Rock it out with Lady Gragas - by IncredibleJoey

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DISCLAIMER: Although I am not a high ELO or top tier player, I do play a very decent Gragas. I have been with him since he was introduced in all of his semi-uselessness. I have suffered the endless queue dodges and demands for me to swap heroes. Now, Gragas and I have weathered the storm and have emerged as a fat dude and a semi-geeky kid at a computer. This isn’t “professional” advice, but I do suggest you try the following at home.

AP RATIO: Your AP / AP bonus
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Introduction:

Gragas is a hero who seems to have a tossed salad of abilities yet almost no focus. Well, at least that’s the way most people view him upon first sight. When Gragas came out there were various debates on what role he’d play and how well he’d play it. When I look at Gragas, the first thing I see is that he is a caster with a tinge of support and great pushing skills.
Pros:
• Self sustaining
• Great pusher
• Spammable spells
• Decent mobility
• Lane control

Skills & Skill Build:

Passive – Happy Hour - Upon ability use, Gragas takes a drink restoring 2% of his maximum health over 4 seconds.
This passive is great, especially if you aren’t soloing. As Gragas, I rarely solo mid. Not that it presents a problem, but because you are able to set up your allies or be set up by them. Another advantage to laning top or bottom is the grass. The grass really lets this passive do its best. Spamming a barrel roll every time the cool down is over will heal you more than you could believe. The great thing about this passive is that timing your skills right can heal you for 6% every 12 seconds. And although that may not seems like much, it does make more of a difference than it superficially shows.

(Q) Barrel Roll – Gragas rolls a cask to a location, which can be activated to explode or will explode on its own after 5 seconds. 

When it comes to Gragas’ skills, barrel roll is extremely useful. When in doubt, do a barrel roll. It can be used to push, harass, ward off people, catch escapees, and farm. Although it can be a smidgeon mana intensive at early levels, it is well worth spamming. Spamming this spell gets you into 1 of the following situations: either you’ve nuked the enemy champions so hard they’ve exhausted every heal they have and are forced to miss out on exp or go back to base, or you’ve pushed hardcore and are keeping a never ending front on the enemy turret. Both of these situations are favorable. It’s up to you which one is better. When it comes to hitting with barrel roll, take the time to watch how the enemy dodges. Most people have a default escape click. If they dodge to the right, place them in the left half of the hit box. Most of the time, people tend to just run back when they see a barrel being hurled at them from the bushes. If this is the case, Place the box behind them. Every once in a while, you get enemies that randomly dodge and don’t have a pattern. These people are the most annoying to hit. Forget them, and farm. It may take some getting used to, but once you get consistent hits, the lane is yours. This barrel can also be used for scaring people off. Usually, you can cast barrel roll behind the enemy caster creeps and leave in undetonated. The threat of being nuked is enough to scare off most squishies and to keep them from killing your creeps. I’ve also found that the barrel can absorb cleavers from Mundo. When you get a kill with barrel roll, it is almost required that you type THAT’S HOW I ROLL! Over all chat.

(W) Drunken Rage – Gragas guzzles down brew from his cask for one second, restoring his mana. After finishing, he becomes drunkenly empowered, increasing his damage dealt and reducing damage received.

This skill is the answer to Gragas’ mana problems early game. This skill should never be off cool down. The benefits are too great to go ignored. Getting 100 mana every 35 seconds is glorious, especially when that mana also comes with survivability. The damage reduction does make a difference and so does your damage buff. Although they may not be very noticeable at lower levels, they can make or break Gragas in a lane. At later levels when the item build has reached most of its potential, you should always be pissed. It will only have an 18 second cool down while the drunken buff lasts for 20 seconds. The only advice I can give for this skill is to use it before fights, and to make sure it’s never off cool down. Use it to its full potential, and it will show you yours. Yeah, this skill inspires drunken philosophical thought. 

(E) Body Slam – Gragas charges to a location and collides with the first enemy unit he comes across, dealing damage to all nearby enemy units and slowing their movement. Damage is split amongst units hit.

Body slam is an essential skill for chasing/escaping. Since its buff, it has allowed you to travel over certain terrains and walls that were impassable before. In fact, there are only a few walls that can’t be charged through. To figure out if a wall can be passed, look at the distance of your charge. He actually charges about one of his body lengths farther than his range says. If the blue line is on the edge of the other side of the terrain, you can charge. Same goes for anything skinnier. My favorite escape route through the river is over the wall around baron or dragon. Since the hit box has been tightened, you can charge into their areas and not have to worry about agro. Charge can also be used to get you to the right position for the rest of your offensive skills. In chasing it really closes the gap and vice versa for escaping. In fact the only characters I have come across that are able to catch me are Nidalee in cougar form, Kassadin, and Yi with highlander. The damage from the skill also increases based on your attack damage; so, in fights make sure to drink before using this skill. After a charge, Gragas auto attacks right away effectively making the damage output on a solo target 240 + 166% of his damage when this skill is at level 5. 

(R) Explosive Cask – Gragas throws his cask to an area. Upon landing, it deals magical damage to all enemies struck, knocking them back.

