How To Play Gnar In League Of Legends
Last Updated: April 2, 2022
Gnar is a unique champion with a drastically unconventional play style with complicated but incredibly satisfying mechanics. So, if you enjoy the challenge of learning a new champion, then this guide is perfect for you. Here, we’ll show you everything you need to know to get you started playing the Missing Link.
Gnar is a very versatile champion. That’s really all we need to say to sell him to you. This champion provides a lot of utility, crowd control, and damage for his team that he can easily fit in most team compositions. He’s a relatively safe pick thanks to his range but can be difficult and daunting to play especially for beginners. His mechanics are pretty hard to manage and you have little room for error when playing as this champion. Despite all of these, if you are willing to put in the time, you’ll have yourself a very powerful champion with virtually no holes in his game.
Gnar’s kit is all about dealing damage and having a strong presence during team fights. His abilities change depending on what form he is in and his form changes depending on the circumstances.
Passive – Rage Gene
Gnar generates Rage while in combat and whenever he attacks. At max Rage his next ability will cause him to transform, modifying his abilities and stats for 15 seconds.
This passive is the most important ability in Gnar’s kit. This is the core of his play style. Rage Gene works like a double edged sword and is the biggest reason why Gnar is considered a high skill cap champion. You need to be able to manage his Rage effectively or else you’ll find yourself unwittingly transforming into Mega-Gnar at an unsuitable time. So, you must carefully time and use your abilities properly or else you’ll just waste opportunities by transforming without being able to contribute to meaningful plays.
Q – Boomerang Throw/Boulder Toss
Boomerang Throw: Throws a boomerang that deals physical damage and slows Movement Speed for 2 seconds before returning towards Gnar. Enemies hit beyond the first take 50% damage. If Gnar catches his boomerang its cooldown is reduced by 40%.
Boulder Toss: Throws a boulder that stops when it hits an enemy, slowing all nearby enemies for 2 seconds and dealing physical damage. If Gnar picks up his boulder its cooldown is reduced by 70%.
Boomerang Throw is Mini-Gnar’s primary source of damage. It has very good range and slows the targets that it hits. You’ll be using this mostly for its crowd control and to poke enemies hiding behind minions. When in Mega-Gnar form, this will still remain as your primary source of damage. In this state, it deals very good burst damage and has pretty good range as well.
W – Hyper/Wallop
Hyper: Every 3rd attack or spell on the same target deals additional magic damage (max. 300 (+100%) against monsters) and grants Gnar 20% (+20% per GNAR!’s rank) Movement Speed that decays over 3 seconds.
Wallop: Stuns enemies in an area for 1.25 seconds, dealing physical damage. Gnar gains Hyper’s Movement Speed bonus when he leaves Mega form.
In Mini-Gnar form, this would be your primary trading ability. It works similar to other ‘every 3rd attack’ abilities like Vayne’s or Vi’s Ws. Use this to shred tanks and to effectively manage your Rage bar. In Mega-Gnar form, this ability has a pretty amazing stun that gives you or your teammates enough time to follow up and potentially secure a kill.
E – Hop/Crunch
Hop: Leaps to a location, gaining Attack Speed for 6 seconds. If Gnar lands on a unit he will bounce off of it, traveling further. Deals physical damage and slows briefly if the unit landed on was an enemy.
Crunch: Leaps to a location and deals physical damage on landing. Enemies Gnar lands directly on top of are slowed briefly by 80%. If Crunch is used to transform, Gnar will still be able to bounce.
This ability is Gnar’s main form of mobility in both forms. In Mini-Gnar form, it gives him attack speed and can bounce off an enemy. In Mega-Gnar form, he loses the bounce but gets the ability to slow targets he lands on.
R – GNAR!
Passive: Increases Hyper’s Movement Speed bonus.
Active: Knocks nearby enemies in the specified direction, dealing physical damage and slowing them by 45%. Enemies that hit a wall take 150% damage and are stunned instead of slowed.
GNAR!’s active is only available when he is in Mega-Gnar form which is why the timing of his transformation is crucial. You don’t want to be caught in a good opportunity to land this ultimate but can’t because you’re stuck being Mini-Gnar. Anyways, the crowd control from this ability is one of the best in the game. However, it only works well when enemies you catch with it are knocked towards a wall or terrain. This makes Gnar particularly strong when fighting in choke points or in Baron’s or Dragon’s Den where they are surrounded by loads of terrain he can shove enemies into.
Runes and Item Builds
For your builds, it is best to focus on items that give you both damage and survivability.
For your starting items, you start Gnar like any typical Ranged AD champion. You go with a Doran’s Blade and a Health Potion. This gives him everything he needs to get through the early laning phase from health, damage, and even a bit of omnivamp for sustain.
For your Mythic items, you have three choices. The best option is Divine Sunderer. Gnar is a champion that is very reliant on his abilities to deal damage. Which is why items that can give him the spellblade passive or enhance his basic attacks right after using an ability are very strong on him. Divine Sunderer has this and gives him additional health as well making him a bit more tankier. The next good option is Trinity Force. We all know that this item gives tons of damage and that doesn’t change with Gnar. This item gives him more damage than Divine Sunderer but makes him less durable. The last best option is completely different from the other two Mythics since it’s more for a tank oriented build. Sunfire Aegis can be a very strong item on Gnar if you want to play more as a tank. Its immolate passive is good and can increase your DPS whenever you’re trading with an opponent.
After purchasing your Mythic, go grab your tier 2 boots. The best go to option for a champion like Gnar are Plated Steelcaps. Then, go for Sterak’s Gage to increase both his survivability and his damage. Thornmail should be your third item to further increase your durability as well as your trading power. At this point, you’ll need Randuin’s Omen so that you can go toe to toe with the enemy’s primary attack damage dealers. Finish off your build with Force of Nature so that you have some resistances against mages.
Other Viable Items
There are plenty of other viable items on Gnar that you can purchase and swap out for the full build we’ve listed before. Try and get a good understanding of the items in the photo pictured above so that you’ll know when to use them and when to swap out the other items from the core build. Otherwise, you can go with the recommended full build most of the time.
For your runes, take Grasp of the Undying from the Resolve tree. This gives you more sustain and increases your overall durability in the long run. Next, take Demolish to help you push towers, Bone Plating for more durability, and Overgrowth for more health. For your secondaries, take Triumph and Legend: Alacrity from the Precision tree. Triumph gives you additional sustain when scoring a kill while Legend: Alacrity increases your attack speed over time. For your rune shards, take Adaptive Force, Armor, and Magic Resist.
- Apart from Rage management, the best skill to master on Gnar is positioning. Always be aware of your surroundings and the cooldowns of your abilities in case you find a good opportunity to use your ultimate. Staying near walls can often bait enemies into getting in range for GNAR!
- Gnar is countered by champions like Irelia, Illaoi, Renekton, Aatrox, and Tahm Kench. Most of these champions are top tier duelists so be careful when you match up against them.
- For your summoner spells, always take Flash and Teleport. Flash gives you additional mobility while Teleport lets you have more presence around the map.
So there you have it! That’s all you need to know about playing Gnar in League of Legends. Be sure to check back with us again for more awesome guides on your favorite games. Have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!