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Garen Build Guide by Fan22

Top The Might of Demacia [11.20] Garen Top guide

Top The Might of Demacia [11.20] Garen Top guide

Updated on October 6, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Fan22 Build Guide By Fan22 9 1 15,481 Views 2 Comments
9 1 15,481 Views 2 Comments
League of Legends Build Guide Author Fan22 Garen Build Guide By Fan22 Updated on October 6, 2021
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Garen
    Garen Top
  • LoL Champion: Garen
    Garen Jg

Runes: Conq + Resolve (Standard setup)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Precision
Conqueror
Triumph
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Resolve
Conditioning
Overgrowth
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor

Spells:

1 2 3 4
Best Spells (Kill pressure)
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #14 in
Top Lane
Win 52%
Get More Stats
Top Lane Ranked #14 in
Top Lane
Win 52%
More Garen Runes
>

Items

Starting Items
D.shield (check notes for explanation)
D.Blade (check notes for explanation)
Cull start (Vs. farming lanes)

Ability Order Ability sequence E > Q > W

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

The Might of Demacia [11.20] Garen Top guide

By Fan22
Introduction
Who i am? Im Fan22, a standard player who plays tanks, bruisers and mages principaly, i play on the LAS server, aside from that i don't have lots of achievements on league to talk about...

I want to remind everyone reading that im just a Garen enthusiast, but im always triying to improve, both in-game and this guide, so i hope that you enjoy it.
Also bear on mind that English it's not my first Language, so there can be a couple of ortography errors, if you catch some serious ones let me know in the comments, also feel free to leave any feedback to improve the guide!

Aside from that theres not much else to say from me, so let's run ahead and spin to win!
Why Garen?
PROS

+Great early game.
+ Courage let's you be tanquier while building just Damage and HP.
+Has a silence built into his kit.
+Spins!
+Has one of the best Executes, both in terms of visuals and damage, in the game.
+Easy to play.
+Has very good sustain in laning phase.
+Can delete carrys and squishys without getting blow up.
+Has Armor shred and True damage to deal with Tanky enemies.
+Great Frontliner.
+Manaless champion, this plus your sustain makes your laning phase very smooth.
+Can be adapted to a Splitpusher, Teamfighter or Assasin.
+Very Flexible on build paths and playstyles.
CONS

-Even if you are supposed to be a bully in the early game Garen isn't that good at it.
-Scales worse than other Bruisers and Fighters.
-Gets hard kited.
-Has no built CC outside of his silence.
-Can't duel most toplaners or deal with Frontliners if not sligthly ahead.
-Reliant on Cooldowns, both on abilities and summoner spells.
-Can't use mana items well (rip Frozen Heart).
-No utility.
- Perseverance healing only works as out of combat and laning phase sustain, not in-combat.
-Hard to deal with tanks stacking Armor.

Garen it's a very simple and fun champion thats reaaaally begginer friendly with a very straighforward gameplay of running at people and swinging your sword around until they die, while being tanky as hell.
His simple kit let's you focus more on macro than micro, which also backfires you the higher you climb with him, as he has no utility to provide to his team aside of Frontlining and Splitpushing. He is also an odd mix of a Bruiser and an Assasin that wants to execute the backline before getting blow up, while situationally dealing with the enemy Frontline.

Even though he has no utility or CC (ignore Stridebreaker), even if he is outclassed by other bruisers that do his job better, and even if he gets kited all day non-stop, i think that Garen it's a very fun champ that also helps to learn how to play Toplane and bruisers, and let's you focus on other important parts of the game like 'Builds flexibility', farming or Wave management, he is also very flexible on his builds and runes options (though his Core items are always the same).
Abilities explanation
Passive Perseverance

Garen restores 1.5 − 10% of his maximum health every 5 seconds (based on level).

Perseverance is interrupted for 8 seconds if Garen takes damage from Champions, Epic monsters, Turrets, or is affected by an enemy summoner spell (like Ignite).


Notes: * Perseverance does not go on cooldown from damage which was fully prevented by a Shield or Invulnerability.
* Meaning that if you time your Courage shield correctly you can prevent your passive from going on cooldown, this mostly works against auto attacks since abilities deal more damage than you can shield in early game.


Q Decisive Strike

Garen removes all slows on him and gains 35% bonus movement speed for 1 - 3.6 seconds.
His next melee attack within 4.5 seconds will deal 30 - 150 (+50% attack damage) bonus physical damage and silences his target for 1.5 seconds.


