Morgana Build Guide by Cerilla
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 to everyone who is reading this build. I've seen a lot of builds on mobafire over my time playing Morgana and none of them have really done it exactly the same way that I have and just wanted to put my opinion up here for long-time players to criticize as well as a resource for new players to learn everything they need to know to pick up and play Morgana with. Also just a side note, this is the first build I've ever actually posted on mobafire so I'm going to apologize in advance for the plain-ness as I'm still learning all the features and whatnot, I'll edit it and clean it up as time goes on.
Pros / Cons
Very strong laner throughout the entire game
Great Counter pick for mid heros like Annie, Karthus, Kennen. Pretty much any AP hero that needs farm.
Extremely Difficult to Gank
Very team-oriented Champion that can determine the outcome of team fights
Expensive build and can take a while to build if you are not farming hard
Often targeted first in team fights
Strong early/mid game but loses some of her potential late game as she becomes more of a support.
Lacks some of the 'burst' damage that you see in other AP carries.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is pretty common for most AP champs, not much explaining needed here.
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration The mana regen from these allows you to stay in mid and continue to clear out waves of creeps with your pool and still leave you with enough mana to harass with Dark Binding if the opportunity presents itself.
Other seals to consider are Greater Seal of Vitality if you want the extra health. The AP seals don't really provide as much benefit as either of the aforementioned.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction I just recently switched over to using these from Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power. I personally think these are better in that not only is CDR really strong on morgana, but the CDR cap is at 40% and you have 9% from masteries and 8.75% from glyphs at level 18. This means that if you opt to build a Morello's Evil Tome (discussed in items section) it puts you extremely close to the CDR cap, 36.75%, which is about the most efficient way to get there.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power pretty standard caster quints. Flat health quints work too, but you get a lot more out of the AP ones in my opinion.
Note: This entire item progression is based around the idea that you are mid, or solo top. This build is somewhat expensive so trying to sustain it in a duo-lane is much harder unless they feed pretty heavily or you just hog all the CS.
Starting with a Doran's Ring is pretty standard for a lot of casters. As Morgana, you benefit from every stat that it brings. The health is always nice for early game, the AP is also pretty substantial given the cost of the item. The mp5 is probably the most important stat as it allows you to use your abilities quite frequently and still have enough mana to harass. You MOST LIKELY won't be able to gank much before level 6 unless your opponent is extremely careless or you are a god at landing all of your dark bindings.
On your first back you should have AT LEAST 900g. Assuming you have this much pick up another Doran's Ring and t1 boots. If you have the money finish off your boots, but this is unlikely unless you got first blood or stayed in lane until level 7 or so. The extra doran's will up your mana regen to the point where you will be able to stay out laning almost indefinitely.
From here, finish off your boots then start working on your Catalyst the Protector. Morganas abilities naturally hit pretty hard, and the extra health with catalyst and two Doran's rings makes you really tanky early-mid game. The reasoning behind rushing a Rod of Ages first is not only because it makes you naturally tanky but it takes a while to build up, so getting it first will really make you a hard target to kill so you can be very aggressive with your ult as opposed to someone like Cassiopeia or Lux.
From there build a Rabadon's Deathcap for the extra nuke power with your snare and your ult, and then a Zhonya's Hourglass. These are your core items, and I build them almost every game with very few exceptions. If I had a bad early game I will sometimes postpone my deathcap for some CDR, such as Morello's Evil Tome and level up my shield and just try and feed our AD carries as much as possible. I usually only do this if I'm stuck in a duo lane or feed the enemy mid carry (rarely happens).
From here, you have a lot of items to choose from for your last two items. I build these entirely based upon what the enemy team is doing. If they are building lots of magic resist I may build a Void Staff and maybe an Abyssal Scepter, or if they are AP heavy I will build that as well. I would advise against building a Banshee's Veil as you have enough mana late game to where that is worthless, you also have enough Hp to the point where the HP is also somewhat negligible and there are better items to choose from, not to mention the role that your shield plays in all of this.
In most games by the time you have your hourglass it's usually pretty much over one way or the other, but in the event that it's not, you have a long list of strong items to choose from.
Abyssal Scepter Great if they are either AP heavy or are stacking magic resistance. All around good item regardless.
Deathfire Grasp This item can be good in certain situations, if their team is particularly tanky it can do a lot of damage. The only downfall is that it requires you to fairly close to them in order to use and scales with ability power which is the only thing this build is short on compared to other AP champs. It's still worth a lot if used on a tanky DPS (lee-sin, j4 etc). It also gets you close to the CDR cap such that an elixer/blue will put you there.
