Mordekaiser Build Guide by Neo Daedalus
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.
Introduction MUST READ
Hello, and welcome to my Mordekaiser build guide.
Fist off, this is not an in-depth guide, I am not someone who is "hello, I'm a 2200 ELO player, I make gud bilds," nor am I someone who thinks that whatever he thinks of is good, only becouse he came up with it.
Secondly, this build is a bit special. With this build I focus on one of Morde's weaknesses and how to not make it show. THE ENTIRE GUIDE IS FOCUSED AROUND THIS BUILD, NOT MORDE IN GENERAL.
Last, but not least, this is a build, that I stumbled upon while thinking, what was I doing wrong, while I was playing Morde and loosing. I'm not someone who would go balls deep in every fight or chase for kills, if it's not safe. My misakes were not basic mistakes that people do. My mistake was me not being aware, what Morde's weaknesses are and how to pay hi so that they wouldn't show.
I was playing Morde according to guides on this website and according to guides on other websites, written by Pros and highly experienced players. However, I just didn't manage to do as well as they said their builds work. Here's my build and how it works.
Oh, and one last thing before I begin. This build shows its strenght when you play it. In theory it looks weird, but in reality it works. I suggest you give it a try, at least when Morde is free (rarely though :S).
Everything in this guide is my opinion and my personal experience. I am absolutley not saying or hinting, that I am absolutley right or that this build is the best possible. Everything here is my opinion. You, as a reader are entitled to your opinion and are desired to express it through comments, however I am asking you, to only like/dislike the guide if you have teted it and have any actual experience with it.
Runes, Masteries and Summoner Spells.
I will sum everything in the chapter title here, I will not make specific chapters for them, as the main reasoning for these can be found on other guides too.
The only weird runes at first sight might be the movement speed quints. I chose those, becouse Morde has very low manouverability and no skills that would help him escape ( no crowd control) except if he manages to kill his persuers with them. Movement speed is the only stat thet actually can help him escape or chase enemies, while it's also very important in fights, to dodge skillshots and other AoE spells.
This build lacks some damage, therefore all of the masteries here help significantly to increase his damage. The rest is survivability. Otherwise pretty standard, I believe.
I use three spells on Morde: Flash, Ignite and Teleport, Ranked by priority, ignite being the most important. I will elaborate on these later.
Pros and Cons of this build
NOTE: This chapter focuses on this build, not on Morde in general.
+ Constant damage output
+ [Morde is] Extremly hard to kill, while fighting
+ Full use of his passive
+ a tad less vulnerable to ganks
+ ult will be available in practically every fight
- Damage is not burst-like
- Still a weak early game
- Early and mid game he is more teammate reliant that other builds
- Requires experience to know when to use his ult to full potential
Why use this build over others?
When I was thinking through why I couldn't play Morde well enough, I took a look at most of the fights I had with him so far (mostly teamfights, not 1v1 fights). They looked something like this:
1. I got my shield upwhen farming minions.
2. The fight begun, I used my E from max range (when assured to hit the maximum ammount of them)
3. Walked towards their squishies to burst them down (after our peelers)
4. When I came to their squishies to unleash my combo, they turned their attention to me, killed what was left of my shield.
5. I unleashed what I had left of my combo and I died due to not having any shield.
My conclusion from this:
1. Morde needs to be close in range to do anything at all (no Q)
2. The shield (passive) only held until I came close enough to do anything.
3. Initial burst (over)fills the shield, but after your initial burst you can't do anything but to autoattack.
4. As Morde you have two periods of the fight in which you are weak: when you're walking up to the enemy squishies and when you're in melee range (with no escapes) after you've unleashed your combo.
Afterwards, this is what I decided to do:
Find a build that makes Morde still strong while enabling him to stay alive through the entire fight.
I was surprised, that no builds that I've found on the internet could help me with this proble and so, I was left to help myself.
So, the answer to the chapter title question:
1. You won't die so quickly even when focused.
2. You still have plenty of damage, altough through other sources than 700 ability power.
3. It's easy to use. At any level of play this build can be effective. You still need to know the basics, however you don't need 300 games of experience to know how to play Morde.
Without further ado my build and reasoning...
The most important chapter. Period.
Main rule of this chapter: Build according to your opponents! If you don't this build will only make you suck. You'll end up with no farm, no damage and a defeat end screen.
1. Will of the Ancients
This item hives you ability power and spell vamp. Two very important stats. Ability power will give you damage, while spell vamp will cause your spells to cost practically no HP and will restore the HP lost from fighting.
You can also replace this with Spirit of the Spectral Wraith, if you think you need spell vamp earlier, since it's a bit cheaper, otherwise its a bunch of wasted stats (except CDR!).
