Graves Build Guide by RoseOfInnistrad
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Lethal League - VS Squishies
+9% attack speed and +10 ability power or +6 attack damage, adaptive
Threats to Graves with this build
|Evelynn||She's honestly pretty easy to fight, her early is bad, and if you get Mercurial Scimitar she has no chance to fight you. Invade early and often.|
|Kai'Sa||I haven't had a ton of experience with this because she gets banned often, but the games I played I usually just invaded and killed her and she never seemed to be a problem. Don't let her scale though.|
|Nidalee||Dodge them skillshots, and kill them cougars. She isn't a huge threat but don't facecheck often in this matchup.|
Hey there, my name's Master Rose, [IGN = Osiria] a current and peak Diamond 5 player on the NA server. In this guide I'll be explaining not only some of the finer mechanics of Graves as a champion and his matchups, but also some general jungle tips, vision tips, and keybind strategies. Graves can potentially be played as a jungler, top laner, and an ADC, although he is more than the supermajority usually seen as a jungler, which is what the focus of this guide is.
Also, I have written one more guide as of the release of this one, one for Yasuo. If you're interested, check it out! Rose's All Purpose Yasuo Guide!
Malcom Graves - The Outlaw
Who is Graves? What does he excel at? In what areas does he suffer? Why doesn't anyone build Ohmwrecker? Well let's evaluate Graves' abilities and see what we find.
Smoke Screen is a circular skillshot that deals a small amount of magic damage, as well as slowing and blinding enemies standing in the blast radius for 4 seconds.
How To Use
So all in all, Graves is very good at dealing a lot of damage with his auto attacks and Q/R. He has a lot of mobility in combat, and is overall a very good duelist. However, he has virtually no crowd control or teamwide utility, and isn't durable unless in combat for enough time for him to stack Quickdraw. It is for this reason that Graves has fallen out of favour with the current tank based meta.
+ Does TONS of damage mid-late game
+ Not mana intensive
+ Has flexible build and jungle paths
+ Is criminally good at fighting enemies in their own jungle
- Is inherently squishy
- Needs items To deal damage
- Reliant on other champions for crowd control
- Has a high skill cap
- Has low-mid range combat range
As far as maxing order goes, you're almost always going to level your abilities in the same order every game.
This sequence is used for the standard full clear path and the invade path, which are the paths you will use in >95% of your games.
You take Quickdraw at level 1 due to the fact that your autos at level 1 deal as much damage as your q would. Both spells are on similar cooldowns, but you down get the extra armour/kiting power that you would have with Quickdraw if you start End of the Line. After that, you max Q for higher damage, then E for mobility/damage/tankiness, and W for utility.
Once again, Riot has reworked the Rune and Mastery systems, this time conjoining the two under the moniker of Runes Reforged.
Precision is the attack speed tree, and it's where the keystone rune that Graves usually takes is located. Said keystone is Fleet Footwork, and essentially is a charge that charges whenever you auto attack or move. When your charge reaches 100%, Fleet Footwork triggers on an auto attack and heals you (based on bonus AD) and grants additional 30% movement speed for 1 second. It's a pretty simple rune, it charges exactly like but heals you and makes you fast, so if you by chance build Statikk Shiv or Rapid Firecannon, it will operate in conjunction with those two. Also, if you critically strike on the charged attack it will increase your healing.
As far as the minor runes go, they're pretty self explanatory and don't change, but I'll give a brief explanation of some viable ones.
Legend: Alacrity. Kills = Permanent attack speed.
Coup de Grace. More damage on low HP targets. Kills = Bonus AD.
Sudden Impact. Dashes = Lethality.
Eyeball Collection. Kills = AD.
Ravenous Hunter. Kills = Spell Vamp.
Relentless Hunter. Kills = Out of combat MS.
Celerity. Gain MS, gain AD based on bonus MS.
Waterwalking. Gain AD in the river.
Gathering Storm. Gain AD as time goes on.
