Mordekaiser Build Guide by Xivilai Anaxes
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.
*This is my first guide, don't expect fancy diagrams or pictures*
*This is still a work in progress*
I am Xivilai Anaxes. I don't play ranked (I'm too scared of being stuck with 4 idiots vs 5 pros to go into it). I main Morde and play the occasional WW (Laning proc/CDRtankwick) and whenever I see someone playing my beloved champions, they always build them wrong (One time I saw a Morde with Rod of Ages, another time it was a trinity force Morde, they're not as bad as the phantom dancer WWs though). So I am here to rectify the problems with summoners building the wrong things (This is possibly because the highest ranking Morde builds still state that E gives more bonus shield for hitting multiple minions (This was taken out in Morde's infamous shield nerf)). Before said shield nerf, tank Morde was probably the most common build for him and while now you can try tanking as Morde, it's not the best idea, since you can't even charge your shield readily without any AP. The problem with pure AP Morde is that if you walk near a teamfight (What you have to do to actually use any of your skills), you'll explode. My build seeks to rectify this, going with tanky AP items, giving you the burst damage of a Talon, but with enough survivability to survive the mess of AoE that is a teamfight.
Credit goes to jhoijhoi for making this guide that let me make this thing pretty.
By the way, good work reading the introduction. Let's proceed to the useful information!
Why is Morde such a badass?
+ Farm god
+ Children of the Grave allows for pentakills when used properly
+ Lich Bane means that you do monstrous damage while still being tanky
+ Your name literally translates as "Murder Emperor"
+ You can spam stupid Morde memes all game long.
- Your damage is pure awful early game (Twitch could 1 v 1 you)
- Your laning powers early on are truly bad (Unlike popular opinion)
- Other people spam stupid Morde memes when you trash them.
- You are VERY vulnerable to jungle ganks
- If you can read this
- good on you.
- Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration: I'd recommend shelling out the IP for some magic pen. I myself take movespeed quints because I like having a bit more mobility in lane (And because I spent all my IP on movespeed when I hit 30 thinking huehuehue run fast is good!).
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Magic Pen marks are really the only option for you.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Endgame magic resist? Yes please! (You could replace these with some CDR if that's what you would prefer)
- Greater Seal of Armor: These runes make your laning smoother due to less auto attack damage taken and lategame helps against AD champs.
For Morde, I like to run a lot of utility masteries. This is because I find utility masteries to be more useful early game (The part Morde is really terrible at) wheras offensives give a boost endgame (Where your damage is already insane). Utility gives more movespeed (Easier skillshot dodges), more CDR (More siphons and ultimates), more flashes (Less gank deaths), more ignites (Always fun to have), early spell vamp (More Sustain), more XP (The faster Morde leaves levels 1-4 the better) and some gp5 (gp5 isn't really important, it's just there to get us some bottom tier masteries).
If you really want to, you can go a more offense styled mastery page (Executioner suits your ultimate pretty well lategame).
I run Flash and Ignite.
Morde has no escape, so you need a summoner spell for that. This means flash or ghost. You'll see many mordes run Ghost but I have no idea why. Seriously, if a jungler ganks and you have Ghost, all he needs to do is get an auto attack off to slow you (Assuming he's not ******ed and actually has red) and you'll be screwed royally especially if your lane enemy has CC. Flash allows you to jump over the jungler in most cases and also allows you to get easier kills ( Flash, Siphon of Destruction, Ignite, Children of the Grave allows you to surprise and probably kill a lot of low health champs that would run off if they saw you pop Ghost). Also, Flash escapes over a wall are cooler than ghost escapes.
Ignite just syncs with your ulti far too much to not take.
I'll list the rest of the spells to highlight why you probably don't want them.
Exhaust: I used to run this strictly because I thought slowing someone for the team was better than a small amount of damage. This is true, but usually mitigated by the fact someone else probably has it and that the enemy can just flash away.
Teleport: This can be useful since Morde is one of the best turret defenders because he annihilates minion waves rapidly (Most of the time people don't like to dive a full health champ if there's no minions). More commonly it would be used for teleporting to a tower covered in enemy minions since people are too lazy to push minions away from the towers. This would be a good spell if you didn't need your others.
