Gragas Build Guide

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Gragas - Body Slammin' Cask Cannon

written by Kreicus

Gragas Build

Table of Contents

  • Abilities

    Happy Hour
    Good passive, usually all I need for early lane healing.

    Barrel Roll
    Strong early on, weak later on without an AP focus, can be a mana hog.

    Drunken Rage
    Your protection, your mana regen, your damage, nice.

    Body Slam
    Short cooldown AOE slow, strong damage combined with Drunken Rage.

    Explosive Cask
    The Ultimate Ultimate, looks great, sounds great, disrupts great.

    See Champion Skills Section for detailed descriptions and uses.

  • --- Change Log ---

    Last Updated: 05/241/11
    It's amazing how a few small changes over the months can force a build to change, in order to achieve the same goal. This is what I'm currently attempted here.

    The problem started when Drunken Rage's cooldown decreased to 25 seconds, now only needing 20% CDR to make permanent. Then Explosive Cask cooldown went up to 90/75/60, meaning you couldnt get a 40 second ult early game. Then Drunken Rage's defense bonus got reduced making Gragas less sturdy. Finally, new CDR items (especially Ionian's Boots of Lucidity) entered the game and now it looks like CDR items will most likely change next patch.

    The solution will most likely be to rework build order. CDR was rushed to get Explosive Cask and Drunken Rage usable often. Explosive Cask wont get where it was till at least level 16, and Drunken Rage can be set permanent a lot sooner, therefore the need for CDR early has changed. This leaves the build open for other possibilities, going more tanky, or more AP. This is what I will be working on, and will probably make this guide more rounded and give multiple builds ranging from full tank to full AP.

    I've added in [item_text=Morello's Evil Tome] since it seems like the perfect item for Gragas. I've never really tried it, here's a copy of whats written further down...
    [item=Morello's Evil Tome]
    For an AP focused Gragas this is a nice item giving both Ability Power and Cooldown Reduction (and mana regen). The 20% CDR will more then meet the requirements for permanent Drunken Rage.
    I have yet to use this in a game though, going offensive I'm usually drawn towards a higher AP item (this one happens to be the lowest finished AP item all things considered), and when going defensive, I'm drawn towards more defensive CDR items. I will give this a try as possibly my first item and report back soon.

    Patch: - Notable Changes
    Fixed a bug that was causing the line missile targeting display to be offset on the following spells: Renekton's Slice and Dice, Kog'Maw's Void Ooze, Shen's Shadow Dash, Corki's Valkyrie and Missile Barrage, Morgana's Dark Binding, and Gragas's Body Slam

    New Stat: Tenacity
    Tenacity reduces the duration of stuns, slows, taunts, fears, snares, sleeps, silences, blinds and immobilizes by 1% per point. Multiple Tenacity effects do not stack, but Tenacity does stack multiplicatively with other disable reductions (for example Irelia's Ionian Fervor).
    New Item: Cloak and Dagger
    +20% Attack Speed
    +20% Critical Strike Chance
    +25 Tenacity
    New Item: Moonflair Spellblade
    +50 Ability Power
    +25 Tenacity
    New Item: Eleisa's Miracle
    +25 Health Regen per 5 sec
    +20 Mana Regen per 5 sec
    +25 Tenacity
    Mercury Treads now grant +35 Tenacity.
    Sunfire Cape area of effect damage per second reduced to 35 from 40

    Gragas got a tweak on hit targeting display, nothing major. New items, for the new stat Tenacity, which is pretty much another term for CC Reduction. Of these items, the last 2 may be usable. Moreso with the second one, the Elaisa's Miracle. This may be useful to replace Mercury's Treads to another type of boot and still have a decent amount of CC reduction, and some regen. I'll test em out soon.

    Small Rant: Regarding Gragas' new skin 'Gragas Esq.' I'm a bit disappointed... The preview image shows his tie is made up from his beard, in game he has the ugliest yellow tie imaginable. :(

  • Introduction - "Let's get this party started"

    The main focus of this guide will be for a Tank/Tough Gragas using a combination of Cooldown/Health/Regen. However with recent changes, alternative AP/Tank builds are now included as well.

    3 Traits make up a Tank; Initiating The Fight, Provoking The Attacks, Withstanding The Damage.

    Gragas accomplishes this with; Explosive Cask, Body Slam, Drunken Rage.

    This guide will discuss how to best use these 3 skills, and what types of runes, masteries and items synergize well with these skills. The way I build is with cooldown reduction items. Most importantly this allows you to have Drunken Rage active at all times increasing your durability. Cooldown for the other skills is always helpful, since you can initiate, and keep the enemy team slowed down more often. Once cooldown is reached (at least 20% for permanent Drunken Rage), health and some regen will be all you need. Builds will be detailed at the end, however I advice you to read through the guide to get information on his skill use and different item choices that may not be included in the example builds.

    This guide is intended for Summoner's Rift only, but since the core items are relatively cheap they may work well for Twisted Treeline as well, I will update for TT after some testing.

    Questions, comments, ratings, fixes and requested additions are all greatly appreciated, thanks.


