Players are likely to run into Garen at almost any solo queue rank in League of Legends, so it’s important to know the best way to counter him.
As a champion that was first released more than 10 years ago, Garen is a classic in LoL and every player likely knows who he is. Garen is one of the most basic champions in the game and one of the first that new players will likely pick up because of his simple kit and cheap cost. This also means that Garen is represented in many solo queue games, from players in low elo trying to learn the game to skilled one-trick Garen players at higher elo marks.
To deal with Garen in any given situation, here are the best ways to counter him.
The best way to counter Garen in League of Legends is simply to take advantage of his limited range through the use of poke. Garen is a melee champion without much mobility, which makes him an easy target for kiting. The only mobility Garen has is through Decisive Strike (Q), which gives him a boost of movement speed. Outside of that ability, Garen struggles to catch up to ranged enemies to deal damage.
With this taken into account, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Anivia and LeBlanc are some of the champions Garen perform worst against. Anivia has slows, stuns, and a wall that can keep Garen away in fights. While Anivia doesn’t have a lot of mobility herself, she is technically able to kite Garen around in any given fight.
For LeBlanc, it’s the mobility that makes her a great counter. With Distortion (W), LeBlanc always has a tool to get away from Garen if he ever manages to catch up to her. In a melee fight, Garen would likely win, so it’s important for LeBlanc to keep her distance.
Both Anivia and LeBlanc are great counters, but not necessarily strong champions in the top lane where Garen is usually picked. For more specific lane counters, both Pantheon and Rumble are great choices. These champions work well in the top lane and are big enough lane bullies to potentially shut down a Garen.
In solo queue, Garen only wins 43.6% of his games against Rumble. This is due to the fact that Rumble can bully him at early levels and control the wave. Rumble is also able to run from Garen when needed.
For Pantheon, Garen wins just 45.3% of the games, which still makes it a really tough matchup for him. Pantheon doesn’t have a lot of mobility to kite Garen around, but his base damage is simply too high for Garen to have a real chance. With Comet Spear (Q), Pantheon can poke down Garen from level one and start to control the lane. If executed correctly, Pantheon should be able to exit the laning phase with a big lead and put Garen in a tough spot for the rest of the game.
Garen is usually seen in the top lane in solo queue. Garen has always been a fitting champion in the top lane, but can also be put in the mid lane in some matchups. During patch 11.5, Garen was tracked in the top lane for almost 130,000 matches in Platinum rank and above. In the mid lane, Garen was picked 11,500 times.
Garen is a good champion in LoL, but only in certain matchups and at certain ranks. Garen is a suitable pick for anyone climbing the lower divisions, but likely won’t be a good choice at Master rank and above. Below Master rank, Garen is usually sitting at a win rate above 50% overall. This is due to the fact that Garen is a simple champion and has the potential to take over games when his opponents aren’t as coordinated.
The reason why Garen often struggles in high elo games is because of his one-dimensional playstyle. While Garen is a great champion in some situations, his kit is mostly outdated and it can be easy for opponents to abuse it. At high elo, players know how to play against a champion like Garen and will be able to kite him around before he gets to deal the damage he needs to in order to remain relevant.
The same goes for professional play, where Garen is rarely seen. This is due to the fact that Garen simply doesn’t fit in a high-skill environment where team synergy is usually on point. Most professional teams will be able to play around a Garen and shut him down right from the early stages of a game.