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Gragas Build Guide by Pluckin Penguin

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Pluckin Penguin

The King of Bop: A Competitive Jungle Gragas Guide

Pluckin Penguin Last updated on July 26, 2016
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Ability Sequence

2
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
3
8
10
12
13
Ability Key W
1
14
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
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.



Masteries

Fury
 
 
5/
Sorcery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vampirism
 
 
Natural Talent
 
 
 
 
 
Bounty Hunter
Oppressor
 
 
 
 
 
Battering Blows
 
 
Piercing Thoughts
 
 
 
 

Ferocity: 6

Wanderer
 
 
5/
Savagery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Merciless
 
 
Meditation
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Dangerous Game
 
 
 
 
 
Precision
 
 
Intelligence
 
 
 
 

Cunning: 6

5/
Recovery
 
 
Unyielding
 
 
 
 
 
Explorer
1/
Tough Skin
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Runic Armor
 
 
Veteran's Scars
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Insight
Perseverance
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Swiftness
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 
 
 

Resolve: 18



Threats to Gragas with this build

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Champion Notes
2
Master Yi In early game duels, Master Yi will slowly begin to gain an edge on you as he begins to stack up his Enchantment: Devourer. However, you should be able to take him prior to level six as long as you can Body Slam when his Alpha Strike is on cool down (to avoid Master Yi Alpha Striking to essentially dodge your Body Slam). In team fights, you can engage on Master Yi in most scenarios and win the fight with ease. If you are trying to peel Master Yi off of your carries, it is essential that you land your Body Slam because Barrel Roll won't be able to stop his Highlander.
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Introduction



Hey everyone, I'm Pluckin Penguin, and welcome to my Gragas guide. I've been playing League of Legends since late Season 1, and I am currently a Diamond III Jungle Main in dynamic queue. In addition to that, I am also the starting jungler for North Carolina State University's Collegiate Star League Team.

Gragas has been one of my favorite champions since Season 1. I was inspired by Shushei's astounding AP Gragas performance at the Season 1 World Championship; however, Gragas has gone through a rework since then and now has an incredibly different play style. As of 2/25, I have a 67% win rate on Gragas in 12 games played with a 6.32 KDA. I hope that my guide will be able to enrich your knowledge and performance on Gragas!


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Pros & Cons

Pros
Cons
> Strong duelist for a tank jungler
> Extremely tanky
> Strong ganker after level six
> Versatile team fighter
> Strong disengage with ultimate
> Can be very reliant upon Flash
> Does not snowball well
> Your ultimate can backfire on you
> Is relatively prone to early game counter-jungling


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Masteries

Masteries
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/5
1/1
5/1
1/5
5/1
1/5

I opt for the Strength of the Ages keystone mastery in the Resolve tree in order to increase Gragas's early to mid game tankiness in the early to mid game. However, it is also worth noting that Thunderlord's Decree is an ample replacement for Strength of the Ages .

After obtaining Strength of the Ages in the Resolve tree, I split the remaining points in the Ferocity tree and the Cunning tree.

Ferocity

Fury vs Sorcery : Gragas can make much more use of the ability damage provided by Sorcery then the attack speed provided by Fury .

Double Edged Sword vs Feast : Both masteries are viable options, but I personally prefer the increased damage provided by Double Edged Sword over the sustain from Feast


Cunning


Wanderer vs Savagery : As nice as the out of combat movement speed is, Gragas can really make efficient use of Savagery 's bonus damage to monsters to clear the jungle faster.

Runic Affinity vs Secret Stash vs Assassin : Secret Stash isn't very useful for junglers in general, and Assassin isn't very applicable to Gragas because you usually rely on your teammates for follow up. Thus, extended buff duration from Runic Affinity is the best choice.


Resolve

Recovery vs Unyielding : Bonus magic resist and bonus armor will take a very long time to become more useful than the health regeneration provided by Recovery .

Explorer vs Tough Skin : Bonus movement speed in the brush and river can be quite useful, but the damage reduction really helps Gragas stay at a reasonable health percentage in his early clears.

Runic Armor vs Veteran's Scars : Honestly, both of these masteries are very good and can substitute on another. Veteran's Scars is very useful if you are engaging in multiple early game engagements, but once you have some health Runic Armor will being to substantially increase the health from Happy Hour.

