Playing in the top lane is thrilling and this becomes even more encapsulating when you are playing as a tank. Vanguards are offensive tanks that can give as much beating to the enemy, as they can take for themselves.
While most tanks primarily focus on crowd control, vanguards are particularly aggressive, and can quickly turn the tide of the match in your favor. We compiled a list for you to talk about the top 7 best vanguards in League Of Legends.
In a nutshell, some of the best vanguards in the game are Malphite, Sion, Nautilus, Ornn, Rammus, Maokai, and Gragas. We will be covering each of them in detail.
Read also: The most broken mid laners in LoL
Gragas – Top 7
Joining our list at number seven, we have none other than the giant brewmaster. Gragas has been on a quest to find the rarest of ingredients in pursuit of trying to make every recipe he can get his hands on. Gragas is known for his drinking and his aggressiveness is legendary. If you come across him, be sure to offer a glass of wine cause otherwise, he may just kill you.
One of the most offensive tanks in the game, Gragas can be quite a hassle to deal with for enemy champions. We suggest using items such as Night Harvester, Archangel’s Staff, Cosmic Drive, and Zhonya’s Hourglass.
Gragas is quite well in the top lane against champions such as Zac, Akshan, and Wukong. Thanks to his passive, called Happy Hour, Gragas gets healed whenever he uses a skill.
His ultimate is quite powerful, which lets him hurl his cask towards enemies, thus dealing damage to the enemy troops. Other abilities of Gragas include Barrel Roll, Drunken Rage, and Body Slam.
Maokai – Top 6
Once a peaceful spirit that inhabited Shadow Isles, Maokai met the worst of fate after a magical entity destroyed his home. After surviving through Waters of Life, he now has become vengeful. Maokai has dedicated his life to bringing back his home to its former glory.
Maokai may look calm on the outside, but this tank knows how to fight. His main fighting style revolves around using his abilities. By using Resolving Runes and focusing on a tank build, combined with the offensive fighting style of Maokai, you can easily push lanes and deal damage to the enemy.
We suggest using Liandry’s Anguish, Sorcerer’s Shoes, Demonic Embrace, Spirit Visage, Thornmail, and Bulwark of the Mountain. For the summoner spells, use flash and teleport.
Maokai’s passive is called Sap Magic, which essentially lets him heal on a cooldown. Every time a spell is cast on him, or if he uses a spell, the cooldown reduces. Other abilities of Maokai include Bramble Smash, Twisted Advance, Sapling Toss, and Nature’s Grasp.
Overall, the offensive-focused abilities and tankiness of Maokai make for a breathtaking Vanguard.
Rammus – Top 5
The Armadillo Rammus is a beast, to say the least. He wanders alone and the only thing we have to tell about him, are rumors. Regardless of where he came from, or what his purpose is, all we know is that Rammus spends his carefree days roaming the Shuriman desert.
Rammus works excellent in the top lane, crushing everything in his path. His defensive abilities, make him a pain in the backside for most enemies which is why most enemies will want to avoid a 1v1 with him. Rammus also has good CC.
His passive is known as Spiked Shell, which essentially makes his basic attacks deal bonus magic damage. This scales up with his Armor, becoming extremely dangerous for the enemies in the late game. Other abilities of Rammus include Powerball, Defensive Ball Curl, Frenzying Taunt, and Soaring Slam.
Most players who use Rammus, build him using Thornmail, Plated-steal caps Gargoyle Enchant, Deadman’s Plate, Guardian Angel, Sunfire Cape, and Randuin’s Omen. This build increases his defenses even further.
Overall, Rammus can be one of the toughest opponents to fight.
Ornn – Top 4
The spirit of forging doesn’t like company. That is where Ornn, resides, crafting from lava and rock. He may like solitude, but he has his trusty hammer to give him company.
