Garen Build Guide

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Complete Garen Guide (for beginners AND alredy experienced players)

written by epicnight

Garen Build

Table of Contents

  • Abilities

    Garen will regenerate .5% of his maximum health per second if he does not take damage for 7 seconds or more.

    This is one of my favorite passives in the game, im just in love with it. I can pretty much stay in a lane for as long as i like.

    Decisive Strike
    Garen's next attack strikes a vital area of his foe, dealing bonus damage and silencing them.

    I almost never see garens that know how this skill actually works, they think of it as a way of getting a easy kill. The actuall silence on this skill is usually completely ignored by whoever plays. Why? the silence is soooo usefull in teamfights, it can cancel channelig ults, or just mess up the enemy carrys. You wont become a good garen unless you learn how to master this skill.

    Garen's kills increase his armor and magic resistance. He may also activate this ability to give himself a damage reducing shield.

    One of the best survivability skills in the game, pop it and watch the enemy ults do almost no dmg to you. This skill is the reason garen is known as a guy 5 players can lash out on, and he just walks away as nothing happened.

    Garen performs a dance of death with his sword, dealing damage around him for 3 seconds, and reducing the duration of slows by 50%. Garen removes any slow effects on him at the start of the dance.

    Probably the skill garen is most known for, it does some okey dmg, but tend to weaken late game.

    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.

    Probably my favorite skill in the game, i just love it when enemys starts getting a smile on their face, thinkin that their getting away, only to see a huge sword impale them and completely destroy whats left of their weakly health bar. Props to Riot, you did a excelent job on this one.

  • Introduction

    Hello folks, my names Epicnight and this is my complete guide to Garen, the might of DEMACIA!!!
    (I will apologize for my bad english right away, im norwegian you see, if theres any parts your unsure off, feel free to ask.)

    Hes my all time favorite champion and ill try to share with you some of the tactics and builds i like to use.

    I've also called this guide "complete" since i will try to include just about everything you should know about garen.

    Garen serves a great role in teams. but hes probably most known for being extremly good early game, and extremly useless late game.. (the useless part is mostly in higher ELO matches)

    Most garens i see, (in my opinion) play him wrong. What happens is: he starts of doing very good, wrapping up kill after kill, and then he goes on building him pure tank. The garen usually ends up with a score looking like 15/0/10 for example. and the rest of hes team got like 3-4 kills each or something. what usually happens in this situation is, they lose. Ofc the garens lets out the elitist in him and starts to scream at his team. "my god you noobs im the only pro player here, ive carried you guys" bla bla bla. WRONG buddy, bad BAD garen. tank garen is almost USELESS, late game. hes ult and silence is the only thing thats working for him at this point.
    Now your probably thinking, "jesus christ, this guy has no idea what hes talking about, garens not useless late game, because hes next to impossible to kill", well.. yea, i agree. but you wanna know how to make tank garen useless late game? IGNORE HIM. he has 0 dmg, besides hes ult. a few armor items and hes useless. you just let him walk into that teamfight all high and almighty, thinkin hes hot stuff. but when he realises that your ignoring him and he sees that hes spin does no dmg, well hes just gonna think "aaa crap..."

    In this guide, i will try to include item builds and tips for both High and Low ELO. Pure tank garen is just awesome at the lower ELO's, but in higher ELO's, you need some dmg to make those kills actually worth it. Or else you will just be sad panda late game.

    Now since hes huge nerf in v1.0.0.107. Garen has become even harder to play. And yea, you heard me, garen is HARD to play. some of you are deffinetly thinkin "hard to play? HA, i rape with garen all the time", well im sure you do, but how many times do you actually end up winning?
    What defines a good garen is someone who can play for their team, and not for themselfs. everyone knows that garen is best suited as a tank (and in my opinon, OFF TANK, because he has no "tank" abilities) so therefore, you should NOT be hogging all the kills. a tanks job is not only to help out in teamfights, messing up the enemy team, its also to feed the carrys. and pls note this, FEED THE CARRYS. at mid to low ELO, people seems to be completely oblivious to this info. Wich is really sad, since i believe this to be basic facts about playing a tank.

    Moving on... (there are 2-3 lines wich i mention the patch, just ignore them. the guide is still the same after the new patch)

  • Updates


    - 02.01.2011: I just saw a video on youtube from Riot, that theyre thinking of buffing garen to were he was before, in the patch that is planned to come january the 4th. lets see what happens.

    - 05.01.2011: Patch came out yesterday. small buff to our judgement:
    •Judgment base damage increased to 60/100/140/180/220 from 60/90/120/150/180 per second. I dont think its a "gamechanging" buff, but that little extra dmg is very very welcome in my book, cheers to garen players =D

    - 10.01.2011: hmm i dont seem to be getting any respons on this guide, i honestly want you guys to tell me how you like it. doenst matter if its good or bad feedback. i dont consider myself the best garen player in the world and im deffinetly sure that there's still things that i could learn and do better with him. please leave me a comment or rate it up or down, so i can make this guide better, or completely remove it if you think this is just total bullshit and a waste of time. im also open for suggestions if theres something you would like me to add to this guide.

    - 10.01.2011: a little update to the higer ELO builds. if you are pretty far ahead in the game, you can build Infinity Edge as your last item. it is very nice for your dmg. and ive had great success with it.

    - 12.01.2011: added a new section, "Become A Better Gamer"

    - 14.01.2011: you can chose to switch out Doran's Shield with Doran's Blade, works just fine, and little extra damage.

