Graves Build Guide by PhilsoGame

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author PhilsoGame

Graves, holy burst! (Normal and Ranked)

PhilsoGame Last updated on March 25, 2012
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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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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This is my first guide and I thought I'd create a guide for my favorite AD carry: Graves
First it seems to be an odd way to play him, but I guarantee success!
Graves is one of the most sustainable carrys and with a good supporter at his side, he is unstoppable and may be a bit overpowered. As you can read in the title, Graves has got great burst damage in early and in late game. Keep in mind that this is a guide for ranked games, but works on normal as well of course.
Enjoy the guide now ^^

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Graves' Story

Malcolm Graves was born in the back of a Bilgewater tavern and left there with a bottle of spiked milk. He survived a childhood in the pirate-run slums using every dirty trick in the book. Intent on building a new life for himself, he stowed away on the first ship to the mainland he could sneak aboard. However, the grim realities of the world forced him to eke out an unsavory living in the underground of various city-states, jumping the border whenever things got too hot. At a particularly high-stakes game of cards, he found himself seated opposite Twisted Fate. They both flipped four aces on the final hand. It was the first time either conman had met his equal. The two formed an alliance, swindling marks at the tables and scrapping back-to-back in the alleys afterward. Together, they ran the streets – stacking chips, decks, and charges.

Unfortunately Graves made the mistake of hustling a hefty sum from Dr. Aregor Priggs, a high-ranking Zaunite official and businessman. When Priggs discovered how he'd been played, he became obsessed with revenge. He learned about Twisted Fate's all-consuming desire to control magic and he promptly offered him a trade: serve Graves up in exchange for enrollment in a procedure which would grant his wish. Twisted Fate took the deal – both he and Graves knew the stakes of their arrangement, but the offer was too good. Once acquired, Priggs had Graves taken to a special location built to hold men whose crimes – or more precisely their punishments – were meant to stay off the books. Graves endured years of captivity at the hands of Zaun's most unscrupulous wardens before he managed to escape. One of his fellow detainees introduced him to an eccentric gunsmith who modified a shotgun exactly to his specifications. After he paid a visit to Priggs, Graves joined the League of Legends with two targets in his sights: Twisted Fate and payback.

''They got a saying in the locker: ain't got nothin' but time to plan.''

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    Great Burst
    Great survivability (tanky as hell)
    Good farmer
    Escape skill
    Harshly any CC
    Slow attack speed
    Will get focused

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For runes, you have quite some room to experiment between Armor Pen and AD. Make sure that either the Quints or the Marks are Attack Damage and the other one is Armor Pen . But if you like, you can also go with Quints and Marks AD/ArmPen. It is all your choice, but I play with AD Quints Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage and ArmPen Marks Greater Mark of Desolation and it works very fine. You want to make sure that you are very tough early game, so I recommend flat Armor Seals Greater Seal of Armor and flat Magic Resist Glyphs Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Mark of Desolation x9

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For my masteries I go with the traditional Skill order 21/9/0 which works out for every AD Carry!
I take a skill point in Summoner's Resolve to improve my Heal. An important point that I should mention is that if you need your Flash skill more often, you should skill 21/8/1 with Summoner's Insight instead of skilling Veteran's Scars . Keep in mind that the 30 extra health are very useful in early so you have to decide what you skill. I would not recommend to skill 21/8/1 because Graves can escape with his Quickdraw as well. But this is all your decision =)

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Summoner Spells


Why this combo you ask? I think you should always pick flash, no matter what and which char because it saves you very often. And for the other... why heal? It gives you an advantage, when the opposing carry underestimates you and thinks he has an easy kill, you just heal and kill him right away. Thats great for the early advantage. But since every carry picks heal (at least in Ranked Games) you will have a tie.

Possible Summoner Spells:
You run faster.... that could be an escape skill.... switch it with flash if you like to... but be careful.
Kill enemy carry who underestimates you... you could give it a try and exchange it with heal but I do not recommend it
Interesting summoner spell in my opinion..if you want to, exchange it with Flash as your escape spell.
Ignite is always useful, but you would give away advantage, if you would substitute it with Flash or heal.

NOGO Summoner Spells:
No....just no.....dont even think about it!
You are not a mana caster and even mana casters dont take this skill anymore.
Unnecessary unless you are solo top. And you are AD carry. So no!
Not a dominion guide.
Hmm not a good spell...too high cooldown plus you wont die if you follow this guide ;)
You are not a jungler.
You kiddin me?
Your supporter will take it.

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Skills Explanation

Graves gains increasing armor and magic resistance the longer he remains in combat.
This is Graves passive and makes him extremely tanky. You are in combat when you either deal or receive damage. It gives you a bonus of 1 @ lvl 1, 2 @ lvl 6 and 3 @ lvl 11. This effect stacks up to 10 times. (Great passive =))

Graves shoots three bullets in a cone, each dealing 60/105/150/195/240 (+) physical damage to all enemies in their path. Enemies hit with multiple bullets take 30% damage from each additional bullet.
This is your main damage output and gives you an early burst. Make sure to use it to farm and to harrass the opponents on your lane as it has a decent range.

Graves fires a smoke canister dealing 60/110/160/210/260 (+0.6) magic damage on impact and creating a smoke cloud at the location that lasts 5 seconds. Enemies inside the cloud have their sight radius reduced and are slowed by 15/20/25/30/35% while they remain in the cloud.
This is your only CC-Skill. It can be used to escape, to harrass or to farm as well. Not much to say about it.

