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Garen Build Guide by lorensj81

Top Garen in depth 1v9 build - S13 Patch 13.4 - Complete matchup Top/Mid and also lots of tips for laning phase.

Top Garen in depth 1v9 build - S13 Patch 13.4 - Complete matchup Top/Mid and also lots of tips for laning phase.

Updated on March 3, 2023
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League of Legends Build Guide Author lorensj81 Build Guide By lorensj81 84 11 149,243 Views 18 Comments
84 11 149,243 Views 18 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author lorensj81 Garen Build Guide By lorensj81 Updated on March 3, 2023
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Runes: Standard scaling

1 2
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand


+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2 3 4
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide

Garen in depth 1v9 build - S13 Patch 13.4 - Complete matchup Top/Mid and also lots of tips for laning phase.

By lorensj81
Patch 13.1b
There has been some changes in latest hotfix patch, 13.1b. These will impact Garen in a few ways.

Legend: Tenacity has been nerfed, each stack only gives 1,5% instead of 2,5%. So when it's fully stacked, you get another 15% instead of 25%. This means 20% in total instead of 30% tenacity.

Mortal Reminder doesn't build out of Zeal any more, so it won't give any movement speed or attack speed for your E. It will instead build out of Last Whisper so it will give armor penetration instead.

Executioner's Calling will however get a buff, giving 40% heal reduction instead of 25%.

This means Mortal Reminder is also getting buffed in a way for Garen , it will instantly give 40% heal reduction without the need to auto attack the enemy twice.

Bramble Vest and Thornmail is getting a buff for Garen since it will always give a 40% heal reduction without the need to crowd control the enemy.

Black Cleaver is getting a straight buff, giving 5 extra AD and 50 extra health.

We will see what this does to Garen's build path.
Why play Garen
Garen is very easy champion to learn and play and also very safe with his insane passive health regeneration, its good in lane and mid/lategame you can just walk away and regen to full HP in a short while.

He also gets alot of free armor and magic resist from his W passive.
+ Easy
+ High sustain
+ High true damage ultimate
+ Even if its a bad lane, he can waveclear easy after Ironspike Whip and sustain back up with passive and W shield.
- Easy to kite, needs Q or Flash to engage vs alot of champs.
- If you fall behind hard you will feel kindof useless. Garen is a champion that have to go in and kill enemy before getting killed.
Garen will get extra health regen after not getting damaged for 8 seconds from epic monsters, turrets or champions.

Decisive Strike
Garen will get a move speed increase, cleanses slows and will do a 1,5 second silence when hit on enemy.
The silence duration doesn't scale but the movement speed increase does. Duration is 1 / 1.65 / 2.3 / 2.95 / 3.6 seconds depending on Q level.

Garen will passively get bonus armor and magic resists, getting 0.2 armor/mr for each enemy killed. (Minion, jungle etc) When reaching 150 stacks Garen will get an extra 10% bonus armor and magic resis.
The active W has two parts, first 0,75 seconds after casting Perseverance Garen will get a shield scaling of bonus health and 60% tenacity, great to counter any CC.
The second part will make you take 30% reduced damage for 2 / 2.75 / 3.5 / 4.25 / 5 seconds.

Garen will spin atleast 7 times (scales with bonus attack speed, not from rune page), dealing damage, if enemy is hit with atleast 6 spins you will reduce their armor with 25% (also counts when your allies attack that enemy).
You can press E again to end it early and get back some of the cooldown.
This ability can CRIT!

Demacian Justice
True damage ultimate that cant be flashed after it's cast
Has base damage but also scales with enemy missing HP%, making it harder to know exactly when to use.
Summoner spells
Good for extra kill potential or vs big heals, i go this vs alot of matchups!
This is mostly a laning summoner spell to get extra pressure, not as good mid/late game.

Good when you need the stick potential, this applies to all enemy team comp.
This summoner spell is better than ignite outside of lane mid/late game.

Good in really hard lanes or lanes which you will not kill anyway.
Good when you know you will splitpush so you can split opposite side of next objective, applying pressure and TP into fights.

This is a very niche summoner spell, i very rarely take it but it can be useful against a Tryndamere or Olaf dive.
Good versus very high burst damage.
Scales well into lategame.
Rune choices
Here you will see a few different rune pages that are good on Garen and below them there will be explanations on why you go certain runes.



Conqueror (Precision)
Conqueror is a great main rune on Garen. You will stack this fully just by using your E on the enemy.

Triumph lets you heal on takedown and also grants you 20 gold, easily best rune on this row.

Legend: Tenacity is the only real choice here since Legend Alacrity attack speed will not count towards Garens E spin count. And shortening time of CC is just too good. This rune just got a nerf in patch 13.1, but I still think 20% of Tenacity (instead of old 30%) is the best for Garen on this row!

Last Stand is giving you more damage when you have low health, which you will be alot of times in teamfights.

Phase Rush (Sorcery)
Phase Rush is great on Garen where you want to kite more in a matchup. You need three attacks or abilities, so early game you can AA+Q+E and walk away safely. After Stridebreaker it's even easier to proc.

