Graves Build Guide by DonRolf

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League of Legends Build Guide Author DonRolf

Graves ain't no gamble

DonRolf Last updated on October 24, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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So you want to play Graves, summoner? Graves is since his release easily my favourite AD carry. His long range autoattack combined with short range skills that can turn the tide of a teamfight just makes him devastating when used properly. In this guide, I will try to maximize his potential. If you have any comments or suggestions, be sure to leave them in the comments below.

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Why play Graves?

I've played a couple of games of Graves now, and the primary reason I play him is because he plays more fun then your average AD carry. His mobility is sublime and wrecking teamfights with your ultimate, getting away easily and give the occasional buckshot back is so much fun


  • Good farmer
  • Good pusher
  • Mobile
  • Huge early game bursts
  • Dash good for chasing or escaping
  • Teamfights are a blast
  • Passive counters squishyness early on

  • Lacks 1v1 power lategame
  • Pretty squishy, especially late game
  • Lacks crowd control effects

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Skills and their order

The passive. If you keep autoattacking minions, you'll get more magic resist and armor. It's useful for early game harass, autoattack some minions, Quickdraw in, Buckshot and retreat or chase.
]Your primary harass and lategame damage skill. The more bullets hit, the more damage, and they penetrate enemies. If your opponents push hard, use this skill. If there's a group of enemies, this is your way to go.
An awesome utility spell. It's like a portable version of Nocturne's Paranoia. Use this on casters like Xerath that aren't particularly mobile or ranged AD carries like Caitlyn to stop your carry getting focused.
This skill is so useful for chasing and getting away alike. When chasing a character, dash in, Buckshot and kill then with your attack speed bonus, or when harrassing, close the distance, Buckshot and dash away. Also really useful when pushing a lane.
This is called an ultimate for a reason. You can turn the tide of teamfights with this ultimate. Stand at a range, shoot it somewhere in the middle and their entire team is hurt. Use this when the enemy team is pushing or is retreating, works like a charm in combination with your Quickdraw

As Buckshot is your primary damage skill, get it first, grabbing Quickdraw at level 2 and Smokescreen at level 4 for increased utility. After maxing, finish maxing out Quickdraw and finally max Smoke Screen. Get Collateral Damage at level 6, 11 and 16.

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Summoner Spells

Flash is such an awesome skill, especially on Graves. It helps him get close or get away when being in a close encounter

Exhaust is a really viable choice, you'll stay in range to autoattack someone longer, and it helps you get close when Flash is on its cooldown

Ignite is another possible option to quickly kill off running enemies. As your mobility is already really good, consider choosing Exhaust over this.

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Runes and Masteries


Offense tree is my main tree, and as damage is important to a carry, I'm making sure I take Havoc . Deadliness is great earlygame, just like Sunder and Alacrity . Cripple is used to beef up your Exhaust, as this will help you get that kill on the exhausted enemy.

A couple of points for utility. Good Hands is the obvious choice here, as Perseverence doesn't give a significant bonus. Awareness is needed to get that precious level advantage, and Utility Mastery is to make that red buff last way longer.


greater mark of desolation Armor Penetration is the most useful stat you can get on an AD carry, as not many items will give that stat. It'll give you the extra burst early on and will help burn through armor until you'll get a Last Whisper.
You're a ranged character, therefore pretty squishy. You still want to get up closer than most AD carries. That's where the Flat Armor yellows kick in. A boost of 12 armor can really make the difference to getting a kill exchange to being that lucker, as you'll be laning against another AD carry.
The natural enemy of an AD carry is an AP carry. These Magic Resistance per level runes will solve your problems against an AP carry, by taking less damage. Take in account your passive, and you will be able to stay in lane forever.
greater quintessence of desolation Again, same idea as the seals. Armor Penetration is invaluable, earlygame and lategame.

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Starting Items

This will help early game sustainability, let your attacks hit a slight bit harder, add in a good trade-in value and this is really the item to get.


These shoes will maximize your early game damage output. In combination with your Quickdraw this can land some devastating blows. NOTE: you could consider witching these up for Mercury's Treads lategame.
When focused, your goal is to stay alive. This will minimize crowd control effects on you, and because you're a really mobile champion, this can help you get out of sticky situations or chase that one lucky enemy


Nail some faster hits. Get the occasional critical to finish them off. Chase quicker to get more damage out of your Buckshot. This item will help you in all aspects.
Another item great for chasing, synergizes well with your Phantom Dancer. A chase is much easier pulled off with a 30% slow. Getting up close gets much easier with the health bonus.
You're almost complete now. You hit fast. Next up is hitting really hard. This sword is helping, yet again, your Phantom Dancer, making basic attacks and the occasional crit hit even harder.
By this time, your farming abilities are awesome. If you fully charge it, it's the attack damage item with the highest yield in the entire game. Lifesteal will give you even more sustainability when in a fight.

Situational last item

Is the AD carry a huge problem? Get this. This will buy you more time for your support to crowd control everyone, for your AP carry to burst someone dead, and get a second chance to get away with your superior mobility.
Use this if the enemy AP carry is a bigger threat over the AD carry. The buff on this item, blocking an ability, will usually block the initiative stun, like Amumu's Bandage Toss or Annie's Pyromania. You'll get away, get a distance and snipe the enemy team off one by one.
Use this if the enemy is heavy on armor, or if the tank can't get focused properly. You'll burn through the tanks armor, netting an easier kill when their tank has some awful crowd control. Consider getting this early, but not until you completed your Phantom Dancer

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24-10-2011 First version, changed runes, several small fixes (thanks GrandmasterD!)

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