Morgana Build Guide by Syobane
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.
Greetings gents and ladies.
What I am about to share with you is a strategy and playing style for Morgana that led me to great results and will, I am sure, offer you a positive playing experience with that champion as well.
It should accommodate all levels of skill and keep you useful to your team in most scenarios.
To begin, a thought: can Morgana tank?
My answer: Not quite. What she can do is take a lot of punishment and still survive - all the while setting up the battlefield just right for her allies to sweep the floor of all resistance. Yes, that could make her a support champ, but quite a dangerous one.
This guide focuses on that aspect of her that turns tables (or flips them in rage, in your adversaries' case) and leads to a swift victory.
Notable Pros / Cons
-Is efficient in every lane.
-Hard to push against.
-Very hard to gank and dive.
-Her ultimate is a built-in stealth detector.
-Dark Binding is a skill shot that doesn't bypass minions. Can be hard to nail champs down.
-Her ultimate requires proximity and offers a lot of time to evade it.
-Often banned in ranked play.
I won't go far into explaining just why some Summoner Spells suck for Morgana and others don't.
Flash is fundamental. Take it. Take it. Take it.
It's your swiss-knife. Your bread and butter. Your life-blood - you name it. It helps in just about every situation.
Heal is my second spell of choice.
You can bait with more confidence as well as survive tower dives for those times the enemy team insists on taking you down. You can now also jump and ult more safely along with healing your team as they dive in to kill everyone. You can also use it to survive a gank if you do not have sufficient mana to use Dark Binding and/or Black Shield to slip away.
Ignite is another good choice. It can help you secure kills that you otherwise wouldn't have gotten and stop massive healers from healing so much.
A better choice if you are very confident in your assaults and ability to avoid getting killed yourself. Be sure to put a point in the Summoner's Wrath mastery if you pick it.
Teleport isn't really needed once you get Boots of Mobility. If you're no fan of them, it is otherwise another potent summoner spell if it fits your playing style.
Clarity is useful mostly if you have mana management issues. I've seen some players bait with no mana to surprise their opponents with an R+W Q but, in my opinion, remains inferior to the other spells. The mana regen from a Doran's Ring or two should be enough to cover your mana uses for the early game.
Clairvoyance can be useful if you are the designated Support but buying a few wards should keep the team happy. CV can be nice if you are trying to use it as an excuse to not buy wards until mid game (Sneaky you! Seriously. Buy wards.) Take it if it fits your style.
The suggested rune choice favors survivability.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration.
Often a no-brainer. I wouldn't advise using something else.
Still, more defense in the form of Greater Marks of Warding and Greater Marks of Resilience DO work. Especially if you are playing Support or aim for that Mid-Late game Void Staff to cover your MR pen needs.
While the extra protection will not often be of much use in the Early game unless you are playing aggressively, the extra +~8 to armor/MR on top of everything else can make the difference Mid to Late game.
Greater Seal of Defense.
They will help you survive all the damage dished at you when you'll jump in the middle of their team to ult at their face. I suggest taking armor by level because you'll likely reach the benefits of their flat equivalent mid game, in time for the inevitable team fights.
Greater Seal of Vitality is also a good choice for the same reasons. A better choice if you chose to use your marks for armor already.
As stated for Clarity, I do not suggest mana regen runes considering a Doran's Ring or two should give you all the mana resupply you need to keep a reasonable farm and save your lane from getting pushed. After the lane phase you'll usually have enough to get the job done, farm a bit and recall. That or grab the Blue buff.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist.
They are my glyph selection of choice. You might want flat MR instead as you will likely face an AP champion on your lane but I suggest a passive playing style that does not encourage putting yourself in harm's way until you get your hands on your first protective items. By then these rune's MR/level will be significant enough to serve.
Otherwise, you already get a pretty good cooldown reduction from your masteries and may be tempted to reduce them even further with runes. Morgana DOES have pretty long cooldowns. It is your choice.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed.
You want your enemies to still be close to you when the second part of your ult hits.
You want to be close enough to nail that Dark Binding skillshot when you are pursuing champions.
You want to leave all your enemies to eat dust as they fail to pursue you.
You want to be everywhere and farm so hard the minions will never push your towers -and- return in time for that team fight before anyone realized you left.
It helps you gank.
It synthesizes awesomely with your Boots of Mobility and remains useful at all stages of the game.
Greater Quintessence of Health is a popular selection for good reasons if you do not feel that you need to move that fast.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power is also a good choice, since you are an AP caster and all ...
