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Garen Build Guide by Sicarius

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sicarius

A Tale of Two Garens - AD Carry and Full Tank

Sicarius Last updated on August 15, 2012
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AD Solo Top/Full-Tank Solo Top

Ability Sequence

2
5
7
8
9
Ability Key Q
4
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
1
3
10
12
13
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3/
Sunder
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
Durability
3/
Vigor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 0


Guide Top

Introduction


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A few words of introduction: Please excuse any errors, as I will catch them with comments and the like. I am very open to suggestions, with my first few comments I have completely re-vamped this guide with bbc coding and better explanations, so please leave comments and watch the guide evolve!
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With that said,
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Garen is not a tank...or at least he wasn't until the mid-August 2012 patch. He used to be one of the naturally strongest early game champs, but he has become something else entirely - a massive force to be reckoned with (except that his gap closer/initiator/escape/poke move is now also his slow break).

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I liked Garen from the moment I played him in the tutorial, and upon reading Palthios's Spin to Crit, I was able to develop my own strategy and build - one that packs as much of a punch as it really should.
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Try it if you like it, but the most important thing to do is whatever works best for you.

And without further adieu, let us begin the Tale of Two Garens, a story about choosing one of two paths!


Guide Top

Shout Outs


First to Xenotechie, whose comment led me to JhoiJhoi's build guide build guide. Find it here.

Next goes to Palthios, whose guide helped me be a great Garen when I was first starting LoL, and inspired my own build so that I could continue being an awesome Garen post-level 30.

Finally, a great many thanks to Jungleking, who has been a giant thorn in my side as I wrote, edited, and tweaked my build over and over again - it would be a terrible guide without you dude.


Guide Top

Patch Notes

Mid-August patch is bringing about some really significant changes. Here's what you can find in the patch notes:


Garen

General

  • Base Health Regen reduced to 8.25 from 9.85
  • Health Regen per level reduced to 0.75 from 0.85
  • Base Attack Damage reduced to 56 from 60.1
  • Attack Damage per level increased to 3.5 from 3

Perseverance (Passive)
  • Delay increased to 9 seconds from 7 seconds
  • No longer deactivates when damaged by lane minions
  • Now displays the Health Regen gained in the tooltip

Decisive Strike
  • Cooldown reduced to 8 seconds at all ranks from 12/11/10/9/8
  • Movement Speed increased to 35% at all ranks from 15/20/25/30/35%
  • Movement Speed duration adjusted to 1.5/2.25/3/3.75/4.5 seconds from 4 at all ranks
  • Base damage increased to 30/55/80/105/130 from 30/45/60/75/90
  • Silence duration reduced to 1.5/1.75/2/2.25/2.5 seconds from 2.5 at all ranks
  • Now removes slows on activation
  • Can now critically strike again
  • Buff duration reduced to 4.5 seconds from 6
  • Fixed: Garen's next basic attack after Decisive Strike no longer occurs unusually quickly
  • Fixed: Decisive Strike is no longer consumed if Garen fails to finish attacking
  • While performing Decisive Strike, Garen now continues to follow his target if they are moving

Courage
  • Changed to passively increase Armor and Magic Resist by 20% rather than 0 to 25 based on kills
  • Damage reduction adjusted to 30% from 20/24/28/32/36%
  • Active now additionally grants 30% Crowd Control Reduction
  • Duration adjusted to 2/3/4/5/6 seconds from 3/3/3/3/3
  • Cooldown adjusted to 24/23/22/21/20 seconds from 30/27/24/21/18

Judgment
  • Damage adjusted to 20/45/70/95/120 (+0.7/0.8/0.9/1.0/1.1 total Attack Damage) from 50/90/130/170/210 (+1.4 bonus Attack Damage)
  • Damage dealt to minions increased to 75% from 50%
  • No longer removes slows on activation or reduces the duration of incoming slows while active
  • Ignores unit collision during Judgment but takes a 20% Movement Speed penalty when spinning through minions
  • Fixed: Judgment no longer locks out Garen from taking other actions longer than intended

Demacian Justice
  • Cooldown adjusted to 160/120/80 seconds from 140/120/100


What does this mean for our beloved Garen?



