Graves Build Guide by Arfreezy
[S11/10.25b] Arfreezy's Comprehensive Guide To Graves JungleBy Arfreezy | Updated on December 25, 2020
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Runes: Standard Fleet Footwork Page
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
Ability Order Standard Skill Max Order
Threats & Synergies
Path towards your lane priorities and take control of river vision to limit enemy gank potential. Graves wins this 1v1 so you should try to secure every scuttle and neutral objective you can get before the enemy level 6 power spike (provided lane priorities aren't an issue). Use your early advantage to secure objectives and invade when possible to create a lead before large team fights occur.
Path towards your lane priorities and take control of river vision to limit enemy gank potential. Graves wins this 1v1 so you should try to secure every scuttle and neutral objective you can get before the enemy level 6 power spike (provided lane priorities aren't an issue). Use your early advantage to secure objectives and invade when possible to create a lead before large team fights occur. Save your E to dodge his knock up.
Ekko is strong later in the game but has a weak early game and jungle clear. You should look to control both rivers by taking all neutral scuttle spawns and invade when you have lane priorities to deny his free farm. In a 1v1, look out for Ekko's W which can stun you and give him a chance to escape or win the fight. After level 6 be aware of his time shadow's location so you don't get hit by his ultimate. An aggressive setup like Ignite+Phase Rush+Lethality is recommended to snowball this matchup before he can scale.
Elise is the embodiment of early game junglers in that she has an extreme level 3 power spike and then falls off later in the game. You win the 1v1 at all points in the game so you can use that advantage to bully Elise off of neutral scuttles and some of her own camps. After a couple successful counter jungles or counter ganks, you will quickly outscale her. See section titled "Jungle Matchups - Strong Early Game Junglers". Save your E to dodge her cocoon. You can use smokebomb after she casts her human spells to delay her spider Q and prevent the drop from rappel which requires vision to execute.
Like Ekko, Evelynn is one of the AP junglers that will outscale you. Similar to Ekko, you can dominate the early game and invade frequently to deny scaling and get yourself ahead. Secure first dragon before level 6 by ganking bot because it is very likely your bot will die as soon as she hits 6. Buy pinks often and place them in rivers to deny free movement from evelynn. Keep yellow trinket to ward her camps to track what side of the map she is on. An aggressive setup like Ignite+Phase Rush+Lethality is recommended to snowball this matchup before she can scale.
Similar to the Evelynn matchup. Take Ignite to be able to dominate early and deny his healing from W in skirmishes. An aggressive setup like Phase Rush+Ignite+Lethality is recommended to snowball before he can outscale you.
Hecarim is very powerful in S11 thanks to changes to the jungle item which benefit his clear. He can farm just as fast as Graves, but with better ganking potential so you can quickly fall behind in this matchup. Path towards your lane priorities, stack your grit for first scuttle, and try to stay even in map pressure with the Hecarim. You can win the 1v1 provided he doesnt take ignite and conqueror. Play to scale in this matchup and watchout for his Mythic power spike which is a window where he can 1v1 you with the right setup.
Just ward early so you don't lose either of your buffs to early cheese. Play for efficiency in this matchup and you will outscale quickly. Dodge his Q when chasing him to secure the kill.
An early game ad jungler which Graves is strong against due to having grit stacks at first scuttle. If he fights you at first scuttle while you have 8 grit stacks you will win 90% of the skirmishes even if laners get involved. Use your dueling advantage to counter jungle often and play to outscale. Play reactively and punish all the Jarvan ganks by taking something else on the map. Save your E to dodge his E Q combo and he does no damage.
Jax has good scaling but struggles in the jungle where he will get less exp and gold which prevents him from being a top tier jungle pick. You can outfarm, outduel, and outgank him so just play for efficiency and don't fall behind by ganking too much. In the 1v1, save your smoke screen and dash until he jumps on you. Don't auto attack into counter strike as you will waste the bullets and increase the damage of counterstrike.
Similar to Ekko and Evelynn matchups. Take an agressive setup like Ignite+Fleet+Lethality to snowball games before you get outscaled. Remember that healing runes such as Fleet and Ravenous can be very useful here to heal you out of Karthus Ultimate range after you kill him. Hex is a great option if there are other ap threats on the enemy team.
