I had the most devastating lane against Gnar the other day (sadly in a ranked game). I thought I could handle him, you know attack when his skills are down, avoid him when he's about to transform, etc.

However I quickly realized this doesn't work (at least in my case). I found myself I extremely poked down xin on the verge of being repeatedly tower dived by Gnar.

Tips I've been told:

  • Avoid him at full rage
  • Engage on him after he's used his jump.
  • Play aggressive (early & low rage)
  • Get your jungler to to gank.

All of these failed me in that game. I don't want this to happen again.

The Lane:

  • I started by trying to farm, quickly realizing he was just going to poke me down fast so I backed off a bit and played conservatively.
  • After that I watched for an opening, he jumped, he was low rage, no minions around, so (as Xin) I jumped onto him and started my combo. This did a bit less damage to him than he did to me, which his easy to catch Q and his W procs I was outmatched.
  • I noticed his high rage so I backed up to my tower (minions middle of lane) with my half HP and waited. His rage did not fall and instead I found myself with a wave of minions approaching my turret and Gnar about to transform.
  • Before I could react he had double-stunned me and I was dead (under tower).
  • I returned to lane and found myself getting poked out of lane and dived even from full HP. It was over, I realized this and tried some damage control by strictly staying under tower, occasionally farming doubles when I could.
  • At this time I tried kindly asking my Jungler "Hey I'm getting my butt kicked, could you help me out Udyr?" He walked up to tri-bush, stood there for 10s and left "it's warded what do you expect me to do?". In my head I was raging at this point, 'Gee idk USE YOUR TRINKET' but I stayed calm as it was ranked.
  • Eventually it ended with me 0/3 Gnar roaming for kills as I pushed, (I attempted at one point to go to another lane and gank but it resulted in failure as I was under-leveled due to having to stay under tower all game.
  • The team (and raged me hard as it was 'all my fault') surrendered the game was over.

I did okay at dodging but missing all of his Qs and Autos was near impossible, I built pure tank in hopes that he'd eventually do less damage and I could farm/catch-up. I honestly don't believe that a non-pure tank build would have made any difference as even if I could have damaged him he would have transformed at last second and killed me (as I've seen done many times).

TL;DR: I got my ass handed to me and we surrendered "all because of me".


How can I avoid getting poked completely out of the game by Gnar as a melee champ? I've been told what to do but not how to do it? Other than having a helpful jungler is there anything I could have done (as a melee champ or specifically Xin).

  • You pretty much named everything. You have to play super conservatively and just do your best not to die. I've had to go against multiple gnars as nasus/poppy top. I sit back and farm with nasus, but with poppy I like to play super aggressively (make him think twice about coming within range). Sep 5, 2014 at 19:55
  • With the new season items I've found taking Smite as a laner and getting one of the True Damage enchantments can be pretty helpful at getting that small edge you need in a fight.
    – Shelby115
    Dec 15, 2014 at 14:15
  • I've thought about it quite a bit and (from a mid-laners standpoint) it's very tough to justify. They're pretty good if you get ahead, but there are better things to buy if you're in the lead. You can't fully take advantage of the items unless you're spending time in the jungle which carries the risk of putting your jungler behind. The new items do give a huge power spike once finished, but they cost quite a bit of gold and you'd be better off getting other, more versatile items. As for true damage, I usually wind up with ignite no matter where I am heh. Dec 15, 2014 at 15:03
  • Agreed in theory, in actual though I found that the Damage + Slow allowed me to secure the kill more often than not. But then again my team and I were very coordinated when I was playing those games.
    – Shelby115
    Dec 15, 2014 at 17:41

5 Answers 5


You need to dodge his boomerang as much as you can. It is slow moving and not hard to do. If you do get hit by one, immediately back off so that he can't get 2 autos off and proc his W on you.

One of your biggest problems, might be the fact that you were Xin top and Udyr jungle. Both are extremely linear champions and honestly cannot touch gnar. He can kite both to oblivion and and it's near impossible for them to get a successful stun off on him.

If you are Xin, you really sort of need to build tanky so that you can stay relevant throughout the whole game. There will never be a point that you are more useful than a good Gnar though. Gnar naturally does far more damage while building tanky and in mega form has a lot more CC.

Don't pick Xin into Gnar. Heck, don't even pick Xin without knowing who your lane opponent is because extremely linear champions are easily countered. If you want to beat Gnar as a melee, you need to play a champion who has really high damage and multiple gap closers. This means if you are really good with Irelia, you can double gap close her. Fiora works well since her double gap closer is easy. So does yasuo. The only other melee champion with a chance is Mao, but that's simply because he can easily sustain while using mana to farm.

TL;DR; Don't pick Xin into Gnar. Pick a melee that has a double gap closer and high damage.

  • Jayce would also be a viable pick against gnar. His ranged attacks can somewhat keepup with gnar his damage and if gnar goes to deep you slap him under your turret for a bit more damage. Dec 9, 2014 at 12:28
  • @MarcoGeertsma Jayce is one of the few champions who I think might have a small advantage over Gnar early game. Late game though Gnar scales so harder.
    – dphil
    Dec 9, 2014 at 14:59
  • @dphil that's just a different play style. Jayce is a poke champion late game and can be devastating too. It just depends on the comps
    – dyesdyes
    Jan 13, 2016 at 0:22
  • @dyesdyes While that may be true, it doesn't change the fact that the Gnar will likely have a bigger impact on the late game.
    – dphil
    Jan 13, 2016 at 17:51

As a Gnar main, I know his strengths and weaknesses. Gnar's strongest point is where he can kite; picking Xin is just a free win for Gnar. Tanks and low-mobile Bruisers are also free wins for Gnar. Picking some hard ad champions is also really good for Gnar. Gnar's main weakness is that his low squishyness(?) makes the following champions good against gnar:

Renekton, for me, is a really hard matchup to stop a Gnar, because he can double E me and combo. My E has a longer cooldown so he can do it constantly, while I can't even deal my combo.

Jax is good but I think this is more of a skill matchup.

Irelia, Riven, and Fiora are better picks than Mao, Malp and Tanks, but, again, it's a skill-matchup .

During lane phase, make fast and burst trade with Gnar. With fast trade, he can't even deal real damage, picking an early damage burst champion is the key to win Gnar.


I don't main solo top ( support ) but here's my piece anyway.

Masteries :

Gnar is really a bully in top due to range and his tricky jump. I may want to get away on taking 'Double Edged Sword' in the Offensive tree, especially if you're still not confident on how to deal with Gnar.

However, there can be 2 cases where it'd be useful :

  • Champions with sustain (lifesteal or heal) or
  • Solo top assassins which can nuke/burst (e.g Talon)

Commonly, getting Butcher to Feast would be the better option. 2% damage increase given for 1% damage increase taken is somehow negligible. (+2 from 200 damage? Kind of useful.)

Runes :

What I notice is that usually on solo top, they only use armor runes for defense without any MR. It is recommended to atleast get a balance of scaling and flat MR (4 flat, 5 scaling or vice versa) if the enemy mid is AP burst; get 9 flat MR (or 7 flat MR, 2 flat armor).

The new strat I see is getting scaling health runes for 'yellow' runes, but Gnar's Hyper is the real bully - somehow the same as Vayne's Silver Bolts, just magic damage instead of true damage.

Items :

Getting HP items (Giant's Belt) for Sunfire/Omen are somehow risky. If you can damage him good, think you can outsmart enemy Gnar and force him to make mistakes, get damage items. (Hydra, Cleaver, etc.)


The kind of play you do is really the factor here. One way to know if you can win a lane is to successfully land a combo/skill. If you think you can poke him without you getting badly damaged first, play aggressively. Gnar has only one escaping skill, while the Boomerang can really be avoided. Besides, he has no real sustain aside from transforming into Mega Gnar.


Well I have never lost Lane to a gnar. My advice is take exhaust and ignite unless you are really good with teleport it won't help you or your teamates so focus on winning your lane. If you take teleport and don't get a kill off it then you lose Lane simple as that if you do do all that you said wait then strike. -first item health pots the big green one and dark seal you will need them, not sure who you main but regardless they are very important against a gnar. -Then just poke for minion kills until you get some damage a bf sword or a penetration item first depending on what level you let him get to. Then thornmail do not up grade your damage item until you get thorn mail this will reduce his damage and reflect some back to him. After that I would either go sunfire cape or another damage item. - then with exhaust and ignite and a damage item you have beaten gnar as long as you make your combo off when his rage bar is down (trick to this is attacking when his timer is at a little less then quarter.


Engage him when he misses his Q and uses E stupidly. That is when you can kill him.


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