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Graves Build Guide by Arfreezy

Jungle [11.20] Arfreezy's Comprehensive Guide To Graves Jungle

Jungle [11.20] Arfreezy's Comprehensive Guide To Graves Jungle

Updated on October 9, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Arfreezy Build Guide By Arfreezy 261 8 506,611 Views 17 Comments
261 8 506,611 Views 17 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Arfreezy Graves Build Guide By Arfreezy Updated on October 9, 2021
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Arfreezy's Featured Video
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Runes: Standard Fleet Footwork Page

1 2 3
Precision
Fleet Footwork
Triumph
Legend: Alacrity
Coup de Grace

Sorcery
Absolute Focus
Waterwalking
Bonus:

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist

Spells:

1 2 3 4
Flash + Red Smite
LoL Summoner Spell: Challenging Smite

Challenging Smite

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #30 in
Jungle Role
Win 52%
Get More Stats
Jungle Role Ranked #30 in
Jungle Role
Win 52%
More Graves Runes
>

Items

Starting Items (See FAQ For Red Smite vs Blue Smite)
Youmuu's Rush (11.17) - Use Electrocute Page

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

[11.20] Arfreezy's Comprehensive Guide To Graves Jungle

By Arfreezy
Introduction
Hey everyone, my name is Arfreezy. I am a S11 Masters Jungle Main, Twitch Streamer, and YouTuber that focuses on playing carry jungle champions and making educational jungle content. My champion pool includes most of the carry junglers such as Graves, Elise, Ekko, Kayn and many others. After season 6, however, Graves has been one of my main champions, and as of the last couple seasons he has been my #1 most played jungler in ranked. I have 3 main intentions for creating this guide:
  1. Creating a comprehensive guide for new Graves players that answers the most frequently asked questions.
  2. Giving current Graves mains a ways to improve by providing a full list of jungle matchups and how to execute those matchups at a high level.
  3. Creating the most exhaustive jungle Graves guide on Mobafire for S11 that provides information not currently available in other guides.
This guide will be constantly updated throughout Season 11 to keep up with balance changes that affect Graves so I hope that it may be a constant resource for you to use. I will also be testing out more builds as the meta evolves and grows and continually update the guide.

While this guide may give you a firm starting point to learn this champion, I always advocate that learning junglers is much more about understanding the macro game (pathing and decisions) than the micro game (builds, mechanics, combos). I do provide a Jungle Matchups section in this guide that will give you a general game plan versus most of the junglers you will encounter, but for a comprehensive understanding of jungle macro I recommend watching Graves Gameplay Videos with Commentary that will explain not only WHAT the correct pathing and decisions are, but also WHY those decisions are better than the alternatives.

The best way to improve your jungle macro is through VOD reviews. Either from yourself, or ideally from a higher elo player. I offer these VOD reviews free for new viewers to my channel in the form of Coaching Nights (viewer VOD reviews on stream). These Coaching Night streams are announced ahead of time on my Discord Server and anyone can apply to join. For viewers that have never gotten a vod review before, you will get automatic priority at the next Coaching Night. I have also done free repeat VOD reviews for many people to check on their improvement after the first session. Of course, the effectiveness of coaching will vary based on the compatibility of the coach with the student. Every coach has their own coaching style since there are a million different ways to present the same information. Here is a Coaching Compilation Video I made that shows how my coaching sessions usually go so you can see if this is something that might interest you: Arfreezy - Season 10 Coaching Compilation

If you find this guide helpful please consider checking out my Twitch Stream or Youtube Channel for more educational content where you can find tons of helpful Graves videos (among other carry junglers) that will give real examples and educational commentary that exemplifies the utilization of his powerful kit.

I am planning to make another jungle guide similar to this one for either Kayn, Elise, or Ekko. If you have a preference for one of those, please let me know in the comments below.

Comments, feedback, and questions are highly appreciated. Thanks for reading!
Champion Introduction
Abilities





Graves - The Outlaw
Ranged, Tanky DPS, Assassin, Skirmisher, Jungler
Ganking: Average- Graves has mobility and damage, but no hard CC to prevent the enemies from running and can only rely on a small slow from Smokescreen.
Dueling: Strong- Tankiness from E, kite potential due to ranged advantage, high dps, and Smoke Screen make Graves one of the best duelists in the game.
Farming: Strong- Farm speed is at the 5 Camp Level which puts Graves in the second fastest tier of farming junglers who are just slightly slower than the likes of Karthus, Fiddlesticks, Olaf, etc.
Scaling: Above Average- Graves doesn't have the best Absolute Scaling like Kassadin or Kayle, nor does he have the worst like Pantheon or Xin Zhao. His scaling is above average, but due to the powerful early and mid game, you should find yourself ahead of most other champions in the game and therefore experience strong Relative Scaling.

