Spin to Crit Build Progression example
True Spin to Crit
When I brought back the guide recently I didn't think there would be any super important changes. I was wrong. Please watch the above video before you read the guide. It goes into detail about all the changes.
Spin to Crit is completely rewritten and trimmed of fat it used to contain. I want this guide to be as cohesive, easy to read and strait to the point as possible. Some things just don't need to be said in written form. A video is worth 10,000 words as I always say. My writing and League knowledge has naturally improved since I last worked on the guide, so hopefully that shows through and Spin to Crit is better than it ever was.
I want to focus more than anything on theorycrafting. Lets be honest, build is what made this guide popular... that and having the best name ever :). Creating builds is what I love most about this game and if Im going to continue Spin to Crit, I need to focus on what I love. I want to try my best to get you guys into my mindset, so that you can learn to adapt and create your own builds without my advice. Applying what you've learned here to craft your own builds, for any champion, is my highest aspiration for this guide.
||: On its own, this ability is very nice. You get a speed boost, slow removal, a high damage auto attack with a silence, on a reasonable cooldown. What sets this ability over the top is the fact that it can crit, so it scales super hard late game. Getting IE results in this ability having the potential to half health a carry. The damage potential of this ability still blows my mind, even after countless games played with Garen.|
: Even though this is a none damage ability, Courage is THE reason Garen can be so powerful. When your champion has an ability with % damage reduction, CC reduction AND resistance scaling, that frees you up to build more offensive items than most melee champions can safely acquire.
: There's been times in the past where this ability left me wanting. I always thought it was unfair that a champion like Darius could have pretty much the same ult and have it deal true damage, while Garen was stuck with magic damage. Those times have past. With the magic pen and % damage scaling you get from the current offense tree, Demacian Justice is an earth shattering ability.
- Flash: After a short break from Spin to Crit, Flash is back. Using it in combination with Ghost and the Distortion boot enchantment solves all the problems I was previously having with this spell. This gives you an element of surprise on a predictable champion and gives him mobility that Garen desperately needs.
- Ghost: Garen isn't a very mobile champion. But when you pair this with Decisive Strike, and Boots of Swiftness you turn into a speed demon that has the potential to keep pace with just about anyone. You can break the sound barrier when you get the distortion boot enchantment. Aside from the in combat potential, this is your best option to escape ganks when you're pushed up even remotely in lane.
- Exhaust: Exhaust was in the build since it first released. RIP. Still a very versatile spell with many uses. You can use it for CC, damage reduction in fights and it can even help you survive ganks. Exhaust is wonderful, but Spin to Crit has evolved to the point where this is no longer needed.
- Ignite: Its usable but doesn't address any of Garen's weaknesses. He doesn't need the damage from this spell. And its not like Dr. Mundo or Warwick get played top anymore to make this a really useful option.
- Teleport: Should you get it? No. I understand that its popular right now and I fully understand what its capable of. But if you want to play in the meta, wtf are you doing here? Garen isn't a meta champion and he probably never will be. Garen is a win your lane and snowball champion. Getting teleport wont help you accomplish that. If you accomplish what Garen is meant to do, your laner will be forced to use teleport as a means to get back in lane. That removes any chance of him using teleport as a means to gain an advantage for his team.
You have to understand that teleport goes through phases. I've been playing this game since season 1 and I cant even remember how many times teleport would be super popular for a while and then just fall off the face of the planet for long stretches. It happens and there are champions who can make use of it. But don't feel pressured to force a flavor of the month on a champion that's not meant for it.
Runes & Masteries
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Health
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
- Greater Mark of Attack Damage/ Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: Increases the damage of your auto attacks, scales up your abilities and its great for people like myself who tend to miss last hits on minions. Armor pen runes do scale better after level 6, BUT when it comes to ability heavy champions like Garen the difference is minimal. I make the argument that AD runes are more valuable on Garen because of the increased kill potential they give you pre level 6. A pre level 6 kill has the potential to snowball you out of control and impact the rest of the game. Garen is early game dependent. Build for that. You'll have more than enough armor pen from items and masteries.
