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Garen Build Guide by Jyaaku

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Jyaaku

Garen Unstoppable DPS

Jyaaku Last updated on November 13, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #2 in
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Win 54%
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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: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 6

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

Utility: 3

This is my guide.

Credits for all runes and some of the item ideas are thanks to Spin to Crit by Palthios and it works well however late game you get rocked I've modified the items and found this to be helpful. most people believe that garen should be built tank or that judgement is his only move very untrue with this build you will notice that we put point into offense but the warmog makes you tank like, once you get warmogs you must farm minons at the time you get warmogs your spin is doing 500+ damage a spin. if you continue on by the time you get Frozen you'll do around.. 800 Q 1000 E and 1.2k R. It is very important that you understand if you build this detail for detail its almost perfect because at level 5 when i get my shield i can tower dive.

Really someone needs 5k chars?


Garen is a champ that I avoided playing for the longest time. I avoided him because I always saw people building him tank and he just isn't very effective in that role. Sure he can take damage, but he has no CC outside of his silence and does very little damage late game when playing that role. And if someone isn't doing any damage why would you focus them? There's no reason to and that's why Garen shouldn't tank under any circumstance. If you cant pull aggro and you have no CC, you're not a tank.

Aside from that, tank Garen cant farm. The only way he can get gold is by KSing with his ult which I see all the time. And that's how most people justify Garen as a full tank. Kills. Well if you aren't doing the bulk of the damage, you don't deserve the kill. Your carry does. Can you win a game as tank Garen? Sure you can. Although your not doing anything but hurting your team, because they would be better off with someone else in that role.

Team fighting as tank Garen:
Step 1: Silence
Step 2: Spin
Step 3: KS with Ult
Step 4: Call your teammates noobs after you lose fight

Repeat until game ends. At this point you should have a score of 15/4/8 while your carries were all negative. Call your team noobs again and leave lobby.

Of course someone will say, "Well a good tank Garen will use his Ult before it can deal the killing blow, allowing someone else to get it". Sure. But have I EVER seen a tank Garen play that way? No. Not once and Ive played with my fair share. Its not even a good use of the skill because it wont be dealing max damage.

When most people look at Garen's skills all they see is their potential in the hands of a tank. I dont understand why. His silence of course counts as CC and if you build Frozen Mallet you gain another form of CC. But by that line of thinking, Annie would make a good tank. She has mass stuns, a shield that lasts WAY longer then Garen's and you could build Rylai's Crystal Scepter for mass slows before building pure tank. Of course shes squishy but every champ has the potential to be very bulky when built right. Of course people would say that its a waste of her potential because her skills scale on AP. So does Singed. So whats the difference? Annie has the tools of a killer. Building Garen tank is just a much a waste. He has the tools of a killer, not a tank.

I hate tank Garen and that's why I made this guide. Hopefully more people will as well and tank Garen will be a thing of the past. Obviously this isn't the first AD Garen build out there, but I firmly believe it will help you be the most consistent.

Why AD Garen?

Honestly, this is a question Ive asked myself. Ive already expressed my hatred for tank Garen, so there's no need to continue on with that. But if he doesn't make a good tank, this is the only other option.

The first thing I tried was strait AD. I had varying degrees of success with that. It wasn't reliable to say the least so I ditched that build.

Then I went for off tank Garen and I was happy with that for a while. It felt like I was doing really good damage and I had good numbers to show for it. Then I started looking at the "Damage Dealt" graphs in the end game lobby. What I saw changed my views on that build as well. Not only was I not dealing the most damage, but I wasn't coming anywhere near it. Then I realized I was basically doing the same thing that tank Garen does. I was just KSing the champs that were doing all the damage.

Then I finally found something that works. There's a reason that my 2 previous builds weren't reaching max effectiveness. Garen is kind of unique in the sense that his play style needs to change over the course of the game. Early game hes completely reliant on his skills, but that changes mid and late game when Judgment starts dealing less and less damage. No matter how much AD and armor pen you build its simply no longer effective when champs start to build health and armor. There's nothing you can do to change that. At this point you need to start building DPS. After I realized that, I was able to lock down a build and that was no longer a problem.

But there is one major flaw with AD Garen. His build order isn't flexible at all. You need to build certain items at the right time to cope with the rise and fall of Judgment. If you don't, you'll get completely left behind in terms of damage dealt.

Why would you want to play a champion who is so item dependent? Because hes consistent. Hes the most consistent champion in the game. At level 2 there's no champion that can kill Garen in a fair fight. The only way you would lose a 1v1 at lvl 2 is if you pull minion aggro and get Exhausted or Ignited. Unless you have a poor lane partner there's no reason to lose early game if you play correctly.

And there's one thing Garen has that most champions don't. Not to this extent anyway. He can secure kills with his ult. With tank and off tank Garen its a means to KS. With AD Garen its a way to make sure kills end up in the hands of the carry and not a support or tank who can get by on assists.

- Strong early game
- Can secure kills with ult
- Very consistent
- Great mid and late game farmer
- Naturally bulkier then most champs while still being one of the strongest

- Very item dependent mid and late game
- Very slow auto attack speed
- Easily kited

Runes & Masteries


Garen is the strongest early game champion. Period. I go with this rune setup because it improves upon that foundation. Armor Pen is a must for any Garen build and I go with resistances for the extra bulk. I prefer flat rez for the early game advantage. Don't forget that armor pen works with his spin. Judgment scales poorly against armor so the runes are a must.