Frozen Heart I build this item if their team has a lot of AD, and/or their AD champs are pretty fed. Not only does it have CDR which is great, but it also reduces attack speed by 20% which helps a lot, especially when you go into a group of people to ult.
Morello's Evil Tome If I am the fed player on our team and am one of the main nukers I will usually build this item. Not only does it come with a nice chunk of AP but it also puts you up to the CDR cap.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter I used to build this item just for the bulk health that it gave, but as time went on I found that I was tanky enough without it and went on to building other more critical items. The only time i would build this is if our team has almost no other slows and we need the CC. Even then your ult/binding make up for it so I wouldn't build it on a regular basis.
My thought on Mejai's Soulstealer: There are two times I would ever build this item. The first is in a public game where they send someone like ryze mid and I know I'm going to get fed. The second is at the end of a ranked game as my last item. The reasoning behind this is by that point, you're mostly getting assists assuming your AD carries are fed, and you're pretty unkillable by then anyways, so you're not only not dying very much but you're getting a lot of assists so it stacks up fairly quickly and can add a lot of ability power.
Also don't forget late game to buy elixers. I usually leave oracles to tankier people on the team unless they have an eve, twitch, shaco, talon, or akali. Having an oracles will make it so these champs can't escape since your dark binding has a pretty long range and if you can land it they'll be gone. The caster elixer is worth buying every time it wears off in the late game simply because of the CDR. The ap's nice too though.
This section is pretty straightforward. If you are going for some form of gank before the game starts (in 3's for example) it may be worth it to get your Tormented Soil second and your Dark Binding first, but generally pool at level 1 if you're going straight into laning, your Tormented Soil can be used to at least push the enemy off creeps.
From there, get your Dark Binding second then your Black Shield 3rd. I've seen builds where people put off getting their shield until level 7+. This shield is so underestimated by beginner morgana's but it has saved my life more times than I care to admit. It stops so many different CC's to the point where it's pretty broken. This shield is the reason I build CDR. It shuts down almost ANYBODY who goes mid's ability to harass you. Annie mid? Shield her stun and collect points. Brand mid? Shield his fire damage and immune his stun shot. Nocturne comes out of the jungle to gank you? Shield his fear and laugh. Really one of the most broken abilities in the game.
From this point on you want to get your pool to rank 3, as this is the rank at which it 1 shots the back row of caster minions. So if you did get beaten down early, just drop it on the back row of creeps to get CS and your passive will heal you back up over time.
After rank 3 pool, pick up your ult whenever possible, then your priority becomes Dark Binding > Tormented Soil > Black Shield since you will get the most burst out of your Dark Binding and one rank of Black Shield is enough to stop most of the CC that is thrown at you. Occasionally I will take a second rank in Black Shield if I am getting crushed but not usually.
In fights if your skill order should look one of two ways depending on the situation
1 Dark Binding >> Tormented Soil >> Soul Shackles >> Dark Binding again if it is off cooldown. I generally try and do this when I'm laning and get the drop on someone with a Dark Binding and feel I can pick up the kill.
2 Soul Shackles >> Tormented Soil >> Dark Binding Ideally you want your soil down first for the magic resist and they should be moving slow enough to where going soil into binding is possible. Sometimes it's easier to snare > soil but you don't get the full duration. This is a more team fight oriented initiation and you generally want to catch as many people with your ultimate as you can then single out one person to take down.
Flash - No surprises here
Ignite - Can give you lane control early game and can catch someone off guard with a Dark Binding > Tormented Soil > Ignite either picking up the kill or putting an amazing amount of stress on their health.
Teleport - A very nice spell for a lot of different reasons. Keeps you laning early game, helps stop people trying to backdoor and lets you pick up big creep waves that are near a turret.
Exhaust - Situational but your AD carries should be taking this
Ghost - A good substitute for flash if you are not high enough level but flash is generally preferred
Clarity - I used to take this a lot more when I was still learning morgana, but it's so much easier to just build for mana regeneration that I rarely take this spell at all anymore outside of someone who does an extreme amount of mana dumping.
Clairvoyance - I usually leave this up to a support to take but if you are in a double lane or nobody else is taking it, it is a great asset for the entire team really.
All those 'other' spells.
Your ability to shut down 99% of the champs that go mid is the entire reason I play morgana. She is not as useful late game as other champs that mid (such as brand/karthus/annie) as by that point she really fills more of a support role but her ability to shut down their AP carries from getting farm is the reason I play her.
Again, I am sorry for the 'cheap-ness' of this build and I would appreciate any feedback/suggestions you have for cleaning it up.