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Graves Build Guide by Hepheistus

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Hepheistus

Graves - Ranked Shotgun

Hepheistus Last updated on April 22, 2012
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Without Support / With Support

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Jungle Role
Ranked #23 in
Jungle Role
Win 47%
Get More Stats

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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my Name is Hepheistus and this is a guide for my favorite ranged carry: Graves
I think Graves is a champion who really makes fun to play. He isn't a typical ranged carry, cause he has more damage in melee combat.

This guide will describe only my way to play Graves and I will explain my reasoning behind my items, masteries and runes.
If you like my guide and my way to play him please up vote it :)
When you don't want to up vote immediately please give me some criticism in comments.

When you played with my guide and have good results, please make a screenshot and send it to me, so that I can make a Hall of Fame!! :)

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Champion Spotlight

Thanks to RIOT Games at this point!
I think they did a good job explaning Graves Skills and show a littlebit gameplay of him.
So with this Video I think i can spare out the "Skill Sequence" Chapter :)

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For Graves I took 21/0/9.

The Offence Tree:

The 21 in the offence tree are the typical one for AD based characters. I took all physical damage i could.

The Magic Tree:

I put the 9 points in the magic tree to counter some big lacks of Graves. For the first...he always have a lack of mana, so i put 3 points on Expanded Mind . 1 point on Summoner's Insight to reduce the cooldown of flash and to get the first 4 points in the tree. 4 points on Swiftness , cause Graves is a very low walking champion. It helps you to better escape and harrass. The last point on Runic Affinity cause i like to get a blue buff for mana regeneration and a red for the slow.

I like to go this way more then adding additional armor and magic resist, cause Graves passiv already grants some armor and magic resist. Otherway around the increased movement speed gives you better abilities to harrass while also to escape. best choice, though.

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9x Greater Mark of DesolationGreater Mark of Desolation
Not much to say about that...Armor Pen is a must on every Ad Carry! 15 Armor Pen is fairly enough
9x Greater Seal of Resilience
Graves is a char who is often focused, so to improve the survivabilty on lane esspecialy early-Game i choose this runes.
9x Greater Glyph of Warding
I use them for the same reason as the Greater Seal of Armor just to improve the survivability on lane and in early-game.
3x Greater Quintessence of Malice
I added this cause of the update in March 2012. In this update the Masteries changed a little bit, so that there is no chance to crit, but attack damage per level. I take this runes cause they give me more early-game damage and since this is a crit based guide it wont hurt late game :)

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The Early-Game Items:

> > > > >
> > > >

I start with a Doran's Blade for the extra health (very important in lane) and the attack damage for the first blood.

I try to stay in Lane until I'm lvl 6 and until I have 1300 gold so I can get
Boots of Speed, an other Doran's Blade and then upgrade to Berserker's Greaves
This gives you a good lane survivability while dealling quite a good damage with increased attack and movement speed. But don't forget: Sometimes it's more clever to buy 2 instead of only one Doran's Blade, when you are on a hard lane.
The important point is: when you farm correct it's really easy and don't take long to buy these stuff.

Follow up this when you play without support:

After you have collected 1600 gold again, the next step is to buy a
Wriggle's Lantern
With Wriggle's Lantern you start your lifesteal and deal more damage on minions. With Wriggle's active you can ward your lane a little bit against jungler or general ganks. You can place a "Lantern" every 3 min.

Follow up this when you play with a warding support:

When you are in base again just buy Vampiric Scepter

When I see that I don't need the life steal on my lane cause I'm dominating very hard, I often skip the Vampiric Scepter. But most times it's useful to buy one.

The Mid-Game Items:

> > >

When the tower on your lane is down or you are close to burst it you should have Wriggle's Lantern now or the Vampiric Scepter.
The next thing you need is damage so get get a B. F. Sword
This schould take a little farm or some kills, but when it's done get a Zeal
Zeal will give you more attackspeed, more movement speed, esspecialy more crit and will also improve your lifesteal (with the AS)...perfect :)
Now go directly for Infinity Edge cause this is the most important item in this build. It grants you nice attackdamage and really nice combination with Zeal you should deal a lot of damage by now!

At this point the teamfights defenetley have started and you have fairly enough damage so upgrade your Zeal to Phantom Dancer for more Movementspeed in battle and to get to it, more damage trough the crit and of course the attackspeed wich make you really dangerous...

