Garen Build Guide by Wongstar
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Not Updated For Current Season
Early - Mid Game Core: Resistance
Mid - Late Game Core: Resistance
Example Final #1: Resistance
Example FINAL #2: Resistance PLUS
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.
Hello dear summoners,
welcome to my first guide at MobaFire. My name is Wongstar from the EU West Server and im writing this guide for all the players who are making first experiences with the LoL Champion Garen. He is one of my favorite ones in LoL, so I want YOU to make best experience with this awesome Demacian Knight. And if you want to play a Champion who looks cool and powerful, then chose Garen.
Why am i writing a guide, while there are plenty very good guides here at MobaFire? Although i used other guides myself very much in the past to master my Garen, i found that Garen is a Champion, who can be built in many different ways depending on your play style, but until today there is still missing a guide that combines all the different approaches into one piece of work, so that new Garen.Players have everything they need to learn how to play this awesome Champion of LoL quickly. It is important to have several options to adapt quickly to different situations especially at early - mid game. As a beginner you need to learn, what approach you have to take while you play! But most important is: Find your own style with this fantastic Demacian Knight. Just do it!
The Role of this Champion
What many people don't get is the fact that Garen should not be played as a FullTank. But it's also not right to build him as a High Attack Damage Frenzy without any sustain. In his Core he is a Bruiser - a Tanky Damage Dealer. You can build him more aggressively with very high AD Values but good sustain (Tanky DPS) or with more Sustain but still with good Damage (Bruiser) or you go for more Tankyness with high Armor, high Health and more Area of Effect (AoE) Damage (Off-Tank). In most games you will play him Solo Top because of his high Melee Damage and good sustain but weakness against Kiting. After taking down your Tower, go for a good gank at the other lanes. Garen is famous for hiding in bushes to storm out and kill fast. That's why he is called "Bush-Ren" by some players. When teamfights starts you should not play him as a Damage Sink in first place. That is the role of a Fulltank. Garen's task is to break through enemy lines and assassinate the Carries of the enemy team. Take them out fast, then you are doing your job right! Some would rather play Garen to protect the team's Carry, but believe me, it is more effective to concentrate on killing the enemy's carry than staying close to your own carry. Offense is best Defense!
This guide is not a relevation for guaranteed wins, because even if you build correctly and play correctly, Garen is still a champion like many others who needs a good teamplay of your mates especially in teamfights. With this guide i want to help you Beginners to win more often with Garen than you sometimes deserve and die less than you really should. So i hope you can make some better games and hear less NOOB shoutings from your teammates after studying and trying out this build.
In this guide I will show you many aspects to optimize Garen and how to make your Garen be a very deadly Damage.Dealer while still being tough enough to stay long enough in a fight to secure kills for your team, so finally every player who meets your Garen as a Teammate or an Enemy hopefully will recognize you/him as
The True Might of Demacia
Thank you for playing Garen and wishing you good Luck and big Fun with him!
I would rather like to have some constructive critism in the discussion thread than a simple downvote. This is my first guide so if you have some ideas to optimize it, then please write me. Be sure to tell me your game experience with this guide and dont forget to vote up if this guide helped you with playing Garen. Thx!
"For the Emperooor!.. oops i mean... for DEMACIAAA!"
Pros / Cons
In this guide i will not only list up the known pros & cons of Garen, but also especially the pros & cons of THIS build.
Let's start with the general:
- relatively easy to play, easy skill combo
- No Mana Pool = all his Skills have no Mana Costs, only need Cooldown and mainly do physical Damage! You dont need any Mana or AP Items!!!
- can Solo & Dominate Top Lane if played well
- High Attack Damage Output with high Sustain through Skills
- Skills scale very well with Offense & Defense items
- lets you regenerate lost Health through passive skill Perseverance
- extended Mobility with Q.Skill Decisive Strike, good for hunting down enemies & escaping if boosted with items & Flash
- silencing enemy champion through Q.Skill Decisive Strike
- excellent Farming/damaging ability through E.Skill Judgment (AoE)
- Critical Strike Chance with Q.Skill Decisive Strike & E.Skill Judgment
- ultimate finishing ability through R.Skill Demacian Justice with 100% Kill.Success if used in perfect timing
- strong throughout whole game Solo or in Teamfight, if built & played correctly
- predictable Initiation in Fights without Flash
- no Crowd Control
- easyly being kited, poor escaping ability without Flash
- good Killstealer with Demacian Justice but your mates will hate you
- have certain fear enemies, especially distance fighters with high mobility
- long cooldown for Ultimate Skill Demacian Justice, so needs CDR Items!
Now here are the pros & cons of this Garen Guide:
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
This here is usually the Standard Rune Build, which you should go for Melee Fighters. Its a good Build because the benefits are quite reasonable.
- greater mark of armor penetration - for higher damage at midgame until endgame
- Greater Seal of Armor - for more survivability during laning phase
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist - for more survivability against mage attacks
- Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage - for more better creepkilling ability during laning phase
Masteries are placed based on personal preference, so it depends on your own playstyle. In my opinion it's optimal for Garen to have 21 points put in offense masteries and the rest into defense since he already has high sustain with the Defense Boost from Perseverance throughout the whole game and if you want to get your Garen be fed early, you need to play him more aggressively while still paying attention to your enemy movements. Never put down your guard, but still dont forget: Offense is best Defense. So go for the following masteries:
- Summoner's Wrath Great for boosting Ignite or reducing armor/magic resist by Exhaust
- Sorcery boost your CDR by 4%!
- Deadliness and Havoc and Brute Force boost your attack damage throughout the whole game
- Weapon Expertise and Sunder boost your ArP right from the beginning
- Executioner Make you reach the PoA for your Ultimate Skill Demacian Justice faster
- Durability and Veteran's Scars Extra Health right from the beginning
- Hardiness you need the extra armor points for staying longer in lane at early game
- Resistance boost your Base Magic Resistance with the only left point slightly. It scales with your W.Skill Courage
If you have more difficulties with mages in your game experience then switch points from Hardiness to Resistance . If you like to use more often Flash, then you can give a point to Summoner's Insight instead to Veteran's Scars or Executioner . Its up to your playstyle.
