Graves Build Guide by aiker95

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League of Legends Build Guide Author aiker95

Graves (Ranked) Bot line Carry/Antimage/Antitank

aiker95 Last updated on October 4, 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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Patch Notes by Date 6/6/2012

Draven Patch - 6/6/2012


Buckshot Bullet Damage decreased to 60/95/130/165/200, from 60/105/150/195/240.Damage per additional bullet increased to 35%, from 25%.

Smoke Screen Duration decreased to 4 seconds, from 5 seconds.


What does this mean?

This means that, theoretically, with a maxed level Buckshot, if you hit someone, with 0 bonus physical damage, with a single bullet you will deal 40 less damage than before. If you hit them with all 3 bullets, again, with 0 bonus physical damage, you will deal only 20 less damage.

In other words, get close and personal, it's what you were built for in the first place. Also, you will actually deal MORE damage than before, if you hit someone with all three bullets, once you obtain around 40 bonus physical damage or so. This is because of the 25% to 35% increase for the damage for each additional bullet. Hurray!

In terms of Smoke Screen, it simply has a 1 second shorter duration, nothing to worry about.

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This is my second guide and it's about my favorite champion, Graves. Graves huh? amazing? oh yea... I don´t have so much to say either than read the whole damn thing!!
I don't know as you to teach to be aggressive on a line, but you should understand that you can kill very easily, the main thing not to escape.... But to one against the big congestion of strong enemies, I suggest not to be put.
I should tell that I am allocated in fight potential differences on all other types of champions, and Graves - one of the strongest. Hope that this guide helps.Try out the built and vote

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Champion Spotlight

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Ability One on One.

True Grit:Graves gains increasing armor and magic resistance the longer he remains in combat.
This is Grave's passive. At the moment, it gives a bonus of 1 at lv 1, 2 at lv 6, 3 at lv 11. This can stack up 10 times. This passive is not really useful for a DPS, but it's not a bad passive, it helps you to stay in lane longer and taking less damage at the end of the game, max 30 armor and magic resistance, who don't want that!

Buckshot (Q):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 if you're not auto-attacking. Use this to push your lane and/or to harass your enemy so he can't farm without taking damage.

Smoke Screen (W): 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 skill has so many uses and is the only CC you have:

  • Harassing your enemy
  • Slowing your enemy and taking his sight radius away for a few seconds when he's escaping
  • Lasthitting minions! Yes, if there are some minions with very low HP, it can be smart to cast this
  • Smoking bushes so you have an option to escape

Quickdraw (E): 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.
Just like Smoke Screen, you can use this for many purposes:
  • Speed up your attack speed when attacking a turret for example
  • Close the distance between you and the enemy when you're chasing
  • Get away when they are chasing you
  • You can get through SOME walls.

Collateral Damage (R):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 your ultimate, dealing damage and at the end of it range or when it its a champion, it has AoE damage. The range is pretty insane with the cone. Use this to hit enemy's when they are escaping with barely any HP left. You can also use this to initiate a team fight, because everyone get damaged. Be careful when you are using this ult in close range, it might be tricky, but u can miss this very easily.

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Skill Sequence

At level 1 get Buckshot. You need a early game harass, and this is your primary/only attack spell

At level 2 get Quickdraw. To close the gap or escape when needed.

At level 4 get Smoke Screen. Best to pick this up at level 4, never know when it might come in handy.

Level up Collateral Damage in levels 6, 11 and 16. This is obvious, level your ultimate whenever you can.

From levels 3,5, 7 and 9, max out Buckshot.
From levels 8, 10 and 12-13, max out Quickdraw.
From levels 14-15 and 17-18, max out Smoke Screen.

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Pros / Cons

- Extreme earlygame damage with the right runes
- Good burstdamage
- Awesome poke in Quickdraw into Buckshot
- Nice ult to pick up escapers
- Higher range than you think
- Escape dash through walls with Quickdraw

- Gets focused alot
- Almost no survivability without support
- Not the fastest
- Easy to counter with armor. Hate that Rammus

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Start items.

Personally I like to start with a Doran's Blade so you counter your squishyness early on with a bit hp. Another possibility is to start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions. You can do this if you start without someone who can heal, but you'll have to base faster then. If you can't dominate your lane or your lasthitting isn't that good, consider buying another Doran's Blade. Try to farm as much as possible to get the items below as soon as possible.

Core items.

Berserker's Greaves: +25% Attack Speed UNIQUE Passive: Enhanced Movement 2 (does not stack with other Boots). I prefer this over Boots of Swiftness because you need that extra amount of attack speed. Buy boots whenever you need the movement speed and/or attack speed. Don't buy your boots when you have no other items!

The Bloodthirster: +60 Attack Damage +15% Life Steal Passive: Gain bonus +1 Attack Damage and +0.25% Life Steal per kill. Bonuses cap at +40 Attack Damage and +10% Life Steal. Bonuses are lost upon death. This item is the first item I built, early on, thanks to your passive, you won't die much so you can definitely stack it to have a nice amount of life steal.

