Gragas - The Weeba Wousa! [Guide]
(update 1/21/2011): Gragas now has morphed into a primarily AP champion. His tanking role has been diminished, but is not entirely gone, and his ability to dish damage in teamfights without AP has also been nerfed due to the need to be melee with less tankiness, and the nerf to bodyslam's cooldown. The biggest change that effects his ability to be played well as a tank is the nerf to his Ult cooldown and debuff. Gragas as a tank primarily farms slower and levels slower, and his ult as a tank was a initiation move. With the increased cooldown, his ult is typically reserved now as a teamfight save move, and barrel roll needs to be used to initiate. The tank build was able to fully neglect barrel roll and could crush people early game giving Gragas a huge team advantage and power level increases until lvl 13. Now with the Ult nerf, his tank build does not max it's potential until lvl 16, and is so heavily nerfed prior to level 16, that it may not be worth playing a tank in this fashion. This leads me to believe it is now required to max barrel roll first and build some AP while building survival if you would prefer to "tank".
Remember that also with the mitigation changes, Gragas should never be considered a "full-tank" due to his lack of CC, and should be considered a "off-tank". A full tank would be someone like Shen/Malphite/Rammus/
When building Gragas now, keep a few things in mind:
What does your team need? (Do you have enough AP damage?, if so go CDR off-tank, do you have a off-tank and tank role filled? go AP.)
What do you want to provide to your team by playing gragas? (Is he a counter pick to a strong ranged AD carry?, if so be sure to gank that carry, Is he anti-AOE?, use your ult wisely)
Are you confident that you are helping your team by playing Gragas? (Primarily you will want some synergy by effectively using him to counter someone on the other team, like a strong Sion or Malphite solo lane., but also you want to make sure you can be a good support off-tank for your team, in which you should hope your team has a lot of CC, and ranged initiation.
My Original guide begins below:
I've seen quite a few guides so far on Gragas. They are all good, but if you want to get funny belly bumping kills on people please read on. I play this build at a fairly decent ELO, against very good players.
Role-playing Mentality! - Imagine you are a speech slurring drunk, or just get drunk so you don't have to imagine, and yell, "WEEBA WOUSA!" Type this in chat at every opportunity. This will be your coin-phrase. This will scare your enemy, this will fuel your drunken ambition to hear that chick in the Stadium say in a sultry voice, "LEGENDARY!"
There is not quite a better feeling in the world then going legendary with this horizontally challenged champ.
Quick run through of abilities:
Q - Barrel Roll <-- Ignore this puppy until it gets buffed, you wont need it to pwn children
W - Drunken Rage <-- This will keep you fueled, and keep you sassy. Use at every opportunity, and unfortunately, even while in combat if you have to. It is very important to have up at all times, or close to all times.
E - Body Slam <-- Oh baby Baby! This is the closest thing to humping this large man gets to do, and you betta believe its gonna hurt. You will use this all game and you will love it!
R - Explosive Cask <-- This is magically delicious, and no matter what someone in the game will love you for it. You are either saving a ally, or saving an enemy, or netting yourself a kill. Takes practice young padawan.
What you want to do with these skills:
lvl 1 - Body Slam (Ya Im dangerous!) (E)
2 - Drunken Rage (W)
3 - Body Slam (E)
4 - W
5 - E
6 - R
But Nico, you don't get barrel roll before 6? WTF?
Shut it troll! its useless to me! I don't need to stress over this skill shot that does cruddy damage. I get it at lvl 13 or a bit earlier if someone gets an early veil. The only important aspect barrel roll has now is Veil popping.
My preference is currently: 8 in offensive, and 22 in Defensive
I run Exhaust, Cleanse, Max crit chance and attack speed in Offensive, and max pretty much everything but HP in Defensive. You want the 21st point in defensive for the mitigation stacking with Drunken Rage!
So, naturally the Summoner Skills: Cleanse and Exhaust
Exhaust - is awesome, since you are going AD and IAS this skill helps you kill those silly "true" Dps champs that are feeling lucky. It also is a great team support skill for 5v5 battles. Cleanse is just needed to keep you out of additional trouble, and to counter pesky Mordekaiser ults and Ignite spammers.
My preference currently:
Attack Speed Quints (Muwhahaha fat man swings like bruce lee fool!), Armor pen reds (gogogo pen with belly!), Either Dodge Yellow, or Clarity Yellow (currently dodge), and either Clarity blue or cooldown static blues (currently clarity).
