Malphite Build Guide by PsiGuard

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League of Legends Build Guide Author PsiGuard

Rocking Solo Top With Malphite

PsiGuard Last updated on June 27, 2014
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Introduction


Thanks to jhoijhoi for the awesome banner!


About the Author

Hi, I'm PsiGuard and welcome to my Malphite guide. I've been playing League of Legends since November 2010 in Season 1, initially with my level 30 brothers in premade normal games, but now typically with my friends from Mobafire when I'm not soloqueueing. I began my ranked journey in Season 2 maining Lux and Kennen, but later switched to main jungle since a lot of my friends played mid. I reached gold near the end of Season 2 and shortly into Season 3 rose to a new top elo of 1823. This season I've reached a top ranking of Platinum I maining jungle.

Malphite is my favorite top laner and one of my favorite champions in the game. I find him immensely fun to play, rewarding when used well and one of the most powerful team fighters in the game, regardless of lane matchup. While there are better Malphite players than me and definitely some better top laners out there, this guide should be able to get you pretty far in your top lane Malphite play.

About Malphite

Malphite is one of the quintessential tanks of League of Legends. His kit rewards and synergizes with defensive items and his abilities serve to initiate team fights and disrupt the enemy team while remaining in the fray. In laning phase, Malphite's passive, Granite Shield, protects him against harass and strengthens his trading power whether. Ground Slam is a very effective tool for trading with enemy AD champions, especially those reliant on attack speed, and can push minion waves pretty quickly. After he reaches level 6, Malphite gains a lot of kill potential, especially with a gank from his jungler. Unstoppable Force is arguably the best initiation in the game and can set up some very easy kills in top lane or when Teleporting across the map.

Later in the game, Malphite serves the classic tank and initiator role. By this time he will have several defensive items that allow him to deal respectable damage and absorb a lot more. He can initiate a fight with Unstoppable Force and cripple enemy damage output with Ground Slam along with Frozen Heart and Randuin's Omen. His base damages and armor scaling on Ground Slam give him a lot of up-front burst damage at the start of a fight, making him a great pick for AoE and team fighting compositions.

Legend

(for any abbreviations you don't understand)


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Masteries

0/23/7


Masteries
2/2
2/2
1/1
3/3
1/1
3/3
3/3
1/1
4/4
1/1
1/1
3/3
3/3
1/1
1/1

This setup is designed to give you a ton of defensive stats to strengthen your trading ability in lane and prepare you for your late game tanking role. It's worth noting that many of the defensive masteries increase the potency of Granite Shield as well, giving you a very useful tool for withstanding harass early game and allowing you to tank effectively later on.

7 points in utility are enough to get Meditation for lane sustain and Summoner's Insight to lower the cooldowns on Flash and Teleport by 30 seconds each. I prefer the summoner CDR on Malphite because both of these summmoners help you set up good ultimates. If you prefer more lane presence, 0/30/0 and 9/21/0 give you more early game stats.


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Runes

Runes

Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Armor
5

Greater Seal of Scaling Armor
4

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Armor
1

Greater Quintessence of Health Regeneration
2

Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration: These marks give you some early damage output, allowing you to trade effectively in lane. Hybrid pen marks are preferable over Magic pen because you'll use autoattacks to trade in melee range while Ground Slam reduces your opponent's attack speed. Magic pen marks are okay if you don't own Hybrid pen marks.

Greater Seal of Armor & Greater Seal of Scaling Armor: Cheap, good on any champion, flat armor seals have special synergy with Granite Shield and Ground Slam. Since you will always encounter physical damage in the form of minion aggro, tower shots, autoattacks and often physical damage abilities, I recommend five flat seals to get you through laning phase and four scaling seals that will equal the flat runes at level 6 and triple their value by level 18.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: These glyphs work well in a lot of matchups and scale quite nicely into late game. Generally you'll want the scaling ones since they allow you to build health and armor items without needing to sink much gold into MR. Many top laners deal very little magic damage, and most of the ones that do deal magic damage take a few levels for their abilities to ramp up. You should be able to make it through the first few levels without needing flat MR.

Greater Quintessence of Armor: I use one armor quint to help make up for the lower amount of early armor from my seals. You can skip this rune if you prefer more sustain from an extra HP regen quint, or if you're in a matchup with very low physical damage. In general it's pretty nice to have the extra safety from the early armor.

