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Garen General Guide by Lilarcor

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Lilarcor


Lilarcor Last updated on June 21, 2013
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Top Lane
Ranked #11 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: 9


Utility: 12

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Added some few information

Updated the guide. Changed some Core builds

Created a new guide for Garen

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AD - Attack Damage
AP - Ability Power
AS - Attack Speed
MR - Magic Resistance
MS - Movement Speed
DPS - Damage Per Second
ADR - Attack Damage Ranged
SS - Summoner Spells

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Hello and Welcome to my Garen Solo-top guide. ^^

I've been playing Garen for more than a year right now (2 years to be exact) as it was just released here in our server a year after it was published in NA Server.

Garen is my very first champion as soon as LoL was installed in my computer because I was amazed by this champ when I first saw him in youtube. Not only that, Garen resembles one of the heroes I always use which are Yurnero and Axe from DOTA-Allstar combined.

The purpose of this guide is to help players realize the amazing potential Garen either AD, Off-tank, or pure tank build. But I prefer AD and off-tank. But this guide shows you how to play Garen as an off-tank champ because most players often can't handle AD champs or pure DPS champs.

This guide also helps other solo-top players who are having a hard time last hitting minions when outmatched by enemy lane champion. But it doesn't mean you must not last hit minions.

This guide was made possible because of the knowledge I gained using Palthios' Spin-to-Crit guide ever since his guide was posted. Hello my dear friend Palthios. ^^


Please try this build first before voting. Thanks. ^^

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Why is it different from other Garen guides?

Again. I will explain my point in this guide. The reason why Garen has gold runes, item and masteries is that:

1. At solo top. Yeah Garen dominates most of the time, but champion like him can also be dominated by other champions. They have their strengths and weaknesses. So you should pay attention to that. Philosopher's Stone Philosopher's Stone can help bost Garen's passive to sustain his lane and get an advantage of 1 gold per second if combined with runes and masteries.

2. Is Philosopher's Stone Philosopher's Stone inefficient and wasted if Garen bought this? Obviously not. Why? because at the very start, of the game and when the Gold started to tick, it already helped Garen in earning his money. So is it wasted? Mana Regen is wasted yeah and I won't argue about that but Health regen and 5Gp10 is not wasted on him plus. you bought it Philosopher's Stone with the help from passively earning money from the start.

3. I made this guide for those people who are having a hard time farming because either they are outmatched and is being harassed by that champion or you're laning against 2 champs because sometimes you'll encounter teams who doesn't have a dedicated jungler.

4. For those who want to use Garen to support your ADR at bottom lane, this guide is also very viable. You don't need to last hit minions and just let your ADR farm them.

5. Yeah, RUNES Garen is strong early game, so the difference between + 8 AD to that of +15 AD is big, but not that big. + 8 AD is manageable.

6. MASTERIES can add a big difference. Either you gave 21 on offense or defense yeah. It is really helpful. But what if the above situations (1&2) are met? This build comes in. Increasing the money you can gain per sec + can be an advantage against your enemy till late game. You won't get under farmed like what happened with TSM Dyrus's Darius when doing solo top against IG's Jayce. Dyrus is one of the best players and we can't deny that but look what happened? In addition to that, I also placed points on masteries which are useful and helpful early game like armor pen, damage/level, CDR, defense +5, health per level, veteran scar and so on..

7. Sometimes, I also am an unorthodox player. So you will see me creating some guides like this which is very far from what you or others get used to. And it is my own IDEA and if you don't want to use this, you can use other Garen guides. I'm not forcing you to use this but I'm telling to try this out.

8. It is tanky while having a high damage output.

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Short note

Remember that your role here is not just to tank but also to deal heavy damage while you spin and believe me, once an enemy team sees a tank champ (to them, this build makes Garen a tank) which can also deal a large amount of damage, they will be thinking twice before engaging you in team fights as they can't just ignore you while your team also has an AD carry (both melee and ranged as well as AP carry and a support).

