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Garen Build Guide by crazyboylou

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League of Legends Build Guide Author crazyboylou

Garen: 6k HP Tank

crazyboylou Last updated on August 18, 2011
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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: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

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

Utility: 0

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Garen is my most played character, so I decided to write a guide for him. In this guide I talk about how an AD (Attack damage) tanky Garen is a good way to play him. By the end of your build you should get above 6k health at Level 18. I don’t like playing him with straight AD because he gets too squishy. It’s good to play, but I am normally the teams Tank. Now, the last 4 items in the build are switchable… I have more than six items because I let you what you need at the end. The best game I ever had with this build was 19-2-12 and my worst was 6-7-4.

P.s. I know i put 2 Warmog's Armor. The passive isn't unique. And it is a really good item. Also Please read the Item Order! It explains why I chose certain items.

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Item Order

1. Doran’s Shield: This should be the first item you should get. It gives you health, armor, and health regeneration. These stats allow you to stay in the lane longer and it allows you to poke the enemy.

2. Boots of Swiftness: Garen’s recommended boots are the Boots of Swiftness. With these boots you will be able to chase a enemy champion with little health. It also goes great with Garen’s “Q”, Decisive Strike.

3. Warmog’s Armor: Right off the bat you want to get Garen’s health up. Warmog’s Armor is kind of like a Blood Thirster, because you have to get minion kills to gain more health. You will end up getting two of these by the end of the game.

4. Atma’s Impaler: You need some kind of damage output item or else you will hit like a sock for the whole game and no one will focus you and the enemy team will ignore you and attack the squishies rendering you, as the tank, useless. Atama’s Impailer gives you attack damage based on your health. It also gives you a critical strike.

5. Force of Nature: It gives you Magic Resist, but the main reason that you want get this item is for its health regeneration and movement speed. The Force of Nature’s unique passive does stack with Garen’s main passive.

6. Sell your Doran’s Shield: You’re going to sell your Doran’s Shield at this point in the game. It’s just taking up room in your bag and you can use the gold for your next Warmog’s Armor.

7. Warmog’s Armor (Again): Like I had previously stated, you will be getting two of these in your build.

8. Elixir of Fortitude and Oracle's Elixir: Buy this and use it till you are ready to buy your next item.

9. Warmog’s Armor, Randuin’s Omen, Thornmail, Spirit Visage or Banshee's Veil (You pick!): Now your last item will be dependent on the other team. If you haven’t died yet and you have more than 10 Kills I recommended getting another Warmog’s Armor (You should have 7k health with this item). If there team has mostly AD, get either a Randuin's Omen or Thornmail. If two or more of them have a Madred's BloodRazor then get a Spirit Visage. If they are either all AP or they have a lot of CC (Crowd Control such as stuns or slows) then you might want to invest in a Banshee’s Veil. All of these items will work just fine, but depending on the situation some might be better than others.

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Skill Sequence

You want to have all of your skills by Level 3. You want to then level up Judgement(E) and Decisive Strike(Q). Definitely get Judgement(E) up to 5 first. I don't think I have to go over the Skill Sequence very much. Just look at how I do it and you should be good.

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Summoner Spells and Runes

Exhaust and Flash is a must need for Garen! They are the only summoners spells that are good with each other. Exhaust is used as Garen's only CC. Not to mention that with masteries it reduces armor and magic resist by 10. Flash is useful because if you need to chase or runaway you can go over walls. If you don't have Flash then use Sprint.

Runes: For runes I went for armor, magic resist, and armor penetration. You make Garen tanky and dangerous right off the bat of the game to get some early kills.

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How to poke with Garen: You can poke early game. Start off with judgment and if they get close to you then use it, but don’t chase until you have Decisive Strike(Q). Use Decisive Strike(Q) and run at one of the champions. Once you hit one of them then activate your Judgment(E) and follow them till it you stop spinning or you get close to a tower. If you have a strong ally laning with you then you can exhaust them during use of your Decisive Strike(Q).

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Pros / Cons

-Garen is OP
-Strong early game
-Can kill other tanks
-Lots of health by mid-game and can tank towers
-Fast health regeneration

-Not as much armor as other builds
-No CC items
-Not good against two ranged champs early game
-Really bad jokes

Please don't vote no if you haven't tried this! Garen can be played this way! Garen can be a tank. He has a 2nd passive that gives him armor and magic resist. Try it a couple of times then go for vote.