Gragas Build Guide

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written by Xanthyr

Gragas Build



Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Barrel Roll?

    This is Xanthyr, and this is going to be an Ability Power Gragas guide, one to show you the viability of such a champion. Now that he has been buffed some patches ago playing this guy is a bit more rewarding, and if you can land skill shots consistently then you'll enjoy playing this big boy. My build will seem a little off, but once I've discovered this order I've had brilliant games. You will be considered a glass cannon, but your offense will provide a more than adequate defense.

    I've seen builds for AD/Tank Gragas as well, and they're very strong and of course very fun to play, but I don't have the proper runes yet, and I know what I'm doing with AP. So far have over 170 games with Gragas alone, and over 2:1 ratio with him. I only mention this to give some sort of validity to my words.

    Cheers mate, I'm buyin', so take a seat and lend me your ear.

    Updated 9/18- Switched summoner abilities.

  • Abilities

    Happy Hour
    I forget that I have this most of the time, but when I need it most is when it actually matters. I've saved myself numerous times from ignite or Karthus ultimates from popping a potion and bodyslamming to get the regen and living with 10 health. With some Cooldown reduction, you can spam your abilities to act as a miniature version of Garen's passive.


    Barrel Roll
    Your harassment, your jabs at the enemy in wait for your heavy right hand. Also fantastic farming ability once you hit level 8-9, since you can 1-shot caster creeps and clean up the melee.


    Drunken Rage
    The buff on this is fantastic, I never have this off cooldown, and will often use it mid-fight just to get that damage reduction, though the damage is nice. Helps chew on towers and laying on the beatdown to anyone who thinks they can trade blows. At level 18, this makes your physical damage 197~ without any damage items.


    Body Slam
    Your chaser, it's your footwork in the middle of a fight to ensure your prey is dropped. It is your escape, the reason you can get away from ridiculous situations with a drunken grin plastered on your mug. I have interesting uses for this skill, of which I will tell later on in this guide.


    Explosive Cask
    Continuing on with the boxing analogies, this is your heavy right hand. This is what decides the skirmish and why people fear you whenever they get to 1/2 hp during the mid game. Proper use of this will always, every time you even think of using it, change the tide of battle. But with great power comes great chance to screw that shit up and piss everyone off.


  • Masteries + Runes

    Masteries, I always go 10/0/20, and summoner spells I use Ignite and Ghost

    In Offense I do the usual Archaic Knowledge and Archmage Savvy masteries, but also get Burning Embers for the +AP.
    In Utility, I do Perseverance, Haste, Meditation, Utility Mastery, Quickness and Intelligence.

    In Runes I use a universal caster page:
    Greater Mark of Insight x9
    Greater Seal of Clarity x9
    Greater Glyph of Force x9
    Greater Quintessence of Potency x3

    Level 1 that is 8.5 + 15% magic penetration, and 17 ability power.
    After ignite that would be 27 AP.

  • Skilling Order

    Barrel Roll is your first ability always. You will max this as soon as possible.

    Drunken Rage will usually be your second skill, but if you hit level 2 during a fight then please get Body Slam to ensure you get that beautiful first blood. Of course, get this if you're about to die so you can make your escape from the terrifying first blood.

    Your 3rd level should be the skill you didn't pick at level 2. After you have all 3, you're good to start harassing like a champ and evading all the consequences.

    Max your Barrel Roll first, then Drunken Rage, and finally Body Slam.
    Of course get Explosive Cask when you can. That's pretty much it for this section.

  • Bar Tricks & Flair

    Barrel Roll:

    With your Q, Barrel Roll you don't need them to fit completely inside the AOE marker at all, in fact you only need a small portion and they'll receive full damage. Learn this principle and abuse it, it applies to all ranged/aoe spells. By making the center of your AOE marker on the very edge of your casting range you'll essentially increase your effective range by 1/4th of what it says. That and the barrel appears to hit just barely outside of the marker as well. This is an extremely important technique to pick up for his ultimate. If you can learn to do this, you will be able to surprise the hell out of people and rack up them kills.

