Build Guide by The Shunmaster
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Intro to this guide
2/1/2012: Finished the guide! (Also a lot of edts came in, my friend did some critiquing.)
2/2/2012: Tested and allocated Promote, Locket of the Iron Solari, and Zeke's Herald.
2/3/2012: Split "Dominion Tanking 101" and "Suggested Runes" into two parts (they used to be combined as "Dominion Tanking 101 and some Runes")
2/5/2012: Finished 1/3 of "Each Tank and their uses. (Alphabetically listed for your convenience)".
2/15/2012: Did Jarvan IV and Leona. School is kinda getting in the way so I apoligize.
7/13/2012: I kinda forgot about this guide and am now working to finish it. (I apologize very deeply.)
Hello and welcome to my first guide on Mobafire! This guide is aimed for players wanting to try dominion as well as players trying to get used to it as well. This guide is supposed to be a quick guide that informs players of the general role of tanks in dominion as well as a brief look into dominion as a whole. But first, about this guide and myself. I've only played LoL for about 4 months and haven't touched ranked all that much, but I have played a decent amount of games and have learned the metagame in Summoner's Rift. I hope this guide helps people understand the role of tanks in dominion as well as dominion in general (and so people will play tanks other then when Rammus is free). If you guys have any suggestions as to help this guide, feel free to comment! Anyway, onto the guide!
Dominion Tanking 101
The two reasons why I made this guide is because I've noticed that in a lot of dominion games I've played nobody plays as a tank, and most of the time the team that actually has a tank normally wins. Now I've learned that this isn't a coincidence and I believe that people are underestimating the greatness tanks are. Now what do tanks bring to the table? Taking damage for their teammates so they can wreak havoc on the enemy team. Also, because it's more useful to have 4 damage dealers and a tank then 3 damage dealers, a tank, and a support, it is imperative you build an offensive item. Now tanks have to be quite mobile in order to do that on the Crystal Scar because there are small skirmishes that erupt everywhere. Tanks such as Rammus and Garen one up other tanks in this regard such as Leona and Alistar. I'm not saying that the less mobile tanks are bad, but they can't go back and forth over the map like mobile ones. For example, Shen can use Ghost to get to one fight and then use Stand United to get to another fight; Singed can get to one fight and then use Insanity Potion and the speed shrines to get to another. As you can see, the more mobile the tank, the more presence he/she has. With positioning as a tank, you should always go to the point that needs help defending first. This way you won't loose the point and let your enemy control more points. Second priority goes to teammates that are pushing a lane hard. You want to make sure they're successful in their endeavors. Also, you want to make sure you help teammates that get ganked in the fog of war. CC his/her pursuers and make sure your teammate gets to safety. Remember, your job is to protect your teammates, even if it means that you have to die to protect them.
Now for some runes. Because mobility is very key in dominion, I suggest always using Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed on all characters (even non-tanks). Now in dominion, tanks need to be able to do damage because what if you're stuck in a situation such as a 2v3 or 3v4? This is where I suggest using Greater Mark of Desolation, Greater Mark of Magic Penetration, Greater Mark of Scaling Attack Damage, or Greater Mark of Scaling Ability Power. The reason I suggest AD/AP per level marks is because not only do you start off at level 3, but levels are attained quickly in dominion, letting you reap the rewards. For Seals I suggest Greater Seal of Vitality or Greater Seal of Replenishment. Since the only items in dominion that give large amounts of health are Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Frozen Mallet, the health seals work wonders and for tanks that are mana hungry, the mana per 5 seals work well. Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist is amazing on every champ because of how much magic resist you get in the end. Also, it's much easier to stack lots of armor more so than magic resist.
Masteries and Summoner Spells
For Masteries I generally like to go at least 21 in defense and distribute the rest depending on my tank's needs. I do this because Dominion is fast paced and you might not get all the items you want, so every extra point you can get in your defensive stats helps.
Good Summoner Spells
: As mobility helps with keeping a presence in different locations, Ghost is probably the best spell you can use.
: Nice for getting out of sticky situations or landing abilities like Idol of Durand but I feel that Ghost has more uses.
: Heal can save lives, and saving lives is your job.
: Clarity can also help save people if they are low on mana.
: Keeps the turrets away.
: If nobody else takes it, pick it up! It helps shut down individual targets.
: If nobody else takes it, grab it to counter annoying champs like Swain.
Spells You Should Ignore
: Self explanitory.
