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Gragas Build Guide by Boptimus

Gragas Top [Masters] All Matchups |Mega Guide | 12.14

Gragas Top [Masters] All Matchups |Mega Guide | 12.14

Updated on August 8, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Boptimus Build Guide By Boptimus 70 3 101,655 Views 15 Comments
70 3 101,655 Views 15 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Boptimus Gragas Build Guide By Boptimus Updated on August 8, 2022
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Runes: Phase Rush (Beginner)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Sorcery
Phase Rush
Manaflow Band
Transcendence
Gathering Storm

Inspiration
Magical Footwear
Biscuit Delivery
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-140 HP (lvls 1-18)

Spells:

1 2 3 4 5
Top Lane
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport

Teleport

Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide

Gragas Top [Masters] All Matchups |Mega Guide | 12.14

By Boptimus
Table of Contents

Make sure you use the sidebar on the right to help navigate!



1. Table of Contents
2. Introduction
3. Important Information
4. Laning Fundamentals
5. (Top) Matchup Cheat Sheet
6. Rune Breakdowns
7. Mythic Item Breakdowns
8. Legendary Item Breakdowns
9. Comboing and Basic Trading
10. Effective Roaming
11. Basic Teamfighting
12. To Close
13. Socials
14. Current Patch Author Notes
Introduction

If you're looking for information on Gragas Support/JG/Mid then I will have to redirect you to better resources. This guide goes over lots of helpful information for Gragas in general, but the majority of information in this guide will be covering Top Gragas.



I have many accounts and IGN's but for the sake of consistency I like to introduce myself as "Boptimus"! My current peak is 272lp Masters this season.




Going from being a Sion OTP (I also wrote a massive guide on Sion here: https://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/season-12-the-book-of-sion-masters-all-matchups-12-5-590079 If you're interested in learning Sion) to being a Sion/Gragas 2-trick. I tend not to play as much these days due to being busy IRL, but I continue to work towards at least holding Masters consistently.

Here is my main OPGG;
https://na.op.gg/summoner/userName=Boptimus

You can check this out for recent games and builds/runes

Now that I'm done talking about myself, lets talk about my experience with Gragas. I picked Gragas up casually at the beginning of Season 10 after watching(studying) a significant amount of Thebausffs. I was already watching him to learn Sion so it made sense to add Gragas to my pool as an AP option. Thebausffs is in my opinion one of the strongest Gragas Top players in the West, and is not only entertaining to watch, but very knowledgable as well. I recommend him as a great resource for learning Gragas and Top Lane in general.

My games on Gragas have reached well over 2000 over the course of the last 3 seasons.

The goal for this guide is to help myself reflect on what I have learned and discover what more I need to learn moving forward, while at the same time extending my knowledge to those who seek to truly master Gragas.
Important Information

First off I need to cover some very important things about Gragas


I strive to give exceptional information when writing guides and this Guide will be no exception. A lot of Guides on Mobafire copy pasta abilites for the bulk if their guide. I'm diving deep in-depth here, so if you don't know what Gragas' abilites are check out his moveset in the League of Legends Client, Then refer back here for the juice.

Your W is your bread and butter


Whenever I can get away with taking W level 1 I do. Your W has low mana cost, damage reduction, an empowered auto attack that is unstoppable, and most importantly, it has a low CD that is similar to your passive. If you take a trade you can sit back, wait for your passive, and get some amazing healing using your W. (Your W itself does not provide a heal, only DR)
Maximizing the usage of your W and Passive and managing your mana properly will make a WORLD of difference in your early stages of laning.

You CANNOT spam Q early


Your Q has a massive mana cost and will drain your mana pool very quickly if you use it. Even though you will be maxing Q, you don't want to use it until you're trying to shove for your first recall (usually around Level 5 with 750g+) OR
- You need to use Q to pop Phase Rush to avoid a gank.
- You need to secure a Cannon minion you can't reach.
- You need the slow for gank setup/kill secure.
Once you've finished Lost Chapter you can start going Gung-Ho on Q poke and look for kill potential.

Your E is your Lifeline


It is very important that you play patient and calm. Your E is a powerful tool that can disrupt enemies. Any Champion that can jump on to you ( Riven Irelia Jax ect.) will struggle getting on to you if you can hold and play around your E cooldown. For early laning you only want to be using E defensively, helping you walk up to the wave to secure CS. Back-off once you've used it so you don't get run down, and then repeat.

Later on E will be extremely important in your Combo's especially when you need to pop Phase Rush. I can't stress enough that if you decide to go aggressive you NEED to land this ability, otherwise you're a sitting duck (luckily this is a very easy ability to land.) (Another quick uncommonly known tip: E is a knockback AND a short stun, so Tenacity does not effect the knockback portion, only the stun.)

Your basic combo for popping Phase Rush


You can pop Phase Rush in any order you would like, but if you're going defensive, you want to W first for the DR, E, Auto Attack with W, and Q. Very easy and simple. You will do the same thing if you're looking to go aggressive.
If you're in a pinch, you can skip using W and just E>AA>Q for the proc.
AA-E+AA if your Q is down.
AA-Q+AA if your E is down.
AA-AA-R if everything is down and you're on your last leg.
It's important to start with an Auto Attack to guarantee you're within the 4 seconds needed to pop PR
You can queue up (buffer) an Auto Attack, you can Q, and R during your E, so take some time to practice and you'll avoid clunky combos with much more fluid motion.

Tank or Ap?


I'll admit I have left Tank Gragas a bit more unexplored than I would have liked, but if you have a solid grasp of Gragas and you're confident in your play, I think Bruiser AP is always the best way to go.
You can consider Tank Gragas as "Training Wheels" if you're just starting out and want to be useful without needing amazing mechanics and your team has AP already. Because Gragas' base damage has been nerfed this season, Tank is a little more difficult to get the most out of, but a good rule of thumb;
If your team has sufficient AP damage, and NEEDS a frontline, you can opt into Tank.
Otherwise if you have a strong Gragas, AP is always your best option.

Mastering your Ultimate


This button will either make you look like a complete smurf, OR it can single handedly throw your game.

It took A LONG TIME for me to truly master this ability. If you've ever learned how to play Guitar, or if you remember learning how to Swim, you'll understand what I mean when I say; After you've practiced long enough, one day you'll wake up and try again, but this time you'll just "get it." This is how it felt a few months ago when I finally got the 'feel' for Explosive Cask, and ever since I've had nothing but flawless accuracy with it.

BUT I do have some very important tips for ensuring you have a much better time trying to land this ability;


- You can R off of the slow on your Q. This is my most common way of using my R. If you're 1v1 you'll need to put your opponent in Lethal range of your W-E after you've used Q-R, otherwise you'll need to prepare to wait for your Q to come back off cooldown to finish them off.
- You can (and this is important to practice) R off of your E stun. Very simple; E the opponent and aim your R according to the slight knockback on E and according to the direction you want them to go.
- You can Everfrost for a slow, or even better the root, for a simple and easy R.
- You can use your team's abilities (like Morgana, Dark Binding) for an easy R.

It's important not to hesitate. Chuck R as often as you can especially when you're just starting out, you might completely f*** your game, or you might smurf a teamfight, but you'll never get a good grasp of this ability if you're afraid to use it. Don't get frustrated, I had to blow a lot of ults and lose a lot of fights before I started using Gragas R effectively.

Watch out for Mercs/Legend:Tenacity/Unflinching


I always check my enemies runes in OPGG during loading screen. I've been cucked by Legend: Tenacity and Unflinching enough times to where I now always prepare for Tenacity stacking and play accordingly. These 2 runes along with Mercury's Treads will make it so your opponent can't be moved. This will mess up your E-R combo, your Q-R combo, everfrost, and make it difficult to escape and chase your enemy, and can overall be negatively felt on Bruiser's especially who like to stick to you.

I can't stress enough how important it is to check for these runes on your enemy, and how important it is to keep track of your Laners boots purchases.
There is no solid way of countering this besides being mentally prepared to deal with a stickier opponent.

Normal Game usage, and Ranked Tips


As always, when you're first starting out, I highly recommend playing a couple Normal Games first. It's very selfish to play a Champion for the first time in Ranked, even if it is on a Smurf. Get a feel for Gragas first if you're new, and when you're ready bring it into Ranked play.

Practicing big engages, and flashy combos is best done in Normal Games first. Theres rarely ever a time when I need to smurf a crazy combo in Ranked, so for the most part its really unnecessary. Practice these things first before jumping into Ranked.

If you find yourself getting crushed in lane, or don't know what to in a teamfight, watch your VODS after and see if theres anything you could have done differently for a better outcome.

If you don't manage to get a lead, be your strongest players "support". You can look to peel for them, dish out damage for them, and you can make some crazy picks with your R and Everfrost. You certainly don't need to carry every game, especially with a great pick like Gragas.

Sometimes you can get away with very poor CS and leaving lane. Work your way around the map and show up in someone elses lane with a well placed R. You'll put your teammate way ahead with a kill, and put the enemy even further behind.
Laning Fundamentals

I highly recommend reading "Important Information" first. I'm going to end up repeating myself here for a couple of things, but some things will be explained better after reading both Chapters.



Level 1


Level 1 you need to decide if you NEED Body Slam OR if you can get away with starting Drunken Rage. Starting W is much better as it will help you sustain early with your passive, it's very low mana cost, and will help you trade better. In some match ups you can even go aggressive Level 1 and zone your opponent off the wave with your W.

Champions that I would consider starting E into are champions that can run you down with a lot of damage Level 1 (and usually have a dash). Some examples would be Riven, Wukong, Sett, Irelia. If any of these champions are passive Level 1 you can get away with a W start.

DO NOT START LEVEL 1. It has low damage and very high mana cost.

Level 2


Once you have both Body Slam and Drunken Rage you will be very hard for early aggressive champions to get on. Prioritize playing defensively, getting as much CS as possible, and holding your E for disengage. Eventually your opponent will get fed up with trying to harass you, or they'll get even more aggressive and throw themselves into a situation where they are easily killed. If your wave gets under your tower, use your W to help you manage enemy minion HP to secure more last hits.

If you're against a ranged match up, you can opt into 2nd, but only do this when you see a clump of minions low enough for you to last hit, and for securing Cannon. Make sure if you're getting leaped on you use W first and then E, you'll double your trade damage and benefit from some extra DR

Level 3


Level 3 is when you'll have easy access to Phase Rush. This will allow you to extend beyond the middle of the lane into a much more unsafe territory. You only want to be using your Q to secure clumps of minions that you can't reach, otherwise save your Q and your mana and hold it for Phase Rush. This is the part of the lane I like to call "stalemating." Basically, Gragas isn't strong enough to threaten a solo kill at this point in the game, and MOST enemies you face top also wont be able to threaten a solo kill because of the amount of disengage you have. This will result in your enemy focusing on the wave instead of you, allowing you to safely cs until your 750g or 1300g base.

Make sure you hold your Phase Rush to escape ganks. If you for some reason need to use Phase Rush to escape from your laner, play back until it comes off Cooldown. If you're going aggressive just use W-E. You'll run out of mana too fast if you use Q and popping Phase Rush for an aggressive trade will leave you extremely vulnerable.

Level 5 (750g recall)


Once you hit Level 5, look to build up a wave and use the rest of your mana pool in order to shove with Empowered Q's. If you've run out of mana and didn't get your shove off, it's OK, this is a good stage in the game to use your Teleport for lane. If you had to recall on a bad wave and you teleport back, you will more than likely force your opponent's teleport as well.

750g is the sweet spot for your recall, grab Sapphire Crystal to bulk up your mana pool, and a Dark Seal which has AP and HP. Dark seal will make your passive slightly stronger, and provides decent stats for a 350g item. If you get kills or assists the value of this item sky rockets.

You can now choose to play a little more aggressive, or farm 950g and recall to finish your Lost Chapter.
Don't use your Teleport if you managed to crash the wave, you can now hold it for a play on the opposite side of the map. You will also have it available to get back to lane if you get killed.


Level 6


If you're hitting Level 6 with your first recall, you can look for R cheese, and you can also ping your Jungler if they're in the area for an easy gank. If you have a Jungler with some initial CC like Elise, Amumu, Jarvan IV; you can wait for them to land their ability and use that CC for a well placed R, throwing your opponent even further away from their tower. Alternatively, you can approach your opponent with Q slow, and then walk up to E+R them back towards your tower, this will give you and your Jungler a lot more space to work with. Lastly, (and this is most commonly what I do) once you are comfortable with using your R, you can Q them for the slow, and then R them back towards you for a combo and follow up with from your Jungler.

Very often, even in Masters, Top laners will Ego poke you under your tower. If it looks like an Explosive Cask can finish off a wave, you can ult them under your tower (with whatever set up combo you would like.. Sometimes you can get away with just a raw R), and now that they've pulled aggro they are going to die if you can chain CC with your E. You can also angle your R similarly when ganking other lanes. Putting your opponent under a tower makes them a lot easier to kill.


Lost Chapter Spike


Once you have Lost Chapter you can finally start looking to harass your laner with Barrel Roll. Make sure you're not putting yourself in a tight spot with Phase Rush on Cooldown. You can also use Phase Rush at this point in the game to get an extended Combo, because now your Cooldowns are going to be shorter, especially the more points you put in your E.
A basic combo I look for is W>E>Q - Kite with PR - W>E. The most important thing is making sure they aren't a Champion that can reengage once your Phase Rush is down, especially if they start stacking Tenacity.
If your laner has stopped interacting with you, you can shove your lane and look to roam. If Mid doesn't look available, you can invade with your Jungler. If these aren't options, you can look to ward and steal the enemy Junglers Top side camps, and you can take Gromp/Krugs from your Jungler so long as they are busy on the other side of the map.

It's important to start being aggressive once you have the massive mana pool from Lost Chapter available. Theres no point in sitting in lane afk farming with full mana and full hp.