Revive: Most people call it terrible. It isn't really that bad, just that it has a horribly long CD and that you can get more use out of other summoner spells.
Heal: This spell however is terrible for you. When you ult someone with your spell vamp, you already get a massive heal.
Clarity: The "*****, please" to heal. You don't have mana. Get it if you want people to queue dodge.
Smite: Morde can jungle in theory, but he's way too pathetic at level one to have a respectable speed.
Surge: Morde's AP ratios are pretty horrible, 40 AP isn't worth a summoner spell.
Promote: If you seriously need help to push a lane as Morde, uninstall the game.
Fortify: If somehow you can choose this spell, why are you reading a guide instead of just spawning with 20K gold?
Clairvoyance: This is a damn useful spell, but it's for supports who don't need their summoner spells. You do.
Which lane can you take?
In my opinion, as Morde you need a solo lane. AD carries go with supports since they don't need the xp, they just need the CS. AP carries take mid since they more or less just need the levels. As Morde, you need money and XP. Your E sucks unless leveled and at full build, you scale to destroy anyone 1 v 1 due to your ******ed lichbane burst(Just about anyway).
This leaves mid and solo top. In a normal game with 2 junglers, top is your best bet. If the enemy mid is someone like LeBlanc and yours is someone squishy like Veigar, offer to swap if you think you can handle them.
You've probably just skipped to here. This is what you need to be an unstoppable dunking machine.
You have 2 starting options. Regrowth Pendant and a Health Potion or a Doran's Shield. Most of the time you want the pendant, Doran's Shield is only for 1 v 1s against irritating AD champs (Tryn, Fiora, Cait, Ashe).
When you return, you buy either Sorcerer's Shoes, Hextech Revolver or a Negatron Cloak (Or a combination of these and their parts). Sorcerer's Shoes give more mobility and damage. Hextech Revolver is for a bit more sustain, but I prefer Sorcerer's Shoes first, since you get more than enough sustain when you get your Children of the Grave. Negatron Cloak is if you're facing a really annoying AP champ such as LeBlanc, since Negatron Cloak laughs at her burst.
After Sorcerer's Shoes and Hextech Revolver, start building your tier 2 armament of Hextech Gunblade, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Abyssal Scepter and Zhonya's Hourglass in whatever order you think you need. Fed Talon at bot? Get the Chain Vest for the hourglass. Fed AP? Abyssal Scepter. Nothing of note? Rylai's Crystal Scepter then Hextech Gunblade (Or gunblade first if you remember to use the active)
Once you have all these items, you can finally build your Lich Bane (It's useless without your AP). With Lich Bane, you become a late game version of Garen. If someone walks into a bush you are in, they will not escape. Lich Bane Mace of Spades on a lonely target can do about 1.2K damage. If you siphon and go for a few auto attacks, they're dead (Don't forget Children of the Grave if you want their ghost). In teamfights, walk in after your main tank and eat their carry alive. Then eat the other champions alive.
If you get more gold after Lich Bane, don't forget Oracle's Elixir and red/blue/green elixirs, buy them as you can, since you can't spend money on anything else.
Do note that this is not a completely concrete build. If your AP carries need it, you can get them Will of the Ancients instead of Hextech Gunblade. If you're fighting certain AD champs that want to kill you, grab a Thornmail (I love getting Tryndamere ghosts because of it). If there's a ridiculous amount of CC, you can get Mercury's Treads or Quicksilver Sash (I'd avoid the Quicksilver Sash simply because it will remind people that it can cleanse your ulti).
Why the hell did you take that?
This section is to explain why I get my items. The problem I find looking at guides is that I always want to scream "Wtf are you thinking getting that instead of <Insert preferred item here>!"
Regrowth Pendant start -
You're probably thinking "Why get this when you're not making it into anything?" Morde's spells cost health, taking harass costs health. Doran's Shield does give regen, but Regrowth Pendant gives more. Also, with a pendant you can grab a health pot that allows you to recover if you get hurt through stupid decisions (Almost die from a gank, get hit by a skillshot combo).
Sorcerer's boots -
These boots give you magic pen, which gives you more lane damage. Your ulti doing more damage means you have better lane sustain. Movespeed means you dodge more skillshots. All in all you want these as soon as you can for laning. If you don't like Sorcerer's boots, you can grab Mercury's Treads for the tenacity.
