Some proposed changes for one of League of Legends' classic top-lane juggernauts, Garen, look to make the champ have a more skill-based ability when it comes to blocking incoming damage.
Garen was let loose onto the Rift way back in 2010, and though the champion has gone through some changes to bring him up to speed with the wild new champions like the upcoming Kayn, his base kit doesn't allow for a great deal of skillful decisions to be made when it comes to going head-to-head with an enemy. His spin-to-win tactics, while sometimes effective, are pretty much what the champ can be reduced to; rushing in with his Decisive Strike, shredding some armor with his Judgement, and finishing the job with some dramatic Demacian Justice are what he's best at. His damage-reducing ability, Courage, fits into that combo purely to reduce his damage whenever he fights, but that's the ability that Riot is looking to alter with the current PBE changes.
"We're testing a W change where it's got a short window where it's much more effective when first cast," said Meddler concerning the current proposed changes to Garen's Courage ability. "Goals there are to both give him a bit more power but also a bit more skill expression, with the timing on that cast mattering more. Garen's always been difficult to balance for different skill ranges and part of that's because his kit doesn't give the same degree of reward for mastery over many of its elements that other champs do. This won't fix that by itself of course, but expectation is it'll help somewhat and we'll look for similar changes for the larger changes coming later."
As Meddler explained, the suggested changes on the PBE would make Garen's Courage more impactful when used at the right time. His ability's active component currently gives him a flat 30 percent damage reduction from all incoming damage, but the changes make the damage reduction much greater at 60 percent reduction for the first 0.75 seconds after it's cast. For the remainder of the 2-second ability, his damage reduction will return to 30 percent. During that initial window, Garen will also receive 60 percent tenacity, but the tenacity will be completely gone after the 0.75-second window.
These changes will mean that a Garen will have to be more precise about when he wants to pop his W in a fight — if know a massive burst is coming and use it at the right time, you could potentially block a much greater amount of damage than you could in Garen's current state.
The exact numbers on his damage reduction have been tweaked a bit on the PBE in the past few days, so these current numbers may not be the final version of his new W should the ability make it through testing.