IntroductionGaren is a top laner with extreme ability to kick ass, especially in the lower level elo's of ranked. He is very hard to keep a handle on by the enemy team, with his "spin to win (E), dealing tonnes of damage, as well as his utility in the silence plus speed boost of Q, as well as the passive on his E giving mr and armor, with the active giving a shield of protection.
He is mostly dominant against many champions by starting with 600+ health and a crap tonne of armour and mr to start with. Although he may struggle against range champs, he still have the speed boost from his Q, which can be seen as a small gap closer.
He can hit hard (due to his attack ratio's) and he can take a beating. A fine champ in my books.
Garen Base Stats:
- Damage 52 (+3.5 / per level)
- Health 455 (+96 / per level)
- Mana 0 (+0 / per level)
- Move Speed 320
- Armor 19 (+2.7 / per level)
- Spell Block 30 (+1.25 / per level)
- Health Regen 7.45 (+0.75 / per level)
- Mana Regen 0 (+0 / per level)
Pro's & Con's
Tanky really early and later on.
Strong Damage output + Aoe Damage Potential with Q + W
Decent sustain in Lane
Can assasinate squishy targets
Strong late game presence
No hard escape and relies on Q and W to escape
No hard cc besides Silence
- Marks & Quints:
With his insane ratios on his Q and E, having attack damage runes from the get go adds the ability to dominate more heavily in lane. With the passive from his W giving you added armor due to the passive, having a full rune page for armour seems a waste, especially when you can get some armour from masteries. The attack damage quints and marks are used instead of armor also because of the shield that is activated when W is used.
Magic resist per level is used as it creates a sound base for mr, especially if you are in a lane with vlad for example in which his AP ratios increase with level. However, flat mr glyphs can be used if it makes you feel more comfortable in lane.
As shown in picture armor seals are used as they are the most natural on Garen combined with passive of courage. However, if you are laning against an AP orientated champion armor seal's become useless therefore these must be changed for health per level seal's.
Although these runes are ideal, some people prefer health regen quints as it creates an easier sustain in lane if you feel you will be heavily poked.
Mentioned early, i said armor runes are pointless on Garen due to his Courage passive whilst this is true, armor marks and runes can also be used as safe alternative, if you are unsure of your capabilities against said champion.
You want that tankiness, also the added health, to increase your sustain which is what this mastery layout does. Your passive acts of the amount of health you have, so the more health that be gained from a simple mastery layout without sacrificing attack damage, is a fair trade. By having the attack damage runes prior, then this defensive layout in masteries it allows for maximum sustain and attack damage. If we make the assumption you are in a laning phase till level 10, this mastery layout will give you an extra 105 health, which mixed with your passive, will increase your regen; this mixed with juggernaut gives you a whole lot more health regen and health.
Cooldown reduction is used because you want to be able to shield yourself, chase down your enemies (active on Q gives you increased movement speed for a duration), silence them and spin to win. This also coupled with movement masteries gives you an increased ability to move around within lane, chase and roam easier.
When you spin to win or chase down an enemy, the chances you have to run through minions will be high therefore decreasing the amount of damage taken from minions seems highly optimal.
Garen has no mana so utility masteries are pointless.
Side Note: I have no idea how to get this unhighlighted as it is not highlighted in first place, if anyone has any idea, please comment below as it would be much appreciated.
A discussion took place with a person credited at the end of this guide, in terms of the true damage caused by ignite, and the armour and magic resist given by exhaust, and which would be the most optimal in terms of damage output. The following calculations were done;
- the optimal exhaust combo deals:
He deals (143.4 + 329.4) x 0.77 = 364.056 damage total without auto-attacks.
- the practical exhaust combo deals:
(143.4 x 0.72) + (329.4 x 0.77) = 356.886 damage total without auto-attacks.
Now looking at ignite. It grants 110 true damage at level 3 and increase AD/AP by 5. Again, similar issues will arise as with exhaust. People will flash if you use it pre-emptively. So we'll use the same two scenarios again. The ideal where Ignite >> Q >> E and the practical with Q >> Ignite >> E.