    - 16.01.2011: added a new section, "Why tank/hybrid? I WANT DMG"

    - 19.01.2011: Patch came out today, judgement is buffed!! •Judgement bonus attack damage scaling increased to 1.2 from 1.0 per second. Gratz to garens =D

    - 21.01.2011: ive played garen alot since came out a few days ago, and the hybrid "safe" build works out perfectly!! havent lost a match yet with it =D try it

    - 24.01.2011: question: would you like me to make different sections for the items, like one "low/mid elo" "high elo" and not just "items" ?? also, would you like me to make a "quick summary" section, wich would contain skills, items, runes ect, wich you could look at in game? leave me a comment and tell me.

    - 31.01.2011: Ive updated the item section and made it into sectionSSSSS. still getting farily little respons, but the little feedback ive had is good so far. but im considering removing the whole thing

    - 23.02.2011: updated the guide after the new patches, and ive updated some of the items and added a new build order for the "safe" build.

    - 02.03.2011: updated the "another way to build the safe build", i somehow forgot to put the Sunfire Cape in there... my bad. updated the "skilling order"

    - 02.03.2011: ive been playing with ghost and exhaust lately (with the early point in the offence tree put into Improved Exhaust) and im loving it, finishing enemies with the exhaust-ult combo, is great, AND, exhaust is more usefull lategame then Ignite

    - 28.04.2011: added a new section "advanced tactics"

  • Masteries + Runes

    At this page, theres just so many choices out there, and i really feel that the player himself should test out hes own theorys, and play with whatever suits him best. (or her, im sure theres some lady players out there, and for you, my number is 912... juuust kidding =p )

    But im gonna show you what i preffer to play with, and what i have found out to be the most successfull.

    Runes: Greater Seal of Fortitude Greater Mark of Desolation OR Greater Mark of Malice (i would not recommend the crit runes after judgements nerf, but for the lower Elo players in gives some extra dmg for your early game). i personaly use the ARP runes. next up is, Greater Glyph of Focus and Greater Quintessence of Fortitude

    This combo gives you great survivability when your starting out, and hes dmg is also pretty good. But i warn you about the CDR blues, you WILL fall in love with these, i know i did and im using them on all the champs i play.

    Masteries: As ive alredy mentioned, i believe garen is best suited as tank. so going 21 into the deffence tree, is a MUST for me.

    9/21/0 is what i preffer to use(grabbing one point in the ARP talent), but 0/21/9 also works just fine.

    For lower Elo or just for the lols, 21/9/0 or 21/0/9 "works", but i would not recommend it.

  • Items

    This is the tricky part, we want our garen built with a mix of MR and armor items. this means that the build you need to choose, CAN be situational, and you may need to favor the one over the other. being able to build situational comes with experience, and your ability to "read" the game.

    But i will show you a build that pretty much works every time, since the mix between AP and AD enemy champions is usually the same. i will also include builds for high ELO and for people whos just starting out ( summoners below level 30)

  • Mid/low ELO

    Mid to Low ELO (pure tank garen):

    At this ELO, people will focus whoevers lowest on hp, and whoever runs in first, a perfect chance of showing just how indestructible garen can me.

    you wanna start of with your Doran's Shield or Doran's Blade

    (i will cover how to lane and some tricks later on)

    First trip back, be sure you have farmed enough for Boots of Speed and a [item=heart of gold].
    that heart of gold will give us some extra cash and give us a little advantage to finish our build ASAP.

    At this point, i dont wanna command you and say "third trip back you HAVE to buy.." because unexpected things can happen, and you may have to go back before you got enough gold.

    but you wanna complete your boots. and remember, boots is an situational item. but im gonna be bold and say, build Mercury's Treads. if you ever find yourself fighting a team that has NO CC. pls contakt me, and ill give you a gold medal.
    you are going to be infront of everyone else, waiting to engage, and you need to have good movement as a tank. then some of you may think, "good movement? why not just build Boots of Swiftness??" no, just dont. you will see why in just a moment.

    Next up, get a Giant's Belt, and then after that, upgrade your heart of gold into Randuin's Omen. i just love Randuin's Omen. i use it on every tank i play. you get that as early and as fast as possible, you run straight into the enemy team, and you pop that sucker off. finishing them off shouldnt be to hard at this point.

    After this, you want to upgrade your belt into Sunfire Cape, this item is very good on garen, and it does some extra dmg on top of your spin. And then, you start building your [item=force of nature] (remember what they say in star wars, using force is never a bad thing... uhm.. ill get back tou you on that comment..) i just love this item, the regen gets pretty insane, and the extra movement is just awesome. the MR is also very welcome. This item is why i never buy Boots of Swiftness on garen.

    At this point, if all goes well, you should be pretty unkillable. your last item is really up to you. but if you want me to recommend something, id say Guardian Angel.

    (feel free to mix up the order on wich items you buy. like if you wanna complete your Sunfire before getting Omen, thats just fine. it will only give you some extra dmg early on, i just like the Omen and the little advantage it gives me and my team)

    Other items to consider/situational:

    Banshee's Veil
    Yes it has mana, so what? ive even built this item against pure AD teams, the bubble is just to awesome. do NOT underestimate this item. if you REALLY aint feeling that mana just build the MR item and HP crystal first.

    Warmog's Armor
    if i are to build this item, it changes my whole build, since i only find it effective when its included with 2 other items, ill show you in just a sec.

