Mordekaiser Build Guide by GaterMegaton

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League of Legends Build Guide Author GaterMegaton

Mordekaiser - Top Lane

GaterMegaton Last updated on August 11, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 21

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Welcome to the newly revised guide for Mordekaiser as a top lane mage/bruiser. This guide will go over the basics of playing Morde as a top laner, and different variations on the runes, items, and masteries that can be chosen depending on who you'll be laning against.

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Pros and Cons


- Great capacity for farming, especially once Siphon of Destruction hits level 5
- Good sustain power once Hextech Revolver or Will of the Ancients is bought
- Becomes fairly tanky late-game with Creeping Death in addition to items
- Children of the Grave is a powerful tool if used correctly
- Shield from Iron Man is a good damage blocking tool


- Easily harassed early game, and has a hard time restoring health until Hextech Revolver
- No escape spells aside from the Summoners you take
- All of his abilities cost health, which sometimes is not worth the benefits of Iron Man
- Fairly squishy until his item build gets going.

Overall, Mordekaiser is a very good Champion, but he is incredibly item dependent, though with certain items such as Abyssal Scepter, Will of the Ancients, and Rabadon's Deathcap he becomes quite a force to be reckoned with, and has the ability to stay alive in a team fight with almost no problems due to the huge amount of sustain he gains from all of the spells he has at his disposal.

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Spells Overview

Time for a little overview of the abilities Mordekaiser has at his disposal, and when each spell should be used to maximize the benefit you get out of it.

Passive - Iron Man
35% of the damage dealt from abilities is converted into a temporary absorption shield. Shield generation is only half as effective against minions and monsters. Maximum shield strength is 90 + (30 × level). The shield decays by 3% per second.

This is the reason that Mordekasier can truly be a terror during the laning phase or during a team fight. The shield gains double its strength on Champions, which makes 1v1 duels against Champions a piece of cake with the combined Mace of Spades and Children of the Grave.

Q - Mace of Spades
On next hit, Mordekaiser swings his mace with such force that it echoes out, striking up to 3 additional nearby targets, dealing 80 / 110 / 140 / 170 / 200 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage) (+0.4 per ability power) magic damage. If the target is alone, the ability deals 132 / 181.5 / 231 / 280.5 / 330 (+1.65 per bonus attack damage) (+0.66 per ability power) damage.

Mace of Spades is a wonderful spell in terms of clearing minion waves in conjunction with Siphon of Destruction, and also is a great spell in either a team fight or a 1v1 duel with another Champion. The spell is best utilized either to harass an enemy Champion by attacking a minion NEAR them, to deal damage in a team fight by attacking the most threatening targets (AD and AP Carries), or to help pick someone off if they're alone.

W - Creeping Death
Mordekaiser unleashes a protective cloud of metal shards to surround an ally or himself, increasing their armor and magic resistance by 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 and dealing 24 / 38 / 52 / 66 / 80 (+0.2 per ability power) magic damage per second to enemies in the cloud for 6 seconds.

This ability is also great to use during a team fight, since it both grants Armor and Magic Resist while also dealing a fair amount of damage to those around the unit with the cloud. This spell is best utilized on whoever is in the middle of the team fight and can deal the most damage with the spell, whether it be yourself, your tank, or one of your carries who's getting focused down. Once combined with Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Creeping Death also becomes a powerful crowd control tool as well, with the continuous slow from the damage it deals.

E - Siphon of Destruction
Mordekaiser afflicts all enemies in a cone in front of him, dealing 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+0.6 per ability power) magic damage.

This spell is very simple, bu incredibly powerful. Once it reaches level 5, you can clear the caster minions with Siphon of Destruction followed with a Mace of Spades for very easy farming, and another Siphon of Destruction will finish off the Melee minions. During team fights, spam the hell out of this ability, as it deals quite a bit of damage and will charge Iron Man very quickly. The consistent damage of the spell combined with the CC from Rylai's Crystal Scepter make this spell an all-around useful one.

