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League of Legends Build Guide Author Customtm

Tanky DPS - Damage & Tanking

Customtm Last updated on November 2, 2012
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I like creating guides but there are two other things I like:

1) People reading this guide and trying it

and even more:

2) People that vote/comment and give me the feedback to improve this guide

So if you love this guide give me a +1. If you didn't DON'T just vote -1 but tell me what you didn't like and why. This way guides get better and creators will have more fun :)

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Hello guys,

this is Customtm with my new guide "Tanky DPS - The New Meta". I'm writing this guide to present two concepts at one class of champions that is played and built terrible in 99% of all cases: People building damage on champions that are tanking. They are no tanks but they behave like some and get killed over and over.

BUT that doesn't mean Tanky DPS doesn't WORK. It works very well if played and build correctly. Do you remember Duff time's guide about offtanks? He has discovered (or brought to paper) the strongest class of champions in the game. AD/AP carries, supports or tanks can't beat a good offtank. That means whatever defeats offtanks can defeat anything else as well.

The question? What DOES kill offtanks?

Well, first thing is true damage. It can mess up the concept really hard. Guess why everyone fears Vayne and Darius? They kill targets that shouldn't die. But that's also a question of good focus.

Second is other offtanks. Sounds stupid but some offtanks are just better at their job than others. Also multiple offtanks (5 x offtank OP?).

And last but not least: Tanky DPS.

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A short story

Once I was laning with Irelia versus a Gangplank. Until level six he had the upper hand but afterwards I was stomping him. When we reached endgame I was nearly at full build. Every teamfight I could dive after Malph's Unstoppable Force and nuke their AD Carry pretty quickly.

But what did Gangplank do? He went almost exact build like the one you can see above, just with boots and he was focusing only me. After I died I thought it was ok because their main damage source was down and it took pretty long to burst a complete offtank. But no: Turned out nobody could fight him especially not our AD Carry (he got 2 shot at some random point). But even with my focus on him as damage source it took too long to take him out. AD and AP carry helped him out and we lost the game.

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The concept

The concept is quite simple: Getting enough resistances and health to survive and enough damage to fight even the tankiest offtanks at will. How we do that?

Every champion ingame can just have 6 items + triple elixir (sucks to be you Viktor).

In general you need: 1 x boots, 1x health, 1x armor, 1x magic resistance and 2x for damage.

There is not much room for something else, unless you want to leave yourself vulnerable to AD/AP heavy damage or Madred's Bloodrazor. What you build depends on the champion, e.g. Irelia profits from AS more than other champions to get as much true damage as possible. That's how the builds are made.

However I found two ways to avoid getting either Boots or/and the health item. This gives us an advantage of two items more than anybody else.

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Let me tell you about movementspeed:

It's the most important stat in the entire game when it comes to melee DPS.


Of course I use at least Boots of Speed and as jungler I sometimes rush Ninja Tabi or whatever I need. This just means I will sell them later or won't upgrade them. However in late game you will not see boots on my champions. But since then you will have the items to deal with this.

Don't get me wrong, I love going fast and it's necessary to have some.
But there is a formula to skip boots AND going fast:

Trinity Force + Phantom Dancer + Force of Nature + champion with +320 MS = no boots

And if that's not enough for you, check out who got something to make him go faster, check your defense tree, see another 3% and finally there are the Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed for those sweet 315 champions that need some aid and got the PDP which I will discuss later on.

Now if you take a closer look at these items, you see that Trinity Force and Phantom Dancer show you another Synergy point for your 325+ MS champion: He should be able to profit from critical chance. Force of Nature might not be that obvious but it's hands down the item for magic resistance and THE item against AP champions and my loved Madred's Bloodrazor, means: We want this anyways.

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Where's da Warmogs?

Another thing everyone needs is health. Without at least 3k health you can't fight burst champions, regardless what resistances you have got. There are 3 options here:

1. Warmog's Armor: No doubt, the largest health pool but besides that no kind of utility

2. Frozen Mallet: Pretty large boost too with free, constant CC for any melee champion

3. A formula again: Randuin's Omen, Zeke's Herald and again Trinity Force: ?

A lot of stuff, let's take a more detailed look:

We compare:

1270 health + 40 health reg for 3000 gold vs.

700 health + 20 AD + 40% on-hit slow for 3200 gold vs.

850 health + 30 AD + 35% slow + 25% on 35% on-hit slow + 25 health reg + MUCH MORE for about 9290 gold

As you can see the Frozen Mallet looses in terms of health, damage and gold pretty hard. This is the reason why I use it only on Garen's build and that just because the Synergy between Decisive Strike procing the slow and Judgment that last about this time is absolutely perfect.

