Gragas Build Guide

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Big Fat Drunken Protector (Tank)

written by Auster Delaurant

Gragas Build



Table of Contents

  • Abilities

    Happy Hour
    Makes you last a really really really really really long time. Every other ability you use will heal you.


    Barrel Roll
    Get it at lvl.13 and then use it sparingly... we're saving our mana for what's important


    Drunken Rage
    This is what gives Gragas his tanking ability. Priority #1: Get that cooldown below 20s


    Body Slam
    Our spammable crowd control and primary damage dealer. Also a useful escape tool, chasetool, initiator, etc.


    Explosive Cask
    Initiator and Rescuer. Use it right and your team will love you. Use it wrong and your team will hate you.


  • Updates:

    Dec 14 2010 - Published this guide
    Dec 18 2010 - Added a section called 'A Bit about Tanking', expanded my Jungling section and updated with v.1.0.0.107 items.
    Jan 09 2011 - Added subsection on Boots of Lucidity
    Jan 20 2011 - Added in this line to the Updates section.
    Mar 04 2011 - Updated with v.1.0.0.112 information

  • Introduction

    NERFED TO DEATH!!!!
    Attention all you Gragas Tank players... TANK GRAGAS IS NOW OUT OF COMMISSION! With all the nerfs between 107-112, ALL of Gragas' tanking abilities and prefered tanking items have been chopped down in power. Tank Gragas is no longer viable for competitive play. Modifying the build to create an Off-Tank may, however, be viable.

    READ ON AT YOUR OWN RISK! This guide is left here for documentation purposes only (since I put a lot of work into it) and should not be used.

    About Gragas:
    On first glance, Gragas will confuse most players. His skills have no synergy and his stats are wonky. People will try playing him AP, AD, Tank, Hybrid, whatever without seeing where he really belongs. In actual fact he can fulfill most of those roles quite well, all of his skills taking on different meanings for different builds and play styles.

    In this guide I will focus on building Gragas as a Tank.

    About the Author:
    I've been playing Gragas almost since the beginning of my LoL career. I keep experimenting and switching things up constantly as I consider different item options and enemy team composition. In all my playing I have discovered there is no one way to play any character and that it is far better to be a versitile player (especially as a Tank) than have a 'perfect build'. Thus, this guide will focus on what factors to consider rather than any single build.

  • Why tank with Gragas?

    There are many good tanks out there... why should someone use Gragas instead of any of the other?

    For starters, there are only seven champions who can be considered 'Pure Tanks'. These are: Alistar, Amumu, Cho'Gath, Gragas, Rammus, Shen, Singed. All other tanks are Off-Tanks, which are great and useful in their own right but cannot fill the role of a team's Main Tank as well as these seven.

    Each of the tanks has their own advantages, disadvantages and ideal team setups. Gragas, out of all the tanks, has the most Endurance with his passive heal, virtually unlimited mana and his constant 18% DR. This means that when the other tanks are spent and yelling 'bbbbbb', Gragas is just taking a breather before coming back in. Even his Ultimate only has a 60s cooldown which will be reduced to 36s with a proper build.

    As an Endurance Tank, Gragas works best when covering a team with a lot of staying power (Gragas/Dr.Mundo/Anivia/Ashe/Soraka, for example).

    Gragas is also one of two tanks with a short ranged teleport (and yes, it can go through walls). This makes him a great tank for a Jumping team (Gragas/Tryndamere/Corki/Kassadin/Nidalee, for example).

    Gragas has two banes. The first is Snares/Stuns. Because his primary ability Body Slam is movement based, getting Snared or Stunned severely hampers his effectiveness.

    The second is a heavy Burst Damage team. An enemy team with lots of burst damage will be able to take him down quickly as he doesn't have the burst protection that many of the other tanks have. If this happens take comfort in knowing that the enemy expended all their resources taking you out and the rest of your team will have an easy time of mopping them up.


    So in short; if you want to play a tank and you see that your team already has a lot of staying power, Gragas is the perfect compliment. If your team is mostly burst-damage based then you might want to go with someone else (I choose Alistar).

  • Stat Building Emphasis

    Regarding your Runes/Masteries/Items you want to focus on the following:
    - Cooldown Reduction
    - Health
    - Armour
    - Magic Resist
    - Health Regen

    That's it.

