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Graves Build Guide by Vicious Skittle


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Vicious Skittle

End of the Line - In Depth Graves Guide

Vicious Skittle Last updated on September 18, 2017
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Ability Sequence

2
3
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
4
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
1
8
10
12
13
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R

Masteries

18 Ferocity

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1/

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0/

0 Cunning

0/

0/

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0/

0/

0/

0/

0/

0/

0/

0/

0/

0/

12 Resolve

0/

5/

1/

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1/

0/

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Threats to Graves with this build

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Champion Notes
3
Kindred Pretty much all other junglers are either equal (Lee Sin) or are weaker (Kindred) when fighting Graves at relevant stages of the game. Whilst some people can mess you up if you make mistakes, if you play properly 90% of matchups are in your favour.
Guide Top

Introduction


Hi and welcome to my guide on Graves, the Outlaw.

I am Vicious Skittle, a Diamond tier player on EUW whom in Seasons 4/5/6 peaked at Diamond 4/2/3 respectively. So I'm a mid Diamond player (for what that's worth). I've been playing Graves since he was released as a burst ADC for bot lane, and after coming to terms with the fact his rework means I'll never see that version of Graves again, I've now started to really enjoy this version a lot. He is my go-to jungler whenever I get jungle. He's also the only champion I play on every single account I have (smurfs/main) and he's probably the champion I have the most games on out of all my fav champs.

This guide focuses on Graves jungle as that's his only viable role right now. You can play him top and you can also kind of play him bot lane, but with the way his kit works and how the meta is for the lanes/jungle he's a tier 1 pick for the jungle and a bad one for top/bot.

I've started a pateron for my guides and other escapades into creation of media. Totally optional and it's basically a donation. Nothing will change as far as my guides are, but having more money means I can spend more time on them. (Time is money after all, and these take a lot of time.)

Here is a link to the Patreon.



Guide Top

Pros / Cons



...........
Pros


+ Easy/Fast/Healthy first clear
+ Great early/mid game damage
+ Incredibly powerful burst
+ Very tanky if a fight drags on
+ Smokescreen is borderline broken
+ Easy to pick up and learn
.......
.............
Cons


- Short range
- Item dependant vs Champs
- Animation Cancels aren't easy
- Passive takes getting used to
- Once in a fight, hard to leave
- Falls off late game


space
So Graves is an early game jungler with immense kill pressure thanks to his insane burst. He also has an easy clear thanks to his passive + free tank stats with the ability to build a plethora of items to suit his needs giving him great adaptability. He's also scary to duel in the jungle and with his fast clear means he's a counter-jungling threat. However, due to his short range he can be kited easily if the enemy know your location. He'll also fall off late game due to this range. Without any hard CC ganks need to be presented by either you being fed, the enemy team messing up or having CC in lane.


Guide Top

Abilities



> > >


Maxing R > Q > E > W is the only way you should max your abilities. Collateral Damage is self explanatory as you get it whenever you can like with every champion ult. End of the Line first because it's most of your damage, its AD ratio goes up with level making it even more important to max first. You max Quickdraw second because lowering its CD is very important for duelling but more importantly it increases the amount of resistances granted per dash. Smoke Screen last because it's utility and doesn't offer much for the early/midgame except the blind and the slight slow.

TAKE YOUR Quickdraw AT LEVEL 1. This is because in the jungle, an auto attack will deal similar damage to your Q at level 1/2. With the fact you'll be auto attacking a single monster (meaning Q won't have an AoE advantage) and that its cooldown will be lower than the Q you'll want this first. You'll also begin to stack your true grit from level 1, and if you clear the jungle properly you'll never drop a stack. There is no reason to ever not take E level 1 in the jungle. You'll always be starting at a buff and you'll always be auto attacking.




Ability Description
New Destiny 12-Gauge: Each of Graves's basic attacks consumes 1 shell and sprays 4 pellets in a cone. Enemies hit take (70 - 100 (based on level)% AD physical damage) plus a third of that damage damage for every pellet that hit them beyond the first. Critical strikes spray 6 pellets over a 50% wider cone and deal 40% × (1 + bonus critical damage) AD additional physical damage. Graves's basic attacks deals 25 % reduced damage against turrets. If positioned properly Graves can hit multiple units with a single attack.

Buckshot: Pellets stop at the first enemy unit or structure they hit, meaning Graves is not guaranteed to hit his primary target. Each pellet will apply on-hit effects but enemies will only be affected by them once per shell. Non-champion units hit by more than one pellet are knocked back.

DOUBLE BARREL: Graves' shotgun, Destiny, holds up to 2 shells. After spending both shells or sitting on one for 4 seconds without attacking, Graves will take 2.079 seconds, reduced by 0.4% for every 1% bonus attack speed to reload with the fastest reload time being 1.22 seconds needing 104% bonus attack speed.


