Garen Build Guide

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Tanky GGaren(Because I'm too G)

written by CheezBalls

Garen Build

Table of Contents

  • Abilities

    This passive is ridiculously OP. You can take as much harrassment as you want and come back with full or near full HP just by standing on the side quietly. Great way to stay in lane and survive so you don't have to recall so much.

    Decisive Strike
    To many, it's how you initiate a team fight if you're the tank. I love the speed bonus on this. It's great for both chasing and running away. It dishes out quite a bit of damage, as well, even if we are building tanky.

    A mini-version of Alistar's ultimate. Very, very helpful especially when you're the first one in your team in. You can soak up a lot of damage with this. The cooldown isn't even that bad on this. Just don't initiate too many times so you can utilize this to its full potential and let it soak up hella damage.

    This makes Garen who he is. "Spin to win." Removes CC and when used with decisive strike, you should be able to get out of any gank. If not, summoner spells should ensure it. Dishes out decent damage to surrounding enemies.

    Demacian Justice
    I personally always yell out Demacia whenever I use this. This is just so interesting. You can mess up enemy tanks with this spell since they're more prone to build health and the higher the health missing they have, the more damage this does. This is sooooo fun for me to use. If I wanna troll around, I just use this to KS my team and get fed(:

  • Introduction

    Sawp. Gonna share my tanky Garen build. I love this build because I could just dance around in their turret range and not die. Even though you don't have the damage output of an AD Garen, I still find it quite easy to get fed with Tanky Garen. Your survivability is also pretty legendary. You can escape any gank easily with godly attack speed. I can outrun Kassadins, Nidalees and Teemos with this build. Well, I'm not going to spend much time talking because I wanna keep everything short and sweet. Here's my build, use it if you want, ignore it if you want.

  • Pros / Cons

    -Very high survivability
    -Legendary speed
    -Movement speed skill and a clear cc skill, as well as a reduced % damage skill
    -Very tanky
    -Tank anything
    -Utilizes passive well

    -Cannot truly be a tank b/c you can't really get people to stop targetting the other ppl on your team, except if you make them run away or silence them
    -Low damage output(most comes from ult) compared to AD Garen
    -Still might be focused last, which may make your build kinda useless

  • Summoner Abilities

    My personal summoner abilities when I play Tanky Garen: Ghost and Exhaust. I've found that when Ghost is used along with Decisive Strike and Judgment, you can escape any type of CC and outrun anyone. With Exhaust, you can help your team out by slowing down people running away... or you can use it to try to score yourself a kill.

    If you're new to Tanky Garen, I would make sure you have Ghost. You need this to escape ganks. If not, you will feed and you will be hated. Stacking up on the movement spells will make sure you survive... it will also make sure you get kills. You can't be outran unless they Flash thru a really thick wall that takes forever to go around.

    Other viable Summoner Abilities that you can consider:

    Cleanse: Pretty much another Judgment. This stacks up on the skills that relieve you of CC. Another good option for extra survivability.
    [spell=Fortify]: On a tank? Why not. Just don't forget to use it, and make sure you can survive without one of the more helpful summoner spells.
    Ignite: Early game kills
    Flash: Flash over wall + Movement Speed stuff = you disappear from the battlefield, never to be seen by the enemies again. I've personally always thought the CD on this was just too much for me to take over Ghost. Other than that, this would be a good choice also.
    Clairvoyance: This is pushing it, but I guess this is viable because it'll relieve you and your team of some stress for wards. Not saying you shouldn't get any, but you guys can buy less.

  • Masteries + Runes

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    I got 0/21/9 masteries, ignoring [mastery=Ardor] in the Defense tree just because you're not scaled by AP and attack speed shouldn't be your top priority when you're building tank-like and Perseverance in the Utility tree because that's what your passive is for.

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    The only other masteries I'd consider is 9/21/0, putting one point on [mastery=Cripple]. This will ensure more kills with slightly less survivability. Slightly easier to get fed... but ehhhh, everyone has their own opinions. Some people like playing with more survivability, others with more potential to get fed. Find out what floats your boat.

