Gragas Build Guide by Beer Powered
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.
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.
This is a build/guide for Gragas in Dominion.
Why play Gragas?
Because you want to play the latest OP right-click-win champ! wait, no, that's not Gragas.. maybe because you like drinkin' an videogames!
Grag is one of the most challenging ...and even frustrating... champions to learn. But learning to play him well is extremely rewarding and FUN. Grag is, by far, my favorite champ. His skills, especially his ult are great for laughs for the team. Imagine landing an Explosive Cask that launches a fleeing opponent back into a fight.
Some champs are really dependent on team composition. Gragas, however, is a great complement to pretty much any team composition. Though, he should be thought of as tanky AP DPS. He works especially well with bursty hit-and-run DPS allies like Wukong, Teemo or Shaco.
Grag's passive ability grants him great sustainability for guarding those precious towers even after the rest of the team recalls. Body Slam provides mobility for engaging opponents or for fleeing like a wee sissy.
Grag is also quite versatile and does well pushing bot, harassing with Barrel Roll, or defending.
Anyway, this guide attempts to illuminate some of the important subtleties about this champ in the Dominion context. I will discuss the items and rune choices as well as some game-play tips.
This guide focuses on the most effective runes for Grag, which is to stack armor yellows. Why not health runes? There are bound to be some AD enemy champs and you have no armor items in this build. You need armor.
Blues and Quints are Ability Power. Why? It's non negotiable. This is only way to get reasonable damage out of this champ.
Magic pen is a no-brainer since the penalty for wandering away from primary runes is not worth it. This is not an AD build. AD Gragas does not make sense with .9 and 1.0 AP ratios.
Pretty simple, grab all the AP DPS masteries then try to get as much health as possible out of the defensive tree. Don't be tempted to get into the support tree, you can get by without it.
The order of purchase should be pretty clear... here's the reasoning behind the selections.
Cheap must-have item. This will allow you to keep up with teammates or evade.
Upgrades to Ninja Tabi, Mercury's Treads, or Ionian Boots of Lucidity depending on preference.. Other tier 2 boots are less than ideal for Gragas.
Cheap, early advantage. You'll be able to afford boots, meki pendant and a tome before leaving base. This gets upgraded to Morello's Evil Tome for a very sensible 20% CD reduction and more mana regen.
Very important item. Provides a slow effect which is proc'd by Body Slam (stacks), Barrel Roll and Explosive Cask. This also provides health which synergizes well with Happy Hour and Ability Power, which makes Barrel Roll more powerful. All around perfect item for this build.
More Ability Power and an aura that reduces magic resist of enemies. Note that magic reduction is better than magic penetration and can help push your enemies to negative magic resist. You will also have much needed magic resist for more tank. Remember, there are no magic resist runes on this build.
Big boost to ability power/damage output. This is also the most expensive purchase. At this point in the game saving up $ shouldn't be too tough. It's also the second to last item, so the last 2 slots can hold both the expensive Needlessly Large Rod and the Blasting Wand before upgrading.
Provides additional damage output for abilities as well as a nice spellvamp aura which will help your teammates too! Damage, and vamp in turn, should both be decently high after Rabadon's Deathcap. You might only be able to afford the revolver before the game is over, but hey, if you've got some extra gold, you can snag it!
At the start of the game, grab 2 Barrel Roll and a Body Slam. From that point, train Barrel Roll whenever it becomes available unless you can level-up Explosive Cask. If you can't get Barrel Roll go for Drunken Rage. Body Slam should be maxed last since there is no cooldown reduction for skilling it.
Folks, this is a team game. 1v1 fights do happen, but keep in mind the object of the game: to capture and keep towers. Make the fights unfair for your opponents. Use Body Slam to isolate stragglers and Barrel Roll to punish cluster fighters. Don't be afraid to take some hits for a squishy carry... but know when to gtfo.
One of the greatest things about Gragas is his role flexibility. As mentioned earlier, Grag is well suited for soloing bot or working with the team to take towers.
Expect to get lots of assists, rather than lots of kills. You will have allied champs much more suited for getting killing blows. Your job is to be an unrelenting, undying harasser, rather than a nuke.