Zeal: +20% Attack Speed +10% Critical Strike Chance +8% Movement Speed. Thanks to this zeal, you don't need the Boots of Swiftness. It also grants you a bit attack speed and Critical Strike Chance. The extra movement speed makes this item just perfect for your early game. You can buy this before The Bloodthirster, but I like to deal some damage first, instead of hitting fast.

Infinity Edge: +80 Attack Damage +25% Critical Strike Chance UNIQUE Passive: Your critical strikes now deal 250% damage instead of 200%. Infinity Edge gives a bonus critical chance and a higher critical strike. Therefore it's a must have on Graves. You can buy this item before The Bloodthirster if you don't need the lifesteal yet and want to do more damage.

Phantom Dancer: +55% Attack Speed +30% Critical Strike Chance +15% Movement Speed. After you bought 1 or 2 upgraded B. F. Sword-items, it's time to upgrade that zeal and get that bonus. You now hit fast and do some damage as well.

Situational last 2 Items.

Madred's Bloodrazor: +30 Attack Damage +40% Attack Speed +25 Armor UNIQUE Passive: Your basic attacks deal bonus magic damage equal to 4% of the target's maximum Health.Buy this against a tanky team or a team with a lot of HP. It grants you a bit survivability and DPS. Don't buy this against a squishy team as it will have barely any effect.

Frozen Mallet: +700 Health +20 Attack Damage UNIQUE Passive: Your basic attacks slow your target's Movement Speed by 40% for 2.5 seconds (30% for ranged attacks). This item grants you survivability, a little bit Attack Damage and a free CC, a 40% slow. Against a tanky team or a heavy burst team, you might want to pick this item as 3rd.

The Black Cleaver: +55 Attack Damage +30% Attack Speed UNIQUE Passive: Your basic attacks reduce your target's Armor by 15 for 5 seconds (effect stacks up to 3 times).Against a normal team, you can buy this item. Reducing Armor together with attack speed and attack damage is a good item for a carry. Don't buy this when some of your enemy's have over 150 armor. It's better to buy a Last Whisper then.

Last Whisper: +40 Attack Damage UNIQUE Passive: +40% Armor Penetration. Use this against tanky team with a lot of armor, at least higher than 150, otherwise it's better to take The Black Cleaver which also grants some more Attack Speed. Together with the 25 Armor Penetration runes, you get: (Enemy Armor - 25 From Runes) * 0,6 From Last Whisper

The Bloodthirster: +60 Attack Damage +15% Life Steal Passive: Gain bonus +1 Attack Damage and +0.25% Life Steal per kill. Bonuses cap at +40 Attack Damage and +10% Life Steal. Bonuses are lost upon death. Another Bloodthirster is an awesome choice when you are doing well. This will make you almost unkillable because of the high life steal you get. 2 full Bloodthirsters grants you 200 Attack Damage and 50% Life Steal.

Guardian Angel: +68 Armor +38 Magic Resist UNIQUE Passive: Revives your champion upon death, restoring 750 Health and 375 Mana (5 minute cooldown). Now they have to kill you twice! Together with Flash you can escape and deal tons of damage after that. If you are going to buy this, buy it as last item. It also grants you much Armor and Magic Resistance.

Trinity Force: +30 Attack Damage +30 Ability Power +30% Attack Speed +15% Critical Strike Chance +12% Movement Speed +250 Health +250 Mana UNIQUE Passive: Your basic attacks have a 25% chance to slow your target's Movement Speed by 35% for 2.5 seconds. UNIQUE Passive: After using an ability, your next basic attack deals bonus physical damage equal to 150% of your base Attack Damage (2 second cooldown). Does not stack with Sheen or Lich Bane. Gives you a bit of everything, good overall item, expensive but grants you boost you can use. Extra movement speed, more survivability, a good choice for Graves.

Banshee's Veil: +375 Health +375 Mana +50 Magic Resist UNIQUE Passive: Gain a spell shield that blocks the next incoming enemy ability (45 second cooldown). This grants you more survivability, I would definately buy this if an enemy caster is dominating the game. Why choosing this over Force of Nature? FoN only gives you Magic Resistance and Health Regen, but it's better to take less Magic Resistance and more Health and Mana.

Stark's Fervor: +20% Attack Speed UNIQUE Aura: Grants nearby allied champions 20% Life Steal, 20% Attack Speed, and 30 Health Regen per 5 seconds. Reduces the Armor of nearby enemy champions by 20. It is always good to have an item like this in your team. Personally I wouldn't buy this, but I would go for an extra The Bloodthirster or Phantom Dancer depending on what you exactly need.

Boots of Swiftness or Mercury's Treads: Although I said that you don't actually need the speed, in some situations it's better to switch it with your Berserker's Greaves. The same goes for the Mercury's Treads, when the enemy has a lot of CC (stun, silence, snare, fear, taunt, knock-up), you can switch your boots to minimize the duration of CC.

