Malphite Build Guide by Alpha Potato

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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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Alpha Potato

Malphite: Rockin' da Jungle AD

Alpha Potato Last updated on June 20, 2013
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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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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Hey everyone - Alpha Potato here making my first guide. I originally got Malphite as a solo top, but after trying him out in the jungle he has become my favorite jungler out there. I feel very confident in my build, and hope you enjoy trying it out! Please rate and comment - constructive criticism is encouraged. Please don't down vote until you read the whole guide so that you might understand why I picked the items in my build.

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Pros / Cons


+ // High damage, while remaining tanky
+ // Slow with relatively short cooldown
+ // Extremely fast jungle clear time
+ // He's a rock

- // Ganking is weak until 6
- // Somewhat low damage until Atma's Impaler
- // Mana dependent early game
- // Very Lame Dance

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Greater Mark of Armor Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration

Greater Mark of Desolation Armor penetration is a great stat to have as any AD Character. Also, the jungle creep do have armor, making clear time faster.

I think this is absolutely necessary for jungling. Your sustain in jungle will greatly improve with all the level 1 armor. I pick this over Greater Seal of Defense because that armor is most important early game, and you'll only be getting a fraction of what is needed in jungle with the armor per level Seal.

Magic resist is NOT needed in jungle, therefore its worth it to have the extra magic resist at level 18 as opposed to Greater Glyph of Magic Resist like I did with armor.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation Again, armor penetration is very needed for AD. This will make your jungle clear time faster and improve damage throughout the game.

I've tried quite a few other runes: Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction, Greater Mark of Attack Damage, ect. The runes i've chosen for the build are great for giving you great clear time, and good armor/magic resist for tanking.

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A pretty standard Defense build (Picking up the jungle masteries) Then going into offense to pick up the extra armor penetration.

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Summoner Spells

Good Choices

Necessary for jungling. Shouldn't have to think about this choice. Get it.

My favorite spell, great for closing gaps, running away, all around a great utility.

Good alternative to Flash, Great for getting across the map quickly to gank. (Oh Malphite just ganked mid - we're fine bot for a little while. WTF HOW'D HE GET DOWN HERE SO FAST?!) Ghost. Good choice.

Not the best pick, but it can work. I use my Seismic Shard for the slow. But exhaust works better for a 1v1 fight, and it lasts longer than the slow from your shard.

I've seen this work pretty well with practice. There are a few different ways it can be used. You can teleport to a lane if someone is going to lose it (specifically early game). Also, you can use your Wriggle's Lantern to place a ward in a bush, teleport to the bush, and gank quickly. Again, some junglers have mastered the art of ward ganking, but it takes lots of practice and I don't recommend picking this up if you are new to jungling.

Bad Choices

You should be tanky enough to afford to take debuffs and disables. In addition, you get 10% reduction in your defense mastery, and you will probably build Mercury Treads for tenacity.

Attack speed - not necessary, Ability Power - not necessary.

Blue buff will give you enough mana early game, late game mana issues won't be much of a problem.

This could be useful to finish off kills, but it just doesn't compare to the mobility of Flash and Ghost. It may be a decent choice if the enemy team is very health regen dependent. ( Volibear, Dr. Mundo, ect.)
Again, rarely used, and should be used if your support. Can be used to reveal enemy jungle and buffs for counter jungling.

No one should ever use this except maybe a support.

It could be helpful, but I wouldn't really consider using it. Definitely prefer Flash.

Never. This is literally for someone who plans on dying a lot... Do you plan on dying a lot?

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The above items are going to lean towards the Offtank/Damage build, which will be more commonly used when you play jungle. (Most jungles are an AD carry and your main tank will primarily be bot support or top). When playing as an offtank, I wouldn't stray from this build too much. You basically build into your jungle utility Wriggle's Lantern, Warmog's Armor for your health and sustain, keep in mind the fact that the earlier you pick up Warmog's, the earlier in the game you can get that bonus 350 health. Then I go Atma's Impaler to build damage off the Warmog's. Finally I build a Frozen Mallet for the slow, the health, and the damage (My 3 favorite stats)

This is the point that I choose whether to build tanky or to build more damage.


Item Sequence

Warmog's Armor

Atma's Impaler

Frozen Mallet

Phantom Dancer

Infinity Edge


Item Sequence

Warmog's Armor

Atma's Impaler

Frozen Mallet

Frozen Heart

Randuin's Omen

Optional Items

Ninja Tabi
I choose these when the enemy team is AD heavy AND is fairly weak on crowd control. Otherwise, stick with Mercury's Treads

Again, great against an AD heavy team. If you pick this I would recommend replacing with Randuin's Omen

Force of Nature
A counter to an AP heavy team, or if you are going into your tanky build and feel like you need that extra movement speed. (I build Malphite for max hp, I don't focus near as much on health per 5). Replace with Randuin's Omen

