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Ok, every time I walk into a ranked game and see a bad tank, I die a little inside. So, here is me, sharing my
knowledge with you. Disclaimer: Some swearing. First off, what is tanking? To understand tanking, you have to understand LoL. In LoL, everyone deals damage, but not everyone does at the same rate. To tank is a playstyle that sacrifices damage for survivability. Here are a few important facts to remember about tanking.
A) What is tanking? 
1) Tanking is all about being the last person standing. You deal **** damage, but in the end, when you're the last one standing, does that really matter? They laughed when you built a Force of nature first, but you'll be the one laughing when you kick their asses. So, build tanking items, aspiring tank, you!
Useful to get a grasp of effective HP, but unrealistic Spreadsheet for how much MR/Armor to buy, courtesy of Zero000x000:
2) You also need to deal damage. I'm not talking about 50 dps. If that's all you do, you might as well be a fricking wave of minions, and well, we all know how much a wave of minions do. I mean, Significant damage. You need to deal enough damage so at the end of the day, after all the armor, magic resist, and heal bull **** you deal some actual damage. Tanking does not give you an excuse to deal no damage. When it's down to just you and him, if you don't want to be the one on the ground at the end of the day, you better be bringing some mad dps. Sheen and Sunfire are good items to get. More on that in section 3.
and ffs, realize that...
3) No, you're not gonna be the main source of damage on your team. Jesus, whenever an amumu builds a deathcap first, a rabbit dies. Stop killing rabbits.
Look at the cute rabbits!
Why you kill them?
There is a reason why people focus on building damage, or everyone would play tanky dps. So if you understand...
4) ****ing protect your carries! No, I don't mean, jump in when your carry does something stupid like initiate with their escape spell. I mean, when the **** hits the fan, you better be right next to your carry, unless you're initiating. If you're initiating, you can jerk off wherever you want, but unless you are, I expect you to be CLOSE ENOUGH TO HUMP YOUR CARRY. If you aren't close enough to rape your carry, you aren't close enough.
Edit: Seems like some guys still don't get this, so I will explain. When you are in front, your squishies are out of range of their tank's hard CC's, and they can't get to them because of your own hard CC's. Well, obviously, you can't not use your hard CC, because you will lose the teamfight. So, sometimes you have to use it on the tank. This works well for tanks, because you waste their hard CC, and give your DPS a chance to kill their without any danger, however, you have to take into consideration two things: "Can your DPS kill theirs?", and "Will you die?"
If you can't say "Yes, and No", you should just farm some more and gank, instead of teamfighting.
So, I read these threads alot: "What do you do when an Olaf with ult comes at your carry with ghost?"
5) Here's what you do. Don't waste your cc on him, save it for when it'll actually affect him. You keep up with your carry, and when that Olaf's ult comes off, You lay the mutha****ing smackdown on that dumbass. He think he so cool with his ragnorak? Well, we'll see how much he likes his epeen when your ****ing CHOP IT OFF! This is known as peeling, a.k.a. being smart.
6) Tanks, at the end of the day, no amount of tankiness will save you from a farmed up carry. I could talk about the practicalities of armor, MR, and hp. I could talk about carry kiting and initiation position. But in the end, the real reason I build damage is because I WANT TO PUNCH THAT SISSY CARRY IN THE FACE.
Only one damage item, mind you, only one. But when push comes to shove and the world attacks, punch back, LIKE A REAL MAN.
7) Finally, we have initiation. What is initiation? It's when you, as a tank, say **** this. "**** CARRIES. **** KITING. **** YOUR OP SCALING AND CHAMPIONS, AND SKILLS. WE FIGHT ON MY TERMS. THIS IS MY WORLD! MY WORLD!"
Initiation is the most powerful move that a tank has.
It is the nuking of Hiroshima (sry, about that, japs). It is the D-Day of tanking.
When a tank is farmed, tanky, and powerful, he pulls out the biggest CC stick he has, flashes straight to the enemy carry and starts whacking on him like there's no tomorrow. You might die. You might do nothing, stunlocked till death. BUT YOU WENT OUT LIKE A MAN.
