Gragas Build Guide by affiix-miceing
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Additional Items to consider
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Pros / Cons
High Damage AoE knockback with Explosive Cask
Great sustain in lane with Happy Hour and Drunken Rage
Great last hitting, even early game with Drunken Rage
High Burst damage with full combo
High AoE damage with Body Slam, Explosive Cask, and Barrel Roll
Can play many different roles
Can be poked constantly by ranged due to his melee auto attacks
High skill cap (could be a pro also)
Most of his abilities are skillshots, making you weak against champs with high mobility, like Fizz
Although Gragas has many viable mastery pages due to his versatility, I feel these masteries will bring you the most success in the mid lane. These masteries provide him with hybrid damage as well as a bit of tankiness.
Double-Edged Sword - Since Gragas is melee, he gets much more use out of this than a ranged champion would. Used smartly, this will show great results.
Sorcery - This provides you with a decent amount of cdr. combined with blue buff, your Barrel Roll will seemingly have no cooldown.
Brute Force - The extra AD helps with early game trades and last hitting minions.
Mental Force - Its extra AP, need I say more?
Martial Mastery - For the same reason I take Brute Force .
Arcane Mastery- I am loving all this extra AP I am getting!
Archmage - More AP? GIVE ME!
Devastating Strikes - The bonus armor and magic resist adds to your tankiness.
Arcane Blade - In addition to Lich Bane and Drunken Rage, this mastery is scary on Gragas.
Havoc - Increased Damage= Happier Gragas.
Block - Helps a bit since you may get poked by ranged champions.
Recovery - Helps with some additional HP regen, along with Happy Hour.
Unyielding - For the same reason I take Block .
Veteran Scars - Provides you with some extra HP.
Juggernaut - Yay, more HP!
Flash- This summoner spell is a MUST on Gragas in my opinion. This is far better than ghost, and it allows you to get away from a bad situation, or flash into a good one.
Ignite- This is very strong on Gragas, because it gives you more kill potential than you already have. It adds to your burst, and allows you to finish off an escaping enemy. Although this is very strong, it is not mandatory on Gragas
Clarity- I have seen some Gragas take this, but I feel the mana you gain from using your Drunken Rage is sufficient.
Teleport- Although I feel this is more of a top lane summoner spell, I feel this is worth talking about because it allows you to easily gank your other lanes and help your team snowball. If you like Teleport, take it, because I feel this is very viable on Gragas
Barrier- I personally dont like this on Gragas because I feel like he is tanky enough already, this could come in handy against a lane opponent that could duel you.
Barrel Roll- This is Gragas' bread and butter! Early game, this ability chunks your opponent for a lot of HP. If you are not having mana problems, try to hit your opponent with this move every opportunity you get. Early game, this ability also passively pushed the lane, leaving you with many opportunities to roam and make plays for your team! Late game, this ability will do ridiculous damage due to its rather high scaling. It is great for poke, and it becomes very easy to farm large waves of minions. I max this ability as soon as I can.
Drunken Rage- This ability is very useful. Early game i get this second, and try to use it on cooldown for the mana regen and the damage reduction. The AD it gives also helps with last hitting minions in lane. Many people like to max this last, but since I use it off cooldown, and think it is a very strong buff, I max this second.
Body Slam- This ability is surprisingly very useful! I like to get a point in this third, and it allows for a very strong level 3 all-in, usually netting me the kill. This ability serves as a gap closer, an escape, and a initiate if you need one. Although this has many uses, I max this last because I believe this scales with points as much as the other abilities.
Explosive Cask- This ability is super strong, and it makes Gragas the strong threat that he is. This is an AoE knockback that deals extremely high amounts of damage. Also, this ability has ridiculous scaling, meaning that the more ability power you get, the stronger it becomes. All times during the game this is a threat, and it serves as great crowd control during a teamfight gone wrong. Put a point in this ability every chance you can.
