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Galio Build Guide by lustigjh

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League of Legends Build Guide Author lustigjh

Galio: Tanks have big guns, too

lustigjh Last updated on September 18, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #64 in
Top Lane
Win 45%
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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: 0

Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

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

Utility: 9

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This is my first guide, so please bear with any shortcomings (criticism is encouraged). This build centers around being a dependable and proper defensive tank while also allowing Galio to fight for himself against enemy champions. You won't be carrying the team by getting kills (in fact, you will be giving kills whenever possible); however, you will shut down the enemy team in all phases with a great harass skill early and a game-changing taunt late.

Note: This build has only been used in Normal modes, and can therefore only be considered proven in Normal. I have yet to play Ranked matches because I prefer the carefree and fun-centered atmosphere of Normal. I've included my most recent results with this build later in the guide.

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    - Q ability makes great early game harass
    - W and E grant ability to support teammates
    - W and R give exceptional defensive capabilities
    - Game-changing ultimate


    - Very low mana pool leads to starvation in early game
    - Focus on giving
    - Long cooldown on ultimate hurts viability
    - Ultimate is a channel and can be interrupted

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The rune setup aims to give Galio a great early game harass while allowing him to become a tank in mid and late game.


The Magic Penetration Marks are based on a generic caster build and are meant to complement the Glyphs. Both categories (along with the Quints) focus on early game harass potency.


The Health per Level Seals are the only part of the rune setup that actually help Galio become a tank. The health/level runes are chosen over the straight health runes here to concentrate their usefulness in mid and late game.


The Ability Power Glyphs are the core of the generic caster build mentioned above. The straight AP runes are taken over AP/level to give more potency in the early game.


The Quints are part of the caster build so are meant for an early game focus. Two Ability Power quints and one Magic Penetration quint are chosen to give near true damage on all abilities early game.

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The Masteries are distributed 0-21-9 and designed to focus on tankiness and combating Galio's low mana pool at the start of the game. Since the aim of this tank build is not to get kills, the Gold per 10 mastery helps the item build progress faster. The Fortify Mastery allows Fortify to become an offensive tool as explained in the Summoner Spells section.

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Summoner Spells

This build is best run with the two spells shown in the Mastery Tree and focuses on global defense capabilities.


Early Game

This spell comes in handy in the early game when trying to manage Galio's low mana pool. Being able to recall to base to buy items and regenerate mana and health without losing valuable lane time is vital to any tank build.

Middle Game

As champions on both sides begin to roam and gank, Teleport becomes a valuable defensive tool. Galio can use it to cut off ganks or jump to unguarded towers that are under attack. The survival of the team and towers is in your hands as the tank, and Teleport allows you to go anywhere on the map without losing any defensive ability.

Late Game

Teleport becomes both an offensive and defensive tool in late game. Galio can recall to quickly regenerate health and mana during team pushes without leaving the team defenseless for long. He can also put an end to any back door attempts by the enemy while the team is away from the base.



The obvious use for Fortify is defense. Enemies pushing towers will be delayed for 7 seconds while the spell is active, allowing a teammate (or Galio himself) to get to the tower for its defense.


Fortify's offensive capabilities are greatly overlooked. Galio's best offensive attack combines his ultimate and a mastered Fortify to force enemies to stand under his tower and take damage for several seconds. The Fortify mastery causes the tower to deal splash damage, ensuring all enemies take damage from the tower while taunted. This is a great initiate for a gank on multiple enemies who are pushing a tower.

Other Spells

I have found that the above spells are incredibly effective for a defensive tank build. Flash is a great mention for a spell when combined with Galio's ult; however, this sacrifices defensive capabilities. Other spells may be useful but ultimately sacrifice too much defensive power.

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Skill Sequence

Here is general summary of the focus of the skill sequence:

R > Q > W > E

The detailed skill sequence above isn't an exact science. Like the majority of other ultimates, Idol of Durand (R) is leveled at 6, 11, and 16. I make sure to focus on Resolute Smite (Q) early because it is a great harass and will help your lane partner secure kills. Bulwark (W) follows closely because it is a great self heal and also grants you or your lane partner additional defensive power, allowing for longer laning. I make sure to level Righteous Gust (E) once before I level Q twice because the speed buff is very useful for chasing and escaping; however, its damage output is somewhat weak and I find that one level of the skill's speed boost is enough for most situations.