  • Summary - "Don't get pushy"

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

    Masteries: 9/21/0

    Summoner Spells: Ghost OR Flash - Cleanse OR Exhaust OR Ignite

    Skilling Order:
    Explosive Cask > Drunken Rage OR Barrel Roll > Body Slam

    *Offensive Build*
    Starting Item:
    Doran's Ring or [item=Meki Pendant]
    Core Items:
    Doran's Ring Mercury's Treads Blasting Wand Blasting Wand Needlessly Large Rod
    Final Build:
    [item=Morello's Evil Tome] Mercury's Treads Rylai's Crystal Scepter
    Zhonya's Hourglass Abyssal Scepter Rabadon's Deathcap

    Offensive Build Examples:
    Offensive Level 11 --- Offensive Level 18

    *Defensive Build*
    Starting Item:
    Doran's Ring or Sapphire Crystal
    Core Items:
    Doran's Ring Mercury's Treads Glacial Shroud Spirit Visage
    Final Build:
    Frozen Heart Mercury's Treads Spirit Visage
    [item=Force of Nature] Banshee's Veil Rylai's Crystal Scepter

    Defensive Build Examples:
    Defensive Level 11 --- Defensive Level 18

    All builds are detailed further below

  • Pros / Cons - "Yeah, yeah"

    -Damage buff
    -Escape ability
    -Large, easy to target
    -Slows and pushes enemies
    -Does not require high cost equipment

    -Large, easy to target
    -Enemy minions can disrupt Body Slam
    -Explosive Cask does not always synergize well with other champion abilities

  • Masteries - "Time to roll out the barrel"

    Masteries are always players choice, these are suggestions only.

    Link to Masteries: 9/21/0

    Masteries in bold are the main ones to get, the others can be changed as you need.


    -[mastery_text=Cripple](1/3) -25 Armor/Magic Resist, +.5s
    -[mastery_text=Archmage's Savvy](3/3) Ability Power +0.6/Level (10.8 @ Level 18)
    -Sorcery(4/4) Cooldown Reduction +3%
    -[mastery_text=Archaic Knowledge](1/1) Spell Penetration +15%

    -Resistance(3/3) Magic Resistance +6
    -Hardiness(3/3) Armor +6
    -Strength of Spirit(3/3) Health Regeneration +0.3% * Max Mana
    -[mastery_text=Harden Skin](3/3) Blocks 2 Damage
    -[mastery_text=Veteran's Scars](4/4) Health +48
    -[mastery_text=Willpower](1/1) Cleanse Cooldown -20s
    -[mastery_text=Ardor](3/3) Ability Power & Attack Speed +4%
    -[mastery_text=Tenacity](1/1) Reduce damage by 4%

    -[mastery_text=Cripple] A must get if you choose exhaust.
    -Sorcery Cooldown is extremely beneficial to Gragas, the 3% here is needed to reach the 40% cap.
    -[mastery_text=Archaic Knowledge] 15% Magic Penetration will help all your skills, including Body Slam.
    -[mastery_text=Veteran's Scars]Gragas is most week early game, the extra 60 health provides needed durability during laning.
    -[mastery_text=Tenacity] 4% reduced damage combines well with Drunken Rage giving ~22% total reduction.

    [mastery_text=Evasion] and [mastery_text=Nimbleness] (Dodge Masteries) can be taken in place of other defensive masteries if you choose to be more defensive, if so Greater Seal of Evasion will be needed to gain the most benefit.

  • Runes - "Dodge this!"

    Runes are always players choice, these are suggestions only.

    Primary Choices:
    Greater Mark of Insight
    Greater Quintessence of Insight
    I generally prefer some sort of defense penetration to help with early laning while still being useful late game. Gragas will get most of his last hits from Barrel Roll and/or Body Slam, both of which will benefit from Magic Penetration. These two sets of runes will net you a flat magic penetration at just over 14 and an additional 15% from Archaic Knowledge mastery.
    Nine Marks = 8.55 Magic Penetration
    Three Quints = 5.67 Magic Penetration
    Total Penetration = 14.22 Magic Penetration

    Greater Seal of Clarity
    Greater Glyph of Clarity
    Gragas has his own mana regen from Drunken Rage so getting more may seem like overkill. However, the only limiting factor for using abilities is your mana pool (and later cooldown). Therefore having a good starting mana regeneration is quite helpful. As an added benefit, being able to use your abilities more often will let you heal with your Happy Hour more often. These two sets of runes will surpass a [item_text=Meki Pendant] (7 MP/5) at level 7 (7.56 MP/5). The total numbers for these runes combined with Gragas' stats are...
    Nine Seals = 0.585 MP/5 (Level 1) -> 10.53 MP/5 (Level 18)
    Nine Glyphs = 0.495 MP/5 (Level 1) -> 08.91 MP/5 (Level 18)
    Gragas Regen = 6.900 MP/5 (Level 1) -> 14.55 MP/5 (Level 18)
    Total M.Regen = 7.980 MP/5 (Level 1) -> 33.99 MP/5 (Level 18)
    (Numbers taken from League of Legends official site)

    Alternate Choices:
    Not many other choices of marks, however, if you decide to go attack damage consider...
    Greater Mark of Desolation, Greater Mark of Malice

    If you wish to be more defensive, take [mastery_text=Evasion] and [mastery_text=Nimbleness] masteries and choose...
    Greater Seal of Evasion

    If you are comfortable with your mana regen needs then consider more magic defense, or improved cooldown reduction...
    Greater Glyph of Shielding, Greater Glyph of Focus
    Greater Quintessence of Shielding, Greater Quintessence of Focus

  • Summoner Spells - "I'm on it"

    Summoner Spells are always players choice, these are suggestions only.

    Almost always take...
    I never liked flash and find that ghost gets me further and faster to the point where I can usually catch most people who flash flee. One Body Slam will near make the distance flash would get you. Be warned though, there seems to be what I consider a bug with Ghost in that if you are slowed while active it will ignore the fact that you are ghosted and slow you as normal.


