Graves Build Guide by yehosera

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 yehosera

I may not be a wizard, but I have a gun.

yehosera Last updated on August 24, 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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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 rap sheets.

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. He named it “Destiny.” 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.” –Graves, the Outlaw

I've only in the last month re taken Graves into my champion roster I stopped around the time bot lane only consisted of him and Vayne (I preferred Vayne over him back then) but essentially these are my recommendations on how to play him.

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Pretty standard AD set up, however I feel the mana regen is more significant as a caster than the magic resist, without mana you're useless, without magic resist you're still pretty useful.

Again with the masteries pretty standard for an AD carry nothing out of the blue. I wouldn't recommend taking the 9 in utility over defence he's only got 525 range, so you stand pretty close to your front line and need the extra defence for when you get dived by enemy bruisers, early on in the fight, before you get to full True Grit stacks.

With regard to skill sequence, maxing out Smoke Screen is more useful than Quickdraw in my opinion as it lets you get the back 3 ranged minions by casting Buckshot at max range then Smoke Screen. Off the top of my head I'm pretty sure Buckshot has 750 range so you're safe form being initiated on while farming in lane; Zenith Blade has 700 range, Dazzle has 625 range, Headbutt has 650 range and most importantly Flash has 400 range :p. Basically you're safe to farm without the enemy support ccing you, also it adds to your burst and slows them for more the more you level it up whereas Quickdraw will only offer more attack speed, a stat you don't need a lot of early game; it's all about burst as Graves.

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Basically Ignite will get you more kills in lane, when you're with an aggressive support, and due to how strong his laning is it's advisable to be with somebody like Leona or most commonly Taric. However when in lane with Soraka I would advise Heal over Ignite, as you can pretty much outlive anything even while the enemy has Ignite with Heal and you shouldn't really be aiming to get kills with Soraka as your support, making Ignite pointless. Be sure to take the mastery for improved Heal (move a point in defence from the magic resist to the improved defensive summoner spells). It's worth noting I feel lategame Heal is more effective than Ignite as with the mastery Heal will heal you for 577.5 and your allies for 288.75 (1732.5 if you catch your whole team in it) whereas Ignite will deal 410 damage to one person, however it does apply a healing debuff so if you healed yourself while ignited at level 18 you would lose 121.25 health overall. By catching one ally in your Heal, you've made it more effective than the enemy Ignite (regarding total team health totals).

Tl;dr Heal> Ignite for your team's total health.

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I feel like Graves is always a solid pick in lane in ranked (he does however struggle against support Nunu, due to his low range, he will always be in Ice Blast range, but so are Ezreal and Corki. Assuming that all 3 are open look at your own team, when you take Graves over the other two is when you have a double mage set up or nobody to peel for you. The generic double mage teamfight tends to consist of them both pressing R and praying. Kennen Vladimir are pretty popular double mages so I'll use them as an example, the jungler has to have somekind of initiate, (otherwise take Ashe in this instance, if your team has no ranged hard CC or a solid gap closer that deals CC pick her or Varus over the other carries) jungler will initiate by jumping at them and generally holding at least one person in place, Kennen and Vladimir follow up and deal damage to as many people as possible. You can aid this by casting Collateral Damage and dealing more damage to the enemy team as a whole. Then it's a matter of picking off those who are still alive. Taking the other two into consideration in a scenario like this, Ezreal would work as his Trueshot Barrage deals similar damage in an AOE, with the trade off of width for the ability to pass through anything so you'd end up in a pretty similar situation as earlier all low then picking them off. However Corki does not possess the ability to damage the enemy team as a whole, he's far better at killing a single target than damaging the whole team. This leaves the choice between Ezreal and Graves for who to take with a double mage set up. Basically Graves is a better laner than Ezreal and as the double mage provides basically no peel if you get dived by a bruiser while the double mage is busy pressing R, Graves lasts a lot longer than Ezreal due to his True Grit and Smoke Screen having the ability to make them lose track of you. The other time to pick him when your team has no peel and they have a lot of diving potential. As Graves you simply stand the highest chance out of the other 2 of not straight up dying to whoever jumps you.

Tl;dr Graves good in teams with a lot of AOE or one where there's nobody to keep peel.

