Morgana Build Guide by aalixx
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Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Welcome to my guide on Morgana, the Fallen Angel! I have felt that Morgana has been a largely underrated champion compared to the likes of Brand, Annie, and Orianna, but she is noticeably more bulky and can have just as much (if not more) damage and utility. The recent buffs to her auto attack animation and her ultimate makes her lane presence that much stronger, and a force to be reckoned with throughout the entire game. Her very unique skillset can carry her team to victory, if played correctly.
Pros and Cons
Unbelievable damage with QWR combo
Very powerful mid-late game
Has one of the best passives in the game
Amazing lane sustain with passive and catalyst
Best shield in the game (Total cc nullification)
Powerful AoE stun
Bulkier than most casters
Much harder to focus
Great AP ratios
Must take some time to get used to, especially with leading with Q
Cooldown dependent early game, not an issue with blue buff and runes as you level up.
Soul Siphon is one of the best passives in the game. Remember that it's different levels of spell vamp (15%,25%,35%) correspond with levels 1,7, and 13 respectively. If you're particularly low on health upon reaching 7, try to stay in lane with Tormented Soil! You will notice a huge difference in the amount of health you regain. It allows for total lane dominance with mana-regen runes and a Doran's Ring, and can often be the difference between life and death in teamfights. In late game, with a good amount of AP, she can heal nearly 300+ health with a Dark Binding on an enemy target.
Dark Binding. This skill is your bread and butter. Every Morgana player must get used to the missile speed and range of this skill to truly maximize its power. Practice leading your opponents with this skill, that is, anticipating where the opponents will move and then firing it there. Without this skill, your damage output is heavily reduced, as Dark Binding sets up the other skills you will use.
Tormented Soil is your best friend. It can clear an entire wave of caster minions when you're level 5, and offer a lot of health replenishment. The magic resist debuff is also amazing! Try to cast this spell in between the melee and caster waves to maximize damage.
Black Shield is, as I have said before, the BEST shield in the game. Not only does it shield against all forms of CC for 4/5/6/7/8 seconds, but it also shields from a LOT of magic damage, with an amazing +100% AP ratio to boot! With this spell, you can be very, very aggressive in lane. You can escape almost any jungler gank with this spell, but ALWAYS keep an eye on the minimap to know where all enemy champions are.
Soul Shackles is an AoE stunning powerhouse that can easily be the deciding factor in teamfights, if not the game. Don't underestimate it's tremendous power in 1v1 situations. This will make securing a kill so much easier in lane.
Land Dark Binding first, followed by an immediate Tormented Soil. This is your main poking mechanism and damage dealer, which can usually take off up 1/2 of the enemy's max HP. Along with blue buff, you can put a lot of pressure on the enemy team.
You can also try Tormented Soil and then Dark Binding immediately after, but this tends to be very unreliable. It can add that extra tick of damage from Tormented Soil, but it's typically better to use the first combination unless you are very confident in your abilities.
If you want to go in for the kill, use Soul Shackles immediately after using the Q+W combination. Since it will take 3 seconds to proc the stun, and Dark Binding lasts from 2-3 seconds, theres a very real chance that the second damage dealing part of Soul Shackles will be further amplified by the magic resist debuff from Tormented Soil. Many times, the enemy will stay on top of the Tormented Soil for 4+ seconds due to the snare and stun of your skills. Toss on Ignite to secure the kill.
This full combination will devastate anyone in lane, either killing them or forcing them to recall.
These runes are a typical caster set up.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetrations are a must on any AP champion
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration helps even more with laning mana-regen, which is crucial in order to maximize spell vamp from Tormented Soil
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction is useful the entire game, as this build never focuses on CDR. Morgana is somewhat cooldown dependent, especially in teamfights, so these runes (blue buff and Elixir of Brilliance help too) will help her a lot.
Greater Quintessence of Health is very important to make her less squishy early-mid game.
Greater Seal of Vitality may be used to replace the Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration and Greater Quintessence of Health, but I find them somewhat unnecessary considering early Rod of Ages.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power is also a good choice depending on your Morgana playstyle.