More damage helps you farm faster and thus also heals more from your passive - but I believe Morgana has more to offer to the team by being more mobile. By limiting your own damage output a bit you get a better chance to land your CC effects and help your allies mow the enemy team to shreds. Tormented Soil farms minions well even without the extra AP.
The masteries are not focusing on uber AP gains and damage, apparently.
Now, before you all scream your outrage, let me run down what this setup has to offer.
Arcane Knowledge ; the most needed and obvious benefit from the offense tree.
Enlightenment + Sorcery provides you with decent cooldowns. Good to use all your abilities quickly in a team fight.
Initiator ; remember what I said about movement for the Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed runes? Now it gets a bit better.
Mercenary will make all your assists and kills pay off. It covers your investment in wards, if anything. If you play decently, the payoff should be much more rewarding than anything you'd get out of Greed .
As an alternative to Mercenary , I highly suggest Siege Commander , another point in Initiator and another in whatever. It would help you bring towers down with the minions after a successful gank or those times your lane opponent is absent for a reason or another. Morgana can push a lane very quickly and get away with it.
You get more survivability overall while still remaining a notable threat.
And more importantly, you might just surprise your opponents. They will expect you to go down wuickly when they will focus fire you as you jump in for your ultimate, then try to flee instead when they see you just won't die. Most of the time, it will be too late.
Skills: What you'll need to know
See the figure on top of the hand on that icon? This is how that passive should make you feel.
You get a very good amount of spell vamp, meaning: farming heals you.
It gives you reliable sustain power and is more than most champs get out of their passive.
Remember when the lanes are all pushed or occupied by an ally that you can still farm Wraiths and Wolves to heal up, if you've got the mana.
It's a skillshot, so unless you have uncanny skills I would suggest using that ability sparingly. The CC it provides is great, lasting and deals decent damage when leveled.
However, I'd suggest that you level it last unless you are facing an AD champion in your lane.
Keeping it at a lower level makes this skill less mana-consuming, which makes it easier to keep enough for use to save your skin when you're ganked or to stop an enemy champion from escaping your pursuing allies... or even to check bushes/red/blue if you've mana to spare.
You need a clear path to your target, and it the snare travels to its extent very slowly.
Dark Binding is best used in those situation where your prey's movement pattern is obligatory.
When pursued, a champion often has no choice but to move in a certain direction to avoid death (like running around trees or river access points, into a bush around your blocking minions).
Easier still, when your target cannot move so that you may prolong the CC over it.
This skill is awesome. You can use it to farm (and heal with your passive) from a good range.
It deals damage the instant you use it, reduces MR and keeps dealing damage for 5 seconds to anything that dares step over it.
The best aspect of this skill is that you can use it to skirmish. You can place it under the minions and retreat, claiming money and XP for everything it kills from the comfort of a safe zone.
It takes at least 2 uses of this skill to farm early on and farms creeps well even with a very low amount of AP. Once you level it up to level 3 or get your Needlessly Large Rod, you can probably one use farm every normal minion wave until the rest of the game.
If you are not in any immediate danger, you can move past the melee minions so that they follow after you closer to the caster minions, then use Tormented Soil and see it cover the entire wave.
You get a shield that blocks a certain amount of magic damage that scales with your AP and prevents disables for as long as it lasts. This is like Hexdrinker's unique passive, but so much better.
This, coupled with Dark Binding (if you're in a bind), will allow you to laugh off gank attempts with ease.
It will allow you to harrass or ignore attempts to deny you your farming by punishing champions like Veignar without worrying about getting stunned and pummeled.
You can use it on channeling champions to make sure they pull off their ultimate ( Nunu, Katarina, etc) without being disrupted.
You can deny obvious CC attempts by activating it just before it takes effect. You even deny Warwick's Infinite Duress by timing it while he lunges at you or put yourself in the path of an Enchanted Crystal Arrow to protect those behind you.
Or take it to those already in place like a Yordle Snap Trap, using this skill and just step in safely to trigger them.
Your R. Your Ultimate.
This is your game winner and, as such, you must be very careful as to exactly when you choose to use it. It will slow everyone in range and strike again if you can keep them close enough for 3 seconds, stunning them then.
The idea is to storm right in the middle of the enemy team and activate it.
It will be dangerous, but you can do it. You might opt Flash for surprise effect and to cause panic. Experienced players will expect you to do it and will often decided to run if you put your Black Shield on yourself and step in front of your team. You can fake your ult this way to make them retreat a little and gain some ground.