- Greater Seal of Health: I used to use armor seals. I've since switched to flat health because health is good against both AD and AP. When you also consider that Perseverance scales on Garen's total health, these runes are a fantastic choice.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: In most cases you'll be going up against AD top which is why we're getting magic res per level. They scale better into late game and that's when you'll need it. If you're in a draft mode and you know that you're going up against an AP champ, feel free to swap these out with flat MR runes to help you win lane. You could also use a mixture of both. Another option would be CDR runes.
Summary So Far
If you've noticed a theme to the build so far, it should be balance. Everything from the summoner spells to the runes & masteries is designed to enhance Garen's offensive and defensive strengths. And we didn't neglect his weaknesses by making sure to inject him with mobility and CC. When Im playing a fighter, I don't want to swing completely in one direction or another. Balance is key.
Here's where the fun begins. First I'm going to touch on every item I use on Garen and what they do for him. Then I'm going to give tips on what build to use as the game progresses in the Team Fighting section.
- Health Potion: Playing a champion who doesn't use mana always takes a weight off your shoulders. You don't have to worry about managing mana and you don't have to spend gold on mana pots. Use that to your advantage and spend the saved gold on more health pots. All that sustain will give you a huge advantage in lane and you cant always depend on Perseverance to do the job.
- Elixir of Wrath: Hardly no one buys elixirs. I hardly buy elixirs. But there is a time and a place. If your item slots are full, you cant afford to upgrade anything and the next fight could determine the outcome of the game, buy this. It could be the small edge you need to come out on top. Whats really cool about this elixir is that the lifesteal applies to physical damage abilities. So an ability like Judgment will proc the lifesteal. That's awesome. Do me a favor and don't ever buy this on Riven if you're playing against me.
- Stealth Ward: Its always good to pick up an extra ward when you can. The trinket doesn't last very long and you don't want to burn Ghost to escape a gank when you could have easily warded to avoid it. Buy one on every trip back if you have the gold. The ward pays for itself with protection.
- Vision Ward: I feel like this is best used on purple side. On your way back to lane you can sneak this into tri bush and no one will know unless they pass through. If you suspect that your laner is heading there to ward, you can simply cut them off if you feel like you can win the fight. On blue side its less effective IMO. You cant protect the ward very well if you place it in tri bush and if you place it in river bush people will know. There's nothing stopping the enemy jungler from simply collecting the gold.
- Cloth Armor/ Health Potionx5: This is the start you want vs melee champions. You have the armor to help win fights and reduce minion damage. You'll also have a massive sustain advantage over people starting with a Doran's item and 1 potion. Cloth Armor also has the added benefit of scaling up through Courage.
- Boots of Speed/ Health Potionx4: Get this vs ranged champions. You'll have the sustain you need to deal with harass and the mobility you need to reach a ranged champion. Boots also have the added benefit of scaling up through Decisive Strike.
- Boots of Swiftness: Swiftness Reborn. Its been a while my old friend. These were the original boots of Spin to Crit. With all the mobility we're up against in today's league, its time to revisit these boots. You only get 15 extra move speed over other boots. That doesn't seem like a lot. But when you scale that up through Decisive Strike and Ghost it makes a massive difference. And the slow resist on top of that is amazing. These are must have boots for the crit build.
- Ninja Tabi: The best boots in the game. The armor is nice, but the % damage reduction on auto attacks is what set these over the top. Because its % damage reduction, like Exhaust and Courage, it cant be countered by penetration items. And then you factor in the price and its time to start Kreygasming all over the place. Garen has built in CC reduction, so you can safely buy these. I recommend these on the Utility Fighter build.
- Mercury's Treads: They're as expensive as Starbucks, but worth it even though Garen already has CC reduction. Why? When you put the MR from these boots and the MR from runes through the scaling of Courage, you can reach a respectable level of MR. Use these on the Utility Fighter build if you're up against heavy AP.
