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Graves Build Guide by Le Pro of d00m

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Le Pro of d00m

Graves - They're like Fish in a Barrel

Le Pro of d00m Last updated on November 23, 2013
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Jungle Role
Ranked #23 in
Jungle Role
Win 47%
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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: 22

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 8


Utility: 0

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Hey Mobafire its me again coming at you with my 3rd guide! Seeing the success of my other 2 guides i felt like a third guide would be awesome. Graves has always been one of my favorite champions, I remember waiting for him to go on free week. But anyway... Enjoy this guide to Graves The Outlaw.

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A little bit about me

Well, im not going to jump out at you and say im some challenger smurf that forgot my accounts id or some **** like that but im going to say that at best i'm average at this game. Im floating around Gold III-II Playing mainly Rengar Shaco and Graves. I play ADC/APC for my ranked team. If you actually give a **** about where i was placed, i won 6 out of 10 placement matchs and got placed in Bronze IV, GJ riot

Spoiler: Click to view

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Pro's and Cons of playing Graves

+Good burst damage
+Naturally tanky
+Nice Attack speed buff
+Very versitile
+Strong Wave clear

-Short ranged
-Can be mana-hungry
-Needs to be very close to get maximum damage
-Positioning is very crucial
-Lacks DPS

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Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Quintessence of Life Steal
I always use this page on Graves no matter who im facing. This page gives a nice bit of Damage and lifesteal, while still giving a good amount of armor and magic resist.
You are the adc, therefore, we want as much ad as we can get, and these runes give them to us. Early game these are helpful for last hitting and getting stronger scaling on our Buckshot. The only other mark i might consider is greater mark of armor penetration, but because Graves is so reliant on high AD scalings, i dont think that these would ever be better then your good old flat ad marks.
Flat armor is the best choice for any adc, simply because your going to be laning against another adc for half the game, so you need to reduce that damage so you can win you lane. aside from that, every champion in the game deals some source of physical damage, so this helps in all situations. If you really just cant have flat armor then the onky other runes i would even consider are Greater Seal of Scaling Health, but you should always stick with flat armor.
For these i take a mix of Flat and Scaling magic resist glyphs. The reason i want some flat magic resist, is because 90% of all supports are AP, so its good to have some early magic resist to deal with them, it also helps if you get ganked by the enemy mid laner (if they are Ap of corse) The Scaling MR is to help into the late game when you really start to see some serious magic damage. If you have a tendancy to spam spells, then consider a few Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration in your rune page.
Here i take a mix of Lifesteal and AD, I take the lifesteal so i can sustain through the laning phase to get my B. F. Sword on my first recall. the reason i split my quints instead of just having all lifesteal is because you cant afford to lose that much ad on a champion like Graves If you want you can go full AD quints or mix in a little bit of armor pen.

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Extreemly simple, just walk down the offense tree grabbing all of the stuff for ADS and then grab armor, health, and improved barrier in defense. You could also take some points out of defense if you want to grab some mana regen in the utility tree.

21-9-0 VS 17-0-13

Now this can be a hot topic for some players, so im going to show why its better to run 21-9 instead of 17-0-13. First of all, using 17-13 means that you have 0 armor pen, which leads to a huge mitigation in damage, which is what graves is known for. Secondly, you lose the extra damage from Executioner , which can be important for Collateral Damage snipes, or finishing off people with a single auto attack. (its also a huge mitigation in damage). You also lose the points into the defenseive tree, which means you dont get improved barrier, and you also lose 5 armor, and a ton of health. Lastly, 3% life steal is not a lot, you already have 4% from runes, and 5 from the on hit from Doran's Blade, so 3% wont make a big difference, and your already rushing a The Bloodthirster which covers all of your life steal problems for the entire game.

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Summoner Spells

In my opinion Flash is a must have, you can do so much stuff with it its stupid. As Graves you only have 1 way to reposisiton, which is Quickdraw, if you wait to use that to reposition, then you are wasting a huge chunk of your dps from not using that. Barrier is for shielding stuff that is gonna hurt like **** or if you need it to win a fight (you can also bait with it!). Overall, it helps Graves match-up against other bursty champions such as Varus and Corki. Its also the only way you can block many long ranged ults to save your life. Ignite is only if you really want to sacrifice a lifeline for extra damage. The advantages of taking Ignite are that you can use it to kill someone after there barrier has poped (it lasts longer then barrier), which many times will result in a kill even if they use Barrier Cleanse Is only if your playing agianst someone like Ashe or Rammus or Fiddlesticks, cant deak with 3 second long periods of uselessness. Many times you need to think about what you really need to cleanse, often times its not worth it to cleanse the amumus Bandage Toss, but rather cleanse the Chain of Corruption, you need time your cleanse for max efficiency.

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Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Skill order->->->

Always use this skill order, Buckshot is your main damaage tool, so max it first. Quickdraw is a great attack speed steriod so max is next. Smoke Screen is pretty useless so max it last.
Graves gains 1 / 2 / 3 bonus armor and magic resistance every second he remains in combat. This bonus stacks up to 10 times. Graves is considered in combat if he has dealt or received damage in the last 3 seconds.
Keeping this stacked is something that seperates good graves players and great graves players. Its very hard to keep this stacked by only last hitting, so you need to try and auto attack minions that are at no danger of getting low (so you dont miss the last hit) its also possible that you could try and tank 1 melee minion of the wave, which will grant you repeated stacks but as a result may push the wave.