What this build lacks that other Gragas builds have. Just from looking at the above, not a lot of cooldown focus, hardly much dps focus, and summoner skills that seem oddly place, but I will explain them a bit above (adds to skills above, way to work backwards nico...sheesh)
Start with a LongSword + 1 HP Pot (This helps you farm the first side jungle creeps with lane mate, and can lock in early first bloods)
First trip back: Sword of the Occult + Boots (at about 1330gold - This will set you up for a beautiful late game, and trust me, as Gragas, you can and will fuel the charges on Sword, just play clean, tips on that below)
**** Important Edit for first 2 items.- For Solo Queue Games, you may want to start with Ruby Crystal, or a Doran's Shield, and Rush a Phage or a Brutalizer. this is what I do on TT, and it is also very effective on SR. 2 Snowball Items can sometimes be a curse.. and the much better snowball item is Levi, as you get 2 stacks on assist. see below. You can also rush Levi in a late game focused DPS build.. I do like the early bonus Longsword gives, but you can do this with doran's blade, the lifesteal is nice with Drunken Rage up, or just play safe. Only go SotO if you trust your team and lane-mates to get early kills.
Second Trip back: --> Ruby Crystal --> Leviathan (2 charges on assist is amazing - this item is a no brainer on Gragas, with Defensive spec, and Drunken Rage, you can have a constant 45% mitigation at all times!)
Third Trip back: --> Complete Boots (depends, but primarily Treads, sometimes Tabi), Start building Aegis of the Legion
Fourth Trip back: --> Finish Aegis and start on either Brutalizer or Frozen Heart (depending on gold, you want to start maximizing your cooldown late game to spam bodyslam and your ultimate for initiating.)
Fifth Trip back: --> Complete Frozen Heart and Brutalizer
Late Late Game - Sell Boots and buy all pots, then rebuy boots. You should be set, you can alter items, but if you get these 6 items listed above, its pretty much gg, unless you can not maintain charges for whatever reason on your 2 snowball items. If you play a good clean Gragas, it will be incrediably hard for the other team to kill you.
If they have a ton of squishies/tanks etc, u can adjust boots and build accordingly to bring in more dps, but the above build is solid all the way around.
Also, Pots and wards are your friends, don't be stingy on them, they will help you power through farming and keep you from basing as often. the Blue Elixir is another great item to consider throughout the game when you have a bit of gold to spare.
Start on a side-lane and get your lane mate to help you farm the creep spawn closest to your lane at 1:40. You should make fairly quick work of them with 2-3body slams and your allies focus fire, and should hit your lane with the minions at about 3bars of HP.
Use bodyslam often, and use it to last hit often. If the enemy gets cocky, use it to punish them. Use bodyslam for no reason just to heal. Keep your mana in mind, just keep enough in reserve for 2 bodyslams, at worst 1 bodyslam.
As you level, use drunken rage on cooldown. Try to use body slam more effectively while drunken rage is up as you can soak more and deal more damage. Drunken Rage needs to be up when you engage to maximize your killing potential and survivability, try to perch in brush nearby the place battle is about to go down, and drunken rage just before initiating.
You will not always be in ideal range for your Exploding Cask skill. One way to get there is to Body slam forward and then throw your cask, This sometimes will give you the distance you need to knock a foe back to you and your team.
The Exploding Cask + Body Slam combo is devastating. As you master this skill combo you will get many many kills, and often times first bloods against competent foes.
Body Slam with 40% CDR is almost as good as Nidalee's Pounce. Learn how to Juke with it, Learn how to bait enemies to split with it, and learn how to save your pretty butt when drunken rage wears off and you are bleeding profusely from your large hairy piehole.
At Lvl 5-6, you should keep a few HP pots at all times, and you are more than capable to take the Red and Blue Buffs. By all means jew the heck out of these buffs! Golem is amazing, and redbuff is amazing to keep the targets that get slammed, snared. Because I no longer opt for a Phage build on Gragas, Red buffs are very nice, most of the red buffs I end up getting are by killing enemy champs with them.
Mid-to-Late game item choices - Why Frozen Heart and Aegis - Cant you go DPS? Let's face it, unless you are running in a Premade, the likelihood of another tank, let alone support being on your team is rare. If they are going for these items, pay attention and start building IAS items and damage, like Stark's Fervor, and Frozen Mallet, and Infinity Edge and Bloodthirster. You most likely will be the tank, and frankly benefit incredibly given your mitigation, to hold these items yourself. It pays off immensely as you solo tank towers hardly getting scratched.
DON'T GET C0CKY! Yes you are a beefy tank, and you can dive like crazy, but try like heII to stay alive! You are only useful to your team lategame if you can slowly build up to a 20stack levi, as the mitigation will allow you to push them into oblivion. The last game I played I was tanking both their nexus towers, while fighting 4 of them.. It barely stung.
Barrel Roll is a Mana Hog, if you take it early remember to use it sparringly. Your true power will be in maxing bodyslam and using it to effectively last hit. With Drunken Rage up, bodyslam can almost 1 shot a minion, so use it to your advantage. Also don't be afraid to blow a cask on a big minion wave to get gold. Cask has a fairly decent recharge, so if a battle is not going to go down soon, go for it. Since you wont be upping AP, this is a good way to aoe pop the lane quickly for farm.
