Beginner Garen Guide for Season 14

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Garen
GarenThe Might of Demacia
top
Top

The Easiest Top laner to play

If you're just starting out in Top lane, want to focus on the fundamentals or a fresh new League of Legends player this is the BEST CHAMPION you can play. Here I will cover all the basics for his runes, items and overall build.

Just because Garen is one of the easiest champions in the game doesn't mean he is boring, I guarantee you will have a lot of fun playing this champion. An easy pick lets you focus a lot more on the fundamentals so you can become a better player much faster.

Summoner Spells

Ignite
Ignite
Flash
Flash

Garen moves around the map VERY fast so you don't need to take Teleport. Run Flash + Ignite every single game.

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Rune Options

There's 2 possible rune setups you can take. They're both good and completely viable, which one you take depends entirely on the matchup.

Sorcery
RUNE_CATEGORY_NAME_8200
RUNE_NAME_8230
RUNE_NAME_8275
RUNE_NAME_8234
RUNE_NAME_8236
Resolve
RUNE_CATEGORY_NAME_8400
RUNE_NAME_8451
RUNE_NAME_8429
Shards

There's mainly 2 reasons to take Phase Rush:

  1. You're in a matchup where you are better off doing short trades: The Movement Speed lets you use a short combo like AA + Q + E and then run away.
  2. You need the Slow resistance to survive: If the enemy laner has kill pressure in the laning phase and has slows this will help you survive. Think champions like Olaf or Darius.

You could swap out Conditioning for Bone Plating if you want to be tankier against melee champions during laning phase.

Spell leveling and level 1 options

Judgment
e
Decisive Strike
q
Courage
w
Decisive Strike
Courage
Judgment
Demacian Justice

This is your default leveling for spells. Here are the possible variations:

  • You can take E Level 1 but it's usually because you have Conqueror and looking to cheese a trade using level up timers or you REALLY need priority on the first wave. Super rare niche scenarios but I cover this on the video at the bottom.
  • At Level 2 you can put a point in W instead of E if you happen to need the survivability that early on. This usually happens when you lane against Ranged champions.
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Starting Items

Doran's Shield
Doran's Shield
Health Potion
Health Potion

You will be starting Doran's Shield EVERY GAME; the healing you get by having this on top of your Passive is really high. You have infinite sustain which helps you out A LOT considering you are a weak early game champion.

Early Game as Garen

Garen is not a strong laner by any means, most champions just beat you in every regard. Because of this, you are looking to go even; focus mostly on getting as much CS as possible and not dying since your #1 goal is to not fall behind. Be smart with your wave management, take turret platings, proxy waves; there's a lot of tools at your disposal.

Outside lane you will do better than 90% of champions, that's why you want to get to that stage without a hiccup. The more items you have as Garen the faster you move, faster you farm and the bigger problem for the enemy you become. Get your first item ASAP to start taking all the map's resources.

First item

Berserker's Greaves
Berserker's Greaves

The very first thing you want to get is Berserker's Greaves every single game. Garen's E actually scales with Attack Speed, the more you have the more times you spin. Not to mention it gives Movement Speed which is one of, it not the most important stat for the champion.

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Core Items

Phantom Dancer
Phantom Dancer
Mortal Reminder
Mortal Reminder
Dead Man's Plate
Dead Man's Plate
Force of Nature
Force of Nature
Sterak's Gage
Sterak's Gage
  • Phantom Dancer: Generally the best 2nd item. Zeal has really good synergy with Garen and this is the only item you can turn it into. Buying Critical Strike Chance might seem weird but your E spins can actually Crit and as mentioned before the more Attack Speed you have the more times you spin. Phantom Dancer is specially good if you can take the next item right after.
  • Mortal Reminder: You could buy this 2nd item but most games you want to build it 3rd, right after Phantom Dancer. The Attack Speed, Critical Strike Chance and Armor Penetration from these 2 items combined makes your damage REALLY HIGH, not to mention they're pretty cheap items.
  • Dead Man's Plate: Probably your best Movement Speed item. The only reason you don't always build this 2nd or 3rd is it doesn't give you any real damage; your goal as Garen is to sidelane and farm a bunch so this isn't that helpful. What it does give you is a lot of survivability and utility so it's good (usually as 3rd item) when you are already ahead, that means you don't need more damage and building defensive is more efective.
  • Force of Nature: You can think of this item as the Magic Resistance version of Dead Man's Plate, they do the same things so just buy whichever gives you the most useful resistance. Are you taking Magic or Physical damage?
  • Sterak's Gage: An item that gives you plenty Damage and Tankyness, with the drawback being no Movement Speed. Good as a last item if you didn't need all of the previous items.

Tips & Tricks

Here are a handful of things to keep in mind when playing Garen:

  • Your Q cleanses slows, meaning whenever you press it whatever spell was slowing you will be removed instantly (even debuffs like Nasus W - WIther).
  • Because of the healing from your Passive + Doran's Shield you can look to take even or losing trades, AFK (avoid taking damage) for a few seconds and heal back up, making you win the trade in the long run.
  • Your Q is an Auto Attack cancel, meaning if you cast a Basic Attack and press Q as soon as the damage lands, you will use the empowered auto right away without having to wait for the animation to end.
  • You can actually cast your Q while spinning with your E, giving you extra movement speed or removing slows as mentioned before without having to stop spinning.
  • With Stridebreaker you can actually use the active during animations or attacks such as your Q empowered auto or while spinning during E.

In the following video I cover a lot more gameplay aspects. Come watch me play Garen in Low Elo while explaining EVERYTHING you need to do in order to climb!

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