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Garen Build Guide by LippyDarren

Top Garen, THE MIGHT OF TOP LANE

Top Garen, THE MIGHT OF TOP LANE

Updated on April 2, 2023
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League of Legends Build Guide Author LippyDarren Build Guide By LippyDarren 164 11 256,581 Views 7 Comments
164 11 256,581 Views 7 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author LippyDarren Garen Build Guide By LippyDarren Updated on April 2, 2023
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Runes: Garen Hyper Carry 1

1 2 3 4
Precision
Conqueror
Triumph
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Resolve
Second Wind
Demolish
Bonus:

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

Spells:

1 2 3
Top Lane Garen
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

Items

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

Garen, THE MIGHT OF TOP LANE

By LippyDarren
Garen
Hi guys this is LippyDarren! I'm a 1 million points Mastery 7 Garen Main and I hope you enjoy my Garen builds and runes. All the best on the Fields of Justice! May you spin to win. DEMACIA BABY~
What happens to Garen now, after Stridebreaker dash is removed?
Stridebreaker Garen still reigns supreme! Build Stridebreaker every game unless you deem otherwise. I build Stridebreaker in 99% of my games, it is the go-to Mythic for Garen, with the highest winrate. Go Stride -> Mortal -> Deadmans/FON for free LP :) Wave clear from this build and Garen spin is insane, you can literally clear a cannon wave with just Q -> Spin -> Stridebreaker which is about 2 seconds (THAT IS OP!!!). All the best on the fields of Justice!
My BEST Garen Build (HYPERCARRY ANY GAME) for Season 11 and beyond
Garen Season 11 Best Build and Explanations (outdated already. Read my Season 13 guide below):

Garen item means that this item is literally built just for Garen's usage. All parts of this item (stats, utility) benefits Garen in every way and is thus classified a Garen item, something that MUST be built on Garen EVERY GAME. Both Triforce and Stridebreaker are Garen items, but since Triforce is better and you can only build one mythic, Triforce is the mythic Garen item.

Good in general means you build this item most games (almost every game)

The rest of the classifications are, situational, dependent on the game state/late game scalings/fights

Best Boots for Garen: Berserker Greaves (Garen item)

The CORE BUILD for Garen are these 3 items: Triforce (Mythic Garen item), Deadmans (Garen item), Mortal Reminder (Garen item)

The SECONDARY ITEMS for Garen are: Black Cleaver (good in general), Steraks Gage (good in general), Youmuu's Ghostblade (good if you want extra chase and target access), Spirit Visage (good for passive healing and all forms of heals/shields), Deaths Dance (good for long fights + triumph procs)

Rushing Berserkers Greaves is the best power spike for Garen in the early game. It gives MS and AS, everything which Garen needs. The Berserkers Greaves power spike is freakinggg huge on Garen, as you can clear waves in one spin, and you can destroy enemies in one spin too, because of the additional damage it gives to your very powerful spin. More spins = more damage = demacia baby!!! The initial MS from this tier 2 boots will be a huge shock for your enemy laner, as you make sure you dont get kited and you move to objectives fairly quickly since the beginning of the game, coupled with your Q speed boost. I love Zerkers rush, it makes CSing so much smoother and wave clear is soooo awesome. At start of the game, you have doran's shield and health pot, so this already gives you huge sustain in lane coupled with Second Wind and Garen's passive healing: Perseverance. You are unkillable in lane unless the enemy all-ins you or you make a stupid mistake or enemy jungler ganks successfully etc. Otherwise, you are unkillable!!! To get zerkers, try to stay in lane from the start after the doran's shield buy, and farm up to 1250 gold so that you can have you first back to get Zerkers + Refillable potion. I believe Zerkers + refillable potion on first back is the BEST first back. Well unless you have additional gold, then you can get like Zerkers + refill + rejuv bead, for example. Or you can get Zerkers + refill + long sword depending on the gold you have.