Graves dashes forward gaining 40/50/60/70/80% increased Attack Speed for 4 seconds. Each of his basic attacks lowers the cooldown of Quickdraw by 1 second.
This is a great skill if your opponent underestimates your attack speed. You can also use it to escape but it has a very low range which makes it hard to dash over terrain. It is also very useful to push minions or towers.

Graves fires off an explosive shell dealing 250/375/500 (+1.4) physical damage to the first enemy champion hit. After hitting a champion or reaching the end of its range, Collateral Damage deals 140/275/400 (+1.2) physical damage in a cone behind the target.
This is his ultimate and another great burst for Graves. Use it in combination with Buckshot to deal TONS OF DAMAGE ^^.

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Skill Sequence

You can see the skill sequence above. Your priority is:
Collateral Damage > Buckshot > Quickdraw > Smoke Screen
Make sure to skill Smoke Screen at level 3 but keep it there and max it last.
I don't think that I need to explain it much more. Damage is your first priority!

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The items might seem a bit odd to you but I'll explain why you should buy them.

Doran's Blade should be your first item because it helps you with 100 extra health, some life steal and 10 attack damage. If your supporter is Blitzcrank you should start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion because Blitz has no healing skill. (I'll come back to the different supporters later!)

You should try to stay on lane as long as you can and farm until you have about 2000 gold so you can instantly buy B. F. Sword and Boots of Speed. This will increase your burst damage and will give you a significant advantage over the opposing carry. If you have 450 gold left, buy a Vampiric Scepter to increase your sustainability.

Next time back you should be able to build The Bloodthirster which is a great item for more life steal and damage. You should also build Berserker's Greaves. There is NO alternative to these boots, because Graves has a low Attack Speed and needs to compensate that. Some people play him with Mercury's Treads but Graves is tanky enough, thanks to his passive and the runes!

Your next item is Zeal to start building on Trinity Force and build up more Attack Speed and some Crit. You want to buy another B. F. Sword and buy Infinity Edge next! Infinty edge gives you way more damage and increases the damage of your critical hits so it is a must have for Graves!

Now you have two great Attack Damage items and want to focus on building Phage and Trinity Force after.

This is your Core build

For other items, you should be good enough to decide for yourself. My picks are Guardian Angel which I think is necessary as you get focused right away and Maw of Malmortius. You can argue about the Maw, but I love this item and it saves you when you reach low health and gives you some Damage and Magic Resist as well! Other alternatives are Phantom Dancer to increase your attack speed and crit (In case you buy the Phantom Dancer, you should not build the Trinity Force and go for a Frozen Mallet instead) and The Black Cleaver which reduces armor of your enemies and is a good tank-killer-item as it also gives you attack speed and attack damage.

Recommended end equips

You have plenty of room to try your own item build, but it should give you an idea what the items are about.

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Playing Graves

Early Game

You want to go to the bot lane with a supporter. I recommend following supporters:

I know this is almost every supporter, but everyone of them works great with Graves. Trust me.
You want to make sure that you get a lot of creeps early and outfarm your opponent. JUST LAST HIT. If you do more than last hitting, you will push your lane and will be an easy target for the enemy jungler. Always try to keep it in the middle. You should constantly harrass the enemy carry to stop his farm. You will automatically push when you use your skill but with less health on the carry, you won't be an easy target to gank. Especially as you have Quickdraw, Heal and Flash. Only use heal and flash if necessary!
With a supporter like Soraka you can stay on the lane for a very long time. Use this for your advantage. Thats all for the early....and of course buy items.

Mid Game

The Mid game is, when you start leaving your lane to go in team fights and gank other lanes or the enemy jungler. Always make sure to stay close to your supporter and do not get lost somewhere as you will be an easy pick-up for the enemy team. If there is nothing to do for you, keep pushing and farming the lanes. You will need good map control by your supporter if you dont want to be ganked by 5 people (unless you are Chuck Norris). You should also pick up some tanky items (Finish Trinity/ Frozen Mallet)

Late Game

You are the AD carry, you do the damage! You will be the main focus of the enemy team so make sure that you have a tank initiate before you go in with Quickdraw
The best team setup would be Sona with her great ultimate that stuns the whole team, Kennen who can also initiate with his ultimate and Zhonya's Hourglass and about every champion with an AoE CC. As soon as the enemies are getting caught in these skills, you go in with Quickdraw and deal massive damage with Buckshot and Collateral Damage.

AD Carrys that can be good against Graves

true damage! Better be careful.
More range than Graves.
Has great CC and can beat Graves, if she doesnt get killed in early.
Underestimated carry with true damage that is very useful against Graves.
Bigger range and additional damage, as well as skills that let your armor drop!

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March, 25th 2012
Guide has been created.

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Now you know how to play Graves. A short summary with a few tips.

    -Make sure to have champs with CC on your team, because CC wins games and you dont have any.
    -Harrass and outfarm your lane opponent to gain a significant advantage.
    -Never go alone.
    -Be Graves and win the game man!

Graves has huge burst damage and your opponents will underestimate you a lot, even if they know what Graves has got.

Thank you for reading this guide, feel free to discuss and criticize in the comments and leave a vote. If there is anything I have to work on and go deeper, just tell me ^^
If there are failures concerning language, tell me. I am not a native english speaker =)
Hope you enjoied it, kick some butts out there!