After I read the patch notes initially and played Garen last night, I thought I was going to have to drop my main. Some things got switched around that shouldn't have, and Garen's move sequence and necessary play style has been fundamentally changed. Overall, his moves were buffed to scale better into late game, but by moving his slow break onto his gap closer, Garen's early game can become pure tower hugging when facing more than one champ. (Which might not be that bad for early game ganks, but you can't tower hug late game when you're charging into the enemy base!)

So, here's a play-by-play on the patch:

General
  • Base health regen nerf = Now it's even more vital that Doran's Shield is Garen's first item.
  • Health regen per level nerf = Ditto.
  • Base attack damage nerf = Part of the "two paths of playing Garen."
  • AD per level buff = Garen scales way better into late game.

Perseverance (Passive)
  • Re-activation timer nerf = Much longer time in the bushes allowing enemies to farm while he recovers from a big exchange, poke, or gank.
  • Buff against minions = Garen can recover lots of health even with some minion aggro.
  • Does not actually display health gained by regen, it displays the HP5 of Perseverance as it scales with his health per level.

Decisive Strike
[*]Cooldown Buff = Even more spammable than before.
[*]Move speed buff = Massive. No longer scales, just put a point and watch Garen run!
[*]Move speed duration now scales = Garen now needs almost max points in this for the speed buff to be worth anything ever at all. This move is now purely escape, but needs all 5 points to be very good.
[*]Base damage buff = Even more incentive to max this first instead of the real early game damage in Judgment.
[*]Silence duration nerf = Less time to be safe while pounding with Judgment.
[*]Now removes slows on activation buff = MASSIVE NERF. This move is now fantastic in every single way, but Garen only gets one move like it. It has all of Garen's damage, utility, chase, escape, poke, CC.
[*]Can critical strike again buff = Ditto.
[*]Buff duration nerf = Enemies escape the damage much easier because by the time Garen is near enough to them, the speed buff is long gone and the attack is no longer up.
[*]Fix = Last hitting/farming with Decisive Strike is different, not necessarily worse.
[*]Fix = Not really sure what this means...
[*]Fix = Helps people who aren't big on clicking a lot.
[/list]

Courage
  • Change from flat passive to percent-based = MASSIVE BUFF. Garen can be WAY tankier and also have a truckload of AD. No scaling with level, only items.
  • Damage reduction change = It's a one point and done ability. No scaling with level.
  • CCR added to the active = Ditto. This is the other half of the utility taken from Judgment.
  • Active duration now scales = This ability needs points to be powerful now too.
  • Cooldown adjusted = This is a buff IMO, allows courage to remain a one and done ability.

Judgment
  • Damage adjusted nerf = Scales way better with AD items now, is no longer a high-damage move in early game.
  • Damage to minions buff = Clearing minion waves with a single spin at level 11 feels really early, but nobody can claim to hate the speed and gold of that, especially at that stage of the game.
  • No longer removes slows nerf = This is why Garen may no longer be playable. This move is now purely attack, but has a built-in self-slow to prevent gap closing. Needs all 5 points to be decent. No longer any utility in the move whatsoever.
  • Fix = I don't really understand what this meant either.
  • The sound goes slightly longer than the animation.

Demacian Justice
  • Cooldown adjusted = Use it more late game and a little less early game. Not a big change.


    Quoted from The Haunting on leagueoflegends.com:

    "The most upsetting for me are the altering of his slow-removal and the nerf to his, as Kantilope put it, pseudo-ghostwalk. You took a guy with an interesting way of closing a gap - and worsened it... With movement speed and slow-removal on two different abilities you had more decisions to make. Based on distance to the target, creeps/champions in the way, (brush/vision), whether or not you can/will be slowed... Q Up to Close Gap, save it to chase or keep E in range? Spin first or save it to break slow? Cancel the spin early to land the Q/Silence (which now has a shorter buff duration so you'll lose it if you use Q to stay in range with E or any number of other scenarios)?"