Uses of Explosive cask
Gragas' ultimate, Explosive Cask is extremely powerful, and it can change the outcome of a teamfight drastically! While Explosive Cask is great, most people just use it to do damage, but there is so much more to Explosive Cask than just doing damage. This is why I decided to have a dedicated section describing how to use it:
1. Zoning the enemy squishies from the fight
Explosive Cask is a very effective way to zone the enemy carries. The knock-back from it can knock the adc of the enemy team at max range to way back, out of range of the fight. This can give the enemy team a shortage of damage for several seconds, while they get slaughtered by your massive AoE damage and team.
2. Catching an enemy out of position
I can not tell you guys how many times I have caught an enemy out of position late in the game, resulting in a free baron or turret because the enemy cant fight us 5v4. Late game, your Explosive Cask isn't a very long cooldown, so don't hesitate to use it if the enemy Master Yi is a bit over extended. Although this may seem obvious, make sure to throw the barrel BEHIND the enemy to knock him toward your team.
3. To Disengage a lost fight
This one is self-explanatory. If your team is losing a fight badly, plop Explosive Cask right in front of them, and it will knock them back, leaving your enemy sulking at a missed opportunity.
4. Peel for your fed adc that is ripping the enemies face off!
This is also common sense, but I felt obligated to list it. If an assassin or tanky is on your fed adc, and he is not being kited, throw an Explosive Cask right in between them. giving your adc more time to deal damage.
5. Repositioning the enemies
Did your team's Fiddlesticks or Kennen miss their team fight changing ultimate? No problem, just Explosive Cask the enemies back into it!
There are TONS of other uses for Explosive Cask, but I just wanted to list the most common ones. Knowing how to do all of these is just the start of it. Then you have to determine which one of these fits the situation you are in, and that is the most difficult part of it. Honestly, the more experience you have playing Gragas, the better you will be at using your Explosive Cask at the most opportune time!
Athene's Unholy Grail
Lich Bane- This item is very on Gragas because is adds alot more to his burst. Also, this synergies very well with the bonus AD from Drunken Rage.
Rabadon's Deathcap- This item is great on any AP mid. This after purchasing this item, you will have a huge power spike.
Zhonya's Hourglass- This item is great for whenever you mess up, and engage stupidly with your Body Slam. The active on this item will give your team just enough time to catch up and save you. And lets not forget about the 120 AP.
Void Staff- This item is great because it gives you magic penetration. Combined with your marks and your boots, you should have no problem shredding through the tanks trying to negate your damage with magic resist.
Athene's Unholy Grail- This item is great because it gives magic resist, cdr, and AP, all useful stats for Gragas
Although those are the main items I suggest to build on Gragas, there are still some viable options that will change based on what is happening in your game. Here are some items you may want to consider incorporating into your build:
Rylai's Crystal Scepter- This item is great because it gives you some extra tankiness with the HP it provides. Also, this item gives you even more utility, adding a slow on all of your AoE abilities.
Rod of Ages- This is also a very strong item on Gragas. It gives you some extra tankiness, as well as a good amount of AP.
Morellonomicon- This item is very cost efficient, and I recommend grabbing buying it when you are starting to fall behind.
Abyssal Scepter- This item is great if you need some extra mr. Make sure that nobody else on your team has this item if you decide to get it.
Twin Shadows- Im not a huge fan of this item, but it does provide you with a quite useful active, as well as some additional movement speed and magic resist.
Archangel's Staff- Im not a huge fan of this item on Gragas either. If you find yourself running low on mana often, maybe think about buying one of these.
Frozen Heart- I m a huge fan of this item, but not on Gragas. If you do decide to build a defensive item on him however, the passive and the cdr this item provides is very useful.
Guardian Angel- Want a "get out of jail free card"? Buy this item!
Banshee's Veil- If the opposing team has a poke heavy comp, maybe pick one of these up.
