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Build Guide by Sathuss

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sathuss

Garen - Tanky Dps

Sathuss Last updated on April 1, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #2 in
Top Lane
Win 54%
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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: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 6

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

Utility: 3

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Quick Note

Most people, when they think of Garen think of a one dimensional tank that cant do much else. Well Garen does in fact have a second dimension he can play but most people wouldn't expect to see out of him. Garen can also be played as a Tank-like DPS that builds much like Renekhton.

Just for reference this is how I choose to play Garen, he makes a great tank as well as a great high HP Damage dealer. It's just all about how u build him and exploit his strengths.

Hope you enjoy my guide, tis my first one! :D

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For runes There are a few solid options in the different slots and I'll run over them all for you guys as best i can.


Armor Pen - This is my personal choice and in my opinion the only valid choice for marks for Garen as ALL of his damage save his ultimate come from Physical Damage sources. As well as early game make your attacks Meet with no resistance against non tank Champions when coupled with the armor pen. mastery.

Critical (chance and damage) - These stack very well with Garen's Judgement ability which is your main nuke. As it is amplified by your Critical. In testing I found the armor pen marks to create more damage with my build but if you want to go Infinity Edge instead of Atma's Impaler this would be a wise choice.


Armor - My personal choice because it gives you a very hard to kill base to work with in the laning phase which is where Garen is the most dominant. It catches Various Yis, Jaxes, and other things of guard when they try to harrass you and u take barely any damage.

Dodge - A valid choice if you spec dodge in your masteries, as it gives you a decent base to work with when it comes to deal with physical damage champions. Along with Ninja Tabi these seals make u very difficult to hit with Auto Attacks.


CDR (Cool Down Reduction) - THE only viable glyph choice for DPS Garen. Since Garen has no mana he is completely governed by how often his abilities come off of cool down. That half a second could mean you getting away with Decisive Strike's sprint or Judgement coming up to finish a fight off quickly.


Armor Penetration - To Continue building upon your incredible damage out put early game and being able to chew people up that much faster. My personal choice as it finishes off having enough ArP to completely bypass a non tanks starting armor.

Flat Health - These severely increase your ability to take punishment early game as you will have 700+ health at level 1, allowing you to be a bit more dynamic then with the Armor Penetration Quintessences.

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A slightly tweaked version of the standard non mana Carry build going 21/6/3.


A standard 21 points into Offense Taking all the physical damage talents save leaving Attack Speed at 3.


3 points into Armor and Magic resist add to your early game ability to take alot of punishment before having to back away, which can take people by surprise and possibly land you a kill.


3 points into Regeneration gives you more staying power in lane coupled with Garen's Passive will allow you to regen alot of health very quickly.

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A quick breakdown of Garen's abilties.

Passive - Perseverance - This is what gives you your staying power in lane. The regeneration granted can allow you to stay in lane upwards of levels 8 and 9 without having to B if you play smart.

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

Q - Decisive Strike - Your Initiating, chasing, and running away all around run speed buff attack that scales well with AD and also silences for 2.5 seconds which can completely disable a Champion in a team fight or gank.

*Note this ability does work on towers!!*

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.

W - Courage - Mid - Late Game this really helps Garen's survivability, and having that random "OH ****" button to severely decrease the damage your taking and can get you out of alot of tight spots.

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.

E - Judgement - Your bread and butter damage dealing ability. This is where all of Garen's damage comes from and gives you a slight immunity to certain forms of CC while Spinning.

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.

R - Demacian Justice - This is your big finisher, its great for dealing that last 20% to tanks, picking of people in team battles, or just one shotting those dummies that think they are safe walking around you with low health.

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.

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Item Build

Starting Item

Doran's blade - This item gives you nice starting ad to let you hit hard out of the gate as well s increases your starting health to 650.


Ionian Greaves of Lucidity - The Standard choice as the CDR these grant helps you spam your buttons faster.

Ninja Tabi - Great choice against a heavy auto attacking team especially if you went with dodge seals and mastery.

Mercury Treads - Great choice against a heavy AP/CC team as it helps your incoming damage and gets you out of stuns etc. that much faster.

Damage Items

Youmu's Ghostblade - The CDR coupled with the AD and ArP make this a great item for Garen as well as The mini Master Yi activate has a multitude of uses.

Frozen Mallet - The HP and Proc are the main reasons we take this item as the AD is minimal but helpful. Note the proc is not applied during judgement.

Atma's Impaler - The Armor and Critical increases are very helpful, but we take this item for its other use. As this build has very high HPs for a DPS build this pushes
our Ad up to decently high numbers.

Tank Items

Sunfire Cloak - The armor helps us survive as well as teh health which also plays off our Atma's Impaler. The AOE effect compliments judgement nicely.

Randuins Omen - A great choice for replacing your Doran's Blade in a long game as it plays off of everything Garen needs with this build.

Other Viable Items

Banshees veil - If your having alot of trouble with casters and CC effects this can make a great replacement for your Sunfire Cloak.

Infinity Edge - Good replacement for Atma's Impaler or Ghostblade if you went the critical approach.

Wriggle's Lantern - Early game the Life Steal with armor and AD make this item a great choice as it helps your all-around game. Plus who doesn't like free wards?


Dorans >> Boots >> Brutalizer >> Phage >> Sunfire Cloak >> Finish Frozen Mallet >> Atma's Impaler >> Finish Ghostblade >> Randuins Omen

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Summoner Spells

My Choices

Exhaust - Great for getting those early kills as well disabling a Physical Damage in Late Game.

Ignite - Great for finishing coupled with your ultimate as well as gives you an answer for Warwick, Swain, Mundo, and Vladimir.

Other Solid Choices

Flash - Great for escaping or surprise initiating makes this spell very viable for Garen, but it does not allow the early game dominance exhaust can give you.

Ghost - The most viable replacement for exhaust as it gives us a good escape and chasing mechanism.

Cleanse - Helps keep us truckin through heavy CC as well as Helps alot against debuff style champs or Dot style champs such as Swain.

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Game Play


This is where the magic happens for Garen as he is one of the best early game laning killers in the game. Focus on knowing where the enemy champs are and be ready to punish them with Decisive Strike into Judgement if they over-extend. Use your Heavy damage judgement to your advantage to farm setting yourself up between enemy caster and melee minions as this will also keep enemy melee champs out of last hitting. Almost every time exhaust is up you will be getting a kill.

End of early game items (at the minimum)

Doran's Blade


You'll want to build a phage as soon as possible to help you catch runners. If you Dominated early game be prepared to catch alot of focus. They will try and 3 man gank you and target u first in team fights. Use this to your advantage, solo farm in a lane to draw their attention away form your team as they push a turret. Pop Courage active as you go into fights and escape as your team picks the people off that try and chase you when you flee. Farming is key here as you want to try and end mid game with your courage passive caped and at least a Sunfire Cloak and maybe if you got some kills a finished Frozen Mallet.

End of Mid Game items (at the minimum)

Doran's Blade
Sunfire Cloak


Remember here your the off-tank/distraction alot of the time your job is to use the high threat you have from your domination of the early and mid game to make people focus you. You can take a beating now with all your hp items done and courage farmed up as well as deal a large amount of damage. Keep an eye on when Enemy Champions get low and pick them off with Demacian Justice. You can also tank turret fire for your team mates. Your a freight train at this point so act like it!