IntroductionHello I am HolyAwe and I am a level 30 player in the EUW server. This is my Garen guide after playing him for a long time. Garen can be a monster to dominate a lane while facing any enemies. His Q hurts a lot at lv1 with 31 armor pen from runes + masteries. And when you go duo with strong supports like Taric or Blitzcrank, you will be definitely dominating your lane and push to like a boss.
However, a Garen without force of nature can easily be kited by fast-running opponents like Teemo and Kennen, and he does not do enough damage when the opponents are having high armor.
Garen can get a lot of kills even he build fully tanky. My best score so far is 24/1/XX against all level 30 players AND THEY ARE NOT NOOBS FOR SURE!! I nearly remain positive KD raio in all games I have played Garen. My average is roughly killing 10 and die 2 or 3 times in a game. This guide focus on building Garen a tank against MIXED ad + ap damage enemies. You will have to adjust your build according to the enemy composition instead of following rigidly to the build below!
UPDATE: (4 Dec 2011)
I forgot I have print-screened this stat~
In this game I solo-top against Zilean + Evelyn while our Xin jungles. Damn Zilean is very annoying with his frequent bombs but I still manage to dominate against them and outfarm them. (I didn't farm much coz I focus on killing :D). Fail ganks from Xin btw :(
Another one to show how I dominate YET again with Garen LOL
My way really works, and they just surrender.
UPDATE (6 Dec 2011):
Maybe not the best but still a good stat
Solo top against Riven, guess what she is still level 7 and seriously underfarm!! No chance against me LOL
UPDATE (7 Dec 2011):
Lose with honor in a 4v5 game. Our Cait left at about Lv3 and left me solo that bot lane alone against the enemy Cait and Nidalee!! Yet we only lose because Shaco steals tower and Nexus too quickly (3 Phantoms) while we push at very late game.
UPADTE (14 Dec 2011):
Dominated top against Maokai and Fiddlesticks, and forcing a surrender when the clock hit 20 min.
UPDATE (21 Dec 2011)
You may wonder why I am level 22 instead of 30. It's just becoz I am playing my noob US server account with nearly NO RUNES at all :P. Yet this doesn't stop me from dominating. In the second pic I dominate Lee sin and Rammus 1v2 top. They are not bad but I can still dominate, and they turn out to be both lv30 in the stat screen.
Masteries21-9-0 Pretty standard for AD off-tank.
I like to build him to have maximum output while being tanky at early levels. You should be abe to destroy most things when you solo top, and with ignite you can first blood quite easily too.
The reason of getting Deadliness and Lethality instead of Havoc is the former 2 spells scale with your E to deal more damage. Havoc really don't help much if you have only low AD (as I mainly build him tanky, explained below). I like Vampirism too as 3% life steal can aid my sustain in lane in addition to the passive. It's just my preference to get Veteran's Scars to get 30 more health though I know it won't help too much. But it simply looks more comfortable for myself when I see I got 7 bars of health :P. You may get Vigor instead for extra health regen.
RunesMarks: Armor pen x9
Seals: Flat armor x9
Glyphs: MR per level x9 /Flat MR x9/ CDR
Quint: Armor pen x9
Pretty standard one for AD off tanks. Flat armor for early game resistance and MR/level for late game resistance. You may take flat MR if you are going to face a AP bruiser early game (e.g. ). Armor pen marks and quints are taken for high damage from Q and E. This set up provides early game dominance until late game.
I consider a must on Garen. With your QE Ignite combo you can get first blood easily and dominate your lane.
Great spell to run and chase. You won't need as long as you have Q and FoN for speed boost during mid game.
Other Viable Spells:
A great spell which can be used both offensively and defensively. You may take this instead of ignite but I just like ignite more.
Good spell to get back to your lane asap after you recall so that you won't miss any xp. Also good for ganking as you can teleport suddenly into the team fight. Get this spell instead of ignite if you are new to Garen and is solo-ing top. This will allow you to sustain your lane much better and safer.
Buffed recently. Now restore quite a considerable amount of health to aid your sustain. Can turn the table around if one of your teammates heal all of the team in the middle of a team fight.
Get this if the enemy team has too many CC like 3-4 stuns or whatever.
Spells That Are NOT Suitable For You:
Leave this to support maybe?
