Potential starting items
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.
Threats to Garen with this build
|Hecarim||Farm early. Once you have the components to Sunfire Cape, get in his face. This lane is easy.|
Welcome to my Garen guide. My summoner name is actually BoomerangTKO (can't figure out how to change it on here, Master Mangina was my old name). I have been a Garen main for over 2 years. I find him incredibly fun! This guide will outline a basic build path and a lot of champion match ups. I am new to making guides, so in-depth strategy will be left out for now, but I may increase the knowledge in this guide in the future.
Flash and Teleport should be your go to summoner spells. Flash is a must on 99% of champions. Teleport is a great summoner for any top laner, allowing you to control your own lane while potentially making plays around the map.
Ignite over Teleport is the main consideration you should make. Ignite has great synergy with your ult and is a more snowball-orientated spell. If you have played a bit of Garen before and feel comfortable in the lane match-up you are in, ignite is a good option.
Garen is one of the few champions that can make use of Ghost well. Being able to stick to people is important as Garen and this spell helps with that. However, I find Flash to be more useful and I would recommend Flash over Ghost, but try it out for yourself and decide.
Sunfire Cape is the best starting item. Makes you very hard to kill, but have enough damage to win a 2 v 1 gank. Once you have this item, you can sit in the enemy wave before it hits your wave, spin & get perfect cs for the rest of the game.
Black Cleaver or an MR item such as Hexdrinker, Spectre's Cowl or Merc Treads can also be good first items.
Black Cleaver & Dead Man's Plate are the most core items.
If sticking to original build, get a hexdrinker then Randuin's Omen & then complete your Maw.
Merc Treads & Ninja Tabi are both good options, but my favourite are Boots of Swiftness. Alacrity is excellent as Garen loves movespeed, but Distortion also works.
When you've finished your build, Maw is the best item to swap out for others in situations where there is no magic damage (Sterak's Gage or Warmogs) or lots of magic damage (Spirit Visage).
If there is so much magic damage that you want Maw & Spirit Visage consider skipping Sunfire Cape or Randuins Omen instead.
Cloth 4 pot is the best starting items in my opinion. Very safe due to reduce damage from champions and minions and lots of sustain.
Long sword is good against easy lanes or lanes where you need to bully hard early.
Boots are often a good start against ap ranged champions. Helps dodge skill shots, get out of range of harass after going for cs and get close to them to output your damage.
Dorans items are fine, but I never use them.
Situational Tank Items
Need more MR? Spirit Visage. Need even more MR? Banshee's Veil. I prefer Spirit Visage as I value the cooldown reduction on it over a spell shield, but its personal preference between the two items.
Need more armour? Thornmail is the best option.
Need more tankiness in both armour and magic resist? Go Zz'Rot Portal.
Does the enemy team not have great late game damage, but you're the sole tank? Does the enemy team have lots of poke that you need to soak and then regen quickly. Warmogs is a great option. Remember that flat health becomes less effective as the game goes on, so be careful when buying this. Furthermore, don't buy it JUST for the regen. Your passive already heals you for lots, the extra regen is redundant in a lot of situations other than when against a poke comp.
Situational Damage items
Sterak's is really good alternative to Maw when there is no magic damage. Still getting a bit of damage, but more useful tankiness in the situation where there is no magic damage.
Titanic Hydra is the best offensive option when you just want a second damage item, but you are sticking to the original core build (maybe dropping Maw or Randuins for example). Titanic Hydra has great synergy with Black Cleaver.
Being kited into oblivion with cc? Mercurial Scimitar is fantastic. I never see anyone build this on Garen, I think it is the most underrated item on him.
Just want tons of damage? Infinity Edge is better when you're build doesn't have much health. If building Infinity Edge I would also recommend building Statikk Shiv and an anti-kite ad item (Mercurial Schimitar or Ghostblade). This is the best high damage Garen build in my opinion.
Need extra movespeed and damage? Ghostblade
Max E first for lots of damge. Max Q next for a little more damage & more speed. max W last, it gives you a longer duration of damage reduction which can be really strong in team fights, but as long as you time it well you don't need to put more than 1 point in it early. I like to put a point in Q at level 5. This lowers your damage slightly, but I find the extra movespeed is more beneficial.
For Keystones, there are 3 you can go: Thunderlords, Grasp of the Undying & Bond of Stone.
My favourite right now is Grasp of the Undying. Nice for trading in lane, gives you a little sustain and does a surprising amount of damage to squishes.
Bond of Stone lets you run into an enemy team and be so annoying and tank a million abilities like it's nothing. Bond of Stone on top of your 30% reduction on your W is so strong and if you get a lead in lane you can normally 2v1 the jungler.
Thunderlords stacks and procs off each spin tick so this is also really strong and great in lane.
Choose from these 3.
Marks I always go Physical Damage marks. The only other option is Armour Penetration. Choose from these two
Seals Almost always go Armour. Health or Scaling Health can be good vs a Magic Damage lane.
Glyphs Vs a Magic Damage lane you want to go 9 flat Magic Resist. Against Attack Damage its a little more up to you. I like to go 6 scaling Cooldown Reduction (which gives you 10% CDR at level 18) with 3 scaling Magic Resist. I think you can choose what you want though.
Quints You can go whatever you like within reason (no Ability Power pls m9). I go 1 Movespeed (significantly counters his last nerf), 1 Physical Damage & 1 Armour. I think you could also throw in 1 Health or Health Regen vs Ability Power ranged over the armour. You could go 3 quints of any of the quints i have mentioned plus Armour Penetration, Hybrid Penetration etc. Try it all out and choose for yourself.