Jungle Trait Ratings:
All jungle traits were graded on a 5 Tier System (Weak, Below Average, Average, Above Average, Strong) with Weak being comparable to the weakest junglers in that area (e.g Pantheon's Scaling), and Strong being comparable to the strongest junglers in that area (e.g Elise's Ganking). The other ratings such as "Above Average" is the rating for junglers that are better than a majority of the "Average" tier junglers in that trait, but worse than a majority of the "Strong" tier junglers.

Terms Explained:
5 Camp Level - Junglers that can clear 5 camps before scuttle without a leash. It is important to note that although Graves is not at the fastest tier of farming junglers, the combination of being ranged, being able to dash through walls, and having strong dueling makes him a lot safer during counter jungling situations which elevates his farming trait to the highest tier.
Absolute Scaling - The strength of a champion at max level and items as compared to other champions at max level and items.
Relative Scaling - The strength of a champion at the current point in the game compared to the other champions at the current point in the game.
Strengths and Weaknesses
STRENGTHS
+ Ability To Farm Quickly And Healthily
+ Jungle Bully
(Is In Strongest Tier Of Dueling Junglers)
+ Above Average Scaling
+ Ranged Advantage
(Ability To Kite Melee)
+ Ability To Adapt To Different Comps
(Flexibile Build Paths)

Graves has a lot going for him in the jungle such as having a fast and healthy clear, strong dueling, and above-average scaling. It is not hard to see why Graves was S tier in S10 because these advantages are a combination that is strong in an objective focused meta and hard to find in the jungle since scaling champs usually have a weak early game to compensate, but Graves is pretty strong at all points in the game. Using this advantage, you can bully scaling junglers out of the game early by dominating early skirmishes and controlling neutral objectives like scuttles, drakes, and rift heralds. Against early game junglers you can play to outscale them through efficient farming and reactive play then match or exceed their pressure in the mid and late game.
WEAKNESSES
- Ganks Aren't The Best
Due To Lack Of Hard CC
- Struggles Against Armor
Stacking Teams
- Require's Lane Priority To Exert Pressure On Enemy Jungle
- Gets Outscaled By Scaling AP Junglers Like Ekko, Evelynn, Karthus

Graves doesn't have a ton of weaknesses which is why he was considered an S tier pick in Season 10 and likely will be in Season 11 as well. Some of the common weaknesses you will see brought up are weak ganks, which aren't a huge issue since Graves fits the farming/scaling archetype of junglers which isn't heavily reliant on ganking to get ahead, but rather farming, counter-ganking, and counter-jungling. Graves is notoriously bad against armor stacking teams since he is primarily auto attack based and physical damage which gets heavily mitigated by Plated Steelcaps and other armor efficient items. Graves has decent scaling, but is not considered a late game hyper carry when compared to AP scaling champions like Ekko or Karthus who can do much more in late game teamfights than you, but we play Graves to get ahead of AP scaling champs early, so if the game goes late than something else has gone wrong besides scaling.
Champion Abilities
PASSIVE
ABILITY
NEW DESTINY (Passive): Graves passive New Destiny is related to his unique auto attacking characteristics which require him to reload bullets when out of stored ones (he can store a maximum of two bullets). Your Quickdraw ability will return one bullet to you if you aren't at maximum already which is why in fights it is recommended to auto before using E so the extra bullet from E isn't wasted. Your E is also an AA reset which is another reason to auto before using E. Your auto attacks fire 4 or 6 pellets (non-crit vs crit) and function like a skillshot which can be blocked by minions or certain objects with HP such as turrets. Due to your pellets spreading as you are farther from the target, you will do more damage when you are closer to the target so more pellets can hit. This is especially important when you have crit chance, because the pellets have a wider spread during a critical auto which make it more likely to miss some pellet damage.
Q
END OF THE LINE (Q):As Graves, your Q ( End of the Line) will be your primary damage aside from auto attacks. End of the Line functions as a two part skill-shot. The first part deals damage in a line towards your cursor. After a slight delay the End of the Line will "detonate" perpendicular to the spellcast andreturn to you dealing damage along the way creating a 'T' shaped explosion. If you hit terrain such as walls, turrets, or champion created terrain with this ability, you can "detonate" it without the delay and have it immediately return after contact which creates massive burst opportunities since you can simultaneously hit the forward and return part of the spell (similar to Ekko's Timewinder). Use the slow and blind from Smoke Screen to make it easier to land this ability out in the open away from terrain.
W
SMOKE SCREEN (W): Smoke Screen is likely the most under-utilized ability in the Graves kit. It has a plethora of uses which make it extremely versatile and powerful. Having a ranged AOE(area of effect) blind at any location is great against champions like Jhin or Malzahar since they don't move during their ultimates and would have to stay blind to continue them since they can't move out. You can also use Smoke Screen to blind the enemy jungler during a dragon or baron contest so they can't smite. In 1v1 scenarios, Smoke Screen can be used to force enemy auto attack cancels or even ability cancels against targeted abilities which require constant vision to work like Kha'Zix's Taste Their Fear. The slow effect on smokebomb can also be used during ganks to slow the enemy as you are trying to get within AA range. Normally, it is hard to land End of the Line out in the open, but if you throw your Smoke Screen first to trigger a slow and blind, the enemy won't be able to see your End of the Line or Collateral Damage coming making it much harder to dodge those skill shots.
E
QUICKDRAW (E): Quickdraw is probably the most essential part of the Graves kit. You can abuse Quickdraw during your first jungle clear since Graves can stack True Grit up to maximum armor before the first scuttle fight and maintain it during any skirmish. The buff from True Grit is what made Graves such a problem in S10 for many junglers when there are a lot of neutral objectives to contest and Graves always come to these with an advantage. Graves can also acquire 2 stacks of True Grit when he dashes towards enemy champions. The cooldown of Quickdraw is lowered for every bullet hit (4/6 per AA, crit/noncrit) so critical strikes rapidly reduce the cooldown which is why Crit Graves doesn't build too much Haste. Since Graves has limited auto attacks due to his passive New Destiny, it is important to fully utilize both the auto attack reset and bullet reload properties of Quickdraw. If you E at the start of a fight, you will have to reload after just 2 auto attacks, and you would have lost an entire bullet worth of damage in that short time span. Since you only have 2 bullets, losing that extra bullet from E can at most be considered a 50% dps loss which is insanely significant (especially in the early game where a majority of your damage will come from auto attacks). Mechanically, this ability is what I catch most Gold and below players using wrong because they miss so many auto attacks in fights as a result of misusing Quickdraw. As a short range champion, it is also important to keep in mind that your Quickdraw is a repositioning tool as well as a dps increase. Rather than dashing directly in or directly out, practice dashing in diagonals which are a middleground between fight commitment and giving up easy kills by accidently giving your enemy too much space from you and letting them get away.
R
COLLATERAL DAMAGE (R): Collateral Damage functions as both a dash and a long range form of damage. This is useful for landing that final blow on champions that escape your auto attack and ability ranges due to high mobility and have a sliver of health remaining. This ability can also be used in close range to add to a close range burst combo along with End of the Line and an auto attack. When kiting melee champions you can use this as an extra dash in between Quickdraw cooldowns. Collateral Damage can also be used to dash you over certain size walls which can be a convenient form of escape. The most common mistake I have seen people make when using this ability would be to Collateral Damage a target before they are in kill range which would allow the target to get away since Collateral Damage will give your target distance from you which will most likely allow them to escape.
Skill Max Order
#1.
Collateral Damage