Everfrost Spike


Everfrost is a massive spike. After your Lost Chapter, you can take Kindlegem if you're struggling a little, or you can build Amplifying Tome if you have a lead or want to be more aggressive and look for a kill. If you can afford Ruby Crystal and Amplifying Tome you should build these two.
Everfrost will add some extra CC to your combos, you can root somebody you R into you, or you can look to start with Everfrost for a free R combo. This item is very flexible and can come in clutch in a lot of different situations. If you can catch somebody the added CC will net you kills you otherwise might not have gotten.

Liandry's Anguish can also be considered VS HP stacking opponents. If you're against 2-3 Champions that get beefy and build lots of HP, you might end up finding more value out of Liandry's. Hextech Alternator Mythic spikes will have a significant increase in burst, but you'll start suffering mana-wise.

Cosmic Drive


Cosmic Drive is your final big spike. With the added AH and maxed E-Q you will be slinging combos left and right, and you'll be extremely hard to catch due to the added movement speed and utility from Phase Rush. Once you've maxed E and have Cosmic Drive your E will be on about a 3.3 second Cooldown so long as you land it. You can use these low CDS and high mobility to navigate around in a teamfight, CC key targets, and take down squishies fast. This also puts your R on a significantly lower CD, so you can chuck an R and not have to worry about your CD being too long.

Often times once I finish Everfrost and Cosmic Drive, I just start running around looking for picks. Again your R is on a very short CD so you can fly into someones lane, ult them, if you catch them perfect, if not, run back to side-lane and rinse and repeat in 40 seconds.

Oblivion Orb


Some lanes will require you to build Oblivion Orb. Champions like this that come to mind are Lee Sin and Fiora. Gragas has lots of AoE and is great at applying grevious wounds, and if your lane opponent has a lot of healing you will definitely benefit from the 800g dump to make these champions much easier to kill.
If you find you're lacking in gold income, you can finish Morellonomicon 2nd.
(Top) Matchup Cheat Sheet

Here you will find a breakdown of every match-up you are going to face Top, with the exception of some rare picks. They are ordered from hardest, to easiest, alphabetically. If you want to find a specific champion, use "Ctrl+F" and type in your desired match up


(Ctrl+F "Garen" / "Camille" / ect.)



**For those of you who have read my Sion guide and use the match up sheet, Gragas will be a bit different. For the most part, you just need to play defensive until hitting a certain threshold (normally Lost Chapter spike), and then you can go aggressive, but I will explain match up specifics so that you aren't caught with your pants down.



Advice here will cover Top-Lane with the Phase Rush build path. I wont be able to provide accurate advice for Mid-Lane match ups with builds that are centered around Electrocute



Some things may be slightly outdated as I started writing this guide towards the end of Season 11

Anivia (Exotic)





Anivia is a champion I have always struggled with. Early on she can put enough pressure on you with AA's and Q+E that you'll have a hard time CSing. Once she gets off her first recall and has R available, she will zone you off the wave, clear, and then roam. If she messes up too much you can R her into you, but you might be lacking the damage to kill her egg. Make good use of your W and passive Drunken Rage early on to minimize the harass coming your way and staying healthy. Let your Jungler know when you're reaching 6 and see if you can set up a gank. Make sure you play especially careful with your E Body Slam in this lane so you aren't stuck behind her wall.
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Item Recommendations:
After your Lost Chapter I suggest building components for a Fimbulwinter. Mercury's Treads can also be a good option if you're against AP and CC.
______________________________
Mid-Late you can look to set up a pick on Anivia, through CC from your support combined with your R, or you can look to slow her with Q to get a good R off. Be cautious when dashing in because she can throw up her wall to cancel your Body Slam. It's best to wait for Anivia to use her abilities before trying any sort of melee engage.

For a kill, you'll need to coordinate with your Jungler. Killing Anivia isn't important, try to follow her roams and sustain through her harass.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Cho'Gath





Cho'Gath is a champion that can match your high early game sustain. If your team has double AP top side (Top/Jg/Mid) then Cho'Gath will benefit from early MR and be nearly unkillable. In this lane you should focus on minimizing interaction with Cho'Gath, getting flawless CS, and building your Lost Chapter so you can start wave clearing and roaming. If you're against an inexperienced Cho'Gath you might be able to squeeze in a kill before he starts putting on too much MR.
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Item Recommendations:
If you're against a Tank Jungler you can look to turn your Lost Chapter into a Liandry's Anguish. After that you can pick up Cosmic Drive if you don't immediately need Void Staff. Oblivion Orb can also help if you're looking to pressure Cho'Gath.
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Mid-Late you can't get into close range of Cho'Gath without being in serious danger. If Cho'gath is out of position and you have the means to take care of him quickly you can ult him towards your team for an easy 4v5 fight. Otherwise try to flank around him on to the carries.

You will have a small window to kill Cho'gath after picking up Lost Chapter so long as he didn't spend all of his gold on MR.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Diana





Diana has similar play to Gragas, but can sustain through fighting and gets stronger the longer she is in combat. You will need to use W and passive Drunken Rage to sustain her early Q poke. If she engages on to you E Body Slam her off, if she continues use your Q to pop Phase Rush so she can't continue on to you after her second dash. It's important to keep in mind that she wins extended fights so keep your trades short and only all in if you can kill her with a combo through her W Shield.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost is fine to rush. Oblivion Orb is a good consideration if you're against a Jungler with decent sustain as well. If you feel threatened by the Diana you're playing against you can build a Zhonya's Hourglass to avoid her R.
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Mid-Late your job should be denying Diana entry to your team. Diana has the option to flash and dash with R on to your team, but if her flash is down she will need to get through you in order to get a big R off. If Diana is caught out you can pick her with R if you think you can burst her down before she can turn with R.

You will need to play defensive especially early on. The only way you should be able to Solokill Diana is if she is playing too aggressive infront of your tower. Look for as much CS as you can and wait for JG.

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Dr. Mundo





Dr. Mundo has gained some crazy harass early on after his Rework. Before this match up wasn't too bad, but now that you can't afk behind minions and he has CC mitigation, this match up has been VERY hard. Mundo will have good sustain from Doran's Shield and Second Wind so trying to poke him wont make much of a difference. If you try to E Body Slam him he can Q you and stick to you. You're best off getting an early Oblivion Orb and waiting for your Jungler.
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Item Recommendations:
You can take Everfrost to pop his passive easier or Liandry's Anguish. I recommend early Oblivion Orb. If your team is in need of frontline you should do an early Fimbulwinter as well.
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Mid-Late Dr. Mundo will be able to soak a lot of pressure. If you think you can ult him into position for your team to bring him down look to do so, otherwise it might be better to hold your R for peel or if you can reach the backline you can do that as well. If you're the only person with Grevious Wounds keep it applied to him in a teamfight.

It's very hard to Solokill Mundo because of his passive. I recommend getting as much CS as possible and waiting for fights where you can get nasty in the backline.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Fiora





Fiora lane gets exponentially easier/harder depending on the skill level of your opponent. I have played against Master Fiora OTPs that completely fold to me, and others that sweep me out of lane and solo carry the entire game. How you use E Body Slam and how she uses W Riposte will completely decide the lane. Staying unpredictable is extremely important in this match up. Fiora will sometimes Q+W on to you if you start using your E every time she Q's. Remember the closer you are to her to easier it is to land E, and the harder it is for her to react with W.
If Fiora manages to land her W on your E, she can very easily 100-0 you with her ult. Figure out your opponent early on, stay confident, and stay unpredictable.
______________________________
Item Recommendations:
Against a good Fiora I rush Oblivion Orb after Sapphire Crystal+ Dark Seal combo, if I can't out right buy a Lost Chapter. If you're struggling just finish Morellonomicon 2nd.
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Mid-Late most Fiora players will look to split down side-lane and dive if they have a lead. This is fine because Fiora shouldn't be able to kill you under tower without some massive Tenacity stacking and sustain. If you find her in a teamfight you will need to wait for her W Riposte before you try to engage. Once she blows W she should be very easy to CC and take down.

Once you have Sapphire Crystal and Dark Seal you should be able to harass Fiora enough to look for a Solokill. Keep in mind if you E her W you will most likely be very dead.

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Heimerdinger





You have no effective way of dealing with Heimer turrets early on, so what is going to end up happening is he will shove your early waves into your tower, and you will need to focus on fighting the tower for last hits while also avoiding harass from Heimerdinger himself. You'll probably end up needing to blow Teleport early so you don't miss too much gold/xp from his perma push. Once you have Lost Chapter you can use Empowered Q's to try to get rid of his turrets. If he loses his turrets he's a sitting duck, so play around his E stun and look to throw some combos on to him. Once in lethal you can chuck a Q at him for the slow and R him towards you for a kill combo. (A good Heimerdinger will be able to protect his turrets, so this is only possible against inexperienced players.)
______________________________
Item Recommendations:
Just look for standard Everfrost into Cosmic Drive, prioritizing HP if you're taking a lot of harass.
______________________________
Mid-Late Heimerdinger can smash a lead in the side-lane. If he got a leg up on you in lane you'll need multiple people to take him down. When dealing with Heimer in a fight you can choose to R him towards you if you have reliable set up, or you can save R to displace his teammates and his turrets so that your team has more room to work with.

Can be very easy to Solokill after Lost Chapter if they position poorly, but otherwise you'll need to focus on CS.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Olaf (Exotic)





Levels 2-5 this lane is extremely easy. Level 1 you need to be careful because he can run you down and kill you with his Q Undertow. Level 2 to 5 you should be able to CS freely and disengage from him no problem. If he chucks axes at you just sustain with W and passive Drunken Rage. The Cooldown on his Q goes down if he picks up his axe so be cautious of that. There isn't much point in fighting Olaf without Oblivion Orb because he can just sustain back up with his W Tough It Out. Once Olaf his Level 6 you need to be very careful because you can't CC to disengage and he can stick to your Phase Rush with Q and the movement speed from his R Ragnarok. Prioritize dodging his Q if this ends up happening.
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Item Recommendations:
If Olaf is stacking HP and you're against a Tank Jungler you should go Liandry's Anguish. Everfrost is fine but he can break through it. Pick up an early Oblivion Orb to negate some of his sustain from W.
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Mid-Late Olaf can be a monster with a good lead, but if you guys stayed even he will still struggle to kill you. Olaf should be able to get the upper hand in side-lane so make sure you're clearing with range and following him if he decides to roam. If possible, get his attention and try to kite him out during his ult so that your carries aren't in trouble if he targets them. After he blows R he will be significantly easier to deal with.

If you're against an inexperienced Olaf you will be able to punish his mistakes for a kill. Oblivion Orb is a must, and keep your Phase Rush available for when he uses R Ragnarok

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Sett





Sett is the easier out of the harder match ups. This match up becomes foolishly easy the more inexperienced Sett is. If Sett is saving his E and can time it to match your E he can throw down some serious damage on to you and dive. I've played against 1 or 2 Sett's in Masters that can actually deal with Gragas, but other than that most Sett's go blindly hyper-aggressive and die to some really stupid s***.

Sett will walk up to you and try to E Level 1, Tank it, and use E to disengage, this will even out the trade and cause him to push. Level 2 you can start using W for sustain and you can walk towards him to get an auto off (your W AA is unstoppable, so it will go off regardless if he uses E or not.) Once you get Lost Chapter you can start poking him with Q, and if Sett sits infront of you tower you can get an easy kill with R. If you decide to throw him under your tower, angle yourself in a way so that he can't ult you to leap out of tower range. Short trades are very important, and back off when his Grit bar gets full. Prioritize dodging his True damage.
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Item Recommendations:
Sett likes to stack HP but I like Everfrost the most in this match up. Sett will have an even more difficult time sticking to you with the extra root. Oblivion Orb can be taken but isn't necessary.
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Mid-Late you can clear waves fairly easy. Sett can't approach you unless he has an ungodly lead or some back up. Unless you have a frontline Sett will most likely be looking to engage by ulting you. If you think you can CC him before he gets in a good position then take care of him. Otherwise try to look for picks onto the backline while kiting out Sett and making sure he doesn't have an angle for a big ult.

Again, if Sett isn't very experienced in this match up, you should be able to fold him after Lost Chapter. Sett players are extremely blindly aggressive and can die to cheese very easily.

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Tahm Kench (Pre-Rework)





Tahm Kench is what I consider a Stalemate lane. That being said if you're against a really good Tahm Kench he has the potential to put you into a lot of sticky situations. Hang out behind your minions to avoid excessive Q poke. If you need to extend beyond your wave to CS you should pop your W for reduced damage. If Tahm presses forward use your E to disengage (try to save your Phase Rush as much as you can.) If Tahm doesn't immediately rush MR on your first base and you manage to get Lost Chapter you have a short window to get a kill on him. I don't normally bother trying to kill Tahm in lane, instead focus on perfect CS and once you have the mana source to shove waves and roam this is your best option; Tahm Kench has very poor wave clear, so get him stuck under tower and leave.
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Item Recommendations:
If you're against another Tank then Liandry's Anguish is a fine Mythic. Everfrost is good for peel and effective if the rest of the enemy team is squishy. You can also get Oblivion Orb after Lost Chapter for some added kill potential.
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Mid-Late Tahm Kench has slightly better wave clear because of his Mythic, but it definitely doesn't match yours. Keep shoving side lane, forcing him to clear or lose waves. If Tahm Kench manages to eat one of your carries in a fight you can Explosive Cask him back towards your team, saving your carry and putting Tahm in a dangerous position. I often ignore Tahm if my team can deal with him and look for the backline with a big engage.

You should prioritize early game economy (item efficieny/gold generation) over killing Tahm. Dark Seal and Lost Chapter after 2 backs is solid, and will help you pound waves into his turret that he is going to struggle to clear. ROAM.

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Teemo





A good Teeto is a nightmare to play against. If you're in lower pub-stomp elo you can take an electrocute/ignite set up and take his cheeks after Lost Chapter. I've played against some amazing Teemos that are incredibly hard to get on top of, and put on a lot of pressure. His W Move Quick is going to make it very hard to land a Q for any kind of Combo set up. Use your W and passive Drunken Rage to stay healthy and grab as much CS as you can for Lost Chapter.

