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Garen Build Guide by Moe Lester

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Moe Lester

Garen - Passing Judgment Revamped (Update every week!)

Moe Lester Last updated on June 10, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

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

Utility: 0

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Garen. Is he a TANK? Maybe CARRY? Alot of people seem to argue over this. I for one don't give a Doran's f*ck. Garen is a versatile machine, great throughout the whole game. He was born and raised to kill as The Might of Demacia.

*UPDATE: With this guide, your garen will be able to take a large amount of damage for your team. BUT he will also be able to dish out amazing damage if you BUILD TO COUNTER YOUR ENEMY. There is a guide to that here :)

To be honest,
all I know is I went from level 1 to 30 with Garen alone. Scouts honor.
In this guide, I will show you how I play him.

Anyways, first, read this if you want.
Throughout Valoran, the resolve of Demacia's military is alternately celebrated or despised, but always respected. Their "zero tolerance" moral code is strictly upheld by civilians and soldiers alike. In combat, this means Demacian troops may not make excuses, flee, or surrender by example. Garen, the valiant warrior who bears the title "the Might of Demacia", is the paradigm to which these leaders are compared. Thousands of great heroes have risen and fallen on the bloody battlefields between Demacia and its preeminent rival, Noxus. It was beneath their mighty banners of war that Garen first met steel with KatarinaSquare.png Katarina, the Blade Mistress. The infantrymen who beheld this event (and survived) commented that it seemed as though the two were locked in a mortal waltz set against a symphony of clashing blades.

WW2^ true story

Garen, the pride of the Demacian military and the leader of the Dauntless Vanguard, returned from this battle breathless for the first time in his career, though some speculate this was due to reasons other than exhaustion. The plausibility of these rumors was bolstered when, in every instance thereafter, Garen seized the opportunity to encounter the Blade Mistress again. A paragon of Demacian ethic, Garen never entertained such allegations, for he knew others couldn't understand. Even simply the pursuit of a worthy opponent on the battlefield is, to a true warrior, the reason to rise each morning. The promise of one, particularly one so beautifully and diametrically opposed, is the validation of his existence.

"The most effective way to kill an opponent is to slice through the man next to him." - Garen, on front line strategy.

Anyways Goodluck guys! Hope the rest helps. Rate up if it does. ;)

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The Runes I Recommend

Greater Mark of Desolation
Armor Penetration

Greater Seal of Evasion
Dodge chance

Greater Glyph of Focus
Cooldown reduction

Greater Quintessence of Swiftness

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Four Different Mastery Paths To Choose From

9/21/0 (Exhaust Upgrade)


8/21/1 (Ghost Upgrade)


11/0/19 (Pro)

A little about this mastery build. A critic recommended testing without building on the defensive tree since garen is naturally tanky.
I only advise you to do this if you are confident in your minions kills (for the passive on)



More DPS. Get those minion kills!

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Skills, order and use

Garen will regenerate 0.5% of his maximum health per second after not receiving damage for 7 seconds.
This is a great laning tool if used correctly you can lane from level 1-10 without having to go back because of health. Practise makes perfect.

Garen rapidly spins his sword around his body for 3 seconds, reducing the duration of slows by 50% and dealing 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 (+120% of his bonus Attack Damage) physical damage to nearby enemies every second. Garen removes any slow effects on him at the start of the dance.

The bonus damage is further increased by Garen's critical strike chance. Damage to minions is reduced by 50%. This cannot damage invisible minions or wards.

*When they say spin to win, they are talking about judgement.
Your main source of damage, Level this first then get your 400g from first blood. Remember; takes off debuffs and reduces new ones by 50% while still spinning.
Make sure you are in contact with your target for the full spin to deal maximum damage. Be careful not to press e while spinning unless you wish to stop before 3 seconds. (I know some of you like to button jam)
Another thing, You can use both your Q and your W while spinning. If you decisive strike, then judgement right after, the decisive strike will still be able to hit the target you are hitting after judgement.

Garen gains a 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35% speed boost for 3 seconds. His next attack deals 150% of his base damage plus 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 bonus damage and silences his target for 2.5 seconds.

