Gragas Build Guide by See You
Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple Stupid. With that said, this guide is to help you build an AP Gragas that scales well through the game while maintaing high damage levels and versatility for your team. What it wont do is teach you how to play Gragas, that much needs to be learned by you through practice. But I will offer some tips and examples as to be a more affective laner and team player with Gragas.
Runes are important in creating a champion that scales well through the match. Enough to give an early advantage in lane but at the same time thinking about late game. I find that the given runes are the best combination in creating an AP Gragas that only grows stronger as the game progresses.
Here are Ideal Runes for Gragas:
Greater Mark of Insight
Greater Mark of Insight offers magic penetration which is ideal for any mage class. More Magic Penetration= more damage. Early game this offers a great advantage which you will expand on with items to get more magic penetration as teh game progresses.
greater seal of vitality Greater Seal of Vitality
Greater Seal of Vitality offers HP based on levels which means it will take more time to kill you. This can also be very discouraging to enemy champs seeing their opponent only growing stronger; add that to Gragas ability to harass from a safe distance and make your opponent weaker adds to this battlefield tactic. But why not flat HP? Reason is that by level 5 these HP per level runes outperform flat HP runes. What if I dont want HP? Fortunately, there is wiggle room in the Seals Category which I will address in a bit.
Greater Glyph of Force
Greater Glyph of Force offers AP per level which is very useful late game. Remember that not every game ends within 30 mins so its important to be able to grow stronger as the game progresses. You dont want to have nothing to offer late game. Greater Glyphs of Force will ensure that your damage will grow as your opponents health/armor grow allowing you to keep pressure on them.
Greater Seal of Clarity
Greater Seal of Clarity offers greater mana regen based on levels. This is a great alternate option of seals if you feel you dont need the HP. Gragas can be very mana hungry so going this route may open up alternatives for your summoner spells as you may no longer need clarity for example. In reality its entirely up to you but this is a viable option.
I use these masteries as they are set for maximum versatility during a match with a focus on damage. Though I use these, there is some wiggle room. For example I put 2 points in Magic resists because I often mid lane which means fighting against another AP (most times) and sometimes that little bit helps; espicially early game. If you can do well without the magic resists then put the points into mana regen as Gragas gets mana hungry.
Why Teleport and Clarity? Well I play Gragas for maximum team contribution and sustain which means staying max time in lane, assisting other lanes when needed and being where you need to be fast. Keep in mind that Gragas can be very mana hungry depending on the circumstances/aggresiveness and a AP Gragas with no mana is useless. But what about ignite and flash? Well Gragas is very versatile like I said. Your Body Slam is roughly a flash so use it in combination with your ulti when being crowded by enemies. Ulti yourself and body slam to safety. Ignite? You do so much damage as this AP Gragas you should have no problems killing other champs (for the most part). But like I said this is a guide, use what you feel comfortable but I feel that this works well.
This is the move you will most likely spam the most as AP Gragas. Throwing barrels to set locations for AoE damage is going to be your main means of harass/farm/damage. This is priority one to cap. Tip: When aiming at moving targets, try to predict where your opponents are moving so they walk into your barrels.
Drunken Rage allows you to recover a small amount of mana while at the same time increasing damage dealt and lowering damage taken. Its important to use often (usually when its up) or right before a battle.
Body Slam is the other half of your damage and is probably one of the most versatile abilities in the game for any champ. Body slam can be used offensively and defensively. Example of offensive Body Slam is body slamming into an enemy for damage and slowing them so you or your team can do more damage. Example of defensive Body Slam is using it to quickly escape from enemies (either in lane or through objects) or slowing down enemies to save a fleeing team mate. An example of using it to flee a gank can be seen here:
Note that after using body slam to get to safety, an opportunity emerges to go on the offensive by using Gragas Ulti, Explosive Cask, to fling the ganker into your turret range resulting for the ganker to burn flash.
Here is an example of using Body Slam offensively by going through a wall at an enemy and then damaging/slowing them with Body Slam:
Gragas Ulti which results in massive AoE Damage and blow back (from center of explosion) can be used both offensively and defensively depending on the circumstances. However, Explosive Cask can be a double sided sword if not used correctly. Yes it causes great damage but can also blow enemies away from desired positions or blow them into undesired positions like near weak team mates lol. It takes practice to master proper usage of Explosive Cask. Tip: Aim the center behind enemies to blow them towards you or infront to blow them away. Moving targets can be very hard to predict so practice anticipating enemy movements.
Here is an example of using Explosive Cask defensively to save a weakened team mate:
For an example of offensive use, please refer to the Solo Kills Strategy part of the guide.
Doran's Ring- This should be the first item you buy. It will allow for a nice early game HP Boost, AP, and mana regen which equals better harass and more lane sustain.
/ Sorcerer's Shoes-Why build this second? because its benefits early game are undeniable. More pen = more damage while quicker movement speed means you can get where you need to be faster. Early game that means you can kill enemies and save team mates before the action is over. No Boots means you will most likely do less damage and/or not make it to fights in time. Get them!
Hextech Revolver- Another great early game item for Gragas. The small AP boost is always welcomed while the spell vamp will help you heal yourself while performing Barrel Roll and Body Slam. You will eventually build this into Will of the Ancients.
Rabadon's Deathcap - This is where your OP Power is going to come from. Massive amount of AP! You should spend your mid game building this item first.
Will of the Ancients- More AP and greater spell vamp. Its only 900 gold since you built hextech revolver early game. This item is amazing for gragas life sustain and damage. Continue barrel roll and body slamming enemies/minions to regain health.
Blasting Wand- Pretty straight forward with more AP for damage. This is the beginning of your late game build for Void Staff.
