Tanks in League of Legends can be a nuisance. In recent years, many of them received many new Items to use and ensure their domination over weaklings. Yes, more often than not, tanks are immobile and likely just walking walls. This means that they are easy to bring down if everything lines up. But everything doesn’t always line up.
Tanks are intimidating, strong, and powerful enemies that can enormously impact the overall game. They will never be your first focus (and they can’t, really), meaning they have enough time due to their thing if you don’t slay their allies fast enough. Though immobile, they are usually the immobilizers, giving them all the tools they need to, quite literally, smash you down.
Killing Tanks is difficult, tedious, and sometimes borderline impossible. This list is here to help you find the right tools for the job and bring down those big hunks of meat or stone down. Keep in mind that while tremendously helpful, these items alone are not the end – only a means to it. You will have to improve your gameplay and position to kill any target in the game, let alone the Tanks.
So, without further delay, let’s dive into our HP shredding list.
7. Duskblade of Drakkthar
Stats: +60 AD, +20 Ability Haste, +18 Lethality
Unique Passive – Nightstalker: Your next basic attack deals extra physical damage equal to 65 + 25% bonus AD. It slows targets by 99% for 0.25s. Scoring takedowns against Champions within 3 seconds of attacking them also makes you invisible for 1.5s. (15s Cooldown)
Mythic Passive: Empowers all of your Legendary items with 5 Ability Haste.
The first Item on this list is also the weakest one in this regard. It does no damage based on max HP and has no armor penetration. Well, it has Lethality – and not that much of it. You may be wondering why I’ve even decided to include this Item. You see, there are not many items that can directly help you against Tanks and healthy opponents. If there were that many, the game’s meta (which is already unbalanced, by the way) would be broken beyond repair.
Duskblade does give you a lot and will have a good impact on both Tanks and less healthy enemies alike. It offers an impactful bonus damage buff on your basic attack, and that invisibility can be a lifesaver during chaotic team fights. The Lethality will help you pierce up to 18 Armor at level 18, and it isn’t insubstantial on lower levels either.
This Item is best suited for Assassins and those sudden killers that tend to pounce from the darkness. For example, these include Zed and Kha’Zix. It also goes well on Gangplank, which can proc the bonus damage using his barrels – which by themselves offer some bonus damage and armor penetration values.
At 3200 gold, it is on the more expensive side, but considering it is a mythic item, I’d say it is worth the price.
6. Black Cleaver
Stats: +40 AD, +25 Ability Haste, +450 HP
Unique Passive – Carve: Dealing physical damage to enemy Champions applies a stack of Carve for 6 seconds. Each stack reduces the target’s Armor by 5%, up to 30% maximum.
Unique Passive – Rage: Dealing physical damage to enemies grants 3 bonus movement speed per stack of Carve. It lasts 2 seconds and goes up to 18.
Black Cleaver, when looking at its stats, seems like it would be higher on this list. And you’re right. It is a very powerful item to use against Tanks. The problem is – it’s mostly a Tank item. This reminds me of that Thanos quote: “I used the stones to destroy the stones”, and if you replace stones with Tanks, you’d understand Juggernauts sporting this Item.
It takes a while to stack, and if the enemy manages to evade your damage for long enough, the stack will go away, and you will have to reset it. When you look at it from a different perspective, a 6-second duration isn’t that long in League of Legends and can be dispelled with a short retreat. At any rate, if you manage to proc all 6, it will make the enemy 30% more susceptible to physical damage. That can allow your Assassin ally to quickly finish the job, as they will have almost no defense against them, especially if the Assassin has some armor penetration as well.
It is a versatile and mostly reliable item that you should always consider when playing over-time Champions such as Darius. He sports a black cleaver in his hand already, making this Item a lore-friendly purchase. He will be able to proc its passive with a single basic attack, so it fits every way.
It will cost you 3100 gold, a bit too expensive for my taste. Knocking its price by 100 gold would be great to increase its overall value, but at the moment, it’s worth it, if not as much.
Also read: How Much CS is a Kill Worth?
5. Serpent’s Fang
Stats: +55 AD, +12 Lethality
Unique Passive – Shield Reaver: Dealing damage to enemies inflicts them with venom – limiting their shields to 50%/35% effectiveness (melee/ranged). If they are already affected by venom, reduce their current shields by the same amount.
Ok, this Item doesn’t offer too much for the direct effort against Tanks. However, what it does do is limit their potential at being shielded by either their own means or by allies. Oftentimes Tanks sport a lot of shielding abilities; for example, Sion has his W, Mordekaiser likewise, etc. Many of them will make sure they are well protected beyond the scope of their HP and defenses.
Many Champions in the game also have shield abilities, strong ones too. Karma even has one that affects her allies in an AOE and can be substantial enough to account for about 30% of their total HP post-shield. Against these Champions and teams, Serpent’s Fang is the best tool to have on your kit, especially if you can do AOE physical damage and apply it to multiple enemies at once.
Again, Gangplank comes to mind as his barrels can proc this effect in a solid AOE. The Item’s position on this list is in the middle, not the lowest, yet not among the very best. Many factors contributed to this, namely its 2600 gold price, making it one of the cheapest overall. Therefore, the value factor is much greater, and it would be a pleonasm to say it’s worth the price. It is situational, though, so you’ll not always be picking it up. Whenever you do, you’ll feel its effects immediately.
4. Serylda’s Grudge
Stats: +45 AD, +20 Ability Haste, +30% Armor Penetration
Unique Passive – Bitter Cold: Dealing ability damage slows enemies by 30% or 1 second.