Hextech Gunblade -
This gives you spell vamp. In the absence of Force of Nature, you need at least a bit of sustain. I used to consider Will of the Ancients better since it had more vamp, but then it was nerfed. Gunblade also gives you some AD for your Q, which is welcome enough. Furthermore, the active on it can be fairly useful if you remember to use it. If you're not getting a lot of farm, feel free to take Will of the Ancients since it's cheaper and it does help your team (If you're not dominating, you can at least help others to do so).
Abyssal scepter -
This item gives you your magic resist. Why not Force of Nature? You need damage to work with Morde now. Abyssal gives you a decent amount of magic resist, AP and it gives your whole team some magic pen in exchange for some movespeed, small magic resist reduction and the health regen bonus (You aren't stacking health anymore, so it's not that much anyway)
Rylai's Crystal Scepter -
If you're seriously confused about this, you obviously don't have a valid opinion on Morde. This gives him a form of CC (Slows everywhere), AP and health. This slow can be used for chasing (You hit the target with one of your ranged spells, and increase the slow percentage when you land your first melee), saving people that are running away (Toss creeping death on a teammate and it will slow melee attackers).
Zhonya's Hourglass -
This item I laughed at when I saw it on a Morde. On further thought, it's actually really useful. It gives you armour and AP from the 2 component items and you pay an additional 800 gold to combine the two for a bonus active (If enemies focus you in a fight, pop the active and one or two will be stupid enough to stop fighting just to concentrate on when you become killable again (As if you would be killable in the first place).
The purchase of this item means you are ready to shred any pitiful fool who gets in your melee range. Your Q does massive damage with it, destroying anyone who gets near. It allows you to 1 v 1 just about anyone. However, do not build this before the rest of your items. Lichbane is an expensive item which does almost no help to your damage without AP from other items. You want to keep your snowball rolling instead of expending it on an item that is not ready for you.
(I'm not going to describe what all Morde's **** does, read the tooltips).
Iron Man - This passive is the ability most people cry about when they want Morde nerfs. Really early game it's almost useless due to the nerfs, but later on the laning phase, it's ability to mitigate 1 or 2 autoattacks can give you an edge in harassing certain champs.
Mace of Spades - Early on, this is terrible. If you see Morde get this at level 2 or even level 1, laugh at his face. Endgame however, it will destroy anyone who gets in your range. Level this thing last. While laning however, you can use this to harass or secure kills by hitting a minion close to the target champ so that he takes a mace shard to the face.
Creeping Death - This I honestly never notice in fights. Toss this thing wherever you think it best (YOU CAN USE IT ON ALLIES DO YOU UNDERSTAND!?). If someone gets focused, give it to them for the free armour/mresist, if you walk into a bush alone, use it on yourself for a bit of shield and damage while they stun you (Or don't walk into the bush, or check it with siphon). If you lane against a melee champ, you can use this on minions to punish them for last hitting or trying to auto attack you. Level this third.
Siphon of Destruction - This is your laning bread and butter. It's range is longer than the targeting cone suggest, use this to your advantage. Use it to check bushes instead of walking in (If you get shield, targets are inside). Endgame this does quite a bit of damage, spam it. (If you're near a minion wave and Karthus ults, try to hit as many minions as you can for some shield, since the health cost never kills you, only reduces you to 1hp). Level this first. **Do note: If your siphon target is beyond a line of minions, there is a chance that instead of unleashing death, you'll walk to the minions and get stuck. Riot needs to fix the ****ty pathing.
**Another note: You can use this skill to last hit minions without pushing the wave if you position it right.
Children of the Grave - This is why you play Morde. You can use this ability in a lane for massive sustain due to the fact it heals you for damage done (Slap it on the 6 warmogs Cho'gath and never die). It also heals for more if you have spell vamp. You can use this to secure kills if you must, but try not to blatantly KS unless it's an AD carry, since their damage output is insane. If you get caught 2 v 1 and can't escape, try to use this on the squishiest of the two and kill them. You can then use his ghost to fight the other guy (I have gotten doublekills off idiots with this).
