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Gragas Build Guide by FluorescentBulb

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author FluorescentBulb

Cocky, Fat, Arrogant Drunk

FluorescentBulb Last updated on March 11, 2013
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Don't care, 'nother beer

Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
8
12
13
14
Ability Key W
3
10
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Honor Guard
 
 

Defense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pickpocket
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nimble
 
 

Utility: 0


Guide Top

Introduction

Gragas is one of the most powerful mages in the game. His strength comes not from purely burst, sustained damage, or unusual tankyness, but all of the above and more.

With his spells Gragas can deal huge damage, and though they have a large cooldown, they can all be used to hit every single enemy champion at once.

With his brew he has a tankyness and mana regen taht all other mags dream of. However, that is not all. Gragas also gains attack damage that surpasses that of your ADC. Not only does this mean CS will be a breeze, but with not armor, your opponents will fall before your unbreakable strength.

Finally with the utility of your spells, you will be able to dash in and out of danger and never be in risk of dying with your flash replacement spell that you can use every 7 seconds.

So take a seat, grab a drink, and make yourself comfortable, cause now you will learn the ins and outs of Gragas. But be warned, the Rable Rouser is a tough brew to swallow.


Guide Top

Updates

3-11-13: Changed runes to hybrid penetration
Altered masteries to tank more damage
12-26-12: Added champion types to the Enemy Matchup section
12-1-12: Changed guide for season 3


Guide Top

Playstyle

Gragas can be played a number of ways, but I believe the best is incredibly tanky. Tanky masteries, tanky runes, tanky items. Is this so you don't die? Yes. SO are we playing passive? HELL NO!! If you want to play passive, then you should take an offensive setup to farm easier or a utility setup for the bonus gold and experience. We are tanky so that we can kill, and kill we shall. If any of the enemy mages even try to poke us, we shall unleash a rolling ball of fat so deadly they won't even be able to wash the stench off in their well! We are going HYPER-AGGRESSIVE using out spells, out spells, out fists, and even our head...butts because no one pressures laners like Gragas does.


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Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Can survive anything thrown at him
  • Can catch or escape anything
  • Can burst down anything he doesn't like and its friends
  • Farm any wave in the blink of an eye
  • Causes chaos for the low tolerance enemy team
  • Most fun champion to role play in all chat ... Don't judge

Cons

  • Skillshots make learning Gragas difficult
  • Mana is an issue early game
  • Melee can make it hard to farm early game
  • Misused spells will throw the fight for your team
  • Similar to arrogant Draven where role play can be easily mistaken for trash talk


Guide Top

Runes

Runes

Greater Mark of Precision
9

Greater Seal of Magic Resist
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist
3

Marks: Hybrid Penetration


Why? Well simply put, Gragas' attack damage is stronger than your ADC early game and then enemy mage will have no armor. Your spells are strong, but so are your fists and once you hit them with a Body Slam they will never escape a second time. Because once they kiss their Flash goodbye, they kiss their lives goodbye.

Alternatively Marks:
  • Flat Attack Damage: Punch harder with Drunken Rage, but falls off more late game


Seals: Flat Magic Resist


This will help to nullify enemy mage poke and in combination with Drunken Rage they won't be able to penetrate your multiple layers of fat

Alternatively Seals:
  • Armor Runes, keep a page with these in case of AD Caster opponent
  • Mana Regen Runes, strongest mana regen runes (besides quits) if you are having issues

Glyphs: Flat Magic Resist


Same as seals

Alternative Glyphs:
  • Mana Regen, are you really having this much mana issues?


Quintessence: Ability Power


Gives you the initial oomph (imagine Gragas gesturing to that) that makes enemy mages fear you.

Alternative Quintessences:
  • Magic Resist, if you switched your seals or glyphs, you might need a bit more defense
  • Mana Regen, seriously? Just farm better, c'mon


Guide Top

Masteries

Masteries
1/5
3/1
4/5
1/1
1/5
4/1
1/1
3/5
2/1
1/1
1/5
3/1
1/1
3/
1/

This Mastery setup is 9-21-0, a Tanky Mage setup. With this, you can't be killed by mid alone, and with knowledge of the back alleys, you can't die to jungler either.

