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Garen Build Guide by homxr

Top Garen Guide by an OTP (Classic/Predator)

By homxr | Updated on August 23, 2019
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Garen
    Classic
  • LoL Champion: Garen
    Predator
  • LoL Champion: Garen
    Glacial Augment

Runes: I will not falter!

1 2 3
Resolve
Grasp of the Undying
Demolish
Conditioning
Overgrowth

Sorcery
Transcendence
Gathering Storm
Bonus:

+1-10% CDR (lvls 1-18)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #7 in
Top Lane
Win 54%
Get More Stats

Ability Order Q -> W -> E

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Champion Build Guide

Garen Guide by an OTP (Classic/Predator)

By homxr
Garen is a naturally tanky champion that has pretty good sustain and a decent amount of damage. He dominates a lot of match-ups tanks (thanks) to his passive, Perseverance. Which heals a percentage of his health after a bit. What he does lack in CC, he makes up with a nifty mechanic where he deals insane amounts of true damage to his villain.

Garen does lacks mobility, in the sense that he doesn't have any dashes or blinks, like a lot of other champions, and thus greatly benefits from items that grant him movement speed such as Dead Man's Plate or Youmuu's Ghostblade.

Garen was one of they very first champions I played and the one I've put in the most amount of time into. He is a very straightforward champion and can be picked up by anyone. He is great for beginners, and has a lot of potential with a bit of practice.
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  • Decent sustain.
  • Manaless champion.
  • Great tankiness even with no items.
  • Villain mechanic lets him take out an enemy very easily.
  • Easy to kite.
  • Lacks hard CC.
  • Lacks escapes or gap closers.
  • His villian mechanic can't be controlled, making it unreliable sometimes.

Garen's Perseverance lets him regen damage he might take from bad trades. He does a great amount of damage while still being rather tanky. Courage's passive grants him bonus permanent 50 armor and magic resist after killing 150 units. Also, Courage's active grants him damage reduction and tenacity, which allows him to turret dive and take very little damage. Garen’s worst weakness is how easy he is to kite due to his lack of mobility. Which is more noticeable the higher elo you are. Demacian Justice’s passive, his villain mechanic, can also be inconsistent sometimes. It marks the enemy with the most recent kill as villain, so a 10/2/4 Kalista might not be considered the villain if the last kill went to the 2/4/10 Thresh.
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Grasp of the Undying - This is the generic keystone to take on Garen, it helps your trades and provides a bit of sustain as well. And the fact it scales with HP and it's what you build, it goes nicely. There are other runes that can work, but if you're new to the champion, or overall to the game, take this.

Demolish - With the changes to turrets, Demolish is amazing at ensuring some early gold from turret plating. This rune also scales with your HP making you a turret taking monster later in the game. (Also, none of the other runes work on you...)

Conditioning - Thanks to your W's passive granting you 50 armor and magic resist, you don't even have to build armor or MR to get a decent bonus. Second Wind is useful in lanes you get poked out of. You should take Bone Plating against people who trade in bursts, since the duration was nerfed.

Overgrowth - This rune is probably the best for Garen from these. Some bonus health even if you're not farming that greatly is always nice. You can take Unflinching into match-ups that require the tenacity.

Secondary Page(s)
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Predator - This is my favorite keystone to run on Garen, it provides you a better late game, and allows you take make roams even from top lane. It provides more utility than Resolve as the game progresses, because you won't have to rely on your Demacian Justice to kill an enemy squishy (not that you had to anyays).

Taste of Blood - A bit of sustain is always nice in lane, your Q does allow you to proc Cheap Shot but the damage is not as useful, unless you're planing to get

Zombie Ward - This rune is very nice for laning, every time you spot a ward and destroy it you get a ward and a small AD increment.

Relentless Hunter - This rune pairs nicely with Celerity because it makes your roam that much speedier. However, Ingenious Hunter does have better syngergy with Youmuu's Ghostblade and Predator but Garen doesn't rely on these actives to be deal damage, if you prefer that or perhaps Ultimate Hunter, you can take those instead. This is my preference.

Secondary Page(s)
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Conqueror, Triumph, Legend: Alacrity, and Coup de Grace
Harder keystone to use honestly, but there are instances where it performs better, such as against low mobility tanks. It will help you in fights in later in the game as well, but might not do much for you earlier. Good against champs like Tahm Kench or Malphite.

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Phase Rush, Nimbus Cloak, Transcendence, and Gathering Storm
This keystone is very strong, but it does want you to build Bami's Cinder, I personally don't like the item, so I don't use this rune page as often. It does have its match-ups where it's a good choice, like for escaping certain death from a Darius or lanes where using anything else would be impossible.

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Glacial Augment, Perfect Timing, Future's Market, and Cosmic Insight
This keystone is its most useful in ranged match-ups, your first auto turns into a slow, which helps you dump the rest of your kit on them. Item actives also proc this effect like Righteous Glory and Blade of the Ruined King! This rune is ideal for match-ups such as Quinn or Teemo.