6 / 11 / 16
#2.
End Of The Line

2 / 4 / 5 / 7 / 9
#3.
Quickdraw

1 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 13
#4.
Smoke Screen

3 / 14 / 15 / 17 / 18
> > >

The skill max order for Graves is pretty straight forward. Collateral Damage and End of the Line being the primary damage abilities will get maxed first. Smoke Screen being cc and utility focused is maxed last which is typical across League champions. Quickdraw is maxed after End of the Line to reduce its cooldown and gain more mobility in the mid and late game.

The only variation to this as Jungle Graves will be whether to put a 2nd point in End of the Line or 1st point in Smoke Screen at level 3. The answer to this depends on the jungle matchup and your jungle pathing. If you are doing a full 6 camp clear before scuttle crab, you will hit level 4 before any fighting happens so you will end up getting your Smoke Screen at level 4 which allows you to put 2 points into End of the Line for a faster clear. If you are doing a typical 5 camp into scuttle pathing that can result in a scuttle fight, you may want to have Smoke Screen for the first skirmish which can be useful against certain junglers with targeted abilities like Elise and Kha'Zix instead of a 2nd point into End of the Line. The slow from Smoke Screen is also extremely valuable against melee champions whereas the 2nd point into End of the Line can be a waste if you miss the ability. Ultimately, the standard Graves first clear isn't really about speed because if you do it too fast, you won't be able to maintain stacks when scuttle spawns since you will be waiting for it so putting a point in Smoke Screen at level 3 is perfectly fine.
Summoner Spells Explained


SUMMONER SPELLS
-
*RECOMMENDED FOR NEW GRAVES PLAYERS*
FLASH: Flash is a great universal summoner spell that you can never go wrong with. While it doesn't have the extra combat boost of Ignite or Exhaust, it is much more versatile in that it can be used for offense or defense. Flash is generally better than the combat summoner spell options in the late game as well because a short range carry like Graves will have trouble reaching the backline in the late game without Flash.
IGNITE: Ignite is an alternative to Flash which amplifies early game power by giving you exceptionally strong dueling and skirmishing potential with an extra combat summoner spell. Nimbus Cloak and a 2 minute reduced cooldown as compared to Flash means you can take a lot more skirmishes early in the game and come out ahead thanks to the summoner spell advantage. Can be very useful to gain extra kill pressure on weak junglers like Zac and Evelynn or to deny healing from junglers like Fiddlesticks and Warwick. Thanks to Nimbus Cloak, it is possible for Graves to play without flash. Graves already has two dashes in his kit so he can make up for not having Flash by taking Phase Rush and running down the enemy champs.
EXHAUST: Exhaust is an alternative to Ignite which amplifies early game power by giving you exceptionally strong dueling and skirmishing potential with an extra combat summoner spell. Can be very useful against junglers that will "all-in" you with extreme burst such as Xin Zhao.
SMITE: Self-explanatory. Smite is required for all junglers.
Best Keystone

