How To Play Gragas In League Of Legends
Last Updated: April 26, 2022
Gragas is a fun, versatile champion whose simplistic kit hides some of the most mechanically challenging combos in the game. In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know to get you started playing the Rabble Rouser.
Gragas is another old champion in League of Legends being released way back in February of 2010. Over the years, his kit experienced a few changes here and there but his overall play style remained the same. It’s quite amazing that even after all these years, Gragas remains a very good pick in the meta. Thanks to his sustain, burst, crowd control, and wave clear, he can be played in Top, Jungle, Mid, and even Support. For this guide, however, we’ll focus on Gragas being played in the Top Lane since this is where he shines best in the current meta.
Gragas’ kit is all about sustain, AoE damage, and crowd control. He has a seemingly simplistic kit that hides very mechanically challenging, yet, incredibly satisfying combos.
Passive – Happy Hour
On ability use, Gragas takes a drink restoring [+8% of his max]. This effect can only happen every 8 seconds.
Happy Hour is the source of Gragas’ impressive sustain. Everytime you use an ability, you’ll restore a bit of health which can be incredibly useful when trading in the Top Lane.
Q – Barrel Roll
Gragas rolls his cask to a location. When reactivated, or after 4 seconds, the cask will explode, dealing magic damage to nearby enemies and slowing their movement speed for 2 seconds. The damage and slow increase as the cast ferments, up to 150% after 2 seconds. Deals 70% damage to minions.
Barrel Roll is Gragas’ main source of AoE damage. It’s good for clearing waves and as a follow up on your other abilities. The slow is pretty great as well but it has a very high mana cost early on so we wouldn’t recommend spamming this ability in the laning phase.
W – Drunken Rage
Gragas guzzles down brew from his cask, taking reduced damage for 2.5 seconds. After finishing his drink, his next basic attack gains 50 range and deals magic damage to nearby enemies (max 300 vs Monsters).
Drunken Rage is your bread and butter ability. This is what you’ll be using to deal most of your damage. This is what you’ll use to proc your sustain. Most of your combos will involve weaving in and out of this ability. It’s a very powerful ability that enhances your basic attack. It’s important that you max this ability first.
E – Body Slam
Gragas charges forward, colliding with the first enemy hit. He deals magic damage to enemies in the area and bumps them back, stunning them for 1 second. Body Slam’s cooldown is reduced by 3 seconds if Gragas collides with a unit.
Body Slam is your main source of crowd control. This is where most of your combos will begin. The stun from Body Slam is enough for you to follow up with your other abilities. It’s also a good source of mobility since it basically works like a dash. Since it can go through thin walls and terrain, you can use it to catch enemies off guard or to make a quick escape when in a sticky situation.
R – Explosive Cask
Gragas hurls his cask, causing it to explode when it lands. Enemies hit take magic damage and are knocked away from the explosion.
Explosive Cask is a very tricky ultimate to master. It’s very easy to mess up especially when you’re trying to coordinate with your teammates. The crowd control from this ability is powerful and you can be creative with your angles to surprise both your team and your opponents.
Runes and Item Builds
When it comes to items, you’ll be building Gragas like an AP Bruiser. You’ll have a good mix of damage and durability that’ll make you a problem for the enemy team.
For your starting items, you got two options. Generally, most players will go with Doran’s Ring for all the stats it provides. It gives you a bit of damage and mana sustain which can help you trade and get out of the early laning phase. However, if you’re against a losing matchup or are facing an aggressive champion, go with Corrupting Potion instead so that you can keep up.
For your Mythic items, you have two options: Everfrost and Crown of the Shattered Queen. Everfrost is the go to option for most players since it gives Gragas everything he needs in terms of stats. Its active, Glaciate, is also very powerful on him since it gives him additional crowd control. If you’re looking for an alternative or if you’re your team’s only initiator, you can go with Crown of the Shattered Queen instead. This item is also great on Grags stat-wise and it’s passive allows him to be Safeguarded which can be useful whenever he tries to initiate a fight.
After purchasing your Mythic item, it’s time to upgrade to tier 2 boots. Gragas benefits from using his abilities so you’ll go with Ionian Boots of Lucidity. Next, go for Winter’s Approach which will give you all the mana sustain you’ll need for the rest of the game and a bit of durability. Afterwards, you’ll need Zhonya’s Hourglass for some more damage and an active stasis which greatly increases your outplay opportunities. Top off your build with Cosmic Drive and Rabadon’s Deathcap for even more damage and a passive boost to your movement speed.
Other Viable Items
While the full build we’ve shown above is generally considered the standard for Gragas, it is not set in stone. There are plenty of other items that you can purchase depending on your preference or what your situation currently needs. Items like Spirit Visage, Void Staff, Rylai’s Crystal Scepter, Demonic Embrace, and Shadowflame are all good items to have especially if you want to be a bit tankier. Try to mix and match these item sets to see what works best for you. Doing so will help you develop a better understanding of the game’s deeper mechanics.
For your runes, go with the Sorcery tree and take Phase Rush as your keystone. This will greatly increase your mobility since Gragas is a combo based champion. Next, take Manaflow Band for the mana sustain, Transcendence for the bonuses, and Gathering Storm for the bonus ability power you’ll get over time. For your secondaries, take Biscuit Delivery and Cosmic Insight from the Inspiration tree. Biscuit Delivery increases your sustain and Cosmic Insight will improve your cooldowns. For your rune shards, take double Adaptive Force and Armor.
- There are many combos you can find in Gragas’ kit that you can use to set up kills for your team. The most common combo players use is chaining Body Slam with Explosive Cask to lock enemies into place.
- Gragas is countered by Tryndamere, Yorick, Teemo, Garen, and Yone. If you’re matched up against these champions, try to play it safe instead of being aggressive.
- For your summoner spells, always take Flash and Teleport in the Top Lane. This will give you additional mobility and a good overall presence around the map.
So there you have it! That’s all you need to know about playing Gragas 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!