Graves Build Guide by JJ Smylez
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.
Mobafire has yet to add Tier 3 Life Steal Quintessences so I can not advertise them, but I strongly advise you get three of them and use them for the added sustain throughout the entire game.
I am not on my laptop so I cannot provide pictures but I will add a comment showing my latest achievement with this build to show why I post it and a small explanation of the game to show why I felt I needed it.
GG = Good Game - When you know you can win.
AD Carry - The main source of attack damage rather than ability power. You are squishy and invest in heavy Damage, Life Steal, and Attack Speed.
Split Push - When two lanes are pushed. The Majority of the team should draw attention to one lane specifically first then a carry or good "Damage-to-Tower" character will push a second lane quickly and damage or take an enemy turret.
Farm - Minion kills and general gold accumulation over the course of the game.
Boots and pots - Boots and three health potion, typical starting build for certain players.
Flighty - Wary and determination to not die. Sometimes you need to sacrifice your team to assure you can protect the base or continue to farm.
This is not an AD Carry build for Graves. This is a Game Changing build valuing Utility and survivability over Damage. If used properly with enough skill you will dominate and carry a game versus a team outclassing yours.
With that being said, Graves is not a typical AD Carry. He is built to get in your face and burst damage while other champions favor constant damage at long distances. Graves can be out farmed and harrased if not used correctly and I will explain how I use him later on.
Yes he is a potent damage dealer with a massive Buckshot burst but he will risk the range difference if built like other carries.
This build requires alot of farm. So you need to practice and master last hitting. Use your Buckshot on a wave of minions before your minions get there to set up a full wave of last hitting targets then use Quickdraw to farm them. Use your Quickdraw to avoid enemy agression so you take less harrasment. Once you have the enemy scared and wary Quickdraw in for the Graves combo. Quickdraw > Buckshot > Smoke Screen > Collateral Damage (Optional) But if it was a bait then use ur summoner spells to avoid the gank.
Your Summoner Spells are exclusively for ganks generally. Exhaust to help assure a kill or to slow a jungler, then flash in to last hit a running champion or flash out of the jungler range or on the other side of a jungler. Remember if you are on the other side of a jungler you have a better chance to be saved then if you are between the jungler and the enemy.
Using Trinity Force properly for Major Jungle and Turrets is explained in Last Phase. But with the movement speed you have you will be able to out run most champions. So if your watching the map right, then you can choose properly when to scope Baron, Split Push, or gank an enemy.
You are not a liability with this build you are the life line. Do not mistreat your teammates, but still coordinate them to grab enemy attention so you can successfully split push. Once you get in their base, short of an ace, it's GG for the enemy team.
I like to start off the game with a Vampiric Scepter for the life steal. It will help you stay in lane by farming and even last hitting. "Boots and pots" is a viable option and can be used but you will only have so much sustain before you run back. I like to stay in lane till I get 1600 gold before heading back to base. So I can buy my starting boots and a Zeal. Zeal provides more movement speed than the finished boots, and more attack speed plus some critical chance. This does not mean you stay in lane till death but if you have confidence then hold out.
The next time you go back you should either finish your boots and buy a health stone or long sword, or if you can stay long enough, a Phage and Dagger. Now you have some health damage and movement speed. Your starting to get the utility you will want and if used correctly nice escaping abilities and Attack Speed.
You can now fully stay in lane till you get your 1560(Estimated) gold for Trinity Force. Once you get the TF you should take your turret soon with help from ganks (If you already haven't) and start the Middle Phase.
You will now be fully responsible for keeping all lanes pushed and clearing any jungle you safely can. Join team fights but play it like Shaco and be flighty. Don't give up kills but watch for easy ones and if a team fight goes sour, bolt as best you can. Using the Trinity Force proc you should be able to harrass squishies easily and take dragon on by yourself.
Now you will work on getting either Infinity Edge or Phantom Dancer. The movement speed is what you should base this choice off of. Do you need to run between lanes more and escape horrible fights, or more damage to farm easier and to help win team fights. Which ever you are putting off you will get next so it's not a permanent choice. After that you will finish a Blood Thirster so your damage gets its final push and you have more survivability so if you escape a team fight badly wounded you can heal off the jungle efficiently.
This is were you will shine with enough map awareness and love and care for and from your team. If they do not fully support you then you should have gone AD Carry build during middle phase and lost by now.
You will coordinate Baron and dragon. Whenever your team decides to push while your farming jungle you will back door another lane. Trinity Force is used at its fullest in this phase as you use its proc efficiently and take down turrets. (Yes it works on turrets so spam your abilities.)
Do not die. You will either get a Warmogs against a stupid team not building Madred's by now, a Frozen Heart if the Enemy Carry has gotten wise to you and gotten the Madred's, a Force of Nature if the AP Carry's are what is wrecking you, or Guardian's Angel if you need a little bit of everything.
With determination you will take their base hard. Coordinate your abilities with auto-attacking properly against Baron and Turret alike, and choose the smart fights and not the easy ones. There is never an easy fight against a fed team and you need to be on your toes.
Pros / Cons
This build being weighed against an AD Carry build cannot win 1v1 usually. This isn't a personal strength character but a game changer. This means that when your team is losing feeding underfed but able to hold the last lines of defense, this is a viable build to win. He still holds up in damage early to mid but less focus on AD and more on items that help you survive and support kills.
This means that you have to be a skilled user of Graves for this to be a great build for you. This isn't the usual AD Carry build that stacks Attack Damage to buff your skills and the rest of it is you auto attacking.
Good luck and I hope I have helped you not only with this build but also understanding Graves and the importance of some items. I will read some comments periodically and try to help those having trouble.
I will maintain this build aslong as I am playing Graves so that this should be a constant guide to help others. Good Luck, and Have Fun.