HomeLeague of LegendsGuidesTop 10 Best Tanks in League of Legends (with Builds)

Top 10 Best Tanks in League of Legends (with Builds)

Tanks are powerful champions in League of Legends that specialize in absorbing damage. They do this by building items with bonus health, magic resist, and armor, or by having lots of healing, shields, or other damage reduction effects in their kits. And the whole point is – protect your allies.

Tanks are played in every role in LoL, except for maybe ADC. And even if a tank champion isn’t meant for one role, you can also play him as an off-meta mid laner, off-meta top laner, off-meta jungler, or even as off-meta support. In other words, there are many tanks in the game.

But who are the tankiest champions in League of Legends? And what exactly makes the best tanks really the best?

Well, that’s what this post is all about! Here I’m going to explain why these 10 champions deserve the rank of the best tanks in League and I’ll also give you the best builds for them.

Let’s begin!

The 10 Tankiest Champions in LoL  – Top 10 Tanks

10. Leona

Leona

One of the tankiest champions in League of Legends comes with an enormous shield and the ability to reduce a lot of incoming damage. Leona is the go-to pick for any support player that loves to engage, set up team fights, and dive deep into the enemy backline. 

The first thing that makes Leona a pretty tanky champion is a decent scaling on the main stats – health, magic resist, and armor. And compared to most supports in LoL, Leona has generally a bigger health bar and can survive for way longer.

The key ability that makes Leona an effective tank in the bot lane is her W – Eclipse. Whenever it’s activated, Eclipse grants Leona up to 50% damage reduction and tons of bonus armor and magic resist. This effect lasts for 3 seconds but that’s enough for blocking the most important spells from the enemy team.

What’s more, Eclipse even scales with Leona’s MR and armor. In other words, the more she has of these two stats, the bigger the bonus is from activating her W. 

The other 3 active abilities in Leona’s kit are all crowd control spells. She can immobilize enemies left and right, rendering them unable to attack. And this also helps Leona keep her HP bar up.

The great thing about this champion is that she stays tanky even if you play full AP Leona or AD bruiser Leona. Her regular support build is tank-focused, but you can sometimes shake things up and remain tanky enough.

Runes

  • Aftershock
  • Font of Life
  • Bone Plating
  • Unflinching
  • Biscuit Delivery
  • Cosmic Insight

Items

  • Plated Steelcaps
  • Locket of the Iron Solari
  • Knight’s Vow
  • Thornmail
  • Gargoyle Stoneplate
  • Force of Nature

Read Also: Top 10 Most Fun Supports

9. Alistar

Alistar

The next champion I want to talk about is another support that makes a wonderful and helpful tank to the entire team – Alistar.

Alistar’s tankiness comes from great scaling too, especially when he’s ahead. His health numbers are generally higher than many other supports in the game. And the same can be said for his armor and magic resist.

But the main reason why Alistar gets so tanky is his ultimate ability – Unbreakable Will. When you activate this spell, Alistar instantly breaks free from all crowd control effects and becomes free to dodge the incoming damage.

Additionally, Alistar gets 55, 65, or 75% (depending on the rank) damage reduction for 7 seconds. This includes both physical and magic damage, so he’s practically immune to both of them.

In other words, whenever Alistar has his R activated, he cannot be slain. Not one League of Legends champion can one-shot Alistar through Unbreakable Will, no matter how fed they are.

And when you combine this with the items that Alistar typically goes for, you get a very tanky support champion in LoL. For example, he often buys Locket of the Iron Solari and Thornmail, so he also gets shields and tons of bonus armor.

But if you want to switch things up, you can also try out AP Alistar. The damage reduction from his ultimate will still apply.

Runes

  • Aftershock
  • Font of Life
  • Bone Plating
  • Unflinching
  • Hextech Flashtraption
  • Cosmic Insight

Items

  • Plated Steelcaps
  • Locket of the Iron Solari
  • Knight’s Vow
  • Thornmail
  • Gargoyle Stoneplate
  • Force of Nature

Read Also: Top 10 Best Healers in LoL

8. Zac

Zac

Moving onto the jungle role, Zac is one of the beefiest champions you can play there! He may not look like it at first, but over time, Zac becomes one of the most defensive picks in LoL!

First of all, Zac is a champion that benefits a lot from maximum HP. So, building items with bonus health is the main way to empower this champion, and here’s why.