In offense, you get your Summoner's Wrath for the Ignite bonus. The AP might not be much, but it is something, and the AD will make you even scarier when they come back to lane. Arcane Knowledge will give you great Magic Pen all game and is a great mastery.

In defense, there is a lot more to go over. So let me be brief and say the lower tier points go to making you a better early game tank against mages and the upper tier points go to making you a better late game tank by complimenting your late game items and Drunken Rage.
The only odd one may be Blobk but I use that to lower autoattack poke, which will happen a lot since you are melee and most mages are not.


Guide Top

Items

Earlier I said there are 3 item builds I like to go for. That is because you might have a tough laning opponent, or you might have an easy one. You might get fed or you might get ganked early. The game is never the same, and so I provide 3 ways to build Gragas the same way with the gold that you have.

This guide will turn you into an AP devastator and one tough vat of lard. This way, you can cause massive pain while tanking or skirting away through the jungle. You will become the fat drunk that pays no consequences.



Doran's Ring

I've always gotten a Doran's Ring first on Gragas. It's stats are amazing, especially for this guide. If you are going to be aggressive, then you need this health especially, but the Ability Power and Mana Regen are great additions. Finally, while Body Slam was the main escape tool to make this possible, since the Season 3 movement speed changes you can just walk away in most cases.


Boots of Speed/Sorcerer's Shoes

Shoes, are of course, another global piece. However, when to buy is a tricky matter. You want to spend your money the most efficiently. This means buying shoes IF it is convenient for you. I'll explain when to get shoes in the next sections.


So lets continue this discussion with the 3 Builds Breakup Breakdown



If you aren't doing so well



Doran's Ring

Doran stacking is the way of the weak, however if you gave up first blood, took an early gank, are just getting destroyed, or even mutual back early and don't have enough for anything else, you may need to. You will have a bit more Ability Power and Mana Regen to farm safely and more health to escape next time.

If you are following this path, get shoes after the 2nd ring.

If you are doing alright


Catalyst The Protector
Catalyst The Protector


A catalyst will help you survive the laning phase and farm. By midgame it will build into the magnificent Rod of Ages. If you are doing about even with the enemy then you must play to your strengths. Your strength comes from a belly full of grog and skin tough as nails. Prepare for the midgame, where Rod of Ages and your already astounding tankiness will carry you through the fire of the enemy spells so you can deal even more damage.

If your opponent is very skillshot reliant and you are having trouble dodging, then get Sorcerer's Shoes before this item. Otherwise, Ruby Crystal and Boots of Speed might be your best choice for survivability. If you think you can manage, get Catalyst the protector alone.

If you are doing fantastic



Needlessly Large Rod

If you are dominating, maybe with a kill and all the CS, then by all means rush your Rabadon's Deathcap. You will be able to farm incredibly easily, and have time to grab your Wraiths, grab their Wraiths, gank, and ward up. If you are going for this, be careful. You can do big damage, but even with Body Slam no shoes at this point of the game is risky.

If you have money for this buy this no matter what for easy farming and buy shoes whenever you can after. Free farm with 1 Barrel Roll will get you a lot more money very easily.

These next 2 items are equal and opposite for Health and Ability Power


Now these left 2 match up

Rod of Ages

Grab this as soon as possible to get the timer started immediately. This will cover your health needs for the game and give you a good amount of Ability Power.



Rabadon's Deathcap
This is the next item. To deal the necessary burst damage for your role, you will need Rabadon's Deathcap. Every other item you get will boost your Ability Power, and this item's passive will skyrocket that Ability Power to meet your needs.
But there is deviation on the right one

Rabadon's Deathcap

When you dominate, you rush this first. On top of being the highest Ability Power item in the game, Rabadon's Deathcap will give huge amounts of Ability Power with its passive. Your Ability Power will be set with this.



Rylai's Crystal Scepter

Unlike the other 2 builds, you do not have the time to let Rod of Ages build up. So skip the waiting with Rylai's Crystal Scepter. This will cover your health needs instead, and it will give an added slow bonus.

And now, we come back together





Zhonya's Hourglass

You still need Armor and Magic Resist to full out your tankiness. You can get either one first depending on the game. I prefer to get Zhonya's Hourglass first since you get more Ability Power out of it and the active effect will protect you from all forms of damage. With this, you have all the armor you will need.



