Click to open network menu
Join or Log In
Mobafire logo

Join the leading League of Legends community. Create and share Champion Guides and Builds.

Create an MFN Account






Or

Garen Build Guide by Fan22

Top The Might of Demacia [12.15] Garen Top guide

Top The Might of Demacia [12.15] Garen Top guide

Updated on August 11, 2022
8
80
Votes
10
Vote Vote
platinum
League of Legends Build Guide Author Fan22 Build Guide By Fan22 80 10 193,466 Views 8 Comments
80 10 193,466 Views 8 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Fan22 Garen Build Guide By Fan22 Updated on August 11, 2022
x
Did this guide help you? If so please give them a vote or leave a comment. You can even win prizes by doing so!
Vote
Comment

You must be logged in to comment. Please login or register.

I liked this Guide
I didn't like this Guide
Commenting is required to vote!
Would you like to add a comment to your vote?

Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.

Choose Champion Build:

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

Runes: Conqueror #1 (Standard setup)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Precision
Conqueror
Triumph
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Resolve
Conditioning
Overgrowth
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor
+15-140 HP (lvls 1-18)

Spells:

1 2 3 4 5
Best Spells
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

Items

Starting Items
D.shield (check notes for explanation)
D.Blade (check notes for explanation)

Ability Order Ability Max E > Q > W > R

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 [12.15] Garen Top guide

By Fan22
Introduction
Who i am? Im Fan22, a standard player who plays tanks, bruisers and mages principaly, i play Toplane and Jungle and i play on the LAS server (which may not be the best server skillwise in lol), aside from that i don't have lots of achievements on league to talk about.

I want to say that im just another Garen enthusiast, but im always triying to improve, both in the game and this guide, and i hope that you enjoy it, so if you have time please leave a comment to improve it.
Also, English it's not my main 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!


Words Explanation


Heres a quick list explaining some of the words used here for an easier read.
  • regen = abbreviation for regeneration or regenerate.
  • Resistances = Refers to Armor and Magic resistance together.
  • HP = Health
  • AD & AS = Attack Damage & Attack Speed.
  • CC = Abbreviation for Crowd crontrol, an effect that generally inmobilizes or disrupts enemies.
  • AR = Armor.
  • MR = Magic resistance.
  • MS = Movement speed / Speed.
  • CDR / AH = Cooldown reduction / Ability haste, which increases your abilities uptime.
  • DPS = Damage per second.
  • Pushing/Shoving = it refers to "Pushing" a wave of minions by attacking the enemy ones so yours goes forward.
  • Last hitting = Killing minions by using attacks or abilities when they are very low on Health to gain gold and xp.
  • Freeze/Freezing = Only last-hitting minions so the wave doesn't push and stays on your side of the lane the maximum time possible.
  • TF/teamfights = Fights where you group with your team and fight the enemy team in a similar situation with (generally) the same amount of people, around 3-4.
Why Garen?
PROS

+Good early game and kill pressure.
+You are very tanky thanks to Courage, so you can focus on building damage.
+Easy to play.
+Spins!
+His Ult is one of the best Executions in the game.
+Has very good sustain in the laning phase.
+Can delete carrys and squishys without getting blow up.
+Great Frontliner.
+Has a silence in his kit.
+Pretty good at splitpushing and pushing waves.
+Very forgiving laning phase.
+Can adapt to a Splitpusher, Teamfighter or Assasin.
+Very Flexible on build paths and playstyles.
CONS

-Even if you are a lane bully in the early game,
Garen isn't that good at it compared to others
like Renekton.
-Scales worse than most Bruisers and Fighters.
-Bad teamfighter with nothing to give to his team.
-Get's hard kited.
-Has no hard CC in his kit.
-Can't duel most toplaners or deal with Frontliners if not very ahead.
-Reliant on abilities and summoner spells Cooldowns.
-Gives No utility.
- Perseverance healing only works as out of combat and laning phase sustain, not in-combat.
-Hard to deal with tanks stacking Armor and HP.


Garen it's a very simple and fun champion who is really 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 sometimes being a Frontliner.

Even though he has no utility or CC (ignoring Stridebreaker). Even if he is outclassed by other bruisers that do his job better, and even if he gets kited all day by 90% of league's roster, i still think that Garen is 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, Wave management, Decision Making, etc...
He is also very flexible in his builds and runes options (although his Core items are mostly 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.

Notes
Q

Decisive Strike

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

Notes
W

Courage

Passive: Garen permanently gains 0.2 bonus Armor and 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 gains 10% bonus Armor and Magic resistance.
Courage it's a proactive ability, this means that you will gain stacks of it 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% bonus Tenacity.

Notes
E

Judgement

Garen rapidly spins his sword around him 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% attack damage) physical damage per spin to nearby enemies.
This damage is increased by 25% against Garen nearest enemy, who is marked with a demacian sword over his head.
The total damage is increased by 50% against non-epic monsters.

Additionally, Enemy champions hit 6 times have their armor reduced by 25% for 6 seconds (any hits after the 6th refresh the duration of the effect).

Garen can deactivate Judgment earlier by activating the ability again after 1 second, which reduces its cooldown by the remaining duration of the spin.
Judgment can Critically strike for 33% bonus damage.

Notes
R

Demacian Justice
Garen gains True sight of his target for 1 second, revealing them, and brings down Demacian Justice upon 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
Summoner spells
Summoner Spells

Flash - Flash is the most used summ in the game, and for good reason.
The possibilities it gives and the mobility is very good on any champ, either to engage, all-in, escape or using it during a combo.
On Garen it is better than in most champs because he is very inmobile by default and his engage pattern is really telegraphed, but Flash allows you to do stuff Garen normally can't, like surprising enemies through walls with Flash + Decisive Strike, or Flashing from a brush.
Flashing in someones face gives them no reaction time to Garen's combo, making it a very really realiable and useful tool, also Flash helps to avoid ganks since Garen isn't very mobile and can easily die in the early game, all of this makes it your best summoner spell overall.

