Galio Build Guide by Riickroll
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.
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.
This guide will show a viable method for TANK Galio. While there are a lot of play-styles for this champion, I feel that tanking as Galio provides two distinct advantages for your team that the more common tanky-caster dps play-style gives: 1- Galio has a strong early-game, and can really push a lane while having the defenses to avoid a gank. 2- Using a few simple tricks detailed in this guide will offer your team a tank that is a great initiator for teamfights, and just... won't... die.
Marks: I use magic penetration marks largely for early-game harassment. Galio can hit like a truck early on, and having an extra boost here helps out a lot.
Seals: Mana is a problem for Galio throughout the entire game. Some people might want flat regen here to combat early issues with mana, but i find that having per-level seals helps me throttle my play so that I don't over-extend in my early laning. Also, if you adopt the play-style i lay out in this guide, you will need every bit of mana you can get late-game.
Glyphs: Magic resist per level is the only way to go here, pretty much regardless of the build you use. Galio's passive gives him AP for building MR, so you want to utilize that as much as possible, especially late-game.
Quintessences: I find that flat health helps maintain my presence early-game. Health is always a good thing, and many builds for many champions use these quints.
A tip for summoners just hitting lvl 30- A good investment for all of that IP you have saved up would be Greater Quintessences of Fortitude. They work well for almost every champion/build, and are important to many builds.
A 9/21/0 build is best for Galio. This is pretty standard for many tanks, with 2 important points:
1- Make sure to get Archaic Knowledge in offense. It is very important for Galio's damage, as almost all of the damage he does is magic.
2- DO NOT TAKE EVASION/ NIMBLENESS ON GALIO!!! Galio's ultimate (and to a lesser degree his "w" ability, bulwark) relies on him getting hit in order to be effective. If you are not taking hits, you're just going to be a minor annoyance. Dodge is yucky.
Sadly, there isn't much wiggle-room on the item build. You pretty much have to do it like this to be effective. You obviously want to stack a ton of MR, but as a tank you also need some armor in order to throttle your incoming damage against a well-balanced enemy team. Effectively building armor, while not giving up MR or other stats is how you build smart with Galio.
One of the bonuses of this item build is that you appear much, much weaker than you really are. This is due to your low HP. Using this build you will have around 2600 hp at lvl 18. This is low for most tanks, but since you will receive almost no incoming damage you are totally fine. Also- this is important- since you have a lower max HP, items like Madred's or other damage-based-on-enemy's-max-HP things will have REDUCED EFFECT ON YOU. This is important, because that Malphite on your team who bought 6 Warmogs is going to melt like an ice cube on a hot summer's day.
Start with Meki pendant and a health potion. This should keep you going in lane until level 6 or 7. Recall once you have 850 gold and buy Chalice of Harmony and Boots of Swiftness. After that, you should be OK on mana, and have good damage relative to others, thanks to the MR/ passive bonus from chalice.
Next get Mercury Treads. This is a no-brainer on Galio. MR, speed, and tenacity. All good stuff on Galio.
Banshee's Veil is next for HP/ survivability mid-game.
The real game-changer in the item build is Zhonya's Hour Glass. This does 3 important things.
1- Gives AP, good for attacks, making you still threatening to the enemy team.
2- Gives Armor, keeping you alive against those annoying ad enemies.
3- The ACTIVE synergises amazingly well with your ultimate. This item alone makes Galio able to initiate a team fight effectively. You fly in, pop Bulwark on yourself FIRST (Boosts the damage of subsequent attacks), then pop Idol of durand. As this happens your team picks off an enemy or two, and you get pretty low in the process. Now use the active of Zhonya's Hourglass to become INVINCABLE for a few more seconds as enemies remaining think they can pick you off. By this time you should have a clear way to just leave or stick around toward the back and recharge to do a bit more dps for the team.
Lastly, if you get this far, I pick up Lich Bane. At this point you should be able to sell Chalice to make room/ help pay for this. Move speed, MR, damage... Just nice.
Unique Skills/ Farming
Outside of the Zohnya's trick outlined above, Galio has some really unique things he can do. The item build might seem a little expensive, but trust me- it's not. Galio is one of the best farmers in the game. Use gust on an incoming minion wave BEFORE they group up against your minions (i.e. they are all still in single file walking down the lane) this will let gust damage every single enemy minion before they even get to you. Now you can use your Resolute smite to pick off the back caster minions first, then auto attack the melee minions- getting every last hit! wow that's a lot of gold!
Another cool trick Galio can play is with his Gust ability. Let's say you and an ally are running away from bad guys. Galio automatically gets a small speed boost, just from casting gust (he doesn't need to fly through the wind tunnel) so feel free to give that ally a hand in escaping.
