Gragas Build Guide

I am Tarzan (AP-Bruiser Jungle Gragas) (RETIRED)

Updated 4 years ago
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Hey guys, I've decided to retire this guide, I don't think jungle gragas is any good in S3. The main problem is that the itemization changes are all horrible for him, so he'll be doing much less damage than before and I just don't think he's viable right now without a buff or some better caster itemization. Junglers are pretty much forced to build machete at least and probably spirit stone after the jungle changes. However, spirit stone is not a good item for gragas because 7mp5 is just not enough for him, he needs chalice. Being forced to buy this item just to clear the jungle as fast as before sets him back 800g in his build. Furthermore, sorc shoes haunting guise and athene's were all nerfed, so he loses 10 magic penetration and 30 ap, meanwhile they added the new runic bulwark item which every team buys now, so the enemies are all going to have 15 magic resist more than last patch compared to last patch's aegis aura. Thats a net change of the enemies typically having about 25 more magic resist than before while gragas has 30 less AP. Other characters saw nerfs to their item builds, but they also added cool new items for them to buy such as Sightstone, the new and improved locket of the iron solari, frozen fist, liandry's, black cleaver, etc. I don't think that jungle gragas benefits from this new itemization. As far as I can tell the heavily nerfed mpen build is still the best build for them, so you can still use this guide if you want to jungle him, but I don't think jungle gragas is very strong in the current state of the game so I won't be updating this guide further barring a buff to either Gragas or his itemization.

I like to play around with underplayed and underappreciated junglers, and Gragas has been on my radar for a while. Right now I would say he is one of the strongest sleeper junglers. From the jungle gragas can be built in lots of ways, anywhere from full tank to full glass cannon AP. Some people even build him attack speed. After playing around with the glass cannon build, I decided that was not for me, so I've come up with a tanky ap build which suits my playstyle and gives Gragas a good mix of armor, health, magic resist, mana, ap, magic penetration and cooldown reduction. My build may look odd but I've done a lot of math on this and this is IMO the most efficient way to get the balance of stats I need. Gragas does not need to be as tanky as someone like Maokai, but building him somewhat tanky gives you the option of using E offensively, adding to his damage, utility, and chasing and initiation capability. As it stands, Gragas has many advantages as a jungler: 1) Faster than average clear time 2) Extremely versitile, safe, and unpredictable pathing 3) Very short cooldown dash (E) with a built in slow. At 7 seconds base, this is much lower cooldown than comparable dashes from other junglers, especially at lower ranks of the skill. This gives him huge mobility. With the cooldown reduction from blue, this dash can be used multiple times during a gank, making it extremely difficult for enemies to escape from Gragas if they are not near their tower. 4) Solid level 3 ganks. 5) Very strong level 6 ganks with ult. 6) Good sustain through his passive. 7) One of the few junglers who can viably build as an AP Carry from the jungle, allowing for interesting team compositions. 8) His ult can mess up AOE comps 9) Strong poke for late game poke-offs. He does have some disadvantages: 1) As junglers don't get a lot of farm, his damage falls off late game. He won't be able to 100%-0% anyone like mid lane gragas can, because he won't be as farmed or leveled and won't have ignite. 2) Skillshots can be juked. His Q is easy to dodge, and his E can be dodged as well with good timing. His ult is hard to miss entirely but getting it to knock the person the way you want them to go is trick business. 3) His Q doesn't reveal bushes

Gragas pathing is extremely versitile. He can viably gank at level 2, 3 or 4, and he can even invade weaker junglers such as amumu or nautilus. He can take any path, and full clear to level 4 reasonably fast in roughly 3:35. When I jungle gragas, I prefer to gank at level 3, so I usually choose one of two routes which gets me double buff and level 3 in roughly 2:50: [highlight]Blue Path: [/highlight] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p37gAHTabMg[/youtube] [highlight]Red Path:[/highlight] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaMuJBz-7L4[/youtube] Basically, go [highlight]wolves --> Blue --> red[/highlight], or [highlight]wraiths --> red --> blue[/highlight], depending on which lane you want to gank first. You can also go [highlight]double golems--> red --> blue[/highlight] if they ward your wraiths. With clever pathing and misdirection you should be able to avoid being spotted by their ward. If you get a good enough leash, you can save your smite the 2nd buff you take, rather than using it on the first. Gragas' level 3 ganks are solid and pretty safe. Once you have both buffs there's little reason for the enemy to counterjungle--these routes secure both buffs quickly. In addition, with all 3 of his skills plus exhaust vs opponents that are typically only level 2, he can usually secure a kill. It's often a good idea to gank top at level 3, in which case you can take the red-> blue route for blue side, or blue->red route for purple side. You can also gank any other lane at level 3 if they look vulnerable. [highlight]Invasions:[/highlight] Gragas is actually surprisingly good at dueling enemies in the jungle. I mean, he's not really a duelist but he can hold his own. He has two defensive steroids: the damage reduction on his W and the attack speed reduction from his Q. He also has an ad steroid which helps early game, and his dash allows him to get out of sticky situations or chase down overextended enemies who try to invade you. vs weaker junglers who you think are starting at blue, like amumu or nautilus, it's often a good idea to invade their red buff at level 2 and steal it. Start at your own blue and get a strong leash to save smite. Then head to the dragon/baron circle, jump accross the wall to the area near red, barrel the red lizard from the other side of the wall, and wait for it to come around the corner for an easy steal.

