Galio Build Guide by Mathyous

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Mathyous

Dont Touch My Squishies!

Mathyous Last updated on August 15, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 6

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Presence of the Master

Utility: 24

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Greetings fellow League of Legends players. Thank you for taking interest in this guide for Galio, nicknamed "Don't Touch My Squishies". By the end of this guide I plan to give you a different perspective on how to play Galio as a tank/support champion.

Galio is an extremely fun champion to play as due to the fact that he requires a decent amount of skill to us correctly. (not as easy to learn as say a Master Yi XD) Furthermore, he is a very viable as a support/tank/AP nuke champion (granted with different item/rune choices) to keep your enemies guessing. His off-tank/aura build is also very useful as well.

A few things to make note, my mastery tree, runes, and skill order differs from that of most other Galio builds that I've seen. I will explain my reasoning for this throughout. Also, this is my first guide, so I do not yet know how to make all of the fancy inserts. So text will have to do for now.

**note**: after a bit of perusing the forums I have figured out how to insert icons and such, so I'm going to make this guide look a lot more professional now. :)

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Recent patch changes to Galio


Base health increased to 520 from 495
Base armor increased to 20.5 from 16
Armor per level reduced to 3.5 from 4
Resolute Smite
Projectile speed increased to 1300 from 1200
Mana cost reduced to 60/65/70/75/80 from 70/75/80/85/90
Ability power reduced to .7 from .8
Duration increased to 4 seconds from 3.5 seconds
Heal increased to 25/40/55/70/85 from 20/32/44/56/68
Idol of Durand damage reduction while channeling increased to 50% from 30%

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The Tank Mentality

Playing a tank takes a very different outlook.

    1:Your job is no longer to get kills, but to ensure that your allies get the kills. (its not the end of the world if you do end up getting the kills just don't hog them)

    2:It is also your job to make sure that your allies don't die when you're around. Even if it means you forcing a sacrifice to let your allies escape (they will be grateful trust me)

    3: Being a tank means that you need to be at the head of the pack leading the initiates and keeping the enemy team off of your damage dealers via crowd control moves.
    4: Be aware of zone control and use your champion's placement to give your ally free reign to attack by denying their counterattack.

    5: Being a tank is all about being aware of what's going on at all times. That mini-map is your friend, and it will be mostly up to you (unless you're doing a premade game) to remind players of towers that need guarding, ganks that are going to occur, MIA's that are present (or not present XD), and where the team should push towers. That being said, don't be a bully about it. A gentle reminder is more than sufficient in most cases.

    6: As a tank, you cant be scared of anyone on the other team. You should have no weaknesses to their attacks (i.e. no carry should be able to burst u in 3 seconds, nor should a mage be able to nuke you). So get in there and knock them around a bit. That being said, you're not invincible (unless you have a
Kayle with you :P) and can only survive for maybe 4 to 5 seconds of direct full team fire before you go down. Make sure you have plenty of backup.

7: Never be absent from a teamfight. It's your job to protect your allies, so if you're not there, you're not doing your job. Be there.

Keep this in mind and you're sure to gain more than a few good friends impressed at how well you protect them.

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Pros / Cons


    ---Very durable champion

    ---Very good early game damage output (granted that you can land the skill shots)

    ---Has a medium-high base value of hp

    ---Very mana efficient (rarely will you find yourself mana starved)

    ---Able to handle himself in solo or duo lanes (as long as you play smart)

All of your spells will benefit your team in some way (when used correctly)

---Absolutely hilarious jokes and taunts with phrases like:
"You should come back with more bad guys!"
"2 birds with one stone? Have you met my parents?"

    ---Due to "tanky" nature of items, your damage output will be reduced as enemies stack resistance items in the late game

    ---His 2 offensive spells:
Resolute Smite and Righteous Gust

are both skill shots that take practice to land their mark.

---Slower melee animation than most champions (harder to last hit early game)

---Lacks physical interrupts like Alistar's headbutt, Malphite's ult, Maokai's Q
(Some argue that this makes Galio less suited for tanking as he ---Lacks the ability to knock around champions in a team fight)

--- Idol of Durand is easily interrupted via: Stun, silences or other interrupts

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Summoner Spells

The two summoner spells I choose are Ghost and Clairvoyance. Most summoner spells I think are left to personal preference, there are some that I feel would be more useful for filling the support/tank role. Regardless I shall list them all and give my 2 cents worth.

