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Off-Tank Throwdown: An Analysis of Off-Tanks in League of Legends

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Bold text tends to be the tl;dr of each section.

I. Introduction

In League of Legends, people generally categorize champions into several buckets – tanks, DPS carries, casters, supports, and off-tanks. Champions tend to slot nicely into one or two buckets or so, normally having their own niche within their categories. Furthermore, comparing between these buckets normally is difficult – each group tends to have different scaling at times in the game, completely different focuses in team fights, different usages, etc, etc, etc. Thus, it is best to compare one group at a time internally before even trying to compare externally.

This will serve as an overview of the off-tank grouping. In my opinion, they’re one of the most diverse groups, spilling over into the other buckets the most out of any other group. The champions are diverse in their level of crowd control, tankiness, damage output, but are unified by one characteristic – they’re generally built (or are inherently) tanky, while lacking the hard CC that allows them to be a very strong initiator like Amumu or Galio. In everything, even tier lists, off-tanks are just all over the map.

II. Damage Output
a. No items, 5 seconds (Raw DPS)
Click for Graph (http://imgur.com/rTQFi.jpg)

Notes: Cho’gath loses his Q damage if whiffed, ult damage based upon 30 MR enemy. Mundo assumed 1500 damage for first cleaver, sub minimum for second, 70% HP for E damage. 700 HP, 2200 HP max assumed for Garen/Morde. Nunu assumed 2 seconds charged ult. One 4th Phoenix hit assumed for Udyr. 75 Q last hits assumed for Nasus. Annie is just there for comparison.

Generally speaking, a relatively clear picture of off-tank damage comes up. On average, it’s around 2000 damage in the first 5 seconds of a team fight with Udyr being the only massive exception to this rule. It appears that, without Bloodrazor, Udyr is struggling to maintain a super high level of damage with just his Phoenix stance alone. It’s worth noting that this is the base damage for builds such as a pure Sunfires build – hence, we can see why Sunfires Mordekaiser is so popular. Compared to other tanks, he has one of the highest base damage outputs to work from, making him the “strongest” Sunfire user.

One notable fact is that the bottom 4 off-tanks in terms of itemless damage all carry some form of either a stun or knock up, whereas 3 of the top 4 in terms of itemless damage all have no CC except slows. Cho’gath is the exception to this rule, given his 3 second AoE silence and his AoE knock up.

b. Level 6, no items, raw damage

Click for Graph (http://imgur.com/CdGRM.jpg)

Notes: Mundo assumed 70% HP, Garen ult 450 damage assumed, 1500 max HP assumed Morde ult, 30 CS with Q assumed for Nasus, 2 seconds of Nunu ult, one 4th hit with Phoenix, 3 seconds AoE of Phoenix.

Early game, Mundo and Mordekaiser are still forces, but we can definitely see Garen pop up very significantly. Given that Mordekaiser’s W damage is not nearly as assured compared to Garen’s Spin-To-Win burst, he is a clear early game winner. Don’t facecheck brushes when Garen is around. Blitzcrank is another champion who does more damage early on and less later. Nasus, having not farmed up Siphoning Strike yet, also is not a real source of damage yet.

A few of the same trends continue to appear, though. Taric and Udyr are still not dominant forces of damage. Mordekaiser, Mundo, and Cho are still very strong. For the most part, there isn’t much other movement for the other champions in this list.

II. Tankiness
a. No item tankiness
Click for Graph (http://imgur.com/7rusY.jpg)

Notes: Mordekaiser assumed 2 shields with 450 HP expended for charging it with his skills. Mundo assumed full ultimate HP regeneration. Cho is full stacks, hungry is none. Udyr assumed one turtle shield with a few auto-attacks stealing HP. Sion assumed 1.5 HP / CS with 130 CS with ½ of his auto-attack damage itemless added from ult healing. Taric assumed one heal on ally, Radiance for 5 seconds. Gragas assumed one Happy Hour passive. Xin Zhao assumed 210 HP healing from passive.

