League of Legends Tank items guide - Get more survivability!

lol tank items guide
p3ter 08.11.2019 0

League of legends survivability items

Welcome to MMOAuctions guide to tank items in the League of Legends. We will be covering the defensive equipment which can be bought in a game shop to improve statistics like defense and resistances. It is not a guide that will provide you with an item build. We want to give you an insight on items available in the Legends League and to cover situations in which they should be bought. This knowledge usually comes with player experience so getting to know each of the items might give you a head start in the game. Follow our advice to win games and get better at the game. 

This guide is part of the MMOAuctions League of Legends community series of guides where you can read all of the information about in-game items. You can find links to other articles below, which may help you understand other fields of itemization. Follow said link to enter other sections of the itemization guide.

League of Legends items guide (for all of the basic and jungler items)

League of Legends Support items guide (for all of the utility items)

League of Legends DPS items guide (for items that provide damage increase)

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Core tank items

Dead Man's Plate: 60 Armor, 425 HP

Passive: Moving builds stacks of Momentum. Upon reaching 100 Momentum, a user gets increased movement speed and bonus damage on the next hit which will also slow down the target movement speed.

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One of the best LoL items for tanky champions who lack mobility. The best examples would be Darius and Garen, who can benefit from passive stats of this item while also from the movement speed bonus of Momentum. As this item adds health, armor, damage and movement speed - it is a decent choice against physical damage teams and for a laning phase on top when you play against ranged AD champions like Gnar.

Warmog's Armor: 800 HP, 10% CDR, 200% Base HP Regen 

Passive: Upon reaching 3000 maximum health (or more) lets users recover 2,5% max health every second when out of combat.

A combination of extremely high amounts of health and regeneration. This is a major health increase and the best HP item in the game. Warmog's Armor is used mainly by tanks that can benefit though skills and abilities from health pool increase like Mundo or Volibear. It can be a great addition for tanks who already have a great amount of armor and magical resistance. Popular on many junglers, that opt for Cinderhulk enchantment like Sejuani and Zac. Since it gives a lot of HP without any resistances, it is exceptional with items providing resistances without HP, like Gargoyle’s Stoneplate, Iceborn Gauntlet, or Frozen Heart. 

Frozen Heart: 100 Armor, 20% CDR, 400 Mana

Passive: Decreases attack speed of nearby enemies by 15%

Provides the highest armor bonus of all items in the Legends League. It is your go-to item if you play champion which aims to be a tank while being very mana reliant. The best example would be probably Malphite, who spends his mana constantly, can benefit from cooldown reduction by quite a bit and need a huge armor bonus to be more tanky. The Frozen Heart should be brought to counter teams that rely on physical damage. You can go for FH on champions, that thrive off of mana-CDR items, like Ryze or Kassadin. 

Gargoyle Stoneplate: 40 Armor, 40 Magic Resistance (both of which can increase to 80).

Passive: If at least 3 enemies are close by increases the amount of Armor and Magic Resistance.

Active: Increases the current and maximum HP by 40% and reduces the damage you deal by 60% for 4 seconds when not activated. The buff goes up to 100% if 3+ enemies are nearby.

An obvious late game item. It can increase health by 100% while also adding both armor and magical resistance to the user. This is a cherry on the cake for tanks. When the game goes long and the teamfights are occurring very often, buy Gargoyle Stoneplate to make your tanking easier. It works best when used during teamfights against hybrid enemy teams that consist of both magical and physical damage. This item should not be bought during the early stages of the game since there are better choices and it only works to its fullest potential when its user is in the middle of the action. As it scales of the HP, naturally, champions that tend to amass insane amounts of Health are best users of this item. Cho’Gath and Sion with their infinite HP scaling are the best examples. Also, the item’s active reduces damage dealt, however, true damage cannot be reduced. Thus, Gargoyle on champions like Urgot, Darius, or Cho’Gath is a perfect item. Especially on the latter. 

Guardian Angel: 40 Armor, 45 Attack Damage

Passive: Upon taking lethal damage restores 50% HP and 30% maximum mana. This effect occurs four seconds after HP depletion.

Great item for physical damage dealers from every lane like Gnar Top, Zed Mid or Ashe Bot. Adds Armor and increases the damage potential of the owner. On top of that provides protection from death once every few minutes. It can be a real lifesaver and a great hybrid of attack and defense. It works best when you can rely on your teammates to do the job, while you are resurrecting. GA paired with Zilean’s ultimate can tilt the enemies out of this world. It is not recommended against Caitlyn or Jinx, who can put the trap underneath you, as you come back from stasis. 

Iceborn Gauntlet: 65 Armor, 20% CDR, 500 Mana

Passive: After using an ability, your next basic attack deals additional damage and creates an icy zone on the ground which slows enemies in it.

