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How to counter Garen

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Senior Member


I see **** loads of Garen QQ, and am sick of posting the same things over and over and over and over...
So I will be making a little (lol ok, after reviewing it, not so little) guide on how to deal with him.

Latest Update Info: Fixed a assload of spelling errors, added two champs to the Garen counter list, and edited Ashe a little bit. I'm off for tonight, I'm to tired to keep writing, will check again in the morning.

NOTE: The absolute, best guide to countering any champion, is the guide you create for yourself by playing that champion. Learn how the champ works, understand its weaknesses, how it moves, and then react to that when you fight em.

Garen is in a niche of champions that requires you to make alterations to your usual play style. He is not the only one like this. Two excellent examples of this niche would be Eve and Teemo. When facing both of these characters, you generally need to change your spending habits to account for gold lose do to buying sight wards and oracle potions, to counter stealth ganks and mushroom traps. While Garen doesn't necessarily require you to get specific items (or types of items), he by far and away changes how you would normally go about the laneing phase.

Pre-minions Bush Gank:

As of right now, any good Garen worth anything will start with judgment (The spin move). Judgment clears any active slows, and reduces future ones duration by 50%, deals physical damage every half a second, and ignores movement restrictions similar in manner to ghost. (I.E. he can go through creeps)

At the start of the game, avoid bushes. Many Garens hide here for a few reasons.
1) You don't know were they are.
2) It provides protection from stray attacks, enabling the passive to take effect.
3) Sooner or later, players generally get careless and forget he was around, making an easy opening for him.

When the game starts, and everyone is rushing to the front lines, don't go more then halfway through your first set of bushes in the top and bottom lanes. This will keep you from running into a gank, as well as give you ample reaction time if he runs into your bush.

Laneing Phase with Garen:

-Play smart, when creeps are battling, attack from the side OPPOSITE of the bush. if you are melee, you should probably just stand by, or hit and run. If you plan on attacking creeps that bring you close to the bush, be ready to cc him AFTER he uses judgment.

-It may be beneficial to Tower hug. When your creeps push a little bit forward, you follow them BUT DO NOT attack the enemy creeps. The goal is to keep them near your tower. Contrary to popular belief, this does not decrease the XP you gain overall. What it does is shift the rate at which each team receives the XP from creep kills. To further explain this...

Generally what happens is their minion numbers bulk up, destroying your minions (which are in their normal 6 man squad) quickly. However, when they get to your tower, your minions, combined with you, your partner, and your tower, shred them.

What is boils down to in the most simple manner is that the other team kills minions more frequently, but in smaller numbers, giving them a more constant rate of XP, while you and your partner don't kill them as frequently, but when you do, you do so in larger numbers. This may end up giving the illusion that you are not gaining as much XP, but in reality its simply because they got the XP a little bit before you.

-If you can not confirm Garens position in you lane, never, EVER go pushing past your creeps, or far from a tower or ally. The further you are from a tower, the longer the run to safety will be if he ganks you, and you really can't complain if you left your teammate in the dust, so far away that he couldn't reach you in time.

-Swap places with a teammate. Sometimes you simply have bad lane chemistry. If you need to, get a champ with more CC in the lane. Having mid gank him is also a good idea. Some of the best counter champs to Garen are...

1) Teemo. Big bad Garen may prowl the bushes a lot, but Teemo is the undisputed King of the bushes. Mushrooms will seriously hamper Garens ganking abilities, as well as act as wards. If he does get to close to someone, Teemo can also blind him, saving an ally a lot of damage.

2) Ashe. Every thing about her screams "Garen is my *****". Frost arrows make her auto attacks slow him, volley is an AoE slow, and don't need a target. Hawk shot will search the bushes, and her ult will stun AND slow him. She is very much a glass cannon though, so keep her at range.

3) Cho'Gath: He has a Knock up ability (which is basically a stun that you can't end early), A nice AoE silence, and his ult is true damage. This means no matter how much armor little old Garen stacks, cho will always do at least 800 damage.

4) Kog'Maw. Garen is a tanky Character. Kog is a natural Tank buster. Passive Armor pen, a very nice slow ability, great range, and he can make good use of his ult to seek out Garen if he is hiding in the bushes. If **** hits the fan and he dies, his passive deals true damage, and a good amount of it.

5) Vladamire. Vlad's passive allows him to get a good deal of health and AP, by stacking health and AP. He will quickly gain a lot of magic damage and a lot of health. This makes it so he can live through a lot of Garens burst. Blood transfusion will also enable him to heal himself, and Sanguine pools will allow him to escape judgments, or even trick Garen into using it, and wasting the CD. (I.E. Vlad runs in bushes, Garen sees him and uses Judgment, vlad uses sanguine pools, taking no damage, while damageing garen and healing himself.)

6) This is my opinion, but after playing Malzahar a bit, I would say he is a great person to put against Garen. Q is a ranged silence, and also good for flushing him outs bushes. W is a nice AoE, which will do extra damage as he gains a higher max HP, and covers a good chunk of the bushes. His ult is high damage and stuns him for the duration, which leaves him helpless. A truly devastating move especially if you stun him on top of your W.

7) Taric: Taric can do quite a few usefull things. First off, he can heal both of you at once. Second, he has an armor buff aura, and thirdly, he can stun.

