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Gnar Build Guide by GnarZing

Middle Zing's Guide to Mid Gnar (10.3) (WIP)

By GnarZing | Updated on February 16, 2020
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Runes: LT + Domination

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Lethal Tempo
Legend: Alacrity
Coup de Grace

Second Wind

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


1 2 3
Kill Things
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #50 in
Top Lane
Win 50%
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Champion Build Guide

Zing's Guide to Mid Gnar (10.3) (WIP)

By GnarZing
Hello! My name is Zing. I am a Gnar One-Trick in Platinum elo with about 2 million points. I primarily play mid lane, but I am also experienced in Top, jungle, and ADC.

If you want to 1v1 me to practice matchups and exchange knowledge, please do! Reach out to me using my contact information below.
Fundamentals Back to Top
Simply understanding what you need to do to leave laning phase with a lead is by far the most important thing to do as Gnar mid. Gnar has a wide variety of tools in his kit to deal with a wide variety of situations, and almost every traditional mid-laner is highly exploitable.

The most straightforward way to win lane is (obviously) to kill your opponent. The details are going to vary a bit depending on the type of opponent, but the core game plan will almost always stay the same.

1 - Poke with Mini Gnar
2 - All in with Mega Gnar

Exactly how you will execute step 1 and 2 varies based on matchup. Those will be explained in detail below, and once you understand these, you will have the tools to understand the full purpose of each rune and item.

At the start of every game, use to look up your opponent, and understand the cooldowns of your opponents abilities.

Gnar has relatively high mobility compared to most mid-laners, as well as a lot of power in his auto attacks, meaning he has the tools to fight any champion reliant on abilities with cooldowns or resource costs. This plan includes a lot of aggressive positioning and trading, so always be aware of your opponents jungler. Remember to step out of lane and ward whenever possible. Don't push your lane if the threat of an enemy gank is immediately present, or if you know your own jungler will gank soon.

Your first step is to start auto attacking the wave, pushing it towards your opponent's side. Then, when your opponent steps up, throw your Q at them, and then immediately step behind or to the other side of the minions. Ideally, aim your Q to hit your opponent and most or all of the minions. With the wave pushing into your opponents tower, your opponent will be obligated to try to push the wave back, or else he will be forced into last-hitting under tower and giving up lane priority. Position just outside of your opponents range, and when they use cooldowns on the wave, step forward and trade aggressively. Be mindful of your opponents cooldowns, and step back out of range before they have a significant chance to return damage. Some champions have very low cooldowns, and dont have clear windows for trading. Remember that this strategy doesn't just apply to cooldowns. Be aware of what abilities the opponent can use at any time, regardless of if they are gated by cooldowns, resources, level, form, or anything else.

If your opponent holds some or all of their abilities and don't use enough of their abilities on the wave to allow for an opening, you have the option to bait out abilities yourself. Step to the side, away from your own minion wave, throw Q if your opponent is not behind their own minions, and position as close to them as safely possible. If they engage or throw a spell, dodge it, with E if necessary, and take an extended trade, still paying mind to when their abilities will be available.

Your opponent might not leave many opportunities to trade, such as if they have very low cooldowns, or are saving their abilities wisely. When you don't have the option to take a proper trade, remember to keep pushing the wave with auto attacks. Your auto attacks will do more damage than most mid-laners, so they will be forced to either let you push, or use up resources. In order to damage these kinds of opponents, use your Q primarily to poke them. Position aggressively, and cast Q frequently, preferring any time they step away from their own minions.

Once you reach level 6, you can begin your second step. A good Mega Gnar engage is the best way to kill your opponent almost every time. There are 2 things you need to look for in your opponent when engaging with Mega Gnar.

1 - Mobility
2 - Peel/CC

When you jump in with Mega Gnar, you need to make sure you can land on your opponent, and combo them. If they get away, you are open to being kited, and will take very heavy damage in most cases. Think about what defensive options the opponent has, and how will they use them? Will an opponent dash backwards when you go in? Either overshoot your jump, or do a quick animation cancel. Will your opponent throw a stun? Jump at an angle, or lead with flash. Do they have a spell-shield or counter? Bait it out by dealing damage with your jump and Q first.