FLEET FOOTWORK
*RECOMMENDED FOR NEW GRAVES PLAYERS*
VS

PHASE RUSH
  • Better In Extended Fights
  • Powerful At All Stages Of The Game
  • Strong Versus Melee Champs Including Tanks, Fighters, And Assassins
  • Pick This When You Will Be
    Kiting The Enemy
Fleet Footwork may provide less movement speed and for a shorter duration than Phase Rush, but it comes with a heal and procs about 2.5 times as often in extended fights. While the quick burst in speed from Phase Rush is great for shorter fights that can end quickly, the cooldown on Phase Rush makes Fleet Footwork the better choice in longer fights. Fights are longer in the early game before anyone has damage items, and also in the late game when there are a lot of defensive items. This is why Fleet Footwork is considered the scaling keystone of choice for Graves. The frequent procs from Fleet Footwork help you when kiting melee champs during duels and skirmishes.

Due to its flexible nature, Fleet Footwork can be paired with both early (Lethality) and scaling builds (Crit or Bruiser). The Ignite Summoner Spell can be used in this setup if you want to have more early game pressure, but it is worse than having Flash in the later game because it is hard to reach backline in the late game without Flash. Usually you can opt for a tankier or better scaling build when you take Fleet Footwork so most of your late game teamfights will be executed as front to back so taking Ignite can be fine in certain cases.

The best primary rune options for Fleet Footwork are situational in every row. The options and when to take them are explained in the next chapter titled 'Non Keystone Runes Explained'.

For secondary rune options, you can situationally choose between Domination, Sorcery or Inspiration. The individual rune explanations can be found in the next chapter titled 'Non Keystone Runes Explained'.
  • Better In Short Fights
  • Very Powerful In Early And Mid Game
  • Strong Versus Ranged Champions And Weak Early Melee Champions
  • Pick This When You Will Be
    Chasing The Enemy
Phase Rush has been a popular keystone on Graves due to the necessity of early and mid game power for junglers to contest the high number of neutral objectives that are available in Season 10 and 11. This keystone provides a massive burst of movement speed and slow resistance which is an insanely powerful combo of stats early in the game when most champs have no boots and long cooldowns on their mobility spells. The extra MS and duration from Phase Rush as opposed to Fleet Footwork lets you chase down weak early junglers like Zac or Evelynn if they dare to come near your scuttles or dragons.

Unsurprisingly, Phase Rush is often paired with early game focused builds (Lethality) and taking Ignite or Exhaust instead of Flash to emphasize the early game pressure which can snowball into massive mid game leads and closing the game out. The movement speed proc is also useful for escaping after you have dashed onto an enemy carry to one shot them with the massive damage from Lethality + Ignite + Red Smite. Thanks to the massive slow resistance on activation, Phase Rush should also be situationally picked versus junglers that rely on slows to fight such as Olaf, Trundle, and Dr. Mundo.

The best primary rune options for Phase Rush are Nimbus Cloak, Absolute Focus, and Waterwalking (explanations can be found in the next chapter titled 'Non Keystone Runes Explained'.

For secondary rune options, you can situationally choose between Precision, Domination or Inspiration. The individual rune explanations can be found in the next chapter titled 'Non Keystone Runes Explained'.

OTHER KEYSTONE OPTIONS
(OPTIONS THAT ARE RARELY PICKED OR NOT VIABLE ARE NOT COVERED)

ELECTROCUTE: Electrocute was popular when jungle exp was higher and you could walk around one shotting people with Lethality build due to the natural strength of junglers being higher level than most people on the map. Although there is still a good amount of burst in the game, it doesn't happen without a kill lead anymore so the summoner spell of choice should be something that can get us that initial lead which are the movement keystones that cover the biggest weakness in the Graves kit (lack of cc so people can run away). Who needs CC when you can just run them down with damage and mobility?

DARK HARVEST: Same reasoning as Electrocute above.
Non Keystone Runes Explained

PRECISION
Precision should be taken as a secondary page only when you require tenacity from the runes because you can't itemize Mercury's Treads. You will run into this situation when you take Phase Rush primary and are up against a primarily AD team comp that has significant CC such as a comp like ( Riven, Skarner, Irelia, Ashe, Leona).

HEROISM ROW:
Overheal
vs Triumph
vs Presence of Mind
With Fleet Footwork as your keystone, you can take either Overheal or Triumph. Overheal is better for duels and smaller fights, while Triumph is better for team fighting. Typically, I will take Overheal and Legend: Bloodline for a really powerful and scaling crit/healing build that is powerful in duels and smaller skirmishes. If I am building Lethality or Bruiser, Triumph works well with Legend: Alacrity for better team fighting. You always have the option to take Overheal and Legend: Bloodline even if you are building Lethality in case you feel you need the extra defensive power versus assassins like Rengar or when the extra heal and shield will be useful against poke mages like Xerath or Karthus.

