Garen Build Guide by Pelikins
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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.
Garen has long been known as one of the strongest early game threats in the game.
His incredible burst capabilities, mobility, silence, and high resilience make him one of the best fighters out there.
Many will claim that Garen loses his edge and becomes more of a liability past mid game because of poor damage scaling.
I believe that this opinion is largely due to poor itemization.
If properly built a Garen will provide excellent damage and damage mitigation throughout the game and will be a true force of reckoning.
I use a unique set of masteries for Garen.
I go 15/6/9
This gives Garen a powerful advantage during the early game.
He'll be sturdy, yet damaging, and with boots also fast.
I almost always go for decisive strike first level. The only time this is not true is when we are covering our jungle and hence fighting multiple people or when my partner and I are in a bush and the other two face check it.
My advice is to save the skill point until you want to use a skill.
General rule is if you need to go to the enemy get DS if they are going to come to you get judgement first level.
Also consider if who you're fighting has a CC first level or not. No cc- judgement becomes a great option. If they have a first level stun or knock up DS is usually better.
Either way what ever you get 1st level get the other at level 2.
I then ramp my judgement and spin to win by level 9.
I get courage level 4.
Once I max judgement I start leveling DS leaving courage until last.
I of course take my ridiculously over powered ult at 6, 11, and 16.
Armor pen marks
Move speed quints
flat Armor Seals
flat MR glyphs
These are pretty standard runes for Garen.
Armor Pen will significantly increase your damage throughout the game.
MR glyphs and Armor Seals will really help Garen win in his lane and complement's his passive hp regen.
Move speed quints will improve the bonus that your boots and DS give to you move speed.
Itemization is the key to success, especially in the mid and late game for Garen.
Garen has a great synergy with HP stacking naturally and itemization that benefits from health stacking gives great benefit to Garen.
I first build boots of mobility. these will allow you to harass, protect, and gank more effectively. Garen has impressive mobility with these and they are essential to build early to get the full effect of judgement and DS.
I start with the level 1 boots and 3 hp potions for the lane.
I often will pick up a heart of gold at this point. The gold per 5 on this item makes it very worthwhile and the health boost complements your runes and passive health regen.
I begin to rush a Warmogs followed by an Atma's Impaler.
To round out my defensive arsenal I also pick up a negatron cloak and turn it into a Force of nature.
I now bulk up my hp further with a Frozen Mallet. This allows item really shuts down a lot of champions. The slow on it will really prevent those other bulky low mobility off tanks from being effective, while it also gives a ton of hp and a nice damage boost as well.
The last item I like to buy is a RO. I find that Garen make great use of this as he can be right in the middle of the fray this late in the game and most of your competition will be bulk AD trying to catch you carry and supports. The AoE slow works very well to hold the front line. It can also be used to catch runners just out side your melee range so you can get the mallet on them. It also has the benefit of more hp, armor, and CDR.
Many players will make the mistake of harassing Garen or are forced to use skills on Garen to keep themselves from becoming first blood. This is exactly what we want.
As long as Garen is the focus target, your carry can do what it does unhindered, whether that be last hitting or player killing.
Garen's job is to be as disruptive as possible, keeping the enemy from last hitting or disrupting/harassing your carry.
Garen can also (an commonly does) solo top. Make good use of bushes and be agressive as you will find you are faster, sturdier, and more damaging than nearly anyone else in the first few levels.
Find someone you are threatening to and take them out of the fight.
Get into a carry or support (if possible judgement two or three of them) and get them more focused into getting away from you than dealing damage. I can typically disrupt 3 enemy players with Garen. I will run in silence one, spin and hit two or three and get them to shift position. I exhaust their AD carry which basically takes him out of the fight and ult the first focus target (usually netting a kill). My second DS I look for their support and try to land it on them. If this isn't possible, find the biggest non-auto attack threat and put an end to them.
If they have a champion with a powerful ult, especially a channeled one, don't waste DS until they use this. This is a great way to shut down Nunu, Kat, Galio, Malz, and WW.
Tip: As powerful as your ult can be, use it on an opponent early to take down a banshee's veil and then DS them rather than lose your carry to a ww or malz ult.
Enjoy the Garen build. If you do, check out my other builds!
I strongly recommend checking out my Renekton and Alistar.
Have fun, feel free to vote and comment below!