Triforce is the best mythic on Garen period. I rush this as my first item after getting my tier 2 boots. It gives you so much damage with Sheen proc and the 30% AS is huge. Yea, even tho old Triforce granted you a lot more stats eg. 40% AS compared to 30%, and had 5% bonus MS over now which has 0% (you can build legendary items now, each legendary item has +3 MS tho so it kinda makes up for it), and had more AD and HP for old Triforce, new Triforce has a new passive which grants you AD when you basic attack enemy champions or turrets up to +30% increase in AD. This +Conquerer stacks will give you a lot of bonus AD to work with and to kill your opponents/turrets. I believe S10 Garen is slightly stronger than S11 Garen, but for now Triforce is STILL the best Mythic on Garen after Stridebreaker dash has been removed. Stridebreaker is very lacklustre, doesnt provide as much damage on Q and doesn't provide as much AS as Triforce, and cant take towers as fast as Triforce which is something I really love about Triforce. Triforce is a hard-carry item, whereas Stridebreaker is more of a 'support' item, I need to rely on my teammates to kill the enemy during teamfights as I dont deal as much damage with Stridebreaker but I can slow the enemy for my teammates. Triforce on the other hand, I can just one-shot squishies, pop their shields and kill them or scare them off or make them low enough that I can execute them with ignite or R. Triforce, to me, is a far more reliable item than Stridebreaker now. Yes, Stridebreaker mythic passive is +2% MS, but it's a huge nerf from the +3% MS it had back then. And now, Triforce has a +3 MS per legendary item too, so im kinda thinking that the MS additions are roughly the same for each Mythic item. Triforce gives Garen burst damage, incredible tower taking potential with spellblade, and incredible dueling potential as Garen can burst champions down fast enough in the midgame-lategame with the right build. For triforce, I usually get the Sheen component first if I have enough gold on my second back. First back after getting zerkers, then I farm up to about 1k or 2k gold to go back to base, to get a Sheen FIRST (I always get Sheen first if i can), then i will get the components which build to hearthbound axe (long sword and dagger). Kindlegem is the last component i get for Triforce, but usually till then, you will be able to get a full Triforce if say you farm up well enough or you get one or two more additional kills in lane/in game on your roams.

Deadmans even tho nerfed, is still a Garen item. I usually get Deadmans after Trinity Force, so as to increase my durability in teamfights and i can become a very 'slippery' champion. I can disengage very quickly as I build momentum fast and can escape fast, or I can engage and not get kited with Deadmans. Back at Season start, Deadmans was freakin broken: It had 5% MS + 60 MS when generating momentum. Now it got nerfed to only 5% MS + 40 MS when generating momentum. Nonetheless, it's still a Garen item as it's still the item in League which provides the MOST out of combat Movement speed, as a legendary item (dont count mobi boots, as Zerkers is way better than mobis and swifties cos Zerkers is a Garen item in terms of boots). For deadmans, I usually build Winged Moonplate first, to get the 5% MS. Then, I build chain vest and ruby, or by then I would have gotten the full Deadmans. At this point in time, Garen is literally ready to fight any fight, almost literally full build with Zerkers + Triforce + Deadmans.

At this point, it's all about taking objectives fast and stealing jungle camps if you can eg. scuttle, raptors, krugs, red or blue buffs, wolves, gromp everything from the enemy jungle. You can farm your own jungle as well, you can move super fast. The game gets really fun for Garen as you become super fast and you can get quick kills with just these 3 items (Zerkers Triforce Deadmans) provided you are on level with you enemy or you are not too far behind. If you are ahead then well, this build really stomps anyone you face and you can most likely win the game singlehandedly. So the next item to build is also a Garen item: Mortal Reminder.