Nimbus Cloak is great to get that extra movement speed and ghosting effect through minions when you use Ignite. Can secure kills because they can't run away from you.

Celerity is perfect with Phase Rush and Garens build since it will give 1% move speed and increase all move speed bonus with 7%, so that's phase rush, stridebreaker, DMP, FoN etc...

Gathering Storm is good for scaling, giving you free AD every 10 minutes.

The standard secondary runes is Conditioning & Overgrowth, they are more greedy since they do not help you that much in laning phase. This is also the runepage with most options for Garen since many of them are good in different ways.

Conditioning is activated at 12 minutes and give you 8 armor, 8 magic resist and also increase your armor/magic resist by 3%.

Overgrowth is a forever scaling rune that will give you more max HP for each minion/monster that dies near you, it really pops off after 120 minions/monster, because it will then give you another 3,5% max HP.

The most common rune to swap is Conditioning for either Second Wind or Bone Plating in harder matchups where you need the early lane rune.

Second Wind is great in lanes that you take alot of poke damage, so mainly every ranged matchup you want to go this, also good if you know there will be alot of short trades to help you sustain back your health.

Bone Plating is great vs heavy allin champs that do alot of damage in one spell rotation. For example a Tryndamere that spins in on you and auto attacks you to death. The problem is that it's so easy to just hit you once, wait it out and it now has a 55 second cooldown, that is almost 2 waves of minions with rune inactive.

Demolish is a rune you can take when you know you will splitpush alot or if you know it's a super easy lane so you can get those juicy plates before 14 minutes faster.

Revitalize will increase your healing and shielding, it's good but I never take it.

Unflinching is great to get more tenacity and slow resist vs really cc heavy team comps. Great vs for example Teemo.

The standard shards is to take double Adaptive Force and either Armor or Magic resist depending on lane matchup.
In certain really hard matchups you can go one Adaptive Force and Double Armor/ Magic Resist.
You never take attack speed shard since Garens E spin count only increases by items purchased and levelups.
Boot choices
You will mostly go Berserker's Greaves because they synergize so well with Garens E ability.

Berserker's Greaves
Berserker's Greaves is the boots you will purchase in most of your games, they just have so good value on Garen with instantly giving his E one extra spin and a second spin at level 7.

Plated Steelcaps
Plated Steelcaps is great in some specific matchups. If you play vs Tryndamere top for example I always rush these or I will just die to him when he hits level 6.

Mercury's Treads
Mercury's Treads is a very rare purchase since you always go Legend: Tenacity and can choose Unflinching in secondary rune tree.
You don't take these boots for magic resist, Force of Nature is much better for that.

Boots of Swiftness
Boots of Swiftness is good vs a teamcomp that has alot of slow but you still want to teamfight, like Ashe, Senna, Rylai's Crystal Scepter users etc. Rarely getting these though.
Item choices
Stats for Garen
When purchasing items for a champion you have to think about what stats your champion benefits the most from.
Attack Damage (AD) Very good It scales into auto attacks, Q ability and E ability.
Attack Speed (AtkSpd) Good It scales into quicker auto attacks and more spins on E ability.
Health (HP) Good Makes you generally tankier and scales into your W shield and Sterak's Gage shield.
Ability Haste (CDR) Okay It will give you faster access to your abilities but it's not the best stat on Garen.
Movement speed Very good Garen is a low mobility champion without a dash to get to enemies. Movement speed makes it easier to catch people and scales well with your Q movement speed increase of 35%.
Crit chance Good Your auto attacks can crit but especially good since your E also can crit. So even 20% crit chance will get you more than 2 crits with 12 spins on E.
Ability Power (AP) Useless No AP scaling at all, just troll.

Stridebreaker - Mythic Item
Stridebreaker is the go to Mythic on Garen, it synergizes very well with his kit and this build. Also the components are all very good on Garen.

Ironspike Whip gives you AD and waveclear.
Heartbound Axe gives you AD and an extra spin on E level 5. Also gives move speed when attacking, so attacking a minion can help you get close to enemy.
Kindlegem has Health which scales into W shield and CDR into lower ability cooldowns.
The health also scales into your Sterak's Gage later.
Item has a active that slows in an aoe around you, making it hard for enemies to get away from you.

Trinity Force - Mythic Item
Trinity Force is more of a split push item on Garen, this is good vs enemy teams that are hard to teamfight against (often many hard CC abilities).

You get alot of damage on towers thanks to Sheen effect.
Heartbound Axe gives you AD and an extra spin on E level 5. Also gives move speed when attacking, so attacking a minion can help you get close to enemy.
Kindlegem has Health which scales into W shield and CDR into lower ability cooldowns.
The health also scales into your Sterak's Gage later.

Zeal is a very good and cheap item to purchase when snowballing, you don't even have to upgrade it to full item until later so you can go into some tanky items after this.

