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Garen Build Guide by Palthios

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.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Palthios

Spin to Crit S3 v2

Palthios Last updated on June 18, 2013

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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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*Updated starting items

*Updated Items
*Updated Runes and Masteries
*Updated Intro
*Updated Patch Notes

*Added new video guides
*Expanded the Build section to accommodate more early game itemization options

*Launched guide remake

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Season 3

So now that S3 is well underway and all the major balance changes are done, this will probably be my last major update for the season. I wouldn't say that I've made drastic changes to my build since the start of S3. Just some refinements. Some items like Locket of the Iron Solari have proven to be more powerful then I anticipated, but for the most part, I feel like I was pretty spot on the first go around.

Unfortunately, Riot felt the need to nerf Garen's resistances and passive recently which was completely unjustifiable. I've always considered his passive to be **** to begin with. Most champions have enough harass that you almost never benefit much from it and its laughable in comparison to a passive like Xin Zhao's, which benefits his team and scales into late game. And the Courage nerf is hardly noticeable, so I don't know why they bothered. Maybe it was done just to shut up low elo players that think Garen is OP. But at the end of the day, he wasn't tournament level before the nerf, so why they felt the need to depower his defense and not buff anything in return is beyond me.

But other then that minor annoyance, Garen remains basically the same. The build hasn't changed much either. I knew Randuin's Omen was going to catch on after the Warmog's Armor fad was over and now its excessively popular as its the best counter to Blade of the Ruined King. But there are some key changes that I've made, so join me as I walk you through what may be my final stamp on S3 Garen.


- Good farming ability
- High movement speed
- Naturally tanky
- Good finishing ability
- Strong early game

- Easy to kite
- No strong CC
- Poor initiation
- Not the best late game scaling
- Too sexy

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Runes & Masteries



Greater Mark of Armor Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
  • Greater Mark of Armor Penetration: The benefit of armor pen is obvious. You need these to help you kill and contend with armor.

  • Greater Seal of Armor: Armor is none negotiable. You need these runes to deal with the AD champions that populate top lane. They will also help you survive ganks and negate damage from creeps when fighting in lane.

  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: In most cases you'll be going up against AD top lanes which is why we're getting magic res per level. They scale better into late game and that's when you'll need it.

  • Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: This is the only change I've made since the start of S3. I starting using these so I wouldn't suffer from not starting boots. Makes you less kiteable and helps you escape ganks. I also like these runes because they allow me to build a bunch of items before I ever have to spend money on boots.


This is the biggest change I've made to the build. The way I think about runes and masteries has shifted drastically recently. I used to balance out what would be the best options for both early and late game. Now I spec to be as effective for the first 20 minutes as I possibly can. That's the period of time which effects the outcome of the game the most. As a champion who really needs to succeed early, I feel that the offense tree is the better option. You have natural bulk and you're going to be building plenty of defense as well. The defense tree in S2 offered so much bulk that you had to go that route on melee champs. Now the 2 trees are more in line and you can decide what spec would be better for your champion. I feel the offense tree is best for Garen right now as he is an aggressive laner and Executioner is perfect for his ult.



  • Summoner's Wrath : For improved Exhaust.

  • Sorcery : Because 4% CDR is more beneficial then 4% ATS.

  • Butcher : Improved last hitting.

  • Deadliness : 12 Ad at lvl 18 isn't even noticeable. This is needed to get to the next tier.

  • Weapon Expertise : This is a must. This is now good at every stage of the game since they changed how armor pen calculation works.

  • Havoc : This is just plain good and is useful throughout the whole game. This is however, especially good for Garen. This in combination with Executioner will boost the effectiveness of your ult by 7%.

  • Brute Force : Not that great, but not useless. Will give you some extra strength early and make it easier to last hit.

  • Sunder : This is pretty significant early on in combination with the armor pen runes.

  • Executioner : Gives a very nice boost to your ult. This is very helpful since Garen doesnt benefit from a true damage ult like Darius.


  • Durability : More health is always welcome. Its the best of the starter masteries.

  • Hardiness / Resistance : Extra bulk for laning phase. Makes it easier to duel champions and freeze lane with armor. Many AD champs have abilities that deal magic damage, so the one point into that isn't wasted early on in most cases. If you're up against AP top you can switch these resistances, but you wont know that unless you're in draft of course.

  • Veteran's Scars : More free health. This is a considerable boost to have at the start of a game.


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Decisive Strike

: The main change to this ability is that it now removes slows upon activation, which is what Judgment used to do. Now, is this an improvement? I don't believe so. This is Garen's only initiation tool. It needs to be used at the start of a fight and it needs to be used as soon as its off CD, to make use of the silence.

There is however, one very nice change that happened to Decisive Strike: It now crits. Nothing bad to say about that. This also reaffirms the fact that crit is important to garen.

Tips and Tricks

  • Tip: Save this spell to use defensively if you are pushed to the enemy tower. In that situation you need to save the ability for its speed and slow removal in the event of a gank.


: This is the ability that received the biggest buff imo. At max rank Courage turns you into a monster. And now the ability actually improves when you put points into it. The increased duration and CC reduction are 2 changes that he desperately needed.