LEGEND ROW:
Legend: Alacrity
vs Legend: Tenacity
vs Legend: Bloodline
In this tier, any of the runes are viable. Legend: Alacrity is a great amount of attack speed that works well in all builds. Legend: Tenacity is a must take when the enemy is primarily physical damage, but they also have significant CC meaning you can't itemize Merc Treads so being able to get Tenacity here is extremely valuable. Legend: Bloodline is an amazing carry rune that scales well and synergizes with other runes like Overheal and Ravenous Hunter to create an extremely powerful Crit/Healing build (see builds).

COMBAT ROW:
Coup de Grace
vs Cut Down
vs Last Stand
For lethality builds, take Coup de Grace for the finishing power. Cut Down can be taken versus teams with 3 or more high hp members, or even against two hyper HP tanks like ChoGath or Sion. Last Stand has great synergy with the Crit/Healing build since you can heal while having high dps when enemies desperately try to finish you off.




DOMINATION
As of Season 11, Domination secondary is now the best scaling secondary page you can get (overthrowing Inspiration) thanks to the changes to Ravenous Hunter which allows Graves to get significant healing from this rune. You can choose between early power through Sudden Impact+ Ravenous Hunter or a slightly better scaling option via
Eyeball Collection+ Ravenous Hunter.

MALICE ROW:
Cheap Shot
vs Taste of Blood
vs Sudden Impact
Sudden Impact is the best option here thanks to the early power you can get.

TRACKING ROW:
Zombie Ward
vs Ghost Poro
vs Eyeball Collection
As a dps based carry, the best option in this tier is to take Eyeball Collection since you can stack it quickly on Graves and gain the extra damage it provides. The other two options offer better utility, but are harder to stack.

HUNTER ROW:
Ravenous Hunter
vs Ingenious Hunter
vs Relentless Hunter
vs Ultimate Hunter
As of S11, Ravenous Hunter is now viable on Graves and it is also significantly better than the other runes in this tier since it provides Omnivamp which lets you now heal from auto attacks and not just abilities. Graves typically does high auto attack damage regardless of the build so you will get a ton of value out of this rune. The crit build in particular is known to have large auto attack hits which will provide you significant healing when taking Ravenous Hunter.




SORCERY
Sorcery is taken as a secondary page when you want to take Fleet Footwork primary and still have significant early pressure. Runes like Nimbus Cloak and Waterwalking have high synergy with aggressive builds like Fleet Footwork + Ignite + Lethality build. Usually you would take Phase Rush if you wanted that much early pressure but there are times when you need Fleet Footwork such as when you are versus heavy melee comps, but you still want to bully the other jungler early since he is weak like a Zac for example. Fleet Footwork primary with Sorcery secondary and Ignite would be a good build in this scenario.

ARTIFACT ROW:
Nullifying Orb
vs Manaflow Band
vs Nimbus Cloak
Despite the nerfs, Nimbus Cloak is still a great option on a ranged carry like Graves since he significantly relies on mobility. There is also great synergy with Ignite which give you two procs of movement speed outside of your keystone that create an unescapable Cigar man.

EXCELLENCE ROW:
Transcendence
vs Celerity
vs Absolute Focus
Absolute Focus has good synergy with Fleet Footwork and healing builds in general, but when taking Sorcery as a secondary, Waterwalking is hard to pass up thanks to its extreme early power at scuttle fights. With Phase Rush primary, you can take both and pick up a rune like Ravenous Hunter to maintain synergy with Absolute Focus.

POWER ROW:
Scorch
vs Waterwalking
vs Gathering Storm
Whether you take Sorcery as a secondary page or primary page, you are most likely focusing on early game power. With that logic, Waterwalking is the most useful rune in the early game from this tier, but it is perfectly fine if you want to hedge your power curve by taking Gathering Storm for late game insurance.




INSPIRATION
Inspiration is usually taken as a scaling secondary rune page for Graves, but with the Season 11 changes to Ravenous Hunter, the Domination tree has become way too good to pass up for scaling power.

CONTRAPTIONS ROW:
HECTECH FLASHTRAPTION
vs Magical Footwear
vs Perfect Timing
In this tier, you can take Magical Footwear for free boots which allow you to spend more gold towards your mythic and hitting early power spikes sooner.

TOMORROW ROW:
Future's Market
vs Minion Dematerializer
vs Biscuit Delivery
Nothing here is really special for jungle Graves so I would avoid these runes when taking Inspiration secondary.

