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Morgana Build Guide by jhoijhoi

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League of Legends Build Guide Author jhoijhoi

Malevolent Morgana

jhoijhoi Last updated on June 19, 2014
Guide Top

Introduction


















Hey guys, I'm jhoijhoi (Gold V), and this guide was written in collaboration with Warlemming (Gold V) and Patchness (Silver III); the text is colour-coded so you can see three opinions throughout the guide. We just wanted to share an effective way of building and playing the safest female AP carry on the Fields of Justice, Morgana.

Morgana is a classic mage type champion. Her abilities scale well with Ability Power, she has two forms of hard CC, she can push a creep wave with Tormented Soil and she can sustain herself in lane due to Soul Siphon. In addition to these attributes, she has a spell shield she can cast on allies and herself; Black Shield can protect key members of the team during a teamfight, making Morgana an invaluable ally.


This guide will cover gameplay, item choices, mastery allocations, runic affinities and more for Mid Lane, Summoner's Rift, APC Morgana. Welcome to Malevolent Morgana!

- 19/06/2014
- More content coming soon!


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Pros / Cons



As all champions, Morgana has her flaws/weaknesses and her strengths. If your team is in need of an AP (Ability Power) champion to go Solo Top, Solo Mid, or as a "Support" Bottom Lane, Morgana is a fantastic choice due to her skill-set. Pick her to counter a heavy melee team.

+ Great Crowd Control
+ "Ungankable"
+ In-built Sustain
- Unreliable Damage
- Low Mobility
- Unreliable CC

Morgana has particularly strong disabling power against an individual or an entire team. Her standard combo, Dark Binding, Tormented Soil and Soul Shackles can root someone for an incredible 4.5 seconds, if used correctly. She has an excellent laning phase, able to push to the enemy tower due to being impossible to gank once you have Black Shield (provided you know what you're doing), especially with the addition of Flash to escape if necessary. This CC immunity can be allied cast, meaning that if cast on an initiating champion, they won't be halted by the first wave of CC from the enemy team. Whilst Morgana is not tanky, she is still very resilient, especially due to her natural spell vamp via Soul Siphon. Morgana's main failing is her low mobility; for Morgana this means two things. One, she can't successfully gank lanes as often as other mids and two, she can't reposition herself after casting her ult - she's right smack bang in the middle of a fight. When compared to other AP carries, who have gap closers or reliable slows in their arsenal, Morgana is sometimes found lacking. Her two CC's are hard to get off if incompetent, or unlucky. Dark Binding is a skillshot, so you will need to land it for the snare, and Soul Shackles is proximity and time based, so it can be Flashed away before it activates. Lastly, due to the fact that most of her abilities can be dodged or avoided, she has inconsistent damage output.


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Abilities


Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18



Why ever max Black Shield before Dark Binding? Specifically if you're facing a heavy-hitting Caster mid. Having a high level of shield allows you to outright ignore any harass they can throw at you, and you can farm in peace. In addition to this, levelling up BS makes it very hard for the jungler to gank your lane.

Maxing your second ability is obviously situational. There will be games that an enemy AD will go mid, especially based on your ELO/Level. If that is the case, maxing Dark Binding before Black Shield is not only acceptable, but better in general.


S Soul Siphon (Passive): Passive allows her to stay in lane forever, even when being harassed. Pretty much all you can say about this passive, is that it is epic awesome, and champions like Swain or Veigar with this passive would be completely over-powered. S


S Dark Binding (Q): With enough AP, Dark Binding can deal a fair amount of damage as well as snaring the opponent. The projectile moves fairly slowly, though, so try to *predict* where your target is going to move. This is a VERY good snare, 2 seconds at first level and 3 seconds at final, making it one of the longest CC's in the game. S


  • Use Dark Binding to check for enemies in the brush. The projectile stops moving and makes a distinctive sound when it hits something.
  • As with all skill shots, one has to get used to the range, speed and damage of this ability. I suggest practising in a Custom Game with this skill until you are familiar with all it's attributes.
  • A good opponent will see this ability coming from a mile away and avoid it. Try to use it in conjunction with other CCs, whether that be the slow from Soul Shackles for an easy shot, or a ganking jungler such as Warwick using Infinite Duress to give you a free shot.


