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Graves Build Guide by Abarlum

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Abarlum

Hot Graves

Abarlum Last updated on November 21, 2011
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Jungle Role
Ranked #17 in
Jungle Role
Win 52%
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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: 25

Honor Guard

Defense: 5

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Graves is pretty dumb. Not in the sense that he is bad but rather in the sense that he may be too good.

He has the burst / AoE damage of a power caster but also builds as an AD carry so when all his things are on cooldown he still does absurd damage (hi +80% attack speed).

And did I mention his passive gives us extra armor and magic resist? I didn't. Well, it does.

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Skill Sequence

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

We take Buckshot at level 1 for epic harass, and max it first because it is great damage.
Quickdraw at level 2, max second because it helps us position and it is a powerful steroid.
Level 4 we take one point in Smoke Screen to help escape, chase, dive bushes, and defend or push towers. We don't need any more points because more points in it don't blind people more so there isn't much point because the damage is relatively insignificant.

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Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Lethality

Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed

Armor pen reds. Duh.

I have armor yellows because it helps bolster Graves' natural defense he has with True Grit. Really I have them because this was my jungle rune setup originally, but Graves does plenty damage he doesn't need any buff from his yellow runes.

Magic resist blues for the same reason. I have 4 flat MR runes because some casters can do a fair bit of damage early and I'd rather not just explode before I get into combat. 5 MR/level because I want some scaling with the increasing strength of casters as the game goes on.

2 Armor pen quint because duh. 1 attack speed quint because I like attacking slightly faster. This helps more early on than later and is definitely reasonable to replace with another armor pen quint. If it ain't broke, don't fix it is basically why I haven't changed this.

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25/5/0? Well...

You basically want everything that is in the offense tree. Other than the AP related stuff, everything is worthy. You could take Butcher too if you wanted to, but I'd prefer another 4 armor to be honest.

+6 magic resist over +6 armor because our magic resist is lower than our armor. Simple.

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Summoner Spells

I take Exhaust and Ghost.

Exhaust is pretty great on AD carries as you probably already know. Good slow, damage reducer, armor reduce. If they don't have Flash and you use this, they probably are dead. Of course, they're probably dead anyway if you have Ghost too. Ghost is great. Helps tower dive sometimes, but mostly I love it for zoom zoom zooming away and towards people who try to escape or gank me. Mostly used for roaming/chasing late game because you literally can 1v2 1v3 pretty easily late game if they don't have enough CC or burst.

You might want to take this instead of Exhaust but I'd advise against it. Exhaust has more utility since it also helps you and your team not die.

You might want to take this instead of Ghost but I'd advise against it. Ghost is better since it also helps you roam around and lets you catch up to those people that think they're safe with flash (unless they go over the wall).

Haven't tried but I would think I would prefer Exhaust still.

This isn't a bad spell, if you're solo top.

Meh. It is like Ghost except you have to channel it.

The rest are pretty obvious why you don't want them.

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Since the Fizz patch brought with it a nerf to Graves' mana, I would not want to mid as Graves anymore. You still can do it but you can't be quite as aggressive with Buckshot which was a large bit of why Graves was such a hilarious mid.

So, I play Graves bottom lane. Most of the time I lane with Taric and this can only be described as trolling the other team. Stun + Shatter + auto attacks + buckshot = 50% of their health gone and if they don't have Flash or Exhaust they absolutely will die.

Other absurdly overpowered bot lane partners include Sion (building ability power dummy) and Blitzcrank. Blitz is probably theoretically the best one because he actually brings the target closer so it is harder to escape but if you have any of those three it's hard to go wrong.

Really it doesn't matter who you lane with as long as they let you get most of the last hits. I laned with a Brand once and we won almost as hard as I do with the others.

As for matchups, it honestly doesn't really matter. Maokai can be pretty damn annoying no matter what but if you play smart against basically any other champion you will be as successful as against all champions.

Welcome to Summoner's Rift!

Doran's Blade, go to your lane. Leash blue if your jungle wants it, otherwise go to the bottom bush by your tower.

Harass with Buckshot to keep the enemy off creeps if possible
Murder half their health when your buddy CCs them
Get first blood when your buddy CCs them a second time

You don't need to go back if you're winning hard enough. So don't. If you stay in lane long enough just buy The Bloodthirster before your boots, but always get boots at least after that.

Boots, bloodthirster, creeps creeps creeps creeps murdering people.

By the time you get their tower down you should have enough for a second BF sword. Or, if you've been losing your lane, just grab a pickaxe or crit cloak.

Once their tower is down, ask your jungle if you can take some mobs from him. You need farm more than he does, almost definitely. Give blue to casters who need it, otherwise take it for yourself and NEVER GO BACK.

If you can get red buff in lane you will win so hard it isn't even funny. It feels wrong having red buff on Graves at level 5. Of course your jungle wants it unless he is Fiddlesticks so this probably won't happen.

Farm every chance you get. In team fights, feel free to start off with Collateral Damage if you want, but I usually save it to kill people trying to escape. It really depends on the situation. If you can initiate with it, good, do it, but sometimes the fight begins before you get there.

If the fight is already happening when you arrive, and your team hasn't lost it, you will turn the tide and win the fight. Buckshot as many as possible, Quickdraw into position and watch them fall.

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The attack damage, life steal and health from this item are invaluable early. This gives you 6% life steal at level 1 which is hilarious because you pretty much never have to go back.


Pretty duh on this one. AD champion needs to auto attack.

This might be better on Graves than any other champion, although that is pretty hard to argue. At any rate, it gives you the most attack damage in the game and great life steal. Try not to die, but you can farm so quickly it doesn't matter a whole lot if you do. Not that you can die usually anyway.

Get this item. Great attack damage, and it makes your autoattacks win.

Even though I get PD before this I would rather have Trinity Force. The Sheen buff and the slow just make you a giant troll. Plus extra health and mana is pretty cool.


Depending on how the game is going you might not end up getting any phantom dancers. This is OK. Only substitute Phantom Dancers if you fall a bit behind and need a little extra damage that attack speed and crits won't get you.

You will want this instead of one Phantom Dancer if 2 or 3+ of the enemy team has a ****load of armor.

You will want this instead of one Phantom Dancer if 2 or 3+ of the enemy team has a fair amount of armor.

You will want this instead of one Phantom Dancer if 2 or 3+ of the enemy team has a ****load of health.

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Final Thoughts

It doesn't really matter how you build Graves as long as you get attack damage. With such awesome burst no matter how many times they nerf Buckshot they won't make it any worse. Each nerf of the extra bullet damage makes me chuckle because it still hits harder than almost anything else in the early game.

If people are dumb enough to try to 1v1 you, you will win every time once you have bloodthirster/infi.

No pentakills yet, because the one time I got a quadra, malphite decided to autoattack Shyvana right before I did :(.
These were all 20-minute surrenders

And finally, if you don't get the Hot Graves reference, or the "crust" tag, here you go:
(I am aware of the Midnight song and I love that too)

Happy killing. Go get'em.