Graves Build Guide by OTGBionicArm
This build has been archived and is for historical display only.
PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
We recommend you take a look at this author's other builds.
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.
Hello, I'm OTG and this is my first guide on MobaFire, about Graves, the Outlaw.
I am writing this guide (or, rewriting rather) to show people how to play Graves as a bulkier ranged AD carry.
Graves is by far the manliest of all ranged AD carries. He is somewhat bulkier, more mobile, and has more AoE options than most carries. He also excels more at close-ranged combat than his fellow carries. He also looks pretty snazzy in a trench coat.
This guide will cover how to build Graves to be bulkier and still dish out extreme pain, tips and tricks with his abilities, advanced tactics, as well as synergies with support characters, and how to deal with your enemies.
Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.
Credits to SpazzDesigns for my banner and dividers!
Pros / Cons
+ Graves deals large amounts of burst damage to multiple targets.
+ Is bulkier with True Grit, and mobile enough with Quickdraw to escape melee characters easier than other ranged AD carries.
+ Collateral Damage is awesome for stealing Baron Buff, and Dragon.
+ Smoke Screen disrupts enemy vision. This can be very scary in a team fight.
+ Quickdraw can be used to dash over small ledges (like from river to jungle.)
+ At higher levels Buckshot can clear entire minion waves, making him a very effective pusher.
- Easily harassed by ranged AD carries with very long range, such as Caitlyn and Kog'Maw.
- Needs to be relatively close to deal maximum damage, which can get you targeted and killed faster in team fights.
- Graves is very mana hungry. Try not to spam his abilities often.
Graves uses a pretty standard 21/9/0 mastery page, and here's why:
Summoner's Wrath is useful for any offensive summoner spell you choose to use. Put this point elsewhere if you do not use a offensive summoner spell.
The rest of the tree, especially Executioner makes you do a lot more damage.
Durability and Veteran's Scars give you a lot of extra health.
- greater quintessence of desolation: Armor penetration goes a long way in damaging people early game and is helpful all game.
- greater mark of desolation: Same as above choice.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: This scales Graves's magic resist better into late game.
- Greater Seal of Armor: This gives you an early advantage against other ranged AD carries by taking less damage from their attacks.
Exhaust: Exhaust is amazing to slow down fleeing champions, or slow down the attacks of AD carries.
Flash: In combination with Quickdraw and Smoke Screen, Flash makes it very easy to escape from fights.
Teleport: An alternative to Flash, it helps you get in lane faster when you have to recall, and is useful for split pushing late game.
Ignite: An alternative to Exhaust, it allows you to finish would-be kills, as well as deal with champions like Vladimir, Dr. Mundo, and Volibear.
True Grit: (Innate): Graves gains 1/2/3 bonus armor and magic resistance every second he remains in combat. This bonus stacks up to 10 times. Graves is considered in combat if he has dealt or received damage in the last 3 seconds.
This passive allows Graves to take slightly more of a beating than other ranged AD carries. Upkeeping this passive goes a long way towards his survival in combat.
Buckshot: (Active): Graves fires three bullets in a cone, dealing physical damage to all enemies in their path. Enemies at close range can be hit by multiple projectiles, but each bullet beyond the first will deal only 25% damage.
Graves main damage output. This move deals insane damage to groups of enemies or minions.
- You can use Buckshot to clear entire minion waves at higher levels.
- Try to hit as many enemies as you can with Buckshot in team fights.
- With smart casting, you can Quickdraw backwards while shooting Buckshot forward for an offensive escape.
Smoke Screen: (Active): Graves fires a smoke canister at the target area, dealing magic damage upon landing and creating a cloud of smoke for 5 seconds. Enemies inside the smoke cloud will be slowed and will have their vision reduced to about 500 range; everything else will look like it is in the Fog of War.
This ability has so much utility. It can be used for escaping and juking through bushes, and to cut off the enemies vision, possibly setting up a gank.
- Cutting off the enemies vision can distract them long enough for a ganker to come in without them having time to react.