When to get it:

- You need CC in order to use abilities at full potential and got no other
- Can't use the 3. combo because of MS
- You don't build Atma's Impaler

Next is Warmog's Armor which offers most health in one item and is in that case pretty cost efficient and synergies best with Force of Nature and Atma's Impaler.

When to get it:

- You can't use or afford the 3. combo
- You buy Atma's Impaler or your champion scales with maximum health
- Your champion got plenty of CC already
- You want to go Offense Tree in your masteries

And the last one, our wondercombo that offers medium health at very high costs but has more advantages than the rest. Basically the price is Zeke's Herald only because in 99% of all cases we get the other two items anyway.

When to get it:

- You need one item slot more
- You don't build Atma's Impaler
- You build Randuin's Omen as armor item
- You are reliant on cooldown reduction (gives you 20% + Defense Tree 8,1% + 10% Elixir ~ 40%)
- Someone else got Zeke's Herald (which is the best that can happen to you)
- You profit from additional AS
- You go Defense Tree in masteries

As you can see not every health item(s) suit all T-DPS champions. So if you plan to build e.g. T-DPS Olaf with this guide, always take a look at this table to figure out what's best and also decide what the game itself tells you. Getting outran 24/7? Time to Frozen Mallet! Build against their team even with your health item.

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Randuin's OP?

Everyone got health now, time to build resistances. There are four options:

1. Atma's Impaler: Low armor and utility but strong offensive side, including crit chance

2. Randuin's Omen: Medium armor, strongest utility but no offensive power at all

3. Frozen Heart: Much armor, good utility, tons of CDR and mana

4. Thornmail: Much cheap armor and huge offensive power but no utility or other stats

We compare:

45 Armor + ~50 AD + 18% crit chance for 2355 gold vs.

75 Armor + 350 health + 25 health reg. + 5% CDR + 2x 35% MS and AS slow for >3075 gold vs.

99 Armor + 500 mana + 20% CDR + 20% AS slow for 2775 gold vs.

100 Armor + 30% AA damage reflected as magic damage for 2000 gold

So much options, what to pick?

Best Synergy lies in Atma's Impaler because we got plenty of crit chance anyways but it has a lot of disadvantages, making it a luxury item at low price.

When to get it:

- Nobody gives a s*** about you in teamfights
- Your abilities are crit reliant
- Your character got additional armor e.g. Shyvana or Taric
- You build Warmog's Armor
- You got enough utility already
- Counters most AD bruisers in lane

Randuin's Omen is a good choice in general because of its utility and the 3. health set. It makes you win every 1 vs 1 situation with AS reliant characters while still having an AOE effect.

When to get it:

- You draw attention of AS reliant character's that want to fight you
- You want to go 3. health set
- You lack utility
- You build GP10

Frozen Heart is more consistent than Randuin's Omen but is weaker. Still it offers more armor and enough CDR and mana, making it a good choice for semi-casters & CC with plenty of mana costs.

When to get it:

- You are in the middle of the teamfight
- You need more armor than usual
- You need huge mana pool and CDR at the same time
- You don't go 3. health set

Thornmail sucks in general but it has something that nothing else but the Guardian Angel has: An anti-taunt. If you get focused too much let them pay with this cheap item.

When to get it:

- Everybody wants your head (btw. works vs on-hit magic damage as well)
- You need no utility
- You don't go 3. health set

Again the point behind these items is to reach at least 150 armor in addition to our Force of Nature. If you still lack armor the champion should have enough protection by himself e.g. Yorick and Garen who are naturally bulky. In this case you have to take care even more to not get the first focus because inconsistent bonus armor might not be enough to safe you from their team.

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Where is the damage?

I will make this short: There is only one damage item that synergies best and offers AD:

Every crit build needs an Infinity Edge. Together with the rest of the items you will reach about 70% or more crit chance. Every autoattack or critting ability will hit like a truck now, regardless whether you got a The Bloodthirster or not. Investing in AS + crit chance is much more worth than getting flat AD. You would need 7 fullstacked The Bloodthirsters to get the amount of damage you will deal with the Infinity Edge set, absolutely independent from mana or cooldowns. That's how you deal DPS and burst at the same time because msot of my champions got critting abilities.