The main reason this is great is due to the fact that if a champion dies and they have the debuff, they are now yours (With buffed stats to boot!). You control your ghost with your alt key (Alt click to move it somewhere/command to attack). Your ghost's auto attack WILL fill your shield even if it hits buildings (Inhibs, towers, nexus). If you have no targets to fight with a ghost, send it to hit a tower, don't waste it doing nothing. Do note: if you hit someone under a tower, the tower will shoot you if it can, if you're not in range, it will just shoot at your ghost. If you ghost an AP carry, you get some of their AP too, so they can be useful if no AD is nearby (Helps with Lichbane). Best ghosts are glass cannon ranged ADs, followed by glass cannon melee ADs, followed by AP carries, with tanks as almost useless except for turret tanking. Do note that champion passives do work with your ghost (Actual passives such as Rebirth or Double Strike, as opposed to ones that come with ability levels such as Wuju Style.
Once I ghosted a fed MF and got left with 5% health, 3 idiots chased me, MF killed them all while they tried to get through my constantly recharging Iron Man shield, so if you have a ghost and you don't think you can run away successfully, charge in like a Mandalorian and see how you fare.
Watch for ganks
The biggest counter to Morde is being ganked. You have no built in escapes and early on you are pretty squishy. There are 3 ways to avoid being ganked and killed:
Stay near your turret - When possible, try to keep the minions just out of turret range (So you can get last hits in). This can be restrictive, but it's a sure way not to give away kills.
Watch the enemy - Some lane opponents aren't very good at keeping it a secret that Udyr is in their bush. For example, if an enemy Karthus never uses his Wall of Pain in lane, but suddenly he uses it behind you, there's a good chance it's because he has help. The opponent that you would call pretty good suddenly starts charging in stupidly? He's likely trying to bait you. First time the enemy ganks doing something like this, you can usually escape the first time with a flash, but in the future, they're likely to repeat the same pattern when the jungler returns, giving you enough warning to walk away. This isn't exactly reliable, but it is a useful skill to have.
Wards - These laugh off ganks if you look at the map every now and again. The only problem with them is that as Morde you shouldn't need to go back to base at all against most opponents. But if you do have to go back due to ganks, grab a ward.
2 v 1 Lane
If your enemy doesn't have a jungler, you'll probably be solo top. If the enemy doesn't push the lane, try to stay in xp range, but don't die trying to do so. If they're ******ed (Pretty much every ******** 2 v 1 I do) they'll push minions to your turret so you can easily keep them in a good area (Just out of turret range) so you can last hit with E and harass the champions for possible ganks.
Specific Lane Matchups
This is going to be a long work to complete, so if you don't see your hated enemy on this list, fear not, it will come.
It goes without saying that your harass should be you using whatever skills you can get in and walking off.
Difficulty: Fairly Easy
Ahri's main harass ability combo is comprised of 2 skillshots. Dodge them and just harass with E. You can't lose.
Difficulty: Nothing too difficult
I haven't played vs an Akali in ages, but from memory, all you need to do is harass with siphon and creeping death and slap her with Q if she jumps to you. (Don't sit in her Twilight Shroud though).
Difficulty: Depends on lane.
The sheer fact an Alistar is in your lane means it's a 2 v 1, or that you're in ELO hell. Be careful of his Pulverize Headbutt combo.
Difficulty: Annoying if jungling.
Amumu is usually a jungler. Try not to stay near the river bushes if he's jungling (If you're behind minions he can't stun you and you can dodge the Bandage Toss if you react fast enough and he's far away). If he's laning against you, pretty standard dodge skillshot stun and harass with E and W.
Difficulty: Can be difficult
Anivia is an irritating mid to fight. Always sidestep her Flash Frost instead of running backwards. If it hits, try to get out before she hits you with a double damage Frostbite. Do NOT try to dive her. Between Flash Frost, Crystallize and Rebirth, she will eat you alive. Wait for her Flash Frost before going in for a siphon, the less distance between you, the easier it is for her to stun you.
Difficulty: Not sure anymore
I haven't laned against or even seen an Annie in ages (She probably got nerfed while I wasn't watching). Anyway, from what I recall, just harass the **** out of her until her passive is ready. Once ready, hang back a little to try get her to waste it (If you have your shield up, charge in like a mandalorian, if she bursts you she just wastes her stun). If you don't turn her into an easy feed, get a negatron cloak to ruin her laning burst.