: You really don't need the extra AS and AP
: You're gonna probably get Mercury's Treads anyway so this doesn't really help.
: Most of the map is visible, it's not worth it.
: While it does instantly revive you, do you really think you can go up in a 1v3 to protect the Drill?
: While it does help push lanes, Promote really doesn't help you with your job, tanking.
Each Tank and their uses. (Alphabetically listed for your convenience)
NOTE! This Chapter is NOT finished yet and will be finished ASAP. I will publish changes after every two tanks I finish writing about. Thank you for your patience.
: Alistar is a major disruptor. His passive, Trample, activates whenever he uses an ability. It lets him walk through enemies for a short time, dealing damage to them. His Q, Pulverize, is great at disrupting multiple champs, as it knocks up all enemy champs around him; it allows your carries to deal damage safely. His W, Headbutt, knocks a target enemy champ in the direction Alistar is facing. This can push the enemy away from your allies so be careful about when you use it! A neat trick you can do is using Pulverize the instant after you collide with an enemy to stop the knockback of Headbutt. Also, if an enemy is getting away use Pulverize and then get behind him/her and use Headbutt to knock him/her back to your allies! It's a menacing combo that makes Alistar a scary champ. Alistar's E, Triumphant Roar, is a nice heal who's CD is lowered every time an enemy unit dies near Alistar. His Ultimate, Unbreakable Will makes Alistar a force to be reckoned with, as it removes all CC from him like Cleanse, makes him take less damage, and gives him extra damage for a period of time. Use this to initiate hard or when you're getting focused. All of Alistar's abilities scale off of AP but he can also hit hard with his auto attacks, especially when his ult is activated, so get AD or AP items depending on the situation when you need damage.
: Amumu is an AP tank that shines against multiple champs. His passive, Cursed Touch, lets his auto attacks reduce the target's magic resist for a short time. This doesn't stack but it does refresh the timer every attack. His Q, Bandage Toss, is a skill shot that pulls Amumu to the first enemy it hits and stunning it. It's great for initiating as well as getting to stragglers. His W, Despair, generates a damaage dealing aura when active. It deals damage based off of the enemies' health, so it can also kill tanks quickly too. Amumu's E, Tantrum, passively amumu take less damage from physical attacks. When he activates it, it deals AOE damage around him. Every time he's hit, the CD is lowered by .5 seconds, making it spammible. Amumu's ultimate, Curse of the Sad Mummy, deals damage and suppresses all nearby enemies for a short time. This can give you the advantage in a fight very quickly, as your allies can go in and shred your foes. Because all of Amumu's abilities scale off of AP and his auto attacks don't hit hard at all, grab AP items when the time comes for damage.
: Cho'Gath is a hard to kill tank with nice CC. His passive, Carnivore, gives him health and mana every time he kills an enemy unit. His Q, Rupture, knocks up enemies at a target area after a brief delay and slows them on the landing. This is great for disrupting multiple champs as well as catching up to fleeing champs. It also can let your allies finish their channeling abilities without fail, such as letting Katerina keep hitting with Death Lotus. Cho'Gath's W, Feral Scream, lets him scream in a cone, damaging and silencing enemies. This is great for stopping multiple AP champs and AD casters. His E, Vorpal Spikes, passively makes him launch spikes whenever he attacks, damaging all enemies they hit. This can be useful if the enemies are in a line. His ultimate, Feast, deals a large amount of true damage to a target. If it kills the target, Cho'Gath gets 90 extra max health, stacking up to 6 times (this applies to minions, champs, and monsters). However, if Cho'gath dies, he loses half of his stacks rounded up. This makes Cho'gath very tanky and you don't need to invest health items in him. Since his abilities scale off of AP and the fact that AP makes his ult hit hard, get AP items when you need damage.
: Galio is a tank that is magic resist heavy. His passive, Runic Skin, gives him AP equal to 50% of his MR. This makes items like Abyssal Scepter very good on him. His Q, Resolute Smite, launches orbs that damage and slow enemies in target area. Be careful about aiming though because the farther away the area is, the longer it takes for the orbs to get there. It's still good for making sure enemies don't get away, so practice your aiming! His W, Bulwark, creates a shield on target ally that increases their armor and magic resist. Also, every time that ally is hit, Galio gets health. The amount of health goes down every time the ally is hit however. If Galio targets himself, his passive does kick in and gives him extra AP. The healing effect also stays. Galio's E, Rightious Gust, fires a skill shot that damages enemies it hits. It also leaves a trail of wind behind that increases the speed of allies in it. It can make getting away easier. Also, combined with Resolute Smite, it makes running away from Galio difficult. His ultimate, Idol of Durand, makes him channel, taunting all nearby enemies for 2 seconds. After the duration ends he damages all nearby enemies, dealing more every time he was hit (max 40% extra damage). This makes it easy to land abilities like Mega Inferno Bomb and Bullet Time. Because his abilites scale off of AP and his passive boosts AP, get AP items for Galio when the times comes for damage.