So... now that you are in the middle of their team and they are probably focus firing you, what do you do?
If you have your Black Shield on, you should be able to survive long enough to see if they are already dispersing in fear that you will use your ultimate. If so you and your team can take advantage of the chaos to focus their carry. If they are sticking around to kill you, activate Soul Shackles or begin a combo.
I suggest that you do not use your Zhonya's Hourglass right after ultimating. You want to move around a little to make sure most of them will remain in range to get stunned.
Since you haven't used your hourglass, they will likely try to kill you again, and that is when you use it. Preferably while you are still alive.
If you are almost dead at that point, even better. While your team is slaughtering them they will want to kill you once the golden glow wears off and you can reward them by using Heal, spamming your EQW and waltzing away.
You must be careful to have this ability ready before a teamfight, so don't waste it in a 1vs1 or for a gank if the rest of the enemy team is too close, the exception being that you are taking out the carry because he is your main target.
By all means use it if it can save your life. Always. If Dark Binding and Black Shield aren't enough, just using it will often discourage pursuers.
Another good point about this ultimate is that it serves as a stealth detector and a compass.
If a cloaked champion is sneaking up on you or waiting in a bush, your Ult will be available.
Once activated the purple lightning particles will tell you exactly where they are.
If you are the designated support and are facing stealth champions, you should consider keeping a Vision Ward ready to put it down if your detect them with your ult.
This way your whole party can see them without you having to waste your ultimate.
Always remember that Tormented Soil reduces MR. If you are confident that your Dark Binding will it, use your W on him first for higher damage.
Obviously, you might just as well do it the other way around if you nail an uncertain skillshot to make them suffer a few seconds of Tormented Soil.
Similarly, you should use it on your enemies before the second part of your ultimate stuns them. Tormented Soil should last long enough to still be there by the end of the stun so that you may use Dark Binding to keep them grounded longer.
Alternatively, if you are close enough and hit them with Dark Binding first, you drop a Tormented Soil under them and immediately follow-up with Soul Shackles. The binding should keep them around long enough to be stunned by your ultimate.
Again, if you are certain your Dark Binding will hit, cast Tormented Soil first.
This will insure maximum damage from every damage source at your disposal thanks to the lowered MR as well as making sure your target won't escape the second part of your ult.
Start off with a Doran's Ring.
The mana regen and the bonus to AP should be all you'll need to farm well until you can afford that Needlessly Large Rod and farm ever better. The extra HP is also nice considering your defense runes will take a while to kick in. If you don't like Doran items, Boots + 3x Mana potion can do the trick. (or at least one Healing potion if you do not feel too confident against your lane opponent)
Unless you chose Mana Regen runes I do not advise leaving the spawn point without an item giving you a source of mana of some kind. Tomented Soil gets mana expensive and you want to have enough to keep casting it even when you have to resort to tower hugging.
Did everything go well?
If you were forced to recall because that jungler or your lane opponent kept harassing you to submission, grabbing another Doran's Ring should give you the extra mana regeneration, health and AP to farm well enough to prevent such a situation from happening a second time.
If you're not too pressed, get some Boots and maybe a few Sight Wards if you are playing Support Bot lane.
If you farmed the hell out of your lane, feel no shame in grabbing your Needlessly Large Rod and some Boots ASAP and go back to terrorize your opponent.
Get your Needlessly Large Rod if you haven't already. Once you have it, upgrade your boots to Boots of Mobility.
The Boots of Mobility will be most useful in allowing you to farm all over the map, reach your allies when they need help while they can still benefit from it, push towers and backdoor with little chances of getting killed for your efforts.
If you are very confident in your team's coordination and ability to avoid getting backdoored yourselves, then go ahead and get your Sorcerer's Shoes right away.
Your first Big Item
Once that's done, go back and do your thing and grab Zhonya's Hourglass as soon as possible.
The idea is that now is about the time that team fights happen. If you have this baby already, you can be a Menace to South Central right away by jumping in, clicking R, W Q, activating the hourglass and letting your buddies do the rest while you're drinking your juice in the hood. The item's increase to armor will also help you survive the ordeal.
If you happen to be the team's Support, don't forget to get some wards. It's your job.
You might consider always having one or two on you at that point even if you aren't the designated Support. It really helps.
Got it, now what?