Zac’s abilities don’t consume mana, rage, or energy. Instead, each ability takes a bit of Zac’s health in order to work. However, Zac’s spells spawn gobbles on the ground which he can collect and heal back his lost HP.

Thanks to this passive, Zac gets the rank of one of the best healing champions in League. As his level increases, the healing from collecting gobbles gets really broken, so he forces his opponents to spend gold on anti-heal items.

Additionally, many of Zac’s active abilities actually have a maximum HP scaling ratio. In other words, the more health Zac has the more damage he can do too.

All of this works very well together, especially when Zac gets fed. His passive also allows him to grow in size when he builds more health. And in the end, you get a massive tank, with lots of health and almost infinite self-healing that annoys everyone on the enemy team!

Zac can be a tricky champion to understand, so I recommend you check this AP or AD Zac guide if you want to learn more about his abilities and damage. If not, follow the runes and items you see below for the ultimate tanky Zac playstyle!

Runes

  • Aftershock
  • Font of Life
  • Conditioning
  • Revitalize
  • Triumph
  • Legend: Tenacity

Items

  • Plated Steelcaps
  • Jack’Sho, The Protean
  • Sunfire Aegis
  • Thornmail
  • Spirit Visage
  • Warmog’s Armor

7. Shen

Shen

The top lane is home to the biggest of champions and the beefiest of tanks in League of Legends. Shen may not look like one, but this ninja can be come one of the toughest champions to take down if he gets even a little bit ahead.

Ki Barrier is Shen’s passive and it’s one of the reasons why he’s so defensive. Simply put, each time Shen casts an ability, Ki Barrier grants him a shield that scales with his bonus health. So the more tanky Shen gets, the bigger this shield is too.

Ki Barrier is undeniably a reliable way to stay protected throughout the game. However, it’s not the only tool that Shen has.

Shen’s W – Spirit’s Refuge is an AoE protection spell that blocks all basic attacks. It may not sound like much, but Shen can actually protect all 5 of his enemies from nearly 50% of all the damage on the enemy team simply by activating his W.

Spirit’s Refuge only lasts for around 2 seconds, so it’s an ability meant for reacting to a certain play or countering it. For example, you can activate it when the enemy ADC rushes you and you’ll block most of their damage. And this helps you keep your health up during a team fight.

Finally, Shen’s ultimate is a global ability that helps him keep his allies alive. It grants a huge shield to them and teleports him right next to them. Stand United doesn’t do much for Shen’s safety, but it can be used in creative ways to escape certain situations.

Shen’s build includes a lot of defensive items, so he’s a natural tank in the game. I’ve already written a guide on why Shen is such a good top laner for climbing in LoL, so I recommend you check that too if you’re interested in this champion!

Runes

  • Grasp of the Undying
  • Shield Bash
  • Second Wind
  • Revitalize
  • Cheap Shot
  • Ultimate Hunter

Items

  • Mercury’s Treads
  • Heartsteel
  • Thornmail
  • Randuin’s Omen
  • Force of Nature
  • Gargoyle Stoneplate

Read Also: How to Split Push in League of Legends?

6. Tahm Kench

Tahm Kench

When Tahm Kench first came out, a lot of players had problems with him. On the surface, Tahm doesn’t seem powerful at all. But give this champion to an experienced player and he’ll soon break the whole game!

The main mechanic that keeps Tahm Kench tanky throughout the game is actually his W – Thick Skin. Thick Skin allows Tahm to store some of the damage as grey health. And you can see this on his health bar where his normal HP bar is lowered to half but the grey line is at full HP.

Once Tahm Kench activates Thick Skin, he gains a shield equal to the stored grey health. So even if you’ve brought down Tahm Kench to 20% HP, you need to do the same again because his shield brings him to 100% HP.

And this isn’t all!

The passive portion of Thick Skin lets Tahm Kench regenerate his missing health. This happens when the ability is off cooldown or when Tahm hasn’t taken a damage for 4 seconds. In other words, you need to bring Tahm Kench to 0% HP 3 times in order to slay him!

As a tanky support, Tahm’s build is all about beefing up. His core items grant a lot of health, magic resist, and armor, so he’s an effective tank against most team compositions.

Kench’s abilities also get empowered with more health. He can stun enemies and even devour them if he needs to. Tahm can dive deep into the enemy backline and not be afraid of getting one-shot. And he can protect his allies too!

Follow this link if you want to try AP Tahm Kench too.

