We wanted to take this opportunity to preview some of the gameplay on our newest ranged DPS champion: Graves, the Outlaw.
This rough-and-tumble gunman uses a massive, hextech double-barreled shotgun to rain down death from a distance and punish any foolish varmints that get too close. For example, Buckshot shoots three quick shrapnel bursts in a cone in front of him. Unlike other multi-missile spells, however, all three Buckshot rounds can all hit the same target (although each individual projectile will deal slightly reduced damage).
Graves is also able to make it uncomfortable for foes to fight at his optimal range by throwing out Smoke Screen to limit enemy vision and slow them in an area, while Quick Draw lets him dash in for a quick shotgun blast or escape danger as needed. In this way he can control his positioning to set up maximum damage Buckshots.
Finally, Graves can use Collateral Damage to unleash a skill shot that nukes the first target it hits, spreading a cone of damage behind its target to hit anybody yellow enough to hide behind the tanks. While the single-target use is simple, properly utilizing the cone is what will separate the good Graves players from the great ones.
Our goal with Graves was to make a ranged DPS that had some incentive to get up close or make enemies think twice before getting in your face. While its completely possible to play Graves as a standard max-range carry, this dichotomy makes for skill differential without adding a high barrier to entry (or any hefty, paragraph-long tooltips). Whether trying to maximize the close-up damage of Buckshot, or setting up the 1-2 punch of Collateral Damage, were excited to add a champion with true grit to the ranged DPS lineup.