IntroductionThis guide is based upon the Ability Power Gragas build that pro player Shushei uses. This build was used in the season 1 championships where Shushei's team, FnaticMSI took home first place. I created this guide for my own reference using information found via various sources including own3d.tv, reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends and the LoL forums.
I do not take credit for the runes, masteries or most of the item sections for this build, all credit goes to Shushei and the people who investigated Shusei's build and feedback below. The rest of the build comes from my own extensive usage of Gragas. I am by no means a LoL expert, nor am I an amazing Gragas player. This build has however helped me improve tremendously. Maybe it can help some of you as well.
This will be an ever-evolving guide. As I learn more about Gragas or as the game or team dynamic changes, so will this guide. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated!
Strengths & WeaknessesGragas is a very strong champion, but you need to know his strengths and weaknesses because he isn't unkillable.
- Has terrific range
- Can push lanes
- Power down turrets
- Slow enemy pushes
- Provide major damage in team fights
- Great defender
- Fantastic escapablility
I find that Gragas's real strengths are long-range harassing, pushing lanes, destroying turrets and burst damage in team fights.
- His one truly offensive attack has a long cool down
- Struggles taking on several enemies at once
Gragas doesn't have life steal and his cool downs are fairly long, so don't dive into a group of three full health enemies and expect to kill them all and live. Use his range to your advantage. Poke at the enemy with barrel rolls, then pop drunken rage and knock them back towards you with exploding cask, then finish them off with body slam and another barrel roll for good measure.
MasteriesDue to the long cooldown times of barrel roll, putting 21 points in the utility tree is highly recommended. There is quite a bit of leeway in where all of your points go, just remember to focus on cool down reduction and mana regeneration.
RunesThe rune choices are fairly straight forward. Magic penetration for your Marks, scaling ability power for your Seals and Glyphs and flat ability power for your Quints. Should give you +60 AP and +8.5 Magic Penetration by level 18, which maximizes your barrel roll potency.
Explanation:The usual combination of Ignite and Flash are recommended. However, you may use whatever you like. I find that Teleport can also be a viable option, as Gragas can easily clear minion waves and save turrets using his Barrel Roll.
Passive: Happy Hour
On ability use, Gragas takes a drink restoring 2% of his max health over 4 seconds.
Explanation:The healing this passive provides is a great help, especially early game. You can easily solo top lane thanks to this passive and the combination of your barrel roll and drunken rage skills. If you're dual laning it allows you to be a little more aggressive, taking minion hits more frequently or even a turret hit every now and then.
It can also save your life after being ignited with a well placed ability usage.
Q: Barrel Roll
Gragas rolls his cask to a location, which can be activated again to explode or will explode on its own after 5 seconds, dealing 85 / 135 / 185 / 235 / 285 (+90% of ability power) magic damage in the area.
Cost 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120 mana
Explanation:This skill will do 20-30% damage on squishies throughout the match. It'll do 10-20% damage on tanks, depending on their builds. Hitting Q allows you to roll the barrel. Once rolled, you can hit Q again to explode the barrel or allow it to explode on it's own after 5 seconds. You won't be allowing it to explode on it's own very often. The cool down timer begins after the barrel explodes.
At level 1 the cool down is 10 seconds, but by level 18 it is down to just 3 seconds or lower depending on you build, so keep that in mind. You may have to remind teammates of this from time to time. Quite often a teammate may charge in after you throw your barrel and then ask why a second one came so late. The range of the barrel roll allows you to harass turret-hugging enemies.
Barrel roll is your bread and butter, so it should be maxed first.
W: Drunken Rage
Gragas guzzles down brew from his cask, channeling for 1 second. He gains 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 mana while channeling, and becomes empowered after finishing, increasing physical attack damage by 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70, and reducing damage taken by 10 / 12 / 14 / 16 / 18% for 20 seconds.
Cooldown 30 seconds
Explanation:This skill is amazingly important to your damage output and survivability. It restores mana, increases your damage output and reduces the amount of damage taken. Most of the time I generally use drunken rage whenever it is available, because if I'm not attacking or in a fight, I'm probably in need of mana.
Before you attack be sure to use drunken rage if it is available. Also be sure to use it if you know you are going to take some damage, like during a gank attempt. If you aren't attacking and it is available, use it if you're low on mana.
