Garen Build Guide by Gasoline

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Gasoline

Spin To Win with ODG

Gasoline Last updated on December 17, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hello, mates! This is my first guide for a champion and I used to make on for Garen. I see alot of ****py guides here on mobafire for Garen, they are rushing things like Phantom Danceror even Hextech Gunblade. But more to items under the Items-section. So, short things to Garen. Garen is a meele-fighter, dimensioned for snacking squishys at best AP Nuker like Annie, Anivia, Veigar, etc. More about that under the Teamfight-section.
I play Garen now since 7 months as my favorite main. I'll try to go much in the details to explain you the gameplay better.

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Greater Mark of Strenght - I prefer this alot because it gives u nice early game damage and lane dominance.

Other options

Greater Mark of Desolation - I don't think this is neccessary if u rush 21 points in offense.


Greater Seal of Armor - I prefer Flatarmor because it's make u more beefy early game. I don't like Ar/Lvl because with your items u will have enough Armor mid-/lategame.

Other options

Greater Seal of Vigor - With that + your passive u have an incredible lane sustainability
Greater Seal of Vitality - Some extra HP over the whole game, good for early/midgame. At level 18, it's a free Ruby Crystal if u have 9 of them.


Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist - MR/LvL is very nice because u don't have much problems with AP early game, except u lane against i.e. Cho'Gath

Other options

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist - If the NR/lvl are too expensive, you can also rush Flat MR.


Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - Movement Speed es #1. U can never have enough except u reach the hard cap (around 460). I love them very much because u can escape from ganks very nice with this+t1 boots+Q. + Moar lane aggression very nice.

Other options

Greater Quintessence of Health - Some extra health for more beefy early game.
Greater Quintessence of Vigor - HP/5 is nice for bruiser because it gives well sustain on top, but with your passive you'll have enough Regeneration, so there should be no need for it.

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I prefer rushing 21-9-0
Let's take a look:
Summoner's Wrath - It scales well with bost Exhaust + Ignite
Brute Force - Bonus AD is nice, not much too explain right here.
Alacrity - The ASP may nice, but i rush it mainly cuz of dat 10% ArPen
Sorcery - CDR is nice, helps u with Harass and moar Q+E Combo in TF's
Weapon Expertise - 10% is gud/needable if u don't rush ArPen Runes like me.
Arcane Knowledge - I take this too fill the 20 points for last tier in tree

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I start with a Doran's Blade. I read in some Garen Guides u should never rush this. But i ask..why? It gives u nice health, a damage boost for your Decisive Strike and Judgment and Lifesteal. Ok, Garen don't really need Lifesteal, for laning phase, added with your Passive, this will make u heroic and gives u super sustainability. If u don't see yourself in need of the extradamage, grab a Doran's Shield. But Garen shines early game. With my runes and masteries i try to put out as much damage as possible out of him to get many kills in Early Game..and it works!
After you farmed yourseld(You'll need something between medicore and super farm) buy a The Brutalizer, Boots of Speed, and 1-2 Sight Ward. This will cost u 1837g.
Now go back to your lane, place your ward, and farm more. U will need 2355 gold for your next item( Atma's Impaler). Try to farm it in one. After that buy Mercury Treads. Now get a Warmog's Armor for the great Atmog-Combo. Grap a Sunfire Camp, because as Garen u are always in the middle of every one. This also gives u nice armor and a healt boost for your Atma's. By now...u should be around 35~40 Minutes. Buy a Force of Nature. It's a nice defensive item, adding some Magic Res, Movementspeed and Health Regen. The passive is also very nice. And now imagine...Full stacked Warmogs, FoN and your will be able to go back in a teamfight after a veery short time. So. Now u can go for one more offensive item:
Youmuu's Ghostblade It add's 5% mor CDR, and as Garen is cooldownbased, u will be dandy with this. The Active is also very nice. NEVER forget too buy wards and elexiers. U can also grab an oracle, if you don't have a supporter or tank in your team who does it.

Standard Build

This the pretty balanced build and gives u a nice damage output, but also great survivabilty.