No. Why use this when you have other better alternatives?
Not really, unless you like to use Dyrus's Karthus guide on Garen
Jungling Garen, you kidding me? (though it may be viable..???? try it out Dyrus!!)
You may need AS boost BUT never ever AP boost.
I suppose this is already removed from game.
Garen will regenerate 0.5% of his maximum health per second after not receiving damage for 7 seconds.
Awesome passive. When you have taken heavy fire from lane just back off a bit to your turret(while you still get XP). Stay there for a while and you will become healthy again. This provides great lane sustainability and explains why it is difficult for people to pressurize Garen on his lane. Make sure you don't get hit by creeps when you want to trigger this passive.
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
Does 3 things bascially:
- Speed boost (useful throughout the whole game)
- Silence (useful throughout the whole game)
- Extra damage (useful early to mid game)
Huge damage already at level 1 with those armor pen from runes and masteries. It also provides excellent speed boost to escape or chase at later stages. I consider the duration of silence is far too long for a 2.5sec. You can terminate ulti of with silence. Your mostly used combo should be QE. Don't be a noob to use E before Q as they can flash away.
Moreover, you can last hit cs as well with this ability to make your farming better.
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
Does 3 things:
- Free 25 extra armor
- Free 25 extra magic resist
- Reduce incoming damage by a percentage for 3 sec while activated
An extra boost to Garen's tankiness. I get one point of this at level 3 to trigger the passive. You may get a second point of E on level 3 and get one point of W at level 4 instead if you need more damage at early stages. The active is very useful at team fights during which you can just have your W on and decrease all sorts of damage received. While escaping you can have your W and Q on to reduce damage and run faster away to get back to safe place. You can use this to tank the turret as well. However this ability has relatively long CD so don't spam it when you don't need to.
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
Again does 3 things:
- AOE damage for 3 sec, synergize well with Sunfire Cape
- Remove all slow effect on trigger
- Reduce the duration of slows by 50% if you are slowed during your spin
The core ability of Garen's damage. "Spin to win" is the mostly said phrase about this which is absolutely right. This ability does a decent amount of damage overtime and is further increased with AD, Armor penetration, and Critical strike chance. This Ability is strong early game starting at level 2 Judgement. This move creates so much terror when combined jumping onto the enemy team. Use E after Q to make sure they take all damage from you.
This ability can also removes CC effect of slow which is similar to 's remove scurvy, which is a great escape mechanism from champ that spam slows
Also, this aoe skill is a great way to farm creeps. However at lower levels and without Sunfire Cape, one spin cannot finish one whole wave of creeps. Therefore you should hit each creeps once or twice before spinning them to farm the whole wave.
Bear in mind you can cancel your E before the time designated. Just press E once more to cancel it. Sometimes you will need to cancel E early to use your R to finish off the opponent.
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 seconds
Strongest damaging ability of all. Base damage is very high despite from scaling with 1 damage for every 3.5 / 3 / 2.5 health they are missing. You should only use this when you know you can one-shot killed that opponent or you are just wasting this.
This ability is especially effective in finishing off those highly tanky guys with loads of HP. It is hard to tell when is the perfect time to use this. You just have to guess if they are low enough (usually 20%~) because it is affected by the enemy's magic resistance. It's hard to tell sometimes unless they are extremely low.
For example, when you wanna to kill a rammus with 1000/4000 HP left, you can cast this spell to finish him off in one-shot, as we get 525 + 1200 = 1725 Magic damage from his missing health.
Bear in mind too, don't be fooled and cast this spell on clones of champs like . You should only use this when you are certain which is your real target!
Skill OrderI take Q at level 1, E at level 2, W at level 3. You may take W at level 4 and take E at level 3 if you foresee an early team fight or stealing the enemy buffs.
After this you should max R>E>Q>W
Q does massive damage at level 1 because of its base damage and the extra armor pen, so definitely get this move first. Prioritize E as it is Garen's main source of damage (people will run from you). Stack Q next for more damage. And obviously get R whenever it is up.
Get one level of W at level 3 to trigger the passive and max this last. After you farm 50 cs u will just get an extra free 25 armor and magic resist!
