Morgana Build Guide by Lyraevi
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OP mid laner... really!
If they have enough MR
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.
Threats to Morgana with this build
|Cassiopeia||Similar to Swain, but Cassio don't even have a stun, unless she wants to waste her ult.|
|Lux||Lux has a similar mechanism then you have, Q-snare, E-aoe, W-shield, only she is weaker. Your Q lasts longer and deals more damage, your W can also deal more damage, if you use it right (with snare for example), your E lasts longer, protects more magic damage, and shields from CC as well!|
First of all, I'd like to let you know that I am not a good player. I am only in Silver and this is my first guide, but I really love Morgana and I feel she is very underestimated as a mid laner. So I wanted to share my knowlege about her with you.
These are my experiences, and I trust them, because most of my time I play with her and they work for me. Though I can't guarantee, that they will work in higher divisions, against more experienced, careful and tactic players.
I will not promise you, that you will always carry your team, if you play Morgana mid. However sometimes you can. And once in a while I play a match as a Morgana support where I have to switch to build AP in the early game, because my ADC is pretty weak, and so I can carry the game. But these cases when this tactic actually works are a mix of lucky coincidenes and many experience with the champion, so you can't hope that to happen all the time.
I won't promise you either that you will always have a 15/3/20 stat, because Morgana is more like a tactical playing champion than a monster. She can make your team won, if they (you) can work together, but she won't snowball that spectacularly like Katarina, Fizz or LeBlanc (etc).
So why do I recommend her to you?
Because she can make magic, if you use her well. She has a lot of CC ( Dark Binding, Soul Shackles), a good survivability (and my favourite build makes it even better: Liandry's Torment, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Athene's Unholy Grail, Zhonya's Hourglass, while still dealing a lot of damage, mostly to more targets), and has a magnificent synergy with most of the champions. And she can do a lot more damage then most of the players expect. So what makes her very dangerous at the momment is that your enemy will most likely underestimate you. And this is the biggest secret weapon of the League.
Pros / Cons
|+ Very good CC
+ Good Survivability
+ Nice farmer
+ Can deny enemy farm
+ Can escape ganks
+ Decent AA damage
+ Nice early game damage
+ Can defeat most midlaners
+ Don't really need friendly ganks
+ Synergy with many champions
+ Good teamwork
+ Very underestimated midder
+ Deceiving your enemy
|When farming with Tormented Soil you can also harass your enemy, deny his/her farm, and you still can run away from ganks, if you always spare mana for a single Dark Binding. You even can have an easy first blood with combining Dark Binding, Tormented Soil, AAs and the fact that your enemy underestimates a Morgana mid. Even if you don't get a single gank from your own jungler, you can still win your lane, after level 6 you even can have a doublekill ( Soul Shackles + Tormented Soil). In late game you will have much more AP then they expect, and your team will love your snare and stuns.|
|- Pretty slow movement
- Hard to hit with Q
- Manahungry if you farm with W
- Serverlaggs can kill your combos
- Deceiving your own teammates
|You won't be able the follow your enemy, if (s)he tries to gank top/bot or get your jungler. It is also really hard for you to gank an other lane without loosing your outer turret. As for farming you have to learn how to balance out using Tormented Soil and AAs. You (or your connection) can mess up your Soul Shackles + Zhonya's Hourglass combo easily, so you'll need a lot of practice, and some luck. Last but not least, as a Morgana mid you have to communicate with your teammates. Really. They will most likely not know whats in your head, because they are not used to your playstyle.|
Flash is a must have on almost every midder. Take it. You will need it to escape from risky situations, like unexpected ganks. Your lane is too short to even consider Ghost, and it doesn't synergies with any of Morganas abilities, so I wouldn't recommend it in any situation. Same goes to Heal. You might like it for movement speed + HP regen, but Flash is still better, faster = safer.
