Predator Gragas was played in the LCS last week—here’s why it could work

It didn't work out so well for Akaadian, but it might for you.

Image via Riot Games

Gragas is slowly on the rise back to into the League of Legends jungle meta after over a year of his rather harsh falling out. We’re putting extra emphasis on the word “slowly,” though, because pro teams and regular players are still trying to figure out the best way to bring him back.

The most common solutions to that puzzle, so far, have been the Electrocute and Aftershock runes. Players, both pro and amateur, pick one or the other and then build into an AP drunk-mage build, a tank build, or some mixture of the two. And then there are the pioneers who take very strange runes. We had one such pioneer in the NA LCS this past weekend.

OpTic’s jungler, Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham, locked in Gragas with the Predator rune. Sure he didn’t play so hot with it, ending the game 0-3-0 and losing to TSM—but it wasn’t a troll pick. There’s some real potential with this off-the-wall rune choice, and it’s definitely something to try out for yourself before yelling “I hate this elo smh” in all chat the next time you see it.

Predator is like a magic button. In fact, it’s the most magic button-like rune out of any of them. When activated, it gives almost any jungler, or maybe even a non-jungler whose being played in the jungle, powerful gank potential. It’s a big speed boost followed by a burst of damage. What’s not to love?

Gragas doesn’t exactly need more ganking power, though. He has very hard-hitting crowd control and high damage for a tank, and his AoE disruptions are matched only by Zac and Sejuani. Adding Predator into the equation can extend his gank power in duration, though, which is a powerful tool. If he activates Predator, he doesn’t need to use his Body Slam to initiate the gank. He can just run at someone with his W triggered, allowing him to save his Body Slam for when the enemy flashes or runs away. This lets him lock down his victims much better than before.

Electrocute was nerfed pretty hard last week, so taking Predator might just be the next best substitute, anyway. If you’re really brave, you can try Dark Harvest to synergize with his Drunken Rage and get a nice, satisfying “BOP!” every time you stroll into a lane. Either way, don’t be afraid to play around with Gragas for now—because no one has settled on a “typical” build for him yet, anyway.