General Guide by DuffTime
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.
The historical monument!
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This guide was released over a year ago, and thusly is dated and the technique/concepts listed are no longer entirely applicable.
Feel free to read and enjoy, but just keep in mind that it's an old guide designed to counter a metagame that no longer exists!
A brief word for clarity:
Not everyone is going to read this and jump for joy. I don't promise you green fields stained red with the blood of the thousands of Penta-kills you get.
You're not going to find your favorite build for your favorite champion here. I'm not trying to show you "The best build" for every champion. I'm trying to show you how to Trinity tank, or how to Off-tank with all of these champions, so that if you want to, or if the need arises, you will be able to.
These builds are not geared towards 100% DMG causing items, and this may piss some people off, and others may be bored by it.
But, let's face it, at a low ELO of play, you don't need anything but damage. If you are just starting off, you may not want to read this guide yet; instead just bookmark it for later. It's geared towards a higher level of play, and a more competitive level of player. The concepts may be foreign and not applicable to a low level of play and/or player.
This will not be the easy road to a high ELO. There will be bad players on your team. You will lose games because of them, or even because of mistakes you've made. My design and my counter meta-game can't carry you if you're bad at this game.
Not all of these builds are going to make sense to you, because they are built for a NEW style of play, designed to COUNTER the current meta-game. Once this catches on, it will evolve into the NEW meta-game.
6 months after this becomes the next big thing, someone will either design a counter to the off-tank, or, they will nerf trinity force, and then we will have to design yet another counter to the latest meta-game strategy.
I will do my best to explain this in depth, in an easy to understand manner, and to explain this in a way that will open your eyes to how truly powerful and devastating this style of play is vrs. the current meta-game in place at mid-high ELO.
Thank you for visiting, and on we go to the next section.
More guides are available!
I have guides for a variety of styles of play. Just check my profile page to find the style you're looking for.
To those who already knew...
Yes, off-tanking is the way to go now with at least 1 of the 5 champions on your team.
DO NOT confuse an Off-tank with a tanky DPS! These are two different entities!
I will at some point in this guide include a chapter defining the difference! (I explain briefly in the chapter, "A moment of laughter.")
HOWEVER, I am here to propose a new, more efficient way to Off-Tank... I only added this chapter to avoid confusion, a Trinity tank, is an off-tank on steroids ;)
Before we begin. (Advanced players may skip.)
There are basic fundamentals to League of Legends.
To be successful you must:
-Farm well, get lots of gold, so you can have as good, or better items than anyone else.
-Have map awareness.
-Have good combat skills.
-Know every champion in the game, their skills, CD's, and the range on all their abilities.
-Understand when you can't win a lane with a certain champion.
-Have different builds that will work against different champions, and ones that work with the champion you are playing (Or just have the ability to make these builds on the fly.)
-Have good team-fight skills
Without these things, no guide will save you. You simply need to improve as a player. If you click tab and you notice that your minion kills are half of the top player's minion kills, then you have no right to bash a players guide or a build, because YOU failed to play well. The guide probably works fine. "DuffTime, HIAcliff, Heat, etc, your builds suck, I was playing Xin and it failed!"
Well, you initiated vrs 180 CS mord with 70 CS Xin, wtf did you expect bra? =)
An earnest note:
I am a nice guy, that's why I'm taking the time to write this guide. I want you to have the tools to succeed.
But, I'm also a saucy young lad, so a lot of times my attitude shows through =)
Just try to bear with me, as you go along this guide. Yes, I come off condescending at times and even arrogant.
Apologies in advance ;)
The current Meta Game (Advanced players can skip.)
The current meta game in mid ELO is simple. You have 2 solo lanes, 1 jungler, and 2 champs in a duo lane bottom. Generally, the AD carry takes mid, the AP carry takes top, and then you've got either a tank or a support bottom lane, and any champion capable of jungling and ganking in the jungle.
PERSONALLY, I think this layout functions... But I don't think it's ideal. (Obviously I don't, I'm claiming to have the counter for it.)
