Build Guide by GreeNjaY2002
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.
Intro to the Build (What it was meant for!)
This is my first build ever, so take that into consideration when commenting on the way I've done this. This build has seen its share of ups and downs. Really, it's not the tanks job to deal the most damage when it comes to team fights, but to immobilize and decentralize focus firing on your own team memebers. With that said, if your team mates are horrible, this build will NOT carry your team.
ALSO, when reading this, remember that this was intended for the mid to late-mid game. I will, however, make a build for the early game brick since I've worked both. Don't misinterpret what I'm saying though; I have dominated early game and massacred the opponents team single handedly through the endgame with this same build. It just takes practice and the right matchup.
Okay!!! On to the good stuff!
Alrighty guys, when it comes to runes and the sort everyone will end up having their own opinion. But since this is built for the early-mid to late-mid games and based on survivability that's what these runes are based on.
Early on you'll want to level up aas fast as you can. The quicker you can level the sooner your runes will kick in to their fullest potential.
The rune build is expensive, so be willing to invest in some money for him.
Whilest some people would frown upon the idea of not getting health runes for Granite Shield, I would argue with the fact that once you reach the mid/late game, you should have Warmog's Armor which will more than compensate for your lack of fotuidous runes.
This section is totally dependent on the user, however, in my opinion I ALWAYS start with Thornmail armor, except in extreme circumstances. One of those would be a team matchup against Galieo, Viegar, Ryze, Evelyn & Vladimir, which has been done before. If you would notice they're all AB (Ability Power) based, with almost no AD (Attack Damage) mid game.
The above is hardly realistic. If you're playing against a good team who knows how to balance their damage output, most of their team would indeed start out AD. Not to mention even in the early game most of the damage you'll take is from AD. With Thornmail armor you'll be protected from all basic attacks plus any AD built Champions.
This is where the item order get a little situational. If what you're encountering in the field is mostly AD, skip the Banshee's Veil and go straight to the Sunfire Cape. On the flipside, if what you're encountering is mostly AB, one should skip the Sunfire Cape and double up with Banshee's Veil and Force of Nature.
In the end, Malphite should have a majority of the items listed if not all of them. If ever you intend to skip an item completely, compensate with it by doubling up on Warmog's Armor.
Most tank builds strive on getting as much resistance as possible. Not Malphite... he can sacrifice some resistance for mobility and speed. Hence the Boots of Swiftness. We need Malphite to be extremely mobile since his job will be to tank the whole map at all times. We need to be able to close in quickly even without using Unstoppable Force. As a tank we need to be ready to take the stun, take the skill shot or take the front at any given moment, which helps if you're the fastest beast on the field. I've played many-a-game, and nothing... NOTHING, is scarrier than seeing a beefy tank loaded with the Banshee's Veil buff running faster than a AB squishy. But that may just be me.
The most important thing about Malphite is to know how to play him in each situation. I can hardly sit here and type ever situation you'll run into, but hopefully base on the scenarios I describe you'll adapt those into ever situation you run into.
Based upon importance Early Game is what needs to be focused on as much as possible since it will shape the rest of your match even to the end game.
Early Game (Harrass Mode!)
Before the game begins try to secure yourself a solo lane if at all possible. Mid is good against squishy AB champions such as Karthas or Veigar. Top solo is great against most champs besides someone like Heimerdinger. On the flipside, if you can't grab a solo lane try to duo up with someone ranged and has a slow ability like Ashe.
This is where the Armor comes into play; Since you have all that extra armor last hit minions ONLY with your basic attacks. Never use your skills to last hit minions, even if your opponent champions come in to hit you. Your shield and armor will sustain you for 2-3 hits.
DO NOT use your skills to hit the enemy champions until you reach about level 4. Doing so will exhaust your mana pool very quickly, furthermore it's quite pointless to do so early on anyway since it will only deal a small amount of damage. Which reminds me... NEVER GO BACK ONLY TO REPLENISH YOUR MANA! This is what Clarity if for. If you have to wait on the CD (Cooldown) so be it. Leaving at any point during early game besides to buy boots is a waste and will more than likely give the enemy champion the upper hand. If, however, you must go back to replenish your health, or have made enough money to buy armor, make sure to warp back in with teleport.
Anyway once you've reached level 4 make sure you hog the minions. Do not let any enemy champion come in for the last hit. This will starve them or ITEM GOLD early game. When they do venture in for a minion kill use your siesmic shard to slow then chase and ground slam them. Doing this 3-4 times will severly cut their health to a dangerous low.
Smart champions will switch out so they could even the odds against you, but unless you're dealing with 2 tanks that stack armor they'll never stop you.
On the other hand, mediocre champions will realize they need to stick around for the experience anyways and try to tower hug and hit minions only when they're close to home... This is very good for you. If you ever reach this point do a quick evaluation of their health and estimate if you could kill them if you were able to shoot off 2 Siesmic Shards, a Ground Slam and a basic hit. If you can, and you're certain, then with Malphite at 1/2 health or more use your Unstoppable Force, Siesmic Shard & Ground Pound in rapid succession on the unsuspecting champion and they'll be dead before they hit the ground.
Your escape is very simple afterward since your granite shield will block the first incoming tower strike and leave you with no damage done. However, if their health is too high, just continue the harrass until they are at a low then strike!!!