Against Heavy AD

Ninja-Tabi for extra Amor and Dodge, the rest should be pretty selfexplanatory. I still run Ghostblade and Warmog's, otherwise I would just be a rock with no damage. And everyone knows Garen is not made for it.

Against Heavy AP

In this build i leave the Ghostblade out, but with the HP of Sunfire i should still be able to deal good damage. Banshee's is item with mana, yes. But it gives MR, Health, and the passive is nice. FoN, and the Watmog-Combo should be selfexplanatory.


So this build....yes...I used it one time because i wanted to troll a bit and i ran 19-10-24.
You may have HP, but u lack at Armor and MR. But the damage output is still nice! U have 60% crit, your Judgment deals ~500 damage with each spin. This is 1500 with one spell to each nearby enemy. Now...u know that this spell can crit..that would be..~900 dmg with each spin(only the bonus damage is affacted by crits)..that would be 2700 damage if u always crit!!! This build is funny, don't be afraid of tryin' it out!

Other choices for standard

If they have little-no Stun/Slow, u can pick this for more mobility.
U are going to put a lot of gold into pure offense, if u aren't the 1st/2nd mainfocus, u can go for it if u want.
The Slow is really nice. In addition, great Synergy with Atma's

Not recommended

The armor shred is nice, but u won't get the stacks before spinning.
Garen don't need lifesteal.
Hextech-Gunblade LoL no! U don't need ****in Lifesteal, AP, or SV.
ASPD is nothing for Garen.
Put this just for fun..obv that u shouldn't get this.

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Skilling: -> -> ->

Garen regenerates 0.5% of his maximum health per second after not taking damage for 7 seconds.

A decent passive while laning phase. If u see yourself with 20-50% HP hug your tower or go in bush and heal yourself for a while. But imho the passive loses is utility in late game, because laning phase ends and teamfights will start more often.

Garen charges up himself, increasing his movement speed for 15%/20%/25%/30%/35% and dealing 30/45/60/75/90(+1.4 per Attack Damage). After the strike, the target also gets silences for 2.5 seconds.
No cost
Cooldown: 12/11/10/9/8 seconds

This spell has many diffenrent uses:
-Escaping(Movement Speed)
-Chasing(Movement Speed)
In teamfights, try to use it on their AP Carrys before they can make their combo. In addition to the silence, the damage is also a huge amount(good AD ratio). Use it to go over the map faster. Use it to runaway and everything will be alright with you.Sad, Cho'Gath's Feral Scream is better, honestly ._.
Tipp: - This spell refreshes your attack timer after u hit your target, so try to use it immediately after an auto attack.
- While using Judgment, u can't activate Decisive Strike.
- Decisive Strike can't crit.

Passive: When Garen slays an enemy, he gets .5 magic resistence and armor. Stacks up to 25
Active: Garen protects himself with a shield, absorbing 20/24/28/32/36% incoming damage for 3 seconds. No cost
Cooldown: 30/27/24/21/18 seconds

THIS is the spell where Garen shout the one word everyone know: DEMACIAAAAAAAA! I like to put one point in this spell at level 3(or 4) to get 25 extra Armor and Megic Resistance. It has much of utility and now where it got buffed in patch u don't have to skill it seperate with Decisive Strike. Use it if u tank towerhits or are about escaping. This spell can save ur Demacian ***. But u don't get unkillable with this spell so don't overestimate yourself. Due to the long cooldown on this spell, I don't recommend spamming it.
Tipp: U can cast this spell while using Judgment.

Garen performes a Dance of Death, dealing 50/90/130/170/210(+1.4 per Bonus Attack Damage) to each nearby enemy for 3 seconds. Minions take half damage.

No cost
Cooldown: 13/12/11/10/9 seconds
Radius of AOE: 330

SPIN TO WIN!!! GREAT!!! This is your bread and butter skill. Max this full as fast as u can.
This is the reason why people fear the bushes. This spell is the facecheckerpunisher #1. With starting the spin, every slow goes away, and the new ones, casted during the spin, are reduced by 50%. U will try to damage as much enemies as possible in teamfights. Wait for nice initiate from your tank. The speel works great with the ulit's of Amumu, Galio, Annie, Orianna, Sona. In 90% of a fair teamfight, this will grant u the win, maybe even an ace.