- The Brutalizer: You can never go wrong with this item. It has a mixture of offensive stats that benefit Garen and its cheap. You'll get the right stats you need to have relevant damage for a price that allows you to get into the rest of your build faster.
- Randuin's Omen: Now that Giant's Belt builds from a Ruby Crystal, the build path for this item became ridiculously easy. I love it. All the stats are great, but having the AOE slow brings more team utility to Garen and is perfect for making sure Judgment has the best chance of hitting. Another must have.
- Infinity Edge: This item made Spin to Crit what it was and always will be. If you've never experienced IE Garen, you could be forgiven for believing that he doesn't scale into late game. If you have experienced it, you know exactly why this guide got where it is.
Garen has heavy hitting abilities that can crit. Why you would forsake that damage potential is beyond my realm of thought. This core gives Garen the burst damage of an assassin and the bulk of a fighter. If you think that's not optimal, why don't you give Riot a call and ask them why they gave Garen abilities that can crit.
Yes, the item is hella expensive. I get that. But if you did your job early game, its not THAT hard to get. When Garen is allowed to thrive, you can do no wrong with IE.
- Null-Magic Mantle: This is just a really cheap and easy way to get MR into the build. It wouldn't do much on other champions, but this is Garen we're talking about. Mantle + scaling MR runes will get you over 100 MR with the scaling of Courage.
- The Black Cleaver: You can never go wrong with this item. It has literally every stat you want on Garen aside from resistances/crit and it brings team utility to a champion who lacks it. You could rush BC every time and have good results. You get 50 AD and 10 armor pen for killing carries and the armor shred to deal with tanks. This item makes you a well rounded killing machine. This is amazing on Garen.
- Locket of the Iron Solari: All the stats you get from this item arent a big deal on their own. When brought together they become something special. Like Power Rangers. You can even say that this is partly an offensive item considering the CDR. Its got an easy build path, its good for Garen and its REALLY good for your team. Buy when needed and profit. Hell, even Aegis of the Legion is a good buy on its own and is super affordable.
- Last Whisper: Not much to say at this point. Theres a time and place when youll need this. I'll get more into that in the Team Fighting section.
- Youmuu's Ghostblade: Another item with a great collection of small stats. Throwing this on top of Infinity Edge and The Black Cleaver makes a huge difference. You can use the active for attack speed when Judgment is on cooldown or you can even use it for the speed boost if you need to. Affordable and functional.
- Maw of Malmortius: High AD, MR, magic shield, scaling AD as you lose health... This is a really powerful item. Most people don't upgrade this past Hexdrinker, but the full item is totally worth it. Its just hard to understand the impact it can have when you don't see all the stats on paper. Because of that it get over looked.
- Phantom Dancer: Always an over looked item on Garen. Most people gloss over PD because "it doesn't help Judgment". Wrong. 35% crit chance and 5% movement speed help Judgment beyond measure. This on top of IE is ridiculous. A Garen with 55% crit chance can dish out a beating that you'll tell your grandkids about. Then you have a massive 50% ATK speed boost to help keep you dishing out crits while Judgment is on CD.
- Statikk Shiv: Basically the little sister of Phantom Dancer. They both do pretty much the same thing, but Shiv has 1% more move speed and AOE magic damage that can crit. And when it does crit, the extra damage destroys carries on top of Decisive Strike. Which option is better? I dont feel like one is better than the other. PD has better raw stats and you get the added bonus of no unit collision. SS has AOE that can crit. Whichever you choose, its up to you.
- Frozen Heart: Wait for it... wait for iiiit... "GAREN HAS NO MANA YOU ****IN NOOB! YOURE WASTING GOLD! #LTP"
Lets do a comparison real quick between FH and Thornmail. They both cost near the same gold and they both deal with auto attacks in their own way. Just to make it more interesting, lets pretend that FH has no mana.