Runes

  • Grasp of the Undying
  • Shield Bash
  • Second Wind
  • Unflinching
  • Triumph
  • Legend: Alacrity

Items

  • Mercury’s Treads
  • Heartsteel
  • Spirit’s Visage
  • Thornmail
  • Randuin’s Omen
  • Force of Nature

5. Sion

Sion

Sion is one of the oldest tanks in League of Legends. And even though Riot Games reworked him, he still keeps his identity as a champion that requires 5 enemies in order to bring him down!

The build that most players go for on Sion consists of tank items, with a Hullbreaker or Titanic Hydra here and there. This naturally makes Sion very tanky from the start of the match until the end of it. Yes, there’s a lethality Sion build too, but that playstyle is very different and not very defensive.

Next, Sion’s W – Soul Furnace has two very important benefits. 

First, this ability grants Sion bonus health each time he slays a minion or a monster permanently until the end of the game. And so, the longer the game goes on, the more health Sion gets. And it’s not crazy to see a beefy Sion with 5000+ HP in the late game.

And second, when Sion activates his W, he also gets a shield that scales with his maximum HP and a bit of AP too.

But Soul Furnace isn’t the only thing that makes Sion an incredibly difficult champion to slay. His passive – Glory in Death lets him come back as a zombie after being slain. This form has the same HP numbers as the regular one, so Sion can keep tanking even after he’s died. 

When you combine all of these elements together, you get a champion that isn’t very concerned about getting damaged or dying. Sion is useful regardless of whether he makes mistakes or not, so he’s a great tank to learn the game with!

Runes

  • Grasp of the Undying
  • Demolish
  • Conditioning
  • Overgrowth
  • Triumph
  • Legend: Tenacity

Items

  • Plated Steelcaps
  • Heartsteel
  • Sunfire Aegis
  • Thornmail
  • Force of Nature
  • Warmog’s Armor

Read Also: The 10 Best Champions without Skillshots

4. Rammus

Rammus

The rolling armadillo you occasionally see in the jungle doesn’t wear his shell only for decoration. In fact, Rammus is one of the tankiest champions in League of Legends since level 1!

The first thing you need to remember about Rammus is that his auto-attacks deal additional magic damage that scales with the amount of armor he has. So thanks to his passive – Spiked Shell, Rammus has more damage when he builds more armor.

And Spiked Shell works together with Rammus’ W – Defensive Ball Curl to give him even more damage.

What Defensive Ball Curl does is that it grants Rammus bonus armor and magic resist whenever it’s activated. The amount of bonus armor and magic resist actually scales with Rammus’ own armor and MR. Each rank increases the percentage gained, with the last rank offering 100% of Rammus’ armor and 50% of his magic resist.

All of this simply means that Rammus becomes unkillable when Defensive Ball Curl is activated. This is also true become players usually combine the W with the E ability, forcing enemies to auto-attack Rammus and damage themselves in return.

If you add items like Thornmail to your inventory, suddenly Rammus becomes a machine for melting down ADCs. And he can do this all by staying perfectly healthy thanks to his shell.

And finally, the last thing that keeps Rammus’ HP bar up is his own playstyle. You see, Rammus always attacks first thanks to his Q and R. He can immobilize his enemies before they can even damage him. And so, he avoids their initial damage and has enough tools to block the rest.

There’s an off-meta AP Rammus build too that I also recommend for having fun.

Rune

  • Aftershock
  • Font of Life
  • Conditioning
  • Unflinching
  • Triumph
  • Legend: Alacrity

Items

  • Plated Steelcaps
  • Jak’Sho, The Protean
  • Thornmail
  • Dead Man’s Plate
  • Force of Nature
  • Randuin’s Omen

3. Ornn

Ornn

If you’re looking for a tank top laner that does well in all stages of the game, there’s no better pick than Ornn. He’s an efficient laner, good team fighter, and excellent initiator that will prove helpful to the entire team.

First of all, Ornn has high armor, magic resist, and health numbers since level 1. The champion was designed specifically for absorbing damage and he does that very well, even at the start of the game.

Next, some of Ornn’s abilities scale with these defensive stats. And this makes most players only build tank items on Ornn even though there are off-meta AP and AD Ornn builds. In the end, most Ornns you see in your games have Sunfire Aegis, Thornmail, and Frozen Heart.

However, that’s not all.

The strongest tool that Ornn has is the ability to craft and upgrade items for him and his allies. Even during the laning phase, Ornn can put items in his inventory even when he isn’t in base. He still spends gold on them, but he isn’t required to recall back to base in order to complete his items.