Like in the case of Flash, most midders take Ignite as their second Summoner Spell. It is a good tool to secure kills, plus it counters healing effects. I use it often to make a safe, fast first blood. Later in the game I find it less effective, as other players will use their ignite as well, and you dont need to put an extra. But in case of theirs in CD... So I still think it's one of the most efficent choices.
There are pretty rare situations, when you want to take other Summoner Spells than Flash and Ignite, but of course in League everything is about tactics, so you might have different plans. Talk it out with your team, and take what is the best for them. Teleport for example is good to balance out Morgana's lack of movement speed. Although I almost never take it.
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: You wanna hurt, so take AP. I am a fan of early advantage, so I rarely take Scaling type of runes. (Except maybe if playing on top, and I know that I won't face an AP/AD champion until midgame.)
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Everyone needs some penetration. It is more effective to mix some of it to the pure damage.
- Greater Glyph of Ability Power: Same as Quintessence, and you really will have enough MR from Athene's Unholy Grail, so better take AP.
- Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration: Believe or not, but it's worth. It will help you to win early game, because you can stay in lane longer, have more chance to stay alive when you get a gank, plus have more fuel to kill your enemy. (You even might let your jungle keep his/her blue, as after getting Chalice of Harmony, you will be okay with your mana. But if you still get it, you will be a monster.) Mana regen also help you to be reliable in mid- and late game teamfights. It really sucks, if you are out of mana in the middle of a teamfight, trust me. Oh, and you already have more than enough armor from Zhonya's Hourglass. As soon as any AD can touch you, you will have around 100 armor. Except you face an AD-mid, but in that case you will build an early Seeker's Armguard.
Offense: First of all you wanna take AP, CDR, penetration and more damage. I also recommend you the ones which makes you deal more damage to low HP targets ( Executioner ), and which helps your teammates deal more damage ( Expose Weakness ). They are usufull, especially on Morgana, who has a lot of multitarget spell. To help you farm even better, and make your basic attack even threatening take Butcher and Arcane Blade as well. I like this build on most of my AP-carries. I also took Feast and Dangerous Game which makes me able to stay on my lane longer.
Utility: I used my remaining 7 points to balance out Morgana's weaknesses, so 3/3 on Fleet of Foot (to make her faster), and 3/3 on Meditation (to be able to spam more Tormented Soil :D). I spent the last point on Alchemist because it seemed the most useful for me (staying on lane longer again).
|As an AP-carry, you want to focus on damage, and magic penetration exactly will do that. Even on tankies.|
|This is my favourite boot enchantment. I usually take enchantments at mid or late game, and at that point of the game it makes a huge difference when you will be able to leave the Platform. Although, because we are speaking about Morgana, you might consider taking Enchantment: Alacrity to compensate for her lack of base movement speed.|
|Zhonya's Hourglass is Morgana's main item. It synergyses well with her Soul Shackles, gives her a lot of AP, plus more than enough AD, which makes her able to take out enemy ADC. Did you know that a Dark Binding usually takes half of an ADC's HP? So if you land that well, and the enemy ADC is not fed, your Zhonya's Hourglass will give you enough armor to finish him/her, then leave the scene still alive.|
|AP! AP! O_O Lots of AP! You want your Morgana deal more damage than they would ever expect.|
|You already took your Chalice of Harmony at early game (because you did, right?!) so you have enough mana till late game. But at after finishing your Rabadon's Deathcap you want even more AP (because thats never enough), and some more mana regen can never hurt, right? So it's time to take it! (Of course we are not even considering taking Mikael's Crucible with an AP midder, right?)|
|After taking our core item, what we are still lacking of is the ability to stay alive while running in the middle of the enemy team, stunning and making 1/4 - 1/2 of all of their HPs disappear. Okay, we have Zhonya's Hourglass, and thats cool, but we have to reach them, and it would be nice to leave alive, right? So what we need now is HP. Liandry's Torment gives that, plus more AP (oh, yesss, come on!), plus penetration, plus other funny things. Speaking of other funny things... DOT which is based on enemy's HP? Coool... It deals double damage against movement impaired targets? Cooooool! Oh, most of your spells are AOE, so your Liandry's Torment's passive will be applied on all enemies near? Wow!|