~ More coming soon ~
Items Back to Top

Rageblade deals insane amounts of hybrid damage, and is useful with a variety of other items and styles of builds. Be sure to get all 6 stacks on minions before engaging whenever possible. Be aware that the increased attack speed and on-hit effects will cause you to gain Rage Gene much faster than normal. This item should be the core of any Carry-Oriented Gnar build. If you aren't feeding early, always build this item first or second.

Frozen mallet is another strong tank item. Its slowing effect allows you to chase or flee from enemies easily, and the high amount of health makes this a good option against enemies with true damage. This item is a necessity, and should always be your first or second tank item.

Black Cleaver Provides a lot of useful utility as well as damage. The movement speed helps you kite out melee enemies in longer fights. The HP allows you to survive against champions with heavy burst, and the armor shred provides a lot more damage to your Mega Gnar combo. The only downside is somewhat less damage as Mini Gnar compared to Rageblade. Rush this item against bruisers and burst champions. Otherwise, take this second for your standard carry-oriented build.

Blade of the ruined king is your second strongest on-hit item. It has good synergy with both Guinsoo's Rageblade and Black Cleaver. It deals very good damage as Mini Gnar when paired with one or both of these items. The active helps kite melee enemies, and the life steal helps you survive extended fights. Build this as your second or third damage item in an AD build.

Umbral Glaive is a good lethality item to rush that works well with builds using either Aery, Comet, or Electrocute. The high AD and lethality massively improve the damage output of your poke with Q, Short trades such as [aa > Q > aa] that dont rely on attack speed, and all-ins with Mega Gnar. It is very cheap, and its Blackout passive is very good for vision control to help with roaming and objective control.

Wit's End is a great balanced item against champions that deal Magic damage. The early 50 magic resist provides a lot of survivability, along with the healing passive always keeping you at least at half health. The on-hit effect also gives you a significant amount of hybrid damage as Mini Gnar. Rush this item against any AP champ who you aren't confident against. Build this second to start a strong AP/On-hit build.

Hextech Gunblade is a good offensive AP item. The active provides a strong slow, and helps your burst damage. The strong life-steal will help a lot in extended fights. This should be your second or third damage item in an AP build.

Nashor's is a good AP/AS item, which should be your third or fourth damage item in a damage-focused AP build. Build this item only when your team needs a damage heavy carry against a team that stacks armor.

Runes Back to Top
Lethal Tempo is best taken into matchups where you expect to all-in as Mini Gnar against squishy targets. The extra attack speed also slightly improves your early wave clear. This rune can also be taken into poor or uncertain matchups for the purpose of scaling, since this is one of your strongest runes late-game.

Arcane Comet is best taken into difficult early matchups, usually mid/long range control mages. Stay out of their poke range, and hit them with Boomerang Throw as much as possible, then set up for an all-in. This rune can be taken into any matchup you struggle with or are uncertain about, since Boomerang Throw poke is always valuable for winning laning phase.

Press the Attack is best taken into matchups where you expect to take frequent trades as Mini Gnar. The extra attack speed also slightly augments your early wave clear. This rune also slightly helps the potency of your Mega Gnar all-ins.

Conqueror is best taken into matchups where you expect to take extended fights as Mini Gnar, generally against tankier targets who dont have high burst damage. The extra attack speed also slightly augments your early wave clear. This rune also slightly helps the potency of your Mega Gnar all-ins.

Electrocute is best taken into matchups that you want to all-in with Mega Gnar. This rune is also great into difficult matchups that will try to trade or poke often, since Electrocute will help a lot with short trades, and secondary runes will slightly help with sustain.

Glacial Augment is a great option to help your early game roaming. Glacial Augment slows your enemies greatly to assist your ganks. Minion Dematerializer greatly helps your wave clear to set up for roams, as well as deny your opponents roams. This rune page is also good for all-ins during laning phase against immobile opponents. Engage on them when they use their cooldowns, and run them down with your enhanced speed from Approach Velocity.

Grasp of the Undying is a good defensive rune to take if you aren't prioritizing solo kills in lane. Stay safe in lane with Second Wind, build tanky, and safely take towers with Demolish

Overheal in combination with Doran's Blade will grant you a constant shield in lane when you are at full health. Take this rune into matchups that you aren't confident in your kill pressure.

Triumph is a good rune to take into matchups that you are confident in your ability to kill in lane. Also take this rune into games that you expect a lot of team-fights.

Legend: Alacrity is a solid rune that gives you a lot of attack speed. Take this rune into most builds that take Precision

Legend: Bloodline is a rune that provides good life-steal, especially late game. You can optionally take this rune instead of Legend: Alacrity in a build where you don't plan on taking Life-Steal.

Coup de Grace is a solid rune that greatly helps your damage. Always take this rune when you take Precision.

Taste of Blood is a great rune for sustain and trading, especially early game. Always take this rune when you take Domination.

Ravenous Hunter is a great rune for consistent sustain from spell-vamp, especially late game. Always take this rune when you take Domination.

Nullifying Orb is a decent rune that provides some survivability against magic damage. Always take this rune against any team comp with any amount of magic damage. If a team has no magic damage, you can take Nimbus Cloak instead.

Take Celerity against a lane opponent or team comp who you can kite.
Celerity grants you 4 to 6 Movement Speed passively from your Rage Gene. You get 8 to 19 decaying Movement Speed each time you trigger Hyper. You gain 2 Movement speed from Boots of Speed, 3 Movement Speed from Berserker's Greaves Ninja Tabi and Mercury's Treads, 4 Movement Speed from Boots of Swiftness, and 9 Movement Speed from an active Boots of Mobility.

Absolute Focus is a solid rune to help your damage at all points of the game. Take this rune when you expect to poke a lot.

Scorch is a good rune to greatly empower your early-game poke. Always take this rune when you take Sorcery

Demolish is a solid rune to help take you towers faster. Take this rune if you are confident in your early game, to help you get plates early.

Second Wind is a good rune to sustain through early game poke. You can take this rune as a secondary instead of taking Domination when facing a difficult matchup.

Bone Plating is an option against champions that have high amounts of burst and all-in potential, and low amounts of poke.

Unflinching is a good rune to take against teams with moderate or heavy CC, and it helps your survivability at all stages of the game.

Overgrowth is another option instead of Unflinching, granting you a small amount of scaling health.

Magical Footwear should be your third rune in Inspiration.

Minion Dematerializer is the most important rune in Inspiration as it helps your wave-clear during lane phase. Always use them on Cannon minions when possible. Cover for your allies by using Minion Dematerializer to shove in the wave when your opponent might want to roam. You can also shove in the wave to set up for your own roam.

Approach Velocity should always be your second rune in Inspiration. The movement speed you get after landing your Boomerang Throw helps you position aggressively for an extended trade.
Abilities Back to Top
Ability Order: R>Q>W>E
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

more coming soon!
Matchups Back to Top
Matchups showing multiple keystones means you can take your choice of keystone depending on how you personally would like to play the matchup.

Matchups showing multiple items means that you need to build all of the shown items in sequential order, from top to bottom.

Difficulty = 4
Poke her with Boomerang Throw as often as possible. Stay out of range of her Orb of Deception, and always be behind minions to avoid her Charm. You can all-in her at lv 6, but always engage with an animation cancel, otherwise she will dodge with her Spirit Rush or counter with a Charm.

Difficulty = 5
Poke her with Boomerang Throw as often as possible. Avoid trading as Mini Gnar, especially while she is in her shroud. If she is in her Twilight Shroud while you are Mega, you can GNAR! > Boulder Toss > Wallop her while she is invisible. If you are in Mini form while she has access to Perfect Execution, play very safe, as he has a lot of mobility and damage at this point, and can easily kill you if you aren't tanky.

Difficulty = 3

Poke her with Boomerang Throw as often as possible. Before level 6, you can take heavy trades with her in either form. Once she is level 6, she will do a lot of damage with her Glacial Storm, so save your Hop to avoid it if you are in Mini form. If you are in Mega form, try to engage when either Glacial Storm or Flash Frost are on cooldown. You can GNAR! her into her own Crystallize to stun her. Don't forget about her Rebirth, which has a cooldown of 4:00 regardless of her CDR. If you aren't healthy and don't think you can kill her during or immediately after her egg form, then don't waste time fighting it, and just back up to safety, and shove the wave if necessary.

Difficulty = 3
Poke her with Boomerang Throw as often as possible, and stay out of range of her
Disintegrate and Incinerate. Her Molten Shield Grants her movement speed and defensive stats, so running her down as Mini Gnar is very difficult. Engage at lv 6 with a Mega Combo. She can likely one-shot you with Summon: Tibbers if you are in its range, so try to lead with an animation cancel, and don't leave gaps in between your CC during your combo. Make sure that she is low enough to die to your full combo.

Difficulty = 2

He will likely try to hard-shove in waves early using his Center of the Universe and Celestial Expansion in order to set up for a roam as early as lv 3. Take heavy trades and poke him as much as possible. You can all in him as early as lv 3. When you jump on him, immediately hit him with Wallop, or you will be stunned by his Starsurge. When you are lv 6, you can kill him with a Mega combo. Try to only engage with an animation cancel, otherwise you can be pushed back by his Voice of Light or stunned by his Starsurge.

Difficulty = 4

Jumping on top of him in Mega form is difficult due to his Emperor's Divide. If you take Electrocute, you can win forced small trades. If you take Lethal Tempo, you can win a DPS check as Mini Gnar by positioning away from his soldiers, and using Hop to avoid his Conquering Sands.

Difficulty = 4
All of his abilities hurt, and his Sear is a stun on an 8 second cooldown, so always stay out of his range. He will always win early trades if you step into his range. You out range him with your Boomerang Throw, so poke him whenever you can. Try and set up for an all-in with a mega-combo at lv 6, with the waves near your tower. His Blaze and Pyroclasm do a lot of damage over time, so don't leave gaps in between your CC during your combo, and make sure that he is low enough to die to your full combo.

Difficulty = 4

Always stay either out of her range, or on top of her, so she cant ground you with her Miasma. Be ready to face backwards to dodge her Petrifying Gaze. If you can dodge her Noxious Blast, you can win a head-on fight in Mini form. Otherwise, engage at lv 6 with GNAR!.

Difficulty = 4

His Phosphorus Bomb deals a lot of damage, so make sure to be positioned far enough away to avoid it. His Valkyrie is quick, and can be used to avoid a Mega-Gnar engage. Poke him down with Boomerang Throw, and engage with Mini Gnar when you have a significant health lead. You can potentially kill him with an animation-cancelled GNAR!, but make sure to overshoot your jump, because he will try to Valkyrie backwards immediately to avoid it. His Special Delivery will interrupt your jump.

Difficulty = 5
Her Crescent Strike travels in an arc shape, so you will have a much easier time dodging it by moving counter-clockwise around Diana, while also sometimes stepping inwards as a mix-up. If she lands this, she will most likely win a short trade. Her Crescent Strike Cooldown is very low, so punishing her with an extended trade is very difficult. If you can't consistently dodge, then just stay out of her range and poke with your Q. Remember that her Moonfall will interrupt your jump, so try to use it very early if you are afraid of an all-in. Her only mobility that she can use to avoid an all-in is using Lunar Rush on your minions.

Difficulty = 3
If he hits you with Phase Dive, he will most likely use Timewinder right after, so sidestep immediately. After this, he will have no offensive abilities, so punish him hard. His Timewinder returns to him even when he moves, so don't stand between them. Always watch the positioning of the ghost of his Chronobreak. He will most likely return to it when he is very low, so don't stand on top of it, but try to be close enough to punish him when he uses it.

Difficulty = 4

~ Matchup experience needed ~

Difficulty = 1

Always stay out of range of his Shield of Durand. He cannot use Flash while charging, so positioning against it should be easy. Use your Hop Sideways or backwards to avoid his Justice Punch. Those two abilities are his only way to activate Aftershock if he takes it. Be aware that he will try to roam with Hero's Entrance, so try to poke him or shove the lane as much as possible.

Difficulty = 4

Never fight him head on within range of his H-28G Evolution Turrets. Bait out his CH-2 Electron Storm Grenade if possible before engaging with Mega Gnar. Otherwise, try to lead with an animation cancel, and don't leave gaps in between your CC during your combo. Make sure that he is low enough to die to your full combo, otherwise he will likely kill you with a full combo of his abilities.

Difficulty = 4

~ Matchup experience needed ~

Difficulty = 1

His Lay Waste is very easy to dodge as long as you aren't slowed by his Wall of Pain. Starting at level 3, you can position and trade against him very aggressively. If you are slowed by his Wall of Pain, immediately jump out, or jump in if you are healthy. Killing him at level 6 is very easy, since he has no mobility or self-peel. Just be sure to watch your health, since he can return kill you with his Death Defied and Requiem if you are low.

Difficulty = 1

Kassadin is very weak and easy to bully early. Harass him with auto attacks and Q whenever possible. Once he hits lv 6, his Riftwalk can be used to dodge your Mega Gnar engage, so try to read his blink by overshooting your jump.

Difficulty = 3

Difficulty = 4

Difficulty = 4

Difficulty = 2

Difficulty = 2

Difficulty = 4

Difficulty = 2

Difficulty = 2

Difficulty = 4
Stay out of range of her Command: Attack and Auto-Attacks. She will always win early trades if you step into her range. You out range her with your Boomerang Throw, so poke her whenever you can. Try and set up for an all-in with a mega-combo at lv 6, with the waves near your tower. Keep in mind that she can shield herself with Command: Protect and stun you with Command: Shockwave to use defensively when you go in, so try to lead with an animation cancel, and don't leave gaps in between your CC during your combo. Make sure that she is low enough to die to your full combo.

Difficulty = 4

Difficulty = 3

Difficulty = 2

Difficulty = 4

Difficulty = 4

Difficulty = 3

Difficulty = 4

Difficulty = 2

Difficulty = 4

He will most likely be focused early game on farming with his Baleful Strike, leaving only his easily-dodgeable Dark Matter and his auto attacks to trade with. Hit him aggressively with Boomerang Throw and auto attacks. Once you both are level 6, play very safe while in Mini form. His Primordial Burst does a lot of damage and can't be avoided. He is fairly easy to engage upon with Mega Gnar due to the delay in his Event Horizon

Difficulty = 4

Difficulty = 5
You don’t win head-on fights with him. Stay out of his Siphon Power range, and poke him with max range Boomerang Throw. Try and set up for an all-in with a mega-combo at lv 6, with the waves near your tower. Try to only engage with an animation cancel, otherwise you can be interrupted by his Gravity Field. Make sure that he is low enough to die to your full combo.

Difficulty = 3

Vladimir is fairly weak early game. Poke him with Boomerang Throw as much as possible, and auto attack him whenever his Transfusion is on cooldown. Buy an Executioner's Calling as soon as possible. Don't attempt to stun him while his Sanguine Pool is on cooldown.

Difficulty = 4

You can fight him with mini Gnar if you can dodge his skill-shots. Otherwise lead with an Animation-Canceled GNAR!, or overshoot your jump when engaging on him. He will most likely stun you in mid air or as you land with Shocking Orb, but its stun duration scales with distance, so if you are close enough you can still kill him with a mega combo.

Difficulty = 3

Difficulty = 5

You can’t easily fight him early, so poke him with Boomerang Throw whenever you can. If he casts his Living Shadow forward, immediately sidestep, then step backwards. Until he starts to recognize this dodge pattern, this is the best way to avoid his following Shadow Slash and Razor Shuriken. Rush either Frozen Mallet or an armor item first, then a damage item. Once you have a completed armor item, unless Zed is fed, you should win 1v1s much more easily against him in either form. Once you are strong enough to fight him, if he casts his Living Shadow forwards, walk or Hop forward and punish him hard with an extended trade, taking advantage of his longer cooldowns. Be mindful of his Living Shadow and Death Mark cooldown when engaging with mega Gnar, since they both can be used to dodge either of your stuns. If Zed casts Death Mark on you, time your jump backwards, and you can bounce on him as he reappears. He will almost always immediately throw Razor Shuriken at you if you do this, so sidestep immediately after landing.

Difficulty = 4

Difficulty = 4
More coming soon!
Mechanics Back to Top
Coming soon!
Roaming Back to Top
Coming soon!
League of Legends Build Guide Author GnarZing
GnarZing Gnar Guide
Zing's Guide to Mid Gnar (10.3) (WIP)