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Garen-- Now a viable solo top!

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Senior Member


I made this guide after playing (almost) exclusively Garen for the last 25-30 games. I feel that he is in a very strong position right now, and very underplayed for how strong he is.

Runes: Armor Pen Reds, Armor Pen Quints, Flat Armor Yellows, Scaling mr blues.

Masteries: 9/21/0. Take Summoner's Wrath with 3 points in Brute Force, with 4 points in Alacrity and Weapon's Expertise for 10% armor pen. Defensive tree is full armor, veteran's scars, 2 points tough skin, 2 points indomitable, 3 points enlightenment, and of course Juggernaut.

Summoner Spells: Ghost and Ignite. (I take ghost instead of flash because of the synergy with his spin, and it helps Garen to stick to his target like glue)

Starting options:: Boots+3, Cloth+5.

Boots+3 should be used against any AP or hybrid top (Akali, Swain, Rumble, etc.)

Cloth+5 should be used against any standard AD tops (Riven, Tryn, Fiora, etc.)

I take a point in Q every game to start. If your jungle starts on your side of the map, ask them if they want DPS on blue/red. If so, use AA->Q->AA then run to lane ASAP.

Skill order: Q,E,E,W,E,R,E,Q,E,Q,R,Q,Q,W,W,R,W,W.

Suggested half-builds:

Option 1 (winning lane hard): Boots5, Brutalizer, Chain Mail, Giant's Belt, Atma's Impaler.

Option 2 (not winning so hard): Ninja Tabi/Merc Treads, Giant's Belt, Chain Mail/Negatron Cloak, turn Giant's belt into Warmogs, Atma's Impaler.

The reason I do not give full builds is because your last items should always depend on who is doing the most damage on the enemy team. Guardian Angel, Banshee's Veil, Force of Nature, Sunfire Cape, Frozen Mallet are all good choices.

Early game, you will control the bush with your incredibly strong level one damage+silence. Hide in the bush until your lane goes to last hit, then pop Q and run like a madman to silence and retreat. You will out trade almost anyone in the early game. Once you have your E, use Q->E to force opponents back. At level 3, I have not encountered anybody who can trade with a level 1 Q and level 2 E.

Once you hit level 7, you can clear entire waves by waiting for minions to stop moving and moving in between melee and caster minions and hitting the SPIN BUTTON. Farming is your main priority. You will bully your lane and deny them farm almost every game (use ward to avoid being ganked, as you push HARD and FAST.)

Mid-Late game, you should be quite fed from smashing waves of minions. Very often I find myself 2-3 levels ahead of the enemy team. Push down the top tower (if you haven't already) and start ganking for your team. Since you build so tanky, you can often times tank towers and dive like an absolute madman (run in, silence, spin, ignite, R), letting your team DPS so you can execute with your ultimate.

Late game, you should be VERY tanky with 30% damage (and CC) reduction from W and your items built to minimize damage from the enemy team. Be careful not to use your Q until somebody on the other team wastes an exhaust or slow on you, or if you have a clear opportunity to silence the enemy AD or AP carry and spin on them.

Especially if you use build 1 (with boots5) you are pretty much un-gankable. If you get slowed, pop your Q to cleanse slow and gain a massive speed boost to run away. Combined with the damage/CC reduction from W, you can handle almost any gank.

This has worked very well for me (in both blind normals, and ranked draft). Please try it out and let me know how this works for you. Obviously in late game you will turn your brutalizer into a Ghostblade, but the rest is pretty situiational.

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Thanks mate! :d

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Senior Member


Im about a 65% win rate Garen player in elo.
Garen is viable top lane but as a counter pick, too many champs shut him down.

Picks like Irelia, Jax and Jayce you dont have to worry about picking before the enemy chooses their counter pick: You shouldnt pick Garen until you see who the enemy is picking top lane first.