Garen - The Tank?
Anyone who's been playing LoL in the past day have noticed that Garen is being chosen nonstop, and people have been dodging queues left and right. And they all seem to have the same similar build. Well, I went ahead (after finally being able to choose him) and got my ass handed to me multiple times using the same build everyone went. So...I thought I'd try a totally different perspective with Garen and so far it's been working for me, won three games in a row so far, tanked the opposing team quite well and have gotten more kills than when I was a DPS. Also, you CAN solo a lane with this build if you play it smart. And just a heads up, this guide is a very flexible and straightforward guide, cause lets face it, not everyone has the same play style.
Perseverance - This skill allows you to stay in lanes and farm efficiently
Decisive Strike - A good skill which silences for 2.5 seconds. I use it mainly for the speed boost or to prevent certain champs from escaping. Level this once at level 4, but after that, don't get it again till 14.
Courage - This is what makes you tanky
Judgment - Great skill early game, end game, not so much.
Demacian Justice - Great skill to finish off anybody.
Resistance - 3/3
Hardiness - 3/3
Evasion - 4/4
Nimbleness - 1/1
Harden Skin - 3/3
Veteran's Scar - 4/4
Ardor - 2/3 or 3/3
Tenacity - 1/1
21/22 Total points into Defense
Exhaust 0/1 or 1/1 (depending on if you get exhaust or not)
8 into Utility
Marks - I went with Armor Penetration, mainly due to the early game kills and damage boost for judgment.
Seals - I went with flat armor, mainly for early game farming and resistance to lane harassing. You can also go with dodge or armor per level.
Glyphs - Magic resistance or cool down. I went with Magic resistance. Magic Resistance for obvious reasons, like tanking.
Quintessence - 3.0% or 4.5% movement speed. You start out with 600 HP anyway, for the third slot, you can use w/e, I found that 3.0% movement speed is fine. You get 381 movement speed if you start out with boots.
Exhaust - Very helpful, I always save it for the carry, or just to gank someone so they can't escape judgment. If you specced into exhaust, it'll lower their armor by 10.
Ghost - For chasing or escaping.
Cleanse - To get out of sticky situations.
Ignite - To put out that extra DPS you might need to help out the rest of the gang, or to use on someone who is heal heavy. Mundo, Taric, WW, Soraka, someone with life steal.
I prefer Exhaust and Ghost.
1. Boots + 3 Pots
I found that having that extra speed boost helps with judgment, they won't be able to outrun you in early laning phase unless they got boots too. Pots are optional really, but you never know how badly you'll be harassed so I take a few now.
2. Giant's Belt or Mercury's Tread
Whichever you have the money for first. If they are not CC heavy, go for Boots of Swiftness
3. Sunfire Cape
If they are melee heavy, go for a second Sunfire Cape. This gives you the armor, extra HP to help your passive, and some AoE DoT.
4. Sunfire Cape
Skip if they have 3 or more casters.
5. Brutalizer - Skip if you bought 2 Sunfires, don't if you got fed.
This will give you the long needed CD and a bit of armor penetration and damage for judgment.
6. Force of Nature
Gives you more health regen, magic resist, and additional movement speed.
7. Sunfire Cape - If you bought only one sunfire cape before, this is where you should get your second one
If you got Warden's Mail then get this item, if not sell heart of gold for your next item when you are close.
8. Youmou's Ghostblade
2. Decisive Strike
6. Demacian Justice
11. Demacian Justice
14. Decisive Strike
15. Decisive Strike
16. Demacian Justice
17. Decisive Strike
18. Decisive Strike
Pretty straight foward.
You can either focus on farming minions, or use some zone control by staying in the bushes and DS+Judgment anyone who comes near me, its funny to see who tries to come in and check the bushes to only see them get silenced and judgment'd down to 2/3 or 1/2 health. Help your laning partner get some free farming and get yourself a few minions. Against ranged heroes, its a little bit harder, but if they are within distance of the bush to where you think you can get a judgment off, go for it. Of course this wouldn't work against stun heavy champs. Your primary focus is on getting sunfire cape.
