Graves Build Guide by Eido

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Eido

Dead Man Walkin'

Eido Last updated on January 28, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Right well this is my first guide so i am going to start by explaining my idea. Again i will state this is my first build guide so any CONSTRUCTIVE comments that can help make this guide better will be much appreciated.

Graves is a highly diverse character in my opinion because i have seen so many different builds of graves that are highly successful, such as attack speed, carry, pure damage combined with critical chance ect;
My graves build aims at sort of a hit and run style with enough health to fall back on and tank your way out if cornered.

This graves build is my own personal build that i have experimented with time and time again in game it is actually difficult to achieve unless you have a decent knowledge of how to play Graves.

Also on another note read the entire thing or you wont know what im on about i ramble alot !!

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The runes i considered using for graves were Armor piercing and critical strike runes such as:
Greater Mark of Desolation
Greater Seal of Critical Damage
These types of runes (critical and armor penetration) are completely optional and i would consider them an alternative to speed based runes

But after several fights and building this guide i cleared the idea of Critical runes because i can get graves critical chance up to 100% and i didn't deem armor penetration necessary because my build is a hit and run guide and the damage output is fairly high as it is.

So to that degree i used ALL my rune slots to boost Graves attack speed some might disagree with this choice but i found that dealing 500 damage a hit with 2.068 attack speed and Quickdraw maxed can do some serious damage if lined up properly.

To that extent the runes i settled on and still use are:
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Seal of Attack Speed
Greater Glyph of Attack Speed
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed

These runes significantly boost attack speed and ensure that your'e enemies ARE dead men walking!!

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The masteries i cannot fully explain it seems to be the normal layout for a general strength based character all i can say is to take a look at the masteries yourself and find any alternatives that suit you, had i a different mind about me i probably would have taken points from the offense tree into the utility because i find this build of graves i use to be more of a support than a full on offensive build.

Although i must say there is one or two skills that are a must have for a graves build much like mine said masteries are:

Good Hands Utility tree row 1
Swiftness Utility tree row 2
Alacrity Offense tree row 2

I found these 3 skills to be highly useful and whatever build you choose id recommend these 3
Especially good hands i found that in the later stages of a match if you died it would be upwards of 50 seconds and that 5 seconds or so can really make a difference

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Right well here is where the complete inner workings of my twisted brain prove useful or just plain mad, the item progression i have stated at the top so im not going to repeat it here.

The items i chose were for a very specific reason

I first went with the Berserker's Greaves because early on you will want a decent speed boost and some attack speed because ironically graves is a slow attacker

Next i built the pieces up for a Warmog's Armor again needed early game because graves does not have a huge amount of hp which can really be a burden.
Personally if you are good with graves you can have these first 2 items before the 20 minute mark i ted to have them before the 15 minute mark because these are two high priority items.

Next on my list is Phantom Dancer Trinity Force and Infinity Edge i choose these three items in particular because my graves build is based on critical hits and attack speed and these are the best on the market, all in all when you have these 5 items graves is going to be pretty tough as it is.

Now the sixth item is a bit of a throw up between a second Phantom Dancer or a second Infinity Edge and ill tell you why here is the point where you specialize your'e
Adding the second Infinity Edge
will put his critical hits to roughly 95%
give him some extra damage meaning more critical damage
Not a 100% critical
Less attack speed
costs more than a second Phantom Dancer

Adding a second Phantom Dancer <---- Personal choice
Costs less than second Infinity Edge
Faster attack speed, movement speed and 100% critical chance
Less damage then Infinity Edge

The choice here is up to you the reader based on personal preference.

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Skill Sequence

Skill sequence wise i generally aim to have Buckshot maxed first followed by Quickdraw followed by Collateral Damage and finally Smoke Screen

Reasons being that if you are following the guide so far my build of graves needs
Warmog's Armor and a decently damaging spell to kill off minions and champions with thus Buckshot is the obvious choice to have maxed first.

Nevertheless i go with:
Level 1 Quickdraw Level 2 Buckshot Level 3 Buckshot Level 4 Quickdraw
Level 5 Buckshot Level 6 Collateral Damage Level 7 Quickdraw
Level 8 Buckshot Level 9 Quickdraw Level 10 Buckshot
Buckshot MAXED!
Level 11 Collateral Damage Level 12 Quickdraw
Quickdraw MAXED!
Level 13 Smoke Screen Level 14 Smoke Screen Level 15 Smoke Screen
Level 16 Collateral Damage
Collateral Damage MAXED!
Level 17 Smoke Screen Level 18 Smoke Screen
Smoke Screen Maxed!!

