I don't know who first uttered the phrase Knowledge is Power but boy were they spot on. Know what your enemy is going to do before they do it or sometimes before they even know themselves is half the battle. Be sure you check enemy runes, masteries before the game starts so that you know what you want to buy as soon as you get in game. Often times I can deduct what the enemy is likely to start with item wise based on their runes masteries and sometimes I even check their recent games just to get that edge. This way I know what my first item should be so I can get that level 2 first blood or depending on the match up, wait them out of lane. If you dont know what each champion does or were to get these runes and masteries stats then sorry, this guide is not for you.
Both runes and masteries for this build can change depending on personal preference and who you're playing against. If they have no AP for instance then what would you need those MR runes for. Toss em and get something more suitable. Like damage? Or if you're team needs a tank then maybe go 9-21 masteries so you wont get bursted so fast late game. This does take away a lot of your potential damage however so I wouldn't recommend going that route in most situations.
Now I'm sure this is where most people will look first. 90% of games I rush BOTRK on garen. Why do I do this? Well garen is naturally tanky and with the life steal quints getting more damage and life steal just seems to fit. But why dont I get Blood Thirster you might ask and why do you need attack speed? Well Garen has a pretty standard combo of silence and spinning and winning. In between that combo though is a whole lot of useless time for garen. I think utilizing this down time with auto attacks that also deal 5% current health is the best solution for garen. If you win the trade with the enemy you can pursue with botrk active and if you lose the trade you can life steal off minions while his passive percs till you is back to full hp in no time. If you find that you cant yet destroy in lane and need some defense before you finish your botrk get your health or armor from randuins and with that nice active slow you will be able to escape all or catch anyone. If you happen to be laning against AP then go for that QSS and laugh in his face when he tries to cc you. Put all 3 together and pair them with your favorite boots. I prefer to use the swiftness boots but its up to you.
Lvl 1 A-Q-A
Lvl 2 A-Q-A-E-A (as the last tick of your spin wears off or if you cancel another AA with proc)
Lvl 3 A-Q-A-EW-A (Only use W if enemy is returning fire)
Lvl 6 A-Q-A-EW-A-R (save ignite till they get to half hp or if you feel you can all out kill use in tandem with Q. Be sure to cancel E and ult if they intend to flash or dash away.
As you get BOTRK goin try not to use spin as much in certain situations as you cannot life steal with E and it will not bring down tanks. Keep that Auto going and know your limits.
Tips & Tricks
This build revolves heavily on cs, early game dominance and landing as many auto attacks as possible between combos. Really this is only for skilled garen mains but I think anyone can learn active garen. Basically you are a tanky, high damage, assassin. What you want to do is catch a enemy out of position. Just sit in enemy bushes and wait for someone to show up. You can do this at LVL 1 even! As soon as they get to the bush you lead with an auto attack straight into Q and then a second auto. 9 times out of 10 they will not have the reaction time to get away from your silence and therefore cannot escape. Now as soon as the damage of the second auto goes off (dont wait for animation) hit E and spin to win. If they have a high burst or are not going to just flee in terror I usually turn my W on with my spin as garen is most vulnerable while spinning. Keep in mind you can cancel your spin to land more autos if you need the lifesteal or you are in minions and the enemy is escaping as your spin slows your movement through minions. Now if that combo of A-Q-A-WE-A doesnt finish them and they are trying to get away remember you can BOTRK active for a slow on them and speed boost on yourself. If you know they will be flashing away try to time this active right as the silence wears off so that you can easily keep up and keep damage with autos going as you chase. If they are still too fast randuins and Merc Scim will get you there but I like to keep those two as escapes if possible. Remember you are not full tank. THough you will have around 200 mr and armor along with 3100 or so health and 300 damage. You are an assassin. Get in, damage, silence, get out. And do it again.
(sorry if wording is poor or confusing, would love some help with editing!)
Objectives win games. With the recent changes of 3.14 patch, finishing games is nearly impossible without teamwork. So try to get your tower asap and if you can get the second tower as well. use A-Q-A as much as possible and keep wards up! I prefer very offensive wards. If you can take secondary tower as well this is even better but know that they will be sending multiple people to deal with you. So tell your team to push bot, do drag, and quit feeding.
If secondary tower is being sat on, fake it and go mid. If you get caught out just use your q to escape slows. qss to escape that malz ult or randuins to run away laughing as a whole team. They have a Hec with movement speed boots and you have basic boots?! No fear. Just botrk that guy and Q away. 600 ms op.
As I said before. This is not a basic guide, this is for skilled garens everywhere and I feel can be used in 99% of all garen games.
Because I've only included the first 3 items (usually all you need) Here are some options for the last couple of items.
Sunfire Cape - against those high burst high ad comps and games your not carrying.
Infinity Edge- for that extra damage. this procs well with spin to win but active garen relies on AA so not the best IMO
Frozen Mallet- Great for extra tankyness and keeping that damn singed from getting away
GA- when you are massive and have to carry your team. 2 lives are better than 1
Black Cleaver- usually what I build as a 4th item. Brutalizer sometimes even earlier against heavy armor champs
Warmogs- Health/Health regen OP
Spirit Visage- with life steal and passive works wonders vs. Heavy ap team.
Theres many many more viable options but these are my most common.
GL and HF and please leave me feedback. good or bad I can take it.