Garen Build Guide by xXTalentXx
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.
Garen's Back Story
Throughout Valoran, the resolve of Demacia's military is alternately celebrated or despised, but always respected. Their "zero tolerance" moral code is strictly upheld by civilians and soldiers alike. In combat, this means Demacian troops may not make excuses, flee, or surrender by example. Garen, the valiant warrior who bears the title "the Might of Demacia", is the paradigm to which these leaders are compared. Thousands of great heroes have risen and fallen on the bloody battlefields between Demacia and its preeminent rival, Noxus. It was beneath their mighty banners of war that Garen first met steel with Katarina, the Blade Mistress. The infantrymen who beheld this event (and survived) commented that it seemed as though the two were locked in a mortal waltz set against a symphony of clashing blades.
Garen, the pride of the Demacian military and the leader of the Dauntless Vanguard, returned from this battle breathless for the first time in his career, though some speculate this was due to reasons other than exhaustion. The plausibility of these rumors was bolstered when, in every instance thereafter, Garen seized the opportunity to encounter the Blade Mistress again. A paragon of Demacian ethic, Garen never entertained such allegations, for he knew others couldn't understand. Even simply the pursuit of a worthy opponent on the battlefield is, to a true warrior, the reason to rise each morning. The promise of one, particularly one so beautifully and diametrically opposed, is the validation of his existence.
"The most effective way to kill an opponent is to slice through the man next to him."
Garen, on front line strategy.
This is straight from the League of Legends Wikia
Read the whole guide if you are going to vote for it! Also Let me know if you do not like it and why you don't like it because every bit of advice helps!
GAREN IS NOT A TANK! HE IS ONLY A TANKY DPS BEING A TANK GAREN IS A WASTE OF ITEM SLOTS!
This being said I am not going to tell you that he can no what so ever be a tank because I be a liar. If your tank DC's or AFK's or Dies then it is up to you to tank.
Garen is a really fun champion that can carry a team with very little effort. It's a really simple recipe to destroy a team. Play Smart, Last Hits, and take advantage of your enemies mistakes. When you learn these three easy principles you will be spinning you way up the ELO ladder with a little solo queue luck to get team mates that don't leave the game or feed.
This is my first build so I will probably remeber things after submiting this is have to change things so bare with me. I will most likely being making changes to this build
The runes I have chosen are to get through early game armor so you can get those crucial first kills in the game. The armor pen will slice right though any enemies armor like it's butter. Also the runes will make you have a little more health and your cool downs will be reduced causing you to be able to spin you little butt off.
Masteries are really simple, it's just a simple 21/0/9 build. This makes your offense stronger and nothing defensively besides your cool down reduction. This allows you to spin to win but still pierce through armor like it's nothing. It works well with your runes and also adds some crit strike into your build to help you late game.
If you are not getting too many kills in the game you might want to trade in your Sword of the Ocult for something more useful like Warmogs Armor to give you more damage. I like Warmogs because it for one gives more health and secondly it boosts my passive for Atmas Impailer pushing my damage from around 86 up to around 114 extra damage. A Thorn Mail would be nice however for AD heavy teams or maybe even a Banshees Vail for AP teams
Do Not Sell Your Boots Of Swiftness(Unless your doing so great you don't even need your boots and want extra damage though I do not suggest selling them ever). I don't know how to get Mobafire to grey out the Sword of the Ocult rather than my Boots of Swiftness
These items are focused on making you do as much damage as you can with your Spin to Win. The SunFire Cape is a great item because it gives Garen a big sum of health and gives him extra damage in his spin because of the aura it constantly puts out and makes it easy to take down minion waves with only one use of your spin.
The rest of the items push more health onto Garen while giving him crit strike as well. The reason crit strike is good on Garen is because unlike characters like trynd where crit is crazy awesome because you can spam auto attacks and hit almost all crit, you are able to crit will all of your offensive skills like Decisive Strike and most importantly you can crit in your Judgement, this is rediculous because the fact you can jump into the middle of the enemy team and crit them all 4-5 times in a row. I don't care what character your playing 4-5 crits of around 500-800 if not more damage hurts like hell.
The Frozen Mallet is one of your best friend because of its on hit slow effect. This works so great with Garen because it slows any enemy that gets hit by you, this includes your Decisive Strike and your Judgement. Now having a skill that slows an enemy while it tears them apart seems very scary and almost like there is no escape, well let me tell you something, without the help of flash or ghost there is no escaping it. That is why Garen makes for such an excellent chaser.
This part is really short as it is an easy mind set.
Demacian Justice > Judgement > Decisive Strike > Courage
This is focused to get some burst damage and melt your enemies.
When attacking some one open with Decisive Strike as it gives you a quick burst of damage that can crit and it also silences your enemy for a second or so. Follow that up right away with Judgement and stick close to them. Right after I hit Judgement I click my ignite on them and watch their health disappear. If its a single enemy I usually wait to activate Courage until someone else shows up, they can do damage to me, or I am under their turret by the time their dead. Courage will eat up some of the damage you would take and allow you to escape with more health. By this time you have them dead or almost dead so a follow up of a Demacian Justice will clear them of their pain.
If the case is that the enemy is tanky like a Jax you may need to repeat the steps a few times to weaken them. In a game I just played I had a fed Jax that had some health items, I weakened him down by using Decisive Strike with an instant Judgement right afterwards and would cut him down by a quarter of his health. This is when you need to be careful, luckily he was not that bight and ran every time i jumped him so i got to get free damage on him until I used my Ignite and Demacian Justice to end him (I got a nice bonus for finally ending him).
Flash is just my "Oh ****" Skill that I use when I overextend and get ganked or my last resort for getting last hits on champions as they are about the get away.
Ignite is such a great asset for Garen because when you stack it with your Judgement and champions will melt like butter as you spin your little heart off.
This is just the normal explanation you could find in any other guide on this website. All it takes is you need to be aware of the map at all times. Also you HAVE to keep your minions under control, keeping the minions by your turret will keep you from getting ganked from the jungler and in turn keep you from feeding. If you have to worry about a ranged character top you can always keep those minions in front of you and right next to your tower, let them get punished by the turret if they feel the need to harass you.
The best part of Garen is that he doesnt depend purely on his jungler to get kills as he can easily kill most solo top champions. If the enemy has been taking turret/minion/harass damage and gets around half health feel free to jump with your flash and unleash your skills on him, this should rack up an easy kill for you and give you some free lane for a while. Before you flash jump the enemy make sure that you are sure the jungler is not in the bush waiting to gank you. You will be able to tell if the jungler is there by a few means though the first way is the way you should always be able to tell because you should ALWAYS HAVE A WARD.
1: You should have a ward in the bush and can see him waiting in it.
2: Your lane enemy is acting overly aggressive for being such low health(If low ELO this might just be because hes bad).
3: Your lane enemy seems to be hanging around the river bush more than usual.
Okay lets say you just have enough smarts to out lane the enemy and you can get a few kills off or you get no kills but you get leveled without any deaths. Now you get to go play the hard part of the game, you need to gank, team fight, and push lanes. Ganks is one of the better parts about playing Garen because he has his Decisive Strike that grants him extra run speed. This will allow you to get up to the enemy faster and burst them down with your skills. Try to gank players that are over extending and pushing you lane, these are the easiest kills in the game because you can usually get the stuck between you, your tower, and your teammate.
One thing you should know when playing Garen is that Garen can be good even without kills so when you go to gank and your teammate is someone like Caitlynn you should try to let her get the kill as she will be 100% better fed. Garen on the other hand can get 30 kills in one game and still not be able to carry the game like Caitlynn could. Either way it is always good to spread out the kills if possible.
Lastly as I say in the team work chapter, you need to time your attack during a team fight perfectly so that the enemies are not focusing you. As Garen has lots of health he still dies fast when focused by an entire team which causes you to not be able to Spin to Win. If you want more information on team fights refer down the guide to Team Work.
P.S. It's Common sense..... CALL MIA'S EVEN IF THE GUY WENT BACK FOR HEALTH!
Pros / Cons
+ Easy Champion
+ Strong Carry
+ Melt Almost Anyone You Want
+ Hard To Catch
+ Great Chaser
+ Has A Great Joke To Tell You
- Focused Easily
- Hard To Carry Games Late Game Without A Good Team
You need to have perfect timing for team fights because if you go to early into a fight you will be focus fired and be out of the fight before you can crit anyone. Then if you wait to long you team will be too damaged to continue the fight and will retreat, but if you can manage to get in while the team is distracted you should be able to tear them up expesailly if they are all in a blob. The enemy team will blob up alot if they are in a narrow area so right around Blue Buff is great for a team fight for you, plus it makes it easy for you to slip in the fight with out being noticed.
Judgement is the skill that Garen is known for, Judgement is the Spin to Win. The skill will turn Twitch, Teemo, Ashe, and any other squishies into mince meat. Before you know it you will notice you have 20 kills with only a few deaths, you will be called a noob for playing such an easy character but if you know how to play him you will be able to tell them to just look at the score board before they talk. This skill is the back bone of Garen and destroys anything in its way.
Last hits is important on any character but Garens farming gets easy after you get your Sun Fire Cape because the minions die from just one Judgement attack and you can push. Begining game is the only place you need to be careful at because you are solo top so you have to worry about jungler ganks. My way to eliminate this porblem completely is to manage my minions. How you do this is you want to focus on last hits, easy enough but you dont want to attack at all besides that. This causes you to be able to focus more on last hits and also it pushes your lane to your turret because you are not providing any extra damage. In many lower elo games you will see people auto attacking constantly causing a constant back and forth sway from tower to tower but this will cause the minion way to stay on your tower. You may think "gee that sounds like the last thing I want" but you will quickly relise that minions don't do much damage to your tower and if you play right you can keep your minions fighting theirs right out of the towers range. This will keep last hits easy for you and form a tight seal blocking the chance of a jungle gank because your constantly under your tower.