|AP + ignore MR = damage, so if your enemy is clever, and they took MR against you, you have to take Void Staff... But most of the time they won't be clever... Remember? They are underestimating you. Really.|
|So what is even better then a Void Staff? This little magic wand! It synergieses nicely with your Liandry's Torment, because it slows your enemies, aaand it also means that it makes it even harder for them to escape! Plus AP and HP, because we love them!|
So I really don't recommed taking other items as listed above. They are just the best. If they don't have any decent AP, you still need Athene's Unholy Grail for mana. If they don't have any decent AD
|Yeah, well... I see this item a lot on Morganas. Even on midder ones, though I rarely see mid Morgana's, but still... Forget it, please. Please! Don't take it on support either. Why? Because in early game you have a lot more important items to take. Chalice of Harmony for mana, then Zhonya's Hourglass for your combo, than later you wanna take Liandry's Torment and/or Rylai's Crystal Scepter for their better passive's. As a support it's the same. You bought gold item, Sightstone, Boots of Speed, so you HAVE TO buy Seeker's Armguard, then build it to Zhonya's Hourglass as fast as you can. Because you still want to combo, and you really need that armor to protect your ADC.|
Soul Siphon: Her passive is one of the reasons why Morgana is so good at survival. Plus it makes possible to stay on your lane longer. Every time I play a mid laner other then her I really miss this passive.
Dark Binding: Your best ability to initiate an attack. This binds your enemy to the ground up to 3 seconds (at least 2), which is enough time to burn most of his/her HP. It's only disadvantage is that it is slow, so you have to learn how to predict your enemy's moves to snare them, or stay really close to them, which is pretty risky. If you can react really fast when an opportunity is given, you most likely will be able to get a kill.
The main reason I really like this spell is that you can turn disadvantage to advatage when using it right. For example you get a gank, you start to run towards your tower while snaring the enemy, and if they didn't engage you with full HP you can finish them of with a Tormented Soil from a safe distance. An another example is when the enemy midder engages you, you interrupt his attack with Dark Binding, and finish off again (or at least weaken). This is pretty much effective against a Fizz, for example.
You can also use your Dark Binding to catch stealthed enemies (e.g. someone in a bush, Akali, Talon). When it hits the target, it makes sound effect, and stops moving, so you will know whether you can continue your combo or not, and won't waste your abilities.
It is also good to know that your Dark Binding won't snare Baron or Dragon, but its damage is still applied.
Tormented Soil: Take this skill first, because it's pretty good for farming (after lvl 3 it finishes a full wave of minions alone) and keeping your enemy away at the same time. Using it after successful snare or stun means a nice damage, even early game. If you want to use this skill to damage a champion, you can use Dark Binding first. If that misses, back off and wait for an other opportinity. This way you won't risk your own HP.
You also can cast Tormented Soil behind your enemy, because they automatically want to run away from you, and they will walk straight into it. Even if they try to avoid it, its area is too big, and they will waste time, so you can AA them or use Dark Binding to catch them.
Black Shield: This is the spell you wanna level up last, even if you play as a support. You already got the CC-Shield with only a single point spent on it, and it's more usefull to level up your other spells (remember, as a support you are mostly fighting (trying to protect your ADC) against a heavy AD, not AP).
Black Shields ability to absorb magic damage is really nice, but this is not the main reason I like this skill. I find it pretty usefull against AD champions as well, because it protects you from a lot of CC. They can't stun, snare or silence you, Blitz can't grab you, Thresh can't pull you, this is why Morgana is so popular as a support in the 4th season. As a midder, use it to defend yourself in lane phase, later you will mostly use it to pretect your teammates.
You can also use your Black Shield to protect your teammates while they are channeling spells (e.g. Fiddlesticks, Katarina). This way they cannot be interrupted (which makes them kinda OP).
