Garen Build Guide by Het jaguar

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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 Het jaguar

Spin to victory!

Het jaguar Last updated on June 23, 2012
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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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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About Garen, Garen is a melee fighter and nothing but a beast early game, easy to play and easy to succeed with, be aware that this is my opinions. And if u disagree, please tell me what u think could be improved. Btw english is not my native language if u haven't noticed.
I play Garen Quite tanky, I will explain why later.
Garen was one my first champions, he is EXTREMELY easy to play, the trick with Garen is to know what to buy, being flexible with your build! and knowing what Garen is capable of. And he is capable of a lot.

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Your place on the team

The one and only place for Garen in the meta of today is solo top. And I must say that Garen is a beast there. Garen was my first main champ and I ruled solo top on ranked games, yet I lost alot. Why? I mean i did get fed every single day, and one day i realized why I lost. I was to greedy. This is possibly the most important thing to remember playing Garen, don't be to greedy.

Example: You are totally dominating your lane, denying your opponent from farming minions and u have already slain him once, so he is still worth money. Your jungler comes to gank, usually i would secure the kill (ks) with my ult, but if u wanna win, give the kill to your jungler. At least when u are dominating your lane. He will get an advantage over the other jungler so he can counterjungle, he can buy items for better ganks and help other lanes that needs help.

Later on, you might wanna give the kills to your ad/ap carry. U can ks with the ulti if u want to, and you should every once in a while, but your main income should still be last hitting minions. This is also important, and I've seen alot of Garen players doing this mistake. DO NOT USE YOUR SPIN TO FARM MINIONS!!! Why? well you push so you can't give as many kills to your jungler. Last hitting is better, maybe a bit harder but u will get some easy kills due to Garens op early game. In team fights u might wanna initiate depending on if you have someone tankier than yourself in your team. First u are going to silence their ap carry, if they have one, and they probably do. If u get aggro it's great! Pop W when they start to attack you. And then spin, in team fights you shouldn't worry about Ksing with your ult, the sooner u get someone down the better!

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Summoner Spells

I always run with either Ghost or Flash, i try to not use it when chasing enemies, I try to save it until their jungler ganks.

Reduces the victims damage ALOT and also slowing them. I usually use this on their AD carry in teamfights except if their AP carry is seriously fed.

I use this spell alot! If I see their jungler comes to gank bot lane I just tp to a ward bot and i get at LEAST one free kill, often two. Also I can get back faster to lane, Teleport is extremely viable for Garen as he isn't as dependent of offensive spells such as Exhaust and Ignite.

Ignite Every team needs an ignite, if no one wants to take ignite you can take it. Or if u play versus champs that heals up like Dr Mundo Swain and AD Sion.

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When I play Garen I choose to have very defensive runes, the quints gives you a great chunk of HP so u can stay longer in lane, I take armor seals and Magic resist glyphs once again for the sustain and finally AD Marks for awesome damage early on. Most runes works fine on Garen, if you prefer like full ad it's fine and full tank works also, I can also strongly recommend Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

Edit: Moumoon recommended me to switch the AD marks to Armor pen marks. This is up to the player, I play with up to 200 hundred ping ad the bonus ad really helps me last hit, but the armor pen is ALOT better late and mid game, so it's up to you. I am going to keep the ad marks on the top just because I want to be different ;) But Armor pen is also strongly recommended!

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Once again, do as you want, I like building really defensive because Garen still deals tons of damage early on. I used to go with 21/9/0 But I honestly thinks 9/21/0 is better.

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This is interesting, if u look on the very top of this build you'll see one way to build Garen, but I do not always build him like that, it depends alot of who I'm facing in lane. For example:
I play versus a Nasus he can't possibly kill me without a gank pre lvl 6 so I can either stack Dorans Blade and try to snowball or m√°ybe just deny him, farming minions and go for items that I wont have to sell later. Let's say i dont stack Doran. I will win my lane however I build and might wanna go for some late game items right away. What should I get then? I usually go with Phage and then Trinity Force cuz of not only the amazing overall stats but also for massive damage with Q and a 25% chance to slow. Trinity is also good because u can go both AD and tank from there. If you have let's say... A Malphite jungler, then you already have a tank, then you can easily go for a brutalizer, Wriggle's Lantern or even a bloodthirster if you win your lane. If you lose your lane versus... Let's say a Fiora then You might wanna go for Ninja tabis and then Sunfire Cape that's important, be FLEXIBLE! If I would have a Twitch, one of the weakest jungler in game, in my team I would go tanky regardless of how well my lane goes. Then I would recommend maybe a Locket of the Iron Solari and a Randuin's Omen / Aegis of the Legion to give him and our ad carry extra sustain. Another viable item for a scenario like this is Zeke's Herald

There are three items that I ALWAYS try to have late game, Trinity Force for the stats and for the passives, an excellent item. Boots, I strongly recommend Mercury Treads vs a team with stuns and snares and such, or if they are heavy AP. If they are heavy AD I would go Ninja tabis. Boots of Swiftness is definetly viable and I buy it every now and then. It's especially good versus ranged solo toppers like Vladimir and Teemo because of your lack of instant gap closers. And finally I always finish my build with some armor penetration. Last whisper if they have alo of armor, The Black Cleaver if they have medium armor and Yoououououomuuoous Ghost blade if they have low armor.