My thoughts

This passive seems a lot more complicated than it actually is. Graves can only auto attack twice before needing to reload, and his reload speed is based on his attack speed. His delay between firing both shots is also lowered by attack speed. When you attack a target Graves will fire in a cone, like a shotgun to deal a lot of extra damage if all the pellets hit. Crits are the same but more. Most importantly however is the Buckshot part of his passive, this is what lets him jungle. As all jungle monsters have a very low attack range you'll always be hitting at least 2 pellets onto them. This means that every attack will push them back. This allows Graves to attack and then move before his next shot to nearly NEVER get hit in the jungle. Plus with how much damage a 4 pellet shot can do, it makes his clear very good.





Ability Description
End of the Line Graves fires a round in the target direction that deals 55 / 70 / 85 / 100 / 115 (+75% bonus AD) physical damage to all enemies it passes through and leaves behind a powder trail.

Cooldown: 14s/13s/12s/11s/10s
Mana Cost: 60/70/80/90/100

After 2 seconds, or after 0.25 upon impacting with a structure or terrain, the round detonates dealing 80 / 125 / 170 / 215 / 260 (+ 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 / 120% bonus AD) physical damage to all enemies in a wide perpendicular area and in a reverse wave along the powder trail. If a unit is hit by both the inital round and the blowback from the detonated round they will take a total of 135 / 195 / 255 / 315 / 375 (+ 115 / 135 / 155 / 175 / 195% bonus AD) physical damage.


My thoughts

Basic straight line skillshot that deals pretty mediocre damage on the way out, and insane damage on the return for a combined damage total higher than a lot of rank 1 ults (including his own Collateral Damage. Your goal with this ability is to bounce it off of a wall to do it's damage in .25s for some insane burst. Gank a lane, hold onto this ability until they're by a wall and bounce it to guarantee the damage.

It's also great for waveclear if you need to hold a lane as minions won't dodge the second half of the ability allowing for low level/low AD back line clear. When jungling just throw it out after your first clear to one shot (nearly) most camps.

You should max this ability FIRST for its damage goes up with levels, and it does insane damage. It helps with your jungle clear, ultless ganks and everything.




Ability Description
Smoke Screen Graves fires a smoke canister at the target area, dealing 60 / 110 / 160 / 210 / 260 (+ 60% AP) magic damage to all nearby enemies, briefly (1s) slowing them for 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35% upon impact, and creating a cloud of smoke for 4 seconds that applies nearsight of outside the area to all enemies within.

Cooldown: 26s/24s/22s/20s/18s
Mana Cost: 70/75/80/85/90


My thoughts

His only utility skill, Graves gets one that's borderline OP. It has a mediocre slow, long cooldown high mana cost and low damage canister that applies one of the strongest status effects in the game for 4s.

Nearsight makes an enemy only be able to see 900 units around their character (which is very small) and everywhere else on the map (warded or have an ally there or not) is placed into the fog of war, even people attacking into the area.

The amount of disruption this skill offers is a game changing basic ability. I would rank it up there with Event Horizon and Parallel Convergence for game changing non-ults potential.

I always max this ability LAST as the only part of this skill that isn't bad is the status effect, the slow goes up with ranks but isn't good enough. Its damage is bad and its cool-down doesn't go down enough to warrant the points into it past 1 point.




Ability Description
Quickdraw Graves dashes in the target direction, resetting his attack timer, reloading one shell and gaining a stack of True Grit for 4 seconds, stacking up to 8 times. Dashing towards an enemy instantly grants 2 stacks of True Grit.

Cooldown: 18s/17s/16s/15s/14s
Mana cost: 40

Each pellet reduces Quickdraw's cooldown by 0.5 seconds upon impacting an enemy for up to 2s and 3s on a critical strike.

TRUE GRIT: Graves gains 5 / 7.5 / 10 / 12.5 / 15 bonus armour for a maximum of 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 bonus armour. Attacks/Abilities versus non-minions will refresh the duration of True Grit.


My thoughts

This is what allows Graves to be able to become insanely tanky without resistance based items. He's the only ranged champion in the game that want's to get into melee range and this ability is what lets him do that. It's also what lets Graves skip out on Armour/MR runes as you'll nearly always be dashing around in the jungle and always dashing forwards towards enemies making you insanely tanky.

In the jungle you'll want to try and always keep your true grit stacks up for your first clear. In the "first clear" section of the guide, I cover how to keep your stacks the whole clear.

Always try to get an auto reset off, Graves's auto attacks deal an absurd amount of damage so getting an extra one before needing to reload will increase your DPS by a lot. It's also mandatory for the animation cancels.

With the nerf in 7.7, your biggest weakness is magic damage. I would suggest taking MR per level blues for this exact reason.

I max this ability SECOND. I always start with this skill at level 1 as stated above for the pre level 3 jungle clear, but maxing it second for the CD/Resists. Once you get some CDR+stay in a fight for longer than 5s you'll become really, really tanky.




