Galio Build Guide by crazieshado
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.
Alright, welcome to my first build, it's probably awesome, but you don't know that yet, so instead of bragging about it now, I'll let you see for yourself. Regardless, let me begin by saying that I've been playing this game for a solid amount of time, and after I tried a variety of types of champions, I finally settled mainly on tanks and offtanks, so I'd say that I have a fair bit of knowledge in regards to what I'm writing about.
Now, I started playing Galio a few weeks ago, against my friend's suggestion, because, well, he's underplayed as hell, and CERTAINLY, if someone's underplayed, they must be bad, right? Well, I soon found how wrong that was, and I'll be showing you how to play Galio to the best of my ability. Oh right, don't downvote this before you've tried the build, and actually read the damn thing. Thanks.
Proof of Legitimacy
Well, if you doubt my ability, I'll post good Galio runs that I have here as I get them. Unfortuantely I can't do those awesome win streak pictures like a lot of other guides, simply because I don't have time, bad teammates, and because I don't want to play just Galio all day.
My Style of Play For Galio
Here I describe how I play Galio and what I think his role is throughout the game.
Following my build, you can expect to be a powerful champion in lane who can harass the enemy really well and in the process deny them of gold. You can work in any lane, solo top, mid, or duo bot. I personally prefer to go either duo bot or mid, because you can easily help your team mate get set up with kills, but you are very powerful in mid as your Resolute Smite does huge damage to most popular midders and you can send them back quite often, whereas you have lots of sustainability with your natural tankiness and Bulwark.
Going later into the game, you'll turn yourself into the team's tank, while still being capable of doing solid harass and doing good damage to the enemy, especially the squishy carries. Essentially, an offtank AP style of play with focus on tanking heading into the later game.
I take more or less standard tank runes, but I'll break it down for you anyways.
9 Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: To be honest, in most situations you're really only going to get either Greater Mark of Desolation or Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. Galio has very strong early game damage with his abilities, so taking magic penetration is the natural choice.
6 Greater Seal of Armor: Galio's first few levels are actually a bit squishy, but he scales up to be quite tanky rather quickly. These armor seals will help you get by in the early phase better.
3 Greater Seal of Replenishment: I actually used to take more of these back when I started with the Null-Magic Mantle, but I have since started using the Meki Pendant to start, which meant I had enough mana regen without too many of thse. I also didn't have to use Clarity except for in specific situations (team request, etc.), and could pick up Ghost instead.
9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: While Galio's starting stat for health and armor are not exactly excellent, his starting magic resistance is enough to get by and scales up quite nicely as it is. Therefore, getting scaling magic res runes is more practical since he doesn't need that early "boost" from the flat ones, and will benefit from these more in the long run, both in terms of AP via Runic Skin and also just the magic res.
2 Greater Quintessence of Health: As said before, his starting health is only 520, and these will help him get that number a bit higher, almost hitting 600. Essentially helps you get through the earliest levels.
1 Greater Quintessence of Armor: Since I choose to pick up a few Greater Seal of Replenishment, I get one of these so my armor bonus from runes is essentially the same as if I had 9 Greater Seal of Armor.
I get pretty standard 0 9 21 masteries.
I take 21 in Utility because your priorities here are to give yourself as much movement speed and mana regeneration, because, quite simply, that's what Galio needs. He's incredibly mana hungry and is a bit on the slow side throughout the game. You're gonna want Improved Flash and Improved Ghost for obvious reasons as well. Extended Buff Duration is excellent because at any given time, having blue buff on yourself is going to help you and your team a lot. Early on, it lets you spam your abilities so much more often and send your enemies back to lane or even kill them. Later, your abilities are great for suppressing the enemy and supporting your team.
I take 9 in defense because you are, after all, the tank. The extra armor helps you out early game and the magic resistance is great since it also gives you some AP with Runic Skin. Since your mana pool is a bit lackluster, getting Strength of Spirit will not help you very much, so I get some dodge chance instead.
I personally recommend Flash and Ghost, because Flash is incredibly useful for placing your Idol of Durand and getting a jump on the enemy with it, and obviously it's also great for getting away. Ghost is good because Galio is a bit slow, so it gives him some good chasing power and also helps you if you're trying to run away.
Teleport can be a good choice, especially if you are doing solo top or mid, so you can get back to lane faster or help someone in need. A neat little trick that's pretty funny to pull of is teleporting to a ward with a fight near it, and just using Idol of Durand immediately after. It can really turn a losing fight around, and you'll definitely surprise your enemy.
