Mordekaiser Build Guide by EidolonDragon
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.
Hello everyone! This is my first ever guide, updated for the fifth season, made to suit one of my favorite champions, Mordekaiser. I play Mordekaiser as a mage tank. With my build I cause heavy damage, tank a ton of damage, and don't usually die often. In the endgame you will be an incredible force on your team, and during the laning phase you will be a pain in the enemies' hindquarters. He is a great choice for both mid or solo top.
Pros / Cons
+ Incredible farming/pushing power
+ Great damage soak in teamfights
+ Can steal AND power up enemy carries (as well as himself)
+ Good harass/protection against harass
- No crowd control without Rylai's Crystal Scepter
- Relatively weak early game
- Difficult to not play aggressively to some degree
- Only larger range spell is ultimate
For runes I personally like to balance them out between offense and defense.
For seals I take 5 Greater Seal of Vitality and 4 Greater Seal of Armor (partly because it's nice and organized). I find health or armor per level to be very good runes overall, since they provide protection against magical, physical, and true damage. I take a few armor runes to mitigate minion damage, basic attacks, and turrets. Spreading out my defenses more evenly seems to work nicely, and to get less diminishing returns (even if they may be quite small, I still do care.)
For marks, I take all Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. These are crucial to dealing damage to build up your shield.
For glyphs, I take Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power. The reason I choose these over MR runes is because my build is fairly tanky, and if the enemy team is magic damage heavy I will normally compensate with items It also allows for greater mid-late game damage, the teamfight phase.
For quints, I take two Greater Quintessence of Ability Power and one Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration. This gives me just over 10 magic penetration total over all my runes, and mitigate a little of weak late-game without losing much ability power later.
For alternate choices, one could consider swapping out the seals for either all health per level or all armor (depending on personal preference) and the ability power glyphs for MR or other defenses. Quints I can understand anything that is more magic pen, movement speed, MR/armor/health.
For masteries, I take 7-21-2. The defense tree works very well for Mordekaiser again.
Ignite gives you great burst, and aids in killing those healing trolls. With an average 210 second cooldown and true damage, it has gotten me many kills. It's great to combo with your ultimate.
Flash I prefer over Ghost because it gives one escape that Mordekaiser does not have, and it can get you in range to secure a kill an enemy might think you won't get after your combo by surprising them with one last chunk of their health.
Ghost is a fine choice on Mordekaiser as it helps with chasing and escapes.
Exhaust is always a great summoner spell.
Heal is good on everyone, and it improves your teamfight awesomeness.
Barrier sure, but I never do personally.
Cleanse is an underused but good spell, it removes Exhaust, the DOT on Ignite, and all other crowd control.
Smite is for junglers. Jungling Mordekaiser is possible but not recommended.
Siphon of Destruction is your main skill for this build - upgrade it whenever you can.
Mace of Spades is a second priority, max it second.
Creeping Death is nice to have early because it offers some defense and an AOE for shield generation, but requires you to stand in the middle of all the enemy creeps to gain a decent amount of shield. I take it later, when you can get more shield with your other spells as well and max it last.
Keep in mind the skill order is not to be set in stone - consider leveling Creeping Death a few more times if you are being harassed a lot in lane. Siphon of Destruction is nearly always maxed first.
Your ultimate, Children of the Grave obviously gets ranked up as soon as possible. No cost, heals you, % max hp, enslaves them as a ghost, doesn't get much better.
For Mid Lane
You are likely to be ganked quite often in any lane given how Mordekaiser pushes, so I often start boots and pots. It helps avoid ganks and getting the Sorcerer's Shoes gives a higher chance of landing a kill in lane at level 6.
I always start with Sorcerer's Shoes or a Hextech Revolver on the first recall (depending on how long you are in lane.) If I cannot afford full boots from being pushed out of lane for whatever reason, I will grab an Amplifying Tome for a later Hextech Revolver.
Here is where I vary, though the order I have ABOVE is the norm for me.
Next I complete Hextech Gunblade; this I have permanently forsaken Will of the Ancients for, due to the price increase and the mass of damage added to Mace of Spades.
Normally buying a Giant's Belt next is almost always a great choice, though occasionally I will grab a Negatron Cloak, Cloth Armor, Chain Vest or Blasting Wand (all of which go into my later items).
I finish off an Abyssal Scepter, to further increase my damage and increase my defenses to near tank levels. With the Abyssal Scepter you will have a total of 51 magic penetration effectively, as well as 10% from talents.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter, an incredibly useful item is powerful on Mordekaiser - 3 of 4 of your spells hit multiple targets, and two of them have extremely low cooldowns, so it makes it very hard to escape you. It also provides sizable health and ability power. Also, every tic of Children of the Grave will keep the target slowed.