Now odds are the enemy team hates you. Getting even harder to kill will help you pull the same stunt again and again. You reached a crossroad.
Is their MR average or lower; are the enemy team's AP damage dealers carrying them; is there more than two magic damage dealers in your team?
Abyssal Scepter. More MR to avoid contributing to their fed status, more AP and more MR penetration to punish them for not investing much in MR yet. You have Black Shield, sure, but now you can let others benefit from it without being too much at risk yourself. Your carry likely won't afford investing into MR. If you have many magic damage dealers in your team the MR penetration aura will help with the whole mowing-down after your ultimate.
Does it feel like the game is far from over; are their AP damage dealers no threat to you?
Rod of Ages.
You already have armor from Zhonya's Hourglass, now you have more health to compliment it.
More AP is always welcome, as is the extra mana. Rylai's Crystal Scepter is giving similar AP and Health for a little bit more gold and you do not need to wait 10 minutes for the entire benefits BUT the slow won't be as useful as it may seem and the Rod of Ages grant 130 more health end game, so it is the choice item for me.
Are you totally owning?
Great! By all means, take your Rabadon's Deathcap right now! Mejaj's Soulstealer is another reasonable choice considering you aren't supposed to die much. If ever.
It would replace one of the survival-based items but odds are the game will end with a surrender before you have a chance to reach that point.
If it still isn't over, grab your Rabadon's Deathcap if you haven't. People are starting to not die just as fast and you don't want to lose your edge.
From that point on, it is very situational.
If opponents are stacking MR and you aren't going the Abyssal Scepter route, get a Void Staff. It will allow you to keep doing decent damage and later take the Ionian Boots of Lucidity or defense-oriented ones to replace your Boots of Mobility instead of the Sorcerer's Shoes. The Void Staff offers a %MR penetration, which stacks poorly with flat MR penetration sources.
Second to last you might find happiness in either a Rod of Ages, Abyssal Staff or Will of the Ancients (preferably if there are other AP damage dealers or AD casters in your team).
Will of the Ancients do not offer health or armor but the spellvamp will help your survivability regardless. Plus, it helps your team kick more ***.
Guardian Angel is a good last item to compliment your tanking all around against a balanced team. Not to mention that its particle effect looks badass.
If the enemy team has only one or two players of the same damage type being the real danger, defend accordingly with a Frozen Heart/ Tornmail (AS/AD) or Banshee's Veil (AP/killer CC).
In the event that you do not feel threatened by the enemy team's damage at all (perhaps because your team's tank is doing such a good job), feel free to go the damage route and get Deathfire Grasp (if they have many high HP champions), Will of the Ancient, Mejaj's Soulstealer or even another Rabadon's Deathcap if you dare (and drown in $$$).
After getting your six items, you certainly do not need to farm just as much and you are so far into Late game that a single team fight decides victory and you are probably with your teammates at all time. Sell your Boots of Mobility and get Sorcerer's Shoes. With what gold you're getting afterwards you might as well keep yourself inebriated with elixirs.
Note that this setup should work most of the time.
Depending on the different team compositions it may serve to build differently to better fit the situation.
Playing Style and Behavior
"Welcome to Summoner's Rift!"
Take your pick of starting items and go to whatever lane it appears you'll be stuck with.
If one of your allies is a Mid-centered champion, by all means let him have it.
If you do not have a Top-centered or yet another Mid-centered champion that feels he can handle it, then go Top.
If all the nice seats to farm are taken, be the designated Support and got Bot to help your carry. There is nothing wrong with that.
If, however, all the seats are taken and you have no carry Bot to support, well, aren't you in a strange team composition. Perhaps picking Morgana wasn't a good idea or you have silly teammates, but do what you have to do and farm Bot like a boss.
So you are in your lane and you picked Dark Binding first. Leash your jungler with it if he is close. Guard his jungle if he is at the other side of the map.
Minions are unleashed.
If you are the one taking all the CS in your lane, try to last hit only until you get Black Shield. Once you have it, you can farm aggressively.
Try to use your mana only to cast Tormented Soil unless you are very confident about your aim with the skillshot. You do not want to lose mana over missed castings and stay in the lane as long as possible.
Tormented Soil cannot 1 use kill minions yet, so use it mostly on the caster minions and the enemy champion, and time your auto-attacks well to farm until it can.
Focus on farming and don't get closer to your opponent than you must. Harrass him if he is aggressively trying to deny you your farm.
To conserve mana, this might be the only skill you will really use early game.