Insight vs Perseverance : There is no reason to pass up on reduced cool down for summoner spells when Flash is so important for Gragas.

Swiftness vs Legendary Guardian : Both masteries are pretty good, but I personally prefer the tenacity reduction to help avoid sticky situations.

Grasp of the Undying vs Strength of the Ages vs Bond of Stone : Grasp of the Undying is useless for junglers and should be used exclusively on laners, and Bond of Stone is much more useful for supports and doesn't provide much for you early on. Strength of the Ages is currently the preferred keystone for all junglers in professional play due to the ample amount of flat health it provides.


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Runes

Marks of Attack Speed are standard on tank junglers because they help increase clear speed significantly. Additionally, attack speed can come in handy for any of the early-mid game skirmishes you encounter.

Alternatives: Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration, Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Seals of Armor are standard for almost all roles, and jungle Gragas is no different. If you don't own any runes and would like to jungle, armor seals are very critical to maintaining a decent health bar in the jungle.

Alternatives: Greater Seal of Scaling Health (best paired with Greater Quintessence of Armor)

Glyphs of Cooldown Reduction are very beneficial for Gragas as he is very reliant on his abilities for damage and crowd control. In addition, these glyphs do speed up your jungle clearing and increase your dueling potential.

Alternatives: Greater Glyph of Ability Power, Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist, Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Glyphs of Scaling Magic Resist will provide you with some bonus magic resist later on in the game, but are hardly noticeable earlier on in the game. I would recommend switching these Scaling Magic Resist Glyphs out for Flat Magic Resist Glyphs against an AP jungler (e.g. Nidalee, Elise).

Alternatives: Greater Glyph of Ability Power, Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Quintessences of Ability Power give Gragas a faster jungle clear and a noticeable damage increase in any early game skirmishes. Also, given the fact that most of Gragas's abilities are area of effect and have decent ability power ratios, these quintessences help out immensely.

Alternatives: Greater Quintessence of Armor


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Summoner Spells

Flash is a must-have on almost every champion in the game. Furthermore, it is a necessity to have Flash on Gragas if you have any hopes of engaging with a Body Slam + Flash combo (more on that later).

Smite is a must-have summoner spell for all junglers. Smite enables you to secure objectives, speed up your jungle clear, and obtain buffs from jungle camps. Above all, Smite allows you to purchase Hunter's Machete, Hunter's Talisman, and your eventual jungle item enchantment.


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Abilities



Happy Hour: This passive makes Gragas much tankier than he seems, and provides him an incredible amount of sustain. With an eight second cooldown, this passive can become very useful in extended fights early on in the game.
Tips and Tricks
  • Keep an eye on Happy Hour's cooldown during your first few clears to make sure that you are using your other abilities to get maximum efficiency out of Happy Hour
  • Drunken Rage only has a 30 mana cost and a fairly short cooldown meaning it a very efficient way to trigger Happy Hour while roaming around the map.
Barrel Roll: This is your main damage source in the early game and a wonderful ganking tool. If you are able to let the barrel sit for a little bit before casting it, the extra damage makes it an effective tool for clearing jungle camps, and minion waves.

Tips and Tricks
  • Your barrel will turn a bright red when it is fully fermented and able to amplify the and damage by 150%.
  • This ability can be cast during your Body Slam animation which is very useful if you're trying to burst a target.
  • Don't get too greedy and try to let your barrel ferment for the maximum amount of time in combat.
Drunken Rage: This is a very spammable single target damage spell in which Gragas bops his target with his barrel. This ability also makes Gragas incredibly tanky with the substantial amount of damage reduction the Drunken Rage steroid provides.

Tips and Tricks
  • Try to charge up Drunken Rage as you're about to gank a lane.
  • Due to the fact that you can't auto attack while casting Drunken Rage, try to position yourself in the best position possible during its casting animation.
  • Ensure that you are spamming this ability all of the time in skirmishes to significantly reduce the damage you take.

Body Slam: An essential part of Gragas's kit when it comes to ganking, mobility, and engaging. Your ability to hit Body Slam makes it much easier to land the other abilities in Gragas's kit.

Tips and Tricks

Explosive Cask: This is a very strong disengage and displacement tool that's use will define your mastery of Gragas. In certain situations, Explosive Cask can also make for a splendid engagement tool as well.

