Best Garen Build Guide | Runes | Spells | Items in League of Legends

Though Garen does not have a high skill-ceiling, it’s still a beloved top lane champion that can carry games in his own right.

Updated on Sep 11, 2023
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Best Garen Build Guide | Runes | Spells | Items in League of Legends

Garen is one of the oldest League of Legends champions, being released 12 years ago by Riot Games. These are the best Garen build, runes, spells, items League of Legends can offer him, and his greatest counters.

Best Garen Build

Garen is a top-lane bruiser, with an extremely simple kit. His strong base stats though, especially his sustain, keeps him in the running. His kit can be used optimally by even beginner Garen players.


Best Garen Runes

Garen’s early game is built around taking short trades with his Q ability, however, the precision tree allows him to take far more advantage of that time.

With his E ability, Garen stacks the Conqueror Keystone incredibly quickly, making any trade work far more in his favor.

Best Rune Path



Best Keystone


Best Slot 1 (Rune)


Nimbus Cloak

Best Slot 2 (Rune)

Legend: Tenacity


Best Slot 3 (Rune)

Last Stand

Triumph is the only rune in this row that Garen actually uses, as he has no mana, and his core build does not include lifesteal.

Legend: Tenacity, as its name implies, gives Garen tenacity. It is the only one Garen can make use of, as well.

The Last Stand rune, of course, is just far more useful than the other two, as Garen will almost always have more health than his opponents.

His secondary Rune Tree is chosen to give Garen as much movement speed as possible, as he has no dash in his kit.

Best Garen Rune Shards

Garen’s early game trades depend on him having enough adaptive force to be able to snowball the lane into a lead.

Best Rune Shards



+9 Adaptive Force


+9 Adaptive Force


+6 Armor

The final Rune Shard is a defensive one, and is usually Armor. Garen already stacks armor with his W ability, and most top lane champions you will be playing into deal physical damage regardless.

It’s situational, however, so make sure to keep track of who your laner is, whether they are dealing physical damage or magical.

Best Garen Spells

When it comes to Summoner Spells, there are only a few champions who are managing League of Legends trials, without using Flash. Those are Shaco or Tryndamere. For Garen, Flash is a must-have, as Garen has no escape potential with no dashes, and Flash is, without a doubt, the best Summoner Spell in the game, overall, anyway.

Best Spells




Ignite, on the other hand, is the usual pick for champions that need the extra damage to secure early game kills. And Garen top needs it to be a threat to an enemy champion.


Best Garen Abilities Order

Garen’s only form of CC is his Q ability, which silences the enemy Garen attacks once activated. However, it’s his E ability that Garen maximizes first.

His E is Garen’s only form of AoE damage and his main form of wave clear. Additionally, his Runes synergize well with his E ability, it also becomes his main damage dealer, with his Q - Decisive Strike used to start a fight.


Garen’s W is the last one to be leveled in Garen’s skill order, getting its final two levels after your ultimate.

However, you are not to underestimate this ability, as it offers damage reduction against enemy abilities, and using it to stop the next attack in the early game is as useful as the armor it gives in the mid and late game.

Best Garen Items

Garen’s kit all boils down to high movement speed, and the damage a tank should not have. So his items reflect that, in everything he builds.

Best Starter Garen Items

Doran’s Shield is the only starting item Garen takes when the game begins. There is no alternative, as it works well with his own pbuttive ability.

First Item

Second Item

Doran’s Shield

Health Potion

Best Mid Game Garen Items

In the mid-game, if you’ve played the laning phase correctly, your core build should be ready. It consists of a non-negotiable Stridebraker as a Mythic Item, for the burst damage, Berserker’s Greaves, and Mortal Reminder.

First Item

Second Item

Third Item


Berserker’s Greaves

Mortal reminder

Stridebreaker allows Garen to catch up with enemies, and then keep up with them with its active and pbuttive abilities, while the other two only compound to those stats, with some additional things such as anti-healing.


Best Final Late Game Garen Items

Winning as Garen all comes down to how quickly you get to the late game, before others do. And if you know that Garen is not a pure tank like Ornn, to do everything head-on and frontline for the whole team fight.

First Item

Second Item

Third Item

Fourth Item

Fifth Item

Sixth Item


Berserker’s Greaves

Mortal Reminder

Dead Man’s Plate

Force of Nature

Black Cleaver

The Dead Man’s Plate is an item that allows Garen to basically just Q+R a squishy ADC, while Force of Nature allows him to be in team fights longer.

And, while Black Cleaver used to be a situational item before, with the durability update giving all champions increased Armor, it has become a necessity.

Strongest Champions Against Garen

When it comes to Garen’s counters, those would be the champions that don’t allow him to easily bully them early game, while scaling incredibly well into the late game, such as Kayle and Mordekaiser, or like Yorick, who uses every Garen’s roam, to take half the base.


Win Rate %








Weakest Champions Against Garen

Garen is a lane bully, to a certain type of champion. And it is against those that he excels. Those champions would be champions such as Yone, who can’t match Garen in early game damage, or Malphite, who can’t ever kill him.


Win Rate %








It’s these enemies that those who play Garen like the most, and dealing a killing blow to them is easy enough to do, by following this highest win rate Garen guide.

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