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League of Legends Build Guide Author Zenuan

Big Guide of Tanks

Zenuan Last updated on January 10, 2012
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Big balls (cept for Amumu)


From trees to cows.

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.



Offense: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Hello and welcome to my very first guide.

In the world of LoL, champions dominate the scene. Ranging from hamsters to other-worldy monsters, the kinds of champions are very varied. Of those champions, I myself am only able to play a few specific ones: TANKS. I've tried pretty much all the champions and I've come to the conclusion that I am not skilled in any other type of champions other than tanks (or off-tanks). Sad as it is, it's true, since in ranked games where sometimes you have to be able to vary what you play; I almost always go to those who are more "beefy". So it is quite rare that you see me play an AD carry, an AP mage, a support (other than Taric or Shen or Ali), a jungler (but I can play Skarner).

So I decided that if I am cursed, might as well use it.
So I thought of creating this guide on tanks.

I will discuss over the key-points of all pure tanks and most off-tanks, since almost anyone can be an off-tank. Enjoy.

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Tanks, tanks, tanks...

To those who are unfamiliar with tanks, let me try to explain to you a tank's duty:

1. A tank must join every team fight. Putting aside the fact that if you don't join the team fight, it'll be 4v5, you must join the team fight because you're the one that has to die instead of your team's main damage output.

2. A tank must have map awareness: Should put this on top but I seem to sometimes forget this too. Whether you play a jungling tank like Rammus, a solo top tank like Maokai, a laning tank like Shen, you must always have map awareness, you will need MIAs, you will need to call them, you will need to use it, you will need learn to become one with it. Hmm, that last one sounded a little *** somehow...

3. A tank must have HP. To a certain extent, you need to prioritize HP to both armor or magic resistance.

4. Don't expect any Penta-kills. In the several hundred games that I've played, I have never gotten a single Pentakills and only a handful of Quadrakills. This is because like I said, I can only play tanks, I do not excel at any other role. Though Penta-assists happens every 3 games with Galio, I still feel happy that I contributed to those kills that my AD carry and AP mage got. Sometimes I wish that the announcer lady would just scream PENTAASSISTS just so that it makes me feel better.

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Pure tanks.

Pure tanks or tanks for short are those champions where their tags say TANK, however they are not the only ones that can get the job done. Many other pseudo-tanks or off-tanks can do the job as good as these pure tanks.

This first part of the guide will be used to discuss these pure-tanks.

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Galio, the MR-tank full of flash-ult goodness.

Galio, one of the more expensive tanks, but as someone who loves him, I got to say that it was worth 2 days straight of IP farming.
This tank is the anti-mage of the LoL universe whether you agree or not. If there were a vote for best ult, which probably exists, Galio would be somewhere in the top 3, with Amumu and some other AOE ult.

His abilities:
Passive: this is the reason why you would go MR-Galio.
Q: At LV 1 this thing hurts, at LV 18 this hurts.
W: A shield that heals is like a gunblade, double awesome. But seriously at late game you will smile when the turret actually heals you.
E: Half of the combo with Q to destroy a single creep wave, but also good for pushing, getting to something, saving an ally.
R: Would have written a whole paragraph on why this is awesome but I'm too lazy. This is hands-down my favorite ult, the reason why it beasts Amumu's is because you drag everyone to a middle point (Galio), making aiming skillshots or AOEs just that much easier. To show how great this is, here's a scenario:
Team fight breaks in mid lane, brand is gonna get killed in 3 secs, his ult has 4 secs cooldown, you flash-ult, save his ***, and let him use his ult, letting that bounce around 5 champions, and get a triple-assist.
Now that's good right?

Ability prority:

Summoner spells:
Flash is a must, for me the other one is usually ghost, but exhaust and even clarity make good spells for Galio. Exhaust to get that one guy who survived the Taunt-ult, AOE ULT combo. Clarity if you don't go Meki Pendant first (and yes I get Meki Pendant first).

Item build:
1st time: Meki Pendant and a bunch of health pots.
2nd: Boots of Speed and Chalice of Harmony
3rd: Mercury Treads
4th to 5th: Get that Abyssal scepter.
5+: read Galio guides for more info.

In a team:
When you see that your opponent's AP heavy, it is a good idea to take Galio, however, if you were to get first pick, please don't choose Galio, since the opponent will have plenty of time to react to him. In fact, when I know that I'm gonna need to play Galio, I hope to get it last. In the game, try to get yourself the solo top lane because you will need farm to get your build up quickly.

Healing shield
Redefines the word tank by bringing in MR
Classy dance
Awesome ult
Counters mages
Mana hungry at the beginning
Needs MR so might not have enough armor

Galio's shield can heal you from 5% to 20% by putting it on yourself and walking into a minion wave.