Do not use Black Shield against Baron and Dragon as it won't absorb any damage. It is only able to block Magical Damage, it is useless against Physical or True Damage. Don't waste it, because its CD is fairly high, and you will need it against Crowd Controll effects (which you'd better expect to arrive while fighting Dragon or Baron).
Soul Shackles: Your ultimate is the ability which makes Morgana a really good team member. If you use it at the right momment, you can stun more (maybe all) of your enemies, and your teammates will finish them off while you are protected with Zhonya's Hourglass.
Soul Shackles can also be used to detect stealthed enemies (e.g. enemies in bushes, Akali's Twilight Shroud). First of all, if you use it, the line shows you where they exactly are, so not only you, but also your teammates can damage it. Secondly, Soul Shackles are only active when some enemies are in its range (!), so without using mana, and putting it on CD, you still can 'use' it to detect enemies. Awesome!
- Morgana's AA has the highest base Attack Damage amongst ranged champions (114 at lvl 18), so use it. Really.
- Use your abilities and items as combos (E.g. Q+W, Q+R+W, R+Zhonya).
- When you see a teleport effect on a turret, for example, get ready your Dark Binding, cast it a momment before your enemy arrives, then continue your combo with Tormented Soil. Welcome in my lane with half HP, darling!
- Use Dark Binding and Black Shield to get away from risky situations.
- You can also use your Soul Shackles to escape, when you are chased by multiple enemies. Better put it on CD than die.
- Don't be afraid to farm with Tormented Soil.
- You can steal enemy buffs with Tormented Soil. Baron steal is even possible, if their jungler makes a mistake, so you can give it a try. When you are teamfighting at Baron, so they focus that big boss less, you have more chance to steal it. Just put a W below Baron, and continue to fight your enemy.
- Don't be selfish. Use Black Shield on the teammate who needs it the most.
- Try to use Soul Shackles when there are more enemy present, but it's ok to use it on single targets as well - especially in early and mid game - it doesn't have that much CD.
- In teamfights always consider wheter to use Zhonya's Hourglass or not. If you are not focused, you dont have to waste it. You not only spare a Zhonya's Hourglass but also can use Tormented Soil and AA, plus you can follow the enemy if they try to get away of you.
Champion Select & Early Communication
When you pick Morgana as a midder, it is very important to politely let your team know, that yes, you take her as a mid laner. You musn't be aggresive, but it is good to make it clear, otherwise they can think, you changed your mind and you want to go support.
The funny thing is, that the enemy team - of course - have no idea of this conversation, and it's pretty much fun to see (or imagine) how confused they are when they see, that you are not going bot lane, but mid. Especially if your team has a support like Lulu, Lux or Nidalee.
Like I said in the first paragraph, you can not only confuse your enemy, but your own team as well. As a Morgana midder it is your responsibility to avoid all misunderstandings. Always try to communicate with your team, at least with pings, because they might not know whats in your head. This is usuful with every champion, and escpecially important in the case of Morgana's because most of the player's are not used to this way of playing Morgana. It means they usually won't be able to predict your moves, so at least use pings to let them know what you're planning to do. If you feel that there is a special information you'd like to share with your team about your playstyle (or your enemy midder), I highly recommend to take your time until 1:55 to give them a 1-2 sentence tutorial about how to use you ;) (But don't spam them O_O They will hate you if you talk too much.)
Early Game - Farming, First Kills / Death?
As I said before, it is good to farm with Tormented Soil, because you can terrorise enemy mid laner this way. Using this method to farm also means that you can keep your enemy away, so it will be harder form her/him to farm and harass you.
On the other hand you will push your lane really fast, so you HAVE TO be aware of enemy jungler ganks. Always spare enough mana to get away using your Dark Binding (later you can also use Soul Shackles). To spare mana (and push less) you have to balance out farming with Tormented Soil and farming with AA. If you are careful and lucky, you might even get kill(s) from the enemy ganks. I'd say your mana can make the difference between kill and death.
