Everybody remembers the good old days when Gragas was one of the best mid laners in League of Legends. He was a powerhouse, a champion that carried the meta during season 3 alone. But in season 13, Gragas has an equally strong AP build that allows him to one-shot enemies!

In this post, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about playing AP Gragas. 

I’ll start by comparing the AP build with the tank build. But I’ll soon jump to the runes and items you’re going to need. And I’ll also give you a few practical tips for winning more games.

That said, let’s jump into the guide!

Gragas AP or Tank – What’s Better?

Gragas Q Barrel Roll info

The optimal build for Gragas depends on what the current meta is. But generally, AP Gragas has way more damage and allows you to assassinate enemy champions. The tank build is generally safer and pretty good at helping out your team. And you can win games with both builds.

So, the question isn’t only what’s better between AP and tank Gragas. Instead, it’s about which playstyle is better in which situation.

For example, if you’re playing a Clash match with 4 other friends and your team needs a tank, it’s obviously better to go for the tank build on Gragas. With enough defensiveness, Gragas can block damage, provide kiting, and assist his teammates with crowd control.

On the other hand, if you’re playing a solo queue match and your team is already tanky, you have no reason to build tank. In this situation, it’s much better to be offensive and go for the full AP Gragas build.

Gragas has amazing damage as a melee mage and the AP items allow him to carry games alone.

And finally, you should switch between the two builds frequently if you’re comfortable and both. Practice both the tank and the AP build for Gragas if you want ultimate results on this champion.

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How to Play AP Gragas Successfully? (Tips)

AP Gragas damage

Even though there are tons of tips I could give you for playing Gragas AP, I’ll focus on the ones that make the most difference in each game.

Here they are.


Many players don’t know this, but Gragas does insane damage early on. The numbers on his abilities are very high and you should definitely take advantage of that.

So, if you’re playing Gragas in a lane, don’t be afraid to take trades. From level 3 onwards, your combo will always trigger Electrocute. And the damage that you’ll do to your opponents will often be unbelievable.

And if you’re a jungler, prioritize ganking over farming! Gragas has some of the best ganking tools in League of Legends, so make sure to use them.


Simply put, Gragas’ R does a lot of damage. Depending on how well you did in the early game, Explosive Cask can take up to 30-40% of your target’s HP.

And so, once you hit level 6, look for 1v1 fights or ganks around the map. If you combine Gragas’ abilities the right way, you’ll definitely score a champion takedown even without any help.

There aren’t too many champions that can match Gragas’ power on level 6, so don’t forget to use this to your advantage.

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This isn’t the most obvious tip and I’ll try my best to explain it.

When you play Gragas, you should always be aware of the abilities that your teammates have. Just think about what your allies can do and how your playstyle fits them.

The reason I’m saying this is because you don’t want to use your R to knock away enemies as your ally Orianna uses Shockwaves and misses her ultimate ability.

Instead, you’lll want to work with your team and set the whole team up for success. 

Sometimes you’ll buddy Ashe will stun someone and that gives you the perfect opportunity to use R. But sometimes you can push someone in the direction of your teammate Olaf and that’s also helpful.

So, be careful with Gragas’ R!

Read Also: AP Warwick Build Guide

AP Gragas Season 13 Build – Runes

AP Gragas rune page
  • Electrocute
  • Sudden Impact
  • Eyeball Collection
  • Ultimate Hunter
  • Nullifying Orb
  • Transcendence

ELECTROCUTE is the strongest keystone you can pick on Gragas. It perfectly fits his playstyle and the way this champion deals damage.

Electrocute strikes your target with additional magic damage after you’ve hit them with three consecutive attacks. And this happens whenever you combo all three of Gragas’ abilities. 

So, Electrocute increases your damage at all stages of the game. It increases your burst and allows you to assassinate squishy enemies. And that’s why you need it!

SUDDEN IMPACT is another amazing aggressive rune in League of Legends. Basically, it gives you a bit of magic penetration whenever you dash. So, this effect is always active when you use Gragas’ E – Body Slam.

And the best part about Sudden Impact is that it only has 4 seconds cooldown which means it’s active in every fight!

EYEBALL COLLECTION is a simple rune that we take because it’s the best option in the third row of the Domination rune tree. It passively increases your AP, so it’s a free way of getting more damage early on.

ULTIMATE HUNTER is an absolute must-have for AP Gragas. Gragas’ ultimate – Explosive Cask is one of the hardest-hitting abilities in League of Legends. And you definitely need it available as often as possible!

With Ultimate Hunter, Gragas’ R will reach around a 30-second cooldown. This is a great thing because you’ll be able to set up ganks and go for 1v1 fights much more frequently. 

Just make sure to collect the five Bounty Hunter stacks from taking down all of your five opponents early on in the game. You only need the assist for collecting a stack.

NULLIFYING ORB is an underused rune in League of Legends. However, it’s a very useful defensive option for Gragas, especially when you’re going up against a mage in the mid lane.

What Nullifying Orb does is that it gives you a magic shield that blocks a bit of magic damage when you drop below 30% HP. And it can be pretty useful for stopping one-shots by bursty champions such as Lux.

Nullifying Orb has a 1-minute cooldown, but the value of the shield can be increased by building more AP.

TRANSCENDENCE is the last rune to pick up from Sorcery. You mainly want it from the 10 ability haste it grants by level 8.

However, Transcendence gives you a bonus effect once you reach level 11 too. It refreshes 20% of the remaining cooldown on your basic abilities whenever you score a kill/assist. 

This simply means that you’ll get to use your Q, W, and E more times during a single team fight if you have Transcendence with you.

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AP Gragas Season 13 Build – Items

AP Gragas item build
  • Sorcerer’s Shoes
  • Everfrost
  • Cosmic Drive
  • Lich Bane
  • Rabadon’s Deathcap
  • Void Staff

SORCERER’S SHOES are the boots you’ll need when you play Gragas full AP. They give you bonus magic penetration which is absolutely necessary during the early and mid game. 

And since you won’t be building a magic penetration mythic item such as Luden’s Tempest or Hextech Rocketbelt, their value is super high.

EVERFROST is the mythic item you should go for instead. It gives you ability power, mana, ability haste, and even health.

However, the main reason why you want Everfrost is its active – Glaciate. With Glaciate, you can freeze an enemy in place. And this obviously has a great synergy with Gragas’ barrels.

For example, you can use Evefrost to root an enemy champion to make sure your R pushes them in the direction you want. This also works well with Gragas’ Q.

COSMIC DRIVE is a fantastic item to have on Gragas, especially with this AP build. Since you won’t be taking Phase Rush (another useful keystone), Cosmic Drive will be the item to give you the movement speed bonus after three consecutive attacks.

But this item is much better than Phase Rush because it also increases your ability power. This means that after your E + W + Q combo, Gragas’ Explosive Cask will do way more damage.

So, you definitely want Cosmic Drive in your inventory!

LICH BANE is another item you want to purchase as early as possible. It fits very well with Gragas’ kit, especially his W. This ability forces Gragas to auto-attack and activates the Lich Bane’s effect, so you have no reason not to build this item!

RABADON’S DEATHCAP is a must-have item if you want to one-shot your enemies. It’s the highest damage booster for any AP champion in LoL, including Gragas.

Besides the 120 bonus ability power, RA also boosts your total AP by 35%. And for a burst mage such as Gragas, this is amazing!

VOID STAFF is the final item you’ll need to complete this one-shot build. It gives you 40% magic penetration and allows your abilities to cut through most of your enemies’ magic resist.

With Void Staff, you’ll be taking down even tanky champions, so it’s a good item to spend your money on!

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Optional and Situational Items for AP Gragas

As far as situational items are concerned, there are three of them that you should consider building on AP Gragas.

Luden’s Tempest is a fantastic mythic item that you can use if you don’t like Everfrost. It offers tons of damage and even magic penetration.

A lot of the time you’ll find that AP Gragas is very squishy. But building Zhonya’s Hourglass can help you a ton, especially against assassins.

And lastly, Morellonomicon is simply a must when you’re facing healing champions. So, any time you’re up against Soraka, Nami, Vladimir, or Aatrox, spend your gold on Morellonomicon!

Ability Order and Summoner’s Spells

Just like with tank Gragas, the best ability order here is to max out your Q first. This is your main damaging spell and it has the shortest cooldown.

However, here’s how to max out Gragas’ abilities level by level.


The choice of Summoner’s Spells largely depends on which role you’re playing Gragas in. AP Gragas can go in each role in League, so here are the best Summoner’s Spells combinations for all of them.

Top: Flash + Teleport

Jungle: Flash + Smite

Mid: Flash + Ignite

Bot: Flash + Exhaust

Support: Flash + Ignite

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Gragas is one of my favorite off-meta mid laners in League of Legends. He’s a powerful pick that can carry games alone and influence the match in many different ways. 

However, full AP Gragas can also be a great off-meta support and an off-meta jungler. And as long as you know how to play the champion, you’ll do fine in any role with this build.

I hope this guide helped you figure out how to play AP Gragas! GL&HF!

Read Also: 5 Best Synergy ADCs for Gragas Support

Last Update: March 2, 2024