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Gragas Build Guide by johny77

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League of Legends Build Guide Author johny77

Jungle Gragas - Oh yeaaaa! (In-depth LCS build guide)

johny77 Last updated on October 22, 2015
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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

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

Threats to Gragas with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Nautilus You are probably one of the worse options for him to pull in teamfights. He will only make you come closer to their carries and possibly allow you to easily separate their team with your ult.
Rammus Does he want to roll away? Save Bodyslam and prevent him doing so. His taunt has almost no effect on you.
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Hello summoners and welcome to my Gragas guide. I'm Janez, currently a Gold I player on EUNE and I have been playing Gragas for more than a year now, tracking meta changes and LCS Gragas appearance. Precisily this champion meant a breakthrough for me at my tier progress. So lets talk about Gragas!

Gragas - The Rabble Brouser
Melee, Tank, Jungler

During last season Gragas' recieved a rework; his scaling damage ratio has been nerfed, while he recieved more CC on abilities and a percent health damage on his Drunken Rage. After Juggernaut enchantment has been replaced by Cinderhulk, the meta of tanky junglers becoming OP has taken up and it's became pretty obvious that Gragas is one of those junglers. Being a surprisingly strong early-mid game champion with decent base damage it's now the best way to build him as a straight tank. In addition, his ultimate brings a unique impact on the game and he is surely one of those champions that are able to do sudden awesome plays. Gragas falls off a bit in late game as he starts to lack damage but he still retains a great CC impact and capability to protect ally carries.

Our build includes mostly defensive stats (especially HP), CDR and mana. When giving blue buff to your midlaner, Gragas can easily run out of mana if you don't subsume it in the build. Building HP is very useful in order to make Happy Hour (passive) more effective and to scale greatly with Cinderhulk.
Please consider this is the first guide I made and therefore I would really appreciate any feedback from you guys.

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Pros / Cons


- provides tons of CC
- decent base damage
- strong ganks, especially after level 6
- has gap closer/escape with Body Slam
- passive sustain with Happy Hour
- capability of making sudden plays
- Explosive Cask can impact on teamfights significantly
- good initiator
- a great drinking buddy ;)

- has to land skillshots
- hard to master
- can often fail with Explosive Cask
- has to think before chanelling Drunken Rage
- falls off a bit in late game
- he is fat and dizzy :O

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Greater Mark of Precision

Greater Seal of Scaling Health

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Armor

Quints of Armor will help you survive in the jungle early game. Health Quintessences are about same efficiant. Quints of Ability Power may also be an option, but I still preffer taking Health or Armor Quints.

Greater mark of hybrid penetration Marks of Hybrid Penetration work well on Gragas as his jungle clearing still depends on AA a lot. These marks are pretty expensive though, so you can replace them with Attack speed or AD Reds.

Take these for late game tankiness because HP works very well on Gragas. If you don't have these, take Armor or Health Seals. These might work even better for easier early jungle clear.

Glyphs of Scaling Magic Resist will give you late game resistance against enemy AP carries. If you don't lack of rune pages, make one more with glyphs of Ability Power instead of MR. You should take this one when you're against low AP team.

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With Gragas there are more viable Mastery Trees to run. For tanky jungle role we want 21 / 9 / 0, utilising both AP and AD masteries in offensive section.

space Masteries explanation

Tough Skin -To survive in jungle early.
Juggernaut -More health you have, more you heal from your passive.
Sorcery -You usually get about 30% CDR from your build, so these are totally OK.
Expose Weakness -Overall ganking/teamfight masterie, helps your allies do more damage to the opponents.
Martial Mastery , Arcane Mastery -For jungle clear you need both AP and AD damage, as you rely on AA a lot.
Devastating Strikes -Even more hybrid pen.

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Flash is simply a must have ability on almost every champion. With combination of Body Slam Gragas is almost impossible to be chased and catched. Flash also allows you to do + E / ult combinations.

Obviously, as a jungler this is just another mush have item. Nothing much to explain. It's also great because in combination with Explosive Cask, Gragas can often manage to steal objectives.

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Skill Sequence & Explanation

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Note: Take Drunken Rage(W) first when you start on Gromp, otherwise take Barrel Roll(Q) instead. If you decide for an early lvl2 gank, take Q first and then E.

> > >

We want to max out Barrel Roll for more AOE damage and slow. Then Drunken Rage because it will deal a nice amount of single-target damage regardless of tanky build. Body Slam is the last spell we level up. Last but not least it has a nice stun at level 1 so we don't need to upgrade it.