S Tormented Soil (W): This is Morgana's free afk farm skill. Level 1 and 2 can half kill ranged creeps, and Level 3 onwards will kill creeps in one use. This ability damages based on the enemy's missing health. S


  • Low health champions can even be killed outright by this ability.
  • You will be using this skill for farming most of the early game, but don't forget that it causes 1 tick of damage immediately on cast. Use it in a way that you can kill creeps and cause your opponent some damage at the same time. Every bit counts.
  • You can use this move to do some light harass early on by placing it on the ranged creeps and on the enemy hero at the same time, but by level three or four of this skill you should be trying to get as many creeps as possible.


S Black Shield (E): Black Shield is a vital ability to learn as it stops all forms of crowd control and shields them from all forms of magic damage, including spells, items, and pets. Similar to Sivir's Spell Shield or Nocturne's Shroud of Darkness, learning how to use this spell will make you OP.
S


  • Casting Black Shield on champions with channelled spells (e.g. Katarina and Fiddlesticks) will help keep their abilities from being interrupted.
  • Remember that the CC immunity is tied to the shield. If your opponent does too much spell damage and breaks the shield, you will lose your CC immunity.
  • Also, remember that it is ONLY a spell shield. All physical attacks will damage your health. This is not all bad, as it means that you will not lose the CC immunity for the duration, so effects like Frost Shot will hurt like normal, without slowing you.
  • It's important to remember that it does not block debuffs, just CC. Specifically, things like Sigil of Silence and Mark of the Assassin will be placed on Morgana even if her shield is up. However, if these get activated, Sigil of Silence will not silence Morgana if the shield is up on activation, and in both cases, the magic damage will be absorbed.


S Soul Shackles (R): This is a mind-boggling ultimate. While it does far more damage than the traditional immediate stuns/snares/taunts, such as Amumu's or Galio's, Soul Shackles requires you to be in the middle of the fight as the AP carry. This leaves you vulnerable to attack. S


  • Flash and this will take you right into the center of your enemy team for a long stun. Zhonya's Hourglass can contribute to this greatly. I'd be careful of using Zhonya's straight after using your ult though - competent enemies will run, leaving you standing by yourself, glowing gold. ForeverAlone.jpg
  • Soul Shackles can be used to detect stealthed units and opponents in the bushes, similar to Soraka's Starcall, both abilities become available for use if an enemy is nearby.
  • This move combos excellently with Dark Binding, which will pin them to the spot for potentially all of the duration to wait for the stun. 5 seconds of CC for your opponent.


C-c-c-c-c-c-ombo Breaker
  • Morgana's standard combo is to initiate with her Soul Shackles, crippling your opponents move speed and allowing you to easily land Dark Binding. Once this happens, immediately use Tormented Soil and Ignite if you have it. Your Ult will then activate, maximising your damage output.
  • Also, make sure to put Black Shield on yourself during this. Your opponents will not be able to stop you directly, and will have to Flash to escape (if they can before they are binded). If this happens, don't worry, you used a 100 second cooldown move to make them waste their 250 second cooldown flash. Go kill them as soon as your ult is ready again.


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Summoner Spells






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Flash: Flash is extremely useful for closing the gap on enemies if they're running away, or for jumping over walls to escape from salivating enemies vying for your blood. Flash is a must have on all squishy champions with no escape mechanism. Flash is a fail safe, as well as being a strong offensive tool. Flash is a fantastic summoner spell for almost any champion, and Morgana is no exception. Being able to combo ++ (Flash/Ult/Hourglass or Flash/Ult/Black Shield) is a great initiator for a team fight. It is great for escaping enemy heroes. There are few things more satisfying than ninja dodging Ashe's Ultimate with Flash.
Space



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Ignite: Ignite helps pack that extra little punch at any point in the game. It can make the difference between a Health Potion saving a life and no one getting away safely. At level 6, going all in with ult, Q, W and Ignite, can easily kill your opponent.
Space