After 10.25 Kayn nerfs, this matchup has become easier. In this matchup, you can bully him before transform to try and establish a jungle and lane lead before he hits transform. Ignite and Phase Rush can be helpful to establish an early lead or you can opt for a more scaling build path like Crit or Bruiser to contest his powerful late game, but this will require strong/winning lanes that can survive pressure while you scale. Grit stacking for first scuttle is essential to pick up a free lead if Kayn contests at scuttle.
A scaling AD threat like Kayn but is slightly worse due to having a slower jungle clear. You can dominate this matchup early and establish jungle and lane lead before the first evolve at 6. Lethality build is useful for snowballing here. Grit stacking is very important to win the early scuttle contest and establish dominance.
A scaling AD threat with a powerful early game. Treat this matchup like an early game jungle matchup and play to scale. Kindred can 1v1 you early in the right conditions so avoid early skirmishes if you are not confident in the matchup. Play the opposite side of the map and play to scale. Focus on maintaining grit stacks incase you run into her at first scuttle. Save your skillshots (Q, W, R) until after Kindred uses her Q which is a dash, you will have a window in between dashes to hit them.
This matchup is played exactly like the Elise matchup. Play the opposite side of the map when possible and play reactive. Maintain grit stacks in case you run into him at scuttle. Play efficiently and you will outscale him quickly. Use invades and deep vision to help track Lee so your team can survive his early pressure. Important to ping out possible gank timings like the 3 camp, 4 camp and post scuttle gank timings.
A scaling AP threat like Evelynn but with a much stronger early game. Lillia can be oppressive due to strong clear and strong scaling, but take Blue Smite and build Lethality to shut her down early. Blue Smite will let you stick on her in early skirmishes and land a finishing blow. Similar to the Nidalee matchup.
Can be a big threat if left to free farm for too long. Play to your lane priorities and establish a lead. Maintain grit stacks at first scuttle to bait an early skirmish. Abuse lane priorities to invade to prevent free farming. You should be able to establish a lead early before Yi hits his two item power spike and starts becoming OP.
Played the same as Lillia matchup. Take Blue Smite, Phase Rush and Lethality to run her down and kill her in early fights. Ignite option is recommended here since this is a very snowbally matchup since both junglers rely on winning jungle to get ahead through farm and tempo. Save smoke screen for when she pounces on you to deny a cougar bite.
Nocturne has a relatively slow early game, but a powerful 6 item spike. Phase rush is very powerful here since you can negate the fear in the 1v1 by proccing phase rush and you will kite him while feared. Try to establish a lead before level 6 so you are in a position to counter gank or punish the first ultimate.
Nunu & Willump
Nunu has a lot of gank pressure on your lanes but will struggle to match Graves tempo. Punish his ganks with counter jungling and try to bully him off neutral scuttles if lane priorities allow it. With Ignite and phase rush you have kill pressure early if he tries to contest you. In later fights, save your ulti as a second dash to escape his ultimate range.
A very strong farming jungler that has a powerful early game as well. This matchup can be countered by taking Phase Rush to deny axe slows and Ignite or Exhaust to deny the all in. Always take Red Smite here since Blue Smite is useless against Olaf's immunity to CC. If you can solo him early you will win pretty easily since Olaf has terrible scaling. Make sure to kite properly and you should never die to Olaf in a 1v1.
Very annoying matchup since she can rush armor tank items and really counters you in skirmishes by denying dashes. In this matchup I would recommend getting Blue Smite to kite since you can't rely on E or R for movement and building a scaling or anti tank build to deal with Poppy in skirmishes. Play efficiently and play to scale as you would versus other tanks. Playing opposite side of the map early is best.
He can rush armor items and become very hard to kill. He isn't particularly strong early, but if he doesn't fall behind by the time he starts hitting the 1 and 2 item armor spikes, you will have trouble dealing with him. Play efficiently and play to scale through farming, counter jungling, and counter ganking.
Reksai has very strong all in so Exhaust or Ignite is recommended if you plan on dueling him. Fleet is recommended here to help you kite since you will likely get 2 procs in a skirmish opposed to a single phase rush proc. Like any other early game jungler, if you play reactively and play to scale, you will keep up or get ahead in this matchup. Just make sure to punish all of the RekSai ganks with counter jungle or another play on the opposite side of the map.