There are lots of directions to gank from with gragas, esp since he can jump over walls. The typical come from the river gank works great. I like to try to come from behind if possible, because if you can cut them off from their tower there they have to either try to run through you or try to sneak away through the jungle which rarely works vs gragas as he can chase forever with his E. Also once you have ult you can knock them completely out of position with it. It's generally best to save ult for an opportune time rather than just opening with it during a gank, unless you're trying to knock them away from their tower. When ganking, open with E, so they're slowed, then hit them with an easy point-blank Q. Just tap q twice so it explodes immediately. They can't avoid that unless they flash it, in which case hit them with exhaust and chase them down, your e should be back up soon enough. If they're overextended past river, you can reliably kill them just by comming from the side and hitting them with E preventing their escape, then Q them when they're slowed, and wait for your laner to catch up. If they flash or something you can hit them with exhaust or ult to slow them down, and then another E. They're probably not getting away. You can also lane gank once you have ult. With this method you attack from your own tower, where they probably won't have any wards. Tell your allies to bait or CC the enemies then run up. Just as you get into enemy sight range, hit E to get even closer. You may be in ult range already but careful you dont' want to knock them the wrong way. You can wait for your E to come off of cooldown again then E --> ult. Of course if they have some kind of flash or are just very fast, this won't work so, so you'll ideally want your team to bait them hard or CC them long enough for you to get a clean ult to knock them towards you so you can kill them. Since gragas can jump walls with his E, you can jump the blue side tribush wall near the tower, or the wraiths wall at mid to gank from almost the direction of their tower. Follow it up with exhaust and/or ult to lock them down and help kill them along with your teammate. [highlight]Ganking Bot Lane[/highlight] Ganking bot lane is somewhat of an art, since it's usually warded. When ganking bot lane, often the best way is to lane gank, by sneaking into the bushes and jumping. But ask your laners if the bushess are warded first, so you don't waste time or get counterganked. You can also go for a river gank but it's usually warded. If you know where the ward is, and they're overextended, you can possibly outrun them. Hit E as soon as you get into the ward's sight range, it will be back soon enough, then once you get to the lane, hit E again, then MAYBE you can catch them with an ult. Your laner's CC/baits/distraction helps too. Just because they warded river doesn't mean you can't gank them from there if you're fast enough. When ganking bot lane when you are purple side, you'll often notice them ward river but not the tribrush. Usually they'll either ward both the dragon and the tribush, or they'll just put a random ward in river before the dragon. If they do that, you can often catch them by sneaking into the dragon pit out of sight of their ward, using e to jump the wall, then heading to the tribush and ganking from that direction. The support only has so many wards so they probably won't see you comming. When ganking bot on blue side, you can come from the tribush, and use E right after you leave the tribush to gain as much distance as possible. They may see you but if they're overextended it may be too late for them to run away. If your team has pushed the lane, you can head strait for the tower and try a dive, I wouldn't do this until level 6. Key point: [highlight]If you head tower dive, do not waste time [/highlight] If a good opportunity to dive does not present itself within ~3 sec of you getting into position, you should back off and either abort or try to push the lane and maybe take the turret. The problem with tower dives is that you open yourself up to really strong counterganks so if you do it, do it fast before the opponents get into position to counter you.