Updated August 14, 2010.
-Sunfire is a much more viable build for Garen, since he does not contribute enough damage with previous build.
-Rally is ****.
-Leviathan got nerfed.
-Judgment works extremely well early game, so that should be the main skill to level, not courage.
-Much more experience, irl wise after 3 months.
-I know by now this is a regular typical build for Garen, but it seems to work really well.
-Cannot remove attachment.
Garen initates by popping his Q, running towards the enemy, and then
I see Garen more in the light of threatening off-tank/dps than a proper tank, kinda like Sion or Nasus. Other than his silence Garen has no control, so there's not really a lot of reason to focus on him. Sure, you can make him exceptionally hard to kill, but what's the point? You run the risk of being a big, annoying punching bag that the other team is better off saving for last.
Some of your item choices are 100% valid no matter how you play Garen. Phage/Frozen Mallet is a must for him, no exceptions. Spirit Visage is another great choice, as the CDR is fantastic, and it helps out your passive. Leviathan can be great on just about anyone; it's not just for tanks. That's about as far as I'd go for survivability items on Garen, however. Save some room for Infinity Edge / Brutalizer.
Don't worry about Carados....apparently if you aren't initiating in his narrow minded way then you aren't doing anything at all and may as well just hang out at the fountain. All of his games consist of Amumu, Blitz and Malphite taking turns setting up the perfect game ending "initiation" no matter what level they are and where they are on the map or even whether or not they have their "perfect initiation" tool on cooldown or not.. It's easy...just L2P....
If you want to prove me wrong, just say why I'm wrong instead of having to resort to harassment.
Initiating as Garen relies on the other team standing still and letting you initiate.
Initiating is committing the other team to a fight when they do not want to be fighting.
Any initiation with Garen relies on the other team being okay with you starting the fight.
Feels like a pure tank Garen could fall into a similar role as the MF-Cho, since you'd be there for spamming your Q-silence, slow effects from items, and the all-important execute. (Probably the real reason right there)
I don't know if that's the MOST useful thing for him... but I bet it is working out great right now with so many "Garen-Yi's" out there speccing for being a DPS hose. Taking advantage of a psychological situation is completely valid. :)
It's also nice to be able to think of Garen as a hero that is diverse enough to be able to itemize into a few different roles. I've had the most success speccing him as an offtank. Pure DPS rarely helps in an organized team, and with a bit of extra armor/mpen, it really gives him the capacity to soak up damage, then move out of the front lines to let his crazy regen recover him for a bit.
I really like playing Garen as more of an attrition hero in those juking mid-game teamfights than as a straight burster.
Garen is not a tank.
A tank is a champion that is targeted and requires survivability because they have an ability package that forces the location of a fight. If a champion does not have any abilities to force a fight, they are not a tank. If a champion does not have any abilities to survive, they are not a tank.
Why do people insist upon slapping survivability items on a DPS champion then call it a tank? It is complete idiocy to rely upon the other team to do exactly as you want: target the person who is no threat (which a tanked up Garen is, just like a tanked up Mundo), and stay there for the uselessly item build player's team to kill them.
Relying upon playing against terribad opponents is not making this champion a tank.
This fails in every sense of being relevant or significant in a team fight or gank.
I think your build could be better
Health Crystal starter
Merc treads/Ninja Tabi
i've got 7-1 w/l as tank Garen, average k/d/a was 5-4-13, lategame you are indeed unkillable and far superior to a physical Garen in teamfights
Should note that I usually solo, and grab exhaust/ghost for early ganks
All the other team has to do to counter this strat is run away. Garen has no way of choosing where the fight happens. If Garen is going to be your teams tank. Your team has to have a lot of CC to be able to hold the fight in that location. Like an Annie Tibbers stun and a veigar stun ring, which at that point you should just be DPS to finish off the stunned legends.
What does Garen do when he is ignored, and Jax and Warwick are killing the carry? With no stun, taunt or get that champion away ability, all he can do is kill the two champs that are killing the carry, so he seems like a very tanky dps character, like Jax. He is not a tank.
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