Q deals 30 + (81 x 1.4) damage to a target with 0 armor. This totals to 143.4
Q with the ignite boost deals 30 + (86 x 1.4) damage to a target with 0 armor. This totals to 150.4.
E with the ignite boost deals 135 + (86 x 2.4) damage to a target with 0 armor. This totals to 341.4.
- the ideal ignite combo deals:
(150.4 + 341.4) x 0.72 + 110 = 464.086
- the practical ignite combo deals:
(143.4 + 341.4 x 0.72) + 110 = 459.056.
As can be seen ignite is best route to go in terms of sheer damage output, compared to that of exhaust. Another situation in which ignite is effective, is finishing of kills that are out of your reach. If do alot of damage in lane, however the enemy escapes out of your melee range, ignite allows you to just finish them off due to the radius of the ignite circle. Garen is also seen as an assassin, which means that you combo the most dangerous player to take them out of the fight (essentially), so having ignite will allow you too combo them and finish them off. So it could be seen the exhuast is the safer option for the primary spell, yes it will give Garen less damage output in a fight, but it would allow you to escape if being ganked, which due to being top lane, happens frequently.
There are two major options for the secondary spell, flash and ghost.
The basics of ghost is that it increases your movement speed allowing you to get out of situations and chase, honestly i would only ever take this if i knew 100% that i would get fed in lane. By having this ability and being fed, it would allow you to chase down the enemy team alot easier, or pick enemies off who have wandered from the main pack. However, one thing to understand, is unlike olaf and vladmir, Garen has no CC dodging abilites, therefore if you activate Ghost but then get CC'ed in a sense it is completely useless.
This is alot safer option for in-lane and out-lane game phases, in my opinion. It allows you too close small gaps instantly, and also creates the ability to dodge CC based skills. Also in tricky times such as fights, in which you think the team will end up losing it is possible to flash over walls, which gets you clear of all danger, and ultimately keeps you alive.
Garen will regenerate 0.5% of his maximum health per second after not receiving damage for 7 seconds.
With this passive maximum health is required without restricting yourself of damage; this was the main reason for the masteries layout above. This constant regen mixed with the dorans blades for early game allows near enough complete sustain without backing. This passive is also one of the many reasons people despise Garen.
Q: Decisive Strike
Garen gains a 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35% speed boost for 4 seconds. His next attack deals 140% of his attack damage plus 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 bonus damage and silences his target for 2.5 seconds.
Cooldown 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 seconds
This ability is extremely strong at level one, the ad ration mixed with the two actives create a strong chance for you to pounce on your enemy just after entering lane and doing tonnes of damage. This will either force him to back, giving you free farm and the chance to freeze your lane, or he will stay, play hesitant (miss out on exp and creep), and most probably create a chance for you to hit him again and kill him. If you are confident enough, and your opponent has no extra armour when you come to lane, and average health, it is possible for you to hide in bush let him push, then smack him with silence, exhaust and ignite (and if you reached level 2 whilst waiting; spin 2 win), this would near enough secure you an early kill and snowball in lane. If co-ordinated with the jungler, this is a near definite kill.
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 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
I usually activate this once i have come out of my spin to win formation in lane, as the chance they try to get in auto-attacks is high. Also if you are being ganked; W+Q+E, will allow for a sound escape, whilst dealing some damage, and also being shielded by the skill. In general, Courage is used to mitigate some burst damage. The scenario you provided often doesn't hold true to this as I often counter trade Garen during his spin. So courage should be used prior to incoming damage since a lot of the times it will be predictable (renekton at 50 fury, akali after she applied the mark).
