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Gragas General Guide by luigidragon

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League of Legends Build Guide Author luigidragon

Pants are Dragon's guide to Jungle Gragas

luigidragon Last updated on February 6, 2014
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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: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Hi I'm Pants are Dragon, an ex-CHALLENGER solo queue player, also subbed for complexity once in the NACL and I've been playing since the release of Nocturne, my first champion was Teemo and I grew in love with his champion select quote "Captain Teemo on Duty" and ultimately the game. I actually didn't make my name, it was given to me by Riot! My old name was jlzzdragon and then Riot changed my name to this and I feel like I was trolled to oblivion, but at the same time I grew with great power, and from that day I knew I would be one of the best!

For those who want to view my other guides, check the description in this video as it lists links to other guides and is updated thoroughly:

For those interested, here's my summoner profile:

Ever since the changes to body slam having the same damage to all minions I feel that Gragas clear times have increased by a lot, also the spectral wraith changes is nice too for him. Even though insec used him once before the slight changes in a tournament game and I think you might be seeing more Gragas than usual in the jungle as you can get more gold in S4 as jungler. He is a high skill cap champion since all of his skills are skill shots and his ultimate usage is crucial in fights.

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Starting Items

+ x5 +

Basic start for a jungler, need health potions to survive early game jungle and machete helps us clear it, I take warding totem early but sell it later as wards are needed for early game.

Early Game


Once you hit the Spirit of the Spectral Wraith your clears become ridiculously fast and you get more sustain from jungling (not as much though as other junglers since all of your spells are AoE). The ability power from it has increased to 50 from 40 so that's pretty decent and we do get cooldown reduction so we can cast more spells and our ultimate will be up more frequently.

Sorcerer's Shoes will increase our damage to enemy champions, and Gragas has some great base damage so the magic penetration will obviously help us benefit in finishing our enemies off.

Mid Game

I will build one of the 3 items here depending on how well I'm doing and what the situation is like.

I will build up into a Zhonya's Hourglass if I'm doing decent, this item will help you survive in team fights, can even let you body slam in the front line as you'll pop Zhonya's if they focus you and overall gives good AP.

I will build into an Athene's Unholy Grail if the enemy team has a lot of magic damage, or either I'm going to need to poke a lot and siege since it gives us cooldown reduction to spam our barrels. I will also probably give blues to our mid laner now since I have 30%+ CDR and infinite mana. This item is a core IF you are giving blues to your mid laner.

But let's say we're ahead or completed one of the 2 items above, so we build into Rabadon's Deathcap since we have Q(0.9 AP RATIO) + R(1.0 AP Ratio) + E(.5) = 2.4 AP RATIO and we can do a lot of damage in team fights. We also have enough AP for the 30% to be really cost effective and will help us burst those squishies and last point is since were ahead we don't necessarily need to build defense as the enemy will die before damaging my team.

Sell your warding trinket and get sweeping lens, this item will be your oracles from season 3 and upgrade it when you need to actually have to clear a certain area as it gives you oracles for 10 seconds.

Late Game

Get a Void Staff as the 5th item, or 4th item if you rushed deathcap. This will basically ignore most of the magic resist the enemy has and now they can't build magic resist anymore as you'll just reduce it, this also helps us against squishies since we built sorcerer's shoes giving us magic penetration and if they have about 40 magic resist, then we'll making their magic resist to(40 * .65) = 26 - 15 = 11 magic resist which is almost like true damage. Helps us also kill those nasty tanks and actually do damage to tanks with more than 150 magic resist, you'll see a difference when you achieve this item.

Getting a Guardian Angel will win you 1 team fight as you have an extra life in a team fight, and simply making it a 6v5 since they gotta kill you again, so you'd get this item when you want to win a team fight.

And if you haven't already built the other items listed in the build, get them after void staff or refer to situational items section.

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Happy Hour

Gaining 2% of your maximum health everytime you cast a spell, this is what makes Gragas have sustain in the jungle as his health regen is pretty high with this passive. Also this is what could make Gragas build tank if he really needed to but this is an AP Gragas guide, but after early game you won't see this passive being as useful as you don't have a large HP pool and if you get chunked you'll probably recall or just regen by killing jungle creeps with spectral wraith.

Barrel Roll

This skill is a skillshot, AoE, attack speed debuff skill. You'll need to press Q once to throw it and to press Q again when it arrives to it's destination. This skill is a really valued skill since it goes up by 50 damage, a great poking skill and has a high AP ratio for a normal skill, but the only downfall is that it is a skillshot so it is a liability if you miss it. With practice of course you can land these easily and predicting the enemies movements. The skill also goes on cooldown when you throw it, which means that if you throw it first and didn't detonate it, it would be at a lower cooldown than if you detonated immediately. Combo this with R as the usual combo is to throw the Q first and then an R then immediately hit Q to get the double boom damage.