    Flash is often more popular then ghost but isn't really needed for Gragas. Body Slam can give you many of the benefits of flash, and without the [mastery_text=Presence of the Master] and [mastery_text=Blink of an Eye] masteries to back it up, you may not get much use out of it.

    An escape/initiate ability is always nice to have

    Choice of...
    Though not as powerful as it once was, Cleanse is still quite effective and often unexpected. I think all Tanks need cleanse, not because they are squishy, but because the timing of their initiating ability is critical in what they do. Begin able to cleanse out of snares and stuns will save you and your teammates often.



    These two spells may seem more appropriate for Carrys or Gankers as they help a lot in 1 on 1 fights. However, they also work well for Tanks. Tanks can take a beating but lack the damage output of a Carry. When you're jumped, ignite and exhaust can help you either kill or get away from an attack. More importantly, in team fights, you can assist your team with these spells also. Never forget the secondary effect of these spells. Ignite doesn't just damage, it also hinders healing, Exhaust doesn't just slow, it also causes the target to miss. Exhaust the Carry or Ignite against any major healers.

  • Champion Skills - "Fight time!"

    Happy Hour (Passive)
    Happy hour is an anti-harasser passive. The health regen, especially early game is a big help. Because it is a % regen it will scale with you as you gain health through items and leveling. It works the similar to Garen's Perseverance (.5% per second = 2% per 4 seconds). Gragas can keep his active while being hit, but must keep using abilities to do so.

    Key Points of Happy Hour:

    -The Spirit Visage can boost this healing (more info in the items section).

    -Using abilities back to back will reset the timer causing you to miss some healing (try to wait 4 seconds for refresh).

    -With masters/runes, without items the benefit is...
    Level 1 - 451 Health - 9 HP/4 - 11 HP/5 - 300 Gold Value (Rejuvenation Bead+)
    Level 11 - 1431 Health - 29 HP/4 - 36 HP/5 - 1120 Gold Value (2 Regrowth Pendant + Rejuvenation Bead-)
    Level 18 - 2054 Health - 41 HP/4 - 51 HP/5 - 1555 Gold Value (3 Regrowth Pendant + Rejuvenation Bead-)

    Barrel Roll (Q)
    This ability works well early game as a farming tool. With the long range, the delayed blast, and the utility of debuffing enemy champions of their attack speeds there is much you can do to harass during laning.

    Key Points of Barrel Roll:

    -High damage, starting at 100 and adding 50 per level (300 at level 5). A .9 AP ratio.

    -Hitting enemy (attack speed) carry's will allow the attack speed debuff (20/35/30/35/40%) to be most effective.

    -The player controlled delay on this ability is very handy, especially during the laning phase. You are able to roll a barrel into the fighting minions and let it sit till you are able to get a few last hits.

    -During the laning phase, enemy melee champions will be afraid to get close to the barrel, keeping an unexploded barrel at the fighting minions will prevent them from getting last hits in.

    -While friendly minions are attacking the enemy tower, drop the barrel at the base of the tower to again prevent the enemies from attacking them, unless they want to take barrel damage.

    -While harassing a lane, try to roll the barrel behind the enemy champion, between them and their tower. People will usually back away when they see the barrel this will cause them to walk right into it most of the time. This is also what you should do while chasing someone.

    Drunken Rage (W)
    This skill defines Gragas for me. It gives power and defense, the mana regen is the icing that makes it possible to have very few types of mana regen items. Always have this up as often as possible. After cooldowns are met you will always be covered with this skill.

    Key Points of Drunken Rage:

    -The damage mitigation maxes out at 18%, with the bonus from the mastery this will be about 22%. This defense stacks with your Armor and Magic Resistance.

    -The damage bonus maxes out at +70, 20 more damage then a BF sword, attainable by level 9, for free. This build doesn't add many items with +attack damage so this is where most of your extra attack damage comes from.

    -Keep this buff up as often as possible. The only time when it's wise to hang onto it, is when you know there is a fight about to happen (ie. you're setting up an ambush) and you want to wait to buff so that the duration will last the fight.

    -Know when this ability is down, if you charge into an enemy group or a single hard hitting opponent without this buff, you will be taking a lot more damage then you want.

    -I believe the audible bubble sound when this ability is active can be heard by enemies. Keep this in mind when hiding in bushes (I've never noticed it giving me away though).

    Body Slam (E)
    Although most other abilities will be maxed before this, Body Slam will be one of your most used skills. This can help you farm, help you escape, help you catch and help you initiate battles.

    Key Points of Body Slam:

    - Large area of effect, not huge, but more then you'd first think. This is important because if you misinterpret the hit area as being small you will miss lots of chances to use it.

    - Damage is split between all the enemies in the area (including minions) however, the speed debuff (-35% for 2.5 seconds) is applied equally to everyone and is very effective in team fights and initiations.

    - Single target damage is huge, especially early game. The damage is 240 (+.5 AP) at level 5, plus 66% of your attack damage. At max level we will do 116 base damage, plus 70 from Drunken Rage for a total of 186. 66% of this is 123, add to the 240 from the skill and your doing 363 base damage every 3.5 seconds before AP is added.

    -Don't be fooled by the physical damage bonus, this is a spell and does magical damage.

    -Immediately after casting you are able to cast other spells during the dash. This allows you to flee or chase and drop a barrel without much pause. While returning to the field a quick dash and drink can save time, but be sure to let the channel end before continuing to move or you'll interrupt the persistent effect.

