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Garen Top guide

/!\ Due to the latest patch this article is now outdated and needs a rework /!\

This is a guide for a character in League of Legends.


Garen the Might of Demacia.

Garen is played top most of the time.

PROS/CONS

Pros

  • Can be set as a tanky assassin.
  • Easy to play, no mana.
  • Ok sustain in lane.

Cons

  • No hard CC.
  • Can be kited.

Summoner spells

  • Teleport:: I like to take it on my Tops with a strong engage like Vi, Galio or Rumble. It's very strong to tele gank. Garen has no good engage so I take it less often. Garen has good roaming abilities so he needs teleport even less.
  • Ghost/exhaust: Flash + ghost is an old school combination on Garen but it is still viable.
  • Flash: You don't have any real escape so it can be your life saver if Q is on cooldown.
  • Ignite: I take ignite most of the time on Garen as a finisher. Even if he's built as a tanky bruiser Garen still has a good burst. Ignite will clean the enemy's remaining HP after your full combo.

Skills

  • Perseverance (Passive): When he is out of combat for more than 9 seconds, Garen regenerates 0.4% of his maximum HP each second.

It's an ok skill for lane sustain. Taking damage from creeps will not disable it.

  • Decisive Strike (Q): Garen enhances his movement speed for a duration as follows: (1.5/2.25/3/3.75/4.5). His next auto attack will deal bonus physical damages as follows: (30/55/80/105/130 +40% AD). On hit Garen will silence his target for a duration as follows: (1.5/1.75/2/2.25/2.5).
    Cooldown: 8. Cost: 0.

This is your sole gap closer. This skill applies its bonus damages on structures. Your movement speed bonus is a self-buff; it will remain if you cast another skill (E). It can critically strike and will apply on-hit effects as well. It also resets the auto attack animation so cast it right after an auto attack for more DPS. If you hit the target before the end of your movement speed bonus it will not cancel it. Garen Craves for movement speed, I usually maximize this one second.

  • Courage (W): Passive: Garen gains 20% additional Bonus armor and magic resistance. Active: Garen shields himself, granting him 30% damage reduction and 30% crowd control reduction for a duration as follows: (2/3/4/5/6). Cooldown: (24/23/22/21/20). Cost: 0. Unlike many skill the passive stacks with the active so the skill “synergizes” with itself.

This one has a high cooldown and many static components, this is the equivalent of your utility skill. Don't forget about the crowd control reduction it provides. You will have to cast it in reaction to something incoming like Sivir's E or Mundo's W. At the end game it will bring you even more tankyness for the teamfights.

  • Judgment (E): Garen's spin for 3 seconds, dealing physical damages around himself as follows: (20/45/70/95/120 +70/80/90/100/110% AD per second). Judgement can critically strike but with a modifier of -50% (150% damage instead of 200%). Garen moves freely through units while spinning but 20% slower. Minions take 75% of the skill's damages. Garen can cancel's the cast after 0.5 seconds by recasting it.
    Range: 165. Cooldown: (13/12/11/10/9). Cost: 0.

The original spin to win! Garen was long time hated because of this skill. You can take down a squishy with a Q+E+(R) Combination. Demacian Justice (R) can be casted while Garen is spinning but it will cancel E. Garen can't auto attack while being under E. One's will account for the critical component to build a very offensive Garen but it will not do the trick once you play in competitive games.

  • Demacian Justice (R) (Ultimate): Garen deals magic damage on a hero with a base damage and additional damages based on target's missing health as follows: (175/350/250 +1 damage per 3.5/3/2.5 of target's missing health).
    Range: 400. Cooldown: (160/120/80) Cost: 0.

This is the best execute in the game. On rank 3 you will kill almost anyone below a third of his HPs. The range is not so high but you can catch someone trying to run away (flash/dash) with good reflexes. Don't use it to ensure you a kill anytime. Sometimes you are wasting your cd and your mates will hate you and qualify you as a kser.

Skill sequence

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Q x x x x x
W x x x x x
E x x x x x
R x x x

Put the first point in Q as it will help you to face more eventualities such as a gank or a bad position. Then you maximize E to boost your damages. Don't use E too much while farming if you are not planning to roam; you will just push your lane (you will have to roam later). If you face an AP top you can put more point in Q early to silence him longer. Otherwise E>Q>W.

Masteries

Garen is set as a tanky bruiser as many bruisers with no instant-gap closer. Garen can be kited and he has a big dead zone because of his melee range on almost every skill. He is also a front liner, that's why you have to build him tanky. On top of that he will still be able to do a decent amount of damages even with this set up.