R - Children of the Grave
Mordekaiser deals 12 / 14.5 / 17% (+0.02% per ability power) of the target's health as magic damage to the target and curses it, dealing 1.2 / 1.45 / 1.7% (+0.002% per ability power) of the target's health every second for 10 seconds. Mordekaiser heals himself for the damage done.
In addition, if the target dies while under the effect of the curse, their soul is enslaved and will follow Mordekaiser for 30 seconds. During this time, Mordekaiser gains 20% of their ability power and attack damage. The spirit in turn gains 75% of Mordekaiser's adjusted damage, ability power, and health totals.

This final ability can really be the clinch move in a team fight if it is used on the right target. If your team is focusing down one of the carries, preferably the AD carry for this spell though the AP carry works well too, then you can cast Children of the Grave on them to both deal a huge amount of damage, and to hopefully recieve their ghost as well. The ghosts deal an enormous amount of damage, and essentially adds another player to your team. However, the ghost can only auto-attack, which is why an AD carry of some kind is the best to get. Mordekaiser can also use this spell to bait enemies into attacking him while he is low, since coupled with Will of the Ancients it will restore a massive amount of health instantly, and a fair amount over time.

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Keep in mind that these masteries are for the 9/0/21 build that I use. If it would be used in a 21/0/9 build, you will see this: (21/0/9) in front of the Mastery.

These are the BOOM HEADSHOT masteries, and the first few are a must regardless of whether you chose any of the three trees to focus on.
- Mental Force : Definitely a must, whichever Mastery combination you decide to use.
- Sorcery : Another must, since the added CDR is always useful.
- Arcane Knowledge : Since all of your damage is Magical, 10% Magic Penetration is a must.
- (21/0/9) Havoc : Increase damage by 1.5%? Hell yeah!
- (21/0/9) Blast : Bonus AP per Level makes you scale well into the game without items.
- (21/0/9) Archmage : 5% bonus AP can become quite significant late game.
- (21/0/9) Executioner : Allows you to truly execute people with Children of the Grave

These masteries would be helpful, should you chose to focus on Defense or just dip into the tree a little bit.
- Resistance : Bonus MR is helpful on everyone, so a must if you dip into Defense.
- Hardiness : Another must if you dip into Defense.
- Vigor : Not as required, but still useful for some added lane sustain through regen.
- Durability : Bonus health per level always helps, but more useful on Vladimir
- Veteran's Scars : Extra health is again very good, but better on Vladimir
That's as far as I'll go into the Defense tree, but the general Tank masteries are the others you would grab to double as a Tank as well as a Mage, though granted your build would probably have to change slightly.

I choose Utility as my focus tree for a few main reasons, which I'll go over as we examine each of the masteries.
- (21/0/9) Summoner's Insight : The lower CD on Flash is definitely a must.
- (21/0/9) Good Hands : Being dead for less time is great. Could decide the game.
- (21/0/9) Improved Recall : May seem silly, but can let you escape in the nick of time.
- (21/0/9) Swiftness : Increased movement speed is good for everyone!
- Transmutation : Added spell vamp gives you some sustain before Hextech Revolver
- Awareness : Additional Experience can give you a heads up on your lane opponent.
- Runic Affinity OR Sage : This one is just personal preference =D
- Intelligence : Gives you a total of 10% CDR with Sorcery , which is awesome!
- Mastermind : Even LOWER CD on Flash and reduced on Ignite?? Hell yes.

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Summoner Spells

Best to Pick:

- Flash: Always a handy spell for getting into range for Children of the Grave, for escaping, or for making pro Baron/Dragon steals.
- Ignite: Coupled with Children of the Grave, the opposing Champion has nearly no chance of surviving if they're at low health.
- Ghost: Moving super fast and being able to chase/escape/initiate very well makes this spell a good one to chose as well.

Good to Pick:

- Exhaust: Being able to essentially render your opponent useless is a good thing, especially is they're wailing on you.
- Cleanse: Great for getting out of sticky situations, though if you really need a Cleanse] ability, [[Quicksilver Sash fills the ticket as well.
- Teleport: Gives you incredibly map presence with the ability to gank from a ward, or to return from shopping nearly right away.

