Gragas Build Guide by Callum8009
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Normal Top Build
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.
First of all, welcome, this is my first guide for MobaFire so apologies straight away if it isn't up to par with the rest, along with the guide anyway, my name's TheVintageCJ and this is my Gragas Top Lane guide and build, ever since his changes he has had to shy away from the full AP build, now you will see him everywhere apart from ADC or Mid, he hasn't got the damage output he used to have to 100-0 someone within a second, however who's to say that he can't outdamage some champs when correctly played.
Attention To All!
Since this is a brand new guide and my first one there will be a load of changes to it happening over a spaced period of time, it will be consistently updated when needed and when issues crop up, I will add my own patch notes below for readers interest when the guide is being changed.
Change 1 24/07/2014, Added Iceborn Gauntlet to the item list.
Pros & Cons
Great tank champion for jumping into the middle of teams.
With this build, high health, MR, Armour and AP
Absolutely great wave clear with his E and Q
A fat man with a keg and a beard, what else can you possibly want?
Hard to CS with when not using abilities (Like most AP champs)
If it takes a while to get RoA, you might fall out of the mid game team fights without it maxed out
If played incorrectly can be a real burden to the team
I don't change these really, everything in the defensive tree is required and Offensive doesn't need changing in my opinion, as I say however, each to their own.
Tier 1: CDR, very nice, we will need quite alot to perform well with Q, W and E all being needed, Ult on a shorter CD is nice as well.
Tier 2: Scaling AP into the late game as it helps since I don't build alot in this guide, along with increased damage on champions for everyone on your team, lovely piece of kit.
Tier 3: Flat AP, That is all.
Tier 1: Nice Amour and MR bonus as well as a decrease in damage taken by AA's, simple.
Tier 2: A nice increase in health which should be taken straight away, as well as even more damage lowered, can't pass that on.
Tier 3: This was a hard choice, Oppression is nice as your Q provides a impairment however i think the other 3 masteries are a better choice, as it is just more health, Amour and MR, heavenly masteries for tanks.
Tier 4: AOE and Crit strike champs have nothing on you now.
Tier 5: Since your going to be diving in, getting 3 points in this will be great as if you dive into 5 enemies, you will get a nice 15 Armor and 7.5 MR.
Tier 6: Beat all that CC from the front-line and kill the back-line!
Points in Utility can be taken but personally I wouldn't advise it, as stated, each to their own play-style.
Gragas' Rune page is very simple, you now want to build tanky as well as a small injection of damage for the early game and a nice bit of damage for the late game with Magic Pen
Flat AP, this will help you farm early game, do nice damage with your W mid game and Wreck when people wonder how much damage you do late game and how tanky you are together!
5 Seals of flat armor to get you by the early game and 4 Seals of Scaling Armor as getting a increase in armor late game is significant against those squishy, skinny, pesky ADC's at the back lines.
Magic Pen, these are great for dealing the damage that you do, people might build MR against you but you just get that Magic Pen and kill them, your Gragas, Champions are that scared of you they kill themselves before you kill them!
Scaling MR, this is for if your against a AD top, MR won't really be required early unless early ganks from Elise etc, these scale really well into late game and could be the difference between life and death.
The main things that could be changed is depending on a AP or AD top lane opponent, You'll want 5 flat Armor with 4 Scaling Armour if against a AD top laner, however if facing a AP top laner you'll want 5 flat MR with 4 Scaling MR and 9 Scaling Armor.
Flash is vital on most champions, Gragas already has an escape with Body Slam and a slow with his Barrel Roll however, it is still great to be able to Flash over a wall, get followed with a enemy Flash and then Body Slam in the other direction, then you are allowed to spam #Rekt in the chat for 2 minutes maximum.
Teleport has came into play during S4, mainly with top laners however it is possible to see it on Mid laners, It is a great summoner to have, you can Recall and then Teleport back to lane, basically you have a global map presence, it is a great summoner for things like dragon fights as you could be in lane, the team breaks out into a 4v4 at Dragon and then you Teleport into the fight, turning it into a 5v4, potentially winning the fight and then taking a dragon and maybe a turret!
I very rarely will take this summoner on Gragas, I will only take it when i believe i can win lane against someone like a Dr. Mundo who can just heal back up, it doesn't stop it however it can extremely help it with the 50% decrease in his heal.
Meh. Normally a support summoner but if you want to take it to maybe slow someone down so you can Drunken Rage Body Slam Combo them for your team to catch up it isn't too bad but i wouldn't advise it.
