Build Guide by thetank

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League of Legends Build Guide Author thetank

Garen - work on his strengths

thetank Last updated on August 3, 2010
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 11

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 19

I will keep it short, but I try to adress most aspects of why everyone should love Garen. As the choice of masteries, runes, items is related, I will not discuss them individually.
I will try to update this (content and layout), depending on the views and comments. First guide so be gentle..

Strenghts of Garen (a melee char):

    - all his skills (silence, movements boost, AR and MR, damage reduction, AOE damage) and his passive (hp regen)
    - no mana cost or hp loss due to using skills
    - he fits in most team setups (explained later)

So Garen needs in my opinion:

- Armor penetration: Runes + Quintessence + mastery + brutalizer
This a lot of dps coming from skills even without damage items!! Especially at early game ar pen is insane.
- Movement speed: (ghost + decisive strike +) tier 2 boots + utility mastery
You can also work something out with defense mastery (nimbleness + impr cleanse) or offensive (rush ghostblade)
- CDR: Masteries offensive (3%) and utility (6%) + Blue CDR runes (5,85%) + Omen (15%) and/or Brutalizer (10%)
- Slow: Omen (optional: exhaust)
- Dodge: dodge seals
Dodge seals are best option for manaless melee and we already buy AR items and not always ninja tabi. And phantom dancer is not made for Garen.
- AR and MR: with low CDR and good DPS despite no damage items and as he needs to get in melee range.. is why we can go tank items on garen, so why wouldnt we. Above choices makes Garen quite flexible.
- More AOE: if its hard to get focus on you (since garen has no taunt) and if the enemy isn't stacking MR, fire cape complements nice with Garen.
- More hp: Omen gives enough in my opinion, but fire cape is a good addition. Crystal is a in most games the best starter item for garen!! But resist cloak + 2 hp pots can work better in some cases..

Role of garen depending your team setup and development of the game:

Early game: harass with your low cd's, high damage against non-tanks and hp regen. You are a strong laner, but a good partner preferable ranged or stunner helps a lot.

- Off-tank: follow my guide (but rush Aegis if you get 2-3 squishies in your team and no-one else gets it). This is where Garen excels!
- Dps: rush ghostblade when team dps is to low
- Tank: spec more defence masteries and maybe get impr cleanse depending on stuns (go cleanse summoner) or physical carries (exhaust is better than) / sometimes fire cape to up your damage and to get more focus

CORE ITEMS (90%): tier 2 boots (merc or ninja) / OMEN / Brutalizer / MR item

As for all guides, tweaks are needed to adress specific opponents:
    - heavy magic opponents: rush FoN in favor of omen
    - heavy stun opponents: favor cleanse in favor of ghost or exhaust
    - ...

Why didn't I choose for ...:

- Warmogs: there are for better options for Garen (Omen, FoN, ...) cuz HP and regen is not what he needs the most. And it is expensive.
- Frozen mallet: Omen+brutalizer and give more to Garen
- Infinity edge: Garen is no auto-attack hero and since we go Ar Pen and not crit runes and no full offensive masteries, crit is not a good stat for my Garen.
- Life steal or attack speed items: Garen is no autoattack hero, his skills will do the damage. He can't jungle fast neither cept the wraiths.
- ...
- FoN or Aegis not in build: Mostly the tank gets Aegis, so you don't need it. Also if you don't have much squishies it isn't needed that hard. The need for FoN is depending on opponent, but i mostly don't need it. But both can be better options in some games.
- Fire cap as one of the first items: crystal -> heart of gold is a good starter and build into omen. And brutalizer gives more damage to AOE skill and other skills. After that fire cape before GA is viable.
- ...
- Putting points in decisive instead of courage: courage requires some farming and gives a lot in return (AR and MR and longer 35% dam reduction) and judgement is maxed first anyways. The 2s silence part of decisive is the best component and you have that with one point. That's why i like to get courage more early. If your team lacks disablers or you have fast opponents or whatever feel free to go first for decisive instead of courage.
- No defensive masteries: Garen has a quite good early game, relative to other melee champs. The extra hp, impr cleanse or nimbleness isn't needed that much. But if you plan on tanking, you might go defense instead of utility.

GL playing Garen!!