Ornn packs a mean punch with the ability to soak up just as much damage, making him an excellent top laner. His passive, called Living Forge, makes him extremely unique as it allows him to craft any item from the in-game shop regardless of where he is on the map. His other abilities include Volcanic Rupture, Bellows Breath, Searing Charge, and Call of the forge god.
Ornn, works extremely well against other tanks. He has good Crowd Control, high AoE damage, and a lot of lane pressure. He can be used as a jungler and support as well. This makes him an extremely versatile and unique champion.
Nautilus – Top 3
Nothing speaks Vanguard like Nautilus. Residing in deep water, the armored goliath is unmatched in his ruthlessness. Legend follows that he will come for the greedy who don’t pay the “Bilgewater tithe.”
Nautilus can be played both, as a tank and as support. The champion excels in toughness and control, with a strong engage due to his ultimate. Moreover, he can be used not only as a vanguard but also as a warden, making him extremely useful.
Nautilus’ passive, Staggering Blow, allows him to deal increased physical damage on his first attack and roots the enemy for a brief moment. His other abilities include Dredgde Line, Titan’s Wrath, Riptide, and Depth Charge.
The main con when using Nautilius stems from his high mana costs in the early game. Additionally, if his enemy can avoid Dredge Line, then Nautilius has not engage for a while.
When playing Nautilius, we suggest building him with full tank items, and Iceborn Gauntlet. Moreover, use Courage as it will be possible to activate it in auto corrects, giving you a significant advantage in comparison to the enemy, throughout the match.
Sion – Top 2
Joining our list in second place is the undead juggernaut. Sion was a war hero who killed a Demacian King with his own hands and was thus given the respect he deserved in the empire. However, even after death, he wasn’t let off from his duties. After being resurrected, he still serves the empire with shallow memories of the past about his true self.
Sion is one of the strongest tanks around with not one but two lives. His passive, called Glory in death, essentially revives him after being killed. Sion’s health decreases quickly after death but he can heal and deal bonus damage based on the attacks he does. His other abilities include Decimating Smash, Soul Furnace, Roar of the Slayer, and Unstoppable Onslaught.
The main issue when using him is with his health which he loses very quickly. To counter this, players are suggested to build him a full tank with a semi-defensive item such as an Iceborn Gauntlet. His crowd control is also quite unreliable, and to counter that, we suggest using Courage of the Colossus, or Grasp of the Undying.
Sion works extremely well as a Vanguard due to his ultimate and Q. Overall, if you opt for him, you won’t be disappointed.
Malphite – Top 1
Malphite is nothing less than a walking rock. Being the last of his kind, he now lives intending to serve the Runeterra’s folks.
Malphite is a top-lane offensive tank that can be extremely strong against champions that deal a lot of damage, thanks to his W, Thunderclap. Additionally, he works extremely well in team battles and can impose crowd control on the enemy team. While Malphite can soak up damage, he can also deliver the favor to the enemy, due to his, E, and Q.
Malphite’s passive is known as Granite Shield, which will essentially provide a shield in the form of a layer of rock. His Q is Seismic Shard, while his E is Ground Slam. Malphite’s Ultimate is called Unstoppable Force
However, he also has his fair share of downsides. Malphite has poor laning and majorly incentivizes his ultimate for crowd control. Therefore, after his ultimate down, Malphite is not of much use.
To cover the cons, Malphite players often build him as a full tank with semi-offensive items. We suggest you opt for Courage of the Colossus and Grasp of the Undying as this will increase Malphite’s laning and also strengthen his team fighting further.
Vanguards are essentially extremely offensive tanks. These can be a hassle to learn to play with because of their unique playing style, but once mastered, they can be extremely useful.
Although Malphite stands as the best Vanguard on our list, all the champions have a different playing style. We suggest you opt for the one that suits your playing style. If you need a tank that has a lot of mobility, we suggest using Rammus, however, if you want to wreak havoc on the enemy team with pure rampage, go with Gragas.
Additionally, most Vanguards come with their cons. It is important to know how to build them so you can make up for where they struggle. That brings us to the end of this article.