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Graves Build Guide by FalleN3
Graves Jungle | FalleN3's Guide to Graves Jungle
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+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Core Items (Bruiser Build)
Core Items (Lethality Build)
Full Build (Bruiser)
Full Build (Lethality)
New Destiny (PASSIVE)
Graves Passive Ability
Champion Build Guide
Pros / Cons
Hi, welcome to my Graves guide. I'm FalleN3 and I've been playing League of Legends since season 2. I mostly play Jungle or Mid Lane on the EUW server. I enjoy playing aggressive champions that enable me to take risks in my games.
I stream Monday to Thursdays at 6pm GMT+1 until 9pm GMT+1. I am a pretty chilled and relaxed streamer and try my utmost best to offer a chilled place to hang out and watch some league.
Graves is a powerful champion with high base damage and an interesting kit. He is suitable to play in the jungle and has a fast camp clear and can do so while losing little to no health due to his passive, Quickdraw and some kiting.
Due to his high base damage Graves has a very strong early game which can help you to transition into the mid game as a force to be reckoned with. He is likely to struggle late game and can be tricky to teamfight with.
He lacks hard CC so can struggle to gank a lane if your allied champions do not have hard CC and a strong engage.
He is a decent initiator, relatively mobile and also has an escape. Due to his mobility and high damage/ fast clear Graves can be a strong counter jungler.
Unfortunately, he doesn't scale well into the late game so it is best to not drag games out unnecessarily and try to end quickly.
I hope you enjoy reading this guide and can perhaps learn a little bit of something from it.
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Attacking and moving builds Energy stacks. At 100 stacks, your next attack heals you and grants increased movement speed. When playing Graves you will want to be naturally moving around / kiting when fighting/skirmishing/clearing your jungle. Fleet Footwork is a perfect choice that will help to keep you healthy and speed you up slightly when attacking an enemy. The only other option here would be Conqueror but with it's recent nerfs I honestly wouldn't recommend taking it.
Takedowns restore 12% of your missing health and grant an additional 20 gold. This rune will offer you some extra survivability. Graves is not mana hungry so Presence of Mind is of no use and Overheal works best for champions in lane.
Gain 3% Attack Speed plus an additional 1.5% for every Legend stack (max 10 stacks). The extra attack speed will help to increase your DPS. However, it could be an option (depending on the game) to take Legend: Tenacity if the enemy team have a lot of crowd control and you feel you will get locked down with hard CC often.
Coup de Grace:
Coup de Grace will enable you to deal 8% extra damage to champions with less than 40% health. More damage, this will go a long way to helping you secure kills / assists throughout the game. The other option here is Last Stand but I prefer to take Coup de Grace
After exiting stealth or using a dash, blink or teleport, dealing any damage to a champion grants you 7 Lethality and 6 Magic Penetration for 5 seconds. Again, more damage - A solid option for any Graves game because of your Quickdraw ability.