On the offensive tree you want the flat AD brought to you by Martial Mastery. A bit of CDR is welcome as you don't care about a mana pool. There is some builds about a 40% cdr Garen but it's a bit less optimal nowadays. A CDR build has it uses if you plan to push and split push a lot; more E to clean waves and more Q to damage structures.

On the defensive tree Juggernaut + Unyelding will bring more sustain through your passive. Block and Unyielding is good for trading top. Enchanted Armor gives a little bonus on your W. Lengendary guardian will be useful on later teamfight whereas Armor, Resistance, Reinforced Armor and Evasive are effective right from start.

Runes

  • X9 Flat AD (marks): These runes improve your Q and E, it's the best choice for Garen. They can be replaced by Armor penetration.
  • X9 Flat Armor (seals): It is the standard choice top as you will face another AD most of the time. It also synergizes with W.
  • X9 MR per level (glyphs): it will shine on teamfights later on. It's the same thing as Flat Armor for your W.
  • X3 Flat Movement Speed (Quintessences): There is more option here. I really like more movement speed on Garen to compensate your weakness from the dead zone. The higher ELO you are the more kited you will be by competent opponents. There is a possibility for more flat AD or Armor Penetration.

Build

You start with a Doran's shield (440) + 1hp pot (35) + the free ward most of the time. Vs an AP you can start with a null (400) +3 Hp pots. Vs an Ad that can use you deadzone (poke) you can buy an old school Cloth Armor (300) + 5 Hp pots. Even after its nerf your core item will remain Sunfire Cape (2650). It has everything Garen needs; More health for your passive and tankyness alongside more armor serving the same purpose and improving your bonus from W and finally an AOE DOT that will add hybrid damage too your natural AOE; E. Rushing for an early Infinity Edge is a mistake at least as the first completed item. By the time you will end it the laning phase will be over or almost over and you will have no tankyness for the first teamfights. Garen is a frontline with a huge dead zone so he needs to be built as a tank first. Once you soak enough damages to rush at your melee range you can add more damages. The next solid item will be Spirit Visage (2750) but you can do a brutalizer first (1337). This item provides CDR and the armor penetration missing from your masteries/runes. Finish the Spirit Visage first only of you are facing an AP or an AP jungler who ganks you often. Then you can finish the Black Cleaver (2865-1337). Garen has not an improved attack speed but the ability from Black Cleaver will be applied by Q. You can tweak it with an Infinity Edge (3800) or even a Ravenous Hydra (3300) but only if the enemy team isn't stacking armor. Your core will be: boots 2; Mercury's Tread (1200) / Ninja Tabi (1000) / Boots of Swiftness (1000) + Sunfire Cape + Spirit Visage + the Black Cleaver. Your first after core will be Randuin's Omen (3000). It's the best choice most of for the same reasons as Sunfire Cape. The ability from it will be very efficient as you will activate it in the middle of the melee. It also helps you to keep an enemy under your arms when you are dueling. Against an AP heavy team you can look for a Maw of Malmortius (3200) or a Banshee's Veil (2750). An Atma's Impaler is still ok on Garen (2300).

Gameplay top

You will have to last hit with your auto attacks most of the time but you can also do it with your skill as you have no mana to manage. If two creeps are within your E's radius and are low hp you can last hit them with it. A competent opponent will try to attack you while you are on cooldown so take care. Don't push to much with E too. You can be dominant with Garen because of high damage output from early game. You can “poke” with Q. IF the enemy comes close yo you to last hit use Q then back a bit. If he tries to trade just activate E+W and run back, He will take many damages. Use the bushes at your advantage to for more suprise effect. The longer they try to trade with you the less mana they will have. Eventually they will have to back because they are out of mana and you just won the lane. After level 6 you can challenge yourself for a kill if the enemy falls below 75% hp. Try to start your Q+E+W+R combo from the closest range. Closing the gap is everything as you play Garen and it needs practice.

General guidelines

To be successful during teamfights you will need a good overall vision about the forces in balance. Try to engage when you are sure to win the fight because as you engage with Q most of the time you will have no escape then. Garen's rushes into melee and will remain here until the fight is over at least on your early fights. With the decreasing cooldown over ranks you can manage easier escapes. Look for the AP/AD carry when you charge with Q you will destroy him if you reach him. You are built to perform a kill on a squishy soaking most of damage from everyone before dying. Abort everything if you are kited and noone is following you. Don't forget to activate W at the proper timing at least to diminish the effect of an incoming skill otherwise the enemies will see it and will just wait the end of the effect.
Garen falls off a bit on late game (16-18).

Games | Strategy Game | Multiplayer Online Battle Arena | League of Legends


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