The armor and magic resistance scaling is now based on the amount you have. This has forced some changes in builds. In the end, the ability has improved on every front.

Tips and Tricks

  • Tip: The first few minutes of a match will tell you a lot about your opponent if you pay attention. Learn to read your oppenents playstyle. This will help you save this ability for when you KNOW you're going to take damage.


: Easily the most iconic ability in the game. Judgement is now a force to be reckoned with at every stage of the game with the changes to The Black Cleaver.

Tips and Tricks

  • Tip: Try and save this ability in teamfights for when you can hit multiple targets. Late game when you have ATS built its better to auto attack a single target and save your spin for multiple targets.

Demacian Justice

: This was actually nerfed by way of a longer cooldown. Otherwise, the ability remains the same. I dont understand why they didn't change his ult to true damage to match Cho'Gath and Darius. Darius' ult doesnt scale as well, but it can potentially be cast multiple times and Cho'Gath's ult scales massively on AP and still deals true damage... Dont understand it.

Tips and Tricks

  • Tip: Use this ability to get kills :)

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Summoner Spells

Preferred Spells

  • Flash: This isnt negotiable. Garen is a very predictable champion and Flash gives you an element of surprise. You also need a better form of initiation and escape over Decisive Strike.

  • Exhaust: Will reduce armor with the mastery bonus and make it harder for you to be kited, which is very easy to do against Garen. Like Flash this has offensive and defensive capability. Its a very versatile spell that makes absolute sense for Garen's kit. You dont need Ignite to get kills when you have an execution ability like Demacian Justice.

Optional Spells

  • Ghost: There will be times when this spell would be more useful then any other. But the same can be said for any spell. When looking at Garen's kit, Ghost isn't the most beneficial choice, because you already have a speed boost from Decisive Strike. If you're going to use Ghost, I would use it in combination with Flash for full mobility because that spell is a must. It would make you impossible to gank and make it impossible for the enemy to kite you. Whats the downside? You wont be nearly as strong in a strait up fight without Exhaust.

  • Ignite: I wouldnt pack this spell unless I was up against someone like Warwick for the healing debuff. Ignite's main use is the ability to finish off an enemy. You have Demacian Justice for that.

Not Recommended

  • Teleport: Awesome spell. Teleport can win games under the right circumstances. But that's the problem. You never know how many chances you'll get to use this spell effectively per game. It could be a game changer, or it could be a waste of a slot.

  • Cleanse: It can be helpful, but it's not the best choice for a champion with so much built in CC reduction.

  • Heal: Better spell then people give it credit for. Heal is totally viable after the buff, but its not the best choice for Garen.

Dont Ever Use

  • Clairvoyance: This should be on your support champ.

  • Clarity: Garen doesn't use mana.

  • Revive: Only useful if you're dead... Not a goal you should be shooting for.

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Staring Items

Sight ward
  • This is a pretty big change from the boots/3 start that I used to do, but its definitely optimal if you can remember to activate the elixir when you're close to death. Just to be clear for new players: YOU DO NOT ACTIVATE THE ELIXIR UNLESS YOU ARE CLOSE TO DEATH! It gives you a huge advantage in early fights and allows you to play more aggressive. It can also help you escape ganks. You wont miss boots because you have the movement speed runes and a sight ward to give you cover from ganks.

Early Game (Winning Lane)

  • Doran's Bladex2: I stopped getting Avarice Blade because it can be really hard to win lane when you spend that much gold on nothing but crit and most of the time the item doesn't pay for itself, nor do you get to upgrade it. Now I just get 2 of these bad boys to make sure I stomp my lane.

  • The Brutalizer: All the stats are beneficial. I normally complete this before ever buying starter boots.

VS Difficult AD Lane

  • Go with these items if you're up against a heavy DPS champion that's a hard counter to you. Fiora is a perfect example.

VS Difficult AP Lane

  • Same concept as the AD lane. Just build a suitable MR item that fits Garen.

Tier 2 Boots

  • Ninja Tabi: These were my boot of choice in season 2. Because of the changes I've made to the build I no longer buy these because I really need the magic res from Mercury's Treads. If you feel that you need early game armor you can always pick up Cloth Armor that will later turn into Randuin's Omen. Don't get these unless the enemy is AD heavy or you really need it to win lane.

  • Mercury's Treads: Garen is kind of unique when it comes to magic resistance. Most champions in his role tend to get at least 2 magic resist items. Mercury's Treads and Guardian Angel is a very common combo on many champions. But to get that same amount of protection Garen only needs one item. He gets bonus magic res from Courage as well as damage reduction with the active. That's why I shifted to these boots after the changes I made to the build. Its my only form of magic resist in the default build and its all you need in most cases. And the tenacity is more important now that Frozen Mallet is out of the build.

Mid Game

  • The Black Cleaver: All the stats are perfect for Garen and the item gives him utility that he was sorely lacking in S2.

  • Randuin's Omen: Removing Frozen Mallet from the build almost brought a tear to my eye. I've been a strong supporter of that item since I started playing this game. Even back when Atma's Impaler/ Warmog's Armor was all the rage. Its one of my closest friends in the item shop and it continues to be a fantastic item. Believe me, I wouldn't remove it unless I was sure that there was now a better option for Garen. And there is.

