Mordekaiser Build Guide by
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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.
MY NAME IS DeathNote2k4. I've been playing morde since winter of 10. After the re-buff to his shield and damage to his E, I started to play him exclusively mid (instead of top in season 1) and got all the way up to 2.1k! He still is viable in rare cases top, but because of his lack of cc he is extremely vulnerable to ganks even with proper warding.
Mordekaiser is a champion that excels at mid-late phases of the game (although his early game can be easy if their jungler is weak and ap mid lacks strong trading ability) and puts out a lot of damage while being tanky at the same time. He can exchange extremely well because of lifesteal and his shield (from his passive), and in this way trades are almost always in his favor if you play him right with proper positioning. His damage is both burst and sustained (as paradoxical as it sounds) because his E Q do strong amounts of damage with low cooldowns. People almost always complain that he lacks CC, but his overwhelming damage as well as well as possibly snaring an enemy ghost is well worth it.
The Morde I describe in this guide is one for safe laning against hard matchups because chances are people will counter him (described later) and it is imperative that he gets through the laning phase where he is most vulnerable.
[*] Able to carry
[*] Can turn game into 6v4 with ultimate
[*] Tons of damages
[*] Tanky + shield/spell vamp
[*] Trades very well
[*] Easy to farm with making him one of the best and strongest farmers in the game
[*] Es #1
[*] Can be shut down by jungler easily
[*] No cc
[*] Ghost dies if morde dies
[*]cleanses morde ult (cleanse does not)
[*] No escape mechanism besides flash
I used to be 65% when I first got to 2k elo with around 250 games just as mordekaiser, but I got trolled some, and then just herp derp'd on the others so now I'm at 61% =/
I run 21 in defense because I build Morde's damage through items. Morde's early game is weak, and so the extra +3 hp regen/5, +6 magic resist, flat +30 hp, and 3% movement speed above 70% hp in the beginning help a lot. Endgame, the hp/level from Enlightenment + added hp from Juggernaut adds up to a lot more hp.
In offense, I feel the +3 ability power is negligible compared to the +5 attack damage you get while last hitting early game which will make the difference in at least a few creeps (the same reason why ranged ad carries nowadays get flat ad for killing creeps early on).
I see a lot of Morde's going 21 in offense, but I feel a balanced tanky mordekaiser is much more viable in competitive play where people WILL kite you and WILL focus you at times.
It's also possible to run 21 in utility, giving him extra spellvamp, movement speed, flat 6% cdr (as opposed to the 8.1% by level 18 in the defense tree), and 15% cdr on his summoners, but I feel the benefits of 21 in defense outweigh the ones you get from utility.
9x Magic Penetration Reds
9x Health per Level Yellows
9x Flat Magic Resist Blues
3x Flat HP Regen/5 Quints / Flat AP
Reds are standard magic penetration used for basically every AP carry.
Again, I make Morde a bit more tanky through runes so I run health per level which gives him a very hefty +175 at 18, although you could possibly swap them 9x armor runes if you like if you are forced to go top lane or against a heavy auto attack harassing AP champion early on (Kennen).
Flat Magic resist blues are there to help him lane and trade better early on, and help tremendously against early lane dominant champions (Annie, Swain, Leblanc).
The Vigor quints are quite magical - combined with the +3 hp regen from masteries -> you start out with 19 hp regen per 5 at level 1. These are better than spellvamp quints because for spellavmp quints to be effective you must push, and pushing early on is the same as asking to get ganked. True, spellvamp quints are better mid-late game but I feel the most important thing as Mordekaiser is to get through the early laning phase while csing well and not dieing to jungle ganks.
Flat AP quints on the other hand are great for a bit of extra damage, and are worth getting if you absolutely feel you can crush the other AP mid.
Ignite goes well with your ultimate for tons of dot(damage over time) damage in order to get your ghost in order to break the game/DUNK NOOBLORDS. Must-have.
Flash is a must-have as well because morde has no escape or cc. This can also be used for flash E combo to nail that low hp champion almost getting away. Situations also sometimes force you to flash offensively right on top of the ad carry in order to burst him down to get your ghost, so I prefer this over ghost all day.
Some Mordekaiser's run ghost instead of flash given his tendency to get kited, but I feel that flash is much more invaluable because you can hop walls/terrain or get that extra distance to get that Q or E to finish someone off.
Max E first, getting ult whenever you can, and then get W because it does more dps than Q does. Sometimes I get Q at level 2 because it resets your attack animation and I suck at last hitting.
Higher Level Play
I think these are the plays that will get you higher if you have the ability to do so, but a lot of this comes from experience so you will have to grow into this. I still make the wrong plays all the time, but I try to limit my mistakes as much as possible.