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Volibear, the usual talking bear with armor.

Volibear is the newest Tank in LoL and it came roaring (bears roar right?), it is a jungler-tank, and comes equipped with a whole new arsenal.

His abilities:
Passive: This removes the word "sustainability" (hope i spelled that right) from Volibear's vocabulary.
Q: Singed has competition...
W: Wait... this isn't fair, free Attack speed?
E: A slowing roar (so bears do roar) which although won't change the tide of a team fight by much, is great for chasing
R: Increases the power of basic attacks? Thank god Tryndamere doesn't have this.

Ability priority:
I'm actually not that sure, but it should be (for me): Ult>W>Q>E

Summoner spells:
Smite is a good choice since when I think of Volibear, I almost instantly think of Jungler, which in turns makes me think of Smite.
Flash is a great all-around spell but I think that Exhaust and Ghost can do as good, but anything other (even Heal) than those shouldn't be used.

Item build:
Truthfully saying, with this little time, I've not found the build that best fits me, but I usually build him like Garen (boots of mobility, Randuin's Omen, bunch of tank items).

In a team:
If you are going to play Volibear, please, oh please, play him as a jungler, don't say SOLO TOP or MID just to piss people off, Volibear is a bear. Bears are wild animals, wild animals should be in jungle, now shut up. Now his ult and passive make up a great team fight weapon especially since his ult is useless 1v1, the lightning bolts will bounce here and there, slowly but surely murdering people (this might even give you a PENTAKILL, but no luck for me...).

Bear with armor
Awesome passive (but hurts when ignited)
Comes with Fling
Should jungle (good or bad?)
Needs to get in close and personal (not really that much of a con since you are a tank but many don't wanna do this.)
Should jungle (good or bad?)

I read this on the league of legends wiki but this is a great thing to know:
Majestic Roar will fear pets like Mordekaiser's Children of the Grave or Shaco's Hallucinate. In other words, Majestic Roar which I actually looked down on a few weeks ago just brought into a new light of respect.

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Taric, gems, gems, hammer, gems

Taric is a shiny tank, shiny...
There are currently 2 ways to build him (actually more since there are ******s and trolls), either as AP or AURA. I myself like aura more. Taric is unique on the fact that he is the only pure male tank that you can see his whole face (wait... now that you think of it thats pretty useless...). Just kidding, since I suck with most things related to AP, I will talk to you only about Aura.

Passive: This ability will seem small since in the two ways to build Taric, you won't be smashing things with your gem hammer (which is sad) as much as you would probably want to. I mean A GEM HAMMER, guys that's really cool.
Q: This is your heal and the reason why many play him as support, his heal is incredible, being able to either heal two people or two heal you, but for more.
W: While playing Taric, W=Free armor. This move hurts and helps, just to different people. To your team, this is a move that will grant so many assists, you would think that supports have it easy. To your enemies, they're gonna go like, so close you noobs, if only you didn't have Taric.
E: Medium to long stun that is quite mana hungry at first.
R: After the change, this ult can still be a team fight changer, though I don't really like the fact that he doesn't heal anymore, it is possible (or probable) that this might have been a buff. What do you guys think?

Ability Priority:
My way to do this is: Ult>Q>W>E, so this is more support-focused.

Summoner spells:
With me building Taric more like a support, I say that Clairvoyance is a necessity to a team.
The other one however, I feel that Taric would need mobility more than another Heal, so I would say that Flash, Ghost, or even Exhaust would make fine choices. Clarity is another good option for two reasons: to keep all or most of your abilities up for use and for lane sustainability; however, I feel that if you get the "feel" of Taric, you can overcome these challenges, since the passive which I said was hard to notice is probably enough.

Item build:
When playing someone like Taric, try to build something that balances armor (or MR) and auras. At the beginning get yourself a meki pendant and a few health pots and you will be good to go. Then get yourselves some boots, I recommend Mercury Treads, and a Chalice of Harmony, after that, you probably don't need to worry about either sustainability and your abilities' mana-hungriness. After that build either an Aegis, Shirelia (how do you spell that?) or any aura providing item.

In a team:
I rarely see Taric around anymore and after playing about 20 games, I can see why. The thing with Taric isn't that he isn't good, or that he doesn't provide for a team, the reason is that he's quite boring to play. Sure he's one of the more eye-catching champions around, but even compared to Nasus or Tryndamere who do nothing but farm for 20-40 minutes then start doing anything, Taric makes you feel: hey, I've been in every teamfight, died for my team, healed more then hundreds of times, have more then 25 assists, but still can't go one on one against most of my enemy team!? This sucks!. That pretty much sums it up.