    What about other stuff?
    - Mana Regen isn't needed at all for this build. We won't be using Barrel Roll until forced to get it at lvl 13 and Gragas' natural Mana Regeneration in combination with his Drunken Rage is more than enough
    - Damage/AP aren't needed as a tank's job is not damage dealing. Besides, Gragas deals plenty of damage naturally (he gets +70 Damage from Drunken Rage and a pretty powerful Bodyslam). Furthermore getting higher Cooldown Reduction will allow for more spamming of Body Slam and thus higher effective Damage Output, still without needing any more Mana Regen.

  • Masteries + Runes

    For runes, any combination of the five stats (CDR, Health, Armour, MR, hp/5) will work.

    The best options for each are:
    RED - either Magic Resistance flats or if you REALLY want to, MPen.
    BLUE - Cooldown flats (with one per level so it gets up to 6% and not just slightly below it), Magic Resistance flats or even Per Levels.
    YELLOW - Dodge, Health Regeneration per level or possibly Mana Regeneration per level (this is the only concession I'm making and that's just because they are so damn efficient... at 100g value PER RUNE that means 9 of these gives you the equivalence of 900g, which is almost double the next most efficient Health Regeneration which ranks in at 57g per rune).
    QUINTS - Health, Movement Speed, Magic Resistance (flat or per level), Dodge or Health Regen flats are your best bets. I like the Move Speed because the extra mobility does comes in handy.


    For Masteries there are two valid setups for Tank Gragas:

    Defensive: 9/21/0
    Your standard setup. We go offensive instead of support mainly for the CDR and the MPen% also helps drive your bodyslams home. Critical Strike is chosen instead of +AP because surprise crits can make a huge difference in early laning. Here the Healing and Fortification spells have their masteries leveled. If you take another summoner spell then the only thing worth dumping those two points into is [mastery_text=Defensive Mastery].

    Utility: 9/0/21
    Also a nice setup for Tank Gragas. The main reason is because of the 9% CDR you get from both trees. Perseverance also synergizes well. Here the masteries for Teleport and Clairvoyance are taken. If other spells are desired then you can replace them with two more points in [mastery_text=Good Hands] as that's the only one left that's worthwhile.

    The Defensive setup will make you much more of a traditional tank with all those extra defensive stats. The Utility setup may not seem like a tank setup but I assure you it is; You will be squishier than with the Defensive setup but you'll be able to start tanking sooner with the natural +15% CDR (assuming you have 9xCDR Blues).

  • Summoner Abilities

    The top 5 summoner spells for Gragas are:
    Heal - Save yourself, save an ally... this quick pick-me-up works great with Gragas. In the laning phase always save this for an emergency because even if you get down to 100hp you'll be able to regenerate back to full insanely quickly. The same goes for the rest of the game but to a lesser degree.
    [spell=Fortify] - Help you farm in the early game and save your whole team... whenever. Since Gragas doesn't NEED any spells, he does well supporting the team by taking Fort. Every team should have this spell exactly once and the tank is usually the guy who has access to its mastery.
    Clairvoyance - As mentioned above, Gragas doesn't need any of the spells - so if your team has Fort and needs Clair, take it! Every team should have this spell exactly once. It's usually the support's job to get it, but if you happen to be going 9/0/21 and it's needed then why not?
    Teleport - Since Gragas always needs to be where the action is this spell will help get you there from farming or shopping in no time flat.
    Exhaust - Normally your body slam takes care of Crowd Control but if you just don't think it's enough, Exhaust will help you out.

    Situationally you may also desire:
    Cleanse - If you know the enemy has a lot of Stuns or Snares then this could be handy. If it's just Slows then Gragas can bodyslam out of it no problem.
    Smite - If you need to be the jungler. See the section below on Jungle Gragas for more details.
    Ignite - If you're one of those guys that just has to get ignite then you have my permission... but not my recommendation!

    You will never want to take:
    Ghost - Bodyslam gives Gragas enough manoeverability already, making Ghost redundantly redundant.
    Flash - See Ghost above but with extra redundance.
    Clarity - Gragas has no need nor desire for more mana.
    [spell=Rally] - Without the Mastery this spell is pretty much useless.
    Revive - Honestly... did you even consider it?