I build gragas as a tanky AP. He also works as full ap but that's not my playstyle. [highlight]Starting: [img=items/boots-of-speed.png] [img=items/health-potion4.png][/highlight] I start boots because they make my level 3 ganks stronger, and also because there's nothing I immediately want to build with any other item. [highlight]Buy ASAP: [/highlight] [img=items/chalice-of-harmony.png] I don't have any magic resist from runes, so this gives you some nice MR early so you don't get blown up when their mid comes to countergank. But mostly you're buying this for the mana regen, which should cover all of your early game mana needs and let you spam skills to clear the jungle quickly. Also, this builds into athene's which you'll want to pick up eventually as it's a nice item for gragas. The passive lets you spam spells which gives you lots of heath sustain from your passive. If you don't buy this you'll run out of mana clearing the jungle with Q, unless you have blue buff. [highlight] Optional: [img=items/oracles-elixir.png] [/highlight] Gragas is a very good oracles carrier as he has his dash to escape from sticky situations and he's naturally tanky. If you get ahead a little early and/or think your opponents are warding a lot, go ahead and pick this up for map control. [highlight]Next: [img=items/sorcerers-shoes.png][img=items/haunting-guise.png] [/highlight] These two items together give you 40 magic penetration, which is huge early game as you'll be doing true damage to squishies who only have 40 magic resist. Some people consider hauting guise to be a bad item, and they are wrong. If the opponent has 40 magic resist, reducing that to zero increases your total magic damage by 40% Let's do some math: assuming a level 11 gragas with 5 points in Q, 3 points in E and 2 points in R, with 51 ap and 123 ad, you're doing 770 damage + 2.4 ap + .66ad, or 973.58 damage with your full QER combo to a target with zero magic resist. In comparison, you'll be doing 695.41 damage to a target with 40 magic resist. In terms of AP, you would need ((973.58 - 695.41)*1.4)/2.4 AP to increase your damage by the same amount, or [highlight]162.26 AP[/highlight]. So in this scenario, the 40 mpen from sorc shoes and haunting guise are worth up to 162.26 AP vs certain types of squishy targets. ( Mpen is worth less relatively vs high MR targets, but this is early-game and they probably aren't stacking that much MR yet, especially if you're ganking one of the side lanes where people are more likely to build armor. And it's still very cost-efficient vs people with less than 100 MR, which most people don't have until late game if ever) The main disadvantage of haunting guise is that it takes up an inventory spot and doesn't build anything bigger, despite being extremely cost effective. This isn't as much of a problem on a jungler as a mid laner though, as junglers get less gold than mid laners and rarely reach full build, making haunting guise a very strong early game pickup. The other disadvantage is that magic pen doesn't help your jungling but really by the time you get chalice you shouldn't be having any trouble clearing the jungle just by spamming barrels all day, so the damage you deal to players is more important at this point in the game. [highlight]Mid Game Purchases: [/highlight] The order of the next items are somewhat situational, if your enemy team is extremely heavy physical you can pick up frozen heart earlier... if you have a bunch of kills and are higher level than usual, you can forgo the tank items and just build athene's at this point. Listed is the typical order, though: [highlight]Aegis of the Legion: [img=items/aegis-of-the-legion.png][/highlight] This is a doo0ooooooom guide so you shouldn't be surprised to see this, I build this on every jungler! But there's a reason: it's so good, it gives you balanced tank stats which multiply together (mathematically better than just stacking one stat), and also an awesome aura which helps out your team. By now it will be getting to the point where the gank phase is over and the bigger team fights are going to start, so you'll want to beef yourself up a bit more as charging with E into multiple people is a lot more dangerous than charging into that one guy you're ganking. If you don't buy a tank item at this point you may lose your ability to safely initiate. Also, did I mention the aura on this thing is awesome? [highlight]Athene's Unholy Grail: [img=items/athenes-unholy-grail.png][/highlight] for a little over 2k, this upgrades chalice to give you infinite mana for all practical purposes, 90 ap, 15% cdr and 10 more magic resist. CDR is great on gragas as it allows you to spam your E for chasing making it much easier to catch people, and also lets you use your ult and Q more often and gives you full uptime on W. [highlight]Frozen Heart: [img=items/frozen-heart.png][/highlight] At this point in the game, the AD Carries start to get a little more scary so you'll want to beef up your armor and also nerf their attack speed, this is a great overall item. It also maxes out your CDR along with Athene's. The mana isn't particularly useful as you already have chalice or athene's, but there aren't that many good CDR items that don't have mana on them, so whatever. It's still pretty cost efficient even if you value the mana at nothing. [highlight]Super Late Game pickups: [/highlight] I like [img=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png] as a last item, at that point in the game the ad carries get so scary that frozen heart won't save you. This item allows you to initiate a fight with EQR then zhonya's while your team cleans up the mess, and your E will come back soon after your zhonya's expires so you can escape if they still want to focus you. Another good options is [img=items/guardian-angel.png]. If you expect the next big teamfight to decide the game, this is the best item you can buy. Or you could build [img=items/abyssal-scepter.png] for the aura if nobody else built it by now. or build [img=items/randuins-omen.png] as a last item vs extremely heavy physical comps. If it goes to super-super late, you can sell haunting guise and pickup deathcap or randuins or something. [highlight]Alternative full AP build for different playstyle: [/highlight] Ok, so everyone has their own playsytles, some like to wait around in the back lines for a fight to start, then once it does go in and blow things up with massive damage. Others (like me) prefer to be the front line champs who starts the fight in the first place. Gragas can perform either role pretty well, as he has both lots of burst damage and utility initiation capability, he's naturally tanky and gets very tanky if you build him with some durability. Anyway, I'm not going to call you bad or say you're playing gragas wrong if you build him full ap, and if you do this is the build i'd recommend: [.]Glass cannon AP Carry: [img=items/boots-of-speed.png][img=items/chalice-of-harmony.png][img=items/kages-lucky-pick.png][img=items/sorcerers-shoes.png][img=items/haunting-guise.png][img=items/athenes-unholy-grail.png][img=items/rabadons-deathcap.png][img=items/deathfire-grasp.png] Use the above build if you want to hang out in the back lines and poke and then blow things up if a serious fight starts. Note that this build is a lot different than typical AP mid gragas-- This is [highlight]not[/highlight] because I think the pros are bad and building gragas wrong mid-lane. The reason that lane gragas usually builds AP like dorans or needlessly large rod before building that much spellpen or mana regen is so he can one shot the caster minions with one barrel, which makes farming and last hitting much safer/easier. That isn't a problem for jungle gragas, you don't need to be able to one shot the caster minions, so you'd rather have early mana sustain (chalice) and magic pen (sorcs/guise) than early ap (needless rod, dorans, etc). Getting an early 40 mpen does more damage to players than building strait AP, and since you aren't in a lane trying to one shot creep waves so you can farm safely, you'd rather have the extra damage to players IMO. Also, jungle gragas has some serious mana problems if you don't rush chalice, lane gragas generally uses less mana so can get away without it (not to say chalice is bad on lane gragas, but it isn't a must like it is for jungle gragas). [highlight]GP10 Support Gragas [/highlight] You can also build gragas as a support-tank, similar to how you'd build maokai, alistar, nunu or nautilus. With this mentality you'd want an early oracles for sure as gragas can play safe with an oracles so he's a good carrier of it. Support jungle gragas could be built something like this: [img=items/boots-of-speed.png][img=items/philosophers-stone.png][img=items/kages-lucky-pick.png][img=items/oracles-elixir.png][img=items/heart-of-gold.png][img=items/aegis-of-the-legion.png] Honestly, I don't really like the GP10 meta but these kinds of builds have worked for pro players on junglers like nunu and I don't see why it wouldn't work for gragas as well. and of course buy tons of wards. Late game build whatever you want as you'll have a bunch of gold from the GP10s if you make it to late game. [highlight]AD Gragas[/highlight] Some people like to jungle gragas as AD. Full Glass cannon AD is obviously bad as you'll explode before you get many auto attacks off due to being melee, but the attack speed wits end build isn't horrible, although I don't really like it and I don't have enough experience with it to give you an exact build. the advantage of this build is that you're less dependent on skillshots for your damage. the disadvantage is that you have much worse poke, less utility due to not building any CDR, and you really need to be in the thick of it to do anything. I honestly don't like this build because usually AD bruisers job is to dive the back lines of the enemies and go for the carries, but gragas E can be blocked by other players so if you try to dash at the carry you may find yourself in a thick of tanks, also I think there are better AD bruisers than gragas, even though he brings a rather unique ultimate. That said, I've seen it done, some people seem to think its better in the jungle, so maybe AD or aspeed gragas has some advantages that I just don't understand.

[highlight]Passive: Happy Hour [img=skills/gragas/p.png][/highlight] This gives you some good jungle sustain, esp once you get chalice and can spam skills. As you dash around the map with E just for the faster movement, this passive will slowly heal you up. [highlight]Q: Barrel Roll [img=skills/gragas/q.png][/highlight] Some nice aoe burst for blowing up jungle camps quickly, and also an attack speed debuff which reduces the damage you take, I skill this up first and max it first. At level 1 You can precast this on jungle camps ~6 seconds before they spawn, allowing for a double barrel to quickly clear them. These take about 1 second to roll to the target, and another 5 seconds to blow up, so casting these at about 1:34 vs wolves or wraiths is the best strategy for fast clearing. In teamfights the attack speed debuff on this is huge if you can land it on the enemy ad carry, which should generally be your target with barrels. Try to position your barrels to force the ad carry to either be hit by them or be zoned out of the fight. If you see a big clump of people you should also obviously barrel them as it's solid aoe damage. I rank this skill at level 1 as it does more aoe damage for jungling than the other skills and it also is good in a level 1 fight if one breaks out as you can poke and the enemy team down. [highlight]W: Drunken Rage [img=skills/gragas/w.png] [/highlight] Try to remember to cast this before fights (and in between your other spells to benefit from your passive more ) This gives you some nice attack damage which is useful in a brawl or when clearing the jungle, gives you free mana, and also makes you tankier. Nice skill overall, especially for one point. If starting at red, you should rank this at level 