For a champion that has either defined League‘s toplane metagames or been completely irrelevant throughout them, Gnar is appropriately difficult to master. A niche pick, he plays as both a lane bully and teamfight tank; one good ultimate from this relic of Runeterra’s Stone Age can turn a game.
Gnar might be the Missing Link, but this guide will help you connect at least some of the dots.
You have a few options with Gnar when it comes to rune pages in Season 10. Due to the volatility of the champion, with the fact that he is both a ranged bully and a melee tank depending on the moment, different pages are good in different situations. Grasp of the Undying is the way to go versus most tanks or champions that you think may bully you, in order to allow you to take mini-trades and duck in and out. Conqueror again rears its ugly head as an option should you want to play a more lane-focused or splitpush kind of game, all-inning the opponent where possible.
Gnar benefits from having an early Black Cleaver. The cooldown reduction combined with the additional movespeed offers tankiness, slipperiness, and extra stick potential to a champion that already had these in droves. The offensive and defensive capabilities of this item really complement the fact that Gnar has the same kind of utility packed into his kit, and afterwards you can either build flat attack damage or defensive stats.
Gnar’s Q – Boomerang Toss – is both his trading and all-in tool. The ability offers a lot of ranged harass combined with the potential to stick to the enemy when in Mega form, and is Gnar’s only real option when it comes to skilling an ability. Opt for either your W or E second, depending on if you need additional stick potential / damage (W) or engage / disengage (E).
Tips and Tricks
The most crucial part of Gnar’s kit is his passive. Gnar will transform into his bulkier, yet strictly melee form once he hits enough rage.
Giving up the stick potential and bonus range of his mini form is a bitter pill to swallow. However, the insane tankiness and teamfight potential granted by his mega form makes this trade off a little sweeter.
Keeping track of your rage bar is the way to win games as Gnar. This involves both building it appropriately, and being aware of when it is about to fall off. Without any rage at all, Gnar has no access to his ultimate and is a ranged carry with typically poor damage. This will present an ample engage opportunity for the enemy team, so make sure to utilize your rage while you still have it.
We referred to Gnar as a lane bully earlier in this guide. This is largely due to his copious amounts of self-peel (including slows, a self-speed up, and a jump), combined with his decent range.
Stand between the crashing minion waves and the enemy toplaner to zone them out. Every time the enemy champion steps up to attempt to last hit creeps, throw your boomerang and a couple of auto attacks their way. This trade pattern is both oppressive and difficult to answer.
Transformation On Demand
While most Gnar players prefer to transform with E—as the Hop ability will double up and grant an easier engage path—don’t be afraid to transform with W in a pinch. The stun is nice to land, but the ability to instantly access your transformation (the W is a passive in mini form and thus will always be able to activate as Gnar rages out) is a tool too powerful to completely disregard.