Bold text tends to be the tl;dr of each section.
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)
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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
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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.
a. No item tankiness
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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 ˝ 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.
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.
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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.
V. Individual Champion Focus
IF YOU LOOK AT ONE THING IN THE ENTIRE POST, LET IT BE THIS. IT SUMS UP ALL OF THE DATA.
V - - - - V
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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.
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