Greater Quintessence of Health Regeneration: You'll want these to help you keep up with sustain-heavy top laners which are common in the current meta. Plenty of other quints can be useful (MS, AD, HP and armor are all pretty good), but these quints will help you get through laning phase where Malphite can be easily bullied. Feel free to swap them out for armor quints if you're up against a strong early game physical damage champion like Riven.


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Summoner Spells

Primary Spell

In laning phase, Flash can get you out of tight spots, especially jungler ganks. Often having Flash up can make the difference between an escape and a death. You can also use it offensively to secure kills, especially if your target uses Flash in an escape attempt. Late game, Flash will be useful for long range initiations, using it just before Unstoppable Force. It's also nice to have it available in case you need to blink over a wall to safety if you're caught.
Secondary Spell

This is a great tool for early game ganks and dragon control as well as late game split-pushing. Since you'll be missing Ignite (and your opponent may have taken it), you won't have much kill pressure in lane without help from your jungler. Teleport takes some decision-making skills, map awareness and sometimes some team coordination to use effectively. Keep in mind that it is usually worth it to simply recall, heal, buy items and teleport back to lane when you're low on health or mana and need to buy items. It's not too likely that you'll need to teleport across the map before level 6 anyway, and the cooldown is reduced by 100 seconds if you teleport to your tower.

This spell gives you the strongest laning phase and the most 1v1 kill potential, especially once you have your ultimate. You sacrifice some safety by not taking Teleport since you can't get back to lane quickly after basing, but it can be worth it if you play your laning phase well and zone or kill the enemy top laner. You might want to take Ignite against champions with a lot of healing ( Dr. Mundo, Soraka, Aatrox) so you can kill them when your jungler ganks after level 6. You can also just take this spell if you're not comfortable using Teleport and don't want to practice using it.


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Abilities




Granite Shield (passive): Malphite's passive is actually one of the best in the game in my opinion. If you use it correctly, you become immune to all but the most aggressive harass. It's like a health pot on a 10 second cooldown early game, and late game it gives you a free shield to absorb pokes or tank towers.

Tips and Tricks:
  • Granite Shield scales with health, armor, and magic resist. Defensive items will improve its effectiveness.
  • Early game, Granite Shield will protect you from harass and minion aggro; late game, it can tank tower hits or enemy poke spells after you've built some items.
  • If you're hit by harass, try to avoid damage for the next few seconds until your passive recharges.
  • Don't be aggressive in lane without your passive up as it gives you a significant advantage in damage trades.


Seismic Shard (Q): A poke, a slow, and a haste, Seismic Shard is Malphite's all-purpose tool. It deals a pretty respectable amount of damage at rank 5, and is the perfect ability for chases and escapes. Since it's a targeted spell, it's impossible to dodge and guarantees its damage and utility as long as you're in range to cast the ability. You'll usually want to use this to poke down low-sustain laners, extend trades that you're winning, secure kills and escape sticky situations.

Tips and Tricks:
  • Seismic Shard is a very effective counter-harass. Fire one at your opponent when they step forward to harass you and Granite Shield will earn you a small victory.
  • Seismic Shard is a strong chasing tool. Use it to slow your opponent and walk up for a Ground Slam. It's also a helpful tool to use when your jungler ganks.
  • You can use Seismic Shard to escape enemies. Hit a foe when you're fleeing, and your speed will be boosted while they are slowed. Target enemies with high movement speed for greater effect.


Brutal Strikes (W): This is a respectable steroid. It's simplest use is pushing towers (or even backdooring), but it can also be used at the start of fights for more damage and durability. Don't underestimate this ability, and feel free to use it whenever you enter a fight or push a tower. Its mana cost and cooldown are pretty low.

Tips and Tricks:
  • Activate Brutal Strikes before using Ground Slam to boost your armor, and therefore the damage of Ground Slam.
  • Brutal Strikes costs only 25 mana at all ranks. Don't be afraid to use it if you're expecting some physical damage to come your way, or if you're about to trade autoattacks with your lane opponent.
  • Brutal Strikes' AD steroid can be used to secure last-hits under your tower that otherwise might be too difficult to pick up with weaker autoattacks.
  • Brutal Strikes works great for pushing or diving towers. Activate it when you take tower aggro to raise your armor and AD.
  • Activate Brutal Strikes just after using Unstoppable Force to initiate a fight. This will let you tank better, improve your Ground Slam, and let you do heavy damage with your auto attacks.