153% gold efficient.
7% movement speed.
Extra attack speed.
Crit chance for your auto attacks and E.
With Berserkers, Stridebreaker and Zeal you will get 4 extra spins level 11.

Mortal Reminder
Mortal Reminder is the best Zeal upgrade for Garen.

Anti healing.
35 Attack damage.
Compared to just keeping Zeal you will get some extra crit chance (5%) and attack speed (2%), but these are extremely minor improvements.

Winged Moonplate
Winged Moonplate is great option, since it can build into both Dead Man's Plate and Force of Nature.

5% movement speed.

Dead Man's Plate
Dead Man's Plate is a really great item on Garen giving him many good stats but most important all the movement speed it provides.

5% movement speed.
40 stacking bonus movement speed from passive.
Extra burst of on-hit damage on fully stacked passive.

Force of Nature
Force of Nature is also great for Garen synergiez and this build.
It also has a passive effect that stacks when taking magic damage or getting CCd, at max stacks you will get another 10% bonus move speed and reduce magic damage by 25%.
This will make it easier to survive those teamfights and manage to get away/get onto targets.

Magic resist.
5% movement speed.

Sterak's Gage
Sterak's Gage is a great late game item for Garen since you will get bonus AD based on your base AD. This is ofcourse higher the higher level you are.
The gold value on the item shows in percentages, so you get 100% value at level 13.

Level 11 Level 12 Level 13 Level 14 Level 15 Level 16 Level 17 Level 18
53 AD 55 AD 58 AD 60 AD 63 AD 66 AD 68 AD 71 AD
94% 97% 100% 102% 106% 109% 111% 115%

When you take damage that reduces your health below 30% you will get a shield that is based on your bonus HP, with the normal build you will get 1080 health shield. (Higher if you go Overgrowth rune!)

Attack damage.

Black Cleaver
Black Cleaver is a situational item on Garen. I do believe it will be even better in Season 13 and perhaps even get into a core build since all the health and armor stacking with the new items. Especially Radiant Virtue and Jak'Sho, The Protean.

Even though you have armor shred on your E, that only applies to your damage.

The reduction of armor with Black Cleaver applies to all your allies damage, so the enemy tanks will recieve more damage from your allies aswell.

Great when enemy team has 2+ tank champions.
It is very easy to get to 6 max stacks fast, since you get 1 stack by dealing physical damage to enemy, so spinning on them with E will quickly get it to max stacks.

Another passive on Black Cleaver is it gives a stack of 3 movement speed per stack of carve, up to max 18.

Attack damage.
Movement speed.

Gargoyle Stoneplate
Gargoyle Stoneplate is a situational item on Garen. It is really good when you need to be the tank for your team, it gives alot of armor and magic resist and also give passive stacks for 5% increased armor and magic resist when taking damage, max 5 stacks if 5 enemies hits you.

It also has an active which you can use to get a big shield based on your bonus health. If you go this last in standard build the shield value will be 955. (Higher if you go Overgrowth rune!)

Magic resist.

Randuin's Omen
Randuin's Omen is a situational item on Garen that is good if enemy team has alot of crit champions, this will reduce crit damage taken by 20%, it will also reduce every auto attack damage dealt to you.

It also has an active that will slow the enemies around you by 55% for 2 seconds.


Death's Dance
Death's Dance is a good vs a AD heavy team. It has a passive that will make you bleed 30% of incoming damage over time, and on takedowns this is cleansed and you are also healed based of your attack damage


Item Set to import in League of Legends client
If you want all these items in your League of Legends client, click the spoiler link below and copy the text shown to import into your client.

+ Click to enlarge image

Expand this and import to your League of Legends client
Strategies for early laning phase
Level advantage
It is very good to know about when you will get your next level.

You will get level 2 when the 1st minion in wave 2 dies and you will get level 3 when the 1st minion in wave 3 dies. (This is with new preseason exp change for top laners, it used to be more minions on wave 3 for level 3).

If you are able to kill a ward before minions spawning, this will also give you experience, so you will level up 1 minion faster than expected for level 2 and 3! This can be huge because the enemy will not expect your level up!

Taking fights with level advantages are HUGE especially in the early game, level 2 vs 1 or 3 vs 2, means that not only do you have bigger stats like HP, AD, Armor, MR, but you also has one extra ability to use.
Still big with levels above 3, since you have extra stats and extra points in abilities.
And, think about it, if you know you will get level 6 on the next 2 minions and enemy is still level 5, you can use this advantage to take a big allin fight if the enemy doesn't respect it or perhaps is unaware of how close to level 6 you are.

Good CS count
Getting a good CS count is so much more important than getting kills if getting kills means you instead have bad CS.

One wave without cannon is worth 105 gold, so being up 18 CS equals one kill.

Sometimes its worth to give up a minions and cannons to not trade to much health, just make sure to stand inside experience range. Have you ever gone for a cannon early game worth 60 gold and lost half your health? And then you can't walk up and misses so many minions because of that, or even worse, dies and misses both gold and experience.