Edit: whenever you initiate, and DON"T die, DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT chase after low hp squishies (or worse, non-squishies). Instead, retreat to throw off enemy aggro (yes, I mean the enemy team and not minions) then run back in when they are starting to focus on someone else.
Edit: Now, it might be manly to go out in a blaze of glory. But it's really lame when it doesn't do anything but cause your death. So you want to do two things before you initiate. The first is MAKE SURE ALL OF YOUR TEAMMATES ARE NEXT TO YOU. This is so they can take advantage of your glorious, glorious sacrifice. The next is PING WHO YOU'RE GONNA INITIATE ON, AND WAIT TWO SECONDS BEFORE YOU INITIATE. This tells your team your gonna initiate, and makes them more mentally prepared, which, as any soldier can tell you, is very important and can mean the difference between winning and losing.
Here's a good tactic for initiation. Initiate, then when your HP gets to half, start running away. Once you're far enough away, check to make sure no one's chasing you, then go back in to start tanking again.
8) Buying sh*t.
Da fuck man. Why do you have 600 gold five minutes in? YOU SHOULD BE SPENDING IT.
A real tank knows how to spend their cash. Fo' sure, you aren't gonna to raking it in like a carry, but you sure as heck aren't going to be relying on your gold generation like a support. So, a little knowledge in how to spend your gold is useful.
First off, as a tank, you want to be spending money on two main things. Survivability, and damage, in roughly a 80/20 ratio. Priority goes to survivability, and ffs, if you're 0/15/0 don't buy that goddang deathcap!
When you're buying survivabilty, it's better to get MR/Armor than a fricking health, but the ability to build a HP tank depends on the champion. Some tanks, like rammus, have naturallly high MR and Armor, so buying HP is better.
And another thing, NO ONE EXPECTS YOU TO HAVE A FORCE OF NATURE IN 15 MINUTES. Or if they do, they're idiots. You gotta plan realistically. First, buy small stuff, like Doran items, boots, gems, longs swords, tomes, null mantels and cloth armors. Then bigger stuff, like tier two boots, phage, giant's belts, negatrons, chainmail, sheen, and philo stones. Finally, by the time four towers have been destroyed, you should have a completed item, like a Sunfire Cape or a Aegis of the Legion. You should have tier two boots and two completed items by the thirty-five minute mark.
Tanks get the worse kind of b.s. in the game. I have both seen tanks get raged at and been the tank that's being raged at. All I can say is, ignore them. Sure, feel free to make a snappy comeback (no names though). But most of the time it's just a stuck up carry whose feeling lame they sucked hard. And if you really did fuck up, apologize! You're a fuckin' tank, man, you can take it!
If worse comes to worse just /ignore them. Them dicks ain't worth your time.
10) No, you're not fucking invincible.
Yes, I know what the Tank Credo says. That's what you're supposed to act like. It's not what you actually are. Yes, you're fucking hard to kill. No, you're not impossible to kill. It's a trick. A very fucking USEFUL trick (notice the bold and the italics). Sometimes, you need them to believe you're unkillable, so they'll run away. Sometimes you need them to think you're vunerable, so they chase you. If you want to be a good tank, you'll need to utilize this trick to it's full effect. So, practice, practice, practice.
B) Ranked Play 
Ok first I gotta get something cleared up. When someone says "we need a tank" in ranked, they really mean: "I want someone to keep my squishy, pansy-ass, safe."
This means that they are dicks and noobs besides, but we, as a member of the pround tank master race, shall have to oblige the weakness of the inferior classes. So when you decided to play tank in ranked, be prepared to take some crap from stupid teammates, even though you are trying to keep them alive.
(Advanced: Only for ranked players) Runes, Summoner Spells, and Masteries.
Up until now, I've talked about basic tanking tactics, but now I'll talk about what you can do before a game. Be warned, this is pretty heavy stuff, but a solid basic understanding of Runes, Summoner Spells and Masteries is essential for any sort of ranked play. Alot of what is on the forums theoretical bull****, so, I'll try to stick to what I personally know about RSSM. If you want that mathcraft you can just google it.
