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Garen Build Guide by i4FTW

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League of Legends Build Guide Author i4FTW

Garen-4-DEMACIA S4 Updated with more builds!

i4FTW Last updated on December 7, 2013
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Team 1

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: 12

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 18


Utility: 0

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Introduction (myself)

Hi guys Im new to mobafire and this is my first guide so Im not good at editing and stuff like that. I just want to give you guys some advice and I want to do it as short as possible. So pls dont hate this guide just because my structure is bad.
(Im not english so Im sry if I have a bad writing language :P)

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Introduction (Garen)

Garen is a offtank and mostly played top. He is a easy to play and can be very helpful in a team. His passive Perseverance makes him a really powerful early game champ to play agressive with.
He also is naturally tanky and he can played as a fulltank or full crits or as I recommend him as a basic offtank.

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Just start off with a basic Doran's Shield and a heal potion. Its always good to increase Garens life regen to give him more durability even if you are not going full tank with him.

If you return to base you should get Boots of Speed and if you can afford it an Avarice Blade.
An Avarice Blade is essential for Garen in my opinion because you get more money from early on. Just keep it as it is and upgrade it as your last item. And crits are also nice for your spin ( Judgment) which is Garens main damage dealing skill.

Let us go for the end items

The Black Cleaver:
This is the first item you should get as garen it will be your only offensive item for a long time. It gives you armor penetration, attack damage, cooldown reduction and a bit hp. This item is especially good if you play against fulltanks in your lane.

Mercury's Treads:
Complete it after you have your black cleaver.
In case you have an AP champ on the lane just go for it first or at least for a Null-Magic Mantle.

Randuin's Omen:
Just a basic defence item which gives you pretty much armor and hp.
The most important thing about this item is to activate it in team fights to slow all enemys movement and attack speed. MANY PLAYERS FORGET THIS!! THIS CAN RLY SAVE LIFES!!

Spirit Visage:
This item gives you a little bit of magic resistance and hp but the most important thing about this item is that it gives you 20 percent bonus life regen. This may not seem much but combined with a Warmog's Armor and the Baron Buff you will have a +50 Life regen per second.

Warmog's Armor:
This item gives you a huge amount of hp and increases your life regen.

Atma's Impaler
Now this is where a lot of players argue about which item fits better for Garen; Atma's Impaler or Youmuu's Ghostblade.
Both increase your crit chance by 15 percent but what atmas does is it gives you bonus AD depending on how much you max hp is (+60 AD in this build) and 45 armor which is the main reason why i picked this item instead of youmuus
Youmuus gives you 30 AD AND 10 percent cooldown reduction which is also pretty good and if you activate it you get bonus armor penetration, movement + attack speed (only for a few seconds) which is also pretty nice.
Youmuus is a more offensive item and it costs 400 gold more than atmas. In late game garen is not that effective as a damage dealer so Id rather go for more defence.

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Summoner Spells

For summoner spells I think Flash is a must have for Garen. It is a great escaping tool but you can also use it for example a surprise attack with a Q and Flash combo.

As your 2nd summoner spell i recommend Exhaust. Same as Flash you can use it for offense or defense. In case of a teamfight with your high mobility you can straight go for their adc. Exhaust them so they cant escape and lose attack speed + armor and magic resist and combine it with Randuin's Omen to shut down their attack speed almost completely. Although it doesnt last long you can still take the adc down very easily because your ultimate is very effective against adc and in late game it can kill an adc who has about 40-50 PERCENT HP.

If you face champs like Darius for example where it is hard for you to kill them because their damage is simply higher than yours just stick with an Ignite so you can kill them easier.

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Garen has no mana bar which gives him the advantage against champs like Darius.
Darius deals a lot more damage than Garen but his mana drops very quickly and that makes him an easy target. I will give you guys advice later about Garen vs Darius.

First of all we got his passive: Perseverance
This grants him high life regen if he doesnt get hit by enemy champs. Cool thing about his passive is that minion damage doesnt affect your passive so you can tank minion damage without losing hp (But be aware earlygame minions are OP xD) Unfortunantely this doesnt work with monsters in the jungle but still combined with our item build we make the most out of his passive.

Then we got his Q ability: Decisive Strike
This ability is great for engaging/initiating in a (team)fight. This ability also deals decent damage but it can also crit and deal a massive amount of damage.
The silence is good for dealing very high damage in a short amount of time. It prevents enemy players to flash away or use their own abilities to escape. This might lead to a quick kill which gives you a 4 vs 5 advantage in the following teamfight.

Moving on to his W ability: Courage
This ability just makes garen more resistant against CC and damage for a few seconds. Use it if you dis-/engage a fight or if you are running away.

