Malphite Build Guide by Osl112
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
Malphite is probably one of the most versatile champions in the game and is just great fun to play, no matter how you play him. In this guide, I'm going to give you a little insight into how I play my DPS Malphite which does not only provide a fair bit of tankiness but also a nice amount of damage.
DPS? But Malphite is a tank... :O
Malphite is much more versatile; not just a tank. In this build, I'll show you my methods of building Malphite just a little bit differently, making him a massive threat whilst not sacrificing much survivability. Try it out.
To start with, a few pros and cons:
- Great To Farm With: With Malphite's Brutal Strikes Passive, farming is a breeze. The passive hurts surrounding enemy minions (and champions) when auto attacking. Its just great to clear a minion wave in a breeze. Incidentally, it makes him great for pushing a lane although when it comes to turrets, he isn't the best.
- Initiation: Malphite's got probably the best move for initiation in the game, Unstoppable Force. As soon as you use it, you'll have enemy champions literally soiling their pants. Run in, knock 'em up and destroy. It also has great disruptional power.
- Hell to Harass: Malphite's passive makes him a hell to harass and almost unharassable. Get hit... no worry, it probably won't even take off the Granite Shield passive early game.
- Chasing/Escaping Genius: Seismic Shard is just great for chasing and escaping with (stealing enemy movement speed FTW) and even if they do look like they are getting away, I'm sure a little Unstoppable Force will stop them in their tracks.
- Tanky Tanky Tanky: If you have played against a Malphite, you probably know about this already. Malphite is just tanky overall, no matter how you play him. Although this won't provide as much tankiness as a pure tank guide (duh...), he will still be pretty tanky.
- Ganker: He is a good disruptive ganker. End of.
- Debuff Heaven: MS stealing, Attack Speed slowing and knocking up. What more could you ask for.
- Fun and Easy: Yep. Playing Malphite is great fun... he does everything like a boss.
- Mana Hungry: Malphite literally just eats it all up. You may have to play a little more conservative than you're use to though this can somewhat rectified with Charlie Sheen.
- Team Player: Malphite needs an alright team who knows when to engage (which is after your alt). If you don't have one... well.
- Item Dependent: Malphite needs a lot of items. Otherwise, he is pretty useless. However, it isn't too hard to farm up with him.
- Requires Stylist: Malphite's laugh, taunt and joke are really really lame. I still think his taunt should be replaced with "Come at me bro".
So, onwards to Runes and Masteries.
There are a variety of possible choices for runes on Malphite. Experiment with them to find the ideal mix between tankiness and damage.
Marks are pretty self-explanatory. Take your normal Greater Mark of Desolation and/or Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. 5 of one and 4 of another is a nice way to go though having 9 in armor pen works well with basic attacking and 9 in magic pen works well especially with Seismic Shard. Up to you!
Take your pick here. Taking Greater Seal of Armor gives a nice early game boost to your Ground Slam (and a little survivability), whilst taking either Greater Seal of Health or Greater Seal of Vitality will add some additional survivability in case you really need it.
I like Greater Glyph of Magic Resist. It gives you a nice boost in magic resistance and will keep you comfy for a long time. For more aggressive players, I would probably recommend changing it for Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power for a more harmful Seismic Shard or mana/mana regen glyphs. You could also use Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist, though these won't quite give you as good a boost early game compared to Warding.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power. It really adds a great deal to your Seismic Shard early and mid game... and makes it amazing. They will be annoyed by it.
There are a fair amount of choices on Malphite for runes; so be sure to pick ones that suit your style. However, my set can be seen below.
My Set (a good mix, imo):
I use 24/6/0, taking the majority of the offense tree and the majority of the top tier defense tree. However, one thing that I find with the new trees is that there are so many choices! Hopefully, the below should explain my choices.
2x Brute Force and 4x Mental Force : 2 AD and 4 AP is something you can't pass down too easily. I take the majority in AP however (you'll find this more noticeable down the tree) as it really does make a difference to Seismic Shard and Unstoppable Force. You'll notice the difference more with AP, trust me.
4x Alacrity and 4x Sorcery : CDR and Attack Speed = Nice. As simple as that. The reason I don't take Demolitionist is that with DPS Malphite, you should expect to tank turrets or be pushing turrets. If you are (wanting to), you should probably play a tankier Malphite or as a tank.