In high ELO, it's not that simple. The very high ELO players, (2.1k +) are aware that the game does not have a formula. They are the innovators, the ones doing things that you don't think would work, and showing you why you're wrong. The meta-game is created by them, because they are just seeing what they know will work, and using it, and it's the best thing at the moment, because they are the best players with the greatest understanding.
At a high ELO, there are junglers, there are roamers, you can have 3 solo lanes on a team, you might see top lane leave entirely, knowing he will lose a tower, but then they get three kills mid for it and then get a tower in return. It's decisions like these that a lower ELO player could not make correctly that separate the pups from the wolves. Even good players in combat, who have bad map concept and awareness, will be losing or average players.
I SAY THIS for one reason only. My build can't teach you that. You're not going to have a meteoric rise just because you're in on the secret.
But you'll be a step ahead of the rest, and that will help you.
In summary, the current, widely accepted meta game, is 2 carries in solo lanes, a jungler, and 2 bot. Are we in agreement? =)
(Keep in mind, the meta game is NOT the same in Europe. Over there, the AD carry usually gets baby sat in the bottom lane. We can go over that in more detail later.)
This is not an ideal meta game for a lot of reasons...
I am of the opinion that it is not desirable to have a carry in both solo lanes, rather, in only one of the two...
I'm going to try teach you what to do in this situation; you've come up against the current meta game! You see it, you recognize it, but you're not sure how to exploit it, and how to avoid from just simply putting your team against theirs in the same AP carry vrs AP carry, AD carry vrs AD carry, etc, formula...
(This section is for lower level players, or even higher level players if they are interested.)
Pardon my theory crafting, but, shall we explore the facts? When properly runed, Taric with exhaust/ignite will easily first blood Xin. There's literally nothing he can do about it. You just Stun him, shatter, and walk away. Stun him, shatter, and walk away. If you have mana regen runes, and a Doran's ring or a faerie charm or a meki pendant, you can heal, and xin can't, because you'll be standing in-between him and the creeps. There's literally nothing he can do about it. He -WILL- die if he tries to CS and heal with his passive. And chances are, he bought a Doran's blade which will be useless to him.
Yet, Taric is considered a support champion, not a solo champion. Even though he can beat most solo lane champs with the right runes and summoners, he is not considered a solo lane champ himself.
This is due mainly to two factors:
- Taric's AP scaling on his damage abilities are not excellent...
- People are close-minded.
But, this is to prove a point, not to ramble on about Taric. I agree, Taric would be a questionable solo, because he does lack damage output late game for your team.
You want your solo to be HIGH impact. You want your solo lane to get big and strong and eat the enemy team alive. Someone that they can't ignore!
So, what's wrong with the current system? Why can't we have an AD carry take a solo lane, and why can't we have an AP carry take a solo lane, and have everyone else just farm enough?
... =) I'm so glad you asked.
The Plot Thickens...
( This is a bit of a sales pitch, which I hate to do. I'd much rather just tell you the facts as they are, but the reality is, I get a bit excited when I think of it. It's worked so well for me so far, I'd like to get the secret out for you guys as well ;P )
ONE THING'S FOR DAMN SURE!
That Ashe on the other team has just finished her Infinity edge, and she's hitting like a damn truck! Every shot has the potential to hit us for 350 damage right now, and we only have about... 1300 life? Less?
DUFFTIME!!! HOW COULD YOU SAY THIS ISN'T THE BEST STRATEGY, AND MOST DESIRABLE THING TO HAVE IN A SOLO LANE!?
Well. Quite simply. I don't deny that you want a Ranged Carry. I just want her in the bottom lane, being baby sat by Taric or perhaps another good support.
Also, have you ever read the defensive items in this game? Did you notice that Warden's mail gives a lot of armor at a low price? Did you notice it also nerfs attack speed? How about her MOVE speed? Try buying a Warden's mail when that Ashe gets fed, you'll be amazed at what an impact it has. You might be surprised when she suddenly dies in the next team fight after targeting you.
The problem is, that's a whole inventory space and it feels wasted when you have this intricate 5 damage item gear combo laid out in your head... You want the ATS from PD, the crit and the DMG from Inf edge, the AD and Life steal from Bloodthirster, the ATS and life steal and ARP from Starks! The Crit, AD, ARP, and activate on Youmuu's! The ... Etc...