Garen rapidly spins his sword around his body for 3 seconds, reducing the duration of slows by 50% and dealing 50/90/130/170/210 (+140% of attack damage) 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 13/12/11/10/9 seconds
You spin to win that is pretty much all there is to it. This ability is also very strong late game wit the 100%+ ad ratio on the skill. Combined with your tankiness late game, jumping straight into the middle of the fight and spinning, causes alot of damage towards the enemy, and usually insights a team fight victory for your team.
This skill also combined with Infinity Edge, creates the ability too crit hit numerous times whilst spinning.
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 a very assassin like skill, and is good for executing the carries. The ability is usually used when the enemy is around 50% health or less, due to the +1 for every # health missing, added to this ultimate. However, with the cooldown not resetting, make sure you take our either of the carries (ap or ad), and not the tank, as this could be seen as a waste of an ultimate.
Also another reason for targeting the carries, is due to it being base magic damage. Carries usually have lower magic resist compared to that of a tank/support/bruiser.
Combo usually consists of: Q+E+W+R
Skill OrderAggressive Early Laning:
With E being maxed first (when a point is taken in each) then Q, then finally W, with a point being taken in R whenever possible.
Safer Early Laning:
Starting W but maxing Q (when a point is taken in each), then E, then W. Taking a point in R whenever possible.
First of all, you should never ever take a skill till you know what is going on or you are in lane. For example, never auto-take a skill from the get go, as you might be invading at the last minute and this skill does not suit that situation. This also, the same for when guarding a buff, never take a skill till A) you see the enemy coming and need to decide whether to escape or engage or B) you are in lane and can make a calculated judgement.
These are the most dominant options when entering lane and choosing your first spell; whether you can deal damage and not risk being out damaged, or you feel you be out poked and you need the armor.
For example A, E will be taken, as you feel safe enough that you can farm and also poke down the enemy without much hesitation in the early laning phase.
Option B, is the safer lane choice, if you are unsure of your opponent and how he will act; whether he will be aggressive or passive, and also if he can out damage you. By taking W first, your base armor will be increased by a given amount, meaning you are more freely available to farm but also take some damage, but due to the passive of courage, this damage will be slightly mitigated. Also, if you get early ganked, and get hit by the iniate from the gank, you will be able to take that damage then flash away without much health being taken.
Ideal & Situational Item Build
You should nearly always start these as it gives you increased movement and allows you to evade ganks with increased ease. Pots are for sustain, by the time you have used all your pots it should, technically, be time for you to back.
This is not ideal, but more so for the scenario in which you are not sure on your match up. If you are against a ap based top laner this starting item will not work regardless. More pots means more sustain, and cloth means more armor, but you have less mobility hindering you in ganks and kill potential.
Blade gives you health and attack damage, meaning your passive heal will be increased as well as your damage output. Coupling this with the small percent of life steal, your sustain is extremely high and your need to back is decreased. Doran blades give alot of damage, for early game meaning for the price you pay for them, the payout is huge.
Alot of health and alot of armor. Your sustain is increased yet again and you are now at a point in the build in which you can iniate without very little fear. This item also creates constant damage output, so if you dive into a fight and spin to win in the middle, coupled with your spin to with the AOE damage output from champion will be extremely high. However, one word of caution in with this item, is due to the AOE damage from the item, pushing your lane is inevitable (assuming you are still in laning phase), meaning you will have to start wandering and taking jungle camps to keep ahead.
I think the idea and thought behind this item is self explantory. Gives you defensive stats across the board, and also revives you once dead. A Garen returning from the dead? A scary prospect.
Gives you health which goes towards your passive, and also attack damage. The main purpose of this item though, is it allows you to kite and chase down your opponents without them having the ability to escape. Your Q as well as your E both slow your opponent making it impossible for them to escape, and once they are low enough you can R. Giving Garen the ability to chase and kite enemies down makes him a much more frightening prospect.
By this point you are incredibly tanky, and can be revived, so now it is more plausible to add an extremely heavy damage dealing item to your build being the infinity edge. You might be thinking that a blood thirster would be better because you dont crit, this isn't true. Garen can actually crit on his E, meaning you have a chance to crit, as well as the passive from his E being activated in the stance of adding more damage to the spin. Meaning the sheer amount of your damage output is huge.
