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.
Off to the Pub (Introduction)
I started playing League and couldn't get into it as there wasn't a champion that really hooked me. I played for a bit every champ rotation, and after 3 weeks, discovered Gragas. When the champ rotation switched, I HAD to get him.
Tankin is my thing, and here is how he has evolved. I know I'm not the BEST Gragas and don't pretend to be, but I've had others tell me that Im one of the better ones. I just play the game for fun, but it was suggested I post my build. So here goes!
'It's not a Beer Belly, it's a Fuel Tank for a LOVE MACHINE!'
Drink Responsibly (Pros / Cons)
- A passive that scales
- Mana efficient Special Attack.
- Can 'jump' terrain.
- 'Drunken Rage' w/ CDR
- He has Beer.
- Skill shot dependent
- Not much in the way of gettin Gold.
- No stun mechanic, only a slow that won't help if your teammates aren't around.
- 'Drunken Rage' w/o CDR
Gragas is awesome for the Pros. He has great core stats for a tank, and a tank ability that boosts the damage he puts out. Drunken Rage is listed as both because its an ability that is actually dependant on items. If a Gragas doesn't get any CD items, he won't be able to maintain the buff, so he has to Drink, fight, run cause his beer is watered down. This is probably why people hate Gragas as a tank. Without CDR he can't stay in a fight. Once he gets some CDR he just stays drunk, and is the Drunken Master!!!
The skill shot is only a Con because he doesn't have any NON skill shots. If you're not great with skill shots, then it's going to be difficult to do stuff effectively. If you're great with skill shots, then no problem. I do the best I can, but even I still screw up. On this note, if you SUCK at skill shots, and want to get some good practice, the fat man is great practice to improve.
The Dedicated Driver (Summoner Spells)
Prob not the best choice, but the one I used while leveling up to 30, and just got into the habit of having it. I'll use it before a pot early game to make the most of the CD, then mid-late game, it gives everyone in a team fight that extra bit of 'umph'
Flash is GREAT on Gragas, Used with 'Body Slam' it great for escaping, tower diving, or even chasing. It REALLY shines when you get those pesky tower huggers teasing you with their low health.
Exhaust is probably the best alternative to heal. With the x.09 patch changes, the stacking damage reduction with 'Drunken Rage' is really handy. The slow will help you get away, or prevent your target from getting away.
Ghost is a great alternative to Flash. It functions much the same way as Flash does when combo'd with 'Body Slam'. You lose the ability to 'jump' features. You gain the ability to ignore minions, and it can help you get around the map if you're needed from one fight to the next.
NOTE: As Gragas you should have either Flash or Exhaust as one of your spells to get away in the beginning, especially if 2v1, and then later on to run down after team fights. Heal is just what I prefer, but the second summoner ability is entirely up to you!
Clarity - Only if you're going AP, and if you ARE going AP, then you're not readin this guide. You COULD take it if you have a Mana dependant lane partner, but w/o mastery, it's only half as effective.
Fortify -Helpful for it's 'while ready' to get gold.
Teleport -If 2v1 will get you back to your tower fast, or if you need to break away, and you're jungler won't cover for you.
How to hold your liquor (Masteries)
Gragas is a pretty tough nut to crack. The bonus Mana, Movement, CDR, combined with the Health/Mana Regen from the Utility and Defensive tree are too good to pass up. You could make him a pretty solid anvil by going down the defensive tree, but I've feel this is overkill.
- If you choose to take Ghost, put the talent in that instead of Flash. Drop the point in 'Good Hands', then either put more in 'Awareness' or take 'Utility Mastery' if you think you're gonna get a buff.
- Alternatively you could drop the points in 'Presence of the Master' and 'Intelligence' to put them into 'Evasion' if you want the bonus dodge, but Gragas can usually take the hit.
- Greed is just there to get all the help I can get, you could use this point on any of the masteries listed above if you prefer.
Slot 2: 0/6/21
This is a more 'Tanky' Mastery set up that works well on the defensive side. This is also a great set up for learning Gragas as you will stick around for the hits. I prefer to get the most out of the utilitly tree, so I just put em both in here.
I will use this if I know I'm going 2v1 on top lane (5's). Depending on who Im playing with I'll take Teleport over Flash as well. As you can tell, Heal comes with this tree.
Sobriety Test? (Skills/Sequence)
Happy Hour (Passive) - A built in health regen. What makes this GREAT is that it's not a set amount, so as Gragas grows, this actually gets better.
Barrel Roll(Q) - The least efficient of all of Gragas' abilites. It's boosted by ability power, so doesn't benefit from 'Drunken Rage' It is still a GREAT utility though for a tank though.