Stop right there. Let me introduce a concept to you. What if there was an item that gave you a way to generate lots of damage, enough to kill that squishy Ashe that they've devoted an entire lane to? AND also allowed you to purchase those items like Randuin's and Banshee's veil, that will KEEP YOU alive while you do it..? Would you be willing to say goodbye to your big impressive 350 AD for the functionality, or are you that kid who quit magic the gathering for Yu-Gi-Oh because the numbers were bigger?
The Solution. (Long, skip chapter for summary.)
Well, there is a solution. Such an item does exist!
Riot was kind enough to gift us with Trinity Force.
One of the most cost effective items in the game, albeit expensive, which can be built from the beginning and not waste any time in working towards it. This means at more points you will have more completed gear, which means you're at an advantage early game while that Ashe is saving for her BF sword or that Malz is saving for his large rod.
Now, you might be thinking...
"Wtf? Trinity Force? That item doesn't do that much dmg and it's super hard to build... I'd rather build a fking PD and call it a day."
Right. If you're a ranged carry, that is what you should do 90% of the time.
We're not here to discuss the current meta game. We're here to discuss how you beat it.
Let's take a typical well geared AD carry. A smart AD carry player might have these items at some point... (Let's say an Ashe player)
Doran's blade, Doran's blade, Merc treads (Or Berz greaves perhaps...), Inf Edge, Phantom dancer, Banshee's veil.
Doran's blade: 100 HP 10 AD 3% life steal
Doran's blade: 100 HP 10 AD 3% life steal
Banshee's: 375 HP 375 Mana. 50 MR, spell shield every 45 sec.
PD: 15% move speed, 30% Crit chance, 55% Attack speed.
Merc treads: 25 MR 35% reduced Crowd Control's
Infinity Edge: 80 AD, 25% Crit chance,
Total stat bonus:
Total HP + 575
Total mana + 375
Move speed bonus +15%
MR + 75
AD + 100
ATS + 55%
Crit chance + 55%
35% anti CC
Spell shield every 45 scs
Nothing wrong with that right? She's got her spell bubble now, ATS, crit chance, etc... A good, well farmed carry.
With an aware team, she should be safe? Even with such items?
Just a thought: That's 11590 gold worth of stuff...
So what might Jarvan have in his inventory, if he had that kind of gold...? Well, what do I know, but he MIGHT have...
Trinity Force, Merc treads, Randuin's, Banshee's veil, Chain mail..?
Banshee's: 375 HP 375 Mana. 50 MR, Spell shield every 45 sec.
Randuin's : 350 HP, 75 Armor ( I believe it was buffed from 55 to 75, will double check), 25 HP regen per 5, 5% CDR, 20% chance to slow Attacker's move/attack speeds by 35% for 3 seconds, activated Area of effect ability that slows movement speeds of all nearby units.
Merc treads: 25 MR, 35% Crowd control reduction.
Trinity Force: +250 HP, +250 Mana, +30 AD, +30 AP, + 30% ATS, +15% Crit chance, +12% move speed, 25% chance to slow target's move speed by 35% on hit, Unique passive, after casting a spell, next attack deals +150% of Champion's base attack damage.
Chain mail: + 45 armor.
Total stat bonus:
HP + 975
Mana + 625
Armor + 120
MR + 75
AD + 30
AP + 30
Move speed + 12%
HP regen per 5 + 25
CDR + 5%
35% anti CC
Spell shield every 45 secs
When hit + 20% chance to slow enemy move/attack speed by 35%
Activated AoE slow.
On attack + 25% chance to slow enemy run speed by 35%
After using skill, next attack +150% champion's base attack dmg.
Total cost of that = 11460
Less than what Ashe spent to get 100AD, 55% ATS, and 55% crit, some move speed, and a spell shield.
If you did a number's crunch, you'll find that 120 Armor is a stunning amount of % dmg reduction. 186, is what a lvl 18 Jarvan with this gear would have. We're looking at probably 60-70% damage reduction here. The Jarvan I play would have 3015 HP here as well.