NOTE: To receive the full benefit of this buff you MUST allow the channeling to complete (1 second). If you simply hit W and begin attacking or moving before the channeling is complete, you do not receive the maximum mana gains and you do not become empowered.
Drunken rage is your second most important skill and should be maxed second.
E: Body Slam
Gragas charges forward, colliding with the first enemy unit he hits and dealing 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+50% of ability power) plus 66% of his physical damage to enemies in the area. Damage is split amongst targets hit. Units hit by Body Slam are slowed by 35% for 2.5 seconds.
Cost 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70mana
Explanation:There are four primary uses for this often overlooked ability. Last hits, slowing fleeing enemies, intercepting enemies who are attacking fleeing teammates and enhanced movement speed.
Last hitting with body slam generally comes after using barrel roll on a group of minions. Many times when you attack with barrel roll several minions are left with very low health. Rather than hit them one by one or lose the last hits to your own minions or turret, charging into them with body slam will generally clear out the wave and earn you the last hit gold.
Body slamming into a fleeing or attacking enemy is pretty self explanatory. If an enemy is trying to get away, use your body slam to slow him down. The damage dealt also might just get you the kill. Conversely, if an enemy is chasing an ally, use your body slam to slow the enemy. Believe it or not but many times you'll save your ally's life, and either kill or scare away the enemy.
Body slam also gives you amazing ways to move about the map. You can use the skill to get away when low health or intercept enemies who are trying to flee. You may also use it to speed up your run from one place to another, including using it to flash through walls, ramps and objects. The more you use body slam to enhance your movements, the better you will become. I like to think of it as an extra flash with an 8 second cool down.
Body slam scales poorly so after learning it once it should be maxed out last.
R: Explosive Cask
Gragas throws his cask to an area. Upon landing, it deals 200 / 325 / 450 (+100% of ability power) magic damage to all units struck, knocking them back and applying a 20 / 30 / 40% attack speed debuff.
Cooldown 90 / 75 / 60seconds
Cost 100 / 125 / 150mana
Explanation:This is a fantastic ultimate because of it's versatility. It can be used in either an offensive or defensive manner. You can knock back waves of enemies away from your turrets or fleeing allies, or you can knock enemies forward towards you, into a turret or even into a wall.
Offensively speaking, aiming explosive cask properly takes some finesse and lots of practice. You must estimate the path of your enemy and determine the best place to throw the cask for maximum benefit. The more you play, the better you will get at this.
Just remember that throwing the cask behind an enemy will launch them towards you, throwing it front of the enemy will launch them away from you. Throwing it to their sides will have a similar effect, if you throw it to their left, they'll be knocked right and vice-versa.
Explosive cask is a very strong ultimate, and should be maxed as soon as possible.
LVL 01 LVL 02 LVL 03 LVL 04 LVL 05 LVL 06 LVL 07 LVL 08 LVL 09
LVL 10 LVL 11 LVL 12 LVL 13 LVL 14 LVL 15 LVL 16 LVL 17 LVL 18
LVL 10 LVL 11 LVL 12 LVL 13 LVL 14 LVL 15 LVL 16 LVL 17 LVL 18
FarmingLike it or not, farming is an integral part of a successful build, but fear not because Gragas is the king of farm. There isn't any reason why anyone in the game should out farm you. Entire minion waves can be cleared with a single barrel roll most of the match.
Early on drunken rage with a well placed barrel roll can clear an entire minion wave or come close. Usually if it does not instantly kill the minion wave you can charge in with your body slam to get the last hits.
Later in the match it is more of the same. You'll be able to clear minions faster than they can spawn using just barrel roll, so be sure to clear the jungles when you can. Drunken rage and barrel roll can knock out wraiths, wolves and golem camps in one attack.
If you aren't in the top two in farm by the end of the match, you're doing it wrong. There is no reason you can't keep up with Ashe, Caitlyn, Malzahar or any of the other top farming champions.
Early GameGragas really shines early game. because you can do some serious damage with your barrel rolls early on. Squishy champions can easily lose 20-30% of their HP from levels 1-5 with each barrel roll hit. After a few hits they'll either have to head back to heal or tower hug. Both give you a clear farm and XP advantage.