Now, before we begin, you might ask your self, do Runes, Summoner Spells, and Masteries really make a difference? Yes~! They do! If you don't believe me, go into a custom game and try it out for yourself. Pick a jungler and jungle without runes. Then jungle with runes. Did you notice how much faster and safer you jungled? RSSM make a HUGE difference in all parts of the game.
There are two basic mindsets with RSSM. The first one I like to call "shoring up". It's when you find weaknesses in your champion and you build your RSSM to strengthen those weaknesses. For example, Nasus is a popular tank with great damage, but he is lacking in CC and gap closers. So I build him 1/21/8 with exhaust/ghost, and ArPen, mp/5, scaling MR, and HP runes. The masteries and runes ensure he can farm well and ignore light harass in lane. Then, with a simple chalice of harmony (which synergizes well with my seals), I can pull off harassment by spamming wither and hitting them with my auto + siphon strike. Then, when their HP is low, I can towerdive them with my ult, which does damage like a sunfire cape (i.e. stunned or not). The Ghost/Exhaust allows me to deal near true damage and partially negates flash/escape spells. As you can see, I've built my RSSM to allow Nasus to dominate any lane (important for him, because it lets him farm his q!) even though you wouldn't think he was a strong laner because he's melee with no gap closer.
The second mindset with RSSM is to play to a champion's strengths. For example, nocturne has a passive that increases his survivability and damage that also scales with his attack speed. I build him 21/0/9. Attack speed marks and quints, with flat armor seals and scaling MR (since his early game is all in the jungle anyways). I take smite and Ghost. This allows him to make full use of his passive, and he because a extremely strong jungler, (though his ganking still nerfed). I have to be extra careful about his role in teamfights though, since he loses in the RSSM area for survivability.
In general, when you make your RSSM, you want to think along these thoughts. "I hate how _____ champ _____ is." Means you probably want a shoring up build. "If only I had a little bit more ____" means you want to build to the champs strength.
(Advanced: Only for ranked players) RSSM for tanks:
When you are building RSSM for tanks, you have to remember that the basic principles still apply: You have to build tanky, and you have to build some damage. Around an 80/20 mix of defense, offense. Now, the offensive parts of a tank's build are pretty easy. Most tanks have nice base stats and strong abilitys, meaning Magic Pen. Marks and Exhaust + Mastery. But you shouldn't underestimate the ability of quints also, and if your feeling confident enough to play without HP quints, you might go for move spd or AP quints. AP quints are actually better in come cases, because heals aren't migitated by MR, and neither are shields.
BUT, you still have to build defensively. Previously I just said that you had to, and it's true. But what I didn't mention was that the higher ranking you get, the more likely it is that when you are getting hurt, it isn't YOU that the enemy is targeting. In fact, you are just probably in the way of some random AoE spell (this assumes you didn't do something stupid, like walk too far out or something, and get gimped 1 v 5). This is especially true if you are doing your job right, and staying in front of your carries. Harassment hurts, and if you are already half HP before the teamfight begins, you aren't going to do a lot of tanking. In mid game teamfights, when you don't have a decent build, the only edge you got between five players who want nothing more than to kill you, and your precious hit points, is your RSSM.
Sometimes, this is why I prefer FoN instead of BV. Cheaper, with regen and movespeed, not bad with Merc treads.
But how should you build your RSSM?
Well, you want to increase your Effective HP as much as possible. if you are tanking with a champ with lots of HP, like Cho, you want to increase your MR and Armor. But if you have alot of MR and Armor, like Rammus, you want to increase your HP.
Coincidently, this applies to Damage too. If you feel like your are surviving very well, but not doing any damage, you might want to build more into damage. Ask yourself if you could have done without that extra 25 HP, and whether that opponent would have died if you had tacked on that one extra AP quint.
In the end, you need to decide for yourself what kind of RSSM fits you. But remember, at the end of the day, it better be YOU, who is the last one standing.
(Advanced, Only for ranked players): Effective Health Points:
Hoo boy, this is a sh*t pile. I'm going to start of with this quote, which I think sums up the whole concept pretty well.