Lastly is Galio's Bulwark. This has 2 Neat things it can do. First, it can be good to recharge after initiating a team fight. Throw it on an ally under attack to regen health and stay in the fight. Second, Casting Bulwark on yourself (use the alt key, noob) gives you the temporary MR buff, and thus buffs the damage you do. Make sure to always do this before casing your ultimate.
A side note about Galio's ulti- dont cast it when there is a silecer (EFFING GAREN) in the enemy group. You will waste your ulti and get laughed at bro.
Take gust first. It is cheaper to cast than Resolute Smite at lvl 1, and also does more damage to enemies and minions. (See the farming trick above)
Level gust ASAP. It is the most damaging spell you have, the hardest to avoid, and gives a speed boost for you and your allies. Rejoice.
Outside of that, level resolute smite next, taking your ulti when you can. You can alternate Resolute Smite with Bulwark depending on how things go in the lane.
PRO TIP- Your best dps spell combo is to first cast bulwark on yourself (more MR= more AP), then gust an enemy, fly through the wind tunnel to get close (the enemy will run away, duh) and THEN use resolute smite by leading the enemy off. If you use resolute smite first you will probably miss and waste mana, or if you do hit them you will almost certainly not get a hit with gust because they already ran away. I have seen so many people mess this up it's not even funny. I might be the only one doing it right. (J/K but not really...)
Honestly, if you just cast resolute smite you will almost always miss (if the enemy is at all skilled.) Don't even bother using it for the most part if gust is on CD and you can't combo the two.
Teleport is great on Galio. You can initiate, bluepill, and get back in a fight. You can solo-lane, you can mid, you can gank if you have skillz. Just take it.
Flash is a viable choice for initiation and escape. Not a personal preference, but to each his own.
Take Clairvoyance if nobody else has on your team. Protect yourself from those ganks, as you will probably be solo laning.
Clarity is only ok if you don't have mana regen runes or if you are inexperienced.
Ghost/ Exhaust are also ok choices. I find them not as helpful because you can speed up with gust, and slow enemies with resolute smite. Just be good, bro!
Who to lane with
Galio lanes well with almost any champion. The real downfall is that you will be taking almost every last-hit on minions due to his impressive farming ability. Usually I mid on Galio or take the solo lane- a very easy task for Galio. But, if that pesky rumble wants to take top for himself, try to go bot with a melee champion that usually doesnt rack up the last hits- like malphite or a sucky xin. Lately I have been finding that Vayne partners exceptionally well with Galio as she can stack move speed from gust, benefit a TON from shield, and kill someone if you taunt them. Plus Vayne isn't usually getting every single minion kill and can kind of share with you.
Don't lane with AoE farmers or other ranged champs if you can help it. Yeah you will push a lane, but you are wasting potential elsewhere.
You can fill many roles- mid, solo, or partnered. If you are with someone else, try to be with someone who usually doesn't get many minion kills as you will be farming like crazy. An off-tank like Malphite usually is a safe bet. This will also provide you support to melt faces against noob enemies.
Early Game: You are aggressive as hell in your lane. You probably take FB and mini-****** on the keyboard. You bluepill at 850 gold to buy items after you killed that noob xin and teleport back to lane to continue farming.
Mid Game: You continue pushing/ holding the lane solo while you make that terrible Malphite in your lane head to mid for a gank.
Late Game: You are a powerful initiator for team fights and force fights early. You also cast bulwark on yourself or allies tanking turrets for fast pushes. See the "unique skills" section for more details.
Essentially you need to be aggressive, and back out/ recharge/ wait on CDs often. This is a bit different from many other tanks, especially as you are aggressive at range, but move into melee range at times to distract enemies or shield someone. It all comes with practice.
Ranked Play/ Pros and Cons
The great thing about Galio and raked play is that he is usually a safe bet for an end-pick. One of the best things about him is that he is often overlooked! While I could never successfully argue that he is the stand-alone best tank in game (or even a good stand-alone tank lol), he is probably one of the best (or best) tank/ off-tank combo champions in game. If you have a Malphite, Rumble, Dr. Mundo, or other off tank on your team, the synergy you have with them will be devastating to the enemy.
Galio's major weakness is that he lacks hard CC- which is a big part of the meta-game right now. So he won't fit every team, but if you have the right make-up you will shine!
Summary/ Plea for Mercy...
I tried to keep this as simple as possible. I hope you find it helpful, and give this totally underrated champion a chance on the fields of justice! Comment below- I'll try to check/ edit based on feedback. Be kind as this is my first guide.