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Garen Build Guide by remotenightowl

Top Garen - The Might of Season 11

Top Garen - The Might of Season 11

Updated on March 3, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author remotenightowl Build Guide By remotenightowl 22 4 625,416 Views 6 Comments
22 4 625,416 Views 6 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author remotenightowl Garen Build Guide By remotenightowl Updated on March 3, 2021
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Runes: Standard

Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Nimbus Cloak

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2
Standard Lane Bully
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Champion Build Guide

Garen - The Might of Season 11

By remotenightowl
Welcome to your quintessential guide on Garen, The Might of Demacia. As a top lane Tank/Fighter, he is a formidable champion to pick Top Lane if you are looking to climb the ranked ladder and have fun while doing it. A couple of side notes real quick, use this guide along with my YouTube video on playing Garen to supplement your learning of this champion, and also remember that this is only to provide information about this champion. It will be up to you as the player to learn how to play this correctly. So lets get started.

My YouTube Channel -

Coming Soon! - Season 11 Guide

- Below is additional supplementary material for general game knowledge

- Item Breakdowns Playlist:

- Advanced League Tips Playlist:

- The Ideal Laning Phase:

- Basics of Auto Attacking:

- Minions per Level:

- Farm vs. Kills in Lane:

- Rune/Item Combo for AD vs. AP Top:
First thing is first, your build.

- Boots

- Either Plated Steelcaps or Mercury's Treads. The Heroic Gate passive from Stridebreaker gives you enough extra movement speed so Boots of Swiftness are not viable. Plated Steelcaps against 3 or more AD, and Mercury's Treads against 3 or more AP.

- Mythic

- Right now Stridebreaker is best due to its dash and movement speed passive. Despite Prowler's Claw having a dash, Stridebreaker gives you better stats for a bruiser because Prowler's Claw only gives offensive stats for an Assassin.

- Legendaries

- Black Cleaver - stacks movement speed with it's cleave passive that is also buffed by Stridebreaker. Armor shred synergizes with his E armor shred and also just gives him extra haste and damage.

- Sterak's Gage - AD/HP/HP regen in combat and an in combat shield. All great stats for a front line bruiser.

- Death's Dance - Armor/AD/Haste as well as damage negation and a heal on champion take down. Again, great for a front line bruiser who needs to soak damage.

- Spirit Visage - Haste/HP/MR/Health regen and 25% boost on heals and shields. Synergizes with Perseverance, Sterak's Gage, Death's Dance, and enchanting supports.

- Alternates

- These items are situational and are used if the game calls for something other than Black Cleaver. In other words, let Black Cleaver be the item that you flex out if needed.

- Randuin's Omen good for dealing with Crit heavy teams.
- Thornmail good for armor and grievous wounds.
- Force of Nature good for 4 or 5 AP heavy teams.
Build Order
- Basically the following build path will happen each game. Start Doran's Shield, 1 Health Potion. From here determine the lane match up. AP? go for the early regen combo(see Rune/Item combo in Introduction). Ranged AD? early Bramble Vest into Plated Steelcaps. Even Melee Matchup? Hearthbound Axe. From here finish your Stridebreaker and finish Tier 2 boots if needed. If you are ahead in any regard go Black Cleaver next. Follow this with Sterak's Gage, Death's Dance, and round off with Spirit Visage. If you are even coming out of the laning phase, judge if you need Black Cleaver based on the game state, but if you are behind disregard it for one of the other tank item's listed.
For standard runes your primary keystone will be Conqueror. Followed by this we have Triumph Gold on Takedowns, Legend: Tenacity for reducing CC and movement hindrances, and finally Last Stand because as a scrapper and a front line damage soaker, you are more likely to be low health during fights than your enemy. For your secondary tree you are going to run the Nimbus Cloak movement speed when you use Summoner Spells, followed by Celerity for buffs to all your movement speed increases. And finally take both adaptive damage runes and 1 Armor rune. Remember these runes are just standard so feel free to experiment and see if you find any other Rune combos that work for you.
Leveling Abilities
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