Heal: I dont usually take this, as i find map awareness trumps a 1 time heal. Plus, it's not your job to heal the team, it's your job to get in there and take hits for the team

Clarity: Again pretty useless for Galio as mana shouldnt be an issue with this build. I'd only suggest taking this if you are learning him/dont have tier 3 runes to compensate. If you're still having mana problems even with runes/ Chalice of Harmony, then stop spamming so much! XD

Fortify: A decent item to grab if somone else has already grabbed
Clairvoyance (and to be honest..when does that EVER happen). Furthermore, coupling Fortify with Idol of Durand is enough to kill any turret diver. You can also take this skill in exchange for Ghost if you feel that you do not need it, but I personally like to have at least 1 escape/chase/charge spell in my lineup.

Teleport: Can be good for protecting towers, pushing with minions to catch your opponents off guard, or for a fast return if you are holding a lane solo. If you know there's going to be a jungler on your team, offer yourself for the solo lane and grab this skill. It will allow your jungler to continue jungling instead of guarding your turret while you're back at base.

Clairvoyance: This skill is a must have for me. Map awareness is sometimes the key deciding factor in winning a match. It's cooldown with full utility spec is 45 seconds and lasts 2x as long. This skill is great for keeping sneaky people out of the brush, for scoping out potentially dangerous gank areas, or giving allies the confidence to push a tower because they know their flanks are secure. All in all an extremely important skill that has a plethora of uses.

Ghost: A great escape/chase/initiation tool. This is my other main choice for galio as the speed boost from Ghost coupled with the speed boost from Righteous Gust (E) is often enough to chase down any fleeing champion and trap them into your taunt. Furthermore, double combo is often times enough to counteract enemies slows or Exhaust that are bound to be cast on you during initiation.

(Personal anecdote: I have used this combo in order to survive a 1v5 after my whole team died. Enemy team was a Gangplank, Miss Fortune, Tryndamere, Teemo, and Master Yi. I was able to make it through Cannon Barrage , Make it Rain, Mocking Shout, and Noxious Trap, granted with only a sliver of hp left, but I still made survived, and that's what counts)

Exhaust: Great for shutting down enemy carries or as a chasing tool, but leave it to a DPS champion to get; you have plenty of chasing ability and slows.

Smite: No. Don't. Just don't. Galio, as far as I can tell, can't jungle. Probably not even w/ a leash on the blue buff. So just don't. If you're having difficulty last hitting minions and want to bring Smite then still don't. Work on timing. Farming shouldn't be a problem with Galio's E-->Q skill combo anyway.

Revive: It might be useful for a fast revive to protect your nexus, but in most cases I feel that this is a wasted summoner slot which could otherwise be filled with a more beneficial spell for your team, and in worst cases is just an opportunity for the enemy team to feed on you. Furthermore, as a tank you should be looking at the damage counter upon death and planning your itemization. An instant re-spawn doesn't let us do that.

Cleanse: A pretty decent spell to get rid of a pesky silence or stun. I could see the benefit of this for cleansing away all the silences on you and then casting your ult when their spells are on cooldown. However, in most cases if I find that I need a cleanse, I'll grab a Quicksilver Sash in-game.

Ignite: A pretty decent spell for limiting the ability for an enemy champion to heal whilst at the same time doing a nice amount of true damage. This spell is also able to be cast while taunting with Idol of Durand, making for a nice burst of damage. However, Ignite is what I consider to be more of an offensive spell and not one to be taken by a tank.

Rally: An interesting possible choice for Galio, giving a bit of attack damage buff to an ally might make getting first blood or pushing a tower a bit easier. However, I have yet to find anything viable enough in this skill to warrant putting into my lineup.

Flash: A very good escape tool or initiation tool for Galio. Being able to flash in over a wall and catch the team off guard with Idol of Durand is not only extremely gratifying, but is great for your team too. If you prefer flash to ghost take it. However, I find that Ghost offers more in long term escape than Flash. Also, people tend to use flash too soon.

