Galio is a tank that is definitely underrated, judging by the frequency at which he is played. However, I am baffled by this because, in my opinion, he is actually overpowered. This guide strives to help any prospective Galio players learn how to properly play the champion and lead your team to victory. This guide will cover galio as a primary tank that also deals large amounts of damage. In the laning phase, he is a force to be reckoned with, in teamfights he can taunt the entire enemy team at once and provide damage and utility with his resolute smite and his righteous gust. during and between fights, he can heal with his bulwark. Combine all that with a competent team, and the enemy won't stand a chance.
For the most part, these masteries are fairly simple tank masteries. The only specific that i feel worth mentioning is mercenary because, as a tank, it is one of your jobs to get the carries fed whenever possible so you will likely have many more assists than kills. this mastery allows you to maintain an expensive build while still giving kills to the carries. The runes are also a basic set for almost any AP-tank. The m-pen reds allow you to deal more damage with abilities, the flat armor yellows protect against early game harass and physical damage, MR/lvl protect against magic damage and are /lvl because most magic damage starts out weak and grows stronger only once mid-late game is reached. Health quintessences give general survivability to defend against a balanced team.
[title][img=skills/galio/p.png] Passive: Runic Skin[/title] [number]Galio converts 50% of his total Magic Resistance into Ability Power.[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This skill is what allows you to deal as much damage as you do. This is what makes an AP heavy enemy team such a wonderful sight to a galio player. Oh and it works with bulwark too, so if you put that on yourself, not only does in increase resistances and heal you, but it increases your damage as well! [title][img=skills/galio/q.png] Q: Resolute Smite[/title] [number]Galio fires a concussive blast from his eyes, dealing 80/135/190/245/300 (+70% of ability power) magic damage to enemies near the impact location, and reducing their movement speed by 24 / 28 / 32 / 36 / 40% for 2.5 seconds. Cost 60/65/70/75/80 mana Range 900 [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Huge damage, a slow, low cooldown, excellent range, and a decent impact size. This is what makes Galio capable of dominating a lane. Learn to aim this well and you can frequently zone your opponent away from any significant creep score and experience. Note: Using this and [imgsmall=skills/galio/e.png] at the same time, can usually one-hit caster minions, does a good deal of damage to enemies, and is amazing when you manage to use both immediately after breaking the channel on your ultimate. [title][img=skills/galio/w.png] W: Bulwark[/title] [number]Galio shields a friendly champion for 3.5 seconds, increasing their Armor and Magic Resistance by 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90. Each time the unit suffers damage, Galio is healed for 25/40/55/70/85 (+30% of ability power) (-20% healing for each consecutive hit). Cost 60mana Range 800[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Low health? With bulwark enemy minions, Caitlyn traps, Nidalee traps, and eventually even Teemo shrooms, all become sources of health for you. Just aggro some minions or walk over the trap and activate bulwark. Low damage per hit works perfectly with the healing aspect of this ability, allowing you to literally heal from an enemy's attempt to damage you. I have gotten to the point where AD CARRIES have healed me with their attacks when i have bulwark up. In teamfights use this on whichever ally is taking the most damage or that you suspect will be focused. After all, what good are increased defenses if you are not taking damage? [title][img=skills/galio/e.png] E: Righteous Gust[/title] [number]Galio unleashes a gust of concussive wind that deals 60/105/150/195/240 (+80% of ability power) magic damage to all enemies in its path. A directional draft remains for 5 seconds, increasing the movement speed of allies passing through it by 20/28/36/44/52%. Cost 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 / 90 mana Range 10000 [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This is great for moving around, harassing when your [imgsmall=skills/galio/q.png] is on cooldown and mana isn't an issue, and once it is rank 5 it deals almost as much damage as [imgsmall=skills/galio/q.png] does. It is good for initiating if you dont have flash up, running away, and chasing fleeing enemies. If you stand right in front of an advancing enemy minion wave and use this before they have spread out to attack, you can hit all 6 of them before they even get a chance to attack. [title][img=skills/galio/r.png] R: Idol of Durand[/title] [number]Galio channels for 2.5 seconds, taunting nearby foes and blocking 50% of incoming damage. After channeling, Galio deals 220 / 330 / 440 (+85% of ability power) magic damage to surrounding enemies, plus an additional 10% damage for each attack he suffered while channeling. Max 80% bonus damage. Cost 100 / 145 / 190 mana Range 550 [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] WARNING: When you use this, only hit the key once then don't do anything unless you want to break it early. This is Galio's main contribution to teamfights. If used well, it can result in the near simultaneous death of more than one of the enemy carries without the team being able to do a thing about it. Don't initiate with this if you are going to catch someone in it who has an on-hit disable such as [imgsmall=champ/garen.png], [imgsmall=champ/renekton.png], [imgsmall=champ/udyr.png], [imgsmall=champ/xinzhao.png], or Volibear; it will just make your ult end prematurely and then there is nothing stopping your carries from being focused. As I said in the summoner spells section, the combo of[imgsmall=summoners/flash.png]+[imgsmall=skills/galio/r.png] can be devastating as it allows you to get in range and often catch the entire team all before they can react. A trick to get the most out of this ability is to not actually let it reach its full duration but to break it as close to the end as you can by casting another of your abilities on one or more of the enemies caught in your ult. This will ensure that the enemy has the least amount of time possible to run before being hit by another ability (most appropriate is your [imgsmall=skills/galio/q.png])
[imgsmall=skills/galio/r.png] first because, well, it's your ultimate and it should be leveled up whenever possible. [imgsmall=skills/galio/q.png] second because of its low cooldown and the amount of damage it does. [imgsmall=skills/galio/e.png] third because of its damage and range and how well it works in conjunction with [imgsmall=skills/galio/q.png] [imgsmall=skills/galio/w.png] last because, while it is a great ability, it has much more of a use late game when people are taking more consistent damage and that damage is higher. In the laning phase, that one point at level 4 will allow you to heal enough from minion attacks to sustain yourself until mid-late game.
