Garen Build Guide by xolker
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.
Welcome to my solo top Garen guide. This guide will help you with all you need to know about Garen and how to play him top lane!
Garen is a GREAT top laner with great sustain, great farm, and great harass because of his early damage.
In this guide I will show you my: Build, Masteries, Runes, Skill Sequence.
So let's get into this shall we?
Why AD Garen?
So, i've got this question quite a few times.
WHY AD GAREN: AD Garen is just so much better than a tank Garen, reason being most tanks in the game have some sort of a CC that is actually pretty good and usefull on all champions, not just AP squishies.
Alistar is a nice example, hes a tanky/support champ who has a nice charge into a knockup, great initiate and even stuns the enemy for a few seconds.
Let's compare that with Garen's Q, it silence's for a very short time, and only works on a few champions, you can't just initiate with this on any champion, you have to get it on the right one.
Straight up tank Garen doesn't do a whole lot of damage either, sure with an Atma's Impaler and a Warmog's Armor it sure will go up, but having these extra damage items is going to hope you're team a lot more than just tank Garen. You're tanky enough with this build so you'll be perfectly fine.
Pros / Cons
Great farmer mid/late game
Kill securing Ult
Not great CC
Item dependent late game
Useless when all skills on CD
Summoner's Wrath 1/1 For ignite
Brute Froce 3/3 AD, always good
Alacrity 4/4 Attack Speed, very nice as Garen's basic attack speed is very low
Scorcery 4/4 CDR, very nice on Garen
Deadliness 4/4 MOAR AD
Weapon Expertise 1/1 Armor Pen, basic AD masteries here.
Arcane Knowledge 1/1 This is for Garen's ultimate, it does magic damage so magic pen is going to help it hit harder.
Lethality 1/1 Basic AD mastery
Sunder 3/3 Again, basic AD mastery
Executioner 1/1 Basic AD mastery
So, what's with the 0 points in Vampirism ? 3% Life steal isn't much, it's not going to help you sustain in lane, its barely noticable and isn't really worth the 3 points.
And what about Havoc ? It's good, but how good is it? Losing out on 1.5% damage and gaining a stronger ultimate, as well as getting CDR for all you're skills is much better.
Again, its a pretty un-noticable difference just like Vampirism
Theres two options with the defense masteries I choose going this path.
Resistance 3/3 Good defensive mastery against AP's makes life easier
Hardiness 3/3 Good defensive mastery against AD's makes life easier
The other option is
I don't agree with this option however, as you're passive is enough HR, you're losing 2% armor and MR and that just isn't ideal for you're survivability, you want to take as less damage as possible and taking these masteries instead just isn't what you want to do.
This will be where you're last point goes, it's pretty obvious where it's going to go.
Summoner's Insight For flash, shorter CD is very nice.
Q, Max Second, take at level 1 for poke damage
W, Max Last
E, Max before Q or W
R, Max ASAP
9 Greater Mark of Desolation
9 Greater Seal of Armor
9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
3 Greater Quintessence of Desolation
Best runes for Garen, they just work best for him.
Marks: Armor Pen > everything else. Simple as that, even if those squishy champions get armor items you will still destroy them, as this is you're goal as Garen.
Seals: It's you're choice if you want to take straight Armor, Health, or Armor/lvl seals. I take the straight Armor, that's just me, do as you please.
Glyphs: MR/lvl > everything else. These are the best glyphs, simple as that
Quintessences: Again, more armor pen is fantastic, so do it.
Obviously there are many ways to go about you're runes, these are just what I use and I feel they are the best with Garen
Early Game: You want to start with Boots of Speed and Health Potion, you're passive is great for sustain and the HPots may seem overkill but the fact that you may end up barely surviving a gank, or a huge poke by the enemy champion you may need these HPots to get back to farming ASAP!
You're goals for 10-20 minutes during the game is two Doran's and a The Brutalizer if you possibly can you should also pick up Boots of Swiftness if you have the gold, if not don't worry about it.
Tip: REMEMBER TO WARD, anytime you go back get atleast two wards to ward the river for the next 6 minutes. This is a VERY important thing to do, sure you're support should be the one warding but you can help and contribute and even prevent a gank on you or your teammate.
Mid Game: It should be about 20-28 minutes into the game, you should be looking to have you're
and even a Phage if the enemy team is just going right through you, don't be afraid to buy defensive items either, you will be pretty tanky late game but that shouldn't stop you from starting to build these defensive items mid game either.
Late Game: This point should be where you are getting to the end of you're build. You're going to be pretty tanky at this point and they enemy team should probably see this and not really focus you too much. Even if they do you're tanky enough to the point where it won't even matter. Especially with the Guardian's you'll be just fine.
Now, one quick note don't be afraid to buy something else you feel you should buy instead of something in the guide. There may be a situation where you need more armor than MR, that's
fine, you don't need to buy a Force of Nature because it's in this guide, you could buy a thornamil, be smart and don't be afraid to change you're build during the game to get the max amount of survivability as well as damage.
I choose these items because it makes you tanky enough so you're not dying within five seconds, as well as doing a good amount of damage, to the squishies anyway, as you don't want to focus a Rammus or a Dr. Mundo as those champions are just way too tanky late game.
ITEMS YOU WANT TO CONSIDER
Guardian's Angel INCASE AP IS STILL DESTORYING YOU EVEN WITH Force of Nature
Sunfire Cape INCASE AD IS DESTORYING YOU. REPLACE: Frozen Mallet
Infinity Edge FOR MORE DAMAGE. REPLACE: Warmog's Armor
Quicksilver Sash INCASE HIGH CC ENEMY TEAM COMP/HIGH AP DAMAGE. REPLACE: Force of Nature
Last Whisper MORE AD/ARMOR PEN, VERY GOOD FOR CHAMPIONS STACKING ARMOR. REPLACE Frozen Mallet
DIFFERENT BUILDS YOU CAN USE
HIGH DAMAGE: Infitiny Edge
Boots of Swiftess
HIGH DEFENSE: Warmog's Armor
Force of Nature
Boots of Swiftness
HIGH BURST: Warmog's Armor
Boots of Swiftness
These builds you can use in different situations and you should consider buying these different items that aren't listed in the 'main' build incase you need these items.
Flash TAKE THIS AT ALL TIMES
Ignite THIS IS JUST MY OPINION, IGNITE + FLASH IS AN AMAZING COMBO, IGNITE MAY NOT BE FANTASTIC LATE GAME BUT EARLY/MID GAME IT CAN GET SOME NICE KILLS FOR YOU.
Exhaust YOU'RE CHOICE I PREFER IGNITE
Teleport TAKE ONLY IF YOU FEEL YOU'RE GONNA BE LOSING LANE SO YOU CAN B THEN TP BACK
Heal YOU SHOULDN'T NEED THIS, YOU'RE AD CARRY OR SUPPORT SHOULD USE THIS IF NEEDED
Ghost YOU'RE PLENTY FAST ENOUGH WITH YOU'RE Q, THIS IS JUST OVERKILL
Cleanse IF ENEMY TEAM HAS A LOT OF CC GO AHEAD AND TAKE THIS IF YOU FEEL THE NEED, ONLY DEPENDS ON OTHER TEAM COMP.
Wouldn't bother listing the others as they are useless on Garen so just decide between the ones listed at the top.
Farming is very important in the game and you should learn to do it very well, and know when to go for the last hit.
During lane phases you want to dominate the lane, the way to do this is: Stay at the minions, if the enemy even comes anywhere close to you just Q him and he'll run off, but stay at the minions. Only hit them when they are nearly dead, Garen does some pretty good damage early game even if you don't start Doran's Blade as I don't, as you see from the item build above.
You're Judgement doesn't do that much damage at rank 1 or 2, or even 3 for that matter so you can't really farm with it that early on, you can still use it for sure, but its not going to be a great farming tool until rank 4/5 or until you get some decent items atleast.
So you're stuck with just auto-attacking when the minions when they get low enough for you to kill them. This is perfectly fine as long as you're 'dominating' the lane like I said.
Garen is probably one of the easiest champions to farm with so it shouldn't be too much of a problem to out farm you're opponent.
What is Garen's goal?
You're goal as Garen is to focus the squishy champions, silence them anytime you can especially the squishy ones.
#1 Annie Always focus in team fights, doesn't matter if you're team is focusing her or not, this is you're job to LOCK HER DOWN! Take her out of the fight so shes completely useless.
#2 Ahri This champion is VERY annoying and VERY strong. Focus her, Silence, make her useless like you would with Annie you're team will love you for it.
#3 Kennen Great champion with high damage and very high CC, you can't really do much to him after he uses his ultimate but hes a champion you want to focus down ASAP, silence him anytime you get the chance, since he has to be in melee range for his ult and other spells it shouldn't be too much of an issue to get close to him.
#4 Ryze Does high damage, silencing him is just way too important for you're team to succeed in a team fight, stay on him until he runs away but don't chase, NEVER chase.
$5 Ziggs Annoying, that's all I have to say, he has a slow with high damage/low CD on his Q, just like Ryze. Never let him be free, stay on him and focus him, silencing him is just WAY too important, just like on all these champions listed.
All the AD carry's are pretty much the same, you're silence doesn't do much to them because they focus more on auto-attack damage, and focusing on the AP carry's are far more important by far.
However, nothing is stopping you from focusing AD carry's, they are squishy and if the AP carry is out of the fight then feel free to take the AD carry's out as well.
I know this is a pretty short guide, but I think I said everything I needed to say, I may end up coming back and editing some parts and such, maybe even add a few more parts, but we'll see if that ends up happening or not.
I hope this helped some of you who like to play this champion, if this guide helped you please thumbs it up as this is my first guide I would like to get a good rating.
If you have any questions feel free to ask them, i'll try to answer as soon as I can.
THANK YOU FOR READING THIS GUIDE FOR GAREN, HES A GREAT CHAMPION TO PLAY AND ISN'T USED AS MUCH AS HE SHOULD BE.
NOW GO OUT THERE AND MAKE ME PROUD!