A bit weak in the current meta (10.24) but is expected to get buffed in 10.25. His level 3 and 6 spikes are very strong so try and path to the opposite side of him and split the map. Ninja tabi's makes this matchup much easier and you can start playing more aggressive.
Sett is basically a budget version of Warwick or Skarner. You shouldn't have trouble in this matchup since you win at all points and can outscale him since his clear is pretty poor. Stack your grit and bully him at first scuttle or split the map and counter jungle. Save a dash in the 1v1 to dodge his W or if you are confident with your mechanics you can dodge with good movement. It is very hard for him to hit you with W due to all the MS buffs Graves has.
An annoying matchup since he can pressure your lanes heavily and he has decent scaling. Take Fleet in this matchup since phase rush won't help you chase him since he goes invisible. In 1v1's you can smite his box and you should win that way unless you really misplay. Play for efficiency and look to outscale him since you won't be able to match his gank pressure, but you can mitigate that with good communication to your lanes and jungle tracking.
A tank jungler but his clear is very poor so this matchup shouldn't be hard for Graves since you can outscale easily through efficient farm and pathing. Shen doesn't have the best ganks either so you should be able to get a sizeable lead before the first ultimate at level 6 which you can either counter gank or punish by taking something on the opposite side of the map.
A jungler that can outfarm Graves if left alone. Do not get into a farm fest versus Shyvana and instead look to gain advantages in lanes while Shyvana is too weak to answer (pre 6). You can do partial clears (clear one side of the map and then gank or invade) to maintain tempo rather than full clears. It is important to sacrifice some efficiency here to get lanes ahead and punish her free farm. Try and keep early vision on Dragon since Shyvana likes to solo drakes at level 4 or 5.
He has become popular in S11 due to new tank items. Take Fleet in this matchup to help with kiting. Skarner has a powerful 6 spike, but not the greatest early game. He will most likely play to free farm until 6 which you can punish by getting lanes ahead with gank pressure and controlling rivers. Skarner can't 1v1 you so try and deny all neutral scuttles if your lane priorities allow.
Take phase rush in this matchup to deny his slow from Pillar. It is very important to save your E until he pillars so you arent stuck on the wrong side of it. Since you can dash through it and he has to run around, he actually has no kill pressure on you especially with phase rush. You can take ignite to bully him early and win pretty convincingly.
He is a powerful early game jungler and if you fall behind early he can bully you out of your jungle. Try to play the opposite side of the map and avoid fighting him. It is very important to maintain grit stacks here so you have a chance in the scuttle fight. Take Fleet to help with kiting him.
Similar to Jarvan matchup. You win the 1v1s throughout the game so path towards lane priorities to begin establishing a lead. Maintain grit stacks to bully her early if she contests your scuttle. Play for efficiency since you can outfarm her and outscale her.
Kind of a budget WW or Skarner. Similar to the Sett matchup you can bully him early and outscale. As long as you play efficiently, you shouldn't have problems in this matchup since you always win the 1v1 and can control the neutral objectives.
Warwick has been buffed recently so he might see more play. Take phase rush to counter his fear and ignite can be very useful to bully him 1v1. Play opposite side of the map if possible and you can play to outscale via counter jungling and efficient clears.
Similar to Udyr matchup in that he can kill you early with the right build. Try to avoid him and play opposite side of the map and do large clears to scale. Play for efficiency since you won't be able to match his early pressure on lanes. Communication with laners is important here so they don't die to every gank. Try and punish all of his ganks by taking something on the opposite side of the map. You will outscale him quickly if your lanes don't turbo int vs him. Take Phase Rush since you won't be able to kite his burst and instead need to run away if you get caught in a bad situation. Exhaust can be powerful here if you want to bully him and play to contest his early pressure, but it is a riskier style that relies on confidence in your Graves mechanics.
Among the tank junglers, Zac is one of the weakest early and can easily get bullied and pressured. Ignite and Phase Rush will help you bully him early and you can control both rivers and deny a lot of pressure from him since he can't ever 1v1 you. Look to use lane priorities to constantly invade him and put pressure to prevent his free farm and scaling which also helps your laners since they will know where he is and won't have to worry about ganks. He has a big level 6 powerspike, but by then you should be well ahead in exp, gold, or map pressure.
