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Graves Build Guide by Karmamani

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Karmamani

Diamond2 Graves Guide

Karmamani Last updated on December 9, 2014
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

Threats to Graves with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Ashe Ashe does not have a long range or any possiblites to outtrade Graves, with your E you can even dodge her Arrow quite good
Varus Varus has no gapcloser, nor high burst dmg. He cannot do much vs Graves 1on1, just shet on him!
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Why do I build which Item and which point of the game/ in which situation?

Try to get 1,550 Gold for BF Sword. If you dont own that amount of money, get a Pickaxe. If u are forced to back even earlier, purchase a 2nd Dorans Blade. Make sure to have 1/2 health pots as well as 1 mana pot with you until u got no free item slot or lifesteal.

Finishing IE is your first goal. The purchase order is depending on how much gold you currently own & against which champions you are playing / what itemway they go.
If you already own a BF Sword & Pickaxe and u need to go base, but you dont own enaugh cash to finish IE, dont buy Cloak of Agility, it only gives u some crit. Chance, but neither bonus combat stats, nor increased gold income like Avarice Blade.

Weather you buy Statikk Shiv or Phantom Dancer is mostly about your own favour. Both items do have small advantages, but none item has a HUGE advantage over the other. The small differences are:
-> Phantomdance gives you more crits, which you defnilty like to deal! It also lets u move threw your own minions which might safe your *** here and then.
-> Statikk Shiv deals bonus magic damage(the prox), which is good incase the enemys decide to rush armour. Additional, you can clear waves a way faster.

The boots choice is kinda easy: Berserker's Gr(e)aves! :) Build it somewhere in between, Tier1 boots for 325g ist mostly enaugh till midgame, better spend your money in your 2nd. item before finishing boots if ur owned money allows you to!

In this case, the enemys dont build much armor in the midgame, so I decide to go for Phantom dancer. Try to build Zeal before you finish the other parts, it does give u movement speed, attackspeed & crit chance, so not a bad choice [at this point you can still decide, if u want to build PD or Satikk]. Since you decided to go for PD, it means the enemys mostly dont own much armor yet. In this case, you should rush Bloodthirster, it does give you sustain (lifesteal&shield) as well as some extra burst. The 4th Item is mostly a Last Whisper. If there is any game, when you already invested around 10k gold and the enemys still do not have even a bit of stacking armour, you might be in bronze ,) Last Whisper makes you and ur abilities crush the enemys health bars even faster :)

The last and defense item is depending on a couple of factors:
a) Who of the enemys is fed (AP/AD dmg I am eating)?
b) Am I gettin focused?
c) What kind of CC does the enemy have?
-> Imagine the enemys do have Toplane Quinn, Midlane Caitlyn and Botlane Tristana. They all deal decent damage. You might decide for Randuins. If they are trolling, since they are Squishy, you might decide for Tryforce. If you are unsure, GA is rarely a bad choice.
If the enemys do have AP Dmg and additional CC, Banshees or Scimitar is going to be your choice.

I mostly buy Malmortius when the enemys do have AP dmg, but no CC I cannot dodge quite well.

Then there are some games, when the enemys do have 1 fed guy, like "Zed" or "Lux" and that guy just wants me. In this case I sometimes buy Zhonyas. It sounds troll, but it makes both ultimates complety useless. That rarely happens, but it does happen.

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Why should I pick Graves?

Every Marksman- (ADC-)Player has an favourtie ADC. Mine is Graves.

Even doe you only have an AA range of 525 , which is kinda low, you still can "increase " your range by using E, means you can come close, shot out your combo and burst enemys down. You are able to kite enemys and regain your E even faster if you AA enemys/creeps/monster.

Graves mostly profits from his high burst dmg, in combination with e.g. Leona or other Burst "Supporting" Supports, you will be able to mostly one shot ur enemys at LvL 6.
His pre6 lanning is depending on what you play against.

-> it is ALWAYS about the support AND the ADC.
Weather you win or lose ur lane depends on a) the skillevel of the enemys and b)of your and your supports skilllevel c)if both skilllevels are equal, the bot combination

It is hard to lane against long ranged enemys adc, as well as vs sustain supports. Caitlyn & Nami as your enemys, while you dont have sustain is gonna pressure you back all time, which will cost you mostly a cs here and there. As long as u can farm well under ur own tower and even have a sup helping you, you can still keep it balanced. Sustain is good pre6, but if they dont kill u early, you will burst them down once you have reached lvl 6. Make sure not to engage when you are low life & maybe keep and ignite on your support.

You always need to be aware of:

What can my support do?
What can the enemys ADC & support do?
What can I do?

If you don have a sustain support, dont risk to get 1 last hit in case you will be harrased by the enemys too much. Take the exp and let it go or use abilites.

