Jun 282012
Graves, the Outlaw
Graves, the Outlaw

Graves, the Outlaw and his shotgun Destiny have a few fashion styles available. While the mercenary angle is a natural choice something more futuristic or Cosa Nostra is possible; or even something nautical. To know more about Graves’ attires and his shotgun choices read further on this skins’ review.

Hired Gun Graves
Hired Gun Graves Splash Art Hired Gun Graves Model
Category: Regular
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Graves dressed as a modern mercenary.
Model: Major model changes for Graves and new model for his shotgun Destiny.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: This is a colourful and flashy splash art filled with action. The background is a bit monochromatic in its display of firing cannons. Still, the explosions and blurry vegetation provide a setting; though much is indistinguishable. Graves is displayed with strong colours firing his shotgun turned grenade launcher. Details are clearly visible: reflections from the explosions, folds in the clothes and different textures for the materials. However, the colours are too saturated and make the piece look overloaded with elements competing for the viewers’ attention. Besides, it’s worth noting that Graves’ left hand looks very strange. Overall, it’s not a bad piece but it’s also a bit excessive.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Hired Gun Graves delivers a tough mercenary look for Graves. Except for his head, that only gets sunglasses, it’s a full re-model. Besides, the shotgun is re-imagined as a grenade launcher. The problem is that the end result is rather insipid. For all intents and purposes, it’s Graves wearing casual clothes. The jacket does have a nice design in the back but the rest of the clothes are simply dull. Consequently, this is a skin for Graves fans or those specifically looking for a contemporary tough look for Graves.

Jailbreak Graves
Jailbreak Graves Splash Art Jailbreak Graves Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Graves as a futuristic soldier.
Model: New model Graves and his shotgun Destiny.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Jailbreak Graves’ splash art makes interesting use of dark tones to envelope the foreground. The hole in the wall is correctly drawn though debris and dust are missing. The contrast in lightness between the rooms, or corridors, now connected by the wall hole make the simpler, outer parts of the piece sensible; but no less disappointing. Graves is well depicted with good use of shading but minimal lighting from his shoulder torch. Unfortunately, his body proportions seem strange as if his body is too small for his limbs. All things considered this is a nice splash art with a few obvious problems.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Jailbreak Graves is a skin overloaded with features to the point of visual saturation. For instance, he seems to be wearing trousers, shorts over them and boots. His armour is equally complex with a detailed pattern and also strapped to his body. Moreover, the shoulder torch is a nice touch of light but in some instances the lighter textures look unnatural. Besides the spiky hairstyle and inexplicable standard hanging from his back there’s the shotgun. This version of the shotgun is a double-barrelled energy rifle with a capricious and flamboyant style. In the end, Jailbreak Graves is an attractive skin to look at but it may have too much to pay attention to. If you like an elaborate look Jailbreak Graves delivers but it might have too much whimsical visual display for some.

Mafia Graves
Mafia Graves Splash Art Mafia Graves Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Graves fashioned as a 1920’s Mafioso.
Model: New model for Graves and his shotgun Destiny.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: New auto-attack sounds.
Splash Art: Mafia Graves splash art may have a blurry background but when you leave an exploding building with attitude complaints are unnecessary. The explosion is effectively depicted with debris and fire flying. Still, it’s curious that the blast seems concealed to the left. It may be to leave the right side of the piece to Graves alone; as there seems to be almost no background. Bathed by the explosion’s light, which is also ripping his trench coat, Graves appears aptly stern and resolute. His clothes are well designed with good use of shading but with minimal attention to folds. In fact some parts, especially the trousers, are quite plain. The Thompson style shotgun is greatly portrayed with interesting lighting and design. However, note that the in-game model doesn’t have a stock. In conclusion, this is a very good piece that gives a great impression despite some flaws.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Mafia Graves is a skin that adapts a good concept to a fitting champion; the end result is both sensible and attractive. The clothes definitely suit Graves and are elegantly designed. The newsboy cap is fitting but a fedora or homburg hat would’ve probably been a better choice. Regardless, the general fashion style is consistent while the hanging revolver furthers the mafia theme. The shotgun is imagined in the style of the famous, or infamous, Thompson machine guns. While it certainly is a fictional take on a shotgun it is feasible and looks practical. It’s a pity that the ejected shells when auto-attacking have been lost to the marksman update as they nicely rounded the execution. The new auto-attack sounds are barely perceptible but, at least, they haven’t been removed. Consequently, Mafia Graves is a good looking, classy and plausible interpretation of Graves that used to be better. If you like Graves, you can’t go wrong with Mafia Graves but it’s a bit expensive for, essentially, a re-model.

