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Gnar Build Guide by Enix Blaze

Top Gnar - The Little Monster - In Depth Guide Patch 7.10

Top Gnar - The Little Monster - In Depth Guide Patch 7.10

Updated on June 1, 2017
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Enix Blaze Build Guide By Enix Blaze 62 8 2,449,663 Views 48 Comments
62 8 2,449,663 Views 48 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Enix Blaze Gnar Build Guide By Enix Blaze Updated on June 1, 2017
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LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None



Hello! My name is ENIX BLAZE and I am currently a Gold level Player on the NA server. I have been playing Ranked since mid season 3, and my home is in the top lane. I have played Gnar since before his release when he was only available in the public beta, and almost exclusively play him in ranked play.

THIS GUIDE IS DESIGNED TO BE THE MOST IN-DEPTH GUIDE TO PLAYING GNAR THERE IS TO OFFER. I will try to make it as comprehensive as possible. It is for all players; from the new player, as well as the veteran player who is trying to maximize their knowledge of how to play the furry ball of cuteness Gnar, Who I like to call "The Little Monster" :3

In this guide, you will begin to understand Gnar's diversity as a champion, and how to play him in the top lane as a Bruiser/Tank. You will learn itemization, build paths, match ups, with plenty of notes and explanations of the reasons to why I build and play Gnar the way I do and hopefully answer all of the concerns and questions you may have with Gnar and his role in the top lane.

Check out the Match Ups section if you're in game trying to figure out how to fight a specific champion with Gnar.
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Pros / Cons

+ Extremely High Crowd Control
+ Great Base Damage
+ Shreds Tanks
+ Mixed damage
+ Scales well as game progresses
+ High Mobility
+ Free Stats
+ Good Poke
+ Manaless
- Squishy early game (Mini Gnar)
- High Skill Champion
- Short ranged for ranged champion
- Cannot switch forms on the fly
- Ultimate Unavailable in Mini Form
- Lacks Consistent Sustain
- Weak to All-In Champions
- 2 different play styles to learn
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Summary - FAQ - Roles and Reasons

What do I build on Gnar? I want to win more games

Understand that while there is generally an optimal way to build a champion, the items you build don't necessarily mean that you will win the game.

Knowledge of how you match up against an opponent and how you play both in lane and out will matter more than what items to build and what order, because factors like who's got pressure where on the map, strengths of your champion, how to play a losing match up, when to split push, and all of these factors matter way more than your item build.

It's how Pro players can go into a low elo game and build whatever they feel like and still win the game.

The items you buy will be dictated by how the game is going and what you need for that specific situation. Sometimes Frozen Mallet will be a better buy than Black Cleaver. Other times you're getting wrecked in lane, and need to build a defensive item like Sunfire Aegis. I'll try to help you with explanations and videos as detailed as I can.

The item build shown for learning Gnar is not the most optimal build for Gnar, but will work in a large amount of situations and get you familiar with both of Gnar's forms quicker. It is very forgiving and allows you to understand how Gnar works without the Permanant slow from Frozen Mallet (Which I believe hinders new players from understanding Gnar's full kit and it's strengths and weaknesses) Feel free to use it until you get comfortable with him and start to understand the various situations in which you would change it. That being said, Gnar likes stats that work in both of his forms; stats that allow mini form to kite easier, add overall survivability, and reinforce his utility.

Why Gnar Top? Why so Tanky? WHERE'S THE DAMAGE RUSH

This is one of the most common set of questions I get in game and out of game when people see me play Gnar and build the way I do.

Gnar's Role

Gnar's entire kit makes him excellent at bullying bruisers and tanks, and overall encourages building a build centered around his base damages, and AOE physical damage/Crowd Control. It makes him an excellent Off-Tank and Tank. For Solo Queue, Off-Tank is what we're going to focus on. Mid and Late game you will be focusing on using your Mega Gnar to dominate team fights, so tanky stats are a must.

Top Lane

Top Lane Explained + Reasons for Other Lanes

Gnar has everything you want in a top laner. He scales well with levels (Solo lane experience) Does well against short range opponents (most top laners), shreds tanky opponents, has several safety tools (His E Ability and slows/stuns) and overall does excellent in the longer lane. You've got everything you need to succeed in the long lane against the tanks and bruisers that you will find top, and all the tools to allow you to stay safe in the lane that gets no ganks.

Why Top? he's ranged with huge % max health damage, wouldn't that make him a hyper carry like Kog'Maw or Vayne?

AD Carry

AD Carry Gnar

Why Top and not Jungle, Support, or Mid?


Jungle Gnar


Solo Mid Gnar


Support Gnar

Common Statement
Gnar should be built like Jax. Rush 2 Damage Items and then straight tank. He has built in attack speed, % health damage, and can carry!

Damage Rush Not Recommended

Gnar's kit is cc oriented, and built around his strength in team fights. Rushing damage on Gnar leaves him very squishy and delays his ability to team fight effectively. Gnar isn't late game damage oriented and wants to fight early and mid-game, tanky stats allow him to do that sooner.

Explain More Please

Gnar's Role in the Team

Gnar's role is to poke and shred the enemy's front line with % health damage, while being tanky enough to dive into the middle of a team and provide AOE CC disruption for as long as possible once he can transform into mega gnar. He needs to be able to soak up damage and zone enemies. He isn't designed to dive and assasinate, nor be a 1v1 split push duelist.

What Gnar does vs What others do; Itemization Priority

Power Curve

Gnar's power is in his early and mid game damage and CC. You utilize the most of his power curve by building tanky bruiser items quickly and then forcing fights before the other team is tanky or strong enough to deal with your high base damage and massive CC. Rushing damage in an even match up delays your ability to take advantage of your strengths when they are the strongest.

Power Spikes and Strengths


Overall, Gnar does like damage items like Blade and Triforce, but in practice, and with Gnar's overall kit, they aren't very reliable items to rush on the little guy. Gnar is just way more consistent and takes advantage of his overall kit with a mid game tanky build than a damage rush late game build. Since he does % MAX HEALTH he has damage output that scales throughout the game even with 0 Damage items.

We'll talk about itemization and overall match ups later on in the guide. I hope though, that this helps you understand a little bit about Gnar and his strengths and weaknesses.
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This is what makes Gnar one of the most unique champions in the game. He is the only champion who has more than 4 abilities in which you cannot access both forms on the fly. You are constantly taking your rage into account to decide what you want to do next and how your laning will be. Careful planning and experience is needed to fully unlock the potential of Gnar's passive, but once you do, you are one of the strongest top laners in the game.

Quick Hits
Gnar's passive gives Gnar free stats that
  • Makes Mini Gnar ranged and quick; kiting god
  • Makes Mega Gnar Tanky and Bursty; Team fighting machine
  • Uses Rage instead of Mana; 100 Rage triggers transformation after 5 sec/next ability
  • 15 Seconds as Mega Gnar; use wisely
  • unable to transform for 13 seconds after Mega Gnar
  • Build Rage by dealing damage or taking damage (Including Sunfire Aegis Passive)

More About Gnar's Passive

Boomerang Throw Mini Gnar Q

RANGE: 1100
COOLDOWN: 20 / 17.5 / 15 / 12.5 / 10
Width: 55 units out -- 75 units on return

This is Gnar's bread and butter skill for the majority of the game. It's got so many uses but takes a lot of time playing for the new player to get used to farming and fighting with it. When you throw the boomerang, the direction you move before it reaches max distance or a target is the direction the boomerang will head on return. If you stand still, it will come straight back. Move completely to the right, it will go that way. If you move back and to the right, it will go to the right but the angle will be shallower.

Boomerang Throw (Q) Details

  • Always max first
  • Always try to catch the boomerang. The Cooldown goes down up to 60% if you do.
  • Boomerang only deals damage once to an enemy.
  • Throw out as often as possible. Use it to zone enemies. No cost
  • Only the first target takes full damage. Hit champions with it first.
  • Applies Hyper Passive Mark
  • It has a longer range on return. Use it to kill low enemies from far away.
  • Use the slow to keep enemies out of range.
  • Play safe if you don't catch your boomerang. You're vulnerable while it's on cooldown.
  • Share's its cooldown with Boulder Toss
  • Click on the return line when trying to catch. Clicking past it may make you walk too far and miss, especially if Hyper passive gets popped on the boomerang's return.

Boulder Toss Mega Gnar Q

RANGE: 1100
COOLDOWN: 20 / 17.5 / 15 / 12.5 / 10
Width: 90 Units

This spell is Mega Gnar's main damage tool in a fight. It has a short cooldown if picked up, and deals heavy damage. The damage it deals is area of effect and can damage and slow multiple targets. All targets hit take full damage. Useful for harass in lane and has quite a long range. Good wave clear.

Boulder Toss (Q) Details

  • Don't use to poke at early levels unless you can pick up the rock. It has an extremely large cooldown when you don't pick it up and it's your main damage tool. You lose most of your damage without your rock and opponents will jump on you when they know you don't have it
  • Does more damage than boomerang
  • Try to hit at close range
  • This spell is much easier to hit if they are already stunned or slowed
  • Excellent wave clear
  • you can use Crunch to get to your rock if you hit an opponent at range.

Hyper Mini Gnar W

This is what makes Gnar one of the best top laners in the game. Without this spell, Gnar's damage would fall off hard late game. Everything about this spell makes him one of the most annoyingly fast and hard to catch things in the game. It deals good damage to tanky targets and gives you a speed buff for kiting.