Mortal Reminder is really another huge power spike for Garen and what a blessing this item is for Garen! It has every stat we want for Garen to be THE hypercarry (almost). The old Mortal Reminder similarly had AD, crit and GW, but it lacked the AS and MS that the current one provides. The only good thing about old Mortal Reminder was that it provided armor penetration, which was really insane back in S10. But now, with the additional AS tho, you can stack your spin debuff faster so it kinda makes up for the armor pen, and the current mortal reminder is waaay cheaper (2500 gold compared to 2800 gold) so I really like this iteration of mortal Reminder. S11 mortal reminder is kinda like S10 phantom dancer, so that's a really cool thing to note. For Mortal Reminder, you can either go zeal first or executioners first. Depending on the game, I will go executioners first if say the enemy team has a vladimir mid or a aphelios/MF bot or some lifesteal jungler, so that my executioners can really hard curb these champions and stop them from winning teamfights off of healing, since they cant heal if I spin on them/damage them. I will go zeal first if the enemy team has little to no lifesteal at all. Here comes the special part: I will rush executioners after berserker greaves IF my enemy toplaner is a lifesteal champ eg. Fiora, Illaoi, Aatrox, Vladimir, Warwick, Irelia (they usually get vamp scepter first). So my build path for these games will be something like this: Zerkers -> Executioners -> Triforce -> Convert Executioners into full Mortal Reminder -> Deadmans -> other items. You see what I did there? You change your BUILD PATH according to the game, if your lane opponent has lotsa healing, just go executioners straight after zerkers to get the upperhand and keep them at bay, they cant get fed if you constantly kill them with GW and cause them not to lifesteal back up and they literally cannot play the game. They would be so scared of you upon seeing your executioners in such an early stage of the game that they may even back off from their lane to roam to bot, then you can just collect your free plates in top lane with your Q and demolish, and snowball to become even more fed to carry the game. Usually if they go bot or TP bot, I'll just collect 3 free plates in the top lane, kill the herald and get first blood turret and I will be able to get a full Triforce off of that, so it's totally worth it if you scare your lane opponent out of your lane. All you gotta do is play safe and ward, and play smart and kill when you can, burn your flash and ignite and your R to secure whatever kills you can since Garen is a VERY snowballing champion. With Mortal Reminder as your second item after Triforce, enemy toplaners like Irelia and Jax and Aatrox literally cant play the midgame, and the game would be over by then as they cannot do anything about your Garen snowball and the game is already out of their hands. It is YOUR game and you get to control the entirety of the rift and get all the resources you need eg. tier 1 and 2 turrets, enemy jungle camps, mid lane and top lane farm, bot lane farm, more turrets, objectives etc. You snowball soooo hard at this point with Zerkers + Triforce + Deadmans + Mortal Reminder if you follow this build path. Now, we move on to our last 2 items.

So, Triforce and Deadmans actually doesnt give Garen that much HP, so your final two items SHOULD be HP items, and the best 2 items to round off the build imo would be Black Cleaver and Steraks Gage. Again, depending on the state of the game, you should go either item first in the following scenario: If enemy has lots of burst damage, go Steraks Gage first, then complete your build with Black Cleaver. If enemy doesnt have a lot of burst damage, go Black Cleaver first to further build up your snowball and kill everyone/everything even faster in the game. Black Cleaver provides 450 HP, and Steraks provides 400 HP, so these huge amounts of HP are really good on Garen with fully stacked W (30 bonus AR and MR + 10% bonus AR and MR), so tbh you are one beefy boi already. No need to build additional armor or MR items like Randuins or Force of Nature or Spirit Visage... just focus on your core build to snowball even harder with Black Cleaver and Steraks Gage.

If im going Black Cleaver first, I will get Kindlegem as my first component, then warhammer. Then I complete my Black Cleaver. Then for last item of Steraks Gage, I will build Phage first for the Sturdy passive healing (which is honestly not that big of a deal in late game... but additional healing is always good, it can save you and let you live with 1hp and passive regen back up to full HP).

If im going Steraks first, I will get Phage and Pickaxe. Then I complete my Steraks Gage. Then for last item of Black Cleaver, I will build Kindlegem first as I think HP is more important than AD in the late game, I need more effective HP to tank for my team in late game teamfights, on top of the Steraks Gage HP.

Now let's take a look at our Garen Standard hypercarry full build:

Standard best build:
Berserkers -> Triforce -> Deadmans -> Mortal Reminder -> Black Cleaver -> Steraks Gage

Garen is not the tankiest, he is a juggernaut. So you should not be the one who engages the teamfight, you go in after something has happened to pick out their ADC or to take out a beefy tank with your R. You should soak damage and be alive with Steraks Gage, but as you can see from your build, you only have one armor item which is deadmans protecting you from AD, and you have no MR items at all protecting you from AP. So you really have to time your W well to soak as much damage as possible in the teamfight, either that or you kill them before they can kill you, since you have ample burst damage and ample chase potential to really deal BIG damage in the late game!!! Garen DEMACIA BABY POGGERS!!!!