Pretty standard AD setup. I like having the 6 in defense for that extra bulk and 3 in Good Hands, because late game death times in 5v5 are dreadful.


: You want to max this skill first because its going to provide the bulk of your damage early game. Unfortunately Judgment scales poorly late game, but its very powerful early on.

Thankfully its not completely useless late game. Judgment crits and scales with AD so its going to be your main farming tool.

: This is the skill that you'll be using to initiate fights because of the speed boost/silence and it does really good damage as well. There's no reason to save this unless your playing against someone like Nunu and you need to shut down his ult. Max it second.

Its also important to note that this skill procs with Frozen Mallet's slow. So if you chase and initiate with this skill your enemy will be slowed, allowing you to do full damage with your spin because they cant get away.

: There's not much to this skill and it doesn't improve much per level, so I max it last. It doesn't last very long either. Use it whenever you draw focus and you plan on staying in the fight. If its off CD you can use it to help escape ganks and such as well.

: This skill is ridiculous. It does more damage based on how much health your opponent is missing so any champ at low health has good reason to fear you. You'll have to practice yourself to see how much damage it does, but this is a good guideline to follow if you want to ensure a kill.

Level 1: Use when your opponent is around 10% health
Level 2: Use when your opponent is around 15% health
Level 3: Use when your opponent is around 20% health

Summoner Spells

Preferred Spells

: This has become my favorite summoner spell in the game. It has offensive and defensive capability which is great. Use it to chase or escape.

There's no reason to get Ghost when you have the speed boost from Decisive Strike.

: Another spell that can be used offensively or defensively. Mostly you want to use this offensively to ensure a kill, but you can also use it on champs like Nunu or Katarina to weaken their Ults if you cant silence them right away.

Optional Spells

: This is a great spell. It does damage over time and cuts down healing effects by 50%. Of course you can also use this to finish off a runner.

I don't get this on Garen because he already has the tools to finish off runners. Its a decent choice, but I feel its better off with someone else.

: Between Boots of Swiftness and Decisive Strike, Garen is plenty fast enough. This is a decent choice, but its overkill.

: Awesome spell. Teleport can win games under the right circumstances. But that's the problem. You never know how many chances you'll get to use this spell effectively per game. It could be a game changer or it could be a waste of slot. This is also way more effective in premades then solo queue.

Not Recommended

: Slows are the most common form of CC and that's why I don't bother with Cleanse. Judgement removes slows. It can be helpful, but I don't think Garen needs this.

: Its as effective on Garen as anyone else. Better spell then people give it credit for, but its just not as good an option as others.

Dont Ever Use

: This should be on your support champ.

: Garen doesn't use mana.

: This should be on your tank.

: This shouldn't be used by anyone.

: Only useful if you're dead... Not a goal you should be shooting for.

: Garen cant jungle.

DPS Garen

Well, here it is. The main event. I designed this build to be able to soak more damage then your average carry while still doing massive damage. I did everything possible to improve this strengths and counter his weaknesses. You don't want to initiate team fights with this build but you can rest easy knowing you wont melt. Coming up with a good AD build wasnt as easy as I thought it would be. Early game and late game Garen are 2 very different beasts, so finding a build to cope with that took a lot of experimentation.

: This is a great starting item. Because of Garen's passive you don't need health pots as much as other champions and the extra health is very nice. That extra health is going to allow you to play way more aggressive. You also get AD and lifesteal. That extra AD is going to help you last hit more then you might think.

: I can normally get these 3 items on my first trip back. You should shoot for that same goal. This wasnt in my original build. I decided to add more Doran's to address the lack of early game health and lifesteal this build has without them. Ive had great success with these. If you don't believe in stacking Doran's, skip this set and go strait for your BF Sword. But Im gonna try to put this in perspective for the none believers.

Doran's Blade x3
Cost: 1425
Health: 300
Lifesteal: 9%
AD: 30

BF Sword
Cost: 1650
AD: 45

By comparing the cost of 3 Doran's to 1 BF Sword you can really see the value you get out of these items. Many games end just before, or right after you build Frozen Mallet. This is really going to help you maximize your potential in short games. If the game does last long enough that you have to sell these, you get half of your investment back. Its totally worth it.

: Dont ever get any other boots on Garen. You need the speed these boots provide if you expect to get the most out of Judgment and Decisive Strike. Its also going to help put a dent in Garen's kiting problem.

I build both of these on the same trip most of the time. If not I build BF first. If your having trouble with that just get Swiftness. You dont want you wait too long for tier 2 boots with Garen.

: Garen's damage will start to dwindle really fast so you need to give yourself a massive boost. Thats where Infinity comes in. Your going to get massive AD and a huge crit boost. Remember that Garen's spin crits so this is the next logical step.

Another strong item Ive seen people build early is Bloodthirster. Your still reliant on your skills at this point so its not as good a choice. Judgment doesn't proc with lifesteal.

: This item is vital to a successful Garen. You need the massive health FM provides and you also get a decent AD boost. But the main reason you need this is the slow. Its going to make Decisive Strike very dangerous.

If you don't build this now, you'll melt in team fights and get kited way too easy. Your going to look like a jackass chasing people around without FM's slow.

: At this point in the game Judgment has become very weak so you need some attack speed. This is the best choice. Your also getting massive crit chance and a movement speed boost. This in combination with Frozen Mallet is very powerful. It doesn't completely solve Garens kiting problems, but it makes a huge difference.

: Now that you have attack speed its time for lifesteal. This paired with Doran's Blade is going to give you 20%. Thats all you need.