Your first back I recommend buying a Oracle Lens so that you can walk back into lane and sweep, this will keep you from getting turbo cheesed. If you ever look for an all-in make sure your sweeper is up, and pop sweeper when you go to chase him.

Also don't forget that his Q Blinding Dart can stop you from getting your W Drunken Rage AA off.
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Item Recommendations:
If you're going a snowball build then grab Luden's Tempest. Otherwise your standard Everfrost into Cosmic Drive rush is fine. If you're really struggling and you're against double AP top side then you can pick up a Negatron Cloak
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Mid-Late game Teemo can clear waves very easily. A good Teemo sets up mushrooms in high traffic areas and will sit out of vision waiting for picks. Make sure you're picking up an extra Control Ward or two and protecting vital areas of your map. Make good use out of your Oracle Lens as well. You're going to have trouble catching a Teemo in teamfights and side-lane but once you've cleared his shrooms and can actually get on top of him he will explode.

Your kill potential on Teemo is decided entirely upon if he makes mistakes or not. With his W movement speed he should realisticly be able to harass you and never get hit by your Q. If he does take poke a simple Q-R combo will put him in melee combo range OR blow his Flash

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Vayne





Vayne is very similar to how the Teemo lane is played. Vayne likes to rush Berserker's Greaves so it's going to be difficult to get poke off on her. What's important in lane is keeping up your sustain with W and passive Drunken Rage and not letting her get 3 AA's to proc Press the Attack and Silver Bolts. It's especially important not to be the aggressor unless Vayne is make huge mistakes. Your E Body Slam will end up being your lifeline so don't waste this ability. If Vayne gets too close and you're looking for a quick Phase Rush combo, wait until she wastes her Q Tumble.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost will make it a lot harder for Vayne to chase without being in danger. If you're really struggling then you can rush a Zhonya's Hourglass for the extra armor. You can use Zhonya's to bait her if you have a teammate nearby.
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Mid-Late if Vayne kept up pressure and farmed well she will be extremely hard to deal with. You wont be able to clear side lane waves without her being able to zone you off. When you teamfight you can kill her very easily if you play around her Q Tumble and if someone manages to land even a slow on her. Explosive Cask ulting her into your team will 100% kill her if you manage to land one.

Vayne is only killable if she's putting herself into position to get poked by Barrel Roll. Again, play around her Q Tumble and when that's down and you've landed a Q slow, you can Explosive Cask if she's in lethal to finish with a melee combo, or at the very least blow her Flash for an easy Jungle gank.

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Vladimir





Vladimir isn't a hard early lane, but scales well and isn't killable early because of your mana consumption on Q Barrel Roll. You're looking for Lost Chapter base and he is looking for Hextech Alternator. This is your window to look for kills, but I highly recommend a set up like: Dark Seal Sapphire Crystal Oblivion Orb if you're really looking for a kill. You need to play around his Empowered Q Transfusion and you need to keep up pressure with Q WITHOUT running out of mana so that he can't heal back up off the wave. If you're looking for an all-in you need to blow his W Sanguine Pool first. This can be done if you've poked enough with Q, but you might have to bait it out with E Body Slam or a well placed R Explosive Cask (aim so that you'll knock him into you incase he doesn't react.) Just be careful not to over extend and miss everything because then he can turn around and all-in you.
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Item Recommendations:
Oblivion Orb early is highly recommended. Everfrost is my preferred Mythic as it is a good way to bait out Sanguine Pool. Against heavy AP top side you can grab Negatron Cloak to be even harder to kill.
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Mid-Late Vladimir should be fairly strong if he managed to CS well. If Vladimir got some kills he will be a teamfighting monster. You should be able to survive long enough in close range of Vlad to get off a disruptive combo. Again it's very important to play around Sanguine Pool if you're looking for an R Explosive Cask or Phase Rush combo. Keep your Grevious Wounds applied with Q. Morellonomicon is a good 2nd/3rd item if they have multiple healing kit champions.

Lost Chapter completion is your best window to solokill Vlad. His sustain off the wave is poor at this point in the game and the only survivability he has comes from Sanguine Pool. How killable he is depends on the player but regardless at this stage of the game you can pressure him with Q spam to get him off the wave and missing CS.

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Yone





Yone is a champion without resources so he can sustain through an early Vampiric Scepter or Fleet Footwork. His W is a relatively short cooldown so early on he can harass with it. Utilize your W and passive Drunken Rage to stay healthy and get as much CS as possible. Once you have Lost Chapter you can go aggressive if the Yone player seems killable. I recommend holding your E Body Slam for when he goes for a trade in his E Soul Unbound for reliable disengage.

Playing to CS and holding abilities for disengage is normally how I decide to play this lane. If Yone is 200IQ and takes Legend: Tenacity and Unflinching he can actually stick to you through Body Slam. Keep this in mind, don't over extend if he has this, and pick up utility ( Everfrost, Oblivion Orb) so that your team has an easier time taking care of him when teamfights roll around.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost to slow his advance whenever he uses E Soul Unbound. Oblivion Orb is a must as Yone gets a lot of sustain from his most common core items.
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Mid-Late Yone can latch on to you and burst you down fairly quick so it's important to play defensive and clear sidelanes if thats where his focus is. In teamfights you can disrupt him so he can't reach your backline, just be careful not to get caught in his R Fate Sealed engage. Sometimes I look to time an Explosive Cask for when he snaps back from his E Soul Unbound to knock him into myself and my team for an easy combo and takedown. If you're in a chaotic fight you can throw an Empowered Q Barrel Roll on his (ghost? soul?) and drop a massive damage combo on him when he snaps back to it.

Another Champion with a kill window upon Lost Chapter completion. Play around his Fate Sealed and be sure to keep trades short with quick combos. You don't want to fight if he is close to fully stacking Conqueror or Lethal Tempo.

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Yorick





Yorick takes very little thought process and skill to play effectively. Gragas has a horrible time trying to E Body Slam around Yorick's ghouls and if you're stuck inside his W Dark Procession you're likely screwed if you can't Body Slam out of it. Yorick can rush a Hullbreaker and become extremely hard to damage while smashing your turret. Poorly played, Yorick is easy to kill once you've picked up Lost Chapter but for the most part Yorick can just overwhelm you with a slowpush and ghouls and smash turret. If your Jungler comes and gets you a small lead you can use Empowered Q Barrel Roll to wave clear and keep him from being able to ravage your turret too hard. Once he gets Hullbreaker, a mythic, and some MR you'll need to call for help. Lucky you have amazing Gank set up.
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Item Recommendations:
Against multiple Tanks you can play Liandry's Anguish in this lane. Everfrost is fine as it will hold him in place and keep him from sticking to you. Yorick doesn't have overwhelming healing so you can rush straight into Cosmic Drive afterwards.
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Mid-Late game Yorick will very likely sit in sidelane and push with Ghouls and Maiden Eulogy of the Isles. The best way to deal with this is to get to him early on and to bring a buddy. Communicate with your team and set up a pick on Yorick once he enters your side of the map. If your team is going for an objective 4v4 then just try to clear waves with your Empowered Q and minimize the damage. If Yorick decides to teamfight you can provide lots of CC to keep him from reaching your backline, or lock him down for DPS so that you can take care of him quickly. If you can avoid him and drop a big combo on the backline this should be your Go-To option.

Lost Chapter completion will provide a short window to kill Yorick if they aren't very experienced. Otherwise you're just going to have to throw Empowered Q's Barrel Roll on the wave to keep him for building a big enough wave to farm plates.
Keep your movement unpredictable so that he can't land E Mourning Mist for free. If he does land E, hold your E Body Slam for when his ghouls land on you in a clump, and then disengage from them to negate some damage.


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Xin Zhao (Exotic)





An extremely rare but destructive pick. You will probably only see this pick be effective in high elo, and normally these players are smart enough to build Mercury's Treads and take Legend: Tenacity and Unflinching. Tenacity stacking makes Xin Zhao very hard to deal with, and his E Audacious Charge cooldown will end up being shorter than your E Body Slam. It has been a long time since I last played this match up but I remember it being hell. Hold your abilities for disengage and prioritize CS. Pick up Oblivion Orb early on to deal with his sustain.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost for extra peel and CC. Oblivion Orb early on is highly recommended to cut down some of his sustain.
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Mid-Late I remember Xin building able to leap on and stick to me with Tenacity stacking. If you're extending to match his push in sidelane make sure you're dodging his W Wind Becomes Lightning so he can't leap across the lane at you. E Body Slam to disengage and if he can stick to you make use of your Phase Rush to get away. Xin can create a lot of space in a teamfight with his R Crescent Guard. You can look to peel your carries with E Body Slam and Everfrost or you can go aggressive on the backline with a well timed engage.

The last time I played this matchup I don't remember having a specific window for a kill. A lot has changed since then so keep my tips in mind and try to create your own openings if you ever run into this lane.

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Aatrox





Personally I have quite a bit of mental block against Aatrox, so this match up could be ranked lower. Early on you'll want to sit back and stay healthy with W Drunken Rage and grabbing CS wherever you can. Keep track of his passive Deathbringer Stance so you don't give him free chunks of healing. It's very important to avoid Aatrox's Q The Darkin Blade. If you're going for trades you'll need to be very precise and unpredictable in your movements otherwise Aatrox will land all of his Q sweet spots, healing a ridiculous amount, and taking a huge chunk out of your HP bar. Use your E Body Slam to help you avoid Q's or break free from his W Infernal Chains and you should be able to take him down once you have the mana pool to fight back. Oblivion Orb will be a huge advantage once you get a hold of it.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost will help keep Aatrox in place as he always wants to be moving in position to land Q's. Oblivion Orb is a must.
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Mid-Late you and Aatrox should be at a stalemate. Focus on wave clearing and looking for roam potential. If you didn't get a significant lead Aatrox will be near impossible to take down alone. When you find yourself in a teamfight wait for Aatrox to burn his R World Ender, CC and kite him out, and then use your R to bring him into your team once it wears off so he can be burst down. Worst case scenario, just use R Explosive Cask when he uses R World Ender to keep him from resetting.

Your kill window will entirely depend on how much poke you can lay down and how well you can avoid his Q The Darkin Blade. If you're confident go for it, but I personally wait for my Jungler before going for a kill.

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Akali





Akali's Q Five Point Strike can be completely negated early on through your W and passive Drunken Rage. You should have no problem farming up for your Sapphire Crystal and Dark Seal recall, but once Akali hits Level 6 you need to be extremely careful because she has (in my honest opinion) highly overtuned execution damage on her R Perfect Execution. Stay healthy, don't play into her W Twilight Shroud and once you have access to Lost Chapter you can come out on top of every trade. Oblivion Orb isn't NEEDED by I would recommend it if Akali took Conqueror and theres another healing champion playing on the enemy Top side. Do not use your E Body Slam in a way they she can reactively dodge with her E Shuriken Flip.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost will help create a lot of space if Akali is trying to threaten a kill. If you're struggling you can potentially look for Fimbulwinter 2nd. Oblivion Orb condition stated above.
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Mid-Late depending on how your lane went Akali will start looking for assassination on other squishy targets, try to get in between her and her target and peel for whoever she is trying to go on. I'll mention here that the last thing you want to do is feed Akali early on, because if she gets a significant lead you wont be able to control her because if you get in her way, she will cut right through you. Remember that you can R Explosive Cask her out of her W Twilight Shroud if the circumstance calls for it.

Kill windows open up once you have Lost Chapter (or depending on how poorly they play, Sapphire Crystal and Dark Seal. Poke with Q, and be absolutely sure you can confirm a kill when you go in. A fed Akali is a nightmare to deal with.

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Camille





A least favourite among the majority of Top Gragas players I've talked to. I personally don't find Camille that bad, but she's definitely a lot to deal with. Camille has a lot of sustain through her passive Adaptive Defenses, W Tactical Sweep, Corrupting Potion, Grasp of the Undying, and Total Biscuit of Everlasting Will. F*cking hell thats a lot isn't it? The good news is, you can donkey spam W Drunken Rage and match it with your passive healing. The most important thing is to not take horrible trades and be forced to recall before you can afford Sapphire Crystal and Dark Seal. If you can, build up a slow push and crash when you're approaching 750g. Once you have a mana pool to work with Camille becomes a lot easier to deal with. If she uses her E Hookshot in a predictable manner, you can negate the trade with E Body Slam OR even better, you can cancel her Hookshot if you Body Slam the wall she's jumping to, and get a fat trade off. Use your W Drunken Rage to negate her W Tactical Sweep and eventually most Camille's will get frustrated and take bad fights. Always keep in mind that she can use Hextech Ultimatum for invulnerability. A few times I've completely whiffed an entire spell rotation and died, when I instead could have played more controlled and baited out her R.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost for the added utility. I would recommend rushing straight into Cosmic Drive for the AH. If you're against multiple healers Oblivion Orb will help deal with her Divine Sunderer once she gets a hold of it.
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Mid-Late Camille becomes much harder to deal with because of Divine Sunderer. You can chain kill her over and over but once she completes this item she will be able to put up a fight. Use the same laning advice throughout side lane and when the time comes to teamfight, provide lots of peel and Camille will struggle getting anything done.

Kill opportunities arise once you have base levels in your Q Barrel Roll and some mana to work with. Always let Camille make mistakes, and play close to the wall so you can cancel her Hookshot if the player is very predictable. Don't get cheesed by Hextech Ultimatum invulnerability

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Gnar





Gnar is set as a higher difficulty because with great Auto-Spacing, Gnar can be insanely hard to lane against. His AA and Q Boomerang Throw poke can be sustained against through your W and passive Drunken Rage. Whats important is to not greed for too much CS because you will be giving Gnar W Hyper procs which will chunk hard. Same deal as many other lanes, get your Sapphire Crystal and Dark Seal recall and look to start harassing with Q Barrel Roll. If you're looking for a melee trade you need to get close so Gnar can't react with Hop. At no point should you be looking to trade with Mega Gnar. If Gnar is about to engage on you with Mega Gnar with Hop Crunch, use your E Body Slam and walk out as to not get big combo'd against a wall.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost will be your best option. The added utility can provide peel if Gnar is looking to engage with Mega Gnar. Cosmic Drive is fine 2nd.
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Mid-Late Gnar with a lead will be hard to side lane against, but for the most part Gnar will be hovering in the jungle building rage and looking for an engage angle on your team. If it looks highly predictable you can look to combo his engage. You also have the option to R Explosive Cask his engage if you're confident, just know if you fail you could get your entire team merked.