Build with Youmuu's (replace Black Cleaver):
Berserkers -> Triforce -> Deadmans -> Mortal Reminder -> Youmuu's -> Steraks Gage

Ok so, I feel Youmuu's Ghostblade is the next best item after Black Cleaver and Steraks Gage as secondary items. It provides EVERYTHING that Garen needs to be a REAL threat to ANYONE on the rift... it provides CDR, AD, and MS and LETHALITY (kinda like armor pen). It got buffed, so Youmuu's is actually really OP now, so replacing BC with Youmuus is honestly not a bad idea as you get SOOO much AD and MS, which is very very useful for Garen.

Essence Reaver is not necessary as you have Triforce spellblade already. Essence Reaver is only necessary in my opinion if, you build Stridebreaker as your mythic. I LOVE the spellblade, so I would go Essence Reaver if I build Stride. But I wont ever go Stride, so I wont ever go Essence Reaver anymore, unless they revert the Stridebreaker dash changes, and Stride gets its dash back :/

Full Build when game is too long:
Triforce -> Deadmans -> Mortal Reminder -> Black Cleaver -> Steraks Gage -> Youmuu's (replace zerkers with youmuu's, your MS will still be the same since youmuus gives +40MS)

Trinity Force is probably better than Stridebreaker for Garen, after the removal of Stridebreaker dash. If Stridebreaker had dash, it would be a different story altogether. Stridebreaker with dash = Stridebreaker EVERY game

Back then when Stridbreaker had dash, the build was:
Berserkers -> Stridebreaker -> Essence Reaver -> Deadmans -> Black Cleaver/Mortal Reminder -> Steraks Gage

That's all for this chapter. DEMACIA BABY!!! :)

-LippyDarren, 1 mil Mastery Points Challenger Garen

Garen Season 13 UPDATED GUIDE!:

Go Berserker Greaves -> Stridebreaker -> Mortal Reminder -> Deadmans Plate -> Force of Nature -> Black Cleaver -> Elixir of Wrath

If you are very fed and want to go for the LIPPY SPECIAL build, here is the build path:
Berserker Greaves -> Stridebreaker -> Mortal Reminder -> Youmuu's Ghostblade -> Phantom Dancer -> Infinity Edge -> Elixir of Iron

The Garen Hyper Carry build (first build) is super strong and scales very well with Garen's W resistances. Always go that build unless you wanna have fun and play full AD Garen which is the build number 2 (Lippy's Special).

Garen is a very strong champion with incredible lane sustain, pairing your passive with Doran's Shield and Second Wind! Not many laners can bully you out of lane.

Itemize accordingly to your enemy laner, if it's a Tryndamere, go Plated Steelcaps and Wardens Mail. If it's an Aatrox, you can get an early Executioner's Calling (it helps a little bit I guess) before going the standard Stridebreaker -> Mortal Reminder build. Sustain, persevere, survive and win your lane!

Have fun and all the best on THE FIELDS OF JUSTICE! :)

- 1.2 Mil Mastery Points Challenger Garen, LippyDarren
RIP Mortal Reminder S11-S12
RIP Mortal Reminder S11-S12. You will be missed.

Now we move on to the new build!!!

Here is the recommended build path for Season 13 Garen (varies from game to game):

1. Berserker Greaves
2. Stridebreaker
3. Phantom Dancer
4. Black Cleaver
5. Deadmans Plate
6. Force of Nature

The only significant change in our builds is that we swapped out Mortal Reminder for Phantom Dancer. PD is still really strong on Garen even though Garen won't be utilising much of its auto attack passive on champions. Overall the PD stats are still really solid on Garen, and in my opinion a good replacement to our boi Mortal Reminder.

Don't get me wrong, Mortal Reminder is now stronger than ever, but we just won't need to be building it every game anymore. And even if we build Mortal Reminder, it will likely be a 4th or 5 item kind of thing.

All the best on the Fields of Justice!