Ground Slam (E): This AoE spell is great for farming, but also acts like a Frozen Heart on a short cooldown. It's a hard counter to AD champions, and a pain in the neck for melee DPS. Constantly applying the debuff to enemy fighters or marksmen during a fight will make it difficult for them to fight or kite due to the attack speed reduction. This is your most efficient trading tool against melee champions for its combined damage and debuff.

Tips and Tricks:


Unstoppable Force (R): Undoubtedly Malphite's strongest ability, and arguably the best initiation spell in the game, Unstoppable Force dashes quite far to knock up and damage enemies at a target location. Use this ability to initiate team fights, ganks and tower dives, or to simply win a close 1v1 fight. Once you hit level 6, your lane presence and zone will get a lot larger in lane because of this ability. If you keep your enemy low, you can completely starve them of farm and/or suddenly charge them and pick up the kill, even if they're under their tower. Having Flash off cooldown will effectively double your zone.

Tips and Tricks:
  • The knockup component of Unstoppable Force isn't reduced by tenacity and can't be removed by Cleanse, Quicksilver Sash or Mikael's Crucible.
  • Since Unstoppable Force is both a dash and a heavy CC, it's great for initiating ganks or team fights. Wait for enemies to group together and target priority enemy champions for maximum effect.
  • Unstoppable Force can be used to counter initiations from enemy tanks and supports since enemy team's often group together at the start of fights.
  • It's also great for interrupting channeled abilities like Death Lotus, Crowstorm, Absolute Zero and Requiem.
  • Don't use your ultimate too hastily in lane. If you can, save the cooldown for when your target uses an escape spell like Flash, then use Unstoppable Force to follow them.
  • Unstoppable Force can be used to dash through walls. Use it to surprise an enemy in the jungle, or interrupt a team trying to take dragon or baron. In an emergency, you can also use it to dash away from enemies, though try not to rely on this too often.


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Skill Sequence

The order in which you should level up Malphite's abilities really depends on the matchup. In general, there are two main skill orders you should follow. Unstoppable Force is always first priority because it's the strongest skill in Malphite's arsenal and provides a lot of burst damage. Brutal Strikes has the lowest early game benefit and works best when you have items and levels, so it's prioritized last.

>>>

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Maxing Ground Slam with an early point in Brutal Strikes gives you the best mana-efficiency for trading with melee champions. The early ranks of Ground Slam will make it difficult for melee champions to trade in your minion wave since their attack speed will be dramatically reduced and Malphite has pretty good base AD. It'll also help you push the minion wave, since a lot of top laners will try to (or unintentionally) push the minion wave into your tower and make you lose CS. If the enemy laner is pushed, they also gain a minion advantage which makes it difficult to come out ahead after a trade. You don't want the wave pushed to you since your gank reception is awful before level 6 when you have your ultimate.

>>>

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Maxing Seismic Shard first is more mana-intensive, but gives you a safe option for harassing ranged opponents or melee champions with poor health sustain. I usually delay Brutal Strikes until level 8 because it's more beneficial to freeze the minion wave against ranged champions as many of them lack the durability and escape mechanisms to deal with jungler pressure (if a Ryze top pushes on you, your jungler can probably come and kill him by himself). Early ranks in Seismic Shard allow you to have meaningful harass at range and the slow/haste helps you to gap-close if you're going for a more aggressive trade. If you're against a ranged champion that deals primarily magic damage, you can get Chalice of Harmony to solve your mana problems from spamming Q for harass.


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Itemization

Starting Items

Sight Ward or x5


Sight Ward
Crystalline Flask gives you a nice mix of health and mana sustain that refreshes upon returning to base, making it a very cost-efficient sustain tool in many matchups. You can choose to limit your sustain by buying a sight ward in order to avoid early ganks, or you can go for three potions for higher sustain, perhaps against a jungler with weaker early game ganks like Warwick.


x5
If your opponent deals almost entirely physical damage and can be shut down with a lot of early armor, Cloth Armor might be a good option for a starting item. 15 extra armor combined with 5 Health Potions gives you a ton of effective health for early laning. This start is really strong against powerful early game AD laners like Xin Zhao, Riven and Wukong. You can build the Cloth Armor straight into Ninja Tabi pretty quickly, so it won't go to waste.


Doran's Shield + Health Potion is also a viable start, but I find it more risky because it leaves you without a ward for ganks and most of your sustain is passive regen, which means you can be zoned from the minion wave if an early exchange goes poorly. Doran's Shield can be a good starting item against ranged autoattackers like Nidalee and 1v2 lanes against an AD carry and support.

