Gragas Build Guide

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I'm thirsty, need booze in mah belly! (Tanky AP Gragas)

written by ichi the killer

Gragas Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    This is my first guide (and last guide), feel free to post constructive feedback.

    I should disclaim that this guide is not 100% my creation. In a finite environment, who can claim to be 100% original anyway? I was inspired by good Gragas I faced and watching high Elo streaming. LeagueCraft had no similar Gragas build listed as of 29/11/2010 and I beleive it is the strongest build for him. Without any further delay, here's Tanky AP Gragas.

    I like Gragas as a solo lane (solo top or mid) champion. He's an ok pick as a duo lane champion. I build him Tanky Magic Damage Dealer with CDR, Rod of Ages, Spirit Visage and situationnal defensive items. With this build you can lane forever, tank like chief, enjoy high mobility + gank with ease with Body Slam and do enough damage to not be ignored in teamfights.

    Originally this build was created around using Innervating Locket or abusing it should I say... Once you get used to a certain degree of power, it's hard to pick up a champion that just got nerfed... I don't want to play Galio and Twitch for similar reasons. It's not Gragas' case; he's still viable.

  • TL;DR

    Greater Mark of Insight
    Greater Seal of Clarity
    Greater Glyph of Focus
    Greater Quintessence of Fortitude


    Summoner Abilities:
    Ignite/ Flash

    Explosive Cask > Barrel Roll > Drunken Rage > Body Slam

    Combo for easy farming:
    Barrel Roll + Body Slam

    Starting Item:
    Doran's Ring Or Sapphire Crystal & 2 X Health Potion

    Important Items:
    Rod of Ages
    Boots of Speed into Mercury's Treads if CC heavy otherwise Ionian Boots of Lucidity
    Spirit Visage
    Grab situationnal defensive items after those 3 items. (see items section for suggestions)

    For more info, 3 words: read my guide!

  • Masteries + Runes



    important masteries:
    [mastery_icon=Archaic Knowledge] Most of your damage is magic damage.
    [mastery_icon=Intelligence] & [mastery_icon=Sorcery] Gragas loves CDR. Help him helping you win.
    [mastery_icon=Perseverance] It has synergies with Happy Hour, Drunken Rage & stacks with Spirit Visage


    Magic Penetration - Most of your damage is magic damage.

    Mana regen per level - More mana regen makes you lane forever and ever!

    Flat CDR - Did I mention that Gragas loves CDR?

    Flat HP - You are tanky magic dealer. 78 HP @ lvl 1 makes a difference.

  • Items

    Starting item:
    Doran's Ring Or Sapphire Crystal & 2 X Health Potion

    Early game item:
    Catalyst the Protector This item lets you stay in lane and outfarm your ennemies. Farm enough gold (925 gold if you started with Sapphire Crystal or 1325 gold ) in order to buy your Catalyst ASAP.

    Core items:
    Rod of Ages & Spirit Visage

    Mercury's Treads or Ionian Boots of Lucidity based on how CC heavy is the opposing team.

    ***Please note that if you choose to get Ionian Boots of Lucidity instead of Mercury's Treads, CDR from Randuin's Omen is wasted. 9% CDR from masteries + 5.85% CDR from runes + 10% CDR from Spirit Visage + 15% CDR from Ionian Boots of Lucidity = 39.85% CDR (cap is 40%)***

    Situationnal Defensive items:

    1- Aegis of the Legion If no one else has this on your team, it's a nice team oriented item.

    2- Banshee's Veil Great versus magical burst damage and CC. If you are facing sustained magic damage, you might want to consider getting [item=Force of Nature].

    3- Guardian Angel You already have plenty of Magic Resist (from Spirit Visage and Merc Treads), this item suits you well late game. It gives you more Armor than Magic Resist. Excellent 4th/5th item to get when facing equally magic and physical damage.

    4- Sunfire Cape Decent armor with HP and AoE magic damage. Not my 1st choice (among armor items) but not a bad choice either.

    5- Randuin's Omen Great versus physical damage. Don't forget there's a "clickie" part on this item. When I'm building this item, I usually start with [item=Heart of Gold]. Thornmail can also fill that item slot if you dislike clickie items or already have enough CDR.