Drunken Rage

It's free to use, and gives us some nice stats but the main reason it's good for 1 point is that it gives us a flat 30 AD, that will make our auto attacks hurt and increase our damage with body slam. The mana and damage reduction are decent but it's nothing to go GaGa over. The skill does not scale well when you put points into it so that's why we leave it at level 1.

Body Slam

Another skillshot, but this is what makes Gragas get everywhere around the map. This skill used to be 50% damage if it hit more than one person, but they changed that and now its 100% damage to all hit so now he's got faster clears. The slow is what makes Gragas a good ganker and the base damage per level (40) is good and the ratios are decent. Plus it's got good synergy with Drunken Rage since it gives AD, and you can go over walls in the map which is really valuable as it can get you out of sticky situations or create sticky situations. A new thing with it recently is that when you hit something it reduces the cooldown by half, which is an intended nerf to reduce his mobility around the map as they increased the cooldown on it from 7 to 12. You can also cast spells while in the animation of it. Also, while the animation is running, you can cast flash and if you flash into someone it will still hit them. Faker shows this example in worlds. Another tip is to use this skill to get around the map whenever possible.

Explosive Cask

Gragas's ultimate skillshot, very powerful displacement move which can be used to engage and disengage and has a 1.0 AP ratio. This is used to initiate, knock people toward you or away from you and to combo it with Q to make some big damages. The AoE is pretty damn big and it's got a pretty quick cast time, although good players will predict the ultimate and will probably have to flash to avoid it or so that they get displaced away from you if your chasing them. But at most you will never miss this skillshot and just displace the person the wrong way. It is considered crowd control since they are stunned for the brief moment they are being displaced. This is also a skill to use if you want to displace a person in a certain way. It can be used as a disengage move also and a good Gragas will get good displacements for knocking prime targets into his team.

The only thing I find funny about this skill is that it does less damage than Q when Q has 4-5 points in it and this is level 1.

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Situational Items

Liandry's Torment - If I'm behind, and basically a bit lack luster on the team, the route I'm heading is magic penetration Gragas if I wanted to still build damage while having some HP to be tanky. See if you can't get enough money to build AP then you might as well go a bit tanky since your team has enough damage to carry, all you gotta do is tank for them.

Morellonomicon - Facing a lot of people who health regen, like Mundo, Zac, Aatrox etc, I would get this over chalice if needed but most likely going to chalice.

Locket of the Iron Solari - Now, if I know I'm doing bad and my team needs a tank, I will seriously switch over to tank Gragas and maybe later go AP depending on the situation. Tank Gragas isn't bad and you can do more body slams into team fights.

Randuin's Omen - Remember only if needed to switch to tank Gragas, ADCs will have trouble taking down tank Gragas if they want to get through him, this will make Gragas damn tanky as it reduces attack speed from auto attackers.

Guardian Angel - When you want to win a team fight, start building up towards this item as it's only got one usage every 5 minutes to revive yourself. You can also be body slamming more in team fights with this since it isn't as risky as you have another life and you can CC someone.

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Skill Order

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

Max Q, then E then W.

The reason E is greater than Q is because at level 1 it's at a 6 second cooldown and Q is at a 11 second cooldown, so E will do more damage. Although Q does let us take less damage it doesn't help clear the 1st camp, and added that we get W 2nd we get some more damage added to our E.

The reason we take W second over Q is because it gives us a lot of free stats to help us do the 2nd camp. 30 AD to give our auto attacks some more damage, helps our auto attacks clear faster and gives our E more damage. The damage reduction and mana restore aren't that important but it still helps a bit, another reason for taking W is that if we are blue side and started RED we won't have enough mana to clear the next camp.

Than we max Q because it scales the best, reduce cooldown by 1, has one of the biggest increase when put a point in it (50 damage per level), the attack speed debuff is actually really great if you land it on an auto attacker. Every other skill doesn't reduce cooldown on the skill so that's why this is priortized more over other skills.

Body slam is maxed 2nd because the damage goes up by 40, but if you feel that you are lacking mana for whatever reason feel free to put some points into W, you won't be doing as much damage but at least you get some utility.

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Early Game

I feel that Gragas has a decent early game start, and as he gains some levels his clears become really fast. His ganks are pretty decent and can output a lot of damage, though it consists of landing your slow to be successful and of course to be able to land your barrels, your auto attacks also hurt as well and once he gains his ultimate ganks become easier but of course do require a lot of skill.