-LippyDarren, 1.2mil mastery points Garen Main shooting for Challenger
Best Build for Garen in S13?
Having posted in the previous chapter about Garen's build, we also need to take into account the viability of Crit Garen. With 40% Crit, you can now activate IE and Navori Passives unlike the old 60%. This is a HUGE BUFF to crit users as they can hit their power spike earlier than before, Garen included since he usually builds one crit item ever since S11 with Mortal Reminder.

This is my take on S13 Garen's Crit build, you have 2 paths:

1. Infinity Edge (I like this more)
2. Navori Quickblades (however, this may be better? we will see)

For IE buildpath, it will be as follows:

1. Berserker Greaves
2. Stridebreaker
3. Phantom Dancer
4. Infinity Edge
5. Black Cleaver
6. Situational

For Navori buildpath, it will be as follows:

1. Berserker Greaves
2. Stridebreaker
3. Phantom Dancer
4. Navori Quickblades
5. Mortal Reminder/Lord Dominicks
6. Situational

IE gives a lot of damage which can be further amplified by Black Cleaver. The IE buildpath does not have as much ability haste, that's why I put in Cleaver for the build. For Navori buildpath, since Navori gives ability haste already, I figured you do not need that much CDR and hence Black Cleaver isnt necessary. We can build Mortal Reminder or Lord Doms afterwards for the armor pen. For item 6, it is situational for Garen, depending on the game state. High burst damage from enemy team? Steraks Gage. Enemy has too much healing? Mortal Reminder (for buildpath 1). Enemy team kites too well? Deadmans Plate. Enemy team has too much AP damage? Force of Nature.

It's all dependent on the game, and Garen's buildpath in Season 13 is way more versatile than in Season 11 and 12 due to the changes to Mortal Reminder and crit damage changes to IE and Navori.

Maybe people won't find full crit Garen a troll build anymore? We'll see :)

All the best on the Fields of Justice!

DEMACIA BABY

-LippyDarren
Is Phantom Dancer a good replacement for Mortal Reminder?
Many people are asking if PD is a good replacement for S11-S12 Mortal Reminder.

All I can say is... YES !!!

It may not be better than the Mortal Reminder we once had as a second item, but PD is still VERY STRONG on Garen and is in my opinion, the best item to build for second item for the biggest Garen powerspike. You get +7% movement speed on top of all the MS you already have per auto on enemies/structures, and you can get to take down turrets much faster than before.

Also, don't forget that you can get ghosted when you auto minions or champions now with PD, so all these are QOL improvements for Garen as he can maneuver around better while in combat than before. Stridebreaker also has the MS increase when dealing physical damage, so this added with PD MS increase (they stack nicely), you literally become the FASTEST MAN ON THE RIFT!!! (while in combat)

Garen's buildpath is now more versatile than ever, and Garen is in a better state in solo queue right now than before because of all these item changes for the game.

All the best on the Fields of Justice!

-LippyDarren, GarenMain
Sleeper OP items for Garen (dont tell anyone)
Hi guys!

Here are the items which I find are sleeper OP in the current meta for Garen:

Black Cleaver (directly buffed +5AD and +50HP)

Navori Quickblades (need only 40% crit to activate passive)

Infinity Edge (need only 40% crit to activate passive)

Force of Nature (the only MR item Garen needs)

Steraks Gage (+71AD at level 18, gain huge shield late game)

Stridebreaker (always build this mythic bro)

Zeal (this yellow sword is insanely strong for early game dominance. Can build into Phantom Dancer)

Berserker Greaves (duh)

Mortal Reminder (can build as late game 4th or 5th item! now gives armor pen instead of MS and AS)

That's all for this chapter.

DEMACIA BABY

-LippyDarren (Garen, The Might of Top Lane)
New Build Path for Garen (updated as of 3rd April)
Hi guys! Go this build path to win your ranked games:

1. Berserker Greaves
2. Stridebreaker
3. Zeal
4. Black Cleaver
5. Deadmans Plate
6. Force of Nature
7. Steraks Gage (Sell Zeal for Sterak)
8. Elixir of Wrath

The zeal in between is to just give Garen the early power spike with AS and MS. In the late game, sell Zeal for the super OP Steraks Gage!! :)

All the best on the Fields of Justice :)

-LippyDarren
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