It’s clear from the no item damage and tankiness outputs that three champions currently sit above and beyond the competition in this regard – Dr. Mundo, Mordekaiser, and Cho’gath – and that a few are continually behind with Nunu and Blitzcrank. Either way, on the whole, off-tanks live up to their tankiness reputation. Generally, without items, they’re still a solid 30-70% more tanky than their carry and caster peers and, often times, they’ll probably even be more tanky than the actual full tanks themselves. For example, Amumu and Malphite would probably lag behind in terms of eHP while Galio could keep up if he kept his shield on himself.

This is especially important when we consider the scaling of defensive itemization. Most players know that auto-attack DPS scales up faster the more damage items you have, but a similar phenomenon occurs with tank items as well. The more HP you get, the more value armor and MR has and vice versa. Basically, the differences in this chart become more exaggerated the heavier the tank build you are using.

Consider this: On a “Hungry Cho’gath,” a champion who is a bit more defensive than most other non-tank champions, the most efficient item for him is a fully charged Warmogs (1370 HP for 3000 gold). Together, he would have an average of 5149 eHP between physical and magic. Even with a Warmogs, relatively untanky champions will not be as tanky as certain off-tanks. On most of these champions, there is probably anywhere between a 1,000 to 4,000 gold advantage in terms of tankiness.

III. Crowd Control

Click For Graph. (http://imgur.com/46Jnd.jpg)

To preface, this section, I’ve been doing some calculations in trying to turn crowd control into a singular comparable number. Therefore, this section is inherently subjective and subject to change. Crowd control, given the complexity of the topic, is incredibly hard to mathematically model and this formula is made heavily on guesstimations. All I know is that this model seems relatively accurate for me – if you disagree with it, feel free to substitute in your own numbers. All I’m trying to do is get a rough estimation of how effective each champion’s crowd control is. If you notice any egregious errors in this ranking, please point them out and I will attempt to update the model.

Although most off-tanks tended to fit in the upper half of crowd control with this model, they still lagged behind their full tank brethren. This appears to be the most defining characteristic of the off-tank characterization – not being one of the heaviest carriers of CC while still trying to fill a tank-like role on a team.

For a rough estimation of value of crowd control compared to the damage output of a champion, multiply the number listed by 250. The idea is just that a blind + silence on most champions will reduce their DPS by at least 400 to 500 and there is inherent value in the snare portion of a stun, since a stun is basically a snare + blind + silence. In this example, it was balanced around a value of 2 being a stun for a second, therefore, this should work decently.

Specifically looking at the off-tanks, one clear balancing effect can be seen: Mordekaiser and Mundo, two of the tankiest and highest damage off-tanks, carry almost no crowd control. The only champion who appears to sit at the top of all three charts is Cho’gath, who has a massive problem – if he misses his focused target with his Q, he becomes very middle of the pack in terms of damage and CC and his tankiness is not that high if he does not have 6 stacks at all times. Still, however, it is notable that he does top all 3 charts, even if artificially.

IV. Farming
Click for Graph (http://imgur.com/xZxDs.jpg)

This data was taken from the top 10 premade 5v5 ranked ladder players – a grand total of 1415 games of reference. The way I saw it was that these players are most likely to be the best in the game at farming and last hitting against the best players in the game, therefore this is likely pretty close to the true farming potentials of these farmers. It should give some intrinsic value at how adept champions are at getting assists, wiping out creep waves, and whether or not they are getting kills or assists compared to other champions – each would affect end-game gold gain. For the most part, it seems very reasonable with a few odd balls sticking out.

Notably, Cho’gath seems to be far better at getting gold than expected while Nasus seems lower than expected. I normally think of Nasus as the guy who drops his E on the creep wave and then moonwalks in with his Siphoning Strike, letting his AoE destroy the rest of the creeps. Interestingly, he seems very average in terms of gold gains. Cho’gath, although someone I expected to be a very strong farmer, surprised me in how high he was ranked. I suppose his knock-up and silence, along with passive keeping him in lane, accounted for more than expected.

