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Graves Build Guide by GraficLoL

AD Carry Graves, the 'Ruined King' of ADC. Season 3

AD Carry Graves, the 'Ruined King' of ADC. Season 3

Updated on June 12, 2013
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League of Legends Build Guide Author GraficLoL Build Guide By GraficLoL 10 12 50,459 Views 13 Comments
10 12 50,459 Views 13 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author GraficLoL Graves Build Guide By GraficLoL Updated on June 12, 2013
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Hi my name is Grafic >>> LoLKing Profile
This is my first guide on MOBAFire (bear with me :D), this one on Graves, the Outlaw.

I'll try my best to to keep this as short as possible. All the rune and mastery explanations are in the notes so I left those chapters out.

Graves is a ranged AD carry who specializes in using a mix of burst and sustain damage to kill his foes. The key to mastering Graves is learning how Quickdraw works; mastering Quickdraw enables the player to maneuver damg and output tons of damg with the attack speed buff.

Some people have asked me...
If Graves Q and R scale well with AD stacking, why do you build Ruined King?

Graves Q and R scales well with AD but the reason Ruin King is in the build is to emphasize the sustain damage potential from Quickdraw. The Ruined King helps Graves bring his Quickdraw cooldown down by adding another natural attack speed item besides Phantom in the item order. With this build you lose that early AD that buffs Graves Q and R but you gain faster Quickdraw cooldowns and Ruined Kings strong on hit proc and activate. The build is 'different' but it is a lot easier to use then an AD stacking build, especially when you get the hang of microing QD.

With this guide, my hope is to help you see the potential Ruined King has on Graves and help players start Quick Draw dueling people down like the Wild Wild West :D

If you have any question tweet me at @Dyeuclid
Follow me and also check out my stream on


CC = Crowd Control

QD = Quick Draw (Graves E ability)

Orbwalking = Act of moving between autoattacks to position you character move dynamically

CS = Creep scoring; after refers to last hitting minions to gold

Micro manage = Managing every small aspect of your character. Movement to autos.

CD = Cooldown
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True Grit: Never trade damage unless this is maxed out. The bonus might not seem like much, but the passive works with the lifesteal in the build to make Graves tanky.

Buckshot: The vortex, or the tip of the cone is where it does the most damage. Only use Buckshot if you can guarantee a vortex hit or to clip a lot of targets.

Smoke Screen: Placing smoke screen is very important during duels and teamfights. Smokescreen buys Graves a few seconds to trick your opponent into a situation where you can land free damage. Smokescreen works best in the jungle and around corners of bushes and terrain. I suggest only casting it in during near these areas.

The picture below is an example of using smoke screen in the jungle. Here I have two options. I can go into the brush so that when Naut leaves the SS he would not see me or I can QD around the corner. By QDing through the corner it allowed me to put a lot of distance from Nautilus and also prevented him from hooking me just in case it was up.

Quickdraw: Graves dashes forward, gaining an attack speed boost for 4 seconds. Using autoattacks on enemy units, but not structures, lowers the cooldown of Quickdraw by 1 second each autoattack.

Attack Speed: 30% / 40% / 50% / 60% / 70%
Range: 425
Cooldown: 22 / 20 / 18 / 16 / 14
Cost: 50 mana


Quickdraw has a lot of uses:

QD can move through terrain. Just make sure the spot you end up on has enough space to hit ALL OF GRAVES MODEL or the QD will fail. The picture above is Graves in the middle of terrain because of a successful QD.

QD can also be used against the wall if you just want the attack speed buff. Sometimes this is useful if you want to keep damage going because during QD you are not attacking. A good example of this is if you want to bring down a turret or you like the position you have against a wall but do not want to deal with the chance of having to chase.

One thing new Grave players can practice is to aim for 7-9 autos during QD, if you can get that many autos in you are on the right track. Whenever QD is on cooldown, chance of survivability is lower, so always knock down QD cooldown with autos.

NEVER QUICKDRAW if there is a chance for CC to happen. Being CCed and not being able to auto means that your QD cooldown will be longer. Always QD after CC hits to maximize damage and survivability.