So imagine going from 5 cs/min to 6, or even higher. That will lead to a huge gold difference for you in first 20 minutes.

This example will not be correct because of different values of minions, cannons and jungle camps, but if one wave is 105 gold for 6 cs, that means 17,5g/cs.
5cs/min * 20min game = 1750gold
7cs/min * 20min game = 2450gold
The difference here is only 2 more minions lasthit per minute and it equals to more than 2 kills worth of gold, and 7cs/min is actually not even hard to get.

Freeze lane
It can be a super effective method to starve enemy from gold and perhaps even experience. Make sure to last hit minions as late as possible or it will start to build into a slow push instead. I write more about this in the Wave management section.

Do not die
This might just sound dumb and obvious, but it is often very bad to take unnessecery risks and die.

Its better for you to be alive and stay on the map to gather experience and gold to get ahead of gold curve.

Ofcourse, if you can dive enemy early with a stacked wave that he misses (doesn't have TP), then its always worth to go 1 for 1.

Safer warding
You can ward from safer spots, if you want to ward river from blue side tower, stand in this space, press space to center camera and click on pointy edge of tree.
+ Click to enlarge image

If you want to ward tri-bush from a safer place, walk to this spot with centered camera (holding space), and press bottom right of the egg.
+ Click to enlarge image

Ward enemy jungle
It can be very good if you have extra time to ward enemy jungle a bit deeper, one spot I especially like is when playing red side, then I ward the bush at blue buff entrance with a control ward, this ward is often overlooked by enemy.
+ Click to enlarge image

Target champion only
Be sure to use the "Target champion only" setting, and enable it as a "Toggle" so you don't have to hold it down.

This setting makes it so you can't autoattack minions, turrets, jungle monsters etc. Especially good when fighting in a minionwave or towerdiving so you don't accidentally autoattack anything else than the enemy champion.

Tracking enemy jungler
It is very important to know where the enemy jungler is or should be and play around this.

At level 1 you want to watch top- and botlaners to see if they arrive late to lane. This is a good indicator to show if they gave their jungler a leesh. Sometimes people "fake leesh", that means they walk to vision in lane late to make it look like they leeshed. Look at enemy mana to see if someone used abilities, this often indicates they actually leeshed and didn't fake it.

Sometimes your team invades and put up wards to find the enemy jungler, this makes it very easy to spot the jungler.

First gank timer
If the enemy jungler started bot, they should be at top jungle around 3:00 to 3:15 so that is a great time to ward. The scuttle crab in river now spawns at 3:30 so if they have the time and you are overextended they might gank you before taking scuttle.

Some junglers want to do early ganks, like a Twitch usually wants to get red buff and then immediately gank a lane close to his red buff. So, if you are playing blue side (bottom part of map), expect to be ganked level 1!

Second gank timer
After the jungler has done their first clear they need to clear it again, and since the camps spawn a fixed time after they have been killed they usually clear the same way again. So if they do a full clear from bottom to top, they usually do their second also from bottom to top. Which will put the in top jungle at 5:30 to 6:00.

Be prepared
Junglers can ofcourse do their own thing, like going buff to buff and then gank. They can also be duo with the toplaner and sit there even if their top jungle is cleared, so you can't really expect them to always play a "standard" jungle clear for their champion.

Honeyfruits spawn in river, one in top side and one in bot side, between 06:00-06:30 they look like this at first and can't be used.

Next respawn timer for new honeyfruits is between 5,5 and 7 minutes.
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After 60 seconds they become finished fruits that can be taken by a player.
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Hitting the honeyfruit will give you 5 fruits that can be taken, they each restore 3,5% max health or 14-116 health (scales with level).

They do slow you when you take them. So they can also be used if you hit them while being chased and they have to run around or become slowed while chasing you.
+ Click to enlarge image
Playing from behind
Have you ever died 3, 4 or even more times in lane before 14 minutes, letting the enemy laner get all 5 plates and first tower? And then the enemy just snowballed his lead onto other lanes and the game was just over?

This is actually very common, people don't adapt their playstyle depending on if they are ahead, even or behind.

It's okay to die in lane, you can't win each and every laning phase, it can be that you are camped by the enemy jungler or that you are just getting outplayed. This is fine, as long as you don't make the game totally unwinnable by dying over and over again.

When I lose lane i almost always will do it gracefully. When I realize I can't win 1v1, I will play to farm well and not giving the enemy a big lead. This can be very frustrating. But since enemy will most likely push you in all the time, this also sets him up to be ganked easier. And even if your jungler will not come and help out toplane, you can still keep good CS thanks to Garens E and Ironspike whip, even if it means taking bad trades, you can just let your passive regen between each wave.

Just don't be that guy that tilts and makes the game totally uncarriable for your team and your winrate will increase alot.

This can be applied to all champions, but Garen is really good at it.
Wave management
Knowing how to manage the waves is very important and this can get you big leads even without killing the enemy.

There is many ways to manipulate the wave in your favor.