In early games, if you're ever fortunate enough to get a 1v2 lane, then hold onto it with dear life. Treat it as a 1v1 lane and target only the weaker of the two.
-Try to Mid-Solo or Top-Solo
-Don't use your skills till level +4
-Wait on Clarity for mana, don't recall
-Hog minions past level 3
-Remember this sequence: Unstoppable Force, Seismic Shard, Ground Slam, Run!
-Get your boots before you hit level 8
Mid Game (Team Fights!)
By Mid-Game you should have a bulk of your core items: Thornmail, Boots of Swiftness & Banshee's Veil at the very least. Without this you can hardly consider yourself qualified to be a balanced tank, so QUICKLY go farm those minions! Moving on...
Of course your main objective is to destroy as many towers as possible as quickly as possible so you could obliterate the nexus. However, I would like you to open your mind and rethink that outlook and focus on something more important. Team fights... They are the single most important aspect of the game. If you lose a series of team fights, chances are you're going to lose.
So this is where we really get serious. A number of things will make this build/guide obsolete.
1) Soloists (Champions who don't like to stick together)
2) Bad Team makeup (All AD or all AB)
3) Poor performance
The first two are self explanitory. The third is case by case... If you initiate without the proper people present, if you don't focuse fire, if your team doesn't initiate/you let them initiate you could lose the team fight.
As the tank, you need to have a good understanding of what the order of focus should be on the enemy champions. You need to take charge as the leader and ping that champ... Then when all is set blast 'em!
Something to consider, unless you're dropping like flys there's no need to run away from a team fight. If they're all focusing you, GREAT! That's when you want. If you die, it's okay so long as your team has brought down the focused targets in their right order. Also, if you can escape a winning fight do it and watch while throwing your 2 cents in until you're needed to take the damage again. You'll know you've wont the fight if they've started to dissipate and scatter or if you've taken down a majority of their team (3 or more). Once that happens, be sure to focus on you next objective, the TOWERS.
All you need to do is win 3 team fights in a row with more than just yourself standing and you'll pretty have the match in your hand.
Sometimes things don't always work out well early game or even mid game with team fights, and some people feed or just get ganked continuously... Honestly, unless you have a good team to compensate you as a tank can hardly do anything but play the defensive. To do so you still need to stick together as a team, but just follow the movements of the enemy. If they're going top be sure to follow. If they're getting dragon be sure to jump them. If you're able to catch them at the disadvantage a few times you'll turn the game around.
During this phase you'll be needing teleport a lot. Since you'll still want to kill as many minions as you can on your own, you'll need to step away from the group sometimes and kill neutrals or lane minions. When you start to see a gathering of enemies, teleport your way to the fray.
-Team fights are the objective of Mid-Game, not Towers!
-You be the initiator in team fights
-You ALSO be the leader in fights and mark (ping) the targets
-It's okay to die if you're winning
-Make use of your Teleport & Clarity
End Game (Finish Them!)
Not much to be said about the end game.
Most games by this time, one side is extremely tilted to winning. If you're on that side, you just keep doing what you're doing. If you're not on that side, you may need to adjust a little bit.
*If You're Winning*
Just focus on enemy champions and minions. Make sure they don't get too close to your team. Harrass and keep them at a distance. Be between them and your own so they're never tempted to attack your carry.
*If You're Losing*
Hard to recover from a late game tilt, but it is certainly possible. Just defend and kite the enemies as long as possible until your inhibitors have respwaned then do what you can to push out ever so slightly. But always be sure to keep at least 2-3 people in your base at all times to hold off any attacks made. If you can send out your strongest AD champion to backdoor their base it would be best, just be sure he doesn't die.
Officially, until you've leveled the playing field in a losing match you're job as a tank is officially halted and in most cases over.
-Come between the enemies and your team while they clear out the towers
-In a winning match your job as tank is officially over
-In a losing match you're now deemed protector of the base don't let them in
Something I've found to be quite wonderful is when you have a decent Taric to back up your team fights, you normally have the upper hand even if you're outmatched. Also remember you're a melee tank with ranged capabilities. You're by no means a ranged tank, so compensate with a ranged carry.
Malphite has NO SUPPORT TECHNIQUES, therefore a support class will definitly tilt the tides of war like a Soraka or Sona. But if you're team refuses to support class it up, then at the very least have them even out the AB to AD ratio and the Ranged to Melee ratio.
The ideal matchup I've seen and loved consisted of Malphite (TNK), Taric (SUP), Kassadin (AB), Tristana (AD) & Xin Zhou (AD). Here you have your balanced AD to AB ratio 2:1 or vice versa and your support heals and beefy tank. you will dominate team fights this way.
-Best to have a mix of Melee & Ranged
-Best to have a ratio of 2:1 AD to AB or vice versa
-If you can't have a support class make the AD to AB ratiio 2:2
So, In The End Does It Even Matter?
In the end, it does matter! I don't like losing! I especially don't like losing cause our team mates didn't pull their own weight. Best thing to do is pull premades with as many people as possible. You know their play styles, and mannerisms so you'll be able to adapt what you see here to their styles.
Hope you enjoyed this guide/build. Please comment on it and offer up suggestions not only on the build itself but on the contents of the guide. What would you like to see/read more of? Thank you for reading thus far, and look out for my second Malphite Build the Early Brick!