Ashe at level 18 might have 95 base AD but let's say 100 For the benefit of the doubt shall we? So 100 + 100 = 200! 200 + 250% = 700. So she might hit me for "700" on crit...
700 - 60% = 280... So if she CRITS me with only 60% dmg reduction, she'd have to do it 11 times to kill me. Ashe's skills dont give her very much extra damage, volley is an AoE dmg and slow, but not a single target nuke. She has her arrow, of course, And trust me, she will learn to save it for you.
If she attacks you 11 times, chances are, she'll be slowed by your armor. If she gets slowed in a team fight from targeting you, she's 100% dead if your AP carry has been farming even a little. Why? Because you're going to flag her, for 260 +80% of your AP, let's say for 150-200 Mgc dmg after her MR resistances. You're going to spear her, for a very large amount, 270 (+1.1 of your bonus dmg, = +33) After her low armor res let's say = 200-250 dmg. You're going to use your shield, which will slow her long enough for you to auto attack her and get your trinity proc going, which will keep her slowed, and deal a bonus 150% base champ dmg: 111.2 + 150% = 278 + 30 = 308 dmg (+crit chance, would be 616), then, as she gets lower and lower HP, you can not only use Randuin's active to keep her close, but you can choose to ult her, dealing 500 +150% (=545) of your Bonus Ad as PHYSICAL dmg, dealing roughly 400 dmg to this Ashe with low Armor... That's a theoretical total of... (I'm going to use the lower margin of the numbers listed, your real dmg would be higher than this vrs this Ashe)
Just your skills and 1 auto attack = 1000 + DMG, whereas this Ashe couldn't dream of dealing you 1000 DMG in that amount of time, AND you have more HP.
This is the solution. I didn't even factor in Jarvan's passive, WHICH WOULD HIT ASHE FOR 10% OF HER MAX HP!!! (Probably more like 6-7% after resistances are factored.)
IF you have a good Support and a good AP carry behind you, and even perhaps a decently farmed AD carry from your bot lane, and a tank who was jungling, you have a whole new dynamic here. The support is now going to support you, because you're both the Tank, and the AD carry. The tank is going to baby sit the slightly less farmed, and slightly lower level AD carry, who probably has her Inf edge, and maybe a zeal or a PD, but no banshees. That's fine, she's in the back. You however, are going rambo into their team comp, because you're doing more Dmg than their carry, and you're tankier than your tank. With decent heals, the team fight will be decided in moments. Their carry will die, you'll probably live with a well timed flash, and you can ghost back in to catch their last few members.
This is of course, to say that everything went well. If your bot lane feeds, and your mid lane gets outlaned and can't farm, it's not easy. You can sometimes just put the noobs on your back and carry to victory with this build, but it's not easy, and you have to farm hard and farm well.
The summary of the solution.
The current meta game puts all your gold into 2 squishy AD and AP carry's.
This can be taken advantage of, by making one of your solo's an "off-tank" who get's all of his DMG from Trinity Force and his or her high DMG skills.
Not every champion can do this effectively. Irelia, Jarvan, Trundle, And Blitz do it the best of all the champions in the game. Lee sin, Garen, and Alistair and Nasus are perhaps the next best candidates for this concept and this role on a team. Olaf and Xin also use the concept well, as they are "off-tanky", but, I find something is missing. Hell, even with Ali, Garen, And Lee, something is kinda missing. It might just be that I haven't mastered the champs yet, not sure.
Ideally you got Irelia or Jarvan, because they do this the best. Solo top With Irelia and Jarvan is like Christmas with the builds and start items I use. Your regen keeps you alive against almost anybody if you play well, with a few exceptions. I've beaten high ELO teemo's with my Jarvan, and Teemo is the bane of all melee.
If you didn't get Jarv or Irelia, or some stupid low ELO troll is raging because you wanted solo top with one of these champions, you can jungle with Trundle or Lee Sin if you choose. You can bot lane with any of these champions, but your farm will be a bit underwhelming.
I think any of these champions CAN solo top, but Irelia or Jarvan are the best, most capable, most complete candidates for sure. You might choose to let someone else take top and simply lane with any of the champions listed if you so desire.
