Another Episode of Lock N’ Loadout today, and I’ll be going over one of my favorite champions, Garen the Might of Demacia.
If you’re new to League, or just don’t know about his history, Garen is a sort of “poster-boy” for League of Legends. He is famed for his ability to spin, and it’s often accompanied by the word “DEMACIA!!!” All in all, Garen is a GREAT beginner champion for anyone, and can also be used effectively by veterans as well.
Garen is meant to be played as a tanky dps, he has high natural sustain from his passive, and also gets a boost to his armor and magic resistance from Courage’s passive. Garen is hard to get out of lane and hits extremely hard, as well as being a difficult target to slow or focus. Although he lacks hard CC, his silence alone makes up for it by disrupting the casting of enemy abilities. The critting abilities of Judgement and Decisive strike can whittle down enemy health and set up for his ultimate, which is great for finishing enemies, and is a powerful bait mechanism. At low health you can bait another low health enemy into attacking you and then ultimate them to get the kill. When played effectively, Garen can be a threat all game and a dangerous one at that.
A little while ago, Garen was reworked into being one of the biggest top-lane threats in the game. Although his spin lost the ability to remove crowd control, his Decisive Strike gained a lot of utility, while Judgement received much better damage that now scales into late game. Garen is also one of the few manaless champions, but along with Katarina, is purely cooldown based.
Perserverance (Passive): If not attacked by an enemy tower or champion in the last 9 seconds, Garen regenerates .5% of his maximum health per second. This passive in my opinion is one of the best in game, waiting 9 seconds gives you regeneration similar to a potion early game, and when stacked with Warmogs, you can heal rediculous amounts of damage. The key to staying in lane is to get your passive up and staying out of range of enemy harass so they do not prevent this from coming up.
Decisive Strike: The skill of all utilities, Garen removes all slows, gets a movespeed boost, increased damage, and a silence all in one. This is a definite level 1 ability and second to be maxed after Judgement. It is great for initiations and poke as well as escapes thanks to the ability to remove slows. It is an awesome kiting ability, letting you outrun slower enemies at no cost but cooldown. Its also capable of crits.
Courage: Armor and Magic Resistances passively increased by 20%, when activated Garen gets damage and crowd control % reduction. Courage is a strong ability, which can reduce tons of damage to hardly any damage in only a few seconds. It reduces all CC, and makes Garen deceptively tanky early game. Just the other day I survived and assisted in two kills when I was ganked in my lane by activating this skill at the last minute, and then used Judgement to kite while my jungler cleaned up the opposing champions. You want to max this last, but put an early point in for the passive.
Judgement: Demacia! Kind of! Garen doesnt actually yell “Demacia” durimg this ability (its actually during Courage), but this is the icon of his kit. Garen uses his sword to spin in a small area around him, dealing damage in a series of strikes and is able to crit with this as well. This ability gives you strong earlygame and tons of damage per second. It can really burn out enemies fast if they get caught, and is good to follow up after Decisive Strike. The Crits can really hurt an enemy if you get lucky.
Demacian Justice (Ultimate): Summons a giant sword from the sky to do base magic damage with a %of enemy missing health as additional damage. This move is extremely powerful in finishing targets, but never use it as an initiator. Demacian Justice is great for clean up kills, especially on whimpy AD carries or AP mids, but is also good for killing tanks as well. Demacian Justice is great for baiting or ambushes, and try not to 1v1 without it.
Build Usage: Garen is flat out Tanky DPS with a primary focus on critting. At the start of the game, I like to use Dorans Shield for all of the amazing synergy it gives, especially the passive for if you get harased. The first two items should be Boots and Avarice Blade, and Avarice Blade has so much synergy its not even funny. You get a nice chance to crit along with passive gold and additional gold for farming. Judgement can do unbelievable amounts of damage and farm just from this item. Next, your objective is making Black Cleaver, which absolutely shreds through enemies and provides decent health. Warmogs is the next one, giving you amazing health and stacks with your passive. Now the choice is dependant on the game, if the enemy ADC is being a nuisence, get thornmail or guardian angel, if the AP carry is bursting, get Spirit Visage for even more sustain. Sunfire Cape or Frozen Mallet are also solid choices, so make the decision accordingly.
Skill Usage: Use Decisive Strike whenever you can when not in lane, it gives you the speed to get you where you need to be. Decisive Strike is also good for farming with last hits, but try to save it in lane for either harass or escape. Judgement is famed for being good in brush, and it is very true that you can catch enemies off guard. Use Courage when you are getting attacked, it saves a lot of pain from abilities as well. Finally, save your ultimate for fragile targets, and try to have it up before any initiation.
Masteries: For masteries, I go 1/29 for the unbelivable durability and slow/tenacity reductions. The 5% tower damage reduction is great for tower diving, so you can run in and get a kill with minimal damage. I put the 1 point into the Exhaust and Ignite mastery, because it allows you to heavily bait and damage early game top laners or escape from enemy junglers.
Runes: Health Quints, Armor Pen reds, Armor yellows, Magic Resist per level Blues. All of these give Garen a lot of early game power that holds in late game as well.
Well thats about it for this episode of Lock N Loadout! For anyone new and old to LoL, Garen is a solid choice in any situation and is my favorite Demacian! See you on the Fields of Justice. On the Next Episode: Far Cry 3!