Usually when I jungle Gragas, I have the mentality of ganking 30% and farming 70%. If I feel that I can get a kill if I ganked a lane I will go to that lane, I'll go to it but since Gragas has good clear time, I'll stick to the jungle for most of the part. If my ultimate is up though I'll try to look for kills around the map, with the ultimate you can create more distance from the enemy to his tower than usual if hit right. Also I will take all the blues if I feel that me > our mid, otherwise I'll give it to him.

A counter gank with Gragas could go fairly well as Gragas has a lot of burst, attack speed debuff (which helps only for enemy auto attackers) and Gragas has good crowd control for it. But be weary as since we're building AP Gragas we'll be a bit squishier than most junglers, and even though we have Drunken Rage to reduce 10% damage it's still not the best.

Gragas is actually a great duelist, as he has an auto attack debuff, +30 AD, good chase and great burst. Although since it is burst damage his sustain damage is a bit lacking, so be careful about committing to a full duel with someone as after your combo all you got is auto attacks for another 6 seconds until body slam comes up. But of course if your burst is mean enough than you'll definitely be a force to be reckon with, just remember your skillshots must hit!

Always keep tabs on your blue buff/red buff and do them immediately or have some ward coverage so the enemy jungler doesn't steal it, he will steal your red buff (blue side) if you're ganking top and he notices you started there and it's 7:15 minutes. These are general rules I go by, but if you can get a kill and lose a buff it's worth it in my opinion so if you think you can get a kill go for it.

Some Junglers out there will not keep tabs on their buff, and at 7:15 if you know he started blue on purple side and you see him ganking top, that's a free blue for you. Little notes like these will make you a better counter jungler and player.
... Basically, a successful gank for you early game must require you hitting your body slam. You should always initiate with body slam in a gank unless you have your ultimate, once you have connected the body slam, you basically can unload a lot of damage with your auto attacks, apply red buff, a secure shot at Q and R since E slows them for a good amount for about 2.5 seconds, and even after the 2.5 seconds you should have blue or even some cooldown and your body slam should be up in 5 seconds. Basically if it's top lane and their overextended expect them to not get away from you if you connected the body slam.
Once you get your ultimate, there are multiple ways to engage a gank. I'll explain 3 ways, one is if your coming in from the side or behind them is to throw your ultimate behind them so they come lobbing to your laner and then body slam to where he landed, then continue to pound on him with the other skills and auto attacks and he should be a dead boy. The 2nd way is if your in range of body slam already, use it and continue to pound on him, then wait out about 2 seconds or until he uses an escape move or flashes and then that's when you use your ultimate to make him come back to you. The 3rd way is doing a body slam (that doesn't hit) just to get in range for your ultimate and then you throw it of course behind them so they bounce towards you, then land your Q and try to kill him with autos and whatever skills are left. A risky 4th way is to come from lane and once you think they see you, body slam in (doesn't hit) than flash and then throw the ultimate behind them, really risky because a lot could go wrong. ...

When to do Dragon

- Bot Lane is dead. Reason: When doing dragon, it would be a 4v2 if they try to contest it.
- You see bot lane recall and your mid and bot lane help do dragon (your team has to have immediate reaction from you and your teammates).
- Mid laner down. Reason: Mid is basically worth 1.5x of an ADC early game, because of the level advantage. So you have a clear advantage at dragon.
- You feel confident on doing it. You feel that the enemy team won't contest, feeling more powerful, etc.
- You can solo it if you are level 9, have spectral wraith and blue buff.
- Vision warded or sweeping lens'd, can solo or ask for some help.

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Basically, how to creep with Gragas is fairly easy. The first few levels as Gragas is pretty easy, just use Drunken Rage before you attack the camps, body slam and use Q and then auto attack. He also has decent health regen with his passive so spamming body slam to move through the jungle is good, but don't have it on cooldown before fighting a camp and of course the damage reduction helps us take less damage.

How to Effectively do Jungle Creeps

Level 1 : Body Slam - auto attacks.
Level 2 : Drunken Rage - Body Slam - Auto Attacks
Level 3 : Drunken Rage - Body Slam + Barrel Roll (while in body slam animation) - auto attacks.

Blue Side Route
1. Red (smite)
2. Wraiths
3. Blue (smite)
4. Gank or Super Wraith
5. Wolves
6. Wraiths
7. Golems

When ganking:
- If he flashes and has no other escapes, it's best to flash with him and go for blood as long as you have the distance to kill him (half a lane maybe?) as you have red buff or when your body slam is up.
- Usual Combo: Body Slam - Barell Roll - Auto attacks, then chase with body slam.
- Use your ultimate to get them towards you and your team mate, so throw it behind them.