I always get Doran's shield if I am going to solo top. The extra HP regen is quite helpful to keep you in lane rather than recalling frequently. But if you go duo with some other tanky guys then you can play more aggressively to get Doran's blade first because it adds onto his early level damage significantly.
These builds are for a tanky Garen with high output as well. Mercury boots is basically the boot that every tank should get. Get chain vest and giant belt against AD and negatron cloak against AP. The former 2 items can later be combined to Sunfire Cape whilst the latter one can be upgraded to Force of Nature.
NB: I have seen a lot of people buying instead of the one above. I don't know who inspire them to do so but I personally won't recommend it. An extra 20 movement won't help much and you sacrifice quite a portion of MR and tenacity for the extra movement speed. Garen already has Q for speed boost so I don't see why you would like to get Boots of Swiftness instead.
Late Game Items:
Upgrade your previous items to Sunfire and FoN. Sunfire Cape synergize very well with your spin to do extra damgage. Sometimes you may find that you burn your opponents to death instead of attacking them to death. Your burn may even KS your own teammates at some point lol. FoN grants your MR, health regen and 8% movement speed so it is great too.
I used to think Atmog's will be a next great choice to be tanky while giving you high damage. However after using Garen for quite a long time I discover that you still got kited easily by many ranges, so therefore I decide to swap it to Frozen Mallet and Atma. Frozen Mallet still makes you tanky while you get a slowing effect when you attack, which is great in chasing and escaping. You can get GA after this to be even more tankier. Get Banshee if they have too many AP casters.
If you follow my build until late game, you will get over 200 in both armor and magic resist and around 4000 hp. Sounds nice, huh? :)
Other Viable Items:
You can buy the former three instead of tank items if you wanna go AD aggressive play which will be explained below. I won't recommend these as you will be as squishy as other AD carries at that time.
Thornmail is a great item vs heavy AD auto attack champ like caitlyn, graves, tryndamere....etc. especially when they are fed. Aegis is a good team tank item if you think you will start team fights early but it must be built early game as you will lose the advantage if you build it too late. Quicksilver sash is an alternative MR item for Garen but you will only need it when the enemy team has heavy CC like 4 stuns and perma slow.
Frozen heart grants all stat you will need except the 500 mana. Garen has no mana issue so this is kind of wasting stat and not worth the gold you farm. Philo stone grants mana regen which you don't need so don't waste your gold on it. ONLY get philo stone to get extra gold if you are seriously underfarm. Its upgrade to Shurelyas Reverie is also not quite viable as you won't buy philo stone in the first place.
Don't forget to get WARDS when you are soloing top with Garen. Get 1 or 2 sight wards EVERY time you recall to avoid being ganked by the enemy jungler!! A 75-gold ward will save your life and help you to sustain your lane and your turret!!! Get if the enemy team has some stealth guys like especially with as the enemy jungler!! Don't be a noob to save those little gold!!
If you are doing quite well in your lane and is farmed up, get some extra wards to ward the other areas on the map like your buffs, enemies' buffs, dragon and baron etc.. This will help your team ALOT! Play as a team and those wards will help your team to avoid losing an unexpected team fights or being ganked!!!
UPDATE: Aggressive AD build (I won't recommend but some may like to play in this way)
If you go duo with some other tanky guys then you can play more aggressively to get Doran's blade first because it adds onto his early level damage significantly.
2 Doran's Blade boost your health to make you tanky and their stats work well with your Q. Brutalizer provides extra armor pen, some damage and CDR so that you can spam your skills even more frequently.
Late Game Items:
Build Frozen Mallet + Atma next. This greatly increases your survivability as you are as squishy as hell if you don't get some tank items. You can get Avarice but don't upgrade it first as you can get extra gold from it. After Warmog you next target will be Infinity Edge for even more crit chance and crit damage. At this stage your E can do massive damage becoz of your high crit chance. Only get Last Whisper when the opponents stack armor (but they usually will do). Finally upgrade your Brutalizer and Avarice to Ghostblade.
I AM NOT LISTING ALL CHMAPS HERE. I WILL JUST LIST OUT THOSE WHO USED TO SOLO TOP
It maybe not very easy to lane against akali due to her harass with her karma and stealth with shroud. You may not even be able to land one silence if she is good such that she shrouds every time you activate your Q . You should not pick Garen against akali at any situation as you can be harassed and kited very easily. She may even be able to burst you down when she reaches 6.