FYI: A peel is somebody who's job it is to pull champions off the carries, Janna is probably the best peeler, as unlike Alistar, who is an amazing peeler, he is generally needed on the front lines for tanking damage and initiation. Take Maokai he can peel like a boss if he stands next to your carry it's tough to reach them, however if he's stood back peeling who's tanking the damage for your team, it's not that Janna is the best at peeling, more that she can peel without it conflicting with another role she could be doing just as well.

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You do well with any support.

Like seriously any support.

Aggressive laning partners:

Alistar, level 2 he should Flash Pulverize Headbutt the target towards you, they will die. His combo does ~115 you should have ~75 AD making Buckshot do ~200 damage Ignite at that level does 90 damage that's ~400 damage so far. If you're blue team and you get to do golems before coming to lane they will still be level 1, AD carries tend to not even have 500 hp at level 1. Long story short if your Alistar is baller you'll get a kill at level 2 or set up to zone them by a million miles.

Leona, level 2 again kill, your full burst at level 2 is ~ 300 with her Sunlight procs it goes up to ~440 however this is harder than with Alistar as she has to hit a slow skillshot of only 700 range, but more effective if you do manage to hit it.

Taric, level 4 with this guy, sadly, unlike Alistar who delivers the carry to you gift wrapped or Leona who holds them still for you for almost 2 seconds within 700 range of the bush (as that's probably where she was standing when she initiated), his Dazzle they can walk away from, while it's in the air, making you getting a maximum damage Buckshot very hard, thus making you killing them at level 2 extremely hard. It's better to play the come at me bro game with Taric, plant yourself in-between your melee and caster creeps then dare them to come for cs, if they step forward as soon as their auto attack animation starts to get a last hit, auto attack them. With Taric in the bush with level 1 Shatter and no stacks on your passive you get 10 more armour than your lane opponent and with full stacks on your passive you get a total of 20 more armour (early levels), aka auto attack trading like this is going to go well for you, you take less damage and once he takes points in Imbue you have a heal. Also most lanes require you to be at lower health than you require them to be to one combo you, with Taric at level 4 them being ~50% hp is a solid kill (~75% hp if you can land a full Buckshot) you can just pressure them all lane.

Passive laning:

Janna, farm, let them initiate on you. If they do she can shield you for a massive damage Buckshot as well as disengage safely for you. Npnp just relax with her.

Soraka, this lane is brutal. Plant yourself in your melee creeps, they can't kill you. Deal with it. Staight up killing you is near impossible you should always be at maximum True Grit stacks by standing this far forward (meaing auto attack trades won't work as you have more armour and a healer), they can't try to force you out of mana by making you spam abilities to maintain your position ( Soraka is kind enough to give you mana) and a straight fight doesn't work the armour she gives you with her Astral Blessing as well as the passive magic resist. You can pretty much just walk away and give them a Buckshot for their troubles. Try and freeze the lane by your tower they can't really do much about it (if you get it close enough to your tower the bush is useless it's too far away, so you even save Soraka a ward). Oh and be sure to hit them up with Smoke Screen every so often just because it's annoying and you can.

Tl;dr Leona, Alistar = level 2 first blood, Taric = pressure, Janna, Soraka = Farm all day passively

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Things to remember:

1. Buckshot if they try anything funny.

2. You have no need to start fights you have a better mid game than pretty much every AD carry if your support wants to fight follow them, but you have no pressure to gain kills in lane.

3. Never use Quickdraw to initiate EXCEPT if you're sure you can one combo them. If you use it then cast Buckshot you've gotta walk away, that's all the damage you can do, while walking away they'll do a load of damage for free and you lose the trade.

4. If they want a creep it'll cost them a tasty auto attack, whenever they go for a minion shoot 'em if they do the same to you npnp your passive means you come off better.

5. Always last hit never push, like I said you've got nothing to prove by pushing to their tower, just let it sit by yours. If the enemies have more minions in the lane than you, attempt to zone them by pressing "s" in the middle of your melee creeps if they come forward Smoke Screen and auto them, avoid using Buckshot it'll push the lane back towards them not what you want, you want to piss them off whenever they come forward with Smoke Screen + auto attacks distracting them letting their minions kill your minions meaning they miss out on gold.