It is hard to say "does this work, how good will it work " since there are so many different possiblites to be played and played against.

-> Try to make use of ur enemys mistakes, maybe in combination with ur own powerspikes, maybe when their support is leaving his adc alone, maybe when they get greedy, maybe when u got sums and you know the enemys don't,...

Find your way to play Graves - it is all about practise!

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In Teamfights, you always need to be aware of what you want to hit!

Try to burst your ultimate on as much enemys as possible if the fight starts; but: if there is a braum or malphite e.g., who protects the squishy targets, dont let your ultimate get blocked or nearly wasted at their frontliners.

since you are kinda low ranged with 525, you need to hold back a bit, using your E offensive is sometimes needed, but be careful: its your only gapcloser if you dont want to use flash. dont dash into enemys if the fight starts, Q & R is some good burst u get down. watch quickly how the fight develops - dont let your team die, but try not to die urself. get into AA range, but always remember: good enemys will focus ADCs. optimizy ur passive, 10 stacks doesnt give u a million of sustain, but a decent combat stat upgrade of armour and magic resistance.

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"Kiting" is an essencial usement for EVERY ADC!

What does it mean, to "kite" ?

If you run away from an enemy, do not just run! AA (Autoattack) in between. Means, you run, then you turn and AA the enemy, then u run and it is kinda ur own feeling when you can AA again turn and AA, the ngo on running. Thats shortly called "kiting" .(like if you have maximum attackspeed of 2,5 Attacks per second, you can run 0,4 seconds, turn aa, run 0,4 seconds aa etc., if you have only 1,0 attackspeed, you need to run 1 second before u can turn to aa ur enemy again).

Mostly high elo ADCs do have something called "Attackmove" binded on their left mousebutton. You can also use "A" or "Shift+Rightclick", but it needs some practise and informations u need to get to know before you use it ! (google/youtube it :)

-> Having a red buf or an item like Red Boots Upgrade (Furor)/ any other buf e.g. nami tidecaller's blessing on you does make kiting a lot of easier and more efficent!

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On lane, always keep on being in a movement.
Remember Graves is short ranged, that means, if you are going to last hit or push creeps, you are standing at a certain position while you are doing your AA animation. This is one of the dangerous points to get poked/hit by skillshots.

Depending on which ADC & Support I play against, I change my movements on lane. A Thresh will either engage you with his E, but therefore he needs to flash or come close, but the "deathly" ability is his hook. If he iss 2 far away to get his E down on you, stand behind your own minions in a way Thresh would hook a minion rather than you.

I am sometimes "juking" to take a last hit, e.g. I lane vs Corki I want to avoid getting hit by his Q. I move stratight to their minions and cancel the animation of an AA by moving backwards right in the same moment. Corki is about to Q but since you are already moving you should just outrun it.

General doging tipps & tricks:

You need to know what you are about to dodge. Is it the Q of Corki ? Is it the Blitzcrank Grab, the Thresh hook, Nami's bubble or just avioding Sonas Poke ?

-- 90° movement if you are in range of them, gapclosers in 45° getting out of their spellrange --

To be able to dodge the enemys abilitys, you need to see or know about them coming, in best cases you do have vision on ur enemys, so that you can see exactly the animation starting. It can become dangerous if you dont have any gapcloser; their Blitzcrank is hiding in the bush and suddenly ur done. If you do have vision on him, you know "he is about do grab", as well as you can see him grabbing before it hits you and take a sidestep.

Dodging by moving:
The best way to sidestep is, if you see the enemy's ability coming, to move in a 90° right or left.
Of course in higher elos, people will try insecs and just hit you in your possible dodging direction, you find out about that when your enemys trys his first grabs, as well as he will get to know in which way you prefer to dodge. Sometimes I just dont move at all, if the enemys is aware of me knowing what he is planning. Small mindgames doe.

Dodging by abilities:
If you dodge and ability by an ability, like Graves E to avoid the BC Q, do it in a 45° backing either left/right - you will get out of the hitbox as well as you also increase the distance between you and the enemy.
SURPRISE! -> IF YOU CAN: sometimes, enemys are low hp, but they still try to hook/grab/get you CCd and someone else (or themselves) finish the work.
Imagine you are Level 5 Graves and their Thresh is Level 5, you are both low HP and you do have vision on him. If he hooks you, you are dead, but you can't get to him without him AA + E kill you. Bait him doing the animation for Q, in that case, use your E dash offensive, 45° into his face, dodging his Q, getting into his range but since he is still on the Q animation, he cannot do AA or E and you earn a kill.

Hiding behind minions, a tanky frontline and not facechecking non-visioned areas, specially bushes will help you not to die !