Garen Build Guide by KHAOZofWAR
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.
Why build tank Garen?
I made this guide simply because I have had a ton of success with this build. Some people like to point out that Garen has little crowd control(cc) and wont get focused because he doesn't do enough damage, but early game Garen shreds his enemies. In this build Atma's Impaler gives you plenty of damage for a tank and Frozen Mallet gives you cc and a bit more attack damage, so if you have a ranged(AD-DPS) and a caster(AP-DPS) on your team to do damage from afar I see no reason why the other team would choose not to focus you. I understand the reason for an AD build on Garen but I strongly recommend you to try this build if your team ever needs a tank or a solo-top. With his decent harass, nice sustain, and insane health regen, early-late game, Tank Garen makes a great solo-top.
Runes, Masteries, and Summoner Spells
The reason I chose these runes and masteries is that while Garen does need some armor and magic resist he doesn't need much with this build, and the little bit of extra damage output helps tremendously with early game harass.
I prefer Exhaust over Flash because not only does Exhaust give you an escape, it also allows you to lock in a kill if a champ is running away and it reduces attack damage dealt if their AD DPS champ is shredding you or your teammates. As for Teleport I believe you should always have it while playing the role of solo-top.
How to make this build effective
Simply put, for this build to be good you have to be good. Remember, you're playing solo-top so play smart (under your turret usually) and don't be too aggressive early game. You want to max out Judgment first because this is your main damage dealer early game. You then put one point into Decisive Strike for that great initiation and silence for early game ganks/harass. The reason you want to max out Courage before Decisive Strike is that this ability can save you from a lot of damage while being focused in team-fights (which you always want to be focused because you are the tank).
Early game, especially if the opposing team doesn't have a jungler you want to hug the turret and occasionally harass with Decisive Strike (to close the distance fast and prevent them from using stun abilities etc. so you can escape), to Judgment (to deal some nice damage and help you easily get back to your turret), and immediately into Courage (so that you take the least damage possible while heading back to the safety of your turret). And the little bit of damage you do take during this will be no problem with your massive health regen from Perseverance and your Regrowth Pendant.
When using this strategy and having good coordination with your jungler for those early game ganks, you should get fed in no time and dominate mid to late game by taking tons of damage, diving turrets, and destroying those low health champs with Demacian Justice while your DPS champs shred the lot of them from the safety behind you.
Note: All builds are situational and you may need to substitute different items into this build or buy an item earlier than prescribed.
Other optional builds/items
Does this build not suit your or your enemies team comp? or does this build just not suit your play style? if so, please take a moment to look over these other viable builds.
Tank Garen (Anti-AD)-For if the other team has 2 or more strong AD carries.
Off-Tank Garen-Used when you already have a tank or if your team just isn't doing enough damage.
AD Garen-For when you want to make the other team QQ ;)
*Please note that this build is not meant for the role of solo-top and you are strongly recommended to have a good support or tank champ in lane with you (i.e. Alistar, Lux, Taric, Sona, ect.)
Other good items for Garen
-A little bit of armor, life steal, and a free ward. Works best for AD Garen.
-Great for tanks, plus some well needed cc.
-Your go-to item when it comes to counter cc, best on AD Garen.
-Just like every other champ, you get this if you're dying a lot.
-250 health, 15% cdr, and a very nice aura.
The reason I don't mention Trinity Force is that although it is a great item and good on just about any champ, I don't believe it is worth it to have wasted stats on such an expensive item.