Garen Build Guide

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Garen, The Spinning Death - An AD-Garen Guide

written by Jadestachel

Garen Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    External Image
    Hi Guys!
    Rumors are becoming louder about every further patch considering Garen, The Might of Demacia as a tanky AD/DPS Champion who atrociously tears the enemy champions apart while farming a minion wave.
    I just can tell you that this so called scuttlebutts have to be conceded as true since the ratios of Garen's Decisive Strike and Judgment have increased dramatically.
    So this guide basically aims at giving you a suggenstion about how a AD-Garen may look like.

    **So enjoy reading throught the whole guide. // Feel free to submit constructive commentaries wheather you recommend this guide -or not- and justify your vorting there at the very end.
    See you on the Fields of Justice!

  • Announcements

    **4th of April: Video content is NOW available // More stuff upcoming occasionally.**
    **11th of May: Brand new (unique) Judgment indepth mechanic section has been released**
    **14th of September: Guide Update. Due to the new Judgment scalings I will rework the maths soon.

  • Color Key

    Sup again! Just befor you start reading make sure you have read this section.
    This guide will contain a couple of different colored-marked expressions.

    Basically I have used:
    - red to highlight any benefits out of the damage section, like flat damage, critical chance, critical damage or attack speed Garen, The Spinning Death accesses to.
    - blue to highlight any benefits out of the utility section, like movement speed or cooldown reduction.
    - yellow to highlight any benefits out of the defense section, like armor, magic resistence or -i.e- damage reduction out of stuff like Courage or Leviathan.

  • Patchnote's concerning Garen, The Spinning Death

    **Buffs will be displayed like this, nerfs like this.**

    1st of April 2011 v1.0.0.114:

    Quoted Text:

    *Base movement speed increased to 320 from 315
    *Courage's damage reduction increased to 20/24/28/32/36 from 10/15/20/25/30

    Overall buffs to Garen's movement speed and tankability from Courage. *cheer*

    1st of April 2011 v1.0.0.115:
    Quoted Text:

    *Courage has been removed and replaced with a new ability
    New Ability – Plant Grass
    *Garen infects an area with grass seeds, causing additional brush to grow over the next 30 seconds. When brush is fully grown, it can be used by allies and enemies

    Epic patchnotes. Make up your own mind wheather this is fake or a serious business, though.

    14th of April 2011 (actual)v1.0.0.115:
    Quoted Text:

    Infinity Edge
    * Attack Damage increased to 80 from 75
    * Critical Strike increased to 25% from 20%

    A welcome average buff to Infinity Edge. This will slightly increase the damage output of Garen, The Spinning Death espacially concerning his skill Judgment. *cheer*

    10th of May 2011 v1.0.0.118:

    Quoted Text:

    Sunfire Cape
    * Area of effect damage per second reduced to 35 from 40.

    Minor nerf - and in my opinion kind of unnecessary - to Sunfire Cape. Does not change anything since Garen, The Spinning death has enought damage output with his Judgment.

    14th of September 2011 v1.0.0.125:
    Quoted Text:

    * Decisive Strike attack damage ratio decreased to 1.4 from 1.5

    * Judgment:
    - Damage per second reduced to 50/90/130/170/210 from 60/100/140/180/220
    - Bonus attack damage ratio increased to 1.4 from 1.2

    Summa summarum Judgment got buffed pretty nice as long as you play AD-Garen. The AD ratio nerf for Decisive Strike should not hit us that hard, though.

  • Abilities

    This is Garen's famous passive ability. Whenever Garen does not receive any damage within 7 seconds he will start to insanely regenerate health. 0,5% of his maximum health per second!
    This - hold in the right hands - is a great advantage in lane durability and will lead to a gold and experience benefit.

    Decisive Strike
    This is Garen's awesome low-on-cooldown ability with does decent amounts of damage while silencing the target hit. Most important, maxing this skill will lead you to an enormous advantage in movement speed in early game: Get your kills in tower range fast and speed backwards or just get back to a pushed lane quicker than your enemies.

    Once you've skilled this, you will notice that your resistences are boosting althouht you are not buying any protectives. Similar to Decisive Strike, Courage will lead you to an early game advantage concerning tankability. Since we want to bulk Garen up as an AD champion, this skill has a minor priority than the others. But i recommend getting level 1 of this nice ability as you reach level 3.

