Garen Build Guide by Wennedon
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.
READ FIRST This build is not incomplete, I left out the Ability Point choosing order on purpose as well as boots and purchase order of items because what separates a good LoL player from a great LoL player is being able to make decisions on the fly based upon the situation at hand. This guide does cover boots and purchase order tho as well as Ability point choices in the guide. Thank you.
Ok hi. Im Wennedon and yes that is my real summoner name so feel free to friend me up on North American server. I decided to write this guide after trying every single Garen guide on this site and just not really feeling like Garen was being used properly...now I know most people associate Garen as being a tanky-dps and that is perfectly fine but this guide is for people who think he should be something more. By that I mean a cold-blooded, unstoppable force of retribution. AKA a killer, plain and simple. I mean READ THE GUY'S LORE! He is a badass soldier who shreds down people who look at him the wrong way, but I digress.
This guide will not hold your hand and walk you step by step about what makes Garen what he is. I will not explain cooldown reduction's importance and how to combo with Garen and all that jazz. He is a simple champion. Easy to pick up and play, but quite frankly not so easy to master. so I feel that if you are reading an advanced guide you do not need all of the baby spoonfeeding like other guides do. You know how to play, you know what to do, you are just looking at another build cause you are interested in playing differently and possibly better. That's what I'm here to do.
This will be the most lengthy part of this guide, I am a plain and simple guy who found a plain and simple build that ultimately shreds any opposing comp if played correctly and so here is a plain and simple guide. Enjoy.
Down to business.
This builds goal: Be a massive damage dealer (on par with carries) but, being true to a Fighter class, being able to take hits...and a lot of them.
Pros / Cons
Here are some, if not all of the points of this build. I tried to cover every single one of them considering you are in a balanced team (AP carry, AD carry, Tank, Support, <insert Garen here>.)
Amazing harass early game
Amazing lane sustain
Great early game damage that isn't TOO terribly item dependent
Great retreat mechanism with Judgement Decisive Strike combo
Good lockdown for caster AP bursts and Support classes (2.5 second silence)
Can take hits, and can take being focused in team fights with Courage enabled
Mid-late game has a 1-2-3 kill combo.
This build itself is a con. Let me explain: This build requires the player to have an understanding of the game to say the least, it is not some wonder-all build that will do anything and make anyone look like a badass. If you play ****ty, you are ****ty. No guide will help that. What I'm saying is that to be good with this build is you need to choose your fights wisely. That and that alone is the biggest con to playing this style of Garen. Because there is no fight you can not win with this build if played smartly.
Can be kited by skilled range players...I guess, but your Judgement will just snap you out of it so no big.
Gonna keep this simple.
With this build you do 2 things:
1. Deal damage = Armor Penetration.
2. Take damage from enemies while dealing damage = Magic Resist & Armor.
Simple enough? Good. Let's move on shall we?
PS - In my honest opinion there is no wrong rune choice because it reflects your playstyle and what you think you are going to be doing most, this is what I use and this is what I know works for me.
OH MY GOSH WHY THE MAGIC PENETRATION IS THIS SOME MISTAKE!?!?!?
Simply put, there are so many other combinations for Garen that I have used over the past few months experimenting with him and this is the most lucrative combination in my opinion.
You deal physical damage, your heaviest damaging ability Judgement can critically strike so that explains all of the AD talent choices and the 10% bonus to critical strike damage.
Your ultimate deals MAGIC DAMAGE so instead of delving into the tank tree and getting a lame amount of bonus health at end game or wasting talents in the Support tree for reducing death timer I chose to spend points on cooldown reduction which is everything to Garen and getting that 10% magic penetration to really drive your ultimate home when executing to ensure that kill.
I chose all 6 of the Magic Resist and Armor talent points because, yet again, we are Garen. We deal damage, and we take hits.
THE BREAD AND BUTTER OF THIS GUIDE
Ok, the part I have been waiting for and hopefully you all have been as well.
I will try my best to explain in very livid detail why I picked each item, how it contributes to the overall synergy of this build and what I am trying to accomplish with the whole combination.
Goal for item choice: Ok, when I play Garen I want to be able to run into a team fight, kill as many people as I can and live to enjoy it. So therefore every item in this build has Attack Damage on it. BUT I picked items that also give you survivability, NOT tankability.
PS- There are great off-tank Garen guides and Tank Garen guides which are fantastic and on this site, go check them out if that's what you want.
BOOTS This is another choice on your part, if the enemy team has alot of CC get Mercury Treads, if they are heady AD carries get Ninja boots and if they are balanced or you arent too worried about being bursted get Boots of Swiftness.
Item Purchase Order Firstly, always judge your enemy and that should let you know what item to buy when. For example, using the item choice in this build: The enemy team is heavy AD and 1 non-bursty AP character...well buy Ninja Tabai boots and purchase Atmog's Impaler before Maw of Malmortius. Essentially, use your damn common sense.
However, I usually always will rush Brutalizer first and then go straight for Infinity Edge, then finish up Youmuu's Ghostblade. Then like I just stated above, if the enemy team is heavy AD get Atma's Impaler and if they are raping with AP get Maw of Malmortius next. Lastly, the Last Whisper is usually my last item because that is around the time the enemy team's Armor becomes an issue with slowing down your damage.
In-depth Item breakdown: This is why i picked each and every item, forgive me for not linking each item, they are located at the top of the guide.
Youmuu's Ghostblade - You need Attack Damage, Cooldown reduction helps all of your abilities, Critical Strike chance increases your E's damage. Armor Penetration increases all of your damage by the greatest amount per point.
Atma's Impaler - This item will give 34 Attack Damage (This is calculated at the soon to be 1.5% of total health instead of the 2%. This change becomes effective on Hecarim/Varus patch). It gives critical strike, and it adds armor to survive.
Infinity Edge - Garen's item that let's him shine in the damage zone, all of your Judgement crits will hit harder. Attack Damage of course for more overall damage. Also, more Critical Strike.
Maw of Malmortius - This item will save your ***, it blocks any magical effect when it procs. Including ignite, exhaust, stuns, snares, etc. It has helped me get out of tight situations so many times. Magic Resist for survivability. Also the lower your health gets the higher damage you dish out, making it great for duels.
Last Whisper - Armor Pen and Attack Damage, pretty self explanatory. Increases all of your damage.
There is no wrong order here, it's up to you. Always pick what you think is best for the opponent you are fighting.
Take whatever you think you need, again not to sound rude but this is another common sense thing. If you like flashing over walls to get away then take flash. If ghost is your thing to help speed up your Q then take that. I like exhaust and ignite to lockdown any opponent that decides to go toe-to-toe with me.
This is by no means a guide made for people who have never played Garen. I purposely left out all of the fluffy **** that most people put in their guides for the sake of bringing you raw and simple facts that I have tested and that work greatly. Just pick the items I picked in this guide, try it out for about 3-5 games. You will see results. Thank you for reading.