Attack Damage Carries or (ADCs) in the bot lane have always had the weakness of being squishy. They always die from burst damage from assassins, mages, bruisers, ADCs, and even supports.
However, the durability patch has given ADCs a second wind not just in team fights but also in the game state of League of Legends.
There have been ADCs in the past that have prevailed in being able to take some punishment, but here we revisit some of these champions.
Here we list down some of the toughest carries in the bot lane, our top seven (7) best tanky ADCs in League of Legends.
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Zeri is one of the new additions to the roster of ADCs in the bot lane. She boasts incredible mobility and shield piercing.
Unknown if intentional or not, she also has a great damage output regardless if she builds pure ability power, pure critical strike, pure attack damage, or a mixture of tank and attack damage like a bruiser.
With a bruiser build, Zeri will have extra health from Titanic Hydra and Trinity Force. Sometimes, additional items can be built like Force of Nature, Randuin’s Omen, and Death’s Dance for extra health or resistance.
A mixture of mage items can also be added aside from the bruiser items with Zhonya’s Hourglass and Shadowflame that add both ability power and durability.
Lifesteal items can also be incorporated with Bloodthirster and Immortal Shieldbow. Not only does the healing make her near impenetrable, but the extra shielding also helps.
Finally, Zeri’s kit also gives her shielding from the innate passive Living Battery. This allows her to effectively “steal” shielding from enemies with shields applied to them like Karma’s Inspire or Janna’s Eye of the Storm.
A champion that can be incredibly durable though lifesteal like Zeri is Samira. Her damage output is immense and her abilities’ multiple targeting allows her to maximize the lifesteal she can have through items.
Building Immortal Shieldbow, and Bloodthirster allows Samira to keep on attacking while healing back any lost health.
Her ultimate ability Inferno Trigger not only damages multiple targets but also allows her to regain health from all enemies hit. This is because on-hit effects apply to the ultimate ability.
Samira’s durability might not show up in the early game, but her toughness can slowly be felt once she builds Plated Steelcaps and Vampiric Scepter
Aside from the damage output and itemization, Samira’s durability can also be found through her Blade Whirl ability which is effectively a circular Yasuo Windwall.
This allows her to avoid projectiles and possible buy enough time for her to heal back up or just avoid additional damage
One of the most surprising innovations in the game the past few seasons in League of Legends have been building tank items on ADCs. An example of this is Kog’maw or what some will call “Tank’Maw” and “Jugger’Maw.”
The two nicknames refer to two different playstyles.
On one hand, Tank’Maw refers to a build path with Kog’Maw. This build has been around for a few seasons now and a full guide can be found here, a video made by HappyChimeNoises on an EUW player who reached Challenger using Kog’Maw tank.
On the other hand, Jugger’Maw is a playstyle that centers on a team composition that aims to buff up and beef up Kog’Maw by enchanter supports.
This effectively gives him additional healing and shielding while all he does is walk around and kill enemies.
Since Jugger’Maw is a regular ADC Kog’Maw with multiple enchanter supports, the discussion on Tank’Maw is more important than Jugger’Maw.
Tank’Maw focuses on building full tank items like Randuin’s Omen, Spirit Visage, and Force of Nature. Compensating the lost damage with durability, Kog’Maw effectively deals more damage as more time passes.
Unlike most ADCs that die when burst or kited down, Kog’Maw can stand his ground and sometimes not even kite back.
Attack speed items such as Guinsoo’s Rageblade, Blade of the Ruined King, and Runaan’s Hurricane are still important to let Kog’Maw deal continuous damage from basic attacks.
The percentage health scaling damage from Blade of the Ruined King and the ability Bio-Arcane Barrage is also more than enough to let Kog’Maw still operate as an ADC despite building tank items.
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A champion capable of also building tank items but scale is Senna.
Senna is a champion that scales infinitely much like Thresh, with similarities in their scaling being taking “souls” to keep from minions dying.
Unlike Thresh whose stacks increase armor and ability power, Senna’s “souls” or “mists” grant her bonus Attack Damage, Attack Range, and Critical Strike Chance.
This means Senna does not need to necessarily build full ADC items to deal more damage, giving her freedom to build other items to supplement her squishiness as an ADC.
Additionally, Senna can be played as a Support or ADC but will remain to infinitely increase her damage dealt as the game goes longer.
Senna can build full lethality items if she prefers burst, traditional ADC items if she prefers a more traditional route, or tank items if she wants to be more durable.
Players have built items on her such as Frozen Gauntlet, Divine Sunderer, Sterak’s Gage, Black Cleaver, and even Titanic Hydra on her. Her keystones can also be Lethal Tempo, Glacial Augment, or Grasp of the Undying.
With the recent adjustments on Senna and the game, going for a full tank build might not work as often anymore.
However, it is still viable to mix up item builds focusing on durability and then also increasing damage output with ADC items on Senna.
Ezreal is not as squishy as people may make him out to be, there have been seasons in League of Legends where Ezreal can even build full tank items.
Nowadays, the best Ezreal can build a mixture of tank or bruiser without being called a troll is Divine Sunderer, Trinity Force, Black Cleaver, and maybe Titanic Hydra.