: While Garen is an AD off tank, his damage output is high even with only building tanky items he can be played as a tank. This makes him a focused target sometimes, which is what you want. Garen's passive, Perseverance, gives him increased health regen whenever he's not been hit for 7 seconds or more. This lets him take on lots of fights without needing to tele back to base. His Q, Decisive Strike, gives garen increased movement speed for a short duration and gives his next auto attack silencing capabilities for a short duration. This is great for chasing as well as getting to their LeBlanc to silence her. His W, Courage, passively gives him armor and magic resist every time he kills an enemy unit (max 25 of both). When it is activated, Garen gets a sheild that reduces both AD and AP damage dealt to him for a limited time. This allows Garen to get into people's faces even more. Garen's E, Judgement, is his staple move. He spins and deals damage every second to all enemies around him for a period of time. Also, slows last half as long when he's spinning. People like to grab Sunfire Cape to increase the overal damage dealt. When Judgement is combined with the running speed of Decisive Strike and/or Ghost, nobody gets away from The Might of Demacia. Garen's ultimate, Demacian Justice, deals damage to target champ, increasing proportionally to the amount of health the target is missing. This is a great excecuting move that would be OP if it actually scaled off of AD. You should build AD items for damage on Garen when you feel like you're tanky enough.
: Jarvan IV is also an AD off tank but like Garen, he deals quite a bit of damage even without many items. He gets very tanky late game and has some nice disruption moves. His passive Martial Candence gives Jarvan extra damage every 6 seconds on a target enemy (there is a timer for every enemy). The damage is based off of the enemy's max health percentage, making it great for bursting. His Q, Dragon Strike, makes Jarvan extend his spear in a direction, dealing damage and reducing the armor of all the enemies hit. It's a good harasment tool and it synergizes well with AD allies. His W, Golden Aegis, gives Jarvan a temporary shield and slows all nearby enemies. It's great for chasing and running away. Also, Golden Aegis gets bigger if you activate it near enemies so it's great for initiating. Jarvan IV's E, Demacian Standard, passively gives him extra attack speed and armor. He can throw a flag to target area that deals damage and gives his passive bonus to all allies near the flag. It synergizes very well with Aegis of the Legion. Also, if you Dragon Strike into the flag, you pull yourself to it, knocking up all enemies when traveling. You can also cross walls with it. His ult, Cataclysm, is a great tool for pinning down enemies. When you use it, Jarvan leaps at a target champ, dealing damage and creating an arena around his target for a couple of seconds. The arena is made up of immpassible terrain (if you press R again, the arena will dissapear). You can use it to trap an enemy in a fight and seperate him/her from the group, and you can also use it on enemies who are chasing your allies. Be careful though! You can trap your allies too (and don't start trolling by doing this). You can also use your E -> Q combo to get out of it, so remember that. Remember to get AD items for damage with Jarvan IV.
: Leona is a tank with lots of stuns. Her passive, Sunlight, puts a debuff on an enemy when she hits him/her with an ability. When an ally hits that enemy, the debuff is consumed and extra magic damage is dealt. This ability is great if you and your teamates focus targets (but you guys should be focusing targets anyway). Leona's Q, Shield of Daybreak, lets her next auto attack deal extra magic damage and stun her target for a brief time. As with all hard CC, it's great for shutting down targets and for making them vurnurable. Her W, Eclipse, gives her a shield that grants extra armor and magic resist when activated. After a couple of seconds the sheild exploads, dealing magic damage to all nearby enemies. If enemies were in fact hit, the sheild lasts for a couple more seconds; otherwise, the sheild dissapates. Use this when you initiate to deal some early damage and so you won't die as quickly. Leona's E, Zenith Blade, fires her sword in a direction, dealing magic damage and pulling herself to the first champ she hits; if she doesn't hit anyone, she remains where she is. Using this to close gaps and then using Shield of Daybreak right after is great for singling out targets and preventing enemies from getting away. It's also nice to have Eclipse up when you do that do get some damage in as well as sheilding yourself. Leona's ultimate, Solar Flare, fires a beam at a target area, dealing magic damage. Enemies hit near the center of it are stunned, and enemies hit on the outer part are slowed. This is a great move for preventing escapes, initiating, and disrupting. Remember you can chain stun with this and Shield of Daybreak. All of Leona's abilities scale off of AP so grab AP if damage is needed.
