LoL Gnar Top Lane Guide

LoL Gnar Top Lane Guide by Blasl

Skill Order

  1. Level 1 Q -> Level 2 W -> Level 3 E
    • If you’re doing a camp at level 1, take W first
    • If you are afraid of early ganks, take E at level 2 for the escape
  2. After that, max R -> Q -> W -> E. Q is mini-gnar’s only damage ability, and it’s his only poke, so you need as much uptime on it as possible. W is maxed next because it gives the biggest damage increase. E is your utility ability, and scales with your max health, so is maxed last.
  3. Sometimes if your enemy laner has a threatening gap-closer, it’s better to max E second for the shorter cooldown, so you can escape more often.

Summoner Spells

  • Always flash. ALWAYS. Flash GNAR! is one of the best teamfight engages in the entire game. And, as always, Flash is the best summoner in the game, period. The only time you take a different mobility summoner is on some champs who need additional gap-closing or chase power. Gnar is not one of those champs.
  • For the second summoner, Teleport is the best. You can make plays bot-lane by teleporting in as you are transforming into mega-gnar, it can help offset getting early-ganked, and it lets you splitpush a lane while being able to get into a fight if one breaks out. Ignite is ok if you want to try and snowball your lane, but Teleport simply offers more for Gnar.


  • 21/9/0, Gnar is a ranged lane-bully so you want to deal as much damage as possible in lane. 21 points in Offense gives you the damage you need. Double-Edged Sword, Expose Weakness, Executioner, and Havoc together give +6% damage, +11% damage if they are below 50%, that’s a very LARGE increase in damage. On top of that Gnar’s Q is very spammable at higher ranks, so he benefits greatly from both weaving masteries, which adds a further 3% damage to auto-attacks and spells.


  • Gnar deals almost exclusively physical damage. His mini-gnar Q and E deal physical damage, and his entire mega-gnar kit deals physical damage. His base damage is extremely high, so he benefits from armor penetration. He also has on-hit procs so he benefits from attack-speed. Offensively I favor attack-speed since it is extremly useful in the early game as more W procs = better kiting and better chasing, but any combination of AD/ArPen/AS will work.
  • Marks: Attack Damage
  • Quints: Attack Speed
  • Seals: combination of flat health + flat armor
  • Glyphs: 9x scaling MR or 9x flat MR depending on lane opponent


  • If you follow this guide, you can kill the wolf camp at level 1 without any micro if you open with doran blade + potion, but you will need to use your potion. If you do this, go back to base and buy 5 more pots, the teleport top lane at 500 health. You will be full health, level 2, you’ll have a doran’s blade + 5 pot, and you’ll have > 50% rage built up.
  • Even if you don’t do a camp at level 1, doran blade + pot is still a good opening for Gnar.
  • If you are against a particularly threatening early game AD champion, go for cloth armor + 5 pot.
  • Against an AP top, ruby crystal + 2 pot is also a good opening, especially since the crystal builds into either Giant’s Belt or kindlegem.

Item Build

  • Gnar has very high-base damage, and 2 of his abilities, mini-gnar E, and mega-gnar E, both scale from Gnar’s max health. Offensively he benefits from AD and armor penetration and attack speed, but due to his high-cc and high-uptime on mega-gnar later in the game, it’s best to build Gnar mostly tank so that he can jump into the enemy team and chain his cc abilities without dying.
  • General build pattern for Gnar is 1 offensive item -> tank items. Sometimes a 2nd offensive item for your 5th or 6th item is good to have relevant damage.
  • Offensive Item Options: Brutalizer (build into Black Cleaver later on), Blade of the Ruined King, Hexdrinker, Trinity Force
  • Tank Items: Sunfire Cape, Randuin’s Omen, Banshee’s Veil, Locket of the Iron Solari, Guardian Angel, Warmog’s Armor
  • Situational Items: Thornmail, Frozen Mallet
  • Laning items: Sunfire Cape default, hexdrinker -> spectre cowl against AP top, offensive item if you get ahead early
  • Boot options: Ninja Tabi/Mercury’s Treads
  • Elixir: Iron
  • Boot Enchantment: Homeguards


  • mini-gnar is extremely squishy. If you are against a lane bully opponent with a short-ish cooldown gap-closer, you have to play very scared while in mini form. Examples: Wukong, Pantheon, Rengar, Riven, Jarvan.
  • Never E forward in mini-form unless you are sure you will get a kill. E is your only escape, and if you are caught or get ganked without it you will almost certainly die.
  • mini form is good at kiting. Your Q slows the opponent, and your W proc speeds you up by 30%. If the opponent goes towards you, auto-Q-auto to slow them and speed yourself up. Then continue autoing them as they retreat, or continue kiting backwards if they keep pursuing.
  • If the opponent gap-closes right next to you, E away if necessary but kite as much as you can. Don’t let the enemy gap-close and get damage on you for free! This will lose you the lane.
  • Assuming you are at least even with your opponent, you should always engage when you get mega-form, your damage and cc go up significantly, and if your opponent isn’t paying attention to your rage you can catch them off guard with transform E -> W -> Q and chunk them for over 50% health.
  • After level 6, look for a good opportunity to ult when you engage in mega. Do not ult until you can knock them into terrain, unless your jungler is ganking.


  • Gnar is a teamfigher, he wants to get in the middle of the team and knock all of them into the wall with his ult. You should be quickly pushing out your lane and then grouping with the team as often as possible.
  • As you continue to level, you gain more and more rage per hit, so you will spend more time in mega-form. Keep this in mind when moving around the map.
  • The fastest engage is to flash and then immediately GNAR! This is so fast that the enemy won’t have a chance to react. Wait until you see 3+ people grouped together before engaging.
  • You are an initiator in teamfights. Either E or flash in, and use GNAR! on as many people as possible. Follow up with Q/W on whoever is vulnerable. You can either dive someone or peel for your carries, Gnar is good at both.
  • You always want to be mega-gnar during fights, if that means you have to refrain from attacking minions then you should do so.


  • Combo: E/flash -> ult -> auto -> W -> auto -> Q -> E if you have it -> autos. If you ult into the wall this will seriously chunk your opponent(s).
  • Teamfight combo: E/flash -> ult -> W -> Q -> E if you have it. This will chunk the enemy team for over 50% health if you land everything.
  • Sunfire cape aura gives you rage so it’s an especially good item on Gnar.
  • GNAR! goes through walls. That means you can be on the other side of a wall and Gnar an opponent into that wall!
  • Gnar goes well with champions that create terrain: Anivia/Jarvan IV/Trundle are good for Gnar no matter which side they’re on. Azir is good on the same team as Gnar.
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