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Garen Build Guide by kajinator

Top [12.14] [All Matchups] Kaj's Garen Guide

Top [12.14] [All Matchups] Kaj's Garen Guide

Updated on August 9, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author kajinator Build Guide By kajinator 9 0 8,553 Views 0 Comments
9 0 8,553 Views 0 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author kajinator Garen Build Guide By kajinator Updated on August 9, 2022
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Runes: Phase Rush

1 2 3 4 5 6
Phase Rush
Nimbus Cloak
Gathering Storm


+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2 3
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

[12.14] [All Matchups] Kaj's Garen Guide

By kajinator
Hello, my name is kaj. I'm a rather low-ranked Garen OTP (silver) but I've been asking better players about Garen/exploring a lot of Garen related theory and I originally made this guide to test my own knowledge on Garen but now my main goal is for the people who view this guide to switch to Phase Rush for Garen as their main rune page over Conqueror.
Pros and Cons of Garen
Garen's Pros

1: Garen is a good champion to learn the fundamentals of the game due to his leniency and easy to understand kit.
2: Garen is a versatile characte that can teach you proper itemization and rune selection into different comps.
3: Garen is a very good side laner and decent team fighter so you can usually have an impact in many ways.
4: Garen is a very good one-trick/solo q champion due to his low ban rate, pick rate, and overall consistency in a lot of metas.
5: Garen's wave clear is one of the best and is extremely easy. CSing with Garen is a breeze and you can easily hit 8-10 CSPM almost every game.

Garen's Cons

1: Garen is very frequently counterpicked by meta champions.
2: Garen truggles into ranged top laners and ranged comps due to how easy he is to kite with Decisive Strike being the only gap closing tool he has in his kit.
3: Garen's main issue is that he doesn't scale as hard as some of his meta counterpicks and with the current state of top lane it can feel extremely hard to have an impact on the game at certain times.
Why Phase Rush?
As of right now in my opinion Phase Rush is the best rune page to run on Garen into 90% of your matchups. Using Phase Rush on Garen makes him way more versatile, allows him to escape from bad situations easily, makes some matchups like Darius a lot easier for him by improving trade patterns, improving short trade timings, and also gives him more utility in team fights. Phase Rush is also in the Sorcery tree which gives you access to Nimbus Cloak and Celerity for a burst of movespeed after using a summoner spell such as Flash and a flat bonus movespeed equal to 7% of all your other flat movespeed bonuses. The utility of Phase Rush is almost infinite and its entirely up to the creativity of the player on how they use it and in what situations.
Mythic Items:

At the moment, I think Stridebreaker and Trinity Force are the most consistent mythic options on Garen Stridebreaker should be your main mythic that you build almost every game. It gives you 20 ability haste, 50 attack damage, 20% attack speed, 300 health, and empowers all your other mythic items with 2% bonus movespeed. In addition Stridebreaker's active slows nearby enemies by 40% for 3 seconds while its passive gives you 20 bonus movespeed every time you deal damage. There are some situations where into more mobile enemy team comps where you bring Flash + Ghost Trinity Force would be better but for the most part building Stridebreaker almost every game is not a bad idea.

Boot options:

Into most balanced comps such as 3 AD and 2 AP or 3 AP and 2 AD, you will be building Berserker's Greaves due to its 35% attack speed buff which is incredibly useful for Garen. Into 4+ AD comps Plated Steelcaps will be a much better buy due to the 20 armor they give you and the 12% damage reduction from all auto attacks. Into 4+ AP comps you should build Mercury's Treads for the 25 magic resist and 30 tenacity.

Additional Items:

Mortal Reminder should be a core item you build almost every game on Garen in my opinion. This item is very cost effective for the stats it gives and its extra movement speed never hurts. Even if you don't need grevious wounds this item is a good buy. Dead Man's Plate and Force of Nature are good items you can build into balanced team comps such as 3 AD 2 AP and 3 AP 2 AD. They give you armor/magic resist and bonus movespeed which is never bad. Depending on if the balanced team comp has more AD or AP Death's Dance for AD would be a good last item and Maw of Malmortius for AP. If you are against heavy AD Randuin's Omen is never a bad buy due to its slow, attack damage and crit damage decrease, and max health damage reducton. Against heavy AP Spirit Visage will increase all healing and shielding sources by 25% and give you additional magic resist. Into a more tanky comp you already have 25% armor shred applied after your 6th spin of Judgment so Black Cleaver will give you and your team an additional 30% armor shred making this item shred tanky comps. Building Black Cleaver in combination with Hullbreaker is also a very powerful sidelane building strategy since it should help with tower diving and winning most 1v1s.
Laning Phase
During laning phase with Garen your goal should be to generate as big as a lead as possible. Garen's very strong early game with an extremely good wave and camp clear thanks to his E Judgment. You can often crash 2 waves under the enemies tower every time they leave lane, get a tower plate, and look to do a jungle camp all before they come back to lane aiding you in getting a sizeable lead that will carry on into mid and late game. Garen heavily benefits from short trades with Phase Rush and his passive Perseverance which regenerates 2-10% of his maximum health every 5 seconds that he has not taken damage. While you have no mana and likely regenerate health much faster than your opponent the more you chunk down you opponents health, the more they have to leave lane which allows you to push waves, get tower plates, and clear jungle camps giving you a CS and XP lead.
Mid/Late Game
During the mid/late game your gameplan with Garen will mostly be the same, you want to look to side lane to push your lead since Garen is a very powerful sidelaner/splitpusher. You can clear waves and jungle camps super fast and take/chunk down towers resuting in the enemy team sending more and more people to stop your sidelaning/splitpushing the closer you get to their base. Usually the enemy team will try to send 3+ people to collapse on you and kill you, the enemy top laner, the jungler/support, and the mid laner. You should be absoloutely fine in this situation with your movement speed bonuses from Dead Man's Plate, Force of Nature, Mortal Reminder, Nimbus Cloak, Celerity, and you can even proc Phase Rush, if necessary to escape. There will be times when the enemy team sends 5 people or the entire team to stop you and this is when you have to signal to your team to make plays while you try to waste as much of their time as possible. If you are going to destroy an inhibitor while something like this happens, I'd recommend dying for it as 1 death for an inhibitor while your team makes plays is super worth it. Now what if you lost lane and don't have enough of a lead over your opponent to snowball in the sidelane? What do you do? Well the answer is pretty easy. Garen is a pretty good team fighter and a very mobile champion with all the movement speed bonuses I listed earlier. You can put pressure by team fighting, ganking, flipping roams, playing for objectives, and helping your team have an extra person in fights in general. This can put just as much pressure as sidelaning/splitpushing and sometimes even more pressure and this playstyle has resulted in many wins for me despite me losing laning phase.
Thank you to those of you who read my guide. I really hope I explained myself well enough so that even new Garen players could understand this guide and get something out of it and if you were mainly a Conqueror user got you to switch over to Phase Rush. If you enjoyed this guide an upvote would be appreciated so more people can see it, if you didn't/have any suggestions feel free to message me, comment on this guide, or add me on Discord at kaj#1234 and I will 100% take a look at your criticism/suggestions.
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League of Legends Build Guide Author kajinator
kajinator Garen Guide
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[12.14] [All Matchups] Kaj's Garen Guide

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