Malphite Build Guide by Lichtelwichtel

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Lichtelwichtel

Malphite AD Offtank - Fist 'em down!

Lichtelwichtel Last updated on July 31, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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Welcome to my Offtank Malphite build.

First, let me say that Malphite is an awesome champion with lots of utility:
- Gamebreaking ultimate, if placed right
- Short CD slow
- Making enemy AD carries useless due to his Ground Slam combined with Randuin's Omen

You don't usually see many Malphites in normal games, and to be honest I don't know why. But if you see one, he usually gets a fulltank build. Some can place their ultimates well, but nobody seems to be able to manage the other abilities. You need to learn that if you want to play AD Malphite, and that is why you should be here :)

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You might have noticed the trend to get an offtank in your team, for example Irelia, Jarvan IV or Trundle. Their strength is, that they are far more durable than pure AD carries, and usually have a nice gapcloser in order to shred the enemies AP caster or ranged AD carry. That's pretty much what i want to accomplish with this build.

Let's take a look at three different types of Malphite-builds:

Fulltank Malphite (example: Dotter's 'Coon')

    Can tank pretty much anything, especially turrets
    Does OK damage to squishies with his abilities
    Still has the full utility of his abilities
    After he has used his rotation, his damage output is minimal (Sunfires don't stack anymore :P )
    Will just not be attacked and/or kited, therefore he loses his utility

AP Offtank Malphite (example: The_Nameless_Bard's 'hidden mage')
    Shard and Unstoppable Force hit a bit harder
    Can't tank that much
    Has only two abilities which benefit from the build, of which one is singletarget
Note: This build might be nice against squishies, but for any other occasion, it's just a waste.

AD Offtank Malphite (Yes, this build :P)
    Benefits from all four abilities
    Consistant damage output
    Free Tiamat, due to your Brutal Strikes
    40% increased AD for 6 seconds - that's immense
    Can not tank everything
    Is absolutely not a replacement for a tank. Either you need another Offtank to double-initiate, or take a champion like Amumu or Leona to cover your back ;)

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Of course this guide supposes you to be summoner level 30 and have some runes. If you are not, do not hesitate to buy the cheap tier 1 runes. They still have more than deccent stats and cost barely anything. Just fill up as much of your runepage as possible.

Oh and by the way, I want to recommend to you this guide on runes:

My preferred runes on Malphite:

Yes, magic penetration marks on AD Malphite! I take those for harassing uses - your shard does magic damage. Though, it is absolutely not wrong to take the Greater Mark of Desolation, if you prefer harassing with autoattacks (very efficient, btw - your philosophers should heal you up again).
Evasion seals are nice with the masteries, but Greater Seal of Armor work well, too.
The CDR glyphs should be self-explanatory. CDR is awesome :3

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I take 9/21/0 masteries on nearly any offtank. Havoc is nice, but you really need the reduced damage since you don't build that tanky.
The CDR in the offensive tree is too nice to ignore, and you cant say no to 15% spell penetration :P

I don't recommend to spec into the utility tree. You really need the defensive boni, and you don't heavily benefit from extra EXP or mana.

But please don't always follow my stupid rules. If you need to flash more often - get that Presence of the Master and be happy :)

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Summoner Spells

Take it. Seriously, take it. Flash is borderline OP when combined with skillshots - your Unstoppable Force receives a hilarious range, you can easily escape and chase, towerdiving for dummies and so on. I don't see any reason not to pick it.

As second summoner spell, it's up to you:
- Exhaust makes it easier to kill. Additionally, combined with your Randuin's Omen and your Ground Slam, it completely shuts down any AD carry.
- Ignite. If your team has not picked one yet, get it. It seems to always occur, that if nobody chose Ignite, the enemy team will for sure have an AP Yi, Swain, Fiddlesticks or any other ridicoulus amounts of heal.
- Ghost is nice to catch up, but with your slow the enemies usually won't escape anyway or just flash over walls. Not recommended.
- Clarity. Don't. Please. You are wasting one slot, and you don't have it specced anyway. Learn to use your mana wise and keep that Philosophers a loooong time.
- Fortify is sometimes useful, but I don't want to rely on those situations.
- Cleanse. You won't get that much CC on you, to be honest. And you should be able to survive through Amumus Curse of the Sad Mummy
- Revive has got this endless cooldown >_>
- Teleport has netted me many free kills and set up nice ganks, but with Malphite, you should be near your team anyway.

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Skills and their usage

Here we go, the pure awesomeness of Malphite:

Passive: Granite Shield
The shield grants a Precentage of your health in protection. IMPORTANT: This does NOT mean you need to stack health. It applies Armor and Magic Resistance.
Pretty nice passive, you can tank minions to harass, and espacially with the Philosopher's Stone, you have really nice laning power.

Q-Spell: Seismic Shard
Nice chasing tool, nice escaping tool, nice harassing tool - wait no! As you see, I don't level it at the beginning. It costs an awful lot of mana which you dont have. To harass, better walk up to them and hit them in the face with some autoattacks. Hurts the same and is more fun, guaranteed :)
Especially don't level this against healers. Then it's just useless waste of mana.
If your enemy is squishy and has barely got any regen, you can max this. But he will be more aware of your damage and stay safe.

