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Graves Build Guide by Sneakycastro

AD Carry Dead...or About To Be

AD Carry Dead...or About To Be

Updated on January 9, 2013
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sneakycastro Build Guide By Sneakycastro 48 6 230,219 Views 37 Comments
48 6 230,219 Views 37 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Sneakycastro Graves Build Guide By Sneakycastro Updated on January 9, 2013
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LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


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Jungle Role
Ranked #34 in
Jungle Role
Win 49%
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Jungle Role Ranked #34 in
Jungle Role
Win 49%
More Graves Runes


Dead...or About To Be

Hi, I'm SnEaKyCaStRoO and I'm the AD Carry for Team Pulse eSports. Before that, I was part of top teams like Ordinance Gaming and Absolute Legends. I'd like to show you how I play Graves.

Graves is an AD Carry that has great burst and utility. He can be picked against any bot lane combination and work well against them. In the right hands, he can single-handedly carry a team. He has a great escape with Quickdraw (E) that also increases his attack speed, a great burst combo, and a nice utility skill for many situations with his Smoke Screen (W). His burst can tear multiple enemies apart, leaving your enemies Dead...or about to be

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... Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

I run pretty standard AD runes. The AD marks are mostly for a better early game like for the last hitting, and helping jungle, or even doing double golems with your support. Team play is really important so in the early game AD runes help you out more in various situations. Strong early game gives you an easier time transitioning into middle and ultimately late game.

The rest of it is pretty standard as well. Armor seals because you're going to be up against another AD in your lane, plus if you're trading early you don't want to feel any sort of harass with your lane opponents' auto attacks. And, who can forget the feeling of being unlucky and having to deal with minion aggro?

The Magic Resist glyphs are if you expect to take a lot of damage from enemies with strong magic damage early game. They give the best MR at the start, but if you expect to be up against a different combination, scaling MR can better help.
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Early Game

Starting Long Sword is probably the best start. It starts you towards the sustain you need in lane. It's not as brutal to get life steal early/mid game and gives you the damage of a doran's blade start while providing you with the ability to buy two health potions. On every recall to fountain during laning phase/first 15 minutes you should be picking up at least two Health Potion. If you find yourself in constant trades you should also consider picking up a Mana Potion as well.

Next Buy

With the recent change to all base movement speeds, it's not as necessary to start boots and three pots anymore. I only pick up boots early game if I have enough gold to buy a Vampiric Scepter and Doran's Blade as well. If not, I generally buy them after I have completed my Bloodthirster

Mid Game

The goal for items by mid game or about the 20 minute - 30 minute marks is to have Bloodthirster, Statikk Shiv, and either a finished Last Whisper or a Pickaxe towards one. Anything under that and you're probably not going to be very useful at this stage of the game.

Single Target Burst or Stronger AOE Presence?

Your next item will normally be a decision between these two. Get the Infinity Edge if you want to focus more on bursting down single priority targets or if the pace of the game dictates anything other than team fighting.

I really love getting Runaan's Hurricane sometimes though. It synergizes so well with your Quickdraw because it applies on hit effects multiple times so you almost always get multiple resets on it. This keeps the Attack Speed steroid you get from the skill always up, and keeps the door open for you to be mobile if you need to be. On top of this, it charges up Statikk Shiv three times as fast as well as just doing more AoE damage. Both items combined are really fun :)

Late Game (Your Defensive Item)

Anything past the 35 minute mark and you should have at least 5 items while working on your 6th. The main decision here is between Guardian Angel and Mercurial Scimitar. To help you better decide, there are two questions to ask yourself.
  • What is the enemy's main source of damage killing me?
  • Is there anything that stuns and locks me down?
If the answer to the first question is an AD assassin, you should be buying Guardian Angel. If the answer is a non stunning AP nuke champion, you should be buying Guardian Angel. But there are a lot of other factors as well. Having any guaranteed stuns indicates a need for Mercurial Scimitar such as if you are against a Taric or Amumu and if you aren't already running cleanse. Even with cleanse you should buy Mercurial anyways against those considering the cooldown on Mercurial is lower than cleanse and Mercurial also clears any debuff not just stuns.

Other than the choice between what defensive item you want the builds are pretty straight forward. Not much has changed other than the addition of Runaan's Hurricane and the upgrade for Quicksilver Sash to make it better late game.
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Skill Sequence

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

True Grit (Passive)

Graves gains 1 / 2 / 3 bonus armor and magic resistance every second he remains in combat. This bonus stacks up to 10 times. Graves is considered in combat if he has dealt or received damage in the last 3 seconds.

Awesome passive, especially for the early game. Makes it that much easier for you to win any trades you decide to get into. The passive builds up the more you're in combat, so just farming minions will build it. Don't be afraid to play aggressive, this passive combined with your burst give you a really good lane phase that people are afraid of. Take advantage of this.

Buckshot (Q)

Graves fires three bullets in a cone, dealing 60 / 95 / 130 / 165 / 200 (+0.8 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to all enemies in their path. Enemies at close range can be hit by multiple projectiles, but each bullet beyond the first will deal only 35% damage up to a maximum of 109 / 173 / 237 / 301 / 364.5 (+1.5 per bonus attack damage) physical damage.

A great skill that should be maxed first. This is the skill that makes Graves so good at wave clearing, and what makes him so scary to go up against in the lane. The enemy AD Carry trying to run up on you? BAM! Buckshot to the face.