Weapon Expertise , Arcane Knowledge and 3x Havoc : Magic and Armor penetration is a wonderful thing, so having these masteries really does an awful lot to their tankier champions. As for Havoc, it is up to you. You may wish to replace Havoc with something else in the offense tree such as 3x Blast or even Durability or Vigor in the defense tree (making your masteries more standard (21/9/0)), although I think 1.5% damage is... awesome. As for crit strike, no, you don't need it.
Nothing in the 4th tier: Surprising, isn't it! Honestly, no, you don't need crit strike and lifesteal seems a slight waste of a mastery as you won't be building it. The only really viable option is Blast as a replacement for Havoc although that is only if you really really are going to spam abilities to victory. So, no.
4x Archmage : Increasing ability power by 5% is something you should not miss out on. I know you are surrendering a little armor pen, but are you really going to be getting right in there an awful lot or not? You do much more damage with the additional AP compared to the Armor Pen, honestly. If you really are planning to go right in there, then maybe consider it.
1x Executioner : Self-explanatory. Who wouldn't want to do more damage to weaker targets.
3x Resistance and 3x Hardiness : Nothing wrong with additional armor or magic res!
Alternatively, you could use 9/21/0, taking mainly the AP tier 1/2/3 stuff of the offense tree (or 2 of each in the top tier) followed by the 21 of the defensive tree though that will make you less of a threat and more of a tank. If your runes are aggressive, then maybe consider it but really, the offense tree will do a lot more for you compared to getting the defense tree.
Doran's shield will give you a secure start. Even though you are a little too mana hungry early game, by building a doran's shield you should have enough survivability (and be able to stay in lane a fair time) to get items that correct the mana problems. This is followed by boots (which make you go really fast) and a Charlie Sheen, which will give you the mana to proceed onwards into mid game. You may still have to be conservative but at least you'll have somewhere in the region of 500/700 mana to play with.
Note that if you do end the early game with 2235 gold, you could buy the Guinsoo's a little early and before the Sheen, as long as you are happy with playing more conservative than with the Sheen.
-> -> ->
Push onwards and complete a Guinsoos. If you are doing well, this can easily be done by the twenty minute mark. Follow this up with boots, a Phage and a Trinity Force which will make you a mid-game wrecking machine. Be sure to rack up the kills.
That is your core build done!
You have a number of options for late game. However, work on a bit more survivability as well as damage to ensure kills keep coming and so that you don't get blasted down too easily.
Banshee's Veil- You can't beat Banshee's. By building Banshee's, you'll find your lack of Magic Penetration rectified and yourself a Caster's nightmare. A great item, giving you the mana and health needed for late game sustained damage. Oh, and its passive is a little help.
Frozen Mallet- An item that really hurts. A little extra AD and a lot more health (which helps especially with Malphite's passive) but its passive is unbeatable. 2.5 second slow... unbeatable.
Warmog's Armor- I know some would say stack up the armor and magic res, though health and health regain really really helps on Malphite. Giving him Warmog's would pump up the passive even more, making Malphite extremely tanky whilst maintaining a great amount of damage.
Regrowth Pendant -> Mana Potion -> Philosopher's Stone -> Shurelya's Reverie- Replacing the Doran's shield early game and building this (with the Reverie as your last item) does work reasonably well. The GP10 helps throughout (even if you're struggling) and the Reverie is a good item to finish on. However, by doing so, you are starving a little bit of gold earlier in the game (although you do make it up, of course). However, if you do want a remedy to the mana problem, I recommend this.
Sunfire Cape- A firm replacement for the Warmogs, sacrificing some health for a little extra armor (helping towards Ground Slam) and a worthy passive.
Lich Bane- I haven't tried Lich Bane in this build but it could work as long as you are willing to give up a lot of survivability. Too much for my liking to be honest.
Atma's Impaler- I haven't tried Atmas either... however, it is a very viable choice with 4.1k health. Although the crit chance wouldn't do much for the build, the 2% of health as AD would help a great deal. However, I'm not sure where it would fit, and thus it has been left out (thanks to IGabsI for the suggestion!)
Other alternatives include Force of Nature and Guardian Angel, but they do tend to lack some key things for Malphite (for example, Guardian Angel will not add to Malphite's passive).
Some of this may seem obvious, but here goes nevertheless.
Great for Malph:
A must have. Superb escape spell. End of.
Good for Malph:
Great for finishing off the ones who are trying to get away though becomes pretty useless come late game. Still, it is a good choice and my choice.