Tips and Tricks
  • Explosive Cask can be cast during your Body Slam which allows you to hide Explosive Cask's animation and potentially catch an enemy off guard.
  • Be extra cautious when using Explosive Cask as it may backfire on you if you knock the wrong enemy away or back into your team.
  • Your ultimate can be used to disrupt an enemy's attempt at engaging. For example, after an enemy champion engages, look to potentially throw an Explosive Cask to knock away the enemy team's backline to significantly reduce follow up damage.


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Ability Sequence

> > >

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

For obvious reasons, you are going to want to take a point in Explosive Cask at levels 6, 11, and 16. Aside from your ultimate, you should max out your Barrel Roll as soon as possible because it does decent damage in the early-mid game, and the reduced cool down will help out a ton. After maxing your Barrel Roll, you should max out Drunken Rage to reduce its cool down allowing you to keep your damage reduction steroid active in a good portion of skirmishes. Lastly, you will want to put your final points into Body Slam.

I would highly recommend sticking to this ability sequence, but it is also a viable option to max out Drunken Rage instead of Barrel Roll. This ability sequence used to be far more popular before Drunken Rage was nerfed in Patch 5.17.


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Items

Starting Items


Hunter's Talisman: This item grants Gragas an immense amount of sustain in the jungle allowing him to easily farm the jungle without starting with three Health Potions. In addition to these benefits, if you do end up getting a lot of gold prior to your first back, you can potentially delay Tracker's Knife, and purchase Aether Wisp + Amplifying Tome without missing out on the mana regeneration, a problem that you might experience if you start Hunter's Machete.

Refillable Potion: If you aren't planning on ganking sometime before your first back, then Refillable Potion is the start for you. Additionally, Refillable Potion will likely save you 100-200g on Health Potions over the course of the game. If you are planning on skirmishing before your first back, I'd highly recommend starting 3 Health Potions instead to maintain the highest health you can for dueling. NOTE: I would not recommend upgrading Refillable Potion to Hunter's Potion because it shouldn't be too difficult to manage Gragas's mana pool.

Warding Totem: Everybody starts the game with this trinket for a reason. Warding Totem can aid you in safely prevent an enemy invade early on in the game, and lights up the map to hopefully locate the whereabouts of the enemy jungler. I would hold onto this trinket until you are level nine and can swap it out for the Oracle Alteration.


Core Items

Tracker's Knife: This item essentially is just a more cost-efficient Sightstone for junglers, and it is excellent on Gragas. Simply due to vision it provides, this item can allow for you to make more calculated plays, and potentially fend off any of the enemy's aggressive plays. The drawback of purchasing this item is that you don't have the dueling power of Stalker's Blade or Skirmisher's Sabre. Therefore, be very careful when involving yourself with the enemy jungler if they have invested in Stalker's Blade or, especially, Skirmisher's Sabre. Stalker's Blade and Skirmisher's Sabre are both viable replacements for Tracker's Knife.

Enchantment: Runic Echoes: Gragas can make very efficient use of all aspects of Enchantment: Runic Echoes. The ability power and Luden's Echo-esque passive provided significantly increases your clear speed, and mana regeneration. Additionally, the immense movement speed provided by Enchantment: Runic Echoes allows you to apply a lot of pressure across the map, and chase down fleeing enemies. Enchantment: Cinderhulk is a viable replacement for Enchantment: Runic Echoes, but I would only recommend purchasing Enchantment: Cinderhulk if you are behind.

Oracle Alteration: A very powerful trinket throughout the mid-late game that allows you to clear out all vision around the dragon to baron area in one activation if you have one or two teammates help you out. Ideally, you will want to replace your initial Warding Totem with this around level nine.


Boots

Boots of Swiftness: Currently, these boots out class their counterpart Boots of Mobility in a variety of aspects and are standard across almost all junglers. They allow you to move around at a significant speed while in and out of combat, and in addition, are cheaper than the other boot choices by a decent margin. On another note, I would highly recommend trying to buy these boots early on in the game, ideally after you complete your Enchantment: Cinderhulk. I would make these boots your default choice until the other boot choices are buffed or Boots of Swiftness are nerfed.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity: If you are snowballing and/or massively ahead of the enemy jungler, I would highly recommend Ionian Boots of Lucidity. They significantly reduce the cool down for Flash and your abilities while also being very cheap to purchase.

