This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page
Gnar Build Guide by joelblack
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
++8 ability haste
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order Just be a normal person
Threats & Synergies
The Transformer is a pretty big lane bully. As long as you avoid his Q's, you'll be ok, but a good transformer will really abuse you. Taking the Mage runes will really benefit here, for long range poke and MS.
The only way you'll live against the previous TSM pro player is to avoid his pull. Early game pull means early game death :(. Pretty simple advice but he's high up on the danger list because if he DOES pull you, its game over.
Avoid the crab. His Q is a way better poke, and if he decides to all-in you, your toast. Your best chance is to just farm and jump away when he E's in. Give up
His laser is pretty easy to avoid, just don't be right in his face. Everything else is poo. Poke him down with Q and all in him when he's half health.
Really dependent on who gains leverage. If he gets good cs and/or kills you, you will lose all game. Take the all-damage runes and get a dagger early game. The key is to abuse tf out of him with W procs, then once he has low health, make sure he is near a wall, Mega Gnar in and ult stun him before he can ult and finish him off. Ignite is obviously best here.
ABUSE YOUR RANGE. Garen WILL try to bait you to run towards him, where he'll turn his Q on and buttfuck you. Keep your distance and poke tf out of him. Getting AS could help, but honestly just focus on the Titan build and get tanky. If you want to murder him, take Ignite, but if not just tele.
Jax is a mean boi. He will jump your ass and start his E to counter you. Even if you jump away, he still gets away with damage. Play the early game safe af until you get Cleaver and then once he jumps you, jump/flash away and chase his ass down. If he gets a powerful engage, you will prob die. But if you can jump away correctly and tail his ass, you can kill him. This is a true test of mechanics.
Just play safe. This rude ass bear is the perfect counter to you as a melee. He absolutely destroys you with his abilities and heals all his health back when you poke him. Pray for jungler.
Basically Jax but more damage and AS. He's harder, but the same strategy applies. Once he ballerina's in, jump away and chase him. A smart Trynd will slow you with W and then spin in, so keep your distance. As long as he doesn't get ahead, you will fuck him in the late game as Mega Gnar. Build tank and be safe.
Easy. Any rune set will work, but Mage runes work best. Start shield and just poke him with Q. Once he's even remotely hurt, like 60% health left, jump in as Mega Gnar and just wombo his ass. You will win. If you lose, don't play Gnar anymore.
Tanky AF. Just do normal tank build and chill. He can't do much unless you go in, and late game you will be a lot more useful to your team. Watch out for the new kamikaze Sion (He will kill himself by running to tower, for the goal of taking as many towers as possible.) Abuse this by getting a huge lead, and then roam.
Singed is cheese. Just poke tf out of him and let him throw you. His poison does shit in the beginning and literally standing still after he throws you lets you avoid following the poison trail while poking him to death.
He's like Sion, but actually useful. Your poke won't be as effective and his ult can be a real troll. Just be a normal good boi and build classic tank and you'll do well in end game.
All about distance. American Crocodile will fuck you as Mini Gnar so poke him down before he can attack you. Mega Gnar will be an even match against his ult, just stunlock him and as long as he's low enough, you'll win. Mage or Titan runes will do well.
Tanky as a bitch, with a ridiculous engage. Her base damage is pretty shit but if she gets her abilities off she will cunt punt you to death. You can either fight tank with tank or just be safe and poke her, but you won't get far. Go tank and keep your distance.
Sparticus can cheese your ass early game. Titan runes are your best friend in this matchup. Just avoid poke as much as possible and wait til 6 to jump his ass. Even with a kill or two lead, you can still crush him when you ult in. Don't let him get too far ahead tho, or he'll get all that scary lethality and murk your ass.
Good boi vs Dusty boi. Good boi wins. Your main priority is to abuse the shit out of this sandy dog so that he doesn't get Q stacks. AS early is recommended so your W can do all the work. Ignite if you really wanna turn this sand boi into glass. If he's a dumb boi aswell, you can kill before 6, but once you hit six, poke him down and all in on this bad boi.