I don't think anyone will play alistar as solo top champion as he is usually a support or jungler. A solo top alistar should not be a problem for you since his damage is not that big and you can dominate and trade with him at early levels. Yet beware of the ganks from jungler with Alistar's knock back + knock up stun combo. Try to shut alistar down early so he will be useless afterwards
Chogath is not a problem to Garen since he has no high dps damage early stages and rely very much on his silence to deal damage which will make him oom if he spams it. Dodge his knock-ups and he barely can do damage to you. However you may not be able to kill him after 6 after he feasts minions. Try to shut him down early and keep harassing since he can sustain back his health by AA minions.
Mundo is currently quite a hot jungler but he is not a good top laner. His main damage output is his fire which can be disadvantage while he is in laning phase which burns his health. Keep silencing Mundo and he can't do anything.
She can be quite an annoying champion who can get her health back by AA so she will not be afraid to trade health and harass you in lane. You may need to take armor quints against Fiora since she can be quite aggressive in lane. When she reaches 6 and ult you, try to get her back to your tower so she will take tower damage and pop your shield up.
He usually goes mid but he can go solo top as well. He can nasty and takes out large chunk of your health if you get hit frequently by his eye blast. When facing Galio learning and practising to dodge his eye blast is crucial and therefore you may consider taking boots first instead of Doran's shield. You may also need flat MR runes instead of scaling ones to take less damage. You may cancel his ult when he taunts you after you activate your Q.
GP is a frequently seen top laner with ranged harass which can be nasty to you. You should not pick Garen against GP as he can disable your passive frequently and kite you like hell with Parley and slows of his AA. You may not even be able to farm and get zoned out by good GPs.
Champs that you CAN EASILY dominate against:
These champs have quite low sustainability against you. They may have high damage (like Talon and Shyvanna) but they will lose if they trade health with your QE combo. You can dominate some end-game heros such that they can't do shit later (like Nasus and Blitz and Master Yi)
Champs that you find annoying with endless harassment:
Mostly troublesome guys with loads of harassment in lane. They are usually squishy though so once you catch them they are likely to die in your QE combo + ignite if nescessary. You have to harass back as if they keep harassing you you will get worn down bit by bit. Ask your jungler for ganks if you can't do it alone.
Champs that you MAY FIND DIFFICULTIES to dominate against:
Mostly tanky guys and those who have high sustainability, and maybe with shields and self-healing too. They usually don't have high damage output in early games but they can sustain your attacks. You usually cannot win one another in lane so you have to focus on farming. Gank them with your jungler if possible.
UPDATE: I forgot to add in Nidalee sorry guys. Nidalee can harass you very often to disable your passive, and she can kite you and heal herself so you can't really do much damage to her. When facing a good Nidalee you should focus on last hitting creeps instead of harassing in order not to get out farmed. Also stand behind the creeps to avoid her spear. She is even harder to kill when she gets to lv 6 so therefore gank her early if possible to stop her from farming too much. A good jungler against Nidalee can be Nocturne or Shaco who can avoid her trap. You won't wanna choose Garen against Nidalee if you are going rank. Cho gath will be a better choice against her.
UPDATE: Pantheon is not that easy to fight against. His stun + Heartseeker Strike can hurt and he can harass frequently with his Q. I will explain it more when I face more good Panth to have more experience against him.
Champs that you MAY EVEN LOSE against:
Be careful of the monkey now after his buff. His combo hurts quite a lot even though you have Doran's shield and armor from runes. Xin zhao seems to be vulnerable but he can sustain to recover his health by hitting minions. His charge + AS boost + knock up can hurt alot. Irelia's passive is even better in health regen than Xin Zhao's, and her charge + stun/slow + true damage hurts hard too. Olaf has insane true damage which is kind of OP so your armor won't do yourself any good against him.
The newest champ volibear is totally OP if in right hands. You QE combo can hurt him but he just never die due to his OP passive (Don't tell me he isn't OP with Mundo's ultimate as his passive). You will never benefit to trade health with this guy until he is nerfed! Be more careful when you face these 5 guys. GANK FTW!