    -Can move through many walls.

    Explosive Cask (R)
    Proper use of this ability will make you loved or hated by your teammates, because of this I had no choice but to go into great depth for this ability explanation. I apologize for the following text wall.

    The great initializer. Keep in mind that with this build you will be at or near maximum cooldown reduction so you be using this skill quite a bit, not just a 'once in a while' skill.

    The obvious uses of this skill is to; hit someone your chasing to bring them to you; hit someone chasing you to get them away; hit someone to kill them from afar; hit a bunch of people for battle initiation; hit a bunch of people during a battle just for the fun of it.


    During laneing you can get some easy kills with this ability by dropping the cask behind them to bring them to you and then giving using Body Slam. When your defending a turret, if an enemy champion hits you for the turret to target them, immediately use a cask to bring them behind the turret. The turret damage and you will easily get this kill.


    There are three ways to use this ability for initiation...

    1) The Basic: Simply throw the cask behind the enemy to bring him to you followed by a Body Slam to slow.

    2) The Chase: When the enemy stays too far back or is running, use a Body Slam first to close the range and then you should be able to get your cask behind him.

    3) The Great: The best way to use the cask is to start first with a Body Slam. Different from The Chase; when the enemy is in range of your Body Slam you will hit him and slow him down. Attack until the slow wears off then use the Cask to bring him behind you and follow up with another Body Slam which should be off cooldown now.

    Proper Targets:

    There are many enemy champions who you will want to use this ability on before others, and some who you will not want to use it on at all. There are also teammates who do not synergize well with this ability and you will want to refrain from using it at all unless you are sure of success. These are listed below, with the reason why.

    Prefered Targets
    Caitlyn - Ace in the Hole
    Fiddlesticks - Crowstorm
    Galio - Idol of Durand
    Katarina - Death Lotus
    Miss Fortune - Bullet Time
    Morgana - Soul Shackles
    Kennen - Slicing Maelstrom
    Nasus - Fury of the Sands
    Nunu - Absolute Zero
    Renekton - Dominus
    Shen - Stand United - Hit him before he teleports to interrupt.
    Twitch - [spell_text=Spray and Pray]
    Urgot - Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser

    As you can see, most of these champions are ones with channeled damage spells. Simply use your Cask to blast them away from your team and their ult will be rendered mostly useless.

    Targets to Avoid
    Corki - Valkyrie
    Ezreal - Arcane Shift
    Kassadin - Riftwalk
    LeBlanc - Distortion
    Morgana - Black Shield
    Olaf - Ragnarok
    Renekton - Slice and Dice
    Shaco - Deceive
    Sivir - Spell Shield
    Tryndamere - Spinning Slash
    Vladimir - Sanguine Pool

    This list consists mainly of champions that have an escape mechanism. The shields from both Morgana and (I think) Sivir block not only the damage but also the movement from the cask. Olaf's ultimate also negates the push back.

    Yes Morgana is in both lists, she's a meany :(

    Teammate Synergy
    Alistar - Headbutt
    Amumu - Curse of the Sad Mummy
    Fiddlesticks - Crowstorm
    Galio - Idol of Durand
    Katarina - Death Lotus
    Kennen - Slicing Maelstrom
    Morgana - Soul Shackles
    Nasus - Fury of the Sands
    Nunu - Absolute Zero
    Pantheon - Grand Skyfall
    Twitch - [spell_text=Spray and Pray]

    This list is pretty much the same as the main enemy target list. For good reason, if you use your ult to mess up the enemy's skills, you can do the same to your own teammates! However, if worked right you can also give their skills great help by bringing fleeing enemies into their area of effect. This takes great practice though, and I generally let my allies do their thing rather then potentially ruin it all.


    The area of effect for this ability takes some getting used to. There are times when you will hit to far or to close and either push the person the wrong way, away from your team, or miss them completely. This just takes some practice, but is easy to learn.

  • Skilling Order - "Oh yeah!"

    Barrel Roll Skill Order

    Body Slam can be trained at level 1 for a first blood attempt (The slow debuff is more helpful then Barrel Roll. Drunken Rage and Barrel Roll can be interchanged as needed depending on mana and defensive needs. Having a higher level Barrel Roll is preferred, but if you need the mana and defense of Drunken Rage, train that. Find balance. Try to level Body Slam sometime before level 6. Train Explosive Cask at level 6, 11, and 16.

    Body Slam Skill Order

    Barrel Roll can be trained at an earlier level if you are having trouble getting last hit minion kills against aggressive enemies. Drunken Rage and Body Slam can be interchanged as needed depending on mana and defensive needs. Having a higher level Body Slam is preferred, but if you need the mana and defense of Drunken Rage, train that. Find balance. Train Explosive Cask at level 6, 11, and 16.

  • Champion Items - "If you're buying, I'm in!"

    Stats Needed:
    Health Regen
    Defense (Health/Armor/Magic Resistance)

    Item Descriptions:

    Starting Item:
    Doran's Ring Sapphire Crystal Boots of Speed

    Doran's Start: There's a love/hate for Doran items, since they do not upgrade. However, I love them and think all champions can have a good start with them since all champions need health, damage, and sustainability which all three Doran item's have.

