Gragas Build Guide by Brotos
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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.
Hey there Summoners, I'm Brotos.
I'm a low level, low rank, low intelligence, fat guy in my parent's basement.
Some of those facts are true and some of those facts are false.
But what's absolutely 100% true is that I like to play League of Legends.
I've read up on gragas guides and have noticed that I play Gragas differently from people.
I hope this guide will be an interesting insight into my play style of gragas.
This is my first guide so please be patient as I update and better it. Feedback is always appreciated. Any mistakes I've made, please point them out and show me how I can fix it.
Just in case, I'd thought I add any abbreviations or words that may come up, that could confuse some viewers:
ap - ability power
ad - attack damage
mr - magic resist
cd - cool down
cdr - cool down reduction
aoe - area of effect
Pro's and Con's
- naturally tanky (no, he's not a tank)
- decent mobility
- delicious escape
- great farmer
- great harass
- magical ultimate
- fat...get over it
- relies on cooldown
I believe most of the mastery choices are very obvious.
I'll try to explain some of my choices that may seem questionable.
Re-doing masteries, as my understanding of Havoc was in correct
Runic Affinity ...what?
Any good mid with a good jungler should continue to get blue buff from the ancient golemn.
This is extremely important for gragas.
This allows you to have better cooldown, which lets you spam abilities which means you're doing more damage while you do more healing with Happy Hour. I'll explain this situation more later in tips.
What's up with Summoner's Insight and Improved Recall ?
The main reason I put a point in Summoner's Insight is for Flash. With the cdr, you'll be able to use it much more often. Combine it with Body Slam, you will get out of most sticky situations. More explanation in the Body Slam section in abilities.
Improved Recall is great for split push, ganks, and ninjaing all about the jungle. If you're in a dire situation and you're surrounded on all sides, a second reduced on recall may be what determines life or death. I have been saved by recall so many times.
This is a ninja Gragas build right? so shouldn't Wanderer be used for mobility?
No, not at all. Firstly, Gragas isn't that slow. Secondly, with this guide, I expect you to be throwing abilities left and right (being in combat all the time). You're also going to be running from bad situations in which you're getting hit by abilities as you flee. So you're wasting points in something that improves your movement speed outside of combat
Need more explanations for mastery choices? Leave me a comment.
Magic penetration vs Ability power Marks
The damage that Gragas outputs beginning game is not that high. It's only high if you put in to factor that he does aoe damage. He greatly scales later in the game. So getting additional ability power early on isn't that great. Besides, most mids out burst you, you don't want to compete in that factor. Gragas is all about smart playing.
Magic penetration is the smarter choice in this case. There are very few items that offer magic penetration. With late game, your enemies will begin buying mr items to nullify your monstrous ap. The additional magic penetration you have with your runes will really help you there.
Health vs Armor Seals
They're actually both viable. Armor is usually the safest and most common seals used with most champions.
Health is nice because of your passive and what lane you're in. Because you're in mid lane, you're most likely not going to be needing armor too much until team fights. Your passive heals based off of max health, so a bit more health never hurts. Health also of course is nice fore incoming mixed damage.
Ignite - Combined with Summoner's Wrath is excellent. Summoner's Wrath will give you a boost of ap and ad while Ignite is on cool down. I love this because Gragas uses both ap and ad heavily at the beginning. It allows me to get a few kills in mid so I can power up. But mainly, it will help you kill off champions that flee and you weren't able to finish.
Flash - Combined with Body Slam you will be chasing and fleeing like a boss. One of them on cool down? No problem, use the other! You're in a really really bad situation? No problem, use them both!
Ghost- Another great mechanism to chase down or flee bad situations. I still believe flash is the better option on Gragas. Body Slam will stop if it hits an enemy (many champions like Katarina have dashes like Shunpo which will register as you hitting them. Therefore flash is a better option as you may need to flee through or over their abilities.
Barrier- Recently has become quite popular. This will give you the small edge you may need to survive or flee a situation.
Exhaust - This'll slow any opponents fleeing from you or chasing you down. However, if you're chasing someone you have Body Slam to catch up or even slow them down if you hit them. Besides the attack speed debuff on this spell is reduced on mid lane casters who don't rely on auto attacks anyways. Finally, your Barrel Roll already does an attack speed debuff, and it's an aoe. It's nice to have, but not needed.
Cleanse- It's always nice to be instantaneously remove debuffs whether it's chasing or running. But if you have Body Slam and Flash you really don't need this.
Clairvoynace- You're not the jungler or supporter, so you really don't need this. But with the way I play you will be roaming around often, so this could be a good summoner's spell to have. Honestly, sight wards do just fine, don't take this.
Teleport- If you'd like some additional ninja-ness to it all, this is a good pick. However, if you don't know how to use teleport well, don't take it. But Brotos, don't you just use teleport and you get to a tower? Isn't it easy?
No...not at all. You'll be using teleport to quickly get to your tower to defend...only really at beginning game. Use teleport to warp to wards, lanes/minions that the enemy team is not near....you want to use it cleverly to confuse and split push the opposing team. If you're not very familiar with this, I doubt you'll really want teleport.
And the nominees for trollol summoner spells are
Clarity- What on Earth are you doing? You want more mana? Just go with the sustain build I provided. Other than that, your Drunken Rage and occasional blue buff will be enough.
Heal- Why do you need this with all the passive healing you're doing? Need more health or health regen? Go with the sustain build!
Garrison- Just NO!
Smite- You're not a jungler and just no...
revive - are you planning to die often?
Now, this passive is amazing.
You gain health regen based on the your max health. 2% over 4 seconds...and that's every time you use an ability. Imagine, as you farm and harass you're healing any damage you're receiving harassment wise. The more health you have, the more you heal. You practically could stay in lane forever if you play smartly...while the other mid has to use Health Potion or recall.
DO A BARREL ROLL!!!
This is your main bread and butter. Not only it is absolutely powerful, it does aoe! The range on it is great, it goes over terrain, and it has an attack speed debuff in it! Not only do you do damage, you can play a bit of a support role with this debuff. Combined with Body Slam and you have an effective farming tool. This q > e combo will finish off any group of minions.
To effectively use barrel roll, you need to predict your opponent's movement patterns. I usually throw a few barrels randomly (more so aiming at minions) to see how they dodge them. In most cases, players will flee toward their tower and away from you. So make sure you aim it behind them. Another time I like to throw it out as a harass is when they try to come close to either harass me or kill a minion. Watch any of your minions that are about to die and throw the barrel at it. They'll really regret coming in, and it's a great tool to instill fear so they're cautious about getting any farm.
Prediction is such a key factor in Gragas. Once again, Barrel Roll is capable of going over/through terrain. No, it doesn't give you sight (T_T) but it's great for harass or getting unlikely kills. I've actually gotten a quadra due to the constant harassment I did while I roamed right outside of their base. I stayed in the fog, but I predicted where people will be due to my allies and pushed minions. Then once I saw them clump up, I Body Slamed over the wall and threw a Explosive Cask. Also, great for counter jungling or stealing. Don't have Smite to steal jungle/dragon/baron? Barrel Roll is there to put your mind at ease.
Along with Happy Hour this is your other tool that makes you have such amazing sustain. You restore mana....YOU RESTORE MANA! You already restore health and now you restore mana as well. So when you use this ability, you restore mana and health....*magic in your pants* But wait... THERE'S MORE! You gain a buff that increases your attack damage and reduces incoming damage. So with this buff, you not only increase damage output of your auto attacks, you also increase damage of Body Slam. This will really help you get those last hits on minions and champions, and make champions fear going hit for hit with you even though you're a caster. Don't forget the damage reduction...which is by percentage! Not a straight number, but percentage! This, with Happy Hour, makes him such a tanky caster.
Once again, Gragas is NOT a tank. Anyone that tells you otherwise is an absolute moron. I've had so many games where players have raged at me for going mid, because I'm a "tank" or players raging that I'm going ap and not buying tank items. This is why you all have no friends.
This will help you successfully minion farm from early to mid game...but that's hardly the tip of the iceberg on this ability. You would think heavy, fat Gragas wouldn't be able to move so fast...you were wrong, you were terribly wrong.
Not only does it travel Grags a decent distance in a short amount of time, it does damage on hit, and slows....And on hit is aoe. You can sort of play a tank role with this to aid your team. Your team in trouble and being chased? Charge into your opponents to slow them and allow your team mates to run away. In most cases, you can even escape by just walking away. Body Slam could become available again or you may have Explosive Cask ready for a boost in chance of escape. Besides, 1 death is better than your whole death getting murdered, don't you think?
Lastly, remember, Body Slam is like flash. This ability is capable of going over terrain. Yes, that means walls, rocks, and terrain level differences (as in the river). And no, you need absolutely no vision, this isn't a targeted ability. You point and click the direction. I recommend you play around with it a bit so you know the distance Body Slam is capable of reaching/going over. Use this perk to chase enemies down in the jungle who believe they are safe.
champ nub - "oh no Gragas is chasing me, I'll just flash"
Grags - "Let me just flash myself over too"
champ nub - "But you'll never catch me, I just walked around this wall, I'm home free"
Gragas - "Let me just body slam into your face, over that wall"
champ nub - "Hacker!"
You're a fat ninja who chases down champs and sit on their faces. Then when the whole team shows up you flee into the darkness. Body Slam has such a relatively low cd that you can use it quite often. While I'm being chased I like to throw Barrel Roll at people. A good portion of the time, you'll lower them enough that you can just turn around Body Slam them and turn the whole situation around. It's the best when you murder a whole team after they were chasing you. You can also let them chase you until you meet up with your own team. The possibilities are endless.
It's fun to ruin other Champion's ults like Jarvan IV's Cataclysm. You blocked me in? Let me just Body Slam right out of it. This works for Nunu's ult too. You slow me down with Absolute Zero and are about to do massive damage? Let me just waltz out with Body Slam.
This is your big gun and can make or break your team fights.
Not only does it do massive damage, it explodes outwards, throwing opponents away from it. This means, if you throw it behind them they will fly toward you. If you do it in front, they will fly away from you. Here are the main situations in which you will be using you cask:
Early game kill:
You're about to kill a champion, but they're fleeing toward/behind their tower. Throw this behind them and they'll come back into your arms.
Fleeing undesirable situations/saving team mates
Throw this behind you/infront of enemies that are in pursuit. This will blow them away and allow you some more time to escape.
Into your tower
Enemies pushed at your tower?
Throw this ability behind them and they'll come sailing into your tower.
Your tower will throw a few punches and give you and/or your team easy kills.
Looks like your opposing team has situated themselves and planned out their new team fight.
Ruin all their plans by scattering them.
In most cases, they'll be so baffled and confused that they'll output little resistance.
Fleeing enemies is normal.
Team fight seems imminent, they're beginning to gather.
See someone come in for a harass or are poking out of their formation?
Throw this to push the rest of their team away and have them come sailing toward you.
This'll give you a quick kill and give you a nice 4v5.
There are some ults that are disastrous for your team, if they get hit.
And Gragas is the big man, literally, to solve these issues.
Nunu - Absolute Zero: blow him away, channel cancelled
Katarina - Death Lotus: blow her away, ult hits no one
Fiddlesticks - Crowstorm: blow him away, ult hits no one/can not catch up
There are many more ults that you can nullify with your amazing ult.
This ult can back fire severely.
You may throw your enemies into fleeing team mates or push them ahead of fleeing team mates...rage ensues.
Your team is chasing after the other team, you may push the other team too far away that your team can't get kills...rage ensues
Practice the use of this ult and don't use it if you're unsure.
The ordering that I have displayed is not set in stone.
Everything is situational.
Q at the beginning:
You must go with Q first, Barrel Roll.
Gragas is a caster, but a melee one. You will be harassed to no end if you have no ranged ability early on. You'll also be behind on farm and do little damage if a team fight ensues early (invades).
Go Q first, there is no other choice.
W next or e:
I personally believe w, Drunken Rage, should have a point in next.
This is because you gain much more sustain with this. You're tankier, you restor mana, and your ad is higher.
However, your e, Body Slam is great if you are confident in getting an early kill or you would like an early escape. Honestly, unless the other team's mid is completely incompetent you won't get a kill that early. Secondly, why are you so incompetent that you need an escape that early?
What to max first:
In an ideal world, I would just keep putting points in q after a point is in each qwe.
You want to be able to farm much more effectively while dishing out some sweet harass damage.
However, mana can become a problem if you aren't using your abilities wisely or your jungler hogs blue buff.
If this is the case, you may want to get an additional point or two into Drunken Rage before going all out into Barrel Roll.
What do I max next:
This is a similar situation.
If you're hurting on mana for more sustain, you may want to max w first. I usually do, so I never really have to recall unless I'm looking to invest in some items.
However, maxing e, Body Slam can be great too.
This allows for you to do more damage; I like to use this in the jungle (though, this will help kill champions as well). If your jungler doesn't need them, you can steal wraiths and wolves. This will give you additional gold so you can increase that lead you have over the other mid.
Remember, whenever you can put a point in your ult, do it. Just a rule of thumb.
This is my favorite set of starting items. What is there not to love about Crystalline Flask? Virtually infinite health and mana. With this combination of items, I have such great sustain in combination with Happy Hour and Drunken Rage that I hardly ever need to recall. You have the additional Health Potion if you receive some damage and Mana Potion if you're spamming too much abilities.
I like to use this when I'm certain I can blow up the opposing mid or I need to blow up the other mid quick or I'll be in trouble. I like using this item on someone like Veigar. I don't want that little sucker to feed at all. The mana regen and passive (restore 5 mana per kill) is nice as well.
If I want to output a bit more magic damage, I like to buy an additional Doran's Ring. If I started with a sustain start, this will give me some damage, but allow me to keep my lane well.
You can skip this item all together if 1) you want more sustain over damage 2) you're so ahead of the other mid you can skip over it and go for the bigger guns.
If I'm looking to get a bit more sustain or last longer in a fight I work toward a Rod of Ages.
I go with the catalyst the protector first rather than Blasting Wand. You're most likely not getting Rod of Ages for the ap, and most likely for the sustain, but an item with no ap would be a waste. This item is an early to mid game item. Never buy this for late game. You'll be wasting its sweet passives. passive 1) gain mana, health, ap every 1 min 2) leveling you regen mana and health.
> > >
NOTE: Will of the Ancients and Lich Bane's may be swapped
Cooldown is such a key factor with Gragas, especially later on in the game.
His attack damage/melee will begin to be less than satisfactory. You'll also want to be not in the middle of team fights always. If you die quickly, your team loses such amazing magic damage.
This is why you will be relying on your Barrel Roll the most. With less cdr, you'll be able to spam this ability much more often. Cdr also helps you escape or chase with more reoccurring Body Slams. Not to mention more Drunken Rage to make you tankier...and Happy Hour to give you more heals as you spam more abilities often. Cdr is just win win.
This item gives you a large amount of ap so it's a no brainer. The active ability on it is amazing as well. Letting you damage a target for their max health and reduce their magic resistance...
What a sweet item!
No brainer for any ap champion. This will allow you to dish out more and more damage.
Be sure to not buy this expensive item until you've invested in another ap item, or it's passive is wasted and you've expended too much gold.
Will of the Ancients or Lichbane next?
This is up to you and what you want to do. But either way, you will get both.
Want to output more damage and also make your auto attack useful? Take Lich Bane.
With Gragas, because he has Drunken Rage, this will make your auto attack strong enough to be viable in team fights even after mid game.
Will of the Ancients is great if you want to do some spellvamp or healing when you do magic damage. At this point, you do a great deal of magic damage. You already have great health regen, but with this item, you'll be healing a great deal in team fights. Additionally if you're being chased through the jungle with low health, I like to throw barrels behind me at the chasing champion or at creeps in the jungle. By the time the chasing champion has caught up, I'll have healed a great deal. I usually turn around and slaughter the jerk with my large frame.
The additional spell vamp provided to me team mates makes our team fight even stronger.
Will of the Ancients or Hextech Gunblade?
I believe the two are interchangeable, dependent on what you want to do.
Do you want more spellvammp and help out your team by providing additional spellvamp to them?
Then you'll want Will of the Ancients.
If you're looking to power up yourself and don't believe your team needs the extra spell vamp, then Hextech Gunblade may be the better choice. It offers ap and spellvamp just like Will of the Ancients. Additionally it offers ad and spellvamp, which will make your auto attacks and Body Slam count for more. Combined with Drunken Rage, makes it count even more. You'll be doing so much healing in team fights and from the jungle creeps.
The active that does damage from percentage of ap and debuffs movement speed is a really great plus.
Zhonya's Hourglass (against AD)
Very simple, add some additional armor to last a little longer.
The active to be untargetable and invulernale is key in this item.
A good team will notice that you're outputting lots of damage and try to kill you first.