Hyper (W) Details

  • Both spells and attacks apply the marks. At 3 marks you will trigger hyper's passive damage. Try to weave attacks and spells between each other
  • Great for chasing or escaping. You can get a speed boost of minions to help you run away or faster.
  • Use the speed boosts to help you catch your boomerangs
  • Max 2nd against health stacking champions
  • Proc hyper before an all-in transformation. The speed will help you close the gap.

Wallop Mega Gnar W

COOLDOWN: 15 / 13 / 11 / 9 / 7

This spell allows you to set up ganks and zone opponents in lane. It sets up combos for your other spells, and allows you to bully a lane. You can chain this spell in after your ultimate to lock down multiple targets for up to 3 seconds.

Wallop (W) Details

  • If you use it to trigger transform, it will be back up again before you go back to mini form
  • Can stun multiple targets
  • Has a slightly longer range than the indicator
  • Wait until the opponent goes to last hit. You can use it to stun them when they go for it.
  • Use spell before going mini. It does not share a cooldown.

Hop Mini Gnar E

RANGE: 475
COOLDOWN: 18 / 16.5 / 15 / 13.5 / 12

This is your main positioning tool. It has a high cooldown though so use it wisely. It gives you an attack speed boost for 3 seconds and also applies a small slow. Hop can be used to transform, apply a Hyper stack, and it great during dueling.

Hop (E) Details

  • Max 2nd against high mobility champions. You'll need it to avoid damage against their gap closing.
  • Max 2nd against targets with low max health. You'll do more damage in a duel with the attack speed.
  • If you are trying to take a turret down, use hop for more attack speed. Make sure you aren't going to get ganked though.
  • If you hop on any monster/minion or champion your hop will double. If you are getting ganked, wait until their jungler blows their gap closer, then use hop on them to slow and get away.

Crunch Mega Gnar E

RANGE: 475
COOLDOWN: 18 / 16.5 / 15 / 13.5 / 12

This works similarly to Hop in that it's a great positioning tool. The best part about this is the large damage radius and its AOE slow. The damage is good, and is great in team fights.

Crunch (E) Details

  • Scales from Gnar's Max Health. Gnar's Damage on E gets boosted by his health boost passive. Keep this in mind when deciding on using hop or crunch for damage.
  • Deals damage in 2 ticks. Once under Gnar and 2nd around Gnar
  • Enemies only get slowed if they are directly under Gnar
  • If used to transform, will apply the AOE in 2 places. Enemies can only be damaged once however.
  • When used with Randuin's Omen can slow many people for a large amount of time.

GNAR! Mega Gnar R

RANGE: 590
COOLDOWN: 120 / 100 / 80

This is one of the most satisfying Ultimates in the game. It has 2 parts, a passive that increases Hyper movement speed buff, and an Active. The Active is what has allowed me to get the famed Pentakill every player wants. It's got insane lockdown potential, and really big base damage. In lane, you can easily turn a 1v2 into a double kill with correct usage of terrain and this spell.

GNAR! (R) Details

  • Aim the ult to the wall you want champions to be knocked into. Don't aim the ult at the enemy champions; You'll knock them away from you.
  • Does more damage if the enemy hits terrain.
  • Will not stun if they do not hit the wall.
  • try to ult them at a diagonal angle to a wall. This will let you hit more people with wallop than ulting them directly to the side.
  • Use on enemy to ult them under tower, especially if they have sunfire cape or have drawn tower aggro. If combined with Wallop they will take at least 3 turret shots and burn flash.
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Summoner Spells

After channeling for 4.5 seconds, your champion teleports to target turret, minion or ward. 300 second cooldown.You may reactivate Teleport to cancel it, placing it on a 200 second cooldown.

This is such a good summoner spell right now for the top lane that its almost unheard of not to take it. Top lane is regarded as the lane with the least total impact on the game due to it's distance from the rest of your team and early game objectives like Dragon. Teleport allows you to go anywhere you want on the map within 4.5 seconds. You have so much more global pressure with it than any other summoner spell. It's very rare you'll see any top laner take anything but Teleport in the current Meta, because Teleport is just too powerful, and when you want to win in Ranked, you go with power.

More about teleport

Relocates your Champion to target nearby location 400 range.

Flash is a spell that Riot has said they have balanced most of the champions around. Flash is the one spell that you wanna take on Gnar 100% of the time. It's a relocation spell that allows you to go over walls, initiate with, dodge spells with, and just in general make plays with.

More about Flash

Ignites an enemy champion, dealing 50 + (20 × level) true damage over 5 seconds, reducing their health regeneration and healing received by 50%, and revealing them for the duration. The sight will not reveal stealth champions.

Ignite is a situational summoner spell for today's competitive toplaners. Use this spell when you want to play a snowball heavy lane-dominant playstyle.

Ignite allows you to win trades against another opponent due to the fact that you essentially have another spell at your disposal that they (hopefully) won't have. Ignite also cuts healing in half for 5 seconds, which makes champions who do a lot of healing have a hard time 1v1.

The problem with this spell right now is that Teleport's global pressure is much more important. Ignite requires you to get ahead, and then start roaming or drawing multiple people top and hoping your team uses that advantage wisely.

More about Ignite
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A quick thing about runes is that your rune pages will all depend on what kind of match up you are going against, your champion, and how you plan on playing your strengths.

Runes generally are a combination of early or mid-game stat enhancements that either alleviate weaknesses or press strengths. My rune page set ups are designed to make the most impact during the times that I will need them. Most of the time flat stat runes are the way to go. While Scaling runes outdo flat runes mid to late game, you can't always count on the game going at that pace. Flat stat runes are useful from level 1 onwards, and you can always buy stats in the game as needed.

If you are a newer player and have trouble last hitting or don't have the money for these runes, Just use Attack Damage Quints instead of Attack Speed. It'll be better for you for more champions until you can get more Rune pages and Runes.



Fleet Footwork
Phase Rush

This is a Page that you can use for any AD Champion for players with limited runes or IP for runes.

+15 AD
+9 Armor
+12 Magic Resist

This works great for any new player and helps make last hitting easier, and you have defenses for both AD opponents, AP opponents, or mixed damage opponents.

Jack of All Trades Rune Page


Fleet Footwork
Phase Rush

This will give you

+14% Attack Speed
+8.6 Attack Damage
+9 Armor
+12 Magic Resist

Go to rune page if you gotta have just 1 for Gnar. Works with ADC champions as well.

Now, Gnar's base Attack Speed is really low so he doesn't benefit as much as other champions by buying attack speed, and he naturally gets bonus attack speed from his passive in mini form. So why the attack speed quints? Early game farming.

When Riot changed minion resistances, and nerfed everyone's starting attack damage, Farming under tower got extremely hard since even with flat AD you didn't attack fast enough to prep minions to farm under tower reliably. The attack speed alleviates the low attack speed early in the game, and is enough that it will get us through to where our passive gains enough levels. Also, with nerfs to masteries and Gnar's Boomerang cooldown getting nerfed, you can't get enough CDR to start the game to use Q and autos to farm while harassing consistenly. The attack speed allows you to throw in auto harass and farm still without giving up as much early in the game.

Flat armor and Magic resist ensures we have stats that allow for survivability at the start of the game. With season 6 being a giant snowball in terms of how fast midgame rolls around, Relying on scaling stats isn't great right now. It's best to go with flat stats to ensure if you have to fight before level 9 or so, that you'll be stronger than if you took scaling runes. Armor reduces physical damage (including minions) So it makes it good as well during laning. Flat MR reduces magic damage and is quite good to have on mini gnar, especially since his magic resist doesn't scale with levels.

VS. AD top and Jungle


Fleet Footwork
Phase Rush

+14% Attack Speed
+8.6 Attack Damage
+9 Armor
+27 Magic Resist at Level 18

This is Identical to the last page, except you have scaling Magic Resist(MR). Since you won't be facing early magic damage to a full AD Top laner and Jungler, you can take Scaling MR, which will be about Equal midgame to flat stats and will get better as the game goes on. Equal to flat MR runes at level 8, surpasses flat stats at level 9.

VS. Full AD Team


Fleet Footwork
Phase Rush

+14% Attack Speed
+8.6 Attack Damage
+9 Armor
-7.5% Cooldown Reduction (CDR)

This is the final optional page I have for Gnar as it provides early game survivability with flat armor glyphs. Since there is no magic damage threat in a full AD comp, I can safely switch out those useless MR glyphs for something else. In this case we can run Cooldown Reduction

vs AP heavy/True damage team.


Fleet Footwork
Phase Rush

+14% Attack Speed
+8.6 Attack Damage
+216 Health at level 18
+12 Magic Resist

This page is when you are going against a team that is pretty well all magic damage and you don't need the early armor. An example would be Malphite top, Elise Jungle, Leblanc Mid, Corki ADC, Blitzcrank support. Since all of them deal lots of magic damage with sprinkles of mixed damage, getting health and magic resist will benefit the most.
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Masteries pages are subject to the player's play-style. However, there are very good reasons why I take these masteries. Here, I'm going to go over every reason of why I take these masteries and skip others.

Masteries Page Basics

I will provide a Masteries video as soon as I can.
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Core Items

Item Sequence

Black Cleaver 3000
Boots 300
Ruby Crystal 400

This item is so good on Gnar that you will build it more than any other offensive item. I almost always build it as the first offensive item, unless they are an AP heavy top laner; but at some point in that game it will get built.

