[Guide] Gragas, the Barrel Rolling Brawler

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Gentleman Gustaf

Senior Member

11-03-2011

We all know Gragas can be played as an AP carry top in the duo AP Carry meta (Sushei showed us that at Dreamhack) mid (Reginald showed us that in the USA vs Canada match). However, against some mid champions, he is too easily harassed out, and the double AP meta seems to have given ground back to the Bruiser top meta. This occasionally leaves Gragas feeling a bit out of place.

However, since Gragas is our favorite drunken brawler, here is a build that uses all of his abilities to their full effect, and fits the current meta.

http://leaguecraft.com/strategies/guide/18973


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Gentleman Gustaf

Senior Member

11-03-2011

Bump


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Gentleman Gustaf

Senior Member

11-04-2011

One last bump.


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Warrrrax

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Senior Member

11-04-2011

This is a nice guide. My only question is why you take MR glyphs over flat CDR?

You typically have configs like Abyssal and Merc Treads AND lichbane (+112 MR), which is a ton of MR already.
You get Nashers Tooth, which offers 25% CDR, and with 9-0-21 you have 9% to 34% total. 9 flat CDR glyphs puts you at 40% exactly.
Since CDR is so important for Fattie, I would consider this stat to be a lot more important than a bit of supplimentary MR.
It is certaily a lot more useful early game!

Remember that CDR's benefit increases slightly as you get more of it, so 34% might be "good enough" but can be improved.

MATH: Say you have a 100 sec CD doodad.

Thats 1 use per 100 seconds.
10% CDR = 90 sec CD, or 1.1111 uses in 100 seconds... or 11% more uses.
20% CDR = 80 sec or 25% more uses in the same time period.
30% CDR = 42.9% more uses.
34% CDR = 51.5% more uses
40% CDR = 67% more uses.

Quite a jump from 34% to 40% huh?



Yes I see Randuins, but that is DEAD LAST on your itemization.

Edit: Wow, some loser downvoted you and didn't bother to even offer a critique. Uncool.


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corallein

Senior Member

11-04-2011

I'm at work. It's a terrible build, but fine, you want my full critique?

In your post, you say that Gragas can get out-harrassed, but in your guide, you state that "Gragas is one of the easiest laners ever. If you're in a lane where you might lose, play passive and barrel farm."
Guess what, the latter is true. If you're getting out-harassed as AP Gragas, you're doing it wrong.

But really, what benefits does your build have?
You get some extra Armor and MR at the expense of damage and lane sustain (both mana and health thanks to Gragas' passive).
But your build has little damage and less tank. Great, Gragas has an AD steroid. One that has a 1 second cast time, and being a melee champion requires him to be in the middle of the enemy. And given how nerfed the damage reduction on Drunken Rage is, it means you get exploded immediately.

Sure, maybe if you get your full build, you might do OK. How expensive is that though? 15k+?
And your early game is going to be horrible. Little AP means that no one is afraid of your barrels. No extra health means that you die super fast, if they even bother to kill you first.
Oh, and you can't farm and you can't push because you don't have the AP to clear waves in one barrel (+ body slam).

So you end up with a weak early game, a weak mid-game, and maybe a decent end-game... if you can get to it.


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Gentleman Gustaf

Senior Member

11-04-2011

Warrrrax, thank you for your comments. I have actually been grappling with a similar issue myself (albeit with Cho and Frozen Heart, rather than Gragas and Nashor's). I think your suggestion is very valuable. Next time I will try Gragas out that way and see how things change. I think your point is probably right, and at worst, I'll just get my MR items a bit earlier.


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Gentleman Gustaf

Senior Member

11-04-2011

Corallein, I will grant that you lose some damage with this build. How exactly do you lose and lane sustain with my build? Your sustain is actually more valuable, as the health you do have will be more effective health, due to health/armor.

Moreover, while AP Gragas has his barrels as his main damage sources (with Body Slam for cleanup), this build allows you to get significant damage output from all of your skills. As such, you damage is not as much lower than AP Gragas as you'd expect. I would argue it's a similar position to AP vs tank Nidalee at the moment. There is no doubt that AP Nidalee has more poke damage, but the distance she has to maintain from the other team prevents her from using her other abilities (especially her cougar ones) that well. Tank Nidalee has less burst, but is around for longer (especially post-fight cleanup, where her chasing and fleeing abilities make her very strong). This Gragas build is similar, allowing you excellent mobility and the tankiness to take advantage of your E and W and an extended brawl.

If you consider my build through the lens of an AP carry, yes, it is weak. He will not carry your team with AoE damage. But the utility brought to the table by his E (which can keep off-tanks from your carries) and his Q (which can severely cut any auto attacker's damage) makes him a very strong disruptor. Moreover, the late game cooldown on your ultimate I find to be more helpful than anything if you can prolong team fights.

As for the one second cast time on his W, you can cast his W while you use his E, bringing the actual animation time down to almost nothing (nothing when E is level 1 and about two fifths of a second when E is level 5).