: Malphite is a tank that can single out single targets very effectively while dealing damage. His passive, Granite Shield, gives him a shield equal to 10% of his health. After being destroyed, the shield will come back up after Malphite hasn't been hit for 10 seconds. This allows you to get some free tankyness while moving from battle to battle, giving you an edge over others. His Q, Seismic Shard, makes him send a shard at an enemy, dealing damage and stealing a portion of their movement speed for a short time. This is great for chasing and for keeping low health enemies still in the fight. This can also prevent champs like Draven to get into a good position and punish them for it. Also, don't be afraid to hit a minion with it so you can get in range with Unstoppable Force or your Randiun's Omen's active. Malphite's W, Brutal Strikes, passively gives his auto attacks splash damage. When activated, his armor and AD increase by a percentage for a short time. This can give you a quick boost in the blink of an eye and barely live while your partner finishes the enemies off. His W synergies well with Ground Slam and also gives him the ability to kill AD carries. The passive helps push the lanes and force the enemy to go where you want them to. His E, Ground Slam, deals damage to all enemies around him while reducing their attack speed by a percentage for a short time. This combined with Randiun's Omen or Frozen Heart can stop most AD champs from really doing anything due to not being able to put out the DPS they need to. For example, this can shut down a fed Teemo really quickly. While Ground Slam does scale off of armor, don't stack armor. You need magic resist for their mages so they won't blow you up. Remember to be versatile in your build. Malphite's ultimate, Unstoppable Force, has him charge at an area, dealing damage and knocking up all enemies there. This can turn an hopeless fight, into a winnable fight due to stopping everyone for a whole 1.5 seconds. This allows your guys to get free damage off and position themselves. It can even help let your guys escape so you won't give up free gold. Malphite does magic damage but doesn't scale well with AP, so grab some magic pen items for some damage.
Before we begin you might ask, Heart of Gold? Really? To answer your question, yes. The Gold per 5 as well as the fact it builds into Randuin's Omen just makes it too good. Also, the AD and AP items listed have their uses and are situational. It's good if you guys look at them and choose based on your situation.
: This is your bread and butter, the more they attack you, the more they hurt. It's one of the best tank items.
: 75 armor + 350 health + an AS and Movement speed debuff active? Need I say more?
: This little guy gives you an extra chance and lets you get in peoples faces even after your first death.
: A nifty alternative to Randuin's that gives mana and CDR instead of a movement speed debuff and health.
: This gives damage and armor, it's nice to use sometimes.
: This gives AP, armor, and an active that makes you untargetable. It's nice for AP tanks and the active is nice for things like Absolute Zero and Paranoia.
: This is a nice item. Not only does it give you armor and a health regen aura, but it gives an amazing active that shields nearby allies by an amount based on your level.
: Magic Resist, good health regen, and movement speed. It's a great item.
: Dominion's alternative to Banshee's Veil that works very well. Make sure you use the active!
: Magic Resist, AP, and a helpful aura. Great for AP tanks.
: Annoying Warwick or Malzahar? Just grab this little toy.
: Not a bad choice but there are better items.
: The changes to hexdrinker make this item worth getting if you are an AD tank due to burst protection and a great increase to your AD.
: A nice item for making sure enemies don't escape and slowing enemies that are chasing your allies. The AP equivalant is Rylai's Crystal Scepter
: A nice item for making sure enemies don't escape and slowing enemies that are chasing your allies. The AD equivalant is Frozen Mallet
: While this doesn't give as much health as Frozen Mallet or Rylai's Crystal Scepter, it also gives armor as well as a passive aura that hurts the enemies around you. It's a very solid item.
: A Rylai's Crystal Scepter that gives mana instead of slows. It can be handy.
: A damage alternative to Frozen Mallet. The slow chance and health is reduced but the damage is buffed by 50. It's good to use when you're fine on defense and you need a slow and damage.
: A pure damage item. It's good to use if you just need damage. Sanguine Blade gives a lot of damage too but doesn't have the crit change and crit damage boost.
