Garen Build Guide by Wongstar
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.
Tanky DPS (Spin-To-Win)
Totem of Choice
Final #1: Spirit of Demacia (Spin2Crit2ArP2Win)
Order of Purchase
Final #2: Anti-AD
Final #3: Anti-AP
Final #4: The Guardian
Hello dear summoners
welcome to my first guide at MobaFire. My name is Wongstar from the EU West Server and i wrote this guide for all the players, who are making first experience with the LoL Champion Garen. He is one of my favorite ones in LoL, so I want beginners to make a good start with this awesome Demacian Knight. And if you want to play a Champion who looks cool and powerful, then you should definitely chose Garen. Besides he costs you little bucks, but gives you some awesome Might of Demacia!
Why am i writing a guide for Garen, while there are plenty very good guides here at MobaFire? Although i tried many other guides myself in the past to master my Garen, i have found my own way to build & play my Garen due to my own priorities. What I need: high AD Power, high Critical Strike Chance and good Survivability via Health+Armor+Magic Items in Mid Game! But also I want high Armor Penetration for Mid - End Game for not dropping off against other full-built Champions.
Many professional Players would suggest you a classic Off.Tank.build with starting Sunfire Cape, Spirit Visage and Frozen Mallet for a safer gameplay, but that's not my playstyle. I need aggressive pushes right from the beginning, while being attentive to enemy movements. So maybe if you are used to build Garen tanky like them, you would be stunned after looking at the cheatsheet by the flash-thought: Infinity Edge + Atma's Impaler for the End Game? Yeah, if you(r team) can dominate the game after finalizing your Core Build, and you have lots of money, go for this deadly Critical Strike Combo. Atma's Impaler is imo a good Final Item, because it's cheap and provide you with extra Armor and extra Damage based upon your stacked Health. Besides you have a total of 40% Critical Chance! That's so brutal, if you can land a hit followed by your spin.
Challenge of this guide: It requires you to play your Garen correctly to farm alot early, what i will show you in this guide. The Price you get: If played correctly you can dominate your Lane very fast and then dominate the whole game thereafter with your team.
I won't tell you, that this choice is the only or best way to build Garen. A build is only as good as how the player can use it properly. So if you are more like a defensive player, plz go for another build instead instant downvoting this one. This here is a personal recommendation for how i have played Garen successfully over two years.
As a beginner you need to learn, what style you like to play, because if the playstyle makes max fun for you, you can make the best out of you. So most important is: Find your own style with this fantastic Demacian Knight. Just do it!
The Role of this Champion
- Role: Garen should not be played as a Full.Tank, nor should he be played as a pure AD-Carry (with little to zero sustain). Due to his characteristic stats he is in his Core a Bruiser - a mix of AD-Carry and Tank. It's simply because his abilities scale insanely with AD-Items and benefits from Armor + Magic Resis Items.
- Position: In most games you will play him Solo Top because of his high Melee Damage and Good Survivability, but weakness against Kiting. After taking down the Top Tower, you should go for some powerful ganks at the other Lanes, though priority is Mid lane. When teamfights start you should not play him as a Damage Sink in first place - that is the role of a Fulltank!
- Job: Garen's job is to quickly break through enemy lines and assassinate the Carries of the enemy team and then take down the rest with the whole Teampower. Some players would rather suggest to play Garen as a Carry Bodyguard. But that's not my playstyle, because i believe more in Offense is best Defense!
In this guide I will show you a basic & powerful Core-Build for Mid Game, and then you have some options to finish your build depending on the match-situation. With this guide of mine i show you how Garen can be a very deadly and fast Killer in almost every situation. The only challenge you have to deal with is to dominate your lane quickly and farm alot to finish the most powerful Crit-Damage Item Infinity Edge. It's not easy and maybe some will prefer a The Black Cleaver as Start Offense Item.
Thank you for playing Garen and wishing you good Luck and big Fun with him!
If you have some ideas to optimize my approach, i enjoy to read your constructive comments + ideas. And if you have success with this guide, pls don't hesitate to upvote. Thx!
In the Cheatsheet above you can find my other "classic" Garen Builds. They are more agressive to begin with. So if you have no difficulties with aggressive Approaches, then try the other ones.
"For the Emperooor!.. oops i mean... for DEMACIAAA!"
*** Attention: Visual Update on 1st Oct 2013 ! ***
For a first impression watch this impressive spotlight!!!
