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How to Counter Nasus with Garen

Welcome to how to counter Nasus with Garen. Nasus loves to take walks in the top lane without getting into any trouble for the first 15 minutes, making sure he gets as many stacks as he needs to start his infamous 3v1ing. Beating Nasus as Garen is going to be all about crunching down his stacks for as long as possible.

Quick Tips

  1. Prevent the dog from being unleashed by blocking his Q stacks early
  2. Don’t let him poke you and cancel your passive with his E by not standing with your minions when he uses his E to last hit
  3. Try to find ways to spread an early lead because Nasus will spike mid-game
Champion Counters does not condone animal abuse, but it sure will feel like it after you’ve read this article and applied its techniques.

This video covers the basics of Nasus’s kit and general tips of how to play against Nasus.

Nasus vs Garen: Early Game

No Stacking Allowed!

Throughout the whole laning phase, never forget your primary objective: Nasus must NOT stack. You need to be able to freeze the wave, and to do that you need to have a stronger presence. To have a stronger presence against Nasus as Garen, you need to be at least even or better. Garen fairs better than Nasus until the big dog gets 1 or 2 full items and 300 stacks. After that he will become more of a menace. 


Not only does freezing the wave stop Nasus from stacking, it could help you set up a gank too. Nasus’s vulnerability to ganks is at its greatest from level 1-5, but you can still pull successful ganks off thereafter as long as you’re keeping your farm up and his stacks down. Jungle pressure will play an essential role in keeping Nasus off stacks. A silly Nasus will try to harass you with his E. Just heal up with your passive. To make his E working against him stand close to your minions so he clears his wave when he activates it. This will help with freezing.

Don’t push the wave

You might think that pushing the wave under the tower is the best course of action against Nasus. Not true. A good Nasus can stack well under tower. Pushing the minions towards him will only let him get more stacks. Freezing is the better option because it denies more farm and it leaves him open to ganks. It also makes the lane much safer for you. Nasus might call his jungler over for a gank. If you’ve pushed the lane all the way in you’ll be an easy pick.

Don’t use E to clear

Never use E to clear waves! It will destroy your freeze. When using E against Nasus, make sure he is the enemy closest to you. It will do 25% extra damage. Be careful of when you use your E to trade because you might take out Nasus’s wave in the process. Nasus can counter your E with a Wither. To make sure you get as much damage with your E out as possible, E Nasus when his W is down, or just after you have silenced him with your Q. 

Max Q and trade often. This is not a farm lane, you have to make use of your early advantage.
Nasus’s Q vs Garen’s Q

It’s important to know how your silence interacts with Nasus’s Q. Nasus gets quadruple as many stacks from cannon minions. They are the minions you have to focus most on denying. Since Nasus’s Q is an auto attack modifier, it will not get canceled if you silence him after he activates it. A clever Nasus will prep his Q before you can silence him, specifically for cannon minions. Luckily, not every Nasus goes to puppy training. If Nasus is careless you can silence him just before activates his Q to stack a cannon minion and chuck his precious 12 stacks down the drain. When cannon minions aren’t play, you can still use Q to deny his stacks.

Blocking Qs with Ws

The 2 tips above are great reasons to max Q instead of E. In trades there is a great chance that the damage of your E is going to be hindered by a Wither. If he uses Wither to slow you down once you’ve Ed, he’s spending mana and a long cooldown. When running Nasus down, you have to activate your W before he Withers or the tenacity won’t reduce the duration of the slow. However, in fights you need to make sure you use the short lasting shield to block his Q. Using W to block his Qs will also help you out in trades.

Ignite and Flash

In terms of summoners the best option here is Ignite. You need to be getting an early lead, and the best summoner to help you do it is the ol’ hot and burny one. Take flash too. The second best option after ignite. 

It’s imperative that you use any lead you gained to help out across the map. Get herald, and gank mid. Nasus can only be stalled for so long. 

Items and runes

Conqueror or maybe Grasp

Garen is one of the best champions for Conqueror in the game. His E makes stacking it simple. It scales well, provides damage and healing. It is a great option for Garen in almost any match up. The second option would be Grasp of the Undying. It will work well for Maxd Q trades. Take Conqueror if your team needs the scaling, or Grasp if you’re going tank.

Divine Sunderer, Stridebreaker, Sunfire

Your build as Garen in this matchup is going to come down to how the game and team comps are shaping. Divine Sunderer is always a good mythic on Garen into tanky teams which need max hp damage to be taken down. It will also work against Nasus who is most often built tank. If they’re more squishy and you’re going to need movement speed consider Stridebreaker instead. If your team is squishy you can play the role of tank with Either Sunfire or Turbo Chemtank. Overall Garen’s mythic options are not limited but you should try synergize your mythic with your keystone. Grasp? – Tank mythic. Conqueror? Bruiser mythic.

More on how to build Garen.

Mid-Late Game

Around 20-25 minutes 1v1ing Nasus is going to be a different story. If the game goes on there’s nothing you can do to stop him from getting his items and stacks. You can only delay it. 

Once the inevitable has come, stick with your ranged friends and try to get them to kite Nasus instead of going for straight on fights. You can execute him with your ult once he’s low enough. Standard Nasus has negligible damage besides his Q. As long as he isn’t on top of your ADC they’re safe. Otherwise, do you part in soaking up damage and getting to the enemy ADC so you can take them out of the game before Nasus has anything to bark about it.

Final thoughts

Garen has upper hand in this lane. Nasus will only be a problem once he has his stacks. Freeze, trade, get an early lead and spread it. You need to keep the stacks away from him, even if he hits you with doggy eyes. Stay true to this article and you’ll be sweeping top lane clean of any Nasus bold enough to challenge you.

If other lanes are giving you trouble, we’ve covered plenty of match ups involving Garen, including Mordekaiser, Teemo, Darius, Aatrox and Wukong. If you’re having trouble with other match ups unrelated to Garen, we might have covered those too!

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