Originally posted by Texas Snyper:
Your effective health points (EHP) gain is linear with armor (and MR). If you are at 30 armor OR 200 armor, you get the same EHP. Linear gains. The reason that there is the common misconception about 'diminishing returns' is because people see the % damage reduction and assume diminishing returns instead of looking at the math involved. I will give a few examples with simplified numbers and extreme cases to illustrate my point.
Starting at 0 armor and increasing to 1% damage reduction, your incoming damage goes from 100% to 99%. You net a 1% increase in damage reduction (99/100).
Being at 50% and going to 51% damage reduction, your incoming damage goes from 50% to 49%. This gives you a 2% increase in damage reduction (49/50).
Being at 80% and going to 81% damage reduction, your incoming damage goes from 20% to 19%. This gives you a 5% increase in damage reduction (19/20).
Being at 98% and going to 99% damage reduction, your incoming damage goes from 2% to 1%. This will net you a massive increase in your damage reduction by 50%.
All of the above are increased by 1% and yet each step up increases in value. This shows that for every bit of armor you have, the next bit of armor will become more valueable. In order to prevent this sliding scale and maintain a LINEAR progression for armor and MR, the % damage reduction has to have an exponential decrease in value. It is an understandably commom misconseption, but a misconception none the less.
TL;DR: Due to EHP, armor and MR give linear gains. There are no diminishing returns.
What this basically means is that each point of Armor and Magic Resist basically give about six points of hp each. However, it's impractical to JUST buy armor and Magic Resist. Let's take Warmogs for example. Fully charged up, it gives 1370 points of flat HP. That's around 220 Armor and Magic resist. Are you REALLY going to be able to get 220 Armor/Magic Resist? Of course not! it's not fricking realistic!
Which brings us to this point:
Originally Posted by Aikimiller the easiest way to visualize this is to think of it as a rectangle. effective health is the area, AR/MR is the vertical axis, HP is the horizontal axis.The most effective way to maximize your EHP is to lengthen both the vertical and horizontal.However, the thing to remember is that AR and MR only effect AD and AP, respectively. So, HP does have a slight advantage there. What kind of damage is the other team putting out? Which enemies are fed? Are any of them dealing True Damage. Are they stacking penetration? What utility does the situation call for? All of these things need to be considdered when you're trying to maximize your survival.But- to add even another layer, the goal of tanking isn't to live forever- it's to protect your team. CDR means you can peel faster and more reliably. Buying damage means you can help kill the enemy faster, saving your teammates. Buying Rylai's or Frozen Mallet means your allies will have an easier time retreating, and picking up kills from retreating enemies. It is very hard to quantify all of these benefits, and in the end, it comes down to analyzing the situation in game, and responding. One game, you have Ashe who's spamming slow, picking up Rylai's may not be necessary. However in your next game if your team has zero CC, you'd better believe that slow will save lives. In a game where you have a lot of high AD teammates, atma's may be a bad choice, the next game you may have a lot of Tanky DPS on your team, and the damage output may be game changing. Spirit visage may seem useless most games, but you'd better believe if I've got a soraka on my team spamming heals at me with a 40% CDR that I'm gonna pick it up.Bottom Line: Learn to use situational items.
This is PRECISELY WHY you must build offense. Why you must build UTILITY. You're goal as a tank CANNOT, I repeat CANNOT be to live forever. Sure, as a newbie all you have to worry about is building survival. But that's kiddie stuff. Save that for normals.
Be flexible! Be smart! A true ranked tank can turn the tides of battle.
A little note: health has one big advantage over Armor and MR. It regenerates. In other words, sometimes building HP is better for tanks if you have high amounts of lifesteal or regen.
(Advanced, Only for ranked players): Mindset of a tank:
At the highest level of tanking, a tank gains complete mastery of a resource that most players never care about. His Health Points.
A true tank does not lose health points, he uses them.
A tank is aware of everything that will and can effect them, from regeneration being halved by ignite, to the difference between the DoT of a fed malzahar and a feeding Malzahar.
Only then can he know when to back off, and when to towerdive, when to initiate, and when to start a fighting retreat.
The only true way to gain a mastery of this "HP Awareness" is practice, practice, practice.