It's important to keep in mind that this skill does more damage up close.

Smoke Screen (W)

Graves fires a smoke canister at the target area, dealing 60 / 110 / 160 / 210 / 260 (+60% of ability power) magic damage upon landing and creating a cloud of smoke 675 units wide for 4 seconds. Enemies inside the smoke cloud will be slowed by 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 % and will have their vision reduced to only what is inside the smoke cloud and enemies attacking them, everything else will look like it is in the Fog of War.

If you're not familiar with Graves, this skill is a hidden gem of utility. Not only does this skill slow enemies (good for chasing or trying to run away), but it also reduces enemy vision so everything is in pretty much Fog of War. Enemy team trying to initiate on you? Drop your W and you just stopped it.

Quick Draw (E)

Graves dashes forward, gaining a 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 % attack speed boost for 4 seconds. Attacking enemy units with autoattacks lowers the cooldown of Quickdraw by 1 second each attack.

Quick Draw is your gap closer and escape skill. Thus, it can be used offensively and defensively. To play it offensively, you can Quick Draw closer to your enemy to land your Q and get off a few auto attacks, you can use it while chasing (dropping your W if needed to help slow them down), or you can use it to get in range for both your Q and R. If your opponent is low and you know where he is, quickly E into range for an easy pick with your R.

Defensively, you can use this to dodge ganks, skill shots, or to stay mobile during a team fight for better positioning and to allow your teammates to help peel for you. You can also use this to jump over certain walls (also good if you're trying to pick up any free farm in the jungle for a faster clear, or setting up plays or escape routes for Baron or Dragon).

Collateral Damage (R)

Graves fires an explosive shell in a straight line, dealing 250 / 350 / 450 (+1.4 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to the first target it hits. After hitting a champion or reaching the end of its range, the shell explodes dealing 140 / 250 / 360 (+1.2 per bonus attack damage) physical damage in a cone behind the target.

A great skill to use for team fights when the enemy team is stacked together. This coupled with your Q gives you great AoE damage. You can even use this to pick off an enemy running away. When I said Graves can single-handedly carry an entire team, this is one of the reasons why.

One really important thing to note about Graves is that enemies WILL try to dodge your skills, especially if you're in a 1v1 situation. Look out for this.
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The only viable options right now for Summoner Spells are Ignite, Cleanse, and Barrier for Graves. I prefer Ignite to deal the extra damage I need to finish people off with the burst combo. I usually run Cleanse in the situation that there is a Amumu on the enemy team combined with another stun, a Taric in the lane, a Twisted Fate at middle, or just multiple stuns across the board. The only time I would run Barrier is against some sort of really dive oriented team comp with only a few cc's that you just need to live through.
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Game Play

Early game you should always be on the lookout to help out teammates in need. If your jungler is invading be prepared to head over to help him out in case he gets caught or just needs help securing a buff. When dragon is being taken by your team try to quickly clear the creep wave that you're on and head over so that it pushes more. Doing so could enable your team to swing bottom after dragon and take the tower.

The way the lane should be played is to last hit accordingly. Use your Buckshot on the enemy and the wave whenever possible. The most common time would be when the enemy is also going for last hits on the ranged minions. Whenever you buckshot you must auto attack the enemy hero as well since it adds extra burst.

Every time you Buckshot the enemy is almost guaranteed to be in range of auto attack. A common early strategy is to attack creeps fast and hit level 2 as quickly as possible with your support and get a health, damage, and level advantage on your opponents. This enables you to win almost any engagement versus the enemy if you push the level two advantage quickly. Most of the time the enemy forgets or doesn't care that you are a level higher than them and overextend or play as if you are still even.

Middle to late game is where you start to shine, you become the center of attention if you're fed and start melting people. The only trouble is positioning correctly so that you are not in range of any threats but are still able to attack when the fight starts. Quickdraw is great at helping you survive longer and re-positioning yourself to maintain perfect positioning. Quickdraw is the skill that gives you mobility and allows you to get into a position quickly, it's basically your second flash (with a shorter range). Being able to use this to re-position yourself in team fights when you need it and to help peel the enemy team off you is what will separate you from other Graves.

Also, as an AD Carry you should really only be attacking the closest target. So for example if an Evelynn and a Maokai are infront of you, attack the Evelynn.
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Match ups

A lot of the matchups are skill based and can go either way but the Support pick and style comes into play as a huge factor. For Example: Being with a Sona in your lane means high poke trading and some sustain but only in some situations. If you are against a Ezreal Taric combo she cannot over extend to poke without taking her entire life in damage.

Easy Matchups: Vayne, Corki, Tristana, Ashe- These matchups are as simple as they can get. You out-trade them with your buckshot auto attack combo and with enough pokes from that you can force kills easily.

Medium Matchups: Ezreal, Varus, Miss Fortune, Draven- These champions all will either out-trade you, or attempt to poke you down. Trading with them in your favor relies heavily on your supports ability to go in with you or poke them down separately.

Hard Matchups: Caitlyn- This is the hardest matchup for Graves. Caitlyn can essentially dodge every Buckshot through either out-ranging or using her Net which makes this lane extremely skill based.
League of Legends Build Guide Author Sneakycastro
Sneakycastro Graves Guide
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Dead...or About To Be

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