WORST NIGHTMARE OF YOU:
I hate these guys when I solo top with Garen. They can wear you down bit by bit with Teemo's poison, Cait and Tirstana's long range shots. And they can kite you very easily!! You will just hope that you are not going to face one since ad carries usually go bot with a support. It will be fine if you are 1v1 them, but it is really bad if you are going to 1v2 (i.e. enemy team has no jungler). A good Teemo, tris or cait can harass you to death!!
Vayne and Ashe those you can't dominate against too. Vayne can tumble to run and shoot you away with her E. Also her silver bolt can hurt quite a lot if you keep being hit by her. Ashe got slowwwwwww all the time so you can't even reach her. Ganking is the only solution because these 2 champs are most likely to insta-die if they get ambushed or cc.
UPDATE 27 Dec: Pantheon moved, Nidalee added
Early GameIn most case you can dominate your lane at this stage with your QE combo. Really very few melee champs can win against you at early stages as you have too high damage output. Focus first on farming with last hitting (and with Q and E too if you need to, farming skills explained in the Skill Chapter)to farm your core ASAP. Harass when they go near you and try to last hit. Your QE combo should make half of thier life bar disappear before level 6 if you hit them with E fully. If they don't back off then another QE + ignite should have finished them off.
From my experience, I can pressurize most champs in the game to underfarm their top lane. The only champs I can't will be . Even those who used to dominate top like won't be a problem if he is playing against me.
Mid Game / Team FightsNow you should have your core or maybe even either Sunfire Cape or FoN. You will be quite tanky and the highly mobile with your Q to boost speed. You are the tank so you should go in first during team fights. Pop your W on if you take heavy fire (or tower dive) and silence the AP casters such as brand, annie, leBlanc...etc.
Use your Q to chase or escape. If you are chasing don't forget the QE combo such that enemies can't escape with flash. Use yout R wisely at the right time. A good R can finish off their tank or one burst caster and turn the battle in favour of your team. Also make good use of your ignite. A good combo of QER + ignite can get yourself a double kill.
For example, I once encounter a situation that we fight a Annie and Singed. So I Q to rush in to silence Annie. Annie back off for sure as she can't cast spells for 2.5 sec. I immediately E to spin both of them, and Annie has only 100 health left so I ignite her AND use R on Singed who now has about 20% HP left. Guess what I got a double kill!
UPDATE 18 Dec 2011: List of Champions that You SHOULD TARGET FIRST in Team Fight
and Ahri the Fox
Late GameI seldom go into late game as I often dominate my lane and the opponents will often surrender before I get my full build.
With all your build (or nearly all) now you should have over 200 in both Armor and Magic Resist and around 4000 or more health. Additionally with GA you are nearly invincible cause you won't die even they manage to burst you down. Your Q won't do high damage anymore as it did in early game, but the speed boost and Silence are still as useful as before.
Bear in mind you are THE TANK so you should go in first in team fights. Remember to pop your W up to shield out 36% damage for 3 sec. Silence the highest burst enemy to disable his spells for 2.5 sec. Once you silence the right guy at the right time (such as )you are basically doing a 5v4 fight in favour of your team for 2.5 sec. This 2.5 sec can be crucial as your team can finish off their other squishies and even ace their team. Remember to use your ignite again and R at the right time. Practise more and you will know when to R to assure a kill!
Moreover, you can tank the turret while your teammates bring it down quickly. Pop your W up if necessary to reduce turret damage on you. You are also the first one to go in fighting Baron to shield out damage for you team.
Final CommentsGaren is one of the most easiest champs to master in the game, yet he can be very very strong if you use him correctly. I was often told off by my opponents when I dominate his lane who keep on saying "You are noob", "You are using noob champ", "Don't pretend you are pro, I can do better than you" etc....
I don't mind these tbh. I know how one will feel if you get dominated. You will probably hate that guy who dominates you :P. But why can't you win me if I am using champs for noobs?? Or maybe I am just too good such that they can't fight me back. Who knows lol?
If you are new to the game and want champs that is easy to master and can BOTH tank and deal high damage, Garen should be your cup of tea. Not only he has no mana issue, but also he has quite fast CD for his abilities (Much faster than Renekton). So I wish you good luck and have fun with Garen to those who read my guide patiently. If you think my guide is good and help you win games, please don't forget to thumb me up at the top of the page :)
I will keep this guide updated over time :)