Shurelya's Reverie
Shurelya's Reverie
A good alternative to Randuin's Omen but you take a loss in armor and health. The big decision here is whether you want to slow everyone with Randuin's Omen, or if you want to give the team a speed boost with Shurelya's Reverie. I definitely like the slow better, but that depends on your play style. Again, replace with Randuin's Omen

Guardian Angel
I only pick this up if the game goes a VERY long time (more than 50 minutes) and the respawn time kills you. Even then, I prefer to keep my Randuin's Omen for the better stats. But some may prefer Guardians, and it works. Once again, replace with Randuin's Omen

Maw of Malmortius
This item is viable for either the tanky route or the damage route. Good when you want to maintain some damage and take some magic resist. Very situational item, the shield can be nice, as well as having extra damage when low health. Replace with Infinity Edge

(Currently being tested) This would replace your Atma's Impaler in the damage build. I'm currently testing this option to see how well it will work. You end up with more AD, and a nice boost of life steal. Will update after I try this out a few times.

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Choosing to build Tank or Damage

After you build your Frozen Mallet, you build your final 2 items as either tank or damage (Shown in items category above).

When to choose damage

I end up building the damage route more often than I do the tank, only because we typically have a main tank laning. This build will give you a very strong off tanking ability, but you will also be able engage someone, slow them every time you hit them (at a high attack speed with Phantom Dancer and continually crit someone for very high damage every attack. This build also gives you the movement speed from Phantom Dancer which I find extremely helpful. The Infinity Edge is purely for the crit and damage. Most Malphites will not use this and people will certainly not expect to see you with it. People see Malphite as almost purely a tank and don't realize how much damage he can put out if you go that route. Here's when you should choose the damage route.

A) You have a tank laning
This is the most important think to base your build off of. Typically there will be a tank either supporting or going top, and your role will become off tank

B) That tank can initiate, is keeping up with levels, and getting fed in one way or another.
One of my favorite parts about this build is that you don't choose damage or tanky right out the gate. You are a good ways into the game before you decide what route to go. If you have a main tank, watch his score, build, and his battles if you can do so without messing up your jungle. If he can initiate, is building health/armor/magic resist, and you can tell he is going to be able to handle being the main tank, then build damage. Keep in mind you are still an off tank, will have a lot of health, and can initiate even in the damage build.

C) Make sure its necessary
This is where I should improve my own game. I have so much fun building damage Malphite that even if we have 3 carries that are all well fed and putting out huge amounts of damage, I still want to build damage! My final thing I watch out for (Or at least attempt to) is to be knowledgeable about your team comp and decide if it is necessary for you to build damage. Even if you have a main tank laning, you might be a bigger asset to the team as a tank if your other team mates are putting out enough damage.

When to choose tank

The tank route will still have high damage output in my build, at least enough for people to consider you a threat. Basically, its the same points as above in reverse.

A) You DON'T have a tank laning
Pretty self explanatory: If your the only champion that can build tank (or should build tank) Then do it! Tanks are extremely important as you probably already know. I've won very few games without a tank, and those are when we get so fed in the first 20 they surrender. They would probably win late game because they have a tank when we don't.

B) If you DO have a laning tank and he is not keeping up in levels/feed
Basically, you might have a Taric bot, or a Shen top and decide to build damage this game. When really its very important to pay attention to how well they are doing throughout the game. If you see that they are falling behind in levels, losing their lane, not getting any kills, ect. then its the off tanks job to pick up the slack. So build as a tank.

C) Make sure its necessary
Same point as above, pay attention to team comp and decide if its necessary to go tank. Never decide at the start of the game how to build. Build as a jungler and work on the first 4 main items in this build. It gives you plenty of time to decide the rest of your items. Be open to build what your team needs!

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Skills and Abilities

None of this build would do you any good if you don't know how to use your skills. Here is a rundown on playing Malphite.

Granite Shield
Malphite's passive is nothing short of awesome. You will gain a shield that gives you 10% extra health every time you let it recharge. I make sure that this shield is recharged before I start to fight blue or red buff, it makes your jungle sustain much better.

Seismic Shard
Sends a rock at the enemy and slows them. This scales well with AP. I play Malphite AD, so this spell is used mainly for early game and slows. I max it out first for the slow (and speed boost for you), and because the base damage is very good early game. Late game the damage won't be great, but the slow is still very helpful.

Brutal Strikes
Awesome ability for jungling. I pick this up at level 2 and clear jungle extremely fast. This is a percent based damage, so I pick this up 1 rank, and as I gain attack damage the ability gets better. Also gives a huge increase to damage and armor for 6 seconds. Activate this in jungle only when you have blue buff. When blue wears off, you will kill stuff plenty fast with just Ground Slam and saves your mana. Also activate this when you get into the thick of a battle, especially when your being focused.

Ground Slam
This will be your best ability for the most part. The damage is based off your armor, which is your primary stat. The more armor you have, the more damage you do. This is one of the main reasons Malphite can put out so much damage even though he is a tank, and this build emphasizes that. Use it basically as often as you can, unless your out of mana. I will typically use Seismic Shard if I have almost no mana and need to pick a spell.

