League of Legends

Best Abilities: By Class – Tanks

LeagueofLegends9 - Best Abilities: By Class - Tanks

I was in a youtube journey last night and stumbled into a couple videos by a dude called Vars which discussed the best abilities in the game by role and chose a passive, Q, W, E and R. Ultimately this creates a theoretical champion but each ability was looked at independently and not in the context of creating a "perfect" midlaner, or jungler etc.

I thought it would be interesting to do the same for champion classes, and am interested to see what people think. Some rules / qualifiers:

– Abilities will be assessed for their power independent from other parts of the kit. For example, Darius has a SHIT ultimate if he doesn't have the ability to apply bleed stacks. However, his passive is good independent of the rest of his kit.

– Abilities will be assessed not just for how well they do A job but how flexible they are, too. Malphite ult is incredibly flexible compared to poppy ult as it can be used to reposition in a pinch.

– This is subjective. I really hope people disagree with me or this would have all been pointless

– I am defining classes using the Fandom wiki https://leagueoflegends.fandom.com/wiki/Champion_classes because riots site does a shit job and calls camille a tank. Outdated as fuck. Imperfect but easy and I am doing this for fun since there is one kid at my remote learning center today since the world is covered in ice. Give me something to do while he is in google meetings and stuff.

I'll probably do a few posts depending on how long they get.



Tanks generally seek to absorb lots of damage and crowd control while also threatening enemies with some mixture of damage or crowd control. Durability is of high importance here. For the tank class I will be combining Wardens and Vanguards as the Warden roster is quite small.

Passive: Ki Barrier (Shen). I am stealing this from Vars because he is right and it isn't close. This passive is slept on in part because it is Shens and he has long cooldowns and only 2 abilities that can lower that cooldown. On a champion with more spammable skills, this passive becomes INSANE value in durability. Honorable mentions are Camille, Zac and Gragas, but due to less uptime and universal value (camille is adaptive shielding and gragas / zac gets mitigated by GW) Ki barrier still wins out.


Q: Bramble Smash (Maokai): I tried and tried but couldn't think of a more versatile Tank Q. I combed the roster, but for nothing. Bramble Smash is a low cooldown, medium range skillshot with decent damage and an AOE knockback around the caster. It even has a very short slow which can't hurt. It is great for grabbing CS as well as trading. It is great for interrupting mobile fighters during their combos. Ask a riven player how much they love Maokai's Q. Great laning tool, great teamfighting tool, all around amazing Q ability for any melee champion. Honorable mentions go to Pulverize (Alistar) and Dredge Line (Nautilus) but due to cooldown on Pulverize and lack of versatility in Dredge Line, Bramble Smash takes the day.

W: This one is very difficult, and I am going to give 2 answers. Here is why. I really don't want to double down on Maokai because that feels lame, but Twisted Advance (Maokai W) Really is an incredible spell. SO I will give that AND a non-maokai answer:

– Twisted Advance (Maokai): It is one of the most reliable basic abilities in the game. Dash in while untargetable and root someone. It is fucking foolproof. Engage CC is what all tanks can use and this is the purest form of it.

– Steadfast Presence (Poppy): This spell comes with both an active and passive component, and since we are taking the WHOLE ability for this, we get both. The passive increases our resistances by 10%, and to 20% when we are below 40% HP. This on it's own is outstanding, but we also get the active which is a movespeed boost and a short AOE that interrupts dashes and then grounds and slows the offender along with some mild magic damage. This spell has aged amazingly in the years since Poppy was reworked. Mobility in the game is at an all time high, and with champions like Camille and Kayn darting around, it is a great way to sit them down for a lesson while adding some bulk to our frame.

E: Body Slam (Gragas): Good damage, mobility, and real fast CC. This spell is one of the best in the game IMO and is what makes Gragas so powerful, especially in the pro meta. The cooldown scales well and is further reduced if you hit an enemy. It is everything champions could want really. Honorable mentions to Leona, Zac and Tahm Kench.

R: Unstoppable Force (Malphite): It's not close. If it was, maybe Curse of the Sad Mummy (amumu) or Cosmic Radiance (Taric).

So, our Tank has Maokai Q, Poppy W, Gragas E and Malphite Ultimate. Possibly the best engage champion in the game since they can malphite ult and immediately body slam to chain all enemies hit into 2.5 seconds of CC. Following that up with Steadfast Presence makes for some serious lockdown power. They also peel very well with Bramble Smash and Body Slam. They have incredible durability over the course of a fight due to Ki Barrier refreshing quickly on their fairly low cooldown Q and E. Broken champ, pls nerf.

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