Your role is to both initiate, and kill their carry (Either AP or AD, whichever present itself to you) Since you have damage, and you are tanky, if you play smart and time your initiation right, you should be able to do this right into their team and not die. A huge factor is having a good AP carry behind you, and a good support behind you as well.
Onto the next chapter.
Other effective offtanks!
Other kinds of effective offtanks include Offtanks who have built in damage per auto attack skills. (Irelia, Cho Gath, Udyr) who can make the most out of items like Wit's end, and Madred's bloodrazor's.
The new, ideal metagame.
You want, ideally,
Top solo: Offtank.
Solo mid: AP carry (2 reasons, you in the top lane will double as an AD carry, and also because AP carry > AD carry right now.)
Bot: AD carry, support (EU style, and very, very effective. I recommend Taric as support.) Support should let AD carry get the farm. Taric should get enough farm for his boots, and an Aegis of the legion as he goes, without taking too much farm from the AD carry.
Jungle: Tank... Tanks have trouble getting farm in lane, but, in the jungle they have a basic level of farm. Most tanks have decent skills for initiation, which also doubles as good skills for ganking! If your tank jungles, it sort of makes it all gel together and everyone gets the appropriate amount of gold.
I've touched on it, but it's simple.
You Rambo, AP Carry nukes, Support supports you or AP carry whoever gets focused, Tank uses his tanklike ability to disrupt comp and CC and protect carries, and AD carry, fragile as can be, get as many attacks off as she can before she either dies or the fight is over. She's honestly not even of high importance, you could swap her for another trinity tank or perhaps even a second support champ if you like.
FARM, FARM, FARM, FARM.
Last hit creeps, time your skills to farm creeps, use minions waves intelligently while fighting, and not missing last hits...
As a trinity tank or an off-tank, it is CRUCIAL that you farm effectively. You NEED to be able to buy the trinity force and the defensive items and at least be on track with the CS of their carries. (Ideally equal or ahead in kills as well)
The way the current meta-game works is simple, the AP carry and the AD carry go crazy. So if you have a heart of gold, finish Trinity force, and buy chain mail and a Negatron cloak, you will be able to 1v1 either one of them if you run into them. Your DMG and HP through resistances will be too high for them.
Be wary about fighting before farming your trinity force. You'll be muuuch weaker. Wait until you have trinity if you can, try to get the team to understand this.(Focus on farm though, don't miss CS to type.)
Ranked play... This is designed for both ranked play and normal play.
I'm no 2200k + player, but, I'm confident this will work at all levels of play, and be successful.
Soon, I will begin playing more Ranked games in earnest, but I've wanted to get my skills up to a decent level before I really dive in ;)
DuffTime, why no pictures? =B
Well, because I'm not outlining a build order boys 'n girls. I'm outlining a play style. The items you buy should vary slightly from game to game.
"Oh look, they're all AD... I think I'll buy trinity force, Sunfire, atma's, Randuin's, merc treads, and Madred's"
"Oh look, they have Corki, Malz, and Alistair, so early to mid game their dmg is actually 80-90% mgc... Later I'll need a bit of armor, but right now what I need is lots of MR..."
... Etc, every game needs a different build order, and to build effectively, you will need to know every champion, and understand the kind of damage they will be dealing.
So this guide provides you with core builds with roughly equal resistances
A moment of laughter...
THANK YOU to "Anonymous player" for proving my point.
There are close minded, bad players our there, willing to talk badly, and down vote a guide because they are incapable of understanding the concept.
"the irelia build is atrociously incorrect. Summoner spells are wrong, runes are partially wrong. Movement speed quints are extremely unnecessary especially with boots and Trinity Force. You are correct by rushing Philosopher's stone and boots. However after boots you rush trinity force and then spirit visage. Nowhere in your build was spirit visage to be found. After that you pick up a BF Sword and then finish it off with an Infinity Edge. Then you can build a randuin's if needed as well as a Banshee's Veil. Madred's Bloodrazor is not really an ideal item choice. There are better options for it especially on Irelia. You also build too tanky early game when she is already tanky enough with her Ult and passive healing. Finally, you should max out equilibrium Strike and then bloodsurge but picking up a point in Hiten Style at level 2. Masteries are also wrong in almost every way. "
OH GOD, I'M SO SORRY. I'VE BEEN DOING IT ALLLL WRONG, ****!!!