    One thing I've noticed is that when you go to detonate your barrel, if you try to do it too early, you get a "Spell cannot be cast!" message and forces you to detonate later than you should. Once you get the timing down, you should be able to blow the barrel the instant it stops rolling, making your barrels harder to dodge.

    Say you go completely whiff your barrel, your opponent read your roll and now you looking silly, shuffling your feet, blushing and mumbling because you missed for miles. Well, it's your call, you can detonate the barrel immediately to try and get your cooldown refreshed. Or, you can try to heard your enemy back into your barrel so it's not a wasted cast.

    On that point, say you use your Cask and knock the enemy to you but you missed your first barrel for the combo, don't detonate the barrel. You should have bodyslammed them, and naturally be on the opposite side of them so you're blocking their tower. They will make their way around you, or flash passed you, and right into your barrel. If you can predict where the enemy will try to flee and put the barrel there in the chaos of the ultimate so they don't notice you even put it there, allowing a simple kill that makes you smile.

    Drunken Rage:

    There aren't any real tricks to do with this skill, you just need to constantly use it always. If you have Bodyslam up, you should be spamming that, even at level 3. Because with Drunken Rage you will regain all the mana you just used even after you bodyslam 6 times to get back to your lane.

    Body Slam:

    This is probably the most unabused ability of Gragas. I've not seen anyone else do this but myself, but I do try to inform everyone I meet about this handy little trick. You can cast while bodyslamming and it won't interrupt any channels. Now, let me repeat that. You can cast, while bodyslamming. The only catch about this is, if you do use your barrel or cask while you're still sliding, the game will treat your projectile as if it were launched from where you started your bodyslam from. So if you go to bodyslam to get the extra 10 feet you need to snag someone with your Cask/Ult and you throw it, then the Cask will land behind the enemy and push them forward, making you swear vehemently and making the little Gragas children cry. And you will be ostracized from your team for saving an enemy.

    To build on the slide-channeling, you can bodyslam and immediately after you press W to use Drunken Rage. So you will slide, but you will start chugging as well. When you finish sliding the chugging animation will stop, and your channel bar will disappear, creating the illusion that you interrupted your Rage buff. However, you need to wait for about .4 seconds before moving anything, and you'll see the Drunken Rage buff appear on your screen. This is great for combat. Once it's off cooldown, and you're in the middle of duking it out with an enemy, Bodyslam+W to do a Chug-slide. You'll slow them, you'll damage them, and if you don't attack him for .4 seconds, you'll get the buff making you regen mana, make you hit a lot harder, and shrug off blows. No time wasted, maximum efficiency.

    Another thing that I use Bodyslam for is dodging/baiting skillshots. A lot of damage and bad scenarios can be averted if you can predict when someone would use an ability.

    Example:

    I was laning against a solo Annie on top lane. We were both level six, she has her stun up and she runs into the bush. She has about 2/3 hp and I'm at 1/2. She can easily drop me if she can land her bear and destroy my bearded face. So what I do is I run right at the bush after using Drunken Rage. As soon as I got close to the bush, I bodyslammed backward right before the bear dropped, making her waste her stun/ult. 20 seconds later, I killed her with a doublebarrel into bodyslam.

    Another hilarious use of Bodyslam is using it as a cheap stealth-detection system, as when you strike something it will produce an impact sound. If you are in a game with a stealth champion and you hear that sound while you're just doing your thing, you just found yourself an unsuspecting squishy. If you're near a tower and you run into them, do a Doublebarrel to damage them greatly and push them into range of the tower to finish the job.

    Chasing/Escaping:

    First and foremost- For the love of god, when trying to escape, please make sure you're not about to bodyslam into a minion and get taken down like a water-starved zebra by the hungry lions named Jax and Mundo.

    External Image

    These are prime spots to use for juking and conversely chasing marked in yellow. Whenever I go into golem buffs I'll usually roll my barrel in through the side wall, Slide-chug through the wall and detonate the barrel. I only do this to save time, no other reason. However, I've stolen many golems by doing this, and sometimes even gotten a kills from the surprise factor.