More to come! (guide writing break time)
My Live Stream:
www.livestream.com/nicosharp <-- Volume NSFW (F-bombs and NC-17 humor - all content fairly old - might host again soon if there is interest - let me know)
Ryze'in above the rest [Standard Guide]:
Alistar the Moo-Caboom! [Standard Guide]:
The Many Faces of Alistar [Extensive Guide]:
update - 9/15/10 - Build is mostly the same, I additionally stream at clgaming.net and have my own Own3d.tv page. Also, if you are really feeling lucky, try to go a damage burst build on Gragas starting with Manamune and Archangel's Staff - It's a ton of fun.
(update 11/2/2010): Please view the top of page 13 for my current thoughts and builds on Gragas - however, the below builds can still be fun and viable
New Standard Tank Build:
--> Leviathan + Boots
Aegis of the Legion (or Chalice of Harmony, or Phage depending on enemies)
Complete Boots (typically Merc Treads, this can vary)
Brutalizer (or Soul Shroud or Spirit Visage)
Old Item builds to try:
--> Berserker Greave's
Sword of the Occult
Vampiric Scepter --> Emblem of Valor
--> Frozen Mallet
depending on farm:
BloodThirster, Infinity Edge, Spirit Visage
Full Tank CD build:
--> Soul Shroud
Boots --> Merc Treads
--> Frozen Heart
Aegis of the Legion (can be made prior to heart)
Innervating Locket (can be made before Aegis or Frozen Heart also)
Go WIN some games now kids! Gragas Hacks revealed!
^if you see anyone doing this, they learned it from me >:}
gonna try your build out in my next game, man. hopefully it will work for me as it does for you
great guide nico +1. I never thought about soto as a core item before but with the change to 5damage per stack, soto + drunken rage makes perfect sense.
quick question, Quint wise.. IAS over MS or HP? is that more for just jungling? do you find yourself auto attacking a lot with your build?
I'll give it a shot when i get home.
yes, IAS is huge for many things,
once you have red buff it helps = champ kills.
If you are inclined to stray from the build, its huge with Phage/Frozen Mallet
You will eventually be one of the most powerful Tower Tanker's and Tower Poppers.
Last hitting those creeps in lane - sneaking in hits right after a bodyslam. Body slam disperses among all creeps so to beat your minions to the punch, IAS is nice.
And of course Minion farming.
The build is semi-hybrid, but primarily focused on defense which is Gragas's overall strength. You get a little utility out of SoTO and Brutalizer to make the hurt HURT, and have room to vary the build depending on how the match is going. One game I was so farmed, I just gave up on boots altogether and got a guardian angel.. I was unstoppable anyways, so it didnt hurt.
just played dps gragas. decided to not try sword of the occult.
got 19 assists.
NEXT TIME GADGET.
yeah, i didn't use your build, i noted your playstyle tho. it works well. brutalizer is pretty noice on fatman.
ended the game with brutalizer, warmog, berserk greaves, and stinger. layed down some hefty damage, and bodyslammed like crazy. had 9/4/19m which is quite a bit better than my usual. i really need to try out that sword of the occult and leviathan next time, because i think i'll be playing quite a bit more physical gragas. :D
one question tho, how do you manage this build with no mana regen? i had a full mana regen page of ragtag tier 2/3 runes for about 11mana/sec and i found myself running low fairly often, only using bodyslam.
ya give it a spin.. I don't think my build is the best for climbing ELO, sheesh you can do that with AP or straight DPS, but as you feel comfortable and want to push the competition once you get to competition, I feel that this build is very solid.
I can vouch for the effectiveness of this build. nicosharp's the best Gragas I've seen.
Hey Goat, looking back at your comment, I failed to address your question:
Mana Regen is a careful balance with Gragas. For starters, I rarely use anything but body slam. so I am not throwing mana away on barrel roll. Also with this build, I typically go with Clarity Runes in the Blue slots. Everytime Drunken Rage is up I use it for mana regen. I also buy blue pots.
You will go OOM, you need to sometimes refrain from body slamming also just to conserve mana for a teamfight or a potential lane kill.
Despite that fact, it is probably still not a good idea to buy mana regen items other than blue pots. They are expensive, and will not help your builds playstyle.
You will want the Blue buff whenever possible, so take it, kill for it, jack it, do what you must, take the blue.
To update everyone, 2 Stack items in a single build are risky unless you know you can outplay and outsmart your competition. I primarly play Tank Gragas now at high ELO, focusing on still a relatively early Leviathan where stacks are easier to manage, and my only DPS tends to be Brutalizer, and sometimes a Phage (either to Frozen Mallet or a slow late game triforce) Tank Gragas can also get Chalice and relatively early Frozen Heart, which helps a ton in the mana department. Catalyst does as well for a Veil if their team comp demands you build one.
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