Tipps for getting ganked:
If u get slowed, use Judgment, for refreshing the slow, use Decisive Strike and run. In addtion, use Courage. This would keep u well and u don't need to go b.

Garen calls up the Might Of Demacia, dealing 175/350/525 magic damage additional per amout of the heath his opponent is missing.
GIANT SWORD FROM ABOVE KABUSH BATZ!!!! Great finisher, noone can KS you if this is up and you are skilled. If are about spinning and see the enemy with enough HP for your Ulti, stop spinning and ult him. The ult will still hit even if they ran out of range.

Skillcombo: Q->E->W->R, nuf said. This should it be. If they are still alive, burn them down with Ignite.

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Summoner Spells

My run

Ignite Grants u some early kills. Remember to calculate your damage right with this spell.
I was so lazy and copied this chart from LoLwiki. It gives u a view to the damage. But never forget, that the enemy also have Health Regeneration. So if u see an Annie with 80 HP and u are Level 2, u won't get her probably. The spell also reduces incoming heals and health regen. by 50%. Use it in teamfights against pesky selfhealers like Swain, Dr. Mundo, Sion or Irelia.
Level Total Per Second
1 70 14
2 90 18
3 110 22
4 130 26
5 150 30
6 170 34
7 190 38
8 210 42
9 230 46
10 250 50
11 270 54
12 290 58
13 310 62
14 330 66
15 350 70
16 370 74
17 390 78
18 410 82

Exhaust to weaken the AD Carrys or AP Nuker in teamfights. But I prefer use this on AD Carrys like Master Yi, Vayne, Caitlyn. All this champions rely on auto-attacks. So they will be less useful in teamfights for the Exhaust duration.

Other Options

Flash Flash may be OP, but I still don't use it on Garen. Exhaust better for him.
Ghost U already have your Q for more speed. Get this if u are in need of an extra more boost. I also would prefer this over Flash. Imagine: Annie flashes away, chased by Nasus. He pops Ghost, put Wither on Annie, Siphonig Strike after. Good bye Annie. Flash is a Gap-Closer, Ghost makes u faster too get people in a distance.
Teleport Also a viable pick if u are solo laning or feel in need of this. Though i always try to go solo with Garen, I don't take it.
Cleanse If u see the enemyteam with lot of CC. As a meele, you will often see yourself in stuns, slows, etc.

Say NO! to:

Heal Erm no....u don't need it. Just no.
Fortify Let the tank or the supporter take it.
Clairvoyance U're not going to support.
Clarity Garen is very manahungry, u should take it.....NOT!
Smite U are not a jungler.
Revive Wanna kidding me?!

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This is the laning phase, obv. I like to take the lane ala solo with Garen.
Grab Boots of Speed + Health Potion]x3 or [[Doran's Blade If u are going for 2v1 Solo Lane get Doran's Shield for more survivabilty. U need to farm. So farm. If u play against meele solo top like Akali, Gragas or Irelia u can harass like a boss. You can keep them away from farm pretty good, if u silence them and start spinning if they go to your creeps to last hit. If u think u can get a kill, wait till they are in a near range, put your Q on them, Exhaust, Judgment, Ignite, Auto-Attacks. This will work against low armor champions like: Akali, Annie, Anivia(beware of the egg), Gangplank and prolly won't work against high armor solo top picks like Irelia, Jarvan IV, Rumble, Cho'Gath(maybe 50:50 in this case)
If u take duolane, be sure u go on lane with someone who as a snare, stun, or another form of good CC. U can take Lux, Blitzcrank, Sion, Xin Zhao, Jarvan IV or other ones. Make sure u are not laning with tanks like Leona, Shen, Rammus, etc.
Make sure u lane against shuishy like Veigar, Gangplank, Akali, Ashe, Teemo and not again tanks/heavy bruiser like Mordekaiser, Maokai, Shen, Leona, etc. These champions ruin your perfect early game. Switch lanes if necessary.