Ability Description
Collateral Damage Graves fires an explosive shell in the target direction, dealing 250 / 400 / 550 (+ 150% bonus AD) physical damage to every non-champion enemy it passes through as well as the first enemy champion it collides with, while also being knocked back in the opposite direction.

Cooldown: 100s/90s/80s.
Mana cost: 100

After hitting a champion or reaching the end of its range the shell explodes, dealing 80% of its original damage in a cone.


My thoughts

Graves has one of the most satisfying ultimates in game thanks to the animation and the sound of the explosion. Aside from that, it deals some incredible damage in a large AoE. Very simple as well. Press ult into direction of victim, let someone else clean up the stain that was once a player.

Whilst the knockback is more annoying than helpful in a lot of cases it means you can use it to escape a bad situation when your Flash and Quickdraw are on CD. You can also cancel the knockback which I cover how to do in the combos section of the guide.

I max this ability 6/11/16 (whenever I can) like 95% of other ultimates in the game.



Guide Top

Runes


Runes

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
5

Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
3

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
9

Greater Glyph of Attack Speed
4

Greater Mark of Attack Damage
9


More AD is faster clear and more pre 6 damage. Lethality is better at killing champions post level 6. It's totally preference and I go back and forth between them every game pretty much.
Niw that runes are dirt cheap, you should be able to optimize your pages perfectly and experiment a lot eaiser. My personal fav set of yellows right now is 4 armour yellows and 5 scaling HP. The mix of them is just perfect when it comes jungling in the currect meta. Scaling armour/full flat armour/full scaling health are also all really good options and you can mix and match based on your playstyle.
Because ranged champions now get a small amount of MR per level, and the fact you'll be buying a maw vs a lot of teams, I like going hybrid AS/MR now. The 7 MR at level 1 will give you some beef vs early magic damage (when you're ganking or if you get invaded by someone like Elise).
Now that Graves gets a small amount of MR per level, I feel comfortable getting greedy with the glyphs again. A full set of AS is only something I'd do vs pure AD comps, and as that's super rare I now do a half measure. The 16% AS is something I really have gotten used to when jungling, and if I have less I cancel auto's a lot with Quickdraw losing out on free auto resets.
The only quint you'll ever take. It makes your auto attacks a lot smoother and makes your clears a lot better. Everything else in this slot is weaker.




Guide Top

Masteries



For Graves you will always be going either 12/18/0 or 18/0/12. The resolve tree with Fearless scales incredibly well with Quickdraw and the fact you usually buy defence based boots, you'll become absurdly tanky in fights with it. The extra healing has great synergy as well making jungle clear really easy. You shouldn't go 0/18/12 though, as the extra damage from ferocity is a must have in my opinion.

The best current best is 18/0/12 with Warlord's Bloodlust . This is because it's currently a tank/hyper carry meta meaning you need to have a balanced build. The % damage is great against tank champions, and it effects squishies somewhat too. Fearless is also incredibly powerful, in conjunction with Unyielding and Quickdraw you'll be incredibly resistant to physical damage which is perfect against the hyper carries in the mid game where you can squash them.

The cunning tree is better when you need to one shot people Thunderlord's Decree or when you need to stick onto VIPs Stormraider's Surge . I currently get bloodlust/SRS 50% of the time. I love TLD with full lethality but in Diamond+ it's just not super viable right now, but in lower elos it's still strong. TLD should also only be taken when doing a full lethality build.







vs

Ok we'll start with the masteries that don't change between the trees. Fury vs Sorcery . You take Sorcery for maximum burst. However, Fury is great as it helps smooth up early auto attack animations and clearing the jungle is even easier. It's a tossup which is up to preference, but I recommend Fury .




vs vs

You can only really take Fresh Blood here. Expose Weakness doesn't affect your damage, so who cares. Feast is also garbage because you shouldn't ever be taking enough damage in the jungle to make it valuable and it won't be saving you ever. That leaves Fresh Blood and it's just a nice little bit of extra damage on a gank. Nothing special here, but there is only 1 option.




vs

Any variation of these 2 masteries are solid. Lifesteal is nice, because lifesteal. Natural talent is nice, because AD. A mix of the 2 is nice, because best of both worlds. I prefer going 1 Vamp and 4 Natural Talent. This gives me 8AD and 12AP, plus 0.4% lifesteal. The 2 AD for .4% lifesteal is worth it even when you don't take much damage in the jungle. Having that little extra lifesteal can easily save you from an ignite tick leaving you on 1hp. Any combo works though.




vs vs

This is actually a pretty neat tier, Bounty Hunter is great if you KNOW you're going to kill 2 of the enemy team fairly handily and early (2% damage is better than 3% damage with the 1.5% drawback). Double Edged Sword is the go to as you're looking to pressure in the early/mid game and getting the 3% damage upfront is good. Battle Trance is also viable for Graves in this tier, however it takes a couple of seconds to get going and in the early game (where you'll be able to get kills to fuel Bounty Hunter and the extra damage from Double Edged Sword ) usually outshine it.




vs

Now we'll do the never changing cunning masteries. Wanderer or Savagery . I go Savagery because you'll always be attacking the jungle creeps, and an extra 5 damage can quickly add up for clear speed during your first clear.




vs vs

I nearly always get Runic Affinity because as a carry jungler, you'll be taking the 2 buff camps a lot of the time. An extra 15% duration in these means a lot for your buff uptime. It also affects baron! You can also take Assassin because extra damage if you're in a 1v1/1v2 situation is nice. You'll never take secret stash because you don't take damage in the jungle (noticing a trend here?)




vs

Super easy choice. 5 points of Merciless every time because you don't need mana regen with blues/talisman after your first back. You'll never need the extra regen from meditation.




vs vs

Dangerous Game every game. Simply because Bandit is for supports (+3g doesn't mean anything to you, but a support can buy an extra 4-5 wards over the course of a match that they wouldn't have access too otherwise) and Gangplank because his Q counts as a melee attack giving him 10g every time he pokes an opponent (and trust me, that adds up for him). Dangerous Game means you can fight at low HP and potentially survive some counter attack (such as an extra tick of Ignite. Greenfather's Gift isn't terrible either as again you'll easily proc it and it speeds up your clear, plus extra burst when you gank. The problem I have with it is that 3% current HP isn't a whole lot. Not awful and a lot better than bandit, but DG is nearly always better.




So now come the 3 keystones that Graves will use. Tier 5 masteries are always the same depending on which tree. Battering Blows if you're going Ferocity (for obvious reasons) and Precision if you're going Cunning (for extra lethality to stack with runes).


vs vs

If you're looking for maximum burst, and the DEFAULT keystone if you're unsure what to pick, Thunderlord's Decree is what you want. Giving you extra burst when you land 3 swift strikes (it's easy to proc with End of the Line) giving you a lot of extra damage.

The 2nd keystone is Stormraider's Surge . It will give you a HUGE movement speed buff if you chunk an enemy quickly. It does NO extra damage so it's pure UTILITY but sometimes, being able to combo on an enemy ADC then run away without being able to be peeled is exactly what you need. Play around with it when you're against super squishy opponents, if nothing else it's VERY fun. I would also recommend it against mages that can one shot you if you mess up. Viktor, Orianna and Cassiopeia are all squishy enough to die easily without TLD, and make it easy to proc SRS. If you do proc it, you'll be unable to be hit by Command: Shockwave as you can run out of it. Gravity Field will be unable to keep you in place long enough to stun as you get slow res and you can just leave it. Cassiopeia simply won't be able to run you down even if she has a Rylais or positions her W properly. Her ult slow will be weaker too.

The 3rd keystone is Warlord's Bloodlust . It gives a boat load of healing (not lifesteal) when it procs after a few levels, which is amazing for drawn out duels and to be pulled from death's door. It also has bonus movement speed on proc, which is nice for a little extra utility. I'd take this if I'm going to be against tanky point/click champions. Nautilus, Vi and Rengar come to mind. Even then, TLD can give you counter burst in the early-mid game. This is a late game keystone, and Graves is not a late game champ. It's still good though.

The main competition is between Stormraider's Surge and Thunderlord's Decree . As a general rule of thumb if you don't have a preference for them, TLD is better vs champions who can't kite very well such as Mages, Bruisers and immobile ADCs (which is meta right now except for Lucian). SRS is better against melee based comps that have slows/mobility. Think like Assassins, Tanks and mobile ADCs. Kha'Zix is a prime example of a game where SRS might be better than TLD as he's fairly tanky, can escape you easily and has great mobility. Being able to stick on him is more important than hoping to one shot him.



Guide Top

Summoner Spells



You'll ALWAYS be taking Flash and Smite.

Flash gives you an infinite number of possibilities thanks to sheer utility it provides. Offensive flash forward, defensive flash away, flash over skillshots, flash into skillshots for your team... There is nothing you can't do with Flash. The only downside this spell has is that it's got a long 5 minute cooldown. That being said, every champion will take it except people who can use Ghost like Hecarim or Olaf and champions that can get away with it based on their kit/playstyle ( Shaco is the only champ like this). You are not a Ghost user so you take Flash.

Smite is always taken because you're a jungler. You need it to buy the jungle items like Hunter's Machete and Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior. Aside from the items you need to buy, it also gives you better clears (with healing) and killing big camps faster. It's also required to reliably get objective monsters like Baron/Dragon. If you don't take Smite and the enemy team has one, you will be at an insane disadvantage. You should ALWAYS take Smite if you're jungling.



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Combos


In 7.9 they removed all of Graves's animation cancels that are unique to him. Now it's just straight forward use Q vs wall and R when the knockback won't screw you. The only "combo" that you can use is casting Q or R then flashing during the animation to start the cast faster and be slightly harder to dodge. However as EVERY champion with a cast animation can do this (see, insec kicks) it's not worth really covering.