Champion Build Guide
- Creating a comprehensive guide for new Graves players that answers the most frequently asked questions.
- Giving current Graves mains a ways to improve by providing a full list of jungle matchups and how to execute those matchups at a high level.
- Creating the most exhaustive jungle Graves guide on Mobafire for S11 that provides information not currently available in other guides.
While this guide may give you a firm starting point to learn this champion, I always advocate that learning junglers is much more about understanding the macro game (pathing and decisions) than the micro game (builds, mechanics, combos). I do provide a Jungle Matchups section in this guide that will give you a general game plan versus most of the junglers you will encounter, but for a comprehensive understanding of jungle macro I recommend watching Graves Gameplay Videos with Commentary that will explain not only WHAT the correct pathing/decisions are, but also WHY those decisions are better than the alternatives.
The best way to improve your jungle macro is through VOD reviews. Either from yourself, or ideally from a higher elo player. I offer these VOD reviews free for new viewers to my channel in the form of Coaching Nights (viewer VOD reviews on stream). These Coaching Night streams are announced ahead of time on my Discord Server and anyone can apply to join. For viewers that have never gotten a vod review before, you will get automatic priority at the next Coaching Night. I have also done free repeat VOD reviews for many people to check on their improvement after the first session. Of course, the effectiveness of coaching will vary based on the compatibility of the coach with the student. Every coach has their own coaching style since there are a million different ways to present the same information. Here is a Coaching Compilation Video I made that shows how my coaching sessions usually go so you can see if this is something that might interest you: Arfreezy - Season 10 Coaching Compilation
If you find this guide helpful please consider checking out my Twitch Stream or Youtube Channel for more educational content where you can find tons of helpful Graves videos (among other carry junglers) that will give real examples and educational commentary that exemplifies the utilization of his powerful kit.
I am planning to make another jungle guide similar to this one for either Kayn, Elise, or Ekko. If you have a preference for one of those, please let me know in the comments below.
Comments, feedback, and questions are highly appreciated. Thanks for reading!
Dueling: Strong- Tankiness from E, kite potential due to ranged advantage, high dps, and Smoke Screen make Graves one of the best duelists in the game.
Farming: Strong- Farm speed is at the 5 Camp Level which puts Graves in the second fastest tier of farming junglers who are just slightly slower than the likes of Karthus, Fiddlesticks, Olaf, etc.
Scaling: Above Average- Graves doesn't have the best Absolute Scaling like Kassadin or Kayle, nor does he have the worst like Pantheon or Xin Zhao. His scaling is above average, but due to the powerful early and mid game, you should find yourself ahead of most other champions in the game and therefore experience strong Relative Scaling.
Jungle Trait Ratings:
All jungle traits were graded on a 5 Tier System (Weak, Below Average, Average, Above Average, Strong) with Weak being comparable to the weakest junglers in that area (e.g Pantheon's Scaling), and Strong being comparable to the strongest junglers in that area (e.g Elise's Ganking). The other ratings such as "Above Average" is the rating for junglers that are better than a majority of the "Average" tier junglers in that trait, but worse than a majority of the "Strong" tier junglers.
5 Camp Level - Junglers that can clear 5 camps before scuttle without a leash. It is important to note that although Graves is not at the fastest tier of farming junglers, the combination of being ranged, being able to dash through walls, and having strong dueling makes him a lot safer during counter jungling situations which elevates his farming trait to the highest tier.
Absolute Scaling - The strength of a champion at max level and items as compared to other champions at max level and items.
Relative Scaling - The strength of a champion at the current point in the game compared to the other champions at the current point in the game.
+ Ability To Farm Quickly And Healthily|
+ Jungle Bully
(Is In Strongest Tier Of Dueling Junglers)
+ Above Average Scaling
+ Ranged Advantage
(Ability To Kite Melee)
+ Ability To Adapt To Different Comps
(Flexibile Build Paths)
Graves has a lot going for him in the jungle such as having a fast and healthy clear, strong dueling, and above-average scaling. It is not hard to see why Graves was S tier in S10 because these advantages are a combination that is strong in an objective focused meta and hard to find in the jungle since scaling champs usually have a weak early game to compensate, but Graves is pretty strong at all points in the game. Using this advantage, you can bully scaling junglers out of the game early by dominating early skirmishes and controlling neutral objectives like scuttles, drakes, and rift heralds. Against early game junglers you can play to outscale them through efficient farming and reactive play then match or exceed their pressure in the mid and late game.
