Garen Build Guide

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Garen, Slice Through Your Enemies

written by Godsend 23

Garen Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Garen is a melee champion that has no mana pool, thus only relying on cool downs. He reminds me somewhat of Mundo, especially his passive, but is more Carry/Damage and less Tanky. He is definitely a very fun champion and a welcomed hero to the league. He is also quite easy to play, very simple spells and makes a competent ganker. All of Garen's Abilities do physical damage, so don't worry about Magic Penetration or Ability Power.

    Garen can be played one of two ways; a strong melee carry or a team based aoe tank. It depends on your team's abilities and champion composition as to what items you should build. If your team has a tank and some support, by all means, play to Garen's strength with DPS items. But if you need a damage soaker while still dealing pretty strong aoe damage, build him with more survival items. I actual favor playing him with more survivability.

  • Abilities

    7 seconds is a long time and I am hoping they lower it to 5. This is useful in the laning phase and is hardly used outside of that, but maybe when running through the jungle for a gank. You can keep your passive while you attack minions as long as they don't hit you. I'm also hoping they change that to above 40 damage like Pantheon's passive.

    Decisive Strike
    The Swiss Army knife of abilities. Great for one on one and against all those pesky casters trying to burst you down. Also deals strong damage to buildings. The silence will stop ultimates like Nunu, Kat, and Fiddles when he's charging up.

    Cool Down
    11/10/9/8/7 sec
    Move Speed
    2.5 sec

    This ability has an awesome 35% damage reduction that last 4 seconds! :) Tower diving at it's finest. You need to kill 70 minions to cap the Armor and Resist.

    Cool Down
    30/27/24/21/18 sec
    2/2.5/3/3.5/4 sec
    Bonus AR + MR
    Damage Reduction

    Your farming and damage spell. Maxed out with no items, it will hit for 744 damage against heroes! And it crits! Ashe trying to slow you? Nope, not anymore. *Spins away to freedom* You can essentially place one finger on Q, it doesn't matter which finger, and slide it across you keyboard. FUN!

    Cool Down
    15/14/13/12/11 sec
    3 sec
    15/35/55/75/95(+.35 AD) Has added crit damage
    Bonus Crit Damage
    Crit Chance + Crit Damage

    Demacian Justice
    Your execute and tank killer. Basically use it on a tank if they have around 1/4th to 1/3rd of their health left. If they are a caster and have ~2000 health, you can use it just below 1/2 health to finish them.

    Cool Down
    140/120/100 sec
    Bonus Damage
    1 per 3.5/3/2.5 HP missing

  • Summoner Abilities

    Cleanse and Flash

    Cleanse is necessary on melee heroes against CC. Flash is great for initiating and when you find yourself in trouble. Ghost works as well. You can replace Flash with a spell of your choosing below.

    Ignite useful for finishing off a hero after Demacian Justice.

    Ghost is useful for running and catching enemies.

    Exhaust to shut down Jax in your face.

  • Masteries + Runes

    Depends on the summoner. I favor Offense for DPS and Defense for Tank. SHOCKER I KNOW!

    21/9/0 Offensive Build
    9/21/0 Defensive Build
    (if you use Ghost, grab the improved over Nimbleness)

    Marks = Greater Mark of Desolation
    Seals = Greater Seal of Evasion
    Glyphs = Greater Glyph of Focus
    Quints = Greater Quintessence of Fortitude

  • Skilling Order

    DPS Garen

    Judgment becomes a very strong ability, even without items, and it's on a 11 second cool down at max level. His Strike move speed is just not all the great, it only last two seconds and isn't that effective until level 4 or 5. Courage has a huge cool down at level one and yields a greater reward for leveling it before Decisive Strike. But we want to space out Courage to fill the minion kills.

    Survival Garen

    You want to have Judgment max level by 10, since it is your main AoE ability. It does a ton of damage without items, so we can build more health and still put out decent DPS.

  • DPS Garen

    Summoner's Rift
    Ruby Crystal or Doran's Shield + Health Potion (I favor the shield)
    Avarice Blade + Boots of Speed
    Boots of Swiftness or Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi
    The Brutalizer > Youmuu's Ghostblade
    B. F. Sword > Cloak of Agility > Infinity Edge

    Last Item:
    Frozen Mallet Completing the Mallet is always a good idea.
    Executioner's Calling Decent item, only get it if they have Mundo/healers.
    Last Whisper Excellent penetration. You will be put out way too much DPS.
    [item=Stark's Fervor] If no one else built this, it's a good item on him. Someone should build this every game usually.
    Elixir of Fortitude and [item=Elixir of Agility] Sometimes it's better to go consumables at the end.

