You can't kill what's stronger
typical final build
Threats to Mordekaiser with this build
|Riven||let her jump into you and your minions all day long|
Mordekaiser is what Riot calls a juggernaut. He can take a beating like a tank and do damage like a carry.
Riot compensates for those strengths by making him slow, weak at the start, and void any form of crowd control, initiate, or escape.
This makes him hard to play, but he is well worth it. No other champions play like him. You're free to blast your abilities as fast as your cool down allows because you have no mana to worry about. When you can kill an opponent with your ultimate active on them you get a ghost version of them to control with the ALT key. You can even get a ghost version of the dragon simply by doing damage to it in a battle your team wins, even if your ultimate is on cool down! As great as it is to play the game 6v5 due to having the dragon on your side it is even better to turn a 5v5 fight into a 6v4 by killing an enemy. With that kind of advantage your team can't help but win.
At the extreme end of dominance once you've hit level 2 on your Children of the Grave and have a couple damage items you can solo the dragon and then use that to solo the baron!
At the end when you roam around annihilating opponents with your OP damage and a pet dragon the entire map is your domain - you're the Kaiser!
Pros / Cons
+ ghost dragon will usually push over a tower
+ great wave clear with W and E to split push
+ can solo the baron with level 2 ghost dragon and two damage items
- can't initiate
- terrible mobility
- no escape
- short-ranged / kiteable
- weak start
- difficult to come back with
|It is important to understand that although he can be a bit tanky he is a juggernaut, not a tank. He is like an assassin that needs to be able to go in and destroy despite being hit - he can't sit there and soak up damage. You need to spend your item slots on ability power, not on armour, magic resist, and HP like tank. Your ability to tank comes from raising your max health and recharging Iron Man shield in a fight. The more damage you do, the more shield you have! With enough ability power landing your Siphon of Destruction on a pair of champions will basically refill your shield.|
Top or Bottom
One of his powers is his unique ability to earn bonus XP when last hitting minions with other champions around. In theory this lets him out level the other team's carry and lead the team to victory.
However the current bonus is only about 17% more experience from minions that he last hits. This doesn't speed up his leveling fast enough to overcome his weak start to be a good general bottom carry. He just can't get to his target. There are better carries for your team out there, despite his Harvesters of Sorrow XP bonus. Take him top or mid.
The exception is if you can duo with a support like Blitz that can pull their carry to you. In that case you will destroy.
Harvesters of Sorrow
Harvesters of Sorrow is what can make Mordekaiser a great champion to have on a team. It isn't the Sunfire Cape style damage this does that makes it great, it is that you can heal yourself and an ally for 190 + 30% AP or 380 + 60% AP if you can catch two champions in a team fight. Injecting hundreds of HP to both you and an ally in a team fight is a game changer.
It provides a speed boost to get Mordekaiser closer to an ally. This lets you follow your team's initiator into a fight or follow an ally away from a fight if things go poorly. Use this to get close enough that you kill their ADC at the back with Children of the Grave on them.
When you are damaged during the laning phase you just go for a stroll to the nearest jungle camp and activate Harvesters of Sorrow. You can leave the monsters for your jungler, you just want to get a heal from them.
Harvesters of Sorrow makes Mordekaiser look deceptively close to death. Iron Man shield converts a significant portion of the the ability power damage he does a shield, so with Harvesters of Sorrow up he has good resistance to damage.
All this health and healing makes him a juggernaut, not a tank. If you need a tank there are better tank champions out there. However he works great as an off-tank to rotate in with the primary.
Mordekaiser really builds off his ability power. If you can land your third Mace of Spades you'll kill anything other than their tank. However he can't be a glass cannon, we need a bit of a balance.
For offence we need three Ability Power Quintessences and magic penetration.
To stay alive, especially late game we should have all the HP we can get, so get the scaling HP seals. More HP also allows your Iron Man shield to be more effective. Armour runes can work for an early game boost, but generally we can just be careful and use the jg to recharge HP.
