My name is MinnitMann, and this is a series regarding certain champions that I (and others) feel are misunderstood when it comes to “viability” and tier-listing in the public eye.
I will be talking with high elo players that have dedicated time and energy to play these champions at a high level in solo queue, and try to let their voices be heard regarding how and why they succeed using them.
As someone who plays Garen on a spotty basis, I think I somewhat agree with most players in that he works but is far from “viable” in the traditional sense. He has a great kit and amazing fun factor, but to most people he is nothing more than a simplistic bruiser who is out-shined by pretty much all the alternatives at a high level when it comes to top lane fighters (Jax, Riven, Gnar and Irelia mainly).
He’s easy to pick up and play, but when you think about it that connotation is a “scarlet letter” of sorts that makes most people think he’s just some easy champ with no real mechanical skill or depth. Upon a closer look, one will see that Garen is much more than some out-of-date bruiser, especially in the newer seasons of the game where item changes give him more options and power to succeed.
I believe he is underplayed because of this “low skill floor, as well as skill ceiling” mindset that players assign to him. He has much more potential to flourish than anyone really notices, and he is prime for a resurgence in solo-queue to any people willing to take the time to learn his true intricacy.
Top laners are usually cut from Garen’s cloth regardless. What makes a top laner? Survivability? Garen’s hard to take down for sure. Sustain? His passive is a fantastic sustain tool. Farming power? He’s got one spell wave clear at the ready. Dueling potential? Just try 1v1-ing him post-6, go ahead. My point here is that Garen has some underutilized potential that we don’t truly see from the surface. You have to look past the old days of S1 Sunfire stacking and even look beyond the sea of bruisers that have surpassed him in popularity to find a pretty damn good champion with lots of carry potential.
What the average player thinks about Garen
- “Babies first bruiser, lol”
- “Why not just play Gnar or someone more useful…”
- “Falls off a Mount Olympus sized cliff late game”
- “lololollo pick teemo and beat him for free”
- “Bush camping bastard”
- “WTF SILENCE” – Riven player
With these things in mind, here is an interview I conducted with one of the best Garen mains in the world, MarineRevenge. He is a Diamond1/Masters level player who was (at multiple points) ranked as the #1 Garen in the world by several ranking sites such as LoLSkill and OP.GG. He currently streams and still plays copious amounts of Garen on his stream, trying to get better and reclaim his title as the one true Garen God.
The following is a time stamp list of the interview for those who wish to only listen to certain parts. Further, I will be writing out some excerpts and comments below for those who prefer to read the cliff-notes.
00:00 – Opening
00:50 – Who are you?
01:40 – Non-LoL related hobbies/games?
05:03 – What is your champ/role?
05:30 – Alternate champs/roles?
06:40 – When and how did you start playing League?
07:30 – What is your plan? Where are you going right now with the game?
09:20 – Summarize Garen. Who is he from your perspective?
10:50 – How do you feel about others perception of Garen? Are they wrong/right?
13:00 – How do you feel about Season 5 in general?
14:30 – How do you feel the about Season 5 relating to Garen?
15:30 – Who does Garen excel against? Who does he have trouble against?
17:20 – What should a Garen player keep paramount in their mind to win games?
19:30 – What is Garen’s biggest pitfall? What can you do to work around this weakness?
22:00 – What is something you learned after so many games playing Garen?
23:40 – Shout-outs, comments, chatting about Garen and streaming
27:30 – What is another champion you think people aren’t noticing/playing that has potential?
Interview TL;DW Excerpts
(These are paraphrased)
“Garen has some extremely high-scaling DPS….Amazing all in….His kit gives him tankiness, but he’s more of an anti-carry”
“People have the mindset that Garen is some kind of tank champion, but he’s not. He should almost always emphasize offense despite his bruiser nature”
“Scales with crit, one of the highest multiplicative damage stats in the game….no other bruiser does so.”
“People see him as a tank….true, but not really….Can’t initiate or lock down someone like a real tank”
“Garen builds a little defense, but is just as tanky as the guy who built a lot of defense”
“Using flash to secure kills is important. Without flash, Garen has no engage or the ability to really land his key spells….”
“In terms of raw stat scaling, Garen is probably the best champion in the game.”
“No matter who he’s up against….Equal items? Equal gold? Garen is always stronger (in melee range at least).”
“Using flash to secure kills is extremely important. Without flash, Garen has no engage or the ability to really land his key spells….”
“Garen’s 100% all-in is stronger than most champion’s by a pretty wide margin”
“I try not to ever use flash defensively on Garen…If you have to take a death to save flash, it’s always worth. Think ahead about your flash, it’s better as a dive spell than a safety spell”
“Don’t rule out Ghostblade or Shiv. Movespeed is great, don’t undersell it”
THANKS FOR READING!