DotA: Guide to Tanking


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Aug 15, 2012
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Guide to Tanking



What is tanking?

Tanking is slightly different in DotA than it is in World of Warcraft. Basically it’s achieving a level defense and protectiveness of once hero in order to withstand lots of damage. You might not deal much damage in return since you’re neglecting carrying/debuffing/nuking/pushing. Not every hero is a very good tank. Usually you want to be a hero that can get in the enemies faces and forces them to focus on them otherwise endure stun or other disorienting effects. To a lesser extent heavy push heroes can be considered tanks.

What does it take to tank?

Certain items and certain heroes and those items depend strongly on what hero you pick. Obviously you probably won’t desire to spend the gold on a Vaguard if you’re a push hero, but it’s not always a bad thing. Ideally what you want is a healthy supply of health and armor – pretty simple right?

Who are the ‘tank’ heroes?

I won’t list all of them, but I will list 3 “true” tanks and 3 “pushing tank” – the latter essentially being a pushing hero who’s pushing abilities are deadly as long as they’re alive.

The real “true” tanks are, of course, strength heroes. Axe, Centaur, and Leviathan are as true as tanks can get. They’re hardy (especially with Vanguard) and they’ve got AOE disrupt/stun that can truly wreck a team – hence they usually require being taken out very quickly. They can walk the front lines, tank the towers, and protect the DPS and Nuke/Debuff as long as they’re alive. Axe even forces the enemies to attack him – tanking them while his team does some real damage.

Then there’s the “pushing tanks” which are essentially a select few pushing heroes that can be built to tank. Necrolyte, Necro’lic, and Krobelus are excellent examples. All three are excellent candidates and the two Necros both have a type of heal/regen. Plus they’re both excellent pushers. Geared with their heals, summons, and some armor and HP and they can be a real force to be reckon with. Krobelus is different story. Everyone knows how destructive her ultimate is, but also how weak she is. Armor, HP, and or Mekansm. Anything that can keep Krobelus alive even longer to live out the duration of her ultimate can make or break a push.

In closing one may find the tank hero unnecessary, which they would be right. However whenever you get one on your team that knows how to be effectively you can always foresee a good game. A well-played tank can and will change the course of a game if everyone is holding their own.


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