Garen Build Guide by RaG nuh RocK
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I'm not here to try to get some rating for a build. I'm here to tell you how to make garen kill anyone, and still have decent survivability. If you are serious about this then pay attention to everything on this guide. There are many ways to play garen, and this is the most damaging way, short of gambling with the stack items like Sword of the Occult.
Build #1 is the legit build, the others are just for pubstomping. Nothing compares to fully stacked sword of the occult+leviathan+2 phantom dancers.
This is just the way I prefer garen. You can make minor changes here and there depending on your style, and your level of aggressiveness.
You don't need to read everything here but it will help you a lot.
If you don't have at least the armor penetration runes this isn't going to be very good for you.
This is all business, not for new garen players who think garen is a tank.
If all you want to do with garen is do (literally) amazing damage, then you are in the right place. I am not playing any games here I want only to get many many kills and win over and over.
Any questions or comments please let me know down below.
This build is the collective might and wisdom that comes from over a thousand games played as Garen by a dedicated professional gamer. (>not league of legends<)
I play this exact build in ranked and I crush always with it averaging 10-2 every game.
Marks and Quints are Desolation, giving you 25 Armor Pen. All the rest go to flat AD runes. Or you can go Flat Cooldown Glyphs which are at 820 apiece but are very nice. Its all user preference, really.
The reason for all the AD runes instead of say magic res or health or armor, is that garen's W has a passive that lets you get 25 to armor and magic resist after killing 50 minions.
So, he doesn't need the extra defensive runes like most other champs. The only real viable alternative to AD runes are the Cooldown Glyphs.
A good alternative to Armor Penetration Quints are Move Speed Quints or a distant third, AD Quints.
21-0-9. You want 21 offensive. Garen does insane damage before 10 minutes with a Brutalizer.
The reason I like the 9 in utility over defense tree is the exp gain boost. If you are neck and neck with an enemy top solo in levels and creep kills and everything, that few seconds where you have TWO skills available to you while they are level one and have only ONE skill to use, will very often spell a first blood for you, or gives you total lane control. Hit him hard with the one-two punch of Q then E as soon as you get to level two, forget about last hitting and go straight for level 2 and your second skill. The same thing applies to GETTING YOUR ULT BEFORE HE GETS HIS ULT. It often means a kill for you when you hit level 6 while they are still at only level 5. You gain a small stat buff from leveling up, and you gain 1 point into your ult. Try to take advantage of this and go for a kill, or deal some damage to him while he is still level 5 and without his ultimate move.
The % health and mana regen in the utlity tree increases garen's passive.
Core items are Boots of Whatever, Youmuu's Ghostblade and Sunfire Cape.
Boots and 3 pots. Get to your lane. Ideally if you have a teammate in your lane, you want to have your teammate in the lane farming while you stay in the bush. When you come out of the bush Run them down and hit em with Q then E. You can take a hit or two from the turret if it will get you a kill.
Next, get Brutalizer ASAP. THE SOONER YOU HAVE BRUTALIZER THE FASTER YOU GET FED. When you have enough for it go back and get it immediately.
It provides a huge damage boost. Any squishy like Twisted Fate is toast with your Ghost+Flash+Silence in your Q, and your level one boots+Q means that you run faster than them.
Next, get Giant's Belt.
Then turn Brutalizer into Youmuu's Ghostblade, then finish your Garencape. You can finish the cape before Youmuu's if you prefer, I simply love the active of Ghostblade.
Alternate boots you could buy would be Ionian Boots of Lucidity (15% cooldown reduction) or Mercury's Tread, I like to roflstomp with zerker greaves for when my moves are on cd, gets in 2 or 3 extra hits between spins and Q's.
I used to use a bunch of Doran's Blades instead of Sunfire Cape. The Cape is just plain better. Does more damage and gives you more survivability, plus no wasted gold from selling Doran's Blades. Boots + 3 Health Potions are far better as starting items than a Doran's Blade, you already do really solid damage without brutalizer and boots will help you escape ganks, will let you harass and skirmish fight better. That makes your move speed jump to 370. Movespeed is critical. You need to get on top of them the instant you see an opportunity and usually enemy players don't take boots at level 1. If you have Your Flat AD runes, they give you early game AD already also. Life steal is almost completely useless on Garen since he rarely auto-attacks and life-steal only happens when garen auto-attacks.
You can get Trinity Force in place of Infinity Edge, the total DPS isn't much of a difference after either is completed, however you will get more effect from the BF Sword than you will from the Zeal, Sheen, or Phage or any of the 3 together.
If you get to late game and it still isn't over, you will need Trinity Force> Your huge presence will wear off a bit and Trinity Force counteracts this more than any other item in the game. Your auto-attacks become almost as good as using Q and E combo.
Ghost and Flash. All the other spells are for weaker champions. Also garen lacks a gap-closer move and an escape move. So these two are equally very useful for getting on-top of someone, or getting away and surviving, particularly for garen.
If you aren't a pro with garen you can take exhaust or ignite, they will give you more chances to fix your errors if you make them, but ultimately cannot give you what ghost+flash gives.
I cannot stress enough how IMPORTANT your mobility is.