Clarity is definitely a valid option, and I used it as a staple in the past. Galio is quite mana hungry, especially early game or if you choose not to get a Chalice of Harmony. This can help keep you in lane really well because your health isn't a large problem usually with your natural tankiness and the heal from Bulwark. Also, it can really help your laning partner if they are using a mana hungry champion.
Exhaust isn't something I use that often, but it can work in many situations. Exhausting the largest threat in a fight can sometimes turn it around, and really helps you take someone down really fast, and of course also helps if you are chasing/being chased. Good spell all around.
Cleanse is good if you're expecting a CC heavy team, but personally I think that the Tenacity from Mercury's Treads will get you by in most situations, and with Flash, Ghost, Bulwark and Righteous Gust, it'll be pretty tough to kill you as it is. In most situations, there is a better spell for the slot.
Clairvoyance can work on Galio, but usually the support on the team packs it, so you're usually good to go without it. If your team asks for it, go right ahead and get it.
(Passive) - Runic Skin - All around an absolutely brilliant passive, really helps you put on the offense without hurting your defense too much. However, sometimes I see people stack magic resist just to abuse the passive, and neglect armor. This is definitely not good as in most games you want a balance of all types of resistances.
Q - Resolute Smite - Absolutely excellent ability, really helps you throw down damage in your laning phase and mid game, and will absolutely devastate most squishies. Used to be a bit tough to land, but since they increased the projectile speed, it's not too tough with practice. Great for harassing and the slow is quite significant. I level this first for damage and harass.
W - Bulwark - Knowing how to use this ability can be key to saving your teammate's life or winning a battle. It throws down lots of armor and magic resistance to your target, giving 90 of armor and mres at level 5. Put it on a carry before a fight and you could crush their team, as they simply can't leave a dent on them while they have the shield up. In addition, it heals you quite nicely, so putting it on a teammate in danger will not only help him, but also yourself. Don't forget that you can press Alt+W to self cast in a hurry.
E - Righteous Gust - Very useful ability that can save lives. Some people like to level this earlier than I do for damage, but I feel that your Resolute Smite is enough and I just get this for the speed boost. It can also help you get into lane faster as the speed boost is quite substantial. Can help you get into position for fights faster and using it in conjunction with your Resolute Smite is great for ganking or farming.
R - Idol of Durand - The signature ability of Galio, use this wisely and you'll score your team ace after ace, and your team will love you. Use it wrong and your team will hate you for getting yourself killed before they were ready for a fight. Great for initiation, you can use it with Flash to jump the enemy. It does lots of damage on it's own, and also gives your teammates valuable time to either run from the threat or unload onto them in a teamfight. This ability can help you win otherwise impossible teamfights, and will save your teammates from enemies in chase countless times.
I get Resolute Smite at level 1 and level it first, because of how great of a harass it is and how well the damage scales.
After that, I usually get Bulwark next, as it is a great defensive ability and can improve your sustainability with the heal.
I get Righteous Gust last because I mainly use it for the speed buff, but if you are really hurting for more damage, you can level it in an alternate pattern along with Bulwark, but I wouldn't recommend waiting to level Bulwark last outright.
Usually when I build champions, I tend to disagree with the notion that you should always build in one way and that it is set in stone. You should always build flexibly, as you have to adapt to the situation and the enemy team composition. However, with Galio, I find that items are usually pretty consistent, and there is seldom a need for change until the last item or two. Therefore, I will cover only the items in my Purchase Order, and give a list of a few good options for the last item or two, which are really the only ones that will frequently vary.
Early Game Items:
These are essentially the items you should get early on, preferably in your laning phase. Basic things that are essential in every game for Galio. You may wish to sell these for bigger and better items later on.
Meki Pendant and 2 Health Potion: This is what I get at the start of the game. Along with your masteries and runes, the Meki Pendant will help out your heavy mana problems. If you wish, you can start with a Null-Magic Mantle instead, but if you do I'd either get 9 Greater Seal of Replenishment or Clarity, but I find that this combo is usually the best.
Chalice of Harmony: Absolutely staple for Galio. Gives him Magic Resistance, which also translates to AP, and as long as you aren't overly excited about spamming abilities, the mana regen will basically fix your mana problems until you can pick up your Rod of Ages, your "mana problem fixer".
Mercury's Treads: Great boots for basically anyone, but since you're tanking this is the natural choice.
Aegis of the Legion: Great support item that works really well on Galio, gives you health, armor, and magic resistance, and shares some of the benefits with your team. Just really solid all around. If you wish, you can sell this at the very end if you don't have space for more items.
