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Graves Build Guide by Exoslol

Jungle challenger

[S11] EUW CHALL | How to DOMINATE the Jungle as Graves

By Exoslol | Updated on November 27, 2020
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Runes: Runes

Phase Rush
Nimbus Cloak
Absolute Focus

Legend: Alacrity

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Smite


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Jungle Role
Ranked #34 in
Jungle Role
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Ability Order Skill Sequence

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
About Me Back to Top
Hello my name is Exos! I have been a Kha'Zix otp for the past 2 seasons now. I have reached Challenger on EUNE, Master on EUW with a 82% winrate and Grandmaster with a 70% winrate. Currently I'm pushing my way up to Challenger on EUW too! Graves Has become my second pick over time, Graves is a monster in the right hands and can carry games with his very effective kit in SoloQ. I think my success comes from eating so many kiwis all day.
I regularly stream my gameplay on Twitch and upload vods to my Youtube channel. Feel free to check me out. The words are clickable :)
Why Graves Back to Top

Graves - The Outlaw
Skirmisher, Jungler
Origin: Bilgewater
Speciality: Dueling, farming, counter jungling.
Why should you play this magnificent champion? Graves is an incredibly strong pick in the current meta. Graves excels at farming and dueling when he completed his first item and onwards. When Graves falls behind he can farm it back up and scale very hard into the game. When he is ahead, Graves can counter jungle the enemy and potentially even solo kill the enemy jungler in their jungle. Graves has a variation in build path which allows you to play as an assassin or as a bruiser. Both builds are strong and scale great into the game.
Pros & Cons Back to Top
+ Deals a lot of damage.
+ Scales hard into the game
+ Great at counter jungling when ahead
+ Can be built as a bruiser and assass***in
+ Skills push monsters back, resulting in healthy clear
+ Insane duel potential with E armor stack + smite
+ Favoured in current meta (almost) always pickable.

All in all, Graves Is a great champion in the current meta. Graves's strenghts lay in dueling and farming up in the jungle. Counterjungling makes Graves a real monster which scales into the late game.
- No hard CC in kit
- Can be kited by long range comps
- Basic attacks can be blocked by minions/tower
- If not allowed to farm, can have trouble scaling
- Need to pay attention to the E stacks or they dissapear.
- Different auto attack mechanic, harder to master

Just like any other champion, Graves has his weaknesses. However, his strenghts heavily outweigh his weaknesses. When mastered and know how to play around his weaknesses Graves will scale very hard into the game and will get you a lot of elo.
Runes Back to Top

This sorcery page shows the most efficient rune page for Graves. Graves's main keystone should always be Phase Rush. This rune offers insane mobility that can be utilized offensively and defensively. Chase down your targets or escape from potential threats.
Grabbing nimbus cloak is the most optimal option right now in the sorcery tree. Not taking it means you lose out on a lot of value. The other possible option versus champions like Evelynn is Nullifying Orb
In the 3rd row of runes there can be a selection between 3 decent runes. Out of these three runes Absolute Focus is the to go rune for Graves. Absolute Focus offers you some adaptive stats when you are above 70% health. Most of the time Graves will easily be above 70% health and if not, the lifesteal from jungle item and/or death's dance will make sure you regain the missing health.
In the last row you should always want to take Waterwalking in order to get around the map faster and to duel in the river. Waterwalking offers great utility and mobility when skirmishing inside the river. The adaptive damage and movement speed help you win fights you might have lost and allow you to escape with a higher chance of success. It also increases scuttle clear speed. As alternative, Gathering Storm can be picked to increase late game scaling.

For the second tree I advise looking at the runes at the top of the guide. These runes are Legend: Alacrity and Triumph. Legend: Alacrity makes sure your auto attacks come out faster. Triumph is very simple but good. 25G extra per takedown and 12% of missing health per takedown. This rune is a lifesaver and will safe u many times. An alternative to Legend: Alacrity is Legend: Tenacity in heavy CC compositions. You always want to run attack speed + adaptive + armor for the small runes. Your attack speed is important in the early clear because most of your damage comes from basic attacks.
Items Back to Top

Hunter's machete
Hunter's Machete is the essential starting item for Graves. Most damage from your early clears will be from your auto attacks. This item empowers your auto attacks versus monsters and gives you lifesteal. This item keeps u fairly healthy during the early game allowing you to stay in the jungle longer or look for invades.

