Garen is a safe pick, but I think he is too much of a safe pick. He can soak a lot of damage really early on, and unless you can out trade him, or out sustain him, it is hard to win a lane against him. The issue though is how much burst damage he can put out. The nerf they gave him on his Q is laughable, Garen had 54-55% win rate on OP.GG for 8.16, and this is the nerf he gets?
Wukong had 53-55% win rate in 3-4 lanes and he got hit from every angle, both damaging abilities, his main runes (domination), his core item (Duskblade)… and yet although Wukong had potential to win so many games if the enemy team was careless, he was far from being a safe pick.
Garen isn't broken, just an extremely reliable pick, and apparently Riot likes it that way. If I can't beat these favorited champions I am about to join em' lol.