Galio Build Guide by SnowyMahogany
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This is a Galio guide built around amazing offensive output and retaining enough survivability to serve as an initiator for your team. This balance is crucial as you can serve as both a heavy-duty mage and an initiating tank. This build will put you somewhere between a tanky caster and a magic off-tank, dishing out unbelievable damage while miraculously staying alive. Because of this, it's better to have an actual tank on your tank, with Gal serving as a secondary tank.
Now, people see Galio as a complete tank, and understandably so. Much like Amumu, Galio's ultimate offers massive crowd control and serves as an amazing initiator. However, Galio lacks natural damage when built straight tank and the utility from your skills is unsatisfying in late-game. I know his passive adds half his MR to his AP, but this simply is not enough to deal any legitimate damage late game. While you may be nigh-immortal, you add little to the team.
On the other hand, straight AP Galio builds leave you helpless and vulnerable. Any focus on you means death, which is hardly useful when your ultimate REQUIRES focus. Besides, this is a waste of a passive.
Hence, we find this middle ground, where we build enough resistances to hit that sweet spot (before you begin "topping off") and we end up having more AP than the average caster. Too good to be true? All it takes to achieve this is a bit of care and some smart initiation.
Galio has some of the most underestimated abilities in this game, offering some impressive nukes, utility, and crowd control.
One of my fondest memories with ole Gal was at the end of a very long game. We were finally about to end it after an ace. Their Teemo (who had no survivability) respawns and I insta-gib him with a Resolute Smite/Righteous Gust combo. Nearly 750 AP on me, and he drops like a brick. It. Was. Glorious.
Converting 50% of your MR into AP, this passive makes early game Galio a terrifying force. By late game, this will give you an extra 100 AP.
It's an area of effect slow and nuke with a .8 AP ratio. With a bit of practice, you'll be landing these with ease. Be sure to predict your opponent's direction and try to catch a few minions in the blast radius. You'll be able to pick off caster minions with a single Smite by mid game. Just be careful not to drain your mana early game.
This is the first ability we max out. I also like to pick it at Level 1 since the slow helps early engagements.
I pick up a point in this at level 4 since self-casting Bulwark before your ult will keep your HP up.
Late game, you'll be able to heal through most auto-attackers with the amount of AP you'll have. It also gives 90 armor and MR to whoever it's cast on. This means automatic 45 AP on a self-cast.
Also, be sure to use Alt-W to self-cast quickly and efficiently.
This is also the bane of damage over time, as each tick of damage procs healing, meaning you'll most likely heal over the damage they deal. (Teemo shrooms become a mini potion. Just walk through a bush with shield up.)
This is the last skill we max out since our offensive spells needs more attention.
Offering a bit less damage than Resolute Smite, the gust gives allies a movement speed boost. Use it for getaways, entrances, fountain speed-boosts, and nuking when you land it with a Resolute Smite. Avoid spamming it early as the mana cost doesn't justify the low damage.
We max this out second, as Resolute Smite is better for early game harassment. If you want, you can pick this skill at Level 1 for a quick getaway from pre-minion battles.
Our ultimate is a true game-changer. With a well-placed ult, you can disable the entire enemy team for 2.5 seconds, allowing your team to let loose their AoE spells and go to town. You can break out of it early for reduced damage by moving or casting. If the enemy team has high Tenacity, make sure to break early. Some damage is better than none.
Using your Righteous Gust or Flash to enter the fray will let you place it better. Also be sure to Alt-W before using it or you'll take a lot of damage.
In order to maximize your damage, make sure to get some enemy minions within your circle; their hits will factor into the damage increase.
Also, watch out for auto-attack based crowd control, such as Xin's Three Talon Strike or Twisted Fate's Gold Pick A Card.
The runes listed are my personal preference, a relatively standard mage set. However, because of Gal's dynamic capabilities, there are numerous alternatives.
Personally, these should be mandatory. Alternatives for marks are pretty useless, and magic penetration packs a punch with Gal.
Leveled Mana Regen
Mana regen is a bit of a weak spot on Gal, especially since the only item that covers this is our Chalice of Harmony and we don't go down the Utility Tree. Getting these runes will help keep our mana up after just a couple of levels.
Alternatives for this include:
Early game armor is always handy.
Greater Seal of Vitality Some health never hurt.
Important note: NEVER get Greater Seal of Evasion as Gal's ult and shield proc for every HIT and not for damage. More dodge means fewer TOTAL hits, which makes our Gal less effective.
Leveled Cooldown Reduction
I've always been partial to these, and they work well with Gal. Lower cooldowns mean more ults, more nukes, and more life-saving shields. Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction serves the same purpose.