Once you have Levels in Barrel Roll and some mana you can poke Gnar down and bait out his E for an easy combo takedown. Again, very important not to whiff your E Body Slam because Gnar will just run you down.

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Graves





Graves Top has slowly become more and more meta. Graves' E Quickdraw allows him to stack Armor, which isn't much of a problem for you because you deal AP damage! Graves can sustain through a bugged interaction with Fleet Footwork. The only thing you can't match early on is his waveclear. Graves will be perma shoving waves and looking to take control of your JG. Depending on how early lane goes you might just be in a CS battle until you have the gold for Lost Chapter. Use Empowered Q's to match his waveclear and look to follow him around. Bonus points if you can find kill potential. Spam Q Barrel Roll for poke, and eventually Graves will start using Quickdraw to avoid it. If he does this, this is your chance to kill. E Body Slam cannot be dodged by his E Quickdraw, otherwise he can chase you down and very easily look for a kill.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost is very reliable against Graves because he needs to be close if he wants to do damage. Oblivion Orb will help once he starts completeing Immortal Shieldbow or Eclipse.
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Mid-Late Graves can 1 shot waves and roam around. If he isn't taking fights with you then you should be looking to take away JG camps that your Jungler otherwise wont be getting to, because Graves will be looking for camps after clearing waves. Graves is very easy to lock down in a teamfight so be mindful of his Quickdraw and look for a combo that your team can follow up on.

A kill can be achieved if Graves takes too much Q Barrel Roll poke and blows his E Quickdraw. You will need to be extra careful if you're going for a kill and Graves has Immortal Shieldbow.

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Irelia





Another champion with arguably overtuned early game stats. Level 1 Irelia has the option to Q Bladesurge a bunch of minions and leap on to you with her passive Ionian Fervor fully stacked for a massive chunk, so I recommend starting E Body Slam to disengage when she jumps on you. If shes playing a bit stale and you think you can farm safely to Level 2 you can start W Drunken Rage. Irelia should have a hard time looking for kill pressure on you if you play to CS and disenage, but remember her E Flawless Duet gives her Q Bladesurge a reset so after you E Body Slam she can jump back on to you and you might be screwed. This is a lane I would recommend Oblivion Orb. If Irelia seems inexperienced you can go aggressive and look for kills, but this is a very dangerous lane and you don't want Irelia to snowball. If Irelia does land E Flawless Duet, you should look to pop a Phase Rush combo when she jumps on to you so that she can't continue afterwards. (If you do this hang back until your Phase Rush is off cooldown)
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost is best for the added peel, Oblivion Orb will help deal with her oppressive healing.
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Mid-Late Irelia can melt side lane and she will have no problem sticking to you if she has Tenacity. Play consistent and don't get caught with your pants down. Once you meet her in a teamfight you can look to peel or throw down a combo for CC and give your team an easy time killing her.

Your kill window will entirely depend upon how Irelia plays, but if she loves going aggressive under your tower cheese her with an R Explosive Cask combo and lock her under your turret.

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Jayce





I would rank Jayce lower but if played efficiently Jayce can be hard to deal with. Start W Drunken Rage to sustain his AA poke and play back, using your healing and DR from W to secure CS. If Jayce looks to engage with To The Skies! you can cancel it with a well timed E Body Slam and follow up with a full combo to pop Phase Rush or a half combo with the damage from W Drunken Rage. Once you have Lost Chapter you can start harassing with Q Barrel Roll and look for kill potential once Jayce gets low.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost for Mythic, pick up Seeker's Armguard if you're struggling.
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Mid-Late you should have the upper hand so long as Jayce didn't get a decent lead. You can also look to stand infront of your team and eat his Q Shock Blast poke with your W Drunken Rage damage reduction if you aren't in any immediate danger. If you catch Jayce with a Q look to follow up with Everfrost or R Explosive Cask from the slow for an easy pick with your team.

Early on keep healthy. Once you get your Sapphire Crystal and Dark Seal you can poke Jayce down with Q Barrel Roll and look for kill pressure.

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Lillia





Lillia can be a very oppressive Top laner. Lillia will be able to spam her Q Blooming Blows combined with medium ranged AA's for harass. It's important to use your W and passive Drunken Rage to stay healthy and collect enough gold for your Sapphire Crystal and Dark Seal buy. Once you have some points in Q Barrel Roll you can look to start punching back. Lillia will have lots of movement speed from her passive so you will need to slow her with Q first before trying to follow up with E Body Slam.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost will help lock her down. If you're against a strong AP Top side you can pick up some early MR as well Null-Magic Mantle. Lillia also has built in healing and normally runs Conqueror so Oblivion Orb is a great option at some point as well.
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Mid-Late Lillia will be able to match your waveclear, and her mobility will end up giving her priority. Make sure you're always keeping tabs on her and matching her as she can move around quickly. In a teamfight she can hit a massive R Lilting Lullaby, if this is the case you can look to disengage the enemy team with a well placed R Explosive Cask and keep you and your team from getting obliterated. If you want to focus her wait for her to be very close range so you can guarantee an E Body Slam for easy follow up.

Lillia is squishy until she starts building items like Demonic Embrace. If she mispositions or is hit by too many Q's Barrel Roll you can look for an all-in with your ultimate. Patience is the key in this match up.

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Nasus





Nasus should be absolutely no issue for you early on. Whenever he goes to stack Q Siphoning Strike you can bonk him with a W Drunken Rage. Keep him pressured early while being aware of the enemy jungler. Depending on Runes and build setup, Nasus can have access to kill potential once he hits level 6. Make sure you keep your harass very short and simple, and hold your E Body Slam and Phase Rush for when he tries to W Wither you for an all in. A good Nasus is very hard to kill, and is why I rank him at this difficulty.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost will provide further peel against him, but if you are against a beefier team you can also consider Liandry's Anguish.
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Mid-Late Nasus is a powerhouse. What will normally end up happening is Nasus will sit sidelane and farm Q stacks until his team is all but on their knees begging for him to group. If this is the case make sure you keep waves cleared at your tower, and disengage him from the tower if he tries to ignore you and focus it. If you end up teamfighting against him, you can use your R Explosive Cask to disengage from him when he uses his R Fury of the Sands. Otherwise, look to kite him out and focus carries if you can't just lock him down and DPS him quickly.

Kill windows on Nasus are very conditional and depend on his build. Once you have ranks in Q Barrel Roll and some mana to work with you can throw down some harass. In my experience it's been best to bait an all-in, make him waste R Fury of the Sands and then re-engage to try and kill.

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Nocturne (Exotic)





Another exotic pick that was popular Mid-S11. Nocturne has very strong duelling potential and waveclear early on with his Q Duskbringer and passive Umbra Blades. In this match up you don't want to interact with him and just keep your CS high. If you're forced to trade with him it's best to get next to him if you want to use Body Slam so he can't react with his spellshield Shroud of Darkness. If Nocturne tries to use his E Unspeakable Horror, look to pop your Phase Rush and try to get out of his tether range. If he's building glass cannon he is very vulnerable after using his W Shroud of Darkness.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost can be helpful for extra peel/lock down. It can also be used to break his W Shroud of Darkness in a pinch. Zhonya's Hourglass will help a lot if you're really struggling.
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Mid-Late Nocturne can melt waves and roam. Nocturne doesn't look for seige but rather sidelane duelling or roams with his R Paranoia. Keep your sidelane cleared and look to match roams if you can't put pressure on him directly. If he has left the sidelane be very aware of his R Paranoia. You have a very small 0.25 second window to use your Teleport close to your team if he hits his R.

You will only have kill potential on Nocturne after he blows his W Shroud of Darkness. If you end up hitting his W you could be in really big trouble and might lose access to an easy Phase Rush proc. Luckily this ability is on a 20 second cooldown at rank 1, so always play around it.

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Poppy





Poppy can be a tough lane, but with proper W and passive Drunken Rage usage you should be able to farm safely and scale. Her Q can be pretty easy to bait out just by walking up and then away from the minions. It is very important to stay away from walls and if she is charging at you, walk into her at weird angles so she can't stun you. Never use your E Body Slam from a distance as she can block it with her W Steadfast Presence and follow up with big damage.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost is a good for peel if she tries running at you with her W Steadfast Presence movement speed. Poppy is another lane I would consider Liandry's Anguish if you're against an HP stacking team.
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Mid-Late you and Poppy will have no kill potential on each other. Keep your waves shoved and look for roam opportunities. Poppy can use her R Keeper's Verdict to knock you or strong teamfight players away. If their win condition is to knock someone important on your team away; cancel her R with your R Explosive Cask. Otherwise you can look to peel her off your team and focus on getting a big combo on the enemy team's backline.

Poppy will be up in your space early, and will be hard to contest. After your first buy you can poke her with Q Barrel Roll and if she didn't pick up early MR Null-Magic Mantle she should fall into kill range eventually. You can look to R Explosive Cask her under your tower and keep her locked down.

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Ryze (Exotic)





Ryze's presence in Top lane has fallen off over the years. Ryze can poke with AA's and Q Overload, so stay healthy with W and passive Drunken Rage. Ryze players love to recall on Wave 3 (first cannon wave) for an early Tear of the Goddess, so if you are able to without taking too much damage, try to freeze infront of your tower. This will delay his early tear stacks and leaves him vulnerable to an early gank if your jungler is in the area. Once you have Lost Chapter you can start poking back with Q Barrel Roll and if he takes too much damage you can all-in. Make sure you stay behind and slightly away from the minion wave so his E-Q doesn't bounce to you.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost will provide free R Explosive Cask set up if he gets hit by it. Standard Cosmic Drive second buy is a good option to match some of his scaling.
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Mid-Late Ryze can blow up waves and look to clear jungle camps. If you're hit by too many abilities he can take an all-in and burst you down quick if you don't have decent sustain. Clear sidelane linearly with him, try to suck up his jungle camps, and match his roams when you can. R Explosive Cask will knock the enemy team out of his R Realm Warp if needed. You can also E Body Slam him out of Realm Warp if hes about to flank your team.

You will have decent kill potential after Lost Chapter if he can't melt waves. Ryze normally doesn't want to interact with you and just wants to power farm so if you can force trades safely do so. Otherwise hit waves and either follow him around or farm your own jungle camps.

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Sylas





Depending on the player, Sylas can be difficult. You have all the tools you need to match his sustain and play disengage early so that you can farm safely. I recommend buying Sapphire Crystal and Oblivion Orb to cut his healing. The only interaction you need to be aware of is his E Abduct chains being able to cancel your E Body Slam. Other than that kite out his Conqueror with Phase Rush and keep trades short.
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Item Recommendations:
Oblivion Orb before Everfrost is highly recommended. If Sylas took a lead then finish Morellonomicon early.
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Mid-Late Sylas players usually look to perma fight and often ignore waves. You can keep sidelane cleared and look for roams to cause him to lose CS under tower. If Sylas is roaming a lot and you see that he has good opportunities you should just follow him. If Sylas steals your R Explosive Cask you should be aware that he can E-R similar to your combo for easy picks. If he gets too close lock him down and deal with him quickly before he can benefit from his healing.

A good Sylas should be able to keep sustained and have good pressure early on. You will always have the opportunity to combo him after he uses his E Abduct chains. If he is winning trades keep your E Body Slam for when he jumps on you, and disengage.

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Viego (Exotic)





Viego's Solo lane presence took a big nerf near the beginning of Split 3 of Season 11. If you find yourself in lane against him try to avoid his Q Blade of the Ruined King poke, and keep trades short. Viego is able to cancel your E Body Slam with his W projectile Spectral Maw so it is very important to play around this. If you find yourself stuck in melee range you might need to R Explosive Cask to disengage early as he can stack Conqueror very fast and cancel CC with his R Heartbreaker.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost for the added peel and utility. Oblivion Orb isn't a bad choice early if the enemy team as multiple healing sources. Zhonya's Hourglass can stall his all-in and make it harder for him to reset.
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Mid-Late Viego can't be approached easily and can clear waves pretty fast. Keep up with his waveclear and mirror his movements from sidelane to mid if he is looking for roams. In a teamfight it's a good idea to kite back from his mist and look to engage once his mist is down. you can force him to use R Heartbreaker defensively if you've caught him in a CC chain. Otherwise look to peel him or lock him down, keeping in mind again that your E Body Slam is cancelled by his W Spectral Maw

If you land in lane vs Viego they are probably very experienced. His healing will make it hard to gain kill pressure, and if you use your abilities poorly he can get on to you and melt you fairly easily. If Viego is getting to lazy and is infront of your tower you can R Explosive Cask him under for an easy kill. Oblivion Orb with help if his healing is getting too much.

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Warwick (Exotic)





Warwick is an extremely cheesey Top laner. Luckily if you keep your distance you will have the sustain to match his, and you have great disengage whenever he tries to get on to you. You want to play defensive and take very short trades with your W Drunken Rage and E Body Slam. Warwick is able to cancel CC with a VERY well timed Q Jaws of the Beast so be cautious and have a plan B for if this happens to you. If you play short trades well enough you can put him in lethal. Warwick will have access to massive healing at low HP, Damage reduction with his E Primal Howl, and is even harder to kill when he has access to his R Infinite Duress and Barrier. If you're going to kill Warwick you will want to CC lock him, and have the damage ready to Overkill him by a decent amount.
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Item Recommendations:
You will want to pick up an early Oblivion Orb to make trading less attractive for WW. Once you complete Everfrost you should have plenty of waveclear, and you can roam or look to match his roams.
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Mid-Late if Warwick didn't take a massive lead he should fall off pretty quick. If Warwick did end up taking a lead, you can still beat him with good CC and DPS. Warwick doesn't like spending time in sidelane without Titanic Hydra so make sure you're always keeping track of him and not giving him free kills. A lot of Warwick players will stop farming and force kills/objectives.