    With going up, down, and around terrain there are plenty of options at your disposal that make Gragas survive things that shouldn't be possible. Ledges are your friend. The Golem areas on top and bottom is a Gragas playground, where all the children Gragas nurse their mead through sippy cups and roll eachother around. This, and the thin wall on each side of middle in the river, is where you'll make most of your escapes and live to tell the tale. Specifically get one or two people to chase you, run passed the bush away from middle, then as they clear the bush, bodyslam back at an angle over the ledge toward your tower, effectively ditching any offense.

    There are plenty of areas throughout the map, such as the east wall on baron, or conversely the west wall on dragon to jump into the jungle, many times countering flash-based escapes. Sometimes I'll bodyslam into Baron, enemy flashes after me, so I flash right back up into the jungle for a clean escape.

    So, sometimes there are no ways that you can find a ledge to ditch jerks and you're on even ground with a cloud of anger closing in on you. Usually you can outrun them using bodyslam alone. If this is not enough, you can deter them using your excellent Body Slam casting that I mentioned earlier. Just like with Slide-chugging, you bodyslam forward, but immediately press Q and throw it behind you. Now, remember I said that when you Body slam, your barrels will come from where you were originally standing, so the barrel will shoot behind you a whole lot faster than the enemy will realize, and it's a guaranteed hit because if they veer off course, they lose ground and you're safe. This continues on until they reach the magic number for a doublebarrel insta-kill, where you bodyslam backward, ignite, then doublebarrel. I've gotten doublekills by doing this, specifically near towers entering the midgame.

    Explosive Cask:

    This is the reason I play Gragas. It's a short ranged missile that launches from your shoulders and directly into the soft quiet place that the enemy keeps their sanity. It's a brilliant initiator, disruptor, and finisher. It will destroy all that the enemy holds sacred, a portable and ranged Janna's Monsoon and Blitcrank's Rocket Grab. Or if you'd prefer, 5 Alistar's headbutts simultaneously, mixed in with a bit of a Darkmatter or two.

    Once you learn to maximize your range with placing the center of your AOE marker on the edge of your casting range, you'll be able to get people from crazy distances if they're not completely scared of you already.

    You've seen me mention the term Double-Barrel. I call it thusly because it consists of two types of barrels being thrown at the same time. I equate it to the effect a sawed off double-barrel shotgun does to a bare chest at point blank range. If you're able to get some AP on yourself, in mid game you will be a wreckingball. Every time you get a kill you set your team up to push a tower down. With the plenty of elixirs and golem buffs you'll be acquiring, you will grab the game by the balls.

    To do this, you roll your normal barrel (Q) and if it is an easy hit, that means your Explosive Cask (R) will hit as well. If you're able, drop the cask barely behind them so it launches them to you for the greatest distance. If this doesn't automatically kill them, bodyslam/ignite for a follow up usually does the trick. As you throw the Q barrel, you need to detonate it immediately as you throw your ult.

  • Items

    [item=Meki Pendant] and 2 Health Potion will start out your match. Buy this as soon as possible and run off to your lane.

    Please remember to buy 2-3 Health Potion whenever you go to buy anything. When you can, buy a Sight Ward for your bushes to save you from some frustrating deaths.

    Chalice of Harmony and Sorcerer's Shoes at your first 1600 if you don't die and your opponents aren't a threat to the tower.

    Blasting Wand and then Negatron Cloak are your next stop, buy them when you can.
    This is to build a Abyssal Scepter.

    I always buy this every game.

    "But Xanthyr, why are you rushing Magic Resistance for no reason?"

    Well, my little bearded child, that is because with your Drunken Rage, physical attacks can be ignored if you can bodyslam out of range, before late game there aren't many people who can autoattack you to death so it's mostly abilities that deal most of the damage, but there are other AP casters that will rock your face. So, what better way to control the game than to buy the Abyssal Scepter? It provides a strong boost to AP, the MR it gives you with Chalice makes you have 112 MR in the mid game, which is enough to allow you to walk up and crush the enemy dps/caster champions and bully around the beefier foes.