2 so you don't run out of mana. I rank this ability second. [highlight]Body Slam: [img=skills/gragas/e.png] [/highlight] This is definately Gragas' best skill. Despite this, I max it last because ranking it up only increases the damage by 40. It's pretty much a one point wonder. In comparison, ranking up Q decreases the Cooldown in addition to increasing the damage, and W gives you a nice defensive steroid that you'll need for mid game, plus more attack damage. Also, Q is fully AOE so ranking it up first helps more for jungle clearing. The other reason to not max E first is that you don't want to have your jungle clearing skill and your escape skill on the same cooldown. With this at rank 1, you can clear the jungle with Q and auto attacks and save this for an escape during dangerous situations. If you're low on mana or are worried about being invaded, don't use this skill for clearing. Despite being at rank 1 for most of the jungle phase, this still does lots of damage to single targets because it scales with base AD, which is increased by your W skill. When killing buffs, try to hit only the buff mob with this, and clear the lesser lizards out with your barrels. You'll do more damage overall that way. The reason this skill is awesome is because of it's short cooldown. It's 7 seconds base. (Compare to maokai's 13 seconds on his W, Sejuani's 19 second Q at rank 1, Nautilus' 18 second cooldown hook at rank 1). It's also untargetted but very easy to hit opponents with now that they upped it's projectile speed. Plus it has the great slow that is full powered at 35% from rank 1. You can use this multiple times in a gank. It's pretty much impossible to outrun a jungle gragas due to this skill, so your opponent's only option when you gank them is to run strait to their tower. If they get outflanked and try to escape through the river, they're never going to get away as you can cast this every 5.6 seconds with blue buff. This skill can be used to quickly jump almost any jungle wall, so gragas is not restricted by any of the path's in the jungle he can just fly over the terrain like the flying fat man he is. He's like a fat Tarzan. I take the first rank of this at level 2 if starting blue, or level 3 if starting red, and I max it last [highlight]R: Explosive Cask [img=skills/gragas/r.png] [/highlight] What can I say about this skill: a great high damage, high utility ult, which can blow apart a teamfight and knock enemies completely out of position. It's also extremely easy to lange due to it's very fast projectile speed, large radius and high range, so great for sniping runners to pick up that kill that none of your other skills are quick enough to get. Many viable junglers have some kind of AOE ultimate to give them teamfight utility and gragas is no exception. Like most ultimates rank this whenever it becomes available.

[highlight]When Chasing: [/highlight] Gragas chasing ability replies on his EQ combo. If you max Q first, it has the same cooldown as your E, 7 seconds, so you can just dash at them and slow them with E, allowing for an easy Q, and do it again in 7 seconds, or 4.2 seconds if you maxed your CDR. Follow it the EQ with an R if necessary to keep them away from their tower and/or to knock away enemies trying to help them out. This is the best way of chasing people down if they don't have any flashes or important cooldowns (cc/jumps/invluns) available. The other option for chasing is to zone them with your Q: this is more subtle, because the object is NOT to hit them with Q. What you want to do is block their preferred path. For example, imagine you are, say, ganking vlad top lane at level 3 and you come from the river. Imagine vlad is overextended. What you do is you throw your barrel just behind him, so that if he runs away in the standard direction, he hits the barrel, and if he wants to juke it he either has to pool strait away or run in the wrong direction. If he pools you can just hit him with E strait after the pool, forcing a flash at least, or walk up to him and apply red buff. If he's overextended enough you can chase him down with exhaust and E even if he flashes. You can also use barrels to force runners to run in awkward directions, if you toss the Q strait in front of them, they'll have to juke in odd directions to dodge it, making them easier to catch with E. [highlight]Kiting bruisers in the jungle: [/highlight] Try to get near a wall so you can E over it to prevent them from following easily. But you may not need to leave immediately, you can do some damage first. Hit them with a point blank Q to reduce their attack speed reducing the damage you take, auto attack them while moving between auto in the direction of a jumpable wall, then E over. If you do it right you'll take about the same amount of damage as they will even vs strong duelist types. You can also use your R as a "get the hell off of me" button in very sticky situations. Gragas is pretty hard to gank in the jungle due to his attack speed debuff, high attack damage and very high mobility, and you also have high kill potential on them if they make a mistake and your team comes to back you up before theirs comes, as you can chase them down forever with E esp if you have blue. If the enemies are MIA and may be nearby trying ot gank you in the jungle, It's important to position yourself right next to walls that can be jumped and save E to jump over them. [highlight]Poking and zoning in poke fights [/highlight] Gragas is great in that he can both poke and bully shorter ranged characters into not getting near him in a poke war. Save your ult for an opportune time to knock an out of position enemy into your team to destroy them. This will probably never happen vs competent players because most competent players aren't stupid enough to stand near a gragas in a standoff when he has ult up. But they'll have to play passive due to the threat of your e->ult combo while you poke them down with barrels, so you can zone them while you and your team pokes them down.

