Are you ready to reach Mythic?
Mobile Legends is one of the most popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games in the world. It regularly has hundreds of thousands of concurrent players, and has an estimated monthly player count of over 85 million. One of the hardest roles to master in Mobile Legends is the tank role. It is also one of the most important positions to play correctly if teams want to win consistently. This guide will set you up for higher chances of success as a Mobile Legends tank player. This is an intermediate level guide that assumes you already know many of the game's core fundamentals such as role and emblem selection.
First, let's get the qualifications (and limitations) out of the way. As I write this, I'm a casual tank main, currently Mythic IV. I'm writing this to help those still trying to reach Mythic, not players that are already excellent at their chosen roles. As casual player, I reached Mythic IV by following a set of rules and playing solo queue for just a short period each day (45 minutes to an hour, skipping days when workload is high). I have written this guide so that others who want to play at the Mythic level can get there faster with less frustration, and more enjoyment. Gaming should be fun!
With that out of the way, let us go to the ten rules for a casual -but reliable - Mobile Legends tank:
Rule One: Pick first / show you're a tank player early.
It's always good to let your team know you want to play the most awesome position in Mobile Legends - the tank. This is important because you don't want to duplicate roles- especially the tank role, unless intentionally planned. Tanks are not natural damage dealers, so having more than one can result in low overall kill threat for the team. A well-drafted team provides a balance in roles, which means everyone will (probably) have a good time.
Rule Two: Mute all text and voice chat
If you want to increase your win rate and maintain inner peace, do not type even one message in-game. This is super important. Typing in-game means your character is an easy target with no evasion. Your entire team will play better if each person just focused on the game and not the chat. Many players - even high level players - have died while typing some snarky comment to a teammate. Not a good look.
Solution: Use quick-chat instead. The quick chat has all the necessary messages - from Sorry, to Well Played, to Defend, Hold Out, Farm, etc. and you can deploy that message by pressing two buttons. The other reason you want to keep text and voice chat off is this: it is SO EASY to tilt and lose your temper when a toxic person flames you. So don't let the toxic words come through - ever. And, don't be the toxic one. By not typing, you're keeping your cool and increasing your win rate. Muted chat = more wins.
Rule Three: In the early game, never be alone in a lane or a jungle, as much as possible.
You will almost never have solo-kill potential in the early game, so it's a silly move to walk around alone. If you walk around alone, someone on your team will be vulnerable who would otherwise be safe if you just stood next to them.
If you are not sure what to do, follow one damage dealer and do not let them die. Sometimes it's clear from your team's signals that they want you to help farm a neutral camp or protect a lane. Other times, it's not very clear. When that happens, follow a damage dealer and try to keep them alive. When that player gets attacked, the enemies will be vulnerable to your disable or counter-play, and you will be with someone who can actually secure the kill. Damage dealers are typically assassins, mages, or marksmen, and each of them will be less durable than you. As a (typically) low mobility hero, it might be too late to reach your team if you aren't already close by. Staying next to damage-dealing players lowers the chance of you - or them - getting into a wrong engagement.
Rule Four: Get the right first item. Buy roaming boots IMMEDIATELY.
In the current patch (1.5.88), roaming boots provide bonuses for the lowest-networth teammates. By getting roaming boots, you are funneling experience and gold to other players, while passively getting added gold from assists, and giving additional gold and experience every 5 seconds to the teammate with the lowest gold / xp.
Even if getting this item means you deal less damage early on, it's totally worth it. Mobile Legends, like any other MOBA, is a game won by the economy of a team. More networth means more items, and more items means a stronger overall team that will win the teamfight that secures the game.
Rule Five: When in lane with a teammate, stay between them and any unseen threat.
By standing closer to the bushes and unsafe areas, you give teammates vision and protection. If a gank is coming, they will see the enemy through your field of vision before getting hurt themselves. And remember: you are the expendable one. If the damage dealer survives an ambush because you sacrificed yourself, you did your job. A good teammate will recognize your role-mastery, and say thank you.
Rule Six: Provide active, moving vision.
Don't be static- move around, check bushes, decrease the blind spots by being a moving camera for your team. More vision = less deaths for the damage-dealers. Tanks are typically equipped with crowd control in the form of stuns, slows, or group disables (usually as special skills). As a crowd control control hero, you are the counter to an enemy team looking for a fast gank. Your durability and crowd control abilities make you the best hero to scout dangerous areas, so do that regularly.
Rule Seven: Do not switch roles in-game.
Ok, maybe you got five kills in a row (another problem altogether, because kills should go to the cores, not you) and you feel you should now become a damage-dealer as well. In most games, that thinking is wrong (in my experience). It is only in super rare instances that a tank should itemize for damage, such as when there is another tank with a durable build, or when a teammate has left the game and you need to makeup for some lost damage output.
Rule Eight: In the mid-game, stick with the teammate that is doing the highest damage (the carry hero, so to speak).
There are exceptions to this rule, such as when a wave must absolutely be cleared to preserve a tower and no one else wants to defend it. But remember - even in those situations, you must check the minimap to see if a teammate needs you. This may be a hard decision to make, but in Mobile Legends, sometimes a tower is worth sacrificing if it means a game-winning teamfight can be secured. The only way to learn how to make good decisions in complicated situation is to practice consciously making those choices. Understand why you did something, evaluate the result, and adjust accordingly. It's ok if you get it wrong- just keep learning until you get it right.
Rule Nine: Make the minimap 10 percent bigger and keep an eye on it.
Watch the minimap - it will show you the enemy before they become obvious, such as when they are leaving a bush to jump on your damage-dealer. In the settings, you can actually resize the map to make it larger, up to 150%. Adding just ten percent to its size will make it easier to watch the minimap, facilitating quicker detection of enemies. Quicker detection = faster reaction. Faster reaction = safer teammate. This rule is super important especially in the late game, when a teamfight can break out super quickly and you need to react fast. Even hero health is visible on the minimap as a ring around the hero portrait. Over time, you will be able to understand when an enemy team is in the perfect position for your blink stun / area-of-effect special skill to be used. Minimap reading will be a big part of good decison-making in team battles.
Rule Ten: If you intend on breaking a rule, make sure you master it first.
You don't need to follow the advice in this guide if you're already a high-level player, because you will have the intuition and knowledge to respond to complex situations. Good intuition, judgment, and skills will always be better than a nice list of rules. However, if you are climbing the ranks and learning the game, it helps to follow good practices because they are your buffer while you are building mechanical skills and game knowledge. Good habits will keep you safe when you encounter a hero you are not familiar with. Bottom line: good practices / tank rules make up for a gap in skill and knowledge when you are new to the game or a hero.
That's it for this list. If you follow these rules, you will have a reliable albeit basic strategy for reaching the middle to late game with a good chance of winning. Best of luck with your tank adventures, and I'll see you at Mythic!
Do you have a rule that you follow as a tank player? Do you disagree with anything on this guide? Let us know in the comments!