If Warwick is inexperienced or otherwise playing poorly, he can be pretty easy to kill. A good Warwick will require Oblivion Orb and lots of CC and extra damage to kill. Do not get baited because Warwick can turn a 1v1 extremely fast. If you're unsure if you can kill him or not, just take the safe route and keep playing for disengage.

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Darius





Darius is actually the only match up that I cannot confidently give good advice on... (yet). That being said most Gragas Top players I've talked to seem to rank Darius at medium difficulty so I'll throw him here. I have spent a solid 2 years perma-banning Darius (as a Sion OTP) and now that I leave him open, he's barely played. If I get this match up a couple more times I'll come back and have a solid write up. But for now I cannot provide confident match up knowledge for Darius.



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Gangplank





Gangplank isn't too much of a threat because his Q Parrrley can be negated by your healing and reduction from W Drunken Rage. Breaking his barrels isn't 100% necessary but the more you can break the better. Make sure you stay healthy and farm up for your Lost Chapter. Once you have a significant source of mana you can start looking to put pressure on him. If you try to E-R combo him, keep in mind that he can break the CC chain with a well timed W Remove Scurvy.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost can be a good tool to make him blow his W Remove Scurvy early. If you struggle against Gangplank you can pick up Plated Steelcaps as well.
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Mid-Late Gangplank starts hitting his biggest spikes. Level 13 is when he is able to throw down quick barrels, and he is able to hold 5 at a time. Try to stay out of his poke range and commit to an all-in if he oversteps. If Gangplank is an important target then try to get a pick on him with R Explosive Cask. If there are bigger threats you can try to knock them into you, while knocking the Gangplank out of range.

As of Season 12 Gangplanks early laning phase has been significantly nerfed. Try to stay healthy with passive and Drunken Rage. Once you have points in Q and some mana to work with you can poke Gangplank down to a point where you can all-in. If you are looking to all-in keep in mind that you have to overkill him through his W Remove Scurvy.

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Garen





Garen is a fairly easy champion to neutralize and even get ahead on if they don't play to perfection. If Garen tries to open with Q Decisive Strike you can W and E Body Slam for a quick trade and disengage. The only thing you need to be cautious of is the fact you need to use your E Body Slam for disengage because if Garen can get a full E Judgment on you he will easily put you in lethal range of R Demacian Justice. Also keep in mind that Garen's W Courage provides Tenacity against your E Body Slam stun if timed correctly. If you want to go aggressive make sure you have the mana pool to keep him poked so that he can't heal back up with his passive Perseverance
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost will further help keep him off of yourself and your carries. Feel free to go a standard build path, you don't need anything special against Garen.
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Mid-Late Garen will be a powerhouse if he managed to get kills & tower gold. However if you went even you should be a much stronger teamfighter than him. Keep him peeled off your carries and look for a good pick with your R Explosive Cask

Your kill window will entirely depend on if Garen is playing poorly or not. This lane should be a stalemate all the way through but if you have Lost Chapter feel free to test the waters and look for trades with your Phase Rush combo.

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Gwen





Gwen is very easy to deal with as she doesn't have the poke to force you out of lane and you can always disengage from her with E Body Slam and Phase Rush. Make sure you're always getting use of your W and passive Drunken Rage and benefit from the damage reduction every time she tries to jump on you. The only thing you need to be careful of is when her R Needlework is available. She does shocking damage, heals an insane amount, and is able to slow you unless you have access to Phase Rush. When her ultimate is off cooldown always be sure to save your Phase Rush for when she pops R Needlework.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost is fine to rush but make sure you pick up an early Oblivion Orb for the healing reduction as well.
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Mid-Late Gwen can melt you very easily if you're stuck in melee range of her, but with proper usage of E Body Slam and Phase Rush she should never be able to stick to you. Make sure you keep her peeled off your carries as well, and if Gwen oversteps, you can R Explosive Cask her into your team for a quick and easy takedown.

Gwen can be pressured once you have Lost Chapter. It's best to be close to your tower if you want to go for a kill. If you use all of your abilities and Phase Rush Gwen can very easily run you across the lane with R Needlework. A lot of Gwen's will also be very comfortable in their W Hallowed Mist, so you can time a combo for when her W depletes.

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Illaoi





Illaoi can be pressured early because you will be able to completely negate her Level 1 Q Tentacle Smash with your W Drunken Rage. It's very important to respect her E Test of Spirit when she hits Level 3. Unfortunately once you eventually get forced under your tower and she has Tentacles set up you'll have to play entirely to avoid her E Test of Spirit because it will rack up shocking damage incredibly fast. Once the lane is in this state it becomes extremely uninteractive. Most Illaoi players will look for harass under your tower and if they take too many tower shots you can R Explosive Cask her and lock her down under your turret for a kill.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost will help keep her from moving around when she Ults with Leap of Faith. Oblivion Orb will help against her healing if she manages to put up a fight against you and your Jungler.
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Mid-Late Illaoi players will normally continue to afk-split to try and draw pressure. If you are going to have your team pick her in a side lane make sure you bait out her R Leap of Faith before comitting to her in melee range. In a teamfight she should be fairly easy to deal with if she doesn't have Tentacles set up. If she ults in a big clump sometimes I will use my R Explosive Cask to knock her away from the fight, and wait for her ult to run out before re-engaging on to her.

With E Body Slam max you can look for pressure onto Illaoi directly but its very important to avoid her E Test of Spirit at all costs. If Illaoi is egoing near your tower she should be very easy to cheese with a well placed and timed R Explosive Cask.

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Jax





Jax is incredibly easy to counter with Gragas, but if played wrong you will fold pretty easily. Always save your E for his Q Leap Strike or E Counter Strike. If Jax leaps on to you with Q, E Body Slam him right away and walk back to avoid his E Counter Strike. If Jax decides to walk into melee range with E Counter Strike, E him quickly and disengage before the stun goes off. If he decides to follow up with a leap after that, W-Q him for trade damage and Phase Rush proc to get out of range. Once you have Lost Chapter poke you should have good kill potential.
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Item Recommendations:
Standard Everfrost and Cosmic Drive or Shadowflame build path.
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Mid-Late Jax has incredible split push, but you should have no issues clearing waves and keeping him off your tower. If you meet Jax in a teamfight you can look to peel him off your carries, lock him up with Everfrost and CC chain him as needed for a take down. If Jax is stacking Tenacity ( Legend: Tenacity Mercury's Treads Unflinching ) then you need to be very careful how you play around him, because this will give him insane sticking power.

Your kill window will open up once you complete Lost Chapter. Throw down some Q poke and keep him from engaging on you with your E Body Slam. Get him in lethal range, make him waste his abilities, and then Combo & R as needed.

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Kayle





Kayle lane is entirely free until Level 6. It's important to realize you're on a clock when you're against Kayle, and anything you give her for free will allow her to scale that much sooner. If you play over aggressive you might get ganked and if a kill goes over to her you're in trouble. Most Kayle player's will sit back, play safe and farm without letting you interact with them. The best way to play against this style is to use your Lost Chapter and empowered Q Barrel Roll to blow up waves and farm enemy JG camps and look for roam opportunities. If you actually want to go for a kill on her you will need to be prepared to kill her through R Divine Judgment and W Celestial Blessing. Try to save your Phase Rush for when you're in a pinch.
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Item Recommendations:
Standard Everfrost & Cosmic Drive build path.
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Mid-Late Kayle will be an absolute nightmare if she managed to get high CS per min. (even more so if she got kills). Keep waves cleared and try to take jungle camps before she can get to them. In a fight if shes playing far back you can throw Q Barrel Roll for a slow and Everfrost & Explosive Cask set up to bring her into your team to get bursted down. Don't try to E Body Slam her unless you're 100% sure it will land, or you will be kited and taken out quickly.

Once you have Lost Chapter you should be able to poke Kayle with Q Barrel Roll. When Kayle hits 6 she can play further back but if she takes too much harass you can give yourself some set up with Q slow. MAKE SURE you have the damage and cooldowns to kill her through R Divine Judgment. Don't waste your abilities and try to bait out her ult.

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Kennen





Kennen can be a bit more on the difficult side if played well, but you should be able to sustain through his poke with W and passive Drunken Rage, along with Total Biscuit of Everlasting Will or Second Wind. Do not try to trade back with him early on, instead get enough CS for Dark Seal & Sapphire Crystal OR Lost Chapter and base. With a bigger mana pool and more ranks in Q you can look to poke Kennen back. If Kennen tries to get on to you with E Lightning Rush you can E Body Slam to disengage and pump a full combo into him. Keep healthy and keep your CS numbers up.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost will be incredibly helpful especially when trying to peel him off your team when he tries to R Slicing Maelstrom. Cosmic Drive or Shadowflame second.
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Mid-Late you should actually be able to shove in Kennen and keep sidelane and jungle control. If Kennen gets a good flank in a teamfight you might be in a lot of trouble, but if you see him coming you can look to Everfrost him and or R Explosive Cask him away when he pops R Slicing Maelstrom. After he uses R and E he will be very easy to take out.

You will have kill opportunities once you have access to Lost Chapter. Keep trading on his poke and out-sustaining with your passive. Once Kennen gets low enough you can look for a kill, just be aware that he can easily dodge your Body Slam with his E Lightning Rush

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Kled





Kled is normally a fairly easy lane because every Kled player is extremely linear and predictable. Keep track of his W Violent Tendencies as Kled's will always look to blow their entire load on your next last-hit with W available. The best way to avoid this is to fake last-hitting and sacrifice the minion to dodge his full combo, then give him one of your own. Kled's that are a bit more patient are harder to deal with, but once you get Lost Chapter you should have no issues laying harass down on to him. If Kled does manage to catch you with a combo, disengage with a full combo and try to escape with Phase Rush before his Q Bear Trap on a Rope pulls you back in. When Kled is dismounted and you're looking for a kill keep in mind you can be kited by his Q Pocket Pistol, and keep track of his (rage bar?). It will fill up fast when he has W available.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost and Cosmic Drive build path
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Mid-Late Kled will have windows for big trades in sidelane when your Phase Rush is down, so make sure you play around this cooldown. In a teamfight you can look to body block his R Chaaaaaaaarge!!! and CC chain him if theres no immediate threat of you being taken down. Aside from that some basic peel will keep Kled off your carries and zoning will keep him from remounting if you don't outright kill him.

Kled's can be very easy to kill if they play predictable. Once you have Lost Chapter you should have no problem dismounting him and looking for a kill. Make sure you play around his cooldown and your Phase Rush.

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Lee Sin (Exotic)





Lee Sin Top was very popular in Season 11 but I have yet to see one in Season 12 so I'm labelling him as Exotic. I've only played this match up a hand full of times but what I can recommend is to stay away from his E Tempest and to avoid extended fights with him at all costs. It's best to save your E Body Slam incase he lands a Q Sonic Wave. If he reactivates it, Body slam and full combo him. Keep in mind that Lee Sin can fake a Q and W Safeguard to a minion, so don't over commit unless you're SURE he intends on completing his Q dash.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost and Oblivion Orb will keep his healing under control. Cosmic Drive will help you match his cooldowns.
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Mid-Late Lee Sin more often wants to roam and look for picks. Keep and eye on his map movement and don't let him start skirmishes without an answer. You will want to keep sidelane pushed so that someone has to run to clear, but don't force your team into a numbers disadvantage. You can afford to sacrifice sidelane CS to keep Lee Sin under control.

Kill opportunity will entirely depend on how the Lee Sin is playing. You shouldn't be able to kill him but in Mid-game when you have complete Mythic and Oblivion Orb you will win an all-in if you play around your cooldowns and Phase Rush properly. After 3 items Lee Sin starts winning again, especially with Tenacity stacking.

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Sion





Sion is my other most played champion. I have played this match up on both sides 100 times, and I haven't won a single f****** time both ways. The most effective build I have seen into Sion is Ionian Boots of Lucidity Fimbulwinter Liandry's Anguish Cosmic Drive Demonic Embrace. Start Tear of the Goddess and start stacking it with W Drunken Rage. You will benefit from maxing E Body Slam in this lane. Focus on CS, and look for quick trades against Sion with W-E. Once Sion gets Hullbreaker you should be strong enough to keep him off your tower.
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Item Recommendations:
Ionian Boots of Lucidity Fimbulwinter Liandry's Anguish Cosmic Drive Demonic Embrace ^^^
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Mid-Late Sion has massive split and teamfight power, but with lots of CDR and %HP Shred you can wither Sion down before he can get to your tower OR your backline in a teamfight. You will want to focus higher threat targets before dealing with Sion, but if he is in the middle of your team you can CC lock him and take him out quickly. When Sion is splitting with Hullbreaker it's important to keep waves cleared and to deal with the Cannon minion quickly.

If Sion is going 'inting' strategy the kills will come to you and you will be able to kill him before he can do anything productive. If Sion is playing laning phase you can W-E for short trades and get him low enough for an all-in. Keep in mind that Sion Q Decimating Smash can cancel your E Body Slam before you can reach him.

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Urgot





As long as you avoid Urgot's Level 1 cheese this should be a free lane. I take Body Slam first in this lane just incase Urgot starts E Disdain and looks for cheese. The early levels in this lane can be pretty rough so keep sustained with W and passive Drunken Rage and get CS for your Lost Chapter. Once you have Lost Chapter you can harass Urgot and have decent kill potential if he hasn't grabbed any Magic Resistance. If you are caught by his E Disdain then disengage and Phase Rush out and quickly as possible.
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Item Recommendations:
You can take standard Everfrost build in this match up, or you can go a beefier Fimbulwinter scaling CDR build.
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Mid-Late Urgots usually like to powerfarm sidelane until a fight breaks out. You should have no issues keeping Urgot off your tower, and you should be taking jungle camps before he can get to them if you can. Urgot is very easy to CC lock in a teamfight after he uses his E so play carefully and wait for a good opportunity. If your carry is about to eat his R Fear Beyond Death you can dash to body block it if there is no immediate threat afterwards.