In the early game, Ezreal is squishy and that cannot be denied. Going Grasp of the Undying or Glacial Augment are also not options for Ezreal as he cannot scale infinitely like Senna.
However, completing Trinity Force or Divine Sunderer can make up for it since both give extra healthy to Ezreal. Additionally, Divine Sunderer also grants life steal on Ezreal depending on the enemy champion’s health.
Black Cleaver and Frozen Heart are also great items on Ezreal if the player wants to be tankier since both will provide him armor or health and 20% ability haste on him.
Black Cleaver provides more offensive advantage with the armor penetration and shredding while Frozen Heart will give more defensive advantage with the bonus armor on himself and attack speed reduction on enemies.
Sterak’s Gage and Titanic Hydra both give him extra health and additional attack damage.
Sterak’s Gage is more defensive with the temporary shield it gives him while Titanic Hydra is more offensive with the splash damage and on-hit effect that has health scaling damage.
Depending on how comfortable or good the Ezreal player is, going for tank builds may not be too bad and may even give more opportunities for him. Going first may not be as bad and getting caught out may not be as dangerous as it normally would
Another champion that resembles Samira in being durable due to sheer damage output is Aphelios.
Aphelios is undeniably squishy, especially in the early game. However, his attack speed and damage output can make up for it when he has enough of these and some life steal in hand.
The different guns Aphelios has gives him flexibility and adaptability in the game to approach different situations. However, you may have seen Aphelios players holding Crescendum and then continuously basic attacking an enemy with blinding speed.
The attack speed of Crescendum and his damage output combined with life steal items like Immortal Shieldbow, and Bloodthirster makes Aphelios a menace.
There are multiple videos online that showcase this but an example of Aphelios stealing health to keep him alive is here. Before watching, please ignore the ugly music and focus on Aphelios.
The Aphelios gets dove by Talon who proceeds to take about 45 percent of his health, and then he proceeds to dish out damage on Talon to kill him after gaining some distance.
Afterward, he kills two more champions and saves himself from being killed by Sylas with his lifesteal.
Another instance is in the same video at the 2:50 mark where Aphelios with a Yuumi manages to fend off a diving Irelia and Khazix then finish off Thresh and Jinx from a distance.
While Yuumi may be commended for the healing she does, the fact that Aphelios can kill all of them, survive, and then heal back 20% of his health on an ultimate on Thresh is nuts.
On some occasions, Crescendum may not even be needed as seen in this clip by a Twitch Streamer named Drututt. In this clip, Drututt kills a Graves one-on-one and then manages to go from 114 health to 2226 health by simply killing one upgraded siege minion wave.
Afterward, Drututt proceeds to kill a low-health Viego and then pushes away a fat Dr. Mundo.
Some ADCs will simply get pushed back by Dr. Mundo and Viego as they can simply walk up to him and then die before dealing enough damage to the two, but not Aphelios.
Aphelios deals too much damage in such a short time and is mobile enough to kite enemies down.
A full-build Aphelios with lifesteal items will almost always not die unless you can pin him or burst him down in one go.
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Finally, one of the oldest ADCs that seem to have phased out from the bot lane is Graves.
Graves’ sturdiness in the game is attributed to both his passive True Grit and damage output.
True Grit grants Graves bonus armor with each stack. The stacks are gained from subsequent uses of True Grit and will its active duration will keep on being refreshed when staying in combat with non-minion enemies.
The passive can stack up to 8 times, effectively giving him 128 bonus armor at full stacks and full points of ability E – Quickdraw.
The innate passive New Destiny – 12 Gauge also gives Graves a unique basic attack. Instead of a single target hit on an enemy, Graves will instead shoot pellets out of his shotgun that comes out in a cone area in his direction of attack.
The cone area also gets modified when critical striking, dealing more damage to multiple enemies. Additionally, each pellet will apply on-hit effects so life steal will also apply on each pellet and on each enemy hit.
Hitting all pellets on a single target becomes more valuable and dangerous as well.
Boring, but simple. Grave’s basic attacks deal more damage when all pellets are hit, and all pellets will apply on-hit effects.
This means hitting all pellets on an enemy may burst them down, and hitting all pellets will allow him to maximize his life steal.
Build paths on Graves can go from lethality to traditional ADC. He can build Eclipse, Immortal Shieldbow, or Galeforce.
For the first two items, lifesteal is given to him and makes him tankier. Items like Bloodthirster and Infinity Edge are also valuable since the damage modifier and on-hit effects make him stronger.
Simply put, Graves can go frontline and fight multiple enemies at once. Killing off multiple enemies through proper spacing and basic attack management can turn the tides of battle.
ADCs in League of Legends have always been stereotyped as squishy and easy-to-kill. However, this article intends to give you a different perspective on the idea of durability.
Durability comes in many shapes and forms: armor, magic resistance, health, lifesteal, or all of these combined. Building correctly and understanding your champion come hand-in-hand.
The right information with the right application will make you last longer in-game regardless if you choose a squishy champion like most ADCs.