Galio Build Guide by nxKythas

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 nxKythas

Galio - The Guardian of the Rift

nxKythas Last updated on March 8, 2013
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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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Long before the League's regulation of such magic, mages experimented with the creation of artificial
life. Now forbidden, instilling golems with reason was once not so uncommon a practice amongst the more expert of craftsmen. One such visionary was the Demacian artificer, Durand. Peerless at crafting sentient beings, Durand's constructs served as tireless guardians for the border towns of his beloved city-state, affording them protection from their Noxian neighbors. For his own defense, however, Durand kept his magnum opus: Galio. This mighty construct - forged in the image of a gargoyle - kept him safe on his journeys, allowing him to perform his important work without fear of reprisal from those hostile to his homeland. That is, until dealing with his taxing sentinels finally roused the ire of the Noxian High Command.

As Durand crossed the Howling Marsh with his masterwork in tow, he was set upon by Noxian
assassins in force. Outnumbered and overwhelmed, Galio looked on in horror as the murderers cut down his charge, executing him swiftly before vanishing back into the mists. Stripped of his reason for being, Galio despaired. For years he remained in solitude, standing vigil over the bones of the master he had failed to protect... a literal monument to his own everlasting shame. Then, one nondescript day, a sad but determined yordle girl carrying a mighty Demacian crown stopped in the shadow of a great statue to rest. Hidden in plain sight from his unsuspecting visitor, Galio studied the forlorn yordle. She looked as though she too shouldered a tremendous burden. As quietly and as stoically as she had arrived, she departed in the direction of Demacia. This encounter lit a spark in Galio's eye. Remembering the cause that his master had died defending, Galio arose from his silent purgatory and followed in the wake of this brave creature. He had a new reason to live: to join the League of Legends and fight for the will of Demacia.

''There is no such thing as redemption. Only penance.''
-- Galio

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Pros / Cons


Great Tankiness
MS Buff / Enemy Slow
Amazing lockdown ultimate
Bulwark Gives MR and Armor
Any MR built gives AP --> Runic Skin
Easy to get defense capped
Can tank turrets and gain health back
Can step on Teemo mushrooms and gain health back
Can step on any trap and gain health back
Very hard to beat in lane
Farms well


Mana Problems
Relies on Blue-Buff Early
No Escape
Q is fairly easy to dodge
AD mids make your build worthless
Idol of Durand does not show stealthed even if taunted
Idol of Durand is interrupted very easily
Somewhat long cooldowns
AD Champions will do true damage

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Offense Tree

Sorcery - CDR = Abilities on shorter CD. Very important, as Galio's abilities take a while to come off CD.

Blast -> Arcane Knowledge - The free 8% magic pen is just too good to pass up. 8% Late-Game is very strong to have, as your ult will be hitting multiple targets with varying Magic Resistance values. Ontop of that, you get free AP to go to lane with. Yay.

Defense Tree

Durability -> Veteran's Scars Free HP is great whenever available. Helps out a lot during the laning phase, especially Durability , giving you even more health as you farm and progress through the game.

Hardiness and Resistance - Self-explanatory; MR for bonus AP and defense against laning partner, and armor since you're not going to be receiving a lot of that through items.

Relentless - Very good against people who want to try and disengage from you when they see you drop a Twin Shadows or you're getting really close to a 3/4/5-man Ultimate. Stacks with
Mercury's Treads.

Tenacious - Even more CC/Slow reduction. Holy God you're unstoppable now. "Stacks multiplicative with Tenacity."

Juggernaut - Free HP, also described above how this is nice when you're tanking a lot of damage.

Legendary Armor - Also very good for bonus resistances as far as AP, Armor and MR. I only took two points in this to be able to take Honor Guard

Honor Guard - Extremely useful damage reduction when, as much as a late-game beast you are, you're going to be taking a lot of auto-attacks.

Overview of Masteries

Masteries account for a lot of Galio's early-and-mid-game power. IMO, going 9/21 is the strongest tree because the little bit of offense helps Galio maintain competitiveness within the lane while still being able to put points elsewhere.

Why no points in Utility?

I believe going 21 points in to the defense tree puts Galio in a very strong position in the latter part of the game compared to putting points in the Utility tree. Yes, mana-regeneration and movement speed is very key on Galio, but you need to go pretty far into the Utility tree to completely take advantage of its benefits. If you put too many points in Utility, then you won't have enough to benefit from the Defense tree's amazing mid-tier masteries. Yes, it is your choice to go between the two trees, but I highly recommend the added tankiness and threat it gives to Galio late-game.

