Garen is in my opinion the strongest champion to play in the top lane. In the late game he can sustain so much damage that he can take out a turret alone.
One of his main advantages is the ability to get the extra speed with his Q to engane, pursue or to fall back in case the enemy appears by surprise.
Let’s see how to play Garen and move your way up to the Master League.
1. Runes: Here you just need to get as much HP as you can. I always prefer the Scalling HP runes because after level 10 they provide much more HP than the regular HP runes. Sure in the beginning you have much less HP but in the beginning you will be focused just on farming and not on champion kills.
2. Masteries: Garen needs masteries that gives him more HP, HP regen, gold and also some extra movement speed.
Don’t waste masteries that cure or give more attack, it’s not worth is because Garen currently does not have any healing spell and his attack damage per second is average at most. Where he shines is the ability to take the damage.
Here you really need to pay attention to what you are doing. Focus on defense only. Don’t waste gold on attack items. Sure you can see some Garens on the game with an offensive build and doing lots of damage, but that’s the exception. You don’t want a Garen with “plastic armor”. You want a Garen who can sustain so much damage that he can hold the entire team against up to 5 enemy Champions.
The first item you should buy is the Doran’s Shield. The extra HP regen and the damage blocked is great to sustain damage since the beginning of the game to be able to farm more minions without having to recall and go to the base.
The second item are the boots of movement speed. Garen moves slowly so as soon as you can speed him up.
The third item should be upgraded boots to whatever the most powerful enemy Champions is build. If the most powerful enemy champion is doing AD get the Ninja Tabi, otherwise get the Mercury Threads.
The fourth item is very simple, it must be the Warmog’s Armor. Once you get this tem you don’t need to go to the base “anymore” because Garen with the help of his passive will be able to recover his entire health in less than 15 seconds, anytime. Since he does not have or use mana, then you will probably only need to go to the base later just to buy some more items, not to recover HP or Mana.
The fifth item should be the Deadman’s Plate. This item’s best advantage is the ability to give Garen a nice boost of movement speed with 100 stacks. This will make Garen more engaging in the battles, will make him a harder target to hit and will also help greatly to the fall back in case you are caught by surprise.
The sixth and seventh item (after selling the Doran’s Shield) will depend mostly on whatever enemy champion is the strongest. Always counter the strongest champion because that champion is the only one that can make a quadra or pentakill. Weak Champions can’t do much against Garen even if he does not have armor to fight them.