Thornmail: 100 armor, returns 30% auto attack damage to the attacker. 2100g
Frozen Heart: 100 armor, 20% CDR, reduces the attack speed of surrounding enemies by 15%. 2450g
Now, even without the mana, which item looks more appealing to you? The answer should be obvious. When you pair FH with Randuin's Omen you get a very special combination of stats that brings great utility to your team. And the 20% CDR brings obvious offensive benefits. Don't hate. Appreciate.
Why Don't You Use These?
- Sunfire Cape: The added magic damage doesn't out weigh the increased damage you can dish out by keeping enemies near you with Randuin's Omen. Sunfire isn't bad. It just does nothing to address Garen's weaknesses.
- Spirit Visage: This is a great item. I don't use it because this isn't a 4k health Warmog's Armor build and Garen's passive isn't enough to justify getting this over Locket of the Iron Solari.
First of all, I'm not going to heavily invest around a passive that doesn't work in combat. Second, it doesn't make that big of a difference to his passive. Visage doesn't increase Perseverance from 2% to 20% obviously. It increases by 20%. Meaning that you end up with 2.4% with Visage. That and the increase in natural health regen is in no way worth more than what Locket brings to the table. The inbetween combat healing that you get from Perseverance is good enough on its own.
There's times when you can jump out of a fight, heal up a bit with a warmogs/visage build and have time to jump back in. But that's not an every fight opportunity. Most fights are over in seconds. Being able to hop out and back in is also dependent on you actually being able to survive in the first place. I don't build around chance.
Focus is the most important aspect of team fighting. The target you choose has a heavy impact on a fight's outcome.
Here are some factors that should be considered when choosing a focus:
Obviously, you want to bring down the highest damage threat. That's always the case, but its not always possible. You might want to kill that super fed Kalista, but you'll accomplish nothing by running strait at her and getting torn to pieces because no one locked her down first. That's what you need to realize before you get mad at yourself or your teammates. Sometimes a game is decided before it even starts. If a carry gets fed and you don't have the team comp to coupe with it, the game is over. Just try your best and hope it works out.
You have other options as well. Maybe you have a high damage/low defense top laner you can help bring down. Or maybe you can reach the mage and put your silence to good work. You always have options. You just need to choose the best and hope for the best.
Now, what if you have no good options? What if you're up against a tanky top/jungle/support and that frontline is doing their job of protecting carries and the carries themselves are staying in a safe position? What if on top of all that your team has no initiation? That's a ****ed situation to be in and that's what I used to have issues with. After the 4/13/15 update to the build, that's no longer the case. The combination of Boots of Swiftness, Ghost, Flash and the Distortion boot enchantment allow you to reach whoever you want on a consistent basis.
But that doesn't mean you can just run into 5 people because you can reach a carry. You'll get torn to shreds. You need to be smart enough to know when and how to go in. The crit build has enough bulk that you can take quite a few hits, but you're not tanky enough to take focus from 5 champions. If you're having issues with that, you may want to use the Utility Fighter build for the time being.
Experiment and find the best option for you.
The Best Advice I Can Give
Don't rage. Not at yourself or your team. At the end of the day, this is a game. Your team might get upset, but don't bother stooping to that. It wont help anything. A desire to be better is obviously important if you want to improve. But don't let that turn into an unhealthy experience. Study the game and it will come in time.
Season 1: I was unranked and I raged in every ranked game. I was pissed. Season 2: I made it to gold and I raged. That was the season when I put the most time into this game. I tried so desperately to make it to plat and I was pissed that I couldn't. After that I chilled out and I stopped trying to force it. Season 3: I finally broke into plat just from casually playing the game. I finished the season at plat 2 with around 150 wins. That was the season when Riot reset everyone's elo back to 1200. Considering that, it didn't take too long for me to reach that elo and I just let it happen naturally. Season 4: I made it to plat 3 with around 50 wins before I took a long break from LoL. I've yet to play a ranked game this season and I don't know that I will. I know what I'm capable of now and I'm satisfied with that.
My point is, I achieved my greatest success after I simply let go, relaxed and had fun with the game. Everyone develops at a different pace. Don't be discouraged by failure. Learn from it and move on.