This little monkey is easy as pie. Titan runes are a must. Just farm carefully and poke as much as possible. Pre-6, if he swoops onto you, just jump away and poke him, he will die faster than you. Post-6, if he swoops you, just ult him into a wall and destroy him before he can ult. Even while his ult is active, ult him away so he can't hurt you, then jump his ass when its over and rek him.
Camille is pretty easy pre-6. Her main poke will be to just W you while farming. Wait for her to use it and then poke the shit out her, making her E away and wasting it. If she does E at you, you can either dodge it before she hits you, or jump away after hitting you, letting you run away before she can proc her Q, then chasing her down and killing her. Her ult won't really matter once you start to get tank items.
Fiora's one of those champs where taking Exhaust isn't such a bad idea. Her poke is pretty menacing, and if she all-in's you and you don't transform in time, she will kill you. Titan runes are a must, and keeping your distance until your Rage builds up will allow you to disengage her all-ins and potentially kill her.
Gangplank will be Gangplank. Which means he will always poke the shit out of you with his Q. Patience is essential in this matchup. Luckily, he has pretty low mana/mana regen early game and won't be able to pick at you as much. His W will rid your first stun, to try to R him into a wall and wait for him to use his W, then use Wallop to stun again and get your damage out. As long as you wait for the right moment to go in and you get some pretty decent poke out yourself, you'll be able to all in him and kill him easy.
Illaoi is hard depending on your reaction time. Early game, you should be able to get some pretty decent poke out, but avoid her Q always. Titan or Marksman runes will do well, but depends on how comfortable you are in your reaction time and mechanics. Post-6 she can be pretty scary, but as long as you poke her down to about 50% health, you can all in her and get the kill. Ignite can work as well if you really wanna be able to kill her early game.
I don't think people play Jayce anymore, but I'll do him anyway. His kit is pretty good against you, but he lacks stats. He'll be squishy all game and his damage is pretty bad early game. As long as you dodge his little shit balls (hide behind minions) then you'll out poke him. When going all him, be really quick about it. If you delay your combo or are just out-positioned, he'll just wack you away.
Same as Jayce, not very common. You have an advantage early game because she has to waste mana to attack with range, while you have it naturally. Just juke her to activate it, then back away and poke her right when it's about to run out. She's only a problem because she can slow you and give herself MS to run away, so positioning is key in this matchup. Post-6 will be annoying because of her ult, so you can either poke her til she uses it, then go in, or wait til she has about 60% health then go in. Be wary though, if you go in, be fast about it. Try using R into a wall when your Rage is full then get your combo off, so she can't use ult.
Your best way to win is to be super mobile and use your E smartly. Poke him until Skaarl is almost dead. Once he is, thats your signal to all in. Once he dismounts, he has no mobility besides his Q, so make sure he's pushed into you so that he doesn't have time to run away to his tower. Basically don't let him engage on you by E'ing away and poke him until his mount is almost dead, then all in. Ignite can give you the upper edge, but risk losing mobility, which Kled has with his ult, so if you take it, make sure you get ahead by shutting him down for good and killing him repeatedly.
Champions like Malphite are the reason Gnar exists. Titan or Marksman work well, it just depends on whether you want to be a tank for the team or if you want to absolutely destroy him. Post-6, he'll usually be too tanky to kill in lane unless you play it well, so take this advantage to go roam and help the team.
Ornn is just another tank for you to shred. His Q is super short and super easy to avoid. His W is just a shorter version of Rumble's flame spitter, so once you see him activate his, jump away. His E is only useful if you are near a wall, so just stay in the lane and it's useless besides to try and lunge away. His R is harmless because it takes so long for him to actually use it, that it gives you time to run to safety. It's also a pretty good sign to you that his jungler is coming so if your unsure about killing him and he ults, run away.
Riven is only dangerous to your Mini Form. Keeping your distance is important and always be ready to hop away. Other than that, she's super squishy and whether you go Titan or Marksman, you will kill her. If she's just amazingly good, just farm and make sure he doesn't get kills or roam. Making sure you guys are even and she doesn't get ahead makes you beat her after the laning phase.
Pretty booty. The only way he can hurt you is if literally walks towards you, which lets you poke the shit out of him. Marksman is pretty good against him because you'll be able to kill him before he can even reach you, but Titan is also pretty good, your pick. If you really wanna ruin his day, Ignite/Exhaust will let you completely stomp him in lane, making him useless to his team.