You can also use Flash to escape using walls (which makes it harder to follow you), and you can also cast Demacian Justice and then Flash away, this can be used to dodge an skillshot, quickly get out of a bad situation and repositionite, or to get out of tower range during a dive.
Ignite - Is a really good summ for Garen since he lacks damage in the early game, giving you kill pressure and free Grievous wounds which is very useful in Toplane and generally comes in handy in all phases of the game.
Additionally it allows you to get "calculated" kills when you can't chase anymore, so even if they Flash, dash or become invisible they will burn to death anyway.
With how many escapes and mobility the game has Ignite ensures enemies die even if they get out of your grasp, generally champs like Akali or Kha'Zix.
You can also use Ignite as a Finisher if your Ult doesn't kill them.
Teleport - TP is a good summ that's not used regularly on Garen and is mostly matchup or game dependant, based on what you need or want to do in the match, for example TP is good for Splitpushing or Teamfighting.

Even though i said it's matchup dependant (mostly) it actually is not used even in situations where it is favorable simply because the kill pressure of Ignite is too good to pass for someone like Garen.
And because Garen is not a good TP user to begin with since he has no problem staying in lane thanks to his Passive and generally you push so quickly that you can get good recalls without the enemy shoving into your tower, which is another reason why TP us used.
The other reason is that Garen is not a great teamfighter so he doesn't get much value from Teleport.
Ghost - Ghost is very good on Garen as he likes to get Movement speed (MS).
It helps to close the gap beetwen his enemies more easily and stick on them, which is why this summ is most of the time better than Flash and quite underrated in my opinion, though it's only recommended into inmobile comps with low Mobility and CC. Also Ghost has a pretty long duration, which makes it good for chasing enemies overextending or while flanking someone alone in a sidelane.

Also the duration extends when getting a takedown, so if you kill an enemy you were chasing or if you assasinate someone in a Teamfight you can flee away easily from danger and reposition yourself or you can keep fighting and go for another target with the bonus speed from Ghost.
Another ways you can make use of Ghost is to chase or escape in a sidelane, if enemies come for you you pop Ghost and just run away, wasting their time.
Exhaust - Exhaust seems useless for a Bruiser like Garen who wants to go agressive and fight his opponents, but it isn't as bad as it may seem.
The slow is useful to gapclose and stay on top of an enemy (especially ranged) and the damage reduction makes it very hard for the enemy to fight back, and if you use it right as they burn every ability during a combo you will negate around 70% of their whole damage and leave them very vulnerable, turning a trade or fight in your favor.

I mainly use it against ranged champs who you can't realiably engage or catch up until you get your items( Stridebreaker / Dead Man's Plate), and who also have high kill pressure on you early on, like Quinn, Cassiopeia or Heimerdinger.
It also works well against champions with huge burst like Pantheon or Jayce, since the %damage reduction leaves them Very vulnerable because then you can punch them back with everything up, while they burned all of their cooldowns, so they can do nothing agains't you.
Items
Garen Itemization

Garen wants items that give stats like AD, Health and resistances.
Attack speed, MS and Ability haste are also very good on Garen, but the first 3 ones mentioned are the most important or core ones that you should proritize when deciding your build and getting an item.
Since Garen gets free resistances from Courage he can focus on building only Damage and Health and still be quite tanky, though it is always worth to invest on some AR and MR to counter the enemy team.

Garen needs to get Damage and Durability to boost his strength's and compensate his lack of utillity and mobility by dealing enough damage to the enemy Frontline or deleting their backline to aid your team, instead of directly helping them with direct utility or CC.
Once you have enough damage you should start to look for tank or situational items like: Randuin's Omen, Force of Nature or Death's Dance.
Since Garen doesn't have any CC to keep enemies in his range, you should also look to buy movement speed items, mostly agains't ranged comps so you can get close to them.
Against a meele or fighter comp you want to get bruiser items and maximize your durability and damage with stuff like Black Cleaver and Sterak's Gage, since they generally will fight you head on, you don't need to gapclose, but instead be able to stand in fights and duels dishing out as much damage as possible while absorbing their damage, something that Garen is very good at.



Stridebreaker
It's a very good mythic that sinergyzes extremely well with Garen and compensates both, his lack of Mobility and Utility.
It gives Garen all he could want: a slow, additional movement speed, bonus waveclear, and attack speed, it also improves your teamfighting potential significantly.
Overall The item's active and the stats combine very well with Garen and for that reason works well into almost every match.
item notes


Trinity Force
When you need more Burst or DPS and you don't need the slow from Stridebreaker, but instead just damage, then Trinity Force it's a really good choice, and the best alternative to Stride, and like Stride it gives atk speed.

It gives you the most DPS out of all Garen mythics, and if you can land some attacks on an enemy the additional AD from the passive it's a very good damage boost for 1v1's, and since it works on towers too it helps a to take them down while splitpushing, and when combined with Hullbreaker you become a monster at taking towers.
The main downside of Trinity is that most of it's power budget it's on the Three fold strike passive, and Garen isn't an autoattack champion, but more of a spellcaster who uses autos in beetwen. Also if you get kited you don't really make use of the item's damage at all, although Sheen gives you huge burst on your Q.
Another downside of Trinity is the Sheen effect, Garen is a spellcaster but he doesn't have great quick spell rotations to make good use of Sheen.


Divine Sunderer
DS gives Garen some Tank shredding and the damage and tankyness to fight tanks and bruisers, since these days every bruiser has built in healing or %Max Health damage.

The Max health damage and armor pen helps in fights or if you have to deal with the enemy frontline in teamfights.
You should only build DS against a mostly meele or tank enemy comp, or if you want to splitpush and want/have to duel a beffy enemy, generally it being the enemy top.
If the enemy team has only 1 or 2 tanky champs you are better off building
Trinity Force or Stridebreaker.


Galeforce
Although Galeforce seems like a troll item it is actually quite good.
It gives Garen some much needed mobility as a Gapclose which also deals %Missing Health damage, and the stats increase your overall damage too.
But i only recommend it if you need mobility and damage to kill the squishy champs, or if you know you are gonna get hard kited, or if the enemy is full squishy and ranged, where damage and mobility is all you need to win, otherwise you should build more tanquier and get other mythic.
If you want to build Galeforce but you don't want to have no HP in the early game, you can alternativelly get a tank or bruiser legendary item first and then get Galeforce second, or get a Health component and upgrade it later after finishing Galeforce.


Goredrinker
Gore seems suboptimal on Garen, but on a closer look it is actually quite good if you are agains't a lot meele champions, where the bonus healing and omnivamp shine during duels and teamfights, and the stats and mythic passive are also pretty good overall. The only problem with the item is that it doesn't grant atk speed nor MS, which are very important stats on Garen, which makes Goredrinker not a huge powerspike for you and makes it feel kinda clunky to play with until you get your 2nd or 3rd legendary item. Additionally most of Garen items don't sinergyze at all with Goredrinker.
Nedless to say, agains't squishy or ranged champions this item is useless.
If you do buy GD don't forget to get atk speed Asap from some item or your E will deal no damage.


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


Mercury's Treads
Mercs are situational boots which are good vs. magic damage or high CC, the tenacity is very useful and it's good to counter Full AP or Heavy CC team comps, or ocassional AP Bully's toplaners like Ryze or Kennen, who have a lot poke and CC.


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, and overall being faster.
Since Deadman's 'charge' not only slows, but also deals bonus physical damage you don't sacrifice too much offensivenes when getting this item, and also helps to push lanes and damage towers, because the damage works 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, or anything else, is a better purchase.


Mortal Reminder
This item it's very good even if we don't need the grievous wounds effect, because the stats it gives really suit Garen.
You get AD, Attack speed and crit, for more DPS on your E, as well as
%movement speed, being faster is always very good. Additionally it's a very cheap item.

If you are thinking "why go for Mortal Reminder instead of Chempunk Chainsword?", the reason is that DPS wise it's one of the best items for Garen, and probably the only crit and attack speed legendary item that sinergyzes well with him, and also because Chempunk stats are not very good, though it isn't a bad item by any means, and it might be better for a completely Bruiser build, but generally Mortal Reminder is just better.
Quick tip: you can prock almost inmediately the 60% healing reduction with a (AA + Q reset + AA) combo.

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.


Sterak's Gage
Steraks it's a good item for any bruiser, and Garen is no exception, it gives a lot of HP and AD, and a Huge shield for frontlining or enduring damage in teamfights or 1v1's, it also helps to survive clutch situations on low health and ensures that you don't get bursted on too easily when getting focused, it's also greato for 1v1's where the big shield can deny the enemy killing you, especially if they are a bursty champion.
Sterak's is a good 3rd or 4th item buy, when you want to get it comes to your item preference, or to what you need the most in the match, but because the shield scales with Bonus HP and it gives Base AD as bonus AD, so it generally is better to delay the item's purchase until 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.


Death's Dance
It's a very good item once you get your core items, it excells into AD comps with a lot of burst (although it works for magic damage too).
Death's Dance gives you a lot of potential for 1v2 or 1v3's, not only because it delays damage (as a true damage bleed) but also because of the other pasisve, Defy, which removes the bleed stored damage and heals you based on your bonus AD.

On paper this item doesn't seems that good, but there are a lot of situations where you get hard bursted and die before doing anything, but with Death's Dance you get some valuable seconds where you can kill the enemy with Demacian Justice before they kill you, ironically defying death.
Although the item's potential it's quite hard to see, during fights and teamfights it's really good.
If you purchase Death's Dance remember to try and get a kill or takedown asap if you get bursted, and if everything goes right you will heal and survive.


Youmuu's Ghostblade
Youmuu's is one of my favorite Garen items, and one that not many people buy.
It is really good for catching squishy champions and murdering them.
The stats are very good, it gives AD, AH, and most importantly, 18 lethality. That bonus lethality plus the movement speed from the item gives you the upper hand on squishys and makes it easier to kill them, because of the speed and the stast youmuu's gives i consider it the best Lethality item for Garen.

The bonus speed from the active and passive are very good for going around the map
and chasing enemies or gapclosing them. Also something worth emtnioning is that lethality works on towers, which makes this item good for splitpushing since you get a lot of damage for destroying towers.


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 helps Garen when he needs to splitpush, it gives very good stats and when you don't have any ally nearby you boost nearby Cannon's and Siege minions and increase their damage to towers and make them tanquier, you also gain additional Armor and MR (scaling with levels).
So even if someone contests your push you can duel them since you are tanquier while alone.
Because Garen isn't an innate splitpusher like Yorick, 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.

Generally as Garen you want to swap beetwen splitpushing and teamfighting, and grouping with your team, that's why this item is very situational. If you really want to split you can go other items while not getting locked out of teamfights, items like: Trinity Force, Divine Sunderer, Dead Man's Plate, Youmuu's Ghostblade, etc...

Another reason why Hullbreaker isn't so good is because there are other items that Garen needs more, since his kit lacks most of the tools other natural splitpushers like Yorick or Fiora already have, like sustain, max hp% damage, a way to escape or some form of CC].


Anathema's Chains
Anathema's it's a situtaional item that's amazing on Garen, it makes you really tanky and at max stacks of it's Active it reduces 30% of an enemy's damage to you, and while you are nearby, they get reduced tenacity, and if the enemy doesn't have any it can make them have negative tenacity, effectively increasing CC duration on them.
Which makes this item good for teamfighting if your team has a lot of CC.

Anathema's it's very good when you have to deal with 1 really feed enemy (who doesn't deal true damage), or if theres a certain enemy you have to always deal with, which makes this item very effective for counter-splitpushing champs like Yorick or Illaoi, or atleast be able to tank their damage while defending your towers.
Since it's damage reduction it doesn't reduce true damage, which most toplaners have nowdays, so keep that in mind.
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 is Garen main keystone because Judgment procks Conqueror stacks with every spin so you prock it very quickly, and bonus AD it's very good for Garen, and it scales well into the mid-late game, where Garen kinda falls off.
Early on It helps to trade since the bonus AD makes your attacks hit harder and makes you able to extend fights, since normally once Garen uses his Q and E he has no damage left and has to back off until his CD's are back up, but with Conq you can still do damage with attacks.

Conqueror is very good for Garen to deal with bruisers/meele champs and be able to win extended fights, which are very common in toplane, because if you go with something else, like Grasp of the Undying, you HAVE to do only short trades, and if the enemy forces a long fight you are kinda screwed since Garen damage comes from his abilities and not much from passives or attacks (like Jax or Gwen).
Also, The healing from Conqueror when fully stacked is fully applied on AoE damage, unlike Omnivamp which heals for only 33% effectiveness.
So you heal for all the damage your spin does

Fleet Footwork helps Garen in hard matchups or if you are gonna be constantly trading with attacks.
Fleet isn't a good keystone against poke and harassh due to the healing being lower on minions but better against Champions.
Even with what i said about the sustain, Fleet can still be used in ranged and hard matchups to survive the laning phase, and if you get to attack something the MS boost helps to stick or chase them.
Though in general i recommend to just run Conqueror or Phase Rush in those cases, as they end up being way more useful than Fleet in every way.

The downside of Fleet Footwork is that it's really only useful during the laning phase but it scales mediocrely when compared to runes like Conqueror past the mid-game.
While the heal and speed are not useless in the mid-game, you don't get much benefit from it compared to other champions.


in the first row Triumph is the only choice available, Presence of Mind doesn't work on Garen, And Overheal too, since Garen has no built-in healing, and even then we wont heal above our Max health anyway since we tend to fight and play agressive, which makes it very useless.

Triumph helps in low HP duels and teamfights.
In the early game Triumph can save our life a lot of times, from diying to minions, during a 1v2, or from a tower shot after a dive, Triumph healing comes very in clutch in a lot situations, and is actually underrated how much it helps when teamfighting or when fighting multiple enemies.

The attack speed from Legend: Alacrity doesn't work on Judgment, and since Garen isn't an autoattacker it doesn't benefit him, the same with Legend: Bloodline, Garen doesn't get any use from lifesteal.

Which leaves Legend: Tenacity as our only but useful choice, on a bruiser with no gapclose and utility getting CC'ed less is really good, and it free's you from needing Mercury's Treads or Unflinching to get tenacity, which opens up a slot on your items and runes for something else.

Coup de Grace is wasted on Garen because you already have Demacian Justice to execute enemies on low health, and since it deals true damage it doesn't get amplified by Coup de Grace, so you don't get any value off from this runes.
I would only recommend it if you are going for a Oneshot or Full damage build (like crit, lethality or full attack speed, where you want to kill with or without your Ult).

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.
It's good for the Toplane where you are gonna be constantly on low health, in clutch situations the damage from Last Stand is very helpful and let's you turn around fights.
It also helps during teamfights, where you are going to be tanking a lot of 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 a tanky champion and you get a lot of HP from items, which makes this rune useleess on him, and just like Coup de Grace it doesn't work on Ult, but if you go for a full damage/crit build and the enemy has a couple of tanks it can be useful.




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.
Grasp encourages a very specific "Harassh with Q > back off > wait for CD's > repeat" playstyle, where you chunk enemies with Q + Grasp everytime they go for cs. But without Conqueror you lack damage in extended trades, and it scales worse into the mid-late game since people will kite you and fights will become more short, which is not what you want with Grasp.

Grasp is good situationally agains't tanks or in matchups where you rely on short trades, or if you are not confident you can win against a tank Grasp of the Undying it's pretty good into them and it let's you scale off from just trading with them.
In matchups where you can't fully use Conqueror and/or have to do only short trades, this rune it's a much better choice, for example: Jayce, Akali, Pantheon,
Tryndamere or Sett.


Demolish it's the best rune from the first row, the others don't work well with Garen, so it's the only option you have here.
Demolish is very good for splitpushing and taking down towers faster, and in the early game you can use it to get a couple of tower platings.
Later on it comes in handy for taking down towers on a sidelane while theres a teamfight or objective somewhere else on the map.
Although if you don't have the resolve tree as your priamry rune tree then you have to sacrifice Conditioning and Overgrowth's scaling and tankyness in favor of Demolish pressure, since you can only choose 2 secondary runes.

Font of Life it's pointless on Garen, unless you have Stridebreaker.

Shield Bash is an interesting rune, but which ultimatelly doesn't work, the reason it's mainly because Demolish and the other rune rows offer better stuff and because it isn't optimal when considering that the only shield you have, 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 really late in the match, and witha very specific build to maximize the shield.

In the second row Conditioning is the best one and sinergyzes with Courage passive, granting free resistances and leaving you with around 130 armor and MR just with this rune and Courage fully stacked in the mid-game.
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 are gonna get harrased or poked a lot, and combined with Doran's Shield + Perseverance you get insane sustain in the early game. It's good in matchups like: Teemo, Kennen or Malphite.

Bone Plating it's very good for mitigating damage from all in's, and it's pretty useful in short trades against champions that blow their entire combo and then run or extended the trade, like: Volibear, Renekton or Riven.
When you run Bone Plating remember to try to trade only when it isn't on cooldown, so you get the upper hand during trades, and don't forget to not let enemies prock it for free with an attack.
This rune also works in the lategame, if you are frontlining or dealing with assasins it mitigates quite a lot of burst, and if you don't group and decide to splitpush Bone Plating helps to duel whoever comes for you, generally being the enemy toplaner which you tock this rune agains't, reducing their burst damage.

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 get sustain items, and additionally Perseverance is health regen, not a healing, so Revitalize doesn't work with 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 bonus tenacity.




SORCERY

Phase Rush is another keystone that you can use on Garen, which doesn't give damage but gives instead the extra utility of having a big boost of movement speed and be almost inmune to slows.
Additionally the Sorcery tree has some very nice scaling and helpful 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 problem of using Phase Rush is that Conqueror damage is way better than PR movement speed 90% of the time, especially in SoloQ, and during laning phase the only use of PR is for running away from an enemy after a trade or for sticking on them if you are winning the trade, and although that's useful, generally the extra damage you get from Conqueror is more useful during trades and fights, especially early on.

Once the early game is over PR movement speed comes in clutch in a lot more situations, for example when teamfighting it helps to stick to squishy enemies and makes it very hard to kite you once you catch them.
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 combo and then you Zoom out of there while wasting their time!

Overall I would say Phase Rush is a situational rune that's good for sticking to enemies and specially ranged champions, and for running away in bad matchups or if you want to do short trades with Q ( Camille, Urgot, Riven or Tahm Kench for example).


Nullifying Orb it's an intersting rune on Garen, genrally he doesn't need it because he is a bruiser, so a lil' magic shield isn't that effective, and it also gets outclassed by other sorcery secondary runes you can use, but against 3+ AP champions, or against burst AP champs, or toplaner, it can be decent.

Nimbus Cloak it's the only and best choice from the first row, and a really good one at that, Nimbus give you a burst of MS when you use a summoner spells, since Garen uses summs like Ignite, Ghost and Flash, specially for combat, the movement speed it's really good.
Additionally it allows you to use some summs like Exhaust and Ignite offensive and defensivelly, giving them new uses, like escaping from ganks dropping an Ignite on someone, and saving your Flash.

Transcendence it's pretty good, it gives Garen some free CDR as the game goes on, and a level 11 you get a little bonus which, upon a takedown, reduces a % of your basic ability cooldowns, which makes this rune pretty good for 1v2-3 and obviously for teamfights, which can sometimes allow you to get two W usages or multiple Q's and E's in a single teamfight. Aside from the lv11 special thingy, the bonus CDR it's pretty good to get your ibilities back up, since Garen realies a lot on them, instead of his autos, to deal damage.

Celerity it's pretty good since Garen get's a lot of movement speed from using Decisive Strike and from most of his items ( Stridebreaker and Dead Man's Plate for example) and he gets a lot of value from MS. This rune also pairs really well with Nimbus Cloak and Phase Rush, granting even more MS.

Absolute Focus is Bad for the contrary reason that Last Stand is good
on Garen. Since you are a bruiser and you get hurs a lot during laning phase your health will almost never be above 70%.
In short, it's not worth to use this rune just for some ocassional bonus AD, even if you are going an Assasin build.

Scorch can be good for some additional spicy damage during trades, and it's magic damage, which is pretty nice for an AD bruiser with 90% of it's damage being physical. But aside form being good in lanes where you are gonna trade a lot, it's not even worth taking since Garen is not a character that can safely harrassh, and the rune falls of a cliff past mid-game.
In general it's bad, but ocasionally it coould be a good option.

Unless you are playing Mid and you are plan on roaming/rotating a lot,
Waterwalking it's not worth taking, theres a lot of better stuff to help Garen than this rune, and additionally it's useless for the laning phase

Gathering Storm is one of my favorite runes, it grants you scaling AD as the game progresses, beetwen mid-late game this rune it's pretty good, and although it's not a lot, some bonus AD is always good. I wouldn't say theres a specific situation to use it, but i think it's very good if you are against champions that outscale you hard, this rune allows you to scale as much as them, and with enough XP and items, you can have a chance of even surpassing them, although this is an ideal scenario, there are champs like Fiora, Tristana or Camille that outscale you no matter what.
But i think you get the point, Gathering Storm is very good to boost your scaling and get some bonus AD.
How to play every Phase
Laning Phase and Early game

During laning phase you want to farm a lot to stack up Courage as fast as possible.
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 can also do an AA + Q + E combo which does more damage, generally try to hit enemies with E a little bit and then back off, only after you get some items and put points on E it will start to do noticeable damage. Remember that if you run Ignite you have a lot of kill pressure in the early game during level 2, 4, and 6, and even more if you are a level ahead of your enemy, since they will be weaker than you.

At level 6 with Demacian Justice and Ignite up, you should look to all-in and kill the enemy toplaner, even if they Flash and you don't get kill, it's still worth it.
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 with Conqueror extra AD, since attack speed increases the number of spins, which equals to more DPS and a faster Conqueror prock, which is why those boots are such a Core item on Garen.


Perseverance is the key to overcome bad matchups, especially the ones where you get bullied and poked, and it's very important to abuse it.
You can use brushes to still get xp while the enemy can't see you and so they can't attack you to "break" your passive, this is very useful in ranged matchups, but you can also do this in any matchup to catch xp while using your passive.
When the enemy sees you back off after a trade they will generally try to interrupt your passive to not let you regenerate, what you can do is use the brush tip i mentioned before, doing so means that enemies can't target or attack you without wasting a ward, which should give you enough free time to make good use of Perseverance, alternativelly you can also push the wave to regenerate health while they are busy clearing the wave, until it bounces back to you.

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 as to what you want or need to do, this mainly depends on your playstyle, build, and the yours and the enemy team composition.

What i advice is to try to indetify your win con based on what i said before and other factors, like what's more important in that match, or what can help your team the most to win, for example, "is the enemy team full of meele or beffy champions?" if that's the case then your win con is probably staying with your team and frontlining for them, especially if dragon is up, since Garen has no problem dealing with melee enemies and he is very tanky, you can also pressure the enemy team and split to force those meele enemies to fight you in the sidelane while your team does something else.

Helping your team out into those kind of overwhelming comps (who have a way to
hard-engage and also deal a lot of damage) can make a huge difference, because if you leave your team alone in these scenario to ,for example, splitpush, it's very likely that they are gonna get wiped out without your help.
if they are mostly ranged champs you can try to teamfight and look to flank and kill the backline or surprise an enemy, because in teamfights agains't ranged opponents you can't engage and you get kited really hard, so looking for opportunities or a place that's not warded it's key to deal with them, and possibly oneshot one of them.


Alternativelly if you can't teamfight or if your team is really behind and constantly dying, then Splitpushing is another very viable win con for you, since in this cases forcing yourself to teamfight is probably not gonna work, so this way you can help your team in a way.
This forces the enemy to contest your push or try to ace your team in a 5v4 while you get their towers. Though if you are very ahead or the enemy is playing for objectives, or you can't splitpush because certain enemies deny you of spliting, then you should be teamfighting and grouping with your team.

Splitting it's also a good idea when you are behind because then you can get back with the gold and xp you get while pushing waves, since in 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.



Late game

Generally Garen doesn't excell in the late game because of his lack of utility and how volatile and coin-flipy the game becomes in this stage, 1 death or a bad call can cost you the entire game here. Additionally in Teamfights ADC's melt and kite you without letting you do anything, making it very hard for Garen to make anything, that's why in the late-game you have to be constantly looking for picks and flanks, and don't forget to abuse brushes and un-Warded spots. Also the later the game goes the more Garen falls off and his weaknesess become more exploitable while damage becomes higher, that's why generally past-30 minutes most Garen's become a punching bag in teamfights and are forced to splitpush.


Though Garen kinda scales, and if you don't get kited, you are not only really hard to take down but you also deal a lot of damage in fights, with full build you should be able to oneshot any squishy that gets near you, and even bruisers like Darius or Sett with the help of Demacian Justice.
Even in the late game splitpushing it's still a valid strategy, and Garen it's not easy to take down or catch up, which means the enemy team needs to send 2 or more people to stop you. If the enemy is not stupid they will not let you push to their base, but you can use this pressure to mkae it easier for your team to take an important objective like baron or dragon (And also Soul and elder), and if the enemy leaves you alone you can just win the game by yourself, using objectives as a Bait.

Here good vision control and warding is important because if one teammate get's caught up you are in a 4v5, and in the late game this can easily lead to free objetives, or even to a loss if your team can't defend.
If you are ahead you should group with your team for objetives or Teamfight to close out the game.
Warding Tips
Warding is very important for any champ, good wards can help Garen a lot to avoid ganks and know where the enemy is.
Also since Garen tends to splitpush a lot know how to ward is very useful so you can spot enemies who are coming for you and from where they are coming, so you can back off with time, for example if you don't run the moment you see Camille or Vayne they will probably catch and murder you because of their high mobility and damage.

Warding helps during teamfights to know how to Flank the enemy by knowing their locations. For example if theres a dragon and you are in Blue side you can ward with anticipation around their blue jungle entrances or their blue buff spot and then go around in the jungle without being spotted and go for the enemy backline.
Knowing where enemies are is very important if you want to Flank because if the enemy ADC get's peeled, or the enemy team groups too much you can't do anything.
It can also happen that you try to surprise their ADC but then the support suddenly
heals or shields him from behind a wall and then you die, possibly also wasting resources. So when you Flank it's important to know where veryone is and go for a kill when you are sure enemies are splitted.

Control Ward and Oracle Lens are really good for Garen so he can Flank or Camp brushes with the confidence and knowledge that the enemy doesn't where you are.
When splitpushing you can also put a Control Ward in a bush near Tier 2 tower after shoving the wave and then waiting until whoever comes to stop you goes nearby to kill them.
If you are using Control Ward to deny enemy vision you can afford to go for Farsight Alteration, it helps to quickly put a ward while splitpushing without going there, and it helps to spot enemies who may be waiting for you nearby or in a brush.
Additionally, and i learned this from Fulza12, theres a useful trick you can use when going with a Blue trinket, the trick is that if enemies clear a Blue trinket you put on a brush while they are not inside of it, or if they directly go and destroy it inmeditaelly, it means the Brush has been previously warded.

After covering general warding tips and ways to use them, let's see some Warding locations that i use, and think are good.
There will be 4 types: Early wards, Mid-Late game wards, Spots for Control wards and Splitpush wards.


DISCLAIMER: The reason why the warding spots are only on 1 side of the map is because the map is mirrored, so it is the same in both sides, so to save some time i just did the warding spots on 1 side, but they can obviosuly be applied on the other side since it is the same.


Early game Wards

In the early game you generally want to ward places that can get you information about the enemy jungler, mid laner and sometimes their toplaner.
Sometimes knowing what your opponent is doing let's you act with more knowledge in hand to take a better decision instead of blindly doing what you think it's best, for example, if you see your opponent backing in a brush or nearby their tower you act based on that information, you can either shove the wave and do the same and recall, or keep freezing, or maybe let the freeze and recall too. Or maybe you saw through a lane or burh ward that the enemy Sion went to red side jungle, possibly to farm his krugs , in that case you can use that information to push the wave and hopefully make Sion miss some farm if he can't clear krugs fast enough, or you can use this time to recall or roam.

Aside from knowing where your opponent is and what is he doing, the most important wards for the early game are those that give you info about the enemy jungler or midlaner.
Wards in the river, for example, are very good since they let you know with anticipation they are walking towards you.
To know where the enemy jungler is you want to ward their buffs or some small camp nearby toplane like gromp or krugs , which sometimes doesn't tell where the enemy jungler is, but it let's you guess their pathing, and if the camp is up that ward let's you if they are aroudn toplane since junglers tend to clear 1 or 2 camps and then look for a gank, so if you see their jungler finishing krugs and walking towards you, you have time to back off.




Mid-Late game Wards

In the mid & late game you want to place wards in places where enemies are generally gonna pass sonner or later, and if for example dragon or baron are up, you know enemies are gonna walk nearby those objectives, with that in mind you want to place your wards in highly contested brushes or zones, most of the time in the enemy jungle, an example of a good ward spot in the enemy jungle is the middle zone beetwen raptors and red brambleback , where enemies are gonna frequently pass around, a ward there gives you information about their locations and what they are doing or where they are going next.
But don't forget to ward objectives before they spawn and before both teams group and try to contest it, since you can get surprised by the enemy while warding and you risk dying.



Control Wards

Control Ward's are very useful and underused by a lot of players below Diamond,
they help to secure a specific zone for a lot of time if they are well placed, and when used correctly they are extremelly valuable and can give very useful information, for just 75g.

Control Ward's are commonly used in the early game to prevent ganks and denies the enemy of vision, which helps your jungler to gank you and makes it riskier for your opponent overextend nearby your tower.

Later on they are used for securing a specific Brush or zone,
and if well placed they can last for a long time before enemies see it.
While splitpushing they are good for knowing if enemies are around or coming for you (if they are in the jungle), though you need to put them with anticipation before going for a tower or before even trying to split nearby said zone of the map.


-In the Box below you can see a detailed explanation of every spot and how them use it and why.
All Spots explanation


Splitpush Wards

While splitpushing you want to ward areas where an enemies are most likely to be seen or detected, where you place it depends on a couple factors.
For example; "Are members of the enemy team nearby the part of the map where i am?" If the answer is no, because everyone is on dragon or teamfighting somewhere else then you don't really need to ward, or you can ward the entrances of the enemy jungle, so in case someone goes to stop you, you will see them long before they even come to the lane, giving you time to back off, do some jungle camps, push other lane, ward or even walk up to a teamfight if it's still going or nothing has happened yet. Another question you can make yourself is "if everyone was mid lane a couple of seconds ago, where they are gonna go now?", in this case the enemy team is probably gonna try to collapse on you, so you want to get vision of zones nearby where the they were so you can see if they are coming for you or not.

Generally you ward specific spots in the enemy jungle where players tend to pass a lot so you can get information about where they are and what they are doing.
So if for example you see 3 people in top farming and grouping, then it's very probable they want to force a baron , in which case you can inmediatelly go botlane and start to split, which pressures the enemy team and makes them have to take a decision.
If you ward a place nearby where you are splitting you need to have on mind what champs are gonna go for you and which ward spots are best agains't them.
For example, you won't place wards in the same place if you are agains't an Hecarim, Kayn, Twitch + Lulu botlane or a Evelynn, which are champs that can flank you and kill you in different angles than other champions.

Brush camping
Bush Camping, or camping a bush, is an old trick that has been in this game probably since it launched, this simple technique consists in waiting in a Brush where you know or think the enemy has no vision, and then wait until someone get's close and then BOOOOM, you Q, spin and then Ult and they are dead.
This is because Garen's kit is very good for bush camping since with your Silence and damage plus your R being a True damage execute makes squishy enemies be unable to do anything and then they just explode.


Garen is one of the few meele champs in the game that relies A LOT on camping unwarded bushes to surprise enemies, as a totally legit strat in 90% of his matches.
This is especially important for Assasin and Crit Garen, since you are very squishy using the surprise factor of bushes to your adavntague to oneshot enemies is very important.

This strategy or trick comes very in handy, especially in low elo, because most people dont expect you to stay on a brush or location for so long. Which is why in part 'bush camping' is actually quite of a test of your patience, and being able to know and predict your enemies, for example: Based on the enemies movement's and actions you can kind of know if the brush you are in is warded or not, or if they know you are nearby because they saw you in a ward previously.
I think it tests your prediction skills since sometimes you will stay on a brush, and without knowing the enemies exact location, you have to guess where they are most likelly gonna go, and where you can strike the by surprise!
But keep in mind that 'Bush camping' too much in a match will eventually make enemies be more careful about bushes and facechecking, especially if you give up and show yourself going out of a bush multiple times in front of them, so try to not act suspicious and wait all the time necessary, the kills will eventually come. Also in this topic, even if enemies know what you are doing it's still a win for us, since that will make them paranoid of walking into unwarded zones or bushes.

So in conclusion, even though this technique sounds quite silly and not important, it's important to abuse it as you can on Garen, which can get you some unexpected kills or oneshots.
Garen Playstyles

BRUISER/JUGGERNAUT


Garen main playstyle (or identity) is an AD Bruiser, as most people know Bruisers are a Class conformed of tanky characters that deal lots of damage but struggle to gapclose enemies and have low or non-existant mobility, making them relie a lot on items, runes or summoner spells for mobility and some strategys like flanking or camping brushes to impact the game or kill someone.

Garen doen't have any mobility (except for the MS from Q) or even utility, which makes him a Tanky-Assasin that needs to get on the backline and kill someone to be useful. Although you are really durable thanks to Courage, you get kited and CC'ed so much that your tankiness isn't enough to be useful.
That's why Garen 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 for them.
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 both damage and durability (if you are not behind).

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 a percentage of the enemies missing health, which deals a lot of damage to tanky frontliners, like Renekton or Camille.
Even with what i said before, as either a Bruiser or an Assasin or whatever else, Garen generally wants to avoid teamfights and do something else to get an advantage, like splitpushing, stealing jungle camps from the enemy or pushing waves constantly. Splitpushing with Garen works very well since you have a lot of speed and durability, which makes it very hard for the enemy to deal with, and Garen also does quite fine into 1v2, which creates more pressure than if you where teamfighting, but all of this depends on the match.


ASSASIN

Generally Garen is a bruiser tha deals a lot of damage, but when your team doesn't need a Tank or Frontliner, and/or the enemy team is full of squishys, 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 a lot AD, lethality, Crit or attack speed items.
I personally recommend to build Crit or attack speed items instead of lethality because Garen doesn't use the stat too effectivelly, and both his passive and W don't even deal damage at all and Demacian Justice it's true damage so it doens't benefit from it.
Which leaves only 2 of your abilities and your attacks as the only sources of phisycal damage that benefit from lethality, though lethality isn't bad on Garen, but i personally think you should never build more than 2 lethality items since you would get more value from something else most of the time.
And also, generally you can reach the same or even more quantities of damage with attack speed or AD items.


As an Assasin you want to get enemies with low guard and surprise them using Fog of war and Bushes to your advantage, so you don't have to run up to them to kill them, just wait and then surprise! they are dead before your silence even wears off, and once you get in range it's generally impossible for them to get away from you before they die.

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 CC'ed, but also killed more easily since you are trading off your Durability for more Damage and Oneshot potential, leaving you really squishy and vulnerable.
Which is why sometimes splitpushing with this playstyle can work better than teamfighting, you just go and get towers with your huge amounts of damage, since lethality works on towers and you will have so much damage that you are gonna destroy them in seconds. And if you are doing well you can afford to fight anyone that comes to stop you if you know you can kill them.



SPLITPUSH

Splitpush Garen is another playstyle that works well, and, for good or bad, it's what Garen does in most games, especially if you are behind and can't contribute to teamfights.

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 a good strategy that let's you apply map pressure on the enemy team and forces them to deal with you, while you get a lot resources like xp and a lot of gold, and with Trinity Force and the new Hullbreaker splitpushing has become an even more viable playstyle.
But remember, you can't splitpush every game, agaisn't certain comps it's very difficult to push and not get killed while pushing waves, or agains't champions that can chase you with constant mobility or slows/CC.
And don't forget that if your team is not doing well you should try to group and help them out, 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 annihilate them and get all the objectives while you attack towers which in some games is not the win con.
If the enemy is too ahead splitpushing can be a bad idea because the enemy can send one (strong) member of their team, but they will still win the 4v4 teamfights, which makes your pressure useless.



TANK and OFF-TANK

Tank and Off-tank Garen where very common in the past, but after the Rework it has become a very unviable and niche playstyle that only works in specific matchups or games, and obviously for fun in normals.
Although Garen is a Bruiser, Most people (before his rework) builded him with just 1-2 bruiser or AD items, and the rest was full Tank, the reason for this it's obviously because 'Full Tank' Garen it's completely useless as you have no CC to offer, so you need some damage atleast to be threatening and useful.
Even though this is actually called 'Off Tank' i like to simply call it Tank Garen, since as said before, Full on tank doesn't work.


Aside from Kiting, Tank Garen main issue is that he is basically just a Meat shield for damage, that does a lot of damage to squishys, with R as it's main and most reliable source of damage, and nothing else.
All of this plus his rework have pushed the Tank playstyle away and making him more of a Bruiser or Assasin who builds damage.
This worked before, but now with all the changes to Garen and the game, this playstyle has become worse and worse with the pass of time, which forces to build damage to clear waves and kill your enemies as fast as possible.

But the Tank playstyle can work if you are really behind or if you build 1 or 2 damage items before building full tank.
Some good AD items are: Sterak's Gage Black Cleaver Divine Sunderer Mortal Reminder, and any item with AD/AS.
I don't recommend playing Full 'Tank', instead going 'Off-tank' so you atleast have enough damage to be relevant in the match and be able to Frontline for your team, this playstyle or build it's pretty good if your team needs a frontliner or you are up against a lot of meeles and/or Bruisers .

The only matches where 'Full Tank' Garen could be viable it's if your team lacks a frontline or tank, and the enemy team is pretty much full meele champs (3 or 4).
Special thanks!
I want to thank here everyone thats reading that guide, if you came all the way down her and readed all (or most) of the guie i want to really thank you, as it took a lot of time to do and write it, i hope you enjoyed it and got something useful out of it! And i hope that you will enjoy (if i do) future guides!

Also i want to thank the Mobafire staff for their work and help, and i want to give a special thank you to Katasandra and jhoijhoi for their guides of BBcode and their general help for making guides.

That's all, bye and have fun in the rift. ;)

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide