Graves Build Guide by Scumpii
This build has been archived and is for historical display only.
PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
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.
Aw Yea, I'm Graves.
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.
Hello! My name is Scumpii and welcome to my first ever guide(PLEASE BE NICE :D), today, I will be teaching you how to play Graves. I play a lot of ADC, and graves is by far my favorite ADC, and my other mains are Vayne, Ashe etc. I hope you will enjoy this guide and learn something from it, no matter how good or how bad you are! I will try to cut the **** and get to the point, and will try not to add many fancy things that just hog up space.
Well, why is Graves such a good champ in my opinion you ask? This is because his abilities are just straight up awesome (More in-depth in the abilities chapter) Q having good damage, like Ashe/Cait, and his E is like a tumble of Vayne's but with attack speed steroids, and his does amazing damage if you line your opponents up completely. And his W? I will explain that later on.
Note: When I do Dr. Mundo I really mean tanks.
Also, before you comment or vote, please try out my build, I put a lot of time and effort into this, and it's just devastating to see someone comment without reading the full guide. "DERP NO SUMMONER SPELL EXPLANATION, I VOTE DOWN!" theres (WIP) for a reason.
Pro's/Con's (What's good & bad about him?)
-He is very capable of bursting someone down
-Can deal long and a lot of sustained damage (duh.)
- Quickdraw has a insane steroid, and is his trusty escape. (WORKS THROUGH WALLS)
-It is fun to watch him melt someone down in 2 seconds
-He is a BOSS
-Doesn't have a lot of CC, only Smoke Screen
-Long cooldowns on Smoke Screen & Quickdraw
Preferred Items (What should you build on Graves?)
Boots of Speed Health Potion x3
This is what you should buy if you do not have a sustain support ( Leona, Blitzcrank, basically no heals) and even if you do, this is still a good choice because boots offer you more mobility early on, and if you are expecting a early gank, you should take this start. It also opens up opportunities of attack and defense, which is good if you can use it to gain an advantage.
This is another viable start you can use if you have a sustain support ( Soraka, Sona, Taric) and this provides you with more damage and a teeny bit of life steal, and in the start 10 AD can make a lot of difference
Other Viable Spawn/First Buy Items
Crystalline Flask Health Potion
This has become a popular start in season 3, especially for top laners, but I still think this can be viable on ADCs, but this route should only be taken if you plan to stay in lane for a very long time without a sustain support.
Long Sword Health Potion
This is also another solid start on ADCs, because it provides the early damage that the Doran's Blade provides, but also with more sustain. And guess what, it now builds into the Vampiric Scepter how useful! This should be taken when you don't have a sustain support as well.
Around this time, you should either have had success farming, or you've been forced back because of death/low health. Note: If you can buy B. F. Sword on first buy, then DO it, it gets you The Bloodthirster so much faster.
Your best choice now will be to get Doran's Blade or the Vampiric Scepter if you started with long sword. If you have really little gold, go ahead and get Berserker's Greaves, it can help you farm and harass more. So this really depends on your situation. If you get to the point where you are very behind, try to get 3 Doran's Blade instead of 2, this could help you out fighting the other ADC when he is saving up for more costly items.
This is the time teams will start teamfighting or skirmishing, and optimally, you should have something like this Berserker's Greaves The Bloodthirster Phantom Dancer and maybe 0-3 Doran's Blade and this is around the time you start getting quite strong.
Now, you should start building you Infinity Edge, this will really boost up your damage output, however, do not get this item over The Bloodthirster first. One, because you can't really afford that amount of gold early game, and the extra lifesteal you get from the The Bloodthirster is better than straight damage, because you will get destroyed instantly in teamfights.
Sometimes, you just get killed really really easily, and in these situations, I get my defense item 3rd. This might take away from your AD a little, but overall you will still do more damage, because you can stay in the fight longer, and destroying more people.
Late to End Game
This is the point where you are really strong and outputting 700 damage per crit or some crazy **** like that, by now, you are the highest damage dealer in the whole game, apart from the other ADC of course. Your build should consist of all the core items, and you should be deciding which defense item to get. (Unless you got your defense item 3rd) A lot of times, you won't get to this point, but you will have to make this choice at some point. If you are against hard CC Ashe Amumu and you don't have cleanse, the Mercurial Scimitar is a clear choice, but if you really want to stay long in fights, the Guardian Angel is your best buddy.