    With runes, I'd go for typical tank runes. My personal runes:
    Marks: Greater Mark of Shielding
    Seals: Greater Seal of Resilience
    Glyphs: Greater Glyph of Focus
    Quintessences: Greater Quintessence of Vitality

    Typical tank runes. Anything that grants armor, health, or magic resist is a good choice. The reason why I like choosing CD reduction glyphs is because I find the CD's for all of Garen's spells slightly long and it wouldn't hurt to reduce them a little. Reduced spells = I can get out of CC easier. Or with a reduced CD on Decisive Strike, you can initiate chasing easier.

    Don't be afraid to mix and match runes that grant armor, health, or magic resist, tho. My rune page might not be the best; it's always open for improvement.

  • Items

    Begin the game by buying Ruby Crystal with your 475 gold. The reason for this is because Randuin's Omen is included in my build, and thus my tactic begins with me utilizing [item=Heart of Gold] to its full potential. This will be one of your six items for like the longest time. Buying Ruby Crystal first will also ensure survivability in your lane when used with your passive. Unless you troll or play completely idiotically, you should be fine laning for the longest time.

    Recall at 700 gold. Or, if there's an enemy jungler, recall at around 850 maybe so you can grab a couple Sight Ward. Grab your [item=Heart of Gold] first, as well as Boots of Speed. Return to lane.

    This build goes situational from here. It will differ from team to team and you will need to be able to be flexible with this build.

    Recall at 1400 gold. Grab Boots of Swiftness. If you're deciding on building a Youmuu's Ghostblade, now's a good time to also buy your Avarice Blade. Now, look at the scoreboard and look at your team. Depending on whoever's fed, whoever you're laning against, or whatever the majority of the damage of the other team is (AD or AP), grab Chain Vest or Negatron Cloak. Make a judgment call. On your next recall, buy the other one that you didn't get, unless there's completely no need to defend against the other AD/AP damage on the other team. The only other viable boots you can get is Mercury's Treads. Get if the enemy team has hella high CC. Like extremely high. Other than that, I'd still prefer Boots of Swiftness just cuz you can get out of most CC with Judgment, Cleanse, and/or Quicksilver Sash, if you decide to get them.

    Recall whenever you want from now on. Recall not as frequently enough to lose out on cs, but frequent enough to keep yourself beefy as hell. Also, whenever I play Garen, I alternate between buying things against AD's and AP's. I'd only stack full out armor over mr or vice-versa if the team composition of the other team is completely one-sided or someone/people on their team is completely fed. Building right can be a game changer, so just use your gut feeling and get things that will help your team.

    If their team favors their AD's, two items are viable to buy now:
    Sunfire Cape: If you want to push a lane faster, if their AD's aren't as annoying, if you want to start building slight off-tank
    Thornmail: If their AD's are completely fed or really annoying, and if you want to do stuff while in their tower range

    If their team favors their AP's, please buy [item=Force of Nature]. This should completely shut them up for you, at least at this point of the game. The extra health regen when used in conjunction with Perseverance... wow... The extra movement speed is like a gift from God, as well.

    Buy the other one you didn't get, unless you seriously need to keep stacking AD/AP.

    After you got one armor and one magic resist item, we're gonna start building your Randuin's Omen now. If this extra armor is completely unnecessary cuz they have more AP damage, I guess you can build magic resist first. If this is the case, I hope you didn't build the Thornmail and you build the Sunfire Cape or something else instead.

    Buy Warden's Mail first if you initially don't have enough gold to purchase the whole Randuin's Omen.

    After that's made, it's situational again from here. Here's some viable items or unviable items with reasons why to/not to get it:

