Garen Build Guide by EarthDragon1
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Hi, I'm EarthDragon1, and this is my first, and probably only Mobafire guide. I have played Garen since level one, and have only rarely done other champions from him since. I am by no means an expert on the finer points of League, or the best Garen player out there; I just want to give my input. Garen is a melee tank fighter. This means that he should be able to take a hit (or seven) and still be able to walk away from it. At my full build I can tank a full health turret alone, and get a champion kill doing it, while only going down to 3/4 life myself. In my opinion, Garen is the best tank I have come across.
I usually go full defense masteries, as this helps my tanky playstyle. The one point in utility is purely for enhancing flash, in case you need a quick getaway 15 seconds sooner. Cooldown reduction is very useful on Garen, as you can more easily spam your abilities, and have a higher damage output. Attack speed is the last thing I put mastery points into for Garen(other than Destruction which I find useful on any champion) The flash enhancing point can easily be traded for another offence point, if you feel you are not doing enough damage.
Skill SequenceGaren's abilities are useful, so to start, you should get at least one skill point in each. I max Decisive Strike first because of the amazing damage it does to champions in the early stages of the game. The movement buff is also nice if you need to recall, so you can gat back to your lane quicker. Judgment is an awesome minion farm ability, and with it and sunfire cape, clearing a wave of minions is nothing. Put a few more points in Judgment if you are getting behind in CS. Courage is a useful spell, but more so later in game. Max it last. Obviously level your ult, Demacian Justice whenever possible.
Now for how to use these spells.
This ability grants you a movement boost, and your next basic attack does extra damage and silences. Use this ability to initiate all fights, as it cripples the target, disallowing them to counter-attack. Feel free to use it's movement boost even when you're not using the on hit effect. For instance, you need to recall, but your lane opponent is pushing hard. You recall, then, using your mobility boots, plus this movement boost, get back to lane extremely fast. Another way this item is very useful is to chase. Even if the target has a higher movement speed than you, you can catch up to them and deal the finishing blow.
Courage passively gives you a 20% increase to bonus armor and magic resist. You can also activate it to take 30% less damage for a given time (increasing with level) and have 30% CC reduction for the same time. Since I have a problem with turret diving, I usually activate it when the turret targets me. I take 30% less of that damage that gets through my other defenses. You can also activate it when entering teamfights, so the initial burst of damage is lowered. When low health, and retreating with ignite on, this ability will dull the ignite's true damage enough to save you. If you have a major slow on, such as an Enchanted Crystal Arrow slow, you can reduce the duration with this ability. It is not without use, and it has saved my life many times, I have a hard time using it well, so personally I max it last. Feel free to try it differently, and if you make a major breakthrough on this spell, PLEASE comment it.
Use Judgement to farm large groups of minons. With Sunfire, you will just shred AoE.
The biggest thing with his ulti is to use it when they are as low health as possible. Even if it feels like you are losing a 1 v 1, but you are both low, stick with it, your ult can win it for you. ALWAYS ULT AFTER YOU IGNITE. The ignite makes them lower health, and the ult scales off how much health they are missing. it is more reliable and does more damage to ignite first