- Ganks Aren't The Best|
Due To Lack Of Hard CC
- Struggles Against Armor
- Require's Lane Priority To Exert Pressure On Enemy Jungle
- Gets Outscaled By Scaling AP Junglers Like Ekko, Evelynn, Karthus
Graves doesn't have a ton of weaknesses which is why he was considered an S tier pick in Season 10 and likely will be in Season 11 as well. Some of the common weaknesses you will see brought up are weak ganks, which aren't a huge issue since Graves fits the farming/scaling archetype of junglers which isn't heavily reliant on ganking to get ahead, but rather farming, counter-ganking, and counter-jungling. Graves is notoriously bad against armor stacking teams since he is primarily auto attack based and physical damage which gets heavily mitigated by Plated Steelcaps and other armor efficient items. Graves has decent scaling, but is not considered a late game hyper carry when compared to AP scaling champions like Ekko or Karthus who can do much more in late game teamfights than you, but we play Graves to get ahead of AP scaling champs early, so if the game goes late than something else has gone wrong besides scaling.
|NEW DESTINY (Passive): Graves passive New Destiny is related to his unique auto attacking characteristics which require him to reload bullets when out of stored ones (he can store a maximum of two bullets). Your Quickdraw ability will return one bullet to you if you aren't at maximum already which is why in fights it is recommended to auto before using E so the extra bullet from E isn't wasted. Your E is also an AA reset which is another reason to auto before using E. Your auto attacks fire 4 or 6 pellets (non-crit vs crit) and function like a skillshot which can be blocked by minions or certain objects with HP such as turrets. Due to your pellets spreading as you are farther from the target, you will do more damage when you are closer to the target so more pellets can hit. This is especially important when you have crit chance, because the pellets have a wider spread during a critical auto which make it more likely to miss some pellet damage.|
|END OF THE LINE (Q):As Graves, your Q ( End of the Line) will be your primary damage aside from auto attacks. End of the Line functions as a two part skill-shot. The first part deals damage in a line towards your cursor. After a slight delay the End of the Line will "detonate" perpendicular to the spellcast andreturn to you dealing damage along the way creating a 'T' shaped explosion. If you hit terrain such as walls, turrets, or champion created terrain with this ability, you can "detonate" it without the delay and have it immediately return after contact which creates massive burst opportunities since you can simultaneously hit the forward and return part of the spell (similar to Ekko's Timewinder). Use the slow and blind from Smoke Screen to make it easier to land this ability out in the open away from terrain.|
|SMOKE SCREEN (W): Smoke Screen is likely the most under-utilized ability in the Graves kit. It has a plethora of uses which make it extremely versatile and powerful. Having a ranged AOE(area of effect) blind at any location is great against champions like Jhin or Malzahar since they don't move during their ultimates and would have to stay blind to continue them since they can't move out. You can also use Smoke Screen to blind the enemy jungler during a dragon or baron contest so they can't smite. In 1v1 scenarios, Smoke Screen can be used to force enemy auto attack cancels or even ability cancels against targeted abilities which require constant vision to work like Kha'Zix's Taste Their Fear. The slow effect on smokebomb can also be used during ganks to slow the enemy as you are trying to get within AA range. Normally, it is hard to land End of the Line out in the open, but if you throw your Smoke Screen first to trigger a slow and blind, the enemy won't be able to see your End of the Line or Collateral Damage coming making it much harder to dodge those skill shots.|
|QUICKDRAW (E): Quickdraw is probably the most essential part of the Graves kit. You can abuse Quickdraw during your first jungle clear since Graves can stack True Grit up to maximum armor before the first scuttle fight and maintain it during any skirmish. The buff from True Grit is what made Graves such a problem in S10 for many junglers when there are a lot of neutral objectives to contest and Graves always come to these with an advantage. Graves can also acquire 2 stacks of True Grit when he dashes towards enemy champions. The cooldown of Quickdraw is lowered for every bullet hit (4/6 per AA, crit/noncrit) so critical strikes rapidly reduce the cooldown which is why Crit Graves doesn't build too much Haste. Since Graves has limited auto attacks due to his passive New Destiny, it is important to fully utilize both the auto attack reset and bullet reload properties of Quickdraw. If you E at the start of a fight, you will have to