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Build Guide by ReiK

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League of Legends Build Guide Author ReiK

Garen the Spinning Tank

ReiK Last updated on June 4, 2011
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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: 8

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 1

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Welcome everyone to my first build. First of all i want to apology for my english skill knowing im not an english native speaker. Anyways, i hope you will enjoy reading my build and i hope it will be helpful for many gamers loving playing Garen as i do !

Few words about Garen. He is not the perfect tank !!! He is just a good DPS with a lot of life, Armor and Magic resistance. He doesnt have a "Taunt" like Rammus or Shen, and only has 1 CC : a silence (which can be hard to use in a team fight).

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Perseverance : This is your passive skill, it will grant you a good regen for all the game long. You will not need to recall all the time. Just wait near by a turret 7 second and Garen will start to regen himself quicker than normal. You can also fight with this passive skill, but dont be hit by anyone or it will break it (Champions or even minions).

Decisive Strike : Your next attack will gain some power and will silence the target. Veru useful against all type of caster but also against AD champions chasing one of your teammate. This skill grants you also a speed boost for few seconds.

Courage : This is the ability which will make you more robust during fights. You have to mast it, knowing when its good to use it or not.

Judgement : This is your main skill. An unique AoE you can control. Use it to farm minions or to enter with violence in a fight. Also, this ability will remove all slow on Garen at the beginning and will reduce the time of other slows by 30% during the dance.

Demacian Justice : Your ultimate attack, probably one of the most powerful in the game. It will inflict some mderate damage to your target AND a bonus damage based on the target life. The less your target has life, the more bonus damage you will gain. Perfect to kill another champion, but try to avoid the KS, your team mates will be angry against you !!!

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Quintescences : Greater quintescence of Desolation : +3.3 Armor Penetration.

Marks : Greater mark of Desolation : +1.6 Armor Penetration.

Seals : Greater seal of Resilience : +1.41 Armor.

Glyphs : Greater glyph of Warding : +1.49 Magic Resistance.

Few words about my choice. Getting more Armor and Magic Resistance at level 1 will make you more robust if you wanna get the First Blood. And many ennemy champions will be surprise how much their attacks or skills look like nothing against you.
More Armor Penetration for more damage, your Judgement will be a real fear for your opponents.

Why i didnt take Greater Glyph of Shielding and Greater Seal of Shielding ? Because in my opinion, Garen needs Armor and Magic resistance at the beginning of the game. Mid game and late game, few more points in Armor and Mag Resist will be useless.
Why i didnt take Greater Quintescence of Fortitude ? Garen can get Courage at least at level 3, more heal points its for me useless here too.

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Items (Core)

My first item will be Doran's Shield. It will grant you more health, more regen and Armor. With this and Perseverance, you dont really need to recall often time... even never if everything is ok on your line.

My second item will be Sunfire Cape. You will get more health Armor and a passive skill really great for you. Your Judgement will be more powerful, you will be ale to farm minions very easely.

My third item is the Boots. Most of the time i get Mercury's Tread, but it can change. Just watch what kinda damages the opponent team make the most. So in the end you will have Mercury's Tread or Ninja Tabi. There is another option tho... Some people prefers to buy the Boots of Swistness... i dont really think its useful, you already have your Desisive Strike which make you run faster for few seconds and your champion's spell : Ghost. I guess its better to get one of the other ones which grant you other nice bonuses.

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Items (Others)

Well, after you get the Items Core, you have to watch the other team and ask to yourself what kinda of damage they do : Magical ? or Physical ? Maybe both... Look carefully if someone is fed, it will be better so to buy an item just for him. Here's a list of all the items good for Garen.

Warmog's Armor : This is a tank's item, it will make you more robust with a better regen, but you will not gain other bonuses : no Armor, no Magic Resist, just more HP and regen.

Randuin's Omen : Maybe i should put it in the Core items... because this item rocks for Garen !!! More HP, Armor and Regen. The passive will reduce your CD (5%) and each of your attack will have a chance to slow your target (20% chance to slow the target for 35%). The active bonus is very good : It will slow all ennemies around your for 35% for 2 seconds plus 0.5 second more for each 100 points Armor and Magic Resist. Very sweet.

Force of Nature : A lot of Magic Resist and Regen, plus up your speed by 8%. The perfect item if you fight a lot of casters. If its the case, dont hesitate to take 2 of this, the more, the better !

Thormail : Barely the same item with Force of Nature but against AD champions. 100 Armor and all AD attacks will reflect 30% of the damages on the attacker. Dont take 2 Thormails tho, the passive is unique, and if you want to have more Armor, get other items.