8) Kennen: The main reason kennen is usefull in my own opinion, is because he can stun a lot of people, and he can do it quickly, over and over again.

As a general rule of thumb, don't keep all melee champs in a lane against Garen, its just asking for trouble.

Garen in a Team fight:

Garens is an ok team fighter in the sense that he can initiate, and live through them, but by the time team fights break out, he will only have three real uses.

First is initiating, second is using his silence, and third is executing with his ult. A few things to know about each.

He will probably run in, and try to get you to nuke him. If you do so, he will negate a large chunk with Courage, leaving your team at the disadvantage when his carries and support join in.

Decisive Strike (Silence)
-His Silence will boost his movement speed 10/15/20/25/30% for two seconds. If he is already close to you, its probably a waste of time to try and run away. It will probably deal around 200-300 damage at most (Not factoring in mitigation), unless he is stacking AD (which is unusual, very unusual)

Demician Justice (Execute)
-First and foremost, this attack deals magic damage, unlike the rest of his abilities.
-Secondly, if you HP is around 1/3 or 1/4 and you have yet to see a golden sword smash someone, expect to see it smash you. While the move itself is kinda ****ty do to the way it scales (It scales a lot on tanks, but tanks have better magic reduction, and it hardly scales at all on squishys, which have some magic reduction), it is still something to watch out for, since unlike most damage ults, it deals all of the damage at once, rather then over time.
-It has a range, but its hardly any further then melee. use this to you advantage.

Whether or not you target him first is a team decision but I really recommend you don't. The second you put heavy burst on him, he will active courage, giving him damage reduction against magic and physical damage (As of today, 9/6/10, it gives 35% mitigation. After the next patch, it will give 25%). To top it off, most Garen builds as of today are tanky in nature, which means he will not go down fast. Go for their burst instead, and only focus on Silencing Garen when you got important people with low HP.

Useful Items against a Garen

-Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Gives a 30% speed debuf with magic damage, (15% for AoE)
-Frozen Mallet: Physical damage slows enemies.
-Hextech Gunblade: 700 range, 50% slow for 3 seconds.
-Wardens Mail: 20% chance to slow the attackers moment and attack speed
-Bildgewater Cutlass: 400 Range, slows target by 50%
-Armor Penetration Items
-Deathfire Grasp: Use ability deals 30% of their current HP, so use it first.

Dealing with Judgment:
This one move tends to be the focus of complaints on Garen, so I think I should make a section to it. It may recap other sections a little.

Firstly, if Garen is on the other team, do NOT, I repeat do NOT go into their bushes on the top and bottom lane. Go no further then half way into yours. After fighting starts, and Garens lane is confirmed, rearrange your lanes so that people who have CC and range are fighting him.

If Garen is chasing you wile spinning, run in a strait line. Running in zig zags and such will reduce the distance between you and him.

Boots of Swiftness may give you an advantage over him. Most Garens will probably take Merc treads or Ninja Tobi for the special properties on em.

Use CC on Garen AFTER he uses judgment, otherwise it will be wasted.

Later on in the game, get items like Hextech gunblade if you need extra CC.

Stuns will stop him from moving, but he will still keep spinning, so don't go near him just because he is stunned.

Don't think having a distance between the two of you means you are safe. It's common to see a Garen pop decisive strike for the speed boost, then run at you with the extra speed.

May be updated at a latter time.

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Cooky Monsta

Senior Member


Garen is amazing at punishing people for being stupid. Just like vlad and shaco. People will always hate heroes that force them to pay attention. He is going to get nerfed, and he is going to become garbage. Unless they make his DPS viable or give him some form of hard CC he is going to be terrible within a few weeks.

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Senior Member


early game = towerhug.

loads of fun!

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Senior Member


his spin needs to scale differently with that and decisive strike he can deal 182-337 at level 3 before midigation items runes or masteries. That is more than any other melee champ. Also if the enemy put a champ with an on demand stun or taunt with Garen congrats on being either zoned out of minions or dead.

If you do harass Garen early with ranged attacks, he runs into the bushes to heal. A lot of champs have no safe way to check in the bushes to target him for a hit to stop his regen. Meaning in 15-30 secs he is coming out of the bushes again with full or close to full HP. Or you run in to check and eat Garen to the face. If you don't check Garen can just leave without anyone noticing and get a gank in other lanes.

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Senior Member


early game = towerhug.

loads of fun!

Is it fun? No. Is it effective? Yes. You simply got to know that some champs will force you to play in a maner you may not enjoy, thats simply how the game works. Similar to how you need to be much more carefully about Low hp when the enemy team has a Karthus with them. You can't go in with the same plan every time. It's a team stratagy game for a reason, and you need to make good use of both of those.

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Wow, as a Garen player this is a serious threat :P.

But since your post is so big, I'm pretty sure most player will ignore it :P.

If I may, I'll correct some things about the champ.

1- Bringing Ashe again Garen is a "bad" idea for two reason. First, she's weak have have poor escape mechanist. Second a lane with a Ashe always end up near the enemy's tower. So actually, Ashe is one of the champion I love laning again.

2- About the champ that lane well again Garen, you missed Kennen, tank in general and the worth of all (with Teemo imo) ; Taric. When I see Taric in my lane, I usually ask my team to switch.

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Junior Member


How do i counter garen as riven tower hug

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who is bringing back all these old threads, i hate it.

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Junior Member


you need to hug your tower with garen in early