    Judgment is your main damage ability since it damages surrounding enemy units almost deathly while also granting increased Crowd Control(CC) resistance while spinning. Maxing this first will boost your damage output significantly. Judgement also synergisizes with critical chance - I'll get to the bottom of it later on.

    Demacian Justice
    This is potentially the most devastiting ultimate in League of Legends and an indispensable addition to the bottomless damage pool Garen accesses to. The tool tip is rather self-explaining.
    Just one more thing to add: DEMACIA!!!

  • Judgment Mechanics - Indepth View

    As plenty of guys asked me - generally wondering - about how the Judgment spell will work and synergize with critical chance.
    Hence i will do some maths about Judgment and compare the value of a high critical chance with a high stacked attack damage.

    There are two stat benefits synergizing with your Judgment.

    1. Your raw attack damage. Judgment scales off of 120% attack damage.

    Having about 283 attack damage @ Lvl 18 with full build (without any boni from auras, etc.) means that your spin will do 220 (+339.6) damage per second to an enemy with 41 armor at most (since we have 41 armor penetration, so the calculating will be much easier).
    This ticks are applied six times since Garen, The Spinning Death spins for 3 seconds dealing damage each 0.5 seconds.
    So the displayed damage is damage per second while you actually have to halve that value since the spin damages each 0,5 seconds - as meantioned above.

    Summa summarum we come to a total amount of damage: 1678 damage over 3 seconds - assuming that our enemy has 41 armor or below and assuming that we do not strike critically(!).


    2. Your critical chance will kind of increase your Judgment damage output significantly.

    As you have bought Phantom Dancer you will have 85% critical chance after completing your build.
    Critical chance grants Judgment the ability to also strike critically.
    So 85% means that you will hit ~5 times critically (6x0,85).

    Hitting critically means that the bonus damage of your Judgment will strike critically as additional bonus damage.
    The 339.6 bonus damage each second has to be halved to 169.8 each 0.5 seconds because the actual ingame mechanic does not fit to the displayed one.


    To an enemy champion (damage to creeps is halved, of course):

    One ingame tick would apply 279.8 damage.
    Critically it would damage for (110 + 169.8) + 169.8 = 449.6.


    So a displayed tick over 1 second - assuming that you will crit twice (with 85% you WILL do 5 crits out of 6 hits or even 6) - will deal 449.6 + 449.6 = 899.2 damage instead of just 559.6.

    Now we have to calculate the incrased critical hit damage out of the quintessences and out of the mastery [mastery_icon=lethality] which is 23,5% together.

    So one ingame tick will deal - hitting critically with all factors implemented - (110 + 169.8) + 169.8 + (169.8 x 0,235) = 489.5 damage each 0.5 seconds.

    You can sum this terms up to:

    Judgment damage without any critical hits per ingame tick: 279.8

    Judgment damage with one critical ingame tick: 449.6

    Judgment damage with one critical ingame tick and enhanced critical damage: 489.5

    Hint: Multiply the shown values by 6 (by their own, of course) and you will receive the total amount of damage of Judgment affected by the specified factors.


    **This was an enormous effort of research, testing and calculating. So please show me your regards and "thumbs up" or give any feedbacks.
    As this calculation is kind of unique DO NOT copy it and post it on your own. Anyways feel free to link this guide and give credits althought.**

  • Masteries & Rune Setup

    In the past, many high damaging champions joined the League so we can no longer rely on just doing tons of damage while getting devastated by an i-crit-you-harder Ashe (also compare to any Miss Fortune, Nocturne or Caitlynn) in 3 seconds.
    Since Garen brings a basic survivability with his Courage, there is no prior need in neither grabbing massive defense masteries nor runes.
    But if you think you are still too squishy you can easily turn my 14-16-0 masteries tree into a 9-21-0 or - vice versa - into a 21-9-0 one.

    14-16-0 masteries tree:

    External Image
    Grabbing [mastery_icon=deadliness], [mastery_icon=sorcery], [mastery_icon=archaic knowledge] and [mastery_icon=sunder], [mastery_icon=veteran's scars].
    Why [mastery_text=archaic knowledge], isn't it just useful for mages like Veigar?
    Simply no. It just gives a 15% magic penetration boost to your ultimate (doing magical damage at all!) diretcly cutting into your enemy's corpse!
    Also you are granted the whole 6 points in armor penetration out of 3x [mastery_text=sunder] while you ensure getting all four points of [mastery_text=veteran's scars] enhancing you health by 48. Also the cooldown reduction(CDR) out of [mastery_icon=sorcery] is fairly nice since cooldowns are the only factor which restrict Garen, The Spinning Death.

