Malphite Build Guide by Arcana3
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.
Why hello everyone, and welcome to my Malphite "Death? Nah, I'm a Rock" guide. I've played with Malphite since level 5 and i've experimented with practically every build out there for him. From Health to AP, if there is a build for Malphite there is a big chance i've probably played it, at least once. In this guide i'll explain all about Malphite skills, runes, masteries, the usual stuff. But i'll get in depth, in how my build works, since my build is probably one of a kind for Malphite. Keep in mind i'm not saying i'm the best, (I myself don't even have a 1200 elo), but I practically know everything about this champion. So if you enjoyed this build and guide, please do leave a comment and a upvote, and if you feel this guide needs improvement, also leave a comment! And on that note, I hope you all enjoy this guide on my version of Malphite.
March 2nd 2012: Updated Masteries on Malphite, and Inserted 2v1 How to Win your lane, Fixed coding and some grammar, and also added an alternate build for in the Items Section, Also added some more alternate items
March 11th 2012: Changed Grammar Mistake (Ty AChubbyBaby), rexplained heal, added more items to other viable items, added tags... Me forgot >.<
Pros vs Cons
Amazing solo top
Has an amazing amount of crowd control skills
Can win 2v1 up top with his ultimate (Please look at 2v1 Winning lane Chapter)
Can set up ganks for the team
Early game he wreaks w/ AP runes
If you spam your spells to quickly, you can't do much
Mid game he's somewhat weak
Not the strongest tank
Only has 1 Stun, the rest of his skills are based on slow
The masteries I use are 0/22/8. This is somewhat different then what most tanks use. Most tanks would have Resistance fully max making it 0/24/6. I do not like maxing out Resistance on Malphite since it may give you +4 more in magic resist, you will have enough from items, and runes, that this become irrelevant. I take these points and put them in Good Hands which are infinitely better. The reason for this is, because mid-late game the death timer, increases to something around 35-70 seconds. That is rather long, and you being dead (as the tank) could be the thing that makes the other team win. This is bad, and Good Hands solve this problem. At max Good Hands decrease the time dead by 10%, and that is great. At 70 seconds, that would be decreased by 7 seconds. That 7 seconds could be the thing that makes you win or lose. The rest of the masteries don't need to be explained, since everything else is generic and should be used on all tanks, unless your jungling, which will be different. (Thank you to Mirukoo for offering the Enlightenment mastery)
Greater Mark of Magic Resist
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Glyph of Health
The runes I use are flat magic resist, armor, ability power, and health. The flat magic resist armor, and health, are used for tanking ability early game, and are pretty common on all tanks. The weird thing is, that I have five Greater Glyph of Ability Power and three Greater Quintessence of Ability Power. The reason for these particular runes, are that they give an extra 20 damage to your Seismic Shard. Early game your Seismic Shard at level 1 deals 70 damage and +60% of your ability power. The AP runes give are 20 exactly so it gives about 10-15 more damage making it about, (give or take) 80-85 damage. At a start of a game that's an incredible amount of damage for a tank. It might not be for Akali or Gangplank but for a tank, that's great. If you think about it, the more damage you can deal as a tank is better, since you will be ahead of assassins, since you can tank the damage they deal to you. But don't feel obligated using these at all. It's a personal preference to do more damage early as a tank. If you just wanna go full tank take full Greater Glyph of Health, and full greater quintessence of defense.
Other great Runes to use:
Any runes that increase your Health, Armor, or Magic resist. The ones I would recommend
The items I get on Malphite are somewhat interesting, and may be out of date. The reason for this is because i don't really keep up with the meta of the pro's and such, and for that fact, I don't know if Doran's Shield is any good any more. IF not let me know, and I can go tweak, but that is the only part of this build that I feel is weak. The build itself is what I like to play. I call it Slow Malphite. Slow Malphite is the basic idea of slowing everyone around you, since you can initiate so well with Unstoppable Force, it's also somewhat like aura Amumu or Alistar but instead you are just slowing your opponents around you instead of buffing your team. Being clustered around your opponents allows for amazing ability to use AoE things that slow, down others. This is why i rush Randium's Omen. Why wouldn't i just keep the heart of gold, and get the extra gold? It is i feel that the AoE slow that Omen gives, is just so great with Unstoppable Force I should rush it. IT slows down your opponents so if they try to escape if they are going much slower. This can make a difference in getting an ace, and sometimes getting 2 people. Lets start understanding the items themselves
Ninja Tabi is rather good now, with the recent change. It reduces damage by 10% of non basic turret attacks. Though that seems silly, that really dampers the damage of AD carrys, and AD champions, that rely on basic attacks. It is something early on to stop the damage output, without rushing Thornmail. The only other boots i could see being viable on Malphite is Mercury's Treads. Its tenacity is also very nice on Malphite since it is rather high. Mercury's Treads in general are great, and should be used, but it is very expensive. They are 1200, while Ninja Tabi are 850. It is your choice though
Malphite. Randuin's Omen is great since, it couples nicely with your ulti. As i described, you can use your ulti, then use your Randuin's Omen and then Ground Slam that would be a huge amount of CC. Attack speed reduction, reduced movement speed, and reduced armor and magic resist. That seems pretty good with the ulti of malphite. I put in Frozen Heart and Frozen Mallet for even more slow. By the time you get your Frozen Mallet you should never let anyone escape with the amount of slow. If you get a good ulti off, you pretty much are guaranteed to win that fight. It also depends on your team, im not saying you can 5v1 anyone.