Even minion rule
This is the easy part. On the first wave, both waves meet at the middle of lane at the same time. If noone hits them they will kill eachother and lane will not push anywhere.

If there is same amount of minions but they meet closer to your tower. This will start to push the wave against the enemy tower.
This is because your next minion wave reaches the previous wave first, so they start to attack the enemy minion wave first and kill them faster, this will cause the wave to start pushing away from you.

The closer to your tower the even minion waves are, the harder it will push away from you since your minions will come even faster than the enemies.

If you are not there you will ofcourse lose gold and exp.

This rule is important to know when either backing to shop or roaming.

This is ofcourse a bad time for you if you both leave for a scuttle fight with your junglers, or if you need to back because of low health.
But, if it's the other way around, this can be abused to deny the enemy alot, read more at freezing.

Level 1 push to you
If you know the enemy is leashing for the jungler, you can walk up in lane and start to hold the enemy wave close to his tower and when your wave reaches that part you walk into the bush furthest from your tower, this will make enemy minions all target one of your minions and kill it fast. The next enemy wave will also reach faster and start pushing harder.
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This will lead to enemy wave pushing against you, so just last hit the minions as late as possible to make it come to your tower.
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Counter early ganks
If you think that enemy jungler will gank you early, you can push first two waves into enemy tower before the cannon wave comes (3rd wave), this will reset the wave and let it start pushing against you.
To achieve this you want to push the first wave, but not to hard so the second wave is under enemy tower.
Start hitting the ranged minions a few times, killing one. When the second wave arrives you want to kill that wave as fast as possible to make your minions enter into enemy turret range before 3rd wave arrives.
This will make the wave reset and start pushing against you, so now you can walk and ward the river and let the enemy push against you.
The downside to this is that the enemy will hit level 3 first and have a level advantage with a bigger wave pushing against you. Here you will have to be careful taking trades because of that, and also that you take alot of damage from a big wave this early.
If possible, try to trim the enemy wave so it doesn't build up and become to big.

Level 3 dive
This can be done solo but it is alot easier if you plan it well with your jungler.
You start to slow push 1st and 2nd wave, making sure that 3rd wave (cannon) comes outside of enemy tower, this wave you will hard push to enemy tower so there is a big wave.
You will have a level advantage, and if you manage to kill enemy (especially if he doesn't have teleport), he will loose so much experience and gold. This is even worth it if you die doing it.
Imagine you have an Elise jungler, she will take turret aggro and CC enemy, you do your burst combo and then after enemy is dead Elise just use Rappel to go invisible and reset turret aggro.

Freezing a wave
This is used to deny the enemy laner gold and experience.
What freezing a wave means is that you know the wave will push to you, so you will not attack minions other than last hitting them. If the place in lane and amount of extra enemy minions is correct, you can keep a freeze forever.
If the enemy wave is bigger, and it's close to your tower, you will need 4 extra enemy minions to keep a freeze.
If the enemy wave is bigger but it's at the middle of lane, it can be enough with only 2 extra enemy minions because the new waves comes at the same time.
This can be used in several ways.

Pros to freezing a wave:
Freezing can deny enemy CS which will give you bigger gold advantage.
The enemy have to overextend in lane to get experience and/or gold, which will make it easier for your jungler to gank him.
You are close to your tower, so it's hard for enemy jungler to gank you.
When you are behind and enemy roams, you can freeze to get back in experience/gold.

Cons to freezing a wave:
The enemy can roam, so you have to really make sure your midlaner/jungler knows so they expect him coming.
If enemy jungler comes and kills you at your tower, you miss alot of minions of exp/gold and allow them to take turret plates quickly.

Freezing a wave - When you are ahead
If you are very ahead of your enemy laner, you can zone that person off from even getting experience by walking between his minions and his turret. So if he walks up close you kill him, and if he doesn't he will loose the experience and gold.

Here will an example of doing that follow.
In the example below I will go from being pretty even exp/cs vise, level 9 vs level 8 and 72cs vs 66cs to level 10 vs level 8 and 96cs vs 66cs. So we get a full extra level and increase CS lead by 24cs.

Make sure that his minions doesn't reach your tower, let them aggro you until your minion wave reaches his.
+ Click to enlarge image

You might have to drag out the wave a bit from your tower to prevent it from crashing when your minions die.
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Make sure to ping your midlaner that the enemy toplaner might roam to make something happen, preferrably have a ward in river like I have on rift here to see it happen.
+ Click to enlarge image

Do not let the minionwave become to big so it crashes, thin it out and remember you need atleast 4 extra minions on enemy wave when the wave is this close to your tower.
+ Click to enlarge image

If the enemy walks to close, make sure to trade with him but remember to not do it inside his minionwave so it starts pushing against him. In this instance I saw that my jungler was pathing top so I went full allin on the Jax.
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Trading might even lead to a kill, so hard push wave and get tower platings and get even more ahead.
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Freezing a wave - When you are against a hard matchup
If you are against a hard matchup, for example Darius as a Garen, you can try to keep his minions just outside of turret range, so he can't hit your ranged minions.