Next, I choose to buy Thornmail instead of Sunfire Cape, though being on fire is pretty legit. The damage on Sunfire Cape is fairly low, and does not have too much of a range. I find that I get more out of a Thornmail - it is cheaper, gives more armor, and helps more against attack damage carries (whom you should try to kill for a ghost if possible.) It also rounds out my total defenses quite nicely even without creeping death, and allows you to tank towers with ease. Having more defenses increases the worth of your shield; it will be very hard to take you down if you space out your spells and cast them correctly.
I have tested out Liandry's Torment on Mordekaiser and I have found I do not like it. I have examined all of my replays, and I have found that my own playstyle nets more wins with a tankier build, and with Force of Nature removed, Spirit Visage is the best option in my humble opinion.
If you finish your build, buy Oracle's Elixir and help your team, then Elixir of Brilliance and Elixir of Fortitude.
Pay attention to the enemy's team composition! Different matches call for different items, though I don't often change my final items, the order in which I build them can vary dramatically! In addition, feel free to use other items to your heart's content - I just find my build overall to work in nearly every game I play Mordekaiser.
This section will be how the game should come out for you, starting from level 1 to the nexus exploding.
Firstly, I'd just like to say that getting the gold for as many minions as possible is something that I'm assuming you are doing the whole game. Try not to miss any that wouldn't cost you a death or force you out of lane.
When you first go out to lane, also be weary of the unexpected. This goes for whatever champion you might be playing, watch the minimap to locate enemy champions before going out in lane. Once you've seen them all, walk out to your minions. At level one, you are only equipped with Siphon of Destruction, Ignite, and basic attacks. This is not the time to go looking for a kill. Simply stand behind your melee minions, and cast siphon of destruction when you can. Take note of how much shield you are getting, it is important to be aware of this. Also, take time to inspect your opponent, and try not to sit still. Be unpredictable, so it is harder for enemies to land spells on you such as Mystic Shot and Piltover Peacemaker and the like.
Once you reach level 2, you can start having some fun. You should have put a point in Mace of Spades by now. This is when you can start to become a nuisance. Be on your toes for enemy ganks, as the way I play Mordekaiser is very aggressive. If you are not too low on health, move up to their caster minions. Watch your enemy, and be ready to cast your spells. If they move in range, hit them with a Siphon of Destruction as well as the caster minions. This will generate a lot of shield, because hitting minions is half the effect, you should be hitting 3 minions and them. This blocks most if not all of the damage you would have received. You can also use your Mace of Spades to block more damage. This will help you zone your opponent, and you can always turn around and Siphon of Destruction the enemy melee minions for your gold and/or shield.
The aforementioned should work for levels five to six as well, though by level four you should have put a point in Creeping Death. When you cast Creeping Death make sure to stand in range of as many minions as you can, and always try to see if you can hit enemies with the edge of your Siphon of Destruction. If your enemy is foolish enough to engage you while you Creeping Death in all the minions, just stay calm, move back, hitting the entire minion wave and them with Siphon of Destruction and if possible hit them with Mace in the Face.
Once you reach level 6, things start to get very fun. Don't be too aggressive with your Children of the Grave, but don't avoid using it either. Below are some tips for good times to use it.
- For a kill. Duh.
- If you are in a dangerous spot, such as running from a gank.
- To restore your health - this I do far less often after playing a lot of Mordekaiser, but if you need to stay in lane, use it for the heal.
- To scare them out of lane. Often using Children of the Grave alone can scare your enemy away.
After getting the boots, you will have nearly 30 magic penetration which is the exact amount of all champions that do not gain it per level; pretty much all of the ranged carries, mages, etc. To put it simply, you will basically hit true damage on anyone without MR runes/masteries; seeing the giant chunks siphon takes out of enemies' health without runes is AWESOME. It will also allow for sizeable damage on even those with the runes. This is normally when I go for kills that aren't handed to me on a silver platter.
To clear a creep wave with ease, let your Creeping Death tick a few times, then walk back and carefully aim Siphon of Destruction to hit them all. If any remain, use Mace of Spades.
If you know your enemy hasn't warded, feel free to invade the enemy jungle. With all of your spells off of cooldown, you have absolutely massive burst. Use it on an unsuspecting jungler.