Wait, wrong game mode.
Viable on some champs who need to keep up with the lack of CC or Gap closers, Gragas isn't one of those champions, he shouldn't need it, but as said previously, each to their own.
More of a botlane, only ever take this if you feel you will constantly be needing to heal up under turret and getting tower dived, post nerf this isn't as good as it was (obviously).
We're not playing URF anymore people.
Barrel Roll is Gragas' Q, it is his slow and his best mechanism of wave clear, it is a great addition to his ability set and is of great use during team fights, if a great Barrel Roll is landed and let to spin for a small bit it can cause devastating damage to the enemy team at rank 5
Drunken Rage is Gragas' W, it gives him a injection of damage reduction on himself and also his next AA deals more magic damage, which is great if you can get into the middle of a team and get the empowered AA off on the ADC as it will destroy their health bar at highest rank.
Body Slam is Gragas' E, its his gap closer and his escape, it can be used over small walls too which is great as it can be used to juke like Faker (What?), it also at max rank a great source of damage on the target that it hits, it can be used to just get into the middle of the enemy team along with your Barrel Roll and cause major problems.
Explosive Cask is Gragas' R, his ultimate, and what a ultimate it is, if placed correctly it can easily be up there for ultimates such as Amumu who can change team fights, it deals a large amount of damage in the area it is thrown in and people are propelled from that area (enemies) depending on where their standing when its thrown, if placed badly it can be useless and be worse than if you didn't throw it, but it can be a real pain for the enemy team when they get pushed away or even into the middle of your team because of your ultimate.
Explosive Cask Will always want to be maxed first, as stated before, it can destroy the enemy team within a matter of seconds and a real game changer.
Barrel Roll Will be maxed second, it is great for the slow and the wave clear is immense on it, you can clear a wave and roam as much as you want because of the extremely fast time in which it can rip through enemy minions.
Drunken Rage Will be maxed third, this is because of the damage reduction injection you get which is great for a tank who will be in the middle of the enemy team and the increased damage on the AA is a very nice plus to the ability as well.
Body Slam Will be maxed last, but a point taken in it third, this is because its a great gap closer and escape but apart from that it doesnt do as much damage as his R,Q or W so it is maxed last, however his W and E can be swapped for levels, but since your tank i'd advise W.
Doran's Ring Your playing as a AP top laner with mana problems due to your Q, this will help alot with the early game.
Health Potion I shouldn't have to explain these to you.
Warding Totem To stop them pesky junglers from touching your love handles.
Rod of Ages A absolutely monster of a item on Gragas top if he gets it early enough, it gives great AP, Health and armor especially when it builds up after the ten minutes of having in, Health on a tank is obvious, mana because Gragas does have quite large mana problems, this solves it, and AP because you want to be able to deal at-least some damage.
Liandry's Torment Again, a item with Health and AP, this offers less health and AP than RoA however a great passive of Magic Pen and it deals damage over time to enemies that have been hit by one of your spells, also because of the extra passive in it where people who have movement impaired take extra damage, your abilities with that go great together.
Spirit Visage Great MR, Health, Health regen and a very nice CDR on it as well, which is exactly what Gragas needs.
Mercury's Treads I really advise this item on Gragas, it is a great all around set of boots as it offers a 35% reduction on CC (since your a tank) and MR along with that, another great item on Gragas
Ninja Tabi You can get this if the enemy team are mostly AD, the Armor is nice and the 10% damage reduction from all auto attacks is also very nice while your stood in the middle of the enemy team just not dying.
Sorcerer's Shoes These are for if you just want more magic pen, I very rarely buy these as you need the tankiness however if you already have people on your team such as Braum, Leona, or tanky junglers such as Vi, Elise you can take them to become more of a damage dealer.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity I really wouldn't reccomend them as with the build you already have enough CDR however if you feel that you want that extra bit more, you can go for it, there are just better types of boots out there.
I haven't completed a full build because I very rarely come across a game where I will be building the same as another game consistently, i'll leave it up to you as the reader.
Sunfire Cape A large amount of health and armour, with AOE damage when standing in the middle of enemies, a good item in general.
Warmog's Armor A extremely large amount of health with great health regen aswell, this pairs well with Spirit Visage for the health regen, however I don't find this a really good item choice on Gragas as he just needs Armor and MR due to his passive Happy Hour
Randuin's Omen Post nerf it isn't as common as it once was, however there is no taking away that it is still a great item due to the large armor and health once again, with a AS slowing passive and a MS slowing active.