    All in all, I'm not going to change my guide more than I already have until I know that Riot won't change Garen anymore. There seem to be a lot of angry Garen players on the patch notes comment board complaining about the nerf, so I wouldn't be surprised to see another quick patch to return him back to pre-patch until they get their stuff in order.


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Pros/Cons


Pros

  • HUGE power early, mid, and late game
  • Now scales REALLY well with AD, armor, and MR items ( Judgment and Courage)
  • Great finisher for low-health enemies, especially tanks ( Demacian Justice)
  • Built-in slow-breaker/speed boost for escaping ( Decisive Strike)
  • Super low cooldowns
  • No mana!
  • Effective solo top
  • Farms like a tractor. Always.
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Cons

  • His only natural CC is also his escape
  • No gap closer because it's his escape
  • No initiating move because it's his escape
  • Completely item dependent to be worth anything


Guide Top

Runes


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Runes

Greater Mark of Attack Damage
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
3
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Now, runes are a really touchy subject and people are really very passionate about this or that, and I think that you should really just go with whatever makes you feel the strongest.
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My opinion: I like flat AD marks and quints for 16AD out of spawn, Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resistx9 since Mres won't be as necessary early on, and for that early game armor that everybody loves, the flat armor runes " Greater Seal of Armor" are the way to go.
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Runes

Greater Mark of Attack Damage
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Health Regeneration
3
I'll also dabble with these runes on my Solo Top build, swapping AD quints for HP5 quints to supplement my Doran's Shield and Perseverance for ALL the sustain.

If you prefer armpen over flat strength runes, be my guest, it's all personal preference.


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Masteries

Masteries
1/5
3/5
4/1
4/1
1/1
1/5
3/1
3/1
1/
3/5
3/1
3/5
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Pretty typical AD carry masteries in the offense tree, armor/mres/HP5 in the defense tree to augment Courage, Perseverance, and greater quintessence of vigor.
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Going into great detail on masteries feels like a waste of time...they're pretty straightforward and well-explained in other Mobafire builds.


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Summoner Spells

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I almost always take Heal and Ghost, for sustain, bait, escape, and chase. Ghost buffs Decisive Strike a lot and works well in conjunction with Judgment. A favorite trick of mine, especially early game, is to...be in a bush, pop Ghost and Decisive Strike before I leave, and secure an easy kill with my huge move speed.

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Good alternatives:




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If you're not worried about baiting or the extra sustain, go with Exhaust or Ignite instead of Heal. If you prefer Flash over Ghost, feel free to take it; Ghost is my personal preference because I'm not all that squishy, and the chase is nice.
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If you're really new to the game:




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You could do a lot worse than picking up these spells. Teleport is for if you want to heal up and get back in lane really fast, a good pick if you are solo top. Promote, again, is decent if you're solo top - it's like having half an extra teammate! You can promote for pushing, but there are better spells to take.


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Skill Sequence

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Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
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Pretty simple. Get your ult, Demacian Justice, whenever you can. Obviously.

Judgment is really powerful early game, so get a point in it first, and max it first, i.e. whenever you can.

Your mid-game priority will be Decisive Strike, because it will act as your primary nuke/escape/chase/CC. Don't max this early because its damage scales with bonus AD, not level (15 damage per point is pretty useless), and you won't need the move speed until mid game, after you've maxed judgement.

Your last priority will be Courage, but get a point in it early for the passive (do this at level 4 when you already have Decisive Strike but can't get a point in Judgment).
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Skill Explanation (Detailed)

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Garen regenerates 0.5% of his maximum health per second after not receiving damage for 7 seconds. The regenerative state will stop if Garen received damage.
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Unlike many champions, Garen's passive does not actually dictate his viable play styles. Indeed, it is a large reason that Garen is able not only to tank, but this innate ability is a huge reason AD Garen is viable. It gives him a ton of lane sustain, even after big damage exchanges.