RANGE:950 COOLDOWN: 12/11/10/9/8 COST:60/70/80/90/100Mana
Graves fires three bullets in a cone, dealing physical damage to all enemies in their path. Enemies at close range can be hit by multiple projectiles, but each bullet beyond the first will deal only 35% damage.
Very very very strong damage skill right here, the only downside is that you need to get into close range to get the most out of it, which can result in you dieing. The skill that this spell requires is to know when you can go ham and get a full powered buckshot without being punished. Useually you can get a full shot after your support engages with a hard cc, or if the enemy adc engages right ontop of you (bad move so dont expect it much)

RANGE: 950 COOLDOWN:20/19/18/17/16 COST:70/75/80/85/90 Mana
Graves fires a smoke canister at the target area, dealing magic damage upon landing and creating a cloud of smoke 250 wide for 4 seconds. Enemies inside the smoke cloud will be slowed and will have their vision reduced by 675 range TL;DR everything else will look like it is in the Fog of War.
This skill is kinda useless if not used right, which is why you really need to know how to place it. Auto attacking the target will reveal you, so its best used right before you jump in with your Quickdraw-> Buckshot combo so that the enemy can not retaliate before they have already been bursted. Outside of initiation, make sure you place it infront of enemys that are chasing you, as the canister does have a delay. This does have the same range as Buckshot, but the AOE makes it slightly longer at max range.

RANGE: 425 COOLDOWN: 22 / 20 / 18 / 16 / 14 COST: 50 Mana
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.
This is a great re-position skill, as well as only offensive steroid which means you need to be constantly auto attacking so you have it available as you may need it to chase/escape. Quickdraw can go over most short walls. but you may want to practice using it so you know what you can and cannot jump through. When you push a tower, last hitting minions to get this off of cooldown will result in a faster turret push and more gold in total.

RANGE: 1000 COOLDOWN: 100 / 90 / 80 COST: 100 Mana CONE RANGE: 900
Graves fires an explosive shell in a straight line, dealing heavy physical damage to the first champion it hits (also damages non-champion enemies whilst in flight). After hitting a champion or reaching the end of its range, the shell explodes dealing physical damage in a cone behind the target.
This skill is a pretty crazy skill. Not only do you get to blow the **** out of the enemy adc, but you get to nuke everyone behind them too! The range of this skill makes it a great sniping tool and works well with many other ults. In teamfights, its your option if you want to single out a target or hit the whole team with the cone explosion, just make sure you dont miss.

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Item Sequence

Berserker's Greaves

The Bloodthirster

Infinity Edge

Last Whisper

Statikk Shiv

Frozen Mallet
Well as Graves we need as much AD as possible early, so that gives us 2 options, The Bloodthirster or Infinity Edge. Both are strong, but The Bloodthirster gives 30 more AD and gives you sustain, while Infinity Edge only gives extra crit benefits. Also, The Bloodthirster has much more guaranteed damage, its also cheaper then Infinity Edge.

Infinity Edge is a good item, i just dont think its good for a first item, you wont have any sustain, and the majority of your damage is going to have to be crits which is highly unreliable. In addition, infinity edge is ~50 gold shy of being the most expensive item in the game, making it an unworthy first choice in my opinion

Great item on almost any adc, but i dont like it on graves for a few reasons. Graves is a burst caster who auto attacks only when his abilitys are on cooldown. Phantom Dancer is more of an item geared towards people who constantly auto-attack, graves benefits more from Statikk Shiv in my opinion because of the amount of burst it provides with its passive. Phantom Dancer by all means is a good item, but i feel that because it provides no actual damage in the item itself that there are better options.

Statikk Shiv is in my opinion the best Attack speed crit item on Graves. The extra burst on your first auto attack after a full combo makes for a scary adc, it also helps Graves' amazing wave clear, Buckshot folowed by 2-3 auto attacks will clear and entire wave in about 2 seconds. In addition to that, it builds out of Avarice Blade, which will help you to get some extra gold in the mid game.

Most people dont like to use Frozen Mallet on adcs because its kinda out of place, but as Graves we get enough resistances from True Grit that its okay to go ahead and get a health item like Warmog's Armor or Frozen Mallet i personally love Frozen Mallet because it helps with Quickdraw kiting and also helps with our scaling on Buckshot and Collateral Damage. The downside to mallet is that its rather expensive, which makes warmogs a great choice if you need to finish your build quickly.

Guardian Angel is a very strong item if your against a champion who has resets ( Katarina, Master Yi, Kha'Zix), or if the enemy team has a lot of burst or assassins. Guardian Angel is worthless without the passive, so if you burn the passive in a fight, sell it for another item because its just not cost efficient without the passive. With the recent buff, its now a decent choice to directly counter ap champions if they are fed.