If you are low on health, you can still wait for the lane to get pushed close enough to your tower for you to go in, W and retreat to safety. Your passive will heal you and you will have Heal ready in case your opponent feels like diving. But beware of Ignite users. It will be pointless if they ignite you before you heal.
If they DO dive you, your spared mana should allow you to make them regret the attempt with a use of Black Shield and Dark Binding to snare them by your tower.
If you are low on health and mana and you got pushed, stay a reasonable distance behind your tower and close in to use Tormented Soil before running away, if you can. Try to push them off your tower until the delayed minion wave, then recall.
If you are farming remarkably well and your opponent isn't, or otherwise clearly doing better than him, feel free to bugger him about it.
Not to be an ***, but only to upset him and put him in a state of mind that will lead him to do stupid things. This is a game, and nothing personal. Please stay within the bounds of the Summoner's Code.
If the lane is well farmed and well pushed, odds are the jungler will decide to come for you.
This is perfect. The jungler has little hopes of successfully ganking you if you know what you're doing and, while he is trying to get you, he is leaving the rest of your team alone. Always be ready for a gank and smile when it comes.
If you are the designated Support, keep leveling Tormented Soil anyway. Once you have your Boots of Mobility you'll be able to quickly farm the deserted lanes to fatten your purse. When your carry must recall, can will also be able to prevent the tower from getting pushed. Otherwise let him get the cs and assist him with well aimed Dark Bindings and the occasional Black Shield. Buy sight wards.
You got your ultimate, your Boots of Mobility and hopefully your Zhonya's Hourglass. What do you do?
You can farm your lane so hard it is pushed to the tower. You can even farm minions at their tower and move away without them being able to stop you. Watch for ganks and try to get rid of their tower when the opportunity presents itself.
When your lane is empty or you destroyed its first tower, feel free to roam and gank around.
If you successfully gank or notice that someone left his lane to help another, don't hesitate to farm-push their lane and bring their tower down in their absence.
Keep a good eye on Dragon, because odds are your first real teamfight will be close to it.
You want to be there.
This has been mostly covered by the previous entries.
Focus the carry. Jump in and ult. Focus the carry.
Use Black Shield on the initiator or your carry so that it survives the fight, combo your enemies to their death.
It can be a good idea to use Black Shield on the initiator before flash-jumping in for your ultimate, since their attention will shift to the initiator, expecting him to do something, and get disoriented when you do the move instead.
Be attentive and try not to get focused until you go in to ultimate, but don't be too far from the initiator. Perhaps YOU are the initiator.
Be daring - you can afford it. It's the whole point of this build.
Don't ever let the team fight without you. Don't ever let the team fight when you are out of mana. Fight when your R is on cooldown only when necessary.
Pray that your teammates are sensible to this.
Wait, you didn't win yet?
Make sure Baron is under surveillance if the Support isn't.
Stay with the team as much as you can.
Farm lanes before they get pushed to the towers, but reach them as safely as you can.
You do not want to get ambushed. Unless the map is well warded, or you know where most of their team is, do not take risks. A team fight without you could easily mean defeat.
Have the whole team travel together, push together and so on.
Split push if you have the upper hand; you can push a lane on your own and return to your team quickly enough to jump into a fight not long after it began to save the day.
If you got pushed to your base and must fight at your towers, keep your cool.
Unless your team somehow has no damage even at this stage, you can still turn this.
If you play smart and your team understands the notion of focusing the priority targets, the inevitable team fight can end in your favor; whether you all successfully force them to retreat or wipe them out.
If they retreat, farm the base to protect the inhibitors and team-push their weakest lane if your base is safe.
Again, keep an eye on Baron and possible backdoors, and do your best for the next teamfight.
Don't get ambushed (again), drive safely.
If things are turning ugly and you need to cheer up, just type /d and spin to win.
Don't give up and stay in good spirits. You never know when the game can turn in your favor.
I guess that's it!
If playing Morgana gave trouble, hopefully playing defensively will give you the survivability you need to get used to this champion and see you dying less than usual.
After all, if you're not feeding, you're already doing your team a big favor.
Depending on your skills with Morgana, you might find that being more on the defensive will likely net you less kills than you might wish you'd get and a lot more assists instead, but hopefully you will find solace in your win rate increasing in compensation.
And I do wish you positive results.
Either way, I hope playing Morgana like a psychopathic Sunday driver will give you a good time (whatever that means).
Thank you for reading this guide. Good game.