Galio Build Guide by Pineberry

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 Pineberry

Galio - The One Made From Two Birds with One Stone

Pineberry Last updated on January 28, 2012
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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: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 21

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Hello there, my name is Pineberry and I am obviously a Galio fan. This is my first guide on Mobafire, which I have been lurking on for quite some time. I suddenly got the inspiration to make a Galio guide simply because I thought some of them were lacking a bit and that most of them were still using this item:

Now you might be that one person who posts down and puts down the comment: "Stopped reading at "x"" but I implore that you read through my entire guide. I will tell you why soon enough.

Galio has been one of my favorite champions for quite awhile, but he has been looked down for a long time among many people and the subject of ridicule. And to be honest I could've partially agreed. Galio is an odd champion, as his passive suggests that he is strictly anti-mage which gives people the assumption that he is useless against AD champions. His attack speed and damage make for abysmal last hitting and his ultimate while awesome in theory, doesn't seem to be that reliable. After all, cleanse counters it, QSS counters it, CC destroys it, and the taunt is reduced by Mercury Treads. Why would I ever choose Galio over another support tank?

Well buckle up, because I'm about to show you not only a completely different item build from most Galios, but to show you why this gargoyle deserves recognition for being an awesome and fun champion.

Oh and yes I jacked Searz guide format simply because it is rather arousing I dare say. You can find it here.

If you really need to know what an ability does, just scroll over the tooltips.

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Pros / Cons


  • Is a strong tank.
  • Great initiator.
  • Very strong farmer from levels 8+. Q and E make up for his horrid last hitting.
  • Strong support, with his entire kit having various utility and his Bulwark simply being one of the best support spells out there.
  • Idol of Durand completely destroys positioning and deals good damage.
  • Has a great early-mid game, and late game too if he has the proper items(his resists will be through the roof).
  • He is a gargoyle. That is all.

  • Slow attack speed and bad attack damage which makes his last hitting bad.
  • Low mana pool early game.
  • Without Flash, he has a somewhat harder time making a good initiation.
  • Idol of Durand can be interrupted by CC, can be cleansed, and can have the taunt duration lowered by Merc Treads or champions like Irelia.
  • Q and E are skillshots.
  • Can't check bushes. Why this is so is beyond me.

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What Did The New Patch Do For Galio?

Galio was given nothing new during the Sejuani Patch.

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I run with 9/0/21 masteries. This is because the Utility Tree gives me much need cooldowns on my summoner spells and CDR as well as some sustainability. Some Galios roll with the 9/21/0 way, but with my item build and the runes I've used, I find that I provide most of the benefits in the defense tree anyway.

I first take Good Hands to get that death timer reduced for those crucial moments. I will also take one point in Summoner's Insight which increase the amount of mana I restore with Clarity and shave 15 seconds off Flash which is simply awesome. Next put 4 into Swiftness as this synergizes greatly with Righteous Gust. Since there aren't really any other good masteries to grab, and you really shouldn't be taking buffs anyway, put 4 into Greed but don't go further and put priority on Awareness first for that bonus EXP gain. The faster Galio gets to level 6 during the laning phase, the quicker he gets his ult which expands his usefulness tenfold. Put all your points into Intelligence for that great CDR, and since you'll need another point, slap that onto Wealth. Put the last point into Mastermind which reduces the cooldown of all your summoner spells, being extremely invaluable, especially for Flash.

In the Offensive Tree, I take 4 points in Mental Force because I appreciate whatever amount of AP I can get. Put 4 in Sorcery for the appreciated cooldown and then one more in Arcane Knowledge for that magic penetration to help out your early harass.

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Greater Mark of Insight
Gives a total of 8.5 magic penetration(0.95 per rune) which helps out Galio's harass in early game as his spells are pretty bursty versus squishies.

Greater Seal of Resilience
I like the early flat armor, simply because many damage sources come from physical damage(i.e.) creeps. You could also get armor per level runes, but I prefer flat, since it also helps out better with my early ultimates, since armor per level runes surpass flats at level 11.
Greater Glyph of Shielding
Since his passive Runic Skin gets AP from more mres, I always appreciate more AP late game. However, Glyphs of Warding are also a valid choice as early game reduction against people who like to beat you up with their spells especially if you choose to go mid. Whatever floats your boat.