Notes: * Decisive Strike makes Garen next attack an uncancelable attack. It also resets Garen attack timer, letting him do a quick AA + Q + AA combo resetting his autos, granting a little bit of extra damage in combat.
* This attack can Critically strike (the Bonus Damage doesn't work though) and apply On-hit effects.


W Courage

Passive: Garen permanently gains 0.2 bonus Armor and 0.2 bonus Magic resistance every time he kills an enemy unit, up to a maximum of 30 bonus resistances at 150 unit kills.
After reaching the maximum quantity of stacks, Garen also gains 10% bonus Armor and Magic resistance.
Courage it's a proactive ability, this means that you will gain resistances even without leveling it up.

Active: Garen reduces all incoming damage by 30% for 2 - 5 seconds. For the first 0.75 seconds, Garen additionally gains a
70 - 170 (+20% Bonus health) Shield and 60% Tenacity.


Notes: * Have on mind that tenacity is less effctive the more you have, this makes too much tenaciy pointless.
* You can get stacks of Courage from Killing: Champions, Minions, Monsters and champion made Units
(Example: Noxious Trap, Powder Keg, Dark Procession), and
all Champion Pets and Clones.
* Wards and Turret kills don't grant stacks.


E Judgement

Garen rapidly spins his sword around his body 7(+1 per 25% attack speed from items and levels) times over 3 seconds, ignoring unit collision and dealing 4 - 20 (+0 - 8.2, based on level) (+32% - 40% per attack damage) physical damage per spin to nearby enemies.
This damage is increased by 25% against Garen's nearest enemy, who is marked with a demacian sword over his head.

Judgment can Critically strike for 33% bonus damage. The total damage is increased by 50% against non-epic monsters.
Enemy champions hit 6 times have their armor reduced by 25% for 6 seconds (hits after the 6th refresh the duration of the effect).
Garen can deactivate Judgment early by activating the ability again after 1 second, which reduces the cooldown by the remaining duration of the spin.


Notes: Judgment is a simple AoE ability, but it has more depth to it than it seems, here are a few details about it.
* Judgment can stack Conqueror.
* You can only increase the quantity of spins with attack speed gained from items and levels.
* For the purpose of moving closer to an enemy when right clicking them, Judgment also reduces
Garen's attack range to [ 100 ] for the duration of the spin.
* The armor reduction stacks multiplicatively with other percentage armor penetration sources.
* You can use Decisive Strike and Courage while using Judgment, letting you get it's effects while spinning.
* Casting Demacian Justice while using Judgment will interrupt the spin and cast R.
* Since it isn't a chanelling you can also use item actives.


R Demacian Justice
Garen gains vision of his target for 1 second and brings down Demacian Justice on them after a 0.5 second delay, dealing true damage to them equal to 150 / 300 / 450 plus 25/30/35% of the target's missing health.


Notes: * This ability can be blocked by a spell shield.
* If Demacian Justice is cancelled it does not go on Cooldown under these circumstances:
-The target becomes Untargetable.
-The target leaves Sight range while Garen is Nearsighted.
-The target is too far away.
-The target dies.
* Demacian Justice is unavoidable once it's casted, even if they Flash or dash away, though as said before, it can get cancelled.
Items
-On Garen you want items that give you attack damage, Health and resistances.
Attack speed, MS and CDR are also good stats on Garen, but the first 3 ones are the most important or core ones that you should proritize when getting an item.

Since Garen gets additional resistances from Courage he can focus on building only Damage and Health.
Garenneeds AD to compensate for his lack of utillity so he can deal enough damage to the enemy Frontline (in the case you are teamfighting) or to delete squishys, and because you already have resistances you only need HP items to be more durable and tanquier in fights.
Once you think have enough damage you should start to look for tank or situational items that you need.

And because Garen doesn't have any CC and his Q movement speed buff isn't enough, you should also look to buy utility or engage items, generally only agains't a ranged comp, against a full meele or fighter comp you want to get bruiser items and damage, like Black Cleaver and Sterak's Gage, and also anti-healing since every fighter heals somehow
( Mortal Reminder is recommended).



Stridebreaker

It's a very good mythic that sinergyzes extremely well with Garen and compensates both, his lack of mobility and utility.
It is a really good item considering the changes done to Trinity Force in S11, though it is a good item, it isn't a Core item anymmore for Garen, atleast in my opinion.
Although Stride has been nerfed countless times (removing it's dash), it still gives garen all he could want, a slow, additional movement speed, extra waveclear, and attack speed, it also improves your teamfighting potential significantly.
Overall The item active and the stats combine very well with Garen.
Since Stride's active doesn't have a dash anymore, it's harder to engage and teamfight with it since you have to be on top of someone to use it, but it still works really well nonethelessh.


Trinity Force

When you need more DPS and you don't need the slow from Stridebreaker, but instead more damage, then Trinity Force is a really good choice, and a good alternative to Stride, it also gives atk speed.
It gives the most DPS out of all Garen mythics, and if you can get a couple of attacks off, the additional AD from the passive it's a very good damage increase for 1v1's, and since it works on towers it helps a to take them down while splitpushing, when combined with Hullbreaker you become a monster at taking towers.

The downside of Trinity it's that most of it's power budget it's on the passive, and Garen isn't an autoattack champion, and if you get kited you can't really make use of the item's damage at all, it also gives less HP than other mythics.


Divine Sunderer

DS gives Garen some tank-shredding and the damage and tankyness to fight bruisers, since these days everyone in toplane, or any bruiser or fighter, has built-in healing or %Max HP damage.
Divine Sunderer Max health damage and armor pen 8from the mythic passive) help a lot in fights or when you have to constantly deal with the enemy frontline in every teamfight.
You should only build DS against a mostly meele enemy team, or against heavy engagers and tanks, or if you want to splitpush and want/have to duel the enemy toplaner. If the enemy has only 1 or 2 tanks or bruisers it's better to build damage to kill squishys, stuff like Stridebreaker or Dead Man's Plate to engage and kill them.


Galeforce

Although Galeforce seems like a troll item, it is actually quite good.
It gives Garen some much needed mobility and a Gapclose wich also deals % missing health damage, and the stats increase a lot of your overall damage.
I only recommend it if you need the moblity and damage to kill the backline, or if you know you are gonna get hard kited, or if the enemy it's full squishy and ranged, otherwise you should build more tanquier items.
If you want to build Galeforce but you don't want to have no HP in the early game, you can get a tank or bruiser legendary item first and then get Galeforce second.


Berserker's Greaves

Because Garen's E has attack speed scaling this boots are a Core part of all Garen builds, because they increase by a lot Judgment's DPS very early on.
But atk speed by itself it's also useful for additional damage with autos, since Conqueror alreay gives you AD, having quicker autos considerably increases your Dps in 1v1's.


Plated Steelcaps

Plated steelcaps, or generally known as tabis, are another good (situational) option for boots which grants Garen extra tankyness and reduced damage against autoattackers, like Tryndamere or Irelia.
If the enemy team is Full AD or you need to counter your lane opponent early on, you should get this boots.


Mercury's Treads

Very situational boots, the tenacity it's very useful and they can be good for countering Full AP or heavy CC team comps, or ocassional AP Bully toplaners like Ryze or [[kennen], who have a lot poke and CC.


Sterak's Gage

Sterak it's a very good item for any bruiser, and Garen is no exception, it gives a lot of HP and AD, sustain, and a Huge shield for frontlining or enduring damage in teamfights, the shield also helps to survive clutch situations on low hp and ensures that you don't get bursted on too easily when getting focused.
Sterak's is a good 2nd or 3rd slot purchase, when you want to get it comes to your item preference, or to what you need the most in the match, but it's a good purchase in any point of a match (especially past mid-game).

Generally you want to buy it when you need to endure damage and frontline for your team, or if you know you are gonna be Teamfighting. While you frontline and the enemy tries to kill you though your Courage and Sterak's shield activated, your team should have enough free time and resources to deal with the enemy team.


Deadman's Plate

Since Garen lacks of any CC or gapclose Dead Man's Plate it's really useful for getting close to enemies, splitpushing, and moving around the map.
Since deadman's 'charge' not only slows, but also deals bonus physical damage, it helps to push lanes and damage towers, because the damage also applies on them.
The only problem with the item is that compared with other Armor items it's the one that makes you the less tanquier, if you need to frontline something like Randuin's Omen is a better buy.


Mortal Reminder

This item it's very good even if we don't need the grievous wounds, because the stats themselves are really good for garen.
You don't only get attack speed and crit for more DPS on E, but it also gives %movement speed, and being faster is always very good.
A quick tip, you can prock almost inmediately the 60% healing reduction with a (AA + Q reset + AA) combo.

If you are thinking, why go Mortal Reminder instead of -> Chempunk Chainsword, the reason it's that DPS wise it's one of the best damage items for Garen, and probably the only crit and attack speed item that sinergyzes well with him, and also because Chempunk stats aren't that good, though it isn't a bad item by any means, and it might be better on a completely Bruiser build.


Black Cleaver

BC it's still a good item for Garen, that sinergyzes with his E, procking very fast the %armor shred (wich stacks with the armor reduction from Judgment) and also giving movement speed against the shredded target.
The Stats and passive are good for more durability and damage.
BC is a good option against tanks or very tanky bruisers which are stacking armor, the armor shred also helps in 1v1's.
A deatil about the armor shred it's that during a teamfight you can amplify your team's physical damage against a certain target or frontliner, for example the damage from your ADC or AD jungler.


Gargoyle Stoneplate

Gargoyle is a very good late-game item that gives a really big shield (that scales with your Bonus HP) that is very useful in teamfights when you have to frontline or endure a lot of the enemys burst or abilities for your team.
It also gives very good stats and additional resistances, which sinergyzes with Courage because it also gives you additional resistances. The passive and active help to teamfight and endure damage, and also incentivates you to dive in the whole enemy team to kill someonne or distract them from focusing your team.

The shield can be used in a lot of ways, for example, to bait a Zed into using Death Mark because you are on low hp, but then you active Gargoyle's shield, wasting Zed's ult and possibly killing him, or baiting an enemy or frontliner to go all-in to kill you and surprise them with the shield while your team does their job.


Force of Nature

If you already have HP and AD and need MR to deal with magic damage, Force of Nature is the best choice.
It gives a lot of MR and movement speed and a bunch of HP.
If the enemy it's hybrid damage but their main threath it's AP, or the enemy team is full magic damage this is a good third or fourth option That helps in teamfights giving you tankiness and mobility.


Hullbreaker

Hullbreaker is a new that supports Garen when he needs to splitpush, gives very good stats, and when you don't have any ally nearby you boost nearby cannon and siege minions and increase their damage by 200%, you also get additional Armor and MR (scaling with levels). So even if someone contests your push you can try to duel them since you are tanquier while alone.
Because Garen isn't an innate splitpusher like Tryndamere, Trundle or Jax, he needs items to support this playstyle, and Hullbreaker it's very good for that purpose. The only and obvious downside of the item it's that the passive is wasted if you need to Teamfight with your team.


Anathema's Chains

Anathema's it's another new item that, very situtaionally, it's amazing on Garen , at max stacks it reduces 30% of the target's damage to you and while you nearby they get reduced tenacity, which should increase your Silence and
Stridebreaker slow duration, and if the enemy doesn't have any it can make them have negative tenacity, effectively increasing CC duration on them.
Anathema's it's very good when you have to deal with 1 really feed enemy (with no true damage), or if theres a specific enemy you have to always deal with, which makes this item very effective for counter-splitpushing champs like Yorick or Fiora.
Since it's damage reduction it doesn't reduce true damage.
Runes
Here i will discuss and explain all the possible Runes i could find/think for Garen. Explaining why you would want to use them, or in what situations it's preferable to go one or the other.



PRECISION

Conqueror has become Garen main keystone after the rework because
Judgment procks Conqueror stacks with every spin, so you prock it very quickly, and it's very useful for Garen because of the additional AD you get, that scales into the mid-late game.
And it helps to trade, although once Garen burns all his cooldowns he can't do much more in a duel than just autoattack the enemy, Conq helps in those situations with the bonus AD making your attacks hit harder.

Conqueror helps Garen to deal with most bruisers and be able to win extended fights, which are very common in Toplane, because if you go with something like
Grasp of the Undying you HAVE to do short trades, and if the enemy forces a long fight you can't do much than just auto while you back off.
Although the main reason why we use Conqueror is because of how fast you stack it, while getting a lot of AD in the process.
A detail about Conqueror is that the healing you get when it's fully stacked (although small) is fully applied on AoE damage, unlike Omnivamp that only heals for 33% effectiveness, so you can heal for your full spin damage.

Fleet Footwork is a keystone that can help Garen in hard matchups or if you are gonna be constantly trading with attacks, granting healing and movement speed, which can help with short trades or to stick on an enemy.
Fleet isn't a keystone against poke and harassh anymore due to the [11.18] changes which made the healing really low on minions, but better against Champions, so now it is "laning-phase trading" oriented instead of "sustain vs. ranged".
Even with the nerfs against ranged Fleet can still be used against ranged matchups, and if you get to auto them (or a minion) the MS boost helps to stick or chase them, though i recommend to just run Conqueror or Phase Rush in those cases.

The downside of Fleet Footwork is that it's very useful during the laning phase but it doesn't scale as well as runes like Conqueror do past the mid game.
While the heal and speed are not useless in the mid-game, because this rune has an AD scaling, you don't get much benefit from it compared to other champions, or compared to Conqueror, because generally the only thing that Garen needs is damage and tankyness, and Fleet only grants stickyness and sustain, though Fleet's sustain comes very in handy during long fights.


in the first row Triumph is the only choice available, Overheal doesn't work with Garen since he has no built-in healing and generally we wont heal above our max health since we tend to fight and play agressive, so it's useless, and
Presence of Mind doesn't even work on Garen.

Triumph helps in close duels and teamfights, so if we kill or get an assist from someone we recover some of our hp and get additional gold.
In the early game Triumph can save our life a lot of times, from diying to minions, during a 1v2, or a tower shot after a dive, Triumph healing comes in clutch in those situations, and it's underrated how much it helps in teamfights.

The attack speed from Legend: Alacrity doesn't add more spins on Judgment, and since Garen isn't an autoattaacker it doesn't benefit us, the same with Legend: Bloodline, Garen doesn't get any use from lifesteal.

Which leaves Legend: Tenacity as our only but valuable choice, on a bruiser with low mobility and no utility getting CC'ed less is really good, and also frees you from needing Mercury's Treads or Unflinching to get tenacity, which opens up a slot from your items and runes for other thing.

Coup de Grace is wasted on Garen because you already have Demacian Justice to execute enemies, and generally when this rune kicks in it's at the same time you use Ult to finish off an enemy, and since the damage is true damage it doesn't get amplified by Coup de Grace, so you don't get any value from this runes.
I would only recommend it if you are going for a Oneshot or Full damage build.

Last Stand it's the best and only choice from this row, since you are always fighting on low health or taking damage you are gonna be using it 90% of the time.
Its good for the Toplane and during Duels, where you are probably gonna be constantly on low health, in thse clutch situations the damage from Last Stand is very helpful.
This also happens during teamfights, in which you are going to be eating and tanking a lot of abilities and damage, and the lower you are the more damage you get, which is perfect for frontlining.

Cut Down it's bad on Garen because you are really tanky and get lots of HP, which makes this anti-tank rune useleess, but if you go for full damage and the enemy has a couple of tanks it can be useful since you will lack durability.




RESOLVE

Grasp of the Undying used to be the go-to keystone for Garen, but since the rework and shift in his playstyle, it's very rare nowdays to see Grasp Garen's.
This rune has good damage in early game and grants permanent hp and heals you, which is why you want the prock it everytime you can in the early game.
Grasp supports the very specific "Harassh with Q and run away" playstyle where you chunk the enemy with Q + Grasp everytime they go for cs, and repeat until you get them low enough to kill or atleast zone them out of the wave, but without Conqueror you lack damage in short or extended trades.
Grasp is good against tanks, especially if you are not confident you can win against them, and Grasp of the Undying let's you scale off from trading with them.
Grasp is also good against champions who you can't fully use Conqueror and/or have to do only short trades, for example: Jayce, Akali or Sett.
Going Grasp of the Undying additionally allows you to go the resolve tree, which has a couple of very useufl scaling and early game tank runes.

Demolish it's the best rune from the first row, the others dont go well with Garen, so it is pretty much the only option.
Demolish is very good for splitpushing, and in the early game you can get a couple of platings using it, and in the mid-game it comes in handy to take down towers in the sidelane while theres a teamfight somewhere on the map, or when the enemy team is doing something else.
Although if you don't have the resolve tree as your main one you sacrifice Conditioning and Overgrowth scaling and tankiness in favor of Demolish, since you only have 2 secondary runes to choose from.

Font of Life is pointless on Garen.
Shield Bash is an interesting option that i haven't tried out yet, the reason it's mainly because Demolish and the other rune rows offer better stuff and because it isn't optimal if you consider that the only shield you have, your W Courage, it's very weak in the early game and scales with bonus health, has a long cooldown and lasts only 1 second, which makes Garen not get much usage from this rune until very later on in the match.

In the second row Conditioning is the best one and sinergyzes with Courage passive, granting free resistances in the mid-game and leaving you around 130 armor and MR just with this rune and Courage fully stacked.
But compared to other options from the same row, it only helps with scaling and not with laning phase, and it doesn't kick in until 12 minutes.

Second Wind it's very good for surviving the early game in rough matchups where you know you are gonna get harrased or poked a lot, and combined with Doran's Shield + Perseverance you get a lot of sustain during laning. It's good in ranged or poke matchups like: Teemo or Malphite.

Bone Plating it's very good for mitigating damage from all-in combos, and it's pretty useful in short trades against champions that blow their entire combo (like Garen) and then run or extended the trade, like: Volibear or Jax.
This rune works well in the lategame, if you are frontlining it mitigates quite a lot of burst, and if you don't group and decide to splitpush Bone Plating helps to duel whoever came to stop you, generally being the enemy toplaner which you tocked this rune against.

Overgrowth it's the best option from the third row, as it grants additional HP per every minion or monsters that dies nearby, and at 120 minion or monster kill it increases your Max health by 3.5%.
This bonus HP it's really good and makes you tankyer in the late game, and the more you drag the match on the more useful this rune becomes.

You rarely want to swap Overgrowth, but the other two options are also decent.
Revitalize increases Courage and Sterak's Gage shield and increases the heals you receive, both increasing when you are on low health.
The problem is that Garen doesn't have built-in healing in his kit, and Garen doesn't really want sustain items, and Perseverance is health regen, not a healing, so Revitalize doesn't work on it.

Unflinching gives additional tenacity and slow resist instantly without needing stacks like Legend: Tenacity, but the values are a little bit lower and increase based on your missing health.
I don't recommend to take it because tenacity stacks multiplicatively, which means the more you have the less value you get.
If you already have Legend: Tenacity going Unflinching it's overkill.
Otherwise it's a good source of tenacity.




SORCERY

Phase Rush is a different keystone that you can use on Garen, which doesn't give damage but instead gives you the extra utility of having a big boost of movement speed and slow resistance.
And the Sorcery tree has some very nice scaling and utility runes.
You can prock PR with Stridebreaker and Ironspike Whip active, or having a Bami's Cinder, since the passive burn from the item procks this rune, Ignite can also prock it.

The main problem of Phase Rush is that Conqueror damage is way better than PR movement speed 90% of the time, and during laning phase the only use of PR is for running away from an enemy after a trade or chase them if you are winning it.

After the early game is over PR movement speed comes in clutch in a lot of situations, for example when teamfighting, it helps to stick to enemies and thte slow resistance makes it very hard to get away from you.
Phase Rush is also very good if you are planning on splitpushing because if an enemy you don't want to fight comes to stop you, you just have to quickly prock PR with a Q + E + Stridebreaker and then you Zoom out of there!
You can also use it on reverse, if the enemy is a squishy champion you can do the same combo from before and run them down to kill them.
I would say Phase Rush is a situational rune thats good for sticking to enemies or ranged champions, and for running away from a bad matchup ( Camille or tamh kench for example).
What to do in every Phase
Laning Phase

During the laning phase you want to farm to stack up Courage, once you reach level 2, or before your opponent does, you should inmediatelly look to trade with Q + E, if the enemy doesn't run from you you can also do a AA + Q + E combo which does more damage. If you run Ignite you have a lot of kill pressure in the early game
during level 2 or 3, and 6, and even more if you level up before your opponent.
At level 6 with R and ignite up, if you can, you should look to all-in and kill the enemy toplaner, even if they only Flash and you don't get kill it is still worth.
After you get Berserker's Greaves or a Dagger on your first back your trades become a lot more consistent and it increases your DPS, and even more ith Conqueror extra AD, since attacks speed increases the number of spins = more DPS and a faster Conqueror prock, which is why those boots are such a Core item on Garen.

Garen's passive Perseveranceit's the key to win bad matchups, especially the ones where you get bullied and poked (with attacks or abilities), you can use bushes to still get xp while the enemy can't see you, this is very useful knowledge in ranged matchups, but you can also do this in any matchup to catch xp while using passive.
When the enemy sees you back off after a trade they will generally try to interrupt your passive to not let you regen, what you can do is use the bush trick i mentioned before, doing so means that enemies can't target or attack you which should give you some free time to use Perseverance, alternativelly you can also push the wave and use Perseverance while they clear the wave.

Decisive Strike is a very important ability that you have to use wisely in lane, the slow cleanse and additional MS helps to catch targets, but also to run away from them, for example, if you all in Nasus and he has Ult and Wither up he can then just run you down with Ghost and kill you.
So there are matchups & situations where you want to save your Q.
Decisive Strike it's used first during trades because the Silence ensures the enemy can't respond to your trade, and when the silence wears off you just walk away and use Courage.