For example, Garen and his laning partner on bottom lane can take down their laning opponents, but while they are respawning and Garen's laning partner is going back for health, he stays behind in the bushes, last hitting minions and pulling no aggro. He has near-full health by the time everyone is back in lane, but he's a level higher and 20 minions worth of gold richer.
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Garen gains 15/20/25/30/35% movement speed for 4 seconds. His next melee attack within 6 seconds will deal 30/35/60/75/90 (+1.4 per attack damage) physical damage and silence his target for 2.5 seconds.
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This is Garen's most versatile ability. It is used more frequently than Judgment thanks to its low cooldown and move speed boost, not to mention the silence/nuke. A good strategy post-level 2 is to chill in the bushes (provided you are properly warded) on the enemy side. Wait for an enemy to face check or get too close, slam him with this move and then spin (discussed in a minute). The silence renders immediate retaliation impossible, and by the time the other enemy in lane comes to help, your own teammate is there and both enemies have to retreat because the first one is at half health or you've spun away (assuming you're duo laning).
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(Passive): Garen's armor and magic resistance are permanently increased by 0.5 every time he kills an enemy unit (maximum 25 additional armor and magic resist). (Active): Garen places a defensive shield on himself, decreasing all damage taken by 20/24/28/32/36% for 3 seconds.
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We take Courage for its passive, but the active isn't half bad either. Take a point in it early, kill 50 minions, and remember to use the active right before a bunch of burst damage.

As for the active, for three seconds, you get a pretty significant reduction in all damage, which is a great utility for harassing, retreating, and initiating. (I am not sure if this damage reduction includes true damage from things like Ignite, but if anyone knows, let me know in the comments please.) This isn't a major move for early Garen, but it's not something to snub your nose at either...

20% damage reduction means that if you were bursted for damage that would otherwise take 100% of your health, you could escape with 20% instead. At level 18, 36% of 2883 is over 1000 health, so you could easily stay in a fight where you otherwise would have died, or take your 36% health and a The Bloodthirster into the jungle to get it all back.
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Garen rapidly spins his sword around his body for 3 seconds, removing all existing slows and reducing the duration of new slows by 50%, and dealing 25/45/65/85/105 (+0.7 per bonus attack damage) physical damage to nearby enemies every half second. Garen can deactivate Judgment early by activating the ability again after 0.5 seconds. Garen cannot use Decisive Strike or Demacian Justice while Judgment is in effect. Damage to minions and neutral monsters is reduced by 50%.
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That's a lot to read, so let's break it down:
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1) 3 second duration
2) removes all existing slows
3) reduces duration of new slows by 50%
4) deals AD scaling physical damage per 0.5 seconds
5) can be deactivated early
6) cannot use Decisive Strike or Demacian Justice in the 3 second duration
7) damage to minions and neutral monsters is reduced by 50%
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If it lasts 3 seconds, and damage is dealt every 0.5 seconds, that means you're hitting each enemy 6 times max (#1 and #4). If it removes all slows and reduces new slows, it is a potential escape mechanism, but not great against heavy CC like stuns or snares (#2 and #3). You can/need to deactivate Judgment if you need to slam somebody with Demacian Justice before they get away (#5 and #6). You can activate Courage during Judgment if you hadn't already (#6). The ability deals reduced damage to minions (#6), but if you're tanking dragon, you can use Judgment to remove his slow temporarily (#2).
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What the move description does fail to tell you is that you can indeed activate the move speed boost from Decisive Strike within the duration of Judgment, and the damage from Decisive Strike will be dealt after Judgment has ended.
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As for damage, here's a quick calculation: (105+(.7x342AD)-Armor)x(3seconds x 2/second) = (105+239-Armor)x6 = 2066 - (6 x (Armor-Arpen)). This does not scale well against high armor, but Judgment can crit up to 6 times per enemy hit, and 2066 is no paltry amount of base damage. This is especially true against minion waves, which will eventually all fall to your power, even if it is cut in half. Because regular minions don't have armor or 1033 health.
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Garen brings down Demacian Justice on his opponent, dealing 175/350/525 magic damage plus 1 additional damage per 3.5/3/2.5 health his opponent is missing.
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This is a super nuke. However, it only works against really low-health enemies, so it is often used as a KS device. If you build tanky, you will be KS-ing in order to get enough gold to support your build. If, instead, you build like an AD carry, you will not only be doing all the damage, but you will also be able to: 1) finish off escaping enemies, 2) KS in a team fight to ensure more kills and hopefully an ace, 3) deal tons of damage to low-health tanks, et cetera.
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A few notable things about Garen's ultimate:
1) It deals magic damage, so if they've been building armor to counter you, this will go around that (I'm not sure if the per-health-missing damage is magic or true damage, if you know, let me know).
2) If you target somebody with Demacian Justice and they Flash or dash, or anything away from you before it falls on them, it still can hit them if the timing was right.
3) Before level eleven, this move is actually pretty weak, so be careful in your early-mid game to get your enemies to REALLY low health before popping this bad boy.
4) NEVER EVER EVER EVER use this move on an enemy with full health, because 525 magic damage is just plain worthless. You will be critical hitting for WAY more than that late game, so if they have more than 30% health, don't bother with this move.
5) On that same note, apparently there are occurrences wherein this can be baited with Heal, but I've never really had that problem. The worst for me is overestimating the power of my move in early tower dives.
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**Pro tip** - remember to always poke/harass the squishy. S/he is more than likely the carry or a healer; either way, your spin will be damaging the tank, and the 1)carry will be going back to base/using lots of pots or 2)healer will be healing himself, using up his mana, and eventually the tank wont have much health and they'll both have to go back to base.


