Ok, ok I’ll stop with these bad LoL puns as titles. Only after this post though. It’s weird how I post the least about the game I’m playing the most, so I set out to remedy that. What follows is a bit of score flaunting but mostly just me explaining what I’ve been up to lately. And yeah, it has to do with Garen.
I really like playing beefy melee dps. I’ve done quite good in the past with squishy ranged carries like Brand, Vayne, Ashe or even Vlad (who is a beefy carry and overpowered really) and maybe even squishy support like Sona (who is awesome but mind-numbingly easy to play), but in the end I always come back to beefy mdps or tanks.
My first champion purchase was Pantheon, who was disappointingly hard to play for a noob like me, but later I found out he is terribly ineffective late game and has several other issues (his dps is too item reliant which forces him to choose between damage or durability, more so than other melee) that make him less than an attractive pick. I haven’t played him in ages now, but I’ve seen others do better than I used to, so I’ll have to give him a whirl soon.
Then I bought Renekton because he was awesome (and he still is). He is incredibly powerful early game but doesn’t scale as well as most other melee AD later in the game. I still love him but his limited late game dps means that the only way to be really useful to the team is to play him as a tank, and I believe there are champions much better suited to that role.
That’s when I stumbled upon this awesome spinning guy. I played him to bits when he was free and knew that I have to buy him sometime in the future. I was planning on first upgrading all my runes to T3 but caved in after a few weeks of bad tanks in rotation, because most of the time I’m forced to play a tank if I want to win any games at all (if I lock in a non-tank there’s an 80% chance we’ll end up without a tank, which is as good as an automatic loss).
So in case you don’t know anything about Garen, let me enlighten you. He lurks in the bushes, is super annoying, moderately tough and can really screw up your day when paired with a proper laning partner. Let’s start at the beginning.
- His passive ability, Perseverance, regenerates 0.5% of Garen’s health per second when he’s not hit for 7 seconds and breaks on damage. This is the reason why he’s so annoying. He can harass you to half health and even if you did an equal amount of damage to him he can just go hide in a bush and come out with full hp a minute later. And you never, ever chase Garen into a bush, because of the following abilities…
- His Q, Decisive Strike, not only scales amazingly with AD (each point adds 1.5 damage), hits like a ton of bricks early game, gives him a speed boost, but also silences for 2.5 seconds.
- His W, Courage, is an awesome ability to counter burst when timed well. It reduces all incoming damage by a percentage (35% at level 5) for three seconds. It also has a passive portion that permanently increases armor/magic resistance by 0.5 every time Garen kills a creep and stacks 5/10/15/20/25 times. Needless to say, this gives him quite a bit of survivability.
- His E is what Garen is really known for, Judgement. That’s the spinning thing that scales with AD and crit (as I understand it the ability doesn’t crit but the crit damage is distributed across the ticks). If the enemy eats all three of your ticks it’s some serious damage, especially early game. It also removes all snares from Garen and reduces the duration of any new ones by half. This, coupled with Decisive Strike’s speed boost or Ghost means that he’s almost impossible to catch and kill. Unless you have a few stuns/roots/knockups or a suppression at hand you won’t kill him unless he’s very low.
- And then there’s the glorious ultimate – Demacian Justice. Its animation is a giant sword descending on your target and the effect is similarly epic. It deals quite a bit of magical damage and then additional damage for the health the target is missing. Which makes it a perfect execution move with the challenge being on estimating correctly when is the earliest you can use it and still kill the target, so you get the most damage you can out of it with as little of overkill as possible.
All of those combined mean that you can either build Garen as a tank, stacking survivability, using the silence to control the battlefield (silencing mages, interrupting ultimates, saving teammates) and gaining “aggro” from Judgement dealing respectable damage in addition to the always present fear of your ultimate. Or you can just stack attack damage and crit and destroy the opposition.
Whichever route you choose, Garen’s early game is what will give you the upper hand in the game, because it’s extremely strong. The only thing you need to do is pick your laning partner carefully and remember that the bush is your friend. Pick someone with a disable and spin to win. Forget about last hitting and allow your partner to get the creeps, but don’t push to the tower because there you won’t be able to zone out the enemy or get easy kills. Just park yourself in the bush (carefully in the middle if the opposition has poking skills) and sprint out shouting DEMACIA! whenever they overextend. And they will overextend, because no one likes sitting by the tower doing nothing.
If you aren’t destroying your lane early game then you need to pick a different laning partner, switch lanes or learn how to play.
Now as for why Garen is so annoying, here are a few examples:
- You’re happily laning when suddenly a wild Garen appears from the tall grass. You get silenced so you can’t flash away, his laning partner roots/stuns/suppresses/knocks you up and Garen whirlwinds you to death. Shit!
- You’re struggling to get a few creep kills and get in range for experience when laning against Garen, so you exchange damage hoping you can wear him down and finish him off. He always retreats to the bush though and comes back healthy as ever. You finally have enough of his shenanigans, get your ultimate ready and charge into the bush, where you get silenced, beat on with a high velocity sword and ultied to death. Shit!
- You finally catch Garen alone with a few team mates, you snare him but he activates Judgement, Decisive Strike/Ghost and runs away at the speed of a Concorde. Shit!
- You barely escape from a fight with 20% of your hitpoints left, running by a bush a wild Garen jumps out yelling DEMACIA! and executes you with Demacian Justice. Shit!
- You’re barely getting any kills and when you are finally about to get one a wild Garen appears and steals the kill with his ultimate. Shit! Oh wait…
Yeah, I like Garen.