Top Lane Giant Slayer
Be one with the Tanks
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.
Graves is very OP right now with the damage from his Q. I think that he is balanced except for his Q but rito might just gut him you never know. If they widen the Q aoe and nerf the dmg ratio a bit I think he would be very balanced. With that said he is very easy to counter if you know where he is week. Like most jungle situations where there is a wall in front of him. Or if you cc him after quickdraw. Or if you just avoid his Q second bounce. But if your team has a snare or lock down... oh boy you are gonna stomp them.
Items and Build Explained
In this guide there are two sets of item builds. Tanky and Tank Buster.
The core for any graves build should include essence reaver. ER helps with his mana problem and will allow you to sustain and kite without fear of losing all of your mana asap. But keep in mind he still has a cap so dont go too crazy.
The Core for the most fun build is Lord Dominiks Regards. This item is essential for killing tanks but remember you need to be squishy so that it does more damage. You need this item in tandem with Phantom Dancer to do significant kiting and constant damage. With the passive of PD you take reduced damage. This coupled with graves E is great for getting in someones face which is how graves was designed to be played. Once your first three items are built I like to get a shard and a vamp scepter the life steal helps a ton and the shard helps with burst until you can get your cannon. The cannon helps with burst and synergies so well with Graves. Plus by building vamp scepter before cannon you get extra damage which you need to stay ahead. If you get to final build which you do easily in low elo games due to your awesome ability to farm with Graves (a whole wave with just one Q mid game) the Deaths Dance adds just enough AD for you to kill anything you want. And the life steal is great. Feel free to swap with Blood Thirster if you want either is fine. But DD steals with your aoe Q so keep that in mind.
For the tanky build rush phage then cleaver. Next a ruby, cloth, and null magic mantle. Then start your AD for ER and get your power spike. Frz mallet takes awhile to build so that is why resistances help. After that I build whatever situational stuff is needed like a sheen for mana problems. And Icebourne Gauntlet is sooo op on Graves its typically overlooked due to the fact that he is a marksman. But think about it the sheen proc makes your autos after an ability like lets say YOUR E do extra damage. Not to mention armor mana and cdr. It is a perfect complement to this build. Maw over merc sword but only if they have little cc.