However, a very few champions got room for an addidtional item e.g. Cho'Gath or Xin Zhao:

The Bloodthirster: If you got well scaling abilities or lack sustain

Last Whisper: Actually a core item versus high armored targets, much more powerful than BT

Phantom Dancer: You could build this if you don't reach the AS limit to go and hit faster

Hextech Gunblade: Sold choice instead of BT if you scale with AP and need more CC

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The "Where is X section"

So at the end of the item sections I got some notes about items that are not mentioned above:

Situational items:

Boots of Speed & others: Just because our final build doesn't include boots it doesn't mean you should not buy them. Get them to catch up in early game.

Doran's Blade: Sometimes it's wise to get some but mostly that means you are loosing.

The Brutalizer: Strong item on all AD casters to boost your early damage.

Hexdrinker: Strong early game item if you need to counter magic damage.

Aegis of the Legion: Sweet little thing that boosts your allies, just like Zeke's Herald does. I even thought about using it in the 3. health combo.

Executioner's Calling: It's cheap way to counter all healing champions and it offers stats we would like to have. New meta on AD carries.

Heart of Gold, philosopher's stone, Kage's lucky pick and Avarice Blade:
Gp10 op. They offer strong stats, pay themselves back and Heart of Gold does even build into Randuin's Omen that is core on many T-DPS champions.

Shurelya's Reverie: Your support is a ******? Doesn't matter, this can actually fit in the 3. health item combo and has a very useful active, next to a good amount of CDR.

The "Don't build this ****" items:

Youmuu's Ghostblade: Nope. Yes you can build The Brutalizer but no you don't upgrade it. This item is not scaling into late game and you pay for another brutalizer just to get +5% CDR and 5 ARP and some stuff that is situational.

Sunfire Cape: No way, seriously. You pay 800 gold for something to deal less than 40 magic damage? And it doesn't provide enough armor or health? Just no.

Manamune: Eh, no? It is helpful but I never had such problems with mana that I had to get this item to block one of my slots. Offers no crit, no lifesteal, no AS, just meh. Build it if you have huge mana problems but sell it later.

Guardian Angel: This item is like Revive. It's funny but not worth to have it in general because of the long cooldown the passive has. Few champions got the ability to escape after their revive. If you get too much focus this may help you out as the passive grants you an anti-taunt.

Madred's Bloodrazor: My sweetheart but very expensive, easily countered by Force of Nature and no crit synergy at all. Only to use if the enemy team is stacking health but no magic resistance (which doesn't happen in my games)

Maw of Malmortius: Same as Youmuu's Ghostblade. Yes get the Hexdrinker but no don't frking build this item unless you are Olaf, Tryndamere or someone else that gets stronger at low life. On everybody else it's highly overpriced.

Banshee's Veil: Very, very situational item. The shield is very easy to destroy and there is only a few champions the item itself synergies with. However if you need health and got inbuild magic resistance you can go for this.

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Only those are T-DPS?

Nope. To make sure you don't miss the point, I will explain what the thinking process behind the builds and champion selection is:

0) Synergy

There are some champions and items that have great Synergy with this way to build. Synergy is when you build a crit build and you got Parrrley or when you got Dragon's Descent and run Atma's Impaler or Warmog's Armor instead of Randuin's Omen . Working a build around a champion shows you what he got and what he needs to be T-DPS. Abuse the strengths and build for the him.

1) The selection of a champion

There are several points you should be looking at when choosing your T-DPS character:

I) High base movement speed: The faster you naturally are, the better. Everything below 315 is not acceptable because you will have huge problems catching up with your opposition.

II) Critting abilities: Since you are running a crit based build, it would be great if an ability could use this for further Synergy.

III) Health/Armor/Magic resistance steroids: Most valuable, as they give you the option to build much more aggressive without being in danger of getting bursted.

IV) AD/AS/on-hit steroids: Less valuable but still very strong. For example Xin Zhao can completely leave the Phantom Dancer because of his strong AS steroid.

V) CC: Last but not least, the strongest way to kill even better is to control the opposition's movement. Inbuild CC leads to better results than without.

VI) Farming capabilities: Gold is the key to victory. The faster you can clear minion waves or the jungle, the more damage you will deal.

VII) Special Stuff: The more unique things, the better such as stealth, global presence, auras, etc.

By only looking at those requirements it turns out that everybody can T-DPS but only a few champions that can really shine and survive as T-DPS.

