Graves Build Guide by KingStix
[11.1] Graves Jungle Guide - KingStix
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Runes: Carry/1v1 Graves
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order Always
Threats & Synergies
Nunu & Willump
Champion Build Guide
A Challenger Jungler (NA), YouTuber, and Twitch Streamer
Hello! Welcome to my Graves guide. My name is KingStix and I'm a challenger jungler on NA. I play a variety of jungle champions and make educational League of Legends content to help players improve their skills and climb the ladder. I'm constantly updating my guides to bring you guys the most up-to-date information to help you carry your game. I really hope your enjoy this guide, and if you have any questions please leave them below in the comments so I can help you out.
Thank you for checking out this Graves guide. If you would like to check out more of my educational League of Legends content, you can find me on YouTube and Twitch.
Graves is a short-ranged AD jungler that has been one of the strongest and most played junglers for a while now. He's pretty much only played in the jungle because his range is too short to play in the bot lane as a true ADC. Graves is an early game champion that shines in 1v1 or 2v2 scenarios. He can dominate other junglers early game (especially if they are late game champions or AD champs) and put a lot of pressure on the map early. With this champion, you need to be able to snowball a lead and end the game quickly.
Graves is a relatively easy champion. However, you do need to be able to move & shoot (kite) so I wouldn't recommended him for people who are new to the game. One thing that makes him not-so-difficult to play, is that Graves pushes the monster camps back when he autos them. This makes clearing your camps really simple as you avoid taking a lot of damage regardless of skill. I'd say he's best for gold and up players as you need to be able to end the game quickly since Graves falls off pretty hard late game.
When to Pick Graves
Graves isn't a bad first-pick option since he's not easily punished by other junglers. However, he is best picked when the enemy team is primarily melee or primarily AD. It's also a great pick after you see the enemy team has already locked in a weak early game jungler. More importantly, you should have at least 1 AP champion on your team for the mixed damage.
New Destiny (Passive)
Graves can use 2 auto attacks before he has to wait while reloading his shot gun. If he is sitting on 1 bullet, the other will reload back as well. The time it takes for his autos to reload will decrease with his level and bonus attack speed. His shotgun has 4 pellets which means 2 things-
1. Graves' auto attacks are AOE.
2. The closer you stand, the more damage you will deal because more pellets will land.
*Critical strikes increase your pellets from 4 to 6.
*Monster camps & minions are knocked backed by autos.
*Pellets deal 25% less damage to turrets.
End of the Line (Q)
COST: 60 mana
COOLDOWN: 12-8 seconds
|Graves fires a T-shaped ability that deals AD and leaves a trail that explodes after 2 seconds (.25 if hitting terrain) dealing AD damage.|
Smoke Screen (W)
COST: 70-90 mana
COOLDOWN: 26-18 seconds
A smoke canister that deals AP damage and slow enemies by 50% for 0.5 seconds. Most importantly, it applies an effect called nearsight where the enemies sight radius is significantly reduced for 4 seconds or until they leave the circle.
This ability is super powerful against champions without mobility because they are stuck in the Smoke Screen for longer- unable to escape quickly.
COST: 40 mana
COOLDOWN: 16-12 seconds
This is Graves' dash ability. It is also resets auto attacks and reloads 1 shell/auto attack.
*The cooldown on this ability is reduced by half a second for every pellet that hits an enemy.
TRUE GRIT: This is the passive part of this ability. Graves gains a bonus armor stack (up to 8) when using this ability and 2 stacks when dashing into an enemy.
Collateral Damage (R)
COST: 100 mana
COOLDOWN: 120-60 seconds
|Graves fires a long-range explosive shell that deals AD to all enemies hit. Once this ability hits a champion or reaches max range, the shell explodes and deals 80% of the damage in a cone but the same champion cannot take damage twice. This ability also knocks Graves backwards so you should only be using it as a last resort if you cannot chase down the enemy.|
+ High-Mobility with his E
+ Super strong 1v1s
+ Super strong early game
+ Strong vs AD-heavy comps
+ Easy to clear camps
+ Strong tower-dive potential with bonus armor
-Auto attacks can be blocked
- Falls off late game
- Weak vs AP-heavy comps
- Weak vs long-ranged comps
- No hard CC for ganks/team fights
- Ugly champion lol
|Smite is a must-have on every jungler to clear the camps and get full XP.|
|Flash is great for dodging abilities, getting yourself out of a sticky situation, or even using offensively to chase down an enemy. However, taking flash is not necessary on Graves as his E Quickdraw allows him to be pretty mobile and get in & out of situations and even dash over walls. I'd recommend Flash when the team comps aren't ideal (if the enemy team heavily out-ranges you or your team has no front line).|
|An amazing thing about Graves is that he is one of the few junglers that has the option to take Ignite. This will allow you to have even stronger 1v1 potential and stronger ganks. Phase Rush + Ignite is a really strong combination on Graves for getting a lead and snowballing the game. It does, however, get increasingly risky as the game goes on and death timers get longer.|
PAGE 1: This Phase Rush rune page is currently the most optimal on Graves. The Phase Rush, Nimbus Cloak, and Waterwalking all allow him to easily chase down enemies or even run away if needed.