reload after just 2 auto attacks, and you would have lost an entire bullet worth of damage in that short time span. Since you only have 2 bullets, losing that extra bullet from E can at most be considered a 50% dps loss which is insanely significant (especially in the early game where a majority of your damage will come from auto attacks). Mechanically, this ability is what I catch most Gold and below players using wrong because they miss so many auto attacks in fights as a result of misusing Quickdraw. As a short range champion, it is also important to keep in mind that your Quickdraw is a repositioning tool as well as a dps increase. Rather than dashing directly in or directly out, practice dashing in diagonals which are a middleground between fight commitment and giving up easy kills by accidently giving your enemy too much space from you and letting them get away.|
COLLATERAL DAMAGE (R): Collateral Damage functions as both a dash and a long range form of damage. This is useful for landing that final blow on champions that escape your auto attack and ability ranges due to high mobility and have a sliver of health remaining. This ability can also be used in close range to add to a close range burst combo along with End of the Line and an auto attack. When kiting melee champions you can use this as an extra dash in between Quickdraw cooldowns. Collateral Damage can also be used to dash you over certain size walls which can be a convenient form of escape. The most common mistake I have seen people make when using this ability would be to Collateral Damage a target before they are in kill range which would allow the target to get away since Collateral Damage will give your target distance from you which will most likely allow them to escape.
6 / 11 / 16
End Of The Line
2 / 4 / 5 / 7 / 9
1 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 13
3 / 14 / 15 / 17 / 18
The skill max order for Graves is pretty straight forward. Collateral Damage and End of the Line being the primary damage abilities will get maxed first. Smoke Screen being cc and utility focused is maxed last which is typical across League champions. Quickdraw is maxed after End of the Line to reduce its cooldown and gain more mobility in the mid and late game.
The only variation to this as Jungle Graves will be whether to put a 2nd point in End of the Line or 1st point in Smoke Screen at level 3. The answer to this depends on the jungle matchup and your jungle pathing. If you are doing a full 6 camp clear before scuttle crab, you will hit level 4 before any fighting happens so you will end up getting your Smoke Screen at level 4 which allows you to put 2 points into End of the Line for a faster clear. If you are doing a typical 5 camp into scuttle pathing that can result in a scuttle fight, you may want to have Smoke Screen for the first skirmish which can be useful against certain junglers with targeted abilities like Elise and Kha'Zix instead of a 2nd point into End of the Line. The slow from Smoke Screen is also extremely valuable against melee champions whereas the 2nd point into End of the Line can be a waste if you miss the ability. Ultimately, the standard Graves first clear isn't really about speed because if you do it too fast, you won't be able to maintain stacks when scuttle spawns since you will be waiting for it so putting a point in Smoke Screen at level 3 is perfectly fine.
Due to its flexible nature, Fleet Footwork can be paired with both early (Lethality) and scaling builds (Crit or Bruiser). The Ignite Summoner Spell can be used in this setup if you want to have more early game pressure, but it is worse than having Flash in the later game because it is hard to reach backline in the late game without Flash. Usually you can opt for a tankier or better scaling build when you take Fleet Footwork so most of your late game teamfights will be executed as front to back so taking Ignite can be fine in certain cases.
The best primary rune options for Fleet Footwork are situational in every row. The options and when to take them are explained in the next chapter titled 'Non Keystone Runes Explained'.
For secondary rune options, you can situationally choose between Domination, Sorcery or Inspiration. The individual rune explanations can be found in the next chapter titled 'Non Keystone Runes Explained'.
Unsurprisingly, Phase Rush is often paired with early game focused builds (Lethality) and taking Ignite or Exhaust instead of Flash to emphasize the early game pressure which can snowball into massive mid game leads and closing the game out. The movement speed proc is also useful for escaping after you have dashed onto an enemy carry to one shot them with the massive damage from Lethality + Ignite + Red Smite. Thanks to the massive slow resistance on activation, Phase Rush should also be situationally picked versus junglers that rely on slows to fight such as Olaf, Trundle, and Dr. Mundo.