As Gragas, early game you want to try to poke the enemy as much as you can the first two levels, while keeping your mana bar fairly high. Once you hit level three, if you feel you are in a strong position you can go for the kill. Gragas' level 3 all-in is very strong. Your combo at level three is W>E>Q>ignite>AA. Against an enemy with around half HP, this should be more than enough to get the job done. when you are right in top of the enemy, your q is extremely easy to hit, so if you did a good job in levels 1 and 2, there is a very high chance you can net this level 3 kill. As said earlier in this guide, your q passively pushed the lane. If this happens, and you are feeling a little antsy, take some time to roam top or bottom real quick and apply some pressure in other lanes. With your ultimate Explosive Cask, you have very high gank potential, and this is a great way to get your team snowballing.
If you did a good job in laning phase, mid game is the chance that you can really shut the enemy down and close the game. Gragas' skirmish potential in the mid game is unrivaled and he has all the tools to roam all over the map and secure kills and objectives for the team. In this phase, you want to exert pressure in your mid lane as much as possible, as well as taking the dragon with your team. The mid game, I feel, is where a great Gragas player really shines, and he can determine the result of the game almost single-handedly.
In the late game, you want to stay with your team as much as possible. Gragas excels in team fights, and he can change the outcome of a fight with his very high amounts of AoE damage. You want to try to poke the enemy with your Barrel Roll as much as possible before a fight breaks out, giving your team the early advantage in the fight. Your ultimate really helps to be able to position the enemies where you want them, as well as zoning some of there carries out of the fight. If you can learn how to master Explosive Cask, you can win the fight in one ability.
When teamfighting with Gragas, you have many different options, and this is why I find Gragas incredibly fun to play! The way you decide to approach team fights will depend on the way you build, your team's comp, and the enemy team's comp. Your first option is to play as a mage. When doing this, you should sit back and throw your Barrel Roll from a distance. Your Barrel Roll has seemingly no cooldown lategame, so you can potentially be spamming these. With this strategy, you will have a lot of sustained damage throughout the entire fight. Also, with this strategy, it is a lot easier to detect the correct time to use your ult, Explosive Cask. You will want to choose this option of play if your team has 2 champions to hold the front line, and you built almost full damage Gragas. The second option you could choose is a Gragas that can hold the frontline. With this style of play, you will be eating a lot of damage, so you will need a tankier build. This style of play requires you to stay right up front in the enemies faces, and zone their squishys from the fight. This style of Gragas will do the least damage overall, but that will be because you would be building more tanky items. Gragas can be a very viable front line tank, dealing decent amount of damage, and further zoning the enemy adc with Explosive Cask. MAKE SURE THAT YOU KEEP THE PASSIVE DAMAGE REDUCTION OF Drunken Rage UP AT ALL TIMES DURING THE FIGHT!. The third and last role you can take is the role of the assassin! Playing with this style will require you to build full ap, and buy a Deathfire Grasp. You want to take on the role of an assassin if:
1. You do not have an assassin on your team.
2. There is a squishy on the enemy team that is fed.
This build will have the highest burst right off the start, but will require you to use Explosive Cask on the enemy squishy you are bursting if necessary. Playing as this role, you want to preform a combo of E>DFG>Ignite(If needed for their lifesteal)>Q>R(If they are not dead). This combo will for sure blow up any target you want assuming that you are not underfed.
Mage-Highest sustained damage.
Frontline-Lowest damage, but tankiest.
Assassin-Highest burst, low sustain.
First off I want to say thanks to everyone who took the time to read through this entire guide. I tried my best to explain to you guys how to play Gragas to the best of your ability. I hope after reading this guide you realize that Gragas has one of the best kits in the game, and he has all the tools you need to become a carry in every game. I also plan on adding a few more sections, like a section for lane matchups, but unfortunately, I can not comment on all of the matchups for season 4, because I would like to get 5 games in of each matchup before I include the in the guide. Like I said earlier, this is my first guide ever, so I am sure there are some problems, I worked really hard on this guide so I would love an upvote, but if you do leave a downvote, plz let me know why, and give me some feedback on what I could change. I am open to all opinions. Thanks again :).