Build Guide by NqTiK

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League of Legends Build Guide Author NqTiK

Garen Tank

NqTiK Last updated on January 16, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 4

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 22

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 4

Chapter 1

1. Introduction

Garen is a melee champion that has no mana pool, thus only relying on cool downs. He reminds me somewhat of Mundo, especially his passive, but is more Carry/Damage and less Tanky. He is definitely a very fun champion and a welcomed hero to the league. He is also quite easy to play, very simple spells and makes a competent ganker. All of Garen's Abilities do physical damage, so don't worry about Magic Penetration or Ability Power.

Garen can be played one of two ways; a strong melee carry or a team based aoe tank. It depends on your team's abilities and champion composition as to what items you should build. If your team has a tank and some support, by all means, play to Garen's strength with DPS items. But if you need a damage soaker while still dealing pretty strong aoe damage, build him with more survival items. I actual favor playing him with more survivability.

2. Skills

Perseverance - Garen will regenerate .5% of his maximum health per second after not receiving damage for 7 seconds.

1 - Decisive Strike - Garen's next attack strikes a vital area of his foe, dealing bonus damage and silencing them.
Garen gains a 15/20/25/30/35% speed boost for 2 seconds. His next melee attack deals 30/45/60/75/90 (+) physical damage and silences his target for 2.5 seconds.
No Cost

2 - Courage - Garen's kills increase his armor and magic resistance. He may also activate this ability to give himself a damage reducing shield.
Passive: Garen's armor and magic resist are permanently increased by 0.5 every time he kills an enemy unit. This bonus is maxed at 5/10/15/20/25.

Active: Garen places a defensive shield on himself for the next 3 seconds, decreasing all damage taken by 10/15/20/25/30%.
No Cost

3 - Judgment - Garen performs a dance of death with his sword, dealing damage around him for 3 seconds, and reducing the duration of slows by 50%. Garen removes any slow effects on him at the start of the dance.
Garen rapidly spins his sword around his body for 3 seconds, reducing the duration of slows by 50% and dealing 60/90/120/150/180 (+) physical damage to nearby enemies every second. Garen removes any slow effects on him when casting Judgment.

The bonus damage is further increased by Garen's critical strike chance. Damage to minions is reduced by 50%.
No Cost

4 - Demacian Justice - Garen calls upon the might of Demacia to deal a finishing blow to an enemy champion that deals damage based upon how much life his target has missing.
Garen calls upon the might of Demacia to attempt to execute an enemy champion, dealing 175/350/525 magic damage plus 1 damage for every 3.5/3/2.5 health they are missing.
No Cost

3. Summoner Abilities

Cleanse and Flash

Cleanse is necessary on melee heroes against CC. Flash is great for initiating and when you find yourself in trouble. Ghost works as well. You can replace Flash with a spell of your choosing below.

Ignite useful for finishing off a hero after Demacian Justice.

Ghost is useful for running and catching enemies.

Exhaust to shut down Jax in your face.

4. Masteries + Runes

Depends on the summoner. I favor Offense for DPS and Defense for Tank. SHOCKER I KNOW!

21/9/0 Offensive Build
9/21/0 Defensive Build or 4/22/4 Defensive Build
(if you use Ghost, grab the improved over Nimbleness)

Marks = Greater Mark of Desolation
Seals = Greater Seal of Evasion
Glyphs = Greater Glyph of Focus
Quints = Greater Quintessence of Fortitude

5. Survival Garen

Summoner's Rift

Doran's Shield + Health Potion or Ruby Crystal
Heart of Gold + Boots of Speed (you can sell the Heart later or build Ranuin's Omen)
Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi
Aegis of the Legion

After this, there are basically a few items to choose from, depending on your enemies and what your team needs.

Frozen Mallet + Atma's Impaler

Awesome damage with strong survivability. This is my normal build.

Physical Tank
Randuin's Omen + Sunfire Cape

When your team needs more of a tank and playing against a physical team.

Magic Tank
Force of Nature + Guardian Angel

You are the tank playing against lots of magic users.

Twisted Treeline

Doran's Shield + Health Potion or Ruby Crystal
Heart of Gold + Boots of Speed
Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi
Phage and Aegis of the Legion (get Aegis first if your team needs magic resist)

Now you either want to go Damage or Tank.

Frozen Mallet + Atma's Impaler

Randuin's Omen + Frozen Mallet

6. Playing as Garen

Laning Phase

You're going to want to take a side lane, he is not the best solo hero. Be very aggressive, as much as you can. With the Greater Quintessence of Fortitude, you will have 648 health. So let's say they hit you to half health. It will take about a minute to recharge you to full health. Not bad at all, but it may feel like a long time. Especially if a those annoying minions keep breaking your passive.

Once you hit 6, go for a kill on a harassed enemy and give your teammate the heads up. He works well in lane with a stunning partner. Taric is your best friend.


You want to push your tower and get some player kills. Once you drop the tower, move to mid for a gank and to push it as well. Make sure someone is still protecting the lane you just left. He excels at mid game with strong abilities in Judgment and Justice, and the silence from Strike is just tasty. Garen makes an excellent farmer once you complete Infinity Edge. Always spin through a lane of minions when available.

Team Battles

You are the strong carry and you want to tear face. You are the initiator and you only do so if your team is right there to back you up. No 1 v 3's please. Make sure you activate Courage and head straight for your target with Decisive Strike. Always silence people with scary ultimates and abilities. Spin around and wreak havoc. Watch them separate and run, only to reactivate your Strike and Youmuu's Ghostblade to chase and silence. Then another spin for the kill.

It's important to know when to use your ultimate. If they have Alistar and all your team is doing is plinking away at his health to no avail. Target him and try to get him around 1/3 of his health and drop a heavenly sword on him. Focus fire will kill any champion, even Jax.


They should fear you if you played an aggressive match. One on ones are no contest with your silence, spin, and ultimate. Keep the pressure on them and never let up. Your spinning crits are the scariest thing to face, so expect to be stunned and focus fired first. We combat this with Cleanse before the spin, then Strike them, Courage, Spin their faces off.

If you are at 1/2 health, it will still take around a minute to fully recover, again not horrible but it could be faster.