Once you reach the late game phase where teamfights erupt, your job is a damage soak. You will do mostly the same thing for most fight - stand in the middle of their team with Creeping Death up, and hit everyone you can with your Siphon of Destruction as always, and be sure to space out your abilities if you are being focused. It allows you to survive; it is IMPERATIVE that you stay alive so that you get a ghost - contrary to popular belief not always the AD carry. Once you get one, you are basically a 1v4 GOD. Your ghost generates you shield, empowers you with attack damage for your mace and auto attacks, and perhaps ability power as well. If you are focused down, often you are tanky enough with Iron Man and your spell vamp + healing on Children of the Grave that in the time it takes them to try to kill you, your team will have face-rolled them into oblivion. If you survive, that's what you'll be doing. However as always use your brain, and know what you are getting into. Things may differ only sometimes, but identifying them and adapting is what makes good players good.
As of right now, I'm trying to figure out the whole clip-making thing, so for now I have a match that was especially fun for me to show my build in action. When I figure out how to make clips I will shorten it down.
- you will need LoLreplay installed to watch, until I fix this problem
Things to be aware of
Ward the map!
Always buy Sight Ward and/or Vision Wards! Every great guide I've read says this, and they're right. Knowing where your enemies are is a huge advantage. It's easy to find guides that say how/where to ward, and I cannot do a better job. You'll be in a solo lane, so be sure to protect yourself from ganks, and know when enemies are approaching.
Always carry health potions when you can - these little sodas will make you regenerate like you're ulted Dr. Mundo for a long time in the game. Keep a few of these depending on how the laning is going. These are very important for you, since your abilities cost health, and you want to stay away from being dangerously low.
Fear not many minions!
Try to hit as many enemies as you can with your Siphon of Destruction - don't be afraid to reposition yourself and move around before you cast; if you can hit a few more enemies/minions, you'll get more shield and more healing from spell vamp. Moving a tiny bit has saved my life many times before.
Patience is a virtue!
If you are in a lane 1v2, be patient and remain calm. It is a good thing if they push the minions to your tower most of the time - you can hit them all for a huge shield that will absorb ranged ability/attack harassment. Stay behind your minions mostly, and don't be afraid to move in when they are near their own minions. If they are pushing you can easily hit them with the far edge of your Siphon of Destruction as well as their minions, and block basically all counter poking.
Be the center of attention!
Stand in the middle of the whole wave if you are going to build shield with Creeping Death - you'll get much more hitting 6 minions over 3, and if an enemy approaches, use another ability to build up a quick shield to block their damage.
Crush the lone enemy!
Your Mace of Spades hits incredibly hard when the target is alone, if you draw them away from minions it will hit for high damage.
Space out your abilities - if you are in a fight and your shield is full, wait a little while before using another one, after your shield is drained a little.
As I said, stay healthy!
You can cast Children of the Grave on the tank for a ton of health if you are taking a lot of damage - even a tank ghost does a lot of damage. Keep in mind your ult heals you for the damage dealt. It will also generate a lot more shield.
Know about your ghost
- Your ghost's auto attack will also generate shield. You can often lure enemies into taking you on while you are low, and your ghost will help you destroy them.
- Control your ghost with alt + right click. You can have it tank towers for you, kill minions, scout, etc. Attacking a champion with it will make a turret target you.
You cannot kill yourself with your abilities - if you are low health and have shield left, keep casting! You can survive in ridiculous ways by generating shield while you only have 1 health left. You will never drop below 1 and can always use them. A full shield is a lot of effective health, so if you get more shield than you spend your remaining health, the ability is worth it (especially since it also does damage to your enemy.)
Knowing this may or may not help
You can steal Tailwind, and other passives from the enemies if you get their ghost.
Well, that's my guide. Always keep in mind that it is a guide - often times you will find greater pleasure in creating your own personal style; your own build and your own way of doing things. Thank you for reading, and if you've any advice/corrections/constructive criticism, let me know, but be nice!
My thanks to Jhoihoi, whose own guide helped me make mine less ugly!
When I figure out how, if this guide is worth anything, I'll post some of my results and clips from LoLreplay.
3/21/12 Some basic formatting. Added Health Potion tips and fixed the skill sequence. Elixirs under items. Link to a LoLreplay match.
3/22/12 Links to items and stuff! Some aesthetic changes.
3/23/12 More aesthetic changes.
3/28/12 Worked on the Gameplay Section. Not yet completed.
3/30/12 Edited masteries.
6/17/12 (Somewhere around there) Gameplay complete, though may need more editing.
7/16/12 Added situational starting items, not quite sure how to arrange it. I have also been playing ranked, so I've removed some text.
10/9/12 Updated my build after getting a lot more experience. Forsook WOTA for Gunblade, and FON for Rabadon's Deathcap. No longer have two auras. Added easy way to wipe a creep wave.
12/30/12 Updated for season 3. May have missed a few things to be fixed upon noticing them.
2/24/13 Added optional start for mid lane or top lane.
1/21/14 Defense tree good for Morde again. Swag.