One of the best heals around
Skins drastically change him
Nice hammer effect when smashing something (seriously, try hitting a turret and look at the ring of aura that comes out, that's seriously cool)
Somewhat boring

When playing as aura Taric, don't forget that you are still able to deal some damage by buying AP items. A good buy in my eyes would be Abyssal scepter, because you lower your enemy's magic resistance while the item still gives you an ok-good amount of AP.

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Shen, Ninja that takes hits? Paradox?

Ah Shen. One of my favorite tanks, if I had 3 mains that I play, he would probably be one (no really, I don't know whats my main). Shen is the only tank that brings the energy system into play, that is if you don't go off-tank Lee Sin, which would be pretty stupid. This gives you incredible sustainability in lanes, to the point that you barely need to go back before level 6 (i usually never), and even after that, you can Ult around from anywhere to anywhere, well that's technically not true, but you know what I mean.

Passive: This is interesting to say the least. Early game I feel that this has use, but after about 90 games with Shen, I usually forget about it at around level 6, when I can play with the R key. This however is great for last-hitting minions (yes I take cs, no don't give me that look, the tank needs cs too).
Q: Make a siege minion into a healing post? I'LL TAKE IT!
W: Ha! Pantheon, Leona both need a shield to do what I do, read the ability description: Shen enters a defensive stance, receiving a shield, Ha! All i need to do is enter a stance!
E: Taunt, get this at level 2, will help you so much, just so much.
R: Make 1v1s turn into 2v1s, make 4v5s turn into 5v5s, make "oh-nos, our AD carry is gonna die" into "trololo, you shouldn't have come looking for a team fight".

Ability Priority:
This is my way to do things: Ult>Q>W>E, however make no mistakes, at level 2, even if W has a more important place in society then E, please choose E...

Summoner spells:
Flash and Ghost, that's the only choice I give you. Ok, I'm kidding, Ghost and Flash is good too, now let's move on...
Alright, alright, I'll tell you why: CV, no; Clarity, for what!?; Heal, should have just took Clarity; Exhaust: (I personally love Exhaust in general, but I would still take Ghost over it for Shen); Rally, Hahaha... no.; Ignite: meh. no.; revive: people will queue dodge if they see this.

Item build: (the anti-trolling version)
When I play Shen this is how I go:
1st: Doran's Shield
2nd: Mercury Treads
3rd: Guardian Angel
4th: Randuin's Omen
5+: Tanky Items, Warmogs is ok, Aegis is good, etc..., but by the time you get to randiun's, the game should be over.

In a team:
Over the years (months actually but years makes it sound cooler), Shen has taken a lot of hits as a tank, which he is used to. The biggest one was when they took of the shield to yourself for your ult. That to me was sad, but fair. He still does his job great of tanking, still one of the best probably. I'm surprised I don't see him as often as I'd thought though.

Taunt that hits many people
Free healing posts
Ult from anywhere to somewhere
Energy system
Damage wise, Shen does one of the least of all tanks

Your shadow dash can pass through most walls.
When being chased, there are many ways to escape: one is your standard click somewhere far and see Shen run, though the most useless; the second is run, dash, shield, dash, shield, dash, shield, until you are safe, this is the best; the riskiest is ULT to ally, while if done correctly it will save you and make you go far, if this fails (most probably because of stuns or knock-ups) not only will you be an easy target, but you will also have to wait out the whole cooldown of the ult.

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Like I've said before, this little thing is one of the only ones who's ult is as awesome as Galio's. However, unlike Galio, this little yordle (hey it rhythms) is better played as a jungler. Anyway, Amumu also gets a prize for having one of the most (or the most) AOE abilities in the game.

Passive: Lower MR. Cool.
Q: Farthest stun award? Anyhow, this ability is probably even more recognizable then Amumu's ult.
W: Cry button, yes!
E: Nag button, alright seriously, good farming move.
R: Awesome ult. Another great Flash+ult combo move.

Ability Priority:
This is mine: ULT>W>E>Q, I think this is pretty good.

Summoner spells:
Flash is a must for the awesome flash+ult combo.
The other is most probably smite for Amumu jungling, which he does pretty well.

Item build:
1st: Cloth armor + health pots
2nd: Razors + boots of speed
3rd: Wriggles + designated boots
4th: Go play.

In a team:
When playing as Amumu, it is best to play him as a jungler. This makes the task somewhat like Volibear, where you gotta make him a jungler, a ganker, and a tank. This might sound like an ordeal to some, or many, but if one accomplishes this, the reward will be as great.

Long range stun
Good jungler
Good tank
Free Sunfire Cape
Nags and cries a lot.

Tips: When chased, you can bandage toss to minions through walls which will pull you to them.


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