: Say goodbye to Doran's Blade. You had a good run together, but its time to move on to bigger and better things.

This item is going to do a lot for you at a very low cost. The crit chance from Amta is going to bring you up to a ridiculous 73%. Your also getting a nice armor boost and 57 AD because of Frozen Mallet. Fantastic item.

: Garen is a very slow attacker. If the game goes on for this long, Phantom Dancer wont cut it. Thats why I go for Starks instead of Bloodthirster. Your also giving a very nice aura to your team, as well as 20 armor pen, which is never a bad thing this late in the game.

Think about this for a second. If you have an AD jungle with wriggles your going to boost them up to 38% lifesteal. If you also have a ranged AD with Bloodthirster your going to boost them up to 35% without stacks. And your also giving both a 20% attack speed boost. Amazing.

This is a very underrated and underused item. And its cheap.

Optional Items

: If you're going up against a very strong AP team you'll want to swap Atma's out for this. Your giving up some awesome stats, but it would be foolish to not take advantage of an unbalanced team. If you do go that route build The Bloodthirster instead of Starks to make up for the loss of AD.

: If your on a team that wouldnt benefit from Starks this is a good replacement. Less attack speed but more AD.

: One weakness I found in the default is that your vulnerable to other strong melee crit builds, until you get far into your own build. Someone like Tryndamere is going to rush Infinity, Phantom, and lifesteal. This puts you at a disadvantage in terms of damage. A normal AD/lifesteal build is no problem, but strong crit is hard to handle.

In my search to counter this weakness I settled on Sunfire. Crit builds dont normally feature much armor pen until very late in the build, if at all. Because of that fact, Sunfire is an awesome counter. Its far enough into the build that you can see how the other team is building and decide whether Sunfire or Frozen Mallet would be the better choice.

Frozen Mallet gives you more health, 20 AD, a bigger AD bonus from Atma's and the wonderful slow. But its worth giving up if your going against a good Tryn or Gangplank. And dont forget the passive. Your getting less base AD from Sunfire, but you do have the 35 damage per second from its passive.

The Brutalizer/Youmuu's Ghostblade

I made this subsection to explain why I don't get The Brutalizer/ Youmuu's Ghostblade on Garen, so hopefully people will stop bringing it up in the comment section. I'm tired of repeating myself. This is a slightly altered comment from page 6 that explains why I don't get it:

"As for The Brutalizer... Doran's Blade x3 (300 health/30 ad/9% lifesteal) > The Brutalizer. That extra health makes a huge difference early game when your also getting AD and lifesteal to go along with it. The extra bulk allows you do to crazy **** you wouldn't be able to do otherwise. I don't understand why people think CDR is a must on Garen. Ive never once thought that his cooldowns were too long. And not only that, but his cooldowns were reduced in a recent patch. Why do you need CDR early/mid game when Decisive Strike/ Judgment destroys whoever you target. Even with the CDR, the fight is gonna be over by the time those skills are off CD more often then not.

If this wasn't an attack speed build, Youmuu's Ghostblade would have a place, because the CDR would make sense. I would need the CDR and the Youmuu's Ghostblade active. But it is an ATS build. Its not reliant on CDR, so there's simply no room for Youmuu's Ghostblade. Infinity Edge, Frozen Mallet, and Phantom Dancer are core to my build. Atma's Impaler can be swapped out for Force of Nature and Stark's Fervor can be swapped out for The Bloodthirster, but that's it. There's no way I would give up lifesteal.

As for the CDR, the initial Decisive Strike/ Judgment combo gets the job done early and mid game 9 times out of 10 with this build. By the time CDR would be an issue Im working on Phantom Dancer. There's no need for it. If you watch the videos you'll see that I have no issue with cooldowns. Even if you do have to cast twice, that's going to be right at the end of the fight. So what is that 10%/15% doing for you? Helping you cast a minimal amount faster. 10%/15% is nothing on skills that have short CDs to begin with."

It really bugs me when people bring it up. And not just in my guide, but others as well. They mention it as if The Brutalizer/ Youmuu's Ghostblade is some kind of well kept secret for Garen that the guide maker has never used, or thought to use. Well, I hate to break it to you guys, but its not. The Brutalizer/ Youmuu's Ghostblade is thought of as standard for Garen. Ive used it many a time and I'm positive that every guider without that item in their build has as well. I love the item and I know how Garen would benefit from it. I don't use it because its not right FOR MY BUILD.

Just because its thought of as a standard item, it doesn't mean that you need to force it in every Garen build. Ive had better results without it. Instead of trying to force these overdone ideas on guiders, maybe you should encourage them to try something new. I thought outside of the box when I made this build and look where it got me. The top rated Garen build on mobafire.

Off Tank Garen

*Note* Most gameplay tips in this guide don't apply. This build lacks attack speed which means your reliant on Judgment for entire course of the game unless you build Starks.

*Note* My AD Garen build spawned from my off tank Build, which is why they're so similar.

For your sixth item you have 3 choices. If you have a main tank go for Stark's Fervor. If not, choose the proper defensive item.


: You can swap this with Frozen Mallet if you wish, but as an off tank you need the utility of FM IMO.

Magic Resistance:

I added this build because most of the off tank Garen builds Ive seen are pretty bad. Off tank is the only other viable way to play Garen so I decided to represent it in my guide. Other champions are better for the role, but Garen does make a decent off tank.

Off tank Garen doesn't take a half hour to kill and he does decent damage. This means that he can pull aggro. That automatically makes him better for the role then tank Garen.