Preferable if you are to head top lane solo. However, something better could go here.
I'm skeptical of Exhaust. Useful throughout the game, it is great for slowing escapees but surely Seismic Shard can do a better job for chases, no? Nevertheless, it is viable.
I'm also skeptical of surge, though a boost like that will help in team engagements. Also, viable.
OK for Malph
If mana problems really really really hurt you, then you could consider taking this. However, in my opinion, there are much better alternatives.
Mmmmmm..... gold. No real need for it though.
Could work, though I've got to admit I prefer flash as a pure escape spell. Stick to flash is my advice, despite its nerf.
No for Malph
Everything else. You don't need support spells or any of the other spells. Really.
I honestly prefer Ignite and Flash. A spell to help you with killing and a spell to escape. However, you can mix and match. For example, Teleport would be good if you are solo laning whilst Surge may give you more of an impact in team fights. Have a play around.
Abilities and Usage
Malphite's abilities are very versatile and can each be used in a number of ways. Be sure to use them for what they are worth and don't let them go to waste.
Passive- Granite Shield
Malphite is shielded by a layer of rock which absorbs damage up to 10% of his maximum health. If he has not been hit for 10 seconds, this effect recharges.
This passive is superb. An early game annoyance for the enemy team, yet a late game saver. This is also one of the reasons I don't stack armor for Ground Slam. I feel this passive benefits Malphite so much more compared to armor stacking, as after 150 armor, it does not make much of an impact and that Ground Slam isn't worth fully stacking for. With 10% maximum health used in this shield, it will benefit Malphite much more overall.
Anti-harass (it literally makes you unharrassable and thus, makes laning so easy).
Survivability (think by late game you have 4000 health... this shield will top it with 4400 and will regenerate after 10 seconds out of combat. Literally incredible).
Q- Seismic Shard
Malphite sends a shard of the earth through the ground at his target, dealing magic damage upon impact and stealing their movement speed for 4 seconds. 8 second cooldown, 625 range, 70/75/80/85/90 cost, 70/120/170/220/270 (+0.6 AP) magic damage, 14/17/20/23/26% movement speed stolen.
This move hurts so much. Not only does it do a great deal of damage, it steals movement speed! This is definitely one of the most versatile moves in the game and one of the most fun to use.
Harass- a nice harass to stop enemies from having free farm
Early Initiation- this move is great for early game initiation. With a
Escaping- You have to be careful using this move for escaping, however it is easily done. If you are at a reasonable distance from an enemy yet still being chased (I would say about 500 range), you can Seismic Shard them, steal their movement speed and gain distance on them. Easily done but it should only be used in 1v1 situations.
Chasing- The inverse is also true. You can easily use Seismic Shard to slow and catch up to an enemy, or finish off one whose trying to get away.
W- Brutal Strikes
(Passive): Malphite's autoattacks splash, dealing a percentage of his attack damage to nearby enemies. 200 splash radius from target, 30/38/46/54/62% splash damage.
This is great for farming; a superb passive. The one thing to be careful of though is when by turrets. Attacking minions by champions will ultimately damage the champions, leaving you in a bit of a sticky situation as the turret tries to eliminate you. On an up note, this passive also hits stealthed enemies.
(Active): Increases Malphite's armor and attack damage by a percentage for 6 seconds. 14 second cooldown, 50/55/60/65/70 cost, 20/25/30/35/40% attack damage and armor bonus.
The only reason I stick a point in this at level 3 is due to the passive, which is a great farming tool. Otherwise, you can somewhat neglect this early/mid game as it will be more of a mana waste than anything else. However, late game, Brutal Strikes somewhat redeems itself and becomes another versatile move, helping in big team fights as well as adding a little more oomph (technical word) to Ground Slam. Really, its a matter of knowing when to use it than anything else.
Turret Pushing- remember how I said that this build was not for pushing turrets? Well, when you do go for a turret, this is the move you use.
Team Engagements- the attack damage and armor boost helps your damage output and survivability, so be sure to enact it whilst getting into the mix of things.
Escaping- even if it doesn't seem like a massive help, it still helps so use it! Especially whilst running from a melee champion (of course).
Style- it looks cool... somewhat.
E- Ground Slam
Malphite slams the ground, dealing magic damage to all nearby enemies and reducing their attack speed for 4 seconds. 7 second cooldown, 400 area of effect, 50/55/60/65/70 cost, 60/100/140/180/220 (+50% of total armor), 30/35/40/45/50% attack speed disruption.