Skirmisher's Sabre
You always want to opt for Skirmisher's Sabre on Graves. The smite you gain from this item reduces incoming enemy damage by 20% and deals a burn effect (just likke ignite) over time. The damage reduce allows you to win duels against almost every jungler if played properly. The damage reduce option + Nimbus Cloak combination is a nasty one allowing you to escape from dangerous situations.


The first item you always want to build is the Skirmisher's Sabre - WARRIOR. This item is extremely cost efficient and the hardest powerspike item you will get in the early to mid game. This item allows you to clear extremely fast. The extra damage and great stats the item give on completion allow you to duel enemies and pull of ganks with high damage now.

Finishing boots after your jungle item is your best choice here. You want to be fast and having a good pair of boots instead of flip flops make you faster. The decision of which boots depends on the enemy team. In full AD/AP or heavy CC matchups you will need to alternate between Ninja Tabi for full AD comps and Mercury's Treads for AP heavy or CC heavy compositions.

Assassin Build

This would be an example assassin build for Graves. This build is very burst focused and lets you dissapear squishy enemies like ADC's and Midlaners in no time. With this build your priority in fights is to eliminate the enemy squishies ASAP. In addition to the core there is a Youmuu's Ghostblade, Duskblade of Draktharr , Lord Dominik's Regards and a Edge of Night

The Youmuu's Ghostblade offers immense mobility. Out of combat movement speed combined with an active that gives you movement speed for 8 seconds. This items allows you to close gaps and move around the map in a really fast manner. This item increases the pressure u have by being able to transition from one side to the map to another side.

The Duskblade of Draktharr is a very strong item that allows you to powerspike on pretty hard. The passive of the items allows you to slow an enemy for 99% for a very short time period. This slow is massive and makes it very hard for enemies to get out without burning a flash or dash. Your basic attack coming from no vision deals a lot of extra damage. Combine this with Q and R and your squishy target is no more.

Another item, the Lord Dominik's Regards is a good choice. At this point you are far into the middle of the game. The enemy begins to build armor so countering it with Lord Dominik's Regards allows you to stay strong and still burst through the armor the enemy is buying. Your burst will be insane on enemies with a low amount of armor.

The last item in this build is a Edge of Night. This item gives you a spellshield the same way Banshee's Veil gives one. It keeps you safe from skills like Blitzcrank's hook and Ahri's charm.

Bruiser build

This would be a perfect example of a potential bruiser Graves build. You can see some items match the items in the Assassin build. The items that make graves a bruiser are Black Cleaver and Death's Dance. These items will be explained below.

The Black Cleaver offers a combination of defensive, HP, and offensive stats, AD, with a great passive to shred tanks and other bruisers of their armor. Graves with a red smite + black cleaver becomes very annoying to deal with. If the enemy is locking in champions that stack armor or are tanks, opting for this bruiser build is a great idea.

The Death's Dance is the item that makes Graves incredibly hard to deal with. When Graves has both Death's Dance and Black Cleaver + redsmite he will be very tough to kill. Damage on impact is reduced by a major part and in the meantime you can shred the enemy of their armor. Because you shred their armor you deal more damage which results in a lot of healing from your Death's Dance. Keep in mind, with your true grit being stacked because of the multiple usages of E in combination with Death's Dance you will sustain INSANE amounts of damage.

Situational Items

There are multiple situational items that suit Graves. The first item in the list is Maw of Malmortius. This item is really great on the bruiser build but can also be build on the assassin build. Into heavy burst AP champions Maw of Malmortius offers great defensive stats and a magic shield. Apart from the defensive stats, maw also gives you a great passive that will synergize with Death's Dance and good offensive stats.

Mortal Reminder is a great item. You only build this when the enemy heals a lot. Champions like Sylas and Soraka for example. If the enemy is building multiple Death's Dances it is a good idea to pick up Mortal Reminder to lower their healing outputs.

Next up is Phantom Dancer. Phantom dancer is kind of the same as Maw of Malmortius. Dropping below 30% hp it gives you a huge shield. It is great versus AD burst champions. The attack speed and crit you gain from the item synergizes nicely with your passive allowing you to quickly burst out your 2 basic attacks before reloading.
Summoner Spells Back to Top

FLASH: Flash is an essential summoner. It allows you to close gaps to kill the enemy or to escape from the enemy. There is no debate possible about this summoner spell.
SMITE: Just as Flash, Smite is a non negotiable summoner spell for every jungler. You can not build jungle items without smite so make sure to always take smite.
Abilities Back to Top
New Destiny
Graves' basic attack fires a cone of 4 bullets which stop on the first unit hit. The first bullet on a target deals 0.7 - 1 total AD (based on level) physical damage, with subsequent bullets dealing a third of that damage per bullet. Structures take 25% reduced damage from Graves' basic attacks.