- Any units hit by the barrel have an attack speed debuff applied to them. (Tooltip outdated) Great for when you're pushing because your minions will be hitting more than the opposing minions, and champs will be hitting less.
- It has a 5 sec delay that can be detonated by pressing Q again. Useful for putting in a cluster of minions, the popping at the right moment knowing you'll get SOME gold.
- Early game, if you're opponent thinks you're going AP, he will avoid these barrels. You can place them to psych you're opponents out.
- Regardless of HOW you use it, do not spam it, it's the biggest drain on your mana.
Drunken Rage(W) - Mana Return, increased Attack Damage, global damage reduction, all for FREE. Add in that it works with your passive, and you've got a good reason to love Gragas as a tank. There are things to note.
- It's channeled. So the only way to gain full benefit is to not move, or be moved until you see the Drunken Rage buff. Enemy champs with silences, interrupts, knockbacks can stop this.
- The downside is that you can't attack or run away while you're channeling. Make sure you take the time to have it up before you head into any fights, once your in the fight not gonna do much to stop and put it on.
- When in doubt, run. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can take the time to put it up
cause you feel you need this buff to get away, it will only kill you.
- It's on a 30 sec CD and the buff only lasts for 20 sec. Until you get a CDR item, (early game) you have 10 sec where you are vulnerable. Good opponents know this and 10 sec is more than enough time to take you down.
Body Slam(E) - The Fuel Tank! AP helps here, but it's boosted by 'Drunken Rage'. So even without any AP items, you're still gettin a free damage boost, which is enough to allow you to focus on tankin items. Gragas loves this ability, and you will become a machine if you master it's use. (Fuel tank for a love machine! Now go and share the 'Love')
- EXTREMELY mana efficient, which as tank working on some health items, this is just pure awesome. It has a really low CD as well, not as good as it used to be, but not an issue as you're getting a CDR item for 'Drunken Rage'
- Also great for getting some minion kills to get some gold if your lane partner is hoggin em all. Try not to hit too many minions at the same time, as the dmg is divided, and you might not do enough to get some kills.
- Be careful! If any enemy units are in the way, you might not hit your intended target. This is why Gragas doesn't make a good 'chaser', once mixed in with minions as they retreat the skill needed to land this goes way up. Besides your a tank, let it go.
- Works to 'jump' terrain. Great for getting away and getting around. I LOVE it on the top 2nd towers in 'summoners rift' as you can attack the the towers right next to the wall, then just pop through the trees when you're getting attacked by champs or tower. You can chase other terrain jumpers like Tristana, Shen, Tryn if you want. Also useful to get at champs who hide behind walls and use their team to hit enemies, like Miss F, and Caitlin. One thing I've pulled off on occasion, is to put a ward on Baron, then Slam kill him just when the other team is about to kill him. Drop a 'explosive barrel' then flash back out. As a tank, this is FUNNY as hell to see it.
'Explosive Cask' - This one is tricky for a Tank Gragas. It's another AP item, so Drunken Rage doesn't get applied to it. It uses roughly the same mana as a normal barrel, but the CD on it prevents any spam on it.
- With the attack speed debuff moved to 'Barrel Roll', you now have one less reason to use this.
- Don't use this for kill shots, thats for AP Gragas' and won't really do much dmg as a tank, even late game.
- So what do you use it for? AoE Knockback effect based off where it hits. This can be used to knockback peeps chasing you. You can push champions into your tower range if they're greedy, you can also push champs away from their tower to 'Body Slam' them, even if only to harrass them. Even great for knocking someone your chasing back toward you.
-In team fights it's awesome because placed right, it can split up the enemy team apart, which makes it easier for your team to focus 1-2 of the enemy rather than as a whole team. Great for splitting those champs that 'hide' smaller size targets. Cho-gath/Teemo, Alistar/Morgana, etc.
-If you don't mind puttin everyting on CD and aren't in any danger, a Barrel Roll into a Mass mob of minions, a Body slam, followed up by an Explosive cask is a great way to clear a block of pushers and get a ton of gold in the process.
(Lv. 1-6) 1 pt. in each for flexibility of options. There are times when the enemy is pressing you so hard that your stuck on the tower, and all you can do is barrel roll, so make sure you get it. Put one point into W, E at Lv 4&5. Get Cask at 6, this will allow you to set up ganks for your team by initiating with a push.