Bad to Pick:

- Heal: In the early game this is good, but if your Children of the Grave is up, you won't be needing a heal, seeing as Children of the Grave heals for far more in the late game.
- Surge: A good spell for someone like Kayle or Jax, but is really more of a dominion spell than anything else.
- Smite: Could give you an edge in farm, but you have a Jungler for Smite, so don't bother.

God-Awful to Pick:

- Revive: Terrible spell unless you get and entire team with Revive and Teleport, then it's hilarious. Otherwise, it's just troll and someone will dodge the game on you.
- Promote: I honestly have no idea why this spell even exists...
- Clairvoyance: A support spell. Don't get it... Especially not in solo queue as a solo laner, it's just dumb.

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- x9 Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Magic penetration is always good, and flat is better early.

- x9 Greater Seal of Armor: This is good all-around, but better against an AD opponent
- (Optional) x9 Greater Seal of Vitality: Good against non-AD opponents

- x9 Greater Glyph of Ability Power: Bonus starting AP is great for any AP Champion.
- (Optional) x9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: If you want to be more tanky, pick these.

- x3 Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: Even more AP? Sounds good to me.
- (Optional) x3 Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: Being faster is pretty cool.

Now there are plenty of other optional runes to have, but these are the most consistently useful ones, but it all depends on your opponent.

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Item Build

Early Game:
As a general first buy item, Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion are usually the best option, that is unless you're going against someone with quite a lot of physical damage, then starting Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potion can work as well, and the Cloth Armor should be built into either an Aegis of the Legion or a Guardian Angel, but starting off that way is up to you. I've found that Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion works well against most lane opponents. After buying your starting items and farming up, you want to build into a fast Sorcerer's Shoes and Hextech Revolver, with Hextech Revolver being the priority item, since it will give you the sustain you need to stay in lane and trade very effectively with an opponent.

Mid Game - Late Game:
After purchasing those two items, move into Rylai's Crystal Scepter for the added health and slowing power it gives you on all of your abilities, making you quite the force in lane and almost impossible to escape from. Next, work for Rabadon's Deathcap for the huge damage inrease all around, especially on your Children of the Grave, which after getting Rabadon's Deathcap will deal a massive amount of damage to the Champion of your choice, though preferably a carry. After Rabadon's Deathcap, finishing your Will of the Ancients happens next, to give you even more presence in team fights will the sustain and Ability Power aura that you give. Next, work for Abyssal Scepter, as it will make your team and yourself deal more damage with you abilities, and makes you more bulky in terms of resistances as well. Finally, round out your build with a Zhonya's Hourglass for the added Armor, Ability Power, and the invulnerable just in case you really need it.

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Laning as Mordekaiser

While laning as Mordekaiser, there is one important thing you MUST remember: Keep you Iron Man charged as much as possible to mediate any incoming damage from your lane opponent. Especially if you opponent is Melee, pester them with Siphon of Destruction while also hitting the creep wave with it to charge the shield immensely, and then last hit the now weak minions with Mace of Spades.

It's also worth noting that the Armor and Magic Resist buff from Creeping Death can make it more difficult for you opponent to last hit on the targeted minion, so it's potentially valuable to cast if you're positive you won't need it. Casting Creeping Death on either the melee or tank minions will be the most effective, since they get right into the middle of the minions and will be dealing a sizable chunk of damage with the aura.

Farming on Mordekaiser becomes incredibly easy at level 9, or once Siphon of Destruction reaches level 5, and when combined with Mace of Spades it can clear the caster minions with one combo. While doing this, position yourself so your Siphon of Destruction will also hit the melee/tank minions, making it easier to last hit with auto-attacks or another Siphon of Destruction once it comes off of cooldown.

Finally, if you are trying to pester with Mace of Spades, attacking one of the minions in the vicinity of your opponent will cause it to strike them, while not pulling the attention of the minions on to you, which believe it or not can actually drain your shield pretty fast. However, if you ever get the opportunity to use Mace of Spades on you enemy with no minions around, do it, because the damage you will deal will be far higher than otherwise.

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I hope you enjoyed my guide to Mordekaiser, and I hope that you find it helpful! The odds of anyone reading this guide is going to be pretty low since it's rating as of right now sucks, but if you do, please vote whichever way you feel is the best, and leave a comment on how to improve the guide! Thanks a bunch!