Malphite Build Guide by Tattered_Circle
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.
Hi, my name is Tattered_Circle (TatteredCircle at EUNE), and I have been playing League of Legends for a year now. Malphite was one of the first champs I started playing after getting bored with squishy champs like Ashe and Lux.
As you can probably guess this is not your typical RocksolidFulltankJungle/TopMalphite guide, but something a bit different.
If you think this guide is terrible, please tell me why so I can improve it.
Usually when you see Malphite, he has often built Sunfire Cape and Warmog's Armor, possibly Randuin's Omen aswell, along with other tank items. It works well, I guess, you are not going to die anytime soon and you still have your cc, but where is the fun in that?
Pros / Cons of AP Malphite
Pros:+Often surprises enemies with his dmg output
+Very good initiation
+Good cc (especially against AD)
+ Granite Shield allows you to win trades easier
+ Seismic Shard allows you to escape (and initiate) ganks
+ Unstoppable Force is an gap-closer with high damage and good cc
Cons:-Not as sustaining as fulltank Malphite
-Runs out of mana quickly at start
-Easily countered by spammers like Yorick who can keep Granite Shield on cd
-Teammates might expect you to be more tanky which can lead to awkward situations
Build that you should go for
Sorcerer's Shoes are important since you will want to deal as much damage as possible, of course, if you are having trouble surviving you can go for either Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads but then you will lose some of your damage because you have less magic penetration.
Athene's Unholy Grail is a must, thanks to the mana regen and magic resist.
Another item that you will need is Zhonya's Hourglass which gives you much needed armor and AP, not to forget the amazing passive!
Build Liandry's Torment for AP, HP and magic penetration.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter (again) for HP and AP and some extra cc.
Abyssal Scepter gives you more magic resist and also lowers the magic resist of nearby enemies.
Lich Bane and Morellonomicon. To be honest I wasn't sure if I should add these items to this guide
at all. They are both very offensive choices and buying one of these would mean a loss in survivability. But on the other hand do you need MR if enemy team is full AD?
Then you could go for one of these instead of Abyssal Scepter.
If you don't like the Rylai's Crystal Scepter Abyssal Scepter combo (or either one of those two) you can go for Locket of the Iron Solari and Banshee's Veil. Locket is great item if your team is lacking aura support or just needs more resistances. Bansee's gives you more HP and buffs your HP regen, along with a nice spell shield.
Iceborn Gauntlet is also a valid option thanks to cd reduction and extra cc it gives.
Sunfire Cape helps you survive against physical damage (often useful in top), deals magic damage to nearby enemies and increases your HP, therefore allowing you to take more tankier approach for example by replacing Zhonya's Hourglass with it.
This is my general rune setup for tanks who deal magic damage.
Marks for that little extra magic penetration and flat armor and magic resist for maximum effectiveness at start.
There really is no reason to not go for scaling armor and magic resistance. It's just personal preference.
Two scaling HP Quints for that ~100 HP and percent HP Quint for further increase in max HP.
Feel free to suggest other runes in the comments section.
Ignite for top in this situation is like smite for jungle. You WILL need it don't lie to yourself. Flash helps you with engaging and disengaging through the entire game.
Trust me these two work best for you, of course you can try using Exhaust instead of Ignite but I don't recommend it since it's not as offensive spell as ignite. Flash is important for your survivability, remember you are not as rocksolid as fulltank Malphite.
Tips and Tricks
I don't think that I can stress this enough, you are not fulltank. Still, your job is to go in to the frey with your ult, smash their squishies ( Unstoppable Force has AP-ratios of 100%) and cause as much chaos as possible and somehow try to survive long enough to use your Q and E again. This is where Zhonya's Hourglass (and your flash) comes in handy. If you get focused after your first combo (R>W>E>Q) use your Zhonya's or flash and get back in when your E and Q are off cd.
Brutal Strikes can be used in pushing and buffing your Ground Slam
Your passive shields you well so you can last hit and harass quite safely, just remember to keep an eye out for your mana since it rus out really quickly.
After level 2 you can start to deal neat ammonts of damage to your opponent. You slow him/her down with your Seismic Shard, run in to melee range Ground Slam and if your Granite Shield is still up punch them into face a couple of times. Then retreat behind your minions. At lvl 2 this combo should deal about 100+ magic damage and leave you fairly unharmed.
Max your Ground Slam then Seismic Shard and avoid taking points in Brutal Strikes because it doesn't really help you deal damage and makes last hitting more difficult.
When you get your ult you can start to dive your opponent. Poke your enemy until he/she has about 400 HP, then KABOOM!!! Unstoppable Force> Ground Slam> Seismic Shard(> Ignite) tons of damage in a blink of an eye and your passive blocks the turret shot.
Later, when you have taken points in Brutal Strikes you can use it to push your lane. Brutal Strikes is an powerful tool in clearing minion waves and pushing turrets.
Your ult is an amazing initiation ability, but can also be used in counterinitiation. Wait for your enemies to group up and then try to hit as many enemies as possible with your ult while keeping these in mind:
-Aim for their squishies and high damage champs
-Try to ult slightly behind the enemies, trapping them between you and your teammates. "Caught between a rock and a hard place."
-Activate your W ASAP.
Also remember that your ult is a dash so you can go through walls with it. Suprising the enemy can make a huge difference. Also if you are chasing someone and don't have enough range on you Q you can use it to enemy minions or neutral creeps to gain enough speed to catch up with him/her and use your Q again so your team can close up for a kill.
Thank you for reading my Malphite guide, it is my first guide so if you feel that it is missing something please let me know, constructive criticism is always appreciated.
9/6/2013 Guide published!
11/6/2013 Added runes section.
27/6/2013 Updated items and Tips and Tricks section.
31/7/2013 Removed Runic Bulwark from guide (patch 3.10) and replaced it with Locket of the Iron Solari.
2/8/2013 Actually removed runic bulwark (I just can't do anything right :D).
6/8/2013 Added Sunfire Cape to the guide, after testing it a bit.