I play Gragas as a poker and an initiator. You should poke with barrels but also look for a good opportunity to start teamfights on favortable terms with R or E. Building somewhat tanky allows you to use your E more agressively as you can't be bursted down easily. This is in contrast to the typical glass cannon gragas that most people build, who is too squishy to go out in front but provides more burst damage and better poke. You should still obviously not charge in with E if there are five people there, but sometimes they're spread out and one is out of position, so you can look for an opportunity to pounce. To initiate: Open with E, then Q them while they are slowed for an easy hit. Once their team piles on to try to kill you and protect their out of position teammate, hit R, ideally knocking one of the enemies into your team and the rest the away from you. Your team can then focus down the out of position target and clean up the rest if they stick around (you can chase them down with more Es if you're not too low health). Keep in mind: You should only initiate a fight if your team has some kind of advantage. Knowing which fights are good and which are bad takes a lot of map awareness: watch for enemies who are way out of position or visible on the minimap somewhere far away from the fight, or pick fights where you can catch their squishy targets and kill them quickly. If you don't see a good opportunity to start a serious fight, just poke with barrels. Try to hit squishy targets with low magic resist, as your magic penetration is more effective vs them. In big teamfights, try to hit the AD carry with your Q so he attacks slower. The 40% attack speed debuff is noticable. You can also use your E to get the hell out of sticky situations... even if you initiated with it, it's going to be back up pretty soon because the cooldown is so short. You're pretty tanky but not the tankiest thing around so you don't want to take too much focus fire, so use your E to get out of the fray if they try to kill you, then you can spend the rest of the teamfight poking with barrels from range since you're probably low hp but hopefully not dead yet. In more favorable teamfights you can use your E to chase down runners, but be careful when charging into too many people with this, cause they can turn around and kill you while your escape move is down. Before you u se your ult keep in mind the position of the squishier champs in your backline: you don't want to blast some bruiser strait at them and get them killed.

Ok. Most jungle guides focus on jungler vs jungler matchups, and really, who cares about jungler v jungler matchups. Except in special cases where one of the two junglers should be counterjungling, it doesn't even matter who the enemy jungler is. Unless the other jungler is someone like mundo or nautilus, who's going to be invading/invaded respectively, it hardly matters who they are, you're more interested in who the laners are because those are your primary targets. Instead, this section doesn't focus on junglers in particular, just people to watch out for on the enemy team: With that in mind, here's an incomplete list: [highlight]Zero Ecape Bully Laners: [/highlight] [.][img=champ/yorick.png] [.][img=champ/pantheon.png] [.][img=champ/mordekaiser.png] [.][img=champ/soraka.png](MID LANE) If you see a bully laner on the enemy team, [highlight]gank them early and often[/highlight]. The whole point of picking someone like yorick is to spam ghouls on your opponent poking him out of lane. So if you see a yorick, unless he's some kind of weirdo, he's going to be overextended, he's going to be sitting in the middle or river spamming ghouls on your laner. So go kick his ass, he's got a long way to run back to his turret and he doesn't have any way of getting away from you. [highlight] Don't Bother Ganking: [/highlight] [.][img=champ/morgana.png] Morgana is really hard to gank due to her black shield, and she's mid, so all she has to do is run for 5 seconds with black shield to get away. So I usually focus on better prospects for killing during the early game, unless she gets wildly overextended. For late game, and this is important, in fact the most important thing about playing vs morgana: [highlight]DON'T GET BOUND.[/highlight] it seems obvious but how often we forget in the thick of a battle or pokeoff that morgana exists. Don't forget about her. She should always be on your mind. As gragas you are a fat-ass and an easy target for that stupid 3 second snare and if you get hit by it you will quite possibly throw the game, so you need to concentrate concentrate concentrate on whatever morgana is doing at any given time and not get hit by the purple blob of death. [.][img=champ/fizz.png] This guy is a slippery fish who's really hard to catch, also, he roams a lot, so he may not even be in the lane when you want to kill him. I just ignore him early game, there's usually better things to kill unless he's overextended. Late game he will try to assassinate the carries on your team, your best response to this is probably to exhaust him and try to slow him down with E. You can ult him away if his trollpoll is down but he tends to be split from his team and if you ult fizz only for him to trollpoll it and not hit anyone else, things will go badly for the rest of the teamfight. I normally wouldn't use up gragas ult just to peel fizz, because it doesn't do much due to his high mobility; so i'd only ult fizz if you can hit many other enemies along with fizz. [highlight] Very Gankable but Very Dangerous: [/highlight] [.][img=champ/darius.png] [.][img=champ/garen.png] [.][img=champ/rengar.png] (Pre-6... ignore him post-6 unless you have oracles because his ult makes him ungankable). Ok. These 3 are all early game powerhouses who can and will kill you if you screw up your gank. Rengar does insane burst at level 1-3, Garen is just an early game powerhouse all-around, and Darius is Darius. That said, neither of them have any good early game escape abilities and they're often overextended as they will try to bully your team member, so they're prime targts for an early gank, just don't die,and don't go in when you're laner is out of mana or low health, or you may find yourself humliated and destroyed in 1v2. Your Exhaust spell is your best friend if they turn on you. Also, watch out for the other jungler, you don't want to 2v2 against these guys early game. And avoid tower diving them. Late game they're not as much of a problem as they can be kited in teamfights, but be very careful not to ult one of them into your carries or you're going to have a bad time. [highlight]Counterjunglers -- just avoid them and gank lanes while they're dicking around in your