The best primary rune options for Phase Rush are Nimbus Cloak, Absolute Focus, and Waterwalking (explanations can be found in the next chapter titled 'Non Keystone Runes Explained'.
For secondary rune options, you can situationally choose between Precision, Domination or Inspiration. The individual rune explanations can be found in the next chapter titled 'Non Keystone Runes Explained'.
ELECTROCUTE: Electrocute was popular when jungle exp was higher and you could walk around one shotting people with Lethality build due to the natural strength of junglers being higher level than most people on the map. Although there is still a good amount of burst in the game, it doesn't happen without a kill lead anymore so the summoner spell of choice should be something that can get us that initial lead which are the movement keystones that cover the biggest weakness in the Graves kit (lack of cc so people can run away). Who needs CC when you can just run them down with damage and mobility?
DARK HARVEST: Same reasoning as Electrocute above.
Eyeball Collection+ Ravenous Hunter.
As Graves in Solo Queue, you will want to play as selfishly as possible to ensure you can become the team's carry. Whenever you decide to gank when it is not 100% guaranteed to work, you are helping your team, but hurting yourself. The best way to play for yourself is to clear all of your camps before making a play. When you do this, regardless of the outcome of the play, you will be ahead because you have already captured the available exp on the map. If you go for a play while your camps are up, and the play doesn't work out, you will have lost in two fronts which will cascade your failure to become the 1v9 carry. Conversely, if you clear all your camps and make a play that succeeds, you will have an overwhelming amount of tempo that most jungler's wont be able to keep up with and often find yourself in a 2 or 3 level advantage to the enemy jungler if they aren't playing in a similar way. There are exceptions to this when a gank has a high chance of success (known as a high percentage gank). This can happen when the enemy laner is pushed deep into your side of the map and the enemy jungler isn't available to counter gank or is too weak to fight you. Plays like these should be prioritized over jungle camps.
2.) Dropping Grit Stacks During First Clear
Proper maintenance of grit stacks during the first clear is essential since it not only gives you a healthier clear due to the increased armor, but also allows you to have a massive advantage during the first scuttle since you will have way more armor than everyone else. Many games can be won at this first scuttle if the opposing jungler mistakenly tries to fight versus a full grit stack Graves resulting in one or multiple kills as well as a double crab start which will allow you to snowball over the enemy jungler for the rest of the game.
3.) Using Quickdraw Before First Auto Attack
Quickdraw acts as an auto attack reset as well as a way for Graves to reload a bullet in order to fire 3 auto attacks total before a reload. If you use Quickdraw at the start of the fight, you will waste both mechanics and suffer a massive dps loss. The significance of this is not to be underestimated because you will often see players like Tarzaned flash in order to get that first auto rather than dash before it. This is mechanically the biggest mistake I see from Graves players at Gold rank or below.
4.) Starting Ganks With End of the Line
During a gank situation when enemy laners will start running from you, it is best to hold your End of the Line until the enemies walk near a wall or their own turret which happens often. Use the terrain to get a bounce and hit both procs of your End of the Line. Because of the long CD on End of the Line during early game, you will only get to fire it once so firing it at the start of a gank will often end with you missing both procs of damage.
KEYS TO SUCCESS+ Pioritize Camps Over Low Percentage Ganks
+ Counter Jungle Often When They Gank
+ Abuse Lane Priorities To Take Dragon/Rift Or Invade
+ Counter Gank For Winning Or Even Lanes Only
+ Use Invades To Drop Deep Vision To Track Enemy Jungle And Ping Their Ganks In Advance
Early game junglers are junglers that have a significant power spike at level 2 or level 3 and will likely go for shorter first clears in order to opt for earlier ganks. For champion specific tips, see the Threats section.
As Graves your advantage on most early game junglers is your farming and scaling. In many cases, you will win in dueling as well, but 1v1's are rare ever since scuttles were created since now laners are more focused on river rotations for these mini objectives.