Banshee veil and Force of Nature. The Banshee's Veil is for the teams that just have alot of CC. Malphite is only one person, and can only take so much punishment. Force of Nature is for the tanking part. You should have a huge amount of life, and FoN will be so good. Sunfire Cape is for constant damage, and also matches well with your ulti, and other items. Abyssal Scepter may seem out of place, but for the chance that you face a high Magic resist team, and you have a heavy AP team, this is the way to go. All these above, are your choice, so go for it.
Other Viable Items to use (that have not been mentioned)
- Warmog is an item that is rather good on Malphite. The downside is that it is unviable, because it costs so much, and you must rush this item to make it viable. This is Slow Malphite not Health Malphite. Warmog is one of those items, that if you are feed early game its viable to get and will help you throughout the game very much. Some like to rush warmogs, but really you should not do this, because while your building this item, you could be building a Phange or a Frozen Mallet. It is up to you though, if you like this item there is nothing stopping you.
- Quicksliver Sash is one of those items for the super high CC teams. If you can't intiate team fights because of CC, this is the item to get to handle it. It's basically a Cleanse and works well. It also gives you magic resist, so if you do want to get this item for the high CC teams, go for it.
- Thornmail is a very good item, for teams that are heavy on AD. It gives back damage from basic attacks, and is incredible good for this reason. AD carrys use attack speed and basic attacks to carry there teams. This item practically counters them, since they are losing health also while attacking you, and AD carrys are usually pretty squishy. So for high AD teams, get this item.
- Guardian Angel is a really nice item when you have enough health, but need some MR and Armor. Its passive also allows you to COME BACK FROM THE DEADDD! Good item to pick up, if you feel that you have enough health and are low on Mr and Armor.
- Actually works rather well on Malphite. If you wont some slow on the rest of your abilities, and not your auto attack, you should get this instead of Frozen Mallet. This item really is good on Malphite just because of its slow.
Alternate Build for Malphite
Boots of Speed
Heart of Gold
Force of Nature
There are several useful summoner spells, on Malphite, and i'll describe the cons and the pro's of all of them.
Flash in my humble opinion, is still amazing as it has been since season 1. It may have been raised in cooldown, and the range may have been decreased, but it still allows for great ganks, and great getaways. I think that you must have Flash always. Since it is just so good in what it does.
This allows you to get back into your lane if you really have to go back. I don't think you actually have to back because you just have so much life, but if you don't like being mana hungry, this would probably the best thing for you to use. IT also later allows you to save turrets, if you are out of position. Good thing to have if you also want to set up ganks, since you can teleport to wards and minions.
This ability is one of my favorite in the game. It allows you to deal damage even if you arent hitting the person. Constant damage is amazing, and it also decreases heal, so even if they use something like a Health Potion it could still end up killing the person. I always get this or Exahust with any other summoner spell, cause both are great.
The next summoner spell that i love paired with Flash. It allows for ganks to become easier, and also is a debuff. It debuff's the Movement speed, damage, and attack speed of the champion it is currently on. With Malphites Seismic Shard it allows for amazing movement speed negation.
Ghost on Malphite may seem good, but really it is subpar. Malphite doesnt have alot of damage output, and also has some large CD, so chasing down someone isn't really great on Malphite. Though if placed well, it could give you a super boost, with Seismic Shard since it steals and just doesn't take away the movement speed. Really to me though, its not that great
Cleanse on Malphite is also subpar on him. Malphite may cleanse the debuff on him, but since Malphite damage output is so low, with out AP, its not really useful. If the other team though is super high CC i would get this ability, to counter them.
