Graves is both as an early-game bully and a potential late-game threat.
In general terms, Graves is better to be left alone/un-stacked, or as item holder for late-game Blasters.
However, when building correctly he becomes a late-game anti-carry that wins fights, not by damage, but by the sheer utility of his Smoke grenade against important late-game carries such as Kayle or Jhin.
As any other 1-Cost is always recommendable to 3 Star him for maximum survivability and stats.
His core item set as a carry is Rapid FirecannonSpear of Shojin and Red Buff to deal with late game front lines. With this, he can permanently chain his Smoke Grenade by getting mana from Shojin in conjunction with Blasters procs from the safety of the backline.
Graves has a unique Gunslinger interaction: shooting multiple times at different targets instead of shooting two projectiles at the same time. In rare but no uncommon instances, Graves can damage the same enemy twice if both targets are near each other.
Graves can only target units 1 hex away, the pellets travel 1 hex pass his maximum range. This also holds true for equipping Rapid Firecannons. With one Rapid Firecannon he can target units 2 hexes away, but the pellets will travel a total of 3 hexes.
His ability is based on his League of Legends passive ability New Destiny, but was named after and borrows its icon from an ability he used to have prior to his champion rework on patch V5.22 called Buckshot.
Graves activating Titanic Hydra 5 times in one attack.
New Ability:Active - Smoke Grenade: Launches a smoke grenade toward the enemy with most attack speed. The grenade explodes on impact dealing 150 / 200 / 400 magic damage to nearby enemies and causing their attacks to miss for 4 seconds.