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Garen General Guide by Sylelvaen

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sylelvaen

Garen S3 TOP (norm)

Sylelvaen Last updated on August 18, 2013
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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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Hi, I'm known as BluCord on my main account. No super duper ELO here. Nope. In fact, in the last two months I went down in Bronze by simply not playing and then losing one match, twice in a row between tiers. Sorry! I'm good. I just can't stand the trolls in ranked games! Anyways, I told myself if I can fill an entire page in my history with carries as Garen that I'd make a guide, so here I am! (Thanks for the welcome! It's my first.)

This guide is designed to utilize Garen's strengths and fulfill the role of Tank. We only have one problem. You're not just a tank. You're Judge, Jury, and Executioner!

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Relentless + Tenacious These coupled with Boots of Swiftness, Zephyr, Decisive Strike, and Courage make for some great plays. You are not going to be cc'd for long.

Perseverance This mastery has been long debated this season. Many people knock it. I, however, feel a little bit differently about it. For 3 points, capped at 10% health, you will receive 6 hp/5 and, every 15% health thereafter this amount decreases by 1 hp/5. Therefore, at 85% health you will only receive 1 hp/5. At 25% health you will receive 5 hp/5 at 40% you will receive 4 hp/5 at 55% 3 hp/5 at 70% 2 hp/5. What does this mean? More math.

I would estimate that 90% of the time this mastery is active. After all, who never gets hit?

Now, let's hold the math. Let's theory craft for a moment. Actually, this isn't even theory, it is LOGIC.

Let's say instead of this I take Unyielding and Block . Combined, these two masteries reduce damage from enemy basic attacks by 5. Clearly, this can add up. This CAN be effective for sustain. However, let's ask ourselves, what situations does it benefit us most?

The answer is when we are getting attacked or harassed a lot in order to maximize it's use and damage mitigation. Now, what does Garen do 9/10 out of ten according to the play style required of this guide? He silences the enemy before they have a chance to deal significant damage and he harasses until he can net a kill. All the while.... you are regening hp.

In a situation in which you are getting zoned hard, or low on hp, (ie you are getting harassed more than you are harassing), your safety net is to regen hp so that you cannot be ignored or zoned until you get the chance to back. It is when you are low on hp that you want to play defensively. It is generally, only when an individual is low on health, that they start to play more defensively. (And, I did say more for a reason. I recognize some are very careful.) Think about it.

With the above two masteries you will still be zoned hard if you can't out harass your opponent. While these masteries will help mitigate damage, it only prolongs the inevitable. At this point in time you have less hp/5 than you could have and so it is harder to become viable in lane once again.

End note: According to the Garen play style and his passive, you must avoid being hit to get any use out of Perseverance. The more time you avoid getting hit the more time the other two masteries aren't put to use. And, the less time you have to take in order to regain lane control.

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Boots of Swiftness Garen gets kited. Until first back your only priority is to farm safely and out sustain your opponent in lane. This in combination with Perseverance Doran's Shield and Perseverance allow you to get through the toughest part of your laning phase without feeding. Note: You do not want to wait until your health gets low, we are trying to keep our health high. Therefore, unless if it's a definite kill, you want to play defensively so you can out sustain and keep your passive active.

Sunfire Cape Grabbing an early sunfire cape can win your lane. First, buy chain armor. This item bolsters your already high armor and because of this in combination with Courage you can tank towers easily and begin to dive for kills.


Spirit Visage This item is similar in build in that you start with an MR item for 720gp Negatron Cloak. This item is better for those with lifesteal or who are building lifesteal. This pays off more when we couple it with Zephyr and Ravenous Hydra. However, alone it still adds a nice bonus to your health, MR, and health regen for sustaining against AP champions.

Randuin's Omen Randuin's Omen, one of my favorite offensive tank items. Because of it's unique active we will now be able to chase an entire team down and force them to engage, or outright catch those wanderers off guard. Great for chasing and getting away. Also, makes you even tankier.


Banshee's Veil I take this item generally when an opponent has some form of cc or does huge burst to me. It doesn't happen often, but again, this item provides the stats we are looking for Health, MR, and we can build it to be beneficial even before we have the end item.

Zephyr + Ravenous Hydra These two in combination with allow you to do extra AOE damage in team fights. It will allow you to push lanes and turrets fast and effectively. It is essential for backdooring.


Atma's Impaler It goes well with our item set and I couldn't think of a better item to get to complete it. If you're not doing bad and your marksman is fed or you have another hard carry then you can stick to this.


Enchantment: Homeguard You want to take this if the opposing team has a definite advantage in towers or inhibs.

Enchantment: Captain This may save your team mate's on deaths. Being that you can silence and now slow enemies due to Frozen Mallet and Randuin's Omen. This enchantment really encompasses what Garen is about. Team playing. He's fast, he's a tank, he can slow, and he can speed up his allies. Great item.

