Galio has been picked up by pros all around the world both in mid and in the support role, due to his damage, tankiness, presence in lane and team fights, and his ability to quickly and efficiently engage team fights. G2 Esports’ Mihael "Mikyx" Mehle and Fnatic’s Zdravets "Hylissang" Iliev Galabov, though rivals on the Rift, have a great love for Galio in common, and both of them stepped up to provide us with their insight on the Colossus.
"People were slow to realise that Galio support is actually OP, but now they've figured it out and picked it up."
Galio support doesn’t have a lot of weaknesses. For one, although his base damages are quite high in the early game, his damage falls off pretty sharply after laning phase, since he doesn’t build AP when he’s support. Furthermore, he has a problem that Leona or Thresh players can relate to. Once Galio engages with his E, and he‘s in the thick of a fight, it’s impossible for him to leave without spending his spells.
"He’s not very mobile, he can’t get out of a sticky situation except ulting out or flashing."
Aftershock is the best choice for Galio, as well as every support that gets up close and personal when fighting. Your knock-up and taunt will both activate it, so it’s guaranteed to pop up in fights. In tier one, you can opt for Demolish if you’re paired with a non-traditional ADC like Cassiopeia or Vladimir. In tier two, another option is Second Wind, which is a good pick when you expect heavy poke in laning phase.
"Galio needs Aftershock. It makes him unkillable for two seconds and it’s on a low cooldown."
Inspiration is the best choice for your secondary runes. Minion Dematerializer works well with Galio since he always gets Relic Shield. With these two you can really help your ADC push out the lane and then potentially look for getting some advantages in other lanes. For your rune, you can opt for either Stopwatch, Magical Footwear or Cosmic Insight. The cooldown reduction and free boots are always helpful, but Stopwatch is a more versatile rune because it opens up a lot of options for you. You can play in a much more risky fashion; you can take dives and survive otherwise fatal ganks.
Flash and Ignite are the staple support picks and the best options for Galio. You will rely on Flash to execute some combos and get out of sticky situations. Ignite will up your kill potential in lane.
PASSIVE: Colossal Smash
Galio’s auto-attacks deal extra magic damage every eight seconds, but the CD is reduced by four seconds anytime he hits a champion with an ability. This passive shouldn’t be underestimated, and you should always remember to insert some auto-attacks during skirmishes, especially early game.
Hylissang and Rekkles get a quick 2v2 kill bot lane at level 5.
Q: Winds of War
Galio throws out two gusts of winds that combine in the middle and deal damage to people in the area. Although a very strong poking tool, this ability really eats your mana so be moderate when using it.
W: Shield of Durand
This is kind of like your bread and butter. The bread is the 20-40 percent damage reduction you receive while your W is channelling. The butter is the AoE taunt at the end of the channel. This ability is a great for peeling and engaging and works best in conjunction with your E, Justice Punch.
E: Justice Punch
This is your only gap closer and you’ll primarily be using it for engage. It will help you close the gap between yourself and a target of your choosing, making it possible for you to taunt them. Situationally it can be used as an escape, but Galio will do a small dash backwards before going forward which can make you collide with an enemy early on and never reach the full length of the ability.
"E backwards knocks them towards your teammates and it’s faster and unexpected. Enemies really get caught by surprise by it."
R: Hero’s Entrance
Although somewhat useless in a 2v2 situation (you can’t leave your ADC stranded for 1.25 seconds) this ability is great for roaming or for joining team fights from a long distance away. Upon landing, you will knock every enemy up in a (very large) radius, which is a great set up for your allies who may be waiting to CC lock or burst them while they’re immobilized.
Hylissang leaps in and saves Broxah with the knock-up on his ultimate.
W – Flash
This is a pretty straightforward combo. Once you begin charging your W, you can Flash onto an enemy without it being interrupted. This can take enemies by surprise and it still leaves your E up for a follow-up to their flash.
Mikyx’s W – Flash secures a kill on Yasuo for G2.
W – Flash – AA – E backwards – Q – AA
This is your full combo. Once you pull off the W Flash combo, you should E the enemy but E backwards, that is, E facing away from the enemy. E-ing like this is a lot faster than E-ing forward and less expected. Because your abilities reset your passive, be sure to weave your auto-attacks into this combo to reach maximum damage.