Greater Quintessence of Potency
Last time I checked, with my rune setup, you start out with 35 AP, which is more than enough burst to send squishies packing. If you really don't like my choice of Quints, I think Quintessences of Fortitude or Quintessences of Insight are fine choices too.

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Summoner Spells

Flash is an integral part of Galio as Flash can get your positioning much more quickly, easier, and suddenly than just waltzing into team battles for your ultimate. It's also an extremely nifty lol-I-flash-through-trees/walls for when Righteous Gust can't get you out of sticky situations.

Now we get to the next best summoner spell on my list which is Teleport. Teleport grants fantastic map mobility and can bring you pretty much anywhere. Good teleports are game changing, always turning a team of 4 into a team of 5, especially considering how powerful a Galio's ultimate can change the tides of a team fight.

Previously I used to use Clarity, due to the fact that I normally harassed constantly as Galio. It was exceptionally useful at keeping my mana pool from running dry, and was great at restoring the team's mana. However, I've changed my mind. Teleport's map mobility is invaluable, and teleporting at just the right moment is game changing. Also, flying to your lane sucks.

Ghost is always a nice spell, except a Level 2 Righteous Gust not even counting Swiftness already beats Ghost without the Summoner's Wrath mastery, and beats it at level 3 with the mastery. In short, Righteous Gust is your portable Ghost.

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Skill Sequence

Q > E > Q > W > E > R > Q > E > Q > E > R > Q > E > W > W > R > W > W

Start off with your Resolute Smite since it does high damage and a slow is useful. Next up level Righteous Gust for your basic nuke combo. Against squishies this will deal a fair amount of damage. However against tankier opponents you may be better off just sticking with Resolute Smite. Level up Resolute Smite again to start heavy harassing. At level 4 take one in Bulwark to help protect yourself and your lane partner. The situational heal is certainly a nice bonus. At level 5, make sure to take a point in Righteous Gust to split up your damage so that you don't rely on Q as much for damage. It now also surpasses Ghost in bonus movement speed. Obviously get your ultimate whenever possible. Level up Q and E alternatively always keeping Q one level ahead. I level up Bulwark last as while the added resistance is nice, it only affects one person whilst Righteous Gust affects the whole team and the 52%(54 with Swiftness) MS buff is very noticeable. If you level up Bulwark early on for the heal, you are doing it wrong. Also the high added armor and mres is more noticeable late game than say mid game.

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Possible Builds

Recommended build for Heavy AP.

All these builds are similar in that you purchase Rod of Ages and Mercury's Treads.

The 1st build is when you're up against a heavy AP team. Buy Banshee's Veil first as you can expect plenty of CC. Afterwards, build the sensual Abyssal Scepter then Force of Nature and top it off with Guardian Angel.

The 2nd build is when you're up against a heavy AD team. Buy Thornmail first since it synergizes well with Idol of Durand. Afterwards build Abyssal Scepterfor the awesome AP you gain, and to make your ultimate more effective as you lower their mres since Thornmail already provies a whopping 100 armor. Buy Randuin's Omen while you're at it and once more finish with Guardian Angel.

The last build is the most common build against balanced teams. You can start off buy buying parts such as Chain Vest or Negatron Cloak first for whoever seems the most threatening on their team, or you could just buy both. Upgrade accordingly to who's doing the most damage by either making Thornmail or Abyssal Scepter. If you really feel like they're packing CC, then you can buy Banshee's Veil before any of the other two, but I usually feel confident enough that I can go on w/o the spell shield until late game. Round it all off with Guardian Angel once more.

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Starting Items

Doran's Ring
Doran's Ring is actually a perfectly viable option on Galio. The added HP helps out, while he gains some mana regen since he won't get Chalice. The increased AP allows his harass to be stronger and actually improves the heal on his Bulwark. Unfortunately it's 475 gold farther away from Catalyst.

Sapphire Crystal
A sapphire crystal plus two health pots will increase your meager mana pool which helps your spell spammage. The health pots also turn out to be great sustain. I usually take this route, although if I solo, I may consider buying Doran's Ring.
Catalyst the Protector
Catalyst the Protector
On your first trip buy Catalyst, since it helps your lane sustainability and mana problems. It also builds you towards the delicious Rod of Ages.