Pros + Cons
- adaptable to situation after early game
- high Attack Damage Value from early game until end game
- high Critical Chance Value after mid game (spin-to-win)
- high Armor at early-mid game already
- high Armor Penetration value possible (spin-to-penetrate-to-win)
- good extra Health possible
- high Magic Resistence possible
- not a short guide, will take some of your time
- its a guide for LoL Beginners, Advanced Players can miss some more depths in some aspects
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
This here is usually the Standard Rune Build, which you should go for Melee Fighters. Its a good Build because the benefits are quite reasonable.
- Greater Mark of Armor Penetration - for higher damage at midgame until endgame
- Greater Seal of Armor - for more survivability during laning phase
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist - for more survivability against mage attacks
- Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage - for more better creepkilling ability during laning phase
Masteries are placed based on personal preference depending on the own playstyle. Now with S4 in my opinion it's optimal for Garen to have 15 points put in each offense & defense masteries, which enforce Garen in his Attack Power and boost his Defense Strength from Perseverance & Courage throughout the whole game. Keep in Mind: Never put down your guard, but still don't forget:Offense is best Defense. So go for the following masteries:
- Double-Edged Sword A Double-Edged Mastery, but any additional Damage can let you kill faster! Garen will get more tanky anyways, more tanky than most other Champions, so don't fear
- Sorcery boost your CDR by 5%! (1% more than in S3!)
- Brute Force and Martial Mastery and Warlord boost your attack damage throughout the whole game fiercely
- Executioner Make you reach the PoA for your Ultimate Skill Demacian Justice faster
- Block and Unyielding Increases your Defense Power against Enemy-Champion-Attacks greatly
- Recovery Makes Garen heal even faster
- Veteran's Scars and Juggernaut Extra Health right from the beginning
- Enchanted Armor , Hardiness and Reinforced Armor are all boosting the Defense Power of Garen even more, so you can stay longer in lane at early game and against incoming Enemy Damage
The Changes i did for S4 can be felt, since i balance Garen a bit more now than i did in S3. All making him have a bit more sustained Survivability without losing too much of the great AD Power of this build.
Spells are the summoner bound abilities. You can use two summoner spells during any match in the Fields of Justice. You select them during the Champion Selection before each match and they cannot be changed if the game has started. So chose wisely, because sometimes the spells can save your champion from being killed in fights or they can help you to secure kills for your team. In this chapter i shortly recommend you some useful spells for Garen.
First thing you have to know as Beginner: Garen's Main Attack Skill is his E.Skill Judgment and NOT his Q.Skill Decisive Strike! So your aim is to max out Judgment as fast as possible. Of course you also need to put points into your ultimate skill Demacian Justice whenever you have the opportunity. But don't forget: Your main skill is still Judgment.
His Passive can regenerate Health if he is not attacked for a while. This is quite nice at early game to keep you long in lane, but later at mid - late game not high enough to be useful unless you stack up Health.
The Q.Skill is Garen's initiation attack to storm into an enemy, but since it is a very predictable attack, you need to combine it with Flash as a gap.closer unless you have an enemy who lacks on escape options. Sometimes you need Decisive Strike maybe even with Flash to get away from enemies if your health is low. What i personally like very much on this skill is the fact that it 1. can also do Critical Strike Damage and 2. can damage Towers and 3. scales insanely with Attack Damage items aaand 4. it frees you from Slows! That's absolutely awesome!
The W.Skill gives Garen high sustain very early even without defense items and it decreases Crowd Control duration by 30%. But keep in mind: Courage scales with bonus armor and magic resistance values of your items! So you need to boost both of them at the latest in midgame. Try to use this skill to tower dive if the enemy has low life and hide under the tower. You won't die if you kill fast and escape quickly.
The E.Skill is Garen's main attack skill with excellent farming power because of its AoE. It deals physical Damage for 3 seconds. You can deactivate it after 0,5 seconds if you want and you ignore unit collision but have a 20% Movement Penalty. To max out the effectiveness use this skill in front of your enemy not behind him, so he must go through your spin, if he tries to escape. You can activate Decisive Strike during your spin to strike right after your spin is over. But you cant use Demacian Justice while you spin.
The R.Skill (Ultimate Giant Magic Exection Sword from above) is a powerful weapon to finish Enemies off with relatively low life. Note: It is one of the best skills ingame to kill off Tanks!. You have to keep in mind that it does Magic Damage which scales with the remaining health of the enemy - the less he has the more damage you deal. So DON'T you ever use it until your Enemy is heavily wounded (Health approx. below 20%) or he will escape. So you must wait for the right Point of Activation (PoA) - TIMING is crucial here!
Garen's Attack Combo is simple to perform: (Flash-Exhaust-)Strike-Spin-Shield(-Execute).