Riot Graves
Riot Graves Splash Art Riot Graves Model
Category: Promotional (available during events)
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Graves as a riot control squad member.
Model: New model Graves and his shotgun Destiny.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: New animation for Quickdraw.
Sounds: New auto-attack sounds.
Splash Art: The background of this piece pretends to show the chaos of a riot but instead it just displays smoke and a little homage to Riot Singed and Riot K-9 Nasus. Fortunately, Graves is very well portrayed, from his firm and defiant stance to his stern and decided expression. The shading makes a good job at displaying different materials: it’s possible to appreciate the texture of the metal, cloth and skin. Truth be told, this piece is an excellent portrayal of Graves but as a whole it disappoints due to the simplistic background.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Riot Graves is a modern looking skin but the contemporary style isn’t actually engaging. While the armour, helmet and clothes are realistically rendered, as well as the rifle, the general aesthetic appears rather homogeneous. The colours mesh into each other which prevent elements from being distinct and attracting attention. The new sounds and animation help in making the skin stand out, even if they are barely different, but as a whole it doesn’t offer anything to be excited about.

Pool Party Graves
Pool Party Graves Splash Art Pool Party Graves Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Graves wielding a water-gun, ready for a water war.
Model: New model for Graves and his shotgun Destiny.
Particles: New water particles for Buckshot, Smoke Screen, Quickdraw, Collateral Damage and auto-attack.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New water sounds for his abilities and auto-attack.
Splash Art: A clear sky and a sunny beach make for a good albeit unimpressive frame. Fortunately, the diving platforms full with activity, as champions make extensive use of them, adds some necessary charm to the sky-heavy background. Graves is shown relaxed but firm with good use of shading. His shorts look messy with folds and his face strange; due to the strange shape of the nose and forehead. Still, the piece is quite effective at its objective: it shows Graves as an charming beachgoer.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Pool Party Graves accomplishes its theme well and shows the Outlaw under a less imposing light. The aspect is good but without any impressive additions. The water particles are the most attractive part and the new sounds add the requisite cohesion. The recall adds to the relaxed feel of the skin making for a fitting and less serious skin. It should be noted that diving or even playing with water while carrying a towel, headphones, sunglasses and necklaces isn’t a very smart move. Regardless, the skin doesn’t have realism as one of its pillars. All things considered, Pool Party Graves is hardly an astounding skin but for its price it’s pleasing enough.

Cutthroat Graves
Cutthroat Graves Splash Art Cutthroat Graves Model
Category: Regular
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Graves as a stylish pirate wielding a portable cannon.
Model: New model Graves and his shotgun Destiny. New cannonball for his taunt.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: The setting is undoubtedly too blurry as the action takes place over a medium distance. Regardless, the background manages to display things in a way that one gets a good idea of the context. We have two stylish pirates fighting a generic ship’s crew and it seems like the stakes are high. Although the background is brief and only meaningful in a small area on the left it conveys a significant amount of information. Regardless, elsewhere it’s diffuse and only fills space. Coming from an unconvincing barrel, the oranges on the floor lack volume: they look flat.
The stylish pirates, with a rather modern feel to them, don’t mind each other and concentrate on the fight. They trust each other and know how to complement their abilities to get away from a tight spot. It also helps that the portrayals are crisp with details and make the most of their elaborate gear. The lighting is fantastic and the difference in tones between surfaces under the shade and sunlight is delightful. Where appropriate, the metal shines, the leather is marked though hair is a bit cartoony and the cloth seems too shiny and new. Nevertheless, both pirates make a great show with their smoking cannon and glowing cards. Additionally, it’s a pity that on the lower part of their bodies the quality gets a tad sketchy.
In general, the depiction of Graves and Twisted Fate fighting together is evocative and a relevant remainder of their lost friendship. The context is different to what it is now but it feels like a possible event in the complex life of these two. The background is a tad uneven in places but full of significance, which added to the way that the champions integrate on the action, allows the piece to proudly approach the podium of the best splash arts in League of Legends. A great example of how multiple champions can be depicted at the same time.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: In name it’s Cutthroat Graves but in spirit it’s Pirates of the Caribbean. The overly stylish clothing and preposterous hand cannon have little in common with reality and much to owe to modern pirate fiction. That doesn’t mean that the skin looks bad, on the contrary, but you have to take it for what it is. The pirate theme is fanciful and exaggerated but also elaborate and colourful which makes it attractive. The skin doesn’t have much restraint in its presentation so armour, jewellery and all kinds of decorations are encouraged.
In the end, it all adds up to a rather flamboyant but likeable pirate that can appeal to fans of the Disney franchise. Cutthroat Graves is flamboyant but also unapologetic about it and that’s a strength because if you like the cut of his jib then you’ll see that the whole style follows suit.