BEYOND ROW:
Cosmic Insight
vs Approach Velocity
vs Time Warp Tonic
Cosmic Insight has been the typical scaling rune for Graves along with Magical Footwear when taking Inspiration secondary. Approach Velocity has been used in very niche builds that chase down slippery opponents like Nidalee or Lillia, but I would recommend avoiding this rune since it requires an extremely aggressive playstyle with good map awareness and mechanics to fully utilize its potential. To deal with Lillia or Nidalee, you can take Blue Smite and opt for a better secondary page like Domination.
Best Mythic Items

IMMORTAL SHIELDBOW
*RECOMMENDED FOR NEW GRAVES PLAYERS*
VS

GALEFORCE
  • Provides 12% Lifesteal
  • Powerful Scaling Shield When Low
  • Mythic Passive Scales Well And Provides Needed Defense
  • 80 Total AD With Full Mythic Passive
  • Pick This Versus Melee Heavy Comps That You Need DPS To Cut Through
Immortal Shieldbow is a great item that provides excellent defensive tools for the crit build which has limited defensive options since 5 crit items are needed for the full build. The lifesteal, lifeline passive, and hp from the mythic passive are all utilized well by this high damage Graves build which requires opponents to focus him in fights. Compared to Galeforce, you are losing damage as well as a dash in the early game, but gain a lot more defensive power which will help a lot during early skirmishes against champs that have damage with no outplay (targetted abilities). If you are fed early and are looking to snowball versus a weak enemy jungler or are against a team comp that can easily be kited than Galeforce can be a good replacement.
  • More AD Than Immortal Shieldbow During Early Game
  • Extra Dash Which Can Be Used To Chase Or Kite
  • Bonus Damage From Active Helps Secure Kills Early
  • Mythic Passive Grants Movement Speed Which Scales Well On Graves
  • Pick This Versus Heavy Ranged Comps Or When You Want To Punish A Scaling Jungler Early
Galeforce has better early game stats than Immortal Shieldbow if you are looking to be aggressive. The active dash+damage can be very useful versus champs that are hard to catch like Nidalee, Elise, Taliyah, or Ekko. The damage on the active is also great versus champs that can avoid getting auto attacked like Jax ( Counter Strike) and Shen( Spirit's Refuge). After the buffs to this item in patch 10.25, this is a very competitive replacement to Immortal Shieldbow.


ECLIPSE
*RECOMMENDED FOR NEW GRAVES PLAYERS*
VS

DUSKBLADE OF DRAKTHARR
  • Provides Omnivamp
  • Passive Gives Shield + Movement Speed + Percent HP Damage
  • Mythic Passive Gives % Armor Pen Which Scales Well With Lethality Builds
  • Pick This To Win Duels And Small Skirmishes
Eclipse has AD, Lethality, Omnivamp as well as a passive that does percent hp damage as well as gives you a shield and movement speed. With such an overloaded kit, it is no surprise that this item was considered core for Graves upon the item release and had to go through numerous nerfs. Nowadays, it is still a strong pick compared to the other lethality mythics even though the numbers have been toned down. It excels in duels and smaller skirmishes which is basically the early to mid game. The mythic passive allows you to scale well with a lethality/armor pen build which can carry games.
  • Provides Ability Haste
  • Passive Has Invisibility + Damage With A Reset Mechanic
  • Mythic Passive Provides Ability Haste Which Is Good In The Lethality Crit Build
  • Pick This To Win Teamfights
The main appeal of Duskblade of Draktharr is the invisibility proc you gain after getting a takedown. This proc is very convenient since Graves has downtime in his damage curve due to reload and being able to go invisible during that downtime can be a huge win. Not to mention with Duskblade of Draktharr, you likely have a squishy build that will force enemies to focus you so buying an extra few seconds of survivability thanks to invisibility procs can give your team enough time to win teamfights. Early in the preseason, this item was far outshined by the greater versatility of the Eclipse kit which gave you omnivamp, movement speed, percent hp damage, as well as a shield in exchange for losing the invisibility proc which was well worth it. After the numerous nerfs to Eclipse, Duskblade of Draktharr is now a viable option if you want to get value in teamfights. The ability haste on it is slightly wasted since Lethality builds focus on burst rather than multiple spell rotations, but perhaps this can be utilized by going with a sustain or bruiser build with Duskblade of Draktharr as the mythic item (will test in future).


Jungle Pathing

BEST PATH: 5 CAMP TO SCUTTLE

IMAGE CREDIT TO WWW.JUNG.GG
Common Mistakes
1.) Ganking When Jungle Camps Are Up Or Ganking Too Much
As Graves in Solo Queue, you will want to play as selfishly as possible to ensure you can become the team's carry. Whenever you decide to gank when it is not 100% guaranteed to work, you are helping your team, but hurting yourself. The best way to play for yourself is to clear all of your camps before making a play. When you do this, regardless of the outcome of the play, you will be ahead because you have already captured the available exp on the map. If you go for a play while your camps are up, and the play doesn't work out, you will have lost in two fronts which will cascade your failure to become the 1v9 carry. Conversely, if you clear all your camps and make a play that succeeds, you will have an overwhelming amount of tempo that most jungler's wont be able to keep up with and often find yourself in a 2 or 3 level advantage to the enemy jungler if they aren't playing in a similar way. There are exceptions to this when a gank has a high chance of success (known as a high percentage gank). This can happen when the enemy laner is pushed deep into your side of the map and the enemy jungler isn't available to counter gank or is too weak to fight you. Plays like these should be prioritized over jungle camps.