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Pros / Cons


+ High damage input Early to Late game
+ Can penetrate armors of tankers and making them possible to kill (but don't ff on tanks, I'm just saying haha)
+ Can run really fast which is really annoying if he's your enemy xD
+ Also good at destroying turrets with his "Q"
+ Good at escaping and chasing enemy champs (Decisive Strike removes most CC)
+ Good Initiator and deals heavy damage on enemy teams while he spins
+ Can tank team fights


- He can be Kited ("can" meaning it depends on who's controlling him)
- Other than his Decisive Strike he has no escape mechanism.
- His Judgment slows him down a bit when colliding with enemy teams (minions/champs).

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For runes I use this set to dominate early game and for farming purposes in lane.


Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Gold
x9 = These Red marks gives you enough damage to lane against enemy champ and for easy last hitting when farming minions.

x9 = This gives you enough armor to stay in lane.

x9 = You don't need high MR early game so MR/level scales well late game.

x3 = Combined with the masteries I provided, it give you 5 Gold/10 Sec. Helps you earn money really fast aside from last hitting minions when Soloing Top lane. =))

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This set works well with Garen when doing Solo-Top


Increases his damage output per level, cool down reduction, armor penetration (in %), health boost with defenses for survival purposes, movement speed boost, SS CDR, Active Items CDR, and some additional 2 Gold per 10s combined with your GP10S Quints.

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Items: Note: Time is essential.

First off, you might want to buy a with 3 Health Potions for health recovery and boosting Garens passive to regenerate quickly.

You have to observe how much gold you have. If you think you can already buy a Philosopher's Stone (The Mana regen maybe a waste but don't bother that as it helps you regenerate your health faster alongside Garen's ] Perseverance and helps you earn money in conjunction with your runes and masteries) along with , then ask for your jungler to cover the for you for a while or you may exchange your summoner spell with if you can handle a kill without smite or you just don't want to disturbed your jungler. (Weird though) lol

Next thing will be easier, just farm and report often if your lane enemy is missing.

Next item should be either or in preparation for depends on your Judgment but I prefer you get The Brutalizer first for damage, armor penetration and cool down reduction and complete your The Black Cleaver if possible. This ends your early game. You have to time it.

Now go for Hexdrinker Bead for AD and MR in one pack. Now buy Emblem of Valor and target which gives both Armor and MR for you and as an aura for your teammate. But if your support tried to build it, skip Aegis of the Legion then buy . Now continue reading to optional via situation.

[Optional Via Situation]
Next, buy (try to observe and predict if your enemy will be stacking either more armor or health). If an enemy champ stacks up for armor replace your supposedly future and build after Randuin's Omen. As Last Whisper works well with The Black but if not, then go with after Randuin's Omen.

Item Sequence 1 (vs Armored)
Warden's Mail--> Pickaxe--> Randuin's Omen--> Last Whisper

Item Sequence 2 (Standard)
Warden's Mail--> Pickaxe--> Randuin's Omen--> Maw of Malmortius

Next, let's finish for health boost and armor with CC that can be activated to slow enemy champs. Then Upgrade Hexdrinker into Maw of Malmaortius.

[If your support will go for Runic Bulwark]
Now buy a and upgrade it to if possible. This gives extra armor and MR.

[If your support is not going to build Runic Bulwark]
Now upgrade your Aegis of the Legion to Runic Bulwark

Now for your last item, I don't think you might have the chance to get this because sometimes the game ends earlier than expected either way here it is. Sell your Philosopher's Stone and buy a then if you have a chance to farm please do so or because you secured so many kills then complete your which gives you both AD and MR similar to .

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Explanation on Items: Please Read

Philosopher's Stone Philosopher's Stone

- Yeah. Garen is strong early game but this can help Garen a lot when doing solo-top. Yes, the mana regeneration is wasted but maximizing his passive allows him to sustain his lane more than anything when it comes to Health regeneration. Aside from that, he also gains another 5Gp10 in addition to his runes and masteries and can help you earn more while the game progress.

Ninja Tabi

- This is a must for Garen as his MR is already maximized in this guide but if there will be a chance that enemy composition has 2 or 3 AP Champs or has a lot of Crowd control effects, then swap this with

Black Cleaver

- No question about this item as this helps Garen maximize his Judgment's damage potential as well as health boost.
It reduces armor of enemy champions by 6.25% per hit. This stacks up to 4 hits (25% in total) which is very useful as Judgment can do 6 hits in 3 seconds.