Your build at the end should look something like this:
Preferred Runes (What runes should you put on Graves?)
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
These are the marks I use because:
1)They allow easier last hitting
2)More damage early game to get advantage
3)More harass damage = easier kill
Another option that you can choose is the Greater Mark of Desolation which allows you to do more damage later game, to champs that don't build a lot of armor. I still think that the Greater Mark of Attack Damage is the better choice, as you have armor pen with Last Whisper but to someone like Dr. Mundo, you should take the Greater Mark of Desolation to do more damage.
Greater Seal of Armor
These are the seals I use because:
1)Defense against your bot lane opponent (Anti-harass)
Pretty simple I know, but this armor comes in really handy early, as I said, I like getting a advantage over my opponent early, because that can make you snowball so so much. And when you go to a full on trade with you going in with less health because you took more harass, chances are you're going to lose, and these are pretty much just basic ADC runes. Do NOT use scaling armor, because you will take a lot of harass early.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
These are the glyphs I use because:
1) Defense against ganks and for late game.
Again, pretty simple, and this time I choose to use per-level glyphs, because you won't have to deal with ability power early on, and these glyphs give significantly more MR compared to the flat ones. The only situation you might change these runes are that you have a opposing AP jungler, then you may want to switch out some of the per-levels for flats Greater Glyph of Magic Resist, to defend yourself against those, but most of the times you should be able to get away with Flash, Quickdraw, Smoke Screen.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
These are the Quints I use because:
1)Easier last hitting
2)More damage overall
3)Mostly the same reasons as marks
These are pretty much the reason I use the marks, and it's additional damage/harass/kill potential, so why not?
Preferred Masteries (What masteries should you run on Graves?)Offense Tree
Summoner's Wrath I take this over the 1 point on fury, as I think 5 attack damage is better than that 1% of attack speed, and you have that already in your E steroid. This is my opinion, you could always choose to put another point in Fury.
Fury This for obvious reasons, don't think you want CDR do you. This mastery can be switched out for butcher if you're having trouble last hitting, and should only be used as a last resort.
Deadliness Woot! More damage! And it is a pretty significant amount as well (12 AD)
Weapon Expertise This is really nice for Dr. Mundo, same use as Last Whisper Less armor = More damage
Havoc Woot! Even MORE damage! very useful to have as ADC.
Brute Force You should be getting the pattern by now, more damage.
Lethality Aww yea, a change. but, not really, just more CRIT damage. works well with Infinity Edge
Sunder Max this out for MORE damage against Dr. Mundo
Frenzy Also works well with Infinity Edge, more steroids! (GOD DANG IT VOLIBEAR, STOP RUINING MY GUIDE)
Executioner All our hard earn points come down to this, executioner! This is a awesome skill as you do more damage!
Durability This mastery is better than the others, unless you want to take cleanse against something/someone like Ashe in which case you put a point into Summoner's Resolve
Hardiness Resistance Is for armor and magic resist and to put in points for the next mastery
Veteran's Scars More health = more survivability, therefore, this is useful.
Skill Order (What should you max first on Graves?)
I put points into R: Collateral Damage whenever I can, because it does damage, and it's your ULTIMATE ATTACK.
I max Q: Buckshot first for obvious reasons, it is his main ability damage source, good for harassing and damaging.
I then max E: Quickdraw because of that amazing steroid, you can attack so fast it's not even funny. This is also Grave's pretty much only escape, other than maybe W. So this is vital to Grave's kit.
I lastly max W: Smoke Screen but I also put a point into it when I'm level 8. That is because it greatly increases the damage output of my combo, and I found out that at 8 I can Buckshot Smoke Screen combo, to easily farm up when I need to do it quickly. This is also a skill that has most use later game, which is another reason I max it last
Spells Explanation & Combos (What are Graves's skills all about? And how do
This is Grave's best ability damage source, and combines Ashe and Caitlyn cone attack, but Grave's does significantly more damage, which is AWESOME, cause damage = more dead opponents. Also, because of the high damage on Buckshot, it also makes Graves incredibly bursty along with his Collateral Damage
If you carefully look at the description of Grave's Q, opponents can take damage from more than 1 bullet, but landing it isn't as easy at it seems, you need to aim carefully, because the damage from Buckshot can drastically change because of this.