Laning Phase Options


Doran's Shield is a great counter to autoattackers since it blocks 8 damage from autoattacks as well as giving health and sustain -- all good stats for laning against strong AD champions. Since the passive is UNIQUE, stacking it isn't a good idea, but getting one early can really help your early game if you're taking a lot of autoattack damage.

Ninja Tabi are fairly standard boots on Malphite unless you're against an AP top. The early armor and autoattack damage reduction is very strong against physical damage dealers, especially autoattackers. Since these boots are quite cheap compared to most others, you can finish them rather quickly.


Mercury's Treads are great on a lot of melee champions due to their tendency to be CC'd and kited. These are good boots if you're laning against a top laner with mixed damage, strong magic damage and/or some kind of CC that can make your life difficult. Generally you'll use these to combat magic damage from AP top laners or magic damage tanks like Singed.

Chalice of Harmony is a nice item for laning against magical damage dealers. It's pretty cheap to build and gives you MR and a lot of mana sustain for its price. It also allows you to build two Null-Magic Mantles early if you're having trouble in lane, building one into Mercury's Treads and the other into Chalice of Harmony. I generally recommend selling it later on in the game, so if you don't need it for laning phase then don't bother getting it.

Spectre's Cowl is a fairly expensive item for laning but it can be necessary if you're taking heavy harass from a strong, magic top laner like Elise or Rumble. You can build this into Spirit Visage after you finish Sunfire Cape, but if you need the extra sustain and MR, you can buy this item to stay in lane. If you don't need to build it in lane, just get Sunfire Cape first.



This opening is designed to give you more lane pressure and kill potential, particularly against squishy ranged opponents that you can poke with Seismic Shard. You can get one or two of these to keep your mana up and improve your harass in laning phase. With this opening you will deal a lot of damage if you land an Unstoppable Force on a squishy champion without health or MR items. The magic pen also buffs the aura from Sunfire Cape. Keep in mind that you will have spent a lot of gold on AP and magic pen so your early durability will suffer. I recommend only using this opening if you take Ignite since it relies on the threat of burst damage.


Core

Sunfire Cape is an incredibly useful item on Malphite. The mix of health and armor gives you a nice blend of survivability while the aura gives you stronger pushing power and more damage in duels and team fights. In lane, it gives you a consistent source of damage in duels and trades when your cooldowns are used. Since Ground Slam reduces enemy DPS (assuming they're AD-based), you can win a trade hard with just an E and some autoattacks. In team fights you can get a lot of milage out of the Sunfire Cape aura since few teams have the damage or inclination to focus you down quickly. I recommend completing this item as soon as you have the gold in every game.

Primary Items



You'll want to get these three items in most games, though the order may vary depending on the situation. They provide a strong mix defensive stats along with two auras that improve your ability to cripple the DPS of the enemy AD carry.

Randuin's Omen gives you an extra CC to use after initiation, opening up a wide window for your team to follow up before your opponents recover. It also creates a major issue for enemy autoattackers since focusing you will further lower their DPS and even slow them. Sometimes the passive slow can actually cause the enemy AD carry to lose their positioning since their movespeed drops as they try to DPS you. It's currently the most effective defensive item against physical damage, especially Blade of the Ruined King users, so you'll usually want to build it when team fights are starting. Another thing to note is that it's another Giant's Belt item, meaning it's a decent defense against magic and true damage as well.

Frozen Heart is a very common item on Malphite against standard 1 AP team comps or full physical teams. The AS reduction aura is devastating to the enemy AD carry and physical bruisers and it gives you a ton of armor and CDR for stronger team fight presence. Malphite's participation in team fights hinges largely on Unstoppable Force being available, so 20% CDR is very important to your mid game.

Spirit Visage is arguably the strongest MR item in the game. Malphite doesn't have any special synergy with the increased healing from its passive, but this item provides a ton of defense against magic damage as well as another huge chunk of CDR. You can get this before (or in place of) Frozen Heart against dual AP compositions or if the enemy AP carry is just really really fed. If you have this item along with Frozen Heart in your build, you will be capped at 40% CDR from just two items.

Secondary Items



These items are not as crucial as the primary items, but they are all viable options and fill different niches, making them strong picks in the right situation.