Spells are the summoner bound abilities. You can use two summoner spells during any match in the Fields of Justice. You select them during the Champion Selection before each match and they cannot be changed if the game has started. So chose wisely, because sometimes the spells can save your champion from being killed in fights or they can help you to secure kills for your team. In this chapter i shortly recommend you some useful spells for Garen.
- Flash This Spell is a Must for Garen. So dont ever have no Flash in your summoner spell slots! Its the best and sometimes only way for Garen to escape a fight when heavily wounded. You can use it to even jump over walls. And also Garen needs it for surprise attacks to land a Decisive Strike for silencing the enemy so he cant use any skills or spells for some seconds. You must learn to use Flash effectively in combat to max out your Combat Strenght.
- Exhaust Maybe the best offense Spell for Garen if combined with a point in Summoner's Wrath . Always remember: Garen's combatstyle is to slice through the Armor of his enemies with all his skills. So what is better than reducing the enemy's defense + slowing their movements while you stack up AD and ArP with items? Nothing, so go for it. You can even use the slow (situational with and your Q.Skill Decisive Strike) to hunt down enemies or for escaping critical situations in heavy teamfights. Awesome Spell!
- Ignite Maybe one of the most picked Summoner Spells for early game dominance. The Reason: You can finish off heavily wounded enemies easily if they try to escape. The Burn Damage is very strong at early game and can often secure kills if used at good timing. At mid game Ignite can help you to reach the PoA of your Ultimate R.Skill Demacian Justice faster. So if you want to play very aggressive right from the beginning, go for this spell. Combined with the point in Summoner's Wrath the burn damage is even more deadly. But you should know, later at Mid - Late Game the spell loses viability when everybodys Health and Magic Resistance are boosted.
- Ghost Only if you want to build a "Forrest Gump". With this there is no problem to hunt down escaping enemies or to escape even very mobile attackers. In my opinion Garen needs more offense boost than mobility, so think twice before you pick this.
- Teleport A Spell which is sometimes useful if your teammates have problems with the other lanes while you dominate your own lane. Only pick this if you are sure to dominate your lane depending on your lane enemy. In my opinion this spell is not recommended for beginners but advanced players.
First thing you have to know as Beginner: Garens Main Attack Skill is his E.Skill Judgment and NOT his Q.Skill Decisive Strike! So your aim is to max out Judgment as fast as possible. Of course you also need to put points into your ultimate skill Demacian Justice whenever you have the opportunity. But dont forget: Your main skill is still Judgment.
His Passive can regenerate Health if he is not attacked for a while. This is quite nice at early game to keep you long in lane, but later at mid - late game not high enough to be useful unless you stack up Health.
The Q.Skill is Garen's initiation attack to storm into an enemy, but since it is a very predictable attack, you need to combine it with Flash as a gap.closer unless you have an enemy who lacks on escape options. Sometimes you need Decisive Strike maybe even with Flash to get away from enemies if your health is low. What i personally like very much on this skill is the fact that it 1. can also do Critical Strike Damage and 2. can damage Towers and 3. scales insanely with Attack Damage items aaand 4. it frees you from Slows! Thats absolutely awesome!
The W.Skill gives Garen high sustain very early even without defense items and it decreases Crowd Control duration by 30%. But keep in mind: Courage scales with bonus armor and magic resistance values of your items! So you need to boost both of them at the latest in midgame. Try to use this skill to tower dive if the enemy has low life and hide under the tower. You won't die if you kill fast and escape quickly.
The E.Skill is Garen's main attack skill with excellent farming power because of its AoE. It deals physical Damage for 3 seconds. You can deactivate it after 0,5 seconds if you want and you ignore unit collision but have a 20% Movement Penalty. To max out the effectiveness use this skill in front of your enemy not behind him, so he must go through your spin, if he tries to escape. You can activate Decisive Strike during your spin to strike right after your spin is over. But you cant use Demacian Justice while you spin.
The R.Skill (Ultimate Giant Magic Exection Sword from above) is a powerful weapon to finish Enemies off with relatively low life. You have to keep in mind that it does Magic Damage which scales with the remaining health of the enemy - the less he has the more damage you deal. So DONT you ever use it until your Enemy is heavily wounded (Health approx. below 20%) or he will escape. So you must wait for the right Point of Activation (PoA) - TIMING is crucial here!
Garen's Attack Combo is quite simple to perform. It's simply (Flash-Exhaust-)Strike-Spin-Shield(-Execute). If your Flash is Button 'F' and Exhaust is 'D', then it's ('F'-'D'-)'Q'-'E'-'W'(-'R').
Your Q.Skill Decisive Strike is your Initiation Attack Skill, so you storm right into your Enemy. Because Garen only runs into an enemy unlike other Champions Skill like Xin Zhao's rapid Audacious Charge you have to evaluate the situation before attacking. Is your Enemy right next so you or can you reach him before he can get away or is he too far? If the enemy is quite far away from you and you want to catch up, then u need Flash to do this. But be careful, if you get ganked you dont have anything else than Decisive Strike to run away. And in most cases thats not fast enough, especially if the enemy can slow your Movements.
This is my preferred order of skill leveling. Its quite a standard recommendation since Garen's main attack skill is the E.Skill Judgment.
You should put 1 point first at Q.Skill Decisive Strike for better mobility right from the beginning. Leave it by 1 point after you have put as much as possible points into the other skills.
Directly after your first point set on Decisive Strike focus on E.Skill Judgment, so give the following 2 points to it.
Put your fourth point in W.Skill Courage to raise your defense values, since your lane enemy in most cases already raise AD value at this time.
Go on with Judgment until Demacian Justice is unlocked and put your sixth point to it.
After that it is quite simple to level your skills. Max out Judgment, then focus on Q.Skill Decisive Strike - it is your iniation Attack and it scales insanely with Attack Damage Items. Dont forget: whenever you can put points into R.Skill Demacian Justice, just do it.
The remaining points after max out R, E, Q go into W.Skill Courage to prolong the duration of your magic shield, that absorbs 30% of incoming Damage, so to survive heavy solo or teamfights at late game longer.