*Tips: Nimbus Cloak is even stronger for fighting with Ignite than Flash since it is on a shorter cool down but less optimal for escaping. If you cannot Smite an enemy champion, don't forget you can still Smite a monster or minion to get your Nimbus Cloak speed up.
Triumph will allow Graves to stay in fights longer and Legend: Alacrity synergizes well with Graves kit since it gives bonus attack speed which reduces Graves' reload time on his auto attacks.
PAGE 2: This Fleet Footwork page isn't as ideal on Graves but at times might be the better option if the team comps call for it. I'd recommend going this page if your team has no frontline and it looks like it will be a difficult game to survive the team fighting. Fleet Footwork should help keep you alive longer to deal more damage but overall is not the stronger page for carrying games on Graves.
Trinity Force is currently the best mythic item on Graves.
This is the strongest legendary item on Graves. The lethality it gives is very strong early game to tear apart champions before they build any armor. The active on this item is also very good for Graves- it gives a speed up and ability to move through units for 6 seconds which can help Graves stay on the enemy since he deals more damage up close and being able to walk through the minions will help him negate his attacks being blocked by them.
VS TANKY TEAM
Black Cleaver is not the strongest, most ideal build path for Graves but if you're playing VS a tanky enemy team comp, I'd say this is your best option instead of the Youmuu's Ghostblade.
These aren't the best boot options on Graves since his passive already gives armor. However, it could still be a good buy into an enemy comp with multiple ADCs.
Mercury's Treads will be your best bet for most games as they help you survive longer with their tenacity and give you some magic resist since Graves doesn't already have MR built into his kit like he does armor. These are a must buy into comps with heavy CC.
I'd recommend these boots into team comps with little CC (where Mercury's Treads wouldn't be the better option.)
4th, 5th, & 6th OPTIONAL ITEMS
Duskblade of Draktharr
This is another lethality item that you could build on Graves that is great into squishy team comps. However, something to keep in mind is that lethality doesn't scale well into the late game so going this route would be looking to end the game really soon. The passive on this item deals more damage to an enemy after being unseen for at least 1 second. If you build this, try to utilizes bushes when possible.
Unlike building more lethality, this is a better option for scaling. The critical strikes it gives will allow you to do more AOE damage. You will gain movement speed and be able to move through units.
This isn't the same broken item it was last season, but it still allows you to take damage over time instead of all at once. You get healed & bonus movement speed when you kill an enemy champion. This item now only gives armor (instead of magic resist too) so I'd say it would be good into a full AD comp.
Blehhh. All that healing drives me nuts too. This item is what Executioner's Calling builds into. There's so much healing in League of Legends that you might find yourself building this often. There's not only champions that heal like Soraka, Vladimir, Warwick (and many others) but there's also items and runes that heal as well- Conqueror, Triumph, Death's Dance and more. This is a great buy to counteract all that healing- even if your ADC buys it, if they die in the fight you may no longer have a way to deal with the healing.
Another critical strike item that is better than lethality for the late game with the bigger AOE auto attacks. I'd buy this if you're carrying, and there's no high threats of dying, so you can push your lead.
Graves has a lot of clear route and ganking options because he is able to gank at level 2 and has a healthy clear. Below are 3 options that you could use on Graves jungle. TO CLEAR CAMPS: Level 1- start E Quickdraw and make sure to use it when you still have 1 bullet up so you have 2 autos. Once you are level 3+ the combo is auto > auto > Q > E.
5 CAMP CLEAR
The first option is a 5 camp clear, skipping gromp, where you can start on either side of the map. This is a less risky option that allows you time to gank & still be here in time for the scuttle crab.
