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General Guide by SquirrelPoower

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League of Legends Build Guide Author SquirrelPoower

Tanking, The under-played role

SquirrelPoower Last updated on July 6, 2011
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Team 1


Team 2

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Change Log

06-27-2011: Added Ignite to other spells to consider.
07-01-2011: Added a section talking about what is a tank to riot. Also changed to no need to comment to vote so maybe I will get more votes. If you down vote i would appretiate feedback tough.

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Exept for Jarvan and Malphite, the builds i took are the top rated one on mobaphire with a little of my flavor. Please do not downvote only for those builds. Vote for the information and my Jarvan/Malphite build. I play those 2 primaraly. Feedback is appreciated.

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Tanking, yes tanking, the role that is important in every game (or almost) and who almost no one wants to play. Tanking is, in my opinion, one of the most important roles and not the hardest to master. I am no high ELO player and I haven't been playing since the game came out, but I think I know how to tank and can give some tips on tanking :). I agree, sometimes we are tired of beeing the one tanking and want to jump to our favorite carry and rape faces (which is really fun), but if you know how to tank well and to disrupt team fights and make your team get an ace, I bet you will feel very proud :D. In this guide, I will give tips and tricks about tanking and going deeper in what is a tank.

NOTE: This is my first build on MOBAFIRE, and I don't know how to put images or things like that, so please do not downvote only because of this. Also, English isn't my first language, so if there are any mistakes you can point out please do. Thank you for your comprehension. I also want to point out that I do not play all the tanks, so some are just ideas taken from their top rated guides. If you want to vote for how I build a charachter, please vote for Jarvan IV and Malphite, which are my builds. I will also use them as examples more often beacause i know them better. Also, in my opinion, alot of tanks should build the same way, and their builds should NEVER be static. See who is the biggest threat in the ennemy team and build to counter him. Also, when i say under-played, i mean in low ELO and in normal games, where people think supports tanks and offtanks are useless -.-. The champion builds i make would work well agaisnt balanced teams. I also leave a free slot at the end of each build (if you sell your philosopher stone, which you should), which i usually get a GA. I don't play other tanks than Jarvan IV and Malphite beacause the rest are banned in ranked game or I don't like so please don't rate for this.

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WTF is a tank?

A tank is a charachter who has large amounts of CC and can soak up tons of damaga and come out alive. Obviously, he can't do this alone, so you will need a good team composition and a SUPPORT, the other under-played role. You are always supposed to be the last one focused in a team fight, but if you are being focused first, don't start running around. YOU ARE A TANK. You should stay there and use all your skills and make sure your team kills their carries. If you die and the rest of your team lives AND they killed their whole ennemy team, tell yourself this is a good thing and you have done your job well instead of crying because you're the only one dead.

You know when you are a carry and you sometimes chase down someone in the middle of a team fight? As a tank you should NEVER EVER do this. You are the first one in the team fight and the last one out. This is your role! Innitiating is a big part of tanking. It is true, sometimes you will not be the one initiating the fight, but you should be. The only times you aren't initiating are when Ashe throws her ult at their carry and then the rest of team jumps in and rapes the other team's carry. Exept for this kind of scenario you should allways be initating with Malph's ulti or Jarvan IV's flag-spear shield ulti combo. Not all champions can tank, but all champions should get atleast one defensive item in my opinion. The best tanks in my opinion will have their build in my guide, tough some are better as off-tanks.

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How Riot views a tank

Greetings Summoners!

We wanted to give you a glimmer of insight into the mechanics of our newest champion, Leona, the Radiant Dawn.

Leona is a bit special because she’s our answer to a pretty popular fan request; a female tank! I think a good place to start is to answer “what exactly does ‘tank’ mean to us at Riot?”
• Starts and initiates teamfights (usually via CC).
• Soaks up damage.
• May peel dangerous attackers off other vulnerable team mates.
• Presents itself as an attractive target by causing long-term “threat” as the fight continues.

Leona does this by providing a low-cooldown, low-duration, single-target stun with a skillshot gap-closer to start. After she closes the gap to the enemy, she’ll be performing regular single-target stuns that really disrupt the fight or peel off a target from an ally once a fight has begun. Additionally, she has a defensive stance that allows her to soak up punishment pretty effectively and also discharges a wave of sunlight outward that causes significant damage. This mechanic acts as a sort of “soft taunt” that causes her to have some threat when she’s about to unleash a big chunk of damage, and makes her an attractive target.

Finally, her passive, Sunlight, causes all of Leona’s spells to debuff the target, causing the next attack from an ally to do additional damage. This really encourages Leona to mark high-priority targets and let her set up opportunities for her teammates. Her power increases with the length of the fight, a common tank trait (like Singed’s Poison Trail or Amumu’s Despair, for example).

We’re excited to be able to deliver something we’re really proud of to meet our players’ requests and expectations. Keep letting us know what you want – we do take your feedback seriously.

This is the Leona mechanics preview text which also describes well what a tank is supposed to do: enter a teamfight and disrupt evryone. You wont deal a significant amount of damage, but as the fight goes on you will become more and more dangerous making ennemies want to attack you, but if they do, your carries will rip them apart. I am waiting for leona and will buy her when she comes out and add her in my guide.