(Advanced, Only for ranked players): Aggro control
People who have played tanks in other online games might recognize this, so I won't make this too long. A tank is a person who tries to hold the aggro of the enemy team. There are a few ways to do this, so I'll list a few. I'll add more as I go along.
Attacking the enemy carry. This usually works, but there are a few downsides. First off, you usually need to dive into the enemy team to do it, and that sucks, because you'll die in a few seconds, unless you catch one out of position. Also, if they are sufficiently fed, this is a very bad idea, because they will kill you before you do anything (Increases aggro ++).
Running away. Yes, it works. (decreases aggro -)
Inititiating. Probably the biggest aggro increaser in the game. (Increases aggro +++++)
CC'ing an enemy works if they are chasing or fighting another teammate. If you do it enough, people get tired of being stunned/slowed, and start attacking you (Increases aggro +).
Positioning. Just by being in between the carry and the enemy, you can block almost all skillshots, and you present the enemy with a "Option two". If they get tired of chasing after the carry and attack you, your carry can turn around and start killing them. (increases aggro +)
Running into fog of war/bush. If they can't see you, they can't kill you. (decreases aggro - -)
Running under the turret. The effectiveness of this decreases as time goes on, but for the majority of the game it's ok. However, you have to worry about towerdives. (decreases aggro - -)
Towerdives make people want to kill you first, even if your squishy teammate is right behind you. (Increases aggro +++)
(Advanced, Only for ranked players): Charging
Charging is a basic tank tactic that all tanks should learn. By charging at the enemy team, you force enemy carries to move or get initiatied upon by you. This destroys their formation and creates weaknesses that your team can exploit.
The difference between charging and initiation is that charging is the act of moving towards the enemy formation to initiate, initiating is actually doing something to an enemy.
Basic counters to charging include perma slow, and high amounts of damage (I.E. don't charge a fed carry. Go get a thornmail, THEN charge. You'll probably still die, but at least you'll do some damage first.)
Charging is most effective against weak formations, like when they are strung out, or they are seperated.
You can also charge a single target, but the greatest difference (and danger) of charging a team and an individual is the amount of cc they have. A cc heavy team will kill you before you initiate. This is somewhat fixed with flash, but you are still in great danged of dying, and you also have to remember that they can also flash away.
(Advanced, Only for ranked players): Itemization
Sadly, a champion only has six item slots. Therefore there are limitations on the amount of stats you can gain. Thus, a good tank should be buying items with this in mind in order to the have most optimal build. Here are a few good guidelines for this process:
1) The Health vs Armor/MR graph is in the very first section for a reason. USE IT. Know how much hp you plan to have at the end of the game, and create your build for the current game with the breakpoints in mind. For example, when you plan on having 2000 hp, you should try to have 225 of each MR and Armor. This is, of course, impossible, so you should try to have as much MR/Armor as possible.
2) Try to get some utility into your build, since the most optimal combination of HP and MR/Armor is unattainable. The best, and most cost efficient way for this is to buy wards. If you catch the enemy jungler trying to dragon, it's paid for itself. If you avoid a gank it's paid for itself.
3) Try to get some additional benefits into the item. For example, Thornmail completely destroys any AD without lifesteal. In certain cases, thornmail might be better than other, higher armor items. However, if there are MULTIPLE AD on the enemy team, a Frozen heart might be better.
4) Remember to build a little bit of damage.
(Advanced, Only for ranked players): Formation
I'm not gonna talk about formation bullshit, I'm sure your smart enough to figure out the most important shit out. But it's still a good idea to go over the basics once in a while.
First of all, formations are a compilation of team positioning. When you have two or more people in a certain position relative to each other, that is called a formation.
The whole point of this is to limit your enemies options and expand your own options.
The best kind of formation will allow your team to have the most flexible options (Carries can hit the enemy, tanks can peel people off the carries/supports, and supports can heal) while forcing your opponents to do something (Enemy carries can't hit carries/supports, so they have to hit tanks)
Sometimes carries/supports are idiots. At times like these, tell them to stop being so agressive and get the f*ck behind you so you can protect their ass.
