Build Guide by Beutron
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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.
To put it simply this is how I build my Garen. Most underestimate this champions power but that will only give you the upper hand early on in the game - As people think your Garen will be useless they won't be cautious around you, take advantage of that. Give this a build a try and expect to dominate.
I'm portraying a tanky DPS champion who quite simply needs no items to aid in being tanky. A lot of players seem to think Garen as an outright tank but building him this way makes him quite simply useless to the team.
Here are the stats from the last game I played as Garen with this build:
Greater Mark of Desolation: I use nine of these as the armour penetration helps greatly with huge damage output.
Greater Seal of Armor: These are here to add a little padding is all.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: Nine here reduce your cooldowns a huge amount, this clearly adds a lot to your game and a lot of the time gets me a kill where otherwise they would escape.
Greater Quintessence of Desolation: Three of these go back to pumping up your armour penetration.
I personally go for a 22-7-1 masteries set up. Masteries I find are better to tailor for yourself, as you might want to swap the odd point here and there, or chuck one in to vamping up your spell. Take mine as a basic skeleton and add the meat if you wish.
To start with grab your Long Sword, this gives Garen a little more ability to harrass in the pre-minion encounters. Garen needs as much movement help as possible so when the funds are there go back to grab your Boots of Swiftness. After this you want to upgrade your Long Sword in to a Sword of the Occult, As you are hopefully going to be getting a lot of kills the passive from this item is highly recommended, 5 damage per stack, 2 stacks for a kill and 1 for an assist. Next on your list is a Youmuu's Ghostblade, this adds more to your armour penetration and cooldown reduction, the active I've never used but feel free to pop it. Moving on you want to grab an Infinity Edge, (Do it in two trips, getting a B. F. Sword on your first trip back), this adds to your attack damage and critical strike as well as upping your critical strikes power from 200% to 250%. After this you want to grab a Frozen Mallet, this helps by adding some extra health to the bank and makes your attacks reduce an enemies movement speed by 40%. Finally you should look to buy The Bloodthirster, this rounds things off and carries on adding to your damage abilities whilst also giving you an extra shot of lifesteal. By this point you will be able to win in 3v1 fights so feel free to strut around the map.
R>W>E>Q is the simple rule for Garen past the first couple.
Start with Decisive Strike, you get a little speed bump which helps catch up and early on can deal quite a whack to enemy champs, this skill also silences the enemy which aids in popping off your other skills. The speed bump is also quite helpful if you need that little extra to escape.
Second grap your judgement, here is Garen's bread and butter. All you need to know is neatly wrapped up in your E button. Pop this after your Q to do serious amounts of damage.
Third catch some Courage, This mainly is needed for it's passive and also gives you a little more reason to be last hitting. Basically every time you kill a unit your armour and magic resistance goes up 0.5, capping at 25 - Consider this free padding. The active is also helpful for getting the edge whilst trying to escape.
After you have completed that three piece sequence simply follow the priorities I stated above.
Passive: This is the reason people wrongly consider Garen a tank. After not taking damage for seven seconds you regain 0.5% of your maximum health per second - You will see in game that this does very little.
Demacian Justice: Now we are talking, Garen calls upon the might of Demacia to attempt to execute an enemy champion, dealing 175 / 350 / 525 damage plus 1 damage for every 3.5 / 3 / 2.5 health they are missing. What more could you ask for? Follow your Q, E, R attacj sequence and people will fall at your knees. A simple rule of thumb is pop you ulti when enemies are roughly a quarter of health for it to kill.
I will be honest with you here, people forever argue what is best for which champion but this basically comes down to personal preference. I have simple shown which I like to use.
You quite simply have to be in one of the side lanes and in an ideal world have a good support with you. Last hitting, an absolute priority, not only is this going to give you that added gold boost but it will also feed your Courage ability - Double win as far as I can see. Use your Decisive Strike to harrass the enemy and keep them in there place, add in Judgement when you get it. Don't use Judgement to try and farm minions early game, it's pointless, mid to late game though you can wipe out waves of creeps with the ability.
In all seriousness you can achieve a pre-level 6 burst of 1000 damage, that will cause some drama to any player.
Who you don't want to be against: Basically champions who are ranged with anti-melee abilities, they will walk all over you. So players like Ashe, Corki and Teemo stay away from until later in the game.
Here you are dominant, I find any 1v1 or 2v1 you are very likely to be winning when you reach level 10+. Remember though if they don't see you coming you will be able to win a 3v1 (You'll notice my stats in introduction shows my largest multi-kill at 3, that was done in a mid game 3v1 in which Jarvan IV put his arena up around us) and if you are really good a 4v1 although I don't suggest running in to that. Team up with a champion who has crowd control abilities, silence their carry and then Judgement the team, use your Demacian Justice, auto-attacks and your freshly cooled down Decisive Strike to simply mop up anything that is left.
This is pretty much exactly the same as your mid except you're now stronger, so take advantage.
With Garen I wouldn't really bother. By all means, if you're passing by do feel free to lay waste a monster or two but no need to go and hunt them down. When your team is ready Ping Baron Nashor and catch the buff off him, this is normally best done before final push just take make sure your team finishes the job.
Use Decisive Strike to deal extra damage to turrets.
Decisive Strike, Courage and Judgement all aid in escape.
Judgement take roughly half a second before it pops so keep it in mind if you're close to death.
Well... That's my first build finished. I would love to get some comments, rates, all that. Please let me know how you get on playing with my suggestion. At writing this I am currently level 17 so can not benefit fully from the masteries and runes so if any level 30 players use this I would appreciate hearing feedback in that area.
Vote, vote, vote, comment, comment, comment.
Enjoy playing Garen.