BEST PATHING: 5 or 6 camp clear to the opposite side from the enemy jungler
- The intent here is to do a larger clear which will allow us to scale and hit level 4 and avoid fighting against these level 3 power spiking champions. If the enemy jungler opts for an early gank such as a 3 camp or 4 camp start into a gank, you will have a level advantage on them after your first clear opening up counter gank and invade opportunities in the future. If you go for a proactive gank without knowing where the enemy jungler is, you put yourself at risk of getting counter-ganked and losing a 2v2 which early game junglers are often very strong in. This is the only way that an early game jungler can get ahead of you in the jungle which is why it is better to wait until you have outscaled them or until they make a play elsewhere on the map. Keep in mind that these early game junglers will create their own lane priorities through the first gank so regardless of your lane matchups, pathing towards the same side as an early game jungler will often put you in a disadvantageous situation at scuttle. You can scout the enemy jungler's start camp with either a level 1 ward, or by watching top and bot lane as they come to lane and see who leashes (look for missing hp or mana if both top and bot arrive to lane at the same time) *doesn't work in high elo.
GAME PLAN: Play REACTIVELY instead of PROACTIVELY.
- What this means is, prioritize clearing your jungle before making any plays on the map in order to scale. The early game jungler will be going for many ganks in the early game which will open up opportunities for you to gank the opposite side of the map, invade and take enemy camps, or start objectives. Playing like this will ensure you take something back every time the enemy jungler makes a play and you will have even map pressure with the early game jungler which is great since you are outscaling most of the time. Play like this until you have a significant exp or gold lead versus the enemy jungler and than you can switch to more proactive plays to snowball your lead. It is important to communicate with your laners during this early period by tracking the enemy jungler and pinging lanes back while you are playing reactively.
KEYS TO SUCCESS+ Use An Aggressive Build To Get Ahead Early *See Note 1
+ Track and Ping Potential Ganks *See Jungle Tracking Tips
+ Track And Communicate Around The Level 6 Power Spike
+ Look For A Double Scuttle Start *See Note 2
+ Drop a Yellow Trinket At The 4 Minute Camp Respawn *See Note 3
+ Create Mid Priority So You Can Invade *See Note 4
+ Counter Gank For Winning Or Even Lanes Only
+ Play Aggressive and Try to Force Skirmishes *See Note 5
These enemy junglers will all have a similar pathing and game plan which is to look for full and efficient clears and then making plays afterwards. Doing this allows them to hit their massive level 6 power spike as soon as possible while still applying some map pressure with plays that don't disrupt their camp sequencing.
JUNGLE TRACKING TIPS:
Since these junglers will play for efficient clearing, they have predictable pathing. After the first 6 camp clear there are a few scenarios that will play out, but I will list two common ones:
2.) they pathed towards opposite side from you: See Note 2
KEYS TO SUCCESS+ Take Chilling Smite To Help Chase
+ Galeforce Is A Powerful Tool Vs These Slippery Champs
+ Follow The Same Tracking Tips As Vs Normal Scaling AP Champs
The main difference between these special cases and the regular AP scaling champs above is that these champions have a strong early game and are more likely to gank in the early game rather than power farm to 6. Since these champions have a stronger early game, it is important to play around lane priorities to get ahead and not get greedy during scuttle contests or invades if your laners aren't in a position to help. Follow the same tips like getting priority before invades so you can track the enemy jungle and prevent or punish ganks early.
What Summoner Spells
should I take?
When to take Red Smite or Blue Smite?
Which Graves skin is the best?
For newer Graves players, Flash and Smite is always recommended. The other options such as Ignite or Exhaust instead of Flash are open once you are confident enough in your mechanics and positioning to not get punished for lacking Flash. You also have to maintain good pathing to exert the extra pressure you get from having a 3 minute CD combat summoner spell instead of Flash meaning you should be taking advantageous skirmishes every time the CD is ready.
On Graves, Red Smite should be taken in most matchups since you want the ability to 1v1 enemy solo laners which is difficult to do since they are usually higher level than junglers and naturally stronger. Blue Smite should be taken situationally in certain jungle matchups against slippery champions such as Nidalee, Lillia, and Ekko.
The best skins for functionality due to smooth auto attack animations are Crime City Graves and Pool Party Graves . Be careful though, once you use these skins and get comfortable with smooth auto attack resets with Quickdraw, it is hard to use any other skin since they will feel clunky by comparison.