Malphite Build Guide by Valronic
Not Updated For Current Season
Mixed Fighter Malphite
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide is for players that are already familiar with Malphites more traditional builds.
Malphite is an amazing champion but his true potential often goes overlooked. Riot made no mistake when they said his secondary role was fighter. What his preview wont tell you is that he can hit hard physically and magically, and that his scaling means that he can utilize a very flexible playstyle that offers you and your team more options.
Do not break meta to be cool. Break meta to break the game.
As a mixed fighter Malphite, you retain all the burdens of your traditional tank role. You must effectively start teamfights and last long enough to either see them through or consume all of the enemy teams best spells for the sake of your carries. You are the engine of the train. You are not the precious cargo.
This build works to eek out as much damage as possible while still operating as your teams critical first action in a fight. To that end you will also be charged with killing the biggest threat the opposing team has to offer. Target whoever is pumping the most damage. Malphites kit is perfect for stopping AD champs (Yi, Jax, Cait, Tryn and so on) so go for them first.
With a bit of damage you are perfectly capable of cleaning up wounded foes. Shame on you if you show up late to a fight. Shame on the enemy if they stick around at low health.
PROS and CONS (specifically compared to pure tank malphite)
- Much more damage in teamfights so that when your skills are cooling off, you still count.
- Aggressive laneing without minion push means you can easily set up your jungler.
- After Sheen you can make quick work of turrets. Not as fast as Xin Zao but still fast.
- Trinity force makes you faster. It and your movement quints can easily mean the difference between a kill and an escape...for either team.
- Much Stronger one on one throughout the game. This should not be your focus but even the most team oriented player gets into a duel from time to time. As unsafe as duels are...a kill is 300 or more gold. When you and your foe meet on equal terms, it's nice to win. Nicer than taking a large amount of retreat damage and then being forced back to base.
- The mecha skin. It has heat knuckles...yea thats the entire reason I tried this. I wanted that giant fist to mean something.
- You are not a pure tank. If you do soak all the damage the enemy team has to offer then you may not get to do much besides fire off your skills and die. In this case the pure tank malphite has a greater impact on a fight simply by virtue of longevity.
- You will not last as long under turret fire. This makes engagements under an enemy turret much more dangerous for your entire team. Destroy the turret first with your superior damage if its low, burst a squishy target and leave, or better yet try not to engage under opposing turrets.
- Tends to be mana thirsty when played aggressively.
Now for the fun part. I am going to walk you through how to make this guy work as a strong fighter like Jax or Darius.
Select your lane. Top, mid, and bot are all viable but take extra care when going mid that your team has AP and needs a tank. If you are bot, then you are support. A few common midlaners can zone you out hard. Melee mids like Fizz Talon or Katarina are easier to handle.
Sapphire crystal and two potions or biscuits are your starting items. This is so you can build an early Sheen and keep firing off seismic shards.
This setup is made to spam seismic shard constantly. This is to soften up your opponent, so that when you hit level 6 and get unstoppable force you can either go for a kill or use the threat of a kill to zone your opponent. To this end I often take clarity instead of flash. Since sapphire crystal is my first item it automatically gives me scaling with clarity and the added blue bar can mean more shards or the availability of your ult. With proper mana management, you can have a much higher damage per minute (not per second, per minute) in the laneing phase.
This strategy works because seismic shard doesn't affect minions. You can spam away and still avoid pushing lane while your opponent may have little choice but to push lane in order to hit back. Don't deal any damage to minions unless you are last hitting them. Its essential that they be a distance from their tower in order to secure a kill. Preferably out of flash range.
Its ok if you miss farm because you cant get them safely. Its much more important for you to whittle down your target and make them push the lane. If you do this then you or your jungler can land an easy kill.
Kills are worth 300 gold and creeps are worth about 20. If you are within 20 cs and you have a kill and they don't then you are doing just fine. Ideally you want all of it and kills but sometimes you just can't make that happen.
You should be rushing starting with sheen then into phage and finish it before anything else. The various bonuses it gives you are most noticeable in the early game and it still allows you to build against the enemy team.
Towers will fall. If you do well and you take your foes tower its usually not safe to try to push the next one. Doing so without first warding the enemy jungle leaves you in a bad position. Warding that area is risky without teammates so you may want to simply wander from lane to lane helping your pals get kills and push their own towers.
Your team will benefit from the help as the outcome of their lane was likely already decided. If they are winning you take the tower. If not you tip the odds. If one of your teammates is behind do the right thing and support them for a bit. Don't take their farm if they need it more.
While doing this keep an eye on your own lane. Your foe may just put himself out trying to take your tower. That's when you and your team kill them. Its called getting caught out and all it means is they got spotted away from their team and turrets while they couldn't see you. Don't make that mistake.
If you lose your lane then farm until you get a little too far from the safety of your turret and either take jungle creeps (with the junglers permission) or roam and help other lanes just as if you had won. Don't get caught out and make your foes even stronger.
TEAMFIGHT TIME (lategame)
When exactly this happens varies from game to game and sometimes its kinda hard to tell when the right time is to cluster up and stop farming. Usually though when either team groups for a single goal like a turret then late game has happened and your priority goes from farming up to covering your team.
(early jungle invades and dragon are kinda the exceptions...kinda)
In teamfights its usually a full commitment or not a fight at all. If you go in and your team isn't behind you all you have done is feed. Make sure everyone is there. Make sure everyone is ready. Don't go back to spend 1000 gold when you know a 5v5 is about to happen.
Go in with your ult and start punching up the important members of the enemy team. Make sure you cycle your skill so that you can use the passive on trinity force as much as possible.
Here is the hard part. You must calculate when to engage. That means understanding where you are on the map and calculating the position and status of each enemy team member. Do they have ult? Are they clustered for my ult? Will my team come out on top if I die?
Most importantly...I really can't stress this enough...if you win a teamfight take an objective. That is the entire point of winning a teamfight. If you win but don't take a tower or dragon or baron or something, then all you have done is gotten a bit more feed for the next fight.
As fighter malphite you can easily topple turrets. Even without minions you and a strong AD teammate can push one down easily as long as the enemy team isn't there to stop you.
Also if a member of your team has done poorly in lane be supportive. I know its frustrating to look at someone who is 0-8 and say they are bad, but realistically, if they went 0-3 at the start their situation can only get worse from there. I cant tell you how many akali players and katarinas and yasuos and other squishy melee mids I have demolished, and proceeded to kill them under their tower again and again.
Alot on your team has to go wrong in order for that to happen and yea its the teams fault. But if it does happen do what you can to help them recover and contribute.
Lastly build against the enemy team.
Your build should be trying to counter whoever has the most feed. If its a Ryze build magic resist. If its a Yi build armor. I can safely recommend Infinity edge as a fourth item but only after you finish some tanky boots and your first major tank item.
Remember the team needs you to tank. So if its a choice between I.E. and being able to do that job, then you need to be a tank for your team. You can always get it later.
Using trinity force and infinity edge on an otherwise tanky build is an excellent way to ensure Malphate has late game damage while still doing his main job. While pricey, those items offer the best damage for the item slot on Mal.
This was my first guide and I hope it helped you see one of my favorite champs the way I do. As a tanky beater that laughs at the 24-0 master Yi.
Any and all feedback is appreciated. That includes criticism but please be civil.
Summoner tag Valronic.