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Optimizing Amumu as a tank in competitive plays

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Senior Member


As a general discussion on 'Amumu as a tank', this thread is actually extremely good. Even before the first sunfire cape, Mercury+Dorans+Chalice at level 6 is possible and powerful.

Despair makes you frightening to hang around unless they want to go all in, and bandage toss takes a lot of mana that would be better used on tantrum - best to keep it at level 1 for utility and save that mana for despair/tantrum harrass and jungling.

I choose abyssal or a third sunfire based solely on what kind of damage I'm taking. HP+Armor is excellent against warwick, for instance, which he just grinds you down if you spend your money on abyssal. Besides, often other people on my team get Abyssal, and so I get the benefit anyway.

Flash+Teleport mean you are everywhere all at once. Excellent suggestions. I've been tanking extremely effectively today!

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Senior Member


I generally start the game with a meki pendant, then go straight for chalice. This helps me get chalice a little bit sooner, and since early game( before level 6) Amumu got nerfed I usually don't go for early game kills unless the enemy ****s up. After my second sunfire cape I generally get the abyssal scepter, since it works well with Amumu's passive, and together that 40 magic penetration helps you do more damage, and also helps your teammates do more damage, and since as you say you will be in the middle of the battle, it means you will get full use out of the magic pen.

Also I do choose to get despair early. This doesn't necessarily mean im going to be using it at level 4 but I will most likely by level 12. With the following skill progression.
1. Tantrum
2. Bandage
3. Tantrum
4. Despair
5. Tantrum
6. Curse
7. Tantrum
8. Despair
9. Tantrum
10. Despair
11. Curse
12. Despair
13. Despair
14. Despair
15. Bandage
16. Curse
17. Bandage
18. Bandage

At level 12 you will now have level 3 despair as opposed to level 1, which increases not only the damage of despair but also the range of it. This makes it much easier to keep 1 or more of the enemies in your aoe, as I feel level 1 despairs range is quite lacking.

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Senior Member


I am thinking about purchasing Amumu, and Dear god there are some good arguments in this thread, that makes it difficult to choose what items i should get.

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Then you touch him, so his MR is -20.

... lol

hav to agree on the part about despair being worthless at early levels. It does **** dmg against everything pre-lvl 8+. Just lvl Ulti Bandage and Tantrum until ppl get a decent amount of hp and you actually get into a team fight every now and then to make the skill more useful.

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Senior Member


Maybe edit down your guide..Amumu is pretty cut and dry, if he needs armor he builds armor/health items. If he needs MR he builds Banshee's then continues to stack health. Id just suggest building a Rod of Ages first..there's a noticeable difference

My typical build for solo queuing is

Mana Crystal
Sunfire/Frozen Heart

Summoner Spells I typically go with are Flash/Ignite/Rally (not as much since the nerf)

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Junior Member


mine is

regrowth to philosphers stone
boots to either tabi or merc
3 sunfire capes
abysal scepter
replace the philospher with an item depending on the situation

about despair.... i take it at lvl 8....

reason.... u wont need it at the start coz hp are low.... excpet if the enemies are mostly tanks or if your laning with a tank... but still amumu has low mana reserves so its somehow ineffecient since i dont buy chalice... well it depends on your style of play... anything would do.... for me this works good.... i now have 1.3k kills with amumu and 1.6k assist.... in 300 games...

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Senior Member


People aren't going to go look for a jungling tank because a tank with no one to tank for is *not doing his job*. Amumu is best in team situations, having your team floundering around while you prance about the jungle is sub-optimal for them, and most definitely sub-optimal for you.

Now, here is where you lose me. Despair is a low level mana-hog, so you need to get the golem buff to support it and you need Despair to take down the golem? Why not just... not take Despair and stop mashing your abilities? Also, the Chalice shouldn't exactly be a priority for Amumu, as he needs actual tanking items to do the job he was designed for.

The fact that Despair scales is kind of the problem. At low levels, nothing except the neutral creeps have enough HP to justify using Despair. If you aren't planning on Jungling (why should the tank be jungling again?), Despair eats up mana and DECREASES your DPS at low levels.

In the end, there are only two Golems on the map. If you are really the best character to grab the golem buff, then by all means, go ahead. However, I have yet to be in a game where the team would be better served by me claiming the golem buff over the DPS/Support/Carry/etc.

... One level in Despair helps immensely in taking out Golem. The benefit of having Amumu jungle a bit is so that your laning partner can get that extra bit of XP while you're away. Just because Amumu is good as a team player doesn't mean your laning partner is. Also if you are still laning, that means that the game has not turned into a 5 man gank squad fest. So you are not needed there right ATM. Your team will also acknowledge you getting golem because it benefits Amumu in teamfights. The mana regen lets you keep up despair the entire time while you are spamming tantrum and catchin people with bandage toss. Not to mention it helps keep your ult up more often, which is what makes Amumu such a good initiator.

So you get all that for one point. One extra point in Tantrum will not give you all that benefit.

Also, I'm usually premade with the same people. And usually I get golem as Amumu, because other ideal candidates already get various mana regen items. Whereas it's kinda LOL for a tank to get mana regen items. Especially since as a melee tank, you already have inherent problems getting KS when laned with a ranged caster/dps.

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Junior Member


1st: Thanks for the effort to build this guide

From my experience another keyitem for Amumu beside sunfire is Rylais scepter.
The HP gain is equal to sunfire (which you should get also), the AP boost helps every skill but the passive is the main reason to grab this item asap.

As you wrote: for an initiating AOE-damage tank like our sad little friend, it is very important
to stay close to your enemies to keep up your damage and annoy them with your tears.
The passive slow effect of Rylais procs on every ability our little friend has, most important maybe the slow on despair! That gives you a permanent pbaoe slow, which increases the time to keep the enemies clustered and close to you and also increase your chasing/escaping

Take it - try it - love it.

just my 2 cents

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Senior Member


So much misinformation in this thread. Firstly, there is no synergy between sunfire capes and despair. People saying this clearly misunderstand the meaning of the word. Getting sunfire capes doesn't increase the damage despair does, and despair doesn't increase sunfire cape damage.

That said, sunfire capes are an ok item on amumu, but not a "must have" by any means. Amumu is not naturally tanky, so he requires correct itemization to be effective. The only item I get every single game is Aegis. The justification is simple. It adds good stats to yourself, which amumu needs, and it adds a team aura. If the other team focuses you, you're doing your job as a tank. If they don't, at least you are constantly providing the aura. Win/win situation.

After this, you have to build according to the other team. Randuin's omen, Frozen Heart, Sunfire capes, Banshees veil, and Rylais are all good items. I tend to get rylais only in games that I am not being focused hard, since it is expensive and doesn't add great stats. Sunfire capes are good only if the other team has balanced physical/magical damage, with a little more weight on the physical.

For skill build, I take one level of despair early, then max tantrum. Despair doesn't really shine till late game, but the one level allows you to clear jungle quickly and take down dragon with little help early. Maxing tantrum early adds some early burst and allows you to tank minions a little better, particularly in the jungle.

One other note for the guy saying amumu should leave dragon for a carry. It gives global XP and gold, so it doesn't matter who kills it. The extra gold for the killer is only like 25.

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As Amumu you should be jungling.
He's an amazing jungler and one of the best gankers.

Most Itembuilds i consider semi optimal mentioned in the thread.