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How to play a tank?

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anything more than 2 hog = bad.

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Junior Member



You should check out this Youtube video - it's posted elsewhere on the forum already, but it's very applicable to what you're asking since it's from the perspective of Malphite. Unfortunately Malphite's vent voice didn't get recorded, but you can still definitely get the idea.

Malphite is now my favorite hero and I start my build almost the same way as this guy(the changes being because I can't even rely on my team to get Golem at the start even half the games). I typical take Meki instead of the gem, first, so I can harass more because I'm going to be lane'ing more, and I often go for frozen heart. Though, as has been mentioned, it's important to be fluid to your team and your opposing team.

I realize the video is a couple game versions old, but it's still fully relevant for play style; farming technique, group dynamics, constantly checking the scorebored for enemy item builds, last hitting, etc... Notice things, like how the team doesn't even leave base until Annie fires off 2 flame bursts - if you don't know why this is important, go research Annie's skills.

I really wish Riot would make replays a top priority, and this video is why. A plugin for recording and syncing vent to the replays would be awesome, too.

I'd really love to see some video of anyone high elo playing Mundo more than just the Dan Dinh owning Ashe video. Mundo was my favorite hero for a while, but I've come to feel that he's nothing more than a low Elo pub stomper and ends up being completely marginalized late game - to the point that I laugh when ever I'm in a premade and I see him on the opposing team.

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That video was amazing, I've never imagined such a high level of play. That just blows my mind and my conception of how lol should be played is gone. Some notes I take from this:

Neutral buffs are king and determine the game. Teams were constantly checking and rechecking everything. Lizard, Golem, dragon, and nashor. Even the small neutral creeps helped as you can get money and exp without the risk of being seen in a lane.

It is extremely important to travel as a team, and and extremely dangerous to be alone.

Banshee's veil and catalyst are very good items. While it is a couple versions old, I'm sure they're still great items.

When tanking, you have to commit. don't go in if it's not worth it, but wait for the right moment, and stay in front of the team and into the battle.

High elo teams don't **** around. Once it was clear that you are going to lose, surrender was the right option. No wasted time for either side.

I was also surprised at how long it took to have a first blood, and that it happened in a major team fight. It also seems like not just malphite, but everyone is a sort of tight aggressive. They are all very cautious, not peeking out too far, but once they are in a battle they commit. Often times it was just trading blows and just playing smart.

Awesome video.

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Senior Member


Those videos were simply amazing!

It's like they're playing virtual chess; only it's ****ing awesome chess.

Unfortunately I do not think I will ever reach such a level of play.

And to think people believe Twtich could actually do something at that level of play. Or that Tanks are useless and it's "all about carries". LOL

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Lots of good tips in here.

Few things I'd like to emphasise:
Pay attention to what the other team is made up of. And be sure to check your Death Recap every time until you get used to what hurt you most.
Forget relying on kills for gold. if you can get an assist every teamfight, that should be plenty. Your carries do better with the gold for kills since their items are more expensive(how many tank items are more than 3k gold? how many dps items are? see my point?).
You picked a tank to help your TEAM. Be a team player. Pick team summoner spells/masteries as well.
You should initiate almost every teamfight to make sure they focus on you first. Your team should be encouraged to follow quickly to make your death mean something. If they are fast enough, you may survive because the enemy has to switch targets. I have won/lost games because people focus on the tank too long, forgetting your remaining armored 500 hp takes more effort to take down than your carry's 1000.

I almost always go Merc treads because the bonuses it gives are incredible for tanking. That item + chalice/aegis (or both) should place you above 50% MR, which should be enough for the rest of the game. Get these early, when champions' abilities do more damage than their auto attacks do, thus making you more tanky than you appear.

But yeah, first item is almost always HoG. One or two of these will allow you to roam in gank squads with a teammate or 4 without losing out on gold gain much.

Yes, being a tank does take practice. Its not as fun as getting a godlike streak, but a good tank can make all the difference in the outcome of a game.