Final Thoughts On Garen
With the current state of items and masteries I know that Garen is more powerful now than he ever was. But of course, this is a hard league for him to thrive in. He's had to deal with tough top lane metas for a years now. That will always be the case until he gets a full rework to bring him up to the standard of champions that Riot is currently releasing. Garen along with many champions in the league feel outdated by today's standards and that's why Garen will never see competitive play.
That doesn't mean Garen cant or wont win. He can and he will win. But hes not a champion you can look to every game in a draft scenario and expect to thrive. If you want to focus on one main for ranked, which many people do, you're looking in the wrong place. If you want a fun champion with high damage potential to learn the game with and have a blast in normal games, that you can occasionally bring into ranked, you found the right man for the job.
Garen is my love. Garen is my life. Hes my best LoL friend for life and my soulmate. One thing is for sure. Whenever I decide to spin, I'll aim to crit :)
I hope you guys enjoyed the guide. Have fun and I love you all.
**** the meta. I've been saying it for 5 seasons, but I never really elaborated on it. I feel like I should because I still get comments about whats in the meta right now. Give me some credit guys. I'm not living under a rock waiting for someone to show me the light lol.
For new players, what is the meta? Its basically whats considered the most popular way to play LoL. The best example of this was back in late season 1/season 2 when most players built super tanky. Warmogs was being forced on literally every melee champion regardless of whether it was optimal or not.
This might be hard to believe for players who joined the league in the past year or 2, but Riven was one of a few champions who were considered to be **** when they released. Why? Because people were building her as a tank, because that's what the meta was... There was a period of time where people thought one of the most powerful champions in the league was ****, because they weren't building her for the way she was meant to be played. They were building her for the meta. I would be watching players like Hotshotgg stream Riven games while calling her **** after he rushed Warmogs... That in my opinion was the absolute worst age of LoL. But that's just an example of what the meta is. Meta is trends set by mostly LCS players that determine champion pool and build.
I want to make something very clear: Aside from the garbage I just talked about, I don't have a problem with people playing in the meta. Its only natural to want to emulate someone you look up to. I don't know how many times I tried to shoot fade away jumpers and yelled out "Jordan!" when I was playing basketball lol. If you have fun in the meta, and you succeed in the meta, that's exactly what you should be doing.
What I have a problem with, is people who think you cant have success outside of that. That's entirely untrue. Season 2 I played in the meta. I took all the standard advice and I focused on champions who didn't even suit my playstyle. I did it because I wanted to play in the meta. I thought that would get me somewhere. That got me to low gold.
Season 3 and 4 I mainly played Hecarim after he was heavily nerfed. I focused mainly on one champ, which in and of itself goes against popular opinion. Everyone always says "Its best to have a champion pool". I had other champions that I would play on occasion, but for the most part I picked Hec every single game regardless of team comps. I focused on that champion because he was fun IMO and he perfectly fit my playstyle. I rode him to high plat two seasons in a row. I had better success playing out of the meta and playing my style. And along the way I had to hear **** about how Hec fell off, he was outclassed, he didn't fit the meta, blah, blah, blah. I had my greatest success when I played my champ, my way.
But lets look at someone way better than me: Trick2g. Mainly plays one champion and hes Diamond. Not only one champion, but a champion who is thought of as being **** by LCS players: Udyr. But heres the thing. He loves Udyr. He knows that champion like the back of his ****ing hand and hes really good at him. It doesn't matter that Udyr doesn't fit the meta. He knows how to play the champion to it's fullest extent and he knows the game.
My favorite example of **** the meta: Cowsep. He plays nothing but Master Yi and hes a high diamond player. Not only did he get to diamond with an out of meta champion, he got there with a champion who is absolutely despised in the ranked community. And he did it on the Korean server no less.
Most people in ranked play within the meta. It doesn't matter if you're looking at bronze, silver, gold, plat, etc. Now, where does that get people? It gets you exactly where you're going to end up anyway.
