Malphite Build Guide by SkypeTestCall
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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.
Malphite was the first champ I ever bought, and never used him to full potential until, after long hiatus, I came back to the game as level 20. I paid attention to the games I played as him, what his weaknesses and strengths were, and build a tailored rune page and mastery page. Now, I want to give back with a guide to help everyone. This build is what I used to play my normal Malphite, I will include ranked suggestions as well.
This guide is mostly a tank build, but you can be an excellent support as Malphite. Most games I actually have the most kills until laning ends because Malphite can afford to dive, to soak damage, and I carry ignite.
I build Malphite this way to try to bring back tanks, they really are a dead category in LoL it seems, as champs like Morgana, Xin, Nocturne, among others can easily fill the role and bring a LOT more damage. You can't expect stunning kills, or to get away all the time, or to even get towers destroyed, BUT you can expect assists and respect from both teams. If you are being targeted all game, your team will probably win as the carries farm and finish off the kills.
By the end of the game, everyone will smell what the rock has been cooking....a hearty helping of PAIN!
So, I spent a great deal of time fiddling with my rune page over probably hundreds of games as Malphite to get to what I suggested.
Marks: Magic Pen. Frankly, I don't see any reason not to use MP or AP marks on all builds, and this is no exception.
Seals: 6 Seals of Replenishment and 3 Seals of Resilience. Malphite has great starting health, and an excellent slow that steals movement speed. As such, I like to harass a lot while laning, and that's just not possible without mana regen. The armor seals are used to help buff the damage of ground slam for farming.
Glyphs: Greater Glyphs of Warding. Since you'll want to build health and armor to tank and increase Ground Slam's damage, having some early MR is a must.
Quints: 2 of Resilience and 1 of Swiftness. Again, bulking up on armor will increase your damage, and let you safely zone and harass their AD carry. The movement speed was decided after my frustration at being so slow. It's hard to harass, or cover a running teammate, when you barely move over 310. This lets you start at 324, faster than a lot of carries even, and allows you to hold off on boots if needed for awhile.
I have a particularly strange mastery page set up. 1-8-21, but it's for good reason.
Offense: I always take Exhaust. Combining Exhaust with Seismic Shard ensures that they won't be running away, and will speed me up as well. The mastery only buffs what the spell does alone.
Defense: I feel like most builds encourage 21 here, but I found it redundant if you build as a tank...the way you should. I grab only the armor and MR boosts, and some HR, again for the early game harass.
Utility: This is where the fun begins. You get some movement speed, health and mana regen, and cooldowns. All EXCELLENT for early harass, and a fine platform to build off of with your items.
Doran's Shield: This is usually my item of choice. You can't beat the health regen, armor, and health combined into 1 item. Sure it doesn't build into anything, and you'll sell it later, but it keeps you in lane for as long as needed.
Null Mantle: If there's a lot of magic damage on the opposing team, especially if I'm soloing 1v2, I'll pick this up with some health potions, and use it for Merc Treads or GA.
Regrowth Pendant: I will almost always take this for ranked games where I'll be support-tank bottom lane with the carry. Then build it into philosopher's stone to make up for the farm I miss out on, otherwise I avoid this item as even modest farm is enough to get your core items.
Mid Game and beyond:
Boots: I usually pick up Mercury's Treads for the early magic resist, but don't be afraid to grab boots of swiftness because you are pretty slow, and you're obviously not going to have zeal like an ad carry to boost your speed.
Sunfire Cape: This, in my opinion, is your most important item. You get a lot of health, good armor, and best of all the passive. Ground slamming in a minion wave with sunfire lets you finally get the farm you missed out on early game. And, initiating teamfights with your ult, and having sunfire just provides extra damage.
Guardian Angel: A fantastic item for the initiating tank you are. Armor, MR, and of course, revival upon death. So many times the enemy team forgot about my GA in a fight, and by the time I "respawned" the sunfire, ground slam, and seismic shard finished the fight.
**It's important to be flexible building Malphite, as your tanking depends a lot on enemy team composition. Lots of AD, keep building armor items like Thornmail, Frozen Heart, or Randuin's Omen.
For Magic damage teams I prefer Force of Nature for the movement speed, but Banshee's Veil isn't bad either. Aegis of the Legion is a superb tank item to help your team, and should come before GA for a magic heavy enemy team.
As you saw up at the top, I didn't finish out the sequence. Again, that's because it varies and because it doesn't matter so much with Malphite as other champs. I personally prefer leveling up Seismic Shard and Ground Slam evenly and saving Brutal Strikes. Brutal Strikes is a nice spell, but Malph's damage is pretty low anyhow, so I prefer stealing movement speed, and the slam that scales with my armor. I'll usually use Brutal strikes while running from an AD melee champ, and before initiating with my ult and ground slam.
Exhaust: As I said earlier, this combined with Seismic Shard slows any champ from running away. Combined the mastery it's duration is increased, and the enemy's MR and armor are reduced.
Ignite: As someone is running from me, and I've thrown my Q and exhaust, but know I won't catch them to finish it up. Boom, ignite it and forget it. It also works well on champs with lifesteal, to make sure they keep losing health in the teamfight.
Teleport: If you're going to be solo laning, it's not bad to be able to TP back giving your poor movement speed early on.
Flash: There's a lot to be said for the Flash+Ult combo, I don't care for it too much, and if you're trying to run away from a fight as Malphite, you're not doing your job well.
Fortify: Why not? It protects your tower for a bit, I still don't feel to great about it.
Tips for Success
Malphite's Seismic Shard is a unique spell to LoL. Not only do you slow the opponent, but you always steal some of that speed. It also deals fairly decent damage from the get-go, which is why I've built Malphite for early game harass. Use your Q to let your carry take some pot shots at the enemy, your ground slam to farm and lower their attack speed, and brutal strikes for a temporary buff. The movement speed gains from the mastery and quint make it possible to zone a lane well too. If you need to run, use your Q and get out.
At level 6 the game changes completely for you. I love to ult as the enemies have pushed to our tower with minions, followed by ground slam, exhaust and Q. If you and your carry can't kill something there, they definitely are leaving the lane hurt.
Save your ult for the SMART time. It's usually not worth it to ult one person, even if you know you'll get the kill and get out...you're not supposed to be the carry. You want it up for teamfights. Get in, knock them up, and soak up the damage as your carries clean up.
Item buying is what makes you a true force. I'll always get Sunfire for the health, but otherwise my build varies. Heavy Magic Damage requires you pick up MR, a team weak to Magic, requires you get Aegis. Heavy AD, keep building armor. I avoid AP unless I really have money laying around, and we're winning easily, because the damage output of Malphite isn't sustainable as the game progresses.
I suggest you farm when you can in lane, but save your spells for harass mostly. Just last hit with basic attacks, or use a ground slam if you can get at least 3 creeps or so.
Once you have Sunfire, you can farm doing nothing, ground slam and let 'em burn. Most games, say 45 minutes, I'll farm about 75 creeps, and my build is complete enough. Get 100, plus your kills and assists of course, and you'll have a full build.
Without teamwork, I'm afraid your team will lose. If you're getting all the kills early, your carries have no chance, and your team WILL lose as the enemies murder them with ease. Your team will rely on your ult for initiating, and you may not come back alive, which requires a selfless, team player mentality. Playing tank is about soaking damage for the good of the team, with the right items you shouldn't die, but don't expect the kills.
Ranked is a different ball game. I usually end up soloing top, so the play style tips change slightly. Don't harass as much, you can't really get the kill, so focus on farming and wait for your jungle to gank (hopefully). Malphite can stay in lane forever, so take advantage of that, and just try to keep their farm down and your tower strong.