While uncommon, if you know for sure they're sending a Yas top, you better be ready for a fight. His wind wall completely fucks you and prevents you from poking and his mobility lets him jump your ass easy. The only way of tossing his ass early game is to juke him with your autos to make him put up his wind wall, then poking him with Q when it's down. As long as he's actually hurt, around 60% HP left, you can all-in him as Mega Gnar and kill him.
Yorick is pretty difficult, no lie. You can get some poke on him, but if he catches you, he can ruin your day. Keeping your distance and saving your E when it's absolutely necessary will be the way to kill him. His wall thing is pretty easy to avoid, but if you get caught, only jump out if you need to. Being in his wall is a double-edged sword for him tho, because he has to literally run at you to do damage, letting you get a few W procs off, and if he's low enough and you saved your hop, you can chase him down and kill him. Just don't be stupid and you'll win.
Anyone really. Champs who can do any sort of CC is the best for Gnar. Slows, Stuns, Roots, even Silences all work in Gnar's favor. ANYTHING that can impair the enemy team will give you the upper edge when you all in them in Mega form.
Champion Build Guide
Besides Gnar, I mainly play Nasus, Renekton, and Jax, with a mix of others. I wanted to do a guide on Gnar because I feel that he's a really flexible champion in what he can build up to. Most other guides are the same thing repeated, because most champions only work well with these "certain OP items", where Gnar has a lot of possibilities, as in he can have a completely different set-up for each specific match-up. Plus, going between different rune sets and item builds don't hurt you, as long as you have a plan and play it well, so you're not restricted in any way to go the same build/rune set every game.
Obviously some builds and runes work best against certain match-ups, but using all three rune sets and builds against the same matchup can result in three different game outcomes, and that's what I love about Gnar.
If you know how to maintain your Rage and know when to go in, Gnar works wonders in team fights and more than not, will change team fights completely in your favor. Gnar has amazing scaling as a tank, with pretty decent offensive base stats, but his abilities skyrocket his damage output, with high scaling AS, percentage health damage, etc. If used correctly, Gnar is an unstoppable powerhouse and can completely turn the tides in fights.
This is your primary rune set that you will use most games. For these runes, we're focusing on purely tank stats with a side of attack speed. The point of these runes is to get as much HP as possible throughout the game, making you a walking Titan.
Grasp allows you to abuse your range for free HP, while also boosting your damage as Mega Gnar (Grasp gives extra damage based of max health, but its stronger for melee champs over ranged) and Overgrowth is essential because your gonna be pushing back the laner with range, allowing you to get that free perm HP. With the new changes, Demolish is our best bet since we don't have shields and Font of Life is pretty useless. Conditioning to buff tf out of your defenses even further. Alacrity is pretty obvious. This along with your trusty dagger will let you get some early AS, giving you a lot of damage (Especially against tanks). Last Stand is pretty unorthodox but it has a reason. All early and mid-game, you're gonna get shredded af since you won't have your tanky items yet and in either form during fights, you're gonna pretty much be on the verge of death. This lets you get some pretty decent damage out before you enter good boi heaven. This starts to happen less and less as time goes on and you get items, but Coup won't do much late game either. Last Stand is a better choice for early/mid game.
Using the basic item build (Randuin's, Spirit Visage, Locket/Gargoyle) works best with these runes, as these will make you the tankiest you can be, which is what these runes are focused on.
Mage is focused more on doing damage with your abilities while keeping a safe distance, along with some defensive perks and MS. Use these runes if you're going against champs who will outright destroy you as Mini Gnar, so you can do heavy damage to them before they can even touch you.
Aery is your main damage, stacking with your boomerang/boulder and doing some pretty good dang damage(I say damage a lot). Null Orb is the only useful rune in that category for Gnar, and you never know if you might need a MD shield (TEEMO). Absolute Focus for extra damage while above 70% HP. Celerity is a possible choice because it still gives us a hell of a MS boost that we need to roam with and get around but AF is better for lane. Scorch goes with your Aery, adding a little after-damage with your boomerang. I've been struggling with deciding which secondary perks will be best, Inspiration or Resolve. Biscuits will give you more healing since you won't have tankiness in the early game. Approach Velocity will give you a lot of chasing potential. Slowing with your boomerang will give you a huge MS boost so you can chase down baddies and will also help you keep up with baddies while you're Mega Gnar so you can finish them off if your combo doesn't kill them. If you feel that you need more protection, then you can swap the Inspiration runes for Bone Plating/Second Wind and Conditioning. Taking Exhaust with Mage runes will make you a lot more deadlier early game, giving you even more chase potential and cutting their damage and AS down by a ton.