The reason we build this item is due to The stats it gives. Mega Gnar is a game changer. In order for Gnar to get the best out of his crowd control, He needs his abilities to be on their lowest cooldowns (Especially his ultimate). 20% CDR from one item is huge. Gnar also deals loads of Physical damage and has high base damage. The Attack Damage you get from this item helps, but what is really helpful is the %Armor shred. Gnar can apply it to multiple targets with is AOE abilities, helping not only himself but his team mates.

Everything You Wanna Know About Why Mega Gnar is the Most Powerful Gnar

These give you options in every match up. They make dodging skills easier, kiting easier, sticking to a target easier, getting back to lane faster, roaming faster, and generally are an insanely good early game item to have. You can decide depending on their team comp which boots you want to upgrade to for mid game.

Rush boots in a lane with an immobile champion, like Nasus who is very susceptible to being kited.


With the changes to Black Cleaver building out of phage and the stats overall being better for Gnar, Phage has become the new staple item for an early damage item in lane. Phage gives movement speed on hit, and extra movespeed on a kill (minion or champion). Phage also gives a bonus to melee champions for its movement speed buff. Mega Gnar is pretty slow, and Phage helps fix that problem. It also puts mini gnar in an even more godlike status than before with sticking to people. Once you complete Cleaver you get even more stats that make Gnar great, 20% CDR for Mega Gnar's higher cooldowns and up to 24% armor shred from one item.

Spectre's Cowl is a great item to rush against AP top laners. It's a great defensive item combined for relatively low cost. It builds out of cheap components that you can get on several backs, and once completed gives you a nice passive that gives you instant effective sustain against magic dealers. It then builds into a few different MR items. Great item all around.
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Situational Items

Unlike your core items, which will be safe to build in every game, these items will be built depending on how the game is going, who is strong on their team, what kind of team composition that you have, what you plan to be doing, and the like. These items will be built after the core items, somewhere in between, or not at all depending on the match up.

This will help you understand what the item does, how it fits Gnar, and times you may want the item. Every game is different, and so will the items you build. Knowledge of this section is just as (if not more), important than knowing the core items.

Defensive Options

Item Sequence

Spirit Visage 2900
Randuin's Omen 2700
Ninja Tabi 1100
Mercury's Treads 1100
Abyssal Mask 2300
Adaptive Helm 2800
Thornmail 2700
Dead Man's Plate 2900
Frozen Heart 2500
Sunfire Aegis 2700

This item provides bonus to healing, Magic resistance, and health.

You may wonder whether to build this item or Adaptive Helm as your defensive item vs Magic Damage.

Spirit Visgage is the better item in general. It provides you with the best overall stats against your typical magic dealing Champions, who have longer than 4 second cooldowns on abilities.

Best way to remember, is to build this item when you're NOT going against champions that deal damage over time (DoT). Rumble or Teemo are good candidates to build Adaptive Helm instead. The big part of this item is the health regen that you get. Gnar has the 2nd highest health Regen in the game, and 30% healing boost is very solid on Gnar, who is miles ahead of the majority of Champions in terms of HP/5

This used to be way stronger early game when it gave 200% hp regen, but it is still strong nonetheless.

Build this first if you are laning against an AP champion that isn't burst or combo reliant.

This item is highly effective at reducing damage from critical strike based champions. It's active is very team fight oriented. However, you must remember to use it's active.

This item gives the same armor as Sunfire Aegis and Deadman's Plate but with lower health, and a much worse build path that takes up lots of item slots.

The attack speed slow and Critical Strike reduction is what makes this item so attractive. Unlike Attack Speed Buffs, which are derived from champion Base attack speed, Attack Speed Slows are derived from TOTAL attack speed. With AD champions becoming strong with more crit chance earlier, the crit reduction is immensely valuable, especially against laners like Tryndamere or Yasuo

You'll probably buy this item as your 2nd armor item, unless they don't have much crit builders on their team.

With how prevalent knockups are getting and how strong the passive is right now, this has been a frequent purchase in boot upgrade.

Knock ups aren't affected by Tenacity.

If they don't have many stuns on the rest of their team that can be negated by Tenacity, Buy these. These boots are also against champions that rely on auto attacks to deal damage. It blocks 12% of damage from basic attacks, including basic attack modifiers. That's pretty huge.

Buy against Tryndamere Vayne Quinn Riven Yasuo Teemo Fiora Irelia or anyone who is like, I gotta auto attack you to do a large chunk of my damage, or has an Auto Attack Modifier.

This is a great item to get against stuns and roots. These give you the Tenacity passive, which cuts down on the duration of stuns. Buy these if you see Leona or Morgana Support, Veigar mid, or anyone with large amount of stuns and stuff.

The Magic Resist is nice, and these are also a nice pick up if you need a little bit extra MR, but not so much that you want to buy 2 big Magic Resist items because their only magic damage threat is their mid laner.

This item is mainly a good 2nd MR item if needed, or a good buy if your team is mainly Magic Damage

This item Provides better stats overall compared to Adaptive Helm for the same price, and the passive is useful on your own damage (Through Hyper Procs in mini Gnar).

Spirit Visage is still a better buy 9/10 as your only MR Item, but this is not a bad buy either.

This is the MR equivalent of Randuin's Omen in that it's designed to slow down high DPS Magic Damage dealers such as Cassiopeia Swain Rumble Brand Teemo who deal lots of their damage with DoT effects that deal successive damage as either poison or burn damage.

The item gives less base stats compared to Abyssal Mask for the same price, however, this Item's passive works better with 15% damage reduction to the champion types listed above, and is a better pick up against them.

Buy this item against a Full AD comp, with multiple Auto Attack Threats. Tryndamere, Jax, Quinn/Vayne Top, they all suffer to Thornmail's passive. Buy this as a 2nd or 3rd armor item, as the passive really starts working the higher the resists you have when you buy it.

Since Randuin's Omen now has a horrendous build path and less base stats overall -- This item, as well as Sunfire Aegis tend to be your current buys for a 1st armor item, since you get more health, and the same Armor, and better early game passives than Randuin's Omen. You also take up less item slots early.

This item is great against champions that are hard to catch or keep up with, and is a perfect bruiser item. You get Teemo-like movement speed with its passive, extra burst damage from roaming around, and great stats with the health and armor it gives.

If you need extra armor but also need the health for mixed damage like true/magic damage, this is a great 2nd buy.

It isn't the best buy, but it works really well against a full AD Team late into the game if they have many auto attackers or against someone like Vayne, who the only counter to her %Health True damage is Attack Speed Slows.

Lots of Armor, CDR, and Great against Auto Attacking champions makes this great, even with the wasted mana.

This is an item that is strong on Gnar depending on how much damage Riot decides to put on the passive. The passive provides a burning aura around you that deals magic damage per second. It is best when it is rushed due to the magic damage being flat damage instead of %health damage. Since it is flat damage, it is best when the enemy champions haven't had a chance to buy Magic Resist or scale their Magic Resist stat through levels. When the passive is too weak, it doesn't do Gnar as much good as it is an early game item and Deadman's Plate is a better tank item.

The reason it is a good item on Gnar is Gnar's passive, and the pushing power it provides. Since you get huge stat buffs from the transformation (2600g worth at level 6 that scales), the more Gnar can transform in lane, the more you can bully your opponent. Gnar's sustain comes a lot from Mega. The more you transform in lane, the more often your health will be topped off without having to back or buy pricey health potions.

Sunfire gives decent tank stats, and is also an offensive buy due to the magic damage passive. You will want to buy this item when the enemy champion is an AD pusher champion due to the passive helping you keep minions from constantly hitting your tower. It's also good against champions that have to get into melee range to deal any damage to you.

I tend to buy this a lot right now, because I find Gnar's pushing power to suck a lot. With Sunfire, I can clear a big wave in mini form quite quickly, and return to a fight or roam much more quickly. Right now, Sunfire deals more damage to minions, so use that to your advantage.

Offensive Options

Item Sequence

Black Cleaver 3000
Frozen Mallet 3100
Trinity Force 3333
Blade of the Ruined King 3200
Maw of Malmortius 3100

This item fits Gnar quite well. Gnar deals large amounts of Physical Damage (Check end game damage, it's mainly Physical) and relies heavily on his base damage to do the heavy lifting for most of the game.

He also Deals large amounts of AOE Physical damage. All of the stats from this item can be used on Gnar consistently.

Therefore, this item is amazing for Gnar. Gnar has the ability to shred armor on multiple enemies at a time for his team by buying this item. It shreds %armor for tanky foes, and builds out of Phage which has large early and midgame potential and is fairly affordable. The attack damage boosts Gnar's abilities. The CDR helps Gnar do his CC thing during a teamfight.

I wouldn't rush this item. Defensive items tend to be more efficient and work better on Gnar. Rush Phage or Kindlegem if you need. Then purchase some tanky stats before finishing this item, unless the enemy champion stacks armor first.

Frozen Mallet is a great bruiser item on Gnar. The time to build this item is when the opponents are immobile or mostly melee. Building this item gives Gnar permanent crowd control, as every auto attack will slow, and every ability will either slow or stun the enemy. With your Hyper Passive and combined with the chase potential of Black Cleaver you will be nearly impossible to get away from.