2) The equipment

Just a short list what your charcter must have in order to be able to tank and deal damage:

  • < 3000 health
  • < 150 armor and magic resistance
  • ~ 70% crit chance
  • ~ 420 movement speed or equal movement speed steroids
  • Either lifesteal, high health regeneration or inbuild sustain e.g. Battle Cry's passive
  • < 250 AD
  • <1,6 AS or equal AS steroid

If you don't reached one of these stats it doesn't mean you can't T-DPS, you will just be worse at it than another one and need to play more cautious. More is always better but just don't get 300 armor. You will lack something else as there is a certain point that can only be reached.

3) The playstyle

According to the build there are several types of T-DPS. They all are assasins because they can take a lot of damage if they have to but not as much as an equal tank or offtank could tank. That's why we got
  • Initiators: You run into their team and do your job, then quickly retreat
  • Sidewalkers: You wait for initiation, their CC and then come by side to nuke your targets

Initiators need to have the ability to tank more damage and regain health faster than Sidewalkers that got less problems with damage, CC and due to this lost health.

A special type of sidewalkers are in-and-out champions like Lee Sin or Talon. Lee Sin can both initiate and sidewalk at the same time while Talon can use his stealth ability to avoid getting focused.

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A good example says more than thousands of explanations:

Let's assume I love playing Gangplank. I read this guide and I'm asking myself:

Is Gangplank able to T-DPS properly?

I) Base movement speed: 320 - Check, good and even better trough Raise Morales passive.

II) Critting abilities: Parrrley - Check, 120 damage, a free bloodthirster with on-hit effects!

III) Health/Armor/Magic resistance steroids: Uncheck, although Gangplank has the highest base HP in the entire game but that doesn't make up for the point

IV) AD/AS/on-hit steroids: Check, 16/40 AD from Raise Morale and a 3 stacked 63 magic damage on-hit effect from Grog Soaked Blade

V) CC: Check, 21% slow from Grog Soaked Blade and 25% from Cannon Barrage

VI) Farming capabilities: Check, Parrrley gives additional 8 gold, Cannon Barrage for the AOE-everywhere-clear

VII) Else stuff: Check, CC remover and heal with Remove Scurvy, team aura with Raise Morale, global presence and AOE CC due to Cannon Barrage

As we can see Gangplank has everything and even more to be T-DPS but he lacks health, armor, magic resistance and a bit CC which leads us to point 2, the equipment.

Warmog's Armor, Force of Nature and Randuin's Omen handle both problems.

Infinity Edge and Trinity Force provide perfect Synergy with Parrrley as it will crit higher and apply the proc of Trinity Force on cast, topped with a chance of additional slow.

Phantom Dancer is not necessary and can be exchanged for The Bloodthirster but it offers movement speed, more crit chance for Parrrley and AS for the DPS part.

And of course we pump all the elixirs to get even more stats.

  • 4059 health
  • 155/153 armor and magic resistance
  • 86% crit chance
  • 439 movement speed or 472 with Raise Morale

  • 194 HP per 5

  • 256 AD or 280 with Raise Morale
  • 1,678 AS

All stats were easly reached, the movement speed, crit chance and the health part even high above. Parrrley-crits deal around 1,200 damage, T-DPSing with Gangplank is possible.

So if you have a champion, just try to find out what he's good at (e.g. Nautilus's Staggering Blow can crit]] and try to find a build that suits him. Always test it in a custom game before entering normal and ranked games, especially if you are going to jungle.

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The list

I will add here any champion that can T-DPS besides the ones in the build:

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In general there are two options:

  • 21/9/0
  • 9/21/0

When to go 9/21/0:
  • You got enough inbuilt damage already
  • You need more resistances/health
  • Must have if you can't reach 3000 health
  • You need additional movement speed
  • You need more cool down reduction (~40% in combination with 3. health set)
  • You want tenacity, since you cannot build Mercury Treads and the rest is ****

When to go 21/9/0:
  • You need more damage in general
  • You don't need the things I stated above

Yeah, it seems 9/21/0 is much stronger and yes that's the case. 21/9/0 is actually a luxury setup if you just want another edge to stomp even harder.

However, it depends very much on the champion. The Gangplank masteries aren't 9/21/0 or 21/9/0 because he needs something else (mana) from another tree. Always adapt.

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If you can properly farm, got a bit of map awareness and know your champion there is nothing that can go wrong. This isn't meant for 2K elo but it works well versus the most team combos. **** is going real when you got two of your kind, you can't loose then.

Do you got questions or want to mention an item, a better choice of them or whatever?

Leave a comment below, I will try to answer all of them. I'm always looking for ideas to improve the builds, so I'm waiting for your feedback :)


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