Throw your abilities fast and when you start taking heavy fire, pop it.
By the time you come out your cd will be up for your abilities and you can dish some damage to finish them off, or die like a champ.
Abyssal Scepter (against AP)
It offers both ap and magic resist.
However, it adds another key element
Abyssal Scepter has seen some big changes mainly being its passive aura.
It used to be an item for any caster.
Now, it's only for casters that can survive relatively close range combat. The range of the aura that reduces magic resist is fairly small.
That is exactly why this is perfect for Gragas.
Rylai's crystal Scepter (health)
I honestly like getting Rylai's just because health works against both ad and ap.
It also works perfectly with Gragas's passive.
Now this is a tricky item. Sure, it doesn't have ap. However, all of the other stats are great for Gragas. I would replace Abyssal Scepter with this. Use this only if you're already doing good ap damage and are looking to do some more surviving. The cdr is really nice and will make your "surviving" worth more because you're dishing out more abilities.
Lastly, the improved health regen you get from your Happy Hour with its passive will give you some amazing health regen. But really, very situational and I'm still playing around with it.
This is a mediocre item for Gragas, I believe. I've yet to think that this item is essential for him. I believe it's more so for casters with abilities with really low cool downs that can be spammed. The passive lets you sort of "ignite" opponents. Gragas's Barrel Roll is sort of a low cool down, but not that low. So, it's up to you
It also gives you more health, just for that little survivability.
It's really just an all-around item so if you like it, it's not a bad choice.
I have a problem with the low magic penetration. Magic penetration isn't something you kind of "roll into". If you want magic penetration, that's because the opposing team has stacked magic resist and you're looking to nullify it. Therefore you're looking for an item that has good magic penetration like Void Staff. Abyssal Scepter is also a better pick.
Plain and simple, it's for when people start stacking magic resist against you.
Buy this so your ap doesn't go completely to waste.
You disagree with something I say, leave me a comment and explain. You may be able to shed some light on things that i don't know.
Tips and Tricks
Here's where I'll explain what I do as a Gragas.
Roaming from Mid
Gragas is a surprisingly mobile champion. Because he's able to push lanes and kill minions so fast, he doesn't need to be sitting in his lane so long. You can simply clear your lane, push it, and then roam off to other lanes to surprise them.
I like to pull off ganks when my jungler pulls a gank in another lane.
This gives a false sense of security to the lane not with my jungler. They see it as "oh the jungler is in top lane, so we can push hard". Not a chance brochachos! Fat man appears out of the bush to reek havoc.
I like to use this comb:
q > e > r
Barrel Roll > Body Slam > Explosive Cask
You hit them, surprise them with the barrel. Charge into them with Body Slam to catch up and hopefully hit them. It'll put a slow debuff. Once they slow begins to fade and they begin to increase the distance between you all, throw your ult. This will blow them toward you and you'll usually get a kill or two.
Tip: use your explosive cask after they use their flash. If they flash, they may get to the other side of your Explosive Cask and get thrown away from you.
The wall ninja
Get to know your jungle, wall, and paths.
Body Slam is such a sweet sweet move. Know how you can use it, know its distance.
Use it to escape or chase after opponents.
Once again, know your jungle, wall, and paths.
Predict your opponent's movements. Utilize your barrels effectively to chip at them from an angle/across the wall. They wont see it coming.
Use your minions and allies to give you vision of a lane. From across the wall throw barrels. I like doing this when champions are hiding behind towers thinking they can't be attacked.
Harrass, harass, harass
You're pretty bursty, but the key to many kills is harassing them enough that you can get multiple kills easily.
Hit and Run
I love doing hit and runs.
Once again, use the fog. If they can't see you, they can't get you.
I like to throw a barrel or two to harass. Usually a champion or two will try to come and investigate.
Most likely I'm already gone, or I want to let them chase me....they wont catch me.
Guide them away from key locations to distract them away from pushes or plans you are putting into place.
You can also guide them into your team mates.
Thanks for reading my first guide ever.
Gragas is by far my favorite champion to play and my main champion.
I also like to play Poppy, Heimerdinger, and Sona.
I hope to make guides for them in the future as well.
Please tell me what you think.
Positive criticism, comments, feedback, opinions, and advice are welcome!
I hope to update this as I learn grow and learn from everyone.