Versus Physical Top
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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 college and 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 Diamond III 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.
Malphite is one of the quintessential tanks of League of Legends. His kit synergizes with defensive items and his abilities serve to initiate group 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.
Since Malphite is a tank champion and we'll be building defensive items throughout the game, a minimum of 21 points in defense is strongly recommended. Defensive masteries give the early stats to protect you from harass in lane as well as scaling stats that will help you in team fights. Where the other 9 points go is up to you, but here are my two favorite setups.
There's some leeway as to which defensive masteries to take, but I strongly recommend picking up Oppression as the effect applies to the Frozen Heart aura as well as your Ground Slam debuff (in addition to your more obvious slows). This means you're getting 3% damage reduction from all enemies in range of Frozen Heart for one mastery point, which is huge.
|Since I recommend starting Cloth Armor against most physical damage top laners, putting 9 points into utility allows us to get Meditation and Culinary Master . These utility masteries help compensate for the lack of mana regeneration early in the build, allowing us to go straight into armor and HP for early game power. Total Biscuit of Rejuvenation gives us an extra 100 HP and 50 mana since we're buying 5 potions and it can get even more mileage if you buy more pots after your first recall.|
|Since I recommend Crystalline Flask against most AP top laners, we don't get as much benefit from biscuits and the mana sustain is less important. I put 6 points into offense to pick up Sorcery and Feast . 5% CDR will help make up for the fact that most good CDR options are armor items and you won't be able to reach the CDR cap as quickly if you're building health and MR. Feast helps us sustain against the higher level of harass that you're likely to run into against AP champions. The extra few points in defense allow us to double dip in armor and MR so we can get some early protection in lane without losing out on the good scaling armor masteries.|
This setup is designed to give a lot of protection against physical damage and all-ins in the early game. Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration gives the best value for marks and helps Malphite's spells and autoattacks hit harder. Greater Seal of Health is the most valuable defensive seal. I choose flat seals over scaling because laning against AD melee champions is always a battle for control of the minion wave and therefore the early stats are important. Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist gives us some MR later in the game which can make up for the fact that you probably don't want to bother building a Negatron Cloak until you have to. Greater Quintessence of Armor gets much better value compared to armor seals and is therefore the best choice for getting some early armor.
This setup has a few tweaks that make it better suited to dealing with magic damage harass in lane, especially against ranged poke. As stated above, Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration gives us the most value for marks so we'll get those again. Since AP top laners usually need a few levels to get going, we can afford to take Greater Seal of Scaling Health. Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist is taken for a similar reason, plus we can get 12 MR from Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist to shore up some early game vulnerability from the scaling runes.
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. I consider this spell mandatory as soon as you hit level 12 as its versatility is unparalleled.
This is a very safe spell to take and it's always useful, though its usefulness does depend a bit on your decision making. Use Teleport to get back to lane quickly after recalling in order to stop yourself from losing XP and gold when enemy minions die to your tower. You can stay competitive in lane if you're forced out early or gain an XP advantage if you're winning by teleporting to your tower after recalling in the early game. Later on you'll use this to create pressure away from your team with the option of teleporting in to a team fight should you be needed. I consider this the best secondary spell for Malphite, but there is one good alternative.
This spell gives you the strongest laning presence 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 recalling (or dying), 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, Aatrox etc.) 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.
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.
- 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.
- You might have to give up a few last-hits in order to refresh your passive early game. This is okay, because you only lose a small amount of gold but gain a lot of lane presence by resisting harass.
- Wait until your shield is up before walking up for a last-hit in range of the enemy top laner whenever possible.
Seismic Shard (Q): This is Malphite's primary harass tool against AP (and/or ranged) champions and it serves as a slow/haste in AD matchups. 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. Keep in mind that this ability can drain your mana pool quickly so try not to cast it too often at low ranks.
- Be ready to cast Seismic Shard on a ranged lane opponent when you walk up for a CS. Your opponent will likely take the opportunity to poke you.
- When maxing Ground Slam against melee champions, only cast Seismic Shard to prolong or escape extended trades or you'll end up wasting mana. It's not worth the mana cost just for the small amount of damage at rank 1.
- 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.
- In team fights, target the enemy Marksman with Seismic Shard when possible to prevent them from kiting you effectively.
Brutal Strikes (W): This is a respectable steroid. It's simplest use is to give you an edge in damage and durability in trades and team fights, but it's also useful for quickly clearing minion waves or taking down structures and jungle camps. 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.
- 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 mini Frozen Heart on a short cooldown. It's a strong 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 you effectively due to the attack speed reduction. This is your most efficient trading tool against melee champions for its combined damage and debuff.
- Ground Slam scales with armor, so it will start hurting more once you complete some armor items.
- When using Ground Slam to secure last-hits, weaken the enemy minions first and use your AoE to finish them all off at once.
- Using Ground Slam with the passive from Brutal Strikes will allow you to farm creeps and push lanes quite quickly.