    Aegis of the Legion: Very underestimated item. Get this if your team is too squishy and won't do anything about it b/c they believe they always need to build damage to win. Build this also if you're the last one to die on the team, if at all.
    Atma's Impaler: You're starting to build off-tank when you do this. Do it only if you're comfortable with your armor/magic resist/tankyness levels right now.
    Banshee's Veil: Very good choice for if you need additional magic resist. Passive is just heaven for you. Even less cc on you.
    Cloak and Dagger: No. There's better tenacity items out there for you. You don't need attack speed if you don't have that much damage to start with.
    [item=Eleisa's Miracle]: See Cloak and Dagger. Your passive beats the heck out of the health regen of this item.
    Elixir of Fortitude, Elixir of Brilliance & [item=Elixir of Agility]: Get these after your build is finished and you have nothing else to spend gold on.
    Frozen Mallet: This will help your team a lot, as well as give you a nice health bonus as well as some damage. Get after your armor and/or magic resist is high tho.
    Guardian Angel: I would discourage you from getting this because this will discourage the enemy team from targetting you, which is initially the tank's role, but this is pretty OP on Garen. Once you revive, you can get away pretty easily as long as your team helps out a little bit by making the other team back away.
    Hexdrinker: There's nothing wrong with this item, but there's better items out there.
    Infinity Edge: If your team needs more AD and you're comfortable with your tankyness.
    Ionian Boots of Lucidity: I wouldn't. Your skills aren't really the skills that deal too much damage so yeah I mean it helps but there's better choices for boots in my opinion. Leave these to the mages and AP's.
    Last Whisper: See Infinity Edge.
    Leviathan: Use only if you're good at staying alive. This may discourage you from playing truly like a tank tho in team fights since you gotta save your stacks also.
    Ninja Tabi: I mean... I guess you can get these if their team is all AD. If not, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    Phantom Dancer: Only after you started building AD. The movement speed is nice.
    Quicksilver Sash: Really good choice for building magic resist. Only thing that can remove Exhaust, your worst enemy.
    [item=Soul Shroud]: Get if the rest of your team is like full of casters/mages/mana users.
    [item=Stark's Fervor]: Get only if your team is Master Yi, Xin Zhao, AD Teemo, Tryndamere, Ashe, AD Sion, etc.
    Sword of the Occult: See Infinity Edge and Leviathan.
    The Bloodthirster & The Black Cleaver: See Infinity Edge.
    Trinity Force: Ehhhh... nice bonuses. Up to you.
    Warmog's Armor: After magic resist and armor. This with your passive will make you indestructable.
    Youmuu's Ghostblade: An extra movement speed item? Why not. If you decide to get this, find a way to fit Avarice Blade into your build early game.

  • Build Example

    Build samples. Feel free to replace any items you feel should be replaced.

    Beginning of Game:
    Ruby Crystal

    First Recall:
    [item=Heart of Gold] Boots of Speed Sight Ward

    Next Few or So Recalls:
    [item=Heart of Gold] Boots of Swiftness Chain Vest Negatron Cloak Sight Ward

    Core Build Achieved:
    Randuin's Omen Boots of Swiftness Sunfire Cape[item=Force of Nature]
    Randuin's Omen Boots of Swiftness Thornmail[item=Force of Nature]

    Typical Garen build end-game for me:
    Randuin's Omen Boots of Swiftness Sunfire Cape[item=Force of Nature] Youmuu's Ghostblade Banshee's Veil

    Against team with slightly heavier AD:
    Randuin's Omen Boots of Swiftness Thornmail[item=Force of Nature] Sunfire Cape Youmuu's Ghostblade

    Against team with tons of AD:
    Randuin's Omen Ninja Tabi Thornmail[item=Force of Nature] Sunfire Cape Guardian Angel

    Against team with slightly heavier AP:
    Randuin's Omen Boots of Swiftness[item=Force of Nature] Sunfire Cape Quicksilver Sash Youmuu's Ghostblade

    Against team with tons of AP:
    Randuin's Omen Boots of Swiftness[item=Force of Nature] Quicksilver Sash Banshee's Veil Aegis of the Legion

    Against team with hella CC:
    Randuin's Omen Mercury's Treads Sunfire Cape[item=Force of Nature] Quicksilver Sash Youmuu's Ghostblade

    Notice how Boots of Swiftness is in almost every build. I favor the 3 speed bonus over reduced CC just cuz you can already take off slows and stuff with Judgment. Youmuu's Ghostblade is also in there b/c Avarice Blade helped me get more gold per second and also the speed bonus helps me too much. Speed is your best friend. [item=Force of Nature] is also in every build. The health regen and movement speed bonus.... just too OP. Randuin's Omen is also in every build because I believe it was an item made for tanks, like Garen, and also the gold per level will be your main, reliable source of gold.

  • Skilling Order

    I like maxing Decisive Strike first because I love movement speed. It's my best friend. I also believe it's the best skill to get if you're trying to get first blood with a laning buddy or trying to gank a jungler. The silence is really helpful in shutting them up. Next I'd get my spin to win skill, Judgment, for more damage output. Then I max Courage last out of my basic skills. Your items should suffice with the less tankyness for not getting Courage maxed first. Besides, you kinda needa try to get at least a little fed so you need a bit of damage. And of course, get Demacian Justice whenever you can.

  • Farming

    If you are laning with a carry or someone that does really well with gold, do NOT steal their last hits. That's such a dick move and you're going to ensure your team a loss unless the enemy team is really that bad. Most of your gold will be derived from your [item=Heart of Gold] and assisting your laning partner and/or teammates in killing people. Don't worry about farming much, you'll be fine end game as long as your team doesn't feed drastically. Again, unless you're laning with a support or other tank, leave the last hits to your laning partner.

  • Laning

    HARRASSMENT. Do it. Your passive ensures you can stay in lane even tho you take damage from the enemy. You should regenerate health faster than them. Use the bushes to scare them and/or zone them. When you can, run in there with the speed boost from Decisive Strike, auto attack them so it casts, cast Courage to reduce any damage you happen to take from them, then Judgment or spin to win to give them a bit of damage then use it to return to your bush. Regenerate a little and wait for your combo to stop cooling down, then repeat. Don't be afraid. Just remember to keep your passive in mind.

  • Escaping Combo

    This will make you the most hated champion in-game if you can escape this easily.

    Judgment> Decisive Strike> Youmuu's Ghostblade> Ghost

    Then use Quicksilver Sash and/or Cleanse for any other cc that is life threatening to you. I promise you at least 90% of ganks that are set up for you can be escaped if you do this combo right. If you need to, Flash over a wall. There's many diff. ways to use/modify this combo. Depends on your summoner spells and items.

  • Working in the team

    Let's bring up one issue: your ult, Demacian Justice.
    When to use it:
    -Your teammate(s) die and it's the only way to ensure a kill.
    -Killing them will make sure your teammates stay alive/they take less damage from a team fight.
    -If you happen to pick up a blue buff.
    -If you're certain you will have no need to use it during its long cooldown (i.e. You're just defending or jungling or pushing lanes, maybe?).
    -When there's no other way you or anyone else on your team can drain the rest of your target's HP.
    -If it's certain you're going to die in a team fight, even with your items and summoner spells, and you want to help your teammates for the last time before you have to wait till respawn.

    When NOT to use it:
    -Killstealing/Trolling(unless that's your intention)
    -When someone's at 1 hp
    -At the beginning of the fight/On someone with full hp
    -On the champion who is squishy as heck as well as dishes out the least amount of damage


    Be the first one into a fight unless there's another tank also on your team. Then you guys can go into the fight together like brothers. Wait for an initiation, or initiate yourself if it's the smart thing to do. When you're in the fight, use Decisive Strike on the AP's/mages/casters, attack the AD's, and leave the tanks alone. Don't forget to activate Judgment to try to hit everyone on the enemy team as well as Courage to soak up as much burst ult damage as possible. Ult the person who needs to die, i.e. Fed Akali, Katarina, or Tanky Jax?

    You should be able to push any lane without your teams with your items and tankyness but do it only if it's absolutely necessary and your team can fair without you. You're the tank of the team; they need you in fights. If you see that you guys are starting to lose team fights cuz of that, stop backdooring and help them out.

    I wouldn't personally take the buffs just cuz other ppl on your team have better use of them. But if they're truly too squishy and you'd do the best with them, go for it.

    With your [item=Heart of Gold], you can easily be the one responsible for Sight Ward. CS+Gold per level... with that you shouldn't have a problem having money on the side for wards. Don't forget about [item=Oracle's Elixir], too. Get it only if you are certain you won't die with it.

    You can actually use Decisive Strike on turrets. YAY. Anyway, take turret hits when necessary.

    Don't get cocky and 1v1 people. Not worth it when you can help the team out better and ensure kills when you gank them instead. Pretty much, don't go alone. Any tanky champion can still be defeated if it's 1v5. You're not invincible. You're just hard to kill. Remember that.

    I think that's all you need to know...

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Submitted by CheezBalls

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