Knowing when to push and not to push + Stealing Wraiths
This might seem simple, but I see a lot of players that don't quite get the grasp of this. This goes along with gauging the enemy jungler's threat level, but generally you don't want to push early on if you don't know where the enemy jungler is because you WILL die to him. However, if you see him in another lane, try pushing the lane (hitting the enemy champion as well, if possible, in order to gain more shield to absorb trades) and then going to steal the enemy wraiths. You can also steal your own junglers's wraiths if they are far away and it will probably respawn by the time they will come back to it (or if you're a mean person and you want more cs trolol)
Gauging the Early Ganking Potential and Threat Level of Enemy Junglers
This is a huge thing. I've seen so many people cry "omg shaco.. what could I have done", and sometimes there really isn't anything you can do if someone like that camps you, but there IS such a thing as playing passive if there is a high threat level early ganking machine e.g. lee sin/alistar/shaco. On the flip side, if its warwick, GO BALLS DEEP and DUNK... until he's 6. Basically, be reasonable and use your judgment.. don't be an ignorant nooblord.
Map Awareness + Wards
I do not count on teammates looking at the map at all times, therefore I do it for them. My peripherals are always on the mini map, pinging them if I see an enemy jungler coming down to gank them, even if they see it themselves. Sometimes they will yell at me saying "dude chill, we saw it coming. no need to ping", but I'd rather not take the chance of them getting killed, and ping anyways like a boss.
When to take Dragon/Baron
This goes along with map awareness - if their bot lane just went back to heal and your jungler is kinda close, go ahead and force dragon even if your mid lane is there. At worst it will be a 4v2 if the jungler is there, and a 4v1 if he isn't so DO THE MATHS AND JUST DO IT. If their enemy jungler is ganking top and your jungler is down bot near dragon, go ahead and force dragon (be reasonable, of course), but chances are that with the extra person 4v3 and your jungler's smite, it should end well. Make sure if you get a ghost to use it to tank - I cannot stress this ENOUGH.
Mid Game Play
Ranged AD's at this point do not have QSS, so you want to generally hone in on them (along with your team) to grab a valuable asset to win team fights. You want to secure as many dragons as possible to give your team as much an edge as possible, and securing a ghost is an important asset to winning objectives. Roaming, in the case of extended laning phases, is not a priority because of the lack of cc that morde has, combined with the fact that it is a good idea to extend your *probable laning phase lead. However, if a lane absolutely needs help, be sure to go in and help out because Morde just flat out does a ton of damage with his full combo.
If the game goes into late, Morde is a powerhouse because all fighting will primarily be at objectives (towers, barons, dragons, buffs) in team fights where he has a strong presence. By this time you should have at least youror to do lots of damage.
Make sure not to get caught not with the team because Morde is very vulnerable to getting cc chained which leads your team to fight a 4v5 or allow the enemy team to capture objectives. At towers, if you are confident you have an advantage you can activate your lich bane (if you have it) and hit the tower to do significant damage, but for the most part you do not want to be attacking towers - let your ranged ad do the work.
At Baron, Mordekaiser's damage output is greater than most ap carries except for a few (like Cassiopeia) so you do want to help kill the Baron. You also want to shield the tank at baron so he takes less damage. However, make sure to communicate with your team to watch out for game changing skills (Amumu bandage + ult, blitzcrank grab, lee sin kick/smite steal to name a few) and prepare accordingly e.g. Janna having her ult ready to blow people away if they try to flash in to steal. Furthermore, make sure to communicate whether to finish the baron, or bait the baron and turn on them. In finishing baron, you may also want to have one person zone the enemy team from coming in at full charge.
I still face ranged ad's at this elo where they don't get QSS, so feel free to jump on them with your ult and burst them down to win team fights easily, but in the case they do you have two options.
1) The ad carry still absolutely needs to die because he is insanely fed. In this case, you want to have your teammates use their stuns/cc on him so he'll hopefully prematurely use his QSS to cleanse it, at which point your ult will take place to ghost him if he dies.
2) Ult a bruiser that isn't necessarily tanky in MR, or you can ult someone that is a high threat level to your squishies aka Irelia. Sometimes bursting down that Irelia is counterintuitive, but it can pay big dividends as it frees up your ranged ad to do tons of your damage for your team. I can't say I always know when to do this, but try to play more games and get a feel for it.
You should be E'ing and Q'ing as many enemy's as you can to maximize damage, as well W'ing yourself as you stand in the middle and slow their entire team because hopefully they aren't focusing you. In the case that they are focusing you, make sure to build your defense items and play safe - you aren't always invincible as late game ranged ad like kog can melt you =/