I'll be as straight forward as possible. Start Decisive Strike for last hitting minions, speed Boost, and Gap closing early. Then Max Judgment by Lvl. 9, Then Max Decisive Strike, Followed by Maxing Courage by Lvl. 18, and as always, Ult Demacian Justice at Lvls. 6, 11, and 16. ALWAYS MAX Judgment first, however you can put a second point into Decisive Strike at level 5 and still max Judgment by level 9 for more utility. Any questions, follow the Leveling Chart. Also, your Courage passive is retroactive so do not take it level 1. What I mean is, if you wait until level 3 to get it, the minions you have already farmed will automatically count towards your Courage passive before taking a point into it. The reason for a second point in Decisive Strike by level 5 is because the movement speed got nerfed at level 1. So you still have plenty of damage from your kit, and you can still max Judgment by level 9, this just gives you more utility from the extra movement speed you need.
Ability Combos
Decisive Strike -> Judgment: Hit your Decisive Strike for silence, Judgment for spin to win.

Courage -> Decisive Strike -> Judgment: Same as above, but adds your shield for Damage Absorb.

Demacian Justice: Lvl. 1 Ult. - Use when enemy is at 300 Health or Lower. Lvl. 2-Health Bar is at a quarter Health or lower. Lvl. 3 Health Bar is One Third health or lower. If you are focusing on the villain, the mark will trigger an animation and the trigger means your ult has enough damage to kill them.

Judgment -> Courage -> Decisive Strike: Ok, so this is Garen's "advanced" combo. LOL. When you start your Judgment, you can travel through units, but you lose movement speed. By hitting Courage then Decisive Strike, or just Decisive Strike, you regain your movement speed and then some, allowing you to finish with Decisive Strike, allowing for 1 or 2 additional auto attacks, and a secured Demacian Justice cast if the champion is low enough. Remember, do not hit Judgment a second time unless you want to stop your spin early. Also don't forget to use Stridebreaker. This can be used to both engage and add extra damage to Judgment, as Stridebreaker can be cast during his spin and it won't cancel the animation or damage!
Pros / Cons
- Pros

- Heavy Tank and Bully in lane for teamfights mid and late game.
- Good tower diver and split pusher
- Courage gives a small Health Shield, increased resitances passively and tenacity during activation.
- Demacian Justice Provides a secured attempt at a kill. (Cannot be canceled or put on cool down by any source. Can be blocked (ie enemy Banshee's Veil)
- Perseverance gives more health regen per level so it scales up nicely.
- Judgment now has an Armor shred component which, when paired with Black Cleaver, will potentially shred 49% of enemies total armor when hit with 5 ticks of Garen's Judgment and up to 10 instances of physical damage from Garen.

- Cons

- Countered by ranged champions early and mid game
- Can still be kited and peeled if enemy knows how to play against you
- 4 AP or higher teams make building early and mid game hard due to sustain and squishyness
- Teemo
Team Work
You are Primarily a Tank/ Fighter. So it is your job to dive, engage, and take damage.

- How to engage: If Flash is up and you are ready to go, do Decisive Strike -> Flash -> Courage/ Judgment -> then when applicable -> Demacian Justice. Otherwise, just charge in with Decisive Strike and follow ability combos. If the team decides to dive on you first, start Courage/ Judgment, then Decisive Strike for speed burst and your Judgment will end with your Decisive Strike immediately on the Champion of your choice on the enemy team.

When you Flash in, focus the primary threat, usually the ADC or Mid lane carry (Assassin or Mage). When you hit your Q on them, they will be silenced, allowing your team to move in and follow up on the threats as you as a team see them. If a tank or support is the villain, you still need to focus on the primary threat even if they are not the villain. An exception to this would be Soraka, kill her so she cant heal anyone.
As a Garen main with over 300k mastery, I can honestly say I have had a fun and successful time with this build thus far. Now remember, it is up to you as a player to learn the skills necessary to execute with this champion successfully. This is only meant to supplement your growth as player, and is not your Holy Grail for climbing the ranked ladder. But regardless I hope you've learned a lot, and see success on the rift. Good Luck to you and thanks for stopping by summoner. See you on the rift!
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League of Legends Build Guide Author remotenightowl
remotenightowl Garen Guide
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Garen - The Might of Season 11

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