Difficulty: Not hard
Don't push the lane to her turret (She'll just stick Frost Shot on and wreck you if you go too far out) and stick behind your minions (So you don't get hit with Volley).
Difficulty: Laughable easy if alone, irritating if 2 v 1.
Blitzcrank is a one trick pony in a lane with Rocket Grab. In a 2 v 1 lane you'll have to dance about to avoid it at all costs. If he's alone, avoiding it is a lot simpler since you don't have to worry about his lane partner and you can push out of your turret a bit. Just harass him with E and W while dodging grabs. **Note: Mana Barrier prevents you from getting kills off him unless he's an idiot or you have a jungle gank.
Our first real counter to you as a laner. His Pillar of Flame is hard to dodge without boots (You'll want to rush your Sorcerer's Shoes) and is a really damaging harass when combined with his passive Blaze. If he hits you with one of his abilities, it triggers Blaze and if he hits you with Sear while Blaze is on you, he stuns you. Do not let him get a stun off. Also, avoid getting close to him unless you have minions between you (He can easily get a stun off with Conflagration (Which is a point and click) and Sear ( Sear is a skillshot), which also gives him additional pillar of fire damage (It does 25% more damage if Blaze is active). After Sorcerer's Shoes, grab a Negatron Cloak if he's still annoying.
When I started playing, mid Cait was considered a viable option (at least the amount of times it happened suggested so). I haven't laned vs a Cait since before I was level 30. My recollection was that her Piltover Peacemaker was an annoying as hell thing to dodge and her range was irritating. You should still have no trouble. Rush Sorcerer's Shoes to dodge Piltover Peacemaker and proceed to wreck.
Cass is a ***** to fight most of the time. The problem is her Noxious Blast Twin Fang combo. If she poisons you with Noxious Blast, she gets movespeed to close into you and fire Twin Fang. Twin Fang has no cooldown if she uses it on a poisoned target, so she will spam the **** out of it. Needless to say, your job is to dodge Noxious Blast and harass. If she hits you with Noxious Blast, walk back to minimise twin fang attacks (hit her with Siphon of Destruction on the way if she gets close enough).
A lot of people tell me Cho'gath counters Morde. I have no idea what kind of idiotic Morde's they see. Cho'gath is an easy dinner. Just avoid taking a Rupture to the *** and your harass outdoes his. ( Feral Scream is a silence in an AoE cone, keep that in mind when harassing him).
Corki is kind of annoying in the way that in the laning phase he can easily close in on you and if you fight 1 v 1, he will win. Try to avoid pushing and don't sit in his Gatling Gun.
Mundo will probably be solo top if you fight him. Dodge as many Infected Cleavers as possible and you'll be able to make some pimping purple shoes. Do note that smart Mundos will sit in the bushes to throw their cleavers (It gives him a good vantage to shoot at you from and it means you're less likely to get him with siphons. If it really annoys you just stick a ward in there).
If you're soloing vs Eve (Never had the pleasure of this) just rip her useless ******* open. If she's not in your lane, be careful for ganks, she's kind of irritating.
Ezrael has one extreme weakness to exploit - horizontal movement. Note that while Essence Flux (The larger non ultimate attack of his) passes through minions, Mystic Shot (Small attack) does not.
Fiddlesticks is an annoying piece of ****, although as of writing this, he's very underused. His Terrify Drain combo will give him a great portion of his life back (And take yours if your shield isn't up). Dark Wind is an annoying silence but it isn't that bad. Just remember that if he starts healing with Drain slap Ignite on him to reduce the healing.
Difficulty: She counters the **** out of you.
Fiora eats you alive. Do not solo lane against her. Lunge gives her a ridiculous amount of burst on you out of the gate. Burst of Speed combined with Lunge means she can casually chase you after initiating burst. Riposte means you can't fight back with an reasonable efficiency (Assuming equal level). Her ulti is just the icing on the cake.
As a jungler, her ganks are annoying as hell with a point and click gap closer ( Lunge), moderate burst and her ulti ( Blade Waltz) that allows her to tower dive you without taking any tower hits.
In conclusion, if you're fighting Morde, pick Fiora.