Seriously guy, you're way out of your league right now. You're describing a tanky DPS Irelia build, or perhaps a modified Off-tank. (Not even)
THE REASON I LAUGH!? You can't off-tank with trinity force spirit visage and Infinity edge dude! And by the way, Randuin's: IF YOU NEED IT? HAHAHAH. Who are you playing against? Like are you just playing Coop vrs AI all day? If I saw an Irelia with Trinity Force and Infinity edge, and she dashes towards me? She better have flash ready cause that is one squiiishy little melee who's gonna get NUKED by my entire team. 500 bonus HP and like 55 collective MR is not going to save you after you've spent 8k gold on two massive damage items.
BUT THANKS for your comment and your down-vote, I needed to make this section, and you've given me the material I needed.
THIS IS NOT A TANKY DPS GUIDE. THIS IS AN OFFTANK/TRINITY TANK GUIDE.
GTFO IF YOU WANT DAMAGE, THAT'S ALL THIS FKING WEBSITE HAS IS DMG DMG DMG GUIDES.
They're poisoning your mind people. That **** only works at a very low elo. Welcome to a real guide that has real builds, with masteries and summoners and skill layouts that work against REAL PLAYERS, NOT BOTS!
I'm not saying Tanky DPS doesn't work, I'm just saying that's not what the guide is about! You can't play like a funk'n tank if you're not a tank! Duh!?
Pros / Cons
This is pretty straight forward.
The cons are, not everyone knows the trinity tank style of play exists yet, so in solo queue they might be reluctant to let you take a solo lane with a melee champion. It's harder to succeed in a lane vrs a ranged champ with a melee than with another ranged. Or they might be "real smart" and give mid to the AD carry when you're already top with Jarv. (AKA, Real dumb, cause now you have 2 AD carries...)
Pro's, it works, and it wins if you farm well and execute the play style properly.
A note, in regards to resistances.
The way resistances work in League of legends, is sort of a "Diminishing returns effect" ... Allow me to try to explain in a simple way.
Go into a custom game, and buy 5 Thornmails. You will find that as you get higher armor and higher, the % of damage reduction begins to scale up more and more SLOWLY.
Amazing LOL left a comment on how the actual process works and I'll leave a few examples using the same math to show the progression and how it tops out.
It's simple math. Take your armor, for example, and divide it 100 times + your armor, then multiply by 100.
I've got 20 armor. So 20 / (100+20) = 0.17 x 100 = 17% reduction.
On higher armor values, like... 350: 350 / (100+350) x 100 = 78% reduction.
So, I'll leave some example using that math now, to show the progression and how you get less and less reduction the higher you go.
20 / (100+20) = 0.17 x 100 = 17% reduction...
20 / (100+20) = 17%
(The next 20 armor provides 11% more reduction.)
40 / (100+40) = 28%
(The next 20 armor provides 9% more reduction.)
60 / (100+60) = 37%
(The next 20 armor provides 7% more reduction.)
80 / (100+80) = 44%
(The next 20 armor provides 6% more reduction.)
100 / (100+100) = 50%
(The next 20 armor provides 4% more reduction.)
120 / (100+120) = 54%
(The next 20 armor provides 4% more reduction.)
140 / (100+140) = 58%
(The next 20 armor provides 3% more reduction.)
160 / (100+160) = 61%
350 / (100+350) = 78% reduction.
So, as we can see quite clearly, you're buying the same amount of armor, and getting less in your % of DMG reduction for each point. =)
Because of this, Flat armor or magic pen items in early and mid game are incredibly powerful. They remove the best part of damage reduction, the low numbers give you the highest amount of reduction, and flat pen breaks that early.
That's why when you pick up ARP runes and a Brutalizer you deal about the same damage as if you had AD runes and a BF sword to some targets. The amount of armor pen will have you dealing true damage or perhaps if you pen all their armor, even increased damage.