The Late-Game Items:

> / / >

Now your damage build is almost done and in combination with your team and a little bit timing you should make all the kills by now :)

For the last damage Item sell your Wriggle's Lantern (if you had to buy one) and buy a Bloodthirster
This grants you more survivability in Teamfights and a improved damage output

Your core damage build is completed! YES! :)
Let's concentrate on the surviveability now and for that get a Quicksilver Sash
In teamfights you always get focused cause you are the carry and deals (hopefully) the most damage, so the enemy team will throw all the CC they have at you. For that use the active of Quicksilver Sash to erase all of them at once and try to escape...meanwhile your unfocused team should have killed one squishy, after that try to come back into fight and deal more damage (probably with your ulti?)

This item can be replaced by a Black Cleaver or a Last Whisper,if your enemy team got a lot of armor or health and you see, that your damage output is to low. But when you decide not to buy a Quicksilver the hell carefull! :)

Last but not least I like to get more tanky while getting a nice CC with Frozen Mallet
Yeah it's a nice little Item, but most time you don't get there :(

(It ALWAYS depends on the enemy team and the situation in your team when to build wich dont go stubborn through this build all time :) )

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Lane Partners/ Laning

I tried out some lane partners now and I'd come to this list:

Alistar - One of my favourit ones cause of his much CC and heal! When picked clarity -> perfect

Taric - His stun is NO skill shot and his heal keeps you in lane very long

Soraka- heal plus mana? NICE!

Lux - she deals good ranged damage and has a stun and a slow. Also a good Ulti to finish escaped enemies! When picked clarity -> really nice combo

Janna - didnt played that often but Ulti heal and shield for you -> why not

...Almost every support Champion when played correct.

Laning behavior:

Since you are the ad carry always get the minion kills...Graves is a great last hitter, so easy for you.
When the enemy get's too near dash to them with your E + a Q + a auto attack so he won't dare to come near the minions again ;) Always try to outfarm the are made for this with your big range and your spells.
    Your Support:
  • When you got a supporter played by a friend or when he is communicativ aks him wether he can buy the manamanipulator at start. This will grant you long survivability in lane, cause you wont have this big lack of mana.
  • Let your support hide in the grass...if you get attacked you can escape easily with your E and a flash.
  • Wait for the right moment for a stun or slow and when he's stunned or in the air try to close distance with E and pump all three bullets of your Q in his face, after that most times it's harrass so use your ulti to finish.
  • Ask your support to ward the area and constantly heal you, so you don't have to get back so often.
    Keep this things in mind and you will rock every lane :)

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Mid-Game + Late-Game Behaviour


In mid-game the first towers on the lanes should be down. So it isn't that important to consequently stay at your lane. When your tower still is "alive" keep an eye on it, but try to help the other lanes with pushing.
In mid-game I always try to farm empty lanes, cause this is a good opportunity to get more money. When there are teamfights (for example for the dragon) I try to dash to seperated targets with the E skill and give him all 3 bullets for maximum damage output. After that I try to save my bud, cause you get focused a lot. I try to ensure some kills with my Ulti or finish escaping enemies.


In the late-game it's all about the teamfights. Most times there is one team dominating the lanes. This team usually tries to push the lanes, the consequence is: one team tries to push...the other tries to stop this = teamfights!
As in mid-game I try to do as much damage as possible. When an initiator made a focus I dash in near the target for the extra 80% attackspeed and then autohit them. I use buckshot to finish meeles or damage two or three enemies at a time. With Smoke screen you can save teammates or block out unwanted enemies like an other ranged carry.
    There are two ways to use your Ulti and I always try to keep it balanced.
  • First one: Simply use it in the right moment to ensure the kill for you. (this will get some "KS" comments from your teammates :( )
  • Second one: Use it to make as much damage as possible on all enemies with the splash damage.
    This is the more teamplaying method :)
    Always keep in mind: your death will probably change the end of a try to stay alive :) Sometimes this also means to let a teammate die to escape :(

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Video Proof and Explanation

I made a record of me playing Graves with my guide and explained why I decided to do things. I also made it to proof, that you can play with this guide very well.

I split it in two parts: Lane phase and mid+late-game phase. I choose not my best Graves game, but it was one of the luckiest with crits so I can explain better how this helps a lot.

Graves - Ranked Shotgun Guide part1

Graves - Ranked Shotgun Guide part2

I made this tapes with the awesome program LOLReplays wich you can download here.
When you decide to download it or already have it you can watch this match (without my comments :)) in high quality and control here: Graves - Ranked Shotgun Guide
Also a good game of mine: Graves 16/1 Ranked Shotgun