Purple Side Route
1. Blue (smite)
2. Wolves
3. Red (smite)
4. Gank or Golems
5. Wraiths
6. Wolves
7. Super Wraith
Ganking Mid Lane

Gragas ganking this lane is real good, as he has the range to gap close in with body slam and has incredible burst which is important for killing mid lane since the longer the mid lives the more possibility that he's going to survive (tower closer). He also can knock enemies into his allies if he gets on the side or behind them, but at most smart players will burn a flash once they see that you are 6 and they will know that you will throw an ultimate and instead of pushing them into your team mates you knock them towards their tower.

If your mid laner has lock down (ex: Lissandra) and can initiate himself, just wait for him to lock the enemy down and then you are ensured to knock him towards your team mates with your ultimate, use your body slam if needed to get in range.

But you also have to think if you can actually get a kill, like if it's a Zed, he has multiple ways to juke your skillshots, wait until he uses his living shadow than you'd use your ultimate to where he teleported and knock him back to your team mates. Although there are times where you can surprise the enemy if you come instantly from fog of war and there reaction time isn't fast enough.

Another example would be Lissandra, it is possible to knock her back to your team mates, you just have to land your ultimate when she casts her E as this will stun her and by the time she got knocked out her E is probably gone and can't activate it, though this is still tricky to do which requires timing and skill.

Ganking Bottom Lane

The hardest lane to gank, this lane is probably the trickiest to pull off as everything is warded most of the time. I will be talking about this from blue side perspective.

Ganking this lane will be hard without your ultimate, unless they are really over extended and you can run down river/tri bush without them knowing. If you can, just body slam the target with no flash (acknowledged by team mates giving you information) and then once you got the slow on them your team mates should be able to follow up. Once you have gained your ultimate, you can just show up on the side and since your in range to use your ultimate, try and position it so that it hits your prime target to your team mates.

Another way to gank this lane is going through lane through bush. Basically your going to have to wait until they either face check the bush or get in range of your E, either way you have to know if the lane bush is warded or else you'd be just wasting your time. But anyways once you see that they are going in for a trade that's your time to shine. Use your E to get in there and slow them, give them a barrel and some auto attacks and then use your ultimate to throw them back or wait til they burn an escape to use your ultimate, but either way your displacing them towards your team mates and your ultimate is a hard skill shot to dodge but easy to predict.


Start with body slam as it gives you CC, a gap closer and it's on a lower cooldown than Q if hit.


The dragon comes up every 6 minutes, knowing when to dragon is key, remember its every 6 minutes and you need to have some sort of advantage most of the time when doing it. Dragon is fairly mediocre for Gragas as he doesn't really have any single target spells to make use of the spell vamp off his spectral wraith, and his damage is all burst not really sustained although he is a good tank on it so try to get some assistance when doing it, soloing it would take awhile until you have enough AP.

Baron Nashor

The Baron comes up every 7 minutes, Gragas has the best smite on it even without smite as his Q-R combo does over 1K when he has enough AP, and since you have spectral wraith you'll be doing 1.3x damage of what your Q-R combo wuold be. So say you had around 500 AP it'd be something like one R does 900 x 1.3 = 1170, from just an ultimate, so that does even more than smite... Basically you get the idea, if your playing against Gragas don't ever contest a baron against him if hes around.

Counter Jungling

Since Gragas is a great clearer and has mobility and a good dueler, he can counter jungle a fair bit, since his burst is great he can zone an enemy jungler away from his own jungle if he duels him right, just make sure your team mates follow there lane. But if he gets caught in the enemy jungle and reinforcements are coming for him he can find the nearest wall and jump over it, he also has his ultimate to disengage from rather bad fights.

A good way to go in there jungle is when you have vision of the enemy jungler, having that gives you an idea of what to do in a jungle for example, say he's ganking bot lane at 7:15 when he should be getting his buffs is like saying free buffs for Gragas.

Counter Ganking:

Find your enemy jungler, then set up in a place where he will come and you can come kill the enemy jungler or whoever is squishier with your allied laner, make sure to pick a target that you can burst and your ally knows it, or else the disperse damage could cause you to die.
Gragas is a beast in counter gank, if the enemy engages too far and close to the tower he can knock them in his tower and turn a bad situation into a good situation, his burst combo can also take someone out since they probably already did use their escape moves to catch your laner, overall if your stronger than the other jungler and you know it you should be able to win.

How to Spike Objectives

Q + smite, should do rather a vast amount of damage. Q+R will also be good enough if you want to snipe an objective over the wall.