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Teleport: Gives you awesome map control, and being able to teleport to wards, shrooms or Heim's turrets is invaluable when you want to gank. It is also useful for stopping a creep wave pushed to an allied tower. This ability allows you to return to base whenever you need to buy items and instantly rejoin the fight. This can also allow you to make quick escapes when you don't have time to Recall (as Teleport can only be interrupted by death or a displacement/stun). As long as you can avoid being stunned for 4 seconds, that potential gank can be faltered.
Space


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Exhaust: If you are going Support, Exhaust is a great addition to your arsenal, giving you the ability to shut down a particular person every fight or so, in order to give your allies the upper-hand. Exhaust can also prevent early gank kills if used on the jungler or ADC.
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Masteries



Masteries
1/1
4/4
3/3
1/1
3/3
3/3
1/1
3/3
1/1
1/1
3/3
3/3
1/1
1/1
1/1
Malevolent Morgana
// As Morgana is a champion who relies heavily on killing enemies with one spell rotation, it is necessary to grab all the magic damage amplifiers in the Offense Tree. There are several key masteries that Morgana should try and grab in her mastery page. She needs magic penetration ( Devastating Strikes , increased damage ( Executioner , Havoc , Archmage , Arcane Mastery), and Culinary Master for instant pot effects.


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Runes




Q
u
i
n
t
s

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: These are the most popular caster Quints, providing a solid 15AP extra for your early game, worth 20AP once you have your Rabadon's Deathcap.

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: Always a bonus to have that extra movement, especially on Morgana who has naturally low mobility.



M
a
r
k
s

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: These are the only Marks worth using, starting you with 8.5 Magic Penetration. Most heroes have 30MR throughout the game without items, so with your Sorcerer's Shoes and the MR Reduction from Masteries, you'll be hitting for true damage early game.



S
e
a
l
s

Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power: These are my personal preference for Seals, since I find there isn't a lot of good alternatives for other Seals for Morgana. By Level 18, they provide another 16AP.

Greater Seal of Armor: Armour is always good, a beefy Morgana surprises enemies, and often they'll attack you without realising you have high armour. These runes are especially necessary when up against an AD champion mid lane. If up against another AP Caster, armour runes aren't terribly good early game. However, Morgana has to put herself in harms way late game, to use her Soul Shackles. This is where that extra armour really shines.



G
l
y
p
h
s

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power: Once again, my preferred choice for runes is AP/Level. By the end game, they provide an extra 24AP, which is a nice bonus to your damage at all points in the game

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: Magic Resist is perfect against early game magic damage harasser champions like Rumble or Annie.These runes are particularly good against early game Harass, but an alternative is to run Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist. These provide MR/Level, so they aren't as good early game, but are much better for end game MR.


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Itemisation


Broken Down Choices

ARMOUR

M. RESIST

HEALTH

DAMAGE



SUSTAIN START
Starting Crystalline Flask + Health Potion was a common approach by many APCs in Season Three. The Flask allows you to sustain your mana and health in lane. Using the ward from Warding Totem can prevent ganks through the river. Just remember that you can't have a Flask charge running at the same time as a pot. So if you're really down on health, but fine for mana, chug a Health Potion first. This is the safest start.

BALLSY START
Starting with this item is surprisingly effective; it gives you a stable boost in health and a little health regen per spell via Morgana's spell vamp. Be wary starting this, however, as starting with less active health regen (pots/flask) can leave you vulnerable to harass, especially if you can't get near the creeps to utilise your spell vamp. Would not recommend starting with a Doran's Ring if you're against an AD mid.


MANA REGEN + MAGIC RESIST
I find this item a really useful choice for players trying to adjust for Morgana's mana issues. The restoration of mana and health via Morgana's spell vamp is just great - grabbing Chalice allows you to push the lane heavily. It also gives you a small amount of magic resist, which can help you against a heavy AP lane.

SITUATIONAL SUSTAIN
Grab Doran's Ring x2 if you are not planning on building Athene's Unholy Grail. It can be argued that Morgana doesn't need the mana regen or MR given by Chalice, which can be true in some cases. The main reason to grab double Doran's over Chalice is in order to rush Zhonya's Hourglass faster.