Doran's Ring is a perfect item to start with. 100 hp, mana regen, and a nice amount of AP allow Morgana to stay in lane to no end. You can also start with Sapphire Crystal and Health Potions to get an early start on Rod of Ages. I normally go with Doran's Ring.
As soon as you have enough gold to get a Catalyst the Protector, return to base. Always stick with getting a catalyst first before boots, Morgana is not that movement speed dependent early game because of the outstanding range of her spells and the 20% movement slow on her ultimate.
Remain in lane until you have enough for Rod of Ages. I will almost always get a Rod of Ages 10-15 minutes into the game, and it's a good indicator as to how well I will do for the rest of the game. After this, complete your Sorc boots.
Rabadon's Deathcap is an absolute must for Morgana. You should always get this in every game, typically after getting a Rod of Ages. If you get Rod of Ages at 20+ minutes into the game or are behind in farm, you should get Zhonya's Hourglass first, due to the lack of health and more need for utility in teamfights.
Zhonya's Hourglass synergizes perfectly with Morgana's ultimate. The 2 second invulnerability gives you much needed survival, especially if you had to initiate first.
Void Staff or Abyssal Scepter are great choices, depending on your team comp. Both offer powerful magic resistance debuffs (which, along with your AoE ultimate and W, are very powerful). Get Void Staff if there are only 1-2 AP Champions on your team (including yourself). Get Abyssal Scepter if you need more magic resistance and if you have 2+ caster champions on your team.
Elixir of Brilliance can be bought at any time in the game, preferably mid-late game if you have any extra gold left from purchases. This item offers a lot of AP and CDR, both of which are great on Morgana.
I normally don't consider any other AP items on Morgana, as the aforementioned offer the most utility and damage for her.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter is essentially useless, Dark Binding's snare will last longer than the slow and Tormented Soil is a bit too unreliable for a slow. Soul Shackles already has a built in slow, and you normally have no problem catching up to the enemy (if they don't flash out). The other items in the build simply offer more than Rylai's.
Lich Bane is just a subpar item for Morgana.
Will of the Ancients is also a cool item for her considering the spell vamp and ap buffs, as well as a beneficial aura for the time. I don't try it out very often unless there are other AP champions on your team.
Morello's Evil Tome is better on support champions, and is more useful midgame. You won't be able to get this, as you should focus on your three core items, RoA, Rabadon's and Zhonya's.
Getting your first point in Dark Binding is important as you'll hit level 2 very quickly in lane, and it is especially important to secure first blood in a level 1 teamfight. A two second snare is incredibly powerful in base damage and preventing the opponent from flashing away.
The rest of the skill sequence is self-explanatory. Maxing Tormented Soil is NECESSARY to dominate lane effectively and zone the opponent out of range. Getting a point in Black Shield is sufficient, even at level 1, because of its amazing CC blocking utility. Many junglers will be extremely hesitant to gank Morgana because of this shield, as well as her ultimate that can nearly let her 1v2.
Max Dark Binding next because of the increased damage and snare duration.
You can save Black Shield last, because it will have a greater importance late game anyway.
Of course, get Soul Shackles at levels 6,11, and 16.
Flash is probably the best summoner spell in the game. It's an incredibly handy escape tool, and it gives Morgana so much more opportunities for kills. If a tank doesn't initiate (which they really should..), I can always flash and ultimate (and pop Zhonya's) for an amazing initiation. You should almost always take flash for its amazing positioning abilities.
Ignite is also great for adding that last bit of DoT in conjunction with your Tormented Soil. I use this summoner spell in most games just because it allows me to typically get first blood or a kill early on.
Teleport is also a useful spell, especially if your team lacks one. If you want to replace Ignite for something else, I would recommend this.
Clarity is something I've seen on a few Morgana players that like to be extremely aggressive. Morgana can still be very aggressive with beginning items, and items such as Catalyst the Protector and Rod of Ages really make Clarity unnecessary.
Clairvoyance is something I rarely see, but can be used if you're going for a strict support build, which I do not recommend. While Morgana has great utility with her spells, she is 10x better as an caster.