Thornmail is actually pretty mediocre in terms of survivability, but it makes you a bigger damage threat against the enemy AD carry. Since AD carries deal monstrous amounts of damage late game, Thornmail will reflect a lot of damage back on them, making it a surprisingly effective late game item. The passive also applies before mitigation, so if an AD carry deals 500 damage to you which is mitigated by your armor, it'll still reflect the full 150 damage back. It'll also increase Ground Slam's damage by 30 points, or 42 if you use Brutal Strikes first.

Warmog's Armor offers a lot of balanced survivability that will defend you against all damage types. Health is also the only defense against true damage nukes such as Reckless Swing and Feast. It also gives you some good health regen to sustain you between fights, especially against poke comps that will try to wear down your health rather than engage directly. I generally consider this item against AP and poke comps since the health pool and regen will keep you from getting poked or bursted down.

Iceborn Gauntlet gives a pretty nice mix of stats for an aggressive Malphite. Mana allows you to cast more spells, CDR lets you cast them more often, armor makes you durable and fuels Ground Slam, AP fuels Seismic Shard and Unstoppable Force and the passive gives you stronger AoE damage and some followup CC after you use your ultimate. It's a fantastic aggressive item on Malphite, but it doesn't offer the same level of utility and survivability as the three primary items. You might consider building this instead of Frozen Heart or Spirit Visage against an AP or AD comp respectively IF survivability isn't much of a problem. You'll be short 6% CDR (or 10% if you didn't take Sorcery), but you can get that from an Elixir of Brilliance.

Abyssal Scepter gives you AP for Seismic Shard and Unstoppable Force while also providing you with some useful MR and an MR reduction aura, which is both supportive for your magic-using allies and helps you deal a bit more damage with your spells, especially against squishy enemies (like carries) who don't have much MR in their builds. It's The MR reduction aura will also work nicely with Sunfire's damage aura. It's a pretty good MR option, though it doesn't provide the same utility and defensive stats as Spirit Visage. This item works great with Sorcerer's Shoes and Haunting Guise for high burst damage in team fights.

Guardian Angel is usually only built by carries and bruisers with good damage output. It's a hard-core survivability item for team fights and can turn the tide of late game fights when respawn timers go up to 70 seconds. Having an extra champion survive a team fight is a big deal, since you can spend that time alive to push towers or take on baron with your team. I generally don't prioritize this item on Malphite because most of your usefulness ( Unstoppable Force) is used at the beginning of the fight (plus you're really tanky), but you can consider it if you're being bursted down at the start of fights.

Locket of the Iron Solari is a team-oriented aura item that's generally built by the jungler or sometimes the support. While it does provide decent defensive stats, it pales in comparison to most other alternatives. It might be necessary to build this item (against AoE and poke especially) if no one else on your team is getting it. I would avoid building this if you can.

Enchantments


Enchantment: Distortion is my preferred enchantment whenever I take Teleport and Flash. It significantly reduces the cooldown of both of these spells, dropping their down-time by 25% (75 seconds). That means your Teleport will be up more often to gank or join team fights and your Flash will be up more often for initiation or escapes. Some people like to run Enchantment: Homeguard so you can Teleport from base with increased movement speed, but I find that 25% CDR on both summoner spells outweighs that situational use. Not to mention that a lot of the time you'll be using Teleport to join team fights while you're laning or split-pushing, not when you're sitting at base.

Enchantment: Homeguard is a good enchantment on every champion and generally offers more benefit than the alternatives. If your team has lost a lot of towers and you're fighting close to your base, it can help you heal and get back to the action more quickly before you lose a tower or a team fight. I find it's generally more of an impulse buy than part of an itemization sequence. If there isn't much action around your base, I wouldn't bother with this enchantment until your inventory is full.


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Laning Phase

Goals

As a solo top, your job is to get as much gold and experience as possible, zone/kill your opponent and make sure you don't waste too much of your jungler's time. If you manage not to fall behind your lane opponent (in gold and experience), you hold your tower for a reasonable amount of time and you don't force your jungler to babysit you the entire laning phase, you've probably done a decent job. Winning a lane requires more than just careful play though, you have to harass appropriately, fight for a CS advantage and control your opponents decisions as much as possible. Malphite works great as a counterpick to a lot of AD laners, so abusing that advantage is often key to putting your team in a good spot for mid game.