This next option is what is referred to as "vertical jungling". You will take your red buff and go straight to their blue. You should take this route against weak early game junglers such as Evelynn, Amumu, or Dr. Mundo. You will be able to easily 1v1 them.
LVL 3 INVADE
This last option I'll be listing is a level 3 invade on the enmy jungler. You do double buffs, gromp, invade. You will still have time to gank after this and be to scuttle as it spawns.
*Scuttle crabs now have a shield that is broken upon CC. Graves can break this shield with just his auto attack since it knocks back camps.
Graves has a lot of options when it comes to ganking since he has multiple different route options and can gank as early as level 2. However, because he has no hard CC and needs to get close to the enemy to deal a lot of his damage, ideally you want to come in from behind the enemy to run them down.
USING E IN A GANK
You may want to use an auto attack with red buff to slow the enemy then run up closer/E Quickdraw in. You will now have both auto attacks up and you will be right on top of the enemy so you can deal more damage. Alternatively, if you don't need to slow the enemy and can just walk them down- save your E Quickdraw for when they Flash away if their Flash is up (or if they have a dash in their kit).
USING W IN A GANK
If you're level 3+, you should have your W Smoke Screen. You should use this ability immediately if you think the enemy champion has their abilities up or if you are walking into a close fight so you can protect your laner. If you're walking in for the gank and saw the enemy JUST used their abilities and are now on cool down, you can save your W Smoke Screen for the slow as they are starting to walk out of range.
USING Q IN A GANK
Graves has to stand still to cast his Q End of the Line. So you will want to run down the enemy before using this ability. Since you can only use this once in a gank anways, it's often better to save it for when the enemy leaves your auto range or when they are CC'd.
End of the Line deals more damage when it denotates, it is ideal that the enemy is against any terrain or CC'd. The shot will detonate nearly immediately if it hits terrain and the enemy will likely be unable to dodge it.
TIP* Make sure to use your Oracle Lens when it's up as you're going in for a gank. It will disable wards. If the enemy is paying close attention, they will notice but especially in lower elo- there's a good chance they didn't see and you can keep walking in for the gank without attacking the ward. If it's obvious they spotted you and are running away then just clear the ward instead.
WHICH LANE TO GANK
It is best to gank laners that have CC or the enemy might slip away. While you're loading into the game, get a good idea of what might be your best bet for ganking depending on who your teammate's champions are and the enemy champs. Slippery champions like Akali may end up just wasting your time. It's best to gank enemy laners that have low mobility.
TIP* Remember to push out the wave after your gank so you can get the XP and the enemy will lose gold/XP as their minions die to tower.
Graves can easily solo dragons because they deal physical damage and Graves gets bonus armor with his E Quickdraw passive. If an enemy champion comes, you might be able to peel off dragon and fight them if they are also deal physical damage since your armor stacks will be up from fighting the dragon. Go for dragons when you see the enemy jungler top, after a successful gank & when your lanes have priority. The first Rift Herald spawns in at 8 minutes. You will want to take this objective too, it is a lot better than the 2nd Rift because there is still turret plating gold. If you can kill an enemy laner and use Rift, that laner will now be able to roam and that's how you get the game snowballing.
Team fighting isn't ideal on Graves unless you're ahead. If you are behind, you should wait until the enemies mess up- overstay, bad tower dive, chasing, etc. In the meantime, you should be power farming and taking any chance you can to go farm the enemy jungler's camps when you see them on the other side of the map. Since Graves can clear so quickly, you can likely make a comeback in the mid game.
If you are ahead and team fighting, you want to hold onto your E Quickdraw for the biggest CC threats on the enemy team. Once those threats have already been used, you should be safe to go in on the enemies using your Q's End of the Line and auto attacks. Your W Smoke Screen has a long cool down and should be used strategically. It's best to put it on a carry with no mobility. It is also best used defensively.
*TIP* You can use Q flash and R flash. Practice this in the training tool!
To end the game quickly on Graves, you will want a lead in the early game by doing the things discussed previously- invading, ganking, and early objectives- especially Rift Herald for turret plating, full turrets, and map control. If you didn't have the lead the in the early game, hopefully you were able to farm up and pick up momentum in the mid game. Getting dragons on spawn will lead to an early dragon soul which would likely make your team unbeatable in team fights. Getting turrets will allow your teammates to roam and keep pushing their lead.
Look to take turrets with your team for more map pressure. Force the enemies to come to you or surrender their objectives and the game will be won. The outer tier turrets are the easiest to take so don't risk going to their base when the enemies are alive when you can just get an outer turret instead.