300 matchs with Garen. Ive played him as pure tank, as pure DPS, and the best build is as Tank/DPS, more tank than DPS. Ok, what's that? Simply, start with a long sword, Garen is one of the hardest champs in early game. He makes a lot of damage and can be hours without recalling thanks to his passive. Ok, said it, start with a long sword and a health pot. Wait til u have money enough to buy Sword of the Occult. After that, buy Swift Boots and defensive items. Defensive items depend of the other team. Most of AP? Force of nature. Most of AD? 1 Thornmail and a Randin's Omen. Brings u life and armor, and a nice active. Here's my basic build to Garen, obviously its againts a balanced team: tank, ap, and ad:
Occult is an item made for Garen, if you get it early, you can use ur principal skill (Judgment) for gain 5 of attack per champ help and 10 per champ kill (remember that skill is one of the most powerful skills in all the whole game in early game).
Ah, skill order, upgrade since the early game Judgment. After thar Courage. Judgment, judgment, judgment til u cant upgrade it again; then the only options u can upgrade will be 1 and 2, give a point to decisive strike and finish upgrading judgment, ultimate (obviously), courage and decisive strike.
Sorry for my english, I know i have to get better at it xD.