Against many melee top laners, Graves does huge amounts of damage fast. He has a lot of damage and some range when going in their faces, making it hard for them to trade back well.
Who to pick him against
Anyone with melee range, like tryndamere, trundle, akali, and even some of the harder matchups like Darius or Riven
What to build
I love the off tank Graves.
He dishes out plenty of damage while still being tanky and hard to kill.
Deaths Dance > T2 Boots > Cleaver > Steraks > Maw > Deadmans is personally my favorite.