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.
This is my main lane partner. She always has my back. All credit goes to J1015814
UPDATED December 19, 2010
Excellent mage support
Good balance of armor and magic defense
Great at turning enemy creep waves
Good at turret harrassment (Q + W combo)
Weak against strikers and ranged DPS - Ashe, Kog Maw etc.
Dark Binding is a skill shot, needs practice to master
Requires team effort to reach full potential
Remember folks, this is a guide. I tend to play it a little differently item-wise when the situation dictates.
Justification for build order:
I get Tormented Soil first for the sake of farming last-hit kills. Unless you feel a First Blood gank assist is important, I highly recommend doing the same. Besides, you'll be much more deadly once you get Dark Binding, which comes soon after. Getting Black Shield is absolutely necessary against disablers and other magic users. I level up Dark Binding and Tormented Soil again because those are my main damage dealers. Next is the ultimate, Soul Shackle. Once you get this, you'll be much more likely to get a gank or an assist on one. Remember, unless they're squishy, it's highly unlikely you'll kill them all by yourself, so make sure your laning partner (or friend in the bushes at mid) is standing by.
My general strategy from then on is getting Dark Binding to 5, and Tormented Soil and Black shield to 3. Then I maximize Tormented Soil and Black Shield in that order. Don't forget to level up your ultimate whenever possible.
Justification for runes:
Your greatest benefits will be from magic penetration, mana regeneration, and ability power. You can go for any mix of said runes, but I prefer to get the strongest of each category: magic penetration with Marks, mana regeneration with Seals, and ability power with Glyphs.
Justification for summoner skills:
Ghost is great for quick escapes. Heal is a useful alternative early game when you only have 15% spell vamp. If you're good at avoiding damage, get Ghost. If you're concerned for you and your laning partner's ability to withstand an ambush, get Heal.
Clarity is important early game because your mana regen runes won't really kick in until later levels, if you even have any. You'll be mana starved easily even when under normal farming conditions, so make sure to conserve when possible and don't go for ganks unless you coordinate with your partner(s). But feel free to "waste" some mana right before Clarity comes up again - best to maximize its effectiveness.
You only need cripple to unlock sorcery and archaic knowledge. You can spend that 4th Offense point on any of the other options if it pleases you. I keep it on Cripple in case I want to try using Exhaust instead of either of my other two summoner spells.
Before I hit summoner Level 30, I opted for skills other than the prerequisites for Archaic Knowledge. This was because I wanted Presence of the Master as soon as possible. Getting your Clarity (or Heal) to cool down faster is a big plus early game, especially when you're harrassed. Additionally, if you aren't level 30 yet and decide to use Heal, put a point into Mender's Faith. That -30 sec for Heal just might save you in a pinch.
Justification for item order:
Getting Doran's ring should be the obvious choice for anyone who's played a mage type. For those who don't know, it's a better overall value early game than getting just one Amplifying Tome (+20 ability power) or just one Meki Pendant (+7 mana / 5 sec). Granted you will need those items eventually, but it's just better to get the some-of-both item instead. The health is a nice plus too. The mana potion should be used after you've used Clarity, and only when you're mana starved. If you don't use it at all, you haven't been casting enough.
Next is Kage's Lucky Pick. Hopefully by the time you first have to go back to shop you'll have at least 1,115 gold. This will let you get the pick and Boots of Speed at once (765g + 350g). If you get at least 1,865 gold, you can get the full Sorcerer's Shoes (765g + 1,100g).
You might be wondering why I don't get Tear of the Goddess first. This is because I like getting gold and running away from ganks for than I like having extra mana right away. As Morgana, you probably won't be getting a whole lot of champion kills (plenty of assists though), but you will be pretty good at farming minions. If you're kept away from them, you'll want something to make up for it. Jungling for gold won't cut it, so Kage's Lucky Pick comes in handy to generate gold while you do whatever. Shoes are more important than Tear because you want the movement speed boost as well as the boost to damage the magic penetration gives you. You'll be casting plenty of spells to generate more max mana thanks to Tear throughout the game, so don't sweat it.
Tip: cast random spells whenever you arrive at home base after you get Tear of the Goddess. Your cooldowns will be gone by the time you get back out there, plus you'll have +12 more mana, or +24 if you do it before and after shopping.
Archangel's Staff is a must for just about any mage character you can think of (or at least the ones with lots of mana). Always get Tear of the Goddess first for reasons that must be obvious by now. At max level you'll have over 3,000 mana, which gives you +90 ability power. Add that to the base +45 and you get +135 - more than the base for the Zhonya's Ring! More on that later...
Deathfire Grasp is really handy for two reasons. First, it's great against meaty opponents without a lot of magic defense. Second, its good to have an additional damage-dealing spell while your ungodly cooldowns take their precious time. While this item does give 15% cooldown reduction, your next item is going to help a whole lot more.
Frozen Heart gives you 25% cooldowns and 99 armor. It's a must-have for Morgana, regardless what other items you get. Get the Glacial Heart first, of course, to get that sweet cooldown reduction as soon as possible.
Abyssal Scepter is particularly deadly in Morgana's hands (or strapped to her back - how else do you carry three wands?) due to the area of effect reduction of your enemy's magic defense - this makes your ultiate that much more debilitating. The bonus ability power and magic defense for yourself is also nice to have.
By now it should be late game, and you want to deal as much damage as possible to get that final push in your favor. Zhonya's Ring is your ticket to victory. With this, you get the +120 ability power as well as a +25% boost. If you're afraid of dying, activate the ring for a two-second invulnerability. Make sure your allies are coming to save you, though, or else it's a waste. Sell your Doran's ring and get the Needlessly Large Rod first since you only have one item slot available now and you want to maximize its effectiveness. Or buy and consume a potion first, then get the rod.
Remember kids: never get two Zhonya's Rings! The unique passive bonus of +25% ability power does not stack. You're better off with another Archangel's Staff if you're hungry for ability power.
There are plenty of alternatives to this build. I tend to modify it based on what the situation is in-game. I recommend you experiment a bit since nothing beats first-hand knowledge. With that said, I don't recommend getting a Mejai's Soulstealer for two reasons:
1) You're more likely to get assists, so it won't help you as much as it does those who get the last hit.
2) People hate seeing enemies with a 20 stack, so they will target you first to keep that from happening. Since you are squishy, you'll die pretty damn quick when they focus you, Black Shield or not. Especially when it comes time to use your ultimate in a team battle.
The only alternative items I recommend are Rod of Ages and Void Staff. It's up to you to choose which items they replace.
This might be different for just about anyone who plays a mage character, but I'll try to outline some basics here.
1) Don't ever be alone. If you must lane alone because your buddy died, do your best to harrass the enemy to stall them from getting to your turret. DO NOT TAKE RISKS! You are squishy and easy to kill, regardless of your Black Shield. That's only good for escapes from specific enemy types, not all of them.
2) Aim carefully. Dark Binding is easy to miss with, but it can be quite rewarding when you learn the ins-and-outs. Firing through a corner or wall to hit an unsuspecting enemy is especially fun.
3) Hang back. Don't go charging in the front of your group in team battles unless you're really good at avoiding the stuff they'll throw at you. Remember, Black Shield is not going to protect against everyhing, just most things.
4) Use your ultimate wisely. This is true for any character, but especially so for Morgana. You must weigh the benefits of running in there and catching all of the enemy versus getting only a few. The difference can mean life or death for both parties.
I hope you benefit from this build guide, and I welcome all constructive criticism. Don't forget to bring the pain.