    Randuin's Omen was already a popular item and that's about to increase tenfold. But why is it now in my build? Because its now a reliable means to slow an opponent, as the slow effect is no longer random. If an enemy hits you with an auto attack, they get slowed. Period. This makes it much harder for someone like an ADC to kite you while attacking and that's utility that Frozen Mallet doesn't offer. And when an enemy is running away you have an AOE slow from the active.

    Another big change to this item is the fact that Heart of Gold is gone and Giant's Belt has taken its place. So between this and The Black Cleaver you get the health boost that you would have gotten from Frozen Mallet, as well as armor and utility.

  • Infinity Edge: Moving this from the front of my build was a hard thing to do. This item is what made my guide as popular as it is. It single handedly showed what Garen was capable of and its no less important then it was. Once you get your hands on the build you'll see that why I made this change. The Black Cleaver is simply the better starting option now, but Infinity Edge is still the pinnacle of your offense.

    At this point in the game you essentially have everything that you need. AD, armor pen, armor reduction, CDR, CC, health and resistances. Now its time to reach carry status and show people what Garen is all about.

Viable Items

  • Locket of the Iron Solari: I really like this item and it ends up in my build more often then not. Provides a really nice health boost for you and your team, as the shield functions the same way that health does. Meaning: The shield scales with resistances. Its great for defense, provides utility for your team, and gives CDR at a budget price.

  • Runic Bulwark: Pick this up if you're up against a strong AOE comp and your jungler or support wasn't smart enough to get it.

  • Zeke's Herald: All the stats are helpful to you and it could be a great boost for your team. Just make sure that you have a jungler who benefits from it. Its not worth buying just for you and your ADC.

  • Last Whisper: You can combo this with The Black Cleaver if the enemy is stacking mass armor.

  • Youmuu's Ghostblade: AD, armor pen, CDR and crit are all beneficial stats. You also get more ATS and movement speed from the active.

  • Atma's Impaler: If you want more armor to top off your build it doesn't get any better then this, as you will also get more AD and crit.

  • Maw of Malmortius: If you find yourself needing more magic res you can pick this up. Build Hexdrinker whenever you feel that you need it and build Maw of Malmortius as your final item.

  • Phantom Dancer: Great anti kite tool. Also provides crit and massive ATS to boost your DPS when Judgment is on cooldown.

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Bot Lane Partners

The True Power of Supports

Dont Lane With Me

Even though you can win lanes with the above champs, they are among the worst choices. You don't want to lane with champs that have little to no CC. And you definitely don't want to lane with someone that needs minion farm and kills as much as you do. Basically, you don't want to lane with another carry. You need to be shooting for supports and tanks.

If you're in a premade or even solo queue and you have the choice of your lane partner, these are the champs you should be looking for.

Top Tier

Taric: Look at your lane partner, now look at mine. Back at yours, now back at mine. Can your lane partner heal? No? Look up, look down. You just got stunned. Can your lane partner stun? No he cant, because your laning 2 carries. You cant lane like us, but you can at least smell like us. Old Taric Spice available now.

Alistar: He's a CC monster, with a heal, that does good damage. Garen and Alistar is an unbeatable lane.

Cho'Gath: Powerful knock up, powerful silence, great damage.

Leona: Leona has great CC and she does decent damage early game. The best thing about Leona is her fantastic ability to initiate. Thats exactly what Garen needs from his lane partner, because he cant very well without Flash.

Lux: I dont know if Riot did this on purpose, but these two make a great team. She has good damage, a spell shield, a slow, and a trap that can hit 2 targets. Siblings unite!

Singed: Throwback, powerful slow, good damage.

Swain: Normally a solo lane, BUT he has too much CC to not be on this list. Garen and Swain are a good combo.

Zilean: Good damage, fantastic harass, powerful slow/speed boost, and a great ult.

Mid Tier

Amumu: Its on like Donkey Kong after he gets his ult. Until then all he has is his stun which is a skill shot that hits minions. Not very consistent. And his ult is on a dreadful cooldown.

Blitzcrank: His pull is great, but its a skill shot that hits minions. Same problem as Amumu. He also has his knock up and he does good damage.

Janna: Slow, knock up, OP shield and a nice CC heal with her ult. Doesn't contribute much damage, but she makes up for it with utility.

Karma: Good damage, shield, heal, slow/speed boost. I wanna buy this champ just because no one ever plays her.

Morgana: She has the same problem with her trap as Amumu and Blitz. But she has an OP shield and a great ult.

Orianna: Good damage, slow, shield, and a nice CC ult.

Ryze: Good damage and a spammable trap.

Low Tier

*Note* When I say "Low Tier" I don't mean that as an insult to the champions. I just mean that they aren't the BEST fits for Garen.

Galio: Good damage, slow/speed boost. He lacks strong CC until he gets his ult. Its a great ult though.

Kayle: Slow, heal, shield ult. Not much in the way of CC but Kayle has great damage.

Malphite: Slow, debuffs and a great knock up with his ult.

Maokai: His main contribution to Garen is his root. Decent CC and good utility from his ult.