This item is more for crowd control however it can be swapped out for other items that will be mentioned next. The passive of this item is strong, as in really strong. Once activated the attack speed and movement speeds of enemies is slowed for a set duration. This gives your team a chance to engage and engage with a bang. Once engaged the enemy will be slowed allowing you to hone in on a certain item and nuke them before they either get away or attack back. Also coupled with the small amount of cooldown, this is an ideal item for a team player.
Other Situational Items:
If the team is dominated by more AP then this item would replace Randuin's Omen, as Randiuns gives no magic resist. This items passive is also highly useful for Garen, as it is health regen and Garen can never have enough health regen. Whilst it also gives you movement speed allowing you to chase down lone wolf's easier, push lanes and overall cause havoc on the map.
This item is mainly used under circumstances in which the enemy has alot of attack damage, and they seem to be shredding through your health. Thornmail has the highest base armor of all items meaning it is the best suited to this circumstance. Also, with high attack damage being put out it can be assumed that in most cases this will be due to auto-attacks, such as from the acd. The passive will return a certain amount of magic damage, which will weaken them in fights. So overall, whilst giving you high amounts of armor it will also damage your opponent in a fight.
If you want more health and regen, that is the simple basics of this item.
(Last Resort Item Against Ap Carries
You may be wandering why you would choose this item over force of nature as you don't have mana. This is true you do not have mana that is why it is a last ditch item, the main purpose of this item is the magic resist, and the spell shield. I would only choose this item as a last resort if the enemy ap carry is bursting you down instantly, but other then then i would not build this item, due to it having mana properties. But is still unique to situations.
The choice in these items is fairly straight forward. Choose ninja tabi if your lane is attack damage orientated or merc treads if your lane is magic based. However, later in the game these items may have to be switched. Although your lane maybe ap/ad dominated the enemy team maybe ad/ap dominated meaning your initial boots would not suit team fights and the damage of the opposing team.
The worst boots in the game, they are just down right bad, never buy them, i beg of you.
Do not forget to buy these. If you have left over cash but are an extremely big gap from a core item, and you know fights are going to happen that will be game changing these are perfect, as they take up no inventory spot and also last for 4 minutes. Great for late game when you have finished your build.
Troll BuildThis whole item build is all about just being an overall nuisance to the enemy team and just never dying full stop. You could see it as a tank build but with the damage and silences and your ult being set damage and % health, this whole build is just one big troll build and is very self-explanatory.
All the health gen will give you at least 300Hp5, then with baron it will become about 600Hp5 meaning that any damage dealt will be pretty much healed. Coupled with the magic resist and the armor (and frozen heart passive), you will just be an overall troll towards the enemy team, and will just make them frustrated and hate your guts. It is your own decision and choice in which you build these items.
- Continuously warding; never sacrifice a ward for a full item
- Poking your enemy down
- Last hitting the creep
- Taking Jungle golems if lane is pushed
- Taking enemy blue and wolves if lane is pushed
- Freezing lane (if able to)
- Aiming for the completion of first item plus starting to build into the next.
- Wandering to mid (if possible)
The above means you have infinite sustain plus total destruction when in early game. By simply running upto them, Q (silencing them) then E (spin to win), makes it a simple way to deal alot of damage to them. They are silenced which means any form of escape or other form of damaging spell they intended to use when they saw you charging at them screaming Demacia becomes futile, leaving them in your deadly grasp. This will usually force them too back, or play extremely cautious. You could even zone them, especially if they are melee or close ranged, ranged champion, as they would not be able to come to close in case of silence then death. By zoning i mean, standing behind their creep wave and denying them any form of cs or experience and in a sense freezing them at that level. The passive is simple, it increases your health regen meaning simply, that you don't have to leave lane. If you are supremely confident within your ability at controlling lane, it would be possible to take either Ruby Crystal (for added health regen) or long sword (for the added damage on your Q and E).