It’s worth noting that Nunu and Udyr are predominantly played as jungle champions. This could very much influence their gold gains per game. I have not done any analysis on jungle champions in general to see how affected their gold gains are, compared to laners.

I suppose this could easily act as somewhat of a wake-up call for certain guide writers – Many champions will fail to reach even 10,000 gold in most games. Guides which have the core of their build set to extraordinarily high prices don’t recognize the farming potential of most champions.

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V. Individual Champion Focus

V - - - - V

Click for Graph (http://imgur.com/HueHM.jpg)

To preface, I give you this graph. I took every champion’s values, divided them by the average value for the off-tanks, and then turned it into a % of the average. I added each of this together, giving each one equal weight. I put this graph together, actually, after I wrote out all of the individual analyses, so take it as you will.

  • Cho’gath

Cho’gath is interesting in that he is very arguable as a tank, rather than an off-tank, given his level of CC. Still, his inability to initiate made me sit him in the off-tanks. Still, compared to them he brings a massive amount of CC on paper. Not to mention, he’s also one of the best farmers in the game with some of the best players able to manage over 200 creep kills on average. With Rupture and his scream, he is strong in lane and difficult to displace because of his passive.

Despite its difficulty to land on priority targets, Cho’gath’s Q is essentially a stun. Cho’gath’s W is an AoE cone 3 second silence. There’s no getting around this. He out crowd controls his off-tank peers in this regard. Garen only brings a 2.5 second single target silence and Mordekaiser brings nothing at all.

Mathematically, this can have a profound effect. If Cho’gath knocks up a carry, he can easily mitigate 600 raw damage from hitting his team. Depending on the silence targets, Cho’gath might be able to stop 560 damage in cool downs due to the silence. It’s very situational given the difficulty to hit the correct targets and team composition on the silence.

Let us focus on the factor of difficulty to land. Getting his spells on the correct targets is not exactly a fun task. For example, Feast as an execution move is far harder to land than Damacian Justice from Garen. His W cone can be more difficult to land than, say, a Gragas displacement ult or some other AoE of the sort. His Q is just hard to land on good players in general. Despite bringing the hardest CC in the game of the off-tanks, they can sometimes turn out to be less effective than more consistent ones.

When everything goes well, Cho’gath is top of the game at virtually everything – his damage, thanks to Feast, is sky high; he packs AoE everywhere; his CC is very strong; his tankiness with full stacks if near the top; he farms up gold as one of the best in the game. If just one little thing goes wrong, however, like a missed Q, his damage output becomes average; his CC becomes average. If he isn’t fully stacked on Feast, his tankiness is probably much closer to average. He’s a champion who, by the numbers, seems like he should succeed greatly. I find it very likely that Cho’gath may actually be very underrated by the community because of how much he could bring to the table.

b. Dr. Mundo

Mundo is one champion who, by the Community Tier Lists, is valued much more by the community than the high ELO tier lists. Although, players such as Roku and others will definitely say that he is a solid solo queue champion. Essentially, Mundo does bring two things – a strong body and very high damage output for an off-tank. With his Burning Agony, he becomes hard to stop, his ult makes him hard to kill, his E and Q make him a damage dealing machine. Early game, his higher damage is even more exaggerated.

Mundo has two big problems, really, but they are rather significant. The first of which is his low base attack speed, which stunts his growth as a DPSer. Given his low attack speed, he gains less attack speed from attack speed items than most other champions. The other, much larger problem is that Mundo lacks hard CC. His only crowd control is a skill shot slow, making him one of the lowest CC champions in the game. In my conversion to allow us to compare CC to DPS, it becomes obvious how his lack of CC is very damaging to his overall utility. Mundo says he may go where he pleases, but Mundo has difficulty in actually going into the enemy team and starting a ruckus.