(Lv. 7-12) Max out E. If you're facing an extremely aggressive team, you can choose to split the pts between W,E to gain the defensive buff as you go. This is why you put split the points at lv 4&5, so that if you need to do this, then all your beer isn't in one keg. Either situation, you'll max both W,E before you upgrade the Ult. Without any AP items, you're using the Ult for the knockback.
(Lv. 13+) First point into Ult. This is because it's more effective to beef it up at this point and have it do as much damage as possible. You're still not using it for the damage, but for the cost compared to the only other skill not maxed out is worth it. Points in Q will quickly bring the cost of barrel roll closer to the Ult anyways.
Taps, Corkscrews, Hoses (Items)
Meki Pendant -> Chalice of Harmony
A great item for Gragas, not so much for the Magic Resist, but for the 1% missing Mana. 'Drunken Rage' and this when you're flat out of mana will almost always get you enough mana to perform a 'Body Slam'
Again, not for the Magic Resist, but for the Stun Reduction. If you can get unstunned long enough to drop an 'Explosive Cask', you will often buy yourself enough time to make a getaway, and frustrate the HELL outta the other team.
The starting 2 is usually sufficient to get you to the Chalice and Boots. Im making a note here for Ignite. Ignite is for peeps who don't know how to play their characters. If the enemy team has 3 or more peeps with ignite, I'll keep about 3-4 of these hotkeyed. With 'Drunken Rage' you can just pop one of these bad boys and reduce then laugh as they acutually have to play their character to kill you.
Glacial Shroud -> Frozen Heart
Your CDR items. The Shroud is gonna give you armor, which you've been avoiding till now and 20% CDR is enough to keep your 'Drunken Rage' up. Frozen Heart is so cheap after that it's almost stupid to not get it, unless the enemy can avoid the effect of the Heart.
Health, Health Regen, and an ability stacking even more of both is enough to get it. It doesn't add any Armor, or Magic Resist, so while the bonuses are nice, they won't keep you alive if taken any earlier, just delay it your inevitable death.
Force of Nature
I love this item, and before they lowered Gragas' Reduction amount on 'Drunken Rage', I got this before Warmogs. It's Magic Resist is nice. You're still getting a Health Regen boost. The Speed boost with 'Body Slam' is enough to get away from a Police raid on Moonshine operation, or run down someone who refuses to pay up!
I know this might seem odd, but with all the Armor/Mag Res you've gotten, all the Health/Health Regen you've gotten, a cheap damage item is acceptable. I chose this one because it's boosts AP, then gives a boost to your next attack. So a 'Body Slam' + Sheen with 'Drunken Rage' up will hurt.
Unlisted Items worth mentioning
Good starting Tank item, and perfectly acceptable to use. Reason not listed in core build is listed in 'Item builds' chapter. In short, Tank Gragas can get pretty starved for gold early game, so anything you might have to sell just grates with me. If you do get it, you won't replace it till you get down to your 6th item.
Rejuvenation Pendant -> Philosophers Stone -> Shurelya's Reverie
The details on Rejuvenation Pendant/Shurelya's are listed below. Im gonna not on the Phil. Stone here though. It gets you the Mana Regen you need in the laning phase, 22.5 Health Regen is nothing to scoff at. Using this item and Gragas' passive is HUGE. It's enough to keep you in healthy in any lane for a long time. The added Gold bonus is a huge helps as well, so maximize the game time as fast as you can to make the most of it.
Im mixed on this Item. It's a good item, but it's very situational, since the damage dealt is returned as Magic Damage, not the Damage type being dealt. I've found that against MOST champs, the Health Regen on Warmogs/Force of Nature is enough to counter the damage they do. I will get this if there are 3+ AD based champs on opposing team. Otherwise, just stick with the build.
EXCEPTION: Do not get this if Tryn or Olaf (or both) are on the board. These 2 only get MORE powerful the more damage they take. From swing to swing, this adds up FAST, and I've even sold my Thornmail because of it.
Rod of Ages
Do NOT under any circumstances, get this as a Tank, seen a few builds with it, even had random games where players told me that RoA is mandatory on all Gragas builds. For how much it is, I'll actually take stuff that works with what I do, and that is tank.
Elixir of Fortitude
If you're not used to getting these, look into it. It's a 3 min buff that persists through death, and it gets better as champ level is goes up. This item works well with 'Happy Hour', 'Drunken Rage', and 'Body Slam'. For 250G, its worth it for extended laning periods, like in a 2v1.
If you drink it all now... (Item Builds)
Opening items are Meki's Pendant, and 2 Health pots. Not so much for the Mana regen, but it's also a starting item that AP Gragas could start off with. So any champ that looks at starting gear to base how you're gonna play. The first thing you upgrade is Chalice. I usually stay in lane till around 1700G, then go back for Merc Treads as well. If you can't do this, then make sure you get the chalice and the move 1 boots.
