Malphite Build Guide by Abirworm
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.
So you are looking to play Malphite? Well this is a guild to a top lane Malphite which is most focused on overall his overall ability as a tank/counter carry.
I am a Malphite player and this build has been tried and refined over the course of 100+ games since season 2 started, and has been tested in game by at least two of my friends to verify that it is not just a build that only someone with a lot of experience with Malphite can use, as one of said friends had never played the champ prior to this game in which I walked him through the build and play style.
This build has a lot of kill potential, and a lot of durability as a tank. and items such as Abyssal Scepter are there to both give heightened damage output, and shield a soft spot.
If one looks at the Rune Build. What would that person see?
for magic Magic pen, and
for Armor. That's it.
All told that is 13 Armor and 21 Magic Penitration.
Armor for damage and durability.
Magic Penetration for even more damage.
All of Malphite's damage comes in the form of magic damage. As such one would have three choices in regards to what one could build on him for damage.
#1: One could build AP.
#2: One could build Armor, and let his Ground Slam do a lot of damage, but be negated by Magic Resist.
#3: One could build Magic penetration. Since he not all of his skills scale with AP, Magic penetration is the logical choice.
Standard AP tank top stuff, nothing real profound here.
I Chose to take all 4 points in Mental Force rather than a point into Summoner's Wrath because ignite is used purely for heal negation and finishing the job if the level 6 nuke is not enough to kill the other champion.
As a result the extra 5 AP from Ignites Cooldown is not really needed, but really that is up to the individual since one could take those first 4 points into anything since those are really just dump points to get farther into the tree.
The real goal here is Arcane Knowledge ; also the Cooldown reduction from Sorcery is a nice bonus.
His Q Seismic Shard
Has a lot of damage and harass potential,
this is what really eats your mana more than anything else that you will be using. This is why I use Clarity
But it is what you use to get their health low enough and moving slow enough that your ult really can't be dodged.
His W Brutal Strikes
This Ability Causes all basic attacks that Malphite uses to cleave.
So be careful when auto attacking once this skill is learned.
(Note: Attacking a turret disables the cleave so you will not pull turret agro by hitting the turret; even if an enemy champ is standing there. However if you hit a minion you could cleave hit the champ and pull agro)
His E Ground Slam
THIS IS YOUR PRIMARY DAMAGE SOURCE.
Get to know it, and love it.
#1 has a base of 220 damage at rank 5
#2 it Slows enemy attack speed by 50% at Rank 5. STACKS WITH FROZEN HEART
#3 It Scales off of 50% of your CURRENT ARMOR WHEN THE SKILL IS USED (brutal strikes 40% increase to armor at rank 5 *wink* *wink*) and deals MAGIC damage (magic pen *Cough* *Cough*).
#4 it has a large area of effect and does not have any reduced damage for hitting more than one target and it is on a 4.74 second CD, so rather spamable.
*EDIT* as of the mid July Patch His E has been nerfed and No longer Does 50% scaling with armor; Instead it has been brought to 30%+0.2 scaling with AP. Will be testing out but no longer feels like Malphite.
His R Unstoppable Force
This skill lets you start the fight off in a good way. Use this on their carry, W, E, Q, Ignite, chase a bit and E again: most carries are dead from this with few exceptions: if you don't whiff it. (For Best Results; Hit more than one champ with this ability. If Ability is on Cooldown; wait the 50 some odd seconds that is will remain on CD then rinse/repeat. *Abirworm is not responsible for any violent deaths that occur with use*)
Note: This is a long drawn out explanation of what I build and when, also very wordy skip to fast version of items if you want to avoid a yawn fest.
Start Doran's Shield.
Build to Boots of Speed and Chain Vest as soon as possible. (1050 Gold) also wards are good at this point as well if you can afford them. If short gold, get boots, a Cloth Armor or two and wards.
If the next time you back after that you don't have enough to buy Frozen Heart outright (2075 if you have Chain Vest); get Ninja Tabi, and two Cloth Armors (1100 gold), if you can get those you're sitting pretty.
What it really comes down to here is that you want Frozen Heart ASAP, but don't gimp yourself by going back to lane with a bunch of gold left over when you could have bought a different item that would help you.
After you get to this point, get Negatron Cloak. Then start building it into Abyssal Scepter. If you are against an AP heavy team or your top is AP and giving you trouble it is often worth getting Negatron Cloak on your first back since that will help you a lot more than armor will.