    21-9-0 masteries tree:

    External Image
    Grabbing [mastery_icon=havoc] to have an increased damage output finally.


    The rune setup is a more fragile part and has to match with the individual player skill/experiences.

    So for AD Garen a fitting setup for Marks look like this:

    9x grant you indispensable armor penetration which will boost your damage output significantly against low-armored-guys like Fiddlesticks, e.g. .


    For Glyphs go for:

    9x grant you 8,1% reduced cooldowns at level 18. This will allow you to render your judgment more frequently on your enemies synergizing with another cooldown reductive(CDR) items, e.g. Youmuu's Ghostblade.

    If you think that you have to grab some additional magic resistance go for:
    9x grant you 24,3 magic resistence at level 18. This is the more cautious way.


    To carry on with Seals I'd like to recommend you life per level seals due to having enought CDR needing some durability for not getting slain by the i-crit-you-harder Ashe in 3 seconds:

    9x grant you an additional 175 life at level 18 - a nice chunk making Garen even scarier. This is also kind of useful since you still want to initiate team fights to disturb adverse focus fire.


    Now we come to the glorious Quintessences, the most expensive part in a rune setup - except you bought this damn annoying crit runes for Tryndamere, of course.
    My quints I am using playing Garen, The Spinning Death:

    3x grant you an awesome 13,5% damage-inceased critical hit. You gonna see, this badass will crit synergizing with Infinity Edge.

    Another nice quintessences fitting into AD Garen:
    3x boost your armor penetration to a flat amount of 31 in level 1 - get out of my way Fiddlesticks! - First Blood!

  • Summoner Spells - The butter, not the bread.

    So this is the summoner spell section. As you may have construed in the headline summoner spells are just finishing of your pre-game setup.
    Nevertheless it is quite significant that you fit your summoner spells to your whole team setup - or in a ranked game: Try to counter the enemy champions with your summoner spells.
    E.g.: Ohh they have picked a fuck-yeah-i-have-accidently-pressed-r-and-now-i-pwn-yah Mundo...Get my Ignite!
    Or against a DPS champion: Sry bro, you will not get any further with my Exhaust!

    Now knowing that you may get focused by your opponents every clash you need an additional escape mechanism besides your Decisive Strike, Judgment.
    Grabbing Ghost would just boost your movement speed along with Decisive Strike so it is rather useless since additional movement speed is no longer needed.


    My suggestion here is grabbing a Flash first. Suddenly flashing out of the clash - or in it - will confuse enemies and - more important - interrupt their focus fire so your team can now start or maintain their damage output.


    The second spell depends on how secure you are feeling playing as Garen, The Spinning Death.
    Grabbing an Ignite will significantly boost your damage output on tanks crippling their regeneration ratio.
    Ignite can be used to finish squshies off synergizing well with your Demacian Justice, of course.

    Optional feel free to pick a Exhaust instead of Ignite so you can block the damage output of an oppponent carry in a face to face battle or in a clash protecting your own casters or low-on-health carries.

  • Skilling Order - Or how to slay your enemies.

    Since we want to bulk Garen up as an AD-Carry, the damaging abilites Decisive Strike and Judgment - well and Demacian Justice, of course - are enjoying a higher priority than Garen's Courage.
    Nevertheless, the skill order has to be fit to the enemies on your lane.
    So if your having a rather slow opponent laning against you, you may easily choose leveling your Judgment first due to dealing him the full amount of damage because he is not able to escape faster than you are spinning your deathly sword.
    As you may know Judgment synergizes perfectly with Decisive Strike: Open your harassment with a quick damage-dealing slash finishing him off with your spinning death accelerated by your movement boost from Decisive Strike.

    So what did I do?
    I just grabbed Decisive Strike in level 1, so I am able to quickly escape out of a brush preventing a disadvantageous fight there. In addition, I am also able to chase a wounded enemy champion to secure getting first blood or surviving a rapid skill in tower range.
    Basically there is nothing more to add. Get Demacian Justice as soon as possible(in level 6/11/16) and level your damaging abilities first while getting Courage in level 3 or earlier to compensate heavy burst damage with a nice chunk of additional resistance.

  • The Item Build

    Here is where Garen gets to his full potency. As i stated above Garen's ratios have been increased dramatically turning him back into a tough AD champion.
    Ergo this build aims at granting Garen the best damage output while also adding some durability since nowadays many new champions are capable of wiping others out in a few seconds without the right protectives.

    At first since we want to play a lane staying AD Garen grabbing Doran's Blade.
    "NOOB?! - Doran's Shield kicks ass NOT this fagtard blade!"
    - We still have enought regeneration due to his Perseverance. What we need merely is a kick in attack damage(AD) and a little but welcome health boost.


    Now developing Garen's core build you have two choices how you want to evolve in mid game.
    For a pure advantage in farming just grab a Sunfire Cape. In synergy with your Judgment you will slay a minion wave completely. For all the god damn haters of the so called "sunfire noob Garen" watch the appropriate video below to get an impression how dominating rushing a Sunfire Cape is like - hold in the right hands.

    For some other reasons, if you are laning against squishies, you can first grab The Brutalizer easily for penetrating your enemy's armor utterly.

    Now just finish your core build off with a pair of Ionian Boots of Lucidity adding a nice chunk of CDR.


    After farming well and probably doing some nice gangs or solo kills you will enter the mid game phase. Here is the point where clashes will start escalating. You as you already bought your core build are a though damage-dealing initaitor scarying your opponents away with your Sunfire Cape and Judgment synergy.
    Now you have to major choices:

    1st. Rushing an Infinity Edge throught a B. F. Sword will insanely boost your damage output dealt by your basic attacks and your Judgment which also scales off of your critical chance and your raw attack damage!

    2nd. Grabbing The Brutalizer if you did not buy him instead of Infinity Edge and converting it into Youmuu's Ghostblade utilizing even more armor penetration.

    Optionally you can grab an Atma's Impaler here since you have a great bunch of health which synergyzes perfectl with your Judgment boosting your attack damage and more physical resistance(armor)


    Entering the late game phase you want to combine the items suggested for the mid game phase leading you to your final build:
    Overall stats:

    - 2956 hit points
    - 288 attack damage
    - 41 armor penetration
    - 55% critical chance with a 263% increased damage (perspective 273% with offens specifications on [mastery_text=lethality])
    - 184 armor
    - 83 magic resistence
    - 40% CDR
    - 385 movement speed (+211 movement speed on activating Youmuu's Ghostblade and Decisive Strike)


    The replacer for Doran's Blade really depends on how your role is set in late game.
    For enhanced movement speed there are two useful items potentially replacing Doran's Blade:

    1st. [item=force of nature]. This will just boost your magic resistence also granting a decent movement speed bonus = 416 basic movement speed.

    2nd. Phantom Dancer. The offensive way to finish off your late game build. Pushes your movement speed to a basic amount of 443 movement speed. Also grants you enhanced 30% critical chance with a result of having 85% at all at a high rate of damage.

    So basically you have to decide wheather you want to achieve more tankability or pure damage output at the very end of your ownage.

  • Video Section *cheer*

    Lesson 1: A nice team to play against with Garen, The Spinning Death.

    Lesson 2: First Blood or how to slay even a tanky Mundo at level 1 with my guide.

    Lesson 3: The core build around level 6 without rushing a Sunfire Cape. Still you are not god-like when doing a little mistake as i did.

    Lesson 4: Short sequence about your farming advantage with a Sunfire Cape

    Lesson 5: A sequence showing a common sturggle in the scrubland with Garen, The Spinning Death.

    Lesson 6: The final sequence of the recorded game. Brief summary how Garen evolved mid and late game plus the final push forcing the enemies to surrender immediately.

  • EDIT-Section

    Here I will post any major changes happening to my guide.

    3th of April: Fixed the link for the 21-9-0 mastery build. // Thanks to Khristos.
    4th of April: Added a new section: "Announcements".
    - " -: Added a new section: "Video Section".
    5th of April: Uploaded three new video lessons (no. 4, 5 and 6.).
    - " -: Added a new section: "Patchnote's". Fixed the latest lesson link's. Simplified the mastery builds; now pictures are available.
    28th of April: Quick workthrought throught the guide. Minor changes.
    - " -: Added a new section: "Color Key". Gives you an overview about the used colors.
    11th of May: Added a new section: "Judgment Mechanics - Indepth View".

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Submitted by Jadestachel

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