Quite similar to Frozen Heart - you want to build this item on champions who are mana reliant but also need additional armor. It is a more aggressive and less tanky version of the previously mentioned item. Buy this one, if you are struggling with catching up to your enemies, need armor and your mana runs out too quickly. Perfect item for champions, that like to kite enemies, while weaving in some auto-attacks, like Karma, Ezreal, or Viktor. Sheen proc is also useful.

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Randuin's Omen: 70 Armor, 400 HP

Passive: Reduces Critical Strike Damage from basic attacks by 20%. When hit by a basic attack cripples the attackers attack speed by 15% for 1 second.

This item provides a great ratio of HP and armor to its price. On top of that, it gives an AoE active slow and reduces enemy attack speed. One of the best tank LoL items which can help in games against physical teams. Must have against crit-heavy team-comps. Paired with Ninja Tabi can give some hard time to the likes of Tryndamere. 

Ohmwrecker: 50 Armor, 10% CDR, 300 HP, 150% Base Health Regen

Passive: Builds up to 20% bonus movement speed over 2 seconds while near turrets and Void Gates.

Active: Disrupts the turret making it unable to attack for 3 seconds.

The best item to set up tower dives. Its ability to disrupt enemy turret in combination with health and armor bonuses works like a charm if you are already winning a lane. Ohmwrecker lets you go for an easy kill if you are already far ahead and the tower is the only thing that stops you from getting more kills. This item can be also a good addition to support the item kit since it can disrupt the tower for his allies. This way team members can focus on more important items. 

Sunfire Cape: 60 Armor, 425 HP

Passive: Constantly burns nearby enemies for small amounts of damage

A decent item that combines both armor and health. It also does AOE damage in small amounts around the owner. Primary wave clear item for tanks, that lack innate clearing abilities. Be careful, when dancing with your enemy under the tower, as it will drag the tower aggro, even if you don’t attack the opponent. You can also abuse it another way around. 

Thornmail: 80 Armor, 250 HP

Passive: Upon being hit by attack reflects some of the damage back to the attacker as magical damage while inflicting Grievous Wounds. It also cripples the attacker’s attack speed by 15% for 1 second.

A chunk of HP and quite hefty armor bonus. Thornmail is usually bought for other reasons than stats alone. The most crucial trait of the Thornmail is the healing cut part. It is a must-have for a tank against heavy healing compositions and champions in particular - Aatrox, Tryndamere, Fiora, Nasus, etc. It will not work well against Vladimir, though, as it requires physical damage to inflict the Grievous wounds, and Vlad will rarely AA you. It is the only item in the game which allows reflecting some of the damage inflicted on a user. On top of that, it reduces the attack speed of the attacker by 15%. Great item if you are struggling to deal with champions that deal with massive amounts of physical damage with auto attacks like AD Carry. Works best combined with a high amount of HP. A classic item for Rammus, whose kit is designed for the champion to be attacked by the enemy (Taunt + W ability). 

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Zz'Rot Portal: 55 Armor, 125% Health Regen, 55 Magic Resistance

Passive: Builds up to 20% bonus movement speed over 2 seconds while near turrets and Void Gates.

Active: Spawns a Void Gate at the target location which summons Void Spawns that travel to the nearest lane and attack structures. 

Combines good amounts of armor, magical resistance, and a siege potential. Good item for a game where your opponents lack wave clear. It can be also a good idea to buy ZZ'Rot when the enemy team is too busy fighting and has an open base. You can put a portal outside of enemy base sieging their Inhibitors. This will either distract your enemies or damage their structures. It also helps in backdoor situations. Good item in lower divisions since players are struggling with split push.

Abyssal Mask: 10% CDR, 350 HP, 55 Magic Resistance, 300 Mana

Passive: Restores mana equal to 15% of the damage taken. Restores HP equal to 20% mana spent up to a certain point. It also has an aura which increases allied magical damage dealt by 15%.

Magical Resistance, Mana, HP, and Cooldown Reduction combined into one item. Abyssal Mask should be built on mana reliant tanks (like Amumu) who want to help their team casters in damage dealing. If you have a mid lane player which excels during a game and you want to increase his abilities furthermore then Abyssal Mask is what you should be building towards.

Adaptive Helm: 10% CDR, 350 HP, 100% Base Health Regen, 55 Magic Resistance

Passive: Taking magical damage from a source reduces subsequent damage from this source by 20% for 4 seconds.

It provides similar stats to those of Abyssal Mask but is used in other situations. Adaptive Helm works best against champions who deal with damage over time like Teemo (from poisons), Katarina (from ultimate) or Sunfire Cape users. If you have ever been wondering how to counter abilities such as Death Lotus, Crow Storm or Unleashed Power - this is the answer. Not many players know that buying this item might completely counter their enemy and therefore win a game. Must-have against Cassiopeia, Zyra, Heimerdinger, Ryze, and other champions that rely on constant hitting with the same abilities.