Collateral Damage: Collateral Damage is essentially a glorified Buckshot (use it seldom and when it will do the most damage). If you want to kill a far target, only use Collateral Damage unless the initial impact damage is a direct hit, otherwise its a waste of mana and you probably will not kill your target anyway.
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Micro Theory and Management

This video will explain the thought process of micromanaging Graves. I recommend watching it a few times or pausing when text show up :D

My micro theory with Graves is striking a balance between standing close to your kill target and quick drawing to avoid damage. Each time you use QD, stand still and auto as many as you can before continuing to kite/orbwalk.

Things to notice from clip!

>>> I always opt for QD instead of Buck and Collateral. Mana becomes important with this build.

>>> SS is used in the Jungle or around corners only.

In the clip I have Zeal and Zerkers for AS items

>>> If you QD and stand still near your target, you typically reduce QD to a 3-4 second cooldown.
>>> If you QD and orbwalk near your target, you typically reduce the cooldown to 5-6 seconds.

Eventually this will be built into muscle memory, but for now just watch your CD and how you micro manage.

The most important thing to do with QD is when uou are in Quick Draw, it is imperative to keep movement as little as possible to none at all. Refreshing the cool down is important to staying alive. (Last parts of the clip demonstrate)

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Managing CC and knowing when to pick Graves

Stuns: AVOID at all cost. NEVER Quickdraw if there is a chance to get stunned.

Blind: Avoid at all cost, especially when QD is active.

Slows: Fine if Quickdraw is available, just make sure to QD towards your target to get a QD refresh fast if you are slowed. Use extreme caution when maneuvering through slows zones such as Singed Mega Adhesive or Leona Solar Flare. You can bypass the both zones by cutting a corner of it or just QD out of it.

Silence: Not a huge deal, just take note that you are silenced and that you cannot QD

Knockup/Knockback: Knockups are weird in that if you que Quickdraw before the knockup happens, you can Quickdraw in midair. Otherwise never Quickdraw into a knockup because it works like a stun, you miss out on time to auto while QD is up.

Snare: Snares work with Graves because you can still auto. Being snared during QD also isn't a huge deal because you can still auto. A problem with snare happens when your target is out of range. Also you can not QD when snared.

Taunt: Another mechanic that isn't a huge deal. If you can manage to Quickdraw before the taunt happens, you still work on you QD refresh and you can probably QD right after the taunt if you get the CD low enough.

Fear: Horrible CC. Avoid at all cost. This applies to basically every champion in the game really lol

Picking Graves against certain teams that are heavy in a certain CC can mean win or lose.

>>> Never pick Graves against a team with a Fear. With Graves short range, a fear is surely to go down on Graves = death. Most fears in the game are easy to land and they last long.

>>> Never pick Graves against a team with an AOE stun PLUS a target stun. An AOE stun is avoidable with Quickdraw but combine that with a target stun nullifies any chancee Graves has at Quickdrawing out of danger or refreshing QD CD.

>> Otherwise Graves is fine against teams that are heavy with snares, taunts and slows. Just be weary of knockups but most of them are easily avoidable. Janna tornado, Zyra ult, are all avoiable with a smart Quickdraw.
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Laning Tactics and Dueling

Laning centers around Graves autoing enemies with free damage while life-stealing any harass the enemy dishes out until Graves forces enemies to fountain or a kill. Therefore, if the player is feign of heart and afraid to be hyper aggressive, then Graves is not the right champion for the player.

Since Graves has a shorter range then most ADCs, Graves is prone to taking harass. However the lifesteal in the build will enable Graves to take harass pretty well making Graves one of the best Champions against Kill Lane Compositions.

Graves requires as many early kills as possible to carry in the late game. Fortunately getting Ruined King and some sort of Attack Speed item is enough power for Graves to snowball an advantage even with a subpar support. The sooner these items are acquired, the better you can snowball an advantage in lane.

Last hitting

Do not be afraid to use Buckshot to last hit, just make sure you clip you opponents with it.

Graves really does not have to much kill potential prior 6 or getting Ruined King and some sort of Attack Speed item, therefore CS is super important. I honestly would avoid an all in until at least a cutlass is bought. So just focus on last hitting if you can help it and tell your support to play carefully until then.