In overall we can say that if you always keep an eye on the minimap, then pushing your enemy under his/her turret isn't a problem either. But you still will be vulnerable after using Dark Binding on your enemy midder, so I don't recommend you to try to kill enemy midder under his/her turret, unless you are on full HP, and you are pretty confident, you can make it. Fighting under enemy turret is also dangerous because (s)he can easily stun you, and you are not tanky enough to take turret hits. So you'd better try to kill her/him when you are at your side of the lane. (S)he has less chance to get away from you as well, plus you can expect your junglers help.
Of course you don't have to try to kill your enemy in early game / alone, but if you feel like you can do it without risking your own safety, you can do it even before reaching lvl 6. If you don't forget to use your AA on the enemy midder, you can have a surprisingly easy first blood.
I'd like to add that one of the best things about Morgana is, that if you play carfully and adapt well to the situation, then it is very hard to kill you. So you dont have to reach 5 kills before 15:00, it's better to play tactical, wait for the opportunities, and work on slowly destroying his/her outer turret.
But what happens if you die - before taking your first kill?! Nothing. Don't get upset, don't care if anyone flames you, don't even answer. It is just the beginning of the game. Anything can happen. Be more careful this time, and try again. If your opponement seems stronger then you play defensive, and wait for a gank. If you don't get any there might be that other lanes - or your jungler - have a problem as well. Be patient, ask nicely, never flame. I had surprisingly lot of games where every single of our lanes were loosing, and we still WON the game at the end!
The usual Trinket choice for a midder is Warding Totem. I usually use it first at lvl 3, because it is pretty rare to get a gank before that. You can also use your trinket to help your jungler between 1:30 and 2:00. After lvl 3 I always use my Warding Totem as soon as the CD is gone. You should watch enemy jungler's movement and ward the side which seems more dangerous. If you always ward the same side, it is good to make a sudden change, so the enemy jungler can't get used to it. And one more handy advice: if you ward the left side, for example, then stay closer to the left bush then the right one. This way if they gank from the right side, you still have a chance to escape.
It is also very effective to use a Vision Ward at one of the single bushes in the middle of the river. Junglers usually don't go through those bushes, so you can stay warded for 10-15 mins. If you have a pink ward at the right side, and a Totem ward on the left (or vica versa), you can feel relatively safe.
The two possible places for the Vision Ward I was talking about are shown on this map (taken from almeidaalajoel's excellent Victorious Vi guide):
Ganking Other Lanes
Morgana's biggest problem is her lack of movement speed. It's really hard to gank a lane without loosing your outer mid turret, and almost impossible to follow enemy midder if (s)he is trying to gank your teammates. Always write both 'ss', and ping '?', to warn them, and if you get an enemy mid who is known for ganking a lot (like Katarina), then take your time until 1:55 to explain them, that they have to stay alert, because your midder will gank a lot, and you won't be able to follow it.
Your only good chance to gank an other lane is after you defeated the enemy's first mid turret. Then you pushed the lane far enough to go for a gank, and most likely, you were able to do that because you killed the mid laner first.
You can try to go gank after a simple enemy midder kill (without destroying their turret), if you still are around full HP, but this have to be a really quick visit = attack then back to mid even if you wouldn't be able to kill anyone. Otherwise you will loose your turret.
When your jungle is giving you blue buff, the best way to safely take it is with Dark Binding, however, if you see your enemy midder is missing, and you suspect he is getting blue, I recommend you to use Tormented Soil, if you wanna try to take it. It's your best chance when you don't have a free ward to see what you are exactly doing. It's a gamble, but you don't take to much risk, and you still have your Dark Binding to get away, if they try to jump on you.
Another interesting fact is that from mid game you can take a buff all alone without loosing to much HP (thanks to your snare and Soul Siphon). So if there is a safe chance to take enemy buffs, for example after a teamfight, when most of their team is dead or havily injured, you can give it a try. But always remember: able to do =/= have to do.