    Doran's Ring vs. Doran's Shield
    Both of these items give a decent amount of starting health (100, 120). Not a large enough difference to matter. The shield will give 8 armor while the ring will give 15 AP (+13.5 Barrel Roll damage, +7.5 Body Slam damage). Both give regen, mana for the ring (5/5), health for the shield (8/5).The mana regen will be able to preform double duty by allowing Gragas to use his abilities more often activating Happy Hour. One cast of happy hour at level 1 will give Gragas about 32/5 health regen (math below), about 4 times that of the shield, making the ring a clear winner. (Even with a 10 second cooldown giving only half of that regen, 16/5 is still about double what the shield gives you)

    Regen Math:
    Level 1 With Doran's Ring
    Gragas Level 1 Health: 641
    4% of Gragas Health: 25.64 (This is gained over 4 seconds)
    Health Regen Per 5 Seconds: 32.05

    Sapphire Crystal
    Gragas starts with 268 mana, this item almost doubles that. This should keep you using your spells all you want until your Drunken Rage is leveled enough to keep you going full time. This item will be built into the Glacial Shroud.

    Boots of Speed
    Boots are generally not a beginning item for any champion. However, Gragas is pretty self reliant early on with Drunken Rage and Happy Hour. Having a speed advantage over your enemy at any point in the game is a great thing. Early on most people will not expect it. (This is especially handy if you know you will be laning against skillshot champions such as Blitzcrank).

    Core Items:
    Boots: Mercury's Treads OR Ninja Tabi OR Ionian Boots of Lucidity
    Defensive: Glacial Shroud AND Spirit Visage
    Offensive: Rabadon's Deathcap

    Mercury's Treads
    Boots are generally players choice, however I recommend these for most everyone, the 35% reduced duration of spell effects is too good to pass up. The magic resist, though not very high, is also handy and at times the only magic resist you will need.

    Ninja Tabi
    If there truly are no crowd control effects from enemies (rarely), or you aren't concerned with them for some reason these boots are the next best. Combined with the Greater Seal of Evasion and Evasion mastery you're looking at ~20% dodge rate, great against a team of auto attackers.

    Ionian Boots of Lucidity
    These new boots can almost on their own fill the one main requirement for this Gragas build, Cooldown. However, they lack the bonus of crowd control protection and dodge that the previous boots give. They are a cheap boot to buy, and can often allow you the freedom of choosing other non-cooldown items that normally would have been less then desirable to purchase.

    Glacial Shroud
    Built from the Sapphire Crystal, this item gives you the most cooldown at the cheapest price. The earlier to get this item the better. Having more constant use of all of your skills greatly increase Gragas' potential. The increased mana will also help regenerate your health with the Strength of Spirit mastery.

    Spirit Visage
    Although the lowest cooldown finished item, it is quiet effective. This item is cheap, and gives you a nice bonus health regen for your Happy Hour (Tested and Proven). The magic resistance from this item along with the following Mercury's Treads will sometimes be all you will need.

    Regen Math:
    Level 11 Build:
    Happy Hour Base: 36 Health Per Spell Cast
    With S.V. Passive: 41 Health Per Spell Cast
    Health Regeneration: 17 Health Per 5 Seconds
    With Spirit Visage: 19 Health Per 5 Seconds
    (Total of ~8Hp/5 Increase values at about 250 gold (Rejuvenation Bead)

    Level 18 Build (With Force of Nature):
    Happy Hour Base: 58 Health Per Spell Cast
    With Spirit Visage: 67 Health Per Spell Cast
    Health Regeneration: 115 Health Per 5 Seconds
    With Spirit Visage: 132 Health Per 5 Seconds
    (Total of ~21HP/5 Increase values at 685 gold (Regrowth Pendant, Rejuvenation Bead)

    Rabadon's Deathcap
    If you want to be an AP caster this is the item to get. Not much to say about it, it is pure AP giving you a total of 201.5 AP (155 + 155 x .30), and making any new AP item 30% more effective.

    Final Items:
    Defensive: [item=Force of Nature] Frozen Heart Sunfire Cape Rylai's Crystal Scepter
    Offensive: Abyssal Scepter Zhonya's Hourglass Rylai's Crystal Scepter

    [item=Force of Nature]
    This item has always been my favorite magic resistance item. This item has great synergy with your previous items, giving you lots of health regeneration. The magic resistance is the highest of any item. Some people prefer the Banshee's Veil but while that is good for non-tanks to defend against ultimate bursts I feel that for tanks that are supposed to get the brunt of the attacks it's better to have higher magic resistance than negating one magic attack every 30 seconds. The extra movement speed is always welcome.

    Frozen Heart
    Build from the Glacial Shroud. The upgrade adds on +44 armor, +75 mana, +5% cooldown, and an aura to reduce attack speeds of nearby enemies by 20%. The armor bonus is the main reason to upgrade this item. The mana and cooldown bonuses are small and while the attack speed reduction stacks with the effects from Barrel Roll it only adds another 2% (see math below). Because of the high cost of upgrade (1250) I don't rush finishing this item unless the enemy team consists of 2 or more heavy hitting physical damage dealers (or one fast attack speed carry).

    Slow Math:
    Tests done with level 5 Barrel Roll against the Dragon who has .658 base attack speed...
    Barrel Roll: Dragon Speed = .395 || .395 / .658 = 60% (40% Reduction)
    Frozen Heart: Dragon Speed = .526 || .526 / .658 = 80% (20% Reduction)
    Barrel Roll with Frozen Heart: Dragon Speed = .316 || .316 / .658 = 48% (42% Reduction)

    Sunfire Cape
    When you simply need more armor, and your a tank, this item is the way to go. The health and armor combined give you great defense and the damaging aura is a great way to help out the team with damage and get yourself some assists without much work. 40 damage per second may not seem like much, but this can easily become 200 damage a second hitting all 5 enemy champions. The option of getting another of these as your 6th item will make that 80-400 damage a second.