This is perhaps one of the most basic complete items you’ll ever encounter in League of Legends. And I mean it. You can see for yourself in the stats that it offers very straightforward buffs that are, honestly, incredible. It does everything the previous Item on this list and more. It also doesn’t take multiple attacks/seconds to apply its full buff, and it just comes with it out of the box. 30% Armor Penetration is a very high number, a whole third of the enemy’s physical defenses – gone.
With one single item you can obliterate even those that build a lot more Armor than is actually needed to stay dormant and Tank through most of the damage. It is basic, and it doesn’t have overloaded stats, passives, Uniques, etc. It is just a good, easy-to-understand, and valuable Item that you can purchase for 3200 gold. It is expensive, and Riot should knock its gold down for at least a 100, but it’s manageable when all things are considered.
The Item will provide you with that bit of Ability Haste that’ll bump your spell-casting a bit. While it’s not a shocking amount, it’s good enough to make a bit of a difference. All in all, you should consider picking this Item up whenever faced against those tanks like Rammus that have hundreds of Armor stacked. Ornn is another Armor beast that comes to mind where this Item might find most of its use.
Also read: Best Armor Items in League of Legends
3. Divine Sunderer
Stats: +35 AD, +20 Ability Haste, +400 HP
Unique Passive – Spellblade: The numbers are rather tedious, and I shall refrain from using them here. Check the League wiki for exact equations. After using an ability, your next attack deals bonus damage based on the enemy’s max HP. You also heal based on the target’s max HP if it’s a Champion.
Mythic Passive: Empowers all of your Legendary items with 5% Armor Penetration and 5% Magic Penetration.
The top 3 on this list are all equally good, and I’d be sounding pretentious if I claimed otherwise. You should look at them without a particular order and pick between the lot based on situations you find yourself in. All of them are viable and perfectly strong against Tanks, and it is the type of Tank that will determine which is the one to go for (or if you should go for more than one).
Divine Sunderer is one of the best on-hit items in League of Legends. I’ve included it in our list of on-hit items, so check it out for more details. Anyhow, it will help you do many things; fighting Tanks is just one of them. It adds a lot of damage, sustain, and even boosts your abilities for a little bit. It’s also a Mythic Item, so the bonuses just keep increasing the more you read.
Being an on-hit item, it is best utilized by those heavy and fast hitters that also use spells in-between their attacks. The first that comes to mind, and arguably the best Champion among that class, is Jax. He uses a lot of spells to amplify his fighting and attacking abilities. That means he’ll proc this Item’s passives rapidly and in succession. The bonus damage based on max HP means you’ll be hitting harder the Tankier the enemy gets, which goes to show how powerful this Item is.
It costs 3300 gold, a good price for a mythic item, but a tremendously great value for this Item particularly. It will provide you with a lot to use against those pesky Tanks, and I’m sure you’ll love it just as much as I do.
2. Lord Dominik’s Regards
Stats: +30 AD, +20% Critical Strike Chance, +35% Armor Penetration
Unique Passive – Giant Slayer: Deal 0-15% bonus damage against Champions with more HP than you. (15% is achieved at 2000 max HP difference).
As we can see, similar to Serylda’s Grudge, the straightforward nature of the Item usually means it is unexpectedly powerful. This one certainly is and has been for long considered the anti-tank Item in League of Legends. It provides a huge buff against healthy enemies that they’ll certainly find themselves wondering just how you’re dealing so much damage to them.
It will increase not only your AD and Penetration but also grant you a 20% Critical Strike Chance as well, meaning you will likely deal obscene amounts of physical damage to them. You will shred through at least 35% of their Armor with the Item alone, and if you have other Armor Penetration sources like Darius’ E or Gangplank’s Barrels, you’ll be eating their HP up like hotcakes.
Always have this Item on your mind when facing Armored Tanks, as you will likely have to pick it up. Out of all the top 3, this Item is the most universal and will fit any anti-Armor AD build you can think of. Some, of course, may be excluded, but you get the overall gist of it. The price of this Item is 3000 gold, making it an amazing value for what it has to offer.
Also read: How to Send Gifts in League of Legends?
Stats: +55 AD, +18 Lethality, +8% Omnivamp
Unique Passive – Ever Rising Moon: This Item, too, has very convoluted percentages and I advise checking the Wiki to be more exact. Anyhow, you deal bonus damage to enemies you hit twice in 1.5 seconds based on their max HP. You’ll also get bonus movement speed and a shield.
Mythic Passive: Empowers all of your items with 4% Armor Penetration.
Though sitting on the top, it is by no means the best of the best among the other two in the top 3 items. I said to look at them without a particular order, and you definitely should. This Item is situational, often Assassin purchase that will shred through any armor the enemy might have on themselves.
The passive it sports grants all too many things at once, making this Item one of the more overloaded in the game. The extra damage, movement speed, and a bloody shield on top of that are just insane. The more HP the enemy has, the more damage you’ll do to them, a similar situation to some of the others I’ve named here. The movement speed will help you hunt down escaping enemies, and if they’re a tank, they’re already immobile anyways.
4% Armor penetration per Legendary Item can net you a huge % of Armor Penetration when correctly stacked and built. Combining this Item with some of the ones mentioned prior, most importantly, Lord Dominik’s will have you eating up Tanks as if they were a squishy ADC. This mythic Armor shredder costs 3200, amazing, I know. At this price, it holds a value that is barely matched by any other item in this category, and we can wait for Riot to give us something new before we dethrone the First among Equals that is Eclipse.
There are two categories of Tanks or defenses in League of Legends. Magic Resist and Armor. This list detailed the anti-Armor items to use, and in another list that you should stay tuned for, we’ll detail the anti-Magic Resist tools as well.
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