Unstoppable Force
You charge at enemies and knock them into the air, as well as do a good bit of damage. (Building AP makes this ability amazing for the damage, but I mostly use it as an overpowered flash and make up for the damage with my auto attacks). Keep in mind that this ability does move through walls. I normally try to save it as an offensive ability, but if its needed to escape don't hesitate to dive through a wall with it.

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Jungle Route/Guide (Early-Mid Game)

1: Blue Buff:
As Malphite you are going to want to start at blue buff. Have someone leash you if possible, and ask people to protect your blue. The mid character should be at the bush in the river to be able to see any invaders before they even get into position. Have the laner(s) from bot or top lane stand by the river as well (Check yellow diamonds on map below for where to protect). Do NOT smite until the golem is under 500 health. The reason for waiting on the smite is because if they are counter jungling, it is much easier to steal your blue if they wait until under 500 health and smite it, without you even seeing them. Wait until less than 500 health, than smite.

2, 3, 4, 5: Wolves, Wraiths, Twin Golems, and Red
As long as your protection left after you started hitting blue, you should be level 2 after killing them. Train your Brutal Strikes and move to wolves (2). Activate Brutal Strikes (Only because you have blue buff) and clear them quick. Move to wraiths (3) and clear those. Run past red and move to twin golems (4). (If you are moving as quickly as you should, Smite will still have about 20 seconds cooldown by the time you get to red). Finally pick up red (5) with smite and move to wraiths again.

*The Yellow Diamonds represent where your protection should go (Mid and Laners)
*The Black Circles represent options to place wards from Wriggle's Lantern


From now on you are just going to cycle between wolves, wraiths, and twin golems. After your first route you should be level 4 and have picked up Seismic Shard. As soon as you have that ability you are ready to gank. Ganking takes a lot of practice, but basically find a lane thats being pushed towards your turret, or a lane with a weak enemy. Wait for an opportunity to have enough time to run out, cast Seismic Shard and start beating on them with Ground Slam and Brutal Strikes. Its a pretty straight forward champ for ganking and there's not anything special like some characters have. With Malphite, just time it right, run out there and slow them while you and your team mates kill them. When you get Unstoppable Force ganking becomes much easier. You can choose to engage with this and give your team a window of opportunity to use their abilities, or you can slow them with Seismic Shard, beat on them, and use your ultimate when they flash away, or to finish off a kill.

I typically have better luck using the second gank option. The enemy will have a better sense of security if you don't use your Unstoppable Force when the fight starts and may fight back. Then you have more time to beat on them before they decide to start running, which is the best time to use your ultimate. It takes practice, but just pay attention to your lanes and for people that need your help.

Buff Cooldowns

It is very helpful in jungle to know when the creatures will respawn and be close when they do.

Blue/Red buff:
Spawns at 1:55 and respawns every 5 minutes. (Estimate the clear time as well. If it takes me 15 seconds to kill blue, I'll plan to be at blue around 7:10 instead of 6:55). Its not a huge difference, but by the time 20 minutes comes around you may have added a whole minute to the respawn time, and it'd be a waste to sit there for a minute waiting for it.

Dragon spawns at 2:30 and respawns every 6 minutes. You won't be killing him at 2:30, so just time 6 minutes from when you do manage to kill him.

Baron spawns at 15:00 and respawns every 7 minutes. Again, time from the first time you kill this. I recommend warding Baron when the average level of the enemy team is 16. Most people won't attempt it before that. If they are a strong team and are off to a good start, ward as early as level 14.

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Team Fights (Late Game)

Late game nearly always comes down to team fight and focusing, and Malphite doesn't change anything about that.


You will be initiating a lot as Malphite. I typically Unstoppable Force Directly to a squishy target. (Typically I'll be able to knock up about 3 champs in the process) and begin focusing.

This is they key to winning games. If you take out their strongest person, the battle is in your favor. Always focus their carry (The one doing all the damage, typically ranged, and the scariest when fed). Make sure to use your slow on your focus target, to give your team time to kill him. Sometimes your team will not know who the focus target should be. Discuss and setup a kill/focus order with your team to assure everyone knows who to kill! Focusing just comes with time and knowledge of enemy champions and what they do. If you feel like that's a weak spot for you I recommend playing champs as they become free to learn how to fight against them.

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I hope you enjoyed trying out my guide! Please rate and leave a comment for me. Again, i'm very open to any suggestions you might change or fix in my guide (Keep in mind its my first one!). Please don't down vote until you have tried it at least once after reading through the entire guide. Its only fair to rate the whole guide, not just the item build at the top! Thanks!

*Special thanks to 99WillPower, MrSkeletonBones, WarDeathFamineP, LeSteiny, and McCradd for their input and proofreading of this guide.

-Alpha Potato