Flat MR will give you both survivability and a bit of early AP.
On Galio, a bit of AP goes a long way, and this will give you unbelievable nuking power.
These give you amazing harassing power early game, as it puts your starting AP over 30. With some well-placed Resolute Smite + Righteous Gust combos, you'll be able to dominate the lane and deny XP.
However, feel free to replace these with flat health if you feel you need some starting survivability, but I'd recommend starting with a Doran's Ring if you do.
For my play style, this set really works for me, but feel free to experiment and give me your suggestions!
I run Teleport and Flash as it fits my playstyle quite well.
Teleport is great for laning. Feel like you need that Chalice a little earlier? Just recall and port back. Just make sure you recall immediately after killing an enemy minion wave. This way, you get back without losing any potential experience.
It's also great for defending towers. If you teleport to a dying tower and your enemies over-commit, just pop that ult and watch their health disappear.
Flash is ideal for ult placement. No matter how many times you pull the Flash-Ult combo, your enemy never sees it coming. Besides, Ghost is a bit redundant with Righteous Gust. I'd say this one is an absolute must on Galio.
I've been trying to wean myself off of Teleport and onto Ignite, as this will guarantee so many kills that almost escaped. If you feel comfortable without a Teleport, this is my favorite.
On a similar note, Exhaust will help you catch those almost-kills. Plus, you can get the mastery for it instead of the Critical Chance one.
If you don't need Teleport, Ghost and Flash together will give you crazy mobility. Run in and out of anywhere. I don't recommend replacing Flash with this, but if you must, you must.
These spells work best with Galio, but if you have some major preferences not covered or some super secret team-based plan, go ahead. Feel free to share your recommendations!
This build all but requires a 9/21/0 set-up, as the benefits of defense outweigh the convenience of mana that Utility offers. If you desperately desire a 9/0/21 set-up, I'd suggest buying some cheap early survivability to compensate (like a Heart of Gold, a Philosopher's Stone, or an Aegis of the Legion.)
In Offense, we get standard caster masteries: AP, cooldown reduction, and magic penetration. If you decide to pick Exhaust, get its mastery. Otherwise, throw a point into Deadliness .
In Defense, we just avoid the 5 dodge masteries, picking up everything else for some solid survivability, including regen, damage reduction, and increased AP.
This set-up should give you enough survivability to strike that balance that our Gal requires. If you find some improvement in your mastery set-up, feel free to share!
The build listed above is our basic core. For most games, this will suffice, but if the enemy team requires a certain item to be countered, by all means, build it. Don't see this as the be all, end all build sequence. Be fluid and flow with the game.
The build itself is relatively cheap, since Gal can farm with ease. A quick Q+E will decimate a minion wave.
Chalice of Harmony
This is the first item we buy, rushing it as soon as possible. With it, we can spam our abilities within reason. It also gives us a good chunk of early MR and the corresponding boost in AP. Since I run Teleport, I like to pick it up very early.
Later in the game, feel free to sell this, but try to buy an item with mana regen to replace it.
My favorite boots in the game, regardless of character, these are really the only option for Galio. More MR means more AP, and Tenacity is priceless for any character. Grab these immediately after the Chalice of Harmony.
This will give us the bulk of our AP. Play smart and build up your stacks, and soon you'll be nuking their squishies to half health with a single Smite. With our ultimate, you're all but guaranteed stacks, just from assists. Also, if I'm not mistaken, casting a shield on an ally before he gets a kill will net you an assist as well. Not confirmed, so take it with a grain of salt. If anyone knows for certain (Karma players?), please let me know.
Buy this as soon as you can, ideally before team fights begin.
If you're having a really bad game for one reason or another, sell this for a Needlessly Large Rod and just buy a Rabadon's early.
This will not only give you some impressive resistances, but also preserve your stacks. Since this build doesn't have much health in it, the revive base health is actually decent.
With this in hand (wing? talon? claw?), charge into the enemy team like a crazed gargoyle. If they focus you, you'll suddenly become untargetable as you respawn, forcing them to attack your teammates haphazardly as they wait. Your team can then focus them down by the time you're alive. And then, you ace them.
Besides, it looks really cool on Gal, since the shroud over him is HUGE.
This item should be in every Galio build. Offering a whopping 99 AP (including its MR) and an amazing aura, it is well worth the cost and will help you pack QUITE a punch. Just let your team know you're buying it as it is a UNIQUE aura.