2.) Dropping Grit Stacks During First Clear
Proper maintenance of grit stacks during the first clear is essential since it not only gives you a healthier clear due to the increased armor, but also allows you to have a massive advantage during the first scuttle since you will have way more armor than everyone else. Many games can be won at this first scuttle if the opposing jungler mistakenly tries to fight versus a full grit stack Graves resulting in one or multiple kills as well as a double crab start which will allow you to snowball over the enemy jungler for the rest of the game.

3.) Using Quickdraw Before First Auto Attack
Quickdraw acts as an auto attack reset as well as a way for Graves to reload a bullet in order to fire 3 auto attacks total before a reload. If you use Quickdraw at the start of the fight, you will waste both mechanics and suffer a massive dps loss. The significance of this is not to be underestimated because you will often see players like Tarzaned flash in order to get that first auto rather than dash before it. This is mechanically the biggest mistake I see from Graves players at Gold rank or below.

4.) Starting Ganks With End of the Line
During a gank situation when enemy laners will start running from you, it is best to hold your End of the Line until the enemies walk near a wall or their own turret which happens often. Use the terrain to get a bounce and hit both procs of your End of the Line. Because of the long CD on End of the Line during early game, you will only get to fire it once so firing it at the start of a gank will often end with you missing both procs of damage.
Jungle Matchups Guide: Early Game Junglers
For champion specific tips, see the Threats section.

KEYS TO SUCCESS
+ Pioritize Camps Over Low Percentage Ganks
+ Counter Jungle Often When They Gank
+ Abuse Lane Priorities To Take Dragon/Rift Or Invade
+ Counter Gank For Winning Or Even Lanes Only
+ Use Invades To Drop Deep Vision To Track Enemy Jungle And Ping Their Ganks In Advance

Early game junglers are junglers that have a significant power spike at level 2 or level 3 and will likely go for shorter first clears in order to opt for earlier ganks. For champion specific tips, see the Threats section.

As Graves your advantage on most early game junglers is your farming and scaling. In many cases, you will win in dueling as well, but 1v1's are rare ever since scuttles were created since now laners are more focused on river rotations for these mini objectives.

BEST PATHING: 5 or 6 camp clear to the opposite side from the enemy jungler
- The intent here is to do a larger clear which will allow us to scale and hit level 4 and avoid fighting against these level 3 power spiking champions. If the enemy jungler opts for an early gank such as a 3 camp or 4 camp start into a gank, you will have a level advantage on them after your first clear opening up counter gank and invade opportunities in the future. If you go for a proactive gank without knowing where the enemy jungler is, you put yourself at risk of getting counter-ganked and losing a 2v2 which early game junglers are often very strong in. This is the only way that an early game jungler can get ahead of you in the jungle which is why it is better to wait until you have outscaled them or until they make a play elsewhere on the map. Keep in mind that these early game junglers will create their own lane priorities through the first gank so regardless of your lane matchups, pathing towards the same side as an early game jungler will often put you in a disadvantageous situation at scuttle. You can scout the enemy jungler's start camp with either a level 1 ward, or by watching top and bot lane as they come to lane and see who leashes (look for missing hp or mana if both top and bot arrive to lane at the same time) *doesn't work in high elo.

GAME PLAN: Play REACTIVELY instead of PROACTIVELY.
- What this means is, prioritize clearing your jungle before making any plays on the map in order to scale. The early game jungler will be going for many ganks in the early game which will open up opportunities for you to gank the opposite side of the map, invade and take enemy camps, or start objectives. Playing like this will ensure you take something back every time the enemy jungler makes a play and you will have even map pressure with the early game jungler which is great since you are outscaling most of the time. Play like this until you have a significant exp or gold lead versus the enemy jungler and than you can switch to more proactive plays to snowball your lead. It is important to communicate with your laners during this early period by tracking the enemy jungler and pinging lanes back while you are playing reactively.
Jungle Matchups Guide: Scaling AP Junglers
For champion specific tips, see the Threats section.

KEYS TO SUCCESS
+ Use An Aggressive Build To Get Ahead Early *See Note 1
+ Track and Ping Potential Ganks *See Jungle Tracking Tips
+ Track And Communicate Around The Level 6 Power Spike
+ Look For A Double Scuttle Start *See Note 2
+ Drop a Yellow Trinket At The 4 Minute Camp Respawn *See Note 3
+ Create Mid Priority So You Can Invade *See Note 4
+ Counter Gank For Winning Or Even Lanes Only
+ Play Aggressive and Try to Force Skirmishes *See Note 5

These enemy junglers will all have a similar pathing and game plan which is to look for full and efficient clears and then making plays afterwards. Doing this allows them to hit their massive level 6 power spike as soon as possible while still applying some map pressure with plays that don't disrupt their camp sequencing.

