Graves Build Guide by Sneakycastro
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CORE + Notes
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.
Hi, I'm SnEaKyCaStRoO and I'm the AD Carry for Team Pulse eSports. Before that, I was part of top teams like Ordinance Gaming and Absolute Legends. I'd like to show you how I play Graves.
Graves is an AD Carry that has great burst and utility. He can be picked against any bot lane combination and work well against them. In the right hands, he can single-handedly carry a team. He has a great escape with Quickdraw (E) that also increases his attack speed, a great burst combo, and a nice utility skill for many situations with his Smoke Screen (W). His burst can tear multiple enemies apart, leaving your enemies Dead...or about to be
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
I run pretty standard AD runes. The AD marks are mostly for a better early game like for the last hitting, and helping jungle, or even doing double golems with your support. Team play is really important so in the early game AD runes help you out more in various situations. Strong early game gives you an easier time transitioning into middle and ultimately late game.
The rest of it is pretty standard as well. Armor seals because you're going to be up against another AD in your lane, plus if you're trading early you don't want to feel any sort of harass with your lane opponents' auto attacks. And, who can forget the feeling of being unlucky and having to deal with minion aggro?
The Magic Resist glyphs are if you expect to take a lot of damage from enemies with strong magic damage early game. They give the best MR at the start, but if you expect to be up against a different combination, scaling MR can better help.
Running 21/0/9 is probably the best setup you can run on Graves in my opinion. This is because you get great mana regeneration that you actually do need, and a free Total Biscuit of Rejuvenation to use for smart sustain.
You lose a little bit of health and armor from not going into the defensive tree, but what you lose in the defensive tree is made up for the trading power through extra mana and biscuit.
Starting Long Sword is probably the best start. It starts you towards the sustain you need in lane. It's not as brutal to get life steal early/mid game and gives you the damage of a doran's blade start while providing you with the ability to buy two health potions. On every recall to fountain during laning phase/first 15 minutes you should be picking up at least two Health Potion. If you find yourself in constant trades you should also consider picking up a Mana Potion as well.
With the recent change to all base movement speeds, it's not as necessary to start boots and three pots anymore. I only pick up boots early game if I have enough gold to buy a Vampiric Scepter and Doran's Blade as well. If not, I generally buy them after I have completed my The Bloodthirster
The goal for items by mid game or about the 20 minute - 30 minute marks is to have The Bloodthirster, Statikk Shiv, and either a finished Last Whisper or a Pickaxe towards one. Anything under that and you're probably not going to be very useful at this stage of the game.
Your next item will normally be a decision between these two. Get the Infinity Edge if you want to focus more on bursting down single priority targets or if the pace of the game dictates anything other than team fighting.
I really love getting Runaan's Hurricane sometimes though. It synergizes so well with your Quickdraw because it applies on hit effects multiple times so you almost always get multiple resets on it. This keeps the Attack Speed steroid you get from the skill always up, and keeps the door open for you to be mobile if you need to be. On top of this, it charges up Statikk Shiv three times as fast as well as just doing more AoE damage. Both items combined are really fun :)
Anything past the 35 minute mark and you should have at least 5 items while working on your 6th. The main decision here is between Guardian Angel and Mercurial Scimitar. To help you better decide, there are two questions to ask yourself.
- What is the enemy's main source of damage killing me?
- Is there anything that stuns and locks me down?
Other than the choice between what defensive item you want the builds are pretty straight forward. Not much has changed other than the addition of Runaan's Hurricane and the upgrade for Quicksilver Sash to make it better late game.
One really important thing to note about Graves is that enemies WILL try to dodge your skills, especially if you're in a 1v1 situation. Look out for this.
The only viable options right now for Summoner Spells are Ignite, Cleanse, and Barrier for Graves. I prefer Ignite to deal the extra damage I need to finish people off with the burst combo. I usually run Cleanse in the situation that there is a Amumu on the enemy team combined with another stun, a Taric in the lane, a Twisted Fate at middle, or just multiple stuns across the board. The only time I would run Barrier is against some sort of really dive oriented team comp with only a few cc's that you just need to live through.
Early game you should always be on the lookout to help out teammates in need. If your jungler is invading be prepared to head over to help him out in case he gets caught or just needs help securing a buff. When dragon is being taken by your team try to quickly clear the creep wave that you're on and head over so that it pushes more. Doing so could enable your team to swing bottom after dragon and take the tower.
The way the lane should be played is to last hit accordingly. Use your Buckshot on the enemy and the wave whenever possible. The most common time would be when the enemy is also going for last hits on the ranged minions. Whenever you buckshot you must auto attack the enemy hero as well since it adds extra burst.
Every time you Buckshot the enemy is almost guaranteed to be in range of auto attack. A common early strategy is to attack creeps fast and hit level 2 as quickly as possible with your support and get a health, damage, and level advantage on your opponents. This enables you to win almost any engagement versus the enemy if you push the level two advantage quickly. Most of the time the enemy forgets or doesn't care that you are a level higher than them and overextend or play as if you are still even.
Middle to late game is where you start to shine, you become the center of attention if you're fed and start melting people. The only trouble is positioning correctly so that you are not in range of any threats but are still able to attack when the fight starts. Quickdraw is great at helping you survive longer and re-positioning yourself to maintain perfect positioning. Quickdraw is the skill that gives you mobility and allows you to get into a position quickly, it's basically your second flash (with a shorter range). Being able to use this to re-position yourself in team fights when you need it and to help peel the enemy team off you is what will separate you from other Graves.
Also, as an AD Carry you should really only be attacking the closest target. So for example if an Evelynn and a Maokai are infront of you, attack the Evelynn.
A lot of the matchups are skill based and can go either way but the Support pick and style comes into play as a huge factor. For Example: Being with a Sona in your lane means high poke trading and some sustain but only in some situations. If you are against a Ezreal Taric combo she cannot over extend to poke without taking her entire life in damage.
Easy Matchups: Vayne, Corki, Tristana, Ashe- These matchups are as simple as they can get. You out-trade them with your buckshot auto attack combo and with enough pokes from that you can force kills easily.
Medium Matchups: Ezreal, Varus, Miss Fortune, Draven- These champions all will either out-trade you, or attempt to poke you down. Trading with them in your favor relies heavily on your supports ability to go in with you or poke them down separately.
Hard Matchups: Caitlyn- This is the hardest matchup for Graves. Caitlyn can essentially dodge every Buckshot through either out-ranging or using her Net which makes this lane extremely skill based.