Is Alcalz right about everything ever?

Yes 6 75.00%
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Tanks and Tanky DPS

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Alcalz

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Senior Member

10-25-2010

There is an important difference between tanks and tanky DPS, and I've noticed that some people, thinking that certain tanky DPS are tanks, take them to fulfill that role.
Although some team-comps do not require a tank, others do. In these situations, a tanky DPS is the WRONG CHOICE... and it's time for people to realize that.

1. What is a tank?

There are two main purposes for a tank; one is to initiate, the other is to protect your squishy mages and carries. Sometimes a tank can do both, as in the case of Galio, whereas sometimes they can only do one, like Rammus or Malphite. Tanks are often ignorable in terms of damage, but make themselves an issue in the fight by delivering CC all over the place or by reducing the attack capabilities of the other team (think Malphite's ground pound).
Since they are not building damage, as they tend not to scale well, and since they are often initiators and bush checkers, tanks build survivability and extra CC items such as Frozen Heart and Randuin's Omen.


2. What is a tanky DPS?

A tanky DPS has one key similarity to tanks; high survivability. However, a tanky DPS builds survivability for a different reason; rather than staying alive so that they can stick around the carry for longer and dish out more CC, a tanky DPS builds survivability for a different purpose; either because building survivability directly benefits their abilities, such as Olaf building health, or because the damage that they deal is optimized if they survive for as long as possible, sacrificing possible burst damage.
Tanky DPS may have CC, but not necessarily; in fact, they usually don't.


3. Who is a tank?

In alphabetical order, the tanks that we tend to use are Alistar, Amumu, Blitzcrank, Cho'Gath, Galio, Gragas, Malphite, Nunu (although he is more mage than tank), Rammus, Shen, Singed, Taric (also magey), and Xin Zhao.

These champions have either excellent initiation or carry defending abilities, and all carry at least one type of CC. Some of them only have soft CC, but make up for it in other ways, such as Gragas and Nunu; although they have no stuns, they have ults that completely alter team-fights plus the ability to buff their own team/debuff the opposing team. Although they of course want to survive, and some of them (particularly Xin Zhao, who is border-line tanky DPS) can output decent damage, they are not tanky DPS.

4. Who is a tanky DPS?

Again, in alphabetical order, Dr. Mundo, Garen, Mordekaiser, Nasus, Olaf, Udyr. Other's that I'm not quite sure of: Vladimir and Sion.

The only way that these guys have of initiating is just wading in, swinging their axe or mace. Their plan is to get in and **** up the opponent as much as possible for as long as possible. Mundo can take a hell of a lot of damage without dying, doing AoE damage the entire time and flinging cleavers. Garen will spin to win, Olaf does more damage as you hurt him, Udyr will proc phoenix more often and stun as much as possible, Nasus will prance around like the sexy ulting mother****er that he is and Morde is at his best if he has survived long enough to get himself your carries ghost as his *****, which he will then use to murder your entire team. Vladimir wants to ult and hurt you during his ult, and he gains damage from survivability (although I'm not entirely sure if I wouldn't just count him as a mage).

They differ from tanks in one key aspect; they DON'T initiate team fights, although they might gank well. They DON'T protect your carries well, with their taunts, displacements or mad CC (Udyr being the most CCed up of them all); at best they can protect your carries by doing AoE damage all around them so that no one wants to go near.

So... next time you need a tank to initiate or to protect that squishy Ashe, Kog'Maw or Miss Fortune, don't take a tanky DPS because they are not tanks.


tl;dr: Morde is not a tank. Also, the poll is included because I didn't have enough troll in my post.
Why the downvotes?


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Flaggro

Junior Member

10-25-2010

Neat post, and your point should be considered by all players who are unsure of which champ to pick at champ selection. If you've got a Mundo and Olaf on your team, for instance, odds are you still need a tank on your team.

However, you're going to get a lot of argument over some of your classifications. For one, Blitz, Malph, Taric, and Xin definitely don't belong in the Tank category. Blitz and Xin are tanky DPS; Malph is Offtank (if you accept that being a distinct role), and Taric is Support. Nunu is most definitely NOT a tank (I'd call him Support, personally).

Arguments about classification aside, well-crafted post.


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Eph289

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Senior Member

10-25-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaggro View Post
Neat post, and your point should be considered by all players who are unsure of which champ to pick at champ selection. If you've got a Mundo and Olaf on your team, for instance, odds are you still need a tank on your team.

However, you're going to get a lot of argument over some of your classifications. For one, Blitz, Malph, Taric, and Xin definitely don't belong in the Tank category. Blitz and Xin are tanky DPS; Malph is Offtank (if you accept that being a distinct role), and Taric is Support. Nunu is most definitely NOT a tank (I'd call him Support, personally).