Item Sequence

Mercury's Treads


Trinity Force

Sunfire Cape

Infinity Edge

Force of Nature

Last Whisper

Edit: I've changed my build a lot! First I realized (thanks to moumoon) that Infinity Edge was extremelystronk to Garen. So I switched out atmas for an infinity edge giving me about 25 extra ad, 7% extra crit chance and making my crits even more deadly. But Then I lost some armor, so I simply removed Warmog's Armor and replaced it with Sunfire Cape for the armor, i did lose some health but I would say it was still worth it, nice armor and the passive isn't worthless. This is a good build for an average game against a balanced team, still remember, be FLEXIBLE.

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I usually max my Judgement but not always, if I lose my lane I max Courage and if I snowball heavy I Max Q. Why? Because Decisive Strike plus the Sheen passive from Trinity Force is massive damage, I would also max Q first versus ranged solo toppers, as I mentioned above.

Garen gains a 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35% speed boost for 3 seconds. His next attack deals 150% of his base damage plus 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 bonus damage and silences his target for 2.5 seconds.

Cooldown 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8seconds
Range 300.

This ability silences, so if you want to catch a squishy mage (ex.: Malzahar) make sure you pull off a Q on him before you E so then he cannot run away for stun you.

-You can use this abilitiy to run back to lane faster.
-Use this ability to escape a gank.
-Use this move before flashing onto an enemy for an instant silence.
-Don't make the mistake of using E before Q because they can flash away.

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 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25.

Active: Garen places a defensive shield on himself for the next 3 seconds, decreasing all damage taken by 20 / 24 / 28 / 32 / 36%.

Cooldown 30 / 27 / 24 / 21 / 18 seconds


I consider this move a little something extra for Garen's toughness. When diving the enemy team or clearing a huge creep wave, use W to decrease damage for a certain percentage. The active on this ability isn't based off armor or magic resistance, so ALL damage is decreased by 20/24/28/32/36.

-Use this ability when a turret is about to hit you for a decent amount of damage reduction.
-Long cooldown, so don't spam it too much.
-Tanking the enemy team with this ability active will make a big difference to your survivability.


Garen rapidly spins his sword around his body for 3 seconds, reducing the duration of slows by 50% and dealing 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 (+) physical damage to nearby enemies every 1 seconds. Garen removes any slow effects on him at the start of the dance.

The bonus damage is further increased by Garen's critical strike chance. Damage to minions is reduced by 50%.

Cooldown 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 seconds
Range 330


This ability is what Garen is most known for. "Spin to win" which is correct. This ability does a decent amount of damage overtime and is further increased with AD, Armor penetration, and Critical strike chance. This Ability is strong early game starting at level 2 Judgement. This move creates so much terror when combined jumping onto the enemy team.

-Use Judgement right after silencing them with your Q so they can't flash away.
-This ability can be used defensively like lowering CC time when used (great for running away from immobilizes or slows).
-Great for farming creeps.
-Get some critical strike items (like Youmouu's Ghostblade and Atma's Impaler) to strengthen this ability.
-Can be cancelled after the global cooldown (ex.: To use Garen's Ultimate on the enemy faster).
-Can Crit.

Garen calls upon the might of Demacia to attempt to execute an enemy champion, dealing 175 / 350 / 525 damage plus 1 damage for every 3.5 / 3 / 2.5 health they are missing.

Cooldown 140 / 120 / 100 / 0seconds
Range 400


After Garen's full combo, it is topped off with Garen's Ultimate if they are low enough. It is hard to tell when the perfect time to use this is, because it isn't based off flat amounts like Cho'gath's R. You just have to guess if they are low enough (usually 20%~) because it is affected by the enemy's magic resistance. It's hard to tell sometimes unless they are extremely low. Get Archaic Knowledge in the offensive tree because it helps with this.

-Not an instant ability (1~ second) but should usually ensure a kill.
-Try not using this ability too early as you will lose a lot of its potential damage by doing so.
-Magic penetration and magic resistance is affected.

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Laning with Garen is simple. Last hit with basic attacks and harass with Q, when you feel that your opponent is low enough go in for the kill using E. Exchange alot! If both you and your opponent loses... Let's say 20% hp in one exchange you are the winner. Why? Because of your passive u can just stay back and get CRAZY health reg. Try to buy at least ONE ward everytime you go b. So u can see if their jungler comes to gank and such. When You get Sheen/Trinity be sure to Q the turret whenever you can because it deals huge damage to turrets!

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Hope you enjoyed this build, please read it before you thumb it up/down.