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Garen Build Guide by DEWO

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League of Legends Build Guide Author DEWO

Garen, Merry-go-round Killer.

DEWO Last updated on November 2, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #2 in
Top Lane
Win 55%
Get More Stats

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: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

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

Utility: 0

Chapter 1

Welcome to my Garen by Belenzor guide.

You can find my other guides here:
DEWO's Profile

I was waiting for this champion to come out like for salvation. At last a pure physical, single oriented champion with nice cooldown based skills. I had enaugh of hybrid chars that were ****py on hybrid builds they wanted to make for them, and not that good when focusing either on AD or AP.
Garen was something i wanted to see for a long time. And also a release from killstealing my killz :)
I like playing physical dps melee champs, that requires some skill to kill som1 not just pushing 1-2-3-you-are-dead buttons. I like when i have the versality of tank/dps/support. Garren does a great job in tank and dps role, and medicore support role but sill.
The weak point is his CC capabilities. His one and only CC skill is a silencing atack. But before he gets to the champ he can be facerolled without that silence, specialy by casters.
I will focus on DPS build on Garen since its the only way i play him. I find his skills too much offensive to waste his potential for Tanking.

+ Best early game killer ingame (imho)
+ Heavy physical crit based champ.
+ Superb execute skill (no more killstealing!)
+ Cooldown based champ, does not require mana regeneration to keep on going.
+ VERY good AoE DPS'er
+ Good tanking abilities even on DPS spec and items
+ Great initiator and 1v1 killer
+ Very long silence
+ Fast movement hero
+ GREAT farmer
+ Good chaser
+ Good escape mechanism (Judgment = no slows)

- Lack of CC
- Low HP and lifestealing ability (his Judgment works as a spell and does not give him lifestealing procs)
- Vurneable to CC
- Physical char = easy to harras.
- Slow atack speed
- Cooldown dependant

Summoner Spells

Great to keep yourself alive and making enemy vurneable to your Judgment spinning. I basicly use it right after my Courage active passes out.
Courage->DS->Judgment->Blind if still alive -> Justice


Call me an addict but i cant live without that spell. I think each my guide has this :P Its just best there is especialy for melee champs to get into battle, get out of it, chase, and so on.
Most common use is when i know my opponent has a spell that can stop me from reaching him (Ryze, Morgana, Anivia, Annie with stun and so on) even with DS speed boost. I Enable DS -> Flash to him and instant silence than Judgment. This is a 100% kill if You could perform a whole Judgment.


Clense is considered a great spell for every melee champion. Can save your *** can open you window for attack. Worth getting.
Your choice. I always go Flash/Exhaust tho :P.

Perseverance - Garen will regenerate .5% of his maximum health per second after not receiving damage for 7 seconds.

A good early game passive. Can keep you on lane for little bit longer. The regen later on becomes marginal.
I tend to rely on it when i have 50% or more HP. If i go lower i always have my health potions (till about lvl 10)
Dont rely on this when you have 10 HP :) its better and safer to port and heal and run back spamming DS on the way.
This passive probably will get a boost sooner or later.

Decisive Strike - Garen's next attack strikes a vital area of his foe, dealing bonus damage and silencing them.
Garen gains a 15/20/25/30/35% speed boost for 2 seconds. His next attack deals 40/60/80/100/120 bonus damage and silences his target for 2.5 seconds.

Cooldown - 11/10/9/8/7 seconds
Cost - No Cost
Range - Self

As many try to make this skill as your primary nuke its made more for initiate/escape. The silence it delivers is something that will protect you while you are spinning.
Its is a great tool for chasing fleeing enemies, especialy when you have a full mallet. DS+Mallet = kill since your team or you will just catch him and slow into judgment.
It is a great tool for breaking channels.
Make us of it while moving from spot to spot. It is a free nitro boost!
Skill works on buildings. Use it on towers/inhi to get them down faster. Last hit with it since it resets your swing timer.

Courage - Garen's kills increase his armor and magic resistance. He may also activate this ability to give himself a damage reducing shield.
Passive: Garen's armor and magic resist are permanently increased by 0.5 every time he kills an enemy unit. This bonus is maxed at 7/14/21/28/35.

Active: Garen places a defensive shield on himself for the next 2/2.5/3/3.5/4 seconds, decreasing all damage taken by 35%.

Cooldown - 30/27/24/21/18 seconds
Cost - No Cost
Range - Self

On DPS build this spell is taken tbh only for its Active. 35% damage reduction is VERY nice. Can be casted while spinning. Can be casted before Kharsus ulti will hit you, or nunu one. Its your "oh ****" button. Use it smart against initial nukes and so on. It has a fair long CD and short duration since we max it out as last skill. Take 1st point on lvl 4 just for active. You can towerdive and block 2 shots from tower with it reducing alot of damage income.