Late game the biggest source of damage is ability power and we don't want to build a pure MR item. Scaling magic resist Glyphs allow us to be a juggernaut late game. Cooldown Glyphs can be nice since you can use your abilities non-stop without worrying about mana, but late game the other team is likely to have a powerful mage and staying alive is more useful than using an ability slightly earlier.
is best on Mordekaiser. This speed boost lets you stick to your opponent to get the third hit. More importantly it lets you escape after the kill if you need to.
This is better than making your 3rd hit stronger with Thunderlord's Decree or even Deathfire Touch . Deathfire Touch seems like a fantastic keystone for a mage like Mordekaiser. However his abilities are all AoE and only receive half the benefit. A bit more AP can be bought with items, the utility of Stormraider's Surge can't. Always get Stormraider's Surge .
Working back from Stormraider's Surge we can skip obvious choices and review the advantages of the ones that require consideration.
Precision is 3 + 0.3 magic penetration per level for a total of 8.4 at 18. Add that to the nine 0.87 magic penetration runes for a total of 16.23. That means with either 15 magic penetration from Liandry's Torment or Sorcerer's Shoes you have a total of just over 30 - enough for 100% penetration on none-melee champions at just level 14!
Bandit vs. Dangerous Game has no clear winner. Restoring 5% of your missing health and mana is only going to help in a multi champion battle where it lets you get a kill and stay alive for one more hit. This situation almost never happens. It is basically a wasted selection in most games. Bandit on the other hand gives you more gold to get another item every single match. It is especially useful against another melee champion where every hit is worth half a minion kill. If you're ever behind Bandit helps you from falling even further behind.
Savagery over Wanderer is another tough choice since you always need more movement speed. The extra damage to make last hitting minions during his handicapped start easier makes Savagery the winner.
Bounty Hunter over Double Edged Sword . Double Edged Sword is great for assassins, but not juggernauts since it is only useful in a 1v1. You get a flat 5% advantage, but the 2.5% disadvantage is multiplied by the number of champions hitting you. Bad Deal! With Bounty Hunter you don't have any penalty and over the course of the game your scaling only improves until it is much better than Double Edged Sword .
Natural Talent wins over Vampirism because if you need health you'll just walk into the jungle and steal some. Natural Talent 's bonus AP and AD is like a free bonus set of Runes.
Fresh Blood works well with Bandit to really encourage those first hits.
Sorcery is better than Fury because this makes all his abilities better, not just his mace of spades.
Item Build Order
You want to stay in your lane until you need to back, so what you buy depends on what you can afford. You're going to need to get Rylai's Crystal Scepter no matter what, but you don't need to purely build it. The Hextech Revolver first is the best if you get to occasionally hit your opponent. This is usually the case. The opponent will rarely stick around to let you get three hits, so this is great to chip him down quickly and get a kill or at least proc
. You may need the Ruby Crystal and Boots of Speed before you get it built and that is OK.
The first items to complete are Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Boots of Swiftness. If you're against a mage with heavy CC instead of slow Mercury's Treads are the better boot for the match up. By the time you get boots and Rylai's Crystal Scepter you are likely transitioning from laning into team battles to get objectives. You should try to finish the Hextech Gunblade, but often it makes more sense to build Sterak's Gage. The extra damage of the Hextech Gunblade is great, but if their team focuses you then you're not going to be alive to use it.
By the time you finish the Hextech Gunblade and Sterak's Gage you'll be getting close to the end game. You'll need to do even more damage, however with all that damage you're going to get yourself focused. You need defense in the form of Zz'Rot Portal or Guardian Angel. They're both excellent choices. The Voidspawn rarely get a tower for me, but I still like it because Point Runner will give you 20% movement speed around towers. Guardian Angel works really well too. If you're unsure for your situation build Zz'Rot Portal.
My usual final damage item is Liandry's Torment. Basically there are two kinds of champions - ranged champions with a flat 30 magic resist or melee champions with 32.1 that grows per level. Liandry's Torment gives you 100% penetration on range champions, basically a 15% bonus damage. Plus it gives you 300 health to keep you alive.
If the match goes exceptionally long and you're sitting on too much gold then replace your boots with Luden's Echo.
