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Garen Build Guide by szczerba23

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League of Legends Build Guide Author szczerba23

OP Offtank Garen

szczerba23 Last updated on November 1, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #2 in
Top Lane
Win 54%
Get More Stats

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

Chapter 1

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.

- 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

His passive allows you stay in indefinitely if you avoid taking damage.

Passive: Garen's armor and magic resist are permanently increased by 0.5 every time he kills an enemy unit. This bonus is maxed at 5-25.

Active: Garen places a defensive shield on himself for the next 3 seconds, decreasing all damage taken by 10/15/20/25/30%.

Nerfed hard a few patches ago, so you have to choose between this or Decisive strike (or alternate)

o Base damage per second changed to 60/90/120/150/180 from 30/70/110/150/190
o Scaling increased to 100% per second from 70%
o Now scales off of only bonus attack damage rather than all attack damage

What this means is that Garen now deals 60 damage at level 1 instead of 72. He will deal less damage until Last Whisper

Demacian Justice
The finishing move to end life. Do you combo, then ignite + demacian justice = kill. Easy to net a kill at level 6

2. Changelog
4/28 - Fixed some grammar mistakes. Changed layout.
5/1 - Added build examples.
5/1 - Explained skill order more. Fixed Crit Chance build order.
6/3 - Fixed some grammar mistakes.
8/26 - Couldnt access this for awhile. Fixed the builds.
10/21 - Updated everything.
12/14- Patch v1.0.0.107


* Decisive Strike attack damage ratio increased to 120% from 100%
* Decisive Strike base damage reduced to 30/45/60/75/90 from 40/60/80/100/120
* Judgment
o Base damage per second changed to 60/90/120/150/180 from 30/70/110/150/190
o Scaling increased to 100% per second from 70%
o Now scales off of only bonus attack damage rather than all attack damage

* Last Whisper
o Combine path changed: now requires Pickaxe and Long Sword, instead of Recurve Bow and Long Sword
o Upgrade cost increased to 700 from 500
o Now provides +40 Attack Damage and 40% Armor Penetration
* Phantom Dancer

* Sunfire Cape
o Upgrade cost increased to 800 from 700
o Passive is now unique
3. Introduction
Well I have been playing with Garen on the Private Test Realm for two weeks and tried almost every possible build as him. These builds are usefull in their own way and maximize Garen's effectiveness.

Garen can be built a number of ways: DPS Hydrid, Tank, and Crit Chance

Crit-Chance and DPS are the better builds for Garen because they synergize with his skills. It is possible to build a Tank, but with out many stuns or taunts, people will probably not focus you.