Build Guide by Periphetes
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Do you like belly bumpin' till your opponents keel over? Do you like your damage like you like your women, big and sloppy? Do you like abusing hp till your opponents cry like soviet women? Then this is the build for you, comrade.
In all seriousness, this is a support build. You will get a lot of assists and less kills. However, you will make a good team excellent, and a terrible team bad, instead of just getting a lot of kills and losing anyway by carrying with a dps. I'd put him at the very top of support tier, on the level of Sona.
The items in bold for the item sequence are WRONG, this is a dynamic build. Those items are for reference only, with knowledge of the gameplay tactics section, your final build may look different.
Worth noting is that this build is much more viable for 5v5 than 3v3. The aoe damage gragas puts out is more suitable for teamfights, whereas another champion who can do more single target damage (such as warwick, twitch, shaco, etc) would be more appropriate in 3v3. However, if you are allowed to solo lane with good partners calling mia, he may very well be a good pseudo-tank for 3s.
TLDR: Omg a tank who does veigar damage nerf this ****.
Notice this is a LOSS and I have flawless godlike. Yea, build's that good.
Ghost, even after the nerf, combined with body slam, makes for easy gank escapes. Helps for chasing those homeland invading jerks too.
Cleanse, more useful than exhaust late game, but less useful early-mid game. I prefer to use it because if you're doing poorly in early game you won't even make it to mid-late. Use at your discretion.
Exhaust, helps in so many ways, can be combined with ghost for escapes, used for easy early ganks, overall just very useful. You spit vodka in zeer eyes, they have much crying.
Ignite could be worth getting in Summoner's Rift only, if you're under level 30 (buy some ale and an exp boost you fat sloth!) and can't put 21 points into utility without losing Archaic Knowledge.
Flash can be useful for ganks and escapes, but it's pretty situational and much more useful on Twisted Treeline.
Smite may have some nice utility for grabbing the golem buff early game (level 2-3) if your laning partner can heal when you come back. Nice for killing super minions late game too (AP gragas takes forever to down them).
Clarity helps alleviate Gragas' early mana starvation.
9x Magic pen marks, 9x hp/level seals, 8x ap/level glyphs, 1x cdr/level glyph, 2x cdr/level quints, 1x magic pen quint.
These are designed to maximize magic penetration, cooldown reduction, and blood alchohol level, while giving a very nice ap and hp boost. You could swap the hp seals out for something else, but it's probably a waste, and they do help quite a bit in early-midgame.
Barrel Roll: Your main skill, which you want to max out first. Do a barrel roll!
Drunken Rage: Pretty epic later when you can keep it up 100%, and quite useful for farming. Also you chug ale, no comment necessary.
Body Slam: Does good damage early game, mostly useful for escapes and and ganks mid-late.
Explosive Cask: What is this big barrel coming ove- OMG I'M AWAY FROM MY TURRET FUUUUUUUUUU-
The basic idea of this build is to get Gragas some much needed survivability while not neglecting AP early, and then mage him out late game.
If you've seen hell_pet's guide (thanks for the original build!), you are probably wondering why I made mejai's optional. Simply common sense, if you're losing, the gold is better spent elsewhere. Also, after some testing, I've found Will of the Ancients to be a very good, cheap midgame item.
Disclaimer: When I speak of extra trips, I mean leaving a lane to go buy stuff. If you are dead or healing, always advance your items as much as possible at that point.
Start with Health Potion and Sapphire crystal. Try to maintain as much lane uptime as possible, and last hit minions. Gragas performs best with a lane partner, preferably a ranged/support one. Sona is excellent. Don't waste all your mana harrassing yet. If you die or need to heal up, pick up Catalyst of the Protector. I usually end up doing this for mana+health at level 6/7 (duo lane). As soon as you have the money for it and are out of teamfighting, pick up Rod of Ages. If you have it by 13 mins you are doing fantastic.
Get your rank 2 boots first, and make a trip for them if you are being harrassed too much. From level 8/9 you can start spamming barrels, drunken rage/mana pool should take care of mana. At this point, decide if you're going to buy Mejai's or not depending on the match, only buy it if your team is 1.3-1 or better. Buy your Rylai's next, but don't bother making extra trips for the scraps. If you are forced to scrap, the priority depends on the game. Giant's Belt is better when you are getting killed a lot, which isn't often.
From here the game should be drawing to a close already. If not, make trips for will of the ancients, then zhonya's. If you don't have enough facerolling buy zhonya's straight off, prioritize needlessly large rod for scrapping. If the game goes till you max build, replace either will of the ancients or mejais with lichbane, then replace the remaining one with deathfire grasp if you sold/couldn't 20-stack mejai. It's good to keep 20-stack mejai over deathfire grasp, but you almost never will be able to hold 20 late-game.
Tips and Tricks:
-You don't always have to blow up your barrels as soon as possible. The cooldown begins when the barrel is thrown, but it won't show it.
-Try to hit as many minions as possible with your barrels, all the time. You're pretty much guaranteed to make 60g when you do.
-Drunken Rage should be used every time it's available, for the mana and hp, as long as you're not in the middle of a battle. Occasionally it can be worth the time to refresh in teamfights.
-Body slam should be used in conjunction with barrels, if possible. The slow forces them to stand in your barrels for a couple seconds, setting off a chain reaction with your rylai.
-Barrels, body slam, and explosive cask can go through walls. Use this to your advantage.
-Explosive casks work like Blast Wave in world of warcraft, they explode outward in a ring from where you targeted them. This means you can throw it behind them to pull them forward, and play with the edge of the circle for extra range.
-Try to conserve your explosive casks for escapes or chases only before late-game (where you get CDR).
-One of the best times to use Explosive Cask offensively is to knock someone into your tower, then body slam them to stick it.
-NEVER try to engage dps characters in auto attack fights alone unless you're sure they can't get you below half health.
-Aim for the squishies with your Barrel Roll.
-Once you get Lich Bane, you are capable of soloing turrets. Keep drunken rage up to absorb some damage, and it should take only two dives with no minion help.
Thanks for reading, post a comment and rate please ^_^
(original base build from hell_pet)
Edit: Added will of the ancients in exchange for Lich Bane. Gragas doesn't go into melee range often enough in late game to make good use of it.
Edit2: With some more testing I have found that belly bumpin' is better than ale. Spec adjusted for more belly slams.
Edit3: Nashor's tooth is wasted as a final item. By then you can buy brilliance elixirs. Replaced with Mejai/deathfire.