(Passive) Happy hour
This is a pretty useful passive that gives you more sustain, especially when you build a lot of health on Gragas. If you time abilities correnctly, you can get 4% of your max HP every 8 seconds, which means at least 28% HP in a minute.

(Q) Barrel Roll
With this ability you can throw the barrel on any distance in it's range. It will sit there for 4 seconds before exploding unless you reactivate this ability earlier. Keep in mind that the longer the barrel sits, the higher the damage output will be.
Max this skill first, because it is you main AOE clear ability and you want it to do more damage. Maxing it will increase slow ammount for ganks. Beacause it deals more damage if it sits out longer try to leave it for a full duration when clearing jungle camps. This ability has pretty large range so it's a rather safe poke or kill secure ability. You may let it stay in the bush while the enemy is approaching to do maximum of damage to them since they wont be able to see it without vision.

(W) Drunken rage
Only Gragas' ability which doesn't have any CC included/ the only non-skillshot ability. Drunken Rage also has the lowest mana cost of all, so you should use it for getting passive health. This is his strongest 1v1 ability which does percentage of health damage and is especially good for dueling with tanks. It already does a lot of damage at level 1. Additionally, it provides damage reduction for 2.5 seconds, which may not seem to be much, but still helps you survive the burst damage from the enemy. Nevertheless, be aware that this ability deals damage on autoattack and Gragas won't be able to cast any abilities in the duration of channeling, so think wisely whether it's safe to "swig dat beer".

(E) Body slam
This is mainly your mobility spell, which can be used to get in a fight and stun the enemies, follow the enemies easier or escape from them. It has a range of 600 (e.g. Flash has a range of 400), which means you can easily dash over most of the walls.
You can try to surprise the oppoent with the E+ play. Dash forward from the long distance towards the enemy and use flash into them just before you stop dashing. This will cause the same effect as if you did the opposite way (flash and then E). The only difference is that the enemy probably won't predict this move and won't be able to react fast enough before you stun them.

(R) Explosive cask
A great ultimate which has an ability to knock the enemy in direction you like. After rework it lost considerably ammount of damage (especially on scaling 1.0->0.7), but it's cooldown has been lowered.
It takes some practise to learn how to use it corectly, otherwise you really might fail. Keep in mind that throwing it not far enough will make the enemy flee away to safety, while throwing it too far will just make you waste it. Therefore always try to wait for a right moment to use it. As you may already know, knocking the enemy into the wall will stun them for a short duration. Ultimate can also be used as a good escape in case you get in trouble.

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Usual jungler's starting items. Hunter's Machete will help you with sustain and faster jungle camp clearing as well as giving you more gold for a large monster kill. 2 Health Potions should give you just enough sustain to have enough HP to perform an early gank. And, as always... don't forget to take Warding Totem.

First, upgrade machete into Stalker's Blade or Ranger's Trailblazer. Going for Stalker's will means at least one non-skillshot CC for you and will help you hit your abilities easier. It is also helpful for finishing off the enemy that escaped with very little HP. Go for Renger's if you want extra sustain and faster jungle clear. Cinderhulk's enchantment is simply essential so try to get is as soon as possible. With health multiplier and AoE-damage dealing passive it is the main reason that made tanky junglers* OP in the current meta and it benefits amazingly on Gragas.
For shoes, take Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads, depending whether the enemy has any hard CC.
An item giving you more health and mana, which passive kind of replaced Rod of Ages, restoring health and mana at levelig up. It's active is really benefitial for teamfight initiation and catching your enemies easily, giving speed boost to you and your alies. I can't claim it's a must have item but I recommend you to take it in most cases.

Against AD

Frozen Heart should be taken as it provides you with well needed 20% CDR, even more mana and a benefitial passive against enemies that depend much on AA. It does not give you any HP to scale with Cinderhulk's though and some prefer taking Randuin's Omen preferably instead. Randuin's has a similar passive and includes quite a lot of HP and active that FH doesn't have but doesn't give you any CDR nor mana. You should buy both of these items against hard AD team, along with Thornmail and Tabi.

Against AP

You will get some nice stats with these items, both giving you 10% CDR and 400 HP. Locket of the Iron Solari will help your team out, while Spirit Visage will provide yourself with even more health regeneration.