Nunu: Powerful slow and a shared buff. The problem is that his ult is easy to counter. If you can shut down his ult consistently, Nunu isnt worth much. Hes very powerful if you cant.

Rammus: Knock up, taunt, decent damage. He is way better in team fights then lane. Decent choice but not optimal.

Shen: Taunt, global shield ult. Shen really needs a slow or some other form of utility. Hes getting passed up by other tanks.

Sona: Heal, various buffs, ult stun. Good support champ, but not the best for Garen. He needs strong CC not buffs. Hes strong enough.

Soraka: Silence, OP heals. Soraka is going to give the you best lane sustain out of any champ in the game, but shes not going to help you kill.

Lulu: Makes you really hard to kill.

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Early Game

Tip: First of all, dont be afraid to harass early on. With the health regen from your passive you can take some damage and not have to worry about it. You're extremely powerful early game so you need to take advantage of that. Playing safe wont get you anywhere fast with Garen.

Tip: At this point you're completely and totally reliant on your skills. You want to start a fight with Q and follow up with E. If your taking damage activate W. If your opponent was already missing health you should be able to seal the deal with your ult. If the champ is at full health you want to start the fight with Exhaust to maximize your damage. If they try to get away you have Flash to close the distance really fast and get your Ult off.

Counter Jungling

In most cases Garen is going to dominate solo top. If you're doing good, you want to make sure that your wrath is felt in more then just your lane. On your first trip back you'll want to pick up 2 wards. Place one in the river so you don't get ganked. Place the other near the enemy blue or red buff depending on which side of the map you're on. When the enemy jungler goes for that buff, wreck havok. You can wait until the buff is low and try to steal it, or you can Exhaust the jungler and go in for the kill. If your jungler is in position to help, its going to be an easy kill.

You have to be careful though. If the enemy has ward coverage as well, they'll know what your up to and react accordingly. You could end up in a 3v1 situation if your not careful.


  • Initial Spawn Time: 2:30
  • Respawn Time: 6 minutes
  • Reward: 150 global gold + 25 bonus gold to whoever deals the killing blow

Controlling dragon goes a long way to winning a game and the first can be the most important. Early game gold advantages set the tone for the rest of the game. If you can get dragon without the other team knowing, you'll have a major advantage. Why? Because they wont know the respawn time. Lets say you get dragon at 10:47, type "dragon 16:47" into team chat. This way your whole team knows when to get into position for the dragon respawn. Repeat this process and get in the habit of doing it. Do the same thing for Baron.

When to Dragon

Getting dragon is huge for your team, but going for it at the wrong time can be devastating. You can end up getting dragon stolen and giving kills to the enemy team at the same time.

The first dragon can be the hardest to get. You want to wait until you have Wriggle's Lantern or at least Madred's Razors. You never want to go for it when the entire enemy team is alive. If they have ward control over dragon it can go very badly for you. The only safe way to go for it in that case, is to have your support sneak off with an Oracle's Elixir and scout for wards. It's way too expensive to do early game. Another option would be to place a Vision Ward near dragon. Vision Wards will reveal other wards in the area. If you dont find any, its safe to assume that you can take dragon. But there could be other wards nearby that can still alert the enemy to your position.

The best time to go for Dragon is after at least 2 enemies die. If your bot lane scores a double kill this is the perfect opportunity, if they're in good health. Ping dragon immediately if it can be done. If you have a support to heal, getting dragon will be no problem if you're equipped for it. The enemy jungler wont be able to stop you, because he would be walking into a 3v1. You just need to keep him out of Smite range. It would be a good idea to have your mid lane come as well for the extra support if possible.

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Team Fighting


Focus is the most important aspect of team fighting and it should be discussed with your team every game. One mistake people make is calling out one enemy champ as the focus. You cant always focus the same champ due to different circumstances, so you need to prioritize.

Here are some factors that should be considered when choosing a focus:
  • Durability
  • Damage
  • Ability to escape

Obviously you dont want to focus the tank. At all. If the enemy tank gets hit by anything other then aoe attacks, your not playing correctly. Dont put any effort into killing a tank until all other champs are dead.

Someone you dont want to put too much effort into killing first would be someone like Shaco. Garen is a good match for him because you can just silence him and take away his ability to escape. But otherwise your going to end up doing massive damage to him just to spend valuable time chasing. If you can do enough damage to take him out of the fight, thats enough. Focus someone else afterward.

A perfect focus would be someone like Annie. She has massive damage, aoe stuns, short cooldowns, and shes squishy. She cannot be allowed to live long or you will lose fights every time. Annie is a game changer in the right hands.

But like I said, you cant always focus the same person every time so here is an example of prioritizing an enemy team, by taking the above factors into consideration:

#1 Annie
#2 Ashe
#3 Shaco
#4 Blitzcrank
#5 Rammus

Simply prioritizing your targets goes a long way to winning a game.

Your Role as DPS Garen

First of all, don't ever initiate a full team fight. Your building to carry, not to tank. Its not your job. I hope Ive made this clear throughout the guide. If you get caught in a bad situation use Flash and Decisive Strike to reposition yourself.

