Build Guide by Grimjaww
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Hi there this will be the first guide ive decided to make for a League of legends hero. ive been playing this game since beta and ive enjoyed playing many different heros but few come close to the enjoyment i get from playing Garen.
recently Garen has seen some hard nerfs and as of late hes been givin some slight buffs to make up for it but with the loss of stackable sunfires and the loss of his base damage on judgment a full tank Garen no longer dishes out sufficient damage.
So lately ive been testing other ways to play Garen and i think ive found a decent "middle" ground for him.
As the title would suggest this build will be making use of quite a lot of armor penetration.
but enough with the boring text and lets get on with the core build. i will be adding more discussion based sections and such below as well.
Marks - Armor penetration. very simple really. the only other mark i would suggest would be physical damage runes. i used to use crit runes but now that your base dmg doesnt effect judgment having crit early game is almost useless.
Seals - Health per lvl. pretty simple. hp helps u mitigate all kinds of dmg. you could go armor or dodge runes but i personally dont like dodge because it only blocks auto attack dmg and you cant get a very high % anymore thanks to the change on Phantom dancers. I also dont use armor because runes are for early game and early game u should have sufficient armor resistance.
Glyphs - Magic resist per lvl. magic resist is really the only good glyph to take for garen but if you prefer the flat magic resist runes instead go for it i just like to have the extra 12 magic resist or so at late game.
Quintessence - armor pen. more armor pen you say? ill admit on a lot of champions this is kinda overkill early game but squishies were never garens problem. its all thos other tanks and tanky dps champions that are constantly stunning, slowing, snaring the **** out of you while you try to take down the sqiishy. with the extra armor pen you get here even the tanks wont give you much of an issue early game as almost all champions have similar starting hp (unless they have masteries and runes for it) the real difference is there starting armor and the first item of choice for most tanks/melee dps is a dorens shield which will only boost there armor further.
But if you still think this is overkill then grab some flat hp quints for more survival.
DORANS SHIELD + 1 POT
Start off with a dorans shield and a hp pot. the extra regen and armor will help you survive better for the first few levels. if your feeling confident then start with a pair of boots and 3 pots instead. youll have less survivability but youll be able to catch enemies easier.
the next thing you should get is a mercury treads. the mitigation to CC is very useful and the 25 magic resist will keep it on par with your armor. if your not up against any AP heros or few without much CC you may prefer to go with boots of swiftness but i usually dont.
The next item on your list is brutalizer. now im sure some of you have noticed that i dont have yoomuus on my list. thats because you wont be making it. brutalizer is great on its own. Great price and gives you everything you need without giving you things you dont. yoomuus gives you useless stuff like an active that increases attack speed by 50%. utterly useless for garen because if your auto attacking with garen your doing it wrong. but it gives you a 20% speed boost you say? sure, but u have to remember to activate it first and garen already has 4 abilities that are used in combination (not to mention summoner spells) and to make proper use of it you have to be auto attacking to keep it up. All in all i find it far more efficient to simply leave brutalizer as it is.
Next on the list to make your armor pen that much more ridiculous is Last Whisper. with this item youll be able to zero out any hero below about 90 armor and since ALL champions even without help from items will make it to at least 80 armor this is the most useful amount you can get. granted most squishies probably wont have this much armor by the time u have both of these but with the new zhonyas hourglass its almost guaranteed that regardless of the champion they will have at least one armor item in there build before the match is over.
This is almost a standard for most melee dps as it adds a lot of armor/ hp and quite a lot of damage. most Garens will go this route first and i will admit so did i but that was before when going straight tank on garen was good. now you want to get damage first. so much so that i recommend getting atmas before warmogs. while atmas doesnt truly shine until you have a warmogs in you inventory you will at least get SOMETHING. getting warmogs first means you have to build both items before getting any offensive quilities from it and thats over 5000 gold your spending. better to get atmats first so that even as your building warmogs your damage will increase.
YOUR CHOICE NATURE/RANDUINS/INFINITY/THORNMAIL
This part is really up to you, its reaching late game and by now you should have a good idea of the enemy team make up so just go with whatever best counters them.
Grab nature if your having trouble with AP champs.
Grab Randuins if your having issues with dps champs.
Grab Infinity if your not have trouble with either and want to dish out some serious damage. this may become a much better choice later due to the fact that recent buffs have all been to garens damage.
Grab thornmail if you have a couple pesky auto attackers you want off your back.
EXHAUST - While a recent nerf has made this spell slightly less useful it still does exactly what you want it to with garen and that to SLOW. Using this in combination with your spin you will keep them from getting out of range and can also be used after your spin if you feel they may retaliate once your done.
Ghost - basically the same reason you have exhaust: to catch the opponent and keep him in spinning range.
these 2 summoner spells really are needed to make up for Garens lack of CC so i would highly recommend not deviating from these 2.
max Judgement first while getting one point into decisive strike and putting everything else into courage and of course getting Demacian Justice whenever possible.
Why max Decisive strike last? because it has the worst scaling of all your abilities. all you get is a small amount of damage and a slight increase to your 2 second speed boost which even at max is laughable.
To sum up this build id say its your standard tanky dps build that focuses on armor penetration and atmas for damage. with a full build youll normally end up with over 3000HP 150ARM/MR 280DMG and enough armor pen to make even the tankeiest of tanks wary of your damage.