As an outlaw, criminal themes are a natural fit for Graves; his skins logically follow this pattern. Mafia Graves is one of such skins and is good enough to be the recommended choice: both concept and execution are believable and appealing. Riot Graves has the elements to be great but its implementation makes it unexciting. Unless you favour the concept it’s a skin that can be ignored.

Jailbreak Graves provides a futuristic take on Graves filled with complex details. It may be daunting because of that and it’s not without its flaws but it’s still a good skin. Similarly, Hired Gun Graves is practically a re-model at a low price yet the concept is not very exciting and the execution follows the same trend. It isn’t a skin to avoid but it isn’t nice either.

Pool Party Graves departs the general thematic and shows him under a less serious light. The result is good but doesn’t seem striking enough to warrant its high price. It’s a good skin but dedicated Graves’s fans and collectors may be the ones that find it the more interesting.

Finally, Cutthroat Graves is a skin fully based on the style proper of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. There’s exaggeration in decoration but always working to define an eye-catching style. The result is attractive but can be too showy. As a pirate skin, it’s a good option if you like the chosen style.

Note: Hired Gun and Jailbreak Graves have a couple of light particles between the receiver and barrels of the shotgun like Classic Graves. This is an evident bug that affects these skins and so was ignored when reviewing them. However, in spite of all the great work devoted to skins their visual errors usually take time to be corrected by Riot. While it’s inexplicable, especially considering they are paid products, be aware that there’s no time frame for the errors to be corrected so take it in consideration before purchasing.

  34 Responses to “League of Legends: Graves Skins’ Review”

  1. No Update for his new pax skins ??? just wonder

  2. I really wish there was a skin that better reflected his western outlaw theme. As his skins are right now, his classic skin is MUCH more interesting to me than any of his other skins.
    Hopefully in the future Riot will think of something that will make him look like a badass outlaw. Even something as small as giving him a hat like the bad guys wore in the old True Grit would be awesome to me.
    Thanks for the review though.

    • We agree, Graves’ skins don’t exploit his Far West style at all. Let’s hope that a future skin gives him a proper shotgun and some good western flare.

      Not at all, it’s a pleasure.

  3. New shooting sounds for Riot Graves and Mafia Graves.

  4. Hi Zero,
    as i said in my previous post i’m here to ask you one thing.
    I’m interested in Riot Graves since he has become available to purchase for a few days.
    As of today, i would kindly like to know if the light particles between the receiver and barrels of the shotgun of all the Graves’ skins (and in particular Riot Graves) have been fixed.
    Thanks in advance

    • We just checked and only Hired Gun and Jailbreak Graves seem to keep them. So, you won’t see them in either Mafia or Riot Graves. However, note that in all skins, Quickdraw uses a couple of light particles to indicate the buff regardless of the amount of barrels of the shotgun.

  5. Hey excellent website! Does running a blog similar to this take a
    great deal of work? I’ve virtually no knowledge of programming however I
    was hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyhow, should you have any suggestions or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I understand this is off subject however I simply wanted to ask.
    Thank you!

    • Anything that you may try to do well will take work. For a blog, programming knowledge isn’t necessary but can be helpful in some instances. A piece of advice would be to centre on delivering the best possible content and to listen to feedback. Try to make a useful website that everybody can benefit from.

      Good luck.

  6. Hello Zero,

    I would like to know your opinion on choosing between the new Pool Party Graves & Mafia Graves.
    The Pool Party skin is good enough because of the water effect but Mafia Graves is also good due to its… serious nature and enhances Graves’ persona. Thank you.

    • There are a couple of significant differences between Pool Party and Mafia Graves: one is the price the other is the tone. Mafia Graves can be bought while on sale for 487 RP while Pool Party Graves would go down to 675 RP; or 975 RP currently.

      Additionally, as you noted, Mafia Graves is much more imposing plus nicely fits Malcom’s personality and quotes. Pool Party offers a more light-hearted experience and ask for a certain suspension of disbelief. It could be said that Mafia is a natural extension of Graves’ concept set in the 1920 whereas Pool Party can be a funny diversion.

      In our opinion, if you like Graves there’s little reason not to like Mafia. Pool Party can be an alternative with its non-serious nature but you may prefer it as an additional skin to other ones that more purely reflect Graves. Personal preference plays an important part here and while none are essentially a bad choice you should consider which one you see playing the most.

  7. Zerooooooo when do u think Riot graves will come back?and btw it would seem he has new paarticles but u havent wrote them down..

    • We checked when we reviewed him and didn’t notice any new particles, only a new animation. Could you be more specific about what is changed? Do you refer to Quickdraw?