Normally you want to lead with Decisive Strike. Silencing someone like Annie is beyond helpful to your team. But champs with silences are few and far between. This means that sometimes you have to be careful when you use it. Someone like Nunu can change the flow of a fight with his ult. If you going up against one, you need to save it for him. If your teammates are in danger, you need to silence him. If you cant reach him in time, you have Flash to close the distance.

If I had to choose between silencing Annie or saving it for Nunu, I would choose Annie. You still have Exhaust to weaken Nunu's ult.

A bad target for your silence would be someone like Tryndamere. Hes an auto attacker so the silence isnt going to sway his effectiveness.

You need to use good judgement when using Decisive Strike. When used properly, its a major advantage for your team.

Your ult can also be used in ways to help your team, besides simply ensuring a kill for yourself. Its good for finishing off someone trying to run away. Its also really good for finishing off a tank. A tank with 20% health is still difficult to kill in a timely manner. But not if you have your ult. You shouldn't focus a tank right away, but if one enters a fight at low heath you can finish them off with the press of a button, and take away a valuable member of the enemy team.

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Mid Game

Tip: For the love of god, don't strait up initiate team fights if you don't have Randuin's Omen. You'll get eaten alive.

Tip: Farm jungle or lanes whenever possible with Judgment. The ability tears through minion waves even better then it used to.

Tip: Buy some damn wards. If you can afford one when you go back to shop there's no reason not to. Dragon and Baron are always good places to keep wards up. Just one ward can change the flow of an entire game.

Here's a map of some proper ward locations:

Blue/Green = Aggressive wards for blue team
Green = Neutral ward locations
Purple/Green = Aggressive wards for purple team

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Late Game


  • Initial Spawn Time - 15:00
  • Respawn Time - 7 minutes
  • Reward: 300 global gold + global buff

Baron can be a game changer, but its important to realize that it doesn't ensure a win. Ive seen many players get really cocky with Baron buff and make stupid mistakes. Baron buff is an advantage that you want to have. Its going to make you more powerful, but its not going to make you invincible. Getting cocky is just going to lead to you wasting your buff.

When to Baron

Mid game Barons are possible, but highly unlikely. 95% of the time, the first Baron kill will come after everyone has hit lvl 18. Its really hard to get Baron otherwise, because you need to be geared up to get it quickly. Getting Baron unnoticed is near impossible in lvl 30 games. Players understand the importance of it and will keep wards over there.

The best time to Baron is right after a team fight. If you get at least 3 kills and the other two retreated to base, that's your chance to get Baron. But you have to do it quickly. 2 members of the enemy team cant win a 2v5, but its entirely possible for them to steal Baron from you at the last second. Especially if one of them has Smite.

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Video Guides

Top Lane

Garen Vs Fiora

Garen Vs Teemo

Garen Vs Nasus

Full Games

Original Guide

Best Garen Game Ever

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Patch Notes

Patch 3.03

Heal amount reduced to 0.4% of maximum Health per second from 0.5%

Decisive Strike
Fixed a bug where the cast time was faster than intended

Passive adjusted to now increase bonus Armor and Magic Resist (from items, runes or masteries) by 20% instead of total Armor and Magic Resist by 20%

Demacian Justice
Fixed a bug where the cast time was faster than intended

v1.0.0.145 - 2012-08-15


Base Health Regen reduced to 8.25 from 9.85
Health Regen per level reduced to 0.75 from 0.85
Base Attack Damage reduced to 56 from 60.1
Attack Damage per level increased to 3.5 from 3

Perseverance (Passive)
Delay increased to 9 seconds from 7 seconds
No longer deactivates when damaged by lane minions
Now displays the Health Regen gained in the tooltip

Decisive Strike
Cooldown reduced to 8 seconds at all ranks from 12/11/10/9/8
Movement Speed increased to 35% at all ranks from 15/20/25/30/35%
Movement Speed duration adjusted to 1.5/2.25/3/3.75/4.5 seconds from 4 at all ranks
Base damage increased to 30/55/80/105/130 from 30/45/60/75/90
Silence duration reduced to 1.5/1.75/2/2.25/2.5 seconds from 2.5 at all ranks
Now removes slows on activation
Can now critically strike again
Buff duration reduced to 4.5 seconds from 6
Fixed: Garen's next basic attack after Decisive Strike no longer occurs unusually quickly
Fixed: Decisive Strike is no longer consumed if Garen fails to finish attacking
While performing Decisive Strike, Garen now continues to follow his target if they are moving

Changed to passively increase Armor and Magic Resist by 20% rather than 0 to 25 based on kills
Damage reduction adjusted to 30% from 20/24/28/32/36%
Active now additionally grants 30% Crowd Control Reduction
Duration adjusted to 2/3/4/5/6 seconds from 3/3/3/3/3
Cooldown adjusted to 24/23/22/21/20 seconds from 30/27/24/21/18

Damage adjusted to 20/45/70/95/120 (+0.7/0.8/0.9/1.0/1.1 total Attack Damage) from 50/90/130/170/210 (+1.4 bonus Attack Damage)
Damage dealt to minions increased to 75% from 50%
No longer removes slows on activation or reduces the duration of incoming slows while active
Ignores unit collision during Judgment but takes a 20% Movement Speed penalty when spinning through minions
Fixed: Judgment no longer locks out Garen from taking other actions longer than intended