Harassing and Trading

Use Seismic Shard to harass your opponent from a distance. A lot of laners can't actually trade back since they'll be slowed and many lack ranged abilities with which to counter-harass. When your opponent closes to melee range, hit them back with your Q and Ground Slam if they're close enough. Usually you can get away with throwing a few autoattacks in afterwards since their attack speed will be slowed, but make sure you don't take too much minion aggro doing so. After a (hopefully successful) trade, play a little passively and farm for a few seconds until your Q, E and passive refresh. Make sure you choose appropriate times to trade and don't miss CS because of your aggression (or if you do miss some last-hits, make sure your opponent misses a lot more).

Zoning and Wave Control

Zoning is an important skill to learn for any laner, especially if you want to actually create an advantage top lane. You can zone your opponent from the minion wave by first harassing them to a point where they don't want to engage you directly, then positioning yourself between them and your dying minions. If you've been harassing well, simply using your presence, keeping up your farm and occasionally throwing out a Seismic Shard can really compound any small advantage you've created.

Wave control is also a key element of laning and often separates decent laners with annoyingly strong ones. Getting a feel for the flow of the minion wave and how to manipulate it can create zoning opportunities, keep you safe from ganks and allow you to apply pressure to the lane at appropriate times. Generally you want to "freeze" the minion wave just out of range of your tower, which gives you the easiest access to farm with the quickest escape route while your opponent will be extending to CS, leaving them more vulnerable to ganks from your jungler. When you kill your opponent, you force them out of lane or you don't fear a gank from their jungler and you want to apply some pressure, push the lane to their tower quickly. The tower killing your minions will make it more difficult for your opponent to CS and will usually reduce their inclination to attempt any trades or harass. Be careful when you do so, since it gives the enemy a chance to freeze the lane at their tower. Usually recalling after a successful push isn't a bad idea since by the time you get back to lane, your opponent will have pushed the wave back to a more workable position.

Ways to push your lane:
  1. Aoe clears (In Malphite's case, this means Ground Slam.)
  2. Autoattacking enemy champion (This draws aggro to you instead of your allied minions. Using spells to harass, however, will not draw aggro.)
  3. Intercepting minion wave (Also draws minion aggro. You may want to do this to prevent the wave from hitting your tower.)
  4. Wave hits your tower (The tower pushes back the wave by clearing it quickly than if you were last-hitting.)
  5. Autoattacking repeatedly between last-hits (This is the least mana intensive way to push your lane.)
  6. Last-hitting without interference (This is more of a subtle one that some people miss. Last-hitting a wave of minions pushes it very slowly. If you are farming and your opponent is not, you will start to push towards them.)

Keep these factors in mind when attempting to freeze your lane or push it rapidly. Usually whenever you trade with your lane opponent, the wave will start to push in one direction or the other. You can use your positioning to force your opponent to push if they are forced to use AoE abilities around minions to trade, but keep in mind that they may do the same to you.

Warding

Warding is the best way to foresee and escape ganks from the enemy jungler or mid laner. In laning phase, there are only a few warding spots you'll need to worry about. Typically there are three routes that the enemy jungler or mid laner can take to get to you unless they have a long range teleport/jump/dash ability like Paranoia, Destiny or Grand Skyfall.

1. Direct river gank: This route can be covered by warding close to blue team's ramp up to blue buff. If the enemy jungler has a dash ability that can scale the wall, you may want to move the ward a little close to your lane to make sure he can't slip past it.

2. Tribush gank: While often this kind of gank also comes from the river, sometimes the enemy jungler or mid laner will come through red/purple team's jungle behind baron pit. This gank is more common if you are on blue team since the tribush is directly accessible from red/purple team's jungle. It's still dangerous if you're on red/purple team though, since the jungler may take the time to go all the way around through your own jungle to get behind you. Warding inside the tri-bush is the best way to avoid these ganks, though if you're on red/purple team you might be okay with a just a ward by the entrance to blue team's blue buff jungle as long as your mid or jungler has your team's wraith camp warded so the enemy jungler
or mid laner can't sneak into your jungle through there.

3. Lane gank: This is often the most difficult gank to pull off, but it can be very effective since the side brush in top lane is not often warded. To execute this kind of gank, your lane opponent will usually push the wave to your tower while his jungler sneaks from his lane into the side brush at the edge of the map. When the wave resets, your lane opponent will often try to bait you into blowing cooldowns in a trade near the brush, then the jungler will jump out for an easy 2v1 kill. Avoiding this gank can be difficult since the only sure-fire ways to prevent it are to keep the far lane brush warded (which costs you gold) or to keep your lane pushed beyond that point (which costs you lane presence). Sometimes you can "smell" a lane gank if your lane opponent starts behaving more boldly or tries to bait you into moving towards the lane brush, especially if he pushed to your tower recently.