The best way to kick-off the game with Grag is to Body Slam up to mid and cap it, Body Slam over the barrier, then catch up with the team at top. However, if it looks like someone else wants to cap mid, that's cool too! You can lay in very reasonable DPS with Barrel Roll straight away.
The rest of the game distills down to Barrel Roll.
If you are trying to kill and cap, play around the tower and roll barrels into the enemy to whittle down their health. If you got a few allies coming up along with you and they look aggressive, tank the tower for them. Body Slam the enemies and do short range Barrel Rolls. Body Slam away when your health gets low. If your allies don't take the tower, grab a health, keep the Happy Hour going and make your way back to the fight. Grag's health recovers so quickly, it's easy to keep pressure on the top tower without having to recall. Keep Drunken Rage up. The damage reduction is really important.
Defending is really similar. If your opponents are trying to push minions to your tower, go ahead and leave the tower to push back. This applies to top, too. Try to hit the enemy champs so that they are forced to recall or are greatly weakened when they get to the tower. Be very careful doing this since you can be ganked if you are alone. Barrel Roll has great range though, and a 5 second optional timer, and is perfect for killing lots of minions without ever getting into range of an enemy. Keep Body Slam ready for a quick tackle or escape.
Some enemy champs will skip pushing minions to your tower and try to harass with ranged attacks. In this case, stay on the tower. Evade the attacks, watch the Happy Hour cooldown and use abilities to keep the regen going. Harass back with Barrel Roll.
Know your opponents. If you are greatly outnumbered or otherwise outmatched, it's OK to surrender the tower if you would be otherwise killed in seconds.
After playing Gragas, you might have found that landing a damaging hit with Barrel Roll is really quite difficult since it can be so easily evaded. Gragas is not a right-click-win champ. There is quite of bit of skill involved and a surprising amount of strategy. It's difficult to put strategy into words since every situation is different. So, as an attempt, here is The Rotation.
Barrel Roll is Grag's main source of damage. It is a very powerful AoE attack with a moderate cooldown. There are some things that can be done to increase chances of hits and improve overall effectiveness.
First, before you enter a fight, activate Drunken Rage. Do this several seconds before hand. It should stay active for the duration of an entire fight. Actually, whenever this ability comes off cooldown, activate it right away unless you are in the middle of a fight. It's easily interrupted and only applies bonuses after channeling. You are doing this for the damage reduction because the next step is to
Body Slam your target.
Third, immediately hit the target with Barrel Roll. Having your target at point blank range makes the barrel roll hit so much more likely. That's the secret! Grag has a pretty decent melee attack, so slap those *****es around, Body Slam if they try to run and to keep Happy Hour going.
The ultimate ability, Explosive Cask is a faster, harder-hitting, bigger AoE version of Barrel Roll and also knocks enemies away from the center of the explosion. This allows for a variety of uses. Here are some of my favorite:
Simple high damage attack for a kill
Scatter a cluster of enemy champs close to killing an ally, thereby granting a chance of escape
Using it strategically to launch an enemy off his tower toward allies
The cask and the barrel are both easiest to use against point-blank enemies, but are also pretty easy to use against any opponent that is slowed or stunned. So be patient and wait for the right moment. It's better to have DPS attacks available and not used than wasted on a hasty mistakes.
Keep an eye on Happy Hour. It lasts 4 seconds and you can monitor the duration. Using an ability before Happy Hour has completed will refresh the duration. It does not stack. Pace the activation of abilities to get the optimum output from the passive.
Pros / Cons
Requires a degree of skill
Steep learning curve
Screwing up an ult really sucks
Gragas is not glass cannon. He could sacrifice sustainability for more damage output, but becomes increasingly harder play as such. Since successful Barrel Rolls tend to follow successful Body Slams, which put Gragas toe to toe with enemies, a degree of tankability is required. But Gragas isn't really a full-on tank, either. Body Slam gives a nice slow effect, but this is nowhere near as incapacitating as Rammus' taunt or Ali's AoE stuns.
Presented here, is a happy medium... a well-rounded champion (fat even) well suited for laying into opponents and not falling lifelessly away afterwards.
Please feel free to comment and rate. Did this guide help? give new ideas? ...or totally kill your buzz