Very much in the vein of champions like Mordekaiser, Mundo brings solid “ignorable” damage output and tankiness, but struggles to really fit a big spot in a team. Hence, we can see why Elementz says he is hard to place on a team. He just has issues in closing the gap on the squishy champions while not getting killed. If Kog’maw is sitting over 700 range out of the team fight, running through the enemy team to get to him can be a very difficult task without any way to attack from a range or anyway to man your way through the enemy team. Despite this, he is a very strong champion in terms of damage and tankiness, making me believe he has a definite spot in solo queue, but one would need a very good reason to place him on a premade, competitive team.

c. Mordekaiser
One of the most polarizing champions I know about is Mordekaiser. As seen by players such as grandjudge, Mordekaiser can be played effectively in just about every ELO. Players such as Blinzer demonstrate that he can even be used in more unorthodox methods, such as jungle Mordekaiser, and be effective in the upper ranks. In regards to Heat n’ Serve’s build, Mordekaiser’s high base damage and high base tankiness both lend themselves to working incredibly well with Sunfire Capes, especially given the speed at which he can farm them. If he has a ghost of any ranged champion, Mordekaiser’s damage output becomes even more scary.

In terms of unsituational ability to absorb damage, Mordekaiser is one of the greatest. Because of his mechanics, Mordekaiser inherently becomes more tanky the longer he stays alive, compounding the effects of tank itemization on him. In a nutshell, there is no champion who can be as tanky as Mordekaiser at all times: Mundo relies on having his ultimate popped and for full HP, Garen needs Courage up, Cho needs full stacks, etc, etc. This strength of Mordekaiser makes him able to very much steamroll lower ELOs by being nearly impossible to kill.

Mordekaiser also has a strong early game power curve, especially in the island of magic penetration. Normally speaking, it takes a bit of gold before the enemy begins to get any significant amount of magic resistance. Hence, with some magic penetration runes and Sorc Boots, Mordekaiser can penetrate the enemy’s MR in its entirety for a segment of the game. This segment can be considered Mordekaiser’s peak damage output. He lacks the burst which sometimes adorns early game beasts, but his consistent damage can be frightening at times.

In team fights, however, Mordekaiser’s issue of being an “ignoredekaiser” is sometimes painfully clear. As the tankiest champion in the game, Mordekaiser is a target you simply do not want to focus in most all situations. He brings no crowd control, no initiation, no way of getting directly in the fray. If the enemy is excellent at kiting, Mordekaiser has little answer. There can be these kinds of issues in terms of actually being able to use Mordekaiser’s short range damage output.

The issue with Mordekaiser is the same issue which we have with Mundo – the lack of crowd control. Like Mundo, both champions are ones with very strong base damage outputs while being very difficult to kill, but don’t bring anything else to the table besides that. In games where players have more difficulty to follow up on crowd control (generally speaking, lower ELO, but this can occur the higher up you go if there is poor team comp), Mordekaiser can show his advantages to the fullest, but otherwise his lack of CC really hampers his overall utility as an addition to a team.

d. Nasus
Nasus is a champion who carries a surprising amount of value in his skills. Notably, the amount of damage mitigated with his Wither and the amount of damage added with Spirit Fire. In team fights, Nasus’ damage output is one of his greatest strengths. With his 15 second ultimate which does 5% max HP magic damage to those around him every second, he can decimate the enemy team if allowed to sit on them. Against a 70 armor enemy, his Spirit Fire can increase his physical damage by 30% as long as the enemy stays within the AoE -- a massive amount when his Siphoning Strike is factored in with an item such as Sheen. For an idea of how much extra damage his Spirit Fire can add to your team’s DPS, if a carry has only 31 armor penetration and is fighting a 70 armor enemy, the armor reduction can become a massive 41% DPS increase for the carry – a heavier steroid than most buffs can give.