It will always take some time getting used to a new champion, but Morgana has a somewhat steeper learning curve than many, because of her skillshot Dark Binding. I cannot stress how important it is to land this skill.
Always try to take mid lane or a solotop lane. While most AP casters will take mid lane, Morgana can function very well at top lane, because of her extra bulkiness compared to other casters. If you have a jungler, make sure that you and your team stays around your jungler's starting point to guard that area. Be ready to use Dark Binding in case any opponents appear. If your jungler starts at blue and you are in mid lane, remember to leash!
While in lane, last hit and use your Tormented Soil to clear out creep waves. Remember, with Black Shield, you can be more aggressive in laning phase. Of course, this doesn't mean you can overextend, but using your skills to push your creep wave to the enemy turret can often deny your opponent from getting last hits.
Morgana has exceptional mana regen with masteries, runes, and Doran's Ring, so feel free to use the Q+W combo on your opponents. While they are snared into place, autoattack like hell. This sounds absolutely ridiculous, but this will make a huge difference if you're going in for the kill. Tormented Soil usually clears all of the creeps surrounding your opponent, so your friendly minions will start to aggro your snared opponent. So, a lot of the damage you deal to your opponent will often NOT come from skills.
At this point, you should have completed your Rod of Ages. Continue laning as normal, but be increasingly wary of MIA enemies. If you have pushed your lane to the enemy turret and your laning opponent is MIA, start looking at other lanes to see if there are opportunities for ganks. Morgana is an excellent ganker due to her amazing CC and damage.
Whenever you can, ASK YOUR JUNGLER IF YOU CAN HAVE BLUE BUFF! Morgana with blue buff can harass to no end, and often nets you a turret kill when you force back your laning opponent.
This is where teamfights become most important. Before entering any teamfight, make sure that you have Zhonya's and your ultimate ready to use, preferably along with flash. When sieging your opponents at their base, remember to constantly poke with your Q and W through base walls. You should almost always have blue buff.
There are a few ways Morgana can initiate a teamfight.
Dark Binding is a very damaging spell, locking an opponent in place. Your team will often jump on the victim, turning a 5v5 into 5v4.
Then you have the flash ulti zhonyas instarape.
If your tank initiates (the much better option), be sure to lockdown carries or other dangerous opponents with Q+W to limit their mobility. ALWAYS shield your carry to prevent CC and magic damage, and then use your ultimate to blow errythang up.
1v1 MID: Always try to secure a solotop or mid lane, otherwise your power will be greatly diminished. Just because Morgana is tanky and has utility DOES NOT mean she doesn’t deserve a sololane to do just as much damage as other AP casters.
Here is a list of how you should fare against other champions in midlane:
Many of these champions are AD carries that require farm to do well. Since the metagame has shifted to put AD carry and support into bottom lane, you will see Ashe, Trist, Corki, etc. much less.
Katarina – I have seen a lot of Katarina mid. It is very easy to deny her experience with W, considering she can only get ranged last hits from Bouncing Blades. If she ever even attempts to use Shunpo+Death Lotus, you can almost always take her down with Black Shield absorbing a lot of the damage and shutting her down with your full combo.
Sivir – in my opinion, Sivir is just a bad champion in general. Very squishy, and even with her spell shield you can often feint a Dark Binding to get her to use her shield preemptively, without doing anything. Easy lane.
Nidalee – Very tough laner, but you should have no trouble laning against her. You two both have incredible lane sustain, and neither should get killed unless either of you blunder badly.
Soraka Now that Soraka has been changed a LOT, mainly her Starcall power, some actually go mid or solotop with her. She is incredibly easy to shut down because of your Ignite and her squishiness, and her need to remain relatively close to your minions to cast [[Starcall].
Teemo Easy lane. Teemo’s range is pretty bad, so he can leave himself vulnerable lots of times. Your ultimate also counters any stealth he may employ, if the ultimate icon lights up but you can’t see him, you can catch him while in camoflague.
[[Miss Fortune] AD carry with little CC, easy pickings.
Twisted Fate Black Shield counters his Yellow Card incredibly well.