When to use off tank Garen:

Lets say you have Warwick in the jungle, Jax solo top, Annie mid, and Sona on support. This would be a decent fit for off tank Garen. Jax is hybrid which means this team is mostly AP. You need more AD and you need someone to tank. That's where off tank Garen comes in.

- Deals decent damage
- Not indestructible. This makes you a more attractive target then tank Garen

- Lacks strong CC
- Cant farm very well
- Not the best choice for most team comps

Preferred Lane Partners

First I'll start with some examples of champs that you DONT want to lane with.

Even though you can win lanes with the above champs, they are among the worst choices. You don't want to lane with champs that have little to no CC. And you definitely don't want to lane with someone that needs minion farm and kills as much as you do. Basically, you don't want to lane with another carry. You need to be shooting for supports and tanks.

If you're in a premade or even solo queue and you have the choice of your lane partner, these are the champs you should be looking for.

Top Tier

: This guy is your number one choice. It doesn't get any better. He's a CC monster, with a heal, that does good damage. Garen and Alistar is an unbeatable lane.

: Powerful knock up, powerful silence, great damage.

: Leona has great CC and she does decent damage early game. The best thing about Leona is her fantastic ability to initiate. Thats exactly what Garen needs from his lane partner, because he cant very well without Flash. Leona has some farming issues, so thats another reason why Garen is a good fit for her. The assists are going to pile up real quick.

: I dont know if Riot did this on purpose, but these two make a great team. She has good damage, a spell shield, a slow, and a trap that can hit 2 targets. Siblings unite!

: Throwback, powerful slow, good damage.

: Swain is normally a solo lane, BUT he has too much CC to not be on this list. He doesnt bring much damage to the table, but he has great CC and great lane sustain. Garen and Swain are a good combo.

: Good damage, fantastic harass, powerful slow/speed boost, and a great ult.

: Look at your lane partner, now look at mine. Back at yours, now back at mine. Can your lane partner heal? No? Look up, look down. You just got stunned. Can your lane partner stun? No he cant, because your laning 2 carries. You cant lane like us, but you can at least smell like us. Old Taric Spice available now.

Mid Tier

: Its on like Donkey Kong after he gets his ult. Until then all he has is his stun which is a skill shot that hits minions. Not very consistent. And his ult is on a dreadful cooldown.

: His pull is great, but its a skill shot that hits minions. Same problem as Amumu. He also has his knock up and he does good damage.

: Slow, knock up, OP shield and a nice CC heal with her ult. Doesn't contribute much damage, but she makes up for it with CC.

: Good damage, shield, heal, slow/speed boost. Not the best choice, but not the worst either.

: She has the same problem with her trap as Amumu and Blitz. But she has an OP shield and a great ult.

: Good damage, slow, shield, and a nice CC ult.

: Good damage and a spammable trap.

Low Tier

*Note* When I say "Low Tier" I don't mean that as an insult to the champions. I just mean that they aren't the BEST fits for Garen.

: Good damage, slow/speed boost. He lacks strong CC until he gets his ult. Its a great ult though.

: Slow, heal, shield ult. Not much in the way of CC but Kayle has great damage.

: Slow, debuffs and a great knock up with his ult.

: Maokai's main contribution to Garen is his root. He also has a knock up and a slow.

: Powerful slow and a shared buff. The problem is that his ult is easy to counter. If you can shut down his ult consistently, Nunu isnt worth much. Hes very powerful if you cant.

: Knock up, taunt, decent damage. He is way better in team fights then lane. Decent choice but not optimal.

: Taunt, global shield ult. Shen really needs a slow or some other form of utility. Hes getting passed up by other tanks.

: Heal, various buffs, ult stun. Good support champ, but not the best for Garen. He needs strong CC not buffs. Hes strong enough.

: Silence, OP heals. Soraka is going to give the you best lane sustain out of any champ in the game, but shes not going to help you kill.

Solo Top

Tip: Garen is a great solo top. 1v1 he can shut down almost anyone unless they rush health and armor. Someone like Morde or Singed can be a real problem if you dont zone them out early on. Try to play aggressive early.

Tip: Ranged DPS and mages are no threat most of the time. All you have to worry about is getting kited and pulling too much minion aggro. Dont let that happen. Creative use of bushes will solve this problem. You really just need to wait for them to make a mistake. Once they slip up, Q to close the distance really fast, then E like you would in any other early game fight. Once they get close enough again Flash in and Exhaust to seal the deal with your next skill combo.

Champions with CC are the ones you need to be careful with. A good example would be Vayne. She can constantly kite you and simply push you away if you get too close. Someone with traps would be a problem as well. If its someone with a slow, thats no problem because you can simply spin to remove the debuff.

Tip: Garen is also one of, if not the best, 2v1 laner in the game. You have to play a little bit safer though. Your opponents will get frustrated really fast from boredom and make mistakes. Make sure you take advantage of those mind games. I cant tell you how many 2v1 lanes Ive won without even needing help from my jungler. But you have to learn your limits. If your playing against a Morde and Vayne... your pretty much screwed. You might get a couple early kills but you mainly have to wait for ganks.

Tip: If your in a 2v1 lane you need to buy Doran's Shield instead of Doran's Blade. The extra health, armor and health regen are vital in order for you to sustain yourself.

