Garen Build Guide by
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.
This is a build I came up with a few months ago. I find it very effective. Please try it out before commenting.
With 25 armor penetration I find that at level 3 you can really harass your opponent (given that you are soloing top) with a W-Q-E combo. This works just as effectively if you're in a duo lane.
The vitality seals and cooldown glyphs are just a personal favourite, you can go with whatever you want.
Going 21-0-9 allows me to build Garen defensively while still dishing out damage with Q and E (and R if necessary).
Garen's core consists of Mercury Treads, Sunfire Cape and Force of Nature (preferably in that order). Sunfire Cape's passive adds extra damage to your E's DoT damage, while Force of Nature with Garen's Perseverance up, allows you to stay in lane for a very, very, very long time.
If you're facing a balanced team you would go with Frozen Mallet, Atma's Impaler and finally (if your game drags on for this long) Infinity Edge.
Infinity Edge's critical chance + damage goes nicely with your E.
Atma's will further your critical chance while providing you with some more armor and damage.
Frozen Mallet is an all around good item on Garen because it provides him with more HP, a nice passive and some additional damage.
I don't think altering these items depending on your opposition is necessary, because you will reach a high amount of armor and magic resistance with this build, however, feel free to change the build order depending on your opposition (I still prefer to build the core first, regardless of my opposition).
Don't forget to purchase lots of wards and health potions throughout the game, and if you're going for baron or that final push, pick up some elixirs preferably in this order: red, green, blue.
I like to max out Q before E because I find the movement speed boost and flat damage to be more satisfying and important early-game. However, I often find myself leveling up Q and E respectively according to the opposition team comp. If the opposition has a lot of slows, I tend to max out E before Q. If you find that you need a bit more defense early on, put some additional points into your W.
I prefer Ignite and Flash because I find that Garen's Q acts as a sort of 'ghost' spell in terms of the movement speed increase, and ignite is there to counter any support healers or healing abilities that the opposition might have.
I like to flash Q with Garen, as opposed to flash E, it allows you to dish out your E anyway, and guarantees that your opponent cannot escape for 2.5 seconds.
During team fights you should initiate with W followed by E seeking out anyone with about 30% HP to deliver your R. However, should someone like Nunu cast their ult and put your team in a tough position cancel your E by pressing it again, and use your Q silence on them.
Never chase. It's just not worth it, you usually put your team and yourself in a bad position. If someone is running away with low HP, chances are they aren't going to come back anyway. It would benefit your team if you stayed (leaving the opposition with a player short), as opposed to leaving resulting in a 4v4 fight when it could have been *5v4 in your favour.