Building a Tank is always quite complex cause you dont really need to "deal as much damage as you can" nor "mitigate as much as you can".
The tank is the one that need to counter build the most and there are MANY items that are viable and you want to consider during each game.
Even the game mode you wanna play will change the itemization and you might end up with different builds each time.
Note: For Arena and Slash i's using the terminology "Tank" and for Conquest and Joust is use "Support" instead cause i feel that in the first 2 game modes the role is more generic than the latter ones. (Especially for Conquest where "Support" is actually a role you can select while queueing!)
Note: I wont address assault build cause you are gonna purely counterbuilding. Beside the first items that is gonna be either Sovereignty, Heartward Amulet (that you will upgrade later into Amulet of Silence) or Talisman of Energy (this item doesnt provide magical protection aura like heartward but will provide movement speed and mana!)
Build 1: Arena Solo Tank
This is the build you really want to go for in Arena when you are the only tank.
In arena mobility is super important cause the wide is wide open.
Having extra movement speed provided by both War Banner
and Talisman of Energy
also helps with retreat phase as well as chase phase.
Overall you gonna have 40% CDR that helps you maximize the usage of Scarab's Blessing
. 1 saved target is as valuable as a kill cause you will deny 5 points to enemies.
: If you need antihealing you are gonna swap Witchblade
. If enemy comp is heavy physical oriented OR you dont have a hunter in your team, swap Shogun's Kusari
in the first case or Pestilence
in the second case.
: If you are not solo tanking, the other tank might get War Banner
, in that case get Hero's Axe
that will greatly help squishy targets in case they get CCd.
If the other tank also get Shogun's Kusari
(popular among warriors) or Talisman of Energy
you can go for Pridwen
to get 20% CDR from 1 single item (that paired with Breastplate of Determination
will give you 40% CDR) or you can go for either Jade Emperor's Crown
, Ethereal Staff
(in case they have double tank) or even Gem of Isolation
which is always great to slow an entire enemy team with Rising Dawn
(try to avoid Witchblade
in case you getting Pridwen
so you dont overcap CDR).
You may end up with one of these builds while not tanking alone:
Build 2: Slash Tank
Alternative Arena Builds
In Slash the build doest change too much from Arena. (being solo tank or not doenst change much in Slash and you can even go double War Flag
if you and the other tank stay in different lanes.)
The main difference is that you dont really need Talisman of Energy
(this doesnt mean the item is completely useless) cause the aura wont up as much as in arena.
Another difference can come from the starter item. In my opinion the War Flag
is a very useful starter, allowing you to rotate faster between the 2 lanes in early game (and later you just upgrade it to War Banner
) and this usually makes this the best starter. On the other hand you might lack sustain in early game and so you might want Sentinel's Gift
in order to avoid backing too much (later on you will upgrade it to Sentinel's Embrace
: if you need antihealing, you can swap Bulwark of Hope
: in case you dont have an ADC on your team and instead you have magical carries (or magical ADC as well), consider taking Void Stone
instead of Shogun's Kusari
to boost their damage. In case you dont need to get Witchblade
, cause in the enemy comp there isnt a hunter (or any atk speed based warriors) and there are instead assassins or ability based warriors, get Jade Emperor's Crown
(in case you need antihealing) instead. By swapping both Shogun's Kusari
you will lose 20% CDR. To compensate a bit for it, you can get Genji's Guard
instead of Bulwark of Hope
(and possibily swap the order with Jade Emperor's Crown
that also shine the most in late game. Still depend of the enemy comp tho!)
If we merge both these scenarios, you can end up with a build like this (also swapping the starter so you can see another build that still is viable):
Build 3: Conquest Support
Alternative Slash Build
In Conquest you will really want to counterbuild more than in Slash and Arena. This is an example of a build you can end up with but will mostly change each game. I will also make more examples here but try to understand how the counterbuilding works and when you want a certain item over another!
In conquest Talisman of Energy
isnt really great since it's really conditional and the passive wont really be up too much. (while in Arena it's up most of the time for everyone). You can just skip it.
You also dont really want War Flag
and you should always go for Sentinel's Gift
and upgrade it to Sentinel's Embrace
later on in order to give ton of prots to allies (especially in the backline).
: if you need antihealing try also to get it as soon as you can. Think carefully if you want Pestilence
based on what you plan to get later on too! You dont want to end up with 4 items that gives you physical (or magical) protections! NEVER! Or you will be too squishy for the other source of damage!
: as you can see the first 3 items are kinda always the same for all modes cause they are really valuable and give you everything you need. After that you either get the most efficient items or start the counterbuild. In this game mode you might start counterbuilding earlier. For example if you are playing with a magical ADC in duo lane you can take Void Stone
as third item instead of Breastplate of Determination
. Or again, if you play against a magical ADC you can simply get Shogun's Kusari
If the enemy comp is AA oriented (with either 2 ADCs or warriors AA based) you can also get Midgardian Mail
If the enemy comp has more source of physical damage, get Jade Emperor's Crown
instead of Bulwark of Hope
. Here some more examples of possible builds (also inserting a build with antihealin this time to show you how much is important!)
Build 4: Joust Support
Alternative Conquest Builds
Like in Conquest, Joust requires a lot of counterbuilding. This build is once here to give you an idea of a common build you might end up with when playing in the first ranks with a normal mage, hunter, tank comp.
: if you are not playing with a mage in your team, skip Void Stone
. You can consider going Ethereal Staff
in case of double tank enemy comp or just another item of the one listed here. Simply counterbuild!
: Shogun's Kusari
is a very important item cause it grants you MP5 and you are really mana burning like all other guardians. If you are not playing with an ADC (but i really suggest to have one if your team cause you dont provide much damage so you kinda need someone with sustained damage) you can go for Genji's Guard
: the "normal" comp mentioned above will appear less and less as you rank up, ending up with double tank comp + carry (double warrior + mage or magical adc. warrior + guardian + hunter or magical adc. double guardian + hunter). This tanky comp makes Ethereal Staff
a great option. Witchblade
is also a must buy item against warriors and ADCs. Antihealing items Contagion
are another must-buy items when the enemies can heal up!
Also when playing against a double guardian + hunter you can go for Amulet of Silence
(you can decide when to buy it yourself depending of how much damage they deal).
If the enemy team is more oriented toward magical damage you can consider going for Pridwen
instead of breasplate of determination!
In Joust you can also consider going for Divine Ruin
when you are the only one that can build it and you need antihealing. You dont need to go FULL tank in Joust cause the enemies cant just nuke you and having 1 item to deal a bit of damage is good!
Here are some other builds, the first one is against a double warrior + magical ADC while the second is for double guardian + hunter:
Alternative Joust Builds