Garen Build Guide

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DPS Guide for experienced Garen players

written by XDshiggiX

Garen Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    External Image

    First of all i have to excuse for my bad english it's not my native language. :)
    At first I really don't recomment that Guide to people who played Garen just a few times.
    I saw many tank Garens who simply don't tank. In other words geting alot armor mr and health but standing behind the supporter or the main dps makes you completely useless
    and the game turns into a 4vs5.
    In my oppnion Garen is a good off tank but on the same itemlevel he'll never be as good as an Amumu or a Rammus i.e.
    I personally see Garens true potential as a strong and tough melee dps champion.
    The reason why I don't recoment that guide to unexperienced Garen players is that it
    includes 2 stackitems and this is allways risk if you don't know exactely what you are doing.
    So you need a good knowledge about your situation in any fights and how much dps you can take and also how much dps you can deal.
    In addition you allways have to pay attention how each enemys itembuild develops so that you can possibly change your strategy or your first target etc.

    This guide includes some sumerys to fully understand the coherence you should read the whole guide!!!

  • TankGarenVSDamageGaren

    External Image

    The decicion between playing Garen as Tank or DPS Melee is just a matter of how you personally see this Champion. There is no right or wrong in this question important is just which playstyle suits you best and makes you the most fun and is also the most efficiant playstyle in your eyes.
    First let's have a look on a Tank Garen as I mentioned earlier Garen can be a good off tank and there are also people arguing that just stacking on Garen is a great way to play him.
    But well I think that is not true because you just can't stack against a enemy team with good and heavy damage casters.
    Sure stacking will give you a nice HP pool but good casters will still nuke the shit out of you.
    The next thing is that a tank garen doesn't have any good snare- or initate- or any other hard support skill like other tanks i.e. .
    So by playing Garen as a tank good enemy teams will just ignore you because you don't deal much damage (exception is you ultimate but......well it's a lasthit ultimate anyway) and you got no skill which would be a threat to your enemys. Even with 3 or 4 your damage output is still veryvery weak and enemys will stll ignore you.
    If you want to play a Champion who got any advantage from stacking then go and play External Image.
    So it doesn't matter if you stack or you going a normal Tankbuild enemys will still ignore you most of the times.
    Now let's have a look on a DPS Melee Garen.
    Playing Garen this way got several advantages first is that many oponents wouldn't expect you to deal that much damage because they all expect you to be a tank this sounds strange but there are so many people who simply don't care for enemy itembuilds so you will really surprise them.
    Next thing is that if they recognize that you deal heavy damage they will no longer ignore you and exactely that is the important point.
    You still got enough survivability to survive so let them waste their cc's and heavy damage spells on you you will still be alive dealing tons of damage and the best thing is that your squishee teammates will also be alive and can blow your enemy team to hell.

    So as i mentioned eralier this isn't a Guide to blame tank Garens this builds got their advantages too it's just my opinion and still don't forget there is no right or wrong in this question important is just which playstyle makes you the most fun and is most efficiant in your eyes.

  • Abilities

    Generally one of the best lane passives in the whole game.
    But never ever think you can be able to get massive hp back against hard harassing enemys.
    It's good to stay a bit longer on the lane when you get harassed hard and even better when u controll the lane.

    Decisive Strike
    This is your cc ability simultaneously it gives you a nice little speed boost for chasing and escaping combined with a nice dmg output this is one of your best spells.

    Courage is nice all in all but not that strong as it seems on the first look because it's not a bad skill but just not that good as your other spells.

    Judgment is just what the name says you deal tons of damage to your enemys it's your secondary damage spell.
    Combined with Decicive Strike and/or exhaust an enemy who takes the whole damage from Judgment will melt like ice in the sunshine (ecspecially weak targets)
    In addition to the really nice damage you get free from one slow wich makes this skill also a nice evade possibility.

    Demacian Justice
    Demacian Justice I think I don't have to say anything on that in my opinion it's one of the best singletarget ultimates in the whole game.

  • Masteries+Runes

    For Masteries: I go 21/9/0 without archaic knowledge because you simply don't need that 15% for your ultimate beacause it allready deals enough damage. The rest is self-explanatory i think. :)

    External Image


    9x External ImageGreater Mark of Desolation
    You are a physical dps Champion so there is no better Rune for you

    9x External ImageGreater Seal of Evasion
    Combined with Evasion [spell_icon=Evasion] and Nimbleness [spell_icon=Nimbleness] it gives you more survivability ecspecially in earlygame.

