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Garen Build Guide by RevoOps

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League of Legends Build Guide Author RevoOps

(Season 3) Garen - The man in GIANT armor

RevoOps Last updated on October 3, 2013
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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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Welcome to my Garen Guide:
Garen is a champion in the League of Legends. He is a fun and easy champion to understand due to his low difficulty rating, he is a good champion to start with if you are new to the game.

About Garen:
Garen is an AD off-tank (Offensive Tank), he excels at bringing down high priority targets such as the AD-Carry (Attack Damage Carry) while being very hard to kill.

When to play Garen:
- When your team needs a Bruiser/Tank
- When you are going top lane (I swear NEVER jungle with Garen)
- When you want to have fun (Garen is really fun to play due to his abilities)
- When you want to counter-pick a champion
- When you DEMACIA!!

When not to play Garen
- If you are against ranged champions that can easily poke you in-lane
- If their team has a LOT of CC (Crowd Control)
- If you don't feel like playing him...
- If you prefer NOXUS!!!

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Garen, Lore and stuff...

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 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 set against a symphony of clashing blades.
Garen, the pride of the Demacian military and the leader of the Dauntless Vanguard, returned from this battle breathless for the first time in his career, though some speculate 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 one 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

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Garen's Abilities and Stuff...


Here I will explain Garen's abilities and how to use them.
Garen is one of the few champions that do not use any form of energy or mana to cast abilities, this lets Garen spam his abilities without costing anything.
Perseverance is Garen's passive, it gives Garen TONS OF Health Regen. However when Garen is attacked by an enemy champion, the passive will go on cooldown. This ability helps Garen sustain in lane. This is also why we take the 1 point on the perseverance mastery.
Decisive Strike is Garen's Q ability. Once activated, Garen gains a boost of speed and his next Auto-attack (Right Click) will deal bonus damage and silence the enemy target, this ability will also let Garen break free of all slowing effects. I use this as gap-closer to quickly get to the enemy, you can also use this to last-hit as it cost no mana.

Courage is Garen's W ability. When activated, Garen gets alot tankier. It also passively increases his Armor and MR by 20%, making him very tanky. Use this when you think you're gonna take TONS OF DAMAGE.
Judgment is Garen's E ability. This is what makes Garen a really fun champion to play as. When activated, Garen will start spinning with his sword; dealing TONS OF DAMAGE to enemy champions within the radius of the spin. Combo this ability with Decisive Strike by doing Q -> Right-click -> E
Demacian Justice is Garen's ultimate ability. When used on an enemy champion, Garen will summon a giant sword to execute the enemy.
This ability does more damage depending on the amount of health the enemy is missing. Combo this with Q -> Right-click -> E and R (use R when the enemy is low hp) to execute the enemy.

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Laning in the top lane...

When laning, try to focus on last-hitting. Since Garen does not use mana, you can freely use your abilities to last-hit the minions (noobs in hoodies) because last-hitting = gold and gold = item and items = more damage.

Always grab a Doran's Shield if you think the enemy does too much poke early-game. Health Potion are also useful for laning.

There are also other starting item choices such as:
- Cloth Armor Health Potion
- Boots of Speed Health Potion

And if you think their jungler will gank you, buy a Sight Ward

You can also harass you lane-opponent with the Q -> Right-click -> E combo, however this is not efficient against certain champions.

At level 6, if you feel like you've overpowered your opponent, you can try to kill him with your Q -> Right-click -> E -> R combo.

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Building items and stuff...

When building Garen, try focusing on Defensive Items while having very few Offensive items.

For early-game Damage, build The Brutalizer.

After that, try to build counter items against your lane opponent. If your lane opponent is AD, build a Randuin's Omen or a Sunfire Cape as these both give a good amount of armor and hp.

If you are against an AP champion, build a Spectre's Cowl because it works really well with Perseverance and gives you enough MR to survive against your AP opponent.

