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Gnar Build Guide by Joxuu

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Joxuu

Diamond's in-depth Gnar guide

Joxuu Last updated on November 5, 2015
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Top Lane
Ranked #26 in
Top Lane
Win 48%
Get More Stats

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 Gnar with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Cho'Gath Immobile champion depending on 1 Q which you can dodge easily with E. Zone Cho'Gath out of minion wave and use your W to chase/kite around him all day long.
Garen Immobile tanky champion who you can zone out from minion wave with Q and W passive. Be careful to not get in melee range in bad position.
Zac Sort of immobile champion that can't really contest minion waves without ability usage. Just deny his health regen passive by walking over blobs.
Shen Immobile champion and all you need to do in this match up is to dodge the taunt. Try to zone and poke out from minion wave.
Malphite Immobile champion except for ultimate. Zone away from minion wave and get as many % damage pops as possible.

Hello viewer. My name is jjoxuu and I main bot lane in diamond level. I enjoy playing ADC the most, but I also play in the top lane. I used to main top lane but since season 3-4, I've started to rotate more towards the bottom lane. I play top lane from time to time, Gnar being one of my main picks.

This guide will be for a bruiser/tank Gnar. The build, masteries and runes are the most efficient ones in my opinion and I will try to explain why these picks are the most viable ones in my opinion. I will also try to cover as much information as I simply can about the build and mechanics.


>No mana
>> Gnar is one of the strongest top laners out there due having really good base stats in abilities + mega gnar form. Gnar is also pretty mobile with ranged auto attacks which is already a big plus for the top lane as most top laners tend to be melee. Gnar's kit is also quite versatile as it has poke, escape, gap closer, % damage and a decent amount of CC.

>> Gnar isn't the easiest pick out there even tough many may get that impression. Gnar can be really strong factor in team fights but he can also be very useless. You need good "eye" for team fights. Like you want to have your mega form when team fight is about to start or if you wanna tp gank a lane. You also need to use your abilities well during a team fight because you're just a immobile tank in mega gnar form once you have used your abilities.

>> Preferred role: Top

>> Gnar is top lane bruiser with great 1v1 and team fight potential. Hard to master but a really strong pick in the right hands. Mini gnar form works well for poking, chasing down enemy or to escape a bad situation. Mega gnar form works well for front line, all-in and CC purposes.

>> Pretty safe pick overall in soloQ as Gnar has very few hard match ups and every lane should at least be manageable. By this I mean you can pretty much 1v1 against any lane.

Attack dmg marks
I take 9 of these marks to increase Gnar’s damage. I don't see the need of attack speed marks or armor marks. Having more base AD is great as you rely a lot on AA poke + boomerang, this is especially nice vs melee tops.
Magic resist glyphs
I take 9 of these glyphs to gain defense against magic damage abilities and attacks. You're most likely facing some kind of magic damage in the game so magic resist glyphs balance out the armor seals pretty nicely.

Armor seals
I take 9 armor seals to be tankier against physical attacks. Situationally you can just take health seals which are pretty much as effective. Pretty popular rune page is a mix of health seals and armors seals.
AD Quints
I take 3 of these quints to be able to do more damage. Pretty much the same reasoning as AD marks. Situationally you can take attack speed quints but I like AD ones due AA + boomerang + AA afer is enough to pop W.



>> Fury + Double-Edged Sword are obvious picks to get to the next tier. AS over CDS as Gnar relies on AA damage in lane.

>> Then we take Expose Weakness + Brute Force . Small amount of attack damage and some extra % damage against the enemy.

>> Next a group of three Spell Weaving + Martial Mastery + Executioner . They all give work well with the next incoming traits for even more % damage.

>> Round off with Blade Weaving and Dangerous Game . Dangerous Game ends up saving you plenty of times wthout you even noticing it so I wouldn't skip that trait. 1 point to Warlord to get to the next tier.

>> Finally Devastating Strikes and Havoc for more damage. No need to explain these really. 2 points from Warlord were skipped because it doesn't give much AD due build relying more on defensive items.


>> Start off with Block + Recovery . These are just picks to get to the next tier. Block is pretty decent tough.

>> Next Unyielding + Veteran Scars . I really like these two masteries and I don't think anyone should ever skip these two while going for 9 picks or more in the defensive masteries. Unyielding sounds bad but it's really good combined with Block and Veteran Scars gives early game stats.

>> I'm not taking more traits in the defensive tree even tough the build focuses little bit more on defense (It's really close though). Offensive masteries offer stats that are more ideal for early game laning. 9/21 is a way though and you would pick 3 points in armor and magic resist, followed with Legendary Guardian + Tenacious

>> Legendary Guardian is really good mastery so you should take 4 points into that. 20 armor and 10 magic resist in a 5 man team fight sounds pretty good to me. Tenacious is pretty neat too.

Flash is the most important summoner spell in the game and is also the most used. It allows you to finish off a running enemy for example. It's also really good tool for escaping a unfavored situation.

Teleport is really good for many situations. It's mostly taken to join a team fight from top lane so you can have 1 man advantage and should win the team fight that way. It's also great for objective control like dragon . I feel like Ignite gives more pressure in lane but Teleport is more ideal for your team. It's also safer as you can always just tp back to lane if you want to get a item advantage.

