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Gragas, Barrel Throwing King
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my name is Gragas, and I am an alcoholic... and proud of it!
When I looked over the Gragas builds on Mobafire, i found that most of them were not to my liking, or horribly outdated.
Thus I decided to make my own guide, showing how I play AP Gragas.
I'll be sure to explain things real slow, since any good Gragas player is already drunk.
Finally got off my arse and updated a little. Changed Item chapter, updated abilities from way back in Patch v18.104.22.168
Magic Pen. Reds are common for any AP character. I would use them over AP runes, because Gragas scales so well. That may sound paradoxical, but think of it like this: his moves are gonna do alot of damage no matter what your runes are. rather than adding just a little more damage, you can make his attacks go alot farther by using the Magic Pen.
Health Per Level Yellows greater seal of vitality are a good choice for him, even though I play him as a mage. Gragas rarely has to worry about mana, so the regular mana regen seals are not necessary. Health per level goes well with his natural tankiness, and helps make you difficult to kill even without any tanking items.
CDR Blues help to combat Gragas's greatest enemy, his own cooldowns. These Glyphs greatly reduce that concern throughout the whole game. (If you are especially anal about max CDR, switch 5 of these out for CDR per level. You will then be .1 over max with a full build and an Elixir of Brilliance).
Flat Health Quintessences again play to your tankiness. With Quintessences I could see someone choosing Magic Pen instead, especially now that the health ones have been nerfed. I still prefer the health quintessences because early game so completely makes or breaks a Gragas.
What's there to say? it gets you where you need to go. Running, chasing, maneuvering for an ult, whatever, Ghost just makes it all happen faster. Flash is also a good spell for this, and I'd leave it up to the Summoner's preferance. I personally feel like Flash is redundant on a champion who can already dash through walls, But i know its a very popular spell.
I got sick and Tired of those enemies that escape with 2 health. Ignite is great for someone attempting to get blood in lane, like Gragas. It also weakens heals on any one champ throughout the game. Exhaust is another offensive summoner Spell, but I don't like it as much on Gragas because A: He already has great CC between Body Slam and Explosive Cask and B: He's naturally tanky enough that it isnt so vital to debuff enemy attacks. Still, its not a horrible choice if thats your thing.
Archaic Knowledge is the most important mage-mastery in the offensive tree, so we make sure to get that.
Defensive Masteries make you tough regardless of your items, and Ardor is a nice mastery to have for mages.
(Innate): Gragas takes a drink from his cask every time he uses an ability, restoring 2% of his maximum hit points over 4 seconds.
This passive is not too useful in the heat of battle, but it allows you to stay out on the field almost constantly.
If someone puts a DoT on me when I am at low health, I spam abilities to try and keep this passive on. It won't save you most times, but on that rare occasion you walk away with 3 health, you'll be glad for this passive.
(Active): Gragas rolls his cask to a target location, which can be activated again to explode after arriving or will explode on its own after 5 seconds, dealing damage and slowing attack speed of enemy units in the area for 3 seconds.
* Range: 1,100.
* Area of Effect:
Cost: 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120 mana.
Cooldown: 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 seconds.
Magic Damage: 85 / 135 / 185 / 235 / 285 (+0.9 per ability power).
Attack Speed Slow: 20% / 25% / 30% / 35% / 40% .
This is one of the longest range regular abilities in the game. It also has a massive area of effect. use this to harass champs, and to farm alot. In most situations you can hit an entire creep wave with one barrel. It moves pretty slowly, so be sure to lead your enemies.
since it does not explode immediately, you can also use it as a deterrent of sorts. leave it right in front of you, and the enemy will have to walk into it if they want to attack. throw it to cut off a path through the forest, and the enemy has to accept the damage or take a different route.
(Active): Gragas guzzles brew from his cask, channeling for one second, and instantly restores mana. After he finishes drinking, he becomes drunkenly enraged, increasing physical damage dealt and decreasing all damage taken for 20 seconds.
* No cost.
* Cooldown: 25 seconds.