    9x External ImageGreater Glyph of Focus
    You are a Champion based on cooldowns so cdr is the best option for you.

    3x External ImageGreater Quintessence of Fortitude
    This gives you again a bit more survivability ecspecially in earlygame.

  • SummonerSpells

    In generall i go with Ignite and Exhaust; Ghost is also a possible option.
    All other summoner spells are not that good on a dps Garen maybe cleanse but
    summoner spells in generall are really optional so feel free to take what you like most aslong as it isn't clarity. :)

    It happens so often that someone with very low Hp trys to escape and he's near his tower or a teammate etc. but he still got to much HP to get killed with Demacian Justice because he would survive with 50-100 HP i.e.
    Just hit the enemy with your ultimate and then ignite him because ignite got a higher range then your ultimate and ofcourse your autoattacks you can get an easy kill without getting trouble with an enemy tower etc.

    Well Exhaust is in my oppinion a must have spell on a dps Garen because combined with your the enemy will nearly take all of the damage of judgment so Exhaust+Judgment= melting enemys

    Ghost is also a nice option on Garen it's perfect for chasing and escaping together with the little speedboost of your Decicive Strike you will be really fast for a short time.

  • SkillingOrder

    I max Decicive Strike first because the bonus damage and the movement speed increase are so important for your dmg output and your survivability

    Second is Judgement but it got nearly the same priority like Decicive Strike I take this as second because it's a skill which veryveryvery depends on your items so the longer the game lasts the stronger will be judgement because of % scaling.

    3. is Courage as I said earlier it's a nice spell anyway but not as good as your others so I max this last. Even if it is maxed last you are such a good farmer that you can easily reach the maximum armor and mr although you maxed it last.

    Demacian Justice your ultimate got allways priority #1. (No explanation needed I think :) )

    > >/= >

  • Items

    Now lets come to the point why i don't recoment this guide to unexperienced Garen players.

    Normally I start the game with a and a
    then you should have 25 gold left.
    Beacause another Health Pot just costs 10 more gold I stay in base just a short time to wait for that 10 gold to get a second .

    So you start the Lane with and 2x
    If you guess that your opponents will harass you very hard a or a are also good options.

    After that I get and upgrade my into a .
    If the enemy team is very cc heavy ofcourse you should get .
    Normally this should be at around level 6.

    The next step for you is to get some survivability therefor you should buy a if you didn't bought it at the start of the game and upgrade it into .

    After that you have to wait a while for your next item because it will be a .

    Now you should have enough base damage for the moment so you should get a bit movement speed crit chance attackspeed and dodge.
    so your next item will be a .
    After Zeal directely upgrade into .

    Now its time to upgrade your into a
    It is not Important which you get first or .

    At this point you should have 1 itemslot left incase the game is not over yet I normally get another and upgrade it into .

    But the item for the last itemslot is really dependent on the enemy teamsetup
    so if they got much armor get a
    if they got high HP pools get [item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor]
    this are just examples.
    Fill your last itemslot with watever counters the enemy Team most.

    Why Stackitems on Garen:
    Because Garen is one of the champions who get stacks veryvery easy if it be just one hit of for an assist or a kill with i.e.
    gathering stacks is very easy for Garen.
    I never end a game with less then 8-12 Stacks of both
    and .
    I often end the Game with 20 Stacks of both and well............this turns you in an unstopable force.
    By the way just 5 Stacks of both make this Items more then worth for their little costs.

    So to summerize:

    Buy and 2x


    Upgrade into

    Buy and upgrade into


    Buy and upgrade into

    Upgrade into

    Buy or a fitting enemy counter item

  • OptionalItems

    I decided to add a section called optional items because the itembuild I showed you in the "Items Section" is just my build but some people just don't want to use stackitems and anyway as you know itembuilds are never set in stones so I want to show you some possible item options for a good DPS Garen.