Demacian Justice
Cooldown adjusted to 160/120/80 seconds from 140/120/100

v1.0.0.143 - 2012-07-19

Added a buff timer to show when Perseverance will reactivate

v1.0.0.136 - 2012-03-20

Fixed a bug where Demacian Justice would not finish casting if Garen lost vision of the target during the cast

v1.0.0.125 - 2011-09-14

Decisive Strike attack damage ratio decreased to 1.4 from 1.5
Damage per second reduced to 50/90/130/170/210 from 60/100/140/180/220
Bonus attack damage ratio increased to 1.4 from 1.2

v1.0.0.123 - 2011-08-09

Decisive Strike movement speed duration increased to 4 seconds from 3 seconds
Judgment cooldown reduced to 13/12/11/10/9 seconds from 14/13/12/11/10 seconds
Courage maximum armor and magic resistance now 25 at all ranks from 5/10/15/20/25

v1.0.0.120 - 2011-06-22

Fixed a bug where Recuperate could sometimes activate immediately after taking damage
Now marks Garen as being in combat even if the damage is shielded
Now shows the particle on Garen even if at 100% health

v1.0.0.114 - 2011-03-28

Base movement speed increased to 320 from 315
Courage damage reduction increased to 20/24/28/32/36 from 10/15/20/25/30

v1.0.0.112 - 2011-03-01

Decisive Strike
Movement speed boost increased to 3 seconds from 2
Total duration available to proc the silence and hit reduced to 6 seconds from 7
Bonus damage ratio increased to 150% from 120%
Judgment cooldown reduced to 14/13/12/11/10 from 15/14/13/12/11 seconds

v1.0.0.109 - 2011-01-17

Judgement bonus attack damage scaling increased to 1.2 from 1.0 per second

v1.0.0.108 - 2011-01-03

Judgment base damage increased to 60/100/140/180/220 from 60/90/120/150/180 per second

v1.0.0.107 - 2010-12-14

Decisive Strike attack damage ratio increased to 120% from 100%
Decisive Strike base damage reduced to 30/45/60/75/90 from 40/60/80/100/120
Base damage per second changed to 60/90/120/150/180 from 30/70/110/150/190
Scaling increased to 100% per second from 70%
Now scales off of only bonus attack damage rather than all attack damage

v1.0.0.105 - 2010-11-15

Reduced Garen's selection size

v1.0.0.103 - 2010-10-18

Judgment can no longer damage invisible minions or objects like wards

V1.0.0.102 - 2010-10-04

Base movement speed reduced to 315 from 320
Courage duration modified to 3 at all levels from 2/2.5/3/3.5/4
Courage active damage reduction changed to 10/15/20/25/30% from 30% at all levels

v1.0.0.101 - 2010-09-21

Courage damage reduction reduced to 30% from 35%
Perseverance is no longer removed by combat dehancing effects such as Warwick's Blood Scent
Fixed various bugs that caused Garen's Demacian Justice to fizzle sometimes

v1.0.0.100 - 2010-09-08

Courage maximum armor/magic resistance reduced to 5/10/15/20/25 from 7/14/21/28/35

v1.0.0.99 - 2010-08-24

Judgment now reduces the duration of new slows by 50% rather than granting immunity to slowing effects. Judgement will still completely clear any exisiting slows when activated.

v1.0.0.98 - 2010-08-10

Decisive Strike now resets Garen's auto attack timer on cast

v1.0.0.97 - 2010-07-27

Garen can now cast all of his spells while using Judgment instead of just Courage.
Slightly increased the range of Judgment

v1.0.0.96 - 2010-07-13

Fixed a bug with Decisive Strike that would cause the icon cooldown to display improperly.

v1.0.0.94 - 2010-06-24

Fixed a bug where Garen will sometimes appear with a different skin after reconnecting

v1.0.0.85 - 2010-05-11

Fixed the buff tooltip for Perseverance to show the correct value
Fixed a bug with Decisive Strike where it was silencing for the incorrect amount of time
Fixed a bug with Decisive Strike so that it can no longer crit

Guide Top


Final Thoughts On Garen

I can honestly say that Garen is finally in a place where I'm almost totally happy with him, thanks to the new masteries and items. I hope that they decide to change his ult to true damage in the future to match Darius and Cho'Gath, but other then that... Im happy. I love this new Garen more then I ever loved him in the past.

Have fun pwning face guys. Peace out and always remember that in order to win, you should always Spin to Crit :)


My Youtube:

This channel contains all of my current video guides and will be the home of my future guides as well. You might find some music that suits you in my favorites as well :)

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I have an indie and an electronic station if you're interested.

Special Thanks

Aegis8: Aegis didnt give me my first upvote, but he is my first real supporter. Hes been consistently commenting on my guide since August 6, 2011. He defends the guide whenever a troll makes himself known in the comments and he answers questions people have when Im not around to do so. Thanks for all the support buddy.

madalin120988: Madalin has been consistently posting on the guide for a long time as well. Like Aegis, he will answer questions when Im not around to do so. And whenever I get trolled Madalin always seems to come out of no where to defend me along with Aegis. These 2 guys are like my crew lol. Thanks for all the support bro.

jhoijhoi: Thanks for reviewing the guide and inspiring the format.

