Garen Build Guide by Alenena
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.
And here's a guide to Garen! Two in-fact!
I know that I promised in my last (and first) guide, that it would be Garen, Cuckoo for Criticals II: The Age of Kings, but I haven't had time to test a crit-stacking Garen.
I can however, vouch for the effectiveness of Cooldown Reduction on Garen. So, without further ado, the guide.
(Note: For this Guide, Orange indicates Carry Information, Blue indicates Tank Information and Purple is Both of them. Additionally, more in depth information on how to play Garen will be coming soon.)
Garen is currently one of two champions (the other being Katrina) that is 100% CD reliant. He doesn't have a energy resource.
CDR is useful on a Carry Garen (first build) because it lets him use Decisive Strike and Judgement very often. In fact, at 40% CDR, DS has a 4.8s CD and Judgement has a 6s CD. Since Judgement lasts 3 seconds, you can DS --> Judge --> DS for massive amounts of damage. And you pretty much can keep your target locked down, with a 2.5s silence every 4.8s. That's more than 50% downtime for a caster. If you include GCDs they won't be able to combo-nuke you if you get in the first hit.
CDR is vital on a Tank Garen (second build) because he does not have powerful CC options. One of the jobs of the tank is keeping teammates from being attacked, and all Garen has to help in that department is being highly noticeable and Decisive Strike. As mentioned above, keeping that on a low CD means lots of interrupting. With it you can interrupt suppressed like Absolute Zero, Infinite Duress or Nether Grasp. It also gives you a low CD on Courage, bringing it down to just over 10s at 40%. With the low CD you can use it when you initiate a team battle and have it available near the tail end of the fight when health pools are lower.
-Good Early Damage in judgement
-Activated speed buff
-Low CD CC
-Can break out of slows
-Strong defensive ability on low CD
-Very powerful execute Ult
-Susceptible to non-slow CC
-Doesn't have much CC
-Melee and doesn't have a dash
Looking at CDR in particular, you can use your abilities more often, but in trade, you have less power. In the DPS build you trade Ionian Boots of Lucidity for Boots of Swiftness and in the Tanking build you trade Yomuu's Ghostblade for a more defensive item like Warmog's Armor or Frozen Mallet. You also Glyph CDR and spend a Quint on CDR, but otherwise you have a fairly standard build.
These are both fairly standard. I went 24/6/0 for the Carry build rather than a 21/9/0 or 21/0/9 because both of those builds have points that are absolutely wasted on Garen. He doesn't use mana, so anything that does anything with that is as useful as not putting the point anywhere.
With the tank build, I went 9/21/0. The defense build is standard, avoiding any mana talents. I could have gone deep Utility for the 6% CDR but you don't have many defensive stats.
In both I take the 3% CDR and the 15% Magic Pen. I take the Magic Pen because the base damage of Judgement is magic as is all of the damage from Demacian Justice.
The Runes are fairly self explanatory.
Greater Mark of Desolation in both builds increases most of Garen's Damage, as most of it is physical attacks.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction in both builds gives 5.85% CDR.
One Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction in both builds gives another 1.65% CDR, which combined with the glyphs and masteries is just over 10%.
For the Carry build, I chose Greater Seal of Critical Chance as the bonus damage from Judgement can crit, as can Garen's auto attacks. I also took 2x Greater Quintessence of Desolation for the extra ArP.
For the Tank build, I chose Greater Seal of Evasion and 2x Greater Quintessence of Evasion giving a base 9.75% dodge.
The Carry build is fairly standard. The one item that I took that most other DPS builds don't take is Ionian Boots of Lucidity. Most builds take Boots of Swiftness. I think that the CDR is a greater gain, as when you're running back you can use Decisive Strike more, to give you the effect of Boots of Swiftness. Additionally when in combat, you get DS more, and Swiftness doesn't give that much combat effectiveness.
Other than that you want to rush a The Brutalizer. It gives you everything Garen loves- AD, CDR and ArP.
The Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer, The Bloodthirster and The Black Cleaver are all non-core items. You do want to get an item that has the B. F. Sword in it for the huge amount of AD, but it doesn't matter too much. Do note that Judgement is NOT affected by Lifesteal, even the physical damage portion.
Again, the tank build is standard. I go for gold per ten items quickly as your goal is not to get kills and last hit all the time, everywhere. Getting those is nice, but you'd rather have your carries have them. So you're going to need the extra gold. Also those items build into items that you're going to want later, so you're not wasting them.
If you want to get Ninja Tabi for extra dodge and armor instead of Mercury's Treads get a Cloak and Dagger to replace the Sunfire Cape
I strongly suggest the Yomuu's Ghostblade, but if you don't want it, grab Ionian Boots of Lucidity to remain close to 40% CDR. Then replace your Mercury's Treads with a Cloak and Dagger.
If you want to get rid of Yomuu's Ghostblade and are ok with getting a less-than-ideal item, go for Shurelya's Reverie. It does offer HP and HP/5, but it also wastes some itemization on MP/5. Build the Philosopher's Stone when you would build the Avarice Blade.
I personally haven't tested Frozen Mallet extensively enough, but I am planning testing with it and it feels like a good fit for adding to this guide.
In summary, be this guy.
Let loose the commenters of war.