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Pros / Cons

- Soaks up tons of damge
- Disrupts and misplaces the hole ennemy team
- Hard to kill, very resistant
- By late mid game/late game, you get aroung 75% reduced damage from everything (exept true damge)
- Your team will love you if you do your job well

- Doesn't deal a lot of damage (which isn't your role)
- Some have difficulties at farming ( why i allways get at least 2 gold per 10 items, I will expplain later)
- If you don't do your job well, your team will hate you

As you can see, tanks don't have a lot of cons, exept for being hated if you can't tank well.

I also want to point out you are not obligated to learn to tank, but you should be ready to play at least one tank. Some are better as AD carries while some are better as supports, but at some place, you should be able to play one of each kind.

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Farming/ gold per 10 items

In the recent patch (v1.0.0.120), riot nerfed the gold per 10 items by making them unique. This means if you get two hearts of gold, you will get double the health but not double the gold per 10, but if you get 1 heart of gold and one philosopher stone you will get double the gold per 10. Gold per 10 items are still very important because they give nice stats and help those tanks whit farming problems. You should get those items even if farming is very easy with your champ (Malphite) since they make getting items easier and give some nice stat boosts.

You should also get this beacause you shouldn't be getting too much minion kills early game. If you lane with a carry, you should let him have more than you, but still get some. You are not a support, so get some of those minions!

Mid game you should be able to get loads more minons when you see giant waves comming onto lanes all for you. Also remember not to kill steal your carries, they need to be fed more than you. The only times you should get kills are in 1v1 situations (why would you go 1v1) or if your carry is out of rande for the kill and if u dont get it no one will.

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I get mostly the same runes with every tank. The reason i choose to get get flat armor/magic resist/health runes insted of per level is because, in my opinion, runes are better for early game since mid game you should get items which give you these stats. I also choose armor seals over dodge seals is because i find dodge being somewhat random. Early game with 9 flat armor seals you should be able to take 1 more tower hit, which is nice. Now people will say '' why do you get dodge masteries and say dodge is random WTFNOOBBBQ ''. I get those masteries because i dont want to put points in masteries i don't need like cleanse and fortify which i don't use and Revive and heal. And the 10% increased speed after dodging doesn't get noticed but can help you chase down a low health runner which your carry can't get.

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Pretty obviously i go 0/21/9 for the defensive masteriesé You can change this part if you want to. I go in utility over offense because You don't need that offensive boost and i find the 1 gold per 10 mastery pretty nice.

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In my builds, I put the kind of build you should get if the ennemy team is pretty well balanced. Of course you need to analize their team and see who is the biggest of a threat and build items to counter him. You should also buy wards. On a champion like Rammus or roaming Alistar, you should be warding even if your support started warding (I say Rammus because of his power ball which makes getting around the map easier and roaming Alistar because he is one of the best roammers in my opinion). The build should never stay static. preiod. The only thing you should allways get are the gold per 10 items and the mercury treads for the tenacity.

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Summoner Spells

These are all up to you, there are the spells you shouldn't get like revive and rally. Some of those champs can jungle, i will not go deeper in this because I'm a bad jungler -.-. If you jungle take smite, it's very important for this role.

Best Spells (imo)
Flash: Helps you get in/out of a fight.
Ghost: If your team starts a team fight and you are still kind of far, pop this and there you are! Also useful for getting away.

Other spells to consider:
Exhaust: Their AD Carry ripping your team appart? BAM. exhaust and hes out.
Clarity: Good if you have mana issues.
Teleport: I don't really like this spell but it's good to counter pushes.
Cleanse: Very good summoner spell when ennemy team is full of CC.
Fortify: It's good to counter pushes but you should leave this to the support.
Smite: If you're jungling, won't go in deeper
Clairvoyance: If no one has it on your team it's always a good choice.
Ignite: Can help against a pesky Mundo, Vlad or Warwick for him to stop healing.

Heal: Only useful for the first few levels then it only takes a summoner spell space.
Rally: Who the hell takes that? Seriously IF you like it, it's all up to you.
Revive: This has a long 9 mins cooldown and is a waste. It's only usefull late game when your team is aced, but this usually tells other players you die often.

This is my opinion on spells. It's your choice.

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Team Work/ Team Fights

What is a tank whitout a team behind him dealing tons of damage and healing? Nothing. You are a big part of the team, you are important, but don't hesitate to sacrifice yourself to save your carry. The only time you shouldn't self sacrifice is when you and your carry would die, it would only give them more kills.

In a team fight, you wanna jump in first and get out last. You DON'T chase the low hp runners until every one one your team decides to go for it. You need to communicate a lot. Be warry of the minimap and careful of the incomming possible ganks. You shouldn't take solo lane, this is your carrie's lane. I don't know if I'm telling this enough but you are the first one in the fight and the last one out. You use all your skills and target their carry. You don't back untill the whole team backed. Make them target you.

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A tank is a very under viewed role which is important and very fun to play when you are good at it. My builds aren't perfect, and i know I still need to practice a lot, but this should help new players who want to learn to tank. I am tired of seeing people say tanks are noob because they don't deal damaga. People who say hat are the real noobs in my opinion.


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