Counter Jungling

In most cases Garen is going to dominate solo top. If you're doing good, you want to make sure that your wrath is felt in more then just your lane. On your first trip back you'll want to pick up 2 wards. Place one in the river so you don't get ganked. Place the other near the enemy blue or red buff depending on which side of the map you're on. When the enemy jungler goes for that buff, wreck havok. You can wait until the buff is low and try to steal it, or you can Exhaust the jungler and go in for the kill. If your jungler is in position to help, its going to be an easy kill.

You have to be careful though. If the enemy has ward coverage as well, they'll know what your up to and react accordingly. You could end up in a 3v1 situation if your not careful.

Early Game

As I previously stated, Garen's play style changes over the course of the game so Im gonna cover that In the next 3 sections.

Tip: First of all, dont be afraid to harass early on. With the health regen from your passive you can take some damage and not have to worry about it. You're extremely powerful early game so you need to take advantage of that. Playing safe wont get you anywhere fast with Garen.

Tip: Garen is a very good bush camper if your laning against champs who dont have powerful skill shots. Whenever a champ is dumb enough to get close simply Q then E to deal massive damage. Rinse and Repeat. But you dont want to spend too much time in the bush or your minion kills will suffer. The best thing to do is swap places with your lane partner every so often. Having 2 champs fight over the same minion farm is never constructive.

Tip: At this point you're completely and totally reliant on your skills. You want to start a fight with Q and follow up with E. If your taking damage activate W. If your opponent was already missing health you should be able to seal the deal with your ult. If the champ is at full health you want to start the fight with Exhaust to maximize your damage. If they try to get away you have Flash to close the distance really fast and get your Ult off.


Initial Spawn Time: 2:30
Respawn Time: 6 minutes
Reward: 150 global gold + 25 bonus gold to whoever deals the killing blow

Controlling dragon goes a long way to winning a game and the first can be the most important. Early game gold advantages set the tone for the rest of the game. If you can get dragon without the other team knowing, you'll have a major advantage. Why? Because they wont know the respawn time. Lets say you get dragon at 10:47, type "dragon 16:47" into team chat. This way your whole team knows when to get into position for the dragon respawn. Repeat this process and get in the habit of doing it. Do the same thing for Baron.

When to Dragon

Getting dragon is huge for your team, but going for it at the wrong time can be devastating. You can end up getting dragon stolen and giving kills to the enemy team at the same time.

The first dragon can be the hardest to get. You want to wait until your jungler has Wriggle's Lantern or at least Madred's Razors. You never want to go for it when the entire enemy team is alive. If they have ward control over dragon it can go very badly for you. The only safe way to go for it in that case is to have your support sneak off and buy an Oracle's Elixir and scout for wards. It's way too expensive to do early game. Another option would be to place a Vision Ward near dragon. Vision Wards will reveal other wards in the area. If you dont find any, its safe to assume that your jungler can take dragon. But there could be other wards nearby that can still alert the enemy to your position.

The best time to go for Dragon is after at least 2 enemies die. If your bot lane scores a double kill this is the perfect opportunity if they are in good health. Ping dragon immediately if your jungler is close by. If you have a support to heal, getting dragon will be no problem if your jungler is equipped for it. The enemy jungler wont be able to stop you because he would be walking into a 3v1. You just need to keep him out of Smite range. It would be a good idea to have your mid lane come as well for the extra support if possible.

Team Fighting


Focus is the most important aspect of team fighting and it should be discussed with your team every game. One mistake people make is calling out one enemy champ as the focus. You cant always focus the same champ due to different circumstances so you need to prioritize.

Here are some factors that should be considered when choosing a focus:

-Ability to escape

Obviously you dont want to focus the tank. At all. If the enemy tank gets hit by anything other then aoe attacks, your not playing correctly. Dont put any effort into killing a tank until all other champs are dead.

Someone you dont want to put too much effort into killing first would be someone like Shaco. Garen is a good match for him because you can just silence him and take away his ability to escape. But otherwise your going to end up doing massive damage to him just to spend valuable time chasing. If you can do enough damage to take him out of the fight, thats enough. Focus someone else afterward.

A perfect focus would be someone like Annie. She has massive damage, aoe stuns, short cooldowns, and shes squishy. She cannot be allowed to live long or you will lose fights every time. Annie is a game changer in the right hands.

But like I said, you cant always focus the same person every time so here is an example of prioritizing an enemy team by taking the above factors into consideration:

#1 Annie
#2 Xin Zhao
#3 Shaco
#4 Blitzcrank
#5 Rammus

Simply prioritizing your targets goes a long way to winning a game.

Your Role as DPS Garen

First of all, don't ever initiate a full team fight. Your building to carry, not to tank. Its not your job. I hope Ive made this clear throughout the guide. If you get caught in a bad situation use Flash and Decisive Strike to reposition yourself.

Normally you want to lead with Decisive Strike. Silencing someone like Annie is beyond helpful to your team. But champs with silences are few and far between. This means that sometimes you have to be careful when you use it. Someone like Nunu can change the flow of a fight with his ult. If you going up against one, you need to save it for him. If your teammates are in danger, you need to silence him. If you cant reach him in time, you have Flash to close the distance.

If I had to choose between silencing Annie or saving it for Nunu, I would choose Annie. You still have Exhaust to weaken Nunu's ult.

A bad target for your silence would be someone like Tryndamere. Hes an auto attacker so the silence isnt going to sway his effectiveness.

You need to use good judgement when using Decisive Strike. When used properly, its a major advantage for your team.

And speaking of judgment, you need to use that skill carefully when using this build. You cant just throw yourself into the middle of the enemy team and expect to live. For proper usage read the Early/Mid/Late Game sections.