A good formation should also allow people to retreat. For example, if the tank takes too much damage, he should have room to run away and allow carries to peel people off him, and supports to heal him.
C) Item Recs 
1) Frozen mallet...
...is a great item, get it. Now this is just my opinion, but, if you're going tank, and you have good tanky RSSM, then you should get Frozen Mallet, asap. Not phage, but Frozen Mallet. Randuin's Omen is great and all, but you can only use it once every sixty seconds, which is basically once a teamfight.
Of course, if you're tanking with a guy like nunu, GP, or mundo, who already have perma-slow, you shouldn't get it. And yea, it's not that good on tanks with a lot HP with no Armor or Resist, but lots of HP (like Cho-Gath). But if you're playing Garen, Rammus, or Leona, it's like a gift from God.
I do, however, have to give a warning. Frozen mallet is really fricken expensive. If you are the only tank on a team of four squishies, don't build it, because you need to build more tanky. But, you SHOULD build it if you are the off-tank on a three-two tank-squishy team.
(But F-F-Fistful, high Elo players tell me that it's a **** item!!!!111lol)
Yea, whatever, if you want to listen to them, be my guest, you don't have to read my guide. But I understand that some people may have some reservations about getting Frozen Mallet, so I have summoned Billy Mays from beyond the grave to explain why it's a god tier item.
HI BILLY MAYS HERE WITH ANOTHER FANTASTIC PRODUCT!
EVER HAD A TEAMFIGHT WHERE YOUR TEAMMATES WERE STUPID AS ****ING ****? DID YOU BLOW YOUR STUNS AND SLOWS ON THAT STUPID TOWERDIVNG ALISTAR WHO COULDN'T TAKE A HINT?
THEN YOU NEED FROZEN MALLET!!! IT CAN SLOW THE **** OUT OF THOSE ****ING TOWERDIVERS!!!
YOU BET IT CAN SLOW THOSE ****ING TOWERDIVERS!!! WATCH AS I STAB THIS STUPID ALISTAR WITH MY SWORD!!! A NORMAL TANK WOULDN'T HAVE THAT KIND OF SLOW AND YOUR STUPID ****ING CARRIES WOULD DIE!!! BUT WATCH AS I USE FROZEN MALLET!!!! WATCH AS I CUT THROUGH THAT ALISTAR'S MOVESPEED LIKE A HOT KNIFE THROUGH BUTTER!!! HE CAN'T GET TO THAT DUMBASS AKALI WHO STAYED WITH ONLY FIFTY HP LEFT!!! EVEN WHEN HE USES HIS ULT I JUST RE-SLOW HIM!!!
BUT I"M NOT DONE YET!
IF YOU HAVEN'T HAD A TEAMFIGHT WHERE YOU BEAT THE **** OUT OF THEIR CARRIES AND STARTED TO CHASE THEM, ONLY TO NOTICE YOUR STUPID ****ING CARRIES WERE GETTING TOTALLY OWNED BY THEIR SINGED, I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE **** YOU'VE BEEN DOING!!! IF YOU DIDN'T HAVE FROZEN MALLET AND GOT SOME **** LIKE RANDUIN'S OMEN, YOUR STUPID ****ING CARRY WOULD BE DEAD CUZ YOU USED IT ON THOSE CARRIES WHO FLASHED AWAY ANYWAYS!!! BUT WATCH AS I USE FROZEN MALLET TO SLOW THE **** OUT OF THAT DUMBASS SINGED!!! WATCH HIM CRY AS NOW HE IS KITED AND BATH IN HIS BLOOD AS YOU BEAT THE **** OUT OF HIM AND HE CAN'T RUN AWAY!!!
BUT I'M STILL NOT DONE YET!
HAVE YOU EVER FOUND A DUMBASS LEONA WHO WAS WALKING AROUND ALONE? DID YOU SLOW HER WITH YOUR RANDUINS OMEN, ONLY TO HAVE HER STUN YOU AND TRLOLOL THE **** AWAY? YOU NEED FROZEN MALLET!!! WATCH AS I SLOW THE **** OUT OF HER AND SHE CAN'T RUN AWAY!!!