Against targets with low resistances, AKA, a carry or something like that, the impact is still substantial in the end game, because you might still be cutting through 1/4-1/2 of their resistances with something like 20-40 ARP. (Most carries won't break 80 resistances.)
However, in the same way that flat bonuses have a large effect against carries, their effect gradually over time carries less, and less impact against highly armored and resistant targets.
Flat Mpen or flat ArP eventually begin to have their effect reduced, because of the way resistances "Top out" after a certain point.
For example, if you have so many resistances, that you've begun to "Top out" already, you're not getting the best returns on your investment... Right?
Most players will run ArP reds and quints on their AD carries, and Mpen or AP on their AP casters and buy sorc boots for the Mpen later.
This means that most AD carries and AP carries will have between 20-35ish ARP or Mpen, even at very low levels. Some of it is invisible, you simply have to know it's there.
This means, your armor and Magic res is not as high as you think it is. You have to build more to get the full benefit of "The sweet spot" as I call it. You have to build about 20-30 resistances farther at least into the area where you begin to "Top out" and get poor returns on your investment, so that after the opponent's reductions are factored you're still comfortably taking advantage of the high resistances you get early.
I judge that area to be around 130-150 resistances or higher. When a champion buys an item like last whisper, you might need to get up to as high as 170 to make up for the difference, or just build a bit more damage so you can kill them or render them unable to sit and attack you, and force them to run.
The reason people are not succeeding as tanks with "Tanky DPS" champions, is because they're simply building health and a banshee's veil or two, and calling it a day.
But, the amount of resistances they build leave them vulnerable to items like Youmuu's, SotD, Black cleaver, Starks, and others.
However, if a player were to build -more- resistances, and -less- damage items, they would get their resistances to start topping out.
This would cause the other player's armor pen to only lower them back down to "The sweet spot" of resistances, where every point is still making a large difference, and therefore, your resistances will still be very high.
This is the concept behind an Off-Tank, and this is what makes it work.
This is why I tell people so often, don't refer to them as the same thing, you're hurting yourselves and the community. A Tanky DPS is a carry with some HP and some minor resistances. You're building damage, and your intent is to carry.
An Off-Tank is a tank with some damage. Your intent is to tank, and also mix thing up. Their carry's should never feel safe, and your team should feel confident following you into the fight.
Trust me, Last Whisper and Void Staff will help a lot against an Off-Tank, but it's not going to take an Off-Tank out of the game in one item. There is no easy solution to beat a well farmed off-tank, who has planned their resistances and their source of damage well.
Also, another thought. People seem to forget that items like Randuin's and Banshee's veil are both great items in regards to stats, but also in regards to their "utility" effects. Randuin's greatest source of damage reduction, is not the 75 armor it provides, but rather the 35% slowing to attack speed and move speed. Banshee's veil protects you from a spell, which in the end game could be up to 500-1000 damage, or a CC that leaves you exposed to tremendous damage.
Those effects double as resistances to some extent as well, by protecting you in more ways from the incoming damage. When you finally add all the effects together, the result is quite impressive how difficult you are to kill, and both teams will feel the difference.
And all you have to do, is top out your resistances just a little bit, so that you're actually getting the most out of them, and use the utility effects on your items =)
NO!!! DON'T BUILD THAT ITEM!!!
If you are playing in 3v3, and Tryndamere is 1 shotting your whole team, then I will say you may build thornmail.
Otherwise? NO!!! THAT ITEM IS A TERRIBLE INVESTMENT, AND DOESN'T EVEN PROTECT YOU AS WELL AS OTHER ITEMS LIKE RANDUINS OR FROZEN HEART.
Y U NO SAY MIA???
Dude, get over it.
Do you have eyes? Do you have a minimap?
Do you have 0 map awareness, perhaps?
It's YOUR job to watch the map and to know when players are coming or going.
MIA's are a luxury, when a player has time to call his mia's, consider it a gift.
But if you die to a gank, it's not the guy who didn't call MIA's fault, it's your fault.