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Mid Game

Mid game you should have either a deathcap, zhonyas or athene's unholy grail depending on how fed you are, if your fed you might be able to Q-E-R and insta-gib a squishy. Also depending if you are planning to give blues to your mid you should start building up to a Athene's Unholy Grail. However lets assume you went Athene's or Zhonyas and team fights start happening.

This is where also the best team fights come alive, since everyone is around level 13 and multiple variables happen instead of late game where it's peel for carries and kill the crowd controlled guy.

Gragas's role mid game is to poke down the enemies using his barrels and to cause disruption in a team fight with his ultimate dealing a lot of damage, displacing the enemies position and spreading them out. If you are on siege mode and trying to get towers, just throw your barrels and try to widdle the enemy team down behind a wall or behind your team. If you see a chance to kill someone since hes low, throw your Q and then your R and right after activate Q. You can also use your ultimate for poke if needed to chunk the enemy team, although you are down an ultimate and if the enemy heals up, you should tell your team to not fight and to just keep disengaging. If the enemy tries to engage on you while poking, body slam away keep throwing barrels to zone them and if they are still getting close to you use your ultimate to hit as many people as possible or to knock them away.
... If you keep at the poking and you are successful in chunking the enemies HP, that's an opportunity for your team to over run towers as if they engaged at a low HP they would probably die. So make use of chunking people and of course when you pick off a kill, find the nearest objective to take and take it.
I will usually take all the blues if I'm ahead of our mid, if he is the one going to be doing the carrying I'll give it to him and start building Athene's Unholy Grail.

Also you should be keeping track of objectives on timers like dragon and baron, 6 minutes for dragon and 7 minutes for baron.

Team fighting will be referred to the team fights section so remember to look at that!

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Late Game

At this point, you should have a deathcap, void staff and either Zhonyas or Athene's Unholy Grail. You have 2 poking tools with high base damage and a .9 + 1.0 AP ratio, your barrels are GOING TO HURT. Although unless your fed, you won't be insta-gibbing people with Q+R this late if some people built MR, but safe to say that your burst is still good and still does it's part as massive AoE damage.

... Also since Baron is heavily prioritized late game, it is heavily in Gragas advantage as he has a Q + R and doesn't need to even smite it if he's trying to steal it, this combo by itself will do more damage than smite as it favors out to be around average 1600 and can easily steal a baron.
I feel that Gragas does fall off a bit late game because his damage isn't as big as some like Orianna which is sustained damage as her skills keep coming up while Gragas is all about that burst damage and using his E is out of the question unless he can single out someone as you'll explode if you go body slam into the enemy team. So Q+R are most of his skills late game unless you can single out someone. Team fighting is the same although if people start building magic resist or are getting to 6 items you might be seeing less damage than you would have mid game. ...

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Team Fights

What is your role in a team fight? : AP Carry, peeler
The AP carry, is the one who has a lot of burst damage.

The peeler, is the one who will be trying to kill people on his carries.

What do you do with your skills?

- This skill is to damage people, and to zone people from advancing onto you.

- This skill is just used for utility gaining mana and reduced damage reduction and out of team fights, if I ever see you use this in a team fight god forbid I'll smack you.

- This skill is used to peel for your carries and once the team fight has died down a bit and people are scattered and you can single out someone and nuke him. You never want to body slam into a grouped up team as they will probably switch focus to you seeing, only use it in small skirmish scenarios. Or you see a situation where you can go in and not die. This skill is core to good Gragas players and you'll see why they play Gragas when they use this effectively. You can also use this skill if you have Zhonya's since if they want to focus you, then you'll just Zhonya's active.

- This skill is used to either cause massive AoE damage amongst the enemy team or to just use it on the enemy carries and chunk them for a lot of health, you can easily burst people down with a barrel roll and this attached to it. Use it to also disengage from a bad fight if needed.

What positioning should you have?

Being in between your main front line tanks (unless your the tankiest out of everyone) and your carries.

What you should be doing in a team fight is poking with barrels on focused targets while keeping his distance to not take damage from the enemy, you can body slam people who are singled out as in away from there team, but if they are close up with there team then you can't just body slam in otherwise you'll blow up. But that's why you have AoE. See that if they group up then you just use your ultimate and get a bunch of damage done, and if they are singled out you pick them off.

Once your HP is low, you should only attack someone when your cooldowns are up and when you think you can finish someone use your body slam into them.

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Gragas is a high skill cap champion, this guide gives you an insight on how to play him but you must actually play a few games to get a good feel for what he can do and what he can't do. He has a lot of burst in his kit and has damn fast clears when built AP and is definitely a viable jungler in season 4. Thank you for reading and enjoy your day/night.

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