    Aegis of the Legion
    Nice item, nice aura. but if your planing on building this item build it FIRST.

    Spirit Visage
    Alot of people say this item is AWESEOME because of hes passive, but trust me, it isnt. in teamfights you wont be able to stay back and regen your health with your passive. the only reason i would build it is to make my [item=force of nature] better.

    this item explains itself, they hit you, they take damage. this item is best suited for champions with taunt, but if the enemy team are focusing you over and over, build it.

    stack it and make your enemies surrender (=

    [item=madred's bloodrazor]
    wouldnt recomend it unless your very fed. the armor helps alittle, but there deffinetly are better choices. its just for the lols really.

    Wriggle's Lantern
    another for the lols item.

  • Higher Elo

    Higher ELO:

    im going to present to you, 2 builds, that ive found to be effective. one is more risky than the other though, so pick carefully. this is all about looking ahead, trying to predict how the game will go.

    At this ELO, people will tend to ignore you and go straight for your dps and carrys. therefore were gonna build him a little hybrid like, to get some extra dmg off and to show those enemys that "hey folks, im still here". we will also be using those kills we are GOING to get from the laning phase and the executions with our ultimate.

    I also want to mention that if your planing on reading these tips for the higher ELO, i expect you to be good enough to get enough kills and minion farm for this. Ive played garen long enough to know im gonna get kills in 99% of the matches i play. so pls do not complain if this build doesnt work with 0 kills and only a average number of creep kills, go to the lower ELO build then.

    Build Number One(the "safe" build):

    Your starting items will be Doran's Shield or Doran's Blade.

    First trip back, try and farm enough gold for Boots of Speed, [item=heart of gold] and a Avarice Blade the ekstra crit from this item gives us a little bit more dmg in the laning phase, and your gold should be rising pretty rapidly now.

    From here on you wanna upgrade your boots. as before ill be bold and say, build Mercury's Treads since your going to face CC in pretty much every match you play.

    Then we move on and buy Phage, we will upgrade this in a sec, but i like to get my Randuin's Omen first, so upgrade your heart of gold next. then we move on and get our Frozen Mallet. alot of people are complaining about this item on garen, saying only "noobs" build it. why? the health is nice, no one can complain about the little extra dmg, and the slow is just perfect in my opinion, leave those jungle buffs to your junglers and carrys and get the mallet instead. to answer the "why" question, people think were noobs because they say that the mallet is just to expensive. personaly, ive NEVER had any trouble farming it, and ive NEVER been behind in the game when ive bought it. but if you really feel like its just a waste of gold, skip it.

    Now we get our Sunfire Cape, as before, this item is pretty good on garen. before the patch i used to stack this but that aint possible no more... rip sunfire garen, it was fun while it lasted.

    Then i move on and buy Atma's Impaler, the crit is nice for your spin, and the extra dmg you get from it is nice aswell. This item is really underrated in my opinion. It gives some nice stats for a very cheap price, do not underestimate it.

    now you have to see how the game goes, are you having problems with their AP caster, build [item=force of nature] (sell your Avarice Blade first ofc). ive alredy explained this item so ill leave it at that.

    You will ofc sell your Dorans item at some point to get room for all this.

    but if your alredy doing pretty well, and AP champs arent a problem, upgrade your Avarice Blade into Youmuu's Ghostbladeand own some more.

    The match will probably not last long enough for you to get all these items, but this is what my final build looks like. and your dmg wont be ignored as much as if you'd build him pure tank, wich was kinda the whole point. your survivability wont be AS good as pure tank obviously, but this is a hybrid OFF TANK build. be smart, use your Courage skill wisely, and it shouldnt be a problem. and as ive alredy said, this build is for the more skilled players out there.

    ANOTHER WAY TO BUILD THE SAFE BUILD: (for more aggresive garens)

    this is basicly the same build, only in a different order and a little bit more aggresive.
    here we will go for some armor penetration and cdr in our early build.

    start of with the same item, either Doran's Shield or Doran's Blade.
    the items you will buy next will be (in order)

    Boots of Speed
    Giant's Belt OR The Brutalizer
    The Brutalizer OR Giant's Belt
    Sunfire Cape
    Mercury's Treads
    Frozen Mallet OR, if your doing very good, go for more damage items like, Infinity Edge, The Bloodthirster or The Black Cleaver

    next is really up to how the game goes and what ur enemies look like, if you need mr build mr, if you need armor build armor, and so on and so on.

    Build Number Two(the "risky" build):

    This build is very risky, you need to be very confident about your skills for this to work. For this to work, you NEED kills, you NEED to be ahead in the game, wich is why i would only recomemend this build for garens going solo lane, and getting a few kills on top that aswell.

    were basicly gonna switch out the early Avarice Blade wich we would later turn into Youmuu's Ghostblade, with Sword of the Occult. now be very carefull when your about to buy this item, if you have a feeling that your a tiny bit behind on creep kills, or feel that your far from getting any more champion kills, do NOT buy it. if you do, and you are behind in the game, you will get even further behind, and probably end up losing the match for you and your team.

    On the other hand though, if you buy this, you manage to get stacks on it, your off tank role will turn into a "tank carry"-ish role. you will probably carry your team to victory, and still be able to take a shit ton of dmg.

    when i manage to pull this off, i almost every time get "omfg, garen is so op, nerf plox"

    the rest of your items will go on as the first build, wich means that your whole build will look like

    Mercury's Treads Sword of the Occult Randuin's Omen Sunfire Cape Frozen Mallet Atma's Impaler

    If AP champs is a problem, switch out Atma's Impaler with [item=force of nature].