Another great, versatile move. You would not believe how good the debuff on this is late game. I remember one game in particular, where a lifesteal based Tryndamere got killed by myself and went to chat complaining "Why did my attack speed go down"? This was the answer. Never underestimate the power of a Malphite.
Farming- Get them last hits with this. This is absolutely great to get last hits with.
Upsetting AD dudes- They don't like it, at all.
Harass- Yes, this can be used as a harass but only if they want to overextend a fair way.
Fights- W -> E deals a ton of damage and takes the enemy attack speed down, leaving yourself and your team with a nice advantage.
R- Unstoppable Force
Malphite charges to the target location, dealing magic damage to all enemies in the area, knocking them into the air and stunning them for 1.5 seconds. Malphite cannot be interrupted during his charge. 100 cost, 1000 range to center of AoE (dashing range), 250 AoE area, 130/115/100 second cooldown, 200/300/400 (+1 AP) magic damage.
Probably the best initiation in the game, this ulti is quite something. However, what people don't recognize is how versatile the move is (you are probably bored of me banging on about versatility). Quick note on usage; you dash to the center of the little circle and then anything inside that little circle gets knocked up. So don't forget to use the range of the dash to its full advantage and to bear the knock up range in mind.
Initiation, initiation and initiation- As I've said countless times before, this is an unbelievable initiating move. Dash in, then pile in. As long as your teammates know that they should engage after it, you'll automatically have the upper hand. Also, use the range! So stick in brushes and use it out of them!
Disruption- Many champions have combos that they try and stick to, such as Akali. One sure way to upset them is by using Unstoppable Force and stopping them. You can 1v1 by disrupting champion combos and then using W -> E -> R. It has been done!
Escaping- I know it sounds quite berserk though the ulti could literally save your life. As a very last resort (after
Hopefully, from this, you've gained a few uses for Malphite's abilities as well as a few possible scenarios. Just be sure to use all abilities to their full potential.
So, onwards to actual gameplay. Malphite is relatively easy to play during the laning phase; you should be easily able to pick up a kill or two and then progress into late game strong.
Malphite has a strong early game, with or without a laning partner. However, bear in mind that if you decide to play Malphite solo top (versus 2), you may have to play a bit more passive than you would like to, lets say. There is also something called a "Midphite"... I wouldn't try it.
As for laning partners, there are a variety of good combinations that work well with this build. Surprisingly, I find one of the best being Fiddlesticks due to spells forming extremely powerful early game combinations.
As you normally would... farm up! You should be racking up the last hits easily after level 3 with your Brutal Strikes passive. What is also good is that Malphite is relatively unharrassable, with Granite Shield. However, don't overextend too far. On the reverse though, do take advantage of any squishy who thinks they can go too far into your territory as you can easily grind them down.
At level 6, then you can start having fun with the use of your ult. Know when to use it and alert allies that you are heading in there. Following the ulti, use W -> E -> Q and get yourself a kill/assist. Don't forget to push your lane if an enemy/enemies are down, or alternatively...
Gank! Malphite is a very strong ganker. Dash in and melt, it is as simple as that. By now you should be getting one or two kills and progressing onwards to the Guinsoos (15 minute mark). Continue onwards and don't forget to pay attention to comms. Call ss/mia if your lane goes missing and be aware if anyone else calls ss/mia. It will save you from death, honest.
Oh, and don't be scared of warding up. Wards win games, you know but remember it isn't completely your role to ward up. You could consider buying a ward if they have an enemy jungler but otherwise, you are probably better of leaving it to supports.
Well, you know what to do here. Just remember to focus the squishes/high damage dealers first and to initiate, though despite this, you are not rambo!
R -> W -> E -> Q and repeat will do a lot of damage... trust me.
If you are struggling...
You shouldn't be with Malphite's pure survivability. However, if you are struggling, maybe it would be worth grabbing Trinity Force later and instead working on BV.
I hope you all enjoyed the guide on my way of playing Malphite that little bit differently and wish you the best of luck on the fields of justice!
Any advice, comments or constructive criticism is welcome and don't think this guide is de jure. If you feel you have a better item for DPS Malphite, share it and use it!
Guide Created and Published
Updated (added Atma's into optional, thanks to IGabsI for the suggestion)!