Combined with the slow, the stats it gives are ok. You only get flat health, and a small amount of damage. The item really isn't very efficient until it is completed and the components are all fairly expensive. Only buy against highly kite-able teams or while snowballing.

If you also rush this item, be aware how long your cooldowns are. Rushing this item is 100% all banking on mini gnar, so you must take that into account.

Trinity Force is a very expensive Item. I don't build it first because Gnar's so stupidly squishy in mini form that unless he's snowballing hard and can avoid CC, this item won't bring as much consistency to the table as other items.

However, if you do find yourself in a situation where you are snowballing, and the enemy team has no tanky champions. Works great after Sunfire Aegis and the enemy hasn't started a snowball train somewhere else on the map.

The item path is cumbersome, takes up many slots, and you have to wait forever to get that sweet passive.

This item does bring out tons of damage for just one item slot once completed. Many times, I will swap this item out late game for boots in an AD comp without much CC. Gnar uses every stat from this except for the mana. But that doesn't matter much because both Mini and Mega Gnar benefit greatly from the movement speed, the passive damage, the attack speed, and the rest of it.

Build this item when you are snowballing, the enemy team is squishy, you need to stick to a target in mega form, or find yourself in a situation where the team needs damage and already has some form of tank/initiator. This item offers lots of damage and lets you burst squishy targets;

Not a bad item. Certainly not the best. Just don't rush it every game please. If your team is ahead, buy it, or if the enemy team is full of squish buy it.

This item is overrated on Gnar, but works well for dueling and split pushing. People buy this item to try and abuse the Hyper Passive, but if you look at your damage end game, Hyper doesn't make up much of your damage overall.

This item is usually built to abuse some form of On-Hit passive that a champion has, and fight tanks. The problem is that Gnar's on-hit passive is only useful in his Mini-Form.

It also has an atrocious build path that takes up tons of slots, and you don't get a huge boost from it until you finally spend that 3200 gold. That's when the passive starts letting you do work.

The attack speed isn't used quite that much in mega form, although it is quite nice while your abilities are are cooldown, the long casting animations from mega gnar make the attack speed not a great buy and the active is great in 1v1 fights, it just doesn't seem to work as well for Gnar overall in the grand scheme of things.

I would buy this item when you are going to be alone for a while and split pushing. Your team has initiators or tanks, and you're fighting someone who can't duel very well. The life steal will help you stay out there longer, the attack speed will help you take down towers, the active will help you stick and duel, the % health damage will help against high health targets.

Don't rush this item. Get it 2nd or 3rd.

The main portion of this item is Hexdrinker which is what you will sit on for most of the game until later. Maw itself is quite expensive and isn't great to rush. But Hexdrinker provides very similar cost effectiveness early as Phage only this item also allows you to survive with a spell shield and MR against magic damage and bully potential with AD.

The passive from when you complete MAW is nice, as you get more AD the lower health you are. It's also the reason you don't rush it because you honestly don't want to be low health to get benefits from an item. It's only 92% efficient when you are full health. Once you are tanky enough that you can fight without worrying about getting exploded by any champions, you can then complete the item.

Rush Hexdrinker against AP top laners as it will provide damage, and tankyness against them for only 1450 gold. The perfect combo for early game. Champions like Rumble Nidalee Lissandra Ryze Teemo Swain Vladimir Alistar or anyone with a lot of magic damage are who you want to buy this item against.

After you rush Hexdrinker, Sit on it a while until you've gotten a bit tankier, then complete Maw.

This item is much more viable overall than Wit's End is, so if you're looking for a Bruiser item against Magic damage opponents, This is your better bet in most cases.

Situational Offensive/Defensive Options

Item Sequence

Phantom Dancer 2600
Executioner's Calling 800
Last Whisper 1450
Wit's End 2800
Mercurial Scimitar 3300
Sterak's Gage 3200

This item is a situational item for when you want to be split pushing for the bulk of the game. It's intended to go along with a Frozen Mallet in order to maximize your pushing, and dueling potential. It is mainly for the on-hit effects of Mini Gnar, but unlike the other attack speed items Gnar typically looks to buy, this one also is useful for Mega Gnar. It gives a large chunk of movement speed that Mega Gnar lacks, and also provides damage reduction which is always within mini-gnar and mega gnar's range.

Phantom Dancer gives you crit and very importantly, a faster way to take down towers. You use this item to push, but it falls off later compared to a Black Cleaver build later in the game, where you will be squishier with this build.


This item is designed to cut healing on the enemy champion when dealing physical damage. This item is a great buy when you are going against champions who rely heavily on their sustain to be useful. In Raw stats, it is not worth much more than a Long Sword and in combat stats is worth 525g. To put that in perspective, 375g in the item is in the passive.

One ruby Crystal is worth 400 gold and is 150 health. So when deciding whether or not purchasing this item is worth it, you need to figure out if you will cut at least 140 health from a champion's healing in a fight or during the lane phase.

Champions like Dr. Mundo, Nasus, Vlad all rely on sustain to be effective in a fight.

Let's look at Mundo, who has a huge heal at level 6. Without items, Mundo will have approximately 1000 Health, and his ultimate heals for 3.3% of his Maximum health every second for 12 seconds at level 6. This is going to be around 400 health. Grievous Wounds passive from Executioner's Calling will cut 40% of that. This is 160 health, and easily makes Executioner's Calling cost effective.

Also, we have to look at if purchasing 375g worth of stats will be more useful in most situations than the passive. 375g is about 11 AD. In short trades, Executioner's calling will be superior in EFFECTIVE gold efficiency, which is usable gold. If a champion like Nasus is farming at level 7, he will have 15% lifesteal. Assuming AD at 80, base damage on Q to be 70, and 40 siphoning strike stacks, A nasus Q on a minion will deal around 190 damage, which will heal him for 28.5 health. If he has a cloth armor, he will have 57 Armor at level 7, which boosts that heal against physical damage to about 45 effective health per Q.

Assuming you can auto-attack nasus every time he goes to use siphoning strike, with Executioner's calling, you cut 18 effective health out of his healing. With 11 extra AD, you would need to auto-attack Nasus Twice every time he went to last-hit for the extra AD to be truely COMBAT EFFECTIVE.

If Nasus uses a health potion, which heals for 150 over 15 seconds, you would cut healing for 3 seconds. Which is 30 health from the pot, and 40% of that is lost. Since He has 57 armor, this 30 health is worth 47 against physical damage. So with 1 auto attack, you would cut 19 health from the health potion. If you auto-attack Nasus when he is using a health pot, and using Siphoning Strike on a minion, you cut 37 effective health from Nasus with 1 SINGLE auto attack. It would take 4 auto attacks during this time period to outweigh Executioner's Calling passive in terms of useful gold efficiency during a laning phase.

These healing Champions gain more healing as the game goes on, and as such, the health that Grevious Wounds Passive cuts scales with it, especially if more and more Armor are factored into the equation. Against any high healing champion, Executioner's Calling will be more cost effective than if you had purchased another Longsword and will eventually cut more healing than Grevious Wounds is actually worth in gold, Especially on a Champion Like Dr. Mundo late in the game.

TL:DR Get this item against healing champions. It is a better investment than another longsword.

This item is glorious later in the game, or when you are facing an armor stacking team. When Combined with Black Cleaver you can potentially reduce their armor trucktons. This allows you to fight well against armor stacking opponents and multiple tanks well. Keep in mind though, that the 30% armor pen you get only affects Gnar's Damage and the enemy's BONUS Armor. It's more of a selfish Item.

I get this item when I'm facing someone who is going to stack armor early and fast, or when I see the enemy team start to build armor, but we don't have enough other physical damage to justify Black Cleaver.

Oh Wit's End How strange you are.

Wit's End is that item that's balanced by the fact that it's got one of the worst build paths for early game that you could imagine. In fact it's the reason no one buys it. It takes up lots of inventory space, the stats are fairly useless early as all you buy is attack speed, and you don't get sustain.

This item, however, gets its main power from when you actually complete the item, Much like Blade of the Ruined King or Trinity Force. The reason to buy this item? When completed its power spike comes earlier than pretty much any other option, and makes you extremely hard to itemize against. And you get tanky at the same time (WAH?!)

Overall, don't buy this item. It got more expensive, and doesn't synergize with Black Cleaver's armor shred. Only into a full AP Team would I suggest this item.

This item is purchased mainly for Quick Silver Sash. It gets completed late in the game. It's stupid expensive and made mainly for AD Carries but will work if there is a high threat champion you need to remove stuns or debuffs on in order to get your champion to do its job properly.

Examples? Against a team with a snowballing Zed Fizz Vladimir, or against any of these champions Malzahar Warwick Mordekaiser Skarner

As Admiral Akbar once said, "It's A Trap!"

Sterak's Gage looks enticing. Extra Base Damage is good on champions who rely on their Base Damage for things like Sheen or who get modifiers from their base damage. The Health looks good too! And the shield!

Well lets look at why we don't buy Sterak's Gage.

- Cost increased to 2700
- Item is only 49% Gold Efficient without it's passive and base damage (1333 Gold on 500 Health)
- 25% of base damage is typically between 15-25 AD depending on level (525-875 Gold)
- Only becomes stat efficient once you take a large burst damage, best bought late game
- Rapidly decaying Shield only effective for a few seconds

Basically, for the majority of the time you are fighting, you spent more gold than you actually got in stats, and when it does become efficient, you only can use it for 8 seconds. The shield decays quickly. Reliably, you could have used that extra 1000 gold you aren't using on stats that you could have used... 100% of the time. On an item that is probably stat efficient WITHOUT TAKING TONS OF DAMAGE.