Since the rightly chosen items are essential to build up an effective Garen, i will give this chapter a little more depths, so to show you what Garen really needs to become one of the deadliest Melee Fighters on the Fields of Justice. As you have seen at the Example Builds at top, you should consider following Priority oder for Garen's items: Attack Damage, Armor, Health, Magic Resis, Critical Strike Chance, Armor Penetration, Cool Down Reduction. Everything else like Attack Speed, Lifesteal, AP, Mana, aso, are not important for Garen. So lets check the items i recommend to you for building up Garen as a True Might of Demacia.
Usually i use this standard start for solo top. Mobility and boosted Health Regeneration fits Garen perfectly. Use Health potions whenever your Health is below 50% and combine it with your Passive Perseverance, but avoid taking damage the best you can to save potions, to save money!
- Pro: Mobility and higher Health Regeneration to stay longer at Lane. Enemy must return more often to base, while you can stay and keep on farming.
- Con: Less Damage than Lane Enemy, if he starts with Offense Item.
Recommended Start for advanced players, who have experience with estimating their lane enemy. Some would even try Double Doran's Blade for very aggressive gameplay. If your Enemy has little Armor and no escape options, you can try to get a fast First Blood/First Kill. But keep in Mind, you dont have Health Potions to quickliy regenerate your lost life. So you must take care of your Health and farm a lot to stay long at Lane.
- Pro: Higher AD for Harrassment and better farming. Slightly boosted Health and Lifestealing by Basic Attack Hits.
- Con: Less Mobility. No Healing Potions. Maybe need to return to base more often if taking severe wounds, if farming doesnt go well.
Another good approach without starting boots. You need to farm a lot and try to get a fast kill in order to compensate your investment into an elixir instead of Boots of Speed or Doran's Blade, what is more difficult because of less mobility. Place your ward in the bush to take care of ganks and use your elixir in a fight when both you and your lane enemy are severly wounded to get a surprise knock down. Use your Elixir carefully, or you might get back to base without money and without items!
Con: Less Mobility. High Costs.
Early - Mid Game Items
The first 20 minutes will decide if you can dominate your lane or not. With these items you can stack up enorm damage while you have good options to raise your sustain against incoming damage. Make sure you activate your W.Skill Courage to raise up your defense values, when exchanging strikes with your enemy. Try to farm as much as possible at the beginning, dont start a fight before you get your first offense items, you wont do much damage. If the Enemy is coming too near, try to harrass him with your Q.Skill Decisive Strike and E.Skill Judgment. But still watch out for ganks and keep your distance, while making many last hits on creeps. When you use up all your Health Potion, go back to base, get your items + potions ( + sight ward if you can afford it) and then rush back to lane with your Q.Skill Decisive Strike. Dont fight with low life, you will lose even with Courage activated!
Early - Mid Game Core
- Pros: High AD, High CSC, good ARM, good MR
- Cons: Needs aggressive Farming + Harrassment
If you have an easy Lane Enemy and your farming is doing very well, you can try this approach to rush on an early Infinity Edge. Though many players wouldn't recommend a Rush on IE with Garen, it isnt a bad start depending on early situation. You still can build high Sustain afterwards. With this set it is easy to harrass the enemy at farming, while killing creeps quickly and taking down Enemy Tower very easily.
- Pros: good AD, High ARM, High MR, early ArP, early CDR, relatively cheap
- Cons: No CSC Boosts at early - mid game
If you want a safe early game with good Offense Power but also excellent Defense Values for almost every Lane Enemy go for this recommended early build. Buy The Brutalizer first and then rush on Warden's Mail and situational even Hexdrinker thereafter, if you are dealing with high AP Damage-Dealers. Your goal is to finish The Black Cleaver, Randuin's Omen, Maw of Malmortius as fast as possible. If your Lane Enemy is dealing more AD Damage, focus on finishing The Black Cleaver & Randuin's Omen first to have more Health and Armor quickly. With this Early Mid Game Core you should stay very long at lane even with Anti- Garen Counters.
- Pros: High Damage (Physical + AoE Damage), good ARM, good MR, High Health
- Cons: relatively expensive
Well, this is an alternative start, which i find very interesting, since Sunfire Cape is a very famous pick for Garen. This start is for players who want to focus on an early boost on AD, ARP, Armor and Health. The next items that follow can be offensive or defensive depending on how you like Garen to be played. The only thing, what you should keep in mind is that you need a little bit more money to finish this early - mid game core than the alternatives above.
Mid - Late Game Items
Final Build Recommendations
In this section i explain my final item build recommendations in detail and show you what pros and cons you get with each build. Finally i give you detailed information about the development of your Garen by each build. These builds should give you some inspiration, how Garen be build differently depending on your lane enemy and the rest of the enemy team. Look carefully, which enemies you are dealing with at the start of the game, then decide, which item build is best against them. Chose wisely and you get advantages at solo/teamfights. Make sure yoou farm alot to afford your legendary items fast. The faster you finish your build, the faster you can kill your enemies. Good Luck!