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Basically you wanna win midgame teamfights by pressing qr. After that it's mopping up, I'm sure most people would agree with the double Doran's Blade Berserker's Greaves and The Bloodthirster opening, some people would say Infinity Edge over The Bloodthirster but I think the item doesn't feed into what you want to do as him as well the The Bloodthirster does this early into the game. I mentioned earlier you take him when you have no peel or are running double mage so you can contribute to the AOE, The Bloodthirster does that far better than Infinity Edge (more flat ad so more burst) and with regard to no peel, you'll live longer with The Bloodthirster than an Infinity Edge.

From here on it looks a bit odd, you should be finishing The Bloodthirster once you get 475+475+570+3000-20 gold (not counting the boots as you got that with starting gold and the minus 20 is the leftover gold) so at that point you have earned 4500 gold. It's not uncommon to leave lane with at least one kill so we'll be conservative and say you've gotten 1 kill so that's 4200 gold left to account for minions spawn 6 at a time every 30 seconds from 1 minute 30 into the game and are worth ~ 20 gold each you passively get gold at 13 gold per 10 seconds so I'll call it 10 gold per 10 to make the maths easier say you average 4.5/6 a wave (due to recalls and some creeps being impossible to get) if you're getting (4.5x20)+30 gold every 30 seconds that's 120 gold every 30 seconds 4200/120=35 35/2=17.5. So at ~17.5 minutes being really conservative you should get that much gold. By this time you're level 13~ So your stats at that time should be something like (just focusing on offensive stats)

AD :236

Meaning your total burst on the front target (probably a jungler or top laner tbh) at this point is ~1475 (with just abilities) you then get in say 2 seconds worth of auto attacks before the fight starts to go one way or another (doesn't matter which way you have to move to chase or run, this lowers the effectiveness of attackspeed) your total effective damage over the two seconds with the level 1 Quickdraw is 345~ granting you ~100 hp in lifesteal. (Point is your damage is insane with 1 item)

For your second item the Infinity Edge or the Phantom Dancer there's a 1k gold difference in the cost so to somewhat make up for it I'll sell the Doran's Blades when buying the Infinity Edge. To get this much gold you must be ~level 16 (assuming you're not fed off your face).

For the Phantom Dancer build your offensive stats will be
AD :247

Total damage with abilities will be almost the same ~1590 again with the 2 seconds worth of auto attacks with Quickdraw now at level 3 giving you ~820 in your 2 seconds of auto attacks and healing for ~240 hp

With Infinity Edge as your next item
AD :307

Total damage with abilities comes to 1750~ then the 2 seconds of auto attacks gives you 1080~ healing for ~250.

As you can see now getting the Infinity Edge makes you better in everyway for dealing damage.

Getting a Zeal next increases your auto attack damage to around 1300 every 2 seconds. This works out to approximately 120% increase in damage for 1195 gold. A Phantom Dancer, however, will increase your damage to around 1750 every two seconds, which is a 160% increase in damage for 2845 gold. This means that by finishing the Phantom Dancer you gain 140% more damage by paying 160% of the cost. This is because the Zeal makes up 40% of the total cost of the Phantom Dancer, yet paying the other 60% to complete the Phantom Dancer only causes your damage to increase by 40%. It’s therefore advisable to finish the Phantom Dancer later as the money you need to spend after buying the Zeal is less efficient when the damage increase is looked at.

Guardian Angel and Last Whisper before finishing the Phantom Dancer, you'll be needing a Guardian Angel around this time and the Last Whisper makes the Phantom Dancer more gold efficient.

Tl;dr basically a load of maths shows that the items build is actually super gold efficient in an average game.

, , , , ,

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You do the same thing in midgame and endgame teamfights, cast your Buckshot Collateral Damage then attempt to kill what's in front of you. All I can really say to help is stay try and force the target in front of you into a duel, you'll either have no peel (so get used to duelling) or it'll be a tank your double mage can't instagib by pressing R, in which case you dealing with them on the side is really helpful as it lets them focus on the enemy carries without a tank or bruiser blocking their path.

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Boots of Speed > Doran's Blade > Doran's Blade > Berserker's Greaves > The Bloodthirster > Infinity Edge > Zeal > Guardian Angel > Last Whisper > Phantom Dancer.

Pick him if you have double mage or nobody to save you in teamfights.

Laning should be easy.

Hit the closest thing to you.

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