    Abyssal Scepter
    Ability Power, coupled with Magic Resistance, with a unique aura. Again, this works well for an AP/Tank buy giving extra damage while still building defense up. The ability power this item gives can be misleading. While the item itself gives 70 AP, the debuff aura also will increase your damage, by decreasing their magic resistance. Against a 100 MR enemy, your Barrel Roll, Body Slam, and Explosive Cask will do: 181.5, 137.5, 260 damage respectively before the aura, after the effects of the aura they will do: 202, 153, 289. This gain of 20-30 damage gives the Scepter an effective 90-100 AP, not to mention this aura is used by your allies as well.

    Math used: Damage = Spell Damage * (100/100+Magic Resistance)
    Damage values based on level 5 abilities 70 AP.

    Zhonya's Hourglass
    Ability Power, coupled with Armor, and a unique..unique. This somewhat new item gives squishy mages some needed survivability. However, it also makes for a great AP/Tank item. When you want to be able to do some more damage, while still building your defenses, this is the goto item to get. Though rather expensive, the two builder items - Chain Vest and Needlessly Large Rod - give good stats to hang onto awhile and not feel like they're a waste to buy.

    Rylai's Crystal Scepter
    Health and Ability Power can be obtained seperatly through better items, however this item fills both roles pretty well. Giving both health and Ability Power this item works well for both the defensive and offensive Gragas. The active on hit slow effect is another benefit of this item. The slow will now let your Barrel Roll slow movement and attack speeds. Your Explosive Cask will not only scatter the enemies but will also slow their movement giving them more time to reengage or run away. This item's slow also stacks with your Body Slam giving your charge a 45% slow hit attack which is quite hefty. All of these attacks are area effect so the slow will only be 15%.

    Slow Math:
    Tests done against the Dragon who has 330 base movement speed...
    Body Slam: Dragon Speed = 217 || 216 / 330 = 65% (35% Reduction)
    Body Slam with Rylai's Scepter: Dragon Speed = 180 || 180 / 330 = 55% (45% Reduction)
    Barrel Roll with Rylai's Scepter: Dragon Speed = 281 || 281 / 330 = 85% (15% Reduction)

    Honorable Mentions:

    [item=Morello's Evil Tome]
    For an AP focused Gragas this is a nice item giving both Ability Power and Cooldown Reduction (and mana regen). The 20% CDR will more then meet the requirements for permanent Drunken Rage.
    I have yet to use this in a game though, going offensive I'm usually drawn towards a higher AP item (this one happens to be the lowest finished AP item all things considered), and when going defensive, I'm drawn towards more defensive CDR items. I will give this a try as possibly my first item and report back soon.

    Randuin's Omen
    One of the most effect giving items in the game, there's health, armor, health regen, reactive unique passive, and an unique passive, only Trinity Force may have more. All of these will be of great help for anyone going the 'tough' route. This item has been in and out of my builds often, mainly because of its cost and it's low cooldown reduction number. However, the builder item's can compensate for the cost, since they are their own built items themselves. Cooldown reduction can be met by other means as well.

    Guardian Angel
    Armor and magic resistance, a good boost to both stats in one item, with an (not as) amazing passive effect. Being able to revive free every 5 minutes is great especially late game when death timers approach 60 seconds. This item can be a double edged sword for tanks though. The giant (on Gragas at least) white halo hovering over you tells the enemy that there's no use targeting you first since you'll be body slamming into them while they go after their next target. As a tank you want to provoke attacks and this may start to prevent them. However, you will eventually die, and late game deaths can be game ending.

  • Build Examples - "Happy hour, incomming!

    Offensive Build @ Level 11

    Offensive Build @ Level 18

    Defensive Build @ Level 11

    Defensive Build @ Level 18

    The end builds are expensive (16,205) | (13,760) and will most likely never be reached. Most games end with 4 full items or 3 and parts.

  • Farming / Laning - "Need some grog"

    Laning Preparation

    Once Gragas is summoned I buy my preferred starting item (discussed above) and any Health Potions I can afford, then I head down one of the side lanes. You are able to take center lane if you choose or are requested to, I just prefer to leave that to a better Carry.

    Since you're a tank type character your pretty strong and team mate choice isn't critical. If you team with a money hungry champion you will still do ok. For the core build you do not need a lot of gold to succeed. As you're traveling down your lane, communicate with your lane partner, if you decide to try for a first blood, train Body Slam first, otherwise choose between that and Barrel Roll.

    Initiation and First Blood

    Once I get to the end of the lane, I walk into the first grass (I do not use Body Slam here, it will slow down enemies hiding there, but it is better used to get away if they get the upper hand. I like to wait in the first grass because it gives me more distance to chase the enemy before they are protected by their tower.

    Gragas can get a First Blood, I often do. It is amusing to see people underestimate the damage your Body Slam can do even at level one. The only limiting factor is additional champion or minion targets. So if your in a fight before minions arrive, you will deal good damage to be a real threat. A Body Slam followed by a hit can take half the health of squishy champions. Obviously, proper communication with your laning partner will increase the chances of success here.

    General Farming/Laning and Harassing

    I am not one to try for early kills after farming begins. I don't believe Gragas is the best champion choice either, but he is a great partner for someone who is because of his Body Slam slow.

