Gragas Build Guide by Ryumanyamana
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Fat Coca Cola Drinker
Situational Core Items
Example Build #1 (Damage Gragas)
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Why Play Bruiser Gragas Top?
Ever since the 4.5 patch, Riot clearly announced that they want Gragas to no longer be a "barrel sniper" and for him to be more thematically fitting to his lore and character. I think Riot did a good job doing so because now his kit really portrays Gragas as a "drunken brawler who jump[ s ] into the fight to mess things up". Because of Gragas' nerfed ap ratios on his Q and R, it just doesn't feel as great to be playing him as a squishy mage because you just don't deal the damage you used to be able to do and you don't survive very long. This is why I play Gragas bruiser/tanky, he deals a lot of base damage and his utility and sustain can sky rocket through the roofs. This is my very first guide I wanted to quickly make so expect a lot of grammatical errors, spelling typos, and unclear statements. Please put in your thoughts and what you disagree with because I want to make this into a good guide. I hope you have fun trying out my bruiser Gragas build.
Pros / Cons
- Decent laning phase.
- Game changing ultimate.
- Drunken Rage deals a lot of damage.
- Superb for certain team compositions.
- Hard to kill.
- Great disengage.
- If you're making a lot mistakes, don't worry. Gragas is probably is just as drunk as you and he'll help you with your drinking problems.
- Not very useful if ultimate is never used or always messed up.
- Not one of the top duelers in the game.
- Good players will attempt to interrupt you while you're trying to have your pleasant drink aka Drunken Rage.
- Damage doesn't scale very well if behind.
- Ultimate and Barrel Roll turns into complete utility.
- Cannot really carry
- Too fat.
I take 0/21/9 masteries in order to be able to trade against a lot of top laners. This set up allows Gragas to be able to take a lot of hits himself and to sustain his mana. The reason why I don't take any points into the offense tree because the 9 points in it wont show a lot of effectiveness compared to the 9 points into utility. Even if you wanted the offense tree to be effective, you'll have to put 21 points into it which causes Gragas to be too fluffy for the role for this guide.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Mark of Precision
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Health
These runes allows Gragas to be fairly flexible against a lot of top laners. You can take scaling magic resistance runes but I prefer to take the flat magic resistance for you might have to go against annoying ap tops. The yellows should be self explanatory for 9 armor is a lot early game. For reds, I take hybrid penetration to allow you to be able to be well rounded in trading throughout the early laning phase. The damage boost is nice especially when you have hybrid penetration + your W + your damage with the auto-attack. 2 Health runes and 1 armor gives Gragas a very great early game tankiness, you can choose which way you like it though.
Drunken Rage is an ability you'll want to be maxing first to deal a lot of damage. I don't prefer getting a lot of points into barrel roll because you tend to drain a lot of mana when mainly using your barrel roll and body slam frequently. Thus I mainly use the Q for utility. If you're good at managing your mana with Q anyways, then go for it. Being able to do so will allow you to fare well against annoying poke champions. I will go into details with the abilities later on.
I've already said this once and I'll say it again. After frozen gauntlet and spirit visage or banshees veil, it's all up to you. What I can do though is give help on which to buy in which situations.
Doran's Shield + Health Potion I would take this most of the time for it's generally a safe start on bruiser Gragas top.
Doran's Ring + 2 Health Potion I would never take this item for the damage because it gives very little damage and we already deal enough damage. The only time when I want to pick up an item like this is when I know I'm going against a lane I have almost full power over and I can sacrifice the early health regen and auttoattack block for even more mana generation.
Cloth Armor + 5 Health Potion I would start off with this if you know you'll be going against incredibly heavy ad damage champions.
Mercury's Treads - I would buy this most of the time just for the cc reduction. Wouldn't you agree it's very scary to not be able to lock down a fat man easily that's chasing after you wanting you to get in his belly?
Boots of Swiftness - I get this item if the enemy team has a lot more slows than cc.
