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Garen Build Guide by xTNPxKilljoYx

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author xTNPxKilljoYx


xTNPxKilljoYx Last updated on November 21, 2011
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Team 1

LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #2 in
Top Lane
Win 54%
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.



Offense: 24

Honor Guard

Defense: 6

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hello I am xTNPxKilljoYx and I am going to be explaining to you my two favorite ways to play Garen as an Off-Tank, and a Tank. Soooooo letss gettt started!!!

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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 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.

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.

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Garen's Skills

Perservance - (Innate): Garen will regenerate 0.5% of his maximum health per second after not receiving damage for 7 seconds. The regenerative state will stop if Garen receives damage.

A good Passivefor sustainability in your lane and can actually regen a good amount of health.

- Garen gains bonus movement speed for 4 seconds, in addition his next melee attack within 6 seconds will deal physical damage and silence its target for 2.5 seconds.

A great move and can be used in many different ways like getting away, chasing down an enemy, staying with an enemy so they take the full damage from Judgement, the great silence or for the good damage because of the amazing A.D ration on it.

-(Passive): Garen's armor and magic resistance are permanently increased by 0.5 every time he kills an enemy unit. Garen can gain a maximum of 25 armor and magic resistance.

(Active): Garen places a defensive shield on himself, decreasing all damage taken by a percentage for 3 seconds.

Great move for the free bonus MR and Armor with a really helpful passive for both your Tank and off-tank builds.

- (Active): Garen rapidly spins his sword around his body for 3 seconds, removing all existing slows and reducing the duration of new slows by 50%, plus dealing physical damage to nearby enemies every half second. Minions only take half damage from this ability. Garen can deactivate Judgement early by activating the ability again after 0.5 seconds. Garen cannot use Decisive Strike or Demacian Justice while Judgement is in effect

Your abosolute best move, which makes Garen reck everyone, great damage, removes slows just Over Powered.

- (Active): Garen brings down Demacian Justice on his opponent, dealing magic damage, plus additional magic damage per amount of health his opponent has already lost.

A reaaaly good ultimate which does insane damage to tanks or other high health champions. Do not use on squishy champions during a team fight. This should be reserved for the enemy tank or any other enemy with decent health. When the target has about 20% of their health left is the best time to use it.

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Explaining My Builds

Build 1:

For my first and favorite build I play Garen as a off-tank. I find Garen is best played this way because often when he is played as a tank alot of his crazy good damage is taken away. Also when being played as a full out DPS he can be quickly killed. Although when you go off tank you can combine doing really good damage and being able to take good damage. I often try to play this build solo top.

Build 2:

For my second build I play Garen as a tank. Garen is also a good tank I find because he is naturaly tanky and has a solid tanky move Courage which has a great active and passive! Also I find if you can get your atma's you can still manage to pull off a decent amount of damage. I also try to play this build solo top.

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Pros / Cons


-Very strong early game.
-Can beat most people in lane.
-Does ALOT of damage
-Can take good damage
-Very good Silence
-Has a very useful ultimate
-Good Movement speed
-Spins to Win
-Has good MR and Armor naturaly with Courage
-Fun to play
-All the noobs rage when you destroy them.


-Has no slows, supresses, stuns or anything like that.
-Slow auto attack speed
-Can be very item dependant.
-Has a smaller Sword than Tryndamere

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For my off-tank build I decided to get a mix between getting attack damage and Armor/Magic Resistance to keep up my damage aswell as being able to absorb some damage. Okay now, before the raging begins let me explain why I chose flat ad runes over armor pen. I myself think the attack damage runes are better for Garen because of his really good ratios for both Judgment and Decisive Strike and because walking around with around 90 Attack Damage at level 1 is just freaking sweet.


For my tank build I like to get the general Health quints, Magic and Armor Seal and Glyphs and some attack damage marks to make sure I still do a little bit of extra damage.

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For masteries it is pretty explanitory. Crit rating, CD reduction, AD, Armor Pen., Some armor and MR.


For build 2 I take all of the defensive masteries I can get that are useful for me like Armor, Mr, Health, Dodge and some reduced damage from champions and minions/monsters.

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Build 1: Items

The finished Build 1 should look like this:

For my first build, I tried to go for an tanky build with some nice damage. I start with a Doran's Blade for the decent starting damage health and a small and hardely noticable 3% lifesteal. After this I get my Boots of Swiftness because they give me that extra speed to stay with my target to give them the full damage from judgement. Next I get a B. F. Sword for the nice damage early game. By now your damage is pretty decent and your OP spin should be killing them squishy noobs nicely. After you get a that you next get a Zeal to also increase your speed and give you some crit and attackspeed. After that you get a Phage and then finishing off each of those items making Infinity Edge, then Phantom Dancer followed by Frozen Mallet. These items are your core build. At this point of will be killing very easily so you will start to build some more tanky items. For some extra armor and good attack damage I get a Sunfire Cape. And finish off my build with a Banshee's Veil.

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Build 2: Items

The finished Build 2 should look like this:

For the first item I start off with a Doran's Shield for the good early health and armor. Next I start working on my Mercury's Treads for abit of MR and the Tenacity. Then I build a Phage to give me a little bit of damage to keep me from doing nothing to my target. After that I grab a Sunfire Cape which I think is one if Garen's best items when going for tank for the good armor, health and abit of damage to nearby units which works well with Judgment. After that I get a Banshee's Veil for the nice MR and passive of course. Then I finish off my Frozen Mallet and then grab an Atma's Impayler and a Warmog's Armor to both Increase my damage and health greatly.

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Summoner Spells

Preferred Spells

- Ghost is good on anyone but I like it on Garen because coupled with you Decisive Strike it can make you REALY fast.

- Great move on and melee champ really, beats out any other guy you are soloing and is just overall a good spell.

- Great for hopping walls and can be used offensivly or defensivly. Another good spell. Take either this or Ghost.

Other Possible Choices

- Ignite is always a good spell to take, whether it before getting the last bit of damage of an enemy, or ruining a Fiddlesticks nasty drain.

- Teleport can also be good since most of the time you will be on the top lane and if you need to get back quick you have this. Also can be a game saver if used properly.

Not recommended

- Can be useful, but Judgment already removes any slows so I wouldn't suggest it. In an upcoming patch it is being buffed and I will see if it is viable then.

- Heal always comes in handy but for Garen there are much better spells to choose from.

Do NOT use

- Garen is not a jungle character.

- No need for AP or AS

- Save for the support.

- Garen has no mana....

- Your goal is to not die!!

- Can be helpful, but this isnt needed for Garen.

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Thank you all for reading my build as much as I enjoyed writing it and please, if you have any Questions or comments please write below! See you on the fields of Justice summoners!

-xTNPxKilljoYx ;)