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Build Guide by Bouwman

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Bouwman

Garen the Critting Commander

Bouwman Last updated on February 1, 2011
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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.


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

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Garen's Song:

Garen is an all around amazing champion being able to dish out great DPS and also off-tank mid to late game. He can essentially get 5 kills a game assuming you're playing with a decent team. And yea, there is not much else to talk about Garen other then his amazing ability to off-tank and carry game in game out. Below is his pros and cons...


+ Amazing early game with Judgement
+ No mana required making you stay out in the Fields of Justice as long as you want especially with your passive Perseverance
+ Less complaing about KS' with your Ultimate
+ One of the longest silences in game
+ Good ganker with Decisive Strike and Judgement
+ Judgement and Decisive Strike can serve as escape mechanisms
+ Judgement pwns did I say that?


- No Crowd Control except for Decisive Strike
- A little vulnerable to Crowd Control, but Judgement can somewhat take care of it
- Many think he is a crazy tank therefore leaving you to be the only tank for your team


Feb 2nd, 2011: Subbed Hexdrinker in for Sword of the Occult, and made some various changes
Jan 30th, 2011: Added Champion's Theme Song

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I take Ignite and Ghost as my summoner spells. Ignite serves extremely useful combined with my Demacian Justice. If my Demacian Justice didn't finish them off, then surely my Ignite will. Also Ghost gives me more of a chance to chase and escape enemy champions, because Garen doesn't exactly have abilities such as Shadow Dash or Slice and Dice. I will usually take Flash instead of Ghost if I find that my team doesn't have a dependable tank, as Garen can still tank late game.

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I take a 21-9-0 Mastery Tree taking all the crit masteries along with Sunder and obviously Burning Embers to buff my Ignite. The 9 in my Defensive Tree is pretty basic as I take Nimbleness to give me that great dodge/movement speed buff.

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Skill Sequence

I level my Judgement first for obvious reasons that it's one of the most strongest hard hitting abilities out there early game. I then level my Decisive Strike at level 2 to give me the chance to last hit minions at roughly around 1/4 health, and also silence enemy champions in running away from my hard hitting Judgement. As you never know if that Ezreal or Renekton leveled their Arcane Shift or Slice and Dice at level 2. Level 3 I level my Courage to basically reduce harrassment from enemy champions but most of all take less agro from minion waves hitting you when you charge and hit your target with Decisive Strike with your lane mate behind you. As you want to be agressive early on and utilize your Judgement to success. Levels 4 and 5 I invest in my Judgement to give me more damage output, while I obviously level my Ulti whenever I can after level 6. Remember when you got your Demacian Justice online, you can turret dive successfully! The range of it isn't too bad, and you'll probably take 1 or 2 turret shots (with your Courage active) after finishing your target off with Demacian Justice.

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I take Crit Damage Marks and Quints, Health Regeneration per 5 seconds Seals and flat Cooldown Reduction Glyphs. The Crit Damage runes obviously help me early and mid game combined with my Avarice Blade and Infinity Edge later on. My Health Regeneartion Seals just further compliment my passive Perseverence, while my flat Cooldown Reduction Glyphs just make me a bit more lethal in executing long team fights, as Garen doesn't use Mana.

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Item Purchases

Early Game:

