Garen Build Guide by Iguanasaurusrex
Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
(NOTE: Please read the build fully to get the most of it. You may not agree with a lot of the initial decisions, but I have put in fall-backs if the originals don't work for you. Also, pay attention to the play-style section, because it is vital to get the most out of this great champion)
This build is focused around the fairly underrated AD Garen. Surprisingly, it seems that the vast majority of Garens I have played with or against have gone for the classic tank build, without realising the extrememly potent potential of an AD build. Both work great, seeing as Garen is such a strong champion and can achieve success whatever path he chooses to follow, but in my opinion (as a long term, experienced Garen player on several different accounts)the more unconventional Attack damage build is much more fun and rewarding. Hopefully, after playing a few games with this build you will agree with me.
Good luck :D
First, a quick run-over of Garen's abilities:
Q: Decisive Strike: Speed increase, nice long silence and some nice damage. This is basically your initiator.
W: Courage:[/color] Your shield. Passively gives you extra Armour and Magic Resist, and actively reduces received damage by a certain percentage that increases with levels.
E: Judgement:[/color] High damage AOE ability that scales with attack damage and crit chance. Does not apply on hit effects. This is where most of your damage is coming from.
R: Demacian Justice:[/color] Super high damage ult. Damage increases with how low health the victim is.
Play fairly passively, just going for minions at the start. As soon as you hit level 2, you can use the great damage dealing Q into E combo. The reason this works so well is that the silence disables the opponents from initially fighting back, scaring them and making them run away. With the brief speed boost from your Q, you can chase and deal significant damage with your E. A very safe way of harassing that works best in a 1v1 lane.
Keep doing this and grabbing as many last hits as you can. Try to let your opponent push as much as possible without doing damage to the tower, to decrease the likelihood of an incoming gank and to give you more time to deal damage when you make your move.
When nearing level 6, try to get your opponent onto about half health or a little more with your Q+E combo. Then, grab your ult ASAP and move in for the kill (save your ult for when they are on low health-it does more damage as a combo finisher and has a painfully long cooldown). The enemy will not be expecting the incoming damage, and hopefully this will mean a kill for your lane. Feel free to use as many summoners and abilities as possible, because this first kill will mean a lot for your lane.
From then on, just push the lane until you break their tower, then roam around, look for ganks and potential kills and get on with the rest of the game.
Very bulky, from Garen's natural bulk and the various items.
Difficult to gank, due to garens abilities and the summoner spells.
Great lane sustainability from passive and life steal.
Incredible 1v1 ability
A little weak against AP carries in the late game, but with the runes its not incredibly bad.
Very little burst to speak of
Difficulties in saving teammates; other than silence, no CC.
This, as the more experienced players among you will most likely already know, is a standard, boring AD page that works great on both solo-tops and the ranged AD carry that usually heads to bot. Still, for the newer players, I'll explain the choices:
Marks of Strength: Simple, AD marks that give fantastic early game damage, and a nice 1v1 advantage.
Quintessence of Strength: Again, Attack damage, same principle as before, great early game advantage, really helps with last hits as well.
Seal of Resilience: Armor seals, because usually you will be opposing another AD champion or tank, and so will need these seals to keep you from melting. Some people argue that the late game Armor per level seals are more appropriate, but I tend to disagree; You need as much protection early game as possible, especially when playing with this AD build.
Glyphs of Shielding: Magic resistance per level glyphs. While this may seem a direct contradiction of the point I had just made, normally you will not be faced with too much Magic damage early game, and by the time you do these glyphs will probably have exceeded the flat MR ones.
Right, onto the juiciest part of the build :)
Doran's Blade: Such a great early game item, it gives sustain in the form of health and life steal and also that hefty 10 attack damage to add to your runes. You're gonna want to grab a couple of these towards the start, they will really pay off in the early to mid game phase. Perhaps for some 3 of them seems a little pointless and over the top, and for those its perfectly fine to take 1 or 2. But, don't count it out before you try it: They basically enable the rest of your build:
Boots of Swiftness:Garen is pretty quick anyway, but you really want to make sure that you get as much damage as possible from your E; This means being able to keep up with them while the ability is active. Other viable picks include:
Ninja Tabi: If you don't feel tanky enough
Berzerkers Greaves: Want MOAR damage?
Mercury Treads: For when the enemy team has lots of that annoying CC.
Infinity Edge: After getting the early Doran's and boots, you are really going to want to rush for this. If you buy it early enough, the combined damage of your Q and E will be simply unstoppable, getting even fairly bulky champions (in two full combos) down to low enough health to justify the use of your ultimate (Demacian Justice) for a kill.
Frozen Mallet: Such a good item, giving you damage, health, and insane chasing ability. I believe that frozen mallet is a must-have item for most solo-tops.
Atma's Impaler: Pretty strong item that is only going to get more potent as the game progresses and you get your warmogs. The armor and crit chance are very welcome too, seeing as the Damage on Garens E (Judgement) increases with crit chance.
Phantom Dancer: At this point, the items become debatable, but the one I prefer is the good old double swords. Attack speed, which enables the frozen mallet to do its job, movement speed, which is always useful (for chasing/running away) and the crit chance, which will help your auto attacks and also increase the damage on your Judgement again. Combined with the Infinity Edge, You will be critting half the time, and doing lots more damage with them.
Warmog's Armor: Pretty contradictory to the AD rant previously, I recommend Warmogs. With the frozen mallet, the enemy will have a tough time getting rid of you, and also the atma's impaler damage increases significantly (the damage on it increases with your max health). It reaches about 57, give or take a few. That is not to be sniffed at.
Now, this build is great, and my favorite way to play, enabling great overall damage early and late, and a lot of beefiness late game as well. However, the warmogs and atma's impaler were a little contradictory to my original plan, and so i realize that a lot of people would have a few discrepancies with this build. Plus, everyone has different preferred play styles, and different situations call for different items, so:
The Bloodthirster: A good damage item, with the a great life steal bonus as well. The problem i have with this is that I normally end up doing so much more damage with my E than with basic attacks, just because its an Area of Effect move, and just does more damage naturally. Therefore, i feel like the lfie steal is wasted. The added damage is brilliant though, which is why its in this list.
Last Whisper: To be honest, this should be in the main build, because it just gives so much armor pen and ultimately increases your damage buy massive amounts. The only reason its not is lack of space, and the fact I feel i die to easily with this Item.
Wriggles lantern: Again, this is a great item. The reason its not in the build is because of the importance of the early infinity edge. But, if people are used to getting it, or you're getting repeatedly ganked, then feel free to get it at any point.
Teleport: You do not want to be pushed, and you also want to kill as many minions as possible to grab your essential early game items. Therefore, the teleport is a great solo-top choice.
Flash: I love this summoner spell. It enables so many kills, and also grants cheeky escapes from those annoying ganks.
Exhaust: Just as viable as the other two, couldn't fit it in initially due to lack of space. This is really helpful to land your Q and the rest of your Combo, and if it's used intelligently, can also escape ganks.
To summarise, AD Garen has great damage output, works both early and late game and is a lot more fun than the regular tank Garen. Hopefully, you've read the whole build and will use it to great success. I will add a screenshot of several successful games soon, but until then, GL and HF :)
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