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Graves Build Guide by hwkang3

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author hwkang3

Season 3 Graves by Azubu Blaze's Captain Jack

hwkang3 Last updated on January 3, 2013
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Jungle Role
Ranked #23 in
Jungle Role
Win 47%
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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

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

Chapter 1

1 - Foreword
2 - Build Explanation
3 - Gameplay Explanation

Hello, this is Captain Jack from Azubu Blaze.

I hope you have fun reading my gameplay of Graves.

Greater Mark of Attack Damage +8.55 Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor +12.69 Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist +13.41 Magic Resistance
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage +6.75 Attack Damage

Total Price: 8,610 IP

Above specifications are standard AD Runes.

If your opponent is Corki, Leona, Alistar, Tristana, Miss Fortune, Sona or a champion with strong magic damage in the beginning of the game, you should use flat MR glyphs which give the most MR at the beginning of the game. If opponents have other combinations, then you can get scaling MR glyphs.

Graves' passive True Grit let's him not have to get armor items in order to be tanky.

I prefer AD marks over armor penetration to improve my last hitting. If you can get all the
last hits, then you can use the Armor Penetration.

There are some players who buy flat Attack Damage or Attack Speed glyphs. They may be very strong in the early game and pushing lanes. However, I don’t recommend that if you want to be strong in team fights.


With the Season 3 masteries changes Durability is now tier 1, and it is much easier to get the extra health from Veteran's Scars . In order to do 9 points in Utility for Runic Affinity , you have to give up Summoner's Resolve . It really is up to the enemy team's composition and your lane support, but the safest bet right now is to do 9 points in Defense Tree. If you feel safe to do 9 points in Utility then that is still fine, but safest for me is 9 in Defense.

For the Defense tree it is 5 armor, 108 health at level 18, +30 health, and Summoner's Resolve for the Cleanse versus Summoner's Insight , 3 mana per 5 seconds, 180 mana at level 18, and Runic Affinity from the Utility Tree. Keep that in mind when you are deciding what is best in that situation.

Work in Progress~~~~~

Standard Build:

Starting Items:



Your starting items depend on the lane composition you are heading into. If you want to put pressure on the enemy, or you feel as though you have the ability to do so, start with the Long Sword and 2 Health Potion. This is a great starting build because it gives you the damage of a Doran's Blade but the freedom to also buy Health Potion as well.

If you feel as though you will have a tough time laning then start with Crystalline Flask and 5 Health Potion. I feel this gives you great sustain. The Crystalline Flask is a great item that pays for itself after just a few uses. This is a really great starting build because of the awesome sustain it gives you against hard lanes.

Now, if you feel as though you are really going to have a hard time in lane and Crystalline Flask and 5 Health Potion are not enough to help you, you can go Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potion. This is much more of a sustain start because it helps you survive over the long run in lane.

Core Items:

Sustain Build:

Starting Items:

As I mentioned, this starting build is really good if you think you are going to have a rough time in lane. It helps you survive much more so that you don't get bullied out of lane and then get into a huge disadvantage against your lane opponent. It is also great because with armor, it stacks up with your passive True Grit. So if you feel as though you are going to have a very rough lane, this starting build should help you out. The key is to make sure that you always are building up your passive. Even if you are trying to play passive and not push lane, be mindful of how many stacks your passive is at.

Core Items:

Defensive Items

Flash is a must. Next I prefer Cleanse, Exhaust and Heal in that order. Since the effectiveness of Heal has been decreased, it is not that important. However, if you're laning against an opponent that takes Cleanse you can take Heal to have an advantage in lane.

(Passive) | Q | W | E | R

True Grit: Graves gains increasing armor and magic resistance the longer he remains in combat that every 1 sec his additional defense and magic resist increase to 1/2/3. (Max 10)

Within 3 sec if Graves gives or receives damages, it is considered that he is in a battle.

Buckshot: Graves shoots three bullets in a cone, each dealing 60 / 105 / 150 / 195 / 240 (+80% of attack damage) physical damage to all enemies in their path.

Enemies hit with multiple bullets take 25% damage from each additional bullet.

Smoke Screen: Graves fires a smoke canister dealing 60 / 110 / 160 / 210 / 260 (+60% of ability power) magic damage on impact and creating a smoke cloud at the location that lasts (5) seconds. Enemies inside the cloud have their sight radius reduced and are slowed by 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 % while they remain in the cloud.

Quickdraw: Graves dashes forward gaining 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 % increased Attack Speed for 4 seconds. Each of his basic attacks lowers the cooldown of Quickdraw by 1 second.