Hylissang W – Flash – E’s Ezreal, leaving him no time to react at all.
"E backwards gives them less time to react, and is better if they have tenacity, than E forward."
Maxing Q is a common mistake when playing Galio support. Extra points in Q will increase its mana cost (which is bad for Galio, who doesn’t have a lot of mana) but only lower the CD by 0.5 seconds and only increase the damage by 70. Conversely, maxing W will decrease the CD by 1.5 seconds, won’t change the mana cost and increase the damage by only 10 less. You will also get increase damage reduction from your W, which is super helpful both in lane and team fights. After W, you should opt to max E second since it’s more important after laning phase than your Q.
"Maxing Q is a rookie mistake. W max is always better."
Relic Shield is the quintessential starting item for a melee support. It gives you some nice stats and the ability to heal your ADC and help him push out the lane. Pick up two health potions to help yourself stay healthy in lane. It’s important to try to keep your health up, because you will not be able to engage if you’re too low, considering you don’t have an easy way to leave a fight once you start it.
On your first back, aim to get Targon’s Brace and Boots (if you didn’t take Magical Footwear) as well as one-two Control Wards. You should always opt to get two Control Wards on each back according to LEC pro supports. Most of the time you will want to get Mercury’s Treads as your tier two boots because it’ll make it harder for enemies to peel you off their carries and stop your engages. If the enemy team doesn’t have a lot of CC or is full-AD, you can opt for Ninja Tabi instead.
Your first big items will be Eye of the Equinox, which will increase your ward capacity and give you some nice stats, and Redemption. In addition to granting you great stats, Redemption is also beneficial for your whole team as it can make or break a team fight, if used in a timely manner.
There are a lot of different items you can finish your build with. Against enemies with lots of burst or magic damage, Locket of the Iron Solari is a great choice. Zeke’s Convergence and Knight’s Vow are items that you essentially build for your ADC’s sake. If you are a more team fight oriented team, and you have a crit ADC, Zeke’s can be more beneficial. Righteous Glory or Shurelya’s Reverie can make your engages a bit more deadly, or your disengages more swift.
"Knight’s Vow is better for more peel and Zeke’s for stronger team fighting."
All in all, Galio fares quite well in lane because there aren’t a lot of very difficult match-ups. Because of his Q and his natural tankiness, you can fend off ranged supports just as well as melee supports. As early on as level three, you are capable of killing the enemy support or ADC if you can get your combo off on them. You should be quite relentless in lane because your early game is very strong – you are already tanky, your base damages are quite high – and also because your damage will fall off pretty quickly. If you drop the ball in lane, it’ll be hard for you to do well mid and late game.
"If you don’t do well in lane you're just kind of a W+E bot, stuck trying to peel for your ADC and nothing else."
Common mistakes are spamming your Q too much and using your E too carelessly. Your E generates a lot of pressure on the enemy ADC and support, who will be wary of your sudden engages. Once it’s on CD, they’ll be looking to play more aggressively.
"Once you use your E and you don’t hit it, enemies have a window to punish you."
If you’re doing poorly, be patient and ask for ganks. Galio is fantastic for following up ganks because of his W + Flash. It’s almost impossible to dodge and it can easily be followed up by more CC from your jungler or ADC.
"You’ll want to play around Galio, because usually if your jungler ganks, you can just Flash W and then E backwards and most of the time you get a free kill. He kinda needs attention."
Galio really shines in later stages of the game when team fights occur more and more frequently. You can either stick with your ADC and peel for them (especially important against assassins that you can easily taunt) or to get in the thick of the fight with your ultimate, soak up damage and dish out CC.
Mikyx spots Gragas and Kennen on a ward and keeps them both off Perkz with his W and E.
Hylissang instantly taunts Leblanc, stopping her from being able to assassinate anyone.
In conclusion, Galio is a powerhouse support with lots of damage, bulkiness and CC. He has great synergy with many champions and fits into most comps, which has made him a highly contested pick in the Spring Split.
Special thanks to Mikyx and Hylissang, who you can look forward to facing off in the Summer Split.