At level 1 you can choose to harass the enemy or farm, but I generally lean towards harassing early game. If you choose to harass be careful, as you can blow through your mana quickly at level 1, so only use your barrel roll when you know you can hit the maximum number of creeps or enemies. After level 1 you don't really have problems with mana thanks to drunken rage, which you learn at level 2.
If I'm top or bottom lanes I tend to keep the lane pushed and attack from the bushes. I find I have a MUCH greater chance of hitting champions with my barrel rolls when I attack from cover. Try and dominate the lane so you may use the cover of the bushes to your advantage. Farm as much as you can, but also try to hit enemy champs whenever you can. Most importantly, be sure to utilize your drunken rage as much as possible!
Gragas can easily dominate a lane from levels 1-6 without heading back. You may not rack up a ton of kills early-game, because enemies get away with 1-5% HP from time to time after getting smacked with your third or fourth barrel roll. Don't fret, just eat up the experience and keep farming and pushing their tower. The kills will come.
Powering towers down with Gragas is easy thanks to his range. Toss a barrel roll at the base of the tower and let it sit while you attack the tower. Most enemies will be too scared of your barrel to push you off the tower. Your body slam also gives you an escape and allows you stay at the tower longer than most.
Mid GameDepending on the type of game being played by both sides you may just continue to push your lane. However, most of the time you'll have powered down the enemy tower by level 7-8. The damage output and range of your barrel rolls makes you one of the best tower pushers in-game.
If you've downed the first enemy tower that is when the fun begins. You can then choose to roam to other lanes and harass and gank the enemy. Thanks to the cover of brush in the water in all three lanes, you can easily gank enemies with a well placed explosive cask that pushes an enemy to your tower and allies.
You can also choose to counter-jungle or help push other lanes and power other towers down. What you do mid-game is dependent on how your team is playing, I like to fill in holes where I see the need. Gragas is great at both defense and offense, so play however you like at this point.
I'm a bit of a troll, so I find that continually poking enemies with your barrel roll keeps them occupied. An enemy doesn't usually go on the offensive with 50-70% HP, so continue to harass throughout the match, especially groups of enemies.
Continue to farm, farm and farm. Grabbing blue buff whenever you can.
Late GameLate game is again dependent on how your team is doing. However, if you've had a good match with a few kills and a ton of farm, you should have the items that allow you to be more aggressive, especially against squishies. You can also push lanes to the second line of turrets on your own. Explosive cask, body slam and flash give you great escapability.
When I am alone and there are multiple enemies I tend to harass with a barrel roll and then fall back. Rinse and repeat. When I am 1v1 I'll take on just about any champion late-game, because if I can't get them down, I can do some major damage and retreat with body slam. Like with all champions, the key is to not overextend, get out of position or put yourself in gankable situations.
Continue to farm, farm and farm. Grabbing blue buff whenever you can.
Team FightsGragas really shines in team fights. Just before team fights make sure to pop your drunken rage and be ready to either knock enemies away or back with your exploding cask. Also, don't forget to slow down fleeing enemies or protecting allies with your body slam.
For team fights I tend to position myself midway between the tank and the ranged. This allows me to body slam into a fight, or away from a fight if needed. Aiming your exploding cask correctly is usually your most important task in team fights.
There are times when you'd like to isolate enemies, and other times when you'd like to push all enemies towards you, or all enemies away from you. Work with your team to figure out the priority before hand. If you miss your exploding cask you may not be much of an asset in team fights.
At level 18 when your barrel roll cool down is only about 3 seconds, but many team fights may be over before you get your second one off. Also be prepared to use your body slam at any moment, as it can be vital to ensuring a kill, or ensuring that you or your ally can escape alive.
I'd like to thank the people below for helping with this guide by offering information and/or feedback.
- Reddit User: knobbodi - mastery tweak
- Reddit User: screenshotted - item tweak
- Reddit User: TheSnufking - homer simpson gif
- LoL Forum User: Mercuryy - base build
- LoL Forum User: Omertaz - item tweak
- SoloMid User: BlueMaroon - item addition
- SoloMid User: niNjaballa - mastery tweak, guide tweak
- SoloMid User: pints - mastery tweak
- SoloMid User: Severomorsk - item correction
And of course, Shushei.