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Build Guide by AfghanWalrus

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League of Legends Build Guide Author AfghanWalrus

"Fear not, I'm Coming!" My DPS/Tank guide on Garen!

AfghanWalrus Last updated on February 23, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #2 in
Top Lane
Win 55%
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 15

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 15

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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Hello , this is my first guide here on Mobafire. This guide will be about how I play Garen , The Might of Demacia , as a Melee DPS/Tank, since he pretty much sucks at playing full tank or going straight DPS . Please leave comments , your opinion is always appreciated for me :D
Garen is a fun champion, who is considered the Ashe of Melee. He has been nerfed for no reason in the past by QQers who got owned by a Garen and said he was OP. If your looking for a Tanky Melee DPS that's pretty fun, Garen is the champ for you. And if you're just starting out in the game or are new to Melee champs, Garen is the champ for you. Let's Continue on to this guide !

***2/21/2010, I have unarchived my guide and brought back a new build since the big changes to LoL lately, I hope you guys enjoy, and I will TRY to make more guides soon :)***

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For runes , I get Flat Armor Pen Marks , Magic Resist Seals , Cooldown Reduction Glyphs , and Armor Pen Quints. You can switch the Quints to Flat HP Quints if you feel too squishy early on but I usually stick to the Armor Pen Quints. Another choice for Quints are Movement Speed Quints, I will be testing these shortly !

Armor Pen Marks and Quints on Garen are flipping OP on him Early Game, combinded to about 32 Armor Penetration when you start the game ! Magic Resist Seals are always nice, as it helps defend from those double bombing Zileans and such. You can swap the seals to HP Regen Flats or "good ol' dodge", your preferences. Cooldown Reduction Glyphs are really helpful on Garen as he is entirely Cooldown Based and some of his cooldowns are a bit long.

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For masteries , I go with a 15-15-0 setup, focusing on Crit Chance , improved Exhaust , Cooldown Reduction and Magic Pen, Armor Pen, and Damage for the Offensive Tree. For the Defensive Tree I focus on Armor and Magic Resistance, Dodge, and Health Points.
Other suggested mastery setups are 21-9-0 or 9-21-0. Use whichever setup works for you !

Before you downvote and rage, the reason I get the Magic Penetration mastery is because it is very helpful to your ultimate and the Sunfire Cape you get in your build, as you're not going to be buying a Void Staff on Garen for Magic Penetration!

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The items I use on Garen are: Boots 3 , Mercury Treads, or Ninja Tabi when neccsary, Youmuus Ghostblade, Last Whisper, Frozen Mallet, Sunfire Cape or Force of Nature (whatever is neccsasary) and Atmas. If you don't get Sunfire Cape, don't get Atmas, and get Infinity Edge instead, or another Defensive item based on the enemy team, such as a banshees or randuins.

Item phase throughout the game: I start off with Boots 1 and 3 health potions, then get a Brutalizer. Soon after I upgrade my Boots 1 to Boots of Swiftness (most of the time). If the team your facing is heavy on magic and/or CC, get Mercury Treads instead. If the team your facing is heavy on Physical Attackers and/or Melee DPS (olaf I.E), get Ninja Tabi. I soon get Phage for some beef. Upgrade your Brutalizer to Youmuu's and get Last Whisper. Then upgrade your Phage into Frozen Mallet. Grab a sunfire or FoN next, then complete your build with Atmas, Infinity Edge , or a defensive item depending on what you got last. My games usually end when I finish Frozen Mallet, but that's what my build is if I continue on. :)
Then I usually top it off with consumables!


+ Rush a Hexdrinker early game if Casters are eating you alive, then you can wreck them back! Sell it late game is it becomes really useless.

+ Bloodthirster - Get this for insane damage late game

+ Sword of the Occult - Get this if your getting kills left and right for more damage.

+ Randuins - A really great item on Garen, get it if no one on your team has it or you need more Armor. Spin into teamfights and activate this to devastate enemy DPS!

+ Haunting Guise - Get this if they have quite a bit of Magic Resist and flack your ult up!