Banshee's Veil Lots of MR and health once again, however the best part of this is that it blocks the first enemy ability that hits you, this can be the difference between jumping into the middle of the enemy team on full health or jumping in on 3/4 because you ate a Nidalee spear or a Jayce orb thing.
Zhonya's Hourglass VERY nice AP, and a fair amount of armor, mainly built on the mid laners however there is no stopping you from getting this because of the Armor and the large spike of damage you'd get from getting this item, but the active is better "you can't kill me and I can't kill you"
Thornmail Rarely seen recently, mainly built for AS comps, Tryndamere, Jax, Most ADC's, if they have some of these champs it is a great item due to the passive and the armor on it, however otherwise it's a waste of your money.
Iceborn Gauntlet I'd never built this item until I recently got advised it in the discussion section of this guide, it is a absolute monster of a item on Gragas, this is due to the large increase in mana, the great amount of armor plus a nice amount of AP as well as 10% CDR, with a nice passive on the item too that slows movement speed for two seconds and does extra damage to the target your attacking post using a spell *Cough* Drunken Rage *Cough*
Laning Phase with Gragas is just like most of the tanky top laners, just farm, there isn't much else you can do until you get your maxed out Rod of Ages however don't underestimate your damage, you do a surprisingly large amount of damage if the enemy is stupid enough to go into your Barrel Roll once it's been on the floor for a small period of time.
Once you hit 6 and you get your Explosive Cask that's when things start to get really fun, you will want to try and shove the lane under the enemy turret and attempt to gank mid, especially if your duo with the mid laner and they have no Flash or ultimate at the point, you can go down there, ult them into your mid laner, you can intiate with the Body Slam and get your Barrel Roll off, you can use whatever combination you want to kill that pesky mid laner.
Once you return to lane with your kill (I know you can do it), it just turns into a farm-fest again, the only people I think you can really all in during laning phase are people like Malphite, Dr. Mundo and Cho'Gath
However if they try and get greedy and tower dive, you have lots of CC in your skill set, from Barrel Roll's slow, Body Slam's knockback and Explosive Cask back into the turret! There is such a wide variety of way's to kill them!
The last piece of advice is always try and run back to lane after the 10 minute mark if you can help it, that Teleport into the middle of a dragon fight because the other top laner used it to get back into lane could easily lead you into snowballing from the dragon and winning the game.
Team fights are where Gragas excels, because of the amount of CC that he has in his kit he can easily keep the enemy ADC under control until his team can kill the rest of the enemy team or until they can burst the ADC down and follow up on the rest of the team.
His Barrel Roll if positioned correctly can cause extreme damage to the enemy team and slow them all, meaning no escaping for them if they have no escape mechanism, the team can just catch up and due to them being slowed and damaged their going to be on the back foot, leading to either a easier team fight or picks!
His Body Slam in a team fight causes a knock-back on whoever it hits in a AoE area, which can knock a enemy away from your ADC, or knock the ADC out of range from your team to save them alot of damage on themselves, there are lots of different scenarios for his Body Slam, too many to list.
Finally, in teamfights his Explosive Cask as said before can either be a large advantage or a large disadvantage, from blasting the enemy ADC into the middle of your team for a nice easy kill into a 5v4 with a lack of damage from the enemy team to a Jarvan IV 5 man Cataclysm and you ult to knock them all back out the middle of it! Even just small things such as causing the enemy tank to be lifted into the middle of your team is a large inconvenience as he is then already in the middle without having to use any abilities due to your help, its a completely skill and experience based ult which will take alot of practice to get used to so it is worth going into a practice game (Custom, Co-op vs AI) to get the hang of it.
Overall, Gragas if played correctly is a extremely strong champion in the top lane with the correct build and play style, and hence the reason we're seeing him being build alot more in the LCS, and hopefully we'll be seeing him played more in ranked and normal games with increasing skill caps, as because of his skill shots, he has a large skill cap.
I believe he is one of the strongest top laners now, and will definatley be playing him much more often attempting to perfect him, constantly updating this guide with more tips on how to improve your play with him.
Thank-you so much for reading this guide if you have got this far. This has been my very first guide and I sincerely apologies for any mistakes throughout the guide, any feedback is highly appreciated and criticism will be taken aboard and will only help me improve this guide for the better of both myself and for anyone who is reading this guide, once again thank you so much for reading and I hope to see you on any other guides that are created in the near future!