Abyssal Scepter

With Armor covered, all that is left is Magic Resist. Abysmal Scepter is my Magic Resist of choice. By this point, you already have Health and Armor so by covering yourself on all aspects you are ready to charge in.

Gragas benefits very well from Abyssal Scepter's aura, but only if you are tanky enough to get in close...oh wait a minute! With their Magic resist lowered, you are ready to blast them close and unleash everything, use Zhonya's Hourglass to keep them targeting your glorious golden ***, and use Body Slam to finish off the stragglers or get away with ease.



Lich Bane

Most games don't reach this point, but if you need another item to replace your first Doran's Ring, then Lich Bane is a great way to round out the build. By this point, you should have 500+ Ability Power, giving you a huge hit after you Explosive Cask them into you or as you slowly and endlessly chase them away, auto refreshing it with Body Slam.


Other Options



I had something here, but I decided to axe it. There is no point telling you what else to buy if you don't get it yourself. If you need more armor, get more armor. If you need more health, get more health. If you need more ability power, then get more ability power. If you can't tell, then no point trying to break the build since it covers all bases by default.

INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT



Sight Ward
Sight Ward
Vision Ward


Ward Up People!! It is not just a job for supports. Everyone scales well with wards. With good mid ward placement, you can know where their jungler is at all times and your entire team can play accordingly. Ward placement will be explained later.


Guide Top

Skills

Having all this stacked defense will be pointless if you play defensively and never take a hit. If you were going to do that, you might as well setup offensively and farm easier. But what we are planning here is to show the enemy mage that Gragas is in command, and if they don't like it then Gragas will sit on them. LITERALLY!!

Once you hit level 3, you are ready to begin. Farm with a clear path to your enemies so that you can Body Slam at them if they try to poke you. Hopefully your body slam will match or surpass their poke range and you will be able to get in easily. You can also charge at them when they last hit minions. But the best option is to go in when they use their spells to farm. This is especially true against a champion with a nondamaging spell, such as Ahri or even another Gragas since they will have 50% of their damaging spells rather than 66%.

Once you hit them you show off your tankiness. You will barely feel anything while you match damage with drunken fists before any spell damage kicks in. Later on you can add in Explosive Cask when you think you can kill them. Always use this on a sure kill, but be careful when using it for harassment. While your ult can drop them very low and force a back, it is also a crucial part of your escape routine if they stay and get a gank.


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Farming

Farming with Gragas is really easy once you get your Ability Power up. Barrel Roll maxed second after your ultimate and a little Ability Power let you clear a minion wave in one shot. Until then, Drunken Rage gives you an Attack Damage buff that makes your enemy mage cry and as you last hit with ease. However, being a melee champ leaves you open to being harassed. This is part of the reason this build is so aggressive. If you don't show them just how much damage you can do, then you will be pushed around and poked to death by your opponent.

The main point is to play it very safe until you reach level 2 and have Drunken Rage to nullify damage and passive until you hit level 3 and can bring the fight right to them or roll away from ganks. This will be explained in the next section.


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Aggression

Having all this stacked defense will be pointless if you play defensively and never take a hit. If you were going to do that, you might as well setup offensively and farm easier. But what we are planning here is to show the enemy mage that Gragas is in command, and if they don't like it then Gragas will sit on them. LITERALLY!!

Once you hit level 3, you are ready to begin. Farm with a clear path to your enemies so that you can Body Slam at them if they try to poke you. Hopefully your body slam will match or surpass their poke range and you will be able to get in easily. You can also charge at them when they last hit minions. But the best option is to go in when they use their spells to farm. This is especially true against a champion with a nondamaging spell, such as Ahri or even another Gragas since they will have 50% of their damaging spells rather than 66%.

Once you hit them you show off your tankiness. You will barely feel anything while you match damage with drunken fists before any spell damage kicks in. Later on you can add in Explosive Cask when you think you can kill them. Always use this on a sure kill, but be careful when using it for harassment. While your ult can drop them very low and force a back, it is also a crucial part of your escape routine if they stay and get a gank.


Guide Top

Down Time

Because Gragas has such large AOE damage, mid-late game farming in incredibly easy and you will have a lot of down time. You can use this time to ward, invade, and gank.