Boots are really important. I've seen people who don't build boots at all and I really want to slap them. Boots can give you movement speed to chase down enemies, tier 2 boots will also benefit you alot.

If you are against an AP Champion or a team with alot of CC, buy a Mercury's Treads, a few examples are:
- Zyra
- Nautilus
- Cho'Gath
- Ahri

If you are against an AD Champion that utilizes Auto-Attacks to do damage, buy a Ninja Tabi. A few examples of these champions:
- Tryndamere
- Jax
- Draven

If you feel like you have enough defensive items, start building The Black Cleaver which is built with The Brutalizer.

The Spectre's Cowl you built earlier can be built into two items, Banshee's Veil or Spirit Visage. They both have different effects. Banshee's Veil is good against champions with life-threatening skills such as:
- Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab
- Ahri's Charm
- Lux's Light Binding

Spirit Visage is good for sustaining against a few champions however that is not necessary on Garen since you already have Perseverance and Spectre's Cowl. However, this item does give ALOT of Cooldown Reduction, Magic Resist and Health which can later benefit with Atma's Impaler.

Now that you have most of your items, you can build a Warmog's Armor followed by an Atma's Impaler. The reason you get Atma's Impaler is because of the passive giving Ad based on 1.5 of your health and the Critical Strike chance since Judgment can critically strike dealing bonus damage.

Now finally, it is time to make a choice. To sell your Spectre's Cowl item for Guardian Angel or not. If you think that you don't need Banshee's Veil or Spirit Visage, you can sell those and buy a Guardian Angel instead.

Legend speaks of a way for Garen to spin2win even more: Infinity Edge

For tier 3 boots or "Enchantment", buy the Alacrity enchantment or the Homeguard enchantment.

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Early-Mid Game

Garen is really good early-game. He is a lane-bully because his abilities do not cost mana which lets him spam them in lane. A Simple Decisive Strike and Judgment combo can bring down the enemy's hp pretty fast.

Once garen hits level 6, he can probably kill the enemy laner with his full combo including Ignite. Start with Decisive Strike and let Judgment shred his Hp to atleast 30 - 20% until you use Demacian Justice and Ignite to secure the kill.

However there will always be that one bad match-up such as:
- Teemo (Gay-mo)
- Kayle
- Jayce

Anyone that can kite, will beat Garen. To be able to beat these match-ups as Garen requires communication with the jungler or a different play-style than the one you are normally use to. To counter these bad match-ups you must build specific counter items such as Randuin's Omen, Thornmail, Spirit Visage and many more...

If you are doing great in lane, you should start helping your team by:
-Ganking lanes (Mid/Bot)
-Pushing Lanes
-Getting Objectives (Turrets, Dragon, Baron, etc)
-Carrying (Kinda hypocritical)

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What to do in teamfights:

In teamfights, try to focus high-priority targets such as the AD-Carry since they are the main DPS of the enemy team. After that, help your team finish the fight by silencing getting rid of the other enemies. After a teamfight, help your team get objectives such as Baron Nashor or turrets / inhibitors.

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Runes and Masteries

For runes, I take:

Explanation: The reason I take movement speed quints instead of flat AD quints is because I do not want to get kited. As a melee, you need to go in front of an enemy to do damage. Movement speed quints help you get to the target faster. Armor penetration marks scale well with The Black Cleaver, the Armor seals and Magic Resist glyphs are just for early-game defense.

For Masteries, I take:

Explanation: The 9 on offence include CDR, Armor pen and AD; these stats scale well with an early brutalizer. The 21 on defense makes Garen very tanky, also increasing the effectiveness of Courage.

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Summoner Spells

For Summoner Spells, take Flash for escaping or getting through walls. And Ignite for securing kills.

Sometimes I get Ghost if the enemy doesn't have much terrain abilities such as Cataclysm.

Only take Revive when:
-You have Teleport
-You are trolling.

Only take Exhaust when no one else on your team has it.

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The End

Thank you for reading my Garen Guide, please leave feedback and stuff! And remember... DEMACIA!!!