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Garen Build Guide by Typhlo

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Typhlo

When in Doubt, Spin to Win [OUT OF DATE, FOR FUN GUIDE]

Typhlo Last updated on September 5, 2012
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Ability Sequence

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

Not Updated For Current Season

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



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Change Log

7/3/2012 - Officially Published (no longer "in prog.")
7/24/2012 - ANNOUNCEMENT: Full AD Garen... Coming soon...
9/5/2012 - Guide out of date, no longer updating.

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Check out my new video, "A Gentleman's Guide to Olaf."


So here we have the great Garen, the Might of Demacia.

Garen has to be one of my favorite champions in the game. He's hilarious, fun to play, and you basically
troll the enemy team by playing him. In no way is Garen overpowered, he's just funny, and very, very annoying to play against.

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Garen is a very simple and easy to play champion. His combo is very easy to grasp and he is overall very
fun to play with. Not only is he fun, but he's quite the good champion. I play him as an unstoppable solo top with an extreme amount of tankiness and tons of damage. With Garen, you can easily bully your enemy out of the lane while staying relatively high on health.

Overall, if you play with Garen, you'll have fun and be viable member to your team. :D!

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Lore (Read if you care...)

Throughout Valoran, the resolve of Demacia's
military is alternately celebrated or despised, but always respected. Their ''zero tolerance'' moral code is strictly upheld by civilians and soldiers alike. In combat, this means Demacian troops may not make excuses, flee, or surrender under any circumstance. These principles are espoused to their forces by unrivaled demagogues who lead by example. Garen, the valiant warrior who bears the title ''the Might of Demacia'', is the paradigm to which these leaders are compared. Thousands of great heroes have risen and fallen on the bloody battlefields between Demacia and its preeminent rival, Noxus. It was beneath their mighty banners of war that Garen first met steel with Katarina, the Sinister Blade. The infantrymen who beheld this event (and survived) commented that it seemed as though the two were locked in a mortal waltz against a symphony of clashing blades. Garen, the pride of the Demacian military and leader of the Dauntless Vanguard, returned from this battle breathless for the first time in his career, though some speculate that this was due to reasons other than exhaustion. The plausibility of these rumors was bolstered when, in every instance thereafter, Garen seized the opportunity to encounter the Sinister Blade again. A paragon of Demacian ethic, Garen never entertained such allegations, for he knew others couldn't understand. Even simply the pursuit of a worthy opponent on the battlefield is, to a true warrior, the reason to rise each morning. The promise of one, particularly so beautifully and diametrically opposed, is the validation of his existence.

"The most effective way to kill an opponent is to slice through the man next to him."- Garen, on front line strategy

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Pros / Cons


+ Very easy to play
+ Great chaser
+ Able to deal lots of damage while tanky
+ Scales well with this build
+ Dominates early game

- Very one dimensional
- Not much can be changed with his playstyle
- Scales poorly with other builds
- Requires items late game (Needs successful early game)
- Punches creeps when he has a sword

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Summoner Spells

I choose Flash and Ghost when I use Garen because I like being that extremely mobile, slippery, and awesome chaser that Garen is.


I wouldn't use Cleanse; however, many people love being able to cleanse any crowd controls put upon
them. I don't feel it's too necessary with Judgment stopping the most common CC (slow), but it's still a viable choice.

I used to run Exhaust almost no matter whom I was playing, but recently I've become a lot more fond of
Ghost. Exhaust is still a very good and popular choice on Garen, it can help you secure those "stragglers" or turn the tides of a duel.

Heal is just as useful on Garen as it is on any other champion. Not much else to say about it...
It's simply.. Heal. I wouldn't use it, but hey, if you like heal, you can use heal.

I also used to run Ignite no matter who I was playing (other than support) but I've become less fond of
it. It is still good to use to secure those kills and reduce healing on your lane enemy.

Teleport will aid you in aiding your teammates in other lanes, something solo top doesn't do very often
unless their enemy sucks. It will let you get right back into lane, making it so you lose minimal amounts of farm and make your enemy say "Are you ****ing kidding me? HE'S BACK ALREADY?!"

Don't use the other spells... They're useless on Garen...

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Ability Explanation


Perseverance: Garen regenerates 0.5% of his maximum health per second after not receiving damage for 7 seconds. The regenerative state will stop if Garen receives damage.