Ward primarily the bush by enemy wraiths, and secondarily at enemy blue buff. The first one will tell you which side of the jungle the enemy jungler is on at all times. This is good for your whole team, since they'll know when they can afford to be aggressive and when they should be defensive. The second will show you when they are going for Blue Buff. Gragas is very good at stealing Blue Buff.

Invade when you know you can. If you get your wolf ward down, then you should know when they are up and if their jungler is anywhere near. Hit everything with all your AOE damage-which is all of it-at once and they should be dead or near death. Remember to leave 1 or 2 wraiths behind so it doesn't reset.

Steal the blue with all your barrels. If you see them going for it, it should be easy. Just Explosive Cask at the same time you pop your Barrel Roll and they will fly as their buff dies in the distance.

Gank if they go back, the jungle is cleared, and the enemy is pushed. Go through the enemy jungle to do this. Body Slam through the tree to keep out of enemy sight and lead the attack with your ultimate. You should be able to knock them into their dooms...or just flat out kill them with the power of booze and blindsides.


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Enemy Matchups (coming soon)

As this is pretty overdue, let me start with the readers digest version. I will explain Champion types that Gragas excels and has trouble with. I will do this with keywords that can match several champions, you just have to check what you are up against.

Burst: Against a pure burst opponent, you should do well. Your defenses make their burst about equal yours and your fists will hurt much more than theirs.

Snare: This is what Gragas does the best against. Body Slam continues if you get snared after and you can often reach melee range before stopping. This means that you have to gauge the range of their snare vs your Body Slam, but it also means that the free poke they were expecting now becomes an engage that they weren't prepared for.

Stun: Same as snare, you just have a small lag in your attack time.

Sustain: Good sustain is rather hard for Gragas to deal with. Your's will be much smaller than theirs and sustain champions often have free poke, which is also hard to deal with. This is truly a battle of skill where you have to win in poke and evasion and only go all in when you know you can win the trade.

Gap Closer/Flash: Another difficult matchup for Gragas. The quick assassins that are so popular mid nowadays can easily avoid your barrels. You have to either match their damage or evade it completely with Body Slam.

Poke: Poke can hurt, but it can also be dodged. This is best dealt with by going in only when you know one of their spells is on cooldown. If they use skillshots it is best go in after dodging a spell and if they use lock on it is best to go in then they farm with a skill.

I'm certain there are more, I just wanted to get something out. Coming soon is the individual champion breakdowns.


Guide Top

Team Fights

In a team fight, you have a lot of option because of how you build. You can be a long range poke for your team, keeping them at bay or just scoring big hits while being completely safe. Or you can dive right in there. By this point of the game, you should have your Zhonya's Hourglass, so if anything bad happens you can shock the enemy with a golden statue of the perfect human form that will put the enmy team in such awe, that they will just melt away as the rest of your team cleans up. Then you can Body Slam away once it wears off.

Your ultimate is the most game changing part of your presence in a team fight. It can truly make or break the fight. You want to hit as much as you can, but there are some priority targets. Their squishy carries are the main targets. Try to use Explosive Cask to bring them close to your teammates to end the largest source of the enemy team's damage. Another big priority is to keep enemy diving champions away from your carries. Keep Tryndamere away from your carries if there is no other CC available. Don't let your team mates die. Also, make sure to break channels if you need to, however Taric stunning Nunu lets you save a lot of damage for their carries, not their tank.


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Explosive Cask with other AOE Ultimates

Explosive Cask can either make or break your team fight. We've discussed how you should not fly them to safety, but the bigger issue is how you interact with other players AOE ults.

If your team has another AOE ult, it might be wise to decide before hand which will initiate so that you don't fly them away from theirs. If you aren't initiating, they you muust use it after the full effectiveness of the first ult is complete or to push people back into the first ult to maximize damage.

For example, Knock them back into Absolute Zero or Cannon Barrage to make use of that damage or use it after Summon: Tibbers or Idol of Durand has reached its full stun duration so they are CC'd longer.

For enemies with AOR ults, knock them away from your team, not towards your team. Do not knock and Amumu or Galio into your team. Keep them away if possible while still making your ults worth it.


Be careful with these guys


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Thanks

I wanna thank jhoijhoi for their guide, Making A Guide and IceCreamy for his guide, How to use Columns. Also thanks to the forums for helpful threads.

I hope you are all enjoying your Season 3 and I look forward to much more development of the League.