People have told me that Heal is viable. I have played several games with it, and I do agree, it is viable, but as Malphite you should not need this. The reason is because of your passive, and your health regen. Though heal can be used as a great ability to set up ganks and bait, not really worth it on Malphite in my opinion.
You really should get Teleport instead of Clarity. It may restore your MP in your lane, but later in the game it really doesnt help you. Later in the game, you won't have any mana problems. Get Teleport if you have mana problems
The above summoner spells, are just bad on Malphite. You should not get any of these, with the exception of Smite if you are jungling. ONLY GET Smite when you are jungling. All the others, are pretty explanatory on themselves. Revive has never been good and will continue to be bad. Promote is also rather bad, it only makes a super minion, and only 1 doesn't really do much. Surge doesn't do anything on Malphite. Clairvoyance let the support do it.
Skill Sequence and Skills
The skills that Malphite use are really the things you want to use as a tank. He has a Slow, Defense and Attack Damage buff, a AoE Ground slam that reduces attack speed, and a stun. That to me is just amazing! Now, that you understand a little about what Malphite skills do, let's start talking about them.
- Malphite's skin innately produces a layer of rock as a shield which absorbs damage of up to 10% of his maximum health. The shield will recharge if Malphite has not received damage in the last 10 seconds.
The use of this skill is it allows you to harass without fear. This passive to me, is what makes Malphite such an amazing solo top laner. To really understand this, I need to bring up situation. Let's say you are facing a Akali top lane. You throw a Seismic Shard at Akali and she throws her Q (not coming to mind right now) at you. You deal damage to her, and her Q may or may not breaks your shield. You gain your shield back in about 6 seconds. So you just dealt damage to Akali while you took none. That's pretty good, since now the more you do this, the less life she has later for ganks. I know, I know, "but what if she has health pots?" Well here's the thing, the amount of time you hit her over and over again, she has to waste a health pot. While you don't have to. At a certain point she will run out of health pots, and you won't even have to use one.
- Malphite sends a shard of the earth through the ground at his target, dealing magic damage upon impact and slowing them for 4 seconds. Additionally, Malphite will increase his own movement speed for 4 seconds by the same amount of flat movement speed that the target lost.
Magic Damage Dealt: 70 / 120 / 170 / 220 / 270 (+0.6 per ability power)
Movement Speed Stolen: 14 / 17 / 20 / 23 / 26 %
This is your main harassing ability early game. This ability is extremely good at setting up kills and, chasing down enemies. Not even taking account in the movement speed stolen, the magic damage itself is not something to over look. Dealing 170 damage at level 3, is an extreme amount of damage in itself, not including the other skills you have. The movement speed stolen, is extremely good. This allows you to set up gank's nicely since it actually increases your movement speed your self, not just slow. This allows you to get close and hit whoever your lanning against, a few times, with either Ground Slam or a buffed auto attack from Brutal Strikes. This can be the difference when your jungler is ganking, since sometimes the person can get away with flash. Also, Seismic Shard should be used only when you have at least 30% of your mana. It really is a mana hunger skill, and if you use it when you are under 30% of your mana, it could not allow you to hit your ultimate which is the one of the best stuns in the game.
- (Passive) - Malphite's autoattacks will splash, dealing a percentage of his attack damage to nearby enemies.(Active) - Increases Malphite's armor and attack damage by a percentage for 6 seconds.
Splash Damage: 30 / 38 / 46 / 54 / 62 %
Attack Damage & Armor Bonus: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 %
This skill is probally the weakest of all the skills that Malphite has to offer. Even though it gives buffs to both attack and armor, it's not as good as [malphite]]'s other skills. Malphite to me, is a CC boss. He has some of the best in the game. This skill just isn't on par with Malphites other skills. Though it definitely fit's his "theme" with it's splash damage, to me, it just doesn't give that mega CC I want. Never less, use it, since it gives bonus armor and damage, with splash.
- Malphite slams the ground, dealing magic damage to all nearby enemies and reducing their attack speed for 4 seconds.
Magic Damage: 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 (+50% of total armor)
Attack Speed Reduction: 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 %
This skill is probably my favorite on Malphite. Its magic damage with +armor damage, makes Malphite a force to be reckon with as a tank. It's attack speed reduction also makes it amazing for making champions that are ad melee like Master Yi and Sion become weaker. If your lucky you could get the ad range carrys like Graves or Caitylin. Also this skill along with Brutal Strikes allows for great farming capability, since the AoE damage along with the splash damage makes clearing creeps simple. Use Ground Slam and then just auto attack, and you will clear creep pretty fast. Later in this chapter, I will explain how to use this skill in teamfights.
- 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 by anything except his own death.
Magic Damage: 200 / 300 / 400 (+1.0 per ability power)
UseThis skill is one of my favorites in the game. Its pretty much a hit on ulit, that can not be stopped by silence, stun, anything CC wise. Unstoppable Force allows for amazing set ups in ganks, and in teamfights. As the tank, you want to initiate the team fights, and this ability allows for that. Lets say the enemy team is trying to gank your team in a bush, you use Unstoppable Force in the bush, sunning them, and then allowing your team to wreak them. ALLOWS make sure you have enough mana to use this ability, since ability, is just so great. DO NOT use this for escaping. It is not worth wasting an ability like this, just to escape a team. With the build i'm providing, this also shouldn't be the case that you need to use this to escape.
USING THE COMBO AND HOW TO USE UNSTOPPABLE FORCE
First off i'm going to explain how to use Unstoppable Force correctly. Many Malphite players feel like, this ability should not be used alot (From what i've seen), but really you should be using this at any chance you can get. What i mean is, you should be using this skill, to set up ganks, or/and initiating team fights. Lets get an example going. Lets say you just hit level 6, and you are facing Gangplank. Having the ability to get rid of any CC on him is rather annoying, but it has a rather large cooldown. You have a Nunu coming up to gank. Initiate with Unstoppable Force on Gangplank more then likely, he will use his scurvy to get rid of the stun on him. Use Seismic Shard on him then, this will make him much slower and will give you bonus speed, you should then use Ground Slam on him to make his attack speed go down and then finally use Brutal Strikes to increase your damage output. By now your Nunu should be here, and be also taking a beating on Gangplank. More the likely, you should have killed Gangplank because the amount of CC you inflicted on him, should not allow him to escape. (I'm also estimating that he hasn't gone back to base, and gain health, and he still has 1 item. Most likely 1000 health. Just an estimate though). This is usually what you should be doing in team fights. The amount of CC you can or would inflict on the enemy team is rather large. Unstoppable Force should also be used for more then 2 people. Not just one. But let me make it clear, that YOU ONLY DO THE RULE ABOVE in team fights. If your are not in a team fight, go ahead and use Unstoppable Force and get a kill. One kill can make a difference in team fights later. Later there will be a video below, showing how i use Malphites combo.
2v1 How to Win your lane
I have been getting comments saying that "you don't need to win your lane...etc." First I want to state, that I do understand that you do not have to win your lane. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WIN YOUR LANE, but with Malphite it is very possible to win your lanes rather easily. I need to also state, that for this to happen is a rather risky choice, and a rather hard thing to do. We all have had those teams where they other team doesn't have a jungle but you do. Most champions don't have alot of CC when going top. Yes some do, but not a stun like one. Irelia and Alistar are rather good tops for this reason. Both have some form of stun, and Alistar has two, but is usually made as a support ( I've discussed this with some high elo players, around the range of 1500-1800, and Alistar can be used pretty well top, if your just wondering why im putting him there). With Malphite you have only one stun, which is your ultimate. This is where the hard part comes. Unlike most champions, Malphites ulti is AoE, and is good at hitting 1-3 champions that are clumped. Sometimes if a player that is risky wants to take a kill on a low health champion, they will tower dive. Usually in the form of 2 people. Usually they will either spread out, or be clumped together, and even when spread out, they will eventually form back in just enough for you to hit them with an ulti. This will stun them, and allow your turret to hit hard. Also take in account that I'm thinking around the levels of 6 to 7. Anything much higher will probably kill you, even if you ulti them. But this is around the time when people feel that they can gank you. TAKE IN ACCOUNT THAT FOR PLAYERS TO TAKE RISK, THE CHAMPION THEY ARE TOWER DIVING IS LOW ENOUGH FOR THEM TO KILL. This is increadble risky, and should not be down by players, that aren't comfortable with having low life. Yes, I understand that this can be very dumb, but i have won lanes this way, since the other players are bad.
This Malphite for me works the best, just because of the CC i produces. I love it to death, and i want others to see how well it works. If you guys wanna tell me anything to add, or if you have any suggestions please leave a comment below. If you downvote, or upvote, please leave what you liked or dislike about these guides. Thanks and have a nice day!
(On a side note any grammar mistakes, or coding mistakes, please point them out, i like things being professional)