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Frozen Mallet: 30 Attack Damage, 700 HP

Passive: Basic attacks apply 40% slow for 1,5 seconds which refreshes on every hit, halved for ranged champions.

A little bit of damage and tons of HP. This item is mainly used on auto attack heroes who need HP and a way to catch their enemies and stick onto them like Gnar or Shyvana. Since this item does not provide any bonus to armor or magical resistance usually it is not as desired as other tank items and therefore it is very situational.

Righteous Glory: 30 Armor, 10% CDR, 400 HP, 100% Base Health Regen, 300 Mana

Active: When used will grant a 75% bonus movement speed for 4 seconds if you are moving towards enemies. At the end of this duration slows nearby enemies by 75% for 2 seconds.

Quite a situational item that provides five different stats. Its unique ability lets you get onto your enemies quickly, while also slowing them for a short duration. A decent choice for tanks that lack mobility like Mundo and especially deadly pick for Cho'Gath (who can position himself to use ultimately easily). Exceptional on tanky champions, that have some sort of movement speed buff, like Volibear or Rammus.

Spirit Visage: 10% CDR, 450 HP, 100% Base Health Regen, 55 Magic Resistance

Passive: Increases all sources of healing by 30%

Without a doubt a go-to item when it comes to Magic Resistance and health regeneration. Works best on champions with self-healing like Mundo, Aatrox and Vladimir however it is almost always a necessary item to buy for a tank when an enemy team relies heavily on Ability Power.

Banshee's Veil: 75 Ability Power, 10% CDR, 60 Magic Resistance

Passive: Puts a shield on the user which blocks the first ability that hits Veil, user. The shield refreshes after 40 seconds of losing it.

Gives a big bonus to Ability Power and Magic Resistance on top of 10% Cooldown Reduction. This item is often brought to counter enemy with strong nukes like Veigar or Zed which can quickly one-shoot their target. It is also recommended to build against Ability Power heavy teams or if you are struggling against enemies with good set-up skills like Ashe's arrow, Blitzcrank Rocket Grab, or a pull from Skarner. I bought it at the correct time can be a real life-saver.

Sterak's Gage: 450 HP

Passive: Grant’s 50% of base Attack Damage as a bonus Attack Damage. If you receive large amounts of damage within a short timespan you gain a shield which equals 75% bonus health. Also grants size increase and 30% tenacity for 8 seconds when shield triggers.

Since the amount of damage that this item provides relies on base Attack Damage it is the best buy for champions with high amounts of it. It can be only bought on melee champions and it works great for offtanks like Riven, Renekton and Warwick. A great choice for bruisers. Exceptional on champions that can be stopped only by hard CC. 

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Maw of Malmortius: 50 Attack Damage, 10% CDR, 50 Magic Resistance

Passive: Taking magical damage which would reduce HP below 30% grants a shield that absorbs 350 magical damage. The shield lasts 5 seconds. On top of that this item grants 20 Attack Damage, 10% Spell Vamp and 10% Life Steal upon shield activation which lasts as long as you are in combat.

Although it is a sword and it provides attack damage it is, in fact, a defensive item. Maw grants to it user also magic resistance and cooldown reduction, but most important part of this item is its passive. While on low health, wearer triggers a magical shield that is able to absorb up to 350 magical damage. On top of that during that time special effect granting 20 attacks, 10% life steal and 10% spell vamp is triggered. This may cause a surprise and catch your enemy off guard. Great item to buy on AD hero who plays on mid against AP Mage if you are struggling against your enemy and need additional survivability. Recommended vs. heavy Ap burst enemies with not that much CC (like Vladimir). 

Mercurial Scimitar: 50 Attack Damage, 10% LifeSteal, 35 Magic Resistance

Active: Removes all Crowd Control debuffs (slows, stuns, etc.) from user and grants 50% movement speed for 1 second.

Yet another sword on this list which is a defensive item. It might look like it's designed to increase damage since it provides good attack bonuses and lifesteal. We have categorized this one as a defensive item since its active ability removes crowd control effects and because it provides magic resistance to the user. Especially useful item against champions who can lock you down in one place for a long time like Malzahar or Skarner. Often referred to as “Skarner tax” or “Malzahar tax”, as you can see it on champions, that normally don’t buy it. A great addition to your toolkit if you are playing AD champion and you need something to counter Crowd Control spells that are coming at you. 

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Our League of Legends tank items guide is over but you can find more text and articles on our blog page. If you want to learn about items in TFT, builds, lanes, picks, and counters make sure to check it out in the link below.

MMOAuctions League of Legends guide section

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