Best on a Full Tank who will always take tons of damage regardless. Even then, it requires you to basically take 30% of your health in damage, to get a 30% max health shield that decays, and only lasts 8 seconds.
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Laning Phase / Starting Items

Depending on your lane opponent, you will want to choose a good starting purchase for the early laning phase.

Common Starts


This is becoming more and more of my go-to starting item set for top lane in Season 7. With the changes to the passive, which gives you on-hit damage to minions, extra health regen when damaged by enemy champs, and cost reduction to 400, this item is pretty much what you'll be buying 9/10 times.

You trade better with this item against someone with Doran's Blade from quick engages due to the passive regen and extra potion. It allows you to farm quite well now that it gives extra damage to minions, and it is overall just too good at this current time.

This is what I start when I find myself in a winning match up where the other laner doesn't have kill potential early, and I need to build Executioner's Calling . Nasus is one match up that I will always start sword refill pot against. It allows you to tank more creep damage early and zone harder than Doran's Blade.

Also Build this when you want to rush an item that contains a longsword. So many items contain a longsword in S7. Hexdrinker rush against AP is common, as is Phage

If you are the type to do all-in to the death type trades pre-6 this is the kind of start for you. It gives you a wealth of stats that you can use early, good trading potential, and sustain.

However, If I'm going on an offensive route, I like to make big trades quick and fast, and 1 health pot doesn't do it for me and it's not great if you do get behind and get zoned. Get this only if you're confident in your ability to trade and stay healthy.

Doran's blades are more of a early-midgame item for me, as the lifesteal is now % based instead of flat. You can pick up 1 or 2 of these on your early backs if you are doing well and would like to push your advantage.
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Early Game

Before the buffs spawn, you always want to protect your own top side jungle. Key tip, never chill in a bush protecting your own jungle. Bushes already have bad vision when you're inside them. The enemy will always try and get kills from the bushes near red and blue if you are hiding in them. How many times have you been inside of a bush only to have 5 people instantly appear inside of it and you explode? Too many. Bush vision is bugged, and the vision usually doesn't extend very far out when you're in one.

Stand out where you can monitor whether someone can invade or not. It is much safer usually as the vision extends farther, and you won't be easy to hit with a skill shot like a blitzcrank hook. If they see one enemy, it usually scares them to think that you are starting at that buff, and that you have back up. They will usually stop the invade or hesitate. With Gnar, you can take Q first, and then check bushes with it. You will hear it hit if there is something in there.

If you want, use your trinket at 1:00 on your topside buff if your jungler isn't starting at that buff. That will give vision on the buff until 5 seconds after it spawns. If they haven't gone there to start the buff by then, chances are your buff is safe. If they do, you can alert the team that they are invading.

If you ward at 1:00 for your jungler, you will get the trinket back by 3:00, which will allow you to ward for their jungler, who typically ganks at 3:15-3:45.

The item that you chose to start with depends on the lane match up. Different Match ups will garner different starts.

In lane, you want use your range and the top bushes to your advantage. You will out-range any common top at level 1. Use this time to chunk the enemy laner before they hit level 2. It is important to use the brush to drop creep aggro, and if u can always kill the ranged minions first. Ranged minions cause you to lose out on trades. If you can down 1 or two of them before the laners shows up from leashing you will start the game off nicely. Use Boomerang Throw slow on them anytime they go for a creep. Throw in a few autos in there while they are slowed.

Gnar is a little bit harder to farm with vs other tops due to his low base AD, but is still better than most AP mages. Once you have level 3 it becomes easier.

Your level 2 you want to assess your opponent's level 2, and then who their jungler is. If the enemy Jungler is an early ganking jungler like Kha'zix or Lee Sin always take Hop second. Gnar is guaranteed to get ganked level 2 if you take W second. Without Hop you are extremely vulnerable to dying before you hit level 3. It takes some experience to know when you can level W 2nd and be safe. In the beginning, you're always safer Leveling E first

As Gnar, learn to expect 3 min Ganks. These ganks are usually right before you hit level 3. Keep in mind where their jungler started. If he started top side, you're pretty safe, as he will gank mid level 3 or bot lane. If he started bottom, side jungle you're going to get ganked.

It is your fault if you die to a 3 min gank as Gnar. Not your jungler's fault. You have one of the slipperiest top laners in the game and if you die to it you were not playing the lane correctly for the information you had. You probably blew hop, or didn't have wards up to see when they were coming. Even if your jungler comes to counter-gank, Mini Gnar's all in isn't great, and you will most likely lose the 2v2, unless you can out maneuver them.

If the laner has an average level 2, low mobility or their jungle is a "farm until 6 jungler feel free to take W 2nd. You will win trades taking w second and sets up level 3 kills with mega Gnar. Just make sure to use your trinket at 2:50!!! They could surpise you with an early gank if your laning opponent is duo queued up and notices you don't have Hop yet.

If you are playing aggressively as Gnar level 2 you will guaranteed turn into mega gnar level 2. If you took W second this makes u have kill potential. Open up with a stun from Wallop then hit them with Boulder Toss-auto attack. Back off into your creep wave and drop aggro if u can. If the enemy tries to fight you you will have help from your minions while Q comes off cool down. Auto them until Q is back up. Just before you transform back into mini Gnar try and get 1 last W off before you go mini.

Once you hit level 3, you can try for an all-in trade, or fein an all-in trade. If you don't see their jungler top side feel free to play aggressively and rush level 3. Your level 3 all in becomes absurd in Mega Form. Always Try and get the wave to reset middle. You can do this by hard pushing your laner's wave in, killing the caster creeps first. This will cause your lane to naturally push faster due to having ranged minions who won't be taking damage anymore while your melee's are fighting his melee's. Time it so that as soon as the wave hit's his tower, the new spawned creeps will be just leaving your base. That way the old minions die to tower before his new ones get backed up near his where a "freeze" could happen. If he decides to take Creep aggro to stop the push and freeze, it gives you an advantage of lower health to drive him out of lane or take a kill.

The enemy will be forced to play out farther to get farm. If they get to your creeps, use crunch on top of them to apply a slow, auto attack, then follow up with wallop to stunstun them. Quickly throw out a point blank Q and Auto, walking towards their tower to try and keep up with them if they run. They might try and flash out if they were already low from before. Try and predict that and throw out Q which should come off cool down fairly soon.

Levels 4-5 are very similar to level 3. Only you have more oomph on your Q and it's up more often. You can begin ramping up your trades.

Once you hit level 6, you can burst any champion dead as long as the game is still even. Try to chunk them as mini Gnar first before going in. Don't be afraid to use your ult to force your opponent out of lane or blow flash. Your can't use ult in mini form anyway, and chances are it will be back up when you need to use it again. Be a little more cautious at level 6 though, as the cooldown is quite high compared to level 11 and 16.

If they are around 800 Health and they're overextended, you can easily do an all-in trade and kill them level 6. You have to weave auto attacks in right, but if you see them at 800 health, go for this combo.

Walk within ult range, and ult them into a wall as far from their tower as possible. Usually when you've got a freeze going at your tower so the minions don't die to tower and they have to overextend. If you can ult them into tower. If not, just the walls near tower will do.

This is average damage against a champion who has average armor. Those with less armor you can full combo up to 1000 damage on squishies, and on heavily armored foes I would wait until they have about 600-700 health.

Ult=225 damage

This will do about 1000 damage to the enemy champion. The last Boulder is if they still didn't die. You're pretty well guaranteed a kill.

The combo looks like this.

Ult them into a wall, auto them while they are stunned, and then use (w)wallop. This will guarantee you hit Q. They will be slowed after Q, so you can auto attack them twice. (e)Crunch directly on top of them, they might try and flash, you can close the gap with Crunch if they flashed after they came out of stun. This will slow again, and allow you to hit 2 more autos. After that, your boulder should be back up again. This will be harder to hit but still manageable if you slowed with crunch.

IF the last Q didn't kill them, then they're slowed for the auto attack kill.
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Match ups

So many different matchups. This section will probably be the longest. I want to eventually cover every common match up top, as well as some slight unorthodox ones. Check the match up area at the beginning of the guide to get a general feel of how the lane will go.

Start - Doran's Shield Health Potionx2

Rush - Frozen Mallet + Mercury's Treads or Sunfire Aegis

2nd Skill Max - W Hyper- Wallop

This matchup would seem easy, and it is! But don't just pick Gnar into Garen if you don't know how to play it. His silence and Kit make it hard for you in both forms. If you don't harass right his passive will just shrug you off.

Both can win this lane, especially if Gnar rushes Damage. Level 6 Garen can instagib mini Gnar in one combo if Gnar built squishy. Against Garen, you want to bait out his silence. He might use it to farm. That's when you want to trade. Without his silence he can't remove your Q slow. He also can't shut down mega Gnar during the time that it is down. Garen silence shuts down caster heavy Mega Gnar.

If you see him use spin to win fight him once it nears the end of the spell. This spell he has does the bullying early game. Without it he has very low kill potential.

