League of Legends Guide: Top 10 Tips to Get Better at Graves

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

6. Using Your Ult

Most players know that Graves’s ultimate, Collateral Damage, also knocks Graves back. This means that you can dash over a small wall and ult back over the wall onto the other side. However, most players don’t know that you can flash+ult to cover a lot of ground and get over a wall if you’re far away from it.

You should also know that the tip of the projectile (the small cone at the end of the line) only does 80% of the main shell’s damage, so you want to hit players with the small line to get the maximum damage out. Enemies also cannot be damaged by both the shell and the cone at the end.

7. Be Careful Using Your Smoke Grenade

The final ability we haven’t talked about, Graves’s W – Smoke Screen, is probably the ability you need to be most cognizant of how you use it. This is the only form of crowd control in Graves’s kit, as the canister will slow all enemies by 50% for 0.5 seconds. However, enemies in the Smoke Screen will also be blinded.

Hitting the Smoke Screen will be crucial for your ganks, so you need to get good at landing the ability. Ideally, if your laner has some crowd control, they will lead with that so you can hit the Smoke Screen without the chance the enemy will dodge it. This will almost always lead to a flash blown, if not a kill.

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If you have red buff, make sure to get auto-attacks down onto the enemy to slow them and make the Smoke Screen easier to land as well. In any case, once you throw out the Smoke Screen, if you miss it your kill threat is basically gone unless the enemy is really low.

8. Runes

While Conqueror used to be the bread-and-butter keystone for Graves, recently most high-elo Graves players have gone with Phase Rush as the keystone. This allows Graves to easily close the distance with the movement speed bonus from Phase Rush, and it’s easy to proc by using that auto>E>auto>auto combo (or even throw in a Q if you want).

In the Sorcery tree, Nimbus Cloak, Absolute Focus, and Waterwalking appear to be the most popular runes. Graves usually goes Precision as the secondary tree, with Triumph and Legend: Alacrity as the runes. Some Graves players have gone Coup de Grace instead of Triumph.

For the shards, all Graves players go attack speed and adaptive damage. The final, defensive, shard is determined why what the enemy team has a lot of.

9. Items

Essential: Red smite + Warrior, Black Cleaver, Mercury’s Treads

Strong Items: Death’s Dance

Situational Items: Executioner’s Calling, Hexdrinker

Defensive Items: Guardian Angel, Quicksilver Sash

Luxury Items: Last Whisper, Phantom Dancer, Umbral Glaive

The days of lethality Graves appear to be long behind us. Most high elo Graves players are making it a point to build a bruiser-ish build that gives him some sustain and fighting ability, making him hard to kill. If they fall too far behind, a lot of Graves players will shortcut the Black Cleaver and just get a Vampiric Scepter to have for extra sustain.

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10. Jungle Pathing

Graves almost always wants to start blue side because it allows him to transition from his first buff to Gromp. While Graves has a lot of AoE damage, his synergy with Hunter’s Talisman means that he will get more out of doing the single-target camps first.

That said, you are able to start on red buff (especially good on red side) if you want to go for an early invade (Graves does quite well in the early skirmishes in most match-ups). You can also do a path of red to blue to gromp. In either case, this path will get you to Level 3, allowing you to do an early gank, invade, or contest a Scuttle Crab. If you do any of these, though, make sure that you have red buff, as it makes your skirmishing and ganking super powerful.