: This is also a pure damage item, but with some sustain put in. This can be better than Infinity Edge in terms of a raw power item due to the life steal.
: Need to kill some Champs that have lots of health like Volibear and Olaf? Never fear, Kitae's Bloodrazor is here! The AP equivalent is Deathfire Grasp.
: Are they stacking armor because of a scary AD carry on your team? Take a Last Whisper. The AP equivalent is Void Staff
: For AD tanks with mana resevoirs or mana problems, pick Manamune up. The AP equivalent is Archangel's Staff.
: This works well if you need AS and AD or if the enemy team has lots of armor and you have a majority of AD champs on your team. The AP alternative is Malady.
: CDR, Armor pen, and a move speed + AS buffing active. Youmuu's Ghostblade works well if you need any of these.
: If you have a champ that can benefit from Sheen or that has abilities that scale off of AD and AP, get Trinity Force. This is also the most expensive item in the game so it might not be worth getting sometimes.
: This is good if enemy champs keep slipping away and your team can't find them. The AP equivalent is Hextech Sweeper
: If they cluster up or you need hp regen + mana regen, grab this.
: This gives AD, armor, and magic resist to you and all nearby allied champs. It's a good item any day.
Zeke's Herald: This is nice when you have mostly AD champs on your team, as it gives nearby allies life steal and AS.
: For AP tanks with lots of mana or mana problems, use this. The AD equivalent is Manamune
: This is very usefull against champs with lots of health. The AD equivalent is Kitae's Bloodrazor.
: This is a good item for champs with abilities that scale off of AD and AP. It also give attack speed every time you hit something. This is cheaper then Trinity Force and can be more viable because of more attack speed.
: This is another hybrid AD and AP item that also gives life steal and spell vamp. This is very expensive but gives good sustain.
Hextech Sweeper: Want to check that dark spot on the map? With this guy's active, you'll see the enemies before they can see you. The AD equivalent is The Lightbringer
: This is a pure AP alternative to Trinity Force. It also give magic resist, movement speed, and the passive scales off of AP instead of AD. It's also cheeper than Trinity Force.
: This works well if you need AS and AP or if the enemy team has lots of magic resist and you have a majority of AP champs on your team. The AD alternative is The Black Cleaver.
: This gives mana regen and CDR. It's very good if you need damage and cooldown reduction.
: This is Morello's Evil Tome but with less AP and extra AS. The CDR is also bigger compared to Morello's Evil Tome.
: This is a pure AP item. If you want to start nuking people, grab this.
: If the enemy team stacks MR, pick this up. The AD equivalent is Last Whisper.
: This gives everyone around you AP and spell vamp. It's a nifty item.
There are only 5 boots you should use, as you are a tank and don't need the passives from Berserker's Greaves and Sorcerer's Shoes
: The best tank boots in the game, as they give you MR and tenacity.
: If the enemy team has a lot of AD champs, grab these to counter them.
: If you like to move fast, grab these.
: If you like to move even faster, grab these. Be careful about getting hit on your way to your destination.
: If you need CDR and don't want to get a different item with CDR, grab these.
In dominion, a team should look like this: AD carry, AP carry, Offtank, Tank, and Other. The other could be a carry or another offtank. The reason why we leave out the support is because supports only truely shine in team fights. With many fights breaking out everywhere, they do not shine. Also, most supports aren't very mobile.
In Dominion, builds are sometimes altered due to the fast play style and different demanding roles. However, sometimes your normal build will work just fine so don't stress about it too much. Also, Dominion requires more teamwork than Classic. Why you ask? It's because you need to defend and capture points at the same time that are fairly close to each other. Ganks are very important and make sure your team takes the Storm Shield buff quickly after it spawns. Making sure you complete quests is vital too, as it beefs up everyone's damage and really turns the tide. Think of it like Baron's Buff or Ebonmaw's Buff. I suggest doing team queue instead of solo queue when you're getting used to Dominion. You can also do bot games as well. One last thing, DEFEND DEFEND DEFEND! I can't stress this enough. I've lost plenty of games because people didn't DEFEND. Defense is absolutely mandatory in dominion because if you don't, that Shaco over there is going to take the Refinery for free.
Dominion is a very fun game type. I first played it the day it came out and kept playing it. However, I feel people don't have a good grasp on how to play it and that's why I wrote this guide. If you want in depth Dominion guides for specific champs, go to the specific champ's page and look until you find a dominion build. I hope this guide helped you guys and have fun out there in the Fields of Justice! :D