- Ground Slam's attack speed debuff works on all jungle camps except dragon and baron nashor.
- Ground Slam leaves an imprint of the Riot Games Fist on the ground. :D
Unstoppable Force (R): Undoubtedly Malphite's strongest ability, and arguably the best initiation spell in the game, Unstoppable Force is a long-ranged dash that knocks up and damages 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.
- Unstoppable Force's missile speed increases with Malphite's movement speed, so casting Seismic Shard before you ult will make the ability a bit harder to dodge.
- The knockup component of Unstoppable Force isn't reduced by tenacity and can't be removed by Cleanse, Quicksilver Sash or Mikael's Crucible. You only have to worry about it being dodged or blocked by a spell shield like Banshee's Veil.
- 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 teams often group together at the start of fights.
- It's also good 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 as it's a pretty hefty cooldown.
Unstoppable Force is always first priority because it's the strongest skill in Malphite's arsenal and lowering the cooldown is crucial.
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. Brutal Strikes is prioritized second for the armor increase in team fights once you have some items. You won't really have the mana sustain to spam Seismic Shard so it can stay at rank 1 to be used for the slow and self-haste.
Maxing Seismic Shard first is more mana-intensive, but gives you a safe option for harassing ranged opponents or champions like Rumble whose abilities basically make them ranged. 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). The extra point in Ground Slam also helps your damage and pushing power a little should you need it. Brutal Strikes is prioritized last because your early items will be mostly health and magic resist so you won't make good use of the armor steroid until late game anyway.
Cloth Armor is my preferred start against physical damage lane opponents. 15 extra armor combined with 5x Health Potions gives you a lot of security 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 Glacial Shroud or Ninja Tabi pretty quickly, so it won't go to waste.
Crystalline Flask gives you the most cost-efficient sustain you can buy. You usually can't expect to win lane against AP champions in the early levels so you'll just be looking to get as much farm as possible without being forced out of lane until you get some more ranks in Seismic Shard and get your ultimate for kill potential.
Doran's Shield is a good supplement for your early game against physical autoattackers if you need it. The damage block is unique, so only buy one of these at most. If you have enough gold for a Giant's Belt or Chain Vest, skip the doran's and get that instead. Get the shield if you have to recall early and only have a few hundred gold.
Doran's Ring makes your Seismic Shard poke more competitive with AP champions but it does delay your other items. If you recall with less than 720 gold early game, buy a ring for the early game stats. Negatron Cloak and Chalice of Harmony are also good early buys if you have a bit more gold on hand.
Ninja Tabi are really strong against physical top laners and marksmen. Pick them up if you're against physical damage and the enemy team doesn't have any glaring CCs that you need to reduce.
Mercury's Treads protect you against magic damage and reduce CC effects, but they're pretty expensive. Get them against heavier magic comps, AP top laners and high amounts of CC.
Sorcerer's Shoes increase your kill potential and your ability to carry team fights. They're risky because you pay a lot for no defensive stats, but they can increase your damage by quite a bit.
Sunfire Cape gives you a useful blend of health and armor 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 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 mileage out of the Sunfire Cape aura since few teams have the damage or inclination to focus you down quickly. This item is more effective if completed before the enemy team builds a lot of magic resistance.
You'll want to aim for 30-40% CDR since 40% is the cap. You can fill the missing 10% with Elixir of Brilliance if necessary. Consider CDR a primary offensive stat for Malphite since it allows you to get spells off more frequently and force more fights with a lower ultimate cooldown.
Frozen Heart is your best option for CDR since it provides a lot of it and it has a lot of good synergy with Ground Slam and Malphite's tank role in team fights. Build it when you can afford to, but you might have to pass on this item if the enemy team only has one autoattacker (their marksman) and you need to survive ability damage. Either way, this item gives no health so you'll want a big health item to compliment it.
Locket of the Iron Solari is another decent option for CDR, though it only gives 10%. Try not to double up on auras if your support or jungler is already going to build this item, though having 2 auras isn't terrible (but they only stack once for the carriers of the item). It doesn't build out of a Spectre's Cowl, so if you bought a Cowl early game, you might as well upgrade it into Spirit Visage instead of going for Locket.
Spirit Visage gives another small boost to CDR, but it builds out of Spectre's Cowl which makes gives it a much better build path if you need the early defensive stats in lane. This item also serves as a good replacement for Locket of the Iron Solari if you already have one on your team. I choose to buy Visage over Banshee's Veil since the nerf to the spell shield cooldown. The 10% CDR you can get from Visage is worth giving up 50 health and a spell shield since you're a tank champion who can just absorb spells with your face anyway.
Randuin's Omen gives you an AoE slow 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 marksmen since focusing you will further lower their DPS, especially if they're trying to kite you. It's currently the most effective defensive item against physical damage so you'll usually want to build it when team fights are starting or if you're too far behind to build a more luxury item like Frozen Heart. 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.