Jungle Paths - New Scuttle Meta
The jungle has changed a lot recently, and jungle goals, timings, and viability has all undergone absolutely massive shifts. Graves is one of the strongest picks in 8.11, and his clearing is one of the fastest and healthiest available. Clearing is only one half of what you need to be considering though, as the introduction to the new scuttle is what shapes the pace of the game.
scuttle Scuttle Crab is now worth over 10x what it used to be, and it's a camp that restores health and doesn't hit you back. So what are the downsides of having such a desirable, efficient camp? It's very highly contested. What do we want to think about differently that might gives us a better chance at taking it? Well the best thing to do is try to analyze who you're against. What champion is the opponent playing is the best place to start with this, because you'll usually be able to come up with a good answer to the second question, where are they going to start? Knowing where they started will also usually tell you what camps they're going to be taking next. As Graves, it's not bad to do any combination of your own camps, so it's far better to try to match your opponent and fight them on scuttle. A supermajority of the time junglers will get a leash from their bot side and clear whichever buff is there. This changes depending on the champion, but most will start bot unless they're manaless, in which instance they'll opt for red buff (if red isn't where their botside is), or if they desperately need mana, they'll opt for blue (same note for manaless), or if they can start raptors without a leash. Most champions fit into those 3 categories, and paying attention to which lane shows up in lane late after 1:55 should give you the answer of where they started, and will tell you if your guess is right. Usually the enemy champ will take one more camp and traverse into the river and go for scuttle. Fight them there if you can, and if you win the scuttle contest congrats, you can now plan to gank or move to the other side of the map and go for the other scuttle and your other camps, or gank a lane, and that's where things get hazy. It's usually better to go for camp clearing, invading if your lanes have priority, or taking guaranteed ganks, but it's all situational and you'll have to come up with those answers yourself. Good luck.
Using the paragraph above, you have a good idea of what to do to start on the correct side to fight the enemy jungler, and if you can correctly guess when they'll be on the scuttle, you can fight them (bonus points if you have armor stacks from Quickdraw}.
Nearly every champion in the game will want to be leashed by their bot lane. They get a better leash, more security against invades. What you will want to do is start at your top side, clear whichever buff you have, then immediately run to the enemy's topside jungle. Place a ward so you can see them coming, the take their buff. You should be able to take it close to or before they get there, then you have the choice to fight them or not. You will both likely be level two, but you will have two buffs and they will have one. If you choose not to fight, run back to your jungle and begin your clear.
Graves, as a strong clear jungler, doesn't need a leash. However, if your lanes want to leash you, it will help. You'll want to start on the same side as the enemy jungler, so you end up on the same side of the map, and can countergank and apply pressure on the same side.
Above is Tarzaned's Graves Jungle Clear guide. He's considered one of the greatest Graves players and even one of the best NA junglers of all time (currently holding the Rank 1 spot in NA).
Vision, as a single factor, is absolutely one of the biggest, if not the biggest, skills you need to master to succeed at League of Legends. Placing down wards, clearing enemy wards, watching the enemy laners movements on the minimap to watch where they put down wards; all of these tasks and more culminate into the vital skill of Vision Management. So, where do we put down wards most effectively to keep track of the enemy jungler? Well let's dive in to something deeper altogether: Theoretical Vision, assuming where the enemy jungler is. Now you might be saying Rose, this sounds like some ********. And you'd be 50% right. Let's take a look at a very simple, common scenario.
Now you might ask, Rose, what did literally any of that have to do with Theoretical Vision? Simply put, you knew where Warwick would be because of the logical choice of where he should start. You know what path he would take and the approximate time of when he would be where he would be. Theoretical Vision doesn't stop there however, you also know that normal camps respawn after 2 minutes and 30 seconds, and logically, if Warwick doesn't gank anyone, he'll probably back and go there afterwards. You know where he is without seeing him (although you will be warding his jungle).
Credits, Thanks, and Logs
Hey there those of you that made it to the end! This guide isn't finished yet, as I plan to add more. I just published it now so I'd have a link for the youtube video I made for this guide.
Jhoijhoi for her excellent coding guide
Tarzaned for his video that I used, and for his streams where I learned a lot from
14JUN2018 - Major overhaul to items and runes, major changes to Jungle Clear section to include the new scuttle changes, made minor changes.
27APR2018 - Updated Runes and Runes chapter, updated items, added champion matchups.
21AUG2017 - Published Guide