Starting at level 1 you want to poke and harass him away from his creeps. Try and drop creep aggro as often as possible by using the bushes. He will most likely use abilities to try and farm. Punish him when he does.

You'll hit level 2 first. This is where you can really push him out of lane. Take W at level 2 and never let him near his creeps. Ward ASAP to prevent level 2 gank. You don't want to get caught out without Hop as you aren't level 3 yet.

The main key to beating Garen is harrassing him when he goes to last hit, and always make sure his passive is down. Garen's passive is a green aura around him that starts whenever he hasn't taken damage from champions for a while. He heals like a monster when it is on. You can listen for the audible sound when it activates and the visual queues. 1 auto attack will cancel it. Make sure it stays off.

Start - Doran's Shield Health Potionx2

Rush - Ninja Tabi into Frozen Mallet

2nd Skill Max - E Hop- Crunch

Irelia is a skill match up. You win early levels, she starts hitting hard around level 4-5. Bad moves on either side can make this lane snow-ball into unfun for either champion. The edge goes to Irelia but she isn't a hard counter to Gnar.

Her damage will eventually outscale you. You give more for your team early though than she does.

The key to this match up is to ward well and pressure early. She doesn't have much sustain or her true damage until level 3. You want her to be under tower, and using mana to farm. Level 1 she doesn't really have a lot of kill potential on you and if she starts Q and goes in, you can kite her for days with your Q. If she starts E she doesn't have a gap closer to get in distance of you.

Play Irelia level 1 and 2 very harass focused. If you can manage to keep her down the first couple of waves, you will force her to sit under tower and farm. Take your gap closer, Hop Level 2 and max it 2nd. You want to be able to reposition as often as possible against Irelia since she can gap close easily. If you make it hard for her to stick to you after she engages, her damage diminishes significantly. She only has 1 chance to go in and has no way out, so when she does try and retreat, punish her with your own slow from Q and auto attacks.

A tip to hitting Boomerang Throw on Irelia is to watch the minion health for minions she wants to kill. She will generally use Q under tower to last hit so she can stay a safe distance away from your auto attacks. Watch her minions and when one gets low, you can anticipate her use of Q to last hit it, and throw you your Q. You will hit where she is going instead of where she is. This will make it hard for her to go back to tower since she is slowed, and you can get in an auto attack or 2. This makes harassing Irelia under tower reliable.

Be careful level 2 transitioning into level 3. Irelia level 2 can set up game-changing ganks if you didn't ward properly, especially if you transformed into mega gnar (going to happen, you have been bossing her around level 2 and building rage). you want to save E to escape a gank.

Irelia may try and jump on you level 3. If she does, you either played early levels wrong and aren't dictating the lane, or you're getting ganked. If you know that their jungler isn't near, and she's doing so with lowish health, punish her for it. After she goes in on you, she will stun you and try to auto you as much as possible. Don't Use Hop/Crunch until after the stun. As soon as the stun happens you will want to hop out of range and throw your Q at her at the same time. She has no gap closer now, so use this to your advantage and chunk her back.

Force her to use mana to farm, and at level 6, make her have to use her ult to wave clear. Once she does that's your Queue to fight her. Only fight her after 6 when her ult is down. It will heal her for so much you won't even know what happened.

Get Giant's belt first back. It will help you against her mixed Physical and True damage. Rush Randuin's Omen and be smart about your trades.

Start - Doran's Shield Health Potionx2

Rush - Ninja Tabi and Sunfire Aegis

2nd Skill Max - E Hop- Crunch

Riven is a champion that you can abuse if you bait out her Q ability.

Riven's playstyle is an AD heavy burst type that relies on chunking you down, waiting on her cooldowns to come back up, and then going back in and finishing the job. Start Cloth 4 so you can heal back up after trades quickly and not allow the damage to stick.

Against a good Riven, this is a hard matchup. Against an average or bad Riven, this match can be easily won. Riven is still Melee and this range discrepancy can be abused. Once you understand Riven's early game, you can work around her mobility and play some really good mind games against her.

Level 1 is crucial to this match up. If Riven started Q she has effectively 3 damage skills, enhanced auto attacks(3) and Hard CC, All at level 1. Riven's early game damage is really high.

If Riven started Q level 1
* wait for her to waste it on minions. you want to wait until she uses the 3rd proc.
* Once she uses the 3rd proc, she will have no mobility, and no hard cc.
* Use this opportunity to poke her down with auto attacks
* Use your long range Q to zone her from creeps and force her to use Q for mobility to farm

If Riven Started E
* Use your range advantage. She can't fight you back if once it's down
* Her level 1 damage is really low
* Abuse the **** out of her until level 2

Riven Level 2 is pretty scary. She will use E to gap close and negate damage and combo it with Q to close a huge distance very quickly to get some insane damage on you. If she hits level 2 first, she will try for a kill. Watch her to make sure you keep your distance until you hit level 2.

Take Hop 2nd and make sure you position yourself where you can hop away from the Q Knock up. If you can dodge the knock up she will have blown everything on getting to you and have nothing to follow up.

The key to beating Riven is to fight her after her Q is down. This is a large portion of her trading ability and her mobility. Make short trades, especially later when she's got CDR and points in Q, as it will come back up very quickly. You can win the lane by playing around her Q.

If you get riven down, you can play up and zone her from creeps with Q while you last hit. Save Hop to get away and use creeps to double your hop.

Level 6 she has kill potential even when she's behind due to the extra AD she gets and the ultimate execute damage that wrecks mini Gnar. Play cautious until you have built resists and completed your Armor item. If she blows Ultimate you can full combo her with ult and kill her if her Q is down.

Start - Long Sword Refillable Potion or Doran's Shield Health Potionx2

Rush - Executioner's Calling + Frozen Mallet or Black Cleaver

2nd Skill Max - W Hyper Wallop

Many a times I have seen a Gnar "Counterpick" Nasus only to find themselves running in fear 15 min into the game because they did not know how to properly shut down Susan. From now on we shall refer to Nasus as Susan cause Gnar taunts upside down and we read his name backwards.

Susan is a champion who has an ability called Siphoning Strike that gains +3 damage for every unit he kills, and has insane life steal to keep him healthy. He is extremely weak before level 6, and since Siphoning Strike has no cap, he will literally outscale everyone in the game (including anyone who is supposed to trash him in lane) as long as he is allowed to last hit and kill minions with this ability.

I have played a ton of Susan over the years with over 60% win rate over 2 seasons of ranked. I learned how to survive pretty much any lane, with positive win rates against common counters like Gnar, Riven, Pantheon, and Teemo. Instead of explaining how to play against him as Gnar, I will tell you first what gave me the most trouble WHEN PLAYING SUSAN and what the common mistakes were.

The most common mistake was always playing so aggressive early that they didn't think about wave control, and they pushed the wave into my tower. Or, they deliberately pushed the wave into my tower thinking that they would cause me to "lose CS to tower".

The best players that I played against always put me into a dangerous position in order for me to get farm. They would always either freeze the wave in the middle, or not farm the first wave so that I would inherently push it to them. This made me very vulnerable as being close to my tower is the key to Susan's success early in the game. They would then sit on the wave and harass me off of it for every farm I took, and then as slowly as possible kill the minions for free gold. Eventually it would push and get close enough to farm under tower. But by then I lost so many waves of farm that I was severely delayed in both item gold and Q stacks. At that point, the wave would build to gigantic proportions, and if the enemy jungler was any decent, they would tower dive me, which would make me lose the entire giant wave to the tower.


Susan is extremely good at setting up ganks and stopping any solo person from diving him under tower. Wither slows both your attack speed and movement speed for a long time. If you get withered under tower pre-6, you're a dead Yordle. He also can farm the minions there the easiest, and get you ganked easier. You may be able to chunk him, but you can't kill him if he's under tower. He will start with lots of pots and since you can't kill him, he'll just TP back with more armor if he gets too low, and then you're really not gonna kill him.

Level 1 you want to do one of two things, either let him push the wave first by giving him a few free farms in exchange for hard zoning potential, or keep it in the middle by simply last hitting until your 2nd minion wave has arrived. IF YOU ATTACK HIM TOO EARLY, THE CREEPS WILL STOP ATTACKING YOUR MINIONS AND WILL IN TURN PUSH TOO QUICKLY TO HIM.

The other way to get it to push towards yourself is to pull the wave. You do this by standing in front of his first wave of minions before they reach yours, and drawing aggro. Make them follow you towards the top middle bush and then walk into the bush as soon as the waves meet in the middle. This will cause 3 of their melee minions to surround the first minion in your line and they will "focus" your first minion down, making it push back towards you.

Then, (without hitting any minions unless it's the last hit to kill them) sit on his wave and harass him anytime he goes for a minion. Use the bushes safely to drop creep aggro and not tank much damage from minions.

You basically do this as you level up, being patient to NOT PUSH THE WAVE.

Susan will purchase ARMOR and COOLDOWN REDUCTION(CDR) in order to eventually heal with lifesteal more than you can poke him for. He will buy a Frozen Heart first so that his heals become stronger since it takes you more damage to take down the health he just got back. This also slows your attack speed from the passive. Combined with Wither he becomes unkillable.

Luckily, Last Whisper is half the cost of Frozen Heart, and now builds into an item that gives grievous wounds. Grievous wounds will cut down on Susan's healing tremendously if he gets low health, and allows you to kill him. This is one of the rare times you will build last whisper first. Get Ninja Tabi after for harder Kiting, and then go for Frozen Mallet. You want to be able to keep Susan down and crying for as long as possible. After that, get tanky for what your team needs, roam, and win the game since you will be stronger in team fights than him.