If your Flash is Button 'F' and Exhaust is 'D', then it's ('F'-'D'-)'Q'-'E'-'W'(-'R')
Your Q.Skill Decisive Strike is your Initiation Attack Skill, so you storm right into your Enemy. Because Garen only runs into an enemy unlike other Champions Skill like Xin Zhao's rapid Audacious Charge you have to evaluate the situation before attacking. Is your Enemy right next so you can reach him before he can get away or is he too far? If the enemy is quite far away from you and you want to catch up, then u need Flash to do this. But be careful, if you get ganked you dont have anything else than Decisive Strike to run away. And in most cases thats not fast enough, especially if the enemy can slow your Movements.
This is my preferred order of skill leveling. It's quite a standard recommendation since Garen's main attack skill is the E.Skill Judgment.
You should put 1 point first at Q.Skill Decisive Strike for better mobility right from the beginning. Leave it by 1 point after you have put as much as possible points into the other skills.
Directly after your first point set on Decisive Strike focus on E.Skill Judgment, so give the following 2 points to it.
Put your fourth point in W.Skill Courage to raise your defense values, since your lane enemy in most cases already raise AD value at this time.
Go on with Judgment until Demacian Justice is unlocked and put your sixth point to it.
After that it's quite simple to level up your skills. Max out Judgment, then focus on Q.Skill Decisive Strike - it's your iniation Attack and it scales insanely with Attack Damage Items. Don't forget: Whenever you can put points into R.Skill Demacian Justice, just do it.
The remaining points after maxed-out R, E, Q go into W.Skill Courage to prolong the duration of your magic shield, that absorbs 30% of incoming Damage, so to survive heavy solo or teamfights at late game longer.
Since the rightly chosen items are essential to build up an effective Garen, i will give this chapter a little more depths, so to show you what Garen really needs to become one of the deadliest Melee Fighters on the Fields of Justice. As you have seen at the Example Builds at top, you should consider following Priority Order for Garen's items: Attack Damage (AD), Armor (ARM), Health (HEA), Magic Resis (MR), Critical Strike Chance (CSC), Armor Penetration (ARP), Cool Down Reduction (CDR). Everything else like Attack Speed (AS), Lifesteal (LS), Ability Power (AP), Mana, etc. are not important for Garen. So lets check the items i recommend to you for building up Garen as a True Might of Demacia.
Early - Mid Game Items
The first 20 minutes will decide if you can dominate your lane or not. With these items you can stack up enorm damage while you have good options to raise your sustain against incoming damage. Make sure you activate your W.Skill Courage to raise up your defense values, when exchanging strikes with your enemy. Try to farm as much as possible at the beginning, don't start a fight before you get your first offense items, you wont do much damage. If the Enemy is coming too near, try to harrass him with your Q.Skill Decisive Strike and E.Skill Judgment. But still watch out for ganks and keep your distance, while making many last hits on creeps. When you use up all your Health Potion, go back to base, get your items + potions ( + sight ward if you can afford it) and then rush back to lane with your Q.Skill Decisive Strike. Don't fight with low life, you will lose even with Courage activated!
Mid Game Core
This is my new Mid Game Core Build, which is superstrong. You can succeed to build it up, if you don't let your enemy push you out of your lane, but instead staying long for farming a lot. You have Movement Speed Boost, Anti-Slow, Magic Resistance from the Shoes, but most important you get high Damage & Health & Armor & additional Magic Resistance from the three other Items. And they don't you a lot.
Even with all the extra Armor, Health and Magic Resistance, your Garen still can die very fast, if you do mistakes, because an experienced players knows how to fight Garen. And the worst thing that can happen is, that you don't reach your enemy but instead you get damaged. So what does it mean for your Playstyle? -> You need to play safely, avoid damage as much as possible, and if you get engaged by your opponent, you have your high Armor by Chain Vest plus you can activate Courage to reduce the incoming damage. For Healing you have Perseverance plus you always have some Potions to use. So actually it's not a big problem to shift the Health Boost for later. On the other hand you will force your opponent to build very defensively (and maybe sub-optimal), so incoming damage should be manageable. In the next chapter i give you important tips for dominating your lane.
Mid - Late Game Items
After finishing the Pre-Core Build it's time to evaluate the situation and ask yourself, what Items you need from now till end game depending on all the other Enemies & their Abilities. Can you go on with pushing your Offense Stats, or is it better to gain more Defense Stats against e.g. Heavy AP (Burst) Damage. There are several very viable options for Garen either in Offense Items or Defense Items. Later I give you some few Final Build Examples, but that doesn't mean, they are the only viable ones. You can mix all kind of Items for your 4th-6th slots, but before doing that, you need to know the details of every single item and the synergy of them to each other very perfectly.