If you are in the bottom lane with champion like Blitzcrank, Thresh, or Volibear that has a pull go for Mace of Spades first. The other 99% of the time you start with Harvesters of Sorrow first for the healing. Against a melee champion Mace of Spades is good to get second. Against a range champion or a conservative opponent second is Siphon of Destruction so you can have a bit of poke and keep your Iron Man shield full. Use Siphon of Destruction as much as your cool down allows - consider it a basic attack.
Max Harvesters of Sorrow so you can surprise your opponent with how much damage you do and how little they can hurt you in the laning phase. Follow that up with Mace of Spades for maximum killing power.
When I need poke I'll bump Siphon of Destruction up a bit earlier since level 2 of it is so much more effective at doing damage than level one.
When playing Mordekaiser Flash is a must. It is either Exhaust to provide you with a bit of Crowd Control to utilize your Mace of Spades ability when mid or Teleport when top. Teleport's ability to get back in your lane or cross the map to a ward in the opposite lane to help your team and then get the dragon means you always want this.
The biggest challenge with Mordekaiser is the start. There are only a few rules:
1) Be patient. No, really. Stay alive!
2) Don't push, let your jungler gank instead of you being ganked.
3) Use jungle camps to heal.
4) Get the Herald!
5) Dragons Dragons Dragons. You've got a ult that is wasted if you don't get a dragon.
6) If you know you're only going to get one hit then prime your Mace of Spades by hitting a minion or two so you hit the enemy with the third hit instead of first or second.
7) Enslave a champ that does a lot of damage by auto attack. Getting a carry like Jinx or a jungler like Master Yi will let you kill so much. If that isn't an option get a mage since you gain 30% of their Ability Power. If you can't get that get anything. Any ghost is better than no ghost.
You will spend the first few levels doing your best to last hit minions and chip away at the opponent. Only engage an enemy if you can cast Harvesters of Sorrow on a minion the enemy will have to stand next to while your Mace of Spades lands three hits.
Once you've got 1050+ gold you can do your first back and then use teleport to get back into the lane without falling behind. Even if you can't last hit you want to stay in the lane to get experience. By then time your team is ready to go for the dragon your teleport should be ready again so you can get a ghost dragon and help knock down the bottom turret.
Mid game watch the lanes. Each wave of minions is worth ~1/3 of a level. Remember that! Clear as many waves as you can and out level the other team. Once you hit mid game and you've lost a turret in one lane or another watch for an opportunity to push a lane from your turret to theirs. Mordekaiser's wave clear is fantastic, you'll be able to clear almost as fast as you can walk. By the time your lane is where it is supposed to be you'll have gained a level from XP that otherwise would've been wasted.
Beyond that TastyPotatoX is a Mordekaiser player that streams on twitch. Watch his games.
can be very enjoyable since you can get a couple games in per night. It is really a nice condensed version of the full
The biggest game difference is the inability to buy wards. Although that changes the game a lot, pretty much everything in this guide for SR applies to TT. Since you start with 850 instead of 500 gold my favourite start is a Doran's Shield and Ruby Crystal for extra health.
The build order is always Seeker's Armguard item for your lane if it is against regular attack damage, boots, and then Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
The two special items you need to be ready to buy are Wooglet's Witchcap and Moonflair Spellblade. Moonflair Spellblade is a decent item that makes you tankier, gives you AP, and most importantly Tenacity. If your opponents have CC is you need to buy this item.
Wooglet's Witchcap is basically Rabadon's Deathcap and Zhonya's Hourglass rolled into one OP item. This isn't on SR for a reason! This is one of your core items.
The final difference is to take Exhaust and Flash.
Be patient! Keep using the Siphon of Destruction to keep your Iron Man shield full and Harvesters of Sorrow to keep your health up until you've got Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Then next thing you know you've won the game for your team!
With the immense healing of Harvesters of Sorrow, a refilling Iron Man shield, a bit of armour, and MR you're practically a walking turret destroying anything foolish enough to get close. In case that wasn't enough to make your opponents run, just wait until they get a taste of your ghost dragon with its ice fire breath to slow them in their tracks. You can walk around taking all the objectives and killing anything that gets in your way. You are the king of death.
If you've read this guide and my advice works for you too please give me an up vote. Leave me a message about how well it works. Or what didn't work. We'll fix it. You can't kill Mordekaiser.