- Pros: very High AD, good ARM, good Health, good CSC, High MR, High ARP, good CDR, slow Enemy Movement Speed
- Cons: expensive
Example Build Order
- Pros: High AD, very High ARM, High Health, very High MR, good ARP, slow Enemy Movement Speed
- Cons: low AS, low CSC, low CDR, very expensive
Example Build Order
- Pros: very High ARM, extreme High Health, High MR, good ARP, slow Enemy Movement Speed, AoE Burn Damage, high Health Regeneration, very cheap
- Cons: low AD, low AS, very low CSC, low CDR
- Pros: High AD, very High ARM, High Health, High ARP, High CDR, good CSC, Enemy Movement Slow Down by attack, Nearby Enemy Attack Speed Slow Down
- Cons: low MR, expensive
- Pros: High AD, very high ARM, good Health, high CSC, high ARP, good CDR, slow Enemy Movement Speed, cheap
- Cons: low MR
- Pros: good AD, high AS, very high ARM, good Health, very high CSC, good ARP, slow Enemy Movement Speed
- Cons: low MR, low CDR, expensive
- Pros: very High AD, good ARM, medium Health, good CSC, very High MR, good ARP, cheap
- Cons: low MR, low CDR
- Pros: very High AD (incl.AoE), very High ARM, very High Health, good CSC, good ARP, High Health Regeneration, very cheap
- Cons: low MR, low CDR, low AS
- Pros: High AD (incl.AoE), High ARM, very High Health, good ARP, High Health Regeneration, Slowdown on Enemies, very cheap
- Cons: low MR, low CSC, low CDR, low AS
- Pros: very High AD (incl.AoE), very High ARM, very High Health, good CSC, good ARP, High Health Regeneration, very cheap
- Cons: low MR, low CDR, low AS
- Pros: very High ARM, high MR, extreme High Health, good ARP, High Health Regeneration, Enemy Slow Down, very cheap
- Cons: low AD, low CSC, low CDR, low AS
- Pros: very High AD (incl.AoE), very High ARM, very High Health, good CSC, good ARP, High Health Regeneration, Enemy Movement Slow Down by attack, cheap
- Cons: low MR, low CDR, low AS
Because Garen is weak against CC and Kiting Attacks, you usually want to play him at Solo Top Lane against Melee Fighters. Keep in mind, that Garen can be very strong at early - mid game, if played well. So dominating your lane early is most important to make Garen be strong enough to survive Teamfights later. In this Chapter i show you the basics for Lane Domination, which you need to master.
Farming & Harassment
Farming is very important at early game, much more important than killing the enemy. Of course, it will help you to farm without ruffle and excitement, if you enemy is on respawn time. But sometimes it's wise to play safely instead of risking a death, which will let you lose much time and dominance over your lane.
First thing to know about farming with Garen is to know, which skills he can use instead of autoattack to rush up killing creeps.
- Decisive Strike Use this skill to strike the siege creep, when its Health is low. Don't let it be killed by your creeps, or you lose much money. Do it, if the Enemy is out of range or he will use your cooldown time to attack you.
- Judgment Your main farming attack. Use this skill right in the center of a group of creeps to take out several simultanously. If your AD value is high, you can farm very fast.
Sometimes it is better to do autoattack + lasthits on the creeps and save your skills for sudden counterattacks of enemies. Keep your eyes on the minimap and figure out the location of your enemies. If you can't see one of them, then be careful.
Stopping the enemy from farming is very important to gain dominance over your lane. As long as your creeps are alive, you have more firepower on the enemy. Enemy creeps will fall faster and Enemy Champions will be shot by your creeps, if they attack you. At early game it is easy to harrass your enemy from farming with Decisive Strike. Strike your enemy, if he comes too near. He will be silenced for some seconds, so cant use his skills for farming himself. Wait for your attack, when the creeps started to fight each other. While your enemy is striked and retreats, you can use Judgment to spin after him, but always keep your spin at the creeps as long your enemy has high Health and there are still many enemy creeps. Go for a full attack, when all creeps are killed, and you have several creeps at your back. Your enemy will risk his life if he counterattacks. In most cases he will retreat to his tower.
Destroying the Enemy & Tower
There are some simple rules for fighting with Garen. Keep those in mind, when you confront the enemy.
- Always fight with caution and never let your guard down, even when you are attacking. The enemy's teammates wont sleep, so whenever you feel you are running into a trap, retreat.
- Except at early game, never go into a fight solo, unless you know the exact location of every enemy.
- Its more safely to have a Supporter behind you, who can cover you, or a Jungler, who can gank in, while the enemy is distracted.
- You better wait until your Ultimate Demacian Justice is (almost) cooled down, before you go into a fight. Sometimes is just the difference of 1 second to win or lose a fight. With your Ultimate ready, you oftenly have that 1 Second Time bonus!
- Hiding in the bushes is always good for a fight initialisation. Hide in a bush and wait until your Enemy is within your reach. Should he come near you, rush in with Decisive Strike and spin, before he can use any skills himself.
- If necessary activate Courage to maximize your Protection.
- Use Flash and Exhaust wisely for attacks, you won't have them for escape
Whenever you have difficulties with your lane enemy, call your jungler to gank in. Tell him to come at the right timing and be sure, the enemy hasnt set a sight ward yet. If he did already, then tell this to your jungler, so he can take another route to surprise the enemy.
Whenever your Enemy is back to base, you should concentrate your attacks on the enemy tower. When the Tower is fallen, your Role is to support Mid Lane, while the Jungler can concentrate his ganks on the other side lane. Do it carefully, sometimes it is wisely to retreat before the enemy can gank you. Use Decisive Strike to damage the Tower. If you have high CSC you can even destroy it faster.
If your enemy has less than 30% Health and hide under his tower, you can risk to kill him by tower diving. You need Flash, Courage, Decisive Strike and Demacian Justice be ready and to act fast as lightning. Wait until your creeps are attacked by the tower and wait until the Tower fires a shot at one of your creeps. Flash to your enemy, combo him with Decisive Strike and Demacian Justice, and finally escape the tower attacks with activated Courage. Be careful, sometimes the enemy lure you to attack him, while the jungler is on his way to you. So be prepared.
Solo Top Lane (recommended)
Garen's usual position in every match, since he is doing high Damage, has high sustain, but is weak against CC and Kiting attacks. Rush to Top Lanes Bushes with Decisive Strike. In most cases, you reach them faster than your enemy. Hide there to scout the enemy's movement. If your Lane Enemy comes unprepared near you, you can initialise the first fight with Decisive Strike. If you play well, he is the only one who takes damage, and so he must use health potions earlier than you need. The first fist exchange will give you a feeling of how powerful and experienced your lane enemy might be.
- As long as you havent bought your first offense item, only land strikes with Decisive Strike
- retreat whenever the creeps start to shoot at you. You can't stand long against Enemy + Creeps Attack
- Repeat strike/spin attack + retreat until you get the Health of your Enemy down.
- Don't chase enemy to his tower, focus on farming!
- Especially be careful, if your enemy has stun abilities. In Tower Range you could easily die.
- Stay as long as possible at your lane and farm as much as you can. Do not lose money to the enemy, harrass him badly.
- Whenever your Health is below 60%, take a Health potion!
- Head back to base if you have used up your potions. Head back to base, when your enemy is also heading back to base, so you can rush back to lane before he can farm.
- Whenever you are back at base, always buy at least two potions and if possible a sight ward to counter ganks. You will need these consumable items until mid game.
Bot Lane (not optimal)
Since on bot lane you have Enemies with high CC + Kiting Abilities, it is not recommended to play Garen there. The only chance to stay long at this lane is to have a support with good stun % slow down abilities, so that you can engage. Aim for the AD Carry, who can't take much of your attack damage. Be careful of ganks from the jungler. Set up sight ward at the river bush.
Mid Lane & Jungling (not recommended)
You won't play Garen at Mid Lane, because this is the lane for magic casters, which can kite you easily with AP Damage, which you cant resist much at early game. Although it should be easy for Garen to make fast Magekills with Flash, Exhaust and his skill combo, you shouldn't play him here, because: Where should your mage fight? At Top lane? At Bot Lane? Both not optimal for your mage. So let him fight at his best position. And let Garen fight at his best position. That's TOP!
Jungling Garen is a bad idea, though the idea is very interesting. Why bad? Because of following reasons:
- He has no gapcloser for good ganks, except using Flash
- He has no stuns, no slow downs from skill set for good ganks
- His passive Perseverance is not healing him fast enough, and btw it stops if you are attacked by monsters from the jungle!
- His Judgment is very weak at the beginning
- He needs very much gold for good builds, more than the jungle can offer
Note: Even though Garen is not suited to play as Jungler, you should farm the jungle from mid game on to earn money for items as fast as possible. Keep in mind that Garen doesnt need mana, so if someone of your team needs the Blue Buff from the Ancient Golem, leave it to him. The only thing that benefits you, is the higher Cooldown Reduction. So only take it, when everybody else in your team, doesnt neet it at the moment.
Top Lane Matchup
In this chapter i want to give you a feeling for your most expected lane enemies. The following champions are mainly played at Top Lane, and if you play Garen at his Lane = Top Lane, then you should know how to deal with these guys.
Use your W.Skill Courage to block her Magic burst Damge. Silence her, whenever you can and if she hides in her Smoke Bubble Twilight Shroud, just spin around inside - she will take damage.
Don't allow him to farm or even stack up his Ultimate, otherwise he'll get unkillable. Dodge his spikes Rupture and watch out for his silence. If you do well, he shouldn't do much damage to you.
A real tough noxian guy, who is very similar to Garen's demacian might. Watch out for his attacks, they will let you bleed! Keep distance. The best way to counter him is to wait until he uses his Decimate on creeps or failed to hit you with it, then to strike him with Decisive Strike and Judgment, while your shield Courage is activated. Right after your Spin is over, disengage before his Decimate is cooled down. Try to avoid his pull Apprehend, or he will slow you down with Crippling Strike. Repeat your attack combo, until his Health is lower than 50%. If he doesn't retreat, you can try to kill him fast with Exhaust, combo and Demacian Justice. Never go in fight with low Health yourself because of his Noxian Guillotine!
Stand behind your creeps to avoid his Infected Cleaver and farm aggressively. If he attacks you at close range, just strike and spin him. Since he needs to drain his own Health to raise his damage, he will be caught by your Demacian Justice, if he is not careful enough.
One of Garen's most fearsome enemies. There is almost no chance in winning over her if you have a skilled Elise Player. She'll use her range skills at you to harrass you from farming.
If you're trying to attack her, she can stun you. Try to get her, when her skills are on cooldown, then give all your strike power on her. Your Advantage: She doesnt have as much sustain as you.
She shouldnt be very difficult because of less sustain. A good Fiora Player would probably disengage when you're spinning at her and block your Q.Skill Decisive Strike with her Riposte. Try to damage her with your combo and then retreat with Courage, when she tries to strike back. Repeat this until you get her Health below 50%. This will force her back to base. Stack up AD + Armor early and she has big trouble with you.
Block his Parrrley with your Courage and remove his slows with your Q.Skill Decisive Strike. Strike him hard and aggressively harrass him at farming or he will level up faster than you can because of his gold bonus by Parrrley.
This could be your worst nightmare, if you are fighting against a skilled Garen Player, or an easy game, if you are better. Now its time to show how much you have learnt to play Garen. Its only a matter of who is better at farming, at using skills and at going for the better items. If you are going into melee fight, its a matter of who is faster with Decisive Strike to silence. Just watch his movements and keep in mind the cooldowntime of the skills. If he runs after you with Decisive Strike, run away with Decisive Strike, but try to land a strike back at the right moment, when his skills are on cooldown. Use Courage if he succeeds to reach you. Call your Jungler to assist you. And be careful of Enemies Jungler. It will be hard, but it can be easy, if you can foresee your enemy's action. Build up items, which is countering his build. Go Tanky, if he stacks up AD Damage. Go for high AD + ARP, if he stacks up Armor. With much experience, you should have little trouble with countering Garen's Clone. Good Luck!
She can be troublesome if you dont play carefully, since she is dealing true damage with Hiten Style and can dash with Bladesurge. Also she can have good sustain depending on her item build and can stun you with Equilibrium Strike. You need to play aggressively and harrass her at farming. If your Jungler is attentive and coming for ganks at the right timing, she wont be a problem.
Just like Garen he has annoying shield and his trades are decent, but your skills are doing more damage and your Demacian Justice can kill him before he can take you down.
At early game he can't do much against you. Just activate Courage, if he attacks and harrass him at farming with your spins. Maybe he can stun you to escape, but if he is not careful, he may lose Health very fast by your attacks.
He has ranged attacks and can kick you away when you're to near to him, so he will keep distance to you. Quite annoying. Make sure your Jungler comes often for a gank, or he maybe will push you out of your lane.
It should not be difficult to confront him at early game, since he has not enough sustain against your Garen and mana hungry skills, which forces him to go back to base often for refreshment. Try to block his burst attacks with Courage and stay by your minions, if he still has full Health. If you succeed to silence and spin him, he wont be trouble for you.