    Depending on how you trained your skills you will either be farming with Barrel Roll or Body Slam. Farming with Barrel Roll is simple. Make sure you will get at least 2 last hits on minions or it will be a waste of mana. Try to hit an enemy champion whenever you are able. Remember you can delay the blast to keep champions back, or to wait till a few more minions are killable. Other Barrel Roll tips are discussed in the champion ability section above.

    Body Slammin'
    The simple way to explain my method of the laning process is this... Whenever there is a minion you can kill with Body Slam, use it on that minion, while trying to hit any other minions and enemy champions as you can. Obviously use common sense here and watch your health. The cooldown is short so it will most likely be up when you need to chase flee or save. When enemy champions are in the mix most of the time you can Body Slam into them and back away without taking any damage, this works great. When an enemy gets low and you have the chance to try for a kill, Body Slam, attack, and ghost/chase for the kill,..once you run out of the minion group the Body Slam will do max damage and you will most likely kill him before tower range.

    When using Body Slam during this process always try to have Drunken Rage on you, especially when your trying something complicated.

    Cask Cannon
    Once your level 6 and you have your Explosive Cask the real fun in laning starts. Here enemy champions will be more cautious when attacking you near your tower (or any time), when then know your ultimate is available.

    When you have your ult, and the enemy is at or near half health you should try to kill him. Let your partner know your intentions and initiate the fight. Start with the cask being thrown behind them (using one of the three methods listed above) and bring the enemy to you and your partner.

    While defending a turret you have the option to use the cask to push them back. However they come running right back most of the time. There are some times when this works out though. When they are using enemy minions as a shield and your cask has a good chance to kill them all, the enemy champions will be returning to turret fire and will be more likely to stay away. Another good time to use it is when you need to delay their attacks till your team arrives. If reinforcements are coming and the turret is almost dead, use it. Otherwise, save your cask to save yourself if the turret falls and they chase; or when your team arrives and you chase and bring an enemy to you.

    Tower Attacking

    Gragas is a good tower killer. He has slow attacks, but with Drunken Rage his attacks do a lot of damage to towers. Make sure you have the buff up and attack as normal. Later on in the game you will be able to tank the towers, even while taking fire from enemy champions. Also, remember your passive... while your attacking the tower use your Body Slam and your Barrel Roll for the healing. Using these skills will also help clear enemy minions from the tower so your own minions can focus the tower with you. Keep in mind, if you hurt an enemy champion with these skills the tower will focus you!

  • Working in the team - "I'll drink you under the table, scrub"

    The Champion Skills section and Laning Phase section cover many game play points. This section will discuss what to do when you are running with the full team and initiating or how to defend against an enemy initiation.

    As always make sure your Drunken Rage is up.


    Getting into the enemy formation can be difficult for any Tank unless you have Flash or a 'move yourself in there ability' like Amumu's Bandage Toss or Malphite's Unstoppable Force. For Gragas you want to separate the group as evenly as possible, try to get 2 or 3 enemies to come at you and the rest away from you. To get into a proper range to do this you can use the skill section advice of Body Slam towards the group and then use your Explosive Cask. If you are CC'd during this part use your Cleanse, this it's the main reason I get it on tanks, so my initiation can't be messed with (usually). It wont matter if you get their DPS carries, or their Tanks. If you get the squishy DPS your team should make short work out of them. If you get the Tank he may likely live till reinforcements arrive, but he will likely be to weak to do much tanking, and you removed his ability to initiate on his terms. After this, keep using Body Slam on the enemies, mainly their melee DPS to keep them slowed and unable to chase. Use your Barrel Roll for extra damage, and also to slow the attacks of any enemy auto-attacker, especially those at range that may be hard for someone to reach.

    Defending Initiation

    For the most part its easy. If all of a sudden you're mobbed by the enemy team, drop an Explosive Cask right in the middle of the fight to spread their team in all directions. HOWEVER, if your team is unprepared, drop the Cask to throw as many enemies as you can in one direction away from your team (This was briefly covered in the skills section above). As before, keep using Body Slam on the enemies, mainly their melee DPS to keep them slowed and unable to chase. If able, drop Barrel Roll in the mass of enemies for extra damage, or to deter them from continuing the chase.

  • Creep Jungling - "The only time I have a drinking problem is when it's finished"

    Gragas is definitely not a jungler. However, to answer this recommended guide section I'll give the rundown on what I do when killing jungle neutrals.

    First, make sure you're buffed with Drunken Rage for extra damage with your Body Slam. Remember Body Slam] spreads its damage to multiple targets, I like to get rid of the baby lizards first to do maximum damage to the big lizard/golem once the little ones are dead.

    Gragas isn't an early dragon killer, and while I generally leave him for the DPS to kill, when I have the opportunity I will usually attempt it at level 11 or after.

    Gragas is able to move through the jungle and scout on his own without much fear of dying other then a full team attack. With the ability to move through the walls with Body Slam and his escape abilities of Ghost, Cleanse, Body Slam, and Explosive Cask he has many ways to flee from danger. Just be sure you know which of these abilities are on cooldown and where you feel safe to go when they are.

    Commenter Jungling Tips

    uguu on 12 Aug, 2010 (patch v1.0.0.98)

    This is a pretty good guide but I think you should really try out the jungle start for Gragas. 0/21/9 (all the damage reduction masteries) with Smite/Ghost, starting Fortitude Elixir and potions and just clear your half of the jungle starting with the blue buff. This gets you to level 4 and getting first blood by simply ghosting/body slamming onto someone with lizard buff up is almost trivial. Usually I follow up with a fast Aegis or HoG into Omen.