Fiddlesticks Spell Vamp and Black Shield will prevent most of the harass he can deal to you. If he ever decides to ultimate in + fear + drain, you can Dark Binding while he’s still and unleash your full combo.
Tristana While her escape may make her troublesome, it’s often not enough to break the Soul Shackles tether. Squishy and easy to shut down.
Corki Same with Tristana, except his Valkyrie can break the tether more easily.
Ashe I squeal with joy every time I go against Ashe in lane. She is so easy to lane against as a bulky caster that has lots of lane sustain! She’s very squishy, and since she mostly deals attack damage she can’t break through your Black Shield, with the exception of her ultimate. It’s absolutely hilarious anticipating when she will launch her arrow to immediately counter with your Black Shield. Be ready to dominate!
Heimerdinger While no one really play Heimerdinger anymore, he’s still kind of difficult to lane against. Remember to place your W intelligently to try to hit his turrets as well. He will probably be the first champion you’ll face to kill your creeps as fast as your W can. Don’t be too aggressive in trying to get a kill, especially if he has turrets. Remember that he does fall off somewhat late game.
Kayle The recent buffs to Kayle make her somewhat difficult to lane against. Since your Black Shield can negate the effects of her Reckoning, it will make things much easier.
Lux Lux is very similar to Morgana in terms of skills. I mean, Light Binding vs Dark Binding? C’mon, Riot. However, laning phase is very different. Her Lucent Singularity can’t begin to clear waves as fast as you can, unless she goes into autoattack range to proc her Illumination (you’ll still clear her minions faster, anyway). She works at incredibly long range, so be prepared to get harassed. You really shouldn’t have any trouble as long as you play intelligently, anticipating where she will fire a Lucent Singularity and using Black Shield if necessary.
Ryze Easymode Ryze is still easymode to lane against, just a little more difficult than squishy AD carries. His Rune Prison can be problematic, but making sure you Black Shield correctly can severely mess up his important spell combinations.
Annie Annie, the Flashtibbers freak? IN MIDDLE TIER? Impossible, right?! Well, Morgana fares much more easily than other champions because of Black Shield and Spell Vamp. Since she is noticeably more bulky than many other mid-laners, it’s relatively okay to lane against Annie. More often than not, you will win your lane just because of the extra lane sustain.
Zilean I have seen a few Zilean mid since he does require a lot of farm to be successful. As you get more lane sustain from Catalyst the Protector, it’s simple to lane against him. Your W should clear out waves faster than his bombs, which attests to how powerful you are in lane.
Mordekaiser has been nerfed recently, but he is still a very viable midlane champion. He is very frustrating to many midlaners, but any champion that has to get into range to get last hits will get in trouble against you. Your W will often clear around his minions, leaving yours free to aggro him before he can kill them all. At that point, you do have a significant advantage. However, Morde turns into an immovable object once he gets his next items. Continue to farm at that point.
Kennen is actually pretty easy to lane against. He will have to last hit to get any CS at the turret, or else he will feel pressured to Lightning Rush towards your minions, leaving him quite vulnerable. Your Black Shield really negates all the threat he can pose to you.
Caitlyn Caitlyn is above all other AD carries in terms of laning just because of her sheer damage output early on and her incredible zoning potential. You can zone just as well, but you cannot be as aggressive against her.
Veigar Laning against a good Veigar is very frustrating. He’s almost into the “Hard Laning” tier because his skillcap is so high, and good Veigar players can really mess up your lane, even with Veigar’s mana starvation and squishiness. While you do not build straight AP for most of the laning phase, his ultimate can still take off a LOT of your health and can negate your Black Shield, leaving you to be stunned with Event Horizon. Be extra careful when laning against Veigar, and try to deny him creeps by using Tormented Soil religiously.
These champions are the premiere laners you will often go against in Ranked play. To other champions, Morgana would most certainly fall in this category. To be truly successful as Morgana, you must learn how to lane against each of these champions, and not lose. (Note: Just because these champions are in the “difficult” tier list, does not mean you will lose more often than you will win against these champions. It just means it will be much harder to dominate in lane).