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|Flash is a core summoner spell on almost every champion in League of Legends and Graves is no exception to this. It will enable you to dodge skillshots, blink over walls and escape from certain death. To be honest, it's a no-brainer without any exceptions.|
|Smite is mandatory in the Jungle. It will unlock the Jungle only items that are required and it's essential for securing buffs, monsters and neutral objectives, baron / dragon etc.. You must take it as a summoner spell and there is not much else to write here about it. Once you have built Skirmisher's Sabre you can also cast Challenging Smite on an enemy champion.|
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|Hunter's Machete is your starting item so take it to begin every game. It's a much stronger start for Graves than starting the game with Hunter's Talisman as it gives you some Lifesteal + Bonus Physical Damage against Monsters. Always start with this item.|
|Refillable Potion Consume a charge to restore 125 Health over 12 seconds. Holds up to 2 charges and refills upon visiting the shop. A solid option and I take it to start every game. The alternative here is to start with some Health Potion instead, however I do NOT recommend doing this.|
|Stealth Ward Early wards are crucial so take this to begin your game with. If you want, you can swap it out for an Oracle Lens a little later in the game for clearing enemy wards.|
|Ninja Tabi: Standard boots pick, I take them in the vast majority of games. You can considor them your go-to boots. I prefer them over Berserker's Greaves as I think the defensive stats are much more useful than the extra Attack Speed.|
|Mercury's Treads: These are an option if the enemy team consists of multiple AP Champions, particularly if they have lots of hard CC. They increase your movement speed and reduce CC effects (Stuns, Roots, etc..)|
|Berserker's Greaves: will dramatically increase your attack speed, hence your DPS. They are a popular choice among Graves players, if you are ahead and don't think you require defensive stats (from boots) you can certainly pick these up. I do not recommend them though and you should ** purchase with caution!|
|Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior grants lifesteal versus monsters and mana regeneration when in the jungle. It also gives you Attack Damage and some cooldown reduction. This is definitely the best jungle item to take on Graves Smite can be cast on enemy champions reducing their damage by 20% and marking them for 4 seconds. While marked, your basic attacks apply a burning effect to the target that deals 48-125 (based on level) true damage over 2.5 seconds.|
Black Cleaver gives you attack damage, health and some cooldown reduction. Dealing physical damage to champions will reduce their armor and it also has another passive that grants you a little bit of movement speed after dealing physical damage to enemies. This item is a super choice for Graves because it makes you a bit tankier, gives you some much loved cooldown reduction and helps you to shred through armor. It is a must have item if you are building as a bruiser.
Phantom Dancer gives you some attack speed, movement speed and critical strike chance. It's passive Spectral Waltz: For 2 seconds after basic attacking an enemy champion, you gain 7% movement speed and pass through units. It has a second passive Lifeline: which will grant you a shield if you take damage that would reduce your health below 30%. This shield is a unique passive which means it will not stack with Hexdrinker or Maw of Malmortius. This is a solid item for Graves as it will give you a little bit of everything that you will need in any given game.
Death's Dance is not an item to rush on Graves and I consider it to be a late game pickup, second last or last item. It's passive is effectively 20% damage reduction, which gives you more time to kill an enemy and also allows you to more easily heal up damage you receive before you die.
Guardian Angel This is pretty much a free life. Upon taking lethal damage, restore 50% of base health and 30% of maximum mana after 4 seconds of stasis (300 second cooldown). It is a solid item to pick up near the end of you build, if not the last item. Particularly useful if you are carrying hard and your death could mean a lost team-fight/game.
Maw of Malmortius gives you some attack damage, cooldown reduction and magic resist. It's passive Lifeline: If you would take magic damage that would leave you at less than 30% of your maximum Health, you first gain a shield which absorbs 350 magic damage for 5 seconds. 90 second cooldown. It will basically help you to survive burst from a mage such as Annie, Orianna, Lux, Syndra etc.. and is a solid MR item choice to take on Graves.
Sanguine Blade gives you some attack damage, life steal and lethality. Great item for pushing a lane or when fighting (dueling) one champion at a time, however as soon as other enemies arrive the Sanguine Blade falls off sharply.
Mortal Reminder Physical damage inflicts Grievous Wounds on enemy champions for 5 seconds (Grievous Wounds reduces all healing received and regeneration rates by 40%). Last Whisper: +25% total armor penetration. It will give Graves some all important armor penetration. I generally take this over Lord Dominik's Regards because I really like the fact that it applies Grievous Wounds from Executioner's Calling. This helps to take down champions with healing ability Darius, Swain, Vladimir etc.. You can purchase Executioner's Calling early in a game if you intend to buy this item.
Youmuu's Ghostblade if youa re going for a lethality build on Graves then this is the item that you will rush right after your Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior. It gives you movement speed out of combat, attack damage, cooldown reduction and lethality. It also has an active which will grant you +20% Movement Speed and the ability to move through units for 6 seconds (45 second cooldown). This can really help you to chase down an enemy and sometimes escape if you get into a poor position.