BUT THAT'S STILL NOT ALL!!!
IF YOU BUY NOW FOR JUST TEN EASY PAYMENTS OF 325 YOU GET AN EXTRA 700 HP AND 20 DAMAGE FOR NO EXTRA CHARGE!!!
FOR NO EXTRA CHARGE!!!
HERE'S HOW TO ORDER!!! GO TO YOUR SPAWNING POOL AND CLICK ON THE SHOP, THEN ON THE HEALTH BUTTON! THAT'S SHOP, THEN HEALTH BUTTON (you stupid ****ing ****)!!! ORDER NOW~!!!
YOU HAVE TO!!!
2) About Trinity
Originally Posted by King Desu: i agree with this for the most part. Which leads to the question, how useful is Leona / Ali full tank. Should at least a trinity be build on them?
Problem with trinity is it's too expensive, getting a sheen and an aegis is much better.
tl;dr, rush sheen, don't rush trinity |}
3) And Sunfire capes: Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankHades: i have trouble tanking with Ali. i can initiate, and i can survive in the pile until i get one more headbutt and possibly a smash also before i have to bail. but im just not doing enough damage.
Get a sunfire cape. This is the go-to item for many tanks. It gives 40 dmg per second, which is roughly equivalent to a B.F.S. Sheen is also good, but requires more skill, i.e. skill timing to get the most out of your sheen, and when NOT to time out your skills to CC someone to death.
Edit: sunfire cape is a bit weak now, after the nerfs. I recommend sheen or atma's now.
4) Force of Nature is better than Banshee's Veil (for reals)
Originally Posted by Mateusz Melchior Malisz: tl; dr, but I will always consider rushing a Force of Nature as an example of brainlessness
For a tank, you don't really care if you get CC'd as long as you blow all your cooldowns. Your worth in the game is in your mere existence, not the ability to attack. Even if you just stay there, simply by being near an enemy a sunfire cape will deal damage an enemy, and soaking up damage.
Things are different for carries, of course, because carries have the ability to deal large amounts of damage, but have relatively low effective HP. This is why one Hard CC can lead to their death.
But tanks have large amounts of EHP. And not only is FoN cheaper than BV, it gives a decent chunk of Regen (2000 hp means 7 hp a second, 3000 is 10.5, on top of the flat regen and increased MR), so if you last longer than half a minute in a fight it gives much more HP than a BV (375 flat). Unless they use ignite on you, which is of course, the lulz (if someone ignites you, gtfo until it wears off, regen is a healthy portion of your tankiness).
The most important aspect of Force of Nature, however, is the ability to move 8% faster. This is about a third of a ghost boost, and the movespeed is invaluable in getting in range to peel someone off a teammate, get away when things get bad, and chasing down runners. The only thing bad about movespeed is the fact that you have to wait for your teammates to catch up before you can initiate (Remember, Ping, Two seconds, then Initiate!)
5) Atma's Impaler.
Great item, if you are a physical tank/off-tank, or just need that extra damage, atmas goes well with tanks. Get it as a fourth or fifth item, and if you get it, also get a...
This might seem noobish, but it really IS a great item. It's just that many newbies make the mistake of buying it FIRST. This is a mistake. Warmogs DOES give the highest amount of EHP a single item can give, AND a massive chunk of health regen, but it is also a whopping Three. Thousand. Gold. Newbies, they see that it is a stacking item, and think "i'll rush it and get that 1000 HP faster!" Uh, no. It'll take at LEAST two intense teamfights in which you aced their team for you to fill up warmogs. For an extra 250 I could get a Frozen mallet (not that I would be getting that as a first item either). And anyways, what's the rush? It's not like you can lose warmogs stacks. Get it late game, as your fifth item, before you get your final damage item.
7) Aegis of the Legion.
Fact: Aegis of the Legion is the most cost efficient item in the game.
Also fact: AotL is not the best item in the game. While AotL is a great item, it often gives too little for too much. Most of the time there will only be one person carrying on the other team at a certain time (early, mid game, late), with one item.
Final piece of advice: Get it if you can squeeze it in, it really does make a difference.