Mid game and Splitpush

In the Mid game as Garen you have a couple of options to want you want or need to do, this mainly depends on your playstyle and build, and the enemy team and your teammaates. If the enemy team is full meele (tanks and brusiers mostly) you would want to stay with your team and frontline, especially when dragon is up, if they are mostly ranged you should look to flank and kill the backline or surprise an enemy, because in teamfights against a ranged or mage comp you can't engage and you get kited really hard, so looking for opportunities or a place that's now warded it's key to deal with them.
Because Garen doesn't have any utility and can get blown up and kited in teamfights, sometimes you want to Splitpush, which let's you steal the enemy jungle while pushing waves and getting towers. This forces the enemy to contest your push or try to 5v4 while you get their towers, this can vary depending on the match, enemy composition and how ahead/behind you are.
Splitpushing is a very safe choice when you can't teamfight or do much and you need the gold and xp, and while doing so you still help your team by putting global pressure on the map, even more if you have Hullbreaker.
Spliting it's also a good strategy when you are behind because then you can get back with gold and xp while pressuring waves, since it that scenario you will probably die in teamfights so it's better to get back in the game.

During the midgame aside from getting Jg camps and pushing waves, and providing vision, you have to also check the map to see if theres a possible roam or if an objective is about to spawn.
rift herald is more useful than people think, and with the right usage you can get very early on tier 2 or 3 towers, specially if you are splitpushing.


Late game

Generally Garen doesn't excell in the late game because of his lack of utility and because he it's better during early-mid game, and also because ADC's melt and kite him without letting you do anything (most of the time).
Here everyone hshoudl have all their Core items and maybe Elixirs, and most of time anti-tank items too.
But Garen can also kinda scale, and if you don't get kited, you are not only really hard to take down but also deal a lot of damage in teamfight's, with full build you should be able to oneshot any squishy that gets near you, and even bruisers like Darius or Sett because of how Demacian Justice works.
Even in late game splitpushing it's still a valid strategy, and Garen it's not easy to take down or cath up, which means the enemy team needs to send 2 or more people to stop, which can force to stop them from doing baron , or give your team free time to get baron or dragon (soul or elder).

Here good vision and warding is important because if one teammate get's caught up you are in a 4v5, and in the late game this can e***ily lead to free objetives, or even to winning if your team can't defend.
If you are ahead you should group with your team for objetives or TEamfights to close the game.
Garen Playstyles

CONQUEROR / BRUISER


Garen main playstyle (or identity) is an AD Bruiser, as most people know Bruisers are a Class conformed of tanky characters that deal damage but struggle to get on to enemies and have low or non-existant mobility, making them relie a lot on items, runes or summoner spells.
Garen doen't have any moblity (excpet for the 35% ms from Q) or utility, wich makes him only a Tanky-Assasin that needs to get on the backline and kill someone to be useful. Although you really durable thanks to Courage, you get kited and CC'ed so much that tankines isn't enough to be useful.
That's why Garen only wants to Oneshot 1 target in teamfights, since he can't do much outside of that, although you obviously can Frontline for your team or block abilties.
Outside of his Weaknesses Garen is a good bruiser that's very tanky and deals a lot of damage, and can deal with the enemy frontline in terms of both damage and durability (if you are not behind).

The reason why Conqueror is the standard for Garen it's for the free AD and the little sustain Conq. gives, and because you prock the keystone quicker than other champions.
The bonus AD is very good because it scales into the late game with your levels, so even if you are even or behind Conqueror helps to still be relevant, it also helps you in trades.
And also remember that bonus AD empowers any source that scales with it, like your Q & E and items.

Generally as a bruiser your role (or objective) is to get in to the enemy backline if possible (through flanking or taking advantage of a misspositioned enemy), or Frontlining for your team, Demacian Justice is a very powerful execution that deals percentague of the enemies missing health, wich deals a lot of damage to tanky enemies that frontline, like Renekton or Camille.


ASSASIN

Generally Garen is a bruiser tha deals a lot of damage, but when your team doesn't need a Tank or frontliner, and the enemy is full squishy, you can go the forbidden playstyle, Assasin Garen.

As it's name implies, with this playstyle you want to focus on building as much damage as possible, by getting either lethality or attack speed items.
I personally recommend more to build Crit or attack speed items rather than lethality, because Garen doesn't use
it that effectivelly, and both his passive and W don't even deal damage, and Demacian Justice it's true damage so it doens't work.
Which leaves only 2 skills and your attacks as phisycal damage for lethality.
And generally you can reach the same or even more quantity of damage with attack speed or AD items.
In the match as an Assasin you want to get enemies on low guard and surprise them using Fog of war and Bushes, so you don't even have to get close to an enemy to kill, you just wait and surprise! they are dead before your silence wears off.
In teamfights things get quite caotic and it's very probable that you aren't gonna be able to kill anyone if the group well, because when going assasin you don't only get kited and peeled, but also easily killed since you are trading off Durability for more Damage,
Leaving you really squishy. Wich is why sometimes splitpushing with this playstyle
can work better, you completely skip teamfights and get towers with your huge damage. And if you are doing well you can even kill or fight anyone that comes for you.

Some recommended items for Assasin Garen are: Prowler's Claw, Galeforce, Trinity Force (gives DPS, tankiness and damage), Stormrazor, Youmuu's Ghostblade, Mortal Reminder, Serylda's Grudge, Edge of Night, Essence Reaver, Serpent's Fang, etc...

A little tip about Assasin Garen, since you have a lot of AD and/or Lethality, that means you deal a lot of damage to towers, so you can (kind of) splitpush if you go this playstyle.


SPLITPUSH

Splitpush Garen is another playstyle that works well, and, for good or bad, it's what Garen tends to do in most games, especially if you are behind but still want to help your team.

Because Garen isn't the best teamfighter, splitpushing is a very viable option in certain games, and it forces 1 or 2 enemies to constest your push or else you get free farm and towers, while the enemy gets a dragon , or nothing.
Generally the ebst opportuniy to push and get towers it's when dragon or baron it's up, and always go to the opposite lane of the objective (dragon = Top, Baron = Bot), you can also splitpush when a sudden teamfight happens in the other side of the map, if the enemy overextends the fight you can even get 2 towers, and even an inhibitor! And also, don't forget to ward when pushing waves, this way you can know if an enemy is coming for you, or if they are in that side of the map, vision is key when Splitpushing.

Splitpushing is powerful and let's you apply map pressure on the enemy team, and forces them to deal with you, and with Trinity Force and the new Hullbreaker splitpushing has become an even more viable playstyle.
But remember you can't splitpush every game, agaisnt certain comps it's very difficult to push or not get killed while pushing waves, or against champions that can chase you with constant movements speed and/or slows.

And lastly, don't forget that if your team is not doing well you should try to group and help them, because most of the time if you leave your team alone and dragon or baron is up, theres a high chance that the enemy will annihilates them and get all the objectives while you attack towers.
If the enemy is too ahead splitpushing can be a bad idea because the enemy can send one member of their team, but they still win 4v4 teamfights.



TANK

Tank Garen was very common in the past, but after the Rework is has become a very unviable and niche playstyle, that's generally only done in specific matchups or games, and for fun in norms.
Although Garen is a Bruiser, Most people (before his rework, around s7 - s8 and before) builded him with only 1 or 2 bruiser or AD item, and the rest was full Tank.

Because Garen doesn't have a reliable gapclose or CC to keep enemies from running away, he can't assasinate like before.
Aside from Kiting, Tank Garen's main issue is that he is basically just a Meat shield against damage, that does decent damage to squishys, and with R as a reliable source of damage.
All of this problems plus his rework have pushed the Tank playstyle away and making him more of a Bruiser or Assasin who needs damage.
This worked before, but now with all the changes Garen and the game have suffered, this playstyle has become worse more and more with the passague if time.

But aside from getting kited and doing almost no damage, the main reason why Tank Garen doesn't work is because Garen has no utility or real CC like most Tanks, and the only useful thing that Garen provides is damage and being able to blow up any squishy champ, but when going Tank you can't even kill enemies.
So Basically Tank Garen is useless, the only thing you can do is absorb damage and block abilities for your team.

Although the Tank playstyle can work if you are really behind, or if you build 1 or 2 damage or brusier items before going full tank, or mixing them in the build with tank items.
Some good items are: Sterak's Gage Black Cleaver Divine Sunderer Mortal Reminder, and basically any damage item.
I really don't recommend playing Full tank, but instead going Off-tank, so you atleast have some damage to be relevant and be able to Frontline for your team.

The only matches where Tank Garen can be viable it's if your team lacks frontline and tanks and the enemy team is pretty much full meele (3 or 4).
League of Legends Build Guide Author Fan22
Fan22 Garen Guide
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