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Gragas Build Guide by KingEmonerd

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League of Legends Build Guide Author KingEmonerd

Slashing Wrists with... Gragas

KingEmonerd Last updated on March 26, 2012
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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: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Slashing Wrists

Hello fellow Mobas. I am KingEmonerd, but you can call me Emo. Everybody calls me Emo. Today, I bring you a guide to playing an AP-based Gragas in mid lane. I hope you will learn from this somewhat in-depth guide, and make your enemies slash their wrists.

Reason for first playing Gragas as an AP mid is because of his amazing capability of destroying any mid champion (except Galio, which no AP mid can really take on...). His pure AoE orientation is so amazing, it makes farming a real breeze, and you get access to the guy with one hellova lot of CC for an AP Mid, which battle he only loses against Morgana with her snare, slow and stun.

In this guide, I will attempt to show you why AP Gragas is an amazing choice, both for getting Lv.30, staying Lv.30 - which isn't that hard, to be honest - and getting high ELO. Don't check my ELO though, because it's hellified (I can't support to save my life).

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Awesome Abilities

So we'll start with Gragas's abilities, since his lore is not interesting:

Gragas throws a barrel to target location.On re-cast, or after 5 seconds, the barrel explodes, dealing magic damage and slowing Atk.Spd. Your main source of damage output. The fact that it has 300+ base damage, and a 0,9 AP Ratio is mad. As such, I take it first at Lv.1 and max it by Lv.9.

Gragas channels for 1 second and gains an amount of mana. After channeling, he is buffed to gain Atk.Dmg. and reduce incoming damage by a percentage. The fact that it gives us a ****load of mana back during our laning phase makes me take it first at Lv.2 or Lv.3 and max it by Lv.13.

Gragas charges to target location with increasing movement speed per level, dividing an amount of magic damage among the targets hit and slowing them. This ability, for damage-dealing, is meh at best. As such, I take it first at Lv.2 or Lv.3, but max it the very last.

Gragas hurls a giant cask to target location, dealing mad magic damage to all units struck and knocking them back.The damage is absolutely rediculous, and with a 1,0 AP ratio, it gets worse the later in-game you get. Take whenever possible, since it gets you annihilating overextending squishies, helping allies escape... it's all guud.

On each spell cast, Gragas recovers 2% of his max HP over 4 seconds. Each new spell cast within these 4 seconds refreshes the buff. It's not the best passive for AP Gragas, but tank Gragas would benefit from it greatly. Still, it does contribute a bit to our lane stay.

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Interesting In-Depth?

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Barrel Roll

  • This spell has both the damage and the Atk.Spd. debuff negated when it affects units with a spell shield ( Shroud of Darkness or Spell Shield). Also, Morgana's Black Shield blocks the debuff, but the damage takes down the shield. If an enemy has Banshee's Veil, it will block both parts of the spell.
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  • The barrel is sometimes hard to place against characters with high mobility (e.g. Kassadin or LeBlanc), since it has a relatively low projectile speed. Often times, it will not respond to your immediate detonation, stating you have insufficient mana. The spell will, however, force mobile champions to give up their mobility in order to dodge the spell.

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Drunken Rage

  • You need to complete the entire channel time in order for you to obtain all the mana from the spell. Moving or casting another spell before the second is up will leave you short half the mana you would gain from the spell. This is why Gragases usually use it only for the damage-reducing buff, rather than the mana regain.

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Body Slam

  • The reason you'll use this spell is to slow the enemies. As such, spell shields will block both the damage-part and the slow if applied ( Shroud of Darkness and Spell Shield). Morgana's Black Shield will block the slow from applying, even if it breaks the shield, and the shield will negate the damage. This spell will remove the Banshee's Veil buff on contact.

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  • The reason it's debatable whether to take it first at Lv.2 of Lv.3, is to think if the enemy has a quick-ganking jungler with a high damage output. If they do, you shuld take this at Lv.2 and leave it there until Lv.14. If they don't, you're better off taking a point in Drunken Rage to recuperate some mana, and then put a point in this at Lv.3 to make a quick escape if need be.

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Explosive Cask

  • Both the knockback and the damage will be blocked by spell shields ( Shroud of Darkness and Spell Shield). The knockback will be blocked by Morgana's Black Shield, and the damage will wear down the shield. If a target carries the Banshee's Veil buff, the buff will be comsumed, and neither the damage nor the knockback will take place.This should not be visible.

  • The knockback can be used for multiple purposes. If an ally is getting chased, the knockback may buy them enough time to make a safe extraction. On the offense, it may be used to return a fleeing enemy to your side of the fight, or knock an overextending enemy into tower range, and whack away with a Body Slam and a Barrel Roll.

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Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
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This rune setup gives you a relatively powerful early game. Walking into the lane with 21 AP and reasonable defensive stats (you're still designed a tank) is relatively powerful. If you are a bit sparing with your mana, you should not be needing mana regen runes (especially not in late game). The power you bring into lane is bound to bring good zoning along with it.

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For my masteries, I like to complement my rune setup by increasing my AP both by a flat amount (4), per level (18 @ Lv.18) and by a percentage (5%). This gets us up to 21 AP @ Lv.1. It also gives us that small bit of extra mana/5, which is always nice. Improved Summoner Spells are always nice, but that's just... standard, I guess.

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Summoner Spells

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Deals a small amount of true damage over 5 seconds to target enemy, and reduces incoming healing. I prefer this spell on all AP carries, as the Improve mastery gives you a small amount of bonus AP, and you can almost always find a spot for it in a standard spell rotation.

Flashes your champion a small distance towards your cursor. It's simple as that, and it can save your life. I take this on all champions, and even though Body Slam can cross walls, it won't cross all walls, and Flash will cross some walls that it won't.

Regenerates your champion's mana by a set amount plus an amount per level. It's only if you really spam your abilities very hard, which is unlikely since you'll run out of mana again before it's back off of cooldown. Only for beginner summoners, as more experienced summoners should be able to control their mana expenses a bit better.

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Intriguing Itemization

Invisible ****.

Invisible still.

This is pretty much the best start for every AP Mid, I have found. You could also build a Doran's Ring, but you'll sacrifice movement for all good stats, I get it. Only thing is: you need to alter your masteries in order to get a Health Potion, and the Ring doesn't build into anything. Boots are overall the better choice.


I really disliked the Rylai's at first, but when you lane vs. Morgana, you need health, and so I built it, and I became more difficult to pester out of lane than the RoA Morgana. It's mad. Plus, the slow is a great opener for ganks or to keep enemies near. Sorcerer's Shoes are your boots. You don't need the Lucidity Boots, since you'll be carrying all blue buffs pretty much. Also, if you have 1200 gold to spare (a rampage would help), invest in a Hextech. You'll get the entire damage it states in the tooltip back as health when you hit the caster minions with a Barrel Roll. Massive increase to lane sutain is mad.

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On your Rabadon purchase, you'll have enough AP to start roaming. The combo Explosive Cask -> Body Slam -> Barrel Roll should be able to destroy the biggest threats on the enemy team (often times a fed AD carry). To become a little bit tanky, you should get both Zhonya's Hourglass - I beg of you to not forget about the active, as it may very well save your life - and an Abyssal Scepter. These give you the necessary survivability during later stages in the game.

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Principal Playstyle

Invisible, yes?

In the early game, try to not overextend. It will prove to be hard, but you'll be hesitant to, if you're wise. Most AP Mids are ranged (Malzahar, Cassiopeia, Ziggs to mention a few), so being melee makes you susceptible to their basic attacks, which will hit quite hard at times (especially when laning vs. Ziggs and his Short Fuse). Your barrel should be able to do most of the work for you. Wait till the enemy blows their cooldowns on farming, then use Barrel Roll on the caster minions and basic attack them to death. Just let your own minions wear down the melee minions.
On me voit plus.
Later in the game, after racking up some AP and some farm - and hopefully some kills too - you'll be able to farm with greater ease than before. A barrel should kill the caster minions in one try, and a Body Slam should finish it all for the melee minions. Also, your poke becomes kinda crazy now. You'll also be able to take on towers really fast: not only do you simply deal 10 increased damage to towers; you'll also have about 60 or 70 bonus Atk.Dmg. to whittle down those pesky buildings. Gank a lane, massacre, and push.
On me voit pas still.
During the later stages of the game, you'll be the passive-aggressive fight-opener kinda guy. Your Barrel should whittle down your enemies' health quite rapidly - I'm looking at you, Miss Fortunes and Tarics of the enemy team - the Supports and AD carries will often be first to fall. If you feel like they are bound to die within a matter of seconds, let your team know you want to lay the smack down and toss out your Cask and get nasty. AD Carries and AP Mids go first, then your supports and non-bulky junglers, and last the tanky motherf√łkkers like Solotops and Udyr-in-the-jungles.

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Cute Conclusion

Invisible until now.

So this concludes my AP Mid Gragas guide. Feel free to rate it - upvotes are always appreciated - but if you didn't like it, please tell me why (with decent support, please).

Special thanks to JhoiJhoi for helping me with the coding-stuff and the radd purple dividers :)

This was Emo. Signing off.