Guardian Angel : More Armor and Magic Resist, plus a bonus, you will revive upon death if you die (every 5 minutes). Be careful with this item tho !!! Just take it if everything in your game goes fine. Many players are attract by this item because the bonus looks good... but dont be fooled, the bonus will be very uselful ONLY if your team works well.

Banshee's Veil: Will give you more HP, Magic Resist and MP (We dont really care about MP ^^'). The bonus is like the champion's skill Cleanse. Every 45 seconds, the next skill (slow, stun, silence and even damage) will be block. The perfect item if you fight an AP team, against Karthus or just against a team with a lot of CC.

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Items (Avoid to buy)

Here's a list of items you shouldnt buy with Garen, because in my opinion, they just dont feet with him.

Frozen Mallet : +700 health and +20 attack. Each of your attacks will slow your target. I dont like this item with Garen, you dont need this passive bonus, you dont need +20 attack and if you want more HP, get a Warmog. If you really want to slow your target, use Exhaust, or the Randuin's Omen active bonus (every 60 seconds).

Leviathan : Just a waste of money. To get this item you need a solid team, with a very good teamplay. If its the case, i just prefer to get a Guardian Angel.

Trinity Force : Even if this item give you some HP, more speed, more crit or whatever, you are not a DPS... Totally useless for Garen.

All life steal items : Steal life when attacking is cool, but not with Garen. You just dont need. If you have the good items, Garen's regen will be just enough.

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Team Work (your role)

During a game, Garen will be the main tank, or the off tank if there is Shen or Rammus in your team. What is a tank ? A tank is a champion more robust than the others who goes first into battles to take the maximum damage he can while the team attack and try to kill the other team. A tank needs to have reflex, as Garen, you have one CC, your silence : use it to protect your team mates from casters, breaking an ennemy's channeling or just a combo (stun + nuke).

Dont be affraid to go into battle, Garen is robust, he can handdle this. Use your Judgement to create panic in the ennemy's line, use your different slows to make an ennemy the main target (an ennemy with Exhaut on him will be focus by everyone ^^).

Dont forget to use your Courage, or you will probably die too soon and it will mean the end of most of your team mate's life... Protect them in the name of DEMACIA !!! If you see the fight goes bad, just retreat BUT protecting your allies. Dont let a friend dying behind you, maybe you can save him without dying : he will appreciate it.

Desisive Strike can be use on Turrets and Inibitors, use this to make more damage. At level 18, Garen can tank a turret without minions, dont be afraid to do it.

You are Garen !!! The unstoppable spinning Tank !!! Go into battle spinning like a crazy to feel the fear in your ennemies's eyes, be alone on the front line taking all damages,and protect your team mates from death. This is your role, this is why Garen is the might of Demacia...

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Team Work (bad stuff)

Garen is a monster of nature,a good DPS with an incredible health, Armor and Magic Resist BUT, he is not invincible... There is nothing most stupid than a tank going alone without his team mates into a battle... Wait for them all the time.

Your ultimate skill is probably the best in the game to steal a kill to someone ^^'. DONT DO IT !!! If you see the target can be down without your ultimate, just let your team mates do their job. If you want some money, go farm minions, go jungle or if you do your job well, you will get money assisting your DPS. Only use your ultimate on a target that no one can reach but you.

Backdoor... Its nice, but its not your problem. You are not "born" for this, being alone is the worse thing ever with Garen. You are the tank, you lead battles, if you wanna backdoor an Inibitor, ask to someone in your team to do it for you.

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Creeping / Jungling

Garen can use his Judgement to farm minions very easely. At least when you get your Sunfire Cape, you are able to kill any wave of minions by yourself.

You can also go jungling, but getting buffs (blue or red) is kinda hard for you. If you really need one of them (red, because you really dont need the blue buff), ask to someone to help you getting it. Or else, You can farm the wolves and the ghosts. The two golems have too much life for you after the level 13~14, so just forget them.

Garen is not a jungler !!! He cant jungle when he is level 1 ! Just be on your line and do your job.

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Pros / Cons

Pros :
- Champion very tanky.
- Has an AoE to farm minions.
- Has a CC (silence).
- Has a powerful ultimate skill (can tower dive without dying).

- After level 13~15 its hard to farm by yourself.
- Cant go middle line / jungle.
- At level 18, its no way to kill someone by yourself.

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Few words from me

First of all, thank you for reading me, i hope this guide will help a lot of people who likes Garen and maybe will make other people playing Garen more often.

I will update this guide soon (its my first one). Pictures, maybe more colors and more stuff inside. If you want to tell me something (something i forget or something i wrote bad) just post a comment and i will take care of it.

Again, all my apologies for my english skill... I hope most of people will understand what i wrote down.