Duskblade of Draktharr will give you some attack damage, cooldown reduction and lethality. It's passive Nightstalker: after being unseen for at least 1 second, your next basic attack will deal 30-150 (at levels 1-18) bonus physical damage can be procced off of your Smoke Screen. Only ever purchase this item after you have picked up Youmuu's Ghostblade if you are building lethality.
|Sterak's Gage will essentially shield you against large burst damage and help you to not get blown up in every fight as the game progresses. It will give you +450 health, Grants 50% base attack damage as bonus attack damage and when Lifeline is triggered it grants Sterak's Fury: For 8 seconds, grants increased size, +30% Tenacity, and a shield that starts decaying after 0.75 seconds based of 75% bonus health.|
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Put your first point into (E) Quickdraw as it will give you a dash ti help kiting the jungle camp and will also reset your basic attack while reloading one shell. It also gives Graves a stack of True Grit which grants him bonus armor that will help to keep you healthy during this vulnerable time.
Once you have cleared your first buff, put your next point into (Q) End of the Line as this will help to signifigantly with clearing the next camp.
New Destiny: Graves's shotgun holds two shells. After firing them he must reload. Each attack fires several bullets in a cone. Hitting an enemy with multiple bullets does bonus damage.
Double Barrel: Graves must reload when he runs out of ammo. Attack speed reduces reload time only slightly, but reduces time between attacks dramatically.
12-Gauge: Attacks fire 4 bullets. Units hit take 100% Attack Damage + 33% for additional bulets. Critical strikes increase the number of bullets to 6 and damage dealt per bullet by 40%. Structures take 25% reduced damage from Graves' basic attacks
Buckshot: Bullets cannot pass through units which means that sometimes Graves may not hit his primary target. Keep this in mind when you are trying to attack or trade with an enemy. Non-champions struck by multiple bullets are knocked back.
New Destiny is an interesting passive to say the least and can be frustrating at times, particularaly if you are struggling with positioning. The knockback effect when attacking non-champion units makes camp clearing a breeze due to the fact that the jungle camps have such low attack range.
End of the Line: Graves fires in a direction which deals physical damage to enemies and leaves behind a powder trail. The projectile detonates after a delay in a 'T' shape from where Graves fired it. If End of the Line strikes a wall, it detonates after 0.25 seconds.
It's a skill shot that fires in a straight line, similar to Collateral Damage. You should aim to bounce it off the wall beside a camp in order for it to detonate earlier and help you to burst the camp down. This is your priority ability and you will always want to max it first. It can help you to clear a lane of minions quickly too as the minions can be hit when you first cast the ability and also when it detonates the powder will damage the minions once again.
Smoke Screen: Graves fires a smoke bomb in an area which deals magic damage, slows enemies by 50% and enemies will have their vision reduced to only what is inside the smoke cloud. The slow lasts for 0.5 seconds after the target leaves the cloud.
This ability can help you to engage on an enemy champion and can also help you to escape from them. In team-fights it forces enemies to reposition due to the the reduced vision and to be honest the slow effect is pretty annoying for anyone caught in it. It is a strong ability but has a high cooldown even when maxed so be sure to use it wisely. When dueling an enemy be sure to use the vision impairment to you advantage and reposition yourself. Smoke Screen can proc the passive of Duskblade of Draktharr should you be building lethality Graves.
Quickdraw: Graves dashes forward, resetting his basic attack timer and refilling one shell. Graves also gains 6/9/12/15/18 armor for 4 seconds, stacking up to 8 times. Dashing towards an enemy champion grants 2 stacks. Damaging non-minions refreshes the duration of this buff. Quickdraw's cooldown is reduced by 0.5 seconds every time Graves hits an enemy with a bullet.
Due to to the stacking armor this is what makes Graves incredibly tanky without having to build tanky items. The fact that it resets your auto attack is super strong and increase your DPS signifigantly. Be sure to start with this ability at level one but max it second, after your End of the Line. This ability can also be used to dash over walls which can be done offensively or defensively. If you dash towards an enemy champion you will be granted double the armor.
Collateral Damage: Graves fires an explosive shell dealing heavy damage to the first champion it hits. After hitting a champion or reaching the end of its range, the shell explodes dealing 80% of its original damage in a cone. Graves recoils 300 units upon firing.
The 'recoil' knockback can be annoying at times but at other times can help to save your life because it can help you to put more distance between yourself and an enemy, particularaly if used in combination with Quickdraw and Flash.`It can also allow you to escape over walls, similar to Flash and your Quickdraw
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Jungle Camps / Timers
It is useful but not necessary to know the spawn timers so that you can remember from muscle memory roughly when the camps are about to respawn.
Spawn At: 1:30
Respawn Time: 2:00
Spawn At: 1:42
Respawn Time: 2:00
(Blue Sentinel, Red Brambleback)
Spawn At: 1:30
Respawn Time: 5:00
Rift Scuttlers (in river)
Spawn At: 3:15
Respawn Time: 2:30
Rift Herald (in Baron pit)
• Initial Spawn: 8:00
• Respawn: 6:00
• Despawns At: 19:45 (19:55 if in combat)
Dragon (Elementals & Elder)
Spawns At: 5:00
Respawn Time: 5:00
Elder Dragon: Spawns 6:00 after one
team kills their 4th Elemental Drake
Elder Dragon: Respawn 6:00
Spawns At: 20:00
Respawn Time: 6:00
• 10/20/30/40% ultimate CDR, ignoring the CDR cap
Cloud Dragon Soul:
• Passively gain 10% increased movement speed.
• After casting your ultimate, gain an additional 30% movement speed for 3 seconds (30 second cooldown).
• +5/10/15/20% Attack damage and Ability power
Infernal Dragon Soul:
• Every 3 seconds, your next attack or damaging spell creates a small AoE explosion, dealing adaptive damage that scales with bonus attack damage, ability power, and bonus health.
• +8/16/24/32% Armor and Magic resist
Mountain Dragon Soul:
• After not taking damage for 5 seconds, gain a shield that lasts until destroyed. The shield’s magnitude scales with bonus attack damage, ability power, and bonus health.
• Restores 5/10/15/20% missing health regen per 5 seconds
Ocean Dragon Soul:
• Dealing any damage triggers strong health and resource regeneration for 3 seconds. In addition, Damage to minions provides less regeneration.
• Spawns 6:00 after one team kills their fourth Elemental Drake; 6:00 respawn
• Buff duration is 180 seconds;
• Each champion that has the buff loses it upon on death
• Damaging an enemy at less than 20% health causes them to die in an Elder Immolation after 0.5 seconds (no cooldown). However, you cannot execute enemies through invulnerability effects like Zhonya's Hourglass or undying effects like Kindred's R - Lamb's Respite
Baron Nashor is the most powerful neutral monster on Summoner's Rift. Killing Baron Nashor grants Hand of Baron to all living teammates for 180 seconds. The buff gives each champion on your team up to 48 attack damage and 80 ability power (scales with game time). Empowered Recall (Recall channel time is reduced to 4 seconds (down from 8), and an aura that greatly increases the power of nearby minions. Respawn Time: 6:00
Rift Herald is a melee attacker that that is resilient to ranged attacks (She takes 35% reduced damage from ranged basic attacks), but is vulnerable to attacks to the eye on it's back from behind, dealing 12% of it's Maximum Health as bonus true damage.
Once the Eye of the Herald is dropped but not picked by the slaying team, it will disappear after 20 seconds. Once picked up, Eye of the Herald will replace the trinket in your trinket slot. The Eye lasts for 4 Minutes after which time, if not used it will be lost. It also grants Empowered Recall and the ability to summon this monster to push a lane. You can break it (activate it) to summon the rift herald . When you are activating it, you will begin to channel for 1 Second and if you are successful (not interrupted) you will summon the Rift Herald to siege enemy turrets. If you are interrupted, the Eye is lost.
The summoned Rift Herald will head to the closest lane and start pushing it.
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How to play
|Level 1: I don't take a point in any ability until closer to the first camp spawn time, let's say 1:20 on the clock. With that being said you will want to put your first point into (E) Quickdraw and start on the side of the map that your ADC and Support are on so that they can leash the first camp. I do not Smite the first camp. Be sure to keep moving and kiting the camp to take little to no damage from it.|
|Level 2: just after finishing your first camp you will hit level 2. Put your 2nd point into (Q) End of the Line and now you must decide whether you will go for a full camp clear or rush level 3 to gank a lane early. If you have started on the blue side of the map this means you will have just cleared your Red Buff. If you plan to rush a gank in either Top or Mid lane you should now head straight to your Blue buff. Again, hold onto your smite and after Blue you should head to Gromp. Smite the gromp. You have now hit level 3 and can either gank top lane or mid lane. Your other option here is to just do a full clear. Start your Red Buff > Krugs > Raptors > Wolves > Blue > Gromp/Scuttle|
Level 3: this is where I first look to gank. Generally I will gank Top or Mid lane, depending on where the champions are in each lane and who I am trying to gank. EG: It is a lot easier to level 3 gank an enemy Dr. Mundo top lane than it is an enemy LeBlanc or Lissandra mid lane, particularaly if your mid laner doesn't have strong CC to lock them down. If you cannot gank right now, perhaps your laners are pushed too far forward or they don't have enough CC to lock down the target etc.. do not force it - simply clear your jungle but keep a sharp eye out and try to predict where the enemy jungler might be so you can at least arrive quickly to counter-gank should they enter one of the lanes.
Level 4+ try to concentrate on farming while at the same time capatilize on any opportunity to gank a lane. You should also be looking to keep control of the vision in river by contesting
whenever it spawns and of course you should proactively look to take objectives such as Dragon. Just be sure to clear out vision before starting an objective and it would be sensible that your nearby laners have lane priority so that they can react first to come and help you if the need arises. It never hurts to know where the enemy jungler is either, perhaps they are ganking your top lane and you are close to dragon with your bot lane pushing hard?
Graves is a carry jungler and has amazing dueling power so another option is to counter jungle in the enemies side of the map. Just be sure to place some vision and keep an eye on the minimap to make sure you are not being collapsed on.
|Level 6+: is a decent power spike for Graves and combined with Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior you can now throw your weight around a bit more than before. Depending on the game, around level 6+ is where I begin to consider to swap out my Stealth Ward for an Oracle Lens or not. You should keep farming as hard as you can but keep a close eye on the minimap for opportunities to duel, gank, counter-gank and take objectives (Dragons/Towers/Rift Herald etc..). Remember to purchase plenty of Control Ward throughout every game! Try to keep the momentum going so that you can be of use into the mid game.|
You will want to continue to pressure objectives hard now. At this point in the game, players will begin to roam and group up for ambushes, ganks or to secure an objective ( Towers, Dragon, Rift Herald etc..) Large scale Team-fights and smaller skirmishes will begin to occur. Victory or Loss of these fights at this stage can sway the outcome of the game.
Vision control is a crucial part of mid-game and this can definitely turn games to your advantage or destroy a well earned lead. A well placed ward can help you to get picks on the enemy team. You will want to try to keep wards in key areas on the map and at key objectives, keep farming all the time and try to capitalize every kill into pressure on an objective. Do your best to never get 'caught' alone in your jungle or a lane, particularly by multiple enemies.
Teamfights are not Graves strength but you will want to deal hugh amounts of damage and if you are building bruiser, also soak up some damage.
In a teamfight it can be difficult to gain access to a carry. If you have gone the lethality build this should mean that the enemy team has little in the way of tankiness and has multiple squishies. If this is the case you can try to position yourself in a flanking position or somewhere you can easily get access to the carries while your team either engages head on or they soak up the enemy team's engage. You will want to target the high priority carries.
If you have gone with a bruiser build you can have much more of a direct impact on how fights begin and your positioning will not punish you as much due to how tanky you will be. At times players underestimate how much defensive stats Graves will have from True Grit and Quickdraw so try to use this to your advantage, sometimes it's possible to just brute force yourself past the enemy frontline to access the carry you are prioritizing. Try your best to use your mobility to your advantage. In a perfect setup you will not want to be the one initiating the fight but will want to gain access to it immediately after it breaks out and dive the enemy back-line.
However, if your team is under serious pressure from the enemy team it's ok to kite and damage the enemy frontline. If you are stacking your Black Cleaver and get it fully stacked on a tank, this will help your ADC immensely to kill them.
If your team has won - Assuming you are not dead, now you need to look for objectives to take. How low health are you, do you have life steal? Is it possible to take an enemy tower, inhibitor, dragon, baron, rift herald etc.. ? Are your teammates healthy enough to help on objectives. Perhaps there is nothing to take and you simply need to return to base and reset/buy.
If your team has lost - Assuming you are not dead, back off to safety as quickly as possible and begin to assess what the enemies next move will be. What objectives are they going to look to take, your tower, inhibitor, baron, dragon etc... ? Now you need to either plan a way to try to stop them from taking the objective or recall and reset back to the game at hand.
It is likely that your teammates will not like when you tax their lane. However, after a successful gank, generally when your wave is pushing into the enemy tower you can take a minion tax. If you spend the time ganking a lane, this means that you are not farming - therefore you need to tax the lane a little to make up for what you lost. Some people, no matter what ELO they are in will simply not understand your reasoning for taxing their lane, so be careful of the rage kids and be mindful of an allied champion that is looking to freeze their lane. If they are trying to freeze their lane and you tax 2-3 minions ... you can put them in an awkward position.
I'm not talking about taking an entire wave here, just a couple of minions.
If you gank a lane and you get the kill: 1 - 2 Minions (Not the Cannon Minion)
If you gank a lane and your teammate gets the kill: 2 - 3 Minions (Not the Cannon Minion)
Try not to tax a losing lane at all and try not to tax bot lane heavily, especially if you get the kill!
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Graves has a strong jungle clear and can do so while staying very healthy if you kite the camps properly. He also doesn't necessarily need a leash so can solo start at the buff that suits you most in a given game. However, I do recommend starting the side of the map that your ADC and Support are on.
Always kite the jungle camps and try to kite them towards the next camp so that you can save even more time and optimize your clear speed. Be sure to never use your Quickdraw before auto attacking as you will always want to utilize it's AA reset.
Red buff -> Krugs -> Raptors -> Wolves -> Blue buff -> scuttle / Gromp
Red buff -> Blue buff -> Gromp + Smite -> Gank (Top/Mid) -> scuttle
Blue buff -> Gromp -> Wolves -> Raptors -> Red buff -> Scuttle / Krugs
Blue buff -> Red buff -> Krugs + Smite -> Gank (Top/Mid) -> scuttle
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I do like to play Graves from time to time and have had decent success with him. He is one of my go to champs including a few others when someone I want to play has been banned or picked / hard countered. He is a fun champion to play and has a bit of everything in his kit that can make almost every game some fun to play. I dislike that his range is so short but I try to embrace that with my play-style rather than handicap myself because of it.
If you can get ahead in the early game and continue to snowball into mid-game Graves can be a super champion to get a game closed out.
I hope you have found this guide to have been an interesting read and wish you the very best on summoners rift.
It's not all about winning/losing guys, at least we get to play the game!
Thanks for stopping by,
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Graves Jungle | FalleN3's Guide to Graves Jungle
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