In terms of farming and lane control outside of team fights, Nasus is excellent. With Spirit Fire, he can both farm like a boss while zoning like a boss as well. Siphoning Strike can easily be charged up in most lanes and his passive lifesteal keeps him in lane. By end game, this can turn his Siphoning Strike into a formidable monster to be reckoned with, if Nasus has Siphon Striked everything in existence. Although Nasus may not have ranked super high on the gold per game chart, he is one of the easiest farmers in the game. His ultimate makes grabbing high level objectives such as dragon or, especially, Baron a breeze. With a Nasus ultimate, Baron can be dropped much earlier in the game than expected.

Nasus is, however, one of the lower tier off-tanks in terms of tankiness due to both the lower value of his HP steroid and the small amount of time it is maintained and, like tanks, he must commit to a team fight to have nearly the same effect. His ultimate grants a massive amount of Nasus’ value to the team and, if wasted when popped a team fight which never materializes, needs to be used in team fights much like an Amumu ult or a Galio ult. Mistiming his ultimate is devastating to Nasus’ value to the team.

Nasus also is a bit light on the crowd control. Granted, his Wither will put a massive debuff on an enemy carry, but it is not as effective as a blind in terms of damage mitigation, for example, and it is his only crowd control. It is the single most crippling non-blind CC to put on an enemy carry, however – I’ve seen it drop some carry attack speeds down to 0.32 before. All he brings to the table for CC is a single target slow and AS reduction. Granted, it is likely the single greatest slow in the game, but it is only a slow.

e. Garen
DAMACIA! I’m not sure if there is a way to facecheck a description, but you did it. Everyone is familiar with Garen’s absolutely ridiculous early game damage output. The amount of pressure having a Garen in the early game is monumental. One misstep and half your HP bar can be gone in two seconds, sit back for 30 seconds and Garen is back to full HP. Throughout the entire game, Garen will be a champion with a very solid damage output, petering off toward the end, while still maintaining respectable levels of damage. His spin and Damacian Justice make him very difficult to ignore.

As pointed out in my Garen vs. Mordekaiser article, he is more effective as an anti-caster as he heads into the late game than anything else. With his 2.5s silence and general late game tankiness, he can run at the caster, silence them, then spin reduce CC thrown at him to just pile on the damage. His silence is a constant threat to casters because of his increased mobility during Decisive Strike and its duration.

Garen’s main weakness is, like all off-tanks, the general lack of CC. Although a 2.5s single target silence is very usable, it’s nothing super big. In the grand scheme of League of Legends, in the late game, Garen is a relatively high damage off-tank who can take a relatively high amount of damage while having a below average level of crowd control. Still, his laning phase DPS is simply filthy and his ultimate and spin make him a threat throughout the entire game.

e. Xin Zhao
Xin Zhao is one of the more odd champions to fit here. He has no buffs to his eHP, but relatively high base stats to slightly make up for this. Regardless, Xin Zhao is not going to be one of the more tanky champions. Like Garen, he has a commanding presence in the early game, even if it is not as extreme as DAMACIA. His ultimate, given its HP scaling, is an amazing AoE attack at every stage in the game while being one of the best initiations in terms of pure damage.

Xin’s overall damage output is not exceptionally noteworthy with no items. What makes Xin Zhao a bit different than his off-tanks peers is simply that he crosses over into DPS territory. As a melee DPS carry, he scales up as an exponentially increasing rate in terms of damage when he is itemizing offensively. The fact that he has decent base damage is only a plus. That said, compared to his melee DPS peers, he will always lag behind by potentially several thousand gold in items – 70% attack speed is just not the same in terms of value as a Master Yi 80% attack speed from Highlander and 70 damage from Wuju Style.

