Bot Lane Heavyweight: The Case for Gragas Support

Mar 29, 2016

There are few champions that have managed to consistently adapt to the ever-changing meta and stay useful over a long period of time. Gragas, once an S-tier mid laner, had a brief stint in the top lane after being reworked before moving on to the jungle, where he find himself once again a top pick. Gragas brings multiple forms of crowd control, solid base damage, and tankiness to whatever role he decides to fill. Including the support role.

Gragas Support: How It Works

Gragas Face
Gragas’ face when he finds out he’s going to the bot lane. Photo via Eric May.

In lane Gragas is able to get some free sustain off of Happy Hour (passive), which restores 4% of maximum health upon using an ability, and he’s got Drunken Rage (W) to earn up to 18% damage reduction for 2.5 seconds. You can use Barrel Roll (Q) to zone, or to damage and slow the enemy duo. Barrel Roll does slightly less damage than Brand’s Pillar of Flame (W), but has a lower cooldown per level, plus an AoE 40% slow at rank 1.

You can make big plays with the fat man. Here’s IWillDominate pulling off one of the greatest Gragas plays ever made.

Landing Body Slams (E) is Gragas’ key responsibility in the support role. There is a lot of flexibility in how exactly you choose to engage with Body Slam. You can ‘E’ -> flash, ‘R’ -> ‘E’ combo, ‘Q’ first to make landing a plain old ‘E’ easier… Landing a Body Slam without any other crowd control may prove difficult against high mobility champs like Ezreal or LeBlanc. You will need to burn escapes, or your own flash, before attempting to stun.

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Gragas becomes a viable support champion when picked against peel compositions, or any squishy team. Against a team with Janna or Soraka, Gragas is able to displace the enemy carries with his Explosive Cask (R), knocking them far away from the heals and shields. Although Gragas’ crowd control abilities can be used defensively, he is more effective in aggressive engage compositions.

You want Gragas facing off against a Katarina or a Jhin; both champions that can have their ultimates ruined by a well placed Explosive Cask (R). Against a Fizz, Olaf, or Morgana, Gragas will be hard-pressed to land an ability.

Building Your Support Gragas

You are going to want to build primarily tanky when playing Gragas support. There is room to build a damage item or two if you are ridiculously fed, but you will still hurt enemy squishies without them. You will need some defensive stats when you throw yourself into the enemy team later in the game. When in doubt, build resistances to counter the strongest threats on the enemy team. Banner of Command is great on Gragas against heavy AP compositions.

Take It to the Rift

Gragas has filled every other role on the Rift, now it’s his time to shine in the support role. Try out Gragas support in a few normal games to see how he feels. You may be surprised how deceptively effective the big man can be.

Good luck, have fun!

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Jamie Jacobs
Jamie Jacobs is a bot lane main who once won 17 consecutive Janna games. His favorite champions are Thresh, Kalista, and Bard. Jamie writes about competitive League of Legends and the professional gaming scene every week at Esports Edition.
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