Above i stated my reasoning for buckshot first but not for smokescreen last the reason is i dislike the move i find it to have some limited uses but above that i never use it and never have found it useful. Some people might like smoke screen some might not but the only practical thing iv'e found it can be used for is escaping but if you are using Flash and Quickdraw on this build they wont catch you anyway.

An alternate build hmm i might suggest leveling Quickdraw before Buckshot but again all down to personal choice this guide is by no means set in stone and should not be followed to the letter.

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Summoner Spells

Well for me this was a clear cut decision i went with
Flash Summoner level 12

For the simple reason flash was really useful to make a quick escape over a wall or to catch a near death enemy i have always found this move to be useful and unless you do not have it Flash IS A MUST!

Teleport on the other hand is subject to opinion i personally find it to be useful and i only really choose this if i get paired with allies who wont be able to fight very well on their own ie. if an allied Veiger needs assistance across the map then yes it is useful but if i had a choice Smite would be more of a choice.

Alternate options for summoner spells
to be honest it really is depending on the character you play if its not a mana based character obviously Clarity is out of the option.

I would say that Flash and any other spell that you the reader feels they can rely on would work i use Teleport and smite the second as a second, the second summoner spell is completely dependent on what you prefer.

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Ranked Play

I will be updating this guide as i see fit and as things are changed with the game and the champion Graves i am not very good at describing how i play a ranked match so when i get the equipment to do it i will be posting links to videos of my ranked games as graves so that you can see how he is played first hand.

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Pros / Cons

Here we go my favorite section this is gonna be fun

There are several PROS AND CONS to take into account when playing my personal graves build i am not going into huge detail here but will list the pros and cons for you to see;


Very high attack speed an critical chance
Very fast movement
Very high ganking (from behind) and killing power if built right
Tested(confirmed) able to successfully jungle against enemy champions and monsters in jungle bar baron solo
Successfully able to stand up and defeat other attack speed characters eg Vayne Ashe
Tested (confirmed) very real ability to stay alive base on 6 matches of minimal deaths
Enough health to be able to fight back / escape if cornered


Takes a good amount of time to build up items without skill
Must have a decent knowledge of graves
High cost of early item Warmog's Armor
Vulnerable early game
If suppressed highly early game decent chance of not being able to pull off build.

This is bog standard what you can see in almost all games you play all the pros and cons listed here are very likely in about 70% of all matches you play. There are more pros and cons than these ive just decided to go with listing the main ones at this time

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Creeping / Jungling

As stated in my Pros and cons section of the guide a pro is my build of graves has a potential to jungle, this is a very real potential if built correctly.

Tested and confirmed a very high chance to by level 14 be able to kill all jungle monsters with exception to baron. Build also has a high chance of success when facing off against jungle build
champions eg. Warwick.

If you were to jungle using this build as soon as you feel able you should stop travelling via a lane and use the jungles to bypass creeps / towers also as soon as you are able go for the blue
Ancient golem buff and the red Elder lizard buff these will help graves immensely at Ganking and jungling.

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Team Work

Hmm this is going to be a hard one, well i find that this character build for graves is fairly well designed for support and hit n run tactics, I have noted how this build works better with tank based characters such as Dr. Mundo and Mordekaiser and characters with Crowd control abilities such as Blitzcrank or Volibear in the sense that graves goes in and deals the brunt of the damage while the other character holds the enemy and/ or finishes them.

Ive also noted when ganked this build is very useful when completed, noting the amount of times ganked by the entire enemy team this character build puts them off goign through with the attack with high amounts of critical damage to make them flee or being able to hold the line while allies retreat.


This section has been mainly written based on first hand experience again do not take this section to be set in stone you may have a different experience playing this build.

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Unique Skills and commendments

There is not much that sets this graves build apart from the rest except for possibly his ability to go toe to toe with jungling characters and other attack speed characters. If when playing this build you get an exceptional game score K/D/A wise feel free to post in the comments and i will not it in this section starting with my best so far.

Summoner name K D A

Barrelbomb 20 1 15

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As stated before i leveled Buckshot first for this very reason if you are looking to farm minions in between jungling and fighting champions my best advice can only be keep an eye on the minimap!

If you see a huge mob of minions advancing to your turrets a quick 1 2 of Buckshot and Collateral Damage can easily make you that 300-400 gold you need to get that item you want and always keep an eye out for the dragon because that is another easy 200 gold. Experience wise if your doing the build right level 18 is easily attainable fighting a steady stream + 2 champions in your lane within the first 20 or so minutes then its just money hunting / mopping up.

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This is where i say adieu and hope this guide helps again as stated throughout the guide this is my FIRST GUIDE and is my personal choices when playing graves. This is also a first draft of the guide and it is probably subject to change in the near future and depending on if changes are made to the current system.

I wish you all a good game and have fun playing the hit and run graves!!