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Garen, The Immovable Object
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Introduction to the Guide
Note, that this is a high-DPS Control Off-Tank Garen, as he should be played. Not attempting a Physical Carry or even the Tank role, as Garen does not provide particularly high Damage VS Survivability going into a Carry build, and lack some key abilities that a Tank would often posses, as in a chain of excellent CC (EX Leona, Allistar) or anti-focus fire capacities such as Shen or Rammus. Garen was designed as a Tanky-DPS, better known as an Off-Tank and he does what he needs to quite nicely.
Let's get into the details, shall we?
-Incredible Lane-Stay Capacity
-Mana-less Champion (Less Micromanaging of stats!)
-Strong foundation of natural bulk
-Judgement (Elaboration Forthcoming)
-Lack of Crowed Control effects
-Becomes reliant on Team
-Lacks substantial Defensive Cooldowns
Other Choices You Can Use (And Why I Don't)
Armor Penetration Marks: Since you're not looking at dealing damage EXCLUSIVELY, I feel just sheer attack damage has more Utility on Garen. You can hit Mages harder, and have the capacity to deal more sheer AoE damage with Judgment amidst a Team Fight.
Health Marks:This is an easy answer; the Health Seals are simply a better choice for overall utility.
Critical Strike: The reason I don't use Critical Strike Seals, since they would Synergyze with Judgement, is because of the fact that they alone do not offer a significant change in damage. Thusly, they do not provide quite as much utility as Health Seals.
GENERAL OTHER CHOICES
Health Regeneration Runes: Due to Garen's passive, he doesn't need forced Health Regen quite as badly as other Champions for Lane Staying Power. It comes natural to Garen.
Armor Penetration: Again, you're not looking at a Champion that was designed to take down other Champions, so the need to pierce armor isn't quite as necessary on other Champions like Tryndamere, who need to bypass large chucks of armor and do significant damage, particularly to tanks.
Simply put, you won't need it. Between the passive from Courage and the items you should be building for, it's not necessary.
This is all for now.