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Mid Game

This stage starts around the 15-20 minute mark. U should have your Boots of Speed, The Brutalizer and Atma's Impaler. Start roaming together with your team and push the towers down. Always remember to look for dragon. Don't stop warding. If u or your one of your teammates decide to continue farming, be careful that you warded or at least be very defensive. The enemy team could start roaming too, and going to 4/5-man gank a lane and then push.

Good Moments to do Dragon

U secured 1-2 kills on bot lane

Your bot laners can go now with your Jungler to do dragon.

U see 3-5 enemies on top lane

If u see the enemy pushing top lane, call 1-2 mates to dragon to get it and the other ones to def top or push mid or bot lane.

U warded their jungle

If u warded their jungle, u can do dragon without having fear of potential ambushes. Just remember to stop it if u see them coming.

Bad Moments for dragon

3-5 enemies MIA

If u can't see most of the enemies on the map, then u should pay attention and don't do dragon. Maybe they are waiting in the bushes near dragon to catch you. But this can be also a good moment...if they ganked top lane a few seconds ago and bot lane is clear, you can do dragon, but u have to be fast.

No kills on Bot Lane

Obv..Bot lane will easily come to prevent you from doing Dragon.
Following things can happen
-They steal dragon
-They kill you
Don't go for the risk.

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Early Game

For Level 1 Teamfights it's depend on your team what skill u'll skill. If your team needs the silence for extra CC skill Decisive Strike, if they need u for damage, skill Judgment. I don't recommend skilling Courage first. For items grab a Doran's Blade or a Doran's Shield.

Mid Game

Fights at Dragon: If u see the enemy team going for dragon with 2-3 person, go with 3 of your mates, wait till they did dragon to half or less HP(this would be the time where they will be low HP, if they aren't Fiddlesticks). Go in, silence the caster, if there is none, silence the champ with less HP, start your Spin To Win, execute the enemy with Demacian Justice. After that u killed 2 or 3 of your enemys or they have to blue pill cause of low HP. This the time where u can do Dragon.

Late game

In a 5on5 teamfight, your mainpriority is snacking their squishy. Wait till your tank/or their tank initiates, activate your Q and run to the caster. Silence him, start Judgment, activate Courage, finish him with Demacian Justice and put Ignite on him if necassary. Now, look for their AD Carry, Exhaust him, Put your Q on him, Judgment, down. Then melt down the rest of their team.
Never Forget: Your silence stops's channeling spells. So if u see a Miss Fortune, Nunu or Katarina in the enemy team, wait for your silence till they start channeling their ult. Then Q them. They will start QQ'ing. Now go for their Caster, etc.

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How Patches affected Garen


Decisive Strike attack damage ratio decreased to 1.4 from 1.5

Let's calculate out for early game and late game stage of the game:
Imagine you are lvl 1 and bought Doran's Blade:
Pre-Patch: 30+70*1,5=145
After Patch: 30+70*1,4=128
17 less dmg..a slight nerf.
Now lets calculate for late game
Imagine you are level 18 and have the full standard Build:
Pre-Patch: 90+225*1,5=428(427,5)
After Patch: 90+225*1,4=405

So u see, this nerf is pretty passable.

• Judgment
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

Again, lets start calculating! Just imagine the same situations as above.
Pre Patch: 60+13*1,2=76(75,6)
After Patch: 50+13*1,4=68(68,2)
Late Game stage with full bild etc.:
Pre Patch: 220+116*1,2=358
After Patch: 210+115*1,4=371

Here we alrdy have a BUFF for Garen's late game stage. So i think it's now more worthwhile to build an IE on him. Remember that we only calculated the dmg for ONE spin, not for the whole spell.

Next some patches there is nothing new for him.

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All in All, Garen is one funny champ to play, but not nooblike. U have to know how to manage your cooldown and when to use what to be successful. Have fun playing him.