Although Gragas in his inception was designed as an AP brawler mixing it up with the enemy, he has historically been played as a mid AP nuke/poker.
While we were fine with this, the recent resurgence of Gragas as a top pick has brought to our attention the problems inherent in this playstyle.
Gragas currently possesses strengths of long range burst, tankiness and disengage- carried by AP ratios on Q and R being so high that they will effectively two-shot you.
This combination of strengths do not make much sense (why do you need tankiness if you are a sniper? Etc.) and are unhealthy for the game.
However, since Gragas was never designed as a sniper, he does not have enough tools he needs to be a valued pick if he is not two-shotting people.
Therefore, just nerfing his current damage numbers will ‘Olaf’ him (his win rates are already super low for most players).
When we looked at Gragas as a character, it made much more sense to retain the tankiness while hitting the long range burst damage and grant him the tools to succeed while being in the thick of the fight, rather than turn him into a fragile long range sniper, hence the rework.
We are attempting to reposition Gragas as more of a bruiser/tank that better reflects the fantasy of being a large drunk dude who gives no @#$@s while ramming into people.
The direction of the important changes are below, along with the points of feedback (both playing as and against) I am mainly looking for!
*Damage reduced, now slows Movement Speed instead of Attack Speed. Now deals more damage and slows for more as the barrel sits out.*
This lowers his effectiveness as a poke mage (since no one will be standing in the barrel radius for any amount of time) and gives more incentive to ‘combo’ his spells to knock people into a barrel.
The coolest play Gragas makes is when he uses Explosive Cask to knock the enemy into a Barrel that has been sitting outside and we wanted to incentivize that. The new effect on Body Slam will also synergize with this ability.
Do you feel that this ability gives enough payoff for hitting the charged barrel?
Is his prowess as a poke mage too strong for how much cc he brings?
*Druken Rage will now have a much lower CD and duration, and grant a one time hit bonus instead of AD. Gragas can also move while drinking. No longer restores mana.*
The current Drunken Rage is a very dull spell that is simply a chore to upkeep. There are almost no cases where Gragas engages without this buff and there is very sparse gameplay associated with the trigger or the effect.
The new iteration hopes to create a more windowed effect to his DR and damage so there is richer play and counterplay. Also a Gragas who is drinking more often is a more awesome Gragas.
Does the spell grant appropriate defenses to allow Gragas to function in melee?
Is there a pronounced success/failure case when Gragas uses his W at the right time?
*Body Slam now stuns and slightly knocks enemies back instead of slowing them.*
We have moved some power from Barrel Roll to Body Slam to give him the tools be valuable without needing to deal tons of damage. Gragas should be able to function as a mid-teamfight brawler that acts like a brick wall for enemies trying to get past him and gum up the fight.
Does the spell offer a good enough incentive for you to duke it out in melee?
*Deals less damage.*
Explosive Cask is already an awesome ability that requires mastery to use to full potential with amazing payoffs. However, currently it deals too much damage that dilutes its own strengths (You don’t care about where you knock the enemy if he just dies from the explosion).
We wanted the spell to be focused on its cool and unique strength – a huge radius ranged knockback.