So basically, Garen has awesome health regeneration and has much better sustain than most solo tops
through this. You can last hit minions while still having awesome health regeneration. You'll be very hard to push out of lane.


Decisive Strike: Garen gains 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 % movement speed for 4 seconds. His next melee attack within 6 seconds will deal 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 (+1.4 per attack damage) physical damage and silence his target for 2.5 seconds.

This is such a great ability. It's awesome. This is why I level it alternatively with Judgment; however, I
still prioritize Judgment over it. Basically, it makes you haul MAJOR *** and makes your next basic attack do TONS of damage, really, it does a lot of frickin' damage and also the silence is freaking CRAZY! 2.5 seconds at level one... Holy ****. This is your main initiation move and starts your combo off, it also works well as an escape tool.


Courage: (Passive): [[Garen]'s armor and magic resistance are permanently increased by 0.5 every time he kills an enemy unit (maximum 25 additional armor and magic resist)

(Active): Garen places a defensive shield on himself, decreasing all damage taken by 20 / 24 / 28 / 32 / 36 % for 3 seconds.

Courage is yet another awesome move. Farming is crucial to having this skill be worth having. Upon
every enemy unit kill (including minions, so farm up) his armor and MR are PERMANENTLY, that's right PERMANENTLY increased by 0.5. That's extremely useful, you can become naturally tankier without buying anything and only killing minions. And now to the active, also amazing. Any flat damage reduction is great. As you can see it provides 20/24/28/32/36% FLAT damage reduction for 3 seconds. You may not realize it; however, that is a TON. It makes you very able to take abuse and helps you be more confident as the agressor/initiator.


Judgment: Garen rapidly spins his sword around his body for 3 seconds, removing all existing slows and reducing the duration of new slows by 50%, and dealing 25 / 45 / 65 / 85 / 105 (+0.7 per bonus Attack Damage) physical damage to nearby enemies every half second. Garen can deactivate Judgment early by activating the ability again after 0.5 seconds. Garen cannot use Decisive Strike or Demacian Justice while Judgment is in effect. Damage to minions and neutral monsters is reduced by 50%.

Garen's signature move... The Spin to Win... Judgment. This move is CRAZY damage early game.
Although it may not scale much late game, in the early game it can get you fed enough to scale very well late game. It's a great farming tool, damage tool, and it's utility is great too. By activating Judgment, it removes all slow debuffs put on you and reduces the duration of new slows by 50%, making you even MORE mobile and able to take abuse. This move is flippin' awesome.


Demacian Justice: Garen brings down Demacian Justice on his opponent, dealing 175 / 350 / 525 magic damage plus 1 additional damage per 3.5 / 3 / 2.5 health his opponent is missing.

Oh my God... This ****ing move. Once you hit level 6, hilarity ensues. There's nothing more satisfying than
dropping a GINORMOUS sword from the sky on your enemy, executing them. Many worse Garens don't utilize this move correctly. You should only use this while your opponent is low and running, or mid duel while they're low and there's possibility of you losing. It does +1 additional damage per 3.5/3/2.5 health the opponent is missing, meaning the more health they don't have, the more damage it does. This means it's much more effective on targets with high maximum health.



At first you're going to want to pop your W, Courage to make you beefier and able to to take more abuse
(I say that a lot, don't I.) and right after use the Q, Decisive Strike and don't be afraid to be incredibly agressive, with Garen, it can be very rewarding. Proc Decisive Strike with the silence and immediately follow with the E, Judgment. Let the duration of Judgment finish, then execute your enemy (if possible/necessary) with Demacian Justice.

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Why Rush Tank/Durability Items and then AD/Damage?

Well, at first your Judgment will do enough damage to bully the living hell out of your enemies and scare
your enemies. (Kind of like this...)

However, later in the game Judgment (A.K.A. "Spin to Win") doesn't scale as well and you'll need more
AD and critical chance, and that's why towards the end you pick up Atma's Impaler, Infinity Edge, and Maw of Malmortius. A common "con" about Garen is not scaling into late game, but with this build you'll still be able to dish out damage while being that tanky, unkillable Garen.

