This post I’m going to talk about tanking, and the multiple choices we have to tank. I’ve played over 300 games with Shen. Around 500 games with “general” tanking. I enjoyed it for a very, very long time. Tanking is easier than most people think, some people find it dull, but my tanking I put a very unique twist on it. When people hear tank, you generally thing “Meat shield, meant to die” Which is true, but my kind of tank makes sure to capitalize on the enemies mistakes, and people make a LOT of mistakes. In general, when you tank you want to keep your damage deal alive, whether it would be the AP carry, or AD carry. You will keep them alive. That is your job. As long as you keep them alive, they dish out damages, and you win the fight/lane. There is a difference between Tank, and Tanky DPS. I find true tanks to be… Shen, Rammus, Malphite. Tanky DPS is… Jarvan, Garen, Irelia, Jax just to name a few. Tanky DPS is a damage dealer, who with natural abilities, and great farming ability is allowed to survive during fights and deal a wicked amount of damage. A natural tank, that have taunts, or great CC abilities, and start fights well, I find true tanks. Both are great to play, but let’s talk about Natural tanks. When i’m playing Shen, I either solo, or baby sit bottom lane. I keep my carry alive, and when I hit six and grab my ultimate, I have to have ULTIMATE map awareness. Keep your team alive. Save people, etc, etc. Awareness is Key with any tank. You must know what you are doing, and you shouldn’t make mistakes. I like to say Shen is a great person to counter people’s mistakes. Example: When there is a stand off mid, and someone overextends just a little bit, I taunt them, and bring them back to my team, and hopefully kill them. Positioning is everything. Knowing where your team is, and where the enemy team is. Granted, Solo Que tanking can be a little harsh, because sometimes you cannot rely on your team when you go in, so tell your team, be ready. BE READY. When you get a good opening, make sure you take it. It could be that opening that turns the fight around. Now, when playing a tank, you really shouldn’t be playing passive. A passive tank is a fail tank. The difference from being defensive, and be passive is this. Defensive tanking is making sure your team is alive, and when the enemy starts a fight, you are on your feet, and making sure your team is alive, and blow EVERYTHING on you. A passive tank is the exact opposite. When they enemy starts a fight, and you are not in the front, you are failing your team.
When I tank I am extremely hard on myself, If a team fight starts, and during it my carry dies, I feel like I have failed. I need to keep them alive. I am meant to make sure the team blows everything on me, and not them. A perfect example I have for this sort of thing is when the enemy has an Ashe with her ultimate up and you are grouped up in the middle lane, and she fires at your carry, you try your very best to catch that arrow for them, that is OKAY. That is your job, you took a stun from your carry, that your enemy could capitalize on. You don’t want that now do you? No, you don’t. Keep people alive. This is in general. Fight when you know you can make it worth it, and play defensive, and not passive. Foolish tanking will not win games. Smart tanking will make you win. I tanked forever In Solo Que, and full five man premades. When your team can rely on you, you are doing your job right. If your team does not, you are not doing your job. Make sure your team can trust you, earn that trust by taking a death for some one, and saving people. Don’t be a noob, and fail. Let’s go into Tanky DPS.
As I said, Tanky DPS is… Irelia, Jax, Jarvan, Garen. People that are naturally tanky, and deal out an amazing amount of damage. The people I have mentioned are naturally tanky, and have great cc abilities. Irelia has a stun, Jax has a small aoe stun, Jarvan has a knock up, and can Isolate enemies. Garen has a CC as well, it’s not a stun, but it’s a reliable silence. As I said, you can stay alive, and dish out damage. For the longest time, League has been in this Tanky DPS meta-game, and I think it will change soon enough. We can hope at least. When you are playing tanky dps, you want to help your carry out, but you want to dish out damage. When I play tanky dps, I find it useful just to go STRAIGHT for their carry. I call it Anti-Carry. If I cannot, I basically fight like my team does. Tanky DPS I find also means, a great 2v1er. I can fight 2v1, and either win, or come out alive. Great huh? Tanking takes a lot of time to learn, and play correctly, but a great tank, can win games. You can get some great respect for being a good tank. It will make you feel good when you save someone. It’s a fuzzy feeling, like holding a teddy bear.
Overall, A tank is a good thing. You want to keep your team alive, start fights, counter start fights. Like I said, you want to be an active tank. It’s okay to be defensive, but it is NOT okay to be passive. Nobody likes a wimpy tank. You want to beefy, hefty, and you want to man up. When I play with my buddies, and I tank I love to say in vent “Yo team, man up, man up?” I start a good fight, or a good tower dive, and it wins games. That is what we all want right? More wins in our pocket. If you want to lose… Then you are probably playing the wrong game, or really… really stupid. I think in my next blog post, I will talk about Carrying a team, which a lot of people cannot do in Solo Que. Cheers!