Explosive cask is not a let down by any means to me. I’ve heard people whine about how slow it is and how little damage it does. Those people don’t really know what they are talking about. When it comes to ultimates, this is one of the more spammable in the game. With the right items, this skill can deal 600+ damage every 36 seconds. I particularly love this spell because later in the game it’s an easy way to farm any massive creep waves that could have amassed. This skill can also be used to scramble an enemy teams push or to knock an enemy or two into your wolf pack of a team. On the flip side of the coin, its knock back is similar to that of Alistar’s head but, making it useful as an escape skill as well. At early levels, I like to cast this spell if someone is porting near their tower with about 150 life or less. Guaranteed kill if you are quick about it. I’ve also been known to use this skill in a one on one battle/chase to knock them back into range so I can hit them with a charge and subsequently hit them with a barrel roll after.

My skill build usually goes something like this:

Q E W Q Q R Q W Q E R E E W W R E W 

During the early levels, barrel roll is your number one. This is because it is so useful. By level 3 you should have every basic skill to level 1. From here on, max barrel roll and get your ultimate whenever you can. The skill you max next is up to you and the circumstances you face. Generally, I get drunken rage to level 2 before I level body slam very much. This is because the boosts drunken provides are good enough to get you through early and middle game without having to sacrifice any damage output. It is important to get your ultimate whenever you can because it’s his ultimate. If that isn’t a good enough reason, maybe this will help to change your mind. When placed correctly, it is effectively Tristana’s ultimate times however many champs you hit. It has relatively close damage output and the knockback is similar in distance. The bonus being, that you can hurl as many people as you want into your turret and allies.

Item Build:

While there are tons of ways you could build this chap with marginal success, I find that the best build for me and the build that compliments everything Gragas needs overall is that of an AP/attack build. The build focuses more on AP, but the damage is still present.

The build is: 

• Haunting Guise
• Boots of Swiftness
• Nashor’s Tooth
• Rylai’s Scepter
Optional:
• Guinsoo’s Rageblade
• Last Whisper
• Void Staff
• Zhonya’s
• Any other item you think may compliment him and your style.

Right out of the gate, I get the 2 regeneration items that go into Haunting Guise and a potion. Whether or not you get the potion is up to you. I usually get a health pot in case we get reamed early on. You could get a mana potion if you are concerned with your spammability. Personally, I’ve never run into any mana issues with Gragas early on. With the survivability that Gragas possesses, its easy to stay in lane until you get 1907 gold, which would be enough to finish Haunting Guise and buy Boots of Swiftness. Stay whenever you can, and go back when you feel like it. Rarely have I been forced to go back to base because I was beat hardcore in my lane. The next item on the docket is Nashor’s tooth. Buy the parts to Fiendish Codex first then Stinger. Finish Nashor’s Tooth and then start Rylai’s. Rylai’s helps Gragas become more of a team player than he already is. Although the slow doesn’t help body slam at all, the 15% slow on barrel roll and explosive cask are helpful in team fights. Games almost always last long enough for the build to be completed this far. Next I usually build a Guinsoo’s to compliment the damage buff Gragas gets from drunken rage and the AP bonus is nice. If the game lasts long enough for you to finish Guinsoo’s and move on to another item, I end up going Last Whisper. It’s a little farfetched, but once again, it makes drunken rage more useful than it already is. The armor penetration is also pretty decent. Overall, this build matches my play style and augments as many facets of Gragas as possible without great sacrifices. 
Imagine if you will, a caster. This caster has 2500 health, 241 damage, 200 ability power, maxed cool down reduction and, high spell penetration. Well, all of these things and more can come true with Gragas.

Runes & Masteries:

My general caster page was built around Gragas and what I wanted out of him. Conveniently, it covers something most casters need: Spell penetration. I run both marks and glyphs of insight, and seals of regeneration. All runes are Tier 3 runes. The same goes with quintessences. I run 2 Greater quintessences of insight and the 3rd is completely up to you. Let it augment whatever you want. I generally go for less time dead. That’s just me though. 

With the masteries I run 9-0-21 divvied up as shown below. The picture is at the bottom of the post. 



Attitude & Play style:

Levels 1-7 Early Game

Early game is all about harassing and establishing an edge over your opponents for mid to late game. Hiding in the grass top or bottom, can help with hitting your barrel roll. People tend to move slower if they don’t get the vocal warning that the barrel is coming. Keep them back and as under leveled as possible. Farm constantly, and look for shots that will both damage enemy heroes and hit as many creeps as possible. Multitask. This is the time to get a good majority of your kills.

Levels 8 – 14 Middle Game

Mid game is more about the support. Gragas’ nukes are decent but don’t have the damage output to kill one on one. Rack up as many assists as you can and try not to die. Most likely, your lane enemies have gotten pissed, caught up to an extent and warned their allies about how annoying you were. There may be some focus on you. If this is the case, stand near the middle in any team fight and spam nukes. Try not to initiate, Gragas doesn’t have the gumption to face off with many heroes.

Levels 14 + Late Game

Late game is another time to shine. Your nukes and damage output have maxed out. Pushing power is relatively great. In bad scenarios, Gragas can be a mean defender. Kills can come easily against most semi-squishy to squishy heroes, especially one on one. Spam spells constantly and make sure drunken rage is never off cool down. While Gragas can help the team greatly in team fights, he can push solo hard core. If your team can handle a 4 man push in one lane, take the time to push another lane solo or defend if you have to. 

Conclusion:

I would like to thank you people for taking the time to read my guide. I hope you do well with the reborn Gragas. Keep me posted and spread the Gragas love. If you have an amazing game, post a screenie as a response! Good Luck and keep rocking out with Lady Gragas! Questions and comments are more than welcome.


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