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tanks, tanky dps, off-tanks, and all things tank

tanks, tanky dps, off-tanks, and all things tank

Updated on May 26, 2012
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League of Legends Build Guide Author mastajdog Build Guide By mastajdog 6 0 29,185 Views 18 Comments
6 0 29,185 Views 18 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author mastajdog Build Guide By mastajdog Updated on May 26, 2012
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Alistar
  • LoL Champion: Taric
  • LoL Champion: Galio
  • LoL Champion: Rammus
  • LoL Champion: Shen
  • LoL Champion: Blitzcrank
  • LoL Champion: Jax
  • LoL Champion: Dr. Mundo
  • LoL Champion: Nasus
  • LoL Champion: Cho'Gath


LoL Summoner Spell: Clairvoyance


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


what this is and isn't

this build is gameplay. it's about the most important and overlooked and disliked part of team playing: the tank, and about the currently most preferred and least understood part of the game, the off-tank/tanky dps. since it's kinda important to see who is and isn't best as a tank, i thought i'd show you the general difference. please don't vote on items, vote on content of the build and how much sense it made to you.
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i say this later, but it clearly needs saying early on... this is not about the builds/summonner spells/runes/masteries of said champions. it just isn't. it's about the concept of who is and who isn't what. it also isn't set rules. people still do ap alistar, tank cho and mundo, tank blitz, and i'm sure people use deathcaps for galio. i'm just proposing a theory. i have no hard facts, i'm just trying to express observations and lend some light to this topic which is underdone in normal ques.
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i copied his items and general skills from the top rated taric build. i feel ok with that becuase this isn't a taric build. it's a build that includes taric in tanking, and is generally about tanking. i've never played him, so i figured that that would be a good demonstration of how to build him. i apologise if this is not fair. THIS BUILD ISN'T ABOUT TARIC!!
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what about tanks vs. supports? (aka metagame shift)

as duff recently mentioned, there is a counter game to every meta out there. however, a metagame still exists. a tank is a type of support. some are also supports with heals/auoras, but their main skill is their ability to instead of simply buffing their carry's stats, instead to soak some damage, cause enemies to refrain from dealing damage to said carries, and to hold said enemies in place for said carries to kill said enemies. that supports the carry. in the current metagame, there is a Soraka style support babysitting the ad carry bot, and if there is a tank (amumu) they're in the jungle. if not, the off-tank who'se buisy going solo top will fufill that role as much as possible. however, sombody like Alistar who goes bot can, given the right player and placement, be a better support. it's all about how they're played. given that supports are getting more agressive, this may be the time for a shift to tankysupport (aka one of the above listed champs, especially Taric or Alistar) to replace the fragile support (like the current Sona is op)
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obviously, they should be focused mostly on defense. as to some who will complain about the mark choices, i ask that you look at duff's solo top olaf. he's got several pages of solo top runes that are full of nothing but armor/mr/hp ect combos. not even armor pen. so, sure, they're not that much of a game changer, but here's the lowdown: some champs will walk into the game at 20 armor, 30 mr, and 430 hp. you can and should walk into said game with 60 armor and mr and 800+hp. i've done it before, and it makes the lack of farming easier to deal with since tanks don't often farm.
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Summonner spells

i attempted to show you some viable spells for tanks and non-tanks. yes, Promote got removed. but it's back now, and so you might as well.but most people will be going Flash/( Teleport exhause Ignite) and have no room for cool spells like that. thus, tanks get to take Promote Clarity Cleanse Clairvoyance ect. and shen's just a special case. why should he be limited to saving people only when he's got his ult?? clayrvoyance is an under-taken/used spell. works great on tanks and supports.
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So yea. now what?

while, if you couldn't tell, team 1 is of people that are normally played as tanks and i feel should be. Shen is a special champion. he is definently ap viable, no questions there, but his ap makes him a better tank with Feint helping him and Vorpal Blade healing him and his ult making a bigger shield. so ap makes shen kinda a better tank. but anyway... the core follows
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a tank is generally a champion that:
benefits from tanky items:aka rammus and galio respectively are great
has a damage reducer like Unbreakable Will which is different from Ragnarok and Feel No Pain. because: you'll see

doesn't have to health stack to be effective. (see health stacking)

has a shield/armor increaser Feint Bulwark or a heal Triumphant Roar Vorpal Blade Radiance Imbue

has HARD CC (crowd control) aka knock-up Pulverize , taunt Shadow Dash puncturing taunt Idol of Durand a stun Dazzle or a forced movement Headbutt

has tankish stats (aka has more base health than the glass cannon of Veigar) and

doesn't take cc too easily Unbreakable Will

doesn't have to farm to be good (aka isn't a carry or item dependant)


ideally, a tank meets most of the above requirements and definently the last 2.
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off-tank vs tanky dps

generally speaking, there is no definer, like there is no clear definer between tank and off-tank/tanky dps. however, tanky dps and off-tanks are closer to each other than to tanks.