Your ult can also be used in ways to help your team, besides simply ensuring a kill for yourself. Its good for finishing off someone trying to run away. Its also really good for finishing off a tank. A tank with 20% health is still difficult to kill in a timely manner. But not if you have your ult. You shouldn't focus a tank right away, but if one enters a fight at low heath you can finish them off with the press of a button, and take away a valuable member of the enemy team.

Your Role as Off Tank Garen

Many of the same rules apply, but there is one big difference. If you don't have a main tank, your the initiator. Don't be afraid to Flash into the enemy team if it gives you the opportunity to silence and Exhaust the enemy mage. Just make sure that you know your team is going to follow you immediately afterward, or your going to die for no reason.

There's one thing you need to understand when you play a tank. Your life is not as important as the rest of the group. Dying to win a teamfight is always worth it. If you can hold aggro from the enemy team for 3 to 5 seconds your team is going to win the fight. If they don't, there's something seriously wrong with your team composition. You need to get into the enemies faces and do what you can to pull aggro. There's nothing worse then a tank that plays scarred.

Mid Game

Tip: The first tower has fallen and the laning phase is over. You should be close to building Infinity Edge by now. You dont have any attack speed yet and Judgment still does great damage, so you need to approach fights the same way you've been doing.

Tip: For the love of god, dont initiate team fights. Especially if you dont have Frozen Mallet. You'll get eaten alive.

Tip: Farm jungle or lanes whenever possible with Judgment. After you build Infinity Edge, Judgment will destroy minion waves from full health all on its own.

Tip: Buy some damn wards. If you can afford one when you go back to shop there's no reason not to. Dragon and Baron are always good places to keep wards up. Just one ward can change the flow of an entire game.

Here is a screenshot of proper ward locations:

This screenshot is from Balrox Says Hi's Gangplank guide.

Late Game

Tip: At this point champs are lvl 18. Its more then likely that they also have bonus health and armor. That means Judgment has lost its effectiveness. You need to have Phantom Dancer by now. This late in game Garen turns into an auto attacker, but you still want to lead with Q to keep your opponent from using any skills. Use W and Ult the same way you have been.

Tip: Judgment is still your main farming tool but it does have other uses. Chasing and escaping. Early game you cant save this skill because it does most of your damage. But now you get to use Judgment for its utility. Remember that if you get slowed, activating Judgment will remove the debuff. This is a great way to chase down that bastard Teemo after he lays down a shroom. He'll most likely be ducking in and out of bushes as well, but it wont matter when your spin hits everything in the surrounding area. His blind only works on auto attacks so that wont stop him from taking damage with Judgement either. You know what... **** Teemo. Every time I hear him blow one of his darts I want to kick him in the balls.

Tip: Keep buying wards.


Initial Spawn Time - 15:00
Respawn Time - 7 minutes
Reward: 300 global gold + global buff

Baron can be a game changer, but its important to realize that it doesn't ensure a win. Ive seen many players get really cocky with Baron buff and make stupid mistakes. Baron buff is an advantage that you want to have. Its going to make you more powerful, but its not going to make you invincible. Getting cocky is just going to lead to you wasting your buff.

When to Baron

Mid game Barons are possible, but highly unlikely. 95% of the time, the first Baron kill will come after everyone has hit lvl 18. Its really hard to get Baron otherwise, because you need to be geared up to get it quickly. Getting Baron unnoticed is near impossible in lvl 30 games. Players understand the importance of it and will keep wards over there.

The best time to Baron is right after a team fight. If you get at least 3 kills and the other two retreated to base, that's your chance to get Baron. But you have to do it quickly. 2 members of the enemy team cant win a 2v5, but its entirely possible for them to steal Baron from you at the last second. Especially if one of them has Smite.

Video Guides

Bot Lane Video Guide

For better quality set to fullscreen and set it to 720p in the bottom right side of the bar. You have to fullscreen and hit play for the option of 720p to show up. Looks a lot better if you watch on youtube here and here.

Solo Top Video Guide

For better quality set to fullscreen and set it to 720p in the bottom right side of the bar. You have to fullscreen and hit play for the option of 720p to show up. Looks a lot better if you watch on youtube here.

Best Garen Game Ever

Why is it the best Garen game ever? You'll just have to watch and see lol. For better quality set to fullscreen and set it to 720p in the bottom right side of the bar. You have to fullscreen and hit play for the option of 720p to show up. Looks a lot better if you watch on youtube here and here.

Patch Notes

*Decisive Strike movement speed duration increased to 4 seconds from 3 seconds
*Judgment cooldown reduced to 13/12/11/10/9 seconds from 14/13/12/11/10 seconds
*Courage maximum armor and magic resistance now 25 at all ranks from 5/10/15/20/25

I was excited when I heard Garen was getting buffed. While these changes aren't earth shattering, they are welcome. This is going make him an even stronger early game champion then he already is.

Decisive Strike - That one second may not sound like much, but it can mean the difference between life and death. Its definitely going to help chase or escape, but its not a huge change.

Judgment - Again, this is only a one second difference, but its going to help.

Courage - This is the most noteworthy buff. Ever since I started playing Garen I always put one early point into Courage and maxed it last. My choice is definitely the best one now. You can get max resistances with only one point into it. This is great. This is going to allow you to buff up, while still leveling up your damaging skills. Thank you riot.