- Throw your Smoke Screen at enemy carries to single them out, and disorient them, as well as stop them from attacking your team.
- Smoke Screen is a safe way to check bushes for enemies.
Quickdraw: (Active): Graves dashes forward, gaining an attack speed boost for 4 seconds. Using autoattacks on enemy units, but not structures, lowers the cooldown of Quickdraw by 1 second each autoattack.
This ability keeps your DPS consistent, as well as giving you a massive boost to mobility.
- Quickdraw can be used to scale small ledges, like the ones between the river and the jungle.
- Quickdraw is great to use after a tank has initiated to get in close and follow up with Buckshot.
- Try to throw Smoke Screen at your target before using Quickdraw to get in close.
Collateral Damage: (Active): Graves fires an explosive shell in a straight line, dealing heavy physical damage to the first champion it hits (also damages non-champion enemies whilst in flight). After hitting a champion or reaching the end of its range, the shell explodes dealing physical damage in a cone behind the target.
This is the big one. Launch this bad boy into a fight for a world of hurt on your enemies.
- Try launching Collateral Damage to initiate a fight to soften up the enemy team.
- With sight, you can use Collateral Damage to steal Dragon, or Baron Buff
- Another use of this ability is to save it to secure a kill on a fleeing champion.
The Core build:
: These are standard boots on ranged AD carries. The boost in attack speed does wonders for last hitting and increasing DPS.
: A massive boost in damage. No item matches the raw power Infinity Edge gives you. With this item, you will hammer squishies.
: Graves has trouble keeping up with fleeing foes sometimes because he is inherently slow, and Quickdraw is on a long cooldown without auto-attacking. Frozen Mallet fixes this problem with a great slow effect on auto attack. It all gives you a big boost in maximum health, making you harder to kill.
: A much needed boost to both attack and movement speed. It also increases your critical strike chance, which is also welcome with your Infinity Edge.
: Gives reasonable attack speed and a lot of damage as well as putting a stacking armor debuff on the enemy.
- : This item somewhat counters AP casters. It may not be as defensive as Banshee's Veil, but this item helps you stay alive and is also a great boost in damage, especially if you are lower on health.
Other Viable Options:
: An alternative to Frozen Mallet, with a chance based slow and lower health boost, but more offensive stats. However, it's rather costly.
: An unrivaled mix of sustainability and damage when farmed. Having one of these makes you harder to kill in a fight, but dying does kind of set you back a bit when you have to farm stacks again.
: This item is a hard counter to tanks and off-tanks. It makes your attacks pierce through their armor like it's nothing.
: This build utilizes a somewhat higher health total, and can benefit from an Atma's Impaler with bonus attack damage. It gives you a nice bonus to armor and critical strike chance as well.
- : A better counter to combo based casters than Maw of Malmortius. However, it doesn't give any offensive stats at all and the veil can be popped by nearly anything, limiting its usefulness.
Graves is a very strong and versatile character and he is a lot of fun to play. He is relatively easy to pick up and start blasting away. I feel like I'm playing Gears of War when I play Graves! If you enjoyed my guide, please try it out and recommend it to others!
2/19/2012: Guide created and published.
[*]2/19/2012: Changed item sequence, removed Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed as primary runes, replaced with greater quintessence of desolation
[*][*]2/21/2012: Massive overhaul, guide now covers solo top, mid, bottom lane and dominion Bruiser Graves
[*][*][*]3/2/2012: Removed specific enemy notes, I don't have time to complete it, and it bothered me that it wasn't finished. Added Dominion mini-guide.
[*][*][*][*]5/25/2012: Completely written. This is no longer a bruiser guide, but more of a bulkier AD carry Graves. This is largely due to the criticism using the Bruiser build causes in actual games. Cleaned up the sections, and added pretty dividers. :D
Please try the build out before rating. If you have any concerns, criticism, questions or suggestions, feel free to comment them.
If you liked the guide, +rep me. :]