Hi, I'm Revolver Axel and this is my sololane Graves guide. I'm not really competitive or super skilled, but I just wanted to share an effective build I've found that brought some fun back into Graves, my favorite ranged character. Graves is naturally tankier than other ranged carries, but he lacks in range, which hurts his late game dps. But building him with more hp and resists gives him enough staying power to contribute to late game fights, while still giving him relevant damage. His base damages aren't too shabby, and armor pen on his ultimate can really screw up clumped up players. So why play Graves in a solo lane? Most of the popular ranged picks bottom lane have greater range or easier laning than Graves. Most of the supports that have synergy with Graves have been nerfed or have fallen out of flavor (IE. Taric). So Graves has a much harder time bot lane than he used to. Taking him to a solo lane gives him increased XP and income. Graves can lane fine against many bruisers and casters as long as you play it safe and don't get greedy and overextend. Graves worries less about gapclosers than other carries, as he can answer any charge with a full damage Q and a W + E disengage. In teamfights, Graves peels for everyone with Mallet and Hurricane. With careful passive management and a good feel for how aggressive you can be, Graves can easily be an asset to any team comp.
Basic Graves skill order, except I take a 2nd rank in W at lvl 8, as it has decent damage.
Play almost like you would Teemo, attempt to deny CS while farming up yourself. Don't push the lane too hard, but try and keep your passive stacked, as it makes a big difference early game. Don't worry if you feel like you're losing. Graves doesn't taper after early game. Just try to farm up and stay safe. If you feel like you are dueling quite a bit, Mallet might be a good second buy, otherwise, take Hurricane next to push.
Continue farming and stick with your team when they go to do dragon or buffs. Try to control the rift crabs, as the free ward is awesome. Graves isn't the best split-pusher, but he will be clearing waves like nothing. try to push up to towers when your team doesn't need you, but always look at your map for MIAs. Your ultimate is great in small fights and can easily swing one in your favor if you land a good shot.
Try not to get caught out. The five man teamfights are the make or break moments of the game. Peel for your carries by attacking anyone in range. Don't go for their carries without support, or you will die. You may be tankier than an adc but you still don't have the tankiness of [img=champ/olaf.png] [img=champ/shen.png] [img=champ/singed.png] [img=champ/volibear.png] Etc. Eventually, you'll get a feel for how much you can do in a fight. Just try to stay within the general vicinity of the team. Don't clump together, since AOE can wreck a team without good postitioning.
Many teamfights are a mess, so just try to skirt the edges, auto-attacking whoever is in range. If you have a diver going for their carry, you can support them with an ulti and a well placed W. If the enemy is focusing you, do whatever you can to disengage, and hope that your team is taking advantage of the distraction. Remember it's called a teamfight because everyone has to play a part.
When you do well with Graves, especially after winning your lane, you will probably be the priority target of the enemy. If that happens, you must start to consider yourself an adc and stick with your team to win objectives. Unfortunately, sometimes your team may be too far behind your opponents in levels to effectively peel their divers off of you. Just remember to consider who will be targeting you and who you can breathe easy around. The following champs have an easy time killing you without team support. [img=champ/warwick.png] [img=champ/poppy.png] [img=champ/masteryi.png] [img=champ/fiora.png] [img=champ/fizz.png] [img=champ/talon.png] [img=champ/zed.png] [img=champ/akali.png] [img=champ/khazix.png] [img=champ/vayne.png] [img=champ/udyr.png]
Thanks for being awesome and reading this guide. I'll try to add in some extra information as time goes on. Please, if you feel the need to downvote, tell me why so that I can improve the guide. Good Luck!