Along with ignite, they will be pushed back to tower or even be killed with your early game combo. Do not be afraid to get agressive with garen as he is extremely tanky, due to his W passive plus the mastery tree.
If you find yourself pushing your lane, you can run into the enemy jungle, take wolves or blue, and get back to lane without him being non the wiser. Also if you see your jungler invading the enemy it is best to push your lane hard, to either stop your lane from wandering at that exact time or it might pull the enemy jungler towards you creating a free invade.
You must always last hit (mostly), as it stops the lane from pushing and if done right, freezes the lane. By freezing the lane, the cs will never move past a certain point, meaning that either the enemy will push the lane to your tower when attacking you or it will stay where it is. The optimal point to freeze the lane is just outside of your tower reach, which would also deny enemy ganks. However, one think to be aware of, is when a champion attacks another champion in lane, the creep on the victim will start to attack the attacker. This pushes the lanes as the attackers creep is still killing the victims creep, whilst that creep is attacking the attacker.
The image below signifies key warding spots; these spots will alert you to lane ganks, tri ganks and river ganks, allowing you to position yourself effectively to either retreat or attack.
Other match ups not mentioned, are heavily reliant on your ability to get armor early (sunfire cape)
- Taking your jungle
- Grouping up with team
- Split pushing
- Depriving the enemy of their own jungle
- Keeping the creep pushed in lanes in which the towers have been taken
- Ganking mid or other lanes
- Keeping an eye on your tower if wandering. It is still your responsibility
- Taking red if other members of you team makes no other move to take it.
At this point in time you should be beating your lane or extremely close to taking tower. Ideally you should have already completed Sunfire Cape and have also built Phage and on your way to frozen mallet. With sunfire cape already bought you easily be able to invade their jungle with swiftness and get back to lane before your opponent finds anything amiss. Also if you when you are dominating your lane, and it seems other lanes are also left at a stale mate push out, and starting ganking your mid lane; this is viable due to your Q giving movement speed buff. However you must always keep aware on your own lane and never let it get pushed, you must always keep a contain on your lane and opponent.
Assuming you have taken your lane and the rest of the team has also, with the sunfire cap it would be easy to take dragon due to your constant damage over time. Also with the sunfire cape and the % chance slow from the phage you are already a strong initiate. Always keep an eye on your lane though, and keep taking the enemy jungle.
You are also a good strong split pusher due to E pretty much cleaning a wave, in the time of the spin. Meaning you can push with extreme ease, then get to position with Q.
- Teamfighting (this includes forcing fights if you are confident with your team)
- Keeping lanes pushed
- Depriving the enemy of jungle
- Finishing item build
- Taking red if other members of you team makes no other move to take it.
- If you are behind turtle under tower, this means letting lane be pushed and farm under tower, to increase your cs to complete item builds
By now you should at least have Frozen Mallet, Guardian Angel, Sunfire Cape, meaning you will have your revive, making you a force to be reckoned with in a team fight; you were one earlier, but you are definitely a nightmare now. A terrible, terrible Freddy vs. Jason type nightmare.
Remember, just because you are in late game, and you have a support, this does not mean you shouldn't buy wards. Wards are your teams bread and butter, it gives you awareness of what is going on, on the map and where enemies are. And you may think, "but i only need 200 more gold for x item", and you don't want to spend this money on a ward late game, but the pay-offs from a ward are huge. If you purchase 1 ward for 75gp, it could have a payout of 1000 gold+ just from the kills you gain due to knowing where the enemies are placed. So ALWAYS buy wards regardless, as they can help you win team fights, see that enemy taking that sneaky baron or catch optimistic enemies out who think they are safe.