Final Thoughts On Garen

I played Garen quite a bit before I made this guide. Ive played him even more since then to make sure that I could make the most of this build and cover every angle. I feel like Ive maximized his potential and I believe him to be worthy of high elo play.

Having played him extensively, its plain to see his one major weakness. He gets kited way too easy. Boots of Swiftness, Frozen Mallet, and Phantom Dancer are there to help counter that, but it doesn't completely solve the problem. If I could change one thing about Garen, it would be Decisive Strike. If Riot ever changes his speed boost to a leap, like Jax has, Garen would be a top tier champ.

As it stands, hes still very powerful when built correctly. His strong early game is capable of completely shutting down lanes on a game to game basis. Hes not perfect, but hes more consistent then any champion in the game.

Just For Fun

I made this video as a just for fun addition to the guide. For better quality set to fullscreen and set it to 720p in the bottom right side of the bar. You have to fullscreen and hit play for the option of 720p to show up. Looks a lot better if you watch it on youtube though.


I don't normally play 3v3 but here's some scores I got from The Twisted Treeline recently. I felt op as hell using this build in 3v3.

Some Ranked Scores to top it off.

User Scores

*Note* Immortalizing your best scores in the guide is my way of thanking you guys for making Spin To Crit one of the most popular Garen guides on Mobafire. If you have a score you'd like to share just post it in the comment section and I'll add them to the guide with your name. I would prefer if you could format it like I have mine. It shows match details, the build, and it doesnt take up too much space. Ruyman's format is fine too. Just make sure you edit out your desktop. If you could edit out the chat, that would be fantastic. It would make the actual score more visible.

I only have three rules so I don't get flooded with screenshots. 1. They have to be from normal or ranked games. 2. You have to use the Spin To Crit build of course and the screenshot needs to show the build. 3. I'm only going to post screenshots with a final score of 20 or more. Example: As of right now my best score is 26/8/13. Add together the kills and assists and that's 39. Subtract the deaths and that leaves me with a final score of 31. I challenge you guys to beat that :)

Summoner's Rift

A final score of 48 from user Rorszak. Good luck beating that unless you make a smurf account lol.

A final score of 45 from Ronarudo.

Final score of 41 from Mister Swagnet.

Final score of 38 from N1ghtSh4d0w.

A final score of 35 from user Cernotlapka.

A final score of 34 from user SquirrelZOD vs tank Garen

A very nice set from Colawar with a top score of 34.

Final score of 33 AND a flawless victory from 63n4r0.

Here is a screen shot from Ruyman with a final score of 26.

A final score of 25 from StOrmZIsoNItZWaY. And guess what? PENTA KILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Final score of 23 from user MLPXJudge.

A couple flawless victories and a top score of 23 from Lilarcor.

A final score of 23 from Synoic.

A flawless victory from user Aegis8. Final score of 22.

A set of nice scores from Rush0wns including some flawless victories. Top score of 21.

Final score of 20 from user dr. honey badger.

Flawless victory from Zaltiar.

Final score of 19 from xILENCE.

The Twisted Treeline

Two scores from Der Cricri. Finals scores of 13 from Summoners Rift, and 30 from The Twisted Treeline.

Final score of 23 from Synoic.

Final score of 22 from koper16000.

Another flawless victory from Aegis8 with a final score of 19.



Throughout Valoran, the resolve of Demacia's military is alternately celebrated or despised, but always respected. Their ''zero tolerance'' moral code is strictly upheld by civilians and soldiers alike. In combat, this means Demacian troops may not make excuses, flee, or surrender under any circumstance. These principles are espoused to their forces by unrivaled demagogues who lead by example. Garen, the valiant warrior who bears the title ''the Might of Demacia'', is the paradigm to which these leaders are compared. Thousands of great heroes have risen and fallen on the bloody battlefields between Demacia and its preeminent rival, Noxus. It was beneath their mighty banners of war that Garen first met steel with Katarina, the Sinister Blade. The infantrymen who beheld this event (and survived) commented that it seemed as though the two were locked in a mortal waltz against a symphony of clashing blades.

Garen, the pride of the Demacian military and leader of the Dauntless Vanguard, returned from this battle breathless for the first time in his career, though some speculate that this was due to reasons other than exhaustion. The plausibility of these rumors was bolstered when, in every instance thereafter, Garen seized the opportunity to encounter the Sinister Blade again. A paragon of Demacian ethic, Garen never entertained such allegations, for he knew others couldn't understand. Even simply the pursuit of a worthy opponent on the battlefield is, to a true warrior, the reason to rise each morning. The promise of one, particularly so beautifully and diametrically opposed, is the validation of his existence.

"The most effective way to kill an opponent is to slice through the man next to him." - Garen, on front line strategy
Friends & Relatives

Born to the prestigious Crownguards, the paragon family of Demacian service, Luxanna was destined for greatness. She grew up as the family's only daughter, and she immediately took to the advanced education and lavish parties required of families as high profile as the Crownguards. As Lux matured, it became clear that she was extraordinarily gifted. She could play tricks that made people believe they had seen things that did not actually exist. She could also hide in plain sight. Somehow, she was able to reverse engineer arcane magical spells after seeing them cast only once. She was hailed as a prodigy, drawing the affections of the Demacian government, military, and citizens alike.