E.g. stack up Critical Strike Chance Items, stack up Armor Penetration Items, stack up Cool Down Reduction Items, stack up Magic Resistance Items, stack up Health Items, whatever. Make your priorities depending on the match-situation! You can't win, if you don't master Garen's Situational Items.
Final Build Recommendations
In this section i explain my final item build recommendations in detail and show you what pros and cons you get with each build. Finally i give you detailed information about the development of your Garen through the Match by each build. These builds should give you some inspiration, how Garen be build differently depending on your lane enemy and the rest of the enemy team. Look carefully, which enemies you are dealing with at the start of the game, then decide, which item build is best against them. Chose wisely and you get advantages at solo/teamfights. Make sure you farm alot to afford your legendary items fast. The faster you finish your build, the faster you can kill your enemies. Good Luck!
- Pros: very High AD (incl.AoE), very High ARM, High Health, High MR, good CSC, good CDR, good ARP, High Health Regeneration, very cheap
- Cons: low AS
The Idea of this build is simply to have a balanced build, which gives Garen a bit more Armor & Critical Strike Chance+Damage in End Game.
- Pros: High AD (incl.AoE), very High ARM, very High Health, High MR, good CSC, good CDR, good ARP, High Health Regeneration
- Cons: low AS
If you have to deal with one or more heavy ad enemies, then this is a very strong counterbuild. With a very high Armor Value plus High Health, you should take incoming physical damage without dying fast. Additionally you get a high chance for critical strikes and high Armor Penetration to cut through enemies, who dare to fight you, even when they stack up Health and Armor. Keep in mind, that you can slow Enemies with Exhaust and the Active from Randuin's Omen.
- Pros: High AD (incl.AoE), High ARM, very high MR, very High Health, good CDR, good ARP, High Health Regeneration, very cheap
- Cons: low CSC, low AS
If you have finished early - mid game core and could dominate Top Lane, but have to deal with Heavy AP Enemies from the other lanes, you should rush on Banshee's Veil followed by Maw of Malmortius as next items instead of concentrating on AD and CSC. The Magic Shields you get from both Items will save your butt in many situations! Really!
Because Garen is weak against CC and Kiting Attacks, you usually want to play him at Solo Top Lane against Melee Fighters. Keep in mind, that Garen can be very strong at early - mid game, if played well. So dominating your lane early is most important to make Garen be strong enough to survive Teamfights later. In this Chapter i show you which Lane is suited for Garen and then some basics for Lane Domination, which you need to master.
Solo Top Lane (recommended)
Garen's usual position in every match, since he is doing high Damage, has high sustain, but is weak against CC and Kiting attacks. Rush to Top Lanes Bushes with Decisive Strike. In most cases, you reach them faster than your enemy. Hide there to scout the enemy's movement. If your Lane Enemy comes unprepared near you, you can initialise the first fight with Decisive Strike. If you play well, he is the only one who takes damage, and so he must use health potions earlier than you need. The first fist exchange will give you a feeling of how powerful and experienced your lane enemy might be.
Bot Lane (not optimal)
Since on bot lane you have Enemies with high CC + Kiting Abilities, it is not recommended to play Garen there. The only chance to stay long at this lane is to have a support with good stun & slow down abilities, so that you can engage. Aim for the AD Carry, who can't take much of your attack damage. Be careful of ganks from the jungler. Set up sight ward at the river bush.
Mid Lane & Jungling (not recommended)
You won't play Garen at Mid Lane, because this is the lane for magic casters, which can kite you easily with AP Damage, which you can't resist much at early game. Although it should be easy for Garen to make fast Magekills with Flash, Exhaust and his skill combo, you shouldn't play him here, because: Where should your mage fight? At Top lane? At Bot Lane? Both not optimal for your mage. So let him fight at his best position. And let Garen fight at his best position. That's TOP!
Jungling Garen is a bad idea, though the idea is very interesting. Why bad? Because of following reasons:
- He has no gapcloser for good ganks, except using Flash
- He has no stuns, no slow downs from skill set for good ganks
- His passive Perseverance is not healing him fast enough, and btw it stops if you are attacked by monsters from the jungle!
- His Judgment is very weak at the beginning
- He needs very much gold for good builds, more than the jungle can offer
Note: Even though Garen is not suited to play as Jungler, you should farm the jungle from mid game on to earn money for items as fast as possible. Keep in mind that Garen doesnt need mana, so if someone of your team needs the Blue Buff from the Ancient Golem, leave it to him. The only thing that benefits you, is the higher Cooldown Reduction. So only take it, when everybody else in your team, doesnt neet it at the moment.