If you guys have any item suggestions feel free to comment.

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Skill Sequence

For skills, I max Judgement first. Judgement is your bread and butter. It's your main damage dealer. It's why everyone hates you. They walk into a brush, BAM DEMACIA!!!! spin2win,etc.
Judgement is the boss. Get your ultimate whenever you can obviously, at levels 6,11,and 16.
Max Decisive Strike second. This is your main CC when you don't have Frozen Mallet, BAM, a 2.5 second silence! It also helps you escape and chase enemys with it's great movement speed boost. It has great scaling too! I max Courage last, but I get 1 level of it early at level 4. Courage got the nerf bat hard, and I can't really pass up on what Decisive Strike delivers when you rank it up more.

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Pros and Cons of Garen.


+Fun Champ
+Easy to learn
+Great Early and Mid Game
+Awesome ultimate
+King of Badassery
+Insane Damage
+Good Escape mechanisms.
+Pretty tanky.
+Makes people QQ(lulz)
+Cool champ to combo with.
And more!


-Damage isn't that great late game
-Focused alot
-Low attack speed
-Easy to learn(yes, that is also a con)
-Causes Rage by others and then they QQ on the forums
-If you don't have Last Whisper, Armor Stacking hurts you
-Can't 1v1 well, such as 1v1ing Jax.
-Skills are buggy at times.

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Throughout the Game as Garen.

Early Game

Early game, ah, great delight. This is where you shine alot as Garen. Try to lane with an aggressive partner, such as Sion, Taric, Xin Zhao, Pantheon, etc. that can help you get kills. Hurry to your lane, and hide in a bush with your partner so you can try to ambush the other team's laner(s). Kill them when you can, and farm up too. You can last hit with Decisive Strike if you want also. Garen's combo is like this; Q<E<W< ignite and/or exhaust to get them lower and catch up with them, then if you have to, ult them for the kill. While in the lane, it's always great to Zone the enemy laners so they lose EXP and Gold, since you have alot of power to do so. Don't know what zoning is ? Watch this video made by a riot employer named Shurelia!: If there is a jungler on the enemy team, don't push the lane to hard, and try to ward the brush area where they usually will come to gank!
Mid Game

Mid Game usually starts at around 20 mins. Start ganking lanes and grouping up with your team to push towers. Garen is a powerful force to reckon with. Teamfights start. Playing Garen, in teamfights I usually go in after the tank, because im the Tanky DPS, after going in, I hit Q, silence their main damage dealing caster, follow up to their carry and Spin2win (using judgement), using courage as you will be taking some damage during that. Demacian Justice anyone who is running away from the fight or to finish someone off quickly. During Mid Game, set up some wards in key areas in the map such as lizard buff, golem buff, dragon, baron, and their jungle. These can help you gank them, or to run away from ganks. Gank, or be ganked?!?!? Get Dragon when you can, the buff of gold and EXP is very helpful, as it's worth a few champion kills. And always. PUSH PUSH PUSH them turrets !

Late Game

This is where you start to fall, but you are still a powerful force in the game! Mistakes during this phase can cost games, so it's important to be really smart. You should be finishing up your item build, as the end of the game comes near. The Baron Buff can change the game, so grab it quickly with your team if you can ! With all the damage you have, you can tank and hurt turrets pretty nicely! The game should be ending now, with the enemy nexus exploding, and your screen popping up with victory!
Good luck with this build, as it really worked for me!

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lol don't be serious, Garen can't jungle, If you wanna play a jungle champ, get out of this guide and play Warwick.

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The End :)

This is the end of my first guide, for Garen, The Might of Demacia, showing off how I play Garen, a DPS/Tank. I hope everyone has fun and gets great results from this build, as I did too ! Also, a special thanks to Searz for helping me with this guide when it was first created in about August of 2010! Please leave a comment about this build and give your opinion. Your opinion is always appreciated! If you have any questions, or wanna play a game with me, My username is AfghanWalrus and I play on the US Servers.


I thought this was a cute little picture of how Garen is early game :P
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