Giga Chad Garen Guide
Best Overall Runes
Best Overall Build
Hello and welcome to the only guide you'll ever need to get yourself to Diamond in League of Legends. This guide is for players under Diamond ONLY!
My name is Moto G. I've been playing League of Legends for a while and in Season 10 I got Diamond 1 with playing almost only Garen. In season 11 I got to Master promo's multiple times with almost only Garen. Playing Garen in Diamond and higher is very difficult but below Diamond, I consider Garen to be one of the best carry champions in the game. If you follow this guide, you will 100% increase your rank.
Playing Garen will teach you how the game works while you don't have to focus on mechanics. Once you've played enough Garen and climbed you will have a much better understanding of the game than most players in your division. You will learn to split push, team fight, rotate, play around objectives, abuse vision, lane (control), track and punish the enemy jungler and while you learn how to do these things, you also learn when and how enemies do these things and you will recognise and predict enemy plays' much faster, allowing you to react and outplay.
Garen is a very binary champion, perhaps the most binary champion in the game. What this means is that Garen's options are very straight forward. This is what makes him an absolute monster in low elo (until Diamond 3) and a very bad champion in high elo (above Diamond 4). Garen is a stat checker. In fact, Garen is not just a stat checker - he is the #1 stat checker in the game. Garen's base stats and mid game scaling are one of the best in the game. Almost no champion can straight up 1v1 Garen if Garen is able to get on top of them. Garen does one thing and one thing only: you fight someone and if you're stronger than they are, you win. In high elo enemies kite around your cooldowns, understand not to go near you at low hp, have wards to prevent flanking, supports help adcs much better. All these issues are not relevant in low elo.
Garen is one of the few champions that, when played correctly (and remember this isn't difficult), can straight up 1v1 Jax, Master Yi, Yasuo, Irelia and others. The only exception being Tryndamere.
- Rune Page
- Rune page 2
There are two ways to play Garen: conqueror or phase rush. I recommend to never play the phase rush style below diamond. Your opponents are not good enough for you to need phase rush. As stated before, Garen is a stat checker. The aim of this guide is not to make Garen viable in high elo. It is for you to win (and win hard) in low elo. We don't need to use some janky solution (phase rush) to make Garen viable in high elo, because that is not the purpose of this guide.
Your only choice is whether you want to take conditioning (better scaling) or second wind (better laning). Second wind is a must-have in some matchups (like Darius, because his bleed triggers second wind). Choose whether you want armour or magic resist as well based on the champion you are laning against. These runes work in mid lane and top lane.
- Summoner spells
There is only one choice: ignite and flash. You could definitely argue that versus certain champions (Tryndamere, Fiora, Darius) it is very beneficial to take ghost and ignite or ghost and flash. This aim of this guide is to get you from whatever division you are in to Diamond 3 or 4. This guide will not work for you above Diamond 4. By playing Garen you will learn to understand the game at a much higher level, opening up other champions.
- Skill Path
Once again, there are no alternatives. Sometimes you can take e level 1 to kill 3 creeps at the same time vs a ranged champion after which you go back into the brush. Everything in this guide is set in stone: no difficult runes, summoners or skill path decisions. It's simply not needed.
- Item set
Always take Berserker's Greaves. You are playing Garen to carry the game. These shoes increase dps massively.
Mortal reminder is optional: it's very good to take it, but you will also have enough damage to oneshot someone with deadman's plate. Choose between deadmans and mortal reminder. Don't skip them both for force of nature because your damage will be too low.
Force of nature is better than Spirit Visage most of the time, because of the movement speed.
Last item: when you get to six items, Garen will become a very bad champion. The last item can be anything: Sterak's, Black Cleaver, Warmog's, Randuin's, Thornmail, Guardian Angel, Spirit visage, Death's Dance, etc.
Thornmail is generally bad on Garen because he cannot use the 60% grievous wounds.
Before we even look at matchups, the most important thing is to understand how to play Garen. The truth is, as with every champion, that you have to play the champion quite a few times to get a feeling for it. Almost every guide pretends than after reading or watching it, you'll understand the champion. But the reality is that you won't. You have to play Garen against every champion multiple times before you know how much damage you do, how much damage they do, and what to do in the matchup or even the scenario (how do you play vs Tristana in a teamfight vs. how do you play vs Vayne in a teamfight?).
With Garen, you have no choice but to run at your opponents. This means that unless your enemy doesn't respect you, which won't happen above bronze/silver, you can't gapclose when the enemy can see you coming. Jarvan for example, even if you see him, he can e-q into ult. Garen can only run and flash. So what is the solution? You have to abuse vision. These three bad boys are your help:
With Garen, there are multiple things you can do. If you're very fed and you want to straight up teamfight, you can be a meatshield. However, when you want to assassinate the enemy ADC, mage, or any other squishy, you have to come from where they can't see you and where they won't expect you. The only way to do is by using vision properly. If you learn this skill, you will have a massive advantage on every single champion from here on because you will understand how, when, where and why squishies get caught and lose games for their team.
Once you've located their squishy and you know they can't see you, check for their supports. If the support is someone like Nautilus or Leona and they leave the ADC alone, it's open season for you. Don't run in and tank the CC because you will most likely die.
As you will find out, there are hardly any easy matchups. This is because you are such a simple champion, literally every champion in the game can outplay you. You have to play this champion and every matchup multiple times. There is no shortcut.
I will teach you Garen. The manliest champion on the rift.