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Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Lethality

Why I use certain runes:

Greater mark of desolation

x9 Greater Mark of Desolation - Early game destruction of people's health bars and constant ability to deal a little extra damage.

x9 Greater Seal of Armor - Be able to take more early game AD abuse.

x9 Greater Glyph of Magic Resist - This isn't a common choice, the magic resit per lvl ones are more common; however, I feel runes (and they are) are more geared towards the early game, and having more flat magic resist in the beginning feels more important to me. You'll end up building enough through Courage and Maw of Malmortius.

greater quintessence of desolation

x3 Greater Quintessence of Desolation - Same deal as the marks, boys.

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With these masteries we want to focus on being slightly more tanky while taking armor penetration in the
offense tree. My Garen build focuses on being very tanky while still dealing a lot of damage with slightly more focus on tankiness. Therfore we have 9 - 21 - 0. I won't go in depth into which actual masteries I use because seriously, nobody reads that part. But 9 - 21 - 0 is what you want to go with, choose which masteries you like in the defense tree most while keeping 21 points in it. The offense tree shouldn't be changed.

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Item Sequence

Health Potion

Health Potion

Health Potion

Boots of Swiftness

Giant's Belt

Warmog's Armor


Frozen Mallet

Chain Vest


Atma's Impaler

B. F. Sword

Infinity Edge

Maw of Malmortius

So here we start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions. With many champions, these are the
starting items and I just feel like they've very good starting items, good speed and durability in lane. With Garen's passive Perseverance, you'll be able to stay in lane for a very long time.

Next, we have Boots of Swiftness. I feel this is an absolute necessity on Garen. Speed is one of the things that makes Garen, Garen. I don't have much more to add here.

Next, I pick up a Giant's Belt. This gives me more health and builds into the next item... Not much more to explain hear.

Warmog's Armor is a truly, truly outrageous item. It's a great way to give you tons of health through its passive and it gives you 920 health right off the bat. Like I said, we can get Warmog's Armor this early on because Judgment deals more than a sufficient amount of damage early on. I love coming back to lane with a Warmog's Armor, knowing my enemy is thinking, "... He... Already... Has... SO MUCH HEALTH."

Next, we take a Phage to aid with its CC (25% chance slow), extra damage, and health. It also builds into our next item.

This has to be one of my favorite items in the game. Frozen Mallet gives you tons of health, a good amount of AD, and an extremely cool passive (Physical attacks reduce your target's Movement Speed by 40% for 2.5 seconds.). This item is very good with garen, providing him with CC that he doesn't have (other than silence) and more health (+tankiness) and more damage (...+damage, duh).

Next we take these two items for a little actual armor and MR, Hexdrinker has a great passive, saving you from tons of magic damage possibly killing you and provides a bit of AD as well. Chain Vest just provides a nice amount of armor (45).

I like to think that Atma's Impaler starts to kind of "bring everything together." It puts your health to another good use with its passive (Physical attacks deal an additional 1.5% of your max Health in damage). Basically +health=+phys. damage. It also provides a good amount of 18% crit. chance, which helps basic attacks, and also scales with Judgment.

It builds into Infinity Edge... It's the first part you want...

The big daddy of all AD items... The Infinity Edge. This is your late game "scaling item." Now, you can still do damage while being a major b of a tank. ISN'T THAT FANTASTIC?!

And last but not least, the epic Maw of Malmortius. Grants you a lot of MR/AP defence and provides a passive similar to Tryndamere's Bloodlust, giving +1 Attack Damage for every 2.5% health missing. YOU ARE NOW COMPLETE AND UNSTOPPABLE, BUY ELIXIRS.

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"This is why we hate Garen" + Bushmaster 3000

I thought we'd take a quick break and I'd show you this video I found funny about Garen...

Credit to mcr00sterdota.

Although I posted that video in fun... It showcases one of Garen's huge strength's... Popping out of
bushes and combo'ing. If it had been a real situation, Garen might have had to use Demacian Justice to finish off Fiddlesticks. You are great in bushes. You are the Bushmaster 3000.

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Overall we have an awesome dude named Garen that we've learned about today. He's a great, fun, easy
to play champion that can be a solo top to almost any team comp. He may require a better early game to scale fully into late game; however, with Garen that is easily accomplished. I hope this guide helped all of you, and remember kids, SPIN TO WIN!

"SPIN TO WIN" Credits to: DruoxTheShredder

Guide made by typhlo. (LoL IGN: ebonytyphlo, feel free to add me ingame.)