a tanky dps is a champion like Nasus that often builds a combination of defensive and offensive items. they often deal mostly physical damage, and excell at 1v1's with any other champion. they require some farm to be offective (often wanting Shen.) (also Olaf Jax Dr. Mundo )

they also have a set weakness (aka jax and Sword of the Divine and mages, dr. mundo and grevious woulds, nasus and not getting to siphon, olaf and anti-health stacking ppl... (love you too, kog with level 5 Bio-Arcane Barrage, 2.5 as, and a Madred's Bloodrazor...)

is usually a mage-type champion who has reletavily low cooldowns and good base stats. they can harass often early game and deal mostly magic damage. they will be getting a combination of both defensive and ability power/cooldown reduction items. they have many area of effect spells (aka Absolute Zero Rupture Feral Scream Vorpal Spikes Spirit Fire Fury of the Sands ). they can initiate well by provoking people to go back and heal or stay and fight (because of the harassment they've been doing). there are still often some single target spells Ice Blast Feast and an ability (often a passive) that lets them stay in their lane for a while (aka Carnivore Soul Eater ( Visionary + Consume) )

again, there's a set weakness, usually dodging the aoe skill shots (or stopping abosolute zero early

often have "soft" cc :slows ( Ice Blast Absolute Zero Rupture ) silences Feral Scream or attack speed/damage lowerers ( Ice Blast Absolute Zero ) to help them land their combos.
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health stacking

can occassionslly make champions become thought of as tanky (aka Dr. Mundo's Maximum Dosage Goes Where He Pleases, Cho'Gath's Feasting, olaf's combination of beserker's rage Reckless Swing Tough It Out, ect. however, they do have 2 problems when it comes to the actual fights with that:
(a) their health is ineffective. with low armor/mr, attack hit at near/above true damage, which makes the health not last as long as that much money in say armor/mr could have

(b) Infected Bonesaw Deathfire Grasp Madred's Bloodrazor Bio-Arcane Barrage Silver Bolts ect deal % health. so it still doesn't help... and it helps even less if your health is inneffective
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READ THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND RIGHT READ THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So you can read. glad to know that. anyway, there's just one problem with being a massive meatshield able to take everybody's damage from the other team as your carries mow the other team down....... the other team can see your items. they can see your stats. they can see your champion and know that you're a tank and it would take them five years to try to kill you. so, they go for that nice-looking carry of yours that would kill them in a trillionth of the time it would take them to kill you. and then they've got you at their leisure. happens more and more the higher of a level you play at. so, as the tank, you've got a problem. you're inneffective. so you gotta get effective. save the carry.

BUT, you ask, how can i save my carry? you didn't let me get any damage items becuase i'm a tank??? they could kill me in less time than i could kill them? what do i do? Well, i'm so glad you've seen a problem and asked me for the solution. you have many options.

(a) disrupt their entire team. Amumu is great at that with Bandage Toss Curse of the Sad Mummy. HARD cc makes people focus you because you're there and you're annoying. for example, if i'm katritna trying to channel for Death Lotus or i'm Fiddlesticks trying to channel for Crowstorm or i'm Wukong trying to eat your carry's face or i'm Kog'Maw sitting 5 miles back killing you all from out of eyesight with Bio-Arcane Barrage and Living Artillery or i'm Talon and i feel like assassinating you all FOOLZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

those people get mad when (a) you knock them up and stop their channels and give your carries time to just pound them (think of your ashe hitting 2k crits for a solid minute on sombody) (b)you go get them and Headbutt them into range and eyesight of your carries or you stun everybody and your carries get free reign

(c)you go flying at their tower at 1200 mov speed, slow them, damage them, taunt them, make them hurt for auto-attacking you, take 20 damage from your spawning pool's turret's hits, and rape their nexus turret at the same time. that really drives people crazy when you see : your turret has been destroyed for the 50th time and see in front of that message the face of an idiot who got Ninja Tabi and 5 Thornmails (yes, rammus, i'm looking at you)

(d) leave the middle of a team fight with 500 hp. this will have people flying at you like crazy. best done with an alistar who hasn't ulted yet. you can make people chase you for a solid minute as your carries have fun with the rest of their team/team's structures. if you do it right, once your carries are done, you convince the dumb enemies to tower dive you as your carries show up and kill those dummies who just just WASTED

5 FREAKIN minutes trying to kill you

(when you knew your carry couldn't have lasted half as long)

THAT, my friend, is what you do. you mess with their minds. you make them thing that since you're disrupting them the most, and you've got the most assists, YOU are the biggest threat. or you simply stop them from thinking at all as you go get chased as your carries rape their towers.
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wait... which one do i want?? a tank or an off-tank

to answer this requires that you know who fits where and how they're playing a particular champion. it also assumes in the following section that you don't know who your opponnents are picking. if you're in ranked, you should know who you want. same goes for ranked. you're level 30, you should know team composition. if you don't, message dufftime about team composition. he's be thrilled to know people think what he says is important. and then he'll make a guide about team composition so that he doesn't get 3000000000000000000 messages a day about team composition. and then we'll all be happy with him again, even more than before.

you got a tank already. please, take an off-tank

you got an off-tank and a 3 squishies. take a take

you got a 4 melee champs. take either one, it really depends on playstyle and your enemies

you got a support--tank

bunch of squishies: tank

bunch of off-tanks: carry squishy


off-tank. no need for tanks/supports there
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