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Perseverance - This passive may not feel as strong in lane, but the amount of HP you regen will start making a difference when you take trades and stand back. The fact he gets a free Warmog's Armor, after level 11, is the reason he is a great tank, even if he doesn't have the CC of one.
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Decisive Strike - This is Garen's engage and disengage tool, and carries a decent punch. It can help ensure those last hits if you need the help, and removes any slow. This ability can save you from a gank, or help engage. For example, when facing a Nasus, you can wait until after he Withers you to cast this ability and completely negate the slow.
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Courage - This is your BEST ability, this is Garen's bread and butter, this is what makes Garen so damn hard to kill (active and passive). This ability is extremely useful when you want to negate someone's burst, negate someone's CC, or reduce the damage taken from turrets while diving. This ability gets increased duration by leveling it, which is why I sometimes get this second.
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Judgment - This is your main damaging ability. It lets you Ghost through units which is useful in team fights to damage everyone and also be able to slip out when necessary. The reason I sometimes don't max this, is because the scaling is hardly affected, and the number of ticks increased based on your total level anyways. Maxing your W increases the duration of the damage reduction, which is sometimes more useful.
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Demacian Justice - This ability does damage based on how much HP the enemy missing, so make sure to use it AFTER you've dumped your entire kit on them. I've seen it so many times where people use it too early and deal no damage because of it. This is ability is undodgeable! This ability also carries a passive, it marks the enemy with the most recent kills as the villain, which makes your Decisive Strike and Judgment do bonus true damage (+1% of their HP). It also places a mark on top of them, which flashes when your ult will execute them.
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Starting Items


Doran's Shield is a great item to start on Garen. It provides some healing and protects you against some harass. Sell this item when you need gold to buy an item, or when you're about to get your last item!

Cloth Armor is a good item for lanes that have a lot of ability spammers like Gangplank or auto attackers like Tryndamere which helps you build into your first armor item, such as Chain Vest or Warden's Mail.

Ruby Crystal's extra bit of health could for be good for AP lanes. The reason for this, and that I don't say a Null-Magic Mantle is because with this item, you can decide for Phage or Spectre's Cowl depending on what you'll need. It provides more options.

Long Sword is a very gold efficient item, especially in lanes where you want to rush Executioner's Calling or Hexdrinker. This start is good against people you beat, or in tank match-ups for a bit more damage.

Rejuvenation Bead start has felt like the strongest start against champions that have constant and non-stop harass, the sustain it provides is so good. And they can be sold individually, unlike Doran's Shield. This paired together with your passive and Second Wind provides infinite sustain.


Early Damage Items


Phage is a great item to get on Garen, it grants some health, some AD, and a small speed boost for trading better. It also builds into either of your core items.

Take Sheen in games where you're decently ahead in kills and/or farm, and you feel you're starting to begin your snowball. It gives you CDR which is nice on a manaless champion and will vastly help your damage.

Serrated Dirk is also a great item to get when you're ahead. The lethality greatly improves your damage against squishies and ensure you snowball if you do begin snowballing.

Executioner's Calling is a situational item, and should be built when against champs that can sustain without auto attacking you. Some examples can be like Vladimir or Nasus.

Hexdrinker is not always the item you want against AP lanes, but it is a good item against comps which have a lot of AP damage overall, or maybe an AP mid laner who got fed. Getting this implies you're building it into Maw of Malmortius, which is inferior to Sterak's Gage, so only get it when the above conditions are met.


Early Tank Items


Chain Vest is best against AD casters, yes they can auto attack you, but they won't as often as they spam their abilities. Some examples are Gangplank and Riven.

Spectre's Cowl is a great item to build because it builds into Spirit Visage which is one those items that you excel with, as it improves your healing even further. It also counters AP champs like Akali and Teemo.

Warden's Mail is amazing against auto attackers, get this item if you're against a champion that stacks crit or attack speed. Tryndamere and Yasuo for example.

Bramble Vest is the item you want against those champions that have lifesteal, or a lot of sustain in fights. Getting this item means you're also getting Warden's Mail, so even if they're auto attackers, best to start with this one. Perfect against Irelia and Fiora.

Bami's Cinder and Sunfire Cape are exclusive to a Phase Rush build and aren't recommended otherwise. These items do help you CS if you're not too used to last hitting, but it's better to use your Decisive Strike if you need the help. However, they do let you proc Phase Rush faster.


Boots


Ninja Tabi are insanely strong boots, having an item that straight up negates 12% of the damage from auto attacks is just such an ADC cuck. I build these every single game I can.

Mercury's Treads are very good on you when you're facing an AP heavy team that has a lot of CC. Most of the time, taking Legend: Tenacity would be enough, but you can build these to still take Gathering Storm and Nullifying Orb.

Boots of Mobility - These boots are extremely useful for when you want to roam a lot, it does provide limited move-speed while fighting, but this should be made up by the rage passive that the Phage items have. Don't build these too late into the game, they tend to fall off.

Boots of Swiftness - These boots are really good anti-slows, unlike Mercury's Treads that reduce the duration, these boots reduce the power of the slow. Good against Nasus and Darius.


