Graves Build Guide by ImThatWalrus

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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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author ImThatWalrus

Dead Man Walkin' - A Detailed Guide to Carrying as Graves

ImThatWalrus Last updated on December 12, 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


Utility: 9

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Welcome to my Graves ADC Guide!Im going to be going over how to play graves as an adc bot lane. He is one of the strongest carrys throughout the whole game, with a very good early mid and late game. He also is very strong with every single support especially leona, sona, and lulu. He has a very strong q and a very strong steroid on his e with a gap closer. Also he has a very strong ult useful in teamfights, and cleaning up kills and trading/killing in lane with a short cd. He can also easily come back from losing his lane if other parts of his team are snowballing.

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Pros / Cons


- Strong at every phase of the game
- Were strong pushing power with q and as steroid
- Strong spells and auto attacks
- Passive makes you tanky and can trade in the early game easy
- Can dish out a lot of damage from just having a bloodthirster in the early game
- Has a lot of good combos with supports (Leona passive with his q)

- Buckshot does not have much damage at level 1 compared to things like Ezreal's Mystic Shot
- His dash does not go as far as other ADC's escapes
- Can't go over every wall with his dash
- Can be bursted easily if caught in CC

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Graves excels at farming in my opinion. His auto attacks do a lot of damage and with a as steroid you can easily catch cs that you may have missed to slow auto attacks. Also you can easily push the lane out with your q, at early levels you can easily kill a whole creep wave or at least most of a creep wave to push the lane while the other ADC has backed.

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Cleanse and Heal

On graves I like to take Flash and Ignite.
This will change with who ever you are against.

Supports to use Cleanse against:

Leona - You need to cleanse her CC or you can get bursted easily especially with her passive on you.
Nunu - This depends on if you think you will need to cleanse his slow. I think you should only take it if you think there bot lane will be a lot more aggressive than yours and also if they have cc in other lanes, like malphite.
Sona - Depends if you think you will need to cleanse her ult. I would take this if you are going against something like vayne, where they can combo ult and then set up a condemn into the wall for chain cc.
Soraka - Kinda useless to use this against raka, you would be cleansing a ignite in lane or her silence which is defiantly not worth it when you could have ignite to lower her heals
Lux - Same as Sona except a lot more threatening since a vayne could set up a condemn combo with lux's snare.
Morgana - ^ Pretty much same as lux.
Lulu - I would rather have heal if you are going defensive in this lane.
Janna - Nope, once again if you want to get a defensive summoner I would take heal. You don't need to cleanse because you wont take too much damage from getting hit by a tornado, and if you will your support needs to jump in and trade back some damage or make them back off.
Karma - Wait who?
Nami - I will update this when she comes out. From what I have read on her abilitys it might be helpful against a aggressive lane like and Ezreal.
Taric - This is a really scary lane. As Graves I think you should take this 90% of the time. When I would suggest don't I would say you need a disengage support, like Janna with the Tornado, or you need good cooperation with your support, preferably a duo queue.
Blitz - Not worth it, take Heal for defense.
If there is any other support you want me to put like Shen just ask in the comments! :D

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Skills and Sequence

- Lets you trade early with taking less damage if you stay in combat with minions also makes you tankier in team fights. One of the best ADC passives in my opinion.
- Max Q first, lots of damage in trading and pushing and just over-all damage and also in teamfights it does alot along with your ult it bursts really hard
- Max this last. Low damage and all it is used for is minimizing their vision and also an aoe slow. I think having your E maxed second will help you more from the AS Steroid.
- Max this second. In my opinion this is one of the best spells on an ADC. The dash range is not as far as and Ezreal E or a Cait E, but the AS steroid is kinda ridiculous.
- Level whenever you can. This is a great spell to have in lane and also during team fights. This combined with Q is actually insane burst once you have items. This is also why I go Bloodthirster first, your spells will scale better.

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This is defiantly the best. On Graves you should always have 21 in offense, but you can exchange the 9 points in Utility into Defense if you need the extra armor + health.

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Flat AD Quints - I like them alot better than going AD Per level, and nothing else really compares to Flat AD on an ADC.
Flat AD Marks - Because I like major AD on Graves. Helps out all his spells and also most of the other marks aren't that great on a ADC.
Flat Armor Seals - I don't think anything compares to these. It lets you be a little tankier in the bot lane vs another ADC and helps you over all. I think the only thing I would take instead is Armor per level but probably not.
Magic Resist Per Lvl Glyphs - Only because you don't need high MR at low level. MR per level will give you more end game and the only time I would rather have flat MR would be vs nidalee support (spears) or lulu support (glitterlance)

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- Always start Boots 3 Pots, works alot better than a straight dorans because you can sustain and then farm.
- Always. Soo much AS with the quickdraw AS buff.
- Dorans is for if you are getting bullied in lane. If you are up CS and Kills before your first or second back, don't go dorans go straight to bloodthirster/infinity edge.
- Bloodthirster will spike your Q and R damage and also give you a lot of damage that will carry over in each phase of the game. This is what I usually get unless you want to keep dominating the early game, if you already are dominating it.
- I usually pick this up after Phantom Dancer for crits and high crit damage, but if you want the armor penetration grab Last Whisper 4th and Infinity Edge 5th, or even 6th if you want a Guardian Angel or Quick Silver Sash for more protection.
- I literally get this after my Bloodthirster or Infinity Edge every game. Its really good on Graves with the Movespeed, Attack Speed, and Crit, but not so good to get it first like Vayne.
- Last Whisper buffs Graves damage but not as much as it does on other champions like Vayne. Its still a really good buy on him and I usually pick it up after Phantom Dancer if you need to get the armor penetration, or after your 4th item.
- Guardian Angel is my "go to" as a defensive item. It gives good stats and also the passive is just insane. The only other I would consider is a Quick Silver Sash, but in most cases of buying that I would probably already have cleanse on so I wouldn't need it. Please for the love of god do not buy a thornmail. Also you could consider a Maw but I don't think its defensive enough and Guardian Angel would do a better job.