From mid game your Morgana can be an excellent AP-carry, especially in case of you are able to use her as a part of the team. You don't have to take all the kills for yourself, she can be pretty decent with many assist and a few kills - mostly from early game - as well. Your team will love your Dark Binding not letting single enemies to escape, and a good Soul Shackles in the middle of the enemy team can even win a game for you. Stunning all the enemies, and taking half of their HPs is pretty good...
To Zhonya, or not to Zhonya, that is the question
Speaking of Soul Shackles... you know, you have that amazing combo of Soul Shackles and Zhonya's Hourglass. So why not to use it? Because it makes you immobile, and it gives a chance to your enemy to escape. So you have to consider what to do. If your enemy is not focusing you - mostly because you have a good tank and he initiated the fight, not you - then you don't have to waste your Zhonya's Hourglass, so you can follow them or put a nice Tormented Soil under them.
However if your HP is rapidly falling down while using your ultimate, push Zhonya fast!
Kill or Assists?
I said it before, but I say it again, because I think, it is important. You don't have to get the kills all the time to be strong. After you bought your Zhonya's Hourglass, you will be a pretty decent teammember, and letting others getting kills is good for their ego. Really. They will have fun, so they will play better.
With good communication, teamwork and happy teammates you can still win games where you were in disadvantage...
... or seemed absulutely hopeless.
Go in, go back, go in again
A general tip to Morgana (and to almost every champion) is that you shouldn't go in a fight and stay there until the very end, but go in, use your spells, and retreat until your spells are ready again. The only risky thing about this is that you can deceive your own teammates, and if they don't retreat with you, they can die. So use smart pings to let them know what you are about to do.
Saving your teammates
There are situations when it is obvious that you will die. There is no way to escape, but you still can do one more thing: you can save your teammates. When a bunch of enemies are after your low HP teammates you can use Zhonya's Hourglass. You have a high chance that this will stop them - they want to kill you, because you'll be an easy kill after 2.5 secs waiting -, or at least confuse them, so you won a little time for your teammates to run away. If your Soul Shackles are on, use them as well before using Zhonya's Hourglass, this way they will definitly stay with you, even if they don't want to. :D
What I do NOT recommend to do as a Morgana
1.) Flash + Soul Shackles + Zhonya's Hourglass combo
It is pretty risky, your team has not enough time to follow you, which means lesser damage. On the top of that you can get killed for nothing.
2.) Building Rod of Ages
Simply there are better items to spend your money on. RoA is the best purchased early game, but as a Morgana you want to rush Zhonya's Hourglass ASAP, and don't have time to build RoA. As for mid- and late game, Liandry's Torment and Rylai's Crystal Scepter has better passive and synergy with your abilities.
Counters and Synergy
Morgana is especially strong against:
Morgana is weak against:
Your best buddies:
So for now, this is all I wanted to say about Morgana. Thanks for reading my guide, and feel free to comment your own experiences! Everything is welcomed as long as it's constructive.
Later I will update this guide with my support Morgana advices, but I don't feel like I am experienced enough with that role... for now.
I also would like to update this guide with new experiences and more detailed counter tips. So stay tuned!
Q: Why are all the names shown on your screenshots?
A: Because I belive that there is nothing to be ashamed of about your performance during a match. Everyone has her/his bad or good days.
Q: But on some of your screenshots we also can see the end-game screen chat!
A: Yes, and it's intentional. Many people flame in the League, and they think they can get away without consequences. Well, what I think is, that if you don't wanna shoulder what you said, then don't say it.
Q: I really want my name to be removed from your screenshot.
A: I see. I accept that. Write me a private message, and I will censor your name.
??/09/2014: Updated the Guide with a 'Counters and Synergy' chapter to share further explainations.
08/09/2014: Published the Guide
07/09/2014: Started to write the Guide