Last Whisper is Graves' best friend. not only does it help with your awesome AD scaling, but it also aniliates enemy armor, so you blow the **** out of them without worry if they start to build armor. Aside from it being an awesome item, i useually buy it right after my The Bloodthirster so i can get insane damage in the mid game before anyone starts to buy armor. If you dont buy it after your core item, try to get it 3rd or 4th so you can start dealing increased damage.

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As Graves you should look to press your advantage early, you posses massive burst and early game you can destroy any DPS adcs before they have a chance to match your damage. When your in lane, it takes 1 full wave and 3 melee minions or 2 melee and 2 ranged minions to hit level 2. Knowing this can give you a surprise advantage and allow you to quickly level up your skills to jump on them and hit them with a full buckshot. After you have dealt some damage you should try to play aggressive and deny CS and exp. Once you force the adc out of lane, try to push the wave to tower so they miss even more CS and EXP. If you begin to fall behind, farm safely and try to bait out an important spell ( Zenith Blade, Hail of Arrows) and take advantage of it by getting as much damage as possible onto the enemy adc. At level 6 you can begin to destroy people. Hit a Smoke Screen-> Quickdraw-> Buckshot-> Collateral Damage combo to deny vision and chunk their health. Late-game use your Smoke Screen to deny access through jungle paths, if they walk through the screen then your team can pounce on them. Lastly you can use your Buckshot when an initiator jumps on to you and then dump a Smoke Screen and then Quickdraw away to set them up as an easy kill for your team.

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Easy: Ashe cant trade with you if her life depended on it, using a simple W>E>Q combo and auto attacking her as she runs in terror will win you the lane with ease. Once she hits 6, she can actually be a threat because of her Enchanted Crystal Arrow, just try to save your Quickdraw if you think you can dodge it, other then that, poping a Smoke Screen on her to make her guess where you are can sometimes save you from being stunned.

Medium: Draven got hit by the nerf bad pretty hard, and that is a good thing for us. In my opinion Graves is the only champion that can withstand Dravens damage and still come out even in a trade, but that doesnt mean you should tank his Spinning Axe over and over, you need to out smart him. When draven goes to catch his axe, dash in and hit him with a full combo and then back off with the cover of Smoke Screen. Tell your support to try and engage when he goes to catch his axe, its really the only opening you have.

Hard: Varus is scary, and i mean, really scary. His damage is really strong, and his Chain of Corruption can prevent you form using Quickdraw. The only advantage that you have, is that Varus relies on multiple stacks of his Blighted Quiver to do heavy damage, you on the other hand, can burst him regardless, and then retreat using smoke screen to prevent him from attacking you. Its important to note that you can dodge all 3 of his skills with your Quickdraw, which one you dodge is up to you and depends on what he is maxing but dodge Chain of Corruption negates his ability to hit repeated skills and autos on you.

Near impossible: Caitlyn will destroy you, her range is so far that you can forget about touching her, she will just kite you all day, even if your support somehow can engage onto her, she will just 90 Caliber Net away and pound you Piltover Peacemakers untill your out of lane. Late game is your only chance to come back, if she hasnt gotten out of control you can contribute to the fight just as much as her, as long as your team can get to her, i would suggest lane swapping to avoid losing early game.

Near impossible : Sivir is gonna make you really, really mad. Because the majority of your damage comes from Buckshot or Collateral Damage, she can Spell Shield one of the two and compleat migate your damage. If that isnt annoying enough, she push's just as hard as you and will poke you down with repeated Boomerang Blades and bounches from Ricochet. i suggest pick a support that can pop her spell shield, other then that your screwed.

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Support synergy

Amazing Leona+ Graves is known as one of the best combos in the game, their kits complement each other so well, that when leona lands a Zenith Blade its almost a guaranteed kill or Flash. When Leona lands a Zenith Blade, dash in and hit a full damage buck shot followed by autos and a finish with Collateral Damage. What makes this synergy so strong is that Leona and Graves are both very tanky and they both are all-in champions. Leonas Sunlight helps your burst to an amazing extent, making for a great bot lane combo.

Good Taric is very helpful to an adc like Graves. His Dazzle sets you up perfectly for a full Quickdraw Buckshot combo, this along with the armor reduction can instakill anyone who isnt ready. Taric also help with Graves' early wave clear and pushing, by using his Shatter in the middle of the wave he sets up the entire wave to be cleared with a Buckshot. Taric also complements Graves' tankyness with the aura from Shatter.

Decent Sona and Graves aren't that good of a combo, but it still works. Sona is geared more towards poking and then using Crescendo to stun the other bot lane. This happens to be very useful with Graves because it sets up the other bot lane for a perfect Buckshot and Collateral Damage. Other then that, Sona gives Graves extra AD, and also helps with sustain through the laning phase.

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Well thats about it on release, im going to Add some laning tips as well as more stuff into the Support/counter chapters, im also going to try out other possible builds and try to get some screenshots of the build in action, If you have any questions, feel free to ask im open to critisim, if you spot a typo or something that is out of place, let me know and i will fix it as soon as i can!

Spoiler: Click to view