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So, straight to business. Runes. Again the choices I have here vary slightly from the others and here's some reasons why.

Quintessences: I choose Greater Quintessence of Ability Power to give me more nuke ability in the early lane phases. Combined with Galio's passive and the Doran's Ring, you should have a nice amount of AP starting at lvl 1.

Marks: Fairly standard magic penetration marks here. All of Galio's skills do AP based damage, so you need that extra penetration that Greater Mark of Magic Penetration give you for early game.

Glyphs: For glyphs I choose Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist to maximize my late game effectiveness (when you will really be soaking up the heat) as well as give me just that little bit more AP due to Galio's passive skill [runic skin]]. Overall a great choice.

Seals: I go with Greater seal of replenishment in this case because most of the mana problems are in the early lane phases so I'd like to have as much regen as possible to keep me in lane until I can afford the Chalice of Harmony.

All in all most of these rune choices are to give me that extra edge early game via keeping me in lane and giving me more harass ability with higher base AP. However, I invite you to explore other choices and options for runes, you might find one that works even better in different situations. (and if you do please tell me in a comment)

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There are a few mastery tree's floating around out there, mainly being:

0/9/21 (some defense and lots of utility)
0/21/9 (lots of defense, some utility)
0/19/11 (balanced defense and utility)
3/21/6 (lots of defense, some utility, some offense)

(I will describe the +'s I can see with each of these)

Masteries, in my opinion, come down to personal preference. And testing. Lots of testing. So far, I have been very happy with the 0/9/21 (or in my case 0/6/24). As shown above, I take 3 points in both Resistance and Hardiness to boost my base armor and MR, followed by a complete specializing into the utility tree. By doing this, I gain the extremely useful xp boost, mana regeneration, neutral buff duration extention, both of my summoner spell upgrades, 6% cooldown reduction, and a 15% reduction in summoner spell times. All of which will help you lane faster, fight longer, level up faster, and the most important, the shortest amount of cooldown for your Clairvoyance.

For those who prefer a more defensive path there is: 0/21/9, 3/21/6, and 0/19/11.

The major argument for the first 2 trees is Tenacity . This damage reduction makes you even more strong early game alone with all the defense bonuses in the prior levels of the tree. However what you gain in beefiness you lose in cooldown reductions, summoner spell enhancements, and mana regeneration. I will however make a point that this extra 4% reduction couples nicely with the reduction from your ult.

With the 3/21/6 build, you spec 3 points into Archmages Savvy giving a slightly higher AP base as well as 6 points into utility (3 points to Good Hands and the other 3 to Perseverance to not lose out on some of the mana regen. However you still don't get any of your summoner enhancements, or the experience bonus, or the cooldown reductions.

The last tree to mention is 0/19/11. This is, in my opinion, the best of both worlds. You still get a majority of the defensive tree and a majority of the perks in the offensive tree giving you both more defense and lane sustainability but at the sacrifice that you get neither Tenacity nor Presence of the Master .

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Skill Sequence

Runic Skin (Passive): Galio converts 50% of his total Magic Resistance into Ability Power.

A very handy passive to have for a tank. Allows us to build our normal tank build while still giving us a decently scaled damage output for later game.

Resolute Smite Q: Galio fires a concussive blast from his eyes, 60 / 115 / 170 / 225 / 280 (+0.6) magic damage near the impact location and reducing enemy movement speed by 24 / 28 / 32 / 36 / 40 % for 2.5 seconds.

This is the spell that I see almost every other Galio build go for first. However I must disagree with them on rushing it at lvl 1. Sure having an early game slow is nice, but I find that Righteous Gust (E) offers much more in harass, range, and zone control for early lane phase. Resolute Smite (Q) spell also takes a great deal more skill to aim because it only does damage around the impact area (as opposed to say for example Anivia's Flash Frost which damages all the way through and then exploding with AOE impact/stun) It takes a great deal of reading the enemy champs and "getting to know them".

Some tips for leading the shot:

1: Are they one to turn back when u move up to cast?
Then cast Resolute Smite behind them so they will run into it when you fire.

