Garen Build Guide by Jetnix
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.
Hello everyone, Jetnix here with my very first guide. I've wanted to make a guide for Garen for some time now because I really would like to see people do better with Garen within our community. No offence to anyone, I just see many people play him as a tank and it bugs me when as a tank he misses out on so much potential damage! Garen is probably the strongest early game champion in League of Legends (besides maybe Renekton?) and as a tank yes he may have good or even great damage early game but by level 6 he will quickly be doing very little damage at all meaning there will be no purpose to target him which is the point of the tank, as a tank you WANT to be targeted. I mean it's rare you even see a Garen use Demacian Justice correctly! Even level 30's will use it incorrectly which can be kind of humiliating to watch that Teemo get away with a bar of HP. I would really like to inform people that would like to play Garen effectively on how to do so, or just give you my view on how to play Garen or more like
how I play him.
Also please use the build before you vote thanks :)
Pros and Cons
+ Very strong early and mid game
+ Can survive ganks quite easily (using Decisive Strike's speed boost or Courage to take less damage
+ Consistant scores (kill/death ratios)
+ Easy to farm with (basically use Judgment)
+ Perseverance allows him to stay in lane for a LONG time if you just stay back by your turret or even sit in a bush nearby if your lane is pushed
+ Naturally tanky
+ If fed enough can cause a surrender vote :)
- Slow attack animation can make it hard to last hit
- Has no ranged abilites besides Demacian Justice and ranged attack with only 400 range
- Gets killed very easily by AD carries late game like Caitlyn or Tryndamere
- Late game his main perpose is to silence the opponent's AP carry ( Lux and Veigar) or whoever is the biggest danger to the team because of their abilities like Curse of the Sad Mummy
Masteries and Runes
(unless they can't even survive 2 seconds of your Judgment which happens)
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration
EXHAUST will ensure kills early on or force a Flash.
Try to force the opponent to use Flash and the next time you get the chance to kill him/her then you use your Exhaust. It can prevent you from being kited by your opponent as well causing them to take the full amount of punishment of all your abilities.
I use FLASH on every champion I play no matter what. Flash has unlimited amount of purposes. Like you are at dragon and you see the enemy Lux and Leona coming for you. Just go to the edge of the dragon's lair and Flash over. It can save you from mistakes like that and can be even used offensively. Garen will force the opponent to use their Flash quiet often and sometimes you using your own Flash to close the gap may snag yourself a kill you wouldn't of gotten without it. Sometimes it can be just required to Flash in for you to use Demacian Justice for a kill that would of gotten away otherwise.
GHOST is a very nice spell to have but the only reason I do not use this on Garen is because Decisive Strike has a mini built-in Ghost. Ghost is situational on Garen because maybe you got to chase down a Shyvana or something.
IGNITE would basically be a back up for your Demacian Justice. Reason why I do not pick this spell is because I only use ignite to finish an opponent, and that is exactly what you use Demacian Justice for. So if you Ignite before you use it you probably just wasted your Ignite unless you knew they had Heal or you used Demacian Justice way too early. If you are not used to Demacian Justice just yet then Ignite could be used to ensure the kill encase you mess up.
HEAL I would say isn't the best for Garen BUT it can be used to bait people into attacking you when they usually wouldn't. Only problem with this is its the oldest trick in the book. It may work like once a game but after that it would probably just be used to save an ally or give you an edge in a team fight. I would say Heal is situational as well.
CLEANSE is entirely situational because if the opponent has very little CC then this spell is practically useless on any champion. Chances are if you are level 30 every game will have some sort of CC but no guarantees. But in the right situation it can make the difference between you surviving or not.
I would only pick TELEPORT if I knew the people on my team do not know how to defend, which you never really can tell. This could help save a tower or be completely worthless the whole game. Another siuational spell.
I do not really see of a purpose of having SURGE on Garen sense his main damage comes from his abilities, not his auto attack. I have tried testing this but if you can prove me that Surge can actually be viable on him then submit a video of you playing Garen and actually making a good use of this spell then I may have to revisit Surge.
Not much to say about PROMOTE because I don't find it too viable except maybe on a support? Nah still kind of worthless. Only reason this spell isn't in the WORTHLESS category is because it actually serves some sort of purpose, somewhat.
Your not jungling.
Garen doesn't have mana.
Leave this spell to the supports, please.
No idea why this spell still exists honestly with its 540 second cooldown. When I first started to play League of Legends after about 3 games I realized Revive sucked. Only way I could ever see this being viable is if you were Karthus and you used it to get a kill or 5? But when does that ever happen?
Skills... and how not to fail with Demacian Justice
Finally to the fun part... Garen's abilities go together so well because they allow him to catch up to his opponent, deal a large amount of damage, if needed deal the finishing blow with Demacian Justice and then if being attacked get away with hardly taking any damage compared to most champions. Garen gets fed very easily if played right or even played wrong at times because of his large damage output early yet learning how to use his abilities correctly and know what you are doing will make a much more enjoyable experience.
For anyone who has played Dr. Mundo this is basically a worst version of his passive. It is still a great passive for Garen to have because if you take a large amount of damage if you stay out of combat for 7 seconds you will begin to regenerate 0.5% of your maximum HP per second, It is better than it sounds trust me.
This is your "Q" ability. When used it gives a 35% movement speed increase for 4 seconds at maximum, which can be used to get away quite nicely. Specially if you have purchased Boots of Swiftness. But that isn't even then best part of this ability. Your next basic attack within 6 seconds of activating Decisive Strike will deal a large amount of attack damage! The ratio is is buffed by is 1.4 of your basic attack damage so it deals MORE than a basic attack (unless your hit a critical strike). At maximum this wierd sort of "basic attack" silences the target you hit for 4 seconds! Decisive Strike has the longest silence I know of besides Viktor's Chaos Storm sitting on top of someone. Sadly this ability cannot hit a critical. When this ability is used early in the game you will see a large chunk of their HP disappear. You will know the power of Decisive Strike after only your first game playing Garen (if you used this build that is).
This is your "W" ability. It is a nice defensive ability that reduces the incoming damage by 36% for 4 seconds at maximum. Can be useful in some cases and in others it can save your life (It does not reduce incoming damage from an Ignite). It also has a passive that for each CS you achieve after spending a point on this ability you gain 0.5 armour at a maximum capacity of 25. The cap does not go higher in each level. When you activate this ability Garen says his iconic phrase DEMACIA!!
This is the ability you think of when you see Garen. It's Garen's "spin" which is also the main source of all of Garen's damage. Never underestimate this ability, because I have used this ability alone to kill multiple people. Judgment is an AoE spinning attack with a range of 330. An added bonus with this ability is when activated all slows are removed from Garen and all incoming slows while spinning are reduced by 50%. It's unnecessary for this to be added but I'll take it! I have gotten Judgement to hit up to 350's a second at around level 12. This ability will literally run over and squishy champions like Annie or Teemo and devastate even the more off-tank champions like Sion or Irelia. This is one of my favorite abilities out of the many other champion abilities.
This ability is hardly even used correctly it seems when I see other people play Garen. The great thing about this ability is no matter if your fed or not is always does the same amount of damage per upgrade. It is a very dependable ultimate and over time you will begin to memorize how much HP in damage it will exactly do. Demacian Justice deals more damage the lower the target enemy's HP is so NEVER initiate with it. Also it is risky to use this ability on champions with spell shields like Nocturne and Sivir because it will completely waist your ultimate, and it does not have a short cooldown so always try to get a kill with it(I would also recommend to never use this ability on a blitzcrank because his spell sheild will activate and block your ultimate... kind of a tease). I would not recommend "KSing" kills with this ability though, as most Garen players tend to do. The reason why you would not want to do this is because yes you will help the team early through mid game but what happens when you have all the kills late game and your team can't do anything and neither can YOU. This is a mistake many Garen players make because it is literally so easy to KS with Demacian Justice. So be aware of this when using it. If you are new to Garen you can try to use Demacian Justice on relatively low HP opponents and see how much damage it does to get used to it. Its alright to waist it when your learning but you'll learn fast trust me.
Deal around 10% or 2 bars of a squishy opponent
Deal around 15% or 2.5 bars of a squishy opponent
Deal around 20%
Note: This damage is ONLY if the target is at the lowest 10%-20% of their HP so using it on a full HP target will do basically nothing.
How to use these skills in combination:
Garen's best friends are bushes so if you can find a bush that people tend to go into a lot stay right at the edge of where they enter. If they come into the bush (they usually will) initiate by using Decisive Strike and then basically use Judgment and follow them around. After Judgment end auto attack them once more and then retreat, and use Courage if needed anytime within all this. If you think you can kill someone Exhaust as you begin to spin, and by this time if they haven't Flashed they should be ready for your ultimate, this completely depends on the champion which you are facing though this is just in general how it should work. When someone walks into a bush that is called face checking and face checking can get you many of Garen's kills because it seems like people always walk right through bushes.
I used to include FROZEN MALLET in my build, until I realized how little you actually proc its slow. This can be a great item on Garen but I do not consider it to be at the top list of priorities on Garen, it is just your preference.
(this section is not finished, I am on vacation at this time and I will finish this section as well as add more to the guide shortly)
Thank you very much for reading my first guide I really appreciate it :)
soon I will add more pictures, videos, and add optional items that work for Garen as well because the items in my build are not the only items for Garen I use many others just that specific build is great for a dependable Garen build. I will try to keeping adding to this guide as I see fit basically.