Hey and welcome to my guide for AP Mordekaiser :) One of the stronger late game AP carries, Mordekaiser's strength lies in his ability to dish out tons of AEO magic damage whilst gaining a shield due to his passive Iron Man from that very magic damage. As 35% of damage dealt is converted into his shield, the quicker and higher your damage dealt is, the harder it is going to be for your opponents to break down that shield and deal any damage to your actual health bar. This is what, in my opinion, makes Mordekaiser a unique AP carry.
Keys to Mordekaiser
This leads to the 4 keys for building Mordekaiser:
1. Cooldowns (quicker damage): this should be reflected in both your mastery and rune set-ups. Utility tree offers little for Mord as he does not use mana nor is he a support, hence throwing points in utility just to reach the 6% cooldown bonus is not ideal. Survivability in the early lane phase will be an issue for most Mords and this issue is best addressed by the defensive tree. Coincidentally cooldowns (albeit per level) are a part of this mastery tree and as such you should take it along with the full 21 points in this defense tree. Keeping in mind the importance of cooldowns, with those 9 remaining points the only available cooldown redcution lies in the offense tree. Along the way you'll recive a nice speed boost for the already speedy summoner spell Ghost and some always useful magic penetration. In terms of rune setup you don't need to go overboard, glyphs provide the best cooldowns reduction after quintessences. Flat cooldown reduction won't benefit Mordekaiser during the early game because you won't and shouldn't be spamming your abilities. Any 'spamming' of abilities is most likely going to result in you being so far pushed that your going to get ganked. Alot. Rather, your spamming bullying will begin mid game (by which time your per-lvl glyphs will have overtaken their flat colleagues) following through into late game (by which time your glyphs will far outstrip the cooldown reduction offered by flat variety). The reason for not grabbing cooldown quintessences is that spell-vamp is only offered in the quintessence department and your gonna need those which leads me to...
2. Spell Vamp (self-sustain): Probably what makes Mordekaiser capable of what he is. Think about it, you already have a shield which is constantly getting replenished with a meagre 3% decay rate per second. So before your enemies can even begin damaging your actual health they have to wear down this barrier. Say you get jumped (which may happen seeing as your full AP) and you don't have that shield up, the only way your going to get out of that situation is to have another source of self-sustainability (by this i mean your support is probably out of range to hold your hand). Seeing as Mord relies on ability power for damage and is not an attack damage carry, spell-vamp is the logical choice. Fortunately for you by taking spell-vamp quintessences you have some spell-vamp available to you from level 1. This core aspect of any AP Mord should be further increased ASAP and the only way your going to do this is through item purchases.
3. Ability Power (greater damage for spell-vamp return): This is what distinguishes an AP mord from an off-tank mord. Off-tank mord is quite the handful also, however this is a full AP carry mord guide and as such should be built accordingly. Running say Abyssal sceptre with Will of the Ancients for AP and Sunfire Cape, Force of Nature, Warmog's Armor etc belongs with off-tank mords. I'd also argue that full AP mord is practically an off-tank by the time you have 4 or 5 of your items regardless :) By stacking AP the spell-vamp return is going to be massive from the 2 spell vamp items available to you Will of the Ancients and Hextech Gunblade.
4. Lich Bane (nuff said): Holy moley. My gwad. Nerf irelia. These may be some of the things you'll start to hear hear once you grab Lich Bane and start Mace of Spades'ing solo targets. Just a ridiculous item when combined with Mordekaiser's Q ability and the amount of AP you'll be packing. If you manage to get your full build things are gonna start goin down.
Pro's and Con's of playing Mordekaiser
Built in shield/defence
Squishy early game
No built-in Crowd Control (CC) ability
No built-in escape ability
As explained above in the "Keys to Mordekaiser" section, your best bet in terms of masteries lies in the defensive tree (i.e. 21 points in this tree). This provides early armor for survivability during the early lane phase (during which mord is at his weakest), cooldown reduction per level for maximum utilisation of late game abilities, both some flat and per-level health for survivability, nice movement speed buff to complement Ghost and last but not least the CC duration reduction and overall health increase from your 21st point.
The utility tree is pretty pointless, the only attractive aspects of it for AP mordekaiser include the spell vamp (not that great), cooldown reduction (too many points invested) and summoner spell cooldown reduction.
Rather, your last 9 points should be spent on the offensive tree. The Ghost and Ignite buffs are nice (ignite not so much), to go along with some more cooldown reduction and finally some magic penetration (which is handy since there's no room for void staff in this build :(. Whilst the argument can be made for the full 21 points in offense, my major qualm with this is that by the time your able to best utilise this tree, the items you will have don't need any extra help. Furthermore, the only way your actually going to be able to get these items in the first place is by surviving early game!!!