2: Do they press forward when u move up?
Then cast Resolute Smite in front of them to make them run into it.

3: Are you being chased by an enemy and are forced to retreat?
Then cast Resolute Smite On you current position in order for your opponent run into it and be forced break pursuit.

While I do not max this still first, it is still invaluable for chasing down enemies or nuking down large bunched up groups of enemies. Furthermore with this skill at lvl 2 and Righteous Gust (E) at lvl 4, you will be able to kill any wave of minions with ease.

Bulwark (W): Galio shields a friendly champion for 4 seconds, increasing their Armor and Magic Resistance by 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90. Each time that unit suffers damage, Galio is healed for 20 / 32 / 44 / 56 / 68 (+0.3). (-20% healing for each consecutive hit)

Bulwark is the skill I grab for level 2 (or level 3 if I'm having to hold a solo lane due to jungle or being in mid) I find that grabbing this allows my lane partner more confidence to get in there and deal some damage w/o the risk of getting chewed to pieces. This skill is the inspiration for the nickname of this build because it can turn an otherwise squishy champion into a 4 second off-tank (standard resistances of 30ish +90 from Bulwark (W) will give high 40's to low 50's % resistance to incoming damage); which for a high damage DPS/carry/squishy is absolutely amazing. Skill is usable both offensively (casting on a champion that is charging) or defensively (casting on a champion who is fleeing from enemy pursuit) Some tricks/tips for maximizing Bulwark (W) to its highest potential:
1: Remember that it only heals you!
2: Use this skill when your partner is going to dive. (don't cast it before he aggro's the turret, instead cast it right as the "laser sight" targets him) this will maximize the time your partner has to fight in the turret to get those kills.
3: Don't underestimate how much beefier this spells make you when cast on yourself. On top of receiving the resistance bonuses your AP will increase for the duration (at lvl 5 it will increase by 45 AP) because it works in conjunction with your Runic Skin
4: Keep an eye out for who on your team is overextended or ahead of the group prior to a team fight as they will be the most likely target.
5: Remind your teammates that it only lasts for 4 seconds. ^_^
6: You are able to cast this on resurrecting casts like Anivia's rebirth to grant her bonus resistance for 4 seconds while resurrecting. (I recently found this out, made that Anivia a VERY happy bird)

Righteous Gust (W): Galio unleashes a gust of concussive wind that deal 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+0.8) magic damage to all enemies in its path. A directional draft remains for 5 seconds, increasing the speed of allies by 20 / 24 / 32 / 36 %

This spell is the first spell I maximize to get as much speed boost/long range harassing as I can as early as I can. Think of this as an instant cast Janna Howling Gale but with a speed boost. It has a wonderful range and deals damage to all targets it passes through making hitting champs behind minions very easy. Furthermore, with such a long range, it is much less difficult to lead shots to hit both champions in a single cast. When done right, this spell can force your opponents to huddle inside their turret clinging for life. But even that wont save them as you will be able to harass them even then all w/o getting aggro by the turret. All in all its a far easier skill shot to work with and is great for weakening whole waves of minions in 1 easy cast. Some tips to maximizing
Righteous Gust's (E) effectiveness:
1: cast this spell after Resolute Smite [color=#00ff00(Q)[/color] to catch your opponents completely off guard (least amount of animation time between casts means both skills will hit at the same time)
2: Keep your allies aware to run WITH you when fleeing. (Might seem like a no brainer, but too many times have I seen a Teemo getting chased run away from me only to die because I could not buff him/increase escape speed.)
3: This skill effects minions too, so if they're too slow, speed em up.
4: Make note that this speed bonus only works in the direction you cast. So if you head "upwind" then your speed boost is lost. (I personally think that a negative speed bonus should be equated if enemies are running into the headwind but I'll save that for the forums)
5: Immediately after casting you receive the bonus speed for a split second, even if you're not moving with the animation, so use this to get a quick cast in and move back to safety before a counter harass comes.

Idol of Durand (R): Idol of Durand- (Active) Galio channels for 2.5 seconds, taunting nearby foes and blocking 50% of incoming damage.

After channeling, Galio deals 220 / 330 / 440 (+0.85) magic damage to surrounding enemies, plus an additional 5% damage for each attack suffered while channeling. Max 40% bonus damage.