Graves stores two Shells at any time and expends them when he basic attacks. After using them, Graves reloads, delaying his next basic attack significantly. Graves' reload time is slightly reduced by attack speed, but the time between attacks is greatly reduced by attack speed.

Upon critically striking, Graves fires 6 bullets over a 50% wider cone and deals 40% bonus physical damage (60% with Infinity Edge).
End Of The Line
Graves fires a narrow missile, dealing 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 / 105 (+0.8 per bonus attack damage) physical damage in a line. After 2 seconds, the line detonates, dealing 85 / 120 / 155 / 190 / 225 (+0.4 / 0.7 / 1.0 / 1.3 / 1.6 per bonus attack damage) physical damage in a 'T' shape from where Graves fired it.

If End of the Line strikes a wall, it detonates after 0.25 seconds.
Smoke Screen
Graves fires a smoke canister at the target area, dealing 60 / 110 / 160 / 210 / 260 (+60% of ability power) magic damage upon landing and creating a cloud of smoke 675 units wide for 4 seconds. Enemies inside the smoke cloud will be slowed by 50% and will have their vision reduced to only what is inside the smoke cloud. The slow lasts for 0.5 seconds after the target leaves the cloud.
Graves dashes forward, resetting his basic attack timer and refilling one shell. Graves also gains 6 / 9 / 12 / 15 / 18 armor for 4 seconds, stacking up to 8 times. Dashing towards an enemy champion grants 2 stacks. Damaging non-minions refreshes the duration of this buff. Quickdraw's cooldown is reduced by 0.5 seconds every time Graves hits an enemy with a bullet.
Collateral Damage
Graves fires an explosive shell in a straight line, dealing 250 / 400 / 550 (+1.5 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to the first target it hits. After hitting a champion or reaching the end of its range, the shell explodes dealing 200 / 320 / 440 (+1.2 per bonus attack damage) physical damage in a cone behind the target.

Graves recoils 300 units upon firing.
Jungle Pathing Back to Top
Blue Start

1. blue buff
2. gromp
3. wolf
4. raptor
5. red buff
6. krug
7. scuttle

This is a standard full clear starting from the blue buff. It is possible to invade the enemy jungle instantly after blue buff by E'ing over the dragon/baron pit wall. This way you avoid most wards and you are in the position to either split the map, or deny enemy a lot of camps. Make sure you are able to do this and don't blindly do it. If not, this full clear path is safer and more reliable.
Red Start

1. red buff
2. krug
3. raptor
4. wolf
5. blue buff
6. gromp
7. Scuttle

This is a standard full clear starting from the red buff. It is possible to invade the enemy jungle instantly after blue buff by E'ing over the dragon/baron pit wall. This way you avoid most wards and you are in the position to either split the map, or deny enemy a lot of camps. Make sure you are able to do this and don't blindly do it. If not, this full clear path is safer and more reliable. With the red buff yo are stronger in 1v1's so looking for the enemy jungler lvl 2 with the invade is more efficient than it is with a blue buff.
Teamfighting & Lategame Back to Top

Teamfighting & Late game with Graves
Teamfighting as Graves is pretty straight forward. As bruiser you want to fight front to back. Shred the tanks and play upfront. Don't play too far up because you don't want to find yourself alone into 5 enemies. Shred the tanks while dishing out steady dps to win the fight.

As Assassin Graves you want to look for potential oneshots on squishies. Look for flanks. When a teamfight is breaking out and you can find a flank angle on enemy ADC/Midlaner and burst them dead, you disable the enemy their dps and will win the fight.

You need to keep your eyes on the map and be wary of potential flanks from the enemy. Ultimately, you need to be looking for good vision around important objectives such as baron and the elder drake in the late game. It is also possible to let the enemy start these objectives and you then fight them at the entrance of the pit forcing them to take damage from both sides inside a small area. Assassin Graves can burst most enemies in that small area real efficiently. As bruiser Graves this is also valid, but it will be more dps than burst.
In the late game you should be huge and farmed up. Don't be afraid to fight teamfights. At this point of the game you are supposed to be huge. Almost unkillable as bruiser Graves and insanely deathly as assassin Graves. Make sure to keep your E stacked in these fights. You don't want to drop your E stacks because in the late game, this means u will lose out on a lot of armor in a fight.
League of Legends Build Guide Author Exoslol
Exoslol Graves Guide
[S11] EUW CHALL | How to DOMINATE the Jungle as Graves
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