jungle. [/highlight] [.][img=champ/drmundo.png] [.][img=champ/shyvana.png] [.][img=champ/leesin.png] [.][img=champ/shaco.png] Of these mundo is by far the most annoying, I honestly don't understaned why people pick shyvana when mundo isn't banned. Vs these guys I usually use the red path just to throw them off. In any case, don't rank up W until you actually see the blue buff, so you can possibly take e instead to get away after you facecheck the blue bush at level 2. You should be able to escape from any of them if you keep your cool and play cautious, just try to position yourself in the camps in a defensive position. If you don't know where they are, train the wolves out as close to your mid lane as they'll go, ward your blue bush on 2nd clear, fight red away from the red bush, train out double golems and just obliterate wraiths as fast as you can. If you know shaco is in your jungle, just go somewhere else. Gank a lane, hell, go to his jungle, just avoid the little bastard. He's useless late game anyway, who cares if he steals your buff. [highlight]Level 1 invade, or steal their red.[/highlight] [.][img=champ/amumu.png] [.][img=champ/nautilus.png] usually these guys start blue and their jungling is particularly awful. You can either invite your team to invade their blue, in which case gragas barrel poke really helps a lot in level 1 poke fights, or you can just start at your wolves--> blue and head to their red immediately. jump the dragon wall with E, and then barrel over the red wall with barrel, and the red lizard will come to you and you can fight it from behind it's camp. Try to get a good enough leash on blue so you can save smite, smite red, then you can gank a lane with your double buff. If you're planning to invade red, keep an eye on which direction the enemy mid laner comes from. If he comes from blue side, he probably just finished leashing blue. So that's a confirmation that these guys actually started at blue, because they *can* start at red if they want, just to throw you off. If the mid laner comes from red side, you should consider changing your plans and not invading. [highlight]Generic Squishy Carries:[/highlight] [img=champ/annie.png][img=champ/ashe.png][img=champ/brand.png][img=champ/caitlyn.png][img=champ/cassiopeia.png][img=champ/corki.png][img=champ/draven.png][img=champ/jayce.png][img=champ/kayle.png][img=champ/kogmaw.png][img=champ/malzahar.png][img=champ/orianna.png][img=champ/teemo.png][img=champ/twistedfate.png] ETC ETC ETC: I don't really feel like going into depth on these guys, but obviously, along with squishy supports the squishy carries are prime tarets for early game ganks if they're playing somewhat agressively or you happen to be in the area. Late game they should be your prime targets for pickoffs with ults or EQ->R combo's. If you can catch them, kill them. [highlight]Not as tanky as they look early game. Pointless targets late game.[/highlight] [img=champ/leona.png][img=champ/taric.png][img=champ/alistar.png] Often when ganking bot lane the carry is hard to catch due to generally playing defensive and having a huge jump (tristana rocket, graves quickdraw, etc), so your only good target is the support. The support may be tanky like alistar or taric, but that doesn't mean you can't drop them in 2-3 seconds with 3 people. They're often the best pickoffs, especially if they don't have boots. But really, if the enemy lane is someone like alistar and trist, you're not going to kill the trist, but you can easily catch the alistar as he tries to peel for the trist. So let him die in a heroic flash of glory, and collect your 300 cow gold. Late game these are the least interesting people on the enemy team, and although you can probably kill them, that doesn't mean the enemy team won't stomp you 4v5 with your cooldowns down. Avoid the temptation to try to catch these guys and waste your ult just for them, as supports are the least useful members of any team due to having no gold. [highlight]General rules for your laner's matchups:[/highlight] Ok, as a Jungler you have to have a certain feel for the lane matches--that is, your allies vs your enemies-- you need to anticipate what is going to happen in each lane and how it is going to play out, and plan your ganks accordingly. [.][highlight]Ranged Vs Melee top lane matches[/highlight] If you have a ranged champion against a melee champion, you know that something is going to happen in that lane, there's going to be a lot of action in that lane, so these are often prime targets for ganking, esp at level 3. The reason is, if the melee plays passive, the ranged might as well just shoot him with autos and try to harass him out of lane, which will force the melee to play agressive or lose. However, unless the ranged in question is release-patch Graves (OP! OP!), he isn't going to beat the melee in a strait fight if the melee decides to try to dive him and can actually catch him. So you're going to have the melee chasing down the ranged, and the ranged poking back and kiting while both of which are struggling to last hit. As a jungler you should really get involved in this lane, or any other lane where you think there will be a lot of action. Even a champ that is usually ungankable often becomes gankable in ranged vs melee matches, because they'll often use escape abilities just to kite or chase, leaving them on cooldown when you come in to gank. It's not just ranged vs melee though, top lane matches are often prettty agreessive as you're far away from the tower so the laners will try to strong-arm eachother, if you see the enemy playing agressive up there you should really get involved. [.][highlight]squishy burst mage vs squishy burst mage mid lane match[/highlight] these fights are a tinderbox, either of them can explode at any time, and you want to go in and get your assist gold before that happens... but seriously, unless they're BOTH playing super passive, you should really get involved. Just make sure your teammate doesn't push, tower diving a burst mage is usually a horrible idea. You plus squishy mage should be able to easily kill another squishy mage in no time at all, and long before they can get back to their tower. So keep an eye on this lane. [.][highlight]Bot lanes where you have an agressive support like taric/alistar/leona on YOUR team[/highlight] Taric is really fun to have on your team because he can stun them as you run in for a lane gank giving you enough time to get an ult off. Alistar and leona also pack cc and can start fights. Their cc allows you enough time to get to the lane to gank even if it's warded. Try to coordinate with them, tell them to start a fight then run in behind them and back them up. Hit E just as you get into the enemy sight range, then keep chasing them until you get in range to ult them towards your team.