Arguments about classification aside, well-crafted post.
What he said, though I could buy Malphite maybe being considered a tank.


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Alcalz

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Senior Member

10-25-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaggro View Post

However, you're going to get a lot of argument over some of your classifications. For one, Blitz, Malph, Taric, and Xin definitely don't belong in the Tank category. Blitz and Xin are tanky DPS; Malph is Offtank (if you accept that being a distinct role), and Taric is Support. Nunu is most definitely NOT a tank (I'd call him Support, personally).
There is certainly an argument to be made that my tank classifications aren't exact; I tried to reduce the number of roles to a minimum; combining off-tank and initiator into tank. Hence my reasoning for including Blitz, Malphite and Xin as tanks, as I feel they have very good initiation. I also agree with you that Nunu and Taric count as support... however, they can also be considered tanks, as Taric tends to build health (RoA if pretty standard) due to his natural tankyness (extra armour and self heal) and has a role in conserving your carry through his stun and his armour; he is certainly more of a support champ than a tank.

Nunu is pretty borderline tank; I included him in there because I feel that his ult can protect your squishies if he uses it when your team is under heavy assault; it changes the focus from your ashe to him, and they need to blow at least two CC on him to get rid of it. There is certainly an argument to be made that he is more of a mage or a support than a tank.


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Zarifes

Member

10-25-2010

Interesting post. Can't really think of anything to add here, so ima lurk for a bit.

But I love when I get this response from a Garen stacking Sunfires. "I'm not running in. I'm not a tank."
You have 3-4k HP. 200+Armor...you can tank their AD carries a hell of a lot better than our mage. Shut up and charge in when I (Malphite) do.


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Yellow Jester

Senior Member

10-25-2010

Thread summary :
Xin = tank


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Eph289

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Senior Member

10-25-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcalz View Post
There is certainly an argument to be made that my tank classifications aren't exact; I tried to reduce the number of roles to a minimum; combining off-tank and initiator into tank. Hence my reasoning for including Blitz, Malphite and Xin as tanks, as I feel they have very good initiation. I also agree with you that Nunu and Taric count as support... however, they can also be considered tanks, as Taric tends to build health (RoA if pretty standard) due to his natural tankyness (extra armour and self heal).

Nunu is pretty borderline tank; I included him in there because I feel that his ult can protect your squishies if he uses it when your team is under heavy assault; it changes the focus from your ashe to him, and they need to blow at least two CC on him to get rid of it. There is certainly an argument to be made that he is more of a mage or a support than a tank.
The most common Taric build is aura-bot Taric. I've seen a RoA Taric maybe twice. Typical build goes Aegis into Soul Shroud or Stark's. Maybe a Nashor's Tooth for kicks and giggles. Taric is infinitely better as support than tank, because his CC and damage mitigation are weak. His mage build is also weak because it makes him squishy (not good), his nukes suck, and he has to auto-attack for fast heals, but can't do that because of no survivability.

Blitz is a poor initiator because he can't counter-initiate. You initiate on a team with Amumu, Galio, Shen, or Rammus, and expect to pay for it with blood, tears, and broken keyboards. Blitz can't do much if you jump his team, and his grab is risky (i.e., Dear Blitzcrank, do NOT grab Galio. Signed, your carries). Singed is in a similar vein, but not as bad because he can still fling crucial targets to the enemy.

Xin could be a tank if you build him that way, but his overall CC pales in comparison with Amumu, Galio, Shen, Rammus, etc. Those four are the top 4 tanks.


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Alcalz

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Senior Member

10-25-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarifes View Post
Interesting post. Can't really think of anything to add here, so ima lurk for a bit.

But I love when I get this response from a Garen stacking Sunfires. "I'm not running in. I'm not a tank."
You have 3-4k HP. 200+Armor...you can tank their AD carries a hell of a lot better than our mage. Shut up and charge in when I (Malphite) do.
As I see it, the point of a tanky DPS is to follow in that initiating Malphite and start spinning to win. They both have high survivability, combined with Garen's sustained damage meaning that they can survive for a while while your ranged carries do more damage. Garen may be tanking the damage (like Malphite), but only if the team focuses him and he has no way of making them do that except by out-putting lots of AoE damage (spin+sunfires) and eventually ulting someone low. Malphite, on the other hand, is a pure tank because he initiates well with a great team CC and then reduces their physical damage with his ground pound (and probably frozen heart).

edit:@Eph2verse8and9: I agree with you.


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Bahok

Junior Member

10-25-2010

How is Gragas a tank by your definition? He doesn't really initiate that well except in very ideal circumstances (with his ult) and he doesn't protect your carries at all.


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A Fools Idol

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Senior Member

10-25-2010

I do not trust this poll..


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