Ninja Tabi - I would ONLY get this item over cc reduction if the enemy team has a fed ad champion and it's getting really bad. Or if the enemy team has no cc whatsoever.
Iceborn Gauntlet - On Gragas, this item is a must have. Most of the time you'll want to be rushing this item because it gives you the bread and butter to deal damage and be tanky as ****. Think about it, it's not like Phreak's trademark item, Trinity Force where it boosts your damage by 200% BUT it gives you plenty of armor, 125% boost on autoattack, and it gives you a mini slow. The reason why this item is so good on Gragas because of the early damage and late game utility/stats. I'll go over why it's so good later on. It won't deal as much damage late game but it's utility is still very great because it gives you good defensive stats and a decent slow.
Banshee's Veil - Depending on the enemy team, you'll want to be grabbing this. This item is especially helpful when going against an annoying burst champions, yes I'm looking at you Fizz and and you too LeBlanc. You'll also want to be grabbing this if there is a key ability on the enemy team you really want to negate like a long cc. If you're laning against an annoying burst champion, you'll want to be rushing banshee's veil first.
Spirit Visage - This item is so good on Gragas. It gives you a lot of magic resistance just like veil BUT it also gives you increased healing. You want to be healing a lot in the laning phase and I'll usually rush this over frozen gauntlet if I'm going against **** like Teemo. When it comes to the laning phase with this item, you'll be healing so much that you can actually outcompete most sustain other champions have and stay in lane all day and all night. This item also is great for trading against champions with no sustain what so ever so even though you don't deal as much damage to them in a trade, they wont be able to heal it back unlike you can. In teamfights, this is also helpful because when at low health, you're still deceptively tanky for you have constant heals up your sleeve that is 4% OF YOUR HEALTH. This allows for constant sieging because once you do your role as the tower tanker, you can heal everything back very quickly ready for more objectives.
Sunfire Cape and/or Randuin's Omen - Most of the time, I prefer buying both items but it's important to know which one to buy first. I buy sunfire cape when I'm ahead and there is no autoattacking threat. The damage sunfire cape deals over time is a nice boost. This item is also something you want to be buying when against non-autoattacking ad champions like Zed where randuin's omen extra stats don't negate his burst as must although it gives you 25 more armor. It all depends if you need more damage or more tankiness.
Athene's Unholy Grail - I buy this item if I find myself either spamming spells 24/7 or I don't have enough magic resitance even with spirit Banshee's Veil/ Spirit Visage. The ap to me isn't very significant but it can help you with your mana a lot if you want to grab this as your second main item. The cooldown on it is also very generous when stacked with your other items. Usually this isn't my favorite item though.
Abyssal Scepter - This item is good when you have aoe magic burst on your team and their team also has threatening magic damage. I like coupling this item with Sunfire Cape in those kind of situations because you'll negate 20 of their magic reistance. This also allows for awesome teamfights when you have teammates like Ziggs, Fiddlesticks, and etc. these are just examples. The ap on this item is decent especially when stacked with your other mini ap boosting items allowing to increase your base damage on your abilities by a little bit.
Locket of the Iron Solari - Now I won't buy this item all the time BUT I will buy it when I'm going against a **** crazy aoe team to cushion their aoe damage. The active shield + 20 magic resistance aura is why it's good against magic aoe teams. I would buy this item ONLY in those kinds of situations and I wouldn't use it to be my reliable tank item.
Thornmail - I would seldom buy this because the 100+ armor and nothing else except for a damage back passive through autoattacks. I WOULD ONLY BUY THIS IF I CAN GET ANNOYING AD CHAMPIONS LIKE Tryndamere and Master Yi AND THEY HAVE TO FOCUS YOU. Other than that, the 100+ armor is redundant and nothing else isn't that great of an item unless you're being focused.
Here are spells you'll want to be taking as Gragas. I WILL NOT MENTION SPELLS THAT I DON'T THINK SHOULD GO ON BRUISER GRAGAS TOP.
