LoL Graves Guide – Builds, Strategy and Roles

By   /   Jan 20, 2012

Xan Hisam – Graves, the outlaw is a strong, shotgun wielding ranger with higher defense than most ranged DPS characters.

With a passive that increases defense the longer he stays in battle, a quick dash maneuver useful for quickly catching up to an enemy or getting out of battle and strong area of effect abilities in his arsenal, Graves is a balanced ranger and a force to be reckoned with. Graves is classified as a ranger and a carry in League of Legends.

Graves Abilities

True Grit (Innate Passive)
Graves gains bonus armor and magic resistance the longer he remains in combat. This effect stacks every second and goes up to a maximum of 10 stacks.

Buckshot (Q)
Graves fires three bullets in a cone, damaging all enemies in their paths. Targets hit by multiple bullets receive 25% damage from bullets beyond the first.

Smoke Screen (W)
Graves fires a smoke canister at the target area creating a cloud of smoke that lasts a few seconds. Enemies inside the smoke cloud have reduced sight range and Movement Speed.

Quickdraw (E)
Graves dashes forward gaining an Attack Speed boost for several seconds. Hitting enemies with basic attacks lowers the cooldown of this skill.

Collateral Damage (R)
Graves fires an explosive shell dealing heavy damage to the first champion it hits. After hitting a champion or reaching the end of its range, the shell explodes dealing damage in a cone behind its point of impact.

Your Guide To Graves Abilities

  • Graves can dash through certain walls using Quickdraw.
  • The passive bonus for True Grit is not lost as long as Graves stays in combat. Graves is considered to be in combat if he has dealt or received damage in the last 3 seconds.
  • Enemies inside Smoke Screen do not have allied vision and have their vision limited to only what is inside the smoke cloud. Targets attacking them from outside the smoke cloud are visible however.
  • Basic attacks against structures do not lower the cooldown for Quickdraw.
  • Graves deals physical damage mostly. All of Graves’ offensive abilities deal physical damage and have their damage outputs modified by Graves’ attack damage except Smoke Screen.
  • Smoke Screen deals magic damage and damage output for it scales with ability power. Collateral Damage has high range and travels fast.

How To Play With Graves In League of Legends

Graves is a rather easy champion to master. Although none of his spells are locked on attacks, they are all fairly simple to land.

Collateral Damage is the only spell with a long-range and requires slightly more precision than his other 2 abilities, but it’s quite easy even when trying to connect it with someone at maximum range because of the projectile’s travelling speed.

Save Quickdraw for when it’s absolutely necessary and use it offensively only when it’s required to get a kill, otherwise use it to get out of sticky situations.

Graves Starter Build

Early on, balance out defensive and offensive runes and masteries when playing Graves. He should deal plenty of damage and survive a moderate amount of punishment with the following loadout:

Fill all 9 of your slots for Marks with armor penetration. Equip armor per level runes in Seals and magic resistance per level runes in Glyphs. For Quintessences, I’d recommend armor penetration in all 3 slots.

You could however go with a more balanced overall build and equip a Quintessence from one of each of those stats, that is, armor penetration, armor and magic resistance. This should allow your Graves to withstand a decent amount of damage while dealing heavy damage himself.Your masteries should be 21/9/0. Take the armor and magic resist bonuses in defensive masteries followed by the health upgrades.

Follow the attack damage path in offensive masteries all the way down to the final mastery, investing points in critical chance, critical damage, armor penetration, attack speed and life-steal. Since the attack damage bonus only has 3 ranks, you can either spend one point on increased minion damage or on upgrading your summoner spells.

Pick ‘Flash’ and ‘Exhaust’ as your summoner spells. Exhaust can be used offensively for getting a kill as well as defensively to drastically reduce an enemy DPS character’s damage output. ‘Flash’; when used in quick succession with Quickdraw, should make you better at chasing and escaping by helping you quickly close in on an enemy or distance yourself from him for a clean retreat.

Graves Items, Abilities and Tips

Start the game with Doran’s Blade. Return to the shop when you’ve made enough gold to buy shoes and a BF Sword. If you’ve had a bad start and are unable to amass enough gold, I suggest stacking a few more Doran’s Blade(s) until things get better.

Just sell them off when things get back on track and you’re running out of space in your inventory. Next, finish up your boots by upgrading them into Berserker’s Greaves or Mercury Treads; depending on whichever you need more, and buy a Vampiric Scepter.

Convert your BF Sword and Vampiric Scepter into a Bloodthirster when you have enough gold and start making an Infinity Edge. Focus on crafting a Phantom Dancer when done with Infinity Edge. Now create a Frozen Mallet followed by Atma’s Impaler as your final item.

Get Buckshot on level 1 and unlock Quickdraw on the following level. Keep leveling Buckshot when it’s available and spend your ability point on Smoke Screen at level 4. Do not level Smoke Screen any further and level Quickdraw when Buckshot is unavailable for upgrading.

Get ultimate at level 6 and improve it at levels 11 and 16. Max out Quickdraw when done with Buckshot. Upgrade Smoke Screen when you’ve leveled all the other abilities. Keep moving around and last-hit minions as much as you can.

Harass enemy champions with Buckshot and basic attacks when they move into your range. When trying to get a kill on an enemy champion, use Buckshot after closing in on your enemy; preferably without Quickdraw or ‘Flash’, to deal slightly more damage with it.

Time your Quickdraw and/or Flash with your enemy’s escape maneuver (be it ‘Flash’ or any other such ability) so that they don’t escape at low health. If the enemy champion is a ranger, and will deal a good amount of damage if simply attempt to reduce the distance between their champion and yours by running, then use Quickdraw for it.

Use Quickdraw early in a fight if you think you’ll be able to auto-attack enough to get it off cooldown before its needed again. When using ‘Exhaust’ offensively, cast it when the distance between you and the enemy champion is least so that you can make the most of it.

Go to next page for advanced play-styles and build strategies.

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