Mage is more flexible in your build, because if you go tanky, you have a magic shield with Plating/HP regen and extra defenses, making you a viable tank. Where as if you want to go damage, Aery, Celerity, and Scorch all increase your damage input, making you more dangerous to both tanks and squishies. So Randuins/SV or GA/Maw work well with this, it just depends on which ones you wanna take.
This is a pure damage rune set. If you choose this, you'll be focusing more on damage and AS than tank items, making you a scary lil boi. You'll also want to be focusing more on roaming to help your team (Helping mid, teleporting, etc.)
Fleet because MS and that health to heal you from poking like a little bad boi. Triumph because duh. Alacrity, also duh. Coup so you can really shred them down. Coup and W passive really work well together. Cheap Shot so your Mega Gnar can do extra damage when you stunlock everyone. Relentless so you can roam and chase bad bois down. This rune set relies specifically on damage only.
I would recommend taking Trinity Force instead of Cleaver, but if your opponent or the enemy team comp is tanky, then you can take Cleaver instead. Mallet is still a must after your first item. After Mallet, focus on a good AS item, such as Guinsoo's or Phantom Dancer. This will make your damage absolutely insane because of how fast you'll be getting your W passive off. This'll also let you take full advantage of Cheap Shot while as Mega Gnar (Cause as Mega Gnar, you attack slow as ****). After that, finish off with GA and Maw (Which ever one you need the defense in first).
There are different strategies depending on each champion (Look at Threats) but the general strat you need to use as Gnar is to ABUSE YOUR RANGE. You have been giving the dogo boomerang for a reason, use it. On top of your farming advantage, use your Q to poke the enemy as much as possible. Your goal is to have a higher CS count while keeping your laning opponent's HP as low as possible.
The reason pre-6 is important is because failing to do that will leave you useless when you get to lvl 6. You want your laner to be as low as possible so that when you hit 6 and your rage is full, you can all in them at the right moment, securing the kill. Going in with your enemy's HP full won't kill them. You will just use all your abilities, including your ult, and then they will just flash/walk away because your slow af as Mega Gnar. Take advantage of the MS and range given in Mini Form and secure the kill as Mega Gnar.
Once laning is over and you've gotten Mallet, your main priority is to look for opportunities around the map to help your team. Gnar is unique because he does exceptionally well when helping others, rather than focusing towers or killing your own laner a bajillion times. Occasionally push top so that the opposing laner doesn't get tower, but roam around if you can and always be ready to teleport into a fight, and make sure you have Rage. You are the front line of your team and you do your best when you CC the enemy team and allow your team to kill them while soaking up all the enemy team's damage.
This is what makes Gnar, Gnar. While probably the most frustrating thing about him, if timed correctly, this can be a blessing of a passive. Timing is everything. Make sure you have over 50% when roaming and getting ready for a fight. In lane, if you're about to transform, bully the opponent away so that he can't freely poke you while in melee form. And if you have no rage, then abuse your range and poke from a distance. The point is to keep as much distance as possible and retain as much health in Mini Form, so that when you go in as Mega Gnar, you're at your best.
Q: BOOMERANG THROW/BOULDER TOSS
This is your *****. This ability is the reason why you are so strong early game. Despite the long cooldown, Gnar's Q is essential for you winning lane. Its a versatile tool that allows to you do a lot of things while being safe. Killing minions, poking enemies, etc. Always max this first (duh) and don't be afraid to overuse it. And make sure to always catch it or you're a weak boi.
The literal definition of a tank shredder right here. Hyper is what makes Mini Gnar soooo strong against most opponents. Whether they're tanky or squishy, W makes quick work of anyone, especially with the right items. Getting that early dagger is so important because this will make your W more powerful and continuously give you MS to chase your laner (or run away).
Wallop is your mini stun as Mega Gnar. The best way to use this is to ult champs into a wall or structure, and then line up your Wallop and stunlock them for an extra second or two. This will give your team (and yourself) all the time in the world to kill off whoever you just ****ed over and give your team the winning advantage. Also don't be afraid to stun your laner if you do transform, it could make them lose CS.
Hop is a super useful ability that allows Gnar to reposition himself when the going gets tough, or to jump over walls. This is a major ability that must be preserved against certain matchups, as it could be your saving grace. Also, when you're about to transform, using Hop will transform you automatically, going straight into Crunch.
Crunch is the Hop version of Mega Gnar. It's a shorter jump than Hop (Also, you cannot bounce off minions and champions while in Mega Gnar), but deals more damage than its counterpart. Our health build lets this ability gain a little more damage that could potentially turn the tides of battle, but it's mainly just a mobility skill.
Gnar's ultimate has so many functions, it's not even funny. Its main purpose is to throw enemy champions into walls, stunning them and doing bonus damage than its base, but it can be used a lot more than just that. In lane, if your opponent is getting a little too close, and the minion wave is about to die, ult the champion TOWARDS your tower and then stun them with Wallop under tower, giving you a free early kill.
You can also push them in dangerous directions, such as towards other allies abilities or even push the whole enemy team AWAY from your team if they're getting the upper hand. The best way to use this ability is to be creative, and always be aware of your surroundings. You never know when there could be a wall or structure nearby that you can use to your advantage.
In the next pre-season patch, there will be a decent amount of changes that will affect how Gnar will be built.
For items, Guinsoo's Rageblade is getting a change in passives. In the pre-season, Guinsoo's wll change from having extra damage each consecutive hit to armor and magic pen at a fixed rate (6 +0.5% per champion level). Instead it will be set passive of 15 damage on hit. With this change, we could see a potential Black Cleaver + Guinsoo's instead of Mallet for extra tank shredding. D-shield will also see a change, where instead of 20 HP regen per 10 seconds when taking damage, it will now be 30 HP per 10 seconds, based on percent missing health. This will make its early game more useful, giving more health the lower you get, but wont let you go higher than usual.
As for Runes, Fleet Footwork is getting a change. Instead of healing you for 3-60(+30% bonus AD), this will change to 3-60(+0.3 bonus AD). What this means is you will get less health early on in lane, but will still be effective later game. Celerity has also gotten a huge change. Instead of giving you 1.5% extra MS, it now makes all bonus MS 8% more effective, but have ridden the extra damage based on your MS. This means you'll be a lot faster when roaming, but no more extra damage for getting MS.
The Resolve tree has gotten the biggest change, which will affect us the most. Rito has now replaced Bone Plating in the tier 1 runes with a new rune called Shield Bash. I would explain it but it is completely useless to us, as it only affects champions with shields. Bone Plating instead has been moved to tier 2, with the removal of Chrysalis. This puts you in a predicament to choose either Bone Plating or Second Wind, instead of having both, but Bone Plating got buffed because of this. Instead of 15-40 less damage the next three spells or attacks after taking damage, they increased it to 25-50. With these rune changes, taking Demolish as our first tier rune could completely change how Gnar will work in the mid-game. This will force us to interact with the team more, making use of Demolish and pushing lanes. This WOULD be a bad thing, but we already focus on the play style of roaming and helping the team, so this change will help our mid-late game, but make us a little weaker in the laning phase.
Overgrowth has also gotten a huge buff, which is excellent for us. Instead of only increasing our max health by 0.2% per 8 minions, we now get 3 max HP per 8, with an additional 2.5% max HP after 120 minions. This gives you two different play styles now in the mid-game. As explained with Demolish earlier, we now have the choice of staying in our own lane and gaining HP while also taking towers. This gives us a choice depending on the situation. If our team is at a stale mate or losing, we could make use of Demolish and help the team while shoving mid or wherever, giving our team a huge advantage. If our team is winning however, we can now stay in our lane all mid-game and not only continuously increase our max HP, but also apply a massive amount of pressure in the top lane, allowing our team to grab objectives and take other lanes.