Mercury's Treads: The magic resistance on Mercury's Treads may be nice, but the primary reason for buying these boots is for the tenacity they provide. I would recommend purchasing these boots against teams with 3 or more forms stuns, taunts, fears, silences, snares, or roots. Getting these boots early on may allow for you to safely itemize armor without sacrificing too much magic resist.

Ninja Tabi: If you can't justify purchasing Mercury's Treads, then Ninja Tabi should be your ideal choice of boots. They provide immense resistance against marksman, and other auto-attack reliant champions in the game. Another situation in which you may opt to purchase Ninja Tabi is if you are facing a team composition that is entirely or almost entirely physical damage.


Armor

Dead Man's Plate: This is my typical first purchase after Enchantment: Cinderhulk for multiple reasons. Dead Man's Plate grants Gragas not only a little bit more damage, but a little bit more crowd control and movement speed. I would recommend purchasing this item when the enemies' primary threat is physical damage, and you are even or ahead of the enemy jungler.

Frozen Heart: A stellar first item choice against attack speed reliant team compositions, or perhaps a couple strong physical damage dealers. This item is superb on Gragas due to the immense cool down reduction and armor it provides. If you do purchase this item first, be careful around enemy mages because your only defense against them will be your health from Enchantment: Cinderhulk.

Randuin's Omen: This item is a great purchase as a second or third armor item in most situations, but I would definitely not recommend purchasing this as a first item. The majority of the value in Randuin's Omen is the reduced damage from critical strikes which doesn't really come in handy until the enemy marksman has 2 or more core items completed. Consider switching Dead Man's Plate out for Randuin's Omen in the late game when you're already six items as Randuin's Omen provides significantly more durability.

Thornmail: Similarly to Randuin's Omen, this item is best purchased later on in the game. The reasoning for this is primarily due to the fact that Thornmail's passive's damage is significantly increased by how much armor you have already purchased. Typically, Thornmail will be the final armor item that you purchase.


Magic Resist

Locket of the Iron Solari: This is a great supportive magic resist item that sacrifices individual tankiness for a tanky aura that is shared with the team. I would highly recommend purchasing this item early on in the game if you are facing a double AP composition (e.g. Kennen Top, Brand Mid). However, this item should also be purchased in situations where you are facing a fed AoE (area of effect) mage (e.g. Ziggs). Ensure that you communicate with your support when you purchase this item because double Locket of the Iron Solari is not ideal in most situations. If you have a tank top laner, consider putting a higher priority on this item because it will be important to keep your carries alive in a double tank team composition.

Spirit Visage: Ideally, you would like to get this as your first magic resist item on Gragas for the extra healing from Happy Hour, and cool down reduction. This item provides Gragas with a substantial amount of health, magic resist, and cool down reduction. Spirit Visage should be your first magic resist item when it is neither the appropriate situation to purchase Locket of the Iron Solari (Not facing double AP or AoE Mage) nor the appropriate situation to purchase Banshee's Veil (Little benefit from spell shield).

Banshee's Veil: This item is spectacular on Gragas because the spell shield from Banshee's Veil allows you to engage without getting interrupted by a pesky crowd control ability. However, I would be hesitant about purchasing this item if you are against a team that can easily pop your Banshee's Veil, or doesn't necessarily have any important abilities that need blocking.


Damage

Abyssal Scepter: First of all, I would not recommend purchasing Abyssal Scepter unless you are extremely ahead, or you are take on the role of a secondary tank on your team. This item lets you output a lot more damage than Iceborn Gauntlet with the magic resist reducing aura. I would recommend this item if you are on a heavy magic damage team, or you are facing a large amount of magic damage.

Iceborn Gauntlet: First of all, I would not recommend purchasing Iceborn Gauntlet unless you are extremely ahead, or you are take on the role of a secondary tank on your team. This item provides a neat passive that allows you to perma-slow enemies and engage in very prolonged duels. The issue with this item is primarily that it sacrifices a lot of needed tankiness, and the only way to really make use of this item is if you are tanky enough to apply your passive multiple times in fights.

Rod of Ages: Compared to the other damage items you should consider on Gragas, Rod of Ages is a long term investment. It is extremely important with the current fast-paced meta that if you are going to build a Rod of Ages that you do so quickly so you can fully stack it. That being said, if you are considering purchasing this item, you HAVE to purchase it immediately after your Enchantment: Cinderhulk or Enchantment: Runic Echoes.