    So if you don't want to buy a a good option could be it's not a really cheap item but it will give you some nice HP a bit base damage and most important a nice slow efect since you don't have any snare or slow this efect will serve you very well and anyway the slow efect of is often underestimated.
    Another good way to get survivability especialy for early- to midgame is just getting a and upgrade it at around the end of midgame into a i.e. or just getting the new .
    So you might ask why ?
    It's not very strong in lategame but it is very nice for early- to midgame because you get a nice little HP boost and on top of that you get cooldown reduce which is just awesome on a cooldown based Champion but the best thing on is that it is very cheap.
    Another way to get a bit more survivability very fast is to get 1 [item_icon=Heart of Gold] and combine this with either a or a important is don't upgrade your into a to soon when you combine it with another survivability Item because as I mentioned earlier is expensive and normally you don't have the time to spend that much gold on to much survivability.
    If you got problems with enemy casters or heavy physical damage dealers get either a single or a single and upgrade it at around the end of midgame in either a or / [item_icon=Force of Nature]. But I really don't recomment this it's a possible option but it mostly didn't leads you to your main goal.....dealing damage and / [item_icon=Force of Nature] are all very expensive so if your enemys dealing very heavy damage on you it's possible to get one of them but normally you just don't have the time to get them because your priority are other Items.

    Well now let's come to optional damage Items a good way to get a nice damage output in early- to midgame very fast is to just get + and upgrade them later (again around end of midgame) into and but remember to get as soon as possible if you want to go for to get the most out of the 5gold per 10 sec effect.
    If your enemys got very high Hp
    you definitely should get a [item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor].
    If they got allot armor you should get a .
    Another good option to allways is an aditional .

    So to sumerize:

    Good Options for are either



    -[item_icon=Heart of Gold] + /or\ [item_icon=Heart of Gold] +

    Good optional damage Items and also a good alternative for are either

    - +

    - with early

    -[item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor]


    - an additional

    As I said earlier I nearly go every Game with the build I showed you in the "Items Section"
    this are just posible options if you don't like Stackitems i.e.

    Before I forgett this I just want to say something about elixiers in general.
    Basically I really really don't recomment any of them because some of the items you need are not cheap but mostly they got some cheaper items needed to build them i.e.-->.
    With this itembuild you just got one point where you have to wait a little bit and that is before you get your 1. nearly all other items you buy got cheaper items needed for them so keep your money for your items and don't waste them on elixiers.

  • NeverEverItems

    There are some Items which you never ever should get with a DPS Garen so i simply called this section "NeverEverItems" :)

    Let's start with this item is just absolutely not good for your role as DMG Garen because it's just to expensive and it takes way to long to reach its full potential.
    so never ever get this.

    Second is as a DMG garen you will never reach such a huge HP pool that this Item will do any good to you. And of course it's to expencive for its little effect.

    Next thing is [item_icon=Tiamat] this Item at all is just underpowered so forget about this at all.

    Followed by [item_icon=Stark's Fervor] this Item is anyway a good Item but not on a DPS Garen Sivir Olaf or god knows who shall get this Item but not you. The only Attackspeed you need you will get from or possibly

    Another one is [item_icon=Malady] same thing here like [item_icon=Stark's Fervor]

    Next is nice Item on some Champions but on a DMG Garen it is just fail for every stat on this Item you can get other Items which will serve you much better.

    In general forget everything with mana/manareg/ap etc. (exception is stuff like obviously.
    I think I don't have to list all mana/mp5/AP etc Items. :)

  • Lanecombos

    Now I want to show you some good lanepartners for Garen and why:

    In general nearly all Champions with a stun or a spell which disables movement are good lanepartners for Garen.

    External Image Blitzcrank:

    I often play this combo with a friend; try to hide in the brush very often to get the enemys insecure.
    The combination of + +
    will give you many and easy kills / assists.

    External Image Morgana:

    Is a nice combo too because you really got high farm potential right from the beginning of the game
    thanks to and .
    Further the combination of your both cc spells and will grant you some kills or assists.
    Of course the protection of is more then nice for a melee ecspecially in earlygame.

    External Image Taric:

    is just awesome and increases your survivability and lane staying potential enormous.

    External Image Shen:

    Shens is nearly a freekill/assist if it is used right.

    External Image Rammus:

    Same as Shen; Rammus and his are just freekill/assist

    There are some other good Lanepartners for Garen i.e.

    External Image External Image External Image External Image

    but in my oppinion they are not that good as the Champions I named first.

  • BadEnemys

    There are some Champions which are so hardcore annoying they destroy your passive and turn minionfarming into a selfdestruction trip for you.
    So you should be very carefull when laning against these kind of Champions.
    Many of them are ranged Champions
    so in a fight you have to close the distance between you and your enemy as fast as possible.
    Use things like a bit sooner then you normally would to get in close combat with them
    and make their biggest advantage their range null and void.
    But allways watch your enemys summoner spells
    this knowledge will help you to avoid dangerous situations for you.