This will make it very hard for him to kill you early and also let you farm safely. If wave is pushed under your tower and it will start to push away, you can bait the Darius to trade onto you with Q while you stand in your minion wave so he does alot of damage to it. This will make it push to you again and you can just let your passive do it's magic while waiting for minions to last hit.

Many times the enemy gets so frustrated so that trade into you under tower and takes towershots for it, making it easy to kill them!
+ Click to enlarge image

Dragging out waves
If enemy pushes wave on his side/middle of lane and backs to shop, you can reach it before it starts to aggro the turret and instead aggro you. Here you can actually tank the wave and walk away from tower and the wave will follow you, try to drag it close to middle of lane.

This will cause a freeze depending on amount of minions and place in lane (see freezing a wave).

Minions can be even closer to tower, as long as they don't aggro the tower you can drag them out.
+ Click to enlarge image

Just walk away from tower and minions will follow you, make sure they all get out of turret range[*] .
+ Click to enlarge image

Push or not after a kill
This is something that alot of people do not think about, they will just automatically try to shove the wave to enemy tower after a kill no matter what.
If your wave is bigger than the enemy wave you kindof always have to get it under enemy tower to make it reset. If you got a kill with your jungler ganking, ping him to help push the wave under enemy tower.
If the waves are even it depends where in lane it is, read "Even minion rule".
It will also depend if enemy has Teleport or not, if he has you have to either push it super fast and back, or just accept that you will loose minions and back to spend gold/regen hp.
Is there a big chance enemy jungler/midlaner will kill you? Did you see them walking top while you faught the enemy?
Look where next wave is, if you have a big wave you need to push and you see that your next wave is close to your tier 3 tower, you know that his wave is close also, so you will need to be able to push that wave also.

Slowpushing means only attacking minions to lasthit them, this will make you have a really big minion wave so it will be hard for the enemy to fight in it without taking alot of damage. It will also give you more time resetting to spend gold or to invade enemy jungle or roam mid.

This is a good example of a slowpush, I will only lasthit minions so I can also collect next wave and get enough gold for my next item purchase.
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Many times the enemy will get bored and trade into you while you have that big minionwave. This is really bad in two ways, number 1, you will reset when wave crashes and get full health, the enemy is stuck in lane with low hp and item disadvantage when you return from your back.
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Here you can see that Jax is now 50% health instead of full health, there is 1,5 minion waves going under his tower that he will have to stay and clear while you reset and return with more items and full health.
In the worst cases for the enemy, he will be so low that he can be dived with the junglers help. In this case he was so low so I could solo dive him without even dying myself. Making him loose this 1,5 minion wave and also parts of the next one. See below
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Slowpush into dive with stacked waves
This is the same as the level 3 dive. You slowpush a huge wave when you know you will kill the enemy. So when it reaches his tower either he will stay and try to survive (and if he dies he loses ALOT), or you can zone him from the tower so he has to back off to his tier 2 tower making him miss all that experience and gold. This is risky since you have to be aware of enemy jungler and enemy midlaner. But great if you are so strong you know you will win a 1v2 fight.

Here is a good example when a slowpush can really punish the enemy because he didn't sit back during slowpush and he traded instead, leading to him dying and missing out of alot of experience and gold from minions and letting the enemy take turret plates.
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So as you see in this example, jax misses that 1,5 minion wave and 1 turret plate. Here I decided to only go for that 1 turret plate and the next minionwave, because I had zero vision on where the enemy Evelynn could be.
So I didn't stay for an extra turret plate. This is generally good early game since death timers aren't that long. You do not want to die to enemy jungler or be stuck in lane without spending your gold.
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When I watched replay of the game to take screenshots, I saw that my decision to not greed for the extra turret plating was really good since the Evelynn was running from her bot jungle straight to top to get my shutdown.

Evelynn would get alot of experience from killing me since I am higher level than her and also I would have a death timer so I would probably miss 1 wave and give Jax a turret plating.

This wave that I didn't greed for is still there and I will be back in lane to collect it before Jax has time to push it under my tower.
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Wave pushing away - Bait enemy to push it back
It is really bad against a hard matchup when your wave is pushing away from you, this makes it very easy for enemy jungler to gank since you have to overextend, and some enemies can just run you down the long lane.

Here is a great example, level 5 Darius with Ghost vs Level 5 Garen with Ignite. He can easily activate ghost, slow you with W and hook you with E if you are close to his tower.

This strategy is very good vs an early lane bully like Darius, they will often get frustrated and try to kill under tower giving you an easy kill :)

I prefer not to fight Darius before level 6 and a few item components since he most likely wins with DBlade vs DShield. His bleed stacks are just nasty. So I don't want to take an extended allin from full health.

So here will a good example follow of me making him push the wave back against my tower so I can farm safely.

My wave is pushing against his tower, so I stand in the middle of my ranged minions and try to bait him into using Q on me (and also my minions to damage them).
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The first Q here I didn't manage to dodge, but my minions took alot of damage.
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I keep standing within my minions since my wave is still bigger and will continue to push away from me.