Then we got his E ability: Judgment:
Garens main damage dealing ability does very high damage in early game if you lvl it up first. With a bit luck of critical hits you can SPIN 4 THE WIN :D

And finally we got his ultimate: Demacian Justice
This is a great ability to finish off enemies who are about 20 percent of hp (can kill adc's up to 40 percent hp !!!) and running away. Dont use the ability to steal kills though or your teamates will flame th sh** out of you. Trust me you will need you ultimate more times than you think. If you are sure you or your team will get the kill just leave it, only use it if you are not sure that your team will get the kill. (champs like Lee Sin for example which are great at escaping. Use it on them).
Sometimes it can be frustrating if you use your ult and the enemy gets away with 50 hp or sth like that, just be sure you would get the kill and rather use 2 autoaatcks more before you finish them off.

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Pros / Cons


--> very strong at early game

--> great farmer

--> very tanky

--> long durability (no mana bar)

--> great ult to finish off opponents in any gamephase

--> high mobility

--> high resistance against cc


--> hardly deals any damage with autoattacks

--> deals low damage in and is just used for tanking damage in late game

--> low crowd control

--> high cooldowns in early game

In short:

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Just a few tipps to help you to get better with Garen:

--> if you are not that good at farming, you can use Decisive Strike for the last hts

--> try to harass the enemy champ as much as possible without losing much farm. After you hit
Decisive Strike you will still have a movement speed bonus; use it to get away after
you hit it. Or rush at them with ur Q on and if they run away just turn around and hit a

--> dont use Judgment in the middle of the lane, only if you want to recall or push down
the turret or to defend your turret (in laning phase). Otherwise you will push too hard
without gettin much CS(last hits)

--> dont be afraid to fight early on because you passive will bring your hp up very fast

--> use your Decisive Strike for moving faster on the map or doging skillshots
and if you flee wait untill they stun you and then use you Q because it gets rid of CC

--> if you want to finish off an enemy who is waiting at some distance just activate your Q and
Flash at the same time to surprise them. Then hit your Q so they cant escape with their
flash or other an other ability and then use Demacian Justice to get the kill.

--> dont get frustrated if the laning phase doesnt go well for you. Play defensive and try to get as much farm as you can. Also call for the junglers help more often or the mid laner to gank your lane. In late game you will be able to start a comeback and get some kills with your ultimate in teamfights.

--> engage fights as the 1st champ and run straight for their adc to force him away from the fight or even kill him.(use Exhaust to lower his defence and move+attack speed to get the kill easier). Everyone will focus you then if you hunt their adc which will be exactely what you wanted to achieve. (make sure that another tanky champ protects your adc or mid laner because the enemy can do the same tactic as you)

By the way you can always give me feedback how this tipps worked for you or just tell me your own tricks.

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Many players discuss about who is the stronger champ. I will give you guys my opinion. Well me ( Garen) and my friend ( Darius) tried a 1 vs 1 but we did it with full builds, so he had his full item build and I had my full item build. We fought till 1 of us died and it was me. It was because of his high damage ultimate but he only survived with like 200 hp. Garen might had won the fight if you would hit the silence just before he wanted to ult so maybe i could have finished him off with my ult first before he could use his own ult.
But I still think Darius is a better champ in a 1 vs 1 match. (but in a real game it depends on who is more fed, has more farm and more skill). Garen is a better tank in late game though because Darius will be focused out in fights early on because his great damage output and high multi-kill potential.

Here are some tipps if you in the laning phase against Darius:

Farming will be extremely difficult against Darius and you will have to use your spells to do so. He will harras you often but dont try to harras him because he will just use Decimate while you try to hit him and you will end up losing more hp than him. His passive Hemorrhage will prevent your passive to go on so it can be a real pain in the a**. If Darius drops low on mana then you can engage but just use your abilities and retreat after. Dont get to greedy because Darius autoattacks deal way more damage than yours and + his passive and Ignite he may still be able to take you down. The key way to win against a Darius in the laning phase is to try to kill him as often as possible before he hits lvl 6 and for that you WILL need the junglers help. After you get a 2 kill lead for example you can play more confident because you will also deal high damage and will also be tankier than him. If you play a draft pick game or a ranked and you see you will face a Darius pick Ignite instead of Exhaust because you might need to ult early before he does and Ignite will help you securing the kill.

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The best way to deal with counters like Teemo, Elise or Yorick is to find their weak spots. For example if Teemo uses his Q ability then you can rush on him. If you hit your Q and E spells you can damage teemo up to 50 percent damage.
Or Elise is much easier to fight in her spider form in my opinion because you can deal more damage up close.

I dont want to talk too long about counters...
Of course it also depends on the skill of the opponent.
The key way to beat them is to figure out their strategy and hit them when they arent able to defend themselves.

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Now lets come to end of my guide. This is just my playstyle with Garen and I wanted to share it with you guys. Sry again if the structure is bad but still, it rly takes some time to do a guide amd pls dont hate just because of the structure.

Ok now lets summarise Garen again:
He is a strong early game champ with long durability and great damage output. As the game will take longer Garen will lose his effectiveness in doing high damage so in mid to late game you will play a tanky role in your team. But still he will be able to get kills thanks to his ult which is very effective on AD carrys.