  • Skilling Order

    There are two good Tank setups for Gragas:


    Start with Body Slam then focus on Explosive Cask and Drunken Rage after that. Only get Barrel Roll when you've got no other options.

    With this setup you will be king of pre-wave battles. Body Slam is an amazing initater, chaser, escaper and damage dealer for a level 1 character. Plus it's spammable! Be careful though, Gragas is very squishy at level 1.

    Keep Drunken Rage up at all times. Whenever it goes down back off from the battle line until you can cast it again. Don't do ANYTHING when it is down.

    In the laning phase focus on last hitting. It is really easy to do even from far away. When an enemy unit gets low on health, Body Slam into him then auto attack once and run away. Even if your opponents are guarding the line, the speed with which you can do this, coupled with the high defenses granted by Drunken Rage means you're sure to get the gold and get out with your skin intact (unless you're down past 50% health... which you can quickly get back). Plus the enemy will probably try to chase you down afterwards, taking them away from their own last-hitting. Win!

    You can also use Body Slam to harass the enemy. Launch yourself at them, hit them once with your auto-attack, then run away. It'll take a nice chunk of health out (especally if they're the only target of your BS) and, as with last-hitting, will probably piss them off.


    The second tank setup is:


    With this setup you get Barrel Roll at level 1 instead of Body Slam, then continue with your priorities. With this setup you'll be using BR to farm and harass instead of BS at the beginning, then start ignoring BR in the mid-game. Some people may enjoy the extra range which you can harass your foes with and the incredible farming potential in the lane. I don't use this build at all because you'll be ignoring the skill anyways in Team Fights (you just won't have the mana for it until later levels) so it's a wasted point that could have been used to beef up your Body Slam.

  • Items

    Oh items... the most daunting part of this guide.

    As mentioned before, the five stats you want are:
    - Cooldown Reduction
    - Health
    - Armour
    - Magic Resistance
    - Health Regeneration

    Keep this in mind with everything you buy.

    Your first priority is getting 20% CDR to bring the cooldown of Drunken Rage down to 20s. Eventually (or immediately) you'll want to get your CDR down as close to 40% as possible to give you some 'breathing room' where you can cast Drunken Rage before the previous one expires. That way you can be sure to have it up constantly. With Runes and Masteries you'll already have some CDR, as shown by the following list:

    9/21/0 Masteries: 3%
    9/0/21 Masteries: 9%
    9xCDR Blues: +6%

    Meaning you should already have between 3-15% CDR from Runes and Masteries.

    Top candidates to bump up your CDR even more:
    Spirit Visage - this is by far the best item for Gragas. Its passive stacks with Gragas' passive to give you awesome health regeneration.
    Glacial Shroud to Frozen Heart - This is a cheap and effective way to bump up your CDR even more. With the CDR nerf to this item you will likely need to upgrade it in order to reach 40%. The mana on it is kind of a waste as Gragas doesn't use a lot of it... still, it could mean a few more Barrel Rolls at higher levels or slightly more Body Slam endurance (not that you'll ever really need it).
    Randuin's Omen - This is an amazing item for any tank and Gragas is no exception. I consider this to be a core Armour item. Note that after the latest patch (1.0.0.107) the Cooldown Reduction was reduced to a measely 5%, making it definitely not a prime CDR candidate. However even if one were to ignore the CDR on this item completely it would still be an efficient item, meaning that it should be considered a prime candidate as a source of Armour even after you've hit your CDR cap, without worrying that you're wasting money.
    Shurelya's Reverie - This item is only useful if you can take good advantage of its active ability. Otherwise the gold efficiency is rather low compared to other items.
    Ionian Boots of Lucidity - These boots are a cheap and convenient way to bump your CDR. I don't like them on Gragas for two reasons: (1) they are not a cost effective source of CDR by any calculation and (2) the passive benefits from defensive boots (Dodge% or CC Reduction) are far more beneficial.

    No other CDR item should be considered.

