Graves Build Guide by NikoBocce
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+9 ability power or +5 attack damage, adaptive and +9% attack speed
Threats to Graves with this build
|Graves||Well you read this guide so...|
|Quinn||Oh god just stop.|
|Ivern||Not trash, recyclable trash. W his brushes for WW I levels of blindness|
This is a fairly conventional guide on how to dominate your opponents and play one of the stronger champions in the game like a Bronze II scrub.
I will update match-ups as this season progresses (Maybe >.>)
Hey! I'm Niko Bocce an Unranked (Bronze I) Scrub, and I'm gonna teach all you Plat V smurfs how to play Graves. If you're wondering who Graves is, he's basically Darius with a Shotgun. So the mindset you should have while digging graves with Graves (Awful joke be ready for more.) is, instead of whacking people with your iron like you would with Darius you instead blast enemies with your XXL ranged counterpart. You clear jungles faster than a 2002 Windows XP virus clears hard drives.(Told ya.) But what sets Graves above the rest is his insane fight potential. As Graves you have the ability to 1v1 almost anyone in the game while also being able to take out squishies before they're able to ping Danger on their corpse.
Skills = Kills
Sometimes you'll think that Graves auto attacks inflicts a hidden passive, where the enemy champion finds a need to walk into each and every one of your bullets. Well this is true, it's a new psychological passive Riot's been working on called nutlust. So as long as you can position yourself away from the frenzied enemies you'll keep your health and perfect K/D/A.
If they want to chase, Keep blasting them in the face!!
This is the ability that takes Graves from fun and unbalanced to broken af FF@19:59!! It's what separates the a$$ Graves players from the true Rough Riders. If you've ever played Lucian, this is that but statistically much better. Despite the nerfs lowering resists per stacks the max amount that's still attainable has remained the same with the true grit cap raised from 4 to 8. This ability works very well for jungle clear if you're able to keep your stacks up. Remember that you only can maintain stacks by attacking all non-minions, so Champions, buildings, jungle creeps and both dragon and baron. Additionally 2 stacks are added while dashing toward champions. This is why Graves flourishes in long engages, the additional armor and mr is a full defensive item when used properly. This tankiness combined with lifesteal makes you unkillable, literally... well not literally but almost literally. No one in lower elo really knows how to handle this so as long as you pick your targets properly by moving around with Quickdraw. Honestly you should win almost all team fights if your itemization is proper. Also Quickdraw reloads an additional shot so aim to use it after firing a shot or two.
More resist = more assists
This ability is pretty much climaxing in the middle of a really hot gang bang. Graves essentially disburses his huge payload all over the enemy team. Now a lot of people prefer to climax at the end of a session by firing said explosion on a low-health enemy champion. However, there are other uses for this sick ability. In team fights disbursing your powerful shell on groups of people can also be extremely effective, usually leading to two things.
1. The enemies will back to base in order to procure extensive STD tests.
2. Your adversaries will be so pissed at you for firing your high impact projectile on them that they will charge you in a blind rage.
Luckily for you, Graves is well-equipped to handle both situations.
An additional use for Collateral Damage is escaping. Sometimes you need to bust and dust... as in gtfo outta a hot mess. Graves shot is so powerful that it knocks him backwards a small distance. This is very useful if you would like to avoid paying child support with your health.
Gun = Fun
Time to avoid some math I'm certainly far from qualified to be computing.
So without all this math magic, Graves has a shotgun... ok. So uhhh, these shotgun things fire bullets in an area. Now that's the key to playing Graves, he fires 4 shots and the more of the four you land on the opponent, the more damage it does. So the key is to be able to land said shots without going in too hard. Remember Graves is a marksman, if you wanna play an assassin Riot has Master Yi and 6 new reworked champions for you to choose from. Graves is ranged but he isn't Caitlyn. Got it? Good!
Now what makes Graves such a great jungler and such an awful adc is the knock-back on his auto attacks. This effect applies to all minions/jungle creeps and allows Graves to clear entire camps while sustaining virtually no damage. It's almost like... hold on... FREE GOLD!? But we'll talk about farming later on, back to the gun. Critical strikes mean stronger bullets and additional bullets, 2 more. And more bullets means more damage. So without going into college level calculus, when your gun critical strikes; it self-destructs and takes out anything within a 5 mile radius. Finally the gimmick Graves' gun follows is its 2 bullet system. After firing two shells Graves needs to reload. This reload speeds up with attack speed, while his time between attacks is significantly faster with additional attack speed. This allows you to bust your debris in the enemy team at a much faster rate, while also waiting less to recharge.
Gun goes boom, Crit makes gun boom bigger!
Graves steals substantially more health than most champions, and offers more survivability than most champions. And thus, his items reflect this.
Death's Dance is Graves. It synergies with his kit perfectly and should always be your first item, ADC or Jungle. The life-steal will keep you alive in team-fights and allows you to destroy anyone in a 1v1. The bleed passive which turns 30% of the damage you take into a bleed effect for 5 seconds, is great at keeping Graves from getting burst down immediately in team fights. It also works extremely well for the second item in his kit.
The CORE ITEM on Graves
Phantom Dancer is a huge power spike for Graves. While it doesn't offer him a TON of damage, it's 1v1 potential fits perfectly with Graves Kit. It gives you additional movement speed along with 12% damage reduction vs individual champs. Building this after Death's Dance gives so much damage reduction, you may not even need to build tank items.
Damage Reduction and Attack Speed is best option!!
The Black Cleaver
Okay, You've made it this far! CONGRATULATIONS YOU'VE WON!! Because this item works so well with Graves, it's almost impossible to not carry with it.
So if you look at the stats, Black Cleaver gives Graves 400 Health, 40 AD, and 20% CDR. Building this Third will give Graves 30% CDR and over 2000 Health, while also not losing out on damage. But the real reason you build this on Graves is for the armor penetration.
With some of the damage nerfs to this item, Graves has taken abit of a hit damage wise. But it's not so bad that you can't use it; it's still a great item and one of the best combinations in the game.
The Most Underrated Item on Graves... still even after Season 7.
Build this if you need to kill their tanks fast, don't hesitate to build this as you can never have too much armor pen. early on; but not before Deaths Dance.
Delete Tank Meta
The Bloodthirster Edge of Night or Any Other Items
These are mostly situational, you can choose to go full damage here and build an Infinity Edge for devastating crit damage. One really good option is Mercurial Scimitar it offers life-steal, magic resistance, 65 damage and Quicksilver. This is especially effective late game if you're being targeted or unable to dodge the enemy crowd control. The Bloodthirster is what I'm running after Sterak's Gage became melee only. The damage and lifesteal is really good, but if you're having significant problems staying alive, try Gargoyle Stoneplate for really good defensive stats.
Choose your own adventure!
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I can't thank you guys enough for checking out this guide, I never would've thought that this would be as popular as it is today. Thanks, and keep rocking with graves.
Over 700,000 Views!!
Season 8 Update; I will try and get around to adding onto this guide moreso this season,
but I don't have as much drive to play League of Legends so we'll see. Thank you all for checking out this guide and have fun on the rift.