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Garen Build Guide by PhoenixFlames

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League of Legends Build Guide Author PhoenixFlames

Garen: Killsteal à la Demacia!

PhoenixFlames Last updated on December 12, 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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hello and welcome to my first guide! It is about GAREN! Everybody loves him! (Except his enemies!)

This is my first guide on him and on LoL ever, so feel free to tell me what I could have done better. Please with sensible arguments.

So, then let's get to work!
First of all, a few words to my headline. Though Garen does tons of damage and fed he is the living hell for the enemy team, but his skills are...trolly. I would not really call it killsteal, but suddenly coming out of a bush when an enemy is about to escape, killing him with or is just too awesome.

Garen is a fighter and melee, average health, strong attack, weak spells..right? No!

I rather think Garen is an offtank who does not need any carry items to rock the battle due to his brilliant ! I will explain later what exactly I mean with that.

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Pros / Cons

- You have strong abilities.
- You have no mana.
- You have lots of HP, which makes it incredibly hard to kill you.
- Increased resistances due to
- You can escape and even damage enemies when they chase you, thanks to and ! even continues in a stun or snare!
- will finish this Leblanc off, who just wants to escpae the teamfight with ! Take that, OP Champ!
- You can initiate teamfights very well
- You don't need autoattacks. So haha, Cons down there!

- Your autoattacks are incredibly slow.
- I mean, your autoattacks are really incredibly slow.
- By slow, I mean f*cking slow.
- Your E can be countered by Stuns or Snares, especially if the enemy team is smart enough to go a couple of steps away from you.
- squishy till the mid game
- vulnerable to harass

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Greater Mark of Desolation

Greater Quintessence of Desolation

A classical AD-Offtank Rune-build. I personally play Garen with other runes, including less armor penetration, more attack damage and attack speed, but this is based on the fact I cannot afford those Offtank-Runes yet.

Feel free to change the runes, they are not making you a pro, but the increased resistances are a great thing, and together with , they replace 1 armor and 1 magic resist item. What could you want more from your runes?

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My masteries are also kinda classic. In the new mastery layout, the choices for AD Carries and Offtanks have decreased significantly. So this is actually the only option you can choose.

If you die often, you will like to choose an Utility-subspec with and . That is okay, too, but I really really like defensive builds who do damage at the same time. A question of personal taste.

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Summoner Spells

Sensible options:

Your Summoner Spells should include one rather offensive and one rather defensive spell, an Exhaust / Ignite combi might be deadly, but you will find yourself dying in the early and mid game, which makes you dying often in the late game as well!
Ghost makes you run fast, Exhaust makes you kill fast, so this is my favourite option. Due to the fact, we chose in our masteries, Flash becomes inferior to Ghost, and Ignite is something for AP Carries, especially Vladimir and Swain..But it would help you doing your KS-Thing. Choose Ignite if you decide to play even tankier than in my build.

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One day, I felt like trolling, and decided to try a build. I failed hard in trolling. That is how I discovered this kind of build, still, I want to comment on it a bit more.

I love this! Health, Attack Damage, and a bit of Lifesteal. This is great! Especially if some dirty or ended your passive, which regenerates life over time. This item increases your sustainability and ability to fight so well in the early game, you are a fool without this!

With you are fast, with these you are faster! Your awesome Skill Sequence will benefit from this as hell, but be sure not to go back to only buy them. Press that Recall-button only if you are on low health or have the gold for these and the next Doran's.


or Here we come to the point, where I have to admit this build lacks attack damage. Berserker's Graves are cool for AD guys, but not for Garen, since you do not autoattack with , so forget about them. are also okay, take them if they have 3 or more hard-CC, like , , or something similar. I know I only listed stuns, but they do work against fears and taunts as well, even suppresion. So choose wisely.

You may think "WTF?! SRSLY?!" but I gotta say..."Ya rly!". AP-Carries on the mid-lane often buy 1-2 , the third one is for situations that went not like you wanted them to. If you have problems staying on your lane, take this another freaking time. But this does not mean Urgot won't be an annoying enemy anymore. Be still careful.