Mana Replenished: 40 / 55 / 70 / 85 / 100 mana.
Extra Damage: 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 .
Damage Reduction: 10 / 12 / 14 / 16 / 18 %.
The least apparent but possibly greatest move Gragas has. Drunken Rage allows you to tank some heavy damage, and replenishes a ton of mana. Because Body Slam builds off of attack damage, being drunk increases not only your auto-attack, but your body slam as well.
With just a little CDR you can be constantly drunk, and i suggest you drink pretty much any time its up, unless you are running to or from an enemy. It may be annoying to stop fighting to take a drink, but you are far less potent without it.
(Active): Gragas charges forward and collides with the first enemy unit he comes across, dealing magic damage to all enemies near the collision. Damage is split amongst targets hit. Units hit by Body Slam are slowed by 35% for 2.5 seconds.
* Cooldown: 7 seconds.
* Area of Effect:
Cost: 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 mana.
Magic Damage: 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+0.5 per ability power) (+0.66 per attack damage).
Body Slam is a great move for running or chasing. It can be used to go through most walls, which is why Gragas is so hard to catch.
It also has an effective slow. it can slow multiple enemies, but for every enemy you hit, the damage is split among them, meaning you have to choose between heavily damaging a single target or slowing many. It does not scale off of AP as well as his other moves, but this is evened out because it scales off of both AD and AP.
when you use it on an enemy, it almost guarantees a melee hit immediately after, which is why it synergizes so well with the Lich Bane.
(Active): Gragas throws his cask to a location which explodes on impact, dealing damage to enemy units in the area and knocking them back.
* Range: 1,050.
* Area of Effect:
* Max. Knockback Distance: 800 (estimate).
Cost: 100 / 125 / 150 Mana.
Cooldown: 90 / 75 / 60 seconds.
Magic Damage: 200 / 325 / 450 (+1 per ability power).
Explosive Cask is Gragas' most dangerous move. It can screw over the enemy team, or your own, if you aren't careful.
If an enemy is in its range when it lands, it pushes them out from the center where it lands. it can be used to disperse groups of enemies, or push specific enemies in certain directions. It can be great for chasing enemies or saving allies, but be careful. if you miss, you could push that enemy even farther away, or close the gap between your ally and the chasing enemy. You should lead the enemy, but not so much they aren't in the blast radius if they suddenly stop. Use Body Slam to quickly gain some ground if the shot is too far for comfort.
Because it does so much damage, it can be used as a finisher, or to just heavily wound several enemies. in most cases though, it is best to save it for when its pushing ability is truly needed.
2nd is Drunken Rage. You need the mana regen it provides to continue your harass. It also raises your AD and reduces your damage taken, making you all around one scary dude. Don't be too aggressive before you have this spell, because this is what really makes the enemies cringe.
Body Slam at level 3 is obvious. Maximize damage output, gives you some CC, and an escape, since their jungler could be coming around any time now.
After that, your plan is to max Barrel Roll, but do so while throwing in enough Drunken Rage upgrades to stay ahead in mana.
I usually get a second level in Body slam relatively early, because it increases your movement speed when using it to a respectable level, but after that its maxed last.
Alot of people don't like Doran's items, but i get them on most chars i intend to get first blood with. Laning as Gragas you should get some early game blood. If you don't, you probably need to practice as him more, in which case I would suggest a Doran's item anyway.
Since the nerf to both his mana gain from Drunken Rage and the base damage on his barrel, I now consider this item almost essential for AP Gragas. If you don't have both the mana regen and the AP from it, you'll either be throwing very few barrels, or throwing barrels that do very little damage.
I complete sorcerer's shoes before even starting my RoA for two reasons: one, with level two shoes and bodyslam, its really really difficult to gank Gragas in his lane. Second, the magic pen from these shoes along with your runes will result in almost true damage on most enemies.
I feel like I shouldn't have to say this, but I will anyway. If the enemy team has ridiculous super CC, you probably want to go Mercury Treads .If the enemy team has an abundance of AD/ attack speed, you might want to go Ninja Tabi .