[highlight]Runes: [/highlight] [.][highlight]Marks: Attack speed: [/highlight] Standard for most junglers, these speed up your jungle considerably and make it go a lot smoother. They're especially good on gragas as attack speed multiplies with his attack damage steroid from W. You can use MPen if you want, but IMO attack speed improves your jungle too much to pass up. [.][highlight]Seals: Armor:[/highlight] Standard for every jungler and Gragas is no exception. [.][highlight]Glyphs and Quints: Flat AP:[/highlight] These help you clear the jungle faster with your .9 ratio on barrels and .5 ratio on E. AP has an interesting interaction with gragas' E in that it always increases his damage by the listed amount no matter how much the damage is split. For example, if you hit 4 mobs with the minimum damage of 50, but you have 26 ap, you do 63 damage to every target, because E applies the full ap ratio to every target regardless of how much the damage is split. This also ups your burst damage damage when ganking making your ganks more likely to work. The ap glyphs aren't required though, I usually use the rune same page for Gragas as I do for Maokai. If you only have the ap quints and use magic resist/level glyphs or something, that's not going to kill you. Or maybe you'd prefer it if you prefer a tankier gragas. [highlight]Masteries: [/highlight] The first 11 in defensive is pretty standard/almost mandatory for all junglers IMO: 6 armor, 2 tough skin, 2 indomitable, bladed armor. The -4 overall integer damage hugely reduces the proportion of damage you take from lesser jungle minions that attack often for low damage. The armor is great, and bladed armor increases your clear speed. It's not worth going 21 in utility or even 21 in offensive IMO if you give up these masteries. The last 2 filler points in defensive are optional, you can take either magic resist or hp5. For the other 19 points I like utility on Gragas for several reasons: 1) the extra mana and mana regen helps early game 2) buff duration is great and lets you gank well for a while after you get double buff at level 3. 3) Greed helps you reach your build faster, a little gp10 adds up. 4) 1 point in wealth lets you start with an extra potion for safer early jungling. 5) spellvamp is always nice 6) the 6% cdr is a huge amount for just 3 mastery points. overall I think the utility tree is the best for him. [highlight]Summoner Spells: [/highlight] [img=summoners/smite.png] for obvious reasons, you need this to jungle fast and also to secure buffs/baron/dragon. I like [img=summoners/exhaust.png] as the second skill, this can be combo'd with his E to lock someone down for quite a while with E --> exhaust --> E. This also gives him some defenses when he gets dived by AD bruisers in teamfights, exhaust lets you turn the tables on them and also makes it easier to land barrels. This is really useful for level 3 ganking and to weaken key targets in a teamfight, and I don't think Gragas needs flash or ghost as he's mobile enough with his E.

Gragas is very underrated as a jungler, no idea why so few people jungle him. He's above average in all attributes of jungling. He ult is very unique and counters or adds to many team comps, and he also provides a significant source of burst magic damage which is unusual for junglers. Avoid picking gragas when your team has a lot of AOE as your ult can mess up their AOE There are certain champions like Ziggs that clash with gragas and shouldn't generally be on the same team IMO. Instead, gragas fits well in team comps that have single target damage dealers, single target stuns/snares, assassins, and duelists, as his ult can mess up an AOE setup for both teams and single out targets for easy focus. Champions with single target stuns or snares, such as ryze or taric, fit with gragas exceptionally well. Late game they can use their stun to lock down targets knocked out of position by your barrels for focus fire. Early game they can use it to set up a super reliable lane gank: Let them stun, then dash in and ult the enemy towards you. Gragas also works very well in poke oriented comps, with champs like Nidalee or Jayce.

7/21/2012: Guide released 8/29/2012: Added more info about alternate builds, also split off playstyle section from abilities section. 8/31/2012: Added "Matchups" section and some more detail to ganking section, I'll re-submit this now. 11/2/2012: Updated playstyle and a few other sections since I've learned a few things about gragas since making this guide. Also I now prioritize W over E since they upped the mana cost on E. 1/10/2013: Retired guide. I don't think Gragas is viable as a jungler in S3.

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