W-Spell: Brutal Strikes
Oooh yes. I love you <3. I max it out so late, because the AD items come at last. But feel free to get the boost whenever you want.

E-Spell: Ground Slam
Combined with your W, a great farming skill. Don't underestimate the AS-reduction, worth leveling up.

Ultimate: Unstoppable Force
Knock-ups are not diminished by tenacity, so it's a guaranteed time they are disabled. Awesome initiation, works well in combination with the AP Casters AoE spells.
Do not waste your Ultimate, but don't be afraid to use it. Always try to hit as many targets as possible.
You might as well give your allies a superb possibility to escape and sacrifice yourself. If it saves 4 allies, worth it ;)

Skill Combinations


Most Guides recommend you to activate Brutal Strikes, then Unstoppable Force in the fight and instantly Ground Slam them. But we don't only benefit from the armor but also, or more, from the Attack Damage. Did you know, that with this build your Brutal Strikes active only add about 30 damage to your Ground Slam?

If needed near and do the efficient combo:
> > > > autoattack the whole team to death
Do not use in your combo, wait for someone to run and then slow them, else the slow might be wasted.


If you can allow yourself to push, or the enemy counterpushes, farm that way:
Hit every ranged minion one time, Ground Slam. If they are not dead, hit the one in the middle and they should be.

As the mid/lategame commences, you basically need to be a farming Corki who twoshots every minionwave. Go to a minion wave, activate Brutal Strikes, hit once, Ground Slam and they should be dead. Don't forget to clear jungle camps if there's not anything else to do. If possible, get a blue buff, you need the CDR and the mana.
If it comes to tanking Dragon, try not to do it. The Attack Speed debuff really hurts you, better let your AP carry tank it and your supporter heal him up. Velocity at the dragon is everything!

IMPORTANT: Do not bother to use Seismic Sharc in any other way than chasing or harassing. When melee fighting, it takes mana and wastes time you couldve used autoattacking.

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Items: Why and which else?

You are starting out with a Regrowth Pendant and either a mana or a health potion, decide yourself.
As soon as you have enough gold to get your Philosopher's Stone, get it. It pretty much is a key item in your build, though you need to sell it later. The health and mana regeneration are awesome, not to forget the gold per five.
Same thing with your Heart of Gold, although you can wait for it until you have enough money to afford level one or two tier boots since HoG is not that important.
With me, the decision which boots to buy is pretty easy, I nearly always get the Mercury's Treads. You will never have an enemy team without any slows, stuns, fears or taunts.
Ninja Tabi, as recommended, are nice too - especially with the runes and masteries. But even every DPS champion has some slow or stun built in, or gets it from red buff/phage. Seriously, the Mercury Treads are too good not to get them ^_^
I usually continue with both a Negatron Cloak and a Chain Vest. Build them into your absolutely needed Randuin's Omen and Force of Nature. If you are having severe troubles with initiating stuns, get a Banshees Veil instead. But remember, you have less MR than with your FoN.
So far your tanky part. The enemies will not focus you and will not as long as you haven#t finished your Trinity Force. MOAR MOVEMENT SPEED! Actually, the damage is only a sideeffect and you benefit more from the passives from Phage and Zeal, which give you some decent chasing ability.
Should it actually happen, that you have not yet finished the game, you should be happy, the incredibly funny part begins. Build your Infinity Edge, maybe paired with a Vampiric Sceptre. If you activate your Brutal Strikes, you should now be at 315 AD, which is quite amazing.
Finish your build off with the beautiful aura of Zeke's Harbinger, and don't forget to buy potions!

Alternative items

- Banshee's Veil, as mentioned.
- Frozen Heart, if there are at least two AD carries who give you trouble. Wonderful teamitem, and yet again some CDR.
- Quicksilver Sash has a big sign on it: NO MORDEKAISERS ALLOWED! <3
- If you already have a Lifesteal Aura, or you have an excellent supporter, get other ArP Items: The Black Cleaver is just as a good choice as Youmuu's Ghostblade is.
- Having problems with tanks? Exchange your IE with a The Black Cleaver and add a Madred's Bloodrazor.

Stay away from:
- Thornmail - you already decrease their attack speed by a huge amount. This item doesn't fit you at all.
- Sunfire Cape expects you to stick around with the enemy for hours. You are not doing that.
- Warmog's Armor is nice on champions with built-in defences. But you don't need it, unless you want to do a completely different build, for example:
, , , ,
I did not try this build, though, and I suppose it has a hard early game...

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Final Thoughts

I want to mention one thing again: You are not the tank. You can initiate and disable, but you can not tank the whole enemy team lategame. Either pair this build with another offtank, or get a fulltank.

Do not feel ashamed if you "steal" kills in early and mid game, you need them.

Prepare for a huge flamewar when you are getting your BF Sword, but try to ignore it and burst the enemies to the ground.