Sure enough, Darius wants to kill me and tries to Q me, this one I manage to dodge completely so Darius only hits my minions.
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After those two Qs from Darius I see that the wave will push towards me, so I just sit back far from him and waiting, only walking closer to stand in experience range if an enemy minion is about to die. (Learn to give up gold but not experience)

There is absolutely no reason to take any damage since then I can get dove by Darius and his jungler. I just want to farm some gold so I can purchase boots+Whip so I can trade and kill in an allin later.
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Minion level and bonuses
Red and Blue minions can have different levels and different strengths. This is caused by towers taken down and avarage level on teams.
If your team has higher avarage level on champs, this will cause your minions to gain more levels and get stronger. Same thing if your team take down more turrets than enemy team.
If your minions gets stronger this means that if 2 minionwaves meet in the middle of lane, normal rules no longer apply, since your minions are stronger they will automatically start pushing the lane.
Strategies for after laning phase
I will expand on this subject soon.

When laning phase is over you want to continue to farm and put pressure on the enemy. This is ofcourse easiest when you are ahead but even from behind you can be useful and apply pressure.

It is very important to keep your CS count up so you don't fall behind in gold/experience. Push your lane before rotating to other lanes/enemy jungle/objectives.

If you are ahead and feel that you can 1v2 enemy top and jungler pressure tier 2 tower and take camps in enemy jungle.
Be sure to keep an eye for rotations from enemy midlaner, jungler or if botlane is missing they might come from base.
As you can see here I did not have vision on anyone but enemy top and mid. So i decided to ward and take enemy top jungle.

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Deep ward enemy jungle and help pressure other lanes and objectives.

If Rift Herald is up, it's great to ask your jungler to help secure it and use it mid to open up the map.

In this example I was crushing toplane, but there is no reason to push for tier 2 tower.

My botlane was struggling really hard, enemy ADC Varus was 11/2 and I was 7/0, I saw them overextending botlane so I first pushed out top wave to tier 2 tower, then I backed and ganked botlane getting an easy double kill. Even tho Varus was 11/2 he was only level 12 while I as a toplaner was level 14.
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When second dragon was up I was sure we could contest it since i was 9/0 with really strong items, so after pushing out toplane i left Jax alone there and rotated for the objective over 30 seconds before it spawned. This allowed us to setup vision behind the dragon so enemy have to walk in blind.

Instead of hitting the dragon I was behind it zoning the enemy from it if they every tried to walk close to it. This is a good example of using your lead to help team secure more gold/objectives on the map.
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Even though this allowed the Jax to breath and safely farm, it is very worth it to give tier 1 tower top for a dragon.

You need to use your lead to not only stay in lane, but help your team win the game.
Combo guide
Yes, you read that correctly. "Combo guide" for Garen do sound crazy since he isn't really a mechanically intense champion at all.

This section is more about what abilities to use and when. Sometimes it is very important to save an ability to counter an ability from the enemy champion.

This depends heavily on your matchup.

Q engage
Against some matchups you can't get close to them unless you use your Q movement speed to engage. After that you use your autoattack and then your E to deal damage and get a good trade.

Q into oneshot
Against a low health target or a squishy target that you know will die in one combo it's great to engage with your Q to silence them. They can't flash away now. Just continue with your AA+E and use Ironspike Whip/ Stridebreaker and finish them with your R.

Saving Q
There is many reasons why you can't use your Q to engage.

Against Nasus you want to save your Q until he uses his Wither so you can cleanse the slow.

Against Jax you never want to engage with Q because he will just use Counter Strike to negate both damage and silence. So you have to walk up to him and start with E, even when he counterstrikes your E will do damage. And when he jumps away you can use your Q to run to him and get some damage in the trade. Try to time your W in this trade to get extra tenacity for his stun and also shield the damage. Hard since he can end it early after 1 second or wait full 2 seconds.

Against Fiora you can run at her with your Q but instead of using it on her you run past her to bait out her Riposte ability. If you Q her and she Riposte it, you will get stunned and heavily lose that trade.
If you dodge the ability, it is a very good time to trade with her. And if she is low enough you can use your R to kill her. Never use your R against Fiora while she has her Riposte up.

Using W or not
Your W is a shield and damage reduction, so you can use it early in trades where you know your enemy will use their complete burst combo into you.

But sometimes you want to save that W to get usage of the tenacity part.

Against Veigar you can time your W to run through his cage Event Horizon.

Against Sett you want to use it right before he pulls you in with his Facebreaker to reduce the 1 second stun to 0,5 seconds and then do a trade with AA+Q+E away dodging his true damage part of his W.

E melee trade
If you manage to get close to your enemy you can start the trade with your AA+E, wait to use Ironspike Whip/ Stridebreaker until you have max stacks on your E armor reduction, this will also reduces enemy armor on your upcoming autoattack and Q damage.

You can also press Q but not use it on enemy just to get your movement speed and keep up with them to have your E deal maximum damage and then hit Q after your E is done.