Flash - This ability is almost always a must have like on most champions because it gives you a sneaky ace up your sleeve to come out of nowhere and ulti the enemy team. This item is also good for getting the final blow on the enemy if you happen to be too far.
Ignite - This ability gives you a lot of early dueling power. I take this most of the time so I have the chance to get some early kills. This can be used late game though to piss off your teammates to steal kills or help them by securing the kills that you see the enemy walk off with 1 hp. The only problem is that top lane is one of the most isolated lanes in the game so although this will grant you kills, you still won't have a lot of impact during the laning phase.
Teleport - With good timing, you can help preform awesome ganks for your team but you'll lose some of your dueling power up in top lane though. The utility and possibilities are endless. This is a strong spell preferable to top lane because this is the gate way out of being an isolated lane so you can actually help your other lanes.
Happy Hour - This passive is what makes Gragas a very viable top laner. In the laning phase, your sustain will burst through the roofs. This ability simply allows you to stay in lane all day until you actually have to buy items. Late game, your passive will make Dr. Mundo jealous because although he can restore .3% of his health per second. You on the other hand if you space your abilities out will always be able to restore 4% of your health per every 8 seconds. 4% of your health per 8 seconds is the equivalent to .5% of your health per second. TOP THAT MUNDO. Like I said, this is great for sieging and being able to take on poke from poke champions in lane and poke compositions in teamfights.
Barrel Roll - This is my least favorite ability. If you can master this ability as your main source of damage in the laning phase, then go right ahead. I don't take a lot of points into this ability because it doesn't scale as well as good your Drunken Rage. But it's very necessary to take an early point into it at lvl 3 because that 30-50% slow is very important.
Drunken Rage - This ability is my most favorite because the damage you deal with it is crazy. What makes Gragas deal crazy damage especially mid game is when he has his Iceborn Gauntlet and his 9 hybrid penetration runes. Here's the math, on hit you'll deal 12% of the enemys maximum health + 148 base magic damage taking the bonus 25 ap into account + your basic attack damage increased by 125% all stacked upon hybrid penetration. Think about how much damage that will deal when you have lvl 5 rank into drunken rage. This ability also scales very well in late game just because of the 12% health scaling. Keep in mind that this damage has no cap against monsters like baron or dragon. THE MAJOR WEAKNESS I WOULD LIKE TO ADDRESS IS THAT YOU CAN BE INTERRUPTED WHILE HAVING YOUR PLEASANT DRINK. For example: against good Jax players, they can easily see if you're drinking your coca cola thus they can activate their counter jump in and stun you before you get to even finish drinking.
Body Slam - This ability is great for engage and disengaging in teamfights and the laning phase. During the laning phase, a simple drunken rage + body slam combo is enough to scare them away. Whenever a top lane bruiser attempts to trade against you, if you feel it's not worth it or it's too risky to trade, simply use your body slam at them to get some damage in and run away. You can also body slam away from them and still be safe but it's most of the time better if you're able to trade against them back and walk away. In teamfights, this is where you're the true kool aid man bursting through the wall going "OH YEAH!" then using your cokeplosion/ulti in the team. With 40% cooldown which you'll get inevitability thus making your chasing very scary. A huge weakness I should tell you is that it's really bad when you're in the middle of some minions because YOU'LL STOP AS SOON AS YOU COME CLOSE OR YOU'RE SURROUNDED BY MINIONS. So make sure you can position yourself just right to body slam. If you mess up your body slam, the enemy laner can punish you back for messing up.
Explosive Cask - This ability is like one of the best in League of Legends because it can quickly turn the tides of a game or be used as a sudden surprise attack. During the laning phase, it's great for chaining a huge damage combo. This ability is great for catching players out of position and punishing them very hard for it. The only time I'd be careful of who you're displacing is when you're against stuff like Renekton or Alistar where they can just devastate your team when they're right in the middle of it. BUT be aware a badly placed ultimate can get one of your teammates killed because you've pushed an enemy towards your ally or you end up giving away a kill by "saving" the enemy that was 1 hit away form death.
