Teamfighting as a tank

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Amatzikahni

Senior Member

09-26-2012

Why is it that so many players can make good decisions throughout the game, often times getting fed and downing towers in the process, but then throw away games because of how bad their teamfighting is? I just want to give a brief overview of teamfighting to help out newer players (this has nothing to do with players at my rating... nothing...).

First, how do you win fights? You kill enemies? Wrong. Killing enemies might seem like the logical thing to do, since, after all, if you see "Ace" appear at the top of the screen and only one of your teammates is alive (it might even be you), then that person can get free reign on the map. However, if this player is a tank and only has 300 health remaining, he can't take Red, Blue, Dragon, or even towers before he has to go back to base and buy items, almost as if both teams scored an Ace at the same time. So you want to keep your damage dealers alive (preferably your AD carry) so that you can go around the map and kill stuff really fast, including all those mentioned above or even Baron. That's how you win teamfights—if your team has a damage dealer alive and in good shape, and your opponents have about the same amount of health but no damage dealer, you've won the fight; continue to do excessive damage to push them back.

So if all you have to do is kill the enemy carries, then why not rush in full-force and try to take them on yourself? Can't your team handle themselves while you go Rambo? Well, in most cases, they can't. Often, you won't even be able to kill one of their carries before you go down. So then what do you do?

This is why many players prefer to pick AP and AD champs, even to the point of calling out their position as soon as they enter champ select. Their job is simple: stay alive, and deal as much damage as they can. In some cases, they have to use CC's properly, but the main objective is to dish out big numbers consistently. What annoys me, though, is when these types of players are forced to tank or support—they play with this carry mentality and completely forget how to teamfight.

As the tank, your job is threefold. First, initiate when your team can take advantage of the general positioning. If you initiate properly, either the opposing team will back off and blow cooldowns to get you off them, or you'll pick someone off and force them to engage in a losing fight. Second, disrupt the enemy team. If you have CC's, don't just spam them on the closest enemy; you need to time them on the proper people in order to maximize their effectiveness. For example, if you're playing Shen, and the enemy AD carry is too far back to start dealing damage, there is very little reason to use E on the guys in front. Instead, use your cooldowns wisely and wait until their AD carry starts shelling out the damage before bum rushing him, and if he backs off, continue to save your E while you run back to the fight. Since their AD carry isn't dealing damage, your team should be winning the fight, so long as the third condition is met. Third, save your own team. If your AD carry is having a rough time and is either taking damage or running for his life, then it's your job to save him. Slow down the enemy team and use CC's to help your carry escape so he can continue dealing damage. Continue to fall back as long as your carry isn't safe. Once he is safe, go back to point number two by disrupting the enemy team. If you die, then hopefully you've done your job by soaking enough damage while your team continues to dominate the fight.

A quick note: disruption doesn't strictly mean CC; disruption can also be by damage or positioning. For example, Olaf is designed to charge the opposing carries head-on; if Olaf gets in the middle of the enemy team, the opponents might scatter which is a mild form of disruption. Another example is through damage; any champion that can put out a respectable amount of damage becomes a threat regardless of how much CC they have, even if they don't have any CC. However, as the tank, remember that your job must always include soaking damage; if you're in the middle of the enemy team, you can bet that you'll be taking some serious damage if they decide to focus you, so you should be aiming to live as long as possible while your damage dealers take care of business.

Now back to winning teamfights. Some fights may be won or lost even if both sides have five players alive. Again, winning teamfights is not all about getting kills. If you can wreck their tank because he got out of position, and they successfully retreat, their tank won't be able to soak damage, and if he initiates, he runs the risk of dying before his team is in position and he may not get to use his CC's before biting the bullet. In this scenario, your team has a serious advantage because the enemies are effectively without a tank. However, you must take advantage of this fact quickly before he runs back to base, heals up, possibly buys an item, and comes back to defend his team. As another example, say you start a fight and their AD carry gets heavily out of position, maybe by an amazing Blitz grab. Their AD carry goes down and it's 5v4. Assuming the fight is running a normal course, you've already won because you have superior damage output. The enemies, if they were smart, would retreat at this point, but have heavily reduced fighting capabilities until their carry comes back. Using this to your advantage, you can take towers, grab Baron/Dragon, or even initiate a fight under their turret as long as you know you can win it (the turret still does some damage, but not as much as their AD carry can; as long as it's not hitting your carries, you can almost ignore it).

So know this: running straight into the enemy carry and taunting him sounds like a tank who's doing his job, but it may cost you the game if you don't know how to prioritize in teamfights. Always be aware of your carry, and remember that defending your carry is more important than chasing the enemy's carry halfway around the map. Also remember this—scoring an Ace won't win you the match, so instead of chasing that Teemo five miles, go pwn some towers along with your team and laugh as he helplessly watches you and can't do anything to stop you.


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mnun

Senior Member

09-26-2012

Peel for your carry or go for theirs, to sum it up for you guys


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kenoin

Member

09-27-2012

Yeap, what mnun said... pretty much your ADC is the life of the game if you're playing at a high ranked or your adc is doing very good which they really should be... They are the life of the game; you should use every stun and every slow to stop everyone from getting to your adc's and you should send your bruiser or if you have that one assassin, to kill there adc so that you can ahciv a win in the team fight.
Btw Bump.


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Amatzikahni

Senior Member

09-27-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenoin View Post
you should send your bruiser or if you have that one assassin, to kill there adc so that you can ahciv a win in the team fight.
An assassin, yes, but not a bruiser and that's why I wrote this guide. Bruisers are within the tank category; point #2 takes this into account when I say that damage is a form of CC. If you push their carry away, stop chasing and rejoin the fight—if you're chasing, you're dealing 0 DPS, but if you stay and fight, you're dealing damage and potentially activating certain abilities/passives like Skarner's on-hit cooldown reduction or Phage/Redbuff.

Most people around 1500 seem to think that bruisers are anti-carries. While true that they can tank decently well, have gap-closers, and have burst damage, their primary job should be to pacify the enemy team. Pacification can either be by death, CC, or range, and most people forget that third option while they chase down the carry. It gets quite annoying when my team's carry is the first to die because the tanks run toward the enemy's carry instead of protecting their own, especially when I'm their AD carry. It almost makes me feel that tanks have the ability to carry harder than carries around this Elo, and I'm currently testing that theory with a 7-2 record.