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Summoner Spells

Good Choices
+ Ghost (This spell is Terrific for escaping/chasing.)
+ Flash (Excellent spell to duke and/or Flash over walls, even to get in for a kill.)
+ Ignite (Good spell to debuf healing and secure a kill.)
+ Exhaust (Nice for 1v1 fights.)
Bad Choices
- Heal (This is why we build lifesteal.)
- Clarity (Though Graves is mana hungry, I don't prefer to waste a slot on this spell.)
- Clairvoyance ( Graves is not a support.)
- Promote ( Graves ain't a champion for Promote.)
- Surge ( Graves is no AP champion.)
- Revive (Don't think this is usefull at all.)
- Smite (No jungle build.)
- Teleport (No solo top guide.)
- Garrison (This ain't a dominion guide.)
- Cleanse (You don't need this particulary.)

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Early game / Laning

When laning, your best bet is take a support that has some good stuns / slows like Taric or Kayle, or a tank with heavy crowd control like Singed or Amumu. You want the first blood, so be sure your support uses a Clairvoyance in the bush, gives a stun and get a early first blood with your buckshot. You want to do this, as there will most probately be a similar setup on the other lane. If, in the occasional exception, you don't lane against a support/hardcarry, do not bother grabbing early first blood.
As you're squishy early game, your best bet is make your support ward the brushes. This is extremely important, wards win games. Ward the brush on your side and the brush on the river, as these are the most important chokepoints. Laning against a stealth champion? Consider buying a Vision Ward or two.
When you're in a safe position, focus on farming. Your support should harr***, do it yourself too without getting yourself in danger. Farming still is priority. Play defensively and don't push your lane too hard. If your support harr***ed enough, grab that kill as it's worth a huge batch of money and will make a difference


You are properly farmed right now if done well, so you have the ability to gank. You will need to get those kills, so if there's a quick ganking oppertunity, always take it. Make sure the map is properly warded, giving more oppertunities. You should get red buff by now if your jungler didn't take it.
If there's no ganking oppertunity, push a tower. You'll have decent attack power. Only push if there's a ward on major chokepoints: when pushing you're really vulnerable to ganks. You want to watch out extra if the enemy team has a Twisted Fate or a Nocturne, as they are the people that can wipe you out in no-time with their ultimates.
You're vulnerable to ganking too. If you get ganked, apply zoning. It is an important part of the game.

Endgame / Teamfights

Teamfights are a blast as a hardcarry. You're item dependent, so in a long game your attack power should be unmastered. As most used hardcarries are ranged ( Caitlyn or Kog'Maw), they should be easy for you to kill at short range with your Buckshot. When you're able to get a kill in a 1v1 situation, use your Collateral Damage. Every kill counts.
When you're in a teamfights, stay behind at first. Give them a poke by Quickdrawing in and Buckshot for some nice harr***ment. Use Collateral Damage when the enemy is clutched together and you'd want to group anyways. You want to make use of your ultimate as long as possible, so when possible, use it when you suspect the teamfights is going to be long. It does some immense group damage and lowering them is a nice way of turning the tide of a game.

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The blocking of paths with a skill or with champion placement
Say, you're on lane with a Singed and an enemy Caitlyn overextends from her lane, leaving you in the river, to find a Taric in the brush. You want to run, but you know they can kill you off because you ran to the river. The tribrush is a triple chokepoint with generally one entrance, use this. Get your Singed to block off one of the paths and let him take another. Most enemies will focus Singed and you will get away safely.

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Game Example

Look the description on Youtube.

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After playing my occasional matches of Graves, he's easily one of my favourite hardcarries. The combination of being ranged, but still hitting hard up close and being mobile just makes him as fun as the mobile Master Yi or the long-ranged unbeatable Caitlyn. Have fun playing the pro gambler Graves, as the fate of the enemy team just has been turned!Criticism is always welcome, as long as its constructive. I really hope this has helped and that you enjoyed it.

Thank you for attention

- SonHar.

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Thats about it. Good luck and have fun.

Version 1.7.2

Change Log:
1.0.1 - Changed build name from "I got 99 problems, but you ain't one" to "I got 99 problems, but the league ain't one," thanks shurkin.
1.1 - Added Last Whisper and other anti-armor items into the Items box.
1.2 - Expanded on Seals. Touched up on defensive items, fighting in lane and in teamfights. Images soon, once I find time.
1.2.1 - Fixed intro, made it real classy ;) .
1.3 - Added Skills section and added BBcode.
1.3.1 - Fixed Skill Sequence error. Thanks Blowfeld for pointing it out :P .
1.3.2 - Fixed minor formatting issues.
1.3.3 - Changed chapter 9 and 10's names.
1.4 - Added Core Items chapter.
1.4.1 - Added end game screenshot in Intro chapter.
1.4.2 - Added some addition notes for clarification in the Items chapter.
1.5 - Added a Nerf chapter (fixed the Skills chapter as a result), touched up on Items chapter (regarding getting the Vampiric Scepter before a B. F. Sword, fixed the item sequence as a result).
1.5.1 - Added buckshot math to Nerf chapter.
1.6 - Added new masteries, more changes a-coming (post Fizz nerf and masteries)
1.7 - Fixed skills, nerfs, runes and materies for Sejuani patch. Added a new chapter for buckshot math.
1.7.1 - Cut off the end of the items chapter and made it its own chapter: how to counter build.
1.7.2 - Added more options into summoner spell chapter