  • HP regen Garen.

    I dont know exactly where this builds fits in, maybe it works out great at any ELO. I do know though, that it makes you practicly unkillable. this build also works insanly good on Mordekaiser. (only build it if you are experienced)

    Starting items:

    Doran's Shield or Doran's Blade

    Next up, it depends on what you can afford and how the enemy team looks like.

    Our core items are:

    Mercury's Treads Warmog's Armor [item=force of nature] Spirit Visage

    yeye i know... it looks stupid.. but try it, and then we'll see whos stupid (=

    i personaly like building the Warmogs first, followed up by Force of nature. but if the enemy team (and your lane, since your first item is early game) is heavy on casters. start with Force of nature.

    after these core items i would advice you to try some dps items like Infinity Edge or The Bloodthirster, works great! if you still want more regen, build HP items, the force of nature makes HP items a good choice.

  • Summoners below level 30 (pure dps)

    Garen DPS:
    At this level you could probably be building "mana regen garen" and still be doing fairely good, it really doenst matter that much here. but if you do wanna be a little "serious" and have build you would like to follow, ill show you some good items.

    I start off with the usuall Doran's Shield or Doran's Blade

    First trip back i make sure i have enough gold for Boots of Speed, Avarice Blade and [item=heart of gold]. i will only upgrade the [item=heart of gold] into Randuin's Omen if i find myself taking alot of dmg. if not, i focus more on dmg items.

    from here on, you wanna upgrade your boots first, into the same boots as always, Mercury's Treads.
    Then you just follow up by buying Infinity Edge, and then just stacking Phantom Dancer's

    I did win one match 3v5 with this build, wich was pretty hilarious. but it only shows that people are just starting out at this level, not taking it to seriously. you will run into the occasional smurf account of some more experienced player though, but its fairly easy anyhow.

    Other items to consider:

    Last Whisper
    awesome armor penetration, what else is there to say? great item if you dont have the ARP runes.

    The Bloodthirster
    nice damage, nice lifesteal. nothing more, nothing less.

    Wit's End
    people say that garen is not an autoattack champion. and i agree with that, unless we build attackspeed that is. this item messes up the enemy carries a little extra bit.

    [item=madred's bloodrazor]
    another item that messes up the enemy carries a little extra. it has the attackspeed i want aswell. pluss a little bit of armor.

    Wriggle's Lantern
    lifesteal, damage, armor and free ward. could it be any better? yea it can.. but if your in the mood, this item works.

    The Black Cleaver
    personaly, i think this item is best suited for ranger dps for some reason.. i dont know why. but it still can work out fine.

    [item=stark's fervor]
    nice aura, nice lifesteal, AND attackspeed. a good item. but usually there is some other AD dps who builds it, though i havent seen it in a while.

  • Why tank/hybrid? I WANT DMG

    Garen sucks.. sadly.. hes one of my favorite champs so believe me, its hurts so say stuff like that. its just a fact that there are better choices out there. although we are building him mostly tank, he is in NO WAY a solid tank. and by that i mean, he has no "tank abilities". yes he has hes Courage, but just ignore him and that spell is a waste. "solid tank abilities" can be, taunts, disables, multiple stuns(in some cases single target stuns works just fine), basicly anything that can mess up the enemy team as much as possible. we dont have that as garen.

    This brings up the question, "why not build him as dps then?".

    There are a TON of dps guides out there, and most of them fail to mention that dps builds are almost only viable in 3v3. but dont get me wrong, im not saying that these builds dont work, because they DO work. but on the other hand.. they ONLY work with the right amount of kills. wich is why im gonna be bold and say that they arent viable(in 5v5). you cannot be successfull with a dps build unless you have alot of kills and are ahead in the game. ( im talking ofc about summoners at/around level 30, at lower levels people dont know very much about anything so dps builds works, but they are less effective and CAN fail if you arent ahead in the game at this level also).

    This is why we build him tank or "tank-ish". because its more viable and "safer". you should NOT go into a match with a dps build in your head, wich your planing on building no matter how the game goes. if you get fed, it works, if you dont, you will probably lose the match for you and your teammates. believe it or not, but without tank items, garen dies soooooo fast. with a tank build, you can atleast do some good if the game should go badly. we cant expect to get fed in every game.

    Now... i have gotten sooooooo much critic for saying this... and often i hear "hey you noob, look at my build, my dps build works just fine so screw you", i look at hes build, and i see a sunfire, frozen mallet, maybe an atma's, and some other items. and seriously... my face looks like this -----_______----- thats NOT A DPS BUILD YOU MORON, thats a hybrid build... theres a difference...

    One of the most common mistakes in this game, is that pepole go to this site,, they find a build with the most rating, and they use it in EVERY match. some matches they own badly, and in some they fail horribly. why? because theres not a single champion in this game that has a build that works in EVERY match, you have to learn to build situational. but ofc, there are some items that works just awesome on some champions, and should be built in 100% of the games you play. (core items)

    ill give you an example that shows what im talking about: i was playing a game here the other day, and i dont remember what champion it was, but i remember it being an AP champion, and i remember him going mid. now this guy was completely outlaned by the enemy mid champ, and he was killed, i think 5-6 times. what did he do? he went on and build Mejai's Soulstealer... why in the love of christ did he do that i thought... so i asked.. hes response was that "this is the best build of there so you can just go f*** yourself noob" well... for being one of the best builds out there he sure did badly with it. this is an perfect example that shows that you cannot have ONE build in mind when you play. by bying that mejais he wasted precious gold and got behind in the game. when the enemys had like 3-4 items complete, he had boots and mejais, wich means he had 0 damage compared.