What Xin Zhao does succeed in is that he brings consistent knock ups to the team fight, much like Udyr. With the cooldown reduction from his auto-attacks, Xin Zhao can easily knock up several enemies. Three hits and they’re up. Together with his AoE slow initiation and Xin Zhao is one of the heavier CCers of the off-tank bunch. This puts him in a different category than the other off-tanks listed above – solid damage and CC, but low on the tank scale.

Xin Zhao does have the issue of hybridization. If built in an off-tank fashion, his value is being split down the middle. Tank items become more effective as more are purchased, damage items being more effective as more are purchased. By cutting them both off early in their scaling process can sometimes give you the worst of both worlds. The question of where the split is made is very subjective. Realize that the closer to equal gold division one gets, the less the gains they get from an individual facet.

f. Gragas
As we move further down the damage list, higher CC champions begin to show themselves. Gragas is an example of this. Even with his Drunken Rage and spammable skills, Gragas doesn’t bring a ton of DPS to a team fight. His consistent DPS is relatively close to the other champions, but he lacks a big execution move: He has no Feast, no Damcian Justice, no Xin Zhao ultimate. He has his big barrel, which is good for a different reason.

Gragas is currently excellent at crippling the enemy carry. With his ultimate, he can destroy their positioning, with his barrel roll he can cut their damage to 60%, with his belly flop he can hinder their escape. This is the big focus of Gragas in SR team fights, in my opinion. With his ultimate’s disruption of positioning and halting of channeling, he may not be a superb initiator compared to other tanks in initiation, but he can play a huge part in a team fight or an anti-AoE team – a very valuable idea to consider when the enemy team suddenly has a team comp with champions such as Galio + Morgana.

Gragas does however lack eHP and lack damage on the whole. His Drunken Rage may give him a huge amount of damage reduction, but his low base armor and MR really hinder its ability to make him tanky. He’s in the lower third of the off-tanks in terms of tankiness, but can maintain his damage reduction at almost all times, unlike Garen with 4 seconds of Courage or Cho having full stacks.

Esssentially, Gragas is only as good as his barrels. Are you disabling the enemy carry? Is your team fight positioning disruption adding much to your team? These are the two biggest factors, in my opinion, which contribute to a Gragas’ value to the team. A botched ult can be worse than no ult at all.

g. Nunu
If there was ever a champion who stuck everything in one basket, it’d be Nunu. His ultimate is his defining feature – a full ultimate is 1125 AoE damage with 0 AP and massive AP scaling to boot. The main issue that you’re countered by many situations.

Nunu: You won’t like him when he’s angry! *ultimate*
Enemy Team: *trollface, flash*
Nunu: D= !

Nunu: You won’t like him when he’s angry! *ultimate*
Enemy Team: *stuns*
Nunu: . . . ? D= !

Still, Nunu is a very unique champion. His Q gives little to him in team fights, but has great utility as a heal and last hitting device. His W gives little to him in team fights, but ally carries love it. His E and R are the only spells which help Nunu himself in team fights. But they are very strong spells.

The attack speed reduction is very easy to ignore when analyzing Nunu. If an enemy carry is caught in a Nunu ultimate while slowed by a snowball, their damage output is going to be in the trash. In my opinion, this is a very important part of Nunu’s value – without it, he’d be more lackluster.

A closer look at Nunu’s Blood Boil and its effects on a carry show how great of a spell it represents. On most standard carries, that attack speed buff turns into about .45 raw attack speed. Given most DPS carries, that can represent anywhere from a 20 to 50% DPS increase. If a carry is already doing 400 damage a second with their auto-attack, that can add up very quickly in a team fight. Assuming the carry stays alive, it can easily add more damage in single target damage than Nunu could do with his ultimate.