Alternative: You could start Dorans Shield, and recommmend if you're learning to play Gragas or your summoner level is still low 20's. I prefer to get Regrowth Pendant for the Health Regen, then go back at 900G and upgrade to Philosophers stone, and Boots of speed as soon as possible. Then you don't have to sell the shield later on, you generate gold for a majority of the game, and can just upgrade to Shurelya's as your 6th item.
The very next item you're getting is the Glacial Shroud. With the Chalice and Boots, you're good on Magic Resist, so the Armor, Mana, and CDR are perfect. This is the most expensive trip back for any one item. You can break it up and go back for the req. items if you want, but you aren't getting any CDR benefit, and losing time for the effort. If you're forced to go back, then pick em up while your there.
At this point, if you go back and have enough to get an Elixir of Fortitude, do it. Do this for every trip back for the rest of the game.
I usually work on upgrading to the Frozen Heart from here, it's a cheap upgrade. In games where I have gotten the chain vest before getting Glacial Shroud, I've found I can get 1 or both of the cloth armor, even after buying an Elixir. This just makes the Frozen Heart easier to get.
Alternative: You should get the Glacial Shroud before anything else. You need to really look at how the games are going, and possibly change your build as needed. Extra Magic resist (Force of Nature) or Damage (Thornmail) should be considered at this step. I recommend that as you save for the Frozen Heart to take a good look at the state of the game, and decide when you go back, if you need to hold off on Frozen heart. After you do this, finish out the Frozen Heart though.
Warmog's. Yes, it's late in the game, but I feel that the Mana Regen from Chalice, the Stun Reduction from Merc Treads, and CDR from Glacial/Frozen are more useful to Gragas. After these items, Health and Health regen become important. It's not difficult to build if you go back every 1k. Try to wait a few and refresh Elixir each trip if you can.
A majority of the games I've played, end before I even get Warmogs finished. So I feel that it's not as necessary to get Warmogs early, like it is with other tanks. Yes, I know getting Warmogs boosts passive, but it's not gonna help you early game.
Alternative: If the game is going REALLY well, or you don't want to get Warmogs, then skip straight to Force of Nature. I will usually go back around 1500/1600G after Frozen Heart and just get 3 Rejuvenation Pendants, then come back for Force of Nature.
Last Item: The 6th item is completely up to you. I usually just get all 3 Elixirs at this point. I used to just upgrade the Philosophers stone, providing a speed buff to the team, allowed us to get an extra tower as the other team was dead, so it's worth it if you went that route. I've Only had 2 Games go long enough to get all the Elixirs and still had enough left over for an item. I've gotten Sheen simply because you have so much Health Regen, Health, and Armor/Mag resist, you can solo towers with easy.
Mark: Resilience. Flat Armor to keep me alive. I have used Damage runes in here, but found that since I don't get any Armor items till my 3rd item, every little bit helps.
Seal: Vitality. Not as much health to start out with like a flat rune but as the level goes up, this goes up, which boosts 'Happy Hour'. Not by much, but none of the runes do that really.
Glyph Shielding. Simply because most of the champs out there use AP, so whatever reduction in that only helps, these are great. The per level part isn't an issue since the first 2 items have Magic Resist on them. If you find that you're gettin enough Magic Resist already, then drop these. I've only used CDR/level runes here, go squeeze all I can outta 'Body Slam'
Quintessences Swiftness. (Whaaat?) First off lemme start by stating that you should have Fortitude here, especially if your summoner level is low 20's. As you play, you'll see where at the end of any fight how much health you have left. If you think you have plenty, then sub them out one at a time.
I chose the speed Quints to keep pace as much as I can with the faster units and Move 2 boots. It makes me very mobile on the map, in getting between lanes to support as a tank. Get Force of Nature, and your movement is faster than anyone expects as a tank, and after seein the 'machine' they'll be wary of 'Body Slam'
I've switched to Fortitude Quints. With the recent changes to how Mana regen works, this works great early game. Get used to frustration as your enemy will almost be dead and they get away.
Updated 2/12 - Updated Quints based on game changes from patch. Tried other Masteries, but this still came out the best. Item update in progress.
Updated 3/15 - Got some good games in. Added a 2nd mastery tree for those who like to play a bit more defensive. 2nd tree has some great early game staying power, but to me he's sobering up a bit late game and seems too 'slow' for whatever team Im on.