    If things go bad with garen, just build him pure tank, its deffinetly the best choice. the problem with garen is that hes an early game champion, late game is just not hes thing. wich is why he is hard to play, and why there are better choices out there.

  • Skilling Order

    Since all the nerfs and such, its become pretty hard to pick the right skills. it doenst HAVE to be any exact order to be honest. before the Judgment nerf, it was basicly just a rush to get it maxed out asap, but now you may wanna lean more towards Decisive Strike since i feel its a little better.

    if your getting harrased alot, you pick your Courage in between your Decisive Strike (or Judgment, depends who your maxing first).

    at level 3 though, you should have one point into each skill, to get the most out of it. and you will OFC be picking Demacian Justice everytime its up.

    UPDATE: GAREN IS BACK!! well hes mostly back, hes been getting a few buffs here and there. Max Judgment first, its awesome again.

  • Summoner Abilities

    Personaly i use Ghost and Ignite. and some of you may find that wierd, since i usually run 9/21/0 for my masteries. but if you really feel like that early point in the offence tree is just a waste if your not using it for something usefull, just go with Ghost and Exhaust and use the talent on the Improved exhaust.( it lowers MR, nasty ults (= )

    I really like the ignite because i can more easily finish of enemies with my ultimate, if i see that he has a tiny bit to much hp to be executed with ult, i go ahead and ignite him and make sure he dies for sure.

    This is on the other hand, just a strategy that is really effective early game, ignite is more or less useless late game, unless theres healers. so if your thinking about your late game, pick exhaust instead. I like to start out as good as possible and become as strong as possible late game.

  • Laning and Working in the team

    Laning phase:

    Since the nerf in v1.0.0.107, laning with garen has become much much more difficult, it use to be a dream, now its more of a.. sex dream, but with a someone you find unattractive. you know... its okey, but not AS okey... ehm, nice example ey? moving on...

    Your laning partner should be someone with a stun, its deffinetly the best combo with garen, no doubt.
    Communicate with your partner and be sure your on the same page on who to harras, and who to swipe in for the kill.

    Harrasing with garen is easy mode, and especially with the runes, masteries and starting item ive alredy showed you, enemies will be feared when they see your starting HP. This amazing starting HP works out perfectly with your passive, if you ever find yourself low on HP, just hide in the brush, and let that bad boy regen you in a matter of seconds.

    In a ideal situation, you want your partner to open with a stun, i preffer to hide in the brush at this point, letting my partner hit the creeps and try to fool the enemies to get in range. Wait for your partner to stun, and then pop your Decisive Strike to get to him quick, AND to get that silence on him (this is extremly important if the enemy has some sort of escape skill, like kassadins teleport or nidalees pounce in catform), and then follow up by using your Judgment right after and follow him for as long as you can. Now if you have your utlimate, be sure to note that you CAN cancell you judgment. like if your are about to gank a kassadin, he has hes teleport and you have your ult. try and make your partner stun, run in, silence, spin, and if you notice that hes HP is low enough, and that the silence has ended and hes juuuust about to teleport to safety, just cancell your judgment and ult him.

    Now lets say in this situation, that hes HP just isnt low enough for your ultimate to finish him, and that hes getting close to hes tower and to safety. what do you do? well my friend, this is why one of my summoner spells is ignite. ignite that basterd, ult him, and watch him die. the ignite will ofc be the thing that finishes him off.

    Garens ultimate: be sure to master this skill as soon as possible, since it is deffinetly garens strongest skill. have in mind that it does different dmg to tanks, compared to the more squshie carrys and dps. I will cover how to use this in a teamfight in a sec.

    I would not recommend to do much ganking in other lanes during the laning phase, its just not what garen is good at. garen is best just staying in hes lane, and keeping the preasure up on the enemy tower. with a good garen. you will often hear the "your team has destroyed a turret" pretty fast. get the tower down as fast as you can (if possible, there are some cases where the laning just gets impossible. bad partners, imba enemy combo etc), once the tower is down, start assisting your team.

    In my opinion, the laning phase ends when the first tower has been destroyed, because now people will start moving around and try to get kills. But it doesnt seem like most people share my view on this, but yea.. thats just how it is, maybe im the one whos wrong.

    Teamfight phase:

    This is were most garens starts to become pretty bad, people just dont know how to use him the most effectively. they just run in and spin, and thats it. but now your saying, "but Epicnight.. thats the only thing you can do with garen".. uhm.. no buddy, its not. This is were the line goes between good garens, and average garens/bad garens (no offence).

    Decisive Strike:

    Ill agree that the extra movement speed from Decisive Strike is an excelent engage/open skill, but in the ideal situation, you want to save that silence for when you REALLY need it. canceling ultimates is number one prio when it comes to garen. lets say Miss fortune pops her ult and starts to mealt away your teammates HP, silence her, make that ult last for only a couple of millisecs and put a sad panda look on her face.

    Now im not saying you should never use your Decisive Strike unless theres an enemy that channels something, nono. every dps caracther out there, has their "combo" of spells, like ryze, just as an example: he stuns you, and just lashes out and people tend to start dying. if you manage to silence him in the middle of hes combo, idealy RIGHT after hes stun, you will mess up hes combo and make him have to start thinking and that makes him waste precious time. teamfights dont last for very long, and that silence can really save your team and make you win the fight. Knowing when and who to silence, only comes with experience, theres no way i could have been able to explain it to you, because the situation is different for every game you play.


