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Graves Build Guide by Lodart

Jungle [S12.9] Climb with Graves! [Comprehensive Guide]

Jungle [S12.9] Climb with Graves! [Comprehensive Guide]

Updated on May 10, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Lodart Build Guide By Lodart 468 23 1,443,867 Views 15 Comments
468 23 1,443,867 Views 15 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Lodart Graves Build Guide By Lodart Updated on May 10, 2022
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Lodart's Featured Video
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Runes: Dark Harvest - Assassin

1 2 3 4
Domination
Dark Harvest
Sudden Impact
Eyeball Collection
Relentless Hunter

Precision
Triumph
Legend: Alacrity
Bonus:

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

Spells:

1 2 3 4
Graves Jungle
LoL Summoner Spell: Challenging Smite

Challenging Smite

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

[S12.9] Climb with Graves! [Comprehensive Guide]

By Lodart


Hello everyone, welcome to my guide!


My name is Lodart. I'm a player that has always been interested in a bunch of roles and champions, allowing me to possess quite a lot of general game-knowledge. So why don't I use my knowledge to help other people out that are interested in the same champions that I enjoy to play? Before I make any of these guides, I like to do my own little research about the champion to correct any wrong views I might have, thus raising the quality of these guides. I hope that you enjoy reading my guide and that it'll answer any questions you had.


I've spent a lot of time on this guide and I'd love it if you'd like to follow me on Twitch. Come and join my Discord community server if you have any more questions or would like to chill, join giveaways and be updated for more guides and tips!

Currently I have guides available on Graves, Ryze, Warwick and Rengar!

Please upvote and leave a comment if you liked the guide so more people get to see it!

+ Pros and Cons and when to pick Graves.
+ Ability sequence, rune setups and Smite choice.
+ In-Depth Itemization. Read the notes on the builds too.
+ All kinds of combos, tricks and animation cancels.
+ Different types of jungle paths and how to gank as Graves.
+ A different approach to playing Graves: Midlane.


PROS


+ Among the fastest jungle clearing in the game.
+ Has a lot of mobility and repositioning ability.
+ Great at invading and splitting the map.
+ Very versatile with runes and item setups.
+ Mechanical, fast-paced and quite fun to play.
+ Can be flexed in all roles except Support.
+ His W Smoke Screen is among the most broken abilities in the game.

CONS


- Might feel "clunky" and "weird to control" at first.
- Since your auto attacks are projectiles they can easily be blocked in tankier teamcompositions.
- Again, because your AA's are projectiles Graves feels bad fighting in minionwaves or towerdiving.
- You have to stand in very close vicinity of enemies to deal the big damage you want.
- You rely on the enemy overextending or your team having CC for ganks.


Graves is generally good versus heavy AD and heavy melee-based teamcompositions. The less crowdcontrol abilities they have, the more likely the chance you want to pick Graves. This last point also counts in the reverse for your teamcomposition; if your team has some kind of peel/engage there is a higher chance you might want to pick Graves. Since Graves doesn't have that much range on his basic attacks you generally don't want to pick him vs champions that outrange him by a lot.

Graves also has the ability to dodge skillshots with his dash and Galeforce; allowing you to outplay your opponents.


Let's first talk about leveling your abilities. On Graves you don't have to think about them since you will always level up abilities in the same order and leveling anything else (other than potentially maxing Quickdraw on toplane for your dueling ability), is griefing. The leveling sequence will always be as follows:

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

Depending on your first jungle clear you might want to put an extra level into End of the Line at level 3. This is often the case when you want to fullclear from Blue Sentinel all the way to Krugs and don't plan on fighting before you clear. This will allow you to clear your Crimson Raptor faster, since your Smoke Screen is not really the most effective way to clear them yet. The rest of the abilities will be leveled in the same order. I highly suggest you read the abilities yourself so you know exactly what they do.


Since Graves is a bit confusing with his Rune Page setups I'll go over a few basics here. Remember to read the notes on top of this page as well (the little pencil) since there is a lot of information there too!


Phase Rush
Good for when you have to chase your enemies down. One of the keystones for on overly aggressive playstyle. Phase Rush is actually really beneficial in some matchups that are too slippery or sticky to play against as Graves. Think about Olaf, Nidalee and Udyr. Fleet Footwork won't help you escape Olaf (since it doesnt give slow resistance!), and it also doesn't let you stick to Nidalee. However, Phase Rush doesn't give anything else than movement speed (you already have multiple dashes in your kit; although it's obviously a broken stat to have), and also denies you more valuable primary and secondary runestones (from Precision and Domination).
Fleet Footwork
Better than Phase Rush later in the game since Fleet Footwork scales better and since taking Fleet Footwork allows you to go into the Precision tree. It's stronger later in the game since it heals you quite a few times in longer fights and gives you a bit of movement speed, while you're already super beefy with the items you've built.
Electrocute
Usually taken on midlane Graves, since you'll be trading a lot and it only has a 20 second cooldown. Enemies will definitely underestimate your damage if you use it aggressively!
Dark Harvest
Thrives versus squishy teamcompositions. Usually taken with early Lethality for snowballing. Not really much to say about this rune, it's just an alternative for Electrocute since you wont be using Electrocute that often in the jungle. Dark Harvest will scale and reset on kills so you can utilize it more than once when you're fighting.
Conqueror
Not in the jungle and arguably not midlane anymore either. Conqueror takes too long to stack, especially after the nerf to 12 stacks.