You're success in league is NOT determined by playing in the meta. You're success in league is determined by 2 things: Mechanical skill and your knowledge of LoL on a fundamental level. That is not my opinion. That is fact.
Before you waste your time sending me a comment about how I should do something because its in the meta, take a small step towards preventing carpal tunnel and keep your hands off the keyboard. Season 2 taught me one thing: From now on, I'm playing this game my way.
And that's the beauty of LoL. Riot crafted a game where you can play your own way and succeed. **** the haters. Play what you love. Whether its in the meta or not. This isn't LCS. This is solo queue.
I never let on to anyone outside of people who know me IRL that I was having personal problems for the past few years. Part of the reason my guide has been gone for so long. The only reason I'm bringing it up now, is because of the fact that I feel the need to give thanks.
League was there for me at a time when I was flat out broke and fighting severe depression. League gave me something fun to focus on and kept my mind off of the things I had been through. I can say without a doubt, that I wouldn't be the person I am today if I never had League in my life. My supreme patience, my confidence and my humor all developed alongside my time with LoL. That might sound pathetic, but I honestly don't give a ****. I have no shame and I'm proud to be a part of this community.
As for Spin to Crit... The massive success that I had with this guide was far beyond what I ever hoped to achieve. For some reason, it REALLY connected with a lot of people. And the best part was that I did it my way. I didn't play to the meta. I didn't give haters the guide they wanted. I gave Garen the guide he deserved. I fought to change the way people viewed this sexy bastard and in the end, I won. Spin to Crit redefined Garen from a meat shield, to a badass for millions of people. It was the first Garen guide to maintain a rating above 90%, back when mobafire still used that kind of rating system. It was also one of the most popular guides on the site and by far the most popular Garen guide anywhere on the internet, with over 12 million views.
That popularity led to some crazy things. I lost track of how many times I got recognized in game and it blows my mind every time. The fact that someone could love my work so much, that they would remember my name even years later... That's a feeling I'll never forget. I even met someone in game that had just got hired on at Riot to be a part of the community team. He was telling me that he learned to play LoL through Spin to Crit. How ****ing crazy is that? What are the chances of that?
Even though Spin to Crit had been absent since the end of S3, I still got asked if I would ever bring the guide back. That's insane. The unreal outpouring of support and thanks that I've received, has been a gift that I could never hope to repay. I don't know if you guys can fully understand what all that means to me. To know that I could put my all into something and succeed, at a time when I felt worthless, brought me back to life. That's why I'm here now to see this guide rise from the ashes.
Bringing this guide back is all I can do to repay what this game and you guys did for me. I wont have the free time to make additional guides. Garen will be hard enough for me to keep up with (see Into The Future for more details), but I didn't want Spin to Crit to simply vanish. That would be a ****ty ending to whats been a hell of a ride.
Hopefully this is enough to get across how much I appreciate you guys. Depression is a feral b**** and I don't know if I could have ever overcome it without the experiences I've had with League. To Riot, the LoL community, the Mobafire staff, the Mobafire community, the lovers, the haters, the supporters and the doubters: Thank you. You played an unknowing part in shaping who I am today.
Into The Future
I want to keep the guide itself updated in the future and I want to keep a flow of videos going as well. But I have other things in the works and that's why I need to just focus on one guide. I love Yi, but I obviously had to go with my boy Garen.
So what am I planning on doing? A couple months ago I streamed on Twitch a couple times just to give it a test run. I ended up having a blast, but there were technical things I wanted to improve before I took the step to stream on a regular basis. I also wanted to get this guide back up and running before I lost the free time to do it. But now the time has come and I'll be ready to start streaming after I get some new Garen love up on my youtube.
If any of you want to come hang out, I would love to have you. Hit me up with a follow and you'll know when I get down to business. But keep in mind that I'm going to be running a variety stream. If I stream LoL its gonna be on the weekends when I play drunk normals with my brother and that's probably it.
My Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/Palthios
This channel contains all of my video guides.
My Twitch Channel: http://www.twitch.tv/thedrunkenmonk/profile
If you want to hang out, that's where I'll be.