Boots of Speed
Because I enjoy not lagging behind my teammates. Buy this with Catalyst if possible. If you started with Doran's Ring, buy the sapphire crystal and boots.

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Core Items

Rod of Ages
Rod of Ages is CORE in my build for Galio. This item provides much needed mana(really), AP and most importantly HP which I see a lot of Galio builds lacking in. Rushing a Rod of Ages is an extremely beneficial choice for Galio. It is worth the time it takes to farm it(which shouldn't be too hard since Galio is a great farmer).

Mercury's Treads
Provides 12.5 AP. Mercury's Treads is great for our gargoyle as he can shrug off CC put on him before he uses his ultimate. The added mres also gives bonus AP.

Abyssal Scepter
Provides 98.5 AP. Yup this item provides almost 100 AP. Any person who reads the stats on this item knows that this item is perfect for Galio. It provides him AP, plus more mres which therefore increases his AP even more. Even better is the aura that reduces mres, which makes his ultimate hit harder, and just all his spells and his allies spells hit harder in general. A must buy in nearly all games.

I think you should've realized a problem here. I haven't included any armor items so far. Too many Galios I see get too excited about Runic Skin and decide to stack mres first when it may be more beneficial to actually buy an armor item first. This is due to the fact that during mid game, when you use your ult, you force people to autoattack you, making strong AD characters decimate you. Even if Idol of Durand got buffed up to 50% damage reduction, it doesn't help if you're getting critted for 500 by a Maser Yi with Highlander on. I usually buy this before Abyssal Scepter, but the situation always depends. Thornmail is the perfect armor item for Galio since it returns damage back to the people you taunt and the armor it provides is big enough to sustain you the whole game.

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Chalice of Harmony
7.5 Mana Per 5 Sec, 30 Magic Resist. UNIQUE Passive: Increases your Mana Regen by 1% per 1% Mana you are missing. Costs 890.

This will probably be my most controversial topic in this entire guide. Chalice of Harmony is overrated. Lemme explain why:

This item is actually decent for Galio. In fact, it's been recommended to Galio players for ages. But it's not all that fantastic.

But why Pineberry? It gives AP from Runic Skin and solves his mana problems?

Possibly so if you don't harass all day, every day which you should be doing as Galio. I'll admit that it isn't that bad but it's very overrated. Look at the statistics. My mana regen is 11.42 at level 18 with 100% mana. If I had absolutely no mana I would restore mana at about 23 mp/5 seconds. This means I still have to wait 8 seconds to shoot a LEVEL 1 Resolute Smite up(remember that you your mana regen lowers as you gain more mana).

First off Catalyst is the superior lane sustainability item since it already gives me a bonus 325 mana plus its passive refreshes 200 mana everytime I level up(and we got Awareness so that's good). Even better is the fact that I take Clarity anyway. This allows my mana pool to stay relatively constant all the time.

Also buying a Chalice and leaving it at that(which many builds suggest) makes a weaker Galio. With Catalyst, I can build into a Rod of Ages which provides even more mana, AP and most importantly, HEALTH, which makes me not so squishy.

Still not convinced that Chalice isn't that great? That's fine, you can still buy it since it is very cheap and provides a bonus 15 AP. If you still do so, make sure to still buy Rod of Ages so that you aren't so squishy and make space for it when you need better items. Between me having Catalyst and using Clarity I find no need for Chalice.

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Preferred Items

Banshee's Veil
Gives 25 AP. Spell block is especially clutch if when you're using Idol of Durand and someone throws a stun at you and you're like: "lol noob i haz spell block". The increase in health and mana is welcome too.

Guardian Angel
Provides 16 AP. Your only probable other armor item besides Thornmail. The passive is great as it takes the heat off your carry's backs if you revive again. You can then escape with Flash and Righteous Gust. I like this item, because it rounds off your build nicely and pretty much makes you so tanky, it's not even funny.

Randuin's Omen
Actually a surprisingly good item for Galio. I see some people rant on this item for being bad since it may possibly reduce the chance of getting the most damage multipliers on your ultimate. Let's be honest here, first, it only has a chance of lowering attack speed. Secondly dem carries these days with all their phantom dancers, I doubt that their attack speed will be affected too hard. Third, most of your damage comes from the base damage anyway. Plus there are other minion/champions that are whacking you which can affect the damage multipliers. The active makes up more than enough for the "loss" of damage from your ultimate. If it was already bad enough that their positioning was ruined, now they're all slowed. It makes me laugh with wicked delight.