    Other Guide Jungling Tips
    The guide Big Fat Drunken Protector (Tank) by Auster Delaurant has a very detailed Gragas Jungling section that I'll recommend rather then writing my own as I've not tried it yet. Check it out.

  • Gragas Patch History - "Last call!"

    History of Skills (Full Patch History Below)

    Color Key:
    Green - Buff
    Red - Nerf
    White - Neutral or Bug Fix

    Attack Speed (Base & Per Level) - Increased by +25%

    Barrel Roll
    Missile Speed - Increased by +25%
    Cooldown (11/10/9/8/7) Increased by +1/+1/+1/+1/+1 Decreased by -1/-1/-1/-1/-1 (11/10/9/8/7) No Change
    Slow Debuff (20/25/30/35/40%) Gained from Explosive Cask
    Damage (100/150/200/250/300) Reduced by -15/-15/-15/-15/-15 (85/135/185/235/285)

    Drunken Rage
    Channel Duration (1.5 Seconds) Decreased by -.5 Seconds (1 Second)
    Damage Bonus (20/30/40/50/60) Increased by +10/+10/+10/+10/+10 (30/40/50/60/70)
    Damage Reduction (10/14/18/22/26%) Reduced By -0/-2/-4/-6/-8 (10/12/14/16/18)
    Mana Restoration (50/60/70/80/90) Changed By -20/-15/-10/-5/+0 (30/45/60/75/90)
    Buff Duration (25 Seconds) Reduced By -5 Seconds (20 Seconds)
    Cooldown (45 Seconds) Reduced by -15 Seconds Then by -5 Seconds (25 Seconds)

    Body Slam
    Speed (600/650/700/750/800) Increased by +50/+100/+150/+200/+250 (650/750/850/950/1050)
    Ability Ratio (0) Increased by +.5 (.5)
    Range Increased by +50
    Cooldown (6 Seconds) Increased by +1 Second (7 Seconds)

    Explosive Cask
    Missile Speed Increased by +25%
    Range Increased by +50
    Slow Debuff (20/30/40%) Moved to Barrel Roll

    You'll notice a lot more green then red, looks like Gragas isn't nerf-hit too much

    Timeline History of Patch Notes involving Gragas from most current to least current.

    Color Key:
    Green - Buff
    Red - Nerf
    Teal - Skin
    White - Neutral or Bug Fix
    Fixed a bug that was causing the line missile targeting display to be offset on the following spells: [an assortment of spells] + ...Gragas's Body Slam[/b][/i]
    * Gragas, Esq.
    Gragas is now sober - (April Fool's Pseudopatch)
    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
    Fixed a bug where Barrel Roll was not properly drawing aggro from towers and monsters
    Santa Gragas
    Drunken Rage damage reduction reduced to 10/12/14/16/18% from 10/14/18/22/26%
    Drunken Rage mana restoration changed to 40/55/70/85/100 from 50/60/70/80/90
    Explosive Cask cooldown increased to 90/75/60 seconds from 60
    Barrel Roll cooldown reduced to 11/10/9/8/7 from 12/11/10/9/8
    Barrel Roll now slows attack speed by 20/25/30/35/40%
    Drunken Rage cooldown reduced to 25 from 30
    Body Slam cooldown increased to 7 from 6
    Explosive Cask no longer slows attack speeds
    Explosive Cask now interacts properly with spell shields like Banshee's Veil
    Fixed a display error with the tooltip on Barrel Roll's self buff
    Body Slam can no longer be cast while rooted

    * Hillbilly Gragas - Season 1
    Fixed a bug where Body Slam slowed targets that were immune to slows
    Fixed a bug where Body Slam would not display a hit particle or play a sound if it hit any target that blocked the slow
    Barrel Roll tooltip updated to give the correct ability power ratio when the barrel has reached its location
    Fixed a bug where the Drunken Rage tooltip said it lasted for 25 seconds, when it actually lasts 20 seconds

    * Scuba Gragas
    Body Slam now has an Ability Power ratio of .5
    Fixed a bug where Body Slam will collide with Singed's Poison Trail
    Fixed Explosive Cask's Ability Power ratio to match the tooltip
    Changed Body Slam to no longer be useable while rooted
    Added opposing tooltips
    Fixed a bug in which Barrel Roll would detonate Teemo's mushrooms.
    Base attack speed and attack speed per level increased by 25%.
    Barrel Roll missile speed increased by 25%
    Barrel Roll's Cooldown is now decreased by the amount of time the barrel is stopped for
    Barrel Roll's Cooldown increased to 12/11/10/9/8 from 11/10/9/8/7 as a result of the above change
    Body Slam is now location targetable
    Cleaned up the collision detection on Body Slam
    Body Slam's speed increased to 650/750/850/950/1050 from 600/650/700/750/800
    Body Slam's range increased by 50
    Explosive Cask missile speed increased by 25%
    Explosive Cask range increased by 50
    Fixed a bug where casting Explosive Cask out of range could sometimes make it cast to a lesser distance
    Explosive Cask cast radius slightly increased
    Drunken Rage Cooldown reduced to 30 seconds from 45
    Drunken Rage Buff duration reduced to 20 seconds from 25
    Drunken Rage Physical Damage bonus increased to 30/40/50/60/70 per level from 20/30/40/50/60
    Drunken Rage Channel duration lowered to 1 second from 1.5
    Fixed a bug with Body Slam where Gragas would sometimes ignore collision if he passed through a dead minion
    Gragas arrives at the League of Legends

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