RIP Graves ult cancel





Guide Top

Items


Item Sequence

Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior
2625

The Black Cleaver
3000

Phantom Dancer
2600

These are your 3 "core" items. You rush Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior into BC nearly every single game. Phantom dancer is almost 100% core, but you don't buy it if going the full lethality route as you're looking to reliably burst with as much AD/Lethality as possible. However, 99% of the time it is core so I'll list it here.

You can also go Phage into PD or Zeal into BC. Mix and match based on your needs, but again most of the time it's easy to go Warrior > full BC > full PD.


The only jungle item Graves should ever buy. Warrior because you're an AD champion and Skirmisher's because it'll make you tanky and an ever better duelist. rush this item every game. No exceptions.

This is an amazing item on Graves because it makes hit a lot more tanky, mobile and gives him a load of APen. This is because New Destiny procs four instances of the shred every auto attack All 6 if he crits. This is amazing. Everything about this item is perfect for Graves. You buy this item second or third every game.

This item is basically a core item on jungle Graves but because you don't buy it on the off chance you're going lethality it's not a 100% build, but a low 99% build.
It gives Graves a buttery smooth attack animation that once you buy it, you'll feel so clean. It also gives a solid 30% crit chance, which if pointblank, is a lot of extra damage. On top of that it lowers the CD of quickdraw further, if you crit (and you'll crit a lot) which is also great for survivability. Not enough survivability in that alone? How about a 12% less multiplier on all damage you take to the most recently basic attacked target. This in combination of Skirmisher's Sabre and True Grit, you'll be SUPER tanky. Movement speed is nice as well. All those stats for 2550g? It's so good for Graves.




Situational Items

Here is the list of items you should consider buying on Graves 3rd/4th/5th and boot options. It'll also cover things like Lethality/Crit even though they're not as good to buy right now. You'll buy boots whenever you have the spare money but never later than the 2 core items.


The default boot of choice. Stacking % damage reduction makes Graves absurd. Only against physical damage, you'll be getting these 60% of the time.

These are an incredible offensive option. Getting 35% attack speed is huge for Graves as it'll make your DPS skyrocket. Problem is, that the other 2 boot options are a lot better as Graves is more of a bruiser carry than a regular ADC.

Solid choice vs a lot of magic damage or CC. When you don't need Tabi, you'll probably be buying these. With the nerfs in 7.7, these boots are now even better as the MR can help offset the MR removal from Quickdraw. However you should NEVER buy these boots just for the MR, it's the tenacity you're buying them for.

This is the definition of an assassins item. Giving a 65 AD, 15 Lethality, movementspeed out of combat, a passive that lets you sneak by wards and another passive that gives you bonus TRUE damage on your first auto for a couple of seconds from being off the enemy maps that scales directly with your Lethality. If you're going the lethality build, you'll be stacking a lot of the stuff (14 from runes, 20 from GB and 15 from itself) the True damage it will deal will be 173. 173 Damage ontop of your total burst is insane, especially because it's true damage. It can be amplified by another 30 points if you get the Edge of Night for a total of 203 true damage on your first attack. Whilst being more of a brusier is meta, lethality Graves is really fun.

This item is great if you plan to dive past peelers. 60 AD, 15 Lethality, 35 MR, Movement Speed and an incredible active. The extra Lethality gives you more damage against squishy champions and bonus damage for the Duskblade. MR is always nice against teams with any magic damage and the active is great for diving. The active gives you a spell shield that takes 1.5s to appear (you must channel for 1.5s, you can move but cannot take damage or use anything yourself) and after that short wind up you gain the shield for 5. This is great for diving the back line as it means you can't be CC'd until someone lands an ability on you. Only get this if you're buying the other 2 lethality items.

Even with The Black Cleaver sometimes you just need to kill tanks faster. If they have 3 tanks (A tanky top, a tanky jungle and a tanky support) then you'll want to be able to burn at least one of them down ASAP. Getting this + a black cleaver will makes you a godlike threat to any champion. However I must emphasise you only want to buy this item when there are multiple tanks, otherwise The Black Cleaver will do enough work on its own.

Simple item here, you buy this instead of Lord Dominik's Regards if the enemy team have a decent amount of healing/sustain. Dr. Mundo, Soraka, Vladimir and Aatrox come to mind for getting this item. Get the Executioner's Calling early if you're planning on buying this item at a later time as 800g to almost gut those champions is HUGE.

If they have no real magic damage threats and you want to deal absurd damage whilst never being able to get poked out, then get this. 75 AD, 20% lifesteal and an overshield based off of lifesteal makes this item great against poke. I would get this as my last item vs poke comps or when you need to drain tank.

The best magic resistance item Graves can buy. Every stat he wants, and when the passive procs you become even harder to kill. I buy this if the enemy team have 1-2 magic damage threats. When I do choose to buy it, it's usually fourth after my PD/BC/Jungle item.