Maw of Malmortius

- Okay first get early as this has damage as well as MR in 1 pack. Then you can just upgrade it to later.
So you might ask question "Why build this? Why not go directly to Mercurial Scimitar size? The answer is simple, early or midgame, the first part of this item is cheap compared to Mercurial Scimitar

Guardian Angel

- I recommend you take this item if your support will build Runic Bulwark.
This item gives +50 armor and 30 MR and restoring 30% of the weilders' maximum health.

Randuin's Omen

- Gives health boost. This item is very helpful when engaging in a clash or when escaping.

Mercurial Scimitar

- Now that we're clear about what item should be built first. This item gives a very good AD as well as MR. Consider this a twin/big brother of Maw of Malmortius. Of course prioritize Hexdrinker over this first.

Situational Items

Last Whisper

- If your enemy is/are stacking up armor. You need this one. This can synergize well with The Black Cleaver to damage tanky champions with Judgment. Just replace this with Mercurial Scimitar. Anyway you'll just lose 20 AD and 45 MR which is also not bad specially if you've chosen Mercury's Treads over Ninja Tabi.

Runic Bulwark

- This item is great as it gives Health boost armor + MR as well as an aura which can help your team. I recommend you take this item if your support won't build this.

Enchantment: Alacrity

- Boost MS by 15.

Enchantment: Captain

-If you're to tank and initiate a clash, take this to boost your comrades MS towards you.

Enchantment: Furor

- This can help Garen improve his MS while chasing and when using Judgment which results in to just reducing it to 8% instead of 20%. Also consider this with Decisive Strike.

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Skills and Skill Sequence

- You may want to get this at level 1 and max it by level 13
- get it at level 4 and max it last
- Get it at level 2 then max it at level 9
- You need to max this whenever available.

Just follow the order above this guide and you're good to go. =)

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- you can use this SS to flash at the enemy carry on team clashes. So save it for that unless it is needed. But I recommend you save this for that purpose since your Ghost SS can help you even if you got CCd by the enemy just Decisive Strike to remove the enemies debuff then you Ghost to go. lol

- good spell for chasing and escaping in conjunction with

- a very decent Spell with good damage and finisher.

You can replace Ghost with if you're used to it when doing solo-top as it is also a decent choice for you to secure your top lane early to mid game. =)

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Okay. I, myself, is a devout solo-top player. Of course whoever is viable I'll use it and go solo-top. Garen is an excellent candidate for solo-top because of his high sustainable ability which render him impregnable when beside his turret. Of course with the help of your jungler or if you're very tactful and know how to carry him, you might win against your enemy without asking help from your jungler 1v1 or 2v2. Big Time! lol

Also, items like Philosopher's Stone is really useful for his health regenration to sustain his lane and you might want to carry it till the you can build better items as generating gold per 5 sec will also help you aside from farming/last hitting minions.

The rune set that I am using will also help Garen to become quite formidable as it has high armor and most enemy at solo-top will be using auto attacks and most of them are AD champs.

I also included as what I've just said, most enemy in solo-top lane are AD champs although Mercury's is also viable just in case you don't know whether it's going to be an AD or AP champ and with the tenacity which this boots provide, it can be a great will help for you to survive your lane just in case you got CCd by either 2 or 3 enemy champs.


Don't over extend your lane, ever! Unless your jungler says so. You don't know when the enemy jungler might show up so it's better to be aware and stay in the safe zone just in case. It's better to stay alive than feeding your enemy with kills. Or if you know you're dominating you may do so but you must have wards placed in near the gank site as this will help you dominate your lane fast and your teammate will have the knowledge that the enemy jungler might be planning on ganking bottom lane.

Report as necessary. Use signal as much as possible. They may not notice the map as mid and bot lane are very busy fighting the other champs so even if you know they have map awareness, giving a warning for your teammates will be of great help.

Blue Line - Flash Direction
Yellow Line - Walk Direction

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Match History

These are the only match history I got as of now with this build I formulated. More updates to come.


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