Garen Build Guide by RAILGUNx10
This build has been archived and is for historical display only.
PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
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.
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.
Welcome to my guide on how to play Garen. Garen is an amazing champion when played correctly, that said, I see too many Garen builds' which solely focus on building him as a tank when he is able to deliver such a high amount of damage to the enemy team. However, being Garen, you have the role of an Initiator, and if you build flat dps, you will be destroyed before you can hit anything.
Build both tanky and dps. This is how I spin to win.
Pros / Cons
- Strong early game
- Great chaser/escaper with Decisive Strike and Judgment
- Kill-securing Ultimate Demacian Justice
- SPIN TO WIN
- Reliable Silence with Decisive Strike
- Naturally Tanky
- Great sustain
- No ranged harass
- Can be kited
- Does not scale well into late game
- No CC except silence with Decisive Strike
Greater Mark of Mana
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Mana Regeneration
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Early in the game, Garen can completely shut down the enemy laner. These runes will compliment his early game and allow him to snowball. Resistances are a must for Garen. Most early game damage comes from physical sources, hence flat armor seals. You may want to take movement speed quints incase the enemy team can kite well, such as Ashe or LeBlanc.
21 in offense. 8 in defense. 1 in utility.
Standard mastery page for an AD carry, picking up resistances and the decreased cooldown for flash.
1 in offense. 21 in defense. 8 in utility.
These masteries focus on a tankier, initiator role for Garen.
> > >
You'll want to level up your ultimate first to secure kills. BTW do not kill steal using your ultimate. Sure, it's great that you're fed BUT your carry needs kills too.
This skill will destroy squishies early game. Put a point into it every chance you get except when your ultimate is available.
A great skill for initiating and chasing. Combine it with Frozen Mallet and your prey won't be able to get away.
This skill gives you the ability to tank surprisingly well. You won't need this that much during early game but late game this skill will keep you alive.
I tend to go Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions because Garen already has a lot of sustain in lane due to his passive. Only go Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions if the enemy laner deals a lot of heavy physical damage such as Riven or Tryndamere.
Get these if the enemy team has a lot of CC and magic damage. If not, Ninja Tabi and Boots of Swiftness are also good item choices.
All the stats benefit Garen's damage output. Standard AD item.
Beefs Garen up while providing an excellent passive allowing Garen to initiate and chase.
Gives Garen some nice damage and armor.
Makes Garen unstoppable. Gives a chunk of magic resist and health regen AND makes him even faster.
Standard tank item. Rounds out Garen's resistances.
The above items are what I get for most games but when the teams are ... unbalanced then I may purchase these items.
If the enemy team is AD heavy.
If you want more damage AND the enemy team has a lot of magic damage, get this item instead of your Randuin's Omen.
If your support doesn't buy this, although they should.
If the enemy team is stacking armor and you don't need the tankiness from other items.
Gaurdian Angel Only if you are getting focused down first because you deal more damage than your AD carry.
Finishes of those annoying champions that run off with 50 hp.
Flash FLASH. ULTI. STRONG.
Exhaust If no-one else takes exhaust, then you should, although this will lower your killing potential. There should be at least one exhaust on the team to shut down the enemy carry.
Ghost A good spell that can be used for chasing/escaping similar to flash.
Teleport Allows you to come back to lane immediately and support other lanes.
Solo Top - Champion Matchups
Tough champion to lane against mainly because of his ranged harass Parrrley
Better nerf Irelia. Gap closer, stun/slow, true damage.
Very strong champion right now, but is countered by range which Garen does not have
True damage hurts.
Also a very strong champion right now.
NOTE - more champions will be added
You'll want to buy Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions as your starting items, then you should go to red buff or blue buff depending on which side you are on to guard it for your jungler and/or help with the leash.
Next, head into lane. Be sure when harassing to start with a basic attack > Decisive Strike and later you'll want to add on Judgment and Courage to your combo. Rinse and repeat until the enemy champion is low enough to go for the kill.
When you recall back, you should buy one or two Doran's Blades a few Health Potions and a sight ward for ganks.
If things are going your way, then it will be okay to press your advantage by rushing an Infinity Edge. If by some chance you are losing your lane, you can pick up a frozen mallet instead for more survivability.
At this point, you should have your level 2 boots, Infinity Edge, Frozen Mallet and you should be working your way to your Atma's Impaler.
By now you should be dealing a lot of damage with your abilities and basic attacks. If you harass the enemy top laner out of lane then you should push and recall as well or go down and gank mid or even counter jungle.
A few turrets may have fallen by now and teamfights may be breaking out. What you should do as Garen is focus down the enemy mage. For example Annie or Malzahar. You want to focus the enemy mage because for most of them, midgame is where they shine, of course, you will want to shut down the enemy AD carry as well.
You should have most of your items by now, and there will be many teamfights. You should be tanky enough to initiate if your team does not have a better initiator such as Amumu or Galio. You should be initiating on the enemy AD carry or mage.
Do not initiate on the enemy tank i.e. Shen and allow the enemy carries to stay at the back unharmed.
Build 1 is your go to build for a balanced team. It provides damage and tankiness and allows you to do all that you need to do. Initiate, stick to the enemy and survive.
Build 2 is more of a tankier build and you should build this if your team does not have a proper tank. It sacrifices some damage for more survivability.