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corallein

Senior Member

11-04-2011

Sheen + Fiendish Codex:
1260 + 1245 = 2505 gold
+55 AP
No tankiness

Doran's Ring x2 + Needlessly Large Rod:
475x2 + 1600 = 2550 gold
+110 AP
+200 health

Rune tradeoff: some armor and MR for more AP and MP5.
Doran's Ring into Deathcap AP Gragas gets far stronger harass (much stronger barrels, more mana to use them, more passive procs) in exchange for being... just slightly less tanky. And stronger barrels means better farming and pushing.

Your build doesn't do enough damage early and still isn't tanky.
Your full build is... well, OK, but it's basically an AP build except with Merc Treads and Nashor's Tooth. And no Void Staff and still not tanky.
Stats ignoring runes/masteries:
2356 health
142 armor
142 MR
That's not tanky, and that's only after 16k gold in items. And that Nashor's adds... a measly 55 AP for 2.9k gold. If you want CDR so badly, get a Morello's Evil Tome. +75 AP for a good 500 less gold. Or a Glacial Shroud for 1200 less gold and some tanky stats. Or a Spirit Visage for Health, MR, and a buff to your passive. Or a Shurelya's for a team speed buff and health. Or a DFG for another nuke. Or Boots of Lucidity to replace Merc Treads.

Everything is better than getting Nashor's Tooth on a non-tanky AP carry.


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Gentleman Gustaf

Senior Member

11-04-2011

First, between Drunken Rage, Fiendish Codex, and passive mana regen, you have enough to sustain enough casting of your spells to keep your passive always on for a good amount of time (more than enough that you only have to leave your lane when you want)
Second, as the guide says, I don't actually open Sheen + Fiendish Codex unless I feel I am in a lane where I have an advantage. My normal opens are Fiendish Codex + Warden's Mail or Sheen + Glacial Shroud.
Finally, the opening you suggest is one I do have listed in the guide, minus the second Doran's Ring. I just find that it has certain vulnerabilities to aggressive laners like Garen who are very present at the 1400 elo level. These may not be present at higher levels (i don't actually know), but I find this build to be a good work around against aggressive laners, as it puts off early-game strength for passive farming and a more disruptive role late game.

I can't see a reason to take Morello's Evil Tome over Nashor's Tooth. It's not + 75 AP (comparatively), it's + 20. That's + 48 damage to your burst from Q,E, and R. If you get a single attack in that you wouldn't otherwise, you're ahead in damage even just on the AD buff from W.
Glacial Shroud is listed as an item I do get as a replacement for Fiendish Codex in suitable games.
Spirit Visage affects your passive very minimally, moving the number of procs you need to get half of your health back from 25 to 22, and is not the greatest late game item due to its low cost in contrast with Gragas' excellent farming abilities.
Shurelya's, while good, doesn't really give Gragas anything he doesn't already have.
I mentioned DFG as something I get occasionally, but I find that in my build (less burst/AP heavy and more focused on sustained damage and disruption) it doesn't pay the dividends I'd like.
Merc Treads prevent your mobility from being shut down, so I prefer to get them most games where long CCs are present.
Finally, those items do not actually have strong returns on CDR, and as Warrrrax remarks, CDR is more efficient the more of it you have. Nashor's Tooth is the only item I know of that allows you to mostly solve your CDR problems with one item, although Frozen Heart and Morello's Evil Tome both come close.


Furthermore, you're ignoring his passive in tankiness. 142 Armor gives you 59% damage reduction. That, multiplied by 82% (from your W) gives you .66% total reduction, equivalent to 200 Armor. The health is low, which is why I have toyed with Rylai's Scepter.

As is mentioned several times, this is not a build if you are expected to be the primary mage on your team. You are judging it by the qualities of an AP Carry build, and it is not one. This is a solo top build best suited to a team who has an off-tank jungler who lacks good initiation.


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corallein

Senior Member

11-04-2011

But it is an AP carry build, at least from the items.

That build is NOT tanky. You get at most 2500 health, and that's including the Randuin's Omen, which is listed as your LAST item. If you try to charge in and initiate a team fight like that, you'll get CCed and exploded immediately. The 18% damage reduction from Drunken Rage isn't enough to save you.

Tanky AP Gragas hasn't been a viable build for ages now. It used to be my primary build on him, before they hugely nerfed Drunken Rage and removed Locket. Now if you try to build tanky enough to survive, you have no damage. But if you build enough damage to be a threat, you're not going to be tanky enough. Sure, give him 16k gold in items and it can look pretty good on paper, but that's true for just about every champion. And if the other team has that same 16k gold... well, your 142 armor is really only <70 armor to them. Same with your MR, and that 2.5k health you have is going to disappear in a hurry.

Give any viable tanky DPS champion 16k gold and they can get to 3.5k health and 200+ armor/MR while maintaining enough damage potential to be a threat.


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