Basically, we have a champion with an amazingly good Blood Boil, one of the best non-ultimate nukes in the game with snowball, and one of the highest risk-reward ultimates. Nunu is, however, a subpar farmer of gold, relatively low damage output himself (his Blood Boil on a carry can easily change this and place him in the upper tier of damage), and a general lack of tankiness at base. For the most part, that seems pretty balanced in this regard.

h. Taric

Taric is out of the more outlier champions in this list. After I removed Vladimir from the analysis as an off-tank, he became the odd ball of the group. He’s the only tanky support on the list. More than anything else in his item builds, Taric often is the aura-bot – an interesting spot, given that he has one of the lowest gold gains in the game.

The basic concept of Taric is just that he does not do much damage himself, he will not, unlike he has the mana to maintain Radiance for a long time, tank a ton of damage himself compared to others, and he will not bring gigantic amounts of CC. What Taric will do is bring healing and damage to his carries or anyone who needs it. HP on high damage output champions on the team is more valuable than the eHP which is on the tankiness charts because the HP on high damage output champions turns into, well, high damage on the enemy team.

Inherently, it becomes difficult to fully analyze Taric compared to other off-tanks. How much longer does a single Imbue add to a teammate’s lifetime? How much more damage is created as a result? Did the armor bonus from Shatter either grant the team or a kill or stop someone from dying?

Although Taric can fit the off-tank description, he seems far more suited to being analyzed as a support in a different article.

i. Blitzcrank

Blitzcrank, like Cho’gath, is a champion who gets better with the lower skill of the enemy team. If he can be consistently grabbing priority targets, Blitzcrank is one of the best champions in the game. If Banshees, tanks, or any other factor stops him from getting this amazing initiate on the enemy, his value declines significantly.

Blitz does bring low CD knock ups and an AoE silence but he lacks in other areas. He is not tanky besides his mana shield. He is not high damage output past the early game. His abilities are spammable, but the duration on his CC is mediocre. His grab disables someone for a half second, assuming you can land it, his knock up is alright, and his silence is 0.3s silence if they have Merc Treads. Spammable? Yes. Low duration? Also, yes.

The main issue with Blitzcrank appears to be the big picture. In terms of damage output, ability to absorb damage, and CC the enemy, he just feels outclassed. He definitely has a spot in lower ELO where effective grabs are much more easy to come by, but in terms of theoretical cap, he doesn’t seem to bring enough to the table, in my opinion.

j. Sion

First off, Sion is likely a tad bit tankier, given that he will absorb some damage with his shield. Second, Sion is more likely to be played as a mage who is tanky, rather than an off-tank with mage-like capabilities. At base, Sion doesn’t bring that much damage to the table, but can absorb a fair amount of damage. With his shield in the early game, he is one hell of a pain to beat in lane. He farms like a boss and that farming turns into massive HP bonuses.

His stun is one of the most reliable in the game. It’s an actual targeted 2 second stun which can put some decent damage behind it if used with some AP. There are not too many other champions who can boast that. As a disruption skill of ultimates, as just a stun on a low CD, Sion’s Gaze is very powerful.

I personally feel that the biggest question facing Sion is how is that extra farm going to be used? No matter how built, Sion will likely be tankier than most of the team thanks to his high base HP and HP gain per creep kill. He could very easily use that to push himself into super tanking, but then his damage output suffers. If he goes caster, he still will explode relatively easily, although not as easily as other casters. It’s much like the Xin Zhao question of hybridization, but with one twist. AP is very flat scaling whereas DPS is exponential. This means that splitting the build has less of a harsh effect on Sion than other champions.

It is worth noting that Sion’s AP ratios, on the whole, are not superb compared to other champions. Let us look at Swain for example: His AP ratios are 0.9, 0.7, 0.8, and 0.2 per second, basically. Sion gets 1 and 1. It feels like, in terms of AP scaling, Sion may not stack up in the late game in terms of damage compared to other casters. Perhaps a reversion of his AP ratio on his shield to 1.2 again wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
k. Udyr

At the core of Udyr is his jungling. Udyr is incredibly quick at jungling and is one of the best jungle gankers in the game. With Bear stance, he can pop out, stun you, Phoenix stance, and lay the hurt down. As we can see from the charts, however, his lack of ultimate really makes him not a huge damage threat without items. Udyr, with his attack speed bumps and everything, essentially requires itemization to be a damage threat. Otherwise, he seems like one of the most ignorable champions in the game.