Damage Items


Trinity Force is your core item, this item may seem inferior to Black Cleaver because the mana is wasted, however the spellblade passive is extremely strong because of Garen's high base AD. The attack speed also helps you take turrets extremely fast.

Black Cleaver is a great item on Garen but only used at its maxed potential when facing 2 or more tanks on the enemy team. In those cases the armor shred will be super useful, especially for peel, but other than that, Trinity Force is the way to go. It's also the tankier item.

Youmuu's Ghostblade is a great on Garen and it works exceptionally when you take Predator, as you'll be the fast. This is a good item to rush if when you have an lead and want to keep snowballing.

Sterak's Gage is an item you want to consider in most games, especially against high burst enemies. It makes you that much harder to kill and also grants you extra damage (71 at level 18), which is always a nice perk.

Maw of Malmortius is used at its max potential when facing a team that has a lot of AP damage and want the extra MR on top of the lifeline. Giving up Sterak's Gage isn't always your best bet, but this can help so you don't get bursted by an APC.


Tank Items


Dead Man's Plate is the armor item that best suits Garen. It provides a slow and a bit of mobility which can do wonders on you. There are other armor items that may work better according to the situation, but if none are mandatory, you can't go wrong with this.

Spirit Visage is another item that does wonders on Garen, the bonus pairs with your Perseverance which makes you heal that much more. It's also the best item against most AP champions. It also provides some CDR which is also nice.

Randuin's Omen is a situational item that you'll build more oftenly than not so I'll add it on this list. It's the best counter for crit champs like Tryndamere, Yasuo, and Jinx. It also an item active that can be super useful against mobile or ranged champs.

Thornmail is another situational item on Garen that you'll build more oftenly than not. It's great against comps that have a lot of sustain and auto attackers. Or just a large amount of AD champions overall, as this item provides a crazy amount of armor.

Gargoyle Stoneplate is an item that can be viable on Garen but it depends on your playstyle. Most of the time you want to flank to pop a squishy and leave, but if your thing is more about diving and shredding all the armor you can, and then retreating, this may be for you.


Situational Damage Items


Mortal Reminder is good if you didn't build Black Cleaver, and built Executioner's Calling. It'll make the grievous wounds last a bit longer and also give you a bit of extra damage with the armor pen.

Lord Dominik's Regards is just like Mortal Reminder, you only really want it if you didn't build Black Cleaver to give some instant armor penetration. This is more suited for an aggressive build and shouldn't really be built in a tank focused one.

The new Phantom Dancer is even better on Garen than the other one was.


Situational Tank Items


Adaptive Helm is good only if the enemy has a lot of constant AP harass, sometimes getting Spirit Visage might still be worth it, unless you're against a Heimerdinger top, Katarina mid, Zyra support who got fed, and NEED the extra protection.

Righteous Glory is an amazing item if you plan on roaming a lot, Dead Man's Plate is similar to that, but this item has it's niche as it also has an AoE slow. Definitely gives you a bit more use in team fights, but a bit mundane if you went Predator or built Randuin's Omen.


Niche Items


These

are

placeholders.


Items that are common, but I do not build nor recommend


Warmog's Armor is an item that everyone thinks is OP on Garen, but it's slightly wasted. Yes, it does provide a shocking amount of HP, but it basically gives you your own passive. Getting some armor or magic resist is more gold efficient.

Sunfire Cape is a good item, if you're not good at last hitting and need the help. But, the last thing you want to do is push waves. It's better to practice last hitting, because if your having starts shoving you're going to have a hard time getting any good trades. Exception: Phase Rush

The Tiamat items could be good on Garen, because of the AoE damage, but you have Judgment for waveclear. It doesn't provide the essential stats you need early on. The exception to this is, if you're going for an assassin playstyle that hard shoves the wave and then roams.

Death's Dance is a decent item, but it's just not great on Garen. The reason Teemo and Darius beat Garen is because they delay your passive, with this item you do it to yourself. The spellvamp you get from AoE is also tragic. Don't build this item. If you want more damage, get some lethality.
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Q: Decisive Strike -> E: Judgment
E: Judgment -> Q: Decisive Strike
The disgusting full-kit-dump Garen execution.
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darius, the hand of noxus


teemo, the swift scout


My original plan was to make all of them, and then upload them all at the same time, but my new plan is post them whenever I make them. My order is going to go like:
  • Common Counterpicks
  • Meta / Overplayed
  • Uncommon Counters
  • Other Top Laners
  • Off-Meta Laners

Next on the list: Gnar
Changelog Back to Top
Patch 9.3 - This patch reverted the crit changes and made Phantom Dancer even better on you, and made it so building Infinity Edge isn't completely troll.

Patch 8.24 - This patch changed buffed Death's Dance to get healing from all damage, making it slightly better on you, since your ultimate and damaging the true villian deal a considerable amount of damage.
League of Legends Build Guide Author homxr
homxr Garen Guide
Garen Guide by an OTP (Classic/Predator)