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Tanks vs Offtank vs Tanky DPS

Creator: Blood26
June 3, 2012 4:27pm
30 posts page 1 of 3 Forums » General Discussion » Tanks vs Offtank vs Tanky DPS
Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep | Commend by Blood26 » June 3, 2012 4:27pm | Report
Ever since Varus got released, personally, don't know how it rolls in the NA server, but down here in the Asian server, nobody plays the role of a true tank anymore.

Let alone any kinds of tank actually.
I ripped this off a NA thread.

Trying to cover all the various concepts around the word "tank"-:

1. Tank - a true, proper tank needs to fulfill certain criteria, viz. Initiation, Durability, Disruptive ability, Threat. So, a good tank needs to be able to initiate teamfights, not melt under concentrated enemy fire, be able to disrupt the enemy team's position and/or plan (using some form(s) of CC), and he/she must not be completely ignorable. Amumu, Rammus, Shen, Galio, Alistar, Leona, Maokai fulfil the role of tank. All of them have skills that allow them to fulfill these criteria, albeit that some are stronger in certain criteria than others. As seen, Galio has poor initiation, but good Threat and Disruptive ability. Shen has very poor Threat and initiation, but is quite durable and has high Disruptive ability with a spammable Taunt. Leona rates well in 3 criteria, but her Threat is somewhat poor. Rammus, Maokai, Amumu and Alistar rate well in ALL criteria.

2. Off-tank - This is actually a very flexible role. They can fulfill quite a few functions of a tank at the expense of their damage, or they can go primarily damage and otherwise provide utility to complement the true tank. They generally follow the main tank into the fight, or initiate the fight in favor of their team. These champs often overlap with tanky DPS types as well. Singed, Gragas, Malphite, Blitzcrank, Cho'gath, Jarvan, Nasus, Nunu, Mordekaiser, all fall into these categories. Gragas, Malphite, and Blitzcrank provide superb initiation. Malphite is durable, but his Disruptive ability beyond his ult is slightly poor, providing only an AS reduction and single target slow.Blitzcrank has excellent disruptive ability as well, but if he builds for Threat he loses durability. Gragas is fairly beefy and can take quite a bit of damage if built so, and can deal a lot of if it if built pure AP. He has good initiation but subpar disruptive ability. Nunu is an excellent example of an off-tank. His initiation is poor unless he catches an enemy out of position with an iceball, but he has very high threat in teamfights with his ultimate. If he builds AP, his threat is even higher, if he builds resistances he's quite durable and just tanks, slow, and buffs his carry.

3. Tanky DPS - these are, simply put, damage dealers with good durability. They are not quite off-tanks, but the roles CAN overlap. Jax, Irelia, Jarvan, Mundo, Xin Zhao, Udyr, Warwick, etc. fall in this category. Their primary job, unlike tanks and off-tanks, is damage. However, due to the nature of their skills or the fact that they're melee, they must build enough survivability to be able to deal said damage in fights. They generally have some form of CC for keeping their enemies in melee range, or a distance closer, or a self haste, or something along those lines. They also have some innate skill that gives them additional survivability, and an innate skill to give them more DPS. While making an off-tank the primary tank of a team usually has no drastic consequences as they can often fulfill that role satisfactorily, making a tanky DPS the primary tank is a terrible idea, as you're losing out on their otherwise excellent damage. Additionally, tanky DPS while durable are USUALLY (exceptions exist of course) not meant for face checking 1v5 like tanks, their durability is simply to give them an edge in 1v1 or 1v2 etc combat.

These are just the definitions I hold to. Feel free to take them as you will.

Quoted by Aemon Darkstar


I know the ideal team formation goes like this
1 AD
1 AP
1 JUNGLER
1 TANK/Offtank/Tanky dps
1 SUPPORT

And then, some people might play around with the roles, get 2 AP or 2 AD, 1 support, 1 jungler and 1 tank.
I normally find lots of team mixing up the role between a Fighter and a true tank.
When someone insta-picks champions like Riven, everyone thinks Riven will be the tank.
Then others would proceed to pick squishies.
And the game ends in defeat, because no one was tanky enough to initiate or just to purely tank.