Rod Of Ages
Rod of Ages more or less should provide all the survivability you need, while still giving you a good chunk of AP. Always get this early in the game, as it takes 10 minutes to reach its maximum potency.
Morello's Evil Tome
When I say other Gragas build's are outdated, its because they don't have this item. This book has quickly become my favorite caster item. At 2350 gold, it is some of the cheapest AP in the game, as well as some of the cheapest CDR. The mana regen is also a nice perk: Gragas didnt have mana problems before, but with Morello's you should never once run out of mana.
. Rabadon's Deathcap
Now that you have most of the utility you need, its time to get the ultimate AP item. Everyone knows this one, so I don't need to explain much. This makes your damage output explode.
Elixir of Brilliance
If another mage on your team is constantly grabbing the blue buff, its OK. Gragas doesn't need the mana regen, and with Morello's and runes/masteries, you would go over max CDR anyway. At finished build, you will be at 28.35%. An Elixir of Brilliance will bring you up to 38.35%, as well as giving you a nice little AP boost. After Deathcap, I personally prioritize having an Elixir of brilliance up over a Lich Bane. You won't get to finish the Lich Bane in alot of games, and The elixir will be more beneficial to you than a partial Lich Bane anyway.
Lich Bane is a very important item for Gragas, primarily because of his Body Slam. Since Gragas is the kind of AP char who can often rush into melee range, its a good idea to capitalize on that. on top of that, you get more AP, some magic resist, and some extra movement speed. I especially like the movement speed; by the time you get a Lich bane, alot of your enemies will have sped up, making it easier to catch you. Lich Bane solidifies your position as "Gragas the Un-chase-able."
If things aren't going as well, i get something like a Guardian Angel. Any tanking item would do, but I like the passive on Guardian Angel on Gragas. on some characters it just prolongs your inevitable demise, but with great escape abilities like Body Slam and Explosive Cask, I find I often times will successfully escape with it.
If the other team is for some reason stacking MR like hell, this is always a good counter
In one of those games that drags on forever, you would want to switch your Doran's ring for something more effective. I don't feel like I need to get too specific here. Depending on how that particular game is going, buff whatever stat you feel you're lacking in, preferably with an Item that also gives AP.
Starting with Barrel Roll, you can easily harass the enemy champions, while at the same time weakening their minion lines. Drunken Rage at level 2 erases your mana problems, majorly reduces your damage intake, and puts your AD on par with any level 2 melee champ. You can keep your harass up almost constantly, and punch hard if they commit or you catch them off guard. If you haven't gotten a kill yet, Body Slam at level 3 should pretty much seal the deal. More damage, quickly closes gaps, and provides a hard slow, Body Slam makes most kills pretty easy.
Don't be afraid to move pretty far forward. Body Slam is a great escape move if the enemies try to gank you.
If the enemy somehow gains the advantage, its time to turret hump for a while. Barrel Roll can Harass the middle of the lane from the turret. Spam Barrel Roll and Drunken Rage and watch as Gragas' Passive heals any damage taken.
Be certain to take advantage of any time you can attack the enemy turret. Drunken Rage makes Gragas an excellent pusher, who can take a turret down fairly quickly if given the chance.
You should only have to go back to buy items, or if you are taken below 1/4 health.
When you reach level 6, Explosive Cask can ensure some kills. It can be used to push enemies into your turret or away from their own, at the same time dealing hefty damage. You can also use it to save yourself or allies from gank attempts by knocking the enemies away.
At this point I start to move around the map and help other lanes. Pushing and Ganking are still Gragas' forte's. Even if you are roaming to some degree, be sure to be mindful of your farm. If there isnt much going on you can simply farm up.
Any team fights in this point of the game are easily controlled with Explosive Cask. Most champs aren't ready to be blown clear out of position before their builds are more complete. Use this to your advantage, and help your team quickly divide and conquer.
You still push down towers insanely fast with Drunken Rage and lich bane. Take any chance to quickly smack them down, using barrel roll or body slam to activate the lich bane passive.