Due to how tanky you are at this stage plus the revive you should get Oracles. Yes they item is 400gp, but due to it being late game, the ward spam from the enemy (hopefully, if they are smart) will be high meaning you should reap the awards from an oracles pretty quickly. And as mentioned, you tank stats (health and armor/mr) are ridiculously high right now for the amount of damage you deal, so the there are very few downsides to actually getting an oracles; you won't die and if you do you have GA, so you will revive regardless.
It would be extremely easy for you at this point to force a baron fight. When your whole team disappears off the map it is fairly obvious to them that you are at baron, so when they come you engage. Depending on the stats of the rest of your team, mainly support/jungler (health/armor/mr), will depend on whether it is your designated duty to tank the baron.With your health regen at this point being above 150 health per 5, you can tank baron without taking sufficient damage. By tanking baron it allows the rest of your team to get into position, and take baron, but also be in a position that is optimal for your team if the enemy engages. When the enemy engages, it is your decision whether to keep tanking baron or engage. If your team seems to have a very good handle in the fight and have the advantage, you can carry on taking baron, whilst they engage. If your team seems to be suffering, simply jump into the center of the fight, combo, and nuke one of the carries (all within in 4 secs), giving the advantage back to your team within the fight. Once you have took baron, DO NOT BACK. You supreme health regen meaning you will get back to health with quickness, therefore make your presence known on the rest of the map. By winning a the baron fight, it is assumed that most of the other team is dead. With you utility package, you can quickly take their jungle plus, push other lanes, maybe even take towers. This means when the enemy team revives, they are at an extreme disadvantage with their jungle gone (meaning they can not gain gold), and with all they lanes pushed meaning that this is what they have to concentrate on. Due to the enemy being split, because of your ferocious push, it will allow you (as a team) to split push. The bulk of your team and the carries will push through the middle or bot lane (bot lane is optimal as it allows you to be top), whilst you split push another lane, take a tower, and get back to your team due to your Q.
You are also a very viable baron stealer if it seems the enemy is taking baron and you have it warded. Walk around the side and wait in the shadows just outside of baron in the river. Run in a Q, W, E, steal baron then flash out up the wall, and stealing baron without minimum work. Obviously a team member would be the best route to take when stealing baron, but you are always viable.
Team FightsWith Garen being so tanky with this build you are a viable initiate. When first attempting to iniate, proc your W giving you the added armor when running into the enemy team (hopefully your team will be smart enough too follow you), make sure you also initiate your Q when running into the enemy team giving you the added movement speed, and stream lining for the main C.C champ or the AP champ. THis will cut out the main source of CC or bust for a decent amount of time; in that time hopefully your team has followed in and created destruction. Once you have silenced use E, to give you that AOE damage, and it also deals alot of damage if every spin hits and intended target, and once the spin is complete use your R on one of the carries, taking them out of the fight. In a way you can see Garen as an initiating nuke, as everything you do from W all the way through to R happens in the space of 2 to 3 seconds, meaning you have to be on the ball and keep track of Garen, as he can be hard to lose track of in a pool of 10 champions. Also with GA, the chances you actually die are very slim; due to your armor and health regen plus revive when in a late game fight.
Final CommentsSo we have finally finished reading this guide, hopefully it was adequate enough for you too learn how to play garen and take this guide in the "real" world. You WILL reap destruction and death throughout the whole of League of Legends with Garen; you will tank damage, chase down enemies, kill enemies, die and be revived, take dragons and kill barons. You will get double kills and triple kills, with scary kda (kill/deaths/assists), you will put braggers and people who think they are above you in their place, and make them wish they had never laid eyes on your username. People will learn to fear Garen and the carnage he can cause, and the chaos that will ensue across the lands.
Thank you for taking the time too read this guide, it will be updated, as I progress with Garen, and discover new things.
Chapter UpdatesThis section will include updates to this guide if they are found, or if i find something is not a significant anymore.
I will be updating and editing this guide on the weekend as that is when i finish exams, and can sit down and really work on it. I would also like to give a special thanks too iamjstar, as he has given me much help with this guide, as well as the editing and lengthening out sections to be more indepth :)