Should You Really Be Attacking Tanks as an ADC?

Apr 5, 2016

TheOddOne answers the question “should ADCs focus tanks?” once and for all.

It can be difficult to know who to trust as a beginner playing League of Legends. You will undoubtedly receive unsolicited advice from teammates, enemies, and MobaFire users with good intentions while trying to nail the fundamentals. You can really throw yourself off the right track by following what you believe to be good advice given by a generous teammate.

One of the most commonly misguided complaints is about the target selection and positioning of an AD carry. Many times, especially after a lost team fight, the AD carry will be criticized for only attacking the enemy tank. “Bronze ADC only hits tanks“. In the eyes of the vocal complainer, the AD carry is their teams primary source of damage, and it’s the enemy tanks job to soak up as much of that damage as possible. Therefore, it’s counter-intuitive for you, the AD carry, to attack the enemy tank, right? Wrong. In the video embedded above, former TSM jungler TheOddOne explains why.

This advice also applies to non-ADC champions as well. If you are playing Fizz, a mid lane AP assassin, your job is typically to assassinate the enemy carries. However, if a fight goes down like the one shown in TheOddOne’s beautiful masterpiece, then the enemy carries aren’t doing any damage to your team. If they aren’t doing any damage, it doesn’t make any sense for you to dive past the front line and try to 2v1 them. Your best options in that scenario is to continue zoning the carries so they cannot join the fight, or peel for your own carries against the enemy frontline.

Watching Jatt’s Team Fight Breakdown series can help you get a better understanding how high level team fights operate.

As an AD carry you should always be mindful of the positioning by the enemies carries. If at some point during a team fight an opportunity presents itself for you to deal damage to the enemy carries without making yourself vulnerable to crowd control or lethal damage yourself, take that opportunity. Good target selection is a large part of what separates great AD carries from good AD carries and can be the difference maker in team fights.

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This is what makes watching LCS-caliber AD carries so amazing. You see them playing conservatively just until the enemy blows their primary crowd control, then they open up and position more aggressively until the cooldown is restored, or an enemy carry comes too close for comfort. The best AD carries have a complete understanding of the enemy’s cooldowns which allows them to position accordingly throughout extended fights.

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Jamie Jacobs is a bot lane main who once won 17 consecutive Janna games. His favorite champions are Thresh, Kalista, and Bard. Jamie writes about competitive League of Legends and the professional gaming scene every week at Esports Edition.
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