Graves Build Guide by Jungle Angel
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+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
Champion Build Guide
[8.24] Smoke Em UpBy Jungle Angel
This build right here takes what I liked best in both the (Season 8) Dark Harvest Graves and the old fashioned Allrounder Graves (with Fleet Footwork, PD, Cleaver etc.) to merge them into a powerful new build that excels in Burst-Damage and DPS as well as movement speed and survivability.
So far I've played this build quite a lot in pre-season and had noticeable success with it in low/mid diamond. Screenshot 1 Screenshot 2
I don't know if this is the best build out there but to me it feels like the strongest out of everything I tried. This is just me sharing my experience with you.
FOR MY EXPLANATIONS ON ITEMS AND SKILL ORDER READ THE RESPECTIVE NOTES ABOVE
If you are new to the game and don't know how Graves works at all, just enter a training game, read his ability-tooltips and try everything out for a bit.
Passive New Destiny:
His "passive" is really just an explanation of how his basic attacks work. That's not really a passive. Pretty lame by Riot Games.
Q End of the Line:
If possible, try to hit a wall with it so the projectile comes back faster. Also, when you want as much burst damage as possible (e.g. while trapping in a bush) cast Q first and then immediatly basic attack after that, not the other way around. This will cause your basic attack to kind of cancel the Q animation leading to you dealing more damage in a shorter amount of time after revealing yourself.
W Smoke Screen:
While ganking this is a pretty neat tool for gap closing because it's slow is not to be underestimated. Later in teamfights try to throw Smoke Screen on the enemy AD Carry to blind him, causing him to panic and being able to deal less damage per second on your team. It's not uncommon for enemy AD Carrys to instantly flash out of your W when you hit them in intense late game teamfights.
E Quickdraw: This ability is my favorite. It can be used in so much ways. You can use it to travel over thin walls, you can dodge abilites, you can close the gap between you and your enemy or just kite back a melee while getting an extra slug to shoot. Also its passive helps a lot with taking less damage in longer fights or while jungling.
R Collateral Damage:
This ability is pretty versatile, too. You can use it to secure kills on low life targets that are far away or just to deal a lot of extra burst damage in close range situations. Also you can use the 300 unit recoil to travel over small walls in emergency situation, as well.
At the moment I mostly start with Red Buff -> Raptors -> Scuttle Crab (near your red) and then I just take what's left over by the enemy in his jungle before I farm my own. Pathing around the enemy and counterjungling his camps is the most important macro gameplay mechanic to get ahead as much as possible as Graves. This needs a little bit of practice, but on the one hand try to be where the enemy jungler is not so you can steal his camps on the other side of the map while on the other hand trying to be at the right place at the right time for counterganking when you see one of your team mates overextending so you can use enemy ganking in your favor.
Also picking up free kills on heavily overextending enemies in between farming should always be done, but the higher elo you play in, the lower gets the number of opportunities like that.
To conclude you can say that I prefer a play style that's punishing the enemies mistakes, especially the predictability of the enemy junglers pathing to get ahead instead of forcing risky plays offering outplay potential to the enemy myself.
There is nothing worse than doing a highly predictable forced gank in poor circumstances and getting punished for it.
If you want to watch me performing with Graves and other jungle picks, catch me live on www.twitch.tv/julerylive!