Susan is pretty much ungankable if he hits level 6 when under his tower and he isn't below half health. He can 2v1 at that point. Don't let him get to level 6 safely.

Patience is the key to beating Susan in lane and then ultimately winning the game.

A popular thing now to do as Susan is E Max and just push the wave. You'll know if they are going E max because they will take Thunderlord's Decree . In this case, take Doran's Shield and just farm it out until midgame.

Start - Doran's Shield Health Potionx2

Rush - Ninja Tabi and Randuin's Omen or Sunfire Aegis

2nd Skill Max - E Hop- Crunch

Your basics to playing this lane are essentially the same as if you are playing against the Riven match up. When it comes down to it, both of them have very similar play styles with the main differences being what their abilities are. If you can learn those and the general cooldown of them, playing one isn't really harder than the other. The main reason Yasuo is quite harder overall for Gnar is Yasuo's wind wall ability. When used correctly, it can literally block all of your damage.

Both Riven and Yasuo want to do 1 thing. Get in, deal lots of burst damage, and use their insane mobility to get back out before you can do anything. By realizing the timings of when these things are about to happen, you can effectively play the lane to your advantage.

Yasuo will start E (sweeping blade) level 1. It gives him insane mobility and it ramps up in damage for every unit he passes through. Most of them will wait until level 2 to trade but he still wins level 1 due to his mobility. His common patterns are to start trimming the wave level 1, and then quickly hit level 2 asap. He will wait until the minion wave just starts clashing with your wave but hasn't fully "Mushroomed" yet. He will then have a long line of 6 minions that he can use to gain more distance than a 747 Jet Airliner with a tailwind behind it. He will be level 2 and you will be level 1, and he will swoop like 1500 range out towards you through minions, hit you with stacked E, auto attack, use steel tempest (Q), auto attack and then dash back to the 1 minion he didn't use E on to get to you while absorbing any return damage with his passive shield.

Your main option as Gnar in this lane is to not fall trickery to the level 2 Cheese. Just wait for it to push towards you (It will, cause he rushed level 2 and damaged lots of minions going for this trade) and get to level 2 safely. Farm under tower. You should have started with full defense and sustain, so you should be able to farm up and get your Ninja Tabi. You will usually get Ninja Tabi over Warden's Mail early because Ninja Tabi passive will reduce damage with every hit, Wardens Mail will work best when he has more critical strike chance. Tabi will also give you more mobility which will keep you safer and last hit easier.

The key to trading with Yasuo has everything to do with his wind wall (W) and taking down his passive. Only trade with Yasuo when his windwall is down. If at anytime he blocks your Boomerang or rock with Wind Wall you need to get out of that trading situation as quickly as possible. If that happens, you have already lost the trade and need to mitigate the damage done to you as much as possible. Best scenario is he hasn't gotten into melee range yet, and you can just back off until your abilities come back up.

But how to bait the wind wall you ask? Auto attacks. It becomes a game of chicken. if your wave is bigger, or your under tower, you can auto attack him and hold onto your boomerang for as long as possible. He knows you want to use it, and will get anxious of trying to block your main trading tool. He will throw it out eventually.

Now once it is down, it is time to trade. he will back off until his shield is down. Wind Wall's Cooldown is stupid high early and you have about 20 seconds to trade. The key now since it is down is to throw one auto attack to take down his shield, wait for it to completely dissipate and then throw out your burst. Otherwise his shield will just absorb your entire auto-boomerang-auto combo. If you auto attack, wait, then auto-q-auto he will actually get chunked.

You want to dodge his tornadoes as well, which can get a little tricky. When he has it available, you will hear a metallic sword ping sound and Yasuo will become surrounded by swooping white wind. He gets this tornado after he hits 2 things with Q in a row, making the 3rd Q a tornado. Run north and south and commit to one direction once you hear he is really isn't a wandering samurai but a locksmith. You will know this when he yells that hey "HAS-A-KEY" and throws this wind storm of debris (Probably improperly cut keys) at you.

Also, when he throws his windwall out, don't chase him through it. Run either north or south of the wall (perpendicular) and dare him to commit onto you. He wins by staying just to one side of it enough to attack you, and then when you go through the wall he'll just swoop past you onto the other side and still hit you. He can't do that if you just walk just above or below the wall (or to the side if he throws it towards river or something) and his wall becomes nullified.

Careful at 6, his Ult allows him to suddenly ignore like half your armor, so be careful fighting him for 15 seconds after he ults if you don't kill him immediately after the ult.

Start - Doran's Shield Health Potionx2

Rush - Spectre's Cowl + Ninja Tabi

2nd Skill Max - W Hyper- Wallop

Oh Teemo. Even against a strong ranged champion top lane you make life difficult. This other yordle is known as Satan for the kit that he has. It is one of the most cruel kits to face against as a melee or short ranged top laner. It slowly tortures you into death while spamming the laugh of Evil.

Playing against Teemo requires very good spacing and zone minion control that puts you in the safest position to farm, without getting whittled down by all of his poison. Teemo has more range than you, and an ability that will cause you to miss all of your auto attacks for a duration (His Blinding Dart) effectively killing any chance of a good trade. His W Move Quick movement speed passive is excellent for dodging your skill shots, and his level 6 power spike with his ultimate Noxious Trap makes him extremely hard to gank. He controls the top half of the map with his ultimate and can set up defensive minefields he can lure you through to make you think twice about an all-in.

The key to living out this wave is farming either under tower, or freezing the wave and farming towards the bottom side of the lane. Teemo will use the bushes to drop creep aggro and continue harassment.

Level 1 Teemo pretty much has the upper hand. He outranges you, and if he took Toxic Shot first he will win trades with the poison. If he took Blinding Dart he will negate all of your damage except maybe your boomerang if he didn't dodge it. He wins any flat out trade until level 6 where his ult requires set up and time to arm.

Before that time, you want to use your spacing wisely, and wait until he uses Blinding Dart to farm. That is the only time you can trade pre-6 is to fight him while his blind is down. Other than that, you want to focus on hitting any open Q's on him. Teemo has no sustain in his kit, so keeping him low is the best way to survive the lane and not get killed in an all-in.

Item wise, you will want to rush Spectre's Cowl, followed by Hex Drinker and possibly Ninja Tabi or other armor item if the rest of their team is Attack damage. If you didn't start Doran's Shield and instead started Long Sword then you will want to rush Hex Drinker first and then Spectre's Cowl. Doran's Shield is better at surviving the lane, and Spectre's Cowl lets you farm much easier.

The prime time to take over the lane is going to be the moment you hit level 6. If you both hit level 6 at the same time, you can go in on Teemo. If you hit it before him, absolutely go on him. If he out levels you, or are low on health, just farm it out until you can make rotations for the midgame team fighting. Teemo is super squishy and a full Mega Gnar combo will completely wipe him off the map level 6 if you hit both stuns. If you do it right, he won't be able to out trade anymore with your items and can keep killing him every time your ultimate is available or his flash is down.

Buy pink wards and clear the shrooms. You will eventually out scale unless you got dominated in lane.

Start - Doran's Shield Health Potionx2 or Longsword Refillable Potion

Rush - Executioner's Calling + Spectre's Cowl into Spirit Visage

2nd Skill Max - W Hyper- Wallop

Vladimir is a drain mage who becomes stronger as the game progresses. He becomes tankier by dealing damage as be builds spell vamp, and the more damage he deals the more health he gets back.

This match up has to be played with a pressure focused early game. Vladimir has high cooldowns and low wave-clear early game. You have to force him into a lose-lose situation, but in doing so involves putting yourself at risk of a gank. Map awareness is paramount into this match.

Vladimir wins trades by sustaining through his Q and dealing damage to you. If he doesn't have to use it to farm, he will use it on you. You will lose on every trade in this scenario. His other abilities have a health cost with no spell vamp effect until he gets items, so using them to farm is not what he wants to have happen. Your job is to make this happen. If Vlad uses Q to last hit, be sure to punish him in that window after it since he won't have damage to back it up. Be mindful of minion damage though. Generally, push the wave hard and make him miss farm to tower. You want him to use his E to trim the wave, which will take away his health. When he's under tower, if he uses Q to farm, you can punish him then. He either fights you back and loses farm, or farms and loses a trade. Make sure to farm well though, or else you both will be farmless.

His pool uses a huge amount of health, so the more he uses it, the better. You win trades by making him deal damage to himself to farm.

Ward hard and be mindful of the jungler. Vlad has only his pool for CC, so if he does use it he will use health too. Build a tank item first to survive his level 6 burst, and then damage/team oriented items after.

Start - Doran's Shield Health Potionx2

Rush - Chain Vest + Boots

2nd Skill Max - W Hyper

Pantheon This guy in lane doesn't even tell you to bite the pillow, he just goes all in. Most Pantheon players will take ignite into lane, to try and snowball the map, or just completely deny you so much farm you get Flame-Horizoned and are suddenly 100 minions down. Pantheon is not a match-up you win in lane. Your goal is to survive, whatever the costs, and get as much farm as possible. He becomes more and more useless the later the game becomes, and needs to get fed to become the most useful.