Guide Top

Purchase Order/Items (Simple)

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Pure AD:

Start

+


+
+




Finish
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Solo Top (Bruiser):

Start

+ + +
+ +
+








Finish

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Alternate Items/Explanation:


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Kind of the AD version of Maw of Malmortius, use in games with heavy enemy AD.
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You don't really need the CDR, but if you want the active really bad it's a good replacement for The Black Cleaver - it's similar to having Master Yi's ultimate for chase, escape, killing, armpen...all around a good item, just not as good as I would like it to be.
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Your team is getting annihilated. You've already replaced your The Black Cleaver, but it's just not enough. Focus the appropriate defenses for your enemies (i.e. mres for AP and armor for AD). Replace Infinity Edge.
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Both of these items stack completely, so duplicating them is not a bad thing at all. Stacking The Bloodthirster will give you a ton more power and LS. Stacking Phantom Dancer will give you move speed, attack speed, and crit chance (which will help your current LS anyway). Either of them is a suitable replacement for The Black Cleaver, but I like the cleaver so much because it kind of gives me the best of both worlds.
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Take these over Boots of Swiftness or Mercury's Treads if you're up against a lot of heavy AD. Your team will expect you to be tanky, so you need to meet the challenge.
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If you need more MR and the really cool passives on this to play the team tank, I recommend getting this item instead of Infinity Edge for some mid-game dominance. Obviously take Mercury's Treads along with this if your team is up against a lot of AP.
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Fratma's not enough health and armor? Grab this bad boy and become a real tank. I wouldn't personally take this item, but if I had > > > > > , and it wasn't enough tank, I would probably go ahead and drop my Executioner's Calling or Infinity Edge. The Phantom Dancer is just vital to you if you're a tank, in order to maintain your DPS.
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This is a great substitute for Infinity Edge. At just a little more than half the price, you get a ton of utility out of this. Great for a tankier build that isn't so focused on damage, but still needs as much bang for the buck as possible.
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This item would look great in a build like this: > > > > > . It's great for balancing MR and Armor with a really cool passive.


Guide Top

Pure AD Garen (Strategy + Item Explanation)

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First off, let's just say that this should only happen if you are with a support-type character or tank, in bottom lane who is willing to feed you and maintain a ranged zone so you don't get kited.


Start with Doran's Blade for the AD, you shouldn't need pots because you have a teammate who may be able to heal you, and you have your passive. If you're low on health, hug the tower a little and let your teammate do some defending.

+
Ideally you'll be able to go back and get Boots of Speed and B. F. Sword, and if so, do it. But for most games, you'll probably have your first back at around 1000 gold, and these two items will combine with your Doran's Blade for the sustain you will need in order to afford the next item...


Yeah, this is pricey, and yes, it's kind of early in the game still, but you are an AD carry, and you should have a couple kills by now, as well as a bunch of farm that your support is giving you.


CORE ITEM: This is an awesome item. It gives you the same LS as a The Bloodthirster with 30/40 stacks, and has the crit chance you need for life steal to be awesome. Now you're really doing damage and sustaining...

+
Which means it's time to get a move on and bulk up. If you can't afford both on your next back, prioritize what you need more. Zeal will give you a move speed boost almost as good as Boots 2, but you also get the crit chance and attack speed - so if you're roaming and don't feel too squishy, grab it first. If you want to be a little bit heavier, now is the time to grab that Phage. If you get one but only have about 500 left over, pick up a Ruby Crystal or Dagger, depending on which item you didn't get first.

+
CORE ITEM: Time to really turn up the heat. Your natural damage will start to be ineffective right around now, so grab Infinity Edge ASAP. Tier 2 boots are going to be important now too, for roaming and getting back into teamfights; take whatever boots will help you the most. I go with Boots of Swiftness on this build because with Decisive Strike I can move pretty freaking fast, which helps me grab giant minion waves before they topple our towers.


CORE ITEM: This is for making sure that everyone who tries to run away gets killed. The downside to this item is that with your health and power, enemies might not even come near you for a while out of fear, which means it's a good thing you're teamfighting and not laning anymore.


Time to finish off your Zeal. This grants a massive boost to attack speed, crit chance, and move speed. It's as near to being a core item as it can be without being one.


This is to replace your Doran's Blade after you have snowballed. Be fearsome. Have fun.


Take this AFTER your The Bloodthirster because you will have to sell your Executioner's Calling to get it. Only grab this if you want to kill tanks faster, but stop after The Bloodthirster if you need sustain because that will total at a ridiculous 38% LS.


Cost: ~16K
Okay, the game really should be over by now, but if not, you're probably in a gigantic standoff, waiting for the other team to screw up and get aced. Finish whatever you don't have, and have fun. Remember, you're an AD melee carry, and you've got tons of move speed, truckloads of AD, an on-hit slow, and a bunch of DPS with crit damage and attack speed. All you have to do now is not suck.

This is the cover build, my primary/ideal Garen build. It's a little pricey to get the whole thing, but you can cut out some items while leaving earlier items to achieve a more reasonable price and maintain a lot of power.

Alternate Items

Stack it! Replace: Executioner's Calling or Frozen Mallet (if you dare). Note: you lose the life steal, but get crit chance, attack speed, and move speed. Probably the best option for a last item to replace Executioner's Calling.
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Stack it! Replace: Executioner's Calling. Note: this seems at a glance to be your next best option for a last item if something is going to replace your Executioner's Calling, and if you have two fully stacked, healing up would be a breeze.
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Stack it! Replace: Executioner's Calling. Note: you don't stack the passive, all this would do is allow you to keep your crit chance while providing AD.
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Replace: Executioner's Calling. Note: again, you lose LS and crit chance, but gain attack speed, a little armor, some AD, and a really cool passive. You can grab it against big tanky teams, but it's really expensive and the above items might actually help more in terms of DPS.


Guide Top

Solo Top Garen (Strategy + Item Explanation)

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This is the way you probably should play Garen if your team needs tankiness. I really prefer the Pure AD build over this because I like how playing a squishy AD carry feels, but people will generally not be okay with you doing that, so here's a compromise build.


The current meta says that boots and pots are the way to go if you're playing solo top, and for most champs this is probably true. But for chars like Garen or Dr. Mundo, I think this item or a Regrowth Pendant would actually be better. Garen has massive natural HP5, and this item gives him more, along with armor and health. You'll have more sustain than boots and pots because you won't ever run out of pots.

+ +
Next up grab some AD and move speed. If you're able to get an early kill, or your jungler comes in and helps you push the turret, you'll have a chance and probably have the money for these. If not, don't stress too much, just get what you need first, and get around to the other stuff when you can afford it.

+ +
Phage is an important next item to get. It really starts to define you as a heavier, tough-to-kill champion, and builds into the extremely powerful Frozen Mallet. If you have the money, stack another Doran's item; I typically take x2 and x1, and the combination makes me surprisingly powerful. This bulk will get you through most of mid-game, allowing you to focus on other items like the Infinity Edge before you will feel the need to get Frozen Mallet.

OR OR +
Time to get your Tier 2 boots. Which ones you pick up really depends on the enemy team composition, and on how well you are doing up to this point. If you have been getting fed and are doing extremely well, start working into the late game build (which is very similar to Pure AD Garen, it's just expensive). If you aren't doing all that well, keep building your defenses, you and your team will need heavy characters to protect the squishy carries. Either way, you really should start thinking about grabbing a BF, to keep yourself relevant to the game in terms of damage output.


CORE ITEM: For the same reasons as listed in the Pure AD section, this is a great item. It increases your damage output via critical strikes, which allows you not only to heal yourself, but also hurt enemies without having expensive items like the BF.


CORE ITEM: I take the Frozen Mallet as soon as I can when I am solo top Garen, and that is what differs between him and AD Garen. This gives you the CC you need to help your team secure kills, and it procs with Decisive Strike to boot.

/
CORE ITEM: At this point in the game, I'm almost never doing very poorly. I prefer to turn up my damage output before I take on any extra bulk, but now is when an Atma's Impaler will be the most powerful on the build. You should still have one or both of your Doran's Shields, and along with Frozen Mallet, Atma's Impaler will be pretty powerful. This is your last chance to choose which direction you want/need your build to go before it gets really expensive to change your mind.

/ / / / / / / / /shurelya's reverie/
Getting a Phantom Dancer and then a The Bloodthirster here will help either of the paths you chose in DPS and move speed, but if you really need to build tanky, stick with tanky items like the Sunfire Cape. Anything with health will make an Atma's Impaler more powerful, but definitely focus your attention on what your team needs, not what you want. Bruiser Garen needs to be a team player.


Cost: ~13.0K
Here is your completed build. The game will probably end before you can finish it, but as you can see, it's not terribly expensive, so it's more than viable. In my own personal elo, games go a bit longer than this, so I usually have time to sell that Doran's Shield and replace it with a Phantom Dancer, which would be the ideal build. It has maximum damage output while maintaining balanced tankiness and mobility. You have items for: MR, Tenacity, Crit Chance, Life Steal, Health, Damage, Armor, Attack Speed, and Move Speed. With Phantom Dancer you're critting 88% of the time, and with 211AD and +50% crit damage, you're dealing 530 damage per attack, plus ability damage with a side bonus of 35% slow.


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Why The Black Cleaver?


So, in my Pure AD build above, I have Garen taking The Black Cleaver instead of a Last Whisper, and while many people will object and say, "40% scales better against tanks," I can show mathematically that 40% is not enough.

For an AD carry wanting to take Arpen, The Black Cleaver will ALWAYS be better. Why? because you have an Infinity Edge and a Phantom Dancer.
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Here's the math


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Build

- Berserker's Greaves (25%AS), Infinity Edge (80AD, 25%crit chance, +50%crit damage), Phantom Dancer (55%AS, 30%crit chance), The Bloodthirster(half stacks, 80AD), Frozen Mallet (20AD).
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Character Stats

- Base AD = 100, Attack Speed 1.0/second, 5 second 1v1 battle against enemy tank, 300 Armor.
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The Black Cleaver

  • Total AS boost = 25 + 55 + 30 = +105%.
  • So... 1.0attacks/second x 2.05 x 5seconds = 10.25 attacks = ~10 attacks
  • Total AD = 100base + 80 + 80 + + 55 = 335AD
  • Total Critical Chance = 25 + 30 = 55%crit chance
  • So... .55crit chance x 10.25 attacks = 5.6 = ~6 critical hits
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Last Whisper

  • Total AS boost = 25 + 55 = +80%.
  • So... (1.0attacks/second x 1.8 x 5seconds) = 9 attacks
  • Total AD = 100base + 80 + 80 + + 40 = 320AD
  • Total Crit Chance = 25 + 30 = 55%crit chance
  • So... .55crit chance x 10.25 attacks = 4.95 = ~5 critical hits
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The Black Cleaver, 10 attacks with 6 crits
  • (335AD x 2.5crit damage ) - (300Arm - 15Armpen ) = 837.5-285 = 552.5
  • (335AD x 2.5crit damage ) - (300Arm - 30Armpen ) = 837.5-270 = 567.5
  • (335AD x 2.5crit damage ) - (300Arm - 45Armpen ) = 837.5-255 = 582.5
  • (335AD x 2.5crit damage ) - (300Arm - 45Armpen ) = 837.5-255 = 582.5
  • (335AD x 2.5crit damage ) - (300Arm - 45Armpen ) = 837.5-255 = 582.5
  • (335AD x 2.5crit damage ) - (300Arm - 45Armpen ) = 837.5-255 = 582.5
  • 335AD - 255Arm = 80
  • 335AD - 255Arm = 80
  • 335AD - 255Arm = 80
  • 335AD - 255Arm = 80
  • So... 552.5+567.5+(582.5x4)+(80x4)= 3770 damage dealt.

Last Whisper, 9 attacks with 5 crits
  • (320AD x 2.5crit damage ) - (300Arm x 0.6(40%Armpen) ) = (800-180) = 620
  • (320AD x 2.5crit damage ) - (300Arm x 0.6(40%Armpen) ) = (800-180) = 620
  • (320AD x 2.5crit damage ) - (300Arm x 0.6(40%Armpen) ) = (800-180) = 620
  • (320AD x 2.5crit damage ) - (300Arm x 0.6(40%Armpen) ) = (800-180) = 620
  • (320AD x 2.5crit damage ) - (300Arm x 0.6(40%Armpen) ) = (800-180) = 620
  • 320AD - 180Arm = 140
  • 320AD - 180Arm = 140
  • 320AD - 180Arm = 140
  • 320AD - 180Arm = 140
  • So... (620 x 5) + (140 x 4) = 3660 damage dealt.

Here we are, fighting a 300 Armor tank, and The Black Cleaver is holding its own against Last Whisper. Why is that? Simply because in order to proc critical hits, you need to be hitting. And if you're hitting more times per second, you have more chances to proc a critical hit, per second. And if you're in a team fight that lasts maybe 20 seconds, you only have a few seconds to devote to each enemy. You might say, "well you have to wait for The Black Cleaver's armpen to max out before it evens out with Last Whisper derp derp derp!" But you would be wrong.

The only reason to take Last Whisper OVER The Black Cleaver is if you ARE NOT carrying an Infinity Edge. Otherwise, 40% armpen is not that much. It seems like a lot, and if the enemy is all tanks with over 300 armor, go for it - but for all the champs on the enemy team that AREN'T tanks, everyone will agree that The Black Cleaver is better, and you shouldn't be focusing the tank in a team fight anyway. For a DPS like Garen, attack speed is everything.

So in that same line of thought, I did some other calculations (that I can show if requested), and found that even the Phantom Dancer could have more damage output than Last Whisper. Again, due to attack speed you have more attacks per second. But that's not all - with the right combination of items, you can achieve a 100% crit chance. If you're carrying Infinity Edge and any other AD items, you're optimizing your output.

In defense of the Last Whisper, however, it is one of the cheapest items you can get if you are facing well-fed tanks. Due to this, it is a great item, but if you are fed and the enemy is not, Last Whisper just plain can't keep up.

The end.


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Build History

30 July 2012 - Build posted.

31 July 2012 - Fixed skill sequence error thanks to comments. I need help with BB coding. Item sequence adjusted slightly.

6 August 2012 - Major revamp. bbc coding, item sequence, ability and item explanations.

7 August 2012 - Tweaks complete. A character match-ups section can be created if requested, but will otherwise not be coming.

13 August 2012 - Another major re-haul on bbc coding. Transitional separators inserted. Bruiser build has been tested - it works, but can definitely use more testing. Main build needs more testing now to find which 6th item is best, and whether or not changing Executioner's is ever worth it.

14 August 2012 - Major re-haul completed. More to come so that the word limit can be reached. I'm thinking a map of where Garen should be standing at any given moment. Maybe some character match-ups.