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Not Updated For Current Season
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Galio is a skill-shot based champ who has a great ultimate and the ability to move around effectively to quickly wipe out minion waves and slow/speed up other champions. This guide will focus on Galio soloing for another character who is jungling (or if he takes mid). Galio can play as a tank or dps but does neither very well so my build will reflect the hybrid item-based ways you can change his role in a team.
As galio you are good at 2 things. Farming minions and harassing squishy champions mercilessly. Gust can be used offensively to chase, defensively to run, and can be used to help yourself move parallel to an enemy champ to line up a smite skillshot. It's best to ignore the enemy tank and pound those who would have a hard time getting away from you. Idol of Durand is situational, but in the right circumstances it is extremely effective at disrupting, dealing massive damage and drawing the enemy team towards you. Along with your guardian angel, you can use this ultimate to allow others to escape as well as have a good chance of getting away yourself by popping gust as soon as you come back to life and smiting/exhausting those near you. DONT FORGET ABOUT BULWARK. It saves lives and gives your tank/melee dps that much more survivability.
For runes I select Magic Penetration which allows your Gust and Smite and your Ultimate to Hit that much harder. The Health per level allows you to take more damage during your ultimate without diminishing the amount of damage done so that it hits that much harder. CD reduction is so that you can spam your smite as much as possible. Coupled with exhaust, it is extremely hard for someone to get away from you as long as you have good aim.
9 in Offense to pick up the extra magic penetration and the exhaust buff. You can put 21 in defense if you're the only tanky person on the team but I find it more useful to have the cooldowns, the lowered CD on my exhaust and teleport as well as the extra 15% CD on them makes me very mobile which is key to galio being effective.
I always start off with the pendent and a couple of health potions so that I can stay in my lane as long as possible. Chalice is key without clarity so i pick that up next followed by merc treds so that I am not hindered by CC and I can pick up the magic resist which adds to my AP and survivability. Next I get a guardian to round out my defense. Lastly I get abyssal scepter to give me a little more hitting power as well as magic resist. This item is KEY to doing more dmg with your ultimate as it lowers surrounding champion's magic resist to achieve those ends. These 4 items I get EVERY game. This is where your mastery build and tank/dmg emphasis comes into play. If you are going up against some heavy magic dmg I'd pick up a force of nature and banshee's veil. Against physical dps I usually go with sunfire cape (DONT pick up thornmail unless you're being the main tank because it doesn't boost your ultimate at all) and maybe a warmog's. If you are going straight dmg I pick up a crystal scepter to make my Smite slow them just that much more as well as a deathcap and voidstaff (you should sell the chalice if you need the room).
SMITE is your friend, it hits squishy champs for a lot of damage early game, especially if you have 1 or 2 levels on them. I always have at least a point in bulwark so that I can shield myself as a run or shield a teammate who's about to get hit by karth's or ezreal's ult. I try to get 2 or 3 points in gust once I can't level smite up anymore so that I can farm effectively. Smite the ranged minions, gust right after for easy gold. Later on when you have your abyssal scepter you can easily take out the melee and tank minions with this combo for even more gold. Using bulwark on yourself ups your AP by a bit if you're leaving minions with slivers of health. Later game bulwark is great for healing yourself by placing it on your tank as he runs in to soak up damage.