Warmog's Armor offers a big health pool that will protect you against all damage types. 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 immediately. Most of the other items I've listed offer more to your survivability or usefulness in team fights, but if you just need something to increase your health pool, this item might be just what you're looking for.
Iceborn Gauntlet is a luxury offense item that gives you a lot of damage and CC at the opportunity cost of low survivability. You only get 10% CDR from this item so it will only fit in your build in some cases. Do not buy this item if you're behind because you'll explode at the start of team fights without some real defensive items. You can rush this item if you're dominating lane against an AD opponent, or just build it later on to carry the game.
Abyssal Scepter doesn't offer as much MR as other options and doesn't give any boost to your health pool, which makes it an offensive pick for Malphite. The MR reduction aura works best against squishy targets and if you have other sources of magic damage on your team. You can also just build it against magic-heavy teams in addition to Spirit Visage or Locket of the Iron Solari if you think you can use the damage to carry the game.
Thornmail is actually pretty mediocre in terms of survivability, but it makes you a bigger damage threat against the enemy marksman. Since marksmen 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. Don't buy this if you aren't getting focused by the enemy marksman or similarly auto-attack reliant champions.
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. It also gives your spells a small movement speed boost after their use which can help you get in position for a good Unstoppable Force. 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.
As a top laner, 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 dictate your opponent's options as much as possible. Malphite works well 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.
Against AP champions, use Seismic Shard to harass your opponent from a distance. The best time to do this is when you go in close for a last-hit since your opponent will want to take the opportunity to harass you. If you're ahead, you can use your Q range to zone your opponent from CS by standing in their minion wave and Qing your opponent if they go to last-hit a CS.
Against melee AD champions, you'll be maxing Ground Slam so trading works a little differently. Casting W and E at the start of an autoattack trade pretty much guarantees that you win the trade, so try to get some autoattacks in before your E debuff wears off. 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). Keep in mind that using E pushes the minion wave, but we'll talk about that in a moment.
Zoning is an important skill to learn for any laner, especially if you want to actually build 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 or trading in melee range with a Ground Slam can really compound any small advantage you've earned.
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. There are five basic lane positions with different properties for you to learn:
1) Neutral: When both minion waves are equal in the center of the lane, the minion wave becomes very susceptible to pushing. It's fairly safe to farm like this but your opponent has enough room to fight you for the wave. If you fight back you might push the wave towards them. Small minion advantages can determine the outcome of early game trades, so this is where you can create an advantage or lose control of the lane. This is also a good position for you to refresh Granite Shield since you have access to the side lane bushes.
2) Frozen by your tower: Freezing the minion wave just out of range of your tower 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. The downside is that your opponent can harass you for free since you have few minions to fight them and their minions will turn on you if you retaliate with autoattacks. It's also pretty easy for your opponent to push you in.
3) Frozen at your opponent's tower: This sucks because it puts you in a dangerous situation where you can get ganked by the enemy jungler. You can contest some CS like this but usually you'll just want to push in the wave so it resets to neutral.
4) Under your tower: This makes it hard to last-hit and leaves your tower open to receiving damage. On the plus side, your opponent usually can't do much when you're under tower. Get as much farm as possible and wait for the wave to reset to neutral.
5) Under your opponent's tower: This is okay since you usually just want to farm as Malphite and don't care if your opponent gets free CS or not. Malphite's really good at diving so if you have Ignite or your jungler helps you, you can attempt to dive your lane opponent after level 6. Pushing the wave also lets you recall without having to use Teleport to return to lane and you can easily teleport to other lanes to make plays once you have your ultimate.
Ways to push your lane:
- Aoe clears (In Malphite's case, this means Ground Slam.)
- Autoattacking an enemy champion (This draws aggro to you instead of your allied minions. Using spells to harass, however, will not draw aggro.)
- Intercepting the minion wave (Also draws minion aggro. You may want to do this to prevent the wave from hitting your tower.)
- Wave hits your tower (The tower pushes back the wave by clearing it more quickly than if you were last-hitting.)
- Autoattacking repeatedly between last-hits (This is the least mana intensive way to push your lane.)
- 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 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 closer to your lane in the bush 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 sense 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 Stealth Wards without being seen, so you'll have to invest in a Vision Ward and play more conservatively when she isn't showing elsewhere on the map.
When your jungler is trying to gank your lane, the worst thing you can do is telegraph his 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. Don't be afraid of tower diving with Malphite if you can safely land a kill and get out alive.
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 enemy marksman, 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 can follow up and do their stuff. 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. You'll have to make judgment calls whether to chase after enemy carries to zone them or return to your backline to debuff the enemy melee champions. Generally you can support your marksman if he's stronger or dive the enemy backline if their marksman is stronger.
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. Try to find advantages and objectives to take after successful team fights and don't just recall or farm every time.
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.
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.
A special thank you to those who have supported my guide with votes, Scout points and advice that have been instrumental in bringing my guide to the level of quality it is today. I'd also like to specifically thank jhoijhoi and astrolia for their insights into some coding techniques that I use in all my guides.
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