Collateral Damage: Graves fires off an explosive shell dealing 250 / 375 / 500 (+150% of attack damage) physical damage to the first enemy champion hit. After hitting a champion or reaching the end of its range, Collateral Damage deals 150 / 275 / 400 (+120% of attack damage) physical damage in a cone behind the target.

Skill Binding:

Quickdraw and Smoke Screen should be set as smart casting mode. Buckshot and Collateral Damage need to have precise control so I use normal targeting with those abilities.

From my experience of using regular and smart casting controls, smart casting is not always great. By using smart casting control, I tend to use it carelessly.

How to use skills in certain mode is up to you. This is just my opinion.

Which support should I go with?

Graves can play with any support. He can work with defensive or offensive playstyles.
If you would like to have a steady lane, Soraka, Janna, or Alistar would make good laning partners.

If you would like to kill or to have an aggressive lane, Alistar, Sona, Taric, Leona, or Blitzcrank will provide you with the power to do so.

If you would like to have hard push to vaporize opponents, Lulu or Soraka would be a good choice.

Lane Phase:

In order to dominate the lane, a strategy of a strong push by Graves should be used. No other champions can keep up with Graves' pushing power.

You do not need to fight against champions, you just need to use Buckshot well on minions. This is very important for pushing lanes hard.

When Graves pushes the lane, the enemy champions will be easy to harass. It is the best to way to take advantage in lane.

When the opponent is trying to last hit, it is wise to use Smoke Screen to block them.

Let the support take care of the wards. It is best to set up wards at all possible spots where the enemy jungler can gank.

When your wards run out you and your support should recall to get more wards so you can push the lane again. When lanes are somewhat pushed you are a target of ganking, so placing wards on proper spots is mandatory. If your support is short on gold, it is nice to buy 1 or 2 wards for your lane's survival.

Mid/Late Game Strategy:

Graves has a basic gameplay management of any regular AD.

You can just deal damages from the back of the team. Survival is the most important part of your gameplay; while dealing the maximum amount of damage from the back. As an AD, you can have excuses to damage less, but you cannot be killed. In a team fight where the AD gets killed first; it is very wrong. If you die in every team fight, then you should buy Quicksilver Sash or Guardian Angel before other items.

When the team fights starts, shoot Buckshot and Collateral Damage to the other damage dealer location, and use Quickdraw to safely damage the opposing tank while moving. The way to use Quickdraw is similar to Vayne’s Tumble. Don’t Quickdraw forward.

As for Smoke Screen, if you place it where the road is narrow in the jungle or at the opposing team's formation, you can create a great deal of confusion. It is one of the greatest utility skills in LoL. Based on how you use it, it can flip the results of a team fight. Use it as carefully as possible. You need to paint the best scenario of how to use it to make it as tough as possible for the opponent. Even I have a hard time using Smoke Screen effectively.

This is written with the assumption that the opponent has spectacular mechanics.

There aren't any ranged ADs that are a real threat to Graves, but...


Unless Caitlyn makes one single mistake, Graves cannot win against her.

From the start, she has a long range, keeping things at bay. Since she has similar push as Graves, it is hard to gain the advantage. However, if Caitlyn makes even the slightest mistake, things can be turned around. If you don’t have the technique to pressure Graves, picking Caitlyn becomes pointless.

If Caitlyn gets ganked just once, or gives even one kill she cannot win against Graves. If it’s the other way around then Caitlyn can win.

Vayne/ Kog'Maw:

Since they have very weak push and health in the beginning they cannot win against Graves, but if they keep receiving seeding from the support while not getting behind in CS then after level 7 their damage dealing will change and Graves can lose. The win and lose depends on how much pressure is put on them in the beginning.

Normally, Graves wins, but for players at the very top it is a bit different. I have lost to a very skillful Vayne during practice matches.

Miss Fortune:

Miss Fortune’s initial exchange is stronger than most ranged dealers. As long as Miss Fortune utilizes her strengths she can keep gaining the advantage and win against Graves throughout the game.

When playing against Miss Fortune play it as safe as you can in the beginning, and there should come a time after level 6 when you can win.

Miss Fortune’s ultimate is a surplus in lane fights so there comes a time where it gets weak. Also she is not good at pushing so if you keep pressuring you will be able to win.

You need to be careful of the four ranged dealers mentioned above in lane fights. If not, you can die in a blink of an eye.

Sivir or Corki can also be a slight threat to Graves, but from what I experienced, during exchanges you cannot lose. So I consider them to be easy opponents.