User Scores

*Note* I'm no longer accepting user scores. Congratulations to those that made it in the guide.

Summoner's Rift

A final score of 48 from user Rorszak. Good luck beating that unless you make a smurf account lol.

A final score of 45 from Ronarudo.

Final score of 45 from Munashisa.

Final score of 42 from MrTantrum.

Final score of 41 from Mister Swagnet.

Final score of 41 mogenheid

A nice set from Niehm with a top score of 38.

A set of impressive scores from OlweTheBlue with a top score of 38.

Final score of 38 from N1ghtSh4d0w.

Final score of 37 from IM CAPS LOCK. This screenshot cracked me up.

A final score of 35 from user Cernotlapka.

A final score of 34 from Stouketzu.

A final score of 34 from user SquirrelZOD vs tank Garen

A very nice set from Colawar with a top score of 34.

Final score of 33 with a nice penta kill from DaNiG3.

Final score of 33 AND a flawless victory from 63n4r0.

Final score of 33 from TheMazi.

DonMarcoz with a flawless victory in a 50 minute game. Very nice.

Final score of 27 from KazeAlchemist.

Final score of 27 from Tarkus.

A very sexy flawless victory from Lilarcor

Here is a screen shot from Ruyman with a final score of 26.

A final score of 25 from StOrmZIsoNItZWaY. And guess what? PENTA KILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Final score of 25 from notenoughletters.

Final score of 24 from Karkat.

Final score of 23 from user MLPXJudge.

A couple flawless victories and a top score of 23 from Lilarcor.

Final score of 23 from RaptorKing12.

A final score of 23 from Synoic.

A flawless victory from user Aegis8. Final score of 22.

A sexy penta kill from WorthlessRasta.

A set of nice scores from Rush0wns including some flawless victories. Top score of 21.

Final score of 20 from Bellzelut.

Final score of 20 from user dr. honey badger.

Flawless victory from Zaltiar.

Final score of 19 from xILENCE.

The Twisted Treeline

Two scores from Der Cricri. Finals scores of 13 from Summoners Rift, and 30 from The Twisted Treeline.

Final score of 23 from Synoic.

Final score of 22 from koper16000.

Another flawless victory from Aegis8 with a final score of 19.

Guide Top



Throughout Valoran, the resolve of Demacia's military is alternately celebrated or despised, but always respected. Their ''zero tolerance'' moral code is strictly upheld by civilians and soldiers alike. In combat, this means Demacian troops may not make excuses, flee, or surrender under any circumstance. These principles are espoused to their forces by unrivaled demagogues who lead by example. Garen, the valiant warrior who bears the title ''the Might of Demacia'', is the paradigm to which these leaders are compared. Thousands of great heroes have risen and fallen on the bloody battlefields between Demacia and its preeminent rival, Noxus. It was beneath their mighty banners of war that Garen first met steel with Katarina, the Sinister Blade. The infantrymen who beheld this event (and survived) commented that it seemed as though the two were locked in a mortal waltz against a symphony of clashing blades.

Garen, the pride of the Demacian military and leader of the Dauntless Vanguard, returned from this battle breathless for the first time in his career, though some speculate that this was due to reasons other than exhaustion. The plausibility of these rumors was bolstered when, in every instance thereafter, Garen seized the opportunity to encounter the Sinister Blade again. A paragon of Demacian ethic, Garen never entertained such allegations, for he knew others couldn't understand. Even simply the pursuit of a worthy opponent on the battlefield is, to a true warrior, the reason to rise each morning. The promise of one, particularly so beautifully and diametrically opposed, is the validation of his existence.

"The most effective way to kill an opponent is to slice through the man next to him." - Garen, on front line strategy

Friends & Relatives


Born to the prestigious Crownguards, the paragon family of Demacian service, Luxanna was destined for greatness. She grew up as the family's only daughter, and she immediately took to the advanced education and lavish parties required of families as high profile as the Crownguards. As Lux matured, it became clear that she was extraordinarily gifted. She could play tricks that made people believe they had seen things that did not actually exist. She could also hide in plain sight. Somehow, she was able to reverse engineer arcane magical spells after seeing them cast only once. She was hailed as a prodigy, drawing the affections of the Demacian government, military, and citizens alike.

As one of the youngest women to be tested by the College of Magic, she was discovered to possess a unique command over the powers of light. The young Lux viewed this as a great gift, something for her to embrace and use in the name of good. Realizing her unique skills, the Demacian military recruited and trained her in covert operations. She quickly became renowned for her daring achievements; the most dangerous of which found her deep in the chambers of the Noxian High Command. She extracted valuable inside information about the Noxus-Ionian conflict, earning her great favor with Demacians and Ionians alike. However, reconnaissance and surveillance was not for her. A light of her people, Lux's true calling was the League of Legends, where she could follow in her brother's footsteps and unleash her gifts as an inspiration for all of Demacia.