Using R or not
There is many abilities in the game that you have to make sure the enemy uses before you use your R on them.

Bel'Veth E Royal Maelstrom is 70% damage reduction.

Fiora W Riposte makes her immune to incoming damage.

Mordekaiser W Indestructible is a huge shield.

Pantheon E Aegis Assault blocks all damage from one direction.

Sett W Haymaker is a huge shield that blocks your R

Tryndamere R Undying Rage makes him unkillable.

Wukong W Warrior Trickster makes him invisible and leaves a clone behind.

Yasuo Passive Way of the Wanderer gives him a shield that absorbs alot of damage.
Spins on E scaling
Here you can see at what levels you will upgrade your spin count depending on items purchased, for example, if you buy a dagger first back you still dont get an extra spin until level 6.

With Berserkers you get 1 extra spin any level, and 2 extra spins level 7.

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Champion stats with different builds
Here you can see what stats you can get on Garen at level 18 depending on what items you build.
These stats are not taking into account fully stacked W passive for extra armor and magic resist. 30 Armor and 30 magic resist plus 10% extra when fully stacked.
They do not take into account whatever extra health, armor, magic resist you get from runes (Overgrowth, Conditioning).

Overgrowth gives about 1 HP per CS you have, so at 200 cs you will have another 200 bonus health, this scales into your W shield and Steraks shield.
Items Health
W shield Item shields Armor MR AD Spins E dmg Q dmg
3707 388 1080 152 136 310 12 190 614
3657 379 0 152 136 283 12 177 575
3307 316 955 212 196 238 12 154 507
3557 361 0 242 136 238 12 154 507
3307 316 0 197 136 293 12 182 590
4057 379 1270 152 136 320 11 195 629
4106 460 1400 234 204 322 12 196 632
3707 388 1080 152 136 300 11 185 599
4057 451 1360 152 136 310 10 190 614
Garen R execute range
Demacian Justice (R) Damage
It's not the easiest to know when to use your R on enemy champion. It has a fixed value, but it also scales with the enemies missing health percentage.

The more health the enemy is missing the more damage gets added to the base damage.

I have made a sheet with what maximum current HP threshold you can use your ultimate and still get a kill.

So if the enemy max health is 2500 and you have rank 2 ultimate, the enemy needs to be at or below 807 current health. 808 and above the enemy survives.

With rank 3 ultimate the threshold at 2500 max health goes up from 807 to 981.

Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Max health Current health Current health Current health
800 280 415
900 300 438
1000 320 461
1100 340 484
1200 360 507
1300 380 530
1400 400 553
1500 420 576 722
1600 440 599 748
1700 460 623 774
1800 480 646 800
1900 500 669 825
2000 520 692 851
2100 715 877
2200 738 903
2300 761 929
2400 784 955
2500 807 981
2600 830 1007
2700 853 1033
2800 876 1059
2900 899 1085
3000 922 1111
3100 1137
3200 1162
3300 1188
3400 1214
3500 1240
3600 1266
3700 1292
3800 1318
3900 1344
4000 1370
4100 1396
4200 1422
4300 1448
4400 1474
4500 1500
4600 1525
4700 1551
4800 1577
4900 1603
5000 1629
Pre-season 13 Anti hp stacking/tank builds
I am currently trying to find best build vs new tank items, especially Heartsteel which I feel is VERY overtuned!

Have you had a good experience as Garen with your current build vs Chogath, Dr. Mundo, Sett or other HP stacking abusing champions?

I feel that Divine Sunderer could be a good item vs health stacking champs. And this item also gives some bonus armor penetration, which the health stacking champs also usually builds.

Any tips on this subject is welcome, love to discuss strategies.

+ The passive will make your auto do 6% MAX HP bonus damage.
+ It will give you some healing.
+ The mythic passive is giving armor penetration.
- You do not get any attack speed at all for your E spins.
- The waveclear is worse without the Ironspike Whip we all love.
- Garen is obviously not the best user of a Sheen item.
- Garen doesn't have many low cooldown abilities to proc the %MAXHP damage on auto attacks many times in a fight.
Pre-season 13 Tank Garen build?
Is it viable to do a tank Garen build with Season 13 items? This is a 4fun category! :)

I am thinking and trying these two builds to test the new items on Garen, we will see how they work.

+ You will get insanely tanky.
+ You will get good sustain in fights thanks to Mythic.
+ Spirit Visage will amplify your healing and shields
+ You will stay long in fights and activate JakSho passive that will drain enemies around you and together with the Sunfire passive burn this might actually deal some damage.
- You do not get any attack speed at all for your E spins.
- The waveclear is worse without the Ironspike Whip we all love.

+ You will slow and cripple main target.
+ You will get damage from Sunfire.
- You do not get any attack speed at all for your E spins.
- The waveclear is worse without the Ironspike Whip we all love.
- Garen is obviously not the best user of a Sheen item.
Crit Garen 4fun
Crit Garen 4fun category coming...
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