He has a passive that allows him to block turret shots, and auto attacks, effectively making both your trading useless, and your safety under tower less potent.

Start Cloth armor, lots of health potions, and in this match-up I go 12/0/18 Masteries, take full armor from runes, Strength of Ages and survive. Pantheon's goal is to burst you down with combos, so Strength of Ages will give you 20 health every 3 waves as long as you last hit the cannon minions or be around your jungler when they take a camp. This will help with the armor you build, and eventually you can survive enough in lane to not instantly die to a pantheon combo.

Mega-Gnar is the way to win against Pantheon. His passive doesn't hurt Mega Gnar as much due to be a caster-heavy champion, so if you can get a good angle, you can burst him hard. Ask for jungle ganks after you get some items, as he will have no escapes. Early ganks are dangerous though, because you can die easily to his insane early game burst. Survive and live to see midgame.

More match ups are coming soon.
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Mid Game/Grouping Phase

Many people are confused on when "Mid-game" starts. Most people will tell you Mid-Game is just when everyone starts grouping up to fight mid, but how do you know when to start doing that?

As a rule of thumb, Midgame starts as soon as the first tower goes down. As soon as that happens, you can bet your house that whoever took down that first tower, whether it be bot lane, or top lane, or mid lane... That person will start making moves to roam to other lanes because by destroying their opponents tower, they now have a longer lane and if it's pushed it's too dangerous to stay there, so they will roam.

So as soon as the first tower goes down anywhere on the map, keep an eye on the map to make moves either to rotate or teleport for the fight.

Midgame for Gnar levels wise (Not map wise) is level 6-13. This is where you are strongest. After this point in the game, your power scaling will begin to flatten and won't have as much impact, especially after level 16. Level 13 you have 2 abilities maxed, and 2 points in ult. This is your peak in strength relative to the other players in the game. After 13, you're mainly just leveling your utility spell, so your strength in levels doesn't become as much of a factor as earlier in the game. Carries start getting big after that point and start to outscale you.

Once Midgame hits, your job is to either be the initiator of a team fight, or follow up on a team fight depending on who else is on your team and how you built.

Before the team fight starts, you will try and zone their opponents with constant boomerang harass, and try to proc hyper damage if you can do so safely. Boomerang should be maxed about now so it will come back up when you catch it. This does 3 things, it whittles down opponents so that they are easier to kill once the fight starts, slows and zones them to prevent their tank line from initiating on their team, and builds up your rage for transformation to mega gnar.

If you went straight tank because your Jungler is damage oriented, your job is to try and build up around 90 fury and just sit on it, waiting for an opportunity to go in. Your job in this role is to hit at least 3 priority targets or more with your ultimage combo'd with wallop. Priority targets are targets who are the strongest on their team. If they're ADC is underfed and hits like a wet noodle, but their Kha'zix has 10 kills, make sure to prioritize him and whoever else is equal in gold to your team. Last thing you want is to lock down their worthless ADC, Top and Support and let their fed Mid and Jungle Feast upon your own team's damage. After you use your full combo, you will want to move away from their mid/back line and focus on peeling off targets from your back line and protecting them. They are, after all, what is going to pump out the most damage and ultimately kill everyone in the fight. Your job as Tank Gnar is to ensure your carries survive and pump out more damage in a fight than their carries.

If you have chosen a more bruiser build, you don't want to try and initiate if you can due to the damage you will take. If you're too chunked you won't be able to fill that DPS role that's part of "Tanky DPS". If you chose a Bruiser build, it's because you knew that you had someone super tanky with reliable CC to initiate the fight, such as tank Amumu. In this case, stay around 90 fury and wait for him to go in. Once he goes in, combo your CC with his and stay more in the middle, kiting and dealing damage to priority targets as they get into range. Work with your Carries to take down tankier foes who may be in their face, but do not hesitate to blow up a squishier target if they are in range. If their tank line gets low, you're free to bum rush their carries as you have little fear of your carries getting CC locked and instagibbed.
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Late/End Game

Late game for Gnar is all about his ult. Period. If you can hit 3-4 people (This includes both Carries) with his ult with your team in follow up range you have basically won the team fight.

Late game you want to play as a mid/front line depending on whether you are Mini or Mega Gnar. You will be tanky but you are an easy pick off in mini form and shouldn't be trying to absorb damage for your team or engage unless you have 90-100 rage.

Managing your rage is very crucial in this stage of the game because being able to transform when a team fight engage happens decides whether you win or lose the fight. Most of the time you want a fight to start just when you're about to transform.

Before Team Fight

[*]Your job is to zone and poke with Q as often as possible. Use it to prevent an engage.
[*]Try and soften up targets before the fight
[*]Play as a mid-line bruiser, kiting and delaying the fight until you have proper rage built up
[*]Get yourself ready for an engage

If The Enemy Engages First

[*]Peel Peel Peel for your backline. They are your damage, and if they die you can't finish off the other team.
[*]Use Q's to slow tanks and soften them up while in mini form.
[*]If your backline is safe and there is a higher priority target you can attack, switch.
[*]get ready to transform for ult. Position to hit as many members of their team as possible
[*]Use CC in to disengage if someone got picked off.

If Your Team/You Engaged

[*]Follow up and attempt to Ult as many targets as possible.
[*]CC priority targets first after ult, then pull back and peel.
[*]Use CC in Mega Gnar to zone their carries, and peel for your carries.
[*]Remember, Your Carries > Their Carries. The longer yours live, the more DPS your team will put out. The team with most damage in a fight will win.
[*]CC stops players from zoning or dealing damage.
[*]Once you transform back into mini form, look for the clean up. Maximize time with %health damage during this time.

Most of the time, you will want to avoid split pushing late in the game unless your team is far ahead. You may have Teleport, but late game team fights happen in an instant. Since being in the right form at the right time is so valuable late in the game, Teleporting in with 0 rage if a fight instantly breaks out can be quite detrimental. Your CC wins the game late. Treat teleport as insurance if you are clearing a lane or holding another lane, but don't try to rely on it to get to your team. Try to be with your team at all times late in the game so you can instantly react accordingly.

Keep wards up when you can and never chase into an area with no vision. 1 team fight can win or lose the game with long death timers.
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I'm slowly but surely making video content! As of right now, I'm splitting my time between 800 things, and this guide is one of them. I will put videos here as I get the content, and then will organize it later. Thanks for your understanding! :)

Gnar Ult Tower Examples
RANKED VOD Reviews - Gnar vs Nasus
You can use this method to turn around your lane, or a gank, or even just to punish the enemy for bad positioning. Any advantage you can get you want to use, and the tower range is a great one to abuse, especially early in the game before anyone has enough health or resists to tank turret shots and live to tell the tale.

Other things that will go here are champion matchup videos tips for hitting your skill shots as Gnar.
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I have/will spend a lot of time on keeping this guide relevant. Please, if you have any questions, or have any suggestions for improving the guide to be the most informative Guide on Gnar there is, post it in the comments section below.

If you found this guide helpful, don't forget to upvote and share!

Special thanks to Fireflufferz for allowing me to use the artwork featured throughout the guide.

Thanks to all those who support me and have helped me complete this guide!
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Change Log!

1/11/15 - Added Change Log. Corrected some formatting errors. Added "Snowballing" Item build with notes. Edited/Added notes on Standard Full Build, Bully Start, Core AP Laner, Full AD comp. Replaced Banshee's Veil with Maw of the Malmortius in Double AP comp and edited notes. Edited "Top Lane Explained" Spoiler with more info, as well as Mid, ADC, Jungle, and Support with more information on those roles for the new player.

1/19/15 - Added Late game details. Edited Boomerang Throw Details from Patch 5.1 Changes on boomerang Cooldown Change.

5/12/15 - Edited Items and notes due to change in meta.

5/20/15 - Edited out Brutalizer for Phage since Black Cleaver changes.

6/8/15 - Added video to introduction, added Fiora Match up Details. Fixed brutalizer item issues.

12/6/15 - Updated for Season 6 (Sorry for the delay! WORK OP) Added Match-up Map, Updated Items, Sequences, updated situational items page, started notes on champions.

12/6/16 - Added champion match up table. Finished notes for match up table. Fixed spelling/grammar errors. Started working on in depth match up descriptions.

12/8/15 - Updated Match-Ups Section to add Nasus to it.

1/1/16 - Fixed some spelling errors. Added Yasuo to match ups section.

1/2/16 - Found more item errors (Curse you brutalizer!!) Added Teemo to match up section.

1/21/16 - Added New FAQ Graphic, Added Video Section and first video.

1/21/16 - Recorded and added Masteries Page Videos, Part 1 and Part 2.

3/21/16 - Updated Runes+Runes Section, Fixed Masteries due to derp in clicking.

5/31/16 - Added Vladimir Matchup, Edited Snowballing Build. Fixed potion count on Irelia matchup. Edited some of the matchup details for all champions.

6/1/16 - Added VOD review to Nasus Match up and Tips and Tricks sections. Moved around item paths to have full builds first.

8/9/16 - Spelling errors. Added More to detailed Match-ups. Added Cheat-Sheet Matchups of Trundle and Malphite. Rearranged Offensive/situational/defensive items. Re-added Sunfire Cape, added Executioner's Calling and Phantom Dancer. Edited starting items.

6/1/17 Updated the Guide for patch 7.10 to include the new items. Currently working on more matchups such as Fiora and more, so sit tight!
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