This is a great duelist item for Graves as the item is straight up made for his playstyle. With Graves having a first in last out mindset, getting lifesteal from all his damage dealt and the delay in damage taken (which in combination with PD and Red smite) will make him really hard to take down as long as you can keep attacking. It's a very expensive item, but I've been buying it as my 5th/6th item a lot and it does serious work.

Sometimes you need a cleanse. Situational item to buy 5th or 6th and you can sit on the Quicksilver Sash for a while before fully buying this. Important vs super important pick CC that merc treads can't do alone. Such as Dark Binding, Infinite Duress and Nether Grasp.

Sometimes you just need to go so hard, you die. This item allows Graves to either do that, or make a mistake but not cost the game. I would buy this item 6th slot at the earliest, and always sell it when the passive is on CD for any other defence item. Super situational as usually the game will be over by 6 items, and that you usually want more damage/lifesteal as you're so tanky anyway.

Probably the most situational buy on this whole item section. With the buff to its AD/Lifesteal and the lowered attackspeed it makes this item no longer total garbage for Graves. You should still very rarely build it as you usually can get a lot more out of the other lifesteal items, but against 3 high HP targets ( Vladimir, Malphite, Lee Sin and Braum for example) then the % damage becomes valuble enough to buy even with Graves' slow attack speed. I really must emphasise that this item is SITUATIONAL and should only be bought when you're against at least 3 very high HP targets.

This is probably the most defence orientated item Graves will buy unless he needs something like a Randuin's Omen for a Yasuo comp. This is basically HP/AD maw as it gives AD, HP and a shield that procs off of taking a large chunk of any damage type.
It's anti burst, so it's important to only really buy it if you'll die before you can even react. Such as vs Rengar, Kha'Zix or Talon. Whilst the combination of Red smite,
Tabi and PD can do a lot to help, sometimes you just need to survive that second longer to totally sway a fight. A point of note, the AD this item gives is "base attack damage"
which means it increases based on your level. For Graves it's between 15.2 AD and 25.2 AD. Which are fairly small, but still relevant.


Guide Top

Lethality


With the Assassin rework comes the changes to flat penetration, and the renaming to Lethality. Unfortunately, it's more complicated than the stat it replaced as it now scales based off the enemies level rather than being pure flat. This is basically to make it easier to balance those who use Lethality, and make it less annoying if you're a low level getting chain ganked by an AD assassin.

In this section, I'll cover the 3 Lethality items Graves may buy and the Serrated Dirk component and what it will do for your damage. You'll nearly always be going all or nothing with Lethality. Either buying all 3 of them or none of them.

All the formulas are taken from the lolwiki, it gives a nice and easy to understand chart of the exact flat pen you get based on the targets level.


As you can see from the table, the flat penetration you deal is based on the targets level. For Youmuu's Ghostblade, it's worse at every stage of the game. It does have the benefit of being cheaper, but the old Ghostblade was better for Graves in every way.


Comparing the new duskblade to the old is easy. The new one is a lot better. This is because the Pen you get from this item actually scales past it's old self at level 3 (where it was a flat 10 penetration) plus the passive isn't bad anymore. I'll only buy this item IF I'm uber fed and the game isn't finished. Once you do though, the one shots will start rolling in. And when I say one shot, I mean dead target in less than half a second.


A new item to the game that is the utility Lethality item. It has the same AD, lower lethality and a higher cost than GB, but it does have some great defensive applications. You wind it up before you dive in, and you can potentially ignore a peel attempt. This is great if you're stacking lethality or their peel is 1 spell wonder ( Dark Binding, Crescendo or Tidal Wave come to mind)


The component to all the lethality items, it gives a low 10 lethality and a meh 25 AD. Does it's job as a longsword based item, allowing Graves to consistently get stronger every back. It's damage is like GB, worse in every way except at level 18 where it's even, but the OOC passive is the only benefit it has over the old now.


All in all, the items are now stronger as a whole than before (post level 8) but are also easier to balance than before. You can't just wail on an ADC 5 levels below you and deal true damage. I mean you can still one shot them, just now you need to land everything instead of just Q and Ult.

They also all share out of combat movement speed, this is great as a pseudo assassin, letting you run all over the map quickly. Being able to run from camp to camp and counter-jungle with extra movementspeed is really underrated.



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First Clear


For Graves's first clear, you can fully clear the jungle with 100% hp without using your 2 refill pot charges if you do it perfect. Usually, there isn't much point in microing perfectly to save the 2 pot charges but doing a full clear at 100% HP is very important. Below is a video of me fully clearing the jungle at 100% HP. I also don't smite when I should smite and my ward placement is garbage (specifically because I didn't trust my team to help collapse as it was just a normal with friends). However the actual clear is what you should strive to do. Below the video I'll cover what to do and when.






