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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.
Welcome and thank you for reading my first published build (so be nice but please tell me what you think). Anyway lets jump right in and get started...
The reason for these masteries is we are building almost all tank items so you really don't need to have any points of Defense. You definitely want your attacks to hit harder and we are doing that through masteries, and runes because you won't be getting your attack items until mid to late game. The Offense tree is for obvious reasons and your utility is for your increased health regen (stacked with your passive) and increased exp gain. Nuff said.
Seems confusing when you first look at it but its really pretty easy. Judgement should be 1 higher than the rest of your skills most of the game followed by Courage and then Decisive Strike. Take your ult every time its available for leveling.
Decisive Strike: You will use this to open your combo and as your "OMGGTFO" button (OH MY GOD GET THE **** OUT!!!!). It increases your movement speed for chasing or escaping and when you hit an enemy with it, it will silence them. This is the reason why its your opening attack.
Courage: Passively increases your armor and magic resist when minions are killed by you. Not so great as it used to be after the nerf but hey cant complain about free buffs right? You may also activate it to take reduced damage for the duration. Mainly used for tanking towers, team fights, and part of your incredible escape mechanism which well get to.
Judgement: This is your awesome powerhouse strike fear into your enemies ability. Low cool down added with your critical strike and mobility while using it usually makes your enemies scatter frantically to get out of the way or take it and die. You will use this ability constantly so try not to get dizzy.
Demacian Justice: Deals damage in comparison to how much health your target has already lost. Its range is pretty short so you want to use it at a very small window if you want to make sure your target is going to die
*note* SO MANY PEOPLE EPIC FAIL THIS ABILITY! You want to use it when they are between 1/4 and 1/2 hp. This is because at 1/4 hp they are either going to run or you will have your kill stolen from you by your team. If your enemy is already running, use your Decisive Strike to catch up with them and use it for the kill.
So all my runes are criticals. Why you ask? Because when Garen got his nerf, it was a sad day for baseball... so I started playing with Tryndamere who uses a full crit page and annialates with it. However why use one page for one character? So I started experimenting with some of my other characters like Master Yi, TF, Warwick, and a couple other melee carries. Some worked pretty well while others aweful. But none compared to how good it works for my Garen build:)
Start out the with your boots and 3 health pots. You may not even need them but we are going for survivability early game. Soon as you can turn it into your merc treads unless they have few stuns, slows, immobalizes of any kind which is probably never the case so get your merc treads.
Next is your sunfire. You need this as early as possible because this is where your gonna get all the gold you need for the rest of your build. The reason for this is because as soon as you have sunfire you will annihalate creep waves last hitting every single one with your sunfire and your Judgement attack. Your gold will sky rocket. So try and farm for gold pushing lanes unless your are for sure needed in a team fight somewhere. Watch your map for ganks and pick when its necessary to help or farm.
Next is your warmogs. This is your most expensive equipment and why we are going to be nearly impossible to kill. After its finally complete you should be sitting at about 3800 hp. This is usually at about level 14 or so. You are now an effective tank so lets how bout we work on that already decent damage your doing and make it ridiculous?
Time for atma's impaler. This increases your armor, and attack based on how much hp you have. You have almost 4000 so this increase is about an extra 80 attack damage to go with your armor increase. You really shouldn't be killable by now but next we get a spirit visage for increased health regen though I don't think that it stacks your passive.
Finish with Phantom Dancer starting with zeal to up your crit chance and do even more damage. If you finish Phantom Dancer and the game still isn't coming to a close which I rarely get to finish it anyway, you can sell your merc treads and try for an Infinity edge but I doubt this will ever happen. Whew ok on to the actually playing.
Get your boots and pots and pick a lane. If you get there early head for the bushes if not stay by your tower. I tend to like to be in the bushes for the laning phase so ranged characters cant target me and whittle down my hp. Pop out to hit creeps with your Judgement and auto attack if the enemy isn't being aggressive. If they come into your bush hit em with your silence followed by judgement.
Okay this gets a special section so pay attention. Believe it or not, Garen has a ridiculous escape mechanism. You will escape ganks whether they exhaust you chase whatever. All you do is start your retreat and press q,w,e and ghost out. Your movement speed will be off the charts, your shield will help you take less damage and get away, and your spin reduces the effectiveness of slows by 30%. Rinse and repeat til you are at a safe distance to blue pill or use a potion and regenerate. Memorize this process cuz you will do it alot to keep your tanky *** alive
You should be at about level 8 by now and either just finishing your sunfire or its complete and your already farming gold for making that Warmogs. If you dont have a sunfire by 12 your doing something wrong sir. If you have your Warmogs by 12 your doing fantastic.
Keep farming and pushing lanes and towers while retreating from ganks. Join team fights and save their ***es when needed. Once you get that Atma's Impaler you can drop the farming and take towers and be in every single team fight.
By now if your team is worth a **** you should already be pushing towards their base if not play some defense and let the enemy come die by your hand. When a few of them die your team should push hard in whatever lane your creeps have pushed and either score the ace or take a couple towers. Your team should not stick around long though or they will launch their counter and ace your team and youll probably die. Though you are a beefcake damage dealer you cant hold back their team by yourself so make sure your team leaves with you to go heal up. Rinse and repeat til victory is yours.
Thanks for reading and please let me know how you do. This is my most effective Garen build I've ever used and therefore decided its worth sharing. Have fun and enjoy