Since Graves will be autoing constantly to lifesteal harass damg, pushing is always happening. Getting free hits on enemies under turret is easy since you opponent will be forced to CS under tower.

If you lack vision (your support isn't warding), I honestly suggest not trading damage at all but try your best to keep your passive stacked. The passive will help in case a gank does happen, but not harassing you opponents mean you will not take damage as well.

To win a duel on Graves, is to successfully place Smokescreen, knowing you options and choosing the right one in a split second. With this picture taken from the clip, you can see that I only really had 3 good options, the WHITE line is where Ez would of entered SS.

Option 1: If I moved down, Ez would of lost vision of me when I entered the brush. However a problem that could of arisen is if that bush was warded I would of lost damage microing to the bush plus Ez could of still autoed me even if he moved into as Smokescreen. However this would of allowed me to wait the 3 seconds for the Buckshot CD ensuring a kill. If it wasn't warded of course :)

Option 2: If I moved diagonally, kiddy corner to the smokescreen, it would increase the chances that Ez would make a micro mistake and walk into the SS and then I could exit on the opposite side with EZ inside of it and move towards the other brush, this option allows for a vortex Buckshot kill to be easier to land between the two bushes where the arrows change directions and also allow an escape to the other brush encase of a miss. Also a sharp turn like that increases the chances of dodging an Ezreal Q.

Option 3: The option I took in the video, option 3 is standing still and letting Ez make the micro mistake of walking across the white line himself. The reason I took option 3 is because I already Quickdrawed on the edge of the perfectly placed SS that Ezreal Arcane Shifted out of. That means that Ezreal has only 1 option, micro down to the brush to avoid Quickdraw Graves autoing him, unfortunately for him there is a smokescreen there.

There is a tendency for ADCs to duel in a circular motion. I knew that microing up, there is a chance that Ez would be blocked by the creeps next him if I baited to creeps to the right or that he would micro down because for some reason people duel in a circular motion.

Dueling really comes with understanding what your opponent is doing and potential mind games you can play with Smokescreen. Understanding how Smokescreen works is key to winning duels.

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Dueling Matchups

Dueling is important skill to have when playing Graves. In most games, the ADC is often alone by themselves in another lane farming, this means that someone will come gank/duel you. Being able to duel, especially against another ADC, can mean huge advantages for you and your team. Here are some dueling match ups when fighting other ADCs and what to look out for.

Against Ashe: GG, just bully her, and if she attempts to kite you, just Quickdraw her down.

[Carry Potential/Dueling Strength]
Late game: Graves carries harder, duels better

Against Cait: Cait is Graves hardest matchups, however it is fine to duel her. It is important while dueling Cait to know where traps are, because getting cced during Quickdraw will always bring about bad things. Avoid traps and stay close to her face will ensure a win.

Late game: Graves carries harder

Against Corki: Corki is an easier matchup because he has no CC to deal with Graves. So to beat him get up close and personal, land perfect buckshots and try to avoid his entry damage such as his Q and Rockets. Once those go on cooldown you can go all in and probably come out on top.

Late game: Even. Graves stronger dueler late game.

Against Draven: Hilarious to duel against but easy if done correctly. When dueling Draven, Quickdraw in front of Axe landing points, stand still and auto QD fully and point Buckshot right at Draven. He can either catch his axe and take a full damage buckshot or not catch spinning axe which will decrease his damage significantly. Execution of this technique is key, but a duel is winnable.

Late Game: Draven carries harder, Graves stronger dueler

Against Ezreal: This is an easy matchup, even against the new OP Blue Ezreal Build. Use Ruined King on Ezreal so he can't escape, and when he Arcane Shifts, Smokescreen him. Ezreal does have the advantage of range but Quickdraw can help you dodge Ez Q and even then Graves can tank Ez Q well with True Grit. All it takes is going all in on Ez and not giving him his range to his advantage.

Late Game: Graves carries harder, Graves stronger dueler. Ez does have poke on Graves however.

Against Graves: Does not happen in rank. But it really is who lands better Buckshots and Smokescreens better.

Against Kogmaw: Fighting Kogmaw is tricky but using Quickdraw diagnoally out of OOZE and towards Kogmaw ensures that he has to Duel Graves or use Flash. Kogmaw really doesn't have much against Graves. HOWEVER Kogmaw is a better late game carry because of his range and if fed could prob kill Graves before Graves even got to him. Approach if you know you can win a duel for sure.