JUNGLE TRACKING TIPS:
Since these junglers will play for efficient clearing, they have predictable pathing. After the first 6 camp clear there are a few scenarios that will play out, but I will list two common ones:
1.) they pathed towards same side as you: they will look to take scuttle on that side of the map.
2.) they pathed towards opposite side from you: See Note 2
After first recall they will most likely head to the side of the map they started on and look to clear again or go for a quick gank on that side. If they chose to do a 2nd full clear, they will look for a gank on the other side afterwards. These gank timings are common and you can abuse them. Their first ultimate is also very likely to be used on the same side they started on since they will hit level 6 on the second half of their second clear if all goes well. Use or create lane priorities to invade raptors or wolves and setup deep vision and simultaneously track the enemy jungler and apply pressure.

*Note 1:
These junglers will outscale Graves since they are designed around very strong teamfight ultimates usually. It is important to get ahead early and snowball your way to end game. The best way to do that is to take Phase Rush and Red Smite to run them down early while they are weak (Blue Smite is good versus Shyvana to chase her). You can also take Ignite or Exhaust for extra kill pressure early. The Lethality Crit build works well here since it has a powerful early game that transitions into a decent scaling build with the crit items you get later. If your team has good scaling and you can afford to sacrifice some early power than the Crit Healing build is an option because it turns Graves into a late game monster as well, but it requires a couple items before hitting large power spikes.

*Note 2:
90% of the time these junglers are doing a full 6 camp clear. After the first clear they will look for scuttle crab on that side of the map. As Graves you will have priority in this situation because you will get to scuttle first and with more HP. If you pathed towards your lane priorities than you should have an easy scuttle here. With mid lane priority you can then directly cross through mid and take the other scuttle as well provided they pathed towards your side meaning they didn't secure the opposite crab on spawn. If the enemy concedes first scuttle, save smite for the second one since it is highly likely they will contest that. As always, respect lane priorities. Conceding a scuttle is much better than dying to these scaling champs early due to laners rotating on you.

*Note 3:
The 4 minute camp respawn is the typical timing that the 2nd camp taken in the first clear will respawn (usually Krugs or Gromp). After the first clear, you can surmise where the enemy jungle started either by observing who leashes from bot or top or by seeing which scuttle the enemy jungle contested first. If you pathed towards the opposite side as the enemy jungler, then you can look to counter jungle the 4min respawn camp and drop a trinket ward their since they will definitely come there after first recall. Whether they choose to gank or to clear afterwards will be apparent by which direction they walk after they see their camp is gone.

*Note 4:
Since these types of junglers will rarely gank mid before level 6, you can easily create mid priority by ganking. Even if these ganks don't secure a kill you can help your mid shove the wave and rotate together into the jungle to setup vision and counter jungle camps which is critical against these ap scaling junglers in order to slow down their scaling.

*Note 5:
The best way to force skirmishes is around neutral objectives like Scuttle crabs, Dragons, and Rift Heralds because a lot of junglers don't have the patience to forfeit these without a contest. The second best way is around enemy jungle camps since it is hard for junglers to give these without a contest and usually laners will rotate to help and create a skirmish. Keep in mind these plays on work with lane priorities which you can create with a gank before hand on adjacent lanes or communicate with your laners ahead of time so they are prepared to rotate even without priority. If the other jungler never contests anything than it is likely your team is far ahead unless multiple lanes are turbo inting.





SPECIAL CASES

KEYS TO SUCCESS
+ Take Chilling Smite To Help Chase
+ Galeforce Is A Powerful Tool Vs These Slippery Champs
+ Follow The Same Tracking Tips As Vs Normal Scaling AP Champs

The main difference between these special cases and the regular AP scaling champs above is that these champions have a strong early game and are more likely to gank in the early game rather than power farm to 6. Since these champions have a stronger early game, it is important to play around lane priorities to get ahead and not get greedy during scuttle contests or invades if your laners aren't in a position to help. Follow the same tips like getting priority before invades so you can track the enemy jungle and prevent or punish ganks early.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question:
What Summoner Spells
should I take?





Question:
When to take Red Smite or Blue Smite?




Question:
Which Graves skin is the best?
Answer:
For newer Graves players, Flash and Smite is always recommended. The other options such as Ignite or Exhaust instead of Flash are open once you are confident enough in your mechanics and positioning to not get punished for lacking Flash. You also have to maintain good pathing to exert the extra pressure you get from having a 3 minute CD combat summoner spell instead of Flash meaning you should be taking advantageous skirmishes every time the CD is ready.

Answer:
On Graves, Red Smite should be taken in most matchups since you want the ability to 1v1 enemy solo laners which is difficult to do since they are usually higher level than junglers and naturally stronger. Blue Smite should be taken situationally in certain jungle matchups against slippery champions such as Nidalee, Lillia, and Ekko.

Answer:
The best skins for functionality due to smooth auto attack animations are Crime City Graves and Pool Party Graves . Be careful though, once you use these skins and get comfortable with smooth auto attack resets with Quickdraw, it is hard to use any other skin since they will feel clunky by comparison.

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide