Garen Build Guide by PsYcHo_0
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Not Updated For Current Season
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You want to max this skill first because its going to provide the bulk of your damage early game. Unfortunately Judgment scales poorly late game, but its very powerful early on.
Thankfully its not completely useless late game. Judgment crits and scales with AD so its going to be your main farming tool.
This is the skill that you'll be using to initiate fights because of the speed boost/silence and it does really good damage as well. There's no reason to save this unless your playing against someone like Nunu and you need to shut down his ult. Max it second.
Its also important to note that this skill procs with Frozen Mallet's slow. So if you chase and initiate with this skill your enemy will be slowed, allowing you to do full damage with your spin because they cant get away.
There's not much to this skill and it doesn't improve much per level, so I max it last. It doesn't last very long either. Use it whenever you draw focus and you plan on staying in the fight. If its off CD you can use it to help escape ganks and such as well.
This skill is ridiculous. It does more damage based on how much health your opponent is missing so any champ at low health has good reason to fear you. You'll have to practice yourself to see how much damage it does, but this is a good guideline to follow if you want to ensure a kill.
Level 1: Use when your opponent is around 10% health
Level 2: Use when your opponent is around 15% health
Level 3: Use when your opponent is around 20% health
Garen is a champ that I avoided playing for the longest time. I avoided him because I always saw people building him tank and he just isn't very effective in that role. Sure he can take damage, but he has no CC outside of his silence and does very little damage late game when playing that role. And if someone isn't doing any damage why would you focus them? There's no reason to and that's why Garen shouldn't tank under any circumstance. If you cant pull aggro and you have no CC, you're not a tank.
Aside from that, tank Garen cant farm. The only way he can get gold is by KSing with his ult which I see all the time. And that's how most people justify Garen as a full tank. Kills. Well if you aren't doing the bulk of the damage, you don't deserve the kill. Your carry does. Can you win a game as tank Garen? Sure you can. Although your not doing anything but hurting your team, because they would be better off with someone else in that role.
Team fighting as tank Garen:
Step 1: Silence
Step 2: Spin
Step 3: KS with Ult
Step 4: Call your teammates noobs after you lose fight
Repeat until game ends. At this point you should have a score of 15/4/8 while your carries were all negative. Call your team noobs again and leave lobby.
Of course someone will say, "Well a good tank Garen will use his Ult before it can deal the killing blow, allowing someone else to get it". Sure. But have I EVER seen a tank Garen play that way? No. Not once and Ive played with my fair share. Its not even a good use of the skill because it wont be dealing max damage.
When most people look at Garen's skills all they see is their potential in the hands of a tank. I dont understand why. His silence of course counts as CC and if you build Frozen Mallet you gain another form of CC. But by that line of thinking, Annie would make a good tank. She has mass stuns, a shield that lasts WAY longer then Garen's and you could build Rylai's Crystal Scepter for mass slows before building pure tank. Of course shes squishy but every champ has the potential to be very bulky when built right. Of course people would say that its a waste of her potential because her skills scale on AP. So does Singed. So whats the difference? Annie has the tools of a killer. Building Garen tank is just a much a waste. He has the tools of a killer, not a tank.
I hate tank Garen and that's why I made this guide. Hopefully more people will as well and tank Garen will be a thing of the past. Obviously this isn't the first AD Garen build out there, but I firmly believe it will help you be the most consistent.
Garen is the strongest early game champion. Period. I go with this rune setup because it improves upon that foundation. Armor Pen is a must for any Garen build and I go with resistances for the extra bulk. I prefer flat rez for the early game advantage. Don't forget that armor pen works with his spin. Judgment scales poorly against armor so the runes are a must.
Pretty standard AD setup. I like having the 6 in defense for that extra bulk and 3 in Good Hands, because late game death times in 5v5 are dreadful.
Tip: Garen is a great solo top. 1v1 he can shut down almost anyone unless they rush health and armor. Someone like Morde or Singed can be a real problem if you dont zone them out early on. Try to play aggressive early.
Tip: Ranged DPS and mages are no threat most of the time. All you have to worry about is getting kited and pulling too much minion aggro. Dont let that happen. Creative use of bushes will solve this problem. You really just need to wait for them to make a mistake. Once they slip up, Q to close the distance really fast, then E like you would in any other early game fight. Once they get close enough again Flash in and Exhaust to seal the deal with your next skill combo.
Champions with CC are the ones you need to be careful with. A good example would be Vayne. She can constantly kite you and simply push you away if you get too close. Someone with traps would be a problem as well. If its someone with a slow, thats no problem because you can simply spin to remove the debuff.
Tip: Garen is also one of, if not the best, 2v1 laner in the game. You have to play a little bit safer though. Your opponents will get frustrated really fast from boredom and make mistakes. Make sure you take advantage of those mind games. I cant tell you how many 2v1 lanes Ive won without even needing help from my jungler. But you have to learn your limits. If your playing against a Morde and Vayne... your pretty much screwed. You might get a couple early kills but you mainly have to wait for ganks.
Tip: If your in a 2v1 lane you need to buy Doran's Shield instead of Doran's Blade. The extra health, armor and health regen are vital in order for you to sustain yourself.
In most cases Garen is going to dominate solo top. If you're doing good, you want to make sure that your wrath is felt in more then just your lane. On your first trip back you'll want to pick up 2 wards. Place one in the river so you don't get ganked. Place the other near the enemy blue or red buff depending on which side of the map you're on. When the enemy jungler goes for that buff, wreck havok. You can wait until the buff is low and try to steal it, or you can Exhaust the jungler and go in for the kill. If your jungler is in position to help, its going to be an easy kill.
You have to be careful though. If the enemy has ward coverage as well, they'll know what your up to and react accordingly. You could end up in a 3v1 situation if your not careful.