[Guide] Gragas, the Barrel Rolling Brawler

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Gentleman Gustaf

Senior Member

11-04-2011

I see your point about the low health. It's never been a problem for me (but again, I'm around 1400 elo, so that may have more to do with people's inability to focus the right target). When I compare it to my typical Nasus, Rumble, or Cho builds (just to pick 3 solo top champions I play regularly), my Gragas build has significantly less health, but far less damage (for Nasus/Rumble), and far softer CC (compared to Cho).

Out of curiosity, would you have a similar objection to the other listed build (the one that starts with a sheen and a Glacial Shroud and ends with Lich Bane, and apparently never upgrades to Frozen Heart because I forgot to include that)?


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corallein

Senior Member

11-04-2011

Not as much.
The problem with that is just that Sheen is a pretty weak early item unless the enemy lets you Body Slam him without doing more damage back to you.
It's super high risk, kinda-high reward build that isn't really worth it when you can win the lane by smart barrel zoning and harass. Sheen/Lich Bane isn't a bad item on Gragas, it's just not something you want to rush because of how dangerous it is to actually use it with him. I'd much rather just get more AP so my barrels can take half the health off a squishy if I land one.

Gragas is also fairly mana intensive, so forsaking MP5 seals for armor hurts your early game quite a bit, unless you get an early Meki. Even a single Meki is insufficient for barrel harass though - heck, even full clarity seals + 2x Doran's Ring isn't enough to keep up continuous barrel harass and farming.
But getting an early Meki gimps your early damage. Gragas has a great AP ratio on Barrel Roll, and not taking advantage of it early on by stacking AP makes you far less dangerous. Sheen loses to badly to just about any AP carry that goes 3x Doran's Ring. The point of Doran's Rings on Gragas is to accentuate your early game and dominate the lane, letting you snowball to victory. If the enemy doesn't get Doran's Rings, you have a huge advantage early on. Even if you don't get any kills, Gragas can safely push the tower and force the enemy to lose lots of last hits to it, while slowly chipping away at its health.
And if they do get Doran's Rings? Well, then you're just on equal item footing.
On the flip side, if they get Doran's and you don't, then they get the early advantage, allowing them either to creep ahead of you or to catch up (depending on how it went for the first few levels).

Of course, if you completely dominate them, skipping one or both rings and going straight to Deathcap is always an option. Finishing Deathcap faster is always good, but having gold not used when you have to go back is always a waste.

And if you're not going to be running into the middle of the enemy team and soaking tons of damage, there isn't as much need for defensive runes. For Gragas, the best defense is a good barrel to the face and then running away and waiting for cooldowns. The more damage you can do, the more dangerous you are. Gragas is godly in poke comps and for tower sieges.


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Gentleman Gustaf

Senior Member

11-04-2011

why would you be laning against an AP Carry top in the current meta? I see it occasionally, but not at all often.


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corallein

Senior Member

11-04-2011

Because that was never specified? Gragas is more commonly the AP carry in mid.

If you want to put him top against a bruiser, you don't want to ever be straight-up engaging them anyway, because they'll beat you with their AD and better sustained damage. But I suppose in that case, armor runes are a perfectly reasonable alternative. MR runes have even less use though.
With Body Slam also benefiting a good amount from AP, there's little reason not to get more AP from your glyph slots so you do more damage if they try to engage you. Or CDR so you can chain Body Slam faster for chasing or running (and do more damage IF you have the mana to sustain it).


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Gentleman Gustaf

Senior Member

11-04-2011

You're right: I only loosely alluded to that in discussing my summoner spell choices. Egg on my face

That's why I felt like I didn't want to be building for damage early, and should instead be aiming for the mid-game. However, that still doesn't solve the squishiness problems.

EDIT:: This post just moved me from 'Junior Member' to 'Member'. That was an extremely underwhelming promotion


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