Lazy Urgot players will try to force trades that aren't in their favour. If you end up tanking Urgot's E Disdain you need to disengage, otherwise feel free to harass him and look for kill potential.

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Malphite





Malphite lane is absolutely FREE. The only issue you might run into is MR stacking from him if you have heavy AP Top side or 3 AP reliant damage dealers (including yourself). Feel free to take a scaling Fimbulwinter CDR build or standard Everfrost build path. Malphite does not have the harass to bully you out of lane, nor will he have any opportunity to kill you. If Malphite is playing far back, just clear waves and look to roam or steal camps. There is nothing special to say about this lane, just don't leave yourself open for an easy gank off of Malphite's R Unstoppable Force
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost or a scaling CDR build focused around Fimbulwinter is up to personal preference. Zhonya's Hourglass will keep you from tanking Malphite R in fights.
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Mid-Late You should be able to shove Malphite in and roam around, unfortunately teammates even in Master tier forget that Malphite can come from anywhere with R Unstoppable Force and completely smurf a teamfight. Try to throw a combo in to the enemy team to disrupt them so that they can't easily follow up on Malphites R. Leave your carries to take out Malphite unless you need to peel for them.

Killing Malphite isn't necessary if they are playing back and giving up CS. Farm properly and scale hard.

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Maokai (Exotic)





It's really depressing marking Maokai as Exotic, but every change that Riot has made to Maokai in recent years has been to tailor him towards Support and nerf his Lane sustain. I don't remember a whole lot about this match up if I'm being honest but I do remember that Oblivion Orb will help A LOT against his passive Sap Magic. This lane should be no struggle whatsoever.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost and Oblivion Orb to cut down on his healing and provide peel.
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Mid-Late Maokai can't really sidelane against you and will probably look to roam. Keep bushes around Objectives cleared from Saplings and make sure when you go to use any important cooldowns on Maokai, his W Twisted Advance is on cooldown. Body block his R Nature's Grasp for your team and peel as needed.

This is a winning match up, so if Maokai keeps trying to exist in your melee range you can poke him down pretty hard. Play around Maokai's W Twisted Advance and you should have no problem either killing him or waveclearing and roaming.

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Mordekaiser





Mordekaiser is very easy to disengage from and doesn't have any good way to stick to you. Level 1 your W negates his poke from Q Obliterate. Level 2 you can tank his E Death's Grasp and respond with E Body Slam. CS properly and eventually you can put up a lot of pressure with access to Lost Chapter. Feel free to go aggressive, but don't get pulled or ulted Realm of Death if your Phase Rush is on cooldown. Other than that this lane is very smooth sailing.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost and Cosmic Drive. Mordekaiser has healing from his W Indestructible and Conqueror but you shouldn't need Oblivion Orb to kill him. (take it if you want to obviously)
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Mid-Late Mordekaiser will have difficulty sidelaning against you without an abundance of Magic Resistance and Tenacity. You can very easily pressure Mordekaiser in a teamfight and if he R Realm of Death's you, you can kite out with Everfrost and Phase Rush. If Mordekaiser R's one of your teammates, zone his team off and try to kill him as hes coming out of realm.

Your ability to kill Mordekaiser will depend entirely on how he plays after you've gotten Lost Chapter. Mordekaiser needs to play defensive once you have mana to work with, and if he doesn't you can do quick W-E trades with him. Save your Phase Rush incase you're locked in his S** Dungeon.

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Ornn





Ornn for the most part is an incredibly easy lane. Early on you want to be avoiding poke from his Q Volcanic Rupture, and avoiding the last tick of his W Bellows Breath so that he can't apply Brittle. If Ornn tries to E Searing Charge you can block it with E Body Slam to avoid the knock up. When Ornn uses his R Call of the Forge God you can avoid getting hit by Body slamming him if hes in close range or using R Explosive Cask to disrupt his R2. Ornn is another lane you can start Tear of the Goddess and go a scaling CDR build if you want, but it's definitely not necessary.
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Item Recommendations:
Standard Everfrost and Cosmic Drive build recommended, or Scaling CDR build with Fimbulwinter.
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Mid-Late Ornn wont have nearly as much strength in a sidelane as you will, but he will be able to provide his team with Item Upgrades and will look to group for teamfights. Keep in mind the tools you have available to cancel his engage from R Call of the Forge God. If you have lots of DPS near you, you can lock up Ornn with CC and take him out quickly.

With quick W-E trades you can get Ornn low pretty quickly. Once you have Lost Chapter you should have enough mana available to threaten a kill onto Ornn. If you're looking to displace him with R Explosive Cask, keep in mind he can cancel CC with his W Bellows Breath.

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Pantheon





Pantheon is a pretty hard lane bully to deal with, unless your name starts with G and you're fat as ****. Pantheon relies on poking with melee range Q Comet Spear and stacking passive Mortal Will for empowered W Shield Vault trades. You will need good reaction time and positioning around the minion wave, but you can use E Body Slam to cancel Pantheon's W and have him blow his passive stacks. W and passive Drunken Rage can be used to sustain through his Q poke. Before you go for an aggressive trade make sure you are aware of how he uses his E Aegis Assault. Pantheon can come out on top of a trade if you waste everything on his E.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost and Cosmic Drive. You can take Oblivion Orb if you find his healing from Conqueror is making a difference.
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Mid-Late Pantheon will be very strong with 1-2 Items and will look to roam with his R Grand Starfall once he realizes he has no chance of killing you alone. With match ups against roamers, you want to make sure your team is aware that a Pantheon can land in their lane, and if you're unsure of where Pantheon is you should clear minions in sidelane and look to group so that Pantheon doesn't create a numbers disadvantage for your team. You can sacrifice CS to keep him in check.

If you're confident you can kill Pantheon make sure you bait out his E Aegis Assault before attempting an all-in.

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Quinn





Quinn's harass can be very difficult to deal with early on, but you should have no problem playing back and using W and passive Drunken Rage for sustain. You will also be able to sustain with Second Wind or Total Biscuit of Everlasting Will. Focus on CS until Lost Chapter then you can harass with Q Barrel Roll poke. If Quinn tries to E Vault you can react with an E Body Slam to cancel and full combo. Good Quinn players will keep their distance and keep the pressure on you but 1 mistake and they will blow up. If Quinn is too aggressive near your tower you can easily R Explosive Cask her for a cheese kill.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost, grab an early Seeker's Armguard and or Plated Steelcaps if you're struggling.
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Mid-Late you will have better waveclear than Quinn but Quinn can move around the map very quickly. Keep sidelane shoved and try to hover around your team so that Quinn doesn't get free picks. Unless Quinn can get a good engage or pick with her R Behind Enemy Lines she will be rather useless in teamfights and very easy to deal with.

If Quinns positioning is poor you should be able to harass her with Q Barrel Roll and look for an all-in. If you're playing against a patient Quinn you will need to be a bit more careful and reserved.

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Renekton





Riot has nerfed Renekton into the ground over time. Renekton is still able to nuke waves and even put pressure on you, but you can play to disengage with E Body Slam and match his CS. If Renekton is lazy you can get lots of Q Barrel Roll poke once you have Lost Chapter. Use your W Drunken Rage for Damage Reduction if you can anticipate an engage with his empowered W Ruthless Predator. Avoid his Q Cull the Meek so he isn't given extra healing, and respect his all in with R Dominus
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost is great for peel. If his healing is a problem for you then pick up Oblivion Orb.
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Mid-Late Renekton likes to sidelane and powerfarm jungle camps so make sure you hit those before he can. Use your empowered Q Barrel Roll for waveclear, and if you can actually pressure him, then shove him into tower and look to roam. Renekton provides decent frontline in a teamfight, so you will need to kite his R Dominus if you don't have the DPS to kill him during a CC chain.

Renekton can be hard to kill if they sustain well with their Q Cull the Meek, but if Renekton takes too much poke and takes too many bad trades you should be able to kill. Make sure you have the damage to kill him through a Q heal and R Dominus

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Rengar





Rengar is a very easy lane to neutralize, but if you aren't patient with your E Body Slam and you don't respect Rengar early you can end up taking a lot of damage and getting yourself killed. Rengar will look to use his passive Unseen Predator from the bushes. It's important to hold your E Body Slam for when he lands on you, so that you can interrupt his combo and disengage. Play opposite of the bushes so that he can't run back in and leap back on to you right away. When Rengar has his W Battle Roar available you should be careful not to blow your entire combo on him as he can heal it all back right away. Once you have Lost Chapter and Oblivion Orb you can put on a lot of pressure. If you're struggling pick up an early Seeker's Armguard. Also keep in mind that Rengar can CC cancel your Everfrost and E stun with his empowered W Battle Roar.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost and Oblivion Orb are highly recommended.
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Mid-Late Rengar doesn't have good waveclear to sidelane, so he will mostly be looking to clear near his tower and roam. Try to keep tabs on him and match his roaming so that he can't snowball out of control. When approaching fights be ready to react to Rengar's leap either from a bush or from his ult, CC chain him and burst him down before his team has time to follow up.

A good Rengar will be able to use his W Battle Roar effectively so that he can come out on top of trades. Once you have access to Oblivion Orb you should have a much easier time killing Rengar

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Riven





The more experienced the Riven player the harder this match up gets. It's very important to keep solid spacing so that Riven can't land her full Q-AA-Q-AA-Q-AA combo. You want to hold your E Body Slam for when she leaps with her Q3 Broken Wings. You can cancel her damage and knock up and return with a full combo before she can react with W or E. If you are inexperience or otherwise not confident in this match up you can play defensive, gather CS, and throw return combos if Riven tries to engage on you. W Drunken Rage for damage reduction and E Body Slam her Q3.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost will help with peel and Oblivion Orb will cut her healing from Conqueror
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Mid-Late Riven can hold her own in a sidelane with Tenacity as long as she has gone even. Riven will have lots of CDR to match yours so you wont have an easy opening at any point unless she whiffs everything. Keep waves cleared, keep mirroring her, and stay alive. In a teamfight you should be able to provide enough CC to disrupt any combo she tries on you or a teammate. Keep her peeled off your carries and you should have no trouble with Riven later on.

Killing Riven isn't necessary and comes with a lot of risk. If Riven is playing poorly and you are confident you should be able to land kills as early as your Lost Chapter buy. Make sure you grab an early Oblivion Orb to keep trades in your favour.

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Rumble





I've only played this match up a hand full of times so my knowledge is a bit limited. Rumble players normally like to be aggressive early with Q Flamespitter and Arcane Comet so stay healthy with your W and passive Drunken Rage. Stay behind minions to avoid being hit by E Electro-Harpoon and make sure you are always keeping track of Rumbles heat bar. With 50%+ Heat Rumble will do significantly more damage and have a much bigger shield from W Scrap Shield. If you notice Rumble is able to overheat stay clear of melee range and try to disengage with a full combo. Keep your trades short and you should eventually come out on top.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost will do just fine. If you're having trouble you can pick up an early Null-Magic Mantle or Verdant Barrier.
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Mid game Rumble is at his absolute strongest. Rumble will look for combo's will high heat on your squishy targets, so if you see he is about to follow up after landing E Electro-Harpoon get in his way with a Body Slam and keep him off your carries. If Rumble can't land a strong R The Equalizer and can't burst down a carry he will be next to useless. Rumbles sidelaning is also very weak in later stages of the game.

As I mentioned before my knowledge in this match up is very limited so I can't offer up specific kill windows. Keep in mind everything I mentioned above and is Rumble is giving you too many free combos you should have no trouble finishing him off. Make sure you have Phase Rush available incase you are caught way out of position for R The Equalizer

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Shen





Shen is another very easy lane to deal with. You can play aggressive for CS because Shen wont have any reliable way to kill you unless you tank every E Shadow Dash and empowered AA's from Q Twilight Assault. If you're getting low sit back and heal up with your passive. Every time Shen engages on you with E Shadow Dash you can return a full combo on to him. Shen's W Spirit's Refuge is the only thing you need to watch out for because it can block your W Drunken Rage. Try wait out his W before using yours. Once you have Lost Chapter you can keep Shen shoved in so that he will have to lose a lot if he Ults away with Stand United. Keep in mind you can also cancel Shen's R Stand United with R Explosive Cask.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost or Liandry's Anguish for the later game HP% shred. You can also get away with free scaling on Fimbulwinter in this match up.
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Mid-Late Shen will be assigned to clearing sidelane and preparing to R Stand United to a fight. You can either group early and bait out his R or you can keep him pressured so that he can't R Stand United right away without threat of you cancelling it. Shen will never outscale you but will become increasingly harder to kill the longer the game progresses. Keep him peeled off your carries and take down more important targets before focusing on Shen.

Once you have Lost Chapter you can abuse trades with Shen or you can keep waves cleared so that you can roam or take jungle camps. Shen doesn't have a hard time playing from behind so try to create a strong lead through CS if Shen is playing too safe.

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Singed





Singed is far from threatening especially when you can reposition quickly with Phase Rush. Obviously you don't want to take damage or get E Fling'd for free, but you can eat lots of Q Poison Trail damage in order to CS and then W & passive Drunken Rage to heal back up. If Singed is making it obvious he wants to E Fling you, you can either hit him with a full combo early OR if he buffers his Fling you can full combo him afterwards. The only the to watch out for is his W Mega Adhesive as it will keep you from being able to use your E Body Slam and Flash.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost is great because Singed needs to move around to be effective.
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Mid-Late Singed will look to proxy or clear waves with his Q Poison Trail and roam. Singed is hard to chase but if you catch him in a bad position you can CC lock him and burst him down quickly. In teamfights make sure you provide peel and don't let him get to your carries for an E Fling. You can chase him if it will result in a kill but if you chase for too long you will definitely die sooner than you expect.

