Garen Build Guide by Ablogqwer
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 merely a short build I have been playing with. Suffice to say, it is quite functional and includes a surprising amount of damage. It is also a WIP.
It is generally advised not to follow it to the letter and to allow yourself a little leeway when deciding what item to buy (considering the enemy's champions), especially WHEN to buy items.
The same goes for skills.
Finally: Garen, in ranked play particularly, is a counterpick offtank to top. You should probably not take him for any other reason. And you're not going to kill tanks with this build.
Since the bonus from runes isn't terribly significant, the goal is to be as effective in the early game as possible.
AD quints are also slightly better then their armpen counterparts when compared to marks.
Nothing complicated; standard meta for AD champs.
"Why not damage?"
Because this particular build only has the goal for you to kill carries and other bruisers, not full tanks, along with handling the fact you likely won't be farming as much as your own carries. While the +10% armpen is too nice to pass up, the offensive tree is not particularly powerful when compared to the use of the defensive one-namely, the massive cooldown reduction and the juggernaut masteries.
THE JUGGERNAUT MASTERY REDUCES DISABLES-IT IS NOT TENACITY. THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. - JUST LIKE CROWD CONTROL REDUCTION IS. And frankly, is better than tenacity.
Yes, this is a carbon copy of other people's builds.
Yes, that is only partly accidental.
Why not judgement?
Because you don't want to stay in melee with your enemies for any length of time, and with the nerf to judgement's raw damage (but buff to scaling) you may want to leave off building levels in it.
Whereas your poke is very strong, breaks slows... but you need a few levels to get that extra speed boost, especially if you are getting the boots much later. Similarly, a longer silence, which can help provide escapes in the middle of enemy bursts to aid in winning trades.
Other than that, standard and obvious. Build up your q to lane and escape ganks (I find the extra 1 second of courage helps to win trades). You may find you need more levels in judgement instead depending on the champion you're up against, or that you just need the pokes and fewer levels in courage due to the length of the exchanges.
Use your mind. If the enemy is bad in sustained fighting, try 2 levels of q, 2 in courage, and start maxing your judgement.
If the enemy is really, really good at it (jax comes to mind) stick with the pokes and use judgement to retreat/punish him if he follows.
Ah, the meat of the article.
Why doran's? Why TANK ITEMS?! Because garen isn't fragile, but he is slow as hell. That has always been a problem. This will make it hard to force you out of lane and give you much-needed gold. Combined with the longer speedboost, survivability shouldn't be a problem.
Of course, getting a doran's is a waste of time if your enemy (re: jungler and top) doesn't do AD. Try getting boots and three health pots instead, since ap champs tend to be fast and fragile.
Avarice blade and heart of gold: Your abilities crit now. The extra bulk also helps for a passive style of play. Considering that in the end game the carries will be eating all the farm, the extra gold will help quite a bit.
Boots: I would strongly advise boots of swiftness. It compensates for garen's lack of natural speed, and allows easier peeling and positioning to come in behind or from the sides of teamfights... along with escaping them without dying.
Still, neither mercury treads nor the cheap ninja tabi should be discarded, especially after examining the enemy's team layout.
ASSUMING IT CAN BE COUNTERED: SUPPRESSION AND BEING KNOCKED IN THE AIR CANNOT BE AFFECTED BY TENACITY.
SIMILARLY, NINJA TABI WORK AGAINST *EVERYTHING* THAT PROCS AS AN AUTOATTACK. This includes, but is not limited to, gangplank's gun and talon's cutthroat. It is more useful than you may think.
Infinity edge: Massive damage boost. You're already tanky. And, with boots of swiftness, incredibly fast. "But I already built an avarice blade!" IE is better than ghostblade, and you can easily yield back all of your money in case you have to sell it in later.
HP > defense. There's some math. Suffice to say, frozen mallet is a better pick than hexdrinker unless you're having troubles with the damage from AP champs. Maw, however, is not cost-effective when it comes to defensive measures, since it's mostly an attack boost.
"Why are hexdrinker and maw so useful?" Because most (with the exception of a few) rely on massive amounts of burst damage. The shield lets you survive that if they feel like targeting you.
With the way courage works now, getting a high amount of armor is very good. Further, the various misc. bonus from randuin's is very nice. Still... if someone else wishes to build it, you may be better off with thornmail-or if the enemies have no ad, an Atma's. Keep your mind flexible and options open.
Finish off maw for the bigger shield, slight addition to MR, and enjoy the massive attack boost late game.
The last is a wild card depending on enemy team loadout. Eyes open, pay attention. I tend toward either ghostblade or phantom because I desire more speed to get in and out of fights. Still, a black cleaver to assist your ally's carry, or perhaps a force of nature... it all depends on how the enemy champs are set up.
Flash + Exhaust is standard. With the mastery, exhaust becomes an amazing debuff that can be used offensively and defensively.
Again, depending on enemy team loadout you may want to go exhaust/ignite or ghost/flash.
With this build you'll have a particularly fast landspeed anyway, and you do not get as much out of the ignite buff via masteries as other champs do. You are also extremely strong early on.
The whole goal of this build is to fight passively, farm, and set your enemies up for a gank... or use your massive early-game advantage to rip into them and force them out of lane.
I realize it's mostly just huge textblocks. I may or may not change it later.