That's my firm opinion on the matter. If I read one more Tribunal case where a guy is sobbing his eyes out because his team didn't call MIA and he's feeding for it, I'm gonna go postal and force feed some haters a big warm cup of "Man up."
You died, not the guy who was mid. That's not his fault.
This is entirely -more- important as the top solo lane. They -will- be coming to gank you, both jungler's and roaming champions, and you need to be prepared for that.
If you're the low quality of player who doesn't buy wards, and doesn't know when a champion is missing, you probably shouldn't be in the solo lane. You'll need to work on your skills and techniques, and try the bottom lane for a while until you're able to ward effectively and play safely.
(This is not to imply bot lane is a no-skill-zone, rather to imply that someone might save your baddie *** if you don't know what a ward is, huehuehue.)
I think one of the European players said it best... "When I base, if I have around 300 extra gold, I just spend it all on wards. I don't even think about it."
Yes, shocking right? He was their AP carry, by the way. Not their support.
Moral of the story, buy wards, and stop blaming your team for your own mistakes, you little baddie =D
Trinity Tanks are the best off-tanks, but not every champion can do it right.
Jarvan and Irelia are the best for 5's, Blitz is the best for 3's but Jarvan and Irelia are close behind.
Lose the old meta-game lanes, they're too squishy and glass cannon. Stick a trinity tank or a solid off-tank into your solo lane and -feel- the difference in your team-fight. You won't always need to dance around as often and wait for the perfect moment to initiate. When your carry -is- your best tank, you can usually decide when you want to initiate.
Get that AP in solo mid, he'll be able to deal more damage than an AD carry behind you.
Watch and smile as Ashe/Taric Or MF/Taric do work in their duo lane. It's quite strong.
And then, be pleasantly surprised when your tank actually has a few items for once, coming out of the jungle.
A message to the haters.
I know you're out there. I know you're reading this guide and you don't like the concept. It could never work? You don't like the way I wrote it. You don't like the way I blab on or the way I write out sloppy theoretical math to prove a point.
Well, that's fine, I'm not expecting a 95% vote up rate out of this. I don't care, if I even get a 35% vote up rate. =) It's not about that for me.
There are people that want to learn new things, who travel to these websites with the simple goal of improving their play-style, and broadening their scope as to what works and what doesn't work in this game.
So go ahead, hate away. I deal with trolls and ragers on a day to day basis, that's part of League of Legends. If I had a problem with that, I'd go play Pokemon on my bro's GBA and quit this game. =) I'll expect your down-vote, and your simple one word sentence "build sucks, ltp noob" or "Wow, you're an ******* DuffTime, why is your guide so bitter? I liked the concept but down-voted for attitude" posts shortly ;)
Be yourself... =3
Don't always follow these builds item for item, but keep in mind that I've put these builds together to reach a certain amount of HP and resistances while being able to reach a decent amount of damage. If you decide to remove an item that gives HP or resistances, you may be too squishy to fulfill the "Off-tank" role that is so counter meta-game.
Once again, do it if it will win you the game, but just be aware. You will be less able to Rambo with more damage and less HP and resistances.
A moment of Rebuttal.
Okay. I will say this.
You CAN let and AD carry take mid, and and AP carry CAN take top and you will win games like this. There is a time and a place for everything. Sometimes in Ranked games, you see the opposing team's picks, and you KNOW your Corki or your MF or your Ez will beat that solo mid carry they have, and it's worth it to take that champ to win.
I'm not telling you NOT to pick champs to win! I'm offering you MORE ways to do so. In League of Legends, you do whatever it takes to win, plain and simple. You might get flamed for it sometimes, people might hate, but as long as you win, it doesn't matter.
So, with that being said, allow me say thank you for reading, thank you for trying the guides, thank you for hating me, thank you for playing intelligently, and thank you for trolling me.
I hope you have an extra tool in your arsenal, and give this style of play a bit of practice. It's not easy to master, it requires patience and good farming skills, and also requires good timing.
Fight on, my fellow Leaguers, fight on. And counter that team comp whenever you can ;)
For questions and comments;
Please find me on Facebook/Twitter if you have any questions and contact me there, as I will not be updating these guides any longer or checking in to answer questions!
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