Finally! Our first core item! Hooray! Woo! Unfortunately, it nearly costs 4000 gold. So have fun collecting money. Still, it should be easy, with your survivability you should have no problem with farming minions and get some kills. Crit is just a great stat for Garen, since benefits from it, as well as your autoattacks. Actually, this should stay your one and only pure AD Item, just get more Carry-like items if you are fed and know you will not need the extra tankiness that much.

& The ability to slow, is the ability to kill! Your should give you 25 armor and magic resist now, so resistances won't matter now, get some life! If your team had already lots of stuns and slows, I would recommend in this case, it gives you more life and some lifereg.
On top of this, you get which gives you AD for 2% of your Health, Armor and CRIT. Just awesome.

That was your core so far, now it really gets situational. The only skill you need in item building is to know, when to buy and when not to buy a situational item. You should not get any situational item before , just consider a little when you are playing against 4 or 5 AD who do their damage with autoattack. Everything else is not necessary yet.
But you have to choose, if you include a situational item before FM+Atma or after FM+Atma. There are mny options.
I love this item. I really really really really do. Say Goodbye to fed Twitch, Miss Fortune, Tryndamere, Tristana etc etc etc! They just kill themselves by trying to kill you, with another 100 Armor on top! What could you want more against AD?!
/ This is what you get against AP, another time you have to decide. If there are some dangerous spells, like , get BV. But if there is a constant amount of spells thrown against you, choose FoN. I tend to get Force of Nature, since you have Mana on BV and....Garen needs to be oom all the time!
Armor and magic resist, nice against a (rather) balanced team, although GA has nearly twice the armor than it has magic resist. Still it is pretty nice! Especially the reviving effect. This will have the psychological side effect that you won't get focussed. Why burst something down in a teamfight when it revives again to escape or do some spells again?
Never really used this. It is cheap, has some AD and MR, plus an extra bubble for 300 damage..I do not think 300 damage is that much, might be useful in mid game teamfights, but then..useless. Very situational.
More life, more AD! Warmog's gives you an extra 920, up to 1300 and more life! That means about 16-26 AD from Atma's. Choose this only if whether they have no AP champion to be considered serious, or if they lack an AD Carry to get . I think you are doing well with one of Warmog's only, but it is your choice, have your own experience with this.
If you choose this, you will be more like a fulltank, since enemy guys have to hit you so it has to be useful. I would not really recommend this, maybe if the enemy team was AD-heavy, but since your task is to survive during your to do lots of damage, better get something else.
Crit, Armor penetration, just for more damage output. Plus extra movementspeed. So basically, you will run around the battlefield like mad and spin everything to death. Nice situation to imagine, isn't it?
Take that, Rammus! This is great against people who think that they need to stack armor. One little item and there armor is gone! Hooray!
No effect on , so...No.
half the armor, twice the fun, right? Well..not for Garen. No no no no! You have no time to apply this and your E does not apply on-hit effects.
Silenced often? Too stupid to press E? This is the way to go, Autoattack Garen! This is REALLY situational, maybe against Kassadin, LeBlanc, Garen, Malzahar and Soraka. This team does not make any sense, but it is silence-heavy as Hell!

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Skill Sequence


Only Nasus and Tryndamere should survive. 'Nuff said.
This Skill Sequence is DEADLY. It kills just EVERYTHING. Your courage decreases incoming damage during the time you charge with Decisive Strike. Decisive Strikes silences the enemy, taking his flash away, Judgment damages and kills him or Demacian Justice does. Great combo.

Keep in mind: is awesome for running away, cleanses all slows from you and scales very well with Crit.

In a teamfight, you normally damage enemies out of their team formation with , but you do not really initiate! I mean, you do not initiate if you are not the tankiest. If you are, just do your skill sequence, but instead of spinning between the enemy team, spin to your team. They should fire their ultimates and kill and kill and kill. Use your ultimate to kill:
- the AP Carry who is about to burst all of your Carries
- Tanks with low life (especially those tanks who CC and dps a lot.)
- Escaping Enemies
DO NOT finish enemies the whole team is focussing on with it! That is more than stupid! You waste this execution ability! I see so many Garen who do that, and this is real Killsteal. Not even funny anymore. Use your ultimate only when it is necessary, or for the last enemy in the teamfight, that is okay. But do not burst someone who is focussed on by LeBlanc or Malzahar or Warwick or similar champions.

I really hope you enjoyed my little guide and could help you to play this kinda easy character.