Additionally, Ornn can upgrade his and his allies’ mythic items to something more powerful. For example, his Sunfire Aegis can be turned to Forgefire Crest. This updates the item to grant more ability haste, health, armor, and magic resist. 

And the best part is that the enemy players can’t access the same upgraded items! In other words, Ornn can get more stats than any other pick on Summoner’s Rift. And that is why LoL players say that Ornn is one of the best scaling champions in the game. 

Runes

  • Grasp of the Undying
  • Demolish
  • Bone Plating
  • Overgrowth
  • Triumph
  • Legend: Tenacity

Items

  • Plated Steelcaps
  • Heartsteel
  • Sunfire Aegis
  • Thornmail
  • Force of Nature
  • Warmog’s Armor

2. Dr. Mundo

Dr. Mundo

Ever since Dr. Mundo was added to League of Legends, he’s been one of the toughest champions to take down. And because of his notorious ultimate ability, he can simply live on forever!

But what exactly does Mundos’ R – Maximum Dosage really do?

You see, when Mundo activates his ultimate, he instantly gets increased maximum health equal to a percentage of his missing health. This makes him immediately tankier and allows him to survive critical hits.

However, that’s not all.

The second part of Maximum Dosage gives Dr. Mundo health regeneration based on his maximum HP. It also grants bonus movement speed and attack damage, so this ability is the whole package.

This is why building items with bonus health is such an important part of playing Mundo in LoL. You want to buy the tankiest items and benefit from Maximum Dosage maximally.

Aside from that, Dr. Mundo has an amazing passive that easily makes him an impossible target to bring down. With “Goes Where He Pleases”, Mundo blocks the first crowd control ability. However, this passive also lets him heal off of that, so it’s a perfect effect for a tank.

On the other hand, Mundo’s damage is also impressive for a tank. And because his abilities have health ratios, his damage is always “enough”. If you want an AP or AD Mundo guide, I’ve got that on my site too.

Runes

  • Grasp of the Undying
  • Demolish
  • Second Wind
  • Overgrowth
  • Magical Footwear
  • Approach Velocity

Items

  • Plated Steelcaps
  • Heartsteel
  • Thornmail
  • Spirit Visage
  • Warmog’s Armor
  • Gargoyle Stoneplate

Read Also: 5 Best Tanks Against AP Champions

1. Cho’Gath

Cho'Gath

Ane the strongest tank in League of Legends in Cho’Gath. This champion has an unfair advantage over all other tanks in the game simply because of one thing – infinite scaling!

You see, Cho’Gath is a stacking champion and in order to make him powerful, you need to collect Feast stacks. Feast is his ultimate ability and it allows him to chomp down minions, monsters, and champions, executing them in the process.

Each Feast stack grants Cho a lot of bonus health, a bit of bonus attack range, and an increase in size. There’s a fixed number of how many stacks  Cho’Gath can get from minions and monsters (6). However, there’s no such thing for eating enemy champions and Dragons/Barons.

And so, in theory, Cho’Gath can scale infinitely thanks to his Feast ultimate. The more executions he has on champions and epic monsters, the bigger his health bar gets. And it’s not impossible to sometimes see an enormous Cho’Gath with 10000+ health walking down Summoner’s Rift!

Click this link if you want to learn more about how Cho’Gath’s stacks work in LoL.

The rest of Cho’s abilities are focused on dealing damage and providing crowd control. He can knock up enemies, silence them, and even one-shot them with enough AP. And this is often the case even with a full tank build too.

Additionally, Cho’s passive helps him out during the laning phase by providing self-healing through CSing. It doesn’t play a major role later on, but it allows him to scale for the late game.

That’s why Cho’Gath is the best tank in LoL!

Runes

  • Grasp of the Undying
  • Demolish
  • Conditioning
  • Overgrowth
  • Triumph
  • Legend: Tenacity

Items

  • Plated Steelcaps
  • Heartsteel
  • Fimbulwinter
  • Thornmail
  • Force of Nature
  • Frozen Heart

Read Also: 10 Best Bruiser Champions in League of Legends

Stefan
Stefanhttps://runetarium.com
A true League of Legends veteran. After 10 years of grinding high elo, I decided to share my knowledge and created Runetarium. When I'm not playing LoL I write the guides you read here. My main account peaked at Master 426 LP but I have hundreds of smurf accounts too. So, we might've played together sometimes, who knows?
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