Ummm Brawler's Gloves... Enough said. Garen is a natural born warrior destined to lead large armies... what kind of Champion would he be without Brawler's Gloves to intimidate the enemy? The crit chance of Brawler's Gloves gives me a 10% Crit Chance combined with my Deadliness mastery with my Crit Damage increased to 210% thanks to my Lethality mastery. So yes I will be hitting quite hard with my 2 handed Sword while my Judgement can use crits as well. And obviously you want to spend the rest of your gold on x2 Health Potions to help you stay in your lane that much longer even though you're utilizing Perseverance. After that your first fountain recall should conclude you buying Boots of Speed and finishing off your Avarice Blade. Your Boots of Speed is essential to both protect you from enemy ganks and help you with your Decisive Strike's movement speed. The Avarice Blade is nice as it gives you a bit more Crit Strike Chance while giving you an additional 5 gold per 10 seconds. So ideally you'll be looking at gaining 240 Gold per game from the passive... which isn't alot, but at least it's something considering the cheap price of the Avarice Blade. I then acquire my Berserker's Greaves to essentially give me more damage output in terms of Attack Speed of course, mostly useful towards clearing minion waves off faster and more efficiently with Attack Speed and Critting minions, benefiting my Courage mid game to help me be that valuable off tank mid game, but more importantly late game. And to finish off my early game, I'll buy a Hexdrinker to help me survive team fights mid game. The +35 Attack Damage benefits my build great, but the fact that I get a shield for 4 seconds which absorbs 300 Magic Damage after going below 30% health is amazing. Enemy champions start to max out they're magic damage ults mid game, but with Hexdrinker you can minimize the damage they put out on you.. especially when combined with Courage. After having your Hexdrinker on cooldown, and you and your team winning the team fight, you can rely on Perseverance to regenerate your health and help you push mid game.

Mid Game:

I buy my Infinity Edge to maximize my DPS late mid game! The stats speak for themselves... I will have a 30% Crit Chance and will be dealing 260% more Crit Damage! The huge factor behind my crit stats is my Judgement, as I have 6 hits on my target using my Judgement. So I will logically hit my target with 2 and sometimes 3 crits. But that's not it! I get bonus damage scaling off my Crit Chance, making my Judgement a lethal ability to be used. I then buy Atma's Impaler to further my Crit Chance to 48% making my Judgement logically hit 3 or 4 times now! The +45 Armor makes me off tank more, while the 2% of my Health gets converted into Attack Damage comes out to +44 Damage. It should also be noted that you cannot crit somebody with your Decisive Strike.

End Game:

I'll then sell my Avarice Blade and Berserker's Greaves to buy a Phantom Dancer to give me +55 Attack Speed, but give me +30% Crit Strike Chance upping it to 78%! The +15% movement speed will add to my Boots of Swiftness making me a speedster on the battlefield. I'll then temporarily sell my Boots again to buy The Black Cleaver which completes my build to give me Armor Penetration and yet more Attack Damage.

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A good Garen will spam there abilities wisely. Since he doesn't use mana and is a cooldown dependant champion, you can spam your abilities at will. With that said, you can easily zone out your opposition in your lane. Unlike other champions, you can combo minions in front of enemy champions and still zone them out, because you're Garen and you don't use mana! Decisive Strike last hit minions as much as possible, and Judgement entire minion waves and as a bonus enemy champions. When Judgementing the minion wave and the enemy champion you want to courage out and duck into the brush to mainly avoid agro. That is of course if your Judgement didn't do enough damage for you to finish them off with auto attacks and later on Demacian Justice. Don't be sneaky with Garen, use his abilities as much as possible for you to max out your Courage mid/late game, and remember your Perseverance can help you endure in your lane longer.

In terms of team fights you are not a tank, nor are you a squishy... so you are basically an in between (snowballer). You should be initiating team fights immediately after they start. Your job is not to be too offensive and not to be too defensive in the midst of a fight. Your number one priority is to possibly Decisive Strike they're carry, and Judgement the **** out of they're entire team. If you are focused, you can rely on your Hexdrinker and Courage to tank, your Judgement to avoid CC, and your Decisive Strike to gtfo of the team fight... because your Decisive Strike has a short cooldown, so you should be able to use it twice and sometimes 3 times in a team fight. And of course Demacian Justice low health champions... Try not to Demacian Justice enemy champions that are getting focused on by your team since there health must be evaporating fast, making your Ult not used to it's maximum potential. Try to aim for enemy champions that have taken AOE damage in the fight and as a result are at least a quarter of health left... these champions are your target for your Demacian Justice.

End game, you are the off tank thanks to your maxed Courage, Hexdrinker, and the additional Armor provided by Atma's Impaler. You may want to buy Mercury's Treads instead of Boots of Swiftness to replace your Zerker's Greaves to get your Phantom Dancer... but it all depends on how much your team will need you to off-tank. As an off-tank you might be initiating team fights with a swift Decisive Strike and immediate Judgement and Courage into they're whole team.