''Her guiding light makes enemies weary, but they should worry most when the light fades.''
-- Garen, The Might of Demacia


As the royal family of Demacia for centuries, members of the Lightshield line have spent their lives waging war against any who opposed Demacian ethics. It is said that every Lightshield is born with anti-Noxian sentiment in his blood. Jarvan IV is no exception, even though he is the first Lightshield born to the age of the League of Legends. As his forefathers had before him, he led Demacian troops into bloody engagements with Noxian forces, and on many occasions he has bled alongside wounded allies and fallen comrades. In his most crushing defeat, he was outmaneuvered and captured by a Noxian battalion under the command of Jericho Swain. This mistake nearly cost him his life at the hands of Urgot, but he was rescued by the Dauntless Vanguard, an elite Demacian strike force led by Jarvan IV's childhood companion, Garen.

Those close to him believed that his capture changed him. Xin Zhao was quoted as saying: ''His eyes never seemed to look at you, only through you to something he could not look away from.'' One day, without warning, Jarvan IV handpicked a squad of Demacian soldiers and left Demacia, vowing to find ''atonement''. He began by tracking and hunting the most dangerous beasts and bandits he could find in northern Valoran, but he soon tired of such prey. Seeking something that only he understood, he ventured south of the Great Barrier. He wasn't heard from again for nearly two years. After many had assumed the worst, he returned to glorious fanfare on the streets of Demacia. His Demacian plates were adorned with the bones and scales of creatures unknown. His eyes bore the wisdom of someone twice his age. Of the twelve soldiers who had departed with him, only two returned. In a tone as cold and steady as steel, he swore to bring the enemies of Demacia to their knees.

''There is only one truth, and you will find it at the point of my lance.''
- the ''last words'' of Jarvan IV at his failed execution



There are warriors who become great for their strength, cunning, or skill with arms. Others simply refuse to die. Urgot, once a great soldier of Noxus, may constitute a case in support of the latter. Prone to diving headlong into enemy battle lines, Urgot sewed chaos throughout the enemy ranks, often sustaining grievous injuries in the process. When his body was unable to weather further abuse, the crippled Urgot was delegated the position of High Executioner of Noxus. By this time, his hands had been ruined and he could barely walk. Scythe-like grafts affixed to his maimed limbs served to carry out his bloody work.

Urgot finally met his end at what should have been his finest hour. Because of his military background, he often accompanied detachments into foreign territory to carry out judgment. After ambushing an enemy force, Jarvan IV, Crown Prince of Demacia, fell into the clutches of Urgot's division. Too far from Noxus to risk transporting their prize for ransom, Urgot prepared to dispose of their captive. At the final moment, however, the Dauntless Vanguard, led by Garen, the Might of Demacia, intervened, and Urgot was cut in two by the zealous warrior as he scrambled to free his Prince. In recognition of his service, the executioner's remains were remanded to the Bleak Academy for reanimation. A lifetime of abuse, however, had left his body in a catastrophic state; proving problematic to the necromancers' craft. Professor Stanwick Pididly, the prevailing scholar of Zaun, offered a solution. Within Pididly's laboratories, a nightmarish new body was forged for Urgot. Now as much machine as man, Urgot arrived at the League of Legends in search of the man who ended his life; necromantic energies coursing through his metal veins.

''We can rebuild him. We have the techmaturgy.'' --Professor Stanwick Pididly


As a militaristic state, it would perhaps come as no surprise that the primary responsibilities of Noxian women are raising strong children and providing succor for husbands who walk the path of soldiery. There are some, however, for whom nurture is not nature, and Katarina is just such a creature. Born the daughter of the feared Noxian General Du Couteau, the girl was always more interested in her father's knives than in the dresses, jewelry, and other trifles that her sisters spent so much time fussing over. A childhood dispute soon unveiled her uncanny knack for bloodshed, and her father, ever the opportunist, happily fostered her killer instincts. After training under the tutelage of the finest assassins the mighty city-state had to offer, Katarina first cut her teeth performing assassinations in the Ionian War. There, her ruthless mastery of the knife and dagger combined with her sadistic temperament to earn her the title Sinister Blade, a moniker that would follow her for the remainder of her career. She is most famous, however, for her exploits in the campaigns against Demacia, especially those surrounding her engagements with the nation's champion, Garen; a rivalry that began when she recovered the remains of Sion from a vanguard under his protection.

With the demand for warfare somewhat arrested by the tenuous peace settling over Valoran, Katarina sought the allure of violence in its last remaining haven: The League of Legends. Some might say it was an inevitability that Katarina's chosen path would draw her to become a champion of the League, continuing to enforce the will of Noxus and bring prestige of war to her noble family. There, she continues to perform her bloody work - esteemed and reviled, feared and adored.

"The Sinister Blade of Noxus is like a black widow - beautiful, but deadly." - Garen, the Might of Demacia, following a skirmish in the field

*Note* As far as I know, these are the only champions with direct links to Garen. There are some other possibilities, like Xin for example. Xin is close to Jarvan, but theres no evidence to show a friendship between him and Garen. Its entirely possible that they've never even spoken to each other. If there is someone that I missed, let me know.

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