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The build sequence is listed above and is relatively self explanatory. I'm aware that my build sequence is unconventional in that I never buy potions; however, I've found the W ability and Teleport to be adequate ways to keep up mana and health without being absent from the lane for long.

Also, the only part of the build that is necessary is everything up to and including the Banshee's Veil. After that the build is entirely situational and can be changed according to taste and necessity. I've included my generic non-situational build for reference.

Early Game

The first item is a Faerie Charm because it helps stretch Galio's weak mana pool and it builds into Eleisa's Miracle. Elesia's Miracle is the first complete item because it offers great mana regen (to supplement the mana puddle), tenacity (to free up boot choice), and health regen while being pretty cheap. The intermediate, Philosopher's Stone, also generates gold per 5 which helps the build progress faster. Note that this gold bonus is lost once the Stone is upgraded to the Miracle.

Boot choice is up to you. I choose Ionian Boots of Lucidity for the cooldown reduction (helps a lot with Galio's ult). The extra Magic Penetration from the Sorcerer's Shoes combines with the rune setup to cause abilities to deal true damage to any non-magic resist building enemies, meaning Galio's Q will be a much greater harass. These boots make a great runner up along with Boots of Swiftness or Mobility (both increase Galio's ability to defend at all points of the map).

Mercury's Treads are not recommended because Eleisa's Miracle already has Tenacity effects; the magic resist is made up for with later items.

Mid Game

After purchasing boots, I always make sure to pick up a Banshee's Veil. Every aspect of this item is great for Galio; not only does he gain health and magic resist to increase his tankiness, the additional mana works wonders for his mana pool. I find that I almost never run out of mana after purchasing this item. The most important aspect of the item is the spell shield; good enemies will make sure to interrupt Galio's ultimate, and the spell shield will block one attempt at this. The magic resist also gives Galio extra AP through his passive.

After this, I like to build Thornmail and a Sunfire Cape. These items are both great for any tank and complement Galio's ultimate well. AD carries caught in the taunt will be taking damage from the Thornmail as well as the ult itself; all champions caught in the ult will be subject to the Sunfire Cape's AoE.

Late Game

At this point, I have already built 5 items which focus on armor and health. The last item I build is a Force of Nature because it gives the biggest single-item magic resistance boost and also comes with incredible health regeneration.

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The strategy I employ with Galio is pretty universal for any tank and is tailored to his abilities. This build is not intended for soloing.


Here is a summary of the general tank strategy I use.

Keep carries alive > Keep towers alive > Keep yourself alive > Feed carries > Get kills > Farm > Push towers

As a tank, it is your job to feed and defend the carries. Never take a kill if you can give it to a carry, regardless of how much damage you have done already (there is nothing wrong with getting a kill when you are the only one available to do so). Your main source of gold will be from assists; Galio is also an excellent farmer with his Q and E abilities. I've found that laning with a carry that knows their champion's as well as Galio's abilities has been more than enough to keep up with the rest of the team in terms of item building. I've listed Pushing Towers last as this is better left to the AD carries.

Early Game

Use Galio's Q to constantly harass enemies and keep them from being at full health; this will help your carry get kills and prevent the enemy from pushing too far. Use Teleport to avoid missing out on XP and farming opportunities while keeping your mana in check. As stated above, always try to give your carry easy kills and rely on assists for gold. Use fortify when necessary to defend unguarded towers.

Mid Game

Being the tank means constantly keeping an eye out for ganks and making sure all of your carries have either you or their tower as back up. It is always a good idea to sacrifice yourself to get a carry out of a gank. Use your taunt to force the enemies to stop and attack you while laying down a speed buff with your E to allow your carry to escape.

Fortify also becomes a great offensive tool when combined with your ult; use it to punish aggressive pushers and initiate ganks.

Late Game

Always stay with your team and be the one to take the majority of the damage in team fights. Use Teleport to quickly heal then get back to your team. Your ult is one of the best initiates in the game, regardless of whether or not you can combo it with Fortify. Use it whenever you can trap multiple enemies at once for your carries.

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Summary/Recent Results

Here are my most recent match results (in order, most recent at top) using and perfecting this build.

The play style is reflected by the scores shown; the majority of kills came from the ult/fortify combo. Most of the wins were 20-30 minutes surrenders, so the numbers are lower than what they could be if the game had finished (as shown by the last game, where the team had 44 kills). If I remember correctly, the one loss came from poor tanking as much as failed experimental carries.

In conclusion, give your carries kills and you will win, and never underestimate the power of the ult/fortify combo.