worth noting, however, that Volibear's rework has not yet hit the live servers. As announced Volibear will first be introduced to Public Test Realms on Tuesday, while his official release is scheduled for Thursday, May 28.