In team fights, it seems like Udyr has some weird interaction. Given his ability to stun the entire team once if he so pleased, it seems to bring up the question of sit and focus the priority target or spread the love and stun the secondary targets? If Udyr is packing a Bloodrazor, his damage output on a single target is likely painful enough to be a threat to that target, but we still have the issue of damage output on the whole.

Looking at the numbers, Udyr definitely swings more to the tanky side than the DPS side. His steroids are thousands of gold behind pretty much any other melee carry. I think even DPS Kassadin’s armor penetration and attack speed gives more auto-attack damage than Udyr’s steroids, if I recall correctly. This should not stop him from itemizing for damage at times because, otherwise, he’s an annoying stun-bot and not much else.

That said, it does appear that a well played stun bot can have a ton of success. Jatt, a player with over 1800 rating in both solo queue and ranked 5v5, mains Udyr. His item builds appear almost entirely tanky and he is sporting a win rate above 85%. He doesn’t die, he farms up a massive amount of gold on average, and he must be contributing to fights because he keeps winning. There’s also the idea of Sunfire Udyr, synergizing with his Phoenix Stance, which Lilballz, commonly considered the best Udyr in the game, has been known to go at times.

Udyr, on the whole, seems to be very flexible despite his low base damage output. I may not be an Udyr player, but it seems to me like effective stun management plays the biggest part of Udyr’s value as a champion.

VI. Conclusion

If you made it this far and read the entire article, realize that you’ve read over 6,600 words of material. I’m not really sure what else to say. Off-tanks are an interesting sub-class of League of Legends, and their abilities are very varied. Both their tankiness, damage, and CC spreads are considerable. It really feels like this is the type of article which is very difficult to make a conclusion. Although I may not have been impartial in my individual champion analyses, I don’t really feel qualified to say whether or not a champion is better or worse than the other. All I want to do is give my opinion and to give some hard facts, charts, and graphs to show where I’m coming from. I hope even a cursory glance at this data has given you insight on this class of champions in League of Legends.

All replies are welcome! Comments, criticisms, etc, etc! This is always a work in progress and any updates can, and will, happen!

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Senior Member


there is way too much to read, and not enough tl;dr

also, nasus is hands down the best "off tank"

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there is way too much to read, and not enough tl;dr

also, nasus is hands down the best "off tank"

Bold comments are tl;dr of it. I could add a even more tl;dr version, though.

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Senior Member


holy **** wall of text crits you for over 9000.

it's a good read though. off-tanks in LoL is known to be far more gamebreaking (or should I say: imbalanced) than those on DotA due to the diversity of tank-HP item to make.

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Senior Member


Amazing Analysis. That's all I say.

Yes, I did read it all.

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Senior Member


So, what's your point?

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So, what's your point?

Cho'gath is likely underrated because he sits near the middle of the chart in terms of damage and tankiness, even if he whiffs his Q and isn't full stacks, while having the highest gold farmed and being at the top of the charts if he can land everything.

CC is very important to value and it's why Mundo and Morde tended to fit lower.

CC seems relatively simple to model, but I need feedback on the results.

All sorts of good points besides that in there except expressed in actual numbers, objectively determined.

For a single graph summing everything up, look at the one before the champion analysis. =\

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You forgot Olaf.

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You forgot Olaf.

I considered Olaf, but felt he somewhat dropped too close to the DPS side of things. I could definitely add him in with a later draft, however -- this is a first draft after all. He was originally on the list, as was Vladimir, but taken off. He has scaling from HP --> damage, but, generally speaking, these guys all tended to have already higher base eHPs, so he felt a bit too much to the side. Even Xin Zhao had some eHP increases.