    After the Abyssal Scepter, buy an Elixir of Brilliance and go get the golem buff. With these two, you have max CDR, and another 40-50 damage to your barrels. After this point, you should always have an elixir buff on you. It's invaluable. It's really an amazing item and I don't understand why I don't see every single player in every single game use elixirs on all champions. But that's a different story all together.

    So, after you're stocked with your brilliance, look and decide what you need to get to counter your enemies. With a Golem buff and an elixir, you don't need any more CDR. If they have a tanky composition that is preventing you from 4-shotting their team? Deathfire Grasp will assist a whole lot in that department.I've entertained the thought of getting a Mejai's Soulstealer. I just have bad luck whenever I purchase this item, but perhaps I'll have to try this a few times to see on how I feel with it.

    [item=Zhonya's Ring] has become what I buy after the scepter if the cash is flowing, but any AP item does fine for me.

    Everything is pretty much up for grabs. Get what you prefer, but I usually stack more ability power or get a Banshee's Veil or Quicksilver Sash if Ashe arrows are ruining my day.

  • Laning

    Now, as long as the enemy team does not have a Nidalee or a Tristana, I can almost always dominate the middle lane. In fact, I prefer solo lanes, as I can usually net a double kill due to level difference and farm if positioned on a side lane. So if there is a jungle character, slap him on the back for good luck and waddle off to your destination.

    There is one thing that I must stress. Gragas is the only champion I've encountered that benefits from carrying a few Health Potion with you all the way into the late game. The health that the potion provides you along with Happy Hour will give you a surprising amount of staying power, pushing a lane without having to back off after you're dropped to 1/3rd, just use a potion, bodyslam a few times, and watch the health roll in.

    Let's assume you're alone, at level 1; with Runes/Masteries it does a nice 117 to the enemy's HP. If you're laned against a softer champion then you will immediately control the lane once you're able to land a couple of barrels on them. I don't just roll barrels willy nilly and hope I hurt them, I actually try to predict where the enemy will be, and then try to fit as many caster creeps in with the AOE. That way I can push the lane whilst harassing. You don't need them to fit completely inside the AOE marker at all, in fact you only need a small portion and they'll receive full damage. Learn this principle and abuse it. By making the center of your AOE marker on the very edge of your casting range you'll essentially increase your effective range by 1/4th of what it says. That and the barrel appears to hit just barely outside of the marker as well.

    Once you're about level 7-8, you can almost 1-shot the caster creeps. Buying a Blasting Wand will fix this, but so will bodyslamming them, finishing them off because sometimes I can't leave my lane until I killed their tower or have reached 3k gold.

    Once you're around level 12, you can clear creep waves in just a few seconds and you can generally 3shot champions like Ashe if they have no defense. Use this power to your advantage, this is where you are the king of the castle, roaming around forcing towers down and punishing those too slow to escape your range. Your barrels go through walls, your cask can fly over walls, so on Twisted Treeline, you can pretty much reach everywhere that you need to go. After big teamfights and you think the enemy will be recalling near a tower, I'll bodyslam through the walls into the jungle to doublebarrel as they teleport out for a free angering kill.

    So it's late game, you're semi-fed, you have a few hundred ability power and you're sitting pretty. A double-barrel will ring you around 1700 damage every 36 seconds, and a few more 600-700 damage barrels while you wait for your ult again. You should be able to be very useful throughout the game, but generally there is a ceiling that Gragas reaches once you hit very late game, when the enemy carries out dps everything under the sun and have the HP to shrug off any burst you might provide (read: Jax). This is when you're used to save allies with your Body Slam, initiate with your Explosive Cask, and push back the lanes.

  • Outro

    Well, that pretty much sums it all up. If you have any questions, then please add me in game, or message me on the LoL forums. I look forward to playing with all of you and hopefully have a great round.

    Peace.



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