Build Guide by Coopster
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.
"The most effective way to kill an opponent is to slice through the man next to him." -Garen, on front line strategy.
And that is exactly what Garen does. This is my very first League of Legends guide, but I have faith that it will do well. Garen is my main champion...and with this guide/build I rarely lose, though I almost always get fed extremely well. Sometimes for the hell of it I will go mid as Garen and completely dominate - though that's mainly because it's farfetched and it throws a lot of people off. It's not often you see the Might of Demacia himself charging down mid lane...I've had a few people quip at me for it, but they quickly change their mind once they see me get first blood. With this guide I Garen-tee you'll do well...get it?
The Mentality to have while playing Garen
A friend of mine mentioned this to me whilst having a conversation with him on items that grant on hit effects on Garen. What he told me was this:
"Don't build Garen to suit his auto attacks. Build him for his SPIN."Ever since I've started building for that, I would always do well. ALWAYS.
I'm going to say this once, and once only...armor penetration on Garen early game is VITAL. The quints add a much needed beef-destroyer for him, allowing you to get EASILY fed. And now that his spin has a one second less cooldown per rank, that's even EASIER!
Other than that, the runes can be anything you want. (For yellow and blue, that is.)
I've definitely had some heads turn around to me when they ask why I get a rank in ability power and spell penetration...and I'll tell you why. The ability power is simple. I don't use exhaust because ignite synergizes better with Judgement...so it's basically just a slot filler.
The spell penetration on the other hand...Garen's ult DOES do magic damage. Spell Pen is NEEDED FOR THIS.
As I stated above in the runes section, armor penetration on Garen is very much needed. This is why I rush a brutalizer as soon as possible...With the extra armor pen is gives (along with delicious cooldown reduction and AD) Garen's spin does a considerable amount more.
The sunfire is more than likely just for nostalgic purposes...I used to Sunfire stack. But there is also a legitimate reason why I get this...the extra health and armor are GREAT, and it synergizes beautifully with judgement.
The crit items are for obvious purposes. Garen's Judgement CAN crit for about 1.5 more damage per tick (Though this is just a guess, I'm not quite sure. I will update this information accurately when I can.)
And since Judgement only scales off of bonus AD, atma's is an awesome choice for him!
With Garen, attacking foes is simple. The Q>W>E combo he has is just too good. Silence your enemy (With a now buffed AD scaling ratio, more love for Garen!), shield that ****, and spin your way to victory. As much as I'd wish Garen was more of an advanced character...he's not. He has a very low difficulty ceiling, but that doesn't mean you can just run in with no health and expect to kill people automatically. Be wise with who you attack and don't be dumb about it. He's easy to learn, but difficult to completely master. You need to know when to fake out ranged carries (Too often when I started playing Garen I would Q at a ranged person, they would run, I would spin, and they would simply kite me to death) by using your Q, making them scared...they WILL be thinking "OH JESUS HE'S RUNNING RIGHT AT ME I NEED TO BACK OFF" and will come back after they realized you only used it to last hit a minion. They'll get comfortable with the fact you're using your Q often to last hit then WHAM! When they least expect it, actually attack them with your Q and Spin2Win, baby.
As a precaution:
THIS IS WHERE YOU MAKE OR BREAK YOUR GAME.
Lane phase is a very important time for Garen. If he doesn't get fed early on, your scaling is godawful and it's hard to recover. And while it IS incredibly easy to get fed with Garen in lane, it's still possible to NOT do so. This is where your team comes in. Pick someone with a bit of CC (I still find the Brother-Sister combo of Garen and Lux to be incredibly cute and lethal.) and you should be set.
You are GAREN, the MIGHT of Demacia. You need to be using your spin every single time it's up, and just in general have a mindset that you WILL KILL SOMEONE.
But don't be overzealous about it! After all, you are a commander of war and you must have a strategic way of going about things. If you have 100 HP, sit in your brush (your natural habitat!) and wait patiently like the badass general you are. Lie in wait and make your opponents fear the moment you're going to strike. That's what your passive is for, after all. Knowing when to attack is a key to getting fed. Make your foes think they're safe, then charge at them merciles-DEMACIAAAAAAAAAAA
By now you should be well fed and blending the enemy to bits. If not, don't lose hope...After all, that's what your ultimate is for! Although I don't recommend it, kill stealing is one of Garen's best tactics. But play smart. Get assists if you absolutely must. Save your ult for the beefiest person on their team, because that's your job. What I find myself doing is one man ganking their squishies, because your spin will decimate them. As I said before...be aggressive. You're Garen, and you're going to make them hate the fact that you're him by the end of this game.
There's not much to be said here. Q in and silence those who are damaging your team the most, W, Spin, Ult on their beefiest person (Or whomever has the lowest HP.)
A few last notes on abilities and such
A lot of people asked me during games why I never level my Q...the answer? Because I get more beef as I kill things when I max my W (.5 max armor and mag res per kill, up to 25 at rank 5) AND it gives me the ability to just absolutely tank things. (30% reduced damage @ rank 5.)
If you think I should add something to this guide, please feel free to leave constructive criticism in the comments. Hope you have fun with my favorite Demacian!