W: Smoke Screen
His W, is his own precious skill that no one has, you may say, well how does a little blind/slow affect someone that much? Well, it works sort of like Nocturne's ult, it puts fear into your enemies mind while fighting you, and if you place it correctly in teamfights it is great, imagine you're in a teamfight, and suddenly you can't see much, now you can't see and target squishy's, giving them enough time to do a ton of damage. It is also a nice escape/chase tool, with the slow and cc and all.
-Strong dueling ability against other ADCs
-Used to scare and have a mental effect on the other team
You can use Smoke Screen and now your opponents can't see anything, your jungler can now sneak in and camp the bushes.
This is a amazing escape & steroid combined, and I will talk about it in separate parts:
This is a extremely useful escape because it can go through walls, and this is so useful for many different scenarios. For example, if you want to sneak into Baron/Dragon pit to do something sneaky, ambush someone from behind their lanes, the possibilities are endless.
The steroid on Quickdraw is really useful in a teamfight, you should watch a game of Graves, and you will see how much difference Quickdraw makes, 70% attack speed increase is a lot, and with your Phantom Dancer, your output speed will be insanely fast, and this is one of the reasons I love Graves so much.
When escaping with Quickdraw, try to kite more than you usually do, and get more hits off the opponents, it might mean life and death if your cool down on E is reduced by even 1 second to allow you to jump over dragon pit.
W: Collateral Damage
This is one of the reasons (Along with Buckshot) why Grave's is such a incredibly bursty champion, and this ult can be devastating if aimed correctly at the enemy team.
Picture the enemy team inside your cone shape, and see how many you will hit, wait till you get a good angle, and that could mean a turn to the game, and doing as much damage with your ult is extremely crucial
So you dash in with your E, put on W to create the "fear" effect while fighting, then Q-R for the damage, and auto-attacks ftw!
Sometimes you get the opportunity to walk up to someone,DON'T give it up! Q-R for maximum damage, E next to get the full time of your steroid, use W to chase if needed.
Look for the right spot to Q, dash in auto-attack, aim for your ult, and do as much damage as you can, W for "fear" or chase.
This time, you are not leaving anything to chase, this is usually not a very good idea, but you can do it if you are desperate to win the fight, and have flash or other teammates to chase.
Summoner Spells (What summoner spells should you use on Graves? Explanation
Ignite Because it brings more kill potential and is pretty much the best spell you can get for a ADC. Sometimes that Ignite just brings you enough damage to not suicide under the enemy's tower, and it is extremely satisfying. Using this in early trades will be a good addition to your damage and will negate opponent's healings. When this Ignite is up again, you should go for the kill, and don't give even a single breath to your opponent.
Flash Well, I hope this is obvious to you why Flash is another best pick. Buuuuuuut, I'll still explain it. Flash gives you a lot of mobility choices, and has a lot of uses, a few simple ones are, chasing, escaping, repositioning etc. Flash is so versatile, basically most champions need flash.
Heal Heal is a good solid choice for ADCs, but after it got nerfed, Ignite seems like the better choice for ADCs, but Heal does have it's uses. If you can heal all your teammates in a teamfight, the effect will be awesome.
Cleanse Cleanse is also a really good choice against hard cc (stuns, slows etc.) and getting out of a Ashe arrow in time could save your life, and allow you to continue damaging the other team. However, this effect can be also done by the [mercurial scimitar] so think carefully.
Oh god, please, please, no.
[icon-clairvoyance size=18] WHYYYYYYYYY U TORTURE ME
The remaining spells I guess could be used if you are desperate, like DESPERATE, and by the way, use other spells at own risk, I do not take blames if you [Clarity] and fail epically.
11/1/13: Vi Client
Work starts on guide
Feeling: Very excited to work on guide!
14/1/13: Vi Client
Continues work on guide
Sections that needed to be completed/added:
-Early, Mid, Late Game