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- Playing As Graves
- Smoke Screen can be used both to escape and to set up a kill.
- Using Quickdraw to get into range and delivering a point blank Buckshot can do lots of damage.
- Building + will make you deceptively resilient and an excellent duelist given True Grit.
- Playing Against Graves
- Graves deals mostly physical damage so Armor is an effective counter.
- Leaving the Smoke Screen's area of effect removes the harmful effect immediately.
- Given how his auto attacks works, they can be intercepted by structures and other units (champions, minions, and monsters). This can be very useful when skirmishing.
- Ability Usage
- Always aim to hit End of the Line against walls when going against jungle monsters and enemies, as this will deal both instances of damage very quickly, catching most enemies off guard.
- End of the Line is a very strong wave clear tool. Minions cannot dodge the second attack, and a few autoattacks followed by End of the Line will often destroy an entire wave.
- A waveclear combo is for Graves to use End of the Line usually leaving the caster minions with just a sliver of health, using Smoke Screen to finish them off, and using autoattacks to kill the melee minions.
- Smoke Screen is a powerful denial tool. Enemies inside can completely not see out and are slowed. Work with your team to make sure to install this vision denial on the enemy for as long as possible, as they cannot return autoattacks if they are within the smoke.
- Use Smoke Screen to deny choke points.
- Quickdraw has various uses. It can be used to dash over walls to chase enemies or to escape, or used as a gapcloser to secure a kill with an autoattack, or can be used to reposition End of the Line to hit a wall.
- A useful combo to steal Baron Nashor or Dragon is to Quickdraw over the pit wall, then use and Collateral Damage to secure the objective. Collateral Damage's knockback will send you backwards over the same wall, safely returning outside of the pit.
- Collateral Damage is a powerful tool for finishing off enemies. Be aware of dueling at Level 6 with Graves for if he lands End of the Line and Collateral Damage he will outburst almost any other champion.
- Dropping End of the Line, using Collateral Damage then having the return portion of End of the Line proc is a deadly combo to most assassins or squishies who try to dive Graves mid/late game.
- Your autoattacks do more single target damage the closer you are to the enemy while it can do AoE damage at a farther range. Stand within melee range when attacking towers to deal maximum damage.
- Use Graves' bullets as a guideline for trading. Try to get one or two auto-attacks in, and then walk backwards as you reload.
- Use terrain to your advantage to quickly pop End of the Line. Quickly using End of the Line and Collateral Damage while dueling an enemy assassin will deal a surprising amount of burst.
- Collateral Damage has a small self-knockback which, in a crisis, can be used to get over thin walls to escape.
- During teamfights, aim to use Collateral Damage to hit as many enemies as possible.
- Quickdraw cancels Graves' autoattack lag and resets his autoattack timer. Use this to get 2 shots off extremely quickly.
- When jungling, make sure to kite the camps by moving away from them until you can shoot again. You can save a lot of health this way.
- Mastery Usage
- If playing Graves in the jungle, the Keystone Mastery of choice is .
- This is because his early game strength comes from being able to quickly clear camps safely with high health, so using provides him some extra health after his first clear, and also gives him sustain during sieges during late game.
- is also a good choice as he sacrifices some late game strength and tankiness for early/mid game burst damage.
- If playing Graves Top or as a Marksman, the Keystone Mastery of choice is or
- During the lane phase a lot of trading with the enemy will happen, making ideal to keep your health up by attacking minions in between trades, or by poking the enemy.
- New Destiny can only fire twice before he has to reload, he can proc the mastery less often than other marksmen such as Lucian or Kog'Maw. deals more damage with consecutive autoattacks but, because
- Item Usage
- Graves works best with items that grant a mixture of Attack Damage, Armor Penetration, Cooldown Reduction, survivability and to an extent, Critical Strike Chance and Attack Speed.
- Graves can use well. is recommended as it grants AD, ArPen and CDR along with an active that provides both Movement and Attack Speed which
- In the jungle, Graves damage reduction and bonus True Damage against marked targets. with the enchantment provides AD and CDR along with which gives
- Graves for physical damage he deals and pseudo-damage reduction. provides AD, CDR and two useful passives that heal
- gives AS, Crit Chance and MS not to mention a passive that gives more MS and damage reduction against the last target attacked which is useful for kiting, chasing and dueling.
- Graves remains in combat.
is a good defensive choice against mages and AP assassins as it has MR and upon reaching low health, a magic damage shield along bonus lifesteal and spellvamp for as long as
- Graves as his abilites have bonus AD scalings. is an alternative for defending against massive burst damage in general with its health and shield when taking high amounts of damage. The base AD boost however is not as useful for
- Take note that the passives from and are both classified as the unique passive, Lifeline, and as such do not work together.
- provides a high amount of damage with AD, ArPen, MS and an execution passive. As it doesn't give any survivability and has a high cost, this item should be bought only when snowballing.
- Graves as he can use the AS from it fairly well.
are the best offensive boots for
- Quickdraw should suffice for tanky stats. , and should be bought accordingly for their defensive properties. Bear in mind that these options provide no damage and should only be purchased when in dire need of them. For the most part, the resistances from
- Lock Graves down before he can use Quickdraw to escape.
- Pick a hard engage champion to lock down Graves before a fight begins. If he lives for a long time, he deals a lot of sustained damage.
- Choose a reliable dueling champion who offers a lot of hard crowd control, such as Poppy or Malphite.
- Graves is a huge lane bully. Melee bruisers will have a very tough time against him.
- Do not underestimate his early game damage. He often wins both short and extended trades if he is not stunned.
- After he uses Quickdraw and Collateral Damage, Graves is very susceptible to crowd control and burst as he has no escapes.
- Graves is deceptively tanky with Quickdraw's True Grit coupled with the common bruiser build path of and , so take care when trying to assassinate him. He might take more damage than you expect.
- If he is caught reloading with no shells, he cannot autoattack until he finishes, so feel free to engage him. Beware though for he can instantly reload a shell with Quickdraw.
- Stay away from walls when fighting him. Walls heavily reduce the proc time of End of the Line's return damage, leaving almost no time to avoid both instances of the ability.
- Graves's shotgun deals an insane amount of damage at close range. Stay away from him when fighting him, as he can deal as much damage as a melee at low levels with just his autoattacks.
- He is a very strong splitpusher as his shotgun can quickly kill turrets if left unattended.