During the laning phase, you're either the lane bully or you're the one forced to play safe. So far Gragas can be a good bully depending on who he goes against and the player's skill level. The advice I'll give you will go along the lines on how to play bruiser Gragas top.
Because of your tankiness, you'll most of the time be able to outtrade the enemy laner with a simple E to stun them and to start autoattacking them. The reason why this works because of the tankiness you took up in your masteries and your runes. If you do happen to find yourself having a difficult time making successful trade, you're good at disengaging very easily just by body slamming them back when they try to come up to give you harass
At this stage, you're either doing fine or you have to play safe. If you're able to trade good against the enemy laner. A good well positioned Drunken Rage, Body Slam, and autoattack combo can make for very good damage. I'm not the best player in the world but just PLEASE be sure to position your body slam right or you'll be screwed. The biggest mistakes I make especially when I try to get some damage, get a gank, or kill them myself is accidentally body slamming while there's minions way too close to me. Once your body slam is down and you're close to them, they'll be able to get a lot of free harass off of you. Your body slam is your only disengage/engage and form of cc besides your ultimate. If you happen to be laning against someone who simply outranges or out damages you, level up your Q early in order to be able to get some long range harass.
LEVEL 6 AND BEYOND
At this point, this is when your kill potential really shoots up. When given the chance to kill the enemy laner, ALWAYS take a huge swig with your Drunken Rage if you want to participate in any fight at all then engage by using your Explosive Cask then Body Slam first or Body Slam then Explosive Cask. Then keep putting on your consistent damage on him/her and use your Q to slow them greatly along the way to not allow them to escape.
Depending on the team compositions of both teams and who is more fed than the other, these will be your main job.
- Be the initiator
- Be the second initiator
- Be the disengager
- Aoe bruise the enemy team
- Peel for the carries
- Tell the enemy AD/AP carry to GTFO
One of the hardest things to do imo is being the first initiator because the entire course of the teamfight will depend on how well you aim your ult because it is almost 100% utility since you're building barely any damage on it. What you'll be looking for too preform a good initiate is to get somebody out of position to the point where their team can't save them. Imo, it's great to screw the entire enemy team in one sitting is great but at least getting 1 enemy team member dead for a while (I wouldn't want to get a fed Renekton or useless support into our team but you get what I'm saying).
To be the second initiator but you don't have as much weight of responsibility and impact as you do as the first initiator. Being the second initiator is good for when you already have a first initiator on your team. This role is kind of the same mind set as Thresh BUT your ultimates don't do the same thing. This usually involves being able to position your ultimate a lot easier or making your ally's engage even harder with your ultimate.
When necessary, being able to peel for your carry is key to winning the game. Because of your kit, you can do a decent job at peeling for your carry. When your ad carry is starting to get a lot of enemies on him/her, use your ultimate to push the enemy away and body slam in to stun them for a while to buy your carry some time. Peeling should come to you when playing any other peeling bruiser.
Sometimes there may be no need for either of those roles (which I think Gragas should stay with those roles), just charge right into the enemy team and start damage everybody around you but mainly focus the carry. A build I would advise if you're planning on doing this is a Sunfire Cape and an Abyssal Scepter so you can put on your aoe further improved with the aoe 20 magic penetration. I do like going onto the enemy but doing your own thing I do not prefer myself but I'll do it if it's necessary.
I don't know that many match ups myself but I will put up one that I know the best. (I will be working on the matchups from time to time)
Jax - Early game, I would harass the **** out of him with my E if I can unless because you can tank through his weak early game. Though once it gets his E with his other skills, I would start backing off. Jax can easily just destroy your channeling of you drinking your coke by using his E then jumping on you. The big disadvantage you have yourself is that it's very visible when you use your Drunken Rage. Even worse, when he does jump on you, he gets off a lot of free damage because your main source of damage is your autoattacks. Simply, Jax EASILY outscales you in damage and I wouldn't dare to duel him until I become incredibly tanky.