Void Staff- This item is amazing late game. By now enemies have built up defenses and have gotten more resilient which makes this item more valuable to AP Gragas. More AP and more Magic Pen means that you will be able to maintain your high damage output you been doing the whole match; keeping your high damage ratios throughout the game.
At this point in the match there is some wiggle room for the last 2 items to build. This is what I finish with but I will also give some alternatives which are also good choices.
Morello's Evil Tome- Now at this point you should be doing massive amounts of damage so I usually go for this item. More AP for more damage and cool down reductions with mana regen means for more barrels more often.
Zhonya's Hourglass- Higher amount of AP and a 2 second invulnerability means that you can dish out the damage and, hopefully, be able to live fights when you get targeted.
The last item you can get is really up to you. For me I prefer this:
Guardian Angel- More armor and being able to revive means that if you are targeted you will be able to rejoin the fight or survive the encounter.
At this point you have everything you need so use all that extra money you may have on items to boost yourself even higher and be more of an asset to your team.
/ / Elixir's- If you have the money buy all of them, you have everything else! :D Get stronger and buy them all the time at the end.
Oracle's Elixir- Once again if you have all your items and additional money then BUY IT! See the wards and invis people for your team :D
Gragas is a beast in lane but only if you know your strengths and weaknesses. Biggest problem with Gragas is that he is melee which means outside of his abilities he has to rely on melee to cause damage to turrets and minions. Maximize your barrels as you lane. Use the barrel to farm and harass your oponents. Throw barrels in locations where it will hit minions to farm and hit your opponent. For some reason this works really well as Gragas' barrel AoE is large enough to do so and most people hang around their minions for some reason. If you use your barrels effectively this way you will be able to outfarm and harass your opponent at the same time.
Here is an example of effective laning techniques. Notice that Gragas uses his barrel role to harass and minion damage/kill in 1 move. Positioning is key.
Solo Kills Strategy
So how should Gragas get solo kills when 1v1? If you been laning well as stated above then your opponent has had to "b" several times or is weak health. Once you hit level 6 is when your most effective at getting those kills. Use your ulti and aim the center of the AoE behind your opponent as to cause damage to your opponent and make them fly towards you (this may require practice). As soon as they fly towards you, Body Slam into them to cause more damage and slow them; then throw a barrel to cause more damage and continue to do so until they are defeated. Now that barrel after the Ulti/Body Slam combo can be tricky as your opponent may have flash. Most people, when seeing the danger, flash out immediately which is why I usually wait a second after I body slam into them after my Ulti and if they flash out remember to aim the barrel a bit in front of them so they walk into the barrel. If you aim at them by the time the barrel gets there you would have missed. When aiming at fleeing targets always aim in front of them as they are moving away from you. An example of the Ulti Blowback Combo can be seen here. The first one, against LeBlanc, had her barely escaping by means of her escape mechanism. The second example had a Alistar who just flashed being blown back enough to secure the kill.
AP Gragas need to know their role in team fights. Prior to team fights, during stand offs, always throw barrels and poke with it (trying to aim at their carries and squishy players). Most of the time their carries will be at half or less than half health thanks to your costant harass. During a team fight know your role, stay away from the chaos and continue throwing barrells from the distance and body slamming into the crowd and walking out. In and Out Champion as AP. AP Gragas may have alot of health but can be very squishy espicially to AD carries so think of yourself as artillery rather than a front line soldier.
And dont forget your ulti but remeber to use it appropriately in helping your team. What do I mean by that? Use it if the enemy team is ganging up on a carry to cause damage and spread them out. Dont use it to blow the enemy team away from your team mates ulti (example: Gragas Ulti blowing away all the enemies from Amumu's Snare Ulti). Work with your team, not against them.
Always look for opportunities when playing Gragas. You can make alot from a little. Positioning is key. For example, Gragas is a beast laner espicially levels after 7 when he is able to take out whole groups of minions thus clearing his lane. Feel Free to clear lanes at your convenience but keep lanes full (knowing you can clear them when you wish) as it can create opportunites for ganks and easier kills. Fighting near your turret allows your ulti to blow them into your turret range creating an almost guaranteed kill.
Keep an eye out for these opportunites as they can even come from disadvantages. For example, say you are retreating a losing battle (solo or team) as you run away from your opponents drop barrels on yourself and burst them when pursuing enemies follow. Those pursuing enemies will either have to take the hits or walk around them (allowing you more time to escape). If they choose to take the hits you'd be surprised how much damage you are doing that sometimes an opportunity opens and you can body slam back into them and turn the tables. Keep an eye out and dont forget that controlling your barrels positioning and when they explode means you are more versatile than other champions.
Well I hope these few notes helped you with your Gragas. Lets face it the most important part of this guide is that Build with the Masteries and Runes. This additional notes are basically just a few tips in being more effective. Pratice makes perfect so keep playing AP Gragas and use that build order and your will see that you scale exceptionally well throughout the match and cause insane amounts of burst damage. This is my first attempt at a guide so if you would like me to expand on it or add more detail to certain areas. Let me know. There are variations that need to be addressed in certain match circumstances so feel free to comment. Thanks
Special Thanks: Thanks to jhoijhoi for the line dividers/separators and the awesome guide to all these confusing graphics :)
Here's an extra little fun compilation video made by a friend showing some general LoL gameplay. Thats what LoL should be all about, Having Fun with friends :D Hope you enjoyed the guide
2/29/2012 - Added some art to make the guide visually more appealing. Added more detail.Added a few example videos.
3/2/2012 - Fixed problem with Effective Laning example video not loading. Added a fun compilation video a friend made.
Will continue to add more detail as time allows.
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