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Garen Build Guide by EvilHybrid#131555

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League of Legends Build Guide Author EvilHybrid#131555

Spinning and Winning - Solo Damage Garen

EvilHybrid#131555 Last updated on April 13, 2012
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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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hey guys, welcome to my build, please, no autographs. It has come to my attention that there are not all that many "damage" Garen builds around, so I thought I'd make one. This guide is very much orientated to solo topping as Garen, because it his foolish to play him anywhere else to be honest. Garen is a BEAST 1v1, in fact I've yet to be beaten champ to champ early game, only dying when misjudging the power of rather fed enemies (feeders - you know who you are -.-). The greatest thing about this champ is he can quite easily 1v2 if he needs to, depending on his adversaries, health etc of course. But if you're here I would guess Garen has already sold you, so on with the build!

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Why Damage?

Everyone on sight of Garen thinks "he must be a tank". I did. He certainly looks that way, and I know he's played that way an awful lot. However, I think Garen is more viable as a brawling fighter, as his damage can be shot sky high, almost like an early-game carry. He's by no means a replacement to the Vayne's and Graves' of the world, their late damage is stupid, but he is a remedy to any early-mid game damage issues you might have, providing one/two bursts of continuous damage, thanks to Judgment/ Decisive Strike. Also Garen has great sustain anyway, thanks to Perseverance and the passive armour/M.Res gain from Courage, so you don't even have to get distracted by items that'll make you last longer until later on. An unstoppable 1v1, there's few who can handle a Judgment a' la Infinity Edge.

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This doesn't need explaining surely? These are the basic runes I take for any damage-based solo top. It's just common sense and preference really, depends on your playstyle and what you're good/not good against.

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I go 21-6-3, racking up as much crit, armour pen, and any physical buffs possible, as well as the "perk" of the bonus damage to weak targets from Executioner . I take the armour and one M.res from the defence tree so that I can get the extra health from Veteran's Scars

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[*] Why Doran's Blade? And why 3 of them?!

I, personally, don't think there's a thing as too many Doran's. They're cheap and give you a nice chunk of health, and the blade gives you a bit of damage and with 3 you have a sweet 9% lifesteal to help your Perseverance along. Perseverance makes a Doran's Shield rather unnecessary, and you'll get that armour from Courage if you're farming well anyway. You can easily replace them later

[*] Boots

I ALWAYS take Boots of Swiftness, it makes chasing a whole lot easier when Decisive Strike is on cooldown or you're mid- Judgment. Its a great way to close that last bit of distance so you can finish them off with Demacian Justice.

Of course, my item build doesn't actually involve any tenacity, so if you're up against a LOT of cc (and I mean a lot, the only time I've ever done this is when they've had 5 stuns, a fear and a slow) feel free to take a Mercury's Treads instead, although, trust me, you'll miss the speed.

[*] Infinity Edge

You'll probably find the enemy has prevented you from getting any kills any more as you go into the mid-game, and your damage seems to have sloped off a bit. This wacking great yellow sword remedies that situation, giving you a massive chunk of AD (80), and boosting Judgment no end with the 25% extra crit chance and the extra 50% damage on those crits. Remember guys, spinning is winning.

[*] Phantom Dancer/ Frozen Mallet

The order of these items is interchangeable, it entirely depends upon your situation, but both make a great addition to your arsenal.

If you're getting a ton of kills and no/very few deaths, go for a Phantom Dancer, due to the insane crit chance it gives (30%) and the movement boost is good too.

Go for a Frozen Mallet if you're dying a little too much, if that pesky little carry is giving you more trouble than you would like, or if that Morgana is a little too fed. It gives you a MASSIVE chunk of health as well as a nice 20 AD, plus even though that slow does not proc of Judgment, it WILL proc off Decisive Strike, so if you can get the combo right you can cause an appropriate amount of chaos.

You should definitely aim to get BOTH of these items, although if you really had to sacrifice one I'd recommend the Dancer, the Mallet is just too good an item to lose.

[*] Fratma's

After you have the Mallet (and ONLY after, it is a waste of your time to get it beforehand) go for an Atma's Impaler. It gives you a nice base armour and crit strike bonus (45 & 18% respectively) sending you up to a ridiculous 73% crit chance (I know right?!) as well as a sweet, free bonus of 58 ATTACK DAMAGE from that passive. Don't mind if I... did.

[*] Last Item

Make your own choice! I love to get something too beef out my AA a bit last, and so I'll usually get The Bloodthirster, as you can profit a max 100 damage from it as well as some awesome 20% lifesteal for when you're health never seems to stay full. If you think you're entire team would benefit from that though, feel free to get a Zeke's Harbinger. The attack speed and regen bonus is good too

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Skill Sequence

Max Judgment asap, taking Decisive strike at level 2 (max it second) and Courage at level 4 (max it last). Upgrade your Demacian Justice whenever you can (levels 6, 11 and 16)

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Summoner Spells

If you're on solo top you should always take Teleport in case your turret gets pushed while you're not there or if another lane could use a quick drop in from a spinning swordsman.

I like to take Exhaust, it's pretty much a guaranteed kill early game, and with the new patch (thanks for messing things up Riot, still no Tryndamere nerf though?) it also lowers attack speed to help you get away if you need it

Ignite - can be used in a similar way but not defensively and Judgment has double its effect

Ghost - good if you're planning on doing a lot of chasing/escaping

Flash - useful if you're prone to being reckless or are inexperienced in the game

Heal - No

Revive - NO.

Clairvoyance - only if you get stuck bot lane with no support, swap it for teleport

Promote - Great for pushing but you should focus more on the enemy champion

Smite - Only useful for junglers, and if you're jungling you obviously haven't been reading this guide at all

Surge - You are not an AP or attack speed based character, so no

Cleanse - Its cooldown makes it less helpful than it seems, Judgment can save you from slows anyway

Clarity - And what would you use this for?

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If you enjoy wrecking faces in solo lane, use this guide, and feel free to experiment with it and leave me feedback. Trust me, it works. If you want a different style, find another guide. Simples :3