Farming & Harassment
Farming is very important at early game, much more important than killing the enemy. Of course, it will help you to farm without ruffle and excitement, if your enemy is on respawn time. But sometimes it's wise to play safely instead of risking a death, which will let you lose much time and dominance over your lane. Only go for Kills, if you are sure to succeed 100%. Otherwise it's better to harrass your opponent and push him back to base to lvl up yourself faster.
First thing to know about farming with Garen is to know, which skills he can use instead of autoattack to rush up killing creeps.
- Decisive Strike Use this skill to strike the siege creep, when its Health is low. Don't let it be killed by your creeps, or you lose much money. Do it, if the Enemy is out of range or he will use your cooldown time to attack you.
- Judgment Your main farming attack. Use this skill right in the center of a group of creeps to take out several simultanously. If your AD value is high, you can farm very fast.
Sometimes it is better to do autoattack + lasthits on the creeps and save your skills for sudden counterattacks of enemies. Keep your eyes on the minimap and figure out the location of your enemies. If you can't see one of them, then be careful.
Stopping the enemy from farming is very important to gain dominance over your lane. As long as your creeps are alive, you have more firepower on the enemy. Enemy creeps will fall faster and Enemy Champions will be shot by your creeps, if they attack you. At early game it is easy to harrass your enemy from farming with Decisive Strike. Strike your enemy, if he comes too near. He will be silenced for some seconds, so cant use his skills for farming himself. Wait for your attack, when the creeps started to fight each other. While your enemy is striked and retreats, you can use Judgment to spin after him, but always keep your spin at the creeps as long your enemy has high Health and there are still many enemy creeps. Go for a full attack, when all creeps are killed, and you have several creeps at your back. Your enemy will risk his life if he counterattacks. In most cases he will retreat to his tower.
Destroying the Enemy & Tower
There are some simple rules for fighting with Garen. Keep those in mind, when you confront the enemy.
- Always fight with caution and never let your guard down, even when you are attacking. The enemy's teammates wont sleep, so whenever you feel you are running into a trap, retreat.
- Except at early game, never go into a fight solo, unless you know the exact location of every enemy.
- Whenever it is possible, use your Skill-Combo to push your enemy back.
- Whenever your Enemy has low Health, be ready to use your Ultimate Execution Sword Demacian Justice
- Whenever your Enemy start to attack you (with his own Skill.Combo), activate Courage to deflect the Damage
- Use Flash to close the gap to your Enemy, e.g. for finishing attacks
- It's more safe to have a Supporter behind you, who can cover you, or a Jungler, who can gank in, while the enemy is distracted.
- You better wait until your Ultimate Demacian Justice is (almost) cooled down, before you go into a fight. Sometimes is just the difference of 1 second to win or lose a fight. With your Ultimate ready, you oftenly have that 1 Second Time bonus!
- Hiding in the bushes is always good for a fight initialisation. Hide in a bush and wait until your Enemy is within your reach. Should he come near you, rush in with Decisive Strike and spin, before he can use any skills himself.
- If necessary activate Courage to maximize your Protection.
- Use Flash and Exhaust wisely for attacks, you won't have them for escape
- Towerdive, if your enemy has low Health (read in respective section)
Whenever you have difficulties with your lane enemy, call your jungler to gank in. Tell him to come at the right timing and be sure, the enemy hasnt set a sight ward yet. If he did already, then tell this to your jungler, so he can take another route to surprise the enemy.
Whenever your Enemy is back to base, you should concentrate your attacks on the enemy tower. Definitely stop attacking the Tower, whenever you see the Enemy is approaching. He could either slow you, stun you or distract you, while his Jungler ganks in! Do it carefully, because nothing is more annoying than to die, because you can't avoid Tower Fire.
When the Tower is fallen, your Role is to support Mid Lane, while the Jungler can concentrate his ganks on the other side lane. Do it carefully, sometimes it is wisely to retreat before the enemy can gank you. Use Decisive Strike to damage the Tower. If you have high CSC you can even destroy it faster.
If your enemy has less than 30% Health and hides under his tower, you can risk for a Kill by Tower Diving! It is very satisfying. :->
You need Flash, Courage, Decisive Strike and Demacian Justice be ready and to act fast as lightning. Wait until your creeps are attacked by the tower and wait until the Tower fires a shot at one of your creeps. Flash to your enemy, combo him with Decisive Strike and Demacian Justice, and finally escape the tower attacks with activated Courage. Be careful, sometimes the enemy lure you to attack him, while the jungler is on his way to you. So be prepared.
In this chapter i want to give you a feeling for your most expected lane enemies. The following champions are mainly played at Top Lane, and if you play Garen at his Lane = Top Lane, then you should know how to deal with these guys.
When you have succeeded to make some kills at early game, got the Enemy Tower destroyed and maybe even finished your early - mid game item core build, you should aim for extended team work tasks. Now is the time to prove, if you can survive as a team or not, if you are a better team than the enemy. LoL is a Teambattle Game. So don't ever try to play solo. If you don't understand this, then you maybe should play offline solo games. Ok, lets start with the real things you must know for winning the match, together.
Warding is crucial to win a match. With Sight Wards set at the right positions you can gain control over the enemy's movement. Whenever you have destroyed your first Tower, the next time you go back to base, buy a sight ward for your team. You might spend some money for it, but you earn it back later, if you can harrass the enemy from farming the lane and the jungle!
- Do i still have potions? No? -> Need to buy at least 2! Yes? Ok, go for items
- Do i have enough money to buy a ward after buying an item? No? -> Ok, buy one. The rest money is for items
Ganking the Enemy
One of the favorite things, that Garen does in his free time, after doing his job on top lane, is ganking the enemy at mid lane and especially bot lane (where the fights usually take longer than yours at top lane). If you see enemies fighting your mates, tell them by "pings" on the minimap, that you are on your way to them. Tell your mates to be ready for support if possible. Take paths over the bushes, so that enemy can hardly see your movements. Check the bushes, if the enemy has set sight wards. You can tell that by seeing the reaction of the enemy, when you approach them. If you are sure that the enemy didnt notice your movements, then call your mates for a gank together. With your Decisive Strike and Judgment and some CC attacks from your mates, it should be easy to take your enemy down very quickly.
When the first towers have fallen usually the enemies are sticking together to make their way through your mid lane. Don't be careless, when you attack. Even if you are tanky, most times you can't take the full attack power from 2 or 3 strong enemies. At least have a support at your back, who can stun your enemies or even enforce you with Buffs.
Knowing the dragon in detail and be able to kill him quickly before the enemy team does, is crucial to win a match. On the one hand each player of your team gains extra gold, on the other hand you would hinder your enemy to get faster gold than you.
- Gold: 190 for each player on the killing team (+25 for the slayer)
- Experience: 400
- Initial spawn time: 2:30
- Respawn time: 6:00
By killing the Dragon at the right moment your whole team gets a gold advantage early to upgrade your item kits faster than thee enemy can do. Try to take down the dragon before the enemy notice. This will give you another advantage: Only you and your allies know the respawn time.
Beware, good players would set sight wards to control the Dragon. So it might be difficult to do it unaware. So don't ever try to kill the Dragon alone, especially if enemies are not visible on the map for you! You definitely will be ganked and worst - the enemy steals the Dragon away. Tell your jungler to set a Vision Ward if he can afford it. This would reveal enemy wards.
Same as Dragon. But in my opinion not as important as Dragon. If your teamplay is good, you dont need the buff to win the teamfights. If you are bad, then even the Baron Buff cant save you. BUT: Controlling the Baron to hinder the Enemy team from getting the Baron killed is crucial to win a match. If your team is fast, you can try to disrupt their attempt and maybe you can even destroy the whole enemy team plus stealing the Buff to storm their base.
When the first tier towers of the enemies (or yours) have been fallen, the first team fights will start. Now your team should have set enough sight wards to see the enemy's movements. If it comes to a confrontation of your team and them, you should know your role:
- Assassin the Enemy Carries as fast as possible, before getting killed (such like Ashe, Miss Fortune, Caitlyn, Draven, Ezreal, Sivir, Tristana, Varus, Vayne)
- Silence the one of the enemy team with the most dangerous ability, thats usually the CC ones (Stun, Slow Down, Weaken).
- Engage first when team fight has been initialised by someone else (usually the one with CC attack). Garen needs someone wo help him close the gap to his enemies, or he will be shot dead before he arrives!
- Give commands to your team! A true Demacian Warrior is always giving wise commands to his subordinates.
- Survive till the end to exexute the Enemy Tank with your Demacian Justice, when no one of your team can take him down.
Never forget - never ever fight solo after midgame, because the enemy does not! Even with the suggested item builds, Garen cant survive long, if he gets ganked and encircled by two or more enemies. If there is some enemy with gapclosing abilities, you can't escape, even with Flash. But with Teammates at your back or front, you will strike-spin-crit-execute the hell out of them. Promise!
In this Chapter i want to give you a feeling, which Champions are suited to fight with Garen. This is important to check at the champions selection, before the match starts. You dont want to fight with mates, who cannot support you in teamfights later! Since Garen is an aggressive Melee Fighter, you need to play with complementary supports/tanks. Look for such ones, who can do high Crowd Control (CC) with Stuns or Slow Downs, so you have it more easy to close the gap to your enemy.
Really strong support. With his Pulverize he can knock up all enemies around him and stun them. Thats your chance to engage with Garen.
Great stun with Bandage Toss and with his Ultimate activated, all enemies around him are stunned taking AP Damage. When you engage and spin, you or him might even get a Pentakill.
With a skilled shot with his arm he can pull enemies to you. With Power Fist he can pop enemies up to air. This is your moment Garen!
He or it can knock up enemies and silence them. You can engage without taking skill attacks for some few seconds. Go in for the Carries!
His Infected Cleaver slows the enemy. If you have a Frozen Mallet you two give much trouble for any attackers to get away, even with Flash
He can slow the enemy and boost movement speed of allies. Not bad. And if he activates his Ultimate you can help finishing off the enemies.
She can slow enemies with her Energy Blast from Inner Flame. Sometimes she can root enemies with Focused Resolve and protect allies with Inspire. With a good Karma Player you can hunt down enemies easily.
A more aggressive support. She can slow with Reckoning, heal you + boost your movement speed and in critical situations can give you invulnerability! Her Passive lowers enemy's armor and magic resis. Awesome! Just go for the kill with Kayle at your back!
A fantastic support + tank. She got 3 Skills (!) for stun and immobilization. You can hardly find a better lane partner. Just let her initiate fights and then directly go in for your deadly spin. If the enemies try to escape, let her root them with her Zenith Blade, while you engage again.
She can slow with Glitterlance, boost your movement speed with Whimsy and AP and let her pix shield you from damage. Besides she can empower you with Wild Growth. Really awesome support!
Garen's Heavy AP Sister. Great stun, great slow, great ally protection and with the correct AP items she might even steal his brothers show by taking away his kills.
He is just like Alistar - a real Monster, if it comes to knock up abilities and slowing down enemies while having high sustain and dealing great damage. With Malphite at your side you can almost have a garen-teed win.
He can slow enemies and knock up. He even can shield allies from enemy or Tower Damage. Not bat!
Her Dark Binding to root enemies is just as good as Lux Light Binding. Just wait for her shot, if it hits the enemy your Garen can storm in to strike and spin.
What an awesome support with all her slowdown, stun and knockup skills. You cant be more grateful to have such a beatiful skilled lady in your team. When enemies got imprisoned by her Aqua Prison its damn time to attack.
He is just like Garen a fantastic Bruiser, who deals decent damage with his magic abilities. His Ability Wither to slow enemies and Spirit Fire to reduce enemy's Armor are too good no to combine it with Garen's attacks.
He definitely needs a lane partner, who deals heavy damage, while he uses his Ice Blast to slow the enemy. With Blood Boil he can even boost your Attack + Movement Speed for 15 seconds (!).
Damn this awesome Assassin. He is just like Garen, a brutal Bush-Hider, who just jumps out for surprise attacks. His Stun and heavy Damage with High Armor and Abilities, which gives him free Tower Diving, are even more deadly if Garen joins the fight. No Enemy is safe under Towers.
Well, this lady is one of the best supports in LoL. She can boost whatever you want, Attack Damage, Armor, Magic Resis, Movement Speed. With her Ultimate Power Chord she can stun or even weaken enemies.
A fling back ability, a slowdown with [[Mega Adhesive] and very toxic air spread around. If he doesnt kill all enemies by himself, you can join in and secure the win.
One of Garen's best friends. He can heal, stun and do a decent damage while having good sustain. Together they are - just perfect. Nothing else to say.
One of the newest supports that entered the Field of Justice and he is extremely powerful in teamfights. With Death Sentence he can immobilize enemies by pulling them back to him. His Lantern shields allies from damage. And whenever he unleashes his Ultimate The Box in teamfight, its a garen-teed Combo-Kill for sure.
Wait for his Pillar of Filth and then engage. Its very difficult to escape without Flash or similar abilities. Besides his skill Agony is a welcomed Damage Boost for Garen.
This bear is simply awesome. He can throw back enemies and slow them with Majestic Roar. Usually he is built with a Frozen Mallet, so very hard to escape. With Garen's assistance they wreck Havoc in enemy lines.
After reading this guide, you finally might acknowledge, who is the true might of demacia. This guide is directed to beginners, who needs guides to play better. Furthermore this guide features my own play style. It is very possible, that it is not suited for every Garen Player. With this work i tried to combine many approaches to develop Garen, so that beginners might find their own style of playing this awesome champion on the fields of justice.
Garen is a very strong Champion at early - mid game and can still be very strong and dangerous at mid - late game as a teamfighter. He is a classic Bruiser, who can deal heavy damage but also can have high sustain. His role in teamfights is to rush in after Initialisation by someone else and concentrate his Attack Power on Enemy Carries successfully. If you like, you can buy him items for more Offense Power or with extended Sustain to soak more Enemy Damage. Its up to you. Just make wise decisions depending on every match situation.
Most important: Have fun with Garen and always remember his attack style: (Flash-Exhaust-)Strike-Spin-Shield(-Execute). Never forget, who is the true Might of Demacia! It's Garen! Show this in every match, and you'll get damn Respect from mates & enemies.
Garen has become one famous Champion in the Field of Justice because of his unique fighting style and bright demacian ideals. He may seem simple to play at striking on enemies and spinning through enemy lines, and simple do his skins appear, but if you look closely, they reveal more unique features than meets the eye. Take a decisive look at Garen's skins.
Desert Trooper Garen
Garen & Friends are soo hilarious. Have a Look into a day of Demacians.
Appendix#3: Thanks & Credits
Thank you very much for reading my guide at MobaFire. I hope you enjoyed reading it like i enjoyed writing it. I know that there are many things, what other Garen Players would do in other way. But in the end every player needs to find his own playstyle.
If you have any questions or advices or maybe even ideas for alternative super interesting item builds for Garen, feel free to write me in the discussion thread. If there is anything worth to add in this guide for you, i'll do it asap! Have fun with LoL and don't dare to look down on Garen or Demacia. You might be caught by an ultimate thundering Demacian Justice. haha
Jhoijhoi for her guides to help us to make good guides at MobaFire
All Guide.Writers for Garen at MobaFire with lots of stuff, which inspired me
My Wife for not killing me for putting so much time & energy into this work
My Family for supporting me (with foods. haha)
All the friends, who took a look and giving me advices
[26.11.2013] Update for S4!
- Recommendation for S4 Final Build "Spirit of Demacia", which can be completed in all three Approaches in the Cheat-Sheet
- Updated Title from "The Power of Steel-Legion [S3]" to "Garen - The Spirit of Demacia [S4]"
- Removes Alternate Starting Items "Anti-Gank" and replaced with "Totem of Choice" in the Cheat-Sheet
- Masteries-Points changed from very offensive 21-9-0 (S3) to balanced 15-15-0 (S4)
- Masteries-Section updated for S4-Masteries
- Summoner Spells-Section updated due to Masteries-Change.
- Added Changelog
[27.11.2013] New Banners for each Section + few section title changes. Also dropped two Final Build Suggestions in the Cheat-Sheet to make it a bit more slender
[21.12.2013] Minor grammar & spelling fixes.
[23.12.2013] Minor updated content for S4 in Section "Items".
[24.12.2013] Updated Section "Lane Matchup" with some missing Champions.
[28.12.2013] Made the Looks more slender by using some more Spoilerboxes.
[01.01.2014] Wish you all a Happy New Year 2014!!! Here come some content updates for the guide:
- Optimized "Order of Purchase" in Cheatsheet for Build 1 "Tanky DPS". Now showing more clearly, that this build starts with the lower tier Defense Items first, before finishing the Infinity Edge.
- Updated Build 3 "Heavy Bruiser" in Cheatsheet. Postponed Infinity Edge after Sunfire Cape for even safer early game.
- Updated Section "Items" by adding Alternative Start "Protection" with Doran's Shield for defensive gamestyle in early game (just what the Pros tell us to do in competitive games)
[28.03.2014] Updated with a simplified unified recommended safer Build Approach, which you just need to adjust after Midgame for the last two Items depending on the game situation.
[31.03.2014] Minor changes in the Introduction Section since the Critical Combo Infinity Edge and Atma's Impaler are shifted to the End Game Phase. I enjoyed the very early Critical Combo, but now with the new very good Core Build Garen doesn't need Crit early, but Survivability against all the new deadly Champs, which came after the Introduction of this guide.
[01.04.2014] Minor Changes in the recommended Purchase Order and Notes for the Final Builds. Two additional Final Builds "The Guardian" and "The Frozen Knight". Both are almost indestructible! :-)