First thing's first. Always start Quickdraw. The damage is almost identical to End of the Line at level 1, but it has the added benefit of being a lower CD and you'll begin to stack True Grit. You want to dash sideways so you'll always be able to get an instant attack off. Auto E Auto whenever it's up. Make sure to reset your time, so don't just randomly dash when reloading.

When you go to gromp, just kite back a bit so the gromp can't just freely attack into you. Also make sure to be near the wolves when you kill him so you can keep the true grit stacks for the wolf camp. I would also suggest smiting the gromp to speed you up a bit. I don't in the video, but it's not a huge deal.

Kill the wolves as you would, making sure the 2 small wolves die first. Once the big wolf is an attack or 2 away from death do not use Quickdraw instead pull the wolf as far as you can (MAKE SURE IT DOESN'T RESET) out into the mid lane. When you're walking from the wolf to the raptor camp, Quickdraw at the very last second of your True Grit buff window to keep the stacks up.

Raptors are easy if you kept your stacks, as you'll have at least 6 stacks of true grit. Gun them down.

Red buff is a camp I always smite. This is in-case of the enemy jungle coming to cheese you. I usually ward the long bush right next to the buff camp in order to see if someone is coming. You win most duels as you'll be insanely tanky from true grit and insanely healthy for the same reason. Same as the wolf/gromp, make sure to pull the red up before you kill it to try and keep the stacks for the krug camp.

Krugs are time consuming and can be skipped. In the video, I should of skipped them and went from red to top lane but I was messing around with music. Always pay attention to the mini map. Get into the habit of pressing Tab every 5 seconds to check CS/HP/Items and timers. This allows you to know where the enemy jungler is once they show (Have 5cs and double buffs? He took Red/Blue/Wolves) This comes with a lot of practice.

After your first clear, things just get easier. More damage means faster clears and you don't need to keep true grit up. Go into a custom game and full clear with at least 80% HP remaining.


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Early Game



Probably the most important part of the game for the junglers outside of deep vision and neutral objective control in the mid/late game. After your first full clear, you're level 4 and have full HP with all 3 abilities ready to go. Your first target is almost always going to be the krug side lane (So on blue side you'll be ganking bot lane and on red side you'll be ganking top lane. This is simply the closest destination to go to.

If there is no gank opportunities, I personally take the relevant scuttle crab and loop around to attempt a mid lane gank. If this doesn't work, or there isn't an opportunity there either I then usually take the OTHER scuttle (however usually by this time, the enemy jungler probably has taken it). Once both scuttles are dead, I look to ward a camp in the enemy jungle (Wolves or Raptors based on where you are) then proceed to recall unless ganks show themselves.

It's really hard to put into a guide how to/when to gank and when to counter jungle so the most important thing to get used to is paying attention to the minimap when you're walking around/clearing the jungle. You're Graves. You won't die to a camp if it hits you 3-4 times whilst you add up the junglers CS and try to determine their pathing.

Same with counter-jungle threats. You're Graves. You can brute force a jungle fight simply by the fact you do a lot of damage and that you'll nearly always be full HP. Try to roam with your laners to get wards into the enemy jungler allowing you to more safely counter-jungle or simply track his movement.



There is also nothing more fun than sitting in a bush, watching some poor Rengar walk right next to a wall in his own jungle to be immediately turned into giblets.


I must emphasise to FARM YOUR JUNGLE. ON RESPAWN IF POSSIBLE.They take 1:40 to respawn. Or 100 seconds a camp. With how fast you clear the jungle with a Long Sword or two, you can seriously rake in XP/Gold faster than nearly every jungler. This also means you can contest their jungle camps for income but more importantly to put them behind. If you see a jungler have 5cs and gank your top lane whilst you finish off the red buff, you should IMMEDIATELY run to their gromp and take it. This is because a good jungler will always count CS for the first 3-4 minutes of a game when they spot the enemy jungler on the minimap.

Counting is easy, and once you do it you can determine what route they took and what will respawn. Buffs are 1, Gromp is 1, Wolves are 3 and Raptors are 6. Krugs are slightly harder to count as sometimes people only take the 2 big ones and leave the rest, meaning it can range from 2-10. However a lot of junglers actually just skip Krugs because they take so long to do early on.

Simple really, Graves wants to farm and deny farm. He can brute force fights with superior stats and can clear faster than most. Take your camps, look for ganks shortly, counter jungle. Rinse repeat.

This is pretty much the case until midgame where laners seem to want to take your jungle for some unknown reason and ADCs think red is theirs. However, you're an ADC. Oh it's more accurate when towers start to fall and people leave their lanes.


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Mid Game



Midgame is where Graves does most of his champion killing. As he'll have an item or two, which really increases his damage. You'll still want to be clearing your jungle as much as possible to keep up with gold/farm (make sure to not let your laners take too many camps. One or 2 is fine, but you're a carry jungler.)