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Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Having Greater Mark of Magic Penetrations in your runes for Galio is a very strong pick. I chose to have this over Greater Mark of Ability Power because you have a decision to either go Greater Glyph of Magic Resist or Greater Glyph of Ability Power, both very strong. After doing some math, Greater Glyph of Magic Resist benefits you a lot more than taking Greater Glyph of Ability Power and Greater Mark of Magic Resist. Since you'll be freeing up your marks for offensive runes, I found that Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is better to pick up than Greater Mark of Ability Power, as you'll be having a good deal of AP already, and Greater Mark of Ability Power does not give a lot of AP per rune.

Seal of Armor

Seal of Armor gives a tremendous amount of armor (12.69) for a level-1 Galio. Every point of armor Galio can receive by not sacrificing his ability as an AP tank is necessary to have, since throughout the entire game, the only bonus-armor he will get is from Runic Bulwark. Even then, that's not a lot of armor. Strong/Popular junglers such as Xin Zhao, Vi and Jarvan IV all do physical damage, so having armor will negate a lot of that damage that junglers will be doing when they come to gank, also increasing the effectiveness of your Bulwark.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Magic resistance is what makes Galio so strong in lane. When you take 9 Greater Glyph of Magic Resist, you'll instantly get 6 AP from these alone. I chose flat MR over scaling MR because Greater Glyph of Magic Resist gives you a good deal of sustain against your laning opponent, and the extra-ap at later levels is not as important as being able to get Chalice of Harmony and Kage's Lucky Pick earlier.

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

Pretty much the same thing as said above. 4.95 Ability Power is incredibly strong for one Quintessence. Greater Quintessence of Ability Power is pretty standard on all AP mids. Also increases the effectiveness on all of your abilities quite nicely.

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Spells / Skill Sequence

RESOLUTE SMITE ACTIVE: Galio fires a concussive blast from his eyes to a target location, dealing magic damage to all enemies hit (80 / 135 / 190 / 245 / 300(+ 60% AP)) and reducing their movement speed for 2.5 seconds (24% / 28% / 32% / 36% / 40%).

BULWARK ACTIVE: Galio shields an allied champion for 4 seconds, increasing their armor and magic resistance (30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90). Each time that unit takes damage, Galio is healed (25 / 40 / 55 / 70 / 85 (+ 30% AP)). The heal is 20% weaker than the last for each consecutive hit.

RIGHTEOUS GUST ACTIVE: Galio unleashes a gust of magical wind that deals magic damage ( 60 / 105 / 150 / 195 / 240 (+ 50% AP)) to all enemies in its path. A directional draft remains for 5 seconds, increasing the movement speed of allies passing through it(20% / 28% / 36% / 44% / 52%).

IDOL OF DURAND ACTIVE: Galio channels for 2 seconds, taunting nearby foes and reducing incoming physical and magic damage by 50%. When the channel ends, Galio deals magic damage to surrounding enemies ( 220 / 330 / 440 (+ 60% AP)), plus an additional 5% damage for each attack suffered while channeling, capping at 40% bonus damage (308 / 462 / 616 (+ 84% AP)).


> > >

The above says to take Idol of Durand above anything else (When possible, at levels 6, 11, and 16) Resolute Smite for maximum damage/burst/chasing potential, Righteous Gust soon after for bonus damage and the speed buff for the team, followed by Bulwark, the least crucial to have at max rank.

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Items / Alternatives


The synergy with Galio and this item is strong. Too strong. Anywhom, just imagine a giant, winged, statue flying at you with uncomparable speeds because his manly Taric popped a Shurelya's Reverie, and he used his Twin Shadows. Oh my goodness, your movement speed is slowed by 40% while Galio's is increased by 40%. That's a Galio with 200% faster movespeed than you.

Almost every team comp needs a Runic Bulwark. Ontop of that, when using this Galio build, you're not receiving a lot of health. For that matter, you're not receiving any health at all, aside from the 400 that Runic Bulwark gives. If anybody on your team is going to have it, it should be you, since you benefit twice as much as the next. Like I just said, the 400 health is a monster when it comes to teamfights, and increases your mitigation of any damage so much more, since it gives both MR and Armor.


