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Garen Build Guide by Drigo Toes

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Drigo Toes

Becoming useful late game

Drigo Toes Last updated on September 10, 2013
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Top Lane
Ranked #12 in
Top Lane
Win 51%
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Hi guys... after this fail build came out, it took me about the entire season to realize that this build was awful.

Now I've had very good games with garen in this season, and i want to share my personal build. It is somekind diferent from the usual way to build garen, but it is very effective in the game in all the levels.

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Garen is a very good Top laner bully... but without great CC, a Tank Garen has no impact in late game. In another hand, a Glass Cannon Garen, has great impact in late... if not focused (yeah, it will not happen).
There are very good tries in off-tank garen, but usually lack on damage, or in resistance. I want to share my personal actual build, that it has a very good late game damage (proved in a 65 min. Rank game) in terms of do and take damage.

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  • Strong Early Game
  • Tankier than DPS garen
  • Can take carries out of team fights
  • It is useful Late Game
  • No Dash or great CC
  • Doesn't do damage as dps garen or carry/jungler
  • Can be kited easyle without proper itemization

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Runes and Masteries

I use 9/21/0, taking special priority to Tenacity and minoritize slows, so Garen can reach their targets.



Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
The Attack Damage marks are for better Last Hit. The Seal and Gylph are for make you tankier early game, when you haven't defensive items. And the Quint. are for help you to reach your objetives (outrun it).

Others good options:
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: More Magic Resistance at level 18.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
The sequence of skills is also relatively standard for Garen, focusing on Judgment, a murder weapon in early game. However, I do a couple of changes to enhance certain aspects:
  • Starting with Decisive Strike instead of Judgment: The silence + the speed boost is very useful to farm and avoid / do harrasment level 1.
  • Put Courage on level 4 instead of 3: This is to help zonning your enemies with Judgement.

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How to play

Early Game

This build is meant for solo top. The build start with Cloth Armor plus potions if you have a hard lane, but you can go with Doran's Blade or Doran's Shield if you are confortable with that. If one start with Boots of Speed, one simply can not be aggressive to take advantage with Garen at the start of the game (and you have speed from your runes). You can go with Boots if you really need the speed (against teemo or such).

Do not worry about exposing yourself, you have much HP, defense and health regen. at this stage, so farm with calm (last hit), and whenever you can, poke your opponent with Decisive Strike + Judgment ( Courage before or while running away if necessary). When you see the opponent has low HP (say, less than 60%, o less than 40% if it is tanky), go for full combo Decisive Strike-> Judgment-> Demacian Justice.

On your first trip to base buy Giant's Belt and Boots of Speed​​. If your opponent is built tanky, following the previous poke plan (your opponent is tanky so will not be strong enough to make you too much damage).

Try to keep your grass with Sight Ward, to avoid possible ganks. If you want to go down to help a lane, or take Red Buff, go ahead, just do not neglect your turret. On your second trip to base, you should be able to buy The Brutalizer and boots level 2. Opt for Mercury's Treads if the enemy team has CC; if they have slows, go for Boots of Swiftness. When you are finishing Randuin's Omen, it is more likely that a turret has fallen (ideally, the one you have to defeat) and mid game starts.

Mid Game:

One or more turrets have fallen. You are about to buy Randuin's Omen, who will give you a giant boost in Armor. Your task now is to assist in the mini TF, usually by going to the front line protecting your Carries. Try to farm in jungle and alone lanes whenever you can. Try to decide if it is better to buy Youmuu's Ghostblade or The Black Cleaver (I highly recomend Ghostblade for critical, and reach to opponent). You help take Dragon, other turrets and care Baron.

Often your team go for an opponent solo farming in a lane. That is why we build Randuin's Omen. The opponent can not escape after a close fitting Decisive Strike plus Randuin's Omen, so He is now vulnerable to the ruthless attack of you and your carries. Now it is time to start to build Infinity Edge.

Late Game:

Players are now at level 18 and you just need to finish your Infinity Edge (Now you have THE REAL DAMAGE, and your are tanky enough to melt the mid-lane of defense in Team Fight, and reach their carries). Your main goal now is, in a TF, search the carry and destroy it. Flash in to approach, Exhaust or Ignite (depends of what you take) to maximize your damage, Decisive Strike to silence and to remove any CC other than Stun or Silence, Judgment to make BIG DAMAG, and Demacian Justice to finish. You must decide when active Randuin's Omen, but it is likely when you are fight against the carry. If you're still standing, try to go for the next carry, but if you are death, don't worry, you do your goal, and the rest of the team can shred a team without one of his carry.

The last 2 items for you depends of your enemy team. I highly recomend one defensive item ( Sunfire Cape if their have good amount of AD, Spirit Visage if they have a good amount of AP, or Banshee's Veil if they have a spell that need to be deflected), and one ofensive Item ( Atma's Impaler for more Critical y Armor, or Mercurial Scimitar if they have godly CC).

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Summary and Thanks

Garen is a champion with a great early game, but a poorly late game. This guide is focus to get better late game. I make a huge update with my personal actual build that it is very usefull in mid/late if you can take a few kills for yourself in the beggining of the game.

Thanks for read my guide and I hope you enjoy it and can use in your Garen. Also thanks to JhoiJhoi! Her guide about how to make a good guide can be found here! And thanks to Palthios Build, that give me plenty of good games with Garen, you can find it here.