After this point you are going for Guardian Angel, and you should focus more on the armor parts of the item than on the MR (unless against AP heavy or have an AP nuking you down often)
Once you have these items. Your build is done. yeah. Malphite peaks at this point really, but he does not fall off that peak easy. Once you get to this point you can get a lot more armor (which means more damage) with a Thornmail. and if you are getting stung by an AP get either Banshee's Veil, or Force of Nature. If they have nothing that scares you in the AP department, get a second Thornmail. No, really, that is a lot of damage and armor for you; and that is what you really want.
Randuin's Omen is also a perfectly Viable choice, not as much armor but more HP, and some sick passives make it a nice item all the same.
After this point has been reached, Ninja Tabi are really not all that useful to Malphite, so often it is best sell them and get Sorcerer's Shoes that this point for the increased magic pen.
Fast Version of Items.
(Or Randuin's Omen)--->
(Or Banshee's Veil) With
to Finish, and sight wards,
s and any other consumables as needed.
This also leaves and extra Item slot open for whatever item is needed, I often find a Randuin's Omen is what I put in that slot but feel free to go nuts with it.
What not to build
This is purely because I die a little inside whenever I see this item built on Malphite and is purely for my own soul. Read if you want to see a rant about how Sunfire Cape is bad.
Sunfire Cape. Anyone who builds that item on Malphite is just plain bad in my book. 2600 gold for 450 hp and 45 armor. If it is HP you are after build a Warmogs armor; almost the same price for more than double the HP, if its armor you want, get Thornmail which is cheaper or (if you don't already have one) a frozen heart; both of which have more than double the armor value of Sunfire Cape. And if you are after the passive Sunfire Cape gives? GTFO. 35 magic damage a second is not worth 2600 gold; I wouldn't get any item with that passive that cost more than 1000 gold to obtain.
Really most HP items at the moment don't cater to Malphite as well as I would like to see. but Sunfire Cape is the closest item to being a Malphite's favorite item and I just explained why I dislike that item.
Rather than get the HP, get that sweet sweet armor and deal more damage and tank turrets and AD better.
You are the tank initiator. your job is to find their carry, ult on top of him and hit him with all you have.
that is your job in a team fight, does not matter if the carry is ad, ap, or hybrid, you kill the highest damage champ on their team.
Its best of it is an AD or attack speed based champ since they tend to have lower MR, ohh and your have a Frozen heart and your E does the same thing Frozen heart, Wither, or Ice Blast would do, but it is a high damage area of effect.
If you can ult more than 2 of the other team then you are doing a great job since you have effectively pushed 2-4 people out of a fight, and if its an entire team that you ult. you have just taken hold of a team fight and you better hope someone on your team can pick up 5 half health people so you don't have to be the only one on your team to get a Pentakill.
I Take this because Seismic Shard Has one of the greatest harass potential in the game but has an offset of insane mana costs. So what is often done by myself wait till level 4 to start harassing, then once they are below 50% I will just keep poking them to keep then there, till I reach level 6. Then at that point I poke one last time with Seismic Shard, Clarity, Unstoppable Force, Brutal Strikes, Ground Slam, Ignite, Seismic Shard and voila, Dead solo top in most cases. a backing solo top in all others and Malphite Player is allowed to back or keep farming himself head.
I have gone over this at least twice at this time, but one last go over for the fun of it :)
Ignite is here to provide a little extra "Ompf" to the full nuke that Malphite Already has; it also stops heals, picks up kills that otherwise might have been lost, and makes and excellent Teemo avec le feu
Pros / Cons
Pros: can tank turrets better than any other champ in the game. has very high burst damage which can be sustained if one waits for the E to come off CD, and has a fair bit of CC which is perfect for an initiation.
Cons: falls behind as other champions start to get full builds. He peaks early and while he will remain a threat, does not have the ability to carry a team in and of himself, but can stop the other team's carry in their tracks pretty well no matter what stage of the game.
Malphite is a Tank/AP nuke, which can solo top very effectively against even the most powerful of champions (Except for Galio, Galio should beat a malph if he knows what he is doing). He later becomes a massive damage threat which shouldn't be focused since he IS a tank, and will shut down even the most fed AD carry and can also start a team fight for you in a good way.