I am personally against the ideas of Offtanks and Tanky Dps.
Unless I really know they can tank, thus far, the only good Offtank I've ever seen is Singed.
I hardly see any Amumu, Leona or Galio for that matter.
Nautilus is okay.
I see Shen on lv 30 most of the time.

And then we have players who play tank-wannabes because they want to kill at the same time.
Champions like Riven, Lee Sin and most recently, Darius.
And cause the whole team to lose.

Under such situation, what would you guys do ? Esp those who play AP and AD and Support. What is your say on this matter ?


Straying off from the main topic though, I swear I'm gonna flip tables if I see another new champ being overused. I know its a new champ and everyone wants to use it, but it wasn't like this before Varus was released.

The week before last, I see Varuses in every game, literally. This week, I've been seeing tons of Dariuses.

I am mentally prepared to face an inflation of Draven too, and with Darius being so easy to pick up, he's gonna be another high pick for pub.

If this goes on, LoL is going to be similar as HoN, its like an endless release of Hero every few weeks.
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep | Commend by Luther3000 » June 3, 2012 4:33pm | Report
Honestly, there are very few true tanks in LoL and in my experience the need for a true tank tends to be highly overrated by less experienced/skilled players. Some of the definitions in that quote are pretty off too.

As for LoL as a whole, it hasn't really changed all that much in a long time. The metagame pretty much hasn't changed at all in almost a year now and Riot have always released champions at this pace.
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep | Commend by Pølsemanden » June 3, 2012 4:37pm | Report
First you don't need a tank.
Second the "true" tanks are usually in the jungle.

If you play AP get an AP with good initiative ability(Gragas, Galio, Kennen, Annie), same with AD(Ashe), and same with support(Leona, Blitzcrank).

you can also just aim for a poke-comp and forget about initiating at all, just poking the enemy to bits and forcing them to back off, with such a team-comp you need a good counterinitiate like galio.
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep | Commend by Blood26 » June 3, 2012 5:38pm | Report
Luther3000 wrote:

Honestly, there are very few true tanks in LoL and in my experience the need for a true tank tends to be highly overrated by less experienced/skilled players. Some of the definitions in that quote are pretty off too.

As for LoL as a whole, it hasn't really changed all that much in a long time. The metagame pretty much hasn't changed at all in almost a year now and Riot have always released champions at this pace.


I am against tanky fighters (or tanky dps). To me, tanky dps or fighters like Riven or Shyvana should not be tanking. Their tankiness is meant for themselves, so that they could go in and disrupt enemy team. The way SEA players perceives tanky fighters, is that they are the only tanks that a team needs and that's really wrong. So long as you have a fighter, that's considered tank.

Not sure how you define true tanks, but the kind of tanks I like to have in my team would be

Amumu
Leona
Alistar
Galio
Nautilus
Singed
Nasus or Renekton (situational)
Rammus or Shen (situational)
Blitzcrank

To me, what defines a tank or true tank, is the ability to initiate well, either by hooking them in (Naut) or going upfront and stunning enemy champions (Leona, Amumu). Galio is my favorite tank due to his ability to just purely take hits and taunt champions with his ult. Otherwise, another definition that I would define good tanks are champions with good cc and the ability to take hits while doing so.

CC tank synergizes well with any champions, put in a Leona/Galio, Fiora, Sona, Morgana and MF and you will have an almost complete team of CC.

Not sure about Riot, but it seemed to be pretty stable still when I first joined LoL. I've seen people go crazy over new champions, its understandable, but I've never seen an inflation of certain champions (like Varus and Darius). That is pretty scary.

If you've compared spotlights, you'd know what I'm trying to say. This is how I see Riot and S2.