Secondary rune choices (which are very flexible on Graves):


Precision
In the Precision tree you can combo two of the following: Triumph, Overheal, Legend: Alacrity or Legend: Tenacity or Legend: Bloodline, Coup de Grace and Last Stand. Personally I like to go for a more early game based approach; that is Legend: Alacrity with Coup de Grace.

Domination
In the Domination tree you can take Ravenous Hunter or Relentless Hunter. Zombie Ward tends to be an option over Eyeball Collection in higher ranks, since people will ward a lot more. Sudden Impact works good with Graves in the early game.

Sorcery
In the Sorcery tree you can either choose Nimbus Cloak with Waterwalking, Absolute Focus and Gathering Storm (scaling) or Nullifying Orb and Waterwalking.

Resolve
In the Resolve tree you can take Second Wind with Revitalize for some nice healing in midlane combined with Fleet Footwork, since they work well with each other. Bone Plating can be taken vs all-in melee matchups that have no escape after jumping on you; or can be changed with Conditioning for scaling, which I don't recommend.

Inspiration
In the Inspiration Tree you can take Magical Footwear and Future's Market or Magical Footwear with Cosmic Insight.


You can see that there are a LOT of options for Graves depending on your playstyle and the enemy teamcomposition. Take your time in champselect and decide which runes will work best in that specific game. Attack speed rune shard or double adaptive force rune shards can be changed to your preference, just remember that Attack Speed is more useful earlygame. Don't forget to change the last rune shard to magic resist when needed.


All depends on your preferences. In my opinion Emberknife is way superior, but Hailblade can proc Dark Harvest.

Hailblade
Hailblade tends to be better if you want to have that extra utility (slow) on your ganks and invades. This will help you a bit if your team doesn't have any utility for the gank.
Emberknife
Emberknife works really well vs Assassin matchups and for duels since it reduces the enemy damage with a whopping 20% for 4 whole seconds while you gain an X amount of true damage (depending on your level) for 2,5 seconds after you've Smite the enemy, reseting with every basic attack.


The builds on top of the page are the correct builds for now!


Graves doesn't require a lot to learn but there are a few tricks!
I recommend using Practice Tool to try some of these out:


#1. End of the Line + Collateral Damage This is your most used combo for a lot of surprise damage. The best use of this combo is when you're close to a wall so your End of the Line ricochet (Q return) will connect too.

#2. End of the Line + Flash, Smoke Screen + Flash and Collateral Damage + Flash. Go into practice tool and you will notice that you can do neat little tricks. End of the Line + Flash is more of a surprise (and faster) than first using Flash. You can 'input-buffer' your Smoke Screen so it shoots out immediately after you Flash to catch your opponent offguard (search it up if you dont know what inputbuffering is).

#3. Quickdraw + End of the Line and the other way around; when you are RELOADING. Graves has a neat little trick: Normally when you use End of the Line you will be locked in position until the animation of the ability is done, but when you are reloading you can combo and it wont lock you in place. My most used combo for faster damage output.

#4. You can Quickdraw and Collateral Damage over walls, even some walls you wouldn't expect you could dash over. For example the walls around Red Brambleback and Gromp . Try this out yourself.

#5. Quickdraw into a wall will cancel your dash animation; used to basic attack enemies and clearing camps faster.

#6. Remember to cancel your second basic attack with your Quickdraw to deal more damage faster (example given: AA + AA + Quickdraw + AA). Using Quickdraw after your AA fast enough will have the basic attack you used BEFORE using Quickdraw count towards the cooldown of Quickdraw!

#7. Smoke Screen animation can be cancelled by End of the Line, Quickdraw and Flash.

#8. Certain matchups require you to use your Oracle Lense well. For example you can use your Oracle Lense to see Kha'Zix or Shaco while they're invisible. This will allow you to hit your Collateral Damage for damage and to get yourself out of melee-range from them at the same time.

#9. You can shoot on targets through Stealth Wards and Control Wards, just focus the ward and it will shoot through it, only using 1 pellet of the attack for the ward.


Now we are at the most fun part about Graves. His clear can be very versatile, healthy and at the same time very quick. You can keep your Quickdraw passive 'Grit' (extra armor!) while doing a lot of those clears. This will definitely help when you encounter an enemy invading you. Kite all camps with the basic attack knockback's and also dash, using Quickdraw to gain more ammunition for the camps. Now there are a few routes that Graves can take depending on enemy matchups.

There are multiple scenarios in which you might want to change your junglepathing:
  • Versus fullclear champions you can decide to fullclear too OR you can decide to invade while they are at their weakest ( Karthus, Olaf).
  • Versus heavy gank matchups.
  • Versus bad, invading matchups ( Nidalee, etc).


Graves can choose to do one of these standard clears:

3 camps into a gank or invade:

You start Blue Sentinel or Red Brambleback and take Gromp . After that you can invade, gank or reverse clear back to Rift scuttler by doing the Crimson Raptor camp and Murk Wolf camp. Doing just Red Brambleback and jumping over the baron/drake wall to take enemy camps is a possibility too. If you're gonna do this, use your Stealth Ward (before recalling to buy Oracle Lense at 00:55) for invades on your own Blue Sentinel .
Blue Sentinel into fullclear:

You start at Blue Sentinel with your Quickdraw and kite towards Gromp . Take your Gromp by using Smite and take the Murk Wolf camp after. Put the point you get from leveling up into End of the Line and clear the Crimson Raptor camp, Red Brambleback camp and the Krugs . After this you can do the Rift Scuttler and back, invade or gank.
Red Brambleback to Gromp :

You clear Red Brambleback with Quickdraw. Afterwards you clear your Crimson Raptor camp. After clearing the Crimson Raptor camp you head towards the Murk Wolf camp and complete the 5 camp clear. Take scuttle and look for an invade on enemy Krugs, gank a lane or reset and go to your own Krugs.

You can jump over Baron Nashor and Elder Drake pit with Quickdraw as Graves. So if you ever want to invade after doing your Red Brambleback buff go ahead and jump over these walls. You can also decide to start on the same side as the enemy jungler and countergank/fight him at Rift Scuttler or the place he will be ganking, or you can decide to do a reverse clear and avoid him in the early game. Ofcourse, this is where jungle macro knowledge comes into play.


I've seen a lot of questions about how ganks often don't work out for people when playing Graves. Since Graves is a ranged champion without any cc abilities other than a suboptimal slow there are a few things you want to do:

#1. Cover as much terrain as you can before you arrive for the gank. Dont walk straight at the enemy! Circle around them so you have more time to autoattack and less to walk! You can also be creative with your ganking path, for example when you're on the blueside team by jumping over the Baron Nashor pit and ganking the enemy toplaner from behind!

#2. Don't let the enemy jump on you to escape when you're ganking. Happens when you gank from behind mostly; don't let Maokai, Pantheon or Renekton dash to you and escape for free. Think about what pathing is the best to gank with.

#3. Think about when the next minionwave arrives. Not the most important thing, but since Graves doesnt fight that well in minionwaves this is something to think about. Later in the game you clear minions fast and it will not be as important to think about anymore.

#4. Use your Phase Rush, Nimbus Cloak and Fleet Footwork rune to chase enemies and use your Emberknife Smite to deal more damage or Hailblade Smite to slow them. The runes will allow you to stay close to your enemy and dish out a lot of damage. Just be careful about sticking too close to, lets say a Renekton, since it's okay if you don't kill him; but not okay if you don't survive and lose crucial jungle efficiency (tempo)!

#5. Dont use your Smoke Screen immediately on top of the enemy, use it in front of them where they have to walk so they get slowed and blinded for a long while if they decide to take that path.

#6. Towerdiving is not impossible on Graves but keep in mind that towers and minions will prevent your autoattacks from reaching the enemy.

#7. This point counts for every jungler: wait for enemies to use their escaping tools. For example, if Renekton and Galio just used their dashes on the enemy laner, they will be easier to catch.

#8. But my laners are pushing all the time! Great! Now you can invade with Graves, dive the enemy or take an objective. But for real, in higher ranks, people will look at the position, health-bars and state of the lane (minionwave position, etc) before they even walk to gank a lane (e.g. is it pushing or de-pushing). This is called foresight.

#9. If something is impossible to gank, don't bother. You will only waste time and possibly throw the game. Focus on other lanes and try to farm up yourself so you atleast have those lanes to help you out. When you've got enough of a lead you can try to outplay that fed player with your own lead.


Graves in the midlane has amazing waveclear. Since Graves is very strong in the early game this wave-clear will allow you to help your jungler invade and gain Rift Scuttler control, objective control and ganking control.

Remember that midlane is in the center of the map, so gaining lane priority in midlane gains you priority of the jungle and take control of the enemies' vision. All this equals to a LOT of pressure which is huge on Summoner's Rift.

Graves midlane is a pretty strong pick, but sometimes it will feel impossible to kill the enemy laner. In this case, you just want to shove the waves and apply pressure around the map by roaming. You can also invade the enemy jungle with Graves; you can steal some camps, gain deep vision or even kill the enemy jungler.

The average setup in Midlane is to go Fleet Footwork or Electrocute and build full damage. Starting Doran's Blade is ideal; a Long Sword and Refillable Potion is not as strong as this. Do not build Doran's Shield first item because it nullifies the reason you picked Graves in the first place, which is pressure. Builds on Graves have the same items for midlane and you can find them all at the top of this page.

I hope you liked my guide. I hope I have the motivation to make more extensive guides for other champions too so I can help you guys out. Please leave a thumbs-up if you liked the guide and I'd love it if you could follow me on Twitch: Lodart!

If you need to know anything else come join me on my Discord: https://discord.gg/XVQzwec9gH

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