    Here are some examples:

    External ImageExternal ImageExternal ImageExternal ImageExternal ImageExternal Image

    In general it depence on how good the enemy Champion is played and how good you are playing so each Champion can be annoying or not.

  • GeneralPlaystyle

    Now I want to have a quick look on how a DMG Garen is played in general and ecspecially with this build.

    First let's start with laning.
    Your playstyle on the lane basically depence on who is your lanepartner who is your lane enemy and
    if you controll the lane or if your enemy controlls it.

    You are a close combat champion so most of the time the lane will be a balanced one (sure there are exeptions but this isn't really predictable and therefor hard to explain because every lanephase is unique).
    Basically the brush is your best friend try to stay in the brush often and quickly get out with if an enemy is close.
    Another important thing while laning is to find the right position for your
    try to position yourself between the enemy melee and the enemy ranged minions to get the most of them damaged with one .
    Further this isn't another garen exclusive point but still important to mention if you got stealthing enemys or jungling enemys place some wards!!!!!
    If you get damaged just a bit so that you still got half of your HP or a bit less just stay in the background for a while and heal yourself up with . If you got damaged really hard so that you got just one or two bubbles left port to base and heal.

    Now the Lanephase should come to an end as I mentioned earlier try to get the Lizzardbuff as often as you can but don't prioritize it over your teammates and teamfights in other words you are not a jungler.

    In Teamfights there is one important point to remember you are not a tank!!!
    So if you don't have allready some stacks of don't initiate the fight.
    I saw to many dps Garens who just failed because I don't know exactelly but maybe their thougts were something like " Well.......I just use my and I will be unkillable." or something like that.
    Ideally you should move somewhere between your Tank and your supporters/caster when it seems that a teamfight could start (ganked teammates are not meant by that:)).
    Further when your tank (or whatever Champion uses his initiating spell) starts a teamfight you should focus on one of the enemys most dangerous damage dealers ideally a caster to silence him with after that instantly go into your and if it is needed of course use your . Now either the enemy team is about to retreat or your own team trys to escape anyway now it's time (if it is possible; don't waste it) to finish someone (who you think most deserves it) with your .
    As you all know this would be the ideal developing of a teamfight but well it's just an example;
    as any lanephase is unique every teamfight is it too.
    So don't take this developement for set in stones just recognize changes during the teamfights and adapt to new situations.

  • JungleAndFarming

    There are some things you should allways remember:

    1. after reaching level 6 get the lizzardbuff as often as possible (but don't forget teamfights or teammates got a higher priority then a buff :))

    2.Never get the Golembuff if there are (and most of the time there will be) Champions with mana who often really need this buff. If there are no Champions who really need that golembuff more then you just feel free and get it the cooldown reduce will serve you well (it's very seldom but those games happen:))

    3.Kill the Dragon as often as possible.

    4.If you don't got that much basedamage/crit chance etc. use your just on Ghost- and Wolfcamps
    fight bigger neutral minions with and your autoattacks. This is just because your deals half damage to minions.

    5.Before you get your Lizzardbuff it's better to get the enemy Lizzardbuff if this is possible.
    But never do this if you have to risk to much.

    I wasn't sure about adding this section because these are not Garen exclusive points but i decided to do it because I just saw to many Garens stealing the Golembuff from i.e. a Kassadin.
    And well.............the section doesn't hurts anyone. :)

  • Pros/Cons

    - high damage output single- and multitarget
    - tough cause of high Hp pool even with just a few stacks of Leviathan
    - great chasing and escaping potential
    - very good farm possibilitys
    - well balanced between base damage / critchance / attackspeed / movement speed and health
    - Kills and Assists let you double snowballing because of goldincome and geting more Stacks

    - not as tanky as a full tankbuild obviously
    - stackitems are allways risk
    - not recommendable if your team allready got 2 or 3 other physical dps champions because your
    enemys will stack armor "as hell" if they are clever
    - without a few stacks of Leviathan no good initiating potential

  • Summary

    To summerize with this Guide you are a tough melee dps champion not a tank so your job isn't to initiate a teamfight. Sure you can initiate but without a few stacks of it's not a good idea.
    Let things like or initiate the fight.
    This guide will turn you into an unstopable force with a very high damage output good survivability and great chase and escape possibilitys which gives you an essential value to your team.
    With the right timing and a bit training you will end the game similar to that not seldom:
    External Image

    Thank you for reading this guide.
    Have fun and good luck and don't forget...........................
    .....................FOR DEMACIA !!!

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