Not Updated For Current Season
If you are hesitating whether to play Malphite as a DPS or a Tank, this guide may help you decide.
As you all know, Malphite runs of Armor. The higher the Armor, the better his E skill would be and can tank basically any DPS Champions, but his obvious weakness would be against Mages.
For Malphite, even though he may look like a tank, he actually isn't listed as one in the game. (NO WAY!!) You'll know this by actually reading his profile.
If you were to compare DPS Malphite against Tank (Armor) Malphite, I can tell you that Tank Malphite can easily lay waste of the DPS Malph, but a Tank (Armor) Malphite vs a Tank (All resist) Malphite, who would win? Well, if you think about it, Malphite's skills deals magic damage, meaning the one who would suffer the most would be Armored Malphite, where as Allresist Malphite can tank the Armored Malphite's attack, it can also deal more damage to Armored Malphite than he would suffer.
How, you ask? Well it's simple. Both Malphite would do the same damage with Their Q and R skill at level 18 except Allresist Malphite has the Magic Resist to get rid of most of that Damage. As for Malph's E skill? Well yeah, it runs on Armor but it still deals Magic Damage right? Don't forget Allresist Malphite DOES have Armor aswell so he would actually deal the same damage in total. (Making sense now?)
Now for the items.
Mercury's Treads: Why do you need them? Obvious is it not? If you're ever in a Pinch, it lets you get out of it faster. In the past when I fought against Ryze (Who's really annoying when I used Pure Armor Build), his snare was the reason why I take so much damage early game, but after I used the boots, Ryze was like nothing to me, his snare didn't last long enough to use all his spells and by the time he finished casting, he's already at Half bar of his HP while my HP is still near max. Overall this item is really great to get you out of a pinch and allow you and your Teammates to counter attack.
Sunfire Cape: We all know what this does and why it's good, two is all you need, don't be so greedy or else this build won't work.
Guardian Angel: This should your third item because you want to extend your lifespan for more tanking. Only once you bought this item you should buy your second Sunfire Cape, mainly because you also need that Extra Magic resist.
Force of Nature: Who doesn't love his item? It grants Movement Speed, HP Recovery and most of all, it covers your weak spot! (Magic Resist). The movement speed is great once you have your two Sunfires because you can chase half-dead Enemy Champions and burn them until they die, using your Q skill is also great to increase movement speed.
Thornmail: Now now, we don't wanna think of "What am I gonna do against those DPS Champs now that my armor isn't as much as it used to be!?". Thornmail is your answer, obviously. Giving them back 30% of what they take out of you, and with your Two Sunfires burning them, their HP would be drained in no time, also remember that you yourself are attacking and using your Skills to hurt them.
Now covering the Runes.
Malphite is very Mana Dependant so Mana Recovery is very important to him. Giving him Magic Penetration allows your skills to deal a bit more damage. (Doesn't this explain it all?)
Malphite is a very strong character on his own even without his items. (Of course having items is way better). He can even kill early in the game so don't underestimate Malphite. The magic penetration from the runes lets his skills to run more smoothly to cut down the enemy champ's HP.
Level 1-5 - During this level, it's best if you refrain from using your Q skill until level 3 where you have atleast two points in it because at level one, it would waste so much MP and deal so little damage to the Enemy Champions for harassment, just last hit minions and slowly build up the items. If need to, you can buy some MP Pots and remember the key rule of playing any Champion, STAY ALIVE! Tides can turn very easily, do not give chase unless you know you have the upper hand. During level 3 onwards, if you play correctly you could get a few kills in.
Level 6-10 - Once you have your R skill, you can now be a bit more confident, items don't really matter that much at this point but buy whatever you can with the money you've got. Planning for ganks or just saving your allies is a good thing during this level. Normally I would see Enemy Champs in another lane chasing an almost dead Ally, I would just quickly run to them and hide in a bush, waiting for the best moment to R skill Knock up, E skill stun (Yes this works even if they're still in the air) and then Q skill to slow them and give chase, having sunfires at this point gives you a big advantage. Once you have a Sunfire's Cape, fighting against 2 enemy champions at this stage means nothing to you, the end result would either end with one of them dead or both of them on the run, if your teammates are smart enough they would both die.
Level 11-18 - The gameplay for Malphite varies during situation, you can now Push if there's no one in the lane, Initiate Gank if your team is ready for it, or solo lone enemy champions. Killing you for the enemy team now means sacrificing at least 2 deaths and would be near impossible if you have atleast two Allies with you. Do not be afraid of DPS Champions, if you have all your Gear they mean nothing to you. Enemy mages? Swat them away, you no longer have a weakness. -Do remember though, you -CAN- still die- Even though I'm making it sound like you're practically invincible, but if you get too ahead of yourself, you can get killed and when you do, don't blame me. You just need to use your head and think which is the best situation to do things.
Combo wise, I would Suggest W buff first then R - E - Q and give chace to burn/normal attack until they die.
Normally games don't last long enough for you to get all the items, but for some reason, getting items for Malphite seems always to be easy enough. (For me personally anyway.)
Overall, remember to Stay Alive, protect your Teammates and have fun. (Stay Alert)
Thank you for your time and hope you do well with this Build.
Feel free to comment below about anything.