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Other Viable Items

Frozen Heart
2nd most armor item and has a massive reduction on cooldowns which is very nice PLUS 500 mana. It seems great for Galio except unlike Randuin's the AS debuff is constant. Still the damage multiplier can be achieved through many minions and champions so this is still a great item. Buy this if you feel the AD champs are doing too much to you during your ult.

Force of Nature
Provides 38 AP. Great mres item in general, and I do certainly get this on a lot of tanks. However I find Banshee's Veil's spell block to be much better than more mres in Galio's case. Say like if I were Jarvan, I would just take force of nature because unlike Galio, if I got interrupted, it wouldn't be game changing. Uber HP regen and extra MS are nice however. Get this if up against heavy AP teams.

Quicksilver Sash
Provides 28 AP. QSS is one of the most underrated and possibly OP items of all time. It removes EVERY kind of CC, including Morde's ult, Vlad's ult, ignite and supression such as Malz and Warwick. However I usually don't get this item too often compared to my other items, but if I got some champions like the ones above, I'd buy this and laugh at them.

Warmog's Armor
Actually it's not that bad once you build resistance. You may replace this with GA if you'd like as your effective HP would be pretty high, but I still prefer GA's revive and stats than just pure HP. If you buy this before your 5th or even 4th item though...well I dunno what to say.

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The Laning Phase

Oh goodie. We actually get to the part where we talk about the game! Exciting isn't it?

First off, Galio is completely fine soloing or going with a lane partner, just don't go mid, because that should be reserved for carries.

Like I have constantly repeated, Galio should be harassing a lot because his spells do decent burst. However don't be extremely spammy, only fire when you are sure you can make it. Missing your skillshots is pretty bad(unless you get some minion kills). Despite being a horrible autoattacker, still attempt to get last hits this way. It saves mana and trains you to last hit with other champions. It also prevents you from pushing up their lane too far. If possible while harassing, make sure to hit low enemy minions so you get damage on them while farming up yourself.

Use Clarity as soon as it's able to give you full mana(if you're at level 3 and you are down 250 mana use Clarity to get back to full mana). You want to use it as soon as possible so you can put it on cooldown for the next time you need it. Using it when you're at 0 mana is inefficient because your decreasing the amount of times you can use Clarity before you recall when you are laning. *NOTE: Make sure you have a few points of mana lower than how much Clarity restores so you have allowance for your mana regen*.

Once you get Bulwark, you can use it on yourself and purposefully draw creep aggro to heal yourself. On the other hand if it seems like your lane partner's getting hit a lot, drop Bulwark on him.

In the chance that you DO happen to push up pretty far in their lane, only use Resolute Smite for farm and harass. Keep Righteous Gust for escaping a gank from other lanes or junglers, unless your opponents seem to be at fairly low HP and you feel like you can harass a little longer. While you're at it, you might as well buy wards, as map control wins games and makes your score look better(less deaths lol).

Once you get enough gold to buy a Catalyst, I recommend taking the blue pill if your lane won't be pushed while you're gone. If you can buy boots too, even better.

Once you hit to level 6, there are little to no teamfights happening. In this case you may use Idol of Durand to destroy your lane opponents. Coordinating with your lane partner is a good way to get you and your partner kills. Always make sure you cast Bulwark before using your ultimate. This is a common mistake I see. Bulwark not only increases your damage, it also reduces damage during your ult and mitigates it through your heals. This works fairly well with AOE ults such as Amumu. Use your better judgment though. For example if Sona uses Crescendo, DON'T ULT RIGHT AFTER as that reduces the stun time. On the flip side, if she uses her stun during your ultimate that also ruins it and there's no more taunt(although the damage part will still blow at least). ESPECIALLY don't use your ultimate during suppression as that will only cause your Malzahar and Warwick to ragequit. Instead you should use it right before the duration ends(unless it's pretty obvious they are going to die either way). Or once more they may use it during your ult and ruin the taunt on that one guy. If you want you may use Flash but don't use it if possible.

Idol of Durand is also a lifesaver. See your Teemo running away from that Bro that may or may not throw his axe at him and shame him by calling his mom OP? Taunt that kid, and make him piss his pants as he realizes he lost more than half of his HP. If you're lucky you may even get a kill on him. If you plan on doing a lifesaving act, make sure you can LIVE through it too. Otherwise it would be the same as just letting the Teemo die.

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Mid - Late Game / Teamfights

By now you should've gotten your Rod of Ages and start building up even more tank items. You no longer become a bursty champion, and start filling in your support tank role. Help your teammates out in ganks with your Resolute Smite to slow and Righteous Gust to speed up. Cast Bulwark preferably on squishies or people who are in the most danger.

At this point, your nuke combo will end up turning you into a farming machine. It is ridiculous how well Galio can farm if he is uncontested in a lane. It takes no time to farm items up, unless of course you face fierce opposition.

By now teamfights are starting to happen. Lead your team in the front lines by throwing down Righteous Gust to increase your mobility. You can even use it on minions so that they rush towards towers. Your job in teamfights is to be the tank and initiator. Cast Bulwark on yourself, flash in the enemy team and use your ultimate to destroy their positioning while your team bashes on them. If you don't have flash, attempt to rush in using Righteous Gust. Once done, try to kill any stragglers by using Resolute Smite and catching up to them using Righteous Gust. Help out people who appear to be getting focused by throwing Bulwark on them. When retreating throw down your gust to get your team packing. When your carries are low on mana, pop Clarity and fight for DEMACCIIIIAAAA!

Near late game, if you've been farming your resists should probably be up to 200+ by now. Your AP will also be 200+ not only making you a beefy tank, but someone who can do some damage too. At this time in the game, you will be a badass, tanky, gargoyle who can tank everything and makes people cringe and cry when you ulti them. Gust your allies and minions towards your turrets and win the game. GOOD JOB. You won with one of the most underrated champions in LoL. How does that make you feel?

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Tips N' Tricks

  • If it isn't obvious enough, cast Bulwark on damage over time spells. This will not only continually heal you, but help your teammate out by reducing damage and possibly save their life. Of course if they used Ignite though it's still just true damage.
  • After a teamfight, you can cast Bulwark on yourself and get some minion aggro so that you heal up a bit.
  • Righteous Gust is a directional buff meaning that champions only get the buff if they move towards the way you shot it. For example if you shot your gust at a person running towards you they wouldn't get the buff. Make sure to stay near your allies and help them flee by shooting your gust in front of them.
  • If enemies are towerhugging at fairly low HP and you have some high damage champs with you, you are at high HP, then you may flash in and ulti them. One important thing to note is that taunt does not cause tower aggro so you better make sure you hit one of them. Otherwise your carries will take damage when they hit them.
  • Merc Treads reduces the duration of the taunt. This is not too important to many melee AD champs who probably bought Berserker Greaves and probably wouldn't even run out on time anyway, however to ranged heroes it is. It may be wise for you to prematurely end your ult to deal damage. You don't get the damage multipliers but you still ruined their positioning and got some damage off. If you are against an Irelia, don't even bother.
  • Laugh at people who think Banshee's Veil will save them from Idol of Durand. This is due to it being a constant AOE taunt.
  • Smart players will turn on their knockups before a Galio ult such as Xin Zhao's Three Talon Strike, Udyr's bear stance, Blitzcrank's power fist, or their silences like Garen. Keep track of these skills and once you see them used up, use your ultimate.
  • During teamfights it is sometimes better to let them initiate first before using Idol of Durand. Your ulti disrupts other people's channeling ultis. The most satisfying feeling is when you see a Karthus using his ult and you rush to him and interrupt his ult. Then he yells in /all chat that Galio should be nerfed. Oh yes.

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Thank you very much for reading my first guide on Mobafire! I hope my Galio guide has enlightened people on new points(Rod of Ages, Clarity, Chalice) to consider and that it helped out newbies too! I wish that more people learned to appreciate how amazing and fun Galio is and that less people would stop hating on him and learn that he is an awesome champion and deserves respect, lest I taunt you next game. And also...he came from two birds and one stone. Huurrrrrrrr.

"You should come back with more bad guys." -Badass Galio