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Garen Build Guide by Gr1m D3ception

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Gr1m D3ception

The Captain of the Dauntless Vanguard

Gr1m D3ception Last updated on March 27, 2015
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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

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Garen is a heavily armored hero hailing from Demacia. He brings with him several aspects that grant him his combat prowess. Utilizing these skills, Garen is capable of standing toe to toe with most opponents. Among other stories are deceptions that Garen is defeated by certain foes in Summoner's Rift. These accusations are not true, for Garen's building of items can alleviate the threat of any enemy. When Jarvan IV, Exemplar of Demacia, was captured by an onslaught Noxus battalion led by Jericho Swain, Garen was the first to receive the message. Garen gathered his elite Demacian force, the Dauntless Vanguard, and immediately departed to intercept Swain's force. During this time, before Swain's army was aware of Garen's approach, Noxian message from Keiran Darkwill demanded the captive crown prince of Demacia be executed as they could not safely return to Noxus for ransom. The executioner at this time, a man with severed limbs with scythes grafted onto his arms, was Urgot. Garen, arriving in the short hours before dawn, had gathered the remnants of the villages destroyed by Swain. It began to rain heavily, fog set in across the field, and Garen raised his sword for signal. Jarvan was at the center ring of the Noxian force, and Swain had departed to return to Noxus. Garen initiated the ambush, drawing attention to the most visible area, which launched a barrage of arrows into the unsuspecting soldiers. Garen then led his force, and the survivors of the surrounding villages to flank the now exposed side of the Noxian army. As both armies fought, Garen rushed through the battle. Garen knew where Jarvan was located, and as he closed in, the executioner attempted to stop him. Garen's gaze was no longer upon Jarvan, but rather the abomination that would dare to kill his friend. Urgot held his ground, and as he felt to be gaining an advantage, Garen feinted and with two full revolutions, completely bisected Urgot. Garen freed Jarvan, and the remaining Noxian soldiers would flee. Among those fleeing, Urgot would manage to be returned to Noxus, where he would become a machine monstrosity of Zaun scientist Stanwick Pididly. Jarvan would return to Demacia with Garen, but his gaze would always look through those he would speak with, unable to look away at what he could see. Jarvan had changed. He would leave Demacia without warning with his 12 most trusted soldiers to find atonement, and return more than 2 years later. Armor adorned with the remains of dangerous creatures, Jarvan returned with only 2 men of the original 12, and with eyes holding wisdom twice his age, he would swear to bring Demacia's enemies to their knees.

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Runes of Defining Power

Garen can challenge any opponent at any given time, and thanks to his incredible training and prowess, has the strength and knowledge to engage such threats. The Rift is a battlefield to which Garen can attest his strengths and weaknesses. But as he is controlled by the all powerful Summoners that wage their battles, his faults can be exploited, alleviated, and can lead to either Victory or Failure. Summoners have access to Runes, unique stones that can be applied before the battle begins to grant statistical advantages to Garen. The Runes are more unique than Masteries for one reason, "Everyone has Masteries, but not everyone has Runes."

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Masteries of Defining Faith

While Garen may be granted unique advantages by Runes, the Summoners are capable of providing less than slightly changing stats by Masteries. The system of Masteries is defined by three exemplary trees delegating Offense, Defense, and Utility. While these trees offer stats, similar to runes advantages, they are primarily used as a form of "role defining" in the earliest and latest parts of the game. What separates the two systems, is that runes are primarily flat numbers, while Masteries are largely percentiles. The small percentiles that they represent are so "little" that they cause two "big" things. First, the low stats of a level one champion, following "percentiles", are decently enhanced by these. Second, because the stat enhancements are "percentiles", they scale even more prominently once a champion reaches their peak power at level 18.

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Items of Defining Purpose

Items are the fastest way for Summoners to gain an advantage on the Rift, and thanks to Garen's abilities, he benefits from smaller amounts of defensive building than his opposition would. Garen can purchase defensive items, and offensive items. Thanks to his scaling with Attack Damage, and his passive providing more benefits to Armor and Magic Resist, Garen is quite capable of standing his ground and going the distance to defeat his enemies. Garen can sacrifice parts of his build for an advantage in dealing damage.
An example of his skills, would be facing Singed in the "top" lane. Garen's Summoner builds a Hexdrinker on him, providing Garen with Magic Resist, and Damage. While another champion would sacrifice a large portion of defense in favor of the slight damage, Garen's passive on his "Courage" ability amplified the Hexdrinker's Magic Resist bonus to near a Negatron Cloak. Garen's massive scaling percentages on his damage based abilities allow him to build minimal damage items and maintain his damage.

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Garen's kit of abilities allow him to face down menaces that others would falter upon seeing.
Garen's Perseverance is a self targeted buff that enhances his Health Regeneration while active. It features three defining stages. First stage regenerating even while taking minion damage. Second stage it cannot be stopped by anything short of an enemy champion or Epic quality monster such as the Dragon, or Baron Nashor. The Third stage becomes the greatest effect, causing the health regeneration rate to become a little stronger than double the original rate.
Garen's Decisive Strike deals great single target damage with "Silence" linked into it. The silence is powerful because it allows Garen to attack his opponent unhindered without retaliation.
Garen's Courage is a powerful feature that when activated grants roughly one-third immunity to "Damage" and "Crowd Control" effects. Courage also features a passive that amplifies all Armor and Magic Resist bonuses by twenty percent.
Garen's Judgement is his strongest damaging skill, and is Area of Effect. Beside being a strong damage source, it is not channeled and cannot be interrupted, making Garen a force to be reckoned with while Crowd Controlled. Garen even quotes this ability in his Background; "The most effective way to kill an opponent is to slice through the man next to him."
― Garen, on front line strategy.
Garen's Demacian Justice is his execution ability, dealing a massive amount of Magic Damage based upon missing health. This skill is extremely dangerous because while Garen does mostly "physical" damage his execution is all "magic" damage, and nine times out of ten, your target does not have the Magic Resist to face full justice.

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Summoner Spells

Garen is complimented by incredible defensive prowess while being able to deal fantastic damage to those he retaliates against. For this reason, I recommend taking Flash and Ignite, and for an explanation I will provide one.
Garen's gap closer is his Decisive Strike, but it is not a flash movement, so he is readily seen as he approaches. Flash counters this mechanic, and thanks to the Silencing factor, the afflicted target cannot immediately flee. Using Ignite and a full Judgement, can allow for an execution with Demacian Justice. Since this combo works, it is surprising to note that the Silence at rank one only lasts about 1.5 seconds. At level 9, the blasphemer who met their demise at Garen's hand, died in less than 1.5 to 2 seconds.

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Summary of Demacian Valor

Garen is strong all game, regardless of those who claim that he "falls off" towards the late game. The problem with this champion, and his greatest weakness, is the Summoner who fails to build properly. Garen is a soldier, and would you give a soldier a butter knife or a sword, a trash can lid or a reinforced shield. Garen needs to be given the right equipment to combat his opponent. That is his one weakness.