Other

Zz'Rot Portal: This item provides a good mix of armor and magic resist, and, in addition, it provides you with a placeable portal that summons voidlings to generate side lane pressure or help with sieges. Another added benefit of Zz'Rot Portal is that it provides you with bonus movement speed when near towers (i.e. provides noticeable movement speed when fighting inside of a lane most of the time).

Righteous Glory: This is a very strong item if your team has weak engage, or you are relied upon for engage. In terms of stats, it provides a decent chunk of health, but the durability it provides is lacking in comparison to some of the armor and magic resist items I've listed above. You should aim to purchase this item quite early into the game, but I would definitely not recommend purchasing it if you fall behind early on in the game.

Sightstone: This item is seldom used with the existence of the Tracker's Knife jungle item, but it is still a viable means to gain vision control if you have opted for either Stalker's Blade or Skirmisher's Sabre. If you do purchase this item, ensure that you upgrade it into one of its various upgrades later on in the game to make its slot more efficient. However, don't


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Jungling

General Tips

  • Always try to think at least thirty seconds ahead, so you don't waste time fumbling over what to do next.
  • Be careful about clearing the Rift Scuttler if your nearby lanes don't have enough pressure to cover you if the enemy jungler finds you.
  • Save your Smite for Crimson Raptor if you plan to gank soon after. The buff allows you to safely go for ganks knowing that you haven't been spotted.
  • Consider giving Blue Sentinel to your mid laner on your second clear.
  • You can use your Body Slam to stun the Rift Scuttler and do significantly increased damage to it.
  • Don't underestimate the power of using Smite on the Greater Murk Wolf . It's a great use of Smite if you are suffering from counter-jungling or if your team is simply being pressured around that side of the jungle.
  • Try to save a charge of Smite before ganking if you have opted for either Stalker's Blade or Skirmisher's Sabre, but don't underestimate the value of the Smite buff from the Crimson Raptor . The Crimson Raptor buff allows for one to make significantly safer ganks and counterganks.
  • Make sure you position yourself so all jungle monsters are hit by Body Slam.
  • All of Gragas's ability have a cast animation and thus it is best to cast them right after auto-attacking when clearing the jungle in order to avoid cancelling your auto-attack.
  • You can start on the top lane side of your jungle if your bot lane plans on starting a camp before they go to lane. If this is the case, simply follow the jungle route that you would normally perform on the opposite side (i.e. If you are on the red side and you start on the top side of your jungle, then follow the clearing order that you would for the blue side).


Blue Side Clear


Video Summary: Start with Hunter's Talisman + Refillable Potion. Head over to the Ancient Krug . Level up Body Slam. Have bottom lane assist you with the Ancient Krug and clear it. Level up Barrel Roll. Head over to the Red Brambleback . Consider using your Warding Totem near it to evade the level two invade. Clear the Red Brambleback , and head over to the Blue Sentinel . Clear the Blue Sentinel , and level up Drunken Rage. Head over to the Greater Murk Wolf , and clear it. Head over to the Crimson Raptor , and clear it. Head back to base, and purchase Skirmisher's Sabre (or your preferred jungle upgrade).
NOTE: Your clear will be significantly faster and healthier if you are provided a leash from your laners on the first camp of your clear.


Red Side Clear


Video Summary: Start with Hunter's Talisman + Refillable Potion. Head over to your Gromp . Level up Body Slam. Have bottom lane assist you with Gromp and clear it. Level up Barrel Roll. Head over to the Blue Sentinel . Consider using your Warding Totem near it to evade the level two invade. Clear the Blue Sentinel , and head over to the Red Brambleback . Clear the Red Brambleback , and level up Barrel Roll. Head over to the Crimson Raptor , and clear it. Head over to the Greater Murk Wolf , and clear it. Head back to base, and purchase Skirmisher's Sabre (or your preferred jungle upgrade).
NOTE: Your clear will be significantly faster and healthier if you are provided a leash from your laners on the first camp of your clear.


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Ganking

General Tips


  • Knowledge of the enemy jungler's whereabouts can allow for you to take more calculated risks, or potentially set up a countergank scenario. Tracker's Knife and Vision Wards are critical to establishing the vision control in order to find the enemy jungler's location to accomplish this.
  • Consider focusing your vision control around your laners that are most prone to being ganked. This will usually give you opportunities to countergank or just prevent the enemy's gank opportunity altogether.
  • Ask your laners for information on where the enemy has placed wards in order to make the stealthiest gank possible.
  • I would highly recommend communicating to your teammates with a significant amount of pings when you are ganking to ensure that they are on the same page as you.
  • Don't be afraid to gank a lane if you cannot kill the enemy. In some scenarios, it can be quite effective to gank just to pressure an enemy out of lane, or burn one of their summoner spells.


Who to Gank and When to Gank Them

Who to Gank:
  • In general, it is best to gank enemy laners who have limited mobility, low health, or are simply over extended.
  • Gank lanes that can snowball a lead efficiently. On the flip side, it may also be valuable to gank lanes to prevent an enemy from snowballing.
  • Be extremely cautious when ganking for a laner who is at a significant disadvantage compared to the enemy. You do not want to make the lane worse for them by losing in a 1 v 2 or a 2 v 2 scenario.
  • It is usually the safest idea to gank winning lanes because you will likely win a skirmish if the enemy jungler shows up.

When to Gank:
  • In general, you should gank when you and your laner have a noticeable advantage over the enemy laner and their jungler.
  • When you have the appropriate amount of health to survive the 2 v 1 or 3 v 2 scenario.
  • When either you or your laner has hit a core item power spike (e.g. Trinity Force on Irelia), and is definitively stronger than their respective opposition.
  • You should gank when you have a strong sense of where the enemy jungler is, or at least know that you and your nearby ally can win the potential skirmish.
  • Typically you will need to initiate the ganks (unless your teammate has a reliable crowd control spell). Try to engage the gank when the enemy is furthest up in the lane and ideally when the enemy has used a mobility spell (e.g. Living Shadow, Shunpo).
  • When you have knowledge that the enemy laner's Flash or alternative escape summoner spell is on cooldown.


Before Level Six

  • While approaching the enemy champion, begin charging up your Drunken Rage.
  • If you are in range for Body Slam, go for it. If not consider the possibility of Body Slam + Flashing or using Barrel Roll to slow the enemy. Only use Body Slam + Flash if your teammate can easily help you finish the enemy off during the duration of the crowd control, or if the enemy champion is fairly easy to gank when their Flash is down (Reasoning: They will likely have to Flash after you Body Slam + Flash.
  • If you connect Body Slam, use your Barrel Roll immediately after if you can burst them during the duration of the crowd control. If you cannot burst the enemy, then you should save Barrel Roll until the Body Slam crowd control has finished to layer your crowd control efficiently.
  • If you have approached an enemy from behind, don't use your Body Slam because the enemy will have to run towards you to escape or fight it out. Use your Body Slam once they gain some separation distance from you.
  • If the enemy champion Flashes your Body Slam (a common occurrence), throw your barrel at their Flash location and consider whether or not it is worth to pursue the gank any further.
Svenskeren's Gragas Gank (Before 6)


After Level Six
  • Charge up your Drunken Rage as approaching the enemy. If you are in Body Slam range, Body Slam the enemy and immediately cast Explosive Cask to knock them into your laner (assuming the enemy isn't capable of killing your laner). Be careful about using your Drunken Rage auto attack before casting Explosive Cask. There is a window where the enemy is able to Flash out before your Explosive Cask lands if you auto attack after Body Slam, but casting Explosive Cask immediately after Body Slam guarantees for the Explosive Cask to connect.
  • If you are not in range of Body Slam, you have three options: do the combo described above with Body Slam + Flash instead, go for the Explosive Cask to knock the enemy back, or Body Slam to get in range of tossing Explosive Cask.
  • Don't be afraid to use your Explosive Cask to finish off low health enemies.
  • In general, tower dives should only be performed when you have a significant advantage over the enemy lane and have the knowledge to execute the tower dive in a safe manner.
  • In most tower diving situations, either you or the support will tank the tower while allowing for your allies to exert the maximum amount of damage possible.


Ganking through Lane
  • The idea of ganking through lane is to simply sneak through the brushes in either the top or bottom lane and punish the enemy's aggression or engage on the enemy yourself when they get close to the brush.
  • An advantage of an in-lane gank is its surprise factor because this style of ganking is not all that common especially at lower rankings.
  • The primary reasons to lane gank would be if the enemy laner has warded the other means of ganking or if the enemy's minion wave is pushing. The reason why you want the enemy's wave to be pushing is due to the fact that the enemy will be forced to move up the lane closer to your location if their minions are pushing.
  • Execution of a gank through the lane is no different than what is stated above, but usually requires a little bit more patience then your standard gank.


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Team Fighting

General Tips

  • Body Slam + Flash is a very useful combo on Gragas, so I would advise you to avoid team fights where your Flash isn't up.
  • Ensure that you layer your forms of crowd control with your allies.
  • Don't underestimate the value of using Explosive Cask merely to disorient the enemy team's positioning. This is especially useful if you can prevent the enemy carries from being able to do damage for a couple seconds or more.
  • You can use Explosive Cask as a means of disengage if you don't want to engage in a fight at the moment.
  • Body Slam + Flashing on an enemy carry can be used merely to disrupt an enemy carry, or to catch them out when they misposition in the fight.


Initiation
  • When to Initiate:
  1. You are the only form of initiation on your team.
  2. A priority target (AD carry, or AP carry) is severely out of position (i.e. in range of Body Slam + Flash or Body Slam + Explosive Cask) and can be caught out by one of the methods below.
  3. You are facing a poke composition and you need to pull the trigger before you and your teammates are whittled down.
  4. When your full team is present, or you have complete knowledge that the fight you're about to engage has even numbers or numbers in your favor.
Xmithie's Gragas Initiation


Peeling
  • When to Peel:
  1. An ally on your team is strong enough that their survival in a fight is a guaranteed victory.
  2. If you aren't relied upon for engage.
  3. A nearby carry is suffering and you can do something about it.
  4. Your Flash is down, or you would have a rough time getting on the enemy back line.
  5. In the late game, even if you engage, peel back for your marksman as they are likely the strongest threat on your team.
  • How to Peel: You should stand between the enemy you are trying to peel off of your ally and your ally in order to block skillshots and force the enemy to path around you. In addition to that, use your forms of crowd control in order to keep the enemy off of your ally; however, don't forget that killing a threat is the best way to nullify it.


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Advanced Tricks and Combos

Standard Combos


These combos are the most important combos to know how to execute in order to play Gragas at a high level. These combos are best used in order to catch an enemy out of position. Thus, these combos are also very effective when ganking an enemy laner.

Standard Combo w/ Flash (Pre-6)


Standard Combo w/ Flash (Post-6)



Burst Combos

These combos are primarily seen when playing AP Gragas, but still have some uses if you are playing the standard tank Gragas. These combos are best used in order to finish off a low health enemy or damage them as much as possible. You will rarely (once every five or so games) find proper situations to use these combos, but they are nice to know.

Burst Combo


Burst Combo w/ Flash


Long Range Burst Combo


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Gameplay

My Gameplay


Introduction

Even though I am just a Diamond IV player, I can take pride in my mechanical skill on Gragas. If you are ever interested in watching some of my recent Gragas gameplay, simply head over to my page on Replay GG, a LoL replay website, and you will have access to replays for any of the match-made games I have played in the past seven days. In addition to being able to watch my recent gameplay via Replay.gg, I will try to upload some of the better Gragas games to learn from to my YouTube channel.


Pluckin Penguin's Gragas Gameplay
  • Patch: 6.3
  • Game Description: This game is a good example of Gragas's role as a disengaging tank against a team with heavy amounts of engage. When watching the video, please ensure that you turn on annotations for valuable commentary.
  • Link to YouTube video


Professional Gameplay

IEM San Jose: TSM vs LGD Game 1 (Svenskeren)
  • Patch: 5.21 (Before Pre-Season 6 changes)
  • Game Description: This game was quite sloppy by both sides from a macro stand point, but Svenskeren certainly showcases his ability to play Gragas throughout the course of the game.
  • Link to VOD from Svenskeren's Perspective

IEM San Jose: CLG vs UOL Game 1 (Xmithie)

IEM San Jose: CLG vs UOL Game 2 (Xmithie)


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Credits

Special Thanks To...

  • jhoijhoi: I made use of some of her wonderful templates from her guide about Making A Guide.
  • PsiGuard: I modeled a good portion of this guide off of PsiGuard's well-made Nocturne Guide, Haunt the Jungle.
  • utopus: For giving me a lot of constructive criticism to help improve my guide.
  • NCSU Team Alpha: For allowing me to perfect my Gragas play in a team environment.