Your kill window will open up once you have Lost Chapter. Singed is easy to poke with Q Barrel Roll so wither him down and look for an all in if he gets too low. Don't greed to hard for a kill because if he chase for too long Singed can turn around and kill you very easily. Forcing someone out of lane is just as good as killing them.

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Trundle





Trundle will have a very hard getting on to you, and and even harder time sticking to you. You can play passively and trade with W Drunken Rage and E Body Slam when he walks up to Q Chomp you. Focus on CS until you get your Lost Chapter and then you can start poking him. Make sure you don't waste your Phase Rush incase Trundle hits you with a decent E Pillar of Ice. Trundle can siphon a lot of HP from his R Subjugate so be careful when you try to all in. If Trundle is building Blade of the Ruined King or Divine Sunderer then you should pick up Oblivion Orb as well.

If Trundle is a giga smurf from a different dimension, he can cancel your E Body Slam with his E Pillar of Ice, though its incredibly difficult to do if you aren't from max distance away.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost will provide great peel and make it very hard for Trundle to approach you. Pick up Oblivion Orb if Trundle is building healing.
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Mid-Late Trundle has pretty poor waveclear without Ravenous Hydra or Titanic Hydra. Keep your sidelane shoved and look to steal camps from his side of the jungle or roam. During a teamfight you should have no issue CC locking him and taking him down. Provide peel for your carries and focus bigger targets if you find Trundle to be very little threat.

Again your kill window will depend entirely upon how well Trundle is playing, but if Trundle is inexperienced or otherwise lazy you can keep slinging combos into him without him being able to react. Make sure you have enough damage to kill him through R Subjugate

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Tryndamere





As of the time of writing this guide (patch 12.5) Tryndamere has continued to dominate the Top lane meta for months. Luckily Gragas has a great time against Tryndamere, though with his ( in my opinion ) very overstated kit you can get annilhated even for just a simple mistake. Always keep your E Body Slam available to match his E Spinning Slash so that he can't reliably stay on top of you. Keep your Phase Rush available incase you need to create more distance after using your E Body Slam. Stay healthy with W and passive Drunken Rage and try to get maximum use out of the damage reduction it provides. I recommend going a bit more of a scaling build with Fimbulwinter in this match up because if you can't create a lead then Tryndamere will naturally outscale you over time. Fimbulwinter will provide you with an almost infinite mana pool and make you much harder to take down.
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Item Recommendations:
Tear of the Goddess start into Everfrost and Fimbulwinter
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Mid-Late Tryndamere will look to split for towers or clear waves and group. You will need to find a healthy balance between keeping Tryndamere off your towers and showing up to objectives. If you can't handle Tryndamere in the sidelane alone you will need to beg your team to send someone to help you OR get them to take care of Tryndamere early before he can push up too far. In a teamfight just peel for your carries and keep him locked down during his R Undying Rage with Everfrost and Body Slam.

Tryndamere should never be killable, but if they play carelessly you can create an advantage with Q Barrel Roll poke. Make sure you have Phase Rush available for when Tryndamere pops Ghost. If Tryndamere wastes everything and you can bait out his R Undying Rage then you can finally look for a kill.

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Volibear





Another Top laner I would almost consider labelling as exotic. Volibear excels at extended trades, something Gragas excels at denying. You can look to be a bit more aggressive in this lane, you just need to avoid his Q Thundering Smash and E Sky Splitter combo. If you find yourself trading often with Volibear in order to secure CS you should make sure to let his W Frenzied Maul stack drop so that he wont heal if he uses it again. Volibear has some of the best Level 1 waveclear but once you have Lost Chapter you should have no issue matching.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost or Liandry's Anguish if the enemy team has lots of champions that stack HP. Fimbulwinter also a decent choice in this lane.
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Mid-Late Volibear will waveclear if he can't outright fight you. If you notice that Volibear has first move to a fight then ping the wall you think he will leap over, as Volibear can disable turrets with his R Stormbringer and rinse a fight easily. If you're fighting over a neutral objective keep in mind that Volibears R Stormbringer also cancels CC, so don't over commit your CC abilites too hard. Other than that Volibear is fair easy to peel off carries.

Again, sloppy laners can get bullied pretty hard. If Volibear is able to match your combos then you're best off waiting for a gank and playing for perfect CS. If Volibear builds Divine Sunderer then pick up an Oblivion Orb to help cut his healing.

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Wukong





Wukong has no reliable way to trade with you as you can instantly interrupt his E Nimbus Strike engage with your E Body Slam. A good Wukong will grab an early Sheen and look to poke you with Q Crushing Blow while hiding inside the minion wave. If this is the case then you want to tank it with the damage reduction from a well-timed W Drunken Rage and look for a trade empowered auto attack back, or wait for an opening if he wastes E Nimbus Strike. Fairly easy lane, just don't blow an entire combo on his W Warrior Trickster clone, and make sure you keep track of how much Tenacity he has.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost is great and will provide extra peel from his R Cyclone in teamfights. Pick up Oblivion Orb if you notice hes building Divine Sunderer.
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Mid-Late Wukong can actually start putting up a fight with stacked Tenacity and damage from Divine Sunderer. If you notice Wukong is strong you'll have to play defensive and clear waves until a teamfight. You can usually Tank his R Cyclone just fine but if hes in a really good position you might have to R Explosive Cask him off your team. Without a lead Wukong will be pretty weak, so if you can, save your abilities for higher threat targets.

Your kill potential will mostly depend on how many failed trades Wukong is willing to take. Eventually Wukong's will stop trying to E Nimbus Strike on to you, so you can start building a CS lead, and shoving in order to roam. ( Assuming Wukong doesn't know the match up, if he does he will chill out and poke with Q Crushing Blow. )

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Yasuo





Yasuo is another champion who can't reliably get on to you unless you let him E Sweeping Blade through minions. If Yasuo tries to dash on to you, disengage with E Body Slam, full combo, and hang back until E comes back off cooldown. Try to keep the lane on your side and be ready to Phase Rush away if you're stuck close to his tower and he tries to engage through a wave. Be mindful of Yasuo's W Wind Wall as it can completely eat up your Q Barrel Roll and R Explosive Cask. Make sure you are using the healing and damage reduction from W and passive Drunken Rage effectively.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost will help lock down Yasuo. If you are struggling a bit you can also pick up a Seeker's Armguard. Oblivion Orb can also help once Yasuo completes Immortal Shieldbow.
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Mid-Late Yasuo will complete his 100% Crit spike and be quite threatening in a sidelane. As long as you stay calm with your E Body Slam and don't waste your Phase Rush you should be able to safely clear waves and mirror Yasuo's map movement. You need to make sure Yasuo uses his W Wind Wall before you use R Explosive Cask during a fight. Once Yasuo wastes his Wind Wall you can lock him up and take him down quickly. If Yasuo hits R Last Breath on one of your carries, wait until the animation is over before you Body Slam or Explosive Cask because he will be CC immune.

A slippery Yasuo can be very hard to kill, but for the most part Yasuo players can get bullied pretty hard. If you keep winning trades Yasuo will eventually try to W Wind Wall one of your Q Barrel Roll's so once he wastes wind wall and drops Q stacks you can look for an all in.

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Zac (Exotic)





Zac can match your lane sustain quite well, but has no reliable way of killing you. For the most part you want to stay neutral and CS for your Lost Chapter then you can start going aggressive. Stand behind minions and stay out of auto attack range to avoid being hit by Zac's Q Stretching Strikes. Zac can heal a lot from spamming W Unstable Matter and collecting blobs of his passive Cell Division. If Zac tries to jump on you with E Elastic Slingshot you can completely cancel it with E Body Slam before he hits the ground. Once you have Lost Chapter you can pick up Oblivion Orb and step on his blobs to reduce his healing and give yourself a massive advantage in trades.
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Item Recommendations:
Everfrost or Liandry's Anguish as Zac loves to stack lots of HP. Zac is another lane where Fimbulwinter can be stacked for free. Don't forget to pick up Oblivion Orb.
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Mid-Late Zac doesn't have much waveclear so he is going to look for massive flanks on to your team with E Elastic Slingshot. You can afford to clear when waves get to your tower and look to match Zac's roams. If Zac tries to engage a fight with you near by, you can interrupt his E with Body Slam and dispose of him with R Explosive Cask if needed. Keep him peeled off your carries and make sure you keep it very difficult for him to engage. Once Zac's engage is neutralized you can look to hit bigger targets.

The cheese with Zac in lane is his absurd healing, which you can also match. Play trades properly, don't give him free damage and step on blobs when you see them so that he loses out on healing. If you're going for a kill make sure you kill him in a position where you can also take care of his ressurection passive.

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Mythic Items

Breaking Down Mythics



__________________________________________ AP Mythic Items ____________________________________________
Here I will give a brief explanation of each Mythic, it's synergy with Gragas, and when you want to
build them.

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Everfrost has everything that Gragas would want from an item and then some. Lost Chapter is the strongest component Gragas can pick up in the early game as it will provide him with a massive mana pool and a lot of his mana can be converted to HP via his Passive Happy Hour. Grabbing HP Components will make his healing stronger, and lastly Everfrost's active can be used in so many different ways, defensively or aggressively. My favourite interaction with Everfrost is using it after landing E for a guarenteed root, then letting a Q Barrel Roll cook and exploding it right before the root runs out for massive damage.

Liandry's Anguish is a great option that also provides lots of mana through Lost Chapter. This item is best built when you are against lots of HP stackers. The poke from this item is also useful against squishy targets. The only downfall to this item is that it provides no HP, so you will be weaker in lane, and your passive healing wont be as strong. The Mythic passive on this item provides CDR so you can transition into a high scaling/bruiser CDR build with Fimbulwinter and Cosmic Drive.

Luden's Tempest is best taken into squishy lanes that you can reliably land Q Barrel Roll poke on to. I usually only build Luden's Tempest when I'm filled Mid, and I will take Electrocute and Ignite for lots of damage and lane presence. This item will provide great burst, but also lacks HP and CDR scaling, you will also be much squishier with this build.

Hextech Rocketbelt is normally the Mythic I choose when Jungling. You don't normally want to build this item if you're in lane because you will be missing a massive chunk of mana. If you do build this item for lane it should be Mid. Rocketbelt provides an extra dash that you can use to get into better position for Body Slam or Explosive Cask.

Night Harvester is the final Mythic I would consider building. Again you are missing out on a big chunk of mana, but this item provides decent burst and can do lots of damage in a teamfight. Before Gragas' mana nerfs this was a very commonly built item, but I haven't seen Night Harvester built for a very long time. The most effective role to use Night Harvester in would be Jungle, and you can use it in combination with Dark Harvest for some massive snowballing.

____________________________________________________ Tank Mythics ______________________________________________________
These are the most common Mythics I see built for Tank Gragas if you are interested in a Tank oriented playstyle
give these Mythics a try.

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Turbo Chemtank seems to be the most commonly built Tank Mythic for Gragas in combination with starting Tear of the Goddess for a later Fimbulwinter. Chemtank can be stacked and used as a decent trading tool with it's passive. Chemtank also provides lots of HP for your Happy Hour sustain. When looking to roam you can use the active on it to get into a good position to Body Slam + Explosive Cask an important target. You will be A LOT tankier with this build (obviously) but if you decide to take Grasp of the Undying it will be harder to get out of sticky situations.

Sunfire Aegis is less commonly built but is still effective on Gragas, especially in Tank vs Tank match ups. Sunfire provides a bit of extra Tenacity which will help you move around more, and ramping damage from auto attacks. You should also start Tear of the Goddess and look towards a Fimbulwinter second. If you are some how smashing lane and have lots of gold you can pick this up in place of Chemtank.
Legendary Items

Breaking Down Legendarys




Cosmic Drive has been one of my favourite items on Gragas since the item has been released. This item gives everything that Gragas wants, AP, HP, CDR, and MS. With Cosmic Drive you can sling spells a lot more, and the added utility from the movement speed and CDR will help you manuever around to hit follow up combo's easier and on lower cooldown. The more CDR you have the harder it will be for frontline or fighters to stay on you. If there are no other glaringly obvious options, then Cosmic drive is a great 2nd item and should be consider core for AP Bruiser builds.

Fimbulwinter is a great 2nd purchase if you need to lean more on the Bruiser side of AP Bruiser. Fimbulwinter 2nd will provide you with a massive boost in HP, Shield upon CC, and a massive mana pool to work with. You'll be sacrificing damage but in return you will become much harder to kill. If it looks like your team is going to need a frontline in order to operate then start lane with Tear of the Goddess or pick it up on your first base.

Shadowflame is another great 2nd item if you are against a lot more squishy champions. You will be lacking CDR from Cosmic Drive but you will be dealing a noticably bigger chunk of damage. Shadowflame also provides a little bit of HP which makes picking up this item early more viable in some situations than others. If you want a massive spike in damage without sarificing too much beefiness then Shadowflame is a great option.

Demonic Embrace is a very slept on item in my opinion. You don't want to grab this until at least your 3rd item, if not later. If you're against teams with low HP% Shred this item becomes even more effective. Demonic Embrace provides lots of HP, AP scaling based off of maximum HP, and a HP% Burn to help deal with enemy HP stackers. If you find you don't need the immediate safety from a Banshee's or Zhonya's, then Demonic Embrace will provide lots of Damage while giving you a higher HP pool and healing from Happy Hour.

Morellonomicon will provide massive healing reduction upon completition, though you will want to hold on to Oblivion Orb if you don't immediately need higher healing reduction. Sometimes I will complete Morellonomicon 3rd if I'm against lots of heavy healing or even complete it 2nd if I'm struggling heavy for gold. Generally you will want to just sit on Oblivion Orb and work on other items. Morello completion early isn't AS BAD as it is on other mages because with the 250HP it provides you can get extra use from Happy Hour.