An item that gives you most HP of them all, scaling greatly with Cinderhulk and bringing you some really nice passive sustain that will make you almost unkillable in combination with Spirit Visage. Always this item against a balanced team.

Gauntlet should be taken preferably instead of Frozen Heart. It will cause Drunken Rage hit harder and provide you with even more CC.
If your team needs vision, go for it. We often see this item picked in high ELO for a reason. Vision is simply one of most important priorities in LoL and more HP also won't hurt you.
Pick this item against hard AD team or fed opponent ADC.
If your team needs more damage or when being behind, Liandry's is probably the best offensve option for you as it's passive works best with champions having lots of CC, one of which Gragas certainly is.

Also vialable options. Choose them preferably.

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How to play Gragas

At the beginning you will be focusing on basic jungle routes clear and first ganks.
There are more ways to clear jungle but personally I do it in a following way:

Blue side
  • start and smite red ( Barrel Roll on camp at 1:51) (do NOT smite immediately as we want to get the bonus HP from it)
  • then slain razorbeaks OR wolves
  • go and smite blue
    *Another option is a to start with Krugs (smite opening) and then continue with red and blue camp (see at picture below).

Red side
  • Start with Gromp (smite opening)
  • Get blue
    Now approach to red camp. While walking, when passive cooldown resets, take a drink (use W) to get HP from it.
  • Do and smite red.

After finishing this sequence of camp clearing, you should be level 3 and have at least 30% of HP. Now, the reason why we cleared the camps in the sequence above is because we wanted to focus on early top/mid ganks. You always should estimate which lane is more likely to bring you a kill or potential first blood. If there's no good opportunity continue with other camps. Try to get maximum efficiency from Happy Hour in order to get as much regen as possible.

Obviously, ganking is one of junglers' main priorities. Interestingly, Gragas has a plenty of options how to perform a gank. It always depends of situation and it's up to you to take the right action. Generally, your goal is to stun the enemy using Body Slam (E), slow them with Barrel Roll (Q) and after 6 knock them in wanted direction if needed. Normally you'd like to try to start a gank on a clear wave. You should try to get as close as possible to your enemy before taking any action. Before showing up channel Drunken Rage (W). At the right moment jump in with Body Slam, then follow with your Barrel Roll and AA. If the wave isn't clear wait to the right moment to use Body Slam properly, rather than foolishly dashing to the enemy minions. It's good to know whether the enemy has Flash or any escape ability up - at this point the right usage of Body Slam differs a good Gragas from amateur one. There are two options you usually should do in such situation. First option is to wait them burn flash and use E + Flash(if needed) combination to catch them. Another one is to use Body Slam first and if they try to juke you by flashing away, immediately flash at the point they did. This trick is pretty useful but you'll need really good reflexes and practice to do so. After level 6 use Explosive Cask after stunning them with Body Slam becouse it will be easy to use it correctly at that point. Knock them back from safety and again follow with Q and W.
Another thing to try is to use + from invisible point to your enemy. That way you won't give them enough time to react and before they could, you and your teamate should be able to burst them down. Using this comb also works when the enemy is surrounded by minions or behind the wave as you will jump over them with your Flash. However, don't overestimate this comb as you might forget about range limits and fail to catch the enemy wasting Flash.

As already mentioned above, Gragas has a very strong impact on teamfights due to his strong AEO CC abilities. Basically, the best he can do is to seperate enemy squishy carries from their team with ultimate. Seperating them into your team direction will make it easy for your team's to take them out, eather way make their team separated and thus vulnerable. Whenever you notice an enemy ADC steps in the front line you can prepare him a goodbye and punish him for bad positioning by Body Slam (+ possibly Flash) + Explosive Cask combo.
However, what you really dont want to do is to ult some other champoions in the middle of your team, as e.g Wukong, Amumu, Nunu... as you will just make it easier for them to reach your carries either wipe out your team with their ultimates. With other words, you wouldn't only do nothing well but you'd also do their team a fovor.

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I strongly believe that currently Gragas is one of best junglers of them all. Besides being a considerably fun champion to play, he brings a lot of useful stats for his team, performs great ganks and is able to save any teamate from trouble using his CC abilities. I hope this guide has made you improve your Gragas play. And again, I'd really appreciate any feedback from you guys, please be critical and help me improve any mistakes/imperfections I made to correct and improve this guide.
I wish you all luck on Summoner's Rift and fun playing Gragas!

-Janez, april 2015