*Get this second. One of the longest silences in the game. I really hope it doesnt get nerfed. You only need this for the silence/speedburst so this is the last skill you max. Remember to use it for speed when chasing an enemy, running away or trying to save a turret/team member.
Countless times I have been saved by silencing my opponent and leaving em useless. Be sure to silence someone who relies on their skills rather than standard attcks to render them useless.

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 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25.

Active: Garen places a defensive shield on himself for the next 3 seconds, decreasing all damage taken by 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30%.

*Oh man.. With this you can Initiate, Dive, Save your *** from Karths ult etc.
This is a great shield for both AD and AP damage. Getting minion kills is a MUST hoe.
You want to max this BEFORE

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.

The reason I love Garen. No one will be able to KS a good Garen with one of these off CD.
You know the one, the huge sword out of nowhere coming down on your target with the intent to kill. Make sure their HP is low enough for it not to waste unless you plan to ignite.
If you missclick trying to up this, slap yourself!

PS: Don't be one of those f*cks walking around ksing your brejrins. Not boys.

Spamming skills:
DONT DO IT I don't care if you are CD based. You don't need to silence or spin at every damn minion that passes you. One of these games you'll feel stupid for letting the enemy slap you around while you wait for your CD.

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Summoner Spells


GREAT with yourfor those tower hugging low lifers! Ignite first, laugh later

Combined withyou become the human version of Sivirs boomerang.

Pretty good spell if your team is lacking cc.
If you grab this,will be your speed burst!!

I personally don't like this on Garen but, I've seen a kid do some moves with it. This one is for you to judge.

The rest are useless to Garen.
Including Heal, Revive, Teleport etc.

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Complete Item Guide to counter the enemy

Core Build
V Situational Items Below V

Garen doesn't need much for a great early game. The core build consists of two items.and.
The next items, depending on the team setups (yours and the enemy) are situational.

The Sunfire Cape is like supersaiyan mode. One of the best items for Garen.


You need the boots to zone and dodge enemy attacks!


GetUnless you are facing alot of AD on your lane in which case you wantfirst.

Finishwhen you can.

WARNING: If you plan on getting in the enemy's face for some turret dives, I recomend holding back onUntil you make that troll QQ

With the passive on courage, your survivability without sunfire cape is good until lvl 10

Situational Items
Here's the magic.

Against AP

Listen up padawans, the force is strong in this one.
Garen, as slow as he is benefits greatly from the extra move speed
ALSO the health regen of this item STACKS with his PASSIVEThis is health regen OD.

Contraversial, this is a great starting item against AP heavy teams. Believe it or not.
Decent health, CD reduction and give yourpassive and extra stacked 15% regen.
Get this beforeif the team is really magin'

Another surprisingly great item before the 30 min mark After which, becomes rather useless. Karthus will piss his dress for this one.

This is by far the best anti-mage item ever. Auto spell block with 45 sec CD
Spending the loot for mana is worth it bro.

Now, this item is what you get when you are smothered by STUN/TOSS/SILENCE/HEADBUT/SNARE etc.
May be some arguement to it, to be honest it is very cheap for a cleanse. It will help you. Trust.

Against AD
For those annoying range carries and life stealers

Although the price has upped a tiny bit this item is like the offtank tanking package. Far superior to the more expensive yet more popular by idiotic demandFace it. Frozen mallet isnt worth the money for a slow and some health. Stop getting it!has an activated SLOW, HEALTH REGEN, CD REDUCTION and 300 health.

Synergy. This is a good item on Garen.

This item is all around great. CHASE DEM TROLLS QQQQQ

Note: When building this start withfirst.

Against Tanks

This item is great against that Malphite or Rammus no one can put a scratch on.

falls in this category

Tankless Team

Since Garen is an Off-Tank it is YOUR responsability to take damage for your carries when there is no real tank present.

Great item for the situation.