These are items that are going to impact you near the end of the game, and will mold you into a tank role with damage output. Like I said, with Galio the core is rarely changed around, so going with these items is usually a pretty safe bet.
Rod of Ages: This item is really great on Galio, and you want to get it early so it can charge up. It gives you some AP to help your damage output, but I would focus first on getting the Catalyst the Protector. This item will basically solve your mana problems and relatively low max health, allowing you to stack on resistances with later items.
Abyssal Scepter: Really nice item for Galio. Because of Runic Skin, the mres in the item also gives you AP, so the item on the whole gives you a good amount of offense and defense. The unique passive never hurts either, and will help you and your casters do more damage.
Zhonya's Hourglass: I get either this or the Abyssal Scepter first based on whether the enemy is heavier on physical or magic damage. This item is really nice for similar reasons; it excels at making you really tough to kill but also gives you some nice offense.
Usually, when you finish the Early Game and Core items, the game should be nearing the end. However, you still have one slot to spare, and you can sell your Chalice of Harmony and even your Aegis of the Legion later on for more spaces if you need. This section will detail some viable choices for these slots.
Shurelya's Reverie: Another great support item. The active combined with your Righteous Gust will make you and your team really fast, which can be used to close gaps or run away. The CDR is excellent and allows him to use his taunt more often, and lets you poke at the enemy more. Health is always welcome too, since Galio is a bit short on that. Pretty self explanatory item. I often get this to top off my build, and consider getting an early Philosopher's Stone for the regen and gold income.
Soul Shroud: Another great support aura to get, you can even open Mana Manipulator if you want, and finish building this whenever you want. Since Galio lacks in the field of health, this will help him greatly. Mana regen and cool down reduction is also sick as hell.
Frozen Heart: Pretty solid choice for armor for Galio, as the mana and CDR let you get your abilities out more often. I'd say this is usually a better choice if you need a huge load of armor than a Thornmail, as that item really only gives you raw armor, and the passive is not much to speak of unless the enemy has a seriously fed auto attack type champion.
Randuin's Omen: Another excellent way to get more armor, also helps you because it gives CDR and health, which are both things that could never hurt for Galio or just tanks in general. The slow and AS reduction when you're attacked/when you use the active is really nice and will really slow down assaults on you. The active in particular can really give you an advantage in teamfights.
Thornmail: Not the largest fan of this item, but if the enemy team is really heavy on auto attackers, you might want to get this, especially since it'll hurt the enemy really hard if you have this and you cast Idol of Durand.
Banshee's Veil: Good choice for defense for Galio, I sometimes even get this instead of a Rod of Ages if I'm taking lots of punishment earlier, or even on top of the Rod of Ages. The shield is nice and will save you a lot, even though you sometimes don't notice it. Magic resistance will of course give you AP as well, and health and mana are always things that Galio lacks, so that's of course welcome as well.
Force of Nature: Pretty good item to get near the end if the opponent is really magic heavy. You'll get pretty decent regeneration from this as well, and since Galio is so slow this can help his movement speed. Of course, because of Runic Skin, you'll also get a good bit of AP from this item's large heap of mres. However, you usually won't get the maximum effectiveness out of the regeneration due to the fact that Galio's HP isn't overwhelmingly huge.
Quicksilver Sash: If you find the enemy is really hitting you hard with CC and you get caught up in it and die a lot and wish you brought Cleanse, getting this might just be your life saver. The magic resistance is of course very beneficial to Galio, but the active can really save your life if you time it right.
Spirit Visage: A bit of an overlooked item, it's definitely a solid choice since it gives you health and magic resist, as well as some nice CDR and regeneration bonuses. The item is pretty cheap too, so you can try to get it earlier on if you wish.
Sunfire Cape: Pretty good option, gives you a good amount of both armor and health. Galio is pretty tough to kill, so with this, just by staying around you'll be gradually cutting away at their health.
Frozen Mallet: Great option again if you want some more health. The attack damage can never hurt, but the permanent slow is what can really help out your team in a chase. Solid choice if the enemy has a lot of really fast champions like Teemo.
Warmog's Armor: I don't get this so often with Galio, but if you already have a lot of resistances then getting this to top off your build isn't too bad of an idea, since with this build you're HP is still not phenomenal at the end.
Will of the Ancients: Great topping item for Galio, especialy if your team has casters (Ryze, Vladimir immediately come to mind). The AP and spell vamp can really help you out, and a full rotation of your abilities will heal you large amounts. One of my favorite ways to finish off a build in an offensive way.
Morello's Evil Tome: This thing gives you a good amount of AP, and mana regen will never hurt Galio, even later on, since you do end up selling your Chalice of Harmony. The CDR is really excellent, because you want to be able to use your Idol of Durand as much as possible. This one's another one of my favorite ways to top off offensive Galio.
Deathfire Grasp: Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Am I bloody insane? No, I'm not. Get an early Kage's Lucky Pick if you plan to get this to increase your income, since you want to give your carry the farm, unless you're midding. The mana regen, cooldown reduction, and extra burst from the active can actually really help your team out. You can stay in longer, ulti more often, and help take out the tank. Additionally, since you have a decent amount of AP you'll get a decent bonus damage value from the active, maybe around 37% of their health. It's an interesting item, and I'd buy it most often if I'm midding and expect a tough later game against tanky enemies, as the early income from the Kage's Lucky Pick and the active, mana regen and CDR will help you in fights/stalls against a tanky composition.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Pretty good mix of offense and defense here, the slowing effect can help you catch up to your enemies, and the health will beef you up pretty nice but the ability power helps you hit pretty hard as well. Pretty solid all around option for topping off your build if you think your resistances are high enough.
Rabadon's Deathcap: A lot of people will disagree with me for saying this, but Galio really has solid damage dealing potential. With my core build I already have a good amount of resistances and a decent amount of health. If our team is doing well, I sometimes pick this up instead of going super defense and it'll really help out your damage output.
Void Staff: Not so likely that you would get this, but I'd get it in a similar situation that I would get the Rabadon's Deathcap. I'd get this instead if they had a considerable amount of mres.
Archangel's Staff: If you find yourself having mana problems even after your Rod of Ages, you can consider picking this up if you aren't hurting for defense too much. With this, you'll have absolutely zero mana problems left and you'll also add some good AP to your arsenal. In most cases, a better choice than the Lich Bane since it's a bit hard to get into melee range to get the proc in for it.
Lich Bane: I honestly haven't tested out getting this item very much, but on paper it seems like a solid pure offense choice. You get some good mana to let you use your abilities more liberally, and also a good amount of ability power. At the end of my core build I have some decent AP values, so the active will be hurting the enemy pretty good, assuming you can get into melee range.
I'll be honest, I'm too lazy to rewrite a whole section on warding, so this is just a copy of what I have on my Jarvan IV build.
While the job of keeping the enemy's actions under tabs is usually the Jungler's job with their Wriggle's Lantern, Sight Wards and Vision Wards, or the support's job with Clairvoyance, sometimes you just find yourself in a situation where you need to be the one doing it. Common ward spots are pretty common sense; you want one in the middle of each river at Baron and dragon, and if their ganks are giving you a lot of trouble, the brushes by each lane are good candidates for wards, as are the red and blue buffs.
Regardless, you should be buying wards with any spare cash you have after buying what you need every time you go back, especially early game. It'll save you from more ganks than you can imagine, especially if your team doesn't have time to call "MIA".
Here's a picture of popular ward spots, with their purpose and order of priority described below. Credits go to Apotheosis, check out his build over at http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/your-tryndamere-resource-4964.
Order of priority:
Baron/Dragon Wards: However you decide to set these up with your team, whether it be orderly among the team or supports only buy wards, make sure these are always laid out! Baron and Dragon are what we're primarily keeping an eye on here. Early in the match it's not as important obviously, however, you still need to know whether top, mid, or bot will be set up for a gank when enemy laners/junglers are wandering about. These early kills can help the enemy sculpt the rest of the match and land a victory. We don't want to be allowing the enemy to kill either Baron or Dragon. That's a good chunk of gold that will distribute among their team, not to mention Baron's handy buff. Again, don't overlook these wards!
Note: I would recommend using Vision Wards for these locations, especially Baron mid-late game. If not Vision Wards, then make sure someone, usually the tank, has Oracles for discovering enemy wards.
Self Privacy Wards: There's orange points at top, mid, and bot hiding locations. I would hope that your entire team would try to ward the areas entitled to them. These wards are not entirely important, however, they are lifesavers. Junglers and wandering laners will use these bushes to set up for early kills. If you're pushing your lane, then it would be a good idea to ward the bush(s) that is closest to you.
Team Privacy Wards: These are crucial wards to put out if the match can go either way by eliminating possible ambushes when pushing minions or entering your own jungle.
Game Changing Wards: Of course all of the wards posted on the map are capable of changing the outcome of a game, but these wards are placed in a location that both teams will always drift by. Reasons to go through the wards (for both teams): Getting to Baron and dragon, changing lanes, shifting from allied jungle to the enemy's jungle (either by self or team) to steal mobs/buffs, shifting as a team to gank the enemy team, etc. If you just have a ward on either Baron and/or dragon, you can still miss the enemy slipping by into your jungle never knowing it. This allows enemies to set up ganks. Therefore, these wards change the outcome of a game because you know whats coming.
Invading Wards: I thought it was appropriate to name these wards in this manner because you can enter their bushes knowing whether they're there or not before you attempt to set up a gank. The enemy usually walks through these bushes hoping to freely enter their jungle for experience/gold and/or buffs.
Buff Wards: Monitor yours and enemy's buffs with these wards. Good to set in your own jungle if they start playing dirty and snatching buffs early game from your jungle. These wards are primarily for the junglers of each team.
Here I'll cover some specialties of Galio and some neat tricks you can pull with him. If I remember more, I'll add them as I go.
Galio can be really good for running away and baiting. If enemies are chasing you, you can keep safe with Bulwark and slowing them a bit with Resolute Smite and speed yourself with Righteous Gust. You can often lead them right into your team and get them killed.
Using Bulwark on a carry and then initiating can be destructive. While he does his insane damage, no one can really leave a dent on him while Bulwark is up, and meanwhile you can keep the enemy off your team with Idol of Durand and throw out damage with Resolute Smite. Put down Righteous Gust if you need to chase an enemy or get out of the fight.
Using Righteous Gust to get into position for fighting is surprisingly effective. Some enemies may think you simply were stupid and missed, but you can take them by surprise in a number of creative ways.
Righteous Gust and Resolute Smite can be combined to gank enemies very well, speeding yourself up and slowing them down. It will also do devastating damage to them, especially in the mid-early game.
You can use Righteous Gust to juke quite effectively. Walk into a brush and Righteous Gust out, slow them with Resolute Smite, and you can usually get out safely.
In the lane, you can try to pull minion aggro and then use Bulwark to heal yourself up quite nicely.
Never forget that by placing Bulwark on yourself, you give yourself not only armor and mres, but also AP due to Runic Skin. This is important to remember. Always use Bulwark before casting Idol of Durand to maximize damage.
I can't stress enough that using Flash to get into a good position to pop Idol of Durand is so effective. You can catch them by surprise and you may be able to kill a good amount of them before they even get to retaliate.
While tough to pull off, you can Teleport to a ward placed near or on a fight, and then immediately use your Idol of Durand. This can turn around a fight that your team is losing.
Don't be afraid to use Idol of Durand to save your team's life. Chances are, you will pull their aggro, and you probably have a much better chance at surviving than the person they were originally chasing.
While anybody caught in your Idol of Durand can't use CC to stop it, be wary of CC spells that are currently traveling towards you (like Dark Binding). If you are using your ultimate while it hits you, it will get cancelled. In addition, people outside of the ultimate's range can still throw CC at you.
Pretty simple here, Galio is a great farmer. Resolute Smite and Righteous Gust will take care of most things, but early game, don't waste this on minions too much since you're pretty mana hungry, and don't take too many minions, because your carries probably need them too. If you're getting threatened by the enemy too much, you can opt to use Resolute Smite to get a group of last hits if you can't get in range for your regular attack.
Galio isn't very sustainable in the earliest stages of the game, so Jungling isn't such a great idea. That said, if no one else on your team needs it more, getting blue buff on you is very beneficial to the team at any point in the game, offensively or defensively. However, it is worth mentioning that Galio is a relatively good ganker, as said before.
Galio's definitely a solid tank, and he can dish some damage on top of that too. He's underplayed as all hell, and I'd definitely appreciate if you guys gave him a shot, despite the high price tag, I promise you'll have some fun with him and maybe this build will help garner some attention for this amazing but underplayed champ.
August 9th, 11 - Published.
August 16th, 11 - Changed runes to Mres per level instead of Mres, added Chalice of Harmony items, changed summoner spells to Flash and Ghost, and masteries to reflect that. Added a few additional tips to teamwork and unique skills. Also mentioned blue buff as a legitimate tactic in Jungling.
September 8th, 11 - Came back to start working on a complete rework on the build to improve it and make it formatted similar to my Jarvan build. Will be a WIP, look forward to more improvements soon.
September 9th, 11 - Had more time than I imagined, so I'm basically done with my reformatting. Build is substantially more comprehensive now and looks less like a wall of text. Suggestions are still welcome. Several new sections also added.
November 2nd, 11 - Added a bunch more alternate options for items, and changed the core topping item to Soul Shroud.