This skill is extremely useful. And at lvl 3 has a fairly reasonably cooldown time. The only downside to it is that you must know when and how to use it. Some tips on how to maximize
Idol of Durand's (R) effectiveness:

1: If an ally is getting chewed to pieces by an enemy carry (like Tryndamere for example) use it to allow them time to escape. (but once again, don't use it on every overextended champ you come across, its a judgment call but one if made correctly will make that person VERY happy you're on his team)

2: If you're team is having difficulty pushing a tower because champs are holding it (i.e. the last tower and all 5 are guarding) Rush in with Righteous Gust's (E) speed boost and buff yourself with Bulwark (W) and taunt the enemies. During this time, your team will engage the turret, drop it, and force the entire team into retreat. This tactic should not be attempted unless you have the backing of your whole team, and your team is aware that you're going to do this via chat/voice. A ping isn't going to cut it.
3: Letting your team know when your ultimate is nearing cooldown is also a good tactic. It will let them know how soon they can make a push/get the kill. If at all possible, wait to start large team fights until AFTER your ult is ready.
4: Use this skill when huddling your turret to make those greedy champs pay for their diving with their lives.
5: Using this skill on champs that would otherwise escape. Even if you do not get the kill, your allies should be able to.
6: Don't expect to get any penta-kills with a single ult (unless you're really lucky or using an AP build). This ultimate will at best take off around 1/4th to 1/3rd of their hp (depending on resistances) so it is best employed when you have allied champions to mop up the stragglers.

People to watch out for when using Idol of Durand:
Anyone with a silence, stun, or interrupt skill. That means:
Xin Zhao
and many others who have at least 1 interrupt or stun. Now you may be thinking "wow. This skill can be countered so fast." which is true, however with a Cleanse or a Quicksilver Sash or with ample patience you can dive in, cleanse away the status effects and THEN taunt them.

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To be edited soon

Game Start/First Items

So many of the other builds I have looked at grab a Meki Pendant and 2 Health Potion. I disagree with this as the Doran's Ring gives AP, mana regen, AND extra max life. All of which are extremely valuable contrasted with the Meki Pendant's only bonus of 2 more mana regen per 5, which isn't enough of a benefit to forgo the previously explained perks.

First Return to base (~lvl 6 or around minute 7 or 8)

On your first trip back (if you've been playing smart it should be your first trip back) grab the Chalice of Harmony. This is a must-have item on Galio because it gives MR, AND a wonderful amount of mana regen. ( Chalice of Harmony is a more potent version of Veigar's passive ability Equilibrium) Upon purchase of this item, your mana problems should be solved.

*Side note* If you are lucky enough to have a few assists/kills, or just have been farming really well, you can also buy the mercury treads or pieces of it on this first trip back. (given a choice between the boots or the magic cloak, get the cloak because it will increase your AP)

Next RTB (around lvl 9-10, minute 15-16)

Upon your next RTB, you are going to without a doubt grab those Mercury Treads or at least as much of them as you can. Having both the Mercury Treads and Chalice of Harmony should give you solid resistance to AP related skills till mid-late game.

If you have a large enough pot o' gold to buy another item, now is the time where it starts to branch into situational "tanky" items.

At this point, I will begin specializing my tank to most effectively counter the opposition. Now before the match even starts, I scope out my opponents, seeing whether their composition is more AD, AP or if it's balanced.

A Heavy AD is any team that has 3 or more AD carries, such as: Master Yi, Tristana, Corki, Ashe, Caitlyn, Vayne, Xin Zhao, Gangplank, (You get the idea?) I will grab a Thornmail ASAP!

A Heavy AP team is anything that has 3 or more AP nukers/carries, such as: Kennen, Katerina, Karthas, Malzahar, Kassaddin, I will grab either a Force of Nature or Guardian Angel depending on how fed they are, or based off of how much damage they are able to do to you. (remember this build has a pretty high magic resist early game, so AP teams should be tickling you at best)

A Balanced team is one that comprises of 2 AD's 2 AP's and most likely a tank. For this type of opposition, I tend to stick to the normal build shown above.