    Theres really not much to know about this skill when it comes to teamfights, just try to position yourself right in the middle of their team, and spin. now if the team is split (wich it usually is) you would obviously be going for their dps, tanks should be left alone, bacis knowledge. some of you may think "whats the point? it does no dmg..". i agree, it does no dmg, but whats the point? well try it, spin over their dps and watch what happens. or maybe ill make it easy for you and explain. what will happen is, their dps will stop attacking and start moving, even though it basicly do no dmg. people dont like to get hurt, and it seems like instict tells them "dont stand in stuff". this works with others things aswell. try playing singed or akali, try throwing down singeds aoe slow, or akalis smoke bomb, what happens? yes, the enemies move out of it. use it to your advantage.


    Not much to say about this one, try to use it when you think your about to take the most dmg. also, note that this is a skill that you can "bait" out enemy skills with. ill explain, if you have an enemy with a skill that has a little bit of cooldown on it, try to fake an overextend and bait that skill out, and then immediately engage them. this enemy wont be able to do as much dmg as he would like now, because one of hes skills is on cooldown. now this is something i would only recommend the most experienced of you to try, because it is very very difficult to do. you should not try this as a main tank, because you will need your courage skill when you dive into the enemy team.

    Demacian Justice:

    Ive alredy explained how to use this skill, but now i will go into detail and try to explain how to use it in a teamfight. Most garens, even the most experienced, tend to use it on whoevers low on hp, and... well... its okey, i mean, one less player on the enemy team helps out alot, no matter if its dps or tank. but i would recommend to try and finish of their dps first. In every match you should always have a "main target" on the enemy team, wich you want to take out first, and since this target will probably die first, very quickly, i would advice you to use your ult on the second most important target. but by all means, if your dps's dmg isnt enough, and the main target is still alive with 20% hp, ult him.

  • Advanced Tactics

    This section is for the players who want to play really serious, and its not neccessarily directed straight to Garen, but maybe to the game in general.

    i will cover 2 different playstyles here. i will tell the difference between em, and i will explain how to counter each one, and maybe try to tell you what playstyle you should choose in different scenarios.

    the playstyles are: Passive, and Aggresive.

    US (american) players: are notorious for their super aggresive playstyle. in short words, its about: ganking, harrasing and pushing. now dont get me wrong, they ofc do other things like farming etc, but i feel like they mostly focused on those 3. US players have no problem of leaving a few creepwaves to move in for a gank. it may sound like im saying that they have a bit of a "bad" playstyle, but no, that is NOT the case. they invented this playstyle, and they are masters at it.

    EU players: i personaly feel like we have a more natural Passive playstyle. we tend to wait things out. you will often see EU players stay in their lane and farm for a really really long time, coming back REALLY strong lategame. we tend to rely on our junglers to do the ganking, and focus more on farming, dragon/baron controll, and vision.

    The top rated/best players in the world, know exactly when and how to differentiate between the 2 playstyles. though i will say that i dont feel like US players can ever get as good at the Passive playstyle like the EU, just like EU could never get as good at the aggresive one. i find this quite interesting, and i really really enjoy seing matches where they fight.

    Okey now lets put Garen into this.

    how do we play? and what do we play?

    Laning Phase:
    Garen is a pure melee champ, he doesnt have any range spells or pokes. hes ult do have a small range but its not enough to call it a "ranged" skill. this pure melee thing, BEGS for aggresive playstyle. you have to be right in enemies faces to do dmg, and you have do be right in the creeps faces do farm. this leaves you vulnerable to two things: burst dmg, and short cooldown pokes, or just range in general.

    lets say you charge and enemy, you do your silence and spin. "yea im doing meh some DMG" your thinking, only to see him use a short cd poke to lower your HP even more then you did on him, when you run back. if you find yourself in this situation, your playing to aggresive. your enemy probably did spot the amount of dmg he did to you, and will probably go more aggresive on you from this point. and countering a aggresive range champ with a pure melee champ, is a pain in the A... you did a mistake!

    your harras isnt worth it if he can harras you back even more. luckily, garen has hes regen to counter this. just stay back, and play Passive with your passive. see what i did there? i just said passive and... never mind. go in the brush, regen hes harras, and your good to go again. but you probably shouldnt charge him again, unless you have someone to back you up, or if hes really low.

    Teamfight Phase:
    unless you get engaged, you will have to play both playstyles here. you will start of by staying back, playing Passive. let your team harras with long ranged poke. do NOT try to harras with garen in a teamfight, unless your planing on directly engaging after, you will just leave yourself open and get killed. when your team has harrased enough, or you spot an enemy out of position, you emediatly go aggresive and charge right into them. this might scare them enough to make a few mistakes in either their rotation, focus or other things, and make you have yourself some free kills.