Other Items to Consider

- I've seen Aphromoo use this before, not specifically on Graves, but I think it may work on graves if you are looking for sustain with some damage.
- This is a VERY situational buy. I would get this if you need more map vision bot and your support can't keep up with wards, also if you need the passive to take control of objectives (Dragon and buffs) and also if you need some armor in bot. Don't buy this EVER in mid-late game though, its for early game boosts.
- I've heard talk about this being the "new phantom dancer"; it isn't as far as I can tell, at least on Graves it seems weak compared to the phantom dancer and as of now I would not consider. I have seen it being used on Ashe, by Chaox, though so it may have hidden potential. For now, no.

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God Tier

- This lane is not played too much but I seriously think it should. You can get A LOT of damage off onto the enemy carry and its a VERY aggresive lane. With Leona's Passive you can hit A LOT on them with your Q and then follow it up with Leona's Crowd Control.
- This lane is FABULOUS. You have True Grit giving you defense, and Taric's W Aura. You have a heal from his Q, not that much health from it but it always helps. Not to mention you have a stun to give and take off pressure when you are in lane, also, the stun helps setup ganks; I like having someone like Lee Sin who can lane gank because Taric is perfect to put with lane ganks. Oh, and by the way Taric's ult aura is perfect for you, giving you AD and some extra burst in lane/fights.
- I love the steam golem, but he seems to always be banned. If you can get him though you can grab easy kills early on due to the fact you will most likely be more tanky then the opposing ADC and blitz will give A LOT of CC and quite a lot of damage for a support. This lane works incredibly well when you can get it, just make sure your communicating with your blitz to make sure you don't get bad pulls.
- Awesome sustain, awesome defence, spam your q and e and you win. New items helped soraka a lot I feel.
Good Tier

- Janna sets up kills very well in lane and also disengages pressure. Her extra AD from the shield will let you trade with more damage, and take less damage. She also has a great ult for disengaging fights and it does really well all throughout the game.
- Sona has very good harass capability and she also has a heal and damage debuff. She is a perfect support for Graves with all this and not to mention the extra AD from her Q Aura, or Armor from W Aura. Also with her Ult you can get a full combo off easily and burst people really well. She is VERY close to god tier but I think her defenses make her only in Good.
- Lulu has harass, a shield, a movespeed buff, and a amazing ult. With all this utility she is VERY close to God Tier like Sona. Everything she has helps Graves a lot, a Slow w/ harass (Glitterlance), a shield, and a move speed buff. She has all of that PRE 6 which is kinda insane. Once you hit 6 with Lulu and Graves you are very hard to kill in lane. Lulu would probably be God Tier, but I haven't seen much Lulu/Graves play to judge it to God Tier.
- I think anyone with a snare or bind or some sort of CC does well with Graves because Graves does good at being aggresive. Lux is a pretty good lane but not enough utility to become a God Tier. Her shield is very nice though.
- Puttint Nami here for now, I feel Nami/Graves has potential with her skill set, movespeed buff to ally champions when she hits spells as a passive (causes you to have aggresion), AoE stun as her Q, Heal/Harass W, Bonus Damage E, and a Knock up/Slow ult sounds great for laning with Graves. This could be God Tier material.

Meh Tier

- Like Lux but her shield isn't as good and I feel like she isn't as good as a support. Meh.
- Meh. I like his Ult and Harass. But meh.

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- Shows Graves dashing over a wall.
- One of Chaox's Graves games. Chaox does a really good job of showing Grave's power in this game, with a lot of kills and a decently quick win.
- This video never gets old. This is a game from OGN, CLG.NA vs Psw Ares (haven't heard of Psw Ares by the way); Doublelift does a good job of showing how to play Graves in a teamfight, stay back and dps; rush in when they are low and you can kill them.
- Ciderhelm's "Don't Feed" series from when Graves came out. Sort of a overview of Graves and his spells and stuff. Good first resource when learning him.
- Another Beautiful clutch play from Curse Cop (Graves) and Crs Elementz (Taric), this shows how well graves can do with the use of his spells, especially showcasing his Quickdraw Attack Speed Steroid.

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If you are looking for ADC's to watch stream, I would suggest Crs Cop( He streams a lot and he is very good. Most other ADC's dont stream often but if you can catch them online I would suggest TSM Chaox (, and FEAR Aphromoo (
Im also learning to Main ADC and im trying to stream often at
Im not the best but I hope you enjoy if you come watch me! :D

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Thanks for reading the guide, I hope you enjoyed it and learned something from it! Have fun playing Graves and I wish you the best of luck in your matches!
-zWalrus (NA)