As one of the youngest women to be tested by the College of Magic, she was discovered to possess a unique command over the powers of light. The young Lux viewed this as a great gift, something for her to embrace and use in the name of good. Realizing her unique skills, the Demacian military recruited and trained her in covert operations. She quickly became renowned for her daring achievements; the most dangerous of which found her deep in the chambers of the Noxian High Command. She extracted valuable inside information about the Noxus-Ionian conflict, earning her great favor with Demacians and Ionians alike. However, reconnaissance and surveillance was not for her. A light of her people, Lux's true calling was the League of Legends, where she could follow in her brother's footsteps and unleash her gifts as an inspiration for all of Demacia.

''Her guiding light makes enemies weary, but they should worry most when the light fades.''
-- Garen, The Might of Demacia

As the royal family of Demacia for centuries, members of the Lightshield line have spent their lives waging war against any who opposed Demacian ethics. It is said that every Lightshield is born with anti-Noxian sentiment in his blood. Jarvan IV is no exception, even though he is the first Lightshield born to the age of the League of Legends. As his forefathers had before him, he led Demacian troops into bloody engagements with Noxian forces, and on many occasions he has bled alongside wounded allies and fallen comrades. In his most crushing defeat, he was outmaneuvered and captured by a Noxian battalion under the command of Jericho Swain. This mistake nearly cost him his life at the hands of Urgot, but he was rescued by the Dauntless Vanguard, an elite Demacian strike force led by Jarvan's childhood companion, Garen.

Those close to him believed that his capture changed him. Xin Zhao was quoted as saying: ''His eyes never seemed to look at you, only through you to something he could not look away from.'' One day, without warning, Jarvan IV handpicked a squad of Demacian soldiers and left Demacia, vowing to find ''atonement''. He began by tracking and hunting the most dangerous beasts and bandits he could find in northern Valoran, but he soon tired of such prey. Seeking something that only he understood, he ventured south of the Great Barrier. He wasn't heard from again for nearly two years. After many had assumed the worst, he returned to glorious fanfare on the streets of Demacia. His Demacian plates were adorned with the bones and scales of creatures unknown. His eyes bore the wisdom of someone twice his age. Of the twelve soldiers who had departed with him, only two returned. In a tone as cold and steady as steel, he swore to bring the enemies of Demacia to their knees.

''There is only one truth, and you will find it at the point of my lance.''
- the ''last words'' of Jarvan IV at his failed execution

There are warriors who become great for their strength, cunning, or skill with arms. Others simply refuse to die. Urgot, once a great soldier of Noxus, may constitute a case in support of the latter. Prone to diving headlong into enemy battle lines, Urgot sewed chaos throughout the enemy ranks, often sustaining grievous injuries in the process. When his body was unable to weather further abuse, the crippled Urgot was delegated the position of High Executioner of Noxus. By this time, his hands had been ruined and he could barely walk. Scythe-like grafts affixed to his maimed limbs served to carry out his bloody work.

Urgot finally met his end at what should have been his finest hour. Because of his military background, he often accompanied detachments into foreign territory to carry out judgment. After ambushing an enemy force, Jarvan IV, Crown Prince of Demacia, fell into the clutches of Urgot's division. Too far from Noxus to risk transporting their prize for ransom, Urgot prepared to dispose of their captive. At the final moment, however, the Dauntless Vanguard, led by Garen, the Might of Demacia, intervened, and Urgot was cut in two by the zealous warrior as he scrambled to free his Prince. In recognition of his service, the executioner's remains were remanded to the Bleak Academy for reanimation. A lifetime of abuse, however, had left his body in a catastrophic state; proving problematic to the necromancers' craft. Professor Stanwick Pididly, the prevailing scholar of Zaun, offered a solution. Within Pididly's laboratories, a nightmarish new body was forged for Urgot. Now as much machine as man, Urgot arrived at the League of Legends in search of the man who ended his life; necromantic energies coursing through his metal veins.

''We can rebuild him. We have the techmaturgy.'' --Professor Stanwick Pididly

As a militaristic state, it would perhaps come as no surprise that the primary responsibilities of Noxian women are raising strong children and providing succor for husbands who walk the path of soldiery. There are some, however, for whom nurture is not nature, and Katarina is just such a creature. Born the daughter of the feared Noxian General Du Couteau, the girl was always more interested in her father's knives than in the dresses, jewelry, and other trifles that her sisters spent so much time fussing over. A childhood dispute soon unveiled her uncanny knack for bloodshed, and her father, ever the opportunist, happily fostered her killer instincts. After training under the tutelage of the finest assassins the mighty city-state had to offer, Katarina first cut her teeth performing assassinations in the Ionian War. There, her ruthless mastery of the knife and dagger combined with her sadistic temperament to earn her the title Sinister Blade, a moniker that would follow her for the remainder of her career. She is most famous, however, for her exploits in the campaigns against Demacia, especially those surrounding her engagements with the nation's champion, Garen; a rivalry that began when she recovered the remains of Sion from a vanguard under his protection.

With the demand for warfare somewhat arrested by the tenuous peace settling over Valoran, Katarina sought the allure of violence in its last remaining haven: The League of Legends. Some might say it was an inevitability that Katarina's chosen path would draw her to become a champion of the League, continuing to enforce the will of Noxus and bring prestige of war to her noble family. There, she continues to perform her bloody work - esteemed and reviled, feared and adored.

"The Sinister Blade of Noxus is like a black widow - beautiful, but deadly." - Garen, the Might of Demacia, following a skirmish in the field

*Note* As far as I know, these are the only champions with direct links to Garen. There are some other possibilities, like Xin for example. Xin is close to Jarvan, but theres no evidence to show a friendship between him and Garen. Its entirely possible that they've never even spoken to each other. If there is someone that I missed, let me know.