Ahoy. community. Today we're going to talk about the updated Defense mastery tree. As someone who likes to play tanks, this was a pretty big deal for me and I was really excited for this. However, it kinda turned out that it's now a lot less easy to decide which masteries to pick. That's why I'll now share my opinions on them and then expect you to tell me why I'm wrong, so let's get started.

Tier 1
  • Swiftness mastery 2014.png Swiftness: This has replaced the Enchanted Armor mastery 2014.png Enchanted Armor mastery, which is now farther up. What does this mean? Basically it's a small nerf to Bruisers, because they don't get the ~5 bonus armor/MR anymore, but it might be a valuable investment on ADCS, or assassins if your enemy team has a lot of slows.
    • Personally, I'm hesitant and prefer Recovery mastery 2014.png Recovery, because it offers more safety to marksmen (and assassins, which I hardly play), but in case of NunuSquare Nunu, NautilusSquare Nautilus, SejuaniSquare Sejuani, this mastery might even be better.
Tier 2
  • Nothing changed.

Tier 3Edit

  • Tenacious mastery 2014.png Tenacious: This replaced Oppression mastery 2014.png Oppression. It has also been slightly nerfed.
    • Basically, this mastery is a must-have on anyone running 9/21/0, or 0/21/9, because tenacity is never not-needed (almost never) but this is not really different than before, because Oppression mastery 2014.png Oppression used to be pretty important on anyone with CC as well.
Tier 4
  • Adaptive Armor mastery 2014.png Adaptive Armor: Now, this one bothers me the most. I'm really uncertain if it's worth getting or not. Basically, at no point in the game are you ever going to have exactly the same amount of armor and magic resist, thus you will get a sweet sweet bonus to the stat you're currently lacking, which is kinda helpful if you need to rack up defenses quickly.
    • The thing is, tho... usually, in a balanced build, you're going to have around 200 armor (champ-specific passives not included) and maybe 175 MR (if you slip in offensive items or a Warmog's) That means you'll get around 5~6 bonus armor/MR from the mastery (since it only counts bonus stats)
      • Now that I'm writing this I'M actually realizing that this mastery really isn't that good, especially if you have to sacrifice a point that you could use in Enchanted Armor mastery 2014.png Enchanted Armor, which gives you way better stats. Ergo: this one sucks, don't get it.
  • Reinforced Armor mastery 2014.png Reinforced Armor and Evasive mastery 2014.png Evasive: I used to take these if possible... but I just can't afford that now. Now that Enchanted Armor mastery 2014.png Enchanted Armor is that good, these just don't seem to make a lot of sense, unless you're running 21 points in defense on a champ who doesn't buy a lot of resistances. In that case, take them, because they offer better defense when just piling up HP.
Tier 5

Here's where the good stuff moved.

  • Enchanted Armor mastery 2014.png Enchanted Armor: Now gives bonus Armor and MR to up to 10% of your bonus stats. Which means items like Frozen Heart item Frozen Heart give you 10 bonus armor, while the average MR item gives you 5 bonus MR. Compared to Adaptive Armor mastery 2014.png Adaptive Armor, that's a lot more (I wish there was a way to successfully combine those two without missing out on the other stuff)
    • Basically, get as much of this as you can, but you're probably only able to invest 3 points if you also want Oppression mastery 2014.png Oppression adn the flat defensive stats from the Tier 3 masteries.
  • Oppression mastery 2014.png Oppression: Nerfed by 1%, but IMO still pretty strong on any tank with CC. Would absolutely get it.
Tier 6
  • Legendary Guardian mastery 2014.png Legendary Guardian: Must-have, finally. Basically gives you 15 bonus armor and MR if you participate in a teamfight and also +3 in a simple 1v1 situation.

Closing WordsEdit

All in all, I think that Riot did a good job at making the Defense tree more diverse, but I do kinda feel bad that certain masteries can't be used to their fullest now. Please note that these are all my personal opinions. Feel free to argue against them if you have relevant arguments, because that helps me optimize my masteries.