Judgment - Garen performs a dance of death with his sword, dealing damage around him and becoming immune to slowing and root effects for 3 seconds.
Garen rapidly spins his sword around his body for 3 seconds, removing and making him immune to all roots and slows, dealing physical damage (15/35/55/75/95 plus 35% of his attack damage) to enemy units in the area every 0.5 seconds. This ability does half damage to minions, and it can scale off of your critical hit stat to deal bonus damage.

Cooldown - 15/14/13/12/11 seconds
Cost - No Cost
Range - Melee

Your primary nuke skill. It is considered as a spell so Exhaust, Teemo/Heim blinds dont affect it.
You do not get oh hit effects with it (such as lizard buff, Bloodrazor or black cleaver and so on) so dont waste cash on those items.
This skill will be your melee since your AS will be very low (unless poping Yoyo active). This skill can crit that is why we want to do so and stack crit items. It deals 50% to creeps, but is still vital killer.
At lvl 18 without any items Garen will deal 801 damage with lvl 5 Judgment (before armor reduction and not counting crits).
At lvl 18 with all items you should get damage around 1200-1320 (depends on crit witch will be near 90%) before armor reduction.
1300 damage in 3 sec and it is AoE!

Demacian Justice - Garen calls upon the might of Demacia to deal a finishing blow to an enemy champion that deals damage based upon how much life his target has missing.
Garen calls upon the might of Demacia to attempt to execute an enemy champion, dealing 175/350/525 damage plus 1 damage for every 3.5/3/2.5 health they are missing.

Cooldown - 140/120/100 seconds
Cost - No Cost
Range - 400

This is a pretty much straightforward skill. A great anti KS tool. Tank destroyer. Superb for tower diving, and your only ranged ability.
You have to always calculate how much damage you will diliver with it depending on how much HP your target has. Its also vital to use it even if your target is at 50% of HP.
The weakest point is that this skill does not scale with absolutly anything exept health loss of its target. This makes this skill a bit underpowered.
You cant use it while spinning but you can cancel the Judgment by pressing E again and canceling the effect while you put your Justice on your target that grand you 100% sure kill.
The main problem is always predicting how much HP you will take with that spell. Its better to overkill than to waste the cd and let your target run away.
NEVER use it as initate skill on fully healthy target.


Standard 21/9/0 Physical dps build for dodge speed.


Greater Mark of Desolation
Greater Seal of Critical Chance
Greater Glyph of Critical Damage
Greater Quintessence of Desolation

I maximize effectivness Early and Mid game with flat crit % runes and ArP so i can feed myself and be ready for late game where my crit damage runes can get that last % of hp needed to kill.




We start of with
Boots of Speed + 3x Health Potion
Boots of Speed + 3 Healing potions.
Boots are best choice for him as 1st item since we will do alot of damage already with our Judgment even on lvl 1. But we have to keep ourselves near our opponent. They also allow us to kill minions fast. A quick Judgment between caster and melee creeps will push your lane very fast and with boots you can jump in spin jump out.
Since we dont have mana we can focus on getting health pots. Try to buy 3 of them each time you port to base till lvl 10 even. They are cheap and we dont have lifesteal by that time.
We follow that route so we pick:
Boots of Swiftness ASAP. Enemy will soon buy at least +1 boots so we have to be ahead! Also thiese are the only boots i am cosidering on DPS build. No other ones, no zerker (why? coz we dont count on our AS, we have 2.0 AS by default while spinning, we dont need more). Boots of Speed, nothing esle... srsly...
Now that we can effectivly chase, and keep ourselves near opponent without any problem, we have to do something with our HP... we can do that in very nice way, also adding something we DESPERATLY need for killing. Some kind of CC.
RUSH for:
This will give you HP advantage, as well as additional damage, and most wanted slow.
This slow can proc on your DS and a sure kill after Judgment.
Now its time to make your choice. If you feel confident with your ganking go for:
Sword of the Occult.
This will be a great investment since you already should have 4-5 kills. And since you are an insane killer early game you will end up with about 10 stacks before you engane mid game.
If you dont feel confident enaugh just skip this part and go straight for Mallet.
Taking this path also requires a bit diferent style of playing.
DO NOT EVER initiate a teamfight. Best way is to sit in the bushes waiting for your tank to initiate, than pick the most important person that needs to be disabled, and rish in with your Decisive Strike. Than just start spinning with Courage Active. This will give you kills/assists. Do not hesitate to retreat to maintain stacks. The 20 stacks speed buff is a ENORMOUS buff for him, not talking about the AD you are getting from this item.
Next stop is getting Mallet before Mid game:
Frozen Mallet
Forget about anything else!! THIS is your main and most important item of them all!!
It will give you survivability and most wanted slow. Catching and killing fleeing enemies with DS+Mallet slow is something you will totaly love.
Dont care about your low crit, damage and so on. THIS is what you need! When i see Gares stacking Avarice Blades it's making me cry.
When you get your Mallet love, NOW you can focus on your offense!
Lets get:
Infinity Edge
Yeee... we like that. Use of that item is something obvious so i think we dont have to say more?
We have the power, we have the CC capability, than its time to boost our crit statistic, also giving us a bit of survivability.
The item I am talking about is:
Phantom Dancer
More crit, at last some AS we will need for endgame only since we will face more HP'ed targets, so we need to spank em fiew times with just your melee after initial combo. Dodge is nice for Numb mastery, and additional movement speed for our spinning is yummy. Well all we need. Not mentioning we have that 9 defense so after dodge we can move even faster to escape or spin faster.
The Bloodthirster
Next item is something you will need now, as you need some Lifesteal to maintain beeing alive and for 1v1 situations against strong carry with your Ulti beeing on CD.
We still need a costant boost to our AD since ppl are getting HP, Armor, Magic rez and Judgment is scaling not that good, and needs alot of AD and Crit to be still vital in late game.