Note: Beware of stealth champions like Evelynn. She can bypass your sight wards without being seen, so you'll have to invest in Vision Wards to ensure you don't get ganked unexpectedly.

Accepting Jungler Ganks

When your jungler is trying to gank your lane, the worst thing you can do is telegraph your intentions. Telegraphing a gank is when the laner unintentionally signals to his opponent that the jungler is nearby through a sudden change in playstyle. Usually this manifests in the form of reckless aggression whenever the allied jungler is set to gank. When accepting a gank, first inform your jungler of the enemy ward placement if you've been paying attention to where your opponent has placed wards (or if they placed any at all). If your jungler seems to be in position unseen, either bait an engage from your lane opponent (careful of telegraphing), initiate with Unstoppable Force or signal your jungler to engage first if they have some CC to start with (usually an Exhaust, red buff or stun spell will do). Don't be afraid of tower diving with Malphite if you can safely land a kill and get out alive. Remember to use Ignite to finish off a low opponent if they would escape otherwise.


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Team fights

Team fights are fairly simple as Malphite. When the enemy overextends or groups up, initiate with Unstoppable Force, catching as many targets as possible and making sure you hit at least one priority target, hopefully the most dangerous carry. Activate Brutal Strikes and use Ground Slam (use Randuin's Omen after this if you have it). Target your team's desired target to focus, often the ranged DPS, and use Seismic Shard to slow them. By this point, the enemy team will have taken a fair amount of damage from your burst and will have hopefully blown a few important spells on you. While you're tanking their initial focus and dealing an annoying amount of damage, your team will rush in, your AP will burst down one of their carries while your AD will be hammering at anything close to him. In a long team fight, try to protect your carries by blocking CC and skillshots, while debuffing the enemies with your abilities and items. Make sure you're autoattacking since it actually contributes a lot of damage.

If your team is victorious, use Seismic Shard to slow down any fleeing champions for your team to finish off. Flash in for a last hit if appropriate. Your team can then choose to push, dragon, baron, take buffs, or recall to base and shop. Team fights near the enemy tower usually call for a push, while a victory in the jungle may leave dragon or baron unguarded. Keep an eye on the enemy death timers when deciding which objective to pursue, since they increase throughout the game. If it's still relatively early in the game, the enemy team can be back to fight you again in as little as 30 seconds.

In the event your team is losing the fight, ping the retreat and slow down dangerous champions with Seismic Shard. You can use Flash to escape if necessary, but make sure you don't leave behind your carries if you can still help them. If you haven't used your ultimate, USE IT if it will help your carries escape, even if it means dashing back into the fray. The death of a tank is worth the survival of a carry, just make sure you don't suicide if you don't need to.


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Closing Statements

Thank you for reading my Malphite guide, I hope that some parts of it prove useful to you. If you appreciated my guide or approve of my build, feel free to hit the Like button up top. Please so leave any comments, questions or suggestions below and I will try to get back to you. I appreciate criticism, as long as it's constructive.

I look forward to reading your comments, and good luck in your future Malphite games!


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Change Log


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Special Thanks

Since I got this section started quite late, please don't hesitate to remind me if you've made a significant contribution in the past. I'll make sure to add you here.

I'd like to thank the following people who have made significant contributions to my guide and have helped me to both improve the guide and my own understanding of build mechanics.

throatslasher: For criticism, prompting and straightforward advice that resulted in a major overhaul, including improved builds and the refined itemization section. Also for allowing me to spectate and ask questions about his quite formidable Malphite play. :)

jhoijhoi: For long initial reviews and continued support and criticism over the development of my guide. I'd also like to thank her for her insights into coding and guide aesthetics that have helped to improve the look and organization of all my guides over time.

wRAthoFVuLk: For being my duo queue partner and letting me bounce ideas off of him when refining my builds.

And to all those who made minor contributions to my guide and pointed out mistakes I missed. I really appreciate your help and I'm sorry I can't take the time to thank you all personally.

And finally a thank you to all the voters and Scouts that encouraged me via their support to continue to improve this guide, even when it had a lot more mistakes than it does now. :P


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