    Twisted Treeline
    Ruby Crystal or Doran's Shield + Health Potion (I favor the shield)
    Avarice Blade + Boots of Speed
    Boots of Swiftness or Mercury's Treads (swifties really help you catch them for 6 hits)
    The Brutalizer
    Youmuu's Ghostblade
    Phage or Last Whisper (Slow/health or more dps)
    Frozen Mallet

  • Survival Garen

    Summoner's Rift
    Doran's Shield + Health Potion or Ruby Crystal
    [item=Heart of Gold] + Boots of Speed (you can sell the Heart later or build Ranuin's Omen)
    Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi
    Aegis of the Legion

    After this, there are basically a few items to choose from, depending on your enemies and what your team needs.

    Frozen Mallet + Atma's Impaler

    Awesome damage with strong survivability. This is my normal build.

    Physical Tank
    Randuin's Omen + Sunfire Cape

    When your team needs more of a tank and playing against a physical team.

    Magic Tank
    [item=Force of Nature] + Guardian Angel

    You are the tank playing against lots of magic users.

    Twisted Treeline
    Doran's Shield + Health Potion or Ruby Crystal
    [item=Heart of Gold] + Boots of Speed
    Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi
    Phage and Aegis of the Legion (get Aegis first if your team needs magic resist)

    Now you either want to go Damage or Tank.

    Frozen Mallet + Atma's Impaler

    Randuin's Omen + Frozen Mallet

  • Build Examples


    Cost: 10317

    This is a fun build. I don't usually play as DPS anymore, simply because I need the survivability to do anything besides get burst down. But if you have a two tanks or an Alistar, definitely play him like this. It's so much fun to put out a lot of dps.


    Cost: 11017

    Pretty fun build as well, but you won't get this many items in a 30 to 40 minute game. If you can farm that much, give yourself a pat on the back. This is usually my build for a long game because of the added survivability.


    Cost: 8780

    This base build is extremely cheap and powerful. You can put out a lot of damage and still take quite a punishment. This is my usual build every game now, but sometimes I pick DPS when my team needs one. You can add more dps after this if your team needs it; Youmuu's Ghostblade always works.


    Cost: 8560

    This is a rare build when we don't have a tank. You can substitute Force of Nature and Guardian Angel if you are playing against more magic users.

  • Playing as Garen

    Laning Phase

    You're going to want to take a side lane, he is not the best solo hero. Be very aggressive, as much as you can. With the Greater Quintessence of Fortitude, you will have 648 health. So let's say they hit you to half health. It will take about a minute to recharge you to full health. Not bad at all, but it may feel like a long time. Especially if a those annoying minions keep breaking your passive.

    Once you hit 6, go for a kill on a harassed enemy and give your teammate the heads up. He works well in lane with a stunning partner. Taric is your best friend.


    You want to push your tower and get some player kills. Once you drop the tower, move to mid for a gank and to push it as well. Make sure someone is still protecting the lane you just left. He excels at mid game with strong abilities in Judgment and Justice, and the silence from Strike is just tasty. Garen makes an excellent farmer once you complete Infinity Edge. Always spin through a lane of minions when available.

    Team Battles

    You are the strong carry and you want to tear face. You are the initiator and you only do so if your team is right there to back you up. No 1 v 3's please. Make sure you activate Courage and head straight for your target with Decisive Strike. Always silence people with scary ultimates and abilities. Spin around and wreak havoc. Watch them separate and run, only to reactivate your Strike and Youmuu's Ghostblade to chase and silence. Then another spin for the kill.

    It's important to know when to use your ultimate. If they have Alistar and all your team is doing is plinking away at his health to no avail. Target him and try to get him around 1/3 of his health and drop a heavenly sword on him. Focus fire will kill any champion, even Jax.


    They should fear you if you played an aggressive match. One on ones are no contest with your silence, spin, and ultimate. Keep the pressure on them and never let up. Your spinning crits are the scariest thing to face, so expect to be stunned and focus fired first. We combat this with Cleanse before the spin, then Strike them, Courage, Spin their faces off.

    If you are at 1/2 health, it will still take around a minute to fully recover, again not horrible but it could be faster.

  • About the Guide

    -Separated the builds into different topics
    -Added build examples
    -Adding Videos Later

    I could use lot's of feedback. What works for you? I want to hear it! Feel free to add me in game!

    Shout Outs
    svs_pt for some item build help.
    Boscogn for all his item suggestions and feedback. Thanks a bunch Bosc!

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Submitted by Godsend 23

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