    6- Moonflair Spellblade Tenacity FTW!!! If you haven't bought Mercury's Treads (I assume you got Ionian Boots of Lucidity) , Moonflair Spellblade is another way to get tenacity late game. Tenacity and AP? Yes please.

    7- Abyssal Scepter Another team oriented item to get if you are in a heavy magic damage team. It helps your teammates with an aura that reduces the MR of nearby enemy champions by 20. And it gives you MR and AP.

    Snowball item:

    Mejai's Soulstealer I rarely get this item on Gragas but if I'm doing really good and I want to capitalize on my early domination, this is the item to get.

    Damage items:

    Sheen I rarely get this item on SR because I'm usually on tanking duty. On TT, Gragas transforms into a beast with this item. If you want the best item possible in terms of optimizing your damage output for the smallest gold investment, look no further than Sheen. Once you have Rabadon's Deathcap, you may consider upgrading Sheen into Lich Bane but it's not a priority.

    Rabadon's Deathcap 3600 gold is the most expensive AP item you can get. 30% more AP is that good. 140 AP + 30% should give you 182 AP. Considering Gragas' AP ratios, it will increased your damage output by a lot.

    Void Staff Facing MR stacking ennemies? 40% magic penetration is your friend. Combined with 15% magic penetration from [mastery_icon=Archaic Knowledge], it should net you with 49% magic penetration!

    Consumable items:

    Elixir of Brilliance Easy to achieve 40 % CDR with this elixir (10%), 9% from masteries, 5.85% from runes and CDR items.

    Sight Ward and Vision Ward
    Can't stress enough on this! Knowing where your ennemies are is extremely important information to know. Is it time to do dragon/baron? Do I have time for taking down top tower? Items I normally get with Gragas are not that expensive (Spirit visage, Rod of Ages and Merc Treads cost 5785 gold). Spare some of your precious gold for wards and elixir and you'll drastically increase your chance of winning. Not only junglers should buy wards, do you part and put that Map hack on!

  • Abilities

    Happy Hour
    Nice passive that helps you lane longer. It has synergies with Spirit Visage & [mastery_icon=Perseverance]

    Barrel Roll
    This is your main source of damage and harassment. Max this 1st.

    Drunken Rage
    What's not to love about this ability? Maybe the channeling part... It makes Gragas tanky without any pure tank item, it gives flat AD, reduces incoming damage, gives flat amount of mana and increases mana regen for a whooping 0 mana cost.

    Body Slam
    Gragas has a lot of mobility from this ability. Nice built-in escape mechanism. Can be used to close distance, move faster, move through wall, etc.

    Explosive Cask
    This is where you seperate wannabe Gragas from pro Gragas. I love this ult for interrupting channeled ult like Galio's ult, Mf's ult, Nunu's ult, etc. It can be used to turn a 5v5 fight into a 5v2, secure a kill, save an ally, create an opportunity for a teamfight, isolate an ennemy from his team, etc. Practice it, precision is the key!

  • Skilling Order

    Explosive Cask > Barrel Roll > Drunken Rage > Body Slam

    Solo lane:

    Take Drunken Rage at level 1 in order to establish your presence in lane.

    Duo lane:

    Take Barrel Roll at level 1 and start harrassing right off start.

  • Role in a team

    As Gragas, you should provide the following:


    With crazy mobility from Body Slam, you can easily catch ennemies out of position and make them pay for it. Explosive Cask can help you initiate a battle your team can win and prevent ennemies from escaping. You can also use Explosive Cask to isolate an ennemy from his team.


    Gragas delivers good amount of damage throughout the game (mainly magic). Your main source of damage will be Barrel Roll. And it makes tower hugging ennemies turn into gold easily.


    Your teammate has trouble in the jungle, help him ASAP. Forget about the usual path to get to him, cut through walls with your Body Slam. If you want to increase your chance of winning a teamfight, don't forget about the attack speed debuff on your Barrel Roll. Save an ally, disrupt a teamfight that you would lose otherwise with a well placed Explosive Cask.


    While you are tanky, thanks to Drunken Rage, my core build doesn't include pure tank items until late game. You can take tower hits but you are not as tanky as Rammus, Shen or Alistar. Yet, you should help your team by getting targeted. If you see an ennemy charging your carry, protect them by slowing the ennemy with Body Slam and decreasing their attack speed with Barrel Roll.

    ***Do not chase like a mad dog. While it looks tempting to chase and try to finish fleeing ennemies. Use your judgement carefully when doing so. Am I leaving behind an ally with 2 ennemies? Not every champion can go as fast as Gragas, be careful to not lead your teammates to a slaughter.***

  • Summoner Abilities

    Ignite I always take ignite with Gragas. It's an effective finishing move and a good counter to healing.

    Flash/ Ghost One of Gragas strenght is his mobility. While it seems like it's a bit too much since you already have Body Slam, it secures your advantage over your opponents. Oops my opponend used his "get out of fail card", you can do it too.

    Summoner abilities are personal choices. Other summoner abilities could do the job for you. I suggest Ignite/ Flash

  • How to farm?


    This part may seem trivial for some... Farm, farm, farm! Farm is the name of the game. Last hitting and map objectives (dragon/baron) get you gold. Gold gets you items. Items increase your damage output and your survivability. But first thing first, how do I farm? Farming as Gragas is easy. You do it in 2 parts:
    Part one, you throw a Barrel Roll and activate it.
    Part two, collect gold with Body Slam.

    Rinse & repeat.

  • Build Example

    Early game build:

    Doran's Ring
    Catalyst the Protector
    Boots of Speed

    2150 gold worth of items.

    Mid game build:

    Doran's Ring
    Rod of Ages
    Mercury's Treads
    Spirit Visage

    Those 4 items are worth 6260 gold. Not an expensive build for Gragas and he can lane/farm forever with those items.

    late game build:

    Randuin's Omen
    Rod of Ages
    Mercury's Treads
    Spirit Visage
    Aegis of the Legion
    Guardian Angel

    13235 gold worth of items and on your way to victory. Feel free to swap Randuin's Omen, Aegis of the Legion & Guardian Angel for any defensive situationnal items (see items section).

  • Updates
    Nada (read nothing) about Gragas
    Added Void Staff in damage item section
    Randuin's Omen and Shurelya's Reverie will now grant assists.

    Gragas stays the same.
    Rabadon's Deathcap base ability power reduced to 140 from 155

    Nothing about Gragas.
    Fixed a bug where Spirit Visage was granting too much bonus regeneration
    Spirit Visage now increases your lifesteal and spell vamp

    Gragas remains the same.
    Moonflair Spellblade combine cost lowered to 340 from 430.

    Nothing directly about Gragas.
    New Stat: Tenacity! No need for Mercury's Treads every single time. CDR boots + Moonflair Spellblade is now more attractive. New tenacity items allow more flexibity.

    Gragas remains untouched.
    Randuin's Omen: Cloth Armor added to the recipe. Armor increased to 75 (from 55) gold cost increased to 3075 (from 2775).

    Not much for Gragas... No love nor hatred.
    Heart of Gold is getting nerfed. Randuin's Omen gives less armor (53 down from 80) making sunfire cape/thornmail more interresting than before - april urf day

    Gragas is now sober. WTF? lol

    Nothing new for Gragas.

    Barrel Roll damage reduced to 85/135/185/235/285 from 100/150/200/250/300
    Drunken Rage mana restored while channeling reduced to 30/45/60/75/90 from 40/55/70/85/100
    another nerf!!! Was he OP to begin with? /rant

    Spirit Visage increased healing and regeneration effects reduced to 15% from 20%

    Nerf to CDR from Spirit Visage and CDR from Randuin's Omen

    Fixed a bug where Barrel Roll was not properly drawing aggro from towers and monsters
    Clarity Runes reduced in effectiveness by about 33%
    Quintessences of Fortitude reduced in effectiveness by about 20%
    All Champions with mana had their base mana regeneration increased by 2.5 mana per 5 seconds and mana regeneration per 5 seconds per level increased by 0.2
    Meditation mana regeneration reduced by 40%

    Nothing new for Gragas.

    Nothing new for Gragas. Changed from Locket Gragas to Tanky AP Gragas. It took me time to realize that Gragas was a viable pick again.
    Holy shit!?! Where to begin with? Innervating Locket has been removed! Spirit Visage and Gragas were nerfed. Looks like it's the end of this build my friends. At least, I can say that I enjoyed it while it lasted.

    Nothing new to Gragas. Aegis of the Legion and Innervating Locket no longer buff allies while the holder is dead.

    29/11/2010 Creation of the guide

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Submitted by ichi the killer

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