There’s two primary goals when it comes to being a tank. They’re essential to a team and they make up the front line. Many different champions can be tanks, and even when you’re behind you can always at least be a shield for your carries at the least.
The two main goals are:
1. Soaking damage for the team
2. Initiating team fights
Soaking up damage
As a tank, it’s less about living through the battle and actually more about dying. This means you should be soaking up as much damage as possible before you die. While living through the fight would be great, that is not your goal. You should be dying for your carries. It is your job to do the best that you can to make the enemy waste cool downs on you in order to make the team fight more favorable for the rest of your team.
We’ve talked about all the other roles in terms of waiting til a fight begins and then them having to position themselves appropriately. As the tank though, it is your job to decide when the proper time to initiate a fight is. When you make this decision it is important to consider the whereabouts of your team. You could initiate a fight whenever you please but if your team isn’t nearby it’s only going to go well for the enemy team.
Take a lot at these simple steps to ensuring a proper initiation:
1. Find your team – Are they in position? If you use a gap closer will they be able to follow up
2. Notify your team – By ping or type it out in team chat if you don’t have voice communication
3. Check everyone’s cool downs – Did any enemy just use an ult? Does your team have their ults?
4. Don’t waiver in your engagement – If you’re going to dive in. Go. Getting scared half way into your initiation and backing out will only confuse your team and probably make the fight even worse.
For tips on itemizing go to the Building Defensive section of Bruiser/Fighter/Anti-Carry found here