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[v1.2][Updated 6/29/10]Garen, The Might of Critical Hits

Last updated on July 1, 2010
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

Note: Some images are broken. They will be fixed very shortly

This build is exceptionally strong on Twisted Treeline, but not to be overlooked for Summoner's Rift. By scoring critical hits on every swing of your Judgment, you get the thrill of watching their health drop below 50% in one skill. Enjoy having a ridiculous movement speed, attack speed, and not to mention 100% Crit Chance. This build is by far, the strongest DPS Garen build available.

Summoner Spells

Allows for early game tower diving with ease. The combination of Ignite and Demacian Justice is ridiculously powerful. With no worry at all, I can easily take someone from 50% to 0% with ignite, followed by a Demacian Justice. In 3v3, this proves to be exceptionally powerful, allowing me to overthrow the lane, score a turret kill very early, and begin eating the rest of the team as if they wanted to feed me.


When you solo lane with Garen in 3v3, there is no doubt that Exhaust will get you early game kills. The sheer control provided by Exhaust/Judgement is devastating. By level 6 I usually have a 2 or 3 kills, which makes it only easier to start controlling the map. Exhaust will allow you to dominate early game, and by doing so, will grant you more money and levels mid-late game.

Other Good Summoner Spell OptionsGhost

Ghost compliments your Judgement extremely well. Combined with the speed boost provided by Decisive strike, it is near impossible to escape Judgement's full damage. Although this is very powerful, Exhaust does nearly the same thing, snaring them along with your Decisive strike's speed boost. Not only that, but exhaust provides more team utility for obvious reasons (snare, blind, armor/magic resist reduced). Only choose ghost if, for some reason, you are not good with exhausting.

Cleanse is a great spell to have it many situations. I find little to no-use for it myself because I am 99% of the time able to escape a gank by either killing the enemies or running away with my insane movement speed and snare immunity. Not to be overlooked, more of a preference if anything.

On Twisted Treeline, Smite can prove worthy to your team. Smite allows you to easily control Lizard and Dragon (which provide global gold an exp, on top of amazing buffs). When your team is constantly recieving bonus gold and exp, it makes it even easier to out level and itemize better than your opponents.

Perseverance - Garen will regenerate .5% of his maximum health per second after not receiving damage for 7 seconds.

This passive is what makes Garen so durable in a lane early game. With this passive, combined with Health Potions, will allow you to avoid basing for a very long time. My first base usually consists of buying my Boots of Swiftness and Brutalizer because of how long I stay there and farm minions/champions. In the top lane of Twisted Treeline, you can easily overthrow the other laner and score an early turret kill, as well as multiple champion kills if you know what you are doing.

Decisive Strike - Garen's next attack strikes a vital area of his foe, dealing bonus damage and silencing them.
Garen gains a 15/20/25/30/35% speed boost for 2 seconds. His next attack deals 40/60/80/100/120 bonus damage and silences his target for 2.5 seconds.

Cooldown - 11/10/9/8/7 seconds
Cost - No Cost
Range - Self

This is a complimentary skill to your Judgement. There are 2 ways to utilize this skill for your judgement based on whether or not they have a Knockback/Stun/Airborne.

Enemy DOES have an airborne/knock-back/stun: Allow your silence to hit first before using Judgement. By using your silence, you can freely judgement on an Alistar without getting pushed away, or a Sion without getting Stunned while he walks away.

Enemy DOES NOT have an airborne/knock-back/stun: This is an ideal situation. With no way to stop your Judgement, you can freely use your Decisive Strike's speed boost to get off a Judgement on the enemy with relative ease.

Remember to use Decisive Strike's speed boost to escape if necessary, combined with Judgement's snare-immunity, you can really save yourself in a gank situation.

Courage - Garen's kills increase his armor and magic resistance. He may also activate this ability to give himself a damage reducing shield.
Passive: Garen's armor and magic resist are permanently increased by 0.5 every time he kills an enemy unit. This bonus is maxed at 7/14/21/28/35.

Active: Garen places a defensive shield on himself for the next 2/2.5/3/3.5/4 seconds, decreasing all damage taken by 35%.