He is simply one of he most awesome Champions on the Fields of justice. His high sustain with his Shield keeps him alive in the deadliest situations and his excellent farming ability is quite a problem for sure. Make sure you call your Jungler to come in for some ganks. Focus more on farming than dealing damage to him.
It could be hard to penetrate his armor and passive Granite Shield. Try to block his Damage with Courage, especially his Seismic Shard, and counterattack hard to push him back. Your advantage: He needs mana for his skills, you do not. Stack up Armor Penetration early, because he will stack up Armor.
A very annoying top lane counter against Garen, since he can poke you with his range attack Mace of Spades and Siphon of Destruction to harrass your farming. On the other hand he can shield himself with Creeping Death, which is hard to penetrate, especially when he charged up his passive Iron Man. Keep on damaging him while your Courage is activated until he used up his mana and need to retreat. You need to unlock your ultimate fast to kill him or you will have trouble to push him out of lane.
Just hinder him at farming and he won't be a danger at early game. If he slows you, use Decisive Strike to get free. Focus on farming and silence him, if he comes to near. Just dont let him stack up his Siphoning Strike or you will have problems later.
He deals true damage so ur Courage won't help at all. He will constantly harrass you with his Undertow, when you farm. So watch out for his attacks. Since he is more dangerous the less health he has, try to take him out with your Demacian Justice. Stack up Armor and Health.
He is strong at surprise attacks and is able to block your Decisive Strike with his Aegis Protection. Besides he can stun you with Aegis of Zeonia. Try to block his damage with your Courage and dodge, whenever he throws his spear at you. If he is good, you will have trouble to do damage to him. Since his skills are very mana hungry at early game, you can let him use up his mana, so he needs to retreat to base. Focus on Farming and you will dominate your lane.
He can dash at you with Slice and Dice and dash away. So it could be annoying, because you dont have his mobility. Use your Decisive Strike well and then spin whenever he comes too near and block his combo attacks with Courage. Since he will be built very tanky like Garen, you should go for Armor, Health and Armor Penetration yourself.
Well, like Garen he is a typically Bush-Assassin. Since he can make a Leapattack with his passive Unseen Predator, he can surprise you more than you can do to him. So watch out for the bushes! His Bola Strike will make it hard for you to chase him, and with Battle Roar he have a better sustain than you. Use Decisive Strike to get to the bushes faster than him, if you can control them, you can surprise him back, whenever he enters. Don't let him farm, or you will have problems to stay at lane.
One of the few Champions, which are very similar to Garen. She has good sustain with her shield Valor, can stun with Ki Burst and does a lot of terrifying combo damage. Even a range attack by her Ultimate Blade of the Exile is in her skillset, so she can finish off escaping enemies, which she cant hit with melee attacks. You got to stack up Armor, Health and Armor Penetration to handle her. Keep distance and use your Skill Combo, whenever she engages. Focus on Farming first. With the help of your creeps, you should have a little advantage in fights.
Argh, this flamethrower attack is annoying. Keep distance and attack him, when his Flamespitter is on cooldown. It will be hard to harrass him at farming and you definitely need to rush on Magic Resis. Go for Hexdrinker then it won't be too hard at early game.
Very strong opponent with good sustain and mobility. Usually he cant do much damage to you, as long as you don't try to chase him because of his annoying Poison Trail. And most times you can't get him, because he runs just too fast. If he tries to get in front of you, or surround you with his poison, strike him with Decisive Strike and spin him away from you and then get out of the venomous cloud. Try to farm faster than him and if he throws you back with Fling, dont run after him but go instead in other direction. If it is possible, stay ahead of him while your attacks.
One very difficult lane enemy for Garen. He is fighting with range attacks, can slow down movement, can poison and he has high mobility. The only chance is to Flash at him, when he has 50% Health, and use Exhaust + Skill Combo. Do this on surprise, e.g. with Bush.Attacks, and he will fall quickly because of little Maximum Health. If you can't get him, what will happen very often, retreat! Or he will poison you to death. Ask your Jungler to assist, if necessary. And stack up Magic Resis early.
He is one of the most fearsome autoattackers ingame and can be a real pain for Garen. Just be very careful, if you don't silence him fast, it could be over for you! He can weaken you with Mocking Shout and use Spinning Slash to close his gap to you or to escape your attacks. But most annoying is his ultimate Undying Rage, which makes him invulnerable for a 5 seconds. So dont use your Demacian Justice on him, when his ultimate is active.
Usually he will be built with high AD and AS to a point, where Garen can barely do anything against, despite using your Courage. Attack him very carefully, silence + spin and then retreat. Repeat this, until he is forced to use his ultimate and then you just have to wait for the right time to use Exhaust and Demacian Justice.
She has not the sustain that Garen has, but she can do decent damage with her skills. Make sure to damage her a lot and she might be pushed back to base often. Whenever she engages you, activate Courage and then use your skill combo to force her to retreat. Concentrate on farming and she won't be able to harm you.
This bear is awesome! He is a very tanky warrior, who can deal tons of damage, if built up correctly. Just like Garen and his Bite from Frenzy can finish you off, when your Health is low, just like your Demacian Justice. Since he does a very good mix of physical and magic damage at fights, you need to stack up Armor and Magic Resis very early. Keep your distance when he got full mana, and keep in mind, that he has fast Health Regeneration with Chosen of the Storm, when his Health is at 30%. So you can't exexute him so easily with Demacian Justice. Wait until his passive is on cooldown, before you try to kill him with your skill combo.
In most cases, he will go for Trinity Force and Frozen Mallet, so you will be slowed down, if you trade hits with him. Be careful of his Throwback Rolling Thunder, he can use it to throw you near his Tower, or back to his mate by ganks, so you have trouble to escape. Call your own Jungler to gank. With a little better Farming ability, you should dominate your lane, if you play carefully.
Wulong becomes dangerous at mid - late game, but in early game, he cant do much damage to Garen. Just ignore his Decoy and try to get the real one by running straight ahead to where he reappears, then spin him to death.
As long as you don't let him farm, you can push him out of lane, because you have more sustain than him and you don't need mana, but he does. Avoid his Three Talon Strike and concentrate on farming. When all your creeps are shooting at him, when he attacks, he can't stay long enough in fight.
One of the most difficult lane enemies for Garen, because of his skillset, which gives him everything to deal with Champions like Garen. He will constantly push you back with his ghosts, which can enforce him or weaken you. All you can do is stacking up both Armor and Magic Resis, focus on farming and defend yourself, if he attacks. Call your Jungler for assistance to kill him fast.
Since he must drain his own Health to use his skills, it should be easy for you to handle him. Just harrass him at farming and deal enough damage to him, until he retreats. And if you have unlocked your ultimate Demacian Justice, you can go for a kill, if he plays careless. Just make sure you finish him off by killing the four boblets, which attemps to recombine for a revival.
With his shadow abilities he can be really annoying. Try to dodge as many abilities as possible and use your combo to push him out of lane. Concentrate on farming and he can't do much against you at early game.
When you have succeeded to make some kills at early game, got the Enemy Tower destroyed and maybe even finished your early - mid game item core build, you should aim for extended team work tasks. Now is the time to prove, if you can survive as a team or not, if you are a better team than the enemy. LoL is a Teambattle Game. So don't ever try to play solo. If you don't understand this, then you maybe should play offline solo games. Ok, lets start with the real things you must know for winning the match, together.
Warding is crucial to win a match. With Sight Wards set at the right positions you can gain control over the enemy's movement. Whenever you have destroyed your first Tower, the next time you go back to base, buy a sight ward for your team. You might spend some money for it, but you earn it back later, if you can harrass the enemy from farming the lane and the jungle!
- Do i still have potions? No? -> Need to buy at least 2! Yes? Ok, go for items
- Do i have enough money to buy a ward after buying an item? No? -> Ok, buy one. The rest money is for items
Ganking the Enemy
One of the favorite things, that Garen does in his free time, after doing his job on top lane, is ganking the enemy at mid lane and especially bot lane (where the fights usually take longer than yours at top lane). If you see enemies fighting your mates, tell them by "pings" on the minimap, that you are on your way to them. Tell your mates to be ready for support if possible. Take paths over the bushes, so that enemy can hardly see your movements. Check the bushes, if the enemy has set sight wards. You can tell that by seeing the reaction of the enemy, when you approach them. If you are sure that the enemy didnt notice your movements, then call your mates for a gank together. With your Decisive Strike and Judgment and some CC attacks from your mates, it should be easy to take your enemy down very quickly.
When the first towers have fallen usually the enemies are sticking together to make their way through your mid lane. Don't be careless, when you attack. Even if you are tanky, most times you can't take the full attack power from 2 or 3 strong enemies. At least have a support at your back, who can stun your enemies or even enforce you with Buffs.
Knowing the dragon in detail and be able to kill him quickly before the enemy team does, is crucial to win a match. On the one hand each player of your team gains extra gold, on the other hand you would hinder your enemy to get faster gold than you.
- Gold: 190 for each player on the killing team (+25 for the slayer)
- Experience: 400
- Initial spawn time: 2:30
- Respawn time: 6:00
By killing the Dragon at the right moment your whole team gets a gold advantage early to upgrade your item kits faster than thee enemy can do. Try to take down the dragon before the enemy notice. This will give you another advantage: Only you and your allies know the respawn time.
Beware, good players would set sight wards to control the Dragon. So it might be difficult to do it unaware. So don't ever try to kill the Dragon alone, especially if enemies are not visible on the map for you! You definitely will be ganked and worst - the enemy steals the Dragon away. Tell your jungler to set a Vision Ward if he can afford it. This would reveal enemy wards.
Same as Dragon. But in my opinion not as important as Dragon. If your teamplay is good, you dont need the buff to win the teamfights. If you are bad, then even the Baron Buff cant save you. BUT: Controlling the Baron to hinder the Enemy team from getting the Baron killed is crucial to win a match. If your team is fast, you can try to disrupt their attempt and maybe you can even destroy the whole enemy team plus stealing the Buff to storm their base.
When the first tier towers of the enemies (or yours) have been fallen, the first team fights will start. Now your team should have set enough sight wards to see the enemy's movements. If it comes to a confrontation of your team and them, you should know your role:
- Assassin the Enemy Carries as fast as possible, before getting killed (such like Ashe, Miss Fortune, Caitlyn, Draven, Ezreal, Sivir, Tristana, Varus, vaybe)
- Silence the one of the enemy team with the most dangerous ability, thats usually the CC ones (Stun, Slow Down, Weaken).
- Engage first when team fight has been initialised by someone else (usually the one with CC attack). Garen needs someone wo help him close the gap to his enemies, or he will be shot dead before he arrives!
- Give commands to your team! A true Demacian Warrior is always giving wise commands to his subordinates.
- Survive till the end to exexute the Enemy Tank with your Demacian Justice, when no one of your team can take him down.
Never forget - never ever fight solo after midgame, because the enemy does not! Even with the suggested item builds, Garen cant survive long, if he gets ganked and encircled by two or more enemies. If there is some enemy with gapclosing abilities, you can't escape, even with Flash. But with Teammates at your back or front, you will strike-spin-crit-execute the hell out of them. Promise!
In this Chapter i want to give you a feeling, which Champions are suited to fight with Garen. This is important to check at the champions selection, before the match starts. You dont want to fight with mates, who cannot support you in teamfights later! Since Garen is an aggressive Melee Fighter, you need to play with complementary supports/tanks. Look for such ones, who can do high Crowd Control (CC) with Stuns or Slow Downs, so you have it more easy to close the gap to your enemy.
Really strong support. With his Pulverize he can knock up all enemies around him and stun them. Thats your chance to engage with Garen.
Great stun with Bandage Toss and with his Ultimate activated, all enemies around him are stunned taking AP Damage. When you engage and spin, you or him might even get a Pentakill.
With a skilled shot with his arm he can pull enemies to you. With Power Fist he can pop enemies up to air. This is your moment Garen!
He or it can knock up enemies and silence them. You can engage without taking skill attacks for some few seconds. Go in for the Carries!
His Infected Cleaver slows the enemy. If you have a Frozen Mallet you two give much trouble for any attackers to get away, even with Flash
He can slow the enemy and boost movement speed of allies. Not bad. And if he activates his Ultimate you can help finishing off the enemies.
She can slow enemies with her Energy Blast from Inner Flame. Sometimes she can root enemies with Focused Resolve and protect allies with Inspire. With a good Karma Player you can hunt down enemies easily.
A more aggressive support. She can slow with Reckoning, heal you + boost your movement speed and in critical situations can give you invulnerability! Her Passive lowers enemy's armor and magic resis. Awesome! Just go for the kill with Kayle at your back!
A fantastic support + tank. She got 3 Skills (!) for stun and immobilization. You can hardly find a better lane partner. Just let her initiate fights and then directly go in for your deadly spin. If the enemies try to escape, let her root them with her Zenith Blade, while you engage again.
She can slow with Glitterlance, boost your movement speed with Whimsy and AP and let her pix shield you from damage. Besides she can empower you with Wild Growth. Really awesome support!
Garen's Heavy AP Sister. Great stun, great slow, great ally protection and with the correct AP items she might even steal his brothers show by taking away his kills.
He is just like Alistar - a real Monster, if it comes to knock up abilities and slowing down enemies while having high sustain and dealing great damage. With Malphite at your side you can almost have a garen-teed win.
He can slow enemies and knock up. He even can shield allies from enemy or Tower Damage. Not bat!
Her Dark Binding to root enemies is just as good as Lux Light Binding. Just wait for her shot, if it hits the enemy your Garen can storm in to strike and spin.
What an awesome support with all her slowdown, stun and knockup skills. You cant be more grateful to have such a beatiful skilled lady in your team. When enemies got imprisoned by her Aqua Prison its damn time to attack.
He is just like Garen a fantastic Bruiser, who deals decent damage with his magic abilities. His Ability Wither to slow enemies and Spirit Fire to reduce enemy's Armor are too good no to combine it with Garen's attacks.
He definitely needs a lane partner, who deals heavy damage, while he uses his Ice Blast to slow the enemy. With Blood Boil he can even boost your Attack + Movement Speed for 15 seconds (!).
Damn this awesome Assassin. He is just like Garen, a brutal Bush-Hider, who just jumps out for surprise attacks. His Stun and heavy Damage with High Armor and Abilities, which gives him free Tower Diving, are even more deadly if Garen joins the fight. No Enemy is safe under Towers.
Well, this lady is one of the best supports in LoL. She can boost whatever you want, Attack Damage, Armor, Magic Resis, Movement Speed. With her Ultimate Power Chord she can stun or even weaken enemies.
A fling back ability, a slowdown with [[Mega Adhesive] and very toxic air spread around. If he doesnt kill all enemies by himself, you can join in and secure the win.
One of Garen's best friends. He can heal, stun and do a decent damage while having good sustain. Together they are - just perfect. Nothing else to say.
One of the newest supports that entered the Field of Justice and he is extremely powerful in teamfights. With Death Sentence he can immobilize enemies by pulling them back to him. His Lantern shields allies from damage. And whenever he unleashes his Ultimate The Box in teamfight, its a garen-teed Combo-Kill for sure.
Wait for his Pillar of Filth and then engage. Its very difficult to escape without Flash or similar abilities. Besides his skill Agony is a welcomed Damage Boost for Garen.
This bear is simply awesome. He can throw back enemies and slow them with Majestic Roar. Usually he is built with a Frozen Mallet, so very hard to escape. With Garen's assistance they wreck Havoc in enemy lines.
After reading this guide, you finally might acknowledge, who is the true might of demacia. This guide is directed to beginners, who needs guides to play better. Furthermore this guide features my own play style. It is very possible, that it is not suited for every Garen Player. With this work i tried to combine many approaches to develop Garen, so that beginners might find their own style of playing this awesome champion on the fields of justice.
Garen is a very strong Champion at early - mid game and can still be very strong and dangerous at mid - late game as a teamfighter. He is a classic Bruiser, who can deal heavy damage but also can have high sustain. His role in teamfights is to rush in after Initialisation by someone else and concentrate his Attack Power on Enemy Carries successfully. If you like, you can buy him items for more Offense Power or with extended Sustain to soak more Enemy Damage. Its up to you. Just make wise decisions depending on every match situation.
Most important: Have fun with Garen and always remember his attack style: (Flash-Exhaust-)Strike-Spin-Shield(-Execute). Never forget, who is the true Might of Demacia! It's Garen! Show this in every match, and you'll get damn Respect from mates & enemies.
Garen has become one famous Champion in the Field of Justice because of his unique fighting style and bright demacian ideals. He may seem simple to play at striking on enemies and spinning through enemy lines, and simple do his skins appear, but if you look closely, they reveal more unique features than meets the eye. Blow a decisive look at Garen's skins.
Desert Trooper Garen
Appendix#2: Funny Demacians
By the way, have you seen this funny movie already? Garen & Friends are soo hilarious. "Demaciaaaaa"
Appendix#4: Special Thanks & Credits
Thank you very much for reading my first guide at MobaFire. I hope you enjoyed it. I know that there are still many things, what i could write about. But in the end, you need to make a break, when you get the feeling, that it is sufficient information for beginners, for what this guide was originally written. It took me several weeks to finish it, but i had much fun. And i hope you have even more fun to try the stuff out to check the true might of demacia.
If you have any questions or advices or maybe even ideas for alternative super interesting item builds for Garen, feel free to write me in the discussion thread. If there is anything worth to add in this guide for you, i'll do it asap! Have fun with LoL and don't dare to look down on Garen or Demacia. You might be caught by an thundering Demacian Justice. haha
Jhoijhoi for her guides to make guides at MobaFire
All the dudes here, who wrote Guides for Garen at MobaFire with lots of stuff, which inspired me
My Wife for not killing me for putting so much time & energy into this work
My Family for supporting me (with foods. haha)
All the friends, who took a look and giving me advices