Orianna – Ah, the Lady of Clockwork. She has been an amazing midlaner because of her truly exceptional range, low cooldowns, low mana cost, and seemingly endless harass. You will do better than many other midlaners as you don’t even have to be in autoattacking range to get last hits on creeps with your Tormented Soil. Many times, you can simply pace back and forth behind all of your minions and still get a near perfect Creep Score, without taking harass. But, remember to stay in this role. Unless the enemy Orianna is utterly terrible, you should not be aggressive, because she can and WILL punish you, just as you can to her.
Kog’Maw – Since Kog’Maw has the most insane spammable ranged spell in the game, he makes it trouble for ANY opponent. You must do the same strategy as mentioned in the Orianna summary, but you have to be more unpredictable with your movements to avoid getting hit.
Anivia – Her ultimate is like your W, just with a lot more mana cost. Her sustain is also incredible because of her passive and a Catalyst, should she die. Your Black Shield should negate a lot of damage, and since her most damage spells have slow projectile motion, you have ample time to cast it. She is still an incredible laner that you should not be aggressive against, as killing her while she is in egg form is extremely difficult after low mana and cooldowns.
Karthus – Any good Karthus player is enough trouble for you. He can clear your minions very fast with Defile and Lay Waste, many times faster than you can clear waves with W. He is relatively squishy early game, so try to shut him down then (if you really want to) before he gets a Catalyst and Rod of Ages. Otherwise, just farm with W.
Morgana – Of course, it will difficult to dominate against another Morgana player. In fact, it should be relatively equal, considering both of you will just W on each other’s creep waves. If you really need to take the enemy Morgana down, it will require jungler assistance.
Cassiopeia A very annoying champion, worse than Karthus. Her spammable spell combination is something to be feared, and can eat away at your Black Shield. Many times, Cassiopeia players will get too confident and leave themselves vulnerable for the sake of attacking you more, which you should take advantage of. Otherwise, you will have to play very passively.
Swain Ever since the Swain nerfs, I have seen much less of him in competitive play. That still doesn’t detract from his amazing laning capabilities. Along with blue buff, which he will usually get from his jungler, his sustain is even better than yours. You must play passively once he gets his ultimate.
Mal’zahar THE ULTIMATE 1V1 CHAMPION. It will always be very difficult to lane against Malzahar, no matter what champion you are. The most important thing to remember is to ALWAYS be moving, it makes it much harder for him to land Null Zone, get in a Malefic Visions, and Nether Grasp in range for ignite. Once you see Null Zone go down, you have to always pop on Black Shield, as this is usually a precursor to his full combination. Be passive, and just use W. It will usually match the pace of his creep clearing abilities.
Brand Brand is possibly the best AP champion in the game at the moment. His devastating AoE combinations and usual victory over most other mid-champions usually lead to banning in ranked games. He crushes most other AP champions in lane, just because of his range and harassment. Morgana against Brand is not a terrible matchup, but don’t expect to get kills, and don’t expect to dominate in lane. This is where you ALWAYS have to be moving to prevent getting destroyed with Pillar of Flame. Your lane sustain should prepare you better than most. Just make it a goal to get as much CS as you can, instead of harassing Brand. It is very possible to still win in lane, you just have to be very conscientious of your movements. Winning against a good Brand in lane is when you finally know if you have mastered Morgana to a respectable extent. Call for jungler assistance if you need it, because its very likely that you WILL need it.
1v1 TOP LANE:
Sometimes, you may have to go against an opponent in top lane if you have another midlaner that needs levels faster (such as Twisted Fate, etc). Your exceptional bulkiness and sustain allows you to battle with the best of the top laners, which is noticeably different from many other AP carries! This is what I love about Morgana, her exceptional versatility. In this lane, expect to be left alone more often and to face more bulky opponents that have just as much lane sustain.
Most of these champions are strictly melee with less harass and sustainability than other classic top laners. You can harass very easily and farm effectively. More often than not, you can get First Blood on these champions.