Cooldown - 30/27/24/21/18 seconds
Cost - No Cost
Range - Self

Courage allows you to tower dive early game for a kill, while reducing a lot of the damage you would have taken. Use this skill as often as possible when it comes to tower diving, fighting solo, and team fights when focused. This skill is also a great counter to some things such as Karthus or Nunu's ultimate. The passive isn't super amazing since it is the last thing you max out, but it makes a difference throughout the whole game. Free armor and magic resist doesn't hurt!
Judgment - Garen performs a dance of death with his sword, dealing damage around him and becoming immune to slowing and root effects for 3 seconds.
Garen rapidly spins his sword around his body for 3 seconds, removing and making him immune to all roots and slows, dealing physical damage (15/35/55/75/95 plus 35% of his attack damage) to enemy units in the area every 0.5 seconds. This ability does half damage to minions, and it can scale off of your critical hit stat to deal bonus damage.

Cooldown - 15/14/13/12/11 seconds
Cost - No Cost
Range - Melee

Unforunately, you do not proc on-hit effects from items/buffs but, it is considered as a spell so blinds will not affect you. Not to mention, it grants you immunity to snares. This skill is the core of Garen. Allowing you absolutely destroy multiple targets with a mass amount of AoE damage. Paired with Decisive Strike's speed boost, you can gank opponents, tower dive, and turn the tide of a team battle with ease. Remember to appropriately use your Decisive Strike with Judgement, and never forget to use Judgement to escape from snares when you trying to avoid a gank or catch up to a fleeing enemy.

In the right hands, Judgement is over powered. Use it as best as you can.

Demacian Justice - Garen calls upon the might of Demacia to deal a finishing blow to an enemy champion that deals damage based upon how much life his target has missing.
Garen calls upon the might of Demacia to attempt to execute an enemy champion, dealing 175/350/525 damage plus 1 damage for every 3.5/3/2.5 health they are missing.

Cooldown - 140/120/100 seconds
Cost - No Cost
Range - 400

This skill will allow you to tower dive, in combination with ignite, fairly well. Early game tower diving thanks to Demacian Justice is a true game winner. I have near single-handedly won 3v3s because of my ability to push towers, tower dive, and then kill the tower afterwards. Truely amazing. Never use this skill as an opener, it completely ruins the bonus damage. Getting off your Judgement/Decisive Strike first will prove very useful. Not to mention, this is a great anti kill steal tool. Using this when someone is around 40% will near-guarantee a kill. Pay close attention to high HP tanks especially, they are extremely vulnerable to your ultimate.


Preferably, you want to be out leveling your opponent, scoring multiple champion kills and tower kills. Going 21/0/9 allows you to reap the benefit of added damage all game, as well as extra gold, extra experience, and less time spent dead (if you actually die :P).


Armor Penetration (Marks and Quintessences) - You take Armor Penetration over Crit Damage because Armor Penetration is actually more damage on a crit than Crit Damage runes in Mark/Quint (some exceptions late game, but the difference is less than 2%). They also provide a 100% usefulness to your character, unlike Crit Damage, where they are only in effect if you score a critical hit. Although we reach 100% Crit, you won't be there until late game, and sacrificing efficiency in the majority of the game is not worth it.

Critical Chance over Critical Damage (Seals and Glyphs) - With the removal of the base crit chance and crit chance per level, substituting that amount is necessary to keep your effectiveness up early-mid game when items may be scarce.


The 6th item will depend on what you are playing against, and the time you purchase it will be up to your best judgment. Some of the recommended items would be:
- 40% Armor reduction on your target and some extra attack speed. The armor penetration makes all of your damage even stronger. This is extremely useful against high armor tanks.
- 75 Attack Damage to beef up all your damage. Since you are already at 100% crit, make those crits stronger. The passive effect is very useful with your high attack speed from your Phantom Dancers and Ghostblade. The passive wont be applied by your Judgment unfortunately.
- 100 Attack Damage when maxxed out and lots of life steal. An excellent choice considering how much damage your auto attacks deal and how often you swing.
- If the other team has been focusing you at the start of team fights, this item can make the difference between a win and a loss of a team fight for obvious reasons.
- If you are rolling the other team like I do, Sword of the Occult will be money well spent. This item is cheap and effective. A worthy investment if you plan on steamrolling to victory asap.