MAGIC PENETRATION
This is the cheapest magic penetration item in the game. The main reason to run Sorcerer's Shoes is for burst damage. You're a caster, and when going in for the kill, you want your opponents to be dead in a single spell rotation. If they don't die, they will run away before you get a second chance.

TENACITY
There are games when you are being caught out by CC, or if you're getting destroyed by ability power damage; this isn't uncommon, but it can be slightly mitigated. Grab these boots instead of Sorcerer's Shoes for the Tenacity and magic resist. These boots are particularly good for initiations; as Morgana, you are going to be getting in the middle of the fight to land your ult - these boots will allow you to tank some magic damage and lessen the effects of CC aimed at you.


ARMOUR + INVULNERABILITY ACTIVE
This is easily the most common item to buy when building for Morgana. One of the core items to your build thanks to firstly the massive AP it provides, secondly to the armour boost it gives and thirdly the fact you can go invulnerable for two seconds while Soul Shackles is active. Do not forget the active component! It allows you to potentially block dangerous Ultimates such as Requiem, Ace in the Hole and Hemoplague.


MASSIVE ABILITY POWER INCREASE
The biggest gain in AP in your retinue. Two notes, never buy this item first, as it benefits more by having another AP item first and it is okay to delay this item if you need some sort of survivability. Called the Infinity Edge of Casters, grabbing this item moderately early in the game allows you to deal incredible damage. Even if a relatively early Deathcap (say, after Zhonya's) isn't possible, you absolutely must get this item.

MR, MANA REGEN & CDR
This is an overall great item on Morgana. It allows for long term sustain on your lane thanks to the mana regen that allows you to spam Tormented Soil and proc your spell vamp. Theoretically, it can give you everything you need, mana regen, survivability via MR, cooldown reduction and damage for your spells. Be aware that you don't have to follow the build exactly. Chalice of Harmony > Athene's Unholy Grail is a great choice for Morgana, but if you find you're demolishing your enemies with little risk, consider buying your spell penetration first to deal more damage (Void, Abyssal, Liandry's).

MANA REGEN, CDR & BURN
A lot of changes have happened to make this a very viable pick. It's substantially cheaper than Athene's and gives you the stats you really want, as well as a pretty good passive that reduces healing on low health targets. Against high sustain opponents or those with a lot of lifesteal like Aatrox, the Grievous Wounds effect counters their healing. It also stacks well with Tormented Soil.


MAGIC PEN + %HEALTH DAMAGE
The problem with listing Liandry's under "Magic Pen" is that it is so much more than that; the same argument could be made for the other items under this banner. Magic Pen = Damage, but the sake of convenience, I've separated Magic Pen and Damage. This item synergises well with Tormented Soil, giving Morgana a whole lot of %health shred and has the advantage of reliably doing full damage thanks to Morgana's CC.

PERSONAL PERCENTAGE MAGIC PENETRATION
An age-old debate that has sparked arguments since Season One... The tl;dr version is: If the enemy team has a lot of magic resist and you want more damage, buy Void Staff. If they don't have a lot of magic resist, grab Abyssal Scepter. Simple.

TEAM ORIENTATED MAGIC PENETRATION
This item is particularly good if the enemy team has two AP-based champions, as it'll mean you take less damage when trying to land your ult. The 20% magic pierce, on top of the magic pierce mastery ( Devastating Strikes ) AND Sorc Shoes, means that a large amount of your damage is restored, allowing you to continue destroying your opponents. But there are games where every one of your enemies decides to build tonnes of MR, so purchase Void Staff instead.


GROWING HEALTH & MANA
Before the rework to Zhonya's, RoA used to be a core item on Morgana. Now it sort of just doesn't fit anywhere in her kit, due to the fact that it requires 10 minutes to charge up, and the game is nearly over by the time to buy Deathcap. You will rarely buy this item, as it delays the purchase of Zhoyna's.

ATTACK SPEED DEBUFF
As Morgana generally has to be in the center of the fight to produce the best results with Soul Shackles, it is wise to buy some sort of protection. The fact that you are in the middle of the fight means you are the perfect carrier of aura items like Frozen Heart. Frozen also gives you some great CDR to spam your kit.

PASSIVE SPELL SHIELD
Banshee's is an optimal survivability item; it gives a great boost to health and magic resist, in addition to granting the user a spell shield. It's a good choice against a burst heavy enemy team. Contributes more to your survivability and gives you more chance to get your ult off. This item is a Carry's best friend, protecting you from 1 potential CC. It is an all round great item for just about any hero.


MOVEMENT SPEED BOOST TO ALLIES
You can hold off buying this enchantment until end game if you feel the need to conserve cash. As you will be initiating fights constantly as Morgana, these boots will help your allies catch up to fight with you.

INSTANT HEALTH + MANA ON SPAWN PLATFORM
This enchantment is best bought if/when your base is being sieged by the enemy team. It allows you to recall and instantly regain your health and mana, in addition to give you a huge movement speed boost to help you get back into the fight.


BALANCED MORGANA



AGAINST HEAVY AD



AGAINST HEAVY AP



SUPPORT MORGANA



Confused?

As you can see from the diversity of items in the above builds, there are many different ways of building Morgana. We try our best to describe possible build paths, but if you find our build section lacking, please feel free to browse other Morgana guides for their explanations.


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Gameplay



Morgana is a strong solo hero, able to lane against most solo heroes with ease; she is countered by hard AD champions mid lane who ignore her spell shield, such as Zed and Talon. As a support she is able to harass both opponents and farm at the same time, as long as you have a good duo laning ally; if you're curious about Morgana support, I'd suggest reading a different guide, as this is primarily about AP mid Morgana.

Buy your starting items, grab your Warding Totem and walk to mid lane. After you've helped your jungler grab Red or Blue buff, ward the brush on either side of the lane. Be careful in the early game, prior to skilling a point in Black Shield. Farm with Tormented Soil. When people try to gank, Black Shield, throw out a cautionary Dark Binding and walk away. Don't be reckless. I mean, its the early game. If you use only one Tormented Soil a creep wave you should be able to fend them off with just a Doran's Ring. Make sure you know your safety zones.


Not every game will be ideal. Far from it, if anything. While there will be games where your opponent lets you free farm till you are insanely powerful, in other games, your opponents will recognize the danger of a freefarming Morgana and will shut you down. In this case, ensure you build appropriately against the enemy. This can mean rushing Seeker's Armguard if against strong AD, or rushing Chalice of Harmony against strong AP.

Jungle Morgana?: Farming Wraiths



Morgana can be known as the "afk-farm mid, push all day" champion. This is due to her impressive minion wave clearing ability, Tormented Soil. If you don't know this, this is a tip that will change the amount of CS you are used to getting. Once you've cleared a wave, and the enemy mid is taking care of the minions at his tower, go and take their Wraiths. Now, this can be dangerous if you don't have a ward in their jungle to tell you if someone is coming. If you are not confident stealing their Wraiths, GET YOURS. It's not "the jungler's Wraiths" - anyone can take the jungler's jungle after his first clear! Practice tanking the Wraiths in a custom game before you try it in a normal game.

Early game, you should be aiming to either harass your opponent off the lane (if possible, and it isn't always), and farming up your Sorcerer's Shoes. Try to stay on your lane until level 6, at which point, either:

>>> Go for the kill. Your level 6 strength is REALLY high, and with good use of your Soul Shackles as an initiate, and chasing them with your abilities, you will either force a Flash or successfully kill them, and can kill off the remaining creeps.
>>> Or, wait for a new wave of creeps to arrive, and drop Tormented Soil on them, wiping out all enemies creeps for the next 30 seconds and pushing your minions to the enemy tower. With your minions so far pushed, you don't want to hang around in case of ganks.

Either way, recall straight afterwards. With the allied minion wave so pushed, you will be able to shop without the enemy wave pushing to your tower, if you buy quick and start walking back up.

Gaining an Advantage: Blue Buff



As Morgana, you will want to be taking Blue Buff from your jungler (with his permission, and assistance) once he has hit level 6/no longer needs Blue Buff to help reduce his cooldowns for damage in the jungle. Blue Buff will make your laning extremely powerful, especially if the enemy jungler does not give Blue Buff to the enemy AP mid carry. If you are playing the "support role" bottom lane, Blue Buff is better on whoever is mid/the jungler early game.


Team Objectives: Dragon



You will want to be taking dragon as soon as your jungler has reached level 6 and bot lane has pushed their minion wave to the enemy tower. Push your own wave to the enemy tower with Tormented Soil and go help your team with Dragon. If your Warding Totem is off cooldown, place a ward to warn of any incomming Dragon steals.

By now, you should have your boots of choice, and a solid AP item to go with it ( Zhonya's Hourglass). At this point, you should start using some of your really high early game strength towards helping your other lanes (probably top lane). Remember, you have low mobility (unless you took Teleport), so you have to set up the gank with pings and comments. When aiming to gank, first push your wave to the enemy tower and survey the situation; if top lane is pushed towards allied tower, that's a great chance for you to attempt a gank. If bot lane is pushed towards enemy tower, that's a great chance for you to walk through their jungle and gank from behind the tower.

Your Ultimate will allow you to initiate on your opponents every time, and due to the high slow it causes, either force a Flash or get more kills. Remember, a sucessful gank does not necessarily mean a kill. Just burning enemy summoner spells or ultimates means your allies have a better chance to finish the enemies off. Don't forget to watch your towers, making sure that they aren't being pushed while everyone is away.

At this time of the game teamfights and ganks lurk around every corner. You want to be to reason they happen. If you see your enemies grouped up near your team, drop Tormented Soil on all their heads, and make a move. Don't be afraid to get in the fight, but ensure you use Black Shield on yourself, or an ally who will use it most. For example, an initiating tank or a threatened ADC.

Morgana needs to get close to her enemies with her Soul Shackles and to have greater success at landing Dark Binding; Bbecause of this, it is useful to build her with some defensive items such as Zhonya's. Don't forget to activate Zhonya's after you have ulted!

Team Objectives: Baron



Baron is the game-changing buff on Summoner's Rift. It is also commonly the bane of the game, trapping many players into over-committing to securing the buff, despite the circumstances surrounding the attempt. A few rules/things to think about when considering taking Baron:

0) First and foremost, do you have Smite? If your jungler does not have Smite up, DO NOT ATTEMPT BARON.
1) Do you have vision around the Baron pit/of the enemy team? If no, don't attempt it. You need to clear Baron pit of wards too, to prevent possible Smite steals by the enemy jungler.
2) How many enemy players are still alive? This depends on #1; if you can see all the enemies in their base, and you have ample time to take baron, it can be worth it to rush baron despite having the entire enemy team alive. Alternatively, if all enemy players are alive and you can't see where they are, do NOT attempt baron.
3) Are you and your allies on good health? If you are low, Baron is a trap. Baron has heaps of damage, and can lower the health of the tanking champion. When they tap out and someone else steps in, that person can also be rendered low. If it takes too long to kill baron, everyone could get low, and ONE SINGLE ENEMY could waltz in and kill you all, AND get baron.

If you are successful in taking Baron, put the buff to use. Group up and take down towers and inhibs if possible. But don't get cocky with a Baron buff. Baron buff is useless if you are dead.


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Summary











Our guide is reasonably long, so we'll end on a few short words. Morgana was a top ban at high elo in Season One and Two for a reason. She punishes grouped-up enemies, and her snare is 3 seconds long, tied for the longest in the game. She is hard to master, as you need to have some sort of skill with... skill shots :P

______I hope this guide helped you with your endeavours to maliciously murder with Malevolent Morgana... May Malevolent Morgana meander merrily onward, valiantly vexatiously vanquishing villainy!

______Sincerely, jhoijhoi, Patchness, and Warlemming.

______PS: If you were wondering, LaCorpse made all the banners/signatures/lines in this guide. Please shower her with love and praise by visiting her shop.


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