The core listed above should serve you well against most balanced teams, but it still leaves room for two more items (assuming you sell that Chalice.) Here are some options in order of preference:
Oh, the AP on this. If you're doing well in survivability or you have a dedicated tank, grab this. The sheer amount of damage this allows you to do... oh, man. Your mage will be super jealous by endgame.
A ton of AP and a large chunk of armor is already a fantastic combo for this build, but the active is what makes this a regular buy for me. Between GA's revive stasis and this, you'll throw off the other team's focus fire with ease.
This is one of my favorite replacements for Chalice. With solid mana regen, cooldown reduction, and good AP, it gives us some of our favorite stats. But again, the active is what really steals the show. As an avid Swain player, I know its usefulness all too well. If you do buy it, use the active before any other spell as it deals damage based on current health.
Morello's Evil Tome
In a similar vein, Morello's offers us the same stats, only a bit improved. Pick this if you really hate active items.
One of this Gal build's main weaknesses is true damage, as we build high resistance and low health. But with an early Leviathan, your health will skyrocket assuming you follow the same protocol as with Mejai's. I've only tried this once, but it worked amazingly well. Try to get this right after your Mejai's if you want to build up stacks quickly.
Rod of Ages
This is a decent replacement for Chalice, although it's rather slow to build up if you don't buy it early enough. If you know you're in for a long fight, this is a okay buy. The main reason I'd get it is for the health though, as that is one of our main weaknesses. (True damage? OH GOD NO.)
I don't often get this item, simply because Gal's ult is very difficult to interrupt. But, if you find yourself getting interrupted often, the passive will really help. Besides, health, mana, and MR in one tasty package? Not a bad deal at all.
If physical damage has got you down, Sunfire will bring you right back up. With a big chunk of health, armor, and AoE damage for a passive, Sunfire will help keep you alive in team fights. Plus, you'll be in the middle of their team, so the passive will really help.
Putting It All Together
First, pick your lane. Galio can duo bot, solo top, or even mid.
If you duo bot, you'll pretty much guarantee that your partner will get fed since Galio can harass and support like a boss. Just be careful not to hog the minions. Get your fair share, but don't over-indulge. If you need money later, just clear a few waves for tons of gold. This is where Gal really thrives in my experience.
If you solo top, just farm long-range with that Q. Just be careful not to use up too much mana. With Strength of Spirit , your health regen and potion should keep you up and alive.
Galio isn't the GREATEST mid, but he's amazing if you're up against a caster. You'll brush off their spell sequence and nuke them right back. Your minions will take care of the rest. Plus, you can start off some great ganks with your Flash-Ult combo.
Either way, head to your lane with a and one of each potion. Be warned though: Level 1 engagements are not kind to Galio as you only have one form of damage output and are still squishy.
Try to balance your harassment with your farming, and see if you can't pick up a kill or two. When you go back to base, pick up a and , with priority on the Chalice. Grab a ward or two for safety. (WARDS SAVE LIVES, PEOPLE. ALWAYS BUY WARDS.)
Rinse and repeat. Gank some lanes if you can, ideally with your ult. The next time you head back, buy that and pieces of . It's important to get the Soulstealer before team fights really begin as assists from those will fuel your stacks more than random kills.
Go forth and team fight. Get some Dragon, pick up the blue buff if your team doesn't need it. Ward, ward, ward. Next chance you get, go back and finish your Guardian Angel. Buy as much of as you can, ideally all of it.
If the game's STILL going on, finish that Abyssal Scepter and decide which items to buy next. Sell your Chalice for a mana regen item, and end this long, long game!
Remember to counter the enemy team. If they have a really fed Tristana AND Tryndamere, buy a Thornmail. If you need more MR, buy a Banshee's. Keep an open mind. This build will get you through most games, but if you know you need a certain item, please buy it!
With the above build, you'll be able to deal with most enemy teams. This gives you enough resistance to be difficult to kill (especially with the heal from Bulwark and the speed boost from Righteous Gust), but still deal amazing amounts of damage.
Place a good Idol of Durand and you WILL win those team fights. Just commmunicate with your team so they take advantage of that mega-disable. Remember to use those item actives ( Zhonya's Hourglass and Deathfire Grasp) for maximum effectiveness. Watch out for true damage as this build gives you high resistances but low health.
Remember to play smart and keep your stacks up. Your Guardian Angel will save your stacks amazingly well, but don't get too reckless. Don't try to 1v1 people either. Gal works best in large teams, so that Xin that keeps all-chatting "1V1 ME, BRO!" can wait.
I hope this guide helps your Gal, and if you have any recommendations, comments, constructive criticism, hateful criticism, jokes, riddles, or haikus, please share! Good luck and have fun at your GAL'S NIGHT OUT!