Alright. Abyssal Scepter is probably the most godlike item on Galio. Period. 70 AP is a ridiculous amount, plus you're getting an extra 22.5 from Runic Skin, totaling to 92.5 AP, and the range on Abyssal Scepter's AOE MR shred is conveniently just in range for Idol of Durand. You're getting so many more stats for just a little bit more gold.

You're probably thinking; "Why Deathcap on Galio? Isn't he supposed to be an MR tank?! The answer is, yes, but take a look at the selection of items you are able to take that benefit Galio while still giving MR:

Spoiler: Click to view

Not a lot of choices you have to benefit Galio and his team without sacrificing his damage and late-game threat. In my opinion, the two only logical options out of this list is Spirit Visage and Mikael's Crucible. ( Banshee's Veil only blocks one spell per teamfight, and with so much AOE going out, the shield can be broken even by a lousy Demacian Standard.)

Which brings me into my next topic:


As you start to get farther into your build, you'll have to make decisions on what items to get. The current state of the MR stat lays primarily in cheap, useful yet sub-par items. Don't get me wrong, Twin Shadows has a great active, but the stats on it are not amazing, such as a Athene's Unholy Grail or Runic Bulwark with very uesful stats. I used to include Spirit Visage in my build, until I decided that Rabadon's Deathcap was the clear choice because it benefits Galio so much more by giving him around 300 AP (After your build is complete otherwise) alone.

If you strongly feel that Spirit Visage should replace one of the items I put in my build, then by all means go for it. This is my personal opinion alone. Spirit Visage is a great item, and I get it on a lot of champions. It's not that it's bad, it's that there's better options.

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Team Composition / Synergies

Individual Champions

Taric works really well with Galio because of his initiate-stun Dazzle, plus Shatter, giving a ridiculous amount of free armor, making up for the stat you lack in. Overall a really good champion to have on the team. Don't forget his great Radiance aura.

I typically do not like having a Soraka on the team because of her natural passive-nature, but in this case, I really like Soraka. She gives 16 free MR to her team, which very nice throughout the entire game. Not only does Soraka bring to the table free AP and MR, but her Starcall shreds the team's MR while you're locking them down with Idol of Durand. It depends on how many stacks she's accumulated, but it can be a ridiculous amount of MR shred - 120 MR - if she's allowed to constantly cast it.

Don't take it from me, take it from a professional. HotshotGG knows all about it.

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Team Work / Team Fights

When Galio gets to late game, then is when it gets intense. Your job as Galio is to get to the enemy team as quick as you can (When you're engaging, of course) and disrupt all of their plans and mobility by using your ultimate, Idol of Durand.

If you are not very tanky by this point in the game, hopefully you have another person on your team that can initiate well, such as Hecarim, Amumu, Xin Zhao, Jarvan IV, or Vi. Something also to be thinking about is, "When and where can I use my Idol of Durand so that it will benefit my team the most, locking 3-4-5 people down at once?"

Galio literally makes or breaks your teamfights. He has great initiation and ability to do massive damage to everyone at once while your team makes use of the two seconds they're taunted from Idol of Durand. Take a look at the video below;

Sorry for low-quality, first video recording with Fraps. The Galio you see is me.

This is a video I received from my friend a while ago through LoLReplay. I was playing Galio and was up against a Talon mid. I was doing fine in lane, thanks to Bulwark, until mid-game, when the enemy team became VERY strong. Needless to say, we were losing bad. Eventually, we started trading evenly, and then some 3-for-2s, and we started realizing that we were coming back. At the very end of the game, they went for a Baron Nashor to try and seal the game. We didn't have wards, and it was very intense. I popped my Twin Shadows to confirm they were at baron, we mobilized over there and Idol of Durand caught 4 people, finishing the game for us.

The main thing to realize from this is that Galio, and you, when put together, have ridiculous game control. You have the potential to win or lose games for your teams. That's why I have faith that by reading this guide, you'll learn a lot more about an underestimated champion that can really do a lot to seal a victory.

Spoiler: Click to view

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Closing Notes

If you liked this guide and found it helpful, please upvote it to support me. If you have any suggestions on improving this guide, please don't hesitate to let me know. Any questions you have I will be happy to answer in the comment section. If you didn't like this guide, please tell me why so I can improve. This is my first guide on Mobafire, so it is very much a learning experience for me, and I hope you enjoyed reading this guide as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Good luck playing with Galio, one of the best AP-Tank-Initiators in the game, and never forget to carry your team "with great force." - Galio

Last Update: 3/6/2013 / Patch 3.03