By taking spell-vamp quintessences you will start with some form of sustain in the early lane. Alternatives include health regen and flat health, however I find the sustain from the health regen comparable to that of spell-vamp and as for the health...you should know how much health you have to work with and play accordingly. If your constantly pushing and getting ganked and wishing "oh i wish i had more health so i can play dumb" then your doing it wrong.
For marks I take the pretty stock-standard magic penetration, not much else I can think of that is useful.
Seals are usually flat armor for me, however I have seen health regen, health per-lvl and flat health seals run on mord before. Even gold per 5! Overall not gonna be your biggest concern.
In terms of glyphs i currently run cooldown per lvl ones, however in the past i have successfully used flat or per-lvl magic resist and even magic pen. Again, won't be the biggest decision you make.
Lately I have been running Ghost for the escape and Ignite for early kills (no 10 hp'ers in my lane!).
Viable alternatives include:
Exhaust: Good and similar to ignite. I personally prefer the domination ignite provides for you when it comes to AP or AD carries relying on their own spell-vamp or life-steal.
Flash: -.- pretty sure everyone still takes this and they are right on certain champions. I take ghost over flash due to the sustained burst of speed it provides which is of far more use to you're teammates when chasing or escaping (enemy has flash as well your back to square 1)
Teleport: Personally I dislike this summoner spell but many players use it well. Good for out-farming your opponents or allowing them to over-extend.
Heal: Only if you really feel the need. Can be good. Sometimes.
Terrible choices include:
Smite: Look up jungle mord builds.
Clarity: You troll.
Promote: Fairly useless, never seen anyone use it effectively.
Clairvoyance: Look up support mord builds.
Revive: Your not Karthus (or a troll).
The fairly wide consensus among Mordekaiser players is that your E ability; siphon destruction should be maxed every available opportunity. This is mainly because it provides the most AOE damage without having to be within melee striking distance. Great ability for harassing, however watch your sheild and use it sparringly on creep waves in an effort not to overextend your lane.
There is somewhat less of a consensus when it comes too the second ability. Many praise Creeping Death for the durability it provides mord and is a constant source of damage (similar to say Sunfire Cape. If i was playing a more tank-like mord i may consider maxing this skill (your W) second. However, as an AP mord you want the most damage you can grab as early as you can! Such a result is achieved by maxing Mace of Spades second (your Q ability).
As per usual take your ultimate at levels 6, 11 and 16. Mordekaiser's ult, although very effective at finishing off low-hp enemy champions, should be saved for 1 champ in particular: your enemy team's carry. If that carry happens to die whilst your ultimate is on them, you will receive 20% of their attack damage and ability power...a scary thought if it happens to be a Corki with full build...
I usually like to start off with Boots of Speed and 3 health potions for the mobility and thus increased potential for harrassing (and escaping o.0). You should always look to grab a Hextech Revolver on your first B for the sustain it will provide you. Sorcerer's Shoes are my favourite boots, however ionian boors of lucidity are a nice alternative for the cooldown reduction they provide. The reason why i prefer Sorcerer's Shoes is the lack of a Void Staff late game and the lack of damage without them early game due to the rune and mastery setup.
From this point onwards you should assess the state of the game and continue your build accordingly. Even if I happen to be dominating my lane, chances are the enemy team are going to start paying attention to you as such I prefer Zhonya's Hourglass straight up. While rushing Rabadon's Deathcap may not be the worst thing to do if fed, the ability power bonus from zhonya's is still nice ( Needlessly Large Rod ) and armor never hurts ( chain mail ). But the real thing you want it for is its unique passive, which is pretty much going to save your life if focused. This should see you through most team-fights and leaving you to pick up kills and build towards that Lich Bane! Once you've got this you can really start looking to push your advantage and start snowballing into Rabadon's Deathcap and beyond. Once you have these core AP carry items, its time to grab some hardcore spell-vamp with Hextech Gunblade and Will of the Ancients. With these 2 items along with your runes, your completed build comes along with 46% spell-vamp. That is, nearly half of your ability power damage will be returned as health.
Mordekaiser is quite the farmer throughout the game and your nice jungler might even let you take some of his wraiths if your mid :) If you feel the need (or the situation calls for it) push up the creep waves using Siphon of Destruction and Mace of Spades (also a good combination for farming in general) then proceed to gank your adjacent lanes. The AOE damage provided by siphon and spades will allow you to quickly push your lane and leave it unattended whilst you gank without fear of losing a tower -.-
Whilst AP off-tank mord is viable and quite useful, I believe AP mord when farmed correctly is one of the most powerful late game carries there is. If you don't believe me I only ask that you try AP Mordekaiser and see for yourself the incredible damage potential he has. Enjoy mord and i'll be back with plenty more guides :) gl hf smd