Gangplank – He has definitely become a classic toplaner because of his sustainability and his need for farm. His Remove Scurvy is definitely annoying if you have snared him, but followup with your ultimate, W, and ignite can often finish him off if you have harassed him in lane enough. You can stay behind creeps to prevent getting parleyed, while still using Tormented Soil to get lots of CS.
Pantheon – Even though Riot has buffed Pantheon a lot, he requires more sustain from other champions like Janna in order to farm. It’s very easy to zone him out and deny him experience.
Riven – Riven is a very cool champion, but simply cannot lane against you in top lane. She works well against other melee champions, but not bulky casters like you. Since she must get into melee range to get CS, even if she uses skills, she will take a lot of damage from Tormented Soil. However, it is somewhat more difficult to get a kill on her without aid of Soul Shackles because of her incredible juking capabilities. Regardless, you will still dominate in lane.
Talon – Very similar to Riven, just a little more damage output and less juking capabilities. No worries here, because your Spell Vamp and Catalyst will negate any damage he will deal to you. Your Black Shield can also prevent Noxian Diplomacy, and therefore you will incur less damage.
Garen – Garen is a great top laner because of his tankiness and powerful damage output. However, he does require close range. It is very easy to counter Garen as Morgana, because of your snare that prevents him from moving close to you. You will almost always win lane against him, unless you incur a lot of ganks (which you really shouldn’t with Black Shield.
Akali has a lot of poking capability and burst damage, especially when she reaches 6. She is a very tough lane opponent for many, but it is easy to shut her down as Morgana. Black Shield can prevent a lot of damage, and your QWR devastates her (as well as allowing you to “see” her while she’s stealthed!) Wait till she incurs a fair amount of damage from W, and then you can try to move in for the kill.
Singed is also a very, very annoying champion to lane against. Morgana fares pretty well against him, since Black Shield negates Fling and some Poison Trail. If he ever tries to move in to Fling you, use your QW combination to discourage him from doing it again. As soon as he gets Rod of Ages, however, it will be increasingly difficult to lane against him. Try to be more aggressive early game to prevent a mid-game laning battle from happening.
Gragas is another bulky caster that can sometimes be seen in top lane that also has a lot of sustain, but your spells simply outclass his.
Cho’Gath is a monster to lane against (lols). His incredible sustain and very bulky stats allow him to get creeps easily. You may have a slight advantage early on, but laning against a Cho’Gath after he gets his Catalyst and any MRes will leave almost no opportunities for kills without a jungler. I would not advise taking a lane against Cho’Gath.
Warwick has had some nerf on his Hungering Strike, but he still heals insane amounts of health with this skill. His sustain is probably even better than yours! He is truly a force to be reckoned with, and it is very, very difficult to win against him in lane.
Irelia is also a classic solotop champion. Her sustain and burst capabilities make her much harder to fight against than Akali, especially with her built-in CC reduction that greatly diminishes the potency of your other spells. Try to deny her with W, but know that it is very hard to win against her in lane.
Jarvan IV is a tanky DPS, like Irelia, that can damage you a LOT because of a gap closer and a good passive. Hs sustain is very frustrating, especially if he gets a philo and a HoG. It’s typically harder for him to kill you because of Black Shield, but he can often remain undeterred from your Tormented Soil.
Udyr Turtle Form. Bear Form. Enough said. Udyr is probably the worst champ to face in top lane, despite nerfs in recent patches. It is best to send in another tanky DPS, such as Jarvan, Irelia, etc. to face Udyr instead of Morgana.
Recent Morgana Buffs
-Updated Morgana's autoattack to feel more responsive and increased its missile speed
-Base movement speed increased to 310 from 300
-Dark Binding cooldown reduced to 11 seconds from 12 seconds.
-Tormented Soil mana cost reduced to 70/85/100/115/130 from 70/90/110/130/150
-Stun duration adjusted to 1.5 at all ranks from 1/1.5/2
-Cooldown reduced to 120/110/100 seconds from 120 seconds at all ranks
-Shackle activation time reduced to 3 seconds from 4 seconds
My first guide, so please give me tips if you have any! Comment and vote up if this build has helped you.