IntroductionGaren is a hero I have always enjoyed playing. Unfortunately, many would say that he suffers from what both Pantheon and LeBlanc suffer from as well, a horrible late game. These champions shine at lower levels but they are lackluster in the later stages of the game. Garen's early game is amazing and I believe that jungling allows one to utilize his strength at it's fullest potential by allowing him to gank early game. During the later stages of the game Garen is still able to dish out punishment by beelining to the enemy carry therefore keeping the carry occupied while your team takes out everyone else.
If the enemy underestimates you they will surely regret it.
MasteriesOne of the biggest mistakes when playing Garen is playing him as a tank. Tank Garen is in my opinion worthless late game, he is someone that is ignored until the entire team is wiped out. Therefore ignore the defensive masteries. By placing your masteries in offense and utility, you enjoy improved summoner spells as well as some stopping power.
RunesArmor penetration helps shred enemy armor allowing your spells q + e to deal more damage.
Flat armor helps to jungle and take some punishment.
Magic resist per level helps absorb a lot of magic damage during late game.
Summoner Spells: allows you to catch up to people and run away (with and you will be able to catch up to anything)
: impossible for Garen to jungle without it
Garen will regenerate 0.5% of his maximum health per second after not receiving damage for 7 seconds.
Not helpful for jungling, a passive better suited for Garens that lane.
Q: Decisive Strike
Garen gains a 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35% speed boost for 3 seconds. His next attack deals 150% of his base damage plus 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 bonus damage and silences his target for 2.5 seconds.
Cooldown 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8seconds
Deals a huge chunk of damage and a silence to boot. Great for shutting down public enemy #1 at the beginning of team fights. Also helpful for quickly pushing towers. (Helpful hint: use decisive strike right after an autoattack for maximum damage output)
Passive: Garen's armor and magic resist are permanently increased by 0.5 every time he kills an enemy unit. This bonus is maxed at 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25.
Active: Garen places a defensive shield on himself for the next 3 seconds, decreasing all damage taken by 20 / 24 / 28 / 32 / 36%.
Cooldown 30 / 27 / 24 / 21 / 18 seconds
This is the skill that gives Garen his tankiness. Anyway it is very helpful in the early stages of the game even with just one point and remember to always use it when jungling.
Garen rapidly spins his sword around his body for 3 seconds, reducing the duration of slows by 50% and dealing 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 (+) physical damage to nearby enemies every 1 seconds. Garen removes any slow effects on him at the start of the dance.
The bonus damage is further increased by Garen's critical strike chance. Damage to minions is reduced by 50%.
Cooldown 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 seconds
Garen's main damage dealer in the early game. Run up to the enemy and spin for tons of damage. It is also helpful for pushing lanes and killing creep camps faster.
R: Demacian Justice
Garen calls upon the might of Demacia to attempt to execute an enemy champion, dealing 175 / 350 / 525 damage plus 1 damage for every 3.5 / 3 / 2.5 health they are missing.
Cooldown 140 / 120 / 100 / 0seconds
This is Garen's fatality move. It is great for finishing off anyone with about 1/3 or 1/4 hitpoints left (depending on the level of this skill).
Skill OrderMost people think that Judgement would be great skill to jungle with in the early stages of the game. However it does minimal amounts of damage to creeps (half to be exact). Therefore grab Decisive Strike first for the nice chunk of bonus damage.
After level 2 the priority is r>e>q>w
Item Buildsand eventually help to clear jungles out very quickly. The next 2 gold items
will help you obtain your higher end items a bit faster and they also build into your final items, how convenient!
is used to reduce cc which is the bane of all Garens.
provides much needed damage, cooldown reduction, and attack speed.
is great for teamfights and provides much needed defense.
by this time the enemy team is usually stacking armor, if not use your own discretion a pick from the other recommended items.
gives Garen tons of damage and crits help out his .
If the game is still going on sell and buy from the recommended items (VS AD and VS AP) based on the other team's composition.
Early GameFirst grab your cloth armor and 3 health potions. Head to your wolf camp and use q and auto attacks to bring it down and chug a hp pot after clearing it(DO NOT use smite). Head to the wraith camp next and smite the big blue one and finish off the rest(chug another pot). Next go to your double mini golem camp and quickly finish it off while chugging the 3rd pot, at this point you will be level 3.
Immediately blue pill back home and buy a long sword. Next head to the wolf, wraith, and golem camps in that order.
Blue pill home, finish blood razor and buy a pot. Next head to the blue camp, and repeat the process from before. Blue pill home and finish razor. Head to red camp and chug a pot while taking down the red buff. After that attempt to gank either the side lane you are closest to or the middle lane if the enemy is overextending.
After that you can gank, farm jungle, and cover for solo lanes that need to heal.
Mid GameThis is when Garen shines. If the game is still in the laning phase constantly gank with red buff and push towers hard if they die or go back to heal. Use to push lanes and to quickly push towers.
Map control is key, therefore always remember to ward dragon, controlling dragon is usually the focus of the early and middle game. If you find an opening quickly call your bottom lane and middle lane to focus down the dragon. Remember to last hit with smite so it does not get stolen.
Team FightsDuring the late game your job is to silence and inflict as much damage to public enemy #1. Play smart, ward key areas such as Baron and dragon with , and pick your fights don't get thrust into them.
Final CommentsMany would argue that Garen is not meant to jungle. I for one have received much criticism when jungling with Garen. Surprisingly Garen's jungle clear time is not that slow, the only downside is that he gets the blue and red buffs a bit later than normal. Anyway thank you for reading this guide and if you try it out feel free to post whether you did well or if you absolutely hate it. Thanks again :)