The bottom line is to look at who is doing well, who isn't, and who is bursting your teammates down most, who isn't, and build accordingly. Furthermore, when you die, ALWAYS check the death counter to see who is doing the most damage to you and counter them as soon as you can.


A few items to mention:

Sunfire Cape: Some people love this item, however for Galio I don't think it's very effective. For one, he has no problem farming minions (as his Resolute Smite and Righteous Gust can clear whole waves of minions). Others argue that the AOE synchronizes well with Galio's Ultimate. This also isn't the case because you only taunt for 2 seconds. Thats only 90 damage, which is laughable. That's also before applying magic resistances.

Randomin's Omen: A pretty good item, however I feel that I always forget to activate the ability XD. The extra hp, CDR, and on hit slow is nice, but I feel that Galio is plenty tanky already with my items. I'd consider this as an item possibility in exchange for maybe Guardian Angel if the team was very heavy on melee fighters. It does synchronize well with his ultimate Idol of Durand as after the time of the ultimate, you can activate this item and slow them down as they try to escape.

Zhonya's Hourglass: An interesting item to choose, however for a tank it's' a bad idea. You WANT to be targeted, so you can sponge for your team. While the +50 armor and +100 AP is nice, for the cost in gold and an item slot, its not really a good addition to your line-up. Now for a more Off-tank/AP galio build this item is VERY much worth the investment.

At this point I made a choice. Do I build thornmail, Force Of Nature (FON), Guardian Angel, or Warmog's Armor first? Well this depends on the other team's composition.

In a balanced enemy team, I usually go for Guardian Angel then Thornmail then Force Of Nature, then Warmog's Armor as a last item.

In a more AD heavy team, I will go for Thornmail first, then Warmog's Armor then Guardian angel followed by Force Of Nature. (If the Thornmail doesn't quite cut it for damage then switch Warmog's Armor for Guardian Angel)

In a more AP heavy team I will grab the Force Of Nature then Thornmail then Guardian Angel then Warmog's Armor.

Now you might be wondering why I always have a Thornmail. Well my reasoning is this:
When you're taunting the enemy, they're going to auto attack you. And that means the Thornmail will hurt them. Furthermore, if you end up taunting a carry, he will still deal some hard hits to you (even with 50% reduced damage from you're ult) so it makes sense in my mind to get a Thornmail.

Now building armor/MR first and then Warmog's Armor does make your HP pool lower than some other tanks till late game. If you find that you're armor is doing the job (only taking 100-200 damage from most champs) then I'd consider getting the Warmog's Armor at that time to increase your ability to sponge.

Bottom line is when you die, check the damage counter to see who is dealing the most damage to you and your team and build accordingly. But by the end of the game, with all these items, you will have ~70% reduction in both AD and AP attacks, which is more than sufficient to stop nearly any team dead in its tracks.

Note: I will be including explanations on why I do not include other items at a later point.

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All in all Galio is an extremely entertaining tank to play in the fact that you can deny the enemy kills time and time again. With proper use of your skills you can turn whole games around with one proper ultimate. Galio is an extremely versatile champion to play and I hope you will like him as much as I have.

All comments/improvements welcome. This is my first guide so if you know how to insert icon's of items/skills please do let me know. I also plan to add further areas as I become more fluent in the coding.

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AP Galio: The sentinels' nuker?

Ok I recently tried a different style with Galio, just to see if he could. Yeah. It works. build a fairly standard AP nuke caster build (9/0/21) typical nuke runes, and nuke item build, and you faceroll with him w/o much effort. Some things that had me laughing:
Casting bulwark on yourself with enough AP will actually heal you from tower dives. Yes. I said HEAL you for more than the damage. If that's not enough to make someone's head spin I don't know what will. Will do a full description upon more testing and itemization.
Since Galio's buff in the recent patch ratios have been reworked. Meaning that his AP ratio is even better now, which makes AP Galio that much more devastating. with only 335AP I was dealing 500+ damage with smite, ~400 with gust, and 600+ with ult (w/o getting the bonus multiplier) Again, will do more exact number crunching and game testing to verify and make sure it works well. If I end up liking it, I'll put on an addendum to this guide for a separate nuke build.