Ignite is good if you can make plays with it. Ignite bring a lot more pressure in lane than Teleport does. Gnar already has decent burs and Ignite just adds to it. It's especially good if you're facing a top laner who relies on sustain from abilities or against enemy that is already unfavored in the lane.

sp W
SPE >> (READ NOTES FOR SITUATIONAL ITEMS!) You start with Doran's Blade and Health Potion of course. Then start going for The Black Cleaver because it gives enough offensive stats for rest of the game and works as a great defensive item too against both ap and ad damage. Also allows to be at enemies' faces better.

sp I
SPE >> Randuin's Omen is one of the best defensive items against AD so it's necessary to have it early in the game to be able to tank incoming damage in team fights. Mid lanes usually powerspike a bit later so magic resistance is not needed at this stage. Frozen Mallet has good synergy with The Black Cleaver and allows you to kite and chase even better than earlier.

sp W
SPE >> Thornmail is really cheap item considering how effective it is against AD carries. ADCs who tend to not go for Blade of the Ruined King or have any % damage will find themselves taking even ~500 damage just from the Thornmail during a team fight. Banshee's Veil rounds up the build for some late game magic resistance against incoming magic damage. Early Hexdrinker is advised against heavy ap team or against ap poke lane.

Preferred skill sequence

> > >

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

The ability sequence maximizes base damage and % damage. Like any other ultimate, GNAR! is maxed first. Reduced cs and some additional damage. Boomerang Throw / Boulder Toss is maxed first from basic abilities due it's the main damaging and poking ability. Hyper / Wallop is maxed second for some utility and more % scaling. Hop / Crunch is maxed last as the level up bonus isn't too great and it's just used as a escape tool/gap closer most of the times.


Rage Gene: Really good passive. Not having mana cost for abilities is always great but the mega gnar transformation is really good, gaining great stats and new set of abilities. Pretty dominant in lane when controlled properly but can also backfire quite heavily.

Boomerang Throw / Boulder Toss: The ability which makes laning so much easier. Boomerang is great tool for poking enemies as it's low CD and most of the top laners can't answer it's range. Same could be said for Boulder Toss tho.

Hyper / Wallop: Offers tons of % damage for mid and late game and neat stun combined with ultimate. It's really hard to escape from boomerang + hyper passive combo which makes enemies think twice before using their escape tools.

Hop / Crunch: Really simple ability. Hop is pretty much never used for it's damage but to keep up to someone or escape. Be cautious where you jump due minions give you extra bounce. Crunch is more of a damaging ability than escape in the other hand as it scales well with hp items and doesn't give you extra bounce.

GNAR!: I could call it a game changing ability. a great GNAR! can easily stun 3 or more enemy champions if they're near walls. Always try to aim for the stun as you can combo boulder toss + wallop for good burst and 3 sec stun. You can always use it to knock enemies away from you if you get ganked for example.

>> It is time to explain some gameplay. I put this section in three different sections: early, mid and finally late game.
>> I will also cover some tips and tricks you can do in lane. You can read notes on how each laning opponent should go from cheat sheet.
>> In addition, I will try to give small tips on warding when you're laning or fighting for an objective like dragon and how the fight should be executed.

>> Credits to -NA- Veng Lmfao for the layout.


>> Laning / Early game
Gnar has really strong laning phase from lvl 3 and forward. Early levels you don't really have the chance to transform into mega gnar but levels 1-2 go through easily by just keeping distance and using AA + boomerang to poke. Try to avoid potential lvl 2 all in champions like Riven but against immobile melee top laners, punish as soon as they come up to try to farm.

Around level 3 you can look for all in initiations as long as you have minion control (meaning enemy doesn't have 1-2 minion waves coming right at you). You are always in good position to fight if you're close to transforming or transformed. In the other hand, you're weak against all-in champions if you don't have any rage built up. Level 6 is a decent power spike as you can combo up all your abilities to synergy with ultimate. Try to land GNAR! against a wall. Always buy at least 1 ward after leaving base.


>> Mid game / Dragon
You want to have teleport up if dragon is spawning soon or you just see a chance of taking it. Gnar is really strong factor in team fights and in lane at this point if you haven't completly lost your laning phase. Try to keep enemy top laner busy by shoving tower or keeping him low enough.

If you decide to use Teleport for the dragon fight, do it after you have some rage and try to control the rage bar. You have the option to shove top lane and just walk to the dragon and just Teleport back to top laner. If your team is starting the dragon it's not that big of a deal if you happen to have low rage as you can build it up. Your options in the dragon fight is just to zone the enemy jungler out of the pit or initiate the fight with crunch followed by GNAR!. You're also protecting your back line by taking up the aggro if you go in with mega gnar form.

After using all your things, just try to stay on someone's face so your back line can survive and do things as you're not going to be too useful anymore so it's much better trying to keep someone with abilities up busy. If you ended up almost dying, retreat instead of trying to stay on someone's face. You will get the movement speed once your mega gnar form ends.

>> Late game
The fights will basically go like previously mentioned dragon fight. You won't have that big of a impact damage wise but don't get me wrong here, you still do damage but you should count on your mid laner and ADC to do the damages more. It's all about taking aggro away from your back line at this point. In the mid game, you can actually be a strong damage threat as you probably could almost 1 burst someone but not anymore.

Always try to have the rage bar controlled at least around 50-75 so you can get in mega gnar form quickly. Showing up with your rage bar low or mega gnar form just about to end gives a big opportunity for the enemy team as they know you won't have your CCs available. You can always just build rage from jungle camps or minions before you enter a possible "team fight zone".

Thank you for reading dear viewer. I hope you have learned the ropes or at least thing or two about Gnar. If you have any questions or thoughts please feel free to say so in the comment section. Unfortunately I probably won't be making a screenshots section but you can always post them in the comments and you can also contact me by sending me a PM here.

Credits to Jhoijhoi for the ability chapter images.