You can have all the power in the world, but without mobility it is all for nothing.
Pros / Cons
Not much for cons. Pretty much a fkn beast not to be trifled with.
from about level 2 to level 10, no one can do more burst damage than you, and no one should have more life unless they are a dedicated tank.
Knowing how to play Master Yi well will help you with performing proper ganks as Garen.
Is easily harassed by ranged champs like Miss Fortune. Get into that Bush!
Is less effective the later in the game it takes for you to get 1337 gold to buy Brutalizer.
Creeping / Jungling
Don't jungle. It is a waste of time. You need to be in your lane constantly, only leaving it for ganks and buying. You are so strong, most other champions are little more than a glorified minion early game. One of the best laners in the game in my opinion, and paired with the right champion, is unstoppable. Anyone who is ranged and does high damage like Caitlyn and any ranged that stuns or slows or snares are really good laning partners for garen. Try to avoid melee laning partners such as Master Yi or Renekton.
Extremely powerful early game Champion.
Great AOE damage.
Very hard to kill.
Has probably the best finishing move in the game.
Has a 2.5 second Silence in his Q.
Decent escape artist: Q boosts your run, Judgement says suck it to Crowd Control, and has a damage reducing shield.
Garen can almost always blow up a squishy mid carry with three button presses. Q, E and R.
Also, Garen shouts DEMACIA and has a big-*** sword.
Everyone is scared of you early game. If they aren't, they damn well will be after you rob them of 300 gold.
You own the bush. It has your name on it. No one is allowed to stay in your bush. Punish them.
Tips For Playing This Style
BE AS AGGRESSIVE AS YOU CAN WHEN YOU HAVE BRUTALIZER AND GET IT AS AS SOON AS YOU ARE ABLE TO. It is a devastating early game item. If you get a kill in your lane run to another lane and cut out some of the enemy champ's life bars or get kills. Garen isn't a carry, but a fed garen is very difficult for a team to deal with.
The key is to get 2 to 4 kills before ten minutes into the game. Garen has NO PROBLEM with this. And a lot of the time I end up with something like 6-1 at the 10 minute mark.
Get Judgement(E) First. The get Decisive Strike(Q) next, then Judgement again, get shield(W) at level 4. Max E first, then Q.
Your typical offensive attack should be: pop Q, land it on someone (preferably someone with low armor and life, it will really hurt) then E make sure they take every spin hit. once E has stopped spinning run out of range with shield on, or continue to auto attack if they are gonna go down or just throw your Justice(R) on them, (with 15% MPEN in offensive mastery, you should be able to kill any champion who is at 1/3 of their max health) Be wary, some champs like Nocturne have a shield move that blocks your R. Don't be greedy, do not die even if you are going to get one kill.
Also about your Ultimate Move: With only 1 point into it, the person you are trying to Ult will have to be at at least 1/4 of their health, with 3 points into it, it will be more like 1/3. And do not be afraid to bust it on someone who is at half of their health, it will scare a good 90 something % of people into doing something stupid like running from you.
Last hit minions in early game. Decisive Strike (Q) and hit your enemy, if he is still there Judgement(E) his ***. If he runs away instead, run to the center of the creep wave and spin to hit all of the minions.
You can also hide in the bush until the minions are in the last hit life range. If someone tries to come farm while you are in the bush, bust Q run them down silence them and spin. They will learn to stay the **** away from the bush. If they are really low but are a fast champ like Miss Fortune or Nidalee, pop Q while in the bush, Flash on top on them SILENCE THEM SO THEY CAN'T USE A MOVE TO ESCAPE then spin and shield into the turret, then Demacian Justice(R) if they aren't dead.
After you have your Brutalizer you should attempt to gank. at this point in the game you are the most op *******. Ask your mid if the enemy mid has his Flash up. If he doesn't, gank him. If he does, go bottom. You don't have to have a kill when you gank, just do your best to give lane control to your side, be the biggest Douchebag and make them scared to do anything, half of ANY video game is the mind game.
Try not to be in the lane during team fights. Try to be nearby in a bush, have your Ghost and Flash up. Target the nearest squishy Carry and take them out once the fighting has been completely initiated, if you have been doing well up to this point, they will turn tail and run. If you have Youmuu's Ghostblade, use its active after you have used your Decisive Strike(Q) and Judgement(E) so you can still keep up the high DPS.
As a rule of thumb, try to save Ghost for escaping, and Flash for Surprise Silenced Ganking.
Youmuu is a mini Ghost, also it helps to take down turrets when it is time to clutch.
Nothing says Garen on it like a Sunfire Cape. Makes you harder to kill, and also makes your Judgement stronger.
Infinity Edge is the Best DPS item for Garen after the Youmuu's Ghostblade. I am going to be testing Trinity Force in its stead soon enough. I'll let you know on this thing how it works out.
Make sure you use the bushes any time you can. Just running in and out of them will put a mind game on your enemy.
Make sure you have a lot of Soda or an Energy Drink so you can FOCUS AND BE PERFECT.
If you have to lane with someone get someone who stuns or snares. Such as Lux, Sion, Taric, Cho' Gath, the next best type is a ranged champ with high damage output such as Caitlyn or Ashe.