Zhonya's Hourglass is great early on especially if you're against AD champions that have very predictable burst. Zhonya's usage is very conditional but the stats it provides are all things Gragas is looking for, aside from HP. If you're against heavy AD and struggling in lane you can pick up an early Seeker's Armguard. You can also pick up a Stopwatch in order to swing an important fight in your favour, then upgrade it to Zhonya's later.

Banshee's Veil is commonly and mistakenly built to counter poke. Banshee's Veil is most effective when it denies the enemy team solid engage. A great skill to have is to be able to dodge and avoid abilities so that you can keep your spellshield up. If the enemy team has something like a Malphite he can never press R on you to start off a teamfight. Banshee's Veil allows you to get into positions that you otherwise couldn't without the spellshield. And of course this item is good against AP users in general with the added Magic Resistance.

Rabadon's Deathcap is like hooking up a battery to your other items. Rabadon's provides a massive chunk of AP, but is best taken against squishy champions, and with a significant lead. If you're doing a bit of the pop off and you're a primary carry who people are actively playing around, this will amplify your damage output. Gragas has great AP scaling but lacks range, so if you don't have the durability to get in range to use your spells then this item will end up hurting your overall build rather than helping it. Make sure you aren't tunnelling in on Rabadon's if there are other items that will end up being more effective for much cheaper.

Void Staff is similar to Deathcap, but is a lot cheaper and has much better build cases. If the enemy team is overall fairly beefy, you can build Void Staff to get through their resistances. If your team is 3 AP or more, eventually Void Staff is going to be a necessary item in order to continue dealing enough damage to make an impact.

Frozen Heart is a good option for Tank builds, and has synergy with Fimbulwinter. If you're against heavy auto attackers and you can move into position to apply it's passive then you're going to see lots of results with this item. Frozen Heart provides you with a little extra CDR and even more mana to work with. In the right cases you can quite literally spam your abilities endlessly, at the sacrifice of damage.

Spirit Visage is another great option for Tank build paths. Spirit Visage provides extra healing from Happy Hour and also provides increased shielding from your Fimbulwinter. If you're against lots of AP and the enemy team doesn't have a lot of access to heal cut then Spirit Visage will end up giving you a lot of value. And also, it provides CDR.

Thornmail is a great healing reduction option if you're moving away from AP and leaning more towards tank. Once you complete Thornmail you will be applying 60% healing reduction every time you CC an opponent, which in a lot of cases can make a massive difference. The added HP from Thornmail will also help you with healing from Happy Hour

Knight's Vow can be built as a Solo-Laner late in the game to throw on one of your carries. Normally I only build Knight's Vow if I have other Tank items to supplement it. If I have something like a Vayne(ADC) or Casseopiea(Mid) that is hard carrying teamfights I'll pick this up to Tank some extra damage for them.

There are other great items that are viable in specific situations, but less common so not listed here. Learning the item shop and specific build cases is an extremely powerful skill to learn not just for one champion, but for the entire game overall.
Comboing and Basic Trading

Block and Bump



This will be your most basic trading combo for laning phase. Use W Drunken Rage for DR when your opponent is about to jump on to you, then quickly E Body Slam, Empowered AA, and walk back. This is very light on your mana pool and will deter opponents from continuing unless they have good follow up. This combo is not to be confused with the...

Bump and Dunk



The exact same combo, only you're going aggressive. Make sure you don't need your Body Slam for disengage if you decide you want to make some aggressive trades.

Full Combo



Once you have mana to work with you can start throwing out full combos. Keep in mind that full comboing will proc your Phase Rush, so if you need to keep distance from enemies you don't want to pop it and be stuck in a vulnerable position. Use in order: W+E+Q+AA+Q2

E Flash



This is your strongest engage tool and you can build more combo's off of this. Normally when you E Flash your opponent is squishy enough or low enough to be finished off in a follow up full combo. If this isn't the case you can look to follow up with R Explosive Cask to bring them closer to your team.

E Flash + R



To be used on the enemies highest threat target when in range. A well timed E+Flash Ult combo will throw the enemy carry directly into line of fire before the enemy team can really react. Your ult can also displace nearby enemies and create important distance for example: You knock enemy Vayne into your team and enemy Lulu away from the Vayne.

Gottem



Poke your opponent with a Q Barrel Roll for the slow to set up the active on your Everfrost. If you landed the root react quickly and R Explosive Cask them into you and your team for a pick. Keep track of enemy Tenacity as it will make pick combos like these much harder to land.

The Panunu



You can Q Barrel Roll without exploding it, then if you catch your opponent with Everfrost or a Body Slam you can Explosive Cask them in the direction of your charging Barrel Roll for massive damage. Hard to pull off at first, and for the most part very unnecessary, but looks extremely clean and extends your kill opportunities.

The WoodyFruity



This is in my opinion the hardest combo to pull off. This combo basically simulates a Malphite ultimate only pumping out an entire nuclear warhead worth of damage.

When the enemy clumps up, R Explosive Cask the clump, then before it lands, Body Slam in the direction of the clump and Flash into the center a split second after R Explosive Cask lands. If done correctly the enemy team will be CC'd, take a lot of damage, and be stuck in place. If you can master this you will have the ultimate engage tool, but this is VERY hard to land.
Effective Roaming

Empowered Q Waveclear



Once you have access to Lost Chapter you can start pumping spells into the wave, fighting aggressively for priority, and looking for roams.

It's important to always be proactive if you want to find success playing League, so once you've cleared a wave and theres plenty of time before the next wave arrives, you can walk into river and try to spot the Jungler, throw down wards, sweep, steal enemy JG camps, or farm your own (Top side Krugs/Gromp).

Invading/Guarding Jungle



If you have an even or winning Jungler, you can look to follow him into the Jungle to help him steal camps or even get kills. If you're successful in doing this you'll create a massive advantage for your Jungler, and often tilt the enemy Jungler, which in the SoloQ environment, will usually cause conflict within the enemy team.

The same can be said for Guarding your own Jungle(r). In this case you might not be able to push out but you can still slow the wave down and walk into the Jungle to protect your Jungler for an incoming invade. This will put your Jungler in a great mood, tilt the enemy team, and increase your chances of winning even more.

Mid Lane Roam



If you're walking through river and pan your camera to mid, and notice the enemy mid laner isn't reacting, or even flinching, you might be able to sneak up behind them for a well placed R Explosive Cask for a beautiful pick. Sometimes you might even catch the enemy Jungler/Support trying to gank, so you can countergank for a 2v2.

It's important not to force a play too hard, because if you do you might get yourself or your teammates killed, and fall even further behind.

Roaming Mid is the most effective way to extend your lead towards the bottom side of the map. A happy and fed Mid will turn into a happy and fed Bot/Jungle.

Pepega Coin Flip Roam



This is best used when either

A) You're getting your **** kicked in during lane OR
B) Your entire team is getting their **** kicked in

If you're getting stomped and bullied off of wave after wave, there is no point in sitting in lane and losing chunks of Gold/XP. Recall, grab whatever you can from the gold you have, and choo choo down through your Bot side Jungle. If you have a numbers advantage you can look for dives, or you can look for standard picks. The beauty of this strategy is that as long as you aren't on a ward, no one will see it coming. Even if you don't score a kill you can walk around and harass the enemy Jungle or Laners and make them miserable. The success rate of this is low, but when it is successful it seriously pays off.

This is a last resort. If you're losing hard, you might as well try to make something happen. If you can win the game through standard gameplay, going for roams like this and failing will guarentee a loss.
Basic Teamfighting
A lot of this is going to be pulled from my Sion guide because it's pretty universal, so if you've read that then some of this will look familiar.

Recognizing a Fight before it Happens




For the most part, fights will ALWAYS break out over objective timers. If you want to be a successful teamfighter you need to get in the habit of preparing for teamfights long before they happen. For example:

(Creating a winning position)



1:20 before Dragon spawns. I just came from base so I have no reason to recall 1 minute before Dragon. I have TP so I am free to pressure/farm side lane until a fight is breaking out. I see that my team is slightly stronger than theres and my laner is in the side lane with me. 50-40 seconds before spawn I clear the last wave I want to go for and I start walking down into a position. Nothing is immediately happening so I don't need to TP. I see an opportunity to combo a carry that is out of place and pull the trigger.

The enemy Mid is blasted by a huge combo and knocked into our team. She is quickly taken down and any hope of a 5v5 is now gone. If the enemy team is strong enough they can look to contest 4v5, but with the numbers advantage you can fight to keep an aggressive position, and if anyone steps out of line you can combo them for follow.

(Salvaging a losing position)



1:00 before Dragon spawns I recall and walk with my ADC & Support through the Jungle to help sweep. We scare off their assassin Mid and zone out the enemy JG. A slow paced 5v5 is breaking out infront of the Dragon. My impatient ADC hits Dragon and I am now tanking extra damage. The enemy team sees this as a chance to go in and the enemy Support walks up to me to CC while the enemy Mid jumps on my carry.

I position myself infront of their team, and infront of my ADC while looking for a disengage combo or a pick on a carry with R. Our teamfight is falling apart so now it's time to run. Unfortunately it looks like I'm not going to make it but I can save my ADC and pump out a little bit of damage before I die. I combo in, sacrificing myself and through R Explosive Cask at the enemy team (making sure not to knock anyone closer to my carries) I die but I did just enough damage to allow my ADC to score a kill and have the rest of the enemy team back off. We traded even in kills but I was impactful enough for us to score a Dragon.

Target Selection



Depending on your build your Target Selection will almost always be a little bit different. Obviously if you can CC and blow up the Mid/ADC that is huge, but sometimes you need to save your Cooldowns for the biggest threat. Killing the enemy ADC is nice, but you should blow Flash+Ult for her if shes 0/6/0.

You want to be hitting CC onto the highest threat, if your team is much stronger, you want to position yourself in the middle, so that in order for their biggest threat to reach yours, they need to eat your Body Slam and or put themselves in danger of being chain CC'd by Everfrost and Explosive Cask.

Engage



Whether you're Tank or AD, engaging into a clump is your best move. If you manage to hit 2-3 people with E+Flash you've basically just won any fight, so long as you're prioritizing highest threat targets.

Soaking



Soaking is best done as a Tank (obviously). Sometimes your job in a fight isn't to do damage, and sometimes hitting your CC is just an added bonus. Sometimes you need to just walk at the enemy backline and eat damage to the face. This is by far the easiest way to win a teamfight but can only be done when your team is stronger.

If you can Soak correctly, then you can even swing losing fights in your favour. 4000 damage to you is 4000 that wasn't done to your backline.

Disengaging or Sacrificing



This will end up being your last resort. Gragas has some pretty amazing Disengage from a teamfight. If you find yourself hard losing, combo out and even R Explosive Cask the enemy away if you have to. If you are sacrificing to allow for more important teammates to live, try your best to pump out as much damage and utility as possible so that there is potential for trade kills.
To Close

I hope this has helped anyone wanting to learn Gragas Top. I continue to play and learn so whenever I find that my guides are a bit outdated I always come back and revise.



There is a lot written here so if I miss things, something gets outdated, or even if you think some of the things I'm saying are blatantly wrong please let me know.




Please do not treat my guide as the end all be all. There are other amazing sources and content creators out there who can provide even more than what I have done here. Have a look around and consume from different people. I didn't learn Gragas off of one person alone.



Have fun, and good luck!



If this guide has helped you, don't forget to leave an upvote to help me help more!

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Current Patch Author Notes

I like to keep my guides up to date with each current patch, even if nothing directly changes with the Champion (in this case Gragas). Even if there are no direct buffs/nerfs to Gragas or Items/Matchups I'll still do a quick notes for each new patch.


I will list the current patch and notes from the previous patch, and anything out dated I will remove. If any significant changes occur I will keep them listed for the Season.

[Patch 12.12]

+
We managed to get some nice little compensation buffs to Q and E in patch 12.11. After playing quite a bit with the new durability I think it's safe to say Gragas is still roughly at the same strength level he was before 12.10. How successful you are with Gragas will always come down to how hard you push his skill ceiling and basic macro. The CDR buffs definitely feel nice.

-
Hits to healing reduction have made completion of Morello even weaker than it already is. I would avoid investing in healing reduction unless the bulk of their team relies on healing.

[Patch 12.10] (Durability Patch)

-
Gragas actually took a shocking hit this patch. Happy Hour healing has gone down from 8% to 6.5%, which at first glance doesn't seem like much, but you are spamming this passive throughout your entire laning phase, and you will quickly be losing a lot of HP compared to the last patch throughout laning.

This has made Top Gragas feel (at least in my opinion) significantly weaker, and you need to take less harass in order to stay healthy (which is the opposite of what this patch was supposed to achieve?) I think it's safe to say Riot really overshot the nerf to Gragas' healing, and I look forward to the buffs lined up for 12.11.

Until then, I'm cutting back on my amount of Gragas games. Cheers!

[Patch 12.9]



No noticable changes to Gragas or the Top lane Meta. Scaling picks have started to become a lot more frequent and I assume the durability patch will further make scaling picks OP.

I've been finding with the shifting Meta I've gone mostly 1 or 2 builds:
'High-Damage Low-Tankiness' build centered around Luden's Tempest and Shadowflame, amazing early game damage, and great into team compositions with lots of squishy champions, and especially against squishy lane opponents. You will have massive poke and AoE damage to blow up teams, but the trade off is that you will be lacking A LOT of HP. This build doesn't scale as well and if you start to fall behind this build will fall off as well. This build is conditional and should only be done against lots of squishy champions.

'High-Tankiness, High CDR' build you will be starting lane off with Tear of the Goddess and working your way into Everfrost and Fimbulwinter. This is a much more standard and generally good over all build into all compositions. The only issue is that you'll be lacking damage until Cosmic Drive so it's important to keep farmed up if you haven't taken any sort of lead. The only downfall to this build is achieving solo kill's a lot more difficult if you can't get off multiple spell rotations.

That's about it for this patch. There haven't been any noticable changes so we'll have to wait and see what the durability changes in 12.10 have in store for us!

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide