Garen Build Guide by NubTech

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author NubTech

NubTech's Garen Guide "DPS Build"

NubTech Last updated on August 31, 2011
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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: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

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

Utility: 0

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    Garen is a great starter class for new player's because he is easy to learn and if you can master him he's like a stick of dynamite.
    He is a Physical Melee Dps Champion, that requires you to use his abilities in sequence for the best effect. If you want to be a Successful Garen player you can not go into a match thinking your some sort of pvp god you really need to work with your team.
    He is good alone but with a coordinated attack with another player he can be a Beast. A big plus with this Champion is he is not reliant on Mana, he is all about CoolDown's. Garen has the ability to be a great Tank or Dps Role for your group.
    Really the only set back for Garen is his CC capabilities. He only has 1 CC Decisive Strike and its a Silencing attack, so you have to hope the range class doesn't see you b4 you get to him which is why you have to have good synergy with your abilities. If the caster doesn't see you then you have a good chance to land a kill, but if he does see you then their is a chance you will get your face melted off.
    Garen(imo) is almost a Grass Attack Champion, because if you take your time and wait you can really catch someone off guard which is not a good thing when facing Garen.
    In this guide I built Garen as a DPS Champion because that's how i always play him.
    hope it helps you enjoy League of Legends

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Pros / Cons

+ Great Ganker EARLY in the game
+ Heavy Physical Crit based Champion
+ Insane Ultimate Demacian Justice ----Basically a kill if used on someone 25%HP or lower
+ Cooldown based champion, does not require mana regeneration to keep fighting
+ Great AoE Dps
+ Good Tank capability even when dps specced
+ Great initiator and 1v1 Fighter
+ Long Silence
+ Very Fast Hero when built right
+ Quality Chaser
+ Great Escape Ability(Judgment = no slows)
+ Really Good Farmer

- Knockbacks can wreck havoc on you when trying to get to a caster
- Vulnerable to CC
- Lack of CC
- Physical Dps Champion / easy to Harass early in game
- Slow Attack Speed
- Cooldown Dependent

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Your Typical DPS Build 21/9/0

Remember you can make a ton of Mastery pages so read the talents and choose whats best for your play style.
the build i use is mainly dps but it has some perks for being tanky.

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Greater Mark of Desolation
Greater Seal of Critical Chance
Greater Glyph of Critical Damage
Greater Quintessence of Desolation

Don't get runes until your account is over level 10
once you are level 10 you unlock tier 2 runes. you can buy tier 1 runes but it is highly recommended that you wait cause its a huge waste of IP if you are trying to buy champions you want to play, plus you are going to replace those runes anyways.
imo its not worth it at all

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Summoner Spells


This is debatably one of the best summoner spells for a melee champion. It's Amazing for those holy **** moments when you really need to get the hell out of a place. It's also great for getting in close on a caster that has abilities that can slow/stun/knockback.
This skill can be devastating against casters when followed by a Decisive Strike and Judgment if they are already low you can almost guarantee a kill, depending on how fast they react.


This Ability is Amazing for both Offense and Defense.
If your getting nuked and you have to jet this is great to throw on the attacker since it slows them for 3seconds.
If Used for offense it's good to use after your Decisive Strike runs out or sooner if you got your group running behind you and they can catch up for the kill.


Not the Best solo ability for Garen but Great if your playing with a group of friends and you are all about to nuke a single point, But you need to be coordinated.


Well this is a Heal, it's got a long Cooldown and only gives you like 200hp which can save you in some fights or save a friend running for his life.

Popular Combo's

Yes I use Exhaust in every build because i believe that single ability is the best one in the game because it has so many uses.

Exhaust-/-Flash is the best combo imo that i see a lot of people play
Exhaust-/-Rally is another good combo, but again highly recommended to only use till you get flash
Exhaust-/-Heal this is your main abilities you want to use when you are new to the game

In Recap use Heal till level 8 then switch to Rally then at level 12 start using Flash.
some people don't like flash, but if you get use to it you will understand the Greatness of it

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Here are the Items in order how I feel best suits Garen

Ionian Boots of Lucidity -- Movement Speed plus CD Reduction
Sword of the Occult -- Extra Dmg and 15%Movement Speed at 20stacks
Phage which is used to upgrade to Frozen Mallet -- Health, Dmg, and an Great Slow
Zeal which is used to upgrade to Phantom Dancer -- Attack Speed, Crit, and Movement Speed
The Bloodthirster -- Attack Dmg and LIFESTEAL!!!!!!
Infinity Edge -- this gains you 50% Crit DMG

This is what i use and here is why.
When the game first starts i always pick up my Boots of Speed since you have enough gold right off that bat.
Next a lot of guides will tell you to get a few Health Potion this is not a bad idea when you are a bit new to the game or just the class, because you can't just run into creeps and expect to not take dmg.
Garen does have a passive ability Perseverance but it takes time and at higher levels the heal really is not that great.
But again when your first getting use to Garen its good to kinda hang back and get the ""Easy Kills" once you get use to him then you can start playing risky.

Once you obtain 700more gold it's a good idea to Recall back and get Ionian Boots of Lucidity

Yes I Buy Ionian Boots of Lucidity over Boots of Swiftness
quite a few guides get Boots of Swiftness they are good but
for 300 more gold you can give up a little run speed for 15% Cooldown Reduction which early on is freaking sweet.
Because of the CD being lower you can cast Judgment more often and level up faster and farm more gold to get more items.

After the boots I Immediately Save gold for Sword of the Occult if you can gain the 20stacks your Champion will scoot around the map. Also it gives a lot of damage for each stack you gain.

Next on the list is Phage This item is not needed right when you have enough gold to buy it.
I only get it if i need to heal and I'm already at the base or really close since it is used to upgrade to another item.
BUT if your having trouble gaining gold then go get it because it gives you Health and attack damage, plus an added bonus of having a slow if your team is ganking which will acquire you more gold.

Frozen Mallet is the Upgraded version of Phage and far superior because the slow is Guaranteed with every melee attack.
Go Get this the Second you have enough gold. then return back to your lane.

Zeal another item used to upgrade for a better item is another go get when you have enough gold it has attack speed and crit and a ton of movement speed.

Phantom Dancer is the upgraded version of Zeal just more AS,Crit,Mov.Speed

once you get those items the game should be late unless there was a ton of ganking going on.
These last 2 items are what make you godly once you are built up the way i have things layed out.

The Bloodthirster one word "LIFESTEAL"
then last but not least
Infinity Edge this gives you a lot of attack damage and crit but the passive is what makes this huge. your crits deal 250%dmg

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Skill Sequence

Garen is Very simple to play and if you can master him the carnage is only limited to your imagination.

Here is his abilities and a little run down on how to use them together.
Refer to the top of the page for the order to learn these skills.

Perseverance --- Passive Ability
Garen will regenerate .5% of his maximum health per second after not receiving damage for 7 seconds.

Judgment --- Main Dmg Ability LEARN FIRST
Garen Deals Damage around himself for 3seconds, and reducing the duration of slows by 50%. Garen removes all slow effects on him when used.

Decisive Strike --- 2nd ability you need to buy.
Garen's next attack strikes a vital area of his foe, dealing bonus damage and silencing them, also gives you a movement speed boost for 2seconds.

Courage --- Learn at level 4
Garen's kills increase his armor and magic resistance. He may also activate this ability to give himself a damage reducing shield.
Passive: Garen's armor and magic resist are permanently increased by 0.5 every time he kills an enemy unit. This bonus is maxed at 7/14/21/28/35.
Active: Garen places a defensive shield on himself for the next 2/2.5/3/3.5/4 seconds, decreasing all damage taken by 35%.

Demacian Justice --- LEARN AT Level 6
Garen calls upon the might of Demacia to deal a finishing blow to an enemy champion that deals damage based upon how much life his target has missing.
the ability deals 175/350/525 damage plus 1 damage for every 3.5/3/2.5 health they are missing.

Using these abilities is very simple to get use to while ganking.
Judgment is your main damage ability. your other abilities make this easier to use.
Decisive Strike is a great builder, it does Dmg and will Silence your enemy.

While fighting i will use DS as my opener, it helps me close a gap and if its a caster it will Silence then allowing me to get my Judgment off putting a lot of Dmg into them.
these two abilities are also great for getting out of trouble, Decisive Strike for a mini sprint and Judgment to remove slows.

Courage is your Defense ability, the Shield is Beast and because it is so good you can tower dive for kills, also great for getting out of a trouble spot when your outnumbered.

Now for the ability Everyone loves and Fears.
Demacian Justice this is your "I WIN BUTTON"
If you are close to any Champion that is unlucky enough to be under 25%hp when your cooldown is up then G fn G

If you can master using these abilities with a solid flow you will be on the enemy teams mind the whole time.

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Overall Garen is a BEAST when played right, he's one of those champions that if you play right will have the enemy team wondering where you are at on the mini map the whole game.
just don't get over confident because if you run into 2-3 Champions thinking your gonna face roll them your in for a rude awaking.
If you play Smart and follow this guide i guarantee your going to have a blast.

I really hope this guide has helped you

This is my first guide and i hope to make others.
Thank you