    How does my K/D ratio fit into this?

    this is a really good question, and this is where things get tricky. you guys have no idea how stupidly aggresive some players can become, with a few kills on their score. these guys, will win you a few games, but mostly lose them for you aswell.

    how? you may ask. ill explain, heres the scenario:

    you go into a game, lets say ranked solo queue, you pick garen (this example usually fits any "carry" role, but garen is in my opinion the prime example of this theory), and laning phase starts. you do good, you get nice farm, you have the most kills, you use those kills to NOT build a pure tank build, no you build some dmg, make those kills worth it. your team isnt doing so bad either, their farm is decent, they do some pushing, but not to much killing, maybe just a few kills. so overall, you have done the best job so far. sooooooo many players out there, find themselfs in this situation, and especially in ranked. they do a better job then the ppl they group with, because they are better players... or are they? lets move on.

    so teamfight phase is about to start. you are quite beefy, and you do nice dmg, the enemies arent a match for you at all. so you charge right at em, with your team at your back. you actually lose several teamfights, and eventually you end up loosing the game. sounds familiar? i know it does, frustrating ye?... what if i told you that you where probably the reason you lost? now THATS frustrating.. but also kinda true.

    fed players naturaly play super aggresive, because they can. but in 90% if these cases, their TEAMMATES, cant. it doesnt matter if you have more farm and kills then your enemies, if your teammates hasnt. all the enemies have to do in this scenario, is find a way to render you useless, by either kill you or stun you, and then emediatly switch their focus to your teammates.

    this is why so many players whine on the forums "i had 15/3/5 and still lost cos of complete noob teammates". what this players doesnt realise, is that he probably FORCED hes teammates to follow hes super aggresive playstyle because he charges right in, when they werent ready for it.

    the enemies countered you by by being smart, and playing Passive. and this is exactly the way to counter aggresive playstyle, go Passive. ill be bold and say that aggresive players, WILL make a mistake sooner or later, and this is when you switch from passive to aggresive and make him pay for it. you guys have no idea how many games ive won because of this tiny detail, it truly works. ive been in games that i was a 100% sure was a loss, only to see their aggresive playstyle mess things up for them, and make us win. a game is NEVER over untill you see either the "victory" or "defeat" text when a nexus is destroyed.

    so how do you counter passive playstyle then?
    i'd say a mix of the two. play aggresive on them at start, making them go really deffensive, deffending towers or inhibs or whatever. then go passive and use the opportunity to farm. get buffs, get dragon, get baron, idc. get as strong as possible, as fast as possible. untill you can just steamroll them with super aggresive playstyle. or you could just go passive aswell, and just wait things out. passive players make mistakes to! sooner or later some player is gonna think "hmmm i want blue, ima go get it", this is where you punish him. or if you know they got wards, you could bait them out by forcing a fight at either dragon or baron.

    so aggresive beats passive, and passive beats aggresive, you just gotta know when to play wich.
    and on top of this, you'll also have to predict what your teammates can handle. press tab, and force your eyes off of your own score, and look at your teammates kills, and farm, and then compare it to your enemies. just because you got a 10/0/0 score, doesnt mean your teammates does aswell! remember this.

    this is quite usefull information if you know how to use it, and it seperates good players from the more average ones. you could ofc still have succsess just /caring this. but that succsess will most likely go on for a few games (winning streaks), and then get crushed by a series of really REALLY bad games (losing streaks)

  • Fighting VS Garen

    I dont know why, but most people seem completely clueless on how to counter garen, wich i really dont understand. Note that these are also the players claiming hes overpowered. Garen is not overpowered you guys.. even before hes nerf in v1.0.0.107, he was NOT overpowered, people just didnt know how to counter him, but i guess the whiners won because they nerfed him pretty bad... thx fellas..

    Heres some tips i would like to share with you, on how i play VS garen: (in the laning phase obviously)

    Theres basicly 2 things you will see garens do in a lane, and those are pretty much the only things we CAN do, we dont have any abilities that we can pull any smart tricks off with. You will either see the garen right in the middle of your creeps, spinning and farming gold. or you will NOT see him because hes hiding in the brush waiting to charge at you with Decisive Strike and spin on you.

    I would strongly advice you to have a ranged characther when your laning against him. When garen is in the middle of creeps farming, harras him, WITH ranged attacks. Almost no garens is stupid enough to just stand around and take it. If he is on the other hand, suprise him when hes low enough with some burst dmg to finish him off.

    If hes hiding in the brush waiting to attack, just leave him there. dont be stupid enough to check the brush if your sure hes there... i see aloooot of people doing this, even the more experienced players. Try to.. hmm how should i say this... "fake" your awareness of him being there. Act like you dont know hes there in other words, but be sure to move so that your juuuuuust out of range for him to attack you. he will probably just stay in the bush hoping you will get closer or overextend. But what he doesnt realise in at this point, is that hes losing much needed creep kills and gold. i would also advice you to let the garen push pretty close to your tower, so you'll have your tower close as a safe zone if things go wrong.

    Now most garen players, get very veeeery overconfident. they act like their unkillable. but trust me, try some of your spells on him, see what dmg they do to him. if its good, communicate with your lane partner to burst him down. just let him have that "unkillable" feeling and let him controll the lane for just a second, before you suprise him with a counter attack.

    The reason why harrasing garen is hard, is because of hes passive. i just love when the enemies get me low, and they get a feeling that "oh were gonna kill him next time for sure", but i usually just hide in the brush and pop out with almost full hp and watch that feeling fade away.. aaah the cruelty
    Everyone fighting garen should have this passive in their thoughts, he WILL use it when hes low enough. but then you make sure that it wont go of. "Garen will regenerate .5% of his maximum health per second if he does not take damage for 7 seconds or more". note SEVEN SECONDS, it takes seven seconds for hes passive to go off. if you keep dmg'ing him before it has gone seven seconds, he wont be able to regenerate.