[img=items/dorans-ring.png] This gives health to increase survivability, ability power to increase early game damage, and mana regen to allow more spamming. [img=items/mercurys-treads.png] are best boots for Galio because of the magic resistance and CC reduction, but if the enemy has tons of physical damage and very little CC then buy [img=items/ninja-tabi.png]. [img=items/philosophers-stone.png] gives gold/5 which helps speed up your progression through your build and gives regeneration of both mana and health to allow you to stay in lane longer. [img=items/catalyst-the-protector.png] gives immense lane stayability and allows even more spamming, which means more damage on whoever was unlucky enough to lane against you. [img=items/rod-of-ages.png] This is my substitute for [imgsmall=items/chalice-of-harmony.png]. It is superior in that it gives more damage, more defense, and a larger mana pool instead of a little regen. A larger mana pool is better than regen because it allows a more burst-oriented gameplay and if you do get low on mana, that's why you have [imgsmall=summoners/clarity.png]. [img=items/thornmail.png] Buy this is the enemy team has a large portion of their damage from auto-attackers. [img=items/sunfire-cape.png] If the enemies do largely physical damage, but from abilities or burst instead of spread out over auto-attacks [img=items/randuins-omen.png] / [img=items/frozen-heart.png] These are good against enemies that benefit greatly from attack speed such as [imgsmall=champ/kogmaw.png] or [imgsmall=champ/vayne.png]. [imgsmall=items/randuins-omen.png] is also a good item to consider if the enemy's mobility is a problem in teamfights. [img=items/force-of-nature.png] Buy this if the enemy has high poke damage and not much in the way of start-of-teamfight CC. [img=items/banshees-veil.png] This is good against teams that have little poke, high burst, combo based ability sets, or have hard CC that they use at the start of teamfights. [img=items/abyssal-scepter.png] Only buy this if you are facing a largely AP team and you are already very tanky and hard to kill. [img=items/guardian-angel.png] This is a good item to buy if the enemy team's damage is balanced or if you die in teamfights just a little too soon and you think that that little extra spurt of life can sway the teamfight in your favor.
Early game is where Galio is his most vulnerable because of mana problems and the fact that his abilities have not yet reached their full potential. The mana problems can be combated by choosing [imgsmall=summoners/clarity.png] and are pretty much gone once you finish [imgsmall=items/rod-of-ages.png] . Always take solo top if you can. Galio works best alone early game where he doesn't have to worry about the life of another champion. I play galio very aggressively early and most of the stuff I do in lane would get any lane partner I have killed if he tried to help. That and it is important to get the farm for [imgsmall=items/rod-of-ages.png] as early as possible. As for laning strategy, learn your opponent, learn how he plays and how he reacts to what you do, harass him with your [imgsmall=skills/galio/q.png] as best you can and as frequently as mana will allow. Get as many kills as you safely can because once mid game starts, you will be giving them all to carries whenever possible.
Stay with your team and initiate teamfights when you see fit. This mostly means whenever you have a man/health advantage or when you can catch someone under an allied tower. Use the range of your [imgsmall=skills/galio/q.png] to harass anyone who gets too close. If a tower needs to be tanked, that is your job. Bulwark can nearly negate the first 2-3 tower hits once you put it up, sometimes you can even heal from tower hits if you have enough armor. In teamfights, taunt as many people as you can, making sure to get their carries. When you use your ultimate, that is your team's queue to go to work on any previously announced focus targets. after that, just finish off any survivors and try your best not to take any kills that the carries could get themselves without endangering the lives of your carries of allowing anyone to get away. (see Skills section on how to get the most out of your ultimate)
2-1-2012: [.]added philosopher's stone to item build and to items chapter(thanks go to the comments for suggesting this item. I then tried it myself and it worked extremely well). [.]updated summoner spells chapter to include teleport.