Late game: Kog stronger carry, Graves stronger dueler.

Against Missy Fortune<3: MF has nothing on Graves, Graves also carries harder unless MF has good ultimate. Once you take down MF's passive she can't escape the wrath.

Late game: Even if MF is fed and Ults well, Graves better dueler.

Against Quinn: Graves gets ruined on by Quinn. Unless Graves land perfect buckshot when Quinn Vaults him, Graves is screwed if he is blinded during QD. Avoid dueling Quinn.

Late Game: Quinn carries harder, Quinn better dueler.

Against Sivir: Graves can out duel Sivir, but Sivir is a stronger late game carry. To beat Sivir, use smokescreen to blow up her spell sheild. After that she has no toughness to deal with Buck and Collateral Damage. Sivirs short range means Graves can just stand there during QD while fighting a duel.

Late Game: Sivir carries harder, Graves better dueler.

Against Teemo: Always an interesting Duel. I avoid Teemo, but it is possible to beat Teemo. Do not QD when he blinds you, and avoid shrooms because they hurt. But Teemos lack of range allows Graves to stand still during QD.

Late Game: Even, Even

Against Trist: Using Quickdraw to get back into Trist's face is key to beating her in a duel. Standing near wall ensures a kill on Trist ensures a kill when Trist ults Graves away. Avoid standing in creep waves and make sure to Buckshot vortex when she jumps should win a duel.

Late Game: Trist carries harder, Graves stronger dueler is played right.

Against Twitch: Graves has to many mechanics to get to Twitch, and Smoke screen ruins Twitchs day during Spray and Pray. Going all in on Twitch with a good SS should be an easy duel win.

Late Game: Even, Graves better dueler.

Against Varus: Avoiding all his damage with Quickdraw is pretty easy. Avoid his Ultimate and Hail of Arrows will net Graves a duel win for sure.

Late Game: Even, Graves better Dueler

Against Vayne: Tricky, but Vayne honestly is a stronger dueler then Graves. She can tumble out of SS. Her W > Graves passive. However Graves can surprise Vayne with well placed burst. Just approach with caution.

Late Game: Vayne carries harder, Better Dueler.

Againt Urgot: Watch out for Urgot Ultimate during team fights because of Graves short ranged. During a Duel if he lands his lockon, go all in on him. If he Q spams Graves, he has to stop, this allows Graves to catch up and be in Urgots face. Only duel Urgot when you have Ruined King

Late Game: Even, Graves better dueler.


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Teamfights (Mid and Late game tactics)

**The goal during team fights is to QD and stand still as many times as you can and get QD's CDR to hit zero every time. With the Ruined King you can start doing this process as early as possible**

Like all ADCs, Graves job is to constantly auto attack and put down consistent DPS on enemy tanks and carries if possible. This seems simply enough, but adding the fact that bruzers are chasing Graves and AP mids are trying to burst Graves down, its harder then it sounds.

A huge misconception about ADCs is that they should not be attacking the tanks..

This is farthest from the truth, ADCs have the damage mechanics (consistent, over-time damage) needed to kill large health, large resistance targets then a AP mid or other tanks/bruzers would ever have. The role of an ADC is to soften hard to kill targets for others to kill or to kill themselves. The Graves build here actually helps Graves excel at killing tanks. Graves almost plays like Vayne, but has a lot more survivability but less %health damage.

IT IS true that ADCs like Graves can kill AP mids, but usually at the risk of getting CCed or bursted down by some random spell. I honestly don't recommend running straight at AP mids unless its for cleaning up, especially as Graves cuz range is so short.

The clip from Micro theory is a good example of Mid/Late tactics so I don't have any visuals for this section. But I do want to say that in the clip I basically fought the enemies tanks, and used Ruined King activate to kill Zed.

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Focus on using Quickdraw smartly and you will be carrying in no time.
Be careful of CC and watch where your opponents place their spells.
Practice dueling because Graves is a very strong dueler!

If you have any question feel free to PM me or tweet me at @dyeuclid
Against checkout my stream at for more LoL
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