WARNING: Only get this item if you are something like 5/0 early game. No one will bother touching you unless you are alone and get piled. Don't get cocky though!
If you get this item while your DEATHS are higher than your KILLS and you're thinking it'll help you live longer you are wrong. RIP


Stacking health may work for vlad, mundo or w/e but not you.
Although crits add up to your judgement, this item is too expensive to focus on

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Strategy: Level 1-18 (MUST READ)

Level 1-6
Laning Phase

A little about farming. You need those minions for the courage passive. If you and your partner decide to push like a baws, make sure you get as many last hits as you can while the minions are available. In other words: while your enemies are out of range, going b, etc. Your ranged partner can farm almost anytime but its hard for you to get close without harassment. The minor harassment you get whilewill be regained simply from while you camp the brush like a Garen oughta

First of all you have a unique, laning-friendly passive. Use this wisely! know when to expose yourself to damage from both minions and enemy champions and when not to.
Whether you are successful at this or not will determine your gameplay with this champ.

The greatest weapon Garen has while laning is the brush. Seriously, jump in and out of the brush withand expose the leavers for who they are. It will mess up thier farming by disabling their farming tools with constant silences (unless its someone like ashe, standard attack-based) It will do a bit of damage aswell without you yourself getting harassed by your target since they are silenced. If these trolls decide to facecheck the brush,spin to win along with your partners help.

The brush however, is not one worth dying for. If they overwhelm you do not be afraid to go back to base for healing purposes. Ever.

If they take your brush, stay behind minions and out of harassment range.
Know your enemies and their attacks so you know what to dodge and when to GTFO. Champion spotlights will educate you on this.

You want to lane with someone who has CC. Stuns and snares over slows but any CC will help your lane.

If there is a jungler OR if you plan on pushing to their tower like a bawss put aon the brush, farthest side away from your lane. It lasts 3 mins so time it well.

Level 6-18
Team Fights !

This is where you really needto initiate team fights without taking too much damage
If you initiate, you have three or four goals.
First, after popping courage, silence either the mage or the bastard with the heaviest CC on the enemy team. Thenspin to win. Make sure your team knows who to focus
Now after passing judgement, you can either silence again or look for a target that can be executed by your ult.

Your silence can be the difference between dead team mates and dead enemies so choose who to do it to.

Level 6+
Ganking !

First of all, make sure your team on the lane you are about to gank is aware of your presence. Also, make sure you wait for your target to over extend since you lack CC. Once you pass level 6, you should be looking for oppurtunities to send over-extenders to their spawn pool.
Don't be greedy with the red buff. Although it is good for you, it may be better suited for other champs. Ofcourse, get it if your team doesn`t need it or if you really do.

Level 16-18
Late Game

The game is nearly finished. By this time you should have warded Baron Nashor incase the enemy team decides to slay him. They most likely will.
Your role in team fights is still the same. If you have been following this guide, using items that counter the enemy then you shouldn`t have any trouble in this part of the game.
Do not forget the value of the Red and Blue buffs! Even though it`s late game, they will still help in combat. Also, after a completed 6 item build, we still make gold. This gold can go to the red and green elixers just so they dont go to waste! Alot of people just let the money collect dust after their build is complete. Although small buffs, you will still benefit from elixers.

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Pros / Cons

Epic Ult
CC counter
One of the BEST passives ever
Long silence
Great Defense with W passive
Very versatile

Slow movement
Slow Attack speed
Usually needs support to lane with (unless pro)
KS accusations
No CC other than the silence
Slow Movement speed

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Result of bordem, not much effort went into this

You wanna make those ******s cry? Then own them like slaves?
Stick to the brush like your growing some waves
Just a few levels from one, in moments, they'll rage.
First blood. Rot In Pieces is what my condolences say
Against twitch? I don't give a Rat's Piss
But I died from a ***** -.- Yeah, I was staring at Kats tits.
What im in to: like its almost Christmas, and im Catholic
the rhyme is simple, you cant miss this, I get last hits ;)
Pop that courage and tell that JAX to ATTACK THIS!
After THAT, will be the FACT that he'll need his BACK, FIXED.

Idk bro was reading my guide while freestyling. Bored so why not type a bit?
Sorry if you don't like rap, but I freestyle about everything :)