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Gragas! The AP-aholic! (AP Carry)
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It's been some time since I've updated this guide, and mainly I think the reason is that I can't find much to update, I still use this build and it continues to get the job done for me :)
However, I thought it would be useful to viewers to have the ability to see this build in action, by not only me but by my fellow players as well, particularly ones that have found themselves nuking people with this build. Therefore I am welcoming everyone and anyone to PM me a screenshot of there success and I will post the scores here on the guide for all to see, and instill into the hearts of new Gragas players and old ones alike, the true power of Gragas The AP-aholic!
First off why two Doran's Rings?
Reason one: The extra 30 AP along with your initial 20 AP from runes gives you a good 50 AP to work with by lvl 4-5. Early game, this 50 AP equips you with a HUGE amount of burst capability with your barrels, by lvl 5-6 you should have at least 1 kill if not more with this AP advantage over your enemies.
Reason two: I find that two Doran's Rings is critical in maintaining a reliable mana pool to work with. The mana regen of both of them should be enough to keep you from constant recalls until you acquire your rod of ages. By the time you get your Rod of Ages, maintaining the mana you need to get kills shouldn't be a problem.
With that said, by level 8-9 you should have a nice amount of gold to work with having already purchased your blasting wand for your rod of ages. By now you should have a good 90 AP to work with along with an occasional Elixir of Brilliance if you choose to do so. Most the time you shouldn't have to bother with elixirs, but it does help tremendously if you find yourself struggling to get kills early game.
After rod of ages is when I like to purchase my lvl 2 boots, although feel free to purchase them whenever you'd like. Personally I go with sorcerers unless I find that I am becoming a focus to the enemy team, in which I would go for mercury's treads instead.
From here on if you aren't already snowballing into an AP destroyer then you might want to pause on getting your Deathcap but instead start building more tanky but still maintain high AP, something like Abyssal Scepter accompanied by a Rylai's Crystal Scepter should do. The magic resist from AS + the extra health boost along with the slow from Rylai's Scepter should help get you back on track, seeing that now you should be equipped with some more AP from both scepters + a decent amount of magic resistance and health too.
However, if this isn't the case and you DO find your self snowballing into an AP destroyer, then go ahead and finish off your build with the Deathcap and Lichbane after purchasing your rod of ages. The Deathcap's amazing AP boost/passive + Lichbane's devastating proc = insane nuking ability in team fights with barrels and your exploding ult.
In addition, people may question why I don't have Mejai's listed under my build especially for an AP carry guide, and my answer to them is that I personally just never tend to purchase it on Gragas, so I didn't put it up there. But if you want it feel free to get it, I agree it is a powerful item I just never end up getting it for some reason and wouldn't recommend it to beginner Gragas players.
Simply put, Q first followed by W 90% of the time. Your second option being Q first followed by E for that 10% of the time where you might encounter strong harassment from your enemies early game.
The rest of the skill sequence should remain the same. Maxing out Q first with a priority of R after then E then W.
Ignite because it is useful in a myriad of situations, but the main reason I get it is because it proves to be an amazing addition to your artillery when trying to get fed early game. This reason goes for not only Gragas but for any champion seeking to get fed early game. However, due to Gragas' barrel spell cooldown, people can tend to get away with a sliver of health quite a bit if you do not have ignite equipped. Therefore personally I think it is crucial for Gragas when building him AP.
Flash shouldn't be explained, but I will anyway. To get away from the predator, and to catch the prey.
Tip: Using your charge (E) + Flash will result in you getting away from your pursuer 99% of the time, if your pursuer is VERY close to you in the chase, go ahead and explode them backwards with your (R) followed up by your (E) + Flash, and you will never be caught.
As far as team fighting goes, all you really have to focus on is spamming barrels to produce a constant AOE damage output along with your ult. In most team fights, I recommend using your exploding barrel(R) to pick out one person from the enemy team rather then just throwing it in the middle of everybody. Picking out one person with your (R) allows your team to quickly burst that person down and therefor outnumber your enemy team providing your team with a huge advantage.
Moving on to Team Work:
I would consider teamwork to mean helping any one to two individuals of your team effectively therefore as far as teamwork goes, your arsenal provides a wide range of helpful spells in teamwork situations.
Starting with your Q:
Your Q should mainly be used to HARASS enemies to get them low enough health to where you and your teammate(s) can easily go in for the kill(s) and to FARM minions. I would like to consider this spell to be one of, if not the best, farming utility in the game. Therefore you should never fall behind in levels on Gragas, for your Q can one shot a few 20 minions or more at a time mid-late game. In addition to farming, your Q also proves to be very effective in getting last hit on enemies. In which your Q becomes an important factor in not getting KS'd (Kill Stealed) by your teammates.
Once you have perfected the aiming of Q, you can easily use it to last hit FLEEING enemies. I like to do this when my enemy thinks they are safe next to their turret and begin to recall with what little health they have left, but sadly they are not safe...resulting in a "WHERE THE HELL DID THAT BARREL COME FROM!!!???" death.
AIMING Tip: Aiming barrels requires aiming where your enemy is GOING TO BE not where they currently stand. Meaning if you wish to hit a fleeing enemy who is running in a straight line, you want to aim the barrel in front of them, so it rolls right into place under their feet by the time it gets there. Once in place give it a little BOOM-press Q again for some massive damage. Doing this can take a bit of practice, but I ensure you wherever your enemy is, you shouldn't have a problem hitting them as long as you always aim your barrel behind them, for most of the time your enemy will run backwards when they see a barrel coming at them.
ADVANCED Technique: This took me a while to get the hang of, but when you are going against more experienced players, you will find yourself having to throw barrels to the left and right of your enemies rather then behind, because by now your enemies have figured out your strategy and start to move left and right rather then forwards and backwards to dodge barrels. Therefore you must predict there movements in order to land a successful barrel. This just takes practice, but once you get the hang of it, you will leave your enemies wondering why they can't possibly avoid your barrels.
Tips/Buff Stealing: If you did not know already, barrels do go through walls, so don't feel afraid to toss one through the wall to hit the enemy around the corner. Also, in my opinion barrels are best way to last hit Baron Nasher and Dragon, meaning you can throw a barrel under Baron right as your enemy team is about to kill him, and explode it to steal the buff.
Next is your W:
Your W does a lot for you, first of all it gives you back mana so you should always use it when it is off cooldown. It also provides you with an AD buff and a % damage reduction buff, both which are plenty useful in team fights or in any combat for that matter.
Best Times to use w:
-Before entering combat
-Before attacking/tanking a turret
-Before killing a jungle monster.
Moving on to E:
Yes, one of my favorite abilities, your charge. Your charge can be used to slow enemies and do decent damage in addition to your barrel damage. Therefore using it on fleeing enemies and pursuing enemies as well provides great crowd control and support for your teammates. I like to use this to save my teammates who have been caught in a tricky situation that results in them running for their life. Using this skill on their pursuer tends to give your teammate a good lead and usually a successful escape. This can also be used to save yourself from pursuers by turning around, pressing e, then continue running away. Usually you should only try this if your flash and/or ult is on cooldown, using your (E) to escape from your OWN pursuers by hitting them with it, should be a last resort.
Tip: Your E spell does allow you to travel through thin walls only, which is very useful in some fleeing situations, adding to the already exceptional survivability aspect of Gragas.
Finally, your R:
As I mentioned before, your R is very practical in escaping from pursuers as well as doing massive damage. It serves well in breaking up enemies in team fights so you can single enemies out. It is all pretty self explanatory from here. Use your abilities wisely and most of all have fun with Gragas, he is a fun character regardless of how well you do.