As one of League of Legends’ oldest and most iconic champions, Garen has been a strong top lane champions since the game’s inception. While he hasn’t always been the most played, his strength has been consistent throughout the years. Garen’s kit allows him to sustain a large amount of damage while also chasing down and securing takedowns on enemy champions with ease.
As with every champion in League, the player is likely going to need to build different items to suit the situation. Despite this, there are core items that are integral to making Garen as powerful as possible and increasing the player’s chance at victory.
Conqueror: Having the most health possible is going to increase the damage Garen can deal with while in combat. This rune is going to build stacks from basic attacks and spells that, when once full, will heal Garen by 15 percent of the damage he has dealt to enemy champions. Having the ability to heal like this during combat can sometimes be just enough to see Garen win duels early in the game.
Legend: Tenacity: Garen’s kit allows him to chase down his enemies with a speed increase from his Decisive Strike ability. The Legend: Tenacity rune is going to make getting to the enemy much easier as it will reduce the effects of crowd control abilities after adequate stacks have been built up.
Coup De Grace: Coup De Grace deals extra damage to enemies on low health, pairing perfectly with Garen’s ultimate to secure kills with ease.
Demolish: This rune allows Garen to charge an attack that will deal extra damage to nearby turrets. This is extremely useful for top lane champions like Garen as it allows them to push the lane at an increased pace. This rune partnered with Decisive Strike will quickly put a dent in the turret’s health bar.
Bone Plating: Bone Plating is going to increase Garen’s durability. After Garen takes damage from an enemy, the following three attacks will do reduced damage. Sometimes the effects of this can reduce the damage enough for Garen to make a quick getaway.
Bonuses: +9 adaptive force, +9 adaptive force, +6 armor
Since Garen’s abilities scale off his health, having the most health possible is the best way to play the top lane champion. Starting with a Doran’s Shield will grant him not just 80 bonus health but also regeneration and extra damage from basic attacks.
While Garen’s passive does allow him health regeneration while out of combat, having a health potion is a wise decision as you never know when you may need to heal while in combat. Health potion grants Garen 150 health over 15 seconds and will allow him to remain in lane for a longer period of time.
Trinity Force is a common item on tank-based top lane champions. This is due to the all-around stat increase the item provides not only in terms of health but also mana, attack damage, attack speed, cooldown reduction, and movement speed.
On top of all these great stat increases, for Garen, Trinity Force allows him to do extra damage after using an ability with the proc of the Sheen. Since players will be using Garen’s abilities a lot, having extra damage after each one is going to make the champion extremely powerful especially when facing low-health champions earlier in the game.
One of the items you will see in most Garen builds, Black Cleaver in perfect for the champion as it increases the three main stats that are going to help Garen most. Black Cleaver grants 400 additional health, 40 attack damage, and 20-percent cooldown reduction. These stat increases are going to make Garen more durable, powerful, and able to chain together abilities at a faster rate. On top of this, the item’s passive ability will allow Garen to deal extra damage to champions who have built armor to counter him. Finally, the item also will grant Garen bonus movement speed once he damages an enemy that will allow him to keep chase and ultimately secure the takedown.
The boots of choice for Garen are going to be Mercury’s Treads. This is due to the increased magic resist and its unique passive that will reduce the effects of crowd control abilities by 30 percent. Much like with the Legend: Tenacity rune, having more tenacity is going to increase the chances of Garen securing kills while chasing enemies.
Dead Man’s Plate
This item is going to make Garen more durable and mobile. The item boasts a stat increase of 425 health and 60 armor, and on top of this, Garen’s movement will build stacks that will in turn increase movement speed. Once Garen takes damage or crowd control effects, this movement speed will decay. Its other effect will see Garen build stacks off his basic attacks that once maxed will deal bonus damage to the enemy as well as slowing them.
Sticking to the theme of increasing Garen’s mobility, Statikk Shiv will increase the champion’s movement speed by seven percent. The item will also increase his attack speed by 40 percent and critical strike chance by 25 percent. This is going to allow Garen to trigger the effect from his other items and runes much faster. The item’s passive ability will make moving and attacking build energized attacks that will deal bonus damage to a chain of nearby enemies.
Durability is at the core of Garen’s playstyle. Spirit Visage is going to increase Garen’s health as well as grant him bonus magic resistance. The item will also substantially boost his health regeneration when paired with his passive. Finally, it will also reduce the cooldown on Garen’s abilities.