Enchantment: Alacrity I only take this item if I'm going to win and it's definite. It's just another reason to hate us as Garen because we get teh kills and the thrills when being chased.

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I always try to buy at least a sight ward on my first back and every subsequent back. If I'm doing well I will instead buy a vision ward and place it in the bush by the river. This placement is because people tend to ward the bush more often than in the river. And, if I ward in the bush I can find their sight ward whether it is in the bush or river. Also, I try to ward his tri-bush when possible.

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Early game

Your strategy should involve Qing the bad guy repeatedly until you think he's low enough to full combo rape with your ult. Ie Q, run away, Q, run away, Q, run away, walk close, E, W, Q, R, D/F.

This is pretty much fool proof if you're timing it right. Remember, if you can, always attack after they use an ability on a creep.

My opponent is pushing me to my turret? Max E, and auto attack the minions as much as he is in order to maintain lane control and farm without pressure.

He's poking me and I'm low on health? Great, like every good Garen you are experiencing what I call a challenge. Don't give up, this is the precursor to you turning your lane around and carrying. At this point in time stay away from his poke at all costs, he may be zoning you, but that will not last once he pushes to your turret.

Also, in order to continue zoning you, he must place himself behind your minions which offers great ganking potential. Ping that jungler over! The simplest strategy I have devised to date is this: wait it out. That's right! You're Garen, and the way we have chosen our masteries, and our build offers us great sustain. Just avoid his attacks and you will heal over time until he can no longer zone you, or wait until he must back. At this point you should have put a couple points in E and pushing your lane to his turret shouldn't be a problem.

Note: You do not want to wait until your health gets low to start regening, we are trying to keep our health high. Therefore, unless if it's a definite kill, you want to play defensively so you can out sustain and keep your passive active.

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Mid Game

So, it may or may not have been tough up until this point. You may have even died a couple times. No problem! The worst is over. Once you begin to build tanky most are no match for you!

I'm losing my lane what do I do? I'm glad you asked. At this point, we must win! So, the best strategy is to gain the upper hand! How do you do this? You gank other lanes. That's right. Push the minions to your enemies turret the best you can and when he's not in lane, or is and seems to be last hitting, head toward mid for a gank. Remember, you should be tanky and can take a few hits under turret by now.

No ganks? Well, I'm sorry you didn't exactly go pro this game. With no kills, we must farm. This is the worst possible situation (other than completely feeding) that you can be in. With no ganking potential (which you should very well have!) you must continue to build tanky so that you can farm while being harassed.

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Late Game (Team fights) (Backdoor)

As Garen I pretty much always initiate and I do it in a similar way as I would in lane. I start by bullying the opposing team and getting too close for comfort. Being that I carry a lot, this usually means that the team backs away as I deal good damage and can take a lot of punches. Following this, I hit my W for my shield and finally Q to both catch up to and rape the enemy team's marksman followed up by whatever else I have.

You too will know the fun of making tough calls for objectives and focusing targets in game.

The truth is, this is more of an advanced skillset and almost completely situational. That is indeed what experience will teach you-to make good calls.

If you seem to be losing in team fights, then there are a few solutions I have before calling a surrender or getting wiped out, they are:

1. Get Baron
2. Backdoor
3. Outplay and Ward

If you have built a Zephyr and a Ravenous Hydra, you're in luck. You have an extra skillset that might just help you win the game. These(or similar items) are necessary for a solid backdoor. You might even consider getting rid of Atma's Impaler or whatever else you may have built in exchange for the items that will help you win.

Note: if you have done all of the above, then you need to either repeat the steps or you didn't do everything I told you. Go back and read. :D

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Skill Sequence

It would be so much better if I had a video and commentary on this, but alas, not at the moment. Instead, please pay attention. The skill sequence will make or break your games.

Situation 1: Get close to the enemy champion. I mean get on him literally if you can. Next, hit E, if he is running, hit Q, if he is still running ignite him and execute for the kill.

Situation 2: Get close to the enemy champion. I mean get on him literally if you can. Next, hit E, if he doesn't move, he's probably trying to kill you or at least get a combo off. Hit Q to silence him, W to shield and run back to your minions until the next exchange where you would have a clear advantage. Repeat this until you think a combo can take him down.

Situation 3: He begins to run, but after my E runs out he begins to attack. Easy, silence him, shield and run. Very similar to Situation 2.

The golden opportunity: You take him out....almost. Chances are he's under his turret hiding behind it ready to back. This is no problem for a Garen with at least one HP item. This time, hit Q for a running headstart+silence right away, and just within turret range flash onto your enemy. Now, hit W for your shield. In one way or another you just netted yourself a kill. The same can be attempted with E, depending on how low on health he is, however, he'll still be able to use abilities to dance around turret and damage you.

Standard skill sequence: E, W, Q, R, Ignite
Under turret/Chasing: Q, W, E, R, Ignite

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Well, that's all folks! Thank you for taking your time to rate this guide. Keep in mind, it is my first, but I'll roll with the punches. Let me know what you think!



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