More importantly however you'll want to aggressively look for skirmishes that will end with giving you gold/exp and objectives. The best way to do this is to spam ping where you want to go. For example, the enemy Red Buff is spawing in 30s. You spam ping "on my way" to the buff and ping for assistance on your nearest ally. 9 times out of 10, they'll shove and come with you. Then, being Graves you can one shot the buff and deny a huge chunk of xp/gold/pressure from the enemy team.

The aim of the midgame is PRESSURE.Your goal is to create map pressure by killing, warding and being aggressive on objective. A good thing to do is take an enemy camp then immediately go to a lane and push it in and get a few hits on the tower. After 2-3 times you'll either have the tower or the enemy team will attempt to collapse. At this point, do the same tactic on a different lane. Repeat until all lanes are unsafe to farm for the enemy.

You should also apply counter-pressure. Letting an enemy team do this to you is a big problem as I'm sure in your games you've noticed one team groups and the other follows suit. With the second usually losing/behind. Try to break that cycle by forcing fights at neutral objectives (Drag/Rift herald/Baron) or by split pushing. You're Graves so you can most probably 1v1 any champion on the enemy team. There are exceptions, but even a Vayne can't duel you in the mid game because you one shot her and have too much damage reduction from redsmite + PD + Tabi or a mix of those 3.

Always try to look for kills as it's very important to stay ahead of the enemy team. You're a carry, you need gold and the best way to get gold is to show the enemy team your New Destiny.


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Late Game



This is 5-6 items, bot lane carries become actual champions and the bruisers/tanks no longer hurt much. (Much). It's Graves weakest time-frame in a match. This is simply because at a certain point it becomes difficult to one shot someone through lifesteal, heals, shields and peel. More over, you're VERY short ranged. Getting cosy in melee range is what you want, but good luck sticking to a 5 item Vayne before she turns you into a crossbow pincushion.

At this time, your big objectives are Baron, Inhibitors, Elder Dragon and towers. As a jungler, you'll be paying close attention to your Smite charges and always have one ready to go in case a neutral objective fight breaks out. Regularly ping your smite cooldown to let your allies know that you can/can't force a baron/elder or if you should just bait/fight.

Your job in late game fights is to deal massive damage but also soak aggro. You want to be the champion who goes in second behind a frontline in order to dive straight into the middle/backline where you'll hold a target in your aggro "taunt" until your other more glass cannon champions can finish off the fight. It's all about outmatching and outlasting here.



Outmatch


Outmatching is basically picking favourable fights. You'll take those 4v5's where you're the 5. You'll prey on the squishy weak ADC who still can't deal with you. You'll bait the support into overextending for wards. You'll outmatch your enemy team. Creating a pick can win games almost single handedly. How many matches have been decided by the loser, not the victor? Be the one to spot the loser and calculate how to best pry that loss out of them.

Outlast


When 2 even teams with solid vision control, or lack of, clash the victor is usually who can stay standing. Being Graves this is pretty much in his lore, but in the rift it's a very real way to win long matches where if you've crossed the point of being able to carry, simply not being broken by tilt/anger/frustration can coax a victory. It's also a great way to teamfight! Being the one to survive means you get to delay the loss, or push the victory. At this point in the game you can win if you're the last man standing simply by how fast you push/take towers.

Don't let this fool you though, as it's your team that needs to outlast as well. Being the last man standing on your team, when 4 of them are alive isn't going to cut it. Take the hook for the bad Lucian. Flash for the ult KS on the Vayne JUST to make sure she can't get split second healed. Be the one that keeps your team together until the very end.

I've won countless games simply by being the one in control. Graves is designed from the ground up to be in control throughout the game. Whilst you can't easily straight up kill someone at this point in the game, you still have enough damage to always be a very real carry-like threat.


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Summary



So in summary, Graves is an early-mid game carry jungler whom is very tanky and has insane burst at the cost of any real CC and the ability to carry when late game comes around (unless you outmatch and outlast). Right now Graves is pretty much the best jungler in the game. This is because most meta laners have CC, but also because power farming whilst staying healthy is the way the jungle works right now. Lee Sin, Warwick, Rengar, Elise and Gragas all fit this bill. Graves has the best early clear out of them all combined, and has the most AD damage of them all as well. Not to mention he's badass.


Thanks for reading my guide on Graves, the Outlaw.
Don't forget to remind your enemies They picked the wrong fight.

Also, moment of silence for ADC/Old Graves. You will be missed.


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Special Thanks



Headers: Janitsu. His stuff is a lot nicer than anything I could make artistically.




ATM there is only one person, because this guide is built from the ground up by myself. That being said, edits/changes can always be added to here.


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Self-Plug

So I've started to stream occasionally and I play all roles. I'll mainly be playing support (as that's my "main" role) but whenever I want to/have to jungle, and he's not banned, you can almost put money on that i'll be playing Graves.

Here is a link to the Patreon.Again I'll link to it and again I'll emphasise it's 500% optional. If you like my stuff and want to help me out, then I would appreciate any amount of money.