2. Spirit Visage
Yes, Spirit Visage in core. No, I'm not crazy. Why? Well, usually you're going to go with Abyssal Scepter if you need Magic resist in mid lane, however with spirit visage you get more stats for less gold and more suitable stats for Morde.
The health it gives you is crucial. As Morde, you use your HP as your spell costs, therefore, as you level up, your spell costs become bigger. As other casters want to expand their mana pool to be able to spam their spells more, so you want to expand your health pool on Morde.
The Cooldown Reduction (CDR) it provides (20%) is half of your entire possible cap of CDR. And on CDR this build focuses. This is why this item is so important (explained futher in the next chapter).
The passive is an added bonus. Spirit visage is cost effective with just the stats it provides. You'll be using the passive with your spell vamp and your ult. Many people forget that your ult heals you, while it's active and improoved healing? Hell yes.
3. Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Again, yes. This item provides you with 15% CDR which will nearly top your cap with 39% together with Spirit visage and masteries. It is a crucial stat on this build, as the rest of the build relies on low cooldowns and availavility of your spells.
Rest of the build:
These items are recommended to be built after the 3 core items, however depending on your match-ups, some core items should be swithches with some of these (ex.: switch spirit visage with Seeker's Armguard + Kindlegem if you're against an AD champ, like Zed).
One of your key damage items, applying its passive with your AoE spells to more than 1 person makes it very reliable damage source team-wise while in teamfights (especially, since your Q automatically targets 4 people). Pair it up with Rylai's Crystal Scepter for maximum effect of it's pasive. Also see health reasoning at Spirit Visage.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
An awesome item, however a bit lackluster on Morde. I recommend getting it only after Liandry's Torment or if you can do the dps and your enemies keep getting away. It's passive is important, however you'll only get 15% with your spells, unless you're against only one enemy, while you use your Q. The main reason Rylai's is here it its syngerie with Lyandri's and the HP chunk it provides. Even though this item is very ineffective on its own, don't be afraid to pick up only a Giant's Belt if you feel that you need HP.
Very important, in terms of damage as well as in terms of Armor. It's the only real AP item in this build and the only one that provides you with Armor. Try getting it every game. Don't forget about its passive as well, it can really save you when you're being focused. It's noteworthy to mention, however, that your shield still deteriorates when you use it, so use it in emergyncy cases only or when you finnish the game, since the golden pose is just awesome.
These 6 items will provide you with everything you need. In most situations you won't need anything else. But, if your match-ups are clearly not balanced in terms of damage, for example, they have 3 ap-focused champions, it is worth getting other items, accordingly.
How to play with this build and why
As you can probably see by now, this build will not make you a burst champion, like most other builds do. If you ask me, there are champions, that fill this role much, much better (Brand, Annie etc.).
This build makes you a tanky sustained damage mage with an awesome burst and tankiness, that counters spell vamp and life steal (you can also counter Vladimir with this build). It is very similiar to Ryze, the only difference being, that you get stronger after killing your first target (if you used your ult).
According to the problems in a fight, that I found by analyzing my fights, this build reacts as follows:
1. More tankiness (HP, Armor, Magic resist) enable Morde to approach his targets (idealy enemy carries) without dieying or taking too much damage after which Morde would have to flash out of the fight, since he has no other escapes.
2. After the initial combo, due to the 39% CDR this build provides, you'll be able to keep using your skills, since your E will have a CD of 4.6s, your Q will have a CD of 3s and your W will have a CD of 9.1s (lasts 6s, making its CD actually 3.1s!). This will make you able to spam your abilities, filling your shield again and again, negating nearly all the damage, that your enemies will be inflicting on you, while returning no health from life steal or spell vamp, since they will not be damaging your actual HP. This is very important, since, after you start fighting, you will have no way to escape the fight except to use your flash.
3. Your ultimate will have a cooldown of 68.4s (lasts 30s, nearly half the CD), it being available every fight. In the end, if you manage to kill one of their carries (their ap carry makes your pet effective nearly as much as an AD carry), your own stats will be enhanced (by 20%of the ghost's), as well as the ghost's stats will be enhanced, their entire ap and ad will be converged into their autoattacks. Therefore, you will be even more powerful after you kill your first targeet. Here it's also very important to focus the same champion as your teammates do (if it is a carry), that you will be able to ult someone effectively.
This is pretty much all. Comment if you have any more questions about this build. Thank you for reading.
Fun fact: Mordekaiser is most probably left-handed, he plays his mace guitar the way left-handed people do and he uses his left hand for his E and W abilities.