      As a legacy skin restricted to events it’s difficult to say when Riot Graves will return. He was retired to the Legacy Vault after his shift ended and Riot Blitzcrank took his place. As a legacy skin there’s always the possibility of a return but when and under which circumstances we don’t know.

      Maybe it could return during another event if there’s enough interest or Riot considers it appropriate; Blitzy could feel lonely.

  8. Oops apparently it was a fantasy picture of his abilities… -.- im a big fan of graves and have all his skins except hired gun and riot graves…its a nice skin but its on sale on ebay for 200-400 dollars :\ i wouldnt pay that much for him to be my bodyguard in real life :\ i swear there are diamond accounts on sale for 100 dollars..comparing the prices and the goods we get a good understanding of how badly that deal sucks…

    • Promotional and limited skins are nice but they are hardly worth hundreds of dollars. Besides, sooner or later a more recent skin will be released that could perfectly be superior. On top of that, most skins with limited availability are, allegedly, legacy so they can return at any time. So, there’s always the possibility of getting them without having to break the piggy bank.

  9. My point exactly!its not a bad skin but i can live without it for now ;P besides jailbreak,pool party and mafia arent bad at aall 😛

    • Well, there are a lot of not bad skins but there’s certainly no rush. It’s better to get them little by little so that there’s time to enjoy each. Skin sales can be quite useful for that because you get the skins at a gradual rate and also at a discount; which lessens the impact of buying many.

      It’s true that nowadays sales trail behind the huge amount of skins but with a bit of patience it can be a very useful resource.

      Let’s hope for the better with regards to Riot Graves and other limited-legacy skins.

  10. I personally don’t like pool party, it actually makes me feel like im doing less damage! I think we need a High Noon Graves 🙂

    • We agree, skins with water particles tend to suffer from a lack of impact in their attacks.

      The idea of a High Noon skin for Graves is quite attractive though his classic self is quite close to the Wild West aesthetic. Maybe something different yet suitable could be thought out anyway.

  11. Hey zero

    In my region pool party graves is currently on sale is it worth it to buy the skin?

    • Only you if you like the joke it offers. If you do like the skin then getting it at 50% off is your best option. Still, consider whether you play Graves enough and like the skin’s concept enough to prefer it over other skins. Jokes lose their fun after a while so check if there’s anything else you like from the skin.

      If you prefer the tough outlaw aspect of Graves perhaps Mafia could be a better choice. You could always wait for a future skin that does a better job at improving the aspects of Graves you like. There will be another sale eventually. It all takes patience though.

  12. You forgot to mention Pool Party Graves’ new sliding animation on his Quickdraw. Also, his recall features three different types of dives into the ground (?). It is only the diving that is different so you could mention “New recall with three different diving animations” instead of “Three new recalls”.
    I’d also like to mention how I got Mafia Graves from one of the surprise mystery gifts I got last birthday. I was really happy as it is Graves’ most charming and elegant skin in my opinion, I love the coat so much. It is a pity I don’t see myself as a very good Graves or adc in general, despite having some other impressive adc skins like Headhunter Caitlyn and Arclight Varus.

    • Thanks for the information. We’ll give the Pool Party another look without a doubt. The fact that there’s a lot of fun going on there with some charming company has nothing to do with it; full stop.

      We agree that Mafia is Graves’ classier skin. The style finely suits his personality and the adaptation is quite well done. With some luck future skins will learn from the successes of Mafia to be even better; we can hope.

      In the end, expertise with a champion is all about practice. With time you get to know their finer points and you can get to do things that before seemed the stuff of professionals only. As always practice makes perfect.

  13. Um, my comments haven’t seem to have been appearing in the past two days and I don’t understand why, I hope this one appears. I am using a different browser now.
    I just wanted to note the unmentioned new animation for Pool Party Graves’ Quickdraw (E) and the three different diving animations for his recall.

    • If everything worked right and with some luck things should be resolved now. Try commenting again and we’ll keep an eye on the spam folder and plugin to see that everything works correctly. There’s a kind of explanation at the Review Index comments.

      Sorry for all the trouble and thanks for your feedback.

  14. I’m highly curious about Graves’ skins moving into the future, with his major rework coming soon in Season 6. I received my favorite of his skins, Mafia Graves, as a Mystery Gift and have been using for a while, but his new double-barrel auto-attacks will be even further from the Tommy-gun presented in the skin lol

    I have faith that it’ll all work out, though 🙂

    • It all depends if there is an update that goes beyond the gameplay and how it adapts things. There’s potential to make a champion better in every update but whether that opportunity is taken depends on the developers. Let’s hope that it’s all for the better.

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