If you skipped the Sword of Occult and went straight for mallet you should consider one of 3 items as that 6th item.
Phantom Dancer
Infinity Edge
The Bloodthirster

Bonus crit, AS and Dodge with some movement speed (best if you need survivability)
Bonus crit and tons of damage (best if you feel fed and you just want to put an ending dot)
Bonus tons of damage with additional lifesteal (best if your opponents are heavy carries that roam alone or small groups (1-2).

Situational items:

Randuin's Omen
Is a nice item instead of Phantom or Executioner, if you get focused too much or other team has too much feeded carries.
It gives us defensive stats and defensive Active but also boosts our dps potential by lowering our cooldows!

Other def items are:
Sunfire Cape
is nice coz it gives tons of health and it boosts our AoE potential. Spinning near opponent together with some burning gives very nice dps.

If we desperatly need HP:
Warmog's Armor
is something i suggest. With your Judgment, stacking this item will be realy EZ.


Many ppl ask for Yoummuu's Ghostblade
Youmuu's Ghostblade

If you realy want to have Youmuu's Ghostblade in your arsenal you can buy it instead of Sword of the Occult.


Early game

We get Judgment as 1st skill. If we have exhaust and opposing team lacks Flash or heal... you can get a double kill - First blood in matter of 3 secs.
ALWAYS go for double lane. You are VERY weak as solo that moment.
Hide at the end of your bushes. If the opponent is dumb enaugh to get into your bushes... Mele hit -> Exhaust -> Judgment = kill.
Your partner can throw an Exhaust on other one or stun them inside your Judgment.

If you didnt get lucky just start normal laning phase.
If you can, jump between caster and melee creeps to do a Judgment and push mobs away. Use DS to harras enemy (no matter caster or not) The silence will save you from getting drawback after harras. If you get into troubles, dont hesitate and use Judgment to run away. You cant be slowed by them, and you will do damage while running away.
If you dont have a tank on lane, you can safely kill a champion with 50% hp alone in just 1 Judgment. So you dont have to wait till they are @ like 10HP left to kill. Keep that in mind, but always anticipate the opportunity of stun or flash or heal.
You should have a kill every time your exhaust is ready. If you have a stunning friend... than its GG on that lane.
Remember to use Courage active as much as possible to lower damage income. Rely on your passive above 50% and on health pots below 50%.
On lvl 6 you cana even tower dive with Courage active to Justice the nearly dead champion.
Use your DS to dps towers.

Mid game

Mid game starts when you farmed your Mallet. Help out as mini tank and slower on other lanes, try focusing on getting as much minion kills as possible while pushing towers. You need the gold since we wasted alot of it on more health item that dps item.

Late game

Late game starts wien you have your infinity edge ready... Now you are a true killing machine. Taking down most of your enemy team HP. Remember you are not a tank. You can initiate the fight but in smart way. DS + Courage the most threaty target, back up and than come back unleashing your devastating Judgment. Finish off with Justice, and chase with DS. Spam Courage on CD.
Remember to use Yoyo after your Judgment.
You dont have stacking items but dont die. Its better to back up and farm some creeps in safe place than dieing.

Hope you enjoyed my guide.
Please leave a comment or any suggestion.