Riot has been releasing some bursty champions (in a sustained way) lately.

Like Riot, s2 reminds me of how they've been releasing lots of bursty champions since last year, and they still are right now. Even tanks are pretty bursty in some ways.


@Polsemanden
I highly disagree with that, any one can initiate and have the enemy team burst the initiator down in matter of seconds, especially with initiators like Annie or Ashe. Any team needs a tank, that can soak up damage and not just initiate well.

Any champs can play tank by buying HP items, but they will not tank as well as actual tanks because their abilities differ for certain purposes.

Hence the term "true" tank.

Poke-comps is not effective imo, there will always be possible backfires.
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep | Commend by Amazing Monkey » June 3, 2012 8:38pm | Report
I usually only choose bruiser (tanky dps), if there already is a tank. Otherwise, I'll off-tank. But while off-tanks like Wukong or Shyvana can initiate like a "true tank," I'd definitely prefer a tank-tank lol. I usually go off-tank over bruiser when the team doesn't really work on team comp and you're stuck without a tank.

I feel what's useful about bruisers is that, if needed, it isn't that difficult to switch to an off-tank build. Sometimes you just need that extra tanky member.

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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep | Commend by DuffTime » June 3, 2012 9:24pm | Report
I would say Nautilus is one of the only true tanks.
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep | Commend by Blood26 » June 3, 2012 10:39pm | Report

I usually only choose bruiser (tanky dps), if there already is a tank. Otherwise, I'll off-tank. But while off-tanks like Wukong or Shyvana can initiate like a "true tank," I'd definitely prefer a tank-tank lol. I usually go off-tank over bruiser when the team doesn't really work on team comp and you're stuck without a tank.

I feel what's useful about bruisers is that, if needed, it isn't that difficult to switch to an off-tank build. Sometimes you just need that extra tanky member.


I agree with you Wukong and Shyvana can initiate well because they have the ability to dive in and disrupt enemy teams for awhile. It makes things easier for the carries and support alike. But when they get focused on, they go down more quickly than actual tanks.

Till date though, I haven't seen anyone who plays like an actual fighter, the kind that goes in and disrupts enemy team .

Personally, I think tanks are as equally as any support. They are the backbones of the team. Offtanks, imho, only works when you encounter a team full of squishies.

Like my previous match yesterday, when the enemy team had 4 AD ranges and 1 AD melee. All Shyvana had to do was go full tank and get armor. The rest was up to the AP carry and AD carry to win the battle.

But in most cases, things don't turn out to be this lucky.

@DuffTime
Agreed, Nautilus is meant to be a tank through and through. His skill sets are meant for tanking. Although I've seen some players go AP Naut and screw us up.

He, along with Leona, Amumu, Alistar and Galio are actually my favorite tanks. What I like about Alistar is his heal that could be spammed. Leona had a suite of disables and Galio's ult is a tide changing one.

Rammus is good too, but he can't tank well when the enemy team has many cc abilities.
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep | Commend by SwizzNL » June 3, 2012 10:52pm | Report
If I have to look at a true tank actually the first one that comes in mind is Malphite solo top!
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep | Commend by A Chubby Baby » June 3, 2012 11:50pm | Report
you dont need a pure tank in the team, as players will simply ignore you in teamfights and you will be rendered as useless.
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep | Commend by Blood26 » June 4, 2012 12:21am | Report
SwizzNL wrote:

If I have to look at a true tank actually the first one that comes in mind is Malphite solo top!


Ohh, +Rep !
Malphite is good, very durable. I agree with you.

@A Chubby Baby
True to a certain extent, but I disagree heavily on how you don't need a tank in every team. That's like saying you don't need Cheese when you're making Mac&Cheese.

Besides, a good tank is a tank who can be tanky and still dish out damage to make at least one member of the enemy team focus on him.

Ignorance is not an excuse to say a team doesn't need one.
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