    If you manage to get the garen low enough, its the perfect chance of getting a kill, or just push him away and deny him xp and gold. remember, the laning phase is not PRIMARILY about getting kills, its about getting ahead of your opponents. most people dont know this, suprisingly enough. If you manage to deny your enemies enough xp, he will be useless late game, EVEN the tanks, they will die as fast as the dps. This is a strategy most used in the higher ELO matches, but the sooner you learn this, the better.

  • Become A Better Gamer

    Okey, this section has absolutely NOTHING to do with garen. but its important, believe me.

    I know that alooooooot of people out there, has given up playing online games, because of the amount of raging and flaming going on when they play. and i understand them. you can rarely join a game without seeing the word "noob" or "useless" and what not. if its not going on in your own team, it most likely does on the enemy team.

    ive considered quiting LoL a dusin times for this very reason. i dont think its fair, i dont think its mature, but this is how its like being a gamer... sadly.

    i actually feel a litle ashamed of calling myself a gamer, because the non gamers out there think of me as a guy who sits on hes computer, screaming at it, and flame the people who plays. and that i have no life. seriously, where the F*** did this "no life" comment apear? would i be here writing if i had no life? no, i would be 6 feet under in a wooden box...

    But moving on to raging and flaming. whats the point? what good does it do? do you actually feel better by flaming?
    the answers is nothing, nothing and no. flaming and raging does NOT help, it only lowers the moral on your team, making that 50% loss into something around 80%..

    i started out my gaming hobby as a nice guy. i didnt have a cruel word to say to anyone, no matter how bad they were. but i changed. i felt the need to tell people how bad they were, and i got frustrated when they messed up. ill be honest. ive been the guy on your team, who throws out the "noob" word here and there, thinking hes better then everyone else.. ive been a rager and a flamer...

    but let me tell you a little story that opened my eyes, and made me a better gamer.

    i was playing a LoL match, and there was this guy, who did very very bad. he feeded, he screwed up, and didnt seem to have a clue about what he was doing. ofc, me and my teammates, we flamed him. we called him every word in the book, and when he responded, we could clearly see that he wasnt very old of age, my guess would be around 10-12 maybe. he apologized for hes bad playing several times, did we stop? nope, we kept on flaming.

    suddenly he got very silent, he just stood there. doing nothing. and after a little while he said something in the chat. he said "well thank you, you Fu**ing idiots, you just made my little brother cry, hope your proud of yourselfs, your a disgrace to gamers"... and... yea.. it probably was a joke... but what if?.. what if i made a little kid, who were just trying to have fun with hes brother game, cry by saying he was useless and noob... i honestly felt so bad, that i took a one month break. i was ashamed of myself, and yea, he was right, we were a disgrace to gamers.

    after that one month i started playing again. but this time i promised myself to NOT flame my teammates no matter how bad they were, and if i suddenly felt the need to flame again, i would take another one month break.

    and ive honestly have become a better player after this. both to my teammates, and to my gameplay.

    if there is a guy who does bad on your team.. yea, it can be frustrating, but try helping him out instead, try giving him some tips. if he feeds just say "uhm buddy, you seem to have one or two to many deaths there, take my advice and play a little more deffensive please (=" and not just "feeder noob". maybe you will end up winning the match because you helped the guy out. ever thought of that? probably not..

    right in the middle of my "flaming period", i started playing ranked games. first day of ranked, 10 straight wins in a row. man was i happy... second day of ranked, 12-13 losses in a ROW. i was frustrated as hell, sometimes i even flamed before the game even started... did it help? nope.. the losses came rolling in, and i got myself stuck at a ELO i didnt think i deserved to be at, and it was very very hard to win games.

    but then the episode with the little kid crying happened. and i changed. and i actually started winning ranked games again, and i'd like to think that some of the reason was that i was kinder to my teammates. i gave them tips instead of screaming at them, and i started taking controll of the team, organizing it.

    ill give you a bold statement. at lvl 30, you "wont" find noob players, you just wont. if you do, its RARE. what you will find though, is people with different views on how to play as a team, and if you dont take controll and make sure that everyone is on the same page on teamwork, well you will probably lose. taking controll and organizing your team is SOOOOOO much easier and rewarding than flaming, trust me. im still at a pretty Low ELO, but it is rising. and much faster then when i was a flamer.( dont worrie, i still have great knowledge about High ELO, this guide aint useless because im telling you this)

    take my advice, try to be a nicer person when you play, try to help instead of flaming, and you WILL have more success, i garantee it! if i can change then god dammit so can you! every last one of you.

    lets stop being a disgrace to our kind, and lets stop making people have doubts about playing online games just because they think they will "turn" into flamers and ragers. if flaming and raging really is your passion, go to youtube, you will have millions of people who share your view of things, good luck..

  • Final words

    Lately ive seen alot more Garens out there on the field, hes gotten buffed to the point where he does really good again.

    Try to use my words in this guide, to make your gameplay as good as possible. if you have your own build and own way of doing things, i respect that. this is not a guide to tell you how garen HAS to be played, its a guide to show you what i preffer, and what works for me.

    Well this is the end of my guide. I hope this knowledge will help you out on your journy to becoming the MIGHT OF DEMACIAAA!!

    if you have any questions or any advice to a "noob" guide maker, feel free to leave me a comment and pls rate it up or down, i appriciate any feedback no matter if its good or bad. (trolls and flamers will be ignored, go to youtube you filthy animals!!)

    I wish you all good luck

    Best regards, Epicnight, PEACE

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