    Example CDR Cores
    9/21/0 Masteries, 9x CDR Blues: +9%
    Spirit Visage: +10%
    Frozen Heart: +20%
    TOTAL ::: 39%

    9/0/21 Masteries, 9x CDR Blues: +15%
    Spirit Visage: +10%
    [item_text=Shurlya's Reverie]: +15%
    TOTAL ::: 40%

    Next you're gonna want a pair of boots. These should be either Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads depending on enemy composition; if they are magic or CC heavy, get Mercury... if they are auto-attack or physical heavy get Tabi. When in doubt go for Merc.

    That takes care of 3 items... now what are you going to want for the rest? Well, it depends! The following list is all the items I've experimented with using Gragas:

    [item=Force of Nature] - If you're going against a heavy magic team this item is a must. High MR and the passive gives you yet more regeneration, which actually synergizes with Spirit Visage!
    Warden's Mail - Not only a stepping stone to Randuin's but also an amazing item in its own right! Consider getting another one of these after Randuin's if you need more Armour.
    Warmog's Armor - very useful with Gragas and makes him a monster of endurance. Two drawbacks are (1) you need to get it first thing, delaying your CDR purchase (and thus your early tanking effectiveness) and (2) all that health makes you seem like even less of a target, hindering your tanking abilities.
    Sunfire Cape - If your team lacks damage output AND you're going up against a heavy physical team, get this item. Note: This is the only item you should ever get to boost your damage output. Remember though that defense trumps damage, so if you are having survivability issues then ignore this item.
    Banshee's Veil - If you're going up against a really heavy magic team and you've already gotten Force of Nature, consider this item. Always go FoN first though.
    Aegis of the Legion - If you're failing at your tanking job and other people are getting targetted instead of you, get one of these. That shouldn't happen though.
    Leviathan - Cost effective if you can hold 7 charges. I don't like it much because it gives you an 'i don't wanna die' mentality rather than 'anything for the team'. Still, if you can somehow get max charges with it (which I never have) then that means 45% Damage Reduction (or 49% with [mastery_text=Tenacity]).
    [item=Heart of Gold] - This is a fine item as a stand-alone even if you don't want a Randuin's Omen. One game I tried stacking a bunch of these. I lost the game but it was an interesting experiment.

    MISTAKES TO NEVER GET:
    Thornmail - Even though it grants you high armour it will discourage the enemy team from attacking you... which you don't want. Thornmail is most useful for an Off-Tank or a Melee-DPSer, not a Main Tank.
    Rylai's Crystal Scepter - At first glance this may seem to synergize well with Gragas. Unfortunately it grants too little health for cost to be an effective Tank item and all of Gragas' spells are considered AoE, making it only grant 15% slow (for 1.5s after the latest nerf). I wouldn't even consider it for AP Gragas.
    Guardian Angel - Seriously, why would a Tank ever get this? It isn't at all cost effective and the passive revive is only useful situations where you want to escape from a team fight underway - which Gragas will rarely ever want to do (he'd rather be in the middle of the fray, dying for his team like the big fat man he is). On top of that, the glowing white wings scream 'don't attack me... there's no point'! If you want blanket protection get an Aegis of the Legion instead... heck, get a second one and it'll still be better than GA on a Tank.
    Quicksilver Sash - though in theory it's useful, in practice not so much. This item is most useful for carries who want an emergency slam button if they get CCed, not for tanks who want to stick around anyways. As with Cleanse, only even kinda useful against stuns... for slows, Gragas can just Body Slam away.
    Rod of Ages - Great for AP Gragas, not for Tank Gragas. If you're considering this item then you're not thinking Tank.


    ---

    Starting Items
    At the beginning of the game, Gragas wants Health Regeneration in some form or another. He doesn't need mana (Drunken Rage at lvl.2 will take care of that) and he should be durable enough to handle any kind of mini-harass or jump. You want to start establishing yourself as an Unphaseable Wall right away.

    The two items that'll do this for you are Doran's Shield and Regrowth Pendant. They are both useful and you won't regret going with either one. Doran will give you a bit more burst-proofing and general survivability whereas Regrowth will give you more staying power against harassers and will be transformable later on. With the second item turn it into either [item=Force of Nature] later in the game or Warmog's Armor if you're trying that one out.

    Obviously, the rest of your cash is going to want to turn into Health Potions.

    ---

    So, to recap... your starter core should look like this:
    [builder=Gragas/7b5897a0821b18504cfe7fe6840f7a1a]

    And an example of a balanced final build:
    [builder=Gragas/1da4cf28e41102e676638890a6287bea]

  • A Bit about Tanking

    We are playing a tank. But what is a tank exactly?

    The tank's job is to keep everyone else alive and in battle. His job isn't taking damage, that's simply the primary method he uses to do his job. A tank also needs Crowd Control abilities to compliment his massiveness as slowing/stunning/repositioning a threatening foe is just as important as being able to take that foe's response.

    A tank's job is not dealing damage and it is not threatening the enemy. A tough guy who does that is called an 'off-tank'... the Off-Tank is the tough guy who gets attention by going after the enemy carry. A tank's job is PURELY DEFENSIVE and any damage he deals as a result of him doing his job is incidental. The Off-Tank says to the enemy "Kill me or I'm gonna get you!" The Main Tank says "Kill me or else you won't be able to touch my teammates".

    If ANY of your teammates dies while you're around it is not their fault, it is YOUR fault. Even if they do something uncharacteristically stupid (which you should discourage... only you get to do that). You are the guardian protector of your whole team and you are responsible for their lives. If that means sacrificing your own to keep them safe then so be it; a good body guard needs to be willing to take a bullet for his team.

    Dying, in fact, can be a good initiation tool against a heavy burst team. If you run in and do something stupid on purpose the enemy team will target you and take you down. As they're doing that your team is moving in and picking them off. When you die 2 seconds later (or faster if they're really bursty) all of their big abilities will be on cooldown and easy pickings for the rest of your team.

    TANKS SHOULD NEVER GET KILLS!

    If you ever get a kill when someone else is around you made a mistake. Make it clear to your team that you don't WANT kills and that they should feel free to KS from you. It's true that you need money too but you need far less of it than your Carry and what you get from farming and assists should be plenty (and if you're doing your job right then every single kill made should grant you an assist). If there's nobody else around or if it's just you and the Support (who needs kills even less than you - unless they have a Mejai's), feel free to take it. At all other times just crowd control and pursue until your team either catches the guy or it's clear that the only way he'll die is if you take him down.

  • Being the Drunk

    Now that you know all the technical stuff lets get down and dirty. I am a strong proponent of Method Acting, so you're gonna want to try getting into character. Get piss drunk and go outside running into people and throwing stuff around. Do it now.

    ...

    Ok, you're back? So what happened? You should have accomplished the following:
    1) You made a big ruckus and everyone started looking at you
    2) You pissed everyone off, including your friends
    3) You caused some damage without even intending it to happen
    4) Other people around you took advantage of your distracting presence for their own needs
    5) You had great fun!

    These are all things that happen with Gragas.

    Positioning Phase
    Tank Gragas will either want to be in a Dual lane or a Solo lane with a preference on the former. Body slam into the bushes to surprise your enemies. If they weren't there, do the same with the next set. If they weren't there, either hide in the bushes like a coward or go stand in the middle of the path and do your hump-dance to try and goad your enemy into attacking. Call them dirty names if they refuse.

    Laning Phase
    Gragas is a harassing nightmare and a last-hit wonder, both thanks to Body Slam.

    Once the creeps arrive start playing defensively until you hit level 2 and get Drunken Rage. Then you can start having fun. The first thing you want to try and accomplish is zoning your enemies away from their creeps by running around to line up a Body Slam. If it works then use your auto-attack only to last hit and save your body slam to scare them away. Even if there's no hope of landing, body slam towards them then walk back and you will keep them scared.

    If it doesn't work then go back to your side of the creep line and last-hit creeps until you heal up (which should be fairly quickly), then rinse and repeat.

    Last-Hitting with Gragas is easy. First of all you'll be dealing massive damage with your Auto-Attack thanks to Drunken Rage. Secondly you've got a spammable Body Slam that you're gonna want to cast to heal yourself anyways (and if you don't need to heal then you're not harassing enough). Bodyslam-> Auto-Attack is both great for Harassing and for Last Hitting.

    If the enemy starts to get the upper hand then back away from the creep line. When you see an enemy creep getting low then run in, body slam, auto attack (either the creep if he's still alive or an enemy hero if you killed the creep with BS) then get out of there. Only do this when you've got enough health to survive though.

    If the enemy REALLY starts to get the upper hand then just hang back at your tower and do your hump-dance.

    If all goes well and you don't die you've got enough staying power to remain in your lane until the Laning Phase is over. Quite often I hit level 9 or higher before my first trip back to base. If this happens, make sure you go back and buy some gear before moving to another lane.

    Ganking Sub-Phase
    Gragas is great around this time. He's got great durability and his Body Slam is an amazing escape mechanism so you have less to worry about when it comes to being Ganked. Gragas can also gank mid well, especially after getting Explosive Cask. Simply go into the side bushes, wait for the enemy to cross mid-point, then Body Slam in to close the distance and Explosive Cask the bugger to bring him to your partner's side. If your cask hits well then that's a guaranteed kill.

    Team Fights
    Oh the team fight... Gragas' playground.

    Initiation
    Gragas has two main initiation tools:
    1) Use Explosive Cask to scatter the enemy and hopefully send 1 or 2 towards your team, then Body Slam the enemy to keep him around.
    2) Use Body Slam to get in the middle of the enemy and hope that your team is right behind you, then either save Explosive Cask to disrupt an enemy ultimate or use it right away to scatter the enemy and cause havok and confusion among their ranks.

    In Combat
    Once the fight starts Gragas wants to get people to attack him. To do this he has three main tools:
    1) Positioning - be in a position where the enemy has no other valid target to choose from.
    2) Make Noise - All of your abilities make a noticeable noise and flashy graphic display so pump them out and make the enemy notice you.
    3) Pull the enemy in - Using Body Slam will slow the enemy and make him either have to (A) Limp slowly to where he was going or (B) attack you.

    Practically speaking this is what you'll want to do:
    1) Keep Drunken Rage up at all times
    2) Get yourself in the middle of the fray
    3) Keep Body Slamming anyone who wants to leave you

    If you drop below 1/3 health then get out of there. The enemy is probably going to be chasing you so try to lead them beside your carry but not straight into him. If they chase then keep running. As soon as they stop and turn around try to goad them on either by Body Slamming back into them or throwing a Barrel Roll (if you have it) to pester them. If they don't take the bait then hang around and heal up either by throwing barrels into the mix or Body Slamming the air. That way you're close by in case your team needs to flee or they need you to help clean up. Once either the enemy thins or you heal back to a sufficient amount get back in there and do your thing.

    Cleaning Up
    If the fight goes your way then Body Slam down any runners so that your team can mop them up or try to Explosive Cask them back towards your team. Careful with EC though... try to shoot it so that the targetting circle is completely in front of them so that they run into it, otherwise you'll be helping them to escape.

    When chasing down an enemy, body slam then auto-attack ONCE. Then run ahead of him to muddle with his pathing, attack again if you can and keep body slamming him whenever it comes off cooldown. Whenever he recovers from your slow, stop attacking and just run with him untill your cooldown refreshes. Always try to always keep ahead or beside him... not chasing behind him, that way if he tries to Ghost or Flash past you then you can still take care of it and it'll make him want to take longer routes through the jungle to try and shake you. Also it'll be easier to line up an Explosive Cask when it gets off Cooldown. This is doubly important if you have teammates following as they can take care of the damaging part, but even if you're alone keeping with your foe is vitally important. If you have exhaust try to cast it just before the slow from your body slam ends.

    Fleeing
    If the fight turns sour then your team will need to flee. Your first priority is to get everyone else to safety. If you can save even one of your teammates by bodyslamming back into the mix then do it (and hope that your teammate won't turn around and try to help you in return). A better option of course, if it's off cooldown, is Explosive Cask. Again, try to throw it so that the whole target reticule is in front of your enemy... you wouldn't want to boost him right into your fleeing friends!

    If you don't think you can help then just body slam your butt out of there.

    More Body Slamming Tricks
    Oh Body Slamming,
    How plentiful are your ways,
    How useful you are.

    The first thing you need to understand is that Body Slam is cheap so use it and use it often. Finished shopping and you need to run back to your lane? Spam Body Slam to quicken your way! An enemy getting in your business? Body slam back (or forwards) instead of walking.

    I don't care how good your opponent is, people can only react so quickly. Body Slam is FAST... so use it to close the gap and harass then walk away and chances are you'll be halfway to safety before they even realize they had a chance to do something about it. Try to judge their gut reactions... if their first instinct is to run away from you after you slam them then keep doing it! If, on the other hand, it's 'pound the flying fat man' then hesitate.

    Something most new Gragas Players don't realize is that Body Slam can work through walls. That's right... any wall that the head of the arrow reaches the other side of is a hidden Gragas pathway. This opens up so many options when it comes to chasing, fleeing and initiating, whether it's just cutting a corner to get an advantage or going through a solid wall which your enemy didn't think was crossable. You won't be able to get through the thick walls like Flash will get you but most thin to medium ones are good to go. If you have time to check then see if the whole head of the arrow passes through. When in doubt, try it! You'll be surprised how useful it is.

    A fun trick is running into the side bushes of mid while an enemy is chasing you then body slamming through the wall quickly. When he gets to the bushes he'll have no clue where you went.

    Try it in reverse... body slam into bushes when your enemy is close by (especially if he just checked the bushes) then come out and fight him... he'll have no clue where you came from.

    Try body slamming before an Explosive Cask or Barrel Roll to add a surprising amount of range to the other ability.

    More Explosive Cask Tricks
    This ability is more than just throw->boom... when used right, it's more like throw->boom->'hee hee hee'.

    I already touched on using it for Initiating, Fleeing and Rescuing. Another fun trick is throwing an unsuspecting foe into your tower. When preceeded by a Body Slam you can do this from a surprising distance.

    The cask isn't only useful for forwards/backwards manipulation. If you have two enemies standing side by side and you dont want to fight them both, throw the cask between them then take your pick.

    Nothing is more disruptive than EC. When hit it sends your enemies flying, has a big explosive graphic and they'll have no clue where they or their teammates are for half a second. Use this disorientation to your advantage even in the middle of a team fight. Throw your enemies every which way and their first instinct is to struggle to regroup instead of taking advantage of their possibly better situation.

    Another use in initiating is instead of throwing one of their guys towards you, throw one of them back or to the side. If all you can reach is the Tank then throw your barrel at him to push him back to his friends. That way their whole team is thinner and their squishies will be more accessible to your carries.

  • Jungling with Gragas

    Pre-Jungle Setup
    It is possible to Jungle with Gragas without any runes so any combination you already have will work. In fact it is even possible to do this Jungle routine without Masteries but in order to do so your timing needs to be PERFECT.

    For Masteries I like to use the 9/21/0 setup for jungling and this guide is designed for that. There may be a way to make the 9/0/21 setup work as well if you start with the two little golems but there's no way you can take out the Big Golem at level 1 without Heal. Remember to take Smite with its mastery!

    For summoner spells, take Smite and Heal.

    Start with one Cloth Armor and 5x Health Potions. The armour can either turn into a Ninja Tabi, if the enemy has a lot of auto-attackers, or [item=Heart of Gold] otherwise which can be turned into Randuin's Omen later if you're facing a balanced team or chucked if you're facing an all magic team.

    Your skill setup should be:


    Start with Drunken Rage. The 30 extra damage on each strike and defensive bonus are far superior than what you get from either of the two other skills. Jungling with Barrel Roll at level 2 actually is slightly stronger since it does full damage to multiple targets and slows their Attack Speed ever so slightly, but since I like to move right into my Tanking build from the Jungle I ignore that spell. If it's your first time jungling with Gragas then consider taking Barrel Roll at level 2 and continue with the progression as is.

    Short Order
    Start with the Ancient Golem and work your way down, keeping Drunken Rage and a Health Potion going at all times. Go back to town before taking on the Lizard Elder. First Ganking opportunity is after Lizard Elder.

    Your health is going to drop dangerously low at times but don't panic; keep going and make sure to keep DR and HPs going and you'll make it through.

    Step by Step through the Jungle
    When jungling, start from the Ancient Golem. He is very difficult for Gragas to take out at level one so pull out all the stops. Stand right next to the Golem and use Drunken Rage JUST before engaging so that the spell lasts for the whole fight. Start out with a Smite, and then IMMEDIATELY use your first Health Potion. When your health gets down low use Heal. Kill the Golem first then clean up the little guys. Drunken Rage should run out just before you kill him and you'll see your life falling a bit faster. Don't panic - he'll go down. Note that your Health Potion will run out soon after Drunken Rage so it may be wise to use your second one right away before the first runs out. Keep attacking the Golem until he dies and start on the little guys, recasting Drunken Rage as soon as the cooldown timer hits 0. If any of the enemy champions attack you as you are fighting the Golem, run IMMEDIATELY. You will not be able to finish the golem with even the slightest amount of damage taken from other sources.

    If all goes well you should almost be ready to level. Make your way over to The Wolves and wait for your Drunken Rage timer to run out. Cast it again and make sure you have a healing potion running. Kill the first little wolf to level up and quickly take Body Slam (use CTRL+E to level it quickly). Use Body Slam on the other little wolf, trying to catch only him if you can. Beat down the other little wolf and then take down the big guy.

    After you have killed the wolves don't cast Drunken Rage again right away. First, cross over and to The Wraiths. Smite should be back up; cast Drunken Rage then use Smite on the big wraith and mop up the little guys with Body Slam and your Auto-Attack, trying to hit as few targets as possible with your Body Slam. Go over behind the two golems, cast Drunken Rage again,make sure you have a Health Potion running and Body Slam through the wall (it'll save you a couple of seconds rather than walking all the way around), aiming your Body Slam at one of the sides to hit only one of the golems with it. Finish off the pair. Congratulations, you've gotten through the first round of Jungling!

    Go back to town and pick up your next item, a Ruby Crystal. This will either turn into a [item=Heart of Gold] in combination with your Cloth Armor or be the first steps towards your Spirit Visage.

    Get back down to the Lizard Elder and take his buff. He should be a piece of cake... just start out with Drunken Rage on and a Health Potion running and bash out the two little guys with Body Slam and your auto-attack. Then Smite the elder and alternate with Body Slam and Auto-Attacking until he's dead. If your Drunken Rage falls off, ignore it and keep slamming.

    You now have both buffs and you are low on health. Go back home and freshen up.

    Check the lanes. Could any of them use a gank? If so, go and slam into one of your enemies. Does one of your friends wants to go back and shop? Take over his lane for a few seconds. If you've got nothing to do then just pop your head out to keep them on their toes and go back through the jungle one more time.

    At this point you should be beefy enough slam through the jungle with your eyes closed. Keep tabs on all the lanes as you go through. Keep your eyes peeled for ganking opportunities. If there aren't any then you should still bodyslam through the lanes once in a while to keep the enemy on their toes. For items, get Boots if you haven't already, then contine on with your standard core (starting with Spirit Visage 'cus that's the most awesome).

    Final Notes
    Wards could be helpful but honestly, Gragas shouldn't need them. Learn which walls you can Bodyslam through if you need to make a quick escape, keep yourself above half health (after the first run) and pay attention to enemy misses. Do that and you should never be killed while jungling.

    Forget about doing the Dragon. If the enemy has a strong Jungler it may be worthwhile to put up a ward there to try and catch him in a gank but don't try to kill the dragon on your own... you'll just embarass yourself.

    Gragas isn't the easiest jungler so it may be beneficial to do a dry run in a custom game vs. a single computer opponent just to get a feel for what you need to do.

    Your health is going to drop dangerously low on your first run. Don't panic! Keep Drunken Rage and Health Potions going at all times and you'll get through.

  • Other Resources

    Gragas - Body Slammin' Cask Cannon - This is the best Graga guide (other than mine) on the site. It has inspired me more than any other guide out there and even though I now disagree with many of the technical points in there his basic theory and play style is flawless.
    Tank Items - A guide I wrote mathcrafting all of the items